Sunday, March 31, 2013

Remodel- Week 4

According to our schedule, the workers will be starting week 5 of work on our remodel this upcoming Monday. Here's how things are looking after 4 weeks of work. We've definitely made progress based on this post.

Here's Ryan's room (closet)

Ryan's ceiling/windows
(which will get their plantation shutters back on them at some point)

Entrance to the two rooms from the hallway

Master bedroom


Kevin's closet... where they are storing lots of junk

We have inspections Monday for the insulation and then they start putting up the drywall. 

It is amazing how well the insulation and new windows are already making the space so much quieter. I can't wait to be sleeping in my quiet new room instead of our loud guest room right below Catie!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring Break Adventures!

We've had way too much fun enjoying spring break this past week. Not that life is tough by any means on a normal week... but it was fun to have a new schedule and go on some adventures instead of the usual routine.

Monday was spent at parks... like hours at the park. I love my friends and I especially love when we hang out at the park and chat together while our kids are happy (for the most part) and don't bother us other than for snacks. :)

We also enjoyed some time just hanging out in our pjs goofing around at our house.

Aunt Jessie came up on Monday afternoon and played with me and the kiddos, ate dinner with us, and stay for FHE and some chatting.

I attempted a creative idea for FHE that was a total fail in so many ways... especially since the kids were like 500 times more hyper than normal... so not sure if they'll know anything about the Easter story this year... but at least I tried!

On Tuesday we packed up early (helps that the nail gun woke us up at 7am) and headed down to the San Jose Children's Discovery Museum with a friend from Andrew's preschool class last year.

It is good that I don't think things through very well sometimes... because otherwise we may have never made it to the museum. I never thought, "oh, it might be crazy at the museum with three kids... especially Catie"... and so we pressed on and actually had a great time despite many giant Catie tantrums.

The pictures don't tell the whole story and look quite idyllic. Catie sat still for two seconds and then was off destroying this little art studio... meanwhile Andrew could not be torn away from his beautiful masterpiece. We totally forgot to pick it up when we left and I haven't mentioned the museum again for fear of the wrath of Andrew when he realizes he left his masterpiece there!

Giant Bubbles!

Giant tinker toys!

Andrew loved building and stayed here forever!

Meanwhile Catie was OBSESSED with these bugs and took all of them and hoarded them for our entire visit to this exhibit... which didn't win her any friends. When one kid tried to borrow one that she hadn't touched in like 5 minutes she threw a tantrum, then he pushed her over, and then she had an even bigger tantrum. The other mom did nothing to get her son to stop attacking Catie (even though by that point she'd stopped hoarding the bugs), so I grabbed her and moved the poor little sobbing girl to another area in the museum to escape him... and he kept following us around. Annoying! 

Anyways, we spent the entire museum visit working on sharing and not hoarding... and by the end Catie was giving things back a little quicker, though it was such an emotional thing for her that she would just cry and cry even when she was sharing. Being two is tough work!

The little cutie also has a very large personal bubble. If you come close to her she yells NOOOOO and OWWWW and OOOUUCCH! (if you are a stranger) and although it is really funny... it makes going to busy places a little tricky. It is amazing how often strange adults touch kids they don't know instead of using their words... Catie helps them realize quickly that that is a BAD IDEA.

She managed to lick all the plastic balls close by her really quickly... (maybe her new technique for marking her territory?) and then loved every second as she got herself completely soaked in the water area. It was so fun to watch how happy she was!

Andrew was in heaven too. Once the kiddos were wet and cold, we went into the bathroom to change clothes and then we went off on our next adventure for the day....

Since we were already down south, we decided to head to a park in our old neighborhood and meet up with some friends. These hooligans played for almost 3 hours while the moms chatted. I LOVED it!

I paid for all the fun adventures and messed up schedule on the drive home (almost 1.5 hours of screaming by one, two, or all three kiddos depending on the part of the drive)... but all the fun with friends was totally worth it. 

On Wednesday we headed back down to the Peninsula to meet up with some other friends. I didn't manage to snag a single picture because I just enjoyed chatting with friends and lounging a bit.

We first went to a park in San Carlos with my friend Jen who used to work with me in PAUSD. We both have 5 yr olds and 2 yr olds so it was fun to watch the kiddos play together while we caught up.

