December 6, 2006

Nest? Wreath?

We were at Descanso Gardens on Sunday eating at their cafe and Luke looks over to the table next to us and sees a wreath they have that is laying flat on the table, used as a table arrangment.

I watch him looking at it and then he leans over to me and says "Mom, I want a nest too!"

Nest? Wreath? Who cares right?

Needless to say I bought one for him the next day! :) How can you resist that?

November 30, 2006

A beautiful me

November 30, 2006
We have a breakthrough!
Something has changed for me and I am not entirely certain where it begins and where it ends, and this change is so beautiful. I keep discovering a new facet of this new change.
What caused the change? A few things…
I have been getting some counseling at my church. Some of the most spiritual and person counseling I have ever, ever received. I have worked through some really heavy personal material and it has changed me more than anything I have ever done. People talk about a pivotal point in their life, or something shaking them down to the core…this is what this particular counseling has done for me. I am very changed and more me, and completely the same all at the same time. I have a long ways to come (we have awesomely high standards) but let’s not dwell there. The biggest change that came from this counseling is that I am more here, more focused and more living in the present. It’s awesome. I didn't know I was missing this until it changed for the better! I don’t thing change #2 could have happened without this one. I am so lucky to be part of my church and all that it does.
#2. I had my awesome family point out some things they thought I ought to change in my parenting. Can you imagine the courage to tell me I ought to change some of the ways I mother??? I admire them for telling me despite what I might do or say! J Luckily I took it like a champ and really looked at how they were right. Oh how right they were!
Their kind words helped to snap be out of wherever I was, and help bring back (I had it at some point!) a complete and 100% certainty that Charlotte and Lucas are fully aware of what they should and shouldn’t be doing and no need to wonder if they “get it” or not. No need to repeat myself 100 times and no need to expect low standards because of age. So now that we have that in place, it’s time to expect and demand higher standards of them! And lo and behold Charlotte has been just incredible compared to even a few days ago, and Lucas is really coming along and is working through his weak areas.
My brother (technically he is my in-law, but he is more a full brother than anything) Jerrol said something that really stuck to me. He ever so gently and kindly pointed out that I might need to change something if I didn’t know WHAT I would do if I couldn’t send Luke and soon Charlotte off to preschool every day. That I shouldn’t be troubled too much or NEEED to get away from my kids. I brushed him off the first few times he said this, but this last time I really looked at this. Why do I feel I can’t spend all day with my kids? What am I doing wrong here? Why can’t I get anything done when they are home? I decided that he was right and something was very wrong over here.
Wake up call!!!
My have not been getting proper control run on them, I have always entertained them and created their games for them, and allowed them to have pretty poor manners. So we are on day 2 or so of some BIG changes and things are going SO MUCH BETTER! Stay tuned! This second change would not have allowed change #3 to arrive today....this is a very, very personal one. One I am been really struggling with. Only a few know the extent of the stuggle.
#3 I love my Charlotte. I love my baby girl so much – but better than that I enjoy her and I miss my girl when she’s sleeping. I always have loved her, but we have had a ridge, tension – whatever you want to name it - between us, we weren’t in mother/daughter bliss, that is for certain.
She has been difficult, almost anyone can tell you that. I have been stuck on that, “I have a difficult baby” and have lamenting and whined about it. But I see now, after spending two of the most incredible days with her that I should have moved on long ago and enjoyed her in the ways I could have, granted her more beingness for being her and loved Charlotte despite of the fact that she is so different from what I had expected andfrom what I thought I wanted.
But all I really want is my little girl, now that I have figured this all out.
She is just the funniest thing! I have never seen such spunk and LIFE in a tiny body! It is hysterical! She is spirited and oh so smart, funny and the sweetest thing. She has such integrity and is very out-spoken (yes a non-talking child can be out-spoken) and some of these things she’ll need some guidance on (that is if I want her to have friends!) but man she is amazing. I always knew these things, maybe just partially. But somehow they all feel so new. It’s an awesome feeling to be able to appreciate and love her, but sad that we couldn’t get along better before.
But I love my girl.......and that's all that matters.
Not a day goes by when I am not incredibly thankful and grateful for my family. I could not be who I am or have come so far without them.
This year is truly been my best so far in terms of growth. Thank you for being my friend everyone.

