Are You Ready to Rumble???

Do you have sons?  Let’s talk for a sec.  What is with all the wrestling???  It’s a boy thing, right?  I grew up in a house with sisters and I don’t remember us doing any wrestling, but boys could wrestle morning, noon, and night.  And sometimes they do.

Unless there’s blood.

Then I stop it.

Last week, I decided to make the most of all the physical contact and we did a wrestling family night!

During the day the craft was pretty simple (for the boys.)  They made up wrestling names, that sounded very macho and intimidating and drew posters.


And then we decided to draw mustaches on their faces with washable crayola markers. I don’t know why. Don’t ask.


I, on the other hand, grabbed a couple of old piece of fabric I had used as table clothes for a luau party and a hot glue gun and whipped up a couple of wrestling outfits.  (It’s seriously amazing what can be done with a hot glue gun.  Can I get an Amen?)

So, here is Caden the Snake with his coach, Daddy.


And here is Jacob the Giant with his coach, Elijah.


I got to be the “round girl.”  Geric I discussed the possibility of me wearing a bikini and heels as I paraded around the living room holding “round” signs above my head… but we decided against it.  I feel like the baggage my boys have to carry into therapy is getting kinda heavy already, so it’s time to be choosy about what else we’re adding to it, you know?  So here I am (fully clothed) holding a round sign.


Round 1 *DING* was thumb wrestling.


Caden was victorious!  Those pesky fine motor skills, Jacob.  Soon enough yours will be strengthened, my son.

Round 2 *DING* was arm wrestling.


After some coaching from Geric, Jacob was able to pin Caden a couple of times.  So we called this round a tie.

Next we took a small break for dinner.  We went Asian for dinner. (Gotta love the frozen section at Trader Joe’s!)


I know what you’re thinking… Chinese food???  Wrestling???  I don’t get the connection.  Stayed tuned for round four.


Just as cute in a headband!

Round 3 *DING* was good-old-fashioned-pin-you-to-the-mat wrestling.  And let me tell you, this was the most fun.  Seriously.  I think the boys thought I had lost my marbles when I actually encouraged them to wrestle, but they had so much fun.  And I realized that I need to relax a little on the wrestling thing.  There were times during this round that I was sure that Jacob was going to get hurt and burst into tears, but I think he had more fun than Caden!



See how excited Jacob is!


Then Daddy joined in.  He couldn’t help it.  It’s in his y chromosomal tendencies.

Round 4 *DING* was sumo wrestling!  (Get the dinner connection now????  I realize that sumo wrestling is actually from Japan, while our dinner originated in China, but they’re all from the same continent, okay?)


Hilarious, right?


This was by far the funniest round!


Elijah felt left out so he got in the action when the boys took their sumo outfits off.

After the wrestling was over we headed down to Cherry on Top for some frozen yogurt, which has absolutely nothing to do with wrestling, but gosh darn it, it’s good!

Oh, and before I go, there’s a new link on the sidebar of my homepage.   (If you click HERE you’ll get back to my homepage.)  Anyway, I made a button that says “Family Nights” so you can find all the Family Nights we’ve done in one simple location.

You’re welcome.

Now go have a family night!

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Granny Goose

While we were up north we stayed at Granny Goose’s house, which is what my boys have affectionately called my mom’s mom since they have been able to speak.  It all started because my mom was asking my grandma what she wanted to be called by my kids (since “grandma” was out, according to my mom, even though she’s not even “grandma.”  She’s “Maw,” which is strikingly close to Mama, and kinda not cool when you’re a first time mom, but whatev.  Another post for another day perhaps.)

Anywho, my grandma said, “I don’t care what they call me.  They can call me Granny Goose if they want.”  I think she was joking by I was all over that like white on rice, and it stuck.

Granny Goose she is.

So, before we left to drive back home, we took a picture of the four generations.


So cute, but does my thyroid look a little swollen?  Hmmmmm…

And just in case you thought crazy only ran on my dad’s side of the family, you would be wrong.


“Man, I’ve been needing a shelf for my desk.”

“Here, Anne (that’s my grandma) we’ll just prop it up with cinder blocks.”

“Genius, Pete! (That’s my grandpa.)”

“Anything to save a buck, dear.”


Everyone keeps slug and snail killer pellets from the 1950’s in a box on a shelf in their office, right?



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Family BBQ

Has anyone else noticed that it has taken five times as long to blog about our trip to Northern California than we were actually there?  We were there for less than 48 hours, but I have managed to split this trip up into, what?  Five different posts?  I’m nuts.

