Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Kiya Can Crawl!?

I couldn't believe it myself. I mean, I have noticed her scooting herself around, but I didn't quite believe it. I mean, this is a bit early, don't you think? I know that girls tend to progress faster than boys, but I just thought that applied to language. Maybe this is developmentally normal, I don't know.

My little monkey is just NOT satisfied to be left where we put her. No siree, she wants to move where her little heart and pudgy little legs will take her. Of course she cannot go very far, but she is working on it. Her childcare provider said that she crawled 4-5 scoots today (I was at work and didn't get to see it) :( **Sigh...double sigh** I'm still in awe that she can hold her head up high. She still has a tendency to do the bobble head thing, but she is pretty strong. Caiden HATED tummy time with a passion. Kiya can't get enough of it! Now I see why.

Who knows if this was a fluke or not. Time will tell. I will try and catch her scooting her way on video next time. I am impressed, but not ready to child proof the house quite yet. She still has a ways to go. :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Love Lost

My daughter is 4 months old and already she has to experience a love lost. Ok, so I may be exaggerating somewhat, but my mom (aka GIGI) got Kiya this incredibly soft and very cute sage dog.

Kiya loves and hugs her sage doggie

Look how happy she is

Kiya LOVES it. Here she is shortly before the "accident". I turned away for just a minute to get something (I was holding Kiya), and before I knew it when I turned around there was STUFFING EVERYWHERE!!! Now I KNOW that it was Hunter...only Hunter loves to rip the stuffing out of unsuspecting toys, but what is more impressive was the stealth and speed with which he has come to de-stuff the toys. Had it not happened "on my watch" I would not have believed it to be true.

I am heartbroken. Only moments before had I snapped these cute shots of Kiya, and now the doggie is no more. I can't even stuff the stuffing back in, wash it and sew it (if I knew how to sew). The thought did cross my mind. No, Hunter is a thorough dog, and has completely mutilated this once precious toy. sigh...

He normally leaves the kid's things alone, but there was something special about this toy, and Hunter felt it must be destroyed. :( I hope I can find a new one. Sadness...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Visit With Dean

Well who can stay away from a new baby, especially one as cute as Dean Hester? Well certainly, I can't. Dave and I trekked it out to the OC to visit our new little nephew. Auntie Wendy, Uncle Jeff and Cousin Micah came to town especially to see the new arrival. Papa Jim and Grammie Sue came over too. :) It was great to have the whole family together with all the kids.

The best picture I could get of Grammie Sue, Papa Jim and the grandkids
Papa Jim and Kiya
Auntie Wendy and Dean
Dave and Kiya
Dean and Kiya - Sleeping angels...they are 4 months apart

Caiden and Micah had a ball playing together. First, they took a nap so that they could recharge their batteries for the big day ahead. Then they used the new headlamps that Grammie Sue and Papa Jim gave them to explore the dark crevices of Auntie Pam and Uncle Jake's house.

Micah and Caiden at the charging station - recharging their batteries. :P

Next they worked on stacking and "cooking". Finally, Grammie Sue did what ANY normal grandma would do....she took them BUG HUNTING!!! They got cups and went out on an adventure to look for bugs. Yes, this is quite the bug family. I'm cool with the long as they are not spiders :)

Stacking, grasping and cooking

Bug Hunting 101
Searching for the juicy ones and the BEST creepy crawly ones

Cade's stash o'bugs
Grammie morphing into a bug (I think she was a snail)

It was nice to spend time together chatting and catching up. I loved to watch the cousins play with each other. I can't wait until Kiya and Dean are old enough to join in on the fun as well. Each time we see each other the kids have grown so much, it is incredible!

Grammie Sue, Micah and Jeff
Wendy and Micah

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Thank You To My Readers!

I just wanted to say thank you to the faithful readers who read AND comment on my blog. Sometimes I stay up late at night to post, or blog in my "off" time instead of sleep or rest and it makes it worth it when I know that people are reading and enjoying (if not just reading) my blog :P

How do I know if people are reading it you ask? Well, because they POST!!! :) So thank you for those of you who read and post. This lets me know that there are people who are at least somewhat interested in what is going on in my life, and that encourages me to continue to post. :) So if you want to hear more...just let me know with a simple comment! :) Thanks again for reading.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

P90X and Yoga

I have started this new exercise program called P90x. It is a 12 week muscle confusion program and it is KICKING MY BUTT!!! It incorporates weight lifting, yoga, kick boxing, cardo and the like to get you in beach body shape in 12 weeks. I guess that is the best way to describe it.

