Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What a Crazy Summer

Hanging out at the Rose Garden

Jamund here. I've been wanting to write for a while about this crazy summer. It's just not been normal by any stretch. I guess it all started in June. We went to the Cabin for Eleanor's birthday. She was turning 2 and we put her in one of those pack and play things and for the first time ever she just climbed out. Every time. She had no intention of sleeping at all. Ellie has now fully entered toddler land. She's running around, talking and generally being awesome.

Hanging out in the park 

Next up Simon. Simon turned 4 this year. He got a dragon kite. It is the best basically best gift. Simon loves flying kites (Eleanor is scared to death of the kite!) Him and I have gotten to spend some good time together going to see the new Planes movie, going downtown to the art museum and playing in the splash pad and just basically being awesome together.

Dragon Kite Flys High
Enjoying the Water Features at Plaza De Cesar Chavez 

Simon has also spent a few weeks in soccer camps. He can now kick the ball, stop the ball and generally outplay his pop on most days :)

Kids Love Soccer

A few other places we've enjoyed hanging out this summer is Gilroy Gardens and the San Jose Children's Museum. A few saturdays I took the kids to the children's museum on the bike and we had a great time. Eleanor calls it "neum" and will always give that answer when we ask her about her favorite part of the day. Gilroy Gardens also opened up a new splash pad this year that really brought a lot of joy into the kids lives and even my employer had a special company day there where I brought the kids. They had a lot of fun. I read a book on my iPhone :)

Kari was on an awesome diet this year and we ate a lot of organic vegetables and meat. She got really good and cooking steaks and I cooked a lot of Salmon on the grill. Yum! We mostly hung out, watched movies, some of our favorite films from the last few months include North by Northwest, Divergent, Fault in Our Stars.

So that's about it for us. We're doing pretty well. Having ups and downs and looking forward to the future!

Rose Garden Sunburst

Shadows over the Rose Garden

Saturday, June 28, 2014

More Simon texts

It's time for another round of things Simon says that I then text to Jamund....

"Mama is my heart beating? I don't want to do anything. I'm a sponge."

"If you could have anything in the world for dinner, what would you have?"
(Cranky face): "Tuna melt."

"Your pee sounds really familiar," says Simon as I go to the bathroom.

"My sunglasses are white like glisering snow!"

"I was thinking about muesli in the middle of the night."
"Why were you thinking about muesli in the middle of the night?"
"Because I was just thinkin' about it."

"Do you want a smorgasbord for lunch?"
"Yeah! What is it?.... Does it have chocolate?"

"What are some things that make you emotional and excited?"

"I love this chicken I do I do. "
"It's actually salmon."
"I love this salmon I do I do."

"I love you mom. I love you just because you are beautiful and pretty. And when I grow up to be like dad I can use markers." (or something like that)

"Those are pretty flowers!"
"Do you know who got them for me?"
"Why did Daddy get them for me?"
"Because he loves you and you wanted pretty flowers."

Simon loves to sing the Real Salt Lake (soccer) chant and one day it turned into a special rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star": "Zoom across the world so high... Zoom zoom!"

"I'm staying in my bed for 100 weeks. I'm not going with you on a walk."

I asked Simon what he wanted for dinner:
"Oh. Cookie Pie."

Silly man.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Tips from my life

Some things that are helping me currently:

1. Drinking water: carrying a water bottle with me (even around the house) is great. Drink drink drink!

2. Exhale: Core Fusion Collection. This DVD set is kicking my bum. And thighs. And arms. And abs. If you were to just watch it and not do the exercises, you would likely think, "Hey, that can't be hard. They are hardly doing anything." And you would be wrong. It is such good toning work.

3. Mind games. Okay, so maybe not mind games so much as mentally preparing myself when it comes to food. I like to anticipate and psyche myself up for what I am going to eat. Especially treats or after the kids go to bed "snacks." So lately, instead of being like "cookie and ice cream, hooray!" and giving myself the mental permission to eat that, I have been trying to think, "yogurt with mini chocolate chips, almonds, and berries, hooray!" or "cereal! yes!"

