November 18, 2012

Time Marches On

Time marches on. As difficult as it is sometimes in the thick of things with small kids, these are also the best of times. I open my eyes and they are crawling, walking, running and jumping away. Such sweet faces. Joey is growing fast and learning new things every day, except how to sleep well. (ughh).
9 months old and super cute

Meg is loving Kindergarten and learning lots of new things in Spanish and English. Her reading is excellent and she loves to sing.

5 going on 13

Bug is also growing fast. So are his opinions. It makes for interesting discussions at the dinner table. He's doing well in school and is a great big brother.
 What Mom? Age 11. Going on 35.

We are blessed.


November 17, 2012

An afternoon away

Justin is getting down to the last of his date cards from Christmas last year. This past weekend we spent the afternoon in Balboa parking taking a self-guided walking tour. We took the trolley without having to worry about wrestling strollers or kids jumping out the open windows and just took our time. We saw some fun new spots and visited a non-family friendly museum. We walked through the Rose garden and had to snap some pictures. It was printed on the date card that there must be photos. Quiet, relaxing, and good to reconnect.

 He's either silly or grumpy in all of his photos. Gotta love this guy.

 The "couples" photo.

 My shoes match the flowers.
I feel like I look old in this picture but I am sure in 10 years I will wish I looked this young again. Time marches on.

November 15, 2012

It's the little things...

It's the little things that bring a smile to your face. This last week I got a letter from my Mom with some birthday money in it. Not much, but it came with the admonition to spend it on myself because she knew I would likely spend it on some kid related thing. Coincidentally, the same day, I came across these darling, perfect red shoes. I have a secret thing for red shoes. Love them. It ended up being almost exactly what Mom had sent. I never would have brought these home otherwise.Hope she loves them too.  Sometimes it's the little things that make you smile. Every time I wear them I get happy. Thanks Mom.

November 1, 2012

Snow White, Super Brother and a Woodland Creature

I used to like holidays. All of the prep work, the cute decorations, fun food and people all working towards the same thing for a while. Now that some of my kids are bigger, and some smaller, I am just flat out exhausted. I didn't even find the box of decorations this year. I didn't sew, save for the Snow White head band and I didn't even bake cookies, except for the sad Pinterest Fail candy corn sugar cookies. Those turned out looking very bad. But, you know what? My kids still had a great Halloween. Everyone found a costume and they were all adorable. We painted pumpkins with friends one night and had cider and pumpkin bread for treats. We went Trunk or Treating at church which was tons of fun. Everyone got too much candy and had fun admiring other costumes. The Kindergarten party was sugar filled craziness but the middle school ignored the holiday completely. Despite my lack of enthusiasm, it turned out fun anyway. Asking my kids about previous holidays, they don't seem to remember the years I didn't pull it together and remember small details of years I go all out. Hopefully that gives me a pass this year if I can pull off something more next year, right?


October 31, 2012

October 10, 2012

8 Months already

At 8 months old, our sweet Joey is still amazing us every day. We can't help but love every thing about him.
At 8 months old Joey:
  • crawls along pretty well
  • twists his way off of the couch into a standing position and is very proud of himself
  • loves to eat applesauce and broccoli, not carrots
  • lights up whenever his brother or sister walk into the room
  • plays peek-a-boo
  • laughs readily
  • is sleeping better (sleep has always been an issue, but we are improving!)
  • is very social
  • has an allergy to penicillin medications
  • has no volume control. It's loud or nothing.
  • Says Mama when he's mad, and Dada when he's happy
  • Has 2 bottom teeth and one top one almost through

He's a busy, happy little boy.


October 1, 2012

And now we know

You know that question every health care provider and pharmacist asks every time you are seen or present a prescription? Now I have a reason to answer yes, there is a known drug allergy.

A few days ago Baby got ill. Fever, cranky, sad sick. Not eating, not sleeping and not happy sick. It was especially sad since Dad was away on travel. The nights were sleepless, the days were sleepless and the baby was hot and sad. Finally, after almost 3 fulls days of fever I took him to urgent care and walked out with amoxicillian for a double ear infection. And hope. Hope that we would be well soon and happy again. I missed my happy baby.

He doesn't take medicine well. I know that, but I forced the first dose down at 7 pm Sunday night. Combined with the teething tablets and some other soothers, he slept, finally. For at least 3 full hours. Bliss. Monday at 7 am I gave him the second dose. Within 15 minutes he was screaming again. Unhappy, in pain, scared screaming. I tried to feed him and he ate fairly well. Within another 20 minutes he was getting a rash on his face. Then it spread to his head. Then he gave me back everything I had fed him plus his dose of meds. The rash spread to his neck, back and arms. We ran to the pediatrician. We were warned to not give him penicillin products anymore. The first time may be mild, but the next time might be more severe.

