Tuesday, January 31, 2012

San Diego for me, boys weekend for the guys.

   Similar trip, different dates...I am really trying to be there for my grandparents, so I went down to San Diego for the weekend. Friday morning to Monday afternoon and spent the day on Friday and Monday with Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma has been talking about putting pictures up on the stairwell again for months, so that is what we did Friday. Sounds like a simple task, but not so much. We had to find all the pics, organize them, switch frames around, organize them and then put them up. Grandma is really happy with how it turned out. I'm glad. I don't think it's really a very fair representation, but I had to work with what she had. Grandpa dropped me off at Annie's work and we stopped by to check out where Freddy worked. They both have great offices. Annie's is cozy and quaint, Freddy's is airy and intimidating. I think they fit the their respective jobs very well.
  We went to the "secret bench" that apparently all the neighbors love to watch the sunset with a glass of wine.We had a lovely pasta salad dinner and sat outside by the fire pit. We also roasted some s'mores.
   Saturday morning Annie and I went for a walk along the coast in Encinitas after having a delicious breakfast at the Potato Shack. It was nice for us to just hang out the two of us, and what a pretty view. It was a very warm Santa Anna windy day. We headed back to the house just in time for Grandma, Grandpa and Bob to meet up with us. The spent a few hours with us hanging out. Freddy BBQ's some chicken sandwiches, which were moist and delicious. Freddy and I took a trip to the grocery store while Annie got ready for an engagement party.

  Andrea, Josh, Nick, and Dana met us at a Thai restaurant for dinner. It wasn't super great and Andrea's eggplant came raw. She was too embarrassed to take it back. She is so funny. After dinner we went back to Freddy and Annie's and he gave a tour. Uncle Ken and Karen called me to say that they weren't coming to the family meeting. We talked for a long time. At about 10:30pm we started playing beer sconce- a game Freddy, Colby, and Annie made up. Freddy likes to say that it's beer pong for the over 25 crowd.
Either way, you put party cups up on the ball and throw ping pong balls into them. If it goes in your cup you have to drink. It was very entertaining. The funniest part of the evening; however, was Nick's utter infatuation with the soft toilet paper. It was really very funny. He couldn't stop talking about how it was the greatest toilet paper ever.
   The next morning, around 11 Andrea, Josh, Nick and Dana came back over. We were supposed to have a family meeting at 11am, but since my family was a no show Annie had lots of yummy food prepared. I talked to Hedy for a very long time- very emotional. We had a nice hamburger, potato salad and beans lunch. We did lots of hanging out and talking, then played Zombie Flux. After which they had to head back since they all had to work early the next day. They live in Redlands, which is 1hour 40 min. away. We had leftovers for dinner and went to bed. We were all tired.
Monday morning Annie took me to work with her and Grandma and Grandpa came to pick me up. I spent the day with Grandma mostly looking at her stuff and her trying to give everything to me. She is so funny. She really wants the boys to have all kinds of toys, but many of them are just too big. I helped her wean down a decent sized pile of things she could send me. She is such a sweet and amazing lady. She left me a message when I got on the plane saying how much my visit meant to her and how she wished I could stay a month or a year. I really couldn't ask for a more amazing woman in my life.
Boy’s Weekend:
  While Ashley went down to San Diego to visit with her grandparents and brother, the boys had a fun little weekend of their own.  Ashley left on Friday morning, and thanks to a ride from Jon to the airport, the boys were able to have a normal morning.  After cartoons we took off to get new tires on the car.  This is not the exciting part at all, but the place we go happens to be walking distance from a Toys R Us.  The boys got to play in Toys R Us for a while, and pick out a toy (coupon left over from the holidays).  Since the car was taking a little longer than planned, I decided we could eat out and the boys chose Denny’s because they wanted hamburgers.  Only Oliven got one (everyone else chose breakfast foods), but it was fun and they both behaved very well in the restaurant.  Jon took off to see his sister in the afternoon so the boys and I played and took a walk since we were having leftover quiche for dinner (of which Oliven ate about ¾ of my piece, which is a lot for someone who currently avoids most of dinner).
   On Saturday, Pops came up and went to Vander’s soccer practice with us.  Vander is doing really well here; he listens, understands where he is supposed to kick the ball, and seems to be getting a little better at controlling it each week.  Pops treated us all to bagels afterwards.  After quiet time, both Grammy and Pops came up to play with the boys and make dinner (steak, fingerling potatoes, and spinach casserole).  The boys took full advantage and played outside with them right up to the time to start making dinner.
  Sunday started with a trip to the donut shop for a treat since the boys were being pretty good for the whole weekend.  Plus, we wanted Jon to get something in his stomach before he went back down to LA.  After that, we did the normal cartoons, milk, and grocery shopping in the morning.  Then we got to see Pops and Grammy again on Sunday night as they came up and made Salmon, noodles, and veges.  Vander ate really well all weekend.  On Monday the boys and I just hung out and picked Mommy up at the airport and whisked her off to a dinner out.  The boys were really happy to have her home.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oliven's 2 year doctor update



