Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Children's Museum

We got passes to the museum for Christmas this year and Athena has been dying to go again so today it was. It was a little crowded due to the vacationers, but we still had a lot of fun. It is really exhausting with 2 kids at very different stages but I still think they both had fun. Rowan just goes crazy due to all of the stimulation but by the end he spent 30 minutes painting the car and he wasn't done when I told him it was time to go. It was neat to see him so engrossed in an activity since a lot of the day he just flits around. Here are my favorite pictures from the day.
Paint face Rowan.
Athena in the pillow room.
Athena loved how she fit just perfectly on this cushion.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Big Balloon Parade






I bundled up the kids (should have checked the weather) and headed out the door early this morning to catch the big balloon parade downtown today. We took the trolley which was a little more challenging then I thought it would be due to transfers and no ramps with the stroller but there were plenty of nice people to help me along the way so it really wasn't too bad. We had a good time. Rowan wanted to run off a lot which was exhausting but typical for an active 21 month old. Their favorite part which I'm kicking myself for not getting a photo of, was a miniature like golf cart sized trash truck that drove down the street. I have to admit, I thought it was pretty cool myself! The fire trucks were a close runner up. Rowan seemed to really get into the marching bands and kept saying "drums" and then patting his arms on his legs. Oh, almost forgot to mention that it warmed up to the 70's so we were removing layers until Athena wound up topless. Only in San Diego. We also ran into a fellow mama blogger and another mama friend too which is strange since there were 1000's of people there I'm sure.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Athena on Ice




I took Athena to Ice Town today for her first time. She did really well and I think with a little more practice she'll be skating on her own quite soon (probably just 1 or 2 more trips will do the trick). We had a lot of fun on our girls only adventure. Rowan was napping at home the entire time with Chris so everything worked out just perfectly. I decided to put both videos up because the second one cracks me up (and why do I always forget that when you are taking a video not to turn it vertically?)
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Here's what it looked like at our house...

This one is out of order but I'm tired of messing with it so I'll just leave it alone. The kids are admiring the new barn.
The night before.
Sporting their new helmets and noisy toys (Rowan, lightning mcqueen car, athena cuddle and coo doll).
Rowan in his "fire truck boots". He can't walk in them but demands to wear them everyday.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Athena's afternoon out



I took Athena to the Old Globe Theatre to see a performance of "The Grinch" today. We also went last year and hope to make it a tradition for as long as we can. She loved the show, and wants to go again and again. I could hardly lift her for the photos. She is getting so big. Yesterday she drew an awesome picture of Chris surfing and even wrote the words by herself "Dad is sfe" (Dad is surfing). It was cool because when she sounded out "is", I heard her say "i", "z", but then she wrote an "s". I don't know if it is because she knows that word now, or if she just made a backwards "z", but I'm liking to think that she just knew the word. Alright, mommy bragging over.

When we got home from the Grinch, we picked up Rowan for dinner and came home to some Morrissey videos playing on the computer. Rowan was really enjoying the songs, and he really started to channel Morrissey, especially the hair.

Friday, December 19, 2008

More picture pages

Athena went to circus class this month and loved it. She is surprisingly flexible (her genes wouldn't lend to this), has good balance, just needs more strength to do some of the exercises.
This is how Rowan felt when cousin D didn't want to go in the bouncy house with him. :(
Athena taking a break in the bouncy house.
My "twins". I walked the boys around the mall for a tiny bit and got to pretend they were twins for about 5 minutes. It was fun. Aren't they the cutest?
Trying to get 4 kids to look at the camera after posing with Santa. Athena looks repulsed by something.
Try again. (and again, I have about 8 of these and they are never all looking)

Picture Pages

Man with tree.
Kids in car. Athena loves her little tree (a branch she found on the ground).
Dinner at the Veggie Grill was pretty tasty. I was all worn out (getting sick) so I didn't enjoy it as much as I probably would on a day that I wasn't wiped, but did get a good impression from it. The kids meal was a hit (chicken tenders, sweet potato fries, and chocolate pudding for dessert).
Carousel ride in the OC after our dinner.
Athena with "lipstick" (it was just tinted chapstick) ready for the big kid only tea party.

