Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Year (December 28, 2014 - January 3, 2015)

This was our last week of 2014 and the beginning of a new year.  We were at home for the entire holiday break, but we got out to do lots of local things.  Nothing too exciting, just lots of time together.  And finally with everyone healthy.

December 28:  We decided to get out of the house and to Dolores Park.  Both kids ran into a friend from school, so they were pretty happy.

They played together plenty, as well.

It was Grandma's last night in San Francisco.  So they also got plenty of time in to play with her. 

And one last Miss Spider on Grandma's iPad before bed.

Complete with Darth Vader, of course.  Thanks for coming for Christmas, Grandma!

December 29:  Our construction crew removed a truck of debris and garbage from our house, which means we can get back into our garage.  And the kids found the bike trailer.

Liam had a lot of fun pushing Brenna around.

December 30:  Friend Sue came over to visit.  The kids had a lot of fun playing hide and seek in the hallway before saying hello.

Brenna wanted some popcorn.  And while it was cooking, she went through the baking drawer.  Then, she sat on the floor to eat popcorn.  She yelled out, "Momma!  Ravioli likes popcorn!"  And this is what I found - Brenna hand feeding popcorn to a very grateful dog.

December 31:  Inspired by our morning at Dolores Park, I set up a playdate with Liam's classmates at a nearby park.  We were the first ones there, so Brenna and Liam got the playground to themselves for a while. 

They chased each other around a bit in the cold.  It was a good excuse to bundle up and wear their warm fuzzy boots. 

This is winter in San Francisco.  It really felt like New Year Eve.

Even Ravioli got to celebrate - with the ham bone from Christmas dinner.

At bedtime, we bundled up the kids and celebrated an 8:30 countdown to the new year on our deck, with party hats, noise makers and confetti poppers.

The kids had a blast.  And they had no idea that it was not yet midnight!

January 1:  The kids love these little pop up laundry bins.  They were them and hide in them.

Liam has been loving a new game at bedtime where he jumps around on our bed and gets a pillow thrown at him.  Simple pleasures.

January 2:  It was cold.  But we had been wanting to get Ravioli and the kids to the beach.  So, we bundled up and went for it. 

It was pretty clear and not too windy, which helped.  And Ravioli was thrilled.

We did a bit of exploring on the rocks at Crissy Field. 

And on the sand. 

Brenna tried to throw Ravioli the ball in the Chuckit.  But she gave up and threw it by hand when she couldn't get the ball to release.

Liam figured out the Chuckit, though.  He was so proud and Ravioli was thrilled.

January 3:  We decided to get out of the house for a scooter ride, donut run and playground visit. 

Liam mostly pouted at the playground because there was a kid with a toy gun and he wouldn't share the toy with Liam, despited repeated pleas.

But Brenna had a great time.

After naptime, they got a little time to play games on their tablets.  They are both really into the tablets for games these days.  And they are getting pretty good at handling them.

After dinner, we broke out one of Liam's science kits that he got for Christmas.  This one was "bubble science" with lots of little experiments for the preschool set.  It was a lot of fun!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Christmas (December 21-27)

It was Christmas week and we had lots of Christmas festivities leading up to the big day.  We also had a couple people in our Christmas crew come down with the flu, so the festivities were somewhat more subdued than expected.

December 21:  On a foggy, wet day, we headed down to Fort Mason to see a children's version of the Nutcracker.

We got there very quickly (the city was already emptying ahead of Christmas) so we had lots of time to explore the bay.

And to have a sugar cookie in the lobby.

And run off some energy.

Liam went to half of the real Nutcracker last year and seemed to like that version - which included Fritz - better than the shorter kids version.

Brenna spent the entire first scene asking, "Where's the Nutcracker?"

But she was really into the Sugar Plum Fairy.

After naps, we headed to the Zoo for Zoo Lights.

Brenna wanted to ride the carousel, while Liam wanted to go to the dark playground, so we split up - boys and girls.  Brenna had a blast and even indulged in a selfie.

Brenna really loved all the purple lights and the snowflakes reflecting on the ground.

Liam was less enthusiastic about the lights.  For him, it was all about the playground.

