Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 31, 2013

The last day of 2013 has brought the beginning of some pretty big changes for 2014.  First things first, we are selling our home!  I will post more about this later, but today we met with a realtor and signed a contract.  We'll be listing on January 13th.  I have mixed feelings about all of this but at the end of the day I know this is the right thing to do so I might as well try to get excited about it.

I was letting Luke play with my phone in order to keep him busy while we talked with the realtor.  Here's one of the hundred photos he snapped.  That's our realtor, Dale Cheema.  He's supposed to be fantastic, with 29 years working in Woodbridge.  Let's hope he can get us a nice price! 

Charlie & I have done some pretty cool things for New Year's Eve - more so when we were newly married.  But the last few years have been rather low key.  And for several years in a row we've ended up eating Taco Bell for some reason.  Gross.  Tonight I decided to make it Del Taco instead.  Still gross.  But my boys actually love Del Taco.  I think one of Isaac's favorite foods in the whole world is Del Taco tacos.  Anyway, we decided to keep with tradition tonight and head through the drive-thru.  Fancy, I know.  I look really done up too, right?  I finally showered at like 5:00 this evening after staying in my work-out clothes all day, but skipped the hair and make-up part.  I think one of my New Year's Resolutions should be to not eat Del Taco.  It makes me sick every time.

And this is how we rang in the New Year.  Charlie, Cracker, and Lucie (those are her feet) asleep on the couch while I typed up blog posts on my computer.  Here's to 2014!

Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013

One of my goals for 2013 was to run 600 miles.  This is not an incredibly high number and every time I told anyone about this goal they were kind of surprised that my mileage was so low.  But for the first 9 months of the year I was also doing spin class twice a week and body works (weights) twice a week, so there were a lot of other workouts besides just running.  Then when school started up in the fall my routine started falling apart and I haven't been spinning hardly at all, but I still do body works.  Anyway, the thing I am most proud of is that I ran consistently all year long.  Other than the year I trained for and ran a marathon I'm sure this is the most miles I've ever run in one year.  Because usually I will run for a few months and then stop for awhile and then pick it back up again.  Having this goal kept me consistent all year long and I loved that.  I want to track my mileage again for 2014 but maybe I should find a better system than the "Notes" app on my phone!  (I kept detailed daily entries, but this is a snapshot of my monthly summary.)  

At Target tonight Isaac spied the toilet plungers and wanted to try one out.  He was having a blast suctioning the floor over and over again and then laughing at himself as he used all of his strength to pull it back off of the floor.  

Sunday, December 29, 2013

December 29, 2013

We are dog sitting for the next 11 days while our friends are in Prague.  Lucie is the only dog that Cracker has every really tolerated, but I wouldn't quite call them friends.  They never cuddle or play together.  I think it's Cracker.  He's an old grumpy man who only likes people, not dogs.  But he does like to follow Lucie all around and see what she's up to.  This is his house after all.  Lucie's favorite spot is up on the back of the couch.  Cracker actually loves it up there too but he can't jump up on his own.  Isn't this more like something a cat would do?

Tonight we took both dogs out on our evening walk.  We never take Cracker on walks anymore because a) he is terribly behaved and barks at every person and dog that we pass, and b) he gets tired quickly and refuses to walk any further.  So tonight we brought the jogging stroller and figured we could just put Cracker in there after he tired out.  Turns out all four of them (Isaac, Luke, Cracker, and Lucie) wanted to ride in it.  Ridiculous.  If you look closely you can see Lucie in the basket underneath.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

December 28, 2013

Our "family" Christmas gift this year was a Vitamix blender.  We've never done a family gift before but Charlie decided we really needed one of these super blenders - and he's probably right since I've pretty much killed our Cuisinart making smoothies all of the time.  So anyway Charlie wanted to start making smoothies for himself too but wanted the turbo blender.  This was going to be his gift but then he found something else that he wanted, so the Vitamix became the "family" gift, which actually makes more sense anyway since we all will be drinking smoothies.  Luke has always loved drinking my green smoothies but since Isaac went with Charlie to pick out the Vitamix he is now suddenly interested in the smoothies too.  It's hard to see in this photo but he has a big green mustache and he's been asking for smoothies everyday since Christmas.

Tonight after Karl & Janelle left for the airport we tried out another new gift.  They gave Isaac some K'Nex blocks since he loves building stuff so much.  Isaac came to me with the instruction booklet and pointed to a picture of what is basically like a chair swing ride and asked me to build it.  But there were no instructions for this thing, and I only had one picture to go off.  I spent the next 40 minutes constructing it (it was a lot more complicated than it looks in this photo) while Isaac built space ships with the remaining pieces.  It was actually pretty cool once it was done.  It even had gears so that you could spin the whole thing with a lever.  I say "was" because after they played with it for about 20 minutes they destroyed it.  Thanks a lot.

