Friday, March 31, 2017

Art Friday, No. 05

I missed last week's Art Friday, but here is this week's installment. Have a great weekend everyone! My weekend has actually already started. Since yesterday. Working part-time has been nice, but I feel like I should be staying productive at home. But, "feel" is the keyword here...because right now I am sitting on the couch, browsing (currently obsessed on how to maximize those SPG points) and watching Grey's Anatomy reruns :)
--
hen_anna
(by Anna : age 7 : Hen)
The assignment was to draw a rooster, but because she added eyelashes, it's a hen instead. I just love the details and colors of this drawing!

fan_Will
(by Will : age 5 : Sunflower) 
According to Will: "This is me watering my sunflower." 

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Anna is SEVEN!

Last week Anna turned seven. (Gah, doesn't that just sound old??) As always, I am at a loss for words when it comes to birthday posts. I feel like I should be writing a very in-depth post that captures the birthday kid at this very moment, but I have no creative energy or words, so a post on what we did to celebrate our girl will have to do. I will say this though -- at seven years old, Anna can be as sweet as can be one minute and a hot mess the next. She's still super sensitive and cries somewhat easily. Yet, she's a superstar when it comes to school and her teachers just love her.

Now onto the birthday celebrations!

Since my dad's and Anna's birthday is only a week apart, we had a joint birthday lunch at Maggiano's. Maggiano's is always a win for us. We have celebrated many birthdays there. Not to mention that we hosted our wedding luncheon there too. This time, we got two "Marco's Meal", which included two appetizers, four pastas, two desserts, AND four pastas to take home. We told our server that we were celebrating two birthdays and he brought out cookies and candles. A nice touch!
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The night before Maggiano's, I ordered a cake from a new-to-us bakery nearby called Sweet City Desserts. I had only learned about it from a coworker a few days prior and decided to give it a try. The bakery is Filipino owned so they specialize in Asian desserts, which I prefer heavily over American desserts. I ordered their signature traditional ube cake with macapuno filling and ube icing. 
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The cake was so good. Not too sweet and did you know that ube is in the same family as taro? My favorite! Everyone else liked it too. I am definitely going to be a repeat customer.

This year Anna's birthday fell on a Tuesday and it happened to be snowing so school was closed and we ended up spending the entire day together. She woke up to balloons and presents. Haha, her big smiles for simple presents such as these cute erasers are just so sweet and innocent. I want to remember them always.  
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At her request, we went to McDonald's for lunch. Luke and I both agreed that we are never having McDonald's again but the kids were happy with their Happy Meal toys (Barbie for Anna and car for Will). Other than that, we just hung out at home.
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That night we had leftover Maggiano's and sang another round of Happy Birthday before we dug into the leftover ube cake. Before she fell asleep that day, I distinctly remember her saying that she had a great day :)

Then on Friday night, after picking up the kids from school, we headed straight to Cheesecake Factory for a proper birthday dinner.
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The next day, Saturday, came the main event -- movie theater party!

Now that Anna is older, birthday means doing fun stuff with friends. BUT I wasn't up for a full-blown party either. It worked out perfectly that the new live action Beauty and the Beast movie was debuting right around her birthday so we decided to invite two friends to come along for a movie date/party. 
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We purchased the tickets in advance and reserved our seats, so on the morning of the movie, we didn't have to worry about getting to the theater early or anything. I ended up sitting in one row with the girls and Luke and Will sat one row behind us. Originally we planned for all the kids to sit together, but it worked out better this way because I was able to refill the popcorn cups (we bought a giant tub of popcorn and asked for small complementary cups) for the kids more easily. **In the future, though, I would reserve the seats all together in one row and have an adult on the other end.**

There were some loud parts in the movie and the girls got a little scared, but overall, not bad at all. I was a bit worried when I overheard one girl telling Anna that she wanted to go home during the wolves scene, but I just kind of ignore it and in the end, they all sat through the entire 2 hours and 9 minutes of the movie without any problems. As for the movie itself, I don't know about the others, but I LOVED IT :)

After the movie, we went back home for pizza and ice cream cake. Originally we thought about taking the girls out to eat at a restaurant, but pizza and cake at home sounded better and less stressful, so we went with that instead. The girls got to meet Mango and between pizza and cake, they had fun with Wii.
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We drove the girls home right around 1:30p with goody bags that Anna put together with stuff from Target Dollar Spot. I made the tags last minute and thought they turned out fantastic!
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Birthdays are so exhausting even for me who really don't do much at all, so I am glad it's over! Hope Anna had a memorable birthday!

