Sunday, December 28, 2008

An Update!

We've been totally lagging on the blogging front. With good reason, we've been terribly busy with Christmas, friends and whatnot. I'll post some xmas photos soon, but in the meantime, here's a little rundown of the last few days:
I went to a fun little party on Friday night, just girls. It was great, especially hanging out with some I haven't seen in too long a time. There was a karaoke machine and one of my friends happens to be miss Karaoke Queen. I had only heard about her karaoke prowess before, this time I actually got to witness it! It was loads of fun!
That night, we got home pretty late and Elise decided to pull one of her "awake in the middle of the night" stunts. Not good timing AT ALL.
The next day, Saturday, was mellow and I just cleaned while Dan took the girls out of the house. I was looking forward to a good nights sleep, but jeez, I was wrong again. Elise woke up at 3 am and proceeded to puke at least a dozen times for the next 2.5 hours. I have no idea what happened, but it was pretty scary because she's never puked before and I have never, ever seen her that pale. Her lips and cheeks were the same very pale color. I contemplated taking her to urgent care, but she did finally fall asleep and woke up at 7 am, in very good spirits. She has not eaten or drank barely a thing all day today though. I'm hoping she will feel better tomorrow. And maybe sleep all night.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve

Christmas eve was nice. First, Lola and I went to the Grinch play at the Old Globe, then, afterward, headed over to my in-laws for dinner. The lack of meat-eating in our household has caused a bit of a commotion amongst some family members during this holiday season, so I was a bit anxious about this, but it turned out really well. Dan's stepmom made a delicious vegetarian lasagna and then served meat on the side. It was a perfect solution.
The girls were absolutely loaded with gifts from their grandparents and aunts/uncles. We also brought their stockings with us for them to open because we had long promised them they could open stockings on Christmas eve.
They got so much stuff, we could have easily just stopped there. Next year, we will definitely be more conservative. I didn't consider all the stuff they would get from other people....oops.
Anyway, we all had a nice time and the kids were asleep by the time we got home, which is always nice.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

the Grinch!

Lola and I went to the Grinch That Stole Christmas at the Globe Theatre. It was a spectacular production and Lola loved it so much! Her favorite part is when the Grinch drank the whole glass of milk that was meant for Santa and then burped at his dog, Max. We will probably make this our little tradition for holiday seasons to come. We really enjoyed the production and the experience too!

Grandpa and Elise (again!)

I know it seems like Grandpa and Elise are the only two in this house and I swear that's not the case, but it's just so often that Elise seeks out Grandpa and interacts with him so much that there's just so much photo opportunity here. With the holidays so looming, Lola has been busy with school and friends. She spends a lot of time with Grandpa too, but I haven't seen to be getting as many photos lately....

Hummingbird's nest

This is so cool, we've never had one so close to us, that we've seen anyway. We looked up info on hummingbirds and Lola found this great video on youtube that showed the whole process of a hummingbird nest, the chicks that were born and how they learned to fly. She was fascinated and can't wait to see the process with our own nest.

Friday, December 19, 2008

High Waters

Nope, not talking about pants that are too short!

We went to the local lake yesterday and saw trees appearing like they were growing out from inside the lake. With all of our rain lately, the water is really high.

We brought a bike for Lola and a little scoot toy for Elise. Lola kept swerving all over the road, making sure to get in the way of every single bike-rider, despite many warnings to stay on the right. Elise pooped out and abandoned her ride toy, which is why Grandpa is carrying it most of the time!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Breakfast with Ampa

I want to post often during my dad's trip, not only to keep a log for us and the girls, but also for my dad's lady friend, Monique, who is back home in Montreal. My goal is to post everyday, or every other day. Wish me luck!
Anyway, here's a cute pic of my dad and Elise sharing breakfast after Lola went off to school this morning. They are both eating peanut butter toast with orange slices! I love it!

Rainy Day

Monday morning, we woke up to rain. I was actually happy about it. My dad had just arrived late the previous afternoon, so it seemed like the perfect excuse to not be terribly busy (ok, in truth, we stayed in our p.j.'s till at least noon!).

The kids begged to go play outside in the rain. I tried opening up the back door for them, but the wind was blowing the raindrops really hard and RIGHT inside the doorway, pelting poor Elise in the face. Well, she didn't think this was turning out to be such a good idea after that. Outside in the front, though, it was mellow(er), so they played out there. This lasted until I finally noticed the constant water and mud that they were dragging in, then I quickly reached my threshold. They had bored of being soaked by then anyway. Any excuse for hot chocolate, I tell ya.

Elise never really got the hang of carrying the umbrella OVER her head as you can see. It's just this accessory that she drags along....Lola finally felt sorry for her and held her umbrella up for both of them.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Grandpa is here!

Or "Ampa" as Elise calls him!

