Sunday, November 29, 2009
Josh and Ben had a blast playing with their cousin, Stevin, and painting Christmas ornaments with Grandma B.
The kids all played hard all day long, and by the end of the night, everyone was so tired! Baby Adria even fell asleep on me... I could just eat her up!
Because we were elsewhere on Thanksgiving day, I decided to make my own Thanksgiving meal on Friday. I'm not much for Black Friday shopping, and I love having tons of leftovers, so I just couldn't resist the opportunity! I was up at 5:00 a.m. making pie and preparing the stuffing for the turkey. I made all of my Thanksgiving staples, including an herb roasted turkey, homemade apple sausage stuffing (with homemade croutons), fruited sweet potatoes with a streusel topping, mashed potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce and cheddar corn bread muffins.
For dessert I made a pecan pie (actually made 2 because I burned the first one... the lesson learned was don't try to bake with a massive headache!), and a completely from scratch pumpkin pie. I had never roasted a pumpkin before, but after having done it this year, I don't think I'll ever buy a can of pumpkin again! The pie was so light and just plain tasty.
We were so blessed to be able to spend the day, and the meal, not only with my parents, but with my best friend, Gabrielle, and her family. Gabrielle just had her 4th child on November 3rd. Baby Jameson is so cute, and so sweet. I just loved holding him.
Josh and Aaron, Gabrielle's oldest son, are best friends themselves. They play together so well, and are always sad to go home. It is pure joy to watch them playing together. Kayleigh is Gabrielle's oldest, and she is just a gem. Ben and Jack are also just about the same age and, although they are a little young to really play together, we hope that they will bond as Josh and Aaron have. Here are some photos of the kiddos having a great time together:
What a fun day it was!
On Saturday we started to get the house ready for Christmas. Although we didn't get as far as we would have liked (thanks to my beginning to come down with a cold), we did get the Christmas tree up and decorated.
What a great Thanksgiving weekend. I can't wait for the rest of the holiday fun we have planned over the next month!
Monday, November 23, 2009
First, was my extra-special gift from Andrew and my parents... a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer! This thing is incredible! It weighs probably 20 lbs and is so fun to use! I can't wait to break it out for the thanksgiving feast later this week! =)The boys also got me a Snuggie (the blanket with sleeves!). Joshua was so excited to give it to me, I'm still amazed that he was able to keep the lip zipped until I opened my presents!
The real celebration was this past weekend. Because we weren't able to go to Sea World when we were in San Diego last month, we planned to go back to San Diego for my birthday. All week leading up to the trip, Andrew and I were living in this constant state of mild paranoia over one of the boys getting sick and putting the kibosh on our trip. We were pumping them full of vitamins and orange juice, and thankfully everyone had a clean bill of health for our fun weekend! We headed out early on Friday morning, and had another enjoyable time in the car, rolling into San Diego about 1:00.
Ben didn't make it too far into his book!
Our first stop was Imperial Beach, south of San Diego, about 3 miles from Mexico, as we had heard it was a good place to find sand dollars and starfish. We walked along the beach for a bit... well, everyone but Ben, who had apparently gotten his fill of the beach on our last trip. He refused to walk and turned into the biggest cuddle bug and just wanted to "hide in Mommy's hair."
Josh had a blast finding more seashells, which were much bigger on this beach. The best find of the day went to Daddy... a giant sand dollar! When we stopped for lunch at a little local cafe, even a local was impressed with our find!
After lunch we went back up to San Diego and walked around Seaport Village, and over to the USS Midway. We didn't take the tour of the Midway, as the boys are still a little young for that, but they did like seeing the big ship with airplanes and helicopters on it.
That evening we went to check into our hotel, which was the same hotel we stayed at last month. When Andrew went inside to check in, he learned that we were the "Guest of the Day" which means we got a free upgrade to a 2 bedroom/2 bath suite! There was even a sign being displayed in the lobby with my name on it (which Andrew snagged for me). It was so cool!
Joshua was super excited to have his very own bedroom instead of sleeping on the fold out couch like he normally does. It was a $200 per night room that we got for $129 per night. Happy birthday to me!
The following morning was Sea World Day! Unfortunately, because of the time change (CA is 1 hour behind us right now) and the fact that the boys aren't used to sharing a room, Ben decided to wake Joshua up at about 5:00 a.m. Thanks a lot! Because of the awakening he wasn't quite ready for, he was a little, shall we say, grumpy in the morning. But we finally got him to snap out of it and had a fantastic day at Sea World! We got there just as the park opened, and were probably about the 3rd family through the gate. We got to see dolphins up close, feed some sea lions, and watch the Shamu show, the Pets Rule show and the Clyde and Seymour show. We even got to see Elmo, Burt, Ernie, Zoe and Cookie Monster sing and dance for us, which I think Ben could have watched all day!
