Thursday, August 20, 2009

What's new?

Not a whole lot these days. We are having fun for the summer. I took the kids to the pottery painting place the other day. Ellie really enjoyed it. She got into it big time. Jayden didn't want to do anything when we got there, but after we'd been there for nearly 2 hours and Ellie and I were almost done with our art, he helped me a little and decided he wanted to do his own. I'll pick them up next week and post pictures.

Jayden starts school next week. FIRST GRADE!!!

Eliana starts back in pre-K on the 1st.

Janea and I will have a lovely time with each other while the big kids are in school. I'm looking forward to some down-time.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

This week with the Stahl's

we had an exciting week! Jayden's 6th birthday was Monday. I can't believe my baby is 6!! While some days it feels like my life has always had these adorable little people in it, some days I remember being carefree with no one to attend to but myself. I look at pictures of Jayden when he was just a baby and I can hardly remember him being so small. Now, he is 6 years old, 3 1/2 feet tall, and 45 pounds of pure stubborn joy.

We celebrated his birthday with family on Monday evening. I got so friggin' drunk I can't even say! I must have consumed an entire bottle of wine in a little over an hour by myself! I was busy puking my guts out while the kids slept out the final hours of Jayden's birthday. Never again! I will never again drink THAT much in such a short period of time! I think I was still drunk when I woke up in the morning!

We had a party for the kids on Friday. All of Jayden's special friends came to the party and had a good time. We started out with a little craft. They made paper airplanes, puppets, space scenes, and decorated goodie bags that they ended up not needing. We played two games. Pin the moon on the earth and Meteor wars. For pin the moon on the earth, I used the felt solar system wall hanging I bought Jayden for his birthday last year (he's never seen it) and cut out mini "moons" from the edges of the felt. We used special velcro strips to stick them on. The kids were all good about the game and seemed to enjoy it. Meteor Wars was even more fun than I expected. The kids were commissioned to protect the earth from the balloon meteors that were coming in to attack it. They had to pop the balloons. It was fun! :) After that it was prizes (mini flying discs and punching balls--more spaceships and meteors) and playtime while we waited for Dave to get back with the pizzas. We ate pizza and cake and ice cream. Followed that with more playtime. I think all the kids left happy. :)

Yesterday, we took Jayden to ToysRUs to spend his gift cards and exchange a toy he got that was broken. He had a good time. He picked out a Diego PlayDoh set (that he is playing with now with Ellie, but he is afraid they will mix the colors!!), and a transformer toy. We supplemented with other things. And, then we went out to eat at Chili's. This is where Janea made her big breakthrough! She learned to use a straw! That is so awesome because it opens a world of drinking for her. Using the straw will make going out and feeding/hydrating her so much easier on me! Plus, she loves it! :) She was so proud of herself yesterday when she got a mouthful of water! :) I love milestone moments!

Friday, July 17, 2009

July's festivities

It's been a while since I posted. Following Eliana's recital, we drove down to LA for Tammy's wedding. Well, I drove; everyone else slept. Jayden got up at 3AM the morning we were supposed to leave with a massive fever and puking. It was iffy that we would even go! But, we did.

Jayden was the handsomest ring bearer ever and the girls were too cute in their fancy dresses.

While we were down there, we stopped to visit some friends. Dave, the kids, and I enjoyed a fabulous visit with Dave, Marcy, Jonathan, Zachary, and little Ben. The kids all got on famously and we had some wonderful grown-up visiting time.

Following that visit, we stopped at my aunt and uncle's house for a short visit with them. They invited my cousin and her husband to join us as well. I enjoyed getting to know them again. My aunt was brilliant! She bought a set of matchbox cars for Jayden and a princess crown for Ellie and playdoh for the kids to play with out back. They were so entertained it left lots of time for the grown-ups to chat! Kudos, Aunt Dori!!

When we got back from our trip, we had a couple of days at home before Dave set out for China. He was giving some training to the Chinese folks that needed to do some of what Dave does at work. It was quite an interesting experience for him. He also brought back some lovely treasures for us. He brought me a lovely silk blanket (that I don't know how to clean--it stinks). He brought the kids wooden swords, a wooden dinosaur, some traditional clothes, Panda themed playing cards and post cards, and a slingshot for Jayden and a beaded bracelet for Ellie. He also broke the camera while he was there. :( Gotta get that fixed!

