June 29, 2010

Isabel the Great

In order to avoid discussing the question Nic just asked me (trust me, you do not want to know!) - I am going to talk some about our middle child - our only daughter - Isabel.

Here are 11 interesting things about Isabel.

1) She has quite a few nicknames; her first, Chooch, came from when my sister-in-law would call her chula,which translates to beautiful or pretty. Chula became chula maria, a take from her middle name of Marie. Chula Maria was subsequently shortened to Chooch. We still call her this, some 11 years later.

2) In the picture above - those are not REAL freckles. I am just a good make-up artist like that. (Ha!) But that is a real birthmark. We've always told her it was from an angel kissing her goodbye before she was brought to us. An Angel Kiss. I secretly think it's the cough medicine I accidentally took when I was four months pregnant with her. Hey, in my defense, everyone in the house was sick; I spooning medicine into everyone's mouth (including my own) - I didn't think twice about it. For 10 minutes. Then I realized what I had done and immediately called Poison Control. The very nice lady took my info and let me explain the situation. When I was done, she calmly said that I did not ingest enough to cause any harm. She then went on to say how we are all worry-warts. That if anything small or silly happened when the baby (Isabel) was born, I would probably try to blame it on this incident. Well... look at it?! It looks like a brown stain... Remind you of anything? Cough syrup, maybe?

You would think that birth mark would be the last of mean jokes handed her way. Nope, why stop there? Isabel also has vitiligo.  Thankfully, for now, it's only on one of her legs. I do see some spots popping up on her other leg. The beautiful thing? Isabel has accepted herself and her condition. Now, for sure she has her off days - the ones where she begs me to not make her wear shorts (it's over 100* in the summer here; jeans are not an option)... but really, for the most part, she is strong and confident. Which is a far cry from when she was 6 or 7. She's come a long way! I am proud of her! Isabel is BEAUTIFUL - and we wouldn't change one thing about her. Well, maybe #6 below.

3) As I type, Isabel is giving Nic a bath. He's dirty. She didn't want to. I bribed her. And now, as I sit here, working/blogging, I hear her bribing him!

4) Isa's best friends with a sweet girl named Hannah. They live super close (as in pretty much next door). They are the same age and really love the same things. Isabel has spent the night over at Hannah's house at least a dozen times in the past 6 months.

5) Isabel is FUNNY. She is always cracking jokes and is always ready with a come-back of some sort. Isabel's mom is ALSO very funny. That must be where Isabel gets it from. I'm just sayin'.

6) Isabel has a small (heck - let's keep it real) gigantic attitude problem. But we are working on it. She is not very patient... She doesn't like it when she doesn't get her way. She thinks things aren't fair. She doesn't like being asked to do her chores. She slams doors. She stomps her feet. She gets annoyed with her brothers. She likes to scowl. I have NO idea where she gets all of this attitude from. No idea. None. At all. Nope.

7) Isabel says she wants to be a veterinarian. Isabel also says she is deathly afraid of bugs and spiders. So much for loving all animals & stuff.

8) Isa loves the Disney & Nickelodeon channels - the "tween" stuff of course.

9) I think Isabel has Bieber Fever. I am actively looking for an antidote.

10) Isabel plays softball. Only during the spring now, but we hope to get her involved in a club where she can play more often. I think she is a great ball player.

11) Isabel cannot wait for Middle School. I have a feeling she is going to keep me busy! I think she is going to be really involved in school activities! She likes to try any and everything. Bring it on, Chooch, bring it on!

Who else thinks it's crazy that Isabel literally matched the ship? I promise we did not do that on purpose!

There you have it... Isabel in a nut shell.
Well, not really a nut shell.
That would be awkward.

June 28, 2010

T Minus 5 Days...

... and counting until our vacation!

The husband and I are both off of work starting this Thursday, but we won't be leaving for California until Sunday, July 4th. We've never missed a 4th of July here in Arizona; this will be our first.

