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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Carter's first day of 1st grade! Wah!

 Well gosh-be-darnit, we have a FIRST GRADER UP IN HERE! How can this be? Wasn't he just born yesterday? Did we not drive home from the hospital just a couple of hours ago? I don't get it, I DON'T GET IT.
 He is now home from this wild thing called "All Day School" and is playing video games, per his request. The ONE RULE he said he MUST FOLLOW... are you ready?... was to NOT EAT THE TEACHER! The one rule!

Honestly I just can't believe it - he's in first grade. Truly this is the rest of his life. After dropping my baby off with his amazing teacher (Mrs. Jimenez! Exactly who I wanted him to have!), I pondered the several hours ahead of Kota and I before pick up. It was SO EARLY and we had SO LONG before 2:57. It was mind blowing!

I'm so proud of him. Truly - this kid. He's so confident, secure and ready for whatever is coming at him. From the outfit he picked out to his "seriously mom, no more pictures" words this morning as I walked out his classroom door, he's got my heart. 6 years old and a true master of his little universe - it makes me so happy!
 This is a very weird thought, but the other night we let the kids ride their bikes in the street - something we hardly ever do because Kota can't seem to get the whole "car" thing down. She thinks it's fine to just continue riding on when there's a huge hunk of metal hurling toward her. But anyway, I had this thought exactly: you know, parenting's gone pretty great so far. No complaints. So far, so good. I really like it.

Baha! Those were my actual thoughts! Like hey man, this whole gig is going pretty well. I very much enjoy these little people Chad and I are raising - they're turning out to be alright. It's the most obvious thought in the world but it totally popped into my head! It spanned from finding out we were expecting Carter to that very night where we were all hanging out in front of home in the street.

Truly, what a life! It's so wonderful. We are lucky we get to grow with these littles and watch them come into their own. What a joy!
^^^Love bug!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

So I made a DIY blog - there, I said it!

Okay so I've been turning over and over in my mind whether or not I would want to make a new blog for a pretty long time. My hesitation was just that I didn't know if I actually wanted to DO that. Leave this awesome family space? Eek. Put MORE energy into the ol' computer? Eh, it sounded as if something like that would conflict with the little aspect of my life called PARENTING - just a tiny responsibility I have ;)

But alas! I have made a new blog because I've had these INSANE (and I mean INSANE) needs for an additional creative outlet. It's like, the creation of a new web world I felt excited over was NEEDED. And since I've been pretty dang happy with the extent of our DIY's in the place where I feel most passionate (at home, yo!), I decided to just do it and make a separate space where us C's could document that portion of life. (I say "us C's" and pretty much mean... me. Chad is not exactly the blogging type hahaha).

HENCE WAS BORN MINI HOUSE, MIGHTY HEARTS! Go read about that in the new About Me section, why dontchya.

This creative "venture" I guess you could say is a direct result of nesting - THE NESTING WITH THIS BABY! It's clearly out of control, but hey, I love it.

SO! If you are an awesome individual who enjoys watching two humans mess up DIY's then try them again and again and again, go ahead and follow along. Apparently you would have to "subscribe" via email (following on a blog roll is a thing of the past in blogger? I don't know - I felt archaic when asking the blog designer lady where the heck the "followers" section was HAHA!). But if you would like to do that go right ahead, you awesome human, you!

If you follow along via Google+, I'm going to start posting those there just like this blog automatically does.

ALSO - oh my gosh, this has given me actual anxiety - I... kind of... figured out... PINTEREST! Y'all I have PINNED the pictures from Mini House Mighty Hearts! They're out there! On the internets! Just hanging out! On a board of mine! Can you believe it?!!!!!!!! I feel kind of douchey about that part, but a best friend of mine shook me out of my shyness and was like DAMNIT NICOLE! IF YOU GUYS DID A PROJECT AND IT CAME OUT WELL, SHARE IT WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH A SIMILAR PROJECT! DO IT!

So. I did it.


But I'm still going to go hide under a rock because it's slightly embarrassing. Oh well though - I really DO feel happy that I've been chronicling a few of our DIY's in their own little space, albeit in hindsight at the moment.

But anyhoo, I think I'm still going to post family moments up in here. I just can't WALK AWAY from 600+ posts since 2010 of my sweet family! That CAN'T happen! So anyway, yay. I'm slightly embarrassed, feel a bit douchesque, but oh well, what can ya do?! If you mozy over there I hope you like it!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Bass Lake 2016!

Well gosh dang, family trips are just the absolute bomb diggity. We just got home from a long weekend trip with the Paplia clan and I have to say, it was the BEST!

