Sunday, December 1, 2013

Another weekend gone

It's Sunday again and we have been busy busy this weekend.  We decorated the Christmas tree and mostly finished shopping for gifts for us and the kids.

We adopted a dog on Friday.  His name is Light and he is a Catahoula Hound Mix.  He and Shadow are getting along great and he is settling in nicely.

We've also gotten a lot of unpacking and setting up done.  The living room is nearly functional now.

I worked today and let Adam come with me.  He needs the break from home just as much as I do!  We've both enjoyed reading and watching shows with Bianca.

This evening is our Santa visit at my Dad's house.  The Westminster FD will bring him on the fire truck.  We look forward to it every year!  I really hope Lily isn't scared so I can get some cute pictures.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I am Thankful...Day 13: I really AM thankful...

I PROMISE!  I seriously had every intention of getting a post up every day this month.  Unfortunately though I had no Internet access at home for a week and a half after we moved in to our new house.  I can write posts on my phone, but they really still need edited and pictures added through the actual computer.  I do plan to catch up since I think it is important to take the time to remember all you have to be thankful for.  I will work on getting them up the rest of this week, but they will be post dated for the right day.

Today I am thankful to live in a state that allows us to enjoy the great outdoors in the middle of November without freezing our tushes off.  I took the girls to play at the park this morning for nearly 2 hours.  I was such a beautiful fall morning!  I enjoyed my first Peppermint Mocha of the season while they played.

I finally remembered to bring some toys with us!  She sat in this exact same spot and played for 90 minutes!

For the Love of Children

Ever since I was a small child I have loved children.  Growing up I wanted to be a teacher and would set up a classroom and "teach" my dolls in my bedroom.  I remember continuing to play with my babies long after my friends had left theirs behind for more grown up activities.  

I started babysitting in middle school and never looked back!  I took my first "real" childcare job in a daycare while still in high school.  I LOVED spending my afternoons caring for those 1 and 2 year old kids.  As I grew older I decided working in the medical field, but still with children, was my calling.  I decided to attend college for a nursing degree.  College was not for me and after my first term I went to work FT at the daycare.  

After a couple job switches I decided to try out being a Nanny.  I fell in LOVE with it right away.  It has been about 13 years and I still love it.  I enjoy being there for all the "firsts" and watching as children learn and grow and discover the world around them.  My favorite days at work are when I can sit on the floor building with blocks or driving cars.  Who wouldn't love to play all day and get paid for it?

I am very fortunate to have worked for some amazing families over the years and still be in contact with several of them.  My children have been welcomed in to numerous homes by these great families.  So not only do I get to do a job I enjoy, but I've been able to have my own children with me while I do it.

I'm not sure I want to Nanny for my entire working career though.  Lily has 4 more years at home before starting Kindergarten.  I hope to go back to school and earn that Nursing degree I started so long ago so that when the time comes that I no longer need to be her full time caregiver I can enter into a new and equally fulfilling career as a pediatric nurse.  

Until that time I will continue to crunch in the leaves and build colorful towers.

This post was inspired by The Cartographer of No Man’s Land by P.S. Duffy. Angus enlists in the Nova Scotia WWI regiment and travels Europe to search for his missing in action best friend and brother-in-law. Along the way Angus discovers more than he ever wanted to know.  Join From Left to Write on November 14 as we discuss The Cartographer of No Man’s Land.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I Am Thankful...Day 2

*I am committing to writing every day this month about something I am thankful for.*

Day 2 - Today I am thankful for the Brandon family.

I have worked as a Nanny for the Brandon family since early 2007, when Noelle was just a few months old.  Bianca was getting ready to turn 9 years old and is now 15.  Bianca has taught me so much over these 6 1/2 years and I am eternally thankful to her.  The Brandons really are my second family and home.  It's where I relax, destress, and rejuvenate, all while earning a second income to help support my family.  They have welcomed my entire family into their lives and, at times, home.

Thank you Jill, Lorin, Zach, Logan, and Bianca for being you!  
You all have taught me so much about life and love.

Beautiful Bianca!

