Little T’s First Day of Kindergarten

I have to be honest, the kindergarten-feelings surprised me. I had no idea how emotional and nervous I would be to send my baby off into the world for the first time. I was doing great until the day before, but then I had to start shopping for school supplies because I didn’t have any time earlier, and things began to feel very real and I got this sad feeling in the pit of my stomach.

The next day, Little T was excited because it was a new adventure for him. I thought-hey, I’m glad one of us is taking this well.

 We parked far away from school and walked, because I love taking walks with my little man and I thought it would be a fun routine for us. He was telling me about the smells, the sounds, and he was noticing everything new. He said school smelled like a carrot patch, haha.

When he got to class, he had this feeling of independence about him. The teacher excused them one by one to go sit with their parents, and at first he wanted to stay with the kids. I was glad that he wanted to be with his new friends, but a little sad too-in the way that tiny moments of independence are gentle reminders that someday they aren’t going to need you the way they need you now.

We went through the centers together, and Little T especially loved hearing the rules. I suspect it’s so he can make sure his friends follow them, lol. ;) At ten, they excused the parents to go to the cafeteria for a BooHoo breakfast. I went to say goodbye to Little T, thinking I needed to hold it together because he was being tough and independent and I needed to let him be that way. When I gave him a hug and said goodbye, he grabbed onto me as hard as he could and began to cry. I was surprised at how intense he needed me all of the sudden. I told him that I loved him and that he was going to have a great day, and that I’d see him soon. He grabbed onto my legs as I began to walk towards the door, and I had to take his hands off my legs and make an exit. I saw the teacher give him a stuffed animal to hold, and I knew he was in good hands.

It was stressful to leave him, but I think it is nice to also have a gentle reminder-or maybe a not so gentle reminder-that they still need you, too.

After class, he said that kindergarten was hard because he had to sit still and his body felt squirmy, but he said he loved his teacher and that she was his new best friend, so he’s in good hands.

The next day was easier. He came home telling me all about it and couldn’t wait to go back. Today was harder because we had to drop him off at the front gate and couldn’t walk them to class. I said a quick goodbye and made an exit before he could turn around, and I ducked into the office. I saw him turn around and not see me there. It broke my heart and I had to fight the urge to run back out there.

All of the parents stood at the kindergarten gate and watched to make sure their kids made it over (heehee). I saw Little T wandering around the playground looking lost, and it was hard to see him struggle and not be able to run over and help him fit in. But then his friends from daycare arrived, and the ran towards each other and gave a giant five person hug. It made all the parents cry. I’m so glad they have each other to get through this transition and comfort each other.

But overall he is doing well, I didn’t expect to be so sad about it and have it tug at my heartstrings the way it has. I know the days will get easier as the weeks go by. One day, Big T and I will laugh about how torn up we were when Little T started kindergarten. :)

Wedding season 

We’ve had a lot of changes over here that have made things really busy in our neck of the woods. 

A few of the people who helped me with my business moved on to bigger and better things, which had led me to meet some great people I never would have expected to meet (yay Amanda)! It had made things a little crazy during the transition, but it’s been interesting experiencing the ups and downs of a small business owner. 
Little T graduated preschool. :) I put together the slideshow and watched it a million times, and I STILL cried when they played it for everyone in the auditorium. I feel like these days go by so fast. I wish I could just press the pause button and keep little T little for just a little while longer. He insists that he has to get bigger though, because hello…..basketball, mom! ;)

 
   

 

Little at is starting kindergarten next year, and I had no idea how stressful this was on the parental side of things. I think my big hope is that more than anything, he will love going to school. We met one of the teachers over there and he told me he was nervous to meet her, wasn’t he relieved when she turned out to be exactly what you’d expect a kindergarten teacher to be. Kind and warm and lovable. :) 

Other things: 

My two T’s hanging out in Downtown Disney:

 
Pool time!

  

Finally being brave enough for a pony ride!  

 

Does my hair really look like this from the back?

  

Huntington Gardens :)

  Mothers Day Hugs!