Friday, December 27, 2013

December 27, 2013

This morning we met up with some of Charlie's friends who are visiting California from Sweden.  Charlie met Luke & Emily when he worked with Luke back in Toledo, Ohio like 12 or 15 years ago and they have stayed good friends.  Our Luke is even kinda named after him.  This was my first time meeting them and they were super friendly and fun.  We met up at our favorite spot in Laguna Beach and spent the morning relaxing on the sand, exploring the tide pools and letting the kids play.

Next we headed to Bonsai Bowl for lunch.  When Janelle & Carly came to visit about a year and a half ago we took them to Bonsai Bowl in Costa Mesa and both of them loved it.  It's funny because they have both told me on separate occasions how they always talk about Bonsai Bowl and how good it was.  But Charlie & I have never been back!  So we decided we needed to go again with Janelle.  She said it was just as good as she remembered and I'm glad.  I loved it too, so maybe we should try to become more regular customers.  It is basically an acai smoothie in a bowl with a mixture of fresh fruit, granola, coconut, and honey topping.  It's almost more like dessert than a meal.  Yum.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 26, 2013

When Charlie & I were in Paris last month we bought this beautiful puzzle of a Renior painting at the Mussee d'Orsay as a gift for Karl because he loves jigsaw puzzles.  I love them too, but now is not really the time in my life when I can really justify spending the time to do one.  So when Karl suggested we wait until Christmas time and do the puzzle together, I happily agreed.  Hardest puzzle ever.  By looking at the picture I would have never imagined it would be so difficult, but there are no clear defined lines so everything kind of blurs together making it incredibly hard.  This was day three with four adults working on it and we finally started to make some progress.  We all stayed up until midnight to finish!

Earlier today Janelle suggested that Charlie & I go out on a date tonight and that she and Karl would baby sit.  So nice!  We rarely go out because we don't have a baby sitter, so when an opportunity like this comes along we usually jump at it.  We just had dinner and came home, but it is always really great to have a quiet and relaxed meal together.  Charlie suggested Slater's 50/50, which I had never heard of before.  It is a burger place where their signature burger is a patty made with 50% beef and 50% bacon. When Charlie told me about it I thought it sounded really gross and planned on just ordering a regular beef patty, but once we were there I got sucked into the hype and went for the 50/50.  It was good, but I wouldn't order the 50/50 again.  What I did like was how you could customize your burger with tons of different options.  It was a fun night and I ate way too much food.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!  The boys were so excited to see what Santa brought for them and to open all of their presents.  We had a fun morning and everyone received so many nice gifts.  Luke's favorites were his scooter, his soccer ball, and the Imaginext Rescue City from his Wood grandparents.  

Isaac had been asking for Hexbugs and Legos and that is exactly what he got.  He wasted no time in setting up his new Hexbug track and then I spent the next few hours helping him put together his new Lego sets.  

In the evening we went over to Sandy & Chris' house to have dessert and open more gifts.  We tried to get a picture of my parents with the grandkids (minus baby Emma who was asleep) but the little ones weren't cooperating very well.  

It was a busy and fun Christmas and I will (eventually) post more photos on my other blog.  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December 24, 2013

We are so happy to have Karl & Janelle here to spend Christmas with us.  As per the New Mexico Wood Family tradition, our Christmas Eve meal was posole and tamales.  Charlie made the posole from scratch and Karl & Janelle brought the tamales and tortillas from New Mexico (since they were visiting there last week).  Someday my boys will appreciate this tradition, but not tonight.  Isaac ate a tortilla and Luke ate chips.

Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23, 2013

Tonight was the Edwards family (my mom's relatives) Christmas party.  Usually my aunts take turns hosting at their homes, but the crowd keeps getting bigger and bigger and my Aunt Janet decided she'd rather host at their church building this year.  It was a little weird getting together at the church, but whatever.  We had dinner at long tables in the cultural hall and then moved to the Relief Society room for the Present Game.  This is a silly game we've been playing for at least 20 years.  There is a pile of little presents in the middle of the room and we pass around pie plates with a pair of dice.  If you roll doubles or seven you get to pick a present.  I can't remember a single thing I've ever won from this game that I was actually excited about.  It's usually stuff like a pocket pack of tissues or LED keychain flashlight.  It's kind of silly and I don't know why we're still playing this, except that it's tradition and I guess the kids do love it.

