Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Just hangin out.

That's what we're doing a lot of here. Daddy's home for the rest of the week, and we're all going to be very sad when next week rolls around and he's not here. After almost two weeks off, we've grown rather fond of him being around for breakfast and lunch and all the in betweens. And after all, if he weren't home, we wouldn't have been able to capture for you the beauty that is this hairstyle Alla created just for me. I just love that satisfied look on her face. She worked on this long and hard, let me tell you.
Here, a slightly different angle for you. Think twice before you cut your hair, mamas.

We had a lovely Christmas, and I'm still digging out from under all those photos. Be back in the new year with some Christmas goodness:) Have a safe New Year's Eve, friends. I myself will be in bed way before midnight, kind of sad that the year of my son's birth has passed. Sigh.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the night before Christmas.

And [so far] all the children were fast asleep in their beds. With visions of new ballet shoes and other toys dancing in their heads. If you're like us, you literally can't sleep yourselves because you are too excited to see their little faces when they realize Santa has been here. I cannot wait for morning. I hope my expectations are not too high!
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Monday, December 22, 2008

What's on our tree.

We have very special ornaments on our tree. It's the same tree every year with the same special ornaments we've been putting on our trees since we were kids, and I absolutely look forward to getting the box of ornaments down each year and reminiscing about where or who each one came from.

This one says 'Ronnie Killins' on the bottom in Ron's mom's writing, because he took it to hang on his kindergarten tree and this way it would make it safely back to his home tree, and, one day, to our tree.
My mom got this for us the year we were expecting Alla. It says Parents-to-be. Ron took one look at this one today, and then at the kids around us decorating this tree and went to each of them with big hugs and kisses. The whole thing, the to-be part and the now, is pretty amazing. The ornament my mom gave us our first married Christmas.
The ornament Alla got for her first Christmas. It was given to her by my grandmother.
And, her handprint, made that first Christmas. I can't wait to make Fisher's this week.
When I was a kid, my grandparents gave my brother and I each an ornament every year. Lots of times they reflected our current interests.. Like the thimble snowman I have for all the years I collected thimbles, or the piano bear for the years I took lessons. There's a ballerina bear and lots of Mickey Mouse.
My mom has taken up this tradition for Alla, and now for Fisher, so that the kids will each collect an ornament each year. I'm documenting each of these with a photo and journaling in their ornament books, just so they'll know what they got each year and what they looked like when they got it. In case they aren't as diligent as I am about keeping all those original Hallmark boxes with the years inscribed in my grandmother's handwriting.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Take one.

I said: Quick, Ron, he's up, he's fed, let's try to get a nine month shot!

Fisher decided that this was not how he wanted to spend his waking hours.I think for a moment he gave himself over to the idea of a single shot. But, Fisher, Mama knows you've got more spunk in you, so I've got some ideas to try another day. If the sun comes out. If it stops snowing nearly a foot. Love you so much my son. Even though, see that wall behind you, you gunk-up the wall rubbing your Aquaphor'd hands all over them. It's because you give me kisses, big ol' wide-mouthed kisses. Yes, that's why I love you.

Extra credit to anyone who noticed that my son already got what he wanted for Christmas: his two front [top] teeth!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Five.

1. Just happened upon this recipe for peppermint bark today. We are making sugar cookies and candy cane cookies next week but for sure we needed something else in the mix, something different. This is that something.

2. Took Fisher to the allergist today. Huge.Waste.of.Time. HUGE. He didn't tell me anything we didn't already know and doesn't want to test him for six more months. So, basically, don't give him anymore flaxseed. Check. And probably stay away from the other seeds. I'd already figured this out for myself, thanks, and rid the house of all other seeds. Huge waste of time.
3. Not only was it a big waste of time but it meant that we spent all of his waking sun-filled hours there, so I got NOT ONE photo of my boy on his nine-month birthday. Hmph. They did weigh him, albeit with clothes on, and he was 23-something pounds.

4. It's Friday. It's not only Friday but it's the last day of work for Ron for the year!

5. We have a tree! Hopefully you can kind of make out the beautiful ornament Alla made at school this week. She hung the first ornament on our tree last night. (OK, so it's still the only ornament on it, but that's not the point.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Getting a few minutes to play with a toy by himself. No one told me that the big girl would be so excited to see baby toys again and repurpose them all for herself.
2. But you know what, he's happy just the same. And if for a moment he's not, then just sing 'Move It Move It' and it's all good.3. And by the way on his knees is just about the only position I catch him in now. 4. I had this wonderful doll when I was little named Flora McFlimsy. She was life-size, and my mom and grandmother made her for me. I believe I was preschool age. Anyway, Alla was entranced by her at first, but the doll really is more flimsy than anything now, so I thought I'd at least save the dress (my own childhood dress) from the doll. And sure enough, this was the perfect solution. It has now joined the rotation of dress-up clothes and is called her "Flora dress."

