Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Not related

This picture has nothing to do with this story. I just took it a few days ago at the beach and I like how it turned out. Maybe she looks a little over-exposed but I think it looks kind of cool. Dare I say a little heavenly? The look on her face isn't very angelic but I am okay with that, I know she's an angel. Where am I going with this? Oh, I am learning how to use layers in photoshop. It is fun.

Anyway, I posted this on facebook but since not all the grandparents are on FB, I thought I'd share it again.

Last night, I was telling Keith how a friend of mine was thinking about sending her son to private school. Sam grew interested in the conversation and wanted to know what private school was. I started a way too detailed explanation about how our taxes pay for public school and while I was talking too much, I saw Sam start to giggle. "I thought private school was for your privates." He said as he pointed to his parts. He thought it was naked school. Sam loves to be naked. Private school sounded good to him.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I made a good choice

I found me a good man.
Who is a good father.And the love of my life.

I am a lucky girl.

Happy Father's day, Love.
Thank you for making beautiful children with me.
I love our little family.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Are you kidding me?

These are new pictures of my niece that my sister just posted. Seriously, she might be the cutest thing I have ever seen! No, maybe the prettiest baby I have ever seen. How am I supposed to stop making babies when I am surrounded by new little ones with my family and friends?!

My friend Melissa's daughter...

My cousin Mary's daughter...

My friend Jen and my sister in law have little boys on the way. I am in trouble.

Just yesterday, I told Keith, again, that I think I am done with 2. Maybe we should get a puppy? (ha ha, then Keith reminded me I promised him no dogs with these floors.)

Then my sister posts a picture of Ayla and I change my mind again. Please, me decide. I am so tired of having the 2 or 3 question in my mind. Can't I just consider myself lucky and blessed with 2?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

His Worst Day

We went to the Wild Animal Park on Monday with a few friends. Three moms and 7 kids. That means we moved through the park very, very slowly. Bathroom breaks were frequent as we could not get the kids to go at the same time. Everything was interesting so we stopped at every little display which means, in a park filled with a million animals, we saw two or maybe four. I remember some birds, some monkeys and a couple gorillas. The highlight of the day was checking out the Dinosaur Mountain which is a temporary exhibit of life size robot dinosaurs. The dinosaurs were very cool. We could all agree on that. Of course, at the end of the exhibit, there was a little gift shop and of course, Sam noticed it and then begged to buy a little plastic dinosaur. (He just received about 10,001 little dinosaurs for his birthday.) I told him "not today." He got upset. I told him we could think of a way for him to earn it and get it another day. This was not good enough. I had to threaten to leave the park and his friends. He got the hint. We moved on and found a place for a lunch break. But that wasn't the end of it. Don't think I didn't get asked every ten minutes about when we could come back to get the prized dinosaur. I had to threaten again that if he nagged about it all day he would not get it at all. Ever. After lunch, we tried to make our way to see the lions but got distracted by a playground area on the way. The kids had a blast, running, climbing and playing. Then it was time to go.
On our way out of the park, Sam told me, "This was my worst day ever at the Wild Animal Park." I love a moment like that. Makes me feel like a total failure of a mom. Did he really just say that to me? After packing up lunches, applying sunscreen, making sure to bring water and snacks, packing up the stroller, grabbing my camera, racing out of the house, driving 40 minutes to meet our friends for what we all hoped would be a beautiful day wandering the park and seeing all the wild animals, I get told it was his worst day. This was also the day he finally had a chance to introduce his very good friend Ben to his very good friend Andrew. He has wanted them to meet for quite a while and we finally had a chance to get them together. They all got along, they played, they laughed, they talked. But this was his worst day. He tells me it is his worst day because he did not get that little dinosaur he wanted. What happened to my little boy who once upon a time would walk by a gift shop and look at everything without any notion that the items on display were actually available to buy? We used to be able to just say, "Oh, Wow! How neat! Now put it back, sweetie, it's not ours." And that would be it. But he is 5 now and knows toys are available to take home if we give the store money. Melissa, Ben's mom, told me at one point, Ben asked her, "Mom, Can I have ten dollars? Sam needs it."
I would buy my kids everything they ever dreamed of if I could afford it and if I didn't think it would spoil them. I love seeing them get excited for a new toy - it is fun for me too. It had even crossed my mind to go secretly buy the little guy so I could save it as a surprise gift for some exceptional behavior in the future. But that worst day comment put an abrupt end to that thought. I did the only thing I could think of at the time. I had to make him feel guilty for that remark. I pulled him aside and quietly listed all of the fun things we had done that day, pointed out that Ben and Andrew finally met, reminded him how hard Daddy works so that we can do fun days like this, and suggested if this creates his worst day, then we won't do fun things anymore. We will just stay at home so he won't have any more bad days. Then I walked away and told him to come follow me as I pushed Elise in the stroller back to the car. And I was quiet. I quietly loaded the car up, buckled them in and started the car. From the backseat, Sam said, "Mommy, I had a great day. I have great days everyday because I have fun everyday!" I know he was just telling me what I wanted to hear. But I think he got the message. I think. I hope. But then as all moms do, I questioned myself. Did I overdo it? Am I creating weird guilt issues for him? Am I a bad mom? I told him I am happy he had a good day and that I had a good day too. And the learning how to be a mom to a 5 year old continues...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kreative Blogger Award

