Monday, December 22, 2008

Ethan's Christmas Program

Ethan had his Christmas program at his preschool on Thursday. His class sang "Rudolph the Red-nose Reindeer", "Jingle Bells" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". He did so well singing his songs and doing his hand gestures.... We WERE SO PROUD.

We actually got there an hour early, but to much of our disappointment, the front rows were already taken. Ethan is the youngest in his class (and probably shortest) so he was at the bottom where we couldn't really see unless we stood up (and annoyed people behind us). So I had to literally squeeze my way back out to the back and stand on their counters so I could get a decent shot of Ethan.

I'll post the video soon!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Celebrity Sighting, Walking the Walk and Banana Republic Underwear

This happened about a month ago, and although I’m very late posting it (I still have a lot of catching up to do), I couldn’t resist but to brag about my very own brush with fame (which doesn’t happen quite often as I would like living in what some would consider the outskirts of Los Angeles) and a very proud ‘big sister moment’.

Hurley took four rival high schools in the Inland Empire, gave them the unreleased Spring 2009 line and a few weeks to come up with their own signature designs. They were allowed to paint, cut, and alter the clothes and were tasked to put on a 5-minute fashion show at the mall parking lot.

It’s like a Project Runway and High School Musical affair.

Some were cute…

Some not so cute…

2 of the 3 competition did fairly well, but when Jojo’s school came out and performed, hands down, there was no contest.

Ethan sure enjoyed it. I think he was mesmerized by the amount of short skirts that paraded in front of him.

There was one other order of cuteness that had everyone floored, and that was guest judge, Paul Walker… better known for his roles in the Fast and the Furious sequels. Ok, so he’s not exactly Oscar-winning, but he had every teenager in the parking lot weakening in the knees. I kept having NSYNC concert flashbacks with all the girls squealing “We love you Walker!” around me. The guy that’s sitting next to him is supposedly an actor too, but I never did figure out who he was.

Now I didn’t know my brother was going to be in the show. I knew he was involved in the planning and setting up the stage props and all, so we all decided to go for morale support. So it was much to our surprise when he showed up at the end of the performance, all drenched in orange and green (from his roots to his socks), with a gigantic flag and screaming like he was Mel Gibson in Braveheart.

Yes! That’s my bro!

They ended up winning the grand prize for $5,000 which went to their arts and music programs, and of course, bragging rights. They’ve been invited to compete in another fashion competition in Orange County next Spring.

Best part was when they got to take their “victory lap” on the stage and Jojo decided to flash everyone his striped undies.

I turned to my mom, and with twinkle in her eyes she said, “Well at least he’s wearing the Banana Republic boxers I got him!”


Monday, December 15, 2008

O' Christmas Tree

I've recently re-kindled an old hobby -- digital scrapbooking. I first got introduced to it sometime last year and had become quite addicted to it, until other priorities had to step in and I just kind of started reducing time spent to eventually not even bothering with it. But every Christmas, I get reminded by friends and family that I oughta be doing more to my digital photos than just letting them rot in my hard drives (sadly, it's mostly true).

I could start printing them out and actually making scrapbooks, but then I realized I am much more efficient with the mouse than with scissors so I thought I'd take a crack at it again.... :)

Here's one I started playing around with last week....

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Guess who's coming home...

......... tomorrow!

I'm tearing up just thinking about it. Finally, after months and months and months of being apart, we can start building our home and be a family again.

We've known since last week that he might be coming home. But I had been in the Army long enough to know that nothing is ever guaranteed. They tell you one thing, but do another. So I've tried to play it off. I figured, I would rather be surprised than be disappointed.

The past year hasn't been easy for any of us. Mike and I have weathered through storms before but this one was different. We tried to keep each other's hopes afloat while doing our best to be parents for Ethan... and some days were more difficult than others.

But tomorrow, Mike will finally be coming home.... for good.....

And it's the biggest gift I could have ever asked for this Christmas, hands down.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Coupon: EXPRESS 20% Off Friends and Family

I dedicate this one to Sissy :)

Valid: 12/13/08 - 12/14/08
Online promo code: 6382

Printable coupon

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Coupon: Macy's 20% Off Friends and Family

Macys is having a Friends & Family event with 20% off discount available online using code MACYSFF and in-store using the printable coupon [store locator] through December 15th. Free shipping on $99+ orders, otherwise it starts at $6.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Thanksgiving Recap: New York Part 1

We were fortunate enough that the Armed Forces Foundation generously flew us to DC to spend Thanksgiving with Mike. They were the same organization that headspeared the Vegas trip back in September.

Anyway, thinking it'll probably be a while before we'll all be in the east coast again, we decided to fight the holiday traffic and took Ethan to New York to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Armed with winter coats and oversized gloves (can't seem to find un-mitten-like gloves that fit him), we woke up early on Thursday morning to try to fight for a good spot. I read somewhere on the internet (so it must be true) that Times Square is NOT a good place to go unless you're there at 4am (no, thanks), so we decided to park ourselves somewhere mid-route on 72nd and Central Park West.

I suppose we were a few feet from the street, but it still seemed not close enough. Behind us, the crowd only got bigger after we got there at 7:30 (parade started at 9). Everyone around us -- good mix of locals and tourits -- were surprisingly friendly... for the most part. We laughed, took pictures of each other, compared kids... but if you so much scoot an inch, the next person is there to take that space. Mike and I kept close and alert, in case we had to deal with a stampede (paranoia?).

