Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy Baby Stace!

Saturday morning a friend and I hosted a baby shower for my wonderful friend Stacy. She is expecting her second daughter, Addison, in January. I am always so thrilled to see my friends and their ever expanding families. Congrats Stacy. Adddison, can't wait to meet you.... :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

OMG! The toys are multiplying.....

or maybe it's Christmas. I swear the sheer number of toys in our household tripled overnight. Me thinks it's time to weed out the toy closet. How blessed my kiddos are that so many people love them! We spent Christmas morning at our house opening and playing with our Santa gifts. Then we went to brunch/opening insane amounts of gifts at Jeremy's mom's house. We ended the day with dinner and more gifts with my parent's and Jeremy's dad. Our day was relatively low stress (no small feat for a holiday) and the boys held up great. I love Christmas (I really do) but between you and me- I'm kinda glad it's over!

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Every year on Christmas Eve we go with Jeremy's family to dinner at the Mission Inn, followed by a gift exchange at Jeremy's parent's home. It is always a lot of fun to get all dressed up and walk around downtown. The lights are breathtaking and it is a great start to Christmas.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Cookie Exchange #2

Wednesday night my friend Lisa hosted a cookie exchange for kids. The little ones decorated cookies , drank hot chocolate, had a book exchange and listened to her son Hunter "read" The Night Before Christmas. Ok, mostly they ran around and played with all of Hunter's toys, but regardless of how they spent their time they had a ball!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Want to have a good laugh?

Click here to have a good laugh at my family's expense!!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cookie Exchange #1

Today was the first of two cookie exchanges I was invited to. Today my friend Jill hosted twelve of us at her home. We each brought 3 dozen homemade cookies. We laid them out on a big table and went around with platters collecting a handful of each type of cookie. In the end we each had a big plate of assorted Christmas cookies. It was fun and sure beats making all those cookies myself. Now if I can only resist sampling all of them!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Portillo Family Christmas Party

Today was the annual Portillo family party hosted by Jeremy's mom. Every year the "newest" daddy gets to dress up and be Santa, having each kid come sit on his lap and hand out gifts. This year's Santa was Jeremy's cousin Vince who welcomed twin boys into his life this summer. I only got a shot of Gavin because my camera conveniently ran out of batteries by the time it was Derek's turn. Trust me when I say he was terrified of Santa and didn't sit there long enough for a picture anyhow. The funny thing is, he adores Vince. Of course the little ones never figure out that is just their cousin/uncle/dad in that costume!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Little Monkey Business...

Today was Gavin's "Curious George" birthday party. It was a FULL house and he had a really good time. Thanks to all who came to help make his day so special. You always make our family feel so loved and we are blessed to have such great family and friends. And a special thanks to my folks, Devon, Tim and Sarah. Boy, is this mommy pooped!

Happy Birthday Tim!

Friday night we celebrated my little brother Tim's 27th birthday. It is so hard for me to grasp how old he is. To me he is eternally my "baby" brother and thus can't possibly be a full fledged adult, much less 27! In reality though, he is this totally successful, happy, handsome man who I am so very proud of. Happy birthday Tim. I think you are just wonderful!

Friday, December 7, 2007

My Baby is Four Today!

Well, my first baby that is. Gavin Jeremy was born four years ago at 6:25 in the morning. Time sure flies. We celebrated by having lunch at the restaurant of his choice- Carl's Jr. (what sophisticated taste) and a trip to the Disney store to pick out a toy from my mom. Happy birthday Gavin. I love you beautiful boy......

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I've Been "Tagged"

There is a little blogging game called 10 things and apparently I'm it. Before I begin let me say- I have LIFTED the restricted comments from this site, meaning all of you can leave a comment WITHOUT a password. If I am going to bare my weirdness to you, then as my friends and family, you better gimme some love!!! (Seriously if only 2 people leave a comment I'll be a bit hurt) SO LEAVE A COMMENT (I am so curious who's reading)! Ok, now that I've gotten that out, here we go"

10 Things About Me You Might Not Know:

1) I hate watching TV. I could actually live perfectly fine without a television set. I much prefer reading.

2) Speaking of reading, when I was in the 3rd grade my teacher had a speed reading machine. I used it so much I can now read so fast I can finish entire novels in 1-2 hours.

3) I am a compulsive list maker. All over my house are little to do lists. I make them for myself, for Jeremy, even the boys who can't read yet. I get a strange satisfaction from crossing things off my list. It doesn't really bother me that no one else pays any attention to them.

