Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Christmas!

 Merry late Christmas and a Happy New year to everyone!  I took very few pics on Christmas, was too busy opening presents and enjoying family.  I will put up what I do have eventually :)  In the meantime, these are some photos we took at the beginning of December.  We actually got the entire family from my grandparents down to our kids (their great grandkids) together for a big family group shot.  They were Christmas presents to both my grandmother and my mom to put up in their respective houses.  To the left there is a cute pic we caught of Kevin on Mike's shoulders.  I was to the right of them with Amanda on my shoulders, but she didn't feel stable and kept grabbing my neck (not making for a nice picture).  The other picture below this is a good shot of the whole family.  You can tell we were saying "CHEESE!"  Ha ha!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Some Elf Love

I've seen several blogs and heard several comments about the newest Christmas Craze - the Elf on the Shelf.  A lot of people are calling it stalker-ish and annoying.  However, we've had a lot of fun, and success with our elf!

Amanda will be 5 in January, and while she is certainly starting to grow out of whining and tantruming, there are times when she falls back into old habits.  Elf has been a saving beacon of hope.  We just tell her Elf is going to tell Santa she's being naughty, and wallah! she is ready to be good again.

Also, the fun of finding elf every morning is exciting for our young kids.  They wake up ready to skim the house looking for their elf.  Even Kevin looks forward to finding where he is today!

Yes, I have had several nights where I wake from a dead slumber, realizing I forgot to move elf.  In fact, 3 mornings out of 5 our elf hasn't even moved because (you guessed it), I forgot to move him.  But fortunately for us, our kids are easily sidetracked with excuses, and move on quickly.

I just wanted to say I really like this new and fun tradition.  And although it's not for everyone, we love it's magical and entertaining value.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Potluck fun!

I have been at my current company now for almost 10 years. And somewhere around 2005-ish I got involved in organizing an annual holiday potluck. At first, it started out as just a fun addition to the holidays. We would have our potluck around the 10th of December to help usher in the holiday season. Many people would sign up to bring their favorite dishes, and then we'd collect some money from those who couldn't/wouldn't cook themselves. We would go out and get some drinks, a couple party trays of sandwiches or fruit platters that would help fill in the gaps of the multitude of other dishes being brought.  Then there'd be two more holiday parties throughout the month (thrown by the company and another by the president of our division).

Then in 2008 it all changed.  With everything in the financial markets crashing, and the media tearing our parent company apart for having a "party", all holiday parties were banned.  Our potluck became the central holiday celebration at work.  And we decided to go all out!  We started by providing breakfast (donuts, bagels, OJ), then the potluck at noon which was partially financed by the head guys - we added a Honeybaked Ham, a full cooked Turkey, and all the fixin's you can think of.  By 2009 we also added Root beer floats in the afternoon, and it officially became an all-day affair.

This year, we outdid ourselves again.  From the time I came in at 8am, until I left at 5, I was running around setting up for the next part of the potluck.  And this time I remembered my camera, so I was able to document everything!  Good thing, because this was the last year for our President.  He is leaving to start a new company as of next week.  Sad for us, but exciting for him!

So I guess the moral of the story is, if you need a potluck organized, I'm your go-to woman!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas lights

The weekend after we got back was again super busy.  Mike & I participated in the final Habitat for Humanity build through our Church on Saturday.  Then we got home and put up Christmas decorations.  Here we are putting up the lights outside.
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And here is the final product (we finished just as the sun was setting!)
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Then we headed inside to decorate our living Christmas Tree!
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Christmas is one of the few times during the year that Mike is a scrooge and won't participate much. One good thing about this is, he's willing to take some pictures though, so you finally get to see ME! Although I was seriously grubby and exhausted in these pics after a full day of building a house. Sorry I wasn't at my best!

Thanksgiving recap

Finally have some time to do this (I think)!  It has been a whirlwind since we got back, and even though I've had my Xmas cards done since October, I just barely put them in the mail today!  UGH!