November 18, 2006

Cruising through the holidays

Want to have stress free or lower stress holidays????
Log on to this website!!!! I can't tell you how much the program and lifestyle change on that website has helped me.

Last year I did what she calls a holiday challenge to where I followed a plan to be totally organzied for the holdays. It was incredible!!!!! I highly recommend you check out this page in specific!!!

I just printed out what she calls her Holiday Control Journal. It's your ticket to control and lower stress over the next 6 weeks!

Happy Holidays!

The Sweetie Girl

On days like today I just love being a mom. I feel so lucky to be a stay at home mom. It can drive me bonkers not going out and getting stuff done, things that I want to do but can't, and accomplishing tasks that will STAY DONE (unlike the cleanliness of my home, or the toys staying in their place, or the laundry).

Today Charlotte and I went to go see a personal trainer (for me!) and we worked out together with my two friends and there babies. We had a mini gymboree set up in there, I swear! It was pretty hysterical have our strollers blocking off one end of the room so that Charlotte couldn't escape and then one of us holding a baby while the other did the stairs or crunches. Toys were everywhere, snacks ground into the carpet. Good times! Luckily the staff was really understanding. Thank goodness!

Charlotte was so good, and really liked being there. Her being good and letting me do something that I WANT to do makes all the difference.

And then we came home and sat in our front yard and ate lunch and watched for airplanes (for some reason lots and lots of helicopters and airplanes fly over our house) and she played with some water bottles learning to pour and get wet! It was so relaxing and just plain fun.
Charlotte does so well on a relaxing day. I mean who doesn't right? But rushing really seems to effect her negativly. My mom helped me notice that when I rush or act rushed she acts up, cries, whines, and otherwise is totally unpleasent!! Amazing! It really has helped me (I am so lucky to have all her help).

YAY for days like today! And YAY for my friends that give me such support in the areas I need it.

November 10, 2006

Current Obsessions

Luke: French toast for breakfast, pizza snacks for any time (before you judge me, they are the healthy kind from Whole Foods) batman costume obession continues, as does the raisin one too. Today he is insistent on getting a visor hat thing. I just got one and he is demanding one so we are going to go get him one today. We'll see how long that lasts.

Charlotte: Isabella's brown strappy sneakers. Charlotte loves them so much she stole them from Isabella's house and has been wearing them for 3 days now.....straight!

Allie: My new friends! I am becoming good friends with Susanne and Irene and we walk 4x a week. It's awesome! I am also obsessed with finding deals and not spending more than I have to. A big step for me. Oh and the book Fundamentals of Thought by L Ron Hubbard. That book is awesome! And my Ipod......I am becoming very dependent on it.....

John: As always.....Luke. And now Charlotte too!!! Charlotte has really become attached to John so in turn John looooooves Charlotte more too. Rootbear floats continue to be one of his favorite desserts, and work as usual.

October 18, 2006

The girl's first sentence

So I did a mommy No-No. I was at the Doctors office about three weeks ago and said (in front of Charlotte) "She isn't talking very much, is that normal?"
Gosh, talk about insulting. I am surprised my little angel didn't wind up and smack me! Shame on me!!!! Okay but that is beside the point. The great news is..........
She spoke her first sentence!!!!!!!
While I was laying her down to sleep Monday night, I was tucking her into bed and covering her up with her blanket and I didn't have a bottle to give her (I wanted to see if we could cut down on the nighttime bottles). As I was about to say goodnight she asked me sooooo sweetly,
"Where's da baba??"
LOL! I could have died it was so cute. And I said "Oh, I will go get it right now," and ran off. And she stayed in her crib tucked in and waited for me........
(sigh) A good mommy moment.
Oh and she has added probably 15 words to her vocabulary since I told the Doctor. Too funny!

Lookin' out for myself

Okay so there is something I do that makes my hectic, kid oriented life a LOT easier.
1) I made a spare key for my car. So on those days where my kids lost my keys, I can still leave the house on time, or leave a location in an emergency if I need to. It's a very reassuring safety net.
Also, I have been meaning to put a $50 bill in there too. I got this idea from the book Sink Reflections (my all time favorite book on organizing your house and LIFE). This way if you ever forgot your wallet or are in an emergency you can still get gas, tow your car, etc.
That one is next. So here's to always be prepared!

