Well I know I am beyond late getting this post up but I’ll share later why I have not been posting for the last few months. Anyway Emerald started Kindergarten in August and Violet started TinyTots in September (and she is already on winter break)
Emerald was so excited to start school. I think she really missed it during the summer. Well the first two weeks she was an early bird which meant she had to be at school by 830am which was so not fun after having the summer of no early mornings. During those first two weeks they assessed the kids to group them for early bird and late bird (which gives the teacher one hour in the morning with only 10 kids and one hour in the afternoon with only 10 kids) well she ended up as a late bird since she can read a little. The late mornings is nice but after two weeks of early mornings we were all used to getting but we made it work. She likes her teacher a lot which helps and says everyone in her class is pretty nice except one kid who seems to be a handful in general and not nice to anyone. Well we already had her first report card and she did wonderful and the teacher said she is such a joy to have in class. Awe my sweet Emerald we love her so much.
After Emerald was in school for a few weeks I started watching my nephew a couple times a week which added in another aspect of changing times and schedules around. But as moms we know how to adjust and make things work.
Next was Violet she started Tinytots which is thru the city and she absolutely loved it. She was so excited that she was finally big enough to go to school like Emerald. She went to school only two days a week and each class is only one and a half hours which I thought would be good since this is the first thing she has done totally on her own. It look her a week to remember her teachers names a ver a month to learn the kids names in her class which one she kept calling “Salami” and I later found out her actual name is Lelani. When you are three some names get mixed up. Well the class was only eight weeks long and then the get a winter break and don’t start up again until January. I’m hoping she likes it just as much when she goes back.
Well I’m working on the next few posts since I am so far behind!
Well it has finally come to the time to acknowledge that my baby is no longer a baby and needed to move to a big girl bed. So many feelings and this has been hard for me . . . no longer having a crib in the house is a strange thing since we have had one for the last almost six years.
We have had the bunk beds stored for a little while since they used to be mine that I shared with my sister when we were little. Yes they are old but my parents were getting rid of them when they moved out of my childhood home and Brock and I decided to keep them for the girls. They had been stored for a couple of years so when Brock brought them home we gave them a good cleaning and you would never guess that they were mine as a kid. Well Brock tried to put them together with my help and that did not go so great considering they are solid wood and I am not the strongest person and I am on the shorter side so not the best for holding up the wood to be screwed together. After much frustration Brock had his bother come over to help and thank goodness I was off the hook with that. The guys got the beds together and we had Violet sleep on her big girl mattress all by herself on the floor the first night to get her used to the size. I know this seems weird but I had realized that she had never slept in a big bed by herself she has always shared a big bed whenever we have stayed somewhere for the night.
First time getting to climb up to her bed.
First night both of them in the bunkbed
The first night in the bunk beds and Emerald was thrilled she loved sleeping on the top bunk and called it her castle. Violet was not a huge fan and kept saying the bed was too big and too high up. So I put pillows all around the edge and put her in the middle of the bed so that when she looked down at her feet there was not as much bed. This seemed to work the next night and it got a little easier and she stopped complaining about the bed being too big. We also went looking for new sheets and comforters which I was hoping would get her excited about the new bed, but nope she still wanted to use the blankets from her toddler bed/crib that my mom had made when Emerald was a baby. (Sad to say but it has been a month in the bunkbeds and I still have not been able to have her sleep without the baby blanket) Well we still have not found comforters that we all agree on but I am not stressing about it since it is summer and hot so we settled on fluffy blankets and white sheets for now.
At the beginning Violet was scared to climb up to the top bunk (which is not a bad thing I was worried she might fall) but now that we have had the beds in their room for a little while both girls hang all over the bed like little monkeys. Yes they have fallen off the latter a few times but never really hurt and has made them realize not to be so wild (well sometimes) Jazz, our cat now climbs up the latter too! The girls think it is so fun that the cat goes up and down the latter and it is pretty funny to watch, Brock has still not seen this happen, he was convinced Emerald was putting the cat in her bed for awhile but I assured him I saw the cat climb the latter all on her own. Plus it is the funniest thing Emerald calls the cat up to her bed and Jazz comes running to join her.
It has been a hard transition and crazy to think these girls are growing up so quickly, but I love seeing them grow and love getting to spend each day with them and help guide them on their journey of life. I love my big girls.
