Tuesday, June 28, 2011

a few cute kid things said

*As we were walking out of the library today, I was explaining to Cam that I couldn't find his rabbit books, but that we would look again next time. He was getting rather grumpy about it and I told him he needed to stop. After some silence he said, "Mom, I'm sorry for my bad attitude." He has been doing this a lot lately and it just melts my heart that he takes the initiative in saying it and really does change his attitude immediately following it. The kicker was when he then said, "Can you hug me?". Wow. for a kid who has never been big on affection, I about fainted. So cute.

*I've been helping at our church's kids' camp this week. I take Cam and Kendall to the preschool class while I'm away. It's difficult because I have to drop them off at the same time in the same room. Kendall cries when I leave, making Cam upset. He has told me several times he would rather her not go at all. :) On the drive today he asked her, "Kendall, are you going to fuss a long time or a short time when we get there?" This evening, after he helped me put her down, he looked in her crib and said, "Kendall, if you fuss when we leave, I will NOT come in and see you in the morning!" :)

*One of the first things she said this morning when I went to get her up was, "The clock says 40 minutes". I died laughing. Only the sibling of a numbers/time obsessed brother would even know a sentence like that!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Saturday we headed up to Oak Glen for a hike. It wasn't one of our better ones as Kendall was wanting to be held most of the time and it wasn't exactly a cool day. :) I think we've decided to just take Cam for a while until we think Kendall can handle walking more on the trail.

Today we went to Victoria Gardens for a while. Normally we end with the Bass Pro Shop, but Kendall had been complaining of a tummy ache and was a little lethargic. We were at least able to hit the carousel on the way out.

Sorry it's blurry. Chris took it with his phone as we were zooming past. :)

Tonight was a splurge meal for Chris and I made this recipe. It was kind of a disappointment, as are a lot of the fettucini alfredo recipes I've tried. I feel like they are too salty, not creamy enough, or just don't have that rich flavor you want. If anyone has an awesome recipe (the real deal, not low fat), please send it my way!

p.s. Do you know how much proscuiutto costs??? Try $12 a pound!!! Luckily we only needed 1/3 of a pound for this recipe. And to be honest, I prefer bacon for taste as well as price. :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

*I'm not sure if I've posted this meatloaf recipe before, but it is SOOO good. It's very moist and also super good wrapped in a tortilla as leftovers.

Taco Meatloaf
1 lb. ground beef/turkey
1/8 cup taco seasoning
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Mix together and mold into a loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes (check after 30, depending on your oven). I actually made it in the crock pot so I wouldn't have to heat up the kitchen. I won't even try to give you the time since my crockpot is very weird and runs super hot.

*Yesterday Kendall and I were waiting for Cam to get out of speech. I was talking to another dad about the preschool class his son was in. He said the kids were pretty severe. One of the students was 7 years old and wanted to just sit and eat crayons most of the day. My heart broke for the child, but also for the parents. It's so hard to not get angry at the seeming unfairness of it. How much those parents long to just connect even a little with their son. While I can somewhat relate to them in worrying about Cam and how he'll make his way through life, I simply have no clue what they must go through day in and day out, while the rest of their friends are probably attending their kids' baseball games, going to the beach, etc.

*Kendall has started getting a kick out of spitting, as in spitting out her prune juice all over her clothes. It's really fun.

*Operation "eat as a family" commences on Monday. I've written down our dinners and bought most of the ingredients. I'm doing the staples I know they'll like except this one new recipe I found.

