Thursday, December 29, 2011

AJ Being Super Silly!

Jason sent me these videos of AJ being super funny. In this one, he's singing Take Me Home, Country Road and he knows a lot of the words! I asked Jason where he learned this song and he said AJ told him one of his teachers sings it. It was news to us!

Here's another of AJ playing piano and dancing. He cracks me up!

Monday, December 19, 2011

3rd Annual Santa Party at Papa & Grandmas!

Yesterday was the 3rd Annual Santa Party at Grandma and Papa's house! It was another great time! As we hoped, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived with toys for the kids. The house was extremely full of tons of family and friends and love. Here's a few pictures. 

Yes, AJ is wearing a Tim Tebow jersey.... You're welcome Jason :-)

3rd year on the VERY old rocking chair that my grandfather made... Not sure how many more years he's gonna be able to sit on it before he breaks it!

Singing Chrstimas songs with his buddy Daxie

Thanks Santa!

Christmas Sing Along 2011

Last week AJ had his first Christmas Sing Along at school. It was the cutest thing! I really didn't know much at all about what they had planned other than a few songs and cookies after. AJ still doesn't give a lot of details so when I asked what they had planned he gave his usual "I don't know?" answer. I did know that he's been learning more Christmas songs, but that's about it.

When I arrived at the school on Thursday a few minutes before the show, they had all the kids in the classroom and had construction paper over the window on the door so I couldn't see in. They had the parents go into the show room and wait... I was beyond excited about what was to come. I was partly nervous because I just wasn't sure how AJ would be coming into a room with a bunch of people watching him and the other kids. I wondered if he'd freeze or if he would turn it on.

All the kids came out in a long line and they sang about 6 songs while we all watched, snapped photos and clapped. AJ did amazingly well! I could tell he was a little startled with all the people watching, but he wasn't scared. He did great! It was more like he was confused. I'm convinced if they did a few more songs he'd be even more into it. He loved that Daddy, Papa and I were all there. He blew kisses, caught kisses and yelled "I love ya!" while the class was singing.

After their show, we all went into their classroom and ate cookies and had juice and took pictures. Then, Papa and I took AJ to get ice cream (can you say sugar high???)

It was just so awesome. I was so happy that AJ enjoyed himself and he was really proud.

Here's a video and some pics:

So proud!

Proud Daddy!

AJ and Papa!

We love this boy!

AJ and his lady love... Gianna:)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I did it. I did something I told myself I'd never do. See these shoes in the picture below? They are Star Wars shoes. And the LIGHT UP! I am the mom who was NEVER going to buy these. Honestly, I see kids with light up shoes and I always think they are ridiculous. I'm all about my kid being into some kind of movie or action figure and I'm even cool with him having shirts with those things on it. But light up shoes? No way!

Then, AJ and I happened upon Stride Rite last weekend. I planned to get him a new pair of cute shoes.  You know, something that is brown or blue and has a few stripes. Normal, basic, no nonsense shoes. And as we were making our way to the back of the store where those shoes are, AJ found these... He fell in love. He HAD to have them. Not in a whining, tantrum way. More of a "Mom, these are the coolest things EVER, can I please have them?" kind of way.

I hoped that they didn't come in his size. I hoped he'd try them on and realize they weren't that cool. But when he tried them on, he was SO SO HAPPY! He stomped and jumped around the store so the lights would go on. He told me how cool they were and how much he loves Star Wars.  He walked around the store wearing them, looking in the mirror at them, telling me about how excited he was to show these to Daddy, Papa and the kids at school. How could I resist?

