Sunday, July 15, 2012

Summer 2012 Already?!?

Hey everyone! How are you doing? Facebook and Twitter continue to be the place to go to keep current on what we’re doing, but I do like the blogging format. The problem is, the moment I start working on a blog and the kids see the pictures, they climb onto my (Ken’s) lap and start making requests of who they want to see in pictures.
However, the kids have been staying with my family (for good reasons I will get into in another update), so I was able to throw this together without having to stay up extra late at night.
Let’s see… where did we leave off?
Christmas 2011 Castle
Ah yes, it was around Christmastime when we last gave an update. Living close enough to Disneyland to see and hear the fireworks does have some advantages. Kori and my mother (and anyone else who comes along) have been taking Keelie and Kyle to Disneyland on a fairly regular basis during the week. Those kids have no idea how spoiled they are!
Here’s Grandpa Pellman making a visit in January.
2012-01-07 Grandpa Keelie Kyle
Kori and the kids meet up with some other mothers with young kids, often weekly. Here’s Kyle at a meet-up where they were learning about Groundhog Day. The day, not the movie.
Gound hot day celebration 2012-02-01 Kyle
It’s like looking at me [REDACTED] years ago.
Whenever the kids are sitting peacefully together, it is a good idea to capture the moment with a picture…
2012-02-21 Keelie and Kyle
… and, perhaps, a commemorative coin from the Franklin Mint.
Every year, the kids have special Easter outfits. Here’s Kyle’s… such a ham…
2012-04-06 Kyle
And Keelie’s…
2012-04-08 Keelie
This was NOT Keelie’s Easter clothing…
2012-05-01 Keelie
…but she is wearing Kyle’s tie.
Big doings around here included the arrival, in May, of Cousin Aubrey, born to Kori’s sister Kendra and Kendra’s hubby Steve. Aubrey joins Cousin Lainey, who was born just nine days before Kyle. Kyle, remember, adores Lainey, and so does Keelie. Keelie is happy to have a younger girl in the family. Kyle is happy to have a cousin his age. They are now happy to have a baby around, too.
Here’s Kori with new arrival Aubrey…
2012-05-14 Kori
And proud grandparents, Bill & Pam (known to my kids as Granddaddy and Puma.)
2012-05-14 Pam and Bill
Yup, Keelie is happy to have another younger girl in the family…
Cousins meet 5-17-12 005
I think this is the moment at which Kyle realized he was no longer the baby of the family…
Cousins meet 5-17-12 040
He’s no longer the baby, but yes, he loves holding his Cousin Aubrey.
Kyle and Aubrey
One thing making life a lot easier now is that Kyle is pretty much completely potty-trained, even though he’s still not even three years old. Yay!!!
Kori and the kids get together regularly with Kendra and her kids. In addition to that, going to Disneyland regularly, and meeting up with the local moms & kids regularly, Kori and the kids will regularly visit my family in Pasadena, and sometimes I will join them after work. We visit Puma & Granddaddy along with Kori’s other siblings, and Kori and I have been meeting up with a small group from our church every two weeks or so. So, we’re keeping busy.
Keelie's 5th Birthday Celebration at Disneyland 6-10-12 153
Keelie made out like a bandit for her fifth… FIFTH(!)… birthday in June, enjoying a special day at Disneyland Kori worked hard to put together for the ladies. They wore matching purple shirts Kori made.
Keelie Turns 5
Granddaddy took that beautiful picture. Keelie also had a “small” family-only party at our house… which meant 25 people.
And here’s Keelie wrestling with Cousin Macon for some grub…
2012-06-30 Keelie With Macon
I have been appearing as a guest from time to time on The Sweep Spot podcast. So if you want to hear me rattle on about Disneyland, you can do so by listening to the episodes on which I’ve appeared.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out this latest update. Please keep in touch at let us know how you are doing. You can leave a comment here or contact us a KEPellman [at] yahoo [dot] com

Monday, February 06, 2012

Repurposing a playpen

In our house we have a 4 1/2 year old, a 2 year old and a ball pit.

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When the 4 1/2 year old began being able to climb out of the playpen (about 2 years ago) we decided not to get rid of the playpen, but to repurpose it into a convenient place to put all of the various size balls that she had amassed. Then, one day, while browsing on Amazon, I noticed the many different – and expensive – kids of “Ball Pits”, then I noticed replacement balls. BINGO! The playpen became our ball pit.

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As a matter of fact, this isn’t our daughters original playpen/ball pit, the first one got so much use that we had to replace it. Oh, and the ball pit balls are available at Amazon, K-Mart, and Wal-Mart, and I’m sure most of those aren’t original either!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Ah, here I am, updating this neglected blog. Is blogging dead? I very much like the format, but we’re so busy being parents and taking care of our responsibilities that there isn’t much time to put together worthwhile blog postings. I (Ken) like to update my status on Twitter and Facebook, like hundreds of millions of other people.
5-06 2011 Kyle
Life has been mostly about the kids and taking them to see family. It’s great when we visit family and grandparents, aunts, uncles, and nephews keep the kids entertained and safe. Keelie and Kyle both adore their cousin Lainey. They have a standing weekly playdate. In general, Kendra, Steve, and Lainey have been great for the kids and have graciously babysat when needed.

