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Monday, August 31, 2015

Awesome thoughts

Well, how about this? My insane defense of anything Duggar related has lost it's intensity by 1/21th (21st?). I even defended him after that initial molestation scandal! "Hey guys, he was a young guy going through puberty. He just was interested in girls! He's said he's sorry, okay? BACK OFF OF JOSH!" Hahaha. But no, this guy needs help. The whole thing is scary! He's a legitimate psychopath. Maaaaaaaybe, just maybe, if his whole life wasn't centered around morality and the promotion of family life, it wouldn't be so deeply freaky. But to spend day and night saying you're one person and not giving off any clue that you have such demons????! Truly scary! Poor Anna! I wonder what she will do. Honestly, I wouldn't want this guy around my daughter. He can't control himself! Literally!

People, 105 degree weather. It's not okay. It's just not. So this last weekend I had a family friend's bridal shower, so the kiddos and I took off for OC around 9:30 in the morning, leaving Snow and the little white fur ball we're pet sitting at home in their respective crates. I didn't give Roony (Kota's Princess Pet) any water because my logic was like, "hey, Snow doesn't get water, so you'll be fine." About half way through the shower, I was thinking how nice the breeze felt there in the Covenant Hills community we were in. "Ahhh, this is nice. Too bad Corona is the devil's arm pit right now." And then it struck me: I hadn't left the air on for the dogs. If it was just Snow at home, I would know he was okay being the solid beast that he is, but we had ROONY THERE! He is the smallest, flimsiest dog I've ever come across! Oh my gosh, the seed was planted in my head: the dog will be dead when I get home. I may as well have left that little thing in a burning car. WHAT WAS I GOING TO DO?! I immediately texted Chad, "I forgot to leave the air on for the dogs! I forgot to leave the air on for the dogs! Do you think it's okay? Oh my goodness gracious!" He said it was all good, but I was still very stressed. Finally I came to the conclusion that people leave their dogs at home everyday while working 8+ hours, but still, it was very traumatizing. Once we arrived home, I sprinted from the car, leaving it on with the sleeping babes in their seats, swung open the door and THANK THE GOOD LORD, heard Roony's high pitched bark. My gosh!

^^^Carter, chowing down with his "king's spoon and bowl." Anyway, the Newport timeshare getaway screwed with all of our heads. Yes it was amazing, but I really don't know if we can do that again next year. I think one night max needs to be our cap. We certainly can't miss school and sports like we did this year. Not only did I FORGET about this mini test thing Carter had that Tuesday, I somehow missed a very important email from Carter's teacher! Talk about feeling incompetent! With the missing of sports, both Carter and Kota are like balloons that have been blown up excessively. Each one is a second away from snapping. Energy needs to be constructively run out! I know the heat has something to do with this, as we haven't left home in fear of the high temps coming into contact with our actual skin, but the "woohoo-ness" of that trip went too far!

 ^^^But it was still very awesome.

 I can't wait to do our master bedroom, I can't wait to do our master bedroom, falalalalalala!

 Okay, Kota does not want it to be quiet time anymore. Sofia the First is no longer holding her attention.

But here's a fun fact! I'm the official assistant room mom for Carter's class! I'm so excited, containment is necessary. It's so darn cool too because the room mom is this chick who I totally clicked with! Sooooooooo excited!

 I shall go switch the laundry now. The theme of this week is "normalcy." Nothing weird. No out of town trips (ever again during the school year), no forgetting about mini tests, no postponing the house work. Me likey normalcy.

^^^Isn't this mask hilarious? I'm not kidding, it looked so bizarre when Carter was walking around the house. Oh, my little super hero!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Newport Beach timeshare week

These in-law's of mine, they really know how to family-time-it-up. When Chad was 1 or 2 years old, they got themselves a nice little week at the Marriott in Palm Desert where they would be forced to chill out each year together. Then, much later on, they got another one in Newport Beach for it's point value around the world. I'm tellin' ya, best decisions those 'laws ever made... for me! Hahahahohoho.
No but really. We love the timeshare weeks. The four of us only go for a few nights while they stay from Saturday to Saturday each time, but those couple of days are magical! Great meals, hot weather, bathing suits for days, sun screen, fabulous views... those are just a few of my favorite things.