  And a Magic Castle adventure. ;)

  And those have been the big things! Wish I had more time to share the sweet little ones. :)

Hope you’re all doing well!

~Jenna

Things I Dont Want to Forget

Little T was so cute yesterday. He was distressed because he couldn’t remember Easter from last year. “Why don’t I remember!?!?” He kept asking. It reminds me of how busy life is, how much stuff happens, how easy it is to forget those little things. So here’s my list. :)

  1. Little T’s favorite foods right now are Japanese Fried Rice from Trader Joe’s and bowls and bowls of peas. He likes to sneak peas from our plate when we aren’t looking, little stinker. He also loves any kind of rice based meal. Our go-to is rice with lemon juice, braggs, and avocado. He hates carrots with a passion, and most breads, which I absolutely do not understand, lol. He also will not touch pizza. Go figure.
  2. His favorite shows are the Mickey Mouse Club and Sherriff Callie.
  3. His favorite movie is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and I think I may have this movie memorized. It’s so funny to me how he loves these really old movies like Chitty and Babes in Toyland.
  4. His favorite music to listen to is the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Soundtrack, the Pirates of the Carribean soundtrack, and the Chipotle music that plays inside Chipotle. He also loves the Beatles.
  5. He loves to play Legos with his dad, play basketball, and go on runs around the block.
  6. With me, he loves it when I make up stories while we walk to Cal Poly together. He gets upset if I don’t hold his hand for any reason at all, I’m kind of okay with that. :)
  7. He has a cute sense of humor and is starting to tell jokes. He loves to do these GQ poses in front of the camera and I have no idea where he got that from. He wants everyone to come to his birthday party and talks about this party daily, even though it’s months away and we have no idea what we’re actually doing yet.
  8. His favorite place in the world is still Disneyland. If he could, he’d be there every single day. :) His favorite rides are Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain.
  9. He is always asking about his grandparents, and wants to know when they are going to stay with us or when he will see them again. I suspect they might all be spoiling him. :p
  10. He isn’t a morning person.
  11. He loves candy more than I’ve ever known a kid to love candy, and is always trying to trick us into giving him candy. It never works but he tries his hardest anyway. :p He loves us to pretend to be the candy man in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and then capture him by tricking him with free candy.
  12. He loves cars, any kind of cars. Also planes, trains, construction vehicles, and anything with wheels.
  13. He knows of superheroes from daycare, but doesn’t really know what superheroes are yet, so he’s starting to ask lots of questions about them in the boys clothing section at target, because I think every single shirt there has some superhero on it, lol.
  14. He really wants a brother, but not a baby, so basically just a playmate, haha.
  15. His favorite books right now are, “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie”, any poems by Shell Silverstein (but especially the ones about the man whose jaw gets stuck from eating a peanut butter sandwich), “I Was So Mad”, and the Dav Pilkey Dragon Series. He also loves fairytales like Jack in the Beanstalk and the Three Billy Goats Gruff. :)
  16. He loves plays and musicals of any kind.

And I think that’s about everything, I’m going to miss these days, he’s so adorable and I love his thoughts and how he articulates them and how much he loves to cuddle with me. I can’t believe he’s starting kindergarten next year, he is getting so big! :)

New Years

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We were so happy this year to spend New Years with my step sister’s family. It really was the best way to begin the year, and Little T had such a great time.

We’d originally planned to get rose float tickets and see the floats on New Year’s Eve, but we didn’t get them in time and decided to go to the Kidspace Museum instead. They had a really fun New Years party and passed out sparkling apple cider, and even had a balloon drop at the end. The bonus? On the way there we got to see the rose floats that we’re sitting along the street. We even saw Cal Poly’s!

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Waiting for the balloon drop!

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Picnic at the top of the tunnel.

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Laugh attack!

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Little T is Cal Poly’s biggest fan, and loudest cheerleader. :p

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Back at the house, we made the worlds biggest mess, and it was awesome. Big T made pizzas for everyone.Big T always begins to talk in an Italian accent when he makes pizzas, it’s the strangest thing. We also did plays, had a band, and played with balloons.

