Monday, November 12, 2012

First Lost Tooth


Gracie has had a loose tooth for a while now. The dentist had originally told us, that Gracie probably wouldn't lose any teeth until she was around 6.5. Before Gracie's tooth got loose, every day, she would wish, hope and dream that she would lose a tooth! I was checking my kid's mouth literally every day for loose teeth! So when this one started to Wiggle, G. was VERY excited. I had read online that it migh take a while to fall out, so I thought nothing of it and would check it from time to time. Then, after a fun day at the movies and eating tons of popcorn, Gracie came to us and said that her tooth was hurting. Jerry and I checked and the tooth was about to fall out! She kind of panicked but kept calm and Jerry being the man that he is, told her he would pull it out but she did not like that idea, so she settled for some apple slices instead.  I was worried that Gracie would swallow her tooth, so I told her to bite carefully, as I had visions of me checking poop for that darn tooth! About a minute after giving her an apple slice, we heard yelling from the kitchen. Sitting there in the apple was Gracie's tooth, along with a little bit of blood. I think between the blood and excitement of her tooth being gone, Gracie burst out crying. That in turn, made me start crying. I think I was so emotional because it's an actual physical sign of my baby girl growing up.  After, Gracie was fine and very excited about the prospect of the tooth fairy coming, which she did and brought a note, along with some money.  Gracie now has a second tooth right next to where the first one was, that is very loose. We are pros now, so know what to expect.




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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

First Grade!


Today was the first day of school for Gracie. I was very anxious about today and I'm not sure why. Last night, I tried to go to bed early, as I knew that morning would come quickly and early, especially after sleeping in all summer. I couldn't sleep though and kept tossing and turning, with butterflies in my stomach. I literally felt like it was going to be the first day of school for me! I knew that Gracie was excited and she was up bright and early this AM (6:30 to be exact), so I decided to drag my sleep deprived body out of bed too. While G. was eating breakfast, a wave of emotion came over me and I felt very sad. It's the strangest thing, as I was totally fine last year, when I sent my little girl off to kinder. Maybe it's because I used to teach kindergarten, so I knew what to expect or the fact that first grade is now serious stuff (kinder is not mandatory in CA), I don't know.

After breakfast, off we went to school. Gracie has two teachers this year, as they are doing what is called team teaching, where they share the classroom. One of the teachers even taught my very good friend's son (who is now 29)! They both seemed very nice and the classroom cozy. I did hang around until the 8am bell rang and then slowly dragged myself away from the class. =)  Home was pretty quiet and Kyle told me a couple of times that he missed his sister. It was a short day though and when I picked Gracie up, she told me that she LOVES first grade and wanted to go back right away. That made me feel much better, so I am looking forward to a new school year.

Of course, we had to do our first day of school tradition, where Gracie and I bake cookies together. Hey, I'm even ahead of myself and have both kids lunches packed for tomorrow! Things are definitely looking good.




Everybody and their brother is doing this idea now but I think it looks cute and will continue up through 12th grade









Gracie couldn't wait to bake cookies



Monday, September 03, 2012

All Good Things Must Come To An End

and unfortunately, I am talking about summer. This summer seems to have flown by! We did a ton of activities this summer, so that could be the reason why. Since Gracie is in school full time during the school year, I wanted this summer to be a time for fun, relaxation and NO schedules! It worked out really well for us and we all had a blast. I didn't blog all summer because I was too busy. When I did have some downtown, I spent it relaxing, so blogging was the last thing on my mind. If I recall, during past summers, I have taken a bloggy break. I think another thing that hasn't helped, is the fact that I got a new phone. I LOVE my phone and the camera in it is awesome, so I use that for almost all of my pictures. I have an app called instagram, in which I can put a filter on the folder. The only downside is, I need to email myself the pictures and then organize them, so that takes time and if I get lazy, it takes a while to go through all the photos and put them together, which means no blogging. But, I digress, back to summer. =)


