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.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thankful that Thursday is over!

What a crazy day - and it only started to get crazy around 3:00 pm. I was about to leave work to attend a scheduled Parent/Teacher Conference with Rudy for Dominic. But just 1/2 hour before doing so, I got wrapped up in something that I couldn't get out of - because, well, I wouldn't expect someone to read my dictation that I took over the phone. After getting to a point where I could pick up at in the morning, I dashed out of there to meet Rudy and head to the school. EXTRA! EXTRA!: Dominic is an excessive talker! (<--------- he gets that from his Dad!) Things are looking swell in 1st grade.... so far.

A couple hours later, it was Picture Day for the SJV Sabercats! Dominic managed to get sweaty without even running around! It was a hot day - which made for stuck hair to the head for pictures. Hopefully they came out okay. I took some of my own, just in case Dominic snuck in some strange eyes or something.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Same Ol' Weekend

It seems our weekends are typical for this time of year with soccer and birthdays. I didn't attend any soccer games this time, but I'm sure it was much like weeks before. I like to go and smell fresh cut grass on these days, but don't enjoy the smell of my boys after the game for the ride home. I suppose being a Soccer Mom has its ups and downs.

We had two overlapping birthday parties to attend. For the last day of summer, the weather couldn't have been more perfect. Simply beautiful. Dominic and I attended a classmate's birthday, while the other boys got dirty with their cousins at Bianca's backyard barbeque. Dominic and I spent 3 hours too long at his classmate's birthday - it was slow moving. I couldn't wait to get to the rest of the gang at Bianca's shindig. We arrived in time for presents! I inhaled some grub, a huge slice of chocolate cake (heaven!) and managed to get some pictures of the kids in motion. Sugar these kids up, baby!

The only vehicle Bianca will be driving for some time.

Devin gets some 4x4 time.

Up on the rooftop...

Big (Little) Brother is watching!

Dominic has thin hair; Donovan has thick hair;
and Devin, we can't figure out.
It has some curl to it, so it will be interesting. And Rudy wants to know where his big eyes come from??

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ana's Adoption Day

Today is a special day for my younger brother's family. Ana calls him "Dad" like no other, but now, it's officially on paper. Congrats to the Roina family!
photos and layout by Grandma Gertie

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Field of Dreams...

photos and layout by Grandma Gertie

Thursday, September 11, 2008

If I were a fly on the wall..

... I'd would have loved to have seen Dominic with his special "share" in class today. Instead, Grandma was that fly.

Never Forget 9/11

myspace layouts

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Cousin B!

myspace layouts

Our first and only niece (for a few years at least) was Bianca. Watch out world, watch out Mom and Dad... Bianca has entered the pre-teen era! Here's hoping you have a wonderful day and that you get some cake before your sisters get to it! No more kids' price for the buffets in Reno kiddo. Although Dominic doesn't think you're a "kid" anyway - he thinks you're "Violet"!

We were excited to find this bed just for her last year at Six Flags.

Bianca keeps my kids in line when I don't.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Blog Trip: Day Five - It's a nice place to visit...

I made it to Day 5 and I'm exhausted! What a trip. I'm looking forward to an unscheduled week ahead. It's funny how much preparing has gone into this "blog trip". I hope today's post wraps up the "must do" locales of Sacramento.

Our State Capitol Building

A horse and buggy ride in Old Sacramento.

The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament

There's a lot of history in Sacramento. We have the Railroad Museum, The Crocker Art Museum, Sutter's Fort and other historical points of interest. Enjoy your stay!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Celebrating Post 200!

Wow! I have "published" 200 posts in this blog. I never thought I'd be a blogger. I thought it was "too much over my head" stuff. Many thanks go to my sister-in-law Kristie for leading me to this addiction. I must say, reading her blog in anticipation of my nieces (yes 2!) birth, got me hooked. Now look at me, I'm nuts. I go lurking into the lives of other crazy bloggers out there and marvel at how other people function in their average day. Sounds wild to me, but apparently it's what interests me most.

In celebration of such feat, I think I'm going to blurb this thing!