And here we are, another year closer to college. Luckily, me and her already made a pact. Either she will stay close to home for college or I will move to wherever she chooses go ;) And if she keeps her word, she will buy the house next door and we will never be too far apart anyway. Getting bigger doesn't sound bad at all. No, not at all....

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, March 20, 2017

monday morning catch ups.

/1/ Years ago, I bought several sets of Lego Friends (they were on sale) and stowed them in the basement for when Anna was ready for them. Well, as a newly minted 7yo, she's finally old enough to build them completely on her own. In the last week or so, she has built this one and this one.
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And just because Will couldn't be left out, Luke got him this Ninjago set that he had his eyes on from the Lego catalog that came in the mail. This set looked so complex and I had my doubts that Will could do it on his own, but he did. At least 90% of it....which is still amazing in my opinion. We had a snow day and he worked on it all morning, took a break for lunch and TV, and finished it on the same day. Luke was so proud of him that he's getting him more. Honestly, I am kind of torn when it comes to these building blocks. Yes, the kids are following instructions, thinking in three dimensions, developing problem solving skills blah blah blah, but those sets are definitely not cheap. But worst of all, THE CLUTTER.
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/2/ So as I said, we had a snow day. It was only maybe two inches, but enough to give our first (and probably the only) snow day of the school year. Mango met snow for the first time and was not impressed. He had the toughest time going potty outside even though Luke cleared a path and a section of grass for him. Haha, as frustrating (and cold!) as it was, he was also so cute in the snow :)
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/3/ We finished reading James and the Giant Peach and are taking a break from reading Roald Dahl books. Right now, we are in the middle of The Chocolate Touch -- a much easier read.

/4/ Family movies: Sing, Beauty and the Beast (the new live action one), and Moana (again).

/5/ Luke and I just finished the first season of This Is Us. Does anyone else watch that show? I like it so much, it's my new favorite. The story goes back and forth between past and present, and I just love that. All the characters on the show are pretty likable, especially the men :) It's just such a well done show! 😍

/6/ This picture summarizes how we feel about Mango. Sometimes I still shake my head at Luke and say something along the line of "spending money to buy problems", but I will admit, he's a cool little dog. The kids are enjoying him so much.
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/7/ Here is a close-up of the Ghirardelli chocolate chip cookies that I made. Right after they came out of the oven, Luke inhaled EIGHT of 'em, haha. They were so good and made with simple ingredients that you are sure to have around the house.
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/8/ Anna turned 7 and a big post on how we celebrated our girl is coming up soon!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Art Friday, No. 04

Annnnnnd....just 29 days after I hit our garage, this happened to hubs' car:
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An old lady hit him. It wasn't even because of ice...it was because she didn't know to stop at a four-way stop. Luckily everyone is fine (Will was in the car, but on the other side), so there is that, but the whole thing is all sorts of inconvenient.
--
Picture4
(by Anna : age 7 : Circles)
We gave Anna this Spirograph set as one of her birthday presents.
Picture3
(by Will : age 5 : Butterfly) 
Spring starts in three days so this picture is appropriate :) 

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Art Friday, No. 03

The dog beds arrived and all of a sudden we have 3 puppies!
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Luke got these beds at Walmart for less than $5 a pop. It's good to save wherever we can because this owning-a-dog business is more expensive than I remembered.
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princess2
princess1
princess3
princess4
(by Anna : age 6 [for 4 more days] : Princesses)
This week I volunteered in Anna's classroom and I saw a bunch of these drawings in her mailbox. Apparently she has been working on them during quiet time and is turning them into a book. I asked if I could use them for this week's Art Friday and she agreed to let me borrow them for a day :) My favorite of the bunch is the girl dressed up as Pikachu. "It's me!" she explained.
sailboat
(by Will : age 5 : Sailboats)
At our house, everyone has an assigned color. Luke is green, Anna is purple, I am blue, and Will yellow. I love the little stick figure family sailing together. And the whale-fish is just fabulous.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

our new pup!

