Friday, November 30, 2018

'tis the season

The halls are decked. Actually we decked them before Thanksgiving, violating my rule to wait until the day after Thanksgiving because I wanted to come back from my sister's in Arizona to a decorated house.  The office is in it's merry mood.
 The rest of the house, since I had all those leftovers from the camping themed baby shower, is "Christmas Cabin" themed with Buffalo Check and Reindeer and Wood and it's adorable. I'll take some pictures and share them here later.

Monday, September 24, 2018

money can't buy me joy

First off, I got a job so whew, praise the Lord. It goes until October 10 about and then I might jump onto something after that. Sounds like town is getting busy so yay.

We had a very lean month after vacation since I wasn't working and my unemployment insurance didn't kick in until last week finally. We went on full spending freezes and only spent money on food. Our credit card bill was half what it normally was. And as we stared down the barrel of  having an income again, we assessed what our life had been like this past month. I asked Matt the following question: Do you think our quality of life has diminished in any way? Do you think we have been unhappy?
The answer was a resounding: no. Even though we have been living super cheap, we have been enjoying life in Los Angeles with two children to the max. We have traversed this great city and explored it's many free/cheap activities weekly. We went to the beach, we went to parks, we went all over. We did free museum days, free garden days, used our Knott’s passes. We lived it up. We would pack lunches and keep eating out to a minimum. We would order water and make coffee at home. All those tiny tricks to avoid spending a lot of money when you’re out we used. We even laughed about the fact that on one particular outing to Knott’s not only did we not spend a penny, but Alice found a penny and a quarter making us the only family EVER to make $.26 at Knott’s. Yeah we were living tight and it was stressful on me to be imagining worst case scenarios (omg we’re gonna have to sell our house and move in with my mom) but we had faith. And the Lord did provide.

I would like to tell you that we’ve learned our lesson and we’ll be so responsible and save and never spend too much ever again and I hope so. It was a good reminder that money does not equal happiness but we still gotta be careful when we have it ‘cause otherwise when we don’t… we could end up living with our mothers.

Friday, August 24, 2018

vacay 2018!

The first week of August we officially went on vacation to Northern California. We stayed in a rental condo in Aptos, CA, near Santa Cruz. We could not have chosen a better time to go. Down here it was about 90 degrees and up there, it was a glorious low 70s. We wore pants. We wore sweaters. The mornings by the beach were foggy. GLORIOUS. On the way up we took the 1 which, while it was beautiful, was a bad idea with squirmy Walter. We made a stop to see elephant seals and it was chilly!
But we should have just kept driving since Wally had fallen asleep. He never bounced back from that and I had to hand over the amazon fire and many many snacks but it was not enough. Ah Walter.
The drive sure was beautiful though. What an idea to make a highway that runs the coastline of California right?
Overall, the kids were so-so during the day. We'd have leisurely breakfasts/morning times at our rental and then would head out for the day. It was those times when I knew that renting a place is the way to go with them. They had their room, we had ours, and we could make breakfast and dinner and save eating out money that way.
After the drive up debacle, you think we would have learned but we never quite timed Wally's naps so we suffered the wrath of a cranky 17 month old for a few hours until his inevitable crashes in the car. Plus, that kid has zero attention span so most of the time was spent wrangling him and he hates being wrangled. We did make ALL activities kid focused but nothing was enough to stave off the Wally monster. It's just the age he's at.
Day 2 we took a train ride through a redwood forest. It had this little play area where they could run around and let out their wiggles.
The good thing about the train ride was that it was really beautiful but the bad thing was that it was an hour long which was probably about 40 minutes too long. Sheesh we do not learn.
Containing the boy was our #1 distraction.
After that we went to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk where all rides from 5-10pm were $1.50.
They were so cute on all the things they could ride on. Alice took her big sister responsibilities very seriously when I told her to keep Wally inside the boat.
Matt was excited because they filmed The Lost Boys on this very carousel.
Day 3 we met up with my college friend Becca and her two kids at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. 
Yes, it's a state of the art aquarium world-renowned but what did they love the most? Play area. Look at the animals, nope, we wanna play on the waterbed thing.
It's so great to have friends to commiserate with about parenthood.
We did a tiny walk to Cannery Row for Matt.
Funnily enough the best part of the day was having dinner at Becca and Darren's. The kids played together, the parents bonded, and we ate amazing Oaxacan food. At this age with Wally, a restaurant is a mistake we have learned. Someday we will be able to but right now, homes are good.
Day 4 was our day in Aptos. We spent it at a beach that has a shipwrecked boat and both of the kids were so incredibly chill and happy. Wally loved chasing the waves, Alice loved the sand and the waves and giggling with mom as the waves caught us. 
Matt took one of the best photos of them. It's framed in our room now. 
That night in lieu of a fancy meal out we ordered some food and ate in and I made our dinner table as fancy as I could. 
The following day we headed back home but made a pit stop to see a GRIP TON of otters swimming in the wild. I could have stood there for hours watching them but the kid attention span gave me maybe 15 minutes. Better than nothing I suppose. 
The drive home we took a faster route and they actually slept on the way. Hallelujah.
We didn't want to leave! It was a great trip even with the meltdowns. Every day we had a memory or two that will stay in our hearts for years. Vacationing with two small kids is a challenge but you gotta do it. You gotta go at a kid pace and you just gotta not give up. It's worth it.
I kept thinking about how it was our first real vacation as a family of four. Last year we got to have a few days at Newport Coast but this one felt more like it was the reality that it was our little family vs the world. Or our little family in the world and know what, I really enjoy our little family. Squirms and all, we got each other and that's all we need.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

