Monday, August 31, 2009

what's been going on...

*We got back yesterday from the weekend with Chris's family. Despite the circumstance of his grandfather's funeral, it was really nice to be with his family, especially those we rarely get to see. Cam did AWESOME all weekend. He was in unfamiliar territory much of the weekend and took everything like a champ, even loving his very first time with a babysitter other than the grandparents. We were so proud of him!

*Yesterday was Cam's 3rd birthday. We'll celebrate this weekend, but we did give him his birthday donut and he was adorable in trying to blow out the candle. He also got to open one gift from grandma and grandpa, which he loved.

*This morning was a sad morning for Cam (although he didn't know it). Today was his last day to have his home teacher come out. Angelica started with us over a year ago and has been coming for an hour each week to work/play with him. He learned to love her visits and although he can't comprehend that today was her last day, I know she'll be missed!

*Tomorrow is Cam's first day of pre school. I thought I might like Chris to take him initially (because I'll probably cry), but I think I would regret not being there for his first day. We are heading to Walmart today to pick out his backpack. I know he'll love it and it will be SO great for him. And we are only starting out with 2 hours a day, so it really isn't THAT much time I'll be away from him! :)

*We are thankful to have missed the nasty hot weekend and are hoping the heat calms down, for our sake as well as the fires. Chris went golfing this morning in Palm Springs...we'll see if he makes it back without having drooped. Who knows how hot it was there, even early in the morning!

*Kendall had somewhat of a regular night last night. I think her bad sleeping has been due more to a bad habit she created, rather than a growth spurt. Luckily this weekend she was SOO happy and content during the days, despite not getting good naps and having yucky nights. I'm so thankful for what a happy little baby she is turning out to be!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

branching out

I mentioned in a previous post that Chris and I wimp out a lot when it comes to branching out with restaurants. We have several that we love and since we don't go out often, we tend to stick to those for fear of coming back lighter in the pocket book and disappointed in the tummy.

One of our favorite shows is Diners Drive-ins and Dives. We were inspired the other night to try some local place here. We have driven by this Thai place quite often and decided to give it a go. So off to Jasmine Thai I went after putting the kids down last night. I was surprised because it basically looked like a menu from a Chinese restaurant. I ordered Orange Chicken, which was so-so. I also ordered Cashew Chicken, which tasted like boiled chicken in broth with vegetables. Both were ok, but NOTHING worth spending our food budgeted money on! Bummer. Not only was dinner blah, but now we will be even more hesitant to branch out in the future. :(

Ok, I must run as we are off to Chris's parents for the weekend to attend his grandfather's funeral...
*Does Ice Cream make you happy? Yes, but not completely. I'd rather have brownies or cake.

*When was the last time you cried? Yesterday as I was reading a summary of a friend's trip to an orphanage in Haiti. Having kids of my own, I could barely get through the descriptions of the living conditions some of the kids lived in.

*When was the last time you laughed?
When I heard Cam singing (Jesus Loves the Little Children) at the top of his lungs as he woke up this morning. Oops, make that just now as I was trying to get Kendall to giggle, which is quite easy!

*Do you like to drive with the windows down? Not really, however my friend's and I always had the tradition of rolling the windows down as soon as we got off the 55, on our way to Newport Beach. I always think of that when we go down there. :)

*What did you do yesterday? Drove out to Palm Springs to visit a friend of Chris's from college and his family. Swam and bbq'd.

*Last successful meal you made?
BBQ chicken pizza with sauteed onions, bacon, and cheese.

*Last unsuccessful meal you made? Pork/couscous with a sauce made out of orange juice concentrate and honey. The idea was good, but I made way too much sauce and it overwhelmed the dish.

*One thing you are looking forward to?
Hearing about Cam's day today at Disneyland with Nana and Papa

*One kitchen appliance you would like to own? This infomercial thing that is like a George Foreman, but with two pocket-like spots you can make mini cakes, omelets, cal zones, etc.

