Sunday, December 30, 2007

No you didn't!



I came home from the gym yesterday to this little number. In the past, I've given Alfonso a hard time about his choice of outfits for Mia. I think he just opens the drawer, closes his eyes and grabs.

He was pretty surprised when I kept her in the outfit even when we ventured out. He took her in a department store alone, and said more than a few ladies commented on her cuteness. That's strange because when I carried her around I just got funny looks. What a double standard, eh?!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Our first (and late) Christmas as a family of four



One very good reason to use a tripod, and another to show the power abused.

I still can't figure out how in the world little Mia managed to make the same face in both pictures. Apparently she didn't get the "Funny Face" memo.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas, our second stop



Can't pass up a firehouse Christmas dinner!

Christmas with the parents






Alfonso had to work his first Christmas since he started with the department, so just the three of us went to my parent's place. This year's theme included an 'Ugly Sweater Contest'. Apparently the theme is pretty popular and after a semi-exhausting, last-minute search, I just made our sweaters. I glued candy canes to mine and spelled "Merry Christmas". Believe it or not, not a single candy cane was harmed as I managed to spell the phrase without any breaks (unless you consider hot glue harmful). Spencer had his shirt decorated with Christmas tree marshmallows just as he requested. By the end of the day, only a third of remained. I think eating the marshmallows was in the plan from the very beginning, wouldn't you say?! I found an ugly enough sweater for Mia at the thrift store, but everyone thought it was cute. My Grandma was voted the winner. She had her very tacky sweater handmade by a friend. It included half a table runner, lots of bows and too many jingle bells. She deserved the win.

This Christmas was so different than the last. I enjoy Christmas, but last year we were separated from Mia. We had returned from our visit with her a few days before Christmas and I was down. I have a new appreciation for Christmas this year.

Happy birthday Jesus!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Now it's really official!



Our early birthday celebration yesterday led to some confusion. Spencer wanted some extra confirmation this morning that now he was really four. No pretending pal, you're four!

We went to Chuck E. Cheese with some friends and had the whole place practically to ourselves. Spencer had a blast spending his tokens. I might have spent a few myself (that bowling game a little addictive). The picture above shows just how he decided to spend his birthday money from Grandma.

Now it is time to write that annual birthday letter. Throughout the year I write down a few events or funnies from the month and and use the list to jog my memory as I write the letter. I'm sure it is something that will be cherished in the future.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What a day!



Our BIG little guy turns four tomorrow. Daddy's got to work on his official birthday, so we've made today Spencer's birthday "celebration". He jumped at the chance to have his birthday last two days. Who wouldn't?! Today he ruled the roost. Tomorrow will be the same. The day after that, Mommy's sure to be insane.

Spencer LOVES to go to the movies. Alfonso thought it would be the perfect opportunity for Spencer to get his wish and this momma a date. Spencer told me he was taking me to the movies and in the same sentence, insisted "you drive, okay mom?". He's no dare devil! Really, I found it cute as lifted my date to the counter to order our tickets. He had a hard time figuring out how he'd pay for the tickets, drinks, and popcorn with one bill (it was a twenty). This is tough stuff to explain!

After we came home and ate some of our gingerbread house (another wish granted), we went to his school for his Christmas play. We didn't invite anyone else as we thought it just might encourage his stage fright. He cut out a bit early on his drummer boy performance, but he warned us ahead of time that he was only going to drum for "one minute". We were certainly proud of his performance because we knew he stretched himself.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


This photo editing "adventure" went much more smoothly than my last. This picture is one of a gazillion (slight exaggeration) we took while in Guatemala.

Friday, December 14, 2007

My After and Before picture

The results I achieved after an hour of pressing and unpressing buttons on Photoshop:

Before spending an hour of my life pressing and unpressing buttons on Photoshop:


I'm very much a novice as I'm just beginning to wade my way through the six inch manual. There's a lot to learn, but I'm looking forward to the adventure. Many thanks to my dear hubby!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Night out on the town,



but it isn't what you think. After dinner, I packed the kiddos in the car and headed out to look for (any) lit homes. We found more than a few, and some even impressed me. We drove around the neighborhood for about 45 minutes (sorry Fonz...this killed my m.p.g. average), just until the popcorn ran out and the whining started. Mia was in awe; I've never heard the word "Wow" more in my life!

