Friday, October 31, 2008


Need I say more. We had a great Halloween. Grandpa Jo flew in at 4 pm and we headed over to our friends, the Frenches, who live on the South Hill. We also met up with the Prizemans and some other friends. As you can see it was a posse going out trick or treating. Most of us ladies stayed home with the babies and handed out candy.
By the way, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle was my dad, Popi; and Spiderman was Grandpa Jo, Brian's dad.

Earlier in the day we went trick or treating at daddy's work. The kids needed practice, well not really, Myann mastered asking for candy quickly, it was the manners part and only taking one piece we had to work on.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Myann, the soccer player and Finch Arboretum AGAIN!

Last night I was laughing pretty hard at a very inappropriate time, as I am told I do often by Brian. I am an emotional person, what can I say, which includes being unable to control my laughter. SO Shane got in trouble for something, I can't even recall what. Not a big deal, but Shane took being scolded very personal. He walked out of the room saying that I broke his heart. It sounds pretty devastating, but Shane says that pretty often these days, just about every time he gets mad at me when he doesn't get his way. After cooling off, Daddy talked with him and told him to apologize to me. So Shane walks up to me and says, "Mom, if you say you are sorry for breaking my heart, I will say sorry to you." At that, I burst out laughing. He was so serious, so not nice at all that I laughed bu it was too funny. He is so manipulative!

This morning Myann started Soccer Tots. I was really skeptical about her starting, but Shane started at her age, 22 months, so I thought it only fair to give her the chance. She did really well, not great, but as good as could be expected. She didn't feel like running every time, but she listened to Coach Mario much of the time and enjoyed many of the activities. Based on today we will keep at it and hope to see some improvement in the coming weeks.

This evening, at dusk, we went back to the arboretum to try to get more photos. It was getting a bit dark, so the fall leaves didn't look as pretty as they do in person, but we were able to get a few photos.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkins, Plants, and More

Monday we finally made it back to Greenbluff. This time we did Siemer's Farm. My dad took Shane and Myann through the maze while I took pictures.

Myann on the train

Shane hamming it up

I love this view

Popi brave enough to go down the slide

Photos out of order. This is Myann after eating dirt. She went down the slide with Shane and he let go of her and she went face first into the dirt.

After Greenbluff, we stopped at another nursery to buy more plants. Our yard is looking really awesome with the new plants.

Anders is 6 weeks old. I look at him in awe. He is so adorable, and I am loving my snuggle time with him.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Weekend is over

Saturday morning started with a rush to get out the door to our favorite breakfast place, Chap's. It was a bit cold for eating outside, but we braved the cold and ate fast. Then we went to a friend/coworker of Brian's house, Nolan. He wanted to get Japanese garden tips from my dad. His property and landscaping is gorgeous, and the fall colors were remarkable, I am pretty mad at myself for not taking pictures. I did tell him that I would love to take family pictures there one day, it is that impressive.

Later in the afternoon was our Mommy and Me Group Halloween Party. The kids had a wonderful time. Shane ran and played the whole time, so I rarely saw him. Myann was obsessed with the stage and kept disappearing, so I spent much of my time chasing her around. Anders slept. We unfortunately didn't get to enjoy the food, because we had dinner plans.

Myann loving her icing, sorry no pictures of Shane because he never quit moving

Myann being bossy

We had to leave the party early to go to The Pumpkin Ball. It is a formal charity event for Sacred Heart Children's Hospital and Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery. Shell sponsored a table, so we had tickets to go. Though I was not too excited about putting on a dress, 5 weeks after giving birth, this was our first formal charity event, so I was curious what it would be like. Plus I have been wanting to volunteer at Vanessa Behan anyway, so this would give me a little more insight. Coincidentally, I met two woman on the board and they offered to give me a personal tour and were insistent that I get involved, so it looks like I may do that in the near future. The evening turned out to be a lot of fun, we were there with some coworkers of Brian's, Sandra (Todd got sick, so she picked up Nolan as a date), Tina and her husband Ben.

