Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dottie's Family Dinner

Turkey enchildas for 30, our fam was so there! Dottie, a cousin of Jan's, hosts an annual after-Thanksgiving dinner that gets everyone (and I do mean everyone) together to eat and be merry. We even managed a group photo.

J's contribution, R/Cing (yea, no idea how to actually state what we were doing in correct terms). Basically, we had races with the little cars. It involved running if your car flipped or was flipped by the competitor and just a tiny bit of trash talking.

Both kiddos were enthralled with the vintage Fisher Price Little People. Uhm, so was I. Dude, those things are cool and I want to either find my old set or buy new (old) ones.


You gotta end the night with a horse ride and a photo bomb by Trev.

Monday, November 29, 2010

San Francisco Zoo

Hello SF Zoo, we were very pleased to meet you. Oh, and we were super impressed that you let visitors see where the animals hang at night. To Vera's delight there were reindeer, zebras, a rhino, and bears...all animals that she does not get to visit at the SB Zoo.

There was also this guy.

Lucky for us, Opa met us at the zoo for some fun family time.

Awww...love that Christmas decorations are up.

Yes, there were different pictures of different family members posed as different animals. This was the best one. It was followed closely by Jan as a peacock and Vera as a spider.

Have you ever seen an anaconda? It was the biggest snake I have every seen in my entire life. It was HUGE! His body had to be a small dinner plate size around.

Gotta love Yoda Chimp.

Group shot, so fun to have our two sides of the family together.

This little area was my favorite part of the entire zoo. First, it was quite chilly outside and this little area was heated. Second, it is called the giraffe lounge. Third, you get to be really close to cool giraffes eating their dinner.

Thanksgiving Dinner

There were two remarkable occurrences at this year's Thanksgiving dinner. The first was that all 18 members of the Mazzetta/Anthony Clan ate together at one enormous table. In all years past the group would be split into three to four separate areas to eat dinner. Awesome idea Auntie Lo-Lo!

The second yummy addition to the Thanksgiving dinner this year was that Heather made chocolate lava cake. It was delicious and so much better than pumpkin pie. Have I mentioned before my dislike of pumpkin pie? All desserts should be chocolate, not squash.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner Park Play

We love finding new cool parks. Burton Park is AWESOME and was just what the kiddos needed to get some wiggles out before Thanksgiving dinner.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

1st Time Hiking

The idea here is to warm the kiddos into hiking, so that they will not just do it, but learn to LOVE it. First step = a half mile walk from Steven's Park. There was plenty to do and lots of poison oak to avoid. Note to self, kids love having to avoid certain plants.

Okay, it might not have been something to do, but this debris catcher was pretty darn cool.

Happy hiking face!

There is nothing like finding a HUGE pile of dirt to explore. It was all fun and games until Keller (playing with a stick) managed to flick dirt into his eyes. It wasn't just a small amount of dirt. The boy was crying dirty tears and it wasn't all coming out. There is some back story here. Several different times now Keller has had to have sand/dirt/etc. rinsed out of his eyes at various parks with large amounts of water. It requires me to hold him down and a friend to pour water into his eye/s. Oh, it is so traumatic and now when even a little speck of dirt falls into his eye he starts screaming that he doesn't want water torture. It is so dramatic and horrible!

There is nothing more fun than playing with sticks in a hole filled with water. Good times!

To end the hike (or at least make the turn around), the kids explored the creek. By explore, I mean they got muddy and wet.

By muddy, I mean really muddy!

Ahhhh! We made it back to the park after our adventure, all in one piece and for the most part smiling.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Our Week in Review

After a long, long run with no sickness in our family, this past week decided it was time to bite our family in the butt. Vera fell at the beginning of the week with a fever/stomach "thing." Then, Keller's boogers and croupy cough decided to rear its ugly head on Wednesday.

It so happened that on Thursday we were finally able to pay our friends back for watching our kids the weekend of Julia's wedding. Little Ray and B were booked to stay with us Thursday to Saturday morning and Keller's cough wasn't going to keep the babysitting from happening. Then, Little Ray went down for a nap Thursday afternoon and woke up with a fever. Whew! That was the end of me. I think that should be all my sickness for the year.

We had a lot of indoor, tv, and arts and crafts time. I can't even count how many puzzles we finished. At one point I went to Ross and bought new puzzles to keep Vera entertained. It was that kind of week.

Yes, I admit that I like this picture because it reminded me that Keller is almost 100% a lefty and it makes me think of mom.

The only picture I took during the weekend. Four was challenging in that one always needed something. It was especially hard at night when one would need the light on, the other the light off, the third a glass of water, and the fourth just wanted to sleep despite all of the racket. Yep, all four kiddos slept in the same room.

