Friday, August 31, 2012

birthday boy

Yesterday our little boy turned 6. :)  We placed balloons all over his room during the night, only to have him discover them about 11 pm and we finally had to go in after 10 minutes of him talking about them and tell him to go back to sleep!

Instead of cupcakes for his class, I opted for his favorite, donuts.

Here are his teacher and classmates singing to him (Kendall loved getting to join):

Later we took him to Claim Jumper for dinner.  Afterward we had hyped up dessert at Martha Green's Bakery, but arrived to a locked door. :(  So we opted for McDonald's chocolate chip cookies instead, which I can't believe he was equally excited for.  I'm still in awe of our little man sometimes.  For a kid on the spectrum to be okay with transitions/change of schedule is awesome...but to be okay when your dessert goes from a specialty bakery treat to Mcdonald's?  Amazing. Such a sweet boy.

Today we head up to visit my in-laws for the weekend and to celebrate Cam's birthday with them. :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

*The other day I discovered something that Chris loves, Lavash Bread.  It's AWESOME!  They are huge rectangular wraps.  The great part is that they are full of protein, flaxseed, fiber...and only 100 calories per huge wrap!!  Lately I've filled Chris' lunch wrap with chicken, BBQ sauce, sweet corn, green onion, and cheese.

*I'm realizing finding a Boxer dog might be harder than I thought.  I've inquired about several Craig's List postings and have yet to have any success. We'll keep trying!

*When I was young we had a Slip 'N Slide.  When the neighbors came over to join, I would charge them 10 cents but then give them back their dime at the end if they helped me clean it up. :)

*I love the show "Hungry Girl".  There are tons of cooking shows that claim to be all about healthy recipes.  And while they are, I never end up learning much new from them.  Hungry Girl has the best, most unusual tips for eating healthy in each episode.  

*Last night I made some meatballs but decided to cook them completely in the skillet so I didn't heat up the house with the oven.  They were sooo yummy and Cameron devoured them.  The sauce I used was simply ketchup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Last summer we put Cam in swim lessons.  For one reason or another we didn't put him in a class this summer, which is a bummer because we did much more this past weekend.  I will say that he is at least getting much more comfortable (jumping in, putting his head totally underwater a lot, etc.).  But next summer for sure we'll get this little guy swimming!

Sunday we headed out to OC to my friend Jen and her family's home.  The kids had a blast and it was fun to all hang out as families. :)

 Jen's backyard is pretty ideal for entertaining.  They have a beautiful deck which was perfect for eating our BBQ dinner.

Sometimes I look at pictures of us and can't believe we have been friends for 20 years!!!!  Talk about experiencing every phase of life together!! :)

On Monday we headed out to our home away from home, Palm Springs/Desert (not literally... but seems like that is always our destination choice when we take the kids out for an afternoon).  Chris' friend from college, P.J., and his family come down from Oregon to stay at their home every so often and it's always fun to get together and catch up.  The kids had a great time swimming again and their boys took a special liking to Kendall, which she just ate right up! Laura and I got to relax inside while they swam so it ended up being quite a relaxing afternoon for me too. :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

happy birthday, mom!

Today we celebrated my mom's birthday with a picnic in the park.  We've come to realize that this way of celebrating is a hit with everyone.  We've done Easter, Mother's Day, etc. at parks.  The kids love to play and we can usually sit and relax for a little while.  For lunch I made chicken salad wraps.  I have not made this chicken salad in a long time.  I used to make it all the time and I'm not sure why I quit!  It's sooo delicious and a great way to use those rotisserie chickens from Costco. :)

My mom opening her presents:

Chicken Salad

1 Costco Rotisserie Chicken (shredded)
1/2 cup lite mayo
1/4 cup lite sour cream
2 1/2 tbls. honey
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup Craisins or 1/2 cup cut up grapes

Combine all dressing ingredients and mix into chicken.  Let sit in fridge for several hours before serving on lettuce, in a wrap, on bread, etc.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

new recipe

I've been trying to make meals that don't require the oven.  Sometimes I don't, which results in last night's enchiladas, which we all ate around the coffee table in the living room under the ceiling fan (our dining table is right by the hot kitchen).  Tonight I tried a VERY tasty non-oven recipe which scored a 9 from Chris, Sesame Noodles with Peanut Sauce.  The kids didn't rate it so well, but I really have stopped taking their opinions as meaning much since they are so incredibly picky. :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

*Yesterday my dad took the kids to McDonald's while I helped out during 3rd service (since Chris was still in San Diego).  What a trooper, considering Kendall decided to pee on the slide there.  I felt so bad when he told me what happened!!!

*Last night we met Chris and his dad and brother for dinner on their way home from their trip.  Afterward we went to Portillo's.  Craig (his bro) had recently tried their chocolate shake with chocolate cake mixed in.  I have to say it was very good and unique.  I couldn't believe how much the cake flavor came through!