Anders woke up this morning a baby, infant stage is all over. After changing his diaper I let him lay on the floor. He was smiling, looking around, and kicking his legs. Now if he'd only sleep through the night, I know, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Myann has been singing the ABC's for the past couple weeks, and she is gradually getting better and more understandable. She gets lots of practice by singing to Anders when he cries, that is what I used to sing to her when she cried. And her newest, not enjoyable phrase is "I don't WANT to." Major emphasis on the word "want" so it contains major attitude. She said that most of the Sears picture day and many times today.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Popi has arrived

Tuesday night Popi arrived. The kids were super excited to see him Wednesday morning, but I think Katie and Maddox have loved his visit the most. Those puppies lay all over him every chance they get.

Wednesday we took the kids to school so my dad and I could do our normal father/daughter bonding - shopping at the BX and Commissary at Fairchild. I know, kind of bizarre, but we like to do it and managed to spend almost 4 hours there. Anders slept most of the time, until the last 20 min, where I walked around rocking him. Just enough time to be called chubby by several passing ladies. But I guess chubby does describe him these days.

Thursday morning was an act of teamwork as we (Tina, my dad, and I) tried to take Halloween pictures of the kids at Sears. Shane was pretty cooperative, but Myann was not interested at all. Anders was wonderful and just sat there waiting on his siblings to get with the program. We managed to get photos of the 3 together, even if they weren't smiling, they were all in close proximity and looking at the camera - in my book, that is success. So what if it took an hour.

Today Shane worked out in the yard with Popi the entire afternoon...collecting sticks, picking up rocks, and chopping down baby pine trees. The last one was not what Popi wanted, but Shane was very proud, so Popi let it go.

Funny kid things:
Shane likes the new show, Sid the Science Kid, I do too - A LOT. Anyway, it is educational and has some awesome music. I really like the song Sid sings on the way to school and now Shane sings it and makes up his own words. Last night we were picking out plants at a nursery and Shane was singing, "I like my mom, uh huh, uh huh, she is so cool, uh huh, uh huh, I like my mom cause she's my mom uh huh, uh huh." It was so cute, great beat too.

Myann has really begun to really like books. She has always liked doing the babyish board books and looking at pictures or lifting flaps, etc. But I just noticed in the past few weeks, that she likes longer books and she listens to the whole book. She used to get bored after a few pages and demanded a different book.

Oct. 23rd Anders took his first bottle like a champ! Which means I can actually be away from him for more than 2 hours.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The TANK..oops I mean Anders

Anders is 5 weeks old today.

I took Shane and Myann for their flu vaccinations, Shane got Flumist and Myann got the shot Shane did really well snorting the Flumist, I think I'd prefer the shot. Myann then saw her needle and immediately started crying and clinging to me like a baby monkey. I guess she still remembers her 18 month appt. But she quit crying as soon as it was over. Well, I decided to make use of the scale in the office while waiting to see how much Anders weighs now. I knew he was pretty big and chubby, but I was not prepared for what the scale revealed...11 lbs 14 oz. He is HUGE, hence the nickname tank. He may seriously outweigh Myann in another 6 months.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Oh my kids...they are funny

I couldn't help cracking up today when Shane said, "I'm going to fork you up." Mind you he was playing with forks and I think he was exchanging fork in place of cut because he was pretend cutting with forks and said the I'm going to fork you up. But my corrupted mind went right to the place, you should have figured out by now.

Myann calls Shane a bad girl when he makes her mad. I guess because we tell her she is a bad girl when acting up and missed the fact that she is a girl. Then, last night Myann got in trouble and was sitting in timeout. She kept saying, "I be a good boy". Shane always promises to be a good boy when he wants to get out of trouble. She has become such a mimic of him.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Motherhood is a Privilege

The longer I am a mom, the more I appreciate that privilege. The intimate, simple moments are the most remarkable and memorable.

