Sunday, April 27, 2008

More Birthday Photos

Cousin Will, Alexa and Travis singing from the tree house
Tess always loves a party!!
So does Lily!!!
Will and Dana playing with Lily

Tess getting a cuddle from Daddy
Auntie Steffie
A good day

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Preteen

Well my sweet Jack, my firstborn, you turned 11 today. I'll never forget the day I discovered I was expecting you, and the fear, and joy I experienced in the months that led to your birth. You started me on a path that I never expected to take, you changed me forever into a mother. I will always feel a special link to you as my first child.

I have loved watching you change and grow...your spirit, and your sparkle . You have become a kind, thoughtful, and dynamic young man and I am so proud of you.

I always think of the day Barbra told me she knew she was "gonna read about you in the paper one day"..that you were going to be something special...and she couldn't wait to see what it was. I look forward to you finding what the future holds for you.

The last year has brought many hard things, but also 2 wonderful things(your sisters!). You have weathered them all with humor and grace and I thank you for that.

Happy Birthday my Sweet Pea.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Movie Night!!!

Saturday night was movie night. We watched Alvin and the Chipmunks. The kids LOVED the movie even Jack who said it was the funniest movie he had seen in a long time and "that is a lot, I NEVER think movies are funny".

So we had lots of junk food...the candy had a tropical theme this time...I don't really recommend Tropical Mike and Ike's OR Tropical Dots, but the kids like them, so that's really what counts. The Sour Chewy Jolly Ranchers were delicious, and without giving my age away too much, Jolly Ranchers came out when I was maybe in middle school or early high school. AT least that's when I discovered them, and I have the most fond memories of them. And now my kids love them too...although I prefer the classic flavors, they like to be adventurous with their choices. You'd think that would keep me from eating them, but it doesn't. Anyway, the movie was cute, I also remember having a Chipmunks album as a it was enjoyable family centered evening. As we enter the world of preteens I'm afraid we may find these times harder to come by. I hope not.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Thanks Laura, it worked!!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I've never been big on rewarding the kids with food, but I caved... Jack and Alexa have had a tough year. They handled my hospital stay, with all of the upheaval and change of routine with amazing ease. At the last minute we changed schools this year. For the last 5 years they've been attending an amazing school in the woods, a Montessori and Waldorf based curriculum, basically an active learning, very hands on, program.

We loved the school. It's beautiful setting, and small size of 65 kids, kindergarten through 8th grade. Multi-grade classrooms, and truly amazing creative and caring teachers.

But it was a 1/2 hour drive each way, and it's small size, although wonderful academically, created a very small social circle, and these things combined helped us decide that the kids, were ready for a change, and I needed to not be driving for upwards of 2 hours a day to get the kids to school and back with newborn twins.
So the decision was made, and they have done great!!! A little adjustment had to be made as far as styles of teaching, and they are having a great time getting to know some more local kids...

I am so proud of them, and so when they started bringing home, such good scores on tests...I took them out for a treat...

It may seem like a bribe...but we had a great time, and they felt really special, so it was worth it! And it was YUMMY!!!


So...zucchini was not a big hit for Lily. Funnily...whenever I tried to get a photo of her, she would stop crying and swallow.

So I took a LOT of photos of her, in order to get her to eat...

And then finally got one of her crying...this is funny because she normally eats anything, and Tess clamps her mouth shut. No crying, nothing. Just closes her mouth and sometimes turns her head away. But she liked the zucchini...and so I got to play with my camera!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Plum Tuckered Out

We all are. We have been so busy this week with baseball...two games two days in a row, plus a practice, and another game Saturday.

A few nights ago, I was feeding Lily and Tess dinner, and they were so grumpy I decided to clean them up and put them to bed. I went to get a washcloth wet and when I returned, this is what I found.
They just went to sleep! I honestly went to the sink maybe six feet away, for about 15 seconds. Poor things! They slept for about 20 minutes, and then woke up and ate their dinner.

Jack running to first base...

And the crowd....I think we make up about half of the spectators....along with my Mom and Bill we are 8, there were only a few people in the bleachers. It seems like most people don't watch the kids play, or one parent goes to the game while the other stays home. I like to drag everyone out to the game...we don't stay the whole 3 HOURS but it's nice see him play.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I had my spring conference today with Travis' preschool teacher. We were talking about ways to discipline, and she told me that at the California Preschool Conference she took a class that suggested that instead of a 'time-out' mat, or spot, to have a 'cozy-spot'. A place that is comforting to the child. Because usually when they are in need of a time-out they need comfort. So make it comfy, with a blankets, pillow, stuffed animals, and even books, and they have an area that they feel safe, and can learn to soothe themselves. So not to even address the bad behavior, but to acknowledge that they need time to reflect, or rest. I thought this was a great idea! I've always found that when meltdowns, or other misbehavior occurs, it stems from a need for attention, and so to teach the kids how to sort themselves out, and redirect them at the same time is a really neat concept...because it's essentially what a timeout is, but in a positive style...I am going to try it with Travis...he is on the old side, but occasionally needs a 'moment'. Then I will have a plan when the girls are ready....

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


We had unseasonably hot weather this weekend...91 degrees on Sunday!! Unbelievable. Well, not really, but we have to July we'll wish it was 91, instead of the 113 degrees we had 2 summers ago. I was inpatient or at the hospital during our hot spell last summer, so I don't even remember. I guess my mind was elsewhere.

