Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat!

Ace got to experience Trick or Treating for the first time this year. On Friday we went to some local offices and enjoyed some fun filled 'Trick or Treating.' Ace at first was a bit shy, but as the doors with candy increased so did his confidence and he started to say 'trick or treat' and 'thank you' after he was provided candy. Some of the offices simply had left a chair outside with candy for him to take - he also enjoyed that part.

There were a few times we had to empty his loot into mom's purse because his bucket was 'too heavy' - hehe. He enjoyed sampling his loot and getting a nice sugar high.


Overall, he had a good time running around the halls and going to new buildings. In fact after we headed home he wanted to 'go to more buildings' He also was a fan of wearing his dinosaur costume and was a bit sad to take it off. Although he was thrilled to hear he got to go trick or treating again later in on the weekend. :) More fun to be had tonight! Oh boy!!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall Crafting

Ace and Sabria are friends for life... all their lives in fact. :) They get along well and enjoy chasing each other around and playing with each other. They are good friends. So Vanessa and I, who are also good friends always enjoy getting together and letting the kids wear each other out. The other day Vanessa organized a 'craft and bake' day. Boy oh boy was there fun to be had.

Both of the kids had a good time working on the craft and 'painting' the votive candle holders. They then got to put tissue paper and leaves on them and much fun was had with that process as well. They stayed relatively clean and then they scampered down to play while Vanessa and I made our own. :)


After that we moved onto the second phase which was baking cookies. They got seriously messy with the flour in this process... but they had themselves a good time.



The kids played some more while the cookies baked and Vanessa and I enjoyed relaxing and chatting. After Ace and Sabria enjoyed some cookies it was time to head home for a nap. We headed home and that evening I lit my craft creation. It was pretty! I'm not positive Ace's can be lit, but it's still cute. :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cooking Goal...

We're getting down to the wire and my recipe ratio vs the days I have less is becoming more and more insurmountable as the days tick down. I will be quite disappointed in myself if I ultimately do not meet this goal - it will be the first goal since I have started making these challenges for myself, that I would have 'failed' - so while I am still pushing forward and will attempt to at least make a dent toward HALF of my goal, we'll see how it does.

Another recipe that I recently completed was for biscuits. We needed some bread to go with our pot roast, and so I went to the internet to find myself a simply recipe for something tasty to soak up some gravy. Yum. I came across this one and I doubled it so I'd have some extra to use for breakfast sandwhiches, and snacks. Yum carbs!

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup milk

Directions:
1.Preheat oven to 425'
2.In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually stir in milk until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
3.Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead 15 to 20 times. Pat or roll dough out to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a large cutter or juice glass dipped in flour. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet.
4.Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges begin to brown

These turned out soo yummy, I certainly will keep this recipe and use it again! The cooking continues and I keep pushing forward toward the goal of 150 NEW recipes in 2010! We'll see how I do!

Cranberry Bliss Bars

Oh yes, the oh so famous treat from Starbucks! They used to be available starting November 1st. A date a could hold out for and wait for... but last year they decided to wait until December 1st to release them from their bakery 'vault' - tragic! I was quite sad for some time (30 days to be exact) last year. This year, I was getting ancy and then several people started to create their own from recipes they had found/created. When one of my friends did, I jumped all over that recipe! YUM! I made them up and enjoyed them muchly! Might need to make some more. :)
The only thing that I altered to this recipe was to add a bit more white chocolate and cranberries that went into the mix, and for the frosting I did not have any orange zest so I put in an ever so slight and tiny splash of lemon juice instead.... and by splash I mean drizzle, drips... hardly any. :) They were delicious!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Carving

 Ace was old enough this year on his third Halloween to enjoy the joys of pumpkin carving. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of carving pumpkins, I find it more laborious than exciting and my creative streak isn't really feeling it when it comes to being crafty with a pumpkin. So for me, I can certainly leave it... so can Loving Husband. However, I feel it is important to still allow Ace to experience the 'fun' that is pumpkin carving. So 'we' helped Ace carve his first pumpkin! OK I'll cop to the fact that I mostly documented the event in film while dad did all of the laborious and messy work. :)

Ace helped his dad clean the guts out of the pumpkin, enjoyed sampling both the guts and a piece of the pumpkin (we actually had to stop him from eating more...) and he got to choose what he wanted his face to look like and chose the shape for the eyes and nose. He enjoyed helping his dad carve each of the shapes, and especially enjoyed popping the carved pieces out.


