Sunday, October 31, 2010

Audrey's Picks

We have been trying to be more flexible about letting Audrey dress herself since she is very interested in picking out her own outfits. She is not bound by being matchy-matchy (like her mother), and she loves to incorporate different textures and accessories (unlike her mother). Here are a few examples of her picks:
Pretty mild, cute flapper style with a red string necklace

Her tennis skirt and baby legs with bear slippers
She did not want this picture to be taken

Four shirts- well they do say to layer in Maryland

Pj top, skirt with tutu over it, all of her beaded necklaces and headband

Wow, stripes and polka-dots!

My favorite- Christmas skirt with turquoise sequin Hello Kitty
shirt, matching socks and ballet slippers. We got lots of looks for this outfit.

Happy Halloween!

We had a busy Halloween Weekend...

Saturday morning, we went to the Zoo for "Zoo Boo." The girls got some "pre-Trick or Treating."
Audrey told Sofia what she was going to be for Halloween a few days ago... we had to clarify that Audrey was a Fairy Princess not a Scary Princess. Sofia was Princess Aurora.

Elliott slept during most of the Zoo trip...

but woke up just in time to catch a few cuddles and smiles with Daddy

Must see the monkeys

Eric and the Princesses

Shiloh the Lion

Saturday night we went to a Halloween Party at the Graces...
The Costa Family joined us (Jason was "Goldfinger" and Hollie was Goldeneye for all you James Bond fans)

Sunday, we hung out with the family at George and Stef's for some carving, eating and Trick or Treating.
Luis and Cedulie love to dress up and even made their own costumes this year

The baby cousins finally dressed up together

George and Sofia carving

Our pumpkin craving was a team effort

Our little pumpkins are getting bigger

Audrey Trick or Treating

Friday, October 29, 2010


I don't even know what to title this... "Audrey Destroying Her Room," "How My Daughter Makes Me Angry," "Regression and Revenge." I decided on "Adjustments". Now that I have some distance from this issue, I can be a little more positive.

Going from a family of three to a family of four requires a lot of changes, especially for the "only" child. When we found out we were pregnant last year, we started to prepare Audrey for this transition. Originally, we were open to the idea of the kids sharing a room for a few reasons 1) to keep an upstairs guest bedroom and 2) economic reasons - with our changes of seasons we have to either cool or heat the room the majority of the year. We didn't know if it would work until after Elliott was born. We started by moving Audrey to a "big girl bed".

This was Audrey's first night (Nov '09) in her big girl bed which was very successful at first. She had been talking about getting one for awhile.

Next, we took away the pacifier since she was fixated on it and chewing them into pieces. We told her if she chewed them up we would throw them away and not buy any new ones.
First night without the pacifier
Dec '09

This transition into being pacifier-less led us to being nap-less. Audrey stopped napping and starting getting bored during her mandated "rest time".

We learned that the bordem and curiosity led to some messes and some more messes; it was a preview of what was to come. We picked our battles and let her get out of bed, read books, but removed the baby powder.
Jan '09

Taking out clothes was one of the phases. Though it was harmless, I did not enjoy our 1/2 hr clean-ups but, I was thankful it wasn't poop or baby powder.

March '10

March '10
I liked the rare days like this!

May '10

In May, Elliott was born...

Audrey regressed a little (accidents, crawling and baby-talk) and acted out by destroying her room and her mom's patience. Elliott was in our room in the co-sleeper for the first 3-4 months and then in the guest room for the next few months since we didn't have time to make any room changes. Audrey got into the habit of climbing into his crib and putting all her bedding into it. She even shredded the foam to his wedge pillow, tore up a stack of diapers, and emptied a thing of wipes as "craft time."

June '10
She discovered Elliott's clothes and would play dress up

... and then things got worse...
I could smell the baby powder coming up the stairs.
There was a fine layer EVERYWHERE!
June '10

I knew to lock up certain things, so we tried many different child proofing locks... Audrey would figure them out by watching me and get into stuff during her rest time. We ended up going with the magnetic lock, which usually worked well... unless tired me would forget the key or she would steal the key while I was changing the boy- those times were my fault and I paid the price of the clean up.

