Sunday, December 28, 2014

December - It's The Most Busy Time Of The Year!

December!  This month is always crazy for us!  Our anniversary, Aaron's birthday, Christmas and now that Aaron's in school - TONS of school activities!  But, I think we did ok with all the stuff thrown our way this month.  

Besides having a school holiday party, Aaron was in his first school performance!  The kindergarten classes sang Christmas songs together in the auditorium for parents & family.  It was so adorable!  And he was so excited about it, which of course was the best part!

This year Aaron also turned 6 (OMGIHAVEASIXYEAROLD) and we had a Lego themed birthday for him.  Legos are a new found enjoyment for him and he loved the Lego Movie so I went back to the same bakery that we got Elizabeth's cake at and ordered him a cake shaped like a Lego block in green (his favorite color).  Side note: you'd be surprised at how hard it is to find Lego party supplies!  Hello party people!  Legos are year round fun!

Aaron got Legos of course and a Lego t-shirt and sweatshirt that he loved.  His tia Eva sent him a Hot Wheels toy he'd been asking for and his Gramma & Grandpa Weigel sent him birthday money!  I asked my parents to help send him to the East Bay SPCA Winter Camp so for the two days after his birthday Aaron got to spend time learning about animals at a local animal shelter!  He absolutely loved it and came home happy and excited both days!  It's something I'm hoping to continue in the Summer.  One of the best things about his birthday though?  His tia Eva got to sing Happy Birthday to him with the rest of us all the way from Costa Rica via Facetime!  (Thank you Steve Jobs!)

And then there was Christmas.  This was our first Christmas where it was just the four of us.  It didn't really *feel* like Christmas leading up to it.  But we got the tree, we decorated it.  We didn't really put much else up though.  And we didn't get to go see lights because we're down to one car right now (the other car needs some fixin') so Josh takes mine to work at night.  Then 2 days before Christmas I realized that this would be the first time in my 36 years that I would not be spending Christmas with my parents & sisters.  I might have been a little emotional about it.  But I talked to Josh and and I know that it was bound to happen.  I guess just the sudden realization of it caught me off guard.  I always thought I'd have a village to raise my children in, but I guess my villagers are all long distance and that's ok.

We had a good Christmas though!  After me working so hard on Thanksgiving dinner (which was redic because there are only 2 adults and then 2 picky kids which meant TONS of left overs that didn't all get eaten) I decided to go an easier route for Christmas dinner.  We ordered tamales that I picked up for Christmas Eve and for Christmas Day I made a one pot meal (whole chicken, carrots & potatoes).  We took the holiday easy and we tried (ok, I tried - Josh just kept shopping) to keep the kids gifts to a minimum.  We are forever on a budget, but also I don't want them to think Christmas is all about getting tons of gifts.  We did get Aaron everything on his list though between his birthday and Christmas.  Elizabeth is really too young to have a list but trust me, she got enough!

Christmas Eve they got to open their Christmas pajamas (matching Christmas elves!), they got Christmas cookies their dad ordered for them and fleece blankets that (I made) they gave to each other.  That night after the kids went to bed Josh wrapped all the gifts and put the kitchen together so the next morning we were all ready for them.  Elizabeth ran straight for her kitchen exclaiming "MY KITCHEN! MY KITCHEN!".  It was adorable.  We even got mini pots and pans for her.  She's always playing with mine when I cook and saying "Mommy!  I make!" so I knew we had to get her her own set.  She got a bunch of dolls from various cartoons and movies, clothes and a movie.  Aaron got board games, another Hot Wheels toy, movies, clothes, books and more Legos of course.

I do want to say this - I am very grateful for all our family that helps us make the kids' birthdays and holidays special.  All the gifts you send, the fact that you think to include them at all in your giving fills me with gratitude.  Sometimes Josh and I think we aren't doing enough all by ourselves but then we'll receive a note or gift for them and I remember they have other people out there for them too.  So thank you.  You are truly appreciated.  

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas/Holiday Season!!  And that 2015 brings you the best of everything!


