Sunday, March 29, 2009

Swap Meet

This morning I got up at 5:00 a.m. to go down the hill to sell some of my baby items at a swap meet. My friend and I got there by 6:00 a.m. and all of the spots for selling were already taken! Fortunately her mother in law was there by 5:30 and managed to grab three spots for us. This was my spot! The good news is I sold about half of everything you see there. The best news was that I sold all of my big things but the car seat and the Little Tikes high chair. The best seller of the day was the clothes. I sold more than half of them. Of course I did give a steal of a deal. I sold them 2/$1.00.

First thing in the morning one of the other merchants came over and bought some of my clothes. She told me she had a niece in Mexico that they would look good on. Later I looked down at her spot and she was selling them for a higher price!

The only other story I have was reguarding my stroller. I had a nice GRaco stroller that I paid $120 for new. I was selling it for $35.00. I had a woman interested but she didn't even want to pay $30.00. I told her how much the stroller was brand new and it was in great condition. I said maybe when I pack up I might sell it cheaper. She said she was from Sacramento and wouldn't be able to come back. She came back to me three more times over the next fifteen minutes trying to get me to go cheaper. She finally bought it when she heard another girl ask me how much the stroller was! I think she got a great deal! I could have sold it on craigslist for$40-$50 dollars.

All in all it was a great day. I amde $150.00 for our vacation fund. I would definately do it again. Oh yeah and hubby is happy because now we have more space in the basement as he has been wanting that room cleaned up so he could work out.

Friday, March 27, 2009


For the past month KK has been obsessed with Pongo. Everything during her daily activities revolve around Pongo. She carries her stuffed animal of Pongo around, plays her CD that has a Pongo song on it, and watches 101 Dalmations. She has even become Pongo! Seriously, I can't call her by her name anymore. Do you know everytime I call her by her name she will correct me and say, "My name is Pongo!"

She will refer to herself as Pongo saying, "Mommy, Pongo wants a drink. Pongo wants to go outside. Pongo wants to watch T.V. etc..."

Our friend Amy has a 101 Dalmation bedding and KK saw it. She was screaming for joy. Of course she wants bedding now too but there is none to be found. My friend had purchased that bedding years ago. I did look on ebay and the closest thing I could find was one flat sheet. Oh well, I will keep checking ebay. Just for a sheet set though because I love her comforter and I am not willing to change that!

Subbing Day 13

Yesterday ended up being my first day subbing in a classroom other than Aly's. Last time I was scheduled to sub in a different class I had to cancel because that was the time KK ended up with walking pneumonia. So I was excited to have the chance to sub in the other kindergarten classroom at Aly's school. It was only a half day but let me just tell you, that was the perfect introduction to their class.

I didn't have to get there until 11:30. The children were at lunch so it gave me 40 minutes to rad the lesson plans and the teacher was there so we had a nice friendly chat. The rest of the day was a breeze. There was a parent volunteer there the whole afternoon which was great. She helped me with children's names and helped me to know their rules and routines. Everything was well planned out and the children were great with their routines. It was fun.

I decided my perfect work schedule was a half day p.m. sub. It was great to get Aly off to school in the morning, KK to a babysitter, and I even got my dialy 50 minute morning run in! How cool is it to be able to leisurely get ready for work in the morning and then only have to work until 2 p.m.? What a great day!

KK's writing and drawing

KK has began writing her name! It is really cute. The lowercase a's are written backwards. Yes, I know, a signature only a mother can recognize but nonetheless I am proud!!!

She has been drawing a lot lately too. She is drawing people and animals. I tend to be one of her favorite subjects. A few weeks ago she drew a picture of me and she even included my glasses. Now that is a girl that pays attention to details!

I look forward to watching her drawing and writing skills develop. She is so proud of herself too.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Aly's spring school picture!

Aly got her spring picture from school today. I am absolutely in love. I think it turned out totally adorable. I hope when she is older she will love it too! They really took their time and did a good job. I know because I was subbing in her class that day and it took over an hour for them to take our class pictures. I guess it turned out to be well worth the wait!


Yesterday morning was quite a busy morning with subfinder. At 7:50 a.m. they called me to sub for the P.E. teacher. The job would start at 8:30. So this would give me basically ten minutes to get dressed, take a shower, get the kids ready for school, oh yeah and find childcare for KK. Yeah, that wasn't going to happen. So I declined the job. I think they needed to find someone whose children were already in school and lived within 5 minutes of the school.

