Friday, June 19, 2009

School's Out!

Tyler has officially finished Kindergarten. It's hard to believe that he'll be going into 1st grade and we're not (or I should say... I'M not) entirely sure that he is ready for 1st grade. He's still having a lot of issues in the behavior department and I'm starting to wonder if having him stay behind for one year would help.

But anyways, he had a great last day of school. They had a party in his class with pizza and other treats. Ryan was there with him and his class to help celebrate. Aislynn and I spent my lunch hour at my work. We grabbed a couple of happy meals and ate on the back patio. =)

So now it is the OFFICIAL start of summer!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

July 10th

We are MOVING... again! The Ross family will be relocating about 2 miles down the road. Yep... two miles.

We will be moving to another apartment complex that is about a 10 minute walk to my work! That's pretty neat... not as nice as working from home, but I'll take it. So as we get back on our feet, we'll be able to ditch a car (and a car payment!) and save some cash.

Tyler will have to start a new school and I'm sad to have to do that to him. He's a social little bug, so I'm sure that he will be okay. It will be a little tough at first. I really would love to keep him in the same school for his entire elementary career, but I don't see that being possible until we get ourselves a house.

The apartment complex is brand new with a beautiful pool and fitness center. They even have free yoga and Boot Camp work out classes. Now I have no reason to not start hitting the gym! We are currently on the 4th floor of a not so pretty building, and the new apartment is on the ground floor and it's, well, PRETTY! Ha ha ha. Looks aren't everything, I know. But this situation was different.

Ryan is still looking for work. Unfortunately, he did not make it into the LAPD. It's been a tough day for him as he's pretty down about it right now. But I think that it's a sign from someone that it just wasn't meant for our family. So say a prayer that he finds the right career for him. We love him so much and no one wants to see him struggle... Your wifey and kiddlets love you, Ryan! =)

Photography is picking up! I'm working on 2 wedding quotes right now. Hopefully something will solidify soon.

XOXO and I can't wait to be in Chicago in July!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Aislynn Rocked the House

Our littlest cupcake took to the stage and strutted her stuff at her first dance recital on Sunday. She danced to a Hanna Montana song and she did AWESOME!

When I went to get her after the show, she questioned where her flowers were. Sassy little thing!

The Ross family has now been christened into the world of dance. I think that this whole day was more stressful for me then Aislynn. =)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


So it's been a looooong time since I have updated and apologies to those who follow our family. Kindergarten started September 3rd and it's been sort of a struggle. We have had to change our morning routine a little and that would throw off anyone, age 5 to 105. His first day was full of fear and tears but Ryan and I were both there with him. There was a little confusion at the start of the day. The class that he was in was with K and 1st TOGETHER. Um, yeah. That's a little weird. The class was just put together the day before and I was a little upset at that since the room that he was suppose to be in had his friend Sergio from his other school. I think that Tyler was really upset that he wasn't in his class either. We had been told that they were in the same class, so of course we then told Tyler that. I feel bad for letting him down.

After about an hour, we were able to leave Tyler with out too much trouble. When I came to pick him up, he said that he had a lot of fun. He also enjoys the after school program so much that he didn't want to come home with me!!! =) So that is wonderful, but he is still really tearful when I take him in the morning. I'm hoping that he eases in soon and makes some friends.

Pictures will be coming soon!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

He is his father's son...

No question about it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


We experienced our first "major" Earthquake today. The kids handled it well. Aislynn got a little scared and Tyler thought it was an "adventure". Aislynn told us that "there was a monster at school and he was banging the windows!".

I personally am freaked out but I'm sure that feeling will pass. Ryan just felt some shaking in his chair. I felt shaking, then a jolt, then a rolling. It lasted about 15 seconds. Our building had to evacuate and we had to wait about 15 minutes outside to make sure that everything was okay to go back in. Our mall down the street had minor damage at Macy's, but that was the most damage in our area that I have seen reported.

So we are safe and sound! It definitaly made me realize that we need to have our evacuation bag packed (first aid, water, food, etc) just in case.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

FINALLY! A Celeb Sighting!

We were shopping at Ralph's and saw...

Dr. Archie Morris, or actor/singer/songwriter Scott Grimes. I have no idea what he was buying, but we saw him at the Ralph's in West Hills. Ryan knew right away where he was from... I just thought that he looked familiar.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tyler Funny...

Tyler likes to talk back. And sometimes we just lose it and sass him right back. I know, it's not the most adult thing to do, but some times you just can't help it.

Ryan: If you continue with that attitude, you aren't going to get any presents for your birthday!
Tyler (with out a pause): Oh YEAH!?!? Well, next year for Father's Day, I'm going to get you CLOTHES!!!!

LMAO. Gotta love him.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Just a Picture of a House

Owned by Bruce Willis. Not sure if it's a vacation home or what, but who doesn't like seeing homes of celebrities...

