Christmas is coming & almost time to say ‘goodbye’ !

christmas tree

It is time to start the countdown to Christmas –only 19 days away. What have I done in preparation for the holidays?

I have done 40% of my shopping!!!

The tree and decorations are up. – check

The Christmas cards arrived yesterday – check – now I need to address them all and send out this weekend.

The kids and I have plane tickets to go visit my parents in New Orleans. – check

I have some ideas for kid friendly activities to do while in New Orleans – check

I have a babysitter to look after the kids I can go out to the French Quarter with my brothers and sister-in-law to drink – check

What haven’t I done?

Gone ice skating. For me it is not the Christmas season until I take the kids ice skating. Perhaps this year Matteo will start skating by himself.

I still have not found the winter coats and the temperatures are dropping lower and lower each day. I should correct that statement- I have my coat- the kids are missing their coats!!! This weekend I will sort through moving boxes until I find them.. I just heard a forecast of possible freezing rain this weekend.

I have 60% of my shopping to do still. Thank goodness I am a big online shopper.

One thing I would really like to do this holiday is learn how to make homemade eggnog. My dad does this every year and I have no clue how he does it (surprise, surprise). I will sit down and write everything down to practice later at home. I will be sure to add a little rum to mine too since no one else in our house drinks eggnog but me!

It is time to take out all the fun Christmas movies for adults and kids alike. I always enjoy watching these films.

To say the least I am on the right path to have the most important things finished by Christmas. It may be a mad rush to do it all – but I will give it a try.

Anyways I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year now. I will only be writing on this blog for another 4 days until after the Christmas holiday – but don’t worry … I will be back sharing stories and photos of our trip to you all on my new blog.. .. I think that it will be similar to this blog except I will not be writing daily this time around- only crazy people do that!!

(day 361)

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Riding on a Seesaw

The kids and I spend a lot of time outside. One of their favorite spots is the park. We are lucky to live so close to many different parks including a few in walking distance. My children are typical siblings – they love each other and play great together usually – but they also fight and drive each other crazy.

Lately I have seen Matteo tormenting Malina to the point that she begins to cry. We tell her that he is a ‘baby’ still and that she should ignore his comments, but she does not. We talk to him as well about his behavior, but he continues to do it. 10 minutes later they will be playing together as if an argument never happened. Their relationship is a bit lit a seesaw, it goes both up and down. By chance I caught them having a great time on a seesaw at the park recently.

see-saw

see-saw3

see-saw4

see-saw5

(day 357)

Thanksgiving at Knott’s Berry Farm

Sally / Woodstock

We had planned on spending Thanksgiving at Knott’s Berry Farm a few weeks ago… and then rain came into the forecast. A few days prior to the holiday the rain prediction disappeared. We do not have much family in the Los Angeles area and usually head down to San Diego to be with friends.

This year we decided to stay at home and spend the day doing something local that the kids would enjoy. It was a great day. My feet were a little sore from the walk in flip flops the day prior, but I survived. We headed home after a successful day at Knott’s Berry Farm – and even better I purchased season passes so we can visit whenever we want in 2014! Yeah!!

camp bus

roller coaster

the cars

soaring ride

air mail

The kids went on many rides and when we first arrived we did not have to wait long to ride anything. It was great. I even went on a somewhat “super spinny” ride which I usually avoid – since those rides can make me sick! I had to do it or the kids would not be able to go on the ride. I survived.. as did the kids. Always something fun to ride at Knott’s Berry Farm.

turkey leg lunch

Now this is a Thanksgiving lunch!

salon girls bench

carolers

we love snoopy!

Wandering around the park

(day 354)

The long walk

the surfer statue

It was an afternoon off to spend with the kids. It was a super sunny and warm day for it being the end of November. I drove past the ocean on my way home from work and I knew that I wanted to go back.. and we had the time. After eating lunch with Max we headed to the beach. The goal was to walk from the Manhattan Beach Pier to the Hermosa Beach Pier (3.4 miles) – something I used to do on a regular basis when I was in my early 20’s. It was a somewhat ambitious walk to do with the kids, but we do some serious hiking and this was a relaxing walk. They both had tennis shoes on and I wore flip flops- I am not sure why I did not have tennis shoes on… note to self – next time wear tennis shoes for support.

Christmas Tree on HB Pier

It was a gorgeous day. There were people everywhere as we slowly made our way to the Hermosa Beach Pier. At the base of the pier was a decorated Christmas tree. We also saw our favorite surfer statue and the kids spent a good 5 minutes climbing on him.

At some point I looked over towards the ocean and saw that kids were sliding down a man-made hill of sand on saucers and other items (sledding without snow). I asked two little girls if Malina and Matteo could borrow their saucers to go down the hill. They loved it!

Manhattan Beach Pier-Lights

It was a big walk back to the Manhattan Beach Pier and because it was late afternoon we were able to see the sun set. We also saw some Christmas lights out. What we did not see were the trees on the Manhattan Beach Pier that were there only 5 days ago. Thank goodness I took the photos I did over the weekend.

Eventually we made our way home with a few stops along the way. My feet were super sore and the kids fell asleep within minutes of putting their heads to the pillow.

(day 353)

Thanksgiving week

It is time for another holiday already. Wasn’t it Halloween just last week? We had plans of going to the amusement park on Thursday, but it is supposed to rain. Who knows, we might melt. But seriously Matteo and I have been fighting a bad cough so we will not brave the rain. What will we end up doing? That is still to be determined, but I am sure whatever we end up doing will be enjoyable.

For now we still have school and work – and homework. Homework is so hard. I never knew 2nd grade could be so challenging. Studying for tests is hard too; I can’t imagine how we will figure this out for the next 11 years with Malina. I take it back, I know the answer – we will hire a tutor at some point. A friend was telling me about a task that she has to do help her daughter complete. It is a rather complicated family tree project that must be done in Spanish. I was thinking immediately that I am glad that I will not have to tackle that project! Then I came home from work and saw that Malina has a project for the holidays as well – still not as hard as the family tree, so I will not complain!

Parent teacher conferences are coming up next week- already. I continue to be challenged with Malina’s school and it looks like we’ll be here for a while longer since there are no openings at the other school we like. So the Thanksgiving break is coming right on time. Today is a half day for her and she has the rest of the week off. I treasure these family moments because I know one day the kids will be much older and out of the house. How did my parents manage it all?

laundry basekt

I found this old photo searching through my archives last night. Both of the kids can’t sit in this small laundry basket anymore – but they do still fit in separate baskets. I enjoy the holidays… it is a time to make memories with my family and I look forward to making those memories this week. Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate this holiday.

(day 351)