The Summer of Fun Rages On!

Best summed up in photos!

  • Pool
  • Swimming
  • Friends
  • Fun
  • 4th of July
  • 1 on 1 time
  • 2 on 1 time
  • 3 on 1 time
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Early birtbday party celebration
  • Movies
  • Some learning…some

What a past few months!

Greetings Readers,

To say that our family has had a roller coaster past few months is really putting it lightly. This update essentially sums up the last few months:

Move

We are pretty much settled in to the new home. The kids love the new house, and it feels like we’ve been in the home a lot long than since December. We’ve transformed it into a home that works for our needs, and we need to make use of every square foot of space possible.

Here’s a list of things that’ve we’ve done to make it what we need.

  • Added a front patio deck (the kids love to hang out with their neighbor friends in this space and I’ve used it to host friends I’ve met along the way
  • Reused pavers from around the property to make steps and step out areas off the street for cars so guests don’t have to step on river rocks
  • Added desert-ish landscaping (grass-free) out front, transplanting a persimmon tree from out back and adding a lemon and mandarin tree in addition to a few maple trees
  • Extended the driveway to maximize the available parking spots for cars (we can now fit 12 cars in the driveway)
  • Added cameras all around the property (5 Google Nest Cameras, and 2 ADT Security Cameras). The cameras allow us to have eyes on the kids when they are playing wherever out front and also out back
  • Added synthetic grass above the pool wall so the kids (or adults) can lay out beach towels and sunbathe
  • Added steps around the pool
  • Added a custom cross into the stamped concrete that I ordered from France. It is the symbol of the Midi-Pyrenees region in the south of France that I used to live in
  • Added plumbing and electrical for a future pool house. We’ll be able to have a toilet, sink and outdoor shower outside
  • Bought (not yet installed) a pergola system for in front of the pool – shade for it is still pending
  • Added concrete walkways on both sides of the house
  • Converted the third car garage to a home office finished space (AC/Heating addition is pending but coming soon!
  • Painted the girls’ rooms – Michaela requested pink and Emma requested purple
  • Tapped into the electrical in my son Christopher’s room to add additional capacity for my home office/podcasting/audiobook narration space

Most of these projects were fueled by our handyman Todd, who has become an extended part of our family since we’ve worked with him so much since we moved in.

Pool!

This is one of the bright spots over the last few months. The project was flawlessly and finished in lightning speed (2 months!). Shout out to RPM Pools for the personal experience – we never felt like just another customer. We now have a tool in the pool that will allow us to make memories for years to come. I’ll just leave you all with the photos

COVID-19

After a 3 year run of avoiding COVID-19, my family all got it in mid April. No idea where – probably someone was asymptomatic. My wife got sick first, then Christopher, then Emma, and then Michaela and finally me. I was caught in the caretaker cross-fire. As you know, there many variants out there, so while there were some scares with the wide range of varying symptoms my wife and kids had, it probably would have been a lot worse with the earlier variants.

It was an eye opening experience. It had been a few years since everyone got sick and I had to be the caretaker for everyone before falling sick myself, and it seemed like my instincts kicked in from all the previous years of experience caring for sick little ones. However, with COVID-19, it seemed to add a legitimate since of uncertainty to the equation. We were all generally weary from 3 years of living in a pandemic world. Angelique had no immune system after 7.5 years of infertility treatments which wiped out her immunity to even the basic crud. The kids were all born 10.5 weeks early, and were born with premature lungs and have always been more susceptible to illness and each time they get sick, it always hits Emma the hardest. Emma had the hardest time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

My takeaway from the experience is that there are many more memories that our family need to make in these early impressionable years. For example, we have never been on a proper family vacation. Any attempt at something beyond 2 days or greater than 3 hours from home was usually derailed by one or more kids or my wife being sick. We’re going to change that this summer though – we’re just going to go for it. First flight, first a lot of things. Life is too short!

Over the course of this 3 year pandemic, I went from never hearing about anyone I knew having it, to hearing that a majority of people that I know have had it, an now hearing that several folks that I know have had it twice now. Fascinating, yet scary at the same time. My take away: live life, make time for what is most important to you, be mindful of those around you, and make quality memories.