Yesterday, Shane and Myann were sitting on the dining room table after lunch. Both had Lunchables for lunch, a rare treat, and were enjoying the cookies that come with them. I then heard Shane saying, "Wipe your face messy girl." As I looked up, he had gotten a wet paper towel and was grabbing her head and wiping her face repeatedly saying "Wipe your face messy girl", but in a sweet caretaking voice. It was such a simple moment, but absolutely precious.

This morning I was bent down in front of the dryer, moving clothes from the washer to the dryer. Myann came in and hit my back, I said that wasn't very nice, and then I felt her whole body on me, she was hugging me. She then hit me again and then another long hug. Very sweet, but talk about a love hate relationship. And one of these nights I need to take the video camera in for Myann's bedtime. She is so manipulative...she sits through reading books in Shane's room and then wants more books when we get to her room. She says, "One book, then go bed." After books, I always sing to her, and she always asks for more songs, "One more time, itsy spider, one more time." If not itsy spider, then tinkle star, or little lamb. I love her soft voice and mispronounced words.

No one would believe me, but I know that Anders has been smiling. I know - gas - that is what everyone says, but his are smiles. I know. They are not responsive smiles, he isn't necessarily smiling at me, but I believe he is smiling out of contentment. He mostly does it when he is sleeping, but he has also done it while nursing and as he falls asleep. He is such a good baby. I look at him sometimes and feel sad that he has to share me 3 times over, that he will never get the alone time that Shane got or even as much as Myann. But then I am reminded by this, that Anders is loved, perhaps he is surrounded with even more love, because he has the love of two siblings. Believe me, Myann and Shane love on him A LOT!

I walk along holding your almost 2-year-old hand, basking in the glow Of our magical relationship. Suddenly I feel a kick from within, as if to remind me that our time alone is limited. And I wonder: How could I ever love another child as I love you? Then she is born, and I watch you. I watch the pain you feel at having to share me as you’ve never shared me before. I hear you telling me in your own way, “Please love only me.” And I hear myself telling you in mine, “I can’t,” Knowing in fact, that I never can again. You cry. I cry with you. I almost see our new baby as an intruder on the precious relationship we once shared. A relationship we can never quite have again. But then, barely noticing, I find myself attached to that new being, and feeling almost guilty. I’m afraid to let you see me enjoying her — as though I am betraying you. But then I notice your resentment change, first to curiosity, then to protectiveness, finally to genuine affection. More days pass, and we are setting into a new routine. The memory of days with just the two of us is fading fast. But something else is replacing those wonderful times we shared, just us two. There are new times — only now, we are three. I watch the look between you grow, the way you look at each other, touch each other. I watch how she adores you — as I have for so long. I see how excited you are by each of her new accomplishments. And I begin to realize that I haven’t taken something from you, I’ve given something to you. I notice that I am no longer afraid to share my love openly with both of you. I find that my love for each of you is as different as you are, but equally strong. And my question is finally answered, to my amazement. Yes, I can love another child as much as I love you — only differently. And although I realize that you may have to share my time, I now know you’ll never share my love. There’s enough of that for both of you — you each have your own supply. I love you — both. And I thank you both for blessing my life.
Author Unknown

Friday, October 17, 2008

Like Father Like Son

Tonight Brian had to drive his truck to the back of the property to load up tree limbs. Shane went out to help, but then decided they needed his truck too. So Shane ran up to the garage and drove his truck down the hill through the brush and parked next to Brian's truck. Brian was in shock watching him maneuver between all the rocks and uneven ground, but he did it without damaging himself or the truck.

This morning we met our mommy group friends out at the John A. Finch Arboretum. My kids were a bit grumpy, but we still managed to get a few photos with the fall leaves. As always, the moms were a huge help to me.

Myann and her buddy Emma, mind you, Emma is 10 months younger and the same height as Myann.

