Friday, March 30, 2012

DELICIOUS!!!

Tonight's meal was rated a "9" by Chris and I think the kids would agree. I made Baked Chicken Nuggets from a recipe I found online (I substituted buttermilk for the butter). Our side was Bacon Braised Green Beans (Kendall gobbled them up!). My mother-in-law made the green beans last Thanksgiving and everyone raved about them. They didn't disappoint again tonight. SOO much flavor for green beans!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

my kid-free day

This morning I had a doc's appointment and then headed to Starbucks for a Soy Caramel Macchiato and some reading time. My mom gave me a new book to try and I really like it. The last time I sat at Starbucks and read was last year and I forgot how relaxing it is!!

Afterward I went to Macy's. When I reached the check out counter I was VERY dismayed to find that my gift card I had planned on using had a zero balance. The dismay came from the fact that I had over $100 on it!!!! What???!!! Come to find out someone had fabricated a card and somehow put my number on it. Long story short, the Macy's rep I talked with could tell it was fraud and I will hopefully get a new card with my correct balance in the mail soon. Whew!! I never knew that could happen!!

I got a few chores done this afternoon (not as many as I had hoped for). I was able to get rid of a big bag of stuff at the thrift store which was SUCH a great feeling!!

I also made some cookie balls (or truffles) for Cam's old preschool teacher (whom we are visiting tomorrow) and his speech teachers. I can't believe how much the similar cake balls are at someplace like Starbucks as opposed to how much I made these for. One cake ball at Starbucks is $1.50. I made 57 cookie balls (granted they are a tad smaller) for $7.00!!! I used Strawberry Creme Cookies for the first time and they were quite tasty!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

*Went to see The Hunger Games last night with a couple of friends. It was great!! The book was better (which is always the case) but I still think it's so fun to see movies after reading the book to see the differences/similarities. :)

*Kendall has been doing GREAT with potty training!! She really only had a few accidents in the beginning and is even pooping on the potty! Makes me wonder if this could be the end of our constipation issues!! :)

*Last Friday we went over to a new client of Chris' for dinner. They have two boys a little older than our kids. What a night. What a wonderful, normal, this-is-what-typical-families-do night! The kids were gone to the back of the house or backyard most of the evening, allowing more adult conversation than I thought possible in a situation like that. We used to never go over to other peoples' homes for dinner nor have them to our house because it was too stressful for me with Cam. So great to not have that issue anymore!!

*I stumbled across this dress and LOVE it. I love the bow in the front and the poofiness of the skirt.



*My parents are taking the kids to Disneyland tomorrow. I'm not quite sure what to do with myself. :) I know I want to make a cleaning list of places in the house that don't get enough attention. :)

*Have you seen the new Turkey Provolone Sandwich at the Costco food court? While it looks good, I doubt it will make it into our rotation. $3.99 is a little steep for our Costco dinners....not to mention it's not THAT big considering it's 730 calories!!!! :) Also, for those of you who love Costco as much as we do, this is a great website.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

pretty typical weekend

Saturday morning Chris took the kids to Panera Bread for breakfast and then grocery shopping. I stayed back and relaxed as well as worked on a project I'm working on with Chris. I'm glad to be able to do something to help in his business. There is no way I could design, but laying out the innards of a book is something I can learn and I feel like I'm catching on pretty well.

Cameron had a T-ball game and then we came back for lunch and nap. While Kendall slept, Chris took Cam to watch the remote control car races.


Upon their return the kids watched a movie with some "movie candy" (candy they get to pick out from the bins at WinCo). I had tivo'd The Princess and the Frog, which for some reason was NOT a hit with either one. :)

That night we ate a fun but unhealthy dinner. I can see why eating unhealthy is very attractive to those on a super tight budget. We had tater tots topped with peppers, cheese, onions, and hot dogs. We figured out that the four of us ate for about $5! Too bad we can't eat like that every night! :)

This morning the kids took a much needed bath, then we headed to church. Afterward Chris brought the kids home as I had to stay for the next service. After I returned we relaxed while the kids napped/rested, then headed out to Palm Springs. Chris hit a golf store while the kids and I roamed the mall.

