Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas 2009

Twas the night before Christmas...

and the kids are wild as usual.

We did some Christmas crackers.

The morning pursuit of gifts. Looks who's first.

Building an airplane with Daddy.

Checking out the new LEGO set.

And modeling the new outfit Santa brought

New video games...

And new shirts from Nana and Papa.

And later that day we went to Uncle Marky's house for some Christmas dinner ... and Super Mario Bros. Wii...

Grandma and Grandpa were there and took the kids to their house for the rest of the weekend, while Brian and I got to return home for a weekend to ourselves.

A clean and quiet house. That's how I say Merry Christmas. We ran errands Saturday, getting accessories for our new iphones, went to see Sherlock Holmes and then went out to dinner. Church the next day was weird. I didn't quite know what to do with myself in the morning. Brian was gone for meetings as usual and I had only myself to get ready for church. Odd but refreshing.

By Monday, we missed the kids and were ready to meet Grandpa halfway to get them. They had all of their Christmas toys to discover and enjoy.

It's going to be a rainy day today. Hopefully those toys will keep them entertained most of the day.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Last Week's Cousin's Camp

Last week we got to host Cousin's Camp at our house.

We celebrated Gehrig's birthday.(A riddle: What do you get when you have five kids and a high concentration of boys and 8 year olds? Potty talk, and lots of it!)

Went to the beach in San Simeon where we ate a snack, watched surfers and hunted rocks.

After the beach we went to Hearst castle to watch the Imax movie and see the free exhibit. We did not go on a tour beacause 5 kids + 1 adult does not equal fun at Hearst Castle!
I also did not get any pictures while we were there because it took all the concentration I had just to keep the kids together, let alone pose them for a picture!

We also decorated gingerbread houses.

After that, Amanda and I wore the kids out by walking them all over CalPoly to see the horse unit, ice cream from the Campus Market and a little tour of Fisher Science building to see the science displays.

Thanks for a fun weekend, kids!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Wouldn't it be great to have Christmas at Hogwarts?

I admit that I'm a Potter Head, and I've turned my daughter into one, as well.

I just love the descriptions of Christmastime at the castle. I would love to spend Christmas where there is snow outside, lights floating in the Great Hall, feasts that magically appear before you and a hand knit sweater from Mrs. Weasly.

Here's to a magical Christmas wherever you are.
(Have you heard about the Harry Potter theme park in Orlando Florida they are working on? Did I mention I'm a Potter Head?)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Super Powers

I'm on the tail end of what I'm hoping is just a 24 hour flu bug. I will whole heartedly admit I don't make a good sick person. When I'm nauseous I'm miserable. And I'm sure that I whine a lot.

So last night as I was curled up in bed, trying to keep my clothes and the blankets from touching me because my skin hurt, Brian was folding laundry on the bed, trying to keep me company. He commented that the clothes were much more static-ee than normal. I should mention, before I get to this next part, that when I'm sick, I'm a little punchy.

The first thought that popped into my head was, "Maybe I'm getting super powers!"

That's right. A little bit of a leap. I jumped right over the obvious explanation of "weather patterns" and went straight to the realm of science fiction ("The influx of powers coursing into my body is causing the unusually high amount of static electricity in the air!!)

Why not. I felt like crap and this was helping.

Who wouldn't sacrifice 24 hours of nauseousness for some superpowers?

Then to further divert my attention from my fever, I launched into a brainstorming session of what super powers I would want to become a Super Mom. I know that most super heroes only have one main power, but moms are supposed to be able to multi-task, so I want a whole range of super powers.

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. I would require only a few short hours of sleep. (I tried for no sleep, but Brian interjected that I would want some down time with him.)

2. I would have a deep love for cleaning and organizing along with a great motivation to do so.

3. I would always be patient and never have the desire to lose my temper with my kids or slow people.

4. I would have an extremely fast metabolism that would make it almost necessary to indulge regularly in chocolate.
(side bar: as I'm brainstorming these outlandish and recognizably make-believe powers, Brian is of course giving his practical opinion on these matters. Things like, "Well you wouldn't need a high metabolism because you won't be requiring much sleep, so you can get up early and exercise..." Oh, Brian. You don't get it, do you?)

