Wednesday, August 31, 2011

*One of our neighbors helped us out with fixing our car brakes. He likes to be paid with homemade goodies. I made these, except substituted chocolate chips for the white chocolate chips. Wow! I would give them a 9 rather than a 10 only because they are a tad sticky to hold/eat. Pretty darn tasty, though.

If my picture didn't convince you, here is Picky Palate's:

*Afternoon work break for Chris turned into a marathon game of Kids Monopoly, a game we gave Cam for his birthday. Cam liked it so much we all played it again after Kendall went down. Cam cleaned house both times. :)

*Took Kendall to a Gastroenterologist for her constipation issues. While nothing is seriously wrong, there are a few issues which makes me really glad we saw a specialist.

*I'm not convinced Fresh and Easy is cheaper than Staters, however it sure is a lot more entertaining for the kids to help me check out with their self-check.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

5 years ago...

My little guy turns five today. I can't believe how much he has changed my life in the last five years. I never knew I could love such a little person SOOO hugely much. We had a rough first couple years, in not knowing exactly what his needs were and what things were difficult for him. We have come so incredibly far and he has grown to be one of the most kind, empathetic, fun, sweet little guys. He is wonderful, truly wonderful.

Last night we slipped into his room and hung a few birthday signs I had made as well as filled his floor with balloons. He was quite excited when he woke. :)

After some cinnamon rolls Cam opened his presents. Here he is reading a book. Chris surprised him (and me!) with the sweetest book he wrote. I think I enjoyed it more than Cam! :)

I left Kendall at home and took Cam to school along with some goodie bags and cupcakes for his friends. He liked helping me hand out the bags as well as devouring his cupcake. I think he felt pretty special. Happy Birthday Cam!!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

plan B

Today I was really excited because my mom had passed along some information about a carnival up at Lake Gregory. I packed us a picnic lunch and we headed up right after church. We arrived at 10:00 only to find out it didn't start until 1:00. I was really frustrated with myself and felt bad that the kids had already been in the car a while and now we had to head back down.

Luckily both took the news relatively well (thanks in part to a frozen lemonade from Mcdonald's!). We knew we needed to do something fun so we ended up going to Ontario Mills to walk around and escape the heat.

After the mall we headed over to the Bass Pro Shop and then came home. While it wasn't what we had in mind (and I was still disappointed to have missed the carnival), we still had a nice day. However I must say that both Chris and I were pooped by the time we got back. We all watched "Up", played upstairs, and then put the kids down early because we were beyond ready for some mommy and daddy down time. :)

Enjoying our "picnic" lunch in the food court. :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

*I just watched the fist episode of Pioneer Woman on Food Network. She was cute but there was a little awkwardness to the show. I'm sure it will get better. :)

*I got my hair highlighted today. For some reason she spent an extra long time rinsing my hair. I swear I would pay the same amount for her to wash my hair for two hours. I almost fell asleep it felt so good. :)

*Yesterday afternoon the four of us went to the mall. Afterward we had dinner at Pat and Oscar's. I signed up for their family rewards card and they gave us $10 off our visit! So the four of us ate for $5.86!

*We went to visit our friend Jeremy and Ana and their family this afternoon. She made quite possibly the tastiest pizza I've ever had. She spread fig jam over the crust, then added prosciutto and blue cheese. It had more flavor than you could imagine. Sooo good!

*We have run our air the past three nights in a row.

*We will be heading up to my in-laws this next weekend. While we are there, we'll celebrate Cam's 5th birthday. Since he is very into Jake and the Neverland Pirates, I will attempt to make this adorable cake I found. Luckily there is a video showing exactly how to make it. Fingers crossed it turns out!

*I kind of feel like I should give up soda, but I can't quite muster up the motivation yet. I drink about a can and a half a day. It's kind of a weird mental thing I have that drinking 2 cans is too I usually dump part of the second can.

*Kendall enjoys playing in our little pool in the backyard. She LOVES playing in the pool when I let her strip down to nothing while doing it. :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

*Costco for dinner and grocery shopping last night. On the list:
Frozen Veggies
Wheat Thins
Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches

*We celebrated my mom's birthday a couple nights ago. Here she is in her fabulous hat. She bought this a few weeks ago when she and my dad went to the Ventura Fair. Such a fun hat to have for Halloween...and birthday pictures!

*I've been struggling a little lately with getting frustrated with some things Cameron does that are just HIM. I'm pretty good about not showing him my frustration, because that is so not fair to him, but I still feel it and I feel guilty.

*Printed out a coupon online today for Chuck E Cheese. $20 for 100 tokens. This will get me about 7 visits. Not bad!

*Last year Cam was anxious every day during drop off at Pre-K...all the way until the very last day. So far he has only been anxious the first day of his new school. Drop off is a breeze. :) That tells me how much he truly loves it.

