Friday, October 31, 2008

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!






I really didn't have high hopes this year for Halloween... well, I originally did, but as the week progressed and I saw the weather forecast of rain I got worried. We had planned to go do ToT'ing with Ms. Tanier and her family tonight- but when we got home that plan changed quickly. Thankfully the rain had subsided so we knew we could at least go out- but Deacon was a wreck. He had been so overstimulated from the Halloween festivities at school that he was throwing fit after fit from the moment we got home. I decided almost immediately to cancel plans with Tanier and stay home- and this was the BEST decision I could have made.

I told Deacon we were going to stay home and do ToT'ing in our neighborhood instead of going out with Mason (Tanier's son) and he was fine with it- a sure sign the kid is exhausted. We hung out around the house until around 6:15- at which point he was SO excited to leave the house and go door to door. Damien and I took him out and decided we would go to about 10 houses and then come home. I could have never imagined that he would get this into it- but he was just thrilled. He'd run up to the door, bang on it, quickly get his bag in place and shout TRICK OR TREAT when the door would open. He would then shout THANK YOU, HAPPY HALLOWEEN and run to the next house. It was adorable.

After about 10 houses we came back and he didn't argue with that at all... but bedtime routine was a different story. He was completely overstimulated and overly tired- not good for a peaceful bedtime. Thankfully he went down pretty easily considering the circumstances :)

For the first time in 10 years Damien got to dress up for work to celebrate Halloween- and I came up with the idea of him going as Joe the Plumber. It was really funny and he got a lot of compliments at work.

So a nice Halloween- I'm so happy my mom was here to help us pass out candy and dress up as the witch... the neighborhood kids and families thought she was really cool.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

So sad...

Can I just tell you how heartbreaking it is to be missing this back in my hometown today:
John McCain visits Sandusky, OH

You know what though- I'm ok with it... during my Republican days I got to see GWB speak in Toledo. Don't be too jealous my friends.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Party time!






I was SO excited when Deacon woke up today feeling well... he spent the majority of the day relaxing, so by the time the Halloween Party was starting I knew he was ok to go. He was really looking forward to this party... especially showing off his Power Ranger costume. Despite the mask making him sweat a great deal he did not care- he was so pleased with himself. When Aiden showed up as Batman they were both in awe of each other... at first. After Deacon put on his mask Aiden got scared of Deacon, LOL. Poor Batman. The rest of the party was a huge success- and the kids really had a great time. Deacon and Aiden found Ellie and Lauryn's dress up clothes and wanted to put them on- Aiden was very proud of his, and Deacon thought his dress was too tight. Deacon's tiara didn't fit his huge head either :( Poor kid and his big head. They both made very cute princesses.

Thanks to Lisa for suggesting that we do a group photo- I was impressed it turned out the way it did since most of the kids were getting tired by the end of the party. But this picture is every one of our kids minus Lexy (we missed you Joline!)- and while many of them don't look too pleased, it turned out well :) After about 10 pictures Morgan was DONE with it all, LOL- I love the look Deacon is giving her.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Our boys



I think he's probably thinking, "GOBAMA!" in this picture



It's still a boy!!!


Today was our big 20 week ultrasound! Damien and Deacon both missed it due to the flu (Damien) and croup (Deacon). I don't think Deacon much cared that he missed it, but I know Damien was disappointed he didn't get to see the baby. Thankfully my mom is still here so I had someone with me :)

The ultrasound tech got some great pictures and our little boy was so active today- which is really cool now that I can feel him. I loved being able to feel him jump and see it happen at the same time. My favorite part was that he kept putting his fingers in his mouth and opening and shutting his mouth- so it appeared as though he was sucking and chewing on his hands. I also loved watching him keep yawning. Amazing. At one point he flashed the peace sign- which doesn't surprise me with how political I've been since he's been with me :)

Baby is still unnamed... and we're open to suggestions- any and all. I love a few names that Damien doesn't like and he's suggesting stupid names that no one would like (LOL)- so we need some help. Asher is still in the running as is Max.

Deacon has had a good day despite his croupy cough, wheezing and slight fever. He's always been a really healthy sick kid- which works to our disadvantage because it takes him forever to get better! He's way too active to get better. I got a couple of cute pictures of him today as a result of him being a little more cuddly and a little less active than normal :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friendship


My friend Heidi sent me this friendship award and along with it comes questions to answer... Thanks Heidi :)

1. Do you have the same friends since childhood?
If, by childhood, you mean high school- yes, I do. They are some of the most important people in my life even today- FGP forever.

