Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Silly, Sneaky Girls...

You think I would know by now that quiet 3-year olds are up to no good. We have had enough incidents in the past (i.e. the turquoise blue paint in the bedroom, the blue sharpie marker in the kitchen, the mysterious traveling poo...) that it should trigger some internal alarm if the noise level in our home falls below a certain decibel...you know, like a built-in mischief warning so that I can catch the girls before they've done too much damage. Unfortunately, this mama doesn't have anything like that (darn it), which is why we now have a custom-designed Crayola couch.
Our beautiful couch mural - it's one-of-a-kind! (it's kind of hard to see the full extent of damage in these pictures)
The culprits...er....artists (AK and Roo)

The sad thing is, I was sitting on the couch doing accounting homework while the girls did this. I would like to think that I'm not normally this oblivious to things...so I am blaming the 8 page, 5 spreadsheet assignment for my negligence. By the time I finally realized what was going on, the girls had created a mural materpiece....across the entire backside of the couch, including the cushions they had put on the floor earlier that afternoon. They were so proud - they kept telling me they wrote their names and that it was sooo pretty...so beautiful. I regret to say I didn't feel the same sense of pride....my feelings were nothing close to happy or proud, which is why the girls were sent immediately to their bedroom for the night, without sippy cups or lovies, and ordered to go directly to sleep.

Fortunately, these two sneaky gals have a papa who loves them dearly; after a few mintues of tears and protests, he gave in and took them sippy cups, as well as cheetah and teddy. I went in an hour or so later and apologized for yelling at them and told them I loved them. They weren't phased at all by the incident - they were still so proud of their drawing. I doubt these girls will quit their silly, sneak ways any time soon....man oh man, are we in for some tough times with these two!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

So...Whatcha Been Up To?

It seems like my blogging activity has been a little off since the start of the new year. Nothing much has been going on with us, which may be the reason for my inactivity - I guess I figure the regular, every day happenings of our life wouldn't be all that interesting to read about. But, since that is the whole purpose why I started this blog - to keep everyone up to date on the happenings of our lives (however dull they may appear) - I need to get out of my little funk and start blogging! So, here is a glimpse of what we have been up to the past week...

I remember my younger sister going through a phase when she would change her outfit 10-12 times a day; her clothes weren't dirty, she just got tired of what she was wearing and decided she wanted something new. The girls are going through a similar phase, as is evidenced by the piles of clothes that keep appearing on the floor in the girls' room and the ever-growing pile in the hallway laundry basket. It's great that they are trying to figure out their own fashion style, but I have to tell ya....I'm not digging the extra laundry that is occuring because of it. The pics above show Roo in her pink tutu/fancy black shirt ensemble, and AK proudly displaying her blue flag shirt. Roo was uncharacteristically cooperative for the photo while AK was surprisingly uncooperative...I guess we are all entitled to an off day every now and then.

AK's uncharacteristic actions mentioned above could be the result of her not feeling quite up to par. As you can see in the pics above, she has been dealing with a scabby red rash around her right eye. The rash presented as a mild patch of eczema over a week and half ago...since it's around her eye, we used a new non-steroidal cream the girls' pediatrician prescribed. After only one application, AK's eye went from bad to worse...needless to say, I didn't use the cream again. We have been able to control the redness and irritation by simply using Aquaphor (thanks Bobbi for the suggestion), but seeing as how it's been well over a week and the skin is still pretty red and tender, I think I am going to have to take AK back in to the doctor next week to get it looked at...again.

The girls have recently shown their mama's love for reading - they come to me with stacks of books in their arms and ask me to read them some stories. If I'm not able to at that particular moment, they seem content to settle down on the floor or couch and read their books to themselves or each other. It's really cute to see them reading to each other, and I love hearing the stories they create as they look at the pictures. The pics above show some of AK and Roo's current favorite titles.

I'm not sure what it is with these girls and tables (think back to last year when I posted the pic of the girls snoozing in the compartments of the train table), but the above pics show their recent table adventure. I left the family room for a couple of minutes, and when I came back in the girls were sitting in the store part of the table pretending to drive their car; AK was headed to the pool and Roo was destined for the zoo to look at the animals. The girls got "stuck" in some mud, so Roo hopped out to push the car while AK manned the steering wheel - the whole thing was totally cute to watch. I hope these girls never lose their creativity. PS: The table has also been used as a dance stage, a jumping pad, a drawing canvas, baby cribs, and a fishing boat. I bought the table a few months ago thinking it would be great for storage - who would have thought it would turn out to be the object of so many playtime activities!