I Am Thankful...Day 1

*I am committing to writing every day this month about something I am thankful for.*

Day 1 - Today I am thankful for amazing friends who stepped up to help move my family on Halloween evening!  Especially since it allowed me to spend the holiday with my children and take them Trick-or-Treating.

Alex - Thank you for your help getting the ball rolling and taking Justin to pick up the truck!

Loren - Thank you for spending so many hours on your day off moving boxes and furniture!

Mike - Thank you for not only helping on Halloween, but for coming to help finish the following day AND for giving up your own Halloween with your boys.

Chris - Thank you for the countless boxes and pieces of furniture you helped move and for also giving up your Halloween with your precious little girl.  I *think* you also made the dinner run.

Lorien - Thank you for allowing us to have your husband for the night!

Martha - THANK YOU!  You not only gave up your husband for the night, but after celebrating the holiday with your boys you came to help out as well!  You are awesome!

We love you all and have something very special planned as a thank you.

Our new home!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Who are you?

The typical fill in the blank Family Tree does NOT work for my family.  For a Cordova family tree I'd have to start from scratch and build my own.  Here's why:

I was raised by my Father from the time I was 9 months old.  My Mom was a part of my life, but my Dad had custody of my brother and I.  We visited our Mom on some weekends and spent some holidays with her. As we grew older we went to her house less and less due both to the 1 1/2 hour drive from our home and preferring to spend time with friends/doing our own activities.

When I was about 8 years old my Dad met the woman who would become my step-mom.  She has a daughter that I consider my sister.  My Dad and step-mom were together for a very long time but have now been separated for a couple years.

My older kids are at the age where they are trying to fit everyone in the mold.  We have had many discussions  regarding who people are and how they fit in the family.  My 6 year old daughter is especially interested in whose "belly I grew in".  She has come to understand that I grew in Gradma Sandi's belly and that Grandma Sheri came into my life when I was older and helped raise me.  She knows that Uncle Merle also grew in Grandma Sandi's belly, but that Auntie Stef grew in Grandma Sheri's.

I think they now have a pretty clear idea of how we all fit together.  I am always sure to remind them that I know our family is big, and sometimes it can be confusing to keep straight, but all they really need to remember is that everyone loves them.

So long as they never call a Grandma by the wrong name I think we'll be okay.

A controlling mother, a missing daughter, and a family who is 
desperate for love. This post was inspired by the the psychological thriller Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas. Join From Left to Write on September 19 as we discuss Mother, Mother.  As a member, I received a free copy of the book for review purposes.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Barbie Who?


I'll start off by saying that Barbie is NOT allowed in my house.

When I was young I loved playing with Barbie and her friends.  Not as much as babies and reading, but she was definitely next in line.  I could easily spend hours dressing her up, making her hair pretty, and acting out scenarios.  I didn't even need, much less have, the dream house or a car for her.  Just gobs of clothes and shoes.

So why don't I allow my girls/children this same enjoyment?  I honestly don't know.  Whereas I do think Barbie style dolls give a false sense of what a girl should strive to look like, it's not enough to make me hate her altogether.  I believe real life shapes how a child grows up, not make believe.  

Maybe it's just the idea of another toy with tiny parts everywhere that I am so against.  We already have an incredible amount of tiny LEGO blocks filling the house, plus Polly Pockets and Littlest Pet Shop pieces.  The last thing I want to add is miniature high heels for the baby to choke on.

Fortunately, I haven't yet had to tell my kids no to Barbie.  Even though my 6 year old daughter knows of her from reading books and play dates she has yet to ask for one.  Thank goodness!  She, like me, loves her baby dolls and reading, plus LEGOs.  The 18 month old clearly has no clue such a toy exists, she too is a baby doll lover.  And I'm happy to report, given I dislike Barbie, that my 9 year old son has never shown interest in her.  Whew!

Disclaimer:  If you read this and think it would be funny to buy my child a Barbie please know it will either go directly in the donate/re-gift pile or trash.

