Friday, September 30, 2011

chick peas and whoopie pies

I saw these roasted chick peas in a magazine and wanted to try them. I think they are the tastiest little things and sooo healthy (I just did olive oil and garlic salt)! I think they'll be great on salads and just to snack on. I'm still trying to sell the kids on them, calling them "magic beans". :) Chris? Well, when he tried one he surprised me by saying that they weren't that bad. "So would you eat them if I put a bowl in front of you?" "Um, no". Darn.


Whoopie Pies seem to be the "in" thing right now. A friend tried some pumpkin ones with maple filling that sounded really good. My grocery store was out of pumpkin, so I made chocolate whoopie pies with cream cheese filling. While they were VERY good, I think I need to try ones with a marshmallow filling base. A cream cheese frosting is a little too runny. But they are very easy and make a pretty presentation, so I will definitely try more flavors. :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

more randoms

*Operation laxative with Kendall has been a great success. She poops regularly and isn't in nearly as much pain as before. :)

*We've been having some issues with Cam at school. He does a couple things (making spitting noises, getting in kids' faces and sticking out his tongue) which HE thinks are silly, but which the other kids do not. I've really had to crack down and have even started time outs at home whenever he makes a spitting noise. I'm working with his teacher and have also started a chart system. He gets to put a sticker on each day in which he doesn't land on red (naughty color). We've talked A LOT about it and I think it's sinking in. He was very excited to put his first sticker on today :)




*Bubble Guppies while mom gets dinner on the table:



No, Chris isn't an avid Bubble Guppies fan. However Cam asked if he could sit next to him. Cam NEVER asks to snuggle, so Chris wanted to take advantage. :)

*Some might think I'm dumb (Jen, maybe?), but I put my wedding gown up on Ebay today. It has sat in my closet for the past 9+ years. In this day and age, girls want their own dresses, not their mom's, so I don't think Kendall would ever be in need of it. While I adored it, I'm not a real sentimental keeper of things that I don't need. So if you know of anyone, feel free to take a look...

*I enjoyed Hart of Dixie, however it was a tad cheesy. I love made for TV movies, despite the cheese factor. However I'm not sure if I can handle an entire season of a show. :)

*Cam has to have his front tooth (it's an extra one) pulled on Monday. They'll need to use laughing gas. I'm nervous not only about the procedure, but about how the laughing gas will affect him. :(

*I think Pinterest is cool, I just can't get into it. I don't really enjoy browsing clothing websites, house decor websites, etc. if I can't purchase anything. Same with real shopping. I don't enjoy going shopping if I can't buy anything. I'm not a browser if there is no purpose. :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

*Yesterday was kind of a long day for both Chris and I with the kids. We were SOOO looking forward to a kidless dinner of Gourmet Pizza. I stopped at Staters on my way to get groceries AND to get the coupon that comes on the back of the receipt. For some reason they stopped printing them. Ugh. It's just too expensive for us without a coupon, so no pizza for us. :(

*We are starting a mom and kids music class at the library this week. I'm excited. :)

*Last week when we arrived for our appointment at the DMV, Cam loudly announced as we walked in, "I hate this place!" We got quite a few laughs from those around us as it was clearly their sentiments exactly!

*Sometimes I wish I were a coupon-er. I just get so overwhelmed with it all and don't know where to begin. Seems like the ad coupons are never things that we need. I know there are more places to get coupons besides the ads, I just don't know where to even start.

*I found the CUTEST jacket at Costco tonight, which I promptly plopped into the shopping cart and texted my mom that I just purchased a Christmas present for myself on her behalf. :)

*Wore jeans for the first time in a long time yesterday. Not a big fan. I'm just not ready to give up the heat.

*I helped in Cam's class today. I left COMPLETELY worn out and I was only there an hour. I don't know how she (or any teacher for that matter) does it...especially with kids as needy as kinders!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

tax dollars at work and more baking

I know everyone complains about taxes, and we are no exception. However I will say that it sure is nice when you actually see and benefit from those tax dollars. It makes you feel a tiny, tiny bit better about it all. :)

#1 When our pediatrician first told us that she saw some red flags with Cameron (back at his 15 month check up), she immediately referred us to Inland Regional Center, which is a county program. For the next 2 years, we received services (speech, OT, home teacher) for absolutely free. Parents of kids on the spectrum (or any disability) can spend tens of thousands of dollars on treatment. It was nice to be on the receiving end of treatments, without the price tag.

