Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wet & Mild

Yesterday we went with a few other mommy/kids to the Aquatics Center for some good wet fun.

Last year Carter was really too young to enjoy it as more than a somewhat intimidating, loud place where there was a pool which he liked, but too many people. This year he had a BLAST.

This yellow water table with its system of dams was one of his favorites.

He also loved the fountains that squirted from the ground. Oh heck, he loved it all. I wish I had been able to go up the climbing structure with him more and help him do the slide. I think he'd have loved it, but he needed me to help him. I had Cole on my back and there is only so much you can do with a 6 month old!

And then there is this slide. You have to be 48" to go down it. According to her pediatrician, Bunny is indeed 48 inches tall. It's a squeaker, but she is that tall. And she rode it a couple of times in the morning. Then came the guard shift and it turns out that they have a version of 48" in Morgan Hill that is about 1 cm taller than at te pediatricians office. She was sent walking back down the steps! Poor girlie. I took her to the desk to try to rationalize it (I mean, she can swim the ocean, but not sit on this slide?). They gave us two free passes for our next visit as a consolation prize and I guess I will teach her how to be tall in the meantime.

She did get her wristband to do the high dive, though!

This is high up for anyone, much less a 6 yr old. She was scared, but liked it a lot. She's a daredevil, that girl. :)

This is a view that's easy to recognize... even little girls like to bask in the sun and chat. :)

Hey, your mom's taking a picture! Yeah, she does that. Ignore her. No, see. Right there, she's taking our picture. I said, ignore her!

It must have been a good day, because Carter was exhausted and begging to sit in the car so he could go to sleep, and even Bunny fell asleep on the way home. I had an utterly quiet car. Ahhhh.

I'm sure we'll be back, seeing as I have two free passes.

I have excellent taste in bloggery.

And as such, I hope very much you have noticed my super-excellent "Shared Items" bar to the right on this blog. Periodically I put up a link to something that, for one reason or another, I had to share with you, my beloved and undeserving reader. *snort*

Seriously, sometimes it's just a recipe, and sometimes it's something that made me laugh out loud because the writer is that good at making me laugh. Or, perhaps it's just something that made me think. At any rate... fear not the shared items!

I just shared a post (Bob Marley) from "The Wind in Your Vagina" which is actually written by a hysterically funny man who calls himself Black Hockey Jesus. I don't know if he used some Blasphemous Inexplicable Name Generator for that or what, but come on, you gots to read stuff written by someone with that name. :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Verdict: Open Faced Greek Burgers

Open faced Greek Burgers

It's a week of nearly all new recipes here Chez Moi. Tonight we had the Greek Burgers. I made them per the recipe, but with beef instead of lamb (just don't like lamb, sorry), and we had them without the bread on the bottom.

They were delicious! The combination of portobello, burger with feta and oregano, grilled red onion, and balsamic vinegar was great. I will say the presentation of it all stacked, while pretty, was unmanageable in reality for eating. The onion falls apart and we just shoved it to the side, sliced it and jabbed it with a fork to get some. I dare say if it were further stacked with a piece of bread under it all, it would have been even harder to actually eat. However, that is not the point -- Paul and I enjoyed it a lot and it's a keeper.

The kids? They ate something else. I don't believe in not eating something we adults want just because it's not particularly kid friendly. I knew before I even wrote it on my calendar Carter would not touch it, and I generally give Bunny the choice of eating our meal or something else (which is simple, like PBJ or spaghetti).

Phew. :)

10 Things to Cross off Your Worry List

Out of the Mouths of My Babes.

More playing the 'What does _____ say?' game. :)

Sunday we all were headed over the hill to the beach, and it was slow going, I think because of the Garlic Festival in Gilroy. Personally, driving *through* Gilory and smelling how garlicky it is is by far enough garlic for me, but hey, some people like Garlic Ice Cream, I guess...

Anyway, to keep the kids somewhat amused, we played the above-mentioned game with Carter. Bunny was mixing it up, asking some ridiculous questions. Often Carter had an imaginative response.