~The Herrings

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Costumes, Candy & Cake

Princess Elizabeth Grace turns 2!
Elizabeth Grace turned 2!  I can't believe how fast time flies!  She's the spunkiest little princess around!  Since Elizabeth loves the movie Frozen we had a Frozen themed "party".  It's just us 4 so... not so much a party, but it did include pizza cake and presents!  Tia Eva bought Elizabeth a Princess Anna dress to wear on her birthday and she loved it!  After Aaron got out of school, we all went for pizza (one of her favorites) and then home for a yummy Frozen cake and presents!  

Frozen themed confetti cake
Besides her adorable dress, she got a pop up play tent and Anna & Elsa dolls.  Her grandparents Coblentz & tias sent her more Disney princess dolls & her grandparents Weigel sent money for new pjs & clothes!  (Which she totally needs because even though we get awesome hand-me-downs from my friends and cousin, we somehow got totally skipped over for size 3!  And her size 2 pants are getting a little bit too tight!!)  

Jumping right from her birthday celebration into Halloween prep - we went to the pumpkin patch one weekend and spent the day there having fun and picking out way too many pumpkins.  But bonus, they look awesome on my porch and since Aaron didn't want to carve them, I can leave them up through Thanksgiving (assuming they last)!  

Months ago we had asked Aaron what he wanted to be for Halloween and he choose Peter Pan and he wanted us all to go as Pan characters.  So we ordered Peter Pan and Tinkerbell costumes from the Disney Store and Captain Hook and Wendy costumes from Amazon.  You'd be amazed at how hard it is to find a stinkin' Wendy Darling costume!  OMG.  I only found one (literally) and it came in a "one size fits all" so of course I was nervous about ordering it.  Not to mention it didn't even completely look like Wendy's nightgown!  But we didn't want to disappoint the kids so it was what it was, right?  

I even taught him the Peter Pan stance!
Captain Hook!
 Tinkerbell is taking off!
The kids had so much fun.  Aaron got to wear his costume all day at school and was in a Halloween parade which we all went to to watch him!  Then family fun trick or treating!  The kids had so much fun and one of the neighbors even had a band in their garage so at the end of the night we all hung out and danced for a little bit.  Then we let Aaron pick out a few pieces of candy he wanted to keep and the rest went to Josh's work.

And now that it's officially turkey season, we're thinking about our very first Thanksgiving by ourselves.  And beyond that Aaron's birthday and Christmas loom in the back of our minds.  The weather is finally starting to get a bit cooler, especially during the evening but today was the first day I walked outside and it actually felt like Fall.  I'm hoping it cools down for the rest of late autumn before Thanksgiving!  

Hope you all had a ghoulishly fantastic Halloween!  Hugs from the Herrings. 



Friday, October 17, 2014

The Older They Get

Today we had Aaron's parent teacher conference and we are very proud to say that according to his teacher he is very bright and is well ahead of where he needs to be.  Aaron knows all of his letters (both upper and lower case), numbers 0-30 and during the  the test he knew 47 out of 50 site words.  But I called him over during the meeting and asked him to read me the three words he missed during the test and he got two out of the three!  So basically he knows 49 out of the 50!  Woot!  The one "academic" thing he does need to work on is his penmanship.  

After we were done meeting with his teacher we left the classroom and some of the other kids were standing in line waiting to come in (school was just beginning).  Aaron walked out to get in line and put his backpack up.  One of the little girls in his class said "Oooh Aaron!  How'd you get in the class already?"  Well, Elizabeth was having NONE of that and ran after him yelling at the girl "HEY!  That's MY Baby!" (She calls him Baby).  LOL!  I guess she doesn't like other girls talking to her big brother!  I'm pretty sure she's going to be saying in high school "Listen Skank!  That's MY brother!  You better stay away from him or ELSE!"   Hahaha!  Then after we left Aaron in the class to start school we were walking back to the car and Josh was carrying her and I swear to God she was giving some other little girl the stink eye on the way to the parking lot!  Josh and I were cracking up the whole way.  

Back to the whole Baby thing - Elizabeth calls Aaron "Baby".  She won't even attempt to say Aaron!  She says so many other names!  Besides mama & dada she says Elsa, Anna, Sophia ('Phia), Gamma (Grandma), tia, Sam & even Malcolm!  But no Aaron.  Poor Aaron.  He doesn't seem to mind though.  

