Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I Think This Falls Under Mortal Sins

Gluttony at it's finest
I mean, really... One rawhide wasn't enough?

And the Diva goes for the raw hide that is as big as she is. Silly Dogs.

Can You Guess

What Olivia did in school today?

Yes, all things apple. They dipped them in chocolate and caramel, tried different types, made apple juice, and created a beautiful apple cut out for my refrigerator.
Here's the other noodle posing for her picture:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Footprints In The Sand

This amazing little footprint belongs to Ava. She is totally enthralled with everything foot. This includes footprints- making, finding, seeing it, it doesn't matter. She just loves to watch the pavement change when she stomps her little wet foot on it. Today she discovered she made tracks in the sand when she ran out of the surf. It was like a dream come true for her and a joy to watch for us.
This is my shell collecting, sand castle building, little digger. Give her and shovel and a pale and Olivia will be busy for hours. I AM NOT JOKING. She tries to dig up my yard every opportunity she gets.
Olivia just discovered her own footprints.
And now she is off and running with her shovel and pale. Always busy. Always.
Just try and tell Ava to get out of the water because it is time to leave the beach. You'll hear, "NO NO NO NO!!!" Ava can't wait to get into the water and splash around. She absolutely loves it. Even when it's freezing.
She has heard we are leaving the beach to go to the toy store. As you can see she would rather stay at the beach.
Miss Sandcastle Extraordinaire leaving her mark on the world.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Doctor Update & Preschool Art

Went to see the Nutritionist today for Ava's weight. The lady was very kind and Ava spent the morning playing in a bucket of fake foods. Besides the fact that we were both big blobs of mucus the appointment went well. She said all the changes and portion sizes they we modified are great and Ava should do just fine growing into her weight. She can have small snacks and enjoy herself. She doesn't need it to be so structured that when she goes somewhere outside of our house she gorges herself because we don't offer any fun stuff. So I feel good that we have a handle on things and her weight is maintaining.

As for Miss Olivia... I missed her little stink butt today. Ava told me in the truck on the way home that she missed her too. It is definitely different when Olivia's away at school.

So here's what Livy was up to while she was at school:

Looks like an incredibly awesome day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday At School

Liv's getting better at writing her name.
This is the end of sea life week. She created a whale and was given a sea shell to take home.

It was also letter "F" for the week. We are very excited because Thursday for share day Liv is taking her Fancy Nancy books...

And this is the shark hat she made in class too. Apparently her teacher brought in several different types of sea life for the kids to be able to touch. None of the boys wanted to touch anything but the girls were all for it especially Olivia. She said she was all over it touching the octopus and catfish. That's my girl!

Ava and I went to the library and picked out some awesome astronaut books, a few animal books, and a movie. She loves the library and since this wasn't a reading day with all of the kids she had the place to herself. Much better than on reading days. Although, we now go to the B&N reading group and that one is much better than the library one. The kids sit in a circle inside of all haphazard.

Anyway despite feeling like crud the girls have had a fairly decent day. Hopefully the icks will be gone soon.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Where To Begin???

Saturday we used the last of our freebie zoo tickets and spent the day relaxing with the animals. Ava rode the roller coaster this time since Livy got to ride it last time. They both drove the airplanes and went on the merry-go-round. Everyone was satisfied, the weather was breezy, and the day was totally free. That in and of itself was the best part of the day.

After visiting the animals we drove over to Alameda to check out this toy store we used to shop at to see if it was still there. It was and it had some great stuff. We have a $40 credit so we got some ideas on what the girls would want so that Dave can go back and pick it up later. Then we bought a couple of sundaes and headed to the beach. Olivia was so excited to build sand castles she could have cared less about her ice cream. Ava was carefully guarding hers and asked if she could eat Ava's too. We told her she couldn't and she was ok with it since she was going to get to run in the waves.

