Kanan and Dad Videos

Kanan and Mike play with Kanan’s drum set. No one thought a 9-month-old would play with it, but this is the gift that made Kanan see his father with new eyes. Since Mike introduced Kanan to the drum set, he wants to hang out with his dad all the time now!

Kanan clapping in Mike’s arms at the zoo. Since this, he has learned to play Patty Cake with me too. I can’t wait to get that one on video. I just have to motivate Mike to take it of us.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

kanan-christmas-tree-painting.jpgI know this is a bit belated, but I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and a safe and fun New Year’s Eve. Kanan got a good taste of what the holidays are like in our family and that is busy. We first celebrated Christmas Eve with the Colombian side of my family. We went to my grandmother and grandfather’s house and Kanan got to play with his stuffed dog that barks and snores as well as his plastic Spider man ball. He had a great time being the center of attention and the life of the party as we all sat around talking politics (we all agree on that thank God!) and watching Kanan play and talk and laugh. He even clapped for everybody, which is a skill he loves to show off.

Christmas day, we went to my dad’s house for the Matzke Christmas and Kanan got to play with all of his cousins and third cousins. He got spoiled  with clothes and gift certificates. And we got pretty spoiled as well. Thanks everyone for all the thoughtful presents!img_0614.jpg

Then the next day, we packed up our car and drove 3 hours to Santa Barbara to spend Christmas with Mike’s family–The Webbs. Kanan got to meet his Uncle Chris whom he is named after, although we all like to call Chris “Cdogg.” Cdogg bought Kanan a bunch of great outfits including a sweet sesame street running suit and Etnie shoes with red and black skulls on them. His grandparents bought him lots of gifts as well including a back pack for our yearly trips to the Webb Cabin in the summers.  We are truly blessed to have so many thoughtful and generous family and friends this Christmas season. If Kanan could speak, I’m sure he would be saying thank you a thousand times. After Christmas, we refused to go back home and instead enjoy Santa Barbara for a few days.  Kanan got to meet more relatives including his Great Uncle Ian, Great Aunt Louise, 2nd cousin Patty and her two children. We all went to the Zoo too. Kanan loved the lions, giraffes, and monkeys.

New Years Eve eve was spent back home shopping at Target using some our gift certificates, and then accidentally leaving three gift-cards at the register at Target only to have them stolen by some customers two people behind us in line. They spent the gift-cards before we had a chance to cancel them. Unfortunately, the corporate offices for the stores the gift certificates went to were closed, so we really couldn’t get any help. That was, of course, my fault. I was very distracted and rushed when we were in line and so I spent a few hours crying that day because of how bad I felt to have lost such thoughtful and expensive gifts from my Mother. But my mother has forgiven me and we are moving on. On the bright side,  the loss of the gift certificates happened in 2007. Had I lost them today, I would have felt even worse for having started of the new year badly. This just makes the outlook for 2008 even more hopeful. I am definitely feeling rejuvenated by it.

New Years Eve evening we met our friends Lisa and Jeremy and their son Nolan half way in Irvine and had a laid back dinner at Islands. We came home and put Kanan to bed and drank some champagne and talked, but fell asleep before midnight hit. It was a relaxing evening and we were actually happy that we didn’t do anything big this year. It felt good to not have to stand in lines, spend ridiculous amounts of money, or stay up till the crack of dawn.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the holidays as much as we did. And I hope you are as excited about 2008 as I am. At church on Sunday, the guest pastor talked about goal setting and how Paul viewed it in respect to Christianity. Afterward we got to think about the changes we wanted to make for the new year. These changes included bad habits we wanted to give up, things we wanted to accomplish in our personal life or career, and finally, goals we wanted to accomplish spiritually. Here is what I came up with:

Bad habits to stop:
1. stop waisting time reading gossip articles on yahoo

2. worrying so much

Things I would like to accomplish this year:

1. earn that final unit of college credit this summer to move me up the pay scale.

2. eat healthier

3. start jogging with Mike

Spiritual goals for the year:
1. Go to church every Sunday (90% of the time)

2. Start reading the bible (maybe cover to cover for the first time?)

You may have noticed there is nothing on here about improving my motherhood or my teaching. Well that is because my life is so imbalanced, those are the only two things that take the majority of my life. I feel guilty for not being as good of a teacher as I want to be because my son takes up so much of my time. And then I feel guilty for not being home with Kanan because my job takes so much of my time. I want to spend so much time with Kanan when I get home, I’ve put off the gym and cooking decent meals for myself or Mike. So my goals this year involve rounding my self back out (personality wise 😉 ).

