Monday, March 30, 2009

A Day at the Park

Katie has been asking to go to "the whale park" for the past week. So, today we headed out to Alameda Park in Santa Barbara.

We stopped by Panino -- thanks Miyo for introducing us to this place-- to pick up some delicious sandwiches. I had my favorite: #12, no mayo.

We had a picnic by the pond and watched the turtles, ducks and coy fish.

Katie and Dylann gave a couple of leftover crackers and pieces of rice cake to the ducks.

Today was a "special Monday" so Papa joined us. He makes every outing better.

Katie and Dylann found the perfect little nook between some palm trees.

It became their "bus." They took turns driving and drove to Paris, San Francisco and I think, Japan.

Logan even got a little love this afternoon too.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Why Didn't I Choose Applesauce?!

I made all of Katie's baby food, so of course, I'm making Maddie's food as well.

The mom's group I'm in is having a swap event where we make a big batch of something and then trade so we walk away with a variety of food for our babies.

Good idea, right?

For the last hour my house has sounded like a Jamba Juice.

And, now it smells like cauliflower -- blech.

I think the only thing I could have picked that would have been worse would have been broccoli.

I hate broccoli these days.

Katie only eats peas and broccoli, so I make a lot of broccoli. I used to like broccoli. Now I find it terribly offensive. Worst of all, it seems to show up everywhere. I go to a restaurant and it's my side, I go to a friend's houses for dinner -- guess what? Broccoli.

Oh well, at least it's good for me and my Little Wickies.

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Little Drummer

There is this really great local group called Pulse Drumming. They come out into the community frequently to do demonstrations, concerts, etc.

What I like is they let the kids actually participate and experience the drumming themselves.

Katie loves banging on those drums -- shocking, I know -- so we try not to miss these events.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Katie & Mama 2.0

Yesterday we had another special Mama and Katie day.

We packed up The Little Engine That Could and headed out to the train station to begin our adventure.

We waited behind the yellow line -- as the signs instructed -- and searched for the train coming down the tracks.

It was a really pretty day. You could see all the way to the islands.
When we reached our destination we took a quick snapshot in front of the train for posterity's sake.
Katie has a thing where she likes to check all of the newspaper stands.

Apparently the route we took to lunch is a priority avenue for newspapers -- any and all kind of newspapers.

The task did not daunt the diligent Katie, and every -- and I mean every -- handle was pulled.

Lunch was a huge hit because not only did she have french fries -- which she dipped into ketchup and then stuffed into her grilled cheese sandwich -- they had free peanuts in a humongous barrel.

And, the best part was you could throw the shells on the floor. The novelty of this was not lost on my daughter.

After having lunch on the pier we trotted back towards land.

And, took a carousel ride.

Made a wish at the fountain.

Then headed back to the train. We chatted with the friendly conductor on the way back.

We somehow missed seeing Padaro Grill on the way back, which caused some pouting.

It was only momentary though.

Then we got into the snack bag she made for herself before we left the restaurant. It consisted of two segments of a cutie tangerine, two oyster crackers from my soup lunch, two shelled and two un-shelled peanuts.

A very choice snack indeed.

Alas, all good things must come to an end.

We waved goodbye to the train, and headed home to fly our new glider (which was acquired from treasure chest at the restaurant).

Katie told me she had a "super-duper fun time."

That was all I needed to hear.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Stanley Goes Surfing

We hosted a friend this week -- Flat Stanley.

In the book Stanley gets squished by a bulletin board, but is okay except for being very flat. He goes on to have all these unique adventures -- being flat and all.

Stanley is visiting us from our friend Zach in Michigan who is participating in a class project where they send Stanley out to different places around the nation and world.

As hosts, we got Stanley dressed and took him on a local adventure.

It was a little overcast and was probably a bit chilly to be trunking it, but not to worry, those Michigan boys are tough.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Blue Bucket of Death

Those of you with small children present may want to take this opportunity to shield their eyes.

Okay, ready?

In this bucket are over 300 dead snails -- drowned in beer -- all collected in less than 2 days.

We have snail problems.

We've had garden issues in the past -- neighborhood cats pooping in our garden and such -- but this one is particularly frustrating.

Katie and I planted a ton of flowers recently, and apparently we have become the neighborhood buffet for snails.

They have pummelled close to half of the flowers we planted which included an entire flat of pansies.

It's... Hitchcock-like (though a swarm of birds may be just what I need to eat all of these blasted snails!)

I've done research online about how to get rid of them -- there are lots of ideas, but I want to know what has worked for people. Any advice?

No poison. The whole kids and "the-run-off-will probably-end-up-killing-a-seal" makes me shy away from that.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Two Days of Green

This weekend we went to the St. Paddy's Day Parade in our town.

The girls had fun. Everyone wore their green.

Katie told me I should wear a green dress so I wore an --obnoxiously --green dress that everyone made fun of.

