Big Brother

It’s been 6 years.

6 years since he came into this world.

6 years since we went from a couple to a family.

6 years ago this amazing little man was born.


He has changed our lives in so many ways. Taught me more about patience than I ever thought possible. He is showing me how to see life in a slightly different way from how I’ve always viewed it.

I remember turning 6. How cool it was that when people asked how old I was I had to hold up TWO hands. He appreciates the same thing.



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Fall is here!

This will probably be one of the last posts (with pictures) before our move. Hard to believe it’s coming up so quickly! In honor of 1) Homeschooling and 2) Fall, we went apple picking yesterday. The biggest benefit of homeschooling is that we can take things we love (apples, sunshine, and fall) and celebrate them in the middle of a week-day when the farm is relatively calm. “Field Trips” for the win!

The kids did this last year in Pre-K, but the babies stayed in their wagon as they weren’t up for all the walking yet, and so it was a much different experience this year. Aka: It was awesome.

Hand holding, brother helping, pure awesomeness.
















Wait, where’d May go??

So someone told me today that it’s June 1st.

Hold the presses. Are you kidding me? How did that happen?! That means in less than 19 days, the three little penguins will be TWO. 2. How did that happen??

May was a busy month, and I know I haven’t kept you up to date much, so here’s a few photos to recap!

To start the month off, Steven went to Massachusetts for his sister’s graduation from LAW school. Well, since we had to drive him to San Fran anyways, we figured we’d hit up the amazing Arts and Science Exploration museum, and meet an amazing twin mom (mom of FIVE girls, plus one more baby on the way!). It was incredible to meet her – we have been friends for almost two years online and just now met up. It was awesome in every way possible, and her girls are so sweet and well behaved it gives me hope for the future! Two moms with 9 children definitely causes a bit of a commotion though!


We had a lot of fun in the sun now that it’s actually pretending to be summer more often than it’s pretending to be winter. And by summer, I mean it’s finally in the 60s on a regular basis with sunlight! When it hits 80 there’s even a heat advisory!




As I’ve thought often before, I don’t know why I buy the children any toys. All you need is a box and it keeps them happy for hours. I mean, why get toys to put in the toy bins when you can play with the bin itself??


We’ve mastered the art of tantrum throwing (these are both Jaina).


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And a certain big brother “graduate” Pre-K. They still have one more week of school, but it’s all fun and games (you know, more so than normal), and then it’s off to summer! Most people are sad when their kids don’t have school. Me? I’m glad I don’t have to drive twice a day every day anymore!!

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And that about recaps it! Here’s to the start of another busy month!

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Field Trip!

If you were a 5 year old boy, what would be the coolest thing in the world?

A firetruck.

If there could be anything cooler than that?

Two firetrucks.

And if there was any remote possibility of beating that in your wildest dreams?

Firemen. Showing off their gear. Letting you look at, touch, and sit in a firetruck. Showing you around the station. And telling you all about it.

That was totally our day.


First off, should there be any doubt, we look with our eyes, and listen with our ears. And, if, after asking AND receiving a “Yes” answer, you may touch.


Or just climb on in. Scary how big he looks in this picture, isn’t it???

As for me? 30 5 year olds, on a hike, walking the half mile from school to the fire station and back? Makes me want some of this.


I don’t know how they do it. It amazes me every time I see those teachers with smiles on their faces and calm pleasant voices. I mean, a phrase I never thought would come out of my mouth did today. “We don’t show our friends our underwear.” Yeah, I think I should buy them all a bottle case of wine for graduation. Those teachers deserve it!

Mom, you’re so frustrating!!


That phrase is already being heard in this house. And it typically inspires laughter. There are a lot of things we don’t allow to be said in the house. The word Hate is one of them. Also included on that list are certain-4-letter-words that are only said by mommy and daddy and typically during football. I’ve also banned the word “Alllllriiiiiiiiight” in lieu of “yes ma’am” (or even just yes will suffice normally), as well as “stupid,” because it’s just not nice.

Most of the time this phrase is heard after asking for simple chores to be done. No, your underwear do not belong in my living room. No, “putting away your toys” does not mean barely opening the playroom door, throwing them in, and shutting it behind you. All these things he knows, and so when he is reminded it is a tad frustrating. Apparently.

As is asking for a picture to be taken.


But on the other hand, everything is also Boooooorring. Yes, I allow that one. Normally because it’s amusing in the context he uses it. And also because it’s a lot better than other words he could be using.

