Friday, December 30, 2005

Happy Birthday!

Happy Happy Birthday to my darling husband Joe! Yay! Another year older, and oh, what exciting things lay in store for him this year. :-) Having 2 kids, working part time and life make it hard for me to spend a lot of alone time with him, but I HOPE he knows how much he means to me. Today we drove around together for a few hours doing some comps for his appraisals. It was fun, just the two of us. Tomorrow night we are going out to a New Year's Eve Party. We need to go out more together. Joe, if you are reading this, a big I LOVE YOU goes your way.... xoxoxoxo.....THANKS for being the greatest husband and daddy! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas Pics

OK, I had to post some Christmas Eve Pix. Yes, Coop is a cutie! Yes, the window is open! Can you believe it has been in the 60's here...very warm for this area now. We had just finished the Christmas Eve festivities at our house. Spencer was a bit wound up. So exciting!
That's it. ;-) Vicki, I really think you should do your'll think of something to say, it doesn't have to be that exciting all the time, it's just interesting to get a slice of life from someone else's perspective. Go for it! Anyone else????? It's free at

EDIT...I misspelled Anna Quindlen's name

OK,'s Anna QUINDLEN and it appears in her book, A Short Guide To a Happy Life. :-)

Anna Quidlin rocks!

This is an excerpt from an author, Anna Quidlin. I TOTALLY stole this from another blog, but I don't think any of you read the other person's blog, and I found it very inspiring, so I copied it here. :-) Anyway, here it is....

I am a novelist.  My work is human nature.  Real life is all I know.

Don't ever confuse the two, your life and your work.

You will walk out of here this afternoon with only one thing that no one else has.  There will be hundreds of people out there with your same degree; there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living.  But you will be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life.

Your particular life.  Your entire life.  Not just your life at a desk, or your life on a bus, or in a car or at the computer.  Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart.  Not just your bank account, but your soul.

People don't talk about soul very much anymore.  It's so much easier to craft a resume than craft a spirit.  But a resume is cold comfort on a winter night, or when your sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you've gotten back the test results and they're not so good.

Here is my resume:

I am a good mother to three children.  I have tried never to let my profession stand in the way of being a good parent.  I no longer consider myself the center of the universe.  I show up.  I listen.  I try to laugh.  I am a good friend to my husband.  I have tried to make marriage vows mean what they say.

I am a good friend to my friends, and they to me.  Without them there would be nothing to say to you today, because I would be a cardboard cutout.  But I call them on the phone, and I meet them for lunch.

I would be rotten, or at best mediocre, at my job if these things were not true.  You cannot really be first rate at your work, if your work is all you are.

So, here is what I wanted to tell you today:  Get a life.  A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house.  Do you think you'd care so much for those things if you blew an aneurysm one day, or found a lump in your breast?

Get a life in which you notice the smell of the salt water pushing itself on a breeze over Seaside Heights, a life in which you stop and watch how a red tailed hawk circles over the water, or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a Cheerio with her thumb and first finger.

Get a life in which you are not alone.  Find people you love, and who love you.  And remember that love is not leisure, it is work.  Pick up the phone, send an email, write a letter.

Get a life in which you are generous.  And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted.  Care so deeply about the goodness that you want to spread it around.  Take money you would have spent on beers and give it to charity.  Work in a soup kitchen.  Be a Big Brother or Sister.

It is so easy to exist instead of to live.  I learned to live many years ago.  I learned to love the journey, not the destination.  I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get.

I learned to look at all the good in the world and to try to give some of it back, because I believe in it, completely and utterly.  And I tried to do that in part, by telling others what I learned.  By telling them this:

Consider the lilies of the field.

Look at the fuzz on a baby's ear.

Read in the backyard with the sun on your face.

Learn to be happy.

And think of life as a terminal illness, because if you do, you will live it with joy and passion, as it ought to be lived.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Merry Merry Christmas...hope you enjoyed yours! And took the time to reflect on this being Jesus' birthday...
We have been sooo busy, sorry I have not posted! First, I got bumped off our laptop b/c Joe's work hinted he should not be going online with his computer b/c he connects to the system there and the whole virus issue...soooo, it's onto the mac, but I don't save my pix to the mac, so I can't post any pix right now...:-( I may sneak onto the laptop anyway...shhh...don't tell!
Then, we had family in town...YAY! Jenny & Justin, Meg & Jenn, & Grandpa. We had everyone over for Christmas Eve and it was a great time. Food, fun, gifts, even ended the night with some MTV reality show watching...somehow we ended up watching TV at 11 PM, laughing together. BUT it was with FAMILY, which makes me happy. :-)
On Christmas Day, we headed over to Joe's parents' house. It was a madhouse with the cousins and piles of gifts. We had Brian's famous pancakes afterwards at Michelle & Brian's house. My boys all took long naps that afternoon while I started to put away the gifts. What a mess! A FUN mess!
Now my sisters have left town, so sad. Spencer walked into the room where Jenny & Justin had been staying and saw the empty mattress and said, "I'm sad." He sat on the mattress looking glum. Poor guy. He was also sick over the holidays, complete with a nice throwing up incident in the car on the way to family portraits on Christmas Eve. We ended up still getting them taken, but he sat on Grandpa's lap very serious looking, not the laughing, joyful, exuberant kid he is!
Last night we had a bunch of friends come over for dinner, the "Merced Gang". The original group is Steph, Chip, Ryan, Brian, Joe & me. Now we have added Chip's wife Vicki and Brian's wife Kelli. (Ryan and his wife Jillian were not in town.) Only Joe and I live in Merced now. the others are in LA, SF, and Tennessee. It's always a fun time to be together. We have so many crazy memories! :-)
OK, better go, I should be finishing some cleaning, hitting the grocery store, etc. etc...I brought the boys to their babysitter's house today so i could get some stuff done. Spencer was so excited to go to "work". He loves to play with the kids.
Looking forward to hearing about everyone's holidays!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Christmas cards