After a few minutes of playing in the waves the girls were soaked and sandy but totally happy. It was worth all the effort of having to rinse them off and wipe off the sand before getting in the truck to go home. They enjoyed every minute of it and were so worn out they slept most of the way home.

Sunday we got up and Olivia wanted to ride bikes so we got out our helmets and geared up for a ride to the park. Olivia is awesome on her bike. She can turn well, brake well, and has now mastered the ability to stop on slopes and control her speed so she can stop before going off the side of the curb. Grammie's buying her a new big girl bike for her birthday so she's using the smaller bike for the last few rides before it gets handed over to Ava. She's very thrilled about this and asks quite often if it is her birthday today. Not until November I tell her. It must seem like a lifetime for her.

Once we all arrived at the park I took each of the girls separately for a lap around the track. Dave pushed Ava on the swing while Olivia jogged and while Ava jogged Dave chased Olivia on the bike. At was at this time I noticed Olivia was starting to get a runny nose... Can you see where this is headed?

This morning both girls woke up with puffy eyes, runny noses, bad attitudes, and the inability to breathe. As the day has progressed Olivia now has developed a cough. Of course this happens the week before they can get the flu shots. Yea, how lucky am I? I was hoping to get the flu shot and Olivia's 4 year checkup done together but now I don't think it is wise to wait a month to get the shot. Wonderful. And on top of the stinking flu, Ava has her appointment on Thursday with the Nutritionist. I'm sure she will love that I brought my germ filled daughter to infect her. And if Livy is too sick to attend preschool, Thursday I get to take 2 sick kids with me. WooHoo. The best part is Dave is also having a friend over tomorrow for dinner before he leaves for 2 months to the Philippines. We will probably infect him too and send our germs with him to the Philippines. I feel so special.

On a totally different topic Dave and I have been struggling with whether or not to walk away from our house since it is worth less than half of what we paid for it in 2006. We have read absolutely everything out there on the pros and cons of foreclosure and short sales but we still don't know what to do. If we leave we could re-buy in a few years at a considerably lower price but our credit would be trashed. We'd also end up being renters and paying someones else's mortgage in the mean time but we would not have to pay property tax and would save $1500 a month. In a few months we could pay off all of our bills. It's a big fat conundrum that I never thought I would even write about here. But it has been weighing on our minds since the beginning of the summer when we sent all the info we needed to the bank for the supposed mortgage reduction plan and still have not had anyone call us back. Apparently our stuff is at the underwriter but if that were true wouldn't they want to speak to us? So for the last 6 months while the bank has screwed around we've still been paying at 6% & 7%'s on our loans. We thought about not paying for a few months so that they have to speak to us and we could put that money directly to other things that we need to pay off but I feel like that is shady and I'm not quite ready to be like the rest of the jerks that are driving the housing market into the toilet. So basically in 30 years when we pay this shindig off we may merely break even. This means we can never move for any reason. Oh I mean- we can't move for 30 years... Yeah that sounds much better. My stomach doesn't hurt at all.

And top it all off the cat has been projectile vomiting all day all over the house. The first time she hit the rug we just cleaned. Gee thanks for that. The other times she managed to hit the girls dress up attire, another rug, what seemed like the entire floor... I have used almost half of a roll of paper towels. She better get better soon or she's sleeping outside.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Trails

Livy is getting to show Grammie and Papa her school.
Ava wants to get in on the action and hold Grammie's hand too.

Grammie has made it into the classroom. That's farther than I got the the first day I dropped Livy off.
This is where Olivia will be sitting today. It changes every class so the kids all get to sit next to someone different.

The next few weeks they are studying sea life. Ava wants to show Grammie the toys she just found.After school Liv showed me her work.

The elephant bag...
And after a hard day of dropping off and picking up her sister, Ava needed a nap.