School

It turns out that the move was very hard on the kids in different ways. It was the hardest on our son Christopher. He had a substitute teacher for the first 3 weeks of the school year because the teacher quit on the first day, so his experience out the gate wasn’t the same as his sisters’.

He struggled making new friends, as when we moved and changed schools, all of the dynamics were pretty much baked in, and without his sisters in his class, he struggled to fit in. It started to reflect in his school work and participation in class. He had a special relationship with his speech therapist, and he opened up to her and she called us and told us what was going on. The school intervened and created more socialization opportunities and that seemed to help.

The girls are in the same class, but have had to navigate what most of us had to endure when we were in elementary school: disruptive “bad ass kids”, bullies, group dynamics challenges with Michaela having more friends than Emma and Emma seeming being annoyed by everything anyone does and using most of her day to try and tell others what to not do. We think she’s extra sensitive as a result of her time in the NICU. Hates loud noises and people touching her. She was also sandwiched in between Michaela and Christopher in the womb for 7+ months so there’s that.

One of the highlights from these crazy few months was participating in the school Raptor run. I volunteered 🙋🏾‍♂️ to help guide the students (1st through 5th grade) so that they stayed on the right track. Each class ran a different race so I ended up doing 5 races! COVID sapped my energy for a few weeks, but it was fortunately restored by the time this event rolled around. I’m so glad I made the time to participate!

What’s Next?

Flying back east tomorrow for a funeral. I’ll be in DC, Maryland, and Virginia over the course of the week. It will be good to get back in touch with my “Southern” roots. My connection to both the east and west coast lead me to brand myself as a “Southern Californian”.

Take care and thanks for reading,

M.

It’s Been A While…Sorry!

Greetings!

I was once able to keep up with blogging and release content at least once a month…not anymore. These kids are evolving faster than I can spell M-I-C-H-A-E-L.

Other than that factoid, I have had a lot going on the past few months. The podcast was consuming large chunks of time building out, and then it became popular, with a few guests per month being the norm. Then there was audiobook narration, which ate up even more time because I did both the narrating and the editing. And most recently I took on a new role in state government, becoming the state’s first Chief Product Officer. This has been taking a lot of mental cycles as it also involved starting over at a new organization with new people, processes and technology for the 7th time in my career – starting over is exhausting!

The beat goes on with the kids, though. They had an amazing summer, have been making great strides in 1st grade, and even more friends. Birthday parties and after school play dates have been the norm. Lots of teeth lost (and counting).

We put our house on the market in August, and are in escrow now with it selling by the end of November. We found another place in Rocklin with more space (we SO needed 3 bathrooms, and I needed a dedicated home office), and we should be moving into it in Early December.

But enough of all of this writing. I’ll sum up the last few months with a few photos.

Soon to be Old Home

New (To Be) Home
A Yard!
5 beds, 3 baths, 2579 sq. ft – space to spill out into!
And a nice size kitchen!

Ok, now for the kids…

Birthday Parties

And our resident General has amassed quite an impressive resume these past 7 years!

Angelique Halley-Cave: Director of Operations, conflict management, maid, chef, maintenance, nurse, landscaper & painter.

More pics!

Fun at Apple Hill
Michaela 1st Grade School Photo
Emma 1st Grade School Photo
Christopher 1st Grade School Photo
Michaela – Gymnastics Photo
Emma – Piano
Christopher loves riding bikes!
Three 7 year olds!

Thanks for reading!

M.

Been a little busy!

Greetings Readers!

Sorry for not posting monthly but the kids have us busy this summer now that they are out of school. For example:

Michaela

Michaela is in gymnastics

Emma

Emma is in piano lessons

Christopher

Christopher still loves riding bikes and is getting more and more handsome

They have been busy swimming this summer

They start first grade August 11th!

Bring on the Chaos

Greetings,

School ends in a few weeks, and it will be summer, with the primary objective of keeping them as busy as possible.

We’ve been revamping the house to create more areas for them to spill out into, pulling teeth, breaking up the constant bickering and making time for them to do homework. During the break they will still be learning as they make their way to first grade.

