Saturday, May 31, 2008

She'll be coming again...

Backyard Bubble Blowing

The Outdoorsmen

Donovan and Cousin Vinny were guided to the river via the American River Bike Trail with the help of Grandma and Papa Gertie, Gertie (herself!), Uncle Chris and finally Devin and myself. I wasn't at all prepared for such a spur of the moment adventure - no camera, no stroller, etc. All photos were taken by Grandma Gertie, of course!

Donovan and Gertie

Throwing rocks is always fun.

Lots of these critters on the trail.

Vinny was exhausted!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My Artistic Impressionist

Dominic is very excited about his birthday coming up. He has chosen a Pokemon theme and has taken interest in each and every character. (I'm in for some training myself on this new craze.) At Ryan's birthday party (see post below) he was very much into that hand-held device that was Pokemon related. I'm assuming it was a video game. Anyway...the next day Rudy came to me while I was ironing clothes and asked me to identify the "artist" that drew "Pikachu". By the looks of it, I thought Rudy drew it, but was surprised to find out that Dominic did. Check out his masterpieces (on the right) ...

This is "Pikachu".

This is "Piplup".

Pretty good, huh?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Another Power Ranger Party...

Last year, Dominic's 5th Birthday was Power Ranger-themed. Today, we had the pleasure attending yet another youngster-turned-Power Ranger-fanatic. This kid is WILD about Power Rangers. I thought Dominic had it bad! Egads.

We were invited to Ranger Ryan's party (son of Rudy's coworker/colleague). The weather was comfortable and the kids had fun (Devin slept the majority of it). There was a lot of food (an entire pig was in the garage!) Donovan had a blast in the bounce house, regardless of the kids twice his size in there with him! He's a nut! Dominic did some jumping, until he found a Pokeman game that took his attention away for a good portion of the time there. He would NOT put that thing down, and tried to convince us that Ryan let him have it. He's a very good negotiator.
The pinata was bigger than Ryan!

Ranger Dominic

Pinata-filling Rule No. 1
Don't overfill your pinata with candy that
can't be interpreted by most children.

Using my best Spanish interpretation, these suckers were tamarind-flavored caramel coated with chili....yes CHILI!!!!! Donovan took one lick and came running to me in tears.

Pinata-filling Rule No. 2
Do not put Bazooka gum in your pinata.

At what age should children KNOW how to chew gum? In trying to "teach" Dominic the proper gum-chewing rules, the first piece of gum was swallowed. The second piece of gum ended up on his forehead (see picture above). Because we were in the car on the way home, all panic broke loose in the car and I hurriedly threw Dominic a napkin to wipe any gum off his hands. Well, he thought he'd just wipe his forehead too, but the napkin just stuck to the gum, making matters worse. I think he's now a few hairs short on his left eyebrow. Way to go Dominic!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

My Public Service Announcement

When we approach these hot summer days, especially near popular summer holidays such as Memorial Day or The 4th of July, it seems that people flock near the waterways to cool off. I am saddened at the increase of news stories telling of drownings and near-drownings. Unfortunately, the victims in these cases were NOT wearing a life jacket (or PFD). How difficult is it? Why does the media have to keep reminding people about water safety? Is it because people feel silly wearing life jackets? Why do they think they are perfectly good swimmers? They may be. But how can you swim out of an under current in the water. Or how do you swim when your body won't function because of the cold temperature that it is? And why do you continue to enter a raging river when you don't know how to swim? No swimming skills AND no life jacket is a double whammy! WHY? Why haven't we learned?

PLEASE invest in a life jacket or PFD for yourself and your kids.
For more information, visit

***This concludes my "soap box" for this blog post***
(I will return to my regular method of blogging after this post.)

P.S. I realize my use of pronouns in the above PSA may not be the best. Hopefully there are no English majors reading this!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Moaning Cavern Mama

After our visit to Frogtown, we tried something a bit more adventureous and toured Moaning Cavern. It started out just fine: no crowds, happy kids and cooler temperatures at the opening of the cave. Waiting for our tour to start, however, provided just enough anxiety to drop Donovan and I out of the pack. TANTRUM CITY! I think our biggest mistake was watching two women rappel down the shaft....and well, Donovan thought THAT was the way to go and would have nothing to do with it. He was HORRIFIED. After many attempts to calm him down and telling him we weren't going to go down that way, we scurried to find resolve to our plan of action - Donovan and I backed out of the tour (having to refund our tickets), while Rudy, his mom, Dominic and even Devin made the 165-foot descent. (I had planned to stay out with Donovan and Devin from the beginning, but Rudy insisted the entire family could go! He learned today that Mom knows best!)

Can you picture it? (you have to, I didn't take any pictures with all the commotion going on) Rudy went into this cavern with Devin in the Snugli and his diaper backpack on his back! What a workout going down 234 steps and then climbing back up them. We nearly lost Rudy's mom at this point. Climbing back up to the top left her legs trembling to find balance and stamina to keep going. She has vowed to never make that trip again! We will pray hard for her recovery when we go to church on Sunday. Poor Grandma! Dominic, on the other hand, was a trooper and was hard to keep nearby, as he was always ahead of the pack! Surprisingly, he had a great time.

Here, we launched the kids off a 1500-foot zip line... JUST KIDDING!!! (This will be our next adventure!)

