Friday, December 31, 2010

Kicking off the New Year!

Enjoying life in the LBC!! Seriously, we skipped out of town in the nick of time as we are missing extremely cold temps in Utah! It will be hard to go back after basking in the sun in S. CA. Actually, in all honesty it's been a bit chilly here, in the low 60's...brrrrr. It's kinda funny seeing people walking around the beach wearing huge Winter jackets and scarves, and right beside them my kids are wearing their swimsuits playing in the water! And they are not just getting their feet wet, they are completely submerged in the water...they are crazy! How are they my children?!!! Someone would have to pay me to get in that water! At one point a wave knocked Morgan over and she was flipping through the water with just her feet sticking out. I thought for sure once Ryan fished her out it would be meltdown city. But nope, she picked herself up, laughed it off and went right back in! That's a first.

We've been getting together with family often and eating lots of food! Good thing I brought my bike...a little exercise will do me good! I've already rode two days in a row...go me!

We're gearing up for another family dinner tonight to kick off the New Year! We'll see if I can make it til midnight...I suspect many games of Skipbo are in order, and some caffeine wouldn't hurt either!

How we are bringing Good Luck and Prosperity for the New Year:

*Lentil Soup (Italian we are not Italian...but whatever)

*Corn Bread (brings prosperity, color of gold) Love that money baby...Whooooo! (That's a Taledaga Nights reference...I'm not that shallow, honest.

*Loaf of Chocolate Marble Cake (lucky coin is baked inside bringing good luck to the person who gets it...hopefully they don't choke on it...that would be bad).

*12 grapes on a stick (we put it in our sparkling cider), drink it at midnight, each grape represents every month. Sour grape=bad month. Come on sweet grapes!!!

*Donuts in the morning. They represent the circle of life! Don't cheat and eat a crummy needs to be a donut!

With that...Hope everyone has a safe and wonderful New Year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

Our first Christmas in our new house! It was wonderful! However, I think we are all very much sleep deprived!

The night before Christmas Eve the girls were up in their room chattering away, I don't think they actually feel asleep until 10:00 that night. Then of course Haley was up before 6 the next morning, "It's Christmas Eve!!". They were bouncing off the walls the entire day. Ryan skipped out for a quick ride, and I admit it didn't go well with me. I was at my wits end with the kids and my wrath emerged when the girls woke Piper from a nap early. A few doors were slammed and my head spun around a few wasn't pretty. I had to remind myself that it was Christmas Eve...the girls are just very, very excited...they can't help it, I guess. And I suppose I actually couldn't keep them in their room for the entire day.

It turned out to be a very nice Christmas Eve. We had Matt, Carrie and little Jett over for a ham dinner. I think it turned out very well if I do say so myself! We had a fire going all evening was a great night!

However later, after everyone was in bed, Haley woke up a few times complaining of not feeling well. Uh oh. We knew she was coming down with a cold, but at one point she said her stomach hurt and she might throw up. Yeah, double uh oh! Ryan layed with her for a little while and it soon passed, and she feel asleep. Thank goodness! And then around 3 in the morning she comes into our room and says, "I just wanted you to know that I'm feeling much better and Merry Christmas!". Thanks, but please sleeeep!!! She got up for the day a little before 6. I was nursing Piper when she got up so she had to wait...we ended up going downstairs at about 6:30.

The aftermath.
I think the girls loved everything they got. Although, I think Haley is a little bummed that she didn't get the Barbie that goes with the Barbie Fairytale Carriage. Little does she know...her grandma has that waiting wrapped under their tree for our second Christmas in Long Beach!
Piper with her new pull horse toy.
Haley and Morgan both have a Pooh Bear (had them since they were babies).
So now Piper has her own Pooh!

We had Christmas dinner at Matt and Carrie's house. Matt made a Renaissance Chicken dinner, it was delicious...and more gifts were exchanged. A very nice night!
Now today, it's all about cleaning up, laundry, and I'm even going to attempt to take down the tree if I have time. Tomorrow we're off for Long Beach for a week! So excited about that! Now, if the rain would just give it a rest out there...I want sunny days!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Almost time!

