Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January 2018 in Summary

Well, it's the last day of January, and it seems like certain aspects of the month have gone quickly and others have been painfully slow.  Other parts seem to just mush together with the month of December, which was a bit dreadful.

Maybe I'll talk about December later...

Anyway, January.  The new year rung in with no big surprises, Daniel stayed up with us to watch the ball drop, and that was that.  He was enjoying winter break, which seemed to go extra, super long, even though it wasn't. School didn't start up again until the 8th of January, so that's probably what made it seem long.

OK...interruption time...Laurel...not...sleeping.  Will continue later, I hope!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

It's 2018

Well, ya crazy kids, it's 2018.  I seriously can't believe it myself, and I can't believe (or, well, I can, sort of) that it's been over a year since my last post. 

Let's see...what's going on...what's happened in the last year...hmm...

Kids first, I guess.  Laurel turned 1 on February 2nd, and she's the only one of our kids to be walking before their first birthday.  The others have been close, but she was taking actual steps and all that a few weeks before.  She'll be a 2 year old two weeks from tomorrow (eep!) and she's grown by leaps and bounds since last year, of course.  More hair. Sleeping in a crib that's not in our room. Talking. Eating just about anything that's put in front of her.  Playing with her siblings.

Then Kaitlyn...she turned four in August and she was SUPER excited to start Preschool/ELC at the boys' school.  Her class is right next door to Daniel's, which is kind of funny.  She's fully potty trained (even at night), and that's been the easiest transition all around.  She's super smart, remembers everything you tell her (even if you might not want her to) and she's learned to play video games with the boys now, too.

Jared is next.  Kindergarten was a bit rough, but 1st grade has been way better.  Not as much hiding, not listening, etc.  He's learning to read really well, too, with a huge explosion in reading over the past couple of months even.  He turned 6 and had a birthday party at Pump It Up, and this year he'll be seven.  Yikes!

Daniel turned 9 (he'll be 10 this year) and he's becoming a bit more independent and he's taking on some more responsibility.  He's really good at math, and reading is sort of coming along.  He shares a room with Laurel for the moment (even though that's going to change in the near future) and we've been letting him stay up a bit later on the weekends.  He learned to ride his bike w/o training wheels (parent bad for not having practice time with him much over the last year or two).  Swimming he's still doing really well with, and I'm sure both him and Jared will be competing with each other soon enough!

Well, that's it for the kids right now...and Laurel is crying for me, so I'll cut it off here and continue at a later time (hopefully!)

Sunday, January 08, 2017

First Week of the Year Down!

Greetings again, and although I didn't blog for everyone after the 2nd, I've kept up with the daily pictures and short videos for everyone.  Including myself.  I think I've found that just snapping a quick picture or doing a quick video is much easier than typing something coherent out.

Well, the week didn't go by with too much going on.  The boys went back to school on Tuesday, and Jared even got a blue card at least one day for behavior, and he was thrilled to be "surfer of the day", the helper in the class.  Daniel's class is doing a "wax museum" where they pick a historical figure to do a report on and dress up as at the end of the project.

Kaitlyn and Laurel are pretty good too...daycare on Tuesday and Thursday, as normal.  Laurel still walks on her knees (which is pretty hilarious), enjoys the doorway jumper and is pretty clingy.  Still eats just about anything you put in front of her.  Kaitlyn is doing really well with potty training, now to just convince her to wear underwear instead of ask for a diaper.

All things told, it wasn't a horrible week.  The weather has been pretty blah, and it feels like everyone should just sleep and be cuddley. :)

Here's the pictures from the 3rd through the 8th (today!) in rapid succession!

Monday, January 02, 2017

Second Post of the Year!

So I'm actually keeping up here (for now!).  Day number two of the year, and here I am.

Today actually went by sort of fast.  Got up with the kids around 8:30 (minus Kaitlyn, who slept til around 9) and played a little bit of Rock Band with the boys.  A few random TV shows and then daddy got up around 11:30.  Laurel was looking a bit tired, so I joined her for a 1 1/2 hour nap (yay!).

Then we got out of the house a bit and took a trip to Petco (just to amuse the kids) and then to Target to get a few things before school starts back up for the boys tomorrow.  Kids fed.  Laurel, my newly minted 11 month old, fell asleep in her doorway jumper.  Played some more of my newest game (Don't Starve) with Jared and then it was bedtime for all the people under age 10!

Got some grading for my online course done and now I'm blogging and about to hit the game again!

Here's yet another very glamorous picture of the day...

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2017...I think almost everyone I've talked to has had a hard time wrapping their brains around that for one reason or another.  Like, it seems like it was just 2000?  Wait, what year was it that such-n-such happened?  In either case, I'd like to start off the new year with a new series of blog posts.

I have been pretty lax about blogging for myself and for the kids, but, hey, I have four kids.  And they are all pretty young.  The reasons I haven't done a post in a while are numerous, but I'm hoping that with ringing in this new year that some of those things preventing me from doing it will lessen.