We headed out to Malibu (our favorite place!) for the 4th and I was prepared with a list of some addresses of homes owned by celebrities. The only problem was that we were in the car cruising down PCH, so once we came close I just started snapping pictures like the paparazzi. Ha ha ha! So I actually got ONE photo. I'm such a dork...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Busy Weekend with Fish, Sand and Sun!

We had a fun filled weekend! Grandma Debbie and the gang are out here for a visit. We spent Saturday at the Aquarium. We saw some amazing things! I loved the sand dollars and the shark eggs. The eggs were displayed so that you could see the baby shark inside! It was by far the coolest thing that I have seen! We also went to the beach for a good part of Sunday and I'm paying for it today. It was much cooler at the beach and a little windy, but the waves were pretty awesome. Jodi, Phil and Ryan had fun in the Ocean and I watched from the comfort of the warm sand. So now on to the pictures!

The Sting Ray pool. Look at that BIG fish!

Huge indoor aquarium.

Jelly Fish. They were BEAUTIFUL!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all of you who are lucky and blessed enough to be Fathers!

Ryan has had a wonderful Daddy's day so far. He received cards from the kids, a pair of work out shorts and some little gadget that has a bunch of tools on it for his bike. NICE! We'll probably spend a majority of the day at the pool...

Another note: We are going to be moving, AGAIN! Tyler will start Kindergarten in the Fall and the school that he would be going to if we stayed here is not all that great. So we found a school that IS all that great and we have located an apartment that is in the district. We'll have to sacrifice a few things, but it will be worth it. As of right now, the move in date is August 1st. After we move to this new place, NO MORE MOVING FOR AT LEAST 2 YEARS!!! Seriously. When we do hit the 2 year mark, we may have enough saved for a down payment on a house. Ahhhhh, I cannot wait for that day! =)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Not a lot of words, just a lot of pictures.

Tyler and Aislynn at the park on a beautiful California May day!

Tyler at his first skateboarding lesson!


Aislynn singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" at the school's Spring Open House.

Tyler waiting to go "on stage" at the Open House.

"You put your left hand in, you put your left hand out!"

Stay tuned! More pictures to come!

XOXO - Melissa


Ryan is the one that gets the kids up out of bed in the morning. So he came into the bedroom and informed me that it looked like we had a caveman that stayed at the house last night. I was a little confused. Since Tyler is nocturnal, instead of going to sleep at night he has been known for taking out every toy, piece of clothing or what ever is in a box out and displaying it all over the floor. The kiddo will be up until 11pm before he finally falls asleep somewhere. I was expecting that what I was about to see was going to be similar to the normal room destruction that happens on a regular basis.

Our wonderful son, or maybe it was a CAVEMAN, decided in the middle of the night that he needed to find an artistic outlet and practice his crayon work.
Note evidence photo #1. He got really into detail with the character on the top! Hair AND ears! I sure hope that he wasn't drawing mommy and daddy. And if he was, I'm sure that I would at least have hair, right?

Photo evidence #2... Wait, maybe it wasn't Tyler. Could we really have had a CAVEMAN here in the house? So cryptic and abstract! Note the character on the left. A mistake was made and the "artist" realized that crayon does NOT erase. An "X" mark tells us, "Don't look here!".

Mommy lesson: If you do not want Cavemen staying in your home, do not leave out a big white folding table. It screams, "COLOR HERE!".

And finally, photo evidence #4. We have finally realized that this was in fact NOT a cave man, but our lovely, artistic son. Read carefully: you can make out "Ace" and then "Tyler". AH HA! "Ace" is Tyler's friend at school and my little boy can now write words! Awwwww. How can mommy and daddy be mad? It's the first official "word" other than his name that he wrote all by himself!

Anyone got some cleaning solution? Bleach? I have some "canvas" cleaning to take care of...

Friday, May 30, 2008

5/30/2008 (I can't think of a title!)

The Ross Family has been busy, busy, busy. There's been then good, the bad and the down right UGLY but nothing that has kept us down or anything that has had us backed up in a corner.

Summer has been slowly trying to sneak it's way into the Valley and it had one successful weekend. It reached about 106! Then the next week it was in the upper 60's/lower 70's. How's that for a temp change?!?! With the tease of beach weather, we went out over Memorial Day Weekend and grabbed a beach umbrella and a cooler. This way we can spend more than an hour at our favorite beach.

Gas prices are officially out of control. Well, I guess that they have been for a while, but I think that it's really caught up with me. We are now at about $4.15 for regular. Ryan's car is suppose to take mid-grade, but he's even been hesitant to put that in since it's close to $4.30 a gallon. $40 bucks gets me just to 1/4 a tank, so I have been trying to ride my bike to work. I've only been able to get on it once or twice a week. I'm still trying to get out of the house early enough to ride to work.

More fun headed our way... We will be moving AGAIN. We have to move to another apartment/house that is in the zone of a decent school. It's so weird out here in Los Angeles... in one city there could be 12 schools! We found a great little house that we are going to see on Saturday. 4 bedrooms! Woo hoo! I know that where ever we go the place has to have 3 bedrooms. Tyler and Aislynn don't do too well together at night in one room and I need my sanity back.