4) When I was a sophomore I was on Good Morning America. My cheerleading squad went to cheer camp at UCLA and they were there doing a segment on the whole experience. They followed me around for much of the day and a few weeks later there I was telling the whole U. S of A to "push 'em back."

5) I hate Halloween. Always have. I only wanted to dress up if I could be something pretty. Guess I have always been vain. I try really hard to enjoy it for my kids, but truthfully.... I still don't like it much.

6) I love a clean house but I detest doing any of the work to clean it. If only I had that robot from the Jetson's.

7) I can't watch horror movies. Even the kind that are so bad there isn't a chance in heck they're real. When I was in 7th grade I watched Nightmare on Elm Street One and Two and they scared me so bad I couldn't walk by my own swimming pool at night alone ever again.

8) I am obsessed with all things fertility. Seriously! Maybe I was a midwife in my past life. I can answer almost any question on babies and all your business "down there."

9) I LOVE crackers. I don't mean I like them once in a while. I mean I cannot buy them at the store because I simply can't resist eating the whole entire box. As a kid my mom knew this so she would never buy them (or if she did she hid them from me and snuck them over to my little brother), so I would go to my friend Colleen's. Her mom always had the good ones!

10) In college I worked for a long time in the campus vault. It was basically an underground safe where all of the money from the campus was filtered through. I seriously loved that job. It was quiet, but fun. Easy but you had to concentrate. No pressure, just CASH! If I ever win the lottery I'm opening me up a vault. Devon- are you in?

So there you have it. Hope you all still love me! Now I tag Stacy and Lisa!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Those of you who pray....

If you have not blog-hopped over to my babysitter Laura's blog about her daughter Jessica I ask that those of you who pray take a little gander over there. They have found some cancerous spots again and are waiting for answers as to what to do next. I cannot imagine the torture a parent endures when their baby has to go through this. I pray with all my heart that this beautiful baby conquers cancer once again....

Monday, November 26, 2007

Back to Work

Today was officialy my first day back at work. BLECH!!!! :( On the bright side I only have 4 weeks of school to go followed by 2 more weeks of vacation after Christmas. I know, I know you are rolling your eyes at me. Teachers have such an easy schedule don't we? Hey, I DARE YOU to come in and control 20 kindergarteners the month before Christmas. It's not too bad except when they've been up late shopping with mommy, or are on a sugar high from eating too many Christmas cookies. It's fine as long as their girl scout troop/ dance class/ soccer team doesn't have any holiday celebrations or their parents don't drag them to umpteen parties. As long as they don't overstimulate their immature senses with Christmas carols every time they're in the car, or expose them to bright lights on every house and blow up nativity scenes, giant snow globes and singing snowmen in every yard. As long as no one forgets that these little people have only been on this planet for 5 years and ALL they care about is when Santa is coming. As long as none of that happens, AND you can corral them, keep them quiet, entertain them, put on a festive singing performance for their families AND teach them how to read, then you are right in rolling your eyes. If just reading about my upcoming month exhausts you, go out and buy your kid's teacher a nice gift- and tell her to enjoy a much deserved vacation!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


The dad of 2 of my previous students treated our family to Disneyland yesterday. For my friends who are not parents yet, trust me when I say watching your children's faces at Disneyland is priceless. It was decorated for Christmas and it was so beautiful. Santa and his reindeer were there, It's a Small World was covered in twinkling lights and Sleeping Beauty's castle was capped with snow. It even "snowed" on Main Street. It was pretty crowded but the boys had a ball and we got to ride a lot of rides. Gavin loved Pirates, Derek loved the choo-choo in Fantasyland and Jeremy loved Buzz Lightyear (ADMIT IT it is a pretty fun ride) :) It was a really good day, made even better by the fact that it was free. "C" family THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Girl Time

Don't you love when you get to go out with a good girlfriend? Tuesday night I met my high school pal Emily for dinner. It was so great to catch up, reminisce, and vent with her. There is something to be said for a little girl time. I feel recharged & can't wait to do it again soon....

Monday, November 12, 2007

Go Chargers!