One question answered….maybe vacation and church will answer the next

Kanan is back from the doctors. He has a really bad ear infection. And the previous antibiotics for his cough just didn’t help it out. Hopefully the new stuff will make a difference. Poor baby! I’m so happy that we atleast know what the problem is. Now we can solve it. I like solvable problems. 🙂

 I deleted the previous post I made today. I decided that while it seemed like a good idea at the time, sharing such vulnerable thoughts about myself for all to see made me more sensitive to comments by my readers. Some were not what I was expecting or hoping for—in effect, I began to regret my decison to send out a blog update email. I suppose it was good to write out my worries and stresses, but its another to post them. Sometimes, things are better left unsaid.

 On a happier note, once Kanan got his new antibiotics and pain meds in him, he was like his old happy self again. And I broke my own rule tonight, but I just don’t care. I normally stress the importance that Kanan learn to put himself to sleep, but tonight I just couldn’t help myself. My chubby baby boy was in my arms tonight in a position that looked sooooo comfortable I wish I had a giant person to hold me in such a way. It felt so nice to just be rocking him and stroking his back. I didn’t want to put him down. So I rocked him to sleep and kept rocking and singing well past the time he went under. I could have been there all night if I were not hungry for dinner.

 Well, vacation is beginning…..finally some time to relax and yet also catch up on things that have been piling up. I’m going to church this Sunday for the first time in years….and guess what? I’m super excited about it. Can’t wait to find  a church in which I feel home.

Thanksgiving Break….and continuing to try and be thankful despite it all

I got the entire last week off for Thankgiving and endured the bitter while enjoying the sweet. We moved out over the first weekend of my break. As a matter of a fact, it has been 10 days since we started moving out and we are still not entirely finished. With no moving truck, two packrats, and a baby, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to do it all. Of course, we also left on Wednesday for Ventura to spend Thanksgiving with our friends Donny and Angela and their family. We returned home on Saturday and then celebrated an early birthday for me on Sunday with my family.

So what is the bitter? Unfortunately during this week between these three events, a succession of other events took place to really add stress in our lives. Firstly, two days after we moved into our new place, a complaining neighbor informed us that our condominium allows only one dog per home. This was not known to the leasing agency who leased us the condo, but nonetheless we knew we could help them from getting sued if we tried to find another option. And so as we continued to move out, we had to start looking for another place to live.

Next, when I was taking Smokey out of the back of the truck, I somehow hit his foot on something (maybe the wire leash?) and hurt his toe pretty badly–I  think its just his nail that was bent back and pulled off the quick a bit, but not entirely sure. It was bleeding and he has been limping for a week now. We are so broke from the 5,000 dollars in previous doggy bills (the very bills which influenced us to move out in the first place) that we were afraid to even imagine how much xrays and drugs would cost to help him this time. We are just babying him and praying that he heals on his own.

And if that wasn’t enough, I accidentally threw my brandnew invisalign aligners in the trash at a local coffee shop and had to dig them out. In my attempt to sanitize them afterward by soaking them in scalding hot water, I warped them. I then attempted to cut the warped part out to salvage them and immediately scheduled an emergency appointment with my orthodontist. There I found that  they were still wearable and I would have to simply endure the lifted shape and murky color for the next two weeks until I am able to fit into the next step aligners.

Then when I took my car into the shop to have a flat tire repaired, I was informed that all my tires were worn out and needed to be replaced. The estimated quote? 700 and something dollars. The guy at Express Tire lied to us and tried to manipulate us into believing his schpeal  about how the “v-rate tires  were necessary for your high performance vehicle.”  When Mike shopped else where he found a much better deat for me at Sears. I could get a deal for 400. Regardless, it is 400 dollars I don’t have and so I am having to put it on the card. 

 Lastly, when we finally did find a new place to move into we find that we will have to live without power the first 4 days because that is the soonest they can get the power guys there to push the damn power button on. Grrrrrrr.

