Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

So I thought I was so organized for Christmas this year. The Christmas tree was up and decorated before Thanksgiving, the rest of the house over Thanksgiving weekend, presents were purchased and wrapped weeks ago, I even had the Christmas cards purchased in October....so how is it I still feel like I have a million and one things to do?

Even though the holidays can be stressful and lot's of work....I still love Christmas. Seeing the joy in my boys eyes when they see Santa, Evan telling me the house looks beautiful, decorating Gingerbread houses, Christmas music in the background and the time spent with family make all the hard work and effort worth it!

Blake's Last Soccer Game

Blake had such a great time playing soccer this year. Saturday was his last game. Here are a few pictures of the boys.

Ry's Gingerbread Birthday

So this past weekend I had Ryan 5th birthday party at the house. Having your birthday a day before New Year's Eve can be a bit of a bummer. I wanted for him to have a special day with all of his friends from school. Seeing as I am obsessed with Christmas, I decided a Gingerbread birthday would be perfect. Ry must be a popular kid...or the mommy's wanted to check out their future teachers home : )...not sure which, but we had thirty kids at the house! Everyone had a great time decorating,eating tons of sweets, sipping hot cocoa and playing with the rocket in the backyard. It was a wonderful day!

Our Last Thanksgiving

Well, Thanksgiving was especially meaningful as it was our last holiday we would spend in our childhood home. We were so blessed to grow up in an incredible neighborhood full of wonderfully, caring families. As much as I am going to miss our home...I am so thrilled to have mom and dad with me in the desert!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fall where are you?

So this week fall finally arrives...the only problem, it is still 108 degrees in the desert. Enough is enough already. I absolutely love the fall. Apple picking in Oak Glen, visiting the pumpkin patch at Live Oak Canyon, cooler weather and the beginning of another school year.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tahiti in Las Vegas?

So Patrick had almost a week off of work. We were going to originally go camping up North with the kiddos, but at the last minute decided we wanted a more how shall I say "relaxing" vacation. I had been in Las Vegas the week prior for a conference and had found this really cool hotel in downtown Vegas with a pool that surrounds this huge aquarium where a large water slide goes thru. Anyways I thought the kids would get such a kick out of it, so that is where the whole Vegas idea came from. Like most of you Vegas isn't exactly the place I first think of when I think "family" vacation. Anyways, as I did some research on hotels in the area I found a place called the Tahitian Village. The room are all suites with seperate living spaces and bedrooms, there are kitchens in the units and they had an enormous swimming pool with a sandy beach and lazy river. Now if you have ever traveled with three young boys you know how quickly one small hotel room can seem like very cramped quarters, so this place was definitely looking good. Also, the way my kids have been eating me out of house and home lately made me realize that having a kitchen with fridge in the room could definitely come in handy. The rates were unbelievable...so we booked it.

We had a great time lounging by the pool, the kids loved the sandy beach area and they could not believe you could go swimming at night (it was like a party at ten at night, crazy!). Anyways we had a super four days at our own little Tahitian getaway.

As we were leaving the last day, Patrick had to stop at the enormous Bass Pro Shop that was just across the way from our hotel. The store was attached to this cute little hotel and casino called the Silverton and it had a huge salt water aquarium with thousands of fish, sharks and rays. The kids and I just sat there in awe for at least an hour. Well one thing led to another and we ended up booking a night at the Silverton and extended our vacation one more day. Our room was right around the corner (literally) from the pool, and I have to admit that after four days of a crowded kid filled pool, this smaller much quieter pool was a very nice change. Anyways it was a great getaway with lot's of fun memories.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Huntington Beach 4th of July Parade...the tradition continues.

Well my mom is a sucker for tradition and insists on taking the kids to the Huntington Beach parade each year. This year was a bit different since one of her best friends just built a home a block down from Main St. It definitely made the trek a lot easier. The kids enjoyed breakfast, suckers, poppers, face painting and waving to and shaking hands with everyone they could! Happy 4th of July everyone!

Food and Decorations...hurray for the 4th of July!

Well, my obsession continues with party decorations. I had so much fun making all of the decorations and food for our 4th of July party this year. The food was super yummy and the decorations turned out great, although I forgot to get pics of the outside. Enjoy!

Long Beach Aquarium and Harbor Cruise

Since Patrick has been able to spend a few days with us we decided to take a trip to the Long Beach Aquarium. The kids absolutely love it and it is just the right size for them. This time we decided to purchase the annual family pass so we can enjoy the aquarium all summer and on our frequent visits throughout the year. Of course their very favorite part is touching the sharks and rays. All three just could not get enough. You will notice by Ry's shirt that he would have been in swimming with the sharks had we let him. He got soaked! When we finished with the aquarium we decided to take the Harbor cruise...the boys don't get on boats much so they were very excited! It was a great family day with lot's of fun memories made.

