party of four

mom and dad’s favorite show to watch in college was “party of 5”.  mom thought that name was the best. she secretly wants one more baby just so she can walk into a restaurant and say, “table please – party of 5”. but it’s ok!  cause when colin was born, she could at least call us “party of four” hence the blog title.  and because of our 4th member of the family turns FOUR, it’s reason to celebrate.


(miracle of miracles! we are both smiling and making eye contact with the camera!)

mom found this crown for colin and he proceeded to decorate with peel and stick jewels. it took much persuasion from mom not to purchase ALL the pink and purple hearts/butterflies/bows peel and stick gems, from michaels. he wasn’t feeling the green and blues. she managed to convince him with red.


commence the presents opening


you know what he got? cars. cars, cars and more cars.


then it was off to BIG AIR OC. i’m pretty sure i could caption this as colin saying “MA – RI – NA!” she was the one girl from colin’s class that was invited. we think he loves her 🙂 they play mary and joseph in school all the time.



i’m ok!

IMG_7445-38emma, always fun, jumping and bouncing the kiddos while they lay there.

IMG_7461-48time to eat.


i’m beaming, discussing the visit from the tooth fairy (post to follow)

IMG_7472-53cousin love. what you don’t see here is aunt sarah squeezing colin and owen together, otherwise they would have been on opposite sides of the room, saying “cheese”.


IMG_7479-59mom contends that colin’s favorite part of his birthday is not the presents, but the singing. the love and the celebration that surround him, fill him up and he takes it all in.  if it could be his birthday everyday just to be sung to, he’d take it.

i love my tickle (yes i still call him that….) with all my heart. teachers tell mom how i take such good care of him.  mom would like to believe that one day, if i were to write my story it would begin with, ” my life started the day my brother was born.” she can hope.




(photo: jen perez photography)

as many of you know, i’m not the type to jump in and do something first.  i like to dip my toes in the pool instead of diving right in.  that’s more colin’s thing… so to be fair, i’m not “affected” or “advanced” but just good old normal in lots of ways.

so reading (or lack thereof) has not been a major issue in the house and mom knew to leave teachers to the task of helping me learn.  it’s daunting really, and since one thing i AM advanced at is memorizing pictures and being read to with my story books. mom’s initial thought was, “this kid’s gonna memorize his way into fooling his teachers to think he can read”.  teacher assured her that wouldn’t happen.  i get really mad when mom covers up all the pictures when we practice together. i’m smart, but i’m also hers. she knows how my brain works.

we’ve spend the better part of the school year so far learning all our sounds, and these things called blends. like most parents, mom and dad thought “phooey” about these so called blends, but folks, they work!  and it makes it a whole lot easier for mom and dad to help me.

now every week i come home with a new work book and pages to read.  seriously people i can do this.  no pictures even.  “the pig sat in the mud”. the first sentence i read. ever.  mom cries.  it’s weird.  sure other kids might be reading harry potter books by now. all in due time. cause mom bets once i get started i’ll never stop. and that’s just fine with her. there’s a whole batch of mom’s old “calvin and hobbes” books just waiting to be devoured….

nana and papa

nana and papa arrived as a late christmas present for a week’s worth of fun and relaxation. well let’s hope they had fun and relaxed!  the highlight of our fun was a trip to huntington beach. mom wanted to take us to a new beach all summer and only made it to about 3. oops. so she knew where to go when dad asked for ideas of things to do. surf city here we come…




it was cold. nana and papa may not come back as it didn’t seem much warmer than wisconsin.  but we have beaches.




papa did a good job of helping us find cool sea shells


stopping for helicopters overhead


snuggles with nana.


colin was ready to take this guy home.


he settled on these.

the second best part of nana and papa’s visit was bowling. ramps and bumpers can help even a 6 year old beat dad’s score.  and dad had his own shoes and ball.  he’s legit.



who doesn’t love bowling with glowing pins and tv’s to watch?

we topped off their visit with a little new year’s party. complete with martinelli’s and tiny “mugs”.


happy new year!!

last christmas

if only george michael could hear us now…. if there  was one song that encapsulated christmas it is this song.  now i’ll also note that mimi, upon hearing the original 1984 version of this song said “doesn’t taylor swift sing this?” why yes, yes she does. clearly she skipped listening to music until she had an 8 year old granddaughter.  at least E has good taste!


