October 31, 2008

Sam as a Lion!

She wore the lion costume to take Timothy to school this morning! This costume is so cute, and I love her in it!

Guess What My Costume Is?


I'm a Chief's fan!!! I figure they could use all the fans they can get right now! (Dan, I love you!!)

Merry Masquerade

You know how another greeting for Merry Christmas is Happy Holidays? Well, I'm starting a new one for Halloween: Merry Masquerade! Hee hee! These pictures are from our Saturday of fun with Amber & Caedmon.

Timothy casually told me about a month ago that he wanted to be Mario. It was fun that he picked a costume before seeing the options. Thankfully it was a simple one to put together because Mario "costumes" were only accessible online and those were out of stock!


A few weeks ago, we saw a tiger costume at Party City and she "knew" that's what she wanted to be. I went back a few days later, and they were all gone. And after calling all Party City's in San Diego, I discovered they were gone from the whole city! Amber lent me a lion costume (which is adorable and I hope to get her in it today). But when Sam wears it (we've played dress up a lot), she says, "I'm a LION, and I'm going to be a TIGER for Halloween!" I happened to say this on facebook and another friend of mine said, "I've got a tiger costume!"
She doesn't look very ferocious, does she?

Caedmon was the Green Lantern. How cool is that? And while I don't know much about comic books, there were several people at Border's who DID know and were loving it!


And here is my Baby Girl climbing (yes, almost choking) on Amber!

October 30, 2008

MOPS

I have the privilege of being a table leader for the MOPS I attend. Since this church is located near military housing we have several military moms. Almost half of the MOPS in attendance are military wives, so our table is military specific (6 Navy, 1 Marine). I know I sound like a broken record, but this has been one of the best experiences of my life! Specifically, for the first time in my life...

1. I live in walking distance to friends! It's SO fun to walk a block to a friend's house or meet at the community playgrounds (w/in our housing) every day. I'll be driving home from somewhere and see friends at the playground, and stop just for the opportunity to get some girlfriend time (oh, yeah, and for the kids!)

2. I have military friends who are also Christians. And the honest truth is I just haven't had many military friends. My first 7 yrs as a Navy wife I lived pretty "civilian", and I'm still learning the terminology and the "life". It's been a wonderful blessing to know people who not only have the same stresses that I do, but choose to turn to the Lord to be their guide.


Here is a picture of my table. One woman was missing this morning (Baby Bella is standing in), but we had to get a picture today because next week I lose one of my moms and two weeks after that I lose another! Life of the military. Susan (2nd from the left) is going home to spend the last 2 1/2 months of her husband's 1 yr IA assignment with her family. As a woman who moved home for an entire 8 month deployment, I understand! And Amber (3rd from right) is transferring to Hawaii, and if I had any power in the world I would stop it! Martha is our amazing Mentor mom and the wife of a retired Navy captain. He was in 28 years. She's experienced it all!

So I have to explain the ferris wheel in front. Our theme this year is Adventures in Mothering...think amusement park. So each of our tables is a different ride. We are the sunwheels, which is the name of the Ferris Wheel at California Adventure. Amber thought of making it out of tinker toys, my hubby engineered it, and I put it together along with the added color. I'm most proud that it spins!!

Today we had a famous speaker by the name of Pam Farrel. If you've been to a Family Life Conference you've heard of her. She and her husband wrote "Men are like Waffles and Women are like Spaghetti" and dozens of others. Today she talked about a book entitled "Red Hot Monogamy". She had some great ideas that I think could help couples in this particular area (you know, THAT area) of their marriage.



October 29, 2008

Measurements Are Funny Things

So I've asked my step-mom for aprons for Christmas for me and the kids! I'm so excited! She needed me to get waist measurements and length measurements for them.

Timothy is 10 inches taller than Samantha. He's 95th percentile height, while she's 25th.

But here's the big surprise...both of my children have a 22 inch waist!!! Isn't that hysterical?

WW & SEW: Is there any doubt her age?


The picture says plenty, but if you've stopped by for some other reason than WW/SEW, then please read on! Some big things are happening in Samantha's little life that are changing the way we do things. You know, those milestones that actually alter the way your day goes (like bottle to cup, and crawling to walking). Okay, these aren't that dramatic, but they are...

Getting into the car:
1. Opening AND closing our car door.
2. Buckling herself in her car seat.

And let me just say, she has been THINKING she could do those two for a while, so I'm thankful that she can finally do them. It does take a few minutes however, and I have learned to sit in my car during that eternal time and pray.

Potty training (slow but progressing)
3. Pooped in the potty chair for the 1st time!
4. Went 3 hours in underwear and no accidents away from the house!

The biggest are CF related, and you'll hear more on November 8th:
5. She is swallowing her enzymes whole now! Yippee! No more yogurt and applesauce everywhere we go!!!!
6. She has completely moved to the Aero Chamber, cutting breathing treatments by almost 30 minutes. It's pretty darn cool.

Positives of being in transition: lots of cool developmental jumps
Negative of being in transition: this is the face on my daughter 80% of the day!

You'll really enjoy more Wordless Wednesday and Special Exposure Wednesday.

