Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pardon the Interruption

I know that I have alluded to several blog posts that I still have yet to finish. You may have noticed my absence of late or then again, maybe not. Regardless I have found a new obsession and it has consumed my every free moment. More than that, it is impinging on my sleep as well.

There was something else I acquired while at Wal-Mart last Saturday. After reading her review of the Twilight series On Bridget's Equilibrium, I finally relented and bought the first book. With Joe leaving to Virginia on business this week, it seemed like a good way to bide my evenings after the kids went to bed. I loved Anne Rice's vampire chronicles (and when I say love, I mean Interview is by far my favorite book of all time) but I never expected this..............

I am completely immersed, all consumed by these books. I finished this first one in less than 24 hours, had to wait until yesterday afternoon to go back to the store and buy the second two installments (all while cursing myself for not just buying all three at one time) and then after starting New Moon last night at 7:30pm I literally could not put it down and read straight through until 5am. I have not done that since I read Gone with the Wind in 3 days while on spring break in high school.

I am not allowing myself to pick up the third book, Eclipse until the kids go to bed tonight. Too much around the house has been neglected in the last couple of days. I do not know what will happen. The sleep deprivation might finally kick in.

What I do know is that the third book will have been read before Saturday, which happens to be the release of the fourth and final installment of the series, Breaking Dawn. Joe has already been instructed to please pick up a copy somewhere on his way home from the airport.

So while I am all consumed by new obsession, it will be over just as quickly as it began. Maybe I should be embarrassed to have let myself get this intensely involved in a series of books about a teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire. But I am not. It has awakened something inside me, the rush and thrill of throwing yourself into a story and its characters that I have not felt in quite sometime. And I like it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Major Score!

Yesterday I went to Wal-Mart to do some shopping and scored big on two fronts:

First of all, I FINALLY remembered to pick up a small potted flower and secretly transplanted it into the kids pots today. I then casually remarked to Jake that we had not been checking on their pots, which are on our porch (seeing as how we enter and exit the house through the garage). He ran to the window, looked outside and exclaimed with glee, "Our flowers grew up! They are orange! They are so pretty! We have to go see!"

Once outside, he commented on how nice they smelled and again how pretty they were:

So one day the kids will read this story and realize that their actual seeds did not grow up. It was still SO worth it to see the look on Jake's face. I will file this one with the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the cat that went to live on a farm. For now, I am just reveling in the innocence that is childhood.

Secondly, I finally got my hands on a Wii Fit. I had been signed up on WiiAlerts for 2 weeks now, still to no avail. So imagine my surprise when I go to our local Wal-Mart (which is smaller than your average store) and found one sitting on the shelf. Apparently they had gotten 2 in stock the night before. Score! Once home, Joe, Jake and I had a blast (Jadyn was napping) creating our own Miis and conducting the initial body tests. I wish I could have taken a picture of Joe hula-hooping. I don't know which was cuter - watching him or his Mii. And the balance board told me something I already knew - I am not very coordinated. After failing a round of heading soccer balls and dodging cleats, the board asked, "Do you find yourself tripping while walking a lot?" Joe could not stop laughing. I foresee us all having a lot of fun with our new toy. Anyone want to reveal there WiiAge? I'll tell if you do..........................

Friday, July 25, 2008

Century Mark

After being asked how many posts I had on my blog, I realized I had just posted for the 100th time. And you know what that post was about? Farting of all things!

I have really enjoyed blogging and although my blog started out as an extension of the kids websites, it has evolved over the last 7 months. At first, it was simply a way to keep friends and family near and far updated on what our family has been up to and what fun and new things the kids were doing. However, now I find it also serves as a healthy release to share my journey as a mom as well. While my main goal is still to convert the blog into a book to keep as a baby journal for the kids to look back on, I still hope the majority of those that check in enjoy reading what I have to say.

