August 29, 2013

officially preschoolers - the boys' first days.

I officially have two preschoolers! The boys started half days (M-W-F) on Monday and I can hardly believe they're school kids now. I mean, they still have two full years of preschool before kindergarten but I feel like we've just leveled up.

I had only a couple of worries for their first day, first was how the drop off would go. When we were in speech therapy class earlier this year, the first 2 weeks were pure torture. They screamed bloody murder every. single. time. It killed me. But I'm not one of those moms who wants to stick around and coddle my kid for 20 minutes only to have him freak out when I leave anyways. I prefer to rip the bandaid off quickly-saying my goodbyes and leaving promptly. The sooner I'm gone, the sooner they can get over it and get back to having fun.

I was also a little worried about the potty situation, as they're both not so keen on peeing in any toilet that isn't our own. I know they'll get comfortable with the one at school but the first few days I knew could be tricky.

When we arrived at school, my stomach was churning. I was so nervous and had no idea how it was all going to go. I told their teachers I wanted to sneak out while the boys were playing. They were busy exploring the room and I snuck quietly out the front door. I got Starbucks. I went to the fabric store. It was morning so nobody was there. It was glorious. 


Upon arrival to pick the boys up, they ran to me with happy faces and hugs. They were showing me all the things in the classroom they'd played with. Their teacher said they realized I was gone about 10 minutes after I left. Julian was a little sad but was ok. Isaiah cried for a minute or two and then they were fine. 


Day 2 I decided to tell them goodbye this time, now that they knew what was going on. Julian was 100% fine. Said goodbye, went back to playing. Isaiah, he got a little bit sat (breaking my heart) and cried a little as he watched me out the window as I left. His teacher said he stopped crying after about a minute. 
My favorite thing though, is the feedback from their teacher on how they did each day. I'm so impressed, she knew who they were on Day 2 when we got there. I make a point to dress them differently so it's easier to tell them apart while you're getting to know them. Neither one of them has gone potty at school but by Day 2 they at least went into the little bathroom to wash their hands so...progress. 

I'm told they're both extremely curious. They want to open, look at, find, explore everything. They're super interested in the alphabet, numbers, counting. They're the first kids to volunteer for activities and games. I love every bit of this. This is who they are at home, this is who I want them to feel comfortable to be at school. I love it.

I can't wait to see what the school year brings and the changes I see in these little people, but if the first two days are any indication, they're really going to thrive.

August 27, 2013

what's going on behind the screen

For the past few months, maybe this is just a summer thing, I've been struggling to keep up with this blog. I have lots of ideas, I'm just having trouble making the time to sit down and write it all out. I haven't taken many photos with my DSLR lately, and I like to use those photos for the blog instead of iPhone photos all the time. I keep feeling this tug of guilt? Or I don't know the feeling, like something looming over my head that I need to get done. I'm putting some kind of unnecessary pressure on myself to keep a blogging schedule and I'm just having such a hard time getting it done.

The truth is, life is kind of taking over right now. Since I started Insanity work outs, they dictate a lot of my free time since I work out when I'm free. My etsy shop aspirations are starting to fill in other holes of my free time, sewing and sewing and sewing. I signed up for a handmade craft fair in November. My very first! It's been a huge goal of mine for awhile and I finally bit the bullet and signed up. Now I'm in this state of panic, like- I have only a couple of months and I don't really know much about this fair. How much stuff will I need? How will I keep my shop stocked at the same time? How am I ever going to find time to blog?
And the boys. Oh, the boys. This stage of parenting has been super difficult but also insanely involved. I love every second of it. They actually want me to play with them. They're interested in sitting down and learning things, in exploring outside, in playing games and just being silly. I really do spend about 80% of my day just playing and breaking up fights. 

Oh and I have a house to run. It seems to be on the last of my list of things to do lately but I need to clean. Not just need to clean, I need to clean. Every day. It gives me some weird sense of accomplishment and the feeling of total control over something. I'm more relaxed when things are clean, I feel proud of myself and my home when things are where they should be. Is my house clean? Hardly ever. Well, to anyone else, yes. But I see the spilled milk spots on the floor in the hallway, the dust on the baseboards, the cobwebs forming in the corners. I see it always. 

