Friday, July 31, 2009


So Jake and Jadyn got to have their cousins Madison (5) and Ethan (4) spend the night Monday. We spent all afternoon and into the evening playing to our hearts content including but not limited to time in the pool:

Driving around the yard:

and watching a movie before bed:

By the time all the little tikes were asleep, I was definitely exhausted but it was all very well worth it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Magoomba Monday #15

1) This last week I registered Jadyn for preschool. It may not seem like a big deal given that we have known for quite some time that she would be going to the same school Jake did the in the fall but for some reason, it does seem like a big deal. Actually registering her makes it all the more real that for the first time in 5 years I am regularly going to be kidless for 6 hours a week.

2) Thursday was just one of those amazingly busy but wonderfully fun days. We started the morning off with the last day of swim lessons. As predicted, this session was exactly what both kids needed to really advance their skills and if you saw the video I posted from the week before, you saw that Jake is now jumping in the pool and swimming a good distance. As well, Jake has also figured out how to do a complete front flip off the diving board. What I didn't expect however, was for BOTH kids to pass their current levels. I could not have been more proud. Jake will now move on to Level 2 and after jumping off the diving board ALL BY HERSELF, Jadyn will now move on to preschool 3 starting next summer. Congrats to both my little fishies!

After the pool we went to Ms. Nancy's so both kids could get their hair cut and then we bolted over to the library for their summer reading program. On schedule for the day was Mr. Twister the balloon man. The room was packed with around 50 kids and their caregivers, but I would say it was still totally worth it. Mr. Twister was very entertaining and each kid received 2 balloons after the show with instructions on how to make a few simple shapes and animals. I was able to take the kids balloons and make two swords, a fish and a hummingbird. You may not be impressed, but the kids definitely were:

We spent Thursday afternoon laying around and recouping from our busy morning before heading back out for Jake's t-ball game that evening.

3) Friday our friend Ali took us all to the SNCO/Officer pool on base. It's a really nice pool with a slide and kiddie area but the best part was we were the only ones there for the majority of the 3 hours we spent splashing around. I couldn't believe it. It was no surprise that Jake went straight for the slide. We couldn't quite get Jadyn to go down the slide but she had fun nevertheless. Here she is in the water with Ali:

4) Saturday we had Scottie, Ali and the Castillo clan over for a yummy dinner before heading to the drive-in to see Ice Age 3 and The Proposal. It worked out perfectly as the kids fell asleep on an air mattress in the back of Scottie's truck during the second movie. I have heard a lot of people say they didn't think the third Ice Age was as good as the first two, but I disagree. I thought it was pretty cute and The Proposal, although not going to win any awards was funny and entertaining. Another fun and busy summer day!

5) Sunday we didn't do much but because we were still tired from the previous days of fun, Jadyn chose to pass out in the middle of cleaning up before quiet time. I am starting to give some credence to Ali's claim that Jadyn might very well be narcoleptic. Seriously, she has puzzle pieces that fell from her hand onto her backside.

I feel like lately, all the pictures I post of Jake are of him in the water and in all the pictures I post of Jadyn she is sleeping, like in this one where Jazz is cuddled up with her, something that has become a regular occurrence.

6) Speaking of the cats, I just had to share this picture, which was completely un-posed. This is how I found them. They sorted themselves with the laundry, light load and dark load:

Hope every one's Monday is off to a productive start. We have already had one play date this morning and are expecting my niece and nephew to come and spend the night tonight so my sister in-law and brother can celebrate her impending milestone birthday. Jake and Jadyn are quite excited to have a sleepover with their cousins Madison and Ethan. There will probably be pictures forthcoming.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday - YIKES!

Found outside the fence line of our house this morning. Yes it is a rattlesnake.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lazy Days of Summer

I missed Magoomba Monday yesterday. Hopefully this post will explain why.

I have been feeling rather lazy.

Don't get me wrong. We have been busy. But it has kind of been a lather, rinse, repeat kind of week so I wasn't really feeling it when it came to blogging. I have been working, going to physical therapy and trying to get in better shape. The kids are finishing their second session of swim and Jake is still playing t-ball. We went to the river again, this time with my brother and his family. We have had lots of downtime at home to play, swim and watch all the Harry Potter movies together as a family. To give you an idea of what is like to try and watch a movie together as a family, take this picture from Sunday afternoon taken in the middle of Harry Potter 5: The Order of the Phoenix:

It's not that we weren't enjoying the movie. We all just fell asleep (except for Joe obviously, who took the picture). We had been up late, whooping it up at Scottie and Ali's where the adults were playing poker and the game, while fun, dragged on and got a little competitive. I am happy to report that I walked away with the pot. This after not playing in who knows how many years. It was fun.

