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March 2012

March 31, 2012

 March has been a super busy month for us.  We finished up some major house projects, and ended with birthday celebrations galore.

Below, we have Jack hangin’ on the couch with his Papa (balloon string in hand).  Anna playing with her beloved Connectagons (fairy edition).  Emily being her cute self, and Jack at a craft fair I went to with Rosy- there was a whole row of motorcycles- he was in heaven.

My wonderful Aunt sent some cute playdresses for Anna to wear this summer.  She loves them!  And I think she’d like to be a model.  Bottom row:  Jack with Lisa at his party- cuddle bug!  Jack’s boots from his birthday- I need to clean them because they are covered in mud- he loves them.  And from his party- just before I was ready to take him out to do his birthday song & candle, I slammed his fingers in the door (on accident, of course).  Recovery was difficult.  I’m sure next year he’ll ham it up, regardless of smashed fingers.

I believe all of these were taken by my friend, Tonya.  Tonya has a lovely blog and an excellent eye for photography- she captured some cute moments at the party, and some beautiful ones as well.  She has twins in kindergarten- Anna was in love with both of them.  I am indebted to Tonya, as she shared so many photos for me to use on my other blog- they really made me look like I knew what I was doing!

 March is definitely going out like a lion for us- Em is sick.  Boo to that.  Her fever is so bad that we have to double medicate with Tylenol & Motrin.  Boo to that.


February 2012

March 31, 2012

 By far the best part of February was the birth of Carter Fuzak on February 14th!  Yup- Jane had a Valentine Baby.  Hopefully he likes red.  Jane was, of course, amazing and endured a lot of stuff before having this little guy.  I’m honored to have been present and so happy to see Jane’s family complete.  Four boys- wowza!  

The rest of these will be in no particular order.  I’m catching up, and collages make it a lot easier to do so.  A few details about the collage below:  Our pool was replastered this month.  We can swim in it this summer and be certain it is safe and clean- hooray!  Just below that pic is Jack on his glider bike- we gave it a whirl and he LOVED it.  The center picture is Anna playing dress up in a dress that I wore when I was little.  The bottom row is from the zoo- we got a membership for the family for this year.  We’ve already been several times! …And also some face painting inspired by the zoo.

Emily worked on trying to crawl most of February but didn’t quite make it.  Anna and Jack are eating her up- she’s super fun and giggly right now, and she love to watch them play.  She also loves Ni-hao, Kai-lan (TV show)- every time the kids watch it her face lights up.  Hilarious.  Bottom right is Mr. Carter at a park play date just a few days after coming home.

At that same park playdate I took the glider bike that was given to Anna by several friends when she turned 3.  She had no desire or inclination to ride it- I think she sat on it twice, but never rode it.  Jack LOVED it.  I forgot a helmet this day, but he was very cautious and cute.  Most of the rest of these are the zoo, except for that black & red spider.  In case you can’t tell- that’s in our kitchen.  It’s a red-backed jumping spider, and apparently, while not fatal, their bites are quite painful.  And it was in our kitchen.  Neat.  Needless to say, I killed it after taking it’s picture.


March 30, 2012

Man, oh MAN I’m behind!  Here come some posts!  Starting with our trip to Disneyland!

Our trip got off to a rough start.  Mental note:  next time check to be sure there aren’t any MARATHONS the day of our visit.  Sheesh.  It took us two hours to just get from the freeway to the parking garage and into a parking spot.  Talk about a lesson in patience!

Once we got there, however, the kids were in heaven.  Jack was pretty clueless the whole time, but he still had fun.  Anna ate up every moment with every character- she loved it.

Below we have:  Meeting Tinkerbell; Toon Town; and meeting lots of friends at the character breakfast at the Paradise Pier hotel.  It was super cute!

More breakfast at the hotel- I think we’ll look for a princess version of this next time.