   First off I would like to start by saying that at 21 months old Oliven speaks often and eloquently. He is amazingly verbal and very intelligent. He is exceptionally polite. He hardly ever says no without adding a thank you to it. I wanted to see how many of the letters of the alphabet he recognized. The first time through he was correct on 23 of the 26 letters. He called G a Q, S a Z, and V a Y, but that's not too shabby. He can also count up to 13 without any prompting. I know that I am biased since he is my son, but color me impressed.
   As for the measurements at the doctors office today, I say take them with a grain of salt because he has always been weighed on the baby scale naked before and this time he was fully clothed and screaming while being weighed and measured on the big boy equipment. According to that he was 26lb 1oz, which is 38%. He was 2'8.5", which is 26% (but she corrected for the height of his shoes, and who knows how accurate that is). His head was 18.7in, which is 60% (according to this his head shrunk, I say, not likely, someone was off in their measurements). Either way, he is a happy, healthy little man. 
   He is currently refusing to eat anything for dinner except fruit, bread, and yogurt. He is also still not weened off of bottles. I tried last week again and he decided it was bottles or no milk at all. He uses cups for water, so it's not like he doesn't know how, he just doesn't want to.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Justin's 31st birthday weekend

On Friday night Nicole and Michael Rodgerson came over to play games with us. They are our game buddies. We always have a blast with them. Saturday night we had Arielle and Jerry and Nicole and Michael come over and play Mario Party on the Wii and Quirkle. We all ate Chinese food and had a good time. I made Justin a dice cake this year at his request. Not my best work, but it was yummy cake.
Sunday morning Larry and Theresa took us all out for Dim Sum. Mitch and Katie met us there. Vander ate as much as any of the adults and even had some chicken feet!!! Oliven preferred to eat fruit strip and granola bar, though he was very good and did have a few bites of pork bun and crab ball. Yummy.
Afterwards Larry and Theresa brought the boys home for quiet time while Justin and I headed over to Palomo Archery for lessons on how to shoot a bow and arrows. It was really quite fun. I was pretty good at it and relatively consistent. Justin was consistently inconstant, but he had a good time. I also tried a crossbow, but I found it to be hard to control. Happy birthday Justin!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Worst Mom of the year award

Thursday, preschool day...I bundled the kids up in sweaters, scarves and hats and we headed out on the walk to preschool...Well, I thought it would be typical winter weather in San Jose; boy was I wrong. It was so cold. My face and hands were almost frozen solid...the whole walk there Oliven kept saying, "too cold, too cold." At the point that I realized how cold it truly was we were half way to school (luckily it's only about a 7 minute walk), but when you aren't wearing the right clothes that is a LONG time! It was 38 degrees outside!!! Are you kidding me? You've gotta be kidding me! At 9am in San Jose...that is unheard of! The worst part was that after we dropped Vander off, Oliven and I had to walk home again. We stayed and thawed out for a few minutes, but that is a bitter cold whipping in your face. I wrapped a scarf around Oliven's hands and he didn't move them an inch on the way home. Sorry fellas!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

One Life to Live is gone!!!

43 years of being on the air and my soap opera is cancelled. I know it doesn't make sense, but I honestly did not think this day would come. I really am going to miss it. I watch their lives 5 days a week, and they have been a part of my life since I was, well, I don't even know how young. I don't remember not watching soap operas with my mom. I remember being about 9 and One Life to Live and All My Children had a similar story line going on of a child trapped in a well. I liked the characters on One Life to Live better so that is the soap opera I pledged my allegiance to all these years. My mom kept the other one and General Hospital, but One Life to Live was our soap. She would always catch me up on what was going on and I would watch it with her when I had days off. In college I would watch periodically. When my mom passed away it was something that always made me feel closer to her. It was our shared pass time, and I am really going to miss it.
It was more than a show to me, it was a bond with my mom, and how special she was. I always thought that no matter what was going on in my life it was always worse for the characters in my soap opera and that made me feel better. I have a pretty great life now, but it wasn't always so sunny.
I remember seeing characters that I loved go to jail for 15-20 years or move away for a long time and I was still watching when they got out or came back. I watched characters be born that I also watched graduate from high school. It's the only show I know of that happens in almost real time. In many ways I could relate to the characters and what they were going through. There are the characters you love and the ones you love to hate and the ones you hate, but then they do something amazing and it's hard to hate someone so loving.. .they have been my friends longer than almost anyone that I'm not related to...it's not easy to say goodbye to something like that....it's the end of an era. I miss you mom!!! xoxo

Grapefruit...really?

