mt baldy

I feel so lame, I haven’t picked up my camera since I took Romeo’s newborn photos. So lame. So lazy. But I been loading a lot of video from the last year and a half. Aaron talked me into getting a new computer that he’s been talking about for a few months. The great thing is that it can handle all our HD videos and the firewire to import them is working, unlike our last computer where the firewire went bust a year ago. So I’ve gotten to relive some sweet moments like Sawyer’s kindergarten graduation and Greta’s tap recital, and other preschool events of Greta’s. I’m just relieved it is in a second location because if something happened to the tapes, that’s it. In loading all of this video I am trying to also familiarize myself with the new iMovie.

Here’s my first attempt at a short, very short video. Nothing fancy. My goal was to figure out how to import clips, add audio, and title pages. That’s it. Oh, and in the last minute I figured out how to fade audio.

Aaron forgot to take any video of the boys on their first visit to Mt. Baldy, and he took them again today. The conditions were fantastic since they got about 2 feet of snow just this weekend. He said it was great. And if you can believe it it took them only 45 minutes to get there today. Where else can you drive 45 minutes from the beach where it is 65 degrees to mountains where you can snowboard? The boys were signed up for lessons and thought they were going to have to do group lessons since the private ones were sold out. Low and behold it was just the two of them. So they were with one instructor and Aaron made sure he had the videocamera this time.

Gunnar usually only takes lessons in Mammoth, but we are really trying to get him to practice his toe edge and thought he would benefit from some one on one time. And it worked. He is much more comfortable with his toe edge now and hopefully he won’t struggle with it in Mammoth next week during his group lesson.

The video is mostly Sawyer, but midway you see Gunnar practice a toe edge turn. Can you believe it’s the second time Sawyer was on a snowboard? Love it. Love them. Greta and I held down the fort and babysat Romeo so his mama and daddy could have a date. Excuse the music, my boys are obsessed with Daft Punk, I think they think the synthesizers are cool.

 

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/20230282]

 

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book?

Raining here. And I am quite happy and cozy in my sweater laying on the couch reading. BUT, my mom came over to borrow a book and I can’t find it. If I loaned The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls to you can you text me or comment here? I cannot remember for the life of me who has that book at the moment. It’s such a good book, so if you haven’t read it yet, check it out of the library. I’m reading the author’s second novel which kinda is and kinda isn’t a follow up to The Glass Castle, called Half Broke Horses. It’s of her grandmother’s life. SO SO good.

We were quite wimpy this morning since I went to bed convinced it would be pouring when we got up. The sun was actually shining for a few hours and this afternoon is when the rain descended. But we would never have made it out this morning in time so instead Aaron was pretty fired up to do some spring cleaning. We tackled the cabinets above the computer which house a ton of books and random notebooks, and we moved them to a library in the garage if they are books that have already been read by the kids. They will wait there until the next kid is ready for a series. Then he cleared out our art closet and I have a nice bag waiting for Goodwill or a summer garage sale. All the kids art supplies and craft items are nice and organized once again. It seems that closet needs an overhaul every 6 months with how often things are going in and out of it.

I was thrilled Thursday to pick up a stack of books that came in for me at the library. I am devouring Half Broke Horses and Aaron is reading another one and I have a third on my nightstand. I think I can get through all 3 before they are due back at the library. It’s a nice variety of reads so I will let you know how they all are once I’m done. I finished Little Bee last week and cannot recommend it enough. Excellent.

Hope everyone stays dry and warm if you are in Southern California, and if you are in the east and enjoying some sunshine I’m very happy for you. I got a text from Auntie Rachel that it was 60 degrees and the sun was shining yesterday. I replied back that sadly it’s 50 here and raining. But I will take the rain because it puts off a whole lot of gardening work that will need to get done in the coming weeks. If the boys stay well this weekend then they are planning to go snowboarding on Monday at Mt Baldy since they got 2 feet of snow in the last day.

Happy long weekending everyone!

what’s for dinner…

I still am waiting for the boys to drop, but so far, all is good. As soon as I hit publish on this post I believe one of them will have a fever. That’s always how it works here. I made another super smoothie today, minus the spinach, and minus a few strawberries, only one was ripe for picking today. But it was delish and a little less green. Still hoping it does some good for the non-sickies.