So, I'll be posting lots of pictures (or a link to where you can view the pictures) this weekend. The kids are just growing, growing, growing! Aislynn is already TALL! =)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bad mom...

My heart goes out to the family that lost their little girl. What the hell was this woman thinking doing such a thing to a 13 year old girl? I'm sure that everyone remembers their early teen years as being awkward; I know that I sure do. I hated everything about myself and when it came to boys, it was even worse. For this MOTHER to feel that she needed to play a part in this is just sick.

I hope that I can raise my children to be confident enough to stand their ground when people get nasty. Who would have thought that a parent would have to worry about another ADULT harassing their children.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

What The Oil Executives Left Out While Talking To Congress...

We all are struggling with the rise of basically the cost of living. Some people are really feeling the pinch more than others. With gas inching closer towards $4.00 a gallon, it's become a realization that my family is going to have to find other ways to get around or some how cut back on how much we drive. Congress recently gathered our beloved oil executives to see what the hell is going on. They said that this 40 BILLION profit that they are taking is going to be used for future advancements such as technology for cleaner burning fuel, and investments dow the road when they aren't making the money that they are now. Congress basically said that this profit building has been going on too long. That's not too hard to see, is it? Anyways, I belong to a message board with a group of wonderful moms that I have known since I became pregnant with Tyler. We were talking about the struggles that our families are having with the higher gas prices, and one lady replied, "Actually, the higher oil prices are GREAT for us right now since dh works in the oil industry. His bonuses have been nice and big lately. "

Seriously? Is this what the oil companies are also doing with their profits? I'm sorry, but I'm getting beaten up at the gas pump, we have to really stretch our earnings to just put gas in the car to GO TO WORK, and your husband is benefiting from all of this? I'm happy that her family is living comfortably during this oil crisis, but wouldn't that be something that you would kind of keep under wraps?

I usually don't get so upset with comments that are make on issues, as they are almost always someone's opinion and everyone is entitled to them. But I had no idea that these oil companies were passing out bonuses to their employees. Hmmmm, do you think the oil companies told congress that they were sharing the wealth with employees? I'm sure they deserve it, I'm not that mean...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

So I just need to sugar coat everything...

On Monday we had our visit to the psychologist. I'm not going to go into every detail of the session, but it basically came down to Tyler's anger and what we need to do about it. Basically Ryan and I are to talk like this:

  • "Hey Dad (Ryan)!!! That was SO NICE of you to make dinner tonight for our family! Tyler, wasn't that nice of daddy?"
  • "I had such an EXCITING day today! I sat outside for lunch and it was WONDERFUL!"
  • "Aislynn, wasn't that so kind of Mommy to make you pancakes for breakfast today?!?!"

It's just silly. The dr. said that Tyler may be picking up on some of our stresses at home. Honestly, I think that she is crazy because I'm not feeling really all that much stress - unless the stress coming from his behavior counts. She also wanted us to try some sort of reward system with him, but everything that she suggested, we have tried already. So I think that is why she just wanted us to try this out first. My initial thoughts are, "This is so against what I believe in. Acting FAKE around people, even worse YOUR children! How is that going to teach them to not scream at you and tell you that they HATE you? But I'm willing to try anything at this point. We aren't sure if it is an attention or ADHD thing. Ryan was out of town Tuesday - Thursday, so I dumped all of this sweetness by myself. It actually did work. Tyler would get upset and start to act up, but I just doled out the sweetness and he changed his attitude. It just doesn't feel right. I mean, if he's banging the vacuum attachment against the wall and doesn't stop after I ask him 4 or 5 times, why is it effective when I say, "Oh Tyler! You have to stop banging up the walls and taking chunks out of them, but my oh MY are you great at keeping a rhythm!!! You would be such a COOL DRUMMER! Now give mommy a hug, you rock star!"

On Friday we go to the dr. again and this time Dr. Wedge will meet Tyler. I'm not sure how he is going to take to her, but maybe once she meets him she will get more to work with.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Before I Go To Sleep...

As I was looking through my photos on the computer, my girlfriend Toni called. It was kinda funny because I was actually looking through photos from her wedding which feels like it was years ago. I was getting ready to do a little editing with my new software and the phone rang.

So this one is for you, Toni! It's BY FAR my favorite picture that I took that night. There are only a few times in all the years that we have been friends that I have seen that expression of PURE JOY and LOVE on your face! I'm glad that I captured it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Weekend 2008!

We had a WONDERFUL weekend and a very happy Easter. The weather was something to be talked about as we were in the 80's on Saturday and I'm guessing that it was close to 90 today. Phew! Nothing like what Chicago experiences for their Easters. You really don't know how good it could be until you experience. This is seriously one of the first Easters that I can remember where I wasn't stuck inside due to some weather element that was going on. Easter did come early this year as well, so that threw us off. Ryan didn't realize that it was Easter weekend until Friday. Shame on us, huh?

On Saturday we headed out to one of our favorite places, The Los Angeles Zoo. Getting the membership was probably the smartest thing that we have done. This was our 4th trip to the park since May, so we got our money's worth.