Here Caiden and I are starting the Yoga tape.

What I can tell you is that my muscles are confused. They are in shock and they are crying out "Crazy Girl what ARE you doing to me?" The very next day after the first DVD I thought "Not bad...I could handle this, however Day 2 I was SO SORE!!!

Besides the fact that my toe still hurts and I am completely out of alignment, I am TRYING to stay with the program, and have done so thus far. Normally, I very much like the host. He is funny, entertaining, inspirational, good looking, and definitely fit! However, when it comes to the plyometrics dvd...ugh...I just don't know. How do I describe what Plyometrics is? The Plyometrics DVD is an evil plot by the P90x people to destroy me. It makes me hate the main host while simultaneously zapping whatever semblance of self esteem that I once had. It is hard core and the ONLY dvd that I quit with 19 minutes left. I felt like absolutely crap about quitting as I am not a quitter, but I was DONE!!! All of the other dvds I have been able to finish. You get one day off (or you can stretch - my day off is Monday), but other than that you are working out for a minimum of 1 hour a day; many 1.5 hours. Plyometrics is tomorrow, so I am assuming Wednesday will become synonymous with dread. If I can finish, JUST finish the Plyometrics dvd tomorrow, I will feel like I have accomplished something.

Dave and I are doing this program (along with people at the FD - Dave is in a weight loss competition with one of the guy's there and his whole crew does the workout). Since one of our DVDs was not working, I had to double up on the workout and do 1.5 hours of yoga AND Legs, Back and something called the AB Ripper X all in one day. That was a bit tough, and yea...I was pretty much hating life.
Caiden and I stretching out before we got into the hard core yoga moves

Caiden was such a trooper. He even did about 20 minutes of yoga with me. Despite what you believe, yoga is not always very comfortable or pain free (as you can see by the expression on Caiden's face). Finally, Caiden looked at Dave and asked permission to be excused. I felt so bad, like he was being forced to do this. Even HE felt the pressure (by the host, not by me) to continue. I swear this guy jumps out of the screen and pushes you to finish.

Caiden's not so fun yoga face

Josh also decided to join in on the action, so I think that Dave and Josh have a side bet going on about weight loss too. Here Josh is relaxing before we get down to work and work out. What better way to relax than play with a baby? Kiya loves to give smiles and is especially good at it. :)

Look at the big smiles :)

Anyway, as you can clearly see I desperately need to work out, but at least here the proof that I AM making the effort. I didn't even post the more intensive Yoga pics. Frankly some of the poses are not exactly flattering and are even slightly suggestive. :P Hopefully, in 12 weeks, you will be seeing a thinner, toner, and more fit Melissa. And if not, let's just pretend this little blog entry NEVER happened :P

Friday, May 23, 2008

Happy Birthday and Welcome Baby Dean Jacob!!

This morning at approximately 3:30 am in the morning, Baby Dean Jacob Hester made his appearance into this world, and I became and aunt again!!! Dean weighed in at 7lbs 9 oz and 21 inches long! He is of course both adorable and quite perfect, but of course I'm biased as he is my new nephew.

Dean Jacob :) How cute

Pam was quite the trooper as she had a 20 hour labor or so, but it was all worth it as Dean is healthy, happy and more importantly HERE!!!!

The proud new daddy and mama with baby Dean

Mama, baby and daddy are doing great, but are quite tired. From my understanding, it was quite the adventurous labor with Dean not quite sure he wanted to make an appearance, and needed a bit of coaxing to come out of his warm, cozy environment into the world of sights, sounds and smells. :) Do you blame him though? He just wasn't ready to share his Mama quite yet...of course now he has a doting father who is as happy as can be.

I was thankful that I was able to stop by on my lunch to visit and give the new family some flowers, a balloon and some gifts just for Dean. Lance and Susan were already there when I arrived and Sue arrived shortly thereafter with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Some of Pam and Jake's friends came to the rescue bringing some much needed Starbucks coffee (what a treat!!)
Proud Daddy Jake with a much needed cup of Starbucks Coffee
Friends Lisa and Alan to the rescue :)
The flowers and balloons I brought
Beautiful bouquet from Sue and Jim

Of course Dean is as precious as can be and quite tuckered out as he was sleeping peacefully the whole time I was there. He has a full head of dark hair and his daddy's lips.