Oooh, I love this time of year and all the Christmas cards I receive. I LOVE the picture ones, too. Got the cutest one yesterday from my friend Niki of her twin 8 month old boys sitting on the beach in Hawaii. TOO CUTE! I need to take our pic tomorrow. I think I may just do the boys instead of a family pic. It's hard to get us all together and Spence is in the can't sit still mode still....will it ever end? He is one busy boy, I tell you! So funny. He says, "What are you doing?" now, and loves to ask that question all the time. He is very excited to see Santa, but I wonder how he'll react. Last year it was tears. I asked him, "What do you want Santa to bring you?" He answered, "Presents!" I love my little man.
Cooper is now 6 months and getting bigger. he weighs 3 pounds less than Spence at the same age, but is 3/4 of an inch taller. The family giant?
Off to bed, have MOPS tomorrow. Tonight I added another ornament to the "memory tree". My AAUW group met for dinner and an ornament exchange. It's fun to get out and be with the gals once in a while.
Congrats to Robin on the news that her new baby-to-be is a precious girl! :-) Justin will be a great big brother!
Brian, you and your family have a safe trip to California in a week. We can't wait to see you! My grandpa arrives tomorrow from AZ! YAY! Jenny & Justin and Meg will be home next week!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Oh Christmas Tree

These pics are Coop adding his ornament and Spence with his Auntie Judy!
I think I have decided to rename our Christmas tree the Memory Tree. This yea I have been doing a lot of thinking about our ornaments. I have come to realize they are one of my most precious treasures. When I was little, my mom started collecting ornaments for me each year. She also saved the ones I made in school. Now that I have my own family, I am doing the same thing. Each year we are buying special ornaments. This year we added Spencer's Elmo one (a favorite character from this year), Cooper' s new baby 2005 one, a Our New House 2005 one. My mom has begun giving the boys an ornament each year now, too. Every year as we put up the ornaments I am reminded of memories and the special people who gave me the ornaments. I think it has to be one of my favorite nights of the year. We have special traditons on the order we put them up, too. My beautiful memory tree....

OK, on another note, I have decided to start EBAY-ing. I have my first auction up, baby clothes. We'll see how it goes...I have a lot to sell! Books, baby clothes, things around the house. Check me out! :-)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Just sitting here...

Just sitting here, listening to Depeche, checking out the blogs...whatcha doing???
So, we got our tree!!! Yay! It looks great right in front of the window. It's so fun, the tree up and the house lights up, twinkling, and we have a lit Christmas tree decoration thing-y right nect to the front door and a wreath on the front door (yep, I found one I liked!). Our house looks so festive, I'll post a pic! Joe has swiped our digital camera for his appraisal pics, so I am not quite sure were the pics are right now....I'll check before I post this....
We also had a great time visiting with my family, my mom's cousin Judy and her husband Jim came out to Cali for a conference in San Francisco. They have been here for the last few days. Spencer adores Auntie Judy! He is NOT shy around those he knows, but sometimes can be a little shy around new people. he warmed up to Auntie Judy right away (I am sure the fact that she brought him a present helped! LOL!)! He even posed with her for pictures, something I cannot get him to do!!!!
Oh, "Precious" just came favorite Depeche Mode song right! Listen to it! It's sad b/c it's about Martin's divorce and its effects on his kids.
OK, sidenote aside....we really enjoyed having Auntie Judy and Uncle Jim here. You don't realize how much you miss your family until you see them. I wanted to cry when they left. I HOPE I see them again soon. Don't you think we should have a Kecseg family reunion???
Speaking of family, Aunt Emese...thanks for your package for the boys! Spence immediately went into the family room to read his new book. He loves it! I know you said you read my blog, so I thought I'd post this shout out to you before I get the thank you in the mail! I MISS YOU!!! I hope you are feeling OK. I have been thinking about you a lot! Hugs>>>>>
Cold weather is here...I had to scrape off my car window this morning...yikes.....

Friday, December 02, 2005


Yay! So tomorrow my Auntie Judy & Uncle Jim are coming in from Chicago for a visit! I am so excited to see them again. I hadn't seen that side of the family in many years, but this year I get to see them 2 times in one if the others would just get out here, too...
So excited about this Christmas time, as if you hadn't noticed...heehee...but reading ali edwards' blog gets me inspired...check out soooo cool! I really want to start journaling more. I keep a journal for the boys. I was pretty regular for Spence until he turned 2, and trying to keep up with the Coop. Then I have another one to jot down stuff about them and Joe and our family to remember. So many things I don't want to Spence loving to get a "family kiss!" when Joe, Spence, and I give each other a kiss at the same time, and how Spence happily ate his dinner tonight wearing his tie from Aunt Jenny's wedding. He didn't want to take it off! I would love to read my grandmother's journal, my mom's journal from when she was younger, so i really want to document our life for future generations. I think scrapbooking is doing that, too. OK, said my piece, get some paper and go! What do YOU want to remember????

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Go see Brian Ferguson!!!

OK, so Brian hopped on the blog ride...heeeheee....go see him at
He's an awesome guy, the friendliest guy and has 4 beautiful children. We miss them terribly since they moved to Tennesee last summer. Looking forward to them coming home soon!!!

Sorry no pic of Brian...send me one again, Brian, and I can add your kiddos...this pic is of Spence and his best friend, Jake, his cousin.