5. I would be able to point to any recipe and VOILA! it would be prepared faster than you can say, "Martha has a whole staff that does that for her!". No shopping. No prep time. No clean up.

6. I would be able to stop time any time I wanted to.

Now this brought the converstations to a grinding halt, because I have always fantasized about this super power. Who hasn't. (Remember that Saturday morning show "Out of this World" where Evie is half alien and can stop time?) And it really made me think. If I had this one superpower, would I really need all the rest? Of course Brian had some practical bankers advice about this, but I decided I needed to come to my own conclusions about this one.

Which was:

7. No doing laundry. Ever.

What super powers would you like?
the picture is two of my little super heroes with their Super Nana

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Times Tables

Anybody have any good tips about how to teach kids their multiplication facts?

I've got an eight year old girl right now who refuses to even try and memorize them. She keeps thinking she can use her fingers, which means she either doesn't get it or she thinks she has all the time in the world.

I think classic flash cards are the best way to go, but she is being so stubborn and won't even try to cooperate with us. The second we say it's time to do flash cards, she starts crying and blocks out everything we say.


So maybe I should rephrase my question...

Anybody have any good tips about how to deal with a stubborn eight year old?

Monday, December 14, 2009

What Came First? Santa or the Bird?

I'm finally getting around to posting about Thanksgiving, so my holiday's got a little flipped in the blogosphere.

My apologies.

We had a great Thanksgiving at my parents. We have done turkey dinner with my mom's family for as long as I can remember. Now it's fun to pass the tradition on to the next generation.

The cousins had a great time together. These two boys just went from one game to the next and one creative activity to the next. "We should all be so lucky as to have children who entertain themselves as well Briggs and Gehrig!" (please read in a very Eastern European Jewish accent).

There were gingerbread houses for the kids to make. Nana always likes to have a craft for the kids. Here's Natalee with her gingerbread Chalet!

Lots of family to love.

Yes. We did hoist our child up on the roof. But how else are you supposed to get the ball down?

There are always family group shots to be taken in front of the orange tree.

And a little goofing around.

We did eventually eat our gingerbread houses...

The next day we went to the Exploratorium in San Fransisco. It was the best place for Ty because he could touch everything and push every button he saw.

...and he did.

I love this one of Briggs. He is concentrating on following his stream of consciousness. Very Zen.

All of that button pushing made the kids a little tired by the time we made it to the Golden Gate Bridge.

The cold wind finally woke up the brothers, though.

I can't forget the special Luigi bed Nana made for Ty. He was very excited.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Long Post, But Lots of Traditions

Christmas 2004

This past weekend was our traditional weekend we spend with Brian's family celebrating Christmas. As I've mentioned before, Brian's mom is like Mrs. Claus, so her house is always a treat for the kids to see at Christmas. There are all kinds of holiday surprises and decorations that fill the house, as well as the noisy sound of cousins playing together.
I love seeing the kids run around together like a mob of bandits. They are all really close in age and just have a blast. They were a little bummed out this year because the rain poured down all day Saturday. We usually have a BBQ, swim in the hot tub and then spend the evening looking at the spectacular lights in the neighborhood.
However, the rain didn't slow us down. Grandpa just heated the jacuzzi a little bit more and the kids still spent a good part of the afternoon swimming. Ashlynn and Caleb even got brave and managed to sneak a little dip in the regular pool ( I know, we are not very responsible parents for letting them swim in the rain!) But the kids had such a great time.

Brian pulling Ash and I while we see the lights in 2003

When it was time to see the lights, we just piled the kids all in one van, old school style (read: no seat belts...) and enjoyed the lights from the car instead of walking around bundled up.
After dinner, Grandma had gotten authentic Nativity scene costumes for the kids, so they treated us to a reenactment of Luke 2. Some of the highlights:

*"Ashlynn. You have to play Mary. Your the only girl. You are always going to have to play Mary."
"Okay! Fine!....But I am not marrying Ty!!!"