Our family decided to move our 4th of July BBQ and Swimming Party to the 3rd of July - so in actuality, we won't be missing much.

On the flip side - guess what we are doing and where we're going to spend the afternoon and evening in honor of Independence Day?

Here is a clue:

Well, I guess it was more like a dead give-away!  But never-the-less, we are very excited.  We have 5 fun-filled days planned to plan for in sunny San Diego. 

We have a lot to do to get ready, but we are so very much looking forward to getting away, spending some time at the beach, and making Nic's dream of going to Legoland come true. 

The kid has had a continuous death grip on a few Legoland magnets he found one day - they were from when the husband took Alex, when he, too, was just 3 years old. 

Remind me to hide the rest of the magnets I've collected over the years; especially the one of the Eiffel Tower.  I don't think I could afford (time, energy, or money) a trip like that anytime soon!

Oh, any of YOU out there have any ideas of fun/cheap things to do in the San Diego area? I would love to hear them! I might even dub you my official event planner!

P.S. Picture courtesy of  Legoland. A little Photoshopping courtesy of me.

June 27, 2010

The Good, the Okay, and the Ugly!

Not necessarily in that order... :)

Isabel, Nic and I made a trip to Michael's today while Alex and the husband were out admiring their biggest catch:

Don't laugh. I already did - enough for both of us.

Back to my story... We wanted to pick up some art supplies; we decided on an art project similar to the ones here and here.  After some time, this is what we ended up with:

They don't look like dinosaurs much, do they? Maybe I should have named this project Make Believe Animal (Maybe?) Art...

Yeah, that's it!

Guess what the husband brought me home from Costco - besides two rotisserie chickens?

It's been a very happy Sunday in and around our house!  I think I am ready for the week to begin!

It's never a good thing...

...when your husband sends you an email with the following subject:

In case we get lost; here's a picture of us...

What?!  The husband and son woke up super early this morning to head out to Prescott (Goldwater Lake), to get some fishing time in. This is the first time they have ever gone fishing alone. I am so thankful that they are starting to do things like this - it only took 14 years!  We are certainly in a different place in life - we are able to do more and enjoy more.

Oh... here's that picture:

June 26, 2010

Up and At 'Em

It's graduation day for me. And it's only 6:40 in the morning. I hate to wake the kids up so darn early, but my graduation is being held all the way across town.

By completing my MBA and walking during the graduation ceremony, I hope my children (at least the older two) understand how important education is in our family. 10 years ago, I never thought I would have a Bachelors degree, let alone a Masters.

Up and at 'em! Let's get the show on the road!

June 21, 2010

Father's Day 2010

We had a fabulous Father's Day weekend.  It started off on Friday, we took the kids to go see Toy Story 3.  It was a fantastic movie; we laughed, we cried, we didn't want it to end. After the movie, we went to Peter Piper Pizza. I used to be a huge fan of PPP, but it seems they changed their pizza a little. :(

On Saturday, we went up to Woods Canyon Lake (it's a little past Christopher Creek). My parents were already up North for their anniversary trip (37 years!), so we had them meet up by the lake. We packed picnic lunches and all of our fishing gear!  The weather was perfect and we have a great time taking care of the husband and my own dad.


Finally, on Sunday, the kids and I decorated our dining room and wrapped all of the husband's presents. The husband was truly spoiled this year. He received the new Droid phone (well, it's on back order until July 17), a Senseo coffee maker, a salad kit container, a bag of his favorite candy, a #1 Dad trophy, and some great cards. He was able to get off of work earlier than usual - and he came home to find all of this laid out for him. After a dinner of Roasted Chicken Salad and corn-on-the cob, we fed him some cupcakes that we made.   After we cleaned up, we all went for a swim until it got dark.  It was just beautiful outside!

What a wonderful weekend. The husband is truly a great father... and we truly enjoyed making his weekend special!