On to equally non-important news, what’s for dinner? We haven’t had the most balanced meals lately and I feel like this week we had to get back to good, healthy meals. The healthy smoothies definitely have helped with my guilt level on the whole nutrition thing, but I need better preparation and planning. Aaron has been doing the Trader Joe’s runs and I feel like I need to really work on grocery lists and meal plans. I am going to make that a goal for March. This week we have had so far:

Sunday- Tacos

Monday- I honestly cannot tell you because I was in bed for half of the day. I believe I ate some humus and pita. Cannot tell you what everyone else had.

Tuesday- Aaron slow cooked some barbeque ribs and then grilled them for a little bit, along with green beans and brown rice.

Wednesday- I had some chicken breasts I defrosted and originally I thought I was going to marinate them in the mirin, tamari, honey marinade that everyone loves, but alas, I was not so together this morning. So then I decided to try the egg dipped in flour thing, but I should’ve added bread crumbs, but we didn’t have any, so instead I shredded some parmesan cheese and added those to the flour. Then I baked it instead of fried to be healthier, I think frying would’ve been tastier. Everyone ate it but it was a bit bland. I also made some peas and mac n cheese for a side.

Tomorrow we are going to be at my parents’ house for dinner, and then Friday I am not sure what I will be making. It’s more of a lack of ingredients thing than time or desire. I just have to be more organized about the whole thing.

Any ideas of easy, yummy foods? I really would love a three bean type recipe, I have scoured the internet and found one that sounds promising, but I’d rather get it from someone who can vouch for it’s deliciousness.

In very good news, Aaron got his braces off yesterday. He picked up his retainer today and the boy is complaining it’s worse than braces! Seriously? Pull it together. I do have to say his teeth look fantastic. I am not so excited to see our balance left to pay for those teeth. His orthodontic work really wasn’t factored into the whole ‘we have 3 kids that will need braces’ lineup. I think that should count for his anniversary present for the next decade. And I’ll add straight teeth to the kids’ “future possible dating candidates” list as a requirement. One down, three more to go. I’d say Gunnar is about a third done. He has his expander off and now has an upper retainer. He will get braces in a few years. Sawyer still needs to lose a whole lot more teeth before we start on him. But I’m guessing by third grade he will be ready to start. Gunnar began in second grade because he lost his teeth a little quicker. And Greta? The orthodontist already said to be prepared. She barely has room in her tiny little mouth now for all of her tiny little teeth!

Other good news, our Mammoth trip is fast approaching. The kids are anxious and excited. I am loving that we are expecting rain through the weekend which means Mammoth will be getting snow the entire time before we go.

I didn’t get to see Romeo for FOUR days. Can you believe it?! First time I haven’t seen him every single day since he was born. So as soon as I was feeling better I headed straight over there and held him all morning long. And I get to see him again tomorrow and every day until we leave for Mammoth.

Hope all of you are staying healthy and happy!

super smoothies

Our house has another round of yuckiness going on at the moment. Greta and I were at the doctor yesterday with respiratory infections. Thank goodness sometimes for modern medicine. It definitely has a place in our world. And when I cannot seem to curb the bug invading one of us I appreciate those little white pills all the more so. I would say within 6 hours of taking my first antibiotic pill that I felt functioning again. I haven’t been sick since November when we were in Ojai, and probably before that I think I had one ear infection in 2010. So overall I guess that may be pretty good considering I am the mom of 3 kids who bring home all kinds of nastiness. So when I do take antibiotics they seem to work quickly. Greta is just snotty now and her little raspy voice is starting to sound like normal again. The two of us took naps yesterday afternoon and woke up feeling like humans again. She wasn’t so keen on the nap taking idea at first. There were a lot of questions like, why are we sleeping when the sun is out? why can’t you open your eyes mama? will sleep make me win the fight with the germs? Finally she ended up looking like this. I do believe now matter how big they get, their favorite nap spot remains the same.

Her nap ended up being three times as long as mine but I was kind of trapped in this position for awhile. So after responding to emails and playing a few Words with Friends games, she finally woke up. Unfortunately that meant she wasn’t too keen on sleeping at her normal bedtime. I swear Aaron and I fell asleep long before she did in our bed. I remember seeing the clock at 11:28pm and knowing she was still wide awake next to me. Today fortunately we are a little better, and with the rainy weather now it’s a good reason to stay home and rest some more.