The whole "Saturday was just the parade, Tuesday is really the holiday" concept has been a tough one for Ms. Kaitlyn.

She kept asking today if we're going to a parade tomorrow.

Most of these pictures are courtesy of Chris' new fancy camera -- thanks Dr. Fong!

I may have to get me one of those soon.

We'll be off having corn beef and cabbage at the Bretons tomorrow. I'm pretty sure none of us are Irish -- Japanese, Chinese, Korean, British, French Canadian and probably a handful of other ethnic backgrounds-- but do you really need to be Irish to celebrate anymore?

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

The Little Wickies sporting green at the parade.

Megan & Maddie

The girls enjoying the parade.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Just Me and Katie

Since Maddie was born, Katie and Mama time has become harder to come by.

It's got to be so different for her. Just a mere 8 months ago it was the "Mama and Katie" show all day every day during the week.

Katie asked last week if she and I could go to a restaurant by ourselves one day.

I thought that was sweet.

Between a tight budget, the fact that Maddie goes to sleep early, and most importantly -- Maddie seems to hate being in a restaurant -- you seldom see a Little Wickie in a restaurant these days.

So, tonight we had a Mama and Katie night out.

I forgot how great she is in a restaurant. She wanted to eat "rice, broccoli, tofu and noodles," so we went to a Chinese restaurant and ordered way too much food.

Being used to scarfing down my food, I was done in about 15 minutes. Katie on the other hand sat there and chatted and ate for almost an hour.

Then, we went and got a pizookie from BJ's restaurant.

I had a really good time.

She makes me laugh every day, but I had forgotten how delightful that little girl can be in a restaurant.

I can't wait until the next girls night out with her.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Yetti Talk

Maddie has been talking and talking and talking lately.

"Mom, I can't hear the TV because of Maddie," has become an all too common complaint from Kaitlyn.

She does this great Chewbaca yell -- I have yet to capture that on video.

Here she is just chattn'.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Bare Necessities

I'm sure you're getting now that Katie is a "more is better" girl. From bags, baskets and back packs to strollers and shopping carts -- Katie's quest is to fill them them all with stuff.

It's as if the site of an empty bag is offensive to her.

Take this purse for example. It's tiny. I managed to squeeze a compact, lipstick and our room key in it on my wedding day.

Apparently, I did not see the full potential of this bag. She managed to fit all of those things into it.

Because you never know when you'll need a maraca -- or a can of tomato soup.

Monday, March 9, 2009

That's My Girl...

Good hands -- maybe a keeper?

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Puppet Master

Katie used to be a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse girl, but her allegiance has been waning for some time now.

Somewhere between her birthday and now George (yes, the curious one) has stolen her heart.

She watches the show rather religiously, and the books are front and center at bedtime.

In one book George does a puppet show for some kids in a hospital as only a monkey can do...

unless you're Kaitlyn.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009


When you have kids for the first time -- socially, it's like being a freshman in college all over again (except you already have well more than 15 pounds on you).

Other people with new babies are suddenly open to talking with you. It's a rare time in your life to make new friends -- exchanging phone numbers or email addresses seems almost natural.

I mean when you're single and you're out for a run at the park, you don't chat it up with other runners and get phone numbers (unless you're that guy).

I have met a lot of wonderful women and men in the short three years since we've had Katie.

Somehow in the midst of the crying, teething and general madness of having babies I found a core group of women who are my family here.

They are there for me when I need to talk (or cry) about -- well, anything from baby and husband stuff to what-the-heck-is-going-on-with-my-body stuff.

We had a picture of our kids taken when they were six months old.

And, we recently had another taken now that they are three.

I love each of these children like my own.

I only hope that we remain half as close as we are now 5, 10 , 25 years and beyond from now.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Maddie's Got Muscles

I walk into Maddie's room today to find this...

She'd been pulling herself up on low things, e.g., our fireplace, the bouncy seat, etc. none of which are more than 3 inches high.

Apparently, she can do more now.

Dismounting from these things is still proving to be a challenge for her. She's taken a couple of headers.

And, yes I pulled the play table out of the closet so she wouldn't crack herself in the head on the closet door frame.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I love my Song

Thirteen years ago today Song and I went out on our first date.

We ate at Tony Roma's which was "big time" for poor college students.

Neither of us ordered ribs even though we both admitted to loving them later. Ribs, we agreed were too much of a risk factor for a first date -- dripping BBQ sauce, the food in the teeth possibility, etc.

For a long time we'd always make it a point to eat at Tony Roma's on Mar. 1.

Unlike the first date, we would both order ribs.

Now, the only one within a 30-mile radius is closed and I can't fathom trying to eat a rib dinner in public with two little ones to tend too.

But, we always try to do something a little special.

Today, I made heart brownies and we're going to BBQ at home.

Times have changed, but I wouldn't trade where we are now for the world.