Me and my new nephew Dean (yeah, he's a keeper) :)
Concerned Mama Pam
Proud new grandma Sue with Dean
Pam, her son Dean and Grammie Sue

Congratulations Pam, Jake and big brother Alex!! We are so happy that everyone is happy and healthy. :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Adorable Kiya

Kiya is getting so strong. She has really taken to tummy time and rolling over. She rolls really need to keep a good eye on her.

I had placed Kiya on her back for a moment while I was folding laundry (this was shortly before I decided to walk straight into the coffee table with my poor toe), and she decided to roll herself over, lift up her head and smile at me. God I love my cute :)

Kiya posed herself...smiles and all
I love the drool in this picture :P
Look at her chunky cute

Not sure what she was doing here... I like to call this "thoughtful Kiya"

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Three Favorite Things...

Well, since I was tagged by Wendy (see link to her blog on the left of mine), I felt I must comply. I mean who am I to stop the chain.

Seeing as it is close to midnight I do not promise that this will make any sense, and I am going to say what comes to mind, so here goes:

1. Watching my kids - frankly I love to watch them grow and discover, I love to watch them sleep, and I absolutely, positively LOVE to cuddle with them. I love to hear Caiden call me "Mama" and talk his "big boy talk", and I love to glance down at Kiya and see her smiling up at me the whole time just waiting for me to look at her. I LOVE every moment that I spend with my kids. I am always torn between wanting to freeze time just to keep the moment alive, or let life continue so I can watch them grow, become independent, etc... I never thought I would be able to know the kind of love that I have experienced by being a mother. It is the BEST thing that I have EVER done, and there is NO TOPPING IT!!

2. Paying it forward - so to speak. You know like the movie. I love to think of something creative to do that will really make someon's day and actually DO it. The bigger or more unsuspecting the event or idea the better and more excited I become. I LOVE Christmas and it is not because of gifts that I get, I love to think of creative gifts to give to other people and watch them open them up. Of course I HATE it when people watch me open up gifts...too much pressure :P I like to do something when someone least expects it...just to make them smile. That is the BEST feeling :)

3. Nothing to Do - I would love a little downtime with no schedules, or plans. I would like to be able to be spontaenous and just LIVE LIFE!!! I feel like I am always running somewhere, that I would like some downtime, so that I don't feel that my whole life is planned. I would love to go hiking, read a book, or SLEEP!!!! I do love to sleep...I don't get to see the underside of my eyelids often, but when I do, I thoroughly enjoy it.

Ok, so I tag Heather and what'll it be girls?????

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lunch & A Movie?

Heather had this great idea, (and if you know Heather she will likely comment that ALL her ideas are great), but this one is a real zinger!

She thought what a great way to spend our time during our lunch breaks but to watch a movie in our cars while we eat the lunch that we brought. Of course we are in the same car so that we can enjoy the movie together (I felt I needed to mention that since my first sentence seemed to imply otherwise. Frankly, I am too lazy to hit the delete button and think of a new first sentence, so instead I decided to continue to babble rather than hit the backspace button and use my brain). This way we can save money, hopefully lose weight as we will choose more healthy alternatives to fast food, and TRULY enjoy some time away from the office.

Me with my healthy standby sandwich (100% whole wheat 45 calorie bread with mustard (0 calories), spinach and 98% fat free turkey).
Heather with her healthy meal - a smart ones pizza

Since it was Heather's idea she had first choice at the movie. We are currently watching Serendipity (which is a romantic comedy so I am a total sucker for it. I love it!). Since we do not have time to finish the movie in one sitting, we will be watching it over multiple days. Next week is my movie pick...I have no idea what to pick right now, so suggestions would be great.

Us being cheesy. I know. I look like crap. I got up late and didn't want to do my hair or make-up. Seriously I should be a better example to the team.

Today was our first day doing lunch and a movie and I really did feel relaxed during my break which is rare and wonderful. Kudos to Heather for a creative and great idea!! Three cheers for Heather...hip hip HORRAY!!! *now repeat two more times* :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I FINALLY Got A Break :(

Lesson learned. Be careful what you wish for, you just MAY get it. I have been hoping for a break in the bad luck. I have been asking for a break, and that is exactly what I got - just in the form of a toe. :(

Yep, that is right. I think I broke my toe. This is the part of the story where I should insert this amazingly cool story about how I was traversing up a mountain top to rescue someone from a dire situation, but frankly JD (friend from work) has been slacking in the imaginative, fake story department. Honestly, the story goes...I was watching TV and doing laundry. I went to go put the laundry away and ran straight into the coffee table. :( OUCHIE!!!! ***I would post a picture, but frankly, I don't like feet, so that's not gonna happen.*** I know. I am a Klutz. I have always admitted it.