October 4, 2006

General Update

Wow, okay so I am not the best blogger....... It's been a while.

Since my last few posts Charlotte has started and stopped preschool (what was I thinking?), Luke has become FULLY potty trained (I will save you the details), we have sold our house, paid off all our credit card debt (woohoooo!), purchased two new parakeets (so cute), and on and on....

Batman, I mean Lucas is the sweetest thing ever right now (knock on wood). Still cuddly and more and more verbal every day. This new thing he does is so cute. It'll go like this:
Luke: (asks me a question)???
Me: I'm not sure Luke.
Luke: No....I'm telling you, _____(same question)______?
Me: (delivers a made up answer).
For some reason he either thinks I know everything or needs an answer. The funny thing is that when he asks the second time 60% of the time I actually do have an answer, I just had to think for a minute. Very cute.

Charlotte's vocabulary has doubled, easily, in the last week. She is repeating the same syllables I say, and sometimes even the words. She is saying "byebye, uppie, mama, dada, banenee (blanket), shoes (always said enthusiastically), sockies, wowo (for the sound a dog makes), whass dat?" and so on. New words are a commin'!! (Thank goodness)

Okay so you know how she LOVES shoes? Well if you don't her shoe obsession is just that, obsessive. When she wakes up in the morning AND at nap time the first thing she wants to do is pick out some shoe to wear. Okay so funny story, the other day my mom was sitting down on the couch and Charlotte walked up to her leg, held up her pants and studied her shoes as if to say "Hmmm....those are cute." Freakin' hilarious!

September 10, 2006

Challenge Day

I was watching Oprah today and her show was about this program called Challenge Day. If you get a moment go on her website and check it out.

It was the best show I have ever watched. I sat crying for the whole hour, huge tears rolling down my face, good tears. Basically 65 high school students were taken through a series of games, drills and sessions where they broke down barriers, learned to communicate with people and see that everybody is equal. People who were once racist, bullying, name calling or just out of communcation with one another were hugging and telling each other "I love you" at the end. It was INCREDIBLE.

Here is a quote from Oprah website:
"Monroe High School is about to undergo a major change thanks to a program called Challenge Day. In one day, Challenge Day program creators Yvonne and Rich will bring together a group of students, from all different walks of life, and help them break down their walls to create a more unified community.Drug and alcohol abuse and bullying in schools are only symptoms of the real problems students face, Yvonne says. "The biggest problems in our schools today, we believe, are separation, isolation and loneliness," she says. "If our kids are feeling lonely, it's not because there's a lack of people. It's because there's a lack of love and connection between them."Another major reason kids are on edge is because they often feel their parents' stress from daily life or frustrations over what it takes to raise their children.One of the goals of Challenge Day is to work past the students' feelings of stress and isolation and help them form a bond with each other. "The kids that don't know each other from different cliques, backgrounds, belief systems, skin color…they're going to come together in here. What they're going to basically find out by the end of the day is that we're much more alike than we are different," Yvonne says.

The more programs we have like this the better!

August 21, 2006

House Update

So if you didn't know already, we are in escrow on our house! YAY YAY YAY!

We close on Monday or Tuesday (Aug. 28th). The whole process has been awesome and it is mostly due to my agents. Who rock the house by the way, Chelby Speakman and Bruce Dilbeck of Dilbeck Pasadena. They got us three offers in three weeks, in a slowing market. And there have been the epitome of professionalism the whole time. Chelby's # is 626-536-2002 if you want to use them. I highly, highly, highly recommend them.

So that's the news! YAAAAAY

August 20, 2006

Perfect Day

Okay I want to freeze this moment in time......... All my laundry is done (!!!) and put away (the later being the real victory), Charlotte is sleeping (ahhh), my kitchen is clean, I am not cooking dinner tonight (going to my in-laws), my office is clean, the kids' rooms are clean, my bed is made, my sheets are fresh, I had time to write in my kid's journals, I had time to read a bit of a book, I had lunch with my sister-in-law so that means I didn't have to make lunch, oh and there are no old and rotting bottles in my car!!!!! This is heaven!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL LOL

July 13, 2006

Charlotte speak

The little sniglet is speaking more understandable English words!!! I say that because I am not silly enough to think she hasn't been talking all along, it's just not 100% English yet.

