Sunday, October 31, 2010

weekend pics

Friday night we went to the Halloween carnival at our church. We had a fun time, but had to end the night a little early because Cameron wasn't feeling well. He still got two bounce houses in and a few games. Kendall also got to pet some animals, which she loved.

Right before we left. Yes, I actually stuffed this into a car seat. Not my brightest idea. :)


Cake walk.



Watching brother bounce.


Saturday we got to hang out with Chris's family for the afternoon. I don't have pictures, but both kids had a wonderful time with the cousins. We had a yummy lunch and the kids carved pumpkins. On the way home, Chris and I were talking about the fact that it was probably the first time ever that the meal was eaten in somewhat of a relaxing manner. We even got to sit around and talk some afterward, while both kids played with their cousins in the back of the house. This is very new to us...to have both kids independent enough to allow us not to have to be hands on the entire time. :)

Today we went to Victoria Gardens. They had a a fall street fair with different vendors. We let the kids play, walked around, and then went to Bass Pro Shop.

Lunch at Costco, on our way. Kendall sure loved the sugar cookie sample!




Right now Chris and Cam are trick or treating. I caught a quick picture at our neighbor's house, before seeing them off (Kendall was already in bed).

Friday, October 29, 2010

thoughts and ramblings

Today Cam and I visited his new Pre-K class. It didn't go that well. Unfortunately we got there right as one of the classes was yelling at the top of their lungs (some fun song or chant). This was very scary for him. We stayed outside until they were done (a looong time).

We then went out to the playground where his class was. They were holding a mini petting zoo for the kids. We met his teacher and a couple kids came up to him to say hi. He didn't like it and wanted to leave. He wasn't upset, but just very uncomfortable. I next took him inside his class. No one was there since they were outside. He liked seeing the toys, etc. Overall he was very skittish and I'm now really worried about his first day. I don't know if I should stay a while or not. If I stay, he'll just cling to me and stay in his anxious state. But I would feel horrible just leaving him. I could have Chris take him, but despite my dread, I still want to be there.

I sure wish things like this weren't so hard. I know that many shy kids would probably have the same reaction as he did. However because his, "shyness" is more than just a personality trait, it makes me super nervous about next week. I know that this needs to happen. He loves being around kids when he is comfortable and he needs this structure, everyone on his IEP team agrees. But I wish we could skip past the first week to where he loves his school. I just need to keep reminding myself that he isn't REQUIRED to attend here. If it's not the best fit, then he doesn't go. End of story. OK, enough analyzing. Who knew that the love for your kids could be so overwhelming...?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

3 recipes

This first recipe I've probably blogged about before. However in case I didn't, I thought I better because it's SOOO tasty. It's also one of the best recipes I've found for serving a large group. It's super easy and made in the crock pot...which makes it great so you aren't floundering as your guests arrive. The recipe is from my mother-in-law, however I found it on allrecipes.com. It's called, Chalupa. Here is the link.



A friend of mine shared her Vegetable Pad Thai recipe. Chris wasn't as big of a fan as I was, simply because he prefers a richer sauce. But if you like a light, refreshing pasta, you should try this one.



The third recipe has not yet been consumed, however I sampled as I made it (isn't that half the fun?), and it's pretty good. :) It's a German Chocolate Cake Trifle.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

friends and wight loss

When Chris and I were newly married, we met Jeremy and Ana (at the church we used to attend). We became good friends and this continued until we moved out here. I was sad because I thought, "Realistically, how are we going to stay close when we live an hour away?" Fortunately, not only has our friendship weathered the move, but 4 kids later, we are probably closer than we were before the move. Whenever friends have kids around the same time, the friendship automatically goes to a new level as you have sooo much more in common.

Their family will often head out our way to hang out for the day. The guys will golf, and the girls will stay back with the kids and visit.

Anyway, both guys have tried to lose weight off and on for a while. They've made bets with each other, but that hasn't seemed to work. So a couple visits back, Ana had a great idea. Disclaimer: The guys were asking for our help in this area...we weren't nagging our way into it. :) She suggested that the guys set themselves a weight goal each time we all get together. If they meet it, they get to play golf, like normal. If they DON'T meet it, they still come out, but the guys stay back with the kids and the girls go out for an afternoon of shopping/hanging out. So far it has really seemed to work and both have lost weight. Seems golf, or the lack thereof, is a pretty good motivator. :)

Here is a pic of us pre-kids. Ahhh...the days of freedom. Hehe :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

it's that time again!!!