The other day I got another REALLY good picture of Jake and Jadyn together. I have been pretty fortunate in this department lately. And it reminded me of how discouraged and frustrated I was for the longest time because I could not seem to get any good pictures of the kids together. So I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and share some of the best pics I have of Jake and Jadyn together:

Here is Jake upon meeting his baby sister in the hospital on May 31st, 2006:
Jake "holding"his baby sis in July 2006, Jake was the same age here that Jadyn is now:
Sleeping together October 2006:
After our pumpkin patch trip, October 06:
During a Valentine photo shoot at the park January 2007 (ETA: somehow this one originally got left out of the post):

After swimming in May 07:
Pumpkin patch trip 2007:
Christmas time 2007:
My ALL-TIME fav pic of them together after a bath January 2008:
More recently, after Jake's graduation May 2008
And on July 2nd of this month:

And the picture that started this whole thing, taken on Wednesday during a ride on our new ice chest. I just love how REAL both their smiles are:

It has been SO much easier to get pictures of them together, probably since January or so when they realized if they cooperate, it will be over with much more quickly. And these pictures serve another purpose as they are a great segue to my next post about what it was like for me going from having one child to two. So stay tuned....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Beans Beans the Magical Fruit

So I REALLY struggled with whether or not to blog about this but it is just SO dang hilarious I can't imagine not sharing this story. So please try not to judge us too much for teaching our children such language and not coming up with a more polite term for our bodily functions.

Last night we made ground turkey tacos with refried beans for dinner. Jadyn loves beans and they are so good for you, I really wanted to try and convince our picky eater Jake to at least give the beans an honest try. While I was so eloquently bargaining with him at the table, Joe chimed in;

"You know what beans do Jake? They make you have to fart!"

Although intriqued, Jake still was not going for it. Later toward the end of dinner, we had finally convinced Jake to try 2 hearty spoonfuls of the yummy cheesy beans. He took the first bite, swallowed and looked at us very confused and said;

"But I'm not farting!"

Apparently he thought it would be an instantaneous reaction but the only reaction he got was Joe and I laughing hysterically.

And yes, Joe has already taught him the trick about pulling your finger. Again, please don't judge.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Funny Nose Knows

#16 Persistence

Once a week during the school year, Jake's class would watch a video made by Leap Frog called Letter Factory.

It is an awesome little video that in a very entertaining matter, teaches kids the alphabet and beginning phonics by introducing letter sounds. And the video works too because not only does Jake know all his letter sounds, but since purchasing it for them to watch occasionally at home (which has turned out to be daily), Jadyn is starting to learn her letter sounds too, which I think is pretty impressive.

But here is the funny part. You may a recall awhile back an instance of Jake wanting to know when he could ride in a plane, which I explained here. Well the other day at dinner Jake announced that he wanted to go to the letter factory. Not sure how to respond and not ready to explain that it does not really exist, I simply stated that it was far, far away. Jake, not missing a beat replied, "We could take a plane to get there!" That boy never quits.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

One of the activities on our list of things to do this summer was go to an Angels game. Joe is a huge baseball fanatic and his entire family are big time Angel fans, which of course makes Jake and Jadyn Angel fans as well, so much so that when we all watch games together on TV, Jake knows many of the players names and will scream and cheer for strike-outs and home runs. It is really quite cute.

We also knew due to logistics that going to game was going to have to be a spur of the moment type deal. Joe did not want to deal with going to a game on the weekend (bigger crowd), during the day (too hot) or against certain teams (too hard to get tickets). Add to that the kids summer activity schedule and a 3 hour drive and our window of opportunity was limited. But when Joe got home from work a little early yesterday, that opportunity presented itself and so after finagling some tickets off the net, we were off.

On the car ride there I could not help but reminisce. Growing up our family did not really go on summer vacations and although I do remember going to the fair and Disneyland here and there the one thing I do remember doing as a family on a fairly regular basis was going to ball games. My Dad was a huge Dodger fan and both my brother and I played ball growing up. I remember driving into LA, stopping at Tommy Burger for a quick bite, hanging out in the parking lot tailgating (and so my Dad could drink a few before going in) and how amazed I was at the size of the stadium and the athleticism of the players. I remember eating cracker jacks, peanuts, Dodger dogs, singing during the 7th Inning stretch and going home with a small souvenir. They are very fond memories of my family all together. They are in particular very fond memories of my Dad. I can still see his smile - the one he got when he was doing something he really enjoyed liking playing his bass guitar or watching the Dodgers play ball.

