Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bubbles+ cookies+ sunshine = FUN!

I bought a bubble maker recently. It seems I buy one almost every Spring. The boys love it and I love not having to pass out from blowing on the silly bubble wands that just make a huge drippy mess all over the ground. Erik's daycare provider, Sharon (She is amazing!!) has a bubble maker and Erik adores it! I knew we had to have one because we are outside everyday from the moment we get home till dinner time. Erik is still not walking, so he is crawling all over the bark, lawn, mulberry pods and all kinds of outdoorsy debris. If I don't let gugga outside, he just bangs on the sliding door and cries. I'll take the laundry over the drama.

Two handsome boys, just enjoying the ride!
Erik is just relaxing with his snack and a cold one!
"Thank you, Mor-Mor! These cookies are AWESOME!!"
"Hey ladies, how about we take a moonlight drive around the dining room table?"
Sweet Pedar has been fighting a nasty virus lately. Nothing like an evening cuddle to help you feel better! The adorable bunny that Casey is holding is from our very generous and loving relative, Doris. She sends the best care packages all the way from Wisconsin! Thank you, Doris! You are the best!

"Shake your money maker!"

Erik and I were having a dance party in the kitchen the other day and I yelled out, "Shake your money maker!" Wow, how inappropriate am I? Crazy Mama! I love my little dancer.

After we danced for a bit, Erik decided it was time to just sit on my lap and cuddle. I'm glad our precious Curlito made the video too. Curly is the best dog!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

After the party...

Today, our sweet neighbor Jacob Edwards turned 5 years old! It's pretty fun watching this handsome little boy grow up. Even cooler than that - he and Casey are the best of friends too! They did no plan on wearing the same outfit, it just happened. Craziness.

 So Casey, Erik, Nora and I got to celebrate Jacob's 5th birthday today at Safetyville, USA. Safety Center Fun, fun...and more fun on wheels! This crazy little miniature town, complete with a State Capitol, is designed for little kids to learn all about safety, all while navigating these miniature streets. If you can imagine the sight of 20 or so kids on wheels all riding around this town with no regard for stop signs or red lights, then you can visualize this awesome party! Needless to say, the kids lept from the party table to grab their bikes just as soon as they devoured Jacob's birthday cake.

What a thrill for Casey and Erik...and US TOO! Happy Birthday, Jacob!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Want to rent a gorgeous house in Tahoe??

Pedar's parents have a gorgeous Tahoe cabin in Homewood. They are looking to rent it, so check out the website and make some plans!

Cabin amenities
5 bedrooms
Upstairs Loft, with three twin beds
2 full bathrooms
1 half bath
Gorgeous Kitchen and Dining Room
Hot tub

The cabin is in the Chamberlands area of Homewood, which means there is skiing at the end of the road at Homewood Mountain Resort in the Winter, a private beach/heated pool/tennis on the Lake in the Summer including the Baby Beach, Main Beach with floats, free paddle boats and professional lifeguards. 

Great hiking, biking in Spring, Summer and Fall. Walk to Obexer's market and marina or Old Tahoe Cafe. Summer activities at Homewood Mountain Resort usually include concerts, music, art and craft shows as well as The Farmers Market.

Here is the link to the cabin website with pricing info and contact information for Jim and Karen Bruce: Homewood Cabin


Casey has been a bit obsessed with ladybugs lately. He caught about 50 from his Aunt Dagny's front and backyards the night of her housewarming party. We let them go in our backyard and he has been finding and catching them ever since. I also bought a container of ladybugs, as I do every Spring, from the nursery. My Mom used to buy ladybugs and let me sprinkle them over her plants. So, I buy a container every year and let Casey do the same. It still kind of freaks him out when they fly and land on him..hee hee. Ladybugs do pee on you and they can bite, but just a tiny little nibble.

Gavin and Casey took these ladybug pics and I think they are REALLY good.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gas Meter

Four years ago I took this picture of my sweet Casey behind the gas meter. We used it as our Happy St. Patrick's Day card to friends and family. It was especially funny because gas was extremely expensive during that time, so the frown on Casey's face was perfect!

We took these pics of Erik this weekend, he is the same age as Casey was in the pics above. I love how much hair Erik has at this age when Casey had next to nothing. Erik has dark eyebrows and Casey doesn't. Erik didn't get the Bailey "Santa Claus" brows that Casey and I have.

They both are darling and so adorable.

Stress Management...put your burdens down, rest awhile!

I received this sweet note about stress management from my good friend Lara. I wanted to share it with you!

A lecturer when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?"

Answers called out ranged from 20 grams to 500 grams.

The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter.  It depends on how long you try to hold it.  If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem.  If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.  If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.  In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management.  If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on.  As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again.  When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden."

"So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down.  Don't carry it home.  You can pick it up tomorrow.  Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can."