My dad drove all the way here from Montreal! Understandably, he is tired of the harsh, cold winters. We are so happy to have him and really glad that he made it here safely. The ice/rain storms have been following him on his entire road trip, except for a day or two where the weather was nice. And now that he gets here, it's raining!

The girls are really thrilled "Ampa" is here, especially Elise. She asked about him everyday for a week before he got here. She's say "Mommy, where's Ampa?" with a questioning look on her face! So cute. I'm so glad my dad gets to bond with his only grandkids.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cauliflower Pizza Crust??? What???

Yes, you heard me right.
Yesterday, I made a pizza crust out of cauliflower. I was incredibly skeptical at first. I mean, really, who wouldn't be? I am trying to eat less processed flours/sugars, therefore, I was very anxious to try this recipe. Especially after reading the comments that other readers had left behind.
Well, I made it and it was delicious! Everybody in our family loved it. I never even told them it was cauliflower until after the fact. I had my friend, who is gluten-free, try it and she loved it too. I piled it up high with vegetables and we were good to go.

So, seriously, it was easy. Cook cauliflower. Put cauliflower in the food processor until chopped into tiny bits. Mix chopped cauliflower with an egg and some shredded mozzarella cheese (1:1 ratio). Press mixture into desired pizza crust shape on a cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes. Load toppings and cheese, then set pizza under the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
You can see from the photos that the crust was hearty enough to hold on the barrage of delectables that I piled on top. And it can be frozen after the first initial crust baking stage. I will be making lots of these, thus explaining why my husband could be seen at our local grocer's with 6 bags of frozen cauliflower in his cart.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Another 4 am blog post...

I haven't been up like this in the middle of the night for a long time. There was a time, not too long ago, when Elise woke up at this time of day quite frequently. But she's been sleeping through the night very nicely for a couple of months now.
Until tonight.
Don't know what happened and why she does this. All I know is that it's annoying as hell, but it could be worse and it could be happening during the week when I have no help the next day. But it's Saturday and I know I'll be able to make up my sleep later on. She's been up for an hour now and shows no sign of even being tired. I've been trying to get her sleepy but she's fighting me tooth and nail.
We hooked up with a newly pregnant friend tonight and drove through the Holiday of Lights at the fairgrounds. It was at least 8:30 before we ended up driving through the festive light displays and, Lola, the reason why we were even doing this, had already completely passed out in her car seat. We tried in vain to wake her up for the lights. Elise fell asleep soon after and we were stuck. It was a pricey outing at $14 per car! The kids would have liked it, I'm sure, but I won't be doing that again anytime soon.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pickled Radishes

I had soooo many radishes from my CSA, I didn't know what to do with them all. When I lamented to a friend, she suggested pickling them. I did 3 bunches tonight. They turned out fantastic. I didn't follow a recipe really, but went along guidelines from recipes that I looked up. I washed and sliced the radishes, then tossed them with salt in a bowl. I let them sit for a few minutes while I mixed up about 2/3 cup of apple cider vinegar, with a couple of tablespoons of sugar in a large jar. I added mustard seeds, dill seeds and red chile pepper flakes. Lots of those because we like our food nose-running spicy.
Then I drained the radishes and patted them dry with towels. I added them to the vinegar mix in the jar and shook the jar like crazy to mix them up. I divided the batch up into smaller jars.
3 bunches of radishes made enough to almost fill 2 16 oz jars! We only have one and 1/4 left though, because I've eaten most of one of the jars. MMMM!

How did I think this was a good idea?

Elise and I picked Lola up from school today at 1 pm and we headed over to a local lake/park area nearby. This lake is cool because it has these wood and metal structures, made to look like little houses, that the kids can climb, big logs cut down for the kids to walk across and one of the logs is cut out and made to look like a car that they can sit in. There's a creek (which was dry today) and a lake nearby, complete with ducks. If we feel up to it, there's also some swings and a slide on the other side. Most times we just play by the wood stuff.
Anyway, it got very chilly there by around 3:30 so we headed home. On the way, I was feeling really happy and told the kids that I thought hot chocolate sounded really good. I had just bought some organic, fair trade cocoa from Trader Joe's and also their artisan marshmellows.
Upon seeing her hot chocolate with marshmellows, Elise was ecstatic. She insisted on having a spoon and proceeded to spoon every bit of that hot chocolate into her mouth as best she could. Her coordination is still that of a 2 year old, however, so very little actually made it into her mouth. Once she saw how much of it was on the table, she tried scooping it up with her hand to drink it.
Oh my.

When Bad Clothes Happen to Good People...

I always see articles with this title in the celebrity gossip rags, but actually, I think Elise looks splendid in her sister's nightgown, baby sock on one foot, my black sock on the other and some stickers on her forehead for good measure! Later, she decided that her pink hat would complete the haute fashion look.

Oh and the hair! Just fabulous! The bed-head look that didn't come from a fancy pomade or hair dressing. It came from actually sleeping in bed, along with a mama who did nothing to fix it.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

San Juan Capistrano!

