Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fruitloops and Sonoma Chicken Coop

The boys are finally well enough to re-join society. Everyone in our house is rejoicing...I'm at the top of the list. Last week was ROUGH. The boys were really really hard to handle, whiny, demanding and we didn't get any breaks from each other. Moving on...we went to the park and store with Nate and Christi in the morning very leisurely and pet our neighborhood pet store bunny, Stewy. We bought some bird seed to made a bird feeder some time soon. We also got some fruit loops, which we made fruit loop necklaces with for all Vander and Ollie's buddies in the afternoon. Then we headed out to Sonoma Chicken Coop with our best buddies for dinner. Oliven was a hot mess at dinner. I swear the boys argue just to see who can yell louder or get more attention.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Crafty fun

  This morning Vander wanted to do some fun art that he hasn't done before, so I grabbed my stamps. They have had stamps on their hands and feet from gymnastics, but they have never done stamping on paper before. They had a good time with it and I cut them into shapes with the fun scissors when they were done. Afterwards I gave them pipe cleaners and the colander to poke pipe cleaners into. Vander enjoyed the activity, but Ollie just wanted to throw the stuff on the floor. Lastly, I opened a can of sweetened condensed milk and colored it with food coloring for them to paint with. It is supposed to dry shiny. The problem is I'm worried that ants will enjoy this art too much. I also have lots of sweetened condensed milk left...what do I do with 2/3 of a can?

Insufferable night and day

  Vander is the most difficult, frustrating, demanding sick person I have ever seen...1st he throws up constantly, not because he has to, but because he chooses to. He has a very easy gag reflex; if he doesn't like something (like medicine or broccoli he will just throw it up...usually on the carpet. Then every 20 minutes to half hour he cries so you will tend to his needs: I can't see Buzz and Woody on my blanket, where did Elmo go, I want a sip of water, I need you to blow my nose, I just want you to lay with me for a minute, I'm tired and I can't sleep,  I'm coughing and I don't want to, I don't know what I want or need I'm just crying. No I won't take medicine to make me feel better or honey to help me stop coughing. I don't want to tilt my head up or sleep on my side....I will only drink water to make myself better and that's it. ACCCKKK! All night and all day long! Thank goodness this can't last much longer.
  I'm super bummed we had to miss Toy Story 3 on Ice. Arielle gave us 2 free tickets and we bought 1 so we could all go (Ollie is a lap baby until age 2)...$26 for a family to go to an awesome Disney show with our closest friends can't be beaten, but instead we stayed home. They boys are both bummed and I'm super bummed.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Family baking

I wanted something low key that Vander could help with while sick that we could all enjoy that didn't center around television. So, this afternoon we all made chocolate chip cookies together. I think this may have been the first time that all four of us worked together to create something. Too bad neither of the boys ate dinner (since they aren't feeling great) so we didn't bake the cookies. Justin and I will have to test them out. ;)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Vander's sick...let's create


  Pre-school is on break this week and Vander is not feeling well...I guess it's good the two coincided. We decided to take advantage of the situation and occupy our time with calm activities. We did some science experiments including dancing raisins (in soda) and underwater fireworks (mix a little oil and a few drops of food coloring and pour into water). We also painted some fall trees with Q-tips, and they boys painted their names in reverse (tape their name on a page and peel it off when the paint dries). Then it was play dough time. Vander decided to make his whole family out of play dough animals on a mountainside. They were originally all frogs. Not everyone fit, but he made a valiant effort. Wow, it's exhausting just thinking about all the stuff we did before 11am.

