I got my hair done.

And Katie remembered my camera in my purse and took pics! I promised to put them on my blog.

I still don't have any "afters" yet! But here, these are good for a laugh anyway.

This part sucked. I was scrunched down in my chair and my neck was killing me! 

Hangin' with the nephews!

So I have to admit, that while I miss Chicago, I have had more fun reconnecting with Collin and getting to know Liam. I love my little nephews so much! 
Earlier this week we went shopping at Target and the Party store to get ready for Liam's first birthday! 
They were bored, so I found this ball stuffed in the towels and gave it to Liam. He started a game with Collin. :) It was very entertaining to me as an Aunt. I'm fairly certain I would have told *my* kids to stop it. 

Here is Liam explaining the rules to Collin. Something like "I will take this ball and throw it at your head and you will like it, and then you will fetch the ball and give it back to me. While you do this I will laugh hysterically."

At the Party store we found this. Collin did not find it amusing that I had my camera. Again. And that his dumb Aunts are so embarrassing in public and made him do this. :-P

Liam, on the other hand, is still delusional and thinks we are cool and fun. Plus he is in love with himself and wants as many pictures of him out there in the world as possible. 

Collin however is not embarrassed by his own 'good ideas' and wanted a picture of him in this party hat. 


Saying goodbye to good friends.

Leaving Chicago was surprisingly difficult. Not only did we love the city, but in just a short year we had made some wonderful friends, who we miss dearly already!

I went through my pictures today and wanted to share some of our goodbyes, and even though we were sad to go, we found lots of smiles and laughter. :)

Evan and George.

Evan, Kira, Michael and Andrew.

Patty, Me, Roni.

A., B., Kira, Rachel

Iris, Rosie, Kira and Kena.

Kira and Kena
Iris and Violet.
Torrey and Hope.

Evan, Kira, Rachel and Zachary.

Fred and Ruth.

Lori, Me, Evan.

We miss you all so much!!! (And those of you who hide from my camera too! :) )

Yellow Pillow.

Even at six and a half, Evan needs his yellow pillow.

Yellow Pillow is referred to as "him".
Yellow Pillow has to be washed when a nap or bedtime is not in the near future.
Yellow Pillow is worn so thin I worry he will tear and stuffing will fall out.
Yellow Pillow is Evan's security "blanket".
Yellow Pillow had a twin that was lost at Disneyland.

Evan thinks nothing of lugging that silly pillow around everywhere we go. But we try to make it stay in his bedroom. What would we do if we lost yellow pillow? This mama tries to not even go there in her head.

Not my best mommy moment.

This past weekend, Kira had a meltdown from He-double hockey sticks.

It was simply fantastic. And mortifying in every.possible.way.

Long story short, she had a huge fit in front of a whole bunch of people (mainly mothers of three year olds, and her tantrum was so spectacular that they all likely scheduled their husbands vasectomies the next day).

I didn't handle it well. I was woefully unprepared mentally for the sheer capacity of crap she had at the ready for tossing my direction, and it was terrible.

In hindsight, I should have walked her out the front door and around the block until we both calmed down. Instead I tried to deal with her there in a back bedroom. It was loud and awful and I swear I never want to see those women again, because I will turn a thousand shades of red if I ever did.

After we left, she continued her tirade for most of the next two hours. We had to run errands, so there was little we could do but deal with her, which involved me, a 2004 copy of  National Geographic detailing what would happen if a hurricane were to ever devastate New Orleans (Wow, were they spot on), and sitting in our van with  the A/C running so as not to subject other poor unfortunate souls who had the unfortunate idea to go out into the same public space as we did.

By the time we got to the furniture store to pick up Shawn's new book case, she had managed to mostly pull herself together. And they were having fun checking out the fountain outside and just chill. So I grabbed my camera.

We survived our day. And I still have two children, and I even like both of them again. ;) 

Why am I sharing? Because I feel more normal, less like a loser of a mother when I read other people's stories about how they have less than stellar mommy moments. 

It's nice to know we are all in this together. That none of us has a manual. That some days we get it wrong, and that it's all going to be ok. Tomorrow. ;) 

First day of School!