It's Christmas Eve Eve! I'm pretty giddy with excitement! This week I've been doing some wrapping every evening...and let me just say, the first day I went through all the bags to assess everything I bought I nearly had a panic attack! "I bought ALL that?!!" I discussed the idea of returning a couple of things...but who am I kidding? Yeah right. Basically, Piper is getting the big dis this year, and I'm using money I would have spent on her to buy more for the girls. I know, poor Piper, but she's 8 months old...she'll never know the difference. Besides she'll be pretty stoked to play with all the boxes and paper! Don't worry, she IS getting some things...but we have TONS of baby toys around, she is NOT deprived!

This morning Haley noticed a few more presents under the tree. She picked up one that was for her and said "I know what this is, it's a Pillow Pet!!". (she was absolutely right) How she knew, I'll never know. But I tried to play it off, "You don't know that. It could be snow pants or big footie jammies!" She stayed pretty sure of herself, she says back to me, "It's okay mom, nice try, but I know it's a Pillow Pet!" Oh well, at least she doesn't know which one!

So things are a bit crazy around here, the girls are going full blast all the time! And with all the kids at home all day it's driving me to my limits often...but I'm hanging in there. Yesterday afternoon I spent about four hours going on errands to five different places! Yeah, what was I thinking?!! But I really didn't want to go anywhere today or tomorrow, so it had to be done. Although it nearly cracked me. The last two places the hatch to wagon decided to malfunction and I couldn't open it. I struggled in the rain for a while at Costco with a cart full and the girls going bonkers in the car. Finally some guy probably heard my frustrations (lots of grumbling under my breath) and felt sorry for me. He helped me get it open. But then at my next stop, the regular grocery, I again couldn't get it open. No one was around this time so all my groceries had to be piled up in the passenger seat. Driving home I felt like one of those people that look like they live in their know, with all their stuff crammed in so high that every window has plastic bags smashed up against it. Okay, it wasn't that bad, but close. Bottom line...I survived...thank goodness.

The girls get very excited about gift giving this time of year. And one of the things that they ALWAYS like to do is wrap random things from around the house to give away as presents. This drives me INSANE. The other day Haley "wrapped" a bar of soap in a wash cloth and wanted to put that under the tree. Baby toys are another favorite to wrap up. Morgan tried to wrap a hairbrush yesterday. They probably wonder why I go nuts every time, "Stop putting junk under the tree!!!! Those are NOT gifts!!!". Now they have resorted to drawing pictures and folding them into teeny tiny pieces and putting them under the tree . What ever. I don't even what to think about how much paper these kids consume on a daily basis. We are not saving any trees around here. Gotta change that.

So today it's all about laundry, cleaning, and some baking. All of our beautiful snow and turned to muck again. Yeah, that 14 or so inches we got the other's slowly disappearing. Bummer. I really want a white Christmas!

Well, better get busy.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Let it Snow!

Well, the rain has turned to snow...and overnight it accumulated quite a bit. We woke up to over a foot and it was still coming down hard. Days like this I wish everyone could stay home and stay off the roads. But, I guess life needs to go on...people need to get to work, stores need to open, and in Haley's case, school remains in session. However, I must was beautiful to wake up to.

One our way to pick up Haley.
The roads were too bad to push a stroller.
The dogs were having a ball tromping around it.
The girls built their first snow man of the year.
Seriously, I only helped them get the head on, they did everything else.
Not bad.
Don't mind our wreath in this picture. The big magnet hook that it's hanging on isn't doing so well these days.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Rain, Rain and More Rain

Yes, rain...not snow. We had a beautiful layer of snow covering everything, until this rained all night and now all the snow has turned to muck. Wet, muddy, muck. And it's supposed to continue for the next three or four days. I guess California is getting hit pretty hard with the rain as well. All I can say is it better be over by the time we get there! I want sunny warm weather when we're there next week!

So today we're enjoying a very relaxing Sunday. I don't think any of us got dressed until after lunch, and the girls just swapped jammies for dress-ups and I swapped jammies for sweats (really no difference there). The girls are going for the Shrek marathon today (they've already seen the original and now they are currently on the second one). I've been baking Cinnamon Bread this afternoon and Chicken and Dumplings is on the menu for about comfort foods!

A big turn around from yesterday as I was quite the Grump...yes, with a capitol G! I hate days like that...where I just wake up grumpy. Everything irritates me...and of course it's everyone elses fault that I'm acting that way. Sheesh...what a pain in the butt I can be.