For example, the night before Easter, I mentally took inventory of what I would be "allowed" to eat, knowing that it would be so easy to get out of hand if I didn't give myself limits... So I did, and I lost weight from the day before. On EASTER I LOST weight. Big deal for me.

4. Trader Joe's organic vanilla and vanana yogurts.

5. On Becoming Childwise. I really like the Babywise series. Simon is being a bit of a trial opportunity these days, and I am finding lots of good tips and reminders in this book. It might not work or be everyone's cup of tea, but it works for my parenting style/personality.

6. Acknowledging the fact that I am most likely fructose intolerant. Yes, I spent far too much time and money on doctor's appointments and tests ruling out gallstones and kidney stones only to stumble across fructose intolerance online. I have been trying to follow the diet suggestions (which is really hard because it's like, "stop eating lots of "healthy" things like honey and a huge slew of fruits and veggies and brown rice and agave syrup and lots of the current hyped up health foods..."). And it is so helpful. I really think I am fructose intolerant because the nights when I feel the sharp pains and such return, I usually have "cheated" or thought, "Oh, I'm doing alright, I can cook with salsa or tomatoes or eat soy sauce or have regular pizza or eat something with fig paste or apple in it..."And then it is not alright.

Anyone have any experience with fructose intolerance?

Anyway, I better stop blogging and resume parenting. If anyone else has any helpful tips from their life that they want to share, comment away!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


I was preparing our slow cooker dinner just now and thought it might be nice (in case anyone cares) to compile a list of my best loved/used cookbooks.

A lot of the time I just search online for a specific type of recipe (and love for this purpose), but there are a few tried and true and well loved cookbooks I use. Here they are (links may not be the exact edition I have):

1. Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book: the one I use is the 12th edition, and I love it. Classics.

2. Cooking Light: Complete Cookbook: another good, big cookbook and I feel like it is "healthy." Maybe it's the title.

3. The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion: oh my awesome. I love the explanations/"here's why" nature of it, and the recipes are so good as well. 

4. Taste of Home: Slow Cooker cookbook. I just got this relatively recently, but I had a different slow cooker cookbook that did not have very tasty recipes... and this one does (so far!)... so it's a win! Especially on Sundays when church ends at 4 p.m.

5. Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: this is a great read as well as a good cookbook. Especially for biscuits. But we also like the chocolate cake, bagels, yogurt, etc.... I ought to use it more but I really do love and recommend it (except the chocolate chip cookies. I can't recommend those, sadly).

I have a lot more cookbooks than that, but for cookbooks that I would recommend actually purchasing (and if I had to get rid of all but five cookbooks), I would say these are my tops. Happy cooking!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Simon Sayings

Let's face it. It's about time to have a post about the wonderful things Simon says to us. So... here is a sampling of some of the comments he has made that I've written down, snippets of conversations, etc.  Enjoy!

"I love Hawaii so much. I want to stay here for a bit."

Jamund, referring to a leaf blower man: "That guy's like 'I'm in the road!'"
Simon, referring to a baby: "That guy's like, 'I'm in the stroller!'"

Me: "I'm thankful that daddy is normal."
Simon: "No, you're thankful for apples."

"You can be a motorcycle for Halloween, I'll be a van. And Daddy can be the road we drive on. And Ellie can be a flower."

"Do you want to be a mountain for Halloween?"
"No, I want to be a car for Thanksgiving."

"I was an apple pie."
"Oh? How was that?"
"Oh, I guess it was 'A B C D E F G...'"

Me: "You're something else!"
"Yeah, I'm a mountain. A snow capped peak."

Me: "What are you eating, Ellie? Spit it out."
Simon: "She's eating a butterfly."

"Will I turn into death if I get cold?"

Discussing "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.": "I'm telling you the facts, not the reasons."...  "I thought a tiger was in the movie."

"I'm lucky to have a big papa like this: big big big BIG BIG papa!"

