Monday, May 29, 2006

Moving day begins Tuesday

I can't believe we will be out of this house in 2 days. We've been busily getting ready for the movers, taking pictures off the walls, filling in holes, touch up painting, packing toys, packing our bags, cleaning, throwing out stuff.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Moving is stressful

So the movers come to pack us up on Tuesday, but there is still lots to do before they get here. We have been busy cleaning out junk, giving away things we don't need, selling things we don't need, and trying to organize.

I finally got our deep freezer cleaned out. I started in, what, March.. cleaning that thing out.

Look how full our frig/freezer is though!
I've done pretty well with the pantry, too. Needless to say, I haven't had to buy much groceries in the past month, just milk, some fresh fruits and veggies, bread and a few other things.

I've arranged for some help with the girls. Olivia will go to preschool on Tuesday and she will go home with one of her classmates for a 'playdate' till about 3pm. Another friend of mine will watch Claire most of the day. On Wednesday, Olivia goes to school again, and another friend of mine will watch Claire from around 10:30am, and also Olivia who I will pick up and take her over to the same friend's house while the movers are loading the truck. I'm so thankful to my friends from church for always being there for me.

Some random thoughts in my head.

Should I bring our little potty in case Claire wants to use the potty?

Will our absent landlord give us our deposit back? He also promised us $1000 for showing the house and if the prospective renter rents, which is the case...will he come through? I'm really worried about this because I've heard alot of negative things about him from our neighbor. I just don't want to have to put up a fight, but if we have to, we will take him to small claims court.

I have to pack our bags which we will take in our interim living (bouncing from hotel to hotel). Should I pack light pjs for the girls (for our new place where it's hot) or warm ones (for the Bay area where it's cool at night)? Should I take a booster seat for Claire? Should I bring an extra for her cousin who will be joining us in mid June?

Will I get all our laundry done?

What am I going to do with all the food in our frig? Hopefully a neighbor will take some of the condiments, etc.

Will the house cleaner I hired actually show up to clean the house?

Will we have the right paint colors to do the touch ups?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The zoo

So today I met up with 2 friends I met online, J and C. We met online when we were all due in October 2004 and had babies about the same time, now it's the BIO board. It so happens that we live in the same general area, probably 30-45 minutes from each other. It's hard to meet up because of the distance, but since I'm moving, it was so nice to see them and their kids. It was a beautiful day, perfect day for the zoo.

J has a daughter who is also named Olivia and is about 8 months older than my Olivia. All day, my Olivia was so excited about seeing the 'other Olivia', she kept asking when we would see her and we got to the parking lot, she insistently asked 'where's the 'other Olivia', Mommy? Is she coming?' When we got to the zoo and were about to enter, she asked 'where's the 'other Olivia'?' We got to the flamingos where we were supposed to meet, she asked 'where's the 'other Olivia?' Is she coming Mommy?' I decided to end the questions with a potty break and when we got back to the flamingos, thankfully, the 'other Olivia' was there!

I recall about 2 years ago when I was pregnant with Claire and met up with J and her daughter Olivia at this same zoo. She was the first person I ever met up with that I met online. And she is completely normal! And really nice, too :)! When I tell friends IRL that I've met friends online, they give me this incredulous look like they think I might be meeting crazy people or!

Anyway, the following are pictures from our morning at the zoo.

Here are the 2 Olivia's looking at camels:
Here is Noah and Claire, Noah is the 'other Olivia's' little brother. Poor guy, he was feeling under the weather, he has a cold, but we are all glad he came along. They are pointing at the camels I think.

My Olivia almost immediately grabbed the 'other Olivia's' hand and wanted to run with her through the whole zoo, she tends to be pretty energetic. Here are the Olivias looking at the giraffes, they were so cute together (the Olivias, not so much the giraffes).

Here is Owen and Claire, chilling at the zoo. Owen is C's son, she also has a 5 month old who slept almost the entire time they were at the zoo. Harry is such a cutie, he was very smiley. I, unfortunately, didn't get a picture of him.

So, next, we went to the children's part of the zoo. There is a giant spiderweb for kids to climb on. Here the older girls are climbing the spiderweb. The 'other Olivia' lost her cute birkenstock sandal through the web, so my Olivia climbed off to retrieve it and hand it to the 'other Olivia'.
Here is Claire trying to follow her sister up the web. She is such a climber!

