Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm learning to "delegate"...

I've always been an "I'll do it myself" kinda gal. It's just easier that way, right? Nothing gets screwed up; it's done the way you want it - the right way. Over time, you learn that you CAN NOT possibly do everything that needs to be done, especially when you've got a trail of boys behind you. Perhaps now I see why the boys have that "I'll do it myself" tantrum when it comes to tasks that give them a sense of self-accomplishment.

While pregnant with Devin, I received a special "I'll Miss You" card from a coworker and friend. She gave me some great advice on preparing for Devin's arrival and first days at home. She must have told me to "delegate" about 3 times in that personalized card. At some point, it's a method of survival, I suppose.

It is with great pleasure, to have taken this advice and depend on Rudy to get Dominic and Donovan ready for bed each night: teeth brushed, PJs on and books read. Meanwhile, this gives me the opportunity to spend some time with Devin, get him ready for bed, and do a couple loads of laundry or run the dishwasher. Unfortunately, this time is often spent here on the computer blogging away and seeing what's happening with those people I call "friends" - people who have no clue I spend a lot of time snooping into their lives.

SO --- although I am happy with the way I delegated this simple task, I often wonder, "what was I thinking?" Late night wrestling leads to cranky morning - don't want to get up- kids!

After waiting long enough for silence to set in, I couldn't take it any longer, and had to observe what was keeping the kids awake way past their bedtime...

Yes, Rudy's piled in there somewhere!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

We are Blessed!

A unique experience took place today....the baptism of my parents' three youngest grandchildren. Devin was baptized today, along with his cousins, Addison and Vincent. It was special to have our church community welcome these young children into our faith all on this same day. We had one huge party after the ceremony, with plenty of food, family and friends. Grandma Gertie recorded this day with her camera, of course, because she's got the cutest grandkids to show off! (...and because I never take pictures on occasions that I have guests for).

Devin with his Godparents, Carmen and Martin
with cousins Kalyn and Matthew

Rudy and myself with Devin;
Patty (my brother Phil not pictured) with Addison;
my brother Chris and Angela with Vincent

Sweet goodness for our SWEET ones!

Click to play Check out my Smilebox

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tomorrow's Big Day!

"It's my turn to shine on this blog!"

Monday, July 14, 2008

Our Getaway...

...was short-lived. After dropping off the kids to their planned destinations for the evening, we finally arrived at the hotel just a little after 4:00 pm. We unloaded our stuff and just absorbed the comfort of the room, the balcony and the quietness! I had planned to use their pool and/or jacuzzi for a bit before we headed down for our dinner reservations at Scott's Seafood. That never happened. Instead, Rudy watched a flick on the flat screen TV, while I painted my toenails, then attempted to do a few crossword puzzles while they dried. Fun! Time flies when you're having fun.

We got to sit out at the restaurant's patio for dinner. It was quite nice, as we pretended the air was fresh. No high chairs to use, no kids to sit still... ahhh, how could I get used to this? It was nearly 100 degrees out during the afternoon, but I still ordered a bowl of Boston Clam Chowder. Rudy ordered the Fried Calamari (okay, I had some too) that was quite delicious (I didn't eat the purpley-tentacled ones!). For our meal, I ordered the Dungeness Crab and Asparagus Ravioli, while Rudy went for the Blackened Pacific Snapper. Both were excellent choices. Although we were quite full from our meals, this special occasion needed dessert too. We chose to split a Caramel Macadamia Blueberry Crisp. Oh yeah, it was good! Rudy was a little embarrassed at me pulling out my camera for a few pictures, so I didn't take too many. I even made him take a picture of the sunset from his view.

We returned to our room after dinner and were surprised to find jazz music on the radio, our bed sheets turned down, our complimentary water out of the refrigerator and on our night stands. Someone's been here! Our toiletries were nicely organized on the bathroom sink, my clothes (that were once on the bed) now lay across the recliner chair...and thank goodness they moved Rudy's dirty socks to the "already-been-worn" pile! I'm glad we weren't too much like slobs for the housekeepers. I never expected such treatment! Rudy found yet another movie to watch, while I attempted more crossword puzzles. I could never finish one, but kept on starting others. We sank into the feather bed, and I, could NOT get comfortable to sleep... oh, it was comfy, but I couldn't sleep in it. I felt like I was sinking. We awoke the next morning with a disturbing wrong number phone call - heck, it was 9:20 am and check out was to be at 11:00 am! Rise and Shine!!! Our stay was done. We reminisced a lot about our "before kids" era; had a yummy breakfast at IHOP and went on our way to get Dominic and return to Abuelos for the other two. We're back into reality now.

Complimentary Voss Water. Strange, but true.

Look at the plumbing on this thing!

My first alcoholic beverage...or...maybe it was my second???

The Spirit of Sacramento cruised by.

The sun set, and made me realize I need to clean my lens.

I could get used to this position!

Our self portrait on the balcony.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Happy 11 Years!

July 12th marked our 11th Wedding Anniversary! Wow!