I'm going to try to force myself to sit down and write about my journey here a little more often. I do love blogging, I love getting my thoughts out. I like the connections I've made and the new friendships that have formed. So, I promise to be around more often and more consistently, I just wanted to give you guys a little glimpse into what's going on on the other side of the screen, and all the things that have me occupied when I'm not pouring my heart out to you all!

Thank you to everyone who has stuck with me through these inconsistent and somewhat distant times, and for staying interested in the story I have to tell. It really means the world. You know you can always keep up with me on instagram where I seem to be frequenting more often than the blog lately...I post daily on my fitness journey, the boys' happenings and occasional a sleeping hubs. 

August 22, 2013

PRESCHOOL

I was a little behind in finding a preschool for the boys because I was too busy living in denial that they were that old already- that they're big enough, and basically potty trained enough to go to preschool. The decision was pretty easy because every preschool here is so ungodly expensive $1000 a month per kid for part time?!!?! and don't get me wrong, I'm sure they're well worth the money but to me it's just a part time preschool. We're sending the boys off for some social time and to learn a few things, not to get their graduate degree. 

We'll be sending them to a school district preschool near our house that, while still expensive, is slightly more reasonable, very close to our house, and is just right for us. It's small, just one big room and that's it, unlike some places I've seen where it's one small room in big building with lots of kids. It feels homey, simple and clean. 

The best part? When we took the boys in for the open house, they walked right into the room, found the toys and started playing quietly with a couple of other kids. The boys talked away with each other and at the other kids (the two other girls didn't say anything haha!) and really enjoyed themselves. My two boys, the two shy late-talkers, were the only two kids talking in the room. Oh they're ready.
I'm a little sad we've reached this little milestone. My babies aren't babies; they're starting preschool. I'm sure I'll miss them the first few days and then come to my senses and realize I get 12 whole hours a week to myself now! WHAT? What the heck am I going to do with literally the most free time I've had since they were in my belly? 

I'm going to clean my house without anyone bothering me. You don't know how long I've wanted to just clean without anyone around. Do you know how much I can get done without interruptions? This constantly feeling behind thing that has been weighing me down lately? I'll finally have the time to do stuff! I'll have time to blog all the ideas that have been churning for months, to sew and focus on my etsy shop. I can work out and shower in peace and quiet.

This preschool thing is going to be good for all of us, I think.

August 20, 2013

a date in the city

A couple of weeks ago, Chikezie and I headed to the city for day "date" to meet up with some friends, one whose brother was visiting from Australia. We walked around the city, saw all the touristy things ourselves for one of the first times since usually we're taking our own families there and having to play tour guide.

We walked by an area with some awesome graffiti. I really love graffiti art. Like, actual art. Not the stupid tags and giant bubbly letters. I love art like this:

We walked up the hill to see Lombard Street, one of the curviest in the world? city? America? I don't know. It's pretty curvy. 
And then, because we hadn't walked enough at that point (we walked like 8 miles that day, and for me it was after one of my first days of Insanity and I was in flats...) we decided to walk up and back down the curvy part. Because you know, tourist mode. However, it was worth it because holy awesome view, Batman.

After all that walking we needed food but were too tired to keep walking, so hitched a ride in a Lyft which I'd never heard of but turned out to be one of the best part of the day. On-demand ride sharing. Our van had a pink fuzzy mustache on the front, and the back seat of the van was taken out and replaced with blankets and pillows haha! The guy played awesome music and gave us suckers. And let me tell you, flying around San Francisco hills while stretched out in the back of a van is a little like being in a roller coaster. 
 Please don't mind my creepy husband. He's usually like that.

Oh, and at some point during the day, we even got a decent photo together.

Until next time, San Fran.


August 16, 2013

a story about brothers growing up.

A couple of nights ago I had a slight glimpse into what the boys would be like as kids. Like, school aged boys who can speak in full sentences, have opinions and imaginations of their own that they can share with each other. I had a little glimpse.

We walked a few blocks to the mailbox where they like to help me mail etsy orders and on the way home I suggested they hold each other's hand instead of mine while crossing the street. (Don't worry, I was right there haha, I just wanted to see if they could help each other.) After a good 30 seconds of figuring out who puts the hand on the bottom because hey, mom always does that they got an awkward hand hold going. We looked both ways and crossed the street together when it was safe. I figured once we reached the sidewalk they'd let go, as that's how it usually goes with me.

But they held on. They held on to each other the whole way home.

