Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Birthday Jacqui!

Not only is it Christmas, but today is Jacqui's 10th birthday! (Has it really been 10 years already?) It seems like just yesterday the nurse handed me this tiny little person and all I could think of was:

"I wonder if she has a diaper on yet!"

I know it seems silly that that would even cross my mind. I really didn't care if she had a diaper on or not, nor did I care if she pee'd on me in the event that she didn't have on a diaper - that was just one of the first things that I thought of. I felt like she was this sweet innocent baby that had been inside me - a part of me - for so long and it didn't seem right to put a diaper on her just yet. I wanted to hold her close to me to keep her a part of me even longer and that diaper kind of symbolized the separation that she was her own person.

So here we are 10 years later, on her 10th birthday. (I'm thankful now that we are past the diaper stage!) She has grown into an amazing person and I wanted her to know the 10 things (in NO particular order) that I love most about her!!!!

1. The girl can dance! She can hear the first note of a song and that is enough to get her started! Sometimes I'm relieved we don't own a stripper pole because of some of the moves I see this girl try!

2. She is very athletic. (This part of our DNA is clearly not shared.) At 10 years old she has already been part of a football team, a cheerleading team, a dance team, and two little league teams. One time we were roller skating and they announced all girls 9 and under go out to the center of the rink for the races. She was one of the first girls out there. Had that been me, you would have found me in line for nacho's!

3. She makes me laugh! Not just me either - she loves to make everyone laugh. Whether it's a smart remark, a funny face or a gesture, she knows how to put a smile on my face. Especially when I am upset about something.

4. I can totally count on her. Unfortunately for her, that means she gets a lot of responsibility. From watching Cadence, to chores, to just helping me in general I know I can count on her to get the job done. If she doesn't know how to do something she doesn't give up either. She keeps trying until she figures it out. I love that ambitiousness!

5. She makes me food!!! On the weekends when I am studying or taking tests, if she is making herself lunch she always offers to make me something! Her specialty is Ramon Noodles and knows just how I like them.

6. Our alone time together! She and I usually end up shopping together. Either grocery shopping or the mall or to the NEX to get something quick. (Most of the time she comes because she knows she can sucker me into buying her something!) Either way, we have fun on these shopping sprees. They usually end up with us having lunch together - and not telling the boys! We laugh and talk about everything! It's very special to me!

7. I can talk to her. She and I have some of the best conversations together. About everything...boys, school, friends, family - etc. She teaches me things I never knew nor did I think she knew. She remembers peoples names, things she read in books, movies, directions. (In fact, there are many times I have to ask her if she remembers how to get somewhere because I am so directionally dysfunctional!) Sometimes I swear she's got a photographic memory!

8. Her individuality. Jacqui has a style of her own. She isn't a girly girl but she isn't all tom boy either. She will wear Matt's clothes one day and a skirt the next. She plays sports but then she also plays the flute. She's just Jacqui, doing what she wants, when she wants (it's the "when she wants" part that gets her in trouble most of the time! She likes to pick the most inconvenient times to "do her own thing."

9. Her helpfulness. She might not jump up and down about doing her chores at home but when it comes to helping other people, she goes way out of her way. For the last couple weeks she has helped her teacher every single day after school. She helps me with Cadence on a daily basis. She (grudgingly) helps Matt with school or his room or reading. I don't know what I would do without her sometimes because like I said before, I can always count on her.

10. She makes fun of me. If anyone knows my family, that is just what we do! Anything that comes out of your mouth can be used against you and made fun of! (Usually it is my mother who finds herself the butt of our jokes!) I am proud to say that my daughter has joined the ranks of a long line of daughters in our family that have been making fun of their mothers for many years.

Here is my oldest baby through the years!

I love you baby and Happy 10th Birthday! Can't wait till you get home! We will go get our ID's together!

Merry Christmas!!!

We'd like to wish everyone a VERY Merry Christmas! I wish we could be home with all of you during the holiday. Hopefully next year we will be close enough to be able to be with you! In the meantime, we had a great Christmas. Just the three of us here in San Diego relaxing! It was definitely not a white Christmas at a comfortable 75 degrees this afternoon. I would also like to tell my babies Jacqui and Matt that I love you and miss you very much! I am glad to hear you had such a great Christmas with Dad!

