Monday, February 28, 2011


I was 27 when I was pregnant with Paige and read every single pregnancy and baby book I could find. I think I had 5 books on names alone and I am pretty sure I read every single name in all of them! Since I did not find out until she was born whether or not she was a boy or a girl, everything was neutral, but deliberately so. When I was younger and thinking about the family I would have someday, I always thought I'd have boys. I knew I really wanted an old fashioned name, but nothing popular, so her girl name Paige seemed perfect! Her boy name was Devon which was her father's choice. He wanted Devon for a boy or a girl, but I really didn't even like the name all that much. After she was born, I couldn't have imagined her having been a boy! Her middle name Elizabeth was for my grandmother.

When I was having DJ, I HAD to find out if he was going to be a boy or a girl... I really wanted to plan this time, mainly because Paige had so many adorable clothes that I wanted to be able to use them for her baby sister... which this time around I was so hoping for. Well, I had an ultra sound in the doctors office and he said it was a girl! (I didn't have another confirming it -- I was only 30) I was very excited to name my second baby Olivia ~ went well with Paige, and it wasn't as popular 11 years ago as it is now. But you know, it never felt right to me when people referred to my belly as Olivia. So I chose David as a boy name just in case. I do have to mention that my dad, my uncle and my brother are all named David, so it was kind of a no brain-er. I did however, think that he (if by chance it was a he) should be called something other than Dave or Davey. My other grandmother was Josephine, so if by chance, (haha) I had a boy -- he would be David Joseph and we would call him DJ.
DJ wore a lot of pink as a newborn.

Mike and I picked out Kelly's names even before her first ultra-sound. Being an >cough< older mother, I had many. Every single one said she was a girl, and every single time, Mike refused to believe it. (big sigh) We didn't really look though the name books, we both just liked the name Kelly, and it went well with Paige, David -- and Carol and Mike. Kelly's boy name was Nathan or Nathanial. With all the people saying she was a girl, we never really picked a final one, but we would have called *him* Nate. My middle name is Anne and so was Robyn's (Mike's mom) so, Kelly Anne.
On a side note, Mike did have ridiculous names that he threw at me the entire 9 months. Again, claiming she was a boy ---

I think I have mentioned that I have known Mike since he was in the 8th grade. His best friend, who introduced us, is also named Mike. Everyone back then always called my husband Mikey. I called him that up until maybe 10 years ago. Well since I turned 40 during my last pregnancy, I had no less that a million ultra-sounds and every single one said BOY!
Well I just had to have my own little Mikey ~
But finding him his middle name was so difficult. Mike went back to suggesting Maverick, etc... ugh. I wanted Tristan after Brad Pitts character's name in Legends of the Fall -- one of our favorite movies. Didn't seem right though. It came to the point where Mike just told me to pick something. Well that didn't make it easier! Now all the name books are online sites, and none of them very helpful.

For years Mike has been quoting a line in Point Break to the kids, when ever he wants them to to bring him two of anything he says, "Utah, get me two!" or just "Utah" and they know what he means.
As sort of a joke, along with changing DJ's name to Forrest and naming the new baby Bubba, I threw out Utah as his middle name.

Mikey Utah.
Nobody really understands it but us.
Oh, his (always have a back-up!) girl name was Isobel.

Here is the clip from the movie Point Break!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Book Reviews and Life by DJ

DJ was on a site called guys read  posting reviews of books he has read. He was getting really excited when he found a book that he had read that wasn't on it -- and wanted me to read his reviews and asked if I could tell *everybody* to read them too. So I suggested he start a bog, and helped him set it up.

Book Reviews and Life by DJ

He would be so thrilled if you left him a comment, and overjoyed if you follow him!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

yelling hippos

I am going to start this by saying that I rarely ever tell a stranger's kid how to behave. Mainly because I don't want anyone ever thinking it's okay to yell at one of my kids, but also it's not my job and I don't like confrontation or drama.
Kelly wanted to go to the zoo for her birthday. Well, actually, she wanted to fly to Ohio and see her cousin Solana for her birthday, but we had to settle for her 2nd choice...
DJ and Kelly are off school this week, so we drop Paige off at her school and we get to the zoo early enough to see the bears get fed. One of the things I love about being in the city is that we get to go to the zoo often enough that we never feel like we have to see everything in one day. The train is running, so we ride the train -- and let me tell you, Mikey LOVES the train! He giggles and laughs the entire ride. It is super cute!
We have a new hippo at the zoo, so of course we have to go check it out. Next to the enclosure is a near life size bronze hippo that looks like he is half in the water, for the kids to sit and climb on. You know, it's surrounded by the squishy play mat stuff --