What does ice cream say?
I'm chokkit! (chocolate) He then went on to explain how Bunny likes 'pink' ice cream, but he likes chokkit. ;)


Monday, July 28, 2008

Verdict: Pastrami - Tomato Frittata

Recipe: Pastrami - Tomato Frittata

We had this tonight. The good news was that it cooks up more quickly than a crustless quiche (which is a baked frittata). Bad news is it was too brown on the bottom for my liking. I believe I will make it again, but bake it for 35ish minutes at 350. This method also results in a fluffier egg mixture.

However, the flavors were really good! I subbed green onions for the chives, since I have no use for chives the rest of the week and didn't want to buy herbs when I'd only use 1/3 of a package (and likely chuck out the rest in a week when I rediscover them in the crisper).

Menu Monday, 7-28

Sunday: foraged, since we didn't get home until 7:45
Monday: Pastrami - Tomato Frittata and salad
Tuesday: Open faced Greek Burgers (but using beef instead of lamb)
Wednesday: Shrimp-Stuffed Tomatoes
Thursday: Chicken Slaw with cornbread
Friday: Tex-Mex Beef Stirfy
Saturday: Lime Rickey Chicky (looks good despite the massively awful name)

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Puddle by Bounce House, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

This caught my eye yesterday at Spencer's 7th birthday party (BTW... SEVEN? How did that kid get so old??).

It's just a puddle of water, but from where I was sitting, the colors were really pretty to me. I know, I'm weird. Taking photos of the oddest things. :)

Oh well!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

What it takes...

2008-07-23 008, originally uploaded by Kristianna. keep yourself and kids from burning for 4 straight weeks of being in the sun from about 12:30 until after 4. I thought it would be fun/ny to keep all the empties as they accumulated. I feel I am pretty much an expert on sunscreen now--started to gather whatever I could somewhat obsessively mid-May, since it do add up! ;)

FWIW, Aveeno SPF 70 rocks it hardcore as a sunscreen. I think you could stand near a nuclear test blast and not get burned with that stuff on. I saved it mainly for the baby, but Bunny got it a couple of times the day after she very obviously had rubbed off all her sunscreen the prior day and not reapplied (as if you can expect a 6 yr old to remember that). She never got the old school burns I remember from being a kid and getting FRIED on say, field day, but any kind of a burn was a shock to her, since I am a wee bit anal about sunscreen. I'm not a 'you must wear a hat that makes one wonder if were an extra in some Saharan movie' kind of person, but my kids see a lot of sunscreen around these parts.

So if I were to rank, the SPF 70 spray would win. At $12/bottle, it better (but I got it on sale for $7 each). Bull Frog wins for lasting power, but Bunny complained it made her skin sting or itch--or something. I just know she was happy when we ran out of that one. Anyway, I guesstimate we ran through just about $50 in sunscreen. And I shopped for deals -- it'd be a lot more otherwise. I admit I do paste the stuff on, though. I figure you can't waste sunscreen. The wasteful thing would be to bother putting it on, but not enough and then suffer from a burn or worse long term effects!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

So many unnerpants

2008-07-23 003, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

This week I began potty training Carter. Sunday he and I went out to buy 'big boy pants' and with the exception of Spiderman (which was not in stock in his size, dammit!) we brought home one of everything, thanks.

See now, to the uninitiated, this is a LOT of underwear. I'll spare you the eye strain and tell you, it's just under 2 dozen pairs.

Way back in a time called late 2004, when I was a first time potty training mom, I had maybe 7-10 pairs of itty bitty big girl pants for Bun. After about 3 days I was beyond sick of the stench of pee and I kept running out of underpants before the end of the day. While venting to my playgroup mommy friends, Monica told me my problem. I had far too few pairs of underwear on hand.

Now, to most of us with bladder and bowel control, really 7-10 pairs would be sufficient! I remember Monica saying I needed at least 2 dozen pairs. I also remember saying, "Who needs 2 dozen pairs of underwear?" Deadpan, she replied, "Kids who are potty training, that's who!!" She's a wise woman.