5. Ron put up gates this weekend so now Fisher is free to roam the upper level of our home. So we get a lot of looks like this as he's on his way out of his previously shut door, and I imagine he's thinking See ya suckers! I'm outta here! Things to do, trouble to get into!
6. He will get into whatever trouble is necessary to get to his lovey.You can just see it on his face. T-R-O-U-B-L-E.
7. It was 6 below for my evening run last night. If you've never had the opportunity to feel the moisture from your eyes freeze onto your lashes, I'd say give it a try. You go to rub your eye, feel something that's rough on your lashes like mascara, only you remember you hardly ever wear mascara, and then you remember that it's six below zero, before windchill factor, so of course that's just frozen lashes you got there.
8. This is what Alla does on cold days like that. Get dressed, have breakfast. Then, when Fisher goes down for her nap and Mama goes to get dressed, go have a snuggle in Mama's bed where it's super cozy.

9. Ron has a hankering for some Christmas cookies. We have a hankering for a Christmas tree. I feel a trade coming on.

10. At some point between freezing and six below, the tradition of the whole family going to pick out the family Christmas tree kind of lost it's appeal for me. Kind of wishing we had a fake tree right about now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pomegranate season.

If you want to keep your toddler busy for no less than thirty straight minutes, prepare a pomegranate for her.

I suggest as little clothing as possible. Pomegranates do stain.
Today she ate the whole thing (we used to split one). Not only was she busy but I literally didn't hear a peep for at least thirty minutes. And then she asked for the other one. Must spread out the joy - we'll save that one for tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Oh, gosh, it is so busy around here.

2. I really hardly have the time to get dishes into the dishwasher and laundry into drawers, let alone finish Christmas cards.

3. The beauty of Christmas is that it comes on December 25th no matter what.

4. Most of the reason for this current lack of being able to do ANYTHING is Little Mr. Fisher's ability to be

5. He also likes to leap out of his crib in search of his lovey.

6. And, as we learned the hard way, Fisher is horribly allergic to flaxseed.

7. Alla dresses up as a princess every day. It's really just a matter of which dress she's going to wear - the blue one or the pink one. Today, blue.

8. Temperature for my run this evening: 15 degrees. Balmy.

9. Consequently, we are staying home a bunch. It is just a pain in the you-know-what to get two kiddos bundled up to go anywhere. By the time you're bundled up, you've cut into the short time you had anyway, in between naps + nursing, lunch, and the next nap. I, however, make sure to get out for my run, or I.will.go.CRAZY. And if it ever gets above freezing, those kiddos will be coming out with me.

10. Megan tagged me, so here goes. The rules are:

1) Link to the person who tagged you. (check).
2) Post the Rules. (check)
3) Write 6 random things about myself (check below).
4) Tag 6-ish people (tagged below-check).
5) Let each person know they were tagged (check).
6) Let the tagger know when you've posted (check).

My six random things:

1) I have to make the bed every morning. Preferably before breakfast.

2) I drink half-caff: 2 scoops of each.

3) I am addicted to Guittard's semisweet chocolate chips at the moment.

4) I started running 6 years ago.

5) One of my pet peeves is seeing empty hangers mixed in with clothes on hangers. I need all the empty hangers to be together in one designated spot.

6) I have taken very few photos in December. It's cold. The light sucks. No, you aren't seeing wrong, there are NO photos in this post. Another day. Maybe.

My six tagged:

Susie, Karena, My sister, Heather, Shelley, Stacy

Monday, December 01, 2008

Ten on Tuesday.

1. This post was started Monday night. Then we had the wireless router shenanigans. Now it's Wednesday and I'm contemplating letting this go 'til Thursday.

2. I just saw the most heart-warming video. Congrats, Matt + Shelley!

3. Have you checked out The Crafty Crow yet?

4. Crock-potting the stuffing on Thanksgiving was the most genius idea ever. I just made my staple stuffing and threw it in the crockpot for 2 hours.

5. Another brilliant crockpot idea? Baked oatmeal. Yum.

6. OK, just one more, promise. I bet you've been wondering what to do with your turkey carcass all these years? Besides throwing it away, of course. Make this soup (well, we're calling it Turkey Carcass Stew) in the same crockpot you had your stuffing in. Freeze half for later.

