Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I can't believe there are only 2 more days before Christmas!

I've been done with my shopping....... some still need to be wrapped, some have to be delivered.... but for the most part, I'm done.

I can't wait til we open our presents tomorrow (mom has to work on Christmas day, so we're opening them tomorrow night - Noche Buena!) before we go to midnight mass.

Ethan has been a hoot since the day we put up our Christmas tree -- day after Thanksgiving. Every day, he would come down the stairs and ask "Is it Christmas yet?"...... and every day, I would say "No, not yet". And with a hint of disappointment in his eyes, he always follows it up with "How many days mommy?"....

This year will be a blast!

If I don't get to post again before Christmas, I'll the time now to wish everyone a VERY Merry and Blessed Christmas! I hope you all get to spend and enjoy the day with your loved ones, like we are.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Program

As a mom, Ethan's Christmas program is one of the most anticipated events on my calendar. This year, they're singing the same songs his class sang last year, so as an astute veteran (and the best singer of course), he knew his songs like the back of his hand. Still....... we practiced every day on the way to school..... and the closer it got to the program, the more excited he got.

Backstage.... Ethan was calm and collected, while the other kids shuffled around being yelled at to sit down.

"I'm soooooooo excited!", he squealed. He knew that mommy, daddy, Lola, Lolo and Uncle Jojo would be front and center, cheering him on.


We weren't exactly front and center -- even after getting there an hour and a half early. Still, we were at a good spot.. with clear shot of Ethan and his buddies (who got the special spots at the top of the stage -- his teacher said that's where she puts the kids who knew the songs and the actions the most).

I got my camera ready with big proud-mama smile on my face, and gave Ethan a thumbs up. Then like a hurricane, a swarm of tardy parents who didn't give a rats ass about who they were blocking, bum-rushed to the front (and the aisles) to do exactly what were we were all there to do.

It didn't seem fair. And for a while, I yelled "Excuse me!" and "Sit down!" along with the other angry parents who had their views stolen. I was pissed.... but kept my composure. And while the show must go on, I was lucky to have a husband who was taller than 5'2 who was still able to somewhat get a shot of Ethan singing his heart out.

And they're lucky I had a zoom lens and my new Nikon 300s (early Christmas present!) or else I wouldn't have been as nice.

I turned around and saw a few of Ethan's friends' parents who weren't as lucky, and got their email addresses so I could send them what we were able to get.

Jingle Bells

Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Show and Tell

Fridays are show-and-tell days at Ethan's school... those mornings can be a struggle when I'm running behind schedule and Ethan wants to intensely contemplate on what to bring.

Back when Mike was still in DC, Ethan usually brought something that reminded him of Daddy to show to his friends. A photo, a signed baseball Mike sent in the mail. These days, it's all about what spanking new toy he can show off.

I guess that is the essence of "show"-and tell, isn't it?

Thanks to Grandma... last week's show-and-tell subject was a hit with Ethan's friends. It was such a hit, in fact, that Ethan wants to bring the same thing this Friday.

(I'm not complaining!)

It's actually a pretty fun game! Ethan often wins, but I think it has something to do with a little cheating (when he has to draw an animal from the barn -- he scopes out the color/animal he needs and then pretends to close his eyes before "randomly" fishing for the perfect one).

But it's ok..... we love hearing Ethan yell "UNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! YESSSSSSSSSS!"

I can tell you all about this game and even tried to get our own video, but to show you more specific detail, I wanted to share the commercial of UNO Moo so that you can get the idea of how much fun this game is.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Very Late Halloween Recap

Halloween came and went... and in a lot of ways, I had expected it to be just another Halloween, but we try to do something different every year to make it a little more memorable than the year before.

Okay, before anything else. I have to disclose that there's not a lot of thought when it comes to me picking Ethan's costumes every Halloween. They have been typically whatever I was able to get on sale the year before (I've been lucky so far to predict the right size). He's still at a very convincing stage, but I'm sure my luck will be running out pretty soon. I have a feeling he's going to want to pick next year's costume....

So anyway, I got this Dash costume from a yard sale a year ago for $3. It was missing the mask, but I was able to borrow that from a friend. It was easy convincing Ethan to want to be a superhero....

