Monday, August 31, 2009

Friend Makin Mondays



Late to the party again.

{do we see a pattern here? Mmyeah}

So, Amber has graciously stepped in to host Friend Makin' Mondays.

YAY!

That Amber, she's a nosey gal . . . this week, she's askin' us 20 questions.

Here we go

{Sorry, no time for chit chat, ladies. I've got a kitchen to clean and girls to bathe}



1. Do you cook every night?

I cook almost every night. I cook every night that Jeremy is home, and on the nights he is gone the girls and I generally have leftovers.

2. What kind of laundry detergent do you use & why?

It depends, but typically I use All Free & Clear. We cloth diaper, so it is a must when washing the diapers and it just makes sense to use it for all the laundry so that I'm not buying several different kinds. I do love Gain, though.

3. Do you do laundry every day or loads at a time?

Every day. And sometimes it is loads at a time.

4. How often do you eat out per week?

Rarely. If the girls and I are in town and they are begging for food, I'll run through McDonald's. Other than that we rarely eat out.

5. Where do you eat out?

I'm sorry to say that it's usually McDonald's or Carl's Jr.

6. What is your favorite retail store?

Yep, Target.

7. What's your favorite thing to drink?

Water. I love it. I used to drink nothing but water, but diet coke started sneaking in from time to time. My new goal is back to water only.

8. Do you take vitamins? What kind?

You know, I'm not great about it. Mostly because I have the world's most sensitive stomach and I haven't found a vitamin that didn't bother it. I do try to sneak prenatal vitamins in, but it's not on a regular basis.

9. What percentage of the household chores to you do?

Typical household chores? Dishes, laundry, vacuum, dust, straighten, take out garbage, etc.?

100%

10. Do your children do chores? {Or will they, did they, etc}

Okay, I guess I don't do 100% of the chores. Sierra makes her own bed. And actually, both Sierra and Makenna are pretty good about helping out when I ask. Sierra, especially is a tremendous help.



11. Do you go to church?

We currently do not. We went faithfully for years, and unfortunately there were circumstances that have led us to try to find a different church. We are sort of looking, but while "in between" the girls and I do Sunday School together on Sunday mornings.

12. Do you have a housework schedule?

No, I wish I did. I need one. I kind of just run around from room to room each day. I pretty much get nowhere fast.

13. Do you keep a working budget?

No, we don't. But I must say that we manage money a lot better now than we used to. We were never bad at managing, but we are far more aware now than we used to be, where our money goes.

14. What do you do at night as a family?

Dinner, baths, read books, pray.

15. How do you prepare yourself for a new week?

I'm a list-maker. I try to make a list of what needs to be done for each day of the week. Our calendar comes in handy!

16. What do your mornings look like?

Pretty laid back right now. As soon as school starts, Sierra and I will be up at 7am to get ourselves ready for the day. Showers, dressed, breakfast, organize, and our homeschool morning will start at 8:30am.

17. What time do you get up in the mornings?

It depends. Some mornings it's 5:30, some it's 7:00. But usually shortly after 6am.

18. What time do you go to bed at night?

Also depends. On the nights that Jeremy is at work I try to go to bed early with the girls. This can be as early as 9pm. However, sometimes I like the quiet time alone, and I'll stay up too late. When Jeremy is at home, now that we've gotten the girls into a more parent-friendly bedtime routine, we're usually in bed by 10:30. Wow. Bo-ring. ;)

19. How do you manage all of the paperwork that floods into your household?

I don't. No, just kidding. I make myself go through papers on a regular basis and I toss, toss, toss. Otherwise those papers can take over, I tell ya. Anything I can't toss {important receipts, etc.} I file away.

20. How do you keep your household organized?

I don't know that we're super organized, though I'd like to be. Our calendar in the kitchen is a great help. Any of Jeremy's schedule changes get written down there, as well as meetings, appointments, etc. I also keep a pocket calendar in my purse, and of course, my to-do lists ;)





This has been great fun, Amber! Thanks! Can't wait to get around to read everyone's answers!

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Family Fun!

Last week my sister and her family were visiting from Southern Oregon.
We don't get to see each other near as often as I'd like,
so we try to pack in as much as we can in the time we do have together.
In the four days they were here we went shopping,
spent the day at Enchanted Forest, celebrated birthdays,
and got in some visit time.

Probably the most fun for the kiddos was our trip to Enchanted Forest.
And, boy, did we have a group!
My sister and her family, the girls and I, Mom and Dad,
My other sister, her two older kids, and two of their friends,
my brother and his daughter,
PLUS my dear friend, her husband, and their four children.