I picked the boys up from school today and totally let Gunnar wimp out of trumpet lessons. I fear they will drop like flies next. We came home and I made a Super Smoothie which is my feeble attempt at warding off any further sickness but realize that if the boys are next, there isn’t much I can do.

Here’s my ingredients for my super smoothie, beware it’s green so if your kids have an aversion to green smoothies they won’t like this, but it tastes delicious, so don’t let the color fool you.

1 packet of Emergen-C- berry flavored

Frozen mango- I usually plop in about 3-4 large half pieces of mango

Banana yogurt- 1 small carton size

About 1-2 tablespoons of Spirulina

Kefir- peach today but any flavor will do- about a 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup

I had some strawberries in my garden that I threw in, but any berry will help lessen the dark green color that the spirulina gives it

About 1-2 tablespoons of frozen chopped spinach

A big splash of applejuice

Blend it all up and serve with a cool straw, a chewable vitamin C and Vitamin D3 and pray that the sickies stay away from the healthy ones.

Date Night…

with my little girl. I realize I need to do more of these with each of the kids. There truly is nothing like one on one time with them. The conversations I have when it’s just us, totally different, and I want more of it. Greta has been D Y I N G to go see the Justin Bieber movie since she saw the trailer a few months ago. I know, you’re thinking she’s only 4. I know. But have you met my daughter, she is 4 going on 14. With a personality and attitude that will rival any teenage girl. Justin Bieber is about the closest we let her come to listening to “kid” music, so I let her. In fact, his music is catchy. So I was totally game for the movie. Come on, I love singy/dancey type movies. Step It Up? For sure. 2? And 3? Of course. Fame? Uh huh. Save the Last Dance? You betcha. Tatum Channing? Duh. So there you have it. I can’t resist a movie with dancing and singing.

I preordered the tickets since we were going to see it on opening day and it’s a good thing we did. The theater was sold out with 10-14 year olds. And get this, two separate couples, not tween couples, but like married couples in their thirties walked in with popcorn for this show! We went on Friday and it was definitely a Greta Mama day. It was my volunteer day at her school. And if I haven’t emphasized it enough in the past, we LOVE her school. It is just joy to see her at school. She loves it and EVERY SINGLE MORNING she runs down the block to get to the door as fast as she can. After my volunteer day we went to her tap/ballet class where again the girl is so happy and in her element. As soon as class ended she came running out of the studio and nearly barreled me down whispering in my ear JUSTIN BIEBER TIME JUSTIN BIEBER TIME.

We got to the theater and I couldn’t wipe the smile off her face. She kept saying “I can’t wait til it starts, I just can’t wait”. Here we are right in front of the theater, let me tell you all the teenage girls were dying over Greta being such a Bieber fan.

See what I mean about the smile? Couldn’t wipe it off her face. If only I had a recorder for her commentary and questions during the movie. She was killing me. Right when the lights went down she was taken a little off guard by all the screaming and hollering girls. I cracked up when one yelled “Let’s see some Biebs!” Then as the credits came she said, “This is it right mama? This is it?”

Throughout the movie here are some lines she whispered in my ear:

“Mama this is real right? Like it’s real? It’s him real?”

“So Mama, when am I allowed to go to his concert again?”

“I really really really wanna go to his concert? Will it be loud like that when I’m there?”

“Mama, I know who he is, does he know who I am?”

“I know I can’t go to his concert until I’m 10, but then I just want to meet him okay? Not like today, but tomorrow okay?”

“Mama, you said he lives in Canada, but look he moved to America! Now we can meet him because I live in America!”

“Oh Mama, this is THE BEST SONG. EVERRRR!”

“Oh Mama this is sad, he’s losing his voice? Will he be okay? You said this was real right?”

“Oh, Mama my favorite song! He’s singing my favorite song!”

“Look Mama, those girls are crying because Justin Bieber is sick. He’s sick I told you, so they’re sad.”

“Mama, I really like Justin Bieber and really really really REALLY wanna meet him okay?”

And that’s just what I remember which is a fraction of what went down during the movie. That night as I was tucking her in and we were talking about our Girls Day she told me that she knows she has to be a little older to go see his concert, but will he still sing a concert when she’s 10? And please would I pretty pretty please just let her meet him. Just once? Seriously, how can I say no? Well, I can because that’s one wish I have absolutely no way of knowing how to grant. She will just have to remain heartstruck like all the other 8-12 year olds throughout the world.

