Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hello again!

Sorry I've been absent... to say I was busy is an understatement =). But I'm back and will flood you with pictures pretty soon. For right now I'm sharing a little video that I made of Grace's purple belt testing... let's see if it works =).

Friday, October 22, 2010

Grace's 9th Birthday



Well, my little girl is now nine years old. Not little anymore by any means. But she will always be my little girl =).



This was our first year ever without a big birthday party. I just didn't have it in me. AND it was part of the "getting a dog" deal. Grace was totally fine with it, never complained one bit.



I sent her to school with a batch of cookies to share, even though she had a stomach bug two days before. Poor kid has been sick on and off for three weeks now, I even took her to see the doctor and she called it a "bad streak of luck with germs".



Thankfully she woke up feeling wonderful on her b-day.



This was her favorite present this year (well, besides the dog). Can you tell?



Lalaloopsy dolls have since taken over my house. I have to say they are pretty cute in a creepy kinda way, lol.



Grace loves getting mail, so opening her birthday mail is always a highlight =).





Gram Rose sent a really funny one. It talks & sings & is plain old silly. Perfect for my girl.



We went out for dinner of her choice, which was... surprise, surprise... SUSHI. Ya, I know, it's not a big surprise. She's very predictable when it comes to food choices.

And to finish off a good birthday, one needs a giant cookie. It was my hugest cookie ever!! This picture makes me laugh, they are disgusted about the wax dripping on the cookie. I can almost hear Grace saying "ewwwww" =).



Time to sing...


... and make a wish.



All in all a fabulous day. And for a short time, I'm the mother of a nine and ten year old. But it won't last long... that big girl of mine is only a month away from turning eleven ;-).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Claire's first bath!!

Ok, I realize we are not the first people on earth to own a cute dog. I realize people give their puppies baths all over the world and it's not worth shouting from the roof tops. BUT... I still took a video. AND I'm making you all watch it (you better... it only took 128 minutes to upload it to youtube!!!).

So please be nice and don't make me feel even weirder than I already feel. Thank you very much. =)



And here she is all fluffy after her bath. She loves her daddy to pieces! Daddy is looking a bit pink, he worked in the yard all day (and of course thinks he doesn't need sunscreen).




This is the "you better let me out or else..." look.


Chomping on something...


Thanks for hanging around =).

She's growing like a weed!

Our darling Claire is already 12 weeks old and weighs 18.4 lbs =). She had her second round of shots last Thursday... I can hardly wait for her to be done (at 16 weeks) with her immunizations, so we can take her out in public for walks.

I've been working on leash training. Some days she's a good girl, some days she turns into a total spaz trying to get her leash off. She still loves to eat whatever she can get in her mouth... dirt, bark, weeds, rocks... you name it. The sight of me wrestling something out of her mouth in our yard is quite common =).

Here she is on 9/23 at 10 weeks old.




And on 10/5 at 11 1/2 weeks =).



More to come soon, she just had her first bath... oh, she smells sooooo goooood!

PS: I do still love my human children too ;-), there's some new pics of them over on my photography blog.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Our first week with Claire



Claire has been with us for one week and she already changed the way things are done in this family. All of a sudden kid socks are put in the laundry hamper right away, children are putting themselves to bed (or end up reading until 10pm because mom didn't come to check on them... ts, ts, ts), our floor is cleaner than ever and the mother of the house is up at 5.20 am (if you know me, you know I like to SLEEP!!!).



I'm pretty much exhausted, but I know this puppy stage won't last long. I swear, I can watch this little girl grow right in front of my eyes!! She's the softest fur ball ever and loves our cuddles.



Lots of my pictures look like this... she's always on the move when awake!



She's also a very smart pup. She just turned 9 weeks old last Thursday and she already knows how to sit, lay down and high five on command. Here's a little demonstration by Erina.









Max (our bully cat) is getting better with Claire every day. The first two days, he was on attack! We would take Claire outside to potty and Max would come running out of the bushes at full speed trying to charge at Claire!! It was crazy!! On day three we avoided any contact between the two (we let him in when we took Claire out and vice versa). Day four he realized he could still relax upstairs and after a full day of snoozing in the girl's room... he was his happy self again. I guess he was sleep deprived just like me, lol. By now he can be outside with us, he always has an eye on that fur ball tough... and if she gets too close, he'll meow and hiss until she backs up. At least he's talking and not getting violent.. haha!

See him back there?


Love that crazy cat!!


And lastly just another cute one of Grace & Claire


Sorry for the picture overload =)!!!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Guess what?

We are getting a puppy!!!!


I can't quite wrap my brain around it yet, but that little cutie up above... she's mine!

I honestly never thought I would agree to a dog... they smell, they slobber, they chew stuff up. My safe answer for years was "we'll get a dog once the cats pass away", I really had no intentions to EVER get one, hoping the cats would live to a good 16 years (which would make the girls 14 & 16). By then, I was sure, they wouldn't want a dog anymore anyways.

I don't know when I changed my mind. Maybe it was Grace this summer, yelling out the breed of any dog we would see around town (yes, slightly annoying, but cute in a way). Maybe it was watching both girls with our friend's dogs. Maybe it was the realization that my dear children are growing up FAST. All of a sudden I had this urge to give my kids a dog companion... while they are still kids!