The tour lasted 45-minutes, which is just enough time for Donovan to start getting antsy. He did quite well waiting for everyone. He must've known all the trouble he caused and knew not to push any more buttons during that time.

...and I thought they called it "Moaning Cavern" because of the moans you heard upon tourists' ascent back to the top of the cavern's entrance!

Hot Flippity Frog!

Today we visited the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee. Holy smokes, it was a HOT day! I've always wanted to attend this event, but felt silly wanting to go the distance to watch frogs jump. What mom of boys could pass this up?

Interesting decor through Angel's Camp.

It's a sport like curling...I don't get it, but it's very competitive!

No wonder the frogs jump - if they don't, they're fried!

Ice cream all over a frog shirt.

We took Dominic and Donovan into the fairgrounds, but left with a Power Ranger and Spiderman!
(shown here with Grandma)

Can you say "hot head"?

Donovan strikes a pose.

Our week, in pictures....

I miss my lengthy blog posts.

Here's what's been happening around our house this past week....

The Tooth Fairy paid a visit to Dominic

Potty-training isn't going so well...

...and Devin and I are having fun just hanging out.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Clowning around...

Okay, I admit... having 3 kids usually leads to one child without direct supervision sometimes!

If you know me quite well, you know I'm not much for "beautifying" myself with make-up. Frankly, I don't see what applying the stuff really does. BUT I do it at times, just because it's what your supposed to do when dressing up or going out. Right?
Today's application was done for the special Tea Party I had with Dominic (see post below), and, well, I left the mascara out (I think?), or Donovan found it in the drawer...

How does he know where this stuff belongs? His aim was quite well.
His lashes were oooh so thick!

So, avoiding getting his pajamas on for bed, it was just moments later he was caught in this position...

...stuck at the foot of our bed!
And this isn't the first time he's done this!

Mother's Day Tea

Today Dominic's class held a Tea Party for all of the moms. I've been hearing about it all week, and finally the day had come. The kids were so proud of themselves and so loving to their moms. They were so well-mannered. Who? My kid? We entered the classroom one-by-one, after being introduced. The kids clapped as we entered. I was handed a rose and was brought to my seat where a few of Dominic's creations were placed. The tables were set up nicely with tea and cookies (lemonade for the kids).

Once everyone was introduced, the class sang a few songs for us, said a prayer and we chit-chatted while having tea and cookies. Take a look at a few excerpts from the book Dominic created. Hilarious! He also made me a card and the handprint placard shown here. As a bonus, I got to take my kid home early for the day. Yeah! (I think?)

Like my bonnet?

"This is my Mom. Her name is Agry."
- Hmm. Okay, well, my name does start with an "A"!

"She is 375 feet tall and weighs 111 pounds."
- Good job Dominic, I'll take it!

Such fine china!

The kids posed with their Moms' hats that they made.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Oh, I almost forgot...

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

It was 17 years ago today...

It's so "Fairy Tale'ish", isn't it?
May 5, 1991

Go ahead...leave a know you want to.

How could I forget my Senior Ball? I never will. It was a Sunday night. Can you believe that? Although I do believe us seniors got Monday off. And Rudy (the college student) had a pre-calculus test the next day. Needless to say, he flunked that test! Check out the limo in the background! Gotta love that Toyota Tercel hatchback!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

... and another dog-gone birthday


Dear Roxy,

It was three years ago today that you were born. You were brought into our home just a couple months later. Why we thought we needed a puppy JUST before Donovan was born is beyond me, but I knew you'd be "perfect" to bud around with Fred. Your Dad, however, misjudged your calming sweetness and natural ability to "sit" without command and looks back on "selection day" as a big mistake.

I wanted to take the time to acknowledge your birthday. It's these seemingly unimportant dates that I usually remember. Dad, however, had different feelings on your birthday....hence, NO GIFT for you today. Instead of a new squeakie toy or bone, we reminisced your "rap" sheet:
  • relandscaping the backyard to your taste
  • pulling out wires from the sprinkler control system
  • $400+ in electrical damage to the riding lawn mower
  • holes in the lawn from attempted bone burial
  • Two (2) Diego tricycles chewed
  • One Hungry Hippo ride-on destroyed
  • opening the tool shed to destroy the bug sprayer
  • countless feet of weed fabric removed and torn from various locations
  • removal of plants around the dog run
  • chewing of the kids' play structure
  • chewing of our BBQ and utensils
  • loosening of fence boards to converse with neighbors' dogs
  • "de-barking" of an evergreen tree, and it's ultimate death
Due to the length of your rap sheet, your Dad has mentioned that for your birthday you get "spared a trip to the pound". Don't worry though, I may sneak you an extra bone because I still love ya! And don't forget, you actually claimed Fred's new squeakie toy when he got it, so you have plenty to be thankful for!

Oh, the "sweetness"...

Tia turns thirty-something...

Okay, she'd rather be twenty-something, but only I know her true age! We celebrated Tia Kristie's birthday with...what else? and food.

What? No one wanted to eat this cake topping?

First there were four... (I don't know how Papa managed to fit!)

... then along came one more.

Matthew and Dominic play Power Rangers in pink chairs.

Devin relaxes with Tia Carmen,
his soon-to be Godmother.

Of course, these guys can't sit still with a soccer ball around.

After "forking" her toes on Rudy's ankle,
Bianca gets an ear full.