Wednesday, September 30

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday

What Cuties!
Brendan's 1st birthday Party
Brendan with Mr. Dave
Sammy with Miss. Jenni

Saturday, September 26


I have to start off this post with the preface that before I met my husband (and his family) I did not really like food. I mean, I like food, I ate it, but nothing like my husband and his family. They LOVE food. When we were dating and would visit his parents, they would take us out to eat many times. The would always ask where I wanted to go, because I just liked food, it never really mattered to me. I'm not a very picky person anyway, so anything was fine for me.

Until they took me to the Original Pancake House.
Oh my gosh this place is amazing! Please don't confuse this place with the International House of Pancakes (IHOP), it is COMPLETELY different. My favorite there is the Swedish pancakes. A very large, thin almost crispy for nice and soft pancake. "Authentic lacy Swedish pancakes are always a treat. Served with lingonberries from Sweden and whipped butter." Oh my, I am in love!

Now, not only because of the Pancake house, I love food! I get excited to eat, and I am getting more picky! My husband can bribe me to go somewhere by promising me the Original Pancake House for breakfast. The most important meal of the day you know!

The other day I was told a rumor that a restaurant by my work recently went out of business. Guess what is coming in it's place!

Yes, I took this from my car window. I am THAT excited! I can't wait for it to open, I drive by the restaurant every day. I just know I am going to get fat from all the pancakes! Now it is going to be even easier on my husband to bride me out of bed!

Friday, September 25

Friendship Friday - My BFF

Tawni and I became best friends the summer after 3rd grade. I am not sure how exactly it happened, I guess that is one of the blessings of the innocence of a child. It was my very first summer camp, Tawni’s second. There we sat on a picnic table in the middle of a VERY HOT field, waiting for our cabin number. Tawni and I naturally sat next to each other, considering we were the only two in the 3rd grade. Most of the other girls were one year older, so we clung to each other being the youngest. It was at the moment that we became best friends; like I said, the innocence of a child. There was no comparing lifestyles, interest, deciding if we were compatible together, if we would get along. We were just friends. Period. That summer camp we were inseparable. I do not remember much about Camp Emmanuel; the extreme heat that prevented us from doing anything but swimming, the crafts inside the large mess hall, the “waterslide” made out of a black tarp and a water hose. Nevertheless, I remember that Tawni and I did it all together.

Our friendship lasted like that through the 8th grade. Talking on the phone, giggling about boys, summer camps, youth groups, sleepovers, bike rides (that is another story in itself!) we did it all together. We had our plan; we would be best friends forever, go to college together, be roommates, and become elementary school teachers at the same school. We would always be there for each other.

In the middle 8th grade, my family announced that we would be moving to Sacramento. Tawni and I held each other and cried. We figured this was it; our dreams were suddenly crushed. We promised to write letters, call long distance when we could, and stay best friends. We did not really; one or two letters, here and there. Christmas cards, a couple times we saw each other at youth camp when we happen to be at the same camp at the same time, but we were not as close. Neither of us are good at long distance. I got to my new church and there was no Tawni there for me. Another girl decided to be my best friend, and made me her friend, we were close, but she was no replacement.

My senior year my youth pastor announced that we were not going to the same camp this year. We would be going to do something different. This would have been my sixth year going; I never missed a year. My friends and I BEGGED to get to go. “It’s our final year! We are seniors! We HAVE to go!” Finally, he gave in, and we got to go to camp one last year. Actually, everyone backed out except me. I was the only Senior that went. All my friends and my boyfriend stayed home. It did not matter because when I got there, I saw Tawni. When we were all placed in random groups, Tawni and I were in the same group. We caught up on everything that week! It was as if we had not been apart for those 4 ½ years. We discussed our plans now that we were graduates. Looks like our 3rd grade planning paid off, we were going to the same college, and in fact, our dorm rooms were right across the hall from each other.

After 4 years of college together, many adventures, gossiping, more giggling about boys, some studying, and too many late nights to count, we made it to graduation. Tawni went on to become an elementary school teacher, just like planned. I did not. We still see each other at least once a week. We talk on the phone, giggle about our husbands, go shopping, talk for hours, and remain the Best of Friends. Now that we both have the most adorable little boys, 5 weeks apart, we have even more reason to get together, not that we needed a reason to hang out! I hope that our boys can find the friendship in each other that their mommies have found in each other.

Wednesday night was Tawni's birthday. We all went out to celebrate together. I thought this was the perfect excuse to start my Friendship Fridays up again.

