Monday, June 29, 2009


I hope you have a wonderful day.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Evil Stepmother and Discipline Gone Bad

Alexis: Mom are you a stepmother?
Me: No, why hunny?
Alexis: Because stepmothers are mean and so are you.

Alrighty then!!! There ya have it!

Dale and I started a new bedtime routine with Alexis this week. Each night is such a fight, with multiple trips back out to the living room for hugs, kisses, drinks, hugs, kisses, drinks, and so on. It gets exhausting. So, we decided that we would give her one warning and then if she did it again she was going to have 5 of her favorite toys taken away and not given back for a long time. Well, that first night of the new routine was heaven!! Not once did she come out of her room. She fell asleep right away and Dale and I were able to enjoy some alone time time with Aiden who refused to fall asleep right away. Go figure.
The second night wasn't as smooth and we actually had to go in and handpick her favorite toys. She of course will guide you to her favorite toys if you let her. "No daddy, this doll is my favorite, not that one." So, Daddy collected 5 of her toys and put them in a trash bag to store them for a while till she would earn them back.
Well, that trash bag was hung on the front door till I could think of a good place to store it. (Read: find a a good, out of the way place to store it, but without forgetting about it for years.) The next morning I woke up, saw the bag and gently reminded myself that I needed to find a solution for the bag so it wouldn't spend it's time on the door handle. (I have a serious short-term memory problem that I had actually forgotten it was there to begin with till I saw it the next morning, but that is a whole other post in and of itself). I, of course, didn't think about it again ALL day.
Later that night when we were starting the bedtime routine all over again I remembered I needed to find a solution for storing the bag and looked over at the door, only to find that the bag was no longer there. Where could it have gone? Did she get it and just take the liberty to return the toys to herself? Did Dale actually put it somewhere? Where could it be?
And then it hit me like a ton of bricks!!!
Did Andrew actually think it was trash and do his chores without me asking him? No, that couldn't be! He never does the trash without me nagging asking him multiple times.
Dale and Andrew were sitting on the couch watching TV (probably something SciFi in nature) when I started in with my interrogation. Once I got to the bottom of it we had determined that he had in fact taken the bag out that morning when he took Suzy Q down to go potty. Dale actually got sick to his stomach thinking that 5 of her all time favorite toys were gone. He and Andrew put on their shoes and made their way down to do some dumpster diving.
They weren't gone long. That could be a really good sign OR a really bad sign. Unfortunately I knew it was not good news when they entered empty handed. The dumpster was completely emtpy! That is when the reality of it started to hit. Of course it was empty! The trashman had come today, with the kids standing at the kitchen window, Aiden pounding on it, just waiting for him to look up and wave at them. Little did Alexis (or the rest of us) know at that time that she was waving goodbye to her first ever Cabbage Patch doll, her Cinderella and Ariel princess dolls, her lullaby teddy bear from grandma and grandpa, and some other toy that still remains a mystery.
Andrew went to his room and just sobbed. Repeating over and over, I am the worst brother EVER!! Which of course was not true at all. Had he done it out of spite for his sister that would be one thing, but he had done it out of a helpful spirit. That could not be punished.
Now how to break the news to Alexis? Dale and I decided to let her get a goodnights sleep and then we would deal with it in the morning. The next day came and went with her asking multiple times when she would get her toys back, but without us mentioning what had happened. I just wasn't ready for the meltdown I was envisioning.
So, on Thursday night we decided we would tell her at dinner time. We were at a small Mexican restaurant and thought that might be best so she wouldn't throw a huge fit like she might at home. We told her the bad news and then followed it up with the fact that we would be heading to Toys R Us after dinner to get her a new doll. She really was ok with it and was actually super jazzed to be making a trip to her favorite store in the world.
We picked out the new doll that would replace her 5 (or was it really only 4?) toys and happily returned home. It goes without saying that she went to bed that night without a fuss, and without any toys being taken away. We seem to have found the trick that works for now. Maybe, just maybe, having them thrown away really sent the message to her that mom and dad are not fooling around. And from now on if we do need to take toys away they will not be placed in a trash bag and we are all going to take a peek at the trash before it gets taken to the dumpster. Lessons learned!!
Even with the replacement doll (which honestly freaks me out because it talks and crawls), I am still an evil stepmother. Go figure!! Such is the life of a mom.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Today, Friday, June 26th, Andrew went on a road trip to Arizona to spend the weekend with his cousins. He is sporting his new color-do with three red, spiked, strips in his hair. And what are the 5 essential items needed for this road trip?
  1. BIG smile
  2. Favorite blue M&M pillow
  3. DVD player for the ride
  4. Case FULL of the top 10 movies: Star Wars (all 6), Spiderman (all 3), and Indiana Jones. Whatever it takes to make it 6 hours in the car there and back.
  5. Stow-away bear.

