Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas and Goodbye for now

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. We spent Christmas Eve at my sister's home and enjoyed a fondue dinner, the acting out of Luke 2, and a tour of some fabulous Christmas lights in the area. The kids went to bed so late that they didn't even wake up until after 8am-that was a true Christmas present to me!!!!!
We leave bright and early tomorrow morning for Cancun, Mexico for a week of fun in the sun with my siblings and all their kids.
Happy New Year!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

From trash to treasure

2 Sundays ago, Julia wore her Christmas dress from last year. It was about 5 inches too short and barely zipped up her back, but at least she was festive. Being the procrastinator that I am, I decided on Saturday that she really did need a new Christmas dress for this year. I started digging through my fabric stash and came across a small remnant of green corduroy fabric that my older sister had given me. I'm glad she didn't just trash it as it became Julia's new Christmas dress. (after a frustrating hour or so trying to rearrange my pattern to make it all fit on the tiny piece of material) Gotta love FREE stuff!!

And speaking of trash, my new new sofas are here and we put our old ones out on the curb for someone else to pick up and enjoy. Someone took one, but we still have one left before garbage day tomorrow. I am very embarrassed that I have a couch in front of my house. But alas, our dryer broke on Saturday so not only do I have a couch in front of my house, I also have a dryer as well. NICE!!! We're "those neighbors" that I'm sure everyone hates. Sorry neighbors. It will all be gone tomorrow.
And here is a picture of one of our new couches with the child that actually smiles. (Trying to get Julia to smile is, well, a little difficult)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Good Bye Dear Friends

We have had these sofas for 5 years now. They were hand me downs from my sister Carol who had them for many years before that. As you can see, it is definitely time to part with them. Tomorrow our new sofas arrive. I feel like a REAL adult. At age 33 I am finally buying my first set of couches.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Best Doctor Visit Ever

I went to the Doctor on Friday for my monthly prenatal appointment. I absolutely hate the part where I have to stand on the scale and my weight is written down forever in their little chart. Every month it goes up up up. I have had some bad experiences with one of the doctors in that practice (thankfully she left the group a few months back). She seemed to take great happiness in telling me with my last pregnancies that I was gaining too much weight and would ask me to please watch my carb intake. Never tell a pregnant lady she is FAT- even if it is true!!!

So I was pleasantly surprised when the doctor asked me if I was still feeling nauseous because she thought I wasn't gaining quite enough weight. I wanted to throw my arms around her and shout with glee!!! According to the "chart" I've only gained 10 pounds this pregnancy and I am now at the halfway mark, 20 weeks. (what she doesn't know is that I gained 5 pounds between getting pregnant and my first doctor's visit)
Thank you dear doctor for giving me license to EAT this Christmas and for not making me feel like the big fat cow that I know I am. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lard + Lots of hands + corn husks = tamale fun

I LOVE LOVE LOVE tamales. This year I hosted my 3rd annual tamale party and we had a ton of fun making lots and lots of tamales. A big thanks to my Mom who came early in the day and helped me make all the fillings. She also kept me from making the fillings too hot. ( I really like SPICY food, but I know that most people don't like things as spicy as me so Mom helped me restrain myself.)

And I must say that every year I am amazed that I actually buy lard for this event. The idea of lard has always sicked me out but I know that the tamales wouldn't turn out half as yummy without it. So until next Christmas, good bye lard.

And I must add how much I LOVE my kitchen for the long island down the middle-perfect for tamale assembling.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Julia's new favorite toy

This weekend we ushered in Christmas. The wonderful smelling tree is up, the decorations are out, and the lard has been purchased for my Christmas tamale party. Despite our attempts to barricade the tree using the sofa, toy box and piano bench, Julia manuevered her way back there in less than 10 minutes. It's her new favorite toy. With so many treasures to touch and things to yank off, what could be more fun foran almost 2 year old. Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cousins and more Cousins

We had a great Thanksgiving holiday spending time with Mike's brother and then moving on to my brother's home. We are very appreciative to them for letting us stay at their homes and feeding and entertaining us. Duck Duck Goose was a favorite at one house and Hungry Hungry Hippoes at the other.
I am so thankful for family. It was absolutely wonderful to see our kids run around with all of their cousins. They had sooo much fun, and we had a great time too.
Little kate is the happiest jumpiest baby alive.
Robert couldn't resist laying out an assortment of "princess" stories and movies for Julia to be indoctrinated with.