Now my toe is black and blue and nicely taped to the one next to it. :( I am doing this new P90X exercise program with Dave, so it has become troublesome as it happened about 2 hours before my first day of the program. Sigh...again....lesson learned. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Melissa and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad DayS

Yes, just like the children's story, I have been a little down on my luck a few days last week. I mean, I know that I am a naturally unlucky person, but this was getting a little ridiculous.

It started last Thursday in which I came into work still struggling with my "variable state of wellness" and with absolutely NO VOICE to speak of (hehe...little joke there...get voice..yeah, well I never confessed to be funny). I had my day planned out. I was going to sit in a training, meet with a few of my reps, and have an otherwise very productive day.

That was my first mistake. Instead some very interesting things happened at work, that frankly I cannot speak of as people from my company actually read or potentially may read this entry. Let's just say, it was quite the hectic event in which I had to rely on Michael Chapman to interpret much of the goings on to a number of different people of a law enforcement variety.

Right after I had finished dealing with the work issue, I started receiving frantic calls from Dave. I answer the phone and he tells me that someone broke into the Fire Department vehicle and stole all of their stuff. Including their keys, wallet, EVERYTHING. The thieves had dropped his phone and he found it or they wouldn't have been able to call anyone. I then had to start calling credit card companies, signed up for life lock (he carried his social security card with him...yeah...I know), and started the work to try and replace everything. This proved to be very interesting as I didn't have a voice. I needed to go pick up Dave (remember they were training in the Kern River), but they found a hide-a-key for the FD truck, so they were able to make it back to the station at least. We then had to get the house re-keyed, etc...

That was Thursday. Then we had Friday. I thought...well, that was yesterday, the past is the past. Friday will be a good day. Yeah, not so much. I still had the work issue thing that I was dealing with, but now I was further behind in my workload as it took me out most of the day, and forced me to leave work earlier on Friday (for security reasons). Anyway, I get home and try to relax a little with the kids and Dave. Caiden goes upstairs to get ready for bed as I feed Kiya.

To make a long story short, our upstairs bathroom gets flooded, and starts raining down water into our ceiling. How? Caiden went to the bathroom, the toilet clogged, he tried to plunge it himself, called for me but I was feeding Kiya. I asked Dave to go upstairs and check, he called to Caiden to brush his teeth. Caiden panicked and started flushing the toilet over and over again to fix the clog.

The water leaked down through the light that is hanging. The buckets were catching the water.

We all ran upstairs to mop up the floor, and I put Kiya in her crib, so I could help. She rolls...boy does that little girl roll, and she rolled herself and inserted her chubby little leg into the crib slates and lodged her leg there - repeatedly. This, while Dave is yelling for more towels. Sigh...I just wanted to watch a TV show and go to bed...I really didn't feel well. My variable state of wellness turned into outright illness. Anyway...the last few days were not so good, but to be honest it was my fault. Someone from work who knew the whole situation said, "Well, Mel, I hope your day gets better". This is where I made the critical error. I said "Well, it has to, right? It can't get any worse". Famous last words...sigh...can it get worse now?

Monday, May 19, 2008

A "Variable State of Wellness"

I believe that a lot of things can be overcome by the whole mind over matter philosophy. I guess that is why I took an unmedicated approach to both my life and the births of my children, so why should sickness be any different.

I have been struggling with a cold for the last few weeks. There, I said it...I was fighting it, and last week it fought back. It took my voice, zapped my energy, but I still trudged on forcing myself to believe that I was NOT sick. When people would tell me that I sounded or looked terrible, I would just state that "I am currently in a variable state of wellness".