#2 I still am in awe that Cam's school is free. His amazing teacher is free. His wonderful experience he gets EVERY single day is free. Love it.

#3 I'm just going to brag for a minute and say that our little town has one of the best library departments for kids I think there is. The whole 2nd story is devoted to kids programs and we adore our playtime/story time every Tuesday morning. I love that it is such a fun activity for us, and it's totally free. This morning they had family day and we again had a great time. :)

Cam won a brand new book in a game we played. It's a book about time/clocks, which he LOOOOVED!



Kendall loved the Playdoh station. Here she is in awe at one of the little toys that squeezed the stuff out like spaghetti. :)



Chris is heading to OC tonight to meet with a client, followed by watching the UFC fight with friends. I wanted to send him with some treats, which gave me good reason to try these little gems: Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies. Wow. I thought they might be a little dry since the Oreos aren't that gooey. But they are wonderfully delicious!! I used 1/2 an Oreo per cookie because they would be gigantic otherwise.

The professional version:


My version:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

allowance and awana

Cam got some money for his birthday from his great grandmother. He had such a fun time spending it at Toys R Us. I think one of the highlights was looking at all the prices and trying to find items that were under his limit. :) It made me think about giving him money of his own on a consistent basis. So here are questions: What age is good to start allowance? What is a good amount for a 5 year old? What should we require? Thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Here are some pics from last night's Awana. It was parents night so I stayed the whole time. Unfortunately they were short staffed so the night was a little disorganized. Cam and I sat at a table waiting to be called for him to recite is verse for over 30 minutes. The great part was how amazing he was. For a kid who has a difficult time with attention, he was sooooo good! It was worth the kind of long, chaotic night just to see that.




Disclaimer: This video probably is only interesting to family since it's just the kids talking to the camera in the morning. I realized I want to get more videos to capture their little voices (especially Kendall's right now, which is just too adorable).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

*One thing that made you smile today: Watching both kids dance their hearts out at our library playtime this morning.

*One thing that didn't make you smile: Kendall has started asking for things in this way, "I would like a cracker RIGHT NOW!!!!!!" (however secretly it's a little funny to hear her say it so emphatically)

*Last thing you ate: Green grapes (love that they are on sale at Staters for 89 cents a pound).

*One thing you are looking forward to this week: Tmoms!! (MOPS group)

*One thing you are not looking forward to this week: Braving the DMV tomorrow with both kids because I lost my license. Grr...

*Dinner tomorrow:
White Chicken Enchiladas (these are among our top five, sans the jalapenos and cayenne)

*Favorite season: Summer. I'm not quite ready for fall so I'm happy the heat is continuing.

*Current favorite TV show: I'm looking forward to trying Hart of Dixie. I've always liked the actress (Rachel Bilson) and I tend to also like shows set in small, rural towns. :)

*Unlimited funds + shopping spree = The store Anthropologie. I adore everything there. I've never purchased anything because I would always be thinking, "I just bought pants for $80 and I could have bought about 4 things from Target with that..."

*You wish: Chris could get better sleep. He has trouble sleeping far too often. I wish I could help him somehow, but sleep is one of those things that can't be made easier by someone else. :(

Monday, September 19, 2011

oreos and peanut butter and brownies


Cameron informed me the other day that we hadn't baked in a long time. I realized we hadn't so I decided to try a recipe I recently saw called, Oreo and Peanut Butter Brownie Cakes

I tweaked them a little, like only putting one Oreo, covering it with peanut butter, then putting a few chocolate chips on top before pouring the brownie batter. They were very yummy and so fun to look at when you cut them open.

A before baking pose:



He was quite into counting out three chocolate chips for each one:



The finished product:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

branching out

When it comes to eating out, Chris and I are not the branching out type. We typically stick to the restaurants we know we like. I HATE walking out of a dinner feeling yucky because we wasted $30-$40 on food that wasn't that great.

Tonight we decided to give it another try, but it only solidified why we just need to stick to what we know. With that said, we actually had a really nice evening together. We went to downtown Palm Springs and enjoyed walking around. The restaurant we chose was very cool looking and I loved eating out on the patio (I love people watching). We had nice, uninterrupted conversation, which we all know is a rarity with small kids.