As for new things to add to the "document your life" stuff, I am attempting to get a short video of each of the kids every day along with their daily photo.  I'm going to try and do a daily video of and for myself as well, just to see how things change over the course of a year.  I feel particularly compelled to do this for the reason that our family is "complete" now.  It's an interesting feeling to have everything in place.  If we were to get matching Christmas ornaments, or something personalized...we're all there.  No one is left out simply because they haven't been born yet.

There's a few other New Year's resolution type things that I'm going to attempt as well, but I'll discuss that later.  I have to have a few more things to talk about in future blog posts, right?

So...cheers, and here's to 2017!

Friday, July 08, 2016

Oh, the places we went...

So I failed my attempt to blog for each of my children each day for a whole week.  That was a while ago.  In any case, this one isn't about my lack of blogging, but rather a recap of our recent vacation!

In celebration of Mike and my 10th anniversary, we went on an epic road trip.  Originally, we had a destination in mind, Lake Tahoe, where we got married.  The plan several months back was to fly to Reno, spend a few days there and then drive up to Tahoe, take the boat ride around the lake, stay another day or two and then go back home.  A few things changed our ultimate plans, as I'll explain.  One is that the airline times were a bit squishy.  And by squishy, I mean that the direct, non-stop flights from Phoenix to Reno were either really early or really late.  They weren't great.  The second was the price of the flights.  Tag on renting a car in Reno and then paying for the hotels that we really wanted, it started to get a bit pricey.  Since we were already spending money, I idly started looking at ways to extend our trip (do something fun, right?) and started looking at going to Disneyland or Legoland to have some fun with the kids.  Our one week fly to Reno and back turned into an almost two week road trip.

So here we go...

Day 1 was Saturday June 18th.  We intended to leave as early as we could (shooting for maybe 8am?), but we ended up not getting out of the house til around 11.  Oh well.  We still made pretty good time to Las Vegas, which was our first destination!  We drove straight through, which was pretty impressive not to stop for a potty break or a food break.  So we made it to Vegas, checked into our hotel (Treasure Island) and the first stop (a request/wish from Daniel) was the giant Coke bottle.  The last time we were in Las Vegas, he REALLY wanted to go up inside of it.  There's an Outback up there, so we had dinner there.

Day 2, Sunday, the first full day in Las Vegas.  The kids slept in relatively late, thanks to blackout curtains...hooray!  Plans for the day included hitting up the pool in the morning and then taking the kids to Circus Circus.  The pool was a hit, but as an unfortunate parent fail, Laurel got a bit sunburned.  Ouch.  At Circus Circus, we played a few video games and had lunch at the McDonalds there (exciting, I know, but the kids like it!).  We went to the Venetian as well to walk around and bought a few things (toys, hats, know, the important stuff).

Day 3, Monday, a travel day.  Time to check out of TI and make our way up to our next destination, Reno!  This was the longest driving day of our trip, so it was pretty exhausting.  On our way, we stopped to visit uncle Gary for an hour or so in Fernley.  Then onto Reno where we checked into the Peppermill.  The kids were already excited to have a hottub in the room.

Day 4, Tuesday.  Lots of just relaxation and a quick trip out to Target for supplies.  We took the kids to the game room at the Peppermill, which was definitely a hit (and repeated a few more times!).

Day 5, Wednesday.  The kids are still sleeping in pretty well (yay blackout curtains) and the only plans for today were a lunch with one of Mike's former co-workers.  Then back to the hotel, more splashing around in the hot tub in the room and so on.

Day 6, Thursday.  Today the pool was on the agenda!  All of us hit up the pools at the Peppermill and had a pretty good time splashing about.  We met up with another of Mike's former co-workers and family for dinner before returning to the hotel and finishing up the day in the game room again.  Over the 3 days of playing, the kids got to pick out the toys they wanted from the tickets they'd accumulated over the past few days.

Day 7, Friday June 24th.  Checkout of the Peppermill day and onto Tahoe!  It's also our anniversary!  The plan was to go on the 2:30 boat cruise on the MS Dixie (since the Tahoe Queen, the boat we got married on, wasn't's being renovated, and out of it's dock due to low lake levels).  We met up with Gary who accompanied us on the ride around the lake.  The kids liked looking out on the water the whole trip (Daniel the most, Kaitlyn probably next, and Jared got a little restless and wanted to run up and down the stairs between decks.  Laurel was happy whereever!).  At the end of the ride, we went to check into our hotel (Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel) and ordered some pizza for dinner.  Perfect anniversary!

