December 27, 2008

Charlotte loves the world

Charlotte loves riding in the car with her window down, this is a new thing. While doing this last month I copied down her heart-felt monologue while trying to drive and not laugh:

"I just really love all these things like the streets and Trader Joes and gas stations and roller skates and all the people."

A funny Luke conversation

Luke: I wish there were no bloodest things in the whole entire world.

Allie: Bloodest things?

Luke: Ya when you fall down and get blood.

Dear Easter Bunny

Dear Easter Bunny,

I want a lots of Easter eggs, even a chocolate bunny egg.

I want a lot of Easter eggs.

July 2008

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa Claus,

I want a transformer that transforms.

Dear Santa Claus,

I want a big speed racer car like my friend Jack at my old school. It was so cool. It was cool, it can turn into a different car that shoots out stuff.

I want the Bumble Bee transformer that transforms into a car.

Giggly goo (like the Berenstein Bears)

Dinosaur molding kit (again, like the Berenstein Bears)

Robot that stands on its head (just read the Berenstein Bears visit Santa Claus book already).

-Lucas LeBaron
July 17 2008 (getting a head start)

This letter was Luke's origination and I wrote down exactly what he said except for my notes in parenthesis. He kept saying "Dear Santa" before each thing and I finally told him he didn't have to do that. So cute.

December 21, 2008

Gingerbread house

Making the yearly gingerbread house. Thanks to my dad, all I did was snap some photos.

Decorating with beads

As I walked into the living room today I saw Charlotte throwing small beads on the floor. She notices the horrified look on my face and quickly announces,

"Mom, I'm decorating the house with beads!!!"
and smears a huge smile on her face.


Luke's a Jew

This year Lucas decreed he wanted to celebrate Hanukkah. (I am so proud I can spell that!) And since I love just about every religion I happily agreed to do this. So a few weeks ago we went to Target and bought our first menorah and candles. He was so proud he carried it around everywhere, and used it as his "show and tell" at school.

My mom runs in today and says "Allie today's the first day of Hanukkah don't forget!" So Luke and I run and we lit our candle, took some pictures, sung a Hanukkah song, and argued over the fact that he isn't going to get 8 huge presents.

And as I sit down to right this and glance at my calendar to make sure I spelled Hanukkah correctly...yah...the first day of Hanukkah is tomorrow. Our first day as Jews and we already failed. Oi vey!

December 3, 2008

RARE FOOTAGE! Charlotte singing!!!

Charlotte decided to sing for me for the first time ever I think. Here's Twinkle Twinkle with tons of cute Charlotte-isms.

Birds and the Bees

So Luke has been asking about where babies come from for a while now. The first time he was almost 4 and I said "Get back to me when you turn 5" and then when he turned 5 he remembered and asked again. Little bugger! So I ran through the whole thing, leaving out some details but detailed enough for him to not ask follow-up questions.

Then the night of my brother's wedding, we are on our way home, it's late, we're all tired and he asked again. John was there for it this time and he gave me a sideways smirk thinking something along the lines of "Sooo glad that wasn't asked of me!"

So, I ran through the whole shpeel again, only turning red in the face once. After I was done lecturing I asked "Luke? Why are you asking me again? Do you just like to hear me explain it?" I was half kidding, half not, because Lucas and Charlotte both have minds like steal traps, but regardless that didn't prepare me for his response. Lucas snickers "Uh yah" and gives a sheepish grin.

Ahhhhh boys.

November 5, 2008

Can't get over the RedHead book

I know, it's kind of cheating if I blog about the same thing twice, but I can't get over how excited I am that Lucas is going to be featured in a book. The author just emailed me the picture they decided to use. Isn't it cute???

You can order one too if you want at

Charlotte the French woman

I was unloading groceries last night and this is what unfolded after Charlotte saw that I bought a cantaloupe:

Charlotte: Oh...I am SO happy to see this!

Allie: Ya know, I thought you would be (for some reason I knew the cantaloupe would thrill her)

Luke: What's it called?

Charlotte: A banquoi

Allie: Banquoi? In English we call it a cantaloupe.

Luke & Charlotte: Oh..

Allie: Charlotte...what did you call it??

