Ten years ago Kaili made me a mom and she did it in true Kaili fashion. Ten years later we are navigating through life, trying to tread the unpredictable waters that succumb her. She is strong, resilient, beautiful inside and out, empathetic but also anxious and worrisome. It’s almost like every fear that ran through me during the many months of bed rest were passed into her and still reside deep. Never a dull moment but all that I can wish for is that my baby is happy and healthy every day of her life!
Kaili loves music but she is a creature of habit. Fixates on one thing and that thing only until we can convince her to try something else (knowing that she will love it) until before you know it, that will be the her new favorite thing. It’s a repetitive cycle. She was a Teen Beach fan for a good handful of months and luckily that didn’t wear off before her party. I think she is already onto something else, phew.
We had a small gathering of family and a neighbor friend join us for her party. Mexican food, a Teen Beach cake and with ice cream. Followed by a scavenger hunt for her last gift. It was a success!
The cake had a lot of components that all came together well, if I don’t say so myself. Her reaction was priceless and it made my heart happy that I could give her what she wanted.
Don’t blink, October is almost over. What the hell happened? I actually had to look back at the calendar to see what we did and it turns out, actually a lot. Maybe that’s why it flew by. We had family birthdays, kids half birthdays, pumpkin patches and an AWFUL bout of lice, not in that order.
We met the family in Old Town to celebrate my mom and uncle Brian’s birthday and my parents 49th <—- (rockstars) anniversary.
We tried out two different pumpkin patches this year. The first one was near Julian. It had hay rides, cider pressing and a petting zoo.
The second one in Ramona was a pumpkin patch AND a winery. Everyone else is doing it wrong, this is definitely the only way to do pumpkin patches, or any kid activity honestly.
As always, October was a warm month so there was plenty of sunshine and pool days. We had fun weekends at the horse races and finding new hole in the wall bars. A lot of good food came out of the kitchen and the girls had school spirit week. October didn’t lack activities.
As we turn the corner we are smacked in the face with the Holiday season and I am not sure I am prepared, how is it almost 2020?
I apologize for my absence, it really hits you how boring life is when you have two kids in school. OR how AWESOME it is. I kid, I kid, sort of….
Averi finally picked up the whole potty situation, with a few here and there oopsies. She is in school four days a week and loves it. We had her first field trip to the Children’s museum and she had a blast.
The amazing thing about Averi is she is very independent. She made her way through the museum doing her thing and didn’t worry about anyone but herself.
I want to be like her when i grow up. Free and not giving a shit!
Kaili has been doing great in first grade and she loves going to school each and every day.
Her interest in cooking is emerging and I love it.
These two keep me on my toes every single day. They are smart, funny and just plain awful sometimes….It’s not funny if it’s not real, right.
Ok, let me lay it straight….we spend way too much money on kids birthday parties. That. is. all.
I mean, really? Have you seen such a bounce house? But let me tell you, it got a lot of use from the kids and some of us adults.
There was a salad, pizza, cupcakes (recipe here) AND cake and plenty of fun to go around.
We laughed and played for a good four hours.
I would say Kaili’s sixth birthday was a success. We had a great handful of friends to help us celebrate, some old and some new. Next year, Kaili needs to share the birthday party love with her sister.
How am I 40 years old? Not sure I am okay with it, definitely don’t want to talk about it.
We were lucky enough to escape for a full 24 hours! We being me and Shane, no kids allowed. All that was set in stone was dinner and brunch reservations, the rest was…whatever the hell we wanted. We checked into our hotel room downtown about 4:00 and then to Little Italy where Brian Malarkey’s latest restaurant aka our dinner reservation was. We started at a wine bar that was packed, luckily we got ourselves a table and a nice long chat with the owner.
The weather was crap, not the day to just stroll from place to place so we needed a game plan. We booked it around the corner to Juniper and Ivy. An amazing restaurant by the brilliant Richard Blais. We cozied up with some wine and just perfect bites of food.
The worst part or maybe the best part is that I didn’t take more than two pictures. We just enjoyed the night. Looking back I wish I had, and I knew I should but the moment took over that thought, do you feel me?
After a cracking experience at Juniper we headed around the corner to Herb & Wood. The menu is so great that I struggled to choose. I ended up ordering something I would never order, lamb bolognese with fresh pasta. Not going to dive into food reviews, it was good, not great and having been to all of his restaurants I still, hands down think Herringbone is the front runner.