Seeing AJ happy in these horrible shoes made me realize why Moms buy them. And it turns out, the shoes are growing on me :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

2011 Santa Picture!

We saw Santa today! It was super fun. We had to wait over an hour to see him, but thankfully it was a really nice day and waiting outside wasn't a big problem. AJ has been talking about what he's going to ask for from Santa for a while now. Here's his list:

1. A bug maker - he saw this in the Toys R Us catalog weeks ago and it's all he talks about. Problem is it's for 8 year olds and the reviews on Amazon are terrible
2. A cookie monster game - never seen it, no clue where he got that idea?
3. Trash truck -even tho he's got about 5 already

He made sure to tell Santa all of these things. :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Few Pictures

I took AJ and his buddy Riley to see The Muppets yesterday and then we went to Red Robin for lunch. We had a GREAT time! Riley is such a wonderful friend! And he's so trustworthy- always great having another set of eyes on the lil guy :)
Jason sent me this... It's AJ doing the "Tim Tebow". When he finally told me what the pose meant, I thought it was pretty hilarious:)

SUCH a good boy!

I know that about a month ago, I posted about AJ being really difficult. I don't regret posting that, because at the time, he wasn't easy. But, I do feel bad about that time. I'm so happy to report though, that he's been SUCH a great, happy boy lately. He's just my little buddy. He's happy. He's polite. He is nice. He gives great compliments- in fact, there are times when he just wants to give compliments even though he's not sure what he wants to compliment. This morning, he wanted to say something nice and he said, "Mom, I really like your....your... all this" :) He will tell me he loves me just because. He makes me smile all of the time. This is just another reminder that the bad times pass....

We got his first "progress report" from school and he's doing FANTASTIC! They "rate" the kids with Most Often, Sometimes, Rarely or Not Yet" and they look at about 70 things. Here's a few things that stood out to me:

* He got a "most often" for every single social/emotional thing. Smiles, expresses emotions, follows individual and group instructions, helps put things away, works well alone and with others, expresses emotions in words.

* He also got "most often on almost all Independence/Self Help skills. Separates from parent without difficulty, able to put on shoes and coat as needed, takes care of personal hygiene, shows good table manners.

* Large and small motor development are great. Most often he can hop on one foot, draw and write with control, use eating utensils and use scissors.

* He needs to continue to work on tracing, using a pencil grip, writing his name and using line placement. He's still very young - I know this.

Here's his teachers additional comments:

"This is a very in depth progress report, most of the stuff on here we are not doing yet. AJ is doing great. He's right on task with the work we are doing in class. He is also doing very well with the others and making friends"

I'm SUPER SUPER proud of him!

Thanksgiving 2011 in California!

This year, for Thanksgiving, AJ and I went to California! We had SUCH a wonderful time! We haven't been in a very long time- 9 months is a long time for us- and the last time we went AJ was sick and it wasn't nearly as fun as we hoped. This year, AJ was FANTASTIC! He was on all week- perfectly happy, funny, sweet, loving and exactly how I'd hoped he would be. We left on Tuesday- got into Santa Barbara that afternoon and hung out with Pop, Grammy, Uncle Matt, Auntie Kristin, Aunt Joan and her friend Joey, and Grammy Cory's son, Eli for a few days.
The first night we just hung out around the house and caught up. I was SO happy to see AJ warm right up to Pop and Grammy- there were no issues at all. He knew them right away and gave hugs and kisses at the airport. We'd been talking about them and the things we'd do with them and memories we had of past visits and I think that helped. Also, he's older so he understands more now.
A few months ago, I got AJ the Toy Story 3 Landfill- this amazing big toy that has the entire landfill, conveyor belt, incinerator, etc... and since then we've been talking about AJ wanting to go to the dump. I told him (way back then) that Pop goes to the dump once in a while and that when we went to visit, Pop would take him. For the past few weeks before our trip, AJ's been talking more and more about going to the dump, telling my mom that when he goes to visit Pop, they'd go to the dump. So, of course, on Tueday night, AJ wanted to go to dump. So, first thing Wednesday morning, where did we go? Yes, to the DUMP! I can honestly say, I've never been to the dump. And you know what? IT STINKS! But, seeing it thru AJ's eyes and seeing how much joy it brought him, made it so fun. Pop, AJ and I drove over there and they let us drive up all the way to the landfill and watch the entire thing happen..... Trash trucks drove up, unloaded massive amounts of trash, then the yellow tractor would push the trash into the landfill and the blue tractor would drive over and over the trash to grind it up and make it small. (I'm sure there's some technical term for this....). It happened again and again and again. And we sat there with the windows open in the car for 45 minutes. Again, PEEEYOU! But if you ask AJ about it, he'll tell you every thing that happened. And there were workers who came over to our truck and talked with him. It was such a fun time :)
The Dump!
Later Wednesday, we went to the Avila Barn- we go every time we visit- and again it proved to be such a wonderful time! We fed the animals, which was fun, but the highlights of this visit were the forklifts taking the fresh Christmas trees to the lot for sale and also the YUMMY ice cream. We all enjoyed a single scoop. 
Silly boys!