Today, Lola and I took the train to San Juan Capistrano all by ourselves. I was a little nervous because I don't do a whole lot a trips by myself...I tend to depend on Dan a lot, I admit. But I really wanted alone time with my first child since I never seem to get that anymore. She is blossoming so much and I feel like I'm totally missing it sometimes. Especially, during the holidays....November was kind of a lot of work because of all the houseguests and family functions that we had going on.
We had a great day today and I'm really glad we went. Lola was so happy all day, with nary a tear or spot of attitude all day. And, without a toddler screaming, running away and throwing one tantrum after another....well, it wasn't nearly stressful at all and I kinda needed that too. Elise is extremely awesome, don't get me wrong, but she's also 2 and not the most reasonable human being right now.
We went to the petting zoo for a while, where Lola got to feed some guinea pigs and rabbits. Then she took a ride on a pony for a couple of laps. There was a playground there too and she played with some kids on the slide and swings. Afterwards, we went shopping at the antique stores and gift shops. She picked out a few ornaments for our xmas tree. Apparently, today was a good day to be in SJC because there was a tree-lighting ceremony this evening and a whole party, complete with Santa Claus and all that stuff. We didn't get to stay for all that. Had I known about it, I probably would have arranged our trip differently, but I didn't want to be in a town I don't know very well when it was dark out. It seems like a pretty safe place, though. I'm just a bit of a worry wart, I guess.
I really would love to do this trip again soon. Oh, and the upgrade to business class on the Amtrak...totally worth it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Oh my.

What else could I possibly do, but get this on video and get pictures? Elise painstakingly emptied water out from a straw sippy cup so she could slurp up the puddles of water on the table. She was so proud of herself! Too bad blogger isn't letting me upload the video, for some reason...I really want you to see how she's licking her chops and saying "yummy" over and over!

Oh Christmas Tree...

If you have a memory of an elephant, you might remember last year when Dan and I had some disagreement about the Christmas tree. He prefers our plastic tree, I prefer a real tree. In an effort to compromise, we decided that we would take turns. One year, the fake tree, the next year a real one. This is the year we get to have a real tree, so we went over to a really nice tree farm and picked one out. I'm really happy with it. It's nice and full...actually, it looks a lot like our fake tree, but I'm not telling Dan that!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ice skating time again...

Once again, it's Uncle Tony time, which means ice skating for Lola. She is so incredibly lucky to have her uncle who purposely packs his ice skates with him every trip (he, his wife and baby live on the east coast) and takes her skating. Lola looks forward to this so much and I'm so glad that despite living so far away from each other, they can still have this bond.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

4 Generations of Duncans

All the grandkids were together for the first time and it will be a long time before they are all together again. They are all adorable babies. There are 4 generations in this picture. Great-grandpa is 89 years old and the youngest great-grandchild is only 4 months!
It's been pretty neat and insightful the last few days...there's been a spot of family drama here and there, some of which goes back a couple of generations, but what holiday would be complete without that? If I had a few DAYS, with nothing to do, I would write about it, but I don't! It's been fun despite a few bumps in the road.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Don't you just hate it when....

You really want to vent and blog about something that is very upsetting to you, but you really can't. And it's just in case the one person in the world whom you don't want to read your blog and probably doesn't even know what a blog is, just happens to read your blog that day.
That is kinda how I'm feeling right now. I really, really doubt there's any chance of my little vent being read by that person, but why take the chance?
Anyway. Suffice to say, there is something that I'm dying to vent about and it somewhat (read: pretty much) blew my holiday for me. Next year, I will definitely do things differently.
There!!!! I vented!

How did your holiday dinner go?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Birthday Bubbles

Today was Elise's birthday. We got an early start and went out to eat breakfast at a nice restaurant in the "downtown" area of our town. The kids were amazing. I was thankful because it's not the kind of place that a lot of people bring kids too. In fact, our kids were the only ones we saw, except for a young baby in a high chair. Anyway, during breakfast, we planned our day and decided to hit the Children's Museum. The kids LOVE it there. Dan talked me into going straight there after breakfast, even though I was not at all diapers, no water, no nothing. It all worked out just fine, though. We even scored a parking spot right across the street. They really enjoyed the bubbles part and that is where we spent most of the time. Elise doesn't know how to blow the bubbles yet. You can see in the photos that she is trying to actually blow bubbles out of the bubble one would blow through a flute or something! She had everyone around her giggling!
Elise fell asleep on the way home, her first nap in several days.
While she was asleep, Lola and I made her cake...vanilla with cream cheese frosting! Last year, when Elise turned 1, I was super tearful and couldn't get over how fast the year had slipped through our fingers. I'm not as sad this year. Elise is a lot of fun and I'm guessing I'm in for even more of a good time in the future! She is so awesome!

Happy Birthday, babykins!