Charlotte: Baaan-quuuuoi (said with overdone enunciation)

I learned a while back to never correct a child on what they think something is called. I always tell them what I call it, or what we call it in English, but who am I to judge?? For all I know Charlotte was Portuguese in another life or French and I am just too slow to keep up...regardless...her version of everday words never ceases to entertain me. Just in case you were about to, I already did (googled it), can't find a darn thing. If you know of something I don't...share please!!

November 1, 2008

Wise words

You cannot help the poor, by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak, by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity, by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up, by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man, by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage,
by taking away men's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently, by doing for them what they could and should,
do for themselves.

-Abraham Lincoln.

Very, very wise words, written years ago and we still don't get it.
I have decided to educate myself in politics. I am tired of not feeling conviction about my voting choices and I am tired of not taking part in my country like I should. I have wanted to get active for a few years now and it's time. My first the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Wish me luck.

October 30, 2008

Lucas is featured in a book!!!!!!!

Lucas is being featured in a book about Redheads!!! This project started a few years ago and it's finally arriving in a few weeks.

This is such a cool story. I was approached by a lovely mom in Griffith Park and she and I got to talking about our children's red hair and she invited me to be part of a book she really wanted to do. To make a long story short, she organized, finanaced, self published, dealt directly with the printers in China and basically followed her dream through many, many hurdles to produce an INCREDIBLE book. It has fun facts about our states, answers so many questions about redheads, and of course has beautiful pictures about tons of redheaded children across America.

Through emails, photoshoots, and lots of questionaires, we are now going to be part of this really cool book.

The book is due to arrive very soon and I was just looking at the website and it's
beautiful!!! If you want, you can preorder now!!

The little things

Because it's nice to appreciate the little things, the subject of today's blog is my favorite salad dressing. Newman's Own Balsamic Vinegarette. Not only does it make everyday salad so much yummier, it is a great dipping sauce for chicken or meat (the kids favorite) and is divine on a tomato and hardboiled egg salad (like the one I am eating right now).

And if that wasn't enough, the Paul Newman foundation donates ALL the proceeds to charity. How cool is that?!? I was reminded recently when I was listening to a beauitful radio euology on the man, his career and all his many charitable contributions. $250,000,000 ballpark. What an amazing man.

Thank you Paul Newman!

Scary stories

My good friend hosted a Halloween scary story night at Mallard Canyon (sooo pretty!) and we had such a good time! Thank you!!!!!! She had organic snacks galore, cookie decorating and another mom read "scary" kids halloween books. Here is the table decor glowing at night. How pretty!!

There was this huuuuge rock in the creek bed that doubles as a slide. Violet, being the dare devil that she is, couldn't get enough.

Here is the homemade pumpkin cookie that Katherine got organic and healthy decorating stuff for. Look, she CUT OUT triangle shapes to do the face with.

Lucas with an old preschool buddy Diego

Some of the kids on slide rock

Intenting listening to one of the stories

Hello scary flashlight man

Pumpkin carving...mucho fun

This year I decided I wanted to see what a power drill could do to a pumpkin. I used it to carve weird eyes. Nothing pretty or spectacular, just something I always wanted to try.

Luke and Grammy are planning out his design.

I think this was her favorite part. She kept trying to steal this part away from others. I defended mine, it's the best part of pumpkin carving! Notice the nude body, that's right, it was over 75 degrees at 7pm in late October!!!

I am very thankful my dad has so much energy and fun in him. He was hysterical tonight with all the sound effects and maniacal, halloween-ish laughter. He also did the set up, clean up, and helped both kids carve. THANK YOU!!

Have you visited the library lately?

A smart & frugal friend of mine turned me on to a cool feature a while ago and I kinda forgot, okay, I was lazy. Clicking on Amazon, buying the book I wanted, and having it arrive on my doorstep a few days later was just easier. The cats outta the bag....

But with my re-newed pledge NOT to spend needless moola, I rediscovered the library and it's super neat feature of ordering books and having them shipped to your local branch. If you suffer from a small local library like me, you suffer from a small book selection. This solves all problems with about 5 clicks and a quick trip that doubles as connecting with your community.

ALL FOR FREE! All you need is your library card # and the last four digits of your telephone # on file. Yah...I had to dig in the dark holes of my memory for my number back on Hillrose! Good to know I haven't lost THAT marble.

Do you know how much money this will save me?? (As long as I return them on time!)

Glorious I tell you. Simply glorious.