Anyway, after the photo shoot at the cabin, we made our way to my uncle’s house for a bar-b-que and some swimming.  I would just like to point out that the memorial had some snacks at it… you know cookies, cupcakes, bottled water.  But it was at 10am.  We all figured we were eating lunch at my uncle’s.  Right?  Would you figure that?

Nope.  He starved us until dinner time.  Not kidding.  Our stomachs could be heard growling from the neighbor’s backyard.  One of my cousins was walking around with a bowl of potato chips because the poor kid was withering away.  I repeatedly told my uncle, “We’re starving out here!”  And nothin’.  Nothin’.  ‘Til dinner.

And then he let me be first in line.  And it was delicious.  Worth the wait?  I don’t know about that.  But delicious.

Here’s some photos for your viewing pleasure.

Here’s everyone sitting around a table.  This is when we thought food would be coming at any minute.  Little did we know about the wait that we were about to endure.



The kiddos decided to swim (probably to distract themselves from the pangs of hunger.)



This is my cousin Andy, with his adorable daughter Caroline.  She could be a little model, right?  So stinkin’ cute!


And here’s some more sitting around a table.  That’s the bowl of potato chips I was talking about.  It’s empty now.



This is my uncle and I.  He’s also my godfather, and insisted that I called him that the whole day.  “Yes, Godfather…”  “What do you need, Godfather?”  “I’m sorry, Godfather.”  You know, things like that.  And yes, he’s wearing a magnet bracelet.  He’s certain that he cannot be pushed over.  I think next time I see him I’m gonna try a sneak attack to see if it really works.


Here’s another child model.  So cute, lil’ Emma Bug.


And here’s Elijah with his Auntie and cousin.


These boys were like little peas in a pod.  They were pushing each other in a wagon and playing together the whole day.  It was so nice to see them meet each other and get along so well.

boys in a chair

After we ate (it was seriously like a scene out of Survivor the way we all ravaged the table) we had a little photo shoot with all the new cousins.


Have you seen cuter kids?  Me neither!

And the OG Nelson cousins with our spouses and our offspring.  (Poor Steve is missing because he had to fly home early.)


More to come tomorrow… and then I swear I’m done with this trip.

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Road Trip!

Warning:  The next week or so is going to be filled with lots of pictures and personal going-ons around here.  If you know me, you may be interested in reading our virtual scrapbook.  If not, you may still be interested, but it’s going to be a departure from my regular crazy thoughts that swim around in brain and I vomit onto this here blog.

A couple of months ago, my Gramma died.  The way the Nelson’s work is that when someone dies, we cremate them and then all get together for a memorial at our earliest convenience, given that the cousins are coming from all over the country.  (Okay, maybe that’s not the way we work, but we’ve done it twice and so now it’s the way we work.)

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago was the weekend that worked for everyone.  It was a little bit of a time crunch for us, given that kindergarten orientation was on Friday at 10:30am and school started Monday at 8:30am, so we had to fit a 7 hour each way road trip and a memorial and a family BBQ into about a day and a half… with three kids, in a minivan.  Try to contain your jealousy.  

This is what we packed.


We also had two sleeping bags, a blow up mattress, and a stroller already in the car. Did I mention that we were staying for a day and a half?  Kids are a blast.

About an hour and half in to the trip, we realized that the move player broke!


I really thought we were going to die.  We had never driven that long without our precious little distracting friend, and I thought we would never make it out alive.  But then I calmed down, and realized that my mom and dad used to make this trip all the time with the three of us kids and we never had a movie player.  If I could do it, my boys could do it!

They colored and chatted, and sang songs, and then we had a little photo shoot.



my favorite… haha! Totally an accident by the way.  My son is not a hellion.  



We also saw a lot of these trucks carrying tomatoes.  My question for you is this:  How do the tomatoes on the bottom survive?  I mean, there’s the whole squish factor, and then it was also 100 degrees on the ride up.  Anyone know?  I’m serious.


We made it to my sister’s house just in time for a spaghetti dinner and a little fun with the cute patoots, before we left to spend the night and my Grandma’s house.

More to come tomorrow…

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Holy Birthday, Batman!

I’ve decided birthday parties are “my thing.”  They’re kind of like a giant family night with other people, so it makes sense.  But I love having a theme and thinking of a bunch of cool things to do with my kids and their friends, and just make it a really special time.  Don’t get me wrong, I definitely stress out the day of the party, and Geric likes to steer clear.  But in the end, it’s always a blast!

Jacob decided he wanted a Batman party for his 4th birthday, and I thought that would be super fun!  I sent out an invite on facebook, which made it really cheap and really easy, and really easy for guests to RSVP, too… even though some of them still didn’t.  You know who you are!  I mean, how hard is it to click “accept’ or “decline?”  And I think “maybe” shouldn’t even be an option.  I mean, I’m not asking you to commit your first born child to me, I’m just asking for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon.  Make a desicion, people!  Sorry, just had to vent.