Blog Trip: Day Four - Let's Go Shopping!

Call me crazy... I hate shopping! Perhaps it's because I don't know how to shop. Shopping for groceries is a necessity, of course. I give kudos to those who can shop for a week (or month!) in just one trip to the grocery store. With kids in tow, I lose my patience and usually rush out forgetting things we really need at home.

Shopping at Costco can be fun for me, but not for my bank account. I tend to cruise every aisle for items that catch my eye and may need a home in my cupboards (or garage, or laundry room). Can anyone shop there for less than $100 a trip?

Shopping for myself is impossible. I'm not too picky I don't think, or am I? I can't seem to purchase items for myself (clothing) yet I'm always in the Boys' Section of every Target I go to. I just have to see what's on sale or new for my boys.

I feel rushed and often am succumbed to a guilty feeling spending money on items for myself that tend to shrink in the wash and never get the chance to be worn again. My closet has clothes that are 2-3 years old. Is that bad? Sure, styles change, but I've never been "in style" anyway, and why start now? Give me a giftcard and it'll take me months to find something to use it on. The hassle of arranging for a kidless trip to a department store alone is daunting. Then, when I'm out and about without kids, I feel the need to hurry back to them, like a mother hen. Oh, then there's fitting rooms.... let's not go there.

So, if you're looking to "shop" in Sacramento as a tourist, I'd suggest Arden Fair Mall, the Folsom Outlets and Old Sacramento for souvenirs. Our downtown Westfield Mall is an outdoor 2-story mall that's struggling a bit to keep people shopping there. It does have a theater and some nice restaurants, including the Hard Rock Cafe.

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sparks, Nevada or Bust!

I'm not sure how many we've gone to, but I'd say for the 20 years they've held this event, surely we've been to close to 10 of them! And this year was bigger than ever for our clan... after recruiting the in-laws a few years back, along came Rudy's sister and brother and their families. Adding to our group this year are Grandma and Grandpa Gertie (my parents). Whoo hoo! We sucked up the high gas prices, grabbed the opportunity to stay at John Ascuaga's Nugget (the host hotel) for the weekend and tried our luck at slot machines and craps tables.

We got a late start to our trip on Friday. I worked until 12:00, met Rudy at home, who was doing yardwork and still had to pack up the car. We left the house with a screw in a tire, so went to get that fixed before picking up Papa and Grandma Avila. Oh, of course, Rudy had to stop by the bank first. So, needless to say, our hopes of getting "on the road" by 1:00 p.m. were shot. A small stop to purchase a Lotto ticket before the freeway and we once again find ourselves behind Ben and Kristie. They ALWAYS find some way to get ahead of us!

We arrived in Sparks, NV ready for ribs! I was hungry. After checking in and gathering the gang, we braved the crowded streets in search of the best ribs. Awesome Aussie's were my personal favorite. The kids enjoyed frozen bananas while we walked to the end of the street for a sit-down break (and a funnel cake! - for Bianca). Back up to our rooms for getting the kids ready for bed. The big boys went in search of a lucky craps table, while the little boys and I sunk into our beds (...or tried to!)
We woke up Saturday morning for a Breakfast Buffet and headed out to historic Virginia City. It's a "Long and Winding Road "(who sings that?) and out in the middle of nowhere. No jackpots were hit for the adults. The kids scored their own jackpots with ice cream, a mechanical horse ride and a smushed penny souvenir. Grandma Gertie bought Donovan a sombrero. It may never get worn again, but it was good for pictures!

Back to Sparks for some swimming with the primas, more ribs, and some pooped-out parents. This time I got to try my luck at some slot machines with my mom while the boys went to the arcade to play games and Papa Gertie guarded Baby Devin up in our room. Thanks Dad!

