Thursday, December 30, 2010


Tuesday morning we packed up the kids and the car and headed up to Big Bear to stay at Eric's family cabin "Tucker Inn." The forecast said sunny, then snow, then sunny. Perfect! And it was. We arrived to sunny skies and plenty of snow to play in. When we woke up on Wednesday it was snowing. And it just kept snowing. All day in fact! I don't think I have been in falling snow since high school or maybe once during my short stay at KU. Anyway, it snowed! The kids did it all: snowball fights, snowman building, and sledding. All in our yard! Very convenient since we had to give Luke limited snow moments in between breathing treatments. All he wanted to do was eat some snow, then go inside and play by the fire. Inside the cabin we enjoyed a warm fire, hot chocolate, a great dinner grilled by Eric, movies, and card games. We had to build quite an elaborate gate blockade on the stairs for Luke. But once he went to sleep, Zac and Claire had a blast sliding down the stairs on their cute butts. Something I remember doing in my childhood home in Kansas. Totally not safe but we were exposing the kids to new things this trip. :) Thanks Gary and Diana for allowing us to crash and play!

*I want to point out a few things in this video that will surely get my brother and sister-in-law giggling at our California-ness. My kids are wearing jeans, Claire's jacket is cloth, Zac's jacket is broken, Eric has no gloves, and it's probably just funny that the whole thing is an event and worth video taping! Hey. They got gloves and snow boots. That was a miracle. Thanks to Zappos overnight shipping! ")

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

Four celebrations later and we are done. Christmas began with a gathering at our house to open presents with Sara. All the kids got to open 2 presents. One was from Oma that contained the traditional Christmas p.j.'s.

Christmas Eve we went to church for the kid's service. Claire was excited to see her girl pals dressed in their Christmas best just like her. Zac sang in the children's choir and also participated in a living acrostic poem. He was the letter 'R' in Merry. It was pretty cute. Luke decided church should remain in the morning hour and cried and fussed throughout the service. The best moment was when he took a bite out of a candle. I mean, a giant bite where he had to chew for a while to get it down. And yes of course I tried to get it out but he is 20 months old with a full set of teeth. I'll show you the bruise on my finger later. We also attempted and failed to eat dinner out at a local Chinese restaurant. That ended with Eric and Luke in the car while I stayed inside with Z and C boxing up the food. It tasted just as good at home. :)

Christmas morning was awesome. Santa left one present unopened for each kid. A guitar for Zac, a furreal dog for Claire, and an automatic ATV for Luke. It was so great how Luke knew which gift was for him. He doesn't get Santa, but he got that there was one spectacular new toy waiting just for him! Butch and Roro came for breakfast at 9:00 and actually stayed until 11:21! A new record!

Christmas dinner was at Oma and Opa's house where we enjoyed more present opening and a fabulous dinner! Thank you Oma for helping make Christmas fabulous for my family!

Finally our last celebration was yesterday morning where we pretended it was Christmas morning all over again at Butch and Roro's house. Some highlights were the delicious breakfast, mom crying about EVERY gift from a singing snowman to a good legitimate cry over a beautiful necklace dad surprised her with, about 100 pictures taken to get "just my head and the necklace," and finally a family walk up to Eric's classroom to feed the tortoises. I think the best gift was a recordable book of the Night Before Christmas by Butch. Very cool.

Christmas is a lot of work, but so worth it. Every year I think about how much I loved the season as a child but never realized the backstage preparations that went on. So I am publicly thanking you mom and dad for all your hard work. And even you Mark for not spoiling it because being 11 years older, you totally could have! Love you all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ice Skating

Zac has been begging to ice skate ever since we passed by a rink outside of the Nokia theater a few weeks ago. Eric and I promised him that we would take him over winter break and Claire promised she would NOT be going. She insisted that Oma will watch her and Luke. NO skating until she is 7! So today we went. Sara is here and we thought it was a perfect time.

Here are our first moments on the ice. This provided me with a good side splitting laugh!

I soon realized a few things. First, I am not as young as I used to be. Second, I have a definite case of mom anxiety. It didn't help that many of the other kids Zac's age were outfitted with helmets. I decided Eric needed to take charge of Zac, then Sara and I can stumble in circles together. Side note: Sara text messaged me the other day that she is a little "iffy" the first time on the ice, but after about 5 minutes it's as if she was "born to skate." Not so much this time. We did notice her skates were a little loose and after a good tightening it helped her get the hang of it. She was a great partner!

I lasted about an hour and then took a seat. Here is Zac's progress. I am very impressed at his will. He did not want to take a break. He was certainly determined. A good quality no doubt!

We have even promised to do it again. It was a cheap and fun way to exercise and play together. But ask me again tomorrow when I can't move my legs. My outlook may change.

