Friday, August 29, 2008

long week coming to an end

Matt's flight just landed at the Hartsfield Jackson airport (Atlanta's airport) a few minutes ago. I was able to keep track of his flight via FlyteComm. He's been in Portland, OR since last Sunday and I am so ready for him to be home. It seems like we haven't really hung out together in a long long time...due to work, projects and Big Brother episodes. The kids are very anxious to see him too. Lauren gave me a long list of things to tell him when I see him tonight. One of which is that she put her socks on all by herself today. (and believe me That is a Big Deal.) I asked Mr. Buddy if he wouldn't mind picking him up for me so I could put the kids to bed. He (as usual) was more than happy to pick him up for me. I even offered to pay him a hundred thousand dollars and he even declined that measly offering. I've said it before but I'm so grateful for my neighbors here.

Yesterday was a busy Thursday. T and I dropped Lauren off at school and then headed off to the monthly Mom's Club meeting. Tyler hung out in the kiddie section while I listened to a guest speaker talk about everything and anything there is to know about make-up, facials and all that stuff I don't pay much attention to. My main question for him (yes, him) was if there is a real difference between high end make-up brands and the brands you can get at the grocery store. He said an emphatic NO (just read the ingredients and if you can't prounounce the first 3 then it shouldn't go on your face.) Which I'm sure Matt will be very happy to he's only hearing the ka-ching of money he will save when I buy cheaper make-up. After the meeting, the group who was taking care of the kids said Tyler was the easiest and most adorable of the group. Mama was so proud.

After we picked up Lauren and were home having lunch, Tyler had the nerve to tell me he was going tee tee. I asked if he wanted to go sit on the big boy potty and he said “no, I alreatty did it in my panz.” He’s so ready…a little bit more each day. Maybe I’ll be patient and as my mom suggests...let him train himself.

Here Lauren is posing with her Talent Show audience. She loves to perform talent shows in the living room that always start with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Boy and Girls...." This particular show had a large audience.

Thursday night was a HUGE Big Brother night. We had a double eviction. (Yes, I say we...I'm that "involved" [read: addicted]) Here I am watching Big Brother, while reading & watching via the BB Dish Blog, while soaking my fake nails off in acetone. Go Keesha! yet Dan has played the best game.
Today, Friday, I decided to go back to the Y after taking 2 days off to mend my achy muscles. I could finally move about a little bit although the thought of another lunge or squat may still send me over the edge. I took a class titled "Agility Drills." Although the name is a little scary I Had No Idea. This was basically an Army boot camp class. It hurt like HEaven onLLy knows. But I felt Awesome afterwards. I'm sure I lost 50 pounds just by taking that class. To celebrate I had a double serving of dinner.
Which leads me to... ....dinner. Matt picked up a bunch of Florida brochures about Florida produce during a work trip down there. Tonight I tried the brochure on Cucumbers. I made a Cucumber Salad with Spicy Grilled Chicken (via the George Foreman) and also the cucumber melon sorbet. You can find the recipes HERE, towards the bottom.
While we were finishing up dinner the door bell rang. This was Joshua, the 6 year old from across the street. For the 3rd day in a row he came by to ask if Lauren and Tyler could play. Not wanting to turn him away Again, I let him in. Although he's older, both L and T had a blast playing with him. After an hour his mom called him home and the kids and I sauntered over to Mr. Buddy's house to hang out for a bit. The kids are always up for playing with someone else's toys. Shep and Emma were preoccupied with Zoey 101 on the Disney Channel but that didn't stop my kids from playing with their "way cooler than their own" toys. I had a chance to talk to Buddy and Dana and we set up a tentative BBQ for tomorrow night. We're both home and laying low over the long Labor Day weekend.
And to close, I'll share an e-mailed link Mr. Buddy sent me yesterday regarding BBQs. It's pretty funny and slightly informative. The BBQ Song.
Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Potty Training

Potty training 1
Originally uploaded by abstractmind31

Tyler is showing a sign of "readiness to potty train." As soon as he goes "poo poo eewww" he demands to be changed.

"Mommy, git up. Mommy, git up and chain my diaperrr."

But when I ask him if he wants to sit on the Big Boy Potty he immediately replies "NOOOO."

Today I went out and bought about 400 Cars stickers so when he makes an attempt and sits on the potty he will get a sticker for his potty chart and a Mickey Mouse stamp on his hand. (We did this for Lauren when she was potty training.) The only problem is I don't know what to do next.

Do I have him sit down on the potty? facing front or back? Or, do I have him stand up? in front of the little potty? or with a stool in front of the big potty? If I have him stand up will he be confused when he needs to do his dirty business? Oy vey. I'm trying to think of ease and quickness of learning PLUS which ever way will yield the LEAST mess.

I Need Help. I asked Matt and he says he was potty trained at birth and is of absolutely no help. Out of all (both) of you readers, please comment and give me some advice on the best way to potty train a BOY.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Seven years ago...

