Thursday, September 22, 2011

Getting to Know Me A to Z

I'm linking up to Kelly at Becker Family Adventures
"Getting to Know me A-Z."

A. age: 30

B. bed size: King

C. chore you hate: Toilets. Gag.

D. dessert: Ice cream

E. essential start to your day: Brushing my teeth

F. favorite color: Pink

G. gold or silver: Silver

H. height: 5' 5"

I. instruments you play: None

J. job title: Mom

K. kids: 2, Jake & Bella.

L. live: California

M. meal: Japanese

N. nicknames: Babe, mama

O. overnight hospital stays: Twice, 2 c-sections

P. pet peeve: Flakes, if you say you're going to do something, do it.

Q. quotes: "Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So, love the people who treat you right and forget about the ones who don’t. And believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said that it would be easy. They just promised it would be worth it."

R. righty or lefty: Righty

S. siblings: 2 brothers, 1 sister

T. time you wake up: 7:30 ish or whenever the kids get up.

U. university attended: Cal State University, Fullerton - Bachelor's, San Jose State - Master's

V. vegetables you dislike: Cauliflower

W. what makes you run late: The kids.

X. x-rays you’ve had: Dental.

Y. yummy food: Italian

Z. zoo animal favorite: Tigers



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Over the weekend we celebrated my brother's birthday, and I was in charge of the cake. Or at least, I put myself in charge of the cake. We always do the usual yellow cake with chocolate frosting or chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. It gets boring. I wanted to try something different so I thought peanut butter cup. To make my cupcakes, I used a dark chocolate boxed cake mix, and I doctored it up a little bit. I used milk in place of the water and I used 4 eggs instead of the 3 called for on the box. It didn't work out. The cake was dense and not moist at all. I don't know if I'd try that again. But the frosting was sooo good. I used the Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting recipe from Allrecipes.com. It was not too sweet and not too peanut buttery. It was perfect. The cupcakes came out tasty. But, apparently, they were rich. I guess we're just used to the same ol' thing. Would I make them again? Probably not. But only because I'd like to try something new and different. But again, they were yummy, especially if you really love the chocolate peanut butter combo. Mmm, Reese's!




Thursday, September 15, 2011

Jacob's in Pre-School!

On Tuesday, Sept. 13, Jacob had his very 1st day of school. ever. The beginning of his school career. I was, of course, way more nervous than he was. Let's get real, he's 3. He doesn't get nervous. But I was sad, and happy. Sad 'cause he wasn't going to be with me all day, happy 'cause I knew he would love it. He's in a program that's only 2 days a week (wanted to start off slow) from 8:30a to 11:15a. Jacob woke up at his usual time, 7am, I made him breakfast, got him ready, and we were out the door. When we got to his school there were already a few parents waiting, so we waited. Some parents had video cameras and others were taking pictures. At 8:30a, on the dot, the teachers opened the door. We picked a cubby for Jacob's lunch box, and I signed him in. Jacob went straight to the toy dinosaurs. He didn't skip a beat. I filled out a new parent form, and watched as he played for a bit. But I knew it was time to go. And as I bent down to kiss him good bye, he said with ease, "Bye, mama!" And I knew it was all okay. Now going back to pick him up, that was another story. He was happy to see me. He was sitting at a table with a couple of girls drinking his juice pouch and eating his oatmeal granola bar. As soon as I said we were going home, I could hear the whining begin. But I quickly started talking to him about school, helped him clean up his mess, and walked out the door with his 1st piece of art work. Awww. His first art work. He was over it. On his ride home he was a little grumpy but he sat quietly eating his fruit snacks. All in all, Jacob LOVED it! He's my social butterfly. He loves being out and about with other kids. No major incidents were reported, so I guess it was an excellent 1st day!



Waiting just outside the classroom.

He went for the dinosaurs.
 

They painted with corn.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Top 10 Baby Items

After having two kids, relatively close in age, I've realized that I bought/registered for stuff I didn't use. Too many to list, so I'll give a list of the top 10 most used. Of course, this is all in my humble opinion. These are in no particular order...

1. Baby Crack Machine {HoMedics SoundSpa Lullaby sound machine} - I started using this thing just a few weeks after Jacob was born. I'm still using it for #2, and it's a God send. I've even taken it on trips. It only cost me around $20, and it was well worth it. However, I do have to mention that the projector broke after only 3 months of use. It stopped turning, but instead, I used it as a night light.
2. Video Monitor {Summer Infant Day & Night Video Monitor} - I HIGHLY recommend a video monitor. I had registered for a regular thinking, eh, it'll do. And then we moved into a bigger place and the nursery was a bit far (not the next room over),  I got a VM. And what a difference. I had so much more peace of mind being able to see my baby on the screen. I still use it and I plan on using it until the kids are a bit older. I not only use it every time they sleep, but also when they are playing in their room. It was well worth the price tag. I love it!


3. Boppy pillow - So some people hate this, but it worked well for me and hubby. We used it for both #1 and #2 during feedings and putting babies to sleep. And it's held up decently. It's been used and abused. 

4. Bouncy Chair {Fisher Price} - Each of my children liked this thing. More than the swing. And it was easy to take from place to place within the house. It soothed my babies and they slept in it for decent periods of time.



5. Playtex Bottles {Drop-In System} - Seriously, I loved these bottles. They were easy to use, and super convenient. I was going to try a new bottle with #2 but why fix something that isn't broke. #2 is still on the bottle, but only 'til we finish up our last box of bottle liners.