So this time, I didn't mess around. You want the Diego underwaer kiddo? Sure thing! Cars? Go for it! You don't want the 7 pack of Elmos? Well too bad, Mommy bought 'em because they're a good price.

Today is Day 4 of potty training and we had a bit of a breakthrough. This morning after breakfast, but before time to put on big boy pants, Carter said, "Mama, I go poopy!" I assumed it meant he had already gone, but he had to go, and even made it to the potty. And got his reward: 2 jelly beans! (1 for #1, 2 for #2) He had an accident a little later, but I will take 10 wet accidents for not having 1 poop one any day as a very fair deal. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

You can take the girl away from the farm, but you can't make her into a 'responsible' enough mother. ;)

I was reading about the phenomenon of 'helicopter parents' in a SFGate article a little while back, and it kind of turned my stomach.

The article is about the anxiety parents have when their children go to summer camp, about how hard it is for parents to let go, and how *they're* the ones shedding tears over the reality of being separated from their children for an extended--yet FINITE--period of time. Apparently camps are having to put resources into preparing parents for the separation and how to cope. Okay, okay, yes, parents love their kids. I have three and yes, I love them dearly. I'd jump in front of a bus for them, and all that--really.

But I dunno. I grew up with a lot of freedom. A lot of boredom. And the ability to suffer some gnarly injuries if I chose to do something unwise. There are some things parents routinely did 'back in the day' which are considered taboo now, that I agree with. Leaving kids in the car to go grocery shopping (especially at dusk, which I remember scaring me) -- yeah, that is a no-no. Letting a 8 yr old baby sit a 4 yr old for a couple of hours alone? Oh yeah, let's skip that. But standing inches away from your child on the playground lest they look like they might stumble? Nah, no thanks. I'm there, watching from maybe even 10 yards away at times. A couple-few weeks ago I was at the park with Gretchen and her kids and we were talking about how much more relaxed one gets with each child, which is true, and she asked me if I'd have let Bun climb a certain structure at the same age as Carter, who was climbing it. Yeah, I would have. But not with a juice box in her hand, as Carter had, haha!

But that's not the point. The point is parents now are totally whackadoo in a lot of ways. Or at least the ones about which people want to write articles! I'm sure there are plenty of normal parents who stand close and let a child realize touching something a wee bit too hot hurts (hint: generally they don't really touch, but notice the heat because they have nerves in their skin), who let a smaller child try something hard on the playground. But the parents in this article, who the writer makes appear to be the rule nowadays, well, I would not want them to be my parents!

These parents sound not so much *into* their kids for the kids, but as some seriously selfish, egotistical extension of self. There is a quote where a mom actually sounds like her feelings are hurt because when her child wrote home from camp, the letters were not about missing home and her parents, but about all the fun she was having doing new things. Call me callous. But my heart did not go out to this mom in her time of needing her child to be utterly miserable missing her. Mommy needs to get over herself and be happy her child is happy!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Menu Monday

Happy Monday! I'm personally stoked I'm NOT going to the beach today. I was hoping to get a lot done, but a tummy bug (or the rich eating associated with my FIL taking us out to eat Friday night, then having a BBQ Saturday) has me feeling pooky today. But I did make my menu yesterday, and at least, even if I barely do more than laundry and dishes today (and tell the kids to be quiet about 2467732 times, since they're accustomed to 5-6 hours outside everyday and have no concept of indoor voice anymore), I do know what I making for dinner. :)

For nearly 200 menu ideas for this week, click on the image above. Surely there is something for nearly everyone there, be it eating 'clean', on the cheap -- whatever!

I make my menus Sunday right before doing my weekly shopping, so mine started yesterday.

Sunday: Low Carb Picadillo w/rice
Monday: Sausages with Peppers & Onions and THE pasta sauce
Tuesday: Pizza Quiche (never made it last week)
Wednesday: Roast Chicken, sugar snap peas, salad
Thursday: Taco Salad
Friday: Steak and Ribs on grill, broccoli, homemade frozen yogurt for kids
Saturday: BBQ Chicken, zucchini, salad

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My Blog as Visual Word Art... ;)

wordle, originally uploaded by Kristianna. is kind of cool. You pop in your blog URL or a blurb of text and voila, you get something like this. The more often a word occurs in the text, the 'larger it looms' in your wordle.