So if my blogging continues to be less than regular, rest assured that we are all okay. Well, as okay as you can be when daytime highs are hitting well over the 100's and humidity is causing the swap cooler to work at less than optimal levels. I have kind of a love/hate relationship with summer. It would actually make a great topic for future blog posts and don't get me wrong - I have stuff to blog about. I just haven't felt like doing it because frankly, I am too busy embracing the lazy days of summer.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Funny Nose Friday #4 - Slip, Slide, Swim

Here is a montage of Jake jumping off the diving board and swimming to the side and Joe throwing him across the bow of the boat at the river so he could slide across and slip back into the water, which of course Jake thought was funny and fun.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

On Being Mommy

First of all, for those who don't already know, Joe likes to make fun of the amount of time I spend blogging. I don't really think it's excessive when you consider the fact that it is a hobby AND I also think that down the road he will thank me for having written down all the memories from this time in our life. Ah, but I digress.

So the other day, Jadyn puts on my sunglasses and flip-flops and says she is being mommy. I then told her she needed a purse and a water bottle, which she quickly agreed and added the said items to her ensemble. Joe then mentioned that she needed a phone (again meant to be a jab but really I am not really the type of person who spends all day talking and texting on my phone, not that there is anything wrong with that. Ah, but I digress again.)

I then asked her what else she needed to be mommy and she said coffee. I agreed and gave her one of my empty travel mugs. I asked her one more time if she needed anything else and Jake said she needed a book. This put a smile on my face because if this is something they feel is an integral part of who I am (loving both reading and books) then I see that as nothing but a positive thing.

Once we were all done, I exclaimed that Jadyn had everything she needed to be mommy. But of course then Joe chimed in that if she really wanted to be mommy, now she needed to go blog about it.

Touche Joe. Touche. And of course I just had to go and prove him right.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Magoomba Monday #14

1) Last week after taking Joe's boss and family out to the river, we decided to have a little competition with ourselves to see how many different people we could take to the river in one summer. So far we have taken Scottie and Ali twice, my Mom and George and Joe's boss and family. This week we are meeting my brother and his family out at the river for the day and we have indefinite plans later this summer to take the Castillo Clan as well as two other families. If all goes as planned that would make seven. Anyone else interested?

2) As a result of my back injury (which physical therapy is going very well and I am feeling better,thanks for asking), the kids reached another milestone this last week. At the beach, we had no choice but have them shower because well, there wasn't a bathtub in the cottage. Taking the lead from their willingness to shower there, I started helping them shower at home since reaching over the edge of the bathtub strains my back considerably. While I would never completely give up on baths because it includes lots of fun water play for the kids, it is nice to be able to give them quick showers as well. This may seem silly but having them take a shower instead of a bath seems like such a huge sign to me that my kids are indeed growing up and no longer babies. It kind of makes me sad.

3) Furbaby update: The kittens continue to win their way into our hearts and make themselves an integral part of our family. Mambo (Jake's tabby cat) is a clown. She is constantly batting at your toes from underneath the bed, chasing her tail and making herself cozy in a basket full of clean laundry. She explores every crevice, every box, every piece of trash. I doubt it will be long before we start receiving presents she tracks down from the garage (bugs, field mice, etc.).

Jazz (Jadyn's chocolate point) is quite the little love. She is super cuddly and endures being carried around and squeezed for repeated hugs by both the kids.

She will come and lay on your lap and I must say both the kitties have made themselves quite comfortable sleeping either on Jake's bed with both the kids or on our bed when it ends being Joe, I and the kids. Yes it is crowded and I know the family bed can sometimes be a controversial issue but you know what? I can't imagine it any other way.

And of course both dogs, which are too old now to actually get on our bed without help, sleep on either side of the bed in our room. A few weeks ago we were concerned for Utah's health, as he is now 10 1/2 years old and stiff as board from all his orthopedic problems but for now it seems to have passed. It was a warning however, that his time left with us may be limited and so we cherish each day with him and make sure that his quality of life is our number one priority for him.

4) Yesterday we had a BBQ with Scottie and Ali and my good friend Michaela and her family. We have had several going away celebrations with them in the last few weeks but with them leaving for the Northwest on Tuesday, this was definitely going to be our last gathering and I have to say we had the best time ever as did the kids. We are so going to miss them and wish their family the best of luck in this next stage of their life. Here are a few cute pics we took of the kids right before they said their last goodbyes:

5) Finally we started a new session of swim lessons today. I am so excited for a number of reasons. First of all Jake and Jadyn's classes are both at the same time so for once I will not be sentenced to spending long mornings baking in the desert sun while they are in the pool. Secondly, both of their class sizes are significantly smaller this session, meaning they will get the individual attention they need to improve their skills. I am fairly certain that with a little bit of work, Jake will be swimming without assistance by the end of this summer and Jadyn; well I am just happy to report that her crying subsided after only 10 minutes, a huge improvement from last session.