Can you spot the three stow-aways in this picture? Aiden and Alexis hopped in the front seat, hoping to ride along. No such luck.

I gave my mom an assignment as she drove away. She must take at least 6 blog worthy pics of Andrew while he is spending time with his cousins in Arizona. I am sure they will all have a great time together, but I also know that he will be missed here at home over the next few days.




Summer Swimmers and Sunbathers

On Thursday we had the opportunity to go to the pool as a family for the first time this summer. This would be Aiden's first experience ever and I was certain he would love it since he is a lover of all things water (ie: he loves taking a bath or shower, playing in the toilet, playing in the dog's water dish.) Here he is anxiously waiting to head out the door.Dad, it looks like a beautiful day to go swimming, but I am going to need some sunscreen.Not so rough on my chipmunk cheeks, Dad.This big bathtub is NOT as fun as the one at home. It took about 10 minutes for him to calm down and start to enjoy the experience.Finally, happy face, floating around in his Swim Canopy.As an interesting side note: When Dale opened the packaging for the Swim Canopy, papers went flying. Amongst the coupons and instructions was this interesting brochure all about supporting Operation Smile. I had no idea that our little purchase from the Swim Ways products would put a smile on our little guys face while also benefiting someone else's smile. :) So, if you see these products in your store and want to help out as you purchase something you need, know that it will be going to a good cause.

At the end of our swimming time we got all dried off and ready to go home.....
....but not without a little sunbathing time just like big brother and sister.This is the perfect ending to a wonderful time at the pool.

Chipmunk and Stuntman

I couldn't resist posting this picture of my little guy with his button nose and chipmunk cheeks that look like he is doing some serious storing for the winter. He may look all nice and innocent here, but this is just the beginning.Kicking back, doing the no leg thing. But that isn't good enough either.Now moving on to a more challenging stunt, no hands and sitting on the backing. But wait, that isn't good enough either.
Look mom, NO HANDS!!
And the object of his desires: Getting closer to the TV. This child can not be mine if he loves Star Wars.
Look at these adorable blue eyes and how awesome his lip scar looks. We are super pleased with the outcome of his repair.
I finally remembered to bring in my camera for Andrew's trumpet lessons. His teacher, Mr. Johansen, loves two things in life (well I am sure there are more, but two are super evident). He has a love for music, trumpets inparticular, and PIGS. His whole studio is lined with pigs. Flying pigs, stuffed pigs, pig lights, pictures of pigs, figurines of pigs. You name it, he has a pig doing it.
He is a major story teller and I think half the lesson is spent listening to him talk. Hopefully as time goes on we can get into more playing and less talking. Andrew is really enjoying the lessons but not all the practicing. I think I work him too hard sometimes but I just want him to be successful at what he loves. We are working on scales, a few short songs, and currently Mickey Mouse Club House. It is coming along and I am hoping to post a video once he has mastered the song.

Andrew thinks he looks a little like Santa Claus. I happened to know Mr. Johansen from my college years (he was a professor of music at my university but has since retired). All I remember is that his long mustache and beard made it hard to understand him sometimes. I swear he can hide half a trumpet in his mustache when he goes to play it. But besides the resemblance to Santa Clause due to the serious mustache and beard, and his love of pigs, I know that Mr. Johansen will really help Andrew blossom as a trumpet player.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Horton Hears A.....

...... a little girl who is whining that she is hungry for something other then what we brought, whining that she is tired, whining that she is sad, whining that she is scared, and whining that she is bored, amongst a million other things I am sure I have tried to block out of my mind.

Today kicked off the Krikorian Summer Kids Series. I was excited to see the movie, Horton Hears a Who, since I had not already seen it. When it originally came out in 2008 I had just had Aiden, was recooping from life saving surgery, dealing with a NICU baby that had just come home, going to endless appointments, and overall didn't even know that life outside the four walls of my house even existed. My friend Jen and her two kiddos graciously took Andrew and Alexis to see the movie so they could get out of the house. I was thankful they had this time, but bummed at the same time because I had really wanted to see it as well.

