Saturday, December 31, 2011

good book


We heard about this book a while back so I requested it for Christmas. It's a GREAT book in teaching kids about telling their parents if they were ever to be touched inappropriately by someone else. It's very simple, not wordy, and drives the point home in a fun, kid-friendly way. I would highly recommend it if you have a young child. :)

Friday, December 30, 2011

back to life

We have had such a fun 2 week break. Yesterday we got back from several days with my in-laws and had a wonderful time. I even got a pedicure and some kid-free Christmas movie watching during the daytime. :) Some highlights:

*Playdate with my friend Jana, and her kids

*Date night with Chris to see Mission Impossible (SOOO good. Better than Sherlock Holmes)

*Lots of good food

*Watching the kids have waaaay too much fun playing outside on their property. There is just so much space for them to play :)



*Bonfire with hot dogs and smores




*Fun park visits

*Great car rides to and from

*Discovering a new little Oak Glen'ish type place with an amazing tree house and shops



But now we are back to reality, which is sad but welcome. I'm ready to get back into the school routine again, and so is Cam :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

christmas

Chris' side of the family celebrated with us on Thursday. We had a fun time together and the kids enjoyed seeing their cousins. The weather was wicked (by our wimpy California standards) so we stayed in all day. :)

Cookie decorating:




Friday we took his parents and grandmother up to Oak Glen for breakfast. That night I had a fun catering job with two friends. We didn't cook the food, but we prepared and served it to a wedding of about 150 people. It was really fun and I'm hoping to be able to do it again with the woman who runs the business. It was nice to be able to earn a little extra cash, especially this time of year. I also enjoyed working outside the "mom" role for an evening. :)

Yesterday and today we spent with my parents. This morning we opened presents just the four of us, then my parents and a friend of theirs' arrived. Chris is sick, so he stayed home while we went up to Oak Glen for a hike. It was perfect weather and we had a great time.


We came back to a yummy lunch and a Happy Birthday Jesus cake for dessert. Such a fun Christmas. Tomorrow we head up to Chris' parents until Thursday. We are taking as much advantage of Cam's time off from school as possible! Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!!!

p.s. Remember my "goal" of starting to exercise? I just ordered this...we'll see how motivated I am come 5:30 in the morning January 1st!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

pumpkin crunch cake


I posted this recipe a while back in the hopes that I would someday try it. Well, try it I did and it was wonderful. Wonderful. :) We celebrated Christmas yesterday with Chris' side of the family and my SIL requested I make it after seeing it on my blog. It was...

*VERY dense
*VERY rich
*VERY unique in the texture aspect
*VERY, VERY yummy

I would highly recommend trying it for a Holiday gathering because it's so pretty to look at and pumpkin is obviously festive to serve.

Sidenote: If you make it, maybe telling people that it requires 6 1/2 sticks of butter isn't a good idea. It might make it less appealing. I know...can you believe that???? :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

*Very nice date night last night. Went to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie (great!) and dinner at Cheesecake. Unfortunately Cheesecake Factory has REALLY raised their prices. Our selection of what we order has been decreased quite a bit. We were still able to get out of there with a bill of $23, but it's a bummer that many of the things we used to enjoy are no longer an option. :(

*While Kendall took a fever induced loooong nap today, I took Cam to Pharaoh's for a couple of hours. We then came home to a family movie night (Kung Fu Panda II) and made homemade french bread pizzas. We used to have these all the time when I was a kid. They are so easy, cheap, and fun for the kids to make.

*Right now Kendall is REALLY into volcano videos. For some reason one day we talked about what volcanos were and I showed the kids some videos on Youtube. Now it's, "Can we watch "mallcanos" on computer? See "ba-lava" please???" I'll admit that at first it was rather fascinating watching the footage. However I'm a little over watching hot lava rivers. :)

*I'm thinking about making a new year's goal (that seems less threatening than a "resolution") of starting to exercise. I've determined that the easiest way would be to do a DVD before the kids wake up. I'd like to do one with some exercises with weights. I read all the time about how this is so important for your bones and keeping them strong, especially as you age.