Tawni, Happy Birthday. I cannot believe that after 17 years, we are still as close. I thank God for you and the friendship that we have together. We have been through so much together. From Summer camp, to that terrible bike ride. Being a freshman in college, our weddings, out babies and so many experiences I would not trade for anything. Thank you for being my friend through it all. Love you so much, you are more than my Best Friend, you are like a sister to me. I look forward to the next 17 years as Best Friends!

Thursday, September 24

Mr. Independent

I bought Brendan this shirt a while ago.
Mr. Independent.

It served a triple purpose.

1. I bought it for Brendan to wear on the fourth of July - Independence Day

2. My son is Mr. Independent himself. He wants to do things his way, on his time. Don't get in his way! When things don't go his way, it isn't pretty!

3. The biggest reason I bought Brendan this shirt is because his father prides himself on being an Independent (party wise). While we were still dating, Scott changed his party from Republican to In independent. He and Poppy (his Grandfather) have MANY political discussions that Grandma and I tend to stay out of. A few years ago, Poppy called us up to let us know that he had changed from a stark Democrat to INDEPENDENT!

This shirt's for you Poppy!

Wednesday, September 23

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday

Brendan loves the swings at the park.
Two days after he turned 1!

Tuesday, September 22

Museum Day

As I was reading through some blog post recently, I ran across one from Be Different...Act Normal.

This Saturday, September 26th, is the Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day.

Museums always remind me of my family outings, growing up we used to go to museums all the time, especially if they were free! Now if your chance to visit a museum in your area for free! All you need to do is find a museum you want to attend from a list HERE. Then fill out the ADMISSION CARD information to get your admission pass.

Scott will probably want to go to the Japanese American National Museum since his Master Degree was focused on the Japanese Americans. Although we will probably end up going somewhere like the Riverside Metopolitian Museum or the San Bernardino County Museum.

Enjoy your day at a museum! Where will you go?

Saturday, September 19

Big Boy Toys

A few weeks ago (I know I am really behind) we took Brendan to go get him 1 year pictures taken at Sears. While we were waiting we played with some toys to occupy our busy little boy.

Scott gives me a hard time for posting so much about Brendan, but I can't help it! I love him so much, he is my life! So as long as you don't mind the million pictures of my Baby boy, I will keep posting!

Look Ma! A light Saber!

Now how does this thing work?

Oh No! Brendan! Look out! Daddy's going to get you!

Maybe I'll just go play with the tops instead!

Look! I'm just like Grandpa & Uncle Bud!

Maybe I want to be like Great-Grandpa instead!

Friday, September 18

Morning Breakdown

This morning as I was rushing around the house getting ready, Brendan was following after me whining and fussing at me. He doesn't like it when I rush in the morning. I'm not sure if he is afraid I am going to leave him or if he just wants his time with me to be still. He enjoys sitting on the bathroom counter as I do my hair & make-up and while we brush our teeth together. But the rest of the morning frustrates him.

I have tried to make things easier on him. I try to get up, shower and get dressed before he gets up so we have more time together, but this morning just wasn't working for me. Finally out of frustration for both of us, I sat down in my closet while looking for a pair of shoes and just held him. He sat on my lap, Monkey and Milk in hand for almost 10 minutes. It was at that time that I realized that everything else could wait, my baby needed me. I need to treasure the time he does want to cuddle and not push him off until it is convenient for me. So there we sat. We sang, we talked, every once in a while he would look up at me with those big blue eyes and give me a kiss. I needed that this morning.

It wasn't until we got to Day Care that we had another major melt-down. (Okay, maybe not that major since I have seen worse, but it was still hard on me.) When we go inside I took away his FP Little People that he had been carrying around. Marion doesn't need one more toy in her house, and it was destined to get lost, so I told my 14 month old that I would leave it in his car seat for when I picked him up. Sounds logical right? Have you ever tried reasoning with a 14 month old? It didn't work. Instead he looked up at me, stuck out that fat bottom lip and those big blue eyes filled with tears. I broke my baby's heart! I kneeled down to say good-bye and he crawled into my lap. This time I really didn't have time to hold him, sing with him and give kisses. I told him I loved him, gave him a kiss and his monkey and left him in the arms of (a very capable) Marion.

What a morning.

I miss my baby.

Wednesday, September 16

Wordless Wednesday

I love this picture! Idaho Hawks Baseball Stands

Tuesday, September 15

Buying Pants

A few weeks ago New York and Co. had a huge pant sale, buy one, get one free. So of course I went and bought a couple pairs of work slacks. Both pants were the same price, so I got a pretty good deal!

Except, when I got home and tried on the pants, I realized that one pair was a "Knit Luxe" which looked nice in the store but I realized when I got home that the more I would wash these pants, the more they would get balled up and end up looking a lot more casual than I was expecting. I wanted nice slacks.

