Monday, May 16, 2016

One Birthday. Six Anniversaries.

Diamond,  You turned six, three months ago!  I meant to write you a letter, confessing my unconditional love, but with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it was shoved to the back burner and eventually "taken off the stove".

But here I am, I've managed to find a few moments to document a few things and also to tell you that, I do love you.  Unconditionally.

A lot has changed in the short year it has taken you to turn six.

We moved and you became a big sister.  You're a pretty amazing big sister!  You're only jealous sometimes.  Sometimes, I have to take a step back and a breath and remind myself that you were the center of attention until Dani came along.  You used to like her a lot more, but she recently started crawling and now she "needs" to play with whatever you're playing with.  I've gotta give it to you though, you're a pretty patient gal.

You recently graduated Kindergarten.  What?!  You are very very interested in reading and you currently love Fly Guy.

My little ponies are your favorite thing to play with and I'll just go ahead and add that to your favorite show to watch, too!

John 3:16 was the first verse you mastered in sign language and you're working on Galatians 5:22-23.  It seems as if you learn and retain your memory verse much easier if you also learn to sign it.  Crazy kid, you're something else!

The other day, you had very bad behavior.  It was the first offense that actually broke my heart.  I won't say what it was, here on the blog, but I am making a note of it so that if you ever read this, we can talk about it.  I will say that you have learned to appreciate sorting and putting your laundry away, and I will leave it at that.

I love you, my little blondie.  Speaking of blonde, you are super duper excited because "your hair is turning brown, just like everyone else's".  It's so strange how you've always longed for plain ole boring brown hair  Blonde or brown, it doesn't matter to me, you're beautiful.

Love, Mommy (:

Little bits to my babies

***I just found this post that I started over a year ago. Why not publish it?  Also, I can't believe I stopped doing this!***

September 16.

Dani, today you learned to go up and down stairs all by your self!  My little independant girl!

September 17

Dani, you demanded sprinkles for lunch!  You ate all of the red ones first!  You're so funny!

September 23

Dom, today we celebrated your half birthday.  You were so disappointed when I  told you the cake failed, but you were splendidly surprised when I pulled out the store bought chocolate half cake.  Daddy and I got you the book you've been eyeing for like, ever.  The battery was completely dead in my camera when we celebrated you, so I didn't get any good pictures, but that doesn't mean that I love you any less.  I did get a funny video with my phone.  I love you and I like you.  You make me laugh, funny boy.

September 28

Devan, today I watched you play volley ball.  Your team lost both matches, but you tried and never gave up and that makes my heart swell with pride.  I asked you if you wanted to stay and watch the ninth grade play and you happily replied "yes"!  I knew that you really just wanted to hang out with your friend C and eat candy, so we stayed.  You and C are very proud of yourselves because both of you fit in the lockers in the locker room.  I told you not to tell anyone else that.
Seriously.  Just Don't.

September 29

Diamond, you read a whole chapter from Frog and Toad today with out help!  Impressive!  You currently say that reading is boring, but I have a hard time believing that when you laugh hysterically when you're reading to me.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Six and a half

Diamond Idreal  Kyleigh Rae, you turned six and a half, this week!

Photo: Trying so hard to figure out why this cake was hers, only half of a cake and had six and a half candles on it.  #diamondkyleigh #sixandahalf #ohsoblonde #halfbirthday #loveher

This half of a cake was waiting on you when you got home from school.  You couldn't seem to figure out why it was for you, so I put six and a half candles on it and your blonde self still didn't get it.  You were totally stumped!  Haha! 
You were all "Hey Mommy, you pushed that candle in too far.  You want me to pull it up a little, for you?"

Dominick-clever boy-finally figured it out for you!

We got you some little (inexpensive) ponies for your half day.  You were pleasantly surprised!  
 It's all you've talked about since! 

You're so cute!!
And you keep reminding Dominick-whose half birthday is less than two weeks away-that "Mommy doesn't treat us all the same, so don't expect a half birthday party. I mean, I hope you get one but, you know she's not fair, like that."

(You're totally right, though, about not treating you all the same.  All of you are very different and need to be treated differently, but I still love and celebrate each of you!!)

Thanks, for looking out for him. 
And me? 
 I mean, maybe I'll have the crappiest day ever and I won't get around to pulling a cake fail out of the freezer and frosting it for him, on his half birthday?  Who knows? ;)

"A boy pony!  It's all I've ever wanted!"