So we left home at 5:30 on Thursday morning (without closing our garage door, may I add -__- ). Chad left to get breakfast burritos while I packed up the rest of the goods and (hey hey hey), sneak in my pregnancy workout DVD, then we woke our sleeping cuties and told them IT WAS TIME TO GO! VACATION! WOOOOO!

Bass Lake (where my family would vacation growing up! It was a momentous trip: Gina and I would be bringing our kiddos with us to where our parents took THEIR kiddos - and my mom's parents even took her when she was a youngin!) is about a 4 hour drive from home, but we wanted to go the extra little bit and see some awesome Yosemite sights given that we would be so close. So we actually opted for the 5.5 hour drive to the national park, and because duh, we had to do it big, decided to explore Glacier Point (the the most scenic point of the place). After driving the winding roads all the way up the mountain, we found that we would have to wait in a long line for a bus to take us the rest of the way. We thought, "Hey it's all good! We are about 20 minutes into vacation, we can stand to wait a little longer for the bus!" but with the heat, it actually kind of sucked. There was even this really negative guy standing behind us! He was such a party pooper! His poor kids must really loathe family vaca's with his commentary constantly being voiced: "this sucks." "...who's idea was this?" "...we've got about 45 minutes left to go." "...well I'm just going to look at my phone because we HAVE to wait." - annoying man.

But we were fine! Just happy to be there, we were!
 ^^^In-line shenanigans.
^^^29 weeks!

 So I loved Glacier Point's amazing viewpoints, but Y'ALL. Those cliffs got me SO NERVOUS! I felt like one of the kids was going to go plummeting off at any moment. All of the youngins there were rock jumping from one large boulder to the next while their parents oo'd and ahh'd at the sights - my eyes were glued to Carter and Kota because I felt certain this was where they were going to fly off into Yosemite Valley. Terrifying! I felt like kind of a poop being so worried about them, but then I saw another mom yelling at her kids to stop jumping around like maniacs, so I felt better - haha!

So Glacier Point was a great highlight! Next it was off to Oakhurst to grab a few last minute goodies for our cabin and then it was BASS LAKE TIME!
 As soon as we got there, everyone quickly said hello to our cabin-mates (the sister and her family) and my parents who's cabin was down the way a bit, then we quickly changed into bathing suits and hit the pool. It was all so beautiful! Love it there.

The next morning we were all rarin' to go - IT WAS PONTOON BOAT DAY! Chad, Bear and my dad headed to Miller's Landing to pick up the rental while Gina, my mom and I hung with the 5 kiddos. Once they picked us up, we let loose the tube and got to extreme sportin' it up! The kids loved it. I seriously wish I could have tubed but being a 7 month pregnant whale of a human doesn't exactly allow for much wake-bouncin'. But anyway, that was a great day. Tons of great food, fun jumping off the boat and swimming. I'm pretty sure Carter is a professional chocolate ice cream-guzzler. That kid can seriously put away some frozen goodness.
 ^^^That night - THAT FREAKIN' NIGHT - the food. The FOOOOOOOOOOOOD! It's been said before and will be said again: traveling with a professionally trained chef is the way to go, my friend. There simply is no other option. Every trip we take with my sister and her family is THE BEST because we get fed like kings. It's simply UNBELIEVABLE.

But anyhoo. Boat day 2 was right around the corner! I didn't bring my humongous DSLR because instead of a tame pontoon boat, the boys got A SPEED BOAT! Yes! My parents opted to stay at the resort for this day, so us kids went wild with the toy.
 So I have to admit, I really wasn't all that excited for this day when we were in the planning stages of the whole thing. Chad and Bear were stoked on the idea of taking the kids out on a speed boat, but I legitimately was like "Well... I know my parents USED to water ski and such, but Gina has never done it in her life and obviously the kids would be doing it for the first time. I'm 7 months pregnant so won't be tubing OR wake boarding/water skiing... what is the point of this fast thing?" I thought it would be a great thing to do in the future but for this year? 5 kids ages 7 and under? I just didn't really get it. BUT I WAS WRONG! This was the coolest boat ever. Not only was it very relaxing because we were closer to the actual water as opposed to being propped higher in the pontoon boat, but there was SO MUCH STORAGE, so all of our coolers and whatnot were not within sight. The kids LOVED it and the speed was actually freakin' awesome. Carter got out there to wake board but didn't quite make it up, and then my niece tried and she got up for a few seconds! It was an absolute blast! We only ordered it for half the day but next year I want to get it for longer. It was soooooooo fun!
^^^Each family took a night to prepare dinner. First it was Bear and Gina with that amaze balls fettucini alfredo dish, then my parents did enchiladas and for the final night we made carne asada tacos. Such great food! We were all overly stuffed by the end.
^^^Okay, how cool is this picture???? It's one of those photos where I feel like we'll look at it when we're all in our 80's and be like "Hey look at us at Bass Lake in our 20's!" Totally one of those pictures the kids will look at one day and be like "Look at how young our parents were! Is Mom/Aunt Nicole pregnant with Gracie? I think she is!" So cool!
So yes, it was a great vacation if there ever was one. We loved every second! I was pretty impressed that Gracie let me hang in there as long as she did, and I'm dang glad that our kids are awesome. Seriously, what a life!!!!!

