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Friday, July 17, 2015

Fun Fridays

Fun Friday has been a thing around here ever since I got word that my sister's family celebrates it religiously. It's just a gosh darn nice way to start off the weekend, especially when as a stay at home mom, a good ol' Friday can feel like a whole lot of blah. We've all become pretty obsessed with it, and somehow the kids know when it's Friday. This morning Carter woke up and said, "it's Fun Friday, right?" Ummmm, yeah, how did you know that?
^^^Snow, just biting his leg.

Anyway, on this day, all things are possible. Doughnuts? Yes! Messing up the house for hours and hours and hours? Yeah! Staying up a little late to watch the end of a movie? Sure! Mommy and Daddy having a glass of wine before the kids' bedtime (when we're not doing Whole30)? Heck to the yeah! It's a wondrous 24 hours.

It gives me a break too. Kids getting a little too rowdy in public? Hey, it's Fun Friday. Spending a bit too much gas money to drive down to the water park in Ladera? Why not, it's Fun Friday! Taylor Swift on extra EXTRA blast? Fun Friday, man! So I guess in a way it's become a sort of cop out to parental responsibility, but it's gosh darn fun and we all love it!

Today's Fun Friday has been a great one so far. We woke up, ate a grand ol' breakfast of eggs and a banana for Chad and I and then Life cereal for the kiddos, then we took Snow on a loooooooooong walk where we discovered a fab coffee and tea house on the grounds of the church behind us. Then we came home to a large dose of tootsie rolls for my little multi-mile roller blader and his sister, the chick who held his blades after he rode for so long blisters appeared. It's Fun Friday! Tootsie rolls all around!
^^^Cuties at Costco.

Next we went to the library and now it's quiet time. It's a heck of a lot of fun! But anyway, I randomly want to remember these things about regular life, so here's a nice list:

* Carter, Kota and Chad can all sleep without blankets. Who can do that? I find all three of them just hanging out on a mattress dead asleep. They don't even try to put it on them in the beginning and kick it off once they get hot. Weirdos! All the blankets for me!

* The kids now call Hobby Lobby "Hobs Lobs." Clearly we've been there a few times.

* I really want to teach Carter to read, or at least get the hang of "sounding it out," over the next few weeks/months. I know he'll be doing a lot of that in kinder, so it's not like I'm being too crazy, but I think that would be awesome! We've started a little book and so far he's doing good! I hope he really catches on and starts to stake out reads for himself. Fun fact: I didn't know how to read until 1st grade. I even had to go to a lady named Mrs. James with all of the rest of the non-readers! Hahaha! I remember having to read this paragraph out loud in class as a little 6 year old, doing terribly, then my teacher writing my name down on a list, then sending me to Mrs. James! Somehow I wasn't scarred from the experience, although that does sound pretty scar-worthy now that I think about it. Chad's so lucky he married an ahead-of-the-curve woman.

* Carter is starting school in less than a month. What. On. Earth. The time is approaching and I feel great about it! I remember when we first moved to C Town I told Chad that we should put the house back on the market in March of 2016, that way Carter could finish up his year of kindergarten and we could high tail it back to the motherland. Yeah... no. Now that my big man is officially beginning the rest of his life, there ain't no way mama's going to be distracted. I'm so proud of him and can't wait to watch him flourish.

* Kota's hair is still a mass of unruliness. She has her first hair cut scheduled next Saturday! 3.5 years later and I'm finally okay with the chop.

* Snow is doing so good on his leash. The dude walks alongside of me like a pro now. The pride I feel about that is unreal. I think I birthed him myself.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Okay I finally uploaded everything off my phone. You know what I realized while doing so? Apparently I take a ton of selfies, and stupid, weird ones at that. These selfies never make it onto FB or Insta, so why the heck do I do them? It's like I'm attempting all these artsy, freaky, "hey look at me I'm being so casual" but they are anything but laid back. Hahahaha! If I'm feeling brave maybe I'll include a particularly off the wall session at the bottom hahahaha.

Life moments!
 ^^^Two happy 4th of July parade watchers.

 ^^^With Chad and I doing Whole30, I went for a nice glazed d-hole before it began. I think it was the perfect addition to this lunch!

 ^^^Chad being a shexual on his first morning walk with Snow this last weekend.

 ^^^Carter is the sweetest. Every few days he'll say, "Mom, take a picture of me and Snow." It's so cute because I'll get like 30 pictures of this really adorable but slightly forced smile. This one here isn't forced because Kota crashed his photoshoot. They are the best.

 ^^^A very good couple friend of ours tied the knot this last weekend! It's always so nice to see the gals I don't get to hang with all the time! They are the bomb.