Who knew??

I hope we made you feel as special as you are, sweet girl!  I love you so very much and can't wait to see how much you've changed by your seventh birthday!

PS:  Mommy already has that My Little Pony Party planned!  All it needs to be perfect, is a boy pony!  HA!

XOXOX, Mommy

Friday, August 15, 2014

Yes day

Yesterday, we celebrated our first annual "Yes day!"

If you're anything like I am and you don't have a clue what Yes Day is, let me fill you in.  It's exactly what it sounds like.  Eliminate No from your vocabulary for the day and roll with yes.  I had two rules for Yes Day.

1.) You may not ask for money.
2.) You may not ask for toys.

Honestly, I was hesitant about declaring Yes Day in our home.  I won't say who, but a certain someone tends to take advantage of situations similar to this and he they really know how to push me to my breaking point.  I was also afraid that I would be driving all over the city.  I mean, Toys R Us is right down the road from us, so is the pool, Chuck E Cheeses, and plenty of other places where a kid can be a kid.  But they weren't like that at all.  They asked for things like rice krispy treats for breakfast and second breakfast (They're hobbits, I suppose).

Can we play with my Elefun? 
Can we play with both of my Elefun's?
Can we play with play doh?
Can we play with play doh in the kitchen?
Can we have a snack, play with play doh in the kitchen and watch a movie on the lap top?
Yes? (my kids are weird)
Can I eat in my room?
Can I play on my Kindle?
Can I play with my barbies on the porch?
Can I clean out the car?
Can I eat this pie?
Can I eat two pies?
Can I write my name on my school stuff?
Can I clean the table off?
Can you fix my hair?
Can I watch this movie with you?
Can I wear my new shoes to volley ball practice?
Can I wear my new shoes to open house?
Can we go to my class first?
Will you read this to me?
Can I help you with that?

Photo: Open house tonight. Also, Dani is the cutest toddler ever!! #dominickjulius #diamondkyleigh #danikalifornia

I was pleasantly surprised by what they asked for.  No one asked to go anywhere!  I'm not sure if it's because they didn't want to push their limits or what, but it was nice.  It felt good to say yes!  I didn't realize just how many things that I said no to!  And no, I don't normally turn down help but I always say no to rice krispy treats for breakfast and new shoes are never worn before the first day of school.  New shoes are to get them super pumped for the first day of school.  It was sweet to see the twinkle in their eyes when I replied yes to every thing they cautiously asked.    

If you're a strict Mama like me and you haven't given Yes day a shot, you definitely should.  It was the easiest day of my year and yes, my kiddos ate more than the normal amount of sugar and I need to mop my kitchen floor because of the massive amounts of play-doh resin that's smeared all over it and Dani ate like three crayons (all purple ones) and a few rainbow loom bands because I said yes to doing those activities in their bedroom but, we're all still alive, today.

The best thing about Yes Day? My kiddos woke up with a great attitude this morning.  They didn't ask for rice krispy treats for breakfast and they know that there will be chores and normal bedtime, but they are cheerful and can't stop talking about just how much they loved Yes Day!  And that, my friends, is success!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summer lovin' had me a blast

Kids, can we talk about this summer?  I'm exhausted and finally figured out why.

We kicked our summer off with a wedding in Texas.  Hottest day ever!  Also, a very beautiful one.

Just a couple of days after the wedding, we headed out for a Bruno Mars concert, which was awesome!!

We packed it up and road tripped it to New Orleans almost immediately after Bruno Mars.  We mush have walked a million miles while we played tourists in that beautiful city!  We had beignets for the first time and we rode a river boat for the first time.  So much fun!  I think mine and Dom's favorite part was the nachos they served while we were cruising the river.  Ha!  We managed to leave an entire bag of laundry in our hotel room and sadly, it magically disappeared and is just gone.  So, the Bruno Mars outfits and my Bruno Mars t-shirt and lots of other favorites are just gone.  Forever.

When we got home from New Orleans, we packed y'all (Devan and Dominick) up for your first week of summer camp!  Y'all had a blast, but your sisters missed you terribly.  Dani went into tornado mode and Diamond pulled her hair out.  Trying to entertain an 11 month old is obviously stressful.

Diamond, we went to the discovery museum.  You loved it!  Dani tolerated it, because she loves you. ;)

Devan, you and Daddy shared a first.  Y'all ran a 5k.  You came in third in your age division, cuz you're awesome like that!  I am so proud of you!!!