We flew into Chicago on Tuesday Nov. 22.  Flight was fairly uneventful which was super surprising.  Kevin actually took a nap!  Then he wanted to sit on Daddy's lap, so I got to relax by myself for a bit before we landed :)  Since we lose 2 hours flying out there, the kids went down really late (10pm Chicago time), and actually slept in since we slept in the (finished) basement and there was no sunshine to wake them up!

Wednesday we headed to the Children's museum in Naperville.  What fun the kids have here every time we go!
Kevin LOVED this structure you could hang plastic fish from:
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And then he discovered this pin table where he could push the fish and see the indent on the other side!
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And of course, the water table was a HUGE hit
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Followed by the air discovery area. He loved this tube, blowing air on him.
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Thursday, the kids were up bright and early. Here's Kevin and Grandpa Mark having their morning "coffee"
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Then the family started coming over, and I got this super-cute pic of my newest neice, Hailey
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Meanwhile Zach was being the ladies man and loving on all his girl cousins :)
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Here are all the older cousins gathered in the basement tv area. Only Hailey wasn't in this pic.
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After dinner, the husbands took the kids outside for some football fun to help burn off some of their energy. Kevin had a fun time throwing around a soft football with anyone he could throw to!
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It's all fun and games until someone knocks down Daddy!
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Amanda brought her stuffed animals out to watch her:
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Look at these rosy cheeks!
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It was cold, but not tooooooo cold, so the kids were outside for a good hour or so before their fingers started getting too cold.

Friday we headed to BounceTown (I think the name says it all)
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On a side note, it is REALLY hard to get a good pic of the kids in this place!! They are constantly running around too fast for me to snap any good pics!

Saturday it started to rain, so we stayed home for most of the day. Mike started pulling out all his old toys. Here's Amanda playing with two of his biggest Star Wars toys.
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Sunday we went to the Brunswick Fun Center, but I forgot my camera. Mike took some video on his phone (don't have it uploaded yet). Monday we stayed around the house again packing and hanging out with Mimi & Mark. And Tuesday we left (super early). Again, flight home was a success without much out of Kevin. He was coming down with a cold, so he slept most of the return flight as well!

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Meet our Living Christmas Tree!  Mike heard about this last year, and we have been deciding if we wanted to do it or not.  We normally trade off each year, putting up a live Christmas tree for the years we are here for Christmas, and putting up the fake one for years we'll be in Illinois.  This year is a "live" year, so we decided to try the living Christmas Tree.  It's potted, so it never dies (unless I kill it), and they take it back to the nursery at the end of the season.  We got ours through which only serves So. Cal but I have seen articles that there are over 30 places across the country that do it.  So google it for your area and see if they have a similar program for you!
Anyway, I have a literal ton of pictures to upload from Thanksgiving.  We had so much fun, hanging out with family and doing/seeing so much.  I ran the turkey trot as planned, but twisted my ankle just after mile 2.  But guess what, I still finished in 34:03!  My best time yet!  It would have been closer to 33 minutes had not been for that stupid stick in the middle of the road!  Grrrrrr!

Hope everyone is having a great start to the Christmas season this year!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's the Little Things

Sorry for the blurriness of the picture, I took it with my phone.  Isn't that a beautiful sunset?  That is the kids' preschool parking lot.  I took the picture as we were just about to leave.
It's days like that day that I just stop and enjoy the little things, like a sunset.  We had just gotten over the entire family being sick with a stomach bug, the kids had finally gone back to school and I had finished my first day back at work (and eaten an entire meal!).  What a wonderful way to end the day!

It is fast approaching the end of November already, and once again I am amazed at how quickly the year flew by.  I started my Xmas 2011 letter that goes with our Christmas Cards and I am having a hard time paring it down to just the essentials.  I feel like we came a loooooong way this year, and there's just so much to share! 

We are headed to Illinois for Thanksgiving where I will be running my 3rd 5k (turkey trot) with my sister-in-law and her husband.  I fully expect them to charge on ahead and leave me behind, especially with this bug that hit me last week.  I haven't really trained much in the last week or so, feeling kind of weak and slow right now.  I think I'm going to take a small break after this one before I charge on ahead and try a 10k in February or March sometime.