I think my least favorite part of Disneyland:  waiting in line with small children.  It’s one thing to wait as a rational adult who understands that their turn will eventually come.  It’s another to wait with a little girl who can’t WAIT to meet a few princesses.  Other than that, though, the kids did really well. 

We will have another trip in the next year since Michael was able to appeal to Disney and get us another round of tickets.  Anna got bonked in the head before the Pooh ride, and it was totally human error.  After a few very mature emails from Michael they sent us some tickets- hooray!

January 2012

January 29, 2012

I haven’t taken nearly enough pictures yet this year.  I say that in partial truth and partial humor- it’s only January!  But I have been so busy trying to finish up loose ends before starting my new job this month.  Yup!  A new job- working from home, on the computer, and I love it.  Something to work towards, lots of motivation, and I’m happy to be trying something a bit different.

Onto the kids. They are so busy.  Each of them seems to be going through a change of some sort every time we blink.   In birth order:

Anna is becoming quite the sassy pants.  She is constantly questioning our parenting decisions, and constantly questioning everything she sees.  We’re hearing “why?” a lot right now. Anna is really into art and stickers.  She would love it if I’d just unleash her in my office/craft space, but I’m not quite ready to do that yet- it’s a mess in there, still.  She is so independent, which is highlighted by the other two since they still need me a lot more, at least in a physical sense.  I will register Anna for kindergarten next month.  That. Is. Crazy.

Jack is quite the little man.  Just last week I was allowed to give him a haircut with not a single tear.  It was such a milestone.  He actually had fun during it.  He must get his thick hair from his daddy because it certainly is not mine.  Jack is talking up a storm and he uses some really hilarious voices sometimes.  I commented to Michael that sometimes it feels like we gave birth to a cartoon because of Jack’s funny voices.  He’s also starting the potty training journey, and I can tell it will be one that will require great patience.  He’s doing great, and taking plennnnty of time.  My goal is to just let him lead the way and decide when he’s ready.

Emily is quite the little miss.  She is such a happy, laid back baby.  I’m thankful that this is the case because she really has no choice in the matter.  Just today I discovered her first tooth coming in on the bottom.  That’s really throwing her for a loop.  She is also sitting up on her own for short periods- she has to be placed in a sitting position, but then she is quite delighted to hold a toy until she either gets tired or someone (no idea who) knocks her over. I still look at her blue eyes and marvel- they are so pretty, and so very much like her daddy’s.

Here are some shots from this month.  Not nearly enough, but better than nothing.

These are from a trip to see and hear Hullabaloo sing at the Bernardo Winery.  Luke was still on winter break, so we were happy to see him.  Jack was quiet for most of the performance but did give me some smiles.

Fun at the dinner table and with Miss Em.  She’s started solid foods now.

Anna and Jack love to sit with Em in her play yard.  For now the only time they can go in is to help her “practice” sitting up.  Otherwise it’s Em’s space to play without getting trampled.

This cracks me UP.  Emily makes this face when she eats and it’s just hysterical.  She only does it at home, too.  She purses her lips, wrinkles her nose, and it’s almost like she’s snorting through her sweet little nose.  Priceless.

Fun in the tub with Mr. Bubbles bubble bath.  We don’t use these every time so they are a special treat.

I love this picture.  Anna has been very intent on helping Emily learn how to sit up.  I so wish I had a “proper” camera to take pictures like this- they’d be way better.  Someday I will.

That’s it for now, but we’ll have a 2nd round of January pictures from…. the happiest place on Earth!  Woo hoo!

December 2011

January 3, 2012

I’m so proud that I’m getting this up so soon after November’s post -woo hoo!

December started just like any other month, but I remember very clearly when I put our new calendar up on the fridge there was a big twinkle in my eye when I started to write “fly to KC” on it.  We were very excited to end the month with my family for Christmas!

Anna is so creative- here she is with her blocks.  She has two sets and plays with both often.  On the left we have a dog (with an extremely long neck), and on the right she made a person out of her circles and half-circles.  She’s always so proud of her work- I love it.