Tonight I reminisced a bit about my Christmas light outings. One outing in particular came to mind. I'm not sure how old I was, just that I was with two of my favorite people: Grandma and Grandpa Simon. I remember taking extra care as I buckled the two elf dolls alongside me. Not one lit display comes to mind now, just the time spent together.

Thursday, December 6, 2007





Our tree is decorated (and thanks to Mia, decorated and decorated again)! Our house smells like pine! I love it!

I can't believe I was able to snap a picture of the kids together, looking at the camera AND smiling. It may seem like no big deal to some, but you try it. I'll bet you'll be sweating before you get a picture to meet all three criteria.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wake me up...I must be dreaming!

Today, Alfonso needed to use the computer and he found Spencer occupying the office chair. When Alfonso asked what he was doing he simply replied, "I'm paying bills real quick". I wish! This little mime act is proof I do more than sit on the couch and eat Bonbons! (My accuser: you know WHO you are!)

And while I am on the topic of language, little Mia's vocabulary now regularly includes the word "Mama". Whether the word comes in a moment of pure happiness or sounding a bit like a whine, I can honestly say each time my heart just melts. She's just precious!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

He's only three

We decided some time ago to forgo the whole Santa Claus business. I'm not telling you this is what you should do, but we felt it was the best choice for our family. Afterall, I did the whole Santa thing when I was little and I turned out (fairly) normal.

We naively believed we could skirt the topic of S.C. for at least another year. Big mistake! When Spencer returned from a visit with his grandma, she said he wanted to write a letter to Santa Claus to request some toy he just had to have (in case you're wondering, it was a $50 Robosapien). So, Alfonso and I have this 'deer in the headlights' look plastered on both our mugs. Like it or not, the time had come.

Alfonso sat Spencer down and told him the news. Santa Claus isn't real. He's just part of a story people share at Christmastime. And because Alfonso felt he owed it to the kid, he told him a long and far too advanced history of the "real" S.C. (he'd watched something on the History Channel). The tears immediately began to flow. I tried my very best to make out what our little man was trying to squeeze out between the sobs. You see, Spencer wasn't crying because of the news of Santa, he just thought he'd never get the (darn) Robosapien.

So now Spencer has his Robosapien; an early present from his grandma. We've coached Spencer a bunch about not breaking the news of Santa to all his buddies. With the big guy in the red suit due to arrive at his preschool next week, this discussion was a must. I'd keep him out of school that day simply out of fear of what he'd say, but his birthday will be celebrated at school that day. We'll just have to take our chances. If you're an adult you're fair game. My stepmom asked me why Spencer told her that Santa Claus was a dead pope. Lovely!

Geez, Fonz. Keep it simple. The kid's only three :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Picture time

We just got access to our photo gallery. I LOVE the pictures! You know you've found an amazing photographer when you have two uncooperative kiddos, but great photos.

Check them out: here
Yesterday we sang the song that goes along with the verse and I was so moved by the words, I looked up the scripture it's based on. For me, this is a good reminder of my where my priority should lie.

"Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere"
Psalm 84:10

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thankfulness

Thanksgiving was a good time to reflect on all that I should be thankful for. Normally I wouldn't count myself in the ungrateful lot, but I realize sometimes that's right where I belong.

A few weeks ago I heard a message that really hit home. While listening, it occurred to me that all too often I grumble about my greatest blessings. My grumbling sounds something like this: "My house is a disaster." "Spencer just won't listen!" "Mia had me up four times last night." "Ugh. The car needs an oil change again." "I'm so tired." "Alfonso's too busy to call me." The truth is, too many people are living without the blessings I'm complaining about. Ouch.

I can absolutely promise you I'll grumble again, maybe even within the next few minutes. There's hope for some improvement as I become more and more cognizant of my complaining. Thankfully, I have a very patient Savior.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pirate Ship, Part Two






When I read that a ship was due to arrive in our local marina, I knew it was the perfect outing for our pirate-loving little guy. This ship was actually in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. How cool is that?

