Monday, December 13, 2010

Our Holiday Card

Plaid Christmas
Create modern Christmas photo cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Are we ready for Kinder?

As we quickly approach the holiday season, my mind is feeling a bit scattered. Between Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas stockings, I’m feeling the pressure to choose the right school for my daughter. Four years ago, I had barely conquered nursing and was still battling sleepless nights. Time has gone by too quickly. My conversations with other moms at the playground have dramatically changed. My discussions about sippy cups and potty training have now turned to her preschool’s philosophy and where she will attend kindergarten. Everyone has different opinions and views, and the more I hear, the more confused I get. Most parents seem set on their decision, as they have grown up in Petaluma and are very familiar with all the schools.

My daughter will turn five next September, a few weeks after she begins kinder garten. In my home state of Arizona, she missed the cut off (September 1) to start next year by a few days. A year ago, I was weighing the pros and cons of having her start early. I was determined to find a way to make it happen. It seemed unfair to me that she would be a class behind all of her friends. But as the months kept passing, my mind started to change. I strongly felt that she was academically ready, but I began to question her social skills and maturity. My mind was filled with questions, “Do I want her to be the youngest in her class? Do I want her to be the oldest?” Thoughts of her being a follower and being easily influenced began to worry me. I imagined my daughter doing things she was not supposed to and surrounded by teenage boys that were one year older. But I wondered if she would be challenged academically if I stuck to the rules. And so that’s when my research began. I had decided on a charter school that made exceptions to the September 1 rule; but then we moved states, and I was back to square one.

The stress of our relocation took over and researching schools in our new city fell to the back burner. I felt relieved though. I thought I had more time to make such an important decision. I started thinking her confidence level was a bit more important. Everyone learns to read, add and subtract, but not everyone has an easy time making friends or initiating conversation. Yes, she knows all her colors, can count to 100, and is starting to read, but her confidence level is not there yet. The selfishness in me began to get excited to have her home another year. This meant our routine activities such as play dates, ballet, gymnastics and story time at the library would not come to an end just yet. Then, I learned that California has different rules. For now, the cut off to start kindergarten is December 1 and there is a lot of talk of how that will soon change. No wonder most moms I meet ask the big question right after they ask her age. “What school will she be going to?”

Since I did not grow up in Petaluma, it has been helpful to hear everyone’s opinions. There are public and private schools, Montessori and Waldorf as well as charter schools. Little did I know that Petaluma offered so many choices. So many school districts and parents actually have a say and can request a transfer to the school of their choice. I have been doing my research and talking to parents. Some, like me, feel strongly about a school that is academically based and has the standardized test scores to prove it. While a little voice inside of me wonders, don’t all schools focus on academics? Others disagree and worry that such a rigorous environment is too much pressure on children. My parents sent me to the neighborhood public school walking distance from our house, while my younger sister only attended a few years before she was enrolled in a private school. Maybe things were simpler back then or parents are now more involved. Since I know private school is out of our budget right now, the pressure to find a good public school is on. Thankfully, many resources are now available. Not too long ago, I discovered on-line tools such as with a ton of useful information to help my decision. I want what every parent wants. I want it all. I want her to be at a good school full of diversity and enrichment programs. I want qualified teachers who will assess where she is at and challenge her every day. I want the school to value and encourage parental involvement. I want her love of learning to grow, for her to like school, but, most importantly, I want her to be happy at the school we decide on. I have narrowed it down to a few schools but my decision will not be final until early spring when I visit each campus. Then, I will go with my mother intuition and what my gut tells me and hope the school is the perfect fit for her.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday!

Four years ago today....

Happy 4th Birthday Isabella Maria!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Stinson Beach

A few weekends ago, we visited Stinson Beach in Northern California!
We were on the sand for only a few minutes...Jelly Belly and I were cold!
We can't hide the fact that we are from AZ!

Join in on the fun!

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Zeum: San Francisco's Children's Museum was one of the very first places we visited in the city.
We took advantage of free admission one weekend and we were lucky to get in since we arrived so late in the day.
This museum is a hands-on, multimedia arts and technology experience for kids.
Older kids can make a movie and/or music video that they can take home!

 Isabella had fun but she may enjoy it a bit more in a couple of years. 
Our favorite area was the Main Gallery targeted for kids her age.
She also enjoyed riding the The Zeum Carousel which is located in Yerba Buena Gardens.
We enjoyed the fresh air outside and the awesome playground.  Jelly Belly was brave to go down the big slides.  I have noticed such a difference in her after our move to California.  She is more willing to try new experiences and is not always glued to mama's leg!

Come back tomorrow...I will have pics of another fun place we have visited in the bay area!

Join in on the fun!

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sundays in my City: Our new church

Introducing our new church...
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Petaluma, California!

We have been in Petaluma for about 6 weeks now and are quickly adjusting.
Our Sundays will begin with the 9am mass (or 10:30am) followed by brunch at one of the many restaurants to choose from in Downtown Petaluma.
Very different than what we are used to in Arizona but we are loving every minute of it (especially the weather)!