It may be a fluke, but this morning Vander asked if he could try a grapefruit. I agreed, cause why not...well, he did not like it. I wasn't surprised, but Oliven loved it. That was a shocker. He couldn't get enough of it. You just never know. I wonder if he will like it next time he tries it.

Crazy busy boys and Mick's Wedding

  At 6:20 Vander woke up demanding a tissue. I went into his room and told him he could get his own tissue since they are right next to his bed. He said he didn't want to because then he would have to get out of bed. I left the room and was irritated, so I had to make an effort not to slam the door, but I did not close it silently like I usually do, so there was some noise when I closed it. The next thing I know Vander is scream crying in his room. He finally starts yelling, "Mommy please open the door."  I give in and go ask him what he needs, and he says, "Mommy, no slamming the door. Please close it again, but quietly this time. Thank you." I say, "okay," and close the door silently. I don't hear another peep out of him until 7am. I was just shocked and amazed that he was so upset by what he considered to be rule breaking when he tests the limits all day long.
   On a nicer note, at 9am we took Vander to his very first soccer lesson. It was super cute. The coach was trying to get them to understand the concept of teams. They didn't really understand, but they enjoyed running back and forth and stealing each others balls to take back to their own net. They also played some freeze tag. It was pretty cute, but a bit of a chaotic event. Vander's friend Hunter is taking the lessons with him and Vander is very excited about that. Oliven must be having a growth spurt because right after breakfast he ate a ton of food. He ate his snack, Vander's snack and my snack while watching Vander play soccer!
  After the lessons we headed over to Vasona Park, which is just down the street and let the kids run on the train and play on the giant plane replica and playground for a bit. 
  We went straight from there to Colton's 1st birthday party. Thee boys tried to eat just M&M's for lunch , but I thwarted their attempts and made them eat peas- how evil am I? They had a good time playing with their friends and playing outside. I'm pretty sure Vander goes to birthday parties for the cake, so we had to stay a bit into nap time so they could have a cupcake.
  After quiet time Grammy and Pops came over to hang out and have dinner with us. It was nice to see them and we had a pleasant afternoon. The 49ers game was on and was apparently an exciting one yesterday. Vander keeps telling me that he really misses daddy. We all do.He went down to Hermosillo Mexico Friday to Sunday to be a groomsman in Mick Greco's wedding. He says it was really fun and really enjoyed meeting all of Mick's friends and Marisol's family.
  Vander knocked Oliven down and Ollie hit his head twice today...I can't figure out how to get it through Vander's head that what he is doing is dangerous to his brother. He just doesn't seem to get it, or to care.

Mick’s wedding:
  Justin attended Mick’s wedding in Hermosillo, Mexico over the Martin Luther King Jr holiday weekend.  He left Friday early morning and arrived in Mexico early afternoon.  Mick met him at the airport and then Sol picked them both up and took them out to lunch.  Tacos all around, one pork, one asada, and Mick’s favorite a potato one in an enclosed tortilla. 
  After lunch, they took a scenic drive around town so Sol could show some of it off and got to the hotel in time for Justin to clean up for the rehearsal.  As one of Mick’s groomsmen, Justin got to walk down the aisle with Sol’s oldest Sister, Claudia carrying the lasso (I assume that binds the two in marriage).  After the rehearsal, came the dinner.  Not just any dinner, but six courses.  First, there was bread and cheese and prosciutto with olive oil.  Next, came pizzas, followed by a salad.  Then they trotted out what Justin thought was the main course, seafood and sausage paella, which he promptly filled up on.  Of course after that came the suckling pig course which he was only able to enjoy a few bites of before being utterly full.  And possibly for the first time ever, Justin skipped dessert (although he tells me there were no chocolate options).
  The wedding prep for the guys started at noon the next day with them meeting in Mick’s suite to have pictures taken as they put on their tuxes.  Mick’s wedding gift to the groomsmen was personalized cufflinks (Justin’s are Superman).  They dressed, photographed (we’ll see how well), and watched the first quarter of the 49ers playoff game versus the New Orleans Saints.  Reluctantly, they dragged Mick away from the game at 3:30 to get to the chapel.
  The wedding itself was very nice, albeit mostly in Spanish, so Justin assumes the father was saying only good things about Mick and Sol.  After the wedding everyone rejoiced in both the marriage and the final 6 minutes of the football game.  Everyone was whisked away to the reception hall afterwards where they met Mick, Sol, and their families for a long night of dancing and partying.  Aside from the customs there which apparently include showing up a little late for anything dinner the trip was great.  Justin flew back in Sunday night, exhausted but happy.
  We can’t wait to see Mick and Sol for dinner when they get back from their honeymoon.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friendly chaos