*If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Assuming my family moved to? Hmmm...San Diego or somewhere on a lake (but was close to a big city).

*What is your favorite hobby?
Not much time for a hobby right now. If I DID have time, I would love to get into bike riding or hiking.

Monday, August 24, 2009


I have never been a big red meat person. The only kind I really love is ground beef, like in a hamburger (however Chris says that does not count). The two main reasons are that it mostly seems super fatty and gross to me, plus I just don't think most cuts have THAT much flavor (as opposed to chicken).

Chris is a huge red meat fan, and probably quite disappointed as my cooking rarely includes it. One of the things that frustrates me are the number of cuts and the varying names. For instance, I looked up a recipe today that called for Beef Top Sirloin. Simple, right? So often I'll then go to the store and find everything BUT this cut. I'll find rib, round roast, top loin, tenderloin, etc.. Then they'll stick an "eye" in their somewhere that really throws me for a loop.

I like chicken. Pure and simple. In fact, the other day my mom was teasing me about this. I was trying to tell her about some great chicken I had at Pat and Oscars. I said, "They weren't even chicken breasts", to which she replied, "What were they?". I then proceeded to try and describe the shape to her. She then laughed and commented on how my generation is so spoiled with boneless skinless chicken breasts, we don't even know what parts of the chicken are! That's ok by me. :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Dear Kendall
What the heck!!!? You were such a sleep champ and I would often tell people a big reason the transition from 1 to 2 was so easy was because you were giving me such great nights. So what's up?? Last night was three times that you woke up and wanted a snack. You little stinker!!!

With love in my heart...except at 11:30am, 2:30am, and 4:30am,

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cameron Jame's namesake...Grandpa Jim

*This weekend Chris was supposed to take Cam up to his parents and leave Kendall and I here. Thursday night he received a phone call that his grandpa had passed away. So he and his brother (w/o Cam) headed up yesterday morning. I really learned to love both of his grandparents, especially because mine passed away long ago. Grandpa Jim was wonderful to be around, told the funniest jokes (maybe not always the most politically correct, but funny!!), loved minced meat pie, had a great and dry sense of humor, and gave Chris some great memories (including driving down countless times to see him play baseball in high school...which meant a great deal to Chris). He will be missed, but is now experiencing no pain and in a far better place than this world could ever provide. :)

*Yesterday I hung out for a while at my mom's house. I was quite tired as Kendall gave me a run for my money the night before. I put a movie on for Cam and tried to relax a little outside with Kendall. Cam sniffed something was amiss and didn't want to miss out on any outside fun. So he wandered down and proceeded to play his favorite game, "Mama, throw ball in the sky!"...meaning he wanted me to throw everything and its mother in the pool to make a splash.

*I'd like to keep Kendall up until 7:00, but for some reason I simply cannot keep her awake past 6:30 sometimes. I try and try, but eventually give up...

*Today we'll go to the park and hit Target for...well's just nice to have a place to go and walk around. :) Tomorrow after church Chris gets home! Woohoo!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


A couple of people have commented to us that Kendall looks a lot like my mom. Today I had her find a baby picture and did a comparison. I think they are right...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

new blog name

I renamed by blog as you can see. CK2 (CK squared). Chris/Kelly and Cameron/Kendall. I know, it isn't the most ingenious, but I got tired of thinking up some fabulous and creative name and this one makes sense. My sister told me a while back that I should make my blog cute, like a cute background or picture header. I don't know how and to be honest, I'm not really motivated to find out. I figure when people come to my blog, they read it and look at the pictures. The fancy stuff around it is cute, but most people end up forgetting it is there anyway. So my boring blog lay out will remain. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009


*Yesterday afternoon we went to Toys R Us. We had a gift card back from Christmas and decided to get Cam something fun. Here is his new train set. The problem are the little ramps, which are so rickety and don't snap to the tracks. I'm curious if we had spent the extra money and gotten the name brand (Thomas the Train), maybe it would be sturdier. My dad put tape on many of the tracks and that seems to work ok, but what manufacturer would think that a toddler wouldn't be rough with a set like this and push the tracks off the posts??