I walked behind them, just observing. They were pointing to things they saw, forming half sentences and saying things that I usually say to them on our walks. Isaiah would lean out in front of Julian's face to annunciate his points and Julian would pull on Isaiah's hand when he wanted to go a certain way.

We reached a sprinkler that was spraying over the sidewalk and I thought for sure they'd let go and run through individually, but they didn't. They squeezed their little hands even tighter, and walked slowly through the mist, hunched over and giggling.

When it was time to cross the street to ours, I again expected them to let go of each other and hold on to mommy for security. They didn't. I guided them to the edge of the pavement, we looked for cars and saw one in the distance so I said, "Let's go-quick!". They squeezed those little hands tight once again and ran together across the street.

And then Julian tripped and fell on the curb, clutched his knee and started crying. I stood him up and we rubbed it, which didn't seem to be working. Then Isaiah reached out his hand toward Julian and in a higher tone of voice than I'm used to hearing from him, he said, "It's ok Yaya. It's ok." 

Julian stopped crying and took his brother's hand. We walked the rest of the way home like this, I followed them trying to absorb it all. The evening sun, at eye level shining at us through the trees. The cool ocean air, giving us a little kick in our step. Those two little boys, my whole world, acting so grown up together. 

Smiling like a big 'ole fool was all I could do to keep from melting into a big puddle of mush right there on the sidewalk. 


August 15, 2013

Stitchfix #3

My 3rd Stitchfix arrived and let me tell you, the past 3 months, it's been something I look forward to each time. I love getting a box of super cute clothes in the mail every month. I love trying them on from the privacy of my own house. This month's one got lost in the mail and I had to wait an extra few days to get it. The suspense!

If you haven't heard of Stitchfix here are the deets: 
1) Go the link, sign up and fill out all the info they ask for about your personal tastes, they'll hook you up with a stylist who'll send you a box with 5 items that they think will look great on you, based on what you tell them.
2) Pay a $20 styling fee which includes the box shipped to you and goes toward your purchase should you choose to keep anything in the box. 
3) Get your box (which you can set up on auto for once a month or schedule them as you wish) and try on your items! You have 3 days to decide and there's a free shipping bag included to send back what you don't want.

That's it. I seriously love it. Here's what I got this month. (Sorry for the crappy bathroom mirror photos. We have one full length mirror in our super dark bedroom, so this is the best I could do!)

1. Mystree - Silas Crochet Detail Belted Dress
Although this dress is really cute, it feels a little dressy for me, I have no idea where I'd wear it. I love the crochet shoulder detail but the dress itself really doesn't do much for me. 

2. Fiancee - Carmyn Striped Open Knit Cardigan
Gah! I love this. Lightweight, flowy, comfortable. I really have a hard time turning down a comfy cardigan. They're especially perfect for bay area weather year round, because it's cool in the mornings, warm during the day and then cool again at night. This is perfect.

3. Tea N Rose - Rosalie Mixed Material Printed Tank
Not a huge fan of this one. It's cute in theory and comfortable, but just not my style. 

4. Honey Punch- Payge Striped Cross-Back Sweater
My favorite of the box. So comfortable, a little bit sheer. It's orange and I don't have much of this color. You can't see the back but the panels cross giving it a cute detail. I really love, love this.

5. Collective Concepts - Ilean Crochet Detail Sleeveless Blouse
I've been needing a cute, casual tank to wear with pants. Jury is still out on this one. Seems a little busy for my taste but it's also gorgeous and the color is flattering. Just not sure. I like it, but do I love it? I have 3 days to decide.

Want to give it a try? There's nothing to lose, even if you only do it once, it's a super fun experience. GO HERE to read more and sign up!

August 13, 2013

Insanity Week 1

So, I'm doing Insanity. I think I found something that will not just challenge me but help strengthen my body. Why Insanity? Why not. I've heard a lot about it, always thought there was no way I could do it, especially with my back injury, but I needed a challenge. If you don't know anything about Insanity, here's a little look at the work out: 

The jumping and plyometrics actually appeals to me. Most of my volleyball training included a lot of jumping and plyo and since it's something familiar to me, it doesn't seem so bad. I really want to lose the last 12lbs I'm holding on to since having the boys. I know I shouldn't focus on a number or trying to be where I was before kids (because let's face it, our bodies completely change during pregnancy) but it's just this goal I've been wanting to reach since having the boys. I felt healthy and strong then. 