That Friday before Halloween, we took Ethan to a "Trunk or Treat" event at a local church.... which, I have to admit, sounded a little weird at first. Our expectations were TOTALLY blown away. First of all, there weren't just a dozen cars parked in the church parking lot handing out candy. There were hundreds. Each "trunk" decorated more elaborate than the other. Cute. Freaky. Weird. Absolutely non-Halloween related (trucks decorated in Dodger gear). After the 50th car, I think Ethan started to get bored. But that wasn't the end of it. They had jumpers and games and food stands and a make shift skate park, fire trucks, police cars and even Navy helicopters for the kids the explore and play pretend. 3 hours later, we were pooped and retired to my mom's house for dinner. My only regret is not dressing up with Ethan. I think I was more excited to see a family dressed up as The Incredibles, as I run to get a photo op with Ethan. I would've totally dressed up as Elastigirl, but not sure if I would've gotten some resistance from Mike with wearing tights as Mr. Incredible. :)

Halloween eve: it was our first Halloween in our new home, so we were excited to see how many kids would come around for trick or treating. There were quite a few houses who had decorated with their typical pumpkins, spider webs and corpses hanging by their necks...... and for the most part, most of the houses participated and handed out candy. Mike and I dressed up as Fred and Wilma Flintstone and set out to get more candy... as if we didn't have enough already. Everyone kept asking why we didn't dress Ethan up as BamBam (which believe me, I thought about) until Mike crushed my dreams and made sure I knew that BamBam was, in fact, Betty and Barney Rubble's kid -- while Fred and Wilma had Pebbles. Mike was NOT about to let me dress Ethan as Pebbles.....

Next year, I'd like to have matching costumes for all of us, maybe even including Bella. Hmmmm...... maybe the Wizard of Oz? Ethan can be the Tinman, I'll be Dorothy of course, and Mike can be the Lion without a Heart..... hehe

I got time.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Today, we say THANKS on Veterans Day

Here's a link to a list I've compiled in a forum of various FREEBIES going on in honor of Veterans Day

[link] Consolidated List/HUGE Collection: VETERANs Day FREE Meals / Deals / Discounts

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


I've been meaning to post photos from our busy Halloween weekend but we've been hit (and hit hard) with the stupid bug.... so all my energy is directed keeping my head from exploding.

Ethan started coughing about 3 weeks ago. Then Mike started coughing a week ago. And yesterday, I suddenly felt it.

Misery loves company.

I must be looking like a drag, my boss actually sent me home early today. And our president kept coming by to check my temperature... and insisting I should go home... he's a sweet man. I was a trooper today and decided to stick around, although my constant hacking is probably getting a lot of people nervous around me and wish I would just take the damn sick day and quit infecting everyone.

Then I get a call from Mike today that his boss is sending him home... but not before he gets checked out by a doctor to rule out H1N1. After several hours at the VA, they say he has Influenza B, sent him packing with a slew of prescriptions and told him he has to stay home for a week.


Ethan had an appointment this afternoon with his new pediatrician (we didn't like his old one) and was sent home with an inhaler. When he was one, his pediatricians then told us he has "asthmatic tendencies" but was too young to be diagnosed. Every year since then, he gets the same, recurring croupy cough. I don't know for sure if this new doctor diagnosed him with asthma, but I'll be calling her tomorrow to get a better idea.

For now, we're all sick as a dog and we can only hope for a faster recovery. I feel like curling up in bed right about now.....

Friday, October 30, 2009

Personalized Christmas Ornaments <$10 (Free Personalization) Plus Free Shipping til 11/2

Yes! It's that time already! Time to start shopping for Christmas!

Here's a good deal for personalized ornaments, if you're looking for that sort of thing. Tons of styles $10 or less with free shipping (no matter how big/small the order) until Monday, November 2.

Personalized Christmas Ornaments

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Baby Fever

Scrapbook page of Ethan's Birth [Click to see larger version]

Ethan totally loves babies. He pretends all of his stuffed animals are babies -- feeds them, cuddles them when they're hurt, tucks them in bed. Sometimes, it actually takes up most of his full-size bed. He carries them like how you're supposed to carry a baby, and gets mad when I don't talk to them like he does. It's really sweet.

But if you ask him if he wants a little brother or little sister, his answers vary according to whether he's just been denied something -- a toy, tv time or just plain ol' attention. On a good day, he'd say, "I want a baby brother"... and I try to counter it with "Don't you mean a baby sister?"... in which case, Mike jumps in and reaffirms that they collectively want a boy, and not a girl and that I'm outnumbered (all the more reason for me to want a girl).

