Saturday, November 29, 2008

More Auey Santos Magic!

Awhile back, I posted that Princess J had a little mini photo session with a local photographer and member of a mommy group I belong to. I am so happy that we did this! Auey is an amazingly talented photographer and a total sweetheart! Recently, I linked you all to her blog where there were a couple of photos of our princess, and now I am so happy to be able to share these two photos with you all here. These are the two from our session that I decided to purchase, but there were so many more I wanted! I had to contain myself since we are planning a family photo shoot with Auey sometime next month. I know I'll really want to go crazy then!

Please go check out her blog Photograffiti by Auey Santos and her official photography website Photograffiti.

Thank you so much Auey for sending the shots so I could share them on my blog!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Got Christmas Tree?

We do!!! Princess J had fun exploring it in the dark with all the lights on!
I am so excited for Christmas this year! It's going to be so much fun!

{Ha! We Were First!}

We had our lights up and turned on first in the neighborhood! Christmas is here and the kiddos loved all the lights! Yay G!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

I have so much to be thankful for. I know that with Thanksgiving, maybe that sentence is a little played out, but honestly, I should probably start every day by telling myself this. This year for Thanksgiving, we spent it at home, just the four of us. We had a full turkey meal with all the fixings and lots of leftovers! It was a lot of work to cook all of that, but it really didn't feel like work while I was doing it. We were supposed to go on a neighborhood walk this morning, but all the kiddos are still sick. Princess was up at 1am and just unhappy (screaming included) until about 3am. We watched two fun hours of Sesame Street...thank goodness for On Demand television! She was super sleepy when she got up, so the neighborhood walk was shelved. So far, we've been lucky enough to be able to have one humidifier and switch it between the kiddos, since generally they are not sick at the same time. This time, no such luck, so it was off to KMart for me today. I got in and got what I needed and got out. The place was super packed! I guess that KMart is the only big store doing Lay-A-Way now, so the line for that was HUGE! Yikes!

I am so thankful for above all, my sweet and amazing family! I couldn't ask for a better husband and father for my little ones. No matter what, he always puts us first. He is always willing to put his desires aside to make things easier for me and for whatever the kiddos need. I hope he knows that what I really want is for him to realize his own dreams (he knows what I'm talking abotu here) and that I'm willing to work extra hard and give things up to support him in that. As a matter of fact, nothing would make me happier than to see him do this something that he's been talking about since we met. I LOVE YOU G!
Little J has had an amazing year! When he was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome, we were devastated. Angelman Syndrome really does make life hard, challenging and frustrating sometimes...okay a lot of times. Little J faces so many challenges and frustrations and he does it with such amazing grace and fearlessness. He NEVER gives up. He keeps trying things over and over, no matter how long it takes him to master. We recently had a follow-up in San Diego with several doctors and professionals that had evaluated him just one year ago. One of the professionals said she was so impressed and amazed my his progress. I must be thankful to his therapists (Sheri and Wendy), his teachers and aides (Janice, Sandy, Connie and Aaron) and his doctors. Everyone just supports him and never gives up on him. This kid just brings a smile to my face every day.
Princess J is just one little character. She is such an independent little girl and knows exactly what she wants and you'd better not try to get in her way. She's not afraid to "voice" her opinion! She cracks me up to no end. After watching the struggles that Little J goes through, seeing all the accomplishments of this little girl is just amazing! She figures things out so quickly and just keeps us on the move all of the time. She is so caring for Little J too. Whenever Little J drops something, she will make sure to pick it up and give it back to him. She gets really upset when he gets in trouble (that goes both ways though, when she gets in trouble he gets really upset as well) I love that they "look out" for eachother! She really is just a sweet blessing and we are so lucky to have her.
I am also thankful for my extended family and my friends. Our families do everything they can to support us. Sometimes we are overwhelmed or just plain tired and may not say it enough, but we are thankful. I am so lucky to have recently reconnect with many good friends. I am so thankful that those of you who I have reconnected with have been so supportive of Little J, your commitment to try and walk with us at the next walk-a-thon is so greatly appreciated. I love seeing you, even if sometimes it's only on Facebook.
My Alpha Phi are true sisters and I love you guys soooo much!!!
We have been greatly blessed and we are thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

{Show Me Your Fork Skills!}

Our little Princess has been trying to spread her independent little wings lately. More and more she is not wanting our help with feeding. She usually finger feeds everything, but tonight I decided to give her a little fork and see what she would do with it. For a little while she was just holding it and finger feeding. I went about feeding Little J and kept watching her out of the corner of my eye. She kept looking at the fork and looking at her food. Finally, I went over and guided her hand with the fork in it and put her ravioli on the fork. I did this wither her a couple of times and then went back to help Little J with his dinner some more. All of the sudden, she starts using the fork for every other bite! She was so proud of herself and would clap evertime she would do it! It was so funny. After her dinner, I went to take the fork from her since it was cookie time, and she tried to eat the cookies with her fork. I don't remember how she ended up with two forks, but it was so funny.
Meanwhile, everyone has been sick around here. I think Little J brought a cold home from school and it is slowly making its' way through our family. We are ready for Thanksgiving, it will just be the four of us this year. I can't wait to make our nice little family turkey dinner! I already made the green bean casserole so tomorrow I just have to make the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. We'll be having a Pumpkin Cheesecake for dessert from the Cheesecake Factory! Yummy!!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Missing Friends....

