Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Magically delirious!

We're back from WDW! We have such wonderful memories of our trip that I can't wait to blog about. We had such a wonderful time that it is hard to get back into this cold California setting. I've got mounds of laundry and souvenirs to sort through and am lucky that all the kids are able to go to daycare today so that I can somehow find myself here. Hopefully this computer won't distract me too much!

Despite a double ear infection, double pink eye and double trouble attitudes, we were able to visit all of the Disney parks with little setbacks. We were always on the go, with little time to relax back at our hotel room. We are exhausted. There are so many pictures to share - Grandma Gertie took over 700 with her camera. I have yet to upload mine. The kids saw so many characters and got autographs and pictures with them. I was surprised we got to see so many.

Here's wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year! Stay tuned for day by day blog posts of our trip!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Our Il Fornaio Party

By request, here are some pictures from my company Christmas Party that was held this past weekend. It was at the same place as last year's. We had a great time, thanks to Grandma and Papa for watching the kiddos for us. We left as the party-harders merged toward the bar area to finish the night away. My friend Terra always takes photos of the event to post in our breakroom at work. We can always count on her to annoy us with the bright flash of the camera.

We both had the "Contro Filetto con Fungi" for dinner.

The boss' wife with their son Rob, my coworker.
(yes, Rob is rolling his eyes!)

The boss with Terra
He made a comment during his "speech" that the reason for the black shirt
was because it was the only one that would button around the collar!
(...and not because it was a sign of the times and the downfall of the company.)

Yours truly!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The caroling has begun!

I had a busy Saturday, not sure about the rest of you! I finally got a couple hours to myself, as Rudy has been working a lot of weekend overtime lately. I left the boys home while getting my hair cut, searching for some miracle-of-an-outfit to wear for this weekend's Christmas dinner, a jaunt to the store for potluck ingredients and a package pick-up at the post office! I wish I could have stayed out more, but as it was, getting home at 2:00 was not enough to get 3 boys and a husband decent to go to a birthday party before our evening potluck at daycare. So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Andrew and Luke! Sorry we missed your splash of a bash at your pool party.

Now, here we go a caroling... I confess, I had a little something to do with the date-choosing for the Daycare Potluck this year. I know, I know.. me?? It was carefully thought out though, really. I knew we'd have plans on the 13th (my Company's Dinner) and I didn't want to miss another year of seeing my kids sing their little off-tune lungs out, especially Devin, cause you know, his singing tops all the others. Anyway, it worked out well. In fact, this was the first year in a long while that every child and their family attended. It was a full house! So without further ado...

The dessert array is always fantastic. Dominic had a few too many cookies while others had experimented dipping into the chocolate fountain. Can you tell?

Peyton and Sydney were in chocolate heaven! And this is where we can be thankful for "Spray n' Wash"... or grandmas!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas cards are coming...

Here's a sneak peek!...

I gotta give props to Robin for capturing this shot of our clan. She came into our schedule at the right time and we FINALLY got some pictures of Devin on his own. It was a goofy session, trying to make 3 boys smile and all - Donovan wasn't feeling too great, Devin was teething (and drooling!) and Dominic... was just Dominic.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

20 days and counting...

Well call me crafty!!! Pretty cool huh?

I got tired of the "how many more days? when's vacation? how many more Saturdays? when we wake up? when school is out?, and on and on..." So, me and my clever self made a countdown for our Disney Vacation. We'll be in Orlando for Christmas this year, leaving on the 20th, and the kids' and ourselves couldn't be more excited. Each night, one of the boys gets to discard a Mickey head from the chain. Sounds brutal. There are actually less heads on there since this picture was taken. Our vacation begins when the chain gets shortened down to the last RED Mickey. Got it? I've reached my crafty capacity for the year.

All Aboard an Imax Experience!