When all was done, he was excited to put a light (a nice LED non-candle variety) in it and watch it glow! He was very proud of his pumpkin - and I'm glad he enjoyed his first experience carving a pumpkin.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Dad's home! Dad's home! Yes Loving Husband has been away for a while for work - and he came home yesterday! We were so glad to have him back with us. I had been holding off on going to the pumpkin patch until LH came home. Last year we were in California and so he wasn't able to be with us then, so I wanted to make sure we all went as a family this year. That meant waiting until today. Today happened to be the stormiest days thus far this fall. Of course! So we put on our boots and our waterproof jackets and headed out to the pumpkin patch, rain and all!

Ace was so excited to see all the pumpkins and to tromp through the mud with his dad. He had a good time wandering around that area and even trying an ear of corn! Loving Husband showed him how to 'peel' the corn, and Ace went to town chowing down. We had to stop him otherwise he might have eaten the entire thing. Not just the corn off the ear, but the entire ear of corn! haha! Silly boy. :)



Ace started to get pretty cold, and honestly did NOT like getting his hands muddy. In fact after he picked up one pumpkin that got him all muddy he was done actually picking them up. That boy likes his hands clean. We went back to the farm area and got ourselves a cookie and wandered around looking at the animals that they had inside the barn. Ace enjoyed looking and them. After a down pour past, we went back outside and let Ace run around the field for a while.


Then we headed home! It was a great morning at the pumpkin patch and I was so glad we could do it all as a family! :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

28 Weeks - Third Trimester

We have entered the final round of this pregnancy! The third trimester has arrived! Yipee! And wow that was fast in retrospect. :) Seven months pregnant and working on the eighth. Certainly feeling bigger and more winded!

Mae is a mover and a squirmer and less of a kicker (to date) than her brother. Ace used to get into one spot and kick over and over - whereas Mae is content to swim and when she gets stuck she uses an elbow, a heel, a knee... something SHARP to dislodge herself and continue her flip. OUCH! I'm not sure which I prefer... but at least she's going to have to cease a lot of that pretty soon as she's going to run out of room to make laps in there. Yes, Baby's crown to rump length is about 10.2 inches. Which is about the size of amusement park cinnamon-sugar-coated churro. Baby weighs about 2.4-2.75 pounds. She is about 2/3rds of the size that she will be if she goes full term. Her eyes now have color, and she can blink her eyes some now, and regulate her own temperature a bit.

Nesting has been quite a big event in the last few weeks around here. In the last week I have painted, built furniture, even pruned one of our trees outside - in addition to all other standard household tasks. I'm starting to run out of steam, but somehow keep going! It's amazing - my house will be sad when we're done with this pregnancy. :) Ace is super jazzed that he's able to play in his sister's room now, loves that he can play with his toys in there and often brings books in there because he wants to 'give this one to sister' :)

We've entered into the phase starting this week that I will be seeing the doctor every other week. We saw her two weeks ago and Mae's heart rate was 148bpm. That's the highest it's been to date - but still lower than her brother's average. Funny since the wives's tale is that the lower beats per minute indicate boy... Ace and Mae both defy that theory. :) I've had my glucose test and no gestational diabetes for me and the other test is normal (forget which one that is... but it's normal!) I am however still low on iron... which I have been for weeks now but I only gave in now and agreed to take the Slow FE daily. I'm not a huge fan of taking the extra iron, but I'll do it - since iron now is very good to help brain growth.

Now time for the pictures.




Uh oh where'd he go!?

He's very excited to meet his sister who comes 'after Christmas' :)There he is!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Painting!