*One of my least favorite parts of summer is having to put sunblock all the time on the kids. Yesterday we were at the park and I really didn't want to go through the process, so I had us play in a more shaded area, just so I could avoid it. :) I think it's a hassle, plus it makes them so greasy for the rest of the day. I know it seems like such a minor thing, but for some reason it's a pet peeve. :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"station activity" and fingerprints

I think I've said before that Cameron isn't always the best at independent play. My mom had an excellent idea of having different activities on a chart that he had to complete. I knew he would REALLY get into a chart where he had to check off something upon completion. So I hyped him up for "station activity" (not sure why I couldn't think of a more creative name). He LOVED it. I listed several activities for him to do (read books, mazes, play with race cars, etc.) and he checked off each after completing it. At first I told him he had to set the timer for 5 minutes for each one, but he wanted to continue even after the timer beeped, so the whole thing lasted more than an hour!! It was awesome as I got to work in the kitchen the whole time and just had to help now and then. I don't think I'll do it every day as I think he'll get sick of them after a while, but it will definitely make another appearance this week! :)

This morning we headed to Fingerprints Youth Museum in Hemet. I was a little hesitant when we walked in as I think I had higher expectations, but we ended up having an amazing time!! I think (from what I've heard) it's probably like a low scale Pretend City (in Irvine). The kids loved all the little stations such as a grocery store, bank, house with complete kitchen, life size ambulance they could climb in, etc. I loved watching Cam pretend so much and Kendall was just in hog heaven the entire time. A mom there told me about an even better one in Temecula that I'm excited to try sometime.

Digging for dinosaur bones.

This was Cam's favorite station. He loved playing "cashier" and Kendall equally loved shopping for the groceries. Take a look...

Monday, June 20, 2011

*I didn't take ANY pictures of our second half of the week, but it was very fun. Wednesday I did some much needed deep cleaning, which felt VERY good. Thursday we drove to the Camarillo area to Chris's aunt's place. That afternoon Chris golfed while I shopped (with great success!) and had a very, very enjoyable time of reading at Starbucks. I'm not sure why this part was so enjoyable...maybe because I never do it. I'm reading Jane Eyre for my book club, so it helped that I had a WONDERFUL book to pass the time.

On Friday we drove to Santa Barbara and had a nice time walking around and eating at our favorite restaurant there. Saturday morning we packed up and headed back to the kids. We were both so anxious to see them and our little reunion didn't disappoint. They were sooo hyper and it was such fun to see them again!

We stayed the weekend and got home this afternoon after one of our better car trips. It was a great week for Chris and I, but it's also nice to be back home and ready for our normal routine again.

*At Kendall's 2 year check up, we found her iron levels were low. They gave me a list of iron rich foods and one of the best ones was Cream of Wheat. I wanted to make sure she didn't write it off on her first taste so I put a little more brown sugar than I normally would have. Luckily she loved it. Hopefully making that one of her breakfast staples will help a lot.

*I've been doing some research on fun things to do with the kids now that Cam doesn't have school. I found a cool museum and a new hiking trail area I'm excited to try.

*Very excited for the new Cars movie. I'm hoping to get my mom to watch Kendall so both Chris and I can take Cam.

*OK, I'm off to make some dessert. It's my last night of "vacation eating"...ahhh...so sad.

Friday, June 17, 2011

While we were in Vegas, I shared with Ana my thoughts about my kids' eating, family dinners, meal planning etc. While she was sharing with me that sometimes cooking dinner can be hectic in getting it all on the table amidst two kids, I found myself envious of her because I've been a big wimp when it comes to the "family dinner". So here is the deal-- Chris and I eat dinner each night, just the two of us. The kids eat before they go to bed. Once they are in bed, Chris and I have our dinner. I've always felt the main reason for eating dinners as a family was to connect, talk, and bond. However because Chris works from home, we are together as a family far more than is typical. We get a lot of family time during the day, whether that is outings or just spurts of time Chris takes a break from work and comes to play with us.

Because of this, I haven't felt badly about eating separate from the kids in the evenings. To be honest, I LOVE not feeling rushed or stressed because Kendall isn't eating. I like not being constantly interrupted or explaining to Cam why he has to take four bites of his hamburger, but the bites have to INCLUDE the meat. I also love not being in a frenzy around dinner time trying to get it all ready with them running around (I always prep their dinners during the day so I can just heat them up right beforehand). However I've come to realize three things:

1. I think both kids (Kendall in particular) have become so picky due in large part to the fact that they don't SEE Chris and I eating. Dinner is where you get the most variety of foods. They don't see us eating and enjoying those foods. I think this plays into their rejection of a lot of things.

