Monday, January 31, 2011

today

(I started to go back through this and make everything either past or present tense...but got annoyed doing it...so sorry that it switches back and forth)
*Great morning as both kids slept in. For Kendall, this was 6:00. She was pulling many 5:30 mornings, so this was a nice change. Cam woke at 6:45. This helps the mornings go so much more quickly. Can't play outside because it's very foggy and cold.

*Took Cam to speech class at 9:00. Despite telling me he never wants to go, I know he has a nice time, except when kids cry a lot...like today. That was the first thing he told me about when I picked him up at 10:30.

*Upon return, Cam watched some Tom and Jerry while Kendall napped. We then all ate lunch together--
Kelly: Chicken salad sandwich, vegetables
Chris: BBQ chicken salad
Cam: Chicken salad sandwich (which he protested, but agreed to eat 4 bites), fruit
Kendall: Chicken salad sandwich, fruit (didn't eat one bite of either)

*Played for a while after lunch, then headed to the library. Got several books for Cam and a few magazines for me. Cam loves helping me check out since it's all by computer.

*After library, went to McDonald's. Yucaipa is my favorite because it has a nice small part for Kendall. Was able to observe Cam in an interaction with another boy. Wrote it down in the log I've started. I'm starting to accumulate data of things I'm concerned about so I can make a good case for services I want for next year.

*Done at McDonald's, but realized it was only 2:15. I don't like to head home from our outings this early because it means a long time at home tooting around until dinner. So we stop at a park and kill some time. Kendall has become quite a pro at doing the slides by herself. She's quite proud.

*Arrive home and go on a walk with Chris around the block. Kendall rides in her car we push and Cam rides his Big Wheel. Play a little more outside before heading in.

*Cam does some special room time while Kendall and I play.

*5:30 is Nudy Booty time. This is where I strip down both kids and they play chase. They get quite a kick out of it. After a few minutes of this, it's bathtime. Today Cam has requested a "Cameron bath", meaning Chris gives him a bath in one bathroom while I take Kendall in another. I just want to eat this daughter of mine because she is sooo stinkin cute. I have never heard her talk more than when she is in the bath.

*Dinner follows bath with some Fresh Beat Band for Kendall. She goes down at 6:30.

*Cameron does his United States of America puzzle with Chris and goes down at 7:00.

*Chris and I enjoy a yummy dinner of hamburgers (and on homemade buns I made that he says are about as good as his mom's!!). Ahhh...nice to relax at the end of a day.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

meals

For some reason I've been waking up very early for a while. As I was trying to make myself actually get up this morning, I started thinking about our meal tonight (see bottom), which made me think about the things I make that Chris likes best. So, in case you are curious, here you go:

1. White Chicken Enchiladas
2. BBQ Chicken Pizza
3. Peanut Butter Noodles
4. Hamburgers on homemade rolls--usually the rolls are from when we visit his mom and I've brought them back...I haven't been able to compete with them :)
5. Tacos--made with good shredded beef from the crockpot and always with our favorite Gordita Tortillas.
5. German Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
6. Brownie Trifle (brownies, vanilla pudding, cool whip)
7. Applebees White Chocolate Blondie--this is one of his favorite desserts at a restaurant. A long time ago I was able to duplicate it pretty well. :)

Tonight is his weekly splurge meal. I made this last week for it and he has requested it again. It's rich, creamy, and extremely good. Paired with some of our frozen Pat and Oscars breadsticks and I think we'll successfully live up to the "splurge" definition. :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

*Had bunco night at my house on Monday. I had such a fun time...fun enough to not go to bed until after 10:00!! :)

*I sold my Kitchen Aid standing mixer. I've had it for several years and while I like it, I just don't use it much at all. I find myself going with my hand held mixer because I can really get all around the bowl.

*Tmoms (like MOPS) starts this Friday and my sister is one of the speakers. Woohoo!!

*A couple nights ago I made burritos. I cut Cam's into little slices (just meat and cheese inside) and told him he had to eat 4 out of the 5 on his plate. Not only did he eat all five, but he asked if he could have burritos every night! Maybe my son will like meat after all!

*Yesterday we, along with my sister's family and my parents, went to Disneyland. We had a blast. The weather was perfect and the crowds (or lack thereof) were even better.