Monday, November 24, 2008

5 little Indian Feathers :)

Blake does a little co-op preschool once a week with some friends, and today was my day to host it. We had a great time learning about Thanksgiving, and I think the kids had fun making their Indian feather headbands. Of course while they were busy being productive little preschoolers, Julia was busy coloring all over the chair, table, and some wooden toys. (good thing for washable markers)

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tomorrow is the Day

Tomorrow the baby (hopefully) will reveal whether he is a boy or she is a girl. I'm so excited!!! I really don't have a definite feeling either way, but I am leaning towards a boy. A girl would be nice as well, but that means double the sewing projects because I won't be able to resist making matching everything for my 2 girls. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wow- I'm part of the most villified group in CA right now

Growing up, I had 5 eye surgeries to try to correct my strabismus. A few years ago I was astounded to hear that my wonderful opthomologist, Dr. Rosenbaum barely escaped being killed by a car bomb that was put there by some animal rights activists because they were angry at the research he was doing on animals at UCLA to further medical science.

There are those who think that research on animals is cruel and should not be done. Then there are those who believe that research on animals helps science progress. The two sides will never come to an agreement. Regardless of how you feel on the matter, any reasonable person can conclude that the actions of the bombers were reprehensible and atrocious, and that the bombers themselves were bigots. (definition- a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.)

Last Tuesday, California voters passed Prop 8 which amends the state Constitution to say that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California. I gave of my time, my money and my vote to support this proposition. 2 days after the election, a thousand protesters marched in front of the Los Angeles Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints holding signs that read "Mormons are bigots" and other accusatory things and shouting things such as, "Shame on you". I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I saw all of this unfold on the news. Laugh because quite frankly it is comical that they attribute the passing of Prop 8 to a group of people who make up only about 2% of the population. (maybe they should have protested African American neighborhoods because 70% of them voted yes, and they make up a significantly larger portion of the population than Mormons.) And I wanted to cry because I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I cringe at being called a bigot and other horrible names.

A bigot I AM NOT. Why did I support Prop 8? Because the most ideal situation in which to raise a child is in a home with a mother and a father. Every child deserves to have a mother and father who love and care for him and each other. This is why marriage is so important. It binds a woman and a man together to create and raise a healthy and well adjusted child. And healthy children make for a healthy society. Changing the most basic definition of marriage (which is a proven formula for creating successful people) basically discounts the importance of both a mother and father in a child's life. And messing with something that has been proven to work is a very scary thing for society. Now by saying this I do not mean to imply that children raised in a non mother/father home cannot grow up to be healthy and happy citizens, nor am I stating that all children raised in traditional families are productive citizens, I am simply asserting that they have the best chance of becoming so when raised by a mother and a father who are married- and happily I might add. Every person on this planet yearns for strong loving connection with both his/her mother and father. And if you really don't believe me, just ask all the many foster children I have worked with over the years. Unfortunately, the institution of marriage has already been weakening for several years, and so the coming about of this desire to change the definition should really come as no surprise to anyone. When half of all married people get divorced anyway why does it even matter? Well it matters because a good marriage and let me emphasize good, is still what is ultimately right for a child. If childhood obesity is status quo does that mean we give in and tell our kids to sit back veg in front of the tv and eat twinkies all day? No- the same is with supporting marriage.

Now back to Dr. Rosenbaum. I think we can all say that the vast majority of people who don't want animals tested for research are not the type who would bomb a doctor's car. They are not bigots and horrible people. They simply have a different opinion than Dr. Rosenbaum. The same is true of Prop. 8. The vast majority of people who voted yes to prop 8 did NOT do so because they are bigots or horrible, hateful people. Were some of the people who voted for 8 bigots and hateful-(akin to car bomber types), I'm sure they were. And thinking about people like that makes me sick to my stomach. BUT I AM NOT A BIGOT. And how dare they accuse Mormons of being such when they take no time to really understand the reasons why we voted yes. Assuming we all fall into the "car bomber" category is convenient for them because it is easier to hate a "car bomber" type than to hate someone who simply has a different opinion about the family. The message of my church has never been anti-gay, but pro mother/father family. It's a complete and utter fallacy to assume that because the church is so strongly committed to protecting and preserving the traditional family then conversely we automatically must HATE and ABHOR anyone who disagrees with us. And to the protesters and anyone who disagrees with me, please come and sit down and talk to me about it as an adult. We may never agree and that is ok, but that doesn't mean that we can't respect each other's views.

p.s. I really don't expect anyone to get to the bottom of this very loquacious post, I just needed to give voice to my feelings.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

6 days and counting.....