While DJ and Kelly are climbing on the statue hippo, Mikey and I are checking out the real hippo and Mike is sitting on the other side of it with the stroller. I am keeping an eye on them, but not paying too close attention. Then I hear DJ ask a little boy younger than Kelly, "Hey, are you trying to annoy her on purpose?" So I send DJ over to Mike to explain why he said that to the kid. He tells him that this little boy keeps following Kelly to where she is on the hippo and gets next to her and pushes her off. He has done this 4 or 5 times at this point. DJ goes back to playing and Mike just called across and told me what was going on. So now, I am paying closer attention.
For a few minutes DJ and Kelly are the only kids there and are leaping over the hippo -- then the little boy came back, along with some other kids, so I made them stop so no one would get hurt and the other kids could climb on it. I watch this boy try and get to Kelly again, but DJ put his body in front of her and the kid backed off. DJ didn't say anything to him, or touch him at all. And at this point, because Kelly is not being hurt, I am really just curious to see how DJ will handle the situation.
Mikey is just sort of running around in a circle while I pretend to chase him, when I hear DJ call me. I look up to see DJ sitting on the hippo and this little boy trying to push him off. He can't do it, DJ is too big, but he is not stopping and DJ is looking at me not knowing what to do --
So I step over to them and say, "We keep our hands to ourselves." I didn't shout, or even look directly at the little boy. He takes his hands off DJ and I take the two or three steps back over to Mikey.
All of a sudden, some woman comes running at me screaming, "Don't talk to my son!"
Well, I don't like to be yelled at --
and honestly, I don't remember all the things I shouted back at her.
But I did tell her her kid was over here pushing other kids and her she just kept yelling, "He's Three!" over and over, and "You should have come and found me!"
I think that was the point where Mike stood up and shouted back, asking her where she was the whole time her kid was pushing everyone --- and telling her if he was only three, she shouldn't have been so far from him.

She grabbed her little boy and kinda hurried away, telling me to f*** off over her shoulder. Mike told me later that I called her a dumb b**** right before that, but I really don't remember saying it.

I still cannot figure out why this woman came at me and was so aggressive.

It was strange, after she scurried away, I looked up and we were surrounded by other parents asking what happened and if I was okay. One mom even said she had had her camera ready to take pictures if need be and another told me not to let it ruin our day. Someone else even said she noticed that DJ never once pushed the little boy back. (Of course not!)
We collected the kids and brought them to the cafe for lunch. Mike of course, being a man, was hoping for chance to confront them again... and I'm trying to ignore my own feeling of wanting just to leave and go home... So we are in the cafe and Mike has the kids at a table while I was getting the food as the same woman was about to walk in. Mike made eye contact with the guy that was with her -- and was hoping to say something to him, when they turned around and left.

I am so used to how big a man my husband is that I am surprised by it sometimes. I mean, nobody ever yells at him.

I wasn't going to write about this, but I had a hard time sleeping for thinking about it. I often ask the kids (usually DJ) when they are angry or they are crying over something, if there is a better way they could have handled it, and I can't help but think I should have handled things differently.
I don't know.
Maybe I am just still mad.

Last night, I am snuggling with Kelly and talking about the day, when she says, "Mama, you got to argue with someone today".
So I ask her why she thinks I was arguing.
"Because that other Mama wasn't teaching her boy that he should keep his hands off people."
I ask her if she was upset by any of it.
"No, only I didn't like being pushed."