Hope every one's week is off to a productive and great start!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Funny Nose Friday #3

If Jake does not turn out to be the class clown when he is older, he is definitely going to be that person's best friend. Jake loves clowning around. He loves to laugh. We have recently discovered that he really likes physical comedy. We have decided he would love The Three Stooges. Anyhow, he kind of got his words mixed up and when something makes him laugh instead of saying, "That makes me laugh" or "That's funny" he kind of combines the two and says, "That makes me funny!". It's really cute since he doesn't even realize what he is saying. He will see the kittens playing with each other, chasing each others tails and exclaim, "That makes me funny!". Even funnier is the fact that now Jadyn is saying it too.

Jake does not like to eat his food if it is too hot. This is probably true for all kids but Jake takes it to a new level. Several weeks ago when we were having dinner we were trying to explain the difference between being hot in temperature and spicy hot and apparently we did not do a very good job. Flash forward to Wednesday when we went to eat dinner after a long day on the water with Joe's boss and family. When you are on the water, the high temperatures don't really bother you but when you go from a cool air conditioned car to the black asphalt of a restaurant parking lot when it is 107 degrees out, it is a completely different story. Jake got out of the car and exclaimed, "It's spicy hot out here!"

Instead of saying "all the time" Jake uses the phrase "all day". For example, we recently got rid of his booster seat at the kitchen table. Instead of saying "I sit on the chair like a big boy all the time now" he said, "I sit on the chair like a big boy all day now". This might not seem too amusing, that is until you find out he finally started trying to wipe himself after going #2 on the potty. This translated to, "I wipe my butt all day now".

Jadyn has started "reading". She loves to pick up a book, any book whether it is mine, one of the kids or an instruction manual for the vacuum cleaner, and pretend to read a story. She reads stories about princesses who listen to their swim instructors and get put in time-out for not behaving. She also likes to put her stuffed animals and babies in time out but despite her preoccupation with discipline, she herself rarely ever has to go to time out.

Jake's math abilities have really started to take off and he shows quite an interest in numbers. It started around his birthday when he got a Star Wars Jedi Math game for his Leapster. He is now regularly adding and subtracting one and two digit numbers and counting by 2, 5 and 10. He will be in the car or at the dinner table and will start spouting off math problems. He will ask, "Mom, what does 23+8 equal. I always respond by asking him what he thinks and usually he can answer correctly. To encourage his interest I purchased a Kindergarten math workbook and it was too easy for him. I had to go back and get the first grade level workbook and he has pretty much completed that one. I am not very good with math so I fear it won't be long before I can't help him with his homework and he hasn't even started school yet!

Joe's boss, Ty has two boys who are 7 and 8 years old. This was very neat for Jake when we went to the river with Ty and his family because Jake is seldom around older kids. Both Jake and Jadyn spent the whole day swimming and splashing around in the water with Dylan and Dawson. The next day when Jake woke up, he immediately wanted to see the older boys again but couldn't recall their names so he asked me, "Mom can the 7 and 8 boys come over again?" I just thought it was cute because Jake's love of numbers is such that he could remember how old the boys were but not their names.

Hope everyone has a spicy hot good summer weekend!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dreaded Transitions

Ever since Jadyn so selflessly gave her pacifiers to newborn babies in need, her nap has been very hit or miss. I refuse to make a fight out of it so I converted her normal naptime to quiet time in which she is allowed to watch a few episodes of Dora or Max and Ruby (her current fav). Some days she falls asleep and some days she doesn't. If only it was that simple.

Because to be perfectly honest, second only to potty training, getting rid of the nap is a dreaded transition for me and its not for the obvious reason of me losing my afternoon alone time. During "quiet hour" Jake plays his video game and Jadyn watches her shows and I still get some down time. The problem is that if Jadyn's bedtime and wake-up time are not both PERFECT, the next day is torture and while I can kind of control her bedtime (although daylight savings and the fact that Jake and Jadyn sleep together in the same bed), I cannot control what time she wakes up in the morning. Then either she falls asleep for her nap in the afternoon too late or sleeps too long, therefore derailing a decent bedtime that night OR she doesn't nap at all and we see the return of "witching hour" between dinner and night-night. If she obviously needed sleep and didn't nap, we are forced to perform circus tricks to keep her awake until its late enough for bed and forget about waking her from her nap once she falls asleep because she will cry for an hour straight out of sheer grumpiness. Basically our entire routine becomes a delicate balancing act reminiscent of an infant sleep schedule.

