Friday, April 6, 2012

Take me out to the Ballgame!

Ah, Spring... flowers are blooming, everything is green, warmer weather (except here in California, where it seems like Jan/Feb was a whole lot nicer), and BASEBALL!

Ryan has been a big fan of the Oakland A's ever since he was a child - which is surprising, given his dad is a Giants fan, and that's he's stayed true amongst all the ridicule living in Yankee territory these past few years. I also grew up going to A's baseball games as a child, and have fond memories of giveaway nights and ice cream sundaes in little A's helmets.

So when we saw Opening Night was coming up we said "Hey, let's go!" Luckily, A's tickets aren't too hard to come by (ie: they are not very popular and have a huge, old stadium that no one likes to go to in a somewhat scary part of Oakland). We got decked out in our green and gold, packed along a backpack full of candy and Ryan's fleece A's blanket that I made for him 6+ years ago. The kids were really excited to go, and were very enthusiastic about the magnets they received at the gate with the A's schedule printed on them. Ryan and I both felt quite nostalgic and I think it really warmed Ryan's heart to see so many people who were {finally} cheering for the same team that he loves.

The absolute highlight was the National Anthem, which concluded with a fly-over and fireworks!! Awesome!! The game itself was nothing extraordinary (the A's lost), but the kids behaved (and ate a whole bag of cotton candy and a box of Charleston Chews), and we all had a fun time. I'm sure we'll be back again throughout the season...probably on $1 hot dog night or bobblehead giveaway night :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lincoln's 5th Birthday!

This was the first time that we had a "real" birthday party for Lincoln, and he requested a Star Wars-themed party WELL in advance. Nana was visiting with us for the week and helped me prepare all the fun things for the party.

Each kid got a special Padawan robe to wear, and got to customize their own Lightsaber (pool noodle and duct tape):

The littlest Padawan, cousin Lily:

Then they had to complete a special obstacle course to get to the Death Star:

They flew their spacecraft into the Death Star:

And then had to battle the evil Darth Vader:

(Ryan was a very good sport and took quite a beating from the kids) haha:)

Linc got to claim a new Lightsaber as his prize for defeating Lord Vader!

The Vader-beating continued with a go at the pinata:

Star Wars cupcakes and cookies for the birthday boy:

A goodie bag for all the kids:

It was a great party and so wonderful to have so many family members join us for the fun! First party will be considered a success!!

(Pleased mommy, also sporting Star Wars shirt and baby belly) :)

Lincoln, you are a great Jedi and son! We know you will continue to use your powers for good as a big brother and son and keep improving your skills. We love you, big five year-old!!

{Special thanks to Brett for the photos and the Jedi Linc banner!}

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lincoln starts soccer

We just signed Lincoln up for his first soccer class at the community rec center. He was very excited as we bought cleats, shin guards, soccer socks, and little cones to practice at home. It turns out the class is indoors, so the cleats had to go :( But he sure looked cute with his tall socks and little shorts!

Stretching out:

(notice a certain little sister who wanted to participate as well)

Linc was pretty impressive with his skills - especially for his first time! We think his height is definitely going to be advantageous to his athleticism - he is very fast! He had a great time and we look forward to {possibly} MANY more years of Saturday soccer. :)

(Um yes, that is one of his "coaches" wearing Ugg boots and capri sweats during practice...Ryan and I got a good laugh out of that!)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Last Saturday we were hit with an unexpected snow storm. What was supposed to be a couple inches of "wintry mix" turned into half a foot of heavy, wet snow. The poor trees were still full of leaves, and the weight of the heavy snow caused branches to bend, and then snap clean off - taking down power lines with them. Just before 2pm our lights flickered a few times, then went out completely. Little did we know that it would be over 72 hours later when the power would come back.

While this experience was definitely tough - and one that I hope not to repeat again - it made me extremely thankful for many things that I take for granted on a daily basis.

