Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat!

Gif Texts Halloween Images

Happy Halloween! What a long day it's been. Dominic had a small party at school today and displayed his costume proudly in the "Parade of Costumes". I'm lucky to have Grandma Gertie nearby to snap photos for me, otherwise I would have never seen such a great group of kids. It was rather fun dropping him off at school this morning, seeing everyone in costume and having a great time. Dominic has done a lot preparing for this day. The October calendar in his classroom has constantly reminded him that the 31st is a special day. Throughout the month he has come home with numerous art projects, as well as having learned the ever-classic kid version of the "Trick or Treat, Smell my Feet" diddy. Thanks classmates!
Dominic waiting to start crafting!

Sitting patiently with his buddies for the parade to begin!
(The "collar" on his costume drove me batty (as did him!) - It's supposed to be tucked under his costume,
but he always wore it outside. I wasn't sure if he looked like a Pharoah or a billy goat!)

The Party of Six came over to trick-or-treat in our hood, as theirs hasn't quite developed too many participants due to newly constructed homes and no residents within them! Our 'hood is certainly quite full of little ones running door to door. While Rudy (aka Mr. Gimpy these days) stayed home to greet 'treaters, the rest of us headed out to a few houses along the street and in cul-de-sacs. Some of the houses were decked out in fabulous displays. There were some talented pumpkin carvers out there and we were even distracted by a couple of costumed dogs and one very friendly cat! (Ironically, that's what Sydney, Peyton and Donovan were!) We had fun. The little ones tried so hard to keep up with Bianca and Dominic and we all scrambled through mobs of costumed kids at each door we went to. We eventually dropped off the tots back at home with the Dads and Kristie and I went out with the older two...I actually had to drag Dominic! Many of the homes went "lights out" after we arrived, so the kids got a lot of "bottom of the bowl" stash.
The attempted group shot...
(notice Peyton and Sydney weren't around)

Donovan runs to keep up with Bianca and Dominic
(leaving the other cousins behind)

They're not too far behind!

The carvings on these pumpkins were AMAZING!
(B and D were getting their candy, while Donovan waited near the garage)
It was obviously dark, and right about this time is when my battery died on my camera!

Another amazing carving we saw! Talented!

Next year's pumpkins are well on their way!
I found these while trying separate the seeds from the goop.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's the Great Pumpkin...

Gif Pumpkins Halloween Images

Who doesn't know about The Great Pumpkin? I think that is my all-time favorite Peanuts Classic. Why is it that when we were younger, we never missed the episode as it came on only once a year, yet now, you never know when it's on?

It was carving night...I had no choice. I got the pumpkins prepped last night for their cosmetic surgeries tonight (had some slight hemorrhaging already on one pumpkin). Dominic was quite anxious to carve the little pumpkin he got on his field trip to the pumpkin patch last week. I don't think I've carved one that small before, it was certainly the easiest!

Surprisingly, even Rudy got in on the operating table. He did a great job, I think! I, however, had a few mishaps with the knife and "The Cowboys" pumpkin has now been edited at the surgeon's discretion. Mind you, the epithelial layer of this guy was nearly 2-inches thick!!! (Hence the lettering's been hacked and the "highlights" for the star left undone.)

Dominic thought it'd be cute to decorate
this little decorative gourd.

Pretty cute, huh?

So, you get the idea? This guy was tough!

Dominic's little guy had some pre-op
spinal cord injury (his stem fell off). We hope he'll be okay.

Left in the dark!

After hanging up some cobwebs (really...I needed fake ones!) I think we're set for the ghosts, goblins and other little unidentified creatures to come knocking!

P.S. We had a dress rehearsal in the costumes tonight...Wowee...I've got one cute tiger cub and a mighty Power Ranger rarin' to go! Can't wait until tomorrow night!