There are some other 'bugs' for the kids to climb on. Claire decided to cimb onto a caterpillar, so Owen decided to join her...I got a picture of him smiling, they look like they are having fun. Noah decided he would rather sit on his mommy's lap. It was so hard to get pictures of everyone together. It was about this point that Owen decided he had some other place to be and he shot off across the lawn...whew, he is fast. He must keep his mommy on his toes. He does not like to sit in his stroller. He reminds a bit of my Olivia when she was about the same age.

Here is a picture of the 3 moms, thanks to J's husband who came along...thanks for taking pictures, T! I need a haircut! I'm the one in the middle. I just don't like pictures of myself anymore, but I felt we needed to have a picture.

The last picture of the 3 BIO babies, Claire, Noah and Owen, who is saying 'it's time to go, Mommy'.

C had to leave after that, the rest of us had a nice, quiet, leisurely lunch together...ha, yeah right! No, actually, it was a nice lunch, the weather was really nice.

After lunch we went to see the elephants, then we had to head home, the whole way home, my Olivia, kept saying she wanted to ride the rides over and over. Maybe next time, Olivia. Claire crashed in the car on the way home and took a really long nap when we got home. Olivia took a nap and even, Mommy, who eventually crashed on the couch.

Bye Bye T.V.

Here it is loaded up on a truck we rented to take to my husband's cousin who lives an hour and a half from us.

Whew! Now my husband can get a new 'toy'!

Park day

Friday, I had to get the girls out of the house, it was a nice day and Olivia was getting stir crazy since she didn't have preschool Thursday (due to school conferences at the end of the week).

My friend, S, who also has 2 girls and is pregnant joined us at the park. We had lunch and spent some time in the wonderful weather chatting while our girls ran off some energy.

It was a popscicle day!

This was from Thursday.


Friday, May 26, 2006

From A Deviated Path,

I AM: a happy, kind-hearted, outgoing person.

I WANT: my children to be 'citizens of the world' and to be happy.

I WISH: we could travel more, especially internationally, but it's too hard right now financially and with 2 young kids.

I HATE: when people are negative and complain.

I MISS: our good friends in Texas and good Tex Mex food.

I FEAR: heights and something happening to my family.

I HEAR: mommy, mommy, mommy ALL day....and I love it (mostly)!

I WONDER: how friends that I lost touch with are doing.

I REGRET: not making the most of my education.

I AM NOT: a singer, this was confirmed when I tried to do Karaoke in Japan.

I DANCE: rarely.

I SING: lullabies to my girls.

I CRY: pretty easily and get embarrassed by it.

I AM NOT ALWAYS: myself when I meet people, I always hold back a little for fear of rejection.

I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: baked goods, I love to cook, but mostly I enjoy baking...cookies, and other kinds of desserts.

I WRITE: so that I can vent and so I can brag about my family and to share with my friends.

I CONFUSE: words sometimes, like I might use a word in the wrong context.

I NEED: to keep my family close to me.

I SHOULD: lose weight, exercise, watch what I eat, etc. etc.

I START: my day these days too early so I'm always groggy.

I FINISH: putting my girls to bed with a kiss and a 'sweet dreams'.

This list was really hard! Tag to, you're it! Jessica, RM, Jamie, Amy,

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I stole this from A Deviated Path, interesting:

You scored as Dwight Eisenhower. 34th President, in office from 1953-1961
Born: 1890 Died: 1969

Dwight Eisenhower


Franklin Roosevelt


John Kennedy


George Washington


Ronald Reagan


Theodore Roosevelt


Abraham Lincoln


Thomas Jefferson


Woodrow Wilson


Lyndon Johnson


Harry Truman


Which Great US President Are You Most Like?
created with

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


I just experienced an earthquake, it scared the heck out of me, although it was only a 3.2. I felt the house move, weird. It was 7 kilometers from where I live.

Claire's Cooking show

So I was on the computer and I turn around and I found Claire "cooking" with dishes from our new play kitchen. She spread the plates out in front of her and she was "sprinkling" something on the plates from the grey can.

Too Funny!

I can't believe how fast she is growing up!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Look what we got for FREE!

