Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A 2009 Review

As I review the 2009 list of goals I had for myself I'm pretty content with my accomplishments. Of course there's room for improvement and there's a couple that went completely to the waste side (#4 with the boys and #7 with myself) but overall I've done a fairly good job of putting my goals to practice.

2009 List:
With the boys
1. Do more arts and crafts with the boys
2. Visit the library regularly
3. Less TV (even if it is only educational dvd's they watch, I still feel it's gotten out of hand.
4. Have the boys work on clean up every night before bedtime
5. Speak Spanish more often
6. take more walks

1. explore more artistic activities for myself
2. focus more time on my etsy shop
3. shop less
4. declutter our home
5. eat healthier, eat less meat
6. stay in touch more often with friends and family
7. stop letting the mail pile up ( a huge source of stress for me, I know it sounds crazy)
8. and of course keep up with my blog :)

With Christmas over and New Year's just around the corner, it's time to really think about what I want to accomplish for 2010. I'll be continuing some of 2009 but I'm also certain there will be some new goals to add to the list.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Enjoying Holiday Crafts and Fun

The boys are off from school for winter break a total of 2 weeks. During this time thus far since there is 1 more week to go, we've had fun with crafts, baking and holiday decorating. Just lots of simple activities to entertain the boys while keeping my sanity.

The boys had fun making glittery pine cones. This was extremely easy, pine cones, glue, glitter and brushes and your set. So easy, yet entertaining for the boys. Best of all, we get to enjoy the beauty of the end product throughout the holiday season as I have them displayed in a pedestal bowl. Our dear neighbors came over for this activity which added that much more fun.

There was also coloring and construction paper fun that resulted in some great snowman art. Also displayed in our home. The boys just beam with pride when we display their handiwork.

Aidan also made a reindeer hat out of construction paper that we ended up displaying in the tree.

We baked cookies for Santa and the neighbors. Yummy oatmeal cookies with holiday M&Ms.

The boys helped place mommy's vintage baubles in a glass cylinder for display (OK this made me very nervous but we got through it. Next time will use baubles I'm not so attached to.)

We made a swag for the front door. We used the bottom branches that were removed from our Christmas tree for this project. This was more of a mom made it while boys observed..but it still was entertaining for them.

We also made a ritual out of putting the holiday cards we received in the card holder. The kids loved this and the challenge of getting them all to stay on the holder.

We also had a nightly ritual of opening up a treasure in an advent calendar and enjoying the sweet chocolate treat together. Yeah I know this was a special treat, nightly chocolate, thankfully it was just a small piece.

And finally, Christmas eve we put together a gingerbread house with help from Uncle Jess and cousin Zach.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hot Pot With Friends

Dear Max was recovering from surgery and an endoscopy and would find nothing more comforting than a nice hot pot. I joked with him about being the elephant man because half his face was swollen creating a fold over his eye but this did not deter his desire to have friends over for hot pot. So we did and it was a good time. I think it was a nice distraction for Max in his current state of discomfort.

We had fabulous fixings for this hot pot, crab, shrimp, beef, pork, tofu and an assortment of veggies. We also had yummy sake to accompany the hot pot and finished the meal with Honey's delectable desserts. She made a persimmon tart and her famous chocolate chip cookies. It sure was a feast for all.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dad's Owie

So Max finally got his growing lump removed from his forehead. (fyi - he had this fatty tumor that was slowly getting bigger) Once removed, he had to get 4 stitches in it's place. The boys were just stunned by this and couldn't figure out what was wrong with daddy. They kept asking what is that? Do you have an owie? You ok daddy? It was sweet to see they were genuinely concerned albeit a bit scared too.

Holiday Treats for a Holiday Party

Aidan had a holiday party on his last day of school before winter break. For this party I baked some festive cupcakes and decided to put together a little gift for Aidan's classmates...so they each got a sweet gingerbread boy and a mini candycane in a cellophane bag with a star tag. Aidan was thrilled!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Day of Recitals

Today was a day of recitals...Miles and Liam's Christmas program in the morning. Aidan's Winter Concert in the evening. Grandma and Grandpa came to join us in the fun. It was sweet to see Miles and Liam at preschool as this was their first real performance. I know Miles knows all the songs because he's been singing them at home. However, he was more of an observer than a performer today. He smiled and looked around at everyone but he wouldn't sing. I really thought Miles would be the performer, surprisingly Liam was. Liam sang a handful of songs and looked quite pleased with himself. As for Aidan, well lets just say he wasn't on his best behavior. He did sing halfway through the performance but the first half he spent pestering his friend next to him. Although I really wanted to chew him out for this I restrained myself and just encouraged him to do better next time.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Aidan Asks ...Another Curious Thought About Outerspace

Aidan is very intrigued with outer space, planets and stars.

Today he asked me "Mama are there children on other planets?"

Me - " I'm not sure Aidan, I don't think so. But if there were they probably wouldn't be like us, they would be like martian children."

Aidan - " Well I know there aren't children on the Sun because the Sun is a star made of gases and it's very hot."