Aislynn and Tyler were able to pet bunnies and Aislynn got her face painted like a rabbit! It was really cute. After the volunteer finished, Aislynn jumped down and was bouncing around "like a BUNNY, Mommy!"

We didn't stay long since the sun was getting warm and we were eager to do something else...




Tyler had no problem getting into the water. By the end of the Summer last year, he had really turned into a fish! He's getting better about not ahem, drinking the pool water. Next we have to work on putting his face in the water. No rush, though. He's just enjoying kicking around the pool with that pink noodle thing.

Aislynn REALLY surprised me! She absolutely hated going into the water last year. She would just sit and play on the side of the pool with different cups and stuff that we brought with. But that's all changed now! Our little girl wanted to put on her swim vest and jump right in!

We did have a little, uh,
"situation" in the pool. Aislynn
is potty trained, except for the
fact that she will not go poop in the potty. She's scared. So she holds it and goes. I know, gross. Well, nature called and she seems to be the most relaxed
when she is in water (we had a different "situation" in the bath tub a couple nights back). Luckily it wasn't bad and I promptly pulled her out of the water, threw a towel around her, and marched back to the apartment. I don't know who was more embarrassed, her or me. And I can tell you this, those swim diapers are lame. They don't hold anything in! So if you think that you are same from any arising "situations", don't be fooled! It was a mess. Nothing in the pool, but a lot everywhere else! Okay, I'll leave it at that.

So Happy Easter to all! =)


Ryan, Melissa, Tyler and Aislynn

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Spring!

So Spring has arrived.

Today, upper 80's and sunny.
Tomorrow, close to 90 and sunny.

Thank goodness the Easter Bunny won't have to shovel his way to our house this year. He'll just have to lube up with sunblock...

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I'm tired, so this is going to be quick... but I always wind up blabbing on long longer than I expected.

Tyler's Dr. Appt - It went okay. We just have a doctor that isn't on the same wave length as us. Any dr. that tells me that I'm suppose to lock my son in his room for a time out and let him destroy everything in it is not thinking the same way that I am. Tyler is still doing all that he has been doing. Time outs are going "okay". He's becoming resistant and that just makes it more difficult. We went out to a store Tuesday night and it was a nightmare. His behavior out in public is growing intolerable and just embarrassing. I have constant knots in my stomach and doing anything fun just turns into a disaster. Anyways, the doctor basically just brushed us off saying that Ty is too young for meds (which we kinda figured) and he referred us to a psychologist (after Ryan asked for a referral). But I have a feeling that this psychologist does not specialize with ADHD, so now I'm back to square one to find someone on my own. Danielle said that she would get me some referrals as well, and honestly I can't wait to get my hands on them.

Work has been BUSY - not stressful, but just really busy. I really should go into detail of some of the phone calls and emails that I get every day. They get pretty entertaining. The beauty industry its self is just interesting.

Ryan received a very nice review and a raise. He's a hard worker and I know that he will go far in this company.

Aislynn is into 4 things at the moment - Dresses, make up, doing her hair, and SHOPPING! My little diva told daddy that she didn't want to go to school. She wanted to go shopping. =)

Adios. I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Happy, happy, happy birthday!

On this day, my wonderful friend gave birth to one of the most beautiful baby boys that I know. This kid rocks socks! He's not only super cute, but smart and a little charmer too! I'm thinking that I'm putting in my notice to Corinne that he will be wedding my daughter in about, oh, 25 years.

Happy 1st Birthday, Noah! I so wish that I could be there to celebrate your (and your mama's!) BIG day with you! XOXO

Love you and miss you!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Discipline = Love

Ryan found a few helpful sites when he was looking into disciplining a child with ADHD. In the past, we have tried everything and nothing was working. We read an article about how one father disciplined his 2 boys and we thought that we would try it. It consisted of getting a chair and placing it in the bathroom. Why the bathroom? Because it is seriously the most boring room in the house. The concept is simple: if he does something that we don't approve of, he goes into the time out for 10 minutes. Period. No warnings or "Do that again and you go in timeout!". Ryan and I made a clear list of what the rules were, trying to keep them as simple as possible: No hitting, no spitting, no talking back, do as you are told, no running or climbing in the house, ask permission, etc... We are planning on putting these rules on a poster board with pictures for Tyler to see.

Forget that "minutes per age rule". It was 10 minutes for what ever rule he broke and if he got up or asked if he could come out, the timer got more time on it. He could have a few books, but no toys. And by God it is working! Last night he was pretty much in time out for the majority of the time that he was home until bed, but now it's Wednesday and he did better last night. Since Sunday, he is starting to get a little resistant to going to his time out, but we'll keep on doing this until the dr's appointment and see what happens from there. If he doesn't "do as he is told" when he is asked to go to time out, he looses his tv time. He lost it this morning, so hopefully when he sees that his sister is enjoying watching her Dora while he has to sit in his room, he'll remember and go more willingly into time out.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Ahhhh, Remember When?

