Monday, June 27, 2011

Father's Day iMovie

Hi again Friends. Here is a picture taken on Father's Day at Brunch. At our usual brunch spot: Irwin Street Inn. I love both of their smiles and Luke's "chunky legs." This was a fabulous Father's Day, if I say so myself! Chris requested the workout DVD's called P90X as his Father's Day gift. He is now on week 3 of doing them, every night! I am so proud of him! He has already lost 7 lbs! His goal is 20. I think.

The other thing I did for him for Father's Day is put together this iMovie of the past 2+ years of him being a Dad. There are not a whole lot of pictures of me in here because I wanted to put the best of the best of Chris and our two boys in there. If I put all my favorites of me too, then the iMovie would be like 60 minutes long! (Just kidding, sort of :)  Here is the link on YouTube: Father's Day 2011.

Both boys are waking up simultaneously from naps, gotta go! It's like they can sense that the other one is waking up and they each don't want to miss a minute of the action. Enjoy your Monday!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gourmet Sandwiches

I could eat lunch at Panera every day. We have a Panera obsession in our house. Partly, it is because it is the only "healthy" fast-food restaurant restaurant in town and, frankly, their food is good! We go there for lunch (mainly) and dinner (occasionally) and we have our "spot" that we like to sit. The girls behind the counter know us! And almost have our order down without even asking! (Just kidding about this part).

Out of curiosity, I just added up how much money we have spent at Panera in the month of June. Are you sitting down? $205. Chris's reaction to this news: Oh, no :(

I don't really feel so bad about it because we rarely, if ever, go out to dinner. The 5-9 pm time frame in this house are the crazy hours and sitting in a restaurant waiting on a waiter to serve us is NO fun. Any time we do it, we instantly regret it. Like Friday night at sushi.

So I cleaned out my fridge and pantry yesterday and got inspired to find some yummy "gourmet" sandwiches. I consider "gourmet" anything that is not grilled cheese or PB&J. Chris could eat PB&J for every meal. Michael likewise with grilled cheese. Not me. Today's sandwich was roasted peppercorn sliced turkey with spicy mustard, cheddar cheese, romaine lettuce and sliced thin Granny Smith Apple on a toasted Ciabatta bread. (Easier said: Turkey, Cheddar, and Apple on Ciabatta). I have a whole new list of "gourmet" sandwiches that I will be testing out at home. I'll share any new ones that I just love.

Google Fun

Unless you are living under a rock, you are on the web every day and checking out what Google is up to on your search page. I just recently found out that you can access all of their old logos. Here is the link. It's fun to look back through the different logos they have put up. My most recent favorite was the one on June 9th, 2011 for Les Paul's birthday. Michael enjoyed it too.

Did you know that Google also now has a Google A Day Puzzle. From the past few days of checking it out, it appears to be a trivia-type of question that encourages you to "google" to try to get the answer. No surprise there! Today's question is: Wild salmon are normally born in freshwater and migrate to the sea. In America, there is a variety of salmon that never goes to sea. What was the name of this salmon subspecies, before they got stuck inland?

Here is another one from a few weeks ago: The first president to be born as an American citizen learned English as a second language. What was his first? (Answer: Martin Van Buren, Dutch).

This daily puzzle is something I know Chris will enjoy as he is a big Jeopardy fan!

All the interesting things we learn on the web.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Suppers

I feel like it has been a long time since I have put up a blog post. Sorry about that, my friends. It has been busy around here and I am still trying to catch up on the past 6 months of sleep deprivation.  This picture of Chris and Luke was taken a few days ago. Luke is 6 months old now! I just discovered after reading through my records I kept for Michael, that Luke NOW weighs what Michael weighed at 1 year old. Whoa, Baby! I've got a big boy on my hands. Luke is 3 lbs bigger than Michael was at this age. Crazy. Fun. I love this life of mine.

Summer time is one of my favorite times of the year for food. Fresh fruits and yummy veggies are in season and everything we eat is just a lot lighter. In both taste and calories. So I am trying to find some new summer dinner ideas. Please share if you have any that you are loving right now!

