Monday, October 29, 2012

Mystery Shiner

 How did Vander get a black eye? Your guess is as good as mine. I'm guessing he hit it on something in his room. He was on time out for half the day yesterday for his antics the night before. He cried, complained, forced himself to throw up and then banged on his door for 45min. We are trying everything to get him to behave at night. Things seem to work for a day or two and then he reverts. It's soooo frustrating! Anyway, he claims the black eye is just from him being tired- so SLEEP!!! I guess the world will never know.

Steven White and Rachael's wedding

   Steven has been a good friend of mine since my sophomore year in high school. He got married yesterday and Justin and I went to the wedding. It was a really nice view on a golf course. We had a lot of fun sitting with Steven's work friends. There was good food and a Giant's obsessed table (they were all Giants fans- which made sense being that they live in San Francisco), well, the Giants won the world series so that was very exciting. The dancing started way too late, which was a bummer because that is my FAVORITE part of weddings. We got in a few songs and came home. It's a bummer that  Freddy and Annie were out of town this weekend; they would have come to the wedding since Freddy is really good friends with Steven as well (they are on a Panama Canal cruise). I wish Steven and Rachel a happy marriage.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


   For the holidays this year Larry and Theresa bought Justin and I season tickets to the San Jose musicals. So much fun!!! We went to the first one last night...Memphis. It was a really nice evening. Larry and Theresa brought Chinese food for dinner and we got to spend some time with them, which was nice because usually they spend most of there time with just the kids. It's understandable, but it's nice for us to get to spend some time with them too.
  After dinner, Justy and I headed downtown. We got there pretty early, so we had some time to walk around and did some dueling piano games against each other on our phones, which was actually pretty fun. The musical was great. Lots of really good music and great acting. Justin didn't like the ending as it was pretty sad. It was set in the 50s so racism was a key theme. I really enjoyed the dancing, and spending time with the love of my life. I have to remember for next time though, it was REALLY cold in that theater!

Friday, October 26, 2012


It's time for pumpkin patches, costumes and fun foods. We made some fruit salad turkey's the other night. It was fun and delicious.

Nurse Maid Elbow

   After we dropped Van off for preschool on Thursday morning Ollie and I headed to the post office. Oliven fell down on the sidewalk and I helped him up by his arm. As he was getting up I heard something pop. He continued to cry and tell me his arm hurt. So instead of mailing our package we headed to the emergency room. It turns out before age 5 the bones at the elbow are not fused so the ligament can get stuck in the wrong place between two of the arm bones. It was very painful for him. He would stop crying and say to  me, "Mommy, it's still hurting." He would then start crying again. At the emergency room the nurses looked at his arm and tried to pop it into place when they saw what was wrong, but it took the doctor to get it. 
   In the mean time they gave Ollie a popsicle, which he was very happy about and bragged about to Van the rest of the day. Once the ligament was back in place he started using the arm within two minutes. There are no residual consequences or pain, but it was very traumatic for Oliven and I at the time. We had an emotionally exhausting morning and I felt so extremely guilty for hurting my little man. As you can see by the end of the visit he was as good as new and he even gave the nurses unprompted hugs before we left.

Disney On Ice and a Pirate Play

  Two dates simultaneously... Van went with Grammy and Pops to a Pirate Play at Oakwood Elementary where Grammy works. They had dinner and watched the play and had a fantastic evening together. Van even opted to wear his Pirate costume.
 Oliven and I headed out to Disney on Ice. (Van said he didn't want to go because he thought it might be scary and Justin was out of town for a job interview). We stopped by the library for about 20 minutes, then over to In and Out Burger.
That was Ollie's dinner of choice. He wanted a plain cheeseburger and some fries. A boy after my own heart. I love love love cheese burgers. After dinner we parked in the lot at the HP Pavillion and went in to look around. I told Ollie I would buy him one toy and one treat, so $27 later we had a Woody spinner and some peanut M&Ms. We both really enjoyed the show.
  They incorporated something like 100 Disney characters and Oliven loved the dancing. They even had a Small World part which I really enjoyed. Oliven was very busy getting on and off my lap. We really enjoyed the quality time to just be together. About 5 minutes before the end, Ollie turned to me and asked if I could please take him home. He was getting tired and restless. It was perfect to timing to avoid the traffic.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Peanut butter cookie fail

