Archive for the ‘Life with Alexei’ Category

Pardon my French…

Friday, April 19th, 2013

But FUCK this week!

It’s been so horrid on many levels that I cannot even deal anymore. Already posted I’m taking a social media break because my blood pressure just cannot hand Teh Stoopid anymore right now.

And before anyone worries, the family is all safe, happy, (mostly) healthy and (mostly) gainfully etc.

So here are some pics of the cute kid (and maybe some kitties, too) to give me something to smile about instead of wanting to throw the computer across the room.

Bright blessings and love to you all!


I dress myself!
I dress myself!

Hangin' with Jo
Hangin’ with Jo

Our third kitty
Our third kitty

May I help you?
May I help you?

For the Team Fun Barn folks
For the Team Fun Barn folks

Love that face!
Love that face!

Why, yes, I do like Dora. Why do you ask?
Why, yes, I do like Dora. Why do you ask?

My daredevil!

I love this kid!
I love this kid!

Helping Uncle Wolf
Helping Uncle Wolf

Feeding a goat
Feeding a goat

Milking a goat
Milking a goat


"Do I look excited?"
Do I look excited?

Preschool fun
Preschool fun

Helping Mommy brush her hair
Helping Mommy brush her hair

Alexei's obstacle course
Alexei’s obstacle course


And now it’s March

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Not much to say. I’ve been sick all frackin’ month and I’m just so tired I could curl up and sleep for weeks.

Alexei is doing well, though, he’s not been a happy camper with Mommy sick and his Routine all blown to hell. Ah, well, he’s a sweet boy and does well all things considered. He’s about to have a big growth spurt again if the eating is any sign. LOL!  He got a new, bigger trike this week – in pink because that’s what he wanted – and it has been quite the hit. Have to enforce wearing the helmet as he’s quite the little daredevil on it. He’s needed this new bigger trike for a while and boy can he MOVE on it.

Poor Darren is burning the candle at both ends taking care of me and Alexei while carrying work at a gallop. Hopefully I’ll get over this soon so he can have a break! And thank goodness for Sally and Richard as well who have been a big help as well.

Also Stacy, Alissa and Linda for helping me take care of Jo-jo.

Hope this finds you all well.



I'm too cool for school

I’m too cool for school

Happy boy!

Happy boy!

This is why we need a helmet

This is why we need a helmet




February Photo Bomb

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Yep, FB once again robs me of real blogging. But since y’all just come here for the pics, I guess that isn’t such a bad thing.
January and February were pretty eventful, seeing us doing a lot of gymnastics, hiding from the rain, fighting illness, making a couple of trips to Disney and zoos of course!
Hope all my wonderful friends and family are well. Enjoy that pics!
Love Janice


1st Week of the New Year

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Happy New Year!

Our NYE was pretty quiet. Rang in “New York New Year” with Alexei and then sent him off to bed. He’s been having trouble getting to sleep at night just lately – plus his naps are getting short to non-existent on weekends – and has been sleeping in a bit in the mornings, which is a mixed bag as it makes for long days and sometimes overly cranky boy. Ah, nothing ever stays the same with them does it?

We finally seem to have turned the corner on potty training with our boy. He’s been in big boy pants all week with only a couple of accidents and NONE at daycare. Even braved gymnastics and the rest of our Saturday routine today without diapers. Yey! Fingers crossed for a continuation of this trend.

Aside from that and having fun with plumbing, our first week of 2013 has been pretty uneventful.

Hope this finds everyone safe and well.



Holiday card


Gymnastics fun

More gymnastics fun

Alexei's present from coach

Helping with the plumbing

Mommy and Alexei

Climbing wall

Special treat for a dry day!

Playing with Sazerac

Playing with swords

Resetting our games equipment

Nice hit!

Best buddies sleeping


More December Pics!

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Winter break has been good to us so far. Xmas Eve was kinda quiet with Sally sick. Richard came over and put Alexei’s kitchen together. Many thanks for that. The Santa Maria clan being in Vegas, we had a quiet, lazy Xmas Day. Alexei opened the majority of his presents on Xmas Eve but was quite happy that the bribe of apple pie and carrots still brought Santa gifts, including the tradition Dutch chocolate letter. (See previous post for pics!)