If you lost count, that's nine adults and fourteen children.
1-16 year old
1-15 year old
1-12 year old
1-11 year old
2-7 year olds
1-6 year old
1-5 year old
1-4 year old
1-3 year old
1-2 year old
2-1 year olds
1- {almost} 7 month old
What fun we had!
{Warning: Get ready for picture overload}

A quick shot in front of the castle wall.

I think Sierra and Kuaile were racing each other. Fierce competition, huh?

Bumper Boat Fun!

Jaymes had so much fun going through the rabbit hole.


Gramps and my niece, Sonoma.
{Oh how I love this picture. In case you can't get a sense from the photo alone, my dad LOVES
children. He is so good with all of the grandchildren. Their eyes light up when Gramps is in the room.}

Such a great day.

Of course, those four days went by way too quickly.

And I didn't get near the visit time with my sis that I'd wanted.

But, you gotta look at the bright side, right?

I love having the WHOLE family together!

{And, yes, Kam was there, though I didn't get one photo of her!

She was contentedly snuggled in the Ergo the entire time.}


Hope y'all had an equally blessed week!

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Flashback Friday, Pregnancy Journal Week 14

Back again for another installment of Flashback Friday ~ Pregnancy Journals!

{Is it really Friday again, already???}

Want to catch up?

Week 13

Week 12

{I have to laugh that I was an organizational mess at this time last year, too! Hmmm, I guess I have a hard time switching gears after Summer vacation.}

(Originally submitted September 10, 2008)

Week 14 ~ An Organizational Mess ~

Week 14 started with a trip to visit my sister and new niece. It was a long drive for the girls (5 hours in the car Wednesday, and another 5 in the car Thursday), but so worth it. My mom came along for the drive, so that was a big help. It was so wonderful to hold a brand new baby again. I forgot how tiny they are! I kept looking at little Sonoma and thinking “there’s no way my daughters were ever that small”, but they, of course, were. It’s amazing how fast they grow. While it was a super fast trip - we were in town for less than 24 hours - we tried to fit in a lot of visiting. Wednesday night we went to dinner at a delicious Italian restaurant. My sister, niece, mom, the girls, and I met my aunt and uncle, another aunt, and a family friend. It was so much fun to catch up. And now we are home, and back in the swing of things.


All is going well on the home schooling front, but I am finding that I am going to need to step it up in the organization department. I’ve just been so tired lately that I don’t always feel like jumping out of bed in the morning. Sometimes I like to read for a little bit or just snuggle my girls. Inevitably I wander around the house finding things that need to be straightened, and then it’s on to the computer where I check my email and website (I run a very small children’s boutique online). Before I know it I’m rushing around to get a shower before we start school, and I feel so unorganized! While I don’t necessarily want to constantly follow a rigid schedule, I am challenging myself to get up early and get myself ready first thing so that I’m ready to face the day by the time the girls are awake and ready to go. I think it’s important, for us, to stick to some sort of schedule on our schooling days, and I need to take responsibility for that. At least I am recognizing this now, and not two months from now. Of course, come Spring, when we add a new baby to the mix, all talk of schedules might go right out the window!


Just as I thought I was getting over the nausea, it hit hard again. The girls and I went to my in-laws to visit on Saturday evening. Geri (my mother-in-law), and I both teach Sunday School at our church, and we wanted to do some planning for lessons and crafts. After dinner Sierra started asking to stay the night, but she wanted me to stay too, so I ran home and gathered up a few things. When it was time to get ready for bed I started brushing my teeth, as usual, and it hit me. I don’t know if it was some sort of gag reflex or what, but the next twenty minutes were spent with my head in the toilet. Not pretty. And it just seems to come from nowhere.


Tomorrow I am planning on doing a little bit of clothes shopping. I am already having a hard time fitting into most of my “regular” clothes, but my maternity clothes seem way too big yet. I could really use a few pieces of transitional clothing, and also a couple more
maternity outfits, as my closet seems pretty bare. The girls love to shop, Sierra in particular, and my mom is coming along, so it will be a fun outing.


Hope you all have had a wonderful week!