This afternoon I was able to visit with my friend Ginger from San Diego for a couple hours before her flight back and last night we went out for dinner. Though we had Anders with us, it was still next to visit kind of kid free, since Anders slept.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Loving Parties

Today we had Thomas and Joshua's 3rd birthday party. Myann and Shane both love being around Thomas and Joshua. Myann tends to spend more time with Joshua, but she always walks around asking where Thomas is when we are at playdates. It is too cute. As you can see, Myann enjoyed their cupcakes.

Tonight, Myann was pretty cranky. She hit Shane several times as he tried to walk by her. He finally had enough and said, "Look at your shirt. Your shirt says love, love. Love Shane, no hitting." I assume he meant the two hearts on her shirt. Pretty funny and luckily he didn't hit her back, though she deserved it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

One Month today

Anders is one month old today. I can't believe it has been a month. He is doing wonderfully. Anders is such a good baby, very content and rarely fussy.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fun Sunday

Today was a good day. We went to Emma's first birthday party and Shane and Myann had their first bowling experience. Myann was mildly interested in the actually bowling but really liked getting the ball out of the chute. Shane LOVED the bowling. He got so into it and developed quite a technique by the end of the session.

After the party, we dropped Brian off to meet friends for the Dennis Miller show. I toted the kids home and had a great night getting them cleaned up and in bed. Anders slept 5 hours. He slept through the whole party and until I put both kids to bed. What a kind baby he is. I took pictures of him that night because he was in the cutest outfit, but no one got to see it because he was in the carrier the whole time.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Kids are in a mood

Just as I am enjoying my new status as SAHM, I have kids going through not fun stages. Myann came home from Texas spoiled and not pleasant. She has been grumpy and clingy, not a good combo. Nothing like holding a little girl who keeps slapping you. I'm assuming it is just because of all the changes and travel and she just needs to adjust, let's hope. Shane has been having an unusually large number of temper tantrums. Again, not sure if it is just because he is 3, and 3 has been a tough age, or if it is the new baby thing. Again, we are doing our best, but this is exhausting and I hope passes sooner than later.

I guess you call this regression.

Myann and Brian had a great time in Texas, though Brian was not so happy with her on the flight home, Brian said she screamed and kicked for the entire 2 hours of the first flight. Because she was without Shane, our family was able to see the Myann that few get to, a talkative, silly girl who loves to entertain and demand attention. She also bonded with Brian's cousin Tommy, and has continued to ask for him since she came home. This morning as soon as we got to Mobius, she put her hands up and said, "Where's Tommy?"

In between tantrums, Shane manages to still be funny. After a rough morning, I told Shane I needed peace and quiet, and he told me, "Well I need peace and loud". Then tonight we heard a loud noise coming from the stairs, and found Shane "sledding" down the stairs on his tents. Not the safest, but he was entertained for 30 minutes.

Last night Tina took us all out to her family friend's pumpkin patch. The selection this year was nothing compared to last year, last year it was hundreds of pumpkins everywhere and we came home with over 40. This time we had to really search for decent ones. I think it wasn't a good crop year because there were lots of green ones. Tina is a determined pumpkin searcher, so we still managed to come home with 25 or so, many a little small, but perfect for Shane and Myann.

Daddy offroading the minivan through the pumpkin patch.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thank you Brian

I have officially been off the FDA payroll since the end of September, but it took me until yesterday to finally get all my work stuff mailed back to the office. I can't check work emails, I can't do anything for a job that consumed my life the past 10 years. It is incredibly scary and at the same time, I feel a huge amount of weight lifted off of me. Now I can focus 100% of my time on my family. So this is my thank you to Brian, he made this possible. I still remember a little over 4 years ago when we were eating diner with my parents at George's on the Cove in La Jolla. I was pregnant, though we didn't know it yet. The dinner conversation turned to me staying at home once we had kids. My mom was very critical and insistent that I stay home and Brian was even more insistent that I would always work. I said I would stay home if work was unbearable, but in the meantime I would honor Brian's decision since he really believed strongly that a working wife and mom was better for our family. Secretly, I prayed that one day I would be able to stay home with my kids, and there was no point having the argument now, since 1)we did not have kids and 2)financially we needed my salary in San Diego. So after Shane I went back to work, it was the hardest thing I've ever done, but I survived and he stayed with a woman named Mahro, who loved him almost as much as I could. Then came Myann, due to all the complications with her, I was able to be home more and work granted me extended leave and part-time work once I returned. Little did I know that I would not work full time again. Then came Washington and another year of working less than part-time and now I start my dream job of staying at home with my kids.