...Matt and I were married on a beautiful (scorchingly beautiful) day at the Chateau Lorane outside of Eugene. I can't believe it's been 7 years but also it seems like we've been together forever. Maybe that's what a healthy (dare I say, ideal) relationship is like. Time flies by but it seems like there wasn't a time when we weren't together.

Since Matt's out of town we're planning on celebrating this weekend by taking in a show probably at the Fox Theatre or some other venue in Atlanta and also buy a new desparately needed digital camera. (any recommendations for cameras under $200?

Lauren's second week at school has gotten off to a successful start. She's been bringing home lots of artwork and worksheets of which she's so proud to show me. She's learning to write her name with a capital L and then lower-case for the rest of the letters. I had taught her to write her name in all capitals but we'll work on the correct way now. She says everything about school is her favorite and there's nothing that she doesn't like. I'm thrilled that she's so happy at school...I hate to even ponder having a child who doesn't want to go.

While she's been having fun at school I've been torturing myself at the Y. Yesterday I took the Body Sculpting class. I should have run away when I entered the class and saw that all the participants were obviously doping. However, I struggled through and made myself pretty sore. And since I'm a sucker for punishment I thought I'd try another class today...this time Cardio Core. The Core part in the name made me think it would be some sort of hippie, granola-y seance/yoga class....NOPE...again all the participants were obviously on steroids. After no less than 186 lunges in a row, with a 12 pound body bar I thought I was going to die. I know I didn't because every muscle in my body hurts right now so I'm painfully aware that I'm alive. We'll see if I make the Step and Sculpt class tomorrow.

While I worked out Tyler had a great time playing in the child watch. He walks right in by himself now and just smiles at me when I come to pick him up. The workers there are amazed at how much he's changed...going from the crying baby with his ever present blankie to the big boy who walks right in grabs a toy and plays.

This evening Emma and Shep came over while their mom ran a quick errand. Tyler pretty much copied everthing Shep did. Shep was a very good sport to play with Tyler although the 4 year age difference. Emma on the other hand didn't really like it when Tyler copied all of her actions and repeated all her words. I tried to tell her that he "thinks she's really cool" and also this is how he learns things. But she wasn't having it. The kids all had fun and while they played I made dinner.

My dinner
Caprese Salad
tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, oil, basalmic, salt & pepper
The kids' dinner
Wiener Weenie Dogs

These were time consumingly easy to make. Just take a hot dog and wrap it up in dough from a package of refrigerated croissant dough. Bake and add pickles for legs, red pepper & grape tomato for ears and olives for the eyes. The kids LOVED these. Let me rephrase. The kids got a kick out of these. In the end though they only ate the breading around the hot dog and Lauren ate the olives and tomatoes. That was it. Since this didn't get my kids to eat hot dogs, I'm done. Personally I think they are I won't mind if they do too.

We had our work cut out for us after dinner. After the tornado named "4-Kids-Playing-in-My-Living-Room" came threw, the house was a wreck. We spent the next 30 min. picking up all the toys. Then it was bath and bed. For the 3rd day in a row we read "The Rescuers." This is Lauren's current favorite book. Good thing I stole (errr borrowed) it from my Mom during our last visit home.

Happy Anniversary to you Matt.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

no nap today

These Uber-tired kids by-passed a nap today to be able to hang out with Daddy for a little bit longer. He has a couple of conferences next week in Portland, OR. How jealous am I that he gets to go home to Portland and I have to stay here. However, not only does Lauren have school all next week but we just don't have the money to buy plane tickets for the rest of us to go. So we'll make the best of it and try to have a great week regardless.

Before we took Matt to the airport, I made a Lupper (Lunch + Supper) for us all to enjoy. This is the final installment my first Blog Menu Week. Today's meal was from my fellow Atlantan... Good Thymes & Good Food. I made her Tortellini and Sausage Salad and it was DELISH. I will definitely make this again and again. If you so happen to like to try it...I highly recommend it. You can find it here.

I would have have taken a better picture but I didn't think of it until I was putting away the left-overs. We'll have lunches for a few days now.

Since we passed up the daily nap, I had the kids in bed by 7:30 to ensure Lauren was well rested for school in the morning. But...wouldn't you know it that tropcial storm FAYE decided to have her fury out over GA right then. Right after I tucked the kids into bed a massive thunderstorm came down right over us. I was looking out the back window and swore I saw the ENTIRE back Forest light up from lightning. I'm pretty sure at least one of the trees back there got struck. I called Mr. Buddy right away and he assured me that if indeed one of the trees did get hit from lightening then I still have 6 months or so before it will die completely and topple over and hit the house. I'm a bit reassured but even better news is that neither of the kids woke up (or at least cried out anyway.)

