Archive for March, 2012

Mostly Picture Post

Monday, March 12th, 2012 by janice

A picture post from Disney and random cuteness…

Sleeping Beauty

Swinging on the rope during gymnastics class

Swinging on the rope during gymnastics class

Supervising Jo's snack

My new fave pic of Alexei and Jo-jo

Awkward sleeping position (Sazerac)

Awkward sleeping position (Alexei)

Alexei and his lovie Jo-jo in one of the old Autopia cars outside Goofy's Kitchen

Yeah, guess which kid wouldn't look at the camera. Sigh!

One of the few of all four kids - bonus for mostly looking at the camera!

Hey, Kix, I ALMOST got all five of ya!

Keir and Alexei on the Mr. Toad car (Alexei did NOT like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride)

Yes, we did a lot of this while waiting in lines...

The Monorail was a hit though

He REALLY wanted to ride Big Thunder Mountain. Someday, kid.

Petting the goats was also a big hit.

Alexei on Casey Jr. (which was another fave despite the solemn look here.)

Alexei and birthday girl Vivien on one of the cars in Toon Town (which was also a big hit)

Alexei, Vivien, Ava and Keir on car in Toon Town

Keir didn't really want to share steering responsibilities

Alexei gets a turn alone

I want a hot dog and beans (seriously, he kept trying to order that on every phone!)

Birthday girl Ava making her order

Hello, slide, my old friend!

This thing is very silly, Dad.

Alexei meets T-2 (Kirsten) and Aaron

Cathy, Alexei and Keir

Keir and Alexei being silly

Three T-wimmin in one picture - now if only any of us was looking at the camera. Heh!

(Edit to add for those not in the know: the T-wimmin are my college best friends. T-1 (Kix) T-2 (Kirsten) and I all worked at North Campus food services at UCLA for years and T-4 (Laura, who couldn’t make it) was my college room mate for 2 years. The reason behind the name is kinda silly and probably not even remotely funny to anyone who wasn’t there.)

So Disneyland for two days was awesome. Stayed at the Disneyland Hotel which I’ve wanted to do since I was eight. It was nice but next time we do that we’ll stay at the Grand Californian which is much closer to the parks and a nicer hotel altogether. (Plus bonus private entrance to California Adventure.) Alexei had a grand time and enjoyed most of the rides. He hated the character breakfast, though – predictably he is scared of the characters. Sorry, kid! He did have fun playing with Ava, Vivien and Keir. The girls were really good with him. But I think Keir was a little jealous when his Mommy and Mama paid attention to another boy! LOL!

Darren and I usually don’t go in much for the shows but I was so glad we went to see World of Color. It was made from awesome. And they’ve made some good changes as Cali Adv though all the construction right now is super annoying. Next time will have to try to spend a little more time over there as there is a bunch Alexei can do. Alexei and I discovered that first thing Sunday morning is like the best time to be in Disneyland proper, at least on a weekend. (Darren and the Ryen clan all got a late start Sunday morning.) We walked on to almost everything we wanted to except for the Finding Nemo ride and there we only waited 10 minutes.

It was awesome to see Kix and Cathy even though we spent most of the time wrangling kids and talking about them. Heh. How things have changed since the T-wimmin were serving up meals at North Campus, eh? Also so glad to see Kirsten and Aaron if only briefly.

So I did end up biting the bullet and getting an Annual Pass since with the special SoCal 2-day park-hoppers we got for this trip we’d half paid for one anyway. Just the SoCal (though not the lowest one) but it does offer some good perks and I’m fairly sure we can make enough visits in a year to make it worthwhile. I think my next trips are going to be sans Darren though. Lol! He doesn’t care for Disney or crowds so I love him and thank him so much for indulging us this far.

Ok, that’s all for now, folks. Enjoy!

Love and bright blessings,

Janice

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March?!

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 by janice

Good grief! How did that happen. Last time I looked it was Christmas. LOL!

OK, so I thought I’d put up some pics first before the wall of words…

2011 Holiday Card

Cars PJs!

Sportin' his CNY togs

Blue door in the Children's Garden at the Huntington

Ravens rock!

Running with the Moon (in the Children's Garden at the Huntington)

Running with the Moon (Children's Garden at the Huntington)

Fish spotting

Fish spotting (at the Huntington)

Giggling during story time

Future's So Bright

Alexei's First Ride

Yes, boxes still make the best toys

Well, it’s been a very busy couple of months, as per usual.