Blessings,
Liz

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Birthday Fun and a little bit of chaos

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed these days. And I hate that. I like to be on top of everything, and lately I feel lucky if I've gotten the basics accomplished. All these things on my To-Do list, and I never seem to be able to scratch that last one {or fifty} off. Anyone else ever feel this way? I'll have a great day when I feel like the house is basically in order, the cleaning is pretty well caught up, and I have a sense of accomplishment. But for the most part, this last month has been me running around like a mad-woman, baby on hip at all times {because did I mention Kam doesn't ever want to be put down?}, and feeling like I'm not making any progress.


Oh well. Feel free to tune me out. I'm just being a whiner. {But, whew, that did feel good to get off my chest!}

So, on to the happy . . .

My oldest baby girl celebrated a birthday last week.

She turned 7 years old one week ago today, to be exact.


And I think it's safe to say that we all had a GREAT day!

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7 Months!

Ugh, these months are flying right by me!
Wasn't it just yesterday you looked like this?

Now you
laugh,
sit,
LOVE to jump in your jumpy.

And have even tried out your crib!

You are getting SO big,

and your personality shines through in all you do.

Every day gets better and better.

Happy 7 months, baby girl!



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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More Excitement Than I Care To Admit

Life has been a little busy lately.

Who am I kidding?

Life is usually busy around here.

We've been enjoying the last few weeks of Summer,

and, boy, have we packed in the activities!

My sister and her family have been here visiting since last Friday.

{Pictures are coming, trust me}

There have been preparations for Sierra's seventh birthday,

and finally her big day!

And the next couple of weeks are filled with "must-do's" before Fall sets in.

Well-child checks, Dental appointments, and a couple short trips before

School Starts!

But, before I fall off the blog planet again,

I just had to mention an unexpected surprise

that I am more excited about than should reasonably be allowed.

I am a giveaway enterer {is this a word???}

I don't spend a lot of time doing it, but every once in awhile I will enter.

And I've won a couple of times.

Not long ago, I even won a GORGEOUS dress for Sierra from

Momi Boutique.

{Please go check out this shop. Her designs are to-die-for!}

I was ecstatic.

Really, I could hardly contain myself.

I figured, I had really hit the jackpot,

and was convinced I would never win again.

So, imagine my surprise, a couple of weeks ago,

when I get an email from Kmart Design for their Fall Style Giveaway,

notifying me that I won a gift card to Kmart.

In all honesty, I almost didn't open the email.

I get a lot of junk email these days, and I almost, almost hit delete.

And truth be told . . . I had sort of forgotten that I had even entered!

But I didn't delete the email.

And I'm so glad I didn't.

I received my $100 gift card in the mail the other day.

Woo-hoo!

I know I sound lame, but

I'm so excited to have one hundred FREE dollars to spend!

I've spent the last few days trying to decide what I'll pick out.

So, THANK YOU, KMART!

You are super-cool in my book!

And, as long as I'm handing out Thank Yous . . .

A big thanks to Lisa {Onegirliegirl} and

Vivienne for more wonderful blog awards!

I'm sure there are others I've forgotten, and I do apologize

for being so horrible about posting these wonderful treasures.

I miss y'all, but will be back soon!

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{Almost} Wordless Wednesday ~ A Preview



We've been busy having Fun, Fun, Fun
with Family this last week while my
Sister was visiting.
Here, Kenners having a BLAST
on the Slip n' Slide
at Sierra's Birthday Party!
I've got so much to post, but so little time.
Stay tuned, won't you?
For more WW Fun, check out 5 Minutes For Mom

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Flashback Friday ~ Pregnancy Journal Week 13

Recently I've been feeling nostalgic.

Last week I mentioned that I had come across my Storknet pregnancy journal, from when I was pregnant with Kam. I thought it would be fun to publish them weekly, as a Flashback on Fridays. If only to reminisce. I don't know if it's because my oldest just turned seven yesterday, or because my youngest will be seven months old soon, but I'm feeling like time is getting away from me, and I'm feeling all . . . emotional. {Oh, who am I kidding? I'm always feeling emotional!} So here goes, another weekly installment of Flashback Friday Pregnancy Journal.

{Wanna catch up? Find Week 12 Here}

{Originally submitted September 4, 2008}

Week 13


A Little Sun, A Little Sand


At the last minute we decided to take a trip to the beach over Labor Day weekend. Elk season is just beginning, and Jeremy had planned on heading over to the coast to do some hunting. Just as he was getting ready to leave he asked if we wanted to come with him. We, of course, were delighted at the prospect of spending the weekend with our toes in the sand! We packed our bags and were on our way. The weather was gorgeous (a rarity on the Oregon coast). Not too windy, and plenty of sunshine. The girls had so much fun making sand castles, feeding the seals, and riding on the carousel, but boy was it packed! I guess everyone else had the same great idea to spend the last true weekend of summer at the beach.