Amazing! I wasn't sure I could stand another viewing of The Polar Express. Infact, now I know I hadn't actually seen it all the way through. Dominic loves this movie. We even have a Polar Express jingle bell ornament for our tree. After working most of the day, Rudy knew I was fed up with being cooped up with the boys and a house that was needing attention and not getting it. After getting home, Rudy took Dominic and I to the Esquire-Imax Theater to see this movie in 3-D. It was incredible. It felt like we were in the movie; the snow was falling around us; and we were amongst the herd of caribou that stopped the train from reaching the North Pole. It was so real. I often looked over at Dominic (in his cool 3-D glasses) and he'd have his ears covered from the sound of the train. It felt like we were on it. The way to the North Pole was an awesome ride... a true roller coaster experience. Hang on!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Morning Run

Okay, so it was a walk. A nice 5K through slippery autumn leaves, dampness in the air and warmth all around with such giving people is what The Run to Feed the Hungry is all about. This year I left Donovan and Devin at home with Rudy to mend their colds. Dominic and I spent nearly 45 minutes on the road just to GET to the event, which should have only taken us about 15 minutes. We pinned on our bibs, installed our tracking devices to our shoes (new this year!) and proceeded to the start line where we met up with my friend Terra, her kids Maxx and Stevie and her mom - another gone-crazy-with-a-Nikon photographer. The event gets larger every year and is so much fun to do. Last year Kristie said we'd run the 5K this year - she ran the 10K with Bianca this year. Way to go gals! So next year she's challenging me to run the 10K! Wait a second.. who's the athlete of the two of us? Are you crazy? I'll keep dreaming...

Click to play

Hey Tio! Do you think Dad would notice if I
your non-Cowboys hat backwards?

Our dessert for the evening: Rudy's birthday cake.

Cake for Thanksgiving?

Yep! Move over pumpkin pie. There's a birthday in the house! The 27th of November is always a very celebrated one, evenmoreso when it happens to be Thanksgiving. Rudy's birthday happens to be on the same day as Mom's (see post below). I guarantee Rudy will be enjoying his birthday watching his favorite Cowboys play on TV. Happy Birthday from your clan!

A Birthday! Cha, Cha, Cha!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Grandma Gertie celebrates another birthday and shares it with the Thanksgiving holiday (and also shares it with her son-in-law Rudy). We are all so very thankful for her love of her children and grandchildren and her natural ability to be creative... consuming herself in projects and photography. She's our paparrazzi! We all hope you have a wonderful birthday. We love you!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gobble up the goodness!

Two turkeys and one restless native

Chief Iron Man

Gotta love this Butterball!

I'll take 'em with all the stuffin'!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Two for Tuesday

I rushed out of work after the 3:30 call that told me of Devin's temperature. Poor guy. His teeth are starting to cut through and has been tolerable so far, but now he has developed a little cold - thanks to the biggest brother. His nose has been runny and eyes watery. He reached his limit. Donovan, meanwhile, has been barking (not like Roxy or Fred either!) and is having a hard time loosening up the morning mucous. He seems to react well to the every 4-hour dosage of Triaminic we've managed to purchase from store shelves before it never existed again. He, too, is suffering.

I picked up the TWO kids with a makeshift ziploc diaper bag (I'm never prepared for these unexpected trips), headed over to Urgent Care (because I didn't want to wait until morning), plunked down TWO copayments after filling out TWO sign-in sheets. Rudy met us there because my TWO arms weren't going to be enough. (Thanks Mom for getting Dominic from school).

The medical assistant took us back to take vitals. No temp, oxygen levels superb, pulse excellent...times TWO. We're looking good! This is where I begin to think how dumb I look with TWO perfectly healthy patients taking up an urgently needed space in that office. Please, oh please Doctor, don't make me look like an overly paranoid mother.

We waited a good long while before being seen by a Doctor. Devin enjoyed the sanitary paper that lay across the examining table. Donovan enjoyed scoping out all the equipment in the room. We often saw the MA walk by the door and peek in. One time he came back with suckers and stickers. Donovan ate a sucker; Devin ate a sticker.

TWO hours since arriving, we were finally diagnosed with TWO ear infections - all on the same kid, Devin! So here's to EI #2 - or would that be #2 and #3? Donovan gets to ride out his viral illness. No prescriptions for him.

Weighing in at 19.2 lbs., the table paper would only
satisfy him until it was gone!
This crappy photo is from an inexperienced
cell phone photographer!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Game Over!

Soccer Season has come to an end. Finally! The season was brutal. It was painful to watch...

Painful to watch a kid on the field that has no desire to be there.