So new words are:
"Owweeie" and I am not sure if she really means she has an oweie or if she is just saying it because it's really damn cute. Sometimes it sounds like "allie" but I think I am dreaming. She will go around the house and lightly bump into things and then look at us and say "oweie" :) No, nothing is cuter than that!

"Baba" for bottle. I totally taught her that on accident. I pride myself in not talking too much baby talk to my kids but I have ALWAYS called bottles "babas."

And she will parrot things we say like "thank you" and today I was saying "byebye Grandma" and she said something that sounded really similar after wards.

She still is the eater of the universe! Love her! The other day she ate (in one sitting) baby corn, green peas, olives, chicken, beets, garbanzo beans and was going for the chili peppers! :) Luckily mommy was faster for once!

Enough of the potty mouth!

So most of you are probably thinking......alright already! Enough with the gross updates on potty training!

And I hear yah, I don't know that I would want to read about that stuff either. But I swear this is about the entirety of our existence right now.

And it's painful let me tell you. Today I committed mommy treason, I pinned Luke on the potty today to "help him" get over his fear of #2 on the potty. And he did and once that was over (half hour later of horrible suffering) he was so proud of himself and I was too and we went to the toy store. I look back and think "WHAT was I thinking??"

So....we are on the right track but it's so oh so sloooow. I should just stop obessing.

July 5, 2006

Potty 4

Okay so I think we are on day #4 of potty training but today was a monumental day......

First day of underwear at school!!!!!!

And the report:

0 accidents
5 successes

Whoooohoooo!!!!!!!! Our boy is on his way!

July 2, 2006

Luke is Potty Trained (day time)

My boy is wearing underwear!!!

If you are a parent who has changed many a diaper, you know how awesome this is! We decided (with the help of Jane Warner) to say to him "Now that you are three years old, you don't wear diapers any more" and plopped on some underwear and that was that and we haven't looked back. Pretty un-eventful actually. I had to make myself not put anything on it and exude 100% confidence that enough was enough already and he notices that I mean business and there you go.
Actually I decided to try what my friend Stacy had told me and to knock off all the baby stuff at once. No more bottles, crib or diapers all at the same time. She had an interesting point that one baby thing could hold back the others and you know...I think she was right! We graduated Luke to a big bed, kicked the bottle habit (right around his birthday so that he could replace the bottles with all his new toys) and dropped the diapers. All is going REALLLLY well!
He is on day #3 of it and things are going quite well! He seems to time #2 for nap times when he is wearing a diaper so that he doesn't have to use the potty for that. NEVER underestimate the IQ of a child. That is one smart hombre. :) So, wish us luck with the rest of the week! We made our first car trip using only underwear (before that underwear were an at home thing only) and next is a trip out on the town using only underwear. YAY!!!!!!!
THANK YOU to the potty training gods! :)

The Big Move

Okay so we are moving this weekend and the only thing I can say is a quote from my dad...
"I would rather be beaten to death than move"
Well put dad, well put. :) Actually there is a lot about our particular move that is liberating. Since we will be dramatically reducing the amount of space we will have this forces us to decide "Is that worth paying to have stored??" which makes us inspect each item differently. Which has resulted in an ever growing trash pile outback! That's right - this is trash pile #3 from our house since we have owned it! Try it sometime (not the trash pile but the throwing away of stuff)! It's actually incredibly liberating to throw stuff away!!! It's amazing I actually have more energy and feel happier. Weird how that works.
So as of July 4th we will have a new address and phone number. Contact me via email (which will stay the same) to get it.
That's funny that our move coincides with the 4th of July. Because this is our first huge step to independence too. In many different ways. Sounds corny, but's true.

June 26, 2006

Our Big Boy is even Bigger!


Luke is sleeping in his big-boy bed!!!

It happened so fast I didn’t really have a chance to protest and make a big deal of it. Maybe it’s this whole “turning three” business that got you inspired and wanting to do it. Next is the potty training?!? I can only hope.