*Last night Chris and I got to go out to dinner. We were going to try a Thai restaurant that a friend had recommended, but as usual, we wimped out and went to what we know and love, Cheesecake Factory. We weren't disappointed. :)

*We have several avocados and I don't want them to go to waste. Tonight I'm making BBQ chicken pizza with avocado and grilled onions. Yum.

*Kendall was waking just once during the night and it was sooo nice. She upped it to twice, and I'm not the biggest fan. Luckily she nurses super fast so I'm back in bed very quickly. I tried the "dream feed", like I used to do with Cam. For some reason I didn't think it would work with her...and it didn't. Maybe I need to give it more than just one try. But come on, how could I possibly be frustrated with something so cute...???

*We had such a fun walk this morning. Once we got to the park, Kendall slept for almost an hour while Cam and I gathered pine cones, went on the slide, threw rocks, and picked flowers. I love watching him get excited about something as little as his growing pile of pine cones.

*I saw Julie and Julia last week. It was very cute. I loved how both marriages were portrayed in such a great light. That is SO rare in TV/movies. That is one of the reasons I love the show, "Tori and Dean". It is refreshing to watch a couple (especially a Hollywood couple) who has a relationship which doesn't include tons of arguing, sarcasm, and nagging.

*Chris and Cam are heading up to visit his parents this weekend. I'm determined to get some good cleaning done.

*What's on tap for this afternoon? A raucous trip to Walmart of course!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

tiger woods

Yesterday afternoon Chris watched a golf tournament. He has his son quite trained as you can see in knowing who is the most fun to watch. Cam is confused at first and thinks we want him to smile, but then he quickly gets who Chris is referring to on the TV...

Friday, August 14, 2009


I LOVE, LOVE to bake. I always have. When it comes to cookies and brownies, I'm known for underbaking. That's the way I like them. I don't like crispy cookies and I don't like dry brownies. When the middle of the cookie still looks uncooked, I take them out. In the same way, when the brownies are still a little raw in the middle (within reason...I'm not a fan of salmonella!), I'll take them out.

In addition, half the fun of baking is eating as you do it. I also enjoy cutting the brownies because they ALWAYS need their edges straightened...and what better place for those scraps than in my mouth. Today we made brownies and Cam was quite helpful in the cleaning up part...

I also have a theory on mixes. When it comes to brownies, mixes are fine ONLY if you add extra chocolate chips. Otherwise they are not very good and I can always tell the difference. With cakes, I actually prefer the mixes. When I make them from scratch, I can never get them as moist. And lastly for cookies, homemade is a must, unless you again add more chocolate chips. My mother in-law makes the BEST chocolate chip cookies that start out from a mix, but she adds all sorts of extra goodies that make them divine.

Ok, I'm getting hungry. Hopefully my brownies will be done soon so I can cut them up, making sure all the edges are even. :)

Monday, August 10, 2009


Right now Chris and I (and kids) are in Port Hueneme at Chris's aunt's condo. She is away and offered her place to us for a few days. You can hear the ocean from her balcony and she is close to Santa Barbara, where we'll head after Cam's nap. It is nice to be in a different place, do different things, and just have a change of routine. Last night her friend, Deb, came over for dinner and we had a great time!

On the down side, Cam has made our trip not so fun. Right now he is down for his nap and to be honest, it is a relief. He has been in the most sour mood and has whined at everything. The things he fusses over don't seem to make much sense, which is hard and we have NOT found a form of discipline that has worked (I guess we haven't tried spanking...but I'm not quite sure I want to go down that road for this). Chris and I both have our theories on it. My theory is that it somehow stems from Kendall being around. When I'm one on one with him, he is awesome. He's getting all of the attention. But when Kendall is around, no matter how much I try to still involve him, he can be soooo difficult (not all the time, but a lot). Hopefully an afternoon in Santa Barbara will be a nice distraction for him and he'll be his happy self, especially since we are braving dinner at our favorite restaurant, Palazzios. Yum.

