Thursday, February 28, 2008

Cake for Sasha's party and new pics of her

Brayden's 4th Birthday

Brayden had a great 4th birthday. We spent the day at home and then had cake and presents after dinner. He got a red bike with training wheels as well as a real drum set. We put the drum set in the garage which we finished off so the kids could use it. Brayden sets up the several play drums we have every day and plays with them so we knew he would like a real set. We drove up to Northern California and spent the weekend at Ray's mom's house. We went on a train ride from Martinez to Sacramento and went to lunch and the train museum. It as a fun day even though it was a little cold and rainy. We also went to a birthday party of one of Brayden's buddies who had turned four the day before him. Some of Ray's friends threw a party in Sasha's honor so they could all meet her. It was really nice.
It was a really nice weekend. The kids did a great job handling being in the car for so long and behaved well at their grandma's house. The nights were pretty easy considering all of them were sleeping in someone else's house. They had fun watching Disney movies with Grandma and spending time with her.
We were able to see our friends who had been in Vietnam when we traveled there. They met Sasha the first evening we got her. They hadn't seen her since and were happy to see her.
Here are pictures of our weekend as well as pictures of Sasha at home. She is ten months old now and just adorable!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Grammy Awards

Ray and I were able to go to the Grammy Awards again this year. I think it is the sixth year we have gone. My sister's girls spent the night the night before and as soon as they were picked up I raced off to get my hair done. The lady I usually go to every five months or so wasn't available so I made an appointment with someone new. I really wanted to get it done the day of the awards not the day before. It is a little tricky since they are always held on Sunday. Anyway, when I got to the salon they told me the woman who would be doing my hair was running late. I had been hoping to have a calm day and leave in a somewhat organized manner, but that didn't happen. It took the woman over three hours to highlight and blowdry my hair! We had to leave the house by 3:00 pm so we could make it to the Staples Center by 4:45 which is when they shut the doors. You can get in at the first break they have for commercials but we really wanted to be there on time. I finally made it home at 2:45 and I came in to the house to see our babysitter (one of Brayden's old teachers) holding Brookelyn and Sasha, who were both only wearing their diapers and both crying. I took Sasha from her and let her take care of Brookelyn. I put my dress and shoes on while holding Sasha and then raced around for the next ten minutes getting things ready to go. I got Brookelyn and Brayden calmed down and occupied and knew Sasha would cry once I handed her over for a couple of minutes before she calmed down. We raced up to LA and somehow made it there in time. I sat down just as they started lowering the lights. Perfect! We both really enjoyed the show. We went to the after party after the show was over and met some nice people during dinner. One of the couple's were parents of the lead guitarist in the band Plain White T's. We had dinner and then met our friends over at a private party for Berry Gordy. When we walked in Berry Gordy, Lionel Ritchie, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder were up on the stage making speeches. It was a pretty small room, which was neat. We were able to meet, shake hands with, and talk to Evander Holyfield before we left for the Jazz room. We didn't stay there long before we were all ready to go home. We got home about 2:00 am. It was a great night-one of the best times we've had there. They took this picture right after we got to the after party. Not really a good picture of either of us, but we always forget to take a picture of ourselves together when we get dressed up.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Fun Morning

We went to a friend's birthday party and the kids had a great time looking at snakes, spiders and lizards. The man who was in charge kept bringing them to me to touch (thanks, guy) and Sasha kept reaching out and touching them. It was a pretty neat party.

Sick kids

We all took turns getting the flu last week. Brookelyn got it first, then Brayden, then me, then my oldest daughter. We all got a stomach flu. My husband and oldest son both got the achy cold flu a few days later. Actually, my husband still has it. I'm grateful Sasha didn't get it. She had two flu shots so that is probably why. She did have a couple of days she was cranky and wasn't even happy when I held her. That is unusual for her, she is usually very good natured. Here are a couple of pictures of Brookelyn and Brayden resting on the couch when they were sick.

