Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Real Me

Yes, this is the real me. You may have seen me in a different light, but I have a big dork inside and it was just dying to come out! Ha ha! I haven't dressed up for Halloween in years and this year I actually had an excuse to do it. We got dressed up and had a ball at a party on Saturday night. I was able to throw my costume together with things we had and a couple of borrowed items. Chad did not want to get dressed up. I was finally able to come up with something that he was OK with and a golfing outfit is pretty easy to put together. I was a big nerd. Funny story about the tie...when Chad was on his mission, there was a competition among the guys to find the ugliest ties they could at thrift stores. This is one of those ties. I still can't believe it is Dior!
...and this is Brooklyn after trying the new Trader Joe's granola bars. I don't think they could be all that nutritious if it leaves that much chocolate on your face.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Busy with more to come!

Man, the holidays are busy. Add kids to the mix and you have several more activities, traditions and parties that you have to be a part of. So, we have been running around like crazy!

Let me begin with my new couch. It came on Monday and isn't it lovely? I realized after it was in that it is very similar to our wall color, so I might have to paint to give it a little contrast.

Wednesday we had a Disneyland day and I caught a few pictures. Not such a great picture of me, but I rarely take a picture with the kids. I'm usually behind the camera, so I threw it in.

Brooklyn and her boyfriend Logan

Today, we hit up the Pumpkin Patch at the Laguna Hills Mall. The kids loved it!

"Riding" the pony. This was the cheaper ride!

Cutie driving!

The kids together, but of course you can't get both of them to look at the same time.

The sun was in his eyes, so this is the photo I got.

Pumpkin and pumpkins.

Micah riding the tractor for just a bit!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Photo booth is fun!

It's Frankenstein and a bush baby!
Scary...reminds me of some of the puppets from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.
Conjoined twins.
Pop art
More warping
The shrunken head...we were both cracking up with this one!
More pop art.
Brooklyn got in the mix.
I think this was called comic book.

We had fun playing with the computer today. I mean lots of FUN!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What I have learned so far

After making our first purchase of a home, I have learned some things along the way. For all of those who have not purchased their own home yet, I thought I would let you in on some of the things to look for and beware of when you purchase your home.

1. Check on the quality of your appliances. Just because they are new doesn't mean they will work well. This includes the washer and dryer. I think we assume that they all work the same until you run into a bad one!

2. Look for a built in microwave. Having one built in (at least a good quality one) will make life easier. You never realize how much you use a microwave until it is gone. It also keeps precious counter space open.

3. If the kitchen is new, check out the cabinets. Make sure there are pulls and knobs because if you don't have them it is very frustrating. Also check to see that the shelves inside of the cabinets are installed. Most importantly, check to see that the cabinets themselves are properly attached to the walls. We have a couple upper cabinets that are pulling away from the wall and need more screws.

4. Make sure to look at homes during the day so you get a good ideal of how much natural light the house will get. If not, you will be investing in recessed lighting.

5. Check to see how many windows are exposed to rain and moisture. If they are older you will want to check the window sealing so you don't have the chance of mold. This will help you maintain your house without having the necessity of changing out the windows right away.

6. Look for storage. You may not think you have very much stuff. I know we don't but we could sure use another closet or two. Since we don't have an attached garage, all of our storage room is a little out of the way and not exactly at arms reach. Plus you have to consider that it will be exposed to heat and cold and possibly pests!

7. You need to be realistic about the size you choose. Consider your lifestyle and the furniture you already have. Try to make the house suit you more than having to change to suit the house.

8. Think about the location you choose. Although the economy isn't doing so well right now, it will recover and you need to think about your resale value.

9. Make sure the carpet in the house is in right places. For instance, we have carpet in both bathrooms and in the dining room. That will need to go soon. Having carpet anywhere that there is running water doesn't make much sense. Also, carpet in an eating area when you have young kids means you will be doing a lot of stain removal.

10. Some people want a fixer upper. I thought that we might be able to tackle something like that, but I'm glad we didn't. You need to look passed cosmetics and decor because those are easy fixes and a bucket of paint is cheap. On the other hand, bathroom and kitchen remodels are a huge undertaking and make it harder to live in. Make sure you are handy and up for the mess!