Apparently so did the baby that is sandwiched between her legs.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

These Are My Genes

After cleaning upstairs I walked down to find Olivia reading to Sugar. She tells me she reads good like her teacher.
Ava was busily jumping rope... in her slippers.
And someone covered the dog in babies and blankets. By the looks of it she didn't care.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

School And The Rest Of The Day

Today was the letter "E" and the beginning of kids learning about sea-life for two weeks. Olivia was pretty proud of this fish that she created. She wanted to make sure her daddy saw it so we stuck it on the fridge. It was the first thing he saw when he walked in through the door because she wasn't going to let him pass through the house until he looked at it.
Here's Olivia writing her name.

And there's the "E" collage.

Tonight I didn't feel like cooking and Dave was getting home early since he had to go register the CRV so the girls and I took a vote and we decided to try this new Mexican restaurant. It was yummy and a good choice. Ava ate a whole kid size burrito which she has never done before. She likes tortilla but typically on the side not filled with beans. Olivia ordered nachos and when they came with melted cheese she refused to eat them and ate Dave's rice, beans, and lettuce. So now we now we know two burritos only.

Afterwards we crossed the street to check out the kids bikes at a nearby store. I had been checking craigslist for a cheap one for Olivia since her 12in is too small but there were only 2 bikes that were 16 inches in the nearby vicinity and one was already sold and the other never responded. So anyway we found the perfect bike for $50. Olivia jumped right on and rode it around the store. Ava got on it too and she could ride it but she is better suited for the little bike we have at home. Although Ava does need a helmet which created a bit of a riot when we tried one on for size at the store and she refused adamantly to take it off... Olivia and I pretended we didn't know Ava and Dave and slowly moved away.

Then we picked up some elastic to restring the bracelet that Ava had been wearing earlier but had broken. The girls are so into jewelry, nail polish, bows, and all the fancy crap I was never into. It's funny that they are so girlie. Must have been genes that skipped a generation. We also bought a friendship bracelet kit so I can make the girls a few bracelets without beads. Should be interesting. This was also something I never did as a kid. I guess stuff like that always comes back full circle.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Earlier today I thought I'd post a blog but after thinking about our weekend I really had nothing to blog about. Then we took a jog to the park and around the trail.

We always walk/jog the trail twice and then end at the playground for drinks and play time. Well today we did our first lap around and Ava became cranky when she thought she was finished and ready to play after the first lap. "I can't do it Mommy," she balked at me.

"Yes you can Ava. We will just walk this lap, no jogging." I replied.

And then...

She ran off ahead of me. Figures.

So we jogged a little, walked a little, held hands a little, chased our shadows a little, and soon made it three quarters of the way around before Ava decided again she just couldn't do it. I stopped Olivia and told her we were going to walk the rest of the way. She wasn't thrilled as she was enjoying running around but she knew she was almost at the slides so she started walking. Once back on the pavement Olivia took off running for the slides. No biggie. She does this every time. Actually they both do. But today for some reason Ava decided to walk, holding my hand. It was nice. Me and my little buddy.

In my little daughter moment fog I notice out of the corner of my eye a snake which looked dead and Ava was a step from it. (We already walked here once and never noticed it.) Then it MOVED. It was alive and it coiled up. I grabbed Ava's shoulder, but she was in motion to move forward so she sort of twirled around as I drug her away from the snake. She began crying because I jerked her away and she didn't know what was happening. So I pointed to the snake and told her she almost stepped on it. "Mommy I afraid of snakes." Ava sobbed. I comforted her and apologized to her for scarring and scaring her for life. She cried a little more while Olivia came to check out the snake and the commotion.

Then Olivia ran back to the slides yelling smugly over her shoulder, "I like snakes."

You know what: WHAT EVER.

So in hindsight I guess I did have something to post about today.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Now The Park's Been Taken Too

Starting off with a great week. First we get robbed and have our truck window smashed out and now this... Can you believe we went to our local neighborhood park today to only discover that it had been burned down by arsonists? Me neither.

One play structure was still standing and usable but the other was torched with oil and burned to the ground. So much for fire-proof play ground equipment.

