Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Last night Cam and I made our first trip around the neighborhood to see the lights. I love seeing how excited he gets at each house. Unfortunately it's still a little early for too many lights to be up, but we still had fun. I will say that it was FREEZING...especially with our lovely wind that makes it's appearance this time of year. But it was worth it. :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

pumpkin pecan white chocolate cookies

Last weekend Chris's mom made the most scrumptious cookies. While they do violate my, "no dessert is TRULY a dessert unless it's chocolate" rule, as well as my, "no nut" policy...they were WONDERFUL!!! They are super moist, which I love in a cookie. I know many are fans of the chocolate/pumpkin combo. I'm not into that much, but the white chocolate combo is really a must try. :)

Here is the recipe...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Yesterday was lots of fun...and not lots of fun. :) The morning started out great as we decorated our home for Christmas. Cam had been very excited for this and was VERY into putting ornaments on the tree, which I thought was so neat.

Here they are putting up the outside lights. We don't go crazy, just enough for Cam to think it's cool :) Last year one of my favorite things to do was to walk around our neighborhood with Cam and look at the lights each evening. I'm excited to do that again this year, and hopefully some with Kendall.

Kendall LOVED playing with the village. I had to put a stop to it once she broke off one of the men's heads. What did I expect?? :)

The not so fun part came just as we were about to leave in the afternoon. The plan was for Chris to take Cam out and I to take Kendall. We split up like this sometimes to get some one on one time with the kids.

Anyway, Cam accidentally dropped a huge snow globe, shattering it everywhere. Both Chris and I have learned over the years to NEVER raise our voice at Cam, talk too sternly, or have an angry tone (obviously this doesn't apply in dangerous situations... like if he is running out into the street and I have to yell for him to stop). Any sense that we are unhappy/upset sends him into a funk (won't calm down, keeps talking about it, etc.). Knowing this, I walked in and cheerfully asked him what had happened and proceeded to tell him that we had plenty of snow globes...no big deal! It didn't work. I think the combination of being scared at the shattering, getting a cut involving blood (which, what kid LIKES blood??), and feeling like he did something wrong just sent him over the edge.

It took an hour for him to finally snap out of it. By that time, we had changed the plan and Chris had left with Kendall (Cam wouldn't really leave my side). I think the hard part for Chris and I was that we felt so helpless. We just CAN'T get through to him during times like these. We just have to wait them out. While this was discouraging for us, we did think about the fact that we rarely have things like this happen anymore. So while it was hard, the fact that we used to experience this type of thing much more often is of some comfort.

p.s. Once he snapped out of it, we had a great time going to play at Chick Filet. :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Today we went to my parents' house for Thanksgiving. We had a yummy meal (favorite parts: stuffing and rolls). After lunch, my dad offered to clean up all the dishes while we took a walk. Both kids love to walk around the rocks in one of the neighbor's front yards. My mom caught a few cute pics.

Cameron loves wearing my sunglasses. Both Chris and I agreed that it might be time to actually get him some of his own, rather than wear mine with bedazzled sides. :)

In honor of Thanksgiving, here are a few things I'm thankful for from my year:

*The HUGE progress we have seen with Cam, especially socially

*How good natured and fun Kendall is

*How hard Chris works to allow me to stay at home--wouldn't trade it for anything

*My mom and the endless hours of research she's done regarding Cam, her listening ear, advice, etc.

*Our neighborhood. I love our neighbors and love our little city. :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Today we got back from a few days up north with Chris's parents. The trip was my idea since I knew Cam had this week off from school. I wanted to do something different/fun, other than rotate parks all week. Some highlights were:

*Homemade rolls from Debbie: My dinner on Sunday pretty much consisted of just rolls.

*Bowling: Chris had introduced Cam to Wii bowling a while back and he really took to it. We thought it would be fun to take him real bowling and he LOVED it! Kendall was a little scared of the loud pins and balls, so she stayed in my lap the majority of the time. :)

Watching the kids outside: It's so fun to see how excited they get about simply running around. Cam REALLY gets excited about his "girls"/dogs. The first day we were there was a little muddy, and I forgot his boots at home. Debbie had some from my nieces he borrowed. Quite fashionable I might say.

*Down time: I got a good amount of down time in the evenings and yesterday when Chris and his dad took the kids to McDonald's and shopping. I was also able to do some Christmas shopping while Debbie and Wayne watched the kids.

*Debbie invited Cam to come to work with her (she is a teacher). He was able to play outside with her class during PE and "help" out. I was proud that he didn't get overwhelmed with all the kids and seemed to really enjoy himself.

*It's always fun to see how much the kids enjoy their grandparents, and vice versa!