We went through the same thing with Jake around the same time. I really hoped that we would magically avoid it with Jadyn. After all potty training her was a cinch but unfortunately, we are in the exact same situation with her. Lately, she has been not napping more so than not and that is perfectly fine with me because I see the light at the end of the tunnel but what do you when you walk out of the room for a few minutes in the late afternoon and find this in the middle of the floor:

She was litterally in the middle of a little mini-meltdown because I wouldn't let her have a snack right before dinner and then poof, just like that she was sleeping. I knew there was a downside to her being able to fall asleep anywhere (including if you recall napping during NASCAR qualifying and falling asleep on a moving jet boat).

Like I said, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. For Jake, the real turning point occurred when he was 3 1/2 and the end of daylight savings came. It was much easier to get him to go to bed early when it was dark out and he got enough extra sleep that he no longer needed a nap and didn't suffer from late afternoon/early evening fatigue. Now Jake rarely naps, even on lazy days where Joe and I doze off in the afternoon, he is the one still going strong. But then I have to remind myself how different Jake and Jadyn's little personalities are from each other and I wonder how the transition will eventually work itself out. I certainly didn't expect to have a child sleeping on the floor next to the dogs right before dinner, that is for sure.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ode to the Red, White and Blue 2009

I was going to make this a wordless Wednesday but I couldn't resist captioning some of this photos.

Here are the kids and before before making the trek to my brother's house on the 4th:

Jake with his cousins Madison and Ethan. You will find a lot of pictures of the three of them. Jadyn is excluded because she is growing increasingly uncooperative for pictures:

My mom and I in the mad hatter 4th of July hats:

In case you can't read it, Jadyn's t-shirt says "Daddy's Little Firecracker" and this could not be more true of her little personality:

I do not even know what to say about this one. I would like to say Joe was just being funny but I also know how many beers he drank that night:

Me and my lil guy:

Getting ready to watch the fireworks:

So excited to do sparklers after the big firework show at the park:

My sister in-law Tawnya and I enjoying some mudslides and showing off our patriotic pride:

Trying to get Joe to do the same but not getting very far:

No hat, but that is a genuine smile showing he was a good sport about it:

Monday, July 6, 2009

Magoomba Monday #13

1) I really wanted to share this one last picture of us from our beach trip. I had not downloaded a few pictures that were on my other POS camera. While I do sometimes coordinate outfits amongst us, this was a sheer coincidence. Jadyn and I before heading over to the BBQ that Saturday evening:

2) Last Monday after returning from our long weekend at the beach, we took Jadyn to her first day of dance camp. Although Jadyn repeatedly told me that she wanted to take dance lessons, after such a shaky start to swim lessons, I had my doubts. I tried to take on a "hope for the best, prepare for the worst" attitude but it probably didn't help that she was also tired from our trip. So, it didn't really work out and at least now we know she is not quite ready for such an endeavor. And on the plus side, we have super cute pictures like this of her dressed up in her leotard and dance skirt:

3) On Tuesday, I was attempting to catch up on chores after being gone for four days when I completely tweaked my back rendering me pretty much useless. In fact, if you noticed that I didn't blog much last week, it wasn't because we were so busy (which we were by the way) but because I felt like a shard of bone was broken off and stabbing my right hip every time I sat down. On the plus side, while I am still fairly sore, I am feeling better and am scheduled to start physical therapy this week. Wish me luck!

4) Wednesday evening the girls and I made our way down to the Cheesecake Factory so we could have a celebratory girls night since my friend Michaela is preparing to move in a week or so. In this regard, living in a military community sucks because I hate saying goodbye. On the plus side, my raspberry-lemon cheesecake was delicious.

5) On Thursday, my Mom and her husband George came down for their semi-annual visit and we had a nice day catching up and playing in the pool before heading over to Jake's first t-ball game of the summer season. Jake was able to show off his batting and fielding skills and was quite proud to have extra fans in the bleachers.

6) Friday we took my Mom and George with us for a day trip to the river and we had a great time showing them our favorite pastime. While it was a little busier than we had hoped as everyone seemingly had the day before the 4th off, we still had a spot at our favorite sandbar and spending the day on the water was a great way to beat the 100+ heat we have been experiencing. I never did get any good pictures of my mom with the kids but Jake sure did make a new friend. Why do I imagine that his girlfriends are going to be taller than him?

7) Saturday was of course the 4th and as per tradition we headed down to my brother's for a BBQ and went to their local park to watch the fireworks. For a recap of the significance of the 4th of July in our family (besides the obvious), you may want to refer to my post from last year. This year was a lot of fun, especially after the fireworks when everyone had partook in a few beverages. My sister in-law Tawnya and I were determined to get Joe to wear this mad hatter style 4th of July hat and the ensuing battle ended up with Joe wounded and the picture in question mysteriously erased from my camera. More on this year's ode to the red, white and blue to come.

Until then, I hope everyone's week is off to a good start.