Feeding the HUGE sheep!
Later that day, we all took a short drive to the beach and walked along Avila pier. It was so relaxing and fun. AJ loved running along the pier and watching the sea lions.

Love that he's skipping :)

Grammy, AJ, Pop and me

My guys!

That afternoon, my Dad's neighbor, who has 2 young kids, brought over some toys for AJ to borrow while we were there. They brought all kinds of trucks and blocks and AJ was in heaven! Pop and Grammy family room was filled with block race tracks and we all had a great time playing :)
Thursday- Thanksgiving- Uncle Matt, Auntie Kristin and Eli all arrived which made things even more fun! Matt and Pop took turns giving AJ rides in the wheelbarrow- it was SO entertaining to watch. AJ just loved it! "Do it again! Do it again" It was hilarious to watch AJ in the wheelbarrow, eyes closed, him "driving" while just about crashing into trees. I got some really good pictures (and we all got a good workout running him down the lawn).

He is LOVING this!

Uncle Matt and AJ played blocks and trucks and at one point were sitting outside together just hanging out. I walked out to get a picture and AJ told me, "Shhhh. Mom, were watching birds. You have to be still." It was adorable. He just is such a big boy.
Bird watching with Uncle Matt

AJ loves Uncle Matt so much- they just obviously love each other. At the end of the trip, AJ asked Matt if he could "go on his rescue boat". It was so sweet, but also sad because I know they both wanted to spend more time together. We plan to go out again in the Spring and spend more time with Matt and Kristin.
Anyway, later Thursday morning Aunt Joan and her friend Joey arrived- we haven't seen them in over a year. It was so great to see Joan and catch up. I was so happy that she got to see AJ and he got to meet her again. He was so young when they last saw each other, he didn't remember her. Joey was such a nice man and so good to AJ. They played together and since he's a grandfather too, he knew just the way to talk to him to make AJ feel comfortable and special.

Aunt Joan, AJ and I

Matt, Aunt Joan and me

AJ, Pop, Eli, Grammy Cory, Aunt Joan, Matt & Kristin
While all of that was going on, Grammy Cory was preparing a FANTASTIC Thanksgiving feast! Turkey, ham, yams, rolls, mash potatoes, veggies, cranberry sauce, and of course pickles and olives! The story is always told of when I was much younger and we had Thanksgiving dinner at my grandma's house, that I would put black olives on all of my fingers and eat them off one at a time (I'm sure everyone has SOMEONE in their family that does this...) and this year, I passed the torch to AJ :) As we sat down and started to pass around the food, I helped AJ load up his fingers and he showed everyone his creation :) I wish I had a picture of that! It was funny :) Needless to say, we all stuffed ourselves silly and by 8:30 AJ and I passed out. It was SUCH a wonderful day full of family, food and great memories! Thanks again Grammy and Pop for that fantastic day!
On Friday, sadly, we had to go home. Matt, Kristin, Joan and Joey came over in the morning for breakfast to hang out for another short bit. We did more wheelbarrow-ing and AJ and Matt played chase. We took some great family pictures and then Pop took AJ and I back to the airport. Don't tell Pop, but when he had to leave us at baggage claim, AJ and I both talked about how much we already missed them both and had a little cry. We certainly could have used another day or two on this trip, but had to get back to work and to Daddy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Terrible Threes

Oh gosh... everyone says it isn't "terrible 2's", it's "terrible 3's" and I'm starting to agree. This few weeks have been ROUGH! AJ is getting smarter, so he's learning to play me more and knows how to hurt me. And I've got so much guilt that I let him get away with too much- it's not a good cycle.