Last Saturday, I completed clearing out Mae's room. I removed all signs that it once was an office and it sat an empty and awaiting canvas for our baby girl's room. Sunday, Ace and I went to the hardware store and picked out our paint colors: Cool Steel for the ceiling and Porch Swing Blue for the walls. We spent the next few hours on Sunday finishing taping and laying down the plastic on the floors.

Sunday night after Ace was in bed, I went to work on the ceiling. It only took about an hour to cover up that hideous blue that had been there since we moved in. Thankfully, I was meticulous enough to ensure that I had covered everything the first time so only one 'coat' was needed. I left the window open, put on the child proof door knob cover and went to bed.

Ace awoke the next morning wanting to go into sister's room. He runs back to my bed and says 'uh oh, sister's room is locked.' Yep, sorry son - no going in there without mommy's help for now. :) He was so excited because he knew that this day was the day that he got to paint his sister's room. And he did very well. I gave him an assigned area, and he stayed within it - he stayed pretty clean and did wonderfully to move to a new area when it was time for me to paint over his area. He was content to paint with me for about 90 minutes after which he declared he was all done painting. Excellent, because I was all done with the roller work and needed to move onto the edger and more detailed work which I wasn't wanting to have help with. :)



I spent another 45 minutes doing along the top and bottoms of the walls, around the doors, windows, etc.. and the first coat was complete. Not too shabby! Tuesday night after Ace went to sleep, I went in and did a second coat and some touch up work which took about an hour or so and then the painting was complete. Even removed a bit of the painter's tape. Wednesday, Ace and I went in and took all the tape and plastic off and we were done. :) Didn't take too long considering I did it myself, 7 months pregnant.


Next up was decorating and building furniture! A post coming soon!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Thank You

Oh how I love that Ace takes naps now and that he falls asleep on his own... and I even appreciated on this particular day that it took him nearly an hour TO fall asleep. Giving me three hours to construct, craft, stamp, thank, address and add postage my thank yous to those that have given gifts to Mae. :) I love being crafty and as of late the opportunities are rare - so this was a fun activity for an afternoon.

I purchased some pink card stock and bought a new birdie stamp for the occasion, everything else I owned and I went to work trying to find the best combination that There were several varying combos of birds and blossoms, but I settled on this one as my favorite.



I wanted to pull off the look and 'theme' that matched Mae's room. Mae's room is done in cherry blossoms with birdies. (A future post will be here soon about that!) So I wanted to be thematic. It was fun and I'm really happy about how they turned out. In fact I might make extra just to use for every day 'thanks' :) You can see in the below picture at least in partial view some of the other alternatives - all of them were used, but the above picture was by far my favorite.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mae's So Cal Shower

Last Saturday in So Cal my friends and family hosted a baby shower for Baby Mae. Shelley, Becky, Dawn and my mom all collaborated to put on a beautiful shower at Dawn's home and it was great to see everyone and celebrate the soon to be arrival of Mae. :)

Ace was excited from the moment he woke up that he was going to get to open presents! Who knew HOW excited he be to do it until we got started and then he was a quick tornado of present wrapping flying everywhere. Thankfully between my mom and others he was entertained and distracted by chalk outside, allowing for a more standard pace of unwrapping.

Mae got a lot of wonderful things. Dawn of course made Baby Mae more beautiful quilts that were used as decoration around the house. A chocolate fountain was served with lots of delicious things and I ate my weight in deviled eggs. Seriously I probably ate 6 whole eggs - Mae REALLY likes them. :) It was great to see people on this trip that I probably otherwise wouldn't have seen.

It was a wonderful way to celebrate with everyone - and I managed to get it all home! Ace even helped me pack! Thank you to Shelley, Becky, Dawn and my mom for a wonderful shower - Ace and I had a great time!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mickey Park - Day Two

On Friday last week we completed our tour of So Cal theme parks with another trip to 'Mickey Park' - Ace woke up and was so excited to go. We took our time, eating a good breakfast, returned our rental car, and then headed out with my mom to the park. It was warm, but not stifling and there wasn't a lot of humidity (since there had been rain and thunder in my mom's neck of the woods as well, it was a possibility.) It certainly was more crowded than when we went nearly two weeks ago (on a Monday) but it still wasn't bad.