The biggest bonus of having the party at the church was that there was plenty of room for my boys to run wild.  And nursery toys to play with too!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

December 22, 2013

I tried to have Isaac help me wrap the gifts that he picked out for everyone, but he was more interested in building space ships.  Don't you just love this wrapping paper though?  I'm a little obsessed with all things dachshund.  And although Isaac didn't care about wrapping, he has really loved thinking up ideas on how to trick everyone about the gifts they are getting.  He keeps telling me that the gift he & Charlie picked for me is a box of paper clips.  For his Grandpa Wood, he got him a Jeep t-shirt but Isaac wants to tell him that it is underwear with hearts on it.  And every time we talk about this he laughs hysterically.  

Charlie and I were relaxing on the couch this evening.  We normally just sit at opposite ends of the couch doing whatever on our computers or phones, but tonight we were cuddling a little and Cracker just couldn't stand it.  Seriously, whenever this dog sees Charlie showing affection to anyone but him, he has to come nose his way in.  It is ridiculous and funny but can be annoying too.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

December 21, 2013

Since my parents don't come to CA very often, when they are here everyone wants a chance to see them.  All of the Stran family (my dad's relatives) usually gets together on Christmas Eve, but it wasn't going to work out this year for several reasons, so they decided to have the family party tonight instead.  Sandy hosted at her house and we had dinner, watched a short video about the birth of Christ, sang a few songs, and had a white elephant gift exchange.  

Charlie and I haven't been to the Stran family Christmas party in a few years, so when my Aunt Kathy and my cousins Becky & Abbey got up to sing their special song, we had no idea what it was going to be.  As soon as the music started playing for "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" my boys went crazy.  I bought a CD of Christmas songs for kids a few weeks ago to listen to in the car, and this is my boys absolute favorite.  They want to hear it on repeat every time we drive anywhere.  Luke was especially delighted and smiled and danced through the whole thing.  

Friday, December 20, 2013

December 20, 2013

Isaac's school wasn't having any type of holiday parties so the Kindergarten room moms organized a cookie party at the park after school instead.  We had another meltdown when Isaac saw the long line at the cookie table and was worried he wouldn't get one with chocolate frosting.  Anyone who says girls are a lot of drama hasn't met Isaac.  We eventually got our cookies and Isaac added a few M&M's and enough sprinkles for 10 cookies on his.  (If you happened to notice the smudged stripe across his forehead, that is a light saber that he drew on himself with crayons.  Huh?)  

Here's Luke, Isaac, and Chris with their cookies.  We stayed and played at the park for a while but it was kinda nuts.  There are usually anywhere from 10-20 kids who stay to play after school, but with the party and having both the Early Birds and Later Gators, there were probably 50 kids on the play structure and it was insane.  

After we dropped Chris off I took my boys and headed out to Diamond Bar to meet up with my parents.  They arrived from Utah last night and are staying with Sandy in Chino Hills for Christmas.  We had a crazy lunch at The Whole Enchilada, which was a family favorite when we were growing up.

Our friends the Oyler's host a Christmas party every year to watch the Newport Beach boat parade from Tennyson's parents house on Lido Island.  It's something I like forward to every year.  We have dinner at the house and then head out to the beach to watch the parade.  Isaac's favorite boat was this dragon one that even spit fire!  Luke says his favorite was the "dancing one" or in other words, the one that was playing fun music that he was rocking out too.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

December 19, 2013

For a long time Luke was impartial to his "googins."  We have 8 of them, I think, and he used to be satisfied with whichever one I gave him.  But I knew it would happen, and it eventually did - he now has favorite googins.  There are two that have a vehicle pattern on them, the "car googins" and those are his favorites.  The rest have been sitting untouched in a drawer for the last few months.  Today Isaac decided that he wanted googins too, so he went and grabbed a few spares to cuddle up with on the couch.  Silly kid.

