Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Seriously...my kids are funny.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
But, during our snooze, Sean called to let us know that AGAIN our move dates needed to be rescheduled...the day AFTER we had just confirmed dates with the moving company. Of course, I can't find out anything else about our schedule until I hear from Sean next...I love being in limbo. Fun stuff. But in actuality, there isn't too much stress here, but just hoping that we'll make it home with The Fam to celebrate (and all of our other various fams/friend-fams to visit). Just stressing to get our place rented out. We haven't locked in a property manager (although we did interviews this past weekend) so I wanted to give MilitaryByOwner.com a chance and see how that works out. I still need to clean some more and upload more photos.
Anyhoo...our weekend was crazy busy and stressful, but we managed to head down to downtown JAX and catch the Light Parade & Fireworks. It was extra great since we got to hit my favorite downtown Jax soft taco goodness Burrito Gallery. The Light Parade was actually on water...people would deck out their boats in all sorts of decorations. There were some mad cool decorations and others that were like "ooooookaaaaaaay". Case in point of a mad cool one was the Santa Riding the Alligator down the St. John's River.
I also got to play around with my new cool toy the Gorillapod, which is a tripod for cameras that you can wrap around various things. I used it to get some clearer nightshots (man, am I reaaaaaaally wanting an SLR for some seriously crisp and no-noise photos...one day...*sigh*) by wrapping it around the railing and just snapping away (and playing w/various settings to finally settle on something I was satisfied with). At the end of the night, since we barely have photos of the 4 of us...I wrapped the Gorillapod around the stroller and this was one of the shots I got:
The fireworks were great since they were launched off of three barges and we could see all three...and were next to one of the two bridges that displayed the famous "waterfall" display of fireworks:
Anyway, what a long day it has been and I'm interested in seeing how the next few weeks pan out. I leave y'all with this photo of the kiddies as we were leaving the fort after saying goodbye to Sean:
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Anyway, so, we keep these kids in mind when raising our kids. Sure, I want my kids to grow up to be themselves, but there are certain attributes that we want to nurture in them....empathy being one of them. Jaron is showing signs of it, but we still have to work on that. We're definitely finding gender differences in our children and parenting. That was something I DID NOT believe was going to happen. But, research does show there is a difference in raising girls & boys.
So, Kaia...oh darling Kaia. She is pretty empathetic. It's something we've been nurturing in her since birth and it's definitely a great foundation so far.
If anyone has read my personal blog, then you know my father's 60th birthday was this past Thursday. All birthdays have been difficult since he passed away, but this was especially difficult since it was his 60th birthday. I was pretty bummed and just sadder since I knew he hadn't met anyone in this house (human or canine). I was additionally bummed since I didn't have enough time to make a birthday cake for him either. This was a tradition I started last year to honor Gung-Gung's (what my kids would have called my dad) birthday. I held it together until the night after the kids went to sleep...or so I thought. Sean was with me in our bedroom consoling me when Kaia walks in to let Sean know he forgot to kiss her goodnight. She quickly realized I was crying and offered "Mom, do you want me to sleep in here until you feel better?" Then, as Sean always does in the morning before leaving for work, he kissed the kids goodbye. Kaia, before 5am, wakes up as he kisses her and tells him she wants to bake me a cake for Gung-Gung's birthday to make me feel better.
What's even cuter is that in the morning, she's telling me it's going to be a great day and they're going to be such good kids because she knows I'm sad about my dad not being here. She also told me that she & Ba-ba have a surprise for Gung-Gung's birthday to make me happy and that it's a secret. Then, as soon as her sentence ends with "a secret", she quickly follows it up with "It's a cake." HAHAHAHAHAHA...oh, she's definitely my daughter! It's really difficult for me to hold back surprises when I'm planning them for loved ones. ;o)
Anyway...that's all. I love my little Mama's Boy, but good lord does my daughter have a sweet heart.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Anyhoo...since Sean had duty last night, I carved the kids' pumpkins. Shoot...duty or not, I would've ended up carving these bad boys anyway! hahahaha. Kaia picked a mummy and we made it a Mommy Mummy. Jaron chose some freaky satanic skeleton. They were really excited and loved watching their pumpkins come to fruition while I hacked up a lung (still pretty sick and miserable over here...waah, waah, waaaah). It was actually cool this year so instead of worrying about the kids sweating out all the liquid in their bodies, we had to make sure they were adequately dressed for cool weather (first cool Halloween since we've been down here).