So it may not be the Dodgers (did I really want add another hour to an already long trip plus battle with my tried and true Angel fan husband?) but I was really looked forward to introducing the kids to a major league game, although I knew it would be hard to keep Jadyn entertained, I was pretty certain that Jake would get a kick out of it.

Here we are arriving at the stadium:

And before going in, a shot in front of the stadium:

Someone saw me taking pictures when we first got to our seats and was kind enough to offer to take a family picture. However, Jadyn was not in a very photogenic mood so this is the best we got:

At first, similar to the Nascar qualifying, Jake was not too thrilled about the noise level. He would plug his ears with his fingers when the fireworks exploded as they announced the starting line up or when the crowd would cheer super loud. Overall however, his reaction was exactly what I expected - wide eyes and huge grin, in awe of of his surroundings and seeing the players on the field in person. He had on his glove so he could try to catch a foul ball. Honestly, he was pretty bored when the Angels were on the field, but when they were up to bat, he cheered, clapped and charged with the crowd, recognizing the Angel players and rooting for them to get a hit. He loved it when the ball was hit in our direction (left field) or the few times we saw home runs (unfortunately for the opp sing Indians). Unfortunately we did not get to see them "light up the halo" as the Angels lost the game. Even more unfortunate, was that the one home run that the Angels did hit occurred when Joe was taking Jake to the potty. Go figure!

Jadyn was as expected, hard to entertain. She kept wanting to walk around and so I would leave the stands and take her to walk around in the breezeway. With her little Angels tennis dress and pigtails she looked like a miniature cheerleader and we had lots of compliments on how cute she was. The best part was when I took her into the Angel store so I could get my own t-shirt and she became particularly attached to a rally monkey with Velcro hands and she attached it around her neck in a hug. Of course I had to get it for her after that. When she was in the stands, she enjoyed clapping and cheering too, even repeating a few of the player's names when Joe would call them out. Overall, I would guess that the kids are still too little to truly enjoy a major league game and it will therefore probably be awhile before we go back as a family but I am still very glad we went and I am pretty impressed the kids made it through all 9 innings. As Jake said, "That's a long time for me!"

Taking in the stadium:

View from our seats in left field:

Jadyn hugging her rally monkey:
Jake with the rally monkey:
Blury I know, but here is Jadyn acting silly with Daddy's Angels hat on:

Jake and I as nighttime fell upon the stadium:

Since Jadyn was pretty non-cooperative yesterday, here she is with her rally monkey today:
She just hangs it on her neck and goes about her business:

So two things to tie up the loose ends of this post:

On the way to the game, we stopped at In-N-Out to grab dinner. If you are not familiar with In-N-Out you a) Don't know what you are missing and b) Will have to remember to eat there if you are ever on the West Coast. Anyway, while there we ran into another group also on their way to the game, which was pretty surprising as we were still several cities away from Anaheim. We then decided that like Tommy Burger before the Dodger game, In-N-Out must be the pre-game meal of choice.

Secondly, with as busy as we have been this summer, you may be wondering what else is on my list of things to do: 1) Beach on a really warm day 2) River trip (planned for August) and 3) Discovery Children's Museum. I cannot believe we only have 5 more weeks until school starts. Time sure does fly when you are having fun!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Looking Ahead to Fall Part II

Some of you may recall a very long and drawn out post detailing all my plans for the kids this coming fall, which basically confirmed my ever dire need to have everything planned out way in future. You can find that post here.