My vows

  I never thought about what kind of a mother I would be. It didn't come naturally to me (being a mom was natural to my mom and being a dad was natural to Justin). I have never liked babies. You know those women who come into a room and gravitate toward the babies and beg to hold them...so not me. I like the idea of liking babies, then I had my own....wow! They cried, fussed and whined all the time. I can honestly remember dreading the night time because I knew Vander would wake up crying and I didn't know how long it would take me to get him back to sleep and if he would wake right back up again. He did that most nights at least 3 times in a row. I also would wonder if I was going to break and have to go get Justin cause I just couldn't handle any more crying.Then, the next day I was such a wreck from being so tired. Everyone said, "you had a hard baby the first time, the second one will be an angel." And then, he wasn't. He wined and fussed all day long for the first 6 months of his life. I wanted to tear out all my hair. I am soooo not a baby person. I hope my babies didn't realize that. I tried really really really hard not to let on.
    Turns out, I am definitely a toddler person. I am not perfect and I do yell at them, but I no longer want to sell them on e-bay (I literally came up with a plan to give Oliven positive nick-names so I could like him more because he was so tough some times....mini-muffin, Ollie-pie...sweet and delicious, right?!?) and love love love being around them (most of the time). They are so much fun and creative and capable (and exhausting). Each day is a new adventure and a new skill. I love them always always (that is what we say to each other). They absolutely amaze me and I am so very lucky and blessed to have the two greatest sons (and super smart) a mom could ask for (it helps that I also have worlds best husband- he is kind, supportive and so helpful).
    Now, my job is to be the best mom I can be so that my boys get what they deserve. I vow to become a good cook, the kind they can't wait to come and visit, cause food at Mom and Dad's house is always yummy. I vow to provide them with fun places to go to keep their minds and bodies active. I vow to provide them with fun activities, including academically enriching, and arts/leisure to keep them seeing the beauty in life. I vow to get them involved in things that they can enjoy and excell in to instill a sense of self value in them. I vow to push them to do their best when they want to quit so they will know that success is not easy, but a worth the struggle. I vow to love them every moment of every day to be the best mom I can for my sons.

Time out and more

"Oliven, you are on time out because you threw a car," barks Vander. 
"Okay." Ollie goes and sits in the corner.  
I come in and Vander says to me, "I had to put Oliven on time out for throwing."  
"Yeah, time out," reiterates Oliven.

What is it within the older sibling that makes them think that they need to discipline their younger sibling? I know I did it all the time. I was the biggest tattle tale ever as well. Vander is constantly trying to for lack of a better word "mother" Oliven. It's cute and sweet sometimes and down right annoying at other times. Vander is really big into saying to Oliven, "do you want a marshmallow? Just ask mommy. How about a yogurt?" He is constantly taunting his brother by offering him foods that he has no authority to offer. Does he think it's funny...absolutely. He also likes to ask him nonsense questions because Ollie inevitably says, "ya." He knows that Van thinks that's funny so it continues. No harm, no foul. Boys sure baffle me though...Vander says to Ollie, "You call me pee pee and I'll call you poop." What in the world would make someone think that is funny? I have NO idea. However, "pickles" seems to tickle Ollie's funny bone. They also love to say to each other, "I'm going to pretend to sleep. Goodnight burger." Somehow it's hilarious. On this one I have to agree. It's just so absurd...I don't know why it's cracks us all up, but why not I guess.
   Justin and I crack up because Ollie likes to answer anything that he agrees with using the phrase "I do." Not too funny until you are asking something like... Who likes ice cream? "I do." 
Who wants to go to the park? "I do." 
Who is a smart little boy? "I do." 
Did you play Zingo this morning? "I do."

Monday, February 20, 2012

Roasting pan success

I received a roasting pan for Christmas at my request and the cornish game hens in the freezer finally got there due...it was super duper delicious...so very yummy. I can't wait to use the roasting pan again and again. The perfect Sunday night meal...roasted root vegetables and super moist hen...yum!

Painting fun

Pinterest, the coolest site around...like a virtual pin board of stuff you like gave me an idea to have the boys finger paint with the paint still in the bag...super cool idea. We had some fun with that today. So after the conventional water color painting we tried something a little different. Oliven was more interested in lining up the paints, but they both had fun.

Soccer Saturday

Vander is loving soccer! He looks forward to it and asks if it's Saturday yet so he can play soccer. He is especially enjoying that Pops is so into it as well. Grammy and Pops met us for the soccer lesson this Saturday, then took us out for bagels in Los Gatos. Vander picked pumpernickel cause that is what Pops likes. :) This was followed by going over to Target so Vander could pick out a car ramp for being fully potty trained (he still has accidents, but he's pretty good).

Nice to meet you...