On to photos...Kaia was a Barbie cheerleader (still trying to make up my mind about how I feel about having Barbie in our family) and Jaron was Lightning McQueen. He wanted to be Diego dressed as a Bat but it's slim-pickings when you Halloween shop like the Lee-Espiritus and go the night before or two nights before the big day. Hehehehe. Enough blibber-blabber....photos.
|From The Lee-Espiritu Fam|
Monday, October 20, 2008
She promptly replied "A LOT". ;o)
Mind you, this is the same child that wants me to have 100 babies.
Just a quick update since the next month and a half is going to be a fun one...we'll be packing up, renting this house (HOPEFULLY), and moving from here to our old stomping grounds in the Hampton Roads, VA area.
Anyhoo....lots to do and plenty o'coffee to drink! ;o)
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Meanwhile, I've been siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick. I somehow managed to stay in bed almost the entire day yesterday...without Sean home. Yes, with the kids home. They were really good. We're so lucky to have good kids. The last time I've been so sick was with the flu back in February and before that it was with the flu in 2000. Wait a minute...is this the flu???? Nah, it's not...but it's pretty durn bad. Anyway...enough whining.
Gotta pack and plan for my baby gurl's 5th birthday celebration with our Besties!!
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Kaia cheesin' & Jaron continuing his piece de resistance!
So, Sean went out to sea and came back home...again and again these past few weeks. He finally got back and early AND just in time for...HIS BIRTHDAY!!!! We had gotten word that he was pulling in at 6pm...so I had a good idea of when & what to make for his birthday. His birthday gift of "cleaning the house" didn't quite make the deadline. Shoot, it didn't even get past the thought of it. Ok, so I exaggerate...I did tidy up a little bit and the kiddies did clean up their gazillion toys. So, it was a bit cleaner....but hardly noticeable save for the toys.
Anyhoo...we made a mint-Special Dark chocolate cake for his birthday. We made it from scratch since I can't bear the thought of putting the junk from boxed cake mixes into my family. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE the taste and ease of boxed cake mixes, but do try to avoid them. It's like the Breyer's commercial when you see the kids trying to pronounce the junk that's in non-all natural ice creams. We also made some favorites of his...churrasco (with my cousin Luis' chimichurri recipe), cabbage salad (my 98 year-old maternal grandfather's concoction), garlicky steamed cauliflower, & brown/white rice. You can check out my food blog for any recipes. The cabbage salad has become one of his favorites when Mom first made it for him. Not to mention that the raw cabbage is uber-healthy too (along w/the tomatoes & olive oil in it). Cauliflower is something that he JUST started liking last year when I started making it really garlicky. Sean's come a loooooooong way from when we first started dating. Veggies were really foreign to him. BUT...now he's lovin' them. Now, we just have to convert his Mini-Me (aka Jaron) into liking them. We're making big headway with the little turkey...so he's slowly starting to eat them or at least TRY them! WOOHOO!!
Anyway...the kids had a really late night and we finally got them down at 11pm...a full 3 hours after I NORMALLY get them down! Sean & I settled in for a movie ("Elizabeth the Golden Age") and finally got to bed at 2am!! We celebrated today with disappointing dim sum (go figure for NE Florida)...followed IMMEDIATELY with an Indian buffet (literally several shops down from the Chinese place). Yup...gluttons! I didn't take photos, but dinner was salad, grilled asparagus, & grilled pork loin chops with a gauva sauce. YUM!