(Was last Monday, the 19th of July)

Anyway. I just found the cord to my other camera. (Yes I have two camera's)

So I was able to get these off of it, edited and on my blog! Yay! I'm back in action.

First off I try to get a sleeping picture right before I wake them on the first day. :)

This tradition generally amuses Kira and she wakes up happy as can be and gets ready to go.

Since his first year in preschool, this tradition has done nothing to amuse Evan and only makes him irritated at me very early in the morning.

I will likely never learn. Look for a post like this one in 8 years when he starts high school.

Next is the obligatory picture together in front of the tree in the front yard. Whatever tree will do. :)

How cute are my bespectacled children! ;) (I may be biased here, but I don't think I am)

Holy smokes. When did she get so dang tall?

Kira disappeared into the crowd as soon as possible, Evan was a little overwhelmed and lost in the sea of children. Twice the size as his kindergarten school.

Can you spot him?

They both declared it a good day, and have been doing great!

Glad to be back at our beloved *S*.

One on One with Collin!

Since I have two kids,  I rarely get time to just be the Aunt to my nephews. I always have to have all the kids in the mix, which is fun, but rarely conducive to getting to know a kid on a fun, one to one level.

Since my kids are in school year round, and Collin is not, I took advantage of that last Thursday and took him to lunch and bowling.

He was just a crack up and since we share a sense of humor, I was dying the whole time laughing at him.

When I picked him up we started to drive and I said, "What should we do for lunch?"  He replied "I want to eat at Eegees! You can go to the one right here." Yes. There is an Eegees in the same parking lot as Katie and Terry's office. Then he said "My mom never lets us drive here, we always have to walk."  (Thanks kid!) I said "Well we could've walked but you didn't tell me were just going right here until we were driving already" He just laughed.

We ordered our sandwiches and he talked me into Ranch Fries. (Okay, not that it was hard, he said "Can we get that" and I said "One order of ranch fries please" Twist my arm!)

While we waited for our food he shot his straw wrapper at me repeatedly. (Ok. So I shot mine back at him a few times too before it landed somewhere in the planter behind us and I couldn't find it)

Here he is reloading. ;)

Funny story about the Ranch Fries: While we were eating, he said "I don't know why I love these fries so much, but I do, and I love the brown crunchy things on top the most"  I said "Those are bacon bits" He looked at me with huge eyes and said "I LOVE BACON!!! I didn't know they put bacon on your french fries! No wonder they taste so good!"

When we got to the bowling alley, we had the place to ourselves. Eventually more people came, but for a while it was just the two of us and a whole bunch of empty lanes.

How cute is that!?

Thanks for a great time Collin! I love you buddy!

The *reason* we aren't all the way unpacked yet:

Isn't only to do with the heat.

We've been super busy. Once we got back the kids only had two weeks of summer left! So we have been trying to play and catch up with friends and family before it's back to the grind!

Lots of sleepovers. A birthday party at Peter Piper Pizza. Lots of play dates. Evan even had one all by himself building train tracks with Pop (my dad) all day long. Ice cream. Pizza. Skating with friends. Game nights. Fighting with each other.Buying a new car. Even a little bit of puking in there for good measure. Last night was open house/back to school night, and our fun summer ends Monday morning at 7:45a.m. First and Third grade, here they come!

Here are some pictures from skating the other day. We had too much fun, even though it was pretty warm in the skating rink!

Liam recently discovered that your finger fits perfectly up your nose.
He is quite proud of this unique talent.

This is D. a good family friend. He was soooo sweaty! It was really warm and muggy in there!

I missed Isaac at the wall so I got him with his mama here instead. Too bad she was looking away!

I get so focused on the kids I forget to get good shots of the grown ups I'm with too!

Must work on that. ;)

Evan was doing it wrong and his hand was too low, so Aunt Kimi was helping him. Collin was so oblivious to all the happenings around his head.
At the end of the day they do a dance and everyone can join, you don' t have to wear skates. It's fun to do it, so this time I also took my camera out onto the floor.

Only Terry had his skates on out of all of us, so he has to be a little more aware of the balance issues.

The boys were doing a strip tease or something at the end here. ;)

If anyone can remember what this "shuffle" is called, will you tell me so I can put it on here to remember forever and ever? Thanks!