I have to admit, that I have been struck with the so-called baby fever. Yesterday, I found myself playing peek-a-boo with a stranger's baby at a Target checkout line and didn't have a care in the world how silly I must've looked. A friend brought over her 1 year old at our house warming last weekend, and I was so excited to teach him how to putt with one of Ethan's plastic golf clubs. We're throwing a baby shower for a coworker next week and I had eagerly volunteered to design her baby shower invites and even decorate the lunch room for the shower. And yes, I have already been thinking about baby names: Gavin Chaise or Addison Faith.


With Ethan's 4th birthday lurking around the corner, and the pressure from all sides it seems to have #2, Mike and I have been toying with the idea. Not fully decided, but toying.

We have always agreed we wanted two.... but timing had been a challenge. Mike wanted to finish school. Done. We wanted to move back to California. Done. We both wanted to have steady jobs. Done. We wanted to buy a house and settle in. Done. As much as you try to plan to make sure you're as prepared as you can be, you're left wondering if that perfect timing will ever come.....

For now, I'll get my baby fix from going through Ethan's baby photos and playing major catch up with 3 years worth of scrapbooking. Better do it now before the next one comes, right? :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Outside the lines is the new "IN"

Coloring outside the lines is A-OKAY with us... it shows that he can be creative!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween is just around the corner!

We haven't really quite figured out what we're doing for Halloween this year. We got our pumpkins much earlier this year (last year, we bought it the day before Halloween because we wanted to wait for Mike to come home on leave to pick the pumpkins as part of our annual tradition).

Best part of that tradition is carving them since it always turns out to be a competition between me and Mike --- I think I won this year :)

My pumpkin

Mike's pumpkin (started out to be gargoyle until it collapsed so he carved an easier stencil of a cat on the other side)

Ethan's pumpkin (that he picked out and I carved)

Ethan's has two half-costumes -- I bought the "Dash from The Incredibles" costume from a yard sale last year but it's missing the mask and the boots (I think I may have found someone to borrow the rest from), and the other is a fireman suit -- the coat, i bought from Goodwill and the hat from a clearance rack at CVS (have to find some rain boots and a toy hose to finish it). Ethan seems okay with either one....... so....... I have until Friday to figure out which one he'll be wearing.

Mike and I haven't picked any costumes yet, but I found someone who might be able to lend us a Wilma and Fred getup. So if we do end up going to a friend's costume party, we won't have to go as the socket and the plug again.... LOL

I got the candy for the neighborhood kids -- I'm excited to finally live in a neighborhood that promises to have fun trick or treating. For 4 years in WV, we lived in a townhouse where we got zero trick or treaters... but every year, we kept buying candy anyway just in case (which we ended up eating ourselves). No good for my diet, if I were in one.....

Oh and I have to put the treat bags together for Ethan's class..... all 38 of them. Time to round up the guys for an assembly line!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Back from Hiatus

Wow. 4 months is a long time not to blog....... it's a new record for me! I have an excuse! I promise!

Right around the time I started lagging on this blog was about the same time I got hooked on Facebook status updates. It was just so much easier....... one liner.... blasted to everyone..... comments enabled....... quick and dirty.

>> from one social networking addiction to another <<

I now realize how much I miss being able to look back and revisit through my blog entries. Now I have a 4 month gap, which I could tell you, were everything but uneventful. So it's not like I didn't have anything to talk about, I just.... well... needed a break.

And now.... I'm back! No more promises to upkeep a certain number of posts per week...... I get enough stress from work :)

The rest of this post will just be snippets/brief updates of what has been going on in our crazy lives these past few months I disappeared:

Mama Mary came to visit us in California for two weeks.... which was a GODSEND... since she helped us tremendously with getting the house ready for our overdue house warming. Ethan stayed home from school the whole time to spend some quality time with grandma.

Ethan is back in pre-school. Have I mentioned how I ♥ Montessori? He knows how to write his numbers up to 15. He can name the 7 continents, 12 months of the year, 7 days of the week, parts of a plant, parts of a tree, cycle of an insect, 4 seasons and how to county in Spanish up to 10. He's also become quite a tattle tale... he'd tell us about getting into "fights" in school and getting trouble for it, or he'd tell us when one of the kids are being mean to him.

Mike's doing well with his new job at the courts -- been there for about 2 months. I've been in mine for a year last month. Aside from my sporadic late hours, we work about the same hours so we at least have the evenings.. although we have been trying (when there's a default babysitter) to get away once in a while. We went to San Diego a month ago to the Coronado Speed Festival, and 2 weeks ago, we spent a nice overnight date in Palm Springs.

The house is coming along great... we finally had our housewarming last weekend and had friends and family over. I think I'm far from being "done"... but we've come a long way, thanks to everyone's help. I'm actually excited to decorate the house for the holidays!