I happened upon some summer outfits for the babes, and couldn't resist.
I LOVE playing with the tuning and effects on I played with everything highlights, color, tone, and then went and made it black and white....
Bath time...our new favorite thing...after all these months of screaming anytime they got near the water.

And a highlighted, cropped, warmified, shadowed, silly monkey.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Big Sister

Tonight Alexa was playing with Tess and told me,
"The very first time a baby laughs, a fairy is created."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

First Game

We decided to play Little League this year. Jack decided two years ago that baseball was his game, and so last year we played Multi-League. Multi-League is a less competitive league in our city. Coach pitched, boys and girls, no keeping score. You get the picture. Jack was one of the stars of the team, it was a ton of fun, but not competitive enough for him. For ME it was perfect. One practice a week, one game a week, the sweetest coach in the world, and my son could do no wrong. I 've also heard horror stories about the parents of little league players, and how some kids never get to play, it's so competitive, and so I had concerns. So we lucked out...Jack's coach is great. He emphasizes having fun, while teaching them a TON about baseball, something we sort of missed in the other in the end he was a little behind in the actual playing skills area, even though he has quite a bit of natural ability. He's learning so much and loving it, so I'm really glad we made the switch, but it soooo much more demanding. Monday night was his first game with the Blue Jays. It was a tie 3-3.

I tried to sneak a photo...but he was too far away...uh oh....I may have to upgrade, and buy a new lens for my camera...darn!!!

Just a cool photo, the first I tried to take of him, and just liked the way it turned out.

And Husband...the light was so beautiful, and he looks so content.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


I've always made the baby food around here...and with Jack had a lot of luck...he would eat anything I made with glee, and I followed a great book, Mommy Made, to the letter, and he did great. With Alexa and Travis it was more hit and miss. Like hit the pears apples and banana, and miss anything resembling a vegetable. I never mixed anything for the older kids...just gave them their fruit/veg, a grain, and then a protein. But along came these twins, and being a little shorter on time, I make them things, and if they don't like then, they get slop. Meaning I mix things they don't really like with something else they don't really like, and voila!!! A new favorite.
So today, for lunch they had 3 cubes of pears and2 cubes of carrots all mixed up with multi-grain cereal, and half of a Yobaby vanilla yogurt..they don't like vanilla yogurt...and about a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.,
They scarfed it up, and were so happy!!!

Some other favorites are zucchini and apple, or carrots and yams, this is good with some yogurt and cinnamon as well. Alexa thinks it smells like pumpkin pie. Peas have to be mixed with something, anything. And now I've discovered this website...perhaps thru Arizona, Wholesome Babyfood that gives all of these great, and some kind of scary, combos as well!!!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Don't Fence Me In

Well, I broke down, and bought a cage for the babes. Husband calls it 'the pit'. Don't ask me why. He thinks it's funny. My mom has always tried to get me to use a playpen, and I've never really wanted to, or felt like I need to, but here we are. It wasn't so much to keep them in.

It was to keep the monkeys out,
and their hazardous toys. They are everywhere!!! No matter how much I pick them up. But the cage is a big pain in my open, and to I barely use it. But I am trying to get better about it. And also trying to find a cuter one. For some reason, it seems as though it will be less prisonlike.
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The Zoo

We had a great day at the Oakland Zoo on Friday. The weather was good, the kids in good spirits. I haven't been in a while I guess. The Children's Zoo has been completeley renovated, and is wonderful. We do struggle a bit now with the age gap and finding things to entertain the span of ages in our family, but the zoo is pretty good in that respect. It's better than The Jungle anyway. For me that is. And the babies. The older kids asked for it, but I denied them. I'm so mean.
Jack planning his escape.

There are lots of creatures to climb on.
And people to watch.
Great Grandma loves Elephants, this was for her.
Oddly, I met this woman with twins, she had an amazing double bassinet carraige type stroller. It was stunning. I was talking to her about the twins, and she said they were identical, and she knew because they had an early ultrasound that showed....and she mumbled something, but that the twins had Twin to Twin Transfer Syndrome. I told her that my girls were monoamniotic, and she freaked out. Apparently this was what she was mumbling, but didn't bother because no one ever knows what she's talking about. She was misdiagnosed....and her membrane was found at 11 weeks. I have to say it was pretty neat to run into a random person that knew what Momos are.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

So much FUN!!!!

I am loving the new camera!!! I am having a little trouble avoiding the shake, hence the blurry photos....I even like those! I'll just have to keep practicing! I LOVE that I can put it on the 'sport' setting, and take about a zillion photos a second,

without getting caught.

Or get LOTS of photos, when the kids are feeling like indulging me.
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Thursday, April 3, 2008

My Dilemma

My monkey wants a style change. A mohawk. I'm struggling with this decision. I'm not sure why...I suppose it's a stigma thing, and that irritates me as well. I have always let the kids express themselves stylewise, Jack had long hair, Alexa dressed in dress-up clothes for two years...but a mohawk? I took him to get his hairs cut, and got a fauxhawk, but it isn't satisfactory. Not spiky enough, or bald enough. Oh, what to do. Part of my issue is that he has a little bit if a 'rep' at school. He can be a little impulsive(hits), and very energetic. He has grown up and improved so much I am afraid a mohawk would be the final straw in a kind of tender situation. I am lobbying to wait until school is out...Husband wants to go ahead, but he went to boarding school from the age of seven and loves to let the kids make these "creative calls" since he was never allowed to. I have to think this one out. And maybe remove my feelings from the mix, and let Monkey make his choice.

The current look

Jack's long hair...looking a LOT like Shaun Cassidy
Alexa's Diva Ballerina stage