Monday, February 27, 2012

Snow Evening

We get excited when we get our yearly snow :)  It happens about once or twice a year, when it snows and the snow sticks to the ground.  Just about perfect in my opinion ;)  Just yesterday I did a senior shoot with gorgeous sunlight, tank tops, and flip flops.  Fast forward 24 hours later and here we are donning jackets and boots to go play in the snow.  Only in Southern California!

At first we watched the snow as it started to fall from the comfort of the couch.

Then we went out front... and stood in the snow and caught a few flakes in our hands and hair.

This was Alayna's first experience with snow.  Last April when we had a few inches of snow she slept in until 9:00 and then stayed inside and didn't know any different.  This year she loved it.

But then I asked them if they'd like to play in it, and so we put on shoes, thin jackets, and slippers for me, and went out and played.

I love the look of wonder on their faces as they looked at the snow...

Ethan's favorite snow activity.... eating snow!

And yes, I wore slippers in the snow... and had a blanket over my head to protect my DSLR while I tried to snap a few photos of the kids, lol.  It was pretty dark out and I had to have my ISO cranked up to 2000, so the pictures aren't the sharpest.... but they do preserve the memories, and that's all that matters :)

This cracked me up.... the kids were "skiing".  They were shuffling through he snow pretending to ski.  Since I actually love skiing this made me proud ;)  Maybe I can take Ethan up the hill one of these days and see how he does on skiis.

And this is always my favorite ironic shot.... a palm tree with snow on the fronds.  I love living in So Cal!

20 minutes and two freezing kids later and we dashed inside to a warm bath while I made dinner and Matt tried to watch the Daytona race which was rain delayed from yesterday.

Certainty an eventful Monday :)  I love days that take unexpected turns and end up making memories.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Spontaneous Fun Day

The other morning I woke up after about 3 hours of sleep (thanks to the kids both waking and me not being able to fall asleep in between).  I got into autopilot and got dressed for the gym.  After feeding the kids I realized I just did not have the energy to go to the gym.  It was beautiful outside so I decided we'd do something fun instead.  We packed a lunch, picked up Matt from work and headed over to Victoria Gardens.

We let the kids play at Bass Pro.  They loved looking at the fish, shooting the guns, and climbing in the boats.  Oh, and of course a couple of rides in the "alligator" (elevator) were a must.

Captain Ethan and his first mate Alayna.

 We ate our lunch at Victoria Gardens, watched the fountain and then went for a little train ride.
 I love how excited they were for the little train :)
 We got Coldstone and played on the little playground, then headed home.  We dropped Matt back off at work and went home.

It was such a fun little outing and I only spent $12.00 + gas (which is like $100, lol, j/k).  It was especially nice that Matt could join us.  We have been working so hard around the house nearly every weekend that we haven't gotten out for much fun as a family.   Matt didn't mind being stolen away from work for 3 hours :)

Stater Brother's Tour

Last week we got to go on a tour of Stater Brother's with our TMOMS group.  It was a very informative and fun tour.  The kids got to tour nearly every part of the store.

They got to:
- sample french fries and cookies in the bakery
-watch a cake be decorated
-walk through the huge refrigerators
-see the loading dock
-see where the produce is cleaned and packaged
-spray the produce with water (Ethan's favorite part)
-eat a banana
-have an in depth tour of the meat department which included touching a crab, shrimp, fish and seeing odd parts of cows, such as the heart and brain
-and at the end they got balloons

It was such a fun tour.  My kids loved it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekend Update and a few randoms

Once January rolls around we seem to get a fire lit under us to work around the house.  Every free Saturday we have is spent working on our projects and just doing chores.  Lately I've been cleaning on Saturday mornings, then helping Matt in the yard when I'm finished.  We are currently working on getting our front lawn in, and also on a big project in our backyard.

This junky corner of our yard has yet to have much done to it.  Last year it housed my raised garden beds.  Matt moved those out front for me (to a side of our front yard that gets virtually no use).  We still need to move the dirt out. This is the area that will soon become a playground for the kids.  Matt is going to build them a swing-set/clubhouse, and then also a shed over here.  

What do the kids do while we work?  They love to be outside as well, getting filthy :)  This play kitchen has become a dirt kitchen.  They have been having fun pretending to cook with dirt and making a huge mess.  Can we say "cheese face" here?

And I have no idea what this face is, lol.  Don't mind his ragga-muffin outfit.... when we work outside I put play clothes on them because they can get pretty filthy.

Yum, dirt pie.  Doesn't that look delicious?  She's feeding it to a doggy here :)
We removed a peach tree from this spot that had been dead since we moved here.  I wanted to plant another peach tree, because peaches are my absolute favorite summer fruit.  Matt's parents were sweet and picked us up a bare root tree since now is the time to plant them.  Now this little beauty is planted and even has a few little blossoms.  Hopefully in a few years she will grow nice and big :)

We have a tiny little mejer lemon tree we planted last year.  It has a few ripe lemons on it this year.

In other unrelated news I won a Kindle from the Salt and Nectar Blog.  I uploaded a couple of books and am excited to try it out.  

I made the kids a fort one rainy morning last week.  They had fun in it for a while.