Today we went to the Children's Discovery Museum with the Shuman Gang. We met at the lightrail at 9:30 and had a fabulous day! It was a lot of fun watching the older kids run around and play with stuff while the littlest amongst us soaked in all the fun from their perches in the carriers. They got to get out and play in the baby area for a long time, too.

The biggest news for today, however, comes from the littlest Stahl. She is cutting her first tooth! She will be 9 months old next week. I expect quite a bit of drool for the next few months while the teething proceeds. I need to make pictures of her toothless smile a priority for next week, though! :)

That's it for now. Jayden's birthday is coming up and we will have a party with a space theme. More info then.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dance recital update

Tonight went off without a hitch! Here's a pic:

Ellie's First Dance Recital

Tuesday was the walk-through. They had the kids sit in the house until it was their turn to dance on stage. Poor Ellie's class (a bunch of 3 yr olds) sat there for nearly an HOUR before they got to dance for 2:26 minutes. Ellie broke down in tears afterwards. Perhaps it was the lack of "Mama" in the theatre (she said she was looking for me) or perhaps it was the emotional let-down from all the anticipation of sitting there and then 2 minutes and 26 seconds later it was done. No way to tell. But, at least that part was done so she could really enjoy her dress rehearsal and performances. Yes! PerformanceS! There are 3 of them...I know she is only 3 years old!! I didn't plan the f@#$@#ing thing!!

Anyway, last night was dress rehearsal. So we listened to the director go on and on about nothing she hadn't already told us. Then, we listened to the stage manager yakity yak about nothing important. I'd forgotten how full of their own self-importance stage folks can be. Yes, I was like that, too. But.....

So, they send the kids back to get dressed in their costumes and then to sit in the audience and watch. Ellie's dance is 9th in the line-up. I sat with them for a couple of dances because Ellie was nervous. The girls got crazy when the lights went down between dances. For most of them, it was probably their first experience in a theatre. I explained that it would get dark between each dance so we didn't see them setting up on stage and then the lights would come back up. It seemed to help. By the third or fourth dance they were okay. I was given permission (by Ellie) to go sit with Grandma Tess so I could video tape her performance.

When it was her turn up on stage, they had 4 stage hands shuffling the kids on the stage. Poor Ellie lost a shoe!!! She was standing up there crying (I couldn't really see why until I saw the shoe on stage) but was saved by a savvy techie who saw the shoe and helped her get it on. Thank you, Techie!!! She was right into dancing after that! GO ELLIE! (Note to self--fix the F@#$(@#ing shoe so it doesn't come off again, Idiot!)

Tonight is performance number one. Then tomorrow afternoon; and again, tomorrow night. Oh MY!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The excitement never ends...

Yesterday we had our first ER visit. Eliana was sitting quietly on the big, blue beanbag chair in the playroom watching TV. Next thing we know, she is running in to us in the office (note..20 feet away and totally open to view) to say she got a penny caught in her throat. Eventually, she ended up swallowing the darned thing and it got stuck in her esophagus. Thus, trip to ER.

ER arrival time: 11:40 AM

Once in the ER, they did a vitals check to determine that she wasn't dying. About an hour later, we went in for X-rays. They took 2 shots that showed the penny clearly stuck right above the muscle between her esophagus and stomach.

Another hour later, they bring me copies of the x-rays (yep...totally cool!). They tell me that because the penny is stuck, we are being transferred to Kaiser Santa Clara and she will be admitted there. They have a pediatric GI on call who was in San Francisco at that time, but will be traveling down to Santa Clara for her procedure shortly. In the meantime, let's put an IV in! YIKES! Eliana was very brave. They had a student nurse try first (I should have vetoed that!) but he failed and the regular nurse had to put it in her other arm. Poor thing!