The favorite snack for the week has been popcorn. The girls love to help me cook it (translation: one girl opens the package, one girl puts it in the microwave, then we listen as it POPs). One mini bag is perfect for the two of them - they each get their own bowl, but AK always tries to sneak some from Roo's bowl before she starts eating from her own. Silly, silly girl...luckily, Roo doesn't seem to mind sharing her snacks.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

MagPie & Cake Inventory Sale - CHECK IT OUT!

Below is a link to my sister's etsy store. I have had a link on my sidebar forever, so hopefully you've browsed through it before and seen what an amazing seamstress she is. If you haven't had a chance to check it out previously, you should do so now...

As an extra incentive to check out the site, she is currently having an inventory clearance sale where you can purchase all her items 30% off the regular listing price - that's a total deal! She just finished three boutiques, but has to clear out her inventory before a new set of regulations passed by the CPSIA force her, and other crafters, out of business. The regulations go into effect February 10, 2009, so you'll need to act fast if you'd like to purchase the cute little goodies my sister had made. Also, if you'd like more information on the CPSIA laws or if you'd like to fill out a petition, go to the following site to learn all about it:

So go ahead and check out the etsy store...I promise you won't be disappointed!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rainbows and Sunshine

I found this quote from Richard G. Scott on another blog. It really hit home, so I figured I would share.

“The challenges you face, the growth experiences you encounter, are intended to be
temporary scenes played out on the stage of a life of continuing peace and happiness.
Sadness, heartache, and disappointment are events in life. It is not intended that they be the
substance of life. I do not minimize how hard some of these events can be. When the lesson
you are to learn is very important, trials can extend over a long period of time, but they
should not be allowed to become the confining focus of everything you do. Your life can and
should be wondrously rewarding. ”

Everyone faces personal struggles and challenges at some point or another. With everything that get thrown at us in life, it is easy to wonder when, or even IF, we will be able to consider this life truly rewarding and happy. I have more good days now than bad ones, but there was a period of time when all I could focus on was the bad...I was depressed, resentful, and found little joy. I love this quote because it helped remind me that everything is given to us for a reason.

Our lives are not always going to be rainbows and sunshine, but the darkness of our trials will end eventually. In the meantime, however, we need to try and remember the good things...the rewarding things...and learn from everything else this life has to bring.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Musings of a Three Year Old...

Kids say the darnedest things, at times...and other times they just act out right silly. I have tried keeping a mental list of all the cute little things I've heard the girls say and do, but since my memory isn't the best, I decided to share a few...hopefully you can appreciate them as much as I do!
  • It's not "airplane" ... it's "Hairplane" (put a HUGE emphasis on the H)
  • It's not "snuggle" ... it's "skuggles"
  • "Squishy" is not just an adjective ... it is, in fact, a comforter, a playmate, a skuggle buddy, and one of the girls favorite things to get at the Dollar Store
  • Yes - there is a difference between "kitchen water" (from the faucet) and "cold water" from the water cooler. Roo is a pro at telling the difference, and if you give her the wrong one - you better watch out!
  • They aren't called the "ABC's" ... they are called "ARY's"
  • They are not called "noodles" ... they are called "noonoo's"
  • We do not refer to them as "toe nails" ... they are called "toe-toes" and should be painted at all times
  • Favorite exclamations: "Oh my goodness!" "Awww, man!" "Hey! Hey mama! Listen to ME!" "No...I do it all myself!" "I no know" "What you do-ding?" "Oh NO!" (it doesn't really do the girls justice until you hear them say these...seriously, they are the cutest)
  • Anytime the girls catch a whiff of freshly cut grass they go sniff, sniff..."Mama, it smells like grasshopper buggies!"
  • Similarly, anytime the girls catch a whiff of something bad they say "Mama...cows go poo-poos!" as their faces contort into a look of disgust
  • It's not Jiu Jitsu ... it's ju-jit-jit-shoe
  • Anyone in a uniform is automatically given the title of "police occifer"
  • It's not "gum"...it's "gunk"
  • It's not "small" ... it's "baby"
  • It's not "big" ... it's a "mama or papa" (for example...baby squishy and mama squishy)
  • Anything sparkly or shiny is referred to as "sprinkly"
    Sprinkles make everything better

These are just a few random pictures I uploaded from my phone...I believe they were all taken in December, but I still thought they were pretty cute to share. The top two were taken when the girls and I were going Christmas shopping. Roo had to have her hat and glasses with her, and AK didn't have either, so she confiscated mine. The other four pics are from when we went to Mesa Frozen Yogurt. It's the best place in AZ to get yogurt...seriously, it's what helped me get through my pregnancy because it is just up the street from where we used to live in Gilbert. Roo finished hers before AK did, so she convinced her sister she needed to share. I just love these sweet little gals...

Something Fun To Share...