The other day Vander was introducing himself to someone. He went up to the person and said, "Hi, my name is Vander Bruce Katz, what super hero are you named after?" It was really super adorable that he just assumed that everyone is named after a super hero just like him. :)

Sushi

All you can eat sushi anyone? We took the boys for sushi. It's Justin's favorite and he is always hoping for a sushi buddy...I think he has found one...Vander loved trying Justin's raw tuna, some other fish and the eel. He enjoyed it all, but wasn't a huge fan of the rice, which is a packaged deal, but I think it won't take too long now before Vander is ready for all you can eat with daddy. The boys and I shared a bento box with tempura vegies, potstickers, edamame, teriaki chicken and salad. It was a fun lunch out as a family.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day 2012

  Yesterday we went to a Valentines play date with our friends. The kids made heart shaped ravioli and heart shaped berry pies. All the food was yummy and the kids had a great time. The boys especially love Zade's house because he has lots of toys from Cars, which Ollie and Vander are obsessed with.
   This morning I made the boys heart-shaped pink mango pancakes. Vander says he will be my Valentine, Oliven says "no thank you." Justin and I had roast beef sandwiches (a throwback to when we used to go to Palm Springs and stay in Gary's casita) by the fire and chocolate strawberry shortcake. It was nice.

Monday bubbles

It was a very rainy day and we decided to spend the morning at home making our own play date. I thought they boys may enjoy some bubbles and I was right. Oliven hung in there with us for about 15 minutes, but ultimately he couldn't figure out how to blow out through the straw and didn't enjoy the flavor of the soapy water. So, he decided to do car races in the same room while Vander and I blew bubbles and sang songs. We had lots of fun and all it took was a container of soapy water and a straw.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Potty Training success!

Vander is potty trained- totally. Yay. He has gone a week without any pee in a diaper over night. That was the last step. We tried waking him up at 10 or 11pm and having him try to go to the bathroom and it never worked, but then he started waking up himself and now all we have to do is convince Vander that we don't need to come in to watch him go potty in the middle of the night or at 6am. :) Yay Vander!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lake Tahoe trip

   We took our first family trip to the snow. We started our trip February 10th (Friday) as soon as the boys woke up. We were in the car by 7:08am. I was a little worried we would hit some traffic, but we didn't, the road situation was pretty perfect. Our drive there was very good. The boys each watched a video on a portable DVD player, so that kept them occupied for a good hour and a half. While we were in the car Vander says to Justin, "Daddy did you toot?" "No," says Justin. "Why not? It's a long drive you you didn't toot the whole time?" It was really hilarious. We got to the hotel around 10:45ish and asked for early check in. They said we could have it, but they couldn't do it until 11am, so we headed over to the Stateline Brewery and had a hearty lunch. The boys each had a hamburger and fries. They love eating at restaurants. I think they mostly associate them with hamburgers and pizza. How could you go wrong? After lunch we walked over to Nevada - I know they didn't really get the significance, but we enjoyed the fact that our boys have now been to 3 states. We went into a casino and Justin played $2 in penny slots, one on a Batman machine. Vander really wanted to press the buttons, but obviously that's not legal, so we told him he could do it in 18 years. :) We went up to our hotel room and after we were situated we had the boys do nap/quiet time so they would be ready for a fun afternoon.
   Around 2:30 we snow suited up and headed over to Kayle park, about a mile into Nevada. We were told it was the best place to do some sledding. It was perfect for little guys. There were no other people around and the hill wasn't too steep. They loved it. We sledded, made snow angels, threw snow balls, and played at the park for almost two hours. At that point Oliven was ready to go. He had had his fill. We headed back over to the hotel in time for the happy hour snacks. The boys loved it because the hotel provided free popcorn, pretzels and carrot sticks. We found a table, were asked to move as people reclaimed the table they had left and found another table. We decided that wasn't really enough for dinner, so we headed out to find some food for dinner. We went over to Nestle Tolhouse and ordered a cookie cake for the next day. Vander wanted a Subway sandwich for dinner, so we got that for him and I had Baja Fresh. Ollie had a little of each and so did Justin. We grabbed a yogurt at the grocery store and went back to Nestle for a cookie the boys wanted to share. It was an m and m cookie and they had an interesting adventure trying to eat while walking (Ollie was being carried). When we got to the hotel, the boys took a bath and went to sleep. Just and I watched Fletch.
  The next morning Vander woke up at 5:20am to go potty. Soon after that instead of going back to sleep we hear him talking to Oliven. We tried to wait it out and let them go back to sleep - no such luck. Before 6am we were all up for the day. Oliven had some yogurt and both boys watched cartoons while we got ready. Unfortunately, Justin and Oliven were thoroughly exhausted from not getting enough sleep. We put our snow clothes back on after having a yummy breakfast provided by the hotel, which included french toast, pancakes, sausage, bacon, omelets, muffins and fruit. We were told the sledding started at 8:30am, so we bought the gondola tickets and they guy says, "you know the sledding doesn't open until 11am." No good. We returned the tickets and went back to the hotel for some naps. Oliven was whining and crying and I didn't want to spend $64 on the gondola up just to come back down cause Ollie was cranky. Justin was also very snappy.
  So, Oliven and Justin took naps, Vander had some quiet time while I read, but he was getting too loud so I let him watch a cartoon while I read a book. Justin and Oliven got about 2 hours of needed sleep. We checked out of the hotel at noon. The saddest thing is that somehow we lost a Batman boot. I have no idea how. I checked every inch of that hotel room several times. We were hoping it somehow got into the car, but it looks like it's gone. :(
  We headed over to Nestle Tollhouse by way of a grocery store to grab some lunch. The boys had some lunchables and pineapple.
  We picked up our gigantic cookie. It was awesome. We have decided that this will be a tradition for us when we come to South Lake Tahoe. The boys were very impressed and we all enjoyed some chunks of cookie. We walked back to the car by way of seeing the gondolas and a fountain that Oliven said was his favorite thing on our trip. Each of us threw a penny in the fountain. Vander wished to go to Gilroy Gardens when they open in the summer. Justin said that he needed to dream bigger cause that one was already a guarantee. I liked that he made a wish I can be sure comes true.
  Vander said that his favorite thing was coming out of the hotel room and going to the elevator. I thought it would be sledding, but that just goes to show that you can't predict what a kid will say or think. We went over to Kayle park again to do more sledding.  We had a great time in the snow.
  We played in the snow for a while and when we were all done we hopped into the car to head home around 2pm. We had a rough drive home because one of the the DVD players hadn't charged right so Ollie had to wait to watch his video until Vander was done. We stopped at Taco Bell for dinner. When we got back in the car Oliven threw up. We were so close to being home!!! When we got home the boys got into the tub and then went to bed. Overall a  successful and fun trip.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Gymnastics