This summer our big vacation with the girls was going to Orlando Florida. We left the week after Emerald got out of school, it gave her something to look forward to since she was a little sad school was over (she is five I am sure this will change when she is older). Brock flew out with the girls and I and we got all of our belongings into two carry-ons and three backpacks! Brock hates that you have to pay for luggage so this mama crammed it all in just a couple of bags. We also brought both of the girls car seats, but no stroller this time, my babies are all grown up. When we dropped off Violet’s carseat she thought the man was throwing it out because he put it in a large bag 😂 She was so worried about her carseat and did not want to leave it. Loading with the girls was a breeze and it was so nice to have everything you could possibly need in the couple of bags we brought. Both the girls each had a backpack with a few toys they had picked to bring, their blankies, tablets and some coloring books and crayons/markers. I also put a baggie in each of their backpacks with snacks and lollipops for when they could not handle the plane ride anymore. I was amazed the girls had such a great time on the plane ride, I was next to both of them and Brock was just across the aisle from us. I somehow forgot the headsets so we could watch movies and listen to music so we had to buy them on the flight (what can I say I feel like every trip something is forgotten . . . at least this was the only thing and it was an easy fix. The girls loved looking out the window at all the pretty clouds and the beautiful blue skies and imagined what the clouds looked like.
When we finally made it to Florida that evening my brother came and picked us up and we did drive through on the way to the hotel because you know the kiddos were so starving, not really they are a little on the dramatic side. The girls were so excited to finally see all their cousins and could not wait to get to the hotel. We stayed at the Star Island Resort in Orlando and had a three bedroom suite. Almost all my family stayed in one condo together, Brock and I with the girls shared one room that had two beds although we had the rest of the cousins sleeping on our floor most of the nights. The kids all wanted to spend as much time together as possible, it was so sweet. We spent the days there swimming, playing video games and board games and everybody was having such a wonderful time. When we would go swimming I kept both are girls and puddle jumpers which made me feel way more safe about them running around the pool area especially with all the kids playing together. Since it’s so hot and humid in Florida we did stay inside a little bit playing video games and we got everybody in on doing some dance games it was hilarious. There was also a miniature golf course at the resort and we had a great time everyone played not necessarily well but everybody tried even the little ones. Since my entire family, siblings and parents and kids were there we all got together for family photos. A nice man walking by took the family pictures of the entire group. There was 19 of us all together in the picture so it was very sweet of the person to help out and take a group picture of all of us. This Resort also had playgrounds, that was great to let the kids get out their energy when we were not swimming there was also pingpong and outdoor jenga. It also had swans that you could ride around on a pond and bikes, but for some reason they did not have this available the entire time we were there, such a bummer. They also played outdoor movies each night but we never went to go see these so we did miss out on a few things.
Well after two full days of fun my younger brother and his family left so we packed each day with lots of fun things mostly swimming and after each time the kids would go swimming they would come back to the hotel room and sit inside the big jacuzzi tub to all rinse off together. We also did night swimming which the girls have never done before and they thought was so much fun. Brock ended up leaving the day after my brother so that he could head back to work, but the girls and I stayed with the rest of the family. We left only a couple days later, on our last day there my brother drove home to Jacksonville and the rest of us headed to the Crayola Experience which was close to the airport.
This was such a great place so worth the money we got to make our own crayons and watch how they make batches of crayons. We also melted crayons into cool arts and crafts the girls had the best time. I would highly recommend this for anybody in the Orlando area I wish they had one of these out near us. I even wish we got more time at this place but unfortunately we had to leave to head out on our flight. We booked the same flight as my parents and my sisters family, we got the seats across the aisle from my parents. Well, on the way home our flight ended up having a two-hour delay which is terrible when you have two tired kids.
We ate dinner at the airport and then waited around . . . I end up getting ice cream and cookies and trying to find things to entertain the girls while waiting. Luckily on the flight home the girls were exhausted and fell asleep which was very nice for me I got to watch a movie, although I had to watch it from Violet’s screen since my sound did not work for my seat and my mom also had this problem. When we landed Brock was there to pick up the girls and I plus my parents and our trip was over. Overall it was a wonderful trip and it was so fun getting to see all of my siblings and their kids but we were definitely happy to be home and sleeping in our own beds. Although you know me always ready to plan the next vacation.
Emerald finished her first year at school! We made it through TK with her loving going and only missing a few days here and there and only a couple times of getting her to school late. She is so excited for the summer break before she starts Kindergarten.