That's all for now. It's on to planning Kaia's birthday coming up next week. We'll be in Orlando with The Fam. Woohoo!!!! We can't believe (not-so) Baby Girl is already turning 5!!!
Hopefully Sean will be contributing to the blog now that he's home!
Now Jaron's turn to cheese & Kaia creating her masterpiece.
A close-up of our son's artsiness.
This is a bad angle since I actually had 1/2 plate covered in veggies & I flattened out my rice portion to make it look like more. ;o)
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Sean had come in after Fay left for a hot second and then was back out to sea for a little bit. He finally came home and worked through the entire Labor Day weekend. One day he'll get to sleep in. But, now he's back out again. Hanna was looking like she wanted to come and visit us but everytime I check the forecast, she's going out further into the Atlantic. Still, the government likes to protect their multi-billion dollar assets and sent the subs out. Nothing like a huge expensive piece of metal banging into the piers!! So, we're a single-parent household preparing for a possible hurricane again. It's all good though. This'll give us some good alone time to try to clean the house for Sean's birthday (9/6). We're not exactly the cleaning-type of people...but this'll be Sean's best birthday gift ever as well as pull double-duty getting ready to get this house listed on the rental market. =D But, yeah, Hanna doesn't look too bad so far...at least it doesn't look as bad as it did for a while! So...YAY!
On to Week 7. Kaia finished her week off with American Idol. It was very cute. They sung Lean on Me (which had a stereotypical Native American theme to it...not sure what was up with that) & Since You've Been Gone. The latter was really cute and the two main singers were soooo good!!! Mom also surprised Kai-Bear and was she ever so surprised and overjoyed!! It was so cute to see/hear how happy my little munchkin was!!! So, Mom came in just in time to enjoy Kaia's very last camp performance. Kaia had so much fun and was pretty bummed to see it end. But, alas, she now has lessons up the wazoo (may I reiterate how I never thought I'd be putting them in so many classes...shoot, as well as homeschooling too....hahahahaha).
Speaking of lessons, they're loving them. Kaia's hip-hop teacher (Miss Holly from summer camp) actually wants to move her up to the 7-9 year old class. She thinks Kaia's going to make it big one day. That's fine...as long as she goes to college too. ;o)
On to some photos...
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Anyhoo...I'm sure everything will be all good in the morning. Till now, I'll enjoy the sounds of Fay and all the frogs screaming outside....ahhhhh, FL and all its wonderful wildlife! But seriously, I'm trying to watch the finale of "America's Best Dance Crew" and the frogs are drowning out the tv! I can't imagine how it is for los animales outside right now. It's pretty gnarly out there!
Sean's still out to sea, but I'm sure safe & sound! Mom finished up her 2 week stay (well, a little less than 2 weeks) Tuesday evening...just in time to get out of dodge down here. It was a fabulous visit and the kids (and I) were super bummed to see her leave.
I still owe y'all a recap of Kaia's last week at camp. This week, was just seeing Mom off, Kaia NOT having her first day of dance class, and both Kaia & Jaron taking their first Spanish class!
Alrighty...recap's on its way when things die down a bit! Till next time, kiddies!
Friday, August 8, 2008
Also, video messages to Ba-ba from the kids.
Kaia being her usual silly self...including feigning being scared of Jax. So silly!! Especially since this little girl has no fear when it comes to dogs!
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Anyhoo...Sarah, Kaia's buddy, was the Emperor and rocked out the role. It was a really cute skit. Kaia was one of the townspeople. I also had a momentary freakout when I turned the camera on to take a photo of the set...only to discover I had no memory card!!!! I had left it in the laptop AT HOME!! ARGH!!! But, being the one who always plans ahead, I had an extra memory card in the case. I only remembered this after resigning to the fact that I'd be missing out on recording week 6 and Sean wouldn't get to see it. Also, after the performance, the girls kept wanting to go to the art studio to see the baby deer. I had no idea what these two were smoking until we got to the studio and lo & behold...a baby deer!! One of the fathers works with a wildlife foster program. So, pretty neat!
