Yesterday I was privileged to spend the morning with my best friends in the world Chris and Alissa while Alissa gave birth to her gorgeous baby boy Bridger. It was a very new experience for me to be on the 'other' side of a delivery and I have to say it was just as exciting. I waited outside the door to surgery with her mom Jeanie. We stood there so quietly waiting to hear that telltale cry. We never did hear it because sweet Bridger is such a calm baby! We did hear his daddy's voice however and soon he came through the doors with the little guy. Much bigger than we thought he'd be at 8 lbs 7 oz and as cute as can be.
I was so honored to be there, the nurse even allowed Jeanie and I to be in the nursery with Chris and the baby while they performed his exams and cleaned him up. I took loads and loads of pictures but I am not going to post them until I know that Chris and Alissa have had a chance to share them. Even though this was a repeat c-section for Alissa, I have never seen such a calm, quiet and peaceful birthday for a baby. It felt like we were the only ones in the hospital and the staff there was amazingly caring and nice.
I want to congratulate them and their little girl Ruby on the birth of Bridger. He is a new friend for life and we all can't wait to watch him grow and become another cherished member of our family.
Today we were off of school for Good Friday and decided to make the most of it. Yesterday Was Aunt Kelli's birthday so we thought we'd pick her up and head out for pedicures (nice toes for Easter Sunday!) and lunch and shopping.
I had received a discount card from Kohl's in the mail with a flyer stating that today was the 'biggest sale of the year', not one to turn down a good deal we headed off to check it out. It's very rare that the girls and I go shopping for clothes. In fact it almost never happens, we just buy something we see when it's on sale and we need it. So trying on clothes is a definite treat. All of the girls had a ball picking out dresses and traipsing around the dressing room.
We made out like bandits! We bought $470 worth of clothes for just $160 and then I also got a $30 gift card back to spend next week. :) Tax-free day + 20% off+ great sale = YAY!
Gabby got a super cute bag that holds her supplies so nicely.
After shopping we headed to The Counter where you can custom build your own burger!
When Gabby builds a burger she really builds a burger!
Lastly we stopped at Sur La Table. Mom gave me an immersion blender for my birthday but I already have one so I got to do a little shopping!
I have been blogging for a long time. I've always been a writing/journaling type girl so blogging always sort of fell in line with my way of expressing myself. I didn't have a computer from the time I could breathe like a lot of people- shh..I am a little bit old, I remember when no one had a computer and they were huge, clunky and cost about $15,000. We got our first computer when AJ was born, roughly 8 1/2 years ago. There were no 'blogs' per se back then. Or if there were they were probably a bunch of techno jargon written by programmers. So me, wanting to share my experiences and pictures of my family, started a website at the now defunct geocities. This before it was Yahoo! Geocities. Before Google. Does anyone remember when Yahoo was new? They were going to take over the world until a little engine that could called Google started picking up steam and crawled over the hill chugging , 'I think I can! I think I can!" Yahoo is still there of course, but it stands in the shadow of Google, and Geocities is no more. I didn't even realize it was gone until I tried in vain to seek out my old site.
After awhile I abandoned the geocities website and for a millisecond tried my hand at coding on Angelfire. Being a mom to three little ones I just did not have time to learn it all and so I quit blogging for awhile. About a year later I found a site called Diaryland and it was my first introduction to the actual 'blogging' format. It was actually called a weblog and not just a personal family website. There was nothing fancy about Diaryland. You could customize your font, give the blog a title and choose a background a font color. Life got busier and busier for me and I only posted on it for a short while.
In 2004 blogging had taken over the web. Not to the extent it has today but the Mommy blog certainly existed. I decided to give it a shot. I still enjoyed writing, pouring out my thoughts and feeling, sharing my daily adventures with the blog reading public. A month or so before Ginny, my 4th child turned 1 I started Pieces Of Us. I don't remember why I chose Typepad, other than that I was confused by Blogger and not a fan of the style. There weren't a lot of bloghosting sites at that time, at least not for the amateur blogger, so Typepad it was. And so began years of blogging. Since I began blogging has exploded, it's morphed into microblogging- enter Twitter. I guess I am just old school because I tried to tweet but just haven't' been able to love it like I do blogging. I like to sit down, ponder and write it all out. Snippets are not my way, I am long winded! I need more than 300 words.