Sunday, January 23, 2011

weekend

Saturday we remembered why we love Palm Springs. It was such a beautiful day and we had a wonderful time. We started out with a picnic lunch outside (at The River). We then let the kids run around, ending up at Borders. They have a great kids section, complete with plenty of Thomas the Train books for Cam and trinkets for Kendall to pick up.

After Borders, we headed over to Ben and Jerry's. Chris had been given a couple coupons for a free scoop at a golf store he recently visited.




On our way home, we stopped by the remote control car tracks near our home. On the adjacent field, some people were having pretend fights, like in Lord of the Rings. I'm not quite sure what these people are called, but they take it very seriously and are dressed in costume. Chris found it quite entertaining to watch them "fight". Here are he and Cam waiting for the battle to begin.


It was such a fun day. That night wasn't quite as fun as Kendall couldn't get into a good sleep until after midnight. We had noticed a cough started earlier that day, so I wasn't surprised by her desire to be held. After fumbling around in the dark for some Tylenol, I finally got her down.

Unfortunately this meant Kendall and I couldn't attend both a birthday party and a visit with Chris's brother's family today. Cam had a great time at both. In between, Chris took him to a train store, which he ADORED. My one hour napper took a 3 hour nap, then we hung out at home and ran a couple errands. Great weekend.


p.s. As Chris was driving Cam to church, Cam said, "Dad, is sissy not going to the party because she wasn't invited?" Sounds like a simple question, but Chris and I are still excited about it. It is a very perceptive question for him. Very cool.

Friday, January 21, 2011

info

What was your first car? Nissan Sentra

Ketchup or Mustard? Neither. Anything that these can go on, ranch goes on better.

Currently reading?
The Book Thief...so good. I'm not good at making myself read, which is why I joined a book club. I'm sad that I've not been the best participant with that either, but I'm hoping to get better.

What are you listening to right now? Cam and Chris putting together his United States of America puzzle.

What is your favorite board game? Not sure if this is technically a board game, but I love Catch Phrase. I like games where you can learn more about each other. Info naturally comes out in games like this, rather than games like Monopoly.

What's for dinner tonight?
Leftovers: Soup for me and the girlie, Orange Chicken/brown rice for Chris, spaghetti for Cam (which he picked the pasta out of to avoid the meat).

Plans for the weekend? Palm Springs tomorrow-going to The River and getting a sandwich from Cheesecake to go. Sitting outside for lunch, then letting the kids run around the amphitheatre. Sunday: Birthday party for some friends' one year old out in OC.

Do you crack your knuckles? No! And I have to leave the room if it goes on very long with someone else.

What famous person have others said you resemble?
The only one that I can kind of see is Janel Moloney (Donna Moss from West Wing).



Favorite soda? Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi

Thursday, January 20, 2011

yesterday

I was surprised at how into Minnie Kendall was. She looks skeptical in the picture, but I think she was pretty excited to be so close to her. :)



Chris took Kendall off for a while and rode the carousel. Cam was having a rough time. We had gotten him all hyped up for Indiana Jones, only to find he was too short. He did not do well with that. He wouldn't let it go for quite a while, so I sent Chris off with Kendall so I could try to help him. He does not do well at all when we tell him something, but then change it. Even something as simple as telling him he is going to eat an apple and then a banana. If we change and tell him he'll eat the banana first...not good. It needs to be what we initially said. So this played into his disappointment as well as just not getting to ride a fun ride. Luckily he did come around, I think it was thanks to a trip to Tom Sawyer's island with Nana and Papa. :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

*I mentioned recently that we made a BBQ chicken pizza and put potatoes on it. Sooo good! Since then I've been on a potato kick. We've put them in chicken tacos (don't judge...it's fabulous) and now my favorite lunch. I buy a big bag of veggies at Costco, then make a bowl with chicken, onions, potatoes, and some feta. It is such a great combo and I have it almost every day.