Wed and Thursday we went to the zoo. Wed was a spur-of-the-moment, get-out-before-cabin-fever-kills kinda trip. Just me and the boy. Which was pretty cool. It was a little cold and windy but worth the trip. Alexei didn’t make it to the freeway awake and managed to nap even after we got home. Yey!

Then yesterday we met up with Heather and Eowyn, Pat and Linda and their son for a group outing. It was very nice to finally meet Pat and Linda in person (we’ve been FB friends for years thanks to Daiv!) and I love getting Eowyn and Alexei together. They are so good with each other. They had a ton of fun at the sliding hill while waiting for Pat and Linda to arrive. Much busier day at the zoo but Pat and Linda hit timing just right so we got them in quickly. Unfortunately their little one had not managed a nap on the trip up as hoped (oh, I remember those days like they were just yesterday. Oh, wait, they were just yesterday! LOL!) so was a little cranky but we managed quite a lot with two rambunctious preschoolers and a cranky toddler. Highlights were feeding the giraffe and seeing the Channel Islands fox actually running about in her enclosure.

Lazy day today other than meeting up with LE to take the boy to the park and a solstice celebration tonight.

Hope all your holidays are/were wonderful!




Happy Winter Holidays!

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

Blessed Solstice, Happy (Belated) Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Joyous Kwanzaa and all that!


Love and bright blessings all!



So Now it’s December

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Yikes! This year seems to be flying by even more than others.

So need to catch up on a few bits of news here. The biggest piece is that my brother is a dad! To three kids! Heh, went from none to 3 in the space of a few short weeks. His step-parent adoption of his wife Ady’s two older kids, Anthony and Nuni, was official earlier in November! (Pics of them whenever my brother finally sends them. Hint, hint!) Yey! Pictures!

Nuni and her mom, Ady

Anthony Jr

Anthony Gangsta

Nuni Diva

Then on the 19th, Pamela Ann was born.

My baby niece!

Baby Pam got the family nose, more’s the pity. LOL!

Baby Pam is named for our baby sister, who passed away at less than five months old. Her passing marked my childhood in ways I’m not always sure I even really grasp. I am very pleased that Paul and Ady chose to honor her memory in this way. They look a lot a like actually.

My little sister

While I’m on a slightly somber note, last Tuesday marked the day that my mother would have turned 64. I miss you so much Mom. I wish you could have met your grandchildren in this life. And here you thought the only ones you’d have were the furry kind. 😉

Some pics of my mom, who was a remarkable woman, a fact of which I am reminded with even greater clarity as I navigate the waters of parenthood.

Mom as a baby

Mom and her sister Sally

Mom and Dad

One of the few pictures from Mom and Dad's wedding

And yes, Grandma wore black. 🙁

Mom's senior portrait

I think this may have been their car in Germany

Mom's passport photo with baby Paul

Oma, Oom Jim, Mom, Paul, Dad, Opa and Tante Joyce

One of the few solo pics of Mom (I love this one!)

Mom, Paul and Nike

Mom and Paul

Mom, Paul, cousin Carrol and her baby



Mom, Dad and Paul

Mom, Paul and baby me!

Paul, Mom and me

Dad and Mom circa 1976

Mom, looks like Easter probably 1976

Dad and Mom circa 1986

Mom's 40th birthday

Mom and Dad's 25th anniversary

Mom doing one of her favorite passtimes

Mom with Darren and me at our wedding

And, of course, the obligatory cute kid pics!

Hanging around with Jo-jo

Funny faces!

Impatiently waiting for the tram at Disneyland

"I drive!"

Funny faces!

His feet finally touch!

Eating food bigger than one's head is not recommended.


Yes, I let my son play with a plastic bag; get over it. 😉

Waiting for the monorail

Unimpressed child is unimpressed.

Nap time! (with Uncle Kelvin)

Yes, he does love that carousel.

Watching the candle-light processional at Disneyland (with lollipop.)

Alexei is way grooving on the Xmas season again. This year we actually decorated the house – even got a small (fake) tree and hung some little ornaments. I’m looking forward to putting some actual presents under it!

More later, my friends and family.

Much love to all and sundry.




November?! Who Let THAT Happen?