Ode to Bus

Here is the world's most (in my opinion) tolerant dog. She has endured being thrown in a dumpster at birth, living in a house with all boys who paid no attention to her, surviving numerous attacks by other dogs, Sara, Zac, Claire, and now the worst EVER...


He means well. Dogs appear to be his favorite thing ever (next to Elmo). He just pets a little too hard, pulls hair a little too much, and steals her food - all the time.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Get a Grip

I am a bit concerned about my emotional stability as of late. It seems that I get teary eyed at least once a day. Here is a list of a few of the moments that have moved me in the past 7 days. Some legitimate, others concerning.

The kick-line at the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular.

The song Where Are You Christmas playing on the radio.

At the movie theater at least three times during the latest Harry Potter movie.

When Zac walked up the sidewalk to school blowing kisses at me.

When we got home from seeing the Pulminoligist with Luke.

At an announcement my principal made over the intercom at my school.

When a coworker gave me chocolate.

When Claire came to work with me and ran out to the playground with my first graders without a care as to where and what I was doing.

That darn Children's Hospital Commercial with Jennifer Aniston.

When my job share partner told me she wants to work full time.

At the end of Polar Express when that Josh Groban song plays.

The next day when I told some one that my job share partner wants to go full time.

When my students sang at our annual Winter Sing.

When Luke hugged his little friend at school before we went home.

When I simply thought about Bus getting old.

When we sang Christmas carols at my work Christmas party.

When Claire woke up with fever.

When Zac behaved himself beautifully at the Nativity Scene rehearsal.

Looking at my hair in the mirror and realizing I will NEVER get an appointment before Christmas.

I'm sure I have forgotten a few. But this emotional state is getting ridiculous. And no mother. I am NOT pregnant! ;)

Friday, December 10, 2010

First Piano Recital!

Well we endured a few sleepless nights, some anxiety, and a very nervous tummy. But don't worry, I am okay now. Oh, and Zac was great! He admitted a few nerves this morning and I could see it in his eyes before his name was introduced, but he did it! I am so proud of us, I mean, him! He didn't miss a note. Believe me, I KNOW!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

She's 12!

It is very hard to believe that Sara is turning 12! She is way mature beyond the age of 12, but I can't believe that much time has passed. Just the other day we went to the park and Claire was rocking back and forth on a toy with her hair swinging back and forth. It was a total Sara flashback. It just doesn't seem that long ago that she was rocking on that same horse with the same blond hair bobbing all around her!

Last night we celebrated with a family gathering at our house. As always Sara was thrilled and so thankful of every gift. Either she is an academy award winning actress or she is the most grateful child in the world! I love it! Next weekend she is having a slumber party with 9 girls attending. Wow! I can only imagine the kind of sleep that Jennifer, Mike, and little sister Jude will NOT be getting that night!

Sara: I just know 12 is going to be a great year. I can just feel it! My mom said it was a hard year for her, but it won't be for me.

Me:(Thinking back to my 12th year. One of my WORST years ever!) Yeah. 12 can be challenging. (Thinking back to puberty, Jr. High, braces, friendships crashing and burning. Oh what good times.) But I'm sure it'll be great for you. (Praying my voice sounded optimistic!)

Anyone else have fun 12 year old memories to share? :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I just put my precious little man down for nap, so I thought this would be a great time for some baby blogging.

Favorites -

Luke J. is the sweetest, most loving guy. He waves at everyone and even things. When you take him out of the stroller, he waves good-bye to it. Same thing with the grocery cart, the car, his trike, whatever! When someone he knows comes over, he runs to them pointing and lets out a high pitched sound like, "Aaahhh!" He hugs constantly and without prompting. He dances to any song, even commercials on T.V. He has fallen in love with Elmo and his favorite animal is a dog. Both of these need to be in view for him to survive his new breathing treatment with a special mask that doesn't allow for his other big love- the pacifier! Zac and Claire can get frustrated with him when he knocks over their toys or destroys their games, as siblings do. But they too have fallen victim to his smiles and hugs. He is irresistible!

Challenges -

But he also screams like you are trying to kill him at the barber shop. He has numerous medical issues, beginning with large birth weight, jaundice, webbed tongue, asthma (the worst!), non-allergic rhinitis, ear tubes, and now a tube that has moved and has resulted in an ear infection. Oh, and he doesn't get fevers. So you're never sure if he is really sick. As of yesterday he won't pose for a school picture. I dressed him up and plopped him down in front of the camera only to have him lunge toward me, red-faced and screaming. His teacher thought she would have the magic touch and tried without me this morning. Nope. Oh, well. His fabulous smile and winning personality definitely make up for all the challenges!