Kevin has been having some major sleep troubles lately, and I still don't know what is/has caused them.  2 weeks ago he suddenly went from easily laying down and putting himself to sleep and sleeping all night to requiring someone to sit with him and waking 2-6 times a night screaming.  At first I thought it was teething (2 year molars), but I have yet to see anything breaking through.  Finally the last 3 nights he has slept through the night, but still requires someone to sit with him while he falls asleep.  Fun times.

Anyway, that is the news at our house, hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ladies Man

I chose Kevin's costume this year based on the fact that he likes to dance.  I saw this 70's 'Disco King' costume and thought it was absolutely adorable, so I got it.  Well, it turned out to be even more perfect because as you can see from the picture to the left, he is a total ladies man.  That is Lily (left) and Riley (right), his two bestest girlfriends at school.  I hear all about "Ri-ey" and "Yi-Yi" every day when I pick him up.  And this picture taken by Riley's mom at the Halloween parade at school just sums it up.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Some October fun

You may have noticed the new picture above.  That was from a photo shoot we did with a new photographer for Christmas card photos.  At first when I saw the pictures, I was dissappointed.  I thought "I could have taken these pictures!"  But they've grown on me and I'm liking them more and more.  So the above is a sneek peek at what our Christmas Card photos will look like :)

Anyway, it's been busy around here as usual.  Not much to report, just the usual busy-ness that comes with the Halloween season.  Everyone but Mike has costumes again this year (he refuses to dress up). 

I took these pictures of Kevin at my parents house a few weeks ago when we were celebrating Ilene and my grandfather's birthdays.  He was sitting on my lap and I snapped a few close-up shots of him after eating a cupcake.  I found them pretty funny!

"Don't take a picture of me NOW!"
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"Oh, all right if you insist"
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We headed to the pumpkin patch this last weekend and I got a few cute shots of the kids with the pumpkins. Yes, Amanda is in her Minnie Mouse costume which she insisted on wearing.
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sibling love

Trying on shoes just like Amanda's!
Kevin idolizes his older sister Amanda.  It drives Mike crazy because Amanda is very girly -- into wearing dresses every day and pink princesses...and pretty shoes.  We went shopping for Amanda over the weekend to get some shiny black "dress up" shoes to go with her Minnie Mouse costume for Halloween, and another pair of tennis shoes for soccer.  When we were at the shoe store, Kevin insisted on trying on the same exact black shiny girly shoes in his size.  At first I resisted, trying to distract him with various tennis shoes with "boy" characters on them.  After about 2 minutes of him screaming at the top of his lungs (in the middle of the store) though, I gave in and let him try some girlie shoes on (see picture to left).  He immediately went to show Amanda and then just stood there staring at them. 

I continued with trying on various shoes with Amanda, and after about 15 minutes, I attempted to take the girlie shoes off of Kevin.  Seriously.  It was as if I was trying to remove his whole foot!  He refused to take them off!  I finally had to show him Amanda was taking hers off and putting her old shoes back on, and he eventually complied, but not without keeping a death grip on the shoes themselves.  Then we took the shoes to the counter (grasped tightly in his hands) where I showed him that the nice lady had to ring them up (telling her slyly on the side that I wasn't really buying them, thankyouverymuch).  He finally let go and ran off to play with something else that was probably breakable on display and I was able to have the sales girl ring up an actual 'boy' set of shoes with cars on them.

And guess what happened when we got home?  Amanda put on her princess tennis shoes to show Daddy and Kevin put on Amanda's 'dress up' shoes too.  I shoulda taken a picture of Mike's face.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


pa·tience   [pey-shuhns]
1. the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.
3. quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.

