Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Elliott's first real violin

Elliott received a real violin for his birthday from Great Binny and Grampy. Here he is playing it for the first time (he has actually gotten much better since):


Here are some clips of the boys playing violins at Elliott's 3rd birthday party at Soundbridge. I'm glad none of the other guests were that interested in the violins because my boys pretty much hogged them the whole time. I think they put them down just once to eat.

synchronized snorkeling

One of Oliver's favorite thing to do in swim lessons is snorkel, and he's gotten pretty good at convincing the instructors to let him try it quite often. The boys have moved on to semi-private lessons together, which have been going great since they love being in the water together. Here they are snorkeling together!

Elliott's first violin

On the morning of his birthday, Elliott received the first of three, yes three, violins that he received as presents. This kid seriously loves violins. This first one was just a stuffed violin and I wasn't sure how much he would be into it, but he loved it!

don't bump the gump

Playing catch up again. Here's a cute video from November of Elliott singing "don't bump the gump", taken from a poem by Shel Silverstein.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas 2014

We had a lot of fun this Christmas! Here are some pictures from Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

Nick took the boys to Costco after dropping Uncle Evan and Kelsey off at the airport. Oliver picked out these flowers as a Christmas present for me :)

We made and decorated gingerbread cookies. Elliott decorated two, one that he put his entire bowl of frosting on, and the other that he dumped his bowl of sprinkles on :)

We also made reindeer food of oats and glitter to sprinkle on the front lawn for the reindeer to eat when they arrive with Santa.

We walked up to Olympic Manor to look at all the Christmas lights. This was the candy cane house.

We ended the night watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (the original 60's version) and drinking hot chocolate in Santa mugs.

And leaving a snack of fruit and gingerbread cookies for Santa.

The kids were up early (6ish) on Christmas morning and we let them open their stockings as soon as we made it downstairs. Oliver was eager to try his candy cane.

And they both loved their stocking toppers, the Abominable Snow Monster for Elliott and Olaf from Frozen for Oliver. Penny also enjoyed a few presents!


Jim and Cynthia came over later for brunch and more presents. Oliver received a 1/8 size violin from Santa and he and Elliott gave a concert for everyone.

After (early) naps, we headed down to the beach at Golden Gardens to get some fresh air and enjoy the beautiful day.

And we took a few selfies :)

family photo including Penny!
For dinner we went over to our friend's house and took this picture by their tree. It was a wonderful day!

2014 ornaments

Last year we started a tradition of letting the boys pick out a new ornament each year. I plan to give them the ornaments when they are adults and have their own trees. Here are this year's selections:

Elliott chose another train ornament, three engines from Chuggington.

Oliver chose a little glass Santa.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Santa 2014

A few weeks ago we made our annual Santa visit to see Santa Lance at University Village with Gramma. The boys both sat on Santa's lap together for the first time (without me) this year and we got this wonderful photo.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Hope your day is Merry & Bright!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Elliott's 2014 maple tree picture

Here's what this three year old looks like next to his maple tree! I love that he is wearing his birthday shirt from Gramma in all of the photos (except the first).

Friday, December 12, 2014

Thanksgiving weekend, 2014

I've been having a bit of trouble keeping up with this blog lately! Here are some fun happenings from our Thanksgiving weekend this year:

For the entire month of November, Oliver spent a lot of time making turkeys.

The night before Thanksgiving I unexpectedly got my first bar muscle-up! I was pretty excited since it took me months to get my ring muscle-ups.

The most exciting thing that happened this weekend is that on Thanksgiving morning, this little guy learned how to ride a pedal bike, all by himself! He's just a few weeks shy of turning three here. 

At that same time, big brother Oliver discovered bike jumps.

Here we are, all dressed up and ready for dinner at Jim and Cynthia's house. Oliver is dressed "so fancy" according to him. This kid can pick out the best outfits. We got off pretty easy, cooking-wise, bringing Brussels sprouts and chocolate chip cookies.

The next day I took the boys to Whole Foods to pick up a Christmas tree on sale for black Friday. Besides, with Oliver in this house, we can't wait a second after Thanksgiving ends to start getting ready for Christmas. This kid lives for Christmas. Not a bad looking tree!

And the next day it was decorated. The boys did a lovely job of hanging them all in the front and lower 2/3 of the tree.

Of course we had to rush to get it decorated so the trains, the most important part of Christmas, could be set up. Who doesn't want three train tracks around their tree?

The outside lights are always one of my favorite things this time of year. It makes my evening walks with Penny so much more enjoyable!

And to make the weekend even better, just a few hours after we picked up our Christmas tree, it snowed! And it was cold enough in Seattle to keep the snow on the ground for nearly a week.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday, Elliott!

This amazing and clever little man is three today! He had the perfect day for him, encompassing his three greatest loves: violins, trains, and the color green! He started the day by opening his first present, a stuffed violin. He played with it non-stop until we left for his birthday party at Soundbridge, which is basically a part of the Seattle Symphony that has a room full of real musical instruments for kids to play. Because of Elliott's violin obsession, we thought this would be the perfect place. We were joined by grandparents and a a few close friends. For the nearly two hours we were there, Elliott put the tiny 1/16th size violin down for maybe five minutes total (once to try out a cello very briefly, and then again later to eat a few sweet potato chips and a cupcake). I was amazed at how well he handled  the tiny instrument. He has had very little practice with a real instrument and he played it like a pro (for a 3-year old)! He and Oliver played together the entire time, giving concerts and marching around the place. It was adorable! The boys were also decked out in their matching violin shirts made by Gramma.

After the party, Bapa took the boys to the train store, one of their favorite places, where he picked out a red caboose. After food and a nap, he opened the rest of his presents, mostly involving trains or violins in some form. More singing and sweet treats followed, and the result was a very happy and very tired little boy.

Happy birthday sweet Elliott! We love you more than you'll ever know.

So happy to be 3!

opening the first present

playing "his" 1/16th size violin

apparently he tried out the cello, but I never saw it happen.
Nick liked the drums
he holds his instrument like a pro!
big brother

about to play a piece from memory, hence the eyes being shut
giving the concert in front of all their friends
cupcake time!

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I made these musical treats to go along with the cupcakes (mint patties and chocolate dipped shortbread)
a second cupcake this evening!