PS I put a few books on hold: The Bill of Rights: A User's Guide, The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution. Yes, I am trying to brush up on my government knowledge - just sick and tired of being illiterate in this area, waaaay too important. Time to know what I need to and then help do my part to save us from this mess.

And I am trying to hold the book "Nick of Time". Supposed to be a fun historical novel for teens - I love teen books! Thanks to Connie Herrera for that recommend.

freaking hystercial

You will not be disappointed.

October 24, 2008

Recent pics of my sis's family

My sister and a few friends of our went out to this AMZING apple farm in Yucaipa. It is so beautiful and have they have the BEST caramel apples. My sister here is sampeling the glory, still warm with fresh caramel and that stuff is well...kinda sticky. Her mouth is a little sealed shut in this photos. :) hehe

At our friend's recent birthday they had wax lips in the goody bags.

Memo (my bro in law) and my yummy niece Violet.

Meet taco baby. I gave her a bath and then wrapped her up and set her down while I got jammies and she stayed there all wrapped up. :)

Lego lover

We (collectively) clocked in over 4 hours on Luke's most recent Lego acqusition. FOUR HOURS. I did about two of those hours and I must say snapping together little squares to create spaceships, men, monsters, etc. if actually quite fun. After two hours and I start to loose my steam. That's when grammy and grandpa took over. Thank goodness! This picture was taken at 10:00pm. Yes I let Luke stay up. Once you get on a roll it's addicting I tell you! :)

Cuddle time

Saturday mornings are glorious around here. They are our one lazy morning and we relish them don't we? Here I got a wild hair and decided to bring the camera along to cuddle time. Glad I did. Captured our goofy selves. :) I love you so much buddy. You are just amazing.....

xo, Mommy

How sweet it is... sell your toys. I took you guys to Once Upon a Child last weekend to sell some of your old toys and with that money we walked next door and bought ice cream. You really liked this idea Luke. on the other hand made the clerk give you back your jump rope. LOL Classic!

And he does dishes too

Dearest Hubby,

I had to snap this photo so as to hopefully remind myself how sweet I have it. Not only did you change diapers when we were in that phase, you wake up with the kids at night if they need water or a cuddle, you spend as much time with them as you can, you check off items from the honey-do list, and my most favorite....YOU DO DISHES!

You rock!!!

xo, your appreciative wife

First day at the Office

Luke is raising money for his school fundraiser, his first one. And I had the brilliant idea of having John take him to his company meeting to ask John's coworkers for donations. This is Luke's first offical trip with John to the weekly company meeting. The pajamas were his idea. He raised $120!

October 18, 2008

The Fam

This jumping picture pose was something I have always wanted to try since I saw it in a Leonardo DeCaprio movie. I am SO GLAD we did it. I LOVE it. You should try it because you can't help but all start laughing and making goofy faces. In here are all of my immediate family memebers plus a few spouses. The shot was taken spring of 07. We had so much fun with this. Check out my hugely prego sister, hysterical that she is the only one who can't jump. LOL

This pic was taken at my grandpa's 81st birthday party that we had here at the house this past May. My sis Jess couldn't make it but here are my other three siblings.

The beautiful bride

This weekend my sister Sara and I drove up to Vegas for Gab's last minute but very planned marriage. It's a funny thing. They knew they wanted to be married, they have known each other for a long time, and they just decided to forget waiting, stop putting their life on hold, forget "too young" and just jump in. I applaud that. As scary as it sorta kinda is to think of my younger sister married, I am happy for them. I jumped in and look where that got me! Blissfully happy. So, kudos for not over thinking things Gab!!! May you have a happy and prospereous marriage to Ben!

This shot was taken after the ceremony in the back veranda of the hotel. So cute.

I love this shot. This is Diane, Gab's mom trying to take out her earrings so Gab and wear them. The morning was tense and this goofy moment was perfect and I am so happy I caught it on film.

I just love the classic "bride gazing at herself" shot. She's so yummy.

Before the wedding and all the way up to the moment Gab walked down the aisle she seemed relaxed and was making all sorts of jokes. She also declared to us that she would not cry at all. Well...the MINUTE she started down the aisle with her dad and saw Ben it was over! It was the sweetest ceremony I think I have ever seen.

And this is Ben seeing Gab walk in. You can see the minister raising his hands up to signal the crowd to stand up for Gab.

