This is My Crowd

This is My Crowd
Picture by: Photography by Vicky Campos

Leave a Comment

I love to have feedback and sometimes the Comment box can be less than cooperative when it comes time to post. I highly recommend selecting the Name/URL option. You can simply type in your name, skip the URL and leave your comment.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Not As Regular as One Might Expect

In my defense, I've started a blog or two in the past 5 months, I've just not posted them for lack of time or interest. However, after reading about one blog wonders and orphan tweets, I thought I might update my blog just a tad... however, brief.

I celebrated my birthday recently, so I am now the proud owner of the title "in her thirties". 32 makes it quite official. I did finally get a tattoo that I've been wanting. It was back in February, so it's been a while. Yes, it's real!

My middle child is now a graduate... of preschool. Not sure why they have a ceremony, but it was cute. Lots of tears from Moms surprisingly enough. He did the welcome speech. So proud!

My youngest is officially potty trained during the day. Night time is hit and miss. But he's basically done. Yay! As with my other 2 boys, he decided when he was done wearing pullups and we never looked back.

My oldest is now finished with another year of school. Looking forward to a summer filled with trips and lots of fun! He's just a good kid!

Oh... they all got haircuts. However much they were needed, the long hair is missed. I just couldn't bring myself to force long hair on them any more than I could force a crew cut. In homage to the boys long hair, Muffins with Mom and Donuts with Dad photos to follow:

I am greatly looking forward to the rest of 2009, though I hope it doesn't pass too quickly.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What To Do... What To Do...

As a parent, I'm finding that as difficult as it was to struggle through night-time feedings, dirty diapers, hauling around a weekend's worth of items to run simple errands and spit up when you're dressed and ready to leave, the true challenges come with age. I know, I know... My kids are still young and I have many challenges to look forward to when they are pre-teens, teens and, dare I say it, young adults, but to date, these current challenges seem somewhat overwhelming.

I won't go into detail, but I will say that no matter what choices I make on their behalf, it always seems like the wrong one and I often find myself second guessing everything. But I just love these boys, so we'll keep plugging away!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

snow, snoW, snOW, sNOW, SNOW!!!

I LOVE the snow! One caveat, however, is that I don't particularly want to live where it snows. So I suppose it's appropos that God placed me in the Central Valley of California. It takes a little more than an hour to reach the snow and a little more than 2 hours to reach the coast. I don't think I would mind living on the coast, but I've not actually lived there, so I don't really know. But since this post is about snow, I digress about the coast.

So... I LOVE the snow! If you read my last post, you'll know that I have a tendency to set my kids up for failure when it comes to staying dry. Therefore, this most recent New Years day (and the following day) we went up to Yosemite to play in the snow. Now you might wonder, why we would travel to one of this country's national treasures to simply play in the snow, and rightly so. The long and short of it is, that 4 miles into the park there is this great snow play area across the street from the historic Wawona Hotel. There is ample parking and lots of room for everyone to spread out. Additionally, if one is willing to shell out the $20 for a 7 day pass, you can drive right past the over-crowded, free snow play areas on Highway 41 on your drive up and KNOW that there is a quaint, serene, uncrowded slope just waiting for you. Not only that, you don't have to avoid near death trying to get parking on the side of the highway and keep your kids from getting run over while you're loading and unloading.

Anyways, in addition to loving the snow, we LOVE the MacIntosh Family! They are the kind of people that you hope to grow old and gray with and you pray that your collective children will remain friends until such time as they too are old and gray. So the fact that we now have an actual tradition (we've done it 2x's now) that involves going to the snow with the MacIntosh Family is simply wonderful!

We stay in Oakhurst and drive the 20 minutes into the park, hike into our secret and private area and hang out for a few hours. There's always hot cocoa, except this year we forgot cups, lot's of snacks, a place to rest, and a buddy to share your sled with. We made our snow man and this year it was even better than last year. Last year, it was later in the year so the snow was very hard. Good for a fast slope, bad for a snow man. Our man last year was very short and had crazy hair! This year, he was about as big as a kid, and he was asian (don't ask)!

The 2008 Snow Man

The 2009 Snow Man

We ate dinner at our FAVORITE barbeque place, Todd's, and ate until we could only waddle out to the car. Since we stayed at the Best Western this year, we topped off the night with a nice swim and dip in the hot tub at the indoor pool area. It was a bit tricky getting the kids back to the rooms, since we had to go outside to do it. But, it's awesome to play in the snow and swim on the same day! I always think, that our families will hang out in the rooms in the evening, but by the time we get back we are all so tired, we just crash out. I guess that means we had fun!

