Friday, February 28, 2014

march resolutions

I've let a few things slide that I need to get back on track with. For one, I hate to admit that I haven't done a grocery budget since November. December's excuse was going out of town, Christmas, blah, blah, blah. January and Feburary had no excuse. So I'm finally getting back into gear starting March 1. :)

Second is that I've spent too much money on iced coffee. While most of my coffees have come from McDonald's, which I've had gift cards for, too many have come from other places and $2 here and there adds up.

Third is I've been eating too much crap. The above mentioned iced coffee falls into that category. I'm not sure if I'm going to cut back or eliminate, but something needs to be done. :) Also...

I'm not a candy person in general. If I'm going to splurge on dessert, it needs to be a brownie or something baked. However I received a bunch of these dark chocolate Dove bites for Valentines and they are too easy to grab on my way out the door. Too easy. :)

I drink too much hot chocolate. Granted it's somewhat healthy because I make it myself with milk, sugar, and cocoa. However 3+ cups a day is a tad excessive. 

And lastly my MIL's homemade rolls have got to stop, at least EVERY single night before bed! Yes, lately I've been ending my evenings with a hot, buttered roll. She sent me home with a ton of them and they are in the freezer, calling me to pop one in the microwave and butter it up.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

santa barbara

Today we got back from a quick vacation to Santa Barbara. Chris' parents had rented a house for the week and I took the kids up for a couple nights. Chris stayed back due to work, but he was excited we were able to get away and have such a GREAT, GREAT time.

The weather couldn't have been more perfect. Monday afternoon we started out with a surrey ride on the beach. Cam is in the front in the pic but spent most of the time back with me and was quite a help with the peddling.

The house they rented was so cute! Here we are on the first night visiting on the back patio. 

I've decided that bringing along a Lego set on vacations has officially become a "must" for us. It is so nice to have an activity to keep Cam busy when we have down times. It also comes in super handy when he wakes at 5:00am (or earlier!) and needs something to do before everyone else gets up! :)

On Tuesday I took the kids to the Santa Barbara Zoo. It is a small zoo but had plenty of animals for us and the grounds were beautiful. There were very few people there which was nice because the kids were so hyper, running around everywhere. :)

Last night Chris' dad and grandmother needed to stay back but his mom treated us to a delicious dinner at a restaurant we've been to several times over the years, Palazzio. It's family style Italian and has the most amazing food. :)

I had such a great time with the kids and Chris' family. While we needed to get back for school, I think Cam would agree that it was well worth playing hooky for a few days! :)

Sunday, February 23, 2014


*Yesterday we went out to OC to hang out with our friends, Jeremy and Ana. We had a fun time at a park near their house.

On the way back we hit Costco as we had quite a hefty list. When we were done I went to get myself a latte freeze. Can I ask again why people need to take their entire cart into an already crowded food court line? I get it if you have a kid inside, however it's actually quite easy to park it nearby and keep an eye on it while you wait. :)

*Today we had an issue with Cam and his iPhone. It's just an old phone of Chris' that we let him use for pictures, writing notes, recording, etc. However despite it not having internet, somehow it is able to dial 911. A couple months back he dialed it and later told us. We knew he knew better (confirmed by the guilty way in which he confessed), so he got his phone taken away for a few days. Well, he did it again today and despite his telling us that he didn't mean to, he no longer has the phone....for good. He was to the sobbing/hard to catch breath stage of crying and it was not fun to see. Luckily he finally snapped out of it.

*This was posted on a blog I follow. So true!!

*A few times when I've been in the area, I've stopped by Cafe Rio and ordered two tortillas. They are only 95 cents and are the most heavenly things on earth. I make burritos out of them for Chris and I later that night using stuff we already have at home. Suspicious of how divine they were, a while back I did a little research and found out that one tortilla alone is 420 calories. Holy cow! I wish I could say this stopped us from getting them again... :)

Just putting that picture there makes my mouth water. Seriously these things are amazing.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


*Last night I made these again and remembered how yummy they were!! No, my kids didn't ask for seconds, but they did gobble them up without complaint with the help of a little ranch for dipping. I even halved the cheese and used ground oats for the bread crumbs!

*It was too beautiful of a day to come straight home from school, so we made a stop on the way and took a nice hike.

*This afternoon the kids were playing "clubhouse" with some other neighbor kids. Kendall will often come home with prizes she won. Today she came home with this t-shirt. 

Later, after telling her she could wear it as a PJ shirt only, she said, "Mommy, when you said that boy doesn't make good choices, do you mean like he tells his mom he won't take a bath when she says he needs to?" Ahhhh....if only that was the kind of "not good choices in life" we were talking about. Ha!

Sidenote: Yes, I think Kendall could have come home with a far worse artist, but let's be honest, I think age 4 is a little young for a Belieber. :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

another fun weekend

Yesterday we got back from a long weekend up at Chris' parents'. As always, we had lots of relaxing, plenty of yummy food (which I didn't have to make...something I always realize I take for granted when we return home), and good times with his family.

On Saturday Chris' mom took the kids to the new Lego movie. They really enjoyed it (his mom did too!) and the kids loved being able to get popcorn (apparently that is a big deal to them as they told me several times how grandma ALWAYS gets them popcorn...unlike their stick n' the mud parents). :)

That evening Chris and I went out to celebrate Valentines. We stopped at Target on the way to get a wallet. Chris had  bought me one the day before and while I loved the look of it, the pockets weren't quite to my liking (I'm picky about how many and how they are laid out). After asking two young girls if this one seemed "old lady'ish", I got the go ahead. :) Then Chris and I enjoyed a yummy dinner at a restaurant neither of us had ever been to.