So, put down anything that may be a burden to you right now.  Don't pick it up again until after you've rested a while.

Here are some great ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

*Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

*Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

*Drive carefully.  It's not only cars that can be "recalled" by their maker.

*If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

*If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

*It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to be kind to others.

*Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

*Nobody cares if you can't dance well so just get up and dance.

*When every thing's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

*Birthdays are good for you.  The more you have, the longer you live.

*You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

*Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

*A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

*We could learn a lot from crayons... some are sharp, some are pretty and
some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they
all have to live in the same box.

Beautiful weekend

What a gorgeous weekend we had! Wow. I think it hit 80 degrees on Friday and close to that on Saturday.

On Friday night, Casey and Jacob (next door neighbor and Casey's BFF!) went to Trick's gymnastics for "Green Date Night!" I spray painted the boys hair green. I really wanted them to get into the green thing! They got to play for three hours while us parents get to go out, or in our case, take care of a snotty kid! We look forward to going out next time and getting a sitter for Erik.

My Mom, Dad and I drove to Pleasant Hill on Saturday to attend my Uncle Dick's funeral. What a celebration. He has 16 grandchildren, and they are all so gorgeous!! It was a great day, I loved spending time with the Bailey clan. I hope to see them again soon, just not at another funeral!!

Here is a little story about my Dad. He can't handle crying much. I have a very soft center, and it doesn't take much to get me crying. As we walked into the church, I saw my Aunt Mary, surrounded by her three daughters and several other family members. My Aunt Mary had just had a complicated surgery a few days ago. I was shocked that she was even there. I hugged her and started to cry. The funeral hadn't even started yet, so when my Dad turned around and saw me, all red and blotchy, he said, "Are you crying?! What's the matter?!" It never fails, he just doesn't "GET" why I could be crying. Because I am FEELING, Dad. I am feeling and I am full of love and heartache and joy and it makes my eyes leak. Since I was a kid, my Dad prefers to make you stop crying by trying to make you laugh. Just feel it, Dad. Just let it go....

While I was gone Saturday, Pedar took the boys on three bike rides. Erik LOVES his ibert seat. So cute! Way to go super cool Dad. 

Later on Saturday, when I returned from the Bay Area, we went to the Hausman's for the Remme Reunion planning meeting! Update: The reunion is tentatively set for June 23-26, 2011 in Sacramento. Location and other details coming soon.

On Sunday, after attending a full Catholic service on Saturday, we (or I) decided to skip church and play outside. Pedar fixed the vent thing for the new dryer and repaired his bike tires. I weeded a little area in the backyard. Lots more weeding still waiting on me. Love those weeds. Casey's buddy Kekoa and his Daddy, Kealii, Pedar's buddy..well..mine too...came over and we all rode our bikes, even Erik sat in the front of my bike, to Baskin Robbins! What a delicious reason for a bike ride!

We ended the evening with Willie's burgers and Erik dipped his fries in ketchup! It was precious! What a smarty.

Oh! Oh! Oh! Erik took several steps this weekend, but alas, I cannot call him a walker yet. Soon though...soon.

Love you all. Enjoy this heavenly weather. It will be 100 before we know it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Uncle Richard Bailey

My Uncle Dick died on Tuesday morning. He was my Dad's oldest brother. They were twenty years apart in age, he was like my Dad's second father and I understood that. (Does that even happen anymore...people having children that are twenty years apart??! I mean oh my goodness!)
My Dad was only 23 years-old when his father and mother died, so my Uncle Dick and his older brothers really helped fill those shoes for him after his parents died.  He and my Aunt Elaine had seven children. Visiting their house in Martinez was always like attending a huge party. They had a big house, and a big pool with a diving board and slide. My cousins were a bit older than my sisters and I, but they always gave us so much attention. They always were and still are the most loving people.

My Uncle Dick had a wonderful sense of humor and was very quick witted. He did a great Donald Duck impersonation and even if I told him I was Nora, he called me Margery. I loved it. All of it. My Aunt Elaine was so generous, patient and kind. She was always cooking something wonderful and giving a complement to a child at the same time. She was so special. They will both be missed, but I am soothed by knowing they are once again together. I love you Aunt Elaine and Uncle Dick. Thank you for making such amazing children, who in turn made such amazing grandchildren.
Richard Stanley Bailey Resident of Pleasant Hill Richard, born on April 18, 1928 in Bakersfield, California to Albert Stanley and Mary Frances Bailey passed away peacefully March 16, 2010 at his home. He was preceded in death by his faithful and loving wife of 54 years Elaine Carol Bailey and 3 siblings Dale Bailey, Carol Jordan and Paul Bailey. He is survived by seven children; three daughters Deborah (Louis) Breznikar, Karen (Jim) Langenstein and Monica Bailey; and four sons William (Laurie), Brian (Karen), Dale (Kim) and Matthew (Amy). His 16 loving grandchildren and his brothers Martin (Mary), Daniel (Ann), and Kenneth (Lane) Bailey survive him. 