2. What do you value most about your friends?
Their loyalty... honesty... and humor. I honestly love that so many of us are different but that never stands in the way of anything- I find it amazing that two completely different people can get along so well...

3. Are your friends your sounding boards?
Absolutely. With almost everything I do in life I talk to at least one of my friends before hand... I sometimes worry I can't make my own decisions, LOL.

4. What is your favorite activity to share with your friends?
It's so different with each friend...
The FGP (any and all of them)- car dances
Mainly I just love getting together and doing nothing... it's just nice to relax and catch up.

So now 4 people I tag...
Angie
Catie
Theresa
Cate

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What we did today!






I LOVE a productive day... especially when it's not stressful! As I've mentioned before, I'm on a mission to get my life organized before this baby shows up- oh, and that's a whole different story... I'm having a hard time getting used to the name Asher. ::sigh:: I knew this would happen- I still LOVE the name, but I feel like Damien loves it a lot more than I do. And as stupid as this sounds, I feel like it's a hard name to say. Anyways, I still really like it, so his name could be Asher... but who knows. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Anyways... onto our productive day.

Mom let Damien and I sleep in- which was so nice since Deacon has been waking up consistently at 5:30 this past week. We finally rolled out of bed around 8:30, ate some breakfast and got ready for the day. We decided that Damien would take Deacon to Home Depot with him and they would build our entertainment center for the loft. My mom and I went to the fabric shop and Costco.

First things first... the entertainment center. Deacon LOVES building things and is actually good at it- I didn't believe it until I saw him actually hammer a nail, and he seriously does a good job. So Damien lined up some stuff on the boards and Deacon hammered for Damien. They made a great team and Deacon is SO pleased that he can say that he really helped build this. The unit turned out great and we couldn't have asked for a better fit. I'm so excited to finally get our loft organized!!!

My mom and I started our day at a Quilting Store... which is like heaven for people who love fabric. Think Joann Fabric times 100. The place has the most amazing selections. Our goal was to get fabric for the nursery- bumper, quilt, crib skirt, etc... I immediately fell in love with this gorgeous blue and brown retro fabric, and then I fell in love with the Hungry Caterpillar fabric and then I *really* fell in love with the fabric we actually got... I seriously adore it!!! I cannot wait to get it in his room!

Stop number two was to Costco to buy a much needed new t.v. My mom and I decided not to take Damien because he would have wanted the biggest the best... Mom and I aren't picky- and more than anything, I'm looking to save money. The sales person did try to sell me a t.v. with better resolution until I finally told him that the only thing we ever watch on t.v. is the food network and Sprout he backed off and said we picked the right one- perfect, because it was $150 cheaper than the rest!

Other things we got accomplished: I weeded out Deacon's closet and got rid of all the clothes that don't fit; I organized our desk and got rid of a few boxes from our bedroom; Damien fixed the umbrella stroller that has been broken for 2 years; and I sold some clothes that don't fit anymore!!!

To reward our productive day we went to TGIFriday's and then went to get ice cream. By the time we got home it was super late (ok, 7:30 p.m.) and Deacon was so tired... you'd never guess by the picture I took, but I promise, he was tired.

Tomorrow we're going apple picking! YAY!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

At least I had my camera handy!


Just thought I'd lighten the mood by posting a picture of Deacon having fallen off his bike. I laugh everytime I see this picture because he just laid in the grass like that until I came to help him. Instead of running right to his side I, of course, grabbed my camera first. Picture is insanely blurry because I was laughing so hard and trying to hurry at the same time.

Proposition 8

An issue that is very important to me... I know a lot of my readers aren't in California, but some of you are.


Facts v. Fiction

Proponents of Prop 8 continue to lie in their television ads.

Here’s what’s fiction and what’s fact:

Fiction: Teaching children about same-sex marriage will happen here unless we pass Prop 8.

Fact: Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education, and no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it, and the Yes on 8 campaign knows they are lying. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley has already ruled that this claim by Prop 8 proponents is “false and misleading.”

Fiction: Churches could lose their tax-exemption status.