My Pictures0019, originally uploaded by mrs.ross.

Gretchen, where are you? =)

Joke of the Week

Thank you Grandma Ozzy for sending in the "Joke of the Week"... Anything that can make me giggle after a hellish day is worth sharing.


Please send some prayers for a friend...

My wonderful friend Cara that I met on the message board I belong to and have known for almost 5 years could possibly be having a miscarriage. She is 9 weeks pregnant and has had some cramping and spotting. She has a history with such problems, so we want to grasp all hope that the spotting and cramping is normal.

Please keep her in your thoughts and your prayers that the baby is okay.

Thank you

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Baby Names

Aislynn found a baby doll in her room when she was going to bed.

I was informed that this baby's name was "Floyd".


FINALLY! An answer...

"So, what did you do all day?"

Simple question, right? But when you stay at home with kids, or if you don't stay home, but you HAVE kids, the answer can seem simple to some one that does not have children.

Please read this article! I found it to be so true and it totally rings true why moms do the same things as those who aren't moms, but yet they are so much more tired! (Thanks Corrine for sending this article to me!).
By Carolyn HaxWednesday, May 23, 2007; Page C10

Best friend has child. Her: exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc. Me (no kids): Wow. Sorry. What'd you do today?
Her: Park, play group . . .
Okay. I've done Internet searches, I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners . . . I do all those things, too, and I don't do them EVERY DAY. I guess what I'm asking is: What is a typical day and why don't moms have time for a call or e-mail? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events) and I manage to get it all done. I'm feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy -- not a bad thing at all -- but if so, why won't my friend tell me the truth? Is this a peeing contest ("My life is so much harder than yours")? What's the deal? I've got friends with and without kids and all us child-free folks get the same story and have the same questions.
Tacoma, Wash.
Relax and enjoy. You're funny.

Or you're lying about having friends with kids.
Or you're taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven't personally been in the same room with them.

Internet searches?
I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom-friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed.
So, since it's validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. In list form. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.
It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.
It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.
It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends, well-meaning and otherwise. It's resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.
It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything -- language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.
It's also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you to mutual friends, or marvel how much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand or keep your snit to yourself.

Monday, February 25, 2008

When Being A Mom Sucks

I always got in trouble for saying "that sucks" as a kid. I guess one great thing about being an adult is that I can say it all I want.

This sucks.
That sucks.

Sometimes being a mom sucks. Now, don't get me wrong. The pros definitely out weight the cons, but there seems to be a rough patch that you hit an you wonder, "Can this get worse?". Mainly that's said when you're trying to operate on 3 hours of sleep and you still have your whole day ahead of you. Did you have a rough path on the way to conceiving? Was your pregnancy just unbearable? Did you go through 18 hours of labor, 3 hours of pushing, just to have a C-Section when you weren't even completely numb? How can it get any worse, right? Does it get better? Then you hold that sweet little mini-you and everything is forgotten. It feels like just yesterday I was sitting in my hospital bad with my precious baby boy at my breast, crying with joy.
Fast forward to another scene: my 4.5 year old firecracker of a boy throwing his pencil AT my breasts and I, crying, because it's such a JOY dealing with the impossible at the end of a long work day. We had a terrible weekend. His "spunk" was "whacked" and I still honestly think it's the food. He had a sugar cookie Thursday in his lunch, Friday he had hot lunch at school and he had some of those conversation hearts. Saturday's lunch consisted of chicken nuggets and Sunday they had pizza again. I do have to say that I was really impressed that for the first time we did not order fries for the kids. We got them apples, baby carrots and ranch dressing. BOTH kids actually ate the APPLES and the CARROTS before they even touched their pizza! I was AMAZED. And I cannot tell you how great of a mother I felt to make such choices for my kids. I felt proud, dammit!

After the continued spunkiness on Sunday, I told Ryan that we had to call the doctor because Tyler just needs something. I'm not trying to just have a doctor throw drugs at us for an easy fix, but I feel in my gut that something else needs to be looked at. So on March 11 we are going back to the doctor. The office is sending us a packed of questions that we need to fill out and have all of his teachers fill out and send back before his appointment. The thing that I'm not looking forward to is going back to this doctor again. The last time that we brought Tyler in and discussed his behavior, the doctor totally blew us off. He made it sound like we weren't doing enough in the discipline department.

Hmmm, no other news to report. I have a nifty hat project that I'm really looking forward to starting. Ryan started working out. We're trying to "get healthy" I guess... See what California does to you?

Book I'm reading: Miss American Pie.
Music I'm listening to: One Republic, Colbie Caillat, Amy Winehouse.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Pictures, pictures, pictures... And a prayer request!

This is THE BEST picture that I have ever taken. Great focus, great boke (background blur).

I've read so much over the last year about taking better pictures and I'm really working with the manual controls of the camera to get better pictures. I'm now really starting to work with the software to sharpen up and enhance the pictures. Lots of fun, but time consuming. It's one of my FAVORITE things...

