Monday, March 26, 2012

Las Madres Luncheon

While the boys were at the grocery store, and can I just say that I am the luckiest girl in the world to have a husband who enjoys taking the kids to the grocery store with him on the weekend...soooo lucky!!! Anyway, usually on Sunday mornings I go to Zumba, but this week I went to the bee themed Las Madres Luncheon with my pal Casey. We had a good meal and got to dress up and have a good afternoon with the ladies.

Great America in the rain

We took the boys to Great America for Lockheed Martin day and it rained all day again. It rained last year too. Larry joined us this year and so did Oliven. It was Ollie's first time and he absolutely loved it. There were lots of big smiles and fun rides. They did almost all the kid rides and then we were all so cold and wet we headed home. Just look at the smiles on their little faces!

Double date night

Justin and I took the opportunity of having a babysitter to go on a date night with Mick and Marisol. We went out for Korean BBQ. I have never been before, how unique. I didn't know that you picked up raw meat and grilled it right at your table. It was really cool and super delicious. A bit on the expensive side, but worth the splurge. Afterwards we went to a coffee house and chatted for a while. It was a fun evening with good friends.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Vander's letter to the Easter Bunny

Vander saw chocolate bunnies at the store yesterday and said he wanted the Easter Bunny to get him one. I told him that he should write a letter. Here is what he dictated:
Dear Easter Bunny,
  Please can we have a chocolate- Ollie and Vander. If mommy and Daddy want one they can have one too. Ollie can share with Towmater. If anyone wants a bite we can share. When it's Easter we can get Easter eggs. Don't say no. Okay that what we want to say.                Love, Vander and Oliven

