Friday, December 24, 2010

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G

We are up north at my in-laws and had some good friends over last night for dinner. I had seen this recipe a while back and knew I had to try it. Chris's two favorite desserts are cheesecake and German Chocolate Cake. I must say I SCORED!!! This is, by far, the one of the best desserts I've ever made. And I will say that our guests agreed (feel free to confirm this, Jana). This is rich, chocolaty (but not too chocolaty for you wimps out there), and just plain amazing. It's such a pretty cake as well, making it great for special occasions.



p.s. I actually used a cake mix and canned frosting (rather than making both from scratch) and it still came out awesome.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

*Yesterday the kids and I braved the mall. I knew going in that it would be a zoo there, and I wasn't disappointed. However this rain has thrown a major kink into taking most outings that involve being outside. So off we went and it wasn't all that bad...until about 20 minutes in. All of the sudden I started feeling weak, sweaty, and overall yucky. So back home we went and I'm currently in bed with the yuckiness.

*Chris's parents were in town this weekend so we could celebrate Christmas with Chris's brother's family. Tomorrow we are planning to head up to his parents' house until Sunday. Chris had the great idea of having Cam ride up today with his parents. This way, the 4+ hour drive will be stress-free, for Cam today and us tomorrow!

*Kendall literally ate 2 whole (thick) waffles today for breakfast. Where on earth does she fit it all?

*Chris took Cam last night to see some Christmas lights. The houses were set to music that you tuned your radio to. Cam was very excited.

*A few years back our builder was sued (on several neighbors' behalf) for some very poor construction. We just got the settlement amount. While it's nowhere the amount needed to fix everything, it's better than nothing!

*My three favorite shows when I was a kid were MacGyver, Murder She Wrote, and Little House on the Praire

*Learned an interesting statistic last night on the news. Over 500,000 people died during the civil war. As far as our country's population, that would be equivalent to 6 million today!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

my sweet girl

I feel like we have officially conquered church nursery. She now stays in both Sunday church and Friday Tmoms. Woohoo!!!!

Here we are after Tmoms one day. I didn't realize my friend was behind us taking a pic and I was SOO excited that she made it through the whole time!

Friday, December 17, 2010

close to home

Today was Cam's Christmas party at school. They got to wear their P.J.'s, have pizza, and make crafts. They also had a gift exchange. There was a $5 limit and boys exchanged boys, girls with girls. Cam came home with a small army men set (little tanks, men, airplanes, etc.).

As Chris was showing him the different pieces, he quickly realized that it probably was a re-gift, because many of the pieces had missing parts. I kept telling him that Cam didn't care and loved playing with it, but he kept talking about it. I didn't understand why it was such a big deal to him and then he shared with me his story...

Back when he was in 1st grade, his class had a gift exchange. He paid for the gift he gave with his own money and was so excited to open his present. What he opened included several sand toys that were used...used as in there was actually sand still in them. He was so devastated, which was why Cam's gift today hit so close to home. Don't worry, he got over it...as did Cam. :)

I lined them all up for "battle". Here he is inspecting his troop. :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

breadsticks


Chris often jokes that he doesn't know what bread tastes like anymore. This is because I never serve it with meals (except when it IS the meal, like a sandwich). I always tell him that since he wants me to help him eat healthy, I want to give him the most bang for his buck. Bread equals calories but does not fill you up. :) Anyway, he took matters into his own hands yesterday by purchasing Pat & Oscar's breadsticks, which they now stock at Costco. I guess he didn't really take matters into his own hands because I've also been curious if they taste as good as the restaurants'.

The verdict? WONDERFUL! If we gave Pat & Oscar's real ones a 10, these would be a 9 (I think we should haven added a little kosher salt to make them a 10). We were pretty surprised at how similar they were. They are $5.99 a dozen, which is the same price as the restaurant, however these are about twice the size.

