Thursday, December 29, 2016

We've landed!

We're hanging out at baggage claim waiting for our luggage and Callum sees an ad sign nearby that he's "going to go try and play." 😂😂

On our way to Texas!

We just barely got Logan's new hoop up last night, in time for a few practice shots, before heading out on our New Years trip today.

The last shot is of the boys waiting in line to board. Logan wanted me to send it to Papa and Mimi, to let them know we're on our way, and that he has gingersnap cookies packed.

No promises we'll have any left by the time we land tho. ;-)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Another lost tooth!

The reason why I just posted the previous lost tooth story (or, in this case, two teeth!) was because Logan lost *another* tooth this morning, which made me remember about the two they lost on Christmas Day.

Man!! Craziness!! We have teeth coming out everywhere!

I tried to capture a pic but it's one of the back teeth, so it's hard to get a picture of that one to begin with. And then add on the fact that Logan is a wiggly impatient butt who definitely doesn't like me taking pics of him anymore.....

And, well, this is as good as it's going to get.

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth....

I forgot to post this on Christmas!!

Logan woke up Christmas morning, yawned (or something), and suddenly found his tongue had pushed out one of his front loose teeth. :)

Then, later that evening, as we were talking about the tooth fairy making a visit (and how cool was it that it was also on Christmas!), I noticed Callum twisting and wiggling an already loose tooth of his own.... I turned around a few seconds later and he was holding out a tooth in his hand! We laughed that he decided to pull out his tooth to be like his brother, when he normally doesn't want us to even touch them. Competitive much?! ;-)

At bedtime, the boys then daydreamed about what exactly the tooth fairy might leave. Callum was hoping the tooth fairy would leave one of his favorite toys that he didn't end up getting from Santa. I told him I didn't think the tooth fairy would leave toys, like Santa does, but he could use the money left behind to buy something he'd like. So then Logan chimed in, saying maybe they'd get extra money since it was Christmas. I said that might be possible - especially since they also both lost a tooth on the same day!

The boys were very pleased, the next morning, to find an enormous $5 (Wow! That tooth fairy must've been feeling pretty generous!) left behind. We visited the toy store later that morning, since they wanted to spend it on something special and had saved up some of their recent allowance and cash gifts from birthdays and such. They were pretty darn pleased with themselves. :)

Callum's question of the day

C: Mom, what would you want more - a taco, or a waffle?

Me: Hmmm, that's a toughie. I guess I'd like a taco more.

C: What?!? You're crazy! I'd want a waffle (as he takes another bite out of his waffle snack). 😂😂

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Games, games and more games

Lots of Twister, Dominoes and Spin Art this Christmas 🎨 Soon to be followed by some seriously competitive Scrabble and Star Wars Monopoly. ✨👍🏼

Merry Christmas Everyone!! 🎁🎄☃

Friday, December 23, 2016

Eve of Christmas Eve

I put together these little Christmas Eve packages, since I wanted to start a little tradition for our family each year. The packages have a set of pajamas for each of the boys, plus a bunch of snacks (popcorn, candy, hot chocolate) paired with a movie, that we can then all snuggle and watch together for Christmas Eve! (We're going to my parent's house tomorrow night so we did this tonight instead). :)

I tried to get a few funny pics of the boys in their new PJs, with these holiday signs I grabbed on a whim one day....but Logan was NOT having any of it. I guess we've finally reached the age where he's getting too old to turn on any charm for the camera?!! ;-)

Anyway, here's what I caught.....


Yesterday was the boys' last day of school before Winter Break, so we took them out to the movies last night to see Sing. We had so much fun! Then, we grabbed dinner before heading home, where we allowed the boys to open one Christmas present each. They both opened each others' gifts which was pretty cute!

Today is a cold rainy day so we may just go out and catch another movie. Who knows!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

For the ULTIMATE lazy person??