Monday, March 19, 2012

Colorado with Colby

My younger brother, Colby, has been living in Keystone for the Winter season working at Starbucks. I really miss him and I love him tons. I wanted to see him and spend some time with him. It's always nice to get a chance to see where people are living and what they are up to first hand. So, I booked a flight out to see him over the weekend.  I flew in to Denver, Colorado at 7pm and Colby picked me up at 9pm (he got off work at 7pm, which was fortunate for me since he wasn't supposed to be off until 10pm.) We decided to stop by the bar, LODO, that Drake and Ashley were hanging out at with friends. Ashley's sister had flown in earlier that day. The green beer was flowing in honor of St. Patty's day. We chatted and enjoyed the music. When things were dying down we decided to head up to Keystone. There were people camping all along the street waiting for the big fun to happen on St. Patty's day. I can't imagine sleeping in the street for two days, but there were lots of people setting up for the long haul. We got pulled over on the way because Colby had a busted headlight and no current proof of insurance in the car. He was driving the flow of traffic, which was apparently a little over the speed limit. The officer let him off with a warning. Little did I know at the time (his roommate told me later) that Colby had been stopped by a cop the day before for the busted head light and earlier in the week a cop had stopped by Colby's apartment for a noise complaint, Colby was on the phone in the other room so it wasn't his fault, but still 3 times in a week and he got warnings each time. Lucky lucky man. Around 3am Colby and I went to bed.
    We got a late start the next day. We decided that Friday would be a better day to learn to ski than Saturday just due to sheer number of people on the slopes. Colby took me out for a delicious breakfast burrito and yummy cheese grits, then we headed to the slopes via Starbucks so he could grab his gear. Colby worked with me on the bunny slope until it closed. I was really enjoying that. He taught me how to turn with weight shifts and how to go side to side without using the snow plow. It uses a lot less energy and muscle. Then, he took me on the 3 1/2 mile green run...scary! Fun and exhilarating yes, but also very scary. There were parts of it that I was thinking, "There is just no way." There really wasn't any option though, so down I went. I can't imagine black diamond runs if I think green is crazy some times. Colby assured me that
Colorado green is other places blue. It made me feel a little better. I only fell once and it was when I was trying to avoid running into a girl who fell down in front of me. I could not for the life of me get my foot back in the ski. After trying for about 8 minutes, Colby decided we should just take a break and take my other ski off. I realized they didn't look the same. The one I couldn't get on had locked. I wasn't crazy, it really wasn't fitting, so I clicked it back in and we were on our way. After the green run I was done. I didn't think my heart could take any more for the day. I had skiid for about 4 1/2 hours and that was good for me. Luckily the guy who rented out the equipment knew Colby so I got the rental gear for free and only had to pay $50 for the lift ticket with Colby's discount. Sweet deal!
   After we got back to Colby's apartment several of his friends were headed up to have a bonfire with dinner so we decided to join them. It was pretty cool. About 3/4 of a mile up a hill covered with shrubbery some guys had built a makeshift hut, fire pit and firewall. Colb's friend, Nick, BBQ'd hamburgers and hotdogs and stuffed peppers on a grate in the fire. We stayed there for several hours before heading back down the hill with a borrowed flashlight. 
   On Saturday Colby and I  headed down to Boulder, Colorado. We started with the Celestial Tea Factory tour. It was really very cool. You could try all the different varieties of tea they made- which was a ton. The teas were all yummy. Then, the tour was super cool. The tour guide was hilarious. The tea smelled so good. The Spearmint room was amazing- very very strong. It apparently affects your soft tissue. Lots of people left the room with tears in their eyes. Colby didn't seem to enjoy it, but I loved it. It was so overwhelmingly refreshing. 
After that tour we went to a local brewery called the Upslope Brewing Company. We asked the guy if they did tours, he said, "Sure, I'll take you on a tour." It was very interesting and scientific. We got to have a free sample and stayed and had dinner at the food truck, Verde, out front. There motto was "Work hard, be nice, eat burritos." After that we headed to downtown Boulder to check out the local scene. We watched a couple street shows- a man shoving himself into a box and a man doing tricks on a poll with pizazz. We stayed, window shopped a bit and hung out enjoying the culture. We decided before sunset we should head over to the Iron Flats. It's an area where the plates shoved the other plate up to form what looks like mountains. We hiked up and took some pictures. It was pretty cool. We were both pretty tired from the long day, so after having a bowl of granola and talking to Colby's roommates, Lucas and Dina, for a while, we went to bed.
   Sunday morning Colb drove me to Jeff's house. He had to be at work by 1pm and Jeff's house was over an hour drive away. It was pretty far up a mountain. It was pretty gorgeous though. I had a sandwich for lunch and Kseniya, Jeff and I headed to Golden to tour the Coors Brewery. It was very interesting and gigantic. It was pretty fun, more fun than I would have expected a beer tour to be, and it turns out that I am actually starting to like the taste of beer. I never thought that would happen. Don't get me wrong I'm not a beer girl, but it's not bad. They gave 4 free samples. After 3 I figured I had tried enough beer and so after chatting for a while we toured downtown. We went to dinner at Rio Grande's Mexican restaurant and then walked around downtown Denver. It was very windy, but also an interesting city. I had a great time. I have always liked Jeff and Kseniya was fabulous. Too bad we don't live closer to them. We had a great time. I ate some Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory chocolates in the Rocky Mountains. Then it was back to the gigantic Colorado airport to head home.  What a fun-filled, adventure packed weekend. 
Justin's weekend: While Ashley was away in Colorado the boys got focused on a weekend with Daddy and Grammy and Pops.  After swinging by the airport we went to the bank and Toys R Us to play.  Home for a cartoon and dinner.  Friday was pretty normal, grocery store in the morning and then … (I know we did something more than Soccer Zoomer and a short walk, but I am blanking).  Saturday, the boys got to play with Pops while I went to sign us up with Nicole for family camp in July.  Can’t wait for that.  On the way back Nicole invited the boys and I over for dinner, so we took a movie over in the afternoon (Ice Age II: the Meltdown) and had Corned Beef and cabbage and carrots with them for dinner.  Ollie ate a few bits and then five pieces of bread, but Vander did a great job and was very polite when he asked for more.  The next day the boys got to hang with both Grammy and Pops as I did a baseball draft with Mitch.  They got to go to Kohl’s (not Nicole’s) and get some Hotwheels cars and eat McDonald’s for lunch.  That afternoon, I made them Corned Beef and Cabbage with Carrots and onions and everyone had their fill of St Patty’s food. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