However we both gave our meals a 6...and that is pretty low, even for us. I chose a "Tuna with Artichoke, Provolone and Garlic Aioli Panini". Sounds good, right? It tasted like tuna and bread with no other flavor. Oh well. I guess I need to look at the fact that everything else about the night was great. And Cheesecake Factory...we'll see you soon. :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

*To help my little girl along with her pooping woes, I made some tasty muffins using Fiber 1 Cereal. Cam likes them too and they are great to cut open and put a little peanut butter in the center for his lunches. I was also able to sneak some veggies in and I swear you can't taste them!



Buttermilk Raisin Bran Muffins

2 cups Fiber 1 Cereal (crushed to a powder)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup olive oil
1 egg
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbls Wheat Germ
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup pureed cauliflower
1/3 cup pureed garbanzo beans

Mix all ingredients and pour into prepared muffin tin. Bake at 350 for approx 12-15 minutes. Makes 12 good size muffins.

*I LOVE country music. I love how simple the themes of the songs are and it just always lightens my mood. I've noticed that, despite it being mild compared to a lot of other genres, there are still things about many of the songs that I don't want my kids to listen to. So if we aren't listening to their CD's, we now listen to music from our local Christan station. I'm not the biggest fan of the music, but a few songs have already grown on me and I like the fact that it is not only safe for the kids to listen to, but it is GOOD for all of us. :)

*Chris and I have officially decided that the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland is a waste. Yes, it's cute...but totally not worth the wait. While he and Kendall waited in that line yesterday, Cam and I went on three rides!

*We went to a park playdate this morning with my moms' group from church. Cam LOVED it and a friend of mine even commented on how social he was being. :)

*One of my favorite parts of the day is getting Kendall up from her nap. She lets me cuddle for a few minutes and I just soak it up. :)

*Want to settle a debate between my sister and I? When you write a post for your blog, do you say...

"I blogged today"
OR
"I posted today"

Thursday, September 15, 2011

hey cameron...

...guess where we are going after school today!!



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

still not used to it

While there are some advantages to Cam's 11:30-3 school schedule (like me getting some down time since Kendall naps then), I still can't say I'm a fan. I would rather have his school in the morning. It's hard to go on outings in the morning because they many times are cut short. I like afternoon outings because they are open ended and I never have to worry about when we get home.

I know this is such a SMALL complaint and I wouldn't trade having him in this school for anything! So I just need to keep plugging away at the things we have discovered for our 6:30am-11:30am time slot. :)

*"Nature Walks": The name came from the first time we went and we collected leaves and rocks. Now these just consist of riding bikes/pushing baby strollers around our neighborhood. We do this most every day and it eats about 30 minutes. :)

*Library Playtime: I wish this was twice a week. It eats about an hour.

*McDonald's: We do this about once a week because there is one close to Cam's school. Eats about 45 minutes.

*"Jake and the Neverland Pirates": Going to be honest and tell you that these 23 minutes (if you have Tivo, you know that's how long the kids shows last) of my morning is something I look forward to. I get to sit down, email, and relax.

*Playtime in Bed: Kendall likes to play in her bed (I think it's because she gets to have her pacifier in bed). Cam and I will hang out in her room and it's a good time to read together without her coming over and pounding on the book while we read. :)

*Walmart: Always a good time to be had at Walmart :)

*Parks: We'll frequent these more now that the weather is better.

That's about it!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

book

This morning I brought out a book I had not read in a long time. My mom bought it for me a long time ago and I realized that the things in it are probably a lot more relevant with the kids at the ages they are. I forgot how awesome it is! It's called Creative Correction and is by Lisa Whelchel (that girl from Facts of Life).

First off, she is SOO practical and has whole sections with idea after idea of things to try. Here are a few examples I thought were so creative:

*Offer your child one ingredient to their favorite cookie recipe every time they ___________ (i.e. take their plate to the kitchen after a meal, put p.j.'s on by themselves, etc.). At the end of the week, they'll earn all the ingredients and you celebrate by making and enjoying the cookies.

*Save the plastic Easter Eggs. Fill each egg with candy or a coupon for extra TV time, cookie after dinner, etc. Every time a child makes a choice that "defeats Satan" as Jesus did when He rose from the dead on Easter Sunday, they get to choose an egg.