This year the four of us were reeeeeeeal determined to turn our Saturday night to Monday evening into the best, most amazing beach trip of all time, probably due to the increased shore obsession around here. So for Saturday, the sister and I made plans to hang for the day at a beach in Newport, then when they left we would head over to the 'share for night 1's festivities. We all arrived at 20th St, took a dip in the water while going nuts watching 5 kids between the 4 parents, then Chad left to help his daddy-o set everything up at "home." Shortly after he left, the Fitch's had to go, so it was just me and the kiddos! I'll tell you what: Carter is shaping up to be the creature from the black lagoon given his deep commitment to stay in the water at all costs. I couldn't get him out! I had to settle for standing knee deep to keep an eye on Kota and be within yelling distance of him lest a boogie boarder came rompin' toward his head. It turned out to be 2.5 hours of solo time with the kids, which was equal parts beautiful and draining.
Anyhoo! Once Chad came to get us, we were off to timeshare amazingness! This year I really stretched my legs and unpacked my little ol' suitcase - really going for it, ya know (I'm now totally hooked on doing that. Why crouch over a suitcase mixed with your own clothes, possibly your hubby's or your kids'?? I loved my own dresser for our few days! Oh, the discoveries). So night 1 saw lots of aloe (but hey-o for preventative aloe measures! No one had burned!), the lasagna I had made and frozen a few days prior, and fun drinking games once the littles went to sleep.

Sunday was Crystal Cove beach time where Chad and I snuck away for a quick brewskie at The Beachcomber thanks to the FIL and Sonja's offering of their childcare skills, and then it was off to the pool. Chad handled the babes as he does and I boiled in the ridiculously hot spa. It was amaze balls.

Monday, our final day, came around. We went straight to the pool because the beach just seemed too much after 2 all day trips. Auntie Maggie joined us and the whole thing was fab. I had this nagging thought in my head that we were either going to need to leave Newport at 1:00 to avoid traffic, or wait until 7:30. Both thoughts sounded horrendous. Getting home around 2 pm made the rest of the day seem laborious, but getting home around 8:30 just seemed like it was going to be the pits. So I flippantly said, "I wish we were staying the night tonight," which Chad picked up and ran with: "IF CLAUDIA CAN WATCH SNOW TONIGHT LET'S DO IT. WE WILL LEAVE AT 6 IN THE MORNING TOMORROW!!!!!!"
I spent an hour trying to make myself feel better about arriving home from a mini vaca the MORNING of Kota's first day of preschool, but eventually gave in to the more relaxing idea of just straight chillin, yo. The logic used was that even if we left on Monday night, the kids were still going to be exhausted on Tuesday, so why not just stay another few hours, get them to bed early (HA!) and heave-ho in the am?! I might even have gotten lucky and would have been able to get Kota down for a nap before first-day-of-school go time (BAHAHA!). So it was decided!

Chad went to his hockey game that night, leaving Sonja and I to relax. I experienced my first viewing of The Bachelor Paradise that night and wrestled the youngin's into crying, very sad sleeps (DADDY! DADDY! I MISS SNOW! I MISS MY BED! IS OUR HOUSE STILL THERE! I WANT TO STAY WITH GRANDPA FOR THE WHOLE 7 DAYS! WHY DO WE NEED TO GO HOME! I MISS HOME! I WANT TO STAY HERE! I MISS HOME!). It was all very dramatic. Finally they slept, and I followed shortly. At that point my brain had stopped working due to extreme sun exposure and awesomeness - there was no way game playin' and cocktail drinkin' was happening. So off we left for Corona at 6 in the am Tuesday morning and it worked out. Everyone made it to school in good spirits and I totally went into beast mode - laundry was done, house was cleaned, meals were made. It was awesome!
Now we just can't wait for the Palm Desert 'share, my favorite ever. Oh, family time! Nothing beats it!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

First days of school: Kindergarten and preschool!

