Friday, July 31, 2009

"Miso in my sippy cup...Tofu in my bowl...

Crab and avocado fill my California roll!"*

Here is Elizabeth enjoying her first Japanese meal at Kabuki in Los Angeles!

Among her favorites were: edamame, miso soup with tofu, chicken terriyaki, shrimp and vegetable tempura, and avocado rolls!

(She didn't love the crab in the California roll, but we think she did really well!...considering even Mommy & Daddy aren't adventurous enough to do sashimi!)

* Excerpt from one of Elizabeth's favorite board books: My First Book of Sushi

Friday, July 24, 2009

Westchester on Parade!

What Fourth of July celebration would be complete without the Westchester Neighborhood Parade??? The answer: NONE, of course!

So, we all made sure to get up early (errr...perhaps a little earlier than we needed to since the parade actually started at 11:00 instead of 9:30...right Sammy??)...found a spot near the parade route, and walked to Loyola Blvd.

Then, we staked out a prime spot--albeit a tad on the sunny side!--on the curb to view the festivities!

Essential to any true patriotic, as-American-as-apple-pie event, we began with the singing of our National Anthem!

From our position, you could hear the announcer loud and clear--which is important since during the occassional lull between entries, they play fun music intended to encourage self-amusement! (Go Julia...)

We had a ton of fun...and the parade seems to get bigger every year--with a wide variety of community businesses, clubs, performing groups, and schools represented!

In fact, not long after Paula and I had finished a soap-box rant among ourselves about what a travesty and missed opportunity it was that Westchester Lutheran School was lacking any representation...

we were both rightfully put in our place as--from a distance--we spotted a large banner boasting the very familiar WLS building fund slogan: "Realizing Our Dream...Building Our Future!"

Of course, seeing this caused us to break into squeals of surprised and enthusiastic shrieks and applause, which, no doubt, drew attention from puzzled onlookers.

The banner was followed by the unmistakable WLS landmark bell tower carillon---(reproduced at about 1/10 the size, of course)--perched on a platform of a flatbed truck along with a group of Wolfpack cheerleaders and a handful of Praise Team members (accompanied by Tom on the keyboard, of course!) belting out "Yes, Lord...Yes, Lord, Yes, Yes, Lord!" Naturally...we joined in at the top of our lungs as they passed by! Trust was awesome! But you probably had to be there! ;-)

All in all--a great parade that inspired Dan to take his bottled up American Spirit and share it with the block by instigating a "Spontaneous Block Party"...

otherwise known as popping up a tent, setting up lawn chairs, and wheeling out your grill to cook hot dogs on your FRONT lawn as you simultaneously greet passing bike riders and dog walkers with a friendly, "Happy Fourth of July!!"

P.S. Still a little weirded out by the one lady who, as she was passing by and upon seeing Ashley, very cheerfully asked "Are you having Bar-B-Que'd BABY?!?" Random...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Night on the Town!

Well...I know this blog is technically for E & A...but we wouldn't want them to think our entire lives revolved around them, would we??? ;-) I mean, we have to throw in a night out every once in a while, right?

So, here are a few photos from our aforementioned "date night" in Manhattan Beach with Auntie P and Hunky D!
Drinks at Shade Hotel...
Followed by a fabulous dinner at Talia's...

A great night! XO

Samantha--the Super-Sitter!

So...I was going to post a little piece here about staying with the Johnson's in California. (And I will get to that eventually, I promise!) But...when I was going through our photos, I realized that I actually need an entire post dedicated soley to Sammy Jean--because so many of our pictures are of her interacting with and taking care of the girls!

Here she is reading with Elizabeth...

Oh! And she also read to Elizabeth as well!

(E can't stop talking about those Berenstain Bears books!..."The Truth"..."The Messy Room"..."Get the Gimmies"...--yes, she still remembers them all!)
Elizabeth had such a great time...she wanted to hang with Samantha constantly!