So if you need some good bread with your meal, these are a must. They also freeze great.

p.s. Back when we were newly married and money was super tight, we would often go to Pat & Oscar's and get one dozen breadsticks...and that's it. That was our dinner. So if you have never had one, they are THAT GOOD. :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

cam the champ

Last night was Cam's Christmas program for school. We debated having him attend. Last week his teachers said he seemed rather overwhelmed when the 75+ kids practiced each day. After much analyzing, Chris said, "Kelly, let's give him the chance to succeed." That was all I needed. Was I nervous for him? Absolutely. But I kept repeating in my mind what Chris had said.

HE DID GREAT!!! He was a little hesitant walking down the aisle toward the stage (with about 200+ people staring and snapping pictures...who wouldn't be?). While on stage, he sang a little, did a few motions, but mostly hung out on or around where he was supposed to be. He never got upset and kept waving to us in the back. I couldn't have been more proud and I'm so glad we did give him the chance to succeed.

We took videos, but I think they are a little long to include. It was very hard to get a decent picture since he was kind of in the back, but here is a one of him walking down afterward with his teacher.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

sad food news

1. Costco no longer carries Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. We had bought these for a loooong time, so we (mainly me) are very sad that they randomly decided to nix them. :( Yes, I can buy them at the grocery store, but they are more expensive.

2. Last night Chris and I went to Macaroni Grill for dinner. This has been a long standing choice for us because we always leave happy. Not last night. Prices rose, which isn't THAT big of a deal. However combined with smaller portions, this left us realizing that we will probably not go there again. Paying $14 for a plate that was about 1/3 less in quantity than previous was not our idea of a good purchase. So bye, bye Macaroni Grill. We had a good run...



p.s. I hope you sense my slight sarcasm with this blog. Obviously there are far more serious things to worry about in this life. :)

p.p.s. We did end last night on a good note with my yogurt from Frugos. I had a free one (from the stamp card) coming and BOY DID I LOAD UP THAT SUCKER!!!! (coffee yogurt, Butterfinger, oreo, brownie, cheesecake...yep...awesome)

Friday, December 10, 2010

hike

Yesterday we went to Oak Glen for a hike. It was BEAUTIFUL!!! We ended up taking the whole loop, which might have been a little long for the kids. Cam was a champ, but Kendall got very, very heavy. :) Overall it was a lot of fun.



As we were stopped by a stream, we heard, "I have to do a stinkbug". Hmmm... The way I figure, animals poop in the woods too, right? And no, we didn't leave the dirty wipes..they went with us in the backpack. :)




p.s. Thanks so much for all the great poop advice!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

stink bugs


I'm not sure where this name came from, but this is what we have always called poops for Cam. However this post isn't about him. If you are grossed out by poop talk, you might want to skip this one.

We had Kendall's 18 month check up on Monday and my top concern to discuss was her frequent constipation. She is constipated for weeks at a time, which has been going on for months. Our doc suggested taking her off diary for two weeks, as well as some chewable fibers gummy things. We are going to try the dairy first, so we can for sure rule that out (hopefully) before the gummies.

However my question is for those who have normal poopers. Last night I got a great one from her (I won't describe it's texture...but it was not constipated). Anyway, even when she does a healthy poop, she still braces herself against a chair, gets on her toes, and (with watery eyes many times) strains. Is this normal even for good poops? Sometimes after a good strain, I'm surprised to change her diaper and find a totally normal poop! Do your kids just walk around, doing their business as they play? Or can you really tell when they are going?

The only reason I ask is that I'm wondering if maybe there is another problem besides constipation. Maybe no matter how she poops, it's uncomfortable. I'd love to hear any comments about this...so I can know if I should be concerned about a different aspect to all this. :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wearing right now: Shorts...can you believe it? And I was actually warm on my walk with Kendall this morning!

