Thursday, January 31, 2013

New beds

Sometimes, as a parent, you have plans. And, most of the time, your kids have different plans.

Case in point: we had the plan that the girls would sleep in their cribs until they were 3. The girls, however, decided they were ready to get out NOW.

The result? New beds!

The beds are actually their cribs, just converted to toddler beds. But they LOVE shouting "New beds!"

They've actually slept great in their new beds, but their new found freedom has resulted in a few *ahem* adjustments. For whatever reason, the girls decided that they needed to destroy their room before going to bed every night now that they can move around. So, they've now lost their changing table (jumping off the top), their dresser (emptying all the drawers), and bookcase (taking off all the books AND the shelves). 

But, ever since we removed all that stuff, they've slept great! Maybe we didn't need to give them the biggest room in the house?

Penelope and Zahra feel very old and important about their new beds. And they've been quick to point out that their beds now look like Quinn's. They were even excited to show off their new bed-sleeping skills at a recent trip to Ikea!

Winters in Minnesota can be cold. Like, really cold. Like consecutive days below zero cold.

But you know what helps with the cold? Indoor winter swim lessons!

Quinn has been taking swim lessons year-round since he turned 3, and we decided the girls were ready to join him. They did a swim camp over the summer, but now they're officially on the year round circuit as well.

The kids are doing really well with swimming.
Quinn is now jumping off the diving board and "swimming" across the pool. That swimming across the pool part is a work in progress.

The girls jump off the side of the pool, kick on a kick board and float well on their tummy's. Neither likes floating on their back. Zahra is also getting comfortable putting her face underwater. Moin and I still have to go in with them until they move up a level. I'll admit freely that we're looking forward to that.

And of course, they love wearing their new swimsuits.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Another California trip post - I told you they'd come in bits and pieces.

This one is a biggie, though, so get prepared. This blog post is about...our trip to Disneyland!

Yes, Moin and I took Quinn, Anna and Eli to Disneyland. We were actually a little worried about how Quinn would do there, as he can get overwhelmed easily. But, the fun clearly outweighed the anxiety and he had a BLAST! Really - is there anything better than taking your 5-year-old to Disneyland for the first time?

We left early in the morning to get there, and the big kids slept the whole way

We started out slow - on small world, which is always a favorite of the little ones. Quinn was a little worried on our first go around, because at that point he wasn't totally sure what a "ride" meant, and whether or not it would be scary.

Anna, however, was just super excited from the get-go

Quinn loved small world, and wanted to go on several more times. Which we did!

He also really enjoyed toon town.

We got to practice our sweet dance moves on Mickey's soundstage

And watch a cake baking in Mickey's house (Quinn's favorite, naturally)

And, of course, eat cotton candy

The big kids also had a blast, and while they loved toon town, they probably loved Space Mountain even more

Overall, Quinn said his favorite ride was Alice in Wonderland, which unfortunately we only got to go on once. The line was too long, and his was too wiped out by the time we tried again. Next time, we'll do that one first!

For the rest of our time in Southern California, we mostly hung out in Hemet.
We got to spend New Years Eve with our favorite Hemet New Years eve crew

Yes, my dad cut off moin's head on our New Year's Eve photo!

And the kids logged a lot of additional backyard time, soaking up the last bits of sunshine before we returned to the frigid north.

Finally, Quinn logged many many hours of US bingo before we left, deftly defeating anyone who crossed his path

Maybe the pink sunglasses are his secret weapon?

Friday, January 18, 2013

A few pictures from the week

The girls got to start ECFE again!

Don't they look big?

Quinn's school had a family service night, where families made goods for others in need

Here he is measuring rice a beans for a food shelf

And making a placemat for meals on wheels

Finally, here's Quinn showing Penelope his disneyland map. We took him for the first time over the holidays (the girls didn't go) and he loved it - blog post about that forthcoming! Anyway, I overheard him saying to her, "Penelope, do you want to go to Small World? It's a magical place. You take a boat inside and everything is magical"

Penelope said that "yes" she wanted to go!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Next Holiday post - drive up to Northern California to see the Syed family!

We were lucky enough to have friend's place to stay in in our old stomping grounds of Santa Cruz. Wasn't it appropriate that we were greeted by a rainbow on our first morning there?

First things first was our second Christmas at Grandma Amy's. Amy gets credit for all these photos, which is also why she's not in any of them!

The girls in their new hats - made by Grandma!

Moin got a handmade SF Giants scarf

Quinn and Khalil spent some good time completing Quinn's new Christmas puzzle, and the rest of us also enjoyed opening our presents and spending time together.

We also got out and about while visiting the Syed's in Los Altos.

We went to San Jose's "Christmas in the Park", which was pretty empty post-Christmas so easy to explore. The kids really loved these singing frogs.

Khalil showed off his famous dance moves

and the kids all had a blast! (so did the adults)

While we were in norcal, we also got the chance to see a few friends, although never as many as we want to!
Quinn got to catch up with his buddy Lou

Can you believe these two have known each other since they were born? I can assure you that they're both exactly the same as they were five years ago - just bigger. So sweet!

The girls enjoyed playing with Lou's little bro Julien

although Penelope and "meow" were a little out of sorts for a while :)

Aunt Kara also paid us a visit in our Santa Cruz home

As did Auntie  Polly, Uncle Carl and cousin Charles!

There's nothing quite like getting your kids together with your best friends new baby. It's the best!

While in Santa Cruz we also got to visit some old haunts, like the Walnut cafe in downtown Santa Cruz. Quinn spent so much time there as a baby

Not offense to anyone else, but the highlight for the girls might have been Buster - the cat we were watching in our temporary Santa Cruz home. Obsessed.

Finally, on our way back down south we made our annual visit to see Linda, Bo, Tayo and Keanu in Santa Barbara. I think Quinn was happy to see some other boys his age - he and Keanu wrestled pretty much the whole time! All pictures of them were blurry - they didn't stop moving!

We never have enough time in Northern California, but we always enjoy it. It was wonderful to see everyone!