I am so grateful that I could be there. And I am so thankful I was able to capture these memories. ;)

October 16, 2008

Crazy weekend

Okay so my sister and I had a blast in Vegas this weekend. My younger sister decided to get married, spur of the moment you might say, so we drove up to wish her well and take pictures, etc. Will post more about that with pictures tomorrow.

Also, while I was gone we got a new dog!! A 2 year old pitbull (don't freak) named Maya. She's a total love. Will post a pic tomorrow as well.

Just wanted to keep you updated. :)

October 10, 2008

You are not a real child unless you have...

Cut your own hair.

Hello. My name is Lucas. And I cut my own hair in the fall of '07.

It was the morning of our family Christmas card photography session.

My mom flip flopped back and forth from hysterical laughter to anger. It was cool.

Muuuuuaaahahahahaaaaa (maniacal laughter)

Constant questions during a movie

Okay so I might have made an error in parental judgement letting Luke watch a PG13 movie. I am usually pretty protective about what I let him watch. John let him watch Transformers and I figured this wasn't much more violent.....well, it is. GREAT movie though. Anyway, the point is that Lucas will NOT stop asking questions.

"Why is that thing in his chest?" (asked 4 times)
"Will he die?"
"Is that the bad guy?"
"What is following him?"
"Why are the rockets following him?"
"When is he going to be red?"
"What do the bad guys want him to do?"
"Is he going to make a missile?"
"Is he going to be hurt?"

Geez boy! Finally John and I both lost it and shouted "Just watch the movie!" And we all started laughing. :) Even you. Thanks for having such an inquisitive mind, and thank you for your patience with those that can't always keep up.

October 9, 2008

Sense of Humor

My love,

When I looked at these pictures today I am reminded how THANKFUL I am that you have an inexhaustible sense of humor. It never quits, (well almost never) and sometimes that is really, really, really annoying (LOL) but now that I am taking an objective view, it is really, really, really valuable and does wonders for our marriage.

We have survived/been blessed with SO MUCH in five years of marriage.

Thank you for making every day fun.
Thank you for keeping it all in perspective.
Thank you for loving me even though I am not always lovable.
Thank you for all your pep talks.

I love you.

-Your too serious wife

(pictures taken at a cool wildlife preserve museum in NoCal during a recent trip with my grandparents. John made me take pictures while he posed with the bear.)

A fantastic video

I am not a huge YouTuber or whatever, but seriously this video is not only funny, short and carries a positive message, it's FUNNY! (wait did I just say that?)

There are some well timed swear words so watch out for the kiddies.

Chubby Cookie

In class the other day the teacher was reading a book about different family members. So the brother part was about how they can be stinky and then Dads and they have loud voices and are so tall and then mothers, and how they are so sweet and cuddly, etc. The teacher asked each child what their mother reminded them of and some said candy, and others said flowers, etc. She asked Lucas what his mom reminded him of and he said...

"Oh! Oh! A..a..a...A CHUBBY COOKIE!"

LOL LOL Okay the back story on this is he LOVES my mushy post-baby tummy. He is obsessed with rubbing it, petting it, and putting his cheek against it. And the cookie part, I think he was trying to come up with something sweet. The teacher said he declared it with so much love. I laughed until I cried and then I keep repeating that story. I love it!

October 8, 2008

Finger Lickin Good BBQ Sauce

I found this recipe for homemade BBQ sauce - and seriously folks, it's SO GOOD. Totally lives up to it's name. I copied and pasted it from Fabulous website by the way! I have made it three times and I always get rave reviews. I usually make double or triple batches and store the leftover in a mason jar in the fridge. Keeps for weeks.

1/2 white onion
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 2/3 cups ketchup
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder (I use one)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I use a little less, I'm a wimp)

1) Put olive oil in a sauce pan on medium heat and cook onion and garlic until they are soft.
2) Then add the white vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.
3) Let this simmer for 30 minutes.

A little of Luke

Current Luke...

Favorite book: "I will never, not ever, eat tomatoes." This is a very cute book about a brother that gets his picky eater of a little sister to eat good and healthy food. We make jokes and references to this book all the time. VERY good book.

Favorite toy: No current obsession. He has been on a kick of playing with all his old toys. I love it!

