Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Riveting Information

I have some food updates for everyone. 

I know you are on the edge of your seat.

Me too.

First, the kids.  They both are now eating cereal WITH milk.  Actually, they started with this in about April, but I honestly thought it was a fluke and they would go back to their dry cereal eating ways within weeks.

Or, when I bought some cereal in bulk that they swore they loved.

However, as we approach July, they are both still going strong with their love for cereal.   Their favorites are Cheerios.  They'll take either chocolate, honey nut, frosted, or plain.  I know, I know.  They are sugar-y cereals, but honestly? I have gotten to a place where I can be at peace with the fact that my kids choose to eat a bowl of  sugar-y cereal for a snack everyday.  I mean, it is a snack.  I've tried to tell them they can have it for breakfast, and sometimes they will indeed have it in the morning hours, but just not for breakfast.  We recently turned their whole world upside down when we suggested one night that cereal would be their dinner. GASP! 

Other cereals they have tried: Granola (it goes over OK), Rice Chex (The Girl digs them), Raisin Bran (no takers there),  Honey Sunshines (again The Girl only), and something similar to Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but organic and with a lot less sugar (only The Little Man will go for these). 

I'm telling you, it has opened up a whole new world in food land for us.  Also, The Little Man, he actually gets filled up with cereal, you know, as opposed to him asking for something else approximately thirty seconds after finishing his snack.

Good stuff!

Another new world in Food Land that might be creaking open it's door to us: Sandwiches.  Yes, my kids are five and seven and are just now eating sandwiches.  Here's the deal, there will be no PB&J served up in this homestead due to The Girl having a peanut allergy.  Secondly, I don't like lunch meat.  I have tried to make up some turkey and cheese sandwiches in the past for the kids, but when they didn't like it, it wasn't like I was going to say, "Well, here, look at Mommy!  She's eating her turkey sandwich.  MMMM! I sure love it!"  because that, my friends, would be a bold face lie.  Then, since I wouldn't eat any of the turkey, and they're not eating any of the turkey, I have to throw the turkey in the trash.  Shameful and wasteful.  So, the whole sandwich thing really never got off to a good start.

Recently, the kids have both started eating turkey sandwiches when they noticed friends at school were eating them in their lunches and loving them.  After The Girl declared she loved eating turkey sandwiches that a friend had brought for lunch, I thought I would give it a try again.   I am happy to say, they both devoured their sandwiches.

Again, another small step into making my life just that much easier.  It is still pretty delicate, though, and at any moment (read: if I buy turkey that costs more than $2.50) they will stop eating it all together. 

Now you know why I have been hesitant in sharing this news.

Lastly, on the "kids and food front", since The Little Man turned five, we have told him he is now allowed to chew gum.  He can only chew it if he keeps his mouth closed while chewing.  DO YOU KNOW HOW THIS HAS EFFECTED TRAVELING IN THE CAR AND SHOPPING?  It's big, people.  I sometimes forget he is with me, what, with all the silence.  Brilliant.

OK, I too have a new love affair with food.  It's Greek yogurt.  I know, it's not a new product, but it's new to me.  I had been desperate for something to curb all my after four o'clock snacking.  I knew I needed protein, but wasn't sure how to get it with out cooking up a big ol' chicken breast (OK, that's a bit dramatic, but you know what I am saying, right?)  Anywho,  Greek yogurt fits the bill perfectly. So yummy, so smooth, so fat free, so full of protein.  Perfect.  I just slice me up some fresh fruit or put in some organic fruit spread, mix it all up, and enjoy!  If I really want to splurge, I go for this one here.  The peach flavor just does it for me like no other.  It, however, is not fat free.  Bummer.  The 0% ones are good too, though.  Plus, right on the container, they tell you how to say the brand name.  Brilliant...because I'm not.


I'm starving now.

Aren't you so glad you are all caught up?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Enjoying Summer {Project Two Times Twelve}

I took the kids out earlier this month for what was supposed to be a Birthday Re-shoot for The Little Man.  Since that session started off with a BANG, I mostly got photos of The Girl and then the two of them together...don't go thinking I went Girl crazy and forgot all about The Little Man.   Remember, he was a bit upset on the sidelines.

I do love the pics I got of The Girl, though.

Not because they are perfect, but because they are perfectly her.  Doing what she love the most in the summer time:

Yes, there she is scanning fields in order to catch bugs.  That's my girl.

After some time spent bug catching, her brother caught his breath long enough to join her for some pics.  He wasn't the happiest camper, but after awhile, we were able to coax some smiles out of him.