Look at the excitement!

Aislynn's new BARBIE bike!!! Mommy and her little girl...

Tyler being "Tyler"!

My friend Rachel just had a beautiful baby boy yesterday. He is currently in the hospital due to some breathing difficulties. Can you all please keep Rachel, little Killian, and the rest of the Dryer family in your thoughts and prayers? Killian is looking better and he hopefully will be able to come home soon.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


*WARNING - The spell check is not working and I can't spell, so don't mind the errors!

Tyler's behavior has been MUCH better. Honest! We had a great day on Sunday! It's so sad to say this, but it's really the first time in a loooooong while that I really enjoyed spending quality time with him. I love him more than anything, but it was really hard to actually "get along" with him since everything ended in a war. I've also been really patient and have been giving him lots of praise for all of the nice things that he says to us and his sister and all of the helpful things that he does. He also gets rewarded for doing his homework, brushing his teeth and finishing his dinner. The new reward is "trying something new". This has worked WONDERS getting Tyler to try new healthier foods. Last night he tried salmon (and he liked it!) and tonight we had biscuits and gravy. I also made him a "roll up" for lunch using a whole wheat tortilla, cream cheese, and turkey breast. He said that he really, really liked it. =) I'm working really hard with him to get him off of the "Chicken nugget-fish stick-cocoa puff" diet that he has been on for the past year. So far it's been going well.

We have some MORE great news! Aislynn is potty trained! And she did this all by herself. I really can't take any credit for it. She went from going on the potty one day to wearing underpants to school for the first time. She did hae an accident, but I'm really proud of her. She even wakes up with a dry diaper in the morning! What a good girl!

Aislynn also got her first bike today. Ryan and Tyler went out on Sunday and bought her a pink Barbie bike complete with a Disney Princess helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads. She loves it. The bike came with a purple Barbie back pack that is a *must* for her to wear when she rides her bike. I have some pictures that I will need to resize and post. She can't peddle yet, but she is getting really good and steering.

When did my baby get so big? And can anyone believe that Ty is going to be 5?!?!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Change Will Do You Good

First, I'm happy to announce that I have given up the nastiest habit on Earth: Smoking. I know what you are probably's like the 12th time that I have attempted to quit. And until you have smoked and tried to quit yourself, you will never understand how hard it really really is. I've smoked since I was 17 I think, and in this day and age where there are so many things on this planet that make you feel like sh*t, this is one that you really have complete control over.
On that note, The Ross Family has also adapted a healthier lifestyle for ALL of us. No preservatives, no artificial colorings. This change will not come easy as most of all the food that you buy today comes with some sort of coloring or preservative to make the food LOOK better and last longer. These preservatives and colorings have been linked to some (not all) of the symptoms of ADD/ADHD. It's no shock to me that the rise in children diagnosed with ADD could possible correlate with all of the preservatives and colorings that children eat every day and at every meal.

As some people know, Ryan and I have struggled with Tyler's behavior since he was a toddler. We took a lot of it in stride because he was just "overly curious" or "just a normal toddler". Now that he is going to be 5 and he is in school, it has been brought to our attention that his behavior has been effecting his school work.
I spoke with the teacher last week to see how he was doing. Now, I don't EVER see his regular teacher. She isn't there when I drop Ty off in the morning and she isn't there when Ryan picks him up. But his teacher has not been at the school and someone is taking her place. I was lucky enough to talk to this teacher to ask her about Tyler.
She said that he has been having some difficulty at school with listening, following directions, and concentration. He has been receiving time outs for not listening and this was news to Ryan and I. We knew how he was at home, but when those issues were addressed earlier, the school said that he wasn't having any problems. I guess a lot has changed in 3 months.
Previously we have taken Tyler to the doctor to ask him about ADD/ADHD and if the behavior that Tyler has been showing gave us any reason to be concerned. The dr brushed us off and gave us some advice of "gating him in his room for time outs" (he wouldn't sit for a time out and it got to be a 2-3 hour ordeal that ended with Ty so worked up that he was sick).
Now, don't get me wrong. I know that boys can be hyper and have a lot of activity. But there was one temper outburst that still has me sick to my stomach. On 2/14, Tyler wasn't listening after Ryan and I told him not to do something. After threatening to take toys away and chasing him around the living room (a common night for us) Ryan caught him and put him in bed. He then said to us, "Tomorrow when it's Friday, I'm going to kill you!". Good grief. I was mortified. He commonly bursts out with "I hate you!" which has no effect on us anymore, but this was the breaking point. His behavior at home was getting worse and it was now starting to become a developing problem in school. It was time to take action.
I was ready to start over. I've done my research and I was ready to try a change to better my children and better my family. I won't go into "preaching mode" about the preservatives and the colorings, but when I started to pay attention to what was in the food I was feeding my family, I realized that I needed to do something about it.

So, as you see, I went through our cabinets and pulled out EVERYTHING that has any preservatives and colorings.