If you recall, we lost our beloved doggy Wrigley in the spring. Jerry and I decided to get a new dog but what we didn't count on, was getting a puppy. We both knew that we didn't want to buy a dog. There are so many pets in the world that need homes, we decided to rescue one. I looked around and found a great organization, that had a cute Golden Retriever. I filled out the application but unfortunately, the dog had a medical problem and was taken off the adoption list. So, I looked around some more and found a cute puppy that was a lab mix with another organization. We met the puppy and ended up adopting him. Even though we both said we didn't want a puppy, we went for it. Let me tell you, puppies are a lot of work! Holy cow, I've never had a baby but this seems pretty to close one. Since M. was only 8 weeks old when we got him, I had to take him out to potty every 20 - 30 minutes, wake up 2 to 3 times in the middle of the night to take him to the bathroom and I had to follow M. all over the house to make sure he wasn't chewing anything that doesn't belong in puppies mouths. It took a while but we got the hang of things. M. is now older and potty trained so that helps a ton. He is a lab though which means TONS of energy and lots of chewing! Gracie loves him very much, Kyle, not so much.

I do have to say one thing regarding the rescue. If you ever decide to rescue an animal, make sure that they are a real non-profit organizaiton. Even though I did a ton of research, I found out that the people claiming to be a non-profit rescue,  who we adopted M. from, really weren't. It's really sad and disgusts me that there are people out there who pose as rescuers.



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Our new puppy. He's a lot bigger now.




Here are some of the activites that we did this summer.




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Gracie and Kyle at the beach






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We went to Disneyland a lot this summer. I sucked it up and bought the higher passes, so we could go. We were able to get an early entry pass to Carsland and go on all the rides there. We didn't have to wait a long time for the rides but on most days, the wait time is 2 hours plus. Gotta tell you that it's not worth it and I would wait until the hype dies down before going again
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We did swim lessons again. Gracie is becoming an awesome swimmer and loves to snorkle in the pool.






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Fun with Daddy in the backyard pool






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I took G. to the Legoland water park. It was small but she didn't mind. The best part was, I could sit on my chair and sun, while watching her play.





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Orange County Fair. Never again, even though I said that last time. Way too hot and way too expensive!!






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The San Diego Zoo had what they call nighttime at the zoo, in which the theme was China, so we went with my brother and SIL. It was warm, with lots of hills but the kids had fun.






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Stiltwalkers







Gracie also learned how to ride her bike without training wheels. We are so proud of her and she is a whiz on her bike now.




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With all the fun things we did this summer, who couldn't resist a nap?!

Friday, June 15, 2012

My Little Graduate

Today was Gracie's last day of kinder. She is officially a first grader!!! I was talking to my friend G. about how I am okay with Gracie graduating and moving on to first grade and am wondering if it's because I used to teach kinder, so kind of knew what to expect or perhaps it's because I know that I still have Kyle who will be in kinder in a couple of years?? I'm not sure but I do know, that it feels like when I was a kid and all giddy, ready for the summer to begin.

Today at Gracie's graduation, it was very cute because Gracie's class nominated each other for the awards that they were going to get. One student got jump rope master and another best smile. When it was Gracie's turn, I was anxious to see what her classmates voted for her to receive. Well, she got chosen for the award of sweetest and that just melted my heart! Gracie is one of the sweetest kids I know and it's nice that her classmates think so too!

After graduation, my friend Karen and I, took our graduates out to a nice lunch. It's neat, because both Gracie and Kailee are adopted from China and both girls go to the same school and are in the same class. We are lucky to have them live so close to us and the girls share that special bond.

I'm so proud of Gracie, as she had an awesome report card! She received all outstandings and above grade level in her subjects. Not bad for being the youngest in the class. :) I don't know what first grade will bring but I am excited for next year and another new beginning.







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So excited for the last day!








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Grace and her teacher Ms. B.