So, when I saw the summer list I marked the date on my calendar and looked forward to today. Darcy emailed me last night to see if we were planning on going because her and Rachel had planned to go at 10:00. The plan was set to meet at the theater and the enjoy the movie together. It was great to see Darcy and Rachel again since we hadn't seen them since Aiden's 1st birthday party. The girls laughed and giggled together as we waited in line (it is amazing how many people show up for a $1 movie, even when we were 30 mins early), and they even managed to mother Aiden as much as he would allow them to before the movie started.
I really did enjoy the movie even with the whining girl in my ear and the wiggling boy in my lap. This will not be the last $1 summer movie we will attend. We have a few others marked on the calendar and hopefully we can meet up with Darcy and Rachel again. The more the merrier.
Lessons learned:
  1. Show up at least 30 mins early for $1 movies and expect a wait, but for heaven's sake, do not stoop so low as to camp out overnight for the release of a movie. Come on people, do you not have anything better to do?
  2. No matter what treats you pack they will want something different. Stick to your guns even though the popcorn is calling you by name.
  3. If you think you have it bad with three kids, imagine raising 96 girls and one boy like Mr. and Mrs. Mayor Who!!
  4. And lastly, everyone is somebody, no matter how big or small!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dad, Daddy-o, DaDa

*Dad = 10 year old, cool guy way of acknowledging dad.
*Daddy-o = 4 year olds term of endearment for her Dad, which started when she was super little.
*Dada = 1 year old way of saying Daddy, which is more of a voice influx and still working on the correct letter sound.

Since Daddy was working, as usual, on Father's Day, we were waiting till he got home at 5:00 to celebrate with him. The plan was to have everything ready and on the table so when he walked in the door we could give him his Father's Day gifts and crafts and then have dinner. I got a call from Dale at 3:30 saying that he was on his way home early. That was awesome, but really sent us here at home into a tail spin to get everything done. Not only was he off early, he was also already 30 mins into his hour commute. That gave us 30 short minutes to get the cupcakes frosted, the table set and gifts laid out, the dishwasher loaded and unloaded, and the living room picked up and vacuumed (the vacuuming had to wait, there wasn't enough time). We ended up finishing with about 1 minute to spare.

The kids sat on the arm of the couch to greet daddy the minute he walked in the door. They were so excited to share their cards, gifts, and crafts with him. You would have thought it was Christmas with all the excitment from the kids. Aiden even attempted to say Happy Father's Day in his own way. He is really mimicing sounds and usually copies the influx in voice even if he doesn't get the sounds right. So cute!
The card given by Andrew said, "Dad, here's something for you to wear on Father's Day--" I AM THE BOSS! (You can return it to Mom tomorrow!)
So we made Dad wear this huge, bright, orange tag for the rest of the night. Even though Mom and Dad are both the boss around here, it is a joke that Daddy always uses when he doesn't want to be the one to make the decisions around here... "go ask your Mom, she is the boss."
With all the gifts, cards, crafts, dinner, cupcakes, and family movie, we were able to show Dad/Daddy-o/Dada in a small way how much he really means to us. For the greatest gift is the fact that he is such an awesome dad, not just on Father's Day, but EVERY day!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

To the One I L-O-V-E!!!

They say when you are little that you will grow up and marry a man just like your Daddy. And when I was little I knew that meant it would be a very hard working, gentle but fair, loving man; for my dad was all of those qualities and more.

Dale is all of those attributes and more. He works so hard for our family, making sure we have what we need and even some of the wants. He does not complain as he walks out the door before the sun comes up six days of the week. He doesn't verbalize how tired he is when he walks in the door 11 hours later and the kids want to jump on him and play. He takes off the working man 'hat' and reveals the daddy hat that is never taken off even when he is gone from the home.

His compassion for the kids is overwhelming. He is checked in to their daily lives and truly cares about them in every way. Instead of spending that one day off a week doing 'man things', he would prefer to spend it with his family. Even if that means just cuddling up on the couch watching the same movie for the millionth time, wrestling on the living room floor, running to swim lessons or trumpet lessons, or even skipping the evenings baseball game for news for some kids' cartoons.

I pray that one day Andrew and Aiden will become great fathers just like their Daddy, and that Alexis will grow up and marry a man that is just like her daddy, a hard working, gentle and fair, loving man.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Prayers Needed

I am not even sure how to write this post because my heart is so heavy. Having personally known the loss of the most important person in my life, my dad, I know all too well how Kelly is feeling right now with the loss of her mom. But, add in the mix with that the emotions that come with helping your child recover from surgery and I think that would send me over the edge.

Though Gavin was off to a tough start in his recovery with feeding difficulty, he seems to be doing much better now according to Kelly. But she on the other hand is devastated to have learned that her mom died in a plane crash on Wednesday.