My husband's cousin, R, was so nice to drive 3 1/2 hours roundtrip to bring us this kitchen. His sister's kids have outgrown it and we have been trying to figure out a way to get it for like a year.

We were wanting to give him our big screen tv since my husband wanted a new toy. My stipulation is to get rid of the big screen, as my hard and fast rule is that we will not have more than 3 tvs in our house. So he had his truck, but it had a camper on top and we measured and discussed the measurement of the tv and the weight and in the end, there was no way it was going to fit. I feel so bad he came all the way from Sacramento to the Bay area and now we couldn't get the tv in the truck.

We are still trying to come up with ideas. Uhaul is too expensive, they charge a flat rate plus per mileage.

The girls are really loving their 'new-old kitchen', it has alot more features!

Here's the old kitchen:

This is HUGE!

Claire went pee pee on the potty today...first time for that. Than later she went poo poo. Needless to say, she was very excited about the m&ms!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Gotta love community theater!

I just took my oldest, Olivia, to see a local production of Cinderella. It was the coolest. For $18 we got to sit one row away from the stage during the show. No, it wasn't Disney or Broadway, but it was Fantastic!

The actress that played the Fairy Godmother was a mom from Olivia's preschool, and she did a great job, Olivia didn't recognize her. It was so much fun, there was even audience participation. This is the first time I have ever gone to a show at a community theater so small. This was a great introduction to the theater for Olivia.

For sure, I will be looking for community theater productions at our new hometown when we move.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

I think I'm going to be sick

Well, we managed to get a babysitter tonight since we had a dinner to go to for my husband's work. It was so nice to enjoy a nice meal and adult converstion. I think I drank too much though, I just can't drink like I used to. I didn't even have that much, I'm such a lightweight! I had some wine and a mojito( my new fav drink). And we had lots of food. And now, I think I will more than likely have a hangover tomorrow...ugh!

Friday, May 19, 2006

My inner child

I stole this from Gelbspot...Thanks!

Your Inner Child Is Surprised

You see many things through the eyes of a child.
Meaning, you're rarely cynical or jaded.
You cherish all of the details in life.
Easily fascinated, you enjoy experiencing new things.

I think it's pretty accurate...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

A conversation with my mother...

mother: I'm worried about Olivia.
me: Oh??
mother: Yes, you said she had brain stem damage.
me: (incredulous) What??????
mother: You told me she had brain stem damage and that's why she had to wear that helmet.
me: (laughing) Uh, no, I didn't... and she wore the 'helmet' to mold her skull due to plagiocephaly.
mother: Oh...

Yes, this conversation actually took place. I haven't really posted alot about my 'eccentric' family...I guess you would say those are the skeletons in my closet.

Just to give you a little background. When Olivia was just a few weeks old, I noticed she always looked to one side and at about a month or so old, I noticed there was some unevenness in her face. She was diagnosed with Plagiocephaly (flattening of the head) and torticollis (tightening of the neck muscle). After getting referrals and seeing specialists, she was finally fitted for a STARband at 9 months. She wore it 23 hours a day for 4 months. It had nothing to do with her brain, her mental abilities, nor her intelligence, it was simply to mold her head so it wasn't lopsided. One of the benefits is that when she was learning to walk and fell on our tile floor, she would bounce right back up!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Note to self:

It's better to not spray paint furniture outside on a windy day.

Monday, May 15, 2006


Look what I got for free! Someone was giving away a daybed frame, headboard, and side rails. Okay, it's not my favorite style and it has some scratches, but hey, it's free. Funny thing was my husband and I were talking about getting a daybed in the office in our new home...more room for guests. Then I get this email from someone in one of my moms group trying to get rid of this!

Anyone know if I can paint this? Is there spray paint out there to paint metal? Anyone do this before?

Rustoleum sells spray paint for metal, what color(s) and finish do you think I ought to paint this? I especially don't like the brass, but let me know what you think I ought to do!

Monstrous Roses

Aren't they huge?! I picked them from our yard yesterday. First time I ever did that, I don't know why I haven't done it before...maybe because this isn't really our house. They don't seem to be fragrant, but they are pretty. Luckily our new house has rose bushes, too.

Our crazy schedule

Move out of our house on May 30th and 31st.

