Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rainforest Jumperoo

Finn has one and he LOVES it. We decided to get V one. She hasn't quite figured out that she can jump in the jumperoo-- but she did discover a plastic bug that she likes to put in her mouth.

Thank Goodness We're Moving

I was trying to sleep in Saturday morning when I heard a noise. It was a megaphone. "Come out with your hands on top of your head." I thought that it was just some rowdy neighbors goofing around but then... We heard it again. Joe flipped open the blinds and this is what we saw (the picture was taken from our bedroom window)!! A police stand-off in OUR GATED community!!

Apparently a coke dealer was living next to us and had a party. Some people got cut with a knife and landed themselves in the hospital. The coke dealer had holed himself in his townhouse, armed with a butcher knife. The standoff took about two hours but the cops gassed him out when it started to drizzle rain.

What is that biblical saying? Oh yes-- Love thy neighbors.

Just Another Day at the Pool

I promised my nieces, Maddie and Kate (no not Den's kids-- ha ha, they're April's) that they would come and spend the night with me while school was out for the summer. Apparently I have been really busy because our slumber party didn't happen until the week before their school started!! We partied hard the night before and woke up refreshed after a swim in the pool.

Madam V partied the hardest of all.

Still slightly intoxicated from the evening before, Baby V couldn't figure out what those sunglasses were used for.

Jazz hands.

Group shot! I had to hold V up because she wanted to dive in the water before we got our photo op.

We're Safe!!

Tropical Storm Fay may have rescheduled my Disney orientation today but will not damper my attempts at having a normal day with the family. Gotta shower the puppies (Benson has a minor eye laceration and is sporting his Elizabethan Collar), clean the turtle bin, and have fun with Baby V.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thanks for the Hospitality Flo, Phong, and Mini-Phong!!

Auntie Florence and Uncle Phong were gracious hosts and let the fam crash with them while we were in San Diego. They had just moved into a beautiful new house in 4S Ranch right before Joe and I moved back to Florida.

Auntie Florence is expecting Baby #1-- it's going to be a mini-Phong!! :) We're so excited!!

Okay, I admit-- she's starting to look more like me.

"Auntie Florence, I want to play with mini-Phong now!"

"Babies come out of you from where?"

Visiting Old Friends

Auntie Joy couldn't make it to the lunch with the teachers the day before so we snuck in a coffee break for 30 minutes the next day. Thanks Joy for the yummo coffee from the Coffee Bean!!

P'Nae (on the farthest left) is the baker of Sweet Cake Batter. Her sister is on the farthest right. P'Oh (the guy to the right of me) just opened up a restaurant--with two other friends that I waited tables with-- around the UTC called Star Anise. It's TASTY!!

Violet, Me, Bob, Becky, and Noi (holla Poway Dog Park!!) at Claim Jumpers. Daddy took the picture. Thanks for the lunch Bob and Noi!! Noi also crocheted a beautiful blanket for Baby V-- it's gorgeous!!

Little Baby V, this would have been an AWESOME family picture... If only Rich and Jodie were your real parents.

Post wedding festivities-- we visited KC, Amanda, and Kelsey the night before they headed off to Hawaii for their honeymoon.

Thanks again for all the beer Kelsey! Violet slept like a log that night :).

Last but not least, we snuck in 15 minutes to see John and Athena as they came home from their CO trip and we left for Orlando. Hopefully we'll have more time to hang out next time!

Kelsey and Amanda's Stunning Wedding

Seriously, I had to hold back the tears. Amanda was a beautiful bride.

Saying their vows.

All the groomsmen-- can you find Joe?

All the pretty, pretty bridesmaids.

Joe and I kickin it at the reception.

Kelsey spent 9 months brewing beers for the special occasion. The glasses had charms with our names written on them and allowed us (well, those of us drinking) endless home-brewed beer supplied by the groom (he's a champion beer brewer by the way-- he's won many beer brewing competitions). The wedding party had "reserved" seats with our names written out in scrabble pieces on very artistically done name tags. Everyone's name tag was unique.

Ahh, the first dance.

I loved our name tags so much that I took several pictures of them. Here they are at night!

Thanks Auntie Sylvia, I have a job!!