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012


So I love FB for keeping in touch but it does mean I neglect this blog even more than usual. Which I really don’t want to do as FB is not so great for being a record one can go back to over time. And I really want this to be a good chronicle someday for our boy.  Well, have to try to be more diligent I guess.

Hallowe’en was really nice. LE went with us the weekend before on what is becoming our traditional Fillmore and Western train trip to the pumpkin patch. Alexei rode the carousel as well as jumping in the Jolly Jumper and checking out the koi and the other neat things at the farm. It was a fun morning.

On Hallowe’en itself, Tina brought the boys over and Heather and Seth came with Eowyn and we all went Trick-or-Treating together. The kids hit nearly every house on our block and came back with more than their body weights in candy. LOL! Alexei only got really scared by one of the houses and I think he would have made it if Bran could have been convinced to go to the front, too, or it Alexei had just followed Eowyn. Heh. Little Miss Fearless that one.

We’ve had some ups and downs with potty training. He was going gang-busters for a time (candy bribery worked pretty well for that) but he recently lost interest so we’ve backed off and let him decide if he wants to go or not. He’s asked a dozen times in the last week or so, so we may try to pick it up with the long holiday weekend.

His language and other skills are coming along quite nicely. His memory is ridiculously good. He continues to be crazy coordinated. He’s been very sweet with the little ones at day-care, especially Baby Jack (more on that in a minute) and has been great with sharing and listening. Although technically they aren’t supposed to have true empathy quite yet, he shows distress when other kids cry and he tries to bring things to his buddy Andrew (who is a year younger than him) when he cries.

We’ve been having some resistance with  gymnastics. He still seems to have fun in class. He really likes his coach. But he fusses about going and a couple of times has had full on throw himself down on the floor tantrums about it. I’m thinking of switching to something else as I am just getting so tires of having this fight with him over and over. Sigh! Oh, and bedtime has been an adventure. Everything from dragging his feet to more tantrums. Ugh! I’ve tried a variety of different strategies but sometimes it just comes down to Mama does not negotiate with toddlers. LOL!

He’s had some regression or attention seeking issues the last few months. He likes to pretend to be a baby (he’ll tell me he’s “Baby Jack” and get me to give him a “bottle” (his sippy cup) while he cuddles with me, also feed and put on his clothes, both of which he’s quite capable of doing himself.  I’ve largely indulged him as he seems to need the attention/attachment play. It can get a little much at times though, esp when I am trying to feed myself. 🙂

But we are so blessed and so lucky, the normal bumps in the road aren’t much.

Little politics aside: big congratulations to President Obama on his re-election. It was a bit tense in the house leading up to election day and there was much rejoicing here when it was called for the President.  We were also very, very happy that there a lot of liberal victories aside from the President’s win. Big wins for Marriage Equality as well as efforts to roll-back the drug war. We now have 20 women in the Senate and a larger percentage of women in Congress than ever before, plus our first openly lesbian Senator, a bi-sexual from Arizona of all places, a very high percentage of people of color and a passel of rape apologists got booted. All in all, a good night and hopefully a good four years to come.

Got back a few hours ago from a fabulous trip to San Diego. Went down there with Kelvin and Debbie and LE and met up with Vicki. Saturday we did the San Diego Zoo, which was awesome as always. Still have to try to make it over to the children’s zoo with him one of these times. They’ve added some neat play areas to the zoo fairly recently which is really cool. Alexei seemed to be more interested in those and the various vehicle than in the animals but he had a good time anyway. Sunday we went to what will forever be the Wild Animal Park in my mind, despite the renaming. Haven’t been in ages and so most of it felt very new to me. But it was a great day. Alexei got to feed lorikeets, which was a big hit. He loved the tram. He enjoyed the weekend and all the time with his Aunties and Uncle. Thanks to all of you for making it such a fine weekend.

The next couple of months are going to be busy with the holidays, our anniversary and a ton of family events coming up. I’m looking forward to it all though.

Anyway, without further ado, more pictures for your delectation. LOL!


October Photo Blast

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Yes, once again I’m bad at updating.

Here’s some pics to keep you all happy for a while.




Happy Family Day!

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Two years ago today, we flew into Nanchang and a few hours later they put our son in our arms. Two years ago our lives all changed for the best. Two years ago we became a family.

Happy Family Day to my dearest men. And to our travel mates as well.

Bright blessings,