P.S.S. Blogger is being a royal pain in my hiney tonight! I couldn't upload multiple pics at once and it, for some reason, doesn't want to post of picture of Dominic with his hands at work! Grrr! It better be good to me tomorrow night; I might not be able to sleep without getting my blog post in!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Some random weekend pics

We actually spent some time at home this weekend. Fun! I think I get more sick being at home...sick of looking at all the laundry to do, dishes to clean, meals to figure out, toys all over the place and constant yelling at the kids. I'm not a good voice means no harm. At times, I'm yelling at walls. Saturday was Game Day, a Costco run and Vinny's Birthday Party; Sunday was church and miscellaneous doings back at the homestead. It sort of felt good not having a crammed-packed weekend.

We have concluded that Dominic's "head" just isn't in the game.

Play along....multiple choice!
A. Donovan and Vinny are having a Staring Contest.
B. Donovan and Vinny are discussing the latest hairstyles.
C. Donovan is wishing his cousin a Happy Birthday!

Anyone have a cowlick right in the middle of your forehead?

Vincent goes for a stroll on his new Tonka
from Grandma and Papa Gertie.

Possible blog posts upcoming: Carving pumpkins, kids' costumes and Halloween night. Oh, and BABY UPDATE.....if there's any new news!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Cousin Vinny!

It's the BIG ONE!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Happy Birthday Dad!

aka Papa Gertie

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Game Day...and a sport injury?

Saturday was a beautiful day for soccer. Papa and Grandma Gertie met us at the park for another exciting SJV Tiger Cub game. You never know what to expect from these "cubs". Dominic ever-so-proudly raised his hand to be goalie. He was so excited that he got picked and he surprised us all at the way he'd ready himself for the ball coming his way. Luckily he was playing on Coach Jim's side, because I'm sure Coach "Dad" would rather put him in the field running (which Dominic would rather not do). He made quite a few saves right off the bat, but then missed a few later on in the game. Yep, he stayed goalie the ENTIRE game! In some cases, he actually got down on the ball! Never did he use his feet, because, of course, goalies get to use their hands! He was sure to do so. I never keep track of the number of goals the team makes. Guess I'm too busy watching the kids. They're so entertaining...and some of them are quite athletic at this age already! We told Dominic that his other Papa once played goalkeeper (back in the day). Perhaps he'll be getting some pointers from the expert. Meanwhile, Dominic's biggest fan...his brother...couldn't wait until quarter break to get out and show his stuff. He's quite the dribbler and is fun to watch. At times, his feet go so fast that he runs over the top of the ball. Hilarious!

We do have an injury in the house! Imagine that?! Although unrelated to soccer, it seems that Donovan has done something to his left foot or toe. It's okay...he kicks with his right! As we were on the floor horsing around, Donovan jumped off my back (I was laying on my tummy ---
I still can!) and immediately felt pain in his foot. I think he landed wrong after the dismount from my back. Poor guy. No protruding bones, no sign of bruising yet, but he is definitely "babying" it and complains about it. I wish he could assist me a little better in telling me what is wrong. He's been walking with a limp tonight, which looks funny on a 2-year-old. We'll see if he remembers in the morning that he injured his foot. If he still complains, I suppose I'll have to get it checked out. After feeling around for any signs of stress, he never winced. He also pointed to one of his toes, so perhaps he bent it the wrong way or something. At least we avoided an ER visit, once again!

photos by Grandma Gertie, once again!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Drug Queen, the Drama King and a Perfect Prince?

The Drug Queen...not Drag Queen! I'm feeling good...I think! I've pretty much kicked this nasty sinus stuff out of my system. Well, it still lingers, but I'm on the mend. The only drugs I'm currently taking are those prescribed by my doctor, so I have faith they are for my benefit. Unfortunately, of the antibiotic, the decongestant and the nasal spray that she gave me, the decongestant supply ran out sometime on Tuesday, it was a sample supply. It was a 12-hour tablet, which I took faithfully, as I would plug up quickly before the next dose was due. Now that it's gone, I can tell it was really helping I lay awake at 4 a.m. listening to the crackling of my sinus cavities...trying to breathe. I was told that this decongestant is the same as Claritin, only a stronger prescribed version, and that I could go out and purchase the regular Claritin OTC if needed. Hmm, does it look like I have "sneezing, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, itchy throat or nose"????? ZIPPO! I have NONE of those why do I need this??? What is in it that's helping my plugged up, painful congested face??? I don't get it. I have no desire (YET!) to try it out. The antibiotic smells like rotten eggs and makes me gag everytime I have to open its container. So, as I try not to gag while taking it, it even floats to the roof of my mouth before I gain enough muscle control to swallow the dang thing. Gross! I have PLENTY of that left. I guess it's keeping things clear for now. Blech!