Eating a Sees sample:



I found this cute girls' bedset at JC Penney, however I'm REALLY not liking the no sale policy. I find myself not wanting to spend the full price because I don't feel like I'm getting a good deal. We'll see what I decide. :)



After the mall we hit Costco for dinner and a few groceries then headed home in some nasty weather.

Right now Chris is watching Tiger Woods win a big tournament and I'm about to make my Skinny Cow creation. :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

a few food items...

*I think I've mentioned before that my favorite part of a bag of chips/crackers is the very bottom. I love all the broken pieces for some reason. I think they are more salty and just more fun to eat. :) So here is my little snack pile today with my favorite chips. :)



*I've seen a few different cooking shows make colored sugar by simply squeezing a drop of food coloring in sugar and mixing. Seemed easy enough. And it really is! I colored sugar green to cover my Mint Oreo Cookie Balls today. I made them for the kids' teachers at my moms group as well as the girls at my table tomorrow. While I'm not a mint fan when it comes to dessert, I think most people are and therefore like these as opposed to regular Oreo ones.





*Two new foods my kids really like: Tuna and Bell Peppers. Woohoo!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

*Cam has been very into non-fiction vs. fiction. The other night during our bedtime devotion, I was telling him how God wants to be our friend and for us to talk to Him anytime we want. To this he replied, "Yes, mom. That is true. That is VERY non-fiction." :)

*I'm reading The Hunger Games right now. I'm mainly reading it because of all the hoopla as well as the fact the movie is coming out and I like to see movies right after I read the book. I'm to the point where it's hard to put down. Despite the plot being very creative (and slightly disturbing??), I wouldn't say it's one of my favorite of all time. However I'm very interested in the relationship outcome of the two main characters and therefore find myself looking for any spare minute to read a few pages!

*Tonight's dinner was hamburgers and sweet potato fries. It was actually a yam I bought but I still don't get the difference between the two. I especially loved the ones with the burnt edges. :)



*Today I was talking to a mom of a child in Cam's speech class. She also helps out in his school class. While I'm not hiding the fact that Cam is on the spectrum, I don't exactly tell everyone I meet. :) However the topic came up and I shared it with her. She was so surprised and said she never would have known. That always makes me feel good when someone says that. :)

*Potty training started last Friday and has gone relatively well. While she has pooped a few times in the potty, usually she likes to wait until I walk out the door at nap or bedtime to yell, "I pooped!!!!" (since she wears a diaper for sleep) :) Every time she pees in the potty she says, "I want to tell EVERYONE!" :)

*This is so odd, but for the past several years anytime I'm driving and a backseat window is opened, it REALLY bothers my ears to the point of it being too uncomfortable. I either have to crack my window (which I guess relieves the pressure in the car) or close all the windows.

*Today during Kendall's nap, I was working on a project for Chris on the computer. I decided to listen to the Pretty Woman Soundtrack. Not sure why, but that music (and most 80's music) is so relaxing/fun for me. I'm flooded with amazing high school and college memories. Ahhh...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

if I had pinterest, this is what I would pin for the future...

*This Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Salad Sandwich looks sooo tasty. I'm going to attempt it for the kids tomorrow...I wouldn't even dare try it on Chris. :)



*I've tried a tube of polenta before and was not impressed at all. I think I didn't know how to make it so it had much flavor. But I'm willing to give the stuff another shot. This Baked Polenta looks like the ticket.



*This pizza didn't interest me because of the toppings, but the crust. Good heavens is this right up our alley!!!! Thick, thick, thick!!!!



*This 3, 2, 1 Cake is SOOO intriguing to me (disregard the totally unnecessary fruit in the pic!). I read about it a while ago and don't know why I have not tried it yet. Basically it's a dessert for one that takes less than a minute. You mix two dry cake mixes (one has to be angel food). You take 3 tbls. of the cake mix, 2 tbls. water, then microwave for 1 minute. How easy is that??



*This Soft Chewy Wrap Bread looks good and the potato flakes in the recipe make me think it really is that soft.



That's it! Hopefully I'll make at least one of these this week and I'll report back!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

top 5


I recently read a book that definitely ranks in my top five of all time. It is called Unbroken, and I believe I'm a little late in the game as it was on the best seller list for quite a while. It is the true story of the Olympic athlete Louis Zamperini, whose WWII plane crashed and was captured by the Japanese.