I have decided I need to work on my patience skills.  This week has been extraordinarily hard for me.  We had a very busy weekend and I think the kids are still recovering from that.  Plus, I think Kevin is finally teething again (still no eye teeth!).  Then work has been very busy, with the end of the quarter looming.  I have lost it more than once, and I need to learn to take it all in stride.
I attended my mom's club on Monday and we began watching a video series by Rob Bell called Nooma (  One particular quote really stuck with me:
"And an infinite, massive, kind of invisible God, that’s hard to get our minds around, but truth, love, grace, mercy, justice, compassionthe way that Jesus lived, I can see that."
I've been thinking about putting those 6 words in pretty fonts, framed around our house and just remind eachother every day to use them.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

One Week

I got one week off with the kids this summer.  We moved preschools and the new preschool is closed for one week at the end of August each year.  They remodel, clean and prepare their classrooms, take development classes, and everyone comes back renewed and refreshed and ready to start the new "school year".

I have to tell you, I was very apprehensive about taking a full week off with just me and the kids.  One adult, and two preschoolers seemed a bit overwhelming, especially when half the nights I come home from work and they drive me crazy!  But, we had a very, very good time, and I really feel like I got to *know* my kids!  We were all actually really upset about going back to work/school after labor day!

Monday, we went to a place called Seaside Lagoon in Redondo Beach.  Awesome little beach.  They pump seawater in to it's own secluded area (no waves!) where it never gets too deep.  There are fountains spewing water for the kids to play with, a play area, picnic tables, bathrooms, and lots & lots of sand!  I actually ended up making friends with several other moms here and the kids had a blast.  They each took really long naps this day as well!

Sea Lion swimming by at the Aquarium
Tuesday we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.  Mike & I took Amanda once before Kevin was born and she didn't seem all that interested.  This time, though, she loved watching all the fish, sharks, sea lions, seals, sting rays...and especially the touch tanks!  She got to touch baby sharks and sting rays, and loved it!  Kevin, on the other hand, preferred playing in the play area, and wouldn't touch anything.

Wednesday we went to the new dinosaur hall at the Natural History Museum (NHM) of LA. Amanda absolutely loved this, and is still asking if she can go back!  They not only have a hall showcasing all the bones, but an interactive room where you can actually put the bones of a dinosaur together yourself.  They also have a working lab where you can see them excavating bones out of rock!  But Amanda's absolute favorite thing was the puppet show with the lifesize t-rex.  We saw the show twice!

Thursday we ran a bunch of errands, and Friday we stuck around home as we all felt a little under the weather.

Mike was really apprehensive about the week because he figured we'd spend a lot of money.  But even I was surprised how little we spent.  The lagoon was $16 (for all of us to get in) + $8 parking.  The aquarium was the most expensive at around $34 +$6 parking (only Kevin was free) and the NHM was only $12 (kids were free) + $8 parking.  I packed and brought a lunch each day, and we were always home by nap time.  So the afternoons we still had time to hang out and do stuff around the house.  Less than $100 and a lifetime of memories!

All in all, it was a great week, and although the kids did fight every now and again, we all had a ton of fun.  Looking forward to next year when we get to do it again!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The things we can accomplish

I have never considered myself a "runner".  In fact, in high school I played softball for the specific purpose of getting out of PE where they made everyone run a mile every couple of months.  I thought my sister was crazy 2 years ago when she accepted a challenge to run the LA Marathon.  I mean, only crazy people do that, right?
I even gave it a "go" when Kevin was about 6 months old and everyone around me was convincing me that running was a good exercise to do to lose the baby weight.  I ran for about 2 weeks and quit.

Fast forward to beginning of this year, a friend and neighbor of mine was telling me about a program she used to get into running.  She had a smartphone and ran the Couch to 5k app.  I nodded approvingly, but went home thinking "she's crazy".  Then in March, I got my own smartphone and was downloading cool apps when I thought "might as well see what this is about" and downloaded the app.

Around the same time I attended a meeting for the local schools and they mentioned a 5k fundraiser they do every year and my friend mentioned she was going to run it.  A few nights later, and I can't remember why, but I thought I'd just try out this app and see what it's all about.  I came home feeling accomplished, invigorated, and ready for the next challenge!

