Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Change of Scenery

I'm tired of not being able to post pictures here anymore, so I've exported this entire blog, and moved over to blog.com.  Sorry if you received our Christmas card with this url, but I had them printed before I decided to move! 

If you want to keep up with us, head over to: http://themcreynolds.blog.com

See you over there!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Burnt out

Halloween is normally one of my favoritist (is that even a word?) holidays.  But this year, I have no desire whatsoever to decorate or even get in the 'spirit'.  Everything seems like a monumental task lately.  We have had literally no downtime since June (May, maybe?).  Every weekend is filled with activities, and the weekdays are now becoming busier as well, with activities and meetings and sports.  We signed up for swim lessons, and already missed the first two lessons because we were out of town.  Even this last weekend, we had plans only for Friday night/Saturday morning.  I thought for sure we'd have time to relax during the rest of the weekend.  But instead, we ended up super busy again.  Rushing to get the boat into storage (and off our street - see last post), running to the market for food for the week, running to Target for basic supplies... the list goes on! 

Part of being so busy is my training for this half marathon as well.  I'll be running in the Santa Barbara half on November 10th.  I am already regretting signing up for this.  I've come to the conclusion that I am not meant for long distance running. I enjoy the 5k's and maybe even a few 10k's, but a half marathon is just becoming a PITA.  Especially because So Cal is having a heat wave.  In October!  I have been waking up at 4:30am on Saturdays in order to be running by 5am and be done before 8.  Because by 8am it's already 80 degrees.  It's becoming more of a burden than fun.  And this last week I started getting super sick, so I've done 11.5 miles a few weeks back, and didn't get in 12 last weekend.  I am running a zombie 5k/mud run this weekend (www.runforyourlives.com), so I'm going to try for 13 miles next weekend.  If I don't get it in, then I'll be running 13 miles for the first time at the half.

I also think this whole running thing is better for addictive personalities.  I am not sure I am one of those.  I have never understood things like smoking.  What do you mean you can't just stop doing it?  I suppose I can say I'm a little addicted to sugar, but even that I gave up in order to lose weight a few years ago (and have kept it off).  So I am starting to think I just don't have the "addiction" gene in me.  I've been running for coming up on 2 years, and while I can say I enjoy it, if I don't run for a week, it's not like I miss it.  So, after I finish this half, I am done running the long distances.  I'll do some 5k's for the fun of it, but I do not enjoy the long runs at all.

So after Nov. 10 I am taking a break.  From everything.

Monday, October 15, 2012


We live in a city.  I know this.  So I suppose I shouldn't be upset that our neighborhood isn't like the one I grew up in the Suburbs.  But I am.  It upsets me that kids aren't out playing in the street until they get called in by their parents.  It upsets me that I can't walk outside and see other moms I can lament with.  Don't get me wrong, we do know several of our neighbors.  But I feel like they're not nearly as friendly as the group I grew up with in the "Valley".  We've lived here for almost 8 years, and I just barely met one of our neighbors this summer!

Anyway, the whole reason this came up is because one of our neighbors seems to have it out for us.  Our new boat doesn't fit into our backyard, so we've been parking it on the street in front of our house since January.  In order not to inconvenience anyone else (everyone in our neighborhood parks on the street), I've been backing my truck into the backyard instead.  So really, no one is inconvenienced, see?  We use the space in front of our house that was previously used by my truck, for the boat, and I park my truck in the backyard.  Well, starting about 3 weeks ago, parking enforcement trucks started showing up.  We got chalked twice.  The second time, Mike happened to be home, so he went out to talk to the guy.  Turns out one of our neighbors is calling and complaining about an "abandoned" boat on the street.  He can't tell us who, but he told Mike when the call was made.

What irks us both is that this SOB hasn't said anything to us.  You can't leave a neighborly note on the door if you're too cowardly to come say something to us in person?  And really, what does a boat parked in front of OUR house hurting them?  Like I said, we've done our best to minimize the impact to anyone else, yet someone is still complaining.

So much for neighborly neighbors.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer is here!

I always forget as we get into the summer season just how busy it can get.  But here we are, already past July 4!  I was looking at my calendar the other day and surprised by how much we already have planned.  And Amanda will be starting Kindergarten on August 14!  So really we barely have a month until SCHOOL starts!  Yikes!