Mops today (Mothers of Preschoolers)...Spencer loves going! Every morning he says, "Mops? Margo's?" Margo is his babysitter. He enjoys going b/c he loves to play with the kids. Ask him what he does, and he says, "I play with kids. I play with cars. I play with Evan, Emma, Ya-ya. I eat. I go night night on the floor!" He loves the routine Margo has created for him. As soon as lunch is over, he gets his pillow and blanket and goes to his spot on the floor. Don't you dare try to lay in his spot, either. He'll let you know..."Uh-oh! Uh-oh!" he says. He is becoming a chatterbox, I love it! We have the best conversations in the car. He likes to point out what he sees and remembers directions very well. he knows where the donut shop is, daddy's work, mommy's work (any school he sees actually), the way to his cousins' house, his grandparents' houses. He has an awesome memory...which is good, most of the time....;-)
OK, better go, just popping out brownies for treat day at school tomorrow.
Did you hear? Jennifer and Ben Affleck had a baby girl this afternoon, Violet! I can't help it, I am addicted to

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Random thoughts

Ok, what's up with all the cell phones? Ok, so I am guilty, too, I use mine in the car, too...I usually call my sister to chat on the 10 minutes to work from dropping the boys off at the babysitter, BUT I don't: chat while turning (see that all the time!), while taking the boys for a walk, or (the newest one I saw) chat while washing the car!!! Crazy!!! When did we become so important that we have to talk all the time? What has happened to good old peace and quiet???

Christmas...we have a Christmas tree in our kitchen! I love it! Stephanie's mom gave us an extra fake tree and I didn't know where to put it, but I am not one to turn down free things :-), so we put it in the kitchen, all lit up! It actually looks good and Spencer enjoys eating next to the tree! Cool, huh?
OK, feeling last few months of feeding Coop once or twice a night and going to bed toooo late are finally catching up to me. I am so tired, and forgetting things and feeling pretty spacey...looking forward to break so i can nap with the boys. I need to go to bed earlier, but I love my "me" time...time to read, scrapbook, veg on the couch with TV, chat with my hubby, email, it selfish of me???? Oh the life of a mom and a busy one at that.....

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Christmas is coming...

Yay! Christmas is should see the house. Christmas stuff all over the dining room table. Things to be hung, put up, on display...where oh where to put it all??? The Christmas lights for the outside are strewn all over the living room. Joe needs to finish that project. Good thing tomorrow is my early to work day (10:30) b/c it would be hard to keep Spence away from all of it! We MAY go get our tree tomorrow. I can't wait! Our first Christmas is our new house! I will post pics for you all to see.
We had a nice break. We had friends over: Steph, Chip & Vicki, Megan and Jen. We watched "War of the Worlds". What did you all think of the ending? It was great to visit. We miss our friends that live far away. Looking forward to the gang getting together again for Christmas!
Now it's back to work. For Joe, he can hardly wait since he has his appraisal license number finally! He's going to be sooo busy! The next few weeks we have so much planned. Our calendar is already filling up. But we can't forget the "Reason for the Season"! I am excited to teach Spence about Jesus' birthday. He prays everyday and knows where God lives. Thank you Lord for all of our blessings! What are YOUR blessings?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


(Above pics from September)

Happy (early) Thanksgiving! Hope you have a wonderful day!
What are YOU thankful for? I have so much to be thankful for, so much I need to remember when I get in one of those "I wish I..., I want..." moods. Don't we all???
I am THANKFUL for:
1.My husband!
2. My kids...happy, healthy, beautiful boys
3. My family, close and far
4. My job (yes, I am happy with my job this year!)
5. Friends
6. Having lots to do: Bible Study, Mops, AAUW, family events. lots of kid birthday parties!
7. Owning our first home
8. LOVE in my life
9. A relationship with God (He owns all I have...Thank you Lord for all my blessings!)
I could go on...
What is on your list? I'd love to hear! :-)

Monday, November 21, 2005


hello all...hope you are enjoying your week. Took a nap today, yay! I cuddled with Coop on the couch while Spencer napped. Poor Spence, he is beginning to be at the age that he is scared of things. Tonight he was scared as he was going to bed. He said, "No airplanes, daddy, no airplanes." Weird. I thought all os his viewings of Monsters, Inc would make him not scared of monsters, but it didn't. Maybe it's a kid thing. All kids seem to be scared of monsters at some time or another.
Not much to say, I know my blog has been boring lately...i think I am over tired, I keep misspelling words on this post and fixing them a few times, I better go hit the sack...night, all. Michelle & Jenny, when you get your blogs going, send me your address and I'll post it! Can't wait to read the,. :-) Anyone else starting one????
I'll try to attach a pic of my Spence in his new "fast" sneakers...yes, he still has his "baba" (pacifier). He loves it and can't go to sleep without it. I'll let future Amy deal with that. (Anyone watching "How I met your mother?" You'll recognize the "future person" bit. Cute show!)
Jen, see Nemo? He LOVES it and sleep with it! Give him baba, Nemo and "nap-nap" (his blanket) and he's set!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Depeche Mode

Last night Joe and I went to see Depeche Mode in San Jose. I hope you know who they are! The high school helper at the boys' babysitter's house didn't know who they were...made me feel old! Anyway...they were awesome!!! What a great show. Dave has so much energy! I danced almost the entire show! I really need to get out and see more concerts. Joe and I realized we need to just get out and do more, period! The audience was pretty varied, older people and lots of younger people. It was so funny to see the whole audience singing the words. On "Enjoy the Silence", Dave didn't even sing the chorus, the audience did and you could hear it clearly! What a fun night, starting with dinner in downtown San Jose with friends. Cute area! Now I am sooooo tired, though...we got home at 2:00 and Coop was ready to get up at 5:30 AM! I took a long nap today from 11 AM to 2 PM. The boys are napping now.
A week of vacation lies before me...what a good feeling. No big plans, just resting, playing with my boys, scrapbooking, hanging out. Meg is coming home for Thanksgiving. We plan on doing 2 dinners again this year. One at my mom's and one at Joe's sister's house. It will be fun to see family and enjoy turkey and mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes and more mashed potatoes....
Happy Saturday!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Spencer's park