Within a few hours, he could open his eyes again. They weren't so swollen, but his face is still mighty red. Poor kid. I opted out of switching to another antibiotic on the off chance I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between one reaction and another. I suspect his ears will survive. Crazy day. Sad baby. My heart hurts for him. Can't wait to post another picture of my well, happy little guy. Soon, I hope.
Check out the new teeth. They are there, promise.

September 26, 2012

Sparkles make it all better

While thrift shopping with a good friend of mine recently I ran across these amazing little girls shoes, in my little Girl's exact size. They have sparkles on them. A pair of Converse in very good condition that have sparkles? Only $2.00? Sold.

Every day after school she asks me if I went anywhere and brought home anything, specifically anything for her. She doesn't much like to go shopping with me, but if I bring her home something she's always excited. I don't bring her home something every time, but a lot of time I do find something fun for her. I stashed the shoes away thinking I would save them for her, but she's like a bloodhound when it comes to shoes and she found them. She was thrilled. "Oh, Mama. These are the most perfect shoes that sparkle. They match my black and pink skirt PERFECTLY. The only problem is that they have laces. I don't know how to tie my shoes yet." (She said that all in one long breath without much of a pause as she cradled the shoes to her.)

So this morning she put on her black and pink skirt outfit, dug out some socks and put on her new shoes. After messing with the laces for a while she asked me to tie them and then set an appointment with me after school to teach her how to tie her own shoes. Then we snapped a couple of cute pictures in her new sparkly feet. She couldn't be any cuter. You can't help but have a good day if your feet are dressed up, right?
P.S. Annalia- I found something pretty amazing that I HAD to get for you too. It should be on it's way by the end of the week. Miss you.

September 13, 2012

Nexus 7

Our Big kid really wanted a tablet. He did his best to persuade us to get one for him. An Ipad, like Grandma. No go. Then he came up with a plan. And a PowerPoint presentation. It made us laugh and finally concur. We all came up with a way both big kiddos could participate in getting a tablet computer. They did chores, saved money, used up all of the Christmas a birthday savings and even talked Uncle Marcos out of $10. Mom and dad chipped in a little bit, but they did the majority of the earnings. The snail genocide in our yard was a bonus. It's easy to be motivated when each snail equals a nickle. Big Kid also did research. Tons of it. He was on the computer every day doing comparisons. He made charts and asked for family discussions. It was a big deal to him.

Finally we ordered it. We were supposed to order it from a store that had site to store shipping where we could pick it up the same day, but that fell through, and the charge didn't come off of my credit card for over a week. Bad call there. Finally we found a great price online and ordered, and waited, and waited and waited. 8 days later it finally came. Big Kid was so thrilled he couldn't stand himself.
He likes the feel of the back of it. He doesn't like to use the cover.

One of the things I love about it is the Zoodles app. We don't have the premium service, although that would be fun. The one we do have is free and allows the kids to send and receive 1 minute or less videos from certain family members who sign up and connect with us through So Much Fun. We have been getting daily videos from Grandma Cleo and weekly videos from Grandma Cozette. It's better than the post office.
Big Kid likes Khan Academy, Ted Talks, and of course Zombies. I like the free scrabble app I found and Dad likes the calculus calculator. Awesomeness in a small package.

September 12, 2012

On the move

This video was taken recently and shows our Littlest Guy on the move. He's gotten more brave since this was taken and is moving all of those arms and legs. It tires him out though, so he still doesn't go far. It won't be long before I will need to make a real effort to find some baby gates.


September 4, 2012

1st Day of School

Up until a little over a year ago when I thought of this day, I thought of peace and quiet and a trip to the bathroom by myself. I looked forward to not having to share my drink and having the living room stay clean for more than 3 minutes. That all changed with the wonderful surprise that is our 3rd child. I wouldn't trade him for anything, even if potty time on my own is still a few years away.

Big Kid started 6th grade today in a STEM school a few miles away from home. It was a little chaotic today, but hopefully things will settle in soon and he will find his stride. He's going places and I hope this is a great year for him to build a great foundation on. He was less than thrilled with me for making him stand still for a few photos, even asking how old he had to be to not participate any more. My answer was that I would still want first day of school pictures when he was in grad school. Mom is always going to be Mom.

Meg was so excited she couldn't hold still. She loves her backpack, her lunchbox, taking a snack and hanging out with friends from pre-school, and planning her fashion statement for the next day. She was worried at first about a teacher who spoke English and Spanish, but decided it would be ok as long as she didn't get in trouble for not understanding instructions. Her first day of school must not have gone exactly as she hoped either though because when I asked how her day was, she told me "That was not as fun as I had planned." Ever the planner. Like her mother. Now that she has adjusted her expectations, she will probably be fine.

