Thursday, January 31, 2008

Congrats to John and Nicola!

I woke up this morning at 5:15, as my brother called from Germany to spread word that he's a Daddy! Nicola had a C-Section, and John was by her side as their daughter arrived in this world at 3:46 am, PST. Joline wieghed in at 2.910 kg, which we think is 6 lbs 6 oz- a very healthy size for being two weeks early! She is 19.7 inches long.

John is such a proud Daddy, and was just overjoyed as he described her dark hair and sweet little (already sharp!) finger nails :) I was brought to tears as Nicola held Jo-Jo to the phone so I could hear my sweet little God Daughter cry on the other side of the world! I'm beyond excited for you, John and Nicola, I can tell you are already feeling how "life changing" becoming a parent is. I am so happy for my brother- the first of the Franco Boys to enter parenthood! I can't wait to see pictures, and will be posting when I get them. I think there is no other way to describe the joy that I have this morning than using a famous quote from John..."Whooooooooooooo Hoooooooooooooo!"

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Good Times

Here we are with Vegas' 2007 Drink of the Year- the Pineapple Upside Down Cake shot. It was one of the many new drinks we learned about on Monday... hope your B-Day was as much fun for you as it was for me, Linda! Thanks for a super-fun ladies night out, girls... lets do it again soon :)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Winter Days...

About this time every year, I start to get that cooped up, stir crazy feeling. Wes saw it coming last week, as we looked at the forecast for more snowy, rainy days... and Mommy was getting a bit more frustrated with the kids than usual. I don't know how many times I thought, "If I were back in the city, I could go a rec center, or some other neat indoor place where my kids could bounce off the walls and burn off some of their energy." I try to suppress these feelings, because I am SOOOO greatful for my husband, the house he built for us, his family and all they do for us... but still- I can't lie, I get a little worn down and fed up after some of these long winter days. So, my wonderful husband and I got out for an hour and a half on Friday night, while our new baby sitter got to know our kids. They were getting along great when we brought her over, so after a half hour, we left them alone.
Wes and I went to dinner, then to Longs, (I know, LONGS, but we really enjoyed the stress-free shopping experience!) It was a much needed break, and got me out of my funk. We decided this weekend to make some changes in our lifestyle. I did a BIG reorganization of my crafts area and got a bunch of new indoor project ideas for the kids. Then we went to Redding and bought ourselves an early Valentines gift- a Treadmill- and we are going to introduce Excercise into our lives. I figure, running used to be my "thing" and I definitely pushed it completely out of my life with mommy-hood. I'm going to re-incorporate it into my daily routine in hopes that I can keep my funky moods to a minimum. So far so good- I got up and had a great run this morning, as my kids slept safely in their beds. We got Kylee to school with no major meltdowns, and am looking forward to some fun projects this afternoon. I'm extra excited, because tonight is my mother-in-law's Birthday, and my sister-in-laws and I are taking Linda out for a night on the town, Weaverville, style! I know we are all looking forward to it, because there's nothing like mexican food and cocktails at the New Yorker to SERIOUSLY put an end to a winter funk!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Party Time

This past week, my niece, Brynn, turned 3 and her cousin, Lexi, turned 1! They had a GREAT party on Saturday- with hours of bouncing at Shasta Lake City's ExtraordinAir, then pizza. Sunday, Kylee's friend from school had a B-Day party here in Weaverville. Here are some pictures of the kids have a ton of fun this weekend.

Kylee and the Birthday Girl!

Shawn and Owen are great buddies!

Kylee and Taylor wait patiently for their turn

Sliding in a bounce room

Owen says "I did it!"

Kylee on the big slide

Let's eat.

The kids gather for some Hannah Montana cake and cupcakes

Lexi is 1!

Party #2!! Playing games with friends
This is fun!

Cake Time!

Owen loves eating cake with the big kids

Monday, January 14, 2008

How much would you pay...

