Thursday, May 31, 2012

When did this happen?

When did this sweet bundle of joy:

Suddenly look so grown up?

It seems like it happened overnight even if it really has been SIX years. SIX years! When did our youngest, our baby girl get to be SIX years old?

Over the last few weeks as the weather has gotten warmer and we have needed to break out the spring/summer dresses, skirts and shorts from last summer I suddenly realized that Jadyn has gotten so tall and leggy. And that face? No longer baby cute, she has become little girl cute - and little girl cute with some flair judging by the new poses she has been offering me before I take her picture.

So what is this cute little girl like at 6 years old? She is imaginative, inquisitive and quick as a whip - nothing and  I mean nothing, gets by her. You really have to watch what you say in front of her. She challenges me almost every day with her thought-provoking questions about the world and her surroundings (thank goodness I can look up the answers to her questions on the Internet!).

Jadyn is full of life - she loves to sing, dance and create, whether she is making up a story in her head, drawing and coloring pictures, writing a card to give to mom, dad or a friend at school or using scissors and glue to make various crafts. She loves to give. She loves to share. She loves to help, especially with chores and preparing meals.

She cares deeply about everyone and everything around her. She has warned me not to squish an ant because it had a crumb of food it needed to take back to his family. She worries about children who have no toys and animals from the shelter that need food and a forever home. I think it is precisely because she feels so vehemently that she sometimes tends to get overly emotional when the situation does not call for it. This of course is the polite way of saying that she can be slightly dramatic at times.

Jadyn always wants to try new things, well maybe not new food but even in that department she is more adventurous than most in the family. Yes, Jadyn has her moments where she is shy in new situations and needs time to warm up but she loves thrill rides at amusement parks and added t-ball to her list of activities this spring. She is not easily frightened and as such, went through her first haunted house this last fall and has watched all the Harry Potter movies (and loved them). And with her new found love of reading, I don't think it will be too long before she is reading the books the movies are based on either. She is just dying to start reading "chapter books" like her big brother.

Jadyn's favorite toys (stuffed animals), books (Marley and Biscuit) and movies (Air Buddies, Bolt) ALL have to do with animals, mainly dogs and cats. However, she has also surprised me with how quickly she can put together one of the new Lego Friend sets that are geared toward girls (her second favorite toy). She loves to dress up. She loves to snuggle close and watch a movie. She loves to be in the water, whether it is in a mud puddle, a pool or the river. She loves anything fruity and/or sweet. She loves to show or tell you how much she loves you.

I feel incredibly blessed to have a daughter as bright and sweet as Jadyn. I am extremely proud of the the girl  she is and love her with all my heart. I can't wait to see where this journey of life will take her and as her birthday ends and we look forward to celebrating it at her party this weekend, I just have one request from her. Can you please stop growing up so fast?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Memorial Day to Remember

To celebrate this Memorial Day, the kids and I (Joe had to work, boo!) went to the Palm Springs Air Museum. We have passed by it so many times and with Jake's love of all things military and Joe being a veteran, it is amazing that after living in the area for 9 years now, this was our first visit. However, I doubt it will be our last.

Not only do they have the largest collection of working World War II aircraft, they also have artifacts, artwork, dioramas, library resources and hands on exhibits for the kids including a chance to climb aboard a B-17 and view the cockpit of many of these legendary warplanes. Yes, Jadyn enjoyed it but Jake? Jake was in heaven.

BUT, the main reason we chose Memorial Day to visit the museum is because they have a very special service to honor those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. In addition to a T 34 missing man formation, they have a B25 drop 3,000 red and white carnations during a fly by.

"The flower drop honors and memorializes all veterans who lost their life defending the US. The white carnations are in honor of those who fought in WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. The red carnations are in honor of those who died in more recent conflicts including the Persian Gulf, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan."

Standing out in the blazing Palm Springs sun was not ideal. It was hot and there was whining while we waited. It was however, absolutely worth it. An amazing experience and a great way to teach the kids the true meaning of this very special holiday. 

(T 34 missing man formation)

 (B25 at take off)

 (coming in for the drop)


(we took home 4 of the flowers that dropped, 2 red and 2 white)

Please feel free to thank Joe and other veterans for their service on Veteran's Day.  

But Memorial Day is about remembering those who lost their lives while serving and ensure that they are Never Forgotten.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What happened to spring?

It seems for the second year in a row we went straight from winter to summer. Very few days or weeks in the 70's, which is what I consider spring weather - we jumped straight from 50's and 60's to 80's and 90's. Sadly that means less hiking in the national park to view the wildflowers. Happily, it means its time to set up the pool and head out to the river because those warmer temps just scream for us to be in the water!

