James + Reece + Lola + Jessica

James + Reece + Lola + Jessica

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Portraits of Insanity: The 2013 Edition...

I'm determined to keep up our tradition of having family pictures taken every year.
Despite the fact that I'm likely the only person in my family that actually (semi) enjoys the experience (I'M LOOKING AT YOU, REECE IVINS), I'm always so happy to have them when all is said and done.

This being our first year as Seattleites, I wanted to include our new city in our shoot.
And what better place to capture the essence of a city famous for its fishy smell than Pike Market?

If you've ever been to Pike Market on a Saturday, you'd probably call the loony bin and reserve a room for me.
Crowds. Crowds. And did I mention more crowds?

But once I set my crazy mind to something, I have to follow through.
Even if it kills me.

And you know what?
It wasn't so bad after all - especially once we got some Ellenos Greek Yogurt in our bellies.

I can't look at this photo without cracking up.
It's just so US.
Lola pulling us in one direction.
James fighting like mad to escape (usually into oncoming traffic).
Reece laughing at it all and me just trying to get everyone out of the road.

Have you heard of the Seattle gum wall?
Let me explain it to you:  
it's a wall in Seattle that is covered with gum.

It's really, really, really gross - but also kind of cool (in a disgusting and vile way).
I told the kids they could pick a place in the market to take a photo, and of course this is the place they unanimously and enthusiastically selected.

We have a cardinal rule when it comes to the gum wall: James must be held at all times.
Because I kid you not, he would pick every piece of chewed up gum off that thing and rechew it to his heart's delight if left unattended.

My brown-eyed troublemaker keeps me scrambling.
But just LOOK at those brown eyes!

Trouble, I tell you.

We moved throughout the market, bribing like government officials.
My bag was 1% wallet, 99% candy.

 My babies put on a good show.
Maternal bias may play a small role, but goodness gracious, I think they're beautiful little people.

 Thus concludes another year of chaos.
But I must say, I'm quite smitten with my kooky little family and the beautiful city we call home.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Jamesy turned two...

Let's throw it back to June, shall we?

My baby turned two!
Which is really just bananas because he's my baby and shouldn't he still be sleeping on my chest and allowing me to smooch his chunky neck all day every day?

Yeah, neither of those things happen without a fight when you try them on toddlers.

The big day came just a few weeks after we'd made the big move to Seattle, so our celebration was fairly low key.

I spent the night before the 14th blowing up balloons, unraveling streamers and watching Pretty Little Liars.

The birthday boy woke up to a balloon-filled wonderland (must to the dismay of our neighbors below, I'm sure).
And of course we had our traditional birthday donuts for breakfast.
Thank heaven for Top Pot.

 James's only request for his birthday: see "howsies"

I managed to find a working farm in Bellevue (and it was free!), so we spent the afternoon with the howsies there.
It was a beautiful property and the kids were in paradise.

It was one of those afternoons that was pretty close to perfect.

 One of the things I've loved most about moving to Seattle has been watching my kids rely on each other for support, interaction, play, friendship, yada, yada, yada.

They are truly best friends.
Well, frenemies would probably be the more accurate term.

But when they're being sweet, I'm so happy I could burst into song (and sometimes do, just to embarrass/annoy them).

Back to the point.

The party raged well into the evening when Reece got home from work.
Lola whipped up a pretty killer pizza, James made sure the cats had party hats and we all found great joy in our Cupcake Royale treats.

 Oh Jimsie, how we adore you.

Your constant chatter.

Wha you doooeeeeen?
Ont (insert basically anything here - nana, tweets, shubowl, meewk, bink)
Lub you, mabbo
In sceeeerrd
Where sissy are?
I'n runnin!

Your sweet (and slobbery) smooches
Your lightning-fast pace (I'm exhausted 99-percent of the time)
Your complete adoration of your sister
Your unwavering devotion to driving your sister insane
The way you love the cats so hard we're afraid you might kill them
The way you try to smooch yourself out of trouble
Your obsession with your little blue shovel
The way you sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"
Your uncanny ability to sniff out treats
The way you are still, at heart, a complete mama's boy

Want to know a secret?
Disciplining you is near-impossible for me, because all you have to do is give me that look and I'm just toast.

We love you so much baby boy.
Even though you're a tiny terrorist most of the time.
A sweet, lovable, handsome, tiny terrorist, to be exact.

Happiest birthday to our guy!
(three months after the fact...)

Second first day of preschool...

The day we've all been anxiously awaiting (well, except for maybe James) for weeks now... finally arrived.

 The bird is back in school.
Can a get an hallelujah?

Since preschool tuition in Seattle rivals tuition at most universities ($450 a month - just thinking about it gives me hives), we decided to go with a co-op this year.
I've teamed up with three other moms in our neighborhood, and we ordered a homeschool Pre-K program to be our guide.

We'll take turns teaching, which means I'll be "Miss Jessica" once a month.
I'm kind of terrified, but hey, life's about getting out of one's comfort zone, right?

Lola has been dying to get back to school since her last day of school four months ago.
Apparently Miss Independent has grown bored with us and is ready for some time away from the nest.

She told me this morning that though she loved me, I wasn't invited to class and that I shouldn't pick her up for 16 days.

No more, no less.

James, on the other hand, was a hot mess without his beloved sissy.
"I go to school too? Pweese mama!  Where my sissy?  I sorry! I sorry!"

We are clearly a drama-free family.

Poor little guy only calmed down when we stopped for a Slurpee on the way home.
Food solves everything.
At least that's what the vinyl above our mantle says...

Lola was beaming when I picked her up from class, and spent the next hour filling me in on every juicy detail.
This girl is a social butterfly and can't get enough of her little pals.

I'm so glad she's adjusting well - we were both a little devastated she wouldn't be going back to Mrs. Shauna's again this year.


As a bit of a side note, my daughter insisted we stop at the Seattle Center on our way to get my morning coffee (aka $1 Diet Coke from McD's) so she could "make poses by the wamboob."

We really need to teach this girl how to say bamboo, but probably won't because I love her semi-offensive version of the word.

 Who is this girl?

I'm very much in love with my sassy little 4-year-old and simply cannot believe she'll be starting kindergarten next year.

James might need therapy to recover from this devastating change in his daily routine.
I, on the other hand, plan to take quite a few naps between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.