Fact: Nothing in Prop 8 would force churches to do anything. In fact, the court decision regarding marriage specifically says “no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.”

Fiction: A Massachusetts case about a parent’s objection to the school curriculum will happen here.

Fact: Unlike Massachusetts, California gives parents an absolute right to remove their kids and opt-out of teaching on health and family instruction they don’t agree with. The opponents know that California law already covers this and Prop 8 won’t affect it, so they bring up an irrelevant case in Massachusetts.

Fiction: Four Activist Judges in San Francisco…

Fact: Prop 8 is not about courts and judges, it’s about eliminating a fundamental right. Judges didn’t grant the right, the constitution guarantees the right. Proponents of Prop 8 use an outdated and stale argument that judges aren’t supposed to protect rights and freedoms. This campaign is about whether Californians, right now, in 2008 are willing to amend the constitution for the sole purpose of eliminating a fundamental right for one group of citizens.

Fiction: People can be sued over personal beliefs.

Fact: California’s laws already prohibit discrimination against anyone based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. This has nothing to do with marriage.

Fiction: Pepperdine University supports the Yes on 8 campaign.

Fact: The university has publicly disassociated itself from Professor Richard Peterson of Pepperdine University, who is featured in the ad, and has asked to not be identified in the Yes on 8 advertisements.

Fiction: Unless Prop 8 passes, CA parents won’t have the right to object to what their children are taught in school.

Fact: California law clearly gives parents and guardians broad authority to remove their children from any health instruction if it conflicts with their religious beliefs or moral convictions.

Regardless of how you feel about the issue, we should not eliminate fundamental rights for ANY Californians. Please vote NO on Prop 8.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My job is depressing...

I love recruiting. I really do. I love encouraging high school students to follow their dreams and go to college. I want them to do well, to succeed and to find a school they love. I don't want them to come to UCLA or UC Davis unless they LOVE it there. I don't care where they go- I care that they go. But I get paid to recruit for UCLA so my secondary goal is to get kids to care about UCLA. I took this job thinking I'd have the easiest job in the world. I thought I'd be super popular at all the college fairs- I thought I'd have the table that all the kids wanted to visit.

I was wrong.

I am popular... but with the counselors, faculty and staff- and the occasional parent. But with the students- I am less than average. Students come by my table, glance at my table banner, which proudly shouts UCLA, and they keep walking... Sometimes they might sigh- which depresses me a great deal. Other times they'll laugh with their friends and say, "yeah right!" Some kids will say to me, "I'd never get into UCLA"- and by the time I can respond they're talking to the table next to mine.

This whole experience has come as a shock to me- but only slightly. I feel rather stupid that I never thought it would happen... because now that I reflect on it, I should have known this was coming. UCLA has an amazing reputation, we're highly selective, and these students have probably been told by many people that they're not good enough... and even if they haven't been told that they're not good enough, they probably haven't been told they might be good enough- or that they should at least TRY!

So my role in this position is different than I thought- I find that I'm not always talking "up" UCLA- but rather I'm trying to convince students not to assume they won't get in. Why set yourself up for failure? Sure, if you have a GPA lower than a 3.0 and you've done no extra curricular activities and have spent your entire high school career being a lazy butt, then no, you don't have a chance in HELL of getting in. But I want the kids who are motivated and do try to understand that there IS a chance they could be accepted- even if they don't have a 4.0!

So parents and teachers... keep this in mind. Don't discourage your kids from dreaming big dreams- or trying for something that seems unobtainable.

I do love my job... and I feel so incredibly lucky to work for such an amazing institution. I love UCLA and I think they do an amazing job educating a diverse group of students- and I am proud to work for them in getting the message out to students that UCLA *IS* an obtainable goal!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The finished products





We spent the afternoon carving pumpkins and hanging out around the house- a perfect Sunday. Deacon took a 2.5 hour nap which is unheard of for him (he averages about an hour lately) and woke up in a terrific mood. The two little ones are Deacon and Asher's pumpkins. We had done Deacon's pumpkin with the smiley face and then we did Asher's- I decided to use the little marbles as eyes for Asher's pumpkin and Deacon got muy jealous and needed marbles in his pumpkin. After much debate we decided the best place for the marble would be on the forehead of the pumpkin, LOL. Damien and I decided to do more difficult kinds of pumpkins- we've never done anything beyond a smiley face with a nose and two eyes :) Mine is the cat and Damien's is the scary face thing.