We arrived and headed into Disneyland - we ventured onto Buzz first and then decided to grab lunch and hope that the rocket ships would be done with what was hopefully a 'routine' maintenance. I really wanted to take Ace on those, since he always talks about taking a rocket ship to the moon. :) We enjoyed Buzz and then grabbed ourselves some lunch near Space Mountain. Where we had a clear view of when the rocket ships would begin to work again. :)

They were going full speed when we finished lunch so we headed there next. I am pretty sure that was my first time on them. I am always a sucker for the nostalgia of the Dumbo ride and seeing as how it is basically the same thing, if I'm going to wait in a line for such a ride, it would be Dumbo. Ace having already experienced Dumbo last November, and having an affinity for rocket ships, these seemed like a must on his adventure in Disneyland. I have to say they go way faster than Dumbo! Ace loved it!

Next on the list was one of my favorites - the Haunted Mansion. We didn't make it on that one when we went two weeks ago, so it was a must. :) It was our longest line of the day ... around 25 minutes. Ace enjoyed walking on all the railing with Grandma's help, and after a bit nearly - but not quite - fell asleep on my shoulders. He enjoyed the ride which of course is decked out in the Nightmare Before Christmas attire, which I'm a fan of. Ace enjoyed it and loved all the bright colored presents everywhere.




Next up was Pirates - he enjoys that one - he holds my hand pretty tight through the whole thing, but he likes to look at everything - and in fact when asked after we left that night what his favorite part of Mickey Park was he said 'Pirates!' :) It warms my heart, since Pirates is hands down my favorite Disneyland ride. After Pirates we were onto the Jungle Cruise! A staple for this little guy of ours. He loves to look at all the animals, and I try to ignore the horrific commentary coming from our 'tour guide' :)

After we finished on the Jungle Cruise we headed out of Disneyland and ventured over to California Adventure. We were right on time to get in line to see the last LIVE show of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Since that programming is a staple in our house 3-5 days a week, it certainly was a MUST on our Mickey Park adventure -and boy did it pay off. Ace was so excited. I've never seen him so interested to engage and observe. Bubbles fall from the ceiling, leaves fall from the ceiling... it was so much fun to watch him inch away from me simply to get a better view. It was great.

Our final 'adventure' at Mickey Park was the Pixar Parade. We got a good sideline spot and left my mom with the stroller and Ace and I went into a store. I managed to stuff a box full of Mr. Potato Head pieces for a 'low' price of $19.95 - which will be a part of Ace's Christmas present. Got lots of good parts for him and I was thrilled that I didn't have to buy another potato head. :) We also got a cell phone for Kaylee as a present. Then headed back and waited for the show to start. He watched intently - and was greeted often by the characters in the parade, which he accepted with cautious glances back at me and Grammie. It was great. He got pretty excited when Buzz and Woody finally made their appearance and Lightening McQueen and Mater too.

With the parade done, we headed out of the park and out into Downtown Disney. Ace picked out a Buzz Lightyear spinning toy to take home and I got my pin to add to my collection, along with a doll for Mae's room. :) However, when we were finished it was 6pm... on a Friday. No way we should be getting on a freeway then. So we put our name in at Naples and enjoyed dinner there. Ace got himself a balloon from the balloon guy and enjoyed his motorcycle man immensely.

After dinner we headed home and Ace told us that: "I had a good time today at Mickey Park" - I love that his vocabulary is becoming so clear. I also love that he had such a great time at one of my favorite places in the world. Yes, for me Disneyland really is one of the Happiest Places on Earth. It was a great end to a great day. Ace fell asleep about 15 minutes after we were on the road and my mom and I enjoyed the commute home in 8pm traffic of the Orange County freeways --- ahh So Cal!