After dinner we Ubured ( is that even a word? ) to a “supposedly” speak easy wine bar with an Alice in Wonderland theme. The idea was fun, taking the stairs down to a grass wall that was actually a door. We sat at the bar and quickly realized it wasn’t an actual wine bar, more just a bar that had wine. The best part was the TV above us that was recording everyone coming down the outside stairs to the “hidden” doors. People are hilarious.
We moved on, now pretty good and buzzed we wandered into a bar with a live band. It was a good time but we both were ready for bed. I think we were in bed by 11:00 pm. Not bad for 40!
Our Brunch reservations were for 10:30…. I think. Wags picked us up at the hotel and we headed to Old Town to a restaurant we have never been to. The Tequila Factory, a restaurant in a hotel in the heart of Old Town. We parked underground and it really was a mess trying to find the restaurant. Once we reached the hostess she said we were 30 minutes late so we had to wait… unless we were okay with a few stairs. Shane looked to Wags’ and then back to the hostess, we told her we would be at the bar.
Finally we were seated out on the patio, the sun decided to show up. We had a good time, the food…eh, everyone else seemed to be really enjoying it.
A guitarist that has been working there for years serenaded us for a few songs, one was Stairway to Heaven because Wags.
Our bellies full we strolled through town wondering what we should do next when Old Town Saloon came into focus. An actual 21+ bar and I had never been there. We put money into the jukebox, quarters into the pool table and had a BLAST.
I used to be good at pool, really. But now I am not. Shane won every game. Bullshit! 40 is in the bag!
I can not believe that Averi just turned TWO years old, I also can not believe that it’s been two years since she came home. It’s hard to imagine life without her and it’s hard to believe I haven’t spent a night away from her.
We didn’t have a big party and I haven’t finished going through all the photos, so this will be a short post.
But a bragging post about how much this child is loved. My heart is full and I hope she understands one day how my heart aches for her.
She is a perfect half girly girl and a perfect half dare devil!
This year Kaili had some of her own ideas for what she wanted at her party. Reminding her that Disneyland was her big present, we weren’t going to go overboard on the party. A few of her demands requests were that there was to be a piñata, preferably Peppa Pig and she wanted butterflies on her cake, she was totally reasonable.
I was able to get all the party shopping done in a day. I made the cupcakes and the birthday cake the night before. Kaili suggested a Peppa Pig birthday and even though she loves that show I wondered if it was a tad too immature for a fifth birthday. Right or wrong I agreed on some Peppa decor and of course the piñata. In the end, it was perfect.
My only concern was this precious face.
So sweet but yet so deceiving. She has become so attached to me that anyone trying to take her or occupy her usually led to a complete meltdown, noodle body and all. It took a village to keep her away from me and we are not above using sugar as an incentive.
I set up a cupcake decorating station which was a hit. I ordered round plastic palettes from Amazon. I bought a bunch of different topping ranging from mini m&m’s to sprinkles. We put the cupcake in the middle of the palette and gave them a cup of frosting and let them have at it. Huge hit.
After they devoured the cupcakes or should I say licked off the frosting…we moved on to a few party games and some memorable face painting.
The kids were more than patient waiting for their turns.
The party isn’t complete until someone beats the bacon, or pig or sausage….
was perfect for these little people..
Kaili had her besties with her and that is all she really wanted.
When she blew out the candles I really, really wanted to ask her what she wished for but, I’m sure no matter what it is…
Her dad and I will do all we can to make sure her dreams come true.
Five years of laughing, crying, bedtime tantrums, middle of the night vomiting, morning snuggles, hand holding and most importantly unconditional love. She is my best girl, my first born, my heart. Her kindness radiates all around her and she is one of the most empathetic people I have met. She has the memory of an MIT grad and can talk you into almost anything. She has her moments of not listening and struggles to share with her sister but their love has completed our family.
I remember staring at her when she was a newborn thinking about how fun the elementary years were going to be. We would be able to do more things together, watch her play competitive sports and have meaningful conversations. Now five years later it’s here and I am so excited to see what’s in front of us but also sad that I don’t have that little baby in my arms.
I vow to soak up each day of her fifth year, listen more closely, watch her more intently and snuggle her a little more deeply.