Julia has now had the stomach flu for six days....and counting. At this point, I have lost track of how many times I have washed her sheets and clothing over the past week. Blake and I both had it for 24 hours several days ago and we are fine. Lucky Mike never had it, he just had to take care of all of us when we were sick-unlucky him.
This week has made me REALLY grateful for my otherwise healthy kids. And hopefully, I will be released from "house arrest" soon. And I am also grateful for a good washing machine. And a helpful husband.
Anyone have any tips for getting rid of this? (when I called the doctor this morning, she very nonchalantly told me to keep her on the BRAT diet and call her back if she is still sick in a WEEK. Are you kidding? This could go on for another week....)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from a cute little pink bunny,
A headless horseman(Blake's cousin Jeffrey), a tiger

and a deranged Easter bunny. I couldn't resist wearing my costume one more time. Mike could not be persauded to suit up again. (I don't blame him)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How could I love her more?

May I present for discussion our little Julia Jean. (I think she looks a lot like me as a baby in this picture)
We had breakfast for dinner tonight and obviously the whipped cream was so good that she had to lick it off her plate. Aren't we doing a good job teaching eating etiquette?
I heard her, but I couldn't find her for a few minutes. Julia decided she wanted to be one of the toys in her toy closet.
This was taken after we discovered that Julia had so thoughtfully unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper. Julia will be 2 in a few months. My little baby is not such a baby anymore. She is into everything and my house is in constant tornado/natural disaster mode due to her. But oh how I love her. Growing up all I ever wanted was a little sister. I was surrounded by way too many brothers and my 2 sisters were both out of the house by the time I was 7. I never got a sister. I did get wonderful nieces to love and great friends. A lot of people see me as being the type of person to want only boys since I am not really a girly girl. I don't really like wearing makeup, I hate princess stuff, I can't do hair and I will never put a garter belt bow thingy in my baby's hair. But oh how I love being a mother to a little girl. There is just something magical about having a daughter. So although I never got a little sister, I got something even better, my very own baby girl to love, cherish and hold. I must kiss and hug her a million times a day. (it also happens to be working in my favor that she is still pretty much bald. I'll try to learn some hair skills soon)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"You look like a deranged Easter bunny"

Yes, we were deranged Easter bunnies (from the movie A Christmas Story) for our friends' annual Halloween party this year. It was a lot of fun to craft this costume and it was nice to have something I could actually sit down in, unlike the Tin Man from last year. Mike looked all over for a pair of glasses so he could look just like Ralphie, but alas only found sunglasses. He popped out one lens for the "you'll shoot your eye out look." Happy Halloween everyone.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Missing Michigan

For 5 years of my life my family lived in Michigan. One of the best things about Michigan is the Fall. I loved trips to the local cider mill for fresh cider made from Michigan apples, warm yummy donuts, and decadent fudge!!!!! I loved the beautiful array of colors from the many many trees. I loved crunching the fallen leaves as I ran many a cross country race on scenic courses. I loved the chill in the air.
Thanks Michigan for teaching this California girl that seasons are a real thing. Sometimes I forget, since summer seems eternal this year. Please note the temp inside my home below THIS WEEK!!! Enough of summer. Give me some good Michigan cool weather. But not too cold:)
And I hope all the Michiganders reading this enjoy a nice glass of apple cider soon!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Blake's new favorite toy

Our friends passed along this great dollhouse to Julia the other day, but who do you think has been playing with it all week.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What I do all day!

Halloween is fast approaching and that means 4 costumes need to be sewn. Have I started them? NOPE Do I even want to start them? NOPE Every night, dinner needs to be made, do I make it? NOPE I pull out the ingredients and watch my poor husband make us food. The house is a mess, but do I clean it? NOPE Do I exercise? NOPE Do I eat healthful food? NOPE Do i sit around the house and lay on the couch and eat things like Doritos all day? YES Does my body feel like it is growing fatter and grosser everyday because of lack of exercise, gross food, and sitting around all day? YES Am I happy about this? YES YES YES!!!!!!!!!
May 1st 2009 will be a great day for our family!!! Can you guess why??????