6 weeks later, I ran my first 5k - the Race for Success.  I was so nervous the morning of the race, but ended up finishing in 36:05 and my husband and kids even came to cheer me on!

3 months later (see picture to left) on August 20, I ran my second 5k - the Jet to Jetty Run/Walk for Health.  And I beat my previous time by 90 seconds!  With  my sister Ilene (to the right of me in picture), we ran it in 34:35.

It's really amazing what you can do if you put your mind to it!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Busy Summer!

We have had such an incredibly busy summer. And to tell you the truth, I can't even begin to remember why it was so busy!  I just feel like we've been on th go nonstop.

So first things first, for Kevin's birthday at the end of July, he received a bike seat that attaches to our bikes.  It's called the ibert and has been incredibly fun!  Almost every night we have been going out on a bike ride.  Kevin in his seat with Daddy, and Amanda & I on our bikes.  Eventually we are hoping to head to the beach and ride down there, but for now we're just practicing in our neighorhood.  Here are some pics.
First, Amanda riding in front of me as she heads down our street:

And here's Kevin in his seat on Mike's bike:

And here are the kids playing with a new toy Kevin recieved for his birthday.  Amanda likes it just as much as Kevin does!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A little bit of Carnival, not so much Paradise

So Mike & I just got back from a 3 day cruise to Mexico aboard the Carnival funship Paradise.  And after having cruised twice before on Royal Caribbean, I much prefer RC.  Here's my quick review of the two cruise lines.

To make this more fair, I am not going to include our honeymoon cruise to the Eastern Caribbean.  We had a super ship for that 7 day cruise with everything from an ice skating rink to a climbing wall!

So, in 2006 we took the 3 day Mexico cruise on RC to celebrate Mike's 30th birthday.  This cruise leaves Friday afternoon, arrives in Ensenada Saturday morning, leaves Ensenada Saturday afternoon and arrives back in Long Beach Monday morning.  Back in 2006, both RC and Carnival did the same cruise and we chose RC based on our previous good experience with them.  Unfortunately RC doesn't do the cruise anymore, so we were forced to use Carnival this time.

First things first - boarding the ship Friday afternoon.  RC required that you check your bags with a porter.  The porters were just outside where you enter the boarding station, and there were clear signs based on where your room was, who to check your bags with.  I believe you received a checked baggage claim as well.  On Carnival, things were very different.  Porters were haphazardly placed on the ground floor of the parking garage, next to a randomly placed table with one guy writing room numbers on tags to attach to your luggage.  People were milling around trying to figure out who to give their baggage to, porters were running back and forth getting carts to take bags to the ship with, and it took us 3 tries to even find a porter to take our bags from us.  Then we prayed they made it on the ship!  Mine showed up pretty quickly, but Mike's never did, and we had to end up calling down and have them find it.

Checking in was about the same between both cruise lines, wait in a line, get issued a room key (with credit card attached), move on to get your picture taken before walking up the gangway.  My only complaint here was Carnival checked my passport at the door and then checked it again at the desk where the employee didn't look at the amendment to my passport and actually issued my room key in my maiden name!  I had to explain it to her, and she had to go get another key made in my married name.

Once on the ship, the differences were huge!  Let's start with a similarity.  Both ships require you to purchase soda and alcohol seperately.  The difference is, RC's unlimited soda card was a bit expensive (I remember it being around $15), but it included your own reusable cup that you could refill at any soda fountain, which were placed in several places around the ship.  The dining room also provided soda upon showing your soda card.  Carnival's was pretty inexpensive ($6) but you could only get soda at the bar, and they gave you very small glasses.  Getting a soda in the dining room was next to impossible.

Both ships had a swimming pool on the top deck.  Carnival's was tiny.  And not only that, but half of it was used for where the pool slide came out onto.  So at any given time you could get like 5 kids in the half swimming pool.  The other half of their "pool" deck was a huge stage which they used for various entertainment shows.  Also, while both ships had chairs to lay on around the pool, RC had tons more available than Carnival did.  Part of the problem is Carnival had one main "buffet" style restaurant and it was right next to the pool area, so the tables & chairs from that area spilled into the pool area and didn't leave a lot of room for the lounge chairs.  Thus, as the sun came out on our sea day, we were forced to find lounge chairs on the upper decks, which tend to be much more windy and cold.