The Drama King. Donovan? Nooooo??? Yep, he turned into some terrible monster last night. Whoa-nelly! First, let me say that Donovan has been so stinkin' cute lately. His vocabulary is expanding and he's being much more vocal and social. It doesn't matter that only I understand him or only I can carry on conversations with him. It's quite fun! He loves to asks questions on the way home...."Daddy?", "Papa?", "Gamma?"...once I tell him where those people are, he'll reply, "oh!". And he's satisfied with it! He loves to play with his Dad and gets excited when he walks in the door or gets down to wrestle on the floor. He's been vocal with the Power Ranger-type "hyah's" as he tackles his Dad. The latest sing-along in my car in the morning is Gwen Stefani's "Sweet Escape". He's a riot! He's very smart too. Lately, he'll pull up a step stool or chair to get to what he wants. During the weekend he grabbed a spray bottle of carpet cleaner to test on the floors, cabinets, the bed, etc. Maybe he'll be the clean one? Just yesterday, he also helped out at daycare to vacuum the floor...oh how proud he was! Sharon has an old, over-the-shoulder type Oreck vacuum, that Donovan couldn't wait to get his hands on. She let him haul it around for nearly 30 minutes, using the hose to suck things up, etc. I really don't think it was on, but that didn't matter to him. He proudly showed everyone his butterfly stamp on his hand for his hard work. Turkey! He's been so "springy" on his feet, flitting about the house with his stuffed animals and such. BUT, he does have a bad side... he's been known to hit his older brother a few times. Sure, Dominic probably deserved it and Donovan was just giving his opinion, but this has cause quite a few scuttles between the two.

At dinner last night, okay, at Rudy and my dinner, Donovan insisted that we hang his artwork on the wall (a scribbled attempt at coloring Snoopy). I get the tape for him to put on the picture. Well, the fact that I put it on the picture was a bad thing I guess. He attempted to get the tape off, thus ripping a good size wedge off the top of the sheet. Done. I took the piece of tape along with the torn off piece and threw it away. OH MY-LANTA!!! What had I done? Donovan was NOT happy. I got him a new piece of tape, we tried to hang it on the wall, he cried. I took it off the wall, he cried. I took the tape and folded it over so that it just stuck on the paper, he cried. What did I do? What DIDN'T I do? He kept looking in the trash for the other piece. I had really crumpled it up...there's no reviving it. He wasn't going to budge. Rudy shipped him off into his room. I finished my dinner and decided it was time for Donovan to go to bed. It was only 20 minutes until regular bedtime anyway, but I couldn't take it anymore and perhaps, that's why I have my headache today? So, there you have it...Drama King in the house!

Dominic. My perfect prince? Pfft. He's so proud of himself and reminds us that he's been good everyday at school and that when Saturday comes around we can get him "Set E" (some Power Ranger set he obviously doesn't have yet). We keep telling him he has to be good for a really long time and besides, Santa needs a list of stuff he wants for Christmas. So yesterday, I ask him if he was good at school, blah, blah, blah...and if he got a "card pulled". He replied softly, "yes". I asked him what for, but he wouldn't tell me. He says, "he can't remember". Luckily, the weekly report came home today, so I'd be finding out the details soon enough. Apparently he needs to work on "following directions"; and the "white card" incident was because he and a classmate decided to crawl around on the floor instead of participating with the rest of the class sitting on the floor. Hard time following directions? Aren't all men like that? Dominic is a very sensitive drives his dad nuts. And so, he's a "mama's boy"! He always will be. He's pretty clever lately too. To avoid any strict punishment, his response to mishaps that happen around the house is, "it was an accident!". He'll blurt out this statement before I even have a chance to react to the situation. Perhaps being sent to his room is not a fun thing to do. I don't blame's a mess in there!

