Thursday, November 13, 2014

Star of the Week

Miss Maia is SOOOOO excited to be the Star of the Week. :-) She gets to help her teacher, bring snacks, lead the line to recess, and answer the following questions about herself to her classmates:

Name:    Maia Johnson
Family Members:    Mommy, Daddy, Grandpa, Grandma, JD
Favorite Food:    Mac 'n Cheese
Age:    3
Favorite Color:    Purple
Favorite Place:    Disneyland

Monday, September 8, 2014

Years Go By

9 summers and counting I've been enjoying summer evening concerts at the SJC a newlywed, a new Californian, an overworked audit manager, a new-mama, a new-single-divorced-mama....but always blessed with dear dear friends by my side.
Now sharing these beautiful summer nights with JD & Maia, my heart is a little achy with nostalgia and with the creeping realization that my little twinners are growing up and there are no more babies and - this is what is really hitting me - no more toddlers! They are so big. Talking, thinking, pretending, imagining, learning, dressing themselves, getting ever-more opinionated, and needing me a little less each day that goes by. Where does the time go?



Sunday, June 29, 2014

baby book

Random photo that I love since this blog is the closest I will probably ever come to baby books.
Dear Maia and JD, when you are teenagers and cry that your life is hard I will blow this picture up and hang it up in your room. Boom. Eating ice cream cones on the pier and getting it all over your face = your life is awesome. :-) Love our summer evenings together and PS summer where we live lasts for 10 months out of the year.

Auntie Kay-Kay

The kids and I love Auntie Kay-Kay and she came for a visit our first weekend after Debbi left. We had a great time especially spending all day Saturday at Aliso Creek beach in Laguna. Did not get nearly enough pictures....especially when three police cars and two fire trucks came for a BOMB THREAT in the kids' playground area and JD thought he had died and gone to heaven. The amazing firemen of Laguna Beach talked to him and showed him their truck. I have never seen his eyes so big!
Can you even see the facial expressions in these Iphone pictures? Because JD & Maia would wait for the water to come around the rock from the waves with more joy on their little faces than you can imagine. Did this for quite a while...

PS And we (and by we I mean I) found a place in Long Beach to watch the planes come and go. And I let them watch for 40 minutes. Cool mom award please

on our own


For the first time in my entire life I live alone....well with two toddlers of course but void of adult company. I had roommates until I got married and have had a live-in nanny since I got unmarried.

12 days flying solo and we are off the ground. Missing Debbi a ton but we are doing it....made it out the door Thursday without a single meltdown incident (me or the kids haha).

This week JD prayed before bed "Heavenly Father please bless Debbi to come home because I love her so much." May or may not have made me cry! I work too much and Debbi has spent more time with these two in the past couple of years than I have. Kids are doing well though. And so am I.

blame game

Question: When do kids develop awareness that they can shift consequences to someone else?

So not exactly logical but cracks me up (even though I don't let her see me laugh preferably because it's lying, right?) that Maia has realized she can blame things on others. The crazy thing is she hasn't blamed anything on JD yet, she blames it on people that aren't there.

Glitter all over (and I mean ALL OVER) my room - floor, bed, bathroom, everything? It was baby Hazel our cousin. Yes, she came over in the middle of the night.

Someone pulled one of the seatbelt-type straps off the stroller - like ripped it right off? I didn't even care, didn't even ask, but she held it up and told me Baby Norah broke her stroller (a friend's daughter).

Apparently non-present babies create a lot of havoc at our house. Watch out.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Swimming Lessons

I like to just do everything at never mind that we are transitioning from live-in nanny to full-day preschool, I am still getting in the swing of things at my new job (not to mention in the middle of my first quarter close), and we're still kind of potty training.....let's do swim lessons too. :-) The past two weeks of swim have been SO fun but we are also VERY excited to have slow, hang-out-at-home afternoons/evenings all next week....

JD and Maia have gotten a lot better at sitting still and waiting their turn - still have a little trouble with it but better this week than last - thanks to their lovely teacher Miss Allegra. Twins moms have to decide whether to put their kids in the same class or separate them (at lessons, daycare, school, church etc) and I have chosen to keep them together at this point. When their teacher had to yell at JD "JD, we don't hold our sister's head under water!!!!" I thought Hmmmmm.....maybe separating them might be a good idea.....

They have learned how to go under water blowing bubbles, do superman floats with kicks, do assisted back floats, and "crab walk" along the side of the pool where they can't touch. Sitting on the side watching them so happy and loving it is the happiest half hour of my day. :-)

Friday, June 6, 2014


After 2.5 years of having the kids at home full time with a nanny, we had our first week at preschool. This week and next they are doing 4 hours at preschool and then home with their nanny for the afternoon; after that they start 8 hour days four days a week. I have been pretty nervous for the transition but as seems to be the trend in my life my anxiety levels were way worse than the situation called for.....the kids have done great and although yes, it is a transition for both of them, they are totally fine.