So I took both pairs of pants and the receipt back to the mall to try and exchange the pants for another pair. I looked all over the store and I could not find another pair of the same price, I was not being picky, there wasn't any, all the other pants were about $8.00 more. So I picked a pair I liked and talked to a sales rep about exchanging them. After arguing politely with her, and having her run back and forth between me and her manager, I asked to speak directly with the manager. It seemed that the problem was, the pair I wanted to return was the "Free" pair (even though both pants were the same price) so they couldn't return the free pair, I could return the pair I paid for. BUT THEY ARE THE SAME PRICE! I am willing to pay the difference in the cost of the pants, I just don't want these pants! Finally, the manager agreed that I could return both pairs, and repurchase the two I want and she would honor the Buy one get one.

After waiting in line for what seemed like forever, I now have to explain the situation to a third girl who is ringing me up. The girl again goes to speak with her manager, and comes back to complete my order. When she is done she hands me my bag with my receipt. I tried to explain to the girl that I need to pay the difference, the pants I bought were more expensive. She tells me that is came out even. I try again to tell her the manager agreed that I needed to pay more. She tells me no, the manager said it should come out even.

Exasperated, I leave. I am tired of arguing with NY & Co. I seemed to get a pretty good deal out of it, and I like their clothes, I'm just not sure if it is worth the arguing.

This morning I pulled out my new pants to wear, they are a 6 Tall, I wear 6 Average. Now I have to take them back again for exchange them for the right size....

Monday, September 14

Pumkin Bread

Mmmm, I just had my first taste of fall! A piece of Pumkin bread from the Cafe at work. I know Fall doesn't officialy start until Septemebr 22nd, but I am so excited for fall to come and all the wonderful comfort foods associate with it!

The bread was so moist, I could barely spread butter on it! The large pieces of walnuts were the perfect touch! I think I am inspired, I want to try and make pumkin bread this year! Maybe I'll try this recipe from .

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups solid pack pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups white sugar
2/3 cup water
4 eggs

Grease and flour three 7 x 3 inch pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Measure flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices into a large bowl. Stir to blend. Add pumpkin, water, salad oil, eggs, and nuts. Beat until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake for approximately 1 hour.

Friday, September 11

Labor Day BBQ

On Labor Day (last Monday) we had a few people over to our house. It was our second party since moving into our house. Our first was our housewarming party in May, and Scott wanted to make sure this one was better. I don't enjoy spending the entire party in the kitchen, so I pre-made as much as I could that morning. I marinated chicken, and made my famous (okay, maybe not famous, but it is my favorite) pasta salad. Unfortunately, Scott and I are still eating the leftover salad for lunches. I shelled the shrimp and put them on skewers, made a chili & cheese dip in the crock-pot and enjoyed my company when they came over. Scott also wanted to make sure that everyone was happy.

We had a variety of drinks and snacks for people to choose, including a punch that I made up a couple house before the party. I thought it was pretty and fun, especially with the frozen berries floating in the jar. We also tried to have different "activities" to entertain us. Food (of course), games, video games, and hanging outside in our backyard.

Since we have more kids in the mix now, we pulled out Brendan's new sprinkler that I bought for $3.00 on clearance from Bed, Bath & Beyond, and his pool, a birthday present from Aunt Bekah. The kids had a blast (for the most part). I think it really helped having something to entertain them with.

To end the night we had 12 adults sit down and try to play a board game. It was a little slow, but I think it was great having everyone together playing a game was a lot of fun. I look forward to hosting more parties through the years!

Pictures of the kids playing:

Thursday, September 10

Driving with a Toddler

Last weekend I had the pleasure of taking my toddler on a 3 hour drive to Bakersfield for the annual Hunting Weekend. What an adventure!

Scott already had plans for the weekend so it was just me and the baby in the back seat for a drive that seemed to go on forever.... It was then that this comic really hit home. As I am driving, my son is screaming, not just a slightly frustrated yell; Ear piercing, top of the lungs, I'm not happy and I'm going to make you miserable scream! I pass back his cup of juice and he throws it at me. While trying to stay calm, and stay on the road, I reach back to fish on the floor for his cup to make sure it is not spilling and keep it in reach for the next time I desire to have juice thrown at my head. I try for the Cheerios, now all over the floor, one last attempt for the blanket. This too gets thrown, but as I sit in frustration with this terror, he slowly picks the blanket up from the seat next to him when he thinks I'm not watching to hold on his lap.

The stress of the trip slowly went away as he calmed down with the blanket in his lap. As I drive down the 210 freeway, I watch my son slowly drift asleep through the rear-view mirror. I watch him and think to myself, "I love this child so much, how was my life complete without him?"