Now the storm is long gone and I'm trying to get caught up with today's Big Brother episode. Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and I'll chat with y'all tomorrah.

corn tastes better on the cobb

After this meal I went straight out and bought 20 ears of corn. I found a veggie they both like and they will be seeing a lot more of it.

We had a great first week of school and Tyler and I also enjoyed getting out of the house and to the YMCA a couple of times too. I'm already much more productive with my days and with preparing the night ahead. I just realized how much I love (need) a schedule.

Every day after school I ask Lauren the 3 questions and almost everyday her answers are the same.
1. What is your favorite thing about the day? usually it is eating a snack.
2. What is your least favorite thing about the day? not getting to play with something because there are already too many kids playing with it. (she doesn't like big crowds)
3. What did you learn today? so far I don't believe she's learned anything's always "nothing, Mommy"

On Thursday while I was preparing for the weekend children's services Tyler had a break through in the child care room. They went outside to play and I saw him chasing the kids, throwing saw dust (with another little boy) at a little girl and actually interacting and having a great time. He was so sweaty from running around when I picked him up. I was so proud...we'll have that talk about not throwing things at people later but right now I'm just encouraging the interaction.

Thursday night I made Caper and Bean Salad Melts. I loved!! these. Matt said they were good but he looked at me side-ways when I said these were my new favorite quick vegetarian meal. You'll have to try them out and see what you think. They were so good that all I could think about was eating them that I didn't think to take a picture. You can find them here on the Kath Eats Real Food blog. I tripled the recipe and used canned pinto beans and a slab of sour cream since I ran out of yogurt.

Friday night was Matt's Fantasy Football draft. Since they guys were coming over here, I had Casey come sit with the kids and got the H out. Dana and I planned on seeing a movie but we were having too good of a time eating (and a couple of drinks too) that we decided to nix the movie idea and just enjoy our dinner instead. We started off with a drink at Red Robin and then headed across the street to Tokyo for dinner. It's been awhile since the two of us had gotten out together and was a lot of fun.

Saturday morning Lauren had her first swim lesson at the Y. She was a little (very) nervous since she didn't have her life jacket and floaties on but the teacher worked with her and slowly she warmed up (a little bit.) Next week the parents have to sit out of the pool area. There are glass windows so we may watch but the kids will pay better attention to the teacher without us parents sitting right next to them. Next week Tyler will start a Daddy and Me swim class too so that should be more fun for him than just having to watch Lauren.

Tyler's new swim suit. He's ready for lessons now and can't go wrong with either Thomas the Train or Cars on his swim trunks.
For dinner last night I attempted the Arroz con Pollo from the Canela & Comino blog. This was less than par. I didn't have enough cilantro, or the aji amarillo (I used a jalapeno instead) but it was more than that. I'm going to try it again but just tweak the recipe a bit. Definitely won't cook my chicken for 25 min. It came out the consistency of rubber tire pieces. Oh well, it will be better next time.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I hate suburban traffic

I'm not one of those dainty ladies who perspire. I've never perspired a day in my life...I down right sweat and it's very very gross. I just finished mopping the hard wood floors and I'm exhausted and soaking wet. I don't understand people who take up all their carpets to expose their hardwood floors. Sure they look nice but unless you have a housekeeper (bless their hearts) they just aren't worth it. Ok, I'm done complaining (about that anyway.)

Insert cute picture of Tyler making a "tunnel" with his toast. So much for not playing with his food. At least he's eating a little bit of it. back to complaining. This time it's TRAFFIC. We moved to the south side of Atlanta and clear out in the burbs to avoid massive traffic. But the past 2 days have been bumper to bumper traffic for both Matt and I. The commute to Lauren's school was stop and go the whole time. And what was the cause? NOTHING. Well apparentally the timing is off on the traffic lights at one of the major intersections. At least today (after I sat through the 30 min. traffic to go 7 miles) they brought in a couple of police officers to direct the traffic while disregarding the offset traffic lights. Hopefully this is fixed by tomorrow. And yesterday, poor Matt woke up at 5am to get a head start on the drive to work but come to find out there was an overturned car on the interstate and all lanes were closed and all secondary streets were filled with bumper to bumper traffic. He ended returning home to work from there for half the day until the accident was cleared up. And today he made a day trip for work and on the way home it took him 5 hours to make the 2 hour drive. All due to traffic. I hate suburban traffic despite the fact that me and my huge gas guzzling SUV are a partial contributer.

Insert cute info about Lauren's 2nd day of school. Today when I picked her up I asked her 3 questions. 1) What was your favorite thing about today? "cupcakes" one of her classmates had a birthday and they got to celebrate. 2) Least favorite thing? "not being able to match the teddybears" I didn't get much more info about this but I just told her to keep practicing and she will get better at matching. 3)What is one thing you learned today? They learned about the date, season, and weather. She said it was a sunshine and summer. When I picked her up her teacher brought her to the car and told me she had a good day. I did get a chance to watch her on the playground and noticed that she was being hugged and cuddled by one of her teachers. I'm glad she's making a connection with her teacher but I really want her to go out and play with her classmates. It's only day two so am not really worried. I'm very proud of her and she's very proud of herself for being a big pre-schooler.