As if having outlets in my eaves with a switch in the house, solely to make the installation and turning on/off of my Christmas lights easier (and cleaner looking), wasn't lazy enough.....

I decided to change the "normal" on/off switch out, for a timer switch instead.

Mwahahhahahhahaa!! 😈

My Dad stopped by yesterday to help me with the wiring (good thing he did - I sloppily electrocuted myself!! ⚡️😁) and today, I got the programming all set up!! Now my lights are switching on and off at my predefined times! Woot!!

I guess it's just the little things that make me happy. 😊

(Ignore my labels, which I had put on previously so I'd know which way to switch the eave outlets. Now I can remove those because of this fancy schmancy LED screen which tells me when they're on or off! Technology!) 👍🏼

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Monthly STEM project

Each month, as a part of their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) unit, Callum's class does some sort of hands-on project which we, as parents, are invited to see/help them work on.

Given the holidays, today's STEM project was to build a gingerbread house. :) But, they had specific criteria to consider (like it had to have a roof and be at least 6" tall, which is why Callum is measuring his in the first picture). There were also challenges which they could opt to complete, like building a tree, bush, fence, or mailbox.

We had a great time getting creative and building his house! All of the kids had such diverse and different ideas on how to go about completing their tasks - it was really cool to see actually! :)

Studying hard

Last night Logan wanted to finish his research report on Blue Whales, so that he could present in class today (and then have tonight off, with no homework before the break). It wasn't a bad plan since I knew we'd be out late tonight anyway, to see Cirque du Soleil. But, we had a lot to complete last night so we were cramming! I didn't think to take a pic of his final poster - but it was very impressive. He said he did awesome in his class presentation today too!

So tonight, after we got home from the show and changed into pj's to relax - what does Logan decide to do? Go cuddle up in bed with the dogs, and read a good book. I'll take it! :)

Cirque du Soleil

We surprised the boys with a night out to see Cirque du Soleil's Luzia show tonight. It was terrific!

My favorite Callumisms were:

"Why are they not putting her on the floor?!! That's dangerous!"

And then a little bit later he observed, "She definitely practiced." 😂😂😂

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A special surprise from Logan

Yesterday, Logan got home from school totally thrilled to show me a present he had made for Callum at school.... A reindeer hot chocolate DIY "kit", complete with a cute little note from Logan (check out his instructions!!). 😍😍

We told him to put it up high somewhere on the kitchen counter or else pack/wrap it in a box if he wanted to put it under the tree, because otherwise the dogs would get into it.

The third pic is Evidence Exhibit #4863 of "Listen to your parents!" - an ongoing case of Logan and Callum v. Jon and Bree. Time will only tell, what the verdict will be.....

(I emailed his teacher this morning when I discovered the packet totally destroyed, asking her for the instructions on how to make another one. She did me one better and is sending me home a spare she had!! Phew!! Crisis - hopefully - averted!!)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Fencing Class

After Logan's basketball game yesterday, we headed home to change and then back out again for his fencing class! He did really well and is learning quite quickly. He'd like to continue but the next set of classes are at the same time as his basketball practice, so I'm not sure how we'll be able to swing it. I'm going to look into it some more though.

After class, he and I had a leisurely son/mom lunch date which was fun. We then headed home to hang out with Callum and Jon before the Jodoins came over to have dinner and play games all night! What a fun day.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

"Hour of Code" Day

I also volunteered on Thursday morning, in Callum's "Hour of Code" class, since I was curious what they were learning in their computer class.

I guess it was a good thing I showed up! The computer lab teacher was absent, and apparently they don't have subs for the computer lab, so the classroom teacher is just left to fend on her own. Since I was there to help her out, we could sorta cover everyone together (since they all had a million questions on how to log in or what app to select to begin their coding lessons etc) :)

Callum was a pro!! I was amazed at how quickly he picked it up (they had some pre-lessons in class last week and then watched a video on their computer, but otherwise were entering in very simple "forward/left/right" code commands on their own). As they progressed from one level to the next, it would become more challenging of course. And it was all set up in an "Angry Birds Game" sort of environment to make it more fun and relatable to the kids. I was running around helping several others get their heads around the concepts but every time I'd peek over at Callum, he was just humming along on his own, or helping his classmate pass a level next to him. :)

Pretty darn neat!