And just think yesterday I was contemplating having Olivia's birthday party outside at the park. I guess that won't be happening.

What's with all the jerks out there that just want to ruin the livelihood of children. Assclowns.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Preschool Tidbits

Ava, eager to pick up Olivia from preschool, flashed me her pearly whites while wearing her patriotic sundress.

Olivia made a flag necklace in honor of 9-11.
And since this week she studied the letter "D" this week she made a duck puppet.

Olivia didn't have school on Tuesday due to picture taking so we don't have any handwritten papers to show but we do have this pretty colored "D" collage.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Weekend Rollercoaster

has finally ended I believe. Ugh. Where to even begin.

Saturday afternoon while we waited for Grandma B to arrive, Dave posted the car online for sale with pictures. Blue Book value was $1690 so we were asking for $1800. We wouldn't be needing the car anymore since Grandma B was driving us out the Honda CRV to buy since Grandpa B passed away and she didn't need two vehicles. Eventually Grandma B and Aunt D arrived around 7PM night.

Things were good with their drive, the girls were happy to see them, we were starving from waiting for them to arrive... you know- the usual. That night we stayed up chatting after the girls went to sleep. It was nice and relaxing.

Sunday morning we woke up and ate breakfast. Grandma B mentioned she wanted to go to the Pier in SF so we packed a few snacks for the girls and jumped in the truck. We had to take BART in since the bridge was closed for the holiday weekend so we packed extremely lightly with our one big double stroller. Once we arrived Dave saw that there was a spin the wheel for a prize thing right at the beginning of the Pier. He spun along with everyone else. We all got half off or free tickets to the aquarium. Cool. We always wanted to go but it is so expensive we never did. Good job Dave.

So after playing in the aquarium we went to lunch where the girls danced with the waitresses.
Olivia ate garlic mussels with Grandma B.

Then we took the girls through the Rainforest Cafe, went to the big chocolate store, bought treats, headed back to the pier to see the seals, bought more goodies and headed back towards BART. We were out all day. As soon as we started our walk back to the BART Ava was asleep. Olivia claimed she was gonna have the throw ups (wonderful I know) so she wanted to be carried. After a few feet Dave said she had to sit in the stroller too. He was never gonna make it. Olivia sullen complained the whole way to the BART about not wanting to be in the stroller like a baby. Sitting in a stroller = baby. Whining the entire way- let's not say priceless ok. So I make the promise that when we get through the gate at the BART she can get out. What I didn't know was when she got out and we had to pile on BART everyone and their mother was also piling on BART.

In essence we survived. We made it a few stops and most of the people poured out of the doors like cattle and then we all had seats for our long journey home. Once home Dave asked me if anyone called about the car. No they didn't. "What about email.?." He asked.

"Haven't checked... will do tomorrow when I print out your mom's boarding passes."

We all ate dinner, sat around watching the dogs play, got really sleepy and went to bed at like 9PM. Yea... come to our house- we are a barrel of laughs and totally entertaining.

Got up Monday morning and decided since Grandma B and Aunt D were flying out to Denver later in the evening we would go have a picnic lunch at the park. We packed a very lovey lunch, a blanket, the works. We get to the park and there is hardly anyone there.

This was great since the rides were empty the girls didn't have to wait and they could ride as often as they wanted. What a great day right? A perfect end to to a nice family visit? WRONG. If you had that thought at all you are completely WRONG.
This are the last smiles before the chaos began...

After our nice picnic lunch, Dave and the gang headed to the train for a ride while I went to put the blanket and other non-essentials back in the truck. As we are starting to separate we hear over the speaker that a window has been smashed out of a WHITE suburban. Phew. They said white. So we went our separate ways. Except I knew that people are idiots and would confuse white with SILVER and it was my truck that was smashed to blitherines. And then my thoughts were validated when I made it to the exit and a man comes running up to tell the announcer it was not a white but silver suburban... of course it was.

