...random experiences, observations and thoughts of my daily life as mommy...past journeys and dreams of journeys yet to be taken creating my life story as i go...


Thursday, December 31, 2009

happy new year!

resolutions, ideals, dreams, wishes, etc. to follow...for now i leave you with this photo taken 12/31/06 when sea was about story's age now...happy new year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

day 137 blog 111 snow in san diego

yesterday we went to the snow at the park across from the children's museum in downtown san diego (click on this link if you want to see my photos/post from inside)...it was probably in the low 60's so our bundled up clothes are kinda a joke (excuse to wear them)...if i'd thought about it i would have taken more photos with the palm trees in the background to give more contrast to the snow...
this was really sea and story's first true experience playing in the snow so even though they only got a few minutes they were running, sliding, crashing, slipping, tumbling all over the place...
they made a small slope and provided saucers to slide down...sea took off too fast and spun around...
story wanted to do this all day...he's not even two and is already growing up and wanting to be so independent...

daddy got in a few extra slides with both of them together...

quick family shot...
i put sea in a sweater with penguins and "snow" since she doesn't have many opportunities to wear it...here she was making a mini "frosty"...
saying farewell to the melting snow...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

day 131 blog 110 xmas prep

story loves frosty...i don't have time to upload all the crafty things we have been doing to get ready for the holidays...so i thought a photo and video of him chasing after frosty would be cheery and simple...take the second to click on the video as he is VERY excited and cute...

video
i mailed/dropped off 119 xmas cards...most of which had a short personal note inside...and now i'm feeling pressure to update this blog since i told everyone to check here to see what we are up to...make a comment and say hello if you are just stopping by for the first time...or even if you just want to say hello...

hope to paste our xmas card and it's contents after everyone has received it...should give you a pretty good idea of our life...for now i'm finishing creating family photo calendars online and generally getting ready for my mom, sister and "hayno" (lady named hazelle we grew up with who filled in as my mom's mom) to come over and celebrate xmas eve tomorrow. we will cut out, bake and decorate sugar cookies, have a mid-afternoon meal and open a few gifts...then head off to manuel's family's house in ventura for xmas and the weekend.

i would still like to dedicate a post to my dad (his birthday was the 18th) and how we miss him but are incorporating him and memories of him in our daily life and holiday rituals...

so much to do i would rather be reading other blogs and others' anxieties, lists, activities instead of creating and procrastinating on my own...

off to get some stuff done!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

day 126 blog 109 xmas card swap revisited

so back in early november i joined an international handmade holiday card swap...these are 9 of the 10 i was supposed to receive (still waiting on one)...three from australia, one from new zealand, one from mill valley (near where i went to college), one from sacramento (near where my sister-in-law lives), one from new york (where we are visiting this summer), one from idaho, one from colorado (manuel has relatives there)...i'm forgetting someone...anyway, i thought i would include the card we made to send in the swap along with what we wrote (personalized to each but this one will give you an idea):
family xmas photo from last year...sequins (sea glued them with glitter glue)...
photo of her and her brother hugging on the left inside page and she made drawings for each card...here are two different ones...
i included a san diego post card on the back page to give a feel for what it looks like here and enclosed several photos of our family at the beach, xmas rituals, etc...
here is more or less what i sent as a letter inside:

>dear amelie, buzzy and freya,

we are excited to be your card swap pen pals! our mommy denise is typing this…our names are sea (age 4) and story (will be 2 in february). we look forward to learning more about you…I’ll tell you about us and ask a few questions you may or may not share in the card you send to us…I suppose I should tell you more about where we live. We could look up where you live on a map, but hopefully you will describe what life is like there. We live in san diego, california…on the western coast of the united states of america…san diego is actually quite a large city but it has a smaller town feel as there are many communities within this big city. we live about 15 miles north of the border of mexico and about 15 minutes inland from the beach. enclosed are some photos and postcards from our holidays and days at the beach.

we love the beach (named our daughter sea!) and we are lucky to have temperatures here between the mid 60’s and 70’s almost year round so we spend a lot of time there. our daddy works during the day but we are lucky to have our mommy stay home with us…we are part of a cooperative preschool where we go to different friends’ homes, parks, the zoo, the children’s museum and share songs, stories, crafts, potluck food, etc. together. several of our friends in that co-op are participating in this card swap and we look forward to comparing cards and stories! our mommy also loves to blog, so if you want to keep up with our lives and/or learn more about us you can read about our lives here: (inserted blog address)

what we will be doing for the holidays/family holiday traditions

before our mommy’s daddy passed away in 2006 our holiday routine was to spend xmas eve at our mommy’s parents’ home (1.5 hours away) and then xmas day at our daddy’s parents’ home (3 hours away).

