Saturday, December 29, 2007

My favorite conversation

There is nothing cuter than this little conversation that takes place at my house pretty often.

MASE: "Ava?"

AVA: "Whott?" (What?)

MASE: "I love you."

AVA: "Ooooo, too." (Love you, too.)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas at Disneyland!

This was our best trip to Disneyland yet! Ava has never been there and was SO excited to see all of the characters. When we would see somebody (No discrimination from Ava), she would say "A HUG!" and run right up. Mase was the really fun one this time... When we figured out he was tall enough to ride most of the rides, he walked around the house with a yardstick for a week saying, "I am 41 inches, so I can ride Splash Mountain!" He rode EVERYTHING he could and loved every second of it. We stayed for three days and can't wait to go back. Yep, we have turned into Disneyland Freaks, thanks to our adorable little kids who couldn't wipe the smiles off their faces. Thanks a million, Grandma and Granddad, for the annual passes. Best Christmas present EVER!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Wishes

I explained to Mase recently that Santa likes to bring toys to little boys and girls who have been GOOD this year. A threat or a bribe? I don't know. He sat there for a minute... I'm sure he had images of superheroes and transformers and the skateboard he covets racing through his little brain. Then his eyes brightened and he got a little TOO excited as he said, "That MEAN boy at church will get NOTHING for Christmas!!!"

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Weekend Getaway

This cloudy phone pic represents one of the best little trips we have taken together. Actually, I don't even have a big explanation for that. I guess the conversation on the drive over there (San Diego), the fun comedian we saw that night (Brian Regan), the great company we were with (Michael, Jared, Tamara), the nice hotel we stayed at (The Westin), and the fact that our kids were safe and thoroughly enjoying themselves (thanks, mom and dad!) all combined to make us have a great time. And we love those one-nighter trips because you have a chance to get away without missing your kids the whole time. We had fun without our little friends, but we can't WAIT to take them to Christmassy Disneyland in a couple of weeks!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

At least you get to see pictures...

So we decided not to do Christmas cards this year. We are trying to save money and our schedule is crazy right now (3 jobs between us) so I feel stressed about the lack of time to make something cute and creative. All excuses and bah humbugs aside, I figured if I just posted some cute pictures of the kids, I would be forgiven. There are lots! (Sorry about the white sections- I think blogger wanted only a certain sized pic...) Thanks, Aunt Shenny, for taking these adorable pics. Even if Ava wouldn't smile, her chubby cheeks are enough to make anyone happy!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tag- I'm it!

I haven't even been tagged to do this survey thingy, but I'm going to pretend I have for posterity's sake. (Thanks for the idea, Kristal and Crystal!) My kids might like to know this stuff someday! (:

5 things I was doing 10 years ago:
1. I was at EAC, and we just barely moved out of the retirement home and into the dorms. (Long story, which I will tell you if you ask.) I had a devil-worshipping roommate, Bev, who used to chant in our room until she fainted.
2. Lifeguarding with Alison at the EAC pool.
3. Hanging out with a boy who I am SOOO glad I did not get back with after his mission. (I went to see him after he came home and called Roland two hours after I got there saying the flame was officially OUT... Thanks for your patience, Ro!)
4. Hanging out at Gila Hank's cafe... A LOT!
5. Going to Mt. Graham or the hot springs with my great friends or hanging with my great roomies (after I switched rooms from Devil Bev).

5 things on my To-Do list today:
1. CLEAN! And organize Ava's room.
2. Write a book with Mason. (He dictates, I write and Ro illustrates when he gets home.)
3. Pull out the Christmas decor and sort through it.

5. Call some sisters and friends.

5 snacks I enjoy:
1. Veggies and dip.
2. Rolled tacos (is this a snack or am I just a piggy?)
3. Pears and apples.
4. Chips and Ro's salsa.
5. Twinkies and chocolate milk. (Yep, I'm just a piggy... Thanks, Holtzinger!)

5 songs I know the lyrics to:
1. Anything Frank Sinatra.
2. Anything Van Morrison.
3. "The way I am" by Ingrid Michaelson.
4. "Killing Me Softly", my favorite karaoke song.
5. Anything Wiggles or Disney.

5 things I will never wear again:
1. Scrunchies.
2. Two colors of scrunched up socks. (Anything with the word "scrunch" in it is prohibited.)
3. Jeans with an ankle zipper.
4. Brightly colored Doc Marten high-top boots. Oh but how I loved my vast selection- green, red, navy blue, boring brown leather... thanks to a brother in law from England.