Well things changed. I had held steadfast to my plans for quite some time. But they never really sat well with me. Then last week, out of the blue Jake asked about school. I explained that it was summer and he would be going back in a couple of months, but he would be starting at his new school. He furrowed his eyebrows and pursed his lips and replied while pointing in different directions, "I don't want to go to that school, I want to go to MY school.". The next day he started t-ball, a program I had signed up for through the parks and rec department in Joshua Tree, where his school is located because they did not offer such a program in 29 Palms. Well, it turns out that 3 of his former classmates are playing too and on that very first day you could see Jake, Aaron, Michael and Madison all playing and talking to each other. It was very easy to tell they were friends. And call me a sucker, but I am just not ready to take that familiarity away from him. I am not ready to take him away from a program in which he blossomed, where he gleamed with excitement almost every day I dropped him off and talked excitedly about the things he learned and did when I picked him up. I have absolutely no complaints about the program or the teachers EXCEPT that it is 15 minutes away in the next town over. So I am going to make the sacrafice and try not to worry about the rise in gas prices and the fact that I drive an SUV, and send him back to the school he loves. In another year, he will be starting kindergarten and will have to endure change and making new friends then and I am sure he would have been fine at our local preschool but this decision just feels right.

It does also mean however, that Jadyn will not be returning to Tiny Tots at the YMCA since the 2 year old class starts at the same time we are taking Jake to school. I am kind of torn about this. On the one hand, their teacher for the last 2 years has moved and I have not heard anything about her replacement and the year Jake was 2 years old, although registered we did not go very frequently because I was trying to juggle him and Jadyn at the same time. I am ready to let go but it is not necessarily easy either, because this program has been a part of our lives for the last 4 years. I have made arrangements for Jadyn to take a Kindermusik class on Mondays and then on Wednesdays after taking Jake to school, we are going to participate in an early learning program at the library so those activities will definitely fill the void left by the YMCA. Jadyn's most favorite time last year was her Kindermusik class and overall I feel kind of good about not over-programming the kids. We really did have too much on our plate last spring. Now if I could just find a Mother's Day Out program for Jadyn on Fridays, our schedule would be complete! It would give her a taste of being away from mommy in preparation for her starting preschool next year (and don't get me started about where to send her, LOL!) and allow me extra time to complete work files.

So that is our new plan and if you have managed to read through this entire post, I give you credit for being a loyal reader, friend or family member because I am sure it was not particularly interesting. But I am the type to feel best after making a big decision so now I can go and get a peaceful night sleep. AND, just to justify me actually posting this long tirade on my blog, it will be a good reminder and example to the kids as they read this when they older about how much I did for them. I think it is time to deduct some of that money I had stashed away in their therapy fund. Then again, maybe I should use it to get therapy myself. Thoughts?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Funny Nose Knows

#14 Impatience

Awhile back the kids and I participated in a play date based on the concept of April Showers Bring May Flowers in which we decorated flower pots and planted sunflower seeds. Being that I have a black thumb and we live in the desert, I had little hope of every seeing a flower sprout but Jake would water his faithfully and the first question to me in the morning would be, "Mom, did my flower grow up?". Unfortunately it never did and he sort of lost interest. To be honest I kind of felt bad, because I meant to just go buy a small potted flower from Wal-Mart, transfer it and tell him his flower grew up. But I forgot.

At this week's play date, the kids were given a bunch of summer beach goodies including a squirt gun. So we are sitting there on our towel, enjoying our potluck lunch when Jake starts squirting the grass. Then he looks at me dead serious and quite annoyed and asks, "Mom, why is my flower not growing up?" Apparently he thought it would just magically sprout from the ground. Not likely being that we were sitting on AstroTurf but it was a reminder. I need to go buy him a little flower because he truly does love and appreciate them. When we are lucky enough to be somewhere that has greenery and blooms, he always comments on how beautiful they are and ever so cautiously approaches them to drink in there fragrance without touching them because he seems to understand that they are fragile. I love that my kids enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

#15 The art of whining

So it should come to no surprise that since Jadyn is two, she has really mastered the whole whining thing. And she can seriously whine about anything at any given time, although it does tend to be magnified when she is tired. I try to mostly ignore it but I often have to address it by saying, "Jadyn, you don't have to whine about it.".