I bought Amanda her school uniforms this week.  Schools in LAUSD can "suggest" a uniform, but any parent can opt out for their child (for any reason) by just sending a letter to the office saying they opt out.  But when I told Amanda about it, and had her pick out her uniform clothes with me on-line, she was more than excited to shop.  Plus she told me she didn't want to look 'different' than the other kids.  The 'uniform' is just khaki bottoms and a navy or white polo shirt, which is basically sold by just about any kids clothing store out there.  I ended up buying from Children's Place because they were having a big sale plus, I had a coupon for 20% off.  Yay sales!

We spent July 4 at my parents for a bbq, as is the custom since my Dad's birthday is on July 4.  Then we walked up to a local Church that does a big fireworks show.  Although this year we felt it just wasn't as good.  Maybe next year we'll try something new.

I have been sick on and off for the last 3-4 weeks and I am sick (ha!) of it.  First Mike & I both came down with a cold that just sapped our energy and made us congested.  Then just as I was sure I was over that, I came down with a stomach flu on Monday this week.  SO not fun.  I'm still recovering from that and getting my appetite back.

My hair is slowly growing back, and now I feel like I'm in that "in between" time when I don't quite have long enough hair, but it's long enough to be shaggy.  I probably should go back to my hairdresser, but honestly I don't know when I'm going to find the time!

Anyway, here's to a fun and busy summer!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June already?

Where does the time go?  Oh wait, I was stressing about schools... ha ha!

So now that I can rest easy (I turned in all enrollment stuff yesterday!  Woohoo!) about schools, I can focus on the end of Amanda's preschool years.  The school is having a whole graduation ceremony for the kids on June 20 at 11am.  Ugh, talk about an inconvenient time!  Guess I'm taking the whole day off...

They sent home graduation pictures in their cap & gown last week, and I went on-line to check them out.  When we first turned in sizes/money for the cap & gown we were told they would all be in green, but apparently they changed their minds and put the girls in yellow.  And UGH did Amanda's turn out terrible.  Yellow is definitely not her color, and the photographer did not do a very good job getting her to smile like the last school photographer did.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Amazing the way it all works out..

So as I have been posting on here, the search for a public (aka free) school for Amanda this year has been a long and arduous journey.  But finally this week, I can say it's OVER!  We finally have a school!

To recap, starting last November, we applied to a magnet school (you can only apply to one), then we toured the local schools in March, followed by applying to two local charter schools, and a school for advanced studies (last minute find thanks to the librarian at our local library).  As of the end of March, I was super frustrated and believed:
  1. Magnet schools were impossible to get into, with nearly 1,000 applicants for only 80 spots, a complicated points/lottery system, and limited campuses.
  2. Charter schools were impossible to get into, with lots of applicants (they couldn't tell me exactly how many) and a complicated lottery system that was supposedly random, but still gave priority to certain people.
  3. GATE and SAS programs were impossible to get into because it's hard to identify a child as 'gifted' in Kindergarten, so most schools don't even offer it until 2nd grade (so why even try?).
  4. Getting a permit OUT of LAUSD is impossible, especially since we don't work anywhere near the school districts we were considering, and we don't qualify for any of the other reasons.
  5. Getting a permit to go anywhere but our local school is impossible, as we don't qualify for any of the applicable reasons.
Yet, as of last week, we were accepted at a magnet school, a charter school, a local school not our own, AND an SAS program.  I also discovered Mike works within another (good) school district I didn't even know existed (Culver City), so we could have viably applied to get out of LAUSD if we really wanted to.

I love choices :)

In the end, we chose Playa del Rey Elementary School School for Advanced Studies (SAS) for lots of good reasons I hope we'll be happy with.  I spent yesterday calling the rest of the schools to decline their invitations to attend, which felt both scary and relieving at the same time.  I guess we'll never know for SURE if we made the right decision, but I hope we don't end up regretting it.  I am super happy to have made that decision and have it behind us though.

In other news, the same time we were getting acceptance calls, I got a call from preschool on Thursday that they had to call 911 on Kevin.  He apparently was riding those 'flinstone' like cars and ran it headlong into another kid.  It threw him from the car, did a flip and landed on his head.  Luckily I was home that day (getting our house checked so we can get solar panels installed), so I drove over and rode in the ambulance with him.  Talk about scary!  But he was fine in the end.  ER doc gave us the all clear and told me what to watch for that night.  I leave you with a picture of him strapped to the pappoosa just after we arrived at the ER.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New Look!