While we were away in Palm Desert, I received a very nice comment on my blog from a Mom named Crystall who lives in Las Vegas. You can see her blog here. She honored me by giving me a Kreativ Blogger Award! Wasn't that sweet?! Thank you! I am still fairly new to this blogging world so I wasn't even sure what it meant. Then the skeptic in me thought the person who started this award system must be getting something out of there Spyware in the award if I post it? What is this all about? After a little research it looks like it was started in some European country and there seems to be nothing cynical about it. You just award it to 5 blogs you enjoy reading and it continues to be passed on. So I am to list 5 blogs I like and send them a note letting them know I have given them an award. Then they can copy the logo from my site and post it on theirs. And then they pass it on. That's it. Just a way to spread some love.

And the winners are...

The Holmes Gang - Kayla is my cousin by marriage and a beautiful Mom and photographer.

The Joiner Family - Kerry is my sister and in the early phases of her photography career. She has two adorable girls and I love to keep up with them through her blog. (Now that you have this award, Kerry, the pressure is on to keep your blog up to date. ;0))

Welcome to Joshland - Josh found my blog one day by chance and left me a very nice comment. I checked out his blog and was hooked. He writes about his experiences and sometimes you laugh and sometimes you may cry. But he is honest and open and very inspirational. I thought one of his funniest posts was this one about double coupon day.

FavFamilyRecipes - This is the site where I found two very important things. The recipe for the Cafe Rio Pork salad. And a link to The Pioneer Woman's website. They always have lots of different recipes to try and I have added a few to our regular rotation.

The Pioneer Woman - She probably has 8 million of these awards given to her and probably doesn't even know it because she gets way too many comments and emails to go through. But I have to try to honor her because I love her writing, her pictures and her recipes. She inspires me to cook more, write more and photograph more and I am thankful because now I will have my blog to look at for years when I am old and can't remember what I was doing when I was 35.

Oh, one more thing. The winners are supposed to list 5 things they love too. So here are mine...

1) My family

2) My camera

3) Watching Medium by myself at night when the family is sleeping

4) My iphone

5) tacos

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's all about Mexican food

Let's see, out of the 21 or so meals we had while Aunt Lene and Uncle Jack were here, I'd say about 85% were Mexican. Keith and I are on a big taco kick these days. Ever since we were invited to dinner and our friends made us some delicious steak tacos. Right when Aunt Lene and Jack arrived, we headed straight to Old Town for lunch. It wasn't until we were eating the steak tacos mentioned below that I found out Uncle Jack is not even really a fan of Mexican food. Poor guy, he never said a word, just smiled as we would head to each Mexican meal.

At some point we had fish tacos at Rubios and more Mexican food in downtown Palm Springs. And when Aunt Lene and I went to pick up Sam's birthday cake, we were hungry so we of course had to stop for a quick taco. As if we had not consumed enough Latin flavor, we decided to stop at a local beach market on their last day to pick up the fixins for the delicious steak tacos our friends introduced us to. We were told to get the marinated Tri-Tip from Seaside Market. When I was at the meat counter I saw there were two types of Tri-Tip. Uh oh, my girlfriend just told me to buy it from here...but didn't tell me what kind. I assumed it was the kind that the three people in front of me selected. I asked the butcher what he thought and he said, "Yes, this Burgundy Pepper is what you want. It's the crack." It was all marinated and ready to go. We had to just follow the easy BBQ instructions they include when they wrap it up. The meat, some tortillas (corn and flour), fresh produce, margaritas and we are good to go. And you can't forget these chips. If you live in Southern California you can find these at your high end, natural food stores. I don't know if they are available nationally. Hopefully they will be someday because everyone should get to eat these crunchy, perfectly salted delights.
We grilled and chopped up the meat.
Oh, and this is a new trick I recently found out about. We heated the tortillas right on the gas range. Quick and easy with nothing to clean up. You just have to have the heat on low and flip a lot or else they will burn, like these did when I was taking this picture.
Scoop up some chopped meat and whatever toppings you like and oh, man, you have one delicious taco! I insist on lots of cilantro on mine. I understand there are whole societies of people out there who despise cilantro. I just don't get it. I think it is my favorite little herb. Good on almost anything. Muy Bueno!! These tacos were so good. So good in fact, Jack said it was the best he ever tasted. We may have actually converted him.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Am I Really 5?

I heard Sam start to wake up early the morning of June 5, 2009. I saw him notice the big, "Happy Birthday" balloon we had placed at the end of his bed. "Mommy! Is it my birthday?! Am I 5? Am I 5 right now?! For real?"