Blogging has not only been a way for me to share with others, it has so many other benefits. I have used it as a cross reference of my life. When I can't remember a specific date, event, cute kid quote...I have probably blogged about it and I can find it. Mommy Blogs are the best friend of those with Mommy BRAIN. No more of the "Which kid was it that used to..." It's like a scrapbook without the mess of glue dots and deckle scissors. I can't imagine not blogging. It's a peek in the windows for the outside world, and a peek back through time for me.
Just for fun I am linking a smattering of old posts, sort of a patchwork quilt of words.
I can't even process how much fun I had on my trip to Seattle with Anissa. I don't think I have laughed so hard in a very long time nor drank so much coffee in one weekend. Never mind if it was decaf or not. Jillian and I packed up and headed to the airport early Friday morning. The older three kids wanted to see us off and that was nice. Mike dropped me at the curb and I lugged my bag to the checkout praying and hoping it wasn't overweight...it wasn't. Then we went off through security without a hitch and did the hurry up and wait for two hours. My plane was delayed a bit so we waited a long time and we were at the lovely small Burbank airport so there is NOTHING to do there while you wait. Jilly crawled on the floor and got nasty dirty but I needed to wear her out! Finally we boarded and I was lucky enough to get an extra empty seat. She spent the flight looking out the window and sleeping and was an absolute dream. For the record Alaska Airlines moves up another notch on my good list for being very acommodating to a nursing baby. We landed on time and made our way down to baggage to meet up with Anissa and Addi. It was so exciting to see them waiting for us! Addi had a big grin (almost as big as Anissa's). Our first round of business was to get transportation to the hotel. A very nice desk lady told us to get a shuttle and so that is what we did and we were tickled that they had car seats provided and everything because the thought of riding them on our laps was scary. We arrived at the Ramada and I got us checked in.
The offered us two rooms with one room for free but we turned it down because we wanted to stay up all night and girl-talk..and knit. The room was nice, just the right amount of space. The girls crawled around and had fun climbing on our suitcases. They bonded quickly and Jillian was yelling "ADDI! ADDI!" in no time at all. By now we were ready for some good Seattle Seafood was we loaded the babies into their respective K'Tans and strolled into town. Although we felt like we might die from hunger we did NOT want to eat just anything. Finally we found a huge building that claimed to have restaraunts inside. After a short elevator snafu rocketing us out of the building a la Charlie and the Chocolate facotry (not really but almost! It was scary) we found the first of our many eating out locations. Palomino And yes, we took babies there, funny how that sat us off in a remote corner. We both ordered crab cakes and greens on a bed of marscapone polenta and it was A-MA-ZING. The girls shared a bowl of 4 cheese penne but Jillian was still coughing bad at this point and really did not eat. In fact she did not eat at all on Friday. A stop for coffee and then we headed back to the hotel for some rest. Jillian was on speed or something because that baby would not fall asleep! Or rather she would fall asleep only to wake immediately upon laying down and giggle hysterically. She thought sleeping on the floor was just too cool and exciting. Addi was snoozing blissfully in her scary industrial crib jail (note to Ramada-Upgrade your baby sleeping recpticles please!) Finally Jillian fell asleep next to me in bed and that is where she slept both nights. Both babies slept through the night without a hitch and we were so fortunate about that! The next morning we woke up with an intense desire for ...coffee. After dressing the babies we headed across the street to the fabulous Top Pot. Honeslty, the best doughnuts you will ever eat. The mochas left nothing to be desired as well. Huge steaming mochas, see picture. Jillian loved their fresh blueberry muffins and I was so happy that she was eating again. We left Top Pot and made our way to a yarn shop we had read about. They were having a moving sale so we wanted to take advantage. So Much Yarn was such a neat little store even if they had never heard of 12" circulars. We browsed, petting yarn and helping Addi avoid the adorable dogs that were tormenting her for kisses. I bought yarn to make a kimono and petal hat for Jilly. Sigh...so much beautiful yarn, the store is appropriately named.