So anyway,'s all good.

This is what my laundry room looks like everyday. Have I mentioned how glad I am that I have a laundry room!! Before this house, all this was just piled up by our front door, so if anyone came over we would have to kick it all out of the way. It's still all in a pile, and we do still have to kick it out of the way...but at least it's not the first thing someone sees when they walk in the door.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Week in a Nutshell

Still shopping...I'm actually doing pretty good though, I'm not completely stressed out...yet. Shopping for little girls is very hard for me...everything looks cute...everything catches my eye. Constantly, I think, "Oh, the girls would love this!!!". I have to hold myself back all the time, otherwise I'll be sending this family to the poor house!

Morgan's preschool had their Christmas program on Thursday. It was so fun to see her up there will all the other little kids! And I must say she did a terrific job! She even had a little part where her and this other girl dressed as dolls (basically the costume was to wear a dress and they gave them a big bow to wear in their hair...cute none the less!). So, yeah, her and this other girl stood up together and curtsied every so often during the song...pretty cute! Of course there was much waving back and forth between Morgan and I...and at one point she even called out, "Mommy, take my picture!!!". And I tried, honest, but the flash didn't reach so it came out too dark...hence the reason I didn't post any. Sorry.

We finally got around to ordering our Christmas cards. Now, every year that we've been married we've done a family photo for the card. This is the first year we didn't get to it!! Gasp!! I know. We were running out of time, so we had to come up with something. We ended up just finding a couple cute pictures of the girls (such as the ones on my blog banner)...and for Ryan and I we had Haley snap a few...yeah, Haley. So our Christmas card this year is a collage of three pictures...not sure how I feel about it. For one, I don't think I look all that great...I think I look old...beat down...tired. But I guess when my face is right smack next to a little eight month old with perfect, flawless skin...I would look old. And when the photographer is 6, I guess I can't expect miracles or anything! As Ryan says, "It is what it is."

Next year I'm going to have to glam it up!!

This week as gotten a bit fact, it's snowing as I write this. I still walk Haley to school in the mornings despite the freezing early morning temps. I feel like the mom in A Christmas Story bundling up the kids before she sends them to school. Boots, gloves, jackets,'s quite the process. And little Piper sits in the stroller with basically just her eyes peeking out. But, the cold walk is better than battling it out with carpool moms...I tell ya, it can get crazy in that parking lot!!

Well anyway, I guess that wasn't really "in a nutshell", but their you have it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Another blogger's post...

So pretty recently I found a know how it on one blog, then link to another, to another....yada, yada. Well, anyway, I found Clover Lane just that way. I don't know who she is, but I always enjoy what she writes. I love honesty and I love reading about the know, real life.

Christmas is becoming more fun and meaningful these days, and the reason is because of my kids. I love seeing the holiday through their eyes, it brings me so much joy. I think she worded it very nicely in her post. Enjoy.

Have you ever pulled off an entire Christmas season pretty darn successfully, and then felt, on the 26th of December, like you’ve missed the whole thing? I have. I was hustling and bustling..I had lists in my head, menus to plan, work to do, errands to run, traditions to keep. And then I had none…it was over. I had pulled it all off, I wanted to give myself a pat on the back, and put my aching feet up to rest, but I realized, that through it all, I forget to stop to “smell the flowers”.

The flowers for me at Christmas time are what I call Sparkly Eyes. If you stop at the right moments, and put all that work aside, you’ll get a moment that makes it all worth while. I remember once years ago, I had a terrible, desperate-feeling, panic-inducing thought around 11 a.m. on Christmas Day. I, for a moment, had entertained the fact that one day I wouldn’t always have a child young enough to still exude that awesome, jumping-out-of-their-skin-with-excitement Christmas energy. I realized that I better not miss that energy while I have it. I better soak up every minute of that magic while it’s here, in my house, because one day it will have disappeared.

Sparkly Eyes are almost always found in the little moments...not the big manufactured ones. They require you to be still, to put all else aside and pay be fully present. If you look you will find them.

Maybe it’s when the Advent calendar is pulled out of the attic and the countdown begins.

Or when you take the time to peer out the window at bedtime and spot elf tracks in the snow.