Another hour later, we get the transfer orders and the ambulance shows up. Daddy arrives just in time to get to go on the ambulance ride with her. I, not being the chosen one as a result of the IV thing, get to drive myself to the other hospital. It turned out okay though, because I went home for a snack (being my first food of the day) and to feed the baby. Just in case the time is's 3 PM now.

By 4PM I got to Ellie's room at the Santa Clara hospital. The doctors had already been in to check on her and order her new x-ray. Around 5:00, the radiologist showed up with his portable x-ray machine and took her picture right there in the hospital room. No traveling this time. The radiologist couldn't print out a copy of the x-ray for me this time, but he let me go with him to his workroom so I could see the x-ray on the computer. That was WAY cool! Oh...and the penny was still stuck in the esophagus where it had been all day.

New the Pediatric GI and go in with the endoscope and snabber-grabbers and yank that puppy outta there! The doc was on his way so we had to move fast to get her ready for the procedure. He was to arrive in one hour's time. A half hour later, they came in to hook up her IV to a bag and change her into a hospital gown. Another 30 minutes passed and the NURSES from OR came up to wheel her downstairs...apparently there is an orderly shortage there.

It was nearly 7PM when we got downstairs to the OR and met the doc and the anesthesiologist and signed all the papers. The procedure was only about 15 minutes in length, but they had to wheel her in, hook her up, knock her out, prep, proceed, un-hook, wheel her back, etc. All in all, it took about an hour before the doc came out with pictures of the penny in her chest.

I left the hospital with the pictures at 8PM to go home and feed the baby, say goodnight to Jayden and tuck him in, and change my clothes. I was preparing to spend the night there. I got back to the hospital at 9:30 and Dave called to say they were sending her home! When I got back upstairs, I found out she could go home only after she had eaten. She was sound asleep. Fortunately, the nurse dared to take the tape off her arm. She woke up! I prompted her with juice and jello. She was eager. She drank, drank, and ate. Then they brought her a meal I wouldn't eat, and she nibbled. They said "She needs to eat a bit more." Dave ate it. :)

At 11:55PM, we checked out and went home. PHEW! That was a long day!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Time for a little update. Here's a conversation I had with Eliana last week:

Mommy: Ellie, if you fall off the couch there you're going to break my arm.
Daddy: Ellie, if you break her arm she won't be able to wipe your butt.

Eliana: Daddy, Mommy has two arms.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

From the mouths of babes...

I was sitting on the couch next to Jayden while he was talking on the phone to my mother-in-law.

Jayden: Happy Birthday, Grandma Tess.

Jayden: How old are you anyway?

Jayden: WOW! That's a big number!

Jayden: That would be enough cake to feed all the people in the whole world!!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Neighborhood friends

I love having friends to visit within walking distance of our house. It's what I have always wanted for my kids.

Yesterday we went to play at their house after dinner. They all got along well and played very nicely. Unfortunately, though, Eliana became accident prone. She fell onto her face while playing on the swing.

Later, we were walking home and she and Jayden decided to run. Jayden was wearing sandals that strap to his feet. He was fine. Eliana was running in her bright orange flip flops that are 5 sizes too big for her but she loves anyway. She tripped.

The right knee is still protected by the bandaid.The left knee at the time of the unveiling.

Pobrecita! If we didn't have such fun while we were there....

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Janea got to eat real food for breakfast today. She was so excited she could hardly contain herself. Then when it came time for eating, she took the spoon in her own hand and fed herself. "Forget it, Mom! I'm a big girl and I can do it all myself!"

I took some pictures:

I'm ready to eat! Bring on that rice cereal!!

Hmmm....this is interesting.

Yeah....I got it all figured out! I don't need your help; I'll feed myself! ROAR!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The tables have turned!

Tonight, while getting ready for bed, Eliana was taking care of her toileting needs and Jayden took his turn at "check to see if my butt is clean" duty. I couldn't help laughing out loud when he took a flushable wipe and helped her out!

