Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Giving Tree

A week before Christmas I took DS shopping to get gifts for those on his list.

Me: "We are going to Target so you can get a Christmas gift for your baby sister.".

DS: "I want to go to Target."

Me: "What would you like to get your baby sister for Christmas.".

DS: "Toys."

Me: "What kind of toys?"

DS: "Her own toys.".

The conversation was followed by a trip to Target where he picked out everything he wanted for Christmas so we went home, without anything, to a house where she was playing with all his toys. Humph, I guess he was right, DH and I are the youngest, guess we just thought she was entitled to them. :-)

We did go back to Target the next day as I was now convinced that she really did need her own toys. I helped him narrow it down to 5 things I thought his "baby sister" would like and he was very decisive on which one he wanted to get her (& trust me, I tried to sway him when I realized it was the most expensive of the 5 but he was insistent that she would love that one, "it is pretty and soft.")

On Christmas morning, she gave the biggest smile and squeel when she opened the stuffed golden lab he had choosen for her. It was clearly the winner of the morning and you could even see the excitement in his face as he watched her grab that dog and give him *baby kisses* (you know, the big wet open mouth ones). Satisfied that he had done good, he turned back around to continue playing with his new tool kit ... as soon as his back was turned, she lunged over, grabbed one of his shiney new match box cars and gave an even bigger smile as it went straight into her mouth ....

**lean over quietly, grab camera, snap picture, record first memory of many Christmas morning little-sibling-snatching to come ... I think I might remember some one else's little sister doing the same thing**

Stinging like a beamer or floatin' like a Cadillac

No longer just for the professional athletes, musicians, movie stars and automotive enthusiasts ... the Cadillac Escalade is also for our soon-to-be 3 year old boy who loves all things that move. Shiney rims and all, this car is a beauty (& the driver sure isn't bad either).

His favorite feature ... the full functioning FM radio with volume control. Santa didn't bring this one to our house on Christmas morning though - gotta thank (both sets) of Grandparents for this one!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

(Christmas) Dress Rehearsal

What the kiddos will be wearing on Christmas Day ....

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Super at La Super

Yes, it is worth the stop. And, especially after a recent day of wine tasting in Santa Ynez (note the lack of make up and style in above pic of us waiting in line the morning after, LOL). Top picture: making home made tortillas daily. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm. Let me know if you ever make a stop at this little gem in Santa Barbara, CA.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble Gobble

In the past few weeks I haven't been able to get a good picture of DS. He is always on the go and busy concentrating on something. So yesterday while DD was sleeping I asked him if he wanted to earn some chocolate. (yes, I did!) He immediately answered yes, of course. I asked him to stand in front of our house so I could take some pictures of him. He stood there but wouldn't smile or look at the camera (I guess I should have been more specific). I finally gave up getting a good picture and gave him his piece of chocolate. As I was going through the pictures I took on the camera I heard him giggling and laughing. As you know, chocolate makes him really happy! I quickly pointed my camera from where I was and got this shot. I love it! It captures him perfectly - HUGE smile and chocolate smeared on his face. Doesn't get any better then this Thanksgiving blessing.

Have a Happy and safe Thanksgiving everyone. Gobble Gobble!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Not sure about everyone ...

But certainly at the top of my list ... along with DS and DH!

So, who are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Trick mirror

DD was playing with blocks in front of her mirror closets yesterday. She looked up, got a glimpse of herself in the mirror, got a HUGE smile, reached out and said, "DaDa". I don't blame her for the confusion, she looks just like him. :-)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Still a favorite

Remember this post? It has become a favorite with DD too!

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Purple Craze

Yesterday I was overly engaged with watching two young girls in front of me purchase a pair of shoes at a department store. First off, I noticed them because they were so pretty. No make-up, sweat pants, flip flops, hair in pony tails. They were so plain and simple yet they looked incredibly beautiful. Oh, how I longed for those good ol' days when looking presentable required little effort. Secondly, I continued to watch them because I was completely entertained with the following conversation they had with the salesgirl:

Girl A looked at Girl B and said, "I love them because they are the same shoes everyone has right now but everyone else has black."

Girl B responded, "well, then get them if you like them.". Girl A was obviously still debating whether this was a good choice.

Girl A then turns to the cashier and asks, "do you think they're cute?".

The young (& also pretty) cashier responds, "well ... I think they're cute because they are purple and purple is sooo in right now ... but ... I am not sure how long purple will be in?".