Now Jake can be whiny at times too, but flash forward to a scene where Jake is frustrated because he cannot fix his broken car himself. Not being whiny at all, he simply states, "Mom, I can't fix my car". Jadyn's response: "Jake, you don't have to whine about it. Yes that is right folks and I almost fell on the floor laughing.

#16 When she has been paid a compliment.

Thanks to Kaycee over at Life as a Mom at 21 for giving me this award:

If Kaycee would not have been the one to nominate me, she would have been first on my list as I check her blog daily (and I mean that too girl)! Thanks for the compliment.

The rules are..

1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. You must nominate fellow bloggers for this award.

So I would like to extend a couple of nominations to:

1. Bridget - Equilibrium
Her posts will make you laugh and cry at the same time. She always has a poignant message yet is very easy to relate to.
2. Laura C. - Laura's Mommy Journal
Again her posts will make you laugh and cry at the same time and are so eloquently written. Having twins seems to give her a lot of material!
3. Desi - The E Family in Sin City
Very entertaining writing style and there is just something about a vet in Vegas with a son the same age as Jadyn that leaves me in awe of her drive every time I catch up on her blog.

Just sharing the love ladies!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wacky Wednesday

This might be a little bit of a stretch as to what other people consider wacky but.......

I think it is pretty wacky that after 4+ years, I finally got to see my old friend Marilyn on Monday and she got to meet the kids for the first time. The last time we saw each other was at the baby shower we had for Jake. I think it is even more wacky that she casually tells me to bring our suits because they just had a swimming pool put in their yard. So we get there and we are chit-chatting when she asks Jake if he wants to go swimming. He's still a little out of it from the drive and not that sold on the idea so Marilyn tells him we will go look at the pool and then decide. So we go out to her yard and she has this amazing pool with rock work including a little cave with waterfall, slide and beach entry. Jake's eyes lit up to the size of golfballs and before we even realized what was going on, he had stripped his shirt off and was working on his shorts. Needless to say, he was ready to go swimming!

I also think it is pretty wacky when I tell people where I know Marilyn from. I met her when I was in 5th or 6th grade but we were not friends from school, soccer or dance team. No, her and I used to roller skate together - both hanging out at the rink on a Friday night AND taking lessons and competing on Saturdays as well. We formed a friendship and have just always kept in touch since then. And I have to say, we had such a nice visit on Monday; catching up, swimming and enjoying a nice lunch her hubby prepared for us. The kids had a blast and were so tired from swimming and going down the slide that Jadyn was passed out before I got down the street.

Marilyn's husband Greg was gracious enough to take these pictures of the kids and I in the pool. Unfortunately, I did not think to have him take a picture of me with Marilyn. I just hope it won't be another 4 years before we see each other again and hang out because it truly was a wonderful time.

And on that note, I have had a lot to say about friends lately, first with the bachelorette party and then with this recent visit with an old friend. It is something that has been on my mind a lot lately so don't be surprised if you see the subject revisited again soon.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Jadyn: Toddler adventurer

Jake was a very mellow toddler. He did not go through the typical terrible two's consisting of whining, tantrums, defiance and boundary testing. I am sure he did, but it was just very subtle and kind of came and went quickly. He did however, give us quite the run for our money when it came to eating and sleeping. In fact, we still battle on these fronts, although he is getting much better.

So it is with great surprise that we have our little Jadyn, who at the same age appears to be the EXACT opposite. While we are often greeted with temper tantrums, continual whining and defiance at every turn, there are two things Jadyn can do and that is eat and sleep.

Case in point. In the last 2 weeks Jadyn has sampled onions, broccoli, oranges, lemons and actually picked the veggies out of her fried rice. She does not like everything she tries, but she shows a willingness to sample new foods and we are just so astonished by it. One of the items we recently discovered that Jadyn LOVES is edamame. It used to be something I only got as a treat when eating out. That is until I found microwavable single serve pouches at Sam's Club. Jadyn tried it and loved it and we have even taught her how to retrieve the soybeans from the pod herself. So we had it with our dinner last night and she kept asking for more. We said, "Wow Jadyn you really like edamame". She replied, "Yes I love mommie" and kept repeating it over and over again. So now she thinks the name for me and soybeans are one in the same. I don't know if I retold the story very well, but it was pretty funny.