October 27, 2008

Meet the Robinsons

We had a full day Saturday, and I wanted to get the kids vegging way before bedtime. So I tried out something new. As part of our Netflix membership, we can view many (hundreds) of titles on the computer instantly. I found a kids movie we haven't seen, popped some popcorn, and settled down for some movie going fun. Meet the Robinsons is cute. I would recommend it for a light, enjoyable family movie night.

Amber had driven us around all day, and I hadn't put the car seats back in our car. The kids decided they wanted to use their car seats as movie "theater seats", and that's how they watched it! I sat on the couch.


Cabrillo National Monument

Because we were done so early and were down in Point Loma, Amber suggested we go have lunch at the Cabrillo National Monument. I meant to go once when Gindi was visiting, but time did not allow, so I had never been. It's pretty much a must-see location after living in this city for almost 4 years (albeit broken up into 3 parts). Our Saturday adventure continues...

This map can give you an idea of where Point Loma is, and the National Park is located at the tip of it.


Can we say poor air quality? Yuck!



That's the statue of Cabrillo, and that's the Coronado bridge in the background.


Point Loma Lighthouse


A spiral staircase is always a fun shot.


And the boys found a little hiding "nook" at the bottom of it!



The lighthouse is now a cute museum that shows what the rooms looked like when they were living quarters. I couldn't take pictures of each room because of the glare, but here is a synopsis.

Caedmon said "Samantha and I are talking to our Daddies".


Coastal cities light up when you press the buttons.


And I have about 10 pictures of this shot because we had to get every combination of the 3 kids. Just trust me I have them-here's everyone though!


We finished our day by going to Border's Spooktacular. The kids were dressed in their Halloween costumes, so I'm going to save those pics for Friday. It was fun. The kids played/participated for about 30-45 min, and then we found an aisle we all enjoyed (especially the kids because it had toys). We vegged out and chatted for another hour! It was so much fun!!!! Amber is moving in 3 weeks, and I am going to miss her terribly. Maybe we'll follow her to Hawaii!

***Added later: David left a comment mentioning an article he wrote TODAY about the Cabrillo National Monument. If you are interested in more of the history than I provided (since, hello, I provided not one iota), then click here.

Tree Huggers

We finished the craft fair (see previous post) quickly, and the kids found a tree to climb on.









Strike a Pose:


You would never guess by their coloring that these 2 beautiful children are related. They are so unique:

Craft Fair and I Spy Bags

My friend Amber told me the Holiday Treasures Craft Fair to benefit the Armed Services YMCA on Saturday. It sounded like fun, and I'm always up for spending time with Amber (and my kids are always begging to be with Caedmon) so I said yes! I tell you what, with scary Halloween stuff at every turn, it sure was nice to start thinking about Christmas. It was an amazing craft fair (people are so talented), and I went away with a few cute things:
  • Christmas ornament for my sister (not showing pic, in case she looks!).
  • Last Christmas I heard this idea: Buy an ornament each year that has to do with whatever activity or "love" your child has at the time, and note the year on it. Over time it will be fun to see what showed up each year. I still need to go back and fill in the "holes" of previous years, but it's a tradition I want to start. I found ornaments that represent both kids.
  • I Spy Bags. Our kids LOVE them! The Tip Junkie linked to Kelly's tutorial back in July. We got a fantastic deal at $6/piece, but you can buy them online here. I'm trying to convince my step-mom (seamstress extraordinaire) to make them! I've posted a picture of Timothy's, and if you enlarge it by clicking on the picture you can read the list of items that are in the bag.
  • October 26, 2008

    Little Stamp Giveaway

    I'll get back to blogging one day, but hopefully in the meantime I'll win something! Little Stamp is giving away one personalized stamp. I know my kids would get a total kick out of stamping their name on everything. The product that stuck out to me, however, was the "Signature Stamp".

    This comes in dotted line form, so your child can practice writing their name over and over! How fun is that? And the "Funky Font Stamp" has 11 different fonts to choose from. Go on over to Little Stamp to check it out. And if you want to enter the contest, go to Simple.

    October 24, 2008

    Grosgrain: Marie-Thérèse Gown GIVEAWAY!!!!


    This is the ultimate in dress-up! And they are giving it away to one lucky person! I stumbled on this website the last day of the contest. I would LOVE to win. For more photos and to learn about this amazing seamstress go to...Grosgrain: Marie-Thérèse Gown GIVEAWAY!!!!

    October 22, 2008

    Wordless Wednesday & Special Exposure Wednesday


    You may have to click on the picture and make it larger to really their facial expressions. For more great photos go to Wordless Wednesday and Special Exposure Wednesday.

    October 19, 2008

    MMM: Doodle Pro Love Notes

    Timothy came out of his room one morning last week and handed his doodle pro to me. It says, "I love you. From ("fot") Timothy, To Mom." Talk about a great way to start the day!

