Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Apples for the Teacher

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Back to School

You would think, wouldn't you, that with both einsyeins in school, I'd have more time for such importances as mommy-blogging or reorganizing the pantry, but funny thing, I just don't.
I'm actually in the process of trying to figure out how this curiosity came to be, but in the meantime, hubby has requested a new blog be entered into the history of the family, and so I'll start where I left you, many days ago.

Our little punkin is entering third grade. Although she has been attending school since she was 18 months old (they start 'em young in Cali!), she began her pre-k year in this house, in front of which I have been tracking her growth every first morning of school, dreading the day she refuses in fear of sheer humiliation should her friends come to pick her up whilest little old momma castro tells her to stand straight while she remarks at how much she's grown since last year, and all the new and exciting things that she may learn and do this year.
It's coming, I know.
But until then, she will be charted in my most pictoral way, growing up to our welcome sign, which has weathered many storms, but is hung just in the same spot, waiting it's 5 minutes of fame when the castro kids head off to school that early morning in the hot august sun.
 This year, her outfit was covered in purple, lavender, and every hue in between.
She looked amazing.
Grown up.
 It was nice to see that her new teacher, Ms. Wyckoff, was feelin' the purple that day, too.
 ...and then we come to the baby einstein who is no longer a baby, but a "big boy", who is off to "big boy school".
 (My GOSH, aren't they lovely, if I do say so myself!)

A new start is made this day, as little Evan gets his turn on the wall of first-day-fame.
I cannot imagine when he enters 3rd grade, that he will be taller than this little baby faced beautiful boy standing so proudly for his big day.

 He was hard at work when we left that morning for a parent meeting in the room down the hall.
He did very well that day, but the next few days would bring tears, fears, and a few drop-and-runs, but he's getting there, and I'm telling myself that I am, too.
It's hard to let him go, especially when he's yelling for me to come back. That he wants me, that nothing else in the world will do but me, even knowing he'll be fine before I even wipe the tears from my own eyes and turn on the ignition.
We've been together for 3 years now, and it was just us, just me and that little boy, with dirt on his cheeks and a caterpillar in his hand, looking up at me with those big brown eyes filed with pride.
But my job has always been to teach him to fly, no matter how hard it is.
And he's flapping those little wings of independance.
It's a double edged sword. I am SO proud that he's going, as hard as it can be some days, to play at school with new friends and new teachers, but it absolutely kills me that he's that much closer to leaving the nest that for so long kept him close and safe under my wing.

I love these children, and I am absolutely swelling with pride that they are so smart and anxious to take on the world.

Happy First Day of School!

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Hairy Situation

School starts tomorrow.
Don't make me think about it or say it again.
I just might cry and get black mascara all over your crisp white shirt.

So today we went to get the einstein's hair done.
A trim for the boy o' mine...
...and a feather for the girl.
(rather stupid trend, I think, but she's wanted one consistantly all summer...)
(or perhaps I am just getting old...young wippersnappers and their crazy feather heads!)
I have so much more to say, to fill you in on.
Good, bad, and ugly.
But I am so tired today.
And the laundry and planning for the big day tomorrow is keeping its' eye on me, so i musn't stay so long here today.
I'll have plenty of time next week,
(snif snif)

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Thursday, August 11, 2011


You sent abundant rain, O God, to refresh the weary land.
Psalm 68:9

It's as if everything (me included!) is closing its eyes and facing upward as if to feel a miracle on our faces.

I'm a gloomy day person. To most, it makes them feel down and sleepy. Even depressed.

To me, I feel just darn right better.
Perhaps my soul is a little on the Eeyore side, and it connects with days like these.
Perhaps my piscean birthsign begs for water.
Perhaps I love the smell that means clean leaves and wet mud.
it's because I love the picture in my mind when it's raining and emma excitedly states that baby eli is pouring rain again.

and I can see him.