Painful to watch Rudy assistant coach a sport he is so passionate about, become so disgruntled and frustrated.

Painful were the early morning games in which getting up and ready and out of the house in time was a chore.

Painful to watch Donovan pout on the sidelines, waiting for the whistle from the ref, signing he may now use the field to kick the ball around on.

After today's early game, a lots of running around in between, our evening concluded with a potluck dinner and award ceremony. Dominic got his personal trophy, while the team gave Rudy a plaque with the team picture. Pretty cool.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hope and a Prayer

After spending the day in his pajamas, goofing off with
and brothers at home while I was working...

Dominic mentally prepares himself
for the challenging rest of the week

... and prays that SOME day, I'll put an
Oscar Mayer Lunchables in his lunchbox.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A special moment

I looked outside to check on Donovan. Usually I'll find him playing with the hose, throwing rocks into the dogs water pail, playing on the swingset, riding his Hungry Hippo (which was a 1st birthday gift to Dominic 5 years ago!) or pushing around his airplane ride-on. Today was different...

The pictures show how dirty our bedroom window is, but it also shows what a special moment was had out in the backyard today. Apparently Donovan stuck Roxy in the dog run so that he could have his time with Fred....alone.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote, Vote, Vote!

I'm not a political person at all. I've always disliked politics, the subject. I'm not one to debate my political stance on things, because, well, I hate debating and usually can't do it successfully. This year, as most would agree though, it's monumental. It's amazing what brings people to the polls. I've been known to skip out on some elections, mainly non-presidential, because I refuse to listen to political advertisements or read up on the issue at stake. Not an excuse, I know.

My first non-interest in politics that I can remember was back in 6th Grade - 1984 (gulp!). I remember standing out in line waiting to go into our classroom from lunch (do they still do that at this level?) when a classmate asked me who I was voting for: Reagan or Mondale. Huh? We can't vote!?!? Why should I make a choice? My pick isn't going to count anyway. I'm sure my answer was typical, "I don't know", because even back then I was smart enough to not start any debates! ;)

I dreaded Government class in high school. I was afraid of Mr. Desmond. Most people were. I thought I avoided having him for a teacher when our school closed and we were transferred to Christian Brothers. Guess what? Mr. Desmond followed. Funny, he was a great guy, but everyone feared him. He barely cracked a smile, but always cracked a joke. He was serious! He always crossed his arms in front of him, wore a yellow cardigan sweater and breathed heavily through his nose, a big one! It was Mr. Desmond that taught us the electoral process, the privilege it is to vote, etc. and urged us nearly 18-year-olds to register to vote when we were able.

There isn't much more to my election influences. Just to vote for what I think is right and strongly believe in. May the best candidate win! Unfortunately I won't be able to cast my ballot until the end of the day, but I'm sure to sneak a peek as to what's going on and who's projected to win. Darn internet!

Get out and vote!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Down Came the Rain...

...and washed the spider out! Okay, our spider was spared such tragedy and stayed in the comfort of home with Grandma and Papa while Rudy, Spiderman, Jungle Fury Red Ranger and I went trick-or-treating around the block. The rain stayed away for most of the outing; coming down pretty good at some points, but didn't interrupt our path of travel really.

Our first stop every year is the house up at the top of our court, The Schlosser's, whom we have ties with for many years (even before moving to this neighborhood). Thunk-Thunk. Into the kids' TOT bags went the biggest
Hershey's Symphony bars I have ever seen. The kids were off to a great start, dragging their bags already! Many homes were dark (many vacant) this year, and others carved less pumpkins and set out less decor than usual. Even my pumpkin-carving took a backseat this year! The boys ran from home to home gathering their loot. Donovan stayed back on some, as they were "too skeerie" for him.

Thanks to Gertie, Grandma and Papa for coming over to treat with us!

Friday, October 31, 2008


The first storm of the season is upon us. It's been wet and rainy. I really hope it lets up for the boys to go out Trick or Treating. I think Donovan will do great keeping up with his brother. Although I foresee some pushing, shoving and tripping happening too. Boys! Hopefully we'll get some good pictures regardless. Happy Haunting!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pajama Day should be everyday!