And last but not least, this picture has to be included...
^^^Hahaha! This is from when Chad was haulin' on the way to Yosemite and got pulled over! He went a strong 4 weeks in the new Chevy before getting a ticket. Carter and Kota were straight up LECTURING him when the cop was writing the dang thing! The whole reason he was going fast was to get in front of this slow lady, so Kota told Chad VERY POINTEDLY, "Daddy, it doesn't matter who goes first! We all have to share the road! You should have let that lady go ahead of you!" Hahahaha! The cop almost felt bad for us though, because he struck up a nice conversation with the four of us about visiting Yosemite and traveling to Bass Lake afterward. He even commanded Chad to roll down the back window so he could give Carter knuckles! Bahahaha!

So hilarious and awesome!

A few more from family day because it was glorious

I like these people. They are pretty cool.
 ^^^Almost 29 weeks right here!
 Honestly this day was just too glorious. That is all. Truly.

Well that and I'm also trying to hide from my kids because summer needs to end. I'm a-ok with starting up school now. Bring it on! Carter, Kota and I could stand to get away from one another for a few hours a day. EVERY day - so cool. Let's go 1st grade and TK!
^^^Carter does some great work on the ol' Canon, wouldn't ya say?! Hahaha!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Balboa Park family day

 Fully obsessed with these babies and the bump pictures that I've actually DONE regularly with this pregnancy! Way to go, us!

This last Sunday we seriously needed a concentrated family day. Staying home didn't sound too appealing, but hitting up all of our regular routes and destinations didn't sound too great either. Navigating through traffic to Orange County? Nah. ANYTHING traffic? NO. So Chad, king of the great ideas lately (read: drive in  movie theater genius), suggested we surprise the kids with a mini road trip down to SD to walk around Balboa Park. We could hit up a few museums if we wanted to or just mozy around and BE! It sounded glorious.
We saw turtles, skipped around fountains, walked through the natural history museum and just RELAXED. Well, I say "relaxed," but doing so actually took me over half the day. I've been so wound up lately! Like I can't just chill out. It's either my brain is working on overdrive, not allowing me to sleep, or my body is giving me issues. RIGHT THIS MINUTE I'm pretty sure I'm the most tired I've ever been in my entire life, but I can't sleep. CANNOT. The kids are at Grandma Cheryl's for a summer sleepover so I made a concerted effort to get some day time shut eye. After literally TWO HOURS of lying there, eyes shut and all (!!!), I gave up. But my eyeballs are on fire! My brain is mush! Everything in me needs to go to sleep! I've been letting go of stress because it's not good for bambina, so that's been kind of nice. Next step: sleep training myself so that way actual relaxation can occur more easily.

But anyhoo, I really did chill out about half way through the day. It was a fun time with my babies! It's going to be so weird NOT being JUST the four of us anymore, come October. It makes me a little emotional! I have a feeling I'll be really teary-eyed leaving for the hospital to have Baby Grace. Like we are the Original 4! Who knows how many more of these strictly Cisneros family days we'll have left before things change FOOOORRREEEEVVVEEERRR. Obvi thrilled for what's ahead, but I'm kind of sad! I had these same feelings thinking of going into the hospital with Kota, but it seems like we've been THE FOUR OF US for so long that this will be a bit different. Anyway, can't wait for baby girl and very thankful for days like these where we get to simply enjoy each other's company.

Yay Balboa Park!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Our "big kids'" room

This post was broken off of this otha' post.

Nothing makes me happier than this calming, relaxing, DIY-gone-right, end result for the two older babes of the household. As mentioned, it went from a depressing green and sickeningly light grey, to the shiplap whiteness and same-chill-Behr-Rhino-color-as-our-master-bedroom. I just love every bit of it! Sure the room is very short on space, but hey, what can ya do? At least it's an enjoyable area now! This was our first go at shiplap. Chad and I were both shocked on how much we liked the finished product. You know - not all DIY's come out the way ya like! Glad this one did.

I joined the party with these ladies, Nifty Thrifty Things, this amazing group o' broads, and Making It in the Mountains.
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