It all started a few months ago when John started putting Luke to bed and would fall asleep after they read stories together. Then once or twice we have left you there all night. And then recently we decided to give it an offical "dry run," and after a few days of that you asked to not go in the crib anymore……waaaaahh! I am excited for you, but a little bummed to kiss that part of Babyland goodbye forever.

Funny story…one of the first nights of this trial run you woke up early in the morning and walked all by yourself into our bedroom, climbed down the stairs and into the foot of our bed and starting stroking my legs. I woke up with a start not quite sure what to think and sat up and saw you laying there smiling up at me. Ahhhh….

At first all I could think was “Wow, thank god I didn’t dropkick him” and then I though “How cute that he smiled at me!” and then “Wow, what guy! He didn’t cry when he woke up and walked all by himself out here!”

And then last night you did the same thing: woke up early, walked all the way to our bedroom and came up next to me and stared at me until I woke up! haha I little freaky, but mostly super cute.

Oh and you had your HUGE birthday party yesterday at our house (first party ever at our house) and had almost every kid from the preschool there including ½ the teachers and our family and friends. It was great! We had some kiddie pools, and the balloon man who was amazing, a Toy Story cake that you gawked at for a full hour (not joking), and lots of cool presents and I thought my goodie bags were pretty rockin.’ Oh and grandpa BBQed for 60 people! It was awesome!!!!!

Guns: are “shoot guns” and is pretty crazy about turning everything into a gun be it a Barbie doll, spoon, toy or whatever. EVERYTHING must be pointed and shot with one eye closed mind you.

June 20, 2006

Daily To Do list of my children

In an email to Cereza, my good friend and fellow mother of two children 3 and under, we were laughing about our kids driving bonkers. Here is what I came up with (with a few new additions) and we both had a good laugh - because it's TOTALLY TRUE!

Daily To-Do list of small mischievous children:

1) Wake up really early only to go back to sleep the minute mom is outside my door.
2) Throw, grind, smudge and otherwise totally ruin interior of mom's car.
3) Do crazy and mischievous things, to then smile so sweetly how can they get mad??
4) "Play" mom so that she never wants to have anymore kids so that I am always the center of attention around here.
5) Ask for _____ to eat only to then say "I don't want that" as soon as it's in front of you.
6) Poop as much as possible and preferably right before we have to go. Bonus points if we are running late.
7) Pull all the sharp knives out of the dishwasher, because after all what would mom do without my "help" ?
8) Ask for a bottle of milk or "E-mergency" (vitamin water) and then run around the house with it tipped upside down so that mom has to mop twice a day! Otherwise she would be bored I am sure. :)
9) Hold all my peepee until right before I wake up so as to be sure to wet the bed.
10) Do the cutest, most awesome stuff like cuddle, or originate "I love you" or a kiss. And I know that makes ALL my mommy's hard work totally and completely worth it!

(Note: Although it is true, my children do attempt a lot of the above in a day, they are still the most unbelievable thing that has ever happened to me and I tell them so every day!)

June 15, 2006

The house CAN be cute

OMG won't believe the changes going on around here. Our house is being attacked by workers every day from every angle. THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!!!!!!! You have no idea. After chipping away at it ourselves when we have a few hours here and a few hours there, to having a crew arrive and stay all Amazing what it does for the psyche! :)
As soon as things are done I will post pictures so we all can say "Ahhhhhhh, now isn't that nice."
I am sure my neighbors are JUMPING with joy! We have been one of the worst houses (at least from the outside) for 3 years now. And now we will be right up there with the best of 'em.
I am feeling so good knowing our new owners will not have to go through what we have. YAY!!!

June 1, 2006

We are selling the house!!

That's right........bye bye house!
We are going to be putting our house on the market in three weeks. We had our home evaluation last night with our amazing Realtors (John and I were so impressed!) to tell us what to do before we sell.
  • For starters we are doing landscaping our front, the side yard and our back.
  • Painting the hallway (all of you that have seen it can now breath a sigh of relief!)
  • Painting the bathroom (YAY!) and install a new light fixture and oval mirror (their idea and I love it)
  • Touch ups everywhere but especially to the ceiling in the living room and master bedroom.
  • Baseboard moldings in the living room)
  • Hauling away our trash pile out back! I am more excited about that than anything! haha
  • A few more odds and ends and...
  • We might redo the roof and the plumbing.