So, I came across this website earlier today and I have to tell you...it's awesome. The website is totally fun, packed full of free scrap booking fonts and yummy recipes accompanied by photos that made my mouth water. I downloaded a few things, but will definitely return for more when I have some more time...here's a link to the url in case you'd like to check it out (this is actually one of the banners from the website):

Oh, and the gal who hosts the website has the most AMAZING craft room. Seriously...if I had the money, space, and time, this is how I would want my craft room to look. Hey - I can dream, can't I?

One Class Down...

...Five more to go. I feel like I have been saying this forever, but I am ALMOST finished with my degree. Five classes seems like a lot...at five weeks a course that's a minimum of 25 weeks before I graduate. I just have to remind myself that compared to the almost 10 years it's taken me to get this far, five more classes is not that much.

Only five more classes. I can do this.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Five Years Young...

Although I am a little delayed in posting this, January 2 marked five years of marriage for me and D. FIVE years...Holy cow! The time has gone by so quickly, but yet it seems that D has been a part of my life forever. We have survived ups and downs, unexpected surprises, multiple moves (8 to be exact), good times and bad...and today we are a stronger couple because of it. D has improved my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined. He helps me to chill out when I need it, reminds me it's okay to laugh, encourages and motivates me to take care of me, and is patient, generous, loving, and forgiving. I am grateful to have had D by my side for the past five years, and I am looking forward to many, many more to come.

Now, for all those who want to know the intimate details of our night (haha...not really), we didn't exchange anniversary gifts this year but we did enjoy a nice evening out together, sans twins. A special thanks to J&A for the Red Lobster giftcard and to B,B,&B for watching the girls so that D and I could actually enjoy eating a warm meal by ourselves. D thoroughly enjoyed a plate of crab, shrimp, and lobster, while I was pleasantly surprised with the best mahi mahi I have had since I lived in the Florida Keys.

We stopped by a car dealership after dinner (I know, I know...we totally lived it up) to look at trucks and minivans, but it was pretty cold out and we missed the girls, so we headed back to "The Bobbi's" to hang out with family and enjoy some scrumptious chocolate cake. Pretty low key, but it was an absolutely wonderful night.

P.S. In celebration of our anniversary, I have completed the following "tag" (I've seen this on a few other blogs and figured what the heck - I just deleted some of the questions that asked for personal information). As usual, I'm not going to follow through with the traditional "tag" assignments, but feel free to let us know all about you and your special sweetheart if you have the time!

1.How long have you been married? 5 years
2.How long did you date? This is a tricky one to answer, because I swore forever I wasn't going to date D and that we were just friends. We met in April 2002 and although we hung out practically every day we didn't "officially" start dating until July 2003. D proposed in September 2003 and we were married 4 months later in January 2004.
3.Who eats more sweets? It depends...D eats more chocolate, pastries, and ice cream, but I eat more candy and popsicles and drink more soda.
4.Who said "I Love You" first? That would be me...it totally just slipped out one day as I was getting out of D's car. I stood there for like a minute afterward thinking "Uhhhh...did I just say that? Maybe he didn't hear me?" Well...I guess it turns out he heard me, alright!
5.Who is taller? He is
6.Who can sing best? Neither of us are great, but he sings in Marshallese to the girls, so I think he takes this one...
7.Who is smarter? (OK seriously...what kind of a question is this?) We are smart in different ways...I am book smart, but D seems to know something about pretty much everything - he is very well rounded. I guess you could say my smartness is centralized whereas D's intelligence is much broader?
8.Who does laundry? Mainly I do, but D helps out when he can.
9.Who pays the bills? I do, but he earns the money.
10.Who sleeps on the right side? uh...is there a wrong side? I sleep on the side closest to the door, he sleeps on the side closest to the window.
11.Who mows the lawn? One of the benefits of renting an apartment...you don't have to worry about lawn care or maintenance.
12.Who cooks dinner? Me....sometimes
13.Who drives? We both do...it varies from one situation to another.
14.Who's first to admit when they are wrong? I'm not sure if either of us are good at doing this, but we don't seem to hesitate pointing out if we think the other person is wrong!
15.Who kissed whom first? D kissed me first...at least, he tried to but I usually avoided him by holding Olivia the cat in my hands when we said good-night... :0)
16.Who asked who out first? D asked me out first; we went to lunch at Ruby's on the Pier.
17.Who wears the pants? We both do, but he looks better in them.

Happy Anniversary Papa! I love you!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hello 2009...

