Tuesday, January 22, 2008

time spent at Gamma & Pappy's

Last week the kids and I headed down to my parents house for several days. I had a dentist appointment and Jacob had an appointment at UCLA so having grandparents around to watch my little bambinos came in very handy. Well my time at the dentist officially changed my outlook on the profession or at least my desire to visit one. I left the first visit with a root canal and a promise of more to come. It turns out being pregnant as many times as I have and having them so close together depletes your calcium and your body has a hard time recovering (especially if you don't drink milk - like me). This in turn effects your teeth greatly and now I have a lot of repair work ahead of me. Uuughhh! The way I put it to Mike is "Our new car will now be driving into my mouth with what this is all going to cost!"Anyway, the kids did have a great time visiting Gamma & Pappy. The got to head over to park one afternoon and kick around the soccer ball and play on the playground equipment. I was also able to get in a few cute shots of the kids in my parents yard.

We are headed back down there next Monday for me to have some more dental work so I am sure they will get in a lot more park days! Thanks Mom so much for watching these crazy kids!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

where the heck is it coming from?

Today I ended up spending my whole day on a search for a smell. Well, I should say the cause of the smell. My goal today when I got up was to get the house clean and our suite cases packed to head down to my parents house tomorrow right after the kids get out of school. The morning was somewhat productive with some mopping and cleaning up the messes that the kids left in their wake. And then it happened. I changed a dirty diaper (well one of many) and the smell didn't go away. I thought, "Wow! That was some potent poop!," but after a half an hour or so, the smell was still there. So there I was on my quest to find this smell. Now, if you don't already know me, I keep a pretty clean house and am a minimalist compared to most so there aren't many hiding places for random things to find themselves. I looked under the couches suspecting a hidden sippy cup that had something growing in that might come out and bite me but nothing. I looked behind cushions, under the entertainment center, behind the TV, in the toy box, in drawers and even between books. Still nothing! So my quest continued into the kitchen. I took out the trash - again and looked in the refrigerator or anything growing. Wow! I need to go shopping - nothing in there. By this point, all of the typical suspects had been checked and checked again. At this point I think the smell was haunting me because it was getting stronger by the minute. Now I know it sounds irrational but hey I was desperate so I went to the backyard and cleaned up anything that might make a smell. (I think the kids thought I was nuts today!) That didn't work so it was time to give up. So I threw open the windows for some very gusty cold air that might tone the smell down a bit and that worked and I decided to use a lot of spices making dinner so that smell might over power the retched one that was still growing. Mike came home for a little bit to help me put the kids to bed and I was greeted with, "It smells awful!" I sent him on a journey through the house to see what he could come up with - NOTHING! Well, I guess all I can say for now is thank goodness I am leaving tomorrow! Of anyone has any other ideas, PLEASE I will take them!

And what is a blog post without a picture so I figured I would throw one in of a sight that I see every night and just can't help but love.

Monday, January 14, 2008

suggestions welcome

Well - I know there are some of you Martha Stewart types out there so I figured I would ask for help and suggestions. I am working on the centerpieces for our TPS graduation. We are the 007 Secret Agents so the martini theme just seemed to fit. Anyway, this is an over sized martini glass filled with cracked glass gel. I painted Styrofoam balls to be the olives and used a dowel rod to be the swizzle stick. What I am in need of is any suggestions on how to attach table numbers in a cute way and needless to say - it has to be cheap. Also, if anyone has any other ideas of what we can add to the glass to make it even better, please don't hold back. Thanks for your help!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

welcome juniors

OK - so now I finally believe that we are half way there as we have completed all of the welcoming activities for our junior TPS class. Yesterday a few families in our class put together the Road Rally for them. The kids and I spent some time at the Jungle Zone as Mike took pictures of our junior class out on there excursion. It was a fun morning - now on to the next event, right?

Friday, January 11, 2008

moment of truth

Well, as you can see I had some success this week. I lost 4 pounds this week. So, what did I do this week? Well not much is my answer. First let me start by saying, I am intentionally starting slow in changing my habits because I know in the past I have failed when I get all gung ho. I started this week with lowering my overall caloric intake to about 1200 calories a day and watching my carb. intake as well. I have followed the diet recommendations that Joy Bauer has published on her site. The only part that I am finding hard is giving up the sweets. I have a very strong sweet tooth and love dessert after dinner. I have replaced ice cream with sugar-free Jell-o cups which only have 5 calories. So far this has satisfied my desire for sugar.