   I thought it would be special if for my Grandpa Ken's birthday this year I made him peanut butter cookies with my mom's recipe. My mom was worlds worst cook. Her food was either burnt or frozen. It was aweful, but some how she had a fabulous peanut butter cookie recipe. I don't know where she got it, but yum! They were thick and crumbly and so scrumptious. They had deep fork marks in them and they were addicting. Cooking is an art and baking is a science and I tried to make art with my science project. I thought, mom's cookies were so crumbly and didn't stay together very well and if I ship them to grandpa I really don't want them to be all in pieces when they get there, so I should add an egg. I called my neighbor and we compared our recipes. Her recipe had two eggs and more flour.    So, I added 2 eggs and 1/2c flour. Well, the cookies are good, but they aren't my moms recipe and it is very apparent. I'm so bummed. They are much more flat and crunchy than thick and crumbly. They are good, but my moms were great. I guess I've learned my lesson. Don't mess with the original if it's a masterpiece. Sorry mom! Here is the recipe so it never gets lost (it's a keeper):
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix 2 1/2c flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 1/2tsp baking soda and 1 tsp baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside. Cream 1c margarine with 1c brown sugar and 1c sugar. Add 1c peanut butter and mix. Slowly mix the bowl of dry ingredients into the sugar mixture. Put cookies on tray and using a floured fork make time marks in the cookies and make them again 90 degrees to the right. Bake 10-12min. Yum!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Vander please sleep!!!

    Imagine you have a 4 1/2 year old boy who is extremely headstrong and refuses to listen. He WON'T stay in his room at night NO MATTER WHAT and when you hold the door closed he bangs so loud he wakes his sick brother up....what do you do. Assume you have taken all his toys away AND tried spanking him. You also took ALL his fun activities away and he WILL be staying in his room for 5 hours by himself tomorrow (after putting a lock on the outside of his door).  Justin and I haven't had a good night sleep in a while. We are both feeling sleep deprived and he is unhappy. ......Three days later...things are looking better. Vander missed Zade's bday party (Ollie got to go) and we put a lock on his door. We haven't used it yet, but it's there if we need to, which I really hope we don't. He only got up once last night and once the night before. It's not perfect, but at least it's progress. Well, mostly...he did draw with a red marker on his white carpet yesterday. He is also lying a lot. I'm thinking he needs more one on one attention. I am going to work with him and see how it goes.

A letter to my sons

  I love you both ALWAYS ALWAYS. I want you to know when it comes time for you to have kids that it is NOT an easy job. There are challenges that arise on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Every day brings new challenges. I feel blessed to be your mom. I get to teach you how to be successful, kind, considerate, respectful, honest, and loving people who are a benefit to our society. I know that I am nowhere near perfect and I make mistakes every day. Just know that I am so happy to be your mom and I accept your challenges and promise to love you both no matter what ALWAYS ALWAYS.
  Each of you is so unique and special. Vander you are an intelligent little guy. You challenge me every day with your stubborn head strong ways. Your wonderment of the world and your constant questioning of everything fascinates me. You are always learning. I am constantly amazed at what an advanced palate you have and how willing you are to try new things- culinary and in the world. You are very adventurous and outdoorsy. Your memory impresses me daily. I love you.
  My little Ollie you are the most loving little person I have ever met with your constant barrages of hugs and kissies. You are so sweet and caring. You are kind to people. Your verbose style makes us all listen to what you have to say and you say it eloquently. I love you.
  Always remember that a brother is natures greatest gift. You have a friend for life.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


  Vander loves to paint...he has since the day I met him. He still loves to paint and his painting has gotten more extreme. His body is part of his arsenal of tools and his canvas. Ollie is still not quite so sure that he agrees with Vander's methods, but he has also started to enjoy seeing the colors on the canvas (just not so much on himself).