On Wednesday we are heading south to visit my sister. She just had her second baby a couple of weeks ago, and we’ve been dying to see the little princess ever since! Sierra and Makenna are so excited to be able to meet their new cousin. It’s about a five hour drive to my sister’s house, and it’ll be a quick trip: down on Wednesday, home on Thursday. I hope we make it without too much drama. We were just down there a few weeks ago for the baby shower, and the drive can be a long one for a 3 year old and 6 year old, especially after the 3 hour trip to the beach last weekend. We’ll just have to make sure to pack plenty of coloring books, activities, and, yes, the DVD player.


It’s hard to believe that I’m finishing up the first trimester already. I continue to be hungry all the time, and pretty tired too. If I could just get some good, uninterrupted sleep (what’s that, right?), I think it would help. But I am up constantly to go to the bathroom. There are many nights that I get out of bed 7 or 8 times! And not a night goes by that I don’t get up at least 3-4 times. But at least I’m not feeling quite so sick. The first couple of months were pretty miserable, and if I wasn’t shoveling food in my mouth, I was very nauseated. I still have a hard time finding something that sounds good to eat. I’ve really been craving vegetables, and I could eat a salad for every meal, but other than that, everything else sounds pretty blah. We did happen upon this wonderful restaurant while we were at the coast, and I had the best clam chowder ever! It was pretty rich though, and I’d had a salad to start, so I could only manage a few bites. Jeremy had to finish the rest.

Through food aversions, cravings, exhaustion, and all of the other “perks” that come with the first trimester of pregnancy, I’m trying to enjoy every minute. After all, I’ll never get these moments back.

Until next week, Blessings!
Liz

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Seven Years Ago


My baby girl turns seven years old today.




Actually, she's already turned seven,




At 5:50 this morning.





Seven years ago, this morning, I became a Mama.



For the first time.




When you came into my life, my dreams were fulfilled.



There's nothing I love more than watching you grow.


Experiencing things for the first time.
Making new memories.

But, oh, how I wish you'd stay little for just awhile longer.

You are a sweet BIG sister.


I love you bigger than the sky.
Happy 7th birthday, Sweet Girl!


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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition ~ Back to School!

So, it's been awhile {again}, but since I haven't exactly been great

at working toward my goals, I haven't had too much to report.

New to Extreme Makeover: Me Edition?

Hurry on over to Amber's to read all about it and join in!

This week it's all about heading back to school.

Amber asks:

How is sending the kiddos back to school going to affect you?

Is it going to be easier/harder?

Are there any benefits/downfalls?

Not just back to school time,

but basically, summer is coming to an end.

Is summer harder or easier for you to stick to your weight loss goals?

For me, the start of school means less time for everything else,

as we are a homeschooling family.

Once we go back to school, our days will be filled with studies

PLUS all of the other chores and activities we have on a daily basis.

Add to that swimming and dance lessons,

and we have a pretty full schedule.

On the other hand, I do much better when I'm on a schedule,

so even though I have less time, it may work in my favor.

I've learned that no matter how much you have going on

you can still make time for the things {and people}

most important to you.

Exercise needs to become more important to me!

On the weight-loss front,

I stepped on the scale and saw the smallest number

I've seen in awhile.

I'm down a pound or two from pre-pregnancy weight, even.

It's pretty ridiculous how happy that made me ;)

{Like, standing in the bathroom doin' the happy dance, happy!}

Weight Loss isn't the problem, I NEED to exercise.

No excuses, this body has got to get in shape!

So . . . some goals:

Drink more and more water {I'm pretty good about doing this anyway}

Cut out more sugar {getting better}

Eat smaller portions

~EXERCISE~

walk, run, aerobics, weight training, whatever!

I just need to get movin'!

How about you? What kind of goals do you have?

Head on over to Amber's and link up. We'd love to have ya :)

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Wordless Wednesday



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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

{Bed} Times, They Are A-Changin'

Bed time at the Fraijo house has always been . . . laid back.

It started when Sierra was born. We took the "no schedule" approach.

And we've definitely stuck with it.

You see, when I was growing up, bedtime was a STRICT matter.

Up until high school I was in bed by 8, and that was that.

It was so strict, that I wound up having some sleep issues.

Of course, as a parent, I now completely understand

why my mom was so adamant about an early bed time.