*When your child wakes from a nightmare, after praying for them and giving hugs, tell them to turn their pillows over and lay their heads down on the "good dream" side.

I also like how many of her ideas are accompanied by what to say to weave scripture into your explanation/discipline. If you click on the link for the book, you'll find you can get used a one for less than $5 on Amazon. Well worth it. :)

p.s. Wanted to include this pic from this morning. We went to the Stagecoach Days parade in a nearby town. The kids sat nicely for over an hour and loved it all. Wow! We sure do love our parades!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

lab work and disneyland

This afternoon I took Kendall to get her blood drawn. The GI we took her to wants to do a few tests just to make sure her constipation is not due to anything else. I was dreading it because I have horrible memories of doing the same thing with Cam back when he was a baby. While she screamed a lot (I tried hard to cover her eyes so she couldn't see it happening), it was done rather quickly and she snapped out of it pretty well when the nurse brought her a sucker. :)

She was so cute afterward because she would not stop holding the bandage they had placed on her arm. She held it all the way back to my mom's (she had come with me for moral support). :)



So what did Cam do while we were out (because goodness knows her screaming would not have gone over well with him!)? He and daddy went to Disneyland. I get little text updates and it appears as if the combination of the heat and kids back at school has made for a no-lines day. Perfect!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

*We have really grown to love Pat and Oscars. It's a perfect restaurant for families with its fast service and casual and noise friendly atmosphere. We also like that it's located right by a duck pond, making our dinner out more of a longer outing. The biggest reason we like it is the price. We've fine tuned our order so that Chris and I splitting a meal and the kids splitting a kids' meal (both meals are HUGE!) is pretty perfect. And we are out of there for right under $15!




*I love this pic :)


*I posted a long time ago about scavenger hunts. I take pictures of Cam's little toys, download them, then he has look at the computer and go find each one. Today we initiated Kendall into the hunt and Cam loved ushering her around. I make it even more fun by hiding a chocolate chip with various characters. :)


*Cam has developed a yucky habit of picking his nose, then sliding that finger right into his mouth. 9 out of 10 times there isn't even anything retrieved from said nose, but he just automatically puts that finger in his mouth. Yuck. I read online about the strategy of giving him a small bowl of M&M's at the beginning of the day. Every time I catch him doing it, I take one away (right in front of him). I want to find a non-melty candy, however, since I want to be able to take the jar with me when we go out.

*Everyday Cam reports to me who was naughty in his class. Discipline involves unhappy/firm sounding teachers, which is ALWAYS taken notice of by Cam. Today the first thing he told me was that he was put down to the red (naughty) square because he was being silly with a classmate and not doing his work. While I talked to him about my disappointment, secretly I was thinking, "Awesome! He was interacting!!" :)

*Here you go Susan and mom, here is my pirate cake: :)



*I love chocolate, cinnamon, and a few other Goldfish flavors. I hate the regular cheddar kind. They taste like wannabe Cheez-Its.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

birthday weekend

Well, Cam's birthday week is officially over. We got back from my in-laws' yesterday. Saturday we went up to Hume Lake's Country Fair. There were game booths, bounce houses, and the lake. Sunday was party day. Chris' mom NEVER disappoints food-wise when we have a get together. We requested a make your own pizza bar. I can't believe how much work this took. Not only did she make homemade crust, but we then chose from over 25 toppings! She had several kinds of gourmet cheeses, veggies, tons of meats, nuts, etc. It was amazing, to say the least. :)

The night before I made the pirate cake I mentioned last week. It turned out pretty cute and while time consuming, was very easy.




My sweet boy.


Some good friends and their kids came over for the afternoon, so after we ate we let the kids enjoy the slip n' slide and kid pool.




This last picture was actually taken that morning before church. I couldn't resist because she just looked so stinking cute in the new dress from grandma. :)


I hope fond memories of the weekend will help distract Kendall today as she is in the midst of "operation laxative". Here's our conversation on our way to Walmart this morning:

Kendall: I don't want to go to Walmart!
Me: But we need to get some groceries.
Kendall: And medicine?
Cameron: Yes! Medicine so your poops will come out!
Kendall: I don't want my poops to come out because it's yucky!!

Little did she know how miserable it would be. We have had lots of tears (me AND her) the past couple hours.
Suppository + laxative = unhappy Kendall. I sure hope this works...