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Colin, Emilie & Molly

They make me laugh everyday...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Idea # 20 Easy carrots

Molly is now our third kiddo that I have done this with carrots.
Steam cut up carrots
separate into servings
put each serving into their on non zip lock baggy or wrap in cling wrap
put all of the little bundles together in a bigger baggy or container into the freezer
When ever you want one take it out of the freezer and right into the microwave for 20 sec. (depending on microwave). baggy and carrots
When done plop out of the baggy to cool off and do any needed cutting
ENJOY~

All day...

I spent all day working on a project today that I though for sure would take a couple hours at most. WRONG!! I now remember why I don't do stuff at by myself. It's really hard! Especially when the kiddos where extra needy today. Or I wasn't at their beck and call (I even looked that up). Either way here is what I did.
Before
                         After Magnetic paint and boarder made out of corks. Did not think about having to do a boarder until I removed the tape. Whoops...
I also had some 12x12 pieces of wood cut and painted them with magnetic pant and hung them on the wall. The kiddos helped me pick their boarders around the wood. Colin picked rocks, I picked Penny's for Molly(she is my lucky penny) and Emilie really wanted the corks. What ever works for ya Em.
All of the above painting idea's I got from a very good friend who I am sure will have much better luck with them then me!
For the record I never have an individual thought. I am surrounded by amazing people that I get my ideas from Or a magazine I saw in passing and now from my new favorite pass time reading blogs!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

LOVE


I am reminded everyday why I love that my kiddos have siblings.
Molly stood by this door for ten minutes smiling, laughing, yelling and dancing.
What was making her do all of this?

Watching her bro swing super high!
Every few minutes he would run back to the door to dance and laugh with her.
Where was Emilie? Thank goodness napping. That crazy girl needs her sleep!

Sweet Molly giving a shout out to papa...(at least I hope so)

IDEA # 19 Yes, we're OPEN

My kids have become addicted to the computer!! To help them understand time management I moved the little sign that goes in our play house into our kitchen. When it is on the closed side they know to not even ask.

Tomorrow I am going to start using it to help them understand when the kitchen is closed!
Some days I feel like I am in the kitchen all day making breakfast, snacks, lunch, snacks and dinner.

The Best Running Partner...

    Max is the BEST running partner!                                              
 He goes all out the whole 60 minutes without one complaint.
 He makes me laugh so hard that some times I have to stop.
 He makes me feel safe when we run in the woods.
 He likes my music mix
 I love my Max

      I love him even more when he is this sleepy
after our runs.

  Love you Max, and thank you for being you.
And yes, this is actually me talking about Max and not Sam who is Max and my best friend. 
(Sam watched Max while we where on vacation and left post about their adventures together.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

So Different...

I am always amazed at how different my kiddos are from each other. They spend 24 hours together and yet are still their own little person.
I took this picture of Colin because he really thought he could find the train he was looking for if he got in the tub with all of the pieces. I think he did end up finding it this way. Good job buddy!!

Emilie can take the easiest thing and make it a crazy mess.
 All this was, was a little bagel with peanut butter on it.
When she isn't eating she hates it if her hands are dirty and she can't
go more than a couple hours without brushing her teeth.

What will Molly's little quirks be?
So far when she cruises around she always has a matchbox car in her hand and when she is done drinking her bottle she giggles and tosses it. Really Molly....

Kids are great!
 One day they will sit back and talk to each other about what a crazy old lady I am.

IDEA # 18

    These are the best little doughnuts!
Starbucks is selling them and they come in vanilla or chocolate and both have white icing and sugar in the raw sprinkled all over the top.
My daughter is always begging for a doughnut when I get my coffee and now I don't feel so bad getting her one of these instead of the giant apple fritter I use to get and then split with her.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The First Week Back...


Its been fun getting back in to the swing of things. Colin loved sharing his trip with his friends at school and he even tried to wear his Hawaiian shirt everyday.
We even brought the sun home with us. Your welcome :-)

My first full day home was spent replacing Doug's 2nd love. He fell on it while jogging in Kauai. The lava rock that stopped his fall is what did the most damage.
Opps....
The folks at the Apple store where fantastic! If my brain could handle learning a new language I would have walked out of there with a Mac. But I love my PC too much to leave him. Yes its a boy and his name is awesome.