Me - "I'm sure you're right about that Aidan. Maybe one day you'll be an astronaut so you can go see if there are children on other planets"

Aidan - " Yeah"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Dear Daddy!

Today we celebrated daddy's birthday. Daddy got off of work early and attended the boys swim class. Today was Miles and Liam's first swim class so it was a treat to have daddy there as well as have daddy see the progress Aidan has been making in his swim class. After swim class it was dinner at one of our favorite Mexican Restaurants followed by a drive through a neighborhood that is famous for it's Christmas lights, then home for Tiramisu cake ( one of daddy's favorites) and presents. It sure was a nice day for all of us. Happy Birthday Dear Daddy!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

All Aboard The Polar Express

Today we made a trip to the California State Railroad Museum followed by a ride on the Polar Express. Although this trip involved some planning, a small expense, and a short road trip it was well worth all of it. If your kids are train lovers, and you haven't been to the train museum it definitely a place to visit. It's an amazing space with amazing sites and an interactive train table area. I know you're probably thinking, "My kid can play with his train table at home" and I agree but the ambiance of this train museum makes the train table experience unique. The boys absolutely loved it.

Even more thrilling though was the ride on the Polar Express. An absolutely magical one hour train ride that took us to the North Pole. We were served cookies and hot chocolate while the Polar Express story was narrated with live action performance. Waiters tap danced down the aisle, a hobo came through questioning the passengers "do you believe", a view out the window of Santa and his reindeer while Santa reviewed his list, and Santa on board the train handing out sleigh bells to all as a fabulous finally. If there were any questions at all, after this evening my kids are true believers in Santa.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Holiday Parties Begin With Twins

We attended are first holiday party for 2009 today held by our twin club. It was the perfect way to start off the holiday party season. The boys all had a great time decorating gingerbread houses, playing with friends, listening to Santa read a story, doing the hokey pokey and enjoying yummy food especially the sweets! The venue for this years party was fabulous. Thanks to one of our members, the party was held in a church gym that had ample space for seating as well as the craft activities. Delicious Mexican food was served. High school students were hired to help with serving food, run craft activities and cleaning up. In the past, members helped with these tasks (including myself) so this was by far the greatest idea that allowed all members of the club to enjoy the party. We did all still pitch in, I manned the coloring/craft table for quite awhile and Max was one of the official photographers but it was still a much more enjoyable experience not to be all consumed by tasks. So here's a shout out to all those who organized the event, "Thanks, my family enjoyed it"

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Visit From Abuelito

The boys Abuelito (my dad) is visiting for a week. Tomorrow will be his last day with us. I think the boys are going to miss him. We don't see him very often maybe 1 to 2 times a year so this has been a really special time for the boys. Abuelito has stayed in Aidan's room on his trundle, this has been a special treat for Aidan...like a long sleep over. Because Abuelito primarily speaks Spanish, the boys have had an opportunity to practice. I had a real kick out of Liam yesterday, as he sat on Abuelito's lap. I overheard him saying "me llamo Liam." then went on to just say some random things "la casa, arriba" and continue with counting in Spanish. It turns out he knows more than I realized. Each one has had their special moment with Abuelito, an exchange of words, some time on his lap, a story read together, a bedroom shared.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving ...The Holidays Are Busy

I'm realizing it's hard to blog while you have house guests and preparing for the holidays. I'm hoping to catch up soon.

We had a nice Thanksgiving with the Perez side of the family over for the day. They arrived early, so it was a fun filled day of activity. I cooked dinner while my sister and hubby pitched in and helped as needed. Actually, hubby came to the rescue and made a fancy cranberry & pear dish at the last minute as I had completely forgotten about the cranberries in the fridge. I'm thankful for that, as well as, thankful for having such great family to spend the holiday with. The boys had a great time playing with their cousin Zachy who was just super at entertaining them (Zachy is 15 now.) and with their crazy Uncle Jess. There were also lots of laughs to be had especially when the boys decided to dog pile Uncle Jess on the couch. We also had lots of laughs as the adults played a game of "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire". We had homemade tamales for lunch that Uncle Jess brought over, Mmmm, Mmmmm they were good and just before dinner we sat around the dinner table and everyone took turns saying what they were thankful for. I really didn't expect Miles and Liam to say anything as this is a difficult concept for a 3 yr old. Miles just stared blankly but Liam sure was cute. He said with the cutest face, eyes darting around to see everyones reaction, "I'm thankful for ham." we all laughed and agreed with him. He was so pleased with himself. As for dinner, we had a feast..
Sage & Garlic Butter Rubbed Turkey
Honey Baked Ham
Ginger Garlic Green Beans
Brussel Sprout and Pecan Salad
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
Pecan Sage Stuffing
Sage Infused Gravy
Cranberry and Pear Compote with Honey
and Dinner Rolls
And for dessert, Cheesecake ( Aidan's favorite) and Pumpkin Pie

It sure was a delicious and splendid time.

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