I got back from taking Alyssa to the bus stop and got another call from subfinder. This time they were asking me to sub for the other kindergarten teacher from 11:30-2:00 that day. So I accepted the job, found childcare, did my 50 minute run on the treadmill, took a shower, brought KK to my friend's house for her to watch her and went to school. When I arrived the secretary looked at me and said, "Who are you here for?" I told her I was called by subfinder for Mrs. W. She told me that job was for Thursday. I told her I was called for today. She looked into the system and saw that I was right. Apparently she entered the job wrong and was supposed to put Thursday. So she apologized. I came to the school for no reason. Bummer, the biggest bummer is that I have to find people to watch KK. So I will be back on Thursday.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dear Dad,

Dear Dad,

It has been four years ago today since you left us. I still have a hard time accepting it and don't want to believe it is true. I treasure the nights I dream about you as it helps me to feel closer to you.

So many times I dream that you are telling me you never died, that it was all just a mistake, that you are free of your cancer. You are always in the Chevy II Nova in the drivers seat smiling at me. Every time I dream that you are telling me you are still here, I believe it and don't think I am dreaming. So many nights the children wake me up while I am dreaming about you and I desperately try to return to my dream.

Some of my other dreams center around my favorite time period in my life with you. When I was between the ages of 16-18 years old. Many of those dreams are about us fixing my car or driving down to San Diego together. All happy dreams.

When you passed I didn't want to accept it. I was seven months pregnant at the time and I was so afraid if I let myself grieve that I would loose my baby. So I did everything I could to keep myself busy, to pass the time and not let my mind wander to the reality of you being gone. I even went to counseling to deal with it although I don't think that helped at all.

I feel so fortunate that I had you there at my wedding. I was so proud to have you walk me down the isle. I wished that I would have had more time to spend with you that night but the reality of being the bride is brief moments with all the guests.

Dad I know you were a quiet person and that you kept most of your feelings to yourself. I do treasure the times you express your feelings of pride over my academic accomplishments. I know you saw me as a "good girl" who would always try and do the right thing. I feel like you were a good role model and always helped me see right from wrong.

You know what was hard for me? When I disappointed you. It killed me to know that I let you down. That I didn't make good choices and you had expected that I always would. I would have much rather been grounded then to know I let you down because I wanted more than anything to be that perfect little girl for you.

I do know that you are proud of the woman that I became. That if you were here now to tell me, you would say that you are so proud of the accomplishments I have made and the mother that I have become. I know you would continue to teach me to be independent and strong and to accomplish whatever goal or dream I have. You taught be to go after what was important to me no matter how hard it was to get there.

The wind is blowing really hard right now. Is that you letting me know that you are surrounding me with your presence? Are you watching me write this letter to you right now? If so I feel comforted by your presence and ache for the opportunity to have a conversation with you again.

I really wish you could have been here to see KK born. So many people comment that she looks like you. In fact she has earned the nickname of "Little M". She has your mouth, lips, and face structure. When we saw how much she looked like you I hoped that it was you in her through reincarnation. Now that her personality has developed and we have seen her follow my strong, tenacious personality, we know that it couldn't be you inside of her because you were such a gentle, mellow person. I will though treasure looking into my little girls face each day and thinking of you.

I hope you know how much I love you Dad. How I wish you were still here to see me and to watch your grandchildren grow up. I wish that most of my childhood we wouldn't have been separated by two states and that I could have been an active part of your daily life. I wish that I had had more time to be close to you.

Just know that I will always think of myself as your little girl. That I will always think of you watching over me and will do my best to continue making you proud. Please help to guide me in my life decisions and help me to become a better person with each passing day.

I will continue to grieve loosing you everyday. I wish you would have had more time here. I love you and look forward to dreaming about you each night that you come to me in my dreams. Please let Aunt Karen know that I think of her daily too and miss her greatly. I have so many fond memories of the times I shared with her. I think Grandpa will be with you soon which is making my heart ache each day as well. He helps me to feel close to you.

With love,

Friday, March 20, 2009

Our puppy is growing.

Shasta was born on December 1st which means she is now 15 1/2 weeks old. She is growing fast and she is very smart and easy to train. She is also quite obsessed with human food so we are constantly making sure the children are not leaving their food out. She was crate trained the first night we had her, she became potty trained to go outside two weeks later, and she now knows how to sit and go to her kennel when you say kennel. She is quite active and loves getting attention from everyone in the family. Nevada has been really happy to have her here too. I think she is great with her and enjoys having another dog around.

Aren't they cute together?