Our holiday card. I just put the last of these in the mail today so if you haven't received one in a few days, then I probably don't have your address. Plus Chris handled a bunch of them this year because I was sick and delegating jobs but now I'm not sure if he sent some to old addresses, etc. If you want one, just send me an email at athenasage AT gmail DOT com and I'll drop one in the mail to you and update my darn address book.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Blogging Break

After posting every day for 2 months straight, I've been on a bit of a blog break. I thought I'd start up again but then got really sick this past week and wound up with pneumonia. I'm recovering and slowly have some strength back. Tomorrow will be my first day leaving the house (urgent care exception) in 5 days. I'm planning on taking Athena to school, even though I'm a little nervous about driving. I feel like I could do it right now though so I should be fine in the morning as well. I'm going to stay home the rest of the day (my mother in law is picking Athena up from school:) and take it easy with Rowan, who started with a fever today. So, someday I'll catch up on this blog but for now, I'm still on a break.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Yoga

Some friends of mine put together a "Mindful Mothering" yoga class this afternoon, and I have to say it was such a great idea. Get some awesome friends/amazing mothers together, do some yoga , and then sip tea and enjoy snacks and have a discussion about our mothering. I left feeling a bit more relaxed and knowing that I have such a supportive group of mothers all around me who really understand the experience I have. We are thinking of making it a monthly thing which I think will be great. I came home with really good energy (even saw something super cool in the sky, new it had to be planets but didn't know which ones. Called Chris, he didn't know, called my Dad and he told me it was Jupiter and Venus. It was pretty amazing, I could hardly keep my eyes on the road. I felt so lucky to see it as when I got to my house, we were completely socked in!) I was able to get the kids through dinner and bedtime without stressing out even though we had a monster begging for "MORE CHOCOLATE!" and a toddler stuffing peas up his nose. Note to self...need more yoga.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Overload





We were away from home for 14 hours today. We spent the first 3 hours at a delicious breakfast my Dad and Mimi hosted. It was a burrito bar, mmm, and they even sent me home with a jar of my favorite salsa in the world (a homemade chipotle sauce). The kids had a fun time playing with their grandma/grandpa, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends. It was a little chaotic at times, but everyone really enjoyed it. Chris and Grandpa even vacuumed out my car! Athena said her favorite time was when she practiced reading with Mimi and Oli. Mimi gave her this very cool book that has a little wheel you turn to make a new word (like a word family thing b-ug, m-ug, d-ug). Athena is very good at reading those kind of words now, kind of amazingly so since I have never really sat down and worked with her on it. I think she could be reading independently if I actually practiced with her a bit as she is reading so many isolated words on her own right now as it is.
After breakfast, we headed up to the OC to visit with more cousins, Aunt/Uncle, and Nana came too! The kids had the best time at this park there with dirt trails and little hills (reminded me of my childhood at Lakeside ditch, but not as fixed up). Rowan loved riding around on a big kid bike with training wheels (we had to push him), but he was not about to ride his trike there and get laughed off the course. Athena had a blast riding through the mud, and took a short spin on her cousin's bike without the training wheels. She definitely has a ways to go on that but it seems to be the kind of thing that when she decides she is ready to have them off, she'll figure it out in a day. I let go of her a couple times and she can balance, she just gets scared or even worse, let's go of her bars to scratch an itch. It was still fun though.
We later took a trip to Native Foods, and filled up on tasty vegan eats. The kids devoured their kids meals. Athena loves their chicken free nuggets and Rowan had the pizza. I got my standard order, the something or other chicken run ranch burger with a salad. It did not disappoint. After dinner, we headed back to play with the cousins some more. The kids were just having out of control fun and we could hardly leave the place. Sometimes I felt like Rowan was meant to have been my Bro/Sil's 4th child (they have 3 boys). Rowan fit right in and was not shy at all, just chasing his cousins all around, having a dance party, and loving all of their toys. It was an awesome day, but I'm glad we have tomorrow to recover and get ready for the dreaded Monday...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Drive In Pictures

Our driver.
Rowan messing with the controls.
Snacks.

Athena faking that she was asleep.

We saw "Bolt" which wasn't what I thought it was going to be. Athena didn't love it, but thought most of it was OK, albeit a bit scary at times. "High School Musical 3" played next and we stayed for about 10 minutes just to get a laugh. Rowan was actually really loving the opening scene but it was hilarious because after the 10 minutes Athena said, "Is this the real movie?" When we told her yes she said, "This is NOT my kind of movie." I was kind of relieved knowing she wasn't into this kind of movie yet because I know in another few years she'll probably be bugging me to take her to see something just like it. So, a night at the Drive In with Veganmomma's family.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I am so thankful

As I was putting the kids to bed tonight, I started thinking about everything I was thankful for. I'm not the best at putting my thoughts into words, but here goes...
First of all, I am thankful for my husband, daughter, and son. Each day they give me a reason to get out of bed and try to make myself a better person. My daughter has taught me that when given the choice between "A" and "B", that you can choose "C". She helps me think outside the box with her creative lead each day. She models what it is like to be a genuine person, thoughtful, insightful, and real. My son reminds me to loosen up a bit, he is free, emotional, and funny. He delights in the small stuff, and helps me slow down when I get too crazy. He is also persistent, active, and curious. Then, there is Chris. He is my rock. He is there when we need him, just when I think the chaos is getting overwhelming, he brings order to our world. He is dedicated to our family, working hard each day at a job he doesn't love so that we can live a comfortable life. He is honest, goofy, and talented. We are all so thankful for each other. Athena said she is thankful for our family, but more for Oli's family which made me laugh. I am thankful for the rest of my family as well. We are so lucky to be surrounded by moms, dads, grandmas, great grandmas, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, and sisters. So very lucky. We have wonderful friends who I know I can count on too.