I stopped taking pictures in front of her because I felt that it was reinforcing her acting out by giving her my attention with my camera... Audrey, covered with ointments would have a long time out in the bathtub, while I could clean up the room and grab a few shots.
June '10

August '10
This was Desitin and a self-changed poopy pull-up.

September '10

Breaking the mobile validated the decision to move Audrey
into her own room and was the final straw for me.
We just needed a free weekend to make the change.

My Strong-Willed Child

A few days after we got back from the CA trip, Cedulie (my mother-in-law) blessed us with taking Audrey for a few nights so that we could move her room.

Stay-tuned for the pictures of the new room!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

California trip Fall ‘10

I just (a week ago and still recovering) got back from California. It was a quick trip to let the three sets of grandparents in SoCal see the kids. I was a little nervous about traveling with two kids by myself. It was A LOT of work, but worth seeing the people I love. Here are some pictures from the trip.

Proud traveler ready to go on a "big" airplane to California.

Fascinated by airplanes

The kids did great on the flights out there. We were blessed with
an extra seat on the longest leg of the trip.

Flying over the Grand Canyon

Southwest Doggy delivering kid gifts was a plus.

Although they didn't fuss on the plane, they also didn't sleep and on top of that Elliott ended up sick with a double ear infection and fevers. I don't think I realized how hard of a time the kids would have adjusting to west coast time.

Sad Elliott with Auntie Lidia

We were up many a morning at 5 am,
so we spent a lot of time hanging out in bed.

We video chatted Eric every morning since he was already at work.

It was nice to be warmly welcomed and hosted by my mom and Larry.

The kids got some cuddling with Auntie Lauren

My sister Rahime can down from San Fran to visit for the weekend.
We had a lovely bunch at Shenandoah at the Arbor.

Rahime brought her Great Danes, Brembo and Puffin
(who I met for the first time). Aren't they beautiful?

We spent a gorgeous day on the lake with my dad and Arlene. I soaked up the sun, much appreciated after some cold rainy days we left behind in Baltimore.

Elliott loved cooing at my dad.

My sweet girl

Cami watched the kids a few times so that I could do some special things with Lidia. I got to go to class with Lidia; she is in the ISF (Institute of Spiritual Formation) program. It was really great to experience some of what she is learning.
Thanks again, Cami!

We hung out the the park with some Biola friends. It was nice to have a mellow day and let the kids run around while we visited. Thanks Sarah and Rachel for coming the the park!

Elliott was feeling a lot better. I was so excited to see Lidia's new place. It helps me to visualize where she spends much of her time.
We had some special cuddle time.

We got to spend some time with the Grant Family, see how big Logan and Charlotte are, tour their new house, and meet the newest member of their family.

Audrey with the twins.

Lila Eve

John and Mary Ann came down to spend a couple days with us. It was really nice to see them and not have to relocate the kids 2 hours north by myself.
We had breakfast at the Beachcomber at Crystal Cove.

Then walked around Roger's Gardens.

Another afternoon, we walked around the Mission in San Juan with my Dad and Arlene after grabbing some fish tacos at Pedros.
The kids enjoyed being held...but then Audrey needed her run time.

I think it is so funny that Audrey loves to feel things with her feet, I guess I do this too.

We spent the day in Malibu visiting Adamson House with Lidia. We love going to historic homes and there are fewer to choose from in CA. The Adamson family once owned all of Malibu and had a tile factory, with which the house is beautifully decorated.

Feeling the grass with her toes... again.

Audrey loved running around after 1 hr tour of the house.

The crooked mirror picture

The flight home was pretty long and exhausting for all of us and needless to say, there are no pictures since there was no time, space or energy for picture taking. The pictures of the CA trip that I do have remind me that it was all worth while and good thing because the Christmas trip will be just around the corner.

We were warmly welcomed home by Eric, Avery and flowers for each of us.