For any of you wondering, the movie was great. Don’t judge and don’t hate. Not til you see it. That little boy has serious talent. And I guess I can’t call him little, but he kinda still is. I had no idea his musical talent. I knew about the drums thing, but not about guitar and piano. And he sure works his tail off to get to where he wants to be. I admire that in a 16 year old, because if you haven’t noticed when you look around at teens today. They don’t have very much motivation. I sat there for 1 hour and 45 minutes just staring at my little girl and watching her dance and sing along and thinking oh dear lord you will be a real teenager in the blink of an eye. More date nights for the two of us are a must.

Sweet Romeo’s Newborn Photos

Beware, there is a whole lot of cuteness in this post. I haven’t had time to update my photography blog so I am just going to do the full post here. We took these in my bedroom and had a bit of a time crunch. You see he likes to take. his. time. nursing. So by the time the boy was good and milk drunk we were in a bit of a hurry to get him to his very first Monday night family dinner. But I think we did just fine.

This was the first time he found his thumb. He was a happy camper sucking on that thumb let me tell you.

Random Things

I forgot to post a few weeks ago that Gunnar had his allergy testing. Not much he ISN’T allergic too. Secretly, I was pleased that he too is allergic to dogs. No child to blame for having to give up Lola, so I feel better that they can’t be resentful of anyone in particular. I knew he was allergic to cats, but I was suspicious about seasonal allergies. I knew it had to be something, just not sure of what exactly. Well, we found out. Take a look at this poor boy’s back:

We have cats and dogs, weeds, grass, trees, dustmites, and a slight allergy to soy. Following this day I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and dropped a lot of money getting the boys’ room safe for Gunnar. I had to treat the entire room since they share it. All beds had to get dustmite covers, all pillows, I had to put in a Hepa filter as well to circulate the air every few minutes. I am good about washing their sheets weekly, but I have to add to it all stuffed animals and blankets every single week. Along with vacuuming their window treatments every couple weeks. For the next month the dr put him on allergy medication and after that we will try and wean him off. But the good news after all of this is the sniffles and red itchy eyes have vanished.

In more exciting news, we received yet another surprise package in the mail. This one, all about food! I have never tried Omaha Steaks before but we got a huge box in the mail from some friends who are contemplating a move to CA from NY. It was filled with filet mignon, sirloins, potatoes, and chocolate lava cakes. We will definitely be enjoying that!

Then on Tuesday I got a text message from a friend who was at Target and she spotted the perfect kitchen sink rug I have been looking for. And get this. It was $8.49. I quickly replied for her to BUY IT NOW PLEASE! Which she obliged. And now look at how happy my feet are when I am washing things in the sink. Actually, if I’m washing dishes my feet would be ON the rug more, but then you wouldn’t be able to see the pretty pattern.

 

I was so excited to receive this Tuesday night that the next day I got another one, this time in yellow for the boys’ bathroom. That’s happiness right there people. Pure joy.

And to throw in some further cuteness. Here’s Greta showing me here latest artwork. This involved fireworks, Rapunzel, a tree, lots of flowers, a sun, and other random goodies like a candy cane.

She wasn’t very happy that photo cut off the left side of her photo so we had to take another.

So we’ve covered Gunnar, a little Greta, a little home happiness, now Sawyer. He came home a few weeks ago with a little prize from their class prize box. It wasn’t Friday so I knew it had nothing to do with winning table points, so I asked him why he got to pick a prize. “Oh, it’s because I got the highest for fluency?” You got the highest for what? “For reading fluency Mama.” Oh, that’s great. “Yeah, you are supposed to read 30 words in a minute.” Oh, good for you! “No, Mama, that’s how many you are SUPPOSED to read in first grade.” Yeah, that’s great babe, 30 words in a minute!! “No Mama, I can read 226 words in a minute.” SAY WHAAAT? Just to double check I had to confirm with his teacher, and yep, 226 words a minute. I’m not even sure I read that fast. Granted, it was a first grade level excerpt that had about 70 words, and once they read it and still had time on the clock they continue to repeat the same excerpt until the minute runs out. That smarty pants boy. Love him. And I tell you, I would’ve been just as proud if he came home telling me it was 30 words. I just love that he loves to read. I can’t ask for anything better than that.