Sunday, November 30, 2008

prettiest house on the block

My family was never one to go all out in decorating the outside of our house for Christmas. I only remember putting up lights a few years and this just consisted of one strand outlining our front door. But you know what? I loved every time we turned the corner and I saw that one strand. I remember thinking we had the most beautiful house. I guess when it is your own place, no matter how many lights you put up, what you end up with is always beautiful.

I actually am still the same way. All I do at our home now is put lights in a little shrub right outside our door. But for some reason I think it looks so pretty and I love driving up to our home in the dark. Yes, it pales in comparison to the job some of our neighbors have done, but I don't care. It's perfect for me.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

thanksgiving #1

We returned last night from a couple of nights spent with Chris's family. I'll have more pictures in a few days as my sister-in-law was able to take quite a few good ones. Here are just a couple random ones I snapped with our little camera.

After the big meal, Chris, his brother, and his dad had a chipping (I think that is what you call it) contest in the backyard while their grandpa watched from the sidelines, heckling and adding a good dose of humor to the competition.



One thing we were not in lack of was dessert. There were a total of 10 adults and here was our dessert spread. Do you think we had enough?? :)



I'll have more pictures another time. Tomorrow we'll celebrate with my parents.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

it's beginning to look...

...a lot like Christmas!!! Don't you love hanging ornaments? Cam does...click here

Monday, November 24, 2008

sunday

Here are a couple of pics from yesterday. We drove out to OC to have lunch with some friends. We really enjoyed our visit with them. The day overall was a pretty rough one with Cam (I don't quite have the energy to go into all the details, plus I don't want to be a Debbie Downer)...but I did think these pictures were worth posting.

As soon as Cam discovered that this game involved turning and pulling knobs...he was in! He spent quite a bit of time here, which meant more time for us to visit. :)



Here we are with Natalie/Kyle (front) and Steve/Brenda. Steve has been a business mentor/good friend for Chris and Kyle for a few years. They meet a few times a year and we have been trying to find a time for the spouses to join. It finally worked out and we enjoyed a nice visit, and Brenda's delicious homemade spaghetti!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

tips

Last night Chris and I were able to get away to Macaroni Grill for dinner while my mom watched Cam. Our waiter was GREAT! It got me to thinking about what makes a "great" waiter. I think it is probably different for everyone. I can say that for Chris, the main thing that he notices is if the waiter keeps on top of his drink refills. Chris is one that will stop mid-meal and wait until his drink is refilled because he has to have something sweet with what he is eating. So if he ends up having to wait several minutes while his food gets cold, it's not a good thing. I think for me, the thing I like the most is my food to come hot (I mean steaming hot) and I can tell it hasn't been sitting under the heat lamp for a long time.

Now this brings me to tipping. We always tip (at least now we do-don't get me started on how horrible and tacky I was in high school), but in cases like last night, we usually will double the tax and then add a few bucks. If the waiter wasn't very good, we'll just double the tax and that's it. I've never had a situation so bad where I hesitated tipping at all. My mom had a recent experience with her friends in which the waiter was rude and condescending. I wonder what I would have done in that situation. Have you ever not tipped because it has been so bad??

p.s. Could you not just make a meal off of Macaroni's bread?? Yum!!
p.p.s. Not sure if you can tell what time I wrote this blog, but let's just say I needed something to do while Chris went in and rocked Cam. Nothing more relaxing on a Sunday morning then getting woken up at 5:09.

Friday, November 21, 2008

just a few...

Ok, so I promise I won't post pictures EVERY time we go to Disneyland as there is only so much one can see of Main Street and carousels! But I just had to post a few from our trip yesterday. Luckily It's a Small World was open. Cam loved it and it was so fun to see his little head darting back and forth, taking it all in. :)

Loves to be on daddy's shoulders!




Wednesday, November 19, 2008

some bullets

*After hearing about our great day at Disneyland last week, Chris's parents offered to get us passes for Christmas! We are going to get them early so that we can go as much as possible before the baby. We are actually going again tomorrow, except this time with Chris and my mom. I'm so excited for them to experience it with Cam!

*Last night Chris made dinner. It was sooo yummy! He gave it a "9" and I a "10". We love Pillsbury pizza crust and like to experiment with toppings. So last night he put Alfredo sauce, jack cheese, mozzarella, chicken, sundried tomatoes, green onions, and bacon (I know...not the healthiest). It turned out great! We realized, however, that most of the toppings were overpowered by the flavor of the bacon. Not that I was complaining, but it is a good thing to remember for the future. Bacon on things is going to taste like bacon!!!