Oh yeah, like an embarrassing mother I'm destined to be (ok, I hope not), Kaia has her first major crush. Well, I'm hoping it's actually her SECOND major crush with Kuya Austin (Martino) having been the first. But now she's older and getting all giggling and shy (yes, I said shy) when she mentions Liam. Liam had told me a few weeks ago that my "daughter is very, very beautiful". ;o) What a little charmer! He's even come to the car to help Kaia get out before too. This past week, he had given her a ring he made in class. I had pulled out a pipe cleaner with a "L" bead on it in the morning, only to find out from Alexandra (Liam's mom) that he had given her a ring the day prior...which was the pipe cleaner bead thing I had found. Ahhhh...Kaia's following the tradition of Lee girls having blond haired, blue-eyed first crushes. Kim's first crush was blond, but now she likes 'em dark...hence my brother Jason. ;o) I tend to like 'em darker, but there's something about Legolas...maybe those ears. ;o)
Alrighty...on to the good stuff.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Anyhoo...our week was great. Mom is coming down to visit us next week and surprising Kaia...because she's fabulous grandparent/parent like that!!! I can't believe next week is already the last week!!! Time is going by fast (mostly) and dragging (sometimes) at times. Other than that, we're good and keeping busy.
Jaron's as funny as ever. He's a big turkey and can be either really funny or really frustrating. Either way, those chubby cheeks & Mama's boyness always gets me...but I try not to let it show. ;o) He started getting sad this week when we dropped Kaia off. One day he even cried. It's nice to see him expressing his emotions and showing how much he loves Kaia. He's also singing the beginning of Chris Brown's "Forever"....hahahaha. I'll write a list of the non-kid songs that my kids like to sing.
We've also been inundated with thunderstorms either everyday or every other day...we're talking, at times, bad enough that we have downed trees. The kids (human & canine) aren't frightened of them too...so that's a blessing! Not to mention, we're saving on our water bills...cha-ching!! FL water bills are insane...we're talk either high $100s but more likely mid to upper $200s!! Yup...makes me love FL even more! ;o)
Our PSP finally is breaking down. We've been using it as our DVD player. So, it's time to join the times and buy a DVD player. Thank God they're pretty reasonable nowadays!
Now, for the good stuff. VIDEOS!!!!
Kaia's Bee Performance...sans stinger.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Our dear Uncle Dan just informed us that someone in this family has some special news...
CONGRATULATIONS to my AMAZING PARTNER on making 0-4...Lieutenant Commander for you civilians...a PROMOTION for you non-military exposed civilians!!!
YEA-UH, Hunny!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
Since my buffer half is out to sea right now, let me know if you want his sub email to send your congrats!
Way to go, Bear!!! I knew you'd make it!!!
Congratulations to our brother from another mother Alvin Martino who also screened for 0-4!!!!!!
Friday, July 18, 2008
Both mean girls from the first week were reunited this week...but w/o any problems. Charlie happened to return to sour puss, but the other girl Bella turned out to be nice. Kaia was really puzzled why Charlie was nice the other two weeks but not this week. Ahhhhhh, my darling daughter has so much to learn about the finnickiness of girls/kids. Either way, Charlie's grouchiness had no impact on Kaia...which is GREAT!
Anyhoo...the skit was really cute. Kaia was a bullfrog & a fish. We're just really proud of her (Jaron & I, that is...Daddy will be seeing these performances at a later time).
All is well here....the kids are convalescing and hopefully this weekend will bring them much needed rest. I have bought a ton o' paint & materials so they can paint their own t-shirts. I'm planning on turning Kaia's shirts that she paints into tanks & dresses...something jazzier than t-shirts. Last weekend I also started Movie Sunday/Saturday (whichever day allows it) and we watch 3 kid movies that I've ordered from Blockbuster's Total Access program. It's a nice chill day and gives us some good cuddle time too. We'll see about hitting the pool. The weather's been icky and, like I said, I'd rather take it easy so they can get better. I DID want to hit the outlets but oh well.