Be sure to visit Unknonw Mami for

Unknown Mami
And get ready to travel the world!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Things are looking up...

This week was a lot better! Let's see how long it lasts. 
I am catching myself before I over react to certain things...
No reason to sweat the small things, right?
I am giving us more time to get out of the house and I am making it a point to have quality play time each day.  I think we went over a week without me raising my voice and when I did start to get frustrated or mad, she totally feeds off me.

We are adapting to our new house and our new city and new routines.  I feel Jelly Belly is even coming out of her shell a bit. 

A few months ago, she would have never agreed to this:

She walked right up and wanted it BEFORE the ice cream!!!

I am making such an effort to meet people that today I am feeling exhausted and missing friends and family.

Isabella has been talking a lot lately and it's a bit draining at times.  That is why I can't keep up with this blog.  I am so tired by the end of the day.  I don't know how some of you blog almost every day. 

We have been spending a lot of time outdoors and visiting new places in Northern California.  We have been to Mrs. Grossman Sticker Factory, Stinson Beach, Bay Area Discovery Museum, The Marine Mammal Center and the Aquarium of the Bay.

 I hope to soon share our experiences with you!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Where is my sweet Jelly Belly?

Motherhood has not been very fun lately.
To be honest, I have felt like running away from Jelly Belly more than once this past week.

Yep, I totally jinxed myself last week.  It was too good to be true.  Good behavior, what is that?

My child is possessed!

That's how I felt this morning, that is the text message I sent to my friend.

I called my husband, not knowing what to do.  I can't even describe it.
She has been screaming at me and it is getting worse!  Mostly, when she doesn't want to do something.

She was sent to her room, shortly after I woke her, even before the Lucky Charms. This is what I heard:

I don't like you.
It's not fair.
I don't want to be in my room.

It's not what she is saying that concerns me the most but how she says it. So much anger, and I have no idea where it is coming from.

I don't know what to do. I even considered looking for a full time job today.  Are we spending too much time together? What am I doing wrong.  Lots of questions, and no answers. 
This discipline crap is hard!

She ended up taking a nap today.  I ignored her for a bit and then found her asleep on the couch. She slept for 4 hours! Somebody was tired. 

Almost midnight and she is still awake!
Please let tomorrow be a better mommy day, you know the kind of day the you have never ending patience and love and manage to stay calm and cool....
The kind of day where yelling does not exist and mommy doubts don't enter your mind.

Please let it be a better mommy day!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Charlie Brown

We are having fun exploring our new surroundings! Last week, we visited the Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California
Every 4th Monday of the month, they offer children's activities in the morning. 
I am glad we took advantage of it before she started preschool.
It was a great deal....Her entrance fee was $5 and this allowed me and a friend to get in for free. 
Not bad! Regular admission is $10 per adult.
This included a story, and a few craft stations for the kids throughout the museum.

Jelly Belly didn't quite understand or appreciate everything that was on their walls but I did.
She had more fun posing with the statues and watching a Peanuts movie on our way out.
We enjoyed a nice lunch in the cafe at Snoopy's Home Ice Arena and had fun window shopping at the museum store.

We did have a "moment" when she realized that Mommy did not buy anything for her!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday at the Ranch

Late is better than never!
Happy 4th!

And happy 34th to me tomorrow!

Dog Town

Not sure why, but the past couple of days, Jelly Belly has been behaving! We may be getting over the half year hump as the big 4 approaches. Maybe all the taking toys away last week got through or I am more relaxed and going with the flow of things.

I know I just jinxed myself...and if I did, I will be sure to let you know.

She had a great first day at preschool and I enjoyed my 3.5 hours of alone time! I made myself sit down and drink my green tea while watching The View on T.V.  I can't remember the last time I did that, and I can't believe I missed President Obama on the show.

After preschool today, we did a lot of grocery shopping.  She spotted these:

and clearly remembered that "One time at Target, you didn't buy them for me because I was misbehaving."
So today she earned her prize, and a great choice it was.  I sat outside watching her play with them.  Then, she sponge painted with them, which let me catch up with one of my friends on the phone for an entire hour. I was in mommy heaven.

I will also share with you that her imagination was a bit too much for me today.  I know she is an only child but geez!  Even the hubby agrees here.  We already have "Danny" and "Penny", the imaginary friends that have stuck around for quite some time now.  They made the move with us and managed to come to California but now, Jelly Belly has pretend pets!!!!  She already has 2 real ones, so I am not sure what's going on.

She carries 'lil stuffed animals, telling me they are her puppies.  It goes a little something like this:

This is my little puppy (Pookie or was it Sara?) and she is zero months old.
Will you take care of her while I am at school? Make sure that you play with her. Isn't she so cute?

Then I was grilled on what exactly I did to take care of the thing....

How was your day while I was at school today?

I actually thought, oh how sweet, and I went on to tell her that I did some cleaning, washed the dishes and folded some clothes and called one of my friends, when she interrupted and said:

But how was Pookie? Did you rock her? Did you pet her? Did you play with her?