After our friends had left, we headed to the UCSB Women's Basketball Game. It was so much fun family time and I am addicted. We will definitely be going to more games this season. Living here, I don't know why we haven't been before...I am guessing it has something to do with the kiddos ages. Vera became a Gaucho Kid (meaning she got a t-shirt and now gets into games free), the game went into double overtime (very exciting) before losing by 1 stinking point, and the kids got tons of compliments on how well they behaved. Oh, and we got a free t-shirt! Vera of course commented over and over about how much she liked the cheerleaders. No honey, you just keep watching the tall girls on court...I swear I won't influence her...too much.

Can you find the independent kiddos?

Do you think she was excited?

Our weekend ended with an old-fashioned game of beauty salon with Daddy as a good sport. Seriously, still wondering how Vera managed to get the bows to stay in his very short hair.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Santa Barbara Harbor

In my hopes of getting a family photo last night, I dragged the Mazzetta Crew + my big sis to the Santa Barbara Harbor to snap off a few shots. Vera had complained earlier in the day that her eyes hurt, but I chalked it up to being a kid and that it had passed. Well, it turns out she really was not feeling well. Let the mommy guilt set in for dragging her to the location and then asking her over and over again to smile for the camera.

Needless to say, the family shots are 3 people smiling and one little miss having a rough time.

The one photo that I really like is of Krista and me. Look at that belly, 6 months along and she is looking fantastic. I am just itching to be an auntie (several times over, if you are reading this Jules. :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

More of Vera's Drawings

I can't help it...Vera's doodles are adorable to her mama.

This one might take a little explanation. From left to right we have Keller, Vera, Mommy, and Daddy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Photoshoot at Alice Keck Park

Mrs. E's family met the The Mazzetta Crew at Alice Keck Park this past weekend to do some family photo taking swapping. Got that? :) Each of us has one child under 3, which equals a child who is fairly difficult to photograph. They have to be in the mood and you have to shake a rattle, scream their name, and make sure their bellies are full to even have a chance that they will look at the camera and give a hint of a smile. Challenging, you bet!

Here is the real reason for this post. For over a year now J and I have been struggling to learn Adobe Photoshop and how to use it to alter our photos to make them better. Little did we know that you can download "actions." An action is basically the lazy man's way to learn Photoshop AND it is awesome. I am using Pioneer Woman's actions found here. She also has a much better definition of an action.

Photo 1: The one I took. A good photo of two adorable girlies, but it does need a little oomph!

Photo 2: I ran the Boost Action and...darn if I wasn't playing around so much that I have no idea what I did. Good times!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thanksgiving is coming soon, time to eat turkey!!!

Santa Barbara Half Marathon

With the race starting at 6:30am, it was a 4:30 wake-up time to eat breakfast, catch my ride to the start line, and still have time to arrive in time to mentally prepare. Of course, as Deb and I strolled into Tucker's Grove, the nice man on the PA system announced a 20-minute delay. Great for another chance to go the bathroom, but not so good on my nerves and the butterflies in my stomach.

It was dark when the race started and the mass of people (3,000 +) ready to run were huddled in a large clump. There is nothing more inspiring to me than a group huddled at a half marathon line, all ages, sizes, and various states of dress. The age and size thing are pretty self-explanatory, but the clothes thing needs a little more description. As I was freezing my butt off in pants and a tank, by me strolls a gentleman in just shorts. Yikes! Put some clothes on, it is still dark and cold. Of course, then you also have the people wearing the knit hat, sweatshirt, and gloves. Such a contrast.

There is a certain look to the serious runners. They are cut, with zero body fat, and their outfits just scream, "I compete!" Deb and I cut a zig-zag path through the crowd to find other 11 minute milers and our comfort zone.

The race itself went fast and I was shocked when the Mile 3 marker came and went and I felt like we had just started. At Mile 5, my friend Julie was on the sidelines cheering loudly with a homemade sign! So fun to see her, I think I ended up dripping a little sweat her way as I took the picture. Gotta love the Keller sweat gene that so lovingly got passed down to me.

Deb and I at the finish line! If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be a runner, I would have thought you were crazy. Even after I became a runner, if you had mentioned to me that running with a partner makes the whole thing easier, I would have scoffed in your face. I was very attached to my mp3 player and self-conscious about my huffing and puffing. BUT, running with Deb is easy and it gives us time to talk without kiddos and/or whinge just a little bit about aches and pains. There is also the added benefit that someone is along for the ride that won't let you give up and walk.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This is the last one...

I promise! We have had too much fun with some of the leftover face paint from PEP's Rockin' Halloween Celebration. This is officially the last Halloween post, thank goodness.