It left us with a pretty empty cabinet. Rice, REAL oatmeal (the instant actually has a bunch of preservatives, so that will go), spaghetti noodles, mandrin orange cups stayed. The Aunt J's maple syrup was to go... it's packed with high frutose corn syrup. The kids' love their french toast (made with carrot puree!) and waffles, so I have to keep syrup in the house. Ryan pretty much sh*t a brick when he saw how expensive REAL maple syrup was when we hit up Trader Joes. We also found granola bars, banana chips, crackers and cereal. Next week we are going to check out Whole Foods for more ideas and options. Since the food is a little bit more money, we have to make sure that we eat what we have and not wind up with a bunch of stuff that is going to go bad.
I have to honestly say that even after ONE day Tyler's been extremely good. No screaming outbursts. He has been a joy this afternoon and I'm probably being stupid for thinking that it's all just the food, but I do believe that it has something to do with it.
If you are interested, here's the link of additives. Look at the food that you have in your cabinet and I'm sure you'll be surprised too!
It just makes Ryan and I think...

Monday, February 11, 2008

This is why I live in California...

Tomorrow's weather for Woodland Hills:

High of 80.

'nuf said.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Quick Update!

After reading a close friend's blog, I realized that I had one that I had not updated in 8 months! Shame on me...

California has been really good to us. Ryan and I both found really great jobs and the kids' enjoy going to their daycare. We recently moved into another apartment in the same complex that accepted dogs. So now Yippy is here too!

California Winter's are something that I wish I could have experienced sooner. We usually are pretty cold in the morning (today it was 40) and then it warms up to about 60 during the day. I really don't miss the -25 degree weather back in Illinois! It was so hard to be happy when you were basically stuck in the house for 6 months out of the year. Winter's here are rainy, but the warmer temperature sure makes it easier to deal with.

On to the kids: Aislynn is at a very funny age right now. She is very different from Tyler when Tyler was 2 1/2. First of all, she is addicted to DORA! It's all that she watches. When she gets home from school, she screams that she wants to watch Dora. When she wakes up, she wants Dora. It even has gotten so bad that she has woke up in the middle of the night SCREAMING for DORA!!! She also has not been sleeping in her own bed since we have moved to the new apartment. She was in bed with Ryan and I or I would go sleep with her in her bed. That had to stop. Ryan and I were not sleeping well at all and it was just adding stress. So i went out last night and bought a gate for her and Tyler's room. And guess what happened last night? I SLEPT! All night... and we didn't have a screaming little girl demanding Dora at 2am. Hopefully this will continue and it will be a phase that will have passed.

She loves playing with her Barbies and loves to color. Her favorite color is purple and she loves to show off her earrings. She's also been going on the potty lately and is very proud of that as well.

Tyler is still very active! He's been asking for a skateboard so Santa brought him one for Christmas. If he sill has an interest in it we will take him for lessons. SCARY!!! He can write his name all by himself and he loves to be silly and entertain us. He loves Spiderman and is very picky when it comes to eatting and what he wants to wear in the morning. So silly... We are still working on writting and we struggle to get homework done at night (can you believe it, homework!). It's hard for Ryan and I to actually grasp that he will be heading off to kindergarten in the Fall. My babies are just growing up so much!

Monday, June 18, 2007

We're here...adjusting.

So we made it to California...barely! It was a long trip, but the kids handled it great! Tyler had so much fun riding in the truck with his Grandpa Dan and his dad. Aislynn enjoyed Spongbob...a little too much. I think that I now have the entire DVD memorized.

"Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?"


Ahhhhhh, yes. No need for the Ipod to keep me going. By the time we got to Utah, I was seeing Patrick running amongst the red rocks.

The move-in went well. I really thought that we dismissed a lot of our belongings. But as we moved in box after box after box, we slowly realized that we were running out of space. Most of the packing has been done. We weren't able to take Mr. Yippy with us, so we have to move again to another "pet-friendly" apartment (in the same complex) once one becomes available. Eeeeeeeeeek.....

We've been to the pool a few times and Tyler is quite the little fish. He was a little hesitant of the water at first, but Ryan told me yesterday that he was jumping into the pool by himself!!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

5 Days...

There hasn't been all that much that has happened. Just counting down the days until we load up the truck and pull out of the drive way. Excited? YES! Nervous? Um, yeah... Sad? You bet! Ryan and I are going to miss everyone here: My mom and Karen, Ryan's Dad and Barb, friends, neighbors and the rest of the family. It's going to be different not having our family and friends down the street...

Anyways, Aislynn had her EEG on Wednesday and she did great! We put her to bed at 11pm and Ryan woke her up at 3am. She did remarkably well for only getting 4 hours of sleep. No fussiness, whining, or crying. She sat with Ryan and watched cartoons!

We arrived at the hospital at 9:50am and checked in. We then made our way back to the neurology department. The goal was to get Aislynn to fall asleep and then they would put the electrodes on her head. She didn't fall asleep very easily... but we turned on the tv in the room and after about 10 minutes she was out. the tech came in and went to work.