Friday, November 19, 2010

ponytail had to go

I feel like I've done pretty good in not slipping into the, "I'm a stay at home mom so I look like a frump everyday" mode. I pretty much always get dressed everyday (rather than stay in my Pj's or wear comfy sweats). I think it's not only important to look somewhat put together for Chris, but in general, I feel more productive and motivated when I've taken the time to get ready. This philosophy as not held true for my hair. I have worn a pony tail almost EVERY SINGLE DAY for the past year. I kept telling myself that once the cooler weather came, I would wear it down more (because I hated being hot and sweaty with hair on my neck). Well, it's been cool lately and I haven't followed through with that.

So I decided it was time to chop it. I've had it this short before and it actually forces me to do it each day. In reality, it takes less than 10 minutes to blow dry/style it, so I shouldn't have an excuse from now on. :) I was also VERY pleased with the woman that did this. I got it done at a Fantastic Sam's type place. I've always thought getting your hair highlighted was something you should reserve for a nice salon. But the woman that did my hair has been doing it for 20 years! How much better could she get?? Spending $100+ right now on my hair was NOT an option, so I'm very excited to say I got my hair done at Hair Masters. ;)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

some good things

*Cam has REALLY begun to initiate play with Kendall. This is HUGE!! I can't even begin to tell you how my heart leaps when I hear him asking her to play. This morning I heard them locked in my closet. She kept saying, "Book, book!". I then heard, "Here, sissy, here is a book. I'll read it...Once there was a kiki (Kendall's odd name for an airplane) at the airport. Then there was a helicopter...". I should have entitled this post AWESOME, because that is what it was to hear this interaction.

*I'm excited to report that I found a meal that Chris likes. The only reason this is unusual is because it contains beans and it's a soup (which typically he doesn't consider a meal). His mom had emailed me the recipe a long time ago, but I never tried it once I saw the beans listed. However we ate it at my sister-in-law's a few weeks back and he really liked it...enough to rate it a 9!! Yipeee!

*Our kids have always gone to bed early. Very early. Kendall's bedtime is at 6:00 and Cam is at 6:45. This is simply because I'm a morning person, so I would rather them get up early and start the day...leaving Chris and I long evenings. The funny part is that because of their bedtimes, they rarely get to be out in the dark. It's quite a novelty, actually, to them. :) We went to Disneyland yesterday afternoon. I think Cam was more excited that it was going to get dark while we were there than actually going!

*Today I took the kids to a friend of my mom's horse stable. Cam loved riding the horse, especially when he got to say, "Ho!", for it to stop. Kendall loved seeing the horse as well, but not as much as sitting in the dirt getting FILTHY.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

movie extravaganza

Today we went to an event put on by Cam's previous school. It was fun to see his old teacher and Cam even won a cake his first time around the cake walk. :) When we got home, Chris had a great idea. That morning we had rented Toy Story 3. Rather than just let the kids watch it, he thought it would be fun to make it more of an event. So I gave it the name, "Movie Extravaganza", and we made it a little more fun.

Chris set up our living room by moving the coffee table and placing a bunch of pillows down. We next had Cam "purchase" tickets for the movie using his pretend cash register. He next purchased popcorn and we all settled in for the movie. It was such a fun afternoon and I was surprised at how long Kendall lasted before she started wandering around while we watched. We will definitely do this again as it makes for a fun, yet relaxing, family afternoon. :)

Paying dad money for our tickets:

We love this picture because of Kendall. Nothing cuter than a big baby belly peeking out.

Midway through we took a break for a special treat. We made Smores for the first time. Kendall loved the chocolate.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


*When I drop Cam off at school and the kids are playing outside, he does great. When they are inside, he has hard time. I think walking into a classroom that seems chaotic (no structure, free play, loud, etc.) is too much for him. He had a rough time yesterday. While his teachers tell me he is fine a couple minutes after I leave, I still don't like leaving him like that. I called my mom and we brainstormed for a while. We came up with the idea of giving him a task to complete each morning. This will give him something to distract him from the chaos. So I made a notebook full of connect the dots worksheets. I'm hoping to take him inside, lead him to his activity, and allow him to transition into the noisiness while being occupied. We'll see... :)

*Not minding AT ALL the Christmas music now playing in many stores.

*Had dinner with a friend I have not seen since my wedding (8 years ago). So fun to catch up on almost the last decade. We met at Chili's and I was introduced to the most delicious soup (I know it's not new), Chicken Enchilada. I thought it would be too spicy, but it was wonderful!!!

*Last week a friend of mine found out about a Firefighters fundraiser here in our town. We are always looking for things to do, so we decided to join them. Chris and Kendall were up north, so it was just Cam and I. We had a nice time eating a spaghetti dinner, letting Cam jump on the bounce house, etc. They had a raffle and Cam won! He won a toy that has become his FAVORITE. He carries the little pieces/characters around everywhere from the bathroom (to "watch" him during his stinkbug!), to the park, to his bedside at night.