They aren't the best smiles, but smiles none-the-less:
(Love the natural interaction in this one, but too much flare on The Little Man and the balloon caused a mighty red cast around their faces.  Dern.  I am still totally drawn to it, though)

Still feeling pretty protective over that balloon...I think it would have been easier on us all if it would have popped like the rest:

Com'on Bro!  Let's just take a picture for mom so we can go home:

It doesn't look too forced does it?

Next month, as hard as it will be, I am going to try to break away from sun flare and back lighting...unless there is a really beautiful night with a gorgeous sunset, then all bets are off.

Seriously though, it's time to start experimenting more with different styles.  Being in a rut is what started this whole project in the first place.  I am trying hard not to put myself into a different rut.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

All Sorts of Random

I can't tie all of what I am going to write about into one single theme, or even pretend like they go together.  It's all totally random, no theme, no reason, just crazy and melded all together.

It's my life.

Just go with it.

Father's Day this year was low-key, but nice.  I had envisioned this weekend where we all did whatever The Hubs wanted to do, without complaint.  Even if he wanted to be alone, or take us all do to something we would rather not, no one was going to complain.  Of course, we did have some weekend chores that needed to be attended to, but I had also planned on doing the lion's share of those for him as well.


Until the doorbell rang.

Apparently, I had a photo shoot on Saturday morning.  I had no clue.  None.  So that was an awesome way to get the day started.  This left poor hubs scrambling to get The Little Man, The Girl, and himself to baseball with all that was needed to play, re-hydrated, and be properly dressed/equipped.  As if that wasn't bad enough, after he got there, he realized that this particular Saturday was also picture day.  Sorry, to all the parents out there that got the team portrait.  The ONE AND ONLY child without the proper uniform is mine.  It's not his fault or his father's fault.  It's mine.  Oops, and sorry.

On Sunday we all headed to the movies to take in Toy Story 3 in 3-D. (What is up with everything being in 3-D these days?  I mean really, some movies I get, others I don't, and frankly, those glasses?  Not the coolest or most comfortable.)  It's just like The Hubs to go see something that the kids were dying to see on a day when he could have done/seen anything he wanted.  The movie, by the way, was really, really good.  Save your dollars and bypass the 3-D thing, though.  It's totally unnecessary.

I had some small surgery done on Tuesday.  A few weeks back the doctors found some skin cancer.  While I shouldn't have been surprised in the least, I was a little shocked.  Thankfully, it wasn't Melanoma, but instead a Basal Cell.  This means that they had to cut it out and suture it back together after making sure they got all of it out.  Unfortunately, it was on my face.  So for the rest of the week I am sporting a pretty cute band aid  and a fat lip.  The doctor also said it was a pretty aggressive type of Basal Cell, and while he thought I was pretty young to have such a spot, he also said he was happy that we caught it very early.

Lesson learned:  GO TO YOUR DERMATOLOGIST.   Even if you are good about sunscreen, or have only a few moles.  Maybe no one in your entire family has ever had skin cancer.  SO WHAT!  Cancer doesn't care.  At least get a baseline assessment done, that way when you think something might be changing or looking a little different, you have something previous to base it off of.

Second lesson:  PUT ON SUNSCREEN ALL. THE. TIME.  If your a mommy, don't forget those babies.  Most of skin cancer comes from damage that has happened early in life.  Actually, I should say, if your a mommy, don't forget yourself!  Lots of times, and I am totally guilty of this, we slather up our babes and totally forget ourselves.

Lastly, my project of the week: cleaning closets.  Namely, my own.  It's bad, you guys.  However, I did come out on the other side of things.  WOW!  I am pretty good about going through my clothing about every 9 months or so, but the shelves (you know, where I shove stuff that I don't know what to do with) in my closet are another story.  Besides putting things there that I am not sure what to do with, I think I also put stuff there that I just wanted to pretend never happened.  Hello, several pairs of WHITE PANTYHOSE.


When and why?

Rest assured, they have been properly stored in the trash can.

Along with some horrible weird different choices in purses and hats.

I'm not even sure what the Goodwill will do with them.  I imagine they will find a home somewhere.

Next up:  Birthday Party Prep.  We convinced The Little Man to hold his birthday party a few weeks later than his actual birthday in attempts to be able to have more enjoyable weather.  June is just too quirky and hard to read in these parts.  One day it's close to 100 degrees, and the next we can barely get out of the fifties.  Thankfully, he agreed, and it looks like we will have some nice weather for his pool/bounce house party.

If I am not too busy applying and re-applying sunscreen, I may be able to take a few pics.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

And You Thought The Last Update was Long

This is just getting ugly, isn't it? I mean the lapse in time between posts is really getting out of hand around here. I wish I could say it's going to get better, but I can't make that kind of promise. I will try this week, though.