*Cam slept for 1 hour 45 min. today. Oh I wish I knew how to recreate this every day!

*When we moved to our home, we did some rearranging of the layout. Typically homes come with two living areas. Usually the "formal" living area is for looks only and seems like such a waste of space. So we ended up creating one big living area and moving the dining into the kitchen. Because of this, our fire place is in the dining room, which bums me out. So instead of snuggling up on the couch next to the fire, I have to cozy up in a dining room chair. Oh well, I still prefer our arrangement. Here is my "cozy corner" set up.



*Every time we drive by the exit used for church, Cam says "bye, bye, church!" (due to the fact that he is not the biggest fan of church/nursery). This morning as we approached...
Cam: Bye, bye, church!
Kelly: Actually, this morning we are going to church! It will be fun!!
Cam: Bye, bye, fun!!
Apparently there is no convincing. :)

*We all have our little pet peeves about our spouses. One of Chris's is that I am constantly leaving 1/2 empty water bottles around the house without the lids. On more than one occasion, he has discovered this by accidently knocking it over and thereby spilling it. Oops.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

tagged

So I was tagged by Karen and am posting an old pic from my archives. This is pic of the cutest, most thoughtful present I got in the mail from my sister back in 2004. I was working as a high school counselor and at the same time, finishing up grad school, specifically my credential in School Psychology. I had 75 hours to complete in a short amount of time. I was so stressed because completing that number of hours as a full time intern would have been simple, but with a full time job, it was very difficult to squeeze it all in. On top of that, I wasn't that into school psychology and was mainly finishing it because I had already started and it would be a good back up credential to have.

Anyway, my sweet sister made this cute road map for me to track my hours. It had little pictures of my family along the way yelling encouraging things to me. It meant so much to me and it was fun to see my progress as I got closer to completion.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

the envelope

Chris and I have never budgeted. It isn't that we have been rolling in cash since day one. We just both have never been spenders. This probably isn't that surprising seeing as I often talk about how cheap I can be. :) However over the past several months we realized that we had been spending more than we would have liked on eating out. Not so much restaurant meals, but we would get frozen yogurt here, a lunch at Chipotle there, etc. I'm not sure how much we spent, but it seemed too much and didn't to fall into "being wise with your money" category in which we wanted to remain.

So we decided eating out was one area where we would start a budget. We first thought of creating a spreadsheet, but then figured the simplest way was the good old fashioned envelope system. So we decided on our amount, put the cash into our envelope, and so far it as worked great! It makes you plan so much more and really enjoy when you do eat out (I guess that's kind of a "duh" comment as that's the point!).

Today we did our Palm Springs outing and were really in the mood for CPK. We split a pizza but unfortunately we both gave it a "5" as it didn't have much taste. Kind of a bummer since our eating out is less frequent...but you win some you lose some, huh? :)



After lunch we took Cam to the Palm Desert mall to play...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

peanut butter pasta

Over the past few months, Chris has started jogging in the mornings while Cam and I go for our walks. He has also started eating lighter. I wouldn't say he is dieting, because that to me involves limiting what foods you can have. He is basically eating the same things as usual, but in smaller quantities, which is the way we have been told for years we are supposed to do it. :)

Anyway, he has lost about 25 pounds so far and I can really tell a difference. One thing he needs to help him not get burned out is one meal a week where he can eat whatever he wants. This week he decided on my peanut butter pasta (that is what we call it...I think the name is more like Thai pasta). The sauce is basically peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, ginger, etc. It is VERY tasty and relatively easy to make. For dessert, he has decided on Frugos Frozen Yogurt since the one close to us finally opened up. Unfortunately I won't be joining him this meal as both of those (while I used to love them) have not been on my "like" list of foods this pregnancy. :)

I added green onions and chicken.


p.s. Yes, I know this picture may not look that appetizing. I don't have the time, nor interest in researching lighting for my food pictures and how I could improve the look. I think even if it isn't the best picture, it is still more interesting to see what I am describing.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

horsies! horsies!

I'm laying in bed, utterly pooped. But pooped in a great way. We had such a fun day. We got to Disneyland at 10:00 and stayed until about 3:00. Cameron did so well! Both parks weren't very crowded and we were able to go on several rides. Cameron's favorite, of course, was the carousel, both at CA Adventure and Disneylanad. As soon as he saw it, he started saying, "Horsies! Horsies!".