Elizabeth was still using her binky up until about 2 weeks ago when I finally decided to see if he would notice if I didn't.  I was just really giving it to her for nap and sleep but she started wanting it more again so one day after she woke up I just put it out of site and she never asked for it.  I put her to bed without it and it went really well for the first two days.  After that she would ask for it once in awhile but I'd quickly change the subject and that seems to work so far.  Yesterday was the first time she asked for it and kinda cried about it when I would give it to her.  I just told her I didn't know where it was!  Eventually she got over it but then she asked for it again today.  No fit, but still.  I'm waiting for the day she doesn't mention it.  Until then, I'm hiding them instead of throwing them away.  

Her birthday is next week and we're doing a Frozen theme of course.  The only other thing she likes as much is Sophia the First, but that's a more recent like.  We've ordered the cake and since we don't have family or friends close enough to invite to a party, we're just going to have cake and presents for us four.  I'm not sure if we will go out to eat (she loves pizza) or if we'll do it at home.  Either way I'm sure she'll enjoy it!  As long as she gets her CAKE!  

Hope you're all doing well!  Until next time!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Welcome Autumn!

Autumn!  It's officially here and I love it!  Now if only it felt more like autumn I think we'd all be happy!

Aaron's First Day of Kindergarten
Aaron had his first day of Kindergarten about 2 weeks ago at his new school in Livermore.  I think everyone was excited about that!  We've gone to back to school, met his teacher and even bought a school shirt for Spirit Days!  We bought him a new Jake & The Neverland Pirates backpack and lunchbox which he loves.  I think he must be liking it because I'm definitely not hearing as many complaints about going to school like I did in Sacramento.  

I also bought Aaron a small desk for his room at IKEA so he'll have a space to do homework and artwork.  It's white with a green accent drawer, which is is favorite color.  Now I just have to find a cute chair!

He still loves to read (we're currently reading a new chapter book about a zombie goldfish) and he loves animals of all types and he wants to be a veterinarian when he grows up!
Elizabeth Grace
Elizabeth will be 2 years old next month and just had her check up today.  She's 31 lbs and 2' 10.5" tall.  At Aaron's 2 year check up he weighed 2 lbs more and was 1.5" shorter.  So they're not too far off from each other!  

Elizabeth is currently between a 2-3T in clothes but at this point I am buying nothing smaller than a size 3.  She's still in diapers but has recently started to tear off her wet diapers and throw them in the trash can (all on her own!) so I think potty training is just around the corner.  

She definitely has a vocabulary though it is smaller than Aaron's at this age.  But she's saying more and more everyday!  Her favorite saying is "HEY NO!  THAT'S MYYYYYYY BOOK/TOY/MILK (etc)".  Today at the doctor's office though, was the first time she's ever introduced herself to someone!!  It was so cute!  She walked up to the doctor, pointed to herself and said "BUBBA"!  It was the cutest thing EVAH.  

Elizabeth is a fearless, feisty little girl.  She climbs everything, she tells pretty much everyone off and she will even haul off and close-fist punch her brother when he's bothering her.  At first, I couldn't stop laughing about it but now that it's happened several times I'm having to tell her that it's not right.  If her personality stays this way, I don't think we'll have to worry too much about her being bullied!  LOL!  Hopefully not anyway!  

Both kids are doing well and very happy to be under the same roof as their dad again.  We all are!  And we've had so many visitors at this house - it's been wonderful!  We are enjoying Livermore, still exploring, but definitely have found a few favorite spots.  Personally, I'm looking forward to my first autumn here.  With all the farms and vineyards and family activities in the area, I think this fall will be fantastic!

We hope yours will be too!  


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Confidence is...

We've all had times in our lives when we were unhappy, uncomfortable or just too darn hard on ourselves. Sometimes the reasons are physical, sometimes emotional and sometimes they're about our surroundings. 

But with experience, time and age we gain insight and knowledge. We begin to see that we are in control of our physical and emotional self and that we CAN control our surroundings. 

At some point in my late 20's I realized I was unhappy with myself physically and I set out to change that. I joined Weight Watchers and after almost a year I lost 30 lbs. reaching my goal weight.  I was the thinnest I had ever been and felt super awesome about it. I finally felt sexy. Something I had never experienced!  There was plenty to be happy about with my hot bod, new condo and awesome job but I still felt ....... discontent.