11. OK this one is little, but I love Christmas, so you will need to be able to think of where you can fit a Chistmas tree in the house after all your furniture is in. Ours will be a little crammed, but we will make it work.

12. If you are buying in an HOA, check it out first. Obviously, the realtor will tell you what the dues are, but you will need to check the CC&Rs for all the regulations on parking etc. You may end up being towed!

Well, that is all I can think of at the moment, but I am sure there are many other thing that I will think of later. I am sure there are others out there that have more advice, so feel free to share!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Indoors it is!

Fall is such a fun season, but I just realized how unprepared I am. Yesterday, I had to run errands and as I was drenched in a downpour I thought to myself, 'It may just be time to buy an umbrella.' No, I do not own an umbrella. That may account for my Brooklyn girl coming down with a cold today since she got as wet as I did! So, no Disneyland today since we have a sicky and it is raining and I have still not purchased an umbrella. We will be indoors today. That means that by the end of the day the house will either be very clean or very dirty and we might just have to get out long enough to get some Del Taco for lunch. We will survive and thanks to So Cal weather, we should be back at Disneyland by Friday since it will be back in the upper seventies!

P.S. I might have to see if I can find this umbrella. I can keep me, my kids and anyone within five feet of me dry!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pumpkins, Cars and Babies!

We have been busy around here! I always try to keep us out and about. It keeps all of us sane to be out of the house. Well, Wednesday I took the kids all the way down to Irvine Park. They have the whole place decked out and pumpkins everywhere! I forgot my camera, but my friends were kind enough to cover for me. Thanks Susan! If you are nearby, take your kids. It's fun!

Thursday was a full day for us. Micah was so spoiled and the highlight had to be the end of the day. Our friend Russ got Chad and Micah into the grand opening of a store in Downtown Disney called Ride Makerz. Micah had the time of his life! This place was like a Build a Bear for boys. You go in and you build a car from the ground up. You choose the body, the wheels, accessories and so on. He left with two! I cannot tell you how much he LOVED going. He even came out of his room later that night and said, "Daddy, I just want to say thanks for taking me to build cars." Thank you SO much Russ. It meant the world to him!

Friday morning, we got a new addition to our family! My sister Taura had her new baby boy. She named him Gavin and he is a doll.

He is beautiful and the most content baby I have ever met. She is one lucky mommy! Regis (daddy) is over the moon in love with this new little one. He is just in awe. It is very sweet. I hope they soak in every moment with this cutie. Happy Birthday Gavin!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Finally Fall!

Anyone else feel that? That crispness in the air, it's so refreshing! It feels like we have waited a LONG time for fall to finally hit around here. It was so hot for so long and now, we get to enjoy the cooler weather and leaves changing colors and pumpkin patches and fun Halloween costumes. Ahhh, I love fall! Here are some of the things I am looking forward to this fall.

The fashions of fall are so fun! I am loving this cute chunky sweater dress and how cute would it be with boots?

I love boots, but they are so expensive, so only one pair a year for me. I'm hoping for a pair like these:
Let's not forget about the great foods of fall. Try this one out:

Cream of Pumpkin Soup

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove crushed garlic
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. curry powder
1 cup half and half or milk
1 3/4 cups (16 oz) can of Libby's Solid Pack Pumpkin

In a large sauce pan, melt butter and saute the onion garlic until soft. Add the curry powder, salt and red pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Add broth and boil gently uncovered for 15-20 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin and the half and half (or milk) and cook for 5 minutes.

Puree some or all if you want a smoother soup. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and chopped chives. Serves 4, 1 1/2 cup servings.

I love the pumpkin flavoring too. Like the yummy pumpkin spice hot cocoa at Starbucks. It is a fun fall treat to replace ice cream (or maybe to have with!).

I'm of course looking forward to the holidays and the festivities. This will be the first year we will carve pumpkins with the kids. I love the roasted pumpkin seeds!
Trunk or Treating is always fun especially when your kids are really small. They get the trick or treating experience a little earlier and it is a much shorted distance for their little legs to go!
Then after the craziness of Halloween we get my b-day and Thanksgiving. Yay!

