Tuesday, October 23, 2012

You blink and another 4 months go by...



I have to say, I’m a little embarrassed that I haven’t updated this thing in so long.  I’ll be completely honest, we’ve been so busy, I haven’t even thought about my blog.  I suppose in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter, but I hate to not be journaling what’s going on in our world – especially when it comes to the girls.  I feel like if I don’t write about it, I’ll forget it.  There are so many special moments happening.   I know it’s impossible, but I’d like to not forget any of them.
                Chloe started school on August 13th.  It was sooo early!  She likes her teacher, Ms. Stella, and has met some new friends.  One girl, in particular, is Chloe’s new BFF.  Her name is Clara.  She’s cute as a bug, and the girls seem to get along so well.  Chloe is always coming home after school informing me that Clara is going to spend the night at our house that night (school night or not) – or that she is going to spend the night at Clara’s house.  I can only imagine the things these two are conjuring up on the playground every day.  Might I also add that Chloe has never done a sleep-over?  We have not forged that river yet, but I have a feeling it will be happening soon.  Clara’s mom and I have just met recently, so we’re working on letting the girls have more play dates so that we can get to know each other a little better.  I find it so fascinating that, ultimately, our children choose our adult friends.  Whomever my kids are playing with at school, we end up going on blind play dates with their parents.  It’s so nice to meet other down-to-earth families that have similar values.  J  Chloe has been learning her bones and organs and all of their functions.  (I think I mentioned in another post that she wants to be a doctor when she grows up).  It’s so fun to watch her little brain soak up all of these new things! 
                Olivia is causing trouble at every turn.  She’s such a little clown.  …and a bit of a tease, too!  I’ve told Chloe that I don’t like her to say, “Nannie, nannie, boo-boo…stick your head in doo-doo” to other kids.  She came home saying it recently, and had learned it from some kids in her class.  That sing-songy taunting was on the playgrounds when I was in school.  One would have hoped that something so annoying would have died a long time ago...no such luck.  Anyway, Olivia thinks it’s hilarious to say to Chloe.  She only says the “Nannie, nannie, boo-boo” part, but it drives Chloe insane.  Which only makes Olivia laugh more.  Olivia is running, jumping, and climbing everywhere and everything.  Her favorite color is yellow.  She knows the other colors, but if you ask her what color something is, she’ll tell you yellow – pause, then say the real color.  She’s gotten all four molars in the past few weeks.  That has been fun.  The poor girl was caught gnawing on her wooden crib at Grandma & Grandpa’s house last week.  She’s also had a cold lately, so between the excess mucous and the teething, some days are a little rough for Livie.  I was able to pull out the bins of clothes that I’ve been saving from Chloe’s days of being in 18M-2T – so Olivia’s wardrobe got a serious makeover in the past week.  I had forgotten some of the adorable clothes we have!  Another thing that Olivia and I have been doing lately is singing “Twinkle, twinkle Little Star” when we get out of the car in the evenings and are walking up to the front porch.  I hold Olivia, and she leans back a little bit so that she can look up at the stars.  I love the way her little face gazes up to the sky with such wonderment.  She puts her hands up and starts to sing and do the hand movements to the little star song.  She’ll say the first few words, then look at me, expecting me to join in – which of course, I do.  We walk a little more slowly to the front door than we normally would.  I keep reminding myself to cherish moments like these.  When we’re finished with the song, Olivia whispers “Yay stars!” and puts her arms straight up in the air.  Then, she gives me a giant hug.  So much of the time we’re rushing from place to place, I’m always working with timelines& deadlines at work,and Carlos has his never-ending syllabi and due dates for school ….can’t be late, can’t be late!, and we don’t make time for these little moments.  I told Carlos recently, that I feel like I’m missing out on a huge part of the girls’ lives.  I’m so thankful for my in-laws, but I feel that they see so many of the girls’ “firsts”.  I don’t begrudge them this, but I definitely feel that I’m missing out.  So, when I do have these special moments with my girls, I try to hold on to it as tightly as I can.  Every night after I put Olivia to bed, I lie down in Chloe’s bed with her, and read her a story.  Some days we just softly sing songs and talk about the day.  Oh, that girl can come with some crazy things to tell me.  It’s definitely a highlight of my day.  I should keep a small journal in my pocket so that I can write down all of the funny little things she says.  For example, every time Chloe brushes her teeth, she wants either me or Carlos to smell her fresh breath.  Last week, she just used mouthwash before school.  While I was helping her get into the car, she said, “Mommy, smell my breath!”  I lamented and said, “Mmm, fresh breath!” (which is what I always tell her)  She said, “Actually Mommy, I think my breath smells like minty wet dog.”  Where does she get this stuff?  On the way to school, she explained to me that next time, she’ll brush her teeth and use mouthwash – that definitely works better.
A few weeks ago, we drove up to the mountains to see the changing aspens.  They are so beautiful.  All of the bright colors reminded me of making the drive thru the Blue Ridge Parkway.  It was nice to get out of town (only about 10 minutes out), but nice to see trees and a little stream.  It was also just nice to walk around in the nice clean mountain air – if but for only a little while.  Olivia ended up having a meltdown, and Carlos wasn’t feeling very well, so we packed everybody back up and went home.  We did get some really sweet pictures of the girls and a few of the fam.  We should do this more. 
It’s almost Halloween!  Olivia is going to be a pink butterfly and doesn’t have a clue about this Halloween stuff, but Chloe has been plotting and planning her costume for months.  She’s been telling me that she’s going to be “Kung Fu Panda” for Halloween since this Summer.  Then she changed her mind to a mermaid.  Then back to KF Panda.  Then, she wanted to be Tink.  Then back to KF Panda.  I sat her down at our computer to look at some costumes, and of course, she immediately wanted to see the selection for KF Panda.  Upon perusing the panda pages, she declared, “Mommy, that’s way too much brown for MY Halloween costume!  Let’s think of another option.” (yes, option)  So we brainstormed a little bit, and decided that Mulan also did Kung Fu – AND her outfits were much prettier than Kung Fu Panda’s – because he’s a boy.  So she chose a pink flowery kimono with a flowered fan to put in her hair.  Nana ordered it for her, and she can’t wait to wear it.  There are a few Halloween functions that are coming up, and she’s planning on wearing her costume to all of them – whether costumes are required or not.  She asked me yesterday if Mulan ever curled her hair with sponge curlers.  I told her I didn’t think so, she wore her hair twisted up in a type of bun.  She frowned.  So we may have a curly-haired Mulan on our hands.  She can’t wait!  I can’t wait to take the pictures!  Stay tuned! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Time sure does fly!