The latest excitement is his graduation from the top seat in the grocery cart to the cool car with his big sister!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Sara came Friday night to celebrate Zachary's birthday with us. The kids haven't seen her since Eric's birthday on Oct. 1. I was outside with the kids and suddenly Sara is streaking past me to get to her siblings. This is what happened next.

Saturday we ventured on to Laser Island for Zac's birthday. We sent Claire to cousin Allie's house (thanks Aunt Lisa and Uncle Chad) and Butch and RoRo got Luke J.. Best plan ever! The party was crazy, exciting, chaos! Oma made another amazing cake and was able to help manage the mayhem and Eric was incredible, playing with the kids and handing out silly bandz. Zac has some really great friends. I am so proud of him!
We finished the evening at home with the family. It was fabulous!

But, I think my favorite Zac birthday moment was a special email sent from uncle Mark.

The caption was, "Getting big." I know. I peed myself! Oh, and Zac thought it was hilarious!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Z is 7!

A big happy birthday to my first born! Last night Eric and I reminisced about driving to the hospital is supposed labor only to be turned away and how I made him stop for milk and bananas at Stater Brothers. I remember sitting in the car waiting and fogging up the windows while laboring in the car. Sure enough we were back at the hospital only a few hours later. Ouch it hurt!

Yesterday I took treats to Zac's classroom since I had to teach today. This year I volunteer once a week in Room 16 so I get to know the kids a little bit. It is so fun to be in there and to witness him in his element. I know I am blessed to have that opportunity because so many parents can't. They sang a very loud happy birthday to him and only two kids refused my store bought cookies. Yeah. No baking for me. I love Zac's teacher because she too has 3 children and can totally relate to my world and took my cookies with no judgement. She is great!

Today we surprised him with the traditional decorated chair and a pogo stick. I came home from work today and he is already an expert jumper. Thanks grandpa Butch!

He has requested pizza for dinner. Score for me! Saturday is the birthday party at Laser Island. Stay tuned for what is sure to be fun tails from that event!

Happy Happy Birthday Buddy!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Last night before we ventured out for candy, Zac and Claire were busy playing. Claire was pretending to give me a pedicure and Zac found every hair accessory available to put in my hair. It was actually quite fun and it was like a mini foot and head massage. When I told them that I felt loved Zac said, "You are loved mommy." Claire said, "We do love you!" and then hugged me.
I later told Eric to help me remember that moment when they are telling me how mean I am in the morning when I won't let them eat candy before school.

Halloween memories-
Claire spiking fever the night before only to find out she has strep throat today.
Luke wearing Zac's Dinosaur costume from when he was 2 since it was too chilly to be Scooby.
Zac telling Claire it is rude to walk through some one's lawn as he walked around it.
Eric's brilliant idea of pulling the kids in a wagon and Luke in the stroller.
Luke walking to a stranger's door reaching out for candy before it is even offered and after I say he doesn't need any.
Zac and Claire saying all of their lines correctly: Trick or Treat? Thank you! and Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Getting Old - er

Eric and I (especially I) were really excited to get an invite out with friends to visit a local restaurant for their late night Halloween Party. Every year I want to dress up fancy, do the couples outfit, and party. So we did!

Yes. We are a bit geeky.

Caesar and his Roman Empress stayed out until 12:30 a.m. When did that become WAY TOO LATE? I am hurting so incredibly bad today that I can't wait for bedtime. My muscles ache and my eyes are blood shot.
Tonight we walked by a Halloween store and saw that on Monday all costumes go on sale 50% off. We are so there. Hopefully by next year we will be ready to do it again.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Catch Up!

I think it is obvious by my lack of blogging that I am a bit busy. It seems as though every day is a balancing act and I am always playing catch up. I know I am NOT alone so that makes me feel better! So here is my catch up blog.

Claire no longer fears soccer. She scored a record 5 goals in her game today!
She is a super star in her ballet class which doesn't thrill me at all (heavy sarcasm here).

Zac scored 2 goals but when asked he tells people he plays basketball. He started piano lessons and absolutely LOVES it. He actually reads the music and translates it to his fingers. Who knew!? His birthday is rapidly approaching and I just mailed the invites today. I can't wait until he doesn't want to invite every person he knows. Birthdays shouldn't be this stressful and they really shouldn't put you in greater debt! I'm afraid, and have confirmed this after talking with his teacher, that he has inherited my social wit.

Luke has warmed up to preschool but is the most thrilled when we come to pick him up. I know this since he sprints to the door waving madly at all who can see him. He gives the best hugs and is the cutest dancer. He passed all of his milestones at his 18 month doctor appointment. Oh, except for the needs to know 7 words. I asked if barking and neighing count? Not so much.