Volunteer Day!

(I'm catching up on a few pics/stories)

On Thursday, I had scheduled myself for a few volunteer jobs with Callum's class.

Before his school begins, he has been taking a "Math Wizards" class taught at our recreational center. Each week, a couple parents volunteer to pick up the kids after class and walk them to the nearest bus stop to see them off to school. So, Thursday was my day!

It was supposed to be pretty wet and rainy, so I grabbed a bunch of umbrellas on my way out the door, just in case. The kids were excited to each have their own! LOL and they looked so cute and colorful walking in front of me along the path to the bus stop, so I had to snap a few fun pics. :)

Blue Whale Report

Logan's first "Animal Report" is due next week. He needs a minimum of three resources, and at least one has to be a book. He lamented that the book he found at his school library didn't have much information on Blue Whales specifically (the animal he decided he wanted to report on), and it dawned on me that we haven't yet, but should've, checked out our local public library!

The other night I mentioned this to Logan (and Callum) and they were amazed - you mean our school library? No, I mean our town's library. We have a town library?!? Yep. :)

So we headed over to our local branch - which is super small but very nice!! While I chatted with the librarian to sign us up for a library card, the boys immediately found the pod of computers and other boys sitting playing games on them. Even in the library, I can't seem to get us away from screens! ;-)

It turns out, several of the books that Logan and I found, were not located in the branch, so we had to send out a request for them. One just arrived yesterday, so we had a chance to return and check it out.

You guys. The check out process is ridiculous!!

First you scan the barcode on your library card (see the 2nd and 3rd pics!). There's a little scanner on the left hand side of the screen to do this. There's a spot on the table in front of the computer where you stack up the books you're checking out (see the "place items here" sticker on the table). Apparently there's some sort of chip embedded in each of the books because once you've logged in - voila! A list of all books you've piled up suddenly appears on the screen!! You review it, select done, and email (or print if you're old school) yourself a copy of your receipt.


Seriously, I was totally blown away!! :)

Logan started reading bits of his new book on the ride home and started getting interested in the new facts he was learning - so we got home and he started taking some notes down, to prep for his report. Hopefully he'll have plenty to present on this next week!

Logan's first basketball game

Had a fun morning watching Logan play in his first basketball game! The atmosphere was loud and chaotic (several games going at once in the large gym, with teams filing in and out as their game time approached), but he did great and just went with it.

We bought him a basketball hoop for his birthday present (which won't arrive until Tuesday), but we (and he) are looking forward to setting it up and practicing some more at home so he can get better. He seems to really enjoy it out on the court! :)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Christmas Carol

While Jon and I were galavanting up in the city, the boys were having their own fun hanging out at my parent's house watching movies, playing games and staying up way too late. About the time we finished brunch today and left to head home, my parents and boys were arriving in the city to see a matinee show, A Christmas Carol!

After the show, they walked around Union Square to check out all of the Christmas decorations and people watch at the ice rink. They decided not to go ice skating tho, since they wanted to grab an early dinner at Louis' Restaurant, everyone's favorite little diner overlooking the historical Sutro Baths! :)

Holiday Gala

Right after Logan's birthday party ended - my Dad came to pick the boys up and swoop them away, so that Jon and I could pack and get ready for a night out on the town, at his company's holiday party!

I always have trouble figuring out how to do my hair for these events, so I tried a new mobile service, where you can set up an appointment with a hair and/or makeup stylist to come to you!  They met me at our hotel room - I showed them my dress and some ideas I had for styling and then went to it!  I look a little tired in these first couple of pictures, but I think they did a great job with both makeup and hair.  I got a ton of compliments at the party as well  :)

Jon took a "selfie" of his suit and posted it to Facebook, so I had to do the same with my dress too (the lighting in our room was horrible!).  We look like a pretty cute couple, don't you think?