Miss Cadence loves her new chair - and by that I mean she LOVES to stand on her new chair and reach for anything within an arms distance. I think this is the only time she actually SAT DOWN in it all day long and even in this picture you can see it in her eyes that she has plans to STAND up!!

Notice the fine craftsmanship of the toybox - Ski worked hard putting it together for her!

My husband definitely knows how to stuff a stocking!

Ski's Grandma Audrey gave him a tie tack from his Grandpa Lee. It was very special to him!

There she is climbing again! She's got to have her big old head in everything!

Christmas Eve

It's just the three of us for Christmas this year. Jacqui and Matt are with their dad in Texas. Our second Annual Christmas tradition was to go out to dinner with our neighbors Rob and Denise. This year we went to The Cheesecake Factory! Cadence looked so cute in her little red and black dress. (all she cared about were the shoes!)

Cadence was sharing her milk with Aidan at the restaurant.

Peeking under the tree - just like her Daddy!

Ski putting Cadence's toy box together. (There were just a few swear words...)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Life with a toddler!

Cadence is officially a toddle and she has an abundance of energy that unfortunately I do not share! Everyday is an adventure with this girl. One minute she's climbing, the next minute she is in the dogs food, the next minute she is going up the stairs. I need about 6 pairs of eyes and 8 pairs of arms to keep up with her. I am very impressed with Ski though because he has expressed patience that I never knew existed. (His little girl can do NO wrong!!!!)

The girl LOVES to climb - on anything!!! I can't turn my head for 2 seconds without her getting up on something! (The poor dog doesn't even get a break, she sees her as the perfect jungle gym also!)

NOOO - not already!!!!!

Yes, ladies and gentleman, that is my daughters FOOT stepping in the dogs water dish - she thought it was hilarious! Me - not so much!!

After her big leap into the water, she decided to pick the entire bowl up and dump it out all over herself. (Let me just add a little footnote right here: Daddy was less then 3 feet from her when this all took place...)

In this picture she is pointing to her shoes. Her FAVORITE shoes. It doesn't matter what she is wearing - a dress, jeans, jogging suit, footed pajama's - these black patent leather shoes must be worn with it! They make for some interesting outfits sometimes!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas came a little early this year!

Matt got a Nascar racetrack from my mom for Christmas this year...I had visions of his little face lighting up when he saw such a big present sitting there with his name on it after he got home from his dads. I imagined him tearing the wrapping paper off as quickly as possible and hearing the excitement in his voice when he begged to put it together right now!!!!

This is how it went in reality!

Matt: "So mom, that's a nice race track in your closet"

My eyes narrowed as I whipped my head around realizing that when I told him to put the school supplies away, he conveniently put it away in the WRONG closet!

Me: "Matthew you were supposed to put the tape in the hallway closet! Since when do I keep school supplies in my bedroom closet - where all your gifts are?"

Matt: "OOPS, I didn't know! Can I put it together????"

Me: "NO!!! It's for Christmas and now you know your BIG gift!"

For the next few days all I heard was pleads of "Please let us put the race track together! Who cares if it isn't Christmas yet!"

...from Ski!!

Seriously! He wanted to play with it worse then Matt did. I swear it is like having 4 kids around here sometimes! (You know I love every minute of it though! It's never a dull moment!) Needless to say, their sweet faces and puppy dog eyes did the trick (not to mention Ski opened the box to see what it look like inside) and I gave in!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Most Improved Citizen

Matthew got a special award today! He is the most improved citizen in his class! (I probably don't want to know what kind of behavior he had before said improvement!) So today, in front of all his friends and teachers he was recognized and was given coupons to get free kids meals at several local restaurants around town and also for free ice cream at Baskin Robbins! We are very proud of you buddy!

If that isn't the face of a proud little boy, I don't know what is!!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Alert the media...