Well, okay then.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Kelly Anne

Since I was 35 when I was pregnant with Kelly, I had many more ultra sounds than I did with Paige and DJ. Every single one, the tech told us she was a girl -- Mike refused to believe it every single time. He was wrong! LOL
The night before my scheduled c-section, I was having contractions. This is not an unusual occurrence for me, but these were pretty intense. I, however, choose to stay in my comfy bed and go to the hospital in the morning as planned. In the early morning of the 22nd, Mike and I left for the hospital on the picturesque road from Hidden Valley Lake to St. Helena. It was even snowing on our way there! Robyn and Vic were getting the kids ready and bringing them a little later.
We check in and get ready. And wait. For a while. They rest of our little family shows up. The doctors were so nice, they were letting Robyn come into the OR with us, so Vic was in a family waiting area with Paige and DJ. Now we are just waiting for the OR to be available.
I was walking around the room and I got back up on the bed and feel a rush of water -- ! I look at Mike and tell him that I think my water broke... Yes, I have had two babies before, but I have had 2 scheduled c-sections before, so this is a whole new thing for me! Sure enough, she was picking the day for her birthday no matter what --
We get to the OR and Robyn and Mike get all suited up. The staff are bantering back and forth saying how rare it was to have a "dry birth". Oh, haha. I hate the hot pillow thing they put on me, but they won't take it off. Can we do this now?
I will tell you that Mike took some GREAT pictures of Kelly being born. I am not sure why they came out as good as they did, because he wasn't looking at all while he took the pictures, but they look professional. In fact, I put them together in a coffee table book. They may not be to every one's taste (you can see her half in half out) so I won't post them here.
They finally pull her out and you hear a collective "oh, wow". The doctor asks Mike to take a picture -- of her cord. It is tied in a "true knot". Thankfully, my babies have extra veins in their cords and they are unusually thick. (Kelly has THE cutest bellybutton)
They clean her up and measure her: 9 lbs 14 1/2 oz and 22 inches @10:35 am My big girl! Mike gets to hold her -- and then Robyn gets to hold her ~
As they are wheeling us back into our room, Vic makes them stop in the hall so he can take pictures --

 Her brother and sister are so excited to hold her!

She is such a good baby -- and like her big sister, she is picking up her head and looking around!

Today, my sweet Kelly girl is 5!

Monday, February 14, 2011

mama's HALF birthday

The day has always been a kinda funny one for me. It is my half birthday and I used to make everyone celebrate that instead of Valentine's Day. I even used to count down the days... I was very serious about the whole thing. Also, my grandmother, who I was especially close to, died on Valentine's Day. So really, the day has never been a romantic one for me. I do however, enjoy it as a kid day and a sort of special "we love each other" family day.

I was the first girl that Mike ever gave flowers to, so I really get a thrill when he gets them for me. I woke up this morning to a bouquet for me and one for each of the girls, along with stuffed animals for each of us. So cute! All this from the guy who even now thinks Valentine's Day is just a made up "Hallmark" holiday. He says this, but has been bringing us home Valentine treats for the last two weeks -- chocolate hearts on a stick, heat shaped cups, stuffed animals... He claims it is a *girl* holiday and tells DJ that boys shouldn't expect anything but they need to make a *big deal* about it just to make us happy. lol

I've always liked to help the kids to make their Valentine cards to pass out, I even have a craft box devoted to felt shaped hearts and red glitter glue. But now the big kids don't give them out anymore at school and Kelly's preschool doesn't do anything formal :( So instead, I took the idea from my sister-in-law and made crayon hearts with all the kids over the last weekend. We had so much fun peeling the paper off the crayons and they came out super cute! So cute, Mikey took a bite out of one and Grandpa came home and thought they were a baked treat -- got to warn him in time, but I will be saving the one that Mikey took a bite out of! Kelly just passed them out to friends as we were leaving her school, but she was super thrilled to be doing it.
DJ's school had a lunch time party, so he and I made these great peanut butter cookies for him to bring for his class. He was so excited about them, he left them by the front door! We had to bring them to him after dropping the girls off at their schools.
Mike took Mikey and I out to breakfast after dropping everyone else off at school and I (sort of) reciprocated by making dinner. I hardly EVER make dinner. I made spaghetti and meatballs, using the meatballs that Mike made the day before and he made the garlic bread (ha! ha! I had garlic bread -- to all of you that have had Mike's garlic bread) but it totally counts as me having made dinner!

All in all, a pretty mellow Valentine's Day. Can't wait until next year -- Kelly will be in Kindergarten and I will get to play in my Valentine craft box!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

keeping track of... books

I did it again today. This time it was for DJ though. I put a new book on his Kindle that he already read as a paperback. I found a new website that gives you ideas for books for boys and I thought I found something new for him to read... maybe should have asked him first, but I like to surprise him with fun things when he has shown good behavior and DJ loves new books.
I have done this to myself more times than I can count. Most recently it was The Help. Had it on my Kindle and went looking to lend some books to a friend and I found a copy of it on my shelf in hardback -- unread, because I forgot about it! Ugh.
I have also bought the same book over again because either I want to lend it, or I have lent it and never got it it back. (I know, I just need to have the full series)
One good thing about not being able to keep track of the books I have read, is that I could probably re-read any of the ones in the back garage and it would be like reading it for the first time!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kellyisms age 4

It seems that I use a lot of quotes from Kelly as my status on Facebook! I have a couple of friends that tell me all the time that I should write them down and put them in a book for her. Well, I went through my FB Wall and found as many as I could and just copied them here -- I stopped at Feb 2010.
My friend *S* has named them Kellyisms!