We went to the Cal Poly Pumpkin patch and endured the crowds and misty weather. We came home a bit dirty but with a great load of pumpkins lovingly picked by each kid.

We dressed the kids for the annual Village Venture in Claremont today for their Halloween parade. Jengo Fet, Southern Belle, and Scooby Doo were a hit!

By the way, Bus (loyal chow mix about 13 years old) is still alive and well. Just wanted to document that. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Right now I am enjoying the sounds of the lawnmower being pushed through my back yard by grandpa Butch and my coughing, asthmatic son who is on a stool watching through the glass door. I am hunched in my computer chair so I don't hurt the sutures in my belly button and burst my newly repaired hernia. Ahhh. So relaxing!

Tonight we are all heading to the LA County fair to ride in the Claremont Day Parade with our own honored "hero" Roro. She is so excited and I know I will be once my entire crew finally manages to arrive on time. She has only asked me 314 times what time we will get there so no pressure. I am really looking forward to some good, greasy fair food and to celebrate my cool mom!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

New School Year

Last week was the start of a new school year for the Tucker family. Eric and I somehow managed to get our classrooms ready a few weeks prior without ending our marriage. Shwew! It helps that I am a morning person and he is an evening person. We just rotated.

Now the other morning person in the family started the big first grade! But not like his usual self he was slow to wake up that morning. Probably because the night before, at his first piano lesson, he was holding his ear and complaining of pain. I knew it was swimmer's ear since there were no other symptoms. So I dosed him up with some ear drops that were Luke's and gave him some Motrin and then prayed that the morning would be brighter. Nope! A few more drops and more Motrin and he was up and ready for school. (If it was contagious I wouldn't have sent him! I promise!) Butch was the lucky first day dropper offer and was able to get Zac to Condit on time and even snapped some photos. We found out the Friday before that Zac got the teacher we were hoping for and one of his best friends is in his class. So perfect! Now if he can just control that charming clownish behavior he inherited from someone...

As for my late night child, princess Claire, the Early Childhood center was closed for its annual 2 weeks. But she did have her first soccer practice! It was super great until the coach had the girls play a game where the coach was a "monster" who was going to take the ball away. Tears. Next game. You have to kick the ball every time you get squirted in the face with a water bottle. More tears. Last game. Cowboys and Indians (Yeah. Super politically correct!) where the "Indians" run while the "Cowboys" try to hit the "Indians" with the ball. Massive tears and we are done. Good times. We'll try again next week. Then ballet started Thursday. Oops. Missed it. Sorry Claire. You will never know until you are old enough to read this blog. :)

16 month old awesome guy, Luke, is as adventurous as ever. He has a few more bumps on his forehead, some new sounds that he uses to convey meaning (no words :/), he's only run into the street once, and we almost lost him at the soccer field. Other than that he is the sweetest, happiest, lovable baby. Big milestone - we have cut pacifier time down to sleep time. Yay! His big day is next Wednesday when he begins his stint at the Early Childhood Center. We (this includes child care providers Butch and Roro) can't wait!

We saw Sara last weekend who had already begun her middle school years. Because of this big change in her world she has decided to visit us a little less for now. I only cried for one night and know that all will be well. It was only a matter of time. Thank goodness for text messaging. She's really talented at that!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm Back

Last Wednesday my brother and his family flew in for a visit. They are due to leave here in about 1 hour. I often wait until my extremely intelligent and witty sister-in-law blogs about the trip to save me the trouble. But I thought I would try to be impressive and get a very big head start!

In the last six days my children and their cousins have done more swimming than we have accomplished the entire summer. Sara, Zac, and Andrew (the big kids) took over the big pool while Thomas and Claire turned the spa into a baby pool. It was fabulous! Only a few times did we have to pry the "big kids" out of the spa to restore calm and peace. Luke happily climbed, fell, ate sand, fell, and played every day. Thankfully there were many other adults to keep an eye on that busy baby!

Friday we woke up early, put on our Be Good To People shirts and traveled to Sea World. It was so worth the early wake up call and the 2 hour drive to watch the looks of awe and joy on our kid's faces. Highlights on that trip were the water rides with wet shivering kids who could care less, Eric and Sara sitting 2 rows away from Shamu and getting completely drenched, a very witty Sea Lion show, Shamu necklaces for the kids, and Luke pointing and smiling at the Orca whales sailing out of the water.

Saturday was RoRo's 70th birthday. We had a yummy lunch at P.F. Changs, splashed the kids in the fountain at Victoria Gardens, drove 30 minutes to Yogurtland and came home for more swimming. After dinner we all gathered around to sing and celebrate RoRo. She was pretty excited when she opened up her present to find an ipad. Happy Birthday mom!