After only an hour nap, he wakes up while I am sitting in traffic and reminds me that he does not like to sit in the car for that long! Looks like it is time for a McDonald's break!

I think I need one of these signs!

Thursday, September 3

Santa in the Mall

The other day I wandering the mall on my lunch break when a man caught my attention out the corner of my eye. He was an older man leaning against the edge of the second floor looking down at the first floor to what seemed to be people watching. Down below was The Children’s Place, Gymboree, Build-a-Bear, and so on. What really caught my attention about this man was that if I didn’t know better, I would have thought this man was Santa Clause.

Call me silly, I know, But there he stood in his wide-brimmed hat, his aloha shirt just as you would expect Santa to be dressed on his vacation. I could just imagine him make mental notes in his head of the children he saw below shopping with their mothers. “Naughty”, “Nice” and keep tabs on all of us. Gosh, I sure hope I wasn't naughty when he saw me shopping last week…just in case…

Wednesday, September 2

Where, oh where, did my Baby Boy go?

Last night, after Brendan went to bed, the house was quiet. Scott still wasn't home from his long day and I decided to try and be productive. I sat down in my living room floor with a brown box, tissue paper and stack of baby bottles, nipples and pacifiers. I have been saying for a while that I needed to clean out Brendan's cupboard of his baby bottles to make room for all the new sippy cups we are using. And so I began to pack up the things that make my baby a baby.

I'm not sure what was going on, perhaps it was the stillness of the house, perhaps it was the stress from work, but whatever it was, as I was wrapping up the glass bottles my son used to depend upon, tears began to slowly creep down my face.

I no longer sit and cuddle my baby with a bottle before bed, I no longer wake up in the morning cuddling my baby in bed while he had is morning bottle, then drifting back to sleep in my arms. Soon, my baby won't even need a crib and we will be putting him in a toddler bed.

Where did my baby go?

Instead of an evening bottle cuddled in my arms, my son carries around his cup of whole milk while playing with his trucks.

Instead of crying for his bottle in the morning, he is standing in front of his high chair, motioning to get in for breakfast.

Instead of waking up at 5:30 crying for my comfort, he sleeps peacefully until at least 6:30, and then usually plays in his crib until I am ready to get him ready for the day.

My baby is no longer my baby.

I am excited for the possibilities with him, he is learning something new every day. Walking and running all over the house, discovering toilet paper rolls and mommy's make-up. Learning how to climb up and down the couch, step in and out of doorways, run and play in the grass.

Yes, I am sad that I will never get those moments back, but they have been stored in my heart. Instead, I want to focus on experiencing what I have with Brendan now; how he sat on my lap this morning to put on his new shoes, when he shares my frozen yogurt with me, the fun we have splashing in his pool. These are the moments I treasure most.

I wiped away the few tears on my cheek, finished packing away the baby bottles, and put in a movie to break the silence. I love my baby boy. It's like the book "Love you Forever" by Robert Munsch.
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living,
My baby you'll be.

Tuesday, September 1

September 1st

Today is the first day of September, which really may not mean much to most folks, but being a "country girl" born in Bakersfield it always meant something to my family growing up. (I'm not sure if you would really consider me a country girl or not, but my dad tried to raise me that way anyway.) September 1st is the official start to Dove hunting. Dad used to tease that any boy we brought home better know the significance of this day or he wasn't worth dating. In fact, according to my sister, when her husband asked for Dad's blessing, he was asked only one question: "Do you know the significance of September 1st?" Luckily, he had been prepped for this question. My husband had already been hunting with the boys by the time we got married. (Just don't ask for his story of the first time hunting with the family!)

Every Labor day, which usually happens to fall soon after September 1st, we head down to Bakersfield for hunting season. My Father, Uncle, Husband, Cousins, and Brother(s) get up really early to start shooting. The women sleep later, get up and do a little hunting of their own...for sales! I guess I can see where I got my shopping addiction from.

Things have started to change, my "little" brother isn't always able to come down anymore, Brendan tends to not enjoy shopping as much us girls do. This year labor day doesn't fall until September 7th which by that time, most the doves are gone, not prime time for hunting. I'm not sure what this Labor Day weekend has in store for us, but I know things are different. It is hard growing up and watching your family dynamics start to change. Just this afternoon I got a text from my father saying "I converted her. Going Hunting." I have to tell you, this is quite a change from before my mother was the only woman in the house. Poor thing.
September 1st will come and go, and even though I have never been hunting, nor do ever have a desire to, but it is something about September 1st that reminds me of family and how much I miss them