Riding the flying Elmo fish ride in the Sesame Street Bay of Play
We had informed Joshua ahead of time that the Sesame Street characters would be there and that he could meet them. As soon as he learned this, he informed me that he was going to bring Cookie Monster some cookies that we had made (with my mixer, of course!). The night before we left he had painstakingly, and completley on his own, selected two cookies for Cookie Monster and put them in a Ziploc sandwich bag. I was told to make sure we remembered to put them in a safe place, and he even made sure we had them before we left the house Friday morning! Anyway, when his chance finally came to give Cookie Monster his cookies, he mustered up all of his courage and gave Cookie Monster his baggie of cookies. Cookie Monster was SO happy to have cookies! He started blowing Joshua kisses and then grabbed him and gave him a huge hug.
Joshua is in there somewhere!
Joshua was so beside himself excited that he could make Cookie Monster so happy. What a sweet little spirit he has! I think this was my favorite part of our day!
We stayed at Sea World for pretty much the whole time the park was open. We did it without naps (except that Ben pooped out right before Clyde and Seymour started)...
and without a stroller, which proved to be the best thing to do (and I think that if we can Sea World without a stroller, it is definitely time for the strollers to go and give us back our closet space!).
In all the excitement, we were concerned that our trip would send Ben on a detour away from his potty training. How wrong we were! He actually did SO good while we were gone. We brought his potty chair with us, and were unashamed to lug it into the stalls in public restrooms, or even park him on the passenger seat of the car along our way.
At one point he actually asked us to take off his diaper so he could poop in the potty! Hooray! But because he no longer wants to USE his diaper, the trip home got a little interesting. When we stopped in Yuma (our first stop after leaving San Diego) I checked Ben's diaper and he was dry, which I saw as a huge victory! We took his potty chair into the bathroom and he went potty no problem. Then after having lunch and getting back on the road, he started crying that he needed to go potty. We were in the middle of absolutely no where, without even a random exit to pull off into. We tried to tell him to just use his diaper (how's that for sending mixed messages!) but he really didn't want to do that. We ended up stopping three times between Yuma and home to try to get him to use the potty (the last time being off of some random off ramp next to the train tracks. I didn't have my camera, so I'll have to paint you a mental picture... Ben sitting on his little potty chair in the gravel in the middle of nowhere, with a train zooming by about 100 feet away from us. Would have made a great photo for a punk album cover or something!). One of our stops was in Dateland, which gave Andrew a chance to try a "world famous" Date Shake.
Although the drive home was a little hectic and frustrating at times, we made it in one piece and were so happy to be home!
So my 30th birthday was pretty awesome! Thank you, Andrew, Josh and Ben for making it a special time for me, and thanks to everyone for your birthday wishes! Now, off to 31!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Probably because of the weather, the traffic through the neighborhood was extremely light in the morning. After about 2 hours and only making roughly $10, I was thinking this day was going to be sort of a waste of time. But as the day wore on and the sun began to poke through the clouds, traffic picked up and we actually ended up being pretty successful, making about another $100 and getting rid of everything we had really wanted to go. We packed up everything that didn't sell, which ended up being not too much, and my mom carted it off to Goodwill for me. The only thing we kept were the leftover clothes. What is so exciting is that all we have left of baby clothes is one plastic tub full. That may sound like a lot, but when you think that before we started giving it away and selling it, we had about 3 tubs and 4 trash bags stuffed full. Yay for more closet space! I love getting rid of things no longer used. It makes the house feel so much more organized, and even a little bit bigger. Now we're ready for whatever Santa may bring! =)
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The school the kids go to is awesome and totally work right along side us in potty training. We have told his teachers that he is starting to use the potty, so they have begun offering him the potty at various points throughout the day. He just about always wants to try, but hadn't actually gone at school... until today! And he did it standing up to boot! He was so proud of himself, and I of course made sure he knew loud and clear how proud I was of him.
But that wasn't the only potty training development of the day. At dinner time, Benny looked up at me and clearly said "Mommy, I need to go potty." We got right into the bathroom and he did just that. Just about every other time he has used the potty it has been initiated by either me or Andrew, so we were so excited to see that he is learning to notice, in advance, that he needs to go potty.
He's doing such a great job! Now, if we could get him to do the rest of his, um, business on the potty, we'd really be rolling! We know that will come with time. There's just one thing to say... Go Benny!
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Maybe there is something to this cake thing. I hope to take a couple decorating classes next year and I want to start trying out some cake recipes, so we'll see where it goes from there!