Leaving the yarn shop we strolled down to Pike Place Market. On the way down we needed to stop and nurse the nurslings and a homeless street musician offered us assistance in finding a place to sit. We sat, we nursed, we strolled along. Suddenly the same musician was ahead of us and it was eerie how he had ended up there when he had just been behind us. He asked if he could play us a song to earn money for his breakfast and we were honored to assist him. He sang quite well actually. Pike's is an adventure. Street musicians, cat whisperers, piano players, crowds of people and fresh fresh food everywhere. We took it all in and so did the babies. Oh, wait...Jillian was asleep. She zonked out and slept for 2 hours in the BabyHawk while we shopped. We found the mecca (for me) of the entire trip. Kitchen Basics which has the largest selection of Fiestaware (Retired and current) in about 4 states. I made my chocies but we did nto buy so we would not have to lug everything around til the end. More shopping followed, browsing and sightseeing...and coffee. It was about time to met Berritt and her 4 girls for lunch at Anthony's at Pier 66. Berritt was stuck in traffic so we looked around and enjoyed the sea air. Finally we all sat down to lunch. I had a phenomenal Alder Planked Halibut with Beurre Blanc which is one of my favorite things to eat hands down. Beurre Blanc on anything is amazing. It was so fun to be able to chat and enjoy each other's company over lunch. Of course we had to take pictures of Addi, Jilly and Marisol all together. They were adorable. Finally we were off to purchase the things we had looked at earlier. And drink more coffee. The babies were behaving so well, we were so proud of them. I bought some raspberries and Anissa bought some blackberries which we lugged back to our hotel and polished off for snack. We had arrived back at the hotel at 5pm and we realized that we had been gone since 8:30am. I could not believe the girls were not upset and fussy! What a long day! But they were wonderful and happy and adorable.
Not to be sedentary for too long we packed them back up and went over to the Space Needle. Our original plan was to eat dinner up at the top in the spinning restaurant but the only reservation available was for 9:45. Do people eat that late? Not with babies. We waited in line for about 30 minutes to take the elevator up to the top. That was an experience! I am glad I did as we had never done that when we lived in the Pacific Northwest. We fed the girls some yogurt at the top of the needle and then came back down to buy some gifts for the kids back home. And $8.00 pens. Must satiate Anissa's desire for office supplies. by now it was about 8:30pm and we were so hungry for dinner so we made it back to a pizza place we had passed. But not before Anissa spotted a man on a segway and had to take a picture. Zeek's pizza was so good! We had a salad of greens and cashews and split a Greek Pizza with Kalamata olives that was so very good, Anissa snuck some back to the hotel for midnight snack. The walk home was idyllic and we saw a horse and carriage and also a glass blower in a shop. We really did not see a lot of children on our trip but we learned from Berritt it was because we were staying in BellTown which is more catered to the yuppie set and their little dogs. Nevertheless it was a really nice area. back at the hotel the babies crashed out pretty easily and we stayed up all night knitting and giggling which might have been my favorite part of the whole trip. Even if morning came far too early. The morning meant it was back to Top Pot for more doughnuts and Mochas including one doughnut to stash away for the plane ride. Then back to meet out shuttle and head to the airport. We had time to shuffle around the airport and shop some more (interestingly our shopping interests once more leaned towards food). Anissa waited with me at my gate since my flight left sooner. The babies waved goodbye to each other, we hugged and parted. The flight home was nice and uneventful and Jillian was once again a good traveller.
We cannot wait to do this trip again! What a blessing to have such a wonderful friend. Anissa, I am so glad we were able to do this and can't wait til next year, One more year of babies fly free!
I love summer because we get to spend a lot of time going to the library. We have been to many libraries in our area but we have finally found the one we like the best. The Camarillo Library is amazing! It's not too far from us and we can return books here in town since it's in the same system as our miniature sized library here. Things I love about the Camarillo Library:
Large amount of books to choose from
HUGE Children's Area
You can read books to the kids in an enormous wrecked Pirate ship
Self-Checkout. This is the best invention ever. waiting in line with 5 kids all getting several books each plus my own books and then waiting even more while a painfully slow librarian scans each book is not my idea of fun. At this branch you run your card under a reader, sit your WHOLE stack of books on a pad and it list all the books you are checking out on a screen and then you print your receipt. Takes all of 10 seconds and you're done.
