Thursday, December 31, 2009

eating out

My sister and a friend and I were emailing about the pros and cons of eating at a restaurant with kiddos. I thought her description of their experiences was great. I think all parents can relate. Eating out just IS NOT the same anymore when the kids are in tow. :)

When we go out to eat (as a family of 5), usually we are going to Wahoos or Jalepenos or some restaurant that is really kid friendly and has the food ready in less than 5 minutes. The goal is to order and then stall for a few minutes, like at the drink station, or having the children go to the bathroom and wash hands. These 'tactics' delay putting C in the high chair until the food has arrived. Then we have about 15 'high chair minutes' when C will eat and sit and not be too difficult. But still, in those 15 minutes I'm scarfing my food, cutting D's chicken, getting extra napkins, cleaning up somebody's spilled drink, feeding C spoonfulls of what we've ordered (hoping he'll eat something), etc. it isn't relaxing at all. IF we are forced to go to a sit down restaurant, we order the second we are seated. Like BJs, Kelly, the second they show us to the table I say "we are ready to order" and i tell her drinks and food at the same time so we only have to wait one time. And then one of us will walk around with C outside until the food arrives. We have brought a diaper bag with toys too, but those end up on the floor or being thrown.

Ahhh, the days when going out to dinner never involved basing our decision on which restaurant would be noisy enough to cover up our kids' yells, fast enough so they won't get bored, and understanding enough if they throw a plate on the floor!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Note to self: When you get a gift card for Christmas (like the $50 one to Cheesecake from my parents), put it in a safe place RIGHT AWAY. Otherwise you'll find yourself going through both yucky trash cans outside in the cold.

p.s. I never found it.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Today we went to Palm Springs for lunch and to walk around the mall. Every time I've been to the mall, I've looked longingly at one of the stores, Buckle. They have the cutest jeans and I've always wanted to try them on. I love cute back pockets. These jeans have the most unique pockets I've seen.

Today Chris convinced me to go for it, even though I knew they were pretty expensive. I figured that since I did have some Christmas money, I should give them a try. As the girl was helping me find my size, I glanced at the price tag. $146.00. I did try them on and I'll admit I loved the way they fit, but I would NEVER spend that much on jeans. To be honest, even $50 is a little much. I tend to stick more in the $30 (or under!) range.

I have never agreed with people who claim that expensive jeans are, "...the ONLY ones that fit me well!". You haven't looked hard enough, in my opinion. :) So I'll keep looking since two pairs of my jeans now have holes in the knee (since I've had them for over 5 years).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

christmas round 2

Yesterday we celebrated Christmas with my parents. After having breakfast with just the four of us (with our new tradition of Land of Nod), we headed over to their house. Cam was very into opening presents. We had a great lunch (thanks, Kendall, for going down for your nap right when we were ready to eat!) and enjoyed some time outside watching Cam on his new ride. The weather couldn't have been more perfect.

Kendall appeared to be a big fan of Cam's remote control car.

This was Cam's present from my sister and her family. He loves it and despite being not quite tall enough, he does great on it!

Today both Chris and I are experiencing the "Christmas letdown". Seems like after a Holiday or time with family, there is always the, "OK, now back to regular life", which is kind of hard. So we are back to our regular activities, like taking our scavenger hunt today outside (and now that we have nothing to do...the cold weather is back!). Oh well. We have nothing to complain about as we had a wonderful Christmas with both sides of the family.

Friday, December 25, 2009

christmas round one

Yesterday (Christmas Eve) we returned from a few days up north visiting my in laws. We had such a fun time! Cameron had a blast with his cousins, which is such a refreshing thing to type seeing as it hasn't always been that way. He was much more comfortable and loved playing with them. He still needed space every now and then and got upset a couple of times, but overall we were so happy to see him interact with them and enjoy doing so. They are such great playmates for him.

Other than watch the kids, we ate and ate and ate. Did I mention we ate? I mentioned before that I wanted to fit 10 dinner rolls in at lunch time. I didn't quite make it, but I made a valiant attempt. I got in a couple good and cheesy Christmas movies as well as a wonderful pedicure with my sister-in-law. Overall it was a great trip. And other than a few minutes on the way home of a VERY upset Kendall (after she poked herself in the eye with a which her eye is still tearing...hmmm...don't I feel like a lousy mom!), the ride went pretty well.