the season started off great with a trip to disneyland to see the decorations. we whooped it up and stayed until the fireworks and “snowfall” on mainstreet.  we ate ice cream for dinner.  mom stuck her tongue out to eat the “snow” only to realize the fake snow was (gasp) soap bubbles.  sorry disney, next year get a real sonw machine. i bet you can afford it…


there’s nothing more fun than riding radiator springs racers at night…



then it was time for the christmas pageants. please forgive colin’s pose. he’s pointing up to heaven, not trying to say “fight the power!”. colin naturally was very dramatic and loved having family in the audience.


that night it was my turn.  i was angel #1.  mom nearly cried when she saw the letter announcing my “random” draw for the part.  glad that i wasn’t joseph, yes. but an angel?  angel’s are mimi’s favorite.


i did great, smiled and everything. i told dad before we walked in that night, “dad please don’t laugh at me cause i am in a dress” to which dad replied “it’s not a dress, you are an angel!” and mommy replied “trust me i won’t be laughing, i’ll do my best not to cry” to which i sighed and said “please… (embarrased tone) don’t cry….’

christmas came quickly after and colin and i made out nicely with outdoor toys, new bikes, plasma cars, ramps and chalk stencils for making roads and signs.



colin is teaching me to have an imagination. we’ve been playing a fun game on our plasmas where we crash. one falls over. the other picks the first up to drive him to the hospital. there are needles. when we are done at the hospital then he gets driven back to the waiting plasma car. we immediately crash again and its the other’s turn to get hurt. it’s fun for hours!


“view halloo” colin’s and my first adventure with mary poplins. and lip whistles.

img_6809-2-wthe ladies!

img_6828-2-wnow its time for presents. colin tries so hard to be patient, waiting for O to open his gift from mimi.


high heeled pink suede tassled boots? yes please.

img_6814-2-wno the colors aren’t wrong. A is really wearing a pink shirt and purplish pants.  if fuzzy pants came in those colors, i’d wear them too!


this was the last christmas of duping. now that i can start reading, mimi can’t write “blue toy” on the “TO” label anymore, in case she forgets what the gift is. it was like the longest day of my life waiting to open my blue transformer…

this is 6

img_6475-3-wi had the good fortune of my birthday falling on a saturday this year.  so all celebrations were wrapped up in one day.  great for me! mom went for something different and brought in a reptile man.  the kids were in awe. count on E to add to the drama.  it’s always good to have a girl around 😉


i didn’t realize that i “had” to hold all the animals.  it took a few to calm my nerves.


the snakes were a hit.


colin was fearless.  i dunno, with those eyes and that tongue, yikes.


i’m starting not to freak out inside my head so much now…


colin is ready to take him home

img_6561-3-wsnakes, a few lizard and a bull frog that wouldn’t jump and then this…


mom should have asked for this to stay back in its home


and then E did this. seriously?? she is woman. hear her roar.


a baby python snake. colin’s comment “ooooh! it’s so cute – ty!”


A out did us all with snake and spider.


say hello to our reptile guy. and say hello to his little friend.  there are no pictures of me with this.  i’m out the door.


this was the best 6th birthday ever.


a lovely over night getaway with friends began at the beach. too bad mom didn’t invite me.

mom and her friends had a farwell dinner for a dear friend who be missed… the beachcomber it is!

mom feels like she could live her whole life here and still not see it all. but she had been here.  there just must be too much to see her in california. even she had beat out a friend or 2 in the group, who had yet to go to crystal cove, and see this view.

it’s beautiful; mom missed a shot of all the kitschy little cottages facing the ocean. it’s a great place to rent a spot, each little cottage has a theme of it’s own.

the best part about it were these ladies here…

you see mom’s friend is moving away tomorrow… which means my friend is moving away too. d and i have known each other for almost our whole lives, since i was 6 months old. we spent our preschool lives together. i was such a shy kid then… and d was the only one i’d play with.  thanks for always being my friend….

which means colin’s friend is moving away too… sky is one of the few girls in our mass of boys.  this lady holds her own and just about all the boys hearts too.

texas is lucky to have your family.  you will be so very missed… cheers to your family’s new adventure, and to guest rooms for when we come to visit!