All Healthy

We had a fun annual check-up for both kids. Matt is off from work this week so it was an Ahlstrand party at the doctor’s office. 

We kept telling the kids not to smile, so this is what happened. 


Both kids thought it was silly going to school late. They both prefer to be on time. 

All of Nicholas’ little friends screamed, “He’s here! He’s back! We’re singing, come over here Nicholas!” The cuteness at this age is unreal. 


One of the benefits of having an avid home brewer husband: hydrometer reading samples with my lunch. It’s a sour beer, and it’s delicious. 

We’re cleaning up and organizing for Thanksgiving, which means a few gifts for our families got wrapped today. I love Christmas time!


A Very Exciting Weekend

We started off the weekend bright and early in Palo Alto Saturday morning. Julia wanted to show Matt everything at the American Girl Doll store and, amazingly, Matt said, “Let’s go!”

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Showing the kids how to swaddle brought back a few memories for me and Matt. He was always extra good at swaddling, as many dads are. IMG_1401

Julia wanted to make sure cousin Molly saw this collection of Samantha dolls. Molly, this one’s for you!


Julia didn’t want to buy anything, thank goodness. She just wanted to get her doll’s hair brushed and styled at the “hair salon.” We might be the only people in the world who walked out of that two-story wonderland for $15 in hair styling.


Since we were at the Stanford Shopping Center anyway, we decided to visit Santa. He was such a nice guy and spent a few minutes with a book, warming up Nicholas. My lap was needed after all, but at least he’s smiling and not crying.

Our kids are “deprived.” They beg and beg to go to Chuck-E-Cheese, this place they only hear about once in a while when they see a TV commercial. It was just up the road… Where a kid can be a kid. And now we can say we’ve done it.



Time for a birthday party back in the city. Yes, this all happened in the same day.

These girls!!! Before singing Happy Birthday, the little girl shouted, “Fight Song!” and all of the adults had no idea what was she meant. We thought it was a school thing. No. All the girls broke out into song, it’s a pop song about girl power. So we had some girl power before cake.


Julia’s big sister in 4th grade at school was there because of a younger sibling, and they could not have been cuter together. (Julia has an entire school family, it’s really nice.)


As for Sunday… We headed to UC Berkeley with some preschool friends for a women’s basketball game. So fun.


Below, one of my best friends and all around awesome person, Cathie! (Teacher Nicole is in front and she’ll be teaching Nicholas when he’s 4-5 years old – she’s also fantastic.)


That capped off a great week. Earlier in the week, Julia’s soccer team had a quick pizza party and medal ceremony after school. Each kiddo got a medal for something fun, like being a great sport, laughing a lot, etc.  Julia’s was for, “always smiling and running so fast.”


I worked a shift in the library and it just happened to be the day Julia got to pick out her birthday book. On each girl’s birthday, parents can buy a book and she will get a nameplate in that brand new book. It’s fun to see nameplates in books from 10 years ago, and she can always visit her books at the library 20 years from now.


Not only did I go on a great hike with four new mom friends who are Kindergarten parents this week,


but I also got to go out to dinner with my old preschool mom bunch. Julia’s preschool class was together for two years and most of us moms are very dear friends. You can spot some of my besties in here: Cathie, Katie, Sarah, Farina…


We’ll be kicking off another great week tomorrow. The kids have annual check-ups, and I can’t wait to see how tall they’ve grown. Matt is home all week! Tuesday is Julia’s Thanksgiving Program at school in the morning and then starting at 11:00 both kids are off for the rest of the week. Patty and Bill arrive Tuesday night and we have a great group for our annual Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, my great chef friends are coming again, although not one of the great chef families we’ve had in the past, they have their own family in town this year. The cooking co-op lives!

Bike Theft Mystery

The owner of this bike, who every he/she might be, is lucky. Lucky because Matt Ahlstrand found a bike with two flat tires leaning up against our house at 6:30 a.m.  

Our theory is that someone stealing the bike abandoned it when they realized the tires were flat and he couldn’t get away. 

Just like there are more dogs than kids in SF, our city also has more bike thefts than other personal property thefts. 

The kids liked seeing the lady police officer come to our house and take away the bike. 

Good job, Matt. Ha. 

Simba is the most popular little guy in Julia’s school carpool line. 


So Much Love

Julia and Nicholas are sometimes annoyed with each other. “Mom, he ruined everything.” “I’m sad because Julia said no.”

But most of the time, they’re exceptionally adorable and sweet together. Matt and I melt watching this video, it’s worth watching through to the end. (If you read our posts via email, you’ll need to go to the blog, it probably won’t be embedded in your email.)

Here are some shots from Gabbi on Saturday night.  They made the best fort in the history of Julia & Nicholas forts at her apartment. 

This weekend we had Vallejo, the kindergarten class teddy bear, who goes on weekend adventures with each girl. Julia got to write all about her weekend with Vallejo on Sunday night. 

Nicholas and I went to the Academy of Sciences today after school was over at 11:30 am. Starting the second week of December, he’s adding Tuesday and Thursday mornings at school, because he loves it so much. 


Mystery Dinner Party Fun

It was a success in every sense of the word. Food, wine, and I kicked it off with an ice breaker, “What’s your love story?” 

P.S. 50+ shrimp is still never enough. I boil my own to avoid the slimy grocery store stuff and give it so much flavor. 


Julia and Nicholas went to Gabbi’s apartment from 6-9. Best idea ever. 

Roses by my bedside after hosting a ten-person fancy-ish sit down dinner make it all worth it. So grateful for goo friends and now, even more good friends. 

Julia said, “mommy, you have more friends than anyone in the world.” I think she’s gaining on me. 


Dinner Parties

We have a lot of them, but this Saturday’s might be the most fun of all. It’s a mystery dinner party. A few kindergarten families offered to host (we are one of them) and now we have no idea who our guests will be, just that there are eight of them coming. 

Dinner party for ten, coming right up!

Some do it potluck style. I asked each family to bring the champagne, great reds and whites instead. In SF you have to be on top of your wine game, and frankly I’d rather spend money on making great food while others bring the expensive drinks. 

Wish me luck, we have a full day Saturday and guests arrive at 7pm.