Last night we had my parents over for pizza and dessert. Today we are headed over there for presents and Christmas lunch of pork, cheesy potatos, bread, green beans, and homemade pizookie (by far the thing we are all looking forward to the most).

Friday, December 18, 2009


4- number of times Cam and I baked this week

4- number of items baked where chocolate was the main ingredient

35- minutes we've worked up to for Cam's "special room time"

5:15pm- time Kendall went to bed last night due to the yucky naps

5:00am- first time she needed to be fed...pretty good stretch!

2- colors of frosting I made for Cam's class today (they were decorating cookies)--sadly I only had blue and yellow...not very Christmas-like!

1-movie rented from Red Box this week, Public Enemies

4-scavenger hunts taken this week (this is by far a favorite activity for Cam)

1- Starbucks trip this week: Soy White Mocha, extra hot

10- number of homemade rolls I wish I could fit in my stomach during our Christmas meal (up at my in-laws)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

1st christmas program

Yesterday we, along with my mom and dad, attended Cam's Christmas program at his school. It was very short and just consisted of each class (only 3) singing one Christmas song. Cam did well for Cam, which was all we wanted. We are so proud of our little guy. :)

Cam and his teacher, Ms. Gaby.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I love looking at Christmas lights. It's been fun this year because Cam is also a fan. Last night we met some friends down in Long Beach (Naples to be exact) to walk around the canal of lights. We had a great time. We first met at Harbor House for dinner. We left Kendall with my mom and had a great time just the three of us.

Side note: I'd like to say an extra thanks to my mom for watching Kendall. Despite my mom's best efforts to cover up the real truth, with my endless questions I was able to gather that Kendall was a handful. I should have known she would be, considering she has hit the stage now where she bursts into tears when I simply leave the room. So thank you, mom, for putting up with a fussy baby all evening!

I've also started taking walks with Cam after I put Kendall down for the night. We just walk around our neighborhood, but it is so fun to get bundled up and have him point out all that he sees.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

chuck e cheese

Today it rained most of the day. We were thankful to have been invited to a birthday party for two of my nieces at Chuck E Cheese. I don't think I had been to a Chuck E Cheese in at least 20 years. Cam was in heaven. We had such a fun time and it was topped off by two great car rides (exciting considering they were an hour long each way).

Cam loved the basketball hoop. More than anything, he just liked getting the balls and setting them on the ground for Chris to pick up and throw.

Cam also loved riding the horse. Take a look...

Kendall was a jewel. Despite being tired, she was happy the entire time and loved looking at all the lights.

Tonight I made homemade macaroni and cheese. Chris has been wanting this for a while, so I finally made it for him. I found a great recipe from Paula Dean. Dear me was it rich and wonderful!!

Tomorrow we are hoping the rain will take a break so we can head out to Palm Springs for lunch. If it does rain, we'll have to get creative and come up with something to keep busy. :)

p.s. Sorry many of my pictures are rather blurry. We have a camera that takes nice pictures, but it is just so big that I hate bringing it places.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Eve dinner

My family does not really have a tradition of making a certain meal on Christmas Eve (or Christmas). Each year we try and come up with something fun to make that evening. Last night I came home from the afternoon at my parent's house and told Chris...

Me: Guess what? My mom and I decided that on Christmas Eve, we will have a make your own pizza bar!!
Chris: What? That's like having a make your own oatmeal bar!
Me: What are you talking about? I think it sounds fun. You like pizza!
Chris: Yes, but this is what it will be: 80 different vegetable choices and 1 meat choice.
Me: It will not!

While I pretended to be shocked at his reaction (although it was pretty funny), I guess he is right. We wouldn't have 80 vegetables, but I don't envision us having tons of meat choices. I guess it's back to the drawing board. :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


My mother-in-law gave me a few of these to try on our last visit. They are really tasty. They are richer than regular pudding and much better, in my opinion. They are only 60 calories too, which is hard to believe. :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

cold and rainy

I have SO much respect for stay at home moms who live in places where it either rains all the time, or is at least cold enough to not go outside (for a lot of the year). Yesterday and today have been cold and rainy. I have to say that I would LOVE right now to just snuggle up with a cup of hot chocolate and watch a movie. But that is never an option during this phase of my life (except after they are in bed).