Room sizes were about the same.  I think all cruise ships are gonna have tiny rooms.  Although on Carnival, I paid for a "suite" but the only extra we got was the balcony.  I saw lots of inside cabins that looked the exact same size, just no balcony!  On RC we had an inside cabin for the 3 day cruise and I feel like we had about the same amount of room for far less money.  The Room Stewards were another huge difference.  On RC they make a point to come introduce themselves and get to know your name.  On Carnival, the guy said hi to us only a handful of times and never introduced himself.  And on top of that, he messed up our room accounts on the last day and everyone got the wrong bill for the wrong rooms!!

On RC, the price of your room includes just about everything.  Like I said, alcohol & sodas are extra, and there's the choice to eat in the high end restaurant for a bit extra if you would rather do that (reservations are required).  On Carnival, the room price seemed to include just the bare minimum.  Even in the dining room there were options to pay more for certain foods.  Speaking of food, the food on RC is far superior.  Their chefs have awesome selections each night to choose from with spices and flavors to wake up even the sleepiest of pallates!  Not on Carnival.  In fact, they pretty much had the same thing every night.  And you have to pay more for a different selection.  *sigh*

Also a huge difference when it comes to food on RC is the choice of places to eat.  Even on the "smaller" 3-day cruise ship to Mexico there were 2 buffets, dining room, and 2 coffee shops to choose from.  On Carnival, one dining room and one buffet.  If you didn't like either of them, you were pretty much screwed.  As I started to mention before, I felt like the layout on RC ships is much better.  They had a bar/lounge that looked out the front/side of the ship so we got to relax with some drinks while we watched the ship pull away from the dock.  Carnival used that area for the gym.  And the deck to go out and look over the front of the ship was only accessible by walking through the suite's hallway.  Convenient for me, but I'm sure a lot of people didn't know about it.

I also did the spa on both ships.  They were pretty comparable.  Not much to say on that one.

Now, disembarking.  Again RC was far superior.  Everyone had to put their bags outside their stateroom the night before.  People who needed to get off early (for early flights) had to check in with guest services and were allowed off at the earliest disembarking time.  Everyone else was assigned a time to get off based on a group number.  The group numbers were announced throughout the entire ship, so no matter where you were, you knew when you were called.  Not Carnival though. 

Carnival had 2 types of disembarking - self service & "relaxed".  Then within those types, you disembarked based on where your room was.  So being a suite, the self service disembark time was 7am.  Um, no thank you.  So we chose the relaxed one and put our bags out the night before.  We got a letter saying to wait in the library and we'd be called at 9am.  So, we got up, went to breakfast and were in the library by 8:15am.  Announcements apparently were being made elsewhere in the ship, and no one ever came to get us.  And at 9:30 I finally went to ask someone what was going on.  At that time they decided to let me know we were part of group #2 and they were up to calling #16-20.  So we missed our debarking time by a mile.  I know you want my money, but to keep me on the ship w/o letting me know to leave?!?!  Come on!!

Oh, and another difference was RC did everything by interactive TV.  You could buy your excursions, book spa appointments, check your charge account, etc without setting foot outside your stateroom.  Not Carnival.  You had to get up and go find one of the desks.  I found that a little inconvenient, especially since there were several names for each deck, and it was fairly hard to figure out where you were at any given time.  I had to carry a map around with me at all times!

One thing I liked about Carnival is they had a "kids" pool and an "adult" section.  RC did not have that and if you are traveling without kids, it would have been nice to have an area to not have to be surrounded by kids.

Definitely the "rumor" that Carnival is the party ship is true.  RC is much more relaxed and catered to the "non-party" crowd.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday!

