Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday random fun

  •  Alayna hasn't done well in nurseries for the past month.  Most weeks we get paged to come and get her at church.  Last week she made it all the way through the service.  This week she made it five minutes.  I spent the rest of church trying to keep her happy in the cry room.  I didn't hear any of the sermon.  I was a little frustrated... but it's kinda hard to stay that way when she's so cute....

I mean not every 8 month old would laugh when you plopped them into the middle of a huge flower pot :)
  • I love sugar snap peas.  I buy a big bag of them from Costco and eat some with my lunch every day.
  • I guees while I'm on the subject of Costco I'll mention that I bought the most delicious berries there on Friday.  I got strawberries, blueberries and raspberries and we've been enjoying them.  I made blueberry pancakes yesterday morning.  Matt makes fun of me because I always put whip cream on my blueberries pancakes.  It's a must for me.  Does anyone else do this, or is it really odd?
  • I did three photo shoots in 24 hours... lots of work, but lots of fun.  Can't wait to post some of the pics on my photography blog.
  • Ethan had a blast spending the night with my mom.  He even got to sleep in her bed with her.  He loves it because she gives him her undivided attention over there.  I'm so glad he can have such great relationships with his grandparents.  It was kinda nice to just have one kid for the night and next morning.  It's funny how easy it feels to just have one :)
  • A few months ago I bought one of these wave irons after admiring my friend Kelly's hair.  It's fun to "crimp" my hair and make it wavy sometimes.

  • Speaking of Kelly, I picked up some of this delicious dip from costco after trying it at her house a few weeks ago.  Apparently she bought it by accident, but I love it.  It's a little too addicting.  I could eat a ton of it.

  • Ethan has been unbelievably frustrating and difficult lately.  I knew that the good phase we were having with him would come to an end at some point.  He is definitely in the midst of what I would consider his "terrible two's".  I won't go into details, but let's just say some days I sigh a very huge sigh of relief when he goes to bed. I just keep reminding myself that this is just a phase, and he will move onto to another one at some point.
  • I think that's enough random thoughts for now.  Enjoy your holiday tomorrow!  Thank you to all the amazing men and women who have served in the military and sacrificed so much.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Lens fun

I rented this awesome lens for the weekend.
I thought I'd try it out and see if I like it.
It arrived last night, so this morning I played with it for a little bit while Alayna napped.
I am in love.
As soon as I can save up enough money I am gonna purchase this baby.

I have three photo shoots this weekend, so I'm super excited to use the lens.
I'll have lots of pictures coming on my photography blog.
Here's a few from this morning.
 And my favorite of Ethan in a LONG time.....

I'll be a picture-taking maniac this weekend :)

I was insane enough to go to Costco today.
I didn't want to, but I was all out of formula, so I had to.
It was a ZOO.  Everyone and their mom was there.
However the plus side of that was that there were more samples than I'd ever seen.
I had fun tasting them all.
Unfortunately Ethan was way tired and WAY naughty. 
My mom is coming to pick him up after work and taking him to her house for a sleepover......
thank goodness :)

Hope you all have a fabulous holiday weekend!
We'll be smoking up some meat and hopefully swimming and playing outside.  It's finally supposed to warm up a bit.  While I haven't minded the cool weather at all, Ethan has been dying to swim, but it's been too cold.  Hopefully this weekend he can do some swimming.

Okay, bye for now!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

8 1/2 months

My little girl is 8 1/2 months.  Last week I took a few pictures of her that I have to share (a few of them I posted on my photography blog).

She uses everything to pull herself up to standing these days (including my legs).  She's getting sturdier and sturdier.

Whenever she is outside she usually makes a mad dash to go eat some Lantana or chew on rocks or mulch.

Silly girl!

These were taken in the front yard.
I tried to get a shot of Ethan.... this is what I got :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Family Photos

A few weeks ago we did a family photo shoot with the very talented Mark Leonard (who also did family photos for us about a year and a half ago when Ethan was just 11 months old). The location was special to us because it's the same place that Matt and I got engaged, almost exactly 9 years ago.  We had fun and Mark was very accommodating to me and my corny ideas.... including bringing color coordinated balloons that matched our outfits :) We spent half our time doing family photos and then my mom took the kids and we spent the other half of the time doing photos of just Matt and I.  We hadn't done photos of the two of us since our wedding.  It was fun.  Here are some of my favorite shots...
 I think this is my favorite photo from the day....