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Grumpy Cat was not impressed with the New Years shenanigans.

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Love this mess. <3

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The next day, we went to Disneyland first thing in the morning. We saw the frozen fun area and had a great time going down the sled. We laughed when Big T was the only person singing in the frozen singalong, and he was singing loud! It was kind of adorable. It was the best day, and we had such a great time spending it together.

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Mrs. Claus!

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So that was New Years! Definitely not what our New Years would have looked like pre-children, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Holidays….seems so long ago….

I would just like to say that this was the first holiday in three years where we didn’t have the flu (flu shots everyone!) This was also the first year I haven’t had a lot of work to do, so I really was able to enjoy everything. And for all of that, I am thankful! We traveled up to the Central Valley for Christmas, and every day was filled with something! Here’s kind of a hodgepodge of what we were up to.

Little T got to check out great grandpa’s model ships. He was so excited about them and wanted to show everyone in the house. He would have us close our eyes and then lead us to the ships in the room and shout, “surprise!!!!!!”

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These guys! <3

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Nana made the most amazing food for us, below is roasted cauliflower. Get that cauliflower, Nana!

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Next we traveled to the Central Valley, I always begin this trip thinking we have so much time, but then every second gets filled, how does that happen? One of our favorite things to do is see the holiday lights at the zoo!

Me and my momma <3

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Zoo lights!

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We also had a great play date with the cousins, stopped at Piemontes for sandwiches, and caught a basketball game.

Super Aunt!

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Little T was a great cheerleader, even though he sometimes would cheer for the wrong team, whoops! He just wanted everyone to win! :p

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Miss Piggy in the Christmas spirit :

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A lot of family excitement this year was focused on this puzzle. I actually did the entire thing myself….kidding! Everyone was so excited about it, that we made rules about only being able to work on it when everyone was there (heehee) and got very competitive about who was working on what part. Puzzles=serious business!

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Aunt D already working on Puzzle #2, because when you finish 1 puzzle another must be started….

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We also played Ticket To Ride. Big T and my marriage only nearly ended once during the couse of the game, so all in all….success! (I blame Aunt D)

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Somebody knows the way to my heart is through homemade salsa…..

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Little T, channeling that inner cowboy spirit.

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Getting schooled in dominoes by Uncle P.

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Little T and Great Grandpa D. :)

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After my mom’s house, we got to spend time with my Dad’s side of the family. We had a great time, but my phone died! It’s probably for the best because we had a Chipotle bar going on and the only photos that would have been taken were of chips and guacamole. We also got to see the Hobbit with my Dad, which was a rare treat to be able to go to the movies. :)

And a little more randomness: hanging out in a basket:

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Little T and my favorite Christmas gift, Grumpy Cat!

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Christmas was great, up next…..New Years!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….

I think this year has been the most Christmassy year of all time for me, even though (confession) I haven’t had time to buy a single gift yet (ack!) For the first year ever, I’ve had to photograph a lot of corporate holiday parties, and so everything has been Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!!! It’s been nothing short of amazing. :) I’ll post a few pics here so you can get the idea….but first-

We took a quick trip to the Discovery Center because Little T has been on a train kick lately and they’re having a Thomas display. It was a little too crowded for us though, so we made a family introverted break for the insects and gingerbread houses instead. ;)

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We had lunch at Mead’s Green Door Cafe before heading home. The whole family gave Mead’s a thumbs up. Little T loved the quinoa chili, and I had a great salad.

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I think during one exciting bachelorette party, I may have signed up for a wine club. I forgot I did this until more wine than I’ll ever drink in my life showed up at my doorstep…whoops?

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On days when we don’t go out, Little T and I like to take little walks and search for sticks! The ultimate activity. :)

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I had a few lovely Holiday engagement sessions during the week. So much fun!

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And we had the trendsetters holiday party! I told Tara from Fairytale Hair and Makeup to do my hair like this:

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Just kidding, I got Elsa hair! Tara did my hair and Cole did my makeup, which was fun because I always watch Cole do bride’s makeup, so it was nice to have a turn. She looked at me with excitement and said……”can I do whatever I want?” So I gave Cole permission to do whatever she wanted to my face, lol. The end result:

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It was fun getting ready with everyone!