Joe set up the pool on Mother's Day. It always turns in to an event here at the Funny Nose household. The kids just love getting in and splashing around in the shallow water and playing with the hoses:

In addition to Mother's Day, the kids and/or I have been in the pool at least 3 times in the past week if not more. Kuma also got in one day, which he is technically not allowed. Lesson learned, he can climb the pool ladder to get both in and out:

And I am so glad that the kids are getting good use out of MY new papasan raft:

 (Jadyn with her BFF Riley)

(It's not a surfboard Jake!)

Saturday while I handled snack bar duty at the Little League fields, Joe, the kids and of course Kuma prepped the boat for our first trip of the season. It's amazing how much fun the boat can be even on dry land:

And Sunday, we had a successful trip to our family's happy place (Joe completely took out and rebuilt the engine in the boat this past winter after having some issues last season, remember this trip?)

Even though it already FEELS like summer and we have been fortunate to spend so much time in the water already, this preview just has me ready. Ready for the kids to finish out the school year so our summer can really begin. I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Famous Last Words

In regard to the kids recent dental checkup I said, "With all the cavities we have been getting the last few checkups, we walked away with a scolding for Jake to brush better and a cracked filling that Jadyn will need repaired. I guess that isn't too bad right?"

So I scheduled an appointment to have Jadyn's cracked filling repaired, waiting until after they were out of school since it was not bothering her. Then last week she started complaining of pain when eating so I called and got them to fit her in sooner. We went yesterday expecting that she might not even need the "numbing fairies" to repair the crack. Well that turned out to be WRONG!

Once the dentist started exploring the cracked filling, it became apparent that the nerve was affected so he had to perform a pulpotomy, which is the baby teeth or temporary version of a root canal. He had to numb her TWO additional times before she stopped crying from the discomfort. I held her hand and tried my best to soothe her but it was just one of those emotionally draining moments where you feel completely helpless as a mother. It was awful. 

Jadyn is now the proud owner of a silver crown. She was also rewarded with frozen yogurt and a new Tinkerbell movie. But the question that remains is when that silver crowned baby tooth falls out in the next couple of years, will it yield a higher value from the tooth fairy? I think it just might.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

More Ketchup

If you want to know why I have been calling my catch-up posts ketchup, please refer to the joke Uma Thurman tells in Pulp Fiction.

So I still need to fill in the blanks from the end of our fun-filled spring break up until this last weekend when Joe returned and we celebrated Mother's Day. In a word, it was BUSY.

We hit the ground running returning to school and heading into a stretch where the kids played 8 games in a two week period between the two of them. And both of them are really enjoying baseball.

Jadyn has become more confident in hitting, fielding and throwing the ball, hustles when she runs the bases and generally stays interested and focused throughout the game. I think she is really going to enjoy moving from t-ball to softball next year. This last Friday she had her special under the lights game. Up until this point, almost all of the 9 boys on her team regularly slide into home plate but Jadyn and the only other girl on her team have yet to attempt it. So Friday night (call me a bad mommy for this if you want), I bribed her $5 if she would slide into home and she finally DID IT! I wish I would have gotten a picture of it but I was too busy cheering her on. It was awesome. I did take this shot of her while up to bat. However, because it was from the stands at night, it came out blurry:

Jake is having a great season. He has really come into his own when it comes to both hitting and learning to make wise choices on the field. In fact, don't tell him but he has the best batting average on his team.

Unfortunately, even though this is a noncompetitive league, his team is not doing too great when it comes to wins. On the up side, most of the players on the team don't seem to mind and are just enjoying the sport. We have had some issues with the league not being very organized and fair-handed this season, which led to a moment of weakness where I kind of, sort of, might have gotten in the umpire's face and yelled a little. Even though it was frustrating and maybe even justified, I am still embarrassed that I lost my cool like that because it sets a bad example for the kids. Thankfully the umpire gave me a warning instead of kicking me out of the game immediately.

Activities at school have also kept us busy. I made a salad for Staff Appreciation Day in which our parent group provided a potato and salad bar to the kids' school staff in appreciation for all they do. I also attended the 2nd trimester awards in which Jake received two awards for academic achievement - the Star Reading award and the Spelling 100 Award. He is now reading at a beginning 4th grade level and I could not be prouder of the all the progress he has made in the last two school years, especially after a rough start this year with his comprehension skills.

Last Thursday Jadyn went on her kindergarten field trip. It is technically her first field trip since I don't personally count visiting the elementary school as a preschooler. I went as well as a chaperon and we were able to tour our local Hi-Desert Nature Museum, the public library and participate in some fun activities at the park.