The sun was such a treat this week that after soccer in Redmond we went to whole foods to do some shopping and enjoy some messy ice cream.

Poor Molly...Hopefully she grows into those teeth. Thank goodness her personality is FANTASTIC!



Emilie wanted to be a big helper today and help me clean the kitchen. It would have been great if she hadn't complained the whole time....
Poor Cinderella


Little Cinderella did make it out to her version of the ball and played outside with her bro.

Emilie said she was "the digger guy" and when I asked Colin what he was he stuck a pose and said "worker guy". I guess this is what he thinks "worker guys" look like.

It was a beautiful evening in the Valley.
Sleep well...

IDEA #16 organize the pantry

I'm sure that I saw tonight's idea in a magazine, I'm just not sure which one or when. Either way it's a great idea that I use everyday.
The hangers that our kiddos clothes come on are a perfect size
to hold a bag of chips.
They get the bag of chips or snacks out of the far reaches of the pantry and out front where we can see them and easily get to them at 11 o'clock at night.


Another great organizing tip for your pantry is a
closet organizer hung on the door.
This one my husband thought of one day when we where
at IKEA. I'm sure it was in REAL SIMPLE as a New Idea for an Old Thing, but for tonight we are going to let hubby have all of the credit
Thanks Doug!
Ours has loose snacks, shake mix, cliff bars, etc.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

IDEA #15 Potty Training Help...

As crazy as this idea sounds it really works!
My sister braved the hospital this week to fix her bladder. Part of the deal for her to break out of the hospital was that she had to go potty. She tried and tried and nothing. The fantastic nurses that took care of her shared this trick with her. Blow bubbles, out of your mouth. Magic happened and she went potty. Congrats Ann Marie!
How this applies to potty training is this. When I was trying to get my kiddos to go pee they would sit on the potty and just sit.... hours of this just sitting... I was always thinking "if only there was a trick to getting them to pee". Now we have one!!!
I tried it on my kids tonight and it did work. I know, they are already potty trained, but Colin always say "I don't need to go!"
A way to make it fun is have them blow bubbles in a glass of water. Its amazing but the act of blowing air out of your mouth really does relax those pelvic floor muscles!
Good Luck!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Idea 13 and 14

It was a lot of fun for me checking my blog every night and seeing what my sister and Sam had posted. Thank you ladies for being so fantastic and keeping me up to date on Max and sharing some fantastic ideas on food and life with my friends. You two are the best!

One of the two things that I LOVED having in Kauai was collapsible tubs for the kiddos toys

I got these at Target and use them at home in the book shelves to hold "stuff".
On the trip they where great for holding toys and we even used one for the laundry. They fold totally flat and then open up with a hard bottom.

The second great thing was these little laundry soaps

We had a washer and dryer and I am really picky about what laundry soap we use. Mostly because of Molly's cloth diapers and these work great! I found them at QFC before we left and they also come in fresh linen sent and sent free and this one. For the diapers I have to use Enzyme free.
You can also order them from their website.

Enjoy!

We made it home!



Kauai was a fantastic trip for us!
Out of the three kiddos its to bad that Colin is the only one that will remember any of it.  Hopefully the zillion of pictures taken will help the girls see that they also had a great time. Or at least that is what I will tell them.

Every morning we would try to get out of the room by 723 to watch the sunrise over the water. A very rare thing for us west coast folks get to see.
It was also the first time as a family we all slept in the same
 room for more the one night.  Emilie was on a roll away and Colin was in the king with us. Molly got her own room in her play pack in the giant closet. It worked out perfect.
We spent some time everyday at the pool. Molly hated the sand, water and grass witch worked out really nice. We would place her on a towel and she would not leave that towel. It was a perfect porta-crib. It was fun being able to take her places with us and not worry about her crawling to the water or eating the sand.