*Kendall has done better than Cam at adjusting to the time change. I still wake up at 4:55 on the dot each morning. On one hand I like being able to get things done before everyone is awake. However come 8:00 the next evening, I can feel it. :)

*While we love Costco, we don't love getting attached to a product, only to have them stop carrying it. Chris LOVES their mango/peach salsa. Unfortunately ours, as well as my dad's Costco don't sell it anymore.

Monday, November 8, 2010

weekend with cam

This past weekend Chris took Kendall up to visit his parents. This was the first time he took Kendall, rather than Cameron. I was so excited to get to plan a weekend just for Cam and I. Not that I don't love family outings, but it's nice sometimes to just focus on one. :)

I took advantage and really packed our weekend with some fun things. Saturday we went to Disneyland. I was hesitant to go on a Saturday, but I was surprised at how few people were there. We got there right when it opened and walked on most of the rides. I had such a great time with my little buddy and while it's fun to have Kendall there, it was a little more relaxing and we were able to take our time on things Cam wanted to take his time on.

On Sunday we went to, "A Day Out with Thomas". I had heard about this before, but wrote it off because the tickets were pretty pricey. However my brother-in-law was able to get us tickets through his work, so off we went! It was so fun and a great end to our little mother-son weekend.

They had a tent set up with several train sets for the kids to play with. I was SO impressed with Cameron. There were TONS of kids and he didn't get overwhelmed. I thought surely he would want to leave once we saw all the kids. Boy has he changed!

I was hoping they would have some model trains set up, and sure enough, they did. I really enjoyed looking at them as well. The details of the scenery that surround the little tracks are so neat. They even had a replica of the Fullerton railroad station, one which I often drove by back in college as it was right next to Spaghetti Factory. :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Whenever we go to the library, I typically sit on the floor (while the kids roam around) and rifle through books to see which ones would be good for Cam. My main criteria are the number of words. I don't want too many, to where he would lose interest. I also don't want too few, because 3 words per page won't exactly help build his vocabulary. :)

Anyway, a few weeks ago I got home with a book that I realized was by Jaime Lee Curtis. I ended up loving the book and felt like it was a great tool to teach Cam some "big", good words. Today I was so excited when he brought up one of the words during a discipline moment. We were at Target and he pressed a button on a toy after I told him not to. We left the toy department and I explained to him that it was because he disobeyed. He said, "Mom, am I not responsible?" I said, "Yes, Cameron. That was not responsible of you to push the button after I told you not to." Granted, maybe it wasn't the best word for the moment, but I was so excited that he was using it somewhat appropriately.

I would highly recommend checking this one out from your library. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

deals, money and otherwise

A while back my mom turned me on to a great alternative to Ziplocks. We were going through those gallon Ziplocks way too quickly for how expensive they were. I realized that I didn't ALWAYS need that sturdy of a bag. You can find some MUCH cheaper bags at Staters. They are thinner, have the twist ties (instead of the zip), and can be used for almost anything. I still use Ziplocks for things with liquid, things needing to be frozen, etc. However we have saved a lot of money using these for most other things. Here is a pic, however Staters has their own brand I like just fine.

I recently discovered Rice Noodles when I made the Pad Thai recipe I blogged about. A great thing I found is that they have fewer calories than regular pasta. Chris loves the quantity of his dinner now when we have a pasta dish. I found my rice noodles for $2.99 at Staters, but I heard you can get them at Trader Joes for $1.50ish. Yesterday Chris stopped by Fresh and Easy to see what their stock was. He couldn't find rice noodles, but he found some Asian noodles that worked great.

This item will go on my Christmas list, but I think they are such a great idea. While we are not super "green" in our lifestyle, I don't like the number of sandwich baggies we go through in a week. A friend of mine uses these reusable bags and they are so cute. They come in different patterns and are easy to clean. So mom...maybe you can keep this in the back of your mind for Christmas. :) You can find them at www.snacktaxi.com

Lastly, thanks for all your input on ideas for snacks for the car. I actually ended up finding a great graham cracker recipe that the kids love. Next time I'll try decreasing the sugar a little, but I figured I would make them according to the recipe first, to get the kids used to them. Here is the recipe I did substitute butter for the shortening. Next time I'll also try olive oil.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

cry #1 and cry #2

I cried twice today. Today was Cam's first day of Pre-K. The drop off was rather difficult. He was very anxious and uncomfortable. I stayed with him for a little while, but knew it was doing more harm than good. I asked one of his teachers to sit and talk with him (they were eating snack) as I left. I knew having an adult interact with him would be helpful. He was crying a little as I left, but I held back my tears until I left the classroom. Cry #1.

An hour later I called to see how he was doing (the sweet director told me I could call as much as I wanted). Apparently he was doing great and a little girl had even latched onto him and was showing him around the playground. Cry #2 because hearing this just made my week!!!!

p.s. Does he look handsome for his first day, or what?? Grandma got him this new shirt last weekend. :)