It was exhausting not to mention the fact that I had scheduled the kids dental checkups for later that same afternoon. With all the cavities we have been getting the last few checkups, we walked away with a scolding for Jake to brush better and a cracked filling that Jadyn will need repaired. I guess that isn't too bad right?

And finally, both kids recently had friends sleepover. When did they get old enough for sleepovers??? For Jadyn it was the first time having a friend sleep over and she and her BFF Riley were having so much fun I didn't get them to bed until nearly midnight.

(find me on Instagram at Jenfen2331)

Jake had his new friend Dominic (who he knows from both school and baseball) over the following night and between baseball and pretend but important military missions, they were so tuckered out I had little trouble getting them to sleep at a decent hour. 

Kuma has been earning more and more freedom outside of the kennel, partly because he is at the age where we can begin to trust him and partly because he broke the door of his kennel one day. I love how whenever I drive away I can see him up on his hind legs watching me go and giving me sad puppy dog eyes like he isn't the most spoiled dog in the universe:

And me? Well in addition to the kids activities and the things mentioned in yesterday's post, I have finally succumbed to living in the desert and become one of those "crazy dirt people" spending an insane amount of time hula-hoeing, watering and creating rake lines in our dirt and then giving anyone who dares to walk on it the evil eye. We haven't quite decided how we want to landscape the front, not to mention the fact that it is not a cheap endeavor. So until a decision is made, I guess I will be one of those "crazy dirt people". And mind you, this is only half of one side of the front yard. It is a lot of dirt!

I think I am now officially "caught up". Or am I?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How about a little Meme

I had been in a blogging funk as of late, just really busy and not really wanting to spend the time creating posts and not sure what I really want to say, etc. etc.

Well now the funk is over and I am feeling very overwhelmed. I have SO MUCH I want to say and I am kind of not sure where to begin. This is such a busy and fun time of year for us. Spring brings baseball and good weather and reasons to spend it outdoors and both the kids birthdays and looking ahead to summer and seeing what it is going to have in store for us. So much going on and coming up in the next few months.

Since I don't have the time or energy to download photos to catch up on what's been going on the past few weekends, I thought I would just focus on me for a moment. What is going on with me.

On a more superficial level, I have been watching a lot of TV as most of my shows have been winding down with season finales.

- The best by far has been The Vampire Diaries. Maybe some would consider it a guilty pleasure and contrary to popular belief, I do not like ALL things vampire (for example I hated True Blood and the books they were based on and I have NO desire to see Dark Shadows) but Vampire Diaries has some great mythology and storylines mixed in with all the teen angst.

- I am also SO excited that Fox decided to renew Fringe and give it a 5th and final season to tie up all the loose ends and give the series the satisfying send off its loyal fans deserve. I truly do not understand why more people are not watching this show.

- I still have season finales coming this week and next for Revenge, Grey's Anatomy (but not happy with the direction it was headed. I mean really??) and Glee.  I had mixed feelings with the finale of How I Met Your Mother and I don't want to spoil it for anyone who has yet to watch it but let's just say I was extremely happy to see the very last scene play out the way it did and I think it sets things up for a great season next year.

Music - just updated my playlist, although I have gone from 2 to 3. I have my current playlist for the car, the same playlist with a few additions and subtractions for walk/runs and my newest playlist, one for the kids with all the pop music Jadyn especially has started to really get into. So what's new on my playlist?

Burn it Down - Linkin Park
DoYaThing - Gorillaz featuring Andre 3000 (free download on Converse website)
It's Time - Imagine Dragons
Naked Kids - Grouplove
Come Home - Chappo
What are you kids on? - Chappo
Bloody Mary - Silversun Pickups
Headlights - Morning Parade
Some Nights - Fun
Blood for Poppies - Garbage
Heavy Metal - White Rabbits

Books - Between a busy schedule, Joe being gone and all my programs showing first run episodes, my reading has significantly slowed down but I did read Pandemonium, the second in the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver as well as the single the author released entitled Hana. Both were solid sequels but nothing that blew my mind. I also read Magic Hour by Kristen Hannah and Legend by Marie Lu and felt similarly - liked it but didn't find myself raving. However, I also reread Divergent and dived into it's sequel with wildly high expectations, which were absolutely met so if you have yet to read Divergent, I definitely recommend it.

Fitness - with Joe home and the weather getting warmer, I am happy to be able to get back into the routine of going for my walk/runs with Kuma in the early morning before Joe leaves for work. Usually I get back right as the kids are getting up for school. Yes, there are definitely days when I don't feel like waking up and going but I always feel great afterward and I am trying to build back up to being able to run a 5K without stopping to walk but it is a slow process for me.