We felt like we had a nice, relaxing time and didn't feel pressured to see everything seeing as we didn't have to pay for our tickets. We enjoyed a nice lunch and walked around at our own pace. It was so fun to catch up with Kristen and hang out just the three of us. I'm so thankful I went. They only thing we were disappointed in was not being able to go on Peter Pan (the line was too long) and It's a Small World (under repairs). It was also interesting to see things through the eyes of little Ella and Cameron. For instance, I didn't realize rides like Snow White were so dark, not theme-wise, but literally dark. Both kids did ok, but you just don't remember the rides in that way because the last time I went, I was obviously not concerned about how a child would react!

Kristen's cousin took this picture. It was so awesome that he just slid us right in when it would have cost us a couple hundred dollars to all go!


I was a little sketchy about doing the t-cups but I knew Cam would like it. It isn't that bad as long as you don't turn the wheel in the middle and just let the ride glide you around.


Hands down Cam's favorite ride. He has never been good at smiling on command for a picture, so I was so excited Kristen got this one!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

heartbeats and disneyland

We had our second OB visit today. It went smoothly and it was fun to see how much our little one has grown, in addition to the fun in hearing her/his heartbeat. We have the official ultrasound scheduled for Dec. 23 in which we will find out the sex. I can hardly wait!

Tomorrow Cam and I are headed on a grand adventure. We are going to Disneyland with Jen, her daughter Ella, and Kristen (my friend visiting from Washington). Kristen's cousin is going to get us all in for free as he is employed by Disney. What a treat!! I'll be honest and say I was hesitant at first when I received the invitation. The cycle of worries as to how Cam will do started with a vengeance. But I'm under strict instructions by both that I'm not allowed to stress or worry. So far so good as I'm really looking forward to the day. Hopefully I'll have some great pictures to share tomorrow!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

meat fest 2008

*Saturday we headed out to Palm Springs for the afternoon. It is nice to have our little lunch/park ritual back since the weather is absolutely beautiful there now.



*We went to my parent's church on Sunday to the 8:00 service. They have three services and it is amazing how dead the 8:00 is but how packed the 9:30 is. We were definitely one of the youngest at the 8:00!!

*On Sunday, we purchased a pound of deli roast beef for $6.99 at Staters. Later, Chris saw an ad which stated they were selling beef tri-tip for only $1.99 a pound. As we thought about it, we realized that if we bought several pounds, bbq'd them, then sliced them for sandwiches, we would be saving about $5 a pound for lunch meat!!! So began Meat Fest 2008. We purchased 6 lbs. yesterday and will purchase another 10 lbs tomorrow. We'll obviously freeze most of it, but we'll have lunch meat for a long time at a cheap price!!



*Last night we went to my mom's for dinner and she had Christmas music playing when we arrived. Wonderful!!

*We had Cam's Occupational Therapist eval today and he will start seeing the OT twice per week hopefully soon. It went very well and I'm excited about this new OT as he seems very knowledgeable and able to help Cam with several issues.

*Just learned Circuit City filed for bankruptcy. We aren't frequent shoppers, but I thought it was interesting.

*Our morning walks have turned cold! I'm having a hard time finding thick (ski like) mittens for Cam.

*Cam has started only sleeping 30-45 minutes all day long. This has made him a such a crankster come early evening, which is a bummer b/c that used to be his most fun/happiest time of day. It's also a bummer b/c I would sure like a longer break during the day!

*I love that you can check out magazines at the library! I love reading them but hate spending $3-4 on each one.

*I was at the park the other day and overheard a woman (from out of state) commenting to her friend, "I had to drive to Thousand Oaks and then back to San Bernardino. I was gripping that steering wheel, white knuckled, the whole way!". Is our freeway driving really that scary???

Sunday, November 9, 2008

sweet taste of failure

I'm done. I'm really done. Yes, we have made great progress with Cam's eating as far as the variety of foods he'll now eat. However "he'll eat" should be followed by the fact that it is a struggle every single meal time to get him to eat these foods. Crying, occasional screaming, and raisin bribery are common place. Today at lunch he refused to eat his lunch (shredded pork, beans, peas). So he didn't eat. I tried the meal twice and no luck.

So Chris and I decided to take him for a walk b/c he was beyond irritable due, we think, to hunger. However the walk was flop and we came home early and...yes...gave in. PB sandwich? Here you go. Banana? Here you go. Cereal? Why not. We failed and probably ruined the progress we had made in getting him to realize that he needs to eat what we give him.