Lastly, I just have to share what we did with Alayna and her sleeping nonsense.  She was seriously getting out of her toddler bed NON stop.  She had stopped napping and was not getting enough sleep, but just could not stay in her bed to save her life.  We had tried everything we could think of and finally one afternoon in a fit of desperation I ordered a crib tent from Amazon.  This was seriously the best $50.00 I have spent in a while.  She doesn't mind it at all, and it works like a charm.  She can't get out, and another great thing is nothing can come out of this either, it's basically a net all the way around the crib.  That means no more throwing her binkies out of her bed! Once we installed this she immediately started napping again and went back to her great sleep habits.  I guess she wasn't ready to give up that nap after all (thank goodness).   She goes down great at night as well. Ahhhhh, thank you inventors of the crib tent!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dinner with my fam

Last Friday night we had my mom, brother and Beth over for homeade pizza.  Rare is the time we all get together for a dinner that isn't due to a birthday or holiday.  It's always nice to have a low key night.  These aren't the greatest flash pictures.... but at least we took some :)

We were having fun taking pictures of our dirty martinis.  We've been wanting to frame a few cool pictures of drinks we've made to hang in the bar.  I think this could be one of them.

Uncle Jerrod playing a puzzle with Alayna.

 My mom and my brother were making Cookie howl... too funny.

 I tried to get everyone to play my new game "Quelf", however after two rounds they were tired and all pooped out and left :(  Sad for me.  Now I'll have to rope some other people into playing it!  haha.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Ethan has recently discovered the joys of a two wheeled scooter versus his much slower three wheeled one.  We had this old Razor scooter and he picked it up and started riding it like a pro one day.  Now it's all he wants to do.  If the weather is nice we often spend an hour before dinner out front, riding bikes and scooters and playing.  My boy thrives when he can spend a lot of time outdoors.  Keep him cooped up indoors, and we have ROUGH days.  It's a good thing I love being outside so much :)

 These pictures are from the other week.  This week is cold and rainy.  I'm glad because we need the rain, but oh boy is Ethan's behavior so much worse.  He will be so happy when the sun is shining once again (and so will I for that matter).  It's a good thing we live in Southern California!~

Alayna was pushing her baby in a stroller on this particular day :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day

As I mentioned in my previous post Matt and I went out to celebrate Valentine's on Sunday, and I'm glad we did, because it was so nice to go out alone together.

We started the morning off with little gift baskets for the kids, and Matt and I had little gifts for each other as well.  On holidays I love for the kids to wake up, walk out, and find a little surprise.  Of course they were stoked.  Why not eat candy hearts at 7:00 am, right?

 Ethan's still in jammies with crazy hair.
 When Alayna wakes I usually just change and dress her right away.  Makes things much easier.  She doesn't look like a raggamuffin like her brother ;)  She was stoked to find a pink rubber ducky with hearts (she loves rubber duckies for some reason), and princesses, and bracelets, and of course candy.
 Daddy and Alayna

 The day before Valentines I worked extra hard to make my special Valentine one of his favorite treats.... an extremely hard to work with sugar cookie recipe that is his absolute favorite.  I even spent the extra time to make them look extra special, which he loves.  These are a labor of love for me.  They only happen because I love my honey so very much. He was stoked to come home and find them :)

After Matt went to work and the kids and I went to the gym, we went and delivered Valentines treats to my mom at work.  Each of the kids got to give her a potted plant with a cute little Valentine sign sticking out.  They might have had a little help from me in making those ;)

Grammy with her two little Valentines :)  They were SO very excited to bring her their gifts (and we brought her yummy Thai food for lunch too).
 Me and my little Valentines at my mom's work.  She has a tiny little playground at the place she works and the kids call it "Grammy's playground".  Super cute :)  They always enjoy visiting her, saying hi to everyone, and playing on the slide.

Of course my sweetheart gave me a little something too (and if you're curious I gave him a stainless steal flask and a nice work shirt).  He always gives me plans I can plant in the yard, which I love.  I used to have Calla lillies at our old house and don't have any here, so these are definitely getting planted and enjoyed :)  That bottle next to it is brandy, and yes I do like it :)  I'm coo like that, lol.  The card was actually SUPER sweet and brought tears to my eyes.  Good job honey!                         

 Our plans for the evening included a yummy dinner, cooked and enjoyed in a hopefully quiet atmosphere.  haha... part of that happened.  Let's see, Ethan was extra hard that day, didn't nap, and so we put him to bed at 6:30.  After we put him to bed I discovered that at some point during the day he had gotten ahold of some stamps and stamped on the carpet in the playroom and all over his door.  They were cheap 99 cent store stamps that DO NOT wash off.  To say I was mad was an understatement.  I think smoke might have come from my head.

Matt made me this delicious cocktail, which he named the "Jess-tini", hehe.  We like to make up drinks around here.  It was super good and definitely felt  like a Valentine's drink.
 I enjoyed it and tried to get over my fuming while we cooked up some yummy rib-eye steaks, grilled shrimp, asparagus and sweet potatoes.  It was a delicious meal.  Staters has the BEST sales on yummy food around Valentine's Day.  By the time we ate Ethan was finally asleep and quiet.  Our little girly had taken quite the long nap and happily watched two episodes of "Micky Mouse Clubhouse" so that we could dine in peace.  It ended up being nice, although I think I emotionally dumped on Matt after a couple of very difficult weeks with the kids.  I guess that's just life, right?

All said and done, while it wasn't the perfect day, while my kids were hard and dinner didn't go as planned, celebrating little holidays with my kids is so very fun.  I love how excited they get about them and how they love little gift baskets filled with trinkets from the dollar store.  I love the simple excitement.  I will seriously miss that as they grow older.

I am blessed beyond belief to have so many people in my life that I love, and especially my little family.  It's funny, as I grow older Valentine's Day is not just for me and my honey, it's a day to tangibly express my love to the loved ones in my life.  And while I strive to do that all year long, it's fun to have a day especially for that :)