Emma now does piano lessons and both Michaela and Emma are in gymnastics. Christopher loves to ride his bike so I try and take him places to ride it. He hasn’t gotten his fine motor skills dialed in yet for anything like baseball or soccer. He’s still very clumsy and doesn’t exactly like listening to coaching that comes from Dad so we will wait to see wh where his interests lie. But it appears that, like me, he does some things with his right but apparently likes to throw and kick with his left.

Enjoy the photos.

Long time no Post!

Greetings! It’s been a minute since I’ve posted any content. I’ve been busy with the kids and their many flavors of shenanigans, and also busy building out my podcasting brand. I am the Captain of my own virtual cruise ship called The Cave Boat.

Monterey

Pics from our recent Monterey trip

Easter

Easter 🐣 was amazing, and we got some wonderful pics

What else? They are back in school full time rather than 5 days a week for 2.5 hours today. We continue to guide but not prescribe, giving them the flexibility to grow into who they are meant to be, while keeping them busy and challenged. It’s a delicate balancing act. But they are happy and thriving. Getting them accustomed to the concepts of mindfulness and gratitude are a priority. They have a lot to be grateful for, but they need to stay grounded. It is arguably the most important work we are doing in our lives at this point as their parents.

Also, April 7th was the 13th anniversary of my father’s passing. Believe it or not they know a lot about my father and talk about him like they actually met him. Like in the movie Coco, we have pictures of the dearly departed so we remember them and don’t forget. In this way they live on, and that’s exactly what is happening with Grandpa Bill. I was back East last month and got to visit his grave site. It is always so peaceful there.

Updates

Greetings and Happy Belated New Year, Followers!

I apologize for the delay between updates. These kids keep us busy!!!!

We had some renovations going on around the house the consumed huge chunks of my time overseeing. We got new flooring installed and knocked down a wall to really open up the floor plan (and the place got a whole lot noisier so we put some of the carpet back in as area rugs 🤭

The kids love the new layout. Most mornings before school they put their roller skates on and it turns into a roller rink. Might have to get a strobe light!

I released an audiobook version of the book Triple Blessing on 2/8. You can find it on Amazon!

The kids are doing great. Lots of bickering and personal growth, and more teeth are falling out. But they enjoy school and learning.

As you can see, they are happy, healthy and thriving. Can’t complain about that!

More pics since it has been a minute since my last post. By the way, Christopher is now 4’1”!

Too stinking cute!

Thanks for reading!

Captain 👨‍✈️ Caveman

Updates and such

Greetings readers,

Time to check in with the curious and provide some updates. The kids are doing great! Healthy and thriving. They have been back in school for in person instruction 🏫 about 10 weeks now, and did very well in their first report card from their teacher. They are definitely all different, with their strengths being very unique. The only thing surprising that I heard was that Christopher is a bit of a class clown 🤡🤦🏾‍♂️

Ok, now for the barrage of cute pics. My how they have grown!

The kids are getting excited about Christmas 🎄. The tree went up shortly after Halloween 🎃

I am releasing an audio version of the book on Audible soon. Below is the cover!

Coming to Audible.com soon!

Others changes include me taking over Michaela’s bedroom as my home office. She now shares a room with Emma. That has been interesting. She is trying to take over as the oldest 😂

A true sign of the times!

The Latest

6th Birthday 🎁

Halloween 🎃

School pics – Kindergarten

Random cuteness

Teeth 🦷🦷

The kids have been losing teeth

I have spent the first part of my morning listening to the kids bicker about who has lost more teeth 🦷 and now I’m having to take photos of them all to prove it. 😂🤷🏾‍♂️🦷🦷

Michaela
Emma, who was the first to lose a tooth 🦷

Here is the tally for those interested:
Teeth lost race

Michaela – 0 (two new bottom ones are poking through)
Emma – 2 🦷🦷 (1 more is loose up top)
Christopher – 2 🦷🦷

Typical kids 😊

LOVE ❤️ watching them evolve and coming into their own. Parenthood is very rewarding 😊

Cheers,

M.

Peek a Boo!!!

👻

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post, and since I’m up and not going back to sleep 😴 , I figured I would get the followers updated information about what the trio have been up to.