It could be when you watch your child pick a name from the Angel Tree at church, and she comes back to you excited that she found the perfect match. (Which happens to be a baby girl who needs a doll. Yessss!)

Maybe it’s that first year after Santa doesn’t look so scary anymore to your little toddler, and she peers at him with wonder instead of sobbing.

The child presenting a gift that was slaved over with glue and glitter, wrapped with half a roll of tape.

When that perfect gingerbread man is proudly created amidst the mess of cookie cutter and sprinkles.

Or that first glance down the stairs, around the corner, under the Christmas tree early Christmas morning…Santa really came.

I try to take the time and stop and stare at these little precious faces now. Life is too short, and if you need proof of this, look at last year's Christmas picture. They'll only be little so long. The rest of that stuff that occupies our brain and time, it’s important of course…we moms manage it all every year, whether it’s with proper planning or by the skin of our teeth.. ...but the Sparkly Eyes moments make it all worth it, it's a gift back to us for sure, and the best kind us moms can receive.We are left with memories of the magic and spirit and joy of Christmas, created in our homes, treasured in our hearts forever.

Monday, December 13, 2010

"My tummy hurts."

This is a phrase that no parent wants to hear from their child...ever. Nothing good comes from this sentence. Unless, you're Morgan...I hear her mutter this quite often. But, she gets a little confused...she says this when she's full or right before she goes to the bathroom (What's up with children holding it and holding it, until finally their stomach hurts...I don't get it). But anyway, any other child that says this...yeah, it's not good.

So this morning Haley woke up saying she was super tired, which is very rare. She barely ate anything, which is also very rare. But whatever, I walked her to school and she was in good spirits when I dropped her off. I walk home, about 45 minutes pass and then I get a phone call from the school. Haley has been complaining she is very tired, even laying on the floor...and she says her tummy hurts...dun, dun, DUN! So I walk back to school to pick her up. She does not look all...well, okay, maybe a little tired looking. But she uttered the dreaded words, "My tummy hurts." at school, they're not going to keep her now...she needs to go home. It's like saying "bomb" on a plane. Don't do it, unless you mean it! So I get her home and she says, "Now what?". Well, you go lay down, that's what, get some rest! I try and try to get her to stay put to rest for about an hour, no use. She's now downstairs playing with Morgan...yeah, I think I just got played.

I guess time will tell.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Close One

This year since Morgan is in preschool two days a week I have a small window for Christmas shopping without having children with me (except for Piper, but luckily she's too small to remember anything I bought...or care). Granted, it's only two hours on those days, but still, two hours...I'll take it!

So anyway, this morning I ran around to as many stores as humanly possible during my two hour window. Among some of the things I bought were a few stocking stuffers for the girls. One in particular was a plastic reindeer that poops out little candy balls (I know, pure class)...and not only poops out little candy balls but it sings a little jingle, "Merry Christmas, Wooo Hooo!!"...or something like that. Okay, so it's loaded in the back of the car with all the other things covered up with a blanket. I picked up Morgan from school and as we're leaving the parking lot I have to drive over a few speed bumps (very large speed bumps mind you). And low and behold, but those dang speed bumps triggered that stupid deer in the back to go off. Now stocking stuffers really need to be top secret from the kids...I mean, that's Santa's territory! You don't want the kids to know you have anything to do with the stockings!! Luckily, Morgan is chattering away about her I don't think she was paying too much attention. But the deer keeps going and so I have to take matters in my own hands...I crank up the radio super loud! Poor Morgan is trying to still talk over the radio, practically screaming. "MOMMY, THE RADIO IS TOO LOUD!!" I respond, "IT'S OKAY...I LIKE THIS SONG!" Now that I think about it...I think it was a commercial at the time. Oh well. Eventually the deer shut it's trap and I could finally turn the radio down. And I'm pretty sure (but not positive) that she never heard it. Whew!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Breastfeeding: Newborns vs. 8 Month Olds

Okay, first off let me just say that I'm very blessed that I'm able to breastfeed my babies. So no matter how much I complain, I know, I'm very lucky.

So...nursing a newborn. Ahhh, so peaceful. They are so small and they just lay so still, perfectly content. They would be happy nursing forever if they could. My babies would love to stare at me while they ate examining every feature (or wrinkle) on my face, or doze off sweet. If I nursed in a crowded area, the noise would never bother them. I would just drape a blanket over my shoulder and there is would stay for the entire nursing session.