As the holidays approach, so do the made for TV movies! I've already watched two and am excited to watch as many more as I can. It's so funny how I can put up with a lot of cheesiness with these things. For some reason, I just love them (mainly the Christmas ones). I've learned a few things in my viewing:

*They typically always involve a man/woman who is a workaholic, in need of finding that special someone to show them what's really important in life.
*Many consist of big city people finding themselves (through various circumstances) in a small, quaint town. At first they mock these cute towns. However by the end, they want to live there (usually because the love interest resides there).
*These small towns often are threatened by evil corporate monsters. They want to tear down historic places and built condos/high rises instead.
*People fall in love and propose marriage after only a few weeks.

Here are the two I've seen that I would recommend: Growing the Big One (despite me NOT being a Shannon Doherty fan!) and Fairfield Road.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Orange Railway Museum

Today we had two kids who, while felt fine and played normal, had some pretty snotty noses. They were snotty enough to stay home from church, but not snotty enough for us to stay inside all day. Typically our weekends consist of our rotation of Palm Springs and Victoria Gardens. Chris suggested we mix things up a bit. It took a little research as we didn't want to spend much money, but he found a great place. We drove about 45 minutes to a train museum and had a fun afternoon. Admission was free and the only money spent was $2 on a little train toy/ride for Cam.

Here is the cute ride. Cam loved it!

The kids enjoyed climbing in the various trains they had on display.



Cam's fun time was made AWESOME by a toy train display with working trains. He could have stayed here all afternoon. His favorite was a replica of the Metrolink, complete with little people inside the mini windows. A man told us about a train convention in November, which we might have to attend. :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

At Costco today, as the kids were playing with the toys, I saw a woman bring a box over and set it down on a table. She then proceeded to rip open the box and take 2 small bottles out. She put them into her pocket. She glanced up at me and I gave her a, "Did you really just do that?" look. She came over to me and said, "It's ok". I responded, "No, it's not." She said, "You're right. It's not. I'll pay for the whole box." "Yes", I said.

She then proceeded to go pick up the box and walk off. I walked over to an employee and described what happened and gave a description of her. He walked off and I saw he found the empty box she had obviously dumped somewhere. About 10 minutes later, I saw her sitting at a table at the food court. The employee walked up to me and said, "There is actually a lot of people with blue plaid shirts, so I couldn't find her". I told him not to look behind him, but that she was sitting right there. He thanked me and I left. Who knows what happened, but I found it so interesting that she would actually hang out there after someone had caught her rather poorly executed theft. Wow.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

healthy struggle


A long time ago I attempted homemade graham crackers. I thought they were decent tasting, however Cam wasn't a fan. Lately I have been frustrated with myself for the amount of crackers I have been giving the kids. I like to have something in the car that I can quickly get to, hand back to the kids, and keep them content. It's nice to also have something in my backpack in case they get hungry while we are out. I typically keep graham crackers or animal crackers on hand. However I realized that while this isn't candy, it's really not healthy at all. I know fruit is always a good snack, but I like to have something I always keep on hand and doesn't rot after one day.

So today I attempted to make my own crackers using this recipe. Cam tolerates them, but they are SO dense. It makes it difficult for my 4.5 toothed Kendall to chew them easily. I just find it hard to make anything homemade that has that flaky, easily chewable texture. I would love to find a store bought cracker that is healthy...meaning not a regular cracker that they stuffed a few whole grains in and slapped a "healthy" label on it. I want REALLY good for you. Maybe I just need to keep up my hunt.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

good deals

Just wanted to share about a few good deals I found recently. Yesterday I dropped off a couple bags of stuff to the thrift store. I noticed several bins of toys in front. Cam is REALLY into the drum set at Costco (it's always on display). I saw this toy and figured I should get it, especially since it was only $4.99. It was a great purchase because Cam loves it!

Today Chris took Cam for the afternoon and Kendall and I went to Target. I had a store credit I wanted to use. I was so excited to have found this cute pair of shoes for $10 and this shirt for $5!!

p.s. Chris came home with a golf shirt he found at Cabazon for $3.50. Not a bad day for us! :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Robi Rob's Boriqua Anthem

*Friday was a very emotional day for us. It was Cam's last day in his special ed class. Both Chris and I went to pick him up and I had made some treats/cards for each of his teachers. As he handed each one, he said (as we had practiced), "You're the best teacher". They cried and I cried. They also had made him the sweetest card with pictures of the past year. We will miss these 4 women more than I thought possible as they really have been our angels since Cam first started preschool.



*I have one more school to check out, but I think we have decided on a great Pre-K class, which is very close to home.

*Kids have colds and I ache all over. I hope this doesn't last long. Gone are the days of feeling sick, calling in sick to work, then proceeding to snuggle in bed and watch movies all day. I asked Kendall who I needed to call in sick to, but she looked very confused. :)

*This past weekend we went to my in-laws' for a family reunion. We had a fun weekend, a highlight being a really cool pumpkin patch yesterday. Unlike the ones around here, this one had all their activities (except the train) free of charge. It was nice to spend time with family and both kids adored (as usual) getting to spend so much time outside running around their ranch.