This morning

   At breakfast time Vander asked for a smoothly, so I made him one with pineapple, mango, strawberry, apple, banana and milk. He was drinking it and after a while I got Ollie up and was getting his breakfast ready. Vander says to me, "mommy it's cold in here." I look over and he is completely naked except for socks and a bib. Too wonder it was cold for him. He was drinking a cold drink and wearing no clothes!Sometimes he cracks me up!
  After they were done with breakfast we made deviled eggs and dyed them green. It's E week at preschool and Vander wants to bring eggs. The green is for St. Patrick's Day since they are celebrating it at preschool tomorrow.

St. Patrick's Day party

  We hosted the St. Patrick's Day potato bar and green food fun party at our house this year for the 2010 group. It was really fun...all of our closest friends from the group came. We had yummy food. We made 23 potatoes and 5 sweet potatoes and other people brought toppings and food to go with it. It was really fun too because a leprechaun showed up and sprinkled chocolate coins in the grass for the kids to find and eat. They really enjoyed hunting and devouring as many coins as fast as they could. Oliven even ate through the foil on one of the coins.

Boys weekend

Written by Justin: We had a mostly relaxing weekend.  All the usual errands, plus some fun for the boys. Watched lots of movies, played lots of games, and made sure we kicked the soccer ball around outside some too.  Friday, we watched Tarzan, played a few games, and played with the soccer Zoomer outside to go along with a walk around the block.  Saturday, the boys got a special treat for breakfast with Monkeybread, followed by Jeremiah’s ball themed second birthday party in the morning.  We watched the Fox and the Hound 2 and played games in the afternoon.  Sunday, morning was the grocery store followed by most of Disney’s Tangled, puzzles, a longer walk, and some more soccer Zoomer in the afternoon.  Sunday was a little off because of the time change, but the boys handled it ok at bedtime.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cookbook club weekend