The actual sailing trips were just too expensive, but we knew Spencer would enjoy a tour just the same. We surprised him and walked up to the marina's waterfront and he spotted the ship right away. When we discussed that this ship was a "real" pirate ship he seemed a bit apprehensive. We assured him that he'd be the only pirate on the ship that day.

Spencer LOVES to ask questions, so he got the attention of one of the ship's keepers and asked her if this ship was indeed a "real pirate ship". She was quick to say "no" that this ship was a "merchant ship". Alfonso and I looked at each other and were both thinking the same thought... ...Hey lady! You see our kid? Yeah, he's the one dressed up as a pirate to tour a PIRATE ship. Can't you be a bit more creative with your answer? Afterall, what is a "real" pirate ship anyhow? Weren't pirates famous for plundering and taking over another's ship? ANY ship is a pirate ship. That's our story and we're sticking to it!

Pirate Ship, Part One






Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Now that's just plain mean!

Last night, we had a game night. Before kids, we played games all the time, but this hobby just doesn't happen much anymore. It was nice putting hubby in his place with by outstanding Scrabble win. Ah, the joy of winning by three points!

Afterwards, I asked him to show me how to do the Roger Rabbit. Do you remember that dance move? As a youngster I could never master it no matter how hard I tried. Last night I was determined. I gave it my best shot and HE LAUGHED. And after he laughed, he laughed some more. And in between the laughter he told me that my attempt was the funniest thing he'd ever seen.

Apparently, I was not only blessed a lefty, but God threw two left feet into the mix too.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tough love...

...is just that; tough. As Spencer has grown and developed, we've become such great buddies. He's got an incredible vocabulary (mommy brag) and sometimes it is easy to forget he's just three. I found discipline fairly simple a few months back when he'd openly revolt. It was easy to punish a child who'd refer to me as "poop" or call me a "bad mommy" (now that's a FUN stage). What I'm struggling with now is discipling my little pal.

Really, I'm glad Spencer's my little pal. Although I wouldn't change that for anything, I am the Mommy before I'm the friend. Lately, it has become painlfully obvious that Little Man's forgotten my primary role. After insisting for the gazillionth time that he stop jumping on me, I asked him, "How many times do I need to ask you to stop?". His smiling reply, "Two, three, four..." You get the picture. What appears to be cute and funny at three, can become something of a monster later.

Oh, and the Halloween candy is now gone. I warned him a few days ago to stop helping himself without asking first. I caught him trying his best to be one with the cabinet doors-he was trying to hide in the cabinet-as he snacked away on a piece of candy. It was cute, I'll admit, but he was warned before that the candy would be leaving the "building" if such disobedience took place again, and now I had to follow-through. I almost weakened as the tears flowed.

I always thought tough love was hard on kids, but now I realize just how hard it is for Mom.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Who knew?

Bored with our same-old-same-old recipes, I thought of the Shrimp Gumbo meal we'd often eat before the kiddos came. Hubby had banned the recipe some time ago because it had gone from a favorite to a "this again?" sort of meal. So anyway, I resurrected the recipe and made it the other night. I sampled the dish before heaving it to the fam, and was surprised to find it was spicer than I had remembered. Already, I was imagining the complaints that would soon come my way. Where are my earplugs?!

With little more than crossed fingers, I served up the Gumbo. Spencer started goobling it down without so much as a word. Yes! And Mia, she was eating as though we'd starved her for days (although, this type of eating is fairly common for girlfriend). Yes, again! Little Mia didn't stop there; she licked her plate completely clean. Of course, I pulled out the video camera to catch the show...I might never see that kind of appreciation again!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween




Sunday, October 28, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pirate Talk


Alfonso took both the kiddos to the grocery store the other day while I was out behaving recklessly. Not really.

When he got back home, he retold a funny conversation that took place between him and Spencer. Here goes...

Spencer: What do pirates drink?

Alfonso: Rum. (already I'm wondering why he didn't just say "water"?!)

Spencer: Can I drink rum too, Daddy?

At this point, I think Alfonso wished he had just answered "water". Oh, and this pirate talk was overheard by our favorite sample lady. At least she was laughing.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Mia's 1 1/4 Birthday, Part Two




Mia's 1 1/4 Birthday, Part One





Heavy on pictures. Light on words.