Back home we played Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders until it was time for a nap/quiet time. At 3pm I went downstairs in the basement to watch my soap and walk on the treadmill. Just as the show was getting over both Lauren and Tyler came downstairs to say hi to me. This was the first time Tyler came out of his room after he woke up from his nap all by himself. I'm not sure if I'm ready for this new development. But it is probably inevitable.

For dinner I made Spinach and Mushroom Risotto from one of the blogs I read daily. This was very delicious and very rich. I added 2 T. butter to the spinach saute and also a lot of seasoning to the onions and spinach. Lauren ate a couple bites but Tyler didn't really touch his. He instead ate his banana and 2 cups of milk. He still looks pretty husky to me so I'm not too worried about his picky eating. At least most of it is healthy.

And that about wraps up my day. I was going to prepare for a weekend garage sale but I just don't feel like I have enough time to get everything ready. There is a neighborhood wide garage sale coming up next month so I think I will just wait for that. Plus the remnants of tropical storm Fay may be causing some unpleasant weather in our area over the weekend.

Enjoy your evening.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We Have a Pre-schooler!

Lauren had her first day of pre-school today. She was very excited to go to school. (a little disappointed that I didn’t let her wear her new pink tennis shoes which light up with each step but her black shoes just matched her outfit better.) We got to meet her teachers yesterday and check out her room so she wasn’t too nervous this morning. I dropped her off in the drop-off/pick-up line and she walked all the way from the car to her classroom (accompanied by a teacher, of course.) For some reason I almost had tears in my eyes. She was such a big girl and didn’t even need (cry for me) to walk her into her classroom. Independence is bittersweet.

While she was at school, Tyler and I went to the YMCA. I did a warm up on the bike and then did a much needed workout on the weight machines. I can do cardio like nothing but for some reason I abhor the weight machines. It felt great and the perfect ending to my workout was a complimentary cup of coffee from the Y’s coffee machine….well that and seeing Tyler engrossed in play at the child watch when I came to get him. One of the workers there commented on what how much he’s grown and progressed. It’s been quite awhile since we’ve been to the Y and she also commented on that. I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing much more of the YMCA now that we are back on a school schedule…a 5-day a week schedule at that.

After the Y we went straight to the school to pick up Lauren. This first week of school they are going from 9am-11am. Next week will start the regular school hours of 9-12. I can’t imagine sending any 4 year old to school longer than that. (The public pre-schools here in GA do though. The bus picks them up at 7am and drops them off at 3pm)

Lauren was pretty tired of talking when she got in the car but I managed to get out of her her favorite part of the day. SNACK TIME…she had a cookie “just a cookie Mommy, quit asking me.” And her least favorite part of the day was when she cried, “because a paper clip was in my way and I couldn’t paint there.”

To celebrate her first day of school we packed up a lunch at home and headed to the pool. We swam and ate for a couple of hours and then headed home for naps. I even got a short nap in before I headed to the basement to watch General Hospital while walking on the treadmill.

After nap the kids played while I made dinner. For the next 5 days (minus Friday when I’m going out to eat with Dana) I’ll be cooking a recipe I found on my numerous favorite blogs. Tonight is Shrimp with Roasted Peppers and Feta from Carrots n Cake and Pears with Yogurt and Cheddar from Good Thymes & Good Food.

Lauren, Daddy and I thought the entire meal was delicious. I’ll be using the Pears as a dish for Bunco when I host next March, for sure. They were so simple and very very good. Tyler, unfortunately refused to try even one bite of either dish. It’s probably because I gave him 3 cups of milk while he was waiting for dinner. Live and learn…tomorrow they will get water before dinner.

For the rest of the night…Daddy and Tyler are heading off to Home Depot to buy who knows what and Lauren and I will hang out at home. Then it’s Big Brother and bed for me.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up

Here we are at the Braves game last night. We bought $6 tickets up in the nose bleed section but just watched the game from the restaurant/bar. I had a pulled pork sandwich and Matt had a plate of nachos. The nachos were by far the better choice. It was a fun game and the Braves finally won.

Here I am pinching Francoeur's tush

Today Matt worked on the basement bathroom and started tiling the floor. He made one more trip to Home Depot which brings the official HD weekend count to 3. He's going to have to go back though because somehow he managed to knock over the brand new uninstalled toilet and broke it in a few hundred pieces. Here's a picture with today's updates. He started to tile the floor and also framed in the shower stall (in the back.) What can't this guy do?!

While Matt worked in the basement Lauren did some water painting with her new paints.