I tried to get a picture of all three kids but none of them turned out. I did get some good ones with them in pairs.
This one was taken while we waited to go on a train ride. Colin LOVES trains and I think this made Hawaii perfect for him. The train and the mud buggy.
This is a neat one of the girls on the train because they where actually talking to each other.
Colin just took it all in. And love all of it. It was a 40 min. ride and we learned some really neat stuff about the island and we even got to stop and feed some pigs and two goats. We didn't need to be at the airport until 4 and we had to be out of our room by 11. The train was perfect for filling in the time.
This picture of Emilie makes me think that she really believes that she is a movie star and we are just her entourage here to help her get through her day with snacks and milk. When she went to bed tonight she was very confused on why we would not be in the room with her we she woke up in the morning. Please sleep good tonight my sweat Emilie....
We spent a lot of time in the airport on our journey home. Here are the two older kiddos waiting, and waiting for our plane to show up. Thank goodness for the Starbucks with a view and comfy chairs.
Even Molly had an opinion on the situation.

In the end we made it home around 530 am, had a fantastic time and the kids did awesome on the plane going both ways. I am very proud of them and can't wait until our next adventure.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Photo of Duke and Jack

I thought it would be fun to post a photo of my dog Duke so everyone could see what the brother to Max looks like.  I also thought I would discribe a few details of Dukes personality so you could see how they differ a bit.  When Dana and I went to pick out our puppies all Dana wanted was a dog with a nose, because she knew she planned to do search and rescue.  I wanted the pick of the litter because I planned to show mine.  Well we both got what we wanted.  Except my pick only came with one testical, therefore no dog shows in his future, but Dana got her nose and Max hasn't stopped searching for that next loaf of bread since!  Now regarding bread...Dana actually says it is my dogs fault her dog eats bread orr is it my dogs fault they get he gets in the trash...mmm....well any way it is true they both will do anything to get ahold of some bread but that is where my dog usually stops...Max on the other hand will eat anything, anywhere.  Another difference is Max loves to hike and run thru the woods and as we have found out this week play in puddles!  Duke is a city dog and prefers the life of leasure.  Max loves to sleep on your bed, Duke prefers to sleep on his own level of the house, he is a bit independent.  Both are beautiful Flat Coat Retrievers, Max looks more like the Irish Setter lines and Duke more like the Newfoundlands.  But the funniest difference is Max loves Duke and well, Duke, he could really care less.  I have loved having a dog that is a litter mate to my sisters.  Mainly because we never got to have kids at the same age but we do share the love of the brothers!


IDEA #12 How to get more protein in your kids

Do you sometimes think...my kid live on carbs?
Did you know that often times Protein deficiencies usually lead to the craving of sweets.

So here is IDEA #12

 How to get more protein in to your kids diet, just bake or mix with a little Protein Powder!

To pump up the protein in standard baking recipes without sacrificing taste, replace 25% of the flour with protein powder.  Simply mix it in with the dry ingredients and follow the recipe the same way.

Don't forget the good ole smoothie.  Kids love them and they are a great way to get in some fruits for the day and more protein!

Here is a yummy smoothie recipe...
  • 1 frozen banana, cut into chucks
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, cubed
  • 1 cup low fat milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
Place all ingrediants in your blender and process until smooth.
*You can also add flax seed oil to give it even a little more goodness

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Yes, Max is still doing well.



Blogger Sam here with the latest Max update.  I don't know if he will sleep for a month or not. He is sleeping pretty hard at night as it is. I think he misses his family. :)

a. it won't stop raining.

b. I give up trying to keep Max out of the puddles.

Max hasn't stole any of my food in a couple of days but did mysteriously chew on a roll of toilet paper when I left him alone for a few hours. I have no idea why; but tonight he comes to class with me. I caught him yesterday with his head under a pillow at my house and a cat nearby. I believe for Max that is coping. Unfortunately I never have a camera around for most of the cat interactions because some are pretty funny.

We have been walking a little bit most of days but this rain is pretty discouraging. Today we did spend a lot more time at another gate on the North Fork that he actually knows really well. He did a lot of circles through the woods and was thrilled at the size of the puddles. I actually have never experienced a dog that loves water this much...it makes him so incredibly happy. :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

IDEA #11 Check Craigs List and Hotwire

I am on a role! Okay now my sister probably knows it is because I am most likely avoiding cleaning some area of my house.


I am a total procrastinator! Years back I tried to change that and even succeed for sometime but it really was way too much work! Plus I am just fine sitting amongst chaos. I believe this trait alone is one of the reasons I have always been able to work from home!

