Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Little Tiny Ice Castles

There are only two snapshots I have in my mind when I think back to my 3 year old self watching the movie Ice Castles, one is of Lexie gracefully spinning around at night on a quiet and serene snow covered pond and then suddenly flailing her arms in the air as she pummeled through some branches and dove head-first into a tree. Which come to think of it was probably really effin' scary for a 3 year old! And also, was that really what happened? Because that's what I think happened in the movie, but again I was THREE! Mom, what the hell was a 3 year old doing watching Ice Castles anyway? The second image I have in my mind is her skating again! Yay! She's back! Sure, she's blind, but she's back! And she's skating to THAT SONG! You know the one, that totally cheesy yet super addicting song by Melissa Manchester.

Pleeeeeeease, don't let this feeeeeeeeling end.........

And while I only carry with me those 2 images, they were strong enough for me to fall in love with ice skating. Not that I could ever do it, mind you. No, watching me ice skate is probably the single FUNNIEST thing ever, but watching professional figure skaters is awesome. 

I'm a sucker for a fancy outfit, a great song and choreography that stands out. I will always laugh when a skater falls, it's a tragic habit of mine. And watching them watch their scores is almost better than the performance itself. 

So when Bella asked for ice skates for Christmas I was thrilled! Somewhere deep down in the files of my mother's intuition I always thought she'd be a great skater. Okay, maybe it had nothing to do with cosmic fate and everything to do with me wanting to pick the outfit, choose the song and plan the routine. Either way, she was intrested and I was game.

Santa also brought her a 2 person inflatable ice rink for our yard. And like true hillbillies, it sat out in our yard for weeks before it was cold enough to freeze! And then it melted 3 days later, and now the damn hose is frozen so I have no way of filling it up again. BUT FOR THOSE 3 DAYS IT WAS GREAT! SEE?!

There's Mia with NO jacket and NO gloves. It's like WWIII trying to get her bundled up!

He wanted so badly to skate. In a couple years, buddy.

Look at Chance pouting from the sidelines!

With the enthusiasm of a 10 year old, I signed the girls up for ice skating lessons at our local skating rink. Aside from their backyard romp, they had never been on ice before and oh my god did it show. Bella fell about 30 times within the first 30 minutes. Even though I prepped them on the ride over, "Girls, you will fall--a lot, but you get right back up again" I wasn't prepared to see my child fall so much. Those first 30 minutes were so hard for me to watch, I even teared up a bit (get a hold of yourself Gina) and then proceeded to mentally slap myself because my momentary parental weakness made me sick to my stomach. 

By the end of the first class they both were doing SO much better! Yesterday they attended their 4th class and Bella even learned a spin! Here it is:

And Mia learning to touch her toes and lift one leg up:

They've come a long way since that first class and I'm so proud of their confidence they gain every week. Soon enough we'll all be triple lutzing and sow cowing all over the place. But in the meantime, I've got the Ice Castles trailer to keep me going...

And in case grainy film and feathered hair isn't your thing, in 2010 they made a remake!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Penny For My Thought

1. My back is starting to pregnancy ache. You know the feeling, right around 5:30 when you realize all you've done is run around all day long. Sitting down and relaxing is apparently overrated. 

2. We have a few contenders on possible boy names and if he was born tomorrow we know what we'd name him. But.....we've got a long way to go and we're not totally solid on our name yet.

3. Mia's got Kindergarten registration soon. I'm so happy and excited for her and can't wait to see her reaction to it. Ughh, another first day first time on the school bus. It's going to rip my heart out...

4. Chance is talking like crazy. Which is a good thing because he waited a really long time to strut his stuff. But fear not Mom, all is well.

5. I'm completely and totally over winter already. Yesterday it was 9 degrees. And I had to go grocery shopping. MISERABLY BRUTAL!

6. Mia got a report card that brought tears to my eyes. So proud of how far she's come. Bella gets her 2nd quarter report card this Friday and we've already booked a weekend in Wisconsin Dells to celebrate it. Yahoo!

7. I'm trying to embrace this pregnancy the way I did the first because this time I know it's my last. And it's just SO hard to do when you've got 3 other kids to take care of. But little by little, I'm trying.

8. A friend of mine got me a 5 year journal for my birthday and every day it asks a simple question with space to write a simple sentence. It's awesome and it's totally doable.

9. Eugene and the kids got me a sewing machine for my birthday. And I have to admit, I'm excited about the possibilities. If I can make my own pillows, I will be one happy girl. Signing up fpr classes soon.

10. I ate at the MOST amazing restaurant ever and I can't wait till I've got enough time to sit down and write about our experience.