My first thought was to pray the vandals were not inside trying to steal the whole damn truck, then upon finding it empty I was just thankful that I still had the truck minus what used to be a very useful window.

I looked inside, glass was everywhere but nothing seemed to be out of place. The glove box wasn't opened, Cd's were still in the holder, the Kleenex box was still sitting where I last slid it the last time I used a tissue. Stupid kids breaking windows for fun. Thanks Assclowns.

So this woman from the park runs out and looks horrified telling me she will help me clean it up. She asked if I want the police to come but the insurance deductible is about the same as the price for a new window so I declined. I told her I just needed to get this cleaned up as much as possible before my kids came out as well as my family. I didn't need it to look any worse than it already was. I was trying to maintain a nice pleasant composure as I swore inside, I really can't afford to replace a stupid window. I was also hoping that maybe I could get all the glass cleaned up before anyone noticed I was gone so it didn't seem as big of a deal as it felt inside my body. But you know- apparently when I think things can't get any worse it gets dramatically worse.

From the train, Dave apparently spies me at the truck with all the doors open. He questions what the heck I'm doing. Then he sees a woman running towards me with a broom. He makes the connection that it was OUR SUBURBAN and he grabs everyone and they coming running out. Little did I know Grandma B had left her purse under the seat behind the tissue box. I see them coming, screaming "my purse" and I look at Dave and he asked me if his mom's purse is still under the seat.

"I didn't know it was left there and the Kleenex hadn't been moved from what I saw. I was trying to remove the glass."

No purse. More screaming. "This is an emergency, who do we call? We need the police. Mom, your DL is in your purse- how are we going to get on the plane.?." Aunt D screeched. Dave runs off to go find the purse hopefully tossed in a trash can, the kids are left sitting there sandwiched between two frantic women, and I'm standing in a pool of glass and some of my blood. I can't clean up the glass and watch the kids. I ask Dave to focus and get the girls some water, take them to the potty, and get them out of the situation, back into the park and away from the incident. I do not feel kids should ever witness crime or the end result of it. To me, the kids were the most important thing over a purse. They need to be safe and feel safe. Being frantic doesn't give them security. Honestly, it bothered me that everyone pushed the girls aside but it is what it is and it is over now. So Dave and the girls played at the park, G & D cancelled credit cards and spoke with the police, I cleaned the glass up and filed my police report and we headed home. So much for a nice day out.

When we got back Dave and I discussed him driving the car we were trying to sell until I could get the side window fixed in the suburban and I would drive just to preschool on Tuesday for Olivia's class picture and first school photo (which turned out really cute BTW) in the Honda since it also needed a new windshield and we didn't want him to get a fix it ticket on the way to work. How can you have 3 vehicles and only one with all the windows you ask? I know it's impressive.

After a few minutes I went upstairs, I turned on the computer to print the plane tickets and I wanted to check the email. Someone actually responded to our ad for the car and they wanted to know what model it was. I sent back LX and a minute later the phone rang. They wanted to come look at the car. Typically this would be good news selling a car a day after you post it except we now needed the car and Dave had to drop his family off at the airport. I told the guy he could come by after the airport run and we cleaned everything out of the car. The guy offered us $1500. We said $1600 and S.O.L.D. Yesterday, Dave drove it to get smogged, the guy returned with the cash, we transferred over the pink slip, and C'est la vie the car is gone. Thankfully the mobile glass replacement guy came in the mean time and gave us our pretty new windows so we are back in action and driving again. All in the same day too. Can you believe it?Later my parents stopped by to drop off some more stuff for the hot tub, a fire pit, and some veggies from their garden. We went to dinner and they left for their hotel to fly to Maui the next morning. We ran and threw the kids in bed and made a mad dash for the hot tub and went to bed. We needed to get off of this stinkin' ride sometime.

