Sunday, June 29, 2008

A great weekend

What a fun weekend and it's not even over! Being that summer is here it seems like we are trying to cramp in as many activities as possible, but what else is new?

We kicked off the summer concert in the park series on Friday and joined a few other families and my sister over at El Dorado park. Tina brought all 3 kids by herself and made it look effortless. I don't know how she does it! She basically has 2 newborns and a 4 year old that is a typical rambunctious boy, even trying to escape on us to a neighboring family. He's no match for us though and we quickly found him and brought him back to our site thank goodness. She then shocked us by saying they might have another! Not sure if our look of shock and horror scared her from the idea though...

Saturday was our usual of swim lessons in which Taylor protested and whined the entire hour before going, but then once she got there she was a champ. She actaully swam under water for a few feet! I can't wait to go next week so I can see for myself. Before swim lessons though, Art cooked breakfast and was so sweet. He cut up a nectarine for her and laid it out beautifully on her plate. When she saw what he had done she shrieked in horror and said rather rudely "I did not want my nectarine like that!" I had to capture the moment with a picture (attached). I said to Art, "you treat her like royalty and eventually she will act like royalty."

Saturday afternoon I went to get a mani/pedi and then met up with a friend for coffee and shopping on 2nd street. We ended up having such a nice time sitting and talking we didn't have time for shopping. Probably better that way I guess. Thanks for such a nice afternoon J!

I came home to find that Taylor had taken a pair of her craft scissors to her hair because she wanted bangs like Dora and mommy! She cut a chunk of her hair down to about a 1/2 inch stub. Aghhh!!!

We then headed over to Shahe and Amy's (and baby Andrew) for a delicious dinner. It was so nice just chilling in their backyard. although Sydney was in a foul mood I must admit. Super fussy and cranky. Oh well, I guess all moments can't be picture perfect right?

lastly, this mornign we went to church and then had a picnic lunch afterwards at Heartwell park where the kids (Taylor and Art) climbed trees. The day couldn't have been more gorgeous.

Phew! That's about it. We are now just researching bike trailers to buy. With summer in full swing we thought it would be great to get on the road with our bikes and save some gas money too!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My husband is a computer braniac geek and I love it!

So tonight I was telling Art that I wanted to change my blog around a bit and spread the text out so that it wasn't running just down the middle of the whole screen. I mentioned that there was an edit HTML option on the blog and he said "oh, i could fix that in about 10 seconds, let's go do it now."

He proceeds to start opening the page (he has never even been on blog spot) and starts moving crap around and entering code in HTML and all this crazy stuff. he's saying, "look you could rearrange the pictures like this by typing in this code, and blah blah blah." You get the picture. I ask him how he knows all this stuff and he says "just by reading it and figuring out what it was saying and this is nothing, you should see all the crazy stuff I have to do." I'm thinking, okay you're a nerd and a total genius all at the same time and I love it! He did teach me how to sort of move pictures around in posts. See how I put one picture at the top of the post and one picture at the bottom of the post in the Summer Lovin' post? Aren't I cool! :)

Summer Lovin'

Yesterday evening we enjoyed the warm weather and extra daylight. While waiting for daddy to come home we ventured out front and Taylor picked flowers and Syd crawled around like a crazy man. Have I mentioned how much Sydney DOES NOT like getting dressed and prefers to be in as little as possible? Hence the shirt and diaper look. Anyhow, i really don't understand how babies can crawl all over the place, including concrete and not get calloused knees?

Syd does not like crawling on the grass though so he does the cute bear crawl thing. taylor noticed him doing this and said "look, Sydney is doing yoga!"

Daddy arrived home and we all played out front for a bit more. But before going inside for the night daddy and Taylor had to practice their cheer moves and Art was throwing her in the air as high as he could. I was kinda getting freaked out, but he did catch her everytime :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Full Day