After that we ventured over to see the Balenas and we were greeted with SO MUCH LOVE from all of our Balena friends that we will need to see them again very soon! Andrew and George ran off together and played happily for almost an hour while Grace entertained Catie and Liz and I mostly got to sit and chat. LOVED it!

We also hit up Hillsdale Mall for some Mrs. Fields Cookies (Elise used to work close by there so whenever either one of us used to go to Mrs. Fields there they thought we were mall employees because between the both of us we were there so often... so it was fun to go back to our old stomping grounds). 

On Thursday we relaxed a bit and Kevin made the kiddos waffles and then we left around 10am to head to the Oakland Zoo! We met up with my friend and her cute kids and then another one of her friends and his kids... so we were quite a group with 11 kids and 3 adults!

Apparently waiting for the train to leave was really hard? :) (see photo below) They LOVED the kangaroos but my favorite line from Andrew on the train was "Mom, oh my goodness, I can see THE PARKING LOT!" He said it was such enthusiasm that I just started laughing. I love Andrew and his zest for every aspect life.

The new friend proved to be very helpful when it came to the hills at the zoo :) He pushed my stroller up the hills while Catie relaxed inside and I carried Ryan in the Bjorn.

After the zoo my friend Kristy and I took the kiddos over to the Oakland Temple to end the day. It was gorgeous. They ran around, visited Jesus (Christus statue in the Visitors Center), and smelled the pretty flowers. Catie loves to say "I'm pretending!" when she is actually doing something... so whenever I told her to STOP picking the flowers she would tell me she was pretending (but she wasn't... and has no clue what that word really means)... so cute and challenging at the same time.

We managed to get home quickly and without any screaming, which was delightful. 

I am now thoroughly exhausted from Spring Break and am ready for real life to resume next week! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Remodel Update

I don't have that many pictures to post of updates because usually by the time we get home, everything is boarded over and the workers are done for the day.

So far they've finished framing and done rough electrical and plumbing and have also done the HVAC stuff. They also put flooring on (that we will carpet) and they are waiting to do some inspections.

Today they put our windows in!

This is part of the master bedroom/part of the master bath.

So now the exterior of the house looks different too. They'll put that all back to normal at some point once they do stucco.

So far they've been working ahead of schedule, which is great. Hope it continues!

Favorite Catie Phrases

Catie unintentionally cracks me up all day long. She talks a lot... some of which we can't totally understand... and then she also yells a lot... and we can understand that too well :)

Here are a few of my favorite Catie words or phrases right now...

Mom, I'm doing my work out. (climbing on things around the house)

Tons of things. I like doing tons of things (no clue why she says this)

5 more minutes (when I ask her to do anything)

Be kay-yet (when Ryan or Andrew is loud)

Ryan doesn't like me (if Ryan cries anytime she is around)


I missed you mommy/daddy I love you (often only when we leave the room and come back)

Where did rabbit and doggie go? (her stuffed animals)

You are hurting my feelings (when I brush her knotted hair).

That makes me sick  (any food we offer when she is grumpy)

Ring around the toilet (favorite way to sing Ring around the Rosie)

I'm having a hard time

I need a cuddle (all day long... so sweet)

I still love you (when she destroys her room during quiet time)

Watch a show mom, please? (anytime we are in our house or near an electronic device)

Stupid! (anytime you tell her something that makes her mad or that she doesn't want to do... Thank you A Bug's Life... :( )

Too loud! Too loud! (when contractors are working at the house)

Ouch! (any time you touch her?)

Ryan at 5 months

I think this picture is a good representation of how Ryan feels most of the day...

Who are these crazy people and what are they doing to me?

Little dude is pretty mild mannered and happy... unless you drive him in the car anywhere. Then he just screams... and can do it for over an hour without stopping.

His main favorite things are his hands and drool... lots of drool.

Little dude is chunky! He makes everyone smile with his infectious smiles that take over his whole face.

The other day he sat without help for about 20 seconds. He looks so much older when he does this. I don't try this stuff with him often though because I want him to just stay my little baby and cuddle.

His favorite toys are his siblings, his exersaucer, the toys on the high chair, the pull things on his rocker chair, my hair (sucking and pulling on it- ick!), and his hands.

Lately little dude goes to bed at 8pm, eats once before I go to bed and then sleeps until 7 or 8. We need to teach him to sleep without the miracle blanket... but I'm not ready for that yet.

Ryan wears size 3 diapers and can probably wear size 9 month clothes now. My arms are constantly tired from carrying him around, but I love it. He is so cuddly and loveable!

