Thursday, April 29, 2010

Celebrate with Cakes

Avery's 9th birthday was celebrated with her three best friends:  Emily, Gracynn and Jenna.  She had a sleepover, and that is always fun for girls.  I remember every year when I was a girl that was the highlihgt of my year -- my annual sleepover on my birthday.  In addition to a sleepover, Avery usually has a "theme" for her parties.  One year it was a "Swirls" party, where I took all the girls to make their own frozen yogurt sundaes at our local frozen yogurt shoppe (which happens to be called Swirls) and another year it was a scrapbook party where each girl made her own scrapbook page.  This year she wanted her theme to be CAKES.  Not only was I to make her a special cake for her birthday.....
but she wanted her and all her friends to make cakes, too.  So, I baked mini-cakes using some of my smaller cake pans.  Then I mixed up 4 difference color frostings and put each color into a separate cake bag with a decorative tip....and I let them go to town just having fun decorating their own cakes.

After it was all said and done, I think they were pretty proud of their cakes!  They did a great job.  Because we ate the cake that I made during the party, the girls took their cakes home the next day to share with their families.  I'm sure their siblings loved that!
Aria helped me with the clean up mess afterwards.....
It's always nice to have a little helper in the kitchen!
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Monday, April 26, 2010

Time Out!

The other day Aria was throwing a fit over something while I was doing the dishes.  Just tugging at my leg, whining and yelling up a storm because she didn't get her way.  I told her, "If you don't stop, I'm going to put you in TIME OUT!"  and then she surprised me by walking off, out of the kitchen...and when I went to see where she went, this is what I found:
She had put herself into the TIME OUT corner!  She had never been put into the TIME OUT corner before, but she has seen her siblings in there many times, so she knew what to do.  I was laughing so hard.  She heard me laughing and turned around to see what was so funny....

She just cracks me up.  Everyday she does or says at least a dozen things that are funny.  Probably more.  She is my Leo baby, and I just wonder what's in store for me.  I've never had  Leo before, but my sister is a Leo and my oldest and best friend Patsy is a Leo, and those two are about the funniest people that I know.  A sense of humor, that is.  Always making me laugh.  I think Aria is going to be just like them.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010


Last Monday was Audriana's Confirmation.  For those of you who are not familiar with the Catholic faith, this is when a person "confirms" his or her commitment to being a Catholic.  As infants, we are baptized into the faith...then as children we attend our religious instruction for years and years ( commonly known as CCD classes)  and then as teenagers we have a choice to take that final step of Confirmation --our adult decision to be a Catholic. 

I remember when I was a teenager, my mother told me it was completely my decision to be confirmed.  I remember thinking.....really?  I can choose?  Cool!  I don't know why I thought that, but I did.  I guess I liked not having to be told it was something that I HAD to do. Up until that time, I HAD to go to church every Sunday. I HAD to attend my CCD classes every Saturday at 9am when I'd rather sleep in.  Everything in my Catholic life up until that point was a HAVE TO situation.  So, knowing that I had a choice to receive this sacrement-- or not -- was a good feeling.  In the end, of course, I decided to go through that final step and had my Confirmation.

So last Monday, I was a proud mommy when I got to witness my daughter receiving the Sacrement of Confirmation.  We were not allowed to take photos during the ceremony, but here are a few photos that we took afterwards.

  Audriana chose my mother, her Grandmother Barbara, to be her sponsor through her Confirmation program.  A sponsor is your spiritual counselor during the entire two-year program, she stands behind you with her hand on your right shoulder as the Bishop annoints your forehead during the Confirmation ceremony.

This is me and Shannon, who is Audriana's best friend.  Shannon also received her Confirmation on Monday, and I was Shannon's sponsor. 

Audriana and the Bishop who confirmed her.

Audriana and Mommy!

The morning of the Confirmation, as I was preparing our house for the party we were having  after the ceremony, I suddenly remembered that I had forgotton to order a cake!  What an awful feeling!  I wanted a special cake with both girls' names on it, and I knew that I would disapoint everyone (most of all myself) if there was not a pretty cake at the party.  There was no way I could get a Bakery to special order a cake for that very same day.  Ugh, I was so upset.  So my fix?  I made one myself!  I used a rectangular cake pan and then cut the cake down the center in equal parts, then pieced them together to make a cross.  Then I made butter cream icing, added food coloring, got out my old cake decorating bags with the tips, and this is the result.  Not too bad for a last minute cake, huh?

Audriana and Shannon decided to jointly cut the cake!

Aria in her pretty outfit :)

Best Friends on their Confirmation Day

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Cuteness

Okay, this picture just cracks me up.  It is just one of those photos.  You know the kind.  The kind that tells it's own story just by the "things" that are in it.  A story that is in your memories, as you look back on the picture years from this day and you start to remember....

how at 19 months old she puts her older sister's flip-flops on and flip-flaps around the house, and then for some reason takes one off and walks with it in her hand, and so instead of hearing flip flap flip flap flip flap you suddenly hear flap ___ flap___ flap___ flap___ flap. 

and in those flip flops she's sport'n the painted toes.  Blue, of course.  Because who painted them?  Her 14 year old sister. And you remember how this 19 month old says "Mom. Toes!" and points to her pretty painted toes so you can admire them.