7. And while you're at it, make some two-day yummy crusty bread to go with it.

8. My daughter says cool a lot. And once last week we heard her say freakin'.

9. #10 is still uploading so it looks like this might be a Ten on Thursday after all.

10. Our son is the funniest baby ever. And a true Killins, he loves to dance.

Welcome, December.

Can't believe it's December. Alla's in her playroom listening to Christmas songs on the radio, it's a cool twenty-something outside with a little bit of white stuff on the ground, and we're off to the post office today to mail some Christmas gifts. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And to kick it off, Alla started in on the 24 Days of Christmas this morning. We figured we'd give her one last year on her own, since Fisher could care less about numbered boxes containing little trinkets. But next year she's gonna have to take turns opening.

Today's treat for her was a wind-up butterfly that she promtpy named Farfallina. Other treats include new tights, some stamps, toy dinosaurs, a card game, socks, a board game for Family Game Night (some of the stuff obviously doesn't fit IN the boxes so we leave her a note inside as to where she can find the treat). There are lots of non-material gifts, such as a swim date with Mama (uh, yes, the community center's pool is both indoors and heated), a date with Daddy, special Christmas shows to watch on TV, a dollar to put in the Salvation Army bucket when we go to the store. We keep a master list with us so that we can make sure things are in place for her the next morning, and move things around if necessary - for example, if it were to snow and be a weekend, then we might decide to take her sledding or something wintery like that.

It is VERY fun to think about this stuff year-round, and easier, too, than trying to gather it all at once. Now, since I can't wait til this time next year to think about what to stuff in there for both of them, if you leave a comment today, give me some ideas on what next year's boxes could hold for a 4 and a half year old girlie, and a 20-month-old baby boy:)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Movie recommendation.

I wish I could have gone, but I'm on "Nursing Time," meaning my whole day is dictated by when Fisher nurses. Movie times don't necessarily jive with that, so, lucky for Alla, she has the most wonderful Daddy, who took her to see BOLT in 3D today, and promptly snapped this pic with his iPhone when they returned. So, according to Alla (and Daddy, if you were wondering), BOLT is a fine movie and you should go see it. Well, take your kids anyway; it might be weird if just you, a grown-up, went by yourself and all.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hello, Mr.Turkey, how are you?

As promised, a special Thanksgiving song to sing for the feast. I am grateful for my little singing-dancing princess.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The day before.

Ron and I have always had Thanksgiving together. Even that first year, in my crappy Urbana, Illinois apartment, with my runny fruit salad and his dumpy rolls. We've always cooked, whether we had friends or family joining us, if we're joining friends, and even if it's just the two of us. Well this year it's the four of us, and the food's already a-cookin'!

Carrot souffle is one of our faves. This year I'm putting the stuffing in the crockpot and the potatoes in the microwave. Made some yummy (ok we might have sampled them) sweet potato biscuits for breakfast because, hey, you might as well start putting all that good stuff in your belly first thing in the morning. If you have some sweet potatoes you're not going to use, get busy on this easy recipe. You'll thank me.

And what is my little helper up to? Watching cranberries pop. She's got a little Thanksgiving surprise for you tomorrow, so gather the family 'round the ole 'puter in between the 85th and 86th lame marching band in the Big Parade. We promise, it'll totally make your day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ten on Tuesday.

1. One day, when this cupboard no longer contains bibs and snack bowls and wash cloths for messy faces, I want to remember that one day, it did.2. And, one day, when my freezer contains frozen pizza and sad-looking leftovers, I want to remember that one day, it held baggies full of colorful fresh pureed fruits and veggies for Fisher.3. I am going to make homemade yogurt.

4. So far, running in November is just fine. The cold + wind = no big deal. Now it's more about figuring out running in the dark when Ron gets home from work. So don't want to get run over.

5. Have you sat yourself down and realized how the time is flying? How this Thursday is Thanskgiving? How I have an eight-month-old? How does all this happen?
6. Consequently, this means that any shopping you do now is not early just on time. And pretty soon will be considered last-minute. And oh how I thought I was going to be ahead of things this year.

7. We stumbled upon the best book at the library yesterday. Ron gave it 5 stars. We read a LOT of library books around here, probably checking out 20 new ones each week, so I feel we have some credibility here. When we say 5 stars, we mean business. What are some of your family's five-star books?