When it comes to sleep, Jadyn really seems to know her limits and this seems especially true at naptime. Sunday, I started to see the signs of her getting tired a little earlier than I expected so I rushed to get lunch on the table so she could eat before going down. Well, we didn't quite make it and she started whining and asked to get down from the table and started asking for her pacifier. We tried to tell her to hold on as Joe and I were both still trying to finish our lunch as well. She just wandered down the hall muttering something in that famous toddler whine. A few minutes passed and it had gotten pretty quiet so Joe went to check on her only to find her passed out on Jake's bed with a pacifier she had hidden under his pillow. I guess she could not wait for us.

Now my only hope is that in telling everyone this, it does not come back to haunt me. I will be sure to let everyone know if she suddenly stops eating or napping. LOL!

Finally, we had our first summer rain Saturday and it is something that we truly look forward to. It cools us down, even if it means we will be muggy later and there is just something so cool about being able to run outside in the rain and not be cold. Apparently, I am not the only one that feels this way.

Jake usually likes the rain too but on this particular day he had just woken up from an unexpected nap (something tells me Joe kept them up late when I was gone) and Jake takes awhile to snap out of it when he first wakes up but that's okay. I am sure this will not be the last of the summer rain.

And speaking of weather related events, I wanted to update everyone and let them know that my Mom and George are safe and back in their home. It is raining ash and the air quality is poor, but it looks like their neck of the woods is out of danger. Thank goodness for that.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Caution: Girlz Gone Wild

My sister in-law Leigh's best friend DeAnna is getting married in a couple of weeks. After being married to Joe for almost 10 years now, not only have I become close to Leigh, but I am proud to call DeAnna my friend as well. She is one of those people that is SO much fun to be around, always the life of the party and making everyone laugh. At the same time, she is also one of those people you can trust when you really need someone to talk to. She will be there for you. And I am so excited for her that she has found her special someone. I was equally excited when I was asked to join the girls for DeAnna's bachelorette party weekend in Palm Desert. I have to admit however, I was also a little nervous. These girls know how to have a good time and I was not sure I could keep up. Needless to say it's been awhile since I had a girls night out. And as it turns out, it was exactly what I needed. A night with just the girls, plenty of good food, good drink and good conversation, along with some dancing and being silly. A night away from all the men in our lives (though we love them) and without the worry of having to care for the kids. Obviously I stayed overnight as I would have been in no condition to drive home when the party died down at 2:30am. I do believe this is the first night I have been away from both kids since Jadyn was born. It was a little break from the everyday.

As much fun as I had with the girls, the great thing about a night like this is that you walk away with fond memories and a feeling of solidarity with those you spent it with. And then you walk back into your everyday life, you look at your husband and your kids who missed you so much and are happy to see you and not only do you feel revived but you just feel incredibly blessed and grateful for all that you have. Even if it also means at that moment, you have a hangover.

So here's to girls night and inside jokes: Mother Pucker ladies!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wacky Wednesday

I was going to take today to start a weekly installment of Wordless Wednesday but who am I kidding? I cannot post a picture without writing about it. Ask Joe - I am the person that rambles on for 20 minutes and then says "To make a long story short". LOL!

Anyway, here is Jake after taking a bath Monday night. I pulled up his shorts a little high joking around and he wanted them up even higher. Doesn't it remind you of Urkel?

Here is Jadyn playing dress-up. She loves to wear hats but only on her terms. Her dress-up pink cowboy hat - YES. Jake's sun hat from last year - YES. Try to get her to wear a cute pink hat that goes perfectly with an outfit she has on - NO. Doesn't that figure!

Tea party anyone? One of the kids newest favorite activities complete with a pot of water and goldfish. Like how the baby was invited too?

