Tuesday, December 31, 2013


We made it home with no issues last night. Our friends Will and Stacey
took fantastic care of Minion while we were away. He's been pretty
happy to see us too. Now we just need to work on reintroducing him
back into the rest of the house. :)

The dogs, on the other hand, are still a bit of an issue. We had one
marking incident up in Tahoe, and while we didn't catch anyone in the
act, we're fairly certain it's Tobey. :( So, we have our work cut out
for us to get him "back on track" too.

Monday, December 30, 2013


A bite of dessert before lunch. ;-)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mittens are good for other things too

Callum is proudly showing off his (Curious George) monkey feet.

Ice skating

Logan (actually both boys) loved slipping around on the ice out at the
lake today. He tried doing several pirouettes, like an ice skater, and
then tried to do the splits here.

He was unsuccessful on all counts, but I did give him props for trying. ;-)

We found a snow castle!

Snow play!

Went to a nearby park to take the boys sledding, which lasted a whole
10 minutes, before Logan had had enough (the ride down with me was too
fast for him).

So, we then had a bit of a snowball fight to perk him up, made some
snow angels, all while Callum ran in circles purposefully falling in
the snow and laughing. It was pretty cute. :)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Walk into town

We took the dogs and kids on a 1.5 mile walk into town. Nothing for
Jon and I of course but MAN the boys made that walk 30 min longer than
it needed to be. ;-)

Callum kept us up all night. He was coughing and gagging nonstop.
Because his nose was so stuffed, he was basically breathing through
his mouth all night which I think is what irritated his throat/cough
more. :( Plus the super dry air here and heat running all night I'm
sure doesn't help. Jon picked up a cheap portable humidifier at the
drugstore today so we're hoping that'll help him tonight.

Logan has been complaining of his own issues. All of his molars (the
next/adult set) are coming in and causing him quite a bit of pain and
bleeding a fair amount. He's complaining of his stomach hurting which
we are guessing is due to the blood he's swallowing. He doesn't seem
sick otherwise. And, finally, we think he's dealing with growing pains
because he's been complaining of his legs (all up and down his thigh
and calf) hurting him. Even when just laying down in bed. I was lucky
enough to hear all about it during the walk today too. ;-)

I was really hoping we could hit the slopes today and take the kids
out but after last night and how worn out everyone is today, that
won't be possible. So, we're just trying to make the best of it! I
guess that also means we have to come back soon to get our time in on
the slopes after all. ;-)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Callumism of the night

Callum, I told you to cut it out.  

But Mommy, I'm not jumping on the floor!

(We have neighbors below us, so I've been on his case about jumping and stomping and running, etc) 

Family Game Night!

Logan and I won. :-P

More lounging...

The boys are back in their pjs and now playing games on their iPads.
Callum was struggling with whatever game he chose to play and asked
his big brother to help him. :)

Burning off some energy

Took the dogs and boys for a walk down to the lake - where we ran into
STUNNING views! The boys stopped every 2 seconds to build snowballs
and throw them at each other or at Jon and I. ;-)

Once we got to the lake they were disappointed that there wasn't more
snow to conduct a snowball fight. Yet, they were fascinated by the
frozen over lake and ice they could walk on.

At one point I told Logan to hurry up since we were walking out on a
small peninsula of land to get closer to the water. He responded with
"we just want to smash and break stuff Mom!" (Referring to the rocks
they were throwing into the lake, to try and break the ice).

On our walk back we found a little area with ample snow to have a
snowball fight. Sadly, just as the game was heating up, Jon hit Logan
in the face and our game quickly ended. Since he immediately erupted
into a screaming fit. I think the cold snow down his neck shocked him
a little. ;-)

After I calmed him down we headed back to the house to get back into
pjs and warm up a bit.

Mama's hot cocoa

It fixes everything. Especially when hit in the face with a snowball
thrown by Daddy. *sigh*


Jon snagged just a few of the leftover goodies that his many vendors
sent to him at the office yesterday.

Thanks vendors! You helped make our drive up to Tahoe more tolerable,
in between the sick kiddos and the "Are we there yet?"s. And now we
have lovely snacks to munch on while sipping our hot cocoa. ;-)

Hanging in our PJs

The boys seem much better after a solid sleep. Hope that trend continues!