*Making Pioneer Woman's Caramelized Onion & Prosciutto Pizza tonight. I've had it a couple times made by other people and it is SO tasty. Sidenote: I'm anxious to see her new TV show on Foodnetwork. :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

weekend of cheap outings

Outing #1: Yesterday Kendall was sick so figured it best to try and keep her separate from Cam (not sure the logic of that thought since they live in the same house anyway). Anyway, after his swim lesson I took him to Pharaoh's Lost Kingdom in Redlands. I could have taken him to the moon and he wouldn't have been as happy. I couldn't believe how much fun this kid had. What was even better was the price. For $9.99, he got two hours of unlimited bounce houses, mini golf, and bumper boats. It was nice for me to just sit and relax and watch him have fun. I'm bummed it's a little too old for Kendall so I can't do it with both (otherwise I might look into season passes). Outing total? $10 (+ $3.50 for a Starbucks for me...hehe)

Outing #2: This morning I wanted to go to the 99 cent store to get a few things. I told both kids they could pick out one item. They loved roaming around choosing their toy. Total for outing? $2

Outing #3 This afternoon we took a walk, making a detour at Staters to let them pick out a cookie to split from the bakery. Total for outing? 50 cents

Friday, August 19, 2011

*GREAT second day of school. On the way he said, "Mom, I'm so excited for my very first second day of kindergarten!" :) It's quite hectic during drop off/pick up so I haven't gotten to talk to the teacher. However today as she released Cam to me she said, "He is doing awesome!" Wow. That made my weekend. So looks like we are all happy...except Kendall. Poor thing cried most of the drive home this morning saying, "I want Broby! I want Broby!!" It was kind of sweet. :)

*One of my favorite recipes Chris' mom has passed along to me is Beerocks. It's a basic bread dough that you use to make mini pockets filled with ground beef and seasonings. The reason I love them are 1. You can experiment with the filling (just think of your favorite pizza toppings or sandwich contents and fill!) 2. They are great to freeze and so easy to pop out, microwave, and eat! Tonight I filled them with chicken (in a sauce) and cashews.

*Tomorrow night is movie in the park here. They are showing Toy Story 3. Seeing as the movie starts an hour past Cam's bedtime, I sure hope he can make it most of the way through.

*I swear anytime I here the song, Knee Deep, by the ZacBrown Band, I just smile and it puts me in a good mood. Crank it up if you want to's so fun :)

*I didn't mention this a while back (because I was so angry at myself), but a few weeks ago I accidentally backed into my brother-in-law's car. Talk about going through, "If only I had..." Everything was worked out and his car was fixed, but I still felt terrible. Then about a week later when my dad, Cam, and I were going hiking (my dad was driving his car), someone in a parking lot backed out right into us. It all worked out but I'm officially DONE with fender benders! :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

first day

Our first day was quite a success. While he had kind of a hard time at points during the drop off, overall he did much better than I had expected. :) The parents were able to hang out for about half an hour, see them eat lunch and listen as the teacher read them a story. And while he teared up a few times (as did I), he didn't cling too much to me and was SO brave. We are terribly proud.

When I picked him up, I could tell he had a great day. When I asked him if he had been scared at all he answered, "Absolutely not!" Chris and I attended the back to school night this evening. I left a little overwhelmed at all the things parents are encouraged to do, but I also left so thrilled at the wonderful school Cam now belongs to!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

irvine park

We had a very fun last day before school. We met Ana and her kids at Irvine Park for the morning. The weather was perfect and the kids had a great time riding the train, feeding the ducks, and going to their little zoo.

Kendall loved riding the horse...for the first 1/4 of the ride. The horse briefly paused and decided to poop. I said, "The horsie is pooping! Let's wait until he's done!" For some very odd reason, she didn't like the fact that he was pooping and starting crying...a lot. We had to end the ride early and it upset Cam enough to where he didn't want to go himself. Maybe next time... :)

I'll let you know tomorrow how Cam's first day went. I'm really, really dreading it. My main fear is that they won't let me stay with him for the first 15-20 minutes. Since it is recess/lunch for the first 1/2 hour of the day, I know he'll be very anxious since it will be more chaotic than if they kids were all in the class. I REALLY don't want to just drop him off with "Bye!" I really, really don't want that.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


My new favorite snack for all four of us was discovered at Costco. Many times the kids will eat the samples of something, which then gets me excited and, "Wow! Let's buy this since they obviously will eat it at home!!!". However I'm often disappointed when the magic of Costco wears off and they want nothing to do with it at home. These little gems were different and it's nice to have another healthy snack option. :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

*A really dumb pet peeve of mine has to do with drinks in movies. Have you ever noticed that whenever someone is carrying coffee or soda, they never carry it like there is REALLY liquid in it? They are always waving it around and you can totally tell it's empty. They need to do a better job of pretending they are actually drinking something. Notice next time. :)

*Chris' brother spent the night last night. Made BBQ chicken pizza with bacon, onions, and cashews.