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Can you do this?



and nope.
Out of our family of 4, no one is able to swing all the way across the monkey bars. Some of us are too big, and some of us are too small. You laugh, but just try it and you'll see, it's harder than you remember.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Peaches peaches and more peaches

I really hope Mom is proud of me. I spent 6 hours at a friend's home on Saturday turning 2 large boxes of peaches into 29 quart sized jars of peaches. This is my first adult canning experience. It reminded me of all the years spent canning peaches and pears with mom growing up. Can't wait to try my new treat!!!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Because you never know when you might need it.

The past several nights when I have gone in to check on Blake before going to bed, I have found him in this position, with a FIRM grip on his sword. Good thing someone is here to protect us in case we have an intruder.
We are willing to "rent" out our Protector for a sum of $100 a night.hee hee

Monday, September 8, 2008

Chasing Peacocks

I've been lazy about posting. We spent Labor Day weekend down at my Mom's home. We had fun going to both the sandy beach and the tide pools with the kids.

My mom watched the kids for a few hours so Mike and I could hike down around the cliffs by the beach. He had never done this before and it was fun finding lots of treasures from the sea. We even got to watch the sun set over the ocean. Apparently some time ago someone owned some peacocks in Palos Verdes. Somehow they got loose and now there is a section in town where a ton of them live wild , roaming around from house to house scavenging for food. It really is kind of an odd sight. We went on a peacock hunt and found about 20 of them. Blake thought it was the coolest thing in the world. (so did I-aren't peacocks just beautiful)

And Labor Day wouldn't be Labor Day without labor. Mike and Mom spent much of the weekend repairing Mom's wooden fence damaged by a giant scary carpenter bee that scared the junk out of me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tiffany's Mom

Today Mike and I drove to Visalia to attend the funeral of Tiffany's Mom, Judi Jordan. She spent half of her life living with a debilitating disease that left her unable to use the many creative talents that she was blessed with. She had MS (multiple sclerosis) I cannot imagine being a gifted painter, cook, flower arranger, and seamstress and not be able to use these talents because of the degeneration of my body. I cannot imagine trying to parent my children from a wheelchair for a good portion of their lives. I cannot imagine the physical pain and discomfort of not being able to hold up my head or use many other body parts. And yet somehow Judy learned to to live life like this. I guess it just makes me grateful for the things that we all take for granted- chasing butterflies at the park with my children, not needing assistance to perform daily duties, and having good health.
And so today I was inspired to be more grateful for the blessings in my life. And I hope that Tiffany know how much I love her. She is the little sister that I never got!!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cousin SUmmer Fun

This summer we have had a lot of fun with the cousins. Sorry, these pictures are probably only exciting to my family. Jonathon visited from Spain and we had a fun week with him going hiking, to the beach, and the zoo. I am grateful to live so close to family. Blake and Julia absolutely love the attention showered on them by Jean's kids, especially 12 year old Andi who has endless enthusiasm and patience for them.
Andi pulling Blake on the "boat".
Jeffrey, Jonathon and Blake at the Zoo.

Jean, Andi, Jonathon and Blake at the end of our hike.

Julia and Andi.
Jonathon, Jeffrey, Blake and Andi tryingto knock down the pinata at Jean's birthday party.

Andi, Blake, Julia and me hiking. Note that Andi pushed this stroller almost the whole hike.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Add another one to the list.....

And you all thought I went to Spain to see my sister........
I know this is several days past prime time news, but I really am beginning to wonder if there is any politician out there who doesn't belong on the dirty old man list. Shame on you John Edwards, if only I already knew when I met you I would have punched you in the face!!!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Surprise Getaway

Mike surprised me this weekend by taking me on a 24 hour getaway for our 5th anniversary. It was so much fun, and at the end of it all, I wanted to hit the rewind button so we could enjoy it all over again. The best part about it was that I was truly SURPRISED. Ever since I was little, I have always managed to find out about surprises before they actually happen, and I have to say that I really knew NOTHING about this. I came home from a run on Friday evening to flowers and Mike telling me to take a shower and pack my bags. He had safely deposited our kids with our friends and handed me tickets to see Les Miserables at the Hollywood Bowl. I love the Hollywood Bowl, and I love Les Mis!!!

We spent the night at the Hilton in Downtown LA which is an amazing hotel. We even went swimming in the rooftop pool/spa at 1am. It was such an awesome view from way up there.

We spent the next day wandering around downtown LA, eating cupcakes from Sprinkles Bakery, and going to the temple. So Happy 5th Birthday to our family and thanks Mike for a wonderful life and weekend!!!!!!