As far as exercise goes, I must admit that it is hard to find time to go to the gym with three little kids. Instead I have taken advantage of the kids trampoline and tried to make sure that I spend 30 minutes on it playing with the kids. I figure this benefits both me and them. I am increasing my heart rate and they are getting some quality interaction from Mommy. I know I need to step up my exercise but right now I am making changes in moderation so that I don't set myself up for failure. And for those of you that check the blog for pictures of the kids, I will throw in a few that I took the other day during trampoline time. I will see you next week and hopefully a few more pounds lighter.Jacob is taking after AJ in his love for mowing! I can only hope this infatuation carries over into the years when they can actually go out and mow the lawn instead of Mike or I.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Today we got the pleasure of watching Benjamin for a little bit while my friend Tricia recovered a little bit from a bout with the stomach flu. As awful as it was for her to have the stomach flu, we were sure happy to goo and gaa at him today. The kids ate it up! Elizabeth of course was a little mommy and wanted to help with everything and to my surprise, AJ was VERY interested in the baby. He wanted to hold him, feed him and help me change his diaper. The biggest shock for me was when AJ went and got his most prized possessions, his "nee's" (blankets- for those of you that don't know that is the name he calls them) and asked to give them to Benjamin. Jacob was a little jealous but got over that pretty quick but still didn't like the idea that Benjamin used the same pacifiers he did. I mean who am I to give his pacifiers to a new baby (or as far as he was concerned that is what I was doing).? Over all it wasn't that bad to have four kids but I must say with 100% certainty that I am done having children. I am ready to move on to the next phase of childrearing.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


They say that habits are created early in life when your brain is like a little sponge. Well, my mom certainly did that when it came to the subject of thank-you notes. We were always told to get our thank you's out ASAP. That habit has carried on throughout my life as it is something that I am always on top of. Now, I think I have truly embedded this habit into my children's brains. Their thank you notes from Christmas were all completed before they went back to school but when I had both of them at the table coloring, I noticed that they were both very diligently working. When asked what they were coloring - I got the response, "We are working on our thank you notes." I guess you can never start too young in building good habits.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

raiding the pantry

Everyone told me that boys will eat you out of house and home but I didn't think I would have problems with my little ones raiding the pantry yet!

Actually, I have a child lock on the pantry for that very reason but I think that is more of an attraction than a deterrent. I swear the kids can hear the pantry open from clear across the house because they come running as if there is going to be some huge surprise waiting inside just for them. I guess this is just a glimpse of what is to come during the teenage years! :)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

it's official...

I'm in business. I have all of my stuff together to now start my photography business and I am really excited! My website is complete - although I must say I am not the best web designer - and my prices are set - time to take some photos! Please pass the word on to anyone that you think would enjoy having their precious memories captured.

Please add my link to your favorites!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

ice skating

Mike and I took Elizabeth and AJ ice skating while we were down in Orange County. Who would have thought of ice skating in southern California but we found it. AJ was very excited to get out on the ice but once he figured out it was slippery, he quickly changed his mind and it was off to the merry-go-round for us. Elizabeth, on the other hand, was thrilled about ice skating and spent two hours on the ice with Daddy. She has asked to go again - I not sure that we will be able to find a rink here in the desert but we can work on that.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Santa makes another appearance

Santa left some of his bigger surprises at our house for the kids to discover upon our arrival back home. It is amazing how that man gets to so many places!

Little Princess

Gamma & Pappy gave Elizabeth a very special Christmas gift. She received tickets to go see Disney's Princess' on Ice as well as her very own princess ensemble to wear to the show. Us girls along with one of Elizabeth's friends from Orange County headed to the show on the 27th. The girls really enjoyed the show and I was so happy to see Elizabeth's eyes light up as each princess came out. We did have a bit of a scare as Cinderella (her favorite) didn't come out until the very end. I think this experience is one that she will remember for a long time. Thank you Gamma & Pappy!

Christmas Day

AJ and Elizabeth promptly woke up at 6AM Christmas morning and wanted to see if Santa came to Gamma & Pappy's house. They were so happy to see that their stockings had been filled, cookies and milk had been consumed and of course there were a lot more presents under the tree. While they waited for everyone else to wake up, the searched through their goodies that were in their stockings. All in all, Christmas was a wonderful day and I am so glad that we all got to spend it with family.

It is amazing how Play-Doh always seems to be a big hit!

AJ was so funny because he promptly stated that every box and present was his. Of course, being it is the season of giving, we let him open our presents as well. I think being encouraged to rip up paper was right up his ally.

My future rock-star has not put down her guitar since Santa brought it. AJ has sported the pink guitar as well but to save his dignity we will not post those pictures. :)

Jacob got in on the present opening action too. He ripped a few boxes open but couldn't quite understand why the paper wasn't for him to play with and eat.

We had a wonderful Christmas and I hope you all did too!

cookies for santa

The kids prepped cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer on Christmas Eve. Elizabeth insisted that Santa liked chocolate milk so of course that is what we had to have.

AJ had to taste test the cookies first.

They were so proud of the plate that they made for Santa, they had to show Pappy before they were off to bed.

Christmas party at Gamma & Pappy's

Gamma & Pappy's street was having their annual children's Christmas party the day that we arrived at their house. Of course the kids got right into the action. There was a jumping castle, ping-pong, good food, and of course a visit from Santa.

No, AJ wasn't stuck - he just thought it was funny to stick his legs out the sides.

Santa made his arrival this year in a dune buggy decorated with some lights.

AJ played with the cones while the other kids enjoyed a story read by Santa. I guess we should have re-thought our Christmas presents for him....

We saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus...

Thank you Santa for the goodies!