2. Because we only eat with Kendall for breakfast and lunch, I have never forced her to stay in her chair for longer than when she is done eating. While I don't expect her to be able to sit the whole time, she needs to sit for longer than the two minutes she lasts when I plop something down in front of her that she doesn't like.

3. I end up feeding the kids things I know they'll eat...since I'm only making their meals. And why they are healthy, I KNOW I'm not exposing them to enough variety.

So while I'm not quite ready to pull the trigger on "family dinners" tomorrow, I know it needs to happen...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

first half

So the first half of our week without kids is over. We spent the past three days in Vegas with our friends, Jeremy and Ana. We had a WONDERFUL time. Chris asked me for my rating and I give it a solid 10! Here are a few pics:

Many of you know I love to ask fun questions. Before our trip I wrote out several questions and put them on little slips of paper in a tupperware. While they all made fun of "the bowl" (which is what it became known as), we all enjoyed the fun, but sometimes serious talks it helped start. A couple examples...what is a favorite quality about your spouse?...would you watch 1.5 hours of Fresh Beat Band every day for a month in exchange for 2 rounds of golf anywhere in the world (guys) or a $500 shopping spree (girls)? :)

Both Ana and I agreed that one of the best parts of the trip was our long stint by the hotel pool. The guys went golfing and we found some great shade and spent a long time talking, reading magazines, and REALLY relaxing. Wonderful.

I mentioned in a previous blog that I had found a cupcake place we wanted to try out in Vegas. We got some fun flavors and were very impressed by these cupcakes. My favorite was one called, Hop Scotch, which was yellow cake with a buttercream frosting, topped with a butterscotch ganache.

Our trip was also made fun by the text updates (with pics) from my in-laws about the kids. I loved hearing about their days and the fun they were and continue to have. We are SOOO thankful for the great care they are getting and are excited to see them Saturday. :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

cousins and a kid-free week

My brother-in-law sent this picture today and I just couldn't resist posting it. I think the thing I love most about it is that it's such a perfect image of how much Cam really loves his cousins (on both sides). He often asks about them and when he can see them next. For a child who is, in general, more hesitant about friendships and interacting, it warms my heart to no end to know how much he truly enjoys being with his cousins.

Tomorrow Chris and I are meeting his parents in Bakersfield. From there, his parents will take our kids back to their house until next Saturday!! I am beyond excited about our week with just the two of us...yet also a little anxious at how much I will miss the kids. Luckily, worrying about how they'll do isn't even a factor. They both adore their grandparents and I know they'll have such an amazing time. This thought keeps me from getting too sad about being away from them for so long. :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

*I used to be a Fuji apple snob. I've changed to Ambrosia. They are more consistent in always being nice and crunchy.

*Cam is VERY into time right now. He'll ask us probably 20-30 times a day what time it is (literally). Or he'll say, "How many minutes until 3:00?". We've talked about getting him a watch, but we aren't sure if that would just make him stare at it all day, waiting for the minutes to change. Anyway, when we were at Costco yesterday I could not resist this book. Not only is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse one of his favorite shows, but this book has a clock that he can move the hands of, then it tells him the time. Oh my goodness is he in heaven!! :)

*Bachelorette favorites: J.P. and Ben C.

*Yesterday at the mall play area Cam went up to a toy that another little boy was playing with. The boy kept pushing him away, despite there obviously being room for two to play. I ended up diverting Cam to another toy. I never know quite what to do because I can't force the other kid to share, and I certainly don't want him to continue to push Cam. Hmmm...

*I really love my days with the kids, however sometimes I just have to laugh. This morning's big excitement was seeing a fire hydrant. I had explained to Kendall what the fire hydrant was that belonged to her Little People. I told her we would see a real one outside. So the whole way to the grocery store she wanted to, "go see fire hydrant!!". It was quite a thrill for Cam and I to show it to her once we arrived. And she even got to touch it!! :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

a few cute kid things


*Today I had tivo'd a "Babar the Elephant", thinking Cam wold enjoy it. I walked in while he was watching and he said, "Mom, this is kind of a ridiculous show." :)

*While we were playing, Kendall was doing some poops and REALLY straining. Cam didn't like that she was upset and I kept telling him that her tummy hurt and he needed to be understanding. He then said, "Mom, can we pray for Kendall?" So sweet.