So the one week that Auntie Sylvia visited us from San Diego- I had TWO job interviews (evidently she's my good luck charm!). Instead of enjoying Orlando sights and sounds, she ended up helping me prepare for the interviews... She even babysat Baby V while I was on the interviews!! We haven't seen Auntie Sylvia in a week now and I know that Baby V (not to mention her mother) is (are) suffering from withdrawals. Come visit us again soon!! :) I can't thank you enough for everything. You're the best. Seriously.

This is a picture of Auntie Sylvia and Baby V before we hopped in the car to catch our respective flights out to San Diego. Baby V is wearing her first pair of blue jeans and onesie that we picked out for her exclusively for the flight. We even got her a sweatshirt that she didn't wear because the plane was hotter than we anticipated.

So JOB INTERVIEWS you say?! Long story short, I have a new part time job working for Disney. My title is "Educator Program Instructor" and I will be teaching kids (elementary and up) about the different animals in either the Animal Kingdom (non-aquatic animals) or Epcot (aquatic animals at the Living Seas). I might also be working with adults who come to park to tell them about the different animals. I'm so excited. I have my Disney orientation next week and then I wait for a phone call from my manager to tell me my exact start date. I am so excited!

Violet's First Beach Date

Uncle Den drove all of us (even Benson and Skooter!) to Clearwater Beach two Sundays ago while Auntie Sylvia was in town. Violet's first date was HEAVILY chaperoned. Please note that Violet was kind enough to lend her gentleman friend, Giovanni, one of her spare hats so he wouldn't burn.

The happy couple (and their moms) in the blazing hot sun.

Violet's first dip in the ocean. She wasn't expecting the waves... She cried a little.

We were literally at the beach for less than 20 minutes... Too hot...

Giovanni's first dip in the Gulf of Mexico. He liked it more than V-- but then again, he's been in the water before!! His first dip in any body of water was in the Mediterranean!! Lucky boy.

Surfin' Violet.S.A.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


As I was taking the FTCE (an exam that I need to pass to get my FL credential), one question (actually there were many but this one in particular) stumped me. It was a question about ultraviolet rays. I was almost done with the exam and my brain was already fried. I tried to think about what I knew about ultraviolet rays and all I could picture was my daughter, with one fist up in the air in a purple superhero outfit (with cape of course!). Thus was born, UltraViolet-- Violet's altar ego.

I came home and shared this vision with Den. A week later, he took Violet, pulled out some paper towels and made Violet her first superhero cape.

Her first mission (sadly no pictures were taken) was at a Chinese Buffet with Yay, Uncle Den, Auntie Sylvia, Uncle Golf, Auntie Jen, Bryce and myself. My brother had her flying up and down the buffet aisle screaming, "UltraViolet-- Defender of the Buffet!"

Now remember, all superheroes have had some costume revisions. I am sure that this is not the first or last UltraViolet superhero outfit.

Finn vs. Violet Behind the Scenes

Finn-- "Is the lighting right in here?"

Violet-- "Lemme taste your cheek to check optimum perkiness."

"Gosh, lemme fix your hair."

"Cute overalls Finn!"

Violet and Finn acting silly when they thought that no one was looking-- too bad the paparazzi are everywhere!!

Finn vs. Violet Round Three

And the battle begins!! Finn uses his Italian genes and gives Violet the hand flick!

Next, Finn grabs Violets arm! Oh no!! He's got her in an arm lock!!

The hand flick and arm lock are not enough to hold Violet back!! She frees herself and uses her long arm span to hold Finn back!!

Her arm span is strong!! Violet is able to hold Finn off for the rest of the battle!!

Violet WINS!! Better luck next time Finn.

Quality Time with Sophie

On our trip in San Diego, Violet got to meet Sophie-- click on this link to see the pictures. There's even a before and after picture of Debbie and I pregnant!!

Violet loved meeting her BFF Sophie. Violet grabbed Sophie's hand as soon as they met :). We miss you guys already!!

Short Hiatus

Sorry about the non-postings but these past two weeks have been crazy!! In short, Sylvia (one of my favorite people from San Diego-- the person who helped me survive my first class) came to visit for a week, I had two job interviews, and then the family flew to San Diego for Kelsey's and Amanda's wedding. Here are some pics of V to hold you over until I can post all the pictures up.

Sylvia bought V her first pair of sunglasses (the first picture) while vacationing in Orlando. The second pair (modeled directly above) were bought by Yay who was worried about V's sensitive eyes to the strong rays of the Florida sun on their morning walks.