*A friend and I recently were talking about mall play areas and how they must be very germ infested. I used to be a little sketched out by that thought, but I finally realized that there are no more germs there than at parks. I think we feel like there are more because it's inside? Plus, for me, since finding activities for 7 days out of 7 days can get hard, I need places like these (we visit them at least twice a week). I just make sure I have my antibacterial gel ready when we leave. And I must admit, McDonald's tunnels really are kept pretty clean. I've found this out on the few occasions I allow Kendall to climb around (it's been only a few since it always involves me following her through the whole thing, making sure she doesn't get stuck!).

*Kendall is so cute in the mornings. The first thing she says when I get her is, "Eat? Eat? Waffle! Waffle!"

This morning I thought I was had. When Cam went to eat his waffles, he said, "What's that? Can you get that for me?" I tried to play it off and pretend I didn't know what he was talking about. But then, "Is that BROCCOLI?". What? Broccoli? No, they are...um...waffles (which technically wasn't a lie because they WERE waffles) :) Luckily I had him take a bite and he realized they tasted like normal. Phew!

* I feel like I'm a little closer to solidifying a plan for Cam. We are attending an orientation tomorrow for a clinic the University of Redlands has. I have some good leads on people to ask, now we just have to figure out the logistics of when/where they can work with him...as well as how much it will all cost. I'm feeling more encouraged.

*Current Bachelor favorite: Emily

Sunday, January 16, 2011

the little things


When you have a child on the spectrum, or with any disability, you tend to celebrate those tiny moments that other parents might not ever notice. Little things are made huge, simply because they don't often happen, or it signifies something great in the life of your child.

Today we were at the mall and Cam had brought in one of his Thomas trains. As we went down the escalator, he placed him on the rubber railing, pretending it was a road and Thomas was traveling down it. This was so neat for me to see. It was so "typical" of him, which was special for me. Pretending hasn't always been a part of his playtime, which if you know anything about kids on the spectrum, can be a big hurdle (I never knew pretend play was SO important for brain development).

Anyway, I think I needed this "typical" moment today. I've been feeling discouraged lately with the progress we are seeing with Cam. Looking at his IEP goals (created several months ago), I don't see much progress toward them. He is working toward 1. Raising his hand when asked a question indirectly (meaning it is asked of the class, rather than him specifically...which involves him raising his hand to answer) and 2. Engaging and SUSTAINING (that's the kicker part for him) an interaction with a peer for at least 5 minutes.

I'm frustrated that the only service the district gave us seems to be doing nothing (which I suspected would be the case and repeatedly informed them of this when it was all they were offering), and I'm frustrated with myself for waiting even a few months to research what else we could do (since it seems to be up to us at the juncture). Right now I'm in the process of finding a grad student intern who needs hours (or we could pay) to come to his school and work with him and another student weekly. And if this doesn't work, I want to find another child we know that might want an hour of playtime per week with Cam and an intern. I would do it myself, but it just isn't as effective with mom facilitating the interaction.

Those are my rambling thoughts for today. Sorry this was a little lengthy and not very exciting...like me making myself sick with some Motherload. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

eat your heart out, you wimps

Chris and Cam went out to dinner tonight at Claim Jumpers. This is what he brought home for me. This is for all of you, "Oh, I just can't handle that much chocolate! Just too rich!". :)



p.s. The only change I could make would be to get rid of those nuts!!

p.p.s. I'm heading off to bed right now with a hurting stomach. Yes, I actually ate half that thing all by myself. Ugh.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

fresh and easy, costco

I have not been THAT impressed with Fresh and Easy. I think their produce is supposed to be reasonable, which I have yet to check out. I have found that since they are a small store, they mainly carry name brand items, which are more expensive than the generic of Staters or Walmart. However, I HAVE found that chicken breasts are the cheapest there...hence our 20 pound chicken bake today. :)



So, rather than load up at Costco today, we just bought:

*Bananas
*Batteries
*Milk

I've started a new addition to our Costco routine each week. After we are done, Chris takes off and the three of us head to the mall next door (we go to the Costco in Moreno Valley...MUCH less busy than San Bernardino). The kids play in the play area, then they get to ride one ride (the coin operated ones). We walk around a bit and head home. It's a nice outing and a good chunk of our day.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

a few kid tidbits

*I've never been good at doing hair, my own or others. I'm dreading the day Kendall wants fun things done with her's because I can't even do a french braid. I was quite proud of myself that I actually put two pigtails in today. It was quite easy since I did it while she was eating.