Standing in between God's crouching knees, both their hands holding a magnificent gold watering can, one atop the other's.
And He smiles as Eli leans over to watch the rain falling



onto his mommy
who is standing
arms open
facing the sky

feeling a miracle

and smiling because it is so.

even if it isn't so.
{to you.}

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

UFO's (Unfortunately) exist!

Chemo is on hold! But, before you pack up the car to head over for a party, I have to tell you why.
After that last week in the hospital, they followed up with a good ol' heart exam. They had found what looked like a hitchhiker's thumb flapping inside the left ventrical of hubby's heart. What is it, you ask? Well, we're asking, too. As it turns out, it's pretty likely it's one of three things: A bacterial growth, a blood clot, or a tumor. None are good, but obviously there are better options than others. Now I sleep lay at night roling over several times to make sure this UFO (unidentified flapping object) hasn't lodged itself free and given hubby a stroke in his sleep! (I know, I'm seriously overdramatic, I know. and for that matter, I also walk into the einsteins rooms at any hour during the night to make sure SIDS didn't strike my 8 and 3 year olds. See whatimean?)
So anyway, today we made our (almost normal) trek to the city today for more tests and CTScans and future appointment makings. We won't know what the stupid UFO is until someone calls sometime, someday this week (I hope).
Oh! And by the way, we are getting pretty close to 100,000 miles on our van, and I'm thinking it's gonna happen this summer, considering our frequent flyer miles to OUCC!
Also on the agenda for today:
1.Enrollment Verification at Em's school. Basically, bring 5 checks to the school, get overcharged for walmart school supplies you could buy at Saks 5th Avenue, dipped in gold with Swarovski crystal logos for cheaper (at full price!), and a bunch of other must-haves, and walk out with nothing but an empty bank account and a dazed and confused look on your face.
2. Exchange Ev's new school shoes for a smaller size because (note to self!) the actual Converse store sizes a little different than the ones it makes for retail stores like Target or Famous Footwear. Why? I have no idea, and neither did the sales ladies.
3. Collapse in bed EARLY. (We'll see how THAT goes).

Tuesday feels like a Monday, and I'm tired and grouchy.

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Emma & her best friend, Gavin were nervous the summer this photo was taken.
They had been together in class since they began school 3 years before, and this year wasn't going to continue that trend.
To help ease the pain of a new school year without each other side by side, I had bought them these necklaces that magnetized together when they were close and they recieved them from me as I prepared to photograph a family. (They were drug along).
When I looked over to check on them, I literally gasped with awe, and tears welled up in my eyes.
It was so sweet to see them there, in amazement and wonder that their friendship was there in tangible material. Two pieces of one, separated, but together.
I watched them for awhile, praying that God would grant them the strength to accept this independence building opportunity, together, but separate.
And guess what?
He did.

Entering up at iheart faces!

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

I love...

Its days like today that get me uber down in the dumps. It's 110 outside, half of our income this paycheck has gone out the window due to the week long hospital stay, the kids are "booooooooorrred", all my flowers died, and most of my friends are off to fun vacations, leaving me here in my dead brown yard, all alone. (Invitations to the pity party were also lost in the mail, sorry).
SO, I decided that while the kids lay down for nap at-LEAST-be-quiet time, I m going to remember things that I love, that I enjoy, and write them down so that maybe I can sew playclothes out of my curtains for the kids and go trolloping across the hillsides singing Do, a deer...or at least get a smile out of myself! Worth a try, right?
So, here we go, with a few things I love (in no particular order)...

1. Monty Harper's The Great Green Squishy Mean Concert CD. It's not his newest, but it's by far my favorite. The two songs I love the most are "loose tooth" and "trick or treat". Monty Harper puts hilarity into his songs that make not only kids, but adults, too, laugh at loud at everyday experiences. With a kid friendly, Raffi-like voice, Mr. Harper is great fun for our whole family, and we have this one on repeat all year long.