Obviously Bunny and Carter are big subjects here. :) Cole is a little smaller, but he's there. Sure to be more prominent as he 'does' more. :)

Day 20.

WhooHOO! Bunny made it through Little Guards! (And so did I and the boys, haha!)

The last day was a special day. It was the Little Guard/Parent "Big Swim" Out. Paul's dad was in town, so he also came to the beach, along with Paul in a separate car, as Paul had a call to take which made him a little late. Not too late for the Big Swim, though!

The swimming parents and kids walked up to the wharf, walked to a platform on the far side which is the same distance out as the lifeguard HQ (see the taller building shown on the wharf in the above photo? that's HQ). Then they jumped off the platform and swam to shore! Bunny and most of the 6 yr olds chose to use a boogie board to kick much of the way, since it is just about a 100 yd swim (with the current, at least).

There was also a pot luck lunch--Bunny chose a nicely balanced meal of cookies, potato chips, and half a bagel--and games for everyone to play. Grandpa Russ played dodge ball! He made it a while before someone got him in the back with the ball. :)

We also got in some nice beach time. Carter had Grandpa busy running back and forth for buckets of water to... well mostly dump right out into the thirsty sand which refused to make a puddle, haha! And he 'wore' Cole some, which they both seemed to enjoy.

Here's some dodge ball. I'm not sure why people were lying down... but they appeared to be 'in play'.

Um... what???

Ah, yes, that looks more like my older boy. He's been wanting to mess with these cones for weeks.

Kind of a typical Bunny-in-motion shot... she's going to be 'sooo bored' without 3 hours of rigorous physical exertion the next few weeks. Hoooo boy...

After LGs was over, Paul and Bunny played in the surf. He also swam all the way out to the finger buoy you see in the distance in this photo. He said it was harder getting back than out there (it's about 250 yards total).

Carter spent some time walking on all fours, claiming to be a puma. Yes, a puma. :)

He also roared loudly at every and anyone. His 'prey' mostly looked on amusedly. A few of Bun's friends simply looked confused by him. :)

Bunny loves to find seaweed to decorate her castles.

They set to work building one masterpiece before it was time to pack up and get some dinner.

I really like drip castles. They're so easy, yet so much prettier than the molded kind (usually) are, and they are sturdy, too.

Bunny is becoming quite the castle architect. Depite her brother's attempts to become a proficient demolitions master. He pushed over these spires over and over, but she doggedly rebuilt.

As it became evening, it was time to get a celebratory dinner. We went to the Ideal to sit ourside by the beach, and Cole was SO well behaved. At first it seemed dicey, since he is too small for a restaurant high chair, but once he settled into Paul's lap, he was happy and calm the entire meal. He even ate his dinner sitting in Daddy's lap. :)

Then came the thing Carter has been wanting since Day 1 of Little Guards. A ride on Bulgy the Whale at the Boardwalk!

When we wheeled up to Bulgy, he yelled out, "I ride whay-uws!" He's not one to act wildly happy when he's doing something new, even if he's enjoying the HECK outta it. This content look is bliss to Carter when trying something new.

He also rode the Pepsi truck convoy ride. Another case of his excitement not being apparent, but oh BOY did he jabber about it afterwards.

Bunny and I rode the Cyclone together. It's pretty much impossible to get a clear photo with a snap and shoot, but we're the green and pink blurs in the left side. :) Bunny and I also rode the 'ski lift' ride across the boardwalk, and then finished up with the Pirate Ship before we all packed it in and went home for the night. All in all, it was a VERY tiring and enjoyable day. A perfect end to FOUR LONG WEEKS of daily trips to the beach.

Oh, and Bunny and Carter want to go to the beach one day next week. Sheesh! ;)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Guess What?