Stay at husband's uncle's place 30 minutes away until Olivia finishes preschool and has her birthday party.

Drive down to Bakersfield on June 11th.

Stay in a hotel there.

Check out on June 22nd, drive up to Sacramento, check into a different hotel so we can visit with husband's family over the weekend, and then attend memorial service for his grandparents on Saturday.

Check out of hotel on Monday, June 26th, drive down to Bakersfield, stay in hotel again, but this time add my brother-in-law, his wife and 2 year old son who will be visiting us from Japan.

Check out of hotel on Friday, June 30th, drive to Anaheim, get new hotel, spend weekend at Disneyland.

Drive back to Bakersfield on Sunday, July 2nd.

At this point we may have things moved into our house, so we just might be able to stay in our new house.

Whew! Pretty crazy schedule, huh?!

Another favorite picture

This was taken over 2 years ago at Olivia's great auntie's farm where they used to grow the best tasting strawberries. Yummy!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Claire and her bunny

Claire loves her bunny. Our French exchange student, E, brought this for Claire. It's an aquadoodle pet, she can 'draw' on the bunny with the water pen and then when it dries, she can start over. E brought Olivia a gift, too, a Dora matching game.

Our new house II

So, actually, this was a new house we looked at, we had to go up on our price a bit to get what we wanted. We didn't have a chance to name the house like the others since it was one of the last houses we looked at. I guess we just call it the house with the has a pool. Olivia remembers the pink floaties in the pool...I think she thinks we get them with the!

We are excited to finally have a house. Now, I'm thinking of how our things will look and how we will use the rooms. I'm also thinking about fact, I'm obsessed with colors. See, I don't like how many of the rooms are painted, they just don't work with our things. I'm also terrible at picking out colors, so I'm trying to learn about colors.

To be honest, I'm a little stressed, thinking about organizing for this move. It's amazing how much stuff a family can collect in just 2 years. We are only in this house for 2 1/2 more weeks, then we will be living out of suitcases, traveling from hotel to hotel till the beginning of July. We close on our new house on June 28th, but we have some family things going on in June before that. We will be going to a memorial service (Buddhist) for my husband's grandparents in mid-June and will be visiting with much of his family.

Our new house!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

No decision yet

After a sleepless night of tossing and turning (me), no decision has been made. Wow, I just love the 'Texas' house, it's fantastic, has everything going for us....but after we looked at both neighborhoods, I'm a bit lukewarm. We drove around the neighborhoods around 5/5:30pm and saw no one out. No kids kids riding people walking around. Granted it was hot, but when we lived in Texas, there were always kids around, even when it was hot. The neighborhood, if you could call it that, is only 2 streets so I'm concerned about being isolated there and the fact that the girls would have to take the bus to school. What if there aren't any kids there? Where would the girls play? There is also no place really to go on long walks.

So, we are going to re-visit 3 older houses we crossed off our list. They are older, smaller and we would need to update the kitchen, but they are in a bigger, more established neighborhood. There is a good elementary school right in the neighborhood so there has to be kids there!

Wish us luck today. It is such a big decision...buying a house. I just want to make sure we get a house we like...who knows how long we will be here....

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Debating 2 different houses

So today, we narrowed it down to the 'Texas house' and the 'green carpet house'. The latter is alot less, but we would have to replace all the flooring and do some painting in addition to fencing the pool. It's also about 200 sq ft smaller and only has 2 bathrooms. It's a bigger neighborhood with a new elementary school that is just being built.

The 'Texas' house is more, but a bit bigger (as is everything in Texas, right?!), and basically ready to move into but we will have to have the pool fenced in. It's a great floorplan with a much better kitchen than we have now. It's got 3 bathrooms which is great for guests, both houses have 3 bedrooms plus an office (which could also be a guest room). I like the location better, it's closer to shopping and just more in town. Mostly, I think I'm worried about the school, it's older, further out, the girls would have to take a bus, they can't walk to it, and I worry if the school is 'good enough' for my girls. There is plans for a new elementary school, but they don't have the boundaries for it set out.

I guess there is not a big difference between the 2 schools with the research I've done, although it would be nice if I knew parents whose children attended. I'm overall disappointed with the schools, but this is a less metropolitan area than we are used to. It's just that where we live now the schools are ranked very high and perform really well.