We came up to Tahoe with the plan to get Logan some snowboarding
lessons but not sure we will now, given everyone has been sick and
there's only bits of snow around (it's been a pretty dry season so

Still, the condo is great and hoping we'll have a nice relaxing time
exploring the area instead. :)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

We made it!

A sign we're in Tahoe. The snow boots are out. ;-)

On the road

Look how pathetic and sickly this poor guy looks! :(

We just barely made it out of the house with light left! *sigh* But,
we are finally on the road.

We took the route up thru the city because Jon needed to pick up a
delivery at his office. This actually turned out to be a good stop
because Callum desperately needed to pee - and ended up also having
diarrhea. :(

He was doing great all morning but I guess his fever set in again. So
of course it got worse as we hit the road after the city. And, he was
trying to nap but having trouble because he kept coughing, then
gagging, on his phlegm. :(

We were stuck in bumper to bumper (around Vallejo) so I decided to do
the total Mom move and unbuckle, turn around with butt in air, and dig
underneath our mountain of crap to find the bag of cough medicine for
the little guy. I was hoping the decongestant might help.

Unfortunately, he gagged on the medicine (he often does when he's this
sick), and threw up. Mostly on me/my hand as I tried to "catch" it all
- while I'm directing Jon to send back the wipes that were at my feet,
and calming Callum down. Meanwhile Jon is trying his best to fight the
traffic and pull over.

We were a spectacle. ;-)

So we finally got off an exit and got out. Figured it was time for a
dinner stop anyway. I had managed to clean Callum up on the freeway so
the damage wasn't too bad, but when Jon opened the back of the truck
to let the dogs out, one of them had thrown up and were all crowded to
one corner avoiding it. ;-)

All I have to say is, thank goodness for baby wipes! We still use them daily.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Worn out

That makes the both of us! ;-)

Callum continued his puking spree today too unfortunately. But the
good news is he was in great spirits most of the morning, so we were
all able to enjoy some fun family time, unwrapping presents and
hanging out together watching movies before his fever got the best of
him, poor guy.

Now he's cuddled on top of me snoring away. Nothing like wearing an
old sweatshirt, with a feverish kid, and throw blanket on top, to keep
you toasty warm for the holidays! ;-)

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,

Am I on the naughty list? Did I do something to upset you? Because,
why else would you give the boys, not one, but *several* toys with
loud, non-stop, and irritating sound? I'm still searching for the off
button(s) but may go deaf before I find it.

I promise to be extra good and friendly and hold back on all those
sarcastic comments next year if you refrain from giving anything with
sound next time.

Seriously. I really will.


Merry Christmas everyone!! :)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Upside down

I haven't really had a chance to catch up on blogging in awhile - I still mean to post pics of Logan's birthday party, which I may try to do later today at some point.  But, I thought in the meantime, I'd copy in a note I sent (for advice) about the latest turmoil in our house, since it's driving us batshit crazy right now.

So, going with the theme that I haven't had time for blogging lately - I didn't get a chance to mention an incident that happened last Saturday.  Minion, as the curious little kitten that he is, slipped outside and we couldn't find him.  We were away all night (we had Jon's company party to go to that evening) and didn't get back home until Sunday afternoon.  Our friend Kim came by both Saturday night to look for him (when picking up the dogs) and again on Sunday morning (when she dropped the dogs back off), but also had no luck.  :(   I searched high and low around the house, the neighborhood, and surrounding streets calling for him all day Sunday and couldn't find him at all.

I thought I was going crazy because I would sit in the dining room with the boys and every once in a blue moon I thought I'd hear him - I'd run out to the side yard or the front door thinking maybe he'd found his way back home and wanted in - but he was nowhere in sight.  :(

Monday morning I stayed home from work - and continued searching for him.  I swore up and down I heard him meowing whenever I was in the side yard (where he had slipped out) and decided to CLIMB MY NEIGHBOR'S FENCE to look and see if he was trapped in their yard or something.  No sign whatsoever - but as I was climbing down, Tobey was frozen, pointing at the grate under our house.  I took a closer look and there was Minion's face!  Pawing at the screen.  