One new recipe I found was from Julia's Healthy Italian blog. Seafood Medley in Tomato Broth. It looked so good and sounded good too! I was always taught to make a recipe exactly the way it is written the first time I make it. After that, modifications can be made to suit my tastes. We made the trek up to Fresno to hit up Trader Joe's for the seafood part of this dish and I made it exactly as the recipe called for it to be made. Chris was excited about something new for dinner and so was I! We decided it was OK, but that we like our seafood dishes with a little more spice. The second time I made this dish, I substituted the 1 C. of wine with 1/2 c. tomato sauce (homemade or Classico), whichever you have on hand. That did the trick for us. I will be making this more often going forward! It is a light dish (we leave the pasta out) but fills us up to get through until breakfast.

The other new summer supper I have been putting together is a fresh garden salad with the Trader Joe's Cioppino. I had never heard of Cioppino until Chris and I were watching Throwdown with Bobby Flay right around the time Michael was born. It is a seafood medley type of dish but with A LOT more spice. We have tried to make it from scratch, but not having fresh seafood makes preparing this dish a pain (to us, at least). So to our delight, Trader Joes' comes to the rescue again. We cook up their Cioppino in a sauce pan, pair it with a garden salad, add Trader Joe's Champagne Pear Vinaigrette salad dressing and a baguette and voila! Super easy dinner. Who has time to cook with a toddler running around and an infant who doesn't like to be anywhere but in Mom's arms?

A recent re-discovery of a good summer dinner is Chicken Cesar salad. It's so easy to put some baked chicken over romaine lettuce with fresh croutons and fresh grated Parmesan cheese. The thing that makes this salad so good is the homemade salad dressing. I use the recipe on the side of the Pampered Chef salad dressing mixing bottle. I still want to make their French and Asian dressing too. The more homemade salad dressings I make, the more I can't stand the store bought ones. Except for the Champagne Pear Vinaigrette. I love that stuff. Can't get enough.

For dessert I am hooked on the Ciao Bella gelato. They have Key Lime gelato squares with graham crackers that are to die for. SO good. We got to taste test them on a Saturday, a few weeks ago, at Costco. I was hooked. But because of the drive, I couldn't buy them at Costco without risking them melting before I could get them home and into the freezer. So I kept my eye open for them in my local grocery stores. Lucky me! I found them!

So friends, if you have any other light summer supper ideas, please share!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

I'm feeling crafty - kind of!

I am not a very crafty person. Deep down, I would love to be into scrap booking, knitting and crocheting. I've tried. I just don't have the patience. I do love quilting though. I love it but when I start doing it, Chris proclaims that "Sweat Shop Molly is open for business!" When I start a quilt project, I focus all of my extra energy to complete it. I cannot relax until it is done. Which doesn't make it very enjoyable.

This morning, one of the website/bloggers I follow put up a post about how to use Instagram photos in a new way. Turn them into Magnets. Cool Mom Tech is the website that posted this idea, scroll down to Sunday, June 12th and you can find it. I was jazzed about this crafty project! It seemed easy and so cute! I love the download of the Polaroid frame. Unfortunately, I don't have Photoshop to be able to use it and I am not skilled enough to be able to figure out how to use that download with my iPhoto software. So, I headed to Michael's for photo paper and magnets. I got the magnets but I had to trek over to Staples for the photo paper...and guess what I discovered? Magnet sheets. I had no idea such a thing existed! They were pricy ($13.99 for only 4 sheets). But this would eliminate the gluing and taping!

We got the boys to bed about the same time tonight and I was determined to get this project done. See a pattern here? I chose the Instagram pictures I wanted and I sized them down to 1.5" x 1.5". The vertical pictures ended up being 2"x 1.5". I was able to get 20 of these pictures onto one Pages document (Mac's version of Word).  I loaded the magnet paper carefully into the printer and said a silent prayer. This printer is at least 5 years old. I was prepared for a complete meltdown with the expensive magnet paper stuck inside. I set the pinter to print at the "Best" quality. I pressed print and literally held my breath. Guess what? It worked! Yippee! I love my new Instagram magnet photos! This could be a cool thing to send on the ship with Chris next time he goes out to sea (which will, unfortunately, be too soon). Thanks to Cool Mom Tech for sharing the awesome idea for this wanna be crafter!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The "Subcultures" of Life

When we lived in Virginia Beach I did a lot of running. I signed up for a ton of 5K's and 10K's. I've done 4 half-marathons and 1 full marathon. I love running. Full body workout, great for your cardiovascular system. I can't wait to get back into it. For Thanksgiving 2004, I signed Chris and myself up for the Turkey Trot. I thought it would be a fun way to get a run in before we stuffed ourselves full of Thanksgiving dinner.

