Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Visit with Aunt Lynne....

My aunt Lynne came for a visit this past weekend. She is the wife of my moms brother who passed away about a year and a half ago from melanoma. She is from Florida (along with my 4 cousins, her three children) so I haven't spent a lot of time with them in my life. I was pleasantly surprised when not only my parents and aunt Lynne showed up on Saturday as scheduled, but also my brother, Erik and my niece, Brittany and her boyfriend, Nick arrived! How FUN! I'm a big one for entertaining, and thankfully I had plenty of food. We had a wonderful time...I made a feast and we had lots of good laughs. Sunday Lynne, my mom and I got up and met Erik in Vallejo and took the Ferry to San Francisco. I'm not normally a big fan of the city--I've lived in the Bay Area for over 6 years now and have only gone THROUGH the city on my way to the airport. So this was all new for me. We walked along Market Street...and since it was a Sunday, it was QUIET! It was nice. We got to see where Erik goes to school (Golden Gate University) and even got to use CLEAN bathrooms there! :) If you know San Francisco, that's a big deal! We basically just strolled aimlessly for quite a while, had a nice lunch at a sandwich shop, got some coffee at Peets and then walked to Pier 39 and took the Ferry back home. It was just such a nice time...especially since I got a nice break from responsibility and just got to relax. What a wonderful visit with my aunt and what a fabulous birthday gift for me!
Speaking of birthday gifts, I think I mentioned that Jeremy got me wii fit for my birthday. At first I was a tad bit disappointed...well, not so much disappointed, but it wasn't what I really WANTED, but I didn't really expect to get what I wanted anyway, so it's no biggie. I have to tell ya...I'm in LOVE with the wii fit. How in the world can a video game get you in shape, you ask?? I have no idea, but I'm SO incredibly SORE--in a good way. I've been boxing, doing step aerobics and hula hooping myself silly. Ever tried hula hooping for 6 minutes at a time?? Oh's some serious WORK!! I'm feeling muscles I didn't know I had and I'm very pleased. Not to mention the fact that it's SO much fun and the kids get in on the action (especially Savannah...she LOVES it). It keeps track of how long you've exercised that day...and logs your weight and BMI and all that good stuff. Today I was hula hooping and Luke decided to attach himself to my leg while I was doing kills me without a child attached to me, so you can imagine how difficult it was with him on me...not to mention trying to keep reasonable form while laughing because he was laughing at me. We have very limited space in our living room, but I'm able to do it even with the girls building a foam block city next to me and still have plenty of space. I've been doing it for 3 days now and although I haven't lost any weight, I feel a lot stronger...especially since I could do the plank for 30 seconds today...yesterday and the day before I couldn't make it more than 10, so I'm pretty excited about that. My balance is also improving and as of this moment, my wii fit age is 27!! YAY!! Not bad for an old 30 year old, eh?

Back to Aunt Lynne...our visit was great, it was such a pleasure having her here. She is a ton of fun and it was so nice getting to know her. One of these days soon, probably when Luke is around 3 or so, we're going to plan a trip to Florida...maybe then I'll actually get the chance to meet my long lost cousins! See Photos on Eriks Facebook album (let me know if this doesn't work, I'm not sure if he's public or not and I'm too lazy to upload them myself!)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I'm 30!

It's official, I'm no longer in my twenties! It's kinda weird, but I'm totally okay with it (maybe if I keep repeating that it'll sink in! Hahaha...kidding, totally kidding)!
So I woke up this morning around 7:30...that was beautiful. Jeremy was still home so he got to give me a birthday hug and kiss before work. I snuggled with Abby for a while. Savannah woke up at almost 9!! Of course last night she was telling me not to wake up because she was going to get up and make breakfast. Good thing I didn't wait on her! :) Savannah painted me a beautiful picture (a heart shape I cut out for her all prettied up by her) and Abby picked me 3 poppies and 2 daisies. So sweet. Jeremy took us out to dinner to the Cheesecake Factory and they gave me a little ice cream sundae and sang happy birthday to me. Hehehe...that was fun. Then we came home and made hot fudge sundaes--my choice over cake any day! Now the girls are bathing and getting ready for bed. Once everyone is in bed, I'm going to try to get Jeremy to watch The Jane Austen Book Club with me...if that doesn't work, I'll be more than happy to settle for the last 2 episodes from this season of LOST. All in all it was a WONDERFUL birthday. I'm happy to be 30...I'm looking forward to a new chapter of my life.
**Today when I told Abby and Savannah how proud of them I was that they were being so nice to eachother, Abby replied, "Well we don't want to spoil your birthday!" Awwwhhhh...if only my birthday could be every day!