We have tried so hard to book the Summer full of fun things for the girls. Summers are now becoming a treasured time to spend with the girls since Emerald started school. Right after the last day of school Emerald came home to a few little goodies I had picked up from the dollar section at Target and a sign I made saying how excited we are to spend the summer to party.
The first weekend was Memorial weekend and the girls got to be in a parade that my parents retirement community put together. The girls had so much fun.
We of course cant forget the last time we get to go to disneyland before our passes expire for the summer. The last time we were able to go and Lolo (the girl’s grandma) was able to come with us, unfortunately Brock had to work and was not able to join which Violet was so sad about.
Our first big trip for the summer is one to Florida where we’re going to see all of my siblings and their families. ( I will have a blog and pictures coming soon for this trip) The girls are super excited about this trip since we don’t get to see their cousins that often. We also have several weekends booked with camping and weekends at the beach. I’m also planning on switching the girl’s bed to bunk beds so Violet will be moving out of her toddler bed😬. ( I will write something about this too since there will no longer be a crib in our house/sad moment for mommy)
We also got to just participate in a picnic that one of the moms put together for Emeralds TK class to get together during the summer it was so sweet. They had a pinata and even a face painter and we did a potluck picnic.
This school year has been such a fun year for Emerald. She was so lucky to have such an amazing teacher. Miss Creekmore really was one of the best teachers for Emerald. I also love how her teacher at the end of the year made books of all the different special projects that the kids had made throughout the year. She also gave each of her students a special award describing each of their personalities.
While Emerald was at school it was so nice getting to spend one-on-one time with Violet and I am loving watching these girls grow up. Sometimes I battle between being sad that they’re getting older and being happy and excited that they get to have so many wonderful experiences. It is so much fun getting to be there Mom.
Well Violet turned three over two months ago and I am just now writing about it. What can I say life happens and we just finished celebrating her birthday (it took us awhile and we had to reschedule things again life happens and you adjust) She wanted to have an “Ariel party” which meant I had to make a little mermaid cake and she wanted a dress like Ariel.
Well the first thing that happened was celebrating with my family which is where she had her Ariel cake.
She was so happy with how her cake turned out. I used her ariel barbie for the cake, so naturally Ariel got a bath and her hair brushed and so did Violet. I also wrapped the barbie legs in cling wrap so that I would not have to clean too much cake off of her after we were done with the cake.
We celebrated Violet’s birthday at my parents a few weeks before her birthday (you know scheduling everyone together can be difficult) So this kid got to celebrate her birthday for almost three months. Emerald kept asking is it still Violet’s birthday?
On her actual birthday this poor kid was so sick so we stayed home and I tried to make the best of it because well all of us were sick. We stayed in pajamas all day and even tho we did not have much energy we still had a dance party to celebrate. We gave her a purple dress that she wore for dinner that night so that she could “be so fancy” for her birthday dinner and lollipops because that kiddo loves them so so so much.
We had also planned on taking her to Disneyland for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique makeover but we had to reschedule this since my mom fell and broke her hand and knee and my parents were making the dress for her makeover. Also we planned on taking her to Disneyland that weekend without my parents just to celebrate her birthday but had to reschedule since we were all so sick.
We finally made it to disneyland for her birthday a few weeks after her birthday but still did not get to do the princess makeover. We did everything Violet wanted to do that day and we had a blast plus we went on a day that the park was not too full and the lines were short which was so wonderful. We got everything done on her list by 10am even seeing Minnie and Mickey and the rest of the time felt like bonus time since we did not have to wait in lines for anything.
Well my mom was finally feeling up for Disneyland 2 months after Violets birthday plus I had to find a day that worked for everyone and get her makeover scheduled. This was the day Violet had been looking forward to. My parents showed up at our house with the dress they had made . . . the only dress Violet wanted was the Ariel dress that she wears while visiting Prince Eric’s kingdom. She did not want the dress with fins since that way she would not be able to walk (lol) My parents even made a big blue bow to wear like in the movie. (you can check out their costumes at https://www.etsy.com/shop/royalty4kids) Emerald of course dressed like Elsa Fever one of her favorites.
Violets appointment was at 1pm and we only waited about 15 minutes and one of the fairy godmothers came to do her makeover. Violet could not have been happier to have this done. She actually sat still the entire time and for Violet that is very big deal she is a little wiggle worm. Our entire family watched while she had her makeover you can see half of us in the mirror of this picture. Violet of course picked the red hair extensions so that she could look even more like ariel and she got her makeup and nails done as well. This was one of the best days of her life.