Sunday afternoon Jeremy and I got to enjoy an entire day out, with no kiddos in tow. Our good friends Doug and Pam treated us to the Chargers-Colts game in San Diego. Jeremy's mom and sister helped us out with babysitting. Even being soaked from the rain could not take away from an exciting game. Apparently Gavin thought he saw us on TV and was very concerned that I was one of the cheerleaders showing my tummy. Ha! If only my tummy looked good enough to bare on national TV! What a fun day. Thanks Doug & Pam.... :)


Friday night we celebrated my brother-in-law Dino's 40th birthday by throwing him a surprise party. I'm not convinced he was totally surprised, but I know everyone had a great night. Happy birthday Dean!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Friday was Legoland's teacher appreciation day, so the boys and I met my sister Devon for a fun, cheap day! It was super chilly but the boys had a ball. They especially loved the giant playground. It was so neat to see Derek's face when he would see one of the giant fairy tale characters made out of legos start talking. His mouth was just wide open and he was aware of nothing else! Devon was a great sport and even braved the log ride where they got good and wet. Thanks Auntie for a fun day!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Escape Artist

Well folks, we have a problem. Derek has been climbing out of his crib! We have a gate up in front of his door so he can't really go anywhere, but he's still making us nuts. What he does is open and close his bedroom door a hundred times. Not too hard, just loud enough to wake everyone up. At 3 am, at 5 am at 6 am, etc. So last night before we went to bed I told him he better not wake mommy and dadddy up tonight opening and shutting his door. Stay in bed! So what does my clever boy do? Well come 6 am I hear a knocking noise. I got up and asked Gavin who was going potty why he was knocking. He said it wasn't him, it was Derek. Sure enough, Derek was on the inside of his bedroom door knocking to come out!!!! He was't opening and closing the door, so I guess in his little mind he was doing what I asked!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

What did you do today?

I played king and queen of the castle with Gavin. We saved our crowns (made of linker letters) from the neighbor's UPS delivery truck. Good thing we had our magic wands (flashlights) to wave at him through the windows. Unfortunately he came back just a few moments later (apparently he forgot part of his delivery) but never fear we zapped him a few more times and "poof" he drove away!You gotta love little imaginations...

Happy Halloween

Our day started with a costume parade at Gavin's preschool. I then mad dashed home to clean & bake homemade mac and cheese. I started this "pre trick-or-treat" tradition of making dinner last year and really enjoyed carrying it on this year. I don't really like Halloween at all but I do love having so many of our family and friends over for food and conversation. Thanks to all who came. We ended the night with some trunk-or-treating at the local church. The kids got a ton of candy and we kept Derek reasonably quiet (see yesterday's Disney post to understand how he feels about candy) by shoving Tootsie Pops in his mouth every couple of minutes! Hey, sometimes having a peaceful event trumps perfect parenting... :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween at California Adventure

Last night we took the boys to Mickey's Halloween Treat at California Adventure. They got to dress up in their costumes and trick-or-treat all around the park. It was decorated to the hilt and had Disney characters and loud, live music on every stage. It was very cute and the boys got a ton of candy. It would have been a perfect night if only I hadn't had a fever and a sinus infection, if Jeremy wasn't exhausted from getting up for work at 3:45 am, if Derek hadn't had two major meltdowns screaming, "MY CANDY, MINE" and if Gavin hadn't decided he was going to pee his pants at the very moment we finally reached the front of a very long Monsters Inc. line. SIGH.... Perfect we are not, but Gavin was able to hold it until we raced to a bathroom and Derek was pacified with a box of raisins that we told him were candy. Tell me my kids aren't the only ones who do these things!!!!

Trip to the Dentist

Gavin got to visit the dentist today. He did great. He seems to have inherited none of his mom's dentist fears. Of course I might do better at the dentist too if I got to watch Shrek and play video games!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Look at them eyes....

Gavin and Derek both have brown eyes. I have hazel and Jeremy has green so it was logical of me to think while I was pregnant that at least one of my children would have light eyes, right? Apparently not. Both of my babies have eyes the color of Hershey kisses. Is it any wonder that their eyes are my favorite feature?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Guess Who's on Vacation???

Ok so maybe I'm not headed anywhere tropical like this, but words cannot explain how excited I am to be on vacation for the month. I am SO ready for a break. Who wants to hang out?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Laura!

Our kids have the best babysitter ever. When we had to do the dreaded "who can we find to watch our babies" search we had no idea what an awesome person we would find. Laura treats our children like her own and they love her to pieces for it. She has been a good friend and an inspiration. She had to endure her younger daughter Jessica battle cancer (and beat it) this past year. In celebration her husband decided to throw her a surprise birthday party last night. You know I love Laura simply for the fact that I dressed up in a costume for her. (Anyone who knows me well knows I DETEST costume parties). So tell me, are we "ghetto-fabulous" or what?!! Anyhow, happy birthday Laura, may your 30th year on this planet be your best yet!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Moment of panic

So Gavin and I are in the car when he says, "Hey Mom. Remember when we saw that boy and he was on the bottom? And that girl and she was on the top. And they were moving up and down a lot. Huh Mom. Remember?"

