Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Product Review: Kid Sleep Classic

See this sweet little face?!?!
Yup. That is one sweet... now... SIX YEAR OLD FACE.
A six year old face that is not so sweet when I wake up to it leaning over my own face at 4am attempting to climb into bed with me.
Once upon a time Connor was a good sleeper.
Until we transitioned him from the crib to a bed. At 3 years old.
Ever since then Connor, for the most part, has been trying to get in bed with us all night long, and if not all night...very early in the morning.
Mostly he wants to be close to me.
I know. Someday I will miss that he wants to be close to me.
But today I want to sleep!

Several months ago I found the Kid Sleep Classic Clock online. 
Originally I had seen it in the One Step Ahead catalog for 39.95 plus tax and shipping.
Then I searched online and found it on Amazon for 32.99 "out the door!"

Here's the great thing about this clock...
When the sleeping bunny on the bottom is lit, Connor knows that he needs to stay in bed.
When the bunny walking in the park is lit (which I have set for 5:45 am,) he can get up for the day.
(I have it set so early because my Connor is a SNUGGLE BUG and I do recognize that he will not always be my snuggler. I get up at 6:00 most mornings, so 5:45 gives Connor the chance to climb into bed and snuggle with me for a bit before I get up.
Can I just tell you how much this little gadget has changed my life?!?!
No more, "Mommy is it time to get up yet?" At 4am.
No more, "Mommy can I sleep with you?" At 2am.
I am telling you...there have been nights with 5 or 6. Or more. Attempts to get into bed. My bed.

I'm not gonna lie.
There is still an occasional night when I wake up smashed between Connor and Jeff, wondering
"How did this happen?"
Not knowing if he snuck in or if in my sleep I agreed to his arrival.
But for the most part, we are both sleeping more!

When I looked up reviews, they were a little mixed.
Some complained it was hard to set the times.
I had no problems while following the directions.
Imagine that! It's amazing what happens when you read the directions;)

I, myself, was a little skeptical when I opened the box.
It is really light-weight and feels a little cheap.
I remember thinking, "I spent $30 on this?"


It bought the blue clock, but it also comes in pink and green.
It can be hung on the wall or set on the dresser.

I love that long before your child can tell time, he can know if it's ok to get up.

I think it also has an alarm feature.
But why the heck would we want to use that?!?!
Praise God if he is still asleep long after the bunny "gets up!"

I never would've thought my 2 year old would be a better sleeper than my six year old.
Oh wait.
She is still in the crib.
Hopefully Connor won't need this clock anymore when Emma Kate makes the big girl bed transition! 

I hope you're getting some sleep too!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Someone Has a Job

Remember yesterday I mentioned that the kids went on another adventure for Connor's birthday?
Well they all (meaning my MIL, kids, SIL, nephews, and Jeff) went to visit Dominic on his first day of work!
At...Krispy Kreme!
Yup. I am old enough to have a child...who works.
(Not sure how I feel about all of that!)
I was also still at work and was unable to meet everyone there:(

This is what I found sitting on the couch when I got home though;) 
(And you can probably guess what was sitting on my kitchen counter.)
 All evening Jeff kept telling me I should go visit too. That it was really fun to see him working.
Words cannot express how tired I was, but after a catnap while putting Connor to bed, I got a second wind.
I couldn't resist.
I parked right outside the doughnut shop with my camera ready.
Stalker Mom!
I sat out there for quite a while...like 20 min...debating on whether or not to go in.
I didn't want to embarrass him.
I was just the creepy lady taking pictures from my car!
Finally when there was a break in the crowd, I went for the kill!
(Who would've thought that a doughnut shop wound be so busy at 9:30 at night?!?!)

He smiled when he saw me and asked,
"Would you like anything?"
For a second I envisioned clearing out at least one of each flavor from the case, and then remembered
my endless weightloss efforts...and the 1 1/2 I had devoured earlier at home:)
"No thanks. I just wanted to stop and say, 'Hi.'"
"Ummm...would it embarrass you if I took a picture?" (Sheepishly.)

He said I could!!!!!!!
And in case you're wondering, the guy smelled like a funnel cake when he got home!

I'm not sure which is worse...the fact that he "gets" to bring home 3 free doughnuts per shift
or that lots of doughnut-smelling laundry is in my future!

As for now, I'll just enjoy a great  Proud Momma Moment.
Delight in how fun it is that his first day was on Connor's birthday.
And think back to my own very first job at Stars Music & Video:)

What was your first job?!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy 6th Connor!