Cafe! So nice to take all your books out to the patio and have a sandwich and coffee while you read your new library book.
We cannot wait to start the Summer reading program. I have already started our own version of Accelerated Reading with the kids. I give them points based on difficulty of the book read and their comprehension. When they reach 500 points they get a cool prize.
Our local May parade was last Saturday, it was SO hot but I enjoyed seeing 4 of my kids in the parade. A week or so before the parade I received a call fro our congressman Elton Gallegly's wife asking if some of my kids would like to ride on the old fashioned firetruck with them. This was the opening to the parade. Maddy and Gabby were already riding on the Softball float so Ginny and AJ decided to ride on the firetruck. My mom rode with them so I could stay on the sidelines with Caleb (who was feeling under the weather) and Jillian. Here are some pictures from our day. :)
Lisa- The Blogger
This is me. I like to think I am complex and multi-faceted but I think much of the time I am a silly, zany, free-spirited person who really enjoys life. I like to make people happy, I like to be happy. I am a sanguine through and through. I love crafting, Pinterest, gathering ideas, computer stuff, watching movies, sleepovers and hugging on my offspring. I don't like internet haters who assume to 'know' me just by what they read here. There is a reason this is called 'Pieces' Of Us. It's just a small peek in the window. You may think you know, but you have no idea.
Mike- The Sportsman
Mike is more than just a sportsman but he does like to shoot a deer now and then. In his other spare moments which are few and far between he is taking college courses to finish his degree or tending to his pack as Cubmaster. He loves to spend time with the kids and they think he is pretty great even if he is a goofball who loves to embarrass them.
Madeline- The Free Spirited Bohemian One
This kid could be happy with just some books, a drawing pad and a pencil. She has an aptitude for art and has really excelled at drawing over the past year. She is patient and kind but has a mischievous twinkle in her eye. Maddy is dependable, if you want something done, she's your girl and she does it with a cheerful spirit.
Gabriella- The Creative Ray of Light
Gabby has sparkle, she has pizzazz, she has talent. She is the kid you never have to tell to practice the piano instead you tell her to take a break. She loves to chat with her friends on the computer (what teen doesn't?) and write stories with her twin sister. She's a practical joker and has a terrific sense of humor. Did I mention she is also a talented actress as well?
AJ- The Deep Thinker
This boy is going places! AJ is always thinking. He is a true philosopher pondering the whys of everything but he is also an inventor/engineer also determining the hows. He spends hours building and taking things apart. We worry that he will one day blow up the house but for now he is pretty darn useful at optimizing our computers and rewiring things that break around here.
Genevieve Audrey- The Spunky One
Spunky doesn't even begin to describe it. She is a social butterfly and she loves to sit and chat as long as her victim will listen. Ginny is a tiny little thing but her spirit is huge and she's smart to boot. She is proving to be an excellent big sister and is teaching Jilly the ropes.
Caleb Allen- The Littlest Man
He doesn't like it when you run your fingers through his hair so we do it all the more. Caleb is just so cute and snuggly. He is always full of enthusiasm whether it be positive or negative. He either really loves something or he doesn't like it at all. We love him regardless.
Jillian Clementine- The Boss
She may be small but she makes up for it big time. Jillian likes to let people know who is in charge and we often have to take her down a peg... or five. She says funny things so often that she has her own blog Jillyish. She loves to use huge words like intrusive and incredible or any other adjective that shouldn't come out of a three year old. She will also tell you that she is too shy to say Hi but don't believe it because she is pure drama.
Jess..ica- She hiccups
She may not be blood but we claim her as one of us. Honestly, I don't know what I'd do without her around. She makes us laugh and she can sing like a hamster. Everyone needs a friend with a hamster voice. Now she'll probably ask me to take this down but I'm not gonna. Because we love her.