Well, the day has come where both of our littles are in school at some point during the week. Carter now goes a whopping 5 days from 11:15-2:57 (not a minute later than 2:57:59!), and Kota preschool's it up on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:15-4:15.

Carter's first day
Talk about tears! The whole morning leading up to the Big Drop Off, I was restraining myself from unleashing a Hoover Dam sized knot. Once he got into his adorable outfit, we tied up his little Airwalks just right, styled those blonde locks, snapped a couple thousand pictures and got ourselves outside the "kindergarten gate" at Susan B. Anthony elementary, it was clear that we were starring in our own episode of The Twilight Zone.

(Very) fortunately, we happened to know a few kids in his class already - thank the good Lord. As soon as we walked up, Carter's best buddy from preschool started yelling, "Carter! Carter, over here!" which caused other kids to say, "yeah Carter! Over here!" (kids we had never met), and then my mama heart broke free from my chest and began singing one thousand ancient songs of happiness, relief and... victory? I don't know. It was a stellar feeling on that first day.

This fact was not only cool for Carter. I felt super sonic about knowing a few moms in his class. Drop off and pick up are really fun times for little ol' me! It seriously feels so great knowing people at the local elementary. We have done it! We've accomplished it! Integration in a city outside of our comfort zone! VEEECTORY.
Sidetrack done. But really, the only thought running through my mind on that day of days was how Carter is legitimately starting the rest of his life. I know, I know - it's kindergarten, but this is a big deal! He is starting his whole life as a conscientious person in the world. He isn't mine. He isn't Chad's. He's a third party with his own thoughts, emotions, viewpoints, sense of humor and opinions. It's sad and thrilling, but mainly thrilling.

Mrs. Haggerty, you've got a student who loves you so, so much!

Kota's first day
I'm embarrassed to say that although I know how big of a deal it is for our little princess to start school, I just kept thinking, "this is child's play for her." Further, even though I understand that she's one of the younger children in the class, it's a fact that she's got this handled. There was definitely a little knot of emotion there for my baby girl as she embarked on such a life-changing journey of her own, don't get me wrong. But maybe with this being Cisneros child #2 starting "the process," and after experiencing such a wonderful time the first go-around, I felt less of a desire to be worked up, emotional and overall the "can you believe this is happening???!!!" mom. There was just this underlying emotion of "THIS girl. She's READY to rock this school thang."

But okay, that's not really how it went. Her and I walked to school just like we did with Carter last year, her hair in a pretty, pretty pony tail and her Sofia the First shoes velcroed just right. We stopped where all the parents were waiting for the gate to open, the place where I encountered several "this is my first child going to preschool, I'm about to start bawling my eyes out" mothers - me, just two years ago. I noted that those emotions juxtaposed mine so vividly, I experienced a moment of guilt, but then took stock of my calm child and really thought that without knowing so, those mamas were stressing their kiddos out. I probably stressed Carter out!
Once the gate opened we all flooded the classroom where the Cisneros patron saint of 2014-2015 stood: Mrs. Linda! Carter's old teacher! Oh, we were so happy Kota got her this year. She made me feel good after our Corona move and truly holds a special place in my heart. Kota quickly said hello and then got started on a kitty cat puzzle. There was a HUGE crowd to send off the preschoolers, so even though I felt like we should have all heave-ho'd after a swift "good-bye," us parents and the surprisingly large group of kids' extended families stuck around for a good 20 minutes which of course, was precious.