Emily had two firsts in the same day:  her first cold & fever along with her first big-girl bath.  You wouldn’t know it from the picture but she was so congested that I needed to give her a vapor bath, and I knew the baby tub wouldn’t cut it.  She loved it, though- super cute!

Anna & Jack had a Christmas show at their preschool- it was adorable.   Here’s Jack with his teacher, our beloved Rosy (we love her so much!).

After the show the kids got to line up and talk to Santa.  To my surprise, Anna was super excited to talk to him this year, and she didn’t shed a tear.  If I had known, I’d have taken her to the mall for some more “pro” shots, but I didn’t want to risk it after prior experiences.  Jack followed suit- he saw Anna go up and talk to him, so up he went.

In a whirlwind of a weekend we found ourselves short one tenor sax and up one piano! I sold my tenor sax from my college years and we put the money towards a used electric piano.  It’s not a dream piano, for sure, but it is nice to have a piano of some sort in the house. I’m slowly getting my fingers back, and the kids love it.  Sharing is a new focus now- can you imagine why?

When we left for KC the trip was surprisingly easy.  Packing was actually the most stressful part- the kids were awesome.  All three flew like pros, and I’m hoping we changed a few child-less people’s minds about kids and traveling- they were so well-behaved.  As soon as we got there it was time to jump into introducing Miss Em to her KC family.  Here she is meeting her two aunts (neither of them liked her very much):

Anna was delighted to find out that her cousin, Paul, had a tea set to play with.  They had tea at least twice.  Jack just played along.  We did have to remind Anna that crackers do not go in the teapot. 🙂

Of course, Em was very happy to see her Papa and Grandma Shearer, and they were happy to play with her.

Here are “the big kids” on Christmas Eve just after church.  It’s really hard to get three wired kids to stand still, smile, and look at the camera all together.

Christmas morning was awesome- Anna was so excited, and Jack was so oblivious.  He caught on pretty quickly.  They received so many wonderful presents from our family- lucky kids!

Jack in some “boogie monster” legs- can’t wait until it shows up in the box we shipped back to SD.  And Anna is very excited to dress up like a pirate.

Some other random pics from our visit.  My mom reading the kids “Twas the Night Before Christmas” on Christmas Eve, Em hangin’ with Papa’s shoes, Em & her Daddy, and the kids enjoying milkshakes and a movie at the same table my sisters and I used when we were little.

Anna made cookies with my sister, Lea Ann.  Lea Ann is a master cookie maker, and was so sweet with Anna- she let her do WAY more than I do in the kitchen.  It was a good lesson for me to let her do more.

Our time with Paul was cut short because he got a double-whammy of sickness- boo!  Croup and a stomach virus makes for a very unhappy camper and very unhappy parents.  Someday we will visit KC and everyone will stay healthy.  Someday.

Lastly, Anna and I opened a can with a “message bean” in it.  I think I received it as a gift when she was a baby, and I have just never opened it.  Now that she’s old enough to appreciate it, we’re going to see what happens.  It’s supposed to grow a bean that says “I love you.”  We’ll see…

Happy 2012!

November 2011

January 1, 2012

I hardly took any pictures this month, and I think it’s because somewhere in November I became obsessed with our closets.  Seriously- I was possessed.

Let’s start with Miss Em, shall we?  She’s pushing up when on her tummy.  I still get crazy looks when I tell people that I don’t do tummy time with our kids- they don’t need it!  They just pop up on their own at about this age.  I love these pictures- she’s in her “jungle bed” (a.k.a. baby contraption #8,320,000).   She was cooing and ah-ing at herself- it was adorable, of course.

Emily is quite possibly the happiest baby ever, as evidenced by these photos taken during a diaper & clothing change.  She giggles and smiles at the slightest funny sound. She is also grabbing and gnawing on her toes.  So sweet.