December 22:  We went to Haas playground to meet up with some friends.

Brenna tackled and figured out the rope ladders.

Brenna had fun playing with Elizabeth.

And running through the grass with Liam.

Liam was quite busy playing with Lucas, but I managed to get a picture of him.

Brenna wanted to pizza for lunch and Liam wanted to go to the diner, so we split up - Brenna with Dadda and Liam with me.  Once Brenna realized that Liam and I were not joining them, she got quite upset and wanted to go home.

Liam, on the other hand, really enjoyed having lunch with just me.  Of course, he also picked out my order and was quite insistent about it.

December 23:  The kids woke up to Grandma in town!  And we started off Christmas week by making our gingerbread house.

Then Grandma took us out for donuts.  Brenna decided both vanilla donuts were hers (once was supposed to be for Dadda).

Brenna was happy to see that the giant puddle - though a bit less giant - was still there.

Liam is getting a bit more brave with playground equipment, turning himself around in this spinning chair.

After naptime, Brenna and Liam made and decorated some sugar cookies.

Brenna struck to a purple frosting palate.  Liam was a bit more creative.

December 24:  We had a bit of a slow day.  Liam and Uncle Kevin were feeling sick.  And Brenna just wanted to snuggle with Brenna.

Liam got a bit more enthusiastic when it came time to put on Christmas jammies and open a present.

Liam opened up some Legos.

And Brenna got a doll, who she called her Elsa doll.

We left some cookies and carrots out for Santa and the reindeer.  Brenna took a couple bites of the carrot.  And Grandma took a bit out of one of the cookies.

Uncle Kevin did some fancy wrapping, with the Google Shopping bags.

And then ... Santa came!

December 25:  Up and ready for presents!  Liam was still sick, but rallied for Christmas morning.

The kids immediately rushed to their new bikes, from Santa.

Brenna also noticed that Ravioli's stocking was full this year.

Dadda and Uncle Kevin got Liam's seat adjusted so he could try out his new, lighter bike kid bike.

Both kids were pretty into unwrapping presents, without much help.

Besides the bike, Brenna's favorite gifts were the wand and Elsa dress from Uncle Nick, Aunt Jana and cousin Nola.

Liam got a couple Lego sets, but the Ninjago ones from Aunt Kelly, Uncle Steve, and cousins Ella and Gavin seem to be his favorite.

Elsa grabbed the phone from me on two different phone calls so she could "show" everyone how she could ride her new bike (in her Elsa dress).

She also tried out her new pink Batgirl costume.  And posed herself.

The unwrapped aftermath.

We postponed our Christmas Eve dinner to Christmas night.  And Uncle Kevin and Liam felt like at least trying to eat dinner!  The table was set with memories and gifts (pyramid, water pitcher, china, silver and wine glasses).  Although we were not together with all our family and friends, they were definitely in our thoughts and hears.

December 26:  We stayed close to home again, with Liam and Uncle Kevin feeling pretty sick.  

We tried out our new gifts, including riding new bikes down the hall.

And new fingerpaint soaps for the bath.

We even got some smiles from Liam (and Brenna), who was still feeling sick.

December 27:  We were back at Haas playground and our friends Lucas and Elizabeth joined us again!  Liam was feeling enough better to get out of the house (Uncle Kevin, too).

Brenna had a little snack while sitting on the rope ladder.

Liam and Lucas found a worm.  Liam kept telling me how cute it was!  And they were very gentle and curious about it.

After watching it wiggle, passing it back and forth, and talking nicely to it, they decided (with some help from me) not to put it in a pocket and take it home, but instead to leave it in some dirt.

After naptime, Liam felt well enough to eat some of the gingerbread house.

Then, after saying goodbye to a mostly healthy Uncle Kevin, we headed back to zoo lights with Grandma.

Brenna and I did another carousel ride, again on the bunny, and another selfie.  Just as fun the second time.

Liam played in the "snow" on the playground (soap foam).

We saw the lights and giraffes again too, but the kids melted because they were tired and Liam was  still a bit sick.  Overall, it was a really fun week but the fun was a bit dampened by a sick Liam and Uncle Kevin.   They both deserve a redo!