So what have we done to keep busy??

*Yesterday we went for a walk and had another scavenger hunt. It was SO cold and as we approached our house, I was excited to get inside. Nope. Time to ride the bike! As I debated letting him ride, I thought, "It may be cold, but at least this occupies us for a little longer!"

*Today we set up some trains all over the kitchen floor.

*We played "Food Detective", where I gave him different bites of food, making him cover his eyes. He had to guess what I put in his mouth.

Exciting, huh?

Saturday, December 5, 2009


As we were folding laundry:

Chris: "Maybe you could take care of folding Kendall's clothes. They are kind of like fitted sheets to me. I have no idea how to handle them...on top of the fact that I have no idea where to put them because I don't understand your system."

In all honesty, I don't even understand my system. I also have no idea what to do with fitted sheets. Who actually folds those???

Thursday, December 3, 2009

today in the car...

Chris: I have something I want to throw out there. I just want you to think about it and be open to discussion.
Me: Ok... (in a slightly concerned voice)
Chris: I want to talk about a 3rd child.
Me: What??!!!!??? (my disclaimer to this is that even before Kendall was born, we had officially decided we would be done at 2 this was very out of the blue)
Chris: Haha! Just kidding! But really, I did want to talk to you about something. I think for 2010, we should talk about doing a budget.
Me: Oh (in a less than thrilled tone of voice).
Chris: See, compared to suggesting a 3rd kid, this is nothing! Right?? It's not that I think you spend too much. I just think it would be a good idea to see where our money is going.

So we went on to discuss why it would be a good idea to start a budget. I'm honestly very open to the idea and agree that it would probably be good. I just HATE budgets. We do budget our eating out as well as Chris's golf, because those are the areas that could possibly get out of hand. But for some reason, I am VERY non-excited about having to keep track of every penny I spend on groceries, necessities, etc. I always look for the cheapest food prices and I rarely by clothes for myself or do things like get my hair done. However, when I really think about it, I probably do spend money on things that aren't necessary. For this reason, a budget would be helpful. So come 2010, looks like we'll be giving a shot. Hopefully I'll get used to it and it will become second nature to record everything.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


This morning I had Cam skip school so we could go over and make Christmas cookies with some of the girls from my mom's group. He was quite excited, especially considering I told him there would be sprinkles involved. Unfortunately, he didn't do so well. He felt overwhelmed most of the time. He didn't cry, which is such a great improvement for him. However I could tell (by certain things he did) that he was feeling very anxious. So we had to come home early. I'll be honest and say that I was pretty discouraged. I think I had my hopes built up that we were more passed this type of thing than we really are. But after a good pep talk from my mom (and I didn't cry at all when I called her...well, maybe a little...well, I guess quite a bit...) about focusing on all the huge progress he HAS made, as well as a fun time decorating just the two of us when we got home, I was much better.

This afternoon I used an idea from a book I had borrowed, entitled Bright Start. It has great ideas of activities to do with kids. I created our own little scavenger hunt. We went on a walk and checked off each thing we saw. It was kind of fun and made the walk a little less mundane. :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

last Christmas

I've mentioned before that car rides can be pretty stressful if Kendall decides she doesn't want to be in her seat. When she cries, Cameron cries. It's all I can do to not cry myself, so I make double sure I have lots of distractions for her when we are on the road.

One thing that sometimes works is to listen to upbeat music (and she likes it when I bop back and forth). There is one particular song that not only does she seem to like, but Cameron loves and often sways and claps to the music along with me. The problem is that it is one of the most annoying Christmas songs out there. If you listen to 103.5, you probably have heard it about 50 times a day. It's called, "Last Christmas", by Wham.

When I can tell she is about to blow, I'll say, "You know what time it is, Chris?" He'll sigh (in a joking way), turn on the song, and the dancing begins. If you have never heard it before, click here. :)