Sad news alert: I just read that Steven Curtis Chapman has lost his youngest daughter. Here's an article. What a tragedy. Please keep all of this family in your prayers.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Every night when we tuck the girls in bed, Jeremy gives them a kiss and then has them sign his hand to confirm that they received their kiss from daddy. They started out just "signing" their names...but then Abby started "writing"...daddy kissed me (as she sounds out each sound of each word) and then for good measure, she added .com to the end. We checked, the domain is available, but it just sounds kinda weird! :) Speaking of dot com, yesterday Savannah found a "jackpot" of snails, as she put it. I guess there was a huge colony of snails in the woods. I told her that if she wanted to keep some of them for observation, she'd have to draw a detailed picture of a snail, and learn some facts about snails. She was all excited, so she said, "Okay can you log on to the dot com?" Hahaha....she did end up drawing a wonderful picture and we learned some things about snails. Did you know that they have 2 sets of antennae and the long pair is where their eyes are and the shorter pair are their feelers?? They are also hermaphrodites, but they need the sperm of another snail to reproduce...and here's the weirdest thing I didn't know...they usually live for 5-10 years, sometimes as long as 15 years!! WOW...I had no idea!

Luke news: Luke now has 2 top teeth and two more coming in. YAY! They're so cute too...I'll try to get a picture of them soon. He's still not walking either. If he starts AFTER the 25th, he'll be my latest walker! He's consistently saying Mama now, Hi Kitty, Hi and he barks when he sees a dog. Luke also started SIGNING! I was totally surprised, but he's started using the sign for "More". We've taught it to him, but not consistently...but now he uses it when he wants more food. It's pretty cool! I guess I should bone up on my sign language so I can teach him more. He does blow kisses when you tell him to say Thank You, and that's basically the sign for Thank You, so I guess I can count that too.

2 more days until I'm 30--EEK!!
Well I'm off, I'm reading Passionate Housewives Desperate for God: Fresh Vision for the Hopeful Homemaker, so far it's a great book, I'd recommend it!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Some photos from Savannah's birthday party.

Here are just a couple...there will be more to come, but I figured I had better get these on here now as we're leaving for the weekend tomorrow and I won't have the time to get to this until here we are: Princess Birthday Girl!

How our reward system is working....

Things are not perfect, but I have noticed I'm doing less yelling and less disciplining, which is always a good thing. The girls generally do what I ask after I warn them that they're going to lose a nickel. They're always excited to earn a gem, and they both earned something from the treasure box.

Our next mission: They always run around with no shoes on and it's been driving me nuts because they're always missing shoes. I'm tired of buying shoes because they lose the ones I've just bought. So here's the new deal. They lose a nickel if I catch them without shoes...and they pay me a nickel for every pair of shoes I see lying around somewhere they don't belong (usually at the playground). Today Savannah lost 4 nickels...but the rest of the day she had her shoes on...and all of them were in the closet at the end of the day. Abby lost 3 nickels (one for having shoes off, one for not putting them ON after I told her to and one for a pair of shoes at the playground) and then she lost another later for not having her shoes on once again...but they ended up back in the house at the end of the day. We'll see how this works. Of course, the biggest part of this system is consistency on MY part...that's always the hardest part!

The Abby-ism of the day...

I love to see the little wheels turn in the minds of my children. Their thought processes never cease to amaze me. This one isn't horribly profound, but super revealed the innocence and and naivety of children.