Diamond and Dominick, you two had a first, as well.  Y'all were on the news!

Look at you, girl!  You're famous!  Only little blond haired, corn rowed Diamonds get to give the weather forecast in a bathing suit!

In Mid-July, we packed up and headed to Orlando, where we met up with Uncle Joey, Jill, Tristen and S.  We stayed at the Blue Green Fountains Resort for four days.  We had so much fun there!  That place was awesome-complete with three pools and kids activities!  I think every one's favorite was the under ground pool!

Diamond, we went on a special date to Disney World.  I had so much fun with you!  You we're so perfect and adorable!  In this photo, you're showing Tinker Bell your shiny Jessie penny that you made earlier that day.  You said that your favorite part was playing on the playground while waiting to ride Dumbo and splashing in the rain with S.  Your least favorite part was the Lilo and Stitch ride.  It was uncomfortable and spooky.  At  the end of the day, you got to pick out a souvenir.  You choose a baby Pegasus.  You have lugged that thing everywhere!

While Diamond and I were at Disney World, Uncle Joey put his brave pants on and took the rest of you to Gatorland.  From the stories I've heard, y'all had a really good time!  Each of you brought home a gator tooth.  Yuck!

After we left the Fountains, we headed to Vero Beach.  The first thing we did was go and see if we could find the manatees.  We found them, but Dani was unimpressed and left.

Dani, I love your curls!  Have I ever told you that?!  Ha!

After the manatees came an impromptu visit to the beach!  Best.Day.Ever.

We spent a few more days in Vero before heading to Georgia.  We tried for a beachy photo shoot, but that didn't go as planned, so we ditched the idea of it, changed into our swim suits and went swimming instead. (:

Dani, you turned one while we were in Vero Beach.  That occasion naturally called for cake...on the beach.
You totally demolished your cupcake and afterwords added a little sand.  I guess you're like your Grandma.  You have to have salty after sweet!

The waves were killer on your birthday.  No, really, I think they were trying to off your siblings.  Funny thing is that it was their favorite day.  A bunch of Nuts, they are, Dani.  A bunch of nuts, indeed!

Also, Devan, you grew a beard and turned into Poseidon.  Weird.

I made the executive decision that we couldn't leave Vero Beach until we watched the sun rise over the ocean.  Just the five of us.  You know, if we had  a bucket list, it would definitely be on it.  So, consider it checked!  The sunrise was magnificent.

Devan, we had a full blown teenage spat, there.  I think you were tired and sleepy...but you didn't choose very wise words and there were some consequences that left you a snotty mess. When you're all grown up and you read this, lets talk about it. (:

After trucking it straight to Georgia, we settled at your grandparent's house for the week.  While visiting with them, we drove to one of my childhood swim spots and hung out.  It was only like 74 degrees that day.  We froze, which is a weird thing to say about July.

Dominick, you were such a good kid on this whole trip!  I am uber proud of you and all of the progress that you've made.  You're wonderful, social and comedic personality is just flourishing!  I thoroughly enjoyed listening to you leading singing at Daddy's home church.  You're such a blessing!  I love you, my bonus boy!!

While we were in the area, we hiked to the waterfalls. I took yall's picture in front of the falls.  I have so many pictures/memories of my own childhood there.  It is only fitting. (:

We got to spend the day with Uncle Anthony, while we were in Georgia.  We went swimming on the Toccoa River- another place I swam when I was little.  It was so nice visiting with him.  We went to his house after words and he fixed us dinner.  I never imagined my little brother cooking in the kitchen!  HA!

We spent our last weekend of vacation in North Carolina with LaLa.  She spoiled you girls with moccasins and Dom with a sling shot.  We spent plenty of time in the water there, too!

Our last weekend flew by far too quickly.  We were sad to leave but happy to be going home!  Since coming home, we have stayed put.  I don't think we have anymore trips planned for the summer.  This summer has been a blast!  An exhausting blast!  I love each of you, dearly!  I can't wait to see what next summer holds!

Adventure is out there!!!...It will just have to wait until I've slept.  A lot.

XOXOX, Mommy

Monday, May 26, 2014

Dani-10 months

Dear sweet Dani Kalifornia Ruby Rayne,

You are ten months old!  That's two months from a whole year!!  It's crazy just how quickly these past months have dragged on! 