 ^^^Carter didn't want to play at the park this day, so he hung out with Snow and I. What a doll.

 ^^^Okay, it's wearing on my patience, especially as summer marches on, but this child seriously does not see rules as a thing. In her mind, they are just words that Chad and I say. "Kota, please don't do this." "BUT DAD...?!" "Kota, can you take your car outside?" "NOOOPE." It's really fun to watch her strong willedness... always in hindsight. I really do need to check my patience level though, because said strength really is starting to turn me into a crazy person.

^^^I have LITERALLY found the BEST place in the ENTIRE WORLD to hang with kids and a dog: an empty skate park! Holy cow, amazing. Everyone is trapped in there and it's one big obstacle course. By the end the children Cisneros are exhausted. It was so awesome. I'm hoping no one will be there tonight so we can hit it up again.

Okay and here's a ridiculous "we're all just hanging out casually" selfie session hahaha:
 ^^^AREN'T I FUN, KIDS????!!!!!
 ^^^It's just me, acting normal.
^^^What was happening here?
^^^Lest you forget a blanket, I've got you covered, girl.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Summa time

This year's hot season has been completely opposite of how I thought it was going to be. Prior to our first IE summer experience, I genuinely was dreading it. I've always heard tales of how horrendous the weather can be out here. True fear resided in my bones thinking of the increase of spiders and who knew what else when the temps would soar. The fact that our association doesn't have a pool was a real thorn in my side. The lone splash pad near our house didn't seem like it would appeal to our 5 year old fish of a man child. Oh yeah, and no beach. NO BEACH.

But hey! It really has been a great summer! No one is more surprised to utter those words than myself. Last year's season was spent in style, lounging at the Ladera pools 5-7 days per week, but nothing beats the comfortable feeling of hanging in a home that you love at the end of the day. Half the reason we were so out-and-about last summer was because we could not STAND the neighbor who lived below us. That and our petite apartment was anything but charming with what seemed to be a ridiculously small amount of square feet (hindsight: it was a great place to live with a crappy neighbor). So yes that was a great year, a fact that seemed daunting when thinking of 2015's summer, but my worries were in vain! I was so freaked that I would be driving to Ladera for pool days multiple times per week, but alas, we have not felt the need.

Snow has a lot to do with that. He's really grounded us to home, even more so than before. We don't want to leave him for too long, so just the fact that we need to physically be around to let him out of his crate, etc., forces creativity. When we hosted 4th of July for a few people, we got 2 blow up pools and that's been great! Who knew that would be so fun. Taking Snow for walks around the hood and talking to other dog owners adds a new layer to Corona life previously uncovered. Making the drive to Ladera to hang with the sister a few times a month seems to satisfy any need for an association pool, and hanging with sorority gals really has come in clutch, as it does, and will for a lifetime!

Another ridiculously amazing thing that has happened this summer has been Chad's obsession with the yard, which has rolled out into him understanding my perpetual need for decor that I actually enjoy. It's been well documented up in here that enjoyable decor has not always been the case throughout all of our moves. I'll do something in an attempt to save money (cheap out), then I'll hate it, then I'll want to change it, then Chad will be like "come onnnnnnnnnnnnn." Truly the worst cycle ever.

Well lucky me! The guy now understands what it's like to want to enjoy a space that means a lot to him - the yard. If even one malibu light is out of place, it drives him nuts. If the palms are not cut well, it drives him nuts. Grass getting a little unruly? NO. Also, he totally painted his office this one color that's driving him crazy. He did it on like a Thursday night or something, then went in on Friday to this crazy color, which he didn't have time to change before the weekend. The whole situation drove him insane over Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday afternoon, I was like, "hey babe! Isn't it crazy how a detail can drive you nuts because you'll be hanging out in it all day long and your work people will see it? That's how I feel about stupid decor I've done. It will literally drive me insane, no one can convince me otherwise. I won't even want to have people over because of something small that I don't like. YA FEEL ME?!" He totally felt me and laughed at how not cool he's been towards multiple decor changes. I would always say in response to his seriously I can't believe you changed things AGAIN tone, "well babe, you're not the one who is hanging out in this ugliness all day long. I can't take the ugliness!!!"  MUHAHAHAHAHA now he GETS IT! Thanks, yard and weirdo green office!

Anyway, all of that has produced a great let's-work-on-house-projects team. So much fun! And hey, due to a recent change in the family room, I really, REALLY have fallen in love with the whole place even more. Too obsessed, too obsessed. Now I can't wait to dig into the master bedroom, and thanks to the success of our white kitchen (something he was crazy opposed to for the longest time), the front "white rug" room which was executed while he was at work, and family room happiness, Chad seems to actually trust what I want to do! Woooooooooo, this is a big deal.