"We fit together don't we Mama? Everyone in our family is like a puzzle piece."

"How old do you have to be to go to Wipeout?"

"Are you picking me up from school?'"
"Can you Pick me up at recess and bring Mama so you can take us both to lunch?"

"You are in big trouble Dad! No football for a week!"

New Years Eve: ‎4 minutes until midnight... "can I just please go to sleep now?" yes, Kelly

"So, you can call 911 if you are close to a cliff and about to fall into hot lava, right?"

"fleas la de dah, fleas la de dah, fleas la de dah..."

"I love you more than birthdays."
(she didn't say more than HER birthday....)

 "Mama, have I met Lady Gaga?"

"Mama, why do you have cracks on your eyes?"

"Lets pretend Mikey is a helpful man today. Mama, do they even have those?"

"how to make a human: they get the gooey stuff and mix it with sugar, then they put the skin on and push the eyeballs in -- I guess the have to use glue to get the hair on top"

"I love you mama. I like you dad. I love Paige and DJ, but Mikey is the best!"

She looks at her dad and says, "I love Mama the best."

Is it really all that wrong not to correct her when she says "ramaca"? <maraca>

Boys are having fist fights over Kelly at her school!!! "she's mine"

‎"My baby never cries Mom. Even when I drop her. Isn't that good?"

told Miss Kell that if she wasn't still when I brushed her hair, I wouldn't let her imaginary friend Olivia come with us today... and it worked

"I will love you even when I am 17"

"I wish you'd just let me grown up myself."

"Mama, can you buy me an arrow so I can teach myself how to shoot things?"

Miss Hognhog's visit. She is an astronaut who studies volcanoes. She has no siblings, is an orphan and comes from the planet Hognhog. She likes to make cake. You can call he Liberty for short, but don't say the "for short" part.

Miss Liberty Hognhog

My sweet 4 yr old has traded places with an orphan named Liberty Hognhog from the planet Liberty Hognhog. She wears big dark glasses and is really bossy, but likes to make cakes for everyone. For some reason, Kelly's older brother is really upset by all of this...
Oh, and this is Day 3.

"Why are there so many people at the zoo?"
"The zoo is a super fun place."
"Actually, Disneyland is funner."

"I love Disneyland, it's the Happiest Place on Earth! But you know, Auntie Kenya said the happiest place on earth is Target, isn't that funny Mama?"

"I didn't know she was older than you, Mama."
"She looks newer though."

"daddy does all the hard work, you do all the soft work and all the rest of everything"

Me: "You can be a mom too someday."
Kelly: "Will I get to say grownup words then?"

Liberty Hognhog has returned....

"I'm awesome." says daddy -- Kelly answers "Not really, you're old and your foot hurts."

Dad, how old are you?" "38" "Wow! That's a lot." "Yeah" "Can you even count that high?" "Yes I can" "It would probably take all day huh?"

"My eyes are hot, so I can't close them. I need to stay up a little while until they cool off."

Is it wrong to laugh when the 4 yr old forgets to keep looking for the 10 yr old when they are playing hide and seek, and the 10 yrs old stays hidden and never seems to catch on?

"Mama, I wish it could rain popcorn."

"I know you'll miss me, but I'm having fun and I know you will always come for me"

...and she always wants to be The Boss!


I am sure I read about it somewhere when Paige was a baby. I have this thing about telling a baby "no". It just makes me sad when that is their first word. No one was allowed to say it to when the others were little and now I try to make everyone remember not to say it to Mikey.

I do have a reason behind this, even if it sounds crazy -- it's mainly because "no" is supposed to only be used in a dangerous situation, like running into the street, etc (as if I would ever let them get near the street) So instead we say things like, "that's not for babies" and "that's not okay".

Everyone is on board with this until the TV is either being banged on or turned off in the middle of a show...