Last week the kids were in camps all week. The Girl was in Science Camp and The Little Man was in Champ Camp. This is the first time in a long time where both children were so happy about where they were.

I was just happy that both camps ran on the same days and times.


I do have to say, The Girl's Science Camp? It totally ROCKED. I wish I would have been able to go. She brought home so many cool projects, and talked about all sorts of things that they did in class that sounded so fun. I guess that's why they named the camp "Science Rocks". Clever. Everyday, in her prayers, she thanked God for Science Camp. I truly have never seen her more excited for any activity I have ever signed her up for. Thrilled doesn't even sum up how I feel about this experience for her. I feel like we have tried for a long time to find something that was just "her" and we came close a few times, but this, this was good. You know I had a grin from ear to ear when she spotted the pool drain actively draining some water in the shallow end of the pool, and she announced "HOLY SMOKES! LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THAT VORTEX!" Yup, they had worked on "Tornado Tubes" in camp that day. I can't wait to find all sorts of science camps for her.

Next summer of course.

The Little Man was quite content running like a wild horse and playing all sorts of games and sports in Champ Camp this past week as well. Everyday I picked him up all sweaty and red faced. Every day he had a smile on his face, happy about what had taken place.

It was a good week for the kids.

OH! There was that one day I tried to re-shoot The Little Man's birthday pictures. That wasn't such a good time. I'll just say, balloons, plus wind, plus spiky poky grass, equals this:

I know what you're thinking. I bet you can hardly wait for your own session with me.

While trying to calm him down after the first balloon popped, I used the logic of "Look, look! You still have four more balloons! There is nothing to cry about!" approximately a nano second after those words flew out of my mouth the wind and the grass claimed the lives of all but one lonely balloon.

WOW! The screaming and waterworks that ensued afterward, were like nothing I have ever seen. I couldn't even help it. I just sat and laughed.

I know.

That's very mean.

Seriously though, how funny is it that I was trying to sooth him, and make the loss of one balloon look like nothing because he had four others, when out of nowhere the rest of them pop.

Call it sick if you want, but I call it funny.

So,what was supposed to be a session for The Little Man, turned out to be a session with The Girl, who happened to not care so much that the balloons were totally annihilated by grass. He did eventually join her for a few snaps at the end.

With both camps out of the way, no looming vacations, and really, no plans in the near future, I am so hoping that this week feels like the beginning of our restful summer break...even though we are three weeks into it. However, after reviewing my "To-Do" list for this week, I highly doubt it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My Boy

Here it is! My Little Man's fifth birthday! He's been looking forward to this day since, oh, his fourth birthday! For some reason he has really looked forward to turning five. I thought it was just his thing, you know, to be excited for a birthday even though the day was his birthday. Today, however, he hasn't said anything about being six. He seems really happy with being five.

All who know me know that it's a bittersweet day. It's hard for moms to watch their babies grow, but so happy too. I'm sure going to miss four. It's been my most favorite age with both kids, and now there will be no more four year olds in our small family. Hubs told The Little Man last night he wanted his last four year old hug. He said, "You know, this is probably the last time I will really get to snuggle with a four year old until I have grand kids."

I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me.

Why four? It's perfect. They are potty trained, talk really well, can reason (somewhat), are learning like crazy, have specific interests, their personalities really shine through, they love their family like crazy, they haven't been ruined by the other kids at school yet, and I don't feel like they really try to push their boundaries at this age. Four seems to be a "catch your breath" type of year in the parenting world (at least it was for me with both kids). I just love four, and four will be greatly missed. I know I will have other favorite ages (I've heard eight is pretty great), and I am excited for The Little Man to be five too.

Sweetest Little Boy,

You are amazing to me. I can barely contain myself when I think of this past year with you. With sister going to school full time, you and I, we really got to hang out with one another. You are sweet, kind, and love to snuggle. You freely share your love with many, and you are down right funny. You have promised me you'll still snuggle me and stay sweet even though you are five and big now, and I will make sure you keep that promise. You are a cautious kid, who is careful to follow rules and directions, but even still, you sure know how to have fun. One of my most favorite things about you is that your sister is your best friend. You love to play any kind of sport and always put your full heart into it. I can hardly wait to see what this next year has in store for you. I pray your heart will continue to grow in your desire to seek out God, and to know His mighty love for you, and for you to fall more in love with Him each day as well. You have been waiting for "five" all year long, and now it's here. Have fun!


Here's your video montage of your fifth year:

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Mother of all Updates

I know I've been absent a lot this past year, but this last absence? takes it to a whole other level!