The house will be so cute it will be hard to say goodbye (sort of). But the trade off is acheiveing our "long-term" dreams much, much sooner. Having the time and money to better ourselves by using the services of our church, investing money in our future, and then living in a house that we have built just for our family.
So that's our 3-5(ish) year plan. In the mean time my parents have graciously offered the "guest wing" of there house which is pretty darn perfect because they are very close, and my kids are in so much LOVE with them, oh and they have made 2 1/2 bedrooms ready for our use. :)
There will definitely be sacrifices in that time, let me tell you. Not just by John and I, but my parents too. And John and I have gone over and over and over it with each other. But we decided to stop trying to keep up with the Jones' and do whatever it takes to achieve our dreams - the right way.
OMG, I am so excited I feel like it's Christmas!
Here's to getting exactly what you want, and being happy!!! :)

May 19, 2006


Alright so here are some things you might witness if you were to spend any length of time with Charlotte (our 1 year old):
Exhibit A) The "palm tree" ponytail. This is the only "do" she has at the moment but still totally cute. It's her signature high ponytail that sits right on top of her head looking like a fountain of hair, or as some put it, a palm tree.
Exhibit B) The one shoe on, one shoe off phenomenon. This has been happening from the beginning of time. Charlotte apparently has some secret desire to walk all weird because of the one shoe on, one shoe off awkwardness. It happens so often my mom just laughs now.
Exhibit C) Her obsession with shoes. Apparently getting to pick out her shoes is still the most exciting time of the day. If she gets to do it (watch out) all the more exciting. Usually it's two left shoes, one white sandal and one silver Maryjane. Oi vey!
Exhibit D) The silkie. This is her white (not so white anymore) blanket that is made of some magically soft silk or silk blend we got at Target (that they seem to have discontinued! help!). It is her favorite thing ever and she walks around with it a lot. When she's tired she grabs it with one hand and kind of rubs it on her face as she sucks her thumb. Sometimes she doesn't nap at all if she doesn't have it (like when it's almost black and I can't take it anymore and wash it). In case you weren't sure - no, there isn't anything cuter that that.
Exhibit E) Her "what's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine" mentality. Watch out folks, she's got a temper!!!!!
Exhibit F) The run, chase, tackle, pin down, scream, giggle, squirm and run again sequence we do EVERY TIME WE CHANGE HER DIAPER!!! And who says mom's don't exercise? Sheesh!
Baby Char-char (another Luke-ism), char-sheenie or tinkity-tink (compliments of my crazzzzy mother), Charlee (compliments of my mother-in-law), Boo, Charlee-girl, shnooker, love bug, lover-bugger, baby-bugger, queen bee, her highness (compliments of John), sniglet, sniggity-snug, and more I am sure. Are we crazy or what?!? Oh and my SIL (sister in law) Cec doesn't really have a nick name she just says "God that's cute" every time she sees her and then says "Gimme that!" the "that" being Charlotte.

May 16, 2006


Here's what you might hear if you hung out with Luke:
"No daddy, stay four more minutes!" (Why "four" and not five or even one? We have NO idea)
"Fotch me!" (this means "watch" me)
"Hi my shnookie-shnookie" (said to Charlotte because he is mimicking me!)
"Ess not otay, no do dat otay?" (meaning "it's not okay, don't do that okay?" said to anyone if they are doing something un-kosher)
"Mine!!" (no explanation needed there)
"Just wanna fotch a leettle bit, just a tinnnny bit ovv a veedeedo" (wants to watch a little bit of a video, to which is answer is almost always "nope, not tonight")
"I am a cuddly bear" (we call him that, for very obvious reasons)
"I don't can't" (pretty obvious but he feels the need to doubly inform you that basically, it's not gonna happen)
Oh and some nick names:
Lukey, Lukety-boookety, schoonkie-bear, cuddly-bear, blue-eyed flame, red head, flame-brain, Bubs, bubbers, bubbies, Luke-a-da-buke, and I am sure there are more...