On having three kids...

Just a side note... although having 3 kids is not as hard as say... having 4 or 5 kids... it is definitely an adjustment. Life isn't just roses and as I've mentioned to several friends... there is seriously a lot of crying- by all parties (including me...). In fact, I think there have been some days lately when at least one person is crying all day long... not the same person all day long... but with everyone making sure to take their turn :) It is really thoughtful of them.

I love my three cute kids and am blessed to have a really good sense of humor about life on most days... and I also have several really good friends who will listen to me talk about the crazy antics of my kids which totally makes life better. 

Ryan couldn't be more loved and all kiddos in our family agree he's the best. In fact, a direct quote from Catie earlier this week was, "I love Ryan. He is the best brother ever ever ever!" (Good thing Andrew wasn't nearby to hear that :))

Happy 5 months to my favorite little dude! Can't believe you are growing so fast!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday Picnic at the Reservoir

This afternoon we met up with Aunt Tito and baby Sophie at the Lafayette Reservoir for a mini hike, a picnic, and some park playtime.

The weather was gorgeous and we loved lounging on our picnic blanket relaxing.

One family taught our kiddos how to play cornhole. I love nice people. 

It was so fun to chat with Cat for awhile while my crazies ran around. They loved seeing her too and Andrew had so much fun trying to make Sophie smile.

After all the running and climbing Catie passed out cold in the car about 5 minutes from our house. I managed to transfer her to her bed and she actually napped for an hour and a half... which is unheard of lately.

She woke up in a super sour mood, but snapped out of it once I got her dinner...

Now I am ready to hit the sack. It was a tiring but fun day!

Neighborhood Easter Fun

I took a hiatus from planning parties and events for our Neighborhood HOA once Ryan was born. Our last event was a Fall BBQ at the end of September. We decided that the holidays were already overrun with events, so we didn't try and squish anything in.

Three weeks ago I realized that it was March and that Easter was actually in March so I chatted with my favorite neighborhood social committee friends and we started planning this year's neighborhood Egg Hunt!

Of course I managed to select the one weekend that Kevin was out of town for our event... just to keep me on my toes.

We advertised and sent our fliers and collected money and gathered up all of the stuff we needed and then today was the big day!

It couldn't have gone more perfectly.

The three crazies and I ran to Target last night to get some last minute items and then I spent the evening stuffing more Easter Eggs. Somehow I thought 400 eggs for 30 kids wasn't enough... so I made it 500. Crazy!

While I was up in the middle of the night with Ryan I made my morning "to do" list and once my toddler alarm clock went off at 7am we were off and running all morning to get things done and ready for the big hunt!

The kids were fed, dressed, and our car was loaded by 9am and then the kiddos hung out watching A Bugs Life in the car while we set up at the neighborhood park. My neighborhood teenage helpers showed up right at 9:50 to help hide eggs- they were lifesavers! We will need helpers every year from here on out... it made the day go so much more smoothly!

People started arriving around 9:55/10am right as Ryan fell asleep in the stroller- hooray!
Neighbors checked in and ate lots of treats and beverages purchased by Kara & Sahar and then the big hunt started at 10:15am!

Of course I totally forgot to reconfigure the start times and groups to work with the new ages in our family, so unlike last year, Catie and Andrew had hunts at the same time on separate fields. Whoops!

I followed Catie around snapping photos and attempting to get her to pick up an egg... she wasn't really into it... and then I took a few photos of Andrew on his field while trying to keep Catie in my sights. She managed to escape and run away and hide several times during the event (maybe her new way to deal with her social anxiety... instead of tantruming? Not sure which one is better). 

Once all the eggs were collected the kiddos checked out their loot and then ate snacks and played with friends.

All the while Ryan slept the day away. He woke up once everything was packed and loaded into our car to go home and everyone was gone. Love this kid!

I managed to convince Catie to sit and eat some snacks so that I could chat with a few friends and meet several new neighbors. There are several kids in the neighborhood that are starting kindergarten with Andrew next year so it was fun to chat and visit with familiar faces that I had seen earlier this week at kindergarten orientation.

We finally had everything loaded in the car around 11:30am and we went home and just sat on the couch for an hour watching TV and hanging out. We were exhausted!

I get energized being around people and meeting new friends so today's egg hunt was the highlight of my week! I am so grateful for amazing co-social directors who work with me to create such fun events in our neighborhood!