Another day, another buffet (paid for with Rudy's slot winnings)! Off to Circus Circus in Reno to gather our bags full of stuffed animals (the treasured bedtime stuffies). The girls got their faces painted and were pretty in pink. Bianca was too cool in blue. Not really thinking my boys would be willing to get their faces painted too, knowing full well that pink and purple would probably not be ideal, Dominic was enthusiastic when I asked him. Donovan made his decision while we waited in the 1/2 hour line. I couldn't convince him to be a tiger or puppy. He wanted to be like his brother. So, we settled for a smaller version of Dominic's half red half black Spiderman for him. After a few hours of being in disguise and frightening people coming out of elevators, their Spidermen faces turned to Spidersmear faces. Finally we hit Boomtown before officially heading back to Sacramento. The boys slept the majority of the way home. Even Papa and Grandma caught a few winks.

Another Labor Day weekend down and another day full of laundry to do!
Here are more pictures of the fun we had...

Blog Trip: Day Three - Let's Eat!

This, by far, is the most difficult leg in this trip - deciding where to eat. There are tons of culturally diverse cuisines out there. For me, you can't go wrong with Italian or Mexican food. Of course, there's even a range of authenticity that's a deciding factor. Because this is such a difficult decision for me, going with the good ol' favorites is what I'll give you here.

Back in July, we celebrated out 11th anniversary with a getaway, oh.. about 7 miles from where we live! We had dinner at Scott's Seafood on the river and it was fabulous! It was very enjoyable dining outdoors. There are quite a few restaurants along the river that are enjoyable. Some day, I hope to make it out to Joe's Crab Shack. I've heard good things about that place.

My last recommendation would be Il Fornaio's. This is where my work has held its Christmas Party for a few years now. Probably not the best place to take children, but makes for a nice dinner for two, or even a double-date!

So, there's my day three. Let's eat!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

41, Look What They've Done!

It's been another year! Last year my parents (or Grandma and Papa Gertie, as the kids call them) celebrated their 40th Anniversary on this date. I don't think I can ever forget how long they've been married because they have 30 years on our marriage!
Congrats on 41 years Mom and Dad!

Blog Trip: Day Two - Got Gas?

Because it's not feasible to taxi around with 3 kids by foot or bicycle (or bus for that matter), I have come to depend on "Mini Pearl". She gets me everywhere. And by the time I arrive to work in the morning, I've already been EVERYWHERE: 2 kids off at daycare, one off to school and back on the freeway for a near 30-minute commute to work.
Last Thursday, when I filled up, I got gas at $3.65 a gallon at Safeway (includes the 10 cent discount per gallon). During our weekend trip to Reno, NV, I was seeing prices running around this area as well. So, it seems that prices are going down from the $4.19 or so high we saw not too long ago.

Nevada prices.

Check out the best deals in your area. We use to see if there's somewhere along our routes that we might need to stop to get gas at.
Search for gas prices by US Zip Code

Monday, September 1, 2008

Blog Trip: Day One - Welcome!

Life is a highway... Welcome new friends!

My posts for this "trip" may link to subjects which I have blogged about in the past. I've tried to include my personal experiences of places we have been to that are within Sacramento. Have a look back in time!

As you can see, I'm a mom to 3 terrific boys (*snicker, snicker*). The oldest is in 1st Grade and attends a private, Catholic school. The other two attend a home daycare. My husband and I work full-time away from home - a home watched over by two dogs. We are blessed to have our jobs, our family nearby and this home to call our own.

I have lived in Sacramento, CA my entire life and usually visit communities within, such as Rosemont, Rancho Cordova, Citrus Heights and Elk Grove on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis. Thank goodness gas prices are showing a slight decrease.

There is a variety of "things to do" within our city. With Sacramento being the capital city of California, surely you might want to visit the Capitol Building itself. It's where the Governator works and where our legislature can't pass a budget! We have the American River Parkway nearby with miles of trails, Old Sacramento, Sutter's Fort, Raley Field (Home of the RiverCats) and Arco Arena (Home of the Kings) for all of you sports buffs. Of course, we have our Zoo, which is situated in Land Park; Fairytale Town and Funderland close by as well. We've got museums, golf courses and malls. The mountains and Lake Tahoe are 2 hours to the East of us, San Francisco and the Bay Area are 2 hours to the West of us. Something for everyone I'm sure.

I'm coming to your town next! Show me the way!