What was I saying?

Oh yes, Batman party!

Here’s a few pictures of the decorations before the guests arrived.

The food table with yummy cupcakes!



The happy birthday signs!


The craft area!


As guests started arriving they got a really cool Batman cape that I made out of felt.  Yellow for the boys and pink for the girls!  They were even embroidered with their names.  (I know people.)  They were a hit!  Parents told me their kids didn’t want to take them off when they went to bed at night!  Success! But I forgot to get a picture!!!!! Can you believe it???  Me neither!  So, here’s a picture of Jacob wearing his cape today.



After they got their capes, they came over to the craft area to make superhero masks.  They had fun. But the elastic bands were way too small! Thanks Joann’s for the newborn sized cardboard masks.  I’m not sure they would even fit Elijah!  We shoved it on Judah’s head and took a picture anyway.



After the craft time we ate lunch, and then it was game time!  The first game was the freeze dance, since Mr. Freeze is one of Batman’s nemesis’.  I downloaded the music from the original animated series of Batman and the kids had to dance ’til they heard the music stop, and then freeze.  Then we all raised our Batman bracelets and yelled, “Batman!” to get the music going again!  So fun!



At the end of that game Geric came out with a note from the Riddler!  He had kidnapped Batman and left us riddles to solve in order to find him!


One of the riddles led us to Pop!


But we ended up finding Batman out on the front porch!


The we tied him up and hit him with a stick!  Yay!


The actual handle broke off, so we ended up having to tie him to the tree with a noose… hide your eyes, kids!


Makenzie was so sweet.  She tapped Batman.  She’s the dainty little female I need to visit when I feel overrun by the testosterone in my house!


Candy!  Dive in!


After the pinata we sang Happy Birthday and had cupcakes.


Jacob got embarrassed during the song and had this cute moment with Geric.


Then, we went swimming.  Here’s some cute, wet kids!




We also bounced in the bounce house!


So did Elijah!


And here’s some of our guests!







We ended up waiting to do presents until most of the kids had left, which was actually kind of nice.  We didn’t have to bat away all the “helpers” who like to “help” open presents.  (Don’t be offended. My kids like to “help” other birthday boys and girls, too.)  Jacob made out like a bandit and got some awesome new toys!  But now, I’m pretty sure I have to send out thank you cards since no one was there to thank in person.  It’s on my “to do list.”  I swear.

So, it was a lot of fun!  I was pooped and my kids slept well that night.  Always a good sign.

I’m thinking of starting a party planning gig.  What do you think? Would you hire me?

**Jacob is not motherless.  She is just the photographer and thus, looks absent.  Sad, really.**

Cookies with Auntie B

Auntie B came over last week to hang out with us.  She even brought balloons to cheer up Caden… which immediately turned into a balloon bopping fight!  (I told you, there’s no keeping a 5 year old down.)

We ate In-N-Out (yum!) watched the Wizard of Oz (a blast from the past!) and then we made cookies!

There was a lot of finger lickin’ goin’ on.




Or as Auntie B says, the boys were just adding their “special sauce.”  Yum.


Golden Gate Bridge

While we were up north we took in some sights and drove across the Golden Gate Bridge.  Geric wanted to walk, but I told him we should save that for when our kids are a little older… and they can REALLY gripe and complain about how long of a walk it is.

It was such a beautiful day.  Unfortunately, the sun was in the wrong spot in the sky, so some our pictures don’t do the day justice.  But here they are anyway.

Elijah was sleeping… miracle.


Then we turned around and got some with the sun shining on us, instead of from behind us. 🙂





I love my family!

The Mission Inn

Our Riverside Christmas tradition is to go to the Mission Inn every year.  We usually go on a week night, but this year we went on the weekend.  From now on, we’ll stick to week nights.  But we still had fun!

We ate treats of mini donuts and apple crisp by a fountain, so the boys threw some pennies in and made a couple of wishes.  Their wishes were so cute, which is the whole reason I took a picture of them doing this… but now I forget what they said!  How sad.


We saw Santa’s reindeer, that looked pathetically sad and like someone might be on the verge of calling PETA.  The way they were breathing was just not normal.  But here is one of them.


And here are my kids standing in front of one of them.


We took a picture by a big Christmas tree


and then we were going to wait in line to see Santa, but the line was soooooo long.  So we looked at him through the window!  Could we be any more ghetto???


We wandered over to the Mission Inn to check out the lights,


and take our annual freaky elf picture.


Merry Christmas!