Which brings me to the less superficial portion of this meme, my continuing struggle with anxiety. As happy as I am with my life, my anxiety is still not 100% under control. For those that have not been through it, I don't know how to explain it. People assume I get anxious over everyday stressors and that it is related to me trying to do too much or putting too much pressure on myself but that is not the case. My anxiety is not over the everyday stuff, which I actually handle quite well. My anxiety comes from a very deep-seated and irrational place and I have yet to fully be able to quell it. But I also have to give myself credit because with a lot of work and a lot of help, I am in a much better place than I was this time last year. While it still frustrates me that I haven't completely gotten rid of it, I am not going to give up. I am determined.

I am also determined to eventually catch up with all the blog posts that are floating around in my head. So be on the look out.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

This was a very special Mother's Day. For the last 5 weeks Joe has been working in El Paso after spending a week in Scottsdale Arizona. He came home for Easter and a few days the weekend of Jake's birthday but has otherwise been gone. I cannot truly express how grateful I am to have a husband who is so hardworking, willing to sacrifice time away from home and family to give us everything that we have.

Solo parenting is hard, very hard. I tried not to complain too much the last 6 weeks because I have SO many friends who endure much more frequent and longer separations from their spouse due to work, many of them military. I also have friends who through divorce or the loss of their spouse, now find themselves single parenting permanently. And they have my utmost respect.

But as hard as solo parenting can be, or even just parenting  in general, I wouldn't trade being a mom for anything. I cannot imagine not having Joe and the kids and all the love and happiness they bring me. I got so many gifts this weekend - a new end table I had been coveting, time to myself to get my hair done, a great family dinner with Joe's parents, grandparents sister's family and some friends on Saturday, a homemade necklace and poem from Jake, a painted butterfly magnet and card from Jadyn and a super fun BBQ with friends on Sunday.

But the greatest gift by far is having my family together again - the two reasons I am fortunate enough to celebrate Mother's Day as a mom and the man behind the camera who introduced me to a dream I never even knew I had. Because I never could have dreamed of having so much love and happiness. And as I said, now I can't imagine it any other way.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

More from the Land of Disney

For a recap of our first and only other trip to Disneyland and why exactly it is so nostalgic for me, you can read my previous post from 3 years ago.

And what a difference 3 years can make. I'm glad we went when we did 3 years ago. The kids were too young to be tall enough for rides like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Star Tours. And they were definitely too afraid to take pictures with the characters. So the last time we went, I focused on rides in Fantasyland and Toon Town. This visit was completely opposite. Although we did make it to Fantasyland and go on a few of my favorites like the Mad Hatter teacups and the Storybook Canal rides, we never even stepped foot in Toon Town. Most of their favorites were in Tomorrowland with Jake's favorite ride being the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Jadyn's being the Little Nemo submarine. They both loved, loved, loved Space Mountain and Autopia was also a mutual hit. We also spent a lot of time in Adventureland and New Orleans Square too, not only for rides like Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean (one of my faves) and the Haunted Mansion but also so we could play over at Tom Sawyer's Island. I am pretty sure Jake would have been perfectly content staying there all day.

Here we are arriving on the first of our two day visit. I think at this point the last thing the kids wanted to do was stop to take a picture:

As I mentioned, Autopia (driving the cars) was a favorite with both kids. If you look at the picture of Jake driving the car from my post on his 5th birthday, his expressions were of pure joy and complete concentration. Even after 3 years, some things never change (except the safety goggles he insisted on wearing almost the entire day):

Jadyn also had fun on this ride, but can I just say - she is not the best driver.

I seriously fear the day she gets her learner's permit:

And while the only character Jake cared to be photographed with was this stormtrooper:

Jadyn on the other hand got really into finding the various characters for pictures and on the second day, brought a notebook for autographs as well. I was able to distract her when I saw a character with a long line but we lucked out and she was able to get an autograph and picture with her favorite of all the Disney princesses - Ariel from the Little Mermaid. She also met Jesse from Toy Story, Pluto and the Red Queen and Rabbit from Alice and Wonderland.

And what trip to Disneyland would be complete without going on It's a Small World? One of my favorites for the simple and yet powerful message, even if it does mean you'll be singing the song for days afterwards:

In the 3 years in between visits to Disneyland, we have gone to other amusement parks, most notably Legoland and Knott's Berry Farm as well as the county fair. While each of these places has something uniquely fun about them, there is something just so magical about Disneyland. I don't know I will be able to stop myself from waiting another 3 years before we return again.