Sunday, after more swimming, Eric and I got to spend an evening out with Mark and Susan!! Kid. Free. We saw a movie then devoured a teppan dinner. So fun! I am officially declaring this tradition since we have now accomplished this task three times the last three visits. Well done us!

Monday we boarded a train (Butch's idea! I know. Shocking. Even to him!)to Olvera Street and enjoyed lunch and some shopping. Actually we browsed while slapping hands and voicing threats to the children who wanted to buy everything within reach. I am so glad we didn't come home with a mini guitar! Oh, and we had a celebrity encounter. Ed Begley, Jr. Cool!

Today the swimming stopped. Much to the disappointment of my children. They are currently asking to go swim tonight. I think we may give Butch and RoRo a well deserved break from the chaos. I'm sure as we speak Butch is caressing his spa and balancing chemicals that were surely thrown way off this weekend. Worth every minute!

P.S. Thank you my devoted readers that I didn't know existed. Stalk me anytime! ;)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Break

I think I am going to take a small blog break. Some one super helpful pointed out that I have a lot of spelling and grammatical mistakes. I guess I will start writing again when I am not sleep deprived and/or don't have a 1 year old crying at my knee. But I also know that only 2 people read this and I think you both will still love me even with allll my spllinng erers. It don't bother you. Rite? ;)

I can't find any pictures of myself that properly illustrate this post. But I found one of Zac that does! :)

Wacky Wednesday. AYSO Soccer Camp.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Beginning

I have just completed my fifth day of summer. School ended last Thursday as did the complete chaos.

I finished "checking out" of my class room today and when I asked my principal if I should turn in my key he said, "No!" I guess we can look at that as a good thing. Unfortunately he has very little, if any, impact on my fate in the district. But for now I've got my key and my bearded dragon isn't moving to my parent's garage, but staying in Room 3 for now.

Eric attended his old school's graduation and had a very warm reception of course. He finally felt contented enough in Claremont (heavy sigh of relief insert here) to go back to visit San Dimas. At Claremont's graduation ceremony he was asked by quite a few students (including the valedictorian) to hand them their diploma. Pretty cool for a first year teacher!

Zac completed Kindergarten with flying colors and is so excited to be a first grader. Claire is super excited to be almost a Kindergartner. She is a crack up!

Luke got his first bee sting today and survived. Wouldn't you know it, I stepped inside to use the facilities and when I returned Zac was yelling, "Luke got stung by a bee!" UGH! According to Zac, who by the way is being my very best stay at home and run errands buddy, the bee landed in the water table and Luke picked it up. Flash back to Zac at two years old except exchange water table for baby blow up pool.

Summer vacation is off to a great start! I have just a few goals to accomplish. Most are completely unrealistic, but aren't they always? I'll let you know when I loose 15lbs. and completely reorganize the house. ;)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bubble Man

Back in April, during Spring Break, Eric and I took Zac and Claire to the Discovery Science Center. While there we saw a show with the amazing bubble man, Fan Yang. It was really cool for the kids and admittedly quite fascinating for the adults as well. It was a full production with colored strobe lights, techno music, and choreographed bubble art! Apparently it really struck a chord with Eric. He was truly inspired.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Today the sun is shining and things are looking brighter around this house! Here is what we are doing today on this lovely Sunday. (Yeah. Not church. Guilt.)

In the weeks before today we have battled the stomach flu (Happy Mother's Day to me!), completed a masters thesis (Eric), received a final notice of "Nonreemployment" (me), prepared for Open House (mine), and fought another asthma attack/pneumonia (Luke) - scariest episode yet! Once again without the help of family we wouldn't survive it at all! There are days, and I know at least one person reading this can bond;), that I don't think I can manage it all. I am amazed my friendships, and marriage have persevered with only a little reparable damage!

A few extras -

*Eric is not nonreemployed (my new favorite not real word). He got an intent to rehire letter. Yay!

*Claire - (throwing up) I feel like I'm going to cry. Me - It's ok to cry, you are really sick and it is no fun! Claire - OK... Waaaaahhhhhh!!!

*Zac - (After I told him I can't go to an event at his school.) I want my Butchy to go!

*Sara "graduated" from 5th grade. She is now an official Junior High kid! She is so excited!

*As I type this, Luke is running around the house, in a diaper, with a pacifier in his mouth, and a hand full of my tampons. I think it's a step up from the pooper scooper.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2 in 1!

The new improved Pooper Scooper! As always it will help rid your yard of giant, fly attracting, piles of dog (and tortoise) poop! But now, the new improved Pooper Scooper will provide hours of entertainment to 12 - 13 month old boys! The rake in one hand, the scoop in the other. Drag them around the yard and bang them on the ground. There is just too much fun to be had!