5. A perm in my hair.

5 of my favorite toys:
1. Ava's dollies.
2. Board games with Mase.
3. Mario Party with Roland.
4. My computer.
5. Any new toys that get my kids excited.

I tag: Alison, Jamie, Lindsey R., Tia, and Renelle... so what, I can tag people even if no one tags me! I don't have cooties, I swear! (:

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Road trip heaven!

When we first got married, we often woke up on Saturday mornings and decided to go on a last-minute road trip. We did a modified version of that get-up-and-go thing yesterday, and after about an hour of getting little people dressed and getting their things gathered, we took off. They had no idea of the fun day that was in store for them! Days like this are why you decide to have kids in the first place. So you can see life through their little eyes and get excited about the simple things again.

First we stopped at that mysterious watch tower that is in the mountains on the way to San Diego. I remember stopping there with my Dad when I was a kid. Mase was excited to climb all the stairs and look through the telescope at the top.

Then we explored the animal carvings in the rock area outside. The kids loved it!

Mase and Ro climbed to the very top, even without their climbing shoes on. (Who am I kidding? We don't own climbing shoes!)

Mase and Ava rode on lizards and buffalo and snakes...

We drove them by where we got married six years ago. They both thought they were there at the wedding. (:

After a little window shopping and some sushi for lunch (Mase says "Shoe-see") we went to Belmont Park at Mission Beach. Mase was bummed he couldn't ride the big roller coaster, so we went on the Tilt-A-Whirl. He laughed hysterically the whole time.

Aves was nervous about us on that crazy ride and was happy to have me back.

We finally made it down to the beach right at sundown. It was so beautiful.

Our camera ran out of batteries at this point (good thing or else this post would be EVEN LONGER), but they had a blast running around and digging in the sand.

They both kept expressing their joy: Mase kept saying, "This is AWESOME!" and "This is the best day EVER!" and Ava kept saying, "Yay!" and just cracking up. Usually when we are walking around she says, "Hold you!" but she was mad if we picked her up because she was having so much fun exploring.
Ro thought I was silly when he looked at me and I was all teary. How could I help it when I look at these guys experiencing such a fun time together? Days like these erase all of the hard times and struggles and just make everything okay. WAY better than okay... perfect!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Tis the season, right?

I am fully aware that most people think it's too early to start celebrating Christmas, so I felt the need to explain my new blog decor. In the past few years in my family, we have celebrated Christmas at Thanksgiving... see, there are nine of us (plus spouses and kids) and we never can seem to coordinate when people are coming for Christmas or going to their in-laws. This year EVERYONE is able to come at Thanksgiving, so we have to start getting ourselves psyched up right after Halloween or it never feels Christmas-y enough. So if you don't like it, SCROOGE YOU! (:

Practice What You Preach

We were home this morning, without a car, and I thought it would be a fun activity to make chocolate pudding with the kids. So after our product was done, I put a little whipped cream on it and served it to them. Mase took two bites and said he was finished. I said, "Don't you like your pudding?" His reply was, "I'm not into it. I'm into vegetables. Mom, don't you want to grow big like Uncle Jon?" And then he looked at Ava and her chocolate covered face and said, "Aves, you should eat an apple" and proceeded to go get her one out of the fridge. Guess I better think about what I am teaching them next time I give into my chocolate cravings at 10 in the morning...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Better late than never?

After planning their Halloween costumes for weeks now, I was dumb and did not take the time to get any really good pictures... Of course I have been planning to get them back into their costumes without giving them any sticky candy, but that never happened either. So here is what we got, but the costumes were actually cuter than they appear! I made Ava's dalmation costume and Mase was a firefighter, and they made a great pair. They are at such exciting ages, and it was cute to hear Ava say, "Tick o Teat!" And I guess I have this fun time to look back on next time my 3-year-old says to me, "Mom, stop messing up my LIFE!" like he did this morning. (:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Just playing at Grandma's house!

The kids are having a great time exploring this old house. I made the big family room into a play room (thanks mom and dad, you'll LOVE it when you see it!:) but most of the time, you can find them exploring other rooms and running up and down the stairs. Ava LOVES to get dressed up in pretty dresses and the tutu I just made for her, BUT she also has no problem with digging in the dirt. Don't you love the dirty, sticky cheeks? She is very happy sitting outside and digging next to the rosebushes. She counts the handfuls of dirt she pulls out, but she skips about every other number. Mase is making new friends with the neighbor kids and they like riding their bikes together. However, his friend is five and has no training wheels and you can see the jealousy in Mase's eyes when the kid starts riding in circles around him. Soon, buddy. Ava just said "ou-side", so I guess we will be going to play. Just shorts and a T-shirt today... I learned my lesson about the dresses. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Road Trip Bliss