the new tradition we have been working out for our family is to celebrate xmas eve in our own home along with denise’s mom and sister and a lady we grew up with who’s family is gone…then leave around 8 that evening and head to ventura (1 hour north of los angeles, on the coast near santa barbara) to spend xmas day and

the weekend with manuel’s family. some year I’d love to do a destination holiday and have both families get rooms in a cabin and spend the weekend in the snow somewhere instead of exchanging gifts.

to prepare for the holidays we go to a local xmas tree farm down the street from our house and cut down our own tree (we try to choose it together as a family)…we try to do this right after we get back from spending thanksgiving with our families…hopefully tonight!…put up lights outdoors on our house and bushes (daddy did this yesterday during his lunch break…we put up light “icycles”…more common probably in southern california where we don’t get real snow), decorate the tree together…I’ve enclosed some photos of things we put on our tree…usually sea puts her favorite stuffed animals and dollies but we often have a “sea” theme with strings of shells and a starfish on top as the star. story has a train set we want to put around the tree…we each have xmas stockings we will hang on the fireplace (my dad’s mom made them…they are cross stitch and needlepoint with our names on them)…let’s see what other rituals we have…we have been taking a photo with santa (kids) every year and frame this in a wallet sized frame that hangs on the tree with the year we took it. we also display all the xmas cards we get (sent out over 100 last year) in a string across the front windows…yours will go there, too! we send out a photo xmas card every year…this one you got of us was taken january of this year so for our 2009 card we will put that photo on the left, one of the two kids in the middle (maybe the one with santa hats?) and then try to take an updated family shot in front of our xmas tree for this year as our 3rd shot. If you want to get our annual card and letter, drop us a line and we’ll send you one!

questions for you

sea loves the wiggles. she talks almost daily about visiting australia to meet them. we went to the cook islands for our honeymoon and made some wonderful friends from australia. they live in st georges basin nsw 2540…where is that relative to where you live? If we remain pen pals it would be wonderful to visit you someday! you are always welcome to visit us…we have plenty of room for your family to stay with us if you do…questions I have: what is life like where you live? daily? what do you do for the holidays? how old are you? who lives in your house? do you go to school? what holidays do you celebrate? anything else “different” about living in australia…is there anything I could send you from the u.s. in a care package? Candy, stickers, books, etc…what are you guys in to? Looking forward to your card!

Love, sea and story and their mommy denise and daddy manuel"

here are some more close-ups of the cards we received...this one drawing has a lot of detail!


the people from new zealand sent their money, stamps, flags, flowers...

day 126 blog 108 too much xmas card

this photo was taken january of this year...right after we sent our non-xmas holiday photo cards out...so i loved it enough to include it in this year's card...only i just printed them out...along with our recent photo card, 2 page holiday letter, sea's drawing and sea's reflections on xmas...yes, i nearly sent out a book...manuel asked me if anyone else did this or if i thought it was a little excessive...representative of the too much we have going on here in our house...and he is right...what to cut out? can't i appreciate these little things about my children without feeling like i have to send them to everyone? how do you balance the overwhelming love you have for your children and all the adorable moments you share with them without screaming about it to everyone? i'm going to post the holiday letter contents in a few days (once people have received them) so you can see what i'm talking about....hope to assemble these packets and mail them today...we've been without internet for 3 days so that has been a mixed blessing...i've been going to bed at 9ish! still so behind on everything...truly hope to post thanksgiving, xmas decorating, xmas parties, etc. photos before the end of the year...and read up on your lives...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

day 121 blog 107 sunshine sabbath school singing

video
i don't know if any other bloggers have trouble moving past a post...like after i wrote a memorial type post about my dad on the anniversary of his death i couldn't think of anything else to say...or like i was leaving him behind if i wrote anything else? i think you have to lose someone that close to you to understand...anyway, looking at the last post i wrote (which wasn't that interesting)...but that photo of story hugging sea...what to write?

i'm up early getting the children ready for sabbath school (corollary of sunday school only on saturday)...i've been co-leading there for over a year...love how interactive the class is with all the kids doing something most of the time, moving, singing at the top of their lungs, filled with happiness, love...for each other, Jesus...the innocence, simple joys...

this video was taken at thanksgiving time at manuel's parents' church in oxnard. the children are singing "climb up sunshine mountain"...love sea's cororful outfit and tights and story kinda getting in on the mix...they both LOVE music, singing, dancing, moving...