In other news: Jayden had his first T-ball game on Saturday. It was the funniest thing on earth. I loved watching the kids run all over the field to chase the ball. I just wish mine was one of them. He was not at all interested in the game around him. When he was up to bat, he hit the ball then watched as it rolled away. He had to be told several times to put the bat down and run to 1st base. When he was on second, he stayed there even though everyone else was running. The 3rd base coach had to go get him and walk him to third. Over all, it was very cute. I assume that when he gets a better feel of the game, he will pay more attention and it will get somewhat exciting. :)

Jayden is also getting to be quite the reader. He is enjoying his books now and loves to read signs and short little excerpts of things. He actually read an entire book to me yesterday. I am really pleased that he is starting to open up to this new world of reading. Now if he would only outgrow the need to torture Eliana and love her the way he does Janea.....

Eliana is learning by leaps and bounds, too. She also likes to demonstrate how incredibly smart she is. She was pointing out her letters to me the other day (her "sight words") and she was showing me the A and called it the "Uppercase A". When she pointed to the a, she called it the "Downercase a". I never laughed so hard! :)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Janea is healthy!

She went to see the doctor on Friday for her 4 month check-up. She is healthy and happy! The girl smiles all the time! :) She weighs in at 14 lb 4 oz and measures an astonishing length of 25.5 inches! She seems to have this growing business down pat! She has, however, given up pooping every day for lent. Well, I hope it's as short-lived as that anyway. By the 2nd or 3rd day, she gets a bit grumpy and starts to fuss more and more. Ellie was the same way at about this age, but more fussy and less smiley.

Eliana has a new favorite game. She likes to play "Ring around the Rosie". She can be heard singing at many times throughout the day, "Ring around the Rosie. Hocket Pulled a posie..." Followed by my LMAO! :)

Jayden's new favorite thing to do is read! Yes! Finally, the boy has decided he knows how to read and he is reading signs and labels all over the place. Occasionally, he might even read words in a book. Today he discovered that he could determine the next season of McDonald's toys by reading the bottom of his Happy Meal box. This thrilled him to no end. I am just pleased that he has finally decided to succumb to the world of knowledge. He really likes to read and to learn, but since it was difficult to learn to sit down and focus on putting the words together, he was fighting the reading thing. He seems to be over that now. Although, he would still rather be read to than to read to himself. :) My baby....

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Lynda is...

...totally frustrated! How is it that I can't manage to work out a day to get up to Napa to see such a good friend of mine? I mean, how hard is it to pick a day that Dave can take off work so he can stay home and take care of the kids so I can go up to Napa and visit? I mean, her schedule is so limited by her job that it has to be a work-week weekends and early in the week, too! Next week is totally out and then she is leaving to go back home! Why couldn't I figure this out? It's not like it's hard to dump all the daily activity on Dave...between schools, dance, karate, t-ball, and choir, we usually have plenty of activity during the week. But, it's not so much that we couldn't have tried something. Oh sigh!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Book report...

Jayden just finished writing his first "book report". He was supposed to read a story and then draw a picture of what he liked best about the story. Then, he had to write two sentences about that part of the story and why he liked it. As soon as he finished, he ran to the bathroom announcing, "I have to go POOP!"

He says to Ellie, bring in Daddy's books and we can play school! So, there he is sitting butt naked on the toilet (yes...he strips completely to poop) "reading" Dave's books to Ellie. The two of them love to play with books. Now, I suppose there are worse things to play with, but really...Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and the like are NOT exactly beginning readers! It's a good thing they don't get very far in each book.

So, Dave and I are sitting at our computers listening to the kids. We hear Jayden say, "It's working!" We have to find out what that's about...he was snapping his fingers. He's so cute!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Glad for the Mundane....

Just for fun, I was reading back to previous blog posts and came across this one from March 3, 2006. It made me laugh. :)

Murphy's Law is in Effect!

Yes...If it can go wrong, it will! As of yesterday, the compressor for our air conditioner was frozen over, the furnace wasn't working, the T1 went down, there were termites searching for a new home in our bathroom (since their old home was disturbed by the stucco removal), Dave's tooth is broken and may need a root canal, one of the two lamps in my kitchen is not functioning, the neighbors are asking way too much for their house to rent (but we will probably do it anyway) and they don't allow pets (what are we going to do with Shayna?), and Jayden threw up all over himself and his carseat and my car yesterday on our way to get pictures taken.

Yep! Fun times around here!