So there you have it. Now that I'm feeling human again, I hope to be making some ventures out of the house. Saturday we'll have Dominic's soccer game and celebrate Papa Gertie's birthday. Dominic will have a busy week next week going to the Pumpkin Patch with his class, pizza night for soccer, picture day, pajama never ends!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

In Memory Of...

Kyle Benjamin
October 2004 ~ March 2005

Never would I imagine "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" would be such an emotional verse! We honored Baby Kyle today, as we do every October, and it was such a gorgeous day to do so! This small 2-hour ceremony is always an emotional one, not only for the loss of Baby Kyle, but for other infants who have passed on after birth or in utero. They do such an awesome ceremony, all by mothers, fathers and volunteers of the organization. Kyle's mommy forgot her camera, so I tried as best as I could to get some pictures. It was hard! The traditional dove release was the worst photo opportunity for me...I had a 2 year old in my lap, toddler puffs in my right hand, the camera in my left (of which the trigger is on the right side of the camera), and tears running down my face. And off the doves flew! No picture. Oh well. I got some of the butterflies that were released, but even that was hard as they were so eager to go! I'll spare some photos to allow Party of Six to blog them. Here are a few:

Bianca shares with us, a butterfly.

These were gorgeous Monarchs eager to fly!

The ceremony took place in a rose garden. Very fitting!

Peyton and Rudy share a few moments.

Sydney "seconds that emotion" with her Uncle.

The kids all watched the release in amazement.

Donovan enjoyed refreshments at the end.

Baby Kyle will NEVER be forgotten.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I've got a new drug(s)!

Stay tuned for happier posts! This is the weekend I'm going to kill this bug in me! After 3 packages of Sudafed, 2 boxes of Kleenex, 2 bottles of Children's Cough syrup and 3 weeks of suffering - I'm done!

Current meds (as of today): An antibiotic, a decongestant and a nasal spray. Pray this works!

Meanwhile, Dominic got 2 immunization shots today: one Chicken Pox vaccine and one (of a series of two) flu shots. He hates me; he hates his doctor, and I dread taking him back in a month for the second dose. Wonder how Donovan will do?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


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Today, I went over a hurdle. Just one more hurdle and I think I'll be smooth sailing.

It was a late night at the office, well, 20 minutes later than I'm normally there. But I HAD to confront THE BOSS on a couple soon-to-be expanding waistline had to be discussed, as well as the reason my darned "illness" has lasted for nearly 3-weeks without immediate relief....YES, it was that time to tell him "the news". I had to tell him before I showed up one day in maternity clothes for lack of any other clothes fitting. I had to tell him now, since he was in a good mood, especially after chatting on the phone to a few buddies of his (and the reason I was there so late...he wouldn't get off the phone!) It had to be today...we were the last ones left at the office, besides Mocha the Labradoodle! No one else in the office knows! (except my good friend and coworker Terra - funny, I trust her to keep a secret?) Yep, this was it...Week 13...aren't I lucky?

I approached the Boss' office...President, Owner and CEO. Egads! Nah..wasn't that bad...what was I freaking out over? Well, first off, I scared him to bits entering his doorway as he thought that he and Mocha the Wonder Dog were the only ones there....

Me: "I'm afraid I'm going to need another maternity leave next year."
Boss: (sarcastically) "Oh. My. Gawd. Do you know what causes this?"
(as his hand slaps the desk and his head whiplashes back into his high-back leather chair)
Me: "That's EXACTLY the response I didn't want to hear!" (laughing)

Truly, he's an awesome guy. Total support all the way. "We will make adjustments as we've done in the past." He congratulated me and confided in my lack of meds. to help me through this cold bug I have (of which I believe I've passed onto him...Shhhh...he's blaming it on his blood pressure meds!)