Here are some pix of yesterday's big activity. :-) See our tiny yard??? Probably the biggest reason why I don't think we'll stay in this house too long, otherwise I do love the house, BUT I am lovin' it even more now that we have grass! :-)
One week until Thanksgiving Break. Can't wait! One week off with the boys. I was thinking about potty training Spence, but I don't think I am ready, yes, me...ready to start doing the whole bathroom thing in public...diapers are convenient. Whoever said 2 in diapers is hard is wrong. It isn't bad. Yes, expensive, but very convenient. He doesn't mind, so maybe we'll wait till Christmas break.
So, Joe's ideal spot, according to is Washington state: Olympia and Bellingham. Sorry, honey, too cold for me! We actually checked out Scottsdale, AZ's report b/c it showed up in both of our lists and it looks interesting! Very cultural and artsy, lots to do there...we're here for now, but we think we'll be moving on a few years. I don't think we're the stay in one place forever people. We both have moved around a lot in the last few years. In 5 years, I have lived in Agoura, Encino, Thousand Oaks and Merced. Joe has lived in Chico, West Hollywood, Studio City, Encino, Thousand Oaks, and Merced in the last 7 years. But it is nice to be here in Merced with family. We love spending time with the family!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Your ideal town/city?

Find your spot? Where should you be living? Check out this website: and see where your ideal city/town is. Mine came up as Phoenix, AZ and Charleston, SC. Hmmm...Find out yours and tell me! I'd love to hear!


we've got grass!!!! Yay! Spencer calls it his "park"! It looks great! Only 7 months after we moved in...but it's done! Now, what kind of plants and flowers to plant? Any ideas?

Friday, November 11, 2005


My baby Cooper is 5 months old today! He had rice cereal for the first time today! He was interested, but the cereal wouldn't stay in his mouth, he kept dribbling....He looked so cute, his head barely above the highchair...was it like that for Spence, too??? I can't believe how fast he is growing. It makes me sad to think my baby is growing up, he's almost half a year old! Joe, on the other hand, loves them getting older. He and Spence have so much fun together. Coop watches them, leaning towards them and intently watching. I know soon he'll be playing with them...
I am so loving the fall colors this year. The trees are exploding with color, leaves aflame with red and orange. I am anxious to get some pictures of them before the leaves have all fallen.
Tomorrow we get sod! Yay!!!! I'll post pics when it's done!

Thursday, November 10, 2005


don't know why it published twice....


Ok, some of you mentioned you like looking at blogs! Here are some to check out...

Have fun!


Ok, some of you mentioned you like looking at blogs! Here are some to check out...

Have fun!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

UC Merced

These pictures are UC Merced last fall (look how little my Spence is!).
Tonight Joe and I went to a reception at UC Merced for local UC alumni. UC Merced just opened up this fall for the first class. We got to hear the president of the UC system speak. He was a great guy, pretty funny and very interesting. It was so exciting to hear about the plans for Merced and the whole UC system. There isn't a plan for an 11th UC yet, but the president admitted there should be. He also said that China was trying to pattern a public university system after our University of California.
Afterward Joe and I strolled around the campus. There isn't much there yet. We saw some dorms, all shiny and new, and kids walking around together. Only one floor of the library seemed to have books. It was fun to be around the college atmosphere again. I loved college, so it was neat to reminisce about the old days. :-)
My sister Jenny just got another dog, Dalia. Now Zero has a buddy. She and Justin are in love with weiner dogs. Can't wait to meet the newest Littrell. :-)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sisters, sisters...

Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters...when a certain gentleman arrived from Rome, she wore the dress and I stayed home, all kinds of weather, we stick together...
What movie is that from??? I shoulda had it on my 12 movies list, one of my all time favorite holiday movies!

Gettin' political

I just checked on the results for the voting...Arnie isn't doing too well...shouldn't mess with the teachers!!!! We're tough people!
This election has been pretty interesting, both at the state level and locally. Joe and I even put a sign in our yard for one of the mayoral candidates. Joe heard her speak at his 20/30 Club and was interested in what she had to say, so he agreed to support her with a sign! Pretty funny to me...especially since (and don't tell her this) we couldn't even vote for her! We haven't re-registered to vote in our new home, in the city limits. We were registered at Joe's parents' house because that is where we were staying last election time. They don't live in the city limits, so we couldn't vote for mayor or for a measure that would put more police officers on the street. BOTH I really wanted to vote for. But, I just checked on the results and it looks like both are winning! Go Ellie!
I took the boys with me to vote. Spence was disappointed he couldn't vote. Joe took him, too. Spence also got a haircut today...his 3rd. I'll post a pic later. He is such a cutie, as is my baby Super-Duper. That's Coop's nickname, if you didn't figure it out!
Veteran's Day is Friday. Thank a guys (and gals) rock! Thanks for being so brave and ready to put yourself on the line for your love of our country. We appreciate you!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Mommy brag

Ok, shameless mommy bragging...I have such great kids! Coop goes to sleep like a charm for me now. I have started sleep training him now, putting him down every 2 hours. He hardly makes a sound. Still not sleeping through the night yet, but....
Spence knows his colors now! I am so proud. I walk around his room, picking up things and asking him what color it is. His favorite is yellow. he loves saying it, "lel-loooow", his little tongue curling around the "l's".
Just sitting here, trying to decide if I want to go to bed early or scrapbook. I have been getting pretty far behind. I would love to get a photo printer for Christmas (hint hint Joe!) so I can print out the pics I want to scrapbook.
1 hour Arrested Development on tonight...yippee...Joe's favorite show and very funny! Watch it sometime!