It was one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. However the word "fascinating" is almost too positive of a word to describe it. What he went through is utterly unimaginable and made me feel rather pathetic for the things I complain about in my life. While some parts are hard to read (gruesome as far as how he was treated), it is SUCH a good story and I would highly, highly, highly recommend it if you want a book that you just can't put down.

p.s. The author is the same one who wrote Seabiscuit, one that I adored also. Not being a horse person, let alone a racing horse person, the fact that she held my attention soooo well speaks very highly to her writing! :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

grandma and grandpa

I told Chris that while the kids would have loved all the new experiences they would have had were we to have gone to Vegas this past week, I think they had an equally good time at my in-laws' over the weekend. :)

The Pumpkin Patch we always go to was open this weekend. The kids were so excited to go again!






Chris and his dad went golfing and took Cam for the first half. Here he is inspecting the score sheet, which he liked to fill out. :)



Playing around on the front lawn.



p.s. Last night Cam played catcher for his game. He was so cute in his equipment. I wish I could have taken a video of him bending down each time to get the ball. It was like he was in slow motion because he was not used to those bulky knee guards!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

*We had Cameron's first T-ball game Wednesday night. It was very cold and Kendall was doing such a great job of watching and playing around the bleachers. I decided a fun treat was in order. French fries seemed to be a hit. :)



*Twice a week we drive to the University of Redlands for speech. Basically the grad students in their speech department work with kids for a semester. They are supervised by a professor, who might pop in every now and then to make suggestions. This semester Cameron has another little girl with him, whom he really enjoys. I sit in an adjacent room, listening on headphones and watching through a one-way mirror. Kendall plays at my feet with some toys. It's neat for me to observe him without him knowing. :) Here is my view:



*Thursday we went to Disneyland. Since Cam didn't have school, we were able to go during the day and have more time there. It was perfect weather and no crowds. My parents joined us and we had a great time.



*Chris surprised me by arranging for us to drop the kids off with my parents last night so they could have a slumber party. We went out for our anniversary. We had a giftcard we had been wanting to use to The Cheesecake Factory. I feel like it's been a while since I've had a "10" of a meal. Last night was it. It was The Roasted Pear and Blue Cheese Flatbread with pecans, caramelized onions, and arugula. It was soooo flavorful! And get ready for this. It was only $5.95!!! It was on their "Skinnylicious" menu (though it sure didn't taste "diet"), so the portion was smaller than their normal, hence the price. It was the perfect amount for me and I was so excited. I texted a picture to my friend, Ana, because she had made a similar one once that I had just raved about :)



*Now I need to go pack for our trip to my in-laws, then we'll head over to pick up the kids and be off!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

10 years




Today we celebrate our 10 year anniversary. I feel like I'm pretty good on this blog about not going on and on all the time about Chris, but I'll ask that you indulge me with a bit of rambling this once considering the special occasion. :) I look back on our time together and can't believe it has gone so fast. We have had many fun memories together, some hard ones, but overall I can't believe I chose the most amazing partner I could ever have imagined.

People often tell you important things you should look for when choosing a partner. When I look back at our dating years, I never remember making sure that Chris had certain qualities, which I should have. But I'm so fortunate that he ended up having so many attributes that have helped make our marriage so easy and fun.

I never thought to analyze how he was with money (which is HUGE!), however I'm so thankful that he is not a spender, going out and buying the latest toys and gadgets all the time. I never thought to talk about the division of labor at our home. And to be honest, no one can prepare you for how your life will change with kids. He turned out to be such an amazing help to me, always taking the initiative to fold laundry, unload the dishwasher, take the kids on an outing, etc. All when I don't even ask. He just sees and does. :) I don't think you can ever 100% accurately predict what someone will be like as a parent (to a certain extent you can, but not fully b/c you don't know the type of children you'll have). But Chris truly loves being a dad and it's so evident in the way he interacts with the kids.

I read a statistic somewhere which stated that the divorce rate for families with special needs kids was 70%. Yikes!! During our most difficult times with Cameron (and many times it wasn't even so much WITH Cameron, it was me being a blubbering wife with all my worry/anxiety), it always seemed like he was strong when I wasn't, and I was strong when he wasn't.