We have done the Bibbidi Bobbidi Makeover a couple time before with Emerald but this was the first time for Violet which made it so special for her she was finally old enough. Her fairy godmother was amazing too. She definitely made Violet feel so special.
After Violet was done with her makeover we went to visit the princesses and then took some family photos in front of the castle. I love that the girls are holding their dresses out like a princess. This was such a perfectly wonderful day for Violet it was everything she hoped it would be, but in true Violet fashion by the end of the night she wanted the hair taken out and she was done being a princess and wanted to go back to being Violet.This gorgeous little girl is feisty, stubborn and bossy but she can also be so sweet and caring and loves to cuddle. She has the funniest sayings and loves to say everything is disgusting. She keeps us on our toes and needs constant discipline (or she thinks she runs the house) but she adds such a fun dynamic to our family and I can’t imagine our life without this little firecracker. Watch out world! #ohviolet
I love holidays and getting to celebrate with family and having good food! We started with Easter prep of dying eggs which the girls love doing. We did this on Tuesday evening which meant Emerald got to bring Easter eggs for lunch the next several days, which made my lunch making days easier and made Emerald so happy. She said all the other kids asked why she got a special lunch 🙂 The other prepping I do is decorating the house the week before, this year I tried to keep it pretty simple and did not buy any extra decorations like I normally do. I am trying to keep things simpler and not stress myself out and go over board (Im a little extra sometimes) I even kept the girls easter baskets simple, I used the same baskets from last year and filled them with little goodies I found at the 99cent store (cheap and easy) The last thing I could do to prep a few days early was the decorations for the cupcakes I was making to take to both of our families.
The Friday before Easter this year was passover which we go to Brock’s great Aunts house to celebrate. His aunt takes care of everything which is so nice for us all we have to do is show up and clean up after.
The next day Brock took the girls to my parent’s house to swim and I got a few hours of pampering! I love getting my hair done I always feel so fabulous after and like I can take on anything life hands me. That evening was a lot of food preping for Easter. I try to bring the same things to both families so that we just double up the recipes, which has made going to both Brock and my families for Holidays much less stressful. Every holiday I feel like all I do is work hard and I never get to enjoy it so I am trying really hard to not overextend myself and PREP so that I am not rushing the day of to get everything done. So Brock helped me prep Saturday night by making and decorating (and eating) the cupcakes and dipping strawberries in orange chocolate to look like carrots, and making lemon bars also diced and sliced everything we could for the next day.
The next morning the girls were up and ready to see what the Easter bunny had brought them, so we started with their easter baskets and while they were playing with everything from their baskets I mixed the crustless quiche together and got it in the oven (we made two, one for breakfast and one to take to Brunch with Brock’s family) and Brock hid the eggs outside(the girls had no idea he was even gone). Then while breakfast baked we took their now empty baskets outside to collect the eggs (that I had filled the night before with little candies) I took a few funny videos that showed how clueless Violet was at first with collecting eggs but she caught on pretty quickly after that. Although our girls are too sweet they kept giving each other their eggs to make sure they each had the same amount and the same colors. What can I say we are raising very considerate little ladies.
After the egg hunt and opening all the eggs and putting all the candy in a bowl although they of course wanted to eat it all before breakfast . . . we had breakfast of crustless ham and cheese quiche with our “carrot” strawberries, so delicious. After breakfast Brock made two potato and pear gratin (one for each family meal) and I got the girls and myself ready. By the time I got all of us ready Brock had already got the dish in the oven and had cleaned up! Woohoo! Next was loading up the car and heading to have lunch with his family first. We took a family picture first thing before those kiddos got wild from all the candy they had been eating. We brought the quiche, potato gratin, lemon bars and cupcakes (ok so I do go a little overboard on making several items, but I love cooking and baking) The girls had a great time running around and playing especially since it was a beautiful day. Their grandpa gave them each an easter basket that they of course tore right into. Next stop my parents house. We brought fresh green beans with parmesan cheese, potato gratin, lemon bars and cupcakes. So I really did get to double up on pretty much everything but green beans.