Ooh...Mom also told us that she's visiting us again in August!!! I thought it was going to be another extended weekend trip but Her Royal Hotness informed us that it's just shy of two weeks!!!! WOOHOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Too bad Sean's not here because he loves when The Fam (or parts of The Fam) visit since they're always so much help and fun!!!!
Anyway...photos & videos!
Kaia & her fish puppet.
Jaron trying to watch (notice his arm on my leg...he's so cute)!
Kaia & her Hip-Hoptastic teacher Holly. Holly is the one who swears Kaia is going to be famous.
Le Grand Finale
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Jaron having his pirate experience since he was a bit scared the first go-around.
"Sword fighting" with glow sticks.
They weren't DC fireworks, but they were nice.
We also hit up Savannah, GA and Silver Springs, FL. On Monday, Kaia decided to stay home from camp (which actually was a pretty difficult decision for her given that she loves camp AND that it was High School Musical week). When they left, on Tuesday...it was pretty rough on them. Kaia was crying on and off the whole morning before school (we went to the airport at 5am). Sean didn't get any tears from them!!! I guess that's a good thing because I'd rather it be like nothing for them when Sean goes out to sea rather than it being heartbreaking everytime. Anyhoo, as usual, it was hard to see them leave. They are some of the biggest blessings in our lives...that's for darn sure!
Savannah, GA was great...in between the THUNDERSTORMS! Yup...as soon as we got there, the skies opened up and laid a can of whoop a$$ on Savannah. It was still beautiful...and yummy there!After our DELICIOUS buffet at The Pirate's House...one definite thing I'll miss about the South...FRIED CHICKEN!
Po-po & A-yi taking pictures of the local pirate.
Our family seems to love buying our kids these ginormous lollipops wherever we go!
Sometimes, I'm not sure if our kids remember that WE are their parents. ;o)
Silver Springs, FL is near Ocala, FL. None of that means anything to me either. ;o) We visited Silver Springs and luckily narrowly missed a thunderstorm! We toured the natural springs of the park (where movies/shows such as Tarzan, Seaquest, parts of The Crocodile Hunter, etc. were filmed). The cloudy day worked in favor for us giving us respite from this lovely FL heat. Oh yeah, we did pass Jumbolair. It's a neighborhood of AVIATION ESTATES. Yes, every house has it's own hangar. John Travolta has an estate here. Craziness.
1 of 3 Glass Bottom boat tours that tour the springs.
I'm not going to lie, 80 ft. high and who knows how old this bad boy was...I almost needed a diaper and a vomit-catcher.
The Fam Minus 1 standing inside the Horseshoe Palm Tree...5 years good luck if you pose in the middle.
So, this week was High School Musical...one of Kaia's favorite movies that she still hasn't watched in its entirety. ;o) She had a blast!!! Enrollment was tripled this week...so there were LOTS of new faces and LOTS of older kids. She told me how all these big kids like picking her up and calling her cute. The teachers told me how she's Miss Popular and also that the older kids all adore her. I kid you not, it took an extra 10 minutes to leave because all these big kids were all hugging, kissing, and loving on her! It was really great to see. They were all telling me all cute she is and was a sweet girl she is. They even started loving on Jaron too...who got all super shy and clung to my thigh. Kaia told me how the older girls want to be her mom while they are at camp. How cute is that? Anyway, I'm really proud of her (does it show) and she's totally excelling. We're really blessed to have these two boogers.
Kaia & her Groupies. L to R: Christine, Kaia, Rachel, Megan, Justine, & Ice.
The Groupies/"Mommies+Daddy" saying goodbye again...I think we were actually holding up the rest of their performance.
Seriously, how cute is this??
Of course, I wouldn't leave you without video clips. You can always catch more on our YouTube.
Get Your Head in the Game