Friday, May 19, 2017

The Next Red Devil

 So Bennett has started taking soccer classes.  And if you know my dad, you'll know why I needed to find him a tiny Manchester United jersey.

I didn't have much luck getting Bennett to post for photos in his shirt, but he genuinely does love his soccer practice.  He loves reciting "No hands!" when you ask him if he likes soccer.  Orelia always wishes him good luck and asks whether he scored or whether his team "won."  I don't have the heart to tell her that they definitely aren't keeping score and he isn't likely to be getting it very close to a goal anyway.  Keep up the good work, Bennett, and you might find yourself at Old Trafford yet.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

GG Bridge

John's always very mindful of taking care of our eldest - Harper.

After we got back from Hawaii there happened to be a bit of a heat wave in San Francisco and we took Harper to her favorite beach at Crissy Field.

After the warm Hawaii ocean, I couldn't believe our kids would even dip a toe in the cold San Francisco Bay, but when you're drawn to the water, you're drawn to the water.

Bennett loved watching Harper run in and out of the water playing fetch.

And Orelia loves any chance to wear a bathing suit.

She packs one in her school back pack every day now because there have been a few water play days, and girl always wants to be dressed in the appropriate attire.

And Orelia wouldn't be Orelia without a fabulous accessory.

Needless to say, all of our kids had a wonderful day at the beach!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Highlights

I take photos of the highlights of life, there's no question.

I feel no desire to break out my camera and snap a photo of a tantrum or a child whining.

I don't want to commemorate an epic mess and the cleanup I end up doing with very little help by the primary mess-makers.

I very rarely capture their daily iPad fests.

And I definitely don't have a picture of the screams of "one more minute!!!" when I say it's finally time to turn the iPads off.

There's little beauty to me in a dirty laundry pile or the dried shredded cheese ground into my carpet.

I do have plenty of photos of scowls in my direction, but I rarely save those photos.

The photos I like are the ones where my kids are happy.

Orelia doesn't even want to try to pretend smile, so she generally needs to be laughing in order for the photo to land in my favorites pile.

A friend of mine jokingly pointed out that my blog is all about these amazing happy times whereas she feels her life consists of her child watching Elmo or whining about wanting to watch Elmo.

I don't want my blog to seem fake and portray a sugar-coated life of sunshine and rainbows where my kids are always perfectly behaved, never fight, eat all their vegetables, and crawl into bed at the end of the day without a peep.

My kids gets plenty of iPad time every day, and I am very grateful for it.

We have an amazing nanny who comes every morning to help me out and takes Bennett to all of his classes and activities (except for school with me).

My kids eat Happy Meals and have had plenty of Oreos and Doritos in their day.  Orelia's favorite food is probably plain white rice with a glass of water.

Bennett still has his aggressive days and last week we left preschool ten minutes into class because he pushed someone (and I had told him that morning if he pushed we would leave school).

In fact, that morning before Bennett was hastily removed from class, Orelia pushed Bennett back for the first time (he's pushed her many times in the past).  They went at it for a bit before I screamed at Orelia to walk away.  The first of many battles I'm sure.

Bennett has been dealing with some separation issues for one of the first times in his life (opposed to his sister who has always been reluctant to say goodbye).  He's been doing some crying when Daddy leaves for work and when Mommy leaves to take Orelia to school.  He's sad when I have a night meeting for preschool and can't put him to bed.  He's fine, but he isn't pleased about separation these days.

Basically, there is a disconnect between my photos of the happiest part of our days and the "down in the trenches" feel of the harder parts of parenthood.  So for the most part I don't write about the hard parts, but we have them just like every other family.

The job of raising children is filled with some of the highest highs life has to offer (that tight hug after preschool, holding a hand crossing the street, laughing about ice cream dripping down the cone, being handed a wildflower bouquet picked at the park, and giggling while running through a sprinkler) and some of the lowest lows (a fever that won't go away, not being able to fix what your child wants fixed, the shame of screaming at your child, and seeing your child hurt another child).

It's a roller coaster, and mainly I'll stick to the highlights here, especially as they relate to my photos.

But please don't doubt we have lowlights (daily tantrums, trust me), and everything in between.

These years are going by so quickly, so I will try to go to sleep every night thinking of the highlights, and I hope my kids do too.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mother's Day Photos

 The day before Mother's Day, I was headed out to dinner with some friends, and I asked John to take a photo of me and the kids before he took them out to dinner.

I love these photos for many reasons, but especially because they so accurately reflect my kids right now.  Bennett is carrying a large trash truck AND trash can that he plans to take with him to dinner.   He's wearing jeans because it's a weekend and he wants to match Daddy. Orelia is wearing a bathing suit which she reluctantly covered with a maxi skirt (and at the last minute a sweater, which I insisted upon, because, moms).  She's wearing a bunny backpack filled with trinkets and probably a magnifying glass.  Her hair is in a day-old ponytail and contains a foam Hawaiian flower she got at school a week ago and has only taken out for baths.  Right after these photos we almost fell over when the tickling I was doing caused a bit too much laughter.

May 2017 in a nutshell.

Monday, May 15, 2017

An Un-Recital

We were going to be in Hawaii for Orelia's last dance recital, so her amazing teacher was kind enough to host a pseudo-rectial for Orelia at her last rehearsal.

The kids had just gotten their costumes that day, so they were thrilled.

Orelia was especially eager to say hi to all the moms and siblings sitting right in front of her.

Their first dance was to "How Far I'll Go" (from Moana for those of you who don't have young daughters).

All of the kids of course loved this and adore the movie.

The second dance was their hip hop dance to "Hair Up" from Trolls.

Orelia also loves this movie, so she really lucked out with the song choices this time.

She's definitely more into dancing to the faster-paced songs, and loved bopping around holding her pony tail up.

Her teacher even used pink hair paint to make her pony tail pink for the recital.

And of course, there is the especially important element of recital makeup - perhaps Orelia's favorite thing.

While the makeup and pink hair might be Orelia's favorite part, I love seeing her smile and enjoy performing.

Her other favorite part was probably this amazing rainbow costume, because, duh.

Congratulations, Orelia, on another successful show!

And congratulations Bennett on sitting through another recital!

Friday, May 12, 2017

When One's Not at the Pool

When one isn't spending their Hawaii vacation at the beach and pool, what is one to do?

Well one option is a helicopter tour.

It was gorgeous, but I don't recommend it for those with weak stomachs (read: me).

Eating ice cream is never a bad choice.

Eating a bag full of Maui Onion chips is another healthy option.

If you're Bennett, then truck puzzles on the lanai may float your boat.

No trip to Hawaii is complete without some shaved ice.

Bennett always wanted purple shaved ice, since it's his favorite color, and Orelia always got the appetizing combination of watermelon and root beer.

Orelia loves going out to dinner, not because she enjoys the food much, but because she loves dressing up and maybe drinking a glass of lemonade.

I thiiiiiiink that's the last of the Hawaii photos, until next time!