This post was inspired by the memoir Raising My Rainbow by Lori Duron describing her journey raising a gender creative son.  Join From Left to Write on September 5th as we discuss Raising My Rainbow.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

I found the book very interesting and would recommend it to all parents.  I don't agree with all the steps/conclusions she has made with regards to her son, but I do highly respect her for being willing to stand up for her son and love him for who he is.  Lori gave an interview on the Today show that can be found here.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Early bird...

...gets to read?  NO!!  So, Adam was up at/by 5:45am Thursday and 5:30 today.  Why?  I think it is so he can read.  I even made him go to bed 15 minutes early last night since he got out of bed 15 minutes early.  Oh man, that was interesting!  Imagine a 9 year old whining and crying, "But I'm not tired!"  Whatever!  He was really pissed since it was bath night and so he didn't end up reading at home at all. 

I wonder what he will think when I send his butt to bed at 7:30/8 tonight and Noelle gets to stay up 30 minutes longer.  (Granted, Noelle will most likely misbehave and get sent to bed as well.  LOL!)

I really don't want to do it, but that boy is about to get reading time taken away as punishment.  Stinker.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Those We Love Most

When my first child was born in 2004 I was on the verge of turning 23.  Even though I had worked as a Nanny and in childcare since I was 17 I had never cared for a child younger than 7 weeks.  Looking back now I see how naive I was.  It never occurred to me that he wouldn't wake from a nap or cry in the morning for me to come pick him up.
Adam 4/2004

Two years later when I became pregnant with my second child I was too busy working heavy full time hours and taking care of my son to even think something could go wrong with the baby.  Despite a lack of weight gain on my part, I took for granted that she would be born perfectly healthy and full term.
Noelle 2007

Skip ahead more than 4 years, and 16 months of TTC, and I'm pregnant with my third child.  That pregnancy was one big worry after another!  Just finding out I was pregnant was a fiasco.  It was the Saturday before Memorial day. I had woken with a pain in my right side and it had only gotten worse.  A pregnancy test came back positive, but had taken a really long time to give a result. Given the pain in my side  I was concerned I was having an ectopic pregnancy.  I went to the ER and they confirmed I was pregnant and ran some tests.  Definitely NOT ectopic though.  I had to go back in on Memorial Day for repeat tests and they said everything was going well.  (To this day I still have NO clue what caused the pain, but it went away.)

I was a nervous wreck throughout the entire pregnancy.  October, though, was the worst of it.  October just happens to be Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month.  There were posts in remembrance of babies who were miscarried or stillborn all over Facebook.  It was too much for me and I *almost* had to block a few friends.  I tried to stay off FB instead.  But before that it got to me.  I was working one day when I couldn't get the baby to wake up and move.  I had tried every trick in the book and she wasn't responding.  She hadn't moved all day.  I was terribly scared and went to the doctor for a heartbeat check and ultrasound.  Thank goodness she was fine, just stubborn.  I handled the rest of the pregnancy a little better but was so happy when she was finally in my arms and I didn't need to worry anymore if she was okay.
Lillian 2012

HA!  So I thought.  I was constantly worried about if she was still breathing in those first weeks.  The only way she would sleep those first 2 weeks was in our arms so we took turns resting on the couch with her all night.  I was worried sick she would suffocate as we slept.  Every time I twitched I had to nudge her until she moved or breathed.  Even once we got her to sleep in the co-sleeper I had to put my hand on her every time I woke.  It didn't help that she had apnea while sleeping.  I don't recall when I finally stopped worrying that her pretty blue eyes wouldn't open in the morning.  It was so gradual and now, at 16 months, I don't even need to check on her before I fall asleep at night.

The thought of losing one of my children still creeps up and scares me at times.  Especially with the constant reports of pedestrians/bicyclists being hit by cars, school shootings, and kidnappings in the news.  I can't help but worry to a degree, but nothing so bad as it was with my Lily Bug.

Adam, Lily, & Noelle 2013

This post was inspired by the novel Those We Love Most by Lee Woodruff. Every family has its secrets and deceptions, but they come to surface after a tragic accident changes the family dynamic forever. Join From Left to Write on June 6 as we discuss Those We Love Most. You can also enter to win a live video chat with Lee Woodruff! As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Sunday Family Time

A couple weekends ago we were able to take advantage of some unscheduled time to have some fun as a family.  It was very windy out so we took down the big Dragon kite and headed up to the field.