*Cameron received a Thomas set from my parents for Christmas. I had it set up when he returned from my in-laws yesterday. He is IN LOVE with it. It is very cool in that it's remote control and plays music.



*Cam has had the flu (or symptoms similar) for the past couple days. He last threw up yesterday afternoon, so I'm following the "48 hour" rule (of being contagious) and not sending him to school, despite him feeling fine. It was neat that he seemed bummed not to go to school. So this morning we took a walk, which I made a little too long. Kendall got very unhappy toward the end, probably because her hands had turned to ice. :) This afternoon we'll head to the park to feed the ducks and play. Hopefully he'll still feel good tomorrow for school.

*Kendall was crying off/on from 10:30pm until after 1:00am last night. I rocked her twice but could not figure out what the problem was. I realized in the morning it was probably because she was drenched in pee. I didn't realize it when I rocked her because I double layer her and the pee hadn't made it to the outside PJ's. I felt so bad. :(

Sunday, January 9, 2011

*Chris and Cam have been gone since Friday. They'll get home tomorrow and I promised Cam I would have his new train set all set up for him when he returned. Boy am I terrible at doing stuff like this. Nothing like a kids' toy to make you feel stupid!

*A long time ago I saw part of an infomercial about the exercise, Zumba. Basically it's a sassy/salsa form of Jazzercise (which I did in high school and loved). I didn't think anything of it because it was an infomercial, after all. How popular could it really be? But from what I've read, it's VERY popular. In fact, they are actually putting one in our little town (ironically I passed it on my way back from getting a probably non-Zumba approved, loaded up frozen yogurt)! :) If OUR town is getting one, it must be big!

*Kendall and I have been enjoying our mother/daughter time this weekend. We had a nice visit from my parents and sister's family Friday night. Yesterday we went over to hang out for a few hours. Today they left for OC, so Kendall and I went to Palm Springs. We went to the street fair and I got some cute beaded rings. We then went to the mall, where I let her run around till we were both tired.

*Kendall adores The Fresh Beat Band. Any fans out there? Personally, Marina is my favorite. :)

*My parents offered to watch ALL FIVE KIDS for a night while Chris and I and Susan and Chris get away for the night. Woohoo!

*It's really annoying that Kendall won't wear mittens on our walks. Her hands are like ice when we return. I know I just need to force her to keep doing it. Then maybe she will get used to it and won't cry the whole time.

Friday, January 7, 2011

sisters

So it's been wonderful to have my sister and her family here. While we haven't physically been together for a few years, my inbox each day typically includes an email from her, so we have always stayed connected. Nice to pick up right where we left off...plus a couple extra kids. :) Here are a few pictures so far.

The first day we went to my mom's friend's house to jump on her trampoline.



The second day was our "Christmas" celebration. Unfortunately Susan's middle daughter, Ashley, came down with the stomach flu. Due to Cam heading up north with Chris this weekend (for a funeral), we didn't feel good about exposing him to the virus. So we moved Christmas outside and it worked out great! Little Ashley was a trooper and snuggled up in a sleeping bag on a lawn chair while the rest of us opened presents and had lunch.



I made a trifle for our dessert. I realized that this is one of those desserts that I have zero willpower with. Typically I'm good at limiting myself with desserts, no matter how much they are calling my name. However bringing this home with us yesterday after lunch was a big mistake. Huge. :)


The two oldest cousins holding their brownie pops.


Chris and Cam just left to head up to his parents'. Kendall and I stayed back and are having my family over for dinner tonight. We'll get one more day with them before they head to Orange County for two months.

p.s. Little bit of trivia: Both of our husbands are named Chris. :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

*Today I saw my sister for the first time in about 3 years!!!! Woohoo!!!! They are here from Germany and it was so neat to finally meet her youngest daughter for the first time, as well as see Cameron interact with his cousins. Their last visit was rough as we were in the midst of learning all about our little guy and so he wasn't the happiest when around the family. The highlight of my day was when I told Cam it was time to go and he said, "I don't want to go. I love Savannah and Ashley. I want to see them again." Ahhhh.... Tomorrow we will celebrate a very belated Christmas, so I'm sure I'll have pics to post.