I would ask that each of you please lift Kelly, Matt, Gavin and the entire extended family up in prayer as they go through this very difficult season in life. It is so hard to deal with the loss of a family member who was so intrical in your everday life. You have to learn a new normal, a normal you do not want to have to create but that is forced upon you.

I wish there was more that I could do. Prayer, though it is powerful, just doesn't seem like enough right now. But, not knowing her in real life makes that a little bit harder since we just met online a month ago. I also remember people telling me to let them know if I needed anything. Well, what I needed was for my dad or my brother to be brought back to me, obviously something they can't do. So, I find myself in a hard place, wanting to help, but not knowing what to do more then just to pray for them right now. If you could please do the same I know it would be appreciated.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Up, Up, and Away!

We are not big movie goers, mainly because it takes an arm and leg to afford to go and because two of my three kiddos do not know how to sit still long enough to make a movie enjoyable. We decided to give it a go and try and see UP! IT WAS AN AWESOME MOVIE!!! It was still super expensive, but very good. We had purchased discounted tickets from a fund raiser, making the tickets $6.50 each instead of $8.50. But, when we got there expecting to be saving $2 per ticket holder we were informed that the cost of the 3D movie was $2 more per ticket, even with these special passes. So, we ended up coughing up the $8 and went on our merry way. We had packed snacks but for some reason my family can not pass up the movie theater popcorn, so we grabbed a large bag with a free refill and made our way into the movie.

Suprisingly Aiden and Alexis were pretty good during the movie. Not too much jumping around, squeeking, or crying. After all they couldn't do those things while I was shoving peanut butter crackers and M&Ms down their throats. Bribbery that I am sure I will pay for later when they are hyped out on sugar.

I wish I had been more prepared for the movie in terms of how emotional it would make me. Thank goodness I am not a hormonal cry baby these days or we would have been in big trouble. Thank goodness those beautiful 3D glasses are great at hiding the mist in your eyes, that is if I had some mist in my eyes.

So, if you get a chance to see the movie (and the bank loan to afford it), don't forget that I warned you that it can be an emotional movie. If you don't tear up at all then just forget everything I have told you, maybe I am just a super hormonal cry baby.

**********WARNING: To Heather and all other non-Oregon loving people, Oregon pictures to follow!!!

Look back now!!

Don't say I didn't warn you!!!

This is your final warning!!!!!!!

For Christmas last year Auntie Dawn and Uncle Ralph bought each of the kiddos an Oregon shirt. Well, they finally all fit the kids at the same time so I couldn't resist a quick photo of the three of them on the couch.And since Daddy owns his very own Oregon shirt, he was pursuaded to put his on when he got home from work and then was attacked by the mamarazi. Can't you tell he is thrilled to be getting his picture taken?
Ok, if you looked away from the Oregon pictures, it is now safe to resume reading. No more Oregon pictures will be featured in this post.

I have a feeling we will be visiting B&N this coming weekend. Andrew has finished all three of the novels that he started last Friday, all averaging about 300 pages each. He just fell in love with these books and couldn't put them down. He spent the entire day in MY bed, devouring the words on the pages of his book. The deal was that he couldn't get this book that he REALLY wants (I have since been informed that it is a SERIES of books he REALLY wants) until he finished all the books at home that had been waiting to be read. So, now that he is finished I guess it is time for me to live up to my end of the deal and make a trip to B&N. Between B&N and the movies I think I need to get a summer job.

Oh the good ol' days of curling up with a good book and shutting out everything going on around me. Oh wait, that was pre-kiddo days. One can dream can't they?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Gavin's Wide Smile

Isn't he such a cutie??
Gavin will be having surgery tomorrow at Loma Linda, with Dr. Martin, the same surgeon Aiden had. This smiling little guy, his mommy Kelly, and his daddy Matt, would appreciate any prayers as he heads into surgery at 6:00 a.m.
As a mommy of a cleft affected kiddo, I know all too well the feelings Kelly must be having right now. The feelings of sadness that he has to go through this all, hope for a bright future, despair for the pain to come, gratefulness that skilled professionals can do the repair needed, and a host of many more feelings. No matter how much we trust the physician and know we are doing the right thing for our child, it is still hard to hand them over for surgery. Please lift them up in your prayers if you think of them tomorrow.
I look forward to posting a positive post-op report.

Friday, June 12, 2009

There's a New 5th Grader in Town

In Aug of 2008 I sent Andrew off to 4th grade. Greeting his teacher, Ms. Nelson on the first day of school.
He excelled through out the year (though there were bumps along the way), and received lots of awards, not only for academics, but for citizenship, and attendance.
Finishing off his 4th grade year with Ms. Fletchall (Ms Nelson had a baby).
And this 'little man' came home yesterday as a grown up 5th grader.
When I first started teaching in 2000, he was only one year old. I had this class filled with 5th graders and could not for the life of me imagine Andrew, my little man, being a 5th grader himself. And now that time has come.
Little blast from the past - Andrew's Kindergarten picture. TOO CUTE!!!!