To be honest, one of the hardest parts for me right now is that I don't see AJ on a daily basis. So each time I do see him, it's like starting over. And when I see him, I want to make him happy. I want to have a fun time with him. But then, I also have a life and groceries that need to be bought, dinner to be made, a house that needs to be cleaned and just stuff that needs to be done. Right now, I feel like we're having less fun together and he's spending more time in time out or in trouble because he's just so mean to me so often.

It makes me so sad to think that the little time I get to spend with my son, I spend a lot of it with him in time out, or him melting down at Walmart because he's been so bad he doesn't get a cookie, or telling me "I'm not your friend, mommy" or "I don't care" or "it's not fair". Or lately, he spits at me or thows his toys up against the wall, or tells me when I pick him up from day care "I want my daddy". (nothing against Jason, but after 2 days without AJ, that hurts)

I do still get the occasional "I love you mommy" which I love, but he wont sit on my lap, or give me a kiss or hug. Typically lately, he denies me.

I'm frustrated tonight, obviously. It's not as bad as it seems. It was just a rough couple of hours. I need to be more strict. I guess I have to sacrafice time now in order to make him grow into a better man.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Update on Us

Wow- I win the "Worst Blogger" award for the past month or so. Life has been so crazy hectic -still- and when I think about blogging, I'm either way overwhelmed with the amount of things I want to or should write or my lame Internet stops working and I give up. I feel like I can't keep up. I guess I have to forgive myself and do the best I can, right?
Anyway, we're doing fantastic! Life, while crazy busy and hectic, is back to having some sort of consistency. Love that.

AJ is really enjoying school- he still goes 4 days a week- and the teachers love him. He never fights going, and at times actually doesn't want to leave. He's learning SO MUCH! He can point out some letters, knows how to write his name (it's not always legible but I love that he tries), he has great friends there and I've noticed he plays so well with other kids now. He's polite, shares, talks about his friends, loves having "jobs" at school and likes his teachers a lot. He's really growing into such a wonderful young man. I couldn't be more proud of my guy.

We stopped swim lessons a few weeks back. AJ didn't get into the class because I waited too long to sign him up, and so I took that as a sign. With the holidays coming up and everything else in our lives, we all need a break. I think we'll sign him up for gymnastics in January. He's so coordinated and always on the move, so I think he'll do well.

I am doing great too- work is awesome. I love my boss and am really doing very well there. I work a lot of overtime when I can which means I don't get a lot of extra time to do my own stuff, but for now it's totally worth it. I'm very very VERY thankful the last 2 years are over and I'm starting fresh.

AJ and I are headed to California to hang with Pop, Grammy, Matt and Kristin for Thanksgiving and I'm so looking forward to getting away for a bit. We haven't been back to Cali for way too long.

Well, I guess that's it.... more to come later.

Happy Halloween 2011

Happy Halloween from Fireman AJ!

Love this guy!

AJ made a pumpkin for school. His pumpkin won "Best Eyes"

Good thing his mom is so creative huh? :)

Anderson Farms 2011

We made our annual trip to Anderson Farms a few weeks ago and once again had a great time! AJ and I went with Grandma and Papa and it was a perfect day! The weather was perfect, AJ was in a great mood and we just had such an enjoyable time. Here's some pictures:

Playing in the maize. He LOVED it again this year.

Sitting up on the big wagon with Papa

Feeding a 4 day old goat :)

All of us!

Barrel Train Rides!

Chillin out on some HUGE pumpkins!