Justin is out of town for Mick's wedding, so we had some friends over for dinner. Sabrina and Maddie sure do spice things up. I seriously do not know how people with 4 kids can have any control at all. We had fun, but man was it chaotic. Ollie took a bath with Maddie, then Vander took a bath with Sabrina. Sabrina then said she wanted to sleep with Vander. He seemed to be fine with the idea. Arielle and I agreed that Jerry (Sabrina's dad) would probably think Sabrina needed to play a little harder to get, so we sent them home for the night. ;) I will say though that the Katz boys really seem to have a thing for the Kurtze girls.

Cutest little tushies

I may be a little biased, but I'm pretty sure that these are the two cutest tushies in the whole world.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Smoothy for breakfast

Vander decided this morning that he wanted a smoothy for breakfast. 
This was what he requested it be made with:
3 prunes
1/2 banana
1 cup frozen mangos
splash of milk
and 1 strawberry
It actually tasted rather good. Who would have guessed it???

Aunt Annie and Uncle Freddy

Freddy and Annie were in town visiting with friends over the weekend, so they stopped in to say hello from 3-8pm yesterday. It was great to see them (it always is). We went for a walk with the boys and Vander had us all pretend to be from "Jake and the Neverland Pirates." He was Jake of course. He was busy fighting pirates (bushes) and collecting gold doubloons (yellow leaves from the ground). It was really cute. Freddy was a very good Pirate. Vander had him playing Cubby.  Oliven was Izzy, I was Mr. Smee and Annie was Scully the bird. Very creative. Vander absolutely loved rough housing with his uncle. We came home and had dinner - Justy made some yummy twice-baked potatoes. The boys had their bath and went to bed after a photo shoot. We played Zoolooretta and it was already time for them to catch a plane home. It was a super quick visit, but it was a good one.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Visiting with old friends

Mom's best friend growing up, Dooda, had a son named Mellad. We became good friends when my mom and I went up to visit. I continued visiting on my own after that. I absolutely loved hanging out with Mellad, Caitlin and Claire. Claire taught me that you don't have to have much to have a good time. We sewed skirts, shot balloons with bee-bee guns, whittled pens from chunks of wood, played games, and had a great time. I was convinced for several years that Mellad was about the most fantastic guy in the world. They had the "perfect" family from what I could see. The Abeid family instilled in me a love of the country and nature. They were so close to each other and I really admired them. So, there is the history...Mellad is still playing in an Irish band that travels, Claire is one of the dancers. They were both in San Francisco on a tour over Christmas this year with their families. Justin and I took the boys up to meet them and their families. Mellad, Sulo, Simon (3 1/2) and Anthony (1) were staying in a long term apartment which was pretty nice. Parking was aweful, but that is San Francisco for you. Anyway, we went up and had brunch with them at their place. It was really nice reconnecting. The last time we saw them we were on our way back from Indiana and stopped at their house in Spokane, Washington. Claire and Logan were in New Zealand, but we got to spend time with the rest of the family. It was really great to see Claire again. After brunch we stayed and played for a little bit and chatted. We only had 2 hours of parking, so that cut our visit a little short, but it was worth the drive for sure.

Our new toilet

Hurray! Okay, this doesn't sound too exciting, but here's the deal...our toilet flusher (just the little plastic piece) broke off several months ago (like probably 8) and we kept thinking we could fix it. When our bathroom was remodeled the only thing that we didn't replace was the toilet, because there was nothing wrong with it. Well, apparently the toilet didn't want to be in there with all the new stuff. We finally bit the bullet and called a plumber to come fix it yesterday. We have been holding off because there wasn't really anything wrong with the plumbing. We have looked at Home Depot and Lowes for a new flusher, the ones that fit our toilet apparently don't exist. The plumber looked at it and said, "you can't replace these parts, you need a whole new toilet." And, the rest as they say is history. No more white trash Jerry-rigged toilet for us. Yay!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Southern California