Meg, I know you read this blog, so I put on a cute pic of you and Jen from Jenny's wedding was your birthday!!!! Hope it was a good sixteen candles, right???? :-)

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Target is my new know how everyone says they cannot get out of Costco without spending too much money...well, Target is like that for me! I went in to get wipes, and I ended up walking out with wipes, diapers, teething ring, Christmas gift for Spence (a bus-he adores any vehicle), grey tank top for me to wear with pink shrug Jen gave me for my b-day, brown pants for Spence, and plastic cups for Spence (our dishwasher must eat them...). I almost bought a wreath for the front door. I have been looking for one for awhile, but when you looked close at this one, the red beads were chipped. let me know if you see a good wreath out there...
Cool links...
and my new obsession:

Friday, November 04, 2005

We Built this City

Do you know the song...that cheesy 80's song, We Built This City? Well, Spencer does and loves it! He is actually starting to sing along to songs now. Soooo cute! He was rocking out to this song. Today he got mad when "Hey Baby Hey" by No Doubt was over with on the radio. "Mama, more hey baby hey baby!!" Sorry kiddo...I need to make a CD for him to rock out to!

How's life everyone? Life is good here. Fall is here, the leaves are changing, I think we are finally getting sod in our backyard this little man can go out and run!!! He needs it...
Thanks to Kim for her list of things (earlier post). How fun to read! I miss my friends that don't live close by...

Pic of Spencer & his grandma

Thursday, November 03, 2005

It's official!

My man is now an appraiser!!! He has passed the state if ya need an appraiser....:-) He has already been working for an appraisal company in town, but now he is official!
Thanks to Robin for sending me her list of 12 things (see earlier post) and congrats to Robin, Peter, & Justin on the new baby to be news!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


"Halloween, Halloween, Trick or Treat,
Our costumes can't be beat!" Sung by Dora the Explorer :-)

We had a great Halloween, how about you? We started at a Harvest Party, but didn't stay too long. Spencer did a few carnival games and we visited with a few friends, but we didn't stay long. We were with another family, and Monica is in a wheelchair since she broke her ankle. The dads carted the boys around for a bit, but it was starting to get crowded, so we headed over to their neighborhood and went trick-or-treating! Spencer was a dalmation this year and soooo cute! He loved being a doggy. His tail on his costume wagged when he walked. Coop was a pumpkin, and he slept through much of the fun!
Spencer's pumpkin filled up so fast and he was thrilled. He loves candy! We are very carefully doling it out (and sneaking some ourselves!).
It finally feels like fall here. The weather has finally changed, and the leaves are turning colors. Even the sunlight has dimmed a bit, more of a golden color instead of bright summer yellow. Today is clouding up. I can dress Spencer in his new fall clothes...finally!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Fun things

I saw this on someone else's blog and though it would be fun to do. :-) Send me yours!

12 Movies
1.Wedding Singer
2. Sleepless in Seattle
3. Aristocats
4. You've Got Mail
5. When Harry Met Sally
6. The Wedding Planner
7. The Parent Trap
8. Little Mermaid
9. Go
10.Austin Powers Goldmember
11. Tombstone
12 Guinevere (First movie Joe worked on!)

11 Good Bands/Artists
1. Hometown Hero/Under the Influence of Giants
2. Sublime
3. Depeche Mode (we're seeing in Nov.!)
4. Abba
5. Bob Marley
6. Earth, Wind & Fire
7. The Cure
8. Coldplay
9. Foo Fighters
10. Barry Manilow
11. Imre Szilas (my uncle!)

10 Things About Me
1. Wife
2. Mommy
3. Christian
4. Love to read, read, read
5. Love to scrapbook
6. Graduated from UCSB...go gauchos!
7. Love 70's music
8. Would move to Hawaii in a heartbeat
9. Can't drive stick shift (I know....)
10. LOVE the beach

9 Good Friends
1. Jenny
2. Robin
3. Kim
4. Diane
5. Charity
6. Colleen
7. Nicole
8. Michelle
9. My mom and my mother-in-law
(Sorry, I could only put 9!)

8 Favorite Foods/Drinks
1. pizza
2. Cheesecake Factory's Jambalya
3. bruschetta
4. Killer Shrimp
5. brownies
6. lemonade
7. rice/bean/chicken burrito
8. nachos

7 Things I Wear Daily
1. wedding ring
2. necklace (right now the cross with the ruby for my grandma)
3. underwear :-)
4. robe
5. nightshirt/gown
6. smile on my face
7. glasses in the pm

6 things I hate
1. cleaning toilets, really the whole bathroom
2. being late
3. mean people
4. not having money to buy whatever books I want
5. spiders in the house
6. car problems

5 Things I do daily
1. kiss my hubby
2. kiss my kids
3. read
4. check my email
5. pray

4 Places I've Lived
1. first home in Merced
2. townhome in Thousand Oaks
3. oceanfront apartment in Isla Vista (Santa Barbara)
4. first home ever in Bensonville, IL