*Electricity - Do you realize how many times a day you turn on a light switch?! It's pretty depressing to walk into a dark house, knowing that it will stay dark all night. I had to complete all my "household tasks" during daylight hours, because I knew that as soon as the sun went down it would be nearly impossible to get things done. Laundry? No. Dishwasher? No. We really got back-to-basics with candles and firelight!

*Water - Luckily, we didn't lose water as a result of the storm. That would have really been bad; like, check into a hotel bad. We didn't have hot water though (water heater runs on electricity), and a cold shower just isn't as tempting as a warm one.

*Heat - It was cold. It was painful getting dressed in the morning. I wore my robe around the house to stay warm. Our gas fireplace was our saving grace - we had it on all day, and it really did put out quite a bit of heat. We all hung out in the living room huddled around the fire for 3 days.

*Internet/tv/entertainment - The kids were pretty much un-fazed by the experience, except in that they kept asking "Can we watch a show?" - to which I would reply "We still don't have power, so that means we can't turn on the tv, remember?!" We were able to charge up the laptops, phones, and iPod to provide some screen-entertainment. I kept wanting to watch the news about the storm, or look up things online...only to remember I couldn't.

*Refridgeration - It is so nice to be able to open your fridge and pour a nice COLD glass of orange juice in the morning. (or have some ice cream in the evening) I ended up throwing most everything away, since I'm pretty sure it was not so good after 3 days. Nice chance to deep clean my fridge and freezer!

*Friends - Some dear friends had us over for dinner and device-charging one night, and we commiserated with our other friends who also were out of power. It made the days go by a little faster!

Jiffy Pop by the fire

What we wore around the house to keep warm

Lincoln LOVES the snow

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Washington DC

Last weekend we took a quick trip down to Washington DC. We had never been since we've lived on the East Coast, and Ryan's sister Kimber was in town for a conference - so we figured it was the perfect time to go. We tried to hit all the highlights: Air and Space museum, Natural History museum, various monuments/memorials, yummy food, and LOTS of walking. (My favorite was the cooked-to-order breakfast at the hotel - YUM!!!) It was raining the first day, which added an extra level of difficulty to trekking around the Capitol:
Can you just see the excitement in this boy's face?!
So many {stuffed} animals to see at the Natural History museum:
Ellie was really interested in this little Neanderthal boy:
An extra surprise was a reading fair in the Mall with tons of tents and giveaways. There was a PBSkids tent with several characters from the kids' favorite shows:
Also, the Magic School Bus was there! Lincoln LOVES the Magic School Bus - I believe we've checked out every single book from the local library.
Ms. Frizzle in person
Of course, we HAD to see the Lincoln Memorial. It was probably funny to hear us yelling "Lincoln! Lincoln!" around the memorial as {our} Lincoln was running and jumping off things.

Friday, September 9, 2011

First Day of School

This is the last year before we REALLY start school...for the rest of our lives! Ahhhhhhh!!! We had such a great experience with our Mother Goose Time group last year, that we're doing it again - just with some different friends and more kids. There are 6 kids, including Lincoln, and all of them will be starting Kindergarten next year. Here's the big boy:
Ellie had to get in on the experience too - backpack and all:
I didn't think that Ellie would care too much about Lincoln being in school, but she often asks "Ellie school too?" and as soon as Linc is out of the car she asks "Where'd Lincoln go?" about 50 times until we pick him up again.
Do you think the kids have changed much since last year?!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ellie Don't Come In

While we were visiting my family in Kansas City this summer, Lincoln decided that he had enough of his pesky little sister and commissioned his Nana to write a sign for him. Then he drew the pictures - so Ellie would be able to understand what it said, naturally. The pictures are a number 4 (meaning you have to be 4 years-old), Ellie's face Xed out, and a railroad crossing sign (he was playing with train tracks).

He posted it up and then showed Ellie the sign - pointing to the words and "reading": "Ellie don't come in". Then Ellie would say "Come in!" very happily - to which Lincoln would say, "No! Ellie don't come in" and she would repeat again "Come in!" It basically continued like that for a while! Too hard to keep from laughing at these kids!