Thursday, October 9, 2014


we had ten minutes until school was out. i asked them to clean up. all of the sudden i hear {in a shrill voice}...
'but i don't want to go hooooooome'

i looked at him and said... that's the nicest thing you've ever said to me. he looked confused.

some days i feel like i want to hit my head against the wall, but today i walked to my car with my head held high. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014


our maiden voyage. it took us awhile to muster up the courage to take this trip. and it went amazingly well. {i mentally set the bar low so i could enjoy the day} the only real hiccup had nothing to do with the kids. my sweet mountain man of a husband put his pocket knife in his pocket like he does every morning. 
of course they spotted us. we casually walked a few feet back, he stuffed it deep inside his pocket and we returned. an undercover lady walked up and told us to hand over the knife or return to the car. the car that is miles away. 
ryan ended up flagging down a cab driver and paid him to mail it to our house. so... we shall see if it ever shows up. {he may have paid a guy to steal his knife} 
anyways... we let this debacle roll off our backs and we actually had a really great time. 
we went mid-week in the hopes of low crowds. i think that trick worked. early march is also a good time according to the Disneyland website. 
the weather was PERFECT! oh how i love california. 
our first ride was the merry-go-round. 
toad's wild ride was less than a 10 minute wait. 
no wait at the tea cups. and no WAY i was getting on them. {notice the snarky princess testing my 'i'm going to be a great, patient mom at disneyland' outlook. urgh.}
threatening to toss her to the pirates seemed to snap her out of it. my favorite ride. maybe it's the smell of chlorine.  

they loved the pooh ride.
and i loved the treats at pooh's store. 
i set a mental limit of one treat and this was worth every.single.calorie. 

moo's only request was to see princesses. we didn't see any of the well known ones from our movie collection. moo didn't know who mary poppins was or the evil witch, but she did recognize snow white. 
 this lady was so in character. i felt a connection ;)
we stopped by city hall at the end of the day. there wasn't a line compared to earlier. we snagged some free pins to celebrate their first trip. moo took it for sharing today. 

and somehow, by some small miracle, we got away with only bringing home two balloons. that i {the mom} held the entire way home. 
dane jumped and screamed for joy when we bought them. he, unlike me, has a true love of cars and balloons. his life was complete.   
and i felt pretty complete too.
on the way home we stopped at islands. moo screamed out 'it's like the tiki room!' it was so sweet. 

a few random tips:
we brought lots of water and snacks. i tucked it all discretely inside our diaper bag. there were no issues with that. and i saw a lot of other people with their own food and drink.
for my fellow double bob lovers- do not stuff your stroller until AFTER the bus ride into the park. otherwise you will be that mom who is chasing all the water bottles and bars that have fallen out while waiting in the bus line.
i brought empty sippy cups to fill throughout the day. i brought empty ziplocks for left over snacks and things to save from lunch. 

a small revelation: 
there is the universal tantrum. i saw so many kids throwing fits. so many kids being naughty. so many kids just being grumpy.
and when it was all said and done... it made me feel good. sometimes i feel like my kids are just the craziest kids that walk this planet. nope. they are not alone. and i am not alone. oddly, i found comfort in seeing this at the happiest place on earth. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The 100th Day of First Grade

the 100th day usually falls in february. right in the midst of groundhog fun and valentine's mayhem. it's kind of a big deal in first grade. so we make a big day out of it.

i ask the students to bring in 100 items to share with the class. we compare the bags and talk about the differences. why is the bag of black-eyed peas so much smaller than the bag of cheese-its? don't they both have 100?

we bring in snacks to share for our 100 item trail-mix.

and of course, thank you mrs. sandford, we dress up like we are 100 years old.

we read books like The Wolf's Chicken Stew by Keiko Kasza. We read poems, write all about $100, 100 siblings, what we would be like if we were 100 years old.

we count to 100. race to 100. jump for 100 seconds (type in 100th day of school in youtube)
we estimate. and win snacks.

and we have a lot of fun. 

{teachers: go to and search '100th day of school' and there are lots of great FREE resources!}

Monday, February 10, 2014

quilt corners

i'm into simple square quilts. they are easy. they are fast. and i like the classic 'quilt' look.
there are so many samples on pinterest to inspire you.
so when i made my christmas quilt and started my cowboy quilt, i was having a hard time lining up my corners. and i was frustrated. and mad. 
i was being ever so careful measuring, cutting, pinning, and sewing. there was no logical reason to why my corners looked like this. 
so i whined a bit. messaged quilter friends. then sat down and started being methodical.