In a local shopping center, at a stop light, there are always homeless people asking for money. It's always the SAME people, they kinda work in shifts. The girls have asked me before why we don't give them money and I just said, "Well, I'll give them food, but not money...I'm not sure if they'd make wise choices with the money I gave them" and kinda left it at that. One day we got the opportunity to bless one of them with some food we had just bought, and that was nice. Although it's always kinda depressing when you give them food and they just kinda set it to the side--he was probably too full from all the other stuff he's been given. Anyway, that's beside the point. Today Abby started to ask, "Mommy...why don't we give...oh yeah, we don't give him money because he'd buy bad food with it...that's why we give him food but not money". I thought it was so the guy is going to take our money and go buy candy or something equally unhealthy. It just made me smile, she's so cute. Oh if only I could remember ALL the adorable things they say. One of them made me laugh out loud the other day, but of course I don't remember what she said. Or even who it was for that matter!

Oh good, I've got another one to add...the girls are playing with some of Savannah's new toys this morning, and Abby says, "These have Fred in them". Savannah says "LEAD, not Fred!". Hahahaha...I love Abby, she's so funny!

Hip, Hip, Horray....Today's the Day!

Today we celebrate Savannah's 6th birthday!! Yes, her actual birthday is tomorrow, but we're heading up the hill to Papa and Grandma's house today is the day! We're having lots of children, hot dogs, chips, cake (of course), a pinata and lots of fun! Savannah is so very excited! We're going shopping for all of the last minute stuff as soon as sleep-head Luke wakes up (not counting on that for a while!). I was telling Savannah that 6 years ago today I went to the hospital for my WAY-overdue checkup. I was wondering if she was ever going to come out...and I was admitted on the evening of the 9th and induced at 11pm (after E.R. because it was the night Dr. Mark Green died of cancer and no one at the hospital wanted to miss the show--me included!).
I really can't believe that it's been 6 years--the 6 most wonderful--and challenging years of my life. 6 years ago today I had no idea what a blessing was in store for us. I had no concept of the love a mommy has for her sweet, precious babe. I had no clue how DIFFICULT it was going to be and how stressed I could get...or how tired a person could be without actually dying. :) I can look back now and smile, but man, those early days of motherhood were TOUGH. It's kinda neat this weekend because we've got the party friday, Savannah's birthday Saturday and Mother's Day Sunday. I was released from the hospital on Mother's day when Savannah was 2 days old. Who could ask for a better Mother's Day?? I don't know, but they just keep getting better. This year I get to celebrate with my 3 precious blessings, my mom, my grandma and my that's pretty special.
I will post photos soon, my card reader on this computer is ka-put, so it's making it a bit difficult for me...but I will post photos soon, I promise.

Yesterday we had tea with some of the neighborhood girls. We did a wonderful Mother's Day card craft (thanks Grandma Karen!) and we made beautiful beaded necklaces for the girls moms. I bought sterling silver "MOM" charms from Brightlings Beads and we used those. They came out fabulously! The girls really seemed to enjoy themselves and each of them ate at least 3 lemon poppyseed scones (we did cranberry juice/7-up instead of tea).

Let's see, what is new?!?! Luke is working on his top teeth...I don't know if I mentioned in another post, but he's got both bottom teeth in now (second one came on on April 22nd). He's running all over with his little push-walker. No steps yet, but he has gone from one place to another with a controlled "fall"! Hahaha. I know it'll come soon, I'm really wondering how he'll be compared with his sisters! (Savannah was 14 months to the day, Abby was 2 days BEFORE 14 months--Luke will be 14 months on the 25th of this month).
Abby has started reading!! Her writing is getting wonderful--she can do all uppercase letters, we'll start working on lower case soon, but the other day I decided to see if she could sound out a word like CAT. She DID it!! :) We got her the beginning Bob Books from the library, so we're going to start on that.
In school we are currently reading the Illustrated Children's Bible (I started from the beginning since we've read their small child Bible about a billion times from cover to cover, this time I want to cover all the bases in a more advanced form). We just read about the flood and we're on the tower of Babel next. We're also on chapter 3 of the Incredible Journey and on chapter 2 of Bambi: a life in the woods (the original Bambi, it's really good!). I've eased up on Savannah's writing and reading and math...since the school year is almost over, and I'm working to implement a Charlotte Mason based curriculum (see Ambleside Online for more info.) I believe I've been divinely inspired to pursue this type of education with my children and also to start a business utilizing what I've learned. More on that to come later...but believe me, it's good! :)

Anyway, I've got lots to do today...especially since we're leaving that's all for now.