Oh, and the best part of having a five year old? He tends to reply back to me “But Mooooooooommmmmmm!!!” and I reply back, “No buts.” And he says, “I wasn’t talking about my butt!!”

Oh yes. 5 year olds are awesome. And I’d much prefer to be frustrating than other things I could be. Or other ways he could describe me.

Birthday Party!

I’m still working on getting photos uploaded and edited, but let’s just say it was a complete success. We had a few of our closest friends at the party, and it couldn’t have been more perfect!

Big brother very much enjoyed having his best friend there, and keeping it small was perfect. I’m not sure what we were thinking last year inviting 20+ kids, with only about 10 this year (including all siblings) it was amazing. We were able to talk to everyone, enjoy the play area, and then sit around and eat cupcakes/open presents without the kids getting tired of watching someone else open them. I mean, really, what 5 year old wants to stare at another kid open 30 presents for forever?!


Until I get the birthday photos loaded, I’ll leave you with one of the last pictures we have of him as a 4 year old. Can you believe my baby boy is 5?! Seems like just yesterday he looked like this…


Getting caught up

Have I told you lately how amazing almost-5-year-olds (don’t remind me… I have 2 more weeks to feign ignorance that his birthday is approaching) are?


Well they can be hilarious. Seriously hilarious. First off, they are imaginative (sometimes to a fault). He can run around the house for hours playing “submersible” and fixing broken pipes and underwater walls, and driving around. With absolutely nothing in hand. No box, no tangible item at all. Well, except penguin and baby kitty cat that go everywhere.

Then, they are loving and emotional (often to a fault). But it means that kisses still heal boo-boos. Hugs fix hurt feelings. And no matter what happens, saying, “I’m so sorry” makes it all better.

And then you have the fun stuff. The smart stuff.

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Like when they are asked at school to draw a picture of a whale and then measure it with their feet, write how big it is, and their name. This is Aiden’s whale. His school is absolutely amazing. First off, they teach him the coolest things. And they’re kind, patient, and wonderful. But even more than that, they take pictures for us. Because if you ask a still-4-for-2-more-weeks year old what they did today? Nothing. or I played. or We went to the big playground. Nothing about whales and measuring and what the number of the day is.

You know what else is cool? When an I-swear-he’s-always-going-to-be-4 year old has three babies. Because then everyone in the world should have more than one baby at a time. When baby kitty cat had babies in her tummy yesterday, she had three of them. And when penguin laid eggs? Yup, three. And clearly anything less than that would be BOOOOOORRRRRING (according to him. That’s his favorite word.)


With four kids in the house, it’s not always puppies and sunshine. Hardly ever do we get a picture of them all smiling and laughing. Not because it doesn’t happen, but because when they are all playing happily the last thing I want to do is make any noise or sound to distract from it, which includes going to get a camera.


They’re learning. Most often from big brother. And most often it’s the annoying stuff (like shoving a stuffed penguin in your face and squealing). But they’re learning. And imitating. And growing older. Don’t remind me…

Birthday planning

Well, after our trip to Disneyland, Aiden is obsessed with Buzz Lightyear. Who knows why, considering he was over and done with Buzz about two years ago, but who am I to argue? At least he has a favorite thing picked right now!

That said, he has no interest in watching the movie. Maybe it’s because Buzz isn’t actually running around fighting aliens in the movie like he is in the ride at Disney.

As such, he has decided this year he wants a Buzz Lightyear party. Works for me!

Now, I love my kids. I love decorating. I love party planning and snacks and goodies. But dude, not for a 5 year old’s party where the biggest hit of the day is the cake and they have no real concern for any other food served, much less what the decorations look like or how long mommy spent getting it ready.

Likewise, I keep my house pretty clean, it’s small but it’s as tidy as it can be for having four kids running around all day. And I love my friends. But bringing lots of kids and friends and parents over here for a party would get cramped.

So while all the other moms in the world (or at least that’s what it feels like) are Pinterest-ing and cricket-ing and craft-ing (yes, I know that one’s actually a real word, but I like the hyphen to continue the theme), I’m letting others do most of the hard work.

This awesome shop made the party decorations and cupcake toppers for me.

(Thought I did actually make his invitations, so I did SOMEthing at least!)


And MyMuseum will be doing the decorating and providing the play space.