Later during Luke's nap Isaac and I popped some popcorn (we've been using our air popper a ton lately and the boys love it) and had a little chat on the couch.  He was recounting all of the funny parts that he remembered from "Home Alone."  His favorite part is when Kevin finds a framed picture of Buzz's girlfriend hidden in the trunk in his room.  Kevin looks at it and says "Buzz, your girlfriend.... WOOF!"  Isaac keeps repeating it and busts up laughing every time.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December 18, 2013

I am in love with this little cutie.  Lately he loves, loves, loves taking baths and asks to take one several times a day.  But after bath it usually takes a lot of convincing to get him to put his clothes back on.  As long as I can get some underwear on him I'll let him go.  He has also fallen in love with "Cat in the Hat" on PBS.  I've saved some episodes on the DVR and he loves to watch the same ones over and over again.  Charlie & I both have the songs from the Christmas episode stuck in our heads.  So here's little Lukester after a bath relaxing with a snack and watching his favorite show.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December 17, 2013

Today Meadowpark had a carnival out on the playground.  It was put on by the upper grades as a fundraiser for a charity.  The younger kids could buy tickets and go around to play all of the games.  I am picking up Chris from school all this week so I had three boys who wanted to go in three different directions.  The water balloon slingshot was one of the first things Isaac spotted, and despite the very long line, he was insistent that this is what he wanted to do.  After waiting forever, and me running off after Luke a million times, they ran out of water balloons just before Isaac's turn.  Cue the crying.  Total disaster.  Isaac was having a toddler-like tantrum, while Luke was running into the fire of the water guns at the next game over, and I had no idea where Chris was.  I love my kids, but they are really hard to take anywhere.  We're pretty much a circus anywhere we go and I usually leave feeling totally defeated and exhausted.  Anyway, they did eventually restock the water balloons so Isaac got a turn with the slingshot.  He shot it super far and was very proud of himself.

Next we had Steve over for a few hours while his parents went Christmas shopping.  I think Steve played more with Luke than with Isaac because Isaac had transformed into his alter ego, Mr. Bossy.

But to end on a happy note, here is a funny story from the day.  Our neighbor who is a realtor dropped off some pictures for the boys to enter into her coloring contest.  The prize is a Toys R Us gift card, so Isaac took the coloring pretty seriously.  He normally does not enjoy coloring and only does it when he has to at school.  And Luke will color for about 90 seconds before he loses interest.  He used a rainbow of colors to scribble around a little on his paper and then he was done.  While Luke was coloring at the table Isaac came over to take a peak.  He took one look and then exclaimed "Ooooh, poor Luke!  He's going to lose!"  Haha.  Yes, he probably will.  I was just happy to see Isaac showing an ounce of concern for his little brother.

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013

This was not one of our better hair cutting experiences.  In the last year or so Isaac has gotten really difficult with haircuts, which is odd since he was pretty easy as a toddler.  Today he had a major attitude with this poor stylist and kept telling her that he didn't like the "saw" that she was using to cut his hair.  Despite all attempts at reasoning with him, he kept insisting that the clippers were in fact a saw that was going to cut his head.  Sometimes I seriously can't tell if he is being difficult on purpose or if he is really just crazy.  Anyway, I couldn't stand around trying to talk sense to Isaac very long because a moment later Luke was darting out the open door and down the sidewalk of the strip mall heading who knows where.  I dragged him back inside but then it became a game for him and my attempts at keeping him entertained inside were failing miserably.  So pretty much just a typical outing for us.  Isaac misbehaving and Luke running away.  

At least Luke tried to be helpful at clean-up time tonight.  Here he is "sweeping" up (or rather, sending them flying all over the room) Isaac's Legos with a bug catching net.

I was impressed with Isaac's creativity today.  A few of his friends at school have gotten parachuting army men from the treasure box and Isaac has been super envious of them.  Today he decided to make one of his own.  He colored a piece of paper with army camouflage and then taped on a piece of curling ribbon and tied it around a Lego guy.  It even kind of works and Isaac is really proud of himself.  (But Santa also has a real one to leave in his stocking on Christmas.)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

December 15, 2013

I bought this Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas CD way back in my BYU days.  I still remember sitting in the Harold B. Lee Library up on the fourth floor in the listening carols across from my roommate Sarah, and using this CD as my background music for study sessions all during the holiday season.  And then year after year I'd pull it out and play it on repeat in my car every Christmas (even when I had my old Corolla and had to use one of those plastic cassette tapes with the wire that connected to my discman, ha!)  Well then a few years ago I misplaced it and was really sad at Christmas time when I couldn't find it.  So this year I did some hunting and finally found it again.  Unfortunately I am now going to have to battle Isaac & Luke for a turn to listen to my CD in the car.  I don't think they're going to give up "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" very easily. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

December 14, 2013

Isaac's friend Steve is in our ward and lives just across the park, about a 1/4 mile from us.  Today his mom called and asked if Isaac could come over to play for awhile.  Isaac was excited to go but Luke was so sad that Isaac was going off on a play date without him.  When it was time to pick Isaac up a few hours later Luke was so eager to see him that he took off running and ran the whole way there yelling "Isaac, I'm coming!"  I suppose it is typical for a younger sibling to idolize the older sibling, but I think is really adorable.  I just wish Isaac would be a little nicer to his one man fan club!