3 Shows I watch
1. The OC
2. How I Met Your Mother
3. House Hunters

2 Things I want
1. To live a happy, healthy life with my family
2. To be debt free

1 person I wish I could see now
1. my grandma

weekend notes

We have had a fun weekend so far! On Friday, we took the boys to the Boo Zoo at the zoo and it was cancelled! Augh! Try telling that to a 2 year old all dressed up! He cried, so we took him to McDonalds to play at the playland. He was so happy, climbing up the jungle gym contraption thing, getting his dalmation costume sooo dirty.
Today he went to the movie to see a special screening of Veggie Tales with daddy, and happily ate popcorn and drank soda (when mommy isn't around....). This afternoon we went to an Open House at a friend's house and then to a harvest party at a farm. We rode on a hay ride, went square dancing, and Spence had so much fun going through a small maze set up for the little kids. They had to crawl through it with flashlights. He had the best time! It was so neat to see my baby playing with the kids. He loves playing with big kids. He was actually leading a group of them around for a while. One little girl, probably about 4, was glued to his side. Sooo cute... We danced with his cousins and had a great time. Thanks, Hadley Family!
Tomorrow we rest...for Halloween is Monday! That will be a crazy evening! Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Pumpkins, pumpkins

OK, here are my cuties from the pumpkin patch. I got great lighting on some of my pics...I really want to become a better photographer. That is a goal of mine. I am loving pics taken in the evening with the golden light. Lovin' it! Try it! But it fades fast...unfortunately I missed it for my family picture. Oh well, maybe we'll just have to take another trip to the pumpkin patch.


Thanks to Dennis for the alligator/croco info! Alligators have a round snout and crocodiles have pointed teeth and protruding teeth...:-)
We're fine boys are growing soooo fast. Spence has begun learning his colors. He has known yellow for a's his favorite. Now he knows blue, green, white and pink. I didn't even know he knew white until I asked him what color his ceiling fan was and he announced white! So smart. :-) He is beginning to "sing", too. It's adorable. Coop LOVES watching his big brother. When he starts getting fussy, Spence can make him laugh. I know they will have so much fun together.
The weather is starting to finally cool! Yay! Sweater weather....
I'll post later our pumpkin patch pix. What a great time! Spencer loves his pumpkin. He calls it his "pumpkin patch". He had so much fun getting dirty, pulling a wagon around, and running up and down the dirt hills with his daddy. My mom was with us and carried Coop around. He was fascinated with everything.
Congrats to my cousin Jennifer and her husband Clint on the birth of their daughter, Amanda. Congrats to Aunt Marg on the birth of her first great-grandchild!!!! I need to edit that I spelled Ezekiel's name wrong, also. Sorry, Virginia!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

i am a dork

Ok, I have having some issues with this blogging site, so sorry I posted Spence's Mickey pix twice. I wrote the "Ideas" post and it never posted, so I added the pic again to my next post. Maybe I'll figure this out soon?!?
Have a great day!


So Jenny is coming home from her honeymoon early. They have decided to get out of Florida while they can...Wilma is coming! When I talked to her today, they were about to go on a boat on the Everglades and look for alligators. That reminds me...I keep meaning to look up the difference between crocodiles and alligators...they keep appearing in Spencer's books and I am wondering...
Today we are headed to the pumpkin patch! Yay! We have several good ones around here. Howver, the best one is in Santa Paula (between Santa Barbara and Thousand Oaks). Check it out if you can! We took Spencer there for his first pumpkin patch experience and we loved it! BIG pumpkins, all out in the field, wheelbarrows, crafts, hay rides...
Congrats to my friend Virginia and her husband Michael! They just welcomed their first child, Ezekial! Can't wait to meet him!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

my ideas

OK, so I have some ideas for a game for parents of small kids, like a Trivial Pursuit. I never thought I would be filling up my brain with this stuff...Here are some questions: (Can YOU answer them?)
1. What is Dora's last name?
2. What is Caillou's cat's name?
3. What color is Bob the Builder's shirt?
4. What pet does Oscar the Grouch have?
5. Name three of Thomas the train's friends.
And I could go on....

Anyway, we're all fine here. Spencer is testing his limits with bedtime, but hopefully with the ideas I've learned on Nanny 911, we'll get through it. He doesn't want to stay in bed when we put him in. After doing wonderfully for 2 weeks, I should have known it wouldn't last! Ha! Our precious kiddos don't make anything easy for us!
Cooper rolled over today for the first time! He did it very easily and quickly, I think he was really ready! In fact, I put him on his belly right afterwards and he did it again. He's growing soooo fast. He tries to sit up in his car seat and his swing. Time to start looking for his next car seat. I love looking for good deals on the internet. I'll tell you what I find!
Congrats to my friend Virginia and her husband Michael on the birth of their first baby, Ezekial! Can't wait to meet him!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


OK, if you are ever in the San Diego area, go eat at Santana's...mmmm...the California burrito is the best! I am CRAVING it! Joe and I fell in love with it, melted cheese, yummy beans, rice, delicious carne asada...ohhh, should I go on???
Also, go listen to the Nada Surf's "Always Love". I heard it on TV tonight, "One Tree Hill", never watched it before, but caught it while I was feeding Coop for bed. Actually, I liked it and discovered a new song. Afterwards, i went and found it on Napster. Good music!

Poor Jenny...the hurricanes are messing with her honeymoon! They were supposed to spend the first part in New Orleans, now Wilma is heading toward the Florida keys, where she was suppoed to go on Friday! They think they'll head to Miami now instead! I am sure they are still having a great time!
The pic is of Spencer at Ocean Beach in San beach baby!

