Monday, October 29, 2007

Just because...

These pictures still make me laugh. When I asked Mr. Boy what happened, he said "Quicksand" And Pumpkin Carving/Coloring. We let the kids color the pumpkins and assist in carving. Kudos to Mr. Man for his sweet pumpkin carving skills.

Mr. Boy got his first black eye. It's above the eye... it's gnarly.... and you should totally see the other guy!! This is him icing up his eye. Notice the token "make you feel better" lollipop sticking out of his mouth!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Halloween Southern Cal Style...

Ash covered pumpkins. This pic didn't turn out all that well, but trust me those pumpkins are not as dull after they got a good dusting today. Spent a good portion of the day wiping ash off the deck furniture. The smoke did make for some amazing sunsets and sunrises. Just vibrant reds and oranges. While stuck indoors we spent a bunch of time playing in our costumes. AK is a monster, Nathan is a Giraffe (again!) This year he insists he is a "Star Wars Giraffe", hence the light saber.

This morning, it RAINED! Total Miracle! Just a few sprinkles, but perfect weather to curl up with the kids who lounged all morning in jammies.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Staying in...

When it looks like this at 11AM, it's time to spend the day inside. Check out the flag to get an idea of the wind. And this guy, is such a trooper. He has no problem wearing this in the car to and from school. Only this morning has he been complaining that his lungs hurt.
And this for Bob, and everyone else who is interested. The fire has moved farther north and east. Also, we just have word that a hotspot on the westside of the burn are has flared up. *ETA - Updated new map 10/23 8pm* I love Southern California. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else, and I am sad for the state which I love so much. Living here comes with huge financial sacrifices, and for us we have chosen to live here. I hate that someone is trying to destroy it, by setting arson fires.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Too close for comfort...

Taken 6:13pm from my BACKYARD.... Aside from worrying about Nathan's delicate little lungs, I'm having trouble relaxing especially after hearing on the 7 o'clock news, that there are limited resources for this fire. Reinforcements expected in 90 minutes.
In my head I know that it would have to be CATASTROPHIC to reach us... *Deep Breath* repeat that over and over.... Eeek...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Going Up!

"The Heroes are going shopping for a new Batman Outfit"A while ago Nathan & I were at Target, and saw some very cool Superman & Batman PJ's, complete with a cape. Nathan put both in the cart, but by the time we got home, we only ended up with a Superman Outfit. (The Batman outfit was confiscated and put away for Christmas) Nathan has NOT forgotten that the Batman outfit didn't make it home, and reminds me that we need to buy one. Apparently his superheroes are a form of therapy and communicating his needs, such as Batman PJ's.

She's going to make a great mommy someday.... I love to see her reading, even if the book is upside down!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The next Installment of Superhero Theater...

Taken Tuesday... found on the Kitchen Table. When asked what was happening....

"The Superheroes rescued the Green Lantern from the Evil Man, and put him in the trunk, so that Evil Man wouldn't find him. "
Also, Nathan has mastered the letter A. He prefers to draw it on his body more than paper.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Dating Mr. Man

We are trying to be better about dates. It has not been a priority before now, more of a reason to do things socially with other couples. Up until recently we could talk freely about anything in front of the kids, but now that we have Nathan who is "Mr. Why? What did you say?" and tends to repeat everything to everyone.

But you know the world conspires against you when you have the best laid plans. I wayyyyy overdid it on Saturday, so I was exhausted. Then getting everything ready for the sitter, and that is the exact moment the angel kids turn into demons trying and testing every nerve. Every time we get ready to go out I feel like saying "ugh, forget it, let's do take out after the kids are in bed." However, I'm determined that our marriage will be a priority.

So Saturday, we went out. Just for dinner, and it was fabulous. Normally, Mr. Man plans it. This time, I took charge. I got the sitter, and we went to one of my favorite resturants. Unbelievably, Mr. Man had never been there. I've taken most of my friends there, and most of my clients. We went to HoSumBistro in Newport Beach. They have about 8 tables, and the food is amazing. Described as Light & Healthy Califoriental. Mr. Man totally loved it, and the best part was sitting there having an adult conversation. We need to do this wayyy more often.

Anytime anyone is up for a double date, we are game. And if I haven't taken you to HoSumBistro, then call me, let's go!

Then also, I've gotten some questions about food... What do the kids eat? What if there is no Trader Joe's by me!

Here's some stuff I picked up at Target today!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

My Food Beliefs.... a challenge!

Warning: Epic Novel of a Posts.... may appear as a rant or possibly cheap therapy. Rarely, do I lay things all out. It’s come up on several occasions, and Mr. Man keeps reminding me, I’m doing the same thing that my parents did to me, that I swore I’d never do. My kids are feeling the wrath of my food beliefs. One of the teachers at Nathan’s school said “Oh, I totally steered Nathan away from juice the room mom brought in today for the party…” *then she whispers* “it was Hawaiian Punch.” She gives me a look, waiting for me to hug her and tell her “THANK YOU for saving my child from the evil Hawaiian Punch!”.

Look, let’s just clear this all up, and tell it like it is. We all know that I come off a little “zealous” (aka high strung). It’s a label I hate, tried to fight, but most people realize that I am trying to be easygoing. I am not easygoing, but it’s obvious I’m trying my hardest to push myself to be.

That being said, I have strong beliefs related to food. It is the culmination of 30 years of experience that has brought me to a lifestyle I have come to embrace. It’s almost a security blanket, because you can control the food you prepare and provide for your family. You can’t control a tandem tantrum when you’re lunching with your friends hoping for an adult conversation. You can control what they are eating at home, on your watch.