*Chris's mom always saves me several homemade corn dogs from her schools' different events. I just ate one for dinner and it was quite tasty (lots of breading). :)

*I think my kids will sleep great tonight, due to the sugar coma they must be in. When it comes to long road trips, rules don't exist as far as healthy eating is concerned. Anything that keeps them happy is tossed back. :) Poor things weren't even hungry for dinner by the time we got back!

*Cam is VERY into spelling and often asks us to tell him the name of every street as we drive somewhere. He also asks us to read the name of the song that pops up on our CD player in the car. Normally, I think this is helpful since it helps him learn reading skills. Today, however, Chris and I both died laughing when we had to tell him the name of the song, "Robi Rob's Boriqua Anthem" (from Jock Jams). Not sure how practical this will be for him to know how to spell. :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

costco photo shoot

Today I took the camera to Costco to snap this shot:



Friday will be his last day in his special ed class. We are SOOOO sad to leave his wonderful teachers. It has long been a joke about how much we go to Costco. Cam always informs them on our, "Costco days" and they think it's so funny. So I decided to include a pic of him in the card we are giving them. I thought the Costco background would be quite appropriate. Anyway, since I brought the camera, I decided to take a few more cute pics.




Favorite Samples:
Kelly: Mac and Cheese
Chris: Mac and Cheese
Cam: Gummy bear candy
Kendall: Chocolate covered blueberries

Monday, October 11, 2010

What could ellicit this amazing smile?


Or this deep throated laugh?


Why, only the best toy ever!!!




p.s. Grandpa Jim would be proud. ;)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

last few days

On Friday my mom met us at a pumpkin patch to get the kids a pumpkin. For now, we have ours decorated with just a Sharpie. I think we'll cut into it a little closer to Halloween so it doesn't rot.




On Saturday, some friends invited us to the Redland's Air Show. Both kids were really into watching the planes do their tricks in the air. Cam also loved crawling inside the fire trucks they had on display. It was a pretty hot day, but worth the $2 admission (kids were free!). :)




I've mentioned before how we like to go to Oak Glen to the petting zoo. Today I decided it would be fun to take the kids hiking. They both LOVE to be outdoors and I had heard there was a fun little trail. We had such a great time and Cam adored the different trails. He loved deciding which way to go when it would fork, and didn't mind how steep some of the trails got. Kendall liked it too and enjoyed playing in the little stream and picking up various rocks and acorns. I'm so thankful to live only 15 minutes from such a wonderful, nature'y place. :)


Saturday, October 9, 2010

peanut butter oreos



The other day Chris heard Kevin and Bean (a favorite DJ duo of his) talking about the new Peanut Butter Oreos. After raving about them, he figured they would be right up my alley. We've had trouble finding them, but today he found a package at Walmart. We figured it would be a good thing to try as a family. :) WONDERFUL!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

*Saturday night Chris and I went to see The Social Network. I thought it was very good and interesting. We don't typically see movies in the theater due to the ticket prices. While I love date nights which just consist of going out to eat, I really enjoyed seeing a movie. It was kind of nice to just check out for 2 hours. While we love talking about the kids (because that always ends up happening, right?), it was a nice change to escape and not be in parent-mode. :)

*Earlier in the day, our neighbor helped Chris change the brakes on his car. Cam was very interested in the whole process.



*On Sunday, we went to Victoria Gardens. We hit our regular, "tent store" (a.k.a Bass Pro Shop) and Kendall was loving exploring the boats.



*Today we had Cam's annual IEP. We were not anticipating the outcome, but have realized it is really a cause for celebration. :) Cam no longer qualifies for the class he currently attends. While he still qualifies for special ed, his current class is for more severe children. This is wonderful and encouraging, yet scary at the same time. We will HATE to lose his amazing teachers. We also have made the decision to look for a different "typical" preschool than the one he is attending. So we need to make some important decisions about where he'll go, how he'll still receive services, etc. We have another meeting next week, but overall, it is great news that our little guy has progressed himself out of his class. :)

*Last night's dinner: Hamburgers
Tonight's Dinner: Pot Stickers with rice (we LOVE these from Costco...and they are super low calorie)

Friday, October 1, 2010

barbie


Today Kendall and I went to Target. While we were browsing the toys, I saw this Barbie doll. Really, Barbie? You think when Kendall is older and asks for a Barbie doll, you'll be the one I reach for? Hey, Kendall, here is your first Barbie. And look! The neckline goes down to her belly button!