Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Oliver Danger Turns Two

Once upon a time, way back in February, Ollie turned two.  We had a simple family party for him later, but we tried to fill his real birthday with the things he loves.  We started off the day with my favorite birthday tradition, I always like to gift them a book they love to add to their own collection to share with their own families someday and I write a little note to them in it (and someday when I'm really on top of things, I tell myself I will tape A picture of them at that age in their books).

I usually have the books ready ahead of time, but this time Ollie came along to make his selection.  He picked Spot Says Goodnight and I picked up Stuck because I deserve a reward for having him, right?
 I had to run to Michael's on an errand so I let him go to town picking out $1 windup toys to play with at home/
 And we had just enough time to stop for a treat before we had to pick up Creed at preschool
 Larry was home when he woke up from his nap so we gave him his gifts, a tent and his own Hex bug track (because that's the number one thing snatches from Creed)

 Then we were off on adventure. I think the highlight of the day for him was when we turned around his car seat, a momentous occasion indeed.
 We spent the afternoon at the dinosaur museum because Ollie LOVES dinosaurs.

 My parents met up with us afterward to give Ollie his gift (you can see him hoarding the Hex Bugs)

 And in true Ollie fashion, he was excited about the cupcake but couldn't be bothered to eat much of it.
We are so lucky to have this sweet little guy in our lives.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Moonlight/Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt 2011

I just noticed that I never published this post from last year's Moonlight Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt, which works out well because there's still time to plan your own and now this post can serve as your reminder.

We hold an annual moonlight/flashlight Easter Egg hunt just for the adults.  Last year Kersten and Tai were the big winners

But I think everyone had fun.

You can read more about how we do things here.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Planning a surprise this Easter?

My friend Lisa always has some wonderful surprise up her sleeve so I love doing the same for her. Last year, her birthday fell around Easter. As I was brainstorming, I kept turning to these hollow chocolate eggs that I had on my mantel.  When I saw them at Costco, I knew we could do something fun with them (Costco has them again this year).

We ended up using them to make a treasure hunt for Lisa, leading to her birthday gifts.  Larry and I made up the clues on the spot so we could look for clever hiding places in her apartment (like behind a hollow clock hanging on a wall, buried in the sandbox, inside a box of food in the freezer, hidden in the pocket of some jeans in a stack of pants in the closet, and under the hollow base of a globe). We were giggling maniacally the whole time we were putting the hunt together.
 We left a note just inside of her front door after we carefully poked holes in the bottom of the eggs and slipped clues into them and hid them. I was worried about the eggs falling apart when we poked holes in them, but we didn't ruin a single one and they looked perfect once we wrapped them back up.
 Thanks to Larry, some of the clues were crazy hard, but we knew Lisa and her husband Tyler love a good challenge and by the end of the night, they found her gifts.
I think this would be so fun to do with older kids to lead them to their Easter baskets or any Easter surprises that are too big for their baskets.  Sheesh, why doesn't Creed just grow up already!


Ahhh! How am I still talking about our vacation when so much has happened since then. I must catch up!  At least I can say this is the last vacation post.

Our last day of vacation we decided to cram in a little fun before we flew home.  Ollie fell asleep in the car on the way up to Hollywood so Ollie and Larry napped in the car while I showed Creed a few of the sites.  We walked to Mann's Chinese Theater and Creed was in tears when we found everything blocked off for a premiere.  A security guard took pity on the disappointed little guy and led us through the shop next door to small courtyard with a few handprints and footprints to check out.

Try explaining who Jackie Cooper is because I couldn't, but he was still pretty thrilled.
And he go to pose with an Oscar on our way back to the street.
It was pretty funny seeing Hollywood through a four-year-old's eyes.  He had no idea what and Oscar was and he kept asking me to read the names on all the handprints and stars, but it was difficult to find even a handful that meant anything to him, "Whoopi Goldberg is one of the voices of the hyenas on The Lion King and that mark is where she imprinted one of her dreads in the cement."
We did run into a few characters he sort of knew though and he thought the whole things was pretty cool. Plus we stopped at Zara and I bought him the miniature man-bag he begged for so he left a happy man.
We also made it up to the J. Paul Getty Museum, which I haven't visited since Larry and I were engaged so that was fun to share with the boys (and Creed posed us for this awkward picture that I promised him I would post). It's still crazy to me that this is so close to the city, but seems a world away.
There are always so many amazing things to see there and we only had one hour

We roamed, taking as much in as we could, let the kids play in the family exhibit area, and then rushed the kids to see a few of the most famous pieces in the museum (while still trying to stop for a least a bit at anything they seemed particularly interested in).  I felt weird doing that because I don't want them to think the only things worth seeing are the most famous or that if something is famous that makes it the best or most worthwhile, BUT later in life when they see this art in books or in classrooms (or on Little Einsteins) I want them to have a personal connection, and I hope that they get that this is real art hanging somewhere for people to enjoy, and that it's so much more amazing in real life.
I always take a picture of them with it so even if they don't remember someday, we can pull out the pictures and we can talk about it (and who wouldn't love to have their mom drag out these super awkward pictures of themselves later in life?)
And thus we conclude our trip to LA.  I will spare you the pictures of the Tito's burrito that exploded all over Creed on the way to the airport and I will refrain from regaling you with the tale of Creed's horrible bout with airsickness on the plane filled with stars headed to the Sundance Film Festival like Chris Catan, Cillian Murphy, and James Marsden. I'm still trying to forget the details.