For a reliable sitter? Now that both kids are potty trained and pretty good at playing together- we've decided that it's time to get them a babysitter. We've never had one. I don't know many high school age kids who would be interested- especially in the diapering part of sitting. We just either do everything with our kids, or Grandma and Grandpa have offered to take them every now and then. Well, Grammie and Grandpa deserve a break, and we'd like to have someone who lives right in our town who we can turn to for a quick night out every now and then. Luckily, we have a referral for a great 13 year old girl- mature, straight A student, first aid certified, loves kids, lives right around the corner, and is interested in doing more sitting. She has only watched family kids before, and has never been paid. So, I've been asking around town about the going rate for a young sitter, watching two kids, and haven't gotten any response yet. I'm not getting a lot of guidance online either, everything seems to depend on location, but in my rural, lower-income town- it'd be hard to stick close to the national average. I don't want to short change the girl, but some baby sitters make more money than I have ever made hourly at any job... and we just can't afford that. So what are other moms out there doing? Is there a good website I can check out? Any input would be appreciated- thanks guys :)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Our CA storms brought a lot more snow...

and we had a blast playing in it! We got together with some local friends who have a cabin with some GREAT sledding property. We bundled up the kids, packed up the sleds, hot cocoa, marshmellows, snacks, and even the quads. We made a huge sled run, which turned into a double run, with jumps and had two big turns to manuever around. All I can say, despite many airborne moments, racing down steep drops on snow shovels, one pick-up stuck sideways on a steep hillside that we BARELY could tow out- we made it through the whole day with no injuries! The kids did great- Kylee was LOVING sledding the whole long course with her Aunt Bridget- and wouldn't settle for doing the shortened "kiddie" version with Owen, my niece, and me. Owen embraced his boyhood and learned to pee standing up, in the snow. They all didn't mind being in the snow for 5 hours, they were having too much fun to be cold! Good times.
The group gathers to plan a sled course

Ingra and Owen take a test run

The group hikes up through the snowy conditions to explore the sled area

Kylee gets a free lift up the hill (thanks, Nadya!)

Brynn and Owen stay warm

A 12 person race to the bottom

Wes and Ingra battle it out, with the dogs on their tails!

Roasting marshmellows at the end of a fun day!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Rockin' the Potty

So- on the list of things to do while Kylee was on break from school, potty training Owen was low on it. I knew he was ready, but I hadn't fully committed to dealing with the accidents and what-not, when, to tell the truth, my 4 year old still has many days were she is too lazy to get to the toilet. Well- one day last week, I set up two charts. A "no accident" chart for Kylee to get rid of her potty laziness, and a potty chart for Owen. They are, essentially, the same thing. They get stickers everytime they make it to the potty, 2 stickers for poops. When they reach a line on the chart, they get M&M's. Owen get's M&M's for all poops. We started by setting a timer, and every 30 min. it would go off, and Owen would go potty. But he hasn't even used that in 2 days, he just lets me know, and heads to the bathroom. Owen has been in his big boy undies all week. We've taken him to Redding (an hour drive) and he tells us when he has to go. It's a big step when you can trust them to hold it on a long ride. I was totally unprepared for him to embrace it the way he has, and so quickly! It's been great for Kylee, too, she's been so proud of Owen, and has been making sure to take the time to go herself, so she can have as many stickers as him. I've been changing diapers since Nov. 4, 2003- this is definitely an extra special New Year's treatfor mommy!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Extreme Lily

When my parents came up last weekend, we did some serious sledding in our driveway. This post goes out to my mom and dad- who not only jumped right in there with the kids and took turns on the sled, but they also found a new hobby for their littlest dog, Lily. Check Lily out- she got more air off the jump than the rest of us!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year

I hope all our friends and family had a happy and safe New Year! Wes and I decided to stay home and do NOTHING. It was awesome- we were happy to be safe in our cozy house with our children. Mom and Dad polished off a bottle of bubbly before dinner. The kids got their bath, and we rang in the New Year in our jammies with Anderson Cooper in New York at 9 o'clock. We all fell asleep in the living room trying to stay up to scream with Kylee for the Jonas Bros and Hannah Montana- luckily, we taped it, and fully enjoyed the performances the next day. Just like always, I am amazed how life changes as you become a parent- and I truly enjoyed every second of watching the New Year celebration through the eyes of my children. Here's to a 2008 full of good times and good health.