Sunday was golf for the boys and hanging out/playing for us at home. That evening Chris' aunt Noonie and Deb joined us for dinner and to stay the night. Here they are the next morning before our trip to IHOP.

After breakfast (and an unbelievable amount of pancakes consumed by Kendall) we headed back and were quite pooped by the end of our day. :)

p.s. Chris' bootcamp is holding a plank challenge where they have to take pics of themselves in creative situations doing planks. Cam was quite nervous in this picture not having anything to hold onto. :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

happy valentines

*Today was a Valentines party at the library. Here is Cam participating in a contest of stacking the most candy hearts.

*Dear Healthcare: How should I go about solidifying our plan when I CAN'T GET THROUGH TO ANYONE on your phones?

*After dropping Kendall off at preschool playgroup this morning, I treated myself to an iced coffee from Jack n' the Box. I've decided it surpasses McDonald's. So yummy.

*I just discovered Netflix has all the seasons of Felicity. Give me a Saturday with no kids and I could go to town! :)

*Heard about this on Dr. Laura. Take a second and read that article title again. This was in Middle School!!! Can my kids please not grow up in this culture?

*The kids are excited for a Valentines scavenger hunt I'm putting together for tomorrow morning. As I was putting Kendall down tonight she said, "Mom, I used to think Valentines was just a boring ol' day for loving people. But now I know we get presents, candy, and scavenger hunts!!!" :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

healthy and not so healthy

Tonight I tried a meatloaf recipe using quinoa. It turned out really yummy!! The kids didn't notice a thing (despite being able to easily see the weird looking quinoa in it). It's a little mushier than normal meatloaf but very flavorful.

And on a not so healthy note, I made these Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bars this past weekend and they were wonderful!!! Such a great peanut butter/chocolate combo made unique by the two different textures in the layers. Since they are so thick, you can cut them super small and I got a ton of squares out of a 9x13 pan. Yum!!!

p.s. Kendall has woken up dry for the past several days in a row! Woohoo! We are heading up to my in-laws' this weekend but after that, I think it's time to attempt nighttime undies!!! :)

Sunday, February 9, 2014


This weekend my nieces came to stay with us for a couple nights. To say the cousins (on both sides) were looking forward to this is a huge understatement! They had a BLAST the entire weekend and while doubling the number of kids in our house meant a big increase in the noise level, it was well worth it just to see how well they got along and how much they enjoyed one another. :)

Saturday morning Chris left early for a football game out in OC with some college friends. I was glad when he returned not only in one piece, but with no injuries! :) 

While he was gone, I took the kids hiking in Oak Glen. I had winter gear packed to the brim however once we arrived, we quickly realized not only was it not needed, we didn't even need jackets!

That afternoon we had a Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs II movie party followed by dinner and a trip to frozen yogurt.

Since I wasn't able to clean bootcamp yesterday morning, we stopped by on our way home from dropping my nieces off. The kids actually love going to bootcamp with me, which helps me not feel guilty when I have to bring Kendall along every week. I have to admit that for a kid, running around an empty mirrored room with big bouncy balls would be pretty fun!

Guess who got a hair cut last week? I think it just highlights his handsome face. :)

While our weekend was super fun, Chris and I are very ready for a night of relaxing with kids IN BED!!! Come bedtime, come!! :)

Thursday, February 6, 2014


For a few years I've had countless people mention the show Parenthoood and how great it was. Chris and I watched the first couple episodes back when it first started. At that point, it was just too much for me. One of the boys on the show has Aspergers and it was discouraging and sad for me to watch.

Fast forward to now. We finally decided to try it again and love it. I actually feel somewhat accomplished in my emotional development, if you will, now brought to my attention by the show. Not only am I not bothered by watching that plotline, but Chris and I actually laugh OFTEN at how incredibly right on they are in their portrayal of what it is like to have a son on the spectrum.  I think I am in such a different place of acceptance than I was back then. It's a nice place to be. :)

The only main difference we have is that Cam has never displayed anger/tantrums, which we will always be incredibly grateful for. It's not that he doesn't get upset. However when he does it is due to being overwhelmed or the ever present sensitivity to people taking a strong tone with him or getting upset (and always involves him crying rather than rage).

Sidenote: I will say that I might change my mind if a plotline ever arises (which I'm sure it will) of the boy getting teased at school. I might have to skip those scenes. :)

Monday, February 3, 2014


Yesterday was a very low key and fun Superbowl afternoon. My parents came over to watch the game as well as celebrate my dad's birthday.

Here we are at appetizer time. 
(this came out really bad quality, but you get the idea)

The menu included mozzarella sticks, chips and guacamole, and my favorite, cinnamon tortilla chips. I first had these at my last moms' group and loved them. I can't believe how easy and yummy they are!

When the game was nearing its end, we brought out the birthday cake. As you can see there are two pieces missing. Chris and I decided the night before that it needed to be sampled to make sure it was good. ;) I've decided my specialty has become any kind of cake and cheesecake combo. This recipe was divine. It was an Oreo crust layered with cheesecake, ganache (this made it!), chocolate cake, and German chocolate frosting. Yum!! I altered the recipe a tad but I will make this again!

Chris' bootcamp class held a contest in which certain exercises had to be completed during the game (i.e. 20 burpees every touch down, etc.). You had to snap a pic of yourself and submit it to their Facebook page. Chris decided to have a little fun with it. Here he is doing a push up while Cameron fed him a chip and guacamole. Probably not quite what they had in mind! Hehe!