Returning to our house on Kota's first day of school as a solo, non-child wrangling woman was genuinely a sad, surreal event. The "awesome" shoe had not dropped yet. Yes, in theory it was going to be great to have some alone time, but I was fighting back tears! My mom called and asked me how I felt about the whole thing, and I almost started crying while saying, "it's so cool! But I'm a little sad about it." Update: it's now awesome.


Both of them had great first days of school. I'm so proud of them. Kota loves saying good-bye to Carter when we leave him with Mrs. Haggerty and Carter gets so excited to retrieve Kota while Mom "stays on the grass." It's so sweet! My babies, my babies. Oh sheesh. My babes. Growing, growing, growing.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Quiet time thoughts

I have absolutely nothing of significance to write, but due to the recent recognition of our lives moving along at lightning speed, it's important to document, even if it IS willy nilly.
* It's hot today. Tomorrow the forecast predicts that good ol' Corona will rest somewhere between 105-112 degrees! ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE TO ONE HUNDRED AND TWELVE DEGREES! What planet are we on? Mars?

* Said heat shall lead me toward the happiest place on earth: la playa! The SIL asked Chad and I if she can watch the kiddos on Saturday night, so I'm engaging in a nice "hey, what are you doing this weekend?" text with one of my best friends ever. With any luck, the two of us will be beachin' it up tomorrow afternoon!

* Yesterday I was a whopping 20 minutes late to an appointment in Yorba Linda. It was set at 4:30, but Chad couldn't make it home until 4:15. So I hopped in the car with my delicious smoothie, tried to call the office again to let them know I'd be just a taaaaaad bit late, and then got to calling Whitney, perpetually my phone tag partner. I didn't get on the freeway until 4:19, but somehow made it to my off ramp by 4:26. Next, I made the stupidest wrong turn ever, causing me to take a little joy ride through the neighborhood Chad grew up in. Didn't I live in Yorba Linda for 11 months??? Anyhoo, luckily they still took me, and it ended up being fabulous because Whit and I got to talk uninterrupted for close to an hour. Win!

* As thrilling as it is to have Carter's mind stimulated for 4 hours Monday-Friday, it also leaves me completely spent by the end of the day. I know it's just because it's the first week and eventually we will all get used to the new schedule, but man! The last two nights I've been so snappy! Yesterday, to combat Crazy Mom, I made a check list of things to do in the morning and then things to do in the afternoon. Luckily my children are shaping up to be major list-checker-offers, so this works. Carter gets to check off the columns of "waking up, breakfast, play, Snow's walk, clean rooms, snack, homework and get ready for school" for all the days of August. Structure = safety from yelling mother because she's so tired from entertaining Kota and Snow while getting Carter to school on time and pick up. Anyway, despite complaint, still looooooooove everything about this whole Kindergarten thing.

* So yesterday after the appointment in YL, I picked up some sushi for us and asked Chad if he wanted red or white wine. He answered back with "red, and can you get me a Coors Light tall boy?" to which I answered, "yes, ye 909er." So anyway, I was in the store grabbing a bottle of wine and searching for his tall boy, and then I got this feeling like, "hey Carter's in Kindergarten now at the local public school. We are sooooooo community members! I could see a fellow Susan B. Anthony mother here at the store! How thrilling and cool would that be?? WE ARE SETTLED!" So it was a good feeling! But then I was like, "hey man, I'm totally just buying wine and a tall boy. That would be slightly weird to bump into someone right now." What a ridiculous thing to think about! Haha! But I totally rushed over to the check out and then didn't really make eye contact with anyone, lest they recognize me from Kinder pick up! Hahahaha! Apparently, with my new status as a Corona-community-member-enjoyer, I must purchase my alcohol alongside regular grocery hauls.

* Did you know that a napping three year old, a snoring dog and the annoying sound of the a/c right outside the window are the best things in the world?