For dinner I made Pizza Bianca with tomato sauce, sausage and fontina cheese. Here's the recipe...

just add the tomato sauce, sausage and cheese during the last 7 min. The pizza dough didn't rise like it should have. I think I used too much water somehow (although I thought I measured perfectly.) This was more like a flat bread pizza but was delicious none the less.

And here's the plan for the rest of the week. Every weekend I plan my weekly menu and then grocery shop for only what I need.

Currently, Matt's playing poker (not sure why they're doing it on a Sunday...we'll see if they play again tomorrow like usual) and I'm about to relax for the rest of the evening. I didn't feel too great earlier so I will just be laying low...a little Big Brother should help my upset stomach.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bathroom and the Braves

Matt and I have barely said 3 words to each other today. No, not because we're fighting (we don't fight like that, btw) but because we both have our separate projects and things to do today. Matt has been busy in the basement bathroom. He and Tyler went to Home Depot earlier to get some things to tile the floor and then while T and I were at the grocery store Matt and Lauren went again for some other tools. (Weekend Home Depot count: 2) Matt is also installing a car stereo for Mr. Johnny across the street. I just noticed that he has now swapped cars and he is installing yet another stereo in yet another car. Since Johnny buys cars at auctions and then sells them, Matt may have another part time job as car stereo installer. This would be in addition to his other part time job as neighborhood yard boy. (Man, do I feel lazy!)

But I have been busy today myself...with meal planning, household chores and grocery shopping. I was expecting to grocery shop by myself as usual since normally the kids prefer to stay with Daddy but Tyler actually said "I want to go with Mommy." Such a sweet boy, that favorite son of mine. We grabbed a race car shopping cart and I loaded Tyler up with his blankie, new race car (he got from Home Depot with Daddy earlier today) and some juice-water. He was such a good boy during this long $200 grocery trip. He got more than one comment on how cute he was....sucking his fingers with his blankie and just chilling in the cart.

Despite the fact that Matt and I have avoided each other's company today...we will get to regroup together as a couple tonight. Morgan (our baby-sitter) called me up yesterday and asked if we might need her to baby-sit this weekend. Like I'm Going To Say No To That! So we thought long and hard about what we wanted to do and then I told Matt I wanted to go watch a Braves game. They play the SFO Giants at 7:10 tonight but we're going to go early to catch some home runs from batting practice and grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants in the field. I'm looking forward to it. Just one more hour until Morgan gets here.

More to come later and hopefully a picture or two of me catching a home-run hit!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lauren visits the Dentist

Lauren had her 2nd visit to the Dentist this week. She did her Daddy tells me. He was able to go in late to work in order to experience this exciting event. Tyler and I were there also but we stayed in the lobby (slash) theatre & entertainment room. We watched Jimmy Neutron and then played with some other toys they had in there. Lauren did exactly as she was told during the check-up and had no problem ignoring the uncomfortable feeling of having her teeth worked on since she was watching a movie on a tv screen in the ceiling!! Dentists sure have changed since my day. She came out with instructions to floss daily (yeah, okay) and to brush more efficiently on her molars. No cavities though, of course.

The other highlight of our Wednesday was due to my favorite (my only!) son Tyler. At lunch he somehow managed to spill his cup of milk THREE TIMES. The first two I remained pretty cool. I happily? cleaned up the dripping white 2 percent off the table, off the floor and in between the damn crack in the middle of the table. But the third time he spilled his milk...I lost control. I yelled, I hollered, I probably even cussed. I caused enough commotion that had I been directing it to Lauren she would have crumpled into tears. But not my Tyler. He sat there quietly, listening to my break-down and then actually had the nerve to Crack A Smile. After seeing this reaction I was actually relieved and calmed down myself. It's only spilled milk....Right?! So what if I make him drink out of a bottle from now on??

On Thursday after Prep (preparing for Sunday school at church) I wanted to run a few errands. It was about lunch time so we stopped into Chik-fil-A to eat before heading to Target and Kroger. Chik-fil-A was a wonderful experience. The hostess (this wonderful establishment actually has a hostess...her name tag said so.) helped me out immensly. She set the kids up with place mats, chatted with them, encouraged them to eat all their food because there would be a treat when they did, and then brought them a free cup of ice-cream. It was such a good time that I plan on going back at least once a week. Plus, I don't need to order me any food since I can just eat what they don't of their kids meals.

At Target.......our troubles began. Tyler wanted to sit in the "big girl seat" (the big part of the shopping cart...not the seat intended for the little ones.) I told him no that he needed to sit in the front of the was all over after that. He was crying, screaming and throwing a fit during the entire (yet very quick) shopping trip. I pretended I didn't realize he was upset and went along with my shopping. We managed to find Lauren a new backpack for school. She chose a "Littlest Pet Shop" backpack. It looks huge on her but since I tightened the straps as far as they would go it seems to fit. We'll find out next Tuesday when she has her first day of school.