This was Chris's first "organized" run. We drive up to Mount Trashmore and Park on the east side of the YMCA. For those of you familiar with Virginia Beach, you will understand this geography. We started heading to the race start line so we could get a good starting position and stretch our cold muscles. As we are walking over this little hill we see a crowd of people milling about, race numbers on, setting their iPods, and tying their shoes.

Chris stops, looks at me and says: I had no idea this subculture of the population ever existed.

I got a good laugh out of that. Ever since then, when we see unique groups of people all congregating for a specific purpose, like running in 40 degree cold on Thanksgiving morning, we joke about Chris's "subculture" epiphany.

This week, as I was reading through the website that my sister and I manage, I clicked on a new video that she found and posted to the website. It brought me back to the "subcultures" of life. Surfing Dogs. It is so cute to see them doing this and the interviews with their owners is even cuter. Go to and scroll down to the bottom middle column. There you will find the video's. There is a really cute cat and dolphin video that went viral this week too. I have been showing Michael these cute video's and he loves watching them as well.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Cool new finds

I just discovered this super cool train table online. Michael would LOVE it! But, stop the presses. It is 450EU. That is $667! Whoa! I wonder if we have a woodworker in the family willing to reproduce this train table. Those of you who know my family well enough are laughing out loud right now. We are not a handy family. We just call the handyman. I do wish we were more handy. I only recently learned how to change a bike tire. I mowed my first lawn at the age of 25. You get the point.

Maybe this should be a mid-year resolution: to learn how to be more handy. I'll keep you posted on this one.

The second cool item I recently discovered is Neutrogena's Oil-Free Acne Wash in Pink Grapefruit. It smells so yummy and works really well! I bought it at Target this week and I'm glad I stumbled upon it. Why do I still get pimples at age 32? Who knows. I'm blaming that one on my non-handy family lineage.

I'm not a big TV watcher but this one has me hooked. Shark Tank. My favorite Shark is Mark Cuban. One of the products pitched tonight was such a fabulous idea. Toyaroo.  Awesome, awesome, awesome idea (did I just type awesome 3 times? Yup)! I wish I thought of it myself. Bookmark this website. It is not up and running yet, but I will be signing up as soon as they launch and are taking new orders. You can see the owner of Toyaroo pitch the company to the Sharks on tonights episode 6/3/11.

That is it for tonight. Still sleep training over here. Maybe tonight will be the night! Fingers and toes are crossed.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sleep training

First, I must confess that I still don't know the difference (nutritionally) between greek and regular yogurt and the difference between a grape and a cherry tomato. (Read my previous post). This is life with a baby and a toddler.

I remember other Moms telling me: You'll be lucky to get a shower some days. Although, I won't forgo a daily shower, I know what these Moms were trying to tell me is that my time is no longer my own and that is OK. I really don't NEED to know the differences between these foods. (I do, however, need a daily shower). And I'll figure it all out eventually.

5 nights ago, I started the dreaded task of sleep training Luke. Prior to 5 nights ago, he was co-sleeping with me. It was easy with nursing and I don't regret a minute of it especially since Luke was born in December while Chris was deployed. It was easy and convenient and he has thrived. I would do it again, in a heartbeat. But now I'm on the fun journey of getting Luke transitioned into his crib and sleeping on his own. I won't sugar coat this, it is not easy. I want to pick him up the instant he starts fussing. Look at the face in that picture - who wouldn't want to just pick up and cuddle him?!