I imagine it will be an entirely different world when the triplets turn 5, as they’ll have three best friends, and likely many more people to invite. But a 5 year old boy? He’s easy. Couple of best friends, couple of family friends, and a couple of hours just to hang out and play. We’ll keep it simple as long as we can!

2012: A year in review

2012 was a pretty darn good year, I’d say.

It featured a lot of stability, which was a blessing and nice surprise in the Navy life. It’s not often that we go an entire calendar year in the same house, with no orders or changes to current orders, with a husband who was home EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. of the year (except for a day or two at the Rose Bowl, but I’ll forgive that!).

The year started with us having a 3 year old and three 6 month olds. Big brother didn’t know his alphabet, couldn’t read numbers (though he could count pretty well), and was a little toddler still in his mama’s eyes. The babies? Well, they still stayed where we put them, and ate pureed food and drank from bottles that we mostly had to hold for them.


One year later, we have three babies who walk, run, and climb their way around the house. A big brother who counts, sings, runs, plays, and is more of a boy than a baby now. We hear sweet little voices all day long as they talk to each other and us (or yell, or scream, or cry… but that’s a topic for another post). Big brother takes an active role in helping them (sometimes too active). We have children that I can refer to less and less as “babies” and more and more as toddlers and kids. It’s kind of scary!


Last year I pledged to finally recommit to running in earnest. And I did. Sort of. I definitely accomplished more this year than ever before. My first triathlon. My first road race. My first of many post-babies half marathons. Faster. Stronger. But I was still a bit lackadaisical with it all. Why bother training for a half? I’ve done 6 before! Well, let me tell you, a triplet pregnancy later, and having been up with children in the night before, leads to a half marathon taking more effort than it has in the past. But we made it. Steven and I survived our first half together. And we can only do better next time!


This year? We’re ready. Bring it on. January is starting out right with a trip to Disney (Remember, kids under 2 are free. When half of your family turns 2 in just a few short months, better go now while it costs half as much!). February brings big boy turning 5. FIVE. HOLY CRAP HE’S TURNING FIVE. That’s like… a whole hand. Seriously. How did that happen?!?! March brings the big 3-0 for a certain daddy in this house. April? Submarine birthday ball. I think I’ve already planned more for it than was done by March last year. Thank God for that! Olympic triathlon in May? Scheduled. June? Three little ones have a sweet little birthday. July? Our last school break before daddy finishes school here and we head on the road to who knows where. August? Kindergarten. Need I say more?? September? Graduation from NPS. Marathon in October? Hopefully, depending on orders and what happens (welcome to the real Navy again!). November? Hopefully we’ll be settled in a house that is bigger than the one we’re in, or at the very least isn’t any smaller. And December? Goodness, another year, another Christmas, another 365 days without deployments.

How can it get any better than that?!


Most every child dreams of Santa. For a four year old boy he ranks up there with cars, trucks, cookies, playgrounds, the Easter Bunny, and, well, anyone else who brings presents and candy. I’m pretty sure the only way Santa would be any more cooler would be if he came more than once per year.

For some reason, though, the concept of Santa is glorious, but the reality is quite shocking.

At two years old, big brother wouldn’t even cross the red velvet roped off line to see Santa. He’d smile and wave from a far, but if we tried to enter that line all sorts of hysterics and dramatics would ensue.

Last year at 3 we were able to sneak a photo in with Santa at the teddy bear tea here on base.


This year we dragged all the kids out to see Santa at the mall. Aiden brought his letter that he wrote (and Santa was nice enough to read and then give back to mommy for her scrapbooks) and he was perfectly happy. Until we asked him to sit with Santa. Mommy was able to get him into the photo, but he wouldn’t go within arms reach of Santa. At first.

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Now, Santa is used to this. He was very calm and amazing throughout. The benefit to going to see him at 3pm on a Friday is there is no line. So Santa began to chit chat with us while we waited to choose our picture and pay. While doing so, he started juggling. And gave big brother another candy cane. Thus ingratiating himself forever as the coolest person on Earth. Much cooler than mommy who said only one candy cane per day! SO we were able to get Aiden to go near the couch. He still wouldn’t sit with him. Or high-five him. but he went closer.

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Hey, at least he’s smiling! Well, so after that we decided to try one last attempt at getting all four kids in the photo (without mommy preferably!). So we had Santa stand behind the couch. And put the kids on it.


And there you have it. A snapshot of what three screaming 17 month olds can do when they really want to express their opinion on a subject.