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Michelle got ready first, and then looked super glamorous while she answered emails.

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Trendsetters had a beautiful champagne bar, my favorite was the lavender/pear champagne. :)

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Louise was a little overwhelmed by the choices. :p

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I got to see Alan’s shoes! He won trendsetter of the year, so proud of him!

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A few more pics, what a lovely night. The Disney crew won best new idea for their cake mapping, so we had to celebrate! :)

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Dancing the night away!

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At the end of the night, Louise surprised me with a vegan Sprinkles cupcake. That’s why I keep you around, Louise! ;)

Pheo the elf was feeling inspired the next morning. He was up to all sorts of trouble.

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And I can’t show most of the holiday parties I’ve had to photograph, but here is a pic that I can show from one of my favorites. A beautiful holiday party at Kellogg House. So lovely, and there was an amazing choir that sang Christmas songs that put everyone in the holiday spirit.

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This is me taking an iphone video while I was taking photos, haha.

The next day we drove to Apple Valley with Papa G (!!!) to see a Christmas Carol! When we picked Little T up from daycare, he was ecstatic to see my dad. :) We were hoping for snow, but it only snowed a little. We sang Christmas carols all night, interacted with Tiny Tim and Scrooge, and learned some fun new dances! What a wonderful experience.

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We stayed at Serendipity Bed and Breakfast, and as always, we had a lovely time exploring, and Nina made the best breakfast.

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Little T has been coming to see Nina since he was a little baby! :)

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During the trip, my step sister confessed to me that if our family got the rest of the family sick for the third year in a row, we just might be shunned from Christmas for the rest of our lives. The pressure is on. 0_0 :p

When we got home, we had a last minute game night, because our house looked so pretty and Christmassy. :)

Miss Piggy was even in the holiday spirit with some new duds!

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Big T said that unfortunately, the new duds did nothing for Miss Piggy’s breath.

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We love you anyway, Miss Piggy!

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We played our favorite new/old game: Funny Bones!

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The winners!

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And then I had one more holiday party to attend. These were my two favorite Christmas sweaters…perhaps of all time.

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When I got home, Little T heard me come in and asked me to come to his room, so I showed him the new trick I learned at the holiday party with the dubsmash app. ;)

And that’s been our week! So much, I can’t believe we’ve made it through. And now it’s time for some serious holiday prep. :)

I hope you’ve all had a great week, and that you’re more ready for Christmas than I am!

Tut tut it looks like rain….

It’s been a busy/tiring/but fun kind of week.

Happenings:

We had to take Little T to the doctor (he had a cough, poor Boo). He was actually pretty excited about going because I picked him up early from Day Care, which always makes for a great day. After the doctor, we made the 45 minute drive to the Canon repair store to turn in our broken flash. I feel like Little T will have so many photos of himself lying on the ground and bored in this store. :p Thank goodness Nana was here visiting, it made everything about ten times easier.

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We were close to the Mitsuwa Market, so we stopped by to pick up some favorite things. I wish this place was closer! I could spend so much time here! When I was younger and lived close by, we’d stop here frequently for lunch. We were in a hurry though, so instead it was a quick 15 minute dash to our favorite things before jumping back in the car and heading home.

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More exciting news, Little T’s Elf on the Shelf arrived! We’ve had one every year, but this was the first year that an elf arrived that looked like Little T. Little T was thrilled! :)

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My work had been busy because it’s holiday party season, and I haven’t been home much and when I have been home, I’ve been editing. Busy is good though! The only thing is it’s hard on Little T. I had to work on the weekend and through the week (and this weekend too), and Little T was grumpy about it. To get some time in, I dedicated an entire undistracted day with him. We met my sister and the crew and spent the day at Disneyland. He was so happy, it’s not very often that we get so much Mommy and Little T time together.

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His face in this picture, it cracks me up. He was pretending to be scared for the Haunted Mansion.