The recent projects in the family room include reupholstering the ottoman, changing out pillows and this big, 12 frame picture wall. I'll upload pics of what has been done when I get them off my phone, something that's not happening right now because we just got the Whole30 cook book and I'm SO EXCITED it just has to be read now while the kids are distracted. Wooohooooo! It's our 2nd day in, Chad's first time and my second go. Stoked!
Yay summer!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A morning straight out of Hellraiser

Look at that cute little doggy on the day he came home. He looks so tiny there! Holy cow, this guy is becoming gargantuan. A gargantuan, sprawling ball of sweetness combined with nippy-ness. Someone, come get a grip on his nippy-ness for me.

Anyhoo, I'm typing about nothing because my brain has become a fried pile of mush from this morning's wildness. We all went mad! Truly no one was jiving. I was trying to get a few things done on the computer, including sorting out Carter and Kota's extracurriculars, and what was happening around me? Total meltdowns. At one point I yelled, "GUYS! I'm trying to figure out YOUR hockey and YOUR dance!!!!!!! Stop!" Snow was at it too! He wouldn't stop nipping to save his life. Chad and I decided that when he gets too out of control like that, he needs to take a chill pill in his crate. It seems like the only place to calm him down. I'm not sure if any dog expert would recommend putting their pup in time out, especially a time out in the crate, but we do it. 5 minutes in there produces a nice, calm dog usually, but not today. I had to put him in there twice! And I'll tell you what, dog time outs are way more heart wrenching than human time outs. He just gets so wound up with the kids! It becomes a tear-fest pretty quickly nowadays with Snow's increasing size, strength and determination to play tug-o-war with Batman capes and undies. The sad part is that he really is just having a good ol' time - poor dude! It's so fun to watch him having fun but sometimes his puppy-ness becomes too wild for the biological puppies of the home.

Anyway, then those bad moods translated into a horrific morning walk (we are trying to get Snow used to strolling around the 'hood), which then was cut short in order to take a desperate trip to Sprouts. I got myself a banana nut muffin to turn the bad vibes around along with the kids' chocolate chip, but I don't know man, I think all was too far gone by then. Next came getting gas, where a guy parked too closely behind me waiting for the pump. Super weird because there were a ton of open spots! Freaky people. Lunch was not a fun event because apparently the daily hot dogs that I make the two of them were not warm enough. What? I did the same thing I do everyday! Then Snow nipped Kota's night gown that she re-put on after the store and that was it. NAP AND QUIET TIME FOR ALL.

After all the stress from the morning, I inhaled a full sized Hershey's bar. Yep, just took it like a champ. Talk about some emotional eating! Hahaha, wow.

Anyway! It's all good now. Since I sat down to randomly edit that picture, I've poured myself some iced coffee and got a delivery from Amazon. I'm not sure if Amazon Prime is a good thing or a bad thing around here. Chad must check that site on the reg! He gets frequent deliveries of small things. Sometimes I wonder what led him to surf Amazon for these products. Today's delivery was of hair gel, a small purple weird brush, and then - get this - a handmade comb. Oh Chadly. Gaaaattttaaaaaa love his grooming ways!


Well that was nice. There are few things that a good sit down at the computer for the ol' blog can't sort out. I just caught myself asking Snow "ARE YOU MY LITTLE HUMAN? ARE YOU MY LITTLE HUMAN?!" in the most absurd baby voice you've ever heard, so I'd say the day is looking up. Gooooo coffee, writing out randomness and quiet time!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

4th of July

Suuuuuuper happy about this year's 4th of July celebration. Hands down it beats out any other year of adulthood and that's including pre-marriage life. Back when I was a young, unmarried whippersnapper, the 4th was spent on the peninsula in Newport Beach. Even in the throes of those wild years, the Newport celebrations were excessively over the top for me. Too much booze, too many cops out, too many freaky decisions being made. Then of course once married life hit, things slowed down but it was still a slightly annoying holiday to me. Hot as heck, driving around on the freeways with drunkards out there, yuck, yuck, yuck. And forget about the 4th after children came along! Oh my gosh, WAY too hot, TOO long of a day, schlepping sweaty kids around, sun burns, tears during fireworks, OVER IT by 4:30. Hahaha, it sounds like I've loathed the 4th which I never have, but I definitely had a hard time relating to people's "FAVORITE HOLIDAY EVER" status's.

Anyway! After being told several times by neighbors how stellar our backyard view was going to be of the main Corona fireworks, we invited my sister and her family over to spend the night with us! How fun does that sound?! No driving around after dark, rooms where tots can nap soundly, cousins playing, drinks, food, pools for babes - DREAM HOLIDAY. She quickly said yes, then we invited a few more of our Corona friends with kids and hey! It was an impromptu party!