2008-07-13 058, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

Carter is picking up language so quickly now, making up for some lost time where he was more into something else... or just not feeling like he had much to say. :) His sentences are becoming more complex and he's making all kinds of mistakes with tenses and whatnot, but it's all what you'd expect.

One of his new favorite things is to say, "Guess what?" He's picked up that one from Bunny. she's a typical 6 yr old in that she seems to think "Guess what?!?" is how you begin nearly every statement... kind of drives me loopy, and I have tried to explain it's not a good way to start most conversations. I'm not making much headway on it, though. So Carter has picked up on it. However, he doesn't quite understadn what it means.

"Guess what?"
"What you doing?"

Guess what?
Where Bunny go?

And so forth. So I have it coming from both the speaking kids now. Yaaaaay.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


So very, very exhausted! Only 3 more days of Little Guards. It's been fun, but I am beyond tired of this routine where I basically run around like a headless chicken from 6-11:30 a.m., drive to the beach, get home at 5 or so, make dinner, put the kids in bed, then do 1.5 - 2.5 hours of homework/studying.

Next week is earmarked for something that I am not exactly relishing: time to potty train Carter! I'll be buying about a million pairs of size 2T underoos and cleaning up a lot of icky messes. Yay. Hmm. Maybe this going to the beach everyday is not so bad after all, since it delays potty training. ;)

Monday, July 14, 2008

First Time...

2008-07-13 002, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

...eating a Biter Biscuit. Cole has been eating rice cereal and avocados for a while, but this was his first time with something more substantial, which he also could feed himself. He has his two bottom teeth to gnaw with, and it was hysterical watching him paw at the biscuit trying to work on the old hand-eye coordination (still sucks!). But, Cole was busy with this thing for 15 mins while I did the dishes--and picked up said biscuit about 12 times when he pushed it off the highchair tray. :)

First Time...

2008-07-13 015, originally uploaded by Kristianna. a swing! You can see a combo of glee and terror in his eyes. Cole wanted to love it, but also at times--generally the 'back' part of the swinging motion, when I was not as close--he'd look on the verge of being upset. All in all, a good time for him and me. Carter, in the swing next to him, just out of shot, wished I was pushing only Carter, and much more often.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Rambo Running Bunny

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books


*See next post for the video -- I am having technical difficulties with getting the video and the words I want in the same post.*

I have to go through the photos and see what came out, but here is a video of Bunny running the "Rambo" course at the Little Guards Competition yesterday. There is a lot of yelling from me and Paul here, I'll warn ya. ;) We were so excited to cheer her on.

This was the second, 'final' heat of this competition, and I tell you what--it's a GNARLY course. Under a bunch of surfboards then down under a water filled pit, then up a very steep wall (where the video starts from our perspective), over a few mogul-like bumps, up two HUGE sand hills, then over more moguls, then finally a maze of boogie and surfboards. The first kid on Bunny's team was a monster! I tell you, this kid is amazing, and a lot of us parents were in awe of his speed and strength. The teams switched boy-girl-boy-girl, and Bunny ran the anchor leg for girls--because she's strong and fast, too. She and the boy after her ran her team to blue ribbons! She also got her name on the board in two other events, placing 8th in the run-swim-run and 7th in 'toots' (which is the thing with balls in the ocean I described before). She would have made it further the other even she was in (flags), but a child knocked her in the face and grabbed her baton, thus eliminating Bunny. Oh well, whatddaya gonna do someone decides to be a poor sport? We're talking 6 yr olds here, I'm not going to make a federal case out of it, haha!

Mostly we really are proud of how hard she worked. Though, I admit it: it's really fun to cheer a child onto victory. We were proud of her all around, as we are everyday.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Cow Says Moo...

2008-07-07 028, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

Yesterday when driving home Bunny and I were amusing us all in the car with a game of 'what does ____ say?" with Carter. He got most right, and we were throwing in some fun stumpers, like I asked him what a giraffe says. Answer? Nothing!

Then Bun asked, "What does a fox say?"
Carter, quick as a wink, responded, "Oh, Man!" and tried to snap.
I laughed for a good 5 seconds on that one.