And the Sippy Cup.    You remember how she calls it her "Ba Ba" which is so funny because ba ba is usually the name given to a bottle, and she has never had a bottle in her life. 

And the hat.  The baseball cap of one of her brothers.  The one she takes off his head while he is lying  on the floor watching tv, and she runs with it,  and he pretends that he cares and chases after her  (he would care if it were anyone else but the baby!)  and she squeals in delight at the fact that her big brother is trying to catch her! (and just how does she run so fast while wearing those huge flip-flops?) And when her brother catches her, instead of taking the hat back, he puts it on her head -- backwards, of course, because it looks "cooler" that way -- and then he says "Go show Mommy!" 

and she walks around the house flap___flap___flap___ looking for me, saying "Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom." until I say, "I'm in here, TuTu..."  (because that's what I call her sometimes)  and she flap flap flaps up to me and says, "Mom. Hat."  and I say, "Ohhhhh!  Look at the pretty girl!!!"  and quickly go grab my camera so that I can capture the moment.  And then I say, "Go show Sissy!".

and she will flap___flap___flap___ down the hallway to show one of her sisters her cuteness.  And that's really what this post is about. Capturing the cuteness of an ordinary day.    These are the days that I never, ever want to forget.  And photos like this one help me to remember :)

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What's He Saying? (a quiz for you!)

Let's play a game.

In this photo, Tony ( a new teen driver ) is attempting to pull the car out of a parked parrallel position
while his father (who is not known for his patience and understanding) is motioning and yelling something at him. 

Now, take a good look at the photo:

What is good old dad yelling to Tony in this photo?

1) Hey, wait for me! I want to come, too!

2) You have about THIS much space, keep going until I say STOP....."


3) What the HECK are you doing?  You want to HIT the van? STOP! STOP!"

The answer....believe it or #2.

I know, it looks more like it would be the third option.  But nope, he was just letting Tony know that he could back up more, that he had plenty of room.  See it in the photo above?  You can't see it well, but there's a smile on his face. He was actually NOT stressing out at his teenage driver.  How about that!  Very out of character for him.  Which is why I took the picture.  Gotta document these rare occurances when you can, you know!
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Look, Ma! No training wheels!

This is Andrew.  He's a pretty cool dude.  He is only three years old but he thinks he's about five.  Last week he said to me, "Mommy, I want to ride a bike."  so I pointed to his little bike with the training wheels and told him to go get his shoes on first.  He shook his head and said, "No, Mommy.  A real bike.  Like Alex and A.J."

He meant one without training wheels. 

What? I thought.  You're only three!  But, far be it from me to tell one of my kids that they can't succeed in something, right?  So....out to the front yard we went. 

First, I made him gear up.  Helmet and gloves, you know, just to be safe!

Then Rich put Andrew on one of his brothers' bikes, gave him a push.....and off he went!

Rich wet the cement down, you know, to give Andrew that extra challenge! (kidding!) Actually, Rich had just finished hosing down before we knew he wanted to ride.  I was a bit worried about him slipping on the wet ground, but he didn't have a problem with it one bit.

Vroooooooom!  Andrew goes speeding by!

We were all very excited for Andrew!  He is definitely the youngest of our kids to ride a two wheel bike without the training wheels.  I believe he's going to be a BMX racer like his daddy and all his older brothers!

A very proud boy, posing for a photo op!
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Happy Birthdays

We have two birthdays in the month of April.   Tony's is on the 13th, and Avery's is on the 14th.  They are exactly ten years apart.  I remember I went into labor with Avery on Tony's 10th birthday.  It was while singing "Happy Birthday" to him that I felt my first labor pain.  That was right around 6pm, if I remember correctly.  I remember hoping that the baby would be born after midnight so that the two of them would always have their own special day and not have to share birthdays.  Sure enough, Avery was born 11 minutes after midnight :)

This year Tony turned 19 years old.  Last year's birthday was a wake-up call for me because he was an "adult" at 18.  Well, that quickly wore off when I realized that 18 is simply a number, and he hadn't changed much, lol.  This year?  Well.... nineteen is a year older than 18.  And mostly he's still the same.  The only thing that has really changed is that this year it wasn't me -- mommy-- who made his birthday cake, like all the years before.  Nope.  I was replaced.  His girl friend, Mariela, made his birthday cake this year.  I was like WHAT??!!  I'm not making your cake?  Okay, really it didn't bug me all that much.  One less thing for me to do that day.  But nonetheless, it stands out now as a memory for me of a sure sign that my boy is growing up.  One day -- not soon, mind you --he will have a wife.  And I will have to learn to share.  So might as well start practicing now.

Tony and Mariela
In all fairness, he did ask me first.  He said, "Mom...Mariela really wants to make me a birthday cake.  Do you mind?"   So cute that he asked :)  

Okay, sniff-sniff -- he's getting older.
Let's move onto Avery's day.....