Today, Friday, we hosted playgroup. Abigail and her mom were able to make it and we took advantage of the mild temps and sunny weather and went swimming in the neighborhood pool. We had so much fun swimming that we went back to the pool after dinner. I wanted to show Matt how well Lauren was swimming by herself with the life jacket and the floaties. She's full of confidence now.

For dinner I made Creamless, Creamy Tomato Soup. This was very delicious and used bread chunks in lieu of cream. This was from the Cook's Illustrated magazine but unfortunately they want to charge me to view the recipe on-line. However, I was able to search for it on another site and found it. So please enjoy if you're in the mood for some Tomato Soup. I love this magazine but I don't like how stingy they are regarding their recipes. Next week I'll be cooking from my Everday Food magazine I just got in the mail. They seem to be more giving regarding their recipes.

Enjoy your Friday.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mr. Jasen brightens up our day

Today started off as a pretty uneventful day. I had a lot to do on my "to-do" list so we just hung out at home. The kids played while I caught up on some unfinished laundry, unfinished e-mails, unfinished blog postings, and some other not so interesting stuff that needed to be done.

Here are the kids playing nicely in their plastic Rubbermaid containers. They weren't playing nicely when they had only one container between the two but their loving mother, not being able to take anymore, dumped out another container containing outgrown clothes so both kids could have an empty Rubbermaid container to play with. Which they played with for about 1.3 seconds after this picture was taken.
Aren't they sweet?!
This scene just seemed unique to me so I had to snap a pic.
l-r: cat baby, Lauren and frog blanket

Our friend Jasen is in town this week for work and is staying with us while he visits his clients in the Atlanta area. I truly believe he visits us just to get his quarterly (or so) dose of birth control....

Here is Lauren running over his head with the train.

And check out Tyler with his tape measure. He's doing some engineering work on the toy train while watching the movie Cars. Very BOY of him don't ya think?!

And to be fair, of course, Lauren needed her own tape measure to play with while watching Cars on Daddy's lap.

And that pretty much sums up our Tuesday. We're about to put the kids down and then either watch Big Brother or a Netflix movie....depends on who wins the tv tonight. Since we have a guest I'm guessing the movie might win out. We'll see.

Monday, August 11, 2008

pink sandals and pools

*enjoy the pics while I work on an updated post...after my GH workout...possibly after dinner too. and maybe even the next day.
okay, I'm devoted to completing this post. The longer I go between posts the more daunting it seems to actually do it.
Tyler is having some confusion. He thinks Lauren is totally cool and wants to be just like her and do everything she does. If she plays with a toy then he wants it, if she then plays with another toy he no longer wants the old toy but wants her new toy.
He likes to wear her old pink crocs. He even threw a FIT in the Shoe Mart when I bought Lauren a new pair of purple sandals and refused to buy him his own pair of purple sandals. Tyler, very loudly: "I don't like these shoes" He throws off his fairly new Cars sandals and grabs for Lauren's purple sandals. He cries, he screams, a few employees come to make sure I'm not beating him and they think I'm so mean to deprive this poor boy of purple sandals. Somehow we paid and left before the cops were called...Tyler was barefoot, his shoes were in the diaper bag.
proudly sporting some pink crocs

occasionally he lets his true boyness come through.
*notice the blue chair, baseball glove and ball shirt and the big monster truck.
(no this was not staged)

This may be why he thinks girls and girl stuff are so cool. These are his friends.
left to right
Tyler, Lauren, short girl and tall girl

On Friday we had playgroup back at Miss Claudine's house...with the pool. The kids had a good time and we did another potluck lunch.

Barbies like to swim too

So when I ask them to all look at the camera and smile they don't do it but when I tell them to put their heads down for a picture, they do that. what gives?

regardless, it looked like a nice ad for skin cancer.

Friday night I had my monthly Bunco game. This time I was a big $15 winner with the most Buncos. OH yeah...I'm cool. I also got to catch up on the neighborhood gossip.

This weekend Matt was busy with the basement bathroom. His plumbing was a success and we now have water down there. It just took one change of clothes (there was a small leak at first) and 3-5 trips to Home Depot (I lost count, could check Quicken but don't feel like it.)

On Sunday, in exchange for mowing Miss Maria's lawn she offered to watch Lauren and Tyler while Matt and I went to dinner and a movie. I thought this was a great trade...especially since I wasn't the one who mowed the lawn in the hot humid sun. We ate at Carrabbas since the little bistro I wanted to go to was closed. Matt chose the movie Pineapple Express. I think it's partly because I'm getting older and mostly because the movie was just dumb....I didn't much care for it. There's an art to these stoner movies and this just didn't have it. But it was fun, none the less, to go on a date with my hubby.

Yesterday was our Shoe Mart fiasco. When we got home I took the kids swimming in our neighborhood pool to tire them out.