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Los Angeles and Disneyland

  We took 3 days to go spend time with Jon and Ruth at their house and enjoy a day at Disneyland. We headed down to Santa Barbara early Sunday morning. We decided it would be nice to take 101 and go to the Aquarium on the peer after having a sea food lunch. We enjoyed watching the different boats and water activities as we waited for our food. Then we headed over the the Aquarium to check out the sea creatures.Vander worked up the courage to touch the starfish and eventually to pet a shark. We went to the candy parlor and grabbed a couple special pieces of candy and taffy before getting back on the road. We spent the afternoon with Jon and Ruth hanging out, doing puzzles, running around the back yard. Ruth and I walked down to the yogurt shop and grabbed some froyo for dessert.
  The next morning we headed out to the train museum after a special breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes. The train museum was great. It was just a bunch of decommissioned trains that the boys could explore. The boys climbed all over them. They found a machine with smashed pennies and they each got one. They have decided that they want to collect them. I think this is a great and not too expensive idea that will give them lots of good souvenirs. Jon and Ruth took them on the train around the area (a little one with a conductor around the museum) and we also looked at the indoor museum area. By that time we were all hungry for lunch, so the guys grabbed some fast food Mexican food on the way back to the house. We tried to play Mexican Train during quiet time. I only lasted a couple rounds then I needed to lay down and take a nap. (I hadn't slept well the last few nights).
   In the afternoon Vander played lots of Foosball. Jon and Ruth have a table in their living room and he also rode their exercise bike, which was hilarious to watch. Ollie did lots of puzzles and we played outside. Ruth and I went to an exercise class while Jon and Justin put the boys down for bed.
  We woke up early and headed out for Disneyland. We stopped at the hotel to check in and get a parking pass for the day. We got the boys into the stroller and sunscreened up and walked to the park. Before going in I asked Vander and Ollie to eat a yogurt. Ollie ate his no problem. Vander spit his out on his shirt, then two bites later threw hit up all down the front of him. So, he smelled like throw up all day long. Gross! What does he do that?!? Overall we had a pretty good day, the weather was nice, cloudy and about 78 degrees with lines that were 10-20minutes long. You can't ask for much better weather. Vander thought lots of the rides were scary this year and kept trying to snuggle up to Justin, which did not go over well given the way Van smelled. Vander did not find Small World scary, so we went on that one three times, Ollie and Justy went on it twice with us, then decided they wanted to do Buzz again. Oliven got a chance to see Mickey and Minnie twice, Goofy, Woody and Jessie. He thought that when they kissed him it was super funny. He liked giving them hugs. Vander doesn't like to get too close to the characters- he never has. We watched the parade and headed out, after getting a smashed penny. We walked to Cocoa's and ordered dinner to go. While Justin was waiting I took the boys to the hotel to go get in the tub. Vander walked out into the street without my hand, then turns to me and says, "see Mommy, it's fine, I didn't get hit by a car." That did not go over well. I was not happy with him at all. I think he got the idea, because after the bath he was a polite and kind little boy. We had dinner and went off to bed.
   At 12:30am Van was up crying. I made him go to the bathroom since he was already waking Ollie and everyone else up anyway. I hear this noise...clunk, ca clunk... all the sudden Ollie is in the bathroom too. He wants to know what is going on. (He was sleeping on an air mattress in the same room the Van was sleeping on the bed in). Oliven did not want to be left out of the action, even if it was in the middle of the night so he got up and had a sip of water. Back to bed, then up at 3am to load up the car and head home. The kids slept until about 5:30am and we didn't stop the car once the whole way from Anaheim to San Jose. We made it through with the power of "vacation cereal" which they chose to be Reeses Puffs and playing 6 Degrees of Separation to keep Justin mentally alert. We ended up getting back in time to walk Vander to preschool. He did inform me that I got him up too early and it made him tired while he was at preschool. I put a movie on for Ollie and Justin and I took a nap. (I was napping on the couch next to Ollie). It turns out it is WAY easier to get up and drive in the early morning when you are well rested and in your early 20s with no kids to take care of...go figure.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Current favorites

  The boys did this a while ago and I thought it was time for an update. We got so into it we also asked Colby, Freddy, Annie, Grammy, Pops, Daddy, Mommy and our neighbors. We are going to make a book of "Some of Our Favorite People's Favorite Things." Here is what the boys had to say. I hope you can read it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ollie the winner

   I took the boys to a kid Olympic event (which I am technically in charge of planning next year) and it was really fun. The kids did some relay racing, bounced in a bouncy house, listened to music, and ate delicious tacos. The really funny part was when they had a plastic egg on a spoon race. The idea was to balance it and go fast. Ollie grabbed the egg and ran as fast as he could. He didn't wait for them to say go. He ran to me at the finish line. " I won mommy!" He was so darn proud of himself I didn't have the heart to tell him he hadn't done it right. Ollie is just so adorable. He cracks me up daily!!!

Batman Live

  I know I wrote about this being the Batman Anniversary. It would only be fair to mention Batman Live the was really good. It included a Batman storyline with some Cirque du Soliel type stuff, some Circus acts and the love of my life. I would call it a successful evening. We also had a yummy Thai dinner beforehand.

Ollie's infinite wisdom and help...oops.

  I told Oliven that I needed to do some laundry. He said that he wanted to help. I thought that was great. We both saw the laundry basket with his clothes in it full of folded clothes. He said to me, "mine first mommy." I was under the impression that he meant put his away before we could put any more in the laundry basket. I went to my room to grab my dirty clothes. When I got back the laundry basket had been moved. I thought he was really bright and had brought it to his room. I asked, "where's Ollie?" I heard, "I'm here," coming from the garage. I went into the garage and there he was loading all his clean clothes back into the washer! "I did it mommy!" I couldn't resist just laughing. I explained to him that those clothes were freshly clean. He said, "Oh, and this one? and this one? and this one?" as he pulled them back out unfolding them all in the process. Thanks little helper. ;) Ollie doubled the work, but what a good little guy!!!