"Pretend it's nighttime. (about 5 seconds pass) Okay, I'm done. So you want me to read a story to you? Which story do you want? A Christmas one? This one?" (turns the pages, then says "All done!" and then looks at me quizzically when I tell him he didn't read it to me)

Reprimanding me as I'm texting Jamund during pretend nap time: "I tell you to sleep! You look at your phone when you're done sleeping!"

"This is Howl's moving castle. I made it." (pats his blanket, which is in a pile on his bed.)

"Ellie's old now. Let's get a baby sister. Let's throw Ellie away because she's old now."

"Hey, I need some milk, man!"

"I promise you to death, Mommy."
"What does that mean?!"
"It means to dive. Dive into some water. It means to die on the cross too."

"There's a toenail on my toe right here. I want to saw it off."

Simon getting on underwear and putting on his pants (excuse the mention of a private body part): "Percy, king of the railway! Where's my penis? ...Bees, bees, bees... My pants are getting tighter, Mommy!" (Hits my stomach and then falls to the floor)

"Mom, you're a FedEx truck."

"I'm a crab. I'm a snapper." (makes snappy finger motions.)

"You're a daffodil, mama"
"Oh, why?"
"You're a bad guy."
"You're a bad guy, mama!"

"Here's a booger."
"Put it on your bottle." (me not wanting to get up since we are cuddling and reading a story)
"No, that's dirty.... (thinking) Put it on Ellie's shirt."

"I'm not your son. I'm your boy."

"Where's the horse head!? Where's the horse head? Is it outside the door? I want the fish head. I want the horse head. Mama, where is the horse head?!" (referring, I hope, to emoticons on my phone)

Me to Simon: "How's it going?"
"A dog bite. A dog bite. Don't get any closer to the water. It's on the carpet. I'm going to go fishing to catch some fish."

Me to Simon: "You need to treat your sister with respect. Do you know what respect means?"
"Be handsome, and evil, and good."

We love that little man.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


I made two discoveries yesterday.

#1: I was teaching the kids from this preschool book about germs and realized that Eleanor probably gets sick way more than Simon did because she loves to suck her two fingers. Makes sense, right? Simon didn't really suck fingers or thumbs or pacifiers.

old photo, but shows what I'm talking about

#2: Frozen lemon bars. For reals. Try it now and thank me later, after you've gained about 5 lbs.

Friday, January 24, 2014

so it's been a little while...

Quick post since the kiddies are probably awake now, but I thought, why not? Why not extend quiet/nap time for a few more minutes so I can "blog"? Ah, rationalization.

It's been quite the time since I last posted... various things happening/that have happened include:

• My becoming Primary President at church again. (not sure exact date on this compared to when I last posted, but it is something that helps keep my time occupied, so it's blog worthy?) Lots of meetings and children and teaching and organizing... and good experiences, of course. Simon is now a "Sunbeam" so that can be hard (with me as Primary President) and funny and cute.

• Family trip to Maui! Awesome. I could probably post some photos of that at some time. Eleanor LOVED it.

• Eleanor being sick most of the time with a cold/cough/runny nose

• Each child getting an ear infection

• My parents coming for Christmas/New Year's and being super helpful, of course, and the kids LOVING them so much

• Moving a few houses away over Christmas/end of December. We actually like our new house better (it's a tiny bit smaller but basically a very similar layout, one room we had in our last townhouse is now a "den" in this one, but that actually works better for us and makes the home feel more "homey" for some reason). But moving itself is not necessarily fun or awesome.

• My getting sick during the moving process

• Identity theft/debit card hacked /whatever you want to call it. Super annoying. The bank caught it and alerted me really fast, but it's so time consuming trying to make calls and change things to prevent future incidents and not having a debit card for a few days is kind of annoying. Actually I don't really care.

Ah well, life is still super good and I need to remember that. It's so easy to complain (and it can be entertaining sometimes), but I need to remember that life is so good! The kids are cute (and crazy), we are relatively healthy, at least not miserably unhealthy or anything, we live in California where it is not a polar vortex, and my kids haven't started screaming at me (or at least I can't hear it if they are!) yet.