On a sidenote, as I'm sitting blogging, I'm listening to a dad across the way talk to his kids. He talks to them in the most unloving, rough manner and it breaks my heart. He just yelled at them to shut up. Interesting how hearing this makes me love my own kids even more. I'm not sure why. Maybe my heart hurts so much for these random children that it makes me so thankful that even though Cam can frustrate me to no end sometimes, I could NEVER get to the point this dad is at. It makes me sick to even think about treating my kids that way.

Ok, enough rambling. I guess I wanted to share this because many times when I read people's blogs, I feel down because it seems like they never struggle and every trip is filled with easy going, happy kids who are up for anything. I don't want to be a Debbie Downer (anyone see that SNL skit?) all the time, but I also want to paint an accurate picture of our lives (not that their blogs aren't accurate, I just know I it sometimes helps to read about other's struggles to know I'm not alone). I'll post some pictures when we get back. He may be Mr. Whiny Pants, but he still takes cute pictures!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

angel food and cantelope

A while back my sister posted a recipe for Chocolate Angel Food Cake. Today we went to visit some friends and I was in charge of dessert. I decided to give it a shot. I will say that it is quite labor intensive. Homemade angel food cake involves LOTS of mixing (the egg whites). The frosting was also made out of heavy whipping cream, which again involves LOTS of mixing. I must say, though, that it turned out quite tasty. Would I make it again? Not sure. If you are a dessert wimp and don't like things super rich, then you'll love it. I gave it an 8 because although it was good enough for Chris and I to bust it out on the way home from our friend's house (it was an hour drive, in our defense!), it wasn't rich enough to warrant a 10 rating. If you are interested, here is the recipe.

Cam, enjoying licking the bowl of leftover frosting:

I've been a little behind in my recipe attempts from my Rachel Ray magazines, so I decided to try one tonight. What a winner!! Now you need to keep an open mind with this one...but trust me, it is awesome! It is called Pasta with Prosciutto and Melon. Basically it is a tomato cream sauce made with cantaloupe. The sweetness of the cantaloupe plus the saltiness of the bacon (I used in place of the prosciutto) plus the creaminess of the heavy cream (no, it isn't low fat) makes for a fabulous sauce! Please try it if you are in the mood for something different. Here is the recipe...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

the last 24 hours

*Go over to my mom's with the kids to hang out for a while.
*Got to go to Starbucks by myself for an hour and read magazines, drinking my tall soy white mocha, extra hot. :) Thanks, mom!
*Ate super yummy salads my mom made for lunch. Ever try wontons on your salad? Very good!
*Kendall graced us with a 2+ hour nap!
*Had fun playing a number puzzle with Cam and worked on his counting by tens
*Left my mom's to head home
*Made a stop at a friend's house to drop off a meal. I always make my go-to meal when I cook for someone else. It is a super easy Mexican casserole recipe I got from my sister-in-law. I would like to broaden my repertoire. We had awesome meals brought to us for Kendall. My favorite was shish-kabobs. But those are WAY too labor intensive even to make for us! What is your go-to meal you bring when you need to bring a dish somewhere?
*Kendall only cried about 1/3 of the drive...hooray!!
*Got home and played with Cam
*Bagged chicken. While we were gone, Chris bbq'd 2 Costco bags of chicken for us to have on hand. I packaged each chicken breast in individual bags to pop in the freezer
*Fed Cam dinner. For some reason, milk is quite an incentive for him. I tell him that he has to eat his veggies in order for him to get his milk. Works like a charm...although he still likes to take his time and sing songs throughout his eating
6:45: Bathtime
7:00: Put both kids to bed
7:15: Ahhhhh....
*Ate some yummy bbq'd pork which Chris also cooked to put in the freezer
*Watched a new show a friend told us about called, "Man vs. Food"...and a little Tori and Dean
*Read a little
10:00: Light's out