Girl A quickly turns to Girl B and says, "see, I told you, I am definitely getting them now.".

Oh, how I got such a giggle out of this. In fact, I think I even giggled out loud because Girl B turned around and looked directly at me (& I know it wasn't to admire my outfit even though I actually tried yesterday).

I am not sure what I found funny. Was it the fact that she focused on how so in they were and not a care in the world that it may go out of fashion quickly with hardly a chance to wear them? Or did I find this conversation so amusing because I once was there - right there, at the cash register, debating an overly trendy item, that I almost always decided to buy, just to later give away after only wearing once because it was no longer sooo in? Nope, I think I know why I found this conversation so amusing. It is because I am there. Right. Now. Yes, I too have been bitten by the purple craze. And guess what?! I am not young like these pretty girls.

In fact just last night I was debating the purchase of this dress.

And I already own a look alike to this sweater from J Crew.

And I want one of these (in purple).

And I bought something similar to this from The Limited.

Oh, and for the record, unlike the young girls above I will be wearing my purple far too long and into the next trend because that is what we do at our age ... plus I find this purple craze far too pretty to let go too quickly. I guess we do mature with age, right?!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I love you, always forever

you've got, the most unbelievable

blue eyes, I have ever seen

Do you ever hear a song on the radio and for the rest of the day you can't get it out of your head?! Today it was this one. I thought of her eyes when I heard the above lyrics that played over and over in my head the rest of the day.

And pretty pretty please, link to the song here. I don't want to be the only one humming that song for the next 24 hours! :-)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Guest Blog

Tiny Oranges, a blog about local children's activities and ideas recently highlighted my review on the Phil & Ted's metoo chair. Link here to read what I had to say. It is great timing for all the upcoming holiday travel. While you're there be sure to bookmark Tiny Oranges so you can check back in for more ideas, giveaways and more! (and who knows, you may just see my thoughts pop up again! :-)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Do you see what I see?

Yep, spotted her again. This time with out her trailer. I had a chat with the mail carrier yesterday. I wanted to know where our mail carrier was and her special delivery mobile. She said she was off for the day and the mail carrier yesterday wasn't tenured enough to ride it. She didn't seem pleased that she doesn't get to ride it too (or that I asked). OH ... makes it even more fun, doesn't it?! :-)

BTW, DS wanted to know why I pulled over to the side of the road to take a picture of the bicyclist. I replied, "get used to it, just something Mommy does. I don't really know wwwwhhyyy?!".

Pretty butterflies

Although not quite as pretty as this one on Halloween:

However, it is still worth the trip to the newly remodeled ENC in Newport Beach, CA to see the beautiful butterflies in their Native Butterfly House (among other things). If you are in the area, the ENC is worth the trip .... it is a 3.5 acre "sanctuary from life's pressures" tucked in between homes and Newport Harbor High School.

In the Butterfly House:

Looking up between the oak and redwood trees:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A test drive.

DS had a practice lap in his costume this afternoon (Halloween Eve).

Last year's is HERE. Where has the time gone?

Have a safe and Happy Halloween everyone!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hot sauce and trucks?!

We were listening to the radio as we drove to DH's work Friday for my flu shot.

Out of the blue DS suddently says, "Mommy, are we going to Samantha's party now?".

Me: "No sweetheart, that is tomorrow. We are going to Daddy's work now."

DS: "Oh.".

(another long pause while I continue to drive & we listen to the music, his choice, of course)

DS: "Mommy?"

Me: "What sweetheart?".

DS: "When I grow up I am going to eat hot sauce and drive a truck."

Me: "Okay sweetie.".

I had no idea where that came from but that is typical with toddler talk. I found it funny and after tellling DH about it the next day I asked DS about it.

Me: "Sweetie, so did you tell Daddy you are going to eat hot sauce and drive a truck when you grow up.".

DS: "Yes.".

and then DS continues to correct me, "I am going to eat hot sauce while driving a truck when I grow up Daddy.".

Oh, wouldn't that be great if growing up only meant taking advantage of life's simple pleasures?! But I must admit it did make me take more pleasure out of eating my BRC burrito with hot sauce from the El Pollo Loco drive thru in between errands yesterday. Hum, so do you think that is where it came from? Nah, I don't drive a truck.