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Claire and I went to a birthday party today for two male twins. It was a super hero party and Batman came! Claire was terrified! But being the good girl she is, she so wanted to cooperate and do what Batman asked of her. For the first game she stood in line, just like he asked, she shouted "yes", just like he asked, all the while wiping the tears from her eyes.

The second game they brought out a parachute and Claire relaxed and had a great time. His cape touched her once and she thought that was soooo funny!

The third game required the kids to gather on the grass with Batman. His assistant turned on the Batman theme song so I thought it was a perfect time to get some video footage. I have always wanted a video like this. I hope to send it in to AFV. I'm sure you have seen it before, just not with Claire in it.

Now watch it again and you can see the moment she looks back at Batman and quickly decides to get the heck out!

Don't worry. She isn't too scarred. She worked up enough courage to give him a hi-five before he left back to his Bat cave.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ballet Update

Thankfully I didn't mention to Claire on the way to ballet anything about the galloping. Since the teacher didn't ask them to gallop at all! :/ I kept waiting to hear the music, watching through the tiny window to see Claire's excitement. It never happened. But, there was another little dance that the teacher always held Claire's hand for that she did all by herself this week. (Did I mention Claire is the youngest in this class?) The teacher praised her and Claire beamed.

As we are leaving ballet and walking to the car, Claire gallops all the way. Just in time, her teacher opens the door and sees her. It was perfect! Her teacher got excited and praised her once again. Shew!! No esteem damage today!

Monday, April 26, 2010


April is by far the busiest month for my family. I have such guilt that I haven't found time to blog about Luke's first birthday until now!

We had the best celebration ever. We all wore Notre Dame gear for the football themed event and Eric happily shared his many jerseys with family and friends. We devoured lots of yummy appetizers and beer. Eric played the longest game of football ever attempted in our back yard. Although Luke had no clue what was going on I think he enjoyed himself!

Now that he is an official 1 year old he is busy walking everywhere, pointing and saying, "Mmm!" It sounds like he's also saying "Mama" but I will admit it could just be babble. He loves to hug and he gives giant, open mouthed kisses. He thinks pulling his brother and sister's hair is really funny. It wasn't as cute when he tried to do it at church school to another baby! So we are working on that one! He is easily entertained by things like opening and closing doors and cupboards, water splashing, and always singing! He is quick to eat any disgusting item within reach. More than my other kids ever did. This includes a lot of dirt and sand. Thank God for the magical-keep my mouth busy-jewel also know as the pacifier. Most of all he is adorable and incredibly smart! It has amazed me, after having each one of my kids, how it feels like they were always there. It has been the fastest, most challenging, at times overwhelming, and most fabulous year of our lives! Yay Luke J.!

Zac had a few milestones this month. The first being a second trip to the Principal's office. Yes. The second. In the same month. Awesome! The first was no big deal. He and his best buddy were caught playing the infamous game, "If you don't like the smell of a flower then punch me in the stomach." When I asked Zac how it felt to be sent to the Principal's office he replied, "It smelled good." Yikes!
The second trip began with a spitting on the arm activity and sand that somehow evolved into a spit on your privates game. Oh the joys of 6 year old boys! The other 2 boys and their mothers (who thank goodness are so ultra cool!), Zac, (Luke) and I were pulled into the classroom with their teacher after school. She closed the doors and suddenly it felt a bit hot and stuffy-ish in there. After a humiliating talking to where my son, "the boss," only embarrassed me 3 times to be exact we quickly walked to the car where I could safely close the doors for my official chewing out. After no TV for a week and no Wii for the weekend we are back on track. I pray. The positive lesson we got from this was that Zac has great leadership potential. He speaks up for himself and isn't intimidated by authority. (Not positive the last one is a good thing.) So Eric and I now see our mission. How do we foster these skills in a positive way? Please email with any suggestions. :)

His second milestone was that he was one of 4 Kindergartners and the first in his class to complete 25 miles in the 100 mile club. He was presented a special shirt at an assembly and proudly wears it every Monday when they run. So cool!