2. KEEN sandals. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. These are by far the best for summer. They are cool, stay on the kids feet even while chasing escapee dogs or riding bikes at buzz lightyear speeds. They are cute, colorful (or not), and waterproof. (And as lake dwellers, this is a huge plus!)
We're keen on getting the Payless versions, too, which seem to hold up just as well, just aren't as quick at drying out from a soak in the lake or splash pad, and limited designs.

3. Sipper-top water bottles. I bought one for each of us (in dfferent colors) from Walmart for $5 each, and they are the absolute BEST. They are almost the same as these water bottles from camelback. They are large, transparent, and easy to take apart to wash. Best of all - they were uber cheap, so I can replace them if one should get left behind at a soccer game or cheer practice.

4. Bountiful Soaps. In a world where bars of soap have almost been totally replaced by body wash or liquid soaps, it seems a bit odd that these are on my love list, but I have to tell you why. If you didn't already know, Evan is severely allergic to mosquito bites. Within a half hour of being bit, his skin is bright red and HUGE. An hour or so later, the bite is filled with liquid and could easily be mistaken for a burn. When it finally busts open, the risk of re-infection is great, and for a infant/todder with a hate for bandaids, it's untolerable. when you have a tiny baby, you can't really apply bug spray day and night on their delicate skin, so we tried everything. Skin-so-soft, repelling anklets, candles, dryer sheets, everything. Then one day, I won a couple bars of bountiful soaps at a baby shower, and having discovered that they are made naturally, I used them on Evan, and began to notice that he was getting fewer and fewer bites. I did a little research on the soaps and saw that their ingredients include natural bug repelling oils. Evan is probably old enough to have bug spray on most of the day now, but most of the time, he doesn't. Awesome, isn't it?!?

5. My Canon point-and-shoot camera. Now I have to say, I LOVE my DSLR Nikon camera, which is what I shoot with a lot, but when it comes to point-and-shoot cameras, Canon towers over any Nikon P&S camera I have tried. The lenses are AWESOME, the settings in both manual and auto are really easy to maneuver and set, and they are small. I carry mine in my purse ALL the time, and even though my iphone gets a lot of the "omgsh hurry!! Look!!" moments (because its already attached to my hand), my canon usually has the most important jobs.

I think that's good for now. 5 items I absolutely love, and perhaps you will, too. (and, as a side note, I didn't recieve compensation or goodies from these companies...I'm just a mom and wife that loves what she loves!)

Are there things out there you just absolutely love that I should know about? Am I missing out on all the fun?!? Let me know! (As a matteroffact I am in the researching stage of a tablet...besides ipad, please!)

Happy thoughts!
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You there, in the back...you had a question?

My friend Joan, over at Notes From Oklahoma  posted a blog asking her readers if there was anything that they wondered about her, this blogalicious Oklahoma gal. And I got to thinking that perhaps that was a pretty good idea. I mean, there are times I read articles or blogs and I wish I could call them up and be all "Hey! What?! Where did you find that tiny trinket in the background?" or "Can you show me a picture of your face, because it drives me nuts to not know who is talking to me (and the rest of the world)?"
SOoooo, here I am, asking my precious little handful of readers and creepers to go ahead and ask those FAQs. Are there any Qs that you FA about me, or us?
Well, no hand raising required. Ask away!

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

{EMC Photography} Baby E is ONE!

From pregnancy to her first birthday, I've had the privilege to photograph this beautiful baby and her stunning mommy. I can't believe it's already been a YEAR!

Enjoy this sneak peek while I finish your order :)

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Happy August!

 Facts about August

August is the eighth month, renamed by the Romans from Sextilis', meaning sixth, to honor their emperor, Augustus.
August is the height of the summer time in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere. The longest days of the year is passed, but the hot days remain. In the northern regions and mountains, cool nights and early frosts lets one know that the summer is about to come to an end. In the Southern Hemisphere, August means the winter will soon be over.
The birds are already planning to fly south for the winter (except here in OK, where they've probably already flown south to temperatures that don't cook them, mid-flight!). The insects are more noisier and numerous than in any other month. This is perhaps the busiest month for businesses, since most people take their vacations in August.
 Have a wonderful August!