Here is how the past 5 nights have gone:

Night 1: Luke woke up every 2 hours. I was a zombie the next day.
Night 2 and 3: Luke woke up every 3 hours. I saw progress, so I was encouraged to stay the course.
Night 4: Luke woke up only 2 times! Yippee!! This was real progress! I can do it! At Peewee Fitness the next morning, I think I told every mom that was within earshot that Luke only woke up 2x!
Night 5: Good and bad. He only woke up once (at midnight) but then he would not go back down until 2 am. I was exhausted. I tried nursing, burping, rocking, back rubbing, shushing. Finally he fell asleep at 2 am and (here is the good news) he slept until 8:15. I'm hanging onto the "good news" part of last night. Six straight hours of Luke sleeping - glorious!

One thing Chris and I have both noticed is that Luke sleeps better during the day. This is, obviously, a result of better sleeping at night. We all were ready for this transition.

My goal of this is to see progress from the night before, in terms of less nursing, easier transitions going down, and longer sleep cycles. I feel encouraged and that is good. I know this "too shall pass" and we will get there eventually. I did not have to do this with Michael, he was sleeping through the night at 8 weeks old. He was doing this in his swing, but he was still sleeping! So "sleep training" has been a new thing for me. I know it is the right thing for all of us. Research has shown that sleeping is mostly a learned skill, taught at this early age.

Hopefully tonight will be even better! Please say a prayer for me!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Molly's Musings

Random thought's pop into my head on a daily basis and I've decided to write them down, investigate them and get the facts.

For example:

Do you know the nutritional difference between Greek and regular yogurt? I know that the Greek yogurt tastes sweeter to me but I don't know a bit of the nutritional difference between the two.

Do you know the difference between cherry and grape tomatoes? I am guessing grape tomatoes are a little bigger and that is the only difference.

These are just two items on my grocery list this week, so it got me to wondering.

If you know the difference, please share. If not, I'll be Googling later today and will share with you my findings!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Chicken Little and my Friday the 13th

Chicken Little. This is a nickname that Chris has for me. I guess I can be a bit of a pessimist at times, although I like to think of myself as a realist. But who can be an optimist ALL the time? Those people can get on my nerves. Anyway, I digress.

The most recent "Chicken Little" incident occurred on Friday the 13th. I woke up and my left eye looked like the eye of an 80 year old great grandma. Seriously. It started the evening before with a bump (like a pimple), under my skin, right below the inside area of my eyebrow. You know the under the skin pimples that hurt? That is exactly what it felt/looked like. Then POOF I wake up on Friday and the entire area between my eyelid and eyebrow is droopy, sagging. I immediately made a mental note that I was heading right to the plastic surgeon if this did not resolve. Then I texted Chris, with a picture.

His response: I'm sure it's just an ingrown hair.
Me: Ingrown hair, my a**. I think I have cancer. I'm going blind!!!!! (Hence, the reason why he calls me Chicken Little).

Fast forward an hour...he met me and the boys at the clinic on base. I had a Dr's appointment to get some moles checked. Why I scheduled this for Friday the 13th, God only knows, but I did. So Chris met me there to hang out with the boys while I got stuck with 4 lidocaine needles. Fun times.

When he walked up to us, I said: Look at my eye.
Chris: Whoa. You are right, that does look bad.
Me: I know. The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!!

I brought it up with the Dr. who said it is probably just a bacterial infection and gave me some antibiotics. Could be a case of cellulitis. And I thought cellulite only hung out on the backside. Shows how much I know. BUT the good news is that my eye is getting better. I have not even started the antibiotics yet but it is already improving. Which is a relief. The Dr said to come in immediately if there is pain in my eye. So far, no pain. Just the pain of looking at it in the mirror. Bizarre, so bizarre. So I have a droopy great grandma eye and 4 bandaids covering up scars from 4 removed moles.

Fingers crossed those removed moles are benign! And more fingers crossed that I'll wake up in the morning looking like 32 year old Molly and not an 80 year old great grandma (in one eye)!