My logic - if I give in and think I am sick, then I will be and frankly I don't have time to be sick. There has been so much to do. So all last week I kept on trucking through the responsibilities at my job as well as my personal life. It was a TOUGH week, of which I was voice-less for many of the days. As a side note, I never knew how winded someone can get when you are trying to force your voice was SO frustrating. For those of you who know me, I have a lot to say - I am NOT a quiet person. Unfortunately, there was a lot going on that I had comments too, but no one could hear me. :(

Anyway, this weekend I decided that I am giving in...if not just a little. I am exhausted, and now Kiya is sick (fever, cough, runny nose...poor her). I can pretend all I want that I am not sick, but when it comes to my adorable little monkey of a daughter I can no longer keep up the charade. I broke down, got her some infant drops to keep her fever down and am nursing on demand...I mean, hey if breast milk can cure and eye infection, let's put some of this magic milk to work on my infant daughter's cough and cold. We stayed home today, partly to get rest, and partly because childcare won't take a child with a fever. Hopefully we all start feeling a little healthier soon. After all, I want to meet Baby Hester (see link to Pam's blog) if he EVER decides to make an appearance. :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Caiden's New Goggles

Caiden LOVES his new goggles. He was given them by a family at the pool who had a bunch of them. He doesn't want to take them off. He even wears them around the house sometimes. So funny. :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Dancing Away Your Stress

For those of you who are my loyal Blog fans, you may have noticed that this entry is a bit of a repeat to an earlier entry. We started dancing our way to a stress free work life about a year or so ago based on the teachings of the Fish Philosophy.

I felt impelled to repost as we have a new group of people who are GREAT dancers and have so much enthusiasm. I mean, they actually inspired ME to get out there and dance. **So no comments about my lack of rhythm or dancing abilities or I will NEVER post anything dance related again. Plus Ronnie JUST taught me the "Hustle" like 2 seconds before we shot this video, which is why I keep looking at people's feet...I am trying to make sure I am doing it right**

I have posted a video for your viewing pleasure. The first part of it is me trying to coerce Michael Chapman into may hear Ronnie say "Even Melissa was doing it". Is that like, "everyone's doing it?" *hehe*

We all had a lot of fun...I think I am finding my inner peace now...well, maybe not, but at least I had a good laugh! :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Swift Water Rescue Caiden!!

Come rain, come sleet, come snow...if you fall in water, Caiden is your man!

Well, not really, but he wants to be. Dave is still doing the USAR training (Urban Search and Rescue training) with his job, and one of his courses is to learn swift water rescue techniques. They practice their swift water rescue at the Kern River. The Kern River can get pretty dangerous, so it is a pretty good place to learn the ropes of swift water rescue. I have posted a link below if you are interested in seeing what the Kern River is all about.

Caiden loves to try on daddy's gear, so Dave thought it would be cute to let him try on his vest and swift water gear. I think it's cute that he wants to be just like his daddy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Gigi!

Mother's Day and my mom's birthday sometimes fall on the same day, and this was one of those years, so we had my mom and Phil, Dave, Steph and the twins over for Mother's Day/Happy Birthday Gigi day.
Kiya with Gigi
Kiya playing with Daddy...she loves to wiggle her feet

Caiden and I were up making a special birthday cake for Gigi. Of course, we forgot that Gigi likes Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, so we picked up Rainbow cake and White Frosting. Hey, it was easier to see the decorations, right? :) Caiden was so excited to help. He told me exactly what to write (yes I wrote it...I know, I don't exactly have nice handwriting. Again, I am not Heather Wilson). He then went to town on the rest of the decorations. He got so carried away that you almost can't see the writing that I painstakingly, but messily scrawled on the top of the cake.
Caiden decorating the birthday cake
The fiery cake presentation *hehe*

It was nice to have everyone come out here, and it was cool to see how much the twins have changed since their first birthday only a month ago. Since them, Kyle has started crawling and pulling himself up, while Lindsay is working on her scooting and crawling skills, although she is the talkative one.
My sleeping angel
Gigi bought Lindsay some new shoes...strike a pose Lindsay :P
Me...yeah. I know I look tired.
Grandpa Phil and Lindsay
No this picture is NOT upside down. Lindsay was sitting on the step down from me and kept STARRING at me, so I thought I would take a lasts longer right :P
Kyle is not opposed to playing with pink things

Steph and her kids
Kyle - always smiling

We ate good food, had good conversation and then moved upstairs to the playroom to play with the kids and teach mom about her new Ipod (her birthday gift from Steph and I).
Even Dave and Stephanie got in the playing mood
Kyle's take on a "hole in one"
Lindsay being cute

Lindsay and Kyle got their mommy flowers, courtesy of Gigi!