You made a few changes between your ninth and tenth month.  Awesome and adorable changes, I might add!

On May 1st,  you cut your first tooth!
On May 9th, you cut your second tooth!
On May 23rd, you slept thru the night for the first time since November!  Praise the LORD!!!
On May 25th, you pointed and said a word similar word to look.  It sounded more like "lick" but was clearly intended to be "look"...but now that I think about it, maybe you were saying lick.  You do love to taste of everything.  You also clapped with both palms open instead of one palm open and one closed.  You sat your self up, unassisted.  And the biggest thing you did was CRAWL!!!

It was so funny, you were playing your daily game of fetch with Dominick (exercising him), you threw the ball and he didn't retrieve it-busy I guess.  You yelled at us to get it for a sec but we were all busy, chatting and doing our own thing.  You put yourself in a crawling position, hesitated (by this time we were all sushing each other, watching you) and crawled over to your ball.  You picked up the ball with your right hand and sat your self back up.  It was that easy.  It's so crazy.  Sweet girl, you take your time reaching your milestones.  But when you're ready, you're READY!!!

On May 25th, your tenth month birthday, you had you're first experience at the lake.  You loved staring at the water but HATED touching the water!  You thought it was horrible!  Dearest baby girl, we will have to work on that because your Mommy is a duck!  We love water!  You happily sat and piled sand on our beach towel for two hours!  You wanted to put everything in your mouth!...and I kind of let you (my bad).  I was hoping that you would find the taste of beachy nature pretty distasteful, but you loved it!!  Sticks were yummy, pine cones were yummy, towels were ok, sand was delicious!!!  I think  you would've sat and played all day, but Big sister Buggy was freezing to death and tired and cranky and miserable and Big Brother accidentally kicked a rock with his already possibly broke toe and Big sister Devan started being a bully to the injured brother, so we decided to pack up and leave before you found drama of you're own. (:

Dani, I love you so much.  You are such a blessing to our family.  For years, I had an ache in my heart, a hole that could not be filled.  I knew that something was missing-someone was missing, and it was YOU!  I love you. You complete me-us as a family. I love you're big blue eyes that are shaped like mine but are the same color as Daddy's.  I love you're ever changing hair color  and girl, let's talk about those curls!  Oh my!  When I was a little girl, I planned to have three daughters, all with unmanageable locks of curls.  Fast forward 19 years later to Devan-straight haired Devan who pulled all of her hair out when Brother came along.  FF 21 years to Dominick-boy with an afro...boy.  FF 24 years to Diamond-one curled Diamond.  Dani, by the time you came along, I had given up on the curl thing and just prayed that you wouldn't be bald for two years like Diamond.  We go lucky!  Baby, you have curls!  Lots of them!

That's all, sweet baby.  Mommy loves you!  xoxox

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Good news

After a long nine months of full time work and full time classes, my husband is back.

My life has been such a hectic mess for the past nine months.  Dealing with three school aged kids, a newborn and PPD almost put me over the edge.  I spent many, many hours crying and just trying to cope-to function properly and not look like the total basket case that I was. Trying to figure out how to be me when I had no idea who I was.  It's weird, I know and I blame the PPD for it.

I questioned why we decided to have a fourth child.  I wanted her.  I prayed for her.  I longed for her.  I celebrated her.  I questioned her?  Near the end, not only was I starting to question my baby-my precious daughter, but I was also questioning my marriage, my family and eventually, my sanity.

Seriously, I wanted desperately to LEAVE- to get in the car and leave this life behind me.  I wanted to be alone but the thought of being alone was terrifying.  I wanted quiet but I needed noise.  When my kiddos were at school, I missed them terribly and when they were home, I glanced at the clock-way too often, hoping it was time to start the bed time routine.  I missed Steven so much that it hurt and by the time he got home, that hurt had turned into anger and I wanted nothing to do with him.  And this went on for month after month.  To say that it sucked would be a serious understatement.

One week.  It has been one week since Steven's last final.  In one week I was reminded of a few things...

We wanted, prayed for, long for and celebrated our fourth child.  We love her.  She is joy-a sheer blessing!  My family is my favorite family and I love spending time with my husband and kiddos.  I love being married.  I love who I am married to.  I'm totally head-over-heals-in-love with that guy!  And the best part?

I was only temporarily insane.  PHEW!

For real!

Oh Happy Day, Friends!  Oh, happy day.