Saturday, August 30, 2008

We Rented a Car Too...

My friend Sarah and her family recently rented a convertible as a cute, creative way to have fun and tour around their city (you can check out the story on her blog). Last night, while we were renting our own car, I was thinking about Sarah... only our rental was not quite as exciting!!

Yesterday morning the air conditioner went out in one of our cars - no fun for a 100 degree day. Poor Micah had taken my car to work to get the oil changed and he got a little more than he bargained for. After work we headed over the the dealership to drop off the car. Micah was driving my hot car over while I was following behind along with the kids in his nice, air conditioned car. Only problem was, just a couple minutes into our trip, believe it or not the a/c on our other car went out!!!! So now we were both driving with the windows down, sweating up a storm in the heat. By the time we got to the dealership we had two exhausted, grumpy, sweaty kids. Hence our car rental... Below are a couple photos from our event. Isn't it funny how we become absolutely dependent on things like air conditioners and somehow cannot survive without them???

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Photos with Christine

Yesterday I got together with my friend Christine for a little photo shoot. She needed some new headshots for her new position as one of Walmart's Money Saving Mom's and I was looking forward to trying out my camera on an adult :) We had a great time hanging out and walking around town posing for pictures. Christine is so photogenic it was easy to get a ton of great shots! By the time we got back to my house to look at the photos I had about 200 pictures taken and she looked great in all of them. It was very hard to narrow them down!

I have been taking pictures of several of my friends' kids lately and I never post them on my blog because it really is meant as a gift to them, for them to use as they like. My friend Christine was encouraging me to embrace the little budding photographer inside me and to start sharing some of the pictures. So here are a few of my favorites from my time with Christine and a web gallery of the rest. Can you believe she has 6 kids??? You look gorgeous Christine!!! :)

Click on Christine's picture below to visit the web gallery. I recommend clicking on slideshow (on the top left) to see all the photos in full size.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Miss Independent

Although Haylie is just over a month away from being three, I am pretty sure we hit the terrible two's today. It was the most awful experience! Haylie is a fairly quiet and obedient child. She has her occasional tantrum and she sits in time-out or gets her bottom spanked here and there, but all of it very mild (at least compared to what I have seen on TV), and up until today. Haylie's tantrums have been building up a little over the past couple weeks, or at least she has seemed a little more intent on getting her way, but today was the pinnacle (goodness I hope it was!).

The Story:

We were out running errands today for about an hour and we popped into a store when Haylie had to go the bathroom. We got the key to the bathroom and of course Haylie wanted to unlock the door all by herself. After already warning her about putting the dirty bathroom key into her mouth I had to take it away and unlock the door myself. This sent her into a tantrum because she had wanted to unlock the door. I hurriedly tried to pull her and James' stroller into the bathroom amidst many people staring at me and my screaming child. She went potty, all the while screaming and crying, and then the tantrum continued to escalate while in the bathroom. So I told her we were going straight to the car. Apparently this only made her more mad because she began screaming at the top of her lungs, throwing herself on the floor and kicking. She absolutely would not go out to the car with me so I had to carry her out to the car and someone else had to push James because I could barely even hold onto Haylie amidst her kicking and flailing about! I finally got her in the car (it took me several minutes to even get her into her carseat because she wouldn't let me buckle her in) and took her straight home to go to bed.

It was the most unbelievable thing!! Haylie has never behaved this way before and I have spent all day replaying the experience in my head to figure out what I could have done differently to have diffused the situation. Parenting is hard! I want to make the right choices for her but they aren't always the easiest. For example, had I spent more time letting her cool-off in the bathroom it might have ended there. However, several moms watched me walk in with her and I knew they could hear her screaming through the bathroom walls, so my own personal pride was urging me to get out of there as quickly as possible - I thought I could handle it better in the car where noone could hear. Even that was not the case.

It will be interesting as Haylie continues to exert her own independence and will how we will be able to nurture that while still teaching the appropriate way and time to use it. Here are some of Haylie's new "Miss Independent" phrases lately:
"I don't like that" - M: You need to go sit in time out Haylie. H: No I don't like that Mommy.
"Don't tell me no" - H: I want a cookie. M: No, it's bedtime. H: Don't tell me no mommy.
"No for saying no" - H: I want to watch a video. M: We aren't going to watch a video right now Haylie; we can play a game. H: No for saying no to the video Mommy. I want to watch one.
"I want Daddy." - This is very recent. Lately, whenever one of us is not giving Haylie what she wants she automatically jumps to wanting the other one. I heard this a lot today during our tantrum episode.