I’ve been reading several foodie blogs of people that I admire. One of them blogged about “Why do I eat like this?” and it was fascinating. It caused me to stop and think, Why do I believe this? Why do I eat like this? So, I thought I’d journal this, so when Nathan and AK are in therapy and blaming the fruit leather and the freaky lunches that led them to a life of being social outcasts, they will know why I did this. And I challenge you to do the same? Why do you eat the way you do?

Starting from the beginning, my parents were constantly trying every health fad since I can remember. They would hear of a new diet, health food product, and everything was going to change for the better for my family. They were going to be healed from whatever was ailing them, and life would improve. Being underage, I often was forced to go along with it. I had PB&J that was two rice cakes, all natural peanut butter, and some freaky jam full of seeds in my lunch at school. NO ONE wanted to trade with me. I eyed everyone’s Twinkies and fruit roll ups with ENVY. I would gnaw on my tough and chewy fruit leather that would pull out any loose teeth if you weren’t careful chewing, and just drool for the sugary high of a ding dong. The health food diet would come to end, and my parents would decide it wasn’t working. (Mom, Dad, I know you were trying to make things better, but to be fair do I need to remind you of the K-12 aka PURE CAFFIENE and the Kombucha Mushroom Tea, oh and the Candidas diet that robbed me of birthday cakes? I forgive you, let’s move on, tell it like it is, it’s all good.) Anyway, all these health fads made me very leery of health food “products”. They brought hope and disappointment to my family repeatedly.

Then, working at the Big 4, I had several vitamin clients. Looking through their files, their practices, and seeing just who was profiting from the vitamin sales made me realize there is a LOT of corruption in vitamins. I also had a few food clients, and having to do an inventory and seeing the amount of chemicals put into the food made me even more leery. However, being deprived of HoHo’s and Twinkies throughout my whole childhood makes me totally binge on Junk!

So fast forward to Nathan’s arrival, he starts eating solids, and I’m sitting next to his high chair and suddenly in my head I hear a good family friend’s voice. When responding to some mockery of her homemade wheat bread, she said “I feed them good healthy food, because I love them, and I want them to be around forever.” *dude, did you hear the light bulb just click over my head as I look at this sweet small baby anxious to gobble up smushed peas?*

I set off determined to feed my kids better than I feed myself. Then two major events happen. We switched to Organic Milk, because I was wary of the hormones and antibiotics given to the cows. Physically, a few weeks later I started to feel different. Blood tests confirmed that my body was in fact different. The doctors concluded it must be because I wasn’t receiving hormones from milk anymore that was causing changes. My body readjusted after several months, but I don’t want to be dependent on some synthetic cow hormone, that just seems weird. Very Unnatural.

Fast forward to a year later, I open my eyes to find myself on the floor of the kitchen with AK crawling around my legs. I only remember that I bent over to pull something out of a cabinet, next thing you know I’m lying on the floor. I’d blacked out. Terrified, I went to the doctor, more tests, my blood sugar levels are funny. Lots of tests later, my body appears to have a sensitivity to High Fructose Corn Syrup. I start reading labels, it is in EVERYTHING. It was in a box of pasta, it’s in bread, it’s in EVERYTHING sold at the Chain Grocery Stores. Why is there some super over processed sugar type chemical in EVERYTHING? (Oh, I have theories, believe me… ) However, it is in NOTHING sold by Trader Joes…. Hooray!

Also, I believe and well hope, that if my children are growing up eating healthy foods, the healthy habits will continue their lifetime. I’m trying not to be so over the top about it. Personally, I love to indulge in sugary snacks, chocolate, and ice cream. Afterall, I have an entire deprived childhood of sugary snacks to catch up on. And to keep things fair for the kids, all rules are off when we are out to eat, at parties, or friend’s houses. It seems to be working; Nathan will eat half a cupcake and be done. A few spoonfuls of ice cream and he’ll push it away. AK, well… she’s still young on her food journey. I’m just stoked when she eats.

And finally, I believe our bodies are sacred and a gift. They were not made to be a vessel to digest chemicals.

My other belief, is that something is wrong with our society’s approach to our bodies. Why do we have so many funky health issues? It can’t be just me, but several people I know have weird health issues, or with their kids. One instance is Nathan’s Pulmonary Doc showed me a graph showing a steep increase in asthma over the years.

Do I feel better? Absolutely. Will I shun your non Trader Joes or non Whole Foods yummy entrĂ©e… no way! Will I still be sneaking my kids Halloween Candy? Absolutely. Will I hug you for saving my kid from *whispers* Hawaiian Punch? Sure.. but probably more because no one should get turned down from a hug. Let the kids have sugary juice, after all… life is short for a little indulgence.

Alright… so challenge people.. What are your food beliefs? If you don’t have strong convictions about food, what is your “hot button” issue?

By the way, this lasagna was yummy. Made this with a salad, 15 minutes and it was done. Way faster than takeout!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

My house is being redecorated....against my will!!

I'm going about my business around the house, and all of a sudden I'll bump into a scene like this. Apparently the Justice League has staged a rescue effort on my orchid.
Then outside, I noticed this... It makes me smile to think that Nathan picked a flower and decided to beautify the world. Then, these jammies are the best! They are my favorite style on kids.... well besides the footie ones. I got them matchy ones, and they are adorable!

Total brag ahead. Went to the doc for a checkup with the kids, and AK, who has been in the 7th percentile and below for the majority of her life... Is in the 60th percentile for height! WHAT? I know!! Since May she has had a giant growth spurt, gained a ton of weight, and gone from her 9-12 months clothes to 2T in an instant. She has grown inches since MAY! I must credit the Ya Ya's for her growth spurt, as they beat me over the head at girls weekend to fatten up her diet. At Nathan's preschool, several of the staff have commented on how TALL AK has gotten over the summer. They really do grow up fast, or maybe just in spurts!