*Cam loves Peter Pan right now and likes to be called Peter Pan. I am Wendy, Chris is Captain Hook, and Kendall is Tinker Bell.

*Agenda today: Moreno Valley Mall for the play area, Costco. I'd like to look for a small backpack. Now that the kids are older, I don't need a huge bag to cart around things. But I love backpacks, rather than bags, so that I can have my hands free.

*Went to the 100th celebration of our city library on Saturday. They had crafts and games for the kids. It was such a nice and FREE activity for the morning.

*My mom and I are going to see The Help this week. Should be interesting to see how similar it is to the book.

*I tried to see about having Cam meet his teacher before the first day of school. They are moving locations so they said it wasn't possible with all the chaos going on. While I understand, I'm really disappointed as I think it would really help Cam for his first day.

*Dinner tonight: Hamburgers

*Isn't it interesting how cooking show hosts are always so careful about washing their hands with raw meat and being concerned with germs, yet they always use their bare hands to pinch some salt and put it in the recipe??

Friday, August 12, 2011


Sometimes I've had people ask me what my hobby is. I always answer that I really don't have one. Yes, I love baking...but I'm not sure that is a hobby because I never do it without a purpose (meaning I have someone in mind to give it to). I've come to realize that if I had more time (mainly without kids), I think I could easily take up hiking. I love it. I love how it's outdoors, how physical it is and how peaceful/quiet it is in the mountains. This week I hiked twice with Cam. The first was with my dad in the Running Springs area. Cam enjoyed it, but I've realized that he actually likes climbing rocks (big ones) a little more. Here are we are at the top of a big one.

Today I took him to Mt. Baldy. I had read about it and knew that anything involving riding a chair lift would be right up his alley! He loved the chair lift and loved being up on the mountain. I had to adjust my expectations slightly as we really didn't do THAT much hiking. I realized that ski runs are pretty steep and Cam isn't into hiking enough to get worn out doing it. So climbing on tree stumps and throwing rocks of the cliff played as much of a part in our hike as the actual hiking did.

Cam: "Look! I'm the Statue of Liberty in California!"

And what did Kendall do both of these days? The first day she hung out with my mom, and today she and Chris spent the afternoon in Palm Springs, playing at the mall and browsing a couple golf stores. :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

recently baked and cooked...

It seems like most peoples' favorite combo is chocolate and peanut butter. When I saw these cookies I KNEW I had to try them. They really didn't disappoint but I will say that if you make them, it's SUPER important to not overmix when you add the peanut butter. The unique part of the cookie is that you get bites of peanut butter as you are eating it. I think I overmixed mine a tad and not all of them had the good swirl effect she talks about.

The next ones just looked too fun not to try. Seems like the best of both worlds with cookie dough and brownies. My only complaint was that the cookie dough layer might be a tad too thick for my liking, rather than the same as the brownie. They are very rich!

Here are mine. You can see you can't really even see the peanut butter swirl in my cookie. If you don't get that, it just tastes kind of like a chocolate cookie with a little peanut taste.

Lastly I had bought the container of Hidden Valley Ranch a while back (I can't believe how much cheaper it is than the packets) and wanted to use it somehow. I went onto the Hidden Valley website and found Ranch Beef and Noodle Skillet. It was pretty good, however the leftovers were even better. I spread the mixture on a homemade tortilla (thick) and sprinkled cheese on top to make a pizza. Because of our love for pasta on pizza (thanks to Gourmet Pizza), I figured it would be tasty. It sure was. It's nice to know that I can use pasta dish leftovers as pizza again like this.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


One of the things Dr. Laura talks a lot about is the importance of the polarity between a husband and a wife when it comes to raising children. One of the differences she highlights is the fact that women tend to be so much more emotional when it comes to their kids experiencing fear/discomfort. We want to shield them from anything negative, even if we know deep down that the experience is for the best. Men can see the bigger picture...that some discomfort is necessary. It's easier for them to not let emotion cloud the situation.

On Saturday Cam had his first group swim lesson with a new teacher. I'm so glad I was wearing sunglasses because I was tearing up the majority of the time. While she was nice, she wasn't super warm and I could tell she got frustrated a few times with him. She was challenging him more than his other teachers, which I think was good because he needs to make more progress. However my poor little guy was scared most of the time. When he would flounder in the water, stare at me with tears in his eyes, or I would hear his little voice, say, "Ok, I'll try...", I about lost it. I had this inward battle of, "Am I being too protective? Is this good for him? Do I need to accept that not every teacher is going to be warm and gushy?" It was such a hard place for me.

