Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Stallion Springs Park

May 27-28, 2008

Since Andy's pretty much been working non stop lately the kids and I decided to stay a couple extra days up in Tehachapi. Being that I lived there from the age of 8 until the age of 18 when I left for college every time I get a chance to get up there always brings back old memories. Tehachapi has come a long ways in the 6 years that I've been away. It's moved up from the little two stoplight town that it used to be. This time going up there was kind of special because an old friend of mine was in town. While I was there I got a chance to have lunch with her and another old friend and we had a chance to catch up on all the things we've done in the past 6 or so years since we've been out of school. It's amazing to look back at all the things that have happened in what seemed like such a short time. It was also a little humorous to think back and remember what I thought life would be like at this point and to see how different it really is, good different.

Another fun thing that we got to do that I haven't done since I was a kid was feed the ducks and play on the toys at the little Stallion Springs park. Evelyn and Preston had fun hanging out with their Grandma and Grandpa Fitzgerald and Aunt Tiffany. They played on the toys for a few minutes and I got a couple of cute picture of them playing together. We headed down to the lake and Evelyn got a kick out of watching the ducks eating the bread that we brought for them. It was cute to watch her try to throw the bread as far as she could out onto the lake only to have it land no more than a foot in front of her.

An old childhood memory that I had when we were at the park was the days when Nichole, myself, our friends and sometimes Scott (he always slowed us down so we always tried to leave without him, poor guy ::Sorry Scott::) used to ride our bikes down the hill from our house on Jacks Hill to go to the park. There's a little covered bridge there that we used to crawl under, hang out and watch all the frogs and fish and stuff. Looking back it was pretty gross under there but it was our little secret hangout so it made us feel pretty special. Sometimes we'd bring old bread for the ducks and just sit around feeding the ducks until the bread ran out and then we'd almost always ride our bikes down to the general store to spend our extra money on a treat. Our good old border collie, Gypsy, was always with us and never left our side. She was the best dog ever! Just being at the park brought back all kinds of memories and even typing this out I keep remembering little details here and there. The whole Tehachapi trip was great! It was fun getting to share a little glimpse of what my childhood was like with my own kids.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day in T-town

May 26, 2008~

For Memorial Day this year my family all got together at my mom and dad's home in Tehachapi. We had a great time. My dad BBQ some delicious chicken, hot dogs & hamburgers. My sister and her kids where there so the kids had a good old time playing together. My dad showed them the pool table and he gave them all quarters to put in his candy machine. They loved it! Afterwards the kids took turns sitting in his new hammock. My Grandma also handed some clothes down to the kids and Preston got an adorable little tie for church.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Maybe Life Isn't So Bad After All

May 6, 2008~

I've realized one great benefit about living with my in laws. They have the most gorgeous back yard ever and to top it off a beautiful sparkling pool. Yeah, so this may actually be the summer I get a tan. I seriously plan on spending at least 5 out of 7 days in the pool. Yesterday, I took the kids on their first swim of the season. They both really liked it! So much so that Preston fell asleep in his floaty and Evelyn refused to get out. I am so glad that they both love the water. My thinking is that by the end of summer I'm going to have two little water babies on my hands. It's going to be a great summer, that's for sure!

Another new thing for us is that Evelyn, by default (since her crib is somewhere in our storage unit), is now sleeping in a big bed and doing surprisingly well. I always imagined that as soon as we switched her over she would be staying up until all hours of the night, wandering around and getting into all kinds of unsupervised trouble but she's actually been really great. It does help a lot the fact that she hasn't yet learned how to open doors. At the moment she's sleeping on a mattress on the floor. There's actually plenty of beds for her to sleep in but I'm not sure she's quite ready for that. She moves around SO much in her sleep, it's hilarious. One night when I was at my sister Evelyn fell asleep on the couch and I walked out of the room to get something. A few minutes later I heard a loud thud and I run over to see Evelyn laying sprawled out on the floor. I couldn't believe it, she had actually fallen off of the couch and didn't even wake up. For that reason alone she's better off as close to the ground as possible. Despite the fact that she moves around so much, she is a great sleeper and she's been sleeping great ever since we moved out here. I am certainly blessed for that!

Another new advancement for me is that I have a new calling. It didn't take long at all, we've only been in the ward for 2 weeks, but it helps when 2 of Andy's cousins are in the Primary Presidency. I am the new CTR8 Teacher and Assistant Achievement Day Leader. I couldn't be happier! If I got to pick any age group in primary to teach, it would be the 8 year olds. They are at the age where they actually understand things but they are still young enough to still be eager to listen and learn. Plus it's such an important year for them since they all get to be baptized this year. Achievement days should be a lot of fun too! I'm super excited to start going to the activities and meeting all the 8-11 year old girls. Our new ward seems really nice. It's small so everyone seems eager to welcome us into the ward. I can't even count how many people came up to us the first week and introduced themselves. I already miss the Monica Ward and all our friends but it does help that we are moving into another great ward.

The last little tid bit I wanted to mention is about Evelyn. Lately I've been working with her on her colors. I'll point to something and tell her what color it is and then I'll turn it around and ask her what color it is and no matter what color it is she always says YELLOW. She is totally stuck on the color yellow. To her EVERYTHING is yellow. I'm starting to think that all she sees is yellow. Yellow pants, yellow counter tops, yellow.. yellow.. yellow. It is a bit comical. It's funny because she knows the names of the colors but she just can't associate them with the actual color. So to her everything is just "yellow" (and on some very rare occasions BLUE). Maybe she figures if she just keeps guessing yellow she'll eventually get the answer right. Who knows?