    Care for the Caregiver Retreat

    Yesterday, CREDO (Navy chaplain org) offered a day retreat for those in the role of caregiver. It was 7 hours, and they provided childcare free! I honestly didn't care if it was the most boring 7 hours of my life-I knew I had to take advantage of it. Two of my favorite MOPS moms joined me. All of our kids are used to playing with each other, which made them all feel like they were just getting a really long play date! (By the way-these are 2 great friends. One brought me a strawberry cake Fri night just because I had such a hard week.)

    It turned out not to be boring at all. We had 4 themed sessions that would introduce a topic, and then we went around the table answering discussion questions. Here were a few things that stuck with me:

    1. Explanation of why to use "I" instead of "you" when answering a question-In our English language, we tend to use the word "you" when describing incidents. This allows us to disassociate from our feelings and experiences. Using "I" makes us take ownership and "reclaim" our story.
    2. Stress Assessment-I took one of these a year ago and my numbers were off the charts. It was encouraging to take the assessment this time and score in the borderline high stress. And some of the things that added to my score occurred a few months ago and aren't happening any more. It's nice to be reminded that stress comes in waves, and it can decrease!!
    3. "When I weave, I weave." We watched a video of a photographer from National Geographic, who walked us through what his process is in discovering the best shot. He was once assigned to photograph a weaver, and when he asked her what she thinks about while she's weaving, she said simply, "When I weave, I weave." I must practice that discipline of simplicity. When I'm with one of my children, I'm with them. When I listen to a friend, she has my full attention. When I'm driving, I'm ONLY driving!
    The chaplain invited a friend of hers to visit with us during lunch. His name is Keith Barany, and he's a comedian who has done a bunch of stuff. He currently writes for Jimmy Kimmel, although it's not in his bio. He was funny, except for the one question I asked, "What's Jimmy Kimmel like?" Suddenly he had only one word, "Nice". It was awkward! But he had some good jokes, and I guess his emphasis is PG Comedy.

    Leading up to Sat, the organizers were asking me all kinds of questions about Sam's illness. Her breathing treatments & chest PT are done in the morning and at night, but she has to take her enzymes before she eats (in other words, all day). At one point I thought they may not let me come, but they allowed me to go into the childcare room to administer her meds throughout the day. I couldn't help but think of the women not present because they care for children who have really difficult special needs. Those women can't go to something like this, and my heart breaks for them.

    One cute thing that happened. When I went to the kid's room for the morning snack, the workers realized that Timothy and Samantha were siblings. Samantha had called Caedmon (Amber's son) "my brother". I think the workers really thought they were brother and sister for a while. Ironically, as they were telling me the story, Timothy said, "Caedmon is my brother, too". Sweet, sweet friends.

    October 14, 2008

    Timothy's Birthday Party

    As I was posting pics from Caedmon's party, I had this odd realization. I never posted pictures from Timothy's birthday party! It was almost 3 months ago, but I'm doing it anyway!


    Deciding on what to do was quite a process for me. Timothy LOVES kids, but because of his sensory issues he gets overwhelmed by them a great deal. And I really wanted to go somewhere so that I didn't have to clean up after the party.

    He had actually done well at a Chuck E. Cheese party earlier in the year (I know, shock!), but there were a few issues that made me decide against it. He had a really hard time with the giant animals that make noise. He found some Mario arcade game and watched it the entire time we were playing games. This is probably why he did okay-just blocked out all the other visual and auditory stimuli. And like I said, he just stood by the machine and watched others play-he's such a perfectionist that he has to observe something for a while to know that he can do it before joining in. He never played it once while we were there. I didn't want him tuning out everyone and everything at his own party. This game made him very unwilling to leave. And lastly, Samantha HATED it. She clung to me the whole time-Dan was gone, and it was awful.

    For a while I was going to rent a bouncy thing and set it up at our playground w/in our military housing. But by early June it was hot here, and heat is a huge trigger for Timothy. Our playgrounds don't really have much shade, so I nixed that idea.

    And then I was at McDs one day and saw a family having a birthday party, complete with presents and birthday cake. I remembered McDs birthdays were big when I was growing up. Turns out the McDs here don't "host" birthday parties, but the manager was quite willing for me to come and reserve tables, decorate, and she provided plates, napkins, forks, etc. I bought happy meals for all the kids, and they got to play on the playplace. Simple and fun.


    It was NASCAR themed. Timothy doesn't have a "driver" or anything, but these 2 cars came with the cake.


    Timothy actually got tons of presents. Here is his first $5 that is going to save for his Nintendo Wii.


    The manager did give out frisbees...


    And I did simple goodie bags (I printed the b-day cake on my computer and put each child's name on it).


    The nicest part was had a few parents tell me THEY actually got to sit and have a conversation. There was plenty of room, and they didn't have to worry about where their kids were the whole time. It was nice!

    Caedmon's Birthday Party

    Who needs scheduled games when kids can find any way to entertain themselves!

    The birthday boy decided to try this...


    Which Maili thought was a great idea!


    Timothy had to join in.


    By the time Samantha joined the fun, Caedmon stepped it up a notch. Samantha decided to copy him.


    My favorite part was that they thoroughly enjoyed posing each time so that I could get pictures of them. These children all play so well together, and it's very enjoyable to watch them do it!