Oh yeah!! And it's RAINING!

Amendment--Not 30 minutes after the original posting of this message, we got a call from our bank. Someone has accessed our online information and stole $19,000. Yes...there is more going wrong still...How much more can the Stahl Family take? Tune in next time with "You're in hell and you can't get out!"

If I had known that this was not yet the worst of what was to come, I might have lost my mind then; but to find out that we spent WAY more money on the remodel than we intended to and that there was going to be problem after problem for the next 2 YEARS ... WOW!

I didn't know I would look back on this and laugh, but here I am...laughing away! :) In fact, I went back and read all of the March 2006 posts. What an interesting time!

My thanks to all you adoring fans and loyal readers (hahahahahahahaha) who give me supportive comments in this forum. I really appreciate knowing you're there.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Facebook is changing my life...

So...I used to blog here, do email through a real email program, and play games on a separate program on my computer. Facebook has changed all of that! I now "blog", email, catch-up with folks, and play games all in the same place. I wonder if Facebook is a secret government agency trying to get us hooked and trapped so they can manipulate us. After all, every application wants you to invite your friends!

On the plus side, I update my "status" frequently enough that my family and friends keep up with what ever shit happens to float through my mind. But, my sisters Michelle and Katie said that they feel more connected with me now since they get regular updates of what's going on. I also really like that I have been able to connect with other "former" friends that I've lost touch with. We don't have much to talk about any more, but it makes me feel better that we just drifted apart and that life got in the way rather than there was a particular reason for the rift.

The down side of FB, is that I don't update my blog much anymore and I fear that I will look back later and wonder what the heck I was doing with myself during the big blanks of time between postings. Oh...then I might remember I was playing countless games of Scramble on FB! :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

OK...blogger is being dumb. Here's one. I'll get the rest up later.

Anyone want a piano?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Catch-up's been a busy month so far...well, mostly this weekend. Dave and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary on Saturday. It was fun. We went out to La Fondue for dinner. I remember that place being a bit better than it was, but perhaps that was because The Melting Pot is just a bit better. In any case, they raised their prices and moved to a newer facility, but I think the quality of service was less and they serve less dipping things than they used to. Dave was unhappy about the lack of bread variety...he likes the rye and especially the pumpernickel. The part that got me was this. We ordered a bottle of champagne to celebrate our anniversary. We hadn't even finished what we were paying for by dessert and she comes out with 2 complementary half-glasses of a different champagne in honor of our celebration. I'm sure they could have done something else to help us celebrate, but more champagne on top of what we already had?? What a waste!

Never-the-less, we had a good anniversary and had a good time with our fondue. When we got home, we opened our "10-year" box. At our wedding we had everyone fill out a questionaire as to where they thought we would be in 10 years. We put them all in a box and sealed to be opened this year. We had a good laugh reading some of the things our family and friends had to say 10 years ago. It was fun.

Sunday, we had a whole different celebration in honor of Janea. We had a baby-naming ceremony followed by quite a party with more food than we could have possibly eaten. I don't know what I was thinking, but there is tons of food going to waste in my kitchen because I can't figure out what to do with it all. I really need a full sized freezer instead of the half-freezer I have now. I just wish I could convince Dave to get one of those deep freeze ice boxes. It would make things much better. We used to have a freezer outside....wish we still did!

Oh! and I got a camera for our anniversary so I can take and post pictures again. I'll do that another day. Right now, I need to go load up toys into a garbage bag....will they ever learn???

Monday, January 05, 2009

Kids say the darndest things...

Dave and I were sitting on the couch watching a movie that was beyond the interest of our little darlings. Suddenly, there was a commotion in the bathroom...this is usually not a good sign.

Dave: What's going on in there?

Jayden: I have to poop and pee. Ellie's keeping me company.

Dave: Could you do it without making a bunch of noise?

Jayden and Ellie: Ok.

------several minutes pass with lots of conversation and chatter from the bathroom----

Lynda: Jayden, are you done yet?

Jayden: Oh...ummm..yes.

Lynda: Did you wipe your butt clean?

Jayden: Ellie, can you check to see if my butt is clean?