*This morning was Cam's first day of kindergarten.  Chris' dad joined us on his way out of town.  Cam was a champ.  Not nervous at all.  It really helped when he instantly saw several friends from his T-K class.  I made another IEP cheat sheet for the teacher like I did last year.  It's just a one page sheet with a few bullet points as to some of Cam's needs and things that might help her throughout the year in working with him.

*I'm not 100% sure this is permanent, but I've switched the kids to almond milk.  I've just read so many negative things about dairy that I thought this would be an easy thing to adjust in their diets.  I'm not going no dairy (as they still eat cheese and yogurt) because it's such an easy form of calcium/protein. But for now, they seem to like it and it's not THAT much more expensive.  We'll see.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

day without dad

Yesterday Chris' dad and brother arrived to spend the night.  Early this morning they headed out to golf and then drove down to San Diego, where they are spending the night and attending two Giants games.  Chris has really been looking forward to it, as have I (on his behalf) since he's been a little overwhelmed lately with work stuff.

The kids and I started our morning out early (as usual!) and waved goodbye as the guys took off about 6:15.  Since the heat hadn't really started, we walked up to their favorite donut shop for breakfast.

Later we made a trip to the library, then headed to one of their favorite parks in Oak Glen for a picnic lunch.  It was PERFECT up there.  The heat was almost non-existent (thanks to lots of shade and a higher elevation) and we had a fun time exploring the trail, old school house, and grassy areas.

Right now they are watching Toy Story and while we've had a fun day together, I'm eager for their bedtime as I have two Hallmark movies waiting for me as well as a nice bowl of Frugos.  I always like to get myself a treat when I'm alone with the kids.  It gives me something to look forward to :) Tonight's concoction is vanilla yogurt topped with caramel, Reeses, Butterfinger, and Oreos.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

a few food things

*Last night I was with some friends and we were laughing about how little a couple of us knew about how various fruits and vegetables were grown.  I feel a little foolish admitting the fact that I didn't know potatoes grew underground.  :)

*This morning the kids and I went hiking.  There were tons of blackberries and Cameron LOVED picking them.  However he stored them in his pockets so he did NOT love how they ended up getting all mushy/wet in there. :)  

*Tonight I made Beerocks filled with chicken, spaghetti sauce, and parmesean.  I also tried putting peanut butter/jelly in a couple of them.  I'm going to try and freeze them and see if they'll work as homemade Uncrustables.  If they do, I'll next try a batch made with whole wheat flour dough.  How NICE that would be for me to just pop one in Cam's lunch rather than have to make one each day!!

*I surprised myself and went against everything I believe regarding dessert.  I bought a non-chocolate box of Skinny Cows....Strawberry.  Won't ever do it again. :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

24 hour vacation

We recently discovered some rewards points we had from an old credit card.  We were able to get a hotel room for free in Palm Desert and spent last night there.  It was such a fun mini vacation.  Here is a little picture recap:

We spent a large amount of time in the pool as it was about 113 degrees there.  

I think the waterslide is currently in the running for a top highlight of Cam's short little life.  Oh my word!!!!  That is almost all he did.  Up and down, up and down, up and down...  I have to say it was one MY highlights of the trip to see how much he enjoyed this thing. :)

This was the first time we ever spent the night in a hotel together.  We were lucky to get a one bedroom suite.  So Kendall and I slept in the bedroom and Chris and Cam slept out in the living room (Chris on the pull out bed and Cam in a sleeping bag on the floor).  It went better than we had thought. :)

Dinner at Panera Bread.

This morning Chris took the kids to get breakfast so I could get a little relaxing time.

It was quite nice to snuggle on the couch with my book and ice coffee. :)

Overall it went GREAT and we had a wonderful time together.  I have to admit that I could easily live in that heat.  Did I love it?  No.  Did it bother me?  Not really.  I think I take after my dad in this, however I'm not quite like him because he actually likes to go jogging when it's 100+.  Not sure I'm quite there yet. :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

muggy saturday

Here is how we filled our muggy, yucky weather'd Saturday:

Went to our library's Family Day.  The kids got to decorate their own pillow case, listen to a story, and play.  The theme was "dreams" so the kids got to snuggle with pillows and blankets while listening to the bedtime story.

After lunch we made these fun Summer Smoothie Pops (I added a little regular strawberry yogurt for more sweetness because my kids aren't quite used to the tanginess of all Greek yogurt).

After Kendall's nap we swim suited up and the kids played outside in the rain/sprinklers while Chris BBQ'd 10 pounds of chicken.  Don't you just love his precious princess umbrella?  :)

Right now the kids are watching a movie and Chris is upstairs resting.  He is battling his second round of Strep Throat and I'm REALLY hoping I'm not getting my 2nd round as well...despite my swollen glands and pressure in my ears I have today. :(  I cannot believe our kids have not gotten sick with all that Chris and I have had the past couple weeks...knock on wood!!!