Soooooo much relaxing fun! Oh man, it was awesome. One of our little party-goers ended the evening with a fever, so they left for home right before dinner, then our friends with a 4 month old were just way tired of dealing with the holiday with their new addition. I totally felt their pain - over and over again I just kept saying, "I feel you right now! The 4th with kids is a whole other animal!" So they took off to put their little guy down for bed in his crib. The sister and fam hung for the rest of the night, but since neither one of them was drinking (Whole30 converts! Hey-o), they ended up heading home around 10:30. All in all, it was fabulous!

The long holiday from hell turned into quite the enjoyable day. And hey! We even knocked out a little of the garage make over before people came over. However, I do not recommend spray painting ANYTHING prior to hosting guests. Read: black feet and legs with a rainbow sandal "tan line." It was gross and I was perturbed that I even attempted to do something like that. Thank goodness it came right off in the shower but still. Come on with that!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Chad's 27th birthday + the garage make over!

Our man is 27! How is that possible? We are turning into a bunch of oldies over here and I freakin' love it. Who knew that aging could be so much fun?

So on his big day, I felt really bad that the kiddos and I hadn't gotten him one out of the only two gifts he really wanted, a new hockey stick. I was completely off when budgeting for that thing - who knew they were so expensive? I thought a good $50 would be good, but turns out they're more like $150. Anyhoo, the night before I told him that we were so sorry, but the stick wasn't going to happen. He totally figured, but I still felt bad! He always pulls off these super awesome celebrations/gifts for me, and what do I do for him every year? Try to smoothly pull over some haphazard, supposed-to-appear-as-if-I-had-been-planning-for-a-long-time type presents while lamely blaming it on how busy I was with childcare duties. Anyway! On the morning of his birthday, I got to thinkin'. We had just finished doing some cool things to the backyard that were all on "his list" - you know how each person has their own priorities of TO DO's in their home? Their own lists? Chad's usually pertain to the outside and mine to the inside. Chad = yard. Nicole = master bedroom and family room at the moment. Anyway, I knew that after executing a few of his wish list items in the backyard, he wouldn't want to allocate anymore time towards things that are only on his list. You know? 

Well gosh dangit, on his birthday morning I didn't want to do another lame gift year, so I decided to go ahead and get him something that he would have a hard time purchasing for himself before checking off one of the items on "my list." The kids and I did a little bit of research, and found that dry wall was affordable as heck! So to Home Depot we went where I special ordered 2 dry wall boards to be picked up later so that he could complete the left side of the garage, just to get our sea legs on before going for the whole thing. Well, after leaving the Depot for more birthday errands, I started to think about how if we only did one side of the garage, that would leave the other side on "his list" - something he wouldn't want to go for until we had done something else on my list. What was the point of a half way gifted birthday present/half way checked off "Chad's list" gift? So back to the Depot I went where I ordered 4 more boards to finish the whole garage out. 
Thank the freakin' goodness of the world that my mom just so happened to be in the area, because once we got home, I realized that there was no humanly way to get those things from the top of my car into the darn house without some help. Mother Marilyn helped me get them in, then watched the kids while I ran to the store to get the German chocolate cake frosting (which apparently has been discontinued? Oh well, it was fun making from scratch :). I zoomed home, then got to bakin' the cake and setting up the dry wall and the other gift he really wanted, a cornhole set.
For some odd reason, I wasn't thinking about how if Chad wasn't in the mood for some crazy large project such as dry walling the entire garage, then we were going to have to store dry wall somewhere in the house. I was just in it for the shock value! "Hey babe, look how cool we are! We got you dry wall! Bet you would never have thought of that, eh? Eh?!!!" After he proclaimed that he was not going to awkwardly step over a pile of dry wall for the next couple of weeks/months, we decided to go for it the next night. The threat of Snow pooping on the sheets was also a nice form of motivation as well haha!

So anyway, on his big day after getting home from work, we did presents, then went out to dinner, then returned to have a few drinks with Todd and his woman, Nichole. It was a great night!!!!

Now for a few garage make over pics!
^^^One of the things we didn't like about the garage were the horribly awkwardly hung cabinets. They were just up there on the walls willy nilly! There was no rhyme or reason, causing our storage to be without rhyme or reason. We really hadn't intended to turn the dry wall project into a "let's do the ENTIRE garage" project, but I'm so glad that it did! I texted Chad that while we were at it, why don't we just pull off the ugly cabinets, paint them, then hang them up in a more aesthetically pleasing way along one wall for lots of this-makes-sense storage. Suuuuuuuper happy we did that.

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