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It's been a rough week. My bags look horrible but G. looks cute, so I sacrificed and posted this. =)






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G.'s class








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Gracie and her friend Kailee





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G. looks the same but adorable as always! The quality of the second picture is kind of funky. I had to do clean up the picture in Photshop but the lighting was so bad, that the picture just didn't turn out the greatest.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Loss of an Old Friend

We had to put our precious doggy Wrigley to sleep last Saturday. About a month ago, he was having major stomach pains in the middle of the night and we thought that his tummy was flipping. Jerry took Wrigley to the vet's, where they did an Xray and we found out that Wrigley had a cancerous tumor on his spleen. The vet told us to take Wrigley home and love him, which we did and got to for one full month. We really and truly had hoped that the vet had misdiagnosed Wrigley, as a couple of days after he got home, he was back to normal and acting like a complete puppy. We were so happy to have our Wriggy back. Turns out, it didn't last very long and last Friday morning, Wrigley had a lot of trouble getting up and so we moved him to a comfortable spot in which he stayed for the night. Jerry even slept on the couch, so Wrigley wouldn't be alone. Saturday morning came and Wrigley did struggle to get up to go outside and go potty but his back legs could barely hold him and Jerry had to help Wrigley back inside. We knew it was time to say goodbye, as Jerry and I had made a promise to ourselves that if Wrigley couldn't get up and was in pain, it would be time to let him go. Wrigley wasn't alone though as Jerry stayed in the room, while Wrigley took his last breath.

To say Wrigley was a great dog would not do him justice. He was so calm and patient with the kids. Our Wrig a boy as we liked to call him, had been with us for almost 11 years, as we had adopted him from the shelter, about a month after we moved into our house. He was with us when we went through the infertility treatments, miscarriages, deaths of family members and when we brought our kids home. Wrigley was a joy and comfort in our house and a great protector. We really lucked out that fateful day when we took a chance and adopted the dog with mange on his nose, that nobody wanted.

Jerry did a memorial video for Wrigley and some of the pictures show how patient he was with the kids. They were constantly climbing on him, dressing him up or Gracie's favorite, putting things on his head. Wrigley just sat there and let the kids do what they wanted. In one of the photos, there is black fur all over the floor. This is from the "haircut" that Gracie decided to give Wrigley one day.

We love you Wrigley and you will be forever in our hearts.


Sunlight streams through window pane onto a spot on the floor.....
then I remember,
it's where you used to lie, but now you are no more.

Our feet walk down a hall of carpet, and muted echoes sound.....
then I remember,
it's where your paws would joyously abound.

A voice is heard along the road, and up beyond the hill,
then I remember,
it can't be yours..... your golden voice is still.

But I'll take that vacant spot of floor and empty muted hall,
and lay them with the absent voice and unused dish along the wall.

I'll wrap these treasured memories in a blanket of my love,
and keep them for my best friend until we meet above.

~Author Unknown

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Referral Day




I'm feeling like a bad mom because I completely forgot that it was Gracie's referral day! I logged onto FB this morning, and saw a couple of my travelmates had posted about it. It feels like Gracie has been a part of our lives forever and I forget that she is adopted (obviously), so I am going to give myself a little slack. I also have a few dates in my mind, because this is the same month that we got Kyle and next month is Gracie's forever family day. Anyway, I showed Gracie her picture and she thought it was so cute. She wanted to know why she didn't have eyelashes and why her hair was brown, lol. I told her she didn't really have hair. For this very reason, it's why I am hesistant to ever have it cut because I remember how it took a few years to grow out. Even though I may have forgotten about today being Gracie's referral day, I will remember every single detail of this day from 5 years ago. Just like a mother giving birth to her child, you could say that I gave birth to a picture. I carried Gracie around with me, until the day that she was actually in my arms. I can't believe how much love I have for her and how blessed we are.


As I type this now, Gracie wants me to read it to her. Happy referral day baby, Daddy and I love you very much!