first, do not simply lay your strips right sides together and sew. even if they match up perfectly. they might be the exact same length, but the corners might be slightly off on every.single.corner. i know this to be true. i hate this.  
second, there may be a time and a place, but i do NOT believe in pressing my seams open. why? 
1. because my mom said so. 
2. i did that with my last quilt and it was a hot mess of mismatched corners.   
3. when you go to lay your strips right sides together, if you've pressed the top strip to the right, and bottom strip to the left, they will link up. like legos. perfectly fitting into each other.  
if you wiggle your fingers together when holding them, you can actually feel it match up.
so once you feel each corner match up, pin it right through the match. like the picture below. 
pin on every single corner. and i actually sew right over the pin. very slowly. and yes, i hit pins and change needles more often then i should.
and after being much more methodical, my corners stopped looking like amateur hour and i was happy. 
happy quilting!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

insta strangers

i no longer creep facebook. my newest late night addiction {beside staring at a snoring husband} is scrolling through hundreds of instagram pictures... of strangers. complete and total strangers. interesting mom types.

a lot of them write things in their bios like: my kids are my world, mommy of two, i revolve around... you get the gist.

i wrinkle my nose. really? i mean... yes, my kids are a HUGE part of my world, my day, my life. and happily. but i have been {me} for 30 years. i have been {mom} for 3 years. i am still me... kinda... i think. i still love to swim and watch movies or be side-by-side a friend in tj maxx. this wasn't all given away when that sweet first girl was born.

every.single.interesting woman i know, that i would like to emulate, is dynamic. truly multi-dimensional. not one prides herself in being 'only' a mom. it's a piece, but not the entire person.

and i shouldn't assume these instagram strangers necessarily mean that, but it just seems like a... strange? boring? dull? bio description.

or maybe i just don't get it.
{take what you want from this post considering i have nearly 3,000 instagram pics of MY children!}

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Minestrone... my way

this recipe is adapted from Cooking Light's minestrone soup.

here is the easy breezy, kids are watching sesame street
{be quick}, version.
~ 2 tsp olive oil
~ 1 yellow onion diced
~ 2 tsp oregano
~ 2 tsp garlic
~ 2 zucchini, chopped
~ 2 carrots, chopped
~ 3 roma tomatoes, diced
~ 1 can corn, drained
~ 1 cup or more of cooked chicken
   (costco precooked pieces are perfect)
~ 3 (14oz) cans of chicken broth
   i use one carton of trader joe's chicken broth
~ 1 can Great Northern Beans, drained
~ 1/2 cup uncooked ditalini noodles
~ fresh spinach
~ salt and pepper to taste
~ parmesan cheese

1. heat oil and add onions and oregano. saute.
2. add garlic, zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, and corn.
3. cook until softened, stirring often.
4. add broth.
5. simmer for 15-20 minutes. until fully cooked.
6. add Great Northern Beans.
7. add noodles.
8. simmer for another 10-15 minutes until fully cooked.
9. take off heat.
10. stir in a few handfuls of spinach.
11. add cheese salt and pepper.
i have made this four times now. i have loved it more each time. my version comes out with very little broth, since i only add the carton. and the noodles suck it up. you could easily add more. i like it with little broth... more of the good stuff.
the original recipe calls for asiago cheese, but i'm not a huge cheese lover and i don't like that flavor. i prefer the trader joe's parmesan.
you can also adjust any of the vegetable amounts. sometimes i add more zucchini or a little extra pasta.
i also added the chicken element.
i can buy every ingredient from trader joe's, besides the pasta. that is at target. also the costco precooked chicken is from costco ;)

Monday, February 3, 2014

chicken farming

i had a realization this weekend. i am indeed a chicken farmer of sorts. the fun sort. here is how i know.

you know you're a chicken farmer when...

you sit to eat lunch and realize there are eggs in your pocket.
chicken forums are more interesting than baby forums.
livestock supply websites are bookmarked.
you're sewing for them.

when dane eyes an egg in the fridge and cries until you let him hold it. 
{clearly he's noticed me squeaking and squealing in delight as i carry eggs around the yard}

you know you're  a chicken farmer when...

you know how to worm a chicken.
you have an extra plate of scrambled eggs for them on saturday morning.
a little scrap bowl sits on the cutting board at all times.
eggs are to be dried and blended, never thrown away.

you know you're a chicken farmer when...

the chicken with the cough gets the same level of attention as the child with the cough.
you can pry open little beaks and rub medicine on nostrils.

and of course... when your reaction to this christmas gift is sheer delight!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

the polar express

during our trip up north, we went on the polar express train ride at the Sacramento Train Museum.
we dressed up in our pajamas.

 wrote santa a letter.
 explored the trains.

 played with cousins.

 drank hot chocolate and ate cookies.
 listened to the story The Polar Express.

and met santa and the train conductor.

super fun, i highly recommend it.