It worked and back home they napped for 3 1/2 hours. I woke them up around 5:30pm.

For dinner we had Dana and the kids over. I made Mexican Chicken Soup, rice with aji salsa, and Dana made chicken & cheese quesadillas. Everything was delicious. I definitely mastered the aji salsa this time. I sauteed the jalapenos and seasoned the sh** out of them. It was hotter than snot. If there was any salmonella in the jalapenos then it went up in flames. I was dripping sweat while eating was that! good.

I love having Dana over because she washed all the dishes and I just dried. After the kids went to bed last night and while Matt played poker in the basement I went to Dana's house to watch Over Her Dead Body. This had its funny parts and (I thought it) was better than Pineapple Express but I'm really hoping to see a really, really good movie. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

No Thank You! It's Not Fair!

It’s been a year since my Dad died. 366 days without him (it was a leap year.) I miss him so much. It was a pretty uneventful day yesterday despite the significance. I guess I was expecting rain, storms, a spooky feeling but, as I knew it would be but was hoping it wouldn’t be….it was just an ordinary day. Doesn’t seem right.

The past couple of days have been full of laundry, organizing, and getting situated from vacation. There’s also been a lot of fighting, back talking and naughty chair sitting (among all the good things.)

Tyler’s current bad attitude/catch phrase:
“No Thank You!”
He says this no matter what the question is. It doesn’t sound as polite as it looks when typed in a blog. It is said with venom. He might as well be telling me he Hates me or something.

Lauren’s current bad attitude/catch phrase:
“It’s Not Fair!”
I have leaned that apparently Nothing is fair.

Enjoy your evening and hopefully I’ll get some more ammo for a more interesting posting tomorrow.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Orlando Vacation

Select pictures from our trip can be viewed at my myspace profile.

Wow! Last week was so much fun. This was much better than the usual work trips the kids and I accompany Matt on. This time we had company to accompany us...get my drift? My brother Kevin and his wife Milagros (Mili) came with us. They flew into Atlanta on Monday. We picked them up at the airport Monday afternoon, came to our house for about 30 min. (long enough to load up our rented Dodge Caravan) and then hit the long long long road down I-75 to Orlando. We got to our hotel, the Rosen Shingle Creek resort at 12:30 in the morning. It was a long drive but we actually made pretty good time. Matt had to be there for a 10am meeting Tuesday morning.

Tuesday morning the kids woke up early (much earlier than Kevin and Mili) so we went to one of the hotels numerous restaurants for breakfast. I got a breakfast quesadilla and the kids shared an order of some coffee and orange juice...grand total...over 50 bucks. But's a resort and we're on vacation. The bulk of the day was spent at the swimming pools. There are 4 total. We spent most of our time in the 2 ft. kiddie pool and the zero entry pool. Mili joined us at the pool while Kevin finished up some home stuff. (They recently sold their house and just bought a new house the day before the trip so some signatures still needed to be exchanged.)

That night Kevin and Mili offered to stay with the kids and let Matt and I go out to dinner together. We checked out the CallaBella restaurant at the resort and feasted on appetizers. We were so stuffed and it was a lot of fun to have some couple time.

Wednesday was our first trip to DISNEY WORLD!! It was super cool. It was super hot and humid but the frequent summer downpours cooled things off and brought a little of a refreshing feeling throughout the day...(as long as we were under cover during the massive downpour.) Lauren and Tyler both had a blast. Lauren measured just over the 40 inch mark so was able to go on almost all the rides...and go she did. Despite my initial hesitations she even went on Splash Mountain. (you know the boat ride with the free fall plunge at the end?!) Matt got mad at me for suggesting to her that it might be scary....the only one who was scared apparently was me. She loved it and wanted to go again. She also went on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and even Tyler got to go on a fast roller coaster. The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm was his favorite. It went fast, side-ways and apparently we have a couple of dare-devils because both kids loved it and Tyler threw a tummy-on-the-ground tantrum when we had to get off the ride and did not go again. We pretty much went on all the rides geared toward pre-schoolers. It was a very very fun and quite tiring day.

The next morning (Thursday) all of us (save for Matt who had to be at his conference at 8am) slept in until 9:30. We would have slept longer but I decided to throw open the window shades at that time. After we were up and about we went shopping. Mili needed to find a swim-suit bottom. I gave her a swimsuit that no longer fits me. The top fit but her petite little tush was way too small to fill my briefs. j/k =) I'm not one to let a shopping trip pass me by so I got Lauren a cute little Roxy outfit and Tyler got a pair of "race car" crocs . After our shopping trip we decided to save some money and NOT eat at the hotel. We, by complete accident, came across a Peruvian restaurant we had wanted to check out but didn't have the address. We just pulled into a strip mall and lo and behold there it was. So we lunched at Pio Pio. It was delicious and came close but not too close to being as good as the Peruvian meals Mili has made me.