Please please please look at the rest of them on his blog and leave a comment.  If we get enough comments we get some free prints!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

My favorite pork tenderloin recipe

***Edit: I added a comment from my hubby to the bottom of this post :)

I haven't posted a recipe in a while so I thought I'd post what we had tonight.  It's my favorite pork tenderloin recipe and super easy to make.  I pick up pork tenderloins at Costco and keep them in the freezer.  They are such a tasty, lean meat, but they HAVE GOT to be cooked right.

The key to a good pork tenderloin (or any meat for that matter) is using a meat thermometer.  I cannot stress the importance of this.  Without a meat thermometer meat will often come out overcooked, because we tend to overestimate the cooking time.  With a meat thermometer your meat will come out PERFECT, juicy, flavorful and moist every time.

Hoisin and Honey pork Tenderloin

cooking spray
1 pound pork tenderloin
salt and pepper

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 375.
Spray a large, oven-proof skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium high.  When the pan is hot, add the meat (it should sizzle) and sera the bottom side.  Season the top with salt and pepper, then turn the meat to sear the other side and season the new top side.  Move the skillet to the oven for about 25 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center reads 150F, or the color is just barely past pink.

While the meat cooks, mix the sauce ingredients in a small pan and bring to a boil.  Let it cook down just slightly, then keep warm on low heat.

Slice the meat and transfer to plates.  Drizzle with hot hoisin-honey sauce and sprinkle with green onion.  Serve immediately.

Nutrition information
195 calories per serving
4g fat
1 g fiber
1233 mg sodium
Weight Watchers 4 points.

Tonight I served mine with roasted potatoes and a yummy spinach salad with strawberries, Gorgonzola cheese and candied walnuts.


My hubby posted this hot tip in the comment section, but I thought I'd include it in the post:

Hot Tip from the kitchen assistant that prepared the meat featured here:
When the meat gets to 135-140F take it out of the oven, place it on a plate and loosely cover with foil.
It will keep cooking on the plate and reach 150-152F within about 5-8 minutes.
Wait until the temperature has peaked and just starts coming back down (about 8-10 min) before slicing to achieve maximum juiciness.
If you are going out today to buy pork tenderloin and a meat thermometer to try this, do yourself a huge favor and buy the kind of meat thermometer that with the probe on a cord and an alarm that can be set to any temperature desired so that you don't loose track of the meat temp while you prepare the sauce, or enjoy a glass of wine, or chase after a 2 year old who thinks its funny to ride is tricycle way too close to his little sister's little feet.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

wow, what a week!

Hello everyone! An entire week has passed without a post from me.
I'm alive and well :)
I haven't blogged all week because I was a single mama and VERY busy.  Matt was in Texas ALL week for work.  My mom and brother were also out of town (on a Caribbean cruise... those lucky guys).  I kept very busy because I feel like time goes so much faster if I keep busy when Matt is gone. 

I have so much to share, so here goes....

I took the kids to Disneyland one day all by myself.  This was my first time doing it alone.  We met up with Jolene and Danny and their kids there, so we weren't at the park alone.  It actually ended up being fun, and I was proud of myself.  I got the kids Mickey ears and they both looked so cute wearing them.

We didn't even go on any rides this time, and that was fine with me.  Ethan's favorite part is meeting the characters and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show anyhow.  He was over the moon to meet Pluto and Mickey during this visit.  He is just so cute when he meets them.  He really thinks it's them.


We did have a little bit of adult fun.  California Adventure was having a food and beverage festival and they had several gardens with wine tasting and beer tasting.  Jolene and I did one of the wine tasting gardens.  It was nice to enjoy a glass of wine before the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show ;)

The drive there and the drive back went well... yay.  We got home with no traffic.  My mother in law came over and watched the kids so that I could still have dinner with my friends that evening.  They were both asleep before 7:00.... tired kiddos after a long day.