Brian has worked tremendously hard since I met him and has a work ethic and drive that I can only imagine. I am a good worker, but I don't have his drive for success. His success has made it possible for us to live a great life in a beautiful home and I don't have to work anymore. Thank you Brian. But money was not the main issue for Brian all these years, if it had been, then we would have made the necessary cuts for me to stay home after Shane. Brian has seen that I just couldn't manage the house, kids, and work and still have anything left for him or myself. So thank you Brian for making my dream job happen. But please don't hold it against me when I have days that I hate my new job, because I will. And thank you God for answering my prayers, not in my time, but yours.

Monday, October 6, 2008

New breed of man

I thought it was impossible, but I gave birth to a new breed of man. Not Anders, but Shane. This week Shane has shown a skill that I have known no man to have mastered before. Shane likes and is capable of changing out the roll of toilet paper. I know, a MIRACLE!!! Now every time he sees an empty roll he rushes to change it out. Of course, he has another motive, I convinced him that the empty rolls were pirate spiers, so he is always eager to get a new pirate spier. But heh, he could just take the empty roll and leave it as most men do, but Shane actually puts on a new roll. I am living the high life.

Yesterday we took Grandma Jo to the airport, and we were sad to see her go. Thanks Grandma Jo for all your help this week. To keep Shane from getting down about all his guests leaving, our friends (Todd, Sandra, James, and Bree) had us over for breakfast and play time. We had a wonderful time. Shane played for almost 5 hours with James, and I was able to enjoy a wonderful breakfast prepared by Sandra and adult conversation with her and Todd. The rest of the day was spent lounging at home and an early bedtime for Shane.

Today we had a playdate at our house. Again, trying to keep Shane preoccupied, and I need the distraction to not miss Myann so much, and Brian I guess.:) We always love having our friends over, we have some really wonderful friends here. Shane did not nap, the low of the day, but he played well until the evening meltdowns began. Both mine and his. I really miss his napping, I miss the quiet time, but the trade off has become that he goes to bed earlier. When he does nap, I have to chase him back to bed until 10 or 11pm.

Today is also Anders' 3 week birthday. He is quite the big boy. The morning must have worn him out because he has been sleeping all afternoon, waking briefly to eat and then back to sleep. And today Anders' umbilical cord finally came off.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Alex!

Happy Birthday to my big brother. Every year seems like such a blessing with you. Every year is a blessing with our loved ones, but it is a miracle you are here today, so your birthday is a reminder to me to really cherish this time and tell you how much I love you. Every time I see Myann and Shane together, I think of you. The good and the bad, when they fight I see us 25-30 years ago, when they hug and kiss and giggle, I see us too. We had a special bond, we shared every experience, good and bad together. You are all I remember, you had 2 years before me, but I have never known a day in my life without you and I hope I never do. You have become such a wonderful man, father, and uncle. I love seeing you with my kids, you are like a big kid and your love just oozes. Normally you are Mr. Cool, Mr. GQ, but when you are around Lexi or Austin, Shane or Myann, you turn into the goofiest most fun loving man, and I just smile. I'm sure that is one of the reasons Danielle loves you, it definitely makes you lovable. I'm sorry we can't be together to celebrate, but I'm thinking of you and wishing you a wonderful day. Your little sis, Kari

This photo is for you, may it bring your Cowboys luck.