Holy Cow!  How is it that so many months have gone by?!?  I must say, we’ve been pretty busy.  I suppose a bulleted list will suffice to update everyone on the craziness of the past few months. 
·        -- Carlos completely re-did our backyard.  He put down sod, and fenced the grassy area for the kids to play – swing set will be going up shortly
·        -- I Produced 14 shows with over 1,000 children, a 13-piece live band, and a police dog in April/May
·         --Helped out with some of the shows with similar numbers for NDI New Mexico’s program in ABQ
·       --  Chloe got a Butterfly kit for her birthday last year – and we finally got around to ordering our caterpillars – they came in the mail, as promised.  They were skinny, tiny things that turned into rather large, fat things, and also, as promised, formed chrysalides and hung out for a week and a half before turning into Painted Lady Butterflies.  This was actually a very cool project!  I would definitely do it again!  Both girls really loved it!  Chloe let the butterflies go free the day we left to go to SC---v
·         --Took a break and flew to SC with the family, courtesy of Aunt Roz J
·        -- Stayed in a lovely house and got utterly and completely spoiled in Hilton Head, SC for several days with Rusty, Aunt Roz and my clan
·      --   Chloe started swimming with water wings instead of a life vest for the first time – Thank you, Aunt Roz!  She got tossed high in the air by Uncle Rusty – and got to see a live alligator in the backyard!
·         Both girls and Carlos went to the beach on the East Coast for the first time.  Everyone held tiny fiddler crabs, it was VERY exciting!  We also made some small sand castles and sand “Cakes” – a first for both of my girls!
·       --  Got to visit with Lauren, Jon, Dad & Beth (Dad & Beth got to meet Livie)
·       --  Held/organized auditions for our Summer Institute
·      --   Facilitated said Institute for 3 weeks and 140 kids in June
·       --  Rusty, Mom, & Court (+ 2 rat dogs – they’re really not so bad) drove to SF to visit for Chloe’s 4th Birthday
·       --  Carlos made New Mexican fare for everyone one of the nights that Mom, Court, and Rusty were here.  It did not disappoint! Beans, posole, calavacitas, roast beef burritos and red chile! Yum! 
·        -- Chloe got around 18 new dresses from Nana for her birthday, and has been prancing around in them every day possible
·     --    Chloe had a great birthday party at the park on the other side of the block from our house.  She had some of her school friends attend, as well as several of my co-workers with little ones, and some great friends.  Of course, several of the extended Montoya clan came + Great Grandpa LeBow & Mom, Court, and Rusty
·     --    Instead of putting frosting on the cupcakes, my dear friend Tara squirted whipped cream on the cupcakes and let the kids decorate the cupcakes with sprinkles all by themselves!  Needless to say, they were all on sugar highs before leaving!