Claire's accomplishments this month are skipping and galloping. She started her "real ballet" at the Village Dance Arts. She was mortified the first day when everyone could skip except her. All she could do was gallop. (It also didn't help that I thought she wasn't allowed to wear a skirt and all the other girls came in with ridiculously fancy ballet skirts. Aaww the joys of parenting and the guilt!) So we went home and she got it that night. I so wish I had a camera for the look on her face when it clicked! The next week at ballet she proudly showed off her new skill. But then the teacher put on a different song and asked the kids to gallop. Suddenly all Claire could do was skip! Now here we are 3 weeks later and we've go the gallop skill back. Tomorrow she will have the chance to show it off. When you are 4, these things are BIG! To be continued...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring Break 2

A few hours after my last post our plans changed. Upon taking a closer look at our Disneyland ticket stubs we realized that we couldn't go unless we paid a lot of money! This realization came after the kids had picked out their Disney outfits and were sound asleep. So you can imagine how I felt when Zac ran into the bathroom at 6:30 in the morning dressed in his Lightening McQueen shirt and announced, "I'm ready!" Yeah. Just stab me in the heart already! I hugged him and told him my mistake. At first he groaned, "Aaahh!" But then he says, "It's ok." When I told Claire she said, "That's ok. We already went there anyway." Yes they are amazing but it helped that Eric and I quickly revamped plans to the Discovery Science Center. We had the best day! Last time we went the kids were too young to really enjoy it. We left Luke with RoRo and the four of us had a stellar day. Shew! That was close!

The rest of the break was great. Yesterday was back to reality, oh, and my birthday. I've been a mom for 6 years now and it still disappoints me that my kids don't treat me differently on my birthday and completely take care of themselves. I guess I have a few years before I receive that gift! But mostly it was a pretty good day. I dragged myself to the gym so I could enjoy eating on my birthday since that is one of my favorite things to do. Mom, Luke, and I enjoyed a fabulous lunch with a surprise scone topped with a candle for dessert. (Thanks nice Indian woman who owns Deli V!) Eric grocery shopped for me as my birthday gift. Doesn't sound extravagant but if you knew how much I loathed shopping you would understand. We ended the evening with take in Sushi and ice cream. Before bed I was sitting on the couch with Claire and she said, "Mommy, we didn't sing happy birthday to you." She proceeded to sing it quietly in my ear, then again when I tucked her into bed. Wow, I love that kid!

Tomorrow is Luke J.'s first birthday. Today he had his doctor appointment where I found out he is almost 25lbs, which is only the 75%, but 29 inches, which is the 98%. A big, super cute, dude. He got 3 shots and screamed for a long time since I forgot the pacifier! A BIG mistake that will never happen again!

I have to share this video with you. Be honest. Is he brilliant or just developmentally on target?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring Break

Aah Spring! Our Spring Break officially began today since yesterday it was 48 degrees and pouring rain. Today the sun is out and it is absolutely beautiful! While running errands this morning, on an impulse, I purchased two hula hoops. I had no idea how entertaining that impulse would be! Nor did I know the hidden talents of Zachary.

Tomorrow we are off to Disneyland to make use of the 2 for 1 offer we got when my brother's family was here. Yay! I hope we will have at least half as much fun as we had he last trip!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I Love Easter!

Yes I am here. It has been well over a month since my last post. I will blame it on report cards, more illness, a busy new walking baby, and a REALLY slow computer.

Here is a short but sweet entry to say that I love Easter. Despite running around like a mad woman to get everyone dressed in their special outfits I picked out and to make it to church on time, I still love Easter! Last year I was 2 days from labor so I noted how much better I felt this year. I am considerably smaller although just as tired!

The usuals came to our house for yummy food and to bask in the joy of cousins running amok. The Easter bunny delivered super cute coordinated bathing suits for the kids (gosh she, I mean he, is good!) and way too much candy! The afternoon welcomed a late nap (only I was disturbed by the earthquake) and now lazy playing in front of a movie. Love it!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Claire Turns 4!

As any parent knows, time goes way too fast when it comes to your children growing up. I still refer to Claire as "baby." I guess now that she is officially 4 years old and she has a baby brother, I should call her something else. Nah. She is still my baby girl.

We celebrated today with her first big girl birthday party. She invited a few friends from school and Cinderella was the main event. I knew Claire was excited when she woke up and immediately put on the new dress we bought her for the party. The deal was sealed when I saw her face when Cinderella arrived. Yep. I got teary. I wasn't alone. I think Oma, RoRo, and Aunt Lisa all got teary more than once! RoRo lost it during the princess dance. I got teary every time Claire reached out to touch Cinderella telling her she likes her dress, her hair, her headband, her everything. Oma barely made it through the finale when Cinderella told the kids she hoped all of their dreams came true and sang the "Dream is a Dream" song. It was beautiful! Even Zac stopped and was wide eyed to hear Cinderella's beautiful voice. The 4 boys we invited spent the majority of their time playing outside while all of the girls enjoyed princess time. But all in all it was a success!

This video gives you a great insite to the event. Make sure you watch untill the end to see Zac being...Zac.

Happy Birthday to the most unique, creative, kind, caring, smart, and beautiful girl in the world! We love you!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Our Future

Everyone is well aware that California is in pretty bad shape, especially in the area of education. Last Thursday the Superintendent of CUSD (Eric and my employer) made the rounds, informing all teachers of the impending doom.