Another day this week I packed the kids up first thing in the morning and headed out to visit my friend Kelly from collage.  It was a 90 minute drive (with no traffic) and Alayna decided to scream for most of it (instead of nap like I had hoped).  
I was quite frazzled when we arrived. 
90 minutes of screaming is a lot for me.

This is my friend Shelly and her girls (who are close in age to my kids).  Shelly was also in my wedding.
Jolene smooching her littlest boy

Thankfully we enjoyed a nice visit and had fun catching up with Kelly and her girls, Shelly and her girls (another friend from college) and Jolene and her boys.  The kids played very well together, although I think the big boys scared the girls a little bit, lol.  Boys can be quite crazy!

We enjoyed some snacks and chased after our kiddos.  They all decided they wanted to swim, so the boys splashed in the pool while the girls stood off at a safe distance.  They weren't so big on getting splashed, where as Christian and Ethan enjoyed it quite a bit.

It's crazy that just a few years ago we were all friends with no kiddos.  Now when we get together there are four adults and eight kids!  Although our visits are quite different, we all feel incredibly blessed :)  We tried to get a picture of me and Jolene and Kelly and our kids and these were the best I got...

We packed up and headed home at 1:00... since Alayna had been up since 6:30 with NO nap and was beginning to loose it.  We got in the car and both kids fell asleep, however after 30 minutes Alayna woke up and decided to scream again.  She woke Ethan up and screamed for the rest of the way home (60 minutes).  I rolled down the windows, turned my music up VERY loud and tried to block her out, but I was pretty tired and frazzled by the time we got home.

Once we got home Ethan was BEYOND naughty and Alayna was just a crabby mess.  I may have broken down and a had a little cry... and wished that my hubby was home :)
I had both the kids in the bath at 5:00.  
They were in their jammies by 5:30. 
I loaded them up in the car and drove two blocks to a nearby sushi restaurant and got myself some dinner to go.  I came home, put both kids to bed at 6:00, cracked open a bottle of wine, and enjoyed some very blessed silence outside.  I finished up the evening by staying up way too late watching the very exciting Grey's season finale.
To finish off our week we went to the Long Beach Aquarium with Faith Oates and her kids on Friday.  They just traded in their Expedition for a 12 passenger van, so we all fit quite comfortably in the same car.  Ethan thought it was so much fun to ride with the Oates kids, and it was nice that Alayna was also entertained by them.
It was great having Hoper and Gracie there to help me out.  They both wanted to push the stroller for me, which I didn't mind at all :)

We had fun at the aquarium and saw lots of cool creatures.
We got to go into the Laurakeet enclosure, pet sting rays, play outside, and see lots of different animals and fish.  It was too dark to get pictures of most of them, but I did manage to get a few cool shots.
One of the hugs sharks swam right up to us and I got a cool shot of him.  I also got a picture of a largemouth bass, some tiny little eels that popped out of the sand, two different starfish,  and a pretty blue tropical fish.

Here are all the kiddos inside....

After about 90 minutes of exploring and chasing after the little boys we were ready for lunch.  We found a nice spot outside, ate our lunches and let the kids run around for a bit before we headed home.  I attempted to get another picture of all the kids... it wasn't gonna happen :)

The shot of Hope and Ethan hugging and looking out over Long Beach is so stinkin' cute.  It's like a wedding shot :) The pictures of Hope holding Alayna are pretty cute too :) That's Grady in the one on the right.  Him and Ethan are only 7 months apart.

We got home a little bit after Matt did and boy was I glad to see him.
We sure did miss him all week.
You women who have husbands who travel a lot, or work for days on end... I have respect for you... it's not so easy doing everything by yourself.

Since Ethan didn't get a nap and Alayna had only had two thirty minute naps we had both the kids in bed before 6:30 (Alayna at 5:45).  They were pooped.  That left a nice long evening for Matt and I to relax, and we were grateful after spending the week apart.

So there you have it, my busy single-mama week :)