Baby Brother was a little lost today. He's never been on his own for the whole day without a brother or sister to entertain him. He was thrilled when we picked up Meg and reached for her. Too bad he's 1/2 her body weight now and she can't really tote him around anymore. Both the big kids were pretty self entertaining. Hopefully this one will settle down that way too, but I am not counting on it. Everything about him is different.

Here's to a great school year full of adventures and learning!

August 10, 2012

My Boys

 Our shortest guy has turn 6 months old. He's a pretty amazing guy. He's picked up some new tricks lately. Like hair pulling. And almost sitting up by himself. He's so close. Eating a bit of solid foods here and there. Playing peek-a-boo and being delighted when his big brother comes close enough to play.

The Big Kid is a great help with Baby when he wants to be. And his favorite thing is to make the baby laugh. He gets all proud of himself and it makes me smile. And he doesn't want Baby to see him when he's crying, thinking Baby will blame him for whatever is wrong. That's kind of annoying at times, but logic is logic I guess. He's a great big brother.

I am loving these two boys. And their sister. I just wish that Baby would sleep a bit more.


August 6, 2012


On our way home from an Epic Road Trip this summer we stopped in Yosemite National Park to hike and camp and play. It was end of June timeframe and we didn't think we could get a place to camp, but we did. It was on the East side at about 8500 feet in elevation. Most attractions are the the West side of the Park and the drive can take up to an hour each way. We were up for an adventure though and decided to camp there in  bear country. Everywhere in that park is Bear country.

We hiked and played and waded in the rivers. We saw waterfalls and wildlife (not bears) and amazing views of huge rocks. We watched climbers doing death defying feats and saw a mama duck teaching her little ones how to scavenge and snatch food from pic-nickers. We had a lot of fun, but we also just about froze our self into Popsicles. The first morning we woke up it was below freezing and the next two mornings weren't much better. It took a while to get to the warm side of the mountains. We had tons of s'mores and used every last bit of the hot chocolate we had packed. The kids slept in the same sleeping bag  with the other one and two blankets over them and the baby snuggled himself between mom and dad and stayed perfectly warm with his cute hat our friend Pam knitted for him.

Our surprise for the trip was having to buy new tires while in the park. Something about a rock and some damage that had to be fixed right away. Not a typical vacation expense, but I was glad we were able to cover it and get our family home safely. You should have seen us with 3 kids and a soft top car top carrier on top of our VW Passat. Good thing Justin can pack a sea bag well. It translates well to car packing too. We were sardines in there. And it was especially fun on the way home when the drivers side door decided it wouldn't shut all the way any more and we had to strap it closed with the roof bag straps and then climb out the back doors. Oh what an adventure.

The kids took lots of walks and collected rocks that didn't actually come home with us. One night Meg needed to make a potty run in the middle of the night. In a campground with no power at all in the dead of a cold night with no glasses, we headed out. We got lost coming back because I couldn't see. She was patient with me for a while, until she got really cold. Then she started calling for Dad. After that when she woke up she asked him for help first. Smart girl. Or smart Mom, depending on who you ask. I am so glad we were able to go and I hope at least the big kids remember it for some time to come.

August 4, 2012

Summer Sun

We have been doing a lot of hanging out in the Summer sunshine. While I miss my rainy home state I can't say that I don't love the sunshine we have around here. Kids have been happy with the pool time we have been able to have lately. Thankfully we have good friends with great pools.

Swim lessons start Monday for Meg. She's committed to finally getting her whole face in the water. We will see. She's taken level 2 lessons the past two years and will again this time. If she can get her face in the water she passes to level 3. Wish us luck.
After this fun afternoon in the pool I had to drag her out. For real. Then she screamed the entire way home that she wasn't done and wanted to go back. Then she moved on to screaming that she didn't like me for making her do other things she didn't want to do. The yelling and screaming escalated for a long time. I was looking up airfare for unaccompanied minors to Grandma's house. I miss having Grandma's close. Or sisters. And then I looked up parenting groups. In the end she stayed in her room yelling all night to no one, but she didn't stop. Around 9:30 she fell asleep. Thankfully. Any ideas for me?

As an aside... a trip down memory lane. I remember being young, probably between 6-8 years old when my Aunt Lan pulled up her super cool station wagon in front of our house one day. She went to the back and pulled out a sheet that had some clothes or something wrapped up in it then opened the door and pulled out her oldest son who was also screaming bloody murder. She put them both on the lawn and got back in her car and left. I watched from the window upstairs. She didn't come to the door, didn't say hi, she just left. He stayed with us for about 2 weeks. Turned out that he had sawed off the legs of the kitchen table. He was safer with us. Some days I long to live near my sisters where my kids could maybe have a safe haven once in a while. Sometimes a change of scenery is all it takes to change an attitude.