Please meet the newest member of our family....
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Mango!

Mango is currently just about to turn 7 months old. He's a Yorkshire Terrier and will weigh about 5.5 pounds when he's full grown. We got him from the same breeder that we got Pargo, and although they look so much alike, their personalities are pretty opposite. Mango is outgoing and bold, yet super sweet and calm at the same time. The kids are thrilled to have him around.

So...the long story. We actually started talking about getting a dog almost a year ago. Luke was all for it, and got the kids all hyped up about it, but I remained unconvinced. I was mostly wary about the long term commitment, time, and money, but the biggest factor being knowing how it ended for us the last time. I mean, I knew I would love having a dog around, but I didn't want to deal with challenging times. I think, though, Luke just figured that I would be happy about it once we have the dog, so he went ahead and got the balling rolling with the breeders. And I guess I knew that it would all work out at the end, so I didn't fight him too hard on it either. Anyway, last Tuesday, after months of calling and waiting, our puppy was finally ready to come home!

Although we talked about getting a dog with the kids, they didn't know that we were ACTUALLY GETTING ONE until we got there this past Saturday. We told them that we were going on a road trip to play Pokemon Go, and of course, no questions were asked about that! It wasn't until that we were 10 minutes away that we told them where we were going ("Preston Country Club for Pets"), but then they just thought that we were getting more fish. Anyway, once we got there and they saw Mango, they were just kind of speechless, but very happy too. Then when we told them that we were taking him home with us, they got really excited, haha.
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The breeders thought about keeping Mango for showing, so they never once cut his hair. It was so loooooong!! One of the first things we did after getting home was give him a good trim. Gumbico Groomer is open for business again :)

Then the next day we gave him a bath.
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And this is how he looks right now :)
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So far things are going well! He's adjusting to the family and playing with the kids. He hasn't had any accidents around the house either! Amazing! Like Pargo, he loves to snuggle with us (I am his first choice 😁) when watching TV. He is figuring out steps slowly. He loves to squirm and lick your face.
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^^Luke sent me this picture while I was at work with the subject line, "He likes it!"^^

Finally, why the name "Mango"? Originally, we (Luke and I) wanted to call the dog "Taro" after one of my favorite food, but the kids weren't too keen on it. Then one day Anna said, "Why don't we name him something that we all like?" Sounds reasonable :) So a few weeks ago, as we were eating mango slushie that Luke made, he said, after putting a spoonful in his mouth, "How about Mango?" We all love it and it was agreed :)

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Art Friday, No. 02

It's amazing how an illness will make you appreciate ordinary life. This is Anna's first full week of being healthy since the flu and LIFE IS GOOD. Sorry for shouting, but it really is :) She's eating, playing, and best of all, going to school. After a subpar February, we are off to a good start in March. I hope it stays that way! 😁
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^^I am pretty sure it's Dr. Seuss week all throughout elementary schools in America, and it's no different here. We have been reading Dr. Seuss stories all week long!^^
-- 
Pokemons
(by Anna : age 6 : Pokémons)
I told the kids about Art Friday and Anna was especially excited about having her art work posted on my blog. She went a little crazy drawing/tracing Pokémons this week because she wanted me "to have lots of options to pick from" on Friday.
lizard
(by Will : age 5 : Lizard)
This is just a lizard that Will colored at school this week. While I was doing piano with Anna, he decided that he wanted to cut it out. I thought he did a very good job of cutting the difficult parts...only cutting off one "finger" by accident. At school, his teachers say that Will is a perfectionist and takes his time to do the job right...I definitely see that too!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!