Favorite food: apples. He and his teacher have this thing going where they are going to plant all the apple seeds from the apples Luke eats. God love her. Also digging fish sticks, and dried figs.

Can't go to bed without: A made up story about the twins John and Jack (see John and Jack post), a loooong back scratch, kissing my tummy (not sure why), and a nice long cuddle. Oh and if he hears Charlotte demand some water, he'll need some too.

Cute things: He has been coming home singing the state song, it's a song they teach at school so the kids learn the names of all the US states in alphabetical order. I love it (learned it when I was a kid) and so he sings that a lot and then if he hears a state mentioned on the radio or in conversation, he says "Mom!! Alabama! Like Alabama, Alaska, Arizona,.....(and breaks into the song)" Very, very cute.

Current Charlotte

Okay so some current Charlotte things.
Can't go to bed without a sip of water, her "first beela*," a back scratch and a nice, long cuddle. Also John and I are done with the nightly fight, she now occupies the center of our bed a good part of the night. It was a nightly battle and ruined the relaxing evening we craze. "Why fight it when it just doesn't matter that much" John would beg. So I gave in, and it's not killing me. She is pretty good to sleep with, nice cuddling form, but I just can't do the deep sleep I love so much. I suppose this is one of those "mothering ain't easy" moments.

Favorite foods: Bananas, she has been eating like 2-3 a day. Popsicles. She gets to have a homemade juice Popsicle after dinner if she eats well and has good manners. Well....if she fails, ohhhhh man. Everyone up and down our block knows how upset she is.

Favorite article of clothing: This year we did actual back to school shopping (so fun) and I let Charlotte pick out what she wanted (mostly). The thing she picked out and would not let go of was this yellow hoodie with pink cupcakes all over it. She is just in love. And what I goes with NOTHING! haha

Favorite toy: Seems she has been neglecting the doll house these days, and is more interested in the hamster and making beds for her dolls out of her blankets and wash clothes. ALL OVER the house I might add. It is not uncommon to walk in and find 6 blankets spread out with dolls and doll clothes littered about. And these blankets aren't just strewn about, they are PERFECTLY folded, I am so impressed. Her doll games are hard core. Oh and a few days ago she asked to play with the hamster and lost him. So we spent the next 40 minutes hunting him down. I keep having these "I'm a real mom" moments. That was definitely one.

* "Beela" is the pink, soft, silky blanket she is obsessed with and takes everywhere she can. "first" implies the one we gave her first, the dirtiest, ugliest most stained one. Why? Who knows.

Mahi Mahi

My sister is one of those annoying people who just looks in her pantry and can throw together really good meals with a dash of this and a little of that. She does not follow recipes and her food is always unique, sometimes bizarre but really yummy.

She finally made the leap and posted one of her recipes on (love that website!)

Check it out, make it, then vote on it for her. I will win "good sister points" for this.

Oh Joy!

Oh Joy!!! I FINALLY figured out how to add the comments link!!! YAY! Jen will be sooo happy!! :)

Now that I have it, please leave me a note by clicking the "comments" button at the bottom right of my post. That way I will feel in touch and loved!

September 29, 2008

This little light of mine

Here we are, Charlotte, Lucas and I, sitting at my desk. The kids got to singing "This Little Light of Mine" and we all broke out into song as a family. So I decided to download that song from Itunes and they are DIGGING it! And now the kids are coloring cool pictures while listening to it over and over. Never considered myself a gospel person, but this is good stuff.

Good times.

September 27, 2008

A funny conversation

Charlotte: Daddy do you want to play the doll game with me? Yes or no?
Daddy: Umm, no.
Charlotte: DADDY, do you want to play the doll game, YES OR NO?
Daddy: I am going to go with no right now.
Daddy:I thought I was being given a choice here, but I guess not. I guess I am picking yes.

I was laughing in the background, because she is so clearly a women even at 3 years old. Of course we will always give you the appearancy of a choice, but really, there isn't one. :)

September 24, 2008

Hello heartstrings

Well hello sweet memory I had forgotten about! This picture just pulls on all heart strings available. I am mighty grateful I happened to bring the camera while picking up Lucas from preschool that day. This picture was meant to be because John hardly ever came to pick up Lucas and I just happened to have my nice camera with a zoom lens on with me?? Riiiight. Divine intervention I call it! :) Oh my - I must frame this.
Picture taken May 12 2006