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.**)

Friday, October 03, 2008

KOKO for schoKOlade

Taking the kids to the Fatherland took on an entirely new meaning when we arrived in Germany. Why you ask? I know I have talked about it many times but here it goes again, DS is absolutely crazy over chocolate just like my DH.

Germany has this unwritten rule that you must bring schokolade (chocolate) to a child when you meet him/her. Every Aunt, cousin, and neighbor brought DS a piece (more like pieceS) of schokolade when they came to meet him. The country even has an entire line of popular chocolates designed for children. It is called Kinder Schokolade (translated: child chocolate). It comes in many different forms. The most popular being a chocolate egg and when eaten the child will find a toy inside. These were by far DS's favorite but any and all forms were eagerly accepted and eaten with pure joy.

Of all DH's great qualities, why did this one have to mmmm be mmmmmmmmm pasmmmmmmmmsed mmmmdownmmmmmmm?

What? You couldn't quite understand me? My words were mumbled. Sorry, I was finishing up a piece of dark chocolate with hazlenuts from Germany.

I guess the saying goes, "why fight it, it is much more fun to join them"?! :)

(By the way, yes, the picture above is taken by yours truly. You didn't think I would leave the camera back at the house for a trip to the grocery store did you?!?! The cashier shook her head as if to say, "that crazy American"!)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

We're Home!

We had a wonderful time! It is probably going to take a few days to get into our time zone so stay tuned for more updates on our fantastic vacation.

In the meantime, just a snap shot of DS going down a slide at a playground after having eis (ice cream) in the city where his Grandparents, Omi and Opa, were married. Traben-Trarbach, Germany. As you can see, he enjoyed our trip tremendously!