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Sunshine & Rain

Still feverishly making baby gifts before all these babies are born so I won't be empty-handed.




I'm making a couple of mobiles, to hang over a crib or anywhere else in a sweet little baby's room. The colors and the sweet smiling faces on the mobile makes me happy.




I think I'll make another one for myself.... just to hang around the house!






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a week in my life

Last week I documented a week in my family's lives.


It's a project that I got the idea for from a blog I read daily. It's supposed to be a yearly thing, and this was my first time.


It was fun, although kinda hard, but I'm glad I did it.


Basically, I carried my camera everywhere I went for 7 days.


I took pictures of everything I did. Even, and especially, the everyday mundane days-blend-into-years kind of stuff.


I also saved random stuff from the week. Shopping receipts, facebook print-outs, emails I received, notes the girls wrote, etc.


Eventually, hopefully soon, it'll all go together into a scrapbook.


It was really kind of hard for me. Because the things that occur daily, or that aren't fun or exciting, I just had no desire to take pictures of. But I made myself, I took a LOT of pictures, and I hope someday, eventually, someone in my family might find it interesting.

Just a few of the 400+ pictures I took, documenting our days:

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Taking pictures of stuff at work, or anything that happened to me M-F between 8-5 was the hardest.


Once I leave my office, I like to put it as far out of my mind as possible, so why the heck would I want to take pictures of it to remember for years to come?


The answer I gave myself was that like it or not, my job is a huge part of my life (or more correctly: it takes up a lot of my time), so I couldn't leave it out.

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Picking Arissa up from practice:

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Making little bouquets out of the sour grass that Arissa picks for me:



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Dropping off & picking up little ones from Nana's:


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Some interesting activity on our street on an otherwise average Saturday:


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Hanging out:


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and there was SO much more.


I took blurry photos, I took un-flattering photos, I took photos of my lunch. Of the pile of dishes in the sink. Of the clothes in the girls' dresser. Of their mess of toys in their room. Of Mallory on time-out.
And really, 99% of the time I felt silly and kept thinking that it was probably a waste of my time.
However, I know it would be interesting to me now to know what a normal week was like for my parents when I was that little. I can remember what class I was in, and what extra-curricular stuff I was doing and things like that, but I sure don't remember our daily schedules. What did my mom make for dinner, what time did my Dad get home from work, what time did I go bed, etc. So I hope someday these ordinary pictures are interesting for someone besides me! :o)

Working together....

Thursday, April 22, was annual "Bring a Child to Work Day".





I brought 3.
:o)





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The day before there wasn't a cloud in the sky, then a storm rolled in and we had to change our planned attire, and grab umbrellas and jackets, in a rush before we left the house:





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There were activities planned for all the kids, but Arissa had "been there, done that" 2 years ago. So this year (like last) she wanted to be my shadow and do some of my actual work.



We took a tour of the basement, where all the old files are kept:


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Throughout the day I kept trying to slyly give examples of why going to college is a good idea:





"You know, if you go to college you'd have a job where you could work in a nice big office...instead of a cubicle like me..."





"Now it's time for my break, but I only get 15 minutes. You know, if you go to college you could get a job where you set your own hours..."





etc. etc.





But you know how kids are.





Arissa was quite contented and strangely enchanted by my little desk, with my redundant work, and my little 15 minute break. Go figure.





I was able to give her some work to do, and I liked that.





Except then some nosey passerbys told her that if I'm putting her to work, I ought to buy her lunch. Arissa liked that.





Mallory & Mariah came back a little early from the festivities because they "missed" me. Apparently seeing police dogs search for and find narcotics isn't that much fun when you're scared of big sniffing dogs.





So they came back and we left for the day at about noon.





My good friend, Irene (who I orignially worked with when I started for the County, and transferred to Downtown shortly before I did) offered to take us all to lunch. She didn't have to ask us twice. :o)



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We went to Sammy's Woodfired Pizza...and it was delicious. So good I couldn't even describe it to Jesse, I told him he just has to go and taste for himself. He said "it's pizza, I've been to Pizza Hut, I know what it's like", but I said no no no you don't. Can't wait to take him.





We had pizza.





We had pretty drinks.





We had ice cream sundaes with lots of whipped cream for dessert (the girls).





We had empanadas w/ french vanilla ice cream and caramal sauce (me & Irene).





It was the perfect meal.





And made for a lovely ending to a fun day!




(When Mariah had left the activities to come back to me, before Mallory could escape as well, the group took this cute picture):

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(Mallory's in the second row, dead center, sitting on her bum, waiving hi)


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Once again, Arissa is so lucky!




Last weekend was fabulous and full of fun....I call it a "birthday extavaganza", cause it was so much more than the word "party" conveys, and she had such a fun time.



She and her good friends from Drill Team celebrated Vanesa's 10th birthday, and they totally did it in stlye too!




Friday night was the pre-event slumber party, and then Saturday morning they got all done-up and headed out:

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to the:







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Us parents met them at the restaurant...they all looked SO cute in their 50's attire. Especially with the whole group decked out, it was awesome.




Jesse & I had just 1 little one in tow; Mallory was on an adventure of her own, trading in her poodle skirt for overalls to visist a local working-farm with her Grandma. She came home with two eggs "from real chickens" (Jesse asked her "aren't all eggs from real chickens?" and that perplexed her for a bit). She was so proud and excited.






So Mariah came with us to celebrate Miss V's special day:



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She was happy there were other little ones there too (Drill Team siblings--the usual gang). They danced and played:



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They got side tracked by these guys:



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The kids thought they were terrific....I thought they were cool but a little creepy so I snapped the pic and then we got the heck out of there and re-joined the party.