Our recent adventures in pictures

 Sitting on a blanket in the backyard. Our backyard out here is one of our absolute favorite parts of this house. The shade is perfect and it is the perfect size. We are out there every afternoon.
 At United Gymnastics Academy. Busy, busy, busy. This child is: ON. THE. GO!!!
 Being silly!
 Walking on the balance beam. He was so proud of himself.
 All eyes on Luke and his chunky legs! Michael's were exactly like this at his age! We call Luke our "20 pound sack of potatoes." But this week he has just started sitting up on his own, which makes life a little easier now that the sack of potatoes can hold himself upright.
 What's going on over there? Probably another fun thing Michael is showing me!
 At Mother's Day brunch. I love this picture of Luke. He looks so big though!
Michael and his "cool" sunglasses. This child never stops making us laugh!

The Perfect Mother's Day weekend

My Boys were extra sweet on Mother's Day weekend. I did not just get 1 day to celebrate, I got 2! On Saturday, we went Fresno and I got to go shopping! To MY stores! And MY pick for dinner! We went to Ann Taylor Loft and had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. Everyone was well behaved (mostly) and we made the drive with only minimal fussing in the car from Luke. As my devout readers know, Luke hates riding in the car and usually just fusses and cries the whole time. He did better on Saturday, but maybe we just timed it up better too.  You know (feedings, poops, pees, burps, naps).

Before our adventure to Fresno, I was nursing Luke in my super comfy rocking chair and Michael walks in with a card and behind him Daddy is carrying some beautiful flowers. Flowers and a gift card to get a massage. Yippee! Which means another "me" day is in my future! So thoughtful and sweet. Michael couldn't just hand me the card, he had to open it for me. I loved it.

On Sunday, we went to brunch at one of our favorite brunch places in town: Irwin Street Inn. The food was yummy and Michael was entranced by the singer that was doing cover songs and walking around playing his saxophone. We all got to enjoy a nice meal outside with nice music. Naps were in order after that meal! Then off to the circus! Yes, that's right! We went to the circus on Sunday afternoon!

It was a really fun time. It was certainly not Barnum and Bailey's big top, but it WAS the perfect size for our kids. Luke was mesmerized for the first 30 minutes, until he fell asleep in my arms. Michael was completely entranced. I don't think he even blinked once during the whole show. It was a perfect Mother's Day weekend.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I've decided...

That the no sugar diet is no fun. I made it to day 10 and I'm done. Technically, I did not make it. I had a Diet Coke yesterday afternoon (day 9) to try to garner a little more energy to make it through the afternoon with my 2 monkeys. But it was an interesting, self-imposed experiment. My life is much more fun with sugar (in moderation) in it!

Here is a picture of Michael at Easter brunch. Happy to have had some sugar too!

Monday, May 2, 2011


I've been receiving Groupon e-mail's for well over a year now. 99.9% of them I just move right into the e-mail trash can. I'm not interested in cardio-kickboxing for $15 a class or eye brow threading. What catches my eye are the events. Groupon is great if you are new to an area, which we are every 3 years. I have found a couple of things to do with Michael and as a family through these daily e-mails.

For example:
Bounce U
Our Playroom
Sequoia Foodie Fest

Today, I finally made my first purchase through Groupon. The way Groupon (typically) works, is that once the daily deal is announced, you only have about 24 hours to cash in on the deal. So I just went online and ordered the tickets to the Sequoia Foodie Fest. The tickets would have cost us $20 at the door, I just paid $10 ahead of time.

So, we are heading to the Sequoia Foodie Fest in two weeks. I'm actually pretty excited about it because there are not many festivals in this area. There is also going to be a kids area that should be fun for Michael. I'm expecting the food to be pretty fabulous too. The central valley of California grows some of the best produce in the the nation, so I have high expectations for some fabulous food finds!

Image credit

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 7 NO-Sugar!

I'm doing great! 7 days so far and no sugar. I feel great! Although the temptation is still there in the early afternoon! I have been drinking green tea to avoid eating any sweets. One addiction is traded for another. I wonder if anyone can actually say they have zero addictions. We all have at least one, right? Caffeine? Sugar? Sodas? Working out?