Preschool Memories

This past week has been a crazy week for Alexis and the rest of the family. She had participated in a preschool Mom and Me class called T.U.B.S. So, on Wed. night they had a little circus party and gave each of the kids a certificate for completing the program. She even got her named pulled out during the raffle and won this fabulous (sarcasm) prize that includes over 1,000 pieces (says that right on the front and they weren't kidding). It is an Activity Super Chest with markers, stamps, paint, and much more. But my favorite, the supplies to make TONS of beaded necklaces or braclets. I know she and I will have fun with it, but come on, 1,000 pieces might be a bit much!!
Her teacher, Ms. Veronica, dressed up like the master of ceremonies at a circus for their fun filled evening. She has such a great personality and does so much for the kids.
After our late night at Wed. night's circus (literally and figuratively), we got to sleep in a little on Thurs. morning since she didn't have to be to school till 8:15 instead of 7:30. They had a cute little performance with a few songs and then passed out certificates to the kiddos. (Alexis is on the top righthand side.
They sang, You Are My Sunshine while they held up these cute sun faces. Love her long eyelashes on her sun. :)
Then they were each called up and given a very adorable certificate. The poem on it was awesome so I thought I would share it with you.
You're a Special Person
You're a very special person,
And we wanted you to know,
How much we enjoyed being your teachers.
How fast the year did go!
Please come back to visit us
As through the grades you grow,
Try hard to learn all that you can
There is so much to know!
The one thing we tried to teach you
To last your whole life through
Is to know that you are SPECIAL
There is no one else like you!
Ms. Regalado with AlexisMrs. Anderson with Alexis

Now my little girl is getting ready to start a new chapter in her life, Kindergarten, in the fall and she can't wait!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009



Today marks the 7th anniversary of our first kiss, now known as our kissiversary. On this night 7 years ago we had gone out to chinese food, taken a walk around the neighborhood, and then gone back to his house for me to get my car and head home. And then IT happened and the rest is history.

So, tonight we celebrated our kissiversary by going out to chinese for dinner (any excuse to not have to cook on a working week night). I have been craving some REAL chinese food, not the fast food, americanized stuff. The kind we used to get when I was a kid going to Sen Yeng's. Yummy wonton soup with crispy noodles, the egg roll appetizers, the tea, the bowls of endless rice, and then huge plates of entrees, followed by a fortune cookie of course. And nothing came from a warming plate as I walked down the case with a tray, it was brought to my table for me to enjoy with my hunny (and the three restless children who very much would have preferred something more fast food style).

And so this night will end with another kiss as we mark this 7th kissiversary. *MUAH*

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Yesterday marked the 7th anniversary of my Dad's passing. It was a bitter sweet day, remembering all the good times, but then knowing that this day signified a sad ending to a great man's life. Each year doesn't necessarily get easier, I have just learned new skills for dealing with it. Today is Great Grandpa Howse's 102 birthday!!!! You read that right 1-0-2! This picture was taken when we went back to Indiana to celebrate his 100th birthday. I really wish we could be there today, joining in on the celebration, and singing him Happy Birthday Howse style (trust me you are not missing out if you never have to experience this one in person, Andrew is still traumatized from the first time he was exposed). HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDPA HOWSE. WE LOVE YOU VERY MUCH!!!!
Tomorrow will mark our 7th anniversary since Dale and I started dating. We met in 1998 when I was pregnant with Andrew and became close friends fast. We maintained that friendship when I moved down to San Diego and then life brought me back up to Redlands were we became even closer friends. Those around us thought we were a married couple the way we acted together and how Dale was just so natural with Andrew. My dad always said he knew Dale was the right guy for me the first time he met him. And Dale's Grandpa (the one who is 102 now) told me I was accepted as one of the family before Dale and I were even dating. It came as no suprise to the world when we finally started dating on June 8th, 2002, just two days after my dad passed away. Not sure what caused Dale to finally initiate the first kiss, but there was no looking back from that moment on. From then on out we knew not only were we now dating, we were planning a wedding, and spending the rest of our lives together. I could not imagine being with anyone other then my best friend.
**(Darcy gets brownie points if she can tell me where this next picture was taken.)
Hope everyone has fond memories of yesterday, celebrates today with passion, and enjoys the tomorrows for as long as we are given them.