Playroom Before and After

About a month ago we worked on changing the playroom into a new organized room. We bought some 9 whole cubbies shelves at Target as well as some fabric bins. I hoped that by cleaning up the playroom, getting rid of toys they don't play with anymore, and making it more organized for them to play in it would help them to keep it clean. Guess what? It worked. Their playroom is cleaned up constantly and they both say they want to keep it clean so they can dance around in their playroom. They absolutely love it!

Here are the Before pictures:

Here are the after pictures:
That is our playroom make over! What do you think?

Daddy's Girl

The girls and I had a great afternoon/evening together the other day. Hubby has returned to playing volleyball after work one day a week so I decided to turn that day into a Girl's Day Out. I decided to take the girls to Arden Fair Mall since we only go there about twice a year. KK quickly fell asleep in the car which was great since it is over an hour drive away. While KK was sleeping Aly and I had some great conversations. One of interest was about her Daddy. Here is how it went:

Mommy, do I have to have babies when I grow up?

No, you don't have to have any babies if you don't want to.

Good, because I want to marry Daddy...but I can't because you are married to him.

Oh, do you want me to divorce Daddy so you can marry him?

What does divorce mean?

It means Mommy moves out and lives by herself.

Oh, no Mommy, that would make Daddy sad...

But can I still visit Daddy if I get married?

Oh yes, Daddy would love it if you visited him.

What if I don't get married?

You can visit him anytime you want. I am sure Daddy would want to see you as often as you would want to come and visit.

Good, because I want to see Daddy a lot.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Chore Chart

About a month ago I decided to make a chore chart for the girls. Everyone in the house had been driving me crazy with leaving clutter around. I was really getting frustrated with the amount of clean up I would have to do on a daily basis. The girls would also play mind games with me over cleaning up and would constantly fight with me over this responsibility. This drove me to creating a chore chart. I also wanted the chore chart to start teaching the girls about financial responsibility. The chore chart has been set up so that they can earn money for doing their chores. Now when we go somewhere if they want to buy something they will use their own money that they earned.

I decided to break each chore down and assign a certain amount of money to each chore. I assigned things that were most important to me a higher value and things that they already do pretty well without arguing a lower value. I also told them that they would only earn money for each day they did that chore and if they didn't do the chore they wouldn't earn money for that chore for that day. The total amount of money that Aly could earn if she did every single chore everyday is $5.50. The total amount KK can earn is $3.50. I set the chart up for Sunday through Saturday with every Sunday being there payday. Here is the amount they earn for each chore:

Aly (this is the daily amount)

Clean Bedroom: .15
Clean playroom: .20
Clean Kitchen Table: .20
Put clothes in hamper: .10
Brush teeth morning: .05
Brush teeth evening: .05
Doing math or reading: .05

The most I think Aly has earned in a week so far was around $4.00.

Here is KK's amounts:

Clean Bedroom: .10
Clean playroom: .15
Clean Kitchen Table: .05
Put clothes in hamper: .10
Brush teeth morning: .05
Brush teeth evening: .05

The most I think KK has earned has been $2.00.

Each week I draw a line on where the week ended. The girls color their squares in themselves. I am finding this chart to be very effective and the girls are not arguing with me any more over cleaning. However, I have learned that they still need constant reminders such as, "Please go clean the playroom and then you can color in a square on the chart!"

The girls love the chart and payday too! Aly has $26 saved up and KK has around $17. Some of this money they already had but at least they are learning to save and learning to spend their money on things that are important to them.

BTW I cam up with the total amount for each child based on their age. They say $1 a week for each year old you are. Since they are 3 1/2 and 5 1/2 I developed the chart to reflect their current ages.


On Sunday hubby decided to take Aly to the pet store. Many weekends this is a ritual with hubby and he usually takes both girls which provides a nice break for me. However on this day the girls just couldn't seem to get a long so I told him to leave KK with me. KK did well being home without sister and enjoyed some alone time with me. I am sure Aly enjoyed some alone time with Daddy as well. In fact, they even decided to pick out some Bantam chickens. They completely surprised us! We had no idea Daddy would be bringing home chickens. We knew that we were going to eventually get some...maybe this May. I think Aly was in love with the chickens the most. She would hold them gently and talk to them. They will probably grow to love Aly the best. KK just didn't quite understand how to hold them without squeezing them. She tends to be a bit rough on animals right now. Here are a few pictures I took of Aly and the chickens:

Aly is a bird!