8. Finally ordering Sept+Oct photos. Which will just sit here versus being put into albums and labeled.

9. Did you know that Snapfish has 9 cent prints? Listen, for everyday snapshots, this is a sweet deal. Act quick-like and you can get free shipping.

10. Just when I thought Ron was going to officially revoke my library card for all the green reading I do, he has decided that the Mrs. Meyer's dish soap I brought home is well worth the $5 price tag because of the intoxicating scent (it's lavendar, but I swear there's something else in there, it's the best lavendar I have EVER smelled). He actually suggested bathing in it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A few tricks up their sleeves.

My two are a talented bunch, I tell you.

First up, Little Miss Practicing for Her First Talent Show, I think.

Next up, it's the officially CRAWLING Little Master of the House. I'm afraid it was a bit anti-climactic with the few weeks of army-crawling and all, but it really was all of a sudden, him getting up and trying out the traditional crawl every time he lands on all fours. The inchworm is still around, still faster, but I imagine that mode of transportation is slowly making its way out. Sniff, sniff.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

8 months.

Wish I had a fresh new pic for the occasion, but it's like dark as a tunnel here, so this one's a week old and hopefully the sun will come out so my camera can play tomorrow?
You weigh 21 pounds, 8 ounces.
You are heavy. Most of that weight is in your head, which I am reminded of regularly as you headbutt me with your bounces of joy.
You adore Cheerios.
You are trying to clap yay!
You start your day snuggling + nursing in Mama's bed and this is one of the few times of day where it is just you + me.
You are a professional army crawler.
You say mama and dada and mah for 'more.' But of course you say all those things when and if you darn well please.
You are obsessed with Daddy's cell phone.
You would catapult yourself down the stairs to get to that vacuum if we'd let you.
And once it's on, you will cry cry cry when it's time to turn it off. You love the vacuum.
You are content and mellow and along for the ride.
You are fun and joyful and I love you, Fish.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Around here, soon apparently means one day, or eventually, or in due time.

Lately we've been hearing a lot of, Soon I'll be TOO smart!

And, Soon I'm going to kindergarten! Yep.

And, Soon I'll be TEN!

Hopefully not too soon, my love. More like, in due time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ten on Tuesday.

1. I really can't say if this picture will be click-able (seems that some are, some aren't), but this was attempt #1 at getting a shot of his two (yes, two) little chompers. 2. Love it when I find a new blog that I makes me delve into all the archives.

3. Today was diaper-washing day.

4. The weather is getting very wintery. It was 29 when I went out for my run yesterday evening. Brrr. What are you gonna do, though? It's not like it's getting any warmer.

5. I heard Alla crying during her 'naptime' this afternoon. When I went in the playroom to check on her, I found her holding her princess crown and sobbing, I broke my crown to smithereens! Now I can't be a snow princess!

6. In case you missed the reference, we've been watching a lot of Dora Saves the Snow Princess around here.

7. This is why we use nontoxic floor cleaners. 8. And this is evidence of how my world is about to change. Crawling is just.around.the.corner. I
give it til Thanksgiving. May I be wrong about this. 9. Because of #8, this weekend's project = gates. We never did this with Alla, so any tips are greatly appreciated.

10. I printed out the beginnings of my Thanksgiving recipes tonight, so I can start getting the menu/ginormous grocery list ready. Can anyone believe how fast the holidays are approaching?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


It's grey. But still 63 degrees. I'll take it.

We bought birthday presents for little friends.
I'm working on my Week in the Life album.
I DID find that bench link, right there in my etsy favorites. That would be a great post for all of us to do one day, wouldn't it? Everyone share five things in their etsy favorites. Hmmmmm.
I'm on page 177 of Gluten-Free Girl.
I requested A Picture Perfect Childhood from the library.

I made carrots for Fisher, and he loved them. Surprise, surprise.
I added one of his carrot cubest to my lunch soup. Yum.

Both kids decided that rice cakes are the best thing ever. Alla likes hers dipped in plain yogurt, surprise, surprise. Fisher just likes to gnaw on it til it's sticky messy ground into his skin and clothes.

I am enjoying Trader Joe's pound-plus dark chocolate squares. Yum.

We begin a new era, and we are all hopeful that that means something.
What's your today like?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Ten on Tuesday.

1. We've done our civic duty. And didn't even have to wait in line! I think it took longer to get the kids in and out of the car than it did to actually sign in and vote.2. Fisher has his first tooth!

3. Alla had picture day today at school. She went for the patriotic look.
4. I want this big K for our wall.

5. New favorite breakfast smoothie: handful of spinach, two big scoops of frozen OJ concentrate, a bit of water, and a banana. YUM.