Before this birthday trip to the desert we had explored many options for celebrating his 5th birthday. The first idea he came up with was having a dinosaur party. We picked out invitations and talked about getting a jumpy house, a dinosaur cake and we even came up with the guest list. I encouraged him to have a party this year since last year all he wanted was to go to Chinese food with his friend Ben. A few days pass and he tells me, "Mommy, I don't want a big party, I just want Ben and Andrew to come over for cake." I talk him into having Ben, Andrew, their siblings, Ella, and maybe Papa and Curly? That sounded good to him...for a few days. Then he came up to me and said, "Mommy, if Ben and Andrew come then it will turn into a wild party and I just want a quiet birthday with you, Daddy, and Elise." I was surprised at this request but I wasn't going to force him to have a party to relieve my Mommy guilt at the ease of his birthday wish. I mean, really, how many years am I going to get away with this? I have to take advantage of this while I can! A few days later we were offered a deal at a friends timeshare for his birthday weekend. I asked him if he would like to spend his birthday at a hotel and he was elated. We invited Papa and Curly and Aunt 'Lene and Jack to come along too. Since Papa and Curly were just here it was tough for them to get away again, but Aunt 'Lene and Uncle Jack flew down to help celebrate. Sam asked if it would be better than Disneyland.

At the end of his birthday, I asked him what his favorite part of the day was.

Was it waking up to a table full of presents?

Was it opening all the presents at the crack of dawn?
Was it seeing daddy accidentally spray silly string up Uncle Jack's nose?
Was it going to the pool?

Swimming with Daddy?
Watching and laughing at Daddy and Elise try to nap in the cold pool?

Was it going on the boat ride at the fancy hotel?

Was it ordering big kid drinks at the bar?

Was it that Aunt 'Lene and Uncle Jack were with us?
Maybe it was the cake at the end of the day, after going out to Chinese food?

At the end of the day he responded "Mommy, it was everything. It was even better than Disneyland and Legoland...because I was with you and Daddy."

He made my heart melt. We love you, Sam! We are so happy you had a wonderful birthday.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Big Milestone

Aunt 'Lene and Uncle Jack are here!
They came to help celebrate Sam's 5th birthday.

We headed to the desert for a few days to celebrate and as an added bonus we were lucky to escape the San Diego June Gloom.

If you ever plan to to visit San Diego, and you want to see the sun, avoid May and June, it's basically our mild winter season. More about this week when I get caught up tomorrow...I hope!

Monday, June 1, 2009


A few weekends ago we headed out to Coronado with our good friends, Doug & Steph along with their daughter Ella. The next picture shows the view of Downtown San Diego from the East Side of Coronado where we started our day.

After eating way too many french fries, we decided we needed to walk it off. In flip flops, we ended up walking the entire width of Coronado. The neighborhoods were so cute, before we knew it we were almost to the other side. I think we walked 5 miles round trip. That is pretty far in flip flops and with 3 little kids!I am bummed I didn't take pictures of the houses right along the water on the East side...some were so amazing. We looked at a flyer for a smaller house (not as cute as the one you see below) about 1600 square feet with an okay size yard around it for only 11 million dollars! I can only imagine how much the bigger, more amazing homes were that were on the same street. One after the other, dreamhome after dreamhome. I want to know two things. How can that many people afford these houses and what do they do? Because I want in.I finally thought to take some pictures when we walked by the more traditional homes in the neighborhood. I loved these houses. Every one was different and all the yards were kept so well. In Coronado there is some sort of team or commitee that grades all the yards. If you have nice landscaping, they place a blue ribbon by your front door. All it takes is a little blue ribbon and the neighborhood looks beautiful.

Getting closer to the Hotel Del (Hotel Del Coronado) we saw this sweet ride.
We stopped into the Hotel Del for a drink on their sun deck. We sat there for sometime enjoying the people watching and the weather. Then I, being somewhat nosey, noticed a large group of people sitting at the table next to us. They were talking about when to walk up and how to surprise the person they were walking up to. I asked if it was someone's birthday. It was not a was going to be an engagement. This groups brother/son/cousin was about to propose to his girlfriend who had just graduated from law school. Siblings, friends, Aunts, Uncles, Moms and Dads from all over the country had all gathered and were showing up at the couple's table in small groups. Steph and I quickly made our way near their table so we could witness the big question. How could we resist?!
As each group made their way over, the girl would jump up with glee and excitement and give them a big hug with lots of laughter and surprise. She thought they were all there to celebrate her graduation. Once her parents arrived, the thoughtful boyfriend who set this all up got up and gave a little talk before getting down on one knee and popping the question. It was too cute to describe and Steph and I both cried and were so happy to get to witness it. One of the brothers immediately jumped on a chair and shouted to the entire bar, "She said Yes!!!!!"
It brought back all the excitement, surprise, love and joy I felt when Keith proposed to me. Who doesn't love a happy moment like this?! Even with total strangers. Love is so fun to witness.