My favorite memory of our trip was the trip itself! I love the drive up and back. Rob and I get an hour to chat and remember last year and look forward to our day ahead. There're always those fun caravan stops, where one car has to find a facility and the other an ATM. The old "you'll do this, we'll do that and we'll meet back here, one, two, three, BREAK!" moments are always fun! Eating out with friends, especially at a place that has peanuts in the shell on the table and doesn't mind sweeping up after your kids that have already gone through one basket and dinner's not even here yet. I love sitting at one table and looking over at our kids, who have their own table, and watch them as THEY chat and goof off with THEIR friends. They may be small, but they're people too, apparently. I love laying down after a full day, knowing that my kids have made a memory that they won't soon forget. That these memories will be discussed with their friends in High School, their girlfriends in College and their own kids when they are parents. That this very tradition, might inspire them to make their own traditions with their families and that my grandchildren will, in turn, do the same. I love letting my kids play in the snow when it is raining, because there were no plans to stay dry. I love driving in the snow, because we stayed a little too long and pushed the clock back a bit because there was still fun to be had. I love driving through Fishcamp (yes, it's a town) and seeing three or four feet of snow on all of the rooftops (another reason I like to visit and not live in the snow, pretty to look at, pain to live in). I especially love the drive home. Kids are quietly watching a movie, or sleeping as the case may be. Everyone, even the adults, are tired and content. The drive is slow but steady, because you're not in a hurry to get home.

I LOVE the snow! It engenders in us a whimsical childishness! It creates a wonderland of beguiling beauty, where we can doff the garbs of parenthood, employment and spouse-dom once we cross the street and step foot onto the snow. We can cut the cords of hand holding and let the kids just run and become kids ourselves.

I LOVE the snow!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It always seems like a good idea...

The Holidays have once again flown by, today we are officially 8 days into 2009. Before you know it, we'll be 8 days into 2010. It seems that the speed with which the years race by increases as I grow older. A sentiment that is merely an echo of so many conversations I've had with those older than I, over the years.

In mulling over the past 8 weeks, I find myself thinking back to the Saturday after Thanksgiving. In Clements, where my parents and grandparents live, it was a cold day, but sunny. The skies were blue and it seemed a perfect day to take a drive to the river to throw rocks. When we first moved out to Clements from the Bay Area, the Mokelumne River was a pretty popular place to go to and just hang. It's quiet, beautiful, serene, fun, rock covered, muddy and wet. A combination of adjectives that pleases both parents and kids alike. Kind of like Kix. "Kid Tested. Mother Approved." The intent was that the kids would stand at the shore and throw rocks and sticks. Maybe wander around a bit and see some wild life. DEFINITELY NOT GET WET!
As you can see by the picture, that didn't happen. It's funny how, a perfectly dry child can get wet slowly. Quick step to retrieve that stone, shoe... just a little wet. Another, slightly slower, step out into the water to get that one pretty rock that you just have to have, bottom of jeans... just a tad damp. Ten minutes later, their sneakers have become water socks and their pants look tie-dyed, as the color saturation deepens toward the bottom. As a Mom, I easily traverse between "grown child" and "no-fun mommy". Fortunately, for my boys that day, I hovered over my inner child for a while and figured, since they were already wet, "Why not wade out to that cool looking rock!"

So there I am convincing my children to roll up their already wet pant legs and wade out to a rock in icy cold water. Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time and maybe icy is a bit of an exaggeration... let's say the exhilaratingly cold water! And yet, the aftermath of muddy, sandy, soaking wet feet being crammed into already wet sneakers walking back to the van and climbing into my car, wasn't the vision of joy that I had originally. See, when I find myself operating as the "fun mom", I tend not to follow the logic through. OF COURSE, this is how it would end.

But while we were on the rock, it was nothing but laughter and splashing and fun, so I'll say it... it was worth every bit of whining back to car.

Plus, had we not taken this little river detour, I would never know that my Bubba was actually a Jedi Knight... though I had my suspicions!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

There's a First Time for Everything!

And now this is my first official blog. Sure, I've blogged on Myspace, but is it really the same thing?? Naw, I tend to dazzle people with my premade layouts and clever video's before they can even make it to my blogs. Plus, my blogs on the Myspace are typically a result of something specific, not simply a quippy observation of the mundane happenings in my life. Which I hope this will be.

As an introduction, I have three boys, not including my husband. They are 3 (Bubba/Mogwai), 5 (Kissee) & 7 (Monkey), it really is too bad you can't escape childhood nicknames. They are crazy and wonderful, inspiring and frustrating, and I wouldn't trade any of them for anything. My husband and I have been together for 12 years and married for 8. We just celebrated our anniversary on New Years. We thought we were clever and got married on 01-01-01. I am a Christian. I strive to be a better follower of Christ and I'm certain that some of my blogs will go in that direction at some point in time. I attend Celebration Church ( and if you don't have a church family, I would encourage you to find one in your area. They can make all the difference in the world when it comes to living successfully (not talking money). I work full time for a real estate development company and have recently celebrated my 10 year anniversary with them. This is just a light peppering of the various hats I wear and what makes me tick.