He will be deeply missed by countless friends and family. At an early age, Richard (Dick) and his parents moved to Oakland, California, where he attended Saint Bernard Elementary and Fremont High School and graduated in 1945. Dick received a scholarship to attend Stanford University, however, within one year enlisted in the Army. After a tour in Italy he returned to the Bay Area in December of 1947. While attending SF City College and working part-time, Dick was recalled to service. He was re-deployed to support the Korean War where he was stationed in Paso Robles and ran the dispensary/ pharmacy. After the war, Dick began a career in the oil industry where he retired from Standard Oil Company after 30 years of service. 

In 1950, he met and married the love of his life on June 21, 1952. They moved to Hayward, CA in 1954, where they resided until they moved to Martinez, CA in 1978. In 2001, they moved to Mt. Aukum, CA, until Elaine's death in 2006. After 2006, Dick moved to The Chateau in Pleasant Hill. 

Dick was active in the Knights of Columbus as well as Meals on Wheels. He also held various social activity leadership roles at The Chateau. During his life, his home was the center of many celebrations, where he loved entertaining and barbequing for family and friends. His engaging sense of humor and kind nature endeared many to him and made all feel welcome. 

Link to obituary 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Blue Dog Beverages

Bob and Janet Lake on Fox 40 news!

Our cousins, Bob and Janet (Remme) Lake were recently featured on Fox 40 news to talk about their soda distributing company, Blue Dog Beverages. Here is a link to their website: Blue Dog Beverages

Check it out!
  Janet and Bob on Fox 40

Happy Anniversary! Happy Anniversary! Happy Anniversary!

Dagny sent us this hilarious clip from "So I Married an Axe Murderer." Enjoy!

Everything is BETTER with Pedar!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Happy Birthday to my Aunt Rose Anne! Today would have been Grandma Dagny's Birthday. We miss her so much. We pray for her every night. We know she is celebrating with us and helping us through the difficult times. We love you G.G.

Happy 9th Anniversary to my husband. We met in April of 1996, starting dating in September and got married on March 17, 2001. What a ride it has been. Pedar is such a good man. He has taught me patience, unconditional love and so much more. He has given me a house, a garden, beautiful children, travel, adventure and passion....yeah, I said it, passion. EVERYTHING is better with Pedar.

I can't begin to summarize my feelings for Pedar. I just cry. I just love him, all of him. Even when he is defensive when I am a bit ticked. I love him. The best thing about him, he doesn't stay angry, we both don't. We spit and spat for about two to five minutes, then we quickly resolve it, because we can't stand to be angry at one another. We just want to be happy. We want to make the other person happy, and I believe that is why we are happy. We are a peace loving people.

On another note, being that it is St. Patrick's Day, I just wanted to say that I love my big Irish family. My Mom is one of seven children and my Dad was one of seven children. I have sooooo many Aunts, Uncles and cousins. I love the bigness of it all. It always makes for a great time.

I wanted to close this with a limerick that my Uncle Steve Ryken wrote for us on our wedding day. I love you, Uncle Steve. Thanks for the limerick!

There once was a beautiful girl named Nora Irene
She was frustrated and bored with the dating scene
She met a charming prince, they fell in love
But she dumped him for Pedar Eugene

Monday, March 15, 2010

74 degrees!!

Today was off the charts nice, I think it reached 74 degrees. Casey and I both had a bit of a sunburn from hanging out in the backyard! I have to get back into the sunscreen and hat habit. What a gorgeous day. We did some yard work and enjoyed being outside! Wow...I could get used to this. No wonder I love March so much!

We ended the day with some fun in the bath. Erik LOVES Casey so much. I pray they always love one another like they do now. I just adore these boys. They are so wonderful. Thank you, God!

Great weekend in Truckee

We had a great night away. We went away for one night to celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary. Nana and Pop-Pop Ken took great care of our boys. We felt relaxed. We left around 8 a.m. on Saturday and headed up the mountain to ski at Alpine. Traffic was extremely slow. By the time we got to Alpine it was close to 11 a.m. and the parking lot was insane. Two feet of fresh powder had made all the snow bums jump out of bed. We decided to not wait 40 minutes for the Alpine shuttle and instead go to Homewood. Even when it's busy, Homewood feels laid back and easy. We put our gear on, bought our lift tickets and away we went.