Today a friend of mine that I used to work with at SJK came over for a playdate. Her son was born on my bday actually and is just 1 month older than Sydney. In preparation for their visit Taylor helped me make homemade hummus (1st time ever). Taylor loves to help anytime anywhere if it involves cooking in the kitchen. The recipe was super easy and very good:
1 can Garbanzo beans
1 cup roasted red pepper
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of cinnamon
Toss above in a blender and pour in olive oil while pureeing to desired consistency. S/P to taste.
Taylor LOVED it and ate a ton of it with pretzel slims, carrots and cherry tomatoes. I have never seen her eat so much hummus and I was happy because I knew she was getting a good dose of veggies :)
The kids played all around the house and in the yard and even got into the kiddy pool.
We had Jill over for dinner to say goodbye. Jill has been our nany 1/day a week for the last 9months and is moving back to San Jose after graduating from CSULB. We will miss her dearly.
I made spinach and ricotta stuffed chicken (ala Jillian Michaels) and it was delicous!
After the kids went to bed Art and I had a nice, albeit tearful heart to heart about the family, where we're heading and so forth. Sort of a taking stock talk. After our talk I stumbled upon a freind's blog and read a post about an author named Sally Clarkson. She gave a review of one of her books she just read and I also linked onto the author's blog and reading it was just waht I needed tonight. I plan to pick up the book soon and give it a read:
The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child's Heart for Eternity
Here is an exerpt from the book:

No calling is greater, nobler, or more fulfilling than that of motherhood. Every day, as we nurture our children, mothers influence eternal destiny as no one else can. Tragically, today's culture minimizes the vital importance of a mother's role. By catching a vision of God's original design and allowing it to shape your life, you can rediscover the joy and fulfillment that can be found in the strategic role to which God in all his wisdom has called you, for a purpose far greater than you can ever imagine.
Maybe I will see if mom will go to Lighthouse tomorrow and pick it up for me.

Nighty night.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Art and Andrea

So since I know the whole purpose of this blog is for everyone to hear about the kids, I won't bore you all too much and will keep this update short and sweet!

Art is still running CIU very successfully, however, he is in desperate need of hiring a tech so he can take a vacation! It's been 3 years since he has taken more than 2 days off of work. he is an amazing dad and the kids just adore him. In his very very spare time, he still enjoys watching movies and reading science fiction and murder mystery novels. His favorite movie of 07 was that Cohen brothers film that I didn't get at all but he absolutely loved. He'll kill me for not remembering the name of it! I had to go back and add in that the movie is called No Country for Old Men! there, happy Art?
I continue to work part time (2 days a week) at St. John as the product knowledge coordinator and Nana and Grandma watch the kids those two days. When not at work I revolve my days around the kids various activities and sneak in some time for the gym, reading and cooking (just barely though). I also have made a great group of "mom" friends here in Long Beach and we do a lot of fun things together both with and without the kids. We went to see Sex and The City on opening night for instance and had a blast. Big and Carrie did get married after all :) My favorite movie of 07 was Juno.
Alright enough about us!

Taylor Turns Three!

Hi Again!

I thought it best to start by sharing an update of what we're all up to as of June 2008. Bear with me as I know this initial post is going to be extra long and I promise going forward I won't write such a diary! I think I will do 3 different posts though, one for each child and then one for Art and I. So here goes...

Taylor turned 3 on April 19th and we celebrated by having a small "girls only" tea party per her request! We had 9 of her little friends and cousin over for a Think Pink Tea Party and served tea sandwiches, pink colored chocolate covered strawberries, raspberries, raspberry scones and of course tea. I was surprised how many of the little girls actually sat there and drank tea for a period of time. You could tell they were all having so much fun it was really cute. Nana and Aunt Carrie did face painting and cousin Elizabeth painted nails. The girls were all treated like royalty, although what else is new right? :)

We then followed up the tea party with a family birthday celebration which was really fun too. She had a full day indeed!

Taylor and I did a co-op preschool program for the Spring semester through Long Beach City College and let's just say it was a good learning experience for us all. Without getting into too much detail, we have decided that in the Fall we will switch to a more traditional preschool where she will go 2 days a week and with a lot more structure. Taylor thrives off of structure and routine, always has always will I guess. She's too much like her momma!

We are blown away everyday by our little girl and how smart and sweet she is. She has a gazillion words including complicated as in, "Grandma, Sydney's just complicated." She knows a ton of songs and nursery rhymes by heart and has even started making up her own songs. Just yesterday she was teaching me the words to a song about her puppy dog "puppy dog brings me so much joy everyday. he is the best puppy in the whole wide world." She is truly a sweetheart and gives us her big squishy hugs and kisses everyday. The best though is when she comes up to me or Art out of nowhere and just tells us she loves us.

While I just spent a whole paragraph bragging about my seemingly perfect little girl, she has of course given us her fair share of challenges. Just this morning she threw her weekly fit about not wanting to go to swim lessons (although she of course has a great time once she finally gets there!). For about 30 minutes she screams, cries, yells, whines and any other form of outburst you can think of telling us "(she) does not want to go to swim lessons". She must say that sentence a thousand times over and over. Such a pleasant way to start the day!

While Taylor can be very outgoing and talkative in small groups and situations where she feels comfortable, she clams up and gets quite anxious in a large group and around new people. This anxiety has been heightened in the last few months and it's made things like birthday parties a bit of a struggle. Art and I are just trying to remain patient and help her work through it but it can be frustrating sometimes because I feel like she misses out on great experiences because she is too scared to try them. For example I recently had to pull her out of gymnastics because she flat out refused to participate and after 2 sessions of her throwing a fit, I decided the stress just wasn't worth it for me or her.

So overall though we can't complain too much about life with our 3 year old princess. She continues to love to read, playing with her friends like Skylar and cousins, and is obsessed with arts and crafts and is enjoying lots of outside time in her pool and at the beach now that summer is here. She has had a few sleepovers at Grandma and Papa's house, which she loves. And we just started a mommy and me yoga class taught by Wendy and she really loved the first class. It should be a good summer!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sydney Turns 1!

Where oh where did the last year go? Sydney turned the BIG 1 on May 20th, 2008 and we had a HUGE birthday luau to celebrate. Art and I figured that we deserved the party as much as Syd did since we survived the first year with 2, and what a year it was.

At 9 weeks of age, Sydney was diagnosed with torticollis and had to undergo physical therapy and chiropractic adjustments every week to help get his neck back in line. At 12 weeks he got a very bad cold which turned into bronchiolitis and an ear infection. At 4 months of age he was diagnosed with acid reflux after his fussiness grew worse and worse as did his sleeping. The nights before he started reflux medicine he was up every 45 minutes. You can only imagine the state we were in after surviving on little to no sleep. At 6 months he got his second ear infection and second round of bronchiolitis. At his 9 month check up the doctor referred us to receive a second opinion from a urologist regarding his undescended testicle. The surgeon urged us to have surgery to bring the testicle down before his first birthday, so on April 4th our little man went to UCIrvine Medical Center to have outpatient surgery. WOW! Sydney has been through so much in his first year of life and has still managed to emerge an overall healthy and fun little guy :)
Sydney is a spirited little rascal and is into EVERYTHING! Dog bowls, toilet, trash, dirt, and basically anything he's not supposed to have. He is very passionate :) When he is happy, he is oh so happy. But when he is mad watch out! He is famous for banging his head on the ground or head butting you if you do not let him have what he wants. I currently have a fat lip from him head butting me and a bruise on my shoulder from him biting me. I know he sounds like a terror, but really he is a sweet funny little boy. He can light up a room with his smile and really enjoys being around people. In our LBCC child development class he would make the rounds with all the moms and flirt with them and would love to sit on the teachers lap.

He is by nature a momma's boy though! lately he has been rather clingy and will often cry if I leave the room or will be happy with grandma but as soon as I walk in the room he wants me. I can't say I mind too much :)

Sydney is still crawling around and is cruising everywhere, but still no steps. he has a few words including momma, dada, good girl and his absolute favorite, doggy. he just started signing for more and all done and claps furiously whenever he is happy. He has 4 teeth and we are waiting patiently for more to come in since the last teeth that popped through were in March! he loves playing with balls and has quite a good arm on him. he is just now starting to like getting in the kiddy pool with big sis too.

One of Sydney's absolute favorite things to do though is listen to music and dance. As soon as a tune comes on he starts jammin'. This morning I put on a lullaby CD for him thinking there's no way he would start dancing to it and sure enough he did! He also enjoyed dancing to Rhianna yesterday morning as she performed "please don't stop the music" on the Today show. Our friends Jenn and Jason got him the Backyardigans CD for his 1st birthday and it has been a favorite of both kids ever since.

Well I think that's it for Syd man. he keeps us on our toes so check back to hear more about his crazy adventures!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

We're up and running

Well folks we are up and running! I made a vow this week to get a blog started of the family so I can keep track of fun memories and important events, as well as share stories and pictures with family and friends, and here we are! I'll be back soon to post some pics and give an update on life in the Howe family as of June 2008 :)

Great day to all!


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