Back at the hotel we waited for the afternoon thunderstorm to clear up and then went out to the pool. Matt joined us after he was done with his conference for the day. Kevin and Mili swam in the "no children allowed pool" and Matt, the kids and I stayed mainly in the zero entry pool.

For dinner Matt ate with some co-workers/co-conferencers, Kevin and Mili went to find a pool/billiard hall and enjoy an evening just the two of them and the kids and I had room service and rented "Horton Hears a Who" in the hotel room. Tyler was asleep within the first 15 min. but Lauren stayed awake and watched the whole movie with me. It was cute even though it cost $14.99. We did have access to it for 24 hours so we watched it again Friday morning.

**Cute Story Alert**
[While explaining to Lauren that Kevin and Mili were going to play pool]
Lauren: What's pool?
Me: Well it's the game we played at Uncle Richie's house with lots of balls and you shoot them in the pockets with cue sticks.
Lauren: It's like Tic-Tac-Toe....where someone wins and someone doesn't win.
Me: [wrinkling my forehead] you're right
Lauren: Daddy was mad that he didn't win. Miss Betsie [Aunt Betsie] beat him but then he won again.

I thought this was pretty cool that she had this memory. I don't think I've mentioned Aunt Betsie's name since our summer family get together in Oregon but she definitely remembered. I love my little sponges.

Now to finish up our vacation summary. On Friday we had intentions of getting out of the hotel early to hit up the outlet mall but for some reason...probably the fact that Kevin and I got stuck on watching Horton again...we just didn't get things going. Matt called when we were about out the door saying he would be done with the conference in an hour so to wait for him. So we waited.... By the time we all got in the car and headed to the outlet mall we were under seige by the afternoon thunder storm. Not wanting to walk the outdoor outlet mall we opted to hit up Old Navy to get Tyler a new outfit. He needed this extra outfit due to a poor pack job by me plus a poor diaper changing schedule by, yet again, me. Anway...he got his new outfit.

That night we went to a "family friendly dinner theater" Medieval Times. We were all sceptical of it's "coolness" but we were pleasantly surprised and they had a full bar. For dinner they served soup and bread, chicken, ribs, and an apple natty light and soda too. All the while medieval knights were fighting to the death. Lauren loved it so much that she did her "tee tee" dance the entire time until the final fight scene. Oh well....maybe I'll see it next time.

Saturday we decided to pack up and leave this humid paradise that is Orlando and head first East to the coast. We got on A1A (beachfront avenue) and drove to St. Augustine. I'm in love with this city but unfortunately we were amidst yet another of those damn Florida afternoon thunderstorms so we just drove right through without admiring it's history, significance and beauty. We made our way North to the beautiful and historic city of Savannah, GA for the last night of our vacation. We checked into the Homewood Suites and then headed back out to explore the vast downtown historic district. We ate dinner at the "Six Pence Pub" which had a part in the Julia Roberts/Dennis Quaid movie "Something to Talk About." We actually ate outside and battled gnats and flies but it was still enjoyable. Later we made our way down to the Riverfront and walked along the old cobblestone street. It was a fun night.

The next morning we woke up bright and early and headed out to Tybee Island to spend an hour or so at the beach. It was sunny, slightly breezy and warm. The kids had fun splashing in the water. Soon it was time to pack up and make the 3 1/2 hour drive home. Kevin and Mili could catch their evening flight home out of Atlanta. Which they did.

We were so sad to see them go. This morning (Monday morning) I asked Lauren if she had fun with Aunt Mili and Uncle Kevin (who they insist on calling Uncle Monkey.) Lauren said, "yes, but Mommy why do you keep saying that? I don't want them to be gone." So there you have it. Tia Mili y Tio Kevin need to come back as soon as possible...Christmas will probably have to do.

This past week was a blast. Sorry for the long post but it was a very eventful week and I wanted to get it all down.

BB King & Willie Nelson at the Chastain

This was the coolest concert...not just performers but celebrity watching too. Buddy called us up in the afternoon and said to get a baby-sitter because his cousin got us all a front row table for this concert. By front row I mean front row. I was right next to the stage and close enough to go tackle BB King & Willie before security could get me.

We were grooving to BB King when Buddy told me that Jimmy Carter was sitting 2 tables over. At first I didn't believe him but when the former Mr. President (and his wife, brother, headset wearing secret service agents et. al.) walked right by me on the way to the bathroom....I quickly became a believer. He even got up and played a little harmonica with Willie Nelson. It was such an awesome concert. I took some photos myself but found this site on the internet which has much much better pics. Check it out here.

If you look closely at this picture (#15930890) you can see me in the top left corner sitting right in front of Matt and behind the camera guy in front of the stage. Whoo hoo my internet debut has been made.

We also saw Ted Turner there but his table wasn't as good as ours so we didn't pay much attention to him. =)