*We are borrowing Chris's parents' Wii and Cam ADORES playing bowling. It's become a daddy/son activity and Chris will often take a break in his work day to squeeze in a game.


*I'm not sure how this started, but one time I had Kendall bring Chris the whipped cream can. Now she'll often say, "Daddy, cream? Daddy, cream?" So I grab it for her and she runs into his office so he can squirt some on her finger.

*Whenever I cuddle Kendall down for nap or bed, she always says, "More cuddles? More cuddles?" I'm usually needing to get down to Cam or thinking of the list of things I want to get done while she sleeps, but I sure can't resist her little voice. I often tell myself that it won't be long until she doesn't want to cuddle and I'll look back on these precious times and wish I had them again.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

*The other day things were escalating in the car and I spotted the Christmas CD the kids had loved this past December. I popped it in and let it work its magic. I've always been very anti Christmas music until after Halloween. And while I won't let this phase last much longer, it sure puts me in a good mood to listen to Neil Diamond's Jingle Bells. :)

*Palm Springs today. We had lunch at Costco and needed a few things, including Wheat Thins. However after sampling these little gems, we made a switch. They are very tasty and have that cornbread flavor that is so yummy.

Afterward we headed to our new favorite park. The crowds were definitely down seeing as the desert heat seems to have arrived.

*Chris gave Cam his first summer hair cut tonight. He looks so cute.

*Made a huge pot of spaghetti sauce tonight to freeze. We bought a truck load of sausage from Costco for the pot as well. I portioned out each link and calculated out the calories for all the pieces. :) Sounds like a lot of work, but it makes it easier to know how much to serve Chris. I'm so proud of him as he has probably lost about 25 pounds since last winter. He's done it very slowly, just the way they say is the best way to keep it off. :)

*I went to a mini high school reunion last night. It was organized through Facebook, so I only found out about it through Jen. I really didn't want to go as I'm not a big fan of mingling. While I feel like I'm pretty good at conversation and asking people about themselves (rather than rattling off about my life for an hour), I would much rather go out with a few people as opposed to making my way around the room chit chatting. Anyway, Jen convinced me to go (and I tried to back out a few times) and I'm glad I did. It was neat to see people and learn about their lives and what they have been doing these past 14 years. :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

good to great

Seems like many outings we have taken have started out horrible, but ended up great. So was today. Chris had read about the Cherry Festival Parade in our town. We decided to walk to the starting point and let the kids watch. For some reason, Kendall was a ROYAL TURD on the walk. It wasn't quite the cute family picture of Chris pushing Cam in the stroller a block ahead while I lagged behind holding Kendall (due to Kendall cries leading to Cam cries). By the time we got there, I was dying from carrying Kendall most of the way and we were both questioning our decision to go.

However once we sat down, we had a wonderful time. The kids sat in our laps the entire parade (and it was long!). It made me again realize how much I have grown to love our little town. The walk back went much more smooth, thanks in large part to the suckers I had stashed in the stroller before we left. :)

p.s. While this morning wasn't great, Cam has been doing amazing with other children crying (I think Kendall is just the hardest for him). Last night we had some friends over for dinner and their baby was crying pretty hard. He was awesome and didn't even tear up. The same thing has happened a few other times recently and I have been amazed and really encouraged by his response (or lack thereof!). :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011


So my face hurt tonight. It hurt because I couldn't stop smiling. Our little guy was amazing at his Pre-K graduation. He was happy, smiling, and excited to be up on stage. While he didn't sing most of the songs, he did try to do most of the motions. He would often catch our attention and give us a HUGE smile. It was sooo wonderful for us to see and to think back a couple years. We probably wouldn't have even had him attend for fear of how he would do. What a little rock star.