6 Years ago today this little man came into our lives!

It's so hard to believe the toddler years are over, Pre-School and Kindergarten have come and gone...
and here we are...6 years old!

This year I was kind of hoping that we could avoid a big birthday party, so we gave Connor some choices.
He got to choose either a special family trip or a birthday party.
A special family trip.
Meaning a trip on Amtrak to the Sacramento State Railroad Museum.
What do you think he chose?
Yup. Taking the train to the railroad museum.

He did ask if he could have a family dinner though.
With a theme.
Hmmm...starting to sound like a party.
I think I got suckered into a family "party" after all!
We took a trip to the party store so he could choose some plates and napkins...
He originally wanted a Lego Star Wars themed "dinner."
But then he saw these...

He has never seen the movie, but was so excited that he changed his mind from Star Wars to Pirates.
(P.S. I really don't like character themes, but seeing as how it was only going to be a "dinner" and he is 6 after all...I gave in.)
He also said he wanted a cake, instead of cupcakes.
Visions of super cute and delicious pirate cupcakes were quickly being washed away.
After showing him the really cool pirate cupcake wrappers, and his still insisting on a cake...
I gave in to that too.

This is what we created... 
 In preparing to make the cake, I found some of that Wilton's frosting spray they have out now.
It looks like spray paint and so cool!
I picked it up in black and thought we could make the cake look "dirty."
When I mentioned this to Connor, his response was,
"I don't want a dirty cake!"
Oh boy.
Instead "we" decided to make it look like the wood of a pirate ship.
With a little creativity we were both happy!
He thinks it looks like wood.
I think it looks dirty.

Emma Kate and Libby enjoyed the cake too;)

Connor was so happy to have his favorite buddy, Cousin Cale, over to help celebrate.

   After dinner and cake, there were some presents.
Apparantly present opening got too intense, causing Dad to get a little crazy with the kids!
This year was the year for Legos.
And Star Wars.
And Star Wars Legos!

Today my MIL had the kids all day and had planned some special outings for Connor for his birthday, so she had given him...

They went to Toys R Us together and got...yup...you guessed it...
Star Wars Legos!
They also had another fun adventure...more on that later.

I can't help it smile when I look at this little face.
(Even if the 1 front tooth he has left is barely hanging on by a thread and is driving me crazy!)

Happy Birthday Coco!
We love you so much.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer Bed-Making Challenge

I am horrible at making my bed.
Sure, I go through good spurts of making it religiously.
But mostly, with all the chaos that comes with our morning "routine"
we all run out of the house with not a bed made.
And the saddest part about this bad habit is that I am passing it on to my children.

So in an effort to save Dominic... his future roommates and eventually his wife...we started the

Summer Bed-Making Challenge.

The Challenge:
To make his bed every day by 10am
(it's not mean...he's always up by 9:30 at the latest)
"Mom Style."
(I had to specify because the first day he just pulled his comforter straight over the bed and tossed the pillows on.)
We began the first weekend of Summer Break and we will "finish" the first day of school.
He gets $25 on the first day of school assuming he makes it every day.
(The up-shot...he's gone at least a total of 2 weeks this Summer...of which he doesn't need to do a thing!)
How's he doing so far?
He's missed 2 days.
Every day he misses, his money gets decreased by a buck.
2 days though...not bad!
I'll let you know at the end of the Summer how he did.
P.S. How long does it take to turn an activity into a habit...
21 days?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Western Chief at Costco?!?!

Have you purchased your kids' rain gear yet?!?!
No? I can't imagine why not when it's 90+ degrees out!

Please do not delay...
Go to Costco.
I was there on Wednesday and found Western Chief
Rain Boots/Umbrella Combos for both boys and girls.
They had camo, fireman, cow print, poka dots...
I think there were a couple other styles that I can't remember.
The boots all come with removable fleece liners too!

How much do they cost, you ask...


In case you are not familiar with Western Chief, I am pretty sure I normally buy them at Nordstrom for about $35.

Emma Kate was so excited that she had to wear them out of the store.
And immediately when she woke up the next morning!
The downfall...
They don't carry them over a size 13/1.
Which means Connor is out:(

So get out there NOW, don't wait!
If there's one thing I've learned about Costco...
act right away because chances are they will be gone soon!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lilly's Two!