I don't think we ever even talked about what we would do when we had kids (work wise), however I'm so thankful that Chris not only supports me staying at home with the kids, but loves that I do. I often take for granted the burden he bears in supporting our family, especially over the past few years in this economy. I take for granted the nights he stays up well past when I go to sleep, working on a project. I couldn't ask for a better provider.

While the phrase, "I married my best friend" sometimes can sound cheesy because it's used so often, I couldn't think of a better phrase. Despite Chris working from home, I still secretly get bummed when he has plans at night because I know I'll miss him. Except for golf, we pretty much do everything together and I never get tired of it. He is wonderful...truly wonderful. :)

So Happy Anniversary, Chris. I love you so, so, so, so, so much!!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

first hike of my "hiking club"

I put hiking club in parentheses because it isn't exactly official, but I sure want it to head that way after the fun we had today. We met up with three other moms and had a WONDERFUL time. Normally this hike takes us about an hour and 15 minutes. We were gone for 3 hours! The kids stopped along the way to water the trees (they have buckets along the trail for this exact purpose) and played a ton at our lunch stopping point. Cameron did so great in playing with the other boys and Kendall was content to walk, holding my hand most of the way.

I hope to plan more in the future, but it will be hard once Cam goes back to school, which is smack in the middle of the day :( If anyone reading this lives near me and wants to join us sometime, please email me and I'll be sure and include you on my next email invite!

Bummer I took this with my camera and my own son was cut out (on the far right)!!!! :)


Saturday, March 3, 2012

saturday

We decided to keep Cam in T-ball and we are glad we did. Today was picture day. Chris woke early to head to Walmart to get an appropriate shirt since he is an assistant coach. It was the saddest $17 he has had to spend in a looong time as the shirt read "Dodgers". This is by far his absolute least favorite team. :) But he put a smile on his face, knowing it was for a good cause...his son. :)



After pictures, we returned home for lunch and Kendall's nap. During her nap, Cameron really wanted to print out maps of different cities. So we sat in front of googlemaps while he blurted out cities for me to print. He then wanted them all put together like one big map so he could draw more roads on them. :)



After nap we headed out to Hemet to a new hiking trail Chris had seen. I'm not sure we'll do it again as it was pretty uneventful, meaning not a lot of ups and downs, twists and turns, which is what Cam really likes. But it was still fun to try a new trail and Kendall actually did much better and took longer to poop out since it was so easy.



After hiking, we headed to WinCo for what we thought would be a very expensive grocery trip. Not so with WinCo!!! I can't believe how inexpensive they are!! For instance, I got yellow squash for 68 cents a pound, Fuji apples for 98 cents a pound, and green peppers for 48 cents each!! We love that store!! And the kids love it to because we let them pick out some candy from their bulk bin section at the end of our shopping. :)



After the kids were in bed, I prepared Chris' splurge meal for the week, Macaroni and Cheese Pizza. I liked it, but I would make a few changes next time. I love the concept as it's so unique. What I LOVED were the Panko bread crumbs you sprinkled on top. Those are so much better than regular bread crumbs! They are bigger and therefore crunchier. :) Sidenote: Last night I made these yummy meatballs and they were wonderful. The kids gobbled them up!!

Right now I'm browsing little girl bedsets. After we potty train (which I'm intending on starting after we return from Chris' parents' next week), I want to move her to a big girl bed. Here are a couple I like:


Friday, March 2, 2012

short post

*A friend and I were talking the other day about a "would you rather?" So...would you rather be in uncomfortably cold weather, or uncomfortably hot weather? I would much rather be in hot weather. The heat doesn't bug me that much and I can get in a foul mood if I'm outside in the cold for too long.

*We went to Disneyland yesterday with my parents. They were taping a scene from Modern Family right by Peter Pan. Pretty cool :)

Here are the kids at Downtown Disney's Lego store.



*We had a playdate yesterday at a boy's house from Cam's class. I did not see my kids for the first hour we were there (however I HEARD them running around!). For some moms, that's no big deal. But thinking to our life in years past, this was awesome. First off, I never really did playdates with Cam because they were difficult for him. But to have playdate and feel "normal" (with kids happily playing all around the house) was great. :)

*Dinner tonight: Hamburgers (ground beef mixed with Lipton Onion Soup), veggies