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Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter

Our Easter activities started this week with a party in Gracie's class. I love going to Gracie's class parties. Her teacher Ms. B. is so animated and gets the kids really pumped up, regardless of what holiday they are celebrating. This year, the class got a phone call from the Easter bunny who showed up in person. I thought the bunny was really cute, better than the one at the mall (glad I didn't shell out my money for that picture this year) and I was able to get a great picture. The first two pictures were actually taken with my new iPhone, which I finally got, after waiting almost a year. I LOVE my new phone, as I had a Blackberry that was about 4 years old and sucky. It is like going from dial up, to high speed internet. And yes, since we are doing the Dave Ramsey program, I actually saved a little bit of money from each payday for the last few months for my new phone. =)

Last night, we did our tradition of coloring Easter eggs. It's so funny how excited the kiddos get. Jerry did a great job as always and finally figured out how to get those bright vibrant colors on the eggs. This morning, Gracie woke up really early (I heard her little feet padding around) and went to check out her basket. She was so sweet and let mommy and daddy sleep in this morning, since I was up really late making my homemade desserts. When Jerry and I woke up, we found Gracie and Kyle together in Kyle's crib, lol. She had climbed in with him and was playing a game. She had also brought his Easter basket to him. Kyle loved his basket and would not let it go for the whole morning, until Jerry finally took it away from him, after Jerry found Kyle sticking the chocolates in the back of Kyle's bicycle compartment. It's funny because Gracie could take or leave candy but Kyle is the exact opposite. He loves it and would have eaten it all. At one point, I went into the living room and found Kyle surrounded by foil wrappings from his chocolate eggs (see picture below).

In the afternoon, our family came over for dinner. We had tri-tip, veggies, salad, rolls, mashed potatoes and stuffed shells. Yummy!!!  I made all my desserts from scratch and those were pretty darn good too!  It was a very nice day and a beautiful one to rejoice in all the blessings that we have. We did miss our family members who are no longer with us though but I know they were looking down upon us, smiling.

Happy Easter everyone!





My little bunny at her class party






The bunny came to visit Gracie's class. I love this photo and think it turned out better than the pictures at the mall






Love his look upon seeing the first dyed egg






Hunting eggs






Looking for eggs






Kyle's look is priceless






Kyle would not give up his basket and carried it everywhere. Notice all the foil wrapping around him, from eating all his chocolate eggs!






I went with a simple table setting this year






The kids loved putting stickers all over Uncle Peter

Friday, March 30, 2012

Pizza

I've been looking for some new recipes lately and am trying to find some healthier solutions. In the past, we've always ordered out for our pizza, because it's just easy. I decided that I wanted to try making my own pizza this time around, so after a little research, I found an easy recipe on pinterest. Yes, I needed a recipe for pizza. It was more for the dough, as I wanted to make that homemade too. I didn't know this but I found out that you can buy something called a stone oven, which is supposed to make the pizza cook more evenly. I found one for a great price on Amazon. Love that store!

I bought all my ingredients from the store, which turned out cheaper than ordering out for a pizza and got to work. I have a KitchenAid stand mixer which I haven't used  in forever, so I had to brush the dust off of it. I printed out my dough recipe and got to work. You know what, I LOVE that mixer!! All I had to do was pour the ingredients into the bowl and the mixer did the rest! I am lazy, so have been user the hand mixer but from now on, am using this thing. 

After my dough was mixed and I let it rise for 2 hours, the fun part began. I felt as though I worked in a pizza joint, punching the dough down, pushing and pulling at it. I even tried to do the trick of throwing it in the air. Ummm, yeah, not so much. I definitely need some work in the dough department. Those pizza guys make it look so easy. Finally though, my dough was stretched. It wasn't a perfect circle but it was my circle, lol. Gracie wanted to help, so I let her put on the sauce, cheese and toppings. She had a blast and was a real pro. We finally put the pizza in the oven and after about 10 minutes, it was ready. I have to say, it was really yummy and even more so, because we made it ourselves and with love. We'll definitely be making pizza again for dinner real soon.




Check out those pizza making skills!







It's a little crooked because I couldn't get it to slide off the paper, into the oven but it sure tasted yummy!

















Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wow, I can't believe it's been almost two months since my last post! Things have been pretty busy and then when they've slowed down, I've just been too tired to blog. I finally have some free time, so figured that I better try to catch up.

I got talked into becoming a Daisy troop leader and that has taken up a lot of my time. That in itself is a big taking on but we also got the brilliant idea of selling cookies. Since we are a new troop, most of the responsibility fell upon me. Let's just say that I am happy that cookie season is over and if I don't see another Girl Scout cookie for a year, that would be just fine. Okay, maybe to eat the one or two that I have stuffed in my freezer.

I am going to start my first post back with a bit of a brag. I try not to brag too much about my children as some parents do. You know, the obnoxious parent that everyone knows, who thinks their child is great in everything but in reality, that parent's child is doing everything that other kids are their age. Anyway, I definitely don't want to be "that" parent but I think that every once in a while, it's okay to toot one of my children's horn(s).

Gracie's teacher pulled me aside a few weeks ago and told me that Gracie was getting the Student of the Month award for the character trait of citzenship. Ms. B. told me that she could have given Gracie the award for integrity or citzenship but chose citizenship. I am so proud of my girl and the fact that someone other than myself recognized what a great kid she is, feels great! Gracie has always been a really nice kid. She is highly aware of other people's feelings and doesn't want to hurt them, almost to a fault. One time when her friend was bossing her around, I told her to tell them to stop. She replied that she didn't want to hurt their feelings. Believe it or not, this is something we are working on, as I don't want Gracie to feel like she has to please everyone. That type of thinking will allow people to walk all over her. Believe me, I know and have grown stronger in this department. =) The best and funny part was, Jerry was talking to a parent beside him and come to find out, it was the dad of the little boy that Gracie has a crush on! So glad to know, that she is liking boys who are getting citizenship awards too.



G. and her teacher


 

Love this photo!











Saturday, January 07, 2012

Goodbye Christmas, Hello New Year

Yes, I know that we are now a week into the new year but December was a crazy month, with a ton of things that kept us super busy. I have to say, I am happy that 2011 is over, as frankly, it sucked. Yep, that's how I honestly felt about last year. It wasn't all bad but I would sum 2011 up as the year of growth as I was pushed way out of my comfort zone a few times. I feel very grateful though, to have the support of family and friends and that's what helped me through the rough times.

I hope that this year is much better. It's hard to say, as we've only gone a week into it but I am as busy as ever. It was actually a very special New Year, as our good friends the B.s came to visit us from CO for the week after Christmas. We really love and miss them and wish we lived closer.

I can't believe that my calendar is already filled for January. I am not one to make resolutions, as I always seem to break them but I have made 2012, the year of organization. Unfortunately for me, I want to do every room and I want to do it NOW!!! I have two separate projects going on in the kid's rooms but really need to focus on getting one room down, before thinking about another. Pinterest isn't helping either, as there are a ton of cute ideas on there.

Since I didn't have time to blog a lot in December, the below pictures were taken from about the middle of December, through New Year's Day. Sorry for the quality as I didn't photoshop any of them, so they are all in original form.











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As we are on a strict budget, we went easy on the presents this Christmas. I found this cute idea on Pinterest (love that site) and Jerry helped me make it for Gracie's teacher. I love how it turned out and it was super easy to make.









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Gracie's class dressed up like reindeer for their Christmas program









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We started a new tradition of going to see "The Nutcracker". Gracie really liked it but it was a tad too long, as she fell asleep during the second half. =)








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Our tree. I went with red and white lights, along with an owl on top. I love how it turned out. Next year, I think we'll have two trees, as this one died fast, since we bought it the day after Thanksgiving.










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Christmas morning








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Love this picture of the kids playing with Kyle's new Car's toy








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Another Pinterest idea. Did I tell you that I love that site. Simple and beautiful table decoration.








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Kyle and his new rainboots. Too bad it's only been about 80* since Christmas.










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Happy New Year!!








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Gracie and B. The cutest bugs ever!