Dominic LOVES to wear his pajamas. He can't wait to get into them and would wear them all day if possible. He'd wear his flannel foot-jammies in the summertime if I'd let him! So today, he wasted no time getting dressed this morning....into his pajamas! I'm sure he'd love for it to be Pajama Day everyday.

So after everyone is buckled in the car this morning, Donovan observes and says, "Mom, Dominic don't have his clothes on". Great point! Boy was he confused.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Vin-man!

zwani.com myspace graphic comments

Cousin Vinny (our nephew/godson) turned TWO this weekend. I can't wait to attend his football games when he's older... or wrestling matches, or strong-man competitions. We enjoyed celebrating his special day and look forward to watching him grow!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

This past weekend concluded with celebrating Papa Gertie's Birthday, which is today! Happy Birthday to a Papa that is loved very much!

I had the worst headache (of course, that's what we always say) while celebrating Dad's birthday, that even the thought of food made me want to gag. Luckily, I felt much better after about 2 hours and I devoured the dinner I missed out on. Yum!

Rudy, meanwhile, is game for anything when the nieces and nephews are around:

I'm not sure what sort of style they were trying for,
but it looks like a cross between "Weekend at Bernie's" and "Dr. Doolittle".

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Devilishly Good Time at The Patch

Everytime the weekend comes up, I look forward to catching up on laundry... it never happens! I wish it were easy to just stay put and get it all done, but these boys need to be out of the house as much as possible while the weather is nice.

Saturday, Dominic's winless soccer team remained so. This was the first game after being reseeded and they played with only one sub available. They were missing 3 or 4 players for some reason. They played better defensively, I thought, but still no goals. Donovan, once again, couldn't wait to get out on that field during half-time to make his goal. He thinks that's the coolest thing. Yet, when big brother stands in the way to block his shot - well, he doesn't think that is cool at all!

This is what happens when you're
left alone at Grandma Gertie's house!

We followed up the afternoon with haircuts for the boys. Thank goodness! I wanted to get that done before Picture Day for Dominic at school. They look so much better... and lighter!

Sunday was Pumpkin Patch Day and Kyle's Birthday. We went with the cousins to Bishop's Pumpkin Farm again. We got too busy to go last year. This time we planned it at least a few weeks ahead of time. It's so much fun to see the faces on the kids as they explore their little world. It was surprisingly a warm day. We had a picnic lunch in the apple orchard, played in the 3-story treehouse, romped around the petting zoo, got lost in the corn maze and took a hayride out to the patches of pumpkins. The boys got dirty and worn out. Me too!

Donovan as Ewe B. Wooly, Dominic as Mayor Goatree, Bianca as Father O'Mule, Sydney as Howie Holstein and Peyton as Chief Hog

Lastly, we went to have dinner with the rest of the family and celebrate Papa Gertie's Birthday. And that, I'll save for another post!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy 1/2 Year Baby!

Okay, so he's already passed the 1/2 year mark, but Devin had his well-child visit just this past Monday. Our lil' squirt is doing extremely well (ahem, I think we're on the verge of his first cold for the season). He received 4 immunizations (1 flu shot) and an oral vaccine for RSV. Poor, poor guy. He had a 12 hour delay on a reaction to those immunizations, which lead to a bath at 12:30 AM the next day. He's a slobbery, babbling bunch of fun! Can I get a drum roll please?....
Weight - 18 lbs.
Height - 27 inches
Head Circ. - 44 cm.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Stopping to breathe...

These days seem to blend together lately. Our last weekend was busy with soccer and Apple Hill one day and the Veggie Chase and Kyle Remembrance the next. We ended Sunday with a trip to the store, in which Donovan and I went inside to grocery shop while the others waited in the car. After loading up 3 bags of groceries, Rudy starts the car, only to hear "click.click.click." - dead battery! I thought for sure we'd have to sit there in the parking lot waiting for help, while eating the ice cream we purchased before it melted. But darned if the kind gentleman in the stall next to us ready to leave asked if we needed a jump. Wow! Really? Kind people really DO exist! (Not that I didn't doubt that, but it seems more and more people are rushed these days to be able to take time out for a stranger.) Perhaps it was the "minivan family" look that we possessed which tugged at their kind soul? So, with a jump start later from a kind man from New Hampshire (!), we we're well on our way....HOME. Swell, there's ANOTHER sit-down family dinner plan destroyed. Dominic and Dad worked on the car, went to get a new battery, installed it in the dark, whilst the rest of us got bathed and ready for bed. Did somebody feed the dogs?