*I was given a little grief last year for not sending a Christmas letter. I'm almost done with ours this year, but I can't guarantee it will be out by Christmas. :)

*I'm making an appetizer dip for Christmas. My mom introduced it me and it is one of Chris and my favorites!! It's just a block of cream cheese covered in whole cranberry sauce and pine nuts. So good.

Friday, December 16, 2011

our days

I've been having a difficult time the past few days with Cam's attitude. What he does is very hard to even put into words, so I won't try, but I have found myself using the exasperated tone of voice that I have never liked. I try to be firm, but calm in what I say, but sometimes the "at the end of my rope" tone can squeak out.

Anyway, despite some struggles, we have had a fun couple of days. Yesterday afternoon we were supposed to meet my parents at Disneyland, however with our car packed and already 30 minutes down the road, it started raining and so we called it off. But we made a fun evening out of it and took the kids to the mall, Chuck E Cheese (thanks to some coins I found in the glove compartment!), and Red Robin for dinner.

Today Kendall and I tagged along on a field trip with Cam's class to a convalescent home to sing Christmas songs. Cam got to sit on Santa's lap (a first!) and tell him what he wanted. Later this evening some friends came over for dinner and we had the kids decorate Christmas cookies. Both kids were very into it and I was pleasantly surprised that they actually listened and didn't eat as they went along (for the most part!). :) I made BBQ beef sandwiches, using Chris' mom's homemade dinner roll recipe. I just am not a very good bread maker. They were good, but not "I literally could live off of these every single meal" good, like I think his mom's are.



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

un-crafty Kelly

I've never been one to enjoy making crafts. Unless I find one that I'll actually use (other than sitting on a shelf as a nicknack), doesn't cost a lot for the materials, or would make a great gift, I'd rather spend my free time baking/cooking. Anyway, I thought I had found a GREAT craft idea. The key word is "thought".

I stumbled across a blog that taught you how to make homemade snowglobes. I thought this was such a cute idea and decided to make them for my kids and two of my nieces for Christmas. Well, after several trips to the store for materials (not finding what I wanted, getting the wrong stuff, etc.), more money than I thought spent on the materials, I realized why I don't craft. :(

If you look at the blog, (*see bottom of post), you'll see how they are supposed to look. What they aren't supposed to look like is this...



Lovely how Lauren's little body is all faded and bleary and the glitter is stuck all over. Even more lovely is how my carefully colored flowers bled all over and looked like tie-dye. I'll admit I had REALLY high expectations and I was excited to give these on Christmas. (sigh) I guess I'll stick to cooking.

Speaking of cooking, tonight we had meatloaf and I needed to use the oven for something else. I put it into two little loaf pans and set them in the crock pot. They cooked perfectly and even had more of the crunchy outsides (which I love) than they would have had in one big loaf. :)



*http://www.ourbestbites.com/2011/12/how-to-make-a-homemade-snow-globe/

Sunday, December 11, 2011

story time

Earlier I had Chris snap this pic because it represents a pretty big breakthrough for us. The reason we are all snuggled together is because Cam is telling us a story...FROM SCRATCH! I'm sure you've told your kids made up stories before. It actually is kind of hard to think of original plots you haven't told before. Anyway, making up stories uses LOTS of imagination, something which Cam and many kids on the spectrum struggle with. Cam is very literal. However it is good to stretch his little brain in this way. There has been a lot of research that shows the huge impact pretend/imagination play has on brain development. So all that to say we are SO excited for Cam to enter this phase. His stories are cute, creative and quite long. :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

*I still have not gotten Kendall's laxative intake right. It's either too much or too little. Secretly I'm not distraught over this because it's a good excuse to put off potty training! :)

*Yesterday my mom watched Kendall during Cam's school so I could do some Christmas shopping. I was SO productive! My time mainly consisted of many stops to get gift cards. These types of errands are so much more of a hassle if you are unbuckling/buckling at each stop!