Well the little guy is talking more and more every day, and while he has been saying all our names for a while and even things like "good job DJ" and "foootbaaaaaallll" he is now saying things that I am just realizing I must say all the time.

His favorite is:
"Sit! Dowwwwn!"

He also says,
"go get it!" (and points to whatever he just threw)

and now, if you call his name to get his attention, you know, when he is sitting on the coffee table throwing magazines on the floor or climbing on the chair in the kitchen so he can throw the oranges, he looks at you, points his finger and yells "NO!"


Friday, February 4, 2011

swim lessons

When the older two kids were born we lived in Novato and we had a pool. I was super paranoid about it, so the second swim lessons were available for Paige, we were signed up. I didn't do the "drown proof" classes that were popular then, just the plain Mommy and Me classes. She liked the water and we took lessons every summer. When DJ was born I signed him up along with her.

At the beginning of the summer in 2003 when they were 5 and 3 years old, we moved to Hidden Valley Lake. We lived in this cute little gated community and there was a club house that had a big olympic sized pool. The pool offered swim lessons, so they each had a class back to back -- I packed a lunch and after their classes we waited for the open swim. We were there practically every day!

By the end of the summer they were both tan little fishes!

Paige was diving with the big kids

and DJ could touch the bottom of the pool -- it was crazy to see!

Kelly hated her first time in the pool, even though it was in Hawaii!

Since we moved to the city, there really hasn't been very many opportunities to even go swimming. They get to swim some, but Kelly really doesn't know how. I realized that this is something that needs to be addressed when we were on vacation and she was taking off her float vest to prove that I was wrong and she could swim....

Sort of like she could put on her own goggles....

I finally signed Kelly up for lessons through the Park and Rec. Hamilton pool was just renovated and it's nice. We have been to three lessons and she can already swim the length of the kiddie pool. She has no fear that girl -- insists on going on the water slide by herself and dove down 4 feet to retreve a toy just today.

Mikey and I are also in the class right before hers. He loves the water, but I think this pool isn't heated enough for him. He clings to me unless I let him stand on the step -- there he dances!
He also dances in the warm shower after his lessons and yells at me when it's time to get out, so I am thinking he might need a wet suit if we sign up again --
 or maybe I can find a baby dance class?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

after school

DJ's school had parent teacher conferences last week, so he was out at noon Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Kelly gets out of her school at 12:15. Their schools are not that far away from each other, but we wanted to make sure to get Kelly on time, so Mike asked DJ to hurry out on Tuesday. He did, but being DJ, he was too early and thought we were late, so started lecturing us until he saw that it was 11:56 when he got in the car.... We ended up being early to pick up Kelly and waited in the car before going in. Boy was she happy to have her brother *pick her up* from school!

I should point out that Mike and I are both on time people. I mean, really on time. The sit in the car because we'd rather be early than late and still go in 5 minutes early people.

So on Wednesday we are less worried about the pick up time and leave the house later than we did on Tuesday. We arrive at his school at 12:04 and we don't see him. I get out of the car at 12:06 to look for him and ask one of his teachers if she has seen him. (we still have to get Kelly too) As she is letting me know what a wonderful student she thinks DJ is, she is calling the office to see if he is up there. Maybe he is mad that we are "late" and went to the office to call us to see where we are?
She says he isn't there. Hmmm. I check the cafeteria, the gym, the front of the school. I am starting to get upset here. Everyone is gone. Did he try and get on the bus and go home? I don't think he would do that but...
I get the baby out of the car and grab the stroller so Mike can leave to get Kelly. I walk towards the public library to see if he is with the kids sitting out front. I get to the corner and I know DJ would not have crossed such a major street without permission --- I walk back to the front of the school and call the office myself and leave a message (!) saying I still can't find him.
I walk to the other corner and I am near panicking at this point, turn the corner and see him walking towards me.
I burst into tears.
Which made him burst into tears, so maybe I should have handled it differently...
It's 12:26 pm
Alright, I know he is 11, but wow -- it is an awful feeling not knowing where your kid is. Even for 20 minutes.
It ends up that a teacher for the older students told him to wait upstairs even after he told her that we should be there any minute -- and then another teacher told him to go up, so he did. He only came down when one of his teachers who saw me earlier told him I was waiting.

I think I should be mad about all of this, but I am just making him take his phone to school now. I will be happy to explain to someone why he has it if it gets confiscated.
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