Anyhoo... We went to the annual Sharing Parents Memorial during that afternoon. It was beautiful, as always. They ALWAYS play the most tearful songs. Meaningful, but tearful. And to hear poems and messages from those who suffer such painful losses is heartbreaking. Sharing Parents is a wonderful organization that has been formed from a group of people sharing a common thread. We think of Baby Kyle often and evermore so during the month of October. Happy Birthday Buddy!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Chasing Veggies

If you don't eat them, run with them! And if you do eat them, then good for you! The boys were pooped from yesterday's Apple Hill adventure. So pooped that Dominic was the last to get up this morning (even with his alarm ringing!). Daddy got up to go to work (on a Sunday?) for a few hours.

The boys and I geared up to run with veggies at the Veggie Chase 5k and Kids Runs. This was the first time doing this event for us and it was fun. Hopefully next year I won't be by myself and I can run too, instead of escorting my own little pea pod around. Apparently, this event is becoming more popular and each year is a learning experience for them. The turnout was awesome. Lots of kids and their families. I registered Dominic and Donovan, so they each got a T-shirt out of the deal. They ran out of race numbers when we got there, so they went without. We skipped the 5k and headed right to the events that I signed the boys up for. They each got to run in their age group. We all ran with Donovan, and then Dominic got to go by himself. The look of fear took over Dominic once he reached the finish line and saw a sea of people that didn't look familiar.
The events were great for the kids. The veggies were hilarious running around in their gear. The kids were so enthusiastic to run pass them, bettering their chances to getting a medal in the end. All participants in the 5k got a medal. The group races got ribbons, however, they ran out right after the Diaper Dash set of kids finished. The kids enjoyed freebies from Jamba Juice and others, and spent even more energy in the bounce houses. It was a lot of fun, but would be more fun if I had that "parent-switch" option like they have at Disneyland, because there were times when I would have liked to have gone out with the kids to chase veggies, instead of pushing a stroller around. Next year maybe!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Baby, it's cold outside!

It's Harvest Time! The fall freshness is in the air and the urge to go to Apple Hill got the best of us today. Naturally it was quite crowded, but we were able to get to our regular stops without too much trouble... just a few extra minutes stuck in traffic. It was quite chilly and made for extra sales of hot chocolate and coffee. Dominic ate a record amount of doughnuts this time so a few more minutes running up and down hills burning off that sugar did him good. Devin was all bundled up most of the time and Donovan loved picking up any pumpkins we came across.

The boys were excited to bring out the "foot-jammies" tonight. I'm wishing I had some myself!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

Street Vibrations and Devin Visitations

Rudy was feeling some sort of vibe and signed his mom and I up for Bingo Blowout in Reno (Sparks) this past weekend. His vibe lead us all to travel the distance, minus Devin. We missed the little bugger, but know that he enjoyed some Grandma and Papa Gertie time on his first overnighter away from his brothers.

The mother-in-law and I sat on our tushes for nearly 7 hours of Bingo on Saturday. We had a pact going in that if we won any of the games, that we'd split the pot. We got close to winning...honest! It just wasn't our day. Perhaps next time.

Speaking of vibes, Reno was infested with motorcycles while we were there for their annual Street Vibrations. I've never seen so much leather, scarves, boots and tattoos. Yeesh! Donovan really enjoyed seeing the "moyocycles" on the road as we passed them and sometimes they passed us - not so safely either.

So after dumping our daycare payment into the slot machines and on the craps tables, we made the trek back home to pick up our missing child (It was wierd not having him with us!) and take Grandma Avila back home.

Thank you Mom and Dad for watching Devin for us so that we could go play. Rudy says he's got to be 10 lbs. heavier from all of his bottle devouring... and the half-empty container of formula proves it!

Donovan and Dominic got back into the
Spiderman theme
while we were at Circus Circus again.

Devin enjoyed the great outdoors with Papa and Grandma.