So we've decided Chris will be the one to take him from now on. He'll be stronger, but he'll also be able to decipher whether or not the teacher really is being too hard on Cam, or if I was just too emotional about the whole thing. Secretly I'm hoping Chris will not like what is happening and we can discontinue swim...but I know that is my emotional side talking, not my objective side. :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

almost school time!

I can't believe Cam has one more full week until school starts. This summer has flown. I've loved having him home from school and in some ways, I'm bummed because a lot of our summer was hampered by speech classes and swim lessons. While he loved both, it made it difficult sometimes in planning outings.

Yesterday we started out at Panera Bread for a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel for Cam and a Cinnamon Crunch Scone for Kendall. I swear I could eat that scone every day for the rest of my life. Sooo good. Too bad it has as many calories as a Burger King Whopper!! :)

Anyway, we had an awesome time at Victoria Gardens, hanging out at the playground, playing in the fountain, and going on the train. I have so loved my two little playmates this summer. They engage each other so well now and we just have so much fun wherever we go. Sorry if this is a little too gush-gush, but I've just felt really overwhelmed lately with how much I love my two little ones. :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Legos vs. Lego

*A while back I decided I needed to give up my French Vanilla coffee drink. I was not only having too much per day, but it was replacing my breakfast because that is what sounded good to me. I can't imagine the chemicals that actually made up the powder were very good in the quantities I was having. Anyway, I've started actually having a REAL breakfast, which consists of the best oatmeal ever, in my opinion. :) I make it with 1/2 soy milk and 1/2 water, then I add wheat germ (for some nuttiness), cinnamon, and a little brown sugar. So good!!!

*I know every mom says this, but I really wish I could freeze this age with Kendall. Sometimes I just sit and watch her because everything she does is just soooo adorable. My favorite right now is how shy and coy she gets when it's her turn to pray for dinner. I wish I knew what the little whispers were that come from her mouth. :)

*Do you say, "Let's play with Legos", or "Let's play with Lego"?? My brother-in-law claims "Lego" is correct and that everyone adds an "s" when there shouldn't be one. :) Anyway, my mom saved the Legos from when I was a kid and I'm so glad she did. Cam has really been into them lately. He's not quite to the building stage, but he loves to pretend play with the little men and instruct me on what buildings to construct so he can have a "Lego city" for them.

I actually loved building the little city and was quite proud of my restaurant, gas station, and hospital. :)

*Text conversation between Jen and I today:

Me: I have a great idea! When you download the pics you will take today on your computer, email us the girls trip pics!! (because I had asked for them several days earlier)
Jen: I know! I have a great idea! Get a Facebook account and you could have seen them already on Monday! I'll email them soon :)
Me: Ahhh...scratch my dirty neck. :)

I really am not "holding out" on Facebook because I somehow think it's cool to do so. I just don't want to add another computer activity to my life. Who knows..maybe someday... :)

*Today at the library story time, the woman asked everyone, "What are some fun things you did this summer?" Cam belted out, "We went to the beach!!" This may not seem like a big deal, but it's actually really big and is one of his IEP goals. In school, he would always answer a question when asked directly TO him, but never when asked to the general class. So...WOOHOO Cam!!

*Today Chris is taking Cam to his last day of swimming, then to Barnes and Noble to look at books about sharks. It's Shark Week on Discovery and we had Cam watch a show last night. He really liked it. Granted, sometimes he was more interested in the exact mileage to the Indian ocean (where the footage was from) and how long it would take to get there, but I think he also enjoyed watching the sharks. :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Today I stopped by a local music store to check out how much lessons would be for Cam. We want to get him involved in some sort of activity, but have decided against music. I know there has got to be gobs of things for young kids to enjoy out there (that don't cost a fortune). Dr. Laura always talked about how great karate/martial arts was for kids, especially when it came to building good self esteem. I'm thinking of looking into this, but would love other ideas that your kids, or kids you know have done. :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

fun to look at...but...

I love browsing through other peoples' cookbooks. The other week I was feeding the cat of some friends of ours while they were away. They let us hang out and play with their toys while we were there, so I took advantage of the kids being occupied and cracked open her cookbooks.

I found this recipe that looked really fun. I only copied the tortilla idea and then filled it with scrambled eggs and cheese. It was relatively easy and made a cute presentation. However it REALLY wasn't the most practical to eat, especially for kids. Here is Cam's attempt:

Here is Kendall's satisfied face amidst cheers and claps from all three of us because she took a bite of the eggs. :)

So while it was kind of fun to try something new and creative, I think I'll stick to food that is a little more kid-friendly when it comes to actually eating it. :)