They ran the test for about 15 minutes. Aislynn slept the whole time and woke up as they were taking the last electrode off of her head. We will have results in a few days (I'm hoping that we'll hear something today!).

Grandma Debbie has been taking Tyler and Aislynn out and they are enjoying the time that they are spending with her. Tyler spent the day with her on Wednesday. Yesterday they went out, and today they are going to go to Chuck E. Cheese (my LEAST favorite place on Earth. Does anyone else find this place creepy?).

So that's the past few days in a nutshell.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Aislynn Had a Seizure

So May 8th wasn't a great day for me... at all. I was thinking heavily about the loss of my former boss' son. I kept thinking how hard it would be to loose a child. We have been very blessed to have two very healthy children. Tyler and Aislynn are always happy, healthy and full of life. But that past Tuesday really opened up my eyes...

We arrived at my father-in-laws at about 6:30 PM. We were going to have dinner and Ryan and his dad were going to replace some parts on our cars. Ryan and FIL weren't at the house when we got there, so it was MIL, Tyler, Aislynn and I. We went outside to go play on the trampoline. Aislynn was having fun just standing around while her brother jumped and performed "stunts". She soon was done, I got her down and put her sandals back on.

We walked back to the deck and she climbed up. She went to reach up for a patio chair and she froze, dropped to her knees, and then fell straight back. At first I thought that she was playing around, since she is my silly little girl... but I quickly noticed that something wasn't right.

Her eyes were moving in all sorts of directions, and her arms and legs started to convulse. She was making a clicking noise with her mouth and her lips and face quickly started to turn blue. I screamed for MIL to call 911 and I just freaked out. A neighbor came rushing over and we just watched what was going on. I tried to stick my finger in her mouth (which is something that you are totally NOT suppose to do when someone is seizing, but I had no idea!) and her jaw was clamped down.

The seizure ended and I just held her. She was going unconscious and we were desperately trying to wake her up. A police offer showed up at that point, and then the paramedics. She was breathing on her own, but was totally out of it. FIL came home and shortly after Ryan arrived.

My poor baby girl woke up in the ambulance with 6 people over her trying to hook up an IV into her tiny arm. She was so brave! Her vitals were good, and off we went to the hospital in Woodstock.

We were at the hospital from 7PM until 11 PM. They ran blood tests, chest XRAYS and a CT scan. All of the tests came back normal. She was acting like her old silly self toward the last hour that we were there, so they let us go home. We were warned that she could have another seizure, but we were told how to handle it. I'm praying that she won't have another one... And as scary and lifeless as she looked, I was reassured that a seizure is not deadly. Very scary, but not deadly.

We have an EEG scheduled for next Wednesday. The EEG will tell us if she is epileptic. Aislynn also had a check up the next day with her pediatrician. Dr. Lippman didn't find anything abnormal either.

After doing some reading on the Internet and talking with other people, I have found out that seizures in children are very common. Crazy, huh? 1 out of 3 children have a seizure that is caused by a high fever (which she didn't have) and 1 out of 100 kids have epilepsy.

It's a mother's (and father's!) worst nightmare. Since Tuesday afternoon I have sat and thought if there was anything that I did wrong. I'm sure that it's unlikely that I had anything to do with the seizure, but I still question myself. And I have the images of her blue in the face and limp burned in my brain. It's been hard to sleep, hard to focus, and hard not to worry. I'm walking on eggshells trying to protect her from having another, even though that's kind of hard to do since we don't even know how the first one happened.

So until next Wednesday Ryan and I will continue to worry...

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

=( Just some sad news...

I called my former boss to see if I could use him as a reference on my resume since I'll be looking for a job in California. A week has gone by and I was sure that he wasn't going to call me back.

But he did! He said that I definitely could put him down. So that was actually some good news...

He then told me that the boss that I had BEFORE him lost his son yesterday. His son was only 21... My former boss didn't know any of the details... but how sad. I can't imagine what it would ever be like to loose a child, specially that young. I pray that it wasn't anything too traumatic and that he didn't suffer.

Off to go hug my kiddos.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Taking up a new sport...

We went out last night to look for a "big boy" bike for Tyler. He's growing so much and getting so tall that his knees touch the handle bars on his tricycle! It looks pretty silly to watch him try to go full speed down the side walk with his knees sticking out.

We thought that we would go to Dick's Sporting Goods since they are right in town and it was already 6:30 pm. We looked around and they didn't have ANYTHING... one girl's bike and the rest were over $100. Okay, I love my son VERY much... but I just can't see spending $100 on a bike that he is going to out grow before he wears the tires out.

Ryan agreed that they didn't have anything, and I was interested in looking at golf clubs for kids. I have never seen them before, so I just wanted to take a look. Guess what I came home with? A set of golf clubs!

Now, this is just funny to me because I have NEVER swung a club. I don't think that I've even ever held one, other then a putter at the mini-golf place.

So we put the kiddos to bed and I was ready to get my first lesson from Ryan (BRAVE MAN!!!). I didn't do too bad! And I actually like it! We're going to the driving range on Friday and THAT should be interesting...

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