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    2014 look-back

    December 26th, 2014

    I’m not sure how to look back on 2014 to be honest. Some really bad things happened to be sure: Jennifer died, S got laid off (temporarily)… I lost my job too. But also some really great things happened too: my sister got married, G started kinder, S’ is kicking butt at work, I landed an even cooler job in the end… four amazing babies were born to wonderful friends (and I got to be there for the births of three of them)… we have our health, and things are good.

    I just don’t have it in me to hate last year, or need to put it behind me. With that said I really want 2015 to be better. I don’t want to hear the word “cancer” again. Tall order, I know. (Or at least I’ll take no new cases to those close to me.) I’d like a stress-free job year. I’d like more travel with my family. I’d like to go back to doing regular walks. I’d like … a genuinely good year.

    So here’s to 2015.

    Christmas recap

    December 26th, 2014

    I feel like this whole month has been a Christmas celebration. Both boys had performances at their schools, Rose came to visit, I felt like I’ve been shopping for a month, and of course, Christmas day itself. It’s been a good holiday! I am still seeking a way for the boys to appreciate this time “more”… or rather in a different way. They appreciate the gifts, that’s for sure, but it’s not what I want them to love about Christmas on the whole.

    My parents came to visit for Christmas. I love it when they do. It just feels more special for me to have them here, and I like that the boys get a chance to do this holiday with a set of grandparents. It’s hard with S’ family on the East Coast, so at least they join us on Skype. I have a dream that one year we’ll get to have all grandparents here with us over Christmas with the boys. Bonus points if the aunts/uncles and cousins join too ;p

    This is less of a wordy post, and more of a follow along with the pictures post. It’s just a whole bunch of smaller stories, so here goes:


    I was able to get the boys to sit in front of the tree for a photo. Of course I had to tell them it was a photo for Rose, to include in her invitation, but hey — it’s a cute photo of them together.



    G found our hot dog ornament





    I love seeing this collection of ornaments grow. We have an ornament for each year S and I have been married. Ok cheating a little, since I only started making these 4 years ago, but I did back-fill the first 6 years. Our tree is very photo oriented, and I feel that the history of our family is well represented this way.

    I thought this year our tree could use some sparkle.


    G writing a letter to Rose, telling her they’re ready for her to come. Feel free to click on the letter to read it in all it’s glory.


    I hosted our ornament exchange this year. Afterwards, I took the girls to Eucalyptus St. in San Carlos. We hung with Santa.

    This is the Santa trap: the boys made these couch pillow forts, with the intention to hide in them on Christmas Eve so they can catch Santa in the act. My question back to them: “Why do you think Santa is coming here tonight?”

    Dad and G, just hanging.

    This bread deserves a photo — it’s made by one of my mom’s best friends. She is a phenomenal baker and this is hands down the best tutmanik I’ve eaten anywhere.

    Rose… hanging out

    S2 wanted to sit in Santa’s lap. And apparently poke his eye out.

    This is G’s holiday performance. Yep, the video is upside down. Sorry! I don’t have the energy to figure out how to rotate it… so just turn your head around, OK? ;p

    At S2’s performance:


    They have an elf too.


    This kid…


    So angelic looking…


    So… plotting


    So… not the angel


    Really NOT the angel 🙂


    With Ms. A


    Watch him sing

    Now see our Christmas morning. The boys got dressed independently into orange Strider shirts. It was not intentional, but hey — they stood out for sure for photos 🙂 We didn’t open gifts until about 9:30 that morning. The boys got in trouble the night before, and I told them that for each time they gave us grief about bed-time, I’d push present opening back half an hour. Our clock starts at 8am for gifts, and after two infractions they settled down. S wasn’t along with this program, but for better or worse, Skype’s issues made him have to delay it even further. I’m shocked, SHOCKED they didn’t mutiny and attack the dining room anyway.







    The morning canvas

    December 23rd, 2014

    One of the bonuses(???) of winter is the condensation left on my windows each morning. G treats it as a canvas and draws the same thing each and every morning: a tow truck. It’s pretty descent I must say… especially given that he’s using a finger, and a runny medium.

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    S2 ear saga

    December 22nd, 2014

    A few months ago (yes, I suck this bad at getting photos off my phone), S2 had to have surgery to have his last remaining ear tube removed. He got “lucky” in that his second one didn’t fall out on his own. If they’re not removed, the body will start growing around them, which will make them a permanent fixture. I won’t lie: I felt this was a pretty big nuisance, until that last bit was explained to me. Having to keep a kid away from eating and drinking: getting up at the crack of dawn to take them to the hospital is just not my idea of a good time. Especially considering watching them wake-up from anesthesia.

    S2 took his procedure in stride. To some degree it was actually good that G had had his tonsils out just a few weeks prior. G got to tell him about it and what to expect. Even though S2 had been through it all before, he was only 18 months, so it was neat to have his older brother share his experience. They made a competition over who would be able to count to more numbers in the OR prior to getting conked out.

    For that morning, I had ordered S2 a Darth Vader mini-fig. He’d been asking for one for a long time, and I was hoping waking up to Darth would distract him enough NOT to ask for breakfast. It worked! And he was very excited to show him off to the nurses at check-in.

    Unlike G’s surgery (because S2’s was so minor), we didn’t have family in town. That meant S had to drop G off at school, and then come meet us. By the time he arrived it was all over and we were getting ready for discharge. Luckily the tube pulled out easily, and there was no damage on the ear drum that needed to be repaired.

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    Now I’m just hoping we’ll survive a winter season without any ear infections. Stay tuned…

    Rat-out club

    December 22nd, 2014

    Rose (our elf) is visiting us again this holiday season. Prior to her arrival the boys had to write her a letter and invite her to stay. (Plus I needed to buy myself some time, since S was gone for a few days in Texas).

    I don’t quite know what convinced S2 to admit the following, but he was pretty insistent that our letter to Rose include the following:

    Owen and …. uhmn… Sebastian and Lucas: put them on the naughty list because they did not listening to me. And I have to say “C’mon! Why are you not listening to me?”

    Welcome to my world, Kid! I feel like I ask this question at least 100 times a day! Maybe I should be writing Rose a letter of my own.

    My bunny

    December 3rd, 2014

    When my parents visited earlier this year, they brought with them two of my child-hood toys. These are stuffed toys that I used to play with around S2’s age… so “old” would be an understatement here 🙂 So old I have no recollection what their names were. Mom, if you remember, let me know, OK?

    I won’t lie — though I don’t play with them now, the fact they’ve stood the test of time makes me very hesitant to share them with our boys. They can play, but in my own bratty way, it must be under my supervision. G hasn’t really expressed any interest in them, but S2 every once in awhile asks for my cow or bunny. I caught some photos of him playing with the bunny. It’s actually pretty sweet.








    Bunny needs a bit of surgery (as does Cow, to be honest). One of his ears is falling apart at the seams, and I’ve already seem to have misplaced his tail. It came off, and since it was a small, fluffy thing that rolls, I suspect Zoe had a soccer match of her own with it. Maybe when I take the loveys to be preserved one day, I’ll take these guys, along w/ S’ Raggedy Andy doll too.