I went into the house and pulled open the access panel to the crawl space and called him with food and a flashlight - he found his way over and climbed out easy peasy.  He was a little dirty and I was worried about fleas so I gave him a good bath and some flea meds (he was due anyway).  He was purring like crazy - drank and ate a bit but nothing extreme - and then spent the rest of the day hanging out with me and following me around.  I figured he was just glad to be back home.  :)

Tuesday I worked from home again because Logan's school called to send him home on Monday afternoon.  Everything was ducky and we were all fine.

Wednesday, Logan returned to school, thus I returned to work.  But, when we get home, later that evening, Logan discovered a pee accident on one of our rugs in the living room.  As I was cleaning it up, we discovered another damp (had been there longer than the first) spot on the same rug, under the train table.... and then Logan discovered some pee on one of the dog beds in the den.  I was irritated but also concerned - since it's totally unlike the dogs to have accidents unless something is wrong (the dog door was open and they all know they can go outside).  At first I suspected Odin, given he's the oldest and thought maybe this was the onset of incontinence, but later decided it must be Grover since he's the only one that hangs out under the train table....

Thursday morning just as I'm heading to work, we find another pee puddle on the rug in the kid's room - WTF.  Something was clearly wrong.  Jon was home Thursday (and Friday) so he took Grover in to get checked for a UTI on Thursday morning.  But, later that day, he (and Logan - who was home sick again), discovered it was Odin who was peeing (Logan actually saw him).  Once on the carpet and once on Jon's boot.... and then later that evening, he peed in his crate (Jon had crated him after the accidents).  So, we made an appt for Odin on Friday morning.

Meanwhile, Grover's tests came back fine, no UTI, issues, etc.

Thinking it was Odin, we had kept him crated on Friday until we heard back from the vet.  Only, Logan had discovered more pee - this time in the cat tower.  :(   And then again later, Logan saw Minion peeing on some jackets we had laying in the window seat of our bedroom (where he lays to sunbathe).... so I rushed home early to help, while Jon made an appt for Minion.  I got home, picked Minion up, and took him to the vet to get checked.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking what the hell has changed?!?  And then it hit me.  I remembered Minion's escapade where he was gone for two nights alone in the cold, trapped under the house and probably pissed and miserable.  So, I relay that all to the vet.... who agrees that it's sounding more and more like the cat.  And, to top it off, Odin's results from the morning were back, and all was fine/no issues.

We got a urine sample for Minion - just in case - but at this point, we're both thinking this is a behavioral issue.  The vet recommended quarantining Minion to a room, so at least we could then confirm it's the cat and no issues with the dogs.  So, we do that.  I bought 4 gallons of the odor remover cleaner from the store after the vet visit and proceeded to douse our house in it - spending every waking moment trying to sanitize and clean and remove any smells.

Later that evening, Logan reports to us that there's another accident.  WTH MAN!!  Odin is crated and Minion is quarantined to the laundry room (where his food/litter box are).  Apparently Logan saw Tobey get up off the couch, and pee on the coffee table (and Jon's laptop).  UGH.

So, we crate Tobey, and I go at cleaning again.  And if it's not already implied at this point, I'm extremely worn out and frustrated and Jon is cussing out the entire house of animals, ready to kick them all to the curb.  :(

Saturday morning, our vet calls and says no issues with the lab results from Minion.... and I proceed to tell her about Tobey.  :(  She says well, we should bring him in and test him too, just to be safe.  But, we are all pretty sure this is behavioral.  We're thinking Minion was pissed about getting locked out, so he let us know with a couple pee spots - and that somehow triggered a pissing match (literally) between Odin and Tobey since they seem to be marking everything.  

So, I took Tobey in on Saturday morning for a urine sample (which came back as normal/no issues yesterday evening) and everyone is put on lock down.

Unfortunately, through the weekend, we've had a few more accidents!!  We have tried to be EXTREMELY careful about keeping the dogs either crated, outside, or on leash next to me or Jon, every time.... unfortunately, Minion is harder to contain - since he's in the laundry room and guess what, I have to go in and out to continue the CLEANING of blankets and pillows and crap.  So, of course, he got out (Callum opened the door wide open and I didn't catch Minion in time) and pees...  Once on the kids trampoline.  Once on the couch.  Once on the middle of our bed.  You get the idea.

I've lost track of days at this point, but I believe it was Sunday that I got a pheromone plug in (we used one when we were having separation anxiety with Lola and it seemed to help) for the laundry room.  I also tried a calming gel that Minion didn't like (you have to feed it to him) and now have a little calming collar on him.  All in the hopes that what stressed him out before, goes away.