I've been so lucky recently to be reconnecting with high school classmates as well as college friends and especially my sorority sisters. Recently one of my sisters has been posting old photos, so I stole these from her, since I'm lazy about scanning my own, but will get to it soon.
Anyway, 2 years ago my sweet sorority sister and friend Courtney Andreas Gray passed away after a battle with a rare form of Leukemia. I am so sad that I lost touch with her after college and that we never got the chance to reconnect. I am also sad that I wasn't there to be a support for her or our other friends when she was courageously battling Leukemia. I had no idea until it was too late. I remember reading the email from my sorority sister Verna. I was shocked and sad that day.
Thankfully, I have lots of good memories and fun times with her to look back on. I still miss her, but I'm so thankful that I've been spending time with Verna and Annie lately and that is something that I won't let change ever again.
So, take today and find those old friends you've been thinking of. Get back in touch with them and catch up on old times and make some fun new memories.
The photos above are of a fun cruise that Annie, Courtney and I took together in 1995 I think. Love these girls!
Thinking of Courtney today and always.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Post it like you stole it.....

and that is exactly what I did! I stole this from Jen's blog. The idea is that the things in bold are things you've done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo (you don't want me to do this me!)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (Dutch ancestors/not Filipino ancestors)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke (something else you don't want to hear again)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (At Burger King :D)
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (A very long long time ago)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (My brown Barbie!)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (From Burger King...the same day I was quiting no less! Already had another job at Baskin and Robbins in High School!)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (A few times in High School)
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby (Two!)
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit (not as someone being sued though)
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day (many times!)

Monday, November 10, 2008

San Diego....Al a Carte!

This was a quick trip to San Diego. Not much time for fun, since we had lots of appointments today and a few more tomorrow before we head home.
Little J has done really well down here. He is such a trooper! He had to be at his first appointment at 7:30 this morning and his last appointment didn't end until 2:30pm. They've taken blood, tons of vitals, asked lots of questions and poked and proded Little J to no end. Tomorrow will be a little more of the same. For those of you who don't know, Little J is participating in a couple of studies at Children's Hospital in San Diego. One has been a suppliment study and the other is just a natural history study for Angelman Syndrome. With such a rare disorder, I think it's important (as long as it's not medically risky) for Little J to participate in the quest to find a cure and treatments. While I'm not expecting miracles, there isn't anything wrong with hoping for them. Some of you donated to Little J's walk-a-thon team and this is where the money goes. To research and studies to help find a cure!
The airplane photos are of our flight out of Oakland. Little J was a bit of a wildman on the plane. He quickly figured out how to undo his seatbelt and he made my drink fly in the air when he kicked my tray! Crazy kiddo! There is also this cool ball contraption in the waiting room at Children's Hospital, Little J was fascinated by it. We actually sat there watching it for 30 or 40 minute, so not like Little J! This hospital is huge and it's getting bigger as well! Inside the main hospital is a McDonald's! There is also a Starbucks and a Quiznos inside one of the nearby satelite medical offices. Wow! If only Children't Hospital Oakland had all of that!
After our appointments, Little J and I went back to the hotel room, where he tried various times to escape from our room! If I hadn't locked the deadbolt, Little J would have been racing down the hallway!
Tomorrow we have a few more appointments and then we head to the airport for our flight home. I can't wait to get home and see my hubby and Princess J! This is the very first time I've been away from her since she was born, and I've missed her little face and sassy attitude.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Rock Your Vote!!!

What an exciting day for our country! They say there will be a record number of voters across the country! Regardless of who wins, today will be a milestone in history. I made sure my little ones were decked out today to remind everyone they came in contact with to participate! What an amazing opportunity we are given to vote and voice our opinions on the direction of our country! We are blessed to live in the United States, to have brave soldiers that risk their lives to serve our country and fight for all the rights we are given and to be able to have a voice in how our country is run. Make sure you are taking advantage of your opportunity to make you voice heard! GO VOTE!

If you don't vote, then as my dad used to tell me, when things don't go as you think they should, you don't have any right to complain. So, for the sake of the future of our country, the future of all of us and especially, the future of our children....GO VOTE!