Tonight, we are going to drive through both neighborhoods and hopefully, that will help us with our decision...make sure there are no weirdos. No really, it would be nice if there were more young families in the neighborhood.

Monday, May 08, 2006

12 houses and 2 crying, tired kids later...

We've narrowed it down to 3 after an exhausting day of touring house after house. They all kind of blend in, but this time we took pictures. We also try to name the houses so we can remember them. We have it narrowed down to the 'Texas house', the 'Wine house' and the 'Green carpet (reminiscent of green pool tables) house'.

We will go re-visit these tomorrow. They were all nice, with good kitchens, great backyards with pools. Only with the 'Green carpet house' will we have to change the flooring...obviously. Why would anyone choose green carpet?

(on another note, Claire is not a good traveler...she cried and screamed almost the entire 4 hours driving down while Olivia quietly slept) bleh

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Off to househunt

This week for a new house to buy. Should be interesting dragging two kids in tow. Last time when we were looking to rent the house we were in, we only had 1 kid in tow and it was difficult.

So I'm not sure when I will be able to blog. Maybe next weekend. Here are pictures to hold you over!

Earlier this week, playing outside:

Random picture of my 2 girls when Claire was just a couple of months old:

Oh yeah, I just sold that gymini mat at a garage sale on Saturday.


So we listed our house in Texas for sale on Tuesday and Friday, a buyer made an offer for the full asking price...woo hoo! Crossing fingers that the closing goes smoothly at the end of this month.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


I asked E what she wanted for her last dinner with us...and she asked for breakfast! My hubby, who is soooo good at making breakfast, made pancakes, bacon and sausage. I made a coffee cake earlier in the day and then I made some fried eggs, sunny side up and over easy...which I am so not good at cooking!

That was Tuesday. Wednesday was the French group's farewell dinner. There were 48 students total from France. All the host families and their exchange students gathered at a local school to celebrate the end of their stay. Someone had pizza brought in and many of the students chose to make a dish to go with dinner. E made a rice salad, it was very good. She was worried about it, but it went fast. Someone made ratatouille, some made quiche and there were lots of crepes to go around (with nutella, of course). Here is a picture of the French students.

Sadly, they all left this morning on a bus to Los Angeles. We are sad to see E go, but maybe she will visit some other time. This morning Olivia was sad that E has to go home, and she said she wanted to visit her in France. Maybe someday...

I wasn't sure what it would be like to host a student, but we all had so much fun, it was a great experience. She was great with the kids and we all got along great. I like having people around and it was nice to have her around. I hope we will host more students in the future, especially when the girls are older. I think E had a wonderful time and was a bit sad to leave too.

Tonight, Thursday, I have a moms meeting to go to, Friday night, my husband and I are going to have dinner with friends. This will probably be like a farewell dinner since we are moving within a few weeks. Saturday morning, I'm having a garage sale. And later in the morning, Olivia has a birthday party to attend (which I have to find a gift for). Sunday morning, I have to work in the church nursery, then after lunch we are driving to Bakersfield to begin our hunt for the 'perfect' house! We will stay down there for about 4-5 days, while we go looking house to house, dragging the girls along. Whew...reading this, makes me feel very busy!

Dinner Sunday

After we got back from Tahoe, around 4pm, I furiously started making dinner since we were supposed to have friends over for dinner. Here is what I made, oregano roasted chicken with potatoes and tomatoes and apple pie for dessert. We opened the bottles of wine that E brought from France. Mmmm...delicious!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Our trip up to Lake Tahoe

We had lunch by the lake:

We found a place that had sledding called, Granlibakken, although there was snow higher up, they just had machine groomed's like ice pellets. Here is Olivia trying to make a snow (ice) angel:

Olivia and I sledding. It was really warm, after this I took off my top shirt and I wore short sleeves:

Claire went sledding down the hill with her dad, she lasted in the snow all of 20 minutes. She was tired, her feet cold, and she didn't like being all bundled up so I had to take her in the car for a ride where she fell asleep.

Here is Olivia building a small snowman:

That was Saturday. That night we all stayed in a hotel near Sacramento and we toured the Capitol building the next day and had lunch in Old Sacramento. Here is a picture of the Seal of the State of California in the Capitol building:

On the way home from Old Sacramento: