Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dose of Reality

Here are a few more shots from the holiday that I wanted to share.

As you can tell, everyone had fun! But we got a heavy dose of reality when we got back. With the little girls, it shows up in sleep problems. Our room in Rancho Mirage had two queen beds so they slept with us. Now, of course, they don't went to sleep by themselves! Mia is missing our old house and, to top it off, she left her favorite doll, Pink Baby, somewhere the on the trip! She has slept with Pink Baby almost every night for the last three years. Mia is in serious grief mode.

We have decided to move at the end of the year, when the house is ready. I guess we were a little too optimistic about when the extra work we wanted done would be completed. So we will move in rather than spend another 2-3 months, after closing, in the condo. We will just have to live with a little construction here and there.

We are trying to keep things as close to the same as possible. So Mia still does her job of setting the silverware on the table for dinner. Here is what she put down at her place. I think maybe I need to supervise a little better!

This year we will be keeping things very simple for the Holidays, after all we already had our major celebration! We are only giving the girls two gifts each and will be trying to do things that are more spiritual, rather than commercial. I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Early Christmas

Last Friday we celebrated Christmas. Of course we'll celebrate it again in a month, but this time it was with the whole gang. We woke up to the smell of cinnamon rolls baking in the oven. This has been a Christmas tradition on and off over the last twenty years. For a few years hardly anyone was eating carbs so we nixed them. They are definitely a weakness for me! I have a sweet tooth.

Next was present time. It really didn't look that different than any other year except for the amount of toys and sunshine! Do you see our Christmas tree?

The big kids all agreed to not buy each other presents this year and only buy for the little guys. Joey and Brittany felt bad that Beth and Greg didn't have as much to open so they got them a gift anyway. You don't break rules when Beth is around!

After presents we all took showers and headed outside to get a family pic. I thought it turned out great. The girls found the best place in the yard, adjusted the camera settings, put the camera on a ladder and set the timer. Voila!

Next we did what we have done for the last five years on Christmas Day. Nothing! We stay in our pajamas as long as we want and eat leftovers from our big Christmas Eve dinner. This time we stayed in our bathing suits all day and ate leftovers from Thanksgiving! It was soooo relaxing and a great way to end the vacation.

Dan and I drove the girls home on Saturday and Sunday. It did not go nearly as well as the drive out! Anna wanted to get out of the car after about an hour. They have been slowly adjusting again to life here and need to stay in one place for awhile! Our new house will be done at the end of December but we have some things we want to do before we move in so we hope they will have a permanent place at the end of January!

Friday, November 23, 2012


We are having such a great time here in the California desert. I'm lucky to have two daughters with some photography skills so the pictures will be much better than usual! Late Tuesday night Beth and Greg arrived here at the house. Beth is taking a photography class and Mia and Anna were the subjects of her first project!

Mia likes to pretend Anna is a caged animal at the zoo. This not Anna's favorite game!

Thanks to the adults, she always gets to escape from the zoo!

Wednesday night Becky, Arek and Max arrived. And early Thursday morning Joey, Brittany and Avery joined us. Later that morning we got Dar and Sean, Matt and Lauren and Dani and Michael. Thanksgiving was a blast!

We were able to fit all sixteen of us in the great dining room here at the rental. Of course no one thought to take a picture! Today we had Christmas and I'll post about that tomorrow!

Monday, November 19, 2012

More Wedding Pics!

Beth and Greg were gracious enough to allow Roberta and me to be part of their ceremony. We read a poem together called The Art of Marriage. I kept waiting to get hit by a lightning bolt as I read all the things we should do to be a good partner. I fall so short!

Mia was a hit holding this sign. The other side of the sign was for the beginning of the ceremony and it said, "Here Comes the Bride."

The theme of the reception was vintage travel. The florist did an amazing job creating a vintage look with the centerpieces. Beth and Greg named the tables after cities they have visited together and wrote a little bit about what they did in each place.

So many many people have told me how much they loved the wedding and reception and how personal it was. That was a goal of Beth and Greg's and I think they achieved it!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Rancho Mirage

We are having a very relaxing time here in Rancho Mirage! It will pretty much just be the four of us until Wednesday. The girls are sleeping really well with all the fresh air and exercise they are getting.

We are loving the pool and spa we have all to ourselves. Well, I should say WE are loving the spa and Mia is loving the pool! It's too cold for rest of us right now, but we have been slowly heating it up each day.

Notice the safety fence around the pool. It's making this mama's vacation much more peaceful! This house is not as nice as the condo we were in last year , but it will fit all of us comfortably!

The kids are really loving the sandbox as well. We think we just may put one in the new house, incorporated as part of the landscape like this one. Then when the kids are older you can fill it in with rock.

Can't wait for all the older kids to join us in the middle of the week!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Another Wedding!

Tonight I finally have some time to work on my blog! Our biggest news of the week is that last night Joey and Brittany became engaged! They have talked about getting married quite a bit, but now it's official.

Yesterday was also the first anniversary of Mia's adoption. We are so happy to be your parents Mia Moo!

It has been a VERY busy four days. On Wednesday, poor Becky and Arek had quite the scare! Becky fed Max some formula made from powder for the first time and he broke immediately out in hives and vomited the entire bottle. Needless to say they rushed him to the emergency room. It was going to be a three to four hour wait so the staff took his vitals, which were normal, and Becky and Arek decided to take him to the doctor the next day. The next day the doctor told Becky that they will have to use trial and error to discover what formula Max can tolerate but he will be okay.

Since Becky was home on Wednesday, I took the girls to the Santa Ana Zoo. It is a small zoo that I took the older kids to several times when they were young. I thought it was a bit overpriced. I guess I've gotten used to the cost of living in Colorado! But the kids had a good time, mostly playing on the playground in the sand. A trip to the park would have been free and that's what Mia had requested anyway. Someday I'll listen!

Anna is at that stage where she copies everything Mia does. I love it! Anna was so very very afraid of Mia back in June I was wondering if she would ever get to this stage. But she has! She even tries to mimic Mia's tantrums but she just starts laughing. There have been a lot of a tantrums as Mia does not do well with change. We need to get that girl some stability!

My favorite part of the zoo was the bald eagle. I wish I had been able to get a picture of the wing span. It was amazing, looked like 15-20 feet across.

We rented this stroller which was quite a hit!

We watched Max again on Thursday and Friday. He is working very hard on getting his little thumb to stay in his mouth.

Last night we drove to Beverly Hills to attend an Air Force Ball for Dan's work. We used a babysitting service for the girls at the hotel. And today we drove to Rancho Mirage for our week of much needed vacation. Yes, the girls are very very confused about where home is! But they are loving the swimming pool!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Washing Day

Today was Day #2 of our little babysitting gig. I needed to do some wash so I took them all on a field the laundry room!

It was actually pretty fun for them. Max slept through the whole thing.

This was a lot of fun until Anna decided to turn the faucet on! Luckily I saw it and grabbed them both before they were soaking wet!

Opening and closing doors kept Anna occupied for a good ten minutes. So glad we had the place to ourselves. Some people might have been a little irritated at the sound of this!

Later, back at the apartment, Max is beginning to lift his head off the floor just a bit. He must be looking for his grandma!

The girls really love him!

As promised, here are a few more pics of the wedding!

This is Greg's "First Look" of Beth. They opted to take pictures before the wedding.

Sisters are special, even when they are 28 years apart!

Here is the intimate wedding party. I love the idea of having a small group of people that are really close to you stand up for you at the wedding.

More pics of Max and the wedding tomorrow!