 Tonight after the kids are in bed we'll catch up with the latest episode of Damages.  Such a great season so far!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Last music you listened to: Aladdin soundtrack with the kids

Last thing you watched on television:  The Pioneer Woman

Last thing you ate: yogurt covered pretzel

Last item of clothing you bought:  a t-shirt from Aeropostal.  I LOVE it because it fits perfectly and is nice and long.

Last time you said you were sorry: when I talked to Cameron in a "frustrated tone" (as I put it to him).  We were at the beach and I was trying to get the sand off and both kids were jumping around and not being compliant :)

Book you are currently reading:  Boom!

What did you do yesterday?  Met some friends at Jamba Juice ($1 smoothies!!) then headed to Costco.  Afternoon was spent moving from activity to activity INSIDE the cool house. :)

Favorite recent meal:  Not sure if this is a top ten, but I made a beef skillet dish the other night and was so excited to discover a trick.  I had a higher fat percentage ground beef so I wanted to stretch the amount so it would lessen the fat per serving.  I googled and discovered you can just pour Cream of Wheat onto the beef (adding a little more water to the mixture).  You could not even tell and it really bulked up the amount!

If you had $50 of fun money, what would you spend it on?  Taking the kids to Pretend City

If you had $500 of fun money what would you spend it on?  Vegas trip for Chris and I (that will most likely ALWAYS be my answer!)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


As moms, we learn from day one to multi-task.  I remember breastfeeding while walking around picking up the house.  Or eating my meal with one hand while cutting up Kendall's waffles with the other hand.  One place I can't multi-task is at the beach.  Today I took the kids and Chris suggested I invite a friend.  I told him I couldn't because I'm NOT good at chatting with a friend while keeping a CLOSE eye on my kids near the ocean.  I want to be 100% focused on watching them like a hawk, and I can't do that if I'm also engaged in conversation with a friend.  I just don't trust myself.

Today Cameron never went further than the water hitting his mid-thigh, however one time the wave knocked him down and my heart dropped.  He has not mastered swimming and I just pictured him tumbling about in the water.  So the rest of the time Kendall and I hung out right in front of where he was and my eyes never left him.  I just couldn't have done that without feeling guilty since I would have neglected whichever friend had come with us.  :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

water park and iced coffee

When I saw this last night...

 I realized THIS needed to be on our morning agenda...

No, this mug was not filled with a hot beverage.    I'm not one of those ridiculous people who thinks that drinking a hot beverage on a hot day actually cools you down (because you then sweat...which eventually cools you)!  I was drinking a very refreshing Via iced coffee from a box Chris surprised me with over the weekend.  I think he realized the knock off version I bought was still sitting in our cupboard...not being used.  I love this stuff. :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Yesterday Chris and I were talking about how we couldn't believe we only have one more full week until school starts.  He asked me if I was ready to have Cam back in school.  To be honest, I don't think I am.  I've had a lot of fun with the kids this summer.  Granted, I've had my long days in which I've struggled in thinking of what to do, but overall we've really had fun doing normal and simple activities.  Like this morning when we started out at Panera Bread for Cinnamon Crunch bagels.  We then headed to the park to play and feed the ducks.  I just kept thinking how lucky I am to have such amazing little kiddos that make outings like this so fun. :)

Chris has had a long, busy, stressful week of work.  We decided a junk food dinner night was in order...

mixed with

(Chris often jokes with me that he has forgotten what bread tastes like because we never have it.  Not tonight!!)

Later Chris and I will end the night with Act of Valor, and of course, some sort of dessert I'll rustle up.  We couldn't have a junk food night without that!!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

*I just finished the book, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.  It's about a woman who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail during a tumultuous time in her life.  The book consists mostly of the description of her hike, which I found fascinating and made me want to get into serious hiking one day down the road.  I disagreed with her views on life and I could have done without a couple parts (like a detailed description of an "extra curricular" activity with a guy she met on the hike), but skipping over those didn't take away from the story.

*Pat and Oscar's is changing their name to O's American Kitchen.  I recently received an email coupon for one free mini pizza.  Today I took the kids there for lunch.  I didn't want to purchase anything else, so I didn't feel right eating in the restaurant after spending $0 :)  I had brought my own lunch so we sat out by the duck pond and ate our picnic lunch.  Chris was in Redlands so he stopped by to join us. :)

*I made the mistake of going to the San Bernardino Costco right at lunch time today to get gas.  For some reason, whenever there are really loooong lines, I get a little nervous.  I'm always afraid something won't go right and people will get mad if they have to wait on me.  :)

*I'm trying to curb Cameron's seemingly non-stop picking of his nose. :)  We have instituted the Smarties system, in which he starts the day with 10, but loses them with each time he picks it. :)

*I wish I could say I'm really into the Olympics, but I'm not.  I feel a little unpatriotic.

*The dog/puppy research continues.  We visited a shelter today and I'm trying to figure out how much the first year vaccinations cost (if we were to get a puppy not from a shelter).

*Tonight's dinner:  Ground beef mixed with BBQ sauce and cheese on an open faced sandwich; broccoli.

*Kendall successfully takes naps in her underwear but I'm still too chicken to try all night.