Saturday, April 29, 2017

Lia's 9-Year Photos

We managed to get Lia into the photo studio today for some 9-year pictures amidst her super, busy schedule.  She did a great job and produced some nice pictures to choose from.  I just can't believe how tall and grown up she is looking these days!  Where did my little girl go?!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Farewell to the Ya-Ya

It is no secret that I dread taking my children's ya-yas (a.k.a. pacifiers) away from them because it is their number one sleep aid.  I am a big fan of schedules, routines, nap time, and children falling asleep in a prompt manner...and when we take the ya-yas away, a lot of this goes out the door.  Luckily, it is usually a temporary thing, but I still don't like doing it.  As a result, we have never been the parents to take away the pacifier around our children's second birthday which is when all the doctors and dentists recommend doing it.  Lia was two years and ten months old and Logan was two years and seven months old...and the only reason why Logan lost his so young is because his teeth were already starting to buck out so badly. 
After I booked our trip to Mexico for Spring Break at the beginning of January, I decided that we would wait until after the trip was over to take away Ella's pacifier so that it would help her fall asleep on the plane and in our hotel room even though this meant waiting until after her third birthday.  However, Ella came down with a really bad cold/flu towards the tail end of our trip to Mexico which meant I wasn't willing to take it away from her right after we got home.  I waited nine days after our return before allowing the dreaded day to arrive a week ago today.  And I must add that out of all three of our children, Ella was hand's down our most addicted child to the ya-ya.  Although we implemented the same rule with her that we did with our other two children of keeping the pacifier in the crib at all times after the first birthday (with the exception of trips), Ella broke this rule many times a day.  She would sneak upstairs when no one was looking, reach into her crib, pull out a ya-ya, and pop it into her mouth.  Sometimes she would secretly stay upstairs and play in her bedroom, but most of the time Ella would boldly walk downstairs with it in her mouth and carry on like nothing was wrong.  Ron or I would then have to notice the ya-ya in her mouth AND manage to get it out of her mouth multiple times a day.  I would always have one, two, or three pacifiers sitting in the relish dish I keep on the window sill behind my kitchen sink every single day.  I would normally return all of these pacifiers back to her crib at bedtime every night and then we would start all over again the next day.  Yes, this process was tiring day after day after day...and some times, I wouldn't fight it because I was so tired of fighting it and then Ella would get away with having the pacifier in her mouth longer than usual.  
And so it is for this extra reason that I was pretty nervous about Ella's reaction to losing her beloved ya-ya. But last Monday came whether we liked it or not.  I had been talking to Ella quite some time about losing her ya-ya because it was hurting her teeth.  I even took her to the store a few days earlier and let her pick out a large and regular sized Beanie Boo to give her "comfort" in her bed after the ya-ya was gone.  She seemed totally fine with all of this and even talked about it excitedly with her father and siblings after she got the stuffed animals.  However, I soon figured out that none of this really meant anything to her until it actually happened...and then she was most definitely NOT fine with it.  I snuck upstairs last Monday evening and cut the tips off of all four of her pacifiers and then put them back into her bed.  When it was time to get ready for bed, Ella followed the rest of the gang upstairs while I finished the dinner dishes.  It was during this time that she ran into her room to get a ya-ya out of her bed and discovered that they were all "broken."  World War III then broke out.  Ella started throwing one of the loudest and biggest tantrums of her career.  Ron was totally unable to console her and so I quickly finished doing the dishes and ran upstairs to find my distraught child screaming and crying at the top of her lungs in her bedroom.  I had to pick her up, turn off her light, turn on her music, and rock her in her chair for several minutes before she finally started to calm down.  She was then able to tell me (in between gasps and hiccups), "Mommy, I am not happy."  Oh, it just broke me heart.  After I told her that she needed to be brave just like Merida, she then said (also between more gasps and hiccups) that she didn't want to be brave.  The poor, little thing!
I then had a long pep talk with her and after offering to get her several things the next day if she was able to go to sleep without her ya-ya, I discovered that all she really wanted was a lollipop.  I promised her that we would get one the next day and she agreed to go to bed.  And, to my surprise, I put Ella down a little after 8 o'clock and she didn't cry another minute the rest of the night.  Since I had brought her monitor into my room, I could tell that it took her an entire hour to fall asleep, but she never got out of her bed or made another peep again.  That was a massive relief to me.  The next day, I went to the bank to withdraw some money and got a free lollipop from the teller to give to Ella.  She was most pleased with this.  After we came home and had lunch, I nervously put Ella down for her afternoon nap and crossed my fingers that she would fall asleep.  Logan and Lia both took a really long time to fall asleep for their first nap without the ya-ya, but they eventually did fall asleep.  Not Ella.  She banged around in her crib for over two hours before I threw in the towel and let her come out.  Needless to say, this made me very nervous that she was going to completely stop napping from this point on in her life.  She quickly fell asleep that night out of pure exhaustion and did just fine the rest of the night.  However, I was very worried as to what the next day would bring, but to my surprise, Ella fell asleep for her nap within ten minutes of putting her down.  I couldn't believe it.
And a week later, I am happy to admit that we are totally out of detox.  I simply cannot believe how quickly Ella let go of her pacifier and moved on.  With the exception of the first day, she has been able to fall asleep quickly every single day for her nap and has had no problem going to bed at night either.  In fact, this has been the easiest we have had it with all three of our children which just makes no sense to me considering how much more addicted to the pacifier Ella was in comparison to Lia and Logan.  Although I don't understand it, I am most definitely not complaining!  I am so relieved to be done with this transition in Ella's life and am so grateful that it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be, but I must admit, there is a side of me that misses seeing that cute, big button in Ella's mouth.  There is just something so adorable about a baby and toddler sucking on a ya-ya.  A part of me is so not ready for this baby of mine to grow up...