This week was the end of a "semester" and so they had parent night to show off all of their work, which was all related to water and oceans. JD and Maia had only been there for a week but still had some fun things to show me. I was so impressed with both their teachers, the classroom, the activities, the other kids there, and the parents I met. Here's what JD & Maia were most excited about.....

Practicing fine motor skills dropping little stars into an ice cube tray with plastic tweezers
Montessori preschool is like paying for full-day Pinterest in real life. All the stuff I see online and think "what a great idea for a toddler" but don't have time to do because I am at work all day. :-)

Practicing fine motor skills grating a bar of soap:

Coloring and erasing with chalk

Transferring ocean-themed toys from one dish to another

Miss Nicole told me that a bigger kid showed JD how to do this "tray-work" - use the medicine dropper to put one drop of water in each little suction cup - and clean up any spills with the sponge. Miss Nicole was watching JD while he was practicing. She said he was totally in his own little world, and would just laugh and smile with joy when he got it right. :-) What a sweet kid and what an awesome teacher for making my day with that story.

Maia and JD showing me their pictures on their classroom wall

Playing with ocean figures

They love the little sinks that are the perfect height for 3-year-olds

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

single parenting

Today's lift-me-up from A Deeper Story

"The truth? 90% of the time, I am completely unaware that I’m doing this alone. I’m convinced it’s because parenting is beauty and magic, wonder and independence, slamming doors and weepy conversations. Single parenting is not hard because I’m single. It’s hard because it’s parenting. The same way it’s hard for my sister who has eight kids and a loving, doting, present husband. When we talk, our conversations are not comparing my single parenting to her married parenting. When we talk, we are talking about how to get five year olds to eat the food you put in front of them. Parenting is not measured in the amount of hands and bodies, but in the depth of heart and presence.
No one really plans on becoming a single mom or dad. It’s not like we who are walking this road schemed this up. So when it comes, and the questions are asked at bedtime and around the dinner table, I remind my daughter that while we cannot change how our family looks right now, we can look at the family we have right now. This dance of hearts, questions, energy, growing. This is just life — parenting is hard whether you are married with 10 kids, married with two, divorced with one, etc. Raising a person to be a nice and hopefully God-fearing adult someday is no small task."


JD didn't sleep for the first 6 months of his life, and Maia was recovering from back surgery during months 7 and 8 and didn't sleep particularly well. So I didn't sleep for 8 months....almost killed me I think, but, after that they slept miraculously. Like clockwork. Amazing. Wonderful nappers, great at night, etc etc etc.

Until their 3rd birthday.

The weather? Their age? Too much SoCal sunshine? I don't know, but heaven help me, these two got their energy genes from their mother and all of a sudden they seem to have awakened. I have a ton of energy (amplified by a mild diet coke addiction) and hate sleeping. I can run 10 miles, stay up late and get up early, and go weeks without a break. But I am no match for these two energizer bunnies.

The new name of the game is Wear Them Out. Watch out world, because if these two coordinate their combined energies and direct it toward you, they are going to take over. No longer interested in napping, no longer interested in sitting still - we are looking for 12 hours each day of bike riding, swimming, playing at the park, running races, hitting T-balls, playing tennis, high-energy Simon Says and hopefully, hopefully, hopefully crashing at 8:30!

Friday, March 28, 2014

silly chicken

We were having a train-building marathon tonight on the living room floor and I told Miss Maia that she was a "silly goose." Didn't everyone's mom used to say that to them?

She didn't miss a beat and responded "No, Mama, I a silly chicken. You a silly goose."

Where do they come up with this stuff?!? You can't make it up, I absolutely love this talking stage we're in. Toddlers are hilarious.

One of these days when I have spare time (ha) I am going to make them baby books and I will want to write that in it. So there it is, permanently on my list of things not to forget (blog).

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Getting out of the way

Beaches are the best in the winter in CA - plenty warm enough and deserted compared to the summers filled with tourists. So yesterday we went to one of the best beaches for toddlers because there is a half mile of sand before water (i.e. I can catch them easily if they run off, LONG before they get anywhere near the water). I attempted to be on "kid time" and just let them set the speed for the morning, which is why we spent two full hours on the pier. I was done by about 1.5 hours into the pier adventure and my "kid time" idea was over and it took me another 30 minutes to herd them back toward the car. :-)

Fist extended stop: Watching the volleyball players and surfers. Mama really enjoyed watching the volleyball players as well (if you are female and have seen the men who play beach volleyball, you know what I mean). :-)

 Second extended stop? The store with all these windmill things. The kids were OBSESSED. And then of course the reward for the long walk out, ice cream at Ruby's. :-)

Inspired by my newest parenting book read:
"...Even as toddlers and preschoolers, children need to feel as if they own their experiences. Tey need to be let out in the yard to discover worms and flowers, to pick up a snail, and yes, to eat dirt...They need to be free to make their own discoveries....We have to be there for our kids. At the same time, we have to get the hell out of the way."

-Gabrielle Reece, "My Foot is Too Big for the Glass Slipper"

*Side note: My kids take the best naps the day AFTER a big outing. So I am reaping HUGE rewards today while they are sleeping very soundly. :-)