little moments not to be forgotten

// playing//
// getting used to her beanie //
// sleeping //
// dad party at preschool //
// tupperware is her favorite //
// sleeping //
// bubbles //
// playing //

A few things to note. I am pretty sure I take so many pictures of my kids sleeping because I am hopeful that I too will sleep again someday. A little play area in the living room is amazing and I now wonder why I resisted it for so long. In case you wonder why no pictures of Connor and Isla, as they are getting bigger, their pictures seem more and more personal and less like something I want to share with everyone for their own privacy. 

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Callum {4 years}

My little sidekick is as spicy as ever! FOUR didn't slow him down. This kid has never met someone he didn't want to play with. He tries to pick up every stick he sees...even if it is a legitimate branch. He has more energy than anyone I have met. He loves running, jumping and playing with his beyblades, cars and duplos.

Callum has literally never met anyone who he didn't consider a friend. He wants to play with everyone he sees, including adults. He will hit someone and yell "tag", even strangers in Target! Playing tag, wrestling and throwing sticks are a few of his favorite ways to play. And, it seems the sand box is his jam at school. He told me one day after school that he threw sand at someone and I told him that isn't ok. He responded that it was because the kid threw it at him first and got it in his eye. Oh man.

When I was putting Callum to bed the other night, I was thinking just how far we've come. Ian and I used to take turns sitting next to his bed and holding his hand until he went to sleep. Sometimes it took hours. These days, as long as he hasn't napped, he is out within 10 minutes. But, getting him to slow down for bedtime can sometimes be hard. Like I said, the kid has energy. He loves reading books about cars, ninjas or monkeys jumping on the bed before bedtime. I tried stopping Callum's naps in the spring, but it was dicy and it really has taken until the fall for me to fully stop them. Of course, if we drive anywhere in the late afternoon, I really have to work to keep him awake. Because of no nap, his bedtime usually ends up being around 7:30. 

Callum is a stellar eater, eating mostly anything put in front of him. Though, he also has a serious sweet tooth and will go for candy at any possible time. When there are popsicles in the freezer, he is constantly helping himself to them. He also loves eggs, chicken, pretty much any fruit and yogurt drinks. 

Callum has gone to LA with my parents twice now alone and he asks to do it by himself all the time now. I think he likes all the attention on himself! He also likes talking to people on the phone and hanging up on them mid conversation. He has taken to asking me to take his picture at various times and I totally love it. 

This kid is a special one. He is fun to have around and certainly keeps me on my toes and keeps life interesting. 

Callum got to celebrate his birthday on the actual day at school. We brought in pizza for everyone, then Callum picked out airheads to send home with everyone too. Then, in the evening, we had our family over for cake and ice cream. Callum picked out a cake topped with Oreos. He got beyblades and nerf guns for his birthday, both his favorites. 

And now a little interview with Callum:

What is your favorite:
     color - blue
     food - McDonalds
     drink - apple juice
     ice cream - chocolate
     toy - beyblades and nerf guns 
     book - the pooping one (Everybody Poops)
     song - all of them
     tv show - Morphile
     movie - Star Wars (I don't think he's ever seen any)
     thing to do - poop (toilet humor is big these days!)
     game - car game (an app)
     sport - baseball
     animal - lion...they scratch people

Who is your best friend? Landon
What do you like doing with your friends? Playing nerf guns with Charlie
Where did you meet Landon? at home

What is your favorite thing about school? playdough 
What do you enjoy learning the most? music
What do you like to do on the playground? play in the sand box
Who do you play with at school? my friends

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Universal Studios

I haven't been to Universal Studios since I was a kid myself. But with the Harry Potter area, I have been itching to go. With the kids getting a three week winter break, we decided to go to Universal Studios during the third week. On their website, it said it was a middle level of busy (there are three levels) and I was pleasantly surprised with how mild the crowds were. 

We started out in the Harry Potter area and it did not disappoint. Though, I must say that the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride was quite scary for kids. But, I would say that was the case with most of the rides at Universal. It's definitely a place for older children, rather than younger. However, we went into Ollivanders Wand Shop and that experience was just amazing! Connor and Isla were chosen to be fitted for wands. It took about five minutes and was so fun. After they let the crowd out of the room, they called us forward and offered for Callum to be fitted as well, but he was hesitant, so we said no. I thought it was cool that they offered to do it to him too, so he wouldn't feel left out. We ended up buying the interactive wands and that was a cool experience. Making fire come from a chimney, a door unlock, tea pour, etc. Definitely a highlight. Makes me want to go to Florida where there is an entire park dedicated to Harry Potter. 

Some of the other highlights were the "real" dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park area. You could interact with them and they would respond to you. The kids really liked that. There was also a play area down there that was a big hit with the kids. We did the studio tour. It is longer than I expected, just over an hour. But it was highly entertaining. There are some scary parts and Isla definitely wasn't a fan. There is also a play area and a couple smaller kid rides in the Despicable Me section, so we spent a fair bit of time over there. Callum really just likes playing anywhere there are kids! 

Given the ages of our children and that Universal and Disneyland are basically the same price, I would do Disneyland over Universal. Though, that hurts my heart a little because the (small) Harry Potter area was so cool! Also, the parking situation at Universal was better, there was Starbucks IN the park...along with other chains like Panda Express. And, their characters did an amazing job at interacting with the kids. Frankenstein playing peek-a-boo with Willa was a highlight. But Disneyland is significantly bigger, so yeah.

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New Year's 2020

Alternatively titled "the blurry photos have the best memories". Actually, there could be so many alternative titles to this. From "party boy Callum" to "a glimpse into our future" to "the best new year's ever". But I'll stick with "New Year's 2020". It's simple, to the point and factual. 

I've hit that point in blogging that it happens so little that at this point, I am at least trying to throw up some of the memories I want to remember forever. New Years is one of those times. Connor really wanted to stay up until midnight and we said yes. But, we did an east coast New Years celebration at 9pm so we could all celebrate together. We even managed to stream the ball dropping on our tv. For Christmas, Isla's teacher gave me a bottle of sparkling cider, so I threw it in the fridge for the occasion. Then I told Ian to bust out some fancy glasses. With everyone grasping a wine glass of martinellis, we rang in the new year at 9pm. Everyone clang their glasses together. Callum really, REALLY enjoyed that part and kept it going, yelling "cheers!" before throwing his glass at yours. It was a sweet, fun and joy filled moment...full of children in their pajamas, a fire in the fireplace and just a cozy family time. Then the younger three went off to bed...Willa was actually already in bed. Connor and Ian stayed up watching a movie and I watched some Netflix (I'm just not a fan of marvel movies...don't hate!). About 10 minutes until midnight, I went and joined Connor and Ian. We celebrated the new year once again. And Connor was shocked when I shooed him off to bed at around 12:10. He wanted to keep the party going!!!

If I had to imagine a new year celebration with children, it was just how I would imagine it. Stress free, fun, celebratory, and most importantly, done in pjs! 

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