Saturday, April 22, 2017


When I discovered that our beloved Cirque du Soleil was coming back into town this Spring with their Luzia show, I quickly jumped at the opportunity to give Ron tickets for his Christmas present.  After months of waiting (and almost forgetting about it in the process), the day finally arrived to go see them perform in the Grand Chapiteau.  Lucky for us, they always perform at Marymoor Park in Redmond which is the next town over from my parents which makes them perfect babysitters.  So, we dropped off our kids in time to put Ella down for a nap and headed out for an afternoon of amazement and marvelment set to the music, culture, and landscapes of Mexico.  The show was just as amazing as all the others that Ron and I have ever seen together!  We especially LOVED the addition of a turning, conveyor belt which many of the cast members performed on and the presence of falling water throughout the show.  It was an amazing way to spend the afternoon and I can't wait for the day when we can see them again.

Ron and I standing under the entrance to Luzia.

A close-up of the sign.

Ron and I posing for a picture inside the Grand Chapiteau.

The amazing, opening act where a dancer wearing a butterfly costume ran on the turning, conveyor belt with a giant, horse puppet behind her.

Another shot of the dancer leaping into the air.

The incredible, hand balancing act where a man continued to go higher and higher in the air as his tower grew taller and taller.

Although it "rained" several times during the show, at one point, the water fell down to the stage with various shapes and designs in it.  It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Ella's 3-Year Photos

Ella and I were able to go into the photo studio this morning during Logan's preschool class for her 3-year pictures.  She warmed up to the photographer rather quickly and produced some adorable pictures for me to choose from.  She looked so cute in a darling, pink dress I bought for Lia years ago.  I can't get over how much she has become a little girl (and not a toddler) these past few months.  My baby girl is growing up and it is just killing me!  I cannot believe how fast these past three years have gone.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter 2017

After strolling into town on Friday night after a 16 hour travel day and a 3 hour time difference, I had to turn around yesterday and get ready for Easter in addition to unpacking from our trip, doing laundry, and going grocery shopping.  Needless to say, it has been a whirlwind two days and I am ready to crash!  But I managed to get everything done on my to-do list and help to ensure that the kiddos had a memorable Easter.  Here is a blow-by-blow of our Easter weekend...

After boiling the eggs on Saturday afternoon, we gathered around the table after dinner last night to dye them.  This is the first year that all three kids really got into it which is so fun to watch.  Here are Lia and Ron decorating their eggs before dyeing them.  

Logan giving me his "Asian Eye" smile while decorating one of his eggs.

Ella basically sat in my lap the entire time and helped me color and dye eggs.  Here is my baby girl checking out the Easter stickers that came with the egg coloring kit.

Mama and Ella posing for a picture.

Logan hard at work.

Of all the eggs we decorated and dyed last night, I think that Ron's Minion egg won the prize for the coolest and most original!

The kids woke up this morning to find their Easter baskets waiting for them in the living room.  Although it looks like Lia got a new, American Girl Doll for Easter, she definitely did not!  The Easter Bunny had magically pierced her doll's ears and dressed her in a new outfit.  In addition, she finally got a box to go with her Mckenna doll that she got for Christmas 2015.  

Logan inspecting his loot while carrying his blanket in his mouth (one of his new, favorite things to do).

For some strange reason, Ella ran downstairs and took one look at her basket, and broke into tears.  I have no idea why she then threw a tantrum on the floor before running back upstairs and hiding in her room.  

Another shot of my tantrum-throwing-toddler with her Easter loot behind her.

Logan showing off his Chewbacca Tsum Tsum.

A much happier and calmed down Ella showing off her new, Sleeping Beauty Barbie doll.

After a quick change into footless pajamas, Ella was able to try on her new princess slippers.

Logan modeling his new Star Wars cap while showing off his new Star Wars toys.

Logan and Ella trying out Logan's new car rug full of roads to drive on with his toy cars, trucks, and trains.

All three kids ready to start their Easter egg hunt.

Lia hunting away.

Ella finding an egg up high on the book shelf.

Logan putting an egg in his basket.

Logan and Lia rolling around on the new carpet.

After an Easter breakfast and church, we drove up to Issaquah to spend the evening at the grandparents' house.  We were blessed with pleasant weather that allowed the kids to do grandma's Easter Egg hunt outside in their beautiful yard.  Here is Lia looking for some candy hidden in the tulip blossoms.

Ella working hard to find everything in her designated area.

Logan flashing me a smile from inside his flowerbed.

Logan reaching up high to get a candy down from the tree.

Lia pulling a candy out from the birdhouse.

Ella cuddling her new, blue bunny that she found.

The traditional picture of all of the cousins in the front yard after the hunt was over (Brynn and Garrett were backpacking with Chris in the Grand Canyon and Bryce and Vivi were still in Thailand for their Spring Breaks).

The kids rolling down the hill after wards.

Logan driving the neighbor's awesome tractor that he has enjoyed a couple times this spring.

After all of the Easter egg hunting festivities were over, we came back inside to celebrate my dad's 78th birthday that was the day before.  Here he is getting ready to blow out his candles!  It was a great way to end this special day!