The dogs are a different story.  They've continued to stay on lock down - but I also got these "belly band" things that you wrap around their waist (and penis) to control the marking.  I'm not sure if it's working because I don't think we're as consistent as we should be about keeping them on, and Odin and Tobey don't seem to like them (nothing bad, they just seem unsure of what to make of them), but I needed to find some solution, at least short term, since OH HEY, if we didn't have enough on our plates right now, we are leaving for Tahoe the day after Christmas to see some snow for a few days!

The plan was to leave Minion with Kim (but given all this we've decided to keep him quiet at home with Stacey checking in on him a couple times a day) and take the dogs with us.  Well, I can't exactly have our dogs marking up the rental!!!  So, unfortunately, they may not enjoy our Tahoe trip as much.  We'll see.

Meanwhile - you can imagine how stressed and frustrated and defeated we are feeling right now.  Jon is ready to give Minion up to a rescue, because he doesn't want to risk Minion marking something again and starting the vicious cycle with the dogs all over again.  I'm not ready to give up, which is why I'm trying the hormonal stuff and cleaning like crazy, but honestly, I'm at my wit's end too.  

It's Christmas Eve and I'm not feeling too spirited, which is unlike me.  Our house is literally turned upside down right now - all of our area rugs are out on our driveway trying to dry with what little sunshine we DO have and I have blow dryers trying to dry out spots on the couch (where I got a little too happy with the solution during my cleaning - ha!).  

And, to top it all off, whatever Logan had been dealing with over the last two weeks, finally caught up to Callum.  He started getting sick yesterday - got really feverish and miserable while we were out to dinner last night, and threw up this morning.  

Because, this Mama hasn't been cleaning enough already.


Merry Christmas everyone!  ;-)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Another Picasso in the family!

I've just started noticing this week that Callum can not only write
his letters, but spell his name and with a tad bit of help he spelled
his brother's (for his Christmas gift tag) too!

The first two snapshots are of the gift tag (front and back) and the
last is of his doodle, all by himself!, at dinner tonight. I'm really
amazed and proud - he's just 3 (and a half)! ;-)

Gorgeous day!

Logan and I decided to take advantage of the nice weather this
afternoon and met a school friend of his at the park to play for a

Who knows what face this is he's sporting. ;-)

Thank you anonymous friend!

I just received this super thoughtful awesome gift in the mail today.
But no gift message so I'm not sure who it's from!

Still, it's absolutely perfect. Thanks Secret Santa, whoever you are!! :)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

So fun!

Froze our butts off but had a great time! :)

Gilroy Gardens

We met the Cables family at Gilroy Gardens for their Holiday Lights
evening. The kids are bubbling with excitement. ;-)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Silly boys

I took about 10 shots and Logan's eyes were closed in every one of
them. I complained (and showed them the evidence) so they say ok mom
take a pic, and BOTH proceed to close their eyes! Oh well.

This was dinner tonight at a local taqueria that I like. Jon has a
fancy schmancy dinner to go to with one of his vendors, but I think I
got the better deal. ;-)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Getting great pics with my family is never easy

I wonder where my boys learn it from... ;-)

Callumism of the evening

Callum just informed me that he has a round "O" head but I have an "L" head because I have hair, and it's long. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Twitch.TV Holiday Party

A beautiful view from our hotel room! Just dropped off Callum with my
parents (and Logan). Now time to primp and preen for Jon's work
holiday party! :)

Peter and the Wolf

(I can never get all of them looking at the camera/smiling at the same time!)

My parents are taking Logan up to the city today to see Peter and the
Wolf (with John Lithgow narrating) for his birthday!

He and I have listened to the story (with Sean Connery narrating,
swoon!) a few times this last week to prep him, and he's really
enjoyed it. So today should be pretty neat! :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Like father, like son

Jon got Logan a "junior" version of a fun board game we like to play,
called Settlers of Catan. Logan, of course, LOVES it. :)

This was actually taken yesterday when he wasn't feeling as bad. But,
he got worse through the night (mostly an increasingly high fever) and
has been feeling really awful today. I can't remember the last time
Logan was this sick or needy (he kept asking me to sit with him or
play games with him or just be by his side), but he's been both all
day today, poor guy. :(

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

We've officially entered the 6-10 camp.