And, then later on she came up with Dog Town (thanks Train Town) and would not let it go!

Let's pretend that we are at Dog Town and it's like a little town for dogs.  They take dance classes there, they have their own grocery stores and the doggies there talk to their owners....

I can only go along with it for so long!

Dog Town was still going on strong when Daddy got home, so at least I was not alone.

It really is good to have a HUGE imagination? Right???

What are your little ones saying this week?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sonoma Sunday

Sunday was Family Fun Day!

After church and our ritual breakfast/lunch, we headed to Train Town in Sonoma for the first time.  We loved it!! Jelly Belly made me ride something called "The Scrambler" that had me laughing and screaming so hard, tears were rolling down.  It must be this aging thing because I used to love rides, now I am not so sure.

We did the whole park in less than 2 hours and rarely had to wait in line.  Isabella rode her first ferris wheel.  We will definitely be coming back.  I loved the trees and the breeze! And there was no screaming in mama's face when we left! (something we are working on)

Here are some pics.  Too bad our battery in our camera died and we had to rely on our phones.

Not too far from there, we made it to downtown Sonoma where we enjoyed chocolate tasting, art galleries, the swings at the park and of course some:

Trains, chocolate, shopping and wine tasting all in one day! I hope the rest of our week is as good as today!

Have a great week!
And wish us luck as Jelly Belly starts her 2nd year of preschool tomorrow morning...and of course, she is STILL awake complaining of leg pain!

Join in on the fun!

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I am still thinking of Tara Firma Farms....

We had a great time but Jelly Belly said the pigs were too stinky!
Happy WW!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tara Firma Farms

Sunday was a good day in Petaluma, California! 
Church, followed with some IHOP and our first visit to Tara Firma Farms.
We are loving the weather here, 70 degrees with a bit of breeze from the wind!
Never did I think I would experience this in July!
Jelly Belly holding baby turkeys!

We had a great time! It was very relaxing! And Jelly Belly loved the baby chicks (turkeys) and piglets.
Best of all it was FREE! This farm offers free tours on Sundays.

We won't mention the big tantrum she threw when it was time to leave!

Join us in Mommy and Me!

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Our new home!

It’s been over a month since my last post!!!

I am joining a new Friday Follow this week!

Thank you for visiting!
I survived the big move and we are starting to settle in. It’s been a tough transition but we are adjusting. We are renting a house in Northern California, in a small town called Petaluma.
We are about 45 minutes from San Francisco. We have already been able to explore the city and take Jelly Belly to many FUN spots. There is so much to do! I am loving the weather and for the first time in my life, I do not have a job!! Scary but exciting, isn't that what I have always wanted? To stay home with my Jelly Belly full time? The adventure is only beginning!

Moving to a new state has been quite the experience.  We are faced with new surroundings and a lot of change.  One of my biggest challenges is adapting to the size of home. We lost about 1000 square feet, so a BIG change but a lot less cleaning (I hope).

Even though, we had 2 garage sales and have taken many, many trips to Goodwill, we still have too much stuff!!

Since my foot is still hurting and I am taking it easy on the driving, I am considering some online shopping.

I am mostly struggling with our bedroom and our bathroom. So much that I arrived here on July 1 and I am barely starting to go in there and see what I can do!

Our bathroom does not even have any towel racks! The little things I took for granted.
Luckily, we do have a Bathroom Spacesaver. I am using a few wicker baskets that look nice and are great for storage. Funny how they were empty at the old house but have been put to good use in our new bathroom.  Since I have gotten rid of a lot of stuff I need to purchase new bathroom accesories. I

I will be posting pics of Jelly Belly's new room soon.  I was able to keep her old bedroom theme so I am very excited to share it with you.
I hope you visit again!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Jelly Belly and Me

About a month ago, Jelly Belly celebrated the completion of her first year of preschool!

Proud mama and proud Tita (Grandma)!

I need to remember to charge my camera so I can start taking pics of some of the craziness we are about to experience.
One week away from the movers arriving and 10 more days 'til moving day!
Other than foot still broken but slowly healing.  We miss daddy very much during the week.  There are days when I want to pull out my hair!
Kuddos to all those single parents! I don't know how you do it!

Join us in Mommy and Me!

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lincoln logs fun!

We played Lincoln Logs yesterday.

What a big difference a few months can make!
She received this as a present for her 3rd birthday back in September, but she was not ready for them. Or maybe I was not ready.  I thought it was kind of hard. I remember she wanted to build her own thing, in her own way, and was easily frustrated when the logs would fall.
I didn't consider it much fun.  But now, a few months shy of being 4 years old, we had a blast building.  She had patience and coordination.  We had many opportunities for counting.  And best of all she used her imagination!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Driving in the grocery store

I never ever thought I would be driving one of these at the grocery store!!!!

But what else is a mama to do with a broken foot?
All of us had a blast, especially the hubby taking pics of us!
Wishing we had our camera instead of our phones!
So happy that my sense of humor is coming back!

Join us in Mommy and Me!

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