Oh my gosh, Aly did the cutest thing the other day. She has such a great imagination! I only wish I had half the imagination she does. She gathered her art supplies and sat at the table and made rainbow wings for a bird. Then she preceded to tape them on herself. In the beginning she flapped around the living room saying she was a bird. Later she decided to draw and color a nest and she put it on the end table next to the couch. Then she got on top of the nest and sat down. She told me she was laying an egg. She was very proud of her bird wings and pointed out how she made them symetrical and made rainbow wings.

Bath time

A few weeks ago I took a picture of the girls during bath time. They looked so cute in the tub together and were actually getting along. KK asked Aly to come and sit next to her which has never happened before. Usually Aly is in the front of the tub and KK is in the back. They had a great time posing for the camera and I really thought this picture shows just how much they are both starting to look alike. Yes, I believe it is now evident that they are sisters and look alike. When they were younger I used to think nobody would believe it but now that their features are developing I am really enjoying seeing the similarites.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Our bill slashing goals

One of the reasons I chose to buy a laptop is our goal to get rid of our cable television bill. I have been doing quite a bit of research lately on my favorite shows that I watch and found out that every single one of them could be viewed for free on the internet. So over the next month we are going to be working on making that change and will be saving around $480 a year!

Our next bill that we plan to slash is our cellphone bill. We currently pay $55 a month with tax for both of our cell phones. However, a friend introduced me to tracfones. It basically is a pay as you go phone and we plan on switching to that. Now with the new hands free law in CA, hubby and I are barely using our cellphones. So we will work on switching over to that service and should be able to get away with $100 in minutes for a whole year which will average out to around $8 a month each or less. This could save another $480 a year!

After that I am not sure what else we could cut. I will have to think on that is so fun to keep getting rid of bills!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Subbing Day 12

I had the opportunity to sub in Aly's class again today. Actually I would have been able to sub, Mon., Tues., and Wed., if KK hadn't been sick. She was feeling better Wednesday so I was thrilled to be able to sub in Aly's class.

The morning was stressful as usual getting the girls ready and out the door by 7:40 a.m. The worst part was when I showed up at KK's preschool at 8 a.m. the person who was supposed to be there hadn't shown up. Of course I am panicking and not sure what to do. Five minutes later she shows up which ended up making me five minutes late to work. I hate being late so I was pretty irritated about it.

The worst part of the day happened twenty minutes after school started. One of the little girls in the class came to me and told me her tummy didn't feel well. Then she threw up right in front of me on the floor. I grabbed a garbage can to let her finish and then had someone take her to the office so she could go home, poor girl. Then being the germ a phoebe that I am, I got my instant hand sanitizer out of my sub bag and proceeded to give every child in the class a squirt of hand sanitizer. I swear I must of given myself a squirt of hand sanitizer 15 times during the school day! Every time I thought I may have touched something she touched that morning I squirted myself with hand sanitizer. My girls have been sick enough this year and I certainly will do everything I can to try and prevent that yucky illness from coming to our home!

It was picture day at school and it took an hour just for our class to get their pictures taken. It was crazy. I was unable to get things done from the lesson plan because of it. We only managed to accomplish a butterfly art project that she had...the kids loved the project, and a math paper. The day went fairly well. While the children were very chatty and not listening well it was to be expected after three days of different subs.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mom's Night Out

A week ago Friday we got to have a fun local Mom's night out on Main street. The merchants all stayed open late and offered food and wine tasting as well as raffles and shopping. Oh I and I forgot to add dancing lessons! Yes, some of the girls in the group joined in for some Belly Dancing lessons!

Our first stop ended up being Belly Dancing. Three of the girls joined in and made it look easy! They also looked really cute don't you think?

Our next stop was dinner because I was very hungry. We had Mexican food and margaritas!

After dinner we walked down Main Street and the girls did some wine tasting! We all bought a bottle of wine--I of course brought one home to hubby since I don't like wine!

We all had a great time and are looking forward to trying to have a fun Mom's Night Out once a month.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Stimulating the economy

I believe that each and everyone of us can take our tax return and do our part to stimulate the economy. O.k. not the whole tax return but a part of it that you can afford to splurge and spend on yourself. This year we decided to let hubby pick something out, I get to choose something, and we are buying a new playset for the girls for the back yard. The playset is thoroughly needed. While we do have a hand me down set from hubby's brother, it is leaning and cracking and not so safe to play on anymore.