Ryan and I posing in front of a huge vault door (sadly you can't see most of it).  The party was at the San Francisco Mint - and all the rooms had different types of foods, drinks, or activities (like a photo booth or karaoke)!  Pretty neat.  :)

I tried taking a number of selfies of the two of us at the end of the night, but after multiple attempts, gave up on Jon never smiling in one, so I posted a collage of his horribleness.  ;-)  Luckily, Ryan was great at capturing a nice one of us both smiling.  :)

We had a really fun time hanging out with friends, both during the party last night and then again for brunch today!  What a special treat to get dressed up and spend some adult time hanging out without the kids tugging on our arms the whole time.  :)

Number 9!

Yesterday, Logan turned 9!!  Kinda crazy to think I have a 9 year old in the house now.  We've warned him it's his last year in the single digits - he just sorta shrugs it off with a huff, as his pre-teen personality shines through more and more these days - but gosh!  if only he knew what a big deal it is!  Last year in the single digits.  Man.

When Logan and I started talking about birthday party themes a couple of months ago - he decided he wanted a "Clash Royale" party.  But, for the life of me, I really couldn't get behind it.  I had NO IDEA what I could do, to work with that sort of theme.  My (creative) mind was drawing a complete blank. When I asked Logan what he envisioned, he said oh you know Mom, I'd like to have everyone battle, like we do in Clash Royale (it's an iPad game where knights basically battle each other, using cards with special weapons or powers), with swords and bows and arrows and stuff.

And I said Uhhhh, No.  You're crazy.

I thought a Medieval Knights themed party might be something I could work with, so I started dreaming up what I could do with that.  And then, somewhere along the road of my (Pinterest) research, I thought a Pirate Party (complete with treasure hunt) would be really swell.

So, I read aloud some potential treasure hunt riddles to the boys one night, to see if they were too hard, too easy, or interesting at all.... and they both leaped on the idea of a treasure hunt with great enthusiasm, begging me to read more, so they could solve the puzzle!

Our Pirate Party / Treasure Hunt was born.

I put together a total of 8 riddles which would lead you, somewhere in the house, to the next riddle.  When you found the next riddle, you also needed to collect a piece of a map (to our house).

After you were done with all steps, you would have 8 pieces of the map to put together (like a puzzle).  Once put together, that puzzle would then spell out the NINTH riddle (because Logan turned 9 - get it?!?), leading you to the final treasure chest (with their party favors).

Because I didn't want the kids to team up and leave some behind, I mixed it up so that each kid would start with a different riddle in their rotation.  These were hidden in their pirate hook, that they picked up, alongside their eye patch, to get the hunt started.

The kids were crazy fast!  (and, many ended up teaming up, or showing each other where the next clue was, anyway)  So, our treasure hunt didn't last as long as I thought it might, but they had a ton of fun and loved the challenge!  :)

After, they played and ran around the house screaming their heads off and banging on walls and punching and kicking and basically being a rowdy bunch of boys (there were 18 kiddos creating chaos in our house!).

It was too rainy and wet outside (it basically poured the entire afternoon) to do the pinata we had planned - the only major disappointment for the kids.  But, I think they still had a good time, regardless.

Since it was post lunch / pre dinner time, I just put out a bunch of themed snacks to munch on.

And, of course, yummy cupcakes to decorate and sing Happy Birthday to the main guy.

Logan opened his presents while the kids screamed in excitement over his good fortune at all of the fun loot he scored.

And then I put on Pirates of the Caribbean for the last 30 minutes to try and calm some of the rambunctiousness down, as they waited for parents to arrive.

All in all, a big success I would say!  We're so happy to see Logan reach another big milestone and can't wait to see what this next year unfolds. :)