Our Fam

Our Fam

Saturday, December 31, 2011

What to do now?

Whew! The holidays are over! Now, don't get me wrong...I LOVE the holidays with all of the decorations, music, food and family, but I'm ready to get back to our "normal" life. Well...if you can call it normal. :) I know that technically New Year's is the end of the holiday season, however, in our house we will be hangin' out at home with our bottle of Martinelli's tonight.

I know you're jealous. :) There was a time that I would search out a great party and shop for an awesome outfit. It really doesn't feel like it was that long ago when my focus was on the party. :)

We did have a great Christmas filled with family and LOTS of presents!
These were the big Santa gifts. Even though you can't see all the wrapped presents behind these Santa gifts, they are spilling over. Way too generous!!
Gotta have stocking gifts! My mom made all of the stockings except mine. My grandma, Mina, made mine when I was a baby. :)

Now let me share a little of the Christmas celebration. It was Ava's first Christmas and she really got into it. Dylan was more aware of  what was happening this year and had such a great time! I loved seeing his enthusiasm!

 He can almost ride this using the pedals! He will ride for a few pedal turns then stop. :)
She loves this thing!!!  I'm hoping there are more pictures of me with my family on my mom's camera. :)

I come from a family that loves to play games. We are a high energy group. :)  We had a game of Chicken Foot going for a couple of days along with Spider Solitaire on all the tech devices...phones, ipads, laptop, etc. If you've never played Chicken Foot, it's a fun game that you play with dominoes.

Included in this love of games is the opportunity to put a wager on almost anything. We have been playing in a family fantasy football league for six years now. The pot this year was $400 and guess who won...MEEEE! I was the Surprise Attack Ninjas.
I don't know why, but ninjas are always funny. :)

Now I wish I could say my win was going to be fun money, but we had some bad luck with the van and it needed two new back tires. So...there goes the winnings.

Another source of money this week...football pools! It's not the traditional pool, but a random square game where it is total luck if you win. We played $1 a square for both the Charger game and the MNF game. The number of squares each player gets depends on the amount of people playing. I wasn't the big winner this time, but made a presence. :)

Now that everyone is back to their respective homes, we have been sifting through all of the gifts and trying to figure out where to put everything! Randy and Dylan cleaned up his room and picked out a small pile of toys to donate to kiddos that don't have toys. Dylan got into it. :) The house is slowly getting back to order.

Since today is the last day of 2011, what am I looking for in 2012? Here is a quick list...
* Lot's of funny times with the kiddos.
* Getting back to my pre-baby body and ready for a race with my dad in Oct.
* A possible move? We hope we'll be seeing CA soon.
* A year where we have very few if any repairs on the rentals. This year was brutal!
* More time to get creative and crafty. :)
* As always, more visits with my friends from all over!

Happy New Year to all of you!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Made the Leap

I'm a proud mama driving my new Odyssey! I've made the leap from sedan to the minivan. For as long as I can remember, I've always made fun of the minivan. Maybe it's because when I was growing up, it felt like every parent had either the Dodge Caravan or Ford Aerostar. Randy's dad had one the Aerostar! :)

Now, my parents went for the tan VW Vanagon.

This isn't a pic of my mom's van, but it looks just like it!
Different yes, but they sold it when I was in 3rd grade so I really don't remember that much about it. Needless to say, I think all the mom vans of my younger years tainted me.

Before having kids, I said I would be the SUV mom. As I got deeper and deeper into this mom thing, my perception of the van began to change, although I still didn't think I was going to jump on to "Team Minivan". Maybe my practical side was coming out. :)  The important mama lesson that I have been reminded of is, when it comes to kiddos...you can predict nothing! I had no idea that having two kiddos and all the equipment that comes with them would make me long for the extra space and ease that only a van can provide.

It really was the rental of the Chrysler Town & Country in Kauai that completely changed my thinking. I am now the VERY proud owner of my wonder swaggin' wagon! Now I know Toyota uses that phrase for the Sienna, but I think it should be used for all us mamas that feel like we just stepped out of college and are still pretty awesome. :) My swaggin' wagon is gently used and in my opinion, it is absolutely awesome! Would you like to see the new wheels?

 See how the stroller is just a speck in the trunk? That used to fill almost my entire trunk in the Accord.

Built in sunshade on both sides. :) I don't know how much it is blocking in this picture, but it's there. :)

As you can see I'm excited about the Odyssey! It drives like my Accord, but loving the space and automatic doors. Who knows what I will choose to drive 10 years from now, but I've learned my lesson...don't make judgements until I get there. :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

We've been busy! I feel like there is always about 50 things I need to get done. As I go about my day I find myself mentally writing a blog entry. The problem is finding the time to actually get it all out.  So this post has a lot of different things going on. :)

Now that we're back from the vacay and don't have plans for more trips, I feel excited to get into a nice groove.  It is time for me to really get back on my health kick. I've been dabbling in it for the last few months, but after the recent trip to Kauai it has become very apparent that it is time. I was in a pretty good place with my weight until I decided to stop nursing Ava. I continued to eat like I was nursing, but bottle fed her. Mistake! Seven pounds crept up without my knowing it! There were some shirts that got a little snug, but I didn't think anything of it. Then, Randy and I weighed ourselves the day before we left for Kauai...surprise! By the time I got back from vacay, I was 10 pounds up. I can get back in shape, no doubt. I just have to stay committed. I lost 15 pounds and 6 inches around the waist after I had Dylan.

Christmas '09
 This is the picture that lit the fire last time. What was I thinking wearing a tight shirt?! I wanted to get to my fight weight, but got preggo with Ava. I'm in better shape now than with Dylan so by summer I should be kicking some ass!