I will provide Chris's update to the no sugar diet: every day has become day #1 again. He can't pass up the Diet Coke, Coke Zero's, or the frozen fruit pops. I think he looks fabulous anyway. I was just trying to get him to try the experiment with me. No such luck, I guess.

The more I make sugar the enemy, the more food label reading I have been doing. As a snack the other day, I had an apple with peanut butter. I thought, PB is a good source of protein, I wonder how much sugar is in there. 3g. More than I thought there would be, for sure. So I started looking at more labels. Milk 12g! Wow!  So I Googled it. How many grams of sugar equal how many tablespoons of sugar. 14g=1tbsp. So (approximately) in every cup of milk you drink, there is 1 tbsp of sugar. Never knew.

Technically, I have not been able to eliminate sugar completely from my diet. I WON'T give up milk. I am not a fan of the almond or soy milk products. There is no substitute for good, cold, fresh milk. But, for all intents and purposes, I have given up sugar in the "sugary/sweets" form. Only 3 more days to go. Who knows, I may keep on going. I did get on the scale on day 5 and I had lost 1/2 lb. Which I think is a lot considering I am at my normal weight. Kinda crazy. But I feel good and have more energy. Maybe the energy is coming from getting a tad more sleep at night though. I did go to bed last night at 8 pm. I'm a real Saturday night party animal :)

Image credit

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring Cleaning at our house

It has begun! Spring cleaning! I love cleaning out drawers, cabinets, closets and freshening up! I actually began my spring cleaning with my e-mail inbox. Every day I get e-mails from Pottery Barn, Gap, Edible Arrangements, and about 6 other random retailers. Today, I unsubscribed to (mostly) all of them! The only ones I left were Groupon and Living Social.

I've also cleaned out my chest of drawers. The closet is next. It is tough though. Usually, my timeline is 1 year. If I have not worn it in a year, it gets donated. But since I was pregnant for most of last year, it's hard to stick to that time frame. So I'm not sure how to tackle my closet. Any suggestions there?

I got the pantry in the kitchen cleaned out and restocked, which is always a great feeling! Now, if I could just convince Chris to get on board with his chest of drawers and closet too!
Image credit

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 3 of the no sugar diet

I'm doing great. Chris caved. On day 1 and day 2. So he starts over again today. I don't think he is committed to this. He is just saying he will do it to appease me. Such a nice get on board! The funny part about this is that I have never dieted in my life. I'll cut back on portion sizes and get more active. But restricting certain foods I have never done. So far so good. The hardest part of the day is when I am super tired and just want some caffeine or chocolate for a pick me up in the afternoon. Day 3 (almost) down, only 7 to go. I am thinking I'll just hold out and treat myself to a nice dessert on Mother's Day, if I can make it that long!

Image credit

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New tech finds

I can't take credit for finding these great technology tools and ideas. All the credit goes to the Cool Mom Tech website. I actually discovered them on Twitter and I find myself checking out their posts everyday for updates on "the coolest technology toys for parents and kids."

Some recent posts that I've been excited about:
April 24. The Vimeo iPhone app.
April 23: Guardly
The 2010 Mother's Day Gift Guide at (which is also written by the Mom's at

They stay on the pulse of cool technology stuff. I don't have time to be searching the internet for the latest and greatest, these ladies do it for me! It's a great website, you should check it out!

Image credit.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The 10 day sugar-free experiment

Maybe it was all the recent Easter Candy and cookies that have been around. Maybe it is me coming to my senses about how much I LOVE sweets and chocolate and could eat it every day.

We are deciding to take a stand against sugar (for 10 days at least).

Chris and I decided to give up sugar, sodas, caffeine, simple carbohydrates (like white bread and pretzels), and starchy foods for 10 days. I would include alcohol in this list, but we don't drink - so there is no need to include it. Basically we will eat only veggies, fruit, and lean proteins. We agreed that if we cave in then the clock will reset for 10 more days.

We are only 2 meals into this experiment and I'm already pining for some chocolate. I'll keep you updated on how we do! Wish us luck!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Our favorite children's musician

We were lucky to find Patty Shukla while we were in Florida over the winter. She writes her own children's music and does performances all over Palm Beach County. She also held Mommy & Me classes that I took Michael to almost every week. He loved it and I loved it. We miss her classes now that we are back in California. 