Friday, December 13, 2013

December 13, 2013

Tonight we went to Bloomingdale's to do some Christmas shopping.  Charlie took Isaac so that Isaac could pick out a gift for me (he's had something in mind for weeks) and I took Luke.  But there is not much shopping that can be done with Luke so we went to look at Christmas decorations instead.  Luke loved this miniature carousel.  The highlight of the night was riding the real carousel.  The reindeer carousel.

I wanted to get a cute picture of Isaac too but that was hard to do since he spent most of the ride pretending to shoot at a baby doll that a little girl had strapped onto the reindeer in front of him.  Lovely, right?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December 12, 2013

Tonight we had family movie night and watched Home Alone.  Though it's not my absolute favorite Christmas movie, it's a fun one that I remember watching as a kid and I knew that Isaac would love watching all of the booby traps and tricks that Kevin pulls.  We popped some popcorn, dimmed the lights and we all cuddled on the couch together to watch.  It was a hit with Isaac for sure and Luke liked it too.  Of course the best part of the movie is at the end when the bad guys actually try to break into the house.  Both boys were laughing out loud.  Isaac liked when the guy caught his hat on fire with the blow torch and then ran to put his head in the snow.  Luke loved the slippery stairs and talked about that part the rest of the night until bed.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December 11, 2013

Judging by this photo, I am obviously the meanest mom there ever was.  Luke and I had been out running errands all morning and he kept begging to go to the donut store.  I finally relented and made that our last stop before picking up Isaac from school.  When they both got in the car after playing at the park I showed Isaac the pink box in the front seat and told him that he could have one after he ate lunch.  And that's when the world came to an end.  Isaac wanted a donut NOW and Luke was just mad because Isaac was mad (he'd already eaten half of one at the donut shop).

The day didn't get much better from there.  After lunch and donuts we went outside to ride bikes.  Luke usually alternates between having me push him around and walking his trike with his feet.  His legs have always been too short to really reach the pedals (even with the seat moved all the way forward).  Today I thought he just might be tall enough so I tried teaching him how to pedal.  Well he caught on quick enough and really really wanted to do it, but his legs are still just a bit too short to make the full revolution.  Poor guy was so frustrated and mad.  He has an independent streak and really wants to do everything himself.  After a lot more tears and a lot more trying I finally had to pick him up and carry him inside before the whole neighborhood came out to see what was going on (two neighbors actually did).

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 10, 2013

Everyday after we pick Isaac up at school we walk over to the park that is directly behind the school and let the boys play for awhile.  Today when it was time to leave Isaac ran ahead of us and then collapsed on the grass.  Anytime Isaac lays on the ground Luke sees it as an open invitation for a wrestling match.  So Luke quickly flopped down on top of Isaac and they played a quick game of "squid attack."  I have no idea why Isaac calls it that, but that is his name for wrestling with Luke.

Isaac and Luke both LOVE playing with, climbing in, and laying on all of the decorative pillows from my & Charlie's bed.  Today Isaac took them all down and constructed what he called a "Dachshund Dream House."  His plan is for us to get a mom and a dad dachshund and then they can have puppies and all of them can live together in this big pillow house that he built.  He was pretty serious about all of this and was really annoyed at me later on when I moved the pillows.  I don't know where he comes up with these ideas but I love getting glimpses of his creative mind.

Tonight before bed Luke & Isaac were having light saber fights and wanted Charlie to join in.  This picture is hilarious to me.  Laziest light saber fight ever!  Don't get me wrong, this is something that I could totally see myself doing too, but it gave me a good laugh.

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 9, 2013

My friend Mary finally had her baby a few days ago.  This morning at school drop-off her husband asked if I could pick up Chris since Mary was being discharged from the hospital and it might take awhile.  No problem.  Chris came with us to pick up Luke from ICEC.  He and Isaac found some hand puppets, and what started out as a friendly little puppet conversation soon turned into two boys wrestling on the floor while their hand puppets were trying to bite each other's heads off!  I had to put a quick stop to that one.

Just as soon as we got to the house Mary text me to say they were on their way home from the hospital.  Chris was SO disappointed because he really wanted to have a play date, so I asked if he could stay and play for awhile anyway.  It actually makes things easier for me when the boys have friends over because then they actually play together instead of fight and follow me around!