The other day we had a conversation like this: M: It's time to take a nap. H: I don't want to take a nap. M: I know you don't but it's time to rest a little. I want you to close your eyes now. H: No I don't like that Mommy. I want to play a game. M: I know you want to play a game but you can do that after your nap. H: (whining and crying) No for saying no Mommy. I want to play a game. M: I want you to be a good girl Haylie. Please close your eyes and go to sleep now. H: I don't want to be a good girl. M: I know you don't Haylie. Thank you for telling Mommy how you feel. It's not always easy to be a good girl but you can do it and Mommy will be so proud when you do....

Oh man- I hope today is not just the beginning. I will never judge someone in a store with a kid having a tantrum. I will only have deep empathy for them because I now know how mortifying and stressful it was.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The State Fair and My New Goat Friend

As an annual tradition in our house, we checked out the CA State Fair the other day. It was Rancho Cordova day so we definitely had to go celebrate with the city. Our first stop was the petting zoo, of course, where we got to watch the kids have fun petting the animals and where I had the opportunity to get up close and personal with a goat. In the midst of taking pictures of the kids, said goat decided to jump on me. I was a bit surprised at first to have a goat straddling my leg, but then I quickly thought to snap a shot of the goat's face up in mine and toss the camera to Nicole so she could catch this great blog material in action:

After the petting zoo we headed over to the rides where we convinced the operators to let the girls on despite their lacking an inch or two for the minimum height (Auntie Nicole taught Haylie how to stand on her tippie toes just a little when she put her in front of the wall with the line on it).

The girls went on several rides but the bumper cars were by far our favorite. Haylie's foot was just long enough to reach the pedal so she was the designated driver. They had no idea what they were doing and basically just spun around in a big circle for the entire ride. Nicole and I were laughing hysterically. We were trying to tell Kiley to steer, hoping she might take the car a different direction but that just made the girls fight over the wheel and go nowhere, getting bumped by all the other kids. (Even now I am laughing out loud as I type because it was so funny to watch).

After the rides we played some games where the girls got to throw ping pong balls into fish tanks...
then we met up with Raider (who was going on all the big rides by himself)...

and checked out the Rancho Cordova parade - here is Micah dressed in his Rancho gear!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Little Things - So Long Cackifier

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault

Haylie - I think we got rid of the pacifier this week!!! Up until Sunday Haylie still used a pacifier for naptime and bedtime only. We have talked about getting rid of it off and on but we really didn't want to just take it away from her. Awhile ago I read an article about a mom who convinced her son to get rid of his pacifier by giving it away to needy children. So I decided it was worth a try... We had a couple snags at first but it actually worked. We talked about Haylie being a big girl now and that somewhere there was a little girl who was sad because she needed a pacifier. Haylie was genuinely concerned and really wanted to give her pacifier to "the little girl." So we put it in an envelope and took it out to the mailbox. Haylie was so excited to make "the little girl" happy and I was very proud that she was so generous with her precious pacifier. It has been about a week now and she has not used her pacifier since we "sent it to the little girl." Whenever she thinks about the pacifier she remembers the little girl and is so excited that she made her happy. She is very proud of herself for being a good helper and making other kids feel good. (One day she will read this and realize Mommy manipulated her out of the pacifier and probably be very unhappy with me). As a trade-off to her pacifier though, Haylie has a new, most unexpected, sleep dependency. She now sleeps with a baseball. And now... instead of waking up in the middle of the night unable to find her "cackifier," she calls out for her baseball. "Mommy, Daddy, I need my baseball." I caught a pic of her sleeping with it last night.

Raider - In the last couple weeks, Raider has a new-found interest in cars. Not only is he trying to figure out what kind of car he wants when he is able to drive (hmm, I am deciding whether I want Bekah's truck, or Grandpa's truck, Grandma and Grandpa's Jeep, or a new car - yeah right!), but he has started noticing cars in general. He points out ferrarris and any other sports cars that he thinks are cool. It's interesting since he has never paid attention to cars before, how he suddenly developed an awareness of the various cars around town.

James - James is still working on his crawling. He moves his knees forward but can't seem to work his arms in synch with his legs. His friend Claire came over this week and she was giving him lots of kisses but he was being very shy - let's hope he stays that way until he is 30!!! :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

We Miss You Auntie Bekah

Auntie Bekah has been home for the last couple weeks, visiting us from the Coast Guard. It was great to have her here and catch up - and babysit :). We got to see photos of all her stops on the boat and her fun times hanging out on the beach in Florida. Today she left to go back to work and we were all so sad! We snapped some quick photos before she headed out the door. We miss you already Auntie Bekah! Safe travels and come visit us again real soon!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

En Pointe

Wikepedia: Dancing on pointe, or en pointe, is the act of standing on the tips of the toes while performing steps from ballet.