The "honeymoon" phase of breastfeeding vanishes (at least for me) when my babies turned about 6 months. It's now a whole new world.

They don't sit still anymore, constantly kicking and bouncing around. It's impossible to use any type of cover as they will immediately bat that away. And I realize there are some really cute cover-ups that tie around your neck I could buy. However, I won't wear them...they remind me of 1. a bib and 2. like I should be getting a haircut. They are not for me...I would rather risk exposing my breast then wear one of those!

Also at this age they can not only still see you very clearly when they nurse, but they can now reach your face with their hands. This results in many uppercuts to the chin, scratching, and pinching. Why?! Don't they know I'm giving them life?! Why must they hurt me?!

They also love to grab hold of shirts. They don't care if the shirt is from Target and cost $5 or your expensive blouse from Banana Republic...say goodbye the neck hole as it will be stretched to it's limits.

At this age babies love to see what's going on around them, this results in breast exposure when they turn their head to look around. Or (because they are torn, they want to eat but they also want to see what's going on) they play "Let's see how far I can stretch mom's nipple" game. Yeah, it's not gonna work, it stop.

And starting around 9 months (sometimes earlier) they start getting teeth. Need I say more?

But, with all the complaining...again, I'm glad I'm able to do it. I nursed my first two for a year, and I plan to do the same with Piper. It's more of a practical thing for me. It's convenient (no need to pack anything) and it saves us money (formula can get pretty expensive). So I'm in the home stretch, as Piper is now 8 months old. But you know, as much as I complain, it will be bittersweet when I wean her...that I know for sure.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New Barbie Fashions

I'll hand it to the girls for their creativity when it comes to accessories and outfits for their Barbies. Kinda sad that they have to resort to garbage and random household items...but impressive none the less.

Our first Barbie in the line up is wearing a lovely dryer sheet skirt held securely in place with a pink hair band. Barbie two is sporting a head scarf made from the plastic bag our newspaper comes in...her hair will stay dry in the rain. And lastly, Barbie three is wearing a washcloth dress with a ribbon belt...very nice.

Hmmm...I'm thinking Barbie clothes are in order for Christmas.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Cheer

Last year at this time I wasn't feeling an ounce of Christmas spirit, a bah humbug all the way. Maybe because we had been knocked down with sickness the first week of December (thanks to Jeff for bringing back with him from CA). Also, I was completely paranoid with H1N1 as fact Morgan ended up getting it we're pretty sure. I didn't want to go anywhere...I was terrifed of germs, carrying around antibacterial gel everywhere I went. Not to mention the fact that I was stressed the entire month with the dreaded, "What do I give ______ this year?!" Oh, and I was pregnant and just plain tired all the time!

This year I'm feeling the Christmas Spirit! I'm loving this month! I feel a lot better with my gift choices and I'm way less stressed about it. The girls are more vocal on specific things they want making it easier to shop...actually Haley is...Morgan says she "loves all toys". Her words. I wish she could give that to me in writing and sign it! I don't want any disappointment Christmas morning! And I'm so excited about celebrating Christmas in our new home!

Saturday we went out and bought our tree, then spent the evening listening to Christmas music, drinking hot cocoa, decorating, and we even lit our fireplace for the first time! I love having a fireplace!
I found myself standing in the doorway of our living room just staring at it...I couldn't pull myself away. It's just that the room seems so grown perfect. Yes, the walls need to be painted some day...yes, the room could probably use some window treatments at some point...but for's perfect. Perfect and cozy.

Goodness, is this truly a post by me?! It seems so happy. I'm sure I'll have some complaints about something soon enough...but for now, I enjoy my Christmas cheer!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sitting and Scooting

My little Piper has mastered the art of sitting up. Funny because it all happened in one day! Literally, one day she's a little wibble wobble falling over constantly and the next, BAM, sitting up no problem. It's like she's been doing it her whole life!

She has also become quite the scooter in just the past day or so. She doesn't have any trouble getting to where she wants to go. Oh my, it won't be long now and I'll have a full fledged crawler on my hands and getting into everything! Say goodbye to my organized Tupperware cabinet, and my organized bookshelf...oh wait, neither one of those are organized, so I'm good. Play away Piper.

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