Monday, October 17, 2005


OK, saving money is overrated! We stayed at 4 different hotels and let me tell you, that was hard with 2 little boys! We had to pack up sooo much, we had over 10 bags..yes, 10! That included a suitcase for Joe & me, one for Spence, one for Cooper, a shoe bag, diaper bags (2), Spence's backpack, computer bag, food bag, etc...Yes, we saved some money, but was the time and effort worth it??? Actually, my in-laws helped out (thanks!)!!!
But the trip was great. The boys slept in the car most of the time and were pretty good! Spencer looked so cute in his tie for Aunt Jenny's wedding. He was so proud of it. He loved dancing at her wedding and getting cake on his face (he saw Jenny and Justin do it, so he had to!). Coop was adorable and such a good baby. We also hit Ocean Beach on Saturday and Spence LOVED it! He was playing and running in the water. It was cold, but he didn't care. He was soaked when we left the beach, so we had to go buy him some new clothes. He's a beach baby!
Disneyland was a blast, too. Spence was so tired from the other days that he fell asleep at 11 AM during our lunch break, but was up and ready to go soon. His favorite? the 2 "choo-choos" he rode. Cooper loved "Pirates of the Caribbean". Joe and I got to ride the new Space Mountain. It was super fast! AND we were on it when a 4.2 or 4.6 (I forget which one) earthquake struck off the coast of San Diego. Space Mountain was stopped, but luckily we had just ended the ride. I can't imagine being stuck inside!!! I felt a bit queasy after the ride, though....I think my rollar coaster days are over. Guess I am getting older.
OK, back to the real world. Report cards are calling my name!

The wedding

Well, it's official! She's now Mrs. Littrell! Yay, Jenny! It was a beautiful wedding! Jenny, Cara (bridesmaid) and I pulled up in a 55 Chevy driven by my dad. The setting was Harbor Island Park, next to the ocean. The view was Coronado and the downtown San Diego skyline, beautiful! We walked down the aisle to music played by a talented harpist. Jenny was a gorgeous bride in a strapless cream colored gown with beading on the bodice and in the back. She wore her long hair in curls cascading down her back and she had a floaty veil in her hair, as well as red roses. Her bouquet was velvetly red roses and dark red calla lilies. She and Justin looked sooo happy and so in love. There was even a special tribute to Jenny and Justin's beloved grandmothers who both recently passed away. Jenny had pictures of them on charms in her bouquet, also. How I wish Grandma had been there. She was definitely on our minds that day. She really liked Justin!
The reception was at Tom Ham's, a restaurant overlooking the ocean. What a fun party! The guests were treated to a delicious dinner, as well as a special show. Jenny's belly dance troupe performed for the crowd and were a hit. It was a lovely evening and I am so proud of my sister. She planned a wonderful event, a wedding to remember. It was perfect! Now the happy couple are off to Florida for a few days at Disney World and a trip to the Florida Keys.
Congrats to Jenny & Justin! I love you both! :-)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Oops, I guess it posted...

MIssed post

Hmmmm...I posted last night and it has disappeared..oh well, you missed my mommy meltdown story, which included a hot car, crying baby, whining 2 year old, "Lollipop" song for millionth time, running late to doctor get the picture I am sure. We survived, though! :-)
OK, gotta get ready for work soon, so I just wanted to post this picture...isn't it the cutest dog you've ever seen?????

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Excitement fills the air..we are heading off tomorrow on our first little vacation as a family of four. First stop, San Clemente (granted it will be 1 AM), but we are driving while the boys are asleep and will stop overnight in San Clemente before we get to San Diego. Then 3 days in SD, watching Jen get married!!!! Then off to Disneyland. I have been slowly packing, but need to finish tonight. My car is in the shop right now.
Today was one of those mommy meltdown days. Running late as usual (how do moms stay on time? Beats me! I was always an early person until I married and had kids), on our way to Coop's 4 month old doctor appointment...Spencer whining about no more Elmo snacks and wanting to hear "Lollipop" for the millionth time on the radio, Coop screaming his head off (hungry, tired and hot), hitting all reds, hot b/c we are driving with the heat on (my car's water pump was broken, so the heat had to be on so we wouldn't overheat)...I just turned up the radio and tried to calm down. Whew, but we made it and my mom came and whisked Spencer away before Coop's appointment, just as he was laying on the table saying, "My turn! My turn! Aaaah!" and sticking out his tongue. Yeah, I've never seen this excited to see the doctor. He knew it wasn't his day! Ha! Got the car in the shop with a promise to be fixed by 10AM...keeping my fingers crossed!
I'll post some pix while we are gone so you can see the wedding. Check back!

Monday, October 10, 2005


It is Monday, soo busy! This is the day I start work a little earlier, at 10:30. I have so much to teach with the language arts program, so on Mondays, I start earlier and then later on Thursdays. Works out well.
Dora is on TV. How come kids get so obsessed with her? Spence could watch her all day. His cousin Jake is obsessed, too. I like her, too, but ever since my mom said, "She yells a lot, doesn't she?" I can't help but notice it now! She is pretty loud! :-)
I miss the ocean. I stumbled upon a writer's notebook the other day that I had kept a few years ago after taking classes with the South Coast Writing Project (incredible!!!). I noticed I had written a lot about the ocean. I miss writing like that, I think that is why I have decided to keep a blog, but calling all writers, can you explain this to me? I lay in bed thinking what I could write about and it sounds good, but as soon as I sit down to my computer, I have writer's block. I think of all kinds of interesting things to share and reflect on, but it's gone now...sorry if I am boring you! But I do want to start reflecting more on my life for my kids, keeping a record for them of what life was like now. Scrapbooking helped me realize this. It's not that I just want to scrap the photos, but I want to tell the story, too. There are so many family stories I would love to hear, but can't anymore. I am so happy I had my grandma fill out on of those "Grandma Remembers" books a few years ago. I love having those memories forever.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