I am proud to say I did pretty good. I only fell once. I skied until 4 p.m., and then my legs felt like jello and I knew I better stop. I have been trying to learn how to ski for over ten years now. I went skiing for the first time in March of 1997. I wanted to learn because my amazing new boyfriend LOVED skiing. I wanted to be able to go with him. I will never forget the look on his face the first time we went skiing together. He was SO PROUD of me. Even when my legs gave out and I had to sit on his knee as he skied me down the mountain, he kept encouraging me. "You did really great, Nora! I am so proud of you!" That is just who Pedar is, he is so positive and so loving. I am so lucky! I knew skiing was something I wanted to do, not only for Pedar, but especially now because I want to ski with our boys.

I wish I had had the camera, it was in Pedar's pocket all day. I would love to show you what a beautiful skier Pedar is... next time I will take a video of him I promise! Pedar makes it look so easy. I look forward to gaining some more speed when I ski, I know that will help my legs not tire out so fast.
After skiing we checked into the River Street Inn. The little lodge is in the adorable small town of Truckee. We rested a bit and then headed out for drinks at the Bar of America. We had the most amazing tuna tartare appetizer. Then we went out to eat at Pianeta.

Pianeta is a delicious Italian restaurant. It is very small, so reservations are always necessary. We had 8:30 p.m. reservations and it was hard to not just grab a burger at the first place. We were both feeling the effects of skiing all day. We held out and we were so glad we did. Our dinner was delicious. We didn't feel like drinking anymore when we got to the restaurant, so it was especially funny when this lovely woman came up to us and said, "It's your anniversary, are you sure you don't want a glass of wine?" We said, "How did you know that?" She just smiled and said, "We have our ways of knowing things!" We decided to share a glass. We enjoyed a delicious dinner and dessert and then the bill came. We opened it up and inside was a little note that read, " From Karen and Jim. Happy Anniversary. We love you!" Jim (Pedar's Dad) had called the restaurant and taken care of our bill. It was a wonderful surprise!! Especially since we had purchased four new tires the day before we left on our trip and now as I write this blog, our washer and dryer has died as well. Off to Sears we go tomorrow..cha ching!

We told my Mom we would be home by Noon on Sunday. When I called to check in on Sunday morning, she said "Take your time! Don't rush back!" We decided to stop at Bakers Nursery in Loomis. We spoke to one of the owners and had a great time picking out a few new plants for the sun garden and to replace the three lavender plants that decided to quit on me after six years. We finally made it home and when we pulled up I noticed a ton of cars parked around our house. Casey came running out of the house with a handful of balloons yelling, "Surprise!" Then I started counting the folks that were spilling out of my house: Jim, Karen, Dagny, Bridget, Chuck, Liam, Lila, Mom and Dad. Wow! Good thing I cleaned my toilets before I left! My Mom had made a few calls and put together a surprise anniversary party to welcome us home. My Dad made a complete corned beef/cabbage/potato meal. It was delicious! My Mom had even had her very talented friend Tracy make us a little anniversary cake.

The little party was so sweet. I really appreciated everyone taking time out of their Sunday to come over. We felt very loved and special! Thank you!! We love you. We are so grateful to live so close to so many wonderful family members. We are so lucky. Thank you!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Crazy kids!

Casey told me today that he "Only listens to Daddy!" and that he is not my friend, he is only Daddy's friend and he does not want to play with me! I am mean and I yell too much! The feeling was VERY mutual my small friend. Casey was a headache today. After his timeout, more for me than for him, he continually slammed his door, over and over, until I locked door. I threatened to take the door off the hinge, I need to follow through with this threat now, I know. The lock is on the outside for these (my) purposes. He then hit the door, continuously, with something hard, until he left a dent in the door. OH MY GOD! I told him that his timeout was more for me, so I could take a moment and pull myself together because HE WAS DRIVING ME FLIPPING CRAZY! He didn't care. He had WAY too much energy and I didn't have an outlet for him to run it out!! AHHHHHHH!!!!!

The rain kept us locked inside and even with gymnastics it wasn't enough. Everyday after school we have been playing outside; riding bikes, scooting, running, playing in our backyard, you know...all kinds of outdoor goodness. Erik has been outside everyday too. So today, was painful. I texted Pedar around 3 p.m. and told him I had opened up the liquor and didn't know if Casey would survive until he arrived from work. Casey survived. I didn't actually open up the liquor, but I did have a nice glass (OK two) when Pedar got home. I am so much better now.

Tomorrow, my Mom (God bless this woman!) is coming over early in the morning so Pedar and I can go skiing and stay overnight in Truckee. We are celebrating our ninth wedding anniversary this weekend. We will go skiing, go out to dinner, stay at an adorable hotel...and come home by lunch on Sunday. This is the first time I am leaving Erik. I am a bit nervous, but I know Casey will help entertain his brother, and I know my Mom will do great.

Twelve more hours till freedom....I hear it calling me...Nora.....Nora...come out to play with me! Bye! I have to go now! Kisses.