Oh- and Deacon is still VERY unsure of pumpkin gunk. Last year he refused to even sit near me while I took the seeds and junk out of the pumpkin- this year he at least sat by me. He sat very far away from me though, LOL. He finally touched a pumpkin seed- but not willingly. And we took a huge leap when he agreed to help me pull the pieces out of the pumpkin when I made the eyes, nose, mouth, etc... Nonetheless, he was really excited about the finished products and could not stop looking at the pumpkins- he even went out to the porch just so he could look at the pumpkins some more :)

The most photographed trip to a pumpkin patch...


"Seriously mom? Pictures THIS early? I just want to ride the train!"


"I JUST WANT TO RIDE THE TRAIN!"



Deacon said, "Mommy, I strong... I can lift this one"


Taylor helping Deacon... I'm sure you know how far they got with their efforts.







So today we went to Bishops Pumpkin Farm. We've gone every year since we've lived in Sacramento- it's a great pumpkin patch. Every year we take Deacon's picture with the same pumpkin thing that says "Bishops Pumpkin Farm."- he'll appreciate this someday. I hope. Taylor and family came with us again this year and as always Deacon has more fun when a friend is around... the two ran around all morning and hardly found time to stop for lunch. So enjoy the pictures- I'm sure I'll be posting the carving of the pumpkins later on tonight!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAMIEN!




Deacon insisted on having his picture taken with his pumpkins- and when I asked him to smile this is what he gave me :)





Birthdays have always been a pretty big deal in my family... ok, who am I kidding? They're a very big deal. We even have birthday weeks... but I think many of you already know this. For the past week or so I've been talking about Damien's birthday with Deacon- who is at a stage where he gets rather upset when it's someones birthday... he gets mad that it's not his own. So I knew we'd have to start talking about this early. He's very excited about helping plan out daddy's birthday cake, pick out daddy's present, etc... but for everything daddy gets, Deacon wants one too.

Anyways, this morning when Deacon woke up (at 5:30 a.m.) we went downstairs to decorate daddy's cake- Deacon decided that daddy needed a Spiderman cake. I did the web and Deacon did the Spiderman, the sprinkles and the M&Ms. He was so pleased with himself. When I finally gave him permission to wake up Damien and Grandma (at 8:15) he could hardly contain himself. Thankfully Damien was very excited about his Spiderman cake and I think he was even quite surprised as well :)

This morning we went to Panera for breakfast- Damien's choice... which I was REALLY excited about since they have those amazing Pink Ribbon bagels. After that we went to the Davis Farmers Market- which is my absolute favorite. We went for the first time last week and I fell in love. Deacon has fun because he plays in the park with Grandma while Damien and I shop for fresh fruits and veggies (and kettle corn).

This afternoon was just really relaxing... we got some stuff done around the house, sold a few things on craigslist and basically just took it easy- perfect! Deacon LOVED blowing out the candles with daddy after naptime and the cake was delicious- and made with 50% less sugar! For dinner Damien had requested Shepherds Pie- which also turned out really well.

So happy birthday Damien- we love you!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Who knew?



Who knew a bike could make you a superhero? I sure didn't. But this bike sure makes Deacon think he's a super hero- maybe it's the Spiderman decor :)

Deacon has finally outgrown his little boy trike... so the other day my mom and I took him to Toys R Us to buy him his first big boy bike. He saw all the bikes and immediately asked if he could have a "pretty pink one!" HA! Being the wonderful mother I am I immediately said, "Wouldn't you rather have a spiderman bike?"- and then I felt like a complete ass going against everything I believe in in regards to gender stereotypes. So then I overcompensated and he of course didn't want the pink bike when he saw how excited mommy was about the pink bike finally- and he became more and more obsessed with the Spiderman bike.

So Merry Christmas to Deacon from Grandma and Grandpa!!! He seriously loves this bike and has been on it non-stop since we brought it home. Tonight he insisted on changing from his school clothes into his Superman outfit so he could ride his bike the right way- whatever that means, LOL.

