Sunday, April 30, 2017


The end of April in a nutshell.

Lots of April birthday celebrations, which I will write more about in my next post.

And just our other random moments. Like:

Flower collecting while leaving (real estate) fliers.
 I did my own hair... and am mighty proud.
 My handsome boy turned 1!
 How Wes is 90% of the day. #lifeofarealtor
 Hanging with cousins.
Family park/soccer days.
 Bike rides
 Preschool days (letter "X" treasure hunt)
2 day Real Estate conference in Long Beach. (Really excited about the new opportunities too)
 Costco run (for his party).
 Golf lessons (with dad)
 Sweet morning snuggles
 New swing and backyard fun
 And, we had 2 helicopters taking water from our lake to put out a nearby fire.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Insect Fair

 We attended the insect festival in downtown Riverside for the first time this year. It was more fun and busy than I had anticipated. We were joined by our friends and had a great time. We saw live and dead bugs, held caterpillars, did crafts, ate crickets, and the girls favorite was seeing the queen bee in her hive.
This was kind of a big deal because do you remember the freak out she had the last time we wanted to let her hold a caterpillar. Initially she was not going to do it, then all her friends did, I saw the resolve cross her face and she held it like a boss.
All holding their caterpillars.
Ever eaten a dried cricket. Peyton loved them. She went back 4 times until I cut her off. Jovie (the girl who eats nothing!) ate one in order to get candy. That's totally her. Seriously, her life motto should be, "Anything for candy."

Saturday, April 22, 2017


We celebrated Griffin's 1st birthday with a fun Mickey Mouse party at the park. It was a HOT day and we all about melted, plus I forgot baseball season is in full swing, so we had them to contend with parking, but overall it was a fabulous day!

Things I didn't consider. Having one parent (and kid) leave early to set up (while smart) also meant I could not run and grab last minute things while baby napped. Which meant I had a VERY overly tired birthday boy at the park (who never misses his first nap). Which meant he was so not into presents and the cake. And the smashing of the cake is the whole reason for a first birthday, am I right?!

But, having the party at the park was a good idea in that my house stayed messy because I didn't have to clean it just to mess it up. Kids could run wild and I didn't have to plan games, which again works out for a 1 year old party. And we could spill away because everything went into big, metal trashcans in the end. And when the party was done, it was done.

Wes did ALL the decorating, because he was the parent that reserved the spot at the park and went early. I cannot say enough how impressed I was with what he did. Don't get me wrong, I have the best husband who always helps A TON, and always does whatever needs to be done, but I wasn't even there to give orders. It was all his creativity, and that is more rare. Although decorations were easy since my friend gave me all her leftover decorations from her 1 year old's Mickey party a few months ago... score!

It was such a great party, but I am glad it's over. I am not a party planner. I am definitely more of a party goer.

Check out Wes' decorating job... well done babe. (But, to give myself some credit, I did shop for some of it and have it boxed and ready for him).
 He also made this sign a few days before the event... we taped on the letters to reuse it for future events.
 His monthly pictures on display.
 All the food
 The sweet little birthday boy
 I did bring water balloons with the intent to do a water balloon toss. But, it mostly ended up being kids tossing them, they broke, and they got another to toss and break. They were happy, so it worked out juuuuuust fine.
 His smash-cake, which was not a smash.
 Like I said, he was waaaay tired and not into eating this thing.
 I tried giving him a little "feel" for it by putting his hand into it a bit to get him started. But the only thing that started was a fit. My bad. You would think I was such a mean mom forcing him to eat frosting.
 Once I handed him a fork he was way more into it.
 He even dug in a little.
 Until he remembered he was tired and done. (Actually, I think I started to throw his fork away once he used his hands and he was pissed).
 So we moved onto presents. He liked them, but was pretty done with the whole party scene by now.
 So I forced a family picture or two... and let him suck on his hands to keep him quiet.
We cleaned up and headed home where he took a 3+ hour nap and woke up happy again.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Griffin's 1st Year

I sure hope it is normal to mourn and celebrate a child's first birthday because it is the only way I know how to do it. I look forward to this day because it is a huge, fun milestone. But in the same breath my heart aches as my babies slip away from, well, being babies. So on Griffin's first birthday I had a hard time cheering in between sobs. Okay, not literal sobs, but more heart sobs. I can't believe this first year has past us by. But, it was such a pleasant year with the sweetest little cuddle bug, I really can't complain.