Dragon Boy

Up, up, and...well, that's as good as it got.

The wind was actually TOO strong and unpredictable.  We just couldn't get the kite high enough to get in a good steady wind.  We had a ton of fun trying though!

Later in the day we headed over to Southlands to walk around.  We went into Barnes and Noble for a Starbucks and looked a little at the books.  Since it was a Sunday night there weren't many businesses open or people out and about.  It was nice out, but not very warm.

Just try keeping this one out of the water!

Getting chased by Sissy.

She wasn't interested in getting in on the girl.

She was soaked!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Summer Hair!

Clearly Adam was due for a trim! 

 His hair grows so fast and has been bugging me for weeks hanging over his ears and all.  I'm so glad Justin has gotten good at trimming him up.

Looking good buddy!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


It's been an interesting few days, but I made it!  Well, almost.  Technically I have to get the kids to bed tonight before I can say "I survived!" 

J is on another business trip, exactly a month after the last.  When he is gone I struggle with the day to day scheduling of our life.  You see, J is the primary parent to our older children who are 6 and 8.  He gets them up in the morning, packs lunches, feeds breakfast, takes them to school, picks them up in the afternoon, AND makes dinner. So when he is gone I have to try to get 3 kids up, dressed, fed, and out the door by 7am.

This trip J left early on Sunday morning.  I was scheduled to work 10-6 an hour from home.  The older kids were going to Grandma's house and the baby was going to work with me. The older kids' bodies had other plans though.  They both woke with diarrhea overnight.  Since I didn't think it would be nice to send them to Grandma's house sick I ended up having to stay home from work.  We had a good day and fortunately the kids felt fine other than running to the bathroom often.  They both ended up having diarrhea for 48 hours.

They watched The Hobbit and then Fellowship of the Ring 
and enjoyed warm cinnamon sugar cresents.

On Monday I actually took the kids to work with me to make my life easier.  Adam had scouts that night and we had to be there by 6:30, in uniform, fed, and with his bike and helmet.  The day went smoothly and as planned.

It was a gorgeous 65 degree day with warm winds
Photo: The kids are being tortured by using ONLY their imaginations outside.  No toys/balls/bikes here!   Photo: A tree big enough to climb.  We are taking full advantage of the nice day today before the storm hits tonight.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I arranged childcare to pick the kids up in the afternoon from ...childcare.  LOL!  They are off track right now, but they are still at the school in the Intersession program all day.  I work till 5:30 and am 45 minutes minimum from home.  Childcare closes at 6pm.  Doesn't quite compute, does it.  I am very fortunate to have awesome family and friends who jump in and help us out when needed.

On Tuesday the weather messed up our plans.  We had a Blizzard Warning and every school district in the greater Denver metro area was closed.  So the kids got to go to work with me again.  The so called "blizzard" was a total fail, but the kids enjoyed getting to spend a 3rd day with me.  I finally hit my limit on Tuesday.  I was DONE!  Noelle was starting to get pissy and annoying and I really needed a break from the older kids.  (I'm used to having the baby 24/7.  I'm not as good with the older kids.)  I decided for all of our sakes to go to McDonalds for dinner.  That way the kids could run and play getting rid of all the stored up energy, and I could relax a tiny bit.

Colorado Blizzard 4/10/13

And that brings us to today, Wednesday!  Finally a day that is going as planned.  The older kids are at Intersession and will be picked up by one of our friends, Loren, who will take them home and entertain and bathe them until I'm home.  I get to have a normal day at work with just the babies.  Also, J will be back after the kids are in bed tonight.  Woo-Hoo!

Sanity time!
Photo: Mommy needed her sanity back and the older kids needed to get rid of some energy.

I am so thankful  to have the love and support of my Husband.  I CAN do this parenting thing alone, but I don't want to and thankfully I don't have to.