Now, little Miss Avery turned nine years old this year.  I told her, "Hey... you know that half your childhood is over?"  and she said, "What do you mean?" and I said, "Well, you are an adult at 18, and 9 is half of 18, so you have already lived half of your childhood." and she thought about that for a quick second, then started smiling and clapping her hands together in celebration.  (so different from Alex's reaction!  I told him the same exact thing when he turned 9 and he started crying!  Such different personalities!)

Avery's cake.  Okay, funny thing, but I didn't make this one, either.  This is the one that Afton made on Avery's birthday.  I made the one that she had this past Saturday at her birthday party.  It still counts, on her exact birthday or her birthday party -- just so long as I make a cake!

She's holding up the birthday card I made her :)

So then, these two are my April babies.  Ten years apart, but close as can be.  We still have never done the double birthday parties for them, you know how you pick one day to celebrate both.  So far we have always managed to keep them separate on their own special day. day in the future...when they are both older, perhaps have moved out of the house, or maybe in another town where we all can't get together that often anymore, we will more than likely gather on one day and have one cake with both their names on it, and sing Happy Birthday to the both of them at the same time.  Because, you know, that's how it gets as time goes on and family moves out of the house.  You start doubling up on the celebrations on the days you can manage to get everyone together.

The thought of that makes me appreciate these days, this stage and time in my life, where all of my children are living in my house.  What a nice feeling that is!  I cherish it.  I really do. 
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Just a Pet

My horse Shay -- aka Shayboy, aka Shay-Shay. On Monday he will be six years old. I got him when he was just 12 months old -- he was soooo darn cute at 12 months old. Just a bitty little thing who would follow me around everywhere. He's much bigger now. Much! Although because he's an Arabian, he's not too tall. And I'm really tall. I always say that when I finally ride him, my feet are going to drag on the floor.

That's right.  I have never riden my horse after owning him for five years.  I can't ride him because he is too green (has only been under saddle for about 3 months) and so he's not safe for me to ride. But my trainer rides him, and she tells me that he is coming along just fine. So I am hoping that by the end of this summer I *might be able to get on him. To tell you the truth, I'm a bit nervous! See, I'm not that good of a rider. So for me -- someone who doesn't know what she's doing -- to get on a horse who doesn't really know what he's doing, either....well, let's just say that's not the best combination. And at this stage in my life, do I really want to fall off or be thrown from a horse?  No, I don't think I do.

Hmmmmm. That's something to think about. I could break something! Yikes!  What did I sign myself up for?

But what am I supposed to do? Never ride him? Rich says that's crazy...what did you buy a horse for if not to ride him? For a pet? (Yes! That was the idea. I wanted a pet horse. Do I actually have to ride him, too?)

Me & Shay 2009

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Monday, April 12, 2010


Yep, that's me and Jerry Seinfeld.  This picture was taken either in 1991 or 1992.  Rich was working some awards ceremony in Pasadena, and invited me to the rehearsal.  I stood backstage and watched all the stars practice their speeches.  The two people who were hosting it were Alan Thick and Jerry Seinfeld. 

Now, growing up in the 80's, I knew Alan Thick as the father in my favorite sitcom Growing Pains and I wanted to get my picture with him.  So I stood there with Rich on the side of the stage as Alan and Jerry practiced their lines.  Jerry kept looking over at us.  I was worried that he would think I was waiting for him instead of Alan Thick.  I kept saying to Rich, "Why does that comedian-guy keep looking over at us? Should we not be here?"  and Rich kept assuring me that we were fine standing where we were. 

At the time, Jerry's show Seinfeld was something that I had heard of but never took the time to watch.  So I was not a fan.  And the last thing I wanted was a picture with Jerry.  So when Jerry started walking over toward us, I said to Rich, "Oh no....I think he thinks that I want a picture with him instead of Alan!"  Sure enough, he came over and said to me, "Hi there!" and he started to make some small talk with me and Rich, and just to be polite I said, "Will you take a picture with me?"  and he said, "Sure!"  and so the above photo was snapped.  Rich told me later that he didn't like the guy.  He said he was totally flirting with me (which to tell the truth I didn't pick up on that)  but Rich thought that he had some nerve when it was obvious that I was Rich's girl friend.  I had to point out that "no, it really wasn't that obvious...since you were standing there in your uniform.  Maybe he thought that I worked there, like you, and the two  of us were just standing around?"    Who knows. I tried to give Jerry the benefit of the doubt...but to this day, Rich holds a grudge against Jerry for trying to steal me away from him.  

Jerry! (you gotta say it like Jerry says "Newman!" -- you know, teeth clenched, hand in a fist)

I never did get a photo with Alan Thick.  Turns out he wasn't very friendly at all.  But now, I'm really glad to have this photo with Jerry.   Seinfeld is one of my top five favorite sitcomes of all time.  I have the DVD collection and watch the reruns on tv all the time.  I never get tired of them :)
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