So, the new year is upon us and already I have to apologize for falling behind...please bear with me as I try to catch everyone up on the Hoopes' Holiday Happenings. What started out with the intentions of being a quiet, laid-back Christmas in our tiny little apartment turned into a last-minute, rip-roaring trip to Fallbrook, CA.
We seriously love visiting the Golden State, although time seems to fly by way too quickly when we are there and we never get a chance to visit everyone we would like to. Plus, with it being the holidays, I didn't want to interrupt anyone else's family time...which means we pretty much kept to the Hoopes' homestead in Fallbrook this trip. It was cold and a little rainy, but that didn't stop us from living it up and having a blast with family, games, and LOTS of good food. Doug didn't get any surf time in this trip, but he did have fun hitting up the go-carts and movies with the other guys in the family....not to mention the hours of video games he was able to play without the fear of getting in trouble from the Mrs. The only bummer of the trip was the leaky roof we all woke up to on Christmas morning...not exactly the kind of present you hope to get on the traditional day of cheer.
The trip was very short, as we all had to return quickly back to AZ for the baptism of our niece....the baptism was wonderful and we are so glad to have been there with Ashley on her special day. Since everyone on the Hoopes side (well, almost everyone...we missed having Uncle Dan out here with us for the after-Christmas festivities) remained in Arizona for the week after the baptism, it continued to be a very fun, chaotic, non-stop week for all. I don't think AK or Roo got to bed before 10pm for an entire week straight...and daytime naps were completely out of the question. We spent New Year's Eve at Doug's sister's house...it was pretty low-key (especially since I was one of 3 adults who fell asleep before ringing in the new year). Other than drinking the traditional Martinelli's, we didn't even do any poppers or noise makers or bang on any pots and pans. I guess the activities from Christmas to that point had finally caught up to me! Needless to say, we were ALL pretty exhausted by the end of the week and have since taken a few days to relax, recover, and recuperate.
So, now that I've brought you all to speed on the latest happenings of our lives, here are some pictures from our hectic holiday!
These were taken in AZ, before we decided to go out to CA. It was a lot of fun decorating the tree - I did the lights and garland while the girls hung the ornaments. It was really cute because they chose only 3 or 4 branches on the entire tree to hang ornaments from, so all the ornaments ended up being clumped together like in the picture above. AK demonstrated some OCD tendencies - she went through and picked out all the striped ornaments and hung those first, then she went and picked out all the sparkly pink ornaments and hung those next; she continued in this pattern until all the ornaments were hung...it was pretty amusing to watch!
Christmas Eve jammies (a Hoopes Family Tradition) - Roo's response was "Oh, I love them!" while she clutched them close; AK's response was along the lines of "Look it - HEARTS! Jammies so pretty, mama!" I cannot tell you how much I love, love, LOVE these girls.
These are of the girls being silly with their cousins (always) and opening presents on Christmas morning. AK and Roo seemed pretty happy with their gifts, but I think some of their favorites this year were their princess sets, their pink "laptops," and the adorable tin of hair bows, necklaces, and bracelets from their Aunt Smecky.
Boys will be boys...as long as there is a video game system close by. And of course...Doug had his furry little sidekick near him most of the trip. Yokwe, Kupua! Ej et am mour? Jouj im jijet.
We did things a little differently this year as far as family gifts were concerned. The cousins drew names and gave only to one person; the adults did a "favorite things" exchange. I was pretty used to the drawing names thing, because that is how my family has done Christmas for years (c'mon, with seven kids in the family you HAVE to think of some way to make Christmas affordable), but the favorite things exchange was something new to most of us....all-in-all, I think both turned out pretty well and we all seemed to have a lot of fun.

1.) I am a complete moron and left our camera in AZ during our trip to CA, so all the pics from Christmas are compliments of my sister-in-law Kary and her totally awesome camera. Thanks K for sending those my way...you totally saved me!!
2.) I also forgot my cell phone charger at home...which is totally random, because I only have a car charger, but whatever. So, for those who didn't get calls on Christmas it was because my phone battery had died and I was completely out of luck until we got back to AZ. Sorry...I'm a complete space case, I know.
3.) My seemingly incurable tendency for tardiness has resulted in us not getting Christmas cards out. For those whom I had email addresses for, I did manage to send out a little Christmas e-card. I know it's not the same as the real thing, but it's the best I could do for me. I would still like to get something out in the mail for the New Year, but I'm not making any promises. I am sorry to those who felt shorted or neglected this year...please just know I will try and do better this year. Here is the Christmas card I sent out by email...Enjoy!
4.) Shauna - I feel like an absolute shmuck for not coming by to see you. I really wanted to, especially to see how you all were doing after C's surgery, but I talked myself out of it because I didn't want to bother you guys after being in the hospital for a week. I felt I was being selfish by wanting to see you because it would have taken time away from you, AJ, K, and C...I also felt we would have created more stress and excitement than you guys really needed. I realize now I should have just gone down anyway, so please just know how bad I feel and how sorry I am for missing out on visiting with you guys.