Alright..... I gotta jet!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

He's Leaving on a Jet Plane (Without Me!)

Ethan's on his way to visit Grandma and Papi for two weeks.

Two weeks!!!!!!!!!

Why did I agree to this again?

Truth is, he misses them terribly... asks to go to Grandma's house all the time, even though he knows he has to go on the "big airplane" to get there. I'm sure they'll have a blast, and while's he's gone, Mike and I can actually work on the house... and hopefully have it ready for him by the time he gets back after 4th of July weekend.

At least that's the plan....

I miss my baby already!!!! The last time I was away from him for longer than a day was when Mike and went on a cruise for a week. He was only a few months then, but that didn't stop me from spending $20/min to go on the internet to write emails to an infant.

I hope I survive the next 2 weeks.....

Saturday, June 20, 2009


What kind of crazy person gets up at 4am (on a Saturday) to look at wall color inspirations and floor samples online?

Oh wait. That's me....

Too excited to work on the house maybe? I have a bad case of decorating fever right now. Can you blame me? I have a BLANK slate, and despite Mike's willingness to give his input in color schemes and accent pillows, eventually he's going to come around and realize that a happy wife = happy life.


Don't get me wrong. I totally welcome his input. It is, after all, OUR home. But we've already butted heads when it comes to decor. For example, he prefers paintings of valleys and french cottages by the river bend, and I like the modern motif. He says he's not hanging up anything that looks like a drunk painted it, and I say I don't want the house looking like a nursing home (no offense to others who like cottages by the river bend too).

So I was searching about 2 weeks ago online for some inspiration on how to tackle the huge loft upstairs -- thought we would try to have a half playroom/half "place-to-chill-and-watch-tv". And I ran into this photo and just fell in love with the wall color.

So crazy me... as of last week (before we even signed the loan documents and closed escrow)... we already had a quart of "test paint" ready. Went first thing yesterday after work to put our test square on the wall, and hopefully, this weekend, we can actually take a crack at the walls downstairs.

I'm waiting on a few more requests for flooring estimates, and hopefully we could get those started within the week. Staining the cabinets, next. Counter tops, MAYBE. Our goal is to solicit as many of my brother's recently graduated friends who will help move furniture for pizza by the holiday weekend. :)

I should really get back to bed......

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ethan's First Report Card

It's Official! We're Homeowners!

We finally got our keys today!! We're all super excited!! After months and months and months of looking... out of probably over 30 houses (yes, that's a lot of touring) that we looked at, this was the first house that we submitted an offer for. But after 2 heartbreaks from being passed over for other offers on this house, I almost didn't want to make the last offer after it went back on the market for the third time. But.... everything happens for a reason...... and I think we were meant to get it.....

So we're not proud homeowners..... and IT'S DECORATING TIME!!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Coupon: Free 12 oz beverage from Seattle's Best Coffee (BORDERS)

Click here to print coupon directly from their website

Coupon is for FREE 12-oz. beverage from Seattle’s Best Coffee


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Congratulations Jojo!

I can’t believe my baby brother (using the term baby somewhat loosely) has graduated high school!!!! Not only does that make me very proud, it also makes me… well…. feel VERY old.

Align Center

After 4 long years of high school drama and exasperating varsity football, he’s giving up his football cleats and exchanging it for a stethoscope! He’ll be taking nursing at a California State University about 2 hours away (so he’ll be going “away” without ever being “too far” – which I’m sure makes our mom happy). I told him he’ll always have a spot in our couch for those pesky frequent visits :)

Note to self: 3-year-olds DO NOT fair well with long speeches. After trying desperately to keep Ethan occupied through speeches from 2 co-valedictorians, the class president, the school district superintendent (and a bag of Oreos)…. he was over it. Not to mention having to wait through 100 names to hear Jojo’s name called out, and then waiting for another 500 others after his name was called out.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

First Oreo Dunk

Ethan has had Oreos before - plenty of them.

But he's NEVER dunked them in milk, Mike and I aren't quit sure with the delay. But Ethan's revelation of dunking a cookie in milk was just too precious not to deserve to be a milestone.

Here's Mike instructing Ethan on how long to leave an Oreo cookie in the milk and when to anticipate that it's ready to be eaten. What do you know?!? Suddenly, junk food becomes a perfect exercise in counting to 20.

Here's Ethan mesmerized with the process of getting an Oreo cookie to its perfect level of sogginess.


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