Our love of road trips goes back to way before we were married. Being in the car together just talking about life and the future has always been something meaningful for us... until now! (: Actually, we still like it, we just have to be more prepared now. This is Mase THOROUGHLY enjoying himself in the car on our trip to Taylor last weekend to see Ro's parents and grandma. I was unable to capture Ava's LOVE of the car because her outbursts forced me to scramble for a binky or a snack or a new Elmo movie. I believe she suffers from Post-traumatic stress disorder after taking the endless drive from Portland. Anytime we get in the car, she assumes we will be in it for 10 hours and starts to freak out. Sad, huh. We are trying to plan a trip to San Diego next week, and instead of taking these miserable car people with us, we will leave them to be happy and blissful at Aunt Tina's! (Right, I'm sure they'll be PERFECT!) I can't imagine getting through a whole 3 hour trip without having to listen to the Wiggles! I may need some suggestions of grown-up music to put on the ipod...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Star in Your Own JibJab! It's Free!

This park rocks!

I cannot believe little boring Yuma has THIS park! Renelle told me she wanted to go to this new(ish) park the other day and when I followed her over there, my jaw dropped. Honestly, with two little ones, I have been to more than my fair share of parks. Let's see- the pirate park, the duck park, the park with the train, the swimming pool park... BUT I have never seen one quite this cool. The cell phone photo does not do it justice, but it has everything from a HUGE castle with a mosaic dragon to rubbery drawbridges and refreshing misters. AND it has a special area with age-appropriate structures for ages 3 and under. The kids could play here forever! I think the best part was that it was built by the community. Everybody pitched in and came to paint a little section or purchased a brick with their family's name on it. I feel all sentimental and proud that my home town could create something so amazing! Someday I will post pictures of the kids playing here, but they couldn't wait for me to take a picture before they ran in to check it out.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Happy Home

I really never thought I would end up back here. And even more than that, I never imagined I would be so HAPPY to be back here. I guess there is something in your heart that really remembers "home". Good old Yuma is not exactly the same place (it has grown exponentially) but it is still home to me. When we left Portland, I thought we would all miss the trees, the water, the GREEN... we miss Karen and her family terribly, but we have found a renewed love for the desert. My kids are so funny when we go outside. Ava is constantly sharing her feelings: "Tree! Tree!" and "Moon!" and "Wow!" and "Pretty!" And Mason feels the same. "Mom, look how much you can see the sky and the birds here. I was scared of the trees in Portland." I actually feared I would never hear the word "Tree" from Ava again, but I guess I didn't remember all of the green that we have here. Slightly different, but still beautiful. (:
I recently got sucked into the "Twilight" series that everyone else seems to be reading. The main character has moved from Arizona to Washington. I found myself laughing out loud when she described how much she misses the "white-blue sky" and just the sheer volume of the sky. She complained about the looming gray clouds and the wet weather and longed for the dry heat and distant mountains... I cannot say I have ever lived in a more beautiful place than Portland, and I am sure we will take many vacations there to see the family we were so sad to leave. But I extremely grateful to have taken that leap and moved there... otherwise, I would never have been so happy to be home.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A new kind of blogging...

So, I realized I am just a picture blogger. Some people have blogs that decribe their daily tasks, some with profound thoughts, and some that are based on cute pictures of their kids. Yeah, that last one is me. And maybe I won't change this (and maybe you don't care) but every once in awhile, I think I should be some real feelings into this... even if it's just so my kids can laugh at me when they read my printed copy of the blog later down the road.
When this thought occured to me, I realized I have not a single entry about the one person who really makes me think (and makes me happy) on here... Here's to you, my cute husband!