6. It was 74 degrees here yesterday, on the third of November. Kind of rare in these parts for it to be that warm this time of year, but it reminded me of two years ago when we had a similar warm early November.

7. I hate it when things remind me of some previous blog post and then I have to go back and find it and see Little Miss Alla, when she was really that little, because invariably it causes me to choke up and get very very sad that two years has passed and that she's not that small anymore and gosh she still looked like such a baby then and was she really still in diapers then?

8. Found this on Ron's camera, proof that I actually went on the California trip, too. Your classic waiting for the shuttle bus at LAX snapshot.9. The last day of our trip Katie and I got to hook up with Lacey, Kel, Stace and ALL the kids. Nine total. Just for kicks, here are the babies (with little Ash in there, Kelsea was still in utero) at 3-4 months old, and then a few weeks ago, at three and a half years old, sans Ash cause she lives in Ohio :)
(l-r Mattie Sue, Jack, Alla, Wyatt, Ash)(l-r Kelsea, Alla, Jack, Mattie Sue, Wyatt)
10. It might be warm right now, but the cold is coming back, and we even hear talk about the s-word. Got to get this kid some cool stripey fleecey warm hats.
Happy Returns!

Friday, October 31, 2008

I don't remember it being this hard to get a First Halloween photo of my little pink octopus, but that might have been that I had all the time in the world to devote to one little baby's first costume pictures. And I probably started October 1st so that by the 31st I had the shot I wanted. Oh well. Here's proof that we did dress him up for his first Halloween, and that, at least for his first year, he didn't have to wear a handmedown costume. But that's probably only because Alla was a pink octopus. If only I had chosen the blue one then.

My little Sleeping Beauty. She and I had so much fun trick or treating tonight. And watching Happy Punkin Trolley (Charlie) Brown last night. What a lucky girl to be bathed in all that pink princess silky dress. You'd never know her favorite color is blue.

I love my little punkins.

These aren't even their costumes.

Let's see.
A borrowed cow costume in 12 month size that's much too short. Good thing we have another waiting in the wings. She wore her real costume to school. So I guess it was time to get creative. Meet Ballerina-Fairy-Something-or-Other. She picked out the whole ensemble on her own, top to bottom. Shocking. Perhaps today will be the day I get a 'real' Halloween shot of my two spooks!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ten on Tuesday.

1. It was a balmy 27 degrees when we took Alla to school this morning. Yes I know we've been through two winters here already, but this is going to take some getting used to.

2. Ron got it in his head this weekend that he was going to work on the garage AGAIN so that he could park his car in there, too. He was very excited this 27-degree morning that his hard work paid off. Halleluiah, two cars in the garage. Fancy that.
3. Something about the garage clean-up inspired other organization projects throughout the house (we must be getting the den ready for winter): the big winter clothes switch-out in all closets, reorganization of bookshelves (books by color - Marie, this is your fault for reminding me that I thought this was a great idea, and Ronald, this is also your fault because you started the book overhaul with the whole garage clean-up), and even one kitchen cupboard got reorganized so that the top shelf is stuff that is safe for me to eat, so I no longer have to read at least those labels before I dive in.
4. Ron also put up a key hook shelf, a mirror, and some art in our teensy entryway (I should take a picture; I'm smitten by this little bit of stuff on the wall), and agreed to a small bench right there beneath it for putting on winter boots. Perfect, I thought, I found a local place a few weeks ago and bookmarked the page. They use wood from old barns, and cut it to the length you want, this will be great. Except. I didn't actually bookmark the page after all and cannot for the life of me find it via Google. Ugh. Back to the drawing board.
5. Let's get back to some vacation pics. Honestly these two had such an amazing time together. They spent literally every waking moment together. Woke up right next to each other, ate together, watched Ariel together, played together, pottied together, went to bed right next to each other. Inseparable.

6. And cute, too.7. Now the driving reason for our trip was the wedding of my oldest and dearest friend, Andrea. 8. Isn't she a gorgeous bride? The wedding was impeccable. Classy, relaxed, full of love. Outdoors at the Long Beach Museum of Art at sunset over the water. I am so glad we got to be there. Best wishes, Andrea + Gene!9. We got Fisher all dolled up to attend his first wedding. Alla got to stay with Kelsea for a few hours. I know Gene was the man of the hour, but seriously, have you ever seen anything so handsome?10.This here is the funniest thing ever and will totally make your day. Go ahead. Click.