·    --     Chloe, Olivia, and I got to go swimming with Nana, Court, and Rusty – everyone had a blast!
·    --     We’ve been picking lots of apricots from our big tree in our backyard.  This year, the tree has been full with fruit.  Rita made some blueberry apricot muffins – the girls LOVED them!  Hope all of the family likes Apricots b/c that’s what you’re getting for Christmas!  J
·     --    Carlos has had a few doctors appointments lately – they really haven’t told us anything.  Apparently, the Lupus antibody levels are very low in his system – which is good.  However, he is still experiencing lots of weird symptoms – which leads he and I to believe there is something else going on.  One doctor told him that he needs to be careful of some abdominal pain he’s experiencing, as it is often a symptom of cancer.  She did not refer him to anyone, but instructed him to go see his primary care physician, as “cancer is not her specialty.”  We’ve recently made the decision to get him to the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix.  Thankfully, they are very willing to set up payment plans and work with us as much as possible as far as the cost goes.  We having been putting this trip off for fear of incurring more medical debt, but we feel that it’s worth it to know what exactly is wrong with Carlos and have an extra bill, as opposed to the alternative. 
·  --       Carlos finished his first year of college on the Dean’s List.  He’s got a 4.0.  He has already received notice that he will be receiving some more scholarships in the Fall for his good merit. Yay!
·   --      Olivia is really starting to have a little personality.  She is a definite Mama’s girl.  She loves her Daddy too, but if I’m at home, she is my shadow.
My dear friend Tara, helped out at the party and made an extra 2 dozen cupcakes to help a sister out! So grateful!
·         She has just recently learned to walk in heels.  She nabs Chloe’s play high heels and scuffles around...It’s so dang cute!  I just can’t stand it!
·     --    She says “Chloe!”, Mummy, Daddy, Cody, Potty, Geen (green), Bue (blue), purpo (purple), yellow, dead (red), no way!, No no no no, Ease! (Please), Ku (Thank You), Aa keen (All clean!), Poop, Caca – thank you, Chloe, Baby Beyuga (Baby Beluga) and probably several other things that I’ve forgotten.  Her latest, and absolutely cutest thing is to point at herself and say “I”, cross her hands over her heart and say “wuv”, point at you with both chubby little hands and say “you!”  I MUST get this on video!
·       --  I taught myself to knit recently.  I stumbled upon a really great blog - aestheticnest.com – that persuaded me to do so.  I also found some old knitting needles from Carlos’s Aunt Frena when we were cleaning out the back shed.  Anneliese is so talented, and has 3 little girls.  She makes clothes for them via knit, crochet, and sewing.  Anyway, she has an adorable crochet pattern for a little girl’s cardigan(crocheted) that I decided to make for Olivia and another pattern that she pulled from lionbrandyard.com that is also very sweet (knit) which will be for Chloe.  I just finished the crocheted sweater last night.  I just need to weave in the ends and sew on the buttons. (Pictures to come)  My next project is the knit sweater for Chloe.  I let her choose the yarn for it, and she chose a really pretty deep purple.  I have figured out how to knit and pearl – now I just need to read this pattern and make it happen.  We’ll see how it goes!  We also found some RAINBOW yarn that has hologram sequins in it.  I could only find one skein, so I promised Chloe I would make her a new hat with it.  She REALLY REALLY wanted me to make her a sweater out of this stuff, but (oh darn!) we could only find the one skein.  I will post pictures when I finish this too.  Chloe was a little disappointed that I started the sweater for Olivia, and did not have anything started for her.  I started a few rounds of a hat for her.  Oh Lordy, this thing looks like a tie-dyed disco ball.  I can’t wait to finish it.  Yes, I know it’s July – but we’ll be ready for Winter.  Hologram sequins and all!  I’m also thinking about putting a fleece lining inside the rainbow sparkle hat.  That will be phase 2.
·      --   We tried to put the girls into the same room to go to bed the other night – that was an EPIC FAIL.   Some of Olivia’s furniture was moved around, and she was not happy about it.  She screamed for quite a while before finally falling asleep.  Trust me – she was fed, clean, loved, kissed, hugged, and everything else, she just did not want her bed moved. 
·    --     Since our return from our trip to SC, I cannot find the battery charger for our camera!  I’m sorry for the lack of pictures of the kids lately.  I did not even have a camera at Chloe’s birthday party!  Thankfully, Court and Tara took some pictures, so I’m not at a total loss.  I think I will have to break down and buy a new charger.  The girls have been doing so many amazing things lately, it kills me to not get it on camera!  I will remedy this, I promise!
·     --    We’ve been to a couple of birthday parties, a couple of bbqs, and have just been hanging out as a family. 
·       --  Oh yes, in the past 4 months, Chloe and Olivia have acquired 4 new cousins!  Julian was born on Valentine’s day, Wyatt was born in March, Dhiann was born in April, and Kailyn was born just 2 weeks ago.  Looks like they’ll all be getting crocheted baby hats this Winter!
I think that’s all for now.  I’m going to get better at updating this thing.  I swear, there just aren’t enough hours in the day, but I’ll do my best.

Much love,
Ali