San Diego mamma; San Jose boys

  I have been trying to do what I can to help Grandma Gretchen with her Alzheimer's. I try to call her at least 5 times a week and just chat with her to keep her mind sharp and I have been trying to go down and see her every couple of months. I don't think anything can make up for seeing someone in person. I know she really appreciates it. I just love spending time with my grandma...I always have. I have been closer to my grandma throughout my life than anyone else. 
  Thursday morning I said goodbye to my three of my most important guys and headed down to San Diego. I spent the day with Grandma Gretchen and Grandpa David in La Mesa. We hung out at their house and talked. We walked around and basically did whatever grandma wanted to including talking about the doll she rescued that is half eaten by mice and all the cruises she still wants to take. Around 4 they dropped me off at the Coaster and I met Freddy in Solana Beach. He took me to a nice restaurant for a fun happy hour appetizer dinner.
   Friday I headed back down to the Gparents house in the morning and spent the day with them again. we took a very exciting trip to Costco. Grandma cracked me up. She wanted to look at everything and she wanted to buy everything. Bob came with us. After a very relaxing, but what felt like extremely productive day for them I headed back to Carlsbad with Annie. We had some dinner and Freddy and I went for a walk in the neighborhood. We decided it was a good night for s'mores...most are really.
  Saturday morning Freddy took me down to the lagoon and we went jogging together. It was pretty hot, but it was great to spend quality time with my little bro. It was decided that I'm going to be writing some children's books, then maybe Heather can illustrate and he will get them published. Sounds good to me. :) Now, I just have to do it and do it well....that's not as easy as it sounds. At 11am the G parents came up for brunch. Annie made plastic bag omelets (genius really, you put all the ingredients including the egg in a zip lock bag and boil for 12 min.) and french toast souffle. I need that recipe-yum. They stayed and talked with us for several hours. When they left we watched some tv and relaxed.
   That evening we loaded up their 3 person kayak, which is green and they adoringly named, "Big Blue", and we headed down to the Bay to paddle over to a concert with out Subway sandwiches and mini bottles of wine. What fun! Crosby, Stills and Nash...they still got it- okay I didn't know who they were, I really only knew one of their songs, "Love the One you're With." Either way it was a really fun concert for free cause we were floating in the bay along with about 250 of our new best friends. We had a really good time and enjoyed the boat and all the company as well as the music. We really enjoyed the women with lights on their feet dancing to the music. You can see the tip of big blue in the pic.
   Sunday morning Freddy and I went for a hike in the morning and enjoyed the views from up high. Afterwards, we headed down to La Mesa and took Grandpa Ken wine tasting at Pasqual's Winery. Freddy and Annie told him they would take him a while back. Grandpa David was the key to making it happen by telling us about the winery in La Mesa. We first went to lunch at Denny's and then headed over to the winery. We had a great time: good wine, a visit from the town drunk (Stuart), time with Grandpa Ken and a 35 year-old woman that told Grandpa that she would go to Puerto Rico with him- so he was stoked. (He may have been a bit delusional for believing it, especially since she was with her husband, but it made him happy). Turns out the winery owner's mom lives at Grandpa's retirement home. Small world. :) We stopped off at Rite Aid for an ice cream cone and headed back to the palace for some stew and relaxation.
   Monday morning I headed back down to Grandma Gretchen and Grandpa David's for the day. The highlights were taking Missy for a walk, a quick trip to Sprouts where I bought some dark chocolate covered honeycomb to bring home for the boys. (They loved it!) It was just so nice to spend quality time with Grandma. I miss her all the time...both because of the distance and because she really can't carry on a conversation any more. I miss all her good advice, but one thing is for sure, she isn't short of love. :) I headed home to my boys and was greeted by all smiles. I missed them so much!!!
     THE BOYS (written by Justin): Some of the things we did while you were gone:
  Thursday: Grandparents day with Grammy, Lion King 1 ½ and games in the afternoon. – boys helped me smash avocados for our quesadillas
Friday: AVAC, oil change for the car, walked to the mall and had lunch and shopped, spent some quality time in the Disney store playing and the toys aisle in Target.  Pops came over in the afternoon and Colby showed up at 9PM – boys helped make some waffles for dinner, they were a little thick as Ollie knocked a little extra flour in
Saturday: Gilroy Gardens, followed by playing puzzles at Grammy and Pops with dinner and brownie sundaes for dessert
Sunday: Grocery store, a little football, playtime with Colby, and then Mitch and Grammy and Pops came up to play in the afternoon (legos, balls, toys)
Monday: Playdate at Nicole’s with Cynthia, Sabrina, Maddie, and Quin, legos in the afternoon, then pajama party in the car with Disney music to pick mommy up at the airport.

Quin and Ruby's birthday party

Pump it up...always a good time. I wanted to post about it because Vander totally winked at me. He didn't even know he was doing it. Justin told the boys that they wouldn't get to stay late enough to have cake cause the party was 6-8pm and their bedtime is 7pm. That is what I'm for...convincing Justin to lighten up on being so rigid. The boys had a great time with their friends and we always get a pretty good work out at Pump it Up as well. Super cute.