Recently a girl at work hired me to take her daughter's 2-Year-Photos.
I cannot tell you how much fun I had with this little girl!
 I still cannot get over Lilly's outfit!

 We went to The Shadelands Museum in Walnut Creek to take her photos.
It was the perfect backdrop.
So pretty there!

Lilly's mom had these little Converse made for her...

Thank you "B," for allowing me to spend a fun afternoon with your little princess!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fourth of July

The Fourth was a pretty low key day for us this year, in that we didn't entertain...for the 2nd year in a row. I am always so conflicted over the 4th because I love to have me a good 4th of July Party, but...
they are so much work!
So we opted for my In Laws' Neighborhood Parade and Party again.
And I am so glad we did!
We had decorated the kids' bikes...
And had some fun with accessories...
My favorite pic of Emmers...
 There was a bike decorating contest, a parade behind a fire truck around the block, followed by a party in the park with lots of games and lunch.
Even the dogs got in on the action!
Connor and Cale participated in a race where the kids had to run to the other end of the field, put on a big white t-shirt and race back to the finish line. (They LOVED it...but are learning the hard lesson of defeat.) Papa and Dom participated in the Sack Race again this year. (I think this may have become an annual event.)
Emma Kate got to do a basketball "contest" with a mini beach ball.
Ahhh! Visions of at least one of my children playing basketball!
As 2 out of 3 of our kids began falling apart, we decided to end the fun and head home for nap.
Later, after making Tacos for dinner at home...I know...so "American"!...
We met the Heiden Clan for fireworks.
  It was so cold! But worth it! This was the first year Connor wasn't afraid:)
And EK kept saying, "Boom! Boom!"
(She isn't quite as cautious as my "Coco.")
 And Dom got to try out his glasses from earlier in the day:)
I LOVE that he likes to still hang with us, instead of friends, on The Fourth.
I also love that we got to spend the day with all of our immediate family.
Until next year...!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

4th of July Kickoff

Last Tuesday night Jeff and I went to an A's game with some friends of ours, J and E.
I had full trust in E, who got the tickets for all of us...
and she did not disappoint!
The seats were AWESOME! 
You see, J is from MA, and E lived there quite a while too, so they are big Boston fans.
Jeff and I are really Giants fans, however when the A's are playing anyone, but the Giants, we'll root for them.
Some of us get a little more into the cheering than others:) 
Jeff and I were super excited to see Cody Ross, who once was a fave of ours on the Giants, now playing for the RedSox.
(E was confused as to why I was cheering for the A's the whole game, except for when Ross was up to bat. Once a fan...always a fan!)
 We had such a fun time cheering for the opposing teams and taking some fun pics...
 To top it all off...the A's won!!!
After a little victory celebration, fans were let onto the field for a Post Game Show...
We stayed in our seats to watch.
 One of the best firework shows I have ever seen!
Even though it made for a very late night, it was a great way to kick off the festivities for
"The Fourth!"

Sunday, July 1, 2012

What? What?

A couple Saturday's ago as I was leaving for work Dominic asked me for some money so he could go get a haircut.

 As I drove away I thought, "Wow! That's awesome he wants to get a trim without my begging!"

Before I move on with my story, lets just take a moment to reflect on the past few years and the transformations Dominic's hair has taken...

Summer 2009

December 2010 

August 2011

June 2012

P.S. The last time Dominic REALLY had a haircut was in December of 2007.

Back to that Saturday...I came home from work that day to find...


I was in shock! I could see his handsome face again!
(Though his recent hair cuts were pretty nice.)

Let me tell you, over the past few years I tried everything.
I started by begging him to cut it.
Then I tried reverse psychology...in case it was a rebellion thing, telling him his hair was growing on me. Pardon the punn!
Finally I surrendered, realizing we all do things when we're teenagers that help us identify who we are. This was one of Dominic's "things."
I decided that as long as he was getting good grades and not getting into any...well, major...trouble...
this was the least of my worries.

And as I let go more and more...
the hair got shorter and shorter.

That Saturday when I came home from work I asked him why he did it.
To which he replied with a shrug of his shoulders, "I'm just feeling...older. I've been planning it for a while."

It's strange...there is a part of me who misses it.
Who would have thought?!?!
We all came to identify Dominic as "the one with the big hair."
He was my boy who was going through...
a very long.

And now...
Well he's a handsome young man who is very quickly growing up!

He's a LOT harder to find in a crowd!