*Davis chose not to be forced into a wise man costume. Understandable for a 3 year old. But I was shocked when I saw Ty walk downstairs in full Shepard regalia, complete with a keffiyeh on his head! Then I stopped being shocked when I saw that Grandma had provided him with the proper tools to the trade- he had a shepherd's crook. That's right folk. A Stick.

*The only baby in the family is 11 months old, but he wasn't about to sit still while we wrapped him in swaddling clothes. So a doll filled the important roll. I was a little disturbed, as a mother, when I saw my 8 year old daughter with a doll shoved up her robe to appear authentic. I quickly got over that shock, though when the narrator read, "And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son..." and my daughter dropped the doll right out of the bottom of her robe, having the poor innocent land right at her feet.
Thanks for keepin' it real, Ash.

A little bonus for the weekend was being able to see Brian's dad put in as the new Bishop of their ward. It was a complete coincidence that the entire family was able to be present for this occasion (albeit a bit obvious to the rest of the ward when the whole Rober clan marched into P2!)
Thanks for a great weekend, Rober family.

Christmas 2007

Friday, December 11, 2009

Love this!

I love this decor for the door. I love the colors and the frame.

Check it out here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Christmas is a joyful time of year.


Sometimes it has to be sought after.


Ty decided that he didn't feel like using the toilet. So Mom and Dad spent days changing his pants and doing laundry. We even had to make a run home in the middle of church. We are talking 6+ times a day. And I'm not just talking wet undies (if you catch my drift...)

Obviously very frustrated with this, we tried everything. Half hour time outs in his bedroom for every accident. Providing him with Astro blaster guns so he wouldn't be scared in the bathroom. Accompaniying him every time he went to keep him company. Pep talks. Sticker charts. Nothing seemed to be working.

So we threatened diapers. He wasn't happy about it, but we told him if he was going to act like a baby, he was going to have to wear diapers like a baby.

When I fianlly had to pull the diaper out and put it on him, he was spitting mad. I'm not exactly sure how I got it on him, because he certainly didn't hold still for it. And then, like a sixteen year old girl he yelled:

"Ashlynn and Briggs are going to think I'm FAT!"

Well, the diaper didn't even work. Everytime I turned around, he would take it off and he continued to pee and poop all over the place.

Finally I had an epiphany. When we were trying to get him to go to nursery and preschool (yes. everything is difficult with Ty) we used video games to bribe him and they worked like a charm. But they had to be used in the right way.

You see, we've been taking away the video games and computer when he had accidents. I don't think he's played anything for weeks. But I remembered that with nursery and preschool we offered him a video game session at the end of the day if he went to nursery or school with out throwing tantrums.

So yesterday we told him he could play a half hour of Wii at night if he had no accidents all day.

Obviously Mario Kart was the right motivator, because he went all day completely dry.

Oh Joy...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Techno un-cool

Why is my banner so small!

I get so frustrated with the look of my blog. Can you tell? I love going to peoples blogs and being greeted by some beautiful banners. I've tried creating my own, tried using free ones (note current cutest blog on the block free banner) and I can't bring myself to pay for a special design, cause, let's face it, I'm not going for any awards.

The least I could do is have the chintzy banner that I have stretch the width of my page. But my technological evolution is not that advanced.

Brooke, how did you get your banner so wide?

At least my hips are wide...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Knotts Berry Farm

When things get exciting around here is when things get busy. And when things get busy is when I don't post as much. Which is a shame because then the exciting stuff doesn't get documented. So...

Knotts Berry Farm!

We met up with Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Mark and Aunt Lisa and Kamden. The kids always have a good time here because it's not too crowded and the kiddie section is great.

Ty talked about this ride for weeks.

Getting tricked by Uncle Mark

Brothers, deciding if they are up to a challenge. A...


The kids adore their cousin.

The next day, we went to a spot right by LAX where the kids could lay on the grass and watch the planes fly right over their heads.

They'd all lay on the ground looking up. Then...

They'd all flip over, laughing and watching it fly away.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

We went to the Exploratorium this weekend...

What did you do?