Friday, November 21, 2014

Trying to Keep Up

That seems like a good title for this post, given how far behind I've gotten with updates on the blog, Alden's seemingly endless desire to try to keep up with his big sister, and our new efforts at being more on top of social engagements, school and - of course - work!  In general, life these days feels like we are all trying to keep up with everything going on.

Which is a long way of saying, this post is really just an update. 


For the first time in my life, we now live in a neighborhood where Halloween is a BIG deal.  In fact, the Sacramento Bee said our neighborhood is the #1 place to trick or treat in all of Sacramento.  This equals LOTS of trick or treaters.  Apparently, the former owners of our house always got the place all decked out (and quite scary) for the big event.  We managed to put out a few of the decorations we got last year-- although, that entailed getting home on Halloween evening at 5:30 and throwing some lights on the path, putting out a few decorations and hurriedly carving our pumpkins.  Somehow, we were "ready" to go by 6:30 when the first trick or treaters started rolling in (we got about 450 total kids coming to the house!)  Luckily, we bought a LOT of candy, but we have a ways to go to live up to the expectations of the trick or treaters around here.  I look forward to rising to the challenge in years to come. 

We did have fantastic costumes -- thanks to my mom who somehow managed to sew Alden and Olaf costume despite FOUR broken bones.  Amazing. 

Kai was Elsa (along with most every other 4 - 6 year old girl in the country).  My mom made this costume, too (prior to the accident) -- and, if I do say so myself, Kai was the best Elsa around. 

I tried so hard to get a picture of them together -- but, Alden was really not cooperating. 

As I said, Kai was not alone in her Elsa attire.  In fact, there were so many Elsas at her school that they did a group shot just with the Elsas!  I think the funniest story from Halloween is that when Kai got to school, her friends ran up to her and said, "WOW!  How'd you grow your hair so long?"  Because Kai is such a blondie, the long braid extension I got for her hair was apparently totally believable! 

It was fun to get into the Halloween fun this year -- and Kai loved hanging out with her friends all dressed up. 


As we near the end of this insane year, things seem to finally be calming down.  Eric's job is not as crazy as it was.  Kai is doing fantastic in school and loving it.  Alden is becoming more and more of a person (less baby) and is so very engaging.  We are all settling into our house -- we recently bought a dining room table!! It's so fun to eat together around an actual dining room table in an actual dining room.  We're socializing a lot.  A LOT.  Seriously.  I see more of my Bay Area friends now then I did when we lived in the Bay Area.  Sarah, Penny and Max spent a day with us not too long ago.  Deb has been here twice.  Brian was over recently.  We also have been socializing a lot with our new Sacramento friends.  We've had playdates with kids in the neighborhood and Kai's school friends.  I met another mom with a baby Alden's age and we signed up for a Music Together class together.  We've had work friends over for dinner.  We've done more socializing since moving into this house then we've done in probably the last several years combined.  It feels a bit like trying on someone else's lifestyle.  But, I think it's been good for all of us to just get out there a little more and break up our usual routines. 


Alden is commando crawling like a pro, but also frequently pulls himself up onto all fours.  Then he rocks back and forth before dropping to his belly to commando crawl to his next destination.  He also LOVES to stand while holding onto something.  The look of pride on his face is priceless.  He continues to be such a happy baby.  He had his first cold this week but bounced back quickly (not before passing it onto both me and the nanny.  Sigh).  I am so in love with him -- he brings so much joy (and noise!) into our lives.

Alden also continues to be the best dressed baby -- thanks to the MANY amazing hand-me-downs we got from friends...

.. and because of the mad knitting skills of my colleague!
Even when he's missing his shirt, though, he's pretty darn cute!

We are also starting to do a nanny share with the baby of a colleague of mine.  I think it is so great that Alden has a friend to play with during the week -- he LOVES other babies.  So far, Will has only joined in a couple of times.  But we're hoping it becomes more regular in the months to come.  The two babies look like brothers -- and are exactly 4 weeks apart in age.  It seems like such a great match!  I really cannot believe how lucky we've gotten with early childhood for both of our kids.
 Alden has also taken a few tumbles lately -- poor baby!  And, this week, he has his first cold.  He seems to bounce back very quickly from these things -- but, so hard when he is sick or hurt.

And, he's still quite the eater!  Can't resist the pictures of Alden devouring his food.


Kai and Alden get closer every day.  They play together all the time.  Can't believe Alden is old enough to be grabbing the steering wheel from Kai already!


Kai is spelling and reading up a storm these days.  So crazy how it just catches on.  Her favorite subject at school continues to be math -- which is so cool.  I hope she holds onto her love of numbers. 

She also has become quite the cook.  She scrambles her own eggs in the morning and makes pancakes with Eric on the weekend.  It's a huge help and makes her so proud of herself. 

Kai also won the jog-a-thon at school!  She did 56 laps and got the most laps in 1st grade (among the girls, I believe).  She was so proud.  I am not surprised she won -- Kai is SO determined, especially when there is a trophy involved!!


Because of my mom's accident, we've been to Portland a couple of times this fall.  It's been fun to get there to spend some time, even if the circumstances are less than ideal.  It also means that for the first time ever, we got a picture of all the grandchildren on my side of the family.  Kai had a lot of fun playing with her cousins.

And, one last shot!