Okay, just for complaining sake, I’ll finish this off with a bang. Mike and Kanan are sick. Yesterday, after my first day back to work, I came home and took care of Kanan who felt so terrible he did not want to be put down. I took out my trusty sling and carried the snotty nosed kid everywhere with me as I cleaned and organized the house. Then I fed him dinner, gave him a bath, and put him to bed. Immediately afterward I shoved my dinner down my throat so that I would have time to make my lunch and dinner for the following day while Mike rested on the couch. Afterward, I raced to Rite Aid to buy saline spray and pain meds for the baby and some Airborne for Mike. Finally, after I dragged myself into the house, I finished the night by taking the boys out for their last walk of the day so they could use the rest room. I had to carry Smokey most of the way because of his injured foot. When I finally rested my head on that pillow last night, I was so exhausted, I couldn’t wait to sleep. But poor Kanan was conjested and couldn’t breathe easily. And so he woke up 3 times between 12 and 530. At the 130am waking, it took me an hour to get him back to sleep. I don’t even know how I taught today. It is amazing how much one can function on such little sleep.

Okay so now what should I be thankful for?

1. That we even have cars to move our things and so much crap, I complain about how long it takes to move it.

2. That we have a roof over our heads and found another one so quickly.

3. That we even have credit cards to pay for things we need but cannot afford.

4. That we have a RV to use for travel or a second home when we don’t have power for 4 days.

5. That we have friends and family in Ventura to visit on Thanksgiving and friends and family who visit me in return for my birthday.

6. That my invisalign braces survived all the torture through which I put them.

7. The I finally have earned the much respected and sought after title of “Super Mom” according to Mike.

Kanan is 8 months Old!

kanan-7-months-4-weeks-and-ggs-anniversary-and-vegas-030.jpgIt is so hard to come to terms with Kanan turning 8 months old. It seems like just yesterday…..well you know the rest; it is a line every mother says a thousand times in her life. I think I have already said it a dozen times thus far. Regardless, my little baby is a soon-to-be-toddler. Just yesterday he started “cruising” along the furniture and around the inside of his pack-n-play when we put him in it. It is not a whole lot. I don’t even think he realized that he has done it, but he has. I’ll give it a couple more days until he realizes what he can do and then that is all he will want to do all day (phew!) For pics of this month click HERE! Videos of this month are mixed in with the pics.

Kanan weighs 20 lbs. He is still 28 1/2 inches long. He is eating pureed meats now including chicken and beef. He loves beef (red meat lover just like his mother) but needs to mix his chicken with fruit in order for him to tolerate it. He is using his pincer grasp kanan-7-months-third-week-020.jpgnow as well and so I am including some finger foods with every meal for him to practice with. Sometimes he gets it into his mouth and sometimes he just fusses for me to do it. He loves, Loves, LOVES  bite size pieces of cheese (my little mouse)  and he also likes Gerber Graduates freeze dried bananas and strawberries. He also practices drinking from a sippy cup during his meals with me and does drink it successfully but not of course without dumping a lot of it all over himself and his highchair tray (I have to take the plug out because he can’t figure out how to get the water out with it in just yet).

 Kanan is also taking a bath in the regular bathtub now just like a big boy (as you can see in the pic above). We fill the bathtub up to a little below his waist and he has a great time crawling around, sucking on his water toys, and trying to stand up in the tub. It is definitely a lot of work for me because I am constantly grabbing him when he tries to stand because I don’t want him slipping. But his graduation to the big boy bathtub has made him much happier with bath-time. He squeals and laughs and even in his grumpiest moments transforms into the happiest baby on the block when it is bath-time.

This last weekend, Mike and I went on our first trip away from Kanan. Kanan’s Grammy Joella and Grandpa Don came all the way down from Reno to babysit and Kanan didn’t even register that we were gone the entire trip! The little booger! He had a wonderful time with his grandparents and of course, they fell in love with him even more. They said that he was “mild-mannered, relaxed, and a good, happy baby.” I guess they didn’t notice that he has twinkle toes like his father!

Over all we have had a wonderful month. We are waiting on teeth still, but that is the only milestone on which Kanan seems behind. But we are late teethers and early walkers in our family, so it looks like he is just keeping it in the family way.

We are moving here in a week and will have to make some adjustments with our smaller place, but we feel Kanan will do just fine in the transition. And we will be living one-block away from the sand so Kanan’s new backyard will be the ocean! And he is going to see it everyday because without a backyard, we will have to take the boys out for walks everyday. I guess I’ll finally get a chance to lose that last 5 lbs that have been hanging on me like a codependent friend. Good Riddance!