Just ate: Daily cup of French Vanilla

Highlight of the morning: When Cam ran to play with some friends at school. He has missed his special friend, Natalie, who has been sick. We've talked to him about how he doesn't have to JUST play with Natalie (even though she has grown to be a constant for him)

Plans for the day: Pick Cam up from school--eat lunch--head over to a friend's to babysit her baby for a couple hours while my kids get to play with a fresh batch of toys :)

Dinner tonight: Leftover Gourmet Pizza I froze from the weekend (Brando)

Lowlight of the morning: Our smoke detectors keep going off randomly. We aren't sure if it's purely the battery, or a short in the whole system.

Costco purchases yesterday:
Christmas wrapping paper, soap, Scotch tape, Wheat Thins, bananas

TV show I'm currently enjoying:
Chris and I are watching the Band of Brothers series in the evenings. I have SOO much respect for our soldiers. Wow.

Recent Award:
I told Chris I should have won an award yesterday for avoiding a meltdown when Cam bit his tongue when he fell at the mall play area. There was blood, yet I was able to distract him from it by peppering him with question after question. His brain couldn't answer all my questions and still be upset!

Cutest word Kendall says: "Dora", pronounced "dough-wa". This was especially cute at the doc's office when she kept pointing at the little girl next to us (who had black hair), saying, "Dough-wa! Dough-wa!"

Sunday, December 5, 2010

*Had Tmoms on Friday...one of my favorite days of the month. I don't always get to stay for the ending speaker, but I get to be there for the best part, breakfast, chatting time, and prayer. :)

*Poor Kendall is sick...more than she has ever been. Tylenol helps a lot, but I can tell when each dose starts to wear off. Cam has been a TROOPER and will always (on his own) run off to the other room when she starts crying. I've been so impressed with his move to more independent coping. The only good part about all this is the big increase in snuggling I get from her. I honestly haven't minded her 4:45 wake ups the past couple mornings, because I get to rock her back to sleep. :)

*Chris has been gone this weekend, which has meant a healthy dose of Christmas TV movies in the evening!! Yesterday we went to my mom's, which was a huge help to me as she took Cam to McDonald's to play, while I stayed back with Kendall.

*Each night Cam says, "Are we not going to have meat for dinner?" I swear I'm raising a vegetarian and I don't even mean to. He just doesn't like meat!

*Supernanny is back and I LOVE this show. I feel like it's so practical and you can not only learn a lot of tips, but each episode makes you think, "OK, I don't have it THAT bad!" :)

*I keep procrastinating on sending out our Christmas cards.

*My sister arrives from Germany in less than a month!!! And she is staying for 6 months!!! The cousins get to actually be together!

*This is my new favorite blog to look at when I feel like baking. I don't always follow it up with actual baking, but I still like to look at it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

politically correct

I think everyone becomes more open minded as they age. I used to poke fun at the whole "politically correct" idea, specifically related to names and labels of things/people. Why was it such a big deal to call a certain group of people a specific name, so as not to offend them? Why were people so hyper sensitive and defensive when they were called something they deemed, "politically incorrect"?

Enter my sweet, amazing, wonderful son. I must say that I've done a 180 on this topic. This might be something that only a parent with a special needs child could relate to, but I've gained more respect for these labels and the reason they exist. For instance, there is a change taking place in how our society labels, "children with Autism". It used to be, "Autistic children". What's the difference? Maybe only I feel the difference...but it's there. My Cameron is a child FIRST, with Autism SECOND. I realize to some, this sounds petty and something that shouldn't be a big deal. But to me, there is a different ring to each phrase, one that stings my heart a little more.

With that said, do I get offended or resentful when someone I know uses the "Autistic child" phrase? Absolutely not. I know they don't mean any harm and I understand that I would obviously be more sensitive because I'm living it. I'll probably say something that might hurt someone in the future, simply because I don't know or understand the meaning. That's life! However all this to say, I think there is great value in many of the labels we are changing. Unless the label attaches itself to you, one might never fully understand the meanings and how they make each individual feel.

OK, those are my heavy thoughts for the day. To leave on a lighter note, check out his cute picture of Cam and my mom. She invited him over yesterday to have an afternoon with Nana, filled with playtime and Christmas cookie decorating. :)