Friday, December 11, 2009

day 120 blog 106 xmas letter brainstorm

i've been writing our "holiday letter" in my head for weeks now...keep adding and leaving out things...as confident as i can be in some areas i can be very insecure and obsess over not doing some things perfectly...this being one of those things...i really wanted to get this last photo of sea and story hugging in our holiday card (read about the photo shoot and julie here) but it didn't make it...i'll write a blog post with the completed letter as it should catch many of you up with out life...

i'm motivated to write something briefly today because one of the most inspirational bloggers i've been following, amanda, of i am mommy, wrote a post on the importance of making comments on others' posts and she included a note about me that was very flattering, but, well, i don't feel like i've been quite the mommy i'd like to be recently (blame it on holiday busyness?)...i'd love to blog a post on why she means so much to me, but, well, don't want to do it now just for a "comment for a comment" sake...so i'll get around to that after posting photos from thanksgiving (yes i'm that far behind), holiday coop preschool days, visiting cousins, more of sea's drawings...i can't even remember all the things...if i can average 2 a day for the last couple weeks of the month i'll be caught up to a post a day...

looking forward to meeting many of the new people that have stopped by...enjoying finding your blogs! thanks again amanda...now to go write that holiday letter and not obsess over it too much...

Monday, December 7, 2009

day 116 blog 105 2009 holiday card choices

my neighbor julie is a really talented photographer and artist...check out her site and don't miss her art journals and online classes...we had a photo shoot with her on sunday and these are just a few of the incredible shots she took...still trying to choose for our holiday card...




day 115 blog 104 sea kitty drawings

it has been rainy, windy, cold, gray all day...sea has been making drawings most of the day...her favorite thing to draw (today) is cats...tonight i'm going to go through the awesome photos my friend julie took and choose some for our holiday card...i'll try to blog some of the contenders tonight once sea and story are sleeping...for now, i'm thinking of writing a creative non-fiction children's book and having sea illustrate...




Sunday, December 6, 2009

day 114 blog 103 "no"'s

story started saying "no" yesterday. i remember once sea learned that word we were in for quite a ride of wills leading right in to the "terrible twos"...so this is quite the milestone. he has been saying a lot of new words recently. i need to just blog about them whenever i think of it. like today he was carrying around a mickey mouse stuffed animal and said "nose" while pointing the mouse's nose..."no"s..."nose"...

on the topic of "no"...i am no longer participating in nablopomo...i found out about the blog a day for 30 days idea on the second day of the month...so i was always afraid i never quite qualified during the month of november...so i decided to give it a shot for the month of december...until tonight...we were deep cleaning the house and then running errands and when i put the kids to bed late story was over-stimulated and singing, squirming, until almost 11...i think i fell asleep before him...when i woke up i chose to take a long, hot bath instead of checking the time to see if i had time to squeeze in a quick blog post just to get one in (i really hate doing that...the past 3 or so blogs have been just to do a post a day)...so sure enough it was after midnight and i felt relieved! yay! now i can just blog when i feel compelled or have something meaningful to write about instead of because i feel that i should...

so many things i want to blog about when i have time...we've been receiving handmade cards from around the world and it is so fun to hear about people's lives from all over, imagine them working on the cards and contents, look at their photos...i will do a post on this including our card and inserts and then a photo of the cards we received...i think we've gotten about 2/3 of the 10 we are expecting...several of the moms have blogs i look forward to following...may even become pen pals with some of the swap participants...

my friend julie is going to come over tomorrow to take photos of our family by our christmas tree for our holiday card. drop me a comment if you want me to send you one. so of course i have to reflect over this past year and plans for next year for the letter...and i got the idea from the card swap to "interview" sea on what christmas means to her...will paste that on the back of her art i'm going to include...some days she will make like 20 drawings complete with little stories about how the people/animals interact...i LOVE this...could do several posts just on her art...

snapfish is having a 35% off holiday promotion until the 10th and there are so many "photo" gifts i need to work on in the next few days...our holiday cards, calendars for like 8 family members (with photos from this past year)...so i'm relieved i don't "have" to blog every day...

when i come back i hope to post photos from thanksgiving, picking our christmas tree, decorating our tree and lots of random little things of sea and story together...give me a few days and i'll be back...still hoping to make catch up my days and blogs by the end of the year...

Friday, December 4, 2009

day 112 blog 102 xmas tree

we got a 7 foot tree last night at ikea for $20...apparently in past years they also give you a $20 gift card when you recycle it at IKEA...and they plant a new tree for every one cut down...sorry my posts are so sparse...we decorated the tree last night and today i'm cleaning after being gone...then off to a work party with manuel tonight, family photo shoot and birthday party this weekend...hope to update with lots of holiday photos soon...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

day 111 blog 101 dancing

no photo...just a visual in my head...sea just woke up half asleep while manuel and i were going through her old clothes (making 3 piles: 1)give away to his sister missy, 2) save for story and 3)save for a quilt for sea)...so he is dancing around in the front room with her nestled on his shoulder, in his neck...singing in to her ear...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

day 110 blog 100 down time

only 3 minutes left in "today"...put sea and story to sleep around 8:30 and story literally didn't fall asleep until after 10? i was so exhausted and frustrated i fell asleep until now...going back to bed but wanted to get in a "post"...more tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

day 109 blog 99 time with story

m just got home from a "mission" with sea...i've had alone time with story...now to take him to bed...