Here's the thing, I want to be stronger than I was. I want to be in better shape. I turn 29 soon, and would like to enter my 30's with a bang. The only thing to get what you want is not to wish but to work. And so I'll work. 

The Insanity program pretty much lays it all out for you. The send you a 60 day calendar with all the work outs laid out for you, all the dvd's and a recipe book. The only thing you have to do is stick with it. And let me tell you, it's really hard to make crappy food choices when you know it completely ruins the 40 minutes of pure crazyness that is the work out.
Oh the work outs. As you see from the preview video, it's intense. But I'm SO not in shape, like, hadn't worked out in months, have slipped/herniated disc in my lower back, lack muscle, was making poor eating choices. I push myself in each work out as hard as I can and don't worry about trying to keep up with the robots on the video. Even they can't even keep up. I'm dripping sweat, swearing under my breath, wondering how I'm going to do this over and over for weeks. However, the work outs are only around 40 minutes from start to finish, including at least 10 minutes of stretching. The warm up itself is about 10 minutes and you're dripping sweat. SO after the warm up and the stretching, you have about 15 minutes of actual training and then a cool down. Not bad.

I'm finished with Week 1 and have already seen changes not only in how I look but how I feel. Here's a visual comparison of Day 1 vs. Day 6: 
I haven't lost a single lb, actually up a little less than a lb BUT, when I start an intense work out program, my muscles swell up like crazy and hold on to all the water. I'm feeling a little thinner in the stomach area, as in-my shirts don't fit quite as tight around the belly. Everything else is still the same.

But I feel stronger. By the end of the first week I felt stronger, I could keep up a little better, I'm eating well. I'm still working on tweaking my calorie intake because I don't think I'm eating enough. The guide they give you has an easy way to figure out how much you need and has the simplest meal guide ever. I mean, if I can handle it, anyone can.

So that's it. I re-started week 2 yesterday since I had to take off a few days for our Disney vacation, and I'll give you all another update next week if you're cool with it. 

August 12, 2013

a quick trip to Disneyland.

In the chaos that has been this summer, and trying desperately to keep up with ... everything, we managed to slip in a super quick vacation. Thursday we rented a SUV and drove our little selves down to Anaheim, more specifically to Disneyland.

The boys travel so well. They took a little nap, ate some snacks and just generally looked out the window quietly the majority of the trip. We got there around 6, checked into our hotel and then rushed off to dinner with a group of Chikezie's work colleagues. The boys ate their weight in french fries and stayed up until 11 pm with not a single tear or fight or melt down. We've always had the boys adapt to our schedule rather than running back home at bed time. I think because we've done this since they were babies, they can handle being out late every now and then without incident.

The next morning we headed to Disneyland. The boys' first ride was the Dumbo ride, we waited in line 20 minutes and they did great, minus a small impatient melt down from Julian right before our turn. We ended going on about 5 rides with them, all short waits because ain't nobody got time to stand in a 45 minute line in the heat with a 3 1/2 year old. 

We decided we only really wanted to see one character, and went through Mickey's house and stood in line to see the big guy himself. I didn't know how the boys would react to him, but the second we turned the corner and saw Mickey, Isaiah pointed and yelled, "MICKEY MOUSE!" It was so cute and made all the waiting worth it. 



They high fived, waved, gave hugs, nose poked, and were just generally in awe of Mickey. I was so happy they didn't freak out and cry. I mean the crying pictures are funny, but I really just wanted them to get it. And they did. 

Their name embroidered Mickey ears are hanging in their room and soon these photos will be printed and hanging for them to remember that one time they high fived Mickey Mouse. (Because when we ask them about the trip all they mention is giving high fives, hah! In toddler world, that must be a pretty big deal.)

August 1, 2013

Senior Photos - Kristen

This week I've been sharing some of the senior photos I took of my brothers and sister while they were here visiting me a couple of weeks ago - you can see Josh and Bryce's photos here and here

Today, last but not least is my seester, Kristen. Homegirl is smart. Like, crazy smart. Well, they all three are, but she's way smarter than I am or ever was! She and I are a lot different but that's what makes me love her so much. She has grown up so much in the past couple of years, I can't wait to see the woman she becomes.

Oh, and the eyes. And the eyelashes. I put mascara on her and her lashes literally touched her eyebrows. I mean, my eyelashes are ok but I'm like, raging jealous over hers. 


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