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It was really wet, which made it fun. We walked back to the car at the end of the day and Little T jumped in every big puddle he could find. It doesn’t rain here very often so it’s always exciting when it does. Little T loved the drive home, because he said it was dark and rainy and spooky, like his favorite book, “The Monster of the Woods”. He’s funny, he likes to be scared, but not too much. ;)

The next day, after a really fun shoot at Disneyland in the morning, I had to run back home to take Little T to the dentist. He loves the dentist, which makes me smile. Our dentist office is so much fun for kids, and the staff and doctor (Dr. shuffer) are great. Little T didn’t want to leave, and I had to resort to parental bribery to get him into the car. You can kind of see the waiting room here, it looks like a playground. It even has a bowling alley.

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The next day, I had a beautiful wedding to photograph and some meetings to attend, but first I had to run a few errands at Disneyland with Little T’s elf. ;)

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Mischief managed!

I got home pretty late that night, and fell asleep going through the pictures on my computer. I couldn’t wait until the next morning to see them! I was amused to discover that I had actually started going through and highlighting my favorite photos in my sleep. Now that is dedication: sleep working. The photos I chose didn’t make much sense, but I gave myself an A for effort!!!!

The next morning after the wedding, I was pretty sore and tired, but still managed to make it to bday party of Little T’s best friend at daycare. I was really torn about it. I was exhausted and had another event to photograph later, but Little T had been talking about this party for two weeks. In the end, I decided to go. When I woke Little T up in the morning, he sleepily asked if there was daycare. When I told him there wasn’t and that it was his best friends birthday party, he shot up as quick as he could with a huge excited gasp. On the way there, he was asking every few minutes how long it would be until we got there. The theme was rocket ships, and everyone loved the games and the jet packs that his bff’s mom made!

Can you believe that Little T is the youngest kid in this photo?

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After the bday party, it was holiday party time! I said goodbye to my two T’s and went to photograph another great party.

The next morning, I finally got to watch Peter Pan Live with Little T (well… I worked and watched). He loved it, and I thought he would! He liked to dance along with the pirates and the lost boys while the show was going. It made for an entertaining editing session. ;) It would be fun to see the show live, I think he’d really enjoy it. When Peter Pan was finished, Big T took over so I could get some more work done for the day.

It’s busy and tiring trying to fit it all in, but worth it! :) I have another crazy busy week over here and then things slow down a little for Christmas. I’m looking forward to seeing family in the Central Valley, wish I could get up there more often.

Hope you all had a great week!

The Basketball Stick

The other day, we took Little T to build a bear. He had a really hard time deciding on making a Star Wars Bear or a Basketball Bear, but after a while compromised and decided he would be a basketball bear with a light saber. My mom got him an extra basketball in case he lost one.

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At lunch, Little T decided to be creative and make the ultimate toy with his light saber and basketballs…..and he called it his “basketball stick”. He started holding it high in the air and it made the people in the booth next to us laugh. I told him maybe he shouldn’t be playing with this particular creation, and he was really irritated with me for ruining his fun.

After lunch, we went out into downtown Disney. Little T liked the music and decided to dance. I started talking to the person next to me for a minute, and when I turned around, Little T was once again rocking out with his basketball stick. He held it high over his head and danced to the amusement of the people walking by. I took his basketball stick apart and said it may not be the best toy for him to play with.

Anyway, here’s a picture of his basketball stick.

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He was pretty mad at me, but I have a feeling that when he’s older, he’ll understand….lol

Weekly adventures, and our trans-racial family

My mom was in town last week! It’s always so nice when the grandmas are here. She really wanted to go shopping, so we took a trip to Downtown Disney.

Ice Skaters and the Lego Store:

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I took Little T’s school photos, which was insane, but awesome! :)

On Thanksgiving, we watched the parade, played with Legos, cooked, and had dinner with family. :)

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Louise and I had a wedding, we were so happy to see the Christmas tree in the lobby! The wedding was gorgeous, and it was just a beautiful and fun day!

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We did accidentally break a flash, but thankfully we have spares!

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The next day, we did Christmas Tree shopping and spent the day decorating. One of the things we’ve discovered since we’ve become a multi cultural family, is how difficult it is to find toys, books, and movies that have kids that are the same race as Little T. We have to order a lot of things online, like an elf on the shelf with black hair and brown skin, but finding these things is few and far between. I just wish I could find one African American cowboy, or pirate, or a figure for our Christmas Village set, or a Christmas book that he can relate to. It’s crazy that in this day and age, toys and figures aren’t more diverse. What’s even sadder, is that I would never have even thought about it until we had Little T.

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I bring it up, because we spent a lot of that day searching for those things. Didn’t find them, but we’re going to look some more online and see if we can find anything.

But all in all, we had a great time decorating. Little T was more into the ornaments this year and had lots of questions about them. He also loved the train set that a friend had given to us, and we watched the train go around the tree for the longest time. :)

And here is Little T cuddling with nana in the morning, she came to stay with us for the week. One of Little T’s favorite things to do is cuddle with both of his grandma’s. :)

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And today, we spent the morning cleaning and working. Somewhere along the line while we were cleaning, Little T and Big T found these outfits. Can you see how hard they were working? I can. :p

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So that was the week! Our house is so nice now that it’s decorated! :) :) :)

A Chicken Chase

I’m always a little amused with our neighborhood. It’s pretty urban, and besides our neighbors who have a pet pig named Penelope, it only has cats and dogs. The other day though, we were all getting ready to sit down for breakfast, when we heard a commotion in the living room. Miss Piggy and the cats were excited to see we had a new visitor on the yard. A chicken.

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We locked the cat door to keep the animals inside, and tried to figure out where the chicken came from. Big T was unfortunately knocked out of The Great Chicken Race early, because he jumped and landed his foot on a lone sprinkler head. Little T couldn’t help, because he would have frightened the chicken with his enthusiasm. He wanted to be included though, so we gave him the task of making sure the animals inside the house didn’t get out of control. He took this job very seriously, and every once in a while we’d hear a little voice shouting, “STOP LOOKING AT THAT CHICKEN”!!!

With the help of Erica (my friend and chicken expert) we decided to build a chicken trap. First we put out some chicken food and led a trail to a cage with the hopes that the chicken would run inside. The chicken didn’t go for the food, but instead decided to eat Theo’s pretend corn, which for some unknown reason, happened to be in the backyard near the chicken on this day.

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And here is the empty cage….chickenless….

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Then we decided that maybe we could use broom sticks to encourage the chicken to go into the cage. At this point, our neighbor who helps with our yard showed up and saw my mom and I in the backyard trying to get the chicken into the cage with the broomsticks. My mom shouted over to him, “do you know how to catch a chicken?” He mumbled something about coming back later and quickly retreated the way that he came.

After our attempts to get the chicken into the cage with the broom failed, we decided we needed to kick things up a notch. We built a more elaborate chicken trap using our old vegetable garden beds….

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I was actually really impressed with myself for coming up with this trap, and Big T wobbled out and whispered….”I think this might work”. Heh heh, that’s why you married me, Big T. For my chicken catching skills. ;) My mom stood in the vegetable bed to keep the chicken from flying over it, while Big T wobbled around and I tried to chase the chicken into the chicken trap. Unfortunately, after about 10 minutes of this, the chicken grew tired of us and flew into the neighbors yard, the yard with all the big dogs. She was in there for less than a second before we heard dogs barking and she retreated to the roof of our neighbors house.

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We all had a busy day and pretty much forgot about the chicken, but then later that night, we had to get into the car to run an errand. Little T was shouting at us to look and was pointing down the street. I was the only person to turn and look and realize that the chicken was over there, crossing the road. :insert chicken road crossing joke here:

I ran down the street to snap a photo. You can barely see him, but he is walking in the distance off into the sunset, with a sense of freedom in his step. Needless to say, I think the chicken had a good day. ;)

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Take care, little chicken. I hope you find what you are looking for. :)

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