Yes, good ole Swiper the Fox from Dora does indeed say, "Oh, Man!"

Monday, July 07, 2008


2008-07-07 012, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

Baby in photo will bite! But he's teething, so it's understandable.

Cole cut his first tooth today! He was irritable all weekend, and I had been suspecting he was teething for about a week, but of course you can't know how long it will take. Anyway, today Bunny apparently had her finger stuck in his mouth in the car on the way home from Little Guards and she kept saying his mouth was sharp and she thought he had a tooth. I said, no, he was working on it, though. She then said she could see something white.

K: No, that's his gum (it has a little white area in the dead middle of the lower gum).
B: No... it's got a serrated edge.
K: Wow, that's a pretty good word there, Bun!
B: What's serrated mean?

LOL! I then went on to explain how, say a shark's tooth is serrated, or some knives are, how an edge like that cuts cleanly. And plumb forgot about Cole's mouth totally.

Until later today when I was holding Cole in the pool and I felt the edge of his tooth. Yep, he cut his tooth on the beach today. No wonder he didn't want to be put down. He's really much tougher than the other two kids as far as pain tolerance if this is any indication. They both made like it was killing them, and you just do NOT WANT TO KNOW what a pain his big sister is being about a loose tooth and her most recent batch of molars budding.

But anyway! Cole has teeth. Tada!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Belated July 4 Recap

Was too busy yesterday, um... relaxing by the pool and not doing much more than the *bare* minimum to really write about out 4th of July. It was a nice relaxing Saturday and we all were pretty tired from the day before, so all I did was make some NY Strip steaks with broccoli slaw and rice, and I read my textbook for about an hour, but there was mostly just pool time for us all.

July 4
We went to a potluck party at Mel's house. Ah, gotta love the magic of the potluck. You make one or two things that in no way would constitute a balanced meal--in my case, baked beans, and a cake--and then it becomes part of a crazy big meal that you would never make on your own.

Bunny and I made and decorated the cake together. It was just a very simple yellow cake with vanilla buttercream, but it was pretty and I hear it was yummy. I never got around to having a piece, nor did anyone in the family! We had brownie sundaes. :)

As they have a cul de sac, the last few houses on her street were blocked off and the kids rode bikes, skated, and played with electric cars. Bunny and Paul skated and Carter once again found the little cop-motor-trike he loves so much. It's hilarious to watch him on it because it moves at a rate of just under one mile per day. But, from his expression, you'd think he was cruising the open road, wind in his hair.

Cole and I looked on. Or rather, I looked on, holding Cole, who looked at his feet a lot. He really likes his feet, what can I say?

After skating Bun changed into her swimsuit and 'hung' with her girls in the pool. She was pretty much running around with the girls all evening, while Carter, being still so small stuck close. He also ate a real dinner, whereas Bun ate wedges of orange, a sundae, and, at 10:30 had nachos with cheese and a (caffeine free) Coke. Healthy, no... but she had fun. Me, I wolfed down two hot dogs, and a whole lotta sides, and Paul found the assortment of meat to be his cup of tea. He was skating around eating a big hunk of beef--it was funny.

After dark, it was time for some good old American blowing up stuff. Bunny and Carter enjoyed the sparklers, but Bun had a hard time remembering not to point the shooting fire at people, and Carter basically stood there holding it with a look of disbelief. I am pretty sure he felt this was an unwise way to have fun. He was right, or course! What's wise about handing kids flaming sticks of TNT? ;)

Then the fireworks. Mike, our host, had gone to a reservation in NV to purchase the after dark entertainment. I never realized what crazy stuff they sell at a res, along with their tax free cigarettes and casinos. But these were good fireworks. They didn't go up as high as the kind you get in a municipal show, but they flew up pretty high and we enjoyed it. Cole *really* loved it. I put him on his back on a blanket so he could see up without having to 'track' the missles, and every time one blew, he could laugh and kick. It was hysterical to watch his reactions... our happy, happy baby was even more happy than normal that evening.


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