As for Dave's mom she had no trouble getting on her plane. The crooks had charged up 4 of her credit cards, one at the gas station, one at the Wendy's next to the gas station, once for $12 down the road from the park, and $500 at Macy's before they were cut off. Everything will be removed from her cards, but she lost her keys and her cell phone and all of her medical cards, SS cards, that kind of stuff that takes awhile to get back. But the bottom line is that no one was physically hurt and "stuff" can be replaced.

Today has been mundane. I swore we were going to sit around in our underpants doing nothing and that was pretty much what we did besides a few puzzles and board games.

Memories. The foundation of a lifetime.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

What Took You So Long?

I asked my husband when he finally arrived back home with the girls. I had sent them to buy a bag of puppy food from the pet store (and a fish if the girls were good) and a sprinkler head from HD. The two stores are fairly close to one another so I assumed they would only be out for a half an hour. Wrong. Never assume when it comes to Dave.

Let me say first that they did come back with the puppy food and 4 fish. What happened to 1 fish? And- they were all smiling when they walked through the door obviously very proud of their mischievous selves. So again I asked, "what happened to you guys that took so long?" And then Dave gave me the best explanation of all. He told me about how they arrived at HD just in time to partake in the building of a bean bag toss.

Apparently both girls were given hammers and they nailed together this ramp like thing with a hole in it. Once it's built it sits on the ground and you try to toss the bean bags into the hole. The girls were given aprons, stickers, awards for achievement, and HD pins to pin to their aprons. They were very excited and proud of themselves and couldn't wait to show me their work. I was really happy that they had a great time with their dad. Dave told me later he knows who the builder is in the family... apparently when given a hammer Olivia hit the nails very delicately and Ava just started swinging. Sounds about right.

So on a different note:

We are waiting the arrival of Grandma B and Aunt D. They should be here in an hour. The girls are excited. They know more Fancy Nancy books are on the way. How posh! And I'm waiting for the dark to fall to go sit outside in the new hot tub. I have to admit I have become quite addict to it. I think about getting in all day long and right at 8:01 PM my toes hit the bubbles.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Easy, I Think Not!

So you'd think preschool would be easy at least that's what I thought. Then the teacher handed me a huge packet and said Olivia had a surprise in her bag. Okay. Seemed harmless enough. Then Olivia began taking everything out of her backpack on the sidewalk and in doing so she pulled out a necklace she had made. I thought this was the surprise.

A few hours later I went through her backpack again to hang her new art work on the wall. Inside was a surprise bag with directions written on it. It said the bag had to be brought back to every class and could be filled with anything, a toy, a snack, whatever. On the note card you were to write 3 clues and the kids would figure it out. Overwhelmed I thought to myself this seemed like a lot of work to bring something twice a week in addition to Thursday share day that coincides with the letter of the week. On top of that we were sent home the Scholastic book order form and a picture day packet.

Exasperated I left everything until Wednesday night. Olivia had picked out a crocodile for share day so that was covered. Picture stuff I could figure out over the weekend. The surprise bag...well I thought about making chocolate chip cookies. Then I thought maybe I should start slowly and build up to better things if I was going to have to bring something twice a week. Forever.

I brought Saltine crackers. Started with a "C," the 3 clues were easy, and if all the other moms started with a snack too then the teacher could save this for later. All was great until I got to school and spoke with another mom who explained Olivia was the leader this week. She was the only child who got the surprise bag. Every class it goes to someone else. DOH!!!

Had I known this piece of information I would have went out of my way to make fancy cookies for the class. Ok, so in 7 weeks it will be our turn again. I will probably have to bring prime rib and caviar to make up for the lousy Saltines. Hopefully I haven't shamed my daughter too much since this probably won't be the last time I botch her school stuff up. I think she's pretty resilient.

See, She's happy with her caterpillar artwork.
And the fact that she can trace the shapes.
And she's proud of her cat puppet.
And Ava's happy crocodilo is back home safely.