Happy 2nd Birthday to my little man Kevin!  2 years ago today I was relaxing in the hospital room, staring at your beautiful face and updating facebook with pictures of you :)

You have been such a joy, always laughing and interested in everything going on around you.  You have an intense concentration that I love.  I have said you are going to either be an engineer... or a hairdresser.  I still marvel at how even at 2 years old you love to run your hands through your or my hair when something upsets you.  I love how you scream and run to me when something hurts you, but after just a brief hug, you are right back in the fray.  You are one tough cookie, but still have a sensitive side.  If someone is crying, you are the first to walk up and give them a hug.

I love you Kevin, and look forward to many more years showing you this wonderful world!

Helping out

The kids love to help in any way they can whenever Mike and I have things to do.  These pics I took while they helped Mike wash the cars.  Unfortunately I way over-exposed a bunch of them (apparently I need to change the ISO setting when I move from shade to sun!!  duh!!), so these were the best I got.

I snapped this one just before I moved the camera out of the way of Kevin and the hose!
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This is the intense concentration Kevin gives to every task he does.   I love that little tongue!
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Amanda washing my truck
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And just this last weekend, Kevin helped clean up the yard with Mike.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

funny things kids do

It's kind of hard to see but that's Kevin holding a computer mouse up to his ear like a telephone. Hilarious !!
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Thursday, July 14, 2011


Ever have one of those "I wish I did that earlier" moments?  That is today.  I found out yesterday and this morning that the kids' daycare moved all the kids up to new classrooms this week.  All, that is, except my kids.  I can kind of get where they are coming from since we are leaving this particular daycare August 1.  And truthfully I appreciate the non-move for Kevin who has barely been in this classroom a few short months anyway.  But Amanda?  Really?  She has been stuck in preschool for 18 months at this point and I have tried every which way from Sunday to get her moved up to the pre-K class, and they refused 10 times over (saying they wanted to move the whole class together and there wasn't enough room for them all).  So now that I decided to leave, you move everyone up.  Nice.

I REALLY wish we had been able to move earlier.  But alas, Kevin can't go to the new place until he's 2 which is July 27.  So we are stuck at this place for 2 more weeks.

Meanwhile every day Amanda comes home crying because she didn't get to go on the field trips with the pre-K class, and she doesn't want to go to preschool again tomorrow.  It is heartbreaking when I remember the first week she was in preschool and would come home smiling and excited about all the new stuff she was learning.  I know it's only 2 weeks, but for a preschooler, 2 weeks is like 2 years and her emotions always run into our time at home where she fights more with the rest of us.  *sigh*  God grand me the patience to get through the next 2 weeks!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011


So in general I think we got pretty lucky with our kids sleeping habits.  Of course there are ups & downs, but overall both kids have been awesome sleepers.  One thing I love is how they often fall asleep in the car.  Kevin especially seems to love the movement and sound and will often fall asleep within 5 minutes of getting on the freeway.  I have taken countless pictures of the kids sleeping in my back seat!  This one to the left is from after a fun day at Grandma's.  And this next one on the right is from this year's 4th of July, after a long day and then up late to watch fireworks.  They were both in almost the exact same position! 

I wish I had brought my camera yesterday on the boat, because Kevin actually fell asleep several times in the most odd positions, that you would never think are very comfortable!

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Ok, here we go.  After some difficulty getting these uploaded to Flickr, I have some pics for your enjoyment!

First series here, is one night we were playing in the backyard and for some reason Kevin wanted the basketball up in the tree.  So first Amanda tried to put it up there.
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And when that didn't work, I had to do it.

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Then, they had to try and climb up and get it!

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The next pictures are Kevin in the trampoline. He likes to take some tennis balls in with him and throw them out to you. Then you have to throw them back in!

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(pic with the ball on the way back in)
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And here is Cali - the kitten we are babysitting. She LOVES Sophie's scratching post!
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Here's Kevin trying to get her out of the little 'cabin' below
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This kitten gets into everything, including my dishwasher!
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And finally, here's a pic of Kevin trying on Daddy's shoes:
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