Today we took care of buying hubby's wish and my wish. Hubby got a new bass amp and I got a new laptop! Yes, no more sharing the computer with hubby and the children. Now I have my own. Which means I should be able to find time to blog more right? I sure hope so because I have missed it! We hope to purchase the children's playset this week as well. The one we really wanted we found online and it was out of our pricerange. However, today I went to Sam's club and they had the exact same one for $400 cheaper so I am thrilled we will be able to get it for the girls. The hard part will be hubby building it. It will probably take him a couple of weekends.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

An Interview With Aly

Another interview thing floating around facebook so I decided to have Aly answer the questions. Here is what she thinks:

1. What is something mommy always says to you?
Please and thank you

2. What makes mommy happy?
that she has children

3. What makes mommy sad?
if she didn't have kids

4. How does your mommy make you laugh?
telling funny jokes to me like knock knock jokes

5. What was your mommy like as a child?
just like me and Kayla

6. How old is your mommy?
I don't know....50?

7. How tall is your mommy?
15 inches

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
make us happy

9. What does your mommy do when you're not around?
go out and go to dinner with her friends

10. If your mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
going out to dinner

11. What is your mommy really good at?
making us laugh

12. What is your mommy not very good at?
doing cartwheels

13. What does your mommy do for her job?

14. What is your mommy's favorite food?
pineapples and ribs

15. What makes you proud of your mommy?
that she teaches

16. If your mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Minnie Mouse

17. What do you and your mommy do together?
have a mommy and Alyssa night out

18. How are you and your mommy the same?
that we both have brown hair and we both have teeth

19. How are you and your mommy different?
that she has glasses and I don't

20. How do you know your mommy loves you?
because she cooks food for me

21. What does your mommy like most about your dad?
that he likes some of the clothes that you buy him

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
out to dinner!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

So little computer time

Wow, I can't believe it has been so long since my last post. Weekends are typically hard to post on but lately it seems as if everyday is a challenge!

Last Friday night I was able to enjoy a great night out with local ladies down on Main Street. The merchants stayed open late and offered wine tasting as well as cookies, snacks, and even a sample of Chinese Chicken Salad. I decided to be the designated driver and fill my car full of ladies. It was great having adults only in my car for a change! The women all had a great time too!

Hubby and I are still trying to do date nights. January was a success with two date nights. Unfortunately in February we didn't have any but we have already started March out great and had our first date night of the month on Sunday. This time we had dinner and a movie. The girls really love their babysitter Meagan too. This time she brought over bowling, Monkeys in a Barrel, and another game for them to play. She is really good at always playing with the girls and giving them her time.

The past month for Aly has been a bit of a roller coaster for her. She started a new reading group up where she was sent to first grade so that she would be challenged. This ended up not being a good experience for her. She was very uncomfortable not having any of her fellow students in the class. She felt like the first graders were "big kids" and was a bit intimidated by them. There was also no effort made into trying to buddy her up or help her make a friend. Once it was suggested to do that I was hopeful that things would work out but we still ended up having obstacles. Apparently one of the first graders disciplined her for something and the teacher's expectations were not at Aly's level. What I mean by that was since Aly is in kindergarten she is still writing in mostly uppercase letters. Since this reading group is in first grade with the exception of Aly, the teachers expects the students to write correctly with lower case letters except for capitals where needed. Anyway, I guess the teacher didn't want to make an exception for Aly given her grade level and would make her go back and erase the words she had written and write them over again. This was frustrating for Aly on multiple levels...first she had never been expected to do that--neither her kindergarten teacher or I expect that out of her, we are just helping her to develop her writing skills, secondly she still is confused on writing some of the lower case letters, and finally she has never been told to redo her work before--she is always very careful on her papers so this was quite a change for her. The final thing that happened was the first grade teacher told her that she couldn't come to her class anymore if she was going to cry! So I told her kindergarten teacher it was just causing Aly too much stress and it wasn't worth it. I will help Aly at home with reading and her kindergarten teacher said she would get some materials and try to challenge her.

KK has grown so much in this last month. I really need to scan in some of her drawings. She has been drawing faces now and even drew me with glasses. She is also drawing dogs and elephants--of course she has to tell me what they are because I don't really recognize. She is also starting to write letters on her own which is so much fun to watch. She knows how to spell her name but is still hesitant on writing it. She would still rather stay home with Mommy everyday then go to preschool so I made a compromise. I used to have her in preschool two days a week from 9-3:45 but now she is only going two days a week from 9-12. Since I am only subbing for Aly's teacher I don't really need KK in full days. KK is also so amazing on the computer! I can't believe how well a three year old can navigate her favorite websites like and Playhouse Disney. She rarely needs any help and can go from game to on these sites and she doesn't even know how to read!

So hopefully this week I can get some more time on the computer as I have a ton of photos to post and want to scan in some of KK's drawings and such.