December 2014 & January 2015

Besides making friends, I believe that Gabby’s forte is performing. We enrolled her in an after school drama class this semester, and eventually we will steer her towards theater. She was very struck by Katy Perry’s performance at the Super Bowl, and puts on quite the show to Katy Perry’s song Roar. I’ve rarely seen such enthusiasm. Hopefully I’ll have a good video to share the next time I write a post for this blog.

Ginny Trudeau took our family photo this year for the fourth time. She is the best photographer ever, and we are so fortunate to get to work with her. Taking our family photo is no easy task. Maybe if I could relax more . . .

Coleman is the best brother ever for letting Ginny take this picture of him.

I need to remember this photo the next time they are at each other’s throats. It’s not always apparent, but they really do love each other!

This is a little more representative of their relationship.

The kindergarteners do a presentation on the country that best represents their heritage. Brian thought she should do an Eastern European country that was more representative of his heritage. When I asked him if he’d be working with the other mothers on the presentation, he decided Ireland was a fine pick.

For Christmas this year, Aunt Mari bought Coleman and Gabby an artificial tree for the office. They had a great time decorating it. Spending time at the office has had a positive influence on the kids. They just recently printed labels for Gabby’s accordion file so they could organize their artwork. These are the labels they came up with: nature, sports, food, seasons, random.

Watch the video of Gabby dancing at the Las Vegas Country Club Santa Event.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus flew in by helicopter. Only in Vegas.

We participated in the Doolittle Community Center Breakfast with Santa event this year. We bought gifts for this little girl who is Gabby’s age, but not quite Gabby’s size!

Gabby took a picture with Doolittle’s Santa. I hear his pants didn’t match his top because he gained some weight over the year.

Gabby was very well behaved at Nevada Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker at The Smith Center. She will likely tryout to be in the production once she comes of age (8).

We had Christmas Eve dinner at Spago this year. Gabby wore a new dress that Grandma Wendy bought for her.

Gabby wanted to sit next to Aunt Jillian, who then had to entertain Gabby throughout the meal. I can’t wait to reciprocate for Jillian.

We went back to our house for dessert, a King Cake that Gigi provided. Grandpa Richard got the baby and was nice enough to give it to Gabby. Looks like he’s buying next year’s cake!

Gabby looks so grown up.

We opened presents on Christmas Eve. I gave Gabby an American Girl doll for Christmas. She named her Rose. Gabby was very excited about having a doll that looked like her.

Gabby’s loot from Santa is in the middle and on the right.

Santa’s big gift for Gabby was a Kindle.

My beautiful babies.

Opening presents is hard work!

Snuggling on Christmas morning.

Gabby played with the Elsa and Anna, her gift from Uncle Paul.

I think Gabby knows she better get her hugs from Jillian now before her cousin is born.

We drove to San Diego the day after Christmas. Gabby set up all of her toys once we got to the hotel room. I hear that Jillian used to do the same thing with her American Girl doll.

The kids begged to go to the hotel gym each day. We would wait until after dinner so we weren’t disturbing people who were actually working out. With how much Brian and I talk about working out, I’m pretty sure both Gabby and Coleman will be gym rats before they graduate from high school.

The next day we headed to the San Diego Zoo. We arrived before it opened because we knew it’d be crowded during the holiday break.

As soon as the gates opened, we hustled to the panda exhibit.

Next up was the polar bear. We were lucky that one was out and swimming.

I wish bunny ears had never been invented.

By the time we got to the monkeys, we felt like we’d come home!

The foot massage machine at the zoo was incredible. I will never walk by one again without paying a quarter for a quick foot vibration. Watch the video of Gabby and Brian enjoying a massage.

Queen of Sheeba

The next day we rode our bikes around Mission Beach. I think the kids did 10 miles. There was no complaining since it was flat.

We had to wait for a table at a bar on Mission Beach, so ice cream seemed like a good way to pass the time.

When we finally got our table, we didn’t feel like eating because we had just eaten so much ice cream. We could manage to get a few beers in though.

Brian recently told the kids about a boy who had taunted him when he went to summer camp at Cottontail Ranch. In a singsong voice, the boy would say “Cha-Chino, Cha-Chino,” indicating that Brian looked Chinese. Gabby drew a picture for Brian to illustrate.

We surprised the kids with a trip to Legoland. We decided it would be a last minute decision. If they were well behaved in San Diego, we’d take them, and that’s exactly what we did! Watch the video. I was hoping for more excitement, but things are often better when you let your imagination run wild.

While we were at Legoland, my brother was freaking out that the Phish tickets I mailed him never arrived. I’m pretty sure my local UPS guys stole them. Anyway, Paul and I were texting back and forth when this picture was taken, and Legoland wasn’t so enjoyable at that moment.

Sometimes I wish I had this at my disposal when Gabby is acting bad. “In the slammer mammer!” (said by Richard Pryor in The Toy, a movie I can’t wait to watch with the kids when they are a wee bit older).

My favorite part of Legoland is seeing the city landscapes. The Las Vegas Strip is particularly impressive.

Do I hear heavy breathing?

It’s too bad Lego had to develop a line just for girls. Girls only like baking, ice cream, tree houses, horses and dogs? What?

We were able to upgrade our room at the Newport Hyatt and ended up getting a bungalow with our very own heated pool. Watch the video of the kids swimming laps. JFK and Marilyn Monroe stayed in one of the eight bungalows. I’m not sure if they were separate or together, but it was pretty cool to think we might have stayed in the same room as one of them. We ended up spending a lot of time in the room because we wanted to enjoy it. I will always remember that this was where we first played cards (Uno!) together as a family.

Coleman and Gabby played one game of chess on the hotel outdoor chessboard.

The kids played on the beach at Crystal Cove State Park. Right after Brian warned Gabby to not get wet, she slipped off of a rock and fell in the water. It was pretty miserable for her to hike back to the car in wet jeans, but she didn’t complain too much. Luckily for all of us, we had some dry dirty clothes in the car, which was an improvement over wet sandy clothes.

Brian enjoyed his time on the beach too.

We celebrated Jillian’s birthday at our house. Gabby and Grandma Wendy spent some time together.

We were thrilled when Gabby got the good citizenship award. She was the 11th person in her class of 20 to get it. She spotted Brian right before the assembly got started, so it wasn’t a complete surprise. I think she was prouder of herself than we were. She truly couldn’t believe that she had finally earned it.

Gigi and Milan also won.

Gabby had a blast celebrating Milly and Billy Pengilly’s birthday with them. She got a new bear at Build a Bear, and we all had dinner together at Wolfgang Puck in Downtown Summerlin.

Gabby was a lion in her program this year. I considered having a costume made for her, but took the easy way out and bought one online. I’m told she had the lion head on correctly for the performance Coleman saw. Brian and I saw the second one, and during that time Gabby had removed her head and then put it on upside down. To say that Brian and I were bummed she didn’t have it on right is an understatement.

Gabby was still adorable, but also uncomfortable. The fur was supposed to go all around her face. Here it looks like she has a beard.

Her line was “Look! A lion! Mighty beast. Might he bite me for a feast?”

By the end of the program she was fed up with the head and couldn’t get it back on the right way. I wished she had taken it off sooner.

Coleman and Gabby are taking Swim America swim lessons at Pavilion Pool. My heart melted when I saw them in their swimsuits for the first time. They look like athletes! Before you know it, we will all be swimming laps together. And then we will do triathlons together, which might actually make a triathlon fun for me.

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