Haylie walks around on her toes all the time. Not just on her tippie toes, actually ON her toes. I'm not sure where she picked this up but it looks very painful. Check out the following pictures and then try it yourself - I can't even stand up like this!
The other day Haylie was walking around on her toes and I explained to her that ballerinas dance on their toes like her. Then of course she wanted to put on her ballet outfit and do ballet dances. So, we practiced our plie's, jete's and releve's. She is such a fun little ballerina. I can't wait to put her in dance classes some day.
Look at that pointed toe

Is that 1st position? Plieee... Can you tell I took ballet? :)

Then out of nowhere she did this... I'll tell you one thing - she didn't pick this up from me - she has definitely never seen me do anything remotely close to this :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

7 months old

James turns 7 months old tomorrow. He is such a little smarty - check out what he learned this month:
OK well at least he's chewing on smarter toys...
He is getting to be such a big boy and developing little boy features. My favorite of which is his amazing blue eyes. It is my goal in life to capture how bright and pretty they are. (Click on the picture below to see it full size)
"This is my sad face - please stop taking pictures of me."James is just the happiest baby. We love his smile and his adorable little laugh. He is still trying to crawl and likes to be standing up holding onto something. He is getting pretty good at giving Daddy high-fives. I don't think he knows what he's doing but he likes to hit Daddy's hand when he puts it up. He has finally learned to live with baby food instead of rice cereal. When we went on vacation I decided it was too difficult to make rice cereal on the road so he has learned to like baby food. Although he gets pretty grumbly when he is eating vegetables (just like his daddy), with the exception of Carrots and Sweet Potatoes; he is much happier when he is eating fruit.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


My friend Janelle over at Some People Call me Mom "tagged" me on her blog. I have never been tagged before but it sounded fun enough :)

Four jobs I’ve had:
1) Tutor for Autistic Children
2) Telephone System Programmer
3) Adjunct Professor
4) Project Manager

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:
1) The Holiday
2) A Walk to Remember
3) Just Like Heaven
4) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
(I could go on forever with this list - I love watching romantic comedies over and over and over again)

Four TV shows I watch:
1) So You Think You Can Dance
2) American Idol
3) Color Splash (HGTV)
4) CMT Top 20 Countdown

Four places I’ve been:
1) Cabo
2) Hawaii
3) Cozumel
4) Vancouver

Four people who email me regularly:
1) My Bible Study Girls
2) My Playgroup Girls
3) Micah's Mom
4) Snapfish

Four of my favorite foods:
1) Tacos
2) Pepsi
3) Pasta
4) Twix

Four places I would love to visit:
1) Italy
2) South Africa
3) Caribbean
4) Boston / East Coast

Four things I’m looking forward to in the coming year:
1) 10 year anniversary / Trip to Italy - If Nicole will babysit :)
2) Haylie starting preschool (she is so excited and can barely wait to begin!)
3) Finishing our backyard, and front yard, and all the other unfinished projects around the house!
4) James crawling, walking , talking...

Four friends I’m tagging:
I'm not going to officially tag anyone because I don't want anyone to feel pressured. But it would be fun if everyone posts the answers about themselves! So - if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged. Even if you just want to post a couple favorites in the comments :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Isn't She Lovely...

I find it amazing how much love you suddenly develop once you have a child, that you never knew you even had in you. Like most other parents I think my children are the most wonderful, beautiful creations on earth. I could not adore them anymore!! This is why I have become so fascinated with photography. I don't know that I will ever do anything professionally with it (which makes it hard to justify more equipment to Micah...) but I love taking pictures of the kids so that I can capture every expression and every gleam in their eye! Sappy - I know!

I rarely take photos of Haylie because she is incredibly difficult to get focused and get a good, natural smile. However earlier this week I made a few attempts and I was pretty pleased with the results - she actually gave me quite a few normal faces. I love how Haylie's sweet, beautiful, silly spirit just radiates from every part of her. You can see it in the photos below which is good enough for me!

Here are some of my favorites:

I found this cool collage feature on Picasa - you can't see all the photos but this gives you an idea!
These were my top picks...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Nanny and Kathi

Haylie has a nanny that comes on the mornings that I work. Bernarda, who Haylie affectionately refers to as Nanny (because that's all she could pronounce when she was younger), has been watching Haylie since she was about 3 months old. She is a great nanny for Haylie and adores her and her silly spirit. Lately Bernarda has been bringing her daughter Katherine with her, since school is out for the summer. Haylie calls Katherine "Kathi" (pronounced Kah-ti, with her little Spanish accent). Haylie loves to play with Kathi and most recently has enjoyed several craft ideas that she came up with. Last week they made playdough when we ran out one day and this week they made sugar cookies. Haylie had sooooo much fun.

Making playdough last week

So proud of her creation!

Making Sugar Cookies today

Haylie kept sneaking a taste of the dough of course

Running away with more cookies - Nanny let her eat way too many!! :)