The optimist in me believes that Eric and I will be exactly where we are next year. But I am also able to run all of the other possibilities through my mind. One of those senerios being that we are both jobless, we sell the house, and move. Yeah, maybe with mom and dad. Wouldn't that be fabulous? ;)

Anyway, just for fun, I came home to the kids and asked them if they would like to move somewhere new?

Me: We would have to leave our school, Oma and Opa, Chad and Lisa, Butch and RoRo, our friends, and our church.

Zac: Awwww. I don't want to leave our church. (pause) But I do hate choir.

Zac: Oh! I do want to live where Andrew lives!! But there are tornadoes. I don't like those!

Later that night during dinner.

Eric: Wouldn't it be fun to move to another country? (Eric and I are beginning to think we may be socialists and should move to Canada, but that's another post.)

Zac: I want to live in AFRICA!!! Oh, but they don't have any food.

Zac: No, I want to live in China 'cause they have really good pasta!

Eric: (spits out his drink)

Claire: I LOVE PASTA!!!!

Our fate will be known in a few short weeks. Cross your fingers...and toes...and well anything you can!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Henderson Visit

My brother Mark and his family came to visit last Thursday. After all the yucky weather we have had I prayed that it would clear up in time for their arrival and our planned trip to Disneyland. Well, prayers were answered and beautiful it was! It took about 3-5 seconds for the cousins to greet each other then run off to play as if no time had passed. It wasn't long before the big boys, Andrew and Zac, were off creating "mischief of one kind and then another," and Thomas and Claire busied themselves with the amazing ability to take turns and share without any help from others.

We dove right in and whisked everyone off to Disneyland the next morning. We have been waiting for just the right time when everyone was old enough to really enjoy it (aside from Luke of course). Thanks to the advice of my other sister-in-law,Lisa, and fabulous timing, we had a spectacular day! We had front row seats to the most interactive parade I have ever seen! Andrew and Zac attempted a Conga line, Claire and Thomas played a drum and gave hi-fives to every dancer who came close enough. We rode countless rides. Much to our surprise, Claire was fearless and rode EVERYTHING. Yeah, roller coasters! I still can't believe it. Dumbo was a special favorite to my adorable nephew Thomas who isn't a fan of loud and dark and FYI, every Disney ride has loud and dark, except Dumbo of course. Andrew announced at one point that this was the best day of his life. And Zac, who sometimes can't admit how wonderful something is, proclaimed his love for Disney as well! After one roller coaster in particular both Zac and Claire (yes I'm documenting it)shouted "Jesus!" They took the words right out of my mouth!

The next day we wasted no time in getting the Henderson's over to our house for 2 reasons. My kids were dying for them to come and to get away from RoRo who came down with the stomach flu. (Hugest bummer!) I lost track of how many hours the kids played, Mark computered (a new word created just for him), and
Susan and I sat and enjoyed. The boys climbed trees, Thomas and Claire compromised; princesses then monsters. Luke crawled and explored, soaking it all in. No doubt he's anxious to get in on the action!

Sunday we went down town without still sick RoRo and Butch who wasn't feeling well either. We had a yummy lunch and finished with yogurt and some unplanned water play. Sara joined us so we were able to get the "all the grandchildren" picture for RoRo.

Sunday night we grabbed our awesome babysitter and her boyfriend to bravely come to our house and watch 5 kids. (I think her comment when we got home was something about the fact that she really watched 6 kids since her boyfriend was there!) Mark, Susan, Eric, and I enjoyed sushi, beer, and fun storytelling. We have been able to do this the last 2 trips and I think it needs to be tradition. My official declaration!

Our last day together involved a very productive trip to the mall. By productive I mean outfits! We divided and conquered: H&M and Borders, then a meeting at the food court.

Sadly the trip had to end with another family member down (of course it was Claire) and tears had by all.

Great memories were made and I look forward to future adventures! Was that too cheesy?!

Click here for Susan's recount of the trip.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Questions and Answers

I teach first grade. It's a really fun/funny age. Sometimes I find myself answering questions they never prepared me for during my teacher ed program. These are only answers. You can guess the questions.

No, I am younger than Martin Luther King.
No they didn't have video games when he was alive but, yes, they had food.
No I didn't mean to do my hair funny today.
Yes you have to do work today.
No, sticking out your tongue once is just as bad as sticking it out 3 times.
No. A sofa is a couch.
Yes it could be a bed too.
No you can't eat money. It's pretty dirty.
No I don't mean to walk that way. My back just hurts.

I'm so entertained all the time! These were just this week... and I work part time! :) Love them all!