* Pictures are from Carter's first day of Kindergarten. Obvi an entire website needs to be made to properly accommodate all of my feelings on the matter, but I guess next post will have to do. Love that munchkin so much! (In fact I can't believe that THAT didn't come to mind when I sat down to document today! "I have absolutely nothing of significance to write..." Ummmmm, helloooooooo!!!)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Camping for the first time ever

There is literally nothing better in this world than camping. For a 27 year old first timer, I can attest that I have waited too long. What has been going on in my life, dreaming up these fantastical vacations over the last few years? Why do we need to go to Aulani when camp sites sit vacant near and far?
My brother-in-law is a major outdoors lover. He told us a few months ago that he was booking a trip to Caspar's off of Ortega Highway, and that we should join them. Once I got word that the sites were $30 (THIRTY DOLLARS!) per night, I got overly excited, as I do when a deal has been spotted. So booked it was, two sites right next to one another. Camping videos were watched, outdoorsy Pinterest boards were made and tents were constructed in the living rooms of our home and the sister's, just to make sure we knew what we were doing once the pressure was on. 

Chad and Bear did ALL of the planning. There were several Amazon Prime shipments of weird things that I had no idea what to do with - bunches of sage? - and the two of them constructed the meal and snack time break down. They told us several times that the women were not allowed to set up - we were strictly on child duty. Hey-o, fine by me, buddy. My great hypothetical annoyance with camping was always the time it would take to set up. Anyway, Gina and Bear got there around 2:00, so they set up and got started on dinner. Chad and I packed (and I do mean PACKED) down the car and arrived around 5:30. Chad then set everything up in 45 minutes while I obsessed over how picturesque the whole experience was. It was beautiful! 
THE priority of every adult there was food. The Fitch's were responsible for night 1 dinner, day 2 breakfast and day 2 lunch. We were in charge of desserts, snacks, night 2 dinner and final day breakfast. SNACKS. My life revolves around snacks. The amount of times I'm asked, "can we have a snack now" is just stupendous. Or stupid. I told my kids several times beforehand to not ask me for snacks while camping. "They will be provided to you as long as you don't ask." Anyway, we all brought so much food. The gourmet meals really were awesome. At one point we all thought that all we were going to do during the trip was eat, but somehow it didn't feel like that. Chad and I learned one pot meals were the way to go, as our bacon, egg and pancake situation really was quite the ordeal. Also, waffle cones are THE JAM. Nothing else exists after experiencing those waffle cones.

Night 1 was spent eating a delish dinner, then campfire time, then Chad scaring the hooligans out of the kids with a Big Foot search (Kota returned in tears), then bed for the littles. In the morning, we ate another ridiculously amazing bfast, loaded the carefully packaged snacks and took off for a 4 mile hike. We were all very impressed by the kids' stamina. Kota had to be cheered-on and prompted during the last mile, but hey, that's quite the fete for her. Proud of those munchkins!

After a bomb lunch, the adults hit a tired lull, definitely the result of our brewskies from the night before. We upped the energy level by playing a few rounds of corn hole and some refreshing drinks. That night we made dinner (quesadilla bar with carne asada yummmmmm) followed by the waffle cones, then sleep for all. Well, sleep for some. The nephews definitely kept the sister up for a good portion of that night, but hey, what can ya do?
So our tent smelled rancid. RAN.CID. It was disgusting!!! At one point the kids were all playing in there when Kota yelled out, "Gina, Asher pooped!" Well he hadn't pooped, it was just our tent. HAHAHAHAHA. It was really, really gross. I told myself that a nice sponge bath with baby wipes should get me through to Sunday, a measly 2 days away (we all bathed vigorously on Friday afternoon), but it definitely was not. The Fitch's had these 5 gallon shower bag things - they smelled wonderful. We were sick, creepy, weirdos compared to them. I can't even describe how gross our tent was by the end. Bahahaha. Next time, showers with real soap is happening. Or at least some form of a sponge bath with actual soap. 