Alexei had a little bit of a hard time transitioning back to daycare after a week off with Mommy and Daddy. It was the first time I’ve ever seen him resistant to going to Mrs D’s and dealing with the tears was not easy. He did settle out after awhile but now we are going through another round of clinginess and sleep issues since Darren started back to work. I know it’s all age appropriate, but of course it also raises red flags on the attachment score. So we’ve gone back to a few of the old attachment builders and I’ve put off making some other changes I probably should make until he’s a little more settled again. This dance is a tough one.

January and February blew by in a blur. Alexei’s continuing to learn and grow and keep us on our toes. He’s developing some serious opinions about the world and the way things are supposed to be and gets very put out when we or the cats or life refuse to arrange ourselves the way he would like them to be. I guess he’s asserting himself more at daycare which is both good and bad. He’s certainly asserting himself a lot at home. LOL. He is especially unhappy about the cats not paying attention to about anything he says.  One amusing example is when we were going down the stairs one morning and the cats ran past him; he yelled “Kitties, hold!” (SCA reference for those who aren’t familiar.) Yeah, that didn’t work.  Hee hee. But it amused me as all get out.

He’s also getting even more scary observant and copying a lot – both what we say and what we do. Heh. Gotta watch ourselves here.

We tried to go to the Chinese New Year celebration in Camarillo this year but the huge wind storm blew out both our normal visit to the stables and the event. So Debbie kindly invited us to go to the Huntington Library celebration with her membership. That made for a very nice day. Alexei really grooved on the gardens, especially the kid’s garden. We remembered to bring water shoes and a change of clothes so he could indulge in playing with the water fountains. He actually sat still for quite a long time listening to the traditional Chinese musicians in the Chinese garden and of course loved the koi in the pond.

Also one of the coolest examples of Alexei’s scary observant nature came out of watching the group that did the Lion and dragon dances. They also did an exhibition of Kung Fu. It lasted for all of about 20 minutes but for literally weeks afterwards Alexei was doing kung fu moves and pretty darned well. Seriously, if I didn’t know better I really would have thought he’d had some actual classes. He does similar stuff with gymnastics, copying the stuff the big girls do. He’s not listening and following directions quite well enough to consider martial arts classes but I foresee them in the not too distant future.

In other news, work has been a lot more interesting of late. We’re doing some pretty major projects and it’s fun to get my hands dirty in server side stuff. But it is also a reminder of how hard it is to do real IT projects on a part time schedule and I am starting to get very serious about looking for a new full time gig. It worries me though how that will effect Alexei since we are together a large part of the day now and that just wouldn’t be possible on a full time schedule. Not to mention how that might effect a potential second adoption (yeah, we’re still thinking about that.) But I am tired of working just to pay for daycare and just breaking even with everything else.

Darren seems to be enjoying the new gig – at least in as much as he is happy to be back doing interesting work. There are definitely a lot of challenges but he’s already made some positive moves and getting positive notice. The hours are pretty long though and we are all still adjusting to this. It’s really hard for Alexei though, as I already mentioned. He walks around saying “Daddy work” a lot which is just heart rending let me tell ya. But hopefully it won’t be too long before we all get into a groove and Darren’s hours will settle out some.

Jo-jo is doing really well. We started him on glucosamine a few months back and that has really made a noticeable difference for him. We love doing gymkhana Sundays together. I’d like to get back into doing SCA Equestrian but that may be a little while yet. Sigh. May be able to make some of the Friday practices this summer if the stars align as Darren has work-from-home Fridays. So we’ll see.

The kitties are pretty much full-grown now but they still have terminal cases of kitten brain. Can’t wait for the adult brains to grow in. LOL.

We’re going to be going to Disneyland again this weekend. Yey! Meeting the Ryen clan to help celebrate Ava and Vivien’s 6th birthday! Wow! I cannot believe it’s been that long! We’re staying the weekend in the Disneyland Hotel which I’ve always wanted to do. Really excited!

Well, I’m sure I am missing a lot of news or milestones but I’m needed to entertain the boy. Hopefully it won’t be two months until the next entry. LOL!

Many blessings all,

Janice

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