Here Keelie and Kyle take a break from their slapstick routine to calmly hug.
Keelie and Kyle love each other! 5-18 2011
Kori and the kids have also been going to see my mother and siblings on a regular basis while I’ve been at work, and we’ll all go to see Kori’s parents and siblings when we can. Kori has also been taking the kids to local meetups in parks and such.

We’ve tried to get to Disneyland on a regular basis. These kids don’t really grasp that very, very few little kids in the world get to do that. The “Toy Story” movies have Kyle’s imagination, and he alternately pretends to be Woody or Buzz, and usually asks to ride Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters… several times per day. We didn’t make as good of use of our passes to Knott’s Berry Farm.

Kyle knows all of his upper and lower case letters and the sounds they make (and which letters make what sound). He continues to be very musical, and can recognize and sing back tunes even if I’m the one “singing” them, and I’m doing so with different lyrics. Otherwise, he’s such a chip off the old block that sometimes we think we should have made him a Junior.

Keelie is mindful of relationships (“Daddy, your little sister is funny.”) She’s reading above a second grade level, which at 4 1/2 years old isn’t too shabby. She surprises me with her artistic talent. Her memory abilities continue to be scary. She’s also very sociable. While trick-or-treating this year, she would introduce herself to the other kids and ask them for their names. She couldn’t understand why they would rather run quickly to the next house rather than mingle.

Both kids are strong-willed and stubborn. Not sure where they get that. [Ken and Kori both do their “innocent-but-really-guilty” looks.]

The kids both had a gymnastics class over the summer – it was the second time around for Keelie.
6-17 2011 Keelie
Kyle liked doing everything in the class, but at different times than he was supposed to. He took to holding and swinging up on the bar so much than he was doing that other places, too, such as the Aquarium of the Pacific.
6-17 2011 Kyle and Daddy
Keelie continues her dance classes. She had a recital over the summer and another one just before Christmas.
Keelie Ballet Dress 7-16-2011
Is that attitude, or what?

In July, Kori and I got out to see “Weird Al” Yankovic and his AL-pocalypso Band kick off their tour. We had some excellent seats, but we didn’t take such great pictures.
Weird Al Concert 7-9-11
Also in July, we were able to go to a great, intimate event at the Grammy Museum, where Mr. Yankovic was interviewed and then answered questions from the audience, including one from yours truly.

We’d cool down over the summer with swims at Puma & Granddaddy’s and at Nanny’s/Auntie Kim’s/Uncle Mike’s.

video

In September, we went to Kauai for a week.
Kauai 2011 9-16
It was my first trip to Hawaii, as it was for Keelie and Kyle.
9-19 2011 Kauai
We didn’t even know there was going to be a trip until Mother’s Day. We wouldn’t have been able to afford the trip if it wasn’t for being able to stay at the Keel family timeshare. Actually, in hindsight, given everything else that happened this year, we couldn’t afford to fly there, either. But we did.
9-20 2011 Kauai
We shared a two-bedroom suite with Kendra, Steve, and Lainey. Kyle tossed his cookies upon takeoff from LAX, and it was an omen. Everyone in that suite got sick during week we were there, except for me. It continued through the flight back to LAX.

Here, Keelie works the stage at a luau.
9-21 2011 Kauai
Back home, Kyle re-enacted a scene from one of the bedtime books we read. That’s his soup bowl on his head.
11-04 2011 Kyle
Keelie, along with Nanny, Auntie Kim, and Mommie, returned to Teddy Bear Tea at the Langham just before Christmas. The Langham will always be the Huntington to me.
12-23 Keelie TBT
Kyle and Keelie both enjoyed Christmas…
12-24 2011 Kyle
They are both growing so fast!
12-24 2011 Keelie
Our house was attacked by bees literally just before our September vacation – removing them cost a pretty penny. Both of our vehicles needed expensive work in the last several months, and we’ve run into ongoing trouble with the condo we were pretty much forced to rent out rather than sell when we moved into the house, so that’s been a financial drain as well. If we had known all of these things were coming our way, we wouldn’t have bought the tickets to take that vacation.

I resumed writing columns for LaughingPlace.com and my friends have had me as a recurring guest on their podcast, The Sweep Spot. If you are interested in Disney, especially Disneyland, check out those links.

Kori has been a serious coupon shopper this year, coming home with bags full of groceries for ridiculously low cash spent. She’s very organized  and methodical about it.

Other than what you see above, 2011 was mostly another boring year, which is good. Keelie turned 4, Kyle turned 2. We didn’t lose our house, I didn't lose my job, no major crimes were committed against us (that we know about), we didn't have to file a lawsuit against anyone, none of us suffered a major illness or injury, and the dog didn't die.

May your 2012 be one of happiness, peace, health, and prosperity.

Please keep in touch!

–Ken, for the Pellmans of Anaheim 
January 2012
KEPellman [at] yahoo [dot] com