First of all, in my defense, I was gone for seven of the days. Upon returning, I have had jet lag, a lot of catching up to do around the house, and my baby boy is turning five tomorrow, so I am trying to get ready for that. So, in a word, BUSY. I barely feel comfortable sitting down to write this, but on the other hand, I am also very uncomfortable about how little of time I have spent writing. It's a rock and a hard place. I am hoping that by procrastinating with today's work a little longer, I might go into some sort of super drive later today and zip right on through everything that needs to get done today in record time.


I was in Maui for a week! It has to be the BEST place I have ever been in my life. Also, it was the best vacation I have gone on. Ever. The weather was perfect, the scenery was gorgeous, the days felt like they lasted forever, and the pace was deliciously slow. I realized while there, that this was the first vacation since MY HONEYMOON that lasted longer than 4 days. Oh, wait, there was that time in Disney World...but the kids were with me, so that doesn't count. What I am trying to get at is, in order to have a perfect balance of relaxation yet getting to do a lot of activities, you need more than just a few days. I felt like I didn't miss out on a single thing while there, yet I still had plenty of down time. It was perfection.

On the last day, we decided to do some paddle boarding. I wasn't so sure about going out into the ocean. I have a little fear of being in water with animals. I was trying to find an excuse to not go out and instead just lay by the pool, but I was talked into trying. I am so glad I did! It ended up being one of my most favorite parts of the vacation. The only thing that upsets me about this is that we waited until the last day! Had I known how much fun it was going to be, I would have wanted to do it every morning while I was there.

Oh well. Next time.

If they still have paddle boarding in ten or so years.

While I was paddle boarding, a big beautiful sea turtle came over and swam around underneath me! I was so happy to see him I almost fell off and joined him in the water (not on purpose). There was something so wonderful about being out on the ocean, paddling along, watching the sea (and the life in it), under the warm sun that just felt so wonderful, right, and just so Hawaii to me. We also paddled our boards over to a place called Black Rock where many people snorkel and some also cliff dive. I felt like I had waited my whole life to come to Hawaii, and while I was here, I had done so many things for the first time like bike down a volcano, and zip line through the forests. I felt it was only appropriate to end the vacation with a little cliff diving (or jumping). The only thing I am bummed about is that we don't have any pictures of all of this.

You'll just have to trust me.

Here are a couple of other pictures:

Our bike ride tour down the volcano:

A little zip line action:

And of course some smoochy shots. Hey, it was our anniversary!

The kids did great while we were gone. I don't think that they missed us at all, and frankly, I didn't really miss them either.

Does that sound harsh?

I just found that it was hard to be sad or miss them when A) I was having the time of my life, B) I knew they were also having a great time and were being well cared for, and C) there wasn't anything I think they would have enjoyed/appreciated as much as I did as an adult. I was actually quite surprised at how many things were geared towards adults only. There wasn't much for the kids there. Maybe I wasn't looking for it either? Anyway, I don't think it's a place I am anxious to bring my kids back to while they are still young. Maybe as teenagers? Who knows. By that time I might need to go back to Maui without them again just to get away from all the teenage madness.

The last thing I have to say about this vacation is that it was perfectly timed. By this I mean it was the best time of year to go...for me. I loved coming home to nice and warm weather. I loved coming home knowing that Summer Break has just begun, and there is no rush to get back to busy schedules. I loved coming home and just slowly get back to the everyday. I now realize how hard it was to come home from a nice warm vacation to yucky snowy cold weather. I mean, I guess I knew it at the time too, but coming home to nice weather this time just proved it further. It has been much, much easier for me, and I have been just that much less grouchy about coming home from paradise.


Besides Hawaii, I am at the tail end of redecorating the front living spaces of the house. It's been a little more involved that I originally thought, but when you wait seven years to redecorate a room you didn't really love the first time you decorated it, well then, there's a lot of work to do. I just hope I like it for another seven years. If not for my sake, for the sake of my marriage. Hubs has been less than thrilled about all that's going on.

Lastly, my sweet baby boy is turning FIVE tomorrow! I don't know about you all, but nothing (even my own birthdays) makes me feel older than when my kids have birthdays. I'm either sad that I am old enough to have a seven (or whatever age) year old, or I can't believe my baby, the youngest of my kids is already five (again, insert whatever age). So what that I just turned thirty-something, my kids are FIVE AND SEVEN.


I don't even know how or when that happened.

I felt like I just brought him home from the hospital.

I keep asking him if he could just stay four forever (isn't four the BEST age EVER!). He assures me that he must turn five and he will still love me the same even though he's older. He has even promised to snuggle me until he is thirty (which, sadly, I think he thinks is an elderly age).

You can bet I'll be renegotiating that contract again in 25 years.