6. Jumper/Saucer {Fisher Price/Little Einstein}- I used both of mine to death. We had a Rainforest Jumper and an Einstein Saucer. And the saucer is on it's last limb while the jumper has held up nicely. But I can say that #1 liked it much more than #2. They're so great for those times you need to do something like cook, take child #1 potty, or you need a little break.


7. Changing table/dresser - I loved my changing table, and I loved it so much that when #2 came along I bought another one for the master bedroom. However, I bought the second one used on Craigslist, and sold it again when I was done with it. I basically got free use out of it for a few months.


8. Swaddles {SwaddleMe} - OMG. All I can say is: life savers! Both of my kids loved these. From the get go, I used them for each child. And I used them up until they no longer fit in them or wiggled out of them. Actually, #2 was a more crazy sleeper so she gave these up much quicker, but they worked when we really needed it. #1 used these until he was 10 months and #2 until she was around 7 months.



9. Receiving Blankets {SwaddleDesigns}- Yes, these are different from swaddles. These are huge blankets that you can use to swaddle. They are not like those little tiny ones from Gerber or Target, these are the real deal. I used the ones by Swaddle Designs, and I loved them. I still use them as light blankets whenever we go on trips.

10. Glider/Rocker {Dutailier glider/ottoman} - Whichever one you can get, get one! My glider was a hand me down from my sister. It's actually now going to be 18 years old, but it's in perfect condition after 4 kids. I had the covers done to match my kids' room and I still love it. We used it. A lot! It was awesome for feedings and rocking to sleep. I also had the ottoman.



*Pics are of actual or similar brand/item I used.



Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Decade


The #1 question I've heard all week was, Where were you?

Ten years ago today, I was a young, 20 year old college student unaware of my future and the future of the world. Classes had only been on for a few weeks, and luckily, I had been sick and bed-ridden at home. I had slept through the live destruction taking place on the other side of the US. But the chilling effects had reached through my TV screen and touched me. I remember turning on the TV and seeing the images and watching in disbelief. I cried. I could not believe what was happening. But it was all too real. The phone calls had been coming in and thankfully everyone I loved was coming/had come home safely. Sadly, 3,000 others would not be returning home.

As we remember those who did not return home, and those men and women who are now defending and dying for our freedom, let us squeeze our loved ones a little tighter, and say a quiet prayer for ALL those who have been affected. Let us NEVER forget.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pitter Patter x 2!

Isabella's walking! It's almost been a week, and I can say she is almost completely walking. The only time she crawls is if she's uncertain, or excited. Crawling is faster in these instances! She started taking steps on Sept. 1, and each day got progressively better, just like Jacob. She was exactly at 13.5 months before she started walking. In all honesty, i was starting to get a little concerned, not a bad concerned, just wondering why it was taking her a little longer to start walking. You know you always hear all these stories about someone who knows someone whose kid started walking at like 9 months. But I know, every kid is different, but we all still compare. But here we are, and Isabella's loving this new freedom. Everyday she walks a little farther and is a little less wobbly. I have a video!!!

And, as per usual, I've been planning Jake & Bella's Halloween costumes since last month! This year they are going to coordinate! I'm so excited! Isabella's costume is going to be homemade while Jacob's is a hand-me-down. A rather nice hand-me-down. We got lucky on his 'cause I didn't want to pay an arm and a leg for it....or a hand for it?! Hmmm, teeny tiny little hint there! But I'll be sharing those when they are done!

Video by: Me
Music by: Cradle Rock - I Walk the Line
video

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pinterest {Project}

I've mentioned before that I love Pinterest, and I've pinned a bunch of projects. And to my surprise, I've done quite a few. But one thing I've noticed, is that the projects are easy and fast. For my next project, I was redoing one of my bathrooms. It used to be boring, and I hated it. It's still not 100% done, but I like it much better. I needed some cheap and easy art. Enter: Pinterest. I found a few art projects that I wanted to try, but one in particular was sweet and cute. It's from Andrea Steed's blog and can be found in a post titled Dated Design Wall Art. While I love Steed's design, I wanted it even easier. So, I found some digital damask paper, typed out the dates, arranged them on the paper, printed it out, and I was done (in Photoshop, BTW). I love it! It was so easy, and it has meaning. Our birthdays, and our anniversary date.

Andrea Steed's version:


My version:


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Jacob's 1st Pet

Yep, you read that right. Jacob has his very first new pet. Or, should I say, I have a new pet? For Jacob's 3rd birthday, my niece thought it would be fun to get him a gold fish. I thought, sure, how long would this thing really last? Well, turns out that my niece got him a gold fish and a beta fish. Apparently, she got the gold fish for free when she bought the beta. Great, that's fine, what's one more fish? Unfortunately, I'm sad to say, the little gold fish only lasted 2 days, and he was caput. But we still have little beta whom I've named Fred. Yes, since it is my fish, I get to name him. So, beta is now known as Fred the fish. I liked the ring to it. And now it's been about 2.5 weeks since we acquired Fred, and he's doing well. I don't know if that's a good thing or not. Jacob, as per usual, has already forgotten about him. It could be because we keep him in the bathroom. I have no idea where else to put him. But he gets fed by me morning and night, and forget about his bowl. That thing is nasty to clean. Could be the reason why the water is sooo foggy. Hmmm, I guess I should really try to clean it instead of just kinda cleaning it. One day. It really grosses me out to touch the water. And the smell...yuck! But it's relatively easy. Thank goodness! Meet Fred...