*This past week we went with my parents to Thoroughbred Lane in Rancho Cucamonga. The Christmas lights were absolutely incredible. The kids enjoyed it, but I think it was a little too long for Cam. He loves Christmas lights, but in shorts spurts. :) it was also hard because there was no sidewalk and there were lots of cars around. But it sure was amazing to see some of those houses. :)



*Checked out a few cook books from the library. I flagged several recipes but decided I would run them by Chris before attempting them...lest I have a repeat performance of my zucchini boat debacle. :)

*Today Cam and I baked some cookies to give to his school friends for Christmas. I made a normal chocolate cookie recipe, then dumped in A LOT of butterscotch chips and peanut butter M&M's. VERY yummy. :)



*I know Kendall loving Disney princesses is not unique to little girls, but that doesn't stop me from thinking it's the absolute cutest thing in the world when she demands to wear her princess dress to pick up Cam from school. :)

*The other day:
Cam: What happens if everyone toots?
Me: Well, everyone DOES toot.
Cam: Well, what happens if everyone toots at the same time?
Me: Well...it would be very stinky!
Cam: Yes! And we would all live in a tooter world!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

bombed again

So today I tried another recipe that bombed. This was the next bomb after my veggie burgers I posted a while back. Basically you hallow out zucchinis and stuff them with a combo of sausage, cheese, bread crumbs, zucchini flesh, and tomatoes. While I really liked them, no one else did (although Chris said the insides tasted good...just not the "boats") and I found myself really frustrated. I wasn't frustrated with Chris and the kids, just the situation. It's hard to spend a lot of time (they were really labor intensive) on a meal and be the only one to like it. Moms really need to have a tough skin, don't they? :)



p.s. I'm not going to give up experimenting with meals, but I will say I'm not super motivated after watching my son spit out his first bite and say that his "mouth hurt" and could therefore not finish his meal. :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

*Last night we met some friends for dinner and then to see some Christmas lights down in Long Beach. It was a really fun evening and the kids loved seeing the lights, running, looking at the boats in the canal, running, and running. They were all over the place, but luckily it wasn't very crowded. The funny part was that despite enjoying the lights, all four kids might very well say their highlight was playing with the dogs of a guy we ran into at the end of our walk. I guess we could have just met at a dog park. :)



*I made my monthly batch of waffles this morning and I thought I would share the recipe. I make the waffles, package two per bag, then freeze (this recipe lasts me about a month with Cam having them almost every morning). I simply pop a couple out onto Cam's plate each morning (don't even heat them up). I put about a tablespoon of syrup in a bowl and he dips away.

Healthified Waffles :)

2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup oats
2 tbls. baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbls. flaxseed
2 eggs
3 1/4 cups milk
2/3 cup olive oil
1 can garbanzo beans (pureed with about 1/8 cup water)
1/4 cup honey

Mixed together and make your waffles!

Here's Cam's breakfast mid-way through :)



*Over the past month and a half, Chris has been having major computer problems. He has probably spent 50+ hours on trying to fix it, bringing it in to have someone else look at it, etc. I have never seen him so discouraged and frustrated. He FINALLY had a break through yesterday with a visit to the Mac store out in Palm Springs. With some great advice, he bought the parts needed and it now works. What a load off. For someone whose entire family's livelihood depends on a computer, this has been a huge stress and an equally huge load off to have it fixed! Woohoo!!

Here he is with his office torn apart amidst the fixing:

Friday, December 2, 2011

thoughts on health

Sometimes I get frustrated with the new information that seems to constantly be presented to us about this food or that food being bad. Dairy is bad according to some. Meat is bad according to some. Non-organic fruits/veggies are bad...and the list goes on. We try to eat healthy. We try not to eat foods that are more chemicals than actual food. I don't buy white bread. I know some disagree, but I honestly feel in my gut that SOOO many of our diseases (even Autism) have been caused through numerous indirect links of the chemicals in our food, environment, etc. But sometimes I get overwhelmed with it all. For instance, while Cam rarely drinks Juice, Kendall drinks it every single day so I can dilute her laxative in something yummy. So when I watch this, I get frustrated that me buying 100% juice might not even be safe. Ugh...

Sometimes I really think living back in Little House on the Prairie days would be so nice. We would grow the food we eat. Period. :)