And tonight we are going to my mom's for dinner. Will we attempt some new foods? Nope. I'm done for today. Tomorrow sounds like a great day to begin this food ordeal again. But today, we are ok with failure. We just want a peaceful dinner.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

let's pray!

We have been teaching Cam to pray before our meals over the past couple of weeks. He is beginning to get the hang of it, but hasn't quite got the closing of the eyes concept. Take a look...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

cookbooks

One of my favorite things to do at other people's houses is to look through their cookbooks. I find it so enjoyable to browse through recipes, especially ones with pictures. My favorite place to do this is at my mother-in-law's house. She has loads of books stuffed with lots of recipe clippings. I could sit in their recliner for hours just going through each book.

My favorite cookbooks that I use are actually just the $3.99 ones you see in the check out line of the grocery store. I have found these to be so easy and delicious.



Whenever I make a recipe from any cookbook, I'll write the date I made it, the rating Chris and I gave it (1-10), and any notes on the actual recipe. When I'm searching for a recipe in the future, it is helpful to know what we thought of it previously.



My other favorite cookbook/magazine is Taste of Home. For some reason, I think it is fun to read the story behind each recipe such as, "My aunt Gertrude used to make this casserole every Tuesday night for her Bingo nights..." I think it is fun to envision the recipe I want to make having been made somewhere in North Dakota on Bingo
Night. :)

Lastly, check out this hot mama. Back when my dad was running for office, the campaign created this cooking pamphlet with my mom on the front (and my family on the left) with family recipes. I keep this more for sentimental reasons, but I actually do use a couple recipes from it including Big Mommy's Coffee Cake and a fabulous hot fudge recipe!



p.s. I know this is a rather shallow comment considering a couple of nights ago was such a monumental night for the Obama family, but wasn't Michelle's dress beautiful!!?

Monday, November 3, 2008

grosses me out

The other day Chris informed me that every time I say something, "grosses me out", he is going to charge me 25 cents. Apparently he feels like I use the phrase far too liberally, in addition to thinking the things I'm referring to are pretty ridiculous. But I contend that they really are gross, so I won't mind paying up! Here are a few examples:

*"It grosses me out when people crack their knuckles...oh and feet are the worst to hear crack!"

*"That picture of the McDonald's McGriddle grosses me out. The egg in the sandwich is folded like a blanket. So unnatural. Gross."

*"That Gatorade commercial grosses me out where people are sweating different bright colors. I can't even watch it!"

*"That grosses me out to see three patties on that hamburger. You would have to pay me to take a bite. Nasty."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

change of scenery

We just got back from a very fun weekend with Chris's aunt Noonie and Deb (whom we consider to be family as well). Noonie lives up north right on the beach. After arriving mid morning on Saturday, the three of them took off to golf for the afternoon while Cam and I stayed back. That evening we all enjoyed a wonderful steak dinner after I had put Cam down for bed. Sunday morning they left for another round golf and Cam and I hung back.

You might be wondering, "How is that fun for you? They got to have all the fun and you had to stay back?". Well, Cam and I actually had a GREAT time and here is the logic. Had I stayed back at our house, I would have done the typical things we always do (park, walks, run around outside, etc.). So why not have a change of scenery and instead of walking around our same block, get to walk by the ocean...and visit new parks...and run around on the pier instead of our front yard? I loved getting Cam away and letting him explore new things. So yes, I didn't participate in the fun with Chris and his family, but Cam and I had a great time just the two of us. And I then got to enjoy time with Noonie and Deb after he was in bed and today at lunch! Best of both worlds, if you ask me!!

The golfers:




Cam LOVED the ocean. We sat on the beach for a quite a while as he watched the waves:




Feeding Tessa:


Thanks Noonie and Deb!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

halloween

Last night we took Cam to Trinity's Halloween carnival. We both didn't have our hopes up as we thought Cam wouldn't last long with the crowds. To our delight,and thanks to the stroller, he lasted for 2 hours. He seemed to really enjoy being strolled around, looking at the hundreds of people milling about.

Here are a couple of pics from the evening. Jen and Eric drove out to go so it was fun to hang out with them all evening. Cam is wearing a Dalmation costume my mom found at a yard sale last year. It is actually supposed to be pants, but as you can tell, our little guy filled it out a little too much. Oh well. He looked cute and was I thankful to not have to buy a costume just for one evening of wear!




cute p.s. As Chris was changing Cam out of his costume and into his pajamas, Cam said "Bye, bye puppy!". Ahhh...so sweet.