11. The girls are taking ice skating lessons and it's the cutest thing ever. 

12. Spring Break will be here before I know it and I've got this growing urge to take one last trip as the 5 of us and I'm having a hard time planning it. I shouldn't be flying anywhere too far since it'll be 2 months before the due date. So perhaps, we'll drive somewhere. Somewhere sunny. Yes, that would be perfect.

13. I love my Kindle Fire and I'm reading Gone Girl and it's really great. Though I still only average about 7 pages a night before nodding off. Seriously, how and when do people find the time to read???

14. It's very unlike me to write a post with no picture or video so here's Mia talking of her ideas on art:

Or perhaps you fancy the special effect noises that boys seem to always make when playing with a car, or an airplane or a train or in this case a transforming Alphabot named Spiderman...

Good Night Friends!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Our Baby is a....

The plan was set. We'd ask the ultrasound technician to write down the sex of our baby and seal it an envelope. We'd bring the sealed envelope to Party City and let them fill our pre-made box with either blue or pink balloons for an awesome surprise. Perfect, right? Wrong.

Our technician refused to write anything down, saying "putting it on paper makes it legal & ya'll could sue me if I'm wrong."

What?! Are you freakin' kidding me?!

How about I sign my name that I won't sue you and we call it a day you honest, by the book, law abiding, surprise-crushing hussy!

I almost got all 5 month preggo on her before Eugene intervened and volunteered himself to be privy of the info to still allow for my surpsrise. I closed me eyes and he took one for the team. Actually, there wasn't a chance in hell that he'd leave that dark room not knowing, see he always wants to know. I-on the other hand-likes me a little suspense now and then.

My second pregnancy back in '08 was a surprise until the day of. Truthfully, I actually loved not knowing those 9.5 months because I knew the wait would be worth it. I knew that moment when they gave me my baby and announced her or him would be the most magical, most transcending moment ever.

Um, someone should have reminded me that I was getting a c-section and that the FURTHEST thing on their mind is what type of baby it is. There I was, loopy as hell pinned to a surgical table hearing my baby cry and STILL NOT KNOWING whether it's a boy or girl. I think they just assumed that I knew. It really wasn't what I had expected.

So this time, we wanted to make it a moment with everyone. And though Eugene knew, I think he loved watching it all unfold and it also meant that he could properly capture it.

After giving my "colors are colors and they don't define who we are and don't let corporate america tell you that blue is for boys and pink is for girls and see! look! Mommy's even wearing blue in defiance of such ridiculousness" speech I told them that for all intents and purposes we'll play their little game this time.

 Here goes:

Being with my family when finding out was so much more meaningful than in a dark technicians office or half numb in a cold hospital. 

No, this was perfect!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Tooth Fairy came! The Tooth Fairy came!

For the past 2 weeks Bella has been spotted all day long wiggling her ONE loose tooth. I'd catch her doing it in the car, on the couch, reading a book, in between bites of food--all the while loosening the heck out of it.

Two nights ago Eugene and I lay awake in bed and we hear our door SLOWLY creak open, ya know in the creepy horror movie kind of way--and it was Bella who came to tell us that her tooth was SERIOUSLY loose this time. Which meant that she had spent the past 3 hours in bed JIGGLING IT AGAIN! So at 10:30 at night Bella, Eugene and I huddled in our bathroom to check it out.

With a flick of her tongue her tooth would fall forward hanging on by a thread. It was hilarious actually.

I dared her to pull it out. She just laughed.

Apparently, she really wanted it to fall out at school because then she could get a super cool treasure box to hold it in. So we sent her back to bed and Eugene and I just smiled at eachother. Our little girl was getting so big....

When I picked her up yesterday from her Girl Scouts Meeting (btw, need any cookies?) she came rushing over to tell me that her tooth fell out!!!!! I hoisted her up in the air and hugged her like she was 9 months old again, so happy for her and her milestone. The story goes, she pulled it out during one of her reading sessions, alerted the teacher and was immediately sent to the nurse where sure enough, she got a little plastic treasure box to hold the tooth.

Not 10 minutes after she was home she had a letter written and placed under her pillow, which I didn't even know about until bedtime.

I adore her girly question mark!

But when I tucked her in I noticed the tooth wasn't there. Hmmm. "Bella, why wouldn't you put the tooth under the pillow for the tooth fairy? Girl, that's how the story goes" I said.

"Because mom, remember in the movie Rise of the Guardians, when a tooth fairy takes a tooth it then holds all of their childhood memories. I don't want to give her my tooth because I want to remember all of my memories from childhood."

And my heart gushed right there. And if that wasn't enough she continued,

"Besides Mom, I don't need the money. Nana and Papa already gave me $2--I don't need any more. I just want my tooth and my memories."

The knife sunk in deeper.

"How about I hold on to the tooth then, for safe keeping" I assured her. She agreed and handed over the little treasure box.