Something in my life was still making me uncomfortable and unhappy. 

I had "friends" but still felt lonely. I had a friend who was a user, another who was a shit talker and pot stirrer, a few that were really just friends of friends and every single one of them was fake. 

Eventually, as things tend to do, it all came to a head, emails were sent to me by mistake, words were said and "friends" were lost. I felt like I was wronged and betrayed and was hurt for a long time.  But with experience, time and age..... I now see that it was a good thing that I got those toxic people out of my life. And I just don't care! I don't care what they think of me. I don't care that they aren't part of my life. I doubt they're even part of each other's lives anymore. 

I don't care that I only have a small handful of real, long-term friends. It's a good thing! I feel more full now with my life than I did with a bunch of fake people. 

I know who I am and all the wonderful things I have to offer. I know that I'm a great friend and most importantly I know I'm enough. That's what confidence is. Knowledge that I am enough just the way I am no matter what size I am or how many friends I have.

What brought this out of the ordinary post on you may be asking?  There's no talk about babies, potty training or Frozen!  Well, the answer is the fabulous Brittany Gibbons. You can check out her Ted talk, her Facebook and her blog where you'll find a bunch of other curvy, confident women. 

Be Confident Ladies. You're fantastic just the way you are. 

“I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone.”
- Robin Williams as Lance Clayton in World’s Greatest Dad (2009)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Living in Livermore

We are now officially residents of Livermore! I am super excited to get out and explore this town. So far I can tell you that I love our space (even though it's still a mess of boxes), I love that we're surrounded by rolling hills, I love that there is compost curbside pickup, that I can see the windmills from our street,  that our walkways are surrounded by awesome landscaping, that there is a park playground in walking distance, that there is a 24 hour Safeway, that downtown Livermore is so freakin' awesome and that there seem to be tons of family oriented activities all over the East Bay Area! Not to mention that San Francisco and Monterey Bay are that much closer to us now. Like I said, I can't wait to get out and explore! 

We (and by that I mean I, because who are we kidding here?) haven't gotten as much done as I wanted to by this time because I got friggin' pink eye! And then Elizabeth got it of course. At first it was just a scratch that got infected in my eye, but somehow that turned into pink eye and I was washing my hands raw and washing sheets and towels everyday but Elizabeth still got it and then my other eye got it too. And let me tell you, it was awful. Just a few days ago I really started to feel myself again. Thankfully Elizabeth got over it much more quickly. 

Josh finally went to the doctor for his bad back and had his first PT appointment today.  Hopefully this is something PT can help! 

Elizabeth and Aaron are adjusting well to they're new surroundings and I was a bit freaked out about having stairs but they've both been really good about it. I mean, Elizabeth climbs absolutely everything now so she took the stairs head on. It's a good and not so good thing. I am glad she has the confidence to do these types of things (Aaron still doesn't) but just because the confidence is there doesn't mean she's got the coordination. I definitely have to get a gate for the top of the stairs. 

Aaron likes that we have cable again (LOL) and he loves his new bed and the big window in his room. And I know he enjoys the little pathways around our house as much as I do. 
I have a good feeling about Livermore and this move. This is right for us, I just know it! 

As we explore I'll be posting more pictures on Facebook and Instagram so check me out there! 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

On The Move

Easter 2014
Well, we finally did it!  We found a place and now we're on the move!  These next 2 weeks are going to be crazy but we're packing and arranging and getting rid of things.  After months and months and months of looking - of Josh spending the week in Fremont and sleeping in his car - of our family not being together except for 1.5 days on the weekend, we are finally going to be together again!  I can't wait for this move to be over!

Our new hometown will be the city of Livermore, CA.  We found a townhome that is only about 30 minutes away from Tesla (Josh's work) so his commute won't be horrible and we get to see him everyday!  Once we get settled in I promise to post some pictures!  

Aaron is super excited and asks me "can we just move today?".  He misses his dad so much.  And even Elizabeth asks for him everyday.  Aaron will not completely finish school with his class since we are moving at the end of the month, but I'm already looking into the two elementary schools in the area for Kindergarten next year!  

Please wish us luck and send us good vibes because moving sucks and I need to stay positive!  

I hope you all had a good Easter/Passover and a great Mother's Day!  More to come after the move!