Wow!! Logan is now 6! I can't believe it.

Happy birthday Loganito - we love you dearly!!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

I spy a Minion!

Now that the birthday party is done, I pulled out all the Christmas
decorations and put up our tree.

This poor thing is on its last legs...I got it - for free! - from my
Dad's friend when we moved into our first home almost 10 yrs ago! So
I'd say it has done well for us. I was thinking this might be the year
I'd have to replace it, but I think it's going to hold out for us at
least one more year!

Logan helped a bit with decorating, but surprisingly, it was Callum
who stuck with me the entire time and really found great joy putting
on all the ornaments. :)

Minion has also been VERY curious of course. And has basically staked
out a spot underneath to retire, all evening long. He's nibbled a
couple branches and lights but actually hasn't bothered it too much
(thank goodness!). We'll see if our luck continues to hold!! ;-)

Complicated Lego set makes for a happy kid!

Logan got this awesome Star Wars themed Lego set from his buddies
Robert and Connor yesterday. He's a happy kiddo with (all of his)
presents today! :)

Indoor soccer begins!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Let the party begin!

Pre-party madness snapshot (I'll post nicer pics later). The party was
busy, loud, frenetic and fun.

I'm now super exhausted and ready to pass out. :)

Our cat-dog

Not that I needed a lot of proof, but here's Minion sitting alongside
Tobey, begging for scraps at dinner tonight. I'm pretty sure he thinks
he's one of the dogs. :)

Friday, December 6, 2013

You know you're a mom when (#5,882)...

You spend your Friday night making Minion Candy Spoons!

Logan's 6th (OMFG he's almost 6!) birthday party is tomorrow. Our house will be teeming with ~12 5/6 year old boys (mostly). I've been prepping for the last few weeks and have had tons of fun coming up with creative ideas to carry out his requested Despicable Me Minion theme. 

I've held off on posting most of my prep pics until the big reveal, so this will just be a sneak peek of what's to come! ;-)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Homemade Advent Calendar 2013

And, done. Phew!

Festival of Lights!

Tonight is one of the last "cheap" nights at Vasona Park's Festival of
Lights so I decided we'd go before the crowds really hit. As usual,
the boys loved it.

This year, we let them stand up and poke their head out the sunroof
(or sit in my lap as Callum decided to do) which made it even MORE

They were both yelling and waving and squealing with delight the entire time! :)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Current project

I may have bit off more than I can chew with this year's advent
calendar idea. 24 little black and white boxes cut and folded by yours
truly. *yawn*

(And yes, I'm already behind!)

Always Thankful

I keep meaning to pull down the pics I took with my nice camera to
post about Thanksgiving but these are going to have to do for now. ;-)

Thanksgiving Dinner #1 - as it turned out, the Jodoins and McDaids
didn't have plans to spend Thursday with their families, so we joined
the two families for a fantastic meal that night. I made a cake and a
couple of sides to accompany the dinner which was fun for me (I really
love to bake and cook!) but otherwise Jenn did all the cooking and
hosting. We had a really great time!

Thanksgiving Dinner #2 - my parents decided to cancel our family plans
on Friday because they've had a lot going on lately. I felt like it
would still be nice to get the family together tho, so I offered to
host the meal at our house instead. Zane made some killer mashed
potatoes, but otherwise I took on the entire meal myself! All vegan,
for 8 hungry bodies. Phew! Also lots of fun and great to have my
parents and brothers at our house for a change (the boys adore their
uncles). :)

Thanksgiving Dinner #3 - Logan and I headed up to the city on Saturday
to meet the Cables family at a local museum featuring a bee exhibit.
It was supposed to be all of us but Jon and I had started to come down
with a head cold the night before and he wasn't up for rushing out of
the house that morning (since we slept in). Because we had no plans
and I had quite a bit of food still at the house - a whole dinner in
fact, that I had purchased at Whole Foods when I originally thought we
were having dinner on our own Thursday - I invited the Cables down to
our house for the evening and our two families stuffed ourselves silly
with way too much yummy food. Another successful dinner in the books!

We had a fantastic break hanging out with great friends and family and
eating way too much good (I also took advantage of being off work for
a full week and did a lot of prep for Logan's birthday party coming

Now we're all counting down the days until our time off over Christmas. ;-)