At home...

On a bike...

And at the beach...

Here is one of Ashley cuddling up to her, too!

And, on Friday night...Samantha even watched BOTH girls for us so we could go out in Manhattan Beach with Dan & Paula!
(And she was "supervised" by J--of course! ;-))

Thanks, Girlies! We heart you both!

Behold: Awkward Moose I know I have maxed out the "awkward turtle" reference when describing our experience of forcing the girls to take pictures how about a shoutout to "awkward moose"? (For those in older generations who may not be in the know (which, frankly, included us up until J set us straight--thanks J!)... "awkward turtle" refers to a situation that is only slightly, yet still noticeably awkward--such as a lingering moment of silence in a group conversation--but when a situation is so glaringly awkward that it simply cannot be ignored, that calls for a different label altogether: AWKWARD MOOSE!)

See Exhibit A below:

While there are absolutely some adorable pictures of the girls in this series,...I can't help but confess that this is the FIRST of the pictures. And, poor Elizabeth looks SOOOO uncomfortable about the staging of this bonding moment! Bless her little heart for sitting still...but her expression says what her words did not: "How long do I have to hold this thing??" LOL

However, with a little prompting, she eventually got into the spirit of the role of proud big sister!

And when faced with the silent persuasion of her little sister's adoring gaze, who wouldn't? (Err...Jennifer...don't answer that!)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Polliwog Park Peeps!

After our visit to Houston, we hopped on yet another plane and headed on to California for some R&R! I wish we had had more time to see ALL the folks we wanted to see! But we did try to pack it in for the short time we were there!

We were so happy to have a chance to have some Mommy & Me time at Polliwog Park! (For those of you Mommies in LA who might not be "in the know," this is such a great place to be b/c the play areas are separated by age group so your little tyke is less likely to be trampled by the masses of elementary school kids!)

Here we are with Erin & Emily...

...and Tara & Raiss!

We had a great time catching up...

and the kids played together (or, at least, side-by-side) beautifully!

It wasn't long before Ashley conked out!

And, as soon as "too many kids" (aka toddlers and preschoolers from the local daycare) left the area, Elizabeth had a great time exploring the play space.
*Note: Personalized wardrobe generously provided by Erin! Thanks, Friend!

Four Months New! seems odd to use the word "old" in a description of Ashley, but she is four months old TODAY!
We went to her checkup this morning and discovered that she is 11 pounds 3 ounces and 23 inches long! (10th percentile for height and weight)...and it turns out that she has a MASSIVE head (50th percentile!) I always said she had a big melon!

But, of course, we like to think it's because she is housing an insanely large brain! You go, girl!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Walk In the Park

Well...maybe it's not exactly a park, but it was BLAZING hot in Houston and we didn't want to spend all day outside! So, instead, we enjoyed a walk around the lake in front of Grammy and Pop-Pop's house!

And by walk, I mean Daddy and Mommy walked and Elizabeth and Ashley came along for the ride!

Oh...and, for the record, if Elizabeth were writing this, she would want you to know...
"The fountains are ON!"

Whirlwind Vacation: Part 1-B

As previously posted, we had a great time at the baptism! But that was only a small portion of our Houston visit! We also enjoyed spending time with


And Grandpa...

And Grandma...

And Grammy & Pop-Pop...

Whirlwind Vacation: Part 1-A

We are on a mission to get Ashley caught up with Elizabeth on total number of flights taken by the time she is one year old! ;-) It won't be easy to break E's record...but we decided to give it a try!

First up...trip to Texas! Here, we celebrated Ashley's baptism at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church (MDUMC for those of you in the know). We were so thrilled to see our family and friends join us for this special occasion!

We are happy to report that Ashley made it through the service with no crying (hooray!) And Elizabeth was also quiet the whole time we were up at the altar (about 4 minutes--which is probably some sort of record for our little 2-year-old chatterbox!) ;-)