We listen to her CD all the time in the car though. This morning, coming home from Easter church and brunch was no exception. This was the song that started playing in the car:
Patty Shukla - The Elephant Song

It was so awesome because Michael is really starting to know and sing outloud all the words. Chris and I looked at each other, completely stunned, as he was almost able to sing this song to us! It was so cool.

One of Chris's favorite songs from this CD is this one: Little Red.

Check out all the video's and music on You Tube and iTunes. And if you are ever wondering what we are listening to in the car, you know it's "Miss Patty's Guitar."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Strawberry juice

It's the time of the year when all the strawberry stands pop up on the corners of the farmer's fields out here in the Central Valley, CA. There is so much grown in the valley, the chances are very likely you have something in your kitchen that was grown here. It's good for us when we can buy this beautiful, fresh fruit and nuts just steps from our home! It's not always great for our allergies with everything blooming, but we manage.

Yesterday, we bought a big box of these beauties. Michael loves strawberries. He calls them "strawbabies." They are so juicy the juice was dripping down his mouth onto his chin. His shirt was full of strawberry juice yesterday! They go bad fast though so we'll be eating them at every meal for a couple of days!

There is a farm a little north of where we live that does "U-Pick." We will go there and pick off the trees and bushes what looks good to us and then pay for it. We may head out there soon to see what they have. I have really fond memories of picking strawberries with my mom, sister and brother at a little farm off Donald Ross Road in Jupiter, FL. That land is now a major mecca of shopping, dining, housing and baseball stadiums. Hopefully these little U-Pick farms will continue to survive, its a great way to teach our kids where our food comes from and its a fun family outing for all of us. Do you all have any U-Pick farms near your home?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The fun just never ends

The first picture is of Michael and Chris at the Friday gymnastics indoor playtime. I just love his smile here. He LOVES this place. We go every Tuesday and Friday. The last 3 pictures are from our friend's 2nd birthday party. Michael had a blast! It was a Bingo's in Visalia, Ca. The pizza picture cracks me up because he just looks so tired. After an hour at these bounce houses, he is wiped. The cupcake picture was taken pre-meltdown. He wanted to do it the way he wanted to do it. Daddy was apparently touching the cupcake wrong. It was funny to us, not to him. And the blue Croc's. You will be seeing those in every picture this spring. He loves them, would wear them to bed if we let him.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My lost maternity clothes

When I was pregnant last year, I had this nagging feeling that I had lost some of my maternity clothes. But I searched my closet and put it out of my mind. It turns out they were not lost, but just buried at the bottom of a bin of Michael's old clothes that I saved for Luke. Why I thought that would be a good place for them, who knows. But there were some cute items! A good pair of jeans and some cute tops! I wish I had them last year.

For a fleeting second I thought to myself: Hey, maybe I need to have a 3rd baby just so I can get some more usage out of these cute maternity clothes. I even verbalized this thought to Chris who got a big smile on his face.

I immediately came to my senses. Cute. Maternity. Clothes. Can't believe I actually had that thought. More importantly: I'm bordering on insanity with that thought. It is the sleep deprived part of my mind talking. Funny how sleep deprivation will make me think crazy thoughts!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The car seat dilemma

Before I had two children, I always naively assumed that any baby would:
1. Take a pacifier
2. Drink from a bottle
3. Love car rides

Neither Michael or Luke will take a pacifier or bottle. Believe me when I say I've tried. Michael loved car rides and still does! Luke hates them! We just recently switched out his car seat from the Graco infant car seat to the Britax Marathon convertible seat. He still hates car rides. I guess we will just have to deal with frayed nerves in the car for a little while longer. He will eventually get used to the car and not cry, right?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

This kid has the life

Here is a picture of Michael basking in the primary color explosion that is a parachute. At first, he was not sure what to think of this huge thing. Now, he will lay on it and Daddy pulls him all around. He plays hide and seek in it too.

One of the cool things that Hanford, CA has is the United Gymnastics Academy.  On Tuesday's and Friday's they offer indoor playtime. There are a bunch of soft play mats and trampolines for the kids to play on (like what you would find at any Gymboree).