*A few nights ago I made what Chris has deemed, "the best pizza you've ever made". It was just the Pillsbury crust with BBQ sauce, chicken, sauteed onions, real bacon, chicken, potatoes (I had cut a raw one in strips and sauteed them), and cheese. The kickers, we both agreed, were the potatoes and REAL bacon (rather than bits).

*Yes, I'm watching The Bachelor again this season. No, to fangs girl. Yes, to who he gave the first impression rose to...she was my favorite. :)

*We are in need of some changes with Kendall's sleep. 5:30am wake ups and hour naps are NOT OK. I think we need to adjust the bedtime to later.

*Made White Chicken Enchiladas tonight. Chris has been working A LOT and has been sleeping horribly. This is one of his favorite dishes I make, so I figured he needed something to look forward to at the end of the day.

*If I could have someone take one chore off my hands, it would be cleaning our kitchen floors. For some reason I detest doing this.

*I think I found the cure for Kendall's constipation!!!! A doctor friend of ours told us that apple juice is actually bad for it because it has so much sugar. The sugar causes the poop to become more dense (sorry TMI), therefore making it harder for her to poop out. He suggested prune juice. It took a few days, but boy was her diaper fabulous today!!! Not sure if I'm going to put her back on dairy or not. 2 weeks didn't seem to do anything, so I think I might.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

couple goals

I've never stuck to a New Years' resolution entirely except for once, and you'll probably not believe me when I tell you. I actually gave up chocolate for an entire year. Yep. I still can't believe I did it. It was back in college. I'm quite proud of myself and it felt really good at the end of the year, considering how much I ADORE chocolate. It did open my eyes to other kinds of dessert (no, not the dreaded fruit/dessert combo, but things like caramel and butterscotch), which was the only good thing, I guess.

Anyway, this year I have several things I'd like to improve on. I'll share two. The first is reading through the Bible. Our church challenged the whole congregation and Chris and I decided to join. I like the idea of doing it together with so many other people. I also like the idea of doing it, period. It's something I never done and am ashamed that I have been a Christian this long and have to say that.

The second is to increase the variety of my kids eating. I feel like they eat pretty healthy, but I'm horrible at giving them a variety. A big reason is that Cam is VERY simple in his eating tastes. He doesn't like things mixed, like casseroles, tacos, pastas with stuff in them, etc. He doesn't even like meat. The good thing is that he'll always eat what we tell him to, with pretty minimal protests. However it takes him FOREVER to do so. So I also need to figure out how to tackle that. Do I set a timer and he's done at the end? He goes to bed soon after dinner, so I know he won't ask for something later. So do I just give him a bigger breakfast in the morning, since I know he'll be starving? All questions we'll have to navigate, but something needs to be done. He is too old for me to still be bringing food to people's houses (I probably still will to restaurants because I'm all for saving money and not having to buy him a kids meal, since he doesn't seem to care!).

Saturday, January 1, 2011

trip

A couple days after returning from Chris's parents' home (we spent Christmas there...and I forgot our camera...grrr...), we headed to the coast for a few kidless days.

Chris's aunt offered her condo for us to use (she lives on the coast about 45 minutes from Santa Barbara) for a few days. We asked our friends, Jeremy and Ana, if they wanted to join us. We relaxed, ate REALLY good, golfed (guys), got a pedicure (girls), and had GREAT conversation (which if you know me, you know I LOVE that). It was such a nice little break from parent-duty.




The kids stayed with my parents and did great. It was nice not having to worry about them and know they were having fun back at home. But it was also nice to get back to them as I missed them while we were gone.

So today we are back to our normal life again. Chris took Cam to breakfast and to Mcdonald's to play this morning. I took Kendall on a walk, for which she screamed most of the way. This was due to the horrible parenting I practiced in forcing her to wear her mittens (because it was beyond freezing!!). :) This afternoon we decided on a Target visit as it is just too dang cold for a park. When we return, it will be movie extravaganza time with "Space Chimps" (not sure about this one, but we'll give it a go).

p.s. We are quite proud of Cam as he has finally mastered the McDonald's play area slide. In his defense, that thing is dark, long, and a little scary. He is very happy with himself for, "not being scared anymore". :)