Thus ensues a moment of panic. What the heck was on the TV last night? What did I expose my child too? Oh @#*&! How do I explain this one away? Why do these moments always happen on my watch? Jeremy never has to deal with this kind of stuff!

Then Gavin says, "Yeah, those monsters were crazy. That house has girl monsters and boy monsters. They move a lot." Now I remember. It was one of those blow up lawn decorations they have out for Halloween on a house we drove by. I know, I know. Get my mind out of the gutter. But can you blame me? What would YOU have thought if your child said the same thing?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Pumpkin Patch- Sort Of

Every year we go as a family to the pumpkin patch. This year we went to the pumpkin patch of hay surrounded by asphalt and really big bouncers in the Kohl's parking lot.
Nothing says fall better than a giant shark bounce house.... :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007


As many of you know my least favorite part of all this parenthood stuff is potty training. Gavin has now been totally day trained for so long I barely remember him in diapers. Night training for us though has been tough. A couple weeks ago we went shopping and he saw some Cars underwear. He asked if he could have them and I told him once he was dry for 7 nights he could have them. I didn't make a big deal out of it but inside I was praying that finally he would figure this out. I am happy to say that yesterday we went shopping for some new lil' chonies. The best part is while we were out he saw some Spongebob ones and asked if he were dry 7 more nights if he could get those. Someone is feeling might confident! Yay Gavin....:)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Can a cat get embarassed?

If so, then my mom's cat Dexter is mortified. You see, Dexter is my mom's new child. She needed someone to spoil since her kids are all grown up & moved out. Meet Dexter: my new brother. 95% of the time Dexter has a pretty easy life. He eats good food, bathes in the sunlight of the family room window, and has even taken over my folk's favorite armchair. Then there is the 5% of the time when my children come over to play. My children LOVE Uncle Dexter. They want to pet him, play with him and cuddle up to him all the time. Unfortunately for Dexter, Derek is only a year and a half old so the petting is kind of rough, the playing is basically my children chasing Dexter while he tries to find a new place to hide and cuddling is usually one of the boys laying on the poor cat while he is squirming to get away. The funny part is the boys genuinely love Dexter. So much so that they wanted to buy him a Halloween costume so he wouldn't feel left out. After a little wrangling to get it on, Dexter's costume transformed him into a chicken. It didn't seem like he really appreciated it....

Monday, October 8, 2007

Can you guess my mood????

I love being on vacation but the next best thing is being on countdown to vacation! I feel like my life does a complete turn around when I'm off track. I get to be home with my kids, I get to see my husband, I can reconnect with my friends and I get to have a pedicure now and then. My toes are wiggling in anticipation....:) Twenty days left (but who's counting)!

Saturday, October 6, 2007


Tonight we went out to dinner to Roadhouse with our friends the Paulo's. We love hanging out with this family because they have 2 little ones the same ages as our kids and they love to go out & do stuff just like us. We had a great night... until Derek got so wound up from running around after dinner that he decided to barf all over the place. Way to make an impression kid. I guess after all those times I embarassed my own parents, karma was bound to get me back! Anyhow we had a blast... let's do it again soon!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Sometimes it is not the best idea to stop and take a funny picture. See, it was dinner- making time in the Collins home (always chaotic to say the least), and I was busy. You know, cooking. So when Derek asked for some cheerios I figured "sure." I gave him a couple and put the box on the counter. Apparently he can reach the counter. What you see is what he did. A pain to clean up but kinda funny so I had to snap his pic. What you don't see is what happened next. My child decided to sweep that whole pile onto my just cleaned floors. And you know the cereal dust that comes at the bottom of the package? Let's just say I am blogging in an effort to avoid mopping. Maybe next time I will clean up the table before whatever it is hits the floor!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Macey!

Yesterday was my niece Macey's second birthday. I will never forget the first time I saw her... all 4 pounds of her snuggled up in the hospital nursery with a tiny pink bow on her head. Isn't it amazing how quickly you fall in love with new members of your family? Not to mention how quickly they grow????
Happy Second Birthday Macey!