Eventually, the parade started. Since we weren't lucky enough to get frontview spots, Ethan ended up spending the next 2 hours on Mike's shoulders so he could see the marching bands, floats and the clowns.

The excitement for these big balloons were interesting, and rather contagious. You should've heard me yell when I saw Buzz Lightyear peep around the corner.

Every once in a while, the crowd will erupt and news from the front would make its way to the back -- apparently, the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus were there. I, unfortunately couldn't see, I had to settle looking for the big balloons inbetween looking at the back of the heads of tall people.

Overall, we had fun. It was chilly, but it wasn't cold enough to deter these Californians. I don't know if I'd watch it again in person though, unless I was sitting up front. The best part of the parade was having my family together.....

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Coupons: Foot Locker, Champs & Footaction 30% Off Friends and Family Sale

For those who don't know... I am the coupon queen, and a very frugal shopper. And I just realized that I really ought to be sharing my good finds with my dear friends who follow this blog, or anyone who comes across it for that matter. So as much as I can, I'm going to start posting any codes or printable coupons that I run across that I think would generally be useful. Hopefully, some of you will get to take advantage of them, especially with the holidays coming up so fast.

So enjoy and keep checking back.

Here's a 30% off your entire purchase at Footlocker, Champs & Footaction. These are only good December 4-7, 2009.

Codes to use online:

Foot Locker: FF8C345P
Champs: FF8C66CP
Foot Action: FF8C34VP

Printable coupons to use in-store:

Foot Locker/Kids Foot Locker/Lady Foot Locker
Champs Sport
Foot Action

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'm Thankful for... love

Having someone I love to grow old with.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm Thankful for... gifts

Thanksgiving is coming up. I'm disappointed that the one thing missing from making our family whole again still won't be home. Hard times are hard. But even on the worst, if I really try, I can find some reason to feel grateful, some small miracle to help me make it through. And for this Thanksgiving, there are plenty to be thankful for. I'm thankful for...

Being blessed with the gift of motherhood.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Meet Kaylie and Teddy

There’s been a lot of banter going on lately about having #2. Mike and I have always been “certain” about wanting 2 kids. There’s not a whole lot of logic behind it. We agree that we don’t want Ethan to be an only child, but that 3 is too much. Naturally, the decision falls in the median. The harder part is deciding on the “when”. We thought we'd wait until we get our house, hopefully by early next year... but then again, you never know.

Ethan might be giving us little hints though. Last week, he had an imaginary “baby” that he fed, washed and sang to sleep for an hour in the car. He said her name was “Kaylie” (which also happens to be the same name he repeats whenever you ask him if he has a “girlfriend” at school).

Then we learn about “Teddy”, his pet rabbit.

Do you see him?

Look closer.

He’s there.... now, do you see?

Well I know he's there because I've spent hours with Ethan feeding Teddy rice and water, and treating him when he doesn't feel too well. He likes to play outside, but not when it's cold, and when he's not busy playing with leaves, he likes to take long naps in his cage.

I think it's C-U-T-E.

I don’t know whether to think my son just has a vivid imagination or if he’s trying to tell us he needs a playmate. I personally don’t see anything wrong with him ‘imaginary’ friends, as long as he doesn’t start blaming them for spilling the juice.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Halloween Wrap Up

Believe it or not, I bought Ethan's costume LAST YEAR after Halloween when it got clearanced down to $5. I figured if he didn't somehow fit it for Halloween THIS year, he could at least wear it for dress up. Lucky for me, it was the perfect size come October, but he sure used it well before then.

For trick or treating this year, we decided to bring Ethan to "Mickey's Trick or Treat Party" at Disneyland. Since getting our annual passes at the beginning of summer, we've probably gone to Disneyland about a dozen times already... but it never gets old for us, especially for Ethan. Besides, I had always been amazed at how they decorated for the holidays, and Halloween was not an exception. I was kind of ticked that we couldn't use our annual passes for the "special event" though. It was an extra $25 a pop just to go trick or treating.... but we're a bunch of suckers so we went anyway.

The night would not have been compelte without meeting Buzz and Woody! Good parents as we were, we fell in line for what seemed like hours for this photo opp. But seeing Ethan's face and saluting the "real" Buzz Lightyear was well worth the wait.

The candy stations were abundant but seemed not enough when you have to fall in line forever. In the end, we decided to skip the candy and just hunt for the characters. I have to say I was impressed that Disney made an effort in handing out carrot sticks, apple dippers and raisins as alternatives. Too bad Ethan favored the M&M's more.

And what's Halloween without a trip to the pumpkin patch (even if it is the day before Halloween and a pumpkin patch is really on a mall parking lot)? Pretty disappointing compared to last year's, but in our defense, we wanted to wait until Mike got here so we could all pick our pumpkins together.

And since we were so late on getting the pumpkins... we got lazy and decided to opt out of the actual carving. It was less messy this way!

Our family of pumpkins
For Halloween night, Grandma and Papi took Ethan trick or treating in my alma mater neighborhood while Mike, Matt and I hosed down my overheated car in a carwash parking lot. How sad! Missed out on dressing up as a hoochie for a Halloween party we intended to go to, but there's always next year.... :)


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