*Cam up and he and Chris take off for breakfast at McDonald's and oil change at Walmart
*Relax with Kendall, talk on the phone to Jen, and finish watching Jon and Kate + 8 (Kate will be on Regis and Kelly on Aug. 13 FYI)
*Cam and Chris return.
*Playtime while Kendall sleeps
*Brief playtime outside with our neighbor's adorable granddaughters in the "Escalade"

10:00 Cam's home teacher arrives

Monday, August 3, 2009

hot and cold

I've noticed that many times my days can go from hot (good) to cold (bad) and back several times. This morning was one of those days:

Hot: While Kendall napped, I got to play with Cam out in the street with our neighbor boy. We had such fun "chasing" the boy on his scooter. Cam was hyper happy and such a fun play partner.

Cold: I often feel guilty that I don't take Cam to the park daily (like before Kendall was born). This morning I decided to take him on our way to speech class. I didn't let Kendall go down for her 2nd nap, hoping she would sleep in the car. Nope. Cried the whole way to the park...making Cam cry. Got to the park and Cam didn't want to play b/c there were too many kids. He'll play when that is the case as long as I'm right there with him. But I had to feed Kendall, so he just stood there. Finally he got on one toy, only to get right off because another boy got on too (which he doesn't like). I was frustrated b/c I messed up Kendall's sleeping all out of mommy guilt for Cam and he didn't even play at the park. Then they both cried all the way to speech class.

Hot: Cam did awesome (as he always does) in his class and it was such a joy to listen to his loud little voice belting out words.

Cold: Kendall cried the whole way home b/c she was soo overtired...making Cam cry to the point of screaming a few times...making me lose the fight (to hold back tears) and cry also.

Hot: After putting Cam down for his nap, we listened as he climbed down and began to change the noise sounds on his sound machine as well as play with his trains. This was quite mischievous, but very cute and we enjoyed listening to our little guy and his antics.

Hot: Both kids were down for their naps at the same time, allowing Chris and I to eat lunch together.

Cold: The cuteness has worn off and I'm starting to wonder if Cam is going to go down at all for a nap, which will make for a long afternoon.

It is amazing to me how one morning could take me through so many different emotions, within such a short amount of time. I've come to realize that is mommyhood in a nutshell and I better get used to it. Now I'm off to figure out what to do with a non-napping kiddo.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

back to reality

We just got back from a very fun several days up at Hume Lake. We had a great time with our friends and it was nice to get outside of our regular routine and be someplace different. It proved to be pretty draining with two kids and we found ourselves pooped each night after putting them to bed, but it was well worth it and we would gladly do it again. I loved seeing Cam enjoy himself at the pool, on the boats, riding the golf cart, etc. I also loved spending time with our friends once the kids all went to bed. Our hanging out was always accompanied by ice cream...either a milkshake from the snack shop or Cheryl's homemade ice cream. Yum. Here are some pictures:

Here is the group shot. This was at a cove we took some boats to...

Cam was quite a fan. Luckily we got motorized boats. The cove was a ways away and I would have felt badly making the guys row against the wind all the way back...

We went a couple of times down to feed the ducks. The kids were very into it, as were the dads. The kids liked throwing the food for the purpose of feeding the ducks. The dads liked throwing the food for the purpose of pelting the ducks and getting them to fight one another...

We were lucky enough to have a golf cart at our disposal the whole time. After feeding the ducks, I road back with Kendall and Chris and Cam walked. Here is a shot on their nature excursion...

The cabin we stayed in was AMAZING! We are so thankful to Jeff and Cheryl for arranging it all. We spent a lot of time indoors as the kids napped at various times. Here are Kendall and I hanging out on one of the enormous bean bag chairs.

I would say our first official family trip was a great success. Other than a rough first night for Cam (he always seems to sleep poorly the first night we are away), both kids did awesome. We stopped off at Chris's parent's on the way back and let Cam run around and nap. This was a nice break to our travel day. It is nice to be home, but in another sense, it is kind sad to not have something to look forward to like this anymore... :)