Oh yeah, there is one more thing. Evelyn, for some reason, has started calling me by my first name. I think it's because we've been spending so much time around other people so that's what she hears other people call me by. I'll admit it's pretty cute. She alternates between my name and mommy. I guess whichever gets my attention. The cutest part is the way she says it, Amer; just completely leaving the B out. I keep thinking that I'd better correct her but I get so much of a kick out of it that I just haven't done it yet.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Past Month

Things are FINALLY starting to look a little better for us which is great because I have never been so much in a downward spiral in my entire life. We are officially moved out, no more house :( but on the other hand no more worry or mortgage:). In the process of moving however we got robbed, that's right, striped of all our worldly possessions. Not the most fun experience but definitely one of the most humbling. We lost just about all the expensive stuff that we had at home; Andy's collection of guitars (including his very first guitar) plus all the amps and peddles that went with those, Andy's full drum set, my bike, my tennis gear (which was a racket that my coach gave me in High School and a really nice expensive racket that Andy gave me as a gift), a stack of baby blankets, our home theater system, x-box 360 plus games, our vintage Nintendo (still in the box), and a bunch of other stuff that I still don't even know. Luckily for us Andy had taken all his work gear and our brand new computer to his new office so although the whole thing stinks it could have been a whole lot worse. Despite everything imaginable going horribly wrong we've managed to stay fairly positive. Our family is safe, we have a place to live (rent free) and everyone has given us so much love and support. I've also taken a few life lessons out of the whole experience. 1. Never say that life couldn't get any worse because it CAN 2. Your belongings don't mean anything, it's your family that counts 3. The value of good friends and family 4. The importance of staying positive 5. Don't be an idiot and leave valuables in plain site of the door and on top of that don't leave tools outside for the bad guys to use to open the door.

Amongst all the chaos the kids have been amazingly adaptive and have made leaps in their development. I seriously couldn't be more proud of them.

Evelyn has been her trouble seeking sweet little self these days. I seriously can't manage to clean up after her fast enough. She somehow manages to get into everything and never stops making a mess. She is cute though, their's no denying that! She is learning so fast now it's unbelievable. Her latest and greatest achievement is that she can now count to 10 all by herself. I am so proud of her! I hardly take any credit for it though. I think it's all the Sesame Street she watches. She's also picking up the alphabet really well. She knows A-F and then quite a few random letters in between. She's also now at that stage where she repeats everything you say. On occasion I've caught myself saying "crap" so I've had to be really careful. It doesn't seem like that bad of a word until you've hear it repeated back to you by a 2 year old. As it is some of the normal words she says sound like cuss words (an exploit that Andy has quickly taken advantage of). Evelyn and I have started a new little ritual. Every night before bedtime we say our prayers together and sing songs. It's come to be one of my favorite times of the day because it's really the only time that I get to focus all of my attention of Evelyn. She loves to sing too! Our day certainly wouldn't be complete without Evelyn requesting "The Wheels on the Bus"and "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam". At the moment I'm teaching her how to sing "I am a Child of God". It's one of my all time favorites and one that, in my opinion, every kid should know.

Preston has also done quite a bit of developing himself. In the past 2 weeks he's learned to crawl, how to change from a crawl position to a sitting position and how to pull himself up. He is growing so much so fast and he's definitely picking up his dad's good looks and his sisters sense of exploration. But he IS still a major mommas boy, not that I'm too disappointed about that. Also about a month ago Preston got his first 2 teeth. His bottom teeth grew in simultaneously and let me tell you they make him look that much cuter, although I could certainly live without the biting. He had his 8 month checkup this week and the verdict is that he's doing great. [For my record] his new weight is 16 pounds 4 ounces and he's 27 inches tall.

Andy has officially started his own business again with an office and everything. No more working for the man. His business name is Higher Definition Media. Andy is a partner in the business alongside one of the guys he's been making movies with at Hectic Films, Jason. Their both very dedicated and passionate about what they do so the business is bound to succeed. They've already been getting a steady flow of work which is great. They've done several commercials though I've yet to see any of them, they've done a couple really amazing "Love Stories" (where they follow a couple around for a few hours and take amazing footage that they then piece together to make a sweet little film/ music video), they've filmed weddings and receptions and right now their actually working on a testimonial video for a doctors office. Others things I know they want to get into are legal video, film transfers, and radio commercials. Pretty much anything video or audio related their the guys to call.

As for myself, I've been working really hard lately to overcome 3 of my biggest fears; snakes, spiders & of course dolls/ghosts. I'm seriously getting nervous right now just thinking about these things. I stepped ON a snake about a week ago (creepy I know), luckily it was just a garter snake and it didn't even seem to mind. The spiders are just all over the shed I've been cleaning out to fit some of our extra stuff and the "other" thing... I totally love our new house now but the first week and a half we've been out here we've been living inside Andy's parents house and I've been going out to the other house to clean and it really freaked me out to be out there alone. The first thing I did was recruit Molly to go out there with me and together we packed up all the dolls making sure not to leave a single one (just in case that one doll wants to seek revenge for it's friends). It's definitely much better now and I'm actually starting to really warm up to the house. With a little bit of cleaning and sprucing up it'll feel like home in no time.