Besides the fact that kids need a lot of sleep,

she needed some time to herself in the evenings. Simple as that.

But, a long time ago I made a vow that bedtime, and schedules in general,

would not be strictly enforced in this house.

The problem is, Sierra is {just about} seven years old,

and Makenna is four. They need a schedule. A routine, if-you-will.

And so do I.

I'm going a little crazy having children running around until 10:30 or 11:00 at night!

I'm ready for bed by then, which results in almost no down-time with Jeremy.

And we need that.

Even our homeschool days were flexible, in the past.

Some days we would start at 8am, some days it was closer to 9.

{A definite change for the upcoming year}.

So, no more complaining. We're just going to do it.

I won't turn into Strict Mom ~ The Enforcer.

But we will have a goal of getting all children,

{well, Kam is a bit young for a routine},

into bed by 9pm.

Who knows, maybe we can work toward an earlier goal in the future.

Anyone else facing bedtime issues?

Having a hard time getting the kiddos adjusted to a school-friendly routine?

Or, are you a scheduling pro?

I'd love to hear about it!

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Flashback Fridays ~Pregnancy Journals

Last summer, when I was newly pregnant with Kam, I was asked to keep a weekly journal for Storknet, an online pregnancy and parenting community. I am so glad to have the entries to look back on and remember all the events surrounding my pregnancy with her. Recently, I was reading a few of the entries, and I thought it might be fun to re-publish them here as a Flashback Friday installment. I started the entries almost exactly one year ago, August 2008, when I was 12 weeks along.

Week 12 ~ Movement Already?


The beginning of this week started with some fluttering. I dismissed it, skeptical that I was feeling movement already. But now, at the end of week 12, I know I’m not imagining it. This little pumpkin is moving in there! I only feel it very occasionally, usually after I’ve had something to eat, and if I am lying down. But there’s no mistaking, he or she is actually moving! So very exciting!


We celebrated Sierra’s 6th birthday this week. I cannot believe my “baby” is six already. I honestly don’t know where the time goes. Sierra has gone back and forth about wanting to get her ears pierced for the last year or so, and in honor of her sixth birthday, she finally decided she was ready. We made the 45 minute drive to the mall, picked out the most sparkly earrings available, and I braced myself for some tears. Can you believe that not one tear was shed? She didn’t even say “ouch”. I was so impressed with my brave little girl. And she could not have been happier with the new sparkle adorning her ears. After getting the run-down on ear care, we made it over to Build-A-Bear and both of the girls picked out new furry friends to take home. Needless to say, I had two very happy girls.


This was our last week of summer vacation here. We will start our home-school year this next week. Our books came in the mail on Monday, and I can’t wait to get started. Last year Sierra was in Kindergarten, so we took a pretty laid-back approach. But now that she is in first grade, we need to be more serious about our studies. I think we are all looking forward to getting back on a schedule. We had a fun-filled summer, but I am ready to welcome fall. I just love this time of year when we can enjoy warm, sunny days and cool, crisp evenings.


Now we play the waiting game. My next OB appointment is in 6 weeks. That is when our ultrasound is scheduled, and hopefully we’ll be able to find out if this little sugarplum is a boy or a girl. Sierra hopes for a baby brother, and Makenna would like a baby sister. Of course we will be happy no matter what. Our first concern is for a healthy baby. But I can’t wait to start planning.


That is it for now. I hope this week finds you all smiling!


Blessings,
Liz

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

Home At Last

Ahhh, we're home at last!
Two days of shopping.
Two days of camping.
Two days of clean-up {and laundry}.
Two doctors appointments,
One for Sierra.
One for Puppy Kate.
And now . . .
I'll leave you with Two Thousand pictures.
{Or maybe just 12. Whatever}

Here is where us girls stayed while we shopped.



The girls got to feed the Llamas

My sweet sugarplums


Mama with her girls



Grandma with her girls
{Side note: My mother-in-law had three boys and wanted just one girl so badly. I LOVE that she now has three granddaughters. We so enjoy doing the "girly thing" with her}


We did crafts ~ Kenners sporting her bracelets.

Our view of the lake.

Catchin' Fish!

Lookin' Pretty

Kam enjoyed the trip too ;)

Sunset

More fish!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
We had so much fun, but we're glad to be home.
I'd love to catch up with everyone, but family is calling right now.
A husband, three busy girls, and a brand new puppy leave very little time for much else.
I'll be around soon!
Hope you all have had a memory-filled week.
Summer is almost gone, can you believe it???

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