10 Reasons why I am the Luckiest Girl in the World!
1. He waited around for me to realize that he was THE ONE. This one freaks me out, to be honest. What if he wouldn't have? What if he would've listened to me all of those times I told him that we were just going to be friends and he needed to find someone else? The virtue I am trying to describe here is PATIENCE. He has it, and I need it. He's a golden example when it comes to this one.
2. He can do ANYTHING. My family has a joke about Ro that there is nothing he can't do. My brother was saying to me, "Can he play the piano?" CHECK! "Can he dance?" CHECK! "Can he play sports?" CHECK! "Well, can he freaking JUGGLE?" CHECK!!!! The talents are endless and the humility is still there. Except I still kick his butt at Scrabble, every time but once.
3. The Dad-ness. This one doesn't need much of an explanation. Just see the picture above. And try to picture the smiles and screams that come out of our two kids when he comes home from work!
4. The spontaneity. One of the first things that attracted me to Ro was his up-for-anything attitude. I love the look on his face and the way he shrugs his shoulders and says "Sure!" when you suggest something a little off-the-wall, like a weekend trip to San Diego. He is SO MUCH FUN!
5. His love of sports. Now, some of you may question me on this one... but I love that masculinity and how excited he gets when watching the last couple of minutes of a basketball game. The thing about Ro is, he could watch sports all day... but he doesn't. If we want to watch Grey's Anatomy together, then he will just Tivo the game and watch it later. Like right now he is in Phoenix, enjoying his birthday present of hanging with the boys for the fantasy football draft. He has had a blast and now he can't wait to come home to us. Just a perfect balance, ya know?
6. His Devotion. It is simple. He is devoted to his faith and he is devoted to our family.
7. Just hanging out. From pretty much the DAY we met, we decided we like each other's company and wanted to hang out ALL THE TIME. I would be going somewhere with my roomies and I always asked if Roland could go with us. They somehow knew when I didn't that we would end up together. There was a time when I was having serious car issues. Roland woke up early every day and came to my apartment to take me to work. We had so much fun jamming out to the Mamas and the Papas in his Tahoe at 7 am. When I finally bought a new car, and we STILL carpooled, my mom said she knew he was in the family forever. (: I just love spending time with the guy!
8. SPOILED. This word is in reference to me, not him. He never misses a chance to make me happy. If I want ice cream after the kids are in bed, guess who goes to the store? If they cry in the night and I pretend I am still asleep, guess who goes to get them? If I just need to relax, guess who draws me a bubble bath? Now I know I am running the risk of making myself sound like a spoiled brat, but I guess that's what I am sometimes. And he still loves me...
9. He works hard for us. Life with young kids is a struggle to have enough money, but I appreciate his positive attitude and hard work SO MUCH! We have been thrown a few curve balls (like the awesome mortgage industry right now!) but he is always finding new ways to make it and doing DJ gigs that he really doesn't think are fun anymore. (: Thanks, DJ RORO!
10. We have the same hopes and dreams. Most of them involve a nice home (mine), nice cars (his), and family, family, family! We think about traveling with our kids, his parents, my family... it's priceless to want the same things. If you can look past the cliche, we really do want to grow old together. I am so fortunate to have found this person and I hope he feels fortunate to have found me.
Enough mush for you? Well, it will probably be awhile til I write another book like this... For now, I am excited to go pick up my man from the airport and hear about his fantasy football team! (And then to get a little foot rub later while we watch our shows together...)
Tell me... why do you appreciate YOUR person? (:

Friday, August 10, 2007

The things these guys will laugh at! (Over and over again...)

Silly new game my kids play with me in the car:
Ava: "Mama!"
Nat: "Yes, baby?"
Ava: "laknfklewhioleauliksn,nmfejkhosflsn lakj feklnasi alskfhes sinky"
Nat: "What! You're STINKY???"
Ridiculous laughter from the backseat...
Ava: "Mama!"
Nat: "Yes, baby?"
Ava: "slkfhekma siflahnenw aine slsienslai ttialeennkk binky"
Nat: "What! You want your BINKY???"
Loud guffaw from Mase and more ridiculous laughter...
And you can imagine this goes on until we pull into the garage. But I love it for two reasons:
1. It's amazing that she gets the concept that this is a silly game.
2. The way they look at each other when it's time to crack up.
We love these munchkins!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What an OG! (Original Gansta, for those of you who don't speak Roland)

I used to find it hard to picture him as a teenager, but even though he is only three, somehow I can see what he'll look like... Hopefully, he stops flashing the gang signs! (:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Princess Party

Ava got her first official birthday party invitation last week. The birthday girl is actually a friend of Mason's, but he was not invited to the special "princess party". Good thing because it was the most feminine party I've ever been to. From the outfits (see below), to the activities (fashion show & make-up), to the gift bags (little purses with girly prizes inside), it was so funny! Ava was the youngest girl there and she enjoyed the big fuss everyone made over her.

Wow! Look at that beautiful baby!
"Ba-oooooo!" (Translation: Gimme that dang balloon!)

Hangin' with Princess Caroline (the birthday girl)

This cake was adorable, and all made of cupcakes!

Aves had to get naked to taste the cupcake,
but then all she wanted to eat were the pearls I let her borrow.

I hope for many more princess parties to come!
And some pirate and monster truck parties to balance it all out...