Halloween Shmalloween

halloween-night-2007-011.jpgThis day has been sour from early this morning. First, I spent a good 15 minutes arguing with two of my students in first period about why a certain character in a story was not round.

Then I don’t even make it into my driveway before my neighbors approach me. They are nice girls but they come over way too much and don’t get the hint when I want them to go. So they come inside and of course, don’t go back home for 2 hours. Even though I’m cleaning the house or putting Kanan down for a nap or talking with future renters who are checking the house out, they stay. To top it off, Kanan is in the grumpiest mood I have seen in a long time. Nothing is making the kid happy.  I don’t know if it is teething or a tummy ache or what.

Mike then decides he is too tired for us to go to my sister’s neighborhood to trick or treat. So I decide to atleast put Kanan in his costume and take some photos. Kanan hates the costume and starts crying hysterically the second I start putting it on him. Every photo of him is of him crying . Luckily he is cute, so even a crying skunk is better than no skunk pictures. So after I take the costume off of Kanan, and start getting him ready for bed, he miraculously cheers up, but Mike passes out on the floor. After 45 minutes of sleeping on thhalloween-night-2007-008.jpge floor of Kanan’s room, he gets up long enough to give Kanan and a kiss and then disappears. After I finally get Kanan in bed and sleepy, I come out of the bedroom starving and hoping Mike is starting something for dinner since we went to the grocery store last night and bought a bunch of groceries and even meal planned. There is no one around. I go into our bedroom and he is asleep. He didn’t even eat dinner.

So here I am on Halloween night. No trick or treating, no fun dressing up, everyone is in bed but me. There are not even trick or treaters knocking on my door for treats to cheer me up. The neighborhood is dead. I guess everyone left for the neighborhoods with the big candy bars or something. Anyway, I’m eating a microwavable burrito and feeling sorry for myself.  Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

Certainly a Red October


  Our family got a little rambunctious in the aftermath of the wildfires last week and finished the crazy week with a bang. This weekend was the first time most of us were able to get out of our homes and breathe the air in a whole week and so one can imagine why we got a bit crazy. First of all, I impulsively chopped my hair and made bangs—-by myself. Did such a lousy job, I had to schedule an emergency appointment with a hairdresser to fix my mess. She salvaged what was left and believe it or not, I actually don’t regret it. I suppose having trappedinsidebecauseofsmokemania can lead to some good things.

       Secondly, Kanan and his cousins got together with his Aunt Barbie, Grandma and Grandpa, and of courspumpkin-patch-family-fun-oct-2007-006.jpge Mike and I on Saturday and went to the Pumpkin Patch. Kanan had a great time watching his cousins go on the rides and do the crazy bungee trampoline ride. He got a little fussy from not napping as early as he normally does. We had to use the binky a bit toward the end of the pumpkin patch experience though. But he got a second wind and then didn’t want to go down for a nap when we got home. He ended up staying up 6 whole hours before falling asleep! And believe it or not, he was in a great mood for most of it. Unfortunately, Mike and I didn’t bring money to buy a pumpkin so we might have to just make a run to the grocery store to get one this week.

      When Kanan showed us that he was definitely not wanting to take a nap, we let him play with his cousins and he had such a great time. He crawled and climbed and played with their big blow up hammers and was all smiles. He just loves his cousins Tristen, Harley, and Zane.

pumpkin-patch-family-fun-oct-2007-069.jpg      When we did arrive home, we discovered that Smokey and Bandido got  a little stir-crazy being trapped in the house for 5 hours. They got into the bathroom, discovered a brand-new 4-pack package of toilet-paper and just had a ball, tearing it apart and spreading the chewed up sheets all over the bathroom. Their punishment? They were locked in our other 2ftx4ft bathroom for 30 minutes. And when I opened the door to let them out, Smokey jumped out but grumpy Bandido just stayed there. He didn’t even care.  I was cracking up laughing. When I took this picture here, Bandido didn’t want to be a part of it. Only Smokey was silly enough to stay for photographs. Ha ha, sucker.

 All in all, it was a fun weekend and we are all happy to be safe and sound. Check out the rest of the pics of our weekend HERE!