Griffin at a year:
Started taking his first steps a few weeks before his first birthday.
Is a super eater and actually started whole milk about a week or two before his first birthday as well... I was not about to buy more formula that close to 1.
Babbles "mama" and "dadada" but not really talking per se.
Waves hello, goodbye, night night
Claps and dances which is the cutest. He also gives high fives. For a while he would put his hands up for hooray, but the little stinker won't do that anymore.
Blows kisses, but it is more of a tongue grab.
He also gives kisses, and noggin where he leans into you and bonks foreheads. Noggins are his favorite.
That kid and his tongue, he is obsessed and thinks it's hilarious if I poke it and say tongue. He also likes to lick me and thinks that's pretty funny too.
Points at things. Birds, dogs, etc. He makes noises for animals but not really any corresponding noises yet.
Loves trying to go upstairs and will do that any chance he gets.
Signs the word water and loves to drink out of a straw.
In fact he loves playing in water too. The water table outside is currently his favorite and he gets filthy playing out there.
Sleeps like a champ, 12ish hours at night and 2-2 hour naps.
Starting to get some separation anxiety with strangers, but not too bad. Will still let pretty much anyone hold him, and is fine as long as he doesn't see Wes or I.
Loves other babies and kids.
Will go "crazy" shaking his head and smiling, and will sometimes play peek-a-boo at church. He pops up and smiles and crouches down to pop up again.
His big stinker move though is hitting/scratching faces when he gets excited or if you bug him. I have had many a scratch on my face thanks to that boy.
Loves the swings.
Holds everything in his mouth. Walks or crawls with something in his mouth and both hands constantly.  (This is why we call him our puppy brother).
Hates when someone gets out of the car without him.
Honestly, he's just a sweet sweet boy. The girls adore him. I adore him, Wes adores him. He is well loved!

Happy birthday Griffin Todd Aleman!!!

His birthday morning. Peyton was dying to wake him up before she left for school. So I let the girls do it.
And give him his present before she left. (A swing for the backyard)

--separate post for his birthday party coming up.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

First Steps

Here are some of Griffin's first steps. He had taken 1 or 2 before this, but this was the day he took consecutive steps, enough that I knew I could video him doing it.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter 1 and 2

Lots of Easter happenings happened this month too.

I must admit I have plans next year to do more teaching in the days leading up to Easter. I have never been good at that, and have seen some great ideas I plan on incorporating so my children understand Easter and the events leading up to the resurrection better. But, we got a little (not so reverent, and not so listened to) preview when my family celebrated palm Sunday at my parents house. I don't know if any of the kids actually listened to the scriptures being read because they were too busy waving their palms and laughing at "the ass" carrying Asher around.
At home that week we prepared for Easter by dying our Easter eggs for our hunt. The girls picked out two kits, one was a marble kit and the other was a rock sugar kit. The marbled eggs definitely turned out better and were so mess free. This year the girls did their own eggs 100% alone, which is kind of sad for me because I enjoy dying eggs too. Next year I'm making more eggs  to enjoy myself and at least Griff willl probably need my help. But, it was kind of nice to just sit back, watch and take some photos.
 On the Saturday before Easter we had our Aleman celebration at Fred and Sandie's house. With our now tradition egg roll competition, and money hunt for the kids. Man alive is it fun to be there with all those kids.

 And the winner is......
 Ready for the hunt.....
 And I couldn't decided which of these two was my favorite photo of the day....
This one because I mean is it not the sweetest ever?!
Or this one.... 
 Sunday came and we had our egg/basket hunt, breakfast and got ready for church (and of course took Easter best pictures beforehand).
After church we headed to my parents to be with cousins, and have yet another Easter hunt. I got a family photo there too, which is kind of a must when everyone has a new outfit and is looking good right?

I think on the resurrection often and think it is so fitting to celebrate this gift with our families since it is only because of Him and his sacrifice for us that we can be eternally together.