(Google Hangout with Daddy!)
Photo: Hanging out with Daddy last night! She is actually kinda freaked out by it.  She just doesn't get why she can't touch him.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Kids' Rooms

So we have messed with the kids' rooms once again.  Apparently we don't follow the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy.  LOL!  One of Adam's good friend's family is moving to Arizona and they offered us their bunk bed set for a really great price.  We knew we were going to need a bed for Adam once Lily is out of the crib, so it worked out perfect.  

The girls now have our original set in their room, which makes for 3 beds and a crib in a teeny tiny room!  I would like to keep Lily in the crib until closer to her second birthday, but we already have a double bed rail in case we move her earlier.  I do think we will ditch the changing table very soon though.  She is AWFUL on it and it is a constant fight to keep her laying down.  Also, Justin taught her to stand to pull up her pants, so any time she is sitting on it she wants to stand up and I'm not okay with that.  Then she throws herself backward in a fit and hits the back of her head on the side of it.  OUCH!  

Adam has the bunk bed from his buddy Zach.  We are only using the loft section so that he has room to play.  This set came with a dresser and a ladder.  The supports are a desk and drawers/bookshelf.  Perfect for a growing boy!  I'm thinking we will have him organize his LEGOs in the smaller drawers of the bed.  We do need to get him some type of stool/chair for the desk.  With his old desk he was using a cube that was a fine height, but this desk sits a little higher.

Hopefully we won't have to do any big rearranging anytime soon since I'm done with moving furniture for now.  

I do need to get rid of a dresser/changing table that we are done with and trash an old desk that actually belonged to Justin's Uncle as a child.  Can't wait to get rid of the old furniture sitting in my upstairs hall!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Life Gets In The Way

I haven't been here much lately.  I have well meaning thoughts to get updates done and post pictures of outings.  But to be honest I have just been so exhausted I haven't wanted to take the time.  I could make the time by playing around less on FB or Twitter, I just don't want to.  All my energy is going towards staying afloat and not drowning in the day to day-ness of life with a husband, 3 kids, a dog, house, and 2 jobs(per adult).  Of all that stuff my jobs are actually what keeps me going.  I often pull into the garage, after being gone for 11 hours at work, and just sit.  Sometimes I really don't WANT to go inside.  I can often hear the fighting, arguing, yelling...from my car. I know that the second I walk in the door it will be nearly 2 hours of battles to get dinner eaten, homework checked/done, baths, snack, brush teeth, and hopefully get the kids into bed.

I love my kids so much, but parenting is not easy.  Add in a child who has severe undiagnosed behavior and possible mental "issues", for lack of a better term, and it is downright exhausting!  I am trying really hard to take care of my own mind and body right now, but since blogging does make me feel good I am going to start making more of an effort at it.  For now, here's a cute picture of my girls from their birthday party in early February.  I made their dresses and am very proud of how they turned out.  Just another thing that makes me happy!

Birthday Girls
Lily(12 months) and Noelle(6 years)

This post was inspired by Raising Cubby: A Father and Son’s Adventures with Asperger’s, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives by John Elder Robison. Parenting is a challenging job, but what challenges does a parent with Asperger's face? Join From Left to Write on March 12 as we discuss Raising Cubby. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Girls' Room

I've been meaning to post about the girls' room for some time now.  I made several things for Lily and think they turned out great.

This is what is above Lily's changing table.  I made her name before she was born from an idea on Pinterest.  When I originally posted the pic of her name it was the first time I had announced what her name would be.  I altered a pinboard I had made at MOPS a long time ago for her hair clips.  I painted the bottom frames and put polka dots on them.  I love how the arrangement turned out (even though they are crooked in the picture).

We've had Noelle wooden letters up for some time.  I added the picture of her at 6 weeks old since Lily's hospital picture is up on the wall.  The butterfly is wooden and decoupaged with tissue paper.  Adam made it and Noelle likes it so we put it up with her name.

 Their beds  LOL!  The canvas pictures are what we bought when we originally did the room and they are still in the same spot.  The two white frames are Noelle's baseball team pictures.  The girl's beds are pushed all the way together now since Noelle wants to sleep with Lily and I'm not comfortable having her in the crib WITH Lily.  This way she can touch her and Lily can be safe.