**BTW, you must ask for the "hot sauce", they keep it behind the counter and always try to pass off the pico de gallo on you first ... ick!**

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The wind beneath my wings

My DD takes the word princess quite seriously. She is now officially 8 months old and still demands to be carried, her toys out of reach to be handed to her and fed as often as she likes.
But, I am proud to say, she has blessed me often with these sweet little words ...

"Mamamama", "mamama", and "mama" with her big 4-tooth grin! Mama responds, "yes Princess? What? You want to chew on my Blackberry again? Here you go.".

Since we haven't been able to add the "crawling" milestone yet I was quick to add the "waves hand" milestone to her baby book the other day until DS asked me yesterday, "why does baby sister flap her arms up and down like a bird when I say Hello?". Oops, so technically that is not a wave?!

**crosses out "waves hand" in baby book and writes "takes after her mother and loves to dance. Already performing Morris Day's The Bird at 8 months"**
and YES, you HAVE TO link and watch the video after the short advertisement HERE, it is SO WORTH IT!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fall in Laguna Beach

Our morning trip to the beach today.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, October 24, 2008

positive confirmation

The other day DH asked me about my day at Treasured (Rick Warren's Saddleback Church's version of MOPS). Without mentioning names or details (to keep my privacy commitment to the group) I responded by telling him basic information about our study and discussion on making our husband's a priority (which is often hard for stay at home mom's that are exhausted at the end of the day with the kiddies). I told him some basic advice and suggestions the ladies had ...

I got about three ideas and suggestions out. He then cut me off mid-sentence on the fourth and said ...

"... so, basically all the things you already do?!". He gave me a sweet loving smile and a nod of acceptence.

BINGO! Confirmation that my efforts to show him how much he is loved are noticed. He truly is happy. My-Oh-My how I adore this man. And although I always love our Friday night family dinners out tonight it is just me and my dear hubby (the kids are staying at home with Grammy and Papa). I must say, I really really love these nights!

Make it a great Friday everyone!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Don't hate us, we pay for it!

(really, do you honestly think living in sunny Southern California comes cheap?!)

Tonight: Mainly clear. Low 57F. Winds light and variable.
Tomorrow: Mainly sunny. Warm. High 86F. Winds light and variable.
Tomorrow night: Clear skies. Low near 55F. Winds light and variable.
Friday: Mainly sunny. Warm. High 84F. Winds light and variable.
Saturday: Abundant sunshine. Highs in the mid 80s and lows in the mid 50s.
Sunday: Abundant sunshine. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the mid 50s.

Abundant sunshine, plan a scenic drive ... seriously, The Weather Channel doesn't just add that to any ol' city's forecast, right?! I assume only to those cities with sky high home prices and crowded beaches with limited parking?! They have to at least try to ease the pain, right?! Guess what? It works!!! ;-) sharing my joy highlighted DD's chubby fingers today from my Flickr account. It is always fun to see DD (& my photography) bringing smiles to others.
Thank you ParentDish!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An "R" proof excursion

We are lucky in times like this that DH has a very secure job right now but there is not a day that goes by that I do not hear someone talking about the "R" ("R" = Recession). Some times these conversations are very surface and hypothetical and other times it is disappointing news of an aquantaince's lost job or money. In times like this or not I thought I would share one of our favorite (recession proof) excursions: going to the "bookstore.".

On days like yesterday, pictured above, when we want to also enjoy the outdoors we head to Heritage Library and Park to feed the ducks before scouring the bookshelves in the library's used bookstore for bargain books. Children books range from .25 -.50 cents each. DS is allowed to choose 4 books to buy and take home to keep. This is very different from our library excursions where he very clearly understands we are "borrowing" the books and need to return them.

On days that we want to first play indoors with puzzles and computers we head to either Newport Beach Library or the beautiful newly remodeled Orange Library. Both locations also have a used bookstore with each book ranging from $0.25-1.00. Plus a FABULOUS children's section in the library that goes beyond puzzles and computers!

Be sure to check out your library too! It is a great fun way to get out of the house, get more books for their bookshelves (ones you don't have to return) and spend only $1.00. Plus, they have many adult books to chose from too (as if I have time!)! Yesterday DS chose books about Clifford, Toy Story, Pinocchio and a small board book on colors "for baby sister." all for only $1.00. (Isn't he the sweetest?! :)

Happy bargain book hunting!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Just as memorable as my Dad helping us carve our pumpkins each year is my Mom cleaning and roasting the pumpkin seeds so we could eat them. So while DH and DS got to work on our traditional jack-o'latern I got to work on the motherly task of washing, seasoning and roasting the seeds.