Hanging out

Sasha and Brookelyn spend a lot of time together and have a lot of fun. They are only 16 months apart. All three play well together actually. Brayden and Brookelyn play together and Sasha plays around them. They both think Sasha is fun and like to do things to make her smile, laugh or clap her hands. Brookelyn really enjoys sharing Sasha's food (table food or baby food) and likes giving Sasha food from her plate as well (so I always have to be watching closely). Sasha has been pushing herself up on things and letting go for quite a while now. She has pretty good balance, she likes to stand up on her own and clap her hands. Brookelyn has noticed how much attention Sasha gets for it so she has started copying Sasha and standing up next to her and clapping and then falling to the floor after a few seconds. Of course, we clap for her and cheer her on as well. She knows it's funny. She is a funny girl and does a lot of things that make us laugh. She hasn't done anything to show any jealousy toward Sasha at all. I thought she may regress a little, but she hasn't at all. We had waited to take her pacifier away for one reason or another and suddenly I was on my way to Vietnam and she was still using it. So I waited until we had been home for a few months to take it away. I talked about it for a couple of days and then just threw them all away. She asked for it on two different times and then was over it. I thought it would be hard since she sees Sasha with hers a lot, but she knew that that wasn't hers. We were very relieved it was so easy. She started potty training herself a couple of weeks ago. One day she walked up to me without a diaper on. When I asked her where it was she said she peed. I gathered some things to clean the floor and asked her to show me where. She brought me upstairs to the bathroom and pointed into the toilet and said, "I peed in toilet, Mommy." (This is my child who is in speech therapy because she was hardly saying any words several months ago. Now she speaks in full sentences. ) I looked into the toilet and there was pee in it. I asked her to show me how she got up there since there is no step stool next to it and she climbed right up. Very cute!
Anyway, she and Sasha and I have fun together. It's usually pretty mellow when it is just us. It's a whole different thing when Brayden is home. He likes to set up drum sets (out of drums and various other things that resemble drums) and play them. Brookelyn dances and Sasha will sometimes bounce to the music, clap or try to hit the drums as well. Good. loud fun. There is also always a lot of running around and tumbling when he is around so it is not as safe for Sasha unless I sit down right next to her. Which is great with her! She is happy doing anything. If I sit next to her she climbs all over me or pulls herself up on me and smiles and laughs. The whole world is good then. If I get up she gets very upset and crawls after me crying. I wind up holding Sasha and Brookelyn in my arms sometimes, which is fine. How lucky am I that I get to hold them both?
There is a picture of Sasha holding her own bottle, which is a new thing she just learned. I usually hold her and give her a bottle but do want her to learn how so she can hold her own bottle in the car. She will do it but she loses interest pretty easily. The last picture is one where Sasha has pulled herself up against the kitchen cabinets and let go and Brookelyn is pretending like she is just learning to stand too. I was happy to be able to get a picture of it before they sat down.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

She says "Mama!"

Sasha started saying mamama a few weeks ago but last week she started saying "Mama." She says it a lot on her own and will repeat me if I say it. So far, it doesn't mean me but I know it will pretty soon. It wasn't the first word for any of my other children and I love that it is hers! She also does this little grunting sound that is her way of communicating to us. She does it when I am holding her and she is at the end of her bottle or when I am holding her before she goes to sleep at night. I have found that I automatically repeat it back to her and then she'll do it again. What is funny is that she has gotten all of us to do it. I will hear both Brookelyn and Brayden doing it to her and her doing it back on our way to and from school. I have also heard my older son and daughter doing it back to her as well. Sometimes Brookelyn makes the sound when Sasha isn't even around. I think she just thinks it's a playful sound, not just a baby sound. My oldest daughter also taught her something that Sasha has turned into a game. On the way home from school one day Dakota squeezed her eyes shut for a couple of seconds while Sasha was watching her. Sasha did it back and they did it back and forth a few times. Ever since Sasha has started playing that with us. She really likes to do it at night when I am holding her in the rocking chair in her room. I actually have to shut my eyes or put her against my shoulder so she will stop tryng to play with me. And she is too cute to not keep doing it back.
We got hit hard with the flu this last week. Brookelyn got it one morning. She threw up twice and then slept all day. She was so sweet and just wanted me to hold her when she was awake. Otherwise she was so easy. Brayden got it the next night and had it much worse. He threw up a lot for about six hours and then layed around the house for the next too days. He was easy too. Poor things. Then I got it. Bad. The kind of flu that makes you want to die. I wanted to die, but I was too busy throwing up. Oh, and we gutted our master bathroom the day after Christmas so I had to run down the hall each time and hope no one else was in there. Nice. Unfortunately, I couldn't lay around recovering because I had to take care of the kids. Sasha was really hard for two days. She had gotten a flu shot so I think she didn't quite get the flu, she just felt badly. She is usually very easy but those two days she cried or whimpered even when I held her. That never happens. We made it through and all feel better except that my husband and Brayden have that ongoing cough a lot of people seem to have.
I thought Sasha was going to take her first step yesterday. She was standing on her own and looking at a toy that was a couple of feet away. She looked like she was going to step towards it and then lowered herself down and crawled to it. She is still very young but I wouldn't be surprised if she was a early walker. She also loves to play with balls. She kind of pushes it away from herself and then crawls to it and pushes it away again. Tonight she and I played a game with a ball where we kept pushing it back and forth to eachother. She was pretty good at getting it to me. She is so much fun to be with!