Friday, June 29, 2012

We've gone solar

Justin has been researching for months all the solar panel options available. It's good for the environment and you save money monthly by having solar panels on the roof as you are making your own energy. Justin decided that instead of buying the panels we would "rent" them, but it's a pre-pay plan. So, our tax refund this year went to solar energy. The idea being that in 20 years the solar company is not going to want their 20 year-old technology back and we can just pay them market value for the panels. They will pay for themselves with conservative calculations in about 10 years, so we won't be moving for quite a while. I'm okay with that as I really love our house and our neighborhood. I realized a couple of weeks ago that I now consider San Jose to be my home and not my temporary place of residence. It took me a while to get there, but this is my boys home and 6 years in it's my home too. Though I do hope that my boys end up living close enough that I can be a regular part of their lives when they get older, or I may have to move closer to them. Family is my life and living this far away from my brothers and grandparents weighs on me daily. Back to solar- you can hardly even see the panels up there because of the angle and direction of our roof so they definitely aren't an eye sore and they were up in only 2 days and a little banging. Yay for an energy meter running backwards!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Candy Parlour

Vander's friend Addison has a birthday party at the Candy Parlour. Siblings were not invited, so Oliven went on a daddy date and I took Vander to the birthday party. It was filled with candy, crazy hair, pizza, cake, more candy, a cookie, more candy, ice cream and more candy. They also had a treasure hunt, so overall the kids had a blast. Vander got a blue glittery batman tattoo on his face. Look at that smile...he was one happy camper. He liked the spikey green, blue, and red hair!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tee Ball

   Vander started his first set of tee ball lessons and he is really enjoying it. They do lots of throwing, batting, aiming practice. It's called Lil Sluggers and it is right up Vander's ally. So far he is looking to be a lefty, but we will see how that turns out. We bought him a left-handed glove, but it's so much more versatile in baseball to be a righty, so we will let time take it's course. Meanwhile, Oliven is very happy to play at the park for the hour Van is playing tee ball.

Ollie's musings

  I took Oliven on a little walk. He looks at me and says, "Mommy, I'm going to marry you." Then, after a little thought he says, "I'm going to marry daddy and Vander too." On the way back, about 10 minutes later he says, "Mommy, I'm gonna marry Ollie too." Ah, to be two and so adorable!!!

San Jose Family Camp


  We met up with the Rogerson family to attend San Jose family camp for 4 days and 3 nights. (Michael, Nicole, Tyler-13, Maia-6 and Cynthia-4 and Nicole's parents- Cynthia and Terry) I was a little nervous as Justin has never camped before and has expressed dread every time I have mentioned it, but he was willing to try- it's a work in progress. It took him 31 years, but he really enjoyed himself and so did the two boys. Vander had so much fun, he didn't want to leave. Oliven was happy to come home and asked about going home each day, but had fun despite himself and the dirt. There was an area for 3-6 year olds that you could check them in called Fort Toulome and it included a park with swings and art area. We thought the kids might go in for a bit, but not want to stay...we were wrong, Vander and Maia (they really hit it off and became good buddies) couldn't wait for it to open and asked that we leave them there. Maia enjoyed the crafts and Vander just wanted to swing, and swing, and swing. Not kidding, for like an hour straight.
  Oliven and I really loved the trees. Our tent was at the top of the hill, so Oliven usually hitched a ride on my back in the carrier. Ollie says he liked the rocks the best. He liked throwing them into the water. There is a river running through camp, which we all enjoyed playing in and splashing around in. We also went rafting in some of the more calm areas of the water. It was really cold water, but not too bad when you got used to it.
  It was really great to see the kids just find a ball and play with it for an hour, or find hoola hoops and make their own games out of them. It was just nice seeing how well they could entertain themselves. They spun around in a lounge chair for 30 minutes, attempted to play ping pong and foose ball, jumped around a lot, played games on phones. We let Van skip quiet time, but Ollie needed his naps.
  The two downsides of the trip were Vander falling continuously- so much that he had to wear pants the whole time we were there, and Vander waking up at night crying. The last night he whimpered and cried for several hours because his nose was stuffed and he didn't want to breath through his mouth.
  Justin was not a huge fan of the bugs or the sunscreen, but he did enjoy the game playing, friendship bracelet making, and relaxation time. Michael, Justin, and Tyler played in an Uno tournament. We participated in movie trivia one night and a scavenger hunt another night. We went to a campfire and sang songs and ate s'mores. There was a family relay one morning. We had three meals a day served in the cafeteria and most of the food was really very yummy. We slept in tent cabins- Ollie in his pack n' play. The days were hot and 2 of the nights were super cold. The highlight of Vander's trip was swinging, Oliven liked throwing rocks, I enjoyed being in nature and Justin liked playing games and being in the water.
  Overall a very positive experience that we all enjoyed. Yay!!! I see camping in our future!!! I'm so excited!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Birthday party



We went to Sky High to jump, everyone bailed out for one reason or another, so Justy and I went by ourselves. There was hardly anyone there and we lasted an hour. I can see how it would have been really fun with more people, but one hour was plenty of time for us. Afterwards we went to a Mexican food place and grabbed a pizza to bring home (since we said we would provide pizza). Melanie and Casey came over and we did a few buttery nipple shots and played Dance Dance. We had a good time and finished the night with a yummy trifle.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ashley's birthday week

This year for my birthday week I decided instead of picking my favorite meals I would pick meals that incorporated foods that we see in the store, but don't usually buy. Last night for dinner we had lamb burgers with beet and apple salad served on endive leaves. Earlier this week we had a polenta feast with 3 different toppings.