Day 8, Saturday.  Another day at Tahoe!  We FINALLY were able to go on the Heavenly Gondola!  We'd attempted to go on it a few times in the past, but it was shut down due to weather or some other odd reason.  At the top, we went to play on the playground, and let Daniel attempt the rock wall (which he totally rocked!  Up three times in no time at all!).  A ride back down on the gondola and dinner with Gary and Kiara!  They had to leave to go pick up Grandma Stone from the airport in Reno,  We hit up the pool for a little while in the evening before tucking in for the night

Day 9, Sunday.  Check out and departing Tahoe. Our destination was Yosemite!  None of us had ever been there, and we are kind of kicking ourselves that we used to live so close to it, yet we never went!  It was about a 2 hour drive to the park entrance from South Lake Tahoe.  From there, we took the road through to the west side and down to Yosemite Valley (where all the "good" stuff is).  It was a very memorable trip!  It was busy in places, but we still had a few opportunities to get out and get some pictures.  We saw one coyote and one bear while there (exciting, I know, but I honestly wasn't expecting to see much of anything, I suppose).  Backing out of Yosemite, we headed for Fresno for the night.

Day 10, Monday.  Heading out of Fresno and towards Anaheim!  We hadn't told the kids that we were going to Disneyland, and we were really rushing to try and get out of Fresno and on our way!  Traffic was sort of icky in some places, but we made it to our hotel around 2pm!  The kids were still kind of clueless about where we were (Jared kept insisting that we needed to go to the zoo), and it really didn't hit them until they saw a big statue of Goofy in the lobby of our hotel.  We got checked in and headed out to Disneyland (since we were at Paradise Pier, one of the resort hotels, it was a pretty quick walk).  We got to go on the rocket ride, as well as hit up the AstroBlasters.  We were all pretty tired, ordering room service for dinner.

Day 11, Tuesday.  One of the perks of staying at a resort hotel is getting into the park an hour early.  Daniel and I were the ones to get up and head out (the others were sleeping in a bit).  We hit up (Hyper) Space Mountain and Star Tours (and grabbed a few more Fast Passes for Space Mountain) before heading back to get the rest of the gang.  Our plans for the day included a few more rides, like Thunder Mountain Railroad, Autopia, and so on. Making use of FastPass and Rider Swap made it so both Mike and I could ride the ride, and sometimes the kids got to go twice.

Day 12, Wednesday.  California Adventure Day!  We got in early and got our FastPass to the Radiator Springs Racers (that was our goal, since the last time we were there, all of the FastPasses were gone and we never got to ride it).  While waiting for our time (about an hour), we all got to ride on some things in A Bugs Life land/area...Flik's flyers, the Lady Bugs and the Chew-Chew Train.  We did the Radiator Springs Racers (yay!) and got two more Fast Passes for that.  A few more rides (Mater's Junkyard Jambouree and Luigi's thing in Cars Land) and back to the hotel for just a bit.  Mike headed out to get a few more Fast Passes for the Grizzly River Rapids and came back for us so we could head out for a 2nd round of Radiator Springs Racers.  Riding the rapids (Jared went once, then refused the 2nd time) and over to ride Mike and Sully to the rescue (Monsters Inc) twice.  After that, we headed to the hotel again and then prepared to go out to see the World of Color (we'd picked up reserved passes earlier in the day).  It was a tiring day, but worth it!

Day 13, Thursday.  Our last day!  We checked out of our hotel and headed to Disneyland to meet Gillianne and her family!  Before we'd met, Mike took the boys to wait in line for the Matterhorn.  The ride broke down so we ended up needing to go at a later time.  Upon meeting up with Gillianne, we went on Pirates of the Caribbean (all of us did!), and Splash Mountain.  Daniel got his wish to go on the Matterhorn (the boys got to go twice, once with Mike, once with me!), and then on a boat ride in Storybook Land, and ending out the day with the spinning teacups (Mike, Daniel, Jared and Kaitlyn).  We headed for home and arrived about 12:30 am.  Tired...happy...did I mention tired?

We're still recovering a week later...but it was a fun trip!  We showed ourselves that we can do it with our complete family of six!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Challenge Day 2!

Welcome to the weekend, and my second consecutive day blogging!  Blogging every day has the potential to be a little boring in the sense that there's not something exciting going on EVERY day.

Anyway, today was a pretty typical Saturday.  Mike and I woke up to a little bit of kidlet squawking, and came downstairs to find that Kaitlyn (presumably) had scattered corn chips all over the floor.  Sigh.  After doing a bit of cleaning, we prepared to go out to do a little shopping.  Target today!  The past few weekends we've been favoring going to Fry's Electronics (for no good reason other than we're nerds!).  The mission at Target was to get swimsuits for the older 3, maybe pick up a little pool, and check on shorts for the boys too.  And mission was easily accomplished without too much fuss.

We decided to head up to South Mountain (another popular weekend driving destination) to see if J, K and L would nap (mostly geared towards K napping).  We managed to catch a few chuckwalla out again, and snap a few more fuzzy pictures.  Of course, Kaitlyn fell asleep as we were most of the way home.  Great.

Still plotting and planning our epic trip coming up in a few weeks here!  And that's about all for now!  Off to blog for the kids!