When we got married, we were a bit bummed that we couldn't go on some extravagant honeymoon, but made the best of seeing some of California's popular destinations, such as Carmel, Pebble Beach and Monterey. We loved Monterey and thought that since it was just a road trip away, that perhaps we could celebrate each anniversary back where we honeymooned. The next year came, and well, we were on to bigger and better already! Yes, that was the year we won the Grand Prize trip at our church Crab Feed - a trip to Puerto Vallarta. It was the honeymoon trip we wanted, just a year later! But...we couldn't top that for the following year(s). So, a few years went by, and we ended up back in the Monterey area around our 6th Anniversary (and with a 13-month old). Romantic, eh? Not when you've spent your day at the Gilroy Garlic Festival.

Here we are, 11 years since our Wedding Day and have our hands full with 3 boys! We have always included our kids on our vacations and cater our trips to them. Rudy and I have had a couple weekends, here or there, where we could get away for a bit (Las Vegas one year!) but always missed our kid(s) back home - or felt sorry for the designated babysitters.

In a strange turn of events (thanks to Bianca's Spaghetti Feed), we managed to win another "getaway". This time, it wasn't anywhere tropical, lush or full of wildlife and celebrities (one in the same, right?) --- we won a night's stay in the Riverfront King Suite at Le Rivage Hotel in....

....are you ready?....

....SACRAMENTO!!!! (heck, it didn't even include a tank of gas to get there!)

Yep, our weekend getaway took place right here, just less than 7 miles from our kids.....smoke-filled skies causing orange sunsets and CELL PHONES OFF!

Thanks to Abuelos for watching Donovan and Devin for the night. And to Tios Phil and Patty for allowing Dominic to stay and play with his cousins.

Pictures of our great getaway to come....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's So Hot...

...The dogs came inside to sleep on the bathroom floor.
(THAT, and the fact that the air quality has been so poor.)
This confined Fred enough to get a good ear cleaning
...he hates me now.

...Donovan's "izzers" have taken residence in our refrigerator!
(If you look closely, I think the left one is belly-up! Oh no!)

***Stay tuned for an Anniversary Getaway post! I'm so excited to spend some quality time without the kids. Yet, I might wish I had a laptop to do some blogging while I have NOTHING to do!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

That's my Shrimp!

~ Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it.~ (quoted by Bubba Blue in the movie, Forrest Gump)

What a better time for Donovan and I to begin his "Shrimp" swim classes! With temps in the 104-109 range this week, I'm thrilled to be in the water, however not thrilled about getting out and heating up again. We began our classes where we left off last season... some troubles with bubbles. We'll see if he improves. At least he's not as shy and loves to tell everyone about his haircut (that took place on July 4th).

"Talk to the hand! I'm outta here..."

I'm having a pesky time trying to upload another picture. I guess that means "I'm outta here" too!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Saint Luke

Congrats on your Baptism, Luke!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Our Fun on the Fourth

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Having the Fourth fall on a Friday this year is quite nice. I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend. To celebrate the Red, White and Blue today, we got together for some backyard water play and the ever popular grub on the grill. We hope everyone had a safe and sane holiday and continues to have a restful weekend.

Grandma and Papa Gertie with ALL of their grandchildren.

My boys!

Addison gets left to stand on her own.

Little Noah protects his water balloon,
and nearly falls asleep doing so!

Vinny-monster is not happy about something.

Dominic gets ready for the perfect moment.

Dominic throws, and Donovan reloads.

The kids all ganged up on Rudy.
(...and he's the one that filled all those balloons!)

"Okay, hit me!"


Donovan eats his cookie and shows off his splintered feet.

Click to play I Love USA

Photos by Andria and Grandma Gertie.
Smilebox created by Grandma Gertie.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Back to "the grind"....

...WORK, that is! I was welcomed back to work after my much loved maternity leave. Funny, I feel as if I never left. Those 3 months went by FAST! I was greeted enthusiastically by voices behind the front office wall cheering in jubilation as I entered the front door, "it's me!" I was also greeted with a forceful tail wag from Mocha. It's great to be back.

I had my first "sales pitch" meeting this afternoon (at about 14 hours of official time on the clock since coming back). Money...everyone wants MORE money to make life just a bit simpler - so they say. I'm not sold. I want more money too, you know. Who doesn't?

The boys are doing just fine at daycare. Everyone is enjoying having a new baby in the mix, and having Dominic there is entertaining for the older gang. Donovan is being silent about having his two brothers there in "his territory". The twin cousins enjoy being the "big helpers" for the Avila-clan. I hope my boys don't come home with Dora panties or pink crocs! Devin was exhausted with yesterday's entertainment, that he slept upon my arrival and the entire trip home. There's nothing like getting a "happy to see you" smile after a long day - his was just delayed for a bit.

I guess Starbuck's is closing a bunch of stores. Go figure! I suppose it's best they do so, for my sake. I attempted to reward myself (it's always a reward, isn't it?) yesterday before coming into work. I entered a nearby Save-Mart with a Starbuck's kiosk and discovered it empty. I turn to an employee, "what, you don't do Starbuck's anymore?" ... to which she replied, "no ma'am, it's been gone for over a month". Guess that shows how loyal a customer I am to that store. I made sure to visit Java City today - inside a Raley's (where I AM a loyal customer).
No Grandma...not the camera!