Now, how do I tell the REST of the office? I really don't want to hear "the comments". But as The Boss shrugged his shoulders, "what can you do?"

Side note: Boss' birthday is April 8th. What are the chances this baby comes on that date? How about April 10th, which is my birthday? There might be some gambling going on at the end of this pregnancy...and it won't be the office Superbowl Pool! Betting on me???

The next hurdle, I think, is the big ultrasound done at approximately 20 weeks of gestation, which takes measurements of the baby, its parts and lack of "parts" thereof. This is where we find out the gender, if possible. But MOST importantly, it's a viewing of the "baby" that I finally get to see! Only THEN will it all seem real and the rest of the pregnancy will be shopping, shopping, shopping and some panicking, too! (Yes, mom, I do realize how "good" we have it. Thank goodness for technology and that I didn't have to go through those "way back when" moments. How could I survive? I guess I wouldn't know any better?) I have this big "hurdle" scheduled for November 19th. Let's hope this turkey cooperates!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Game Day #3

He dribbles, he shoots....

...he can even take a head shot!

This is Dominic's ONLY highlight, from what I saw...
goal SAVED!!!!
photos by Grandma Gertie

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Going uphill...

On Sunday we drove the 45-minute trek up to Apple Hill, complete with no-nap kids and congested/plugged up me! We usually like to go right about this time, and before the crowds try to cram their way through the winding roads and do the touristy thing. We didn't leave Sacramento until about 12:30, so we were on a mission. (Elevation level rising + my plugged up ears = NOT A PLEASANT FEELING.) We've been hitting about 3 or 4 orchards these last few years as we seem to keep going to where we like it the best. Our first stop was High Hill Ranch - always a favorite stop for long time Apple Hill-goers. Lots of attraction here with the trout pond, hay rides, crafters/vendors, restaurant, cider mill, the pies for sale, as well as all the other apple delicacies to be consumed. The weather was superb for spending time outdoors. Our purchases here include: a caramel apple for me, a dozen assorted apple donuts for the kids (3 of which were consumed on the spot), a hamburger for Rudy (pfft?!?), as well as the milk to wash it all down with.
Can you see the trout in the pond?
Look to the left above Dominic's head.

Donut consumption, at its best.

Our next visit was to Plubell's Family Orchard, which we stumbled into a few years ago and it's one of my favorites today. They have young farm animals to view, a play area for the kids, a nature trail and a great amount of pumpkins - good lookin' ones! They display them amongst corn stalked pathways and it's always very picturesque (er, Kodak-momenty?)... provided you've got willing subjects to sit still (or sit on a pumpkin) for just one photo. This is where we purchased a good-looking pumpkin for our front porch. Oh, and we got some golden delicious apples to bring home.

A Kodak moment? A willing subject?

Can we just this ONCE sit still for a photo?

The closest "Kodak moment" we got!

Pickin' the winner!

Final stop, for this trip, was Abel's Apple Acres. Another tourist-favorite. Luckily we got front parking lot availability and got to enjoy being not so far away from "Mini Pearl". Upon exiting our fine comfortable ride, the smell of garlic came over me and tickled my taste buds. The grill out back sold garlic fries...MMMMmmmm. Did I give in? Will I suffer the horrible abdominal pains I had on the 3 hour trip home from the Gilroy Garlic Festival we went to a few years back? Will garlic ever forgive me? Here, the boys enjoyed the cut-out scenes that every family vacation album contains, where you stick your head in the hole and "cheese". They had lots of pumpkins here too, although not so traditionally displayed. Purchases here include: a caramel apple for Dominic, apple juice for Rudy and, ahem, I couldn't resist the garlic fries!!!! I survived! The other occupants in "Mini Pearl" however, were not too thrilled with the fragrant coughing spells I had on the way home. (I tried to mask it with citrus-flavored cough drops).

I think this is an apple?
The other side must be the pumpkin.

The kids have no clue what they're sticking their heads into!

Dominic enjoying the gourds.

Donovan enjoying his brother's apple.