Duck Races- year 4

   It's hard to believe that we have been going to the duck races for four years now, but it's become a family tradition. Vander has always loved the duck races and they have truly gotten better each year. They now have a whole kid area and food trucks, the whole kit and kaboodle. Parking this year was not so great. They decided to shuttle people from other lots, which is fine, but their signs were so small Justin drove past it 3 times before I had to point it out to him. We were in separate cars since Colby came with us. Vander and Oliven had never been in a bus before- they really enjoyed their first bus trip- Vander especially.
We let the kids play some games and go down the bounce house slides. Vander did a Tae Kwan Do demo and was offered 5 classes for $10! We are definitely going to try that out, cause why not??? Grammy and Pops brought a picnic along and we had cheese, crackers, grapes, and bread for lunch while we sat down and watched the duck races. It was very enjoyable. Maybe next year we can stay for the big race- we will see (it's always in the middle of nap time). We had all had a good time with a fun activity and good company. Justin was in a bad mood, but everyone else had fun.

Uncle Colby

   We were extremely lucky to get a chance to spend some good quality time with Colby. We always have fun with him and appreciate him making time to come and visit us. He came in late on the 9th and left in the afternoon on the 13th. That gave us 3 1/2 days with him. We made good use of our time. Colby attended the duck races with us. We took the boys to the Children's Discovery Museum. Colby has paid for the bulk of our family membership to the Discovery Museum the last two years and the boys just love it. They were super excited to show Colby the new Clifford area of the museum. We all really enjoyed the bubble area.
    We also took Colby to LOL parties bounce houses to bounce around and go down slides for a couple hours. We all enjoyed our time there, though Oliven took some time to warm up to the idea. Colby also accompanied us to Target and a play date (at his suggestion). It was so much fun- time just flew by. He also played several games with Justin and I and managed to sneak in a CPR class in the mean time.
   I am so thankful to have a brother who comes to spend time with us. Thanks Colb! We love you very much. Honestly I think Vander super appreciates Colby's style of care- he's stern, but fair and has high expectations, but is loving. Vander is definitely Colby's biggest fan. :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Vander's take on Oliven

This was too funny not to share:
The other day, I said, "Oliven is two now Vander." 
Vander says to me with a skeptical look, "I don't think he should be two yet. He hasn't eaten enough vegetables."

Vander whispers to Oliven, "Ollie, hit me." Oliven hits Vander. Vander yells, "mommy, Oliven hit me, put him on time out." I put Vander on time out and he goes, "mommy, how did you know???" Maybe because you are so darn obvious...like when Oliven starts crying and I walk into the room and Vander says, "he just kept hitting himself in the head."- yeah right!

Dating my best friend


  Every now and then Justin and I are able to get out and enjoy each others company and just be adults and not primarily parents, though to be honest we do talk about the kids a lot of the time. Recently we went to get a couples massage, it was ridiculously relaxing, thank you groupon, preceeded by Indian food for dinner, thanks restaurants.com, and followed by dessert. The other recent date was batting cages and Pho. Thank you groupon again. It was really fun. The softball was closed, so I had to hit baseballs. The slowest pitch was 45MPH. I enjoyed those and hit them decently well, though I did not enjoy the reverberation of the bat. Ouchy!! Justin made those look like childs play and decided 75MPH was more his speed. What a fun night with my honey.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Raging Waters


It never occurred to me that my kids were old enough to enjoy a water park. I also had no idea that there was one so close to home. Awesome!!! Arielle got free passes and they asked us to join their family in a day of water fun. It was so much fun. Vander was excited about it for days prior to going. They are doing a promo on the radio to win tickets and every time it comes on (which is often), he bursts out, "they are talking about Raging Waters! What are they saying about it mommy???" Needless to say, my little dare devil loved it and really enjoyed the rides. The bigger and faster the better. Vander liked the Barracuda Blaster the best. He could only go on three rides, but he enjoyed them all and went on each one with mommy and with daddy. Oliven went on one ride. He liked it, but also said it was scary. Most of his time was spent hesitantly enjoying the lazy river and little dipper activity pool. It was only 80 degrees out so the water was a little chilly. Van didn't mind, Ollie didn't enjoy that aspect. Vander took Daddy in the wave pools and enjoyed every second. Overall a very fun morning.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Vander's 4 year update

  We went to see Dr. Nachbaur for Vander's four year appointment. Everything is good. The funny part was Vander taking the eye test and saying to the nurse, "can you ask me the bigger ones, they are easier to see." It turns out his vision is 20/40 and that is pretty normal for a 4 year old, who knew??? The Dr. says the hope is that it will be 20/30 by age 5. The whole appointment was interesting to me because instead of all the "baby" measuring, they measured everything on Vander just like an adult this time. Oh, how grown up my little man is now. He is 38.6lbs (72%), 3'3.5" or 39.5" (30%). The little guy really needs a growth spurt- most of his friends are about 42" now. In other stats his temperature was 99 degrees and his blood pressure was 89/58. 98% Oxygen saturation. I don't know what that means exactly other than he is breathing well. He did not take well to his shots this time. I had to hold him down on one side while the nurse gave him a shot on the other. He got 3 shots, then cried for about 10 minutes straight. He wanted to be held and then played hurt the whole rest of the day...I can't do it mommy, my arms hurt soooo much. Then he started playing with a friends and somehow he forgot to be hurt. :)