I had DH and DS scoop all the pumpkin guts into a big bowl.

I separated all the seeds and rinsed them in a colander under cold water (you want to make sure you get rid of all the guts because it burns quickly. this is best done by rubbing them with your fingers under cold water.).

Place back in the bowl and let soak for approximately 8+ hours in salt water.

I drained the water and dried the pumpkin seeds on a paper towel (notice it is getting dark now, we carved our pumpkins in the morning but you could let them soak over night if you carved your pumpkins in the evening).

I decided to try two different methods to find our which would taste better (I will give you our taste test results at the end).

Method 1: I made a "sweet" seasoning of cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg. For my seasoning shaker I used a clean glass baby food jar and had DH poke holes in the top. It worked perfectly and easy to store and save for future cinnamon toast (mmmmmm). I put a little butter in a sauce pan, seasoned the seeds and roasted them on the stove top. I used medium heat and constantly flipped them. (I actually think I let them cook slightly too long and could have taken them off sooner then I did because some pieces were slightly burnt).

Method 2: I tossed the seeds with a little olive oil, sprinkled with kosher salt, placed one layer of seeds on a baking sheet covered with foil and baked on 300 degrees for approximately 40 minutes (I also flipped these a few times during baking time).

There you have it: two types of seasoned seeds (you can actually season in many ways - garlic salt, seasoning salt, etc.). Our fave and the ones we will make again next year: kosher salt seasoned pumpkin seeds baked in the oven.

This is a fun tradition to add to the traditional carving. DS had fun watching and was interested in the results but wasn't willing to try them (do I have the pickiest eater or what?! grrrr).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pumpkin Poop

We carved a pumpkin yesterday (we will wait until closer to Halloween to do the other ones). DS sat patiently next to DH and waited for the few seconds here and there that DH would let him use the knife (with caution of course). It was great fun for everyone and I have to say, I think it turned out pretty darn cute!

After the finished product DH took DS into the dark bathroom to show him how the candle shines through the pumpkin in the dark. DH wanted it to be closer to his eye level so he set it on the toilet seat so he could see it.

After DH set it on the toilet DS turned to us and asked, "does the pumpkin have to go "poopy" Daddy?".

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend! I will add directions of the fun activity of roasting the pumpkin seeds tomorrow.

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's the little things ...

... like ...

coffee prepared by my DH.

kisses from DS that were not asked for.

a simple, "miss you" from friends.

a clean car.

cool fresh air.

my own bed.

a good glass of wine.

a long nap.

Sees chocolate.

a pretty flower.

laughing with DS.

DD's smile.

holding hands.

my wedding song on the radio.

DH's dirty clothes making it into the hamper instead of the floor.

Friday night family dinners.

... that make me happy.

Picture above taken of DD's "little" hands grasping her first "little" pumpkin. 2 more weeks until DD's 1st Halloween and DS's 3rd. Our visit to Johnson Brother's pumpkin patch today. Hoping to share the "carved" pumpkins this weekend. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Too big too kiss too fast

I was putting DS to sleep tonight after his nightly prayer of Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. He got "comfy cozy" in bed and I asked him for a kiss good night. He responded shyly, "no.". Before you think he is being mean I will tell you it is his way of delaying the night time routine as he knows Mommy will stay how ever long it takes to get her good night kiss. :-) He giggled for a litte bit while I pretended to ignore his response and gave him a multitude of loud kisses on his legs, arms, cheeks, belly, forehead and so on. After I stopped the kissing and he was still smiling I said, "ok, how about you just blow Mommy a kiss tonight?". (I kiss my hand, hold it under my mouth and blow it to him).

He got serious, looked me straight in the eyes and said, "Mommy, I am too big to blow kisses.". Reminder: DS is 2 years, 9 months old. Too big to blow kisses? I thought I didn't have to worry about this until I was still dropping him off in high school and blowing kisses to him as he walked away?! But, now?! Surely, he is growing up too fast. Right?

Heartbroken, sitting on the edge of his bed my mind is wandering to all the recent moments he has seen me taking DD's 7 month old hands to her lips and throwing them in the air over and over trying to teach her how to blow kisses and he leans over, smiles and gives me a big ol' "mmmmmmmmmmmmm" kiss right on the cheek.

I love this boy.

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's a bird, it's a plane ... it's the mail carrier?!!?