Finally, maybe not wacky but incredibly cute, Jake had his first day of t-ball summer training league yesterday. Watching a bunch of 4-6 year old kids running bases and learning how to catch, throw and hit has got to be the most entertaining and adorable thing I have ever witnessed. I cannot wait to get more pictures. Here he is on the way out the door. He was so excited:

And I would be remiss if I did not mention something that is definitely on my mind this hump day. My Mom and George were mandatorily evacuated from their home Tuesday due to a wildfire heading toward their town in Northern California. As of this morning, the fire has been kept out but if you could please keep them in your thoughts. I am comforted to know that they are safe but will feel better when I know that their home is safe as well.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Ode to the Red, White and Blue

Sometimes you get a picture that you just consider a classic. Well, last year while we watched fireworks on the 4th of July, we captured what I consider a classic, especially since good family photos with all four of us is such a rarity.

Unfortunately, we did not have the same luck this year and in fact while Jake did eventually settle in and enjoy the fireworks, this year he started off complaining that he did not like how noisy the big ones were. I think he was just tired. And frankly so was I. In fact, while I still really enjoyed the 4th of July and spending time with my family, I was kind of in a funk that whole day. I think that all the running around we have been doing has just finally gotten to all of us. I really dislike the fact that we have to drive to get anywhere. Nevermind the gas prices, it just gets tiresome. We have been to Scottsdale, Vegas and Palm Springs all in the last 3 weeks. We had fun at each and every locale, but when you think about it, all that time in the car and away from home adds up and starts to take a toll. So, while it was a hard opportunity to pass up, we opted not to have the kids and I join Joe down at the beach in North San Diego this week while he is there on business. It pains me to miss the perfect beach weather but I know he will have other trips and if we are lucky, they will be while the sun is still shining on the coast. So this week it will just be the kids and I here in the stumps. Ah, but I digress. Back to the 4th of July...................

We had a wonderful day at my brother and sister in-law's house. Tawnya had really gone out of the way to make the occasion festive. The kids spent a lot of time in the pool, we released seed containing red, white and blue balloons in rememberance of my father and chowed down on wonderful food. It was the last day of my Mom's visit here in So Cal and both my Aunt Clara and Aunt Cindy and her family all joined us for the holiday. As in the tradition, we went to the community park to watch fireworks and while waiting for the show to start, the kids ran around with glow sticks. Jadyn really surprised me this year as she was the one who was really into the fireworks. Here is a cute picture of her and my niece Madison (who is 4 1/2) feeding off each other's excitement:

And here is Jake enjoying the show, from the secure comfort of Joe's lap:

After going back to my brother's for sparklers and more fireworks we then drove to my in-laws house where we stayed the night as we were celebrating another milestone birthday on Saturday for Joe's mom Anne. I got to spend the morning shopping for a dress to wear to an upcoming wedding and getting my hair done and I must admit it was nice to have some time to myself. We then had another nice BBQ with Joe's family before heading home. Needless to say Sunday was spent recouperating and while Joe is now traveling again and I hope he gets a chance to rest during his trip, I forsee the kids and I spending this entire week taking it easy.

So to sum up our weekend, it was full of fun, family, food and fond memories. Now I am ready for some R&R.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Patriotic Preview

Before the kids and I headed out for our 4th of July themed play date on Wednesday, I took a couple of shots of the kids and I all decked out in red, white and blue and thought it would be fitting to share them on the 4th of July while everyone is enjoying family BBQs and fireworks. At least that is what we will be doing and it is something I look forward to all year. Not only is it great to celebrate all things American, but it happened to be my Dad's favorite holiday and the last holiday we spent as a family before he passed away. One might think that would make it a sad occasion but instead I have come to see it as a chance to not only celebrate our nation, but my father's life as well.

I am also including some pictures we took of the kids and I in the pool before Joe lit up the BBQ. I have to say there is no better way to end a hot summer day then taking a dip in the pool late in the afternoon, eating chicken that Joe grilled to perfection and then going back out before sunset to play in the yard. Not a bad way to ensure the kids are in bed early either.

Hope everyone has a safe and sane 4th of July!