Michael LOVES it! I find, at his age, it is more fun for him, and easier on me, when he has unstructured playtime. He can just run, bounce, jump, and explore without me or an instructor telling him how to do it. Usually after 45 minutes of this he is completely wiped and he will head to the door. It's his way of telling me: Mom, let's go! But the smile on his face when we pull up each week reminds me of how much he loves his playtime here. I think I love it more!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The three greatest inventions

#1. Penicillin and modern medicine (vaccines, etc).
#2. The Air Conditioning Unit. It revolutionized the south. Without it, the southern U.S. surely would not be as populated as it is now.
#3. The Comfy Baby Nasal Aspirator.  I found this in the One Step Ahead catalog. 

You are thinking: comfy+nasal aspirator=Molly is crazy. Maybe. But the snot running through my house right now could fill a gallon milk jug. I detest the bulb suctions because I feel like I am sticking a pen up my child's nose. This thing is amazing. It just barely enters the nose and you can pull the snot out with even the gentlest of suctioning. I know it looks gross, but it is so much easier than the regular bulb suction. Trust me on this one, I'm off to suction another nose. Oh, and after you read this: please say a prayer that this snot leaves my house soon! I am so tired of being sick and my babies being sick!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mom guilt

It comes in all shapes and sizes. Mom guilt.  This particular guilt I've been feeling has been related to the lack of pictures I've taken of baby #2. He is just so cute too!  So here is an updated picture.  Luke is 4 months old, Michael 2 years old. The one of the three of us I just love. We were all sitting in my glider watching Daddy put together Luke's crib. Michael loves to smile for the camera now when we ask him to say "cheese!" So this is what Michael was saying as Dad was taking the picture.

One thing I've learned over my parenting years, especially since I've lost my Mom, is that there are never enough pictures of Mom's with their kids. We always seem to be the ones taking the pictures. So one of the things I am trying to get better about is asking other people to take pictures of me with my boys. My makeup may not look perfect and my hair may be going in different directions. But I know that years down the road, my boys will still look at these pictures and think their Mom was beautiful. I know I think that when I look at pictures of my Mom with her babies. So to all my Mom friends out there, take a minute and take a picture with your babies!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New found appreciation

I have a new found appreciation for people who are website designers. Wow. It really is a different language they speak. I am impressed...

Monday, April 4, 2011

New (to me) food finds!

With both boys in tow at the grocery store last week, I found myself walking slowly through the pasta aisle. Normally, I am having to sprint down every aisle in the event one boy decides to have a meltdown. This was a particular calm moment among a plentiful of carbohydrates and I came across "3 minute pasta."  Your read that right: it cooks in 3 minutes. Who doesn't love that when you have a hungry toddler in the house!  Here it is: Quick Cook 3 minute.

The other exciting (in my life) food find last week: Heintz Tomato Ketchup Dip & Squeeze. We were having dinner at the Chick-Fil-A in Fresno, CA and instead of the typical small ketchup packets, this is what greeted us at the condiment counter! Genius! It is almost 1 oz of ketchup that you can either dip something into or you can tear off the cap and squeeze it out. Heinz.  Sure beats fumbling with the tiny packets, especially when your fingers are greasy from the yummy waffle fries.

Where does the time go?

It was 4 months ago today that our baby was born.  Look at him now!  He's a BIG baby! What a ride it has been.  Last time I posted to my blog we were about to head to Florida. Daddy was deploying to the Middle East via the USS Lincoln. I was 7 months pregnant and chasing around an energetic but lovable toddler.

Fast forward to today. Daddy is home! And we are enjoying every minute of life, the good times and the challenging times, with two young boys.

I've updated the name of my blog, so please take note and add to your bookmarks/RSS feed.

Both boys are napping at the same time - IT'S GLORIOUS!!! And I'm back on the blogging bandwagon!

I'm Back...Stay tuned for an update!

It's been a wild 6 months since I have posted my last blog. I'm back with a new title for my blog and ready to fill everyone in on our adventures! Stay tuned!