  I signed the boys up for a 4 week gymnastics class through a groupon. It was okay. Not great, not the worst ever, but okay. Vander liked it, but it was very redundant and not well organized. I did the mommy and me version with Oliven and Vander did the older kid version- which I'm still not convinced was any different at all. Maybe the problem is that we have done The Little Gym and that was excellent.
Either way, it was a couple of Russian women who are probably great gymnasts, but didn't really teach the kids anything and had thick accents. Who am I kidding, I couldn't wait for the month of classes to be over. Oliven loved the room long trampoline when I jumped with him. I asked Vander what he liked the best about the class, he can't figure out what I'm talking about...good thing it was a half priced trial!

It's nice being appreciated

  One of the things I find very challenging about being a full time, stay-at-home mom is the lack of appreciation. What I mean is when you do a really great job, mostly nobody notices, except maybe you. People always compliment my children on how polite they are. I know that is a compliment to me as well. Often times though I get my son saying, "I don't really love you, I just love daddy." Ouch. I know it isn't true, but it still hurts. Anyway, my point is this, being a mom is often times a thankless job. It is well worth it, but the rewards are generally more long term.
   The other night I went to a mom's group pictionary night. I have just stepped down from being the director of the South Valley 2010 mom's group, of which I was also one of the big sisters who helped start the group. So, in essence I have been the director for 2 years. I have really enjoyed it, but it was time to pass the baton figuratively speaking. So, when I showed up the ladies of my group showered me with appreciation. They put a pink boa and a tiara on me. They gave me a $25 amazon gift certificate and 2 dozen roses. They also gave me two cards of kind words. I felt very special and honored. I love this group of women and I am so lucky to have been their director. I have set the tone for the group, but it was a collective effort that has made it great.

Kindermusik

One of the great benefits to being in Las Madres groups is a pooling of talents of all the moms. One of the mom's in Oliven's group is a Kindermusik teacher. She has decided to teach the 2010 kids music every other week for an optional donation to her favorite charity. Talk about a score. Oliven sits in my lap for 30 or so minutes and enjoys the music, the instruments- he loves ringing bells, and the together time. It's really fun and interactive.  He especially enjoys the songs about trains. He is really into trains right now. We go every time the class is offered. What fun!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pump it up Jr. and the Candy Parlour

  We spent Justin's Friday off Jumping and then we had a Living Social coupon for a haircut and $6 worth of candy at the Candy Parlour in Morgan Hill (for $10 each) for Vander and Oliven. Cute haircuts and candy, what a fun combo. It was a fun morning, now it's 1pm and we are all tired.