For starters, they are back in school 🏫 in person 5 days a week and are loving it. This is week 3 now since the schools reopened in Placer County. The Rocklin Unified School District came out with a pretty comprehensive 29 page reopening guide. It outlines how they will keep students and teachers as safe as possible and the protocols that will be followed should anyone become sick with whatever. Our kids actually now wear face shields with cute animals at the top of the shield to make it fun. Those get wipes down with disinfecting wipes when they get picked up in the afternoons. So far, 3 weeks in and no colds or the usual crud kids come home with at this age.

Ah, yes and the trio turn SIX on October 23rd! The party will not be like it was in previous years thanks to this blasted pandemic. Really tired of this “new abnormal” – it has altered the fabric of social interaction in mind boggling ways 😒

First day of Kindergarten in person!
You can see the personalities in the photo

They have quickly made friends at school, and that is no surprise as they are very outgoing. There is an AM cohort and a PM cohort, and our kids are in the PM cohort and all in the same class, which has 7 students total. So they make up a majority of the class! 😂

Here is a quick summary of the kids’ interests:

Michaela: fashion, gymnastics 🤸‍♀️, art 🖼

Emma: Singing 🎤 (she can carry a tune!!! 🎶), drawing and reading

Christopher: riding bikes 🚲, building things and helping out others with stuff . He will do anything for his sisters, and they take advantage of his height. He is the distributor, handing out vitamins each morning and melatonin at night.

Leader in $50 copay visits to the ER: Christopher (3) 😂😘

They have a new play area out back now that we have had a patio cover built. They play out back for hours, role playing and building things. My wife had other idea for the space, but the kids said otherwise 😂

Kitchenette and Barbie house located outside now. If only I could get them to pick up after themselves 🤔🤭😂

Christopher has been doing speech therapy sessions with Kaiser and now also with the school 🏫. He is doing great and is finally sounding out the “L” in words. He initially slowed down and paused and caught himself and now it is second nature. He charmed his speech therapist at Kaiser my showering her with custom drawings made just for her. That resulted in her giving him more than one M & M treat repeatedly. 🤭😊

Our resident tree 🌳 climber Emma
Christopher is ridiculously tall. You’d never know he was a preemie and the last born. Everyone thinks he is the older brother! 🤷🏾‍♂️😱. He will be taller than his Daddy for sure
Tis the Halloween 🎃 season! A photo from Daddy’s one on one outing with Michaela
Michaela @ The Fountains ⛲️ at Roseville Galleria
The kids enjoyed their first extended beach 🏖 experience after a getaway to Santa Cruz, CA
Emma gliding across the crashing surf in Santa Cruz, CA

Dynamics

The dynamics with our trio have changed significantly. Michaela and Christopher used to be really tight, but now it has shifted to Christopher latching on to Emma and at times excluding Michaela, who has noticed and now called him out for it. Her new favorite word to spell is actually “excluding” 😂.

Michaela and Christopher fight for Emma’s playtime attention. I think she likes being in demand by them both. Oh, to be a “middle child” 😂.

They “rotate” turns spending the weekend at Grandma and Grandpa’s and keep close tabs on who’s turn it is and how long someone stayed (sometimes someone gets a third night). That is when we noticed the dynamic really started to change. Two kids on a weekend is a piece of cake. There is very little fighting and us parents can get adult stuff done and actually think without three flavors of constant demands. It’s not all fun and ice cream and whatever else goes on there in terms of spoiling – there is intensive learning happening when they visit. They read a lot, make crafts, read some more and have plenty of breaks in between.

When they return through, something switches and the organized chaos ensues 😂

Audiobook

The audio book 📖 🎧 project is coming along and I am excited about releasing an audio version of the book soon so it can be listened to. It is being narrated by yours truly 😊

Book

The book has been published for over a year now. The kids don’t quite grasp why they are on a book cover that will be out there for folks to read long after I’m gone, but the story of how they got here remains remarkable.

I created a form so that people can request signed copies of the book. If you’re interested the link is below:

Triple Blessing Book

They rounded off the oddly unsocial summer attending a birthday party 🥳 for a new playmate they had met before COVID-19 pandemic. They wore masks when entering the house but other wise not when outdoors and they had a wonderful time. This little angel is drawn to Emma. Can’t imagine why 😊

Thanks for reading!

Cheers,

M.