Swim Lessons

So even though the boys are great little swimmers, I wanted them to take swimming lessons this year just to ensure they are getting pool safe. Since we are enjoying the month in Orange County with my mom and dad I decided to sign them up for lessons at the same pool I took lessons in over thirty years ago. I remember the pools being huge...olympic sized for sure : )! When we arrived boy was I in for a surprise. I couldn't get over how tiny the pools looked and I have to admit I was a bit sad they took out the diving boards, especially the high dive. I was shocked when Evan refused to get in the pool and Ry was a nervous wreck and just stood there on the verge of tears. Come to find out Ry just thought it was a baby class and actually wanted to be out there swimming, not playing ring around the rosie! Blake on the other hand did great although he was the youngest and smallest kiddo in his class as you can see from the pictures. He learned how to breath correctly while doing the free style and can now do the back stroke, dolphin kicking and more. He never ceases to amaze us.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On to First Grade!

Wow, I cannot believe Blake is headed to first grade! Where or where does the time go. Well, I was a very proud mama. On the last day of school we have an award ceremony for the entire school and Blake was awarded the Life Long Learner Award. This is given to kids who truly show a love for learning and are always engaged and giving one hundred percent! So happy I have a kiddo who enjoys school and is super smart to boot.

Blake also lost his second tooth on the last day of school, making it the best day ever! Thanks Miss Gonzales for yanking it out for me...just not something I enjoy doing. Blake had a wonderful Kindergarten experience and I am so excited for what next year has in store for him.

Every party needs a theme!

The darling cupcake tower from my sister...I made the cupcakes myself, pretty proud of myself since baking isn't my strong point!

A banner, sign and one of the ribbon topiaries I made.

Another sign.

Some of the serving bowls I used.

One of my favorite new finds....a handy serving caddy.

So I went a little crazy with Ev's party this year. It all started with the invite. I picked three colors from it orange, lime green, and blue and went crazy with it. I made party hats, banners, cupcake toppers (with help from my new favorite blog tomkatstudio), two really cute ribbon topiaries, and even ordered Ev a special shirt to coordinate. I had so much fun with it all, I have even contemplated starting a side business. Unfortunately my camera was not working and mom's ran our of batteries, so we didn't get everything documented. Amy bought me the darling cupcake tower this Christmas and this was the first time I was able to use it....so cute!!

My Baby Turns Three

I can't believe my baby boy turned three! Although this is a super busy time of year for me with the end of school, I really wanted to have a special little party for Ev. We had a great day with close family and friends. I just love that each one of my boys has their own distinct personality. Ev is my little jokester....he loves to be silly and make people laugh, especially his big brothers. He is still a bit of a monster (into everything), but is also the one still curling up in my lap at night and giving me the best hugs. I absolutely love this child to death! Happy birthday my sweet boy!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What a difference a couple of weeks make!

So we stripped Blake of his legos, puzzles, Wii, the computer and even limited his time in front of the television. We encouraged him to play nicely with his brothers, to get outside more often and to watch the way he spoke to adults. Everytime he would start to argue, we would stop him. He spent a few evenings in his room for his behavior, but overall we saw a difference within the first couple of days. Even his teacher commented on how well behaved he was in class! Athough, we are not completely out of the woods yet, I am happy to say that I have my sweet, kind, loving Blake back.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Help, I lost my son and want him back!

So my perfect little Blake, who never cried as a baby, slept through the night at a month, never experienced the terrible two's, or three's for that matter, and is smarter and sweeter than you can possibly imagine, is gone! I don't know when it happened exactly, but in just the last two weeks, someone else is living in this sweet boy's body. This "new" Blake is whinny, say's "no" to his parents, fights bedtime, picks on his brother, and is how can I say this lightly...disrespectful! My heart is breaking and I am at my wit's end!

As a parent you try to do everything right. You love your child, you give him a warm bed to sleep in and put food on the table. You give them a bedtime, set boundaries, read to them nightly, buy them nice things (but not always), send them to a very expensive Catholic school, yet still they think all you ever do is tell them no! Somehow Blake has got it in his mind that we expect him to be perfect. Perfect? What is that anyways? Not something anyone in this family is...although I must admit, Patrick thinks he is pretty close to.

So what do you do? Do you ground this 6 year old? Take away all of his toys? Strip his room? Well, that is where this is heading. Lego's are packed away, computer and the wii are off limits, bedtime is now half an hour earlier, and kid's t.v. programs are going to be very limited (and that is only because I have two younger kids). Patrick and I have both talked to him individually about his behavior and together, even Grandma Sue has spoken with him but we still have a whinny, entitled child. Now don't get me wrong, there are still glimpses of that sweet, loving child, but I want him back full time! Oh the joys of parenting! For those of you who have been there...this is only temporary, right?

My Dad

What a lucky girl I am to have my dad! He is loving, kind and extremely hard working. He loves being a dad and that is apparent to anyone who has ever met him...he can be a bit of a bragger : ). I am so lucky that I had a dad who was so involved in my life and ALWAYS put his family first. He was my coach, he helped me with my homework, and when tempers flared in my household (which didn't happen a lot) he was always the calming force. I love him so very much and I am happy to say that I am definitely a "Daddy's Girl!" He is the reason I wanted so badly to have a little girl. I wanted Patrick to have that special bond between a dad and his daughter....who knows maybe one day we will adopt : )!