More than anything else, I am just enjoying watching my kids grow. Micah is already all over the girls. He is a big flirt, following them around. He even invited one to come home with him and watch Special Agent Oso. When we were leaving he blew her kisses! He is growing so fast and loving his school. He is fun and polite and sweet with his sister. Brooklyn and I have turned a corner in our relationship. After months and months of colic hell and then just a generally crabby attitude, I thought I wouldn't get around to liking her. Lucky for both of us, she has settled and has a much better demeanor now. She is learning to say things. her newest word is one we are trying to figure out. I am really hoping she is saying "ship" or something along those lines because right now her language is sounding pretty foul! Anyways, I think I am understanding her more and more and she is getting me. Although she is still very stubborn and strong willed, I am learning to pick my battles with her and she is becoming my little buddy!

Happy fall!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Move over!

This little girl of mine is full of spunk! I mean full of it. She doesn't let anything get in the way of what she wants to do, even a giant giraffe. Take for instance, the other night. We went to the toy store at the mall. She was happy wandering around the store for a while until she spotted this pink Barbi Jeep. It was love at first sight! The enormous giraffe that was literally tied into the Jeep didn't deter her for a second. She hoisted her chubby little leg up and plopped inside under the giraffe. Next thing I know, there is a little head peering out from between the giraffes legs! I laugh of course and can't miss the photo opp. I grab the iPhone and take a few pictures.

I think she is content hanging out there when all of a sudden the girl hits the gas! She runs the Jeep into my shin at full throttle and doesn't let off. There I was in front of the toy store trying to keep my one year old from car jacking this Barbi Jeep with a giant giraffe in it and not pee my pants. My hand is grabbing and turning every knob and lever in there and still the back tires are spinning at full speed. Finally, I just had to grab her out of there and she was pissed! Oh this girl of mine keeps me on my toes.

P.S. I like her now. I have always loved her because she is my daughter, but now I like her. She is sweet now and funny and communicates and understands. I love it! Now I get excited when she wakes up and enjoy taking her out and cuddling with her. She is my love bug!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Disneyland Date

Last night Chad and I finally got to go out on a date to Disneyland without the kids. That means we got to ride the big kid rides! We ran into a lot of traffic on our way there, so we ended up late and then when we got there, we realized everyone else went to Disneyland that night too. I think it was a combination of Gay Days, Disney Halloween Nights and the new Halloween fireworks show that drew in all the crowds. It was packed, but I didn't care all that much because Chad and I got to be one on one. We hit up Space Mountain first and it was a blast! Then as the fireworks show began we were able to walk onto Splash Mountain. I nearly peed my pants laughing at the lady in the front who was screaming about how wet she was!

Finally, at the end of the night, we met up with four other couples and went on Indiana Jones. It was so fun to be out and a big thanks to my parents who not only took the kids, but took them to a wedding reception, had them swim in the pool and then kept them overnight! Thanks so much!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Second Day of "School"

OK, I will have to explain the title. For one, it isn't the first day of school because the first day got a little crazy. Secondly, it isn't really school. It is a community run program called Playtime that has structured play, group activities, etc. Anyways, on our first day of "school" we were running behind and then at the last minute Micah decided he didn't want to go. I had been talking to him for a few weeks about how fun it would be and I guess it backfired. Well, after some tough love we were in the car and made it. I took him to his classroom and he grabbed onto my leg. He held on to it as we dropped off his stuff, while I checked him in and as I walked over to the tables to show him all the cool toys and activities. I was getting a little nervous and then I looked at one of the girls and said, "I am going to be the mean mom and just get up and leave." She quickly took his hand and got him focused on something else and I slipped out. Brooklyn and I took the opportunity to get some fresh air. We went for a long walk and played at the park until it was time to go pick Micah up again. When I picked him up he said "School is awesome and no one touched my pee pee or my bum!" As you can tell I had that talk with him before he started school. Hey, better safe than sorry right? Anyways, today he was actually excited to go to school so I was able to catch a couple pictures of him outside right before. He is such a cutie!

A quick hug goodbye for sister, who was a bit distracted...