Friday, December 31, 2010

top 10 of 2010

It's been a good year. Here are my top 10 photo picks for the year.

#1 - BFFs
The girls have truly become best friends this year. We moved them into the same room, their beds pushed together so they can be close. The biggest punishment for them is to be separated. Watching them play and laugh together is the best. I love hearing the conversations between them (no longer just a Kaitlyn monologue).

#2 - Little Wickies experience snow
At the end of 2009 Katie told someone, "I know where there's snow -- the mall!" (where they dump some "snow" in the parking lot one day a year). It was at that point we decided we should take the girls to actual snow.

#3 - The yellow girl
Maddie has embraced yellow as her favorite color. She will walk through a store and grab at anything yellow -- shirts, shorts, shoes -- her size or not and proclaim, "yewow e my favreet, me get dis?"

#4 - the performer
We knew Kaitlyn liked being in shows -- ballet, tap, etc. but this year she joined choir and that like turned to love. The girls received a karaoke machine for Christmas from Halmoni and now regularly stand on the fireplace (the designated stage in our house) and belt out everything from holiday songs to Broadway tunes.
#5 - my little maria
Speaking of Broadway musicals. Kaitlyn decided this year to be Maria from the Sound of Music for Halloween. You have no idea how happy I was after a year of being obsessed with princesses (they still dress up as them all the time, but this was a surprising and refreshing ask from Katie)

#6 - fashion by Mo
I no longer dress either girl -- they won't let me. While Mo's personality is fairly easy-going, when she wants something, she can be more than adamant. You've gotta love what they think looks great.

#7 - things that spin, drop and fly
Kaitlyn got her fill of rides this year as we were fortunate enough to experience Disneyland for the first time (thanks again Chris), Legoland and Seaworld. The good: Katie was tall enough to go on a lot of rides by herself; the bad: Maddie doesn't seem to share her sister's passion for having her equilibrium shaken.

#8 -we heart the beach
Whenever it was warm enough (and even on some days that weren't) we dropped just about everything and headed to the beach. After a good rainfall this Spring we were treated to wildflowers on the hillsides which made our regular beach that much more beautiful.

#9 - this girl
Start a sentence with "who likes..." and Maddie's hand shoots up regardless of how that sentenced is finished. Ask, "Who likes to eat garbage?!" and she will happily reply, "me!"

#10 - appreciation
...for each other -- our wonderful friends, for the ocean, for our family.

Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2011!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

the singing sheep of bethlehem

On Christmas Eve Kaitlyn sang with her choir. She was uber-excited because she got to sing a solo.

Packed chapel, bright lights -- stage fright?

Not this little girl.

The grin on her face when she grabs the microphones says it all.

It's times like this I wish I had a fancy telephoto lens.

Halmoni made us promise we'd put up pictures and video so she could see.

Click here for the video.

Hope everyone had a good Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

storm watch 2010

My husband and I always joke that whenever it rains in So Cal it's big media news, e.g., you'll see a reporter holding a piece of hail on the 5 o'clock news as if she found a dinosaur bone.

I do have to say it has been raining a lot.

It's a good thing the Little Wickies never get tired of jumping in water - ocean, stream, rain or otherwise.

Yes, that's this hat that Katie used to wear all the time.

This is Katie peeking under my umbrella. Gotta protect the point and shoot.

We brought out some plastic fish and the girls loved chasing them down.
Katie would let the fish get a 15-foot start.

And, then go tearing down the street to catch up to it.

Multiple people slowed down as they drove by to wave at the girls. A couple people rolled down their windows to say things like, "Ah, to be young again" which I thought was sweet.

As I type the sky is clear, but rain is forecasted again this weekend and there is another storm rolling in the following week as well.

Hope the boots dry out by then!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


We received some wonderful steaks and a roast from my father-in-law for our Christmas gift.

Much like toy/diaper boxes, the packaging itself proved to be loads of fun.

When scientist Papa came home and saw there was dry ice he quickly went to work to showcase its wares.

At first the girls were scared of it.

But after awhile, blowing the "smoke" proved to be fun.

None of my pictures of Mo turned out unfortunately, but she too enjoyed blowing the "smoke" around.