The first thing we do at my parents house is always the egg hunt, that way it is still light out since we don’t meet up until the evening. We start with all the little kids. (this year there is only three since both my bothers and their families live out of state)
The girls had a great time collecting the eggs and getting all the fun treats my parents hid for them and this year they did candies, magic grow pellets, and little toys. While we were helping the girls with all of their loot my dad went back out to hide eggs for all of us big kids, Brock and myself and my sister and her husband. They always do egg hunts for us in their neighborhood with money in the eggs. They leave a lot of the eggs empty as a trick (happy April fools day) well guess who found all of those, yup that would be me! I ended up with a total of ten cents! Yup you read that right I was the big loser I got one egg that had a dime in it and the rest were empty. Thank goodness Brock was the big winner and got lots of dollar bills.
After the egg hunt it was dinner time and we were all stuffed by the end of the day but still finished with those yummy desserts and we also had a gluten free cake my parents made (yes we love dessert and sweets!) Well we were all exhausted by the end and had to head home because Emerald had school the next morning. It was a long day but a wonderful day! A few days later and all of the decorations are put away and only some of the Easter candy remains, but we are on to the next family fun filled days.
Well we finally did our first family cruise with both the girls. It was a lot of fun, but so exhausting. We did a 3 night mexico cruise during Emerald’s spring break so she would not miss any school. Brock’s mom and two sisters also came with us. I took a few days to pack since I was trying to get everything in one medium size suitcase and a backpack for all four of us (which I totally did) We we’re not sure how Violet would be (I had crazy insomnia before the cruise cuz I was so stressed out about Violet my wild child running off the ship) so we wanted our hands free and boarding the ship to be as easy as possible.
Well our drive down to the ship it was on the cooler side and a little rainy😒. Thankfully I had planned for this and we all had jackets. Boarding went really well and we carried all our luggage on instead of checking it that way we had anything we might need for Violet (including her mermaid tail blanket that we can’t go anywhere without) We got to our room that had a king bed and two bunks, the girls called their castles. Violet was also convinced that we were at a hotel and she wanted to go back to the big ship. We also had a giant window that the girls immediately wanted to look out.
After dropping off our luggage and the girls jumping around on the beds we headed up for some food because that is what you do most of the time on a cruise is EAT! We sat outside while having our burgers and of course I got pooped on by a seagull. 🤦 Brock cleaned off my jacket and all I could do was laugh.
We did the early seating for dinner at 6 which was perfect for the girls. We of course ordered way too much food but we wanted to try so many things off the menu plus it’s all included so why not try it! We put Emerald and Violet in the Camp Carnival each evening after dinner so that Brock and I could have a little time to go and do things we wanted to do plus it was a nice little break for us. The girls had a blast in the Camp Carnival they thought it was so much fun and they would always ask us each day to go back to it especially Emerald, I definitely think this was the highlight of the cruise for her she met so many friends. Brock and I loved that Camp Carnival gave us a phone in case anything happened with the girls which we ended up using way more than I ever thought we would. The calls were always because of violet not wanting to be there anymore she also had one night of an accident in her pants because she couldn’t wipe herself after going to the bathroom. The joys of having children and being a parent.
Our first night on the ship
Violet in her “hotel bed”
Emerald in her castle
The first full day we were in Ensenada Mexico we stayed on the boat with the girls we were a little concerned about safety in Mexico, but we had a wonderful time we played mini-golf went swimming and did all the water slides(well Brock and the girls did the waterslides and I watched, the water was too cold for me)
Staying on the boat also made it easier to have Violet take a nap and we all ended up napping. That night was what we called “fancy night” and the girls were so excited they had brought their fanciest dresses (Emerald got a new dress for this occasion since that girls is always growing) to wear to dinner. It was another late night of shows and comedy and the girls stayed in Camp Carnival again after dinner.
The next day was a “sea day” and the pools were crowded so we tried to find other things that the girls would find fun so we did the towel folding class and the towel Theater which they had for the kids. The girls loved both these things they especially loved every night in our room there would be a new towel animal that typically got loved to death by Violet.
The last night of our cruise and I was ready to be home I had started getting really bad motion sickness they say the last day is always the worst because they stay out at sea. Again we put the girls in Camp Carnival after dinner and went to some comedy shows then we went and got them out to bring them to the last show of the cruise they loved it.
Under the Sea Party
Prince and Princess party
The next morning we were docked back at Long Beach and it was time to pack up and go home. Even though I went into this Cruise very stressed out and ended up being a wonderful time for the family. We will definitely be doing another Cruise in the future well maybe the far future. We have been off the cruise a couple days and I still feel like I’m on the boat rocking. Well now we are thinking about what our next family trip will be, I love all the adventures I get to share with my family.