So later that night, hours after she fell asleep the Tooth Fairy came and left a teeny, tiny letter addressed in a teeny, tiny envelope congratulating her on her 1st tooth loss. The letter also reminded her of a very special memory of hers. And filled with glitter was a rolled up $5 bill.


Happy 1st Tooth Loss Bella!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

So long 2012, it's been peachy!

We rang in the new year like most 30-something parents, relaxing on the couch remembering those drunken, hazy, room-spinning New Years from days gone by.

Gosh we were idiots, weren't we?

This year we had a nice dinner with all four grandparents and my sister...

My NYE highlight was no longer how trashy I could wear my make-up or how loud I can scream backwards from ten, no this year it was making some personalized glasses with paint markers five minutes before dinner began. Shit, how times have changed.

We had our own countdown at about 10:18 when it was clear to everyone that the kids must go to bed, for the sake of mankind these kids needed to go to bed!!! We passed out some Auld Lang Syne lyrics and hugged everyone tight.

2012 has been a great year. Here's some of our highlights...

Our Wisconsin Dells weekend getaway in the middle of Winter

Our American Girl turned 6

The Best Surprise Birthday Party EVER!!

Mia turned 5 and we all turned Pink

A Memorial Day Camp-Out

I performed on stage! Holy crap!

Our Tattoo Booth

Hot Air Balloons

Viva Las Vegas

Choo! Choo! Chance is TWO!

Summertime Lemonade Stand

Indiana Dunes

Movie Under the Stars

Bella's 1st Day of 1st Grade

Mia's 1st day of 4k

A Wonka Halloween

A Thankful Thanksgiving

A Christmas Surprise

Here's to 2013!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Merry, Merry Christmas 2012

Well the Yuletide fever has come and gone but what a great Christmas this was. My in-laws from California were here to celebrate the season and it made everything complete. 

Here's the pics....

The last night that Dobby and Elmo (my nephew's Elf) watched over us. 
Clearly, they're open minded.

8:30 AM Christmas morning. The holding area. The kids were told to wait until we were all prepped with cameras etc. This was the longest five minutes of their lives!


These few seconds in time when they walk into the room is so precious and yet so fleeting....

Santa brought Mia an awesome pirate treasure chest that was stocked with jewels, jewelry, perfume, hair accessories, fake glasses and a real treasure map! Pirate Queen Mia was THRILLED!

Santa brought Bella a pair of ice skates and her very own two person ice skating rink that is STILL not frozen yet, nearly a week later. Thanks global warming.

The kids gave Eugene and I our very own placemats!

Bella gave Mia a brand new school shirt to get her ready for her Kindergarten debut later this year. Milliseconds after this picture was captured she tossed the shirt aside, totally not getting it.
But I was with you all along Bella--it was an adorable gesture.

Little man Chance got a train table that BLEW HIS MIND. He wouldn't even look up for a picture he was so intent on playing with everything.

Later that day the entire family joined us for a pajama party Christmas. Yes, that is right. AN ADULT CHRISTMAS PAJAMA PARTY. I can't tell you how comfortable it was eating our
face off all day long while wearing stretchy pants.
It's a genius idea and I highly recommend this becomes a new family tradition.

For our Christmas day pajama party, the theme was "A Few of My Favorite Things." Every single person at the party made or brought their favorite meal. Every hour a new dish was passed out. 
It was heavenly.

We repurposed this Hallmark folding picture album to display our menu and each participant needed to explain why this was their favorite dish.

First Course- spinach lasagna, Portillo's italian beef & bruschetta.
Paired with Oyster Bay Pinot Nior.

Second course- Chocolate Malts (by the Narciso kids)

Third Course- Kare Kare, Ginataang hipon, and penil.
Paired with San Miguel Beer, Philippines

Fourth Course- Spaghetti al cartoccio, petit filet mignon sandwiches and mashed potatoes and lobster
Paired with- Santa Margherita pinot grigio and Mount Vedeer Cabernet Sauvignon

Fifth Course- Baker's Square french silk pie and homemade chocolate brownies ala mode
Paired with Fromboise Lambic beer and Kahlua Coffee, Mexico.

The girls enjoyed some fireside coloring between courses.

It was a pefect Christmas, from 8:30AM- 11:30PM we enjoyed eachother and relaxed more than normal, which is always a nice treat.

Shortly after Christmas we took a trip to our local forest preserves for some Winter fun

We dined in Chinatown

And took in all the sights at the Museum of Science and Industry.

On the busiest day of the year we randomly run into OUR NEIGHBORS and 
one of our favorite local families. 

The kids had SO much fun with this unexpected surprise.

The hall of trees that were dercorated for each country was so cool. 
Here's the filipinos in front of the Philippines tree!

We became yearly members so we'll have to make another trip soon. We had so much fun!


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