I started this new focus on Tuesday. I'm kicking up the intensity of the cardio and adding lots of strength training. I've even changed the machines I'm using; more plates, free weights and cables. As I was going through my workouts this week, I got honest with myself. I know how to get in shape. I know a wide variety of workouts. I just need to do it! Well, here I go. The trick is scheduling with the kiddos, but I'm determined to make it work!

Along with working out, my other big exciting change is that we are shopping for a mini van. Yes, that's right...I'm going to be a mini van mom. I NEVER thought I would say this, but now the shoe is going in the mouth. We rented a mini in Kauai where both Randy and I fell in love with it. I NEED the space. So...now we're car shopping. I want an Odyssey and we can't get it brand new so here comes the work.

Ava and I went car shopping on Thursday. We test drove 2 different minis. I didn't love both of them, but did certify that this will be my next car. We're doing some more shopping this weekend. I'll keep you posted!

Last, but not least...my kiddos! Ava slept through the night for the first time last night! WOOHOO! This is huge because it brings a whole new possibility of sleep and energy. :) So with that energy today, we went to a playdate with a xmas cookie, stocking-making, jammie theme. We had such a great time! It was loud! Not a place for someone that doesn't like noise. :) We had 8 two/three-year olds, 3 almost toddlers and 3 babies.

There were more kiddos, but with all of the mommies taking pics I couldn't back up far enough. :)

I love this one!
Lots of kiddos, noise, fun and Christmas craft mess. It was awesome! What's so nice about this group, is that we all watch out for eachother so we help out with all of the kids. The kiddos are so used to getting together that most of them feel comfortable going up to any adult in the room. Ava just cruised around playing with whoever was around or chewing on whatever she could find.

Super easy! Dylan and I worked together cutting out Christmas cookies and designing a stocking.

I checked out some pictures from today on a friend's blog and learned something important. I need to invest in some crewneck shirts. While bending over helping Dylan with his crafts, everyone could see right down the shirt. Oops! Lesson learned. :)

So I know...everything sound great huh? Well, with a couple of hours of fun and sugar comes the dreaded drive home without the kids falling asleep. I failed! So instead of a 1:30pm nap for Dylan and 2:30 for Ava, it took an extra hour and Dylan had a tough time falling asleep. Once out though, he slept until 5:15pm! I started making noise at 4:45 then I flipped on the hall light at 5pm. Finally I sent Ava in and we both woke him up. He's a bit of a dragon when I have to do this. Ava wakes up as happy as can be...Dylan is a dragon. We must have wore him out though, he asked to go to bed at 7:30pm. Please oh please sleep until at least 6:30am!

It has been a busy week, but we're getting things done. Maybe there will come a day I feel caught up. Maybe not, but I can wish right? :) Wish me luck on the van shopping!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Kauai is Paradise

We LOVE Kauai! It was such a great place to relax and spend time with the family! The fam got back to town on Wednesday afternoon and my intention was to blog, but there has been so much organization going on!

Now...let me start by saying that traveling with a 2 yr old and a 9mo old are challenging. The kiddos did really well for their age. It was Randy and I that were exhausted. The flight to Kauai was 6 hours 40 min. from Phoenix to Lihue, Kauai. Crazy huh?! So I tried to think of everything we could possibly need.

Dylan learning how to use the crayola pen on the iPad. Very cool!

Can you believe all of that fit in these 2 bags?!
Dylan was soooo excited about going on the plane! This excitement wore off as the hours ticked away. After 3 hours, Randy and I look at eachother and just laughed... over 3 more left to go.

We broke out the gummy worms with 1.5 hours left. We're feeling ansy!

Ava just crawled back and forth between us.
If I had let her cruise down the aisle of the plane, she would have loved it!
Finally we landed at the Garden Island (it is so green!). We rent the mini van, stuff it full and off we head to the place where we will be spending the next week...the Waiohai at Poipu Beach. Let me just say that I never thought I'd love the mini van, but I may be a convert after driving it for over a week. So much space!!!

The Waiohai is a wonderful Marriott timeshare property!

It is right off the beach! You can sit and eat and drink while overlooking both the pool and the beach! We've been going for about 8 years now. This year my parents were able to get one unit for our family and a second unit for them, my brother and his girlfriend. It was perfect. We got up super early

Early morning activity

Ava wants to join so badly!

Morning walk with Daddy
and were nap central at about 2pm each day.

Ava didn't always nap in her crib though.

Instead of telling you about all of the fun we had. Let me show you!

Started the vacay out with morning workouts. This slowly faded.
Time for swim with the fam!

First time in the waves! She loved it!

Dancing in his new sweatshirt. He'll be wearing it for awhile!

The jacuz with Pa!

The family at happy hour. It's ok to bring the kiddos when the grandparents are there too. :)
Nick and Jenn

"How should we GET the chickens?!"

 The Waiohai does a tree lighting ceremony every year on the first Saturday of December. Santa even came!

Dylan wouldn't get near Santa without crying so he inspected the train instead. :)

After a wonderful 7 days at the Waiohai, we checked out and moved over to the Hyatt for 2 nights. We were so excited! Great pools, the spa and yummy food.

Cocktails in the lagoon.

This is how we roll. :)
Our last night in our Aloha wear!

Merry Christmas!
We had such a great time! No pics of the ride home, but I will say that a red-eye/all nighter is not the best way to get home with the kiddos. It was our only option so we took it. Needless to say by Wednesday afternoon we were home, but exhausted!

This trip reminded us of how much we love Hawaii! We are trying to move back to Oahu so hopefully all the Navy cards align. Until then, it will just have to be wonderful weeks. We'll take as many as we can get!