As many of you know, I had been growing my hair out for the last several years.  I was doing so with the intent of donating to Locks of Love, a wonderful charity that makes wigs for children with cancer and other diseases that prevent them from growing their own hair.  Well, last week I realized my hair was just not growing any more, and I was getting sick of the upkeep the long hair required.  So on Saturday I headed to the salon.  I don't have a regular hair person, so I just went down to Fantastic Sam's.  I told the lady what I wanted to do, and where I wanted to cut it (basically only my longest layer was going to be the required 10 inches, and the rest was just going to have to go), but she started brushing out my hair and convinced me we could get a full 10 inches out of the whole thing.  So she started chopping.  And chopping she did.

The pic to the left is how I came back.  SUPER short, like even shorter than I have ever had before.  Amazing!  Mike hates it (he likes long hair), but I assured him I intend to grow it out again.  I was super self-conscious about it for several days, but I am slowly getting used to it now.

On Sunday, we headed out to the beach for a bike ride.  Here's the only pic I took of the kids when we stopped for ice cream:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Big weekend for us!

We had a big weekend for everyone this weekend!

1st- Amanda gave up her nap.  I'm pretty sure she was ready to give up her nap a while ago, but I was being stubborn (I need the down time too!).  Also, they still make them lay down at preschool so I felt like if I didn't continue that on the weekends, it would throw her whole schedule off.  Ironically, I picked her up from school yesterday and she told me they weren't required to take a nap because they found mice droppings on their cots.  So they had to wash the bedding and the kids just got to watch tv instead.  This won't happen every day, but it was funny that it happened on the Monday after she went a whole weekend without naps!  She did pretty well.  Still had a bit of a meltdown on Monday night.  But she goes to sleep better (no more coming out of her room every 5 minutes for an hour!), and sleeps later (at least until Kevin woke her up), so that's nice.

2nd- Kevin started potty training.  We've been encouraging him for a while, but he was never really interested.  Lately though he has started wanting a diaper change at every pee-pee, so last Thursday I put him in some BUZZ! underwear, which he promptly soaked.  By Friday, he started to get it and after a few accidents, he went on his new froggy potty (won in a silent auction at preschool).  Saturday and Sunday were huge wins, and at school on Monday they said he did really good too!  Yay for Kevin!

We are trying a new cleaning lady this week as well.  The old lady has apparently dissappeared.  She was supposed to come on Good Friday, but called the night before to cancel.  Then she didn't show up for the next two weeks.  My neighbor, and her sister both tried to get ahold of her, but she has apparently moved out of her house and cancelled her phones.  So my neighbor knew someone else who we are trying today.  We shall see how this one goes!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


That's how old I turned last Friday (6th).  The whole thing came up about age at work during the week before.  I don't care who knows my age, nor do I try to hide it.  I have never understood why people do that?  Do they just want the attention it undoubtedly garners?  People used to tell me it would change as I got older, but it hasn't.  I still don't care.  I will shout to the world I AM 34!

Anyway, my birthday fell on Good Friday this year, so the kids & I had the day off.  I had originally thought we'd go to the zoo, but then decided on a playdate with a friend instead (the zoo was probably going to be super crowded!).  The kids had fun, and then we went to McDonald's for lunch (yes, I had McDonald's for my birthday lunch!  That's how I roll...).  After naps I took the kids to see "Mirror, Mirror" which they both really enjoyed.  We were supposed to go out to dinner with Mike afterwards, but it was getting late and we had filled up on popcorn, so he made us Spaghetti instead.  Then we went out on Saturday night.

We had a good Easter that weekend as well.  The kids had FOUR egg hunts.  One at school on Thursday, then at a Church party on Saturday, then the Easter Bunny on Sunday morning and the last one at my parent's house Sunday evening.  I was surprised at how little candy they got.  Obviously I could control the Easter Bunny eggs, but the Church one (all donated eggs) consisted of mostly toy-filled eggs, and the one at school was pretty light on candy as well.  The only one with heavy candy was the one at my parent's house (Grandma couldn't resist I guess).  Then we went to the dentist on Tuesday.  Luckily, no cavities this time!  Hurray!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Another 5k!

This last weekend I ran another 5k in San Diego - The Hot Chocolate 5k/15k.  Such fun!  Above is a pic of my two friends & I as we approached the starting line.  Running with friends is a lot more fun than doing it alone :)  Not my best time (37:10) but I also didn't get to train much, thanks to a BAD cold I caught in early March, and I twisted my ankle just mere days beforehand.  Not to mention it was a super-hilly course and my legs were sore for days afterwards!  But what matters is I did it!