Our house has morphed into a Christmas miracle! (and by miracle I mean a couple ornaments on the tree, a candy dish and a snow globe!) Our poor tree only has ornaments from about the middle and up. Cadence Evelina likes to take them all off and run around the house with them. One ornament in particular has this tiny little button small enough for her to push and in turn Elvis breaks into the song "Burning Love" over and over (and over) again. She stands there smiling and shaking her little butt to the tune! Unfortunately she is in the stage where everything she sees must be picked up, carried around, thrown on the floor, stepped on or used to hit the dog so most of my Christmas decorations are staying safely hidden away in the garage until next year when she knows a little better. The kids did a good job on the tree despite the 50 arguments they had in the process...I swear I've never seen two people fight over the smallest things. Oh yeah, Christmas spirit FILLED the room. In the end we were all pretty happy with the tree. I had fun seeing all the little ornaments and school projects the kids had made me through the years.

Me: "Matt look at the cute wreath you made me two years ago!"
Jacqui: "It's stupid! Mine's better!"
Matt: "Shut up Jacqui!"

Here is a look into our magical moment!

I'm sure you can tell what a "big helper" she was! It was her job to put the Christmas cards in the bucket!

My three little angels!

It's Beginning to Look a "Little" Like Christmas...

We are about as prepared for Christmas this year as San Diego is prepared for a 3 foot snow storm. The list of “really important - but I still find a reason to put it off until tomorrow” stuff to do keeps getting longer and the days in which I have to
keep putting it off are quickly passing me by. Because of this we are slowly decorating our house one day at a time.

Our tree was the first thing up. Ski went golfing one morning two weeks ago and the kids and I rearranged the room (several times) until finally I gave up put all the furniture back, moved the chair and ottoman over a little and set the tree up in the corner. It stood there bare and undecorated for the next three days.

It was Matt who took the initiative to put the lights on. Ski and Jacqui were at Ski’s baseball tournament, and Matt was grounded so we stayed home. In an effort to keep from being in his room he decided that it was his chance to earn some major points by “helping his Mommy.” Two hours later, he had pulled the lights out of the garage, plugged them into the wall to test them out and…

Ski put them up the next day.

If anyone knows my son, he is exceptionally skilled at wasting massive amounts of time. (Heaven forbid he makes eye contact with a TV.)

This is how is still sits in the corner of the living room. Rumor has it, some time today we are going to hang the ornaments. I'm not holding my breath.

We do have our Christmas lights hung outside though. (I won't mention the fact that we were the last of our neighbors to get them up!) I couldn't help but laugh as I watched Ski standing on that (practically stolen) latter in the middle of December hanging strings of Christmas lights wearing shorts and a T-shirt. It's just not like the Michigan Christmas's I remember as a kid where fathers all over the neighborhood balanced their latters on sheets of ice to decorate their house. I guess you just have to make due with what you have.

There is a song that the local Country station (KSON 97.3) plays that pretty much sums up Christmas in San Diego. Me, Ski and the kids turn it up really loud and sing at the top of our lungs every Christmas season when we hear it. It's one of our favorite Christmas songs and when we leave here it just won't be the same without it.

Here is a link to it: "It's Christmas once again in San Diego!"

Well a box of Christmas decorations just made it's way from the garage door behind me into the living room. I'm assuming it's because the fam is going to be hanging them - although the way things have been going lately, the box may sit in the living room as a coffee table for a few days until we actually open it. Baby steps! Lets cross our fingers!!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

SSgt Ski

What a GREAT day we had on Friday. Ski was promoted to SSgt! It was a small but very nice ceremony in the Colonels office at MCRD. I got to pin one of his chevrons on his collar which was such an honor for me because I've also been able to stand by his side as he climbed the ranks to SSgt. He's worked very hard for this and deserves
it! It was also a special day for us because his cousin Brandon graduated from Marine Corps bootcamp the same day. Ski's Uncle Larry and Aunt Ann were here and they were able to see their nephew get promoted and watch their son become a Marine all in the same day. Congratulations to both Pvt and SSgt Wisniewski! Pictures of the graduation will come later when they are sent to me!

Ski and the Colonel

The 1stSgt reading the promotion warrant

Pinning on his chevron

Ski as he takes the oath.

That rocker looks so good on his collar

Picture of the fam after the ceremony!