Katie and Maddie took turns stirring the boiling water.

Later, Papa made pieces of Tupperware explode when he sealed small pieces of dry ice in them.

It proved to be fun for all the the kids in the family.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

little peeps

The people who owned the house before us left all sorts of things up in the garage rafters. We must have been that house during the holidays because we found about 20 person-sized wooden snowmen, soldiers, candy canes and more.

In addition we found a wedding dress and a cool now-vintage wagon.

We also found these.

I just remembered about them when I saw this. I ran them through the dishwasher today and they are the new fav toy of the moment.

Got to love Little People!

Monday, December 13, 2010

a zoorific birthday

About six months ago we asked this girl what she wanted for her birthday.

"I want to stay in a hotel room for my birthday," was her prompt answer.

I was tempted to book the Holiday Inn in town and call it done, but instead we took a mini two-day one night trip down to San Diego instead.

We started at Sea World.

We got there in the afternoon and hit up all four shows in the first 3 hours we were there.

Maddie was pretty young when we were there last, so it was nice to see her really take in the shows.
Katie was uber pleased with her one souvenir, a stuffed dolphin which she "won" against her sister in the water gun game.

The Arctic exhibit was impressive.

The walrus kept coming up to the glass and blowing bubbles right in the girls' faces making them laugh.

The beluga whales were magnificent, looking ghostly iridescent underwater.

Perhaps the best part about Sea World on this trip was the fact that it. was. empty. We felt like we had the whole place to ourselves -- and, at times we literally did.

We didn't visit as many food haunts as we usually do on this quick trip, but we did go to an old time favorite -- Alambres.

The joint itself has gotten fancier than when I worked downtown, but I can not stress how much I enjoy these tacos.
That would be chopped and sauteed chicken, bacon, onions and bell peppers.

The next morning I found the birthday girl behind the room darkening curtains playing.

Then it was off the the zoo.

Mo was a little slow-going at the beginning.

But quickly perked up when we boarded one of these.

The skyfari was perhaps the biggest hit of the day, if not the trip.

No, seriously we went on it six -- yes, six -- times mostly because the birthday girl wanted to.
In between skyfari rides we saw lions, tigers, bears and more.

It was a really good trip (plus I didn't have to plan a birthday party).

I can't believe my babygirl is 5.

Friday, December 3, 2010

in love all over again

Got a call yesterday letting me know they were going to replace my SLR with a new one.

I hustled down last night after dinner and got it.

Took it out for a spin this afternoon.

The tide was low and we were able to walk up to the pylons normally residing underwater. We examined all the barnacles and little creatures who lived on them.

Katie always finds the "perfect" rock on our walks.

I have repeatedly tried to explain that we aren't supposed to take rocks home from the beach -- that they are there for a reason.

I caved and let her take home a little red one today.

The girls had never been out of the pier (I know, we live here). So we ventured out to the end. We saw fishermen catch some questionably small fish as well as some little crabs.

It wasn't until we turned to head back to shore that we realized the fog had crept in. As I was shooting, I found myself wishing the lamp posts were on. What a wanna-be-photographer nerd, right?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

library goodness

We had taken a hiatus from the library for awhile and just got back into the groove of borrowing books regularly again.

We're really liking some of our choices this time. Namely this book.

I love the illustrations, and the story is just charming.

It's the story of a land (a long time ago) that had no color.

The local wizard invents the color blue.

He paints his house this great new color to the envy of all the town.

Next thing you know.

The whole town is blue. But, after awhile the town starts to feel blue.

So, the wizard invents yellow.

The town goes crazy for the new color. But, after awhile everyone has a headache from squinting (yellow is very bright).

So, the wizard invents red and they literally paint the town with it.

But eventually red puts everyone in an angry and violent mood.

So, the wizard tries to make a new color but can only make those three colors which eventually spill into each other in the wizard's non-OSHA controlled basement and...

He invents all the colors of the world.

The town people wonder which color to use next, but the wizard insists they use all of them.

I may have to find this book and purchase it.

I would love to get some more books this holiday season for the girls.

What books do you love that maybe aren't in the Barnes & Noble Top 40? (because we have all of those -- and all those blasted Dora books too.)