What a mess!! We use the fan to air out the room when Lily stinks it up and as white noise.  Plus, Noelle actually likes to have it blow on her at night, nutty girl!  They share the dresser and then there is Lily's changing table.

That's it.  The room is SO TINY!  Hopefully we can move soon and they won't have to share anymore, but for now we are making do.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

On Friendship and Similairity

I've always been shy.  I honestly don't know how I managed to make friends growing up since I was not an initiator in any way.  My childhood friends must have tried really hard to befriend me.  In early elementary school I had 2 good friends.  Kristy and Tawnya.  We did everything together.  Kristy's grandparents lived a couple houses up the street from me and we hung out a lot, even after her family moved far away.  Tawnya was being raised by a single Dad in the 80's (not a very common occurrence in that day and age), just like me.  We were best friends all through elementary school and stayed in touch for a long time afterwards, even though my family had moved across town. Even now we are friends on FB and I love hearing about all the great things she is doing for our youth in a neighboring city.

Kristy and Tawnya each had one brother, just like me.  Kristy's brother died in an auto accident while he was in high school.  Tawnya's brother also died due to an auto accident when he was way too young.  At the time I learned Tawnya's brother had died my brother, Merle, was serving in the US Navy in Bahrain.  I was so scared something would happen to him and I would lose him.  I am so thankful that he is here with us still and it is always in the back of my mind that I can't EVER take him for granted.

I love you Merle!  Thank you for being my brother.  I promise to always be thankful for you and never take your presence in my life for granted.

This post was inspired by Saturday Night Widows by Becky Aikman. After being kicked out of her widow support group for being too young, Becky creates her own support group with an unusual twist. Join From Left to Write on February 14 as we discuss Saturday Night Widows. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes

Author Q&A with Becky Aikman hosted by From Left to Write Editor Thien-Kim Lam.  Check it out, but be careful, there are spoilers towards the end.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


All 5 of them.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Eating green beans and watching an elephant eat.

This child is at the point of only eating green veggies.  She LOVES green beans, peas, broccoli  and especially avocado.  She eats at least 1/4 of an avocado every day.  Also, I now give her a green veggie at breakfast.  The only fruit she will eat is blueberries and applesauce pouches.  Such an odd 11 month old!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Monday, January 14, 2013


My girls.

A Secret vs A Surprise

As a parent I have all the same worries any other parent does.  At the top of that list is always that someone will hurt my children.  We all want to protect our children in any way we can.  One of the tricks I use is that we don't have secrets in our family.  I've taught my 5 and 8 year old that we don't keep secrets, only surprises.  I've explained that a surprise is something that you will eventually tell the person and is NEVER bad.  If someone tells them "Don't tell, it's a secret" they know that they should probably tell us right away.  The hardest part is actually reassuring them, and following through on, the fact that they will never get in trouble for telling a "secret".  I've made it clear to my 8 year old that if he did something wrong he may get in trouble for it, but never for actually telling me something.  I think my 5 year old may still be too young for that concept.

So far I feel we have had great success with our "No Secrets" rule.  We were recently able to see it in action after the kids spent the night and day with a family member.  I was curious why Noelle had diarrhea all morning the day after she came home and was asking her what she had eaten.  Adam fessed up that they had a LOT of soda but were told it was a secret and not to tell.  I used this as a teachable moment and asked Noelle if she thought is was a good decision to drink 3+ sodas, when she rarely gets a partial one and even more rarely with caffeine, even though they were available and she was told she could.  I also used it to talk again with the kids about the rule and reaffirm that Adam did the right thing by telling us.

Fortunately this was an "easy" secret to deal with as a parent.  Adam fessed up, we talked, it got dropped.  I hope to never have anything worse happen that falls under our "No Secrets" rule, but at least I feel secure in that I have taught my children that I will be here for them anytime they need to tell me a "secret".

This post was inspired by the mystery thriller novel The Expats by Chris Pavone. Kate Moore happily sheds her old life to become a stay at home mom when her husband takes a job in Europe. As she attempts to reinvent herself, she ends up chasing her evasive husband's secrets. Join From Left to Write on January 22 as we discuss The Expats. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.