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Birthday Weekend

My little guy turned THREE. Can you believe it? Really? Three?!?
His birthday was going to be rather overlooked, or so I thought. Hubby was still in the hospital an hours drive away, and I had nothing done for his party that weekend, but he would love it anyway, so i wasn't worried.
His actual birthday began Thursday morning. He and Em received reading awards at the library for their hours of summer reading. Evan logged in at just over 10 hours and Em over 15, which is pretty good, I thought, for the busy summer we've had this year!
Congrats, Einsteins!
 Afterwards, we headed home and loaded all Evan's birthday gifts, decorations, and candle into the car and headed up to see Hubs at the hospital for a birthday party. He was busy doing tests and meeting with doctors, so we spent some time in Bricktown until he was ready.
We started off with a picnic lunch of Ev's favorite meal - white rice & "sprinkles" - a rice flavoring that consists of salt and sesame seeds.
 He. Was. LOVING it!
 Next, we took a ride on the water taxi boats. It wasn't too crowded, considering it was the 30-somethingth day over 100 degrees, so it was nice.

 Good grief, is he handsome, or WHAT?
 We were overheating by the end of the ride, so we cooled off inside Bass Pro Shops (LOVE!) for awhile. The big attraction for the kids is always the shooting range.
 But the gun was too heavy for Ev, so Grammie stepped in to knock off a few critters for him.
 When our body temperatures went back down below 110, we headed up to the hospital. As luck would have it, we got to see a helicopter arrive (it had been alluding us ALL week!).
 And we got to see the other one take off!
The biggest thrill? The paramedics opened up the side door and waved at the birthday boy as they flew off.

 That kept him smiling for quite awhile! :)
When we got to Daddy, he had a BIG birthday suprise for Evan - he was COMING HOME!! And I don't mean another "we're working on discharge papers! Come on up! Oh, wait, nevermind...". He was really coming home!
And Evan was THRILLED.
While we were walking out, i looked back and saw him walked alongside his daddy, hand in hand, just looking up at him smiling, like his whole world was right again.
And it was.

On the way home we stopped for birthday dinner at POPS (check it off the list!), but it was so crowded, we just picked out a 6 pack and left for the closest McDonalds. (He wanted a hangabur)
 A home care nurse was meeting us at home, and she didn't leave until almost 10:30, so Evan had a reallllly late night and a realllly late party.

 Hubby is on an IV 24/7 now. He has sepsis that wasn't properly treated during the hospital stay here last month, so now we're going to treat it correctly (and avoid Stillwater Medical Center at all costs! Grrrrr!)
Friday we slept in as late as the einsteins can sleep in (which is about 7:30) and I spent the day packing goodie bags and freezing juices and cleaning pools and sanitizing the house.
 Saturday morning arrived (party time!), and the house was decorated, my mom was filling water balloons, and it was going to be HOT!

 The drinks were nice and frozen solid (which wouldn't last long!)

 ...and the guests had a GREAT time in their watery, wet party place.

 The cake was served about 45 minutes later (in a hurry before it completely melted!)
Antonia Lee always makes his birthday cakes (Cakes by Antonia Lee, Shawnee, OK), and it was, as usual,  ADORABLE!

 The party was over in an hour, and the guests went home tired and happy.
Evan stayed up and opened presents and played alllllllll day long!
Sunday evening brought one more birthday cake that my dad had been planning for days.
he made it himself, and I hear he had to make several trips to the store to find the perfect wheels (this was the 3rd set) :)
He keot it hidden until it was time, and the look on Ev's face was priceless.
It's green and it has wheels.
What else could a little Evan want?

We hope you had a wonderful day, sweet boy.
You have been blessed with a birthday gift that is beyond comparison - having daddy back home - and so many friends and family that love you so much! We have all watched you grow from THIS to now, and we are so proud of what you have become.
Happy Birthday, Baby Boy.
I Love you.

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