I had a great conversation with my friend Charity yesterday. I miss her! She was Spencer's "other mother" his first year. Charity & I job shared and when I was working, she took care of Spence and when she was working I took care of her son, Tegan. Tegan was born about 14 hours after Spencer. He was Spencer's best friend his first year. They were always together. I have so many great memories of the two of them, the stroller rides, feeding them lunch, watching them play together and get so excited to see each other in the mornings, the giggling from the two of the them in the backseat when Spence & I went to visit them last February. I hope they stay friends forever! The pix here is from summer 2004.
Charity, I will forever be grateful for the love and kindness you showed my son! Miss you!!!!
Kim, I got your comment, weren't those days a blast? Remember "Everybody dance! Everybody dance!" What dorks we were, but we were soo cool then! Hello Sabado!
OK, top three CDs you'd bring on a deserted island (or is it desert island? hmm...) anybody that is reading this.
70's compilation (Gotta dance!)
Hometown Hero (now known as Under the Influence of Giants, but I love their old stuff!)
Can't wait to hear from you!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Random thoughts

Anyone want a Tahoe? Joe & I are trying to sell my car. I love it, but in the interest if saving money (gas!!!), we are opting for a different car for me. What? I am not sure yet. It will be my in-between car before the next real car I get. Does that make sense? :-)
Weird as it sounds (to me anyway!), I am leaning towards a mini-van. I NEVER thought I'd say that, but it sounds sooo nice to me to put my kids in the car without climbing in. PLus, all the other features mini-van lovers brag about. My sister-in-law Michelle loves mini-vans. My friend Ashley sent me info regarding safety and stuff recently...very interesting!
Anyway, one week from now, my sister will be a married woman! I get a little choked up thinking about my lil sis married. The skinny little girl that I know so well...jeanya, jen-jen, JB. I remember our childhood growing up. She was my playmate, my friend, my bratty little sister sometimes, I remember getting grounded for hitting her with a stick and then hiding in the neighbor's car. I remember her climbing out onto the roof from her 2nd story bedroom and our neighbor Brad saying, "I must be dreaming. jenny is on the roof!" That was Jenny!
Now she is a beautiful woman, inside and out, with a heart for art, dogs, dance, kids (especially her nephews), and Justin, her fiance. Congrats, jen!!!!!!
We have a new radio station here that sounds like a mixed tape to me. No commercials, just random songs. I think I heard Dancing Queen, some Police, some 80's, Seal, Bonnie Raitt, Weezer on there this afternoon...random, huh? I love it! I was the queen of mixed tapes for our parties in college. I could make a tape that made everybody dance! We always had to have the dancing parties or start a dancing party wherever we went (O'Malleys, anyone?). I miss those dancing days. Is it wrong for a mom to want to go out and dance one of these days??? Anyone interested???
Have a wonderful weekend! We have a birthday party to attend....Happy 2nd Birthday, Aiden!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Today was a a good day

Today was a busy, busy, busy day...I like it that way. I feel productive and energetic, more so than being home. When I am busy, it's easier to stay on a roll, coming right home, vacuuming, organizing (still trying to organize 6 months after we have moved in!).
We started with MOPS this morning. What a fun time, moms socializing and the kiddos playing. I am really enjoying it and meeting some neat people. One of the gals at my table does extreme room makeovers for kids rooms. I can send anyone her website if you are interested. I am trying to figure out to set up links here so you can see the sites I am drooling over. :-) Start with www.twopeasinabucket. Fun!
Anyway, then it was off to school. I am actually enjoying my 5th graders. I think it was a good change for me. The kids are great and for the most part are pretty independent. My teaching partner is awesome! She is soo organized and I am learning a lot from her! Thanks, Amber!
Then, off for a few errands and my parents came over for dinner. It's great being so close to them. I love seeing how happy Spence is to see his grandparents. He gets so excited when he sees their cars or them walking up the sidewalk. Today he ran to Home Depot with Grandma and of course, conned her out of some cookies. He has the biggest sweet tooth! Where does he get that?
Oh, he did the funniest thing the other day. He got out this cardboard box book holder that looks like a tool box and his sungalasses and started for the front door. "Bye, honey! I go to work!" he says to me. I wave. He gets almost to the door, stops, looks back and says, "Caca?" (His version of coffee!) I give him a cup of water and he sips it gently and replies, "Oooh, hot!" He is a riot! SOOOO dramatic, like his daddy at that age. I think we may have a future actor on our hands. Aunt Steph, you need to open up your kids theatre in Merced!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

My boys

Can't believe how fast the boys are growing...blink and Spencer is 2 and almost 2 1/2...He's real good at it, too...moves a mile a minute, shows excitement in all he does, sooo affectionate, love those grubby little kisses...but yesterday he was my tiny little baby coming home from the hospital.
Cooper is 16 weeks. How can it be I gave birth 16 weeks ago? How can it also be that he has only been with us for that long? It seems like he has always been with us. He is getting to be more social now, with lots of great smiles and cooing. He is such a funny baby...he LOVES diaper changes. He actually smiles and even laughs when I change his diaper. He is so ticklish, too, because he laughs when I change his clothes. Awww, love my easygoing baby!
I love being a mom to my boys. Some days I feel done, it's hard work taking them out, getting them ready for daycare. But other days, i think I could handle another one, a tiny little baby..Cooper is already wearing 6 month clothes, so my tiny baby days are over! Hmmm...only time will tell. God has a plan for us, I know.

Monday, October 03, 2005


OK, so I have been having a lot of fun reading blogs that I decided to start my own. I am not sure who will be reading it, but here goes...
it's October 3, 2005. My sister is getting married next week! My lil sister! Wow! I can't wait to see her. I know she'll be a beautiful bride. It's in San Diego and I am sooo excited to go down there with the family. Coop gets to meet great-grandpa for the first time and see the beach. Spence asks to go to the beach all the time, so he gets his wish.
We're also sneaking in a Disneyland Trip. We'll see how exhausted we are by the end of the half week we are this too crazy???