I might regret it pretty soon... or I might just fall in love head over heals myself ;-).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

School

My girls are on their 4th week of school already and I haven't even posted the classic "back-to-school" pics. Bad me =).

First let me tell you a little something about our school clothes shopping. I'm not one to wander through the mall for hours. I'm one to surf the net and have all the pretties delivered to my door. Yep. I don't really like shopping at our local mall, they only have a Children's Place, Old Navy and Justice to choose from... oh, and Gymboree. So what clothes do we see most at our school... exactly, you're getting my point. I can't explain why or how it came about, but I simply like to see my kids in something original, something nobody else is wearing. Does that make me look superficial? I hope not! I believe that my girls will grow up to be stronger individuals, because they have their own style and don't mind standing out from the crowd.

Ok, back to the real story here. We came home from Switzerland on a Friday night and school started the following Monday. I had not done any shopping in five weeks. No special outfits picked out. No new shoes. No new backpacks.

We had to go to the mall. No way around it. On a Saturday.

We were severely jet-lagged, almost delirious... giggling out of control over the smallest things. At one point Grace turned to me and said "Mom, I feel like my feet are not even touching the ground!!", which really hit the nail on the head. We floated through the mall and right into The Children's Place. And in my delirium, I gave the kids free range...

... which lead to these back-to-school outfits:


And this backpack & messenger bag (which I would never in a blue moon allow my child to buy in a normal state of mind):


And yes, that's a brown paper bag you see in Erina's hand. That's right, I'm sending them to school with paper bag lunch. Why? Because they lost too many lunch boxes. Actually Grace is the one who lost more than I can count... Erina would be fine. But I have to treat them fair, so they both get a bag that they can toss.



Erina started 5th Grade! I can't believe that this will be her last year of elementary school. She has grown a lot over the summer, body and mind. She's not a little girl any more, but grew into a wonderful young lady. She has a mind of her own and will argue you in the ground (she got that from her daddy). She can also be a bit bossy at times due to her believe that she's always right (now that's from me).



Grace is only a year behind Erina... and I'm having a hard time dealing with it. 4th Grade. She's only 8!!! She is still my baby, she won't want to hear that, but it's true. I want to keep her safe at home, away from the harsh world. I really don't have a reason to feel like she needs protection. She's a tough little cookie and will speak up for herself if she absolutely has to. I think I need to grow up.

Did I mention that my girls are in the same class this year? It's pretty wonderful (I'll only have to volunteer in one class, yay).

All in all I'm hoping for a good year. I know time will fly... and next year will be time for middle school... yikes!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Well... hello there!



Hello to all my dear blog readers (yeah, like there's any... really, I'm just talking to myself, lol). Summer break has come and gone in a flash. I have so much catching up to do, it's not even funny.

We had five wonderful, fantastic, fabulous, peaceful, relaxing weeks in Switzerland with my family (we stay at my parents house every summer... small house, four of us in my old bedroom... and yes, I still call it a relaxing, peaceful trip). Brian came with us for the first two weeks, and we took a little road trip through France. The girls really wanted to visit Paris and it's only a six hour drive from my Swiss hometown. Ah, we had fun. Ah, we had adventures... like visiting the Eiffel Tower during a mean, monstrous thunderstorm. But I'll tell you all about that later.

The truth is that I haven't edited a single picture from our trip. I can't get myself to look at them. I get a "pang" of missing when I do. Not sure if I'm making sense. Do you ever get that feeling... like your heart explodes when you look at a picture of a person that you're missing? Well, that's what I mean with "pang".



I didn't cry this year when I had to say goodbye. My eyes welled up after hugging my Papi at the airport and the usual "what if" thoughts popped in my head... which normally leads to an uncontrollable crying fit right after my dad leaves. Yes, I sob in public if necessary. But this year I didn't let myself go there.... no sadness, no "what ifs"... my parents will be healthy and strong for another year. I'm counting on it.



Life still isn't back to normal here though. I'm sad, homesick. But I have a smile on my face... how could I not smile when I'm around my kids. My happy, funky chickens.





And when one chick looks at me like so... my heart melts.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Camping

We are leaving for Switzerland tonight, but I figured I should share a few pics from our annual camping trip to Grover Hot Springs =). This was our fifth year there and we love it (well, I only love it, because the kids have so much fun...).

Our home away from home

Kids point of view... they pretty much live up on these rocks.

My point of view, watching them play up there =).

We have a creek right in the backyard... it was c-c-c-cold!!

I just love the light in this one.

My lovely hammock, which was a gift for my 20th birthday. And guess what? It finally broke! I'm so sad... I think the chipmunks had a party in it at night, they got tangled up and chewed through a lot of strings. Sniffle.


We also had a day of rain. I was very unhappy. Enough said.

Brian was brave enough to dunk in the cold water too. He's nuts like that!

The kids all had a blast, rain or shine. They made stores and we poor parents had to buy overpriced rocks, bark and what-not. ;-)

The three big girls gave the three younger ones a new name... the evil triplets... ha, ha!! They don't look evil to me!

Last but not least, our master story teller, Sam. He's so animated! Love it!