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How come all the girls have straws stuck in their hair?




Cause the waitress fancied them all up and gave them special do's:




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I love these next shots...




While Arissa & two of her straw-haired friends were in the photobooth, I peeked in the curtain and took these:



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:o)




And then, when our tummies were full, and our feet were danced-out, the girls were whisked away the same way they arrived:

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....in style.




Arissa absolutely could not believe she got to ride in a limo. She called me on their way there: "Mommy! Do you know where I am??? I. am. in a limo!!!". :o)

After all the excitement of the limosine-exit, Mariah was real dissappointed to drive home in my little old car. She cried at the unfairness of it all, and couldn't comprehend how I could be satisfied driving around in my VW when there were perfectly good sleek-looking cars with hot-tubs inside them like the one Arissa just took off in. I had to explain that maybe that's how Hannah Montana rolls, but most limos do not have hot tubs and that our car gets us where we need to go.




But I know that from now on, anytime she and Arissa get into one of our cars, they'll be wishing it was a limo. :o)




From there we picked up Mallory and headed off to phase 3 of the party: gifts and hanging-out time at the birthday girl's house.




Arissa got her a little frame that says "friends" and a picture of the two of them. And then, much more valuable to a 9-year-old girl: a Justin Bieber cd. :o)




And that was Arissa's birthday extravaganza weekend.







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I am so thankful for the sweet group of friends that Arissa has.
And I'm thankful for fun parties and poodle skirts...and the fact that my Grandma kept and preserved the one she made me for Halloween when I was in 4th grade, which Arissa wore to this party!

Friday night on "The Goodnight Show", Nina & Star made paper butterflies out of coffee filters, pipe cleaners, and water colors.


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So on Saturday evening, we made some too.


I love using coffee filters for crafts...they soak up the colors and swirl them around and always look so pretty.



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It was a fun craft...very simply and quick. The girls made butterflies for their Sunday School teachers, for Gary & Courtney, for a few of their friends, for Nana, etc.


After watching them make 5 or 6, I couldn't resist anymore and I made some of my own. When I was done I turned mine into a mobile which is hanging above the kitchen table. :o)




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And I also finished my very first crocheted item of clothing:



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I was so happy that I was able to actually follow the pattern. Crochet patterns are so much harder for me to follow than knitting. So I usually don't attempt them. But crochet projects are also generally faster than knitting, and with every other person I know having babies right about now, I needed something quick and gift-able. So I guess whichever baby wins the race and is first to be born, will be the one we give this dress to.

I can't keep up with all these babies though, I wish people would have spread their pregnancies out more. It really would have helped me out!

My little leader

We went to an awards dinner last week for "Student Leaders" from our school district.


Arissa was honored to be recognized.
She has loved every second ofbeing Vice Pres. She looks forward to the meetings and each and every extra responsibility they give her.


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Here's my girl and the rest of the "executive staff" :o) of MH elementary school:

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Each of the schools (8, total) did a little presentation about democracy.
Arissa's group got assigned parts and tried to dress up a little...hence the policewoman in the middle. The little guy on the left was a doctor, his lab coat is half off, Arissa was a "student", and the little dude next to her was a lawyer or a business man or something.
Anyways, it was cute. :o)
I'm sure not much of a leader, so it's neat to see Arissa stepping up and taking that role. And having so much fun at the same time.
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getaway

Last Friday, Nana wasn't feeling well and the girls were still on Spring Break so Jesse & I sacrificed {wink} and called in sick to work so we could take care of them.


We took off on a tropical island getaway:


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If you consider La Jolla to be tropical and an island. :o)

We headed up to La Jolla Cove, because every time we drive to La Jolla, we drive by the cove but there's never any parking within walking distance so we pass it by and move on.
But on this day, there was one special spot waiting just for us.

We checked out the tidepools and the caves, and then, of course, the waves & sand:

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Two things that don't happen on your everyday beach trip:

1) Arissa got pooped on.


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Technically, I guess you could say it was my fault.
For making her stand under a cliff so I could get a picture....
the same cliff that at least 3 dozen birds were perched on, with their backsides hanging over. Oops.

Arissa didn't think it was real funny at all...until we washed it off her.

We, however, thought it was pretty funny the whole time. :o)



2) This little guy swam right up to us:


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He would dissappear with a crashing wave, then re-surface again.
It was so cute and exciting to see!



Mariah gave it two thumbs up:


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My favorite part of the day was trying to get a nice picture of the girls in front a particular super pretty background.

The problem was that the rocks nearby were positioned in a way so that even a calm wave would rush up the rocks and crash down right where I wanted the girls to stand.
Wave after wave rolled in and crashed down, but the girls never did get soaked.
Nonetheless, trying to get them to focus on me and the camera instead of the booming wave they could hear coming....that was a challenge. And pretty fun entertainment!

They were all good, smiling laughing and playing around, when the waves were receeding....

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....but then when they heard the thunderous boom of it re-approaching, me and my camera couldn't hold their attention:

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So we moved over just a bit and my trusty "assistant" got off his bum :o) and helped me distract them and coax out some smiles:

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It was such a beautiful day, we could have happily stayed till the sun went down.

Except our stomachs started growling, so we happily headed off to Souplantation instead. :O)
But the good thing about this particular "tropical island" getaway spot is that we can go back on a whim any time we feel like it.....cause it just happens to be 20 minutes up the road.
No plane ticket or packing require. Can't beat that!


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