our bedroom 2018

Well after 11 months of a baby living in our room, our bedroom is finally ours again. Well it became ours again back in February actually but I'm just now posting about it.
And sure it's ours, except for the fact that small people still come into our room at 5:30 am and barf all over our bed, ruining our old quilt leaving us blanket-less until I decided to just use the old guest quilt until I decide what I want. This is why I hoard things. 
The rest of the room looks like so, I'm not sure what I've posted but I changed out the brass curtain rods to the black ones we had in the living room in my attempts to add black hardware to our room to stay consistent with the rest of the house. 
Our room is where I tip more towards Matt's interests. Like King Kong posters...
...and drum sets...
...and framed photos of monsters...
To be honest though, I love it all too. Not as much as Matt but I have embraced them.
The top of the triplets is more of Matt. He is fun my husband.
Someday we'll actually paint this room a color we would like. SOMEDAY.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

my ignore button

The past few weeks I've been home with the kids have been full of everything and nothing. When I'm with them I try to keep my attention on them and not my phone, except whipping it out to take pictures of just how stinking cute they are but sometimes I just gotta bug Matt with "MATT! Take a picture!" when I have my phone far away. 
I've hit the ignore button on Twitter and Facebook and haven't been on either for about 3-4 weeks.  It's not like I made some dramatic "Bye Facebook, see you never!" I just haven't logged on and I doubt I've missed anything. Except maybe event invites? I dunno. Frankly, I don't want to know. I don't want to know what's going on anywhere except what's going on at home.
There's nothing and everything going on at home. We don't have to do much but it is everything.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

clutter v inspirational tears

My brain, as Matt said, always has a lot of tabs open. Right now I'm craving some pretty home inspirations while I tinker around at home and I found myself looking at the folder on my computer where I dump all my phone pics and instagram grabs and magazine pictures and started sorting them into subfolders. I like that feeling of tossing out things that are no longer my style and rediscovering ideas I still absolutely love. Like this kitchen that was in Magnolia Magazine with it's blue island.
I love this use of the tiny sliver of island for cookbook stashing.
Do you guys have folders like that on your laptop? Or is your phone full of a billion screenshots too? Are those things to be considered clutter or inspirational tears?