It was super wonderful, though, to see how dirty the kids got. Ain't that the bottom line of childhood? Filth? The filthier you are, the more fun you're having. Carter and Kota were grimy little monsters by 9:30 am both days and it was wonderful. And guess what? NO ONE asked for snacks OR technology (except for Asher who needed some help getting to sleep). Can you believe that though? Cisneros children sans questions of snacks and technology. That really did drive the nail home in regards to how in love I was with camping. Sooooooooo awesome.

Also, I packed super inappropriately. We had Carter's kindergarten meet the teacher before we left on Friday, so I showed up in rainbows, short shorts, a light tank top and straightened hair. The only warm articles of clothing I packed for the kids were their lightweight pajamas. For myself I brought two pairs of other short shorts and two other tank tops. I threw in a workout outfit just for good measure, and that's what I should have done for the whole trip. Next time it will strictly be cute workout gear. I don't know what I was thinking! For some bizarre reason, I kept thinking it was going to be hot from sun up until sun down then sweltering at night. We're in August, for gosh sakes! But no, pants and sweats should be worn at all times while roughin' it.
So now Lake Arrowhead is next. Gina and I kept talking about how much we wanted to do something alpine-based and cold, so it's happening. Wooooooooooooooooooooooo! Camping is the jam!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Babblings of a kindergartener's mother

* Snow did his first big thing of crazy puppiness and chewed through our keyboard's chord, so I've been disconnected to the ol' blog, and man! It was not cool. It's funny how I was a crazy obsessed blog person a few years ago, then went through a two year not-so-obsessed time, and then kind of mozied on back toward the loving-it zone. All the heart eyes for this little place.

* Carter started kindergarten yesterday! Holy freaking cow freaking guacamole freaking ridiculousness. How can this be? The whole morning was spent trying to hold back the surprisingly strong knot in my throat. Once we got there and he was just like, "bye, Mom! See you later!" I definitely almost completely cut loose. He's growing up, that little 5 year old of ours! It is both the most fun thing in the entire world and the most horrifying.

* Kota will be starting preschool in two weeks, which also blows my mind! Who are we? In the meantime, she has quiet time from 1-3, just like Carter did. I've officially pulled the child's naps. I'll tell you what: this child does not do quiet time like her big brother. She would rather play for the entire 4 hour span Carter is gone. I just caught her giving Snow Cheez Its! No, Kota, no!!! She's a hoot.


* Just got back from picking Carter up from his second day of school. Is this real life? We walk the 10 minutes with our neighbor, then Carter and the younger daughter scooter home. Come on, with that suburban dream!

* I'm kind of liking this day-long post! It started like 4 hours ago while I was transferring every video we've ever taken to DropBox (trying to carry through on my New Year's Resolution for this year. And 2014... and 2013... and 2012... 2011. 2010).

* Snow and I went on his first 3 mile jog! I was finally ready to up the ante from controlled, stroller walking to a solo faster pace trip. What does the high-energy guy do? Take a seat on the grass most of the time. Anyhoo, when we finally made it home, the dude couldn't muster up enough energy to wake up for dinner. He slept the whole night away.

* So gosh dangit. I had written a ton more little factoids and because my computer kept disconnecting from the internet, it didn't save. Then the whole thing got so bad that I had to restart the damn thing, so my cool little blurps have been lost forever. Boo, because I really was enjoying writing about how Kota started experimenting with hair spray and Carter was disregarding my "OKAY CARTER THE TIMER IS BEEPING IT'S TIME TO TURN OFF YOUR VIDEO GAMES" yells from the bedroom. Oh well, such is life!

* But the good news is, this post is still going. At this point it's been like 8 hours since it's genesis, so to date this has got to be the best babbling of all time. At one point, I was even watching The Pioneer Woman while the munchkins were playing quietly in Carter's room with the door shut and Snow was sleeping. Yes! It was very, very, very awesome. Woo!

** There is no rhyme or reason to any of these pictures. They don't correlate to any words, they're just what we've been doing. Another reason this is the best post ever.
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