  I have been doing cookbook club for almost 2 years now and I really enjoy it. Each month we meet up at one of the ladies' houses. It rotates. There are 10 of us and Polly usually hosts twice because she likes to do a cookie exchange as well. So, 11 meetings a year. We get together and bring a dish to share. There is always either a theme to what we are cooking or a chef who we are making the recipes from. Our themes have been: crockpot, Tom Collicio sandwhiches, Thanksgiving, soup, chocolate, yuck to yum, fondue, things you love but rarely make, easy weeknight dishes, signature cakes, Rick Bayless, healthier than it tastes, Ina Gartin, and this recent one was just good food. 
   Polly, Karin and Nancy went up to the cabin in Tahoe Donner (Karin's mom's cabin) Thursday morning. Kayte and I met them up there Friday evening. I had Justin and the boys drop me off at Kayte's work event in Fremont on Friday afternoon and we left from there. We had a delightful dinner of Moroccan chicken and whole wheat couscous. After dinner we had 3 desserts (each hours apart). We had chocolate mint cake made with Andes mints, then a greek yogurt covered frozen strawberry and later we got fancy and had coconut creme brulee. YUUUUMMMMMY! We each sugared and torched our own. It was both fun and delicious. 
  The next morning Kayte and I went skiing. Before we left we had a super good breakfast. I'm not sure what it was called but it was a lox and egg dish with spinach rolled up on a bagel and fruit. We got to the ski rental place and there was really no lines. I got the rental, lift ticket, and ski lesson for $85. Not cheap, but apparently not bad in the skiing world. I have never been skiing before. It's just too expensive. I had a chance to go with my brothers in New Zealand and I decided I would wait and have my first time be with Justin at the same time since he has never skied before either. When I got home he told me he had no desire to ski ever. Fail! Now that I have skied though, he is totally going with me. He is going to LOVE it. I was a natural. The fastest to pick it up in my class with the most control. It was a total blast. After the lesson I went down the slopes with Kayte twice and down the trail with her twice. She decided she was done and I did two more runs by myself. What a rush...the last time (my 7th run at 2:30pm - after starting my lesson at 10am) my legs were done. I had to will myself to stay standing up. I figured if I tried for another run it would be more sledding than skiing. No thanks. 7 runs and only one fall (and that was while I was in line waiting for the lift the last time I went up). I would call that a success. What a fun day.
   We headed back to the cabin. Kayte made some yummy cinnamon muffiny thing (not sure of the name, but yum). We rolled some lemon cake pops and chocolate cookie pops, then decorated them. It was fun and hilarious. Not as easy as we expected it to be. We took some pictures of the best cake pops and the cake flops. For dinner we had shortribs, mashed rootabega, potato and carrot, and zucchini casserole. All yummy comfort foods. I brought chocolate oblivion for dessert- always a winner. 
   The next day though I tried to sleep in it just wasn't in the cards staying with early risers. Snow was falling and wind was blowing. It was a very cozy winter day. The perfect day for drinking hot cocoa- which we did. I woke up to a batch of beignets and I made egg mess, which Polly thinks needs to be renamed. We spent the day making pasta from scratch and sauce from scratch from Kayte's Italian mother-in-laws recipe. It was time consuming, but very fun and super light and tasty. We also tried our cake and cookie pops. They were actually pretty good. Polly and Nancy had also been working on these super cute sachets. I decided to make one as a Christmas ornament to commemorate the weekend. It turned out super cute. Kayte made one for her daughter too.Nancy brought up supplies for us to make assorted salts with seasoning in them. I fun little project, will see how good they turn out. I made an orange, lemon, garlic one that looks yummy.
  At 5:30pm Kayte and I headed out. We were caught in a bit of a storm and fog at the beginning, but luckily once we got out of the high elevation things cleared up. We made it to my house at about 9:20pm. Not too shabby. It was truly a fun trip with super ladies. There was lots of laughter and a smorgasbord of excellent food. I got to really know the ladies I see once a month. Especially Kayte, as we had a a good 7+ hours of time together just chatting. I'm really glad I went. I missed my boys, but when I was gone I really got recharged and the boys did some good bonding.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bruch in San Francisco

  Mitch and Katie invited us to come up and have brunch at their place in San Francisco. After soccer we headed up to San Francisco to join them for bagels and fruit. It was really cool to see where they lived. We got to spend some time with family. Next time we will have to make a day of it, since we spent more time in the car than we did at Mitch and Katie's. We had a good time. Vander just kept eating. The boys liked looking over the balcony.

Bucca Di Beppo and aprons

I have had some fun with my girl friends lately. One worth mentioning is Bucca because it was such a good time and the girls honored me by letting me sit in the special chair and then telling them it was my birthday. Silly fun. I also went to a sewing night where Carrie taught me how to make aprons. It requires a sewing machine, and Carrie helped me a ton, but they turned out super cute. I let the boys choose their own material. I hope they use them for many years to come.

Children's Discovery Museum

Our first trip this year...Thanks to Colby for the membership again this year. We went as a family and I can say that it is so much more relaxing with 2 adults! The boys got lots of water time as it was a very warm day. We explored every inch of that place in about 2 1/2 hours.

Pump it up with our friends

Oliven's group hosted a Pump It Up Jump time from 3:30 to 5pm. The kids loved it and we had fun too. It's such good exercise for everyone, and it's super fun to be there with only the people who you know and are friends with. We headed over to Chipotle for dinner with our group, and with our leftover time we also stopped by Big 5 to get Justy some new shoes.