Today we had a lovely Thanksgiving at my cousin's house, who conveniently just lives a canyon away from us. The kids had a fabulous time visiting with their cousins. I honestly only saw Athena when it was time to eat in the 4+ hours we were there. She told me on the drive home that we need to go to their house more often so she can play with her cousin's dolls. Her cousin's dolls even have crutches! (which is a favorite theme in her play right now) This alone, made it one of the best Thanksgivings since we have had kids. I really got to sit back and relax quite a bit, the kids just got along so well. Then, there was the food. It was fantastic. Most of my family eats the traditional fare, but are well used to my vegan ways. Lucky for me, I have a rockin' veghead sister in law who I can always count on for tasty food. My mom also likes to contribute to the vegan cause, and cooks up a few dishes herself. Plus, the rest of my family knows to leave off the butter on the steam veggies, etc., so that we can eat them too. So, here is what was on the menu this year. I made the "Festive Chickpea Tart" which turned out well. I got very good reviews from my taste testers, it was especially yummy with a little cranberry sauce. I also brought along a "Celebration Roast" by the Field Roast people. It was pretty good, but a little salty (maybe that was my broth though?). Athena requested roasted potatoes, and I couldn't deny her that so I made a big tray of that including some sweet potato for Rowan (his favorite) and the rest of us. My mom made the vegan stuffing, every year I count on this from her as she makes the best stuffing! She also makes a sweet potato casserole that she veganized many years ago. She used to bring 2 versions of it to Thanksgiving each year (vegan and traditional) and then one year she just brought the vegan one and no one really noticed so now that is what she does. It is super sweet with candied nuts and brown sugar, almost a dessert. She also made a green salad, and left off the cheese so that we could partake. My bro/sil brought a pumpkin soup (which ended up being my favorite dish), a sweet potato/corn/green bean medley, festive carrots, and fresh baked bread with roasted garlic. Finally, for dessert I brought along pumpkin pie brownies and chocolate pumpkin pie (From E, D, and B, V) served with vanilla coconut based ice cream. Wow! I *think* I liked the brownies better, but it was a close call. The chocolate pumpkin pie is definitely a good choice if you don't have much prep time as it comes together in a snap.

After our big extravaganza, we stopped at a soggy playground for a bit to run around with the kids. A fantastic day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Puddles

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We met some friends at the park today after a night of rain. I didn't really want to spend the day outside, but felt like my poor kids never get to experience any "weather" so off I went. We'd been there over an hour when one of my friend's kids started jumping in this GIANT puddle. I had this whole debate with myself over whether or not I'd let my kids go for it, and that was when I saw Rowan bolt for the water. I quickly made the decision that I was OK with the water play, I had some extra clothes (or so I thought) and all would be well. The kids had a blast! They could practically swim in this puddle, Rowan sort of did by accident (kind of scary, but he didn't mind too much, involved some rolling in the puddle and a wet from head to toe toddler). We had just enough clothes to outfit athena fully and rowan minus a shirt. He didn't seem to mind though as he fell asleep on the way home. Athena even gifted me with a nap later in the afternoon. How sweet.

Wow these are good!

Thanks to a tip from my friend Lindsey at Day to Day Vegan, I scored some of these today(she called me from Cost Plus World Market to let me know they were in). I don't think they'll last long, maybe a little longer since I'll be making some Thanksgiving treats, but otherwise, I doubt they'd last more than a couple of days.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ridiculous trophy

I don't want to sound ungrateful (or wait, I paid for this), but isn't this the most ridiculous trophy you've ever seen. Athena was looking forward to one like last year that had a pony tail, but this is what she got. She still likes it, but seriously, who was in charge of purchasing these?!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Playtown




The kids and I went on a field trip to Playtown today with Rowan's class. They had a lot of fun and didn't give me much trouble. You never know when you are in a big group of kids if your kids are going to be stirring things up or not(maybe some people know, but I never know), but today mine were pretty low key. They loved the roller coaster most of all.
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