Saturday, Dec. 24- We drove to LA. We spent the afternoon hanging out with Jon, Ruth and Walter. Fish with parsnips for dinner with cauliflower mashed potato. After the boys went to bed we played ticket to ride.
Sunday, Dec. 25th We got up at 5:30am and drove to Deb's. Breakfast and gifts with GGMa, GGPa, Deb, and Heather. The boys got their stockings from Santa. Afterwards, we drove to Hedy's. Santa showed up with gifts. He was fabulous. A right jolly guy. We opened presents, ate sandwiches, and lots of sweets. That evening we drove to Freddie and Annie's. We had grilled cheese for dinner and exchanged gifts. This was the first time we had seen Freddie and Annie's new place. Wow. It is truly beautiful. It is very much like the "dream houses" that we had looked at years ago that Freddy said he would buy some day. It is 5 bedrooms with plush shag carpet and the kitchen is amazing. We had a very fun filled day with lots of family. I had several really good conversations with Uncle Ken. The only family members missing were Colby and Kenny. I really wish Colby could have been there, but hopefully he enjoyed his day in Keystone, Colorado. It has really been way too long since we have seen my side of the family in San Diego. It's not as convenient as it used to be for many reasons- kids, location, kids (did I mention that one already???) It was really really great to get a chance to spend quality time with my family again. Don't get me wrong, Justin's family is great too, but I really miss my cousins. Oliven decided that he LOVED Heidi and followed her around all day! It was super sweet. Kyle had Freddie's name for Christmas so he wrapped a home depot card in a box with poppers so it popped when it opened. That was fun for everyone.
Monday, Dec. 26 The boys went to Debs to spend some more time with the Gg's. Annie and I did manis and/or pedis w/the girls in my family, then lunch at Olive Garden. It was really special that every lady in the family was able to make it. How fun! Grandma was a riot during lunch. Her memory is not doing so well, but she is very upbeat and positive. Afterwards Annie and I (and grandma) ordered cake at Costco for the birthday party for my grandparents at the end of the week. While I was there, I bought Justin a 24 Hour Fitness pass so he can work out with me. Hung out at The Grand "mansion" afterward. We all played kick ball and ring toss. Heather came up and painted grapes in A and F's wine room. Yes, they have a wine room!
Tuesday Dec. 27 hung out with Freddie at the house for the day. Justin and I took Ollie and Vander to the grocery store until 8 am to let people sleep a little. Heather finished painting. She is such a talented girl! We went hiking in the afternoon over behind the fire station. It is in F and A's housing complex with an ocean view. Vander and Oliven both enjoyed the fresh air. Annie didn't feel well, but still made a yummy dinner.
Wed Dec 28 We went to see the seals at La Jolla cove in the morning. Vander enjoyed the seals and both of the little guys really liked the crashing waves. Afterwards, we went to lunch at Cozymels to see Heidi the hostess. We headed over to Debs after quiet time. Had leftover Thanksgiving meal with Heather and Deb.
Thursday, Dec 29 We went to a special park with Deb in the morning after Heather left. It was filled with really cool life-size mirrored animals and art. Oliven loved going through the animal that had a "tunnel" in the bottom. We went over to the park area and let the boys slide and swing. We also kicked some balls around after having a salami and cheese picnic lunch. Justin and I took the boys for a walk in afternoon. We had a super yummy Mexican food dinner with meat from the Ggs.
Friday, Dec. 30 Justin took the boys and I to Freddie's. Annie was sick in bed. Grandma, Grandpa and Bob came over. Freddie made quesadilla casserole. Justin went to Walters house. We spent our day hanging out, talking, relaxing and enjoying each others company. The boys made sure we played with them as well. We went back to Debs for a fish dinner. Justin and I played 13 and sequence with Deb and Dana.



Saturday, Dec. 31 We had a leisurely morning. Vander and Oliven enjoyed lots of game playing with Deb and Dana while we packed up. 11am Grandma and pa birthday party at BJ's. There was a good turn out. Things went well, and everyone had a good time. I was happy to be able to honor two super fantastic people. Gizella and Bill, Barbara Wells and Dick and Rick, mall walkers and family and Kathy Kazules all showed up to the party. When the party was over, we got in the car to head home.The driving wasn't so bad. We stopped once for like 7 minutes for an accident to clear. The bad part was when Oliven projectile vomited all over himself and my hands and arm. We had to make an unexpected stop an hour and a half from home. What is a road trip without some unexpected adventure? Overall a fantastic trip with lots of quality time spent with the people we love.