June 15, 2010

It's Working!

Alex has been to 6 sessions of Strength and Agility training with his high school football team. You can see some biceps forming; he's getting stronger.  And on the plus side... he's lost 4 pounds already. We didn't set out for him to lose weight, but we know there was an opportunity to do so. I think it will all even out as soon as he gains more muscle.

He's taking this seriously and doing well; super proud mama over here!!

June 12, 2010

Proud of my Alex

This past school year has been rough for Alex. He started out well. Of course, we promised him the moon if he earned A's and B's. He did earn a few of both come the first report card; however, the second and third quarters were not as kind. He had problems turning work in, bringing stuff home, and paying attention in class. I know being 13/14 years old is rough - but we've been trying to show/explain/force it on Alex that school is his JOB. His grades are his PAYCHECK. Somewhere in February or March, it seems he caught on. He did a much better job (albeit, not perfect) the last semester of 8th grade. We just got his final reporting card - they sent it home. He earned all B's and C's - which is a far cry from the D's and F's we saw a few times the report cards before.

Alex is now in summer school - a bridge program that helps prepare kids for high school. The program is specifically designed to help kids that have the potential, but are in danger of falling further behind if not "pushed" a bit to succeed. Note: Not that ALL kids don't have the potential...

This program is Monday thru Friday, from 7:30 to 12:15. It goes until June 30th.

This next year, Alex's first year in high school, is so important to us. We only have 4 years to prepare him for college. Every thing he does (or does not do - no, let me stay positive - does!) is in preparation for college and, later, a career. While Alex has some lofty things ahead of him - e.g. commitment and goal setting - I, too, need to jump on board.

Here are MY goals concerning Alex for this upcoming year:
Spend at least 30 minutes with Alex each day (with no interruptions). Be available during homework time (this might be a stretch considering our schedules, but I really want to stay right beside him - for support and assistance - we will see how/if this works). Check his backpack once a week (at least). Give constant feedback and positive reinforcement. Meet with Guidance Counselor every quarter.Give Alex the supplies and tools he needs to be successful. Support him in his choice of playing football (attend all games and get involved as a parent). Help Alex focus on his organizational and time-management skills. Reward him for good behaviors and great grades!
I am excited about the upcoming school year - and the endless possibilities for my first born, cute-as-heck, sweetheart of a boy, Alex.

June 11, 2010

It's finally happened...

I never thought it would happen.

Well, actually, there were times when I thought, with three kids, the chances were good.
Heck, I even bought a mini-van for the purpose of this great event.

Ready for my announcement?

I am finally a full-fledged taxi driver.

This past week, Alex started summer school AND strength training/football camp. Isabel is asking to be carted to the library and back. Finally, Nic has yet to drop out of pre-school. I am in the van for 4+ hours a day. How the heck will I ever find time to actually work?

June 06, 2010

I told him he had to wait until his was 35...

He didn't listen.

Nic claims he has a girlfriend. He's three. What does he know about having girlfriends?
If you ask him who it is, he replies with such earnest: Hannah Joaquin.

A. Hannah is really Isabel's best friend (whom he does see a lot).
B. Nic's middle name is Joaquin. He's decided to share it with Hannah.

That kid is so much fun.
Even if he does forget that he's not allowed to have a girlfriend.

June 01, 2010

New Blog...

I have an old blog... it's kind of new(er), but it's kind of old compared to this one. I wanted to change my focus a little.

Here is the old (but not too old) blog: http://www.sun-kissed.net/ Take a gander before I bring the sucker down...

I probably won't be moving the posts over. Just an FYI.

What you can learn to enjoy on this blog: Me talking abt my kids. I'd love to use this a journal I can give them some day when they threaten to grow old and leave me!


Keeping tracking of all the headers for this blog...and the ones I've made for others...
If you ever want help having a header made... feel free to drop me a line! ;)
I love doing them!