I thought he'd be set for some time but my greedy child is already asking for his next big gift... a remote controlled airplane. I know it's totally age appropriate, but when do kids learn to appreciate a gift completely and learn how impolite it is to ask for more gifts so soon? Very frustrating... but I am happy to see how happy his new bike makes him :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Celebrate Good Times

So, Saturday is my birthday. Amanda has decided that she's going to cook me a special dinner on my birthday. But she also wanted to take me out for my birthday. So this evening Amanda took me out to dinner at Chops in downtown Sac. Apparently it's the third most romantic restaurant in Sacramento. So the verdict is that the food was awesome. The portions are huge too. I think that between the two of us we brought home as much food as we ate there. I got a T-bone steak that was perfectly cooked. It came with roasted red potatoes and grilled asparagus all on a dark rich demi-glace. Amanda got their country fried chicken which came with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. We also got a side of King crab legs.

It was a wonderful meal and a good night. The funny thing is that while we were there, a huge extended family came in. I'd say the party was around 20 people. After seeing our bill, I'd hate to have to pay theirs!

All-in-all, it was nice to get out and have a romantic night with Amanda.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Camping in our loft


Grandma & Grandpa bought Deacon a bed tent- which he adores. I asked my mom to look into one for us because Asher is going to be taking up our guest room- so when guests come I was thinking Deacon would need to give up his room (he's got a trundle and his single bed) for guests... but I thought we should try and make it fun for him- so when he gives up his room he gets to sleep in his bed tent on the floor in our room. For now the bed tent is in our loft- and he LOVES it. When Grandma set it up he came upstairs and started getting excited that he was going camping- and he really wanted to roast marshmallows upstairs in his tent (we had to kind of explain that roasting marshmallows in that situation might not work well). He lays in his tent every morning when he wakes up and every night before he goes to bed while he's watching his t.v. shows... he takes his toys in there and just all around loves it... he loves it a little too much even- on top of being fun to have, it's also been the cause of quite a few temper tantrums when he doesn't want to leave the tent to go to bed or school.

On a different note, I had an ob appointment yesterday and got to hear Asher's strong heartbeat... doctor says everything looks good and once again took me off all my restrictions. Last time this happened I was put back on restrictions 2 days later, so while I'm enjoying myself, I'm also a bit guarded, LOL. I'm allowed to start going back to the gym- though after taking 2 months off it's a bit difficult to motivate myself.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

What does it take to get something done around here???



... well now I know the answer to that question. I convince my parents to DRIVE out to California from Ohio and then I create a lengthy "to do" list that makes everyone think I'm being too bossy (or bitchy... depending on who you talk to and how annoyed they are at me at the time)- all while reminding everyone around me that I've been asking for these things to be done for almost a year now.

Long story short- we got SO much accomplished in the amount of time that both my mom and dad have been here. They drove here last Monday so that my dad would be able to drive the car back to Ohio with a car load of stuff we don't need here anymore (but stuff we really want to keep)- my parents are absolute angels for keeping so much for our stuff in their basement (my in-laws also deserve some shout outs here for storing Damien's countless star-wars toys and other random things he refuses to throw away). You see, when my Grandpa died I was given two pieces of gorgeous furniture that we no longer have room for now that Asher is on his way... and I don't want to store those dressers in the garage for fear of flooding. Anyways, I'm so happy my dad agreed to my plan- and I really appreciate him driving out here and back.

So since my dad was here and I'm unable to lift anything I knew we needed to really take advantage of him being here... so that lengthy to-do list that I spoke of earlier was really a huge list of manual labor for my dad and Damien. The biggest project was to organize the garage- which was an absolute disaster area where we just threw everything that didn't fit in our house. So my dad went out and bought us these great shelves and all of us spent a great deal of time doing all of the following: putting stuff on shelves, throwing stuff away we didn't want, taking 3 car loads of stuff to Goodwill, listing a bunch of stuff on craigslist, etc...

Long story a bit shorter, by the time my dad left today we had accomplished so much... it's been a little less than a week and we did what should have taken months- it's no wonder we're all exhausted (and Damien and my dad are sick of my plans).

Deacon loved having his Grandpa here... and mommy and daddy loved it too- Grandpa gets up super early so when Deacon gets up super early we get to sleep in!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A boy and a weiner (mobile)



HA!

We went to Safeway the other day and look what was parked right out front!!! Deacon thought it was SO neat and I was very thankful I had my phone on me (and it was charged).