Lastly, Em is playing in her exersaucer- she loves it!  I think she likes being upright the best- if I put her in there and she’s not hungry or tired, she can hang in here for up to an hour.  Lucky mommy!

Jack is talking more and more- it’s helping in a lot of areas.  He’s also really getting into focused playing with toys.  Here he is sitting next to some blocks he lined up, which is a big thing for him to do.  He was super proud of them, too.

Anna is still drawing up a storm.  She is also obsessed with her baby sister.  She loves making her laugh and smile and will do anything it takes to see her baby sister happy.

Over Thanksgiving weekend we had a visitor in our yard.  There is definitely a pack of coyotes living in the hills behind our house- we hear them yip and howl at night.  This one must have been super hungry because we saw him in the early morning hours trying to root out a gopher.  Unfortunately he was not successful, but we were cheering him on because…we have a TON of gophers in our yard!

Thanksgiving was so busy that I hardly took pictures, and of course, the one cute one I take: blurry.  But it’s still cute- Em and her Papa Chiles.

December is up next!

October 2011

November 7, 2011

Warning:  picture-heavy post ahead!

October started with the end of my parents’ visit. Boo.  But we did get this awesome picture:

After they left, Jack felt it necessary to express his displeasure at being given a grilled cheese sandwich:

We had a few days to prepare for Jenna, John & Ella’s visit.  Jenna and John are friends from college, and now they have beautiful, sassy and fun Ella- she’s 2.  We have tons of fun memories together, and having friends like them is what makes life awesome.  I love it when you can be away from people for so long, and then when you see them again it’s like no time has passed.

Jenna took all of the following photos with her camera.  You’ll be able to tell when they go back to my camera- the pictures will not look nearly as cool anymore.  🙂

We decided to hit Sea World.  What was nice is that we hadn’t been in ages, so it was new for all of us again.  And, we decided to stay all day.  Anna is forever telling me that she wishes we could “stay all day” wherever we go, so this was super fun for her.

Ella and Jack sort of look like they are on a reality TV show in the one on the left, don’t they?  “We are ready to take this place on!”

Sweet Ella.

I  had all 4 kids on me- hilarious!

Anna jumping- so happy she got to go in.

Ella Bella

Jenna and I loved these mirrors- Jack wasn’t so sure…

Sweet Em just hangin’ in the stroller

John provided plenty of rides for Anna

Visiting the dolphins- one of my favorite parts

Feed the seals- so fun and they are so ridiculous about a few fish!

Sweet Anna

Michael was able to come for the last half of the day.  He showed up at just the right time- we were doing fine without him, but having one more adult made it much more pleasant.

Getting some wiggles out

Rides: something I get to do with my kids forever- Michael doesn’t do rides well (but he gets to do the ER runs- fair trade?)

When all else fails, get some chocolate ice cream.

Jack was very into his ice cream.  So was Ella, as evidenced by that awesome chocolate face.

Checking out the “tidepools” before the Shamu Show


…and we’re done.  Or at least Ella was- she fell asleep in John’s arms before we even reached the car.  The sign of a good day.  An awesome day.

Other pictures from their visit:

So sad they couldn’t stay forever.   I really think if we lived in the same city I’d need and want to live within walking distance.  We love you, John, Jenna & Ella!

Cool coloring placemats

Anna is forever coloring and writing


Jack is obsessed with motorcycles.  On the right- this is how I found him at the end of his nap.  He had put on PJ pants, or at least tried to- he could only get them just above his knees, then he gave up and fell asleep.

Anna asked to hold Emily, which is a normal request…

….but Jack finally caught on and asked to hold her for the first time.  For some reason I didn’t want to pressure him to hold her, so I just waited.  I knew he’d ask eventually.  It was super sweet- he didn’t want to give her up, gave her kisses and hugs, and kept saying, “Hi, Em-o-lee, hi!”

Face painting


Bates Nut Farm

Em with her Godfather

Halloween Festivities

To see more about Anna’s costume, click here.