We were driving home from a play date at Bill Barber Park in Irvine (by the way, fantastic park, despite DS's complete melt down at the end of our playdate) and we turn onto our street and DS yells, "what's that Mommy?". I look over and we see this white, red and blue segway scooter. I am not sure if you can tell from the picture because there are storage saddles on the side, but it is one of those scooters that you stand to drive (I have seen police with these) and the charachter G.O.B (pronounced the biblical Job) rode around in one on the show Arrested Development.

Of course I stopped, took a picture with my Blackberry from the car, rolled down my window and asked her what it was. She said they are testing it out for crowded cities such as New York but because we are close to the main city post office and a safe area they are testing it here. It was her first day. It took her approximately 15 minutes to get to our community which is 2 miles from the post office. She wasn't thrilled about getting all her mail into that little trailer either but she is willing to give it a chance. Notice the helmet.

Just had to share my Friday Fun!

Insert foot in mouth

This is girl puts everything in her mouth. She explores her new surroundings by tasting and chewing. I have been surprised that she has remained so healthy despite this dirty habit (I guess exculsive breastmilk is in her favor).

We went to the Tanaka Farm's pumpkin patch on Monday in hopes of getting some cute photos of the twins. I also got a chance to snap a few of DD and DS too (neither were quite dressed for the Harvest season so we will need to go back for some more). DS had a blast running on the hay stacks, seeing the goats and as always, playing witht the twins. DD, no surprise, had fun tasting the hay. :-)

And just in case your weren't already aware and are around the Orange County area, Tanaka Farms sells the best homemade salsa and chips around and worth a trip to the farm just for that (of course, they are known for their organic fruits and veggies but I can never pass up their salsa, soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good!).
Happy Friday!!! Anyone else get a long weekend? (DH has Colombus Day off).

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Hickory Dickory Dock

Yesterday I found a dead mouse right in the middle of our backyard patio. One can only assume s/he kicked the bucket from pure heat exhaustion while trying to cross our patio in 90+ degree weather in October (YIKES!). I decided to wait 6 hours for DH to get home from work instead of disposing of the carcase myself.

After eating dinner last night, DH went outside with heavy duty gloves on with DS following closely in his footsteps (as he often does from the moment Daddy gets home from work until he goes to bed). DH picked up the dead mouse by the tail. DS asked DH, "what's the mouse doing Daddy?". DH replied, "he is dead.". Just. like. that. "He is dead.". Now, I have to tell you first, DS has been lucky enough in his 2.9 years of life to have not had to experience death of anyone close. I wasn't even sure he would know what that word really meant. So I held my breath and wondered to myself what would his response be to DH's answer. Were we about to have a deep discussion on death, life, heaven, God ... ok, I know, I know, I am getting ahead of myself now but ... a mother's mind can wander fast.

DS paused for a few moments. He got a somber look, looked directly at the mouse and lowered his head as if he was saying a prayer. I smiled becaue I was proud of my sweet sympathetic boy. I looked at DH and we shared a moment (the kind of moment that only a husband and wife share when watching their own kids). DS then turned around, looked straight at a plant sitting on the patio table that Mommy has neglected since before we left for Germany and said, "that plant is dying too Mommy.". DH and I quickly smiled and laughed. Just like his Daddy, he knows when to lighten a somber moment. The dead mouse was disposed of quickly but the plant still sits there.

Yep, he didn't miss an opportunity to point out Mommy's missing green thumb either (picture above of said plant). **crossing arms over head to hide my red face from embarrassment**

Sunday, October 05, 2008

As the world turns, so do the days of our lives ...

This morning I got up from our round kitchen table and put my dirty bowl from honeynut cheerios in the dishwasher. I grabbed my cup of coffee, walked over to the living room where DS was playing and sat down on the couch.
DS walked over and said, "You're having your coffee now Mommy?
And then you are going to go shower?
And then put make-up on?
And then we are going some where?".

I scratched my head and wondered, make-up? Where did he get that? That seems to happen occasionally but it certainly isn't in my daily routine.

I have to admit life with kids can often feel like you are in the movie Groundhog Day. Everything seems to be a repeat of the day before. DS is so stuck in my his routine that it is one of the things I worried most about taking them to Europe but I have to say both DS and DD made me one proud Mama! They were amazing the entire time even though they had no daily routine. It was a great confirmation: all they really need is me and DH.

(**picture below: the happy kiddos playing during a sight-seeing excursion in Germany.**)