Here is my kitchen at this moment.  Last nights dishes still in the sink because I forgot to run the dishwasher during the day, veggies that still need cleaned from two days ago, left over stuff from making Jack's lunch and my breakfast dishes...made a great new recipe called Banana Walnut Oatmeal.  *check out my blog for the recipe.  Did I mention my husband travels and when he is gone this is a common  look for my kitchen. BUT Today is my day to clean so soon it will sparkle!

Okay back to the point of this blog (wow I do tend to ramble, sorry about that)

Last night I finished booking a trip to Vegas. Our daughter, Allie has a Volleyball Tournament there over winter break. So we decided it would be fun to go there as a family. So I started looking for hotel rooms with kitchens/condos. I looked on all the sites and couldn’t find any in the price range we needed. But then I got a great tip from my Aunt Kimmie (okay I say Aunt but she is only five years older than me and she has gone to Vegas a fair bit!)

IDEA #11: CHECK CRAIGS LIST and HOTWIRE for travel discounts!
I was shocked to discover that this was a great place to look!!! We ended up getting a 2 bedroom deluxe condo with a full kitchen at a time share resort one block behind the MGM Grand for $162.00 a night!!! Regularly $359 Plus it isn’t a casino and has four hot tubs and a great pool!  If we had just been looking for a regular hotel we could of gotten something right on the strip for $80 easily.

So if you are looking to travel this next year don’t forget to look on Craigs list to see if there is anything available for that area!

RENTING A CAR?  Try Hotwire. I was able to get 19.00 a day for a medium sized car. I checked all the other sites and they were the best deal!

I don’t know how people did it back in the day before internet but it is so helpful to be able to compare sites and truly look for the best deal!

Photo of LapTop Lunch Box

You can purchase extra little inserts for the boxes. 
I highly recommend this!!  Unless you don't let your dishes
pile up in your sink like me or forget to run your dishwasher.

IDEA #10 Waste Less, Spend Less, Eat Well

I work the lunch shift at my sons school every monday. 

*side note on how this came to be...don't be a guest for someone on a bunko night!  Too many glasses of wine for me and the mom sitting next to me complaining about how she couldn't find enough mom's to cover all the lunch shifts.  At least I still had some sanity to tell her "I will only work one day!".  That comes from years of being suckered into too many volunteer positions!!!

Okay, sorry I digress.  So every Monday I walk around the lunch room to see what the kids have brought for lunch.

 I have definitely  realized buying lunch is not the healthiest way to go.  They do a great job with all the sides but the main meal is not really food.  Now I say that, but know until this last week my son bought lunch every day!!  But after seeing that the food isn't even prepared on site, I realized I needed to finally listen to him and make his lunch.  Yes he has been requesting to take his lunch all year, I just didn't want to deal with making it.  So we compromised, I make the sandwich part and he packs the drink and sides.

The other thing I have really noticed is many moms are trying to make better choices with what they are packing especially with the crackers or the juices, but when you really look at the labels it is just tricky marketing making you think the item is a healthier choice.  This makes me so mad!
So how do you not fall victim to marketing.  Read the labels for one but what really can help you out is don't buy any prepacked items for your lunches.

Now finally, to the point of my blog.  When my daughter was in elementary school I stumbled onto to the most amazing little boxes called Laptop Lunches.  I loved them because I didn't have to use any plastic baggies to pack her lunch and I could send little dips as well.  These little boxes have become very popular today.  In fact I saw them at Whole Foods just yesterday.  But you can also get them from their website:  http://www.laptoplunches.com/

Laptop Lunches are American-style bento boxes designed to help families pack nutritious, environment-friendly lunches for school, work, and travel. Our sustainable lunch containers--which come with a book of healthy lunch ideas and lunchmaking recipes--are reusable, recyclable, and dishwasher safe. Our lunchboxes, recently featured in both Parents and O Magazine, do not contain phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), or lead.

Want to read their newsletter for this month: http://www.laptoplunches.com/newsletters/2010/JanuaryNewsletter_2010.html

Laptop lunches are a wonderful investment for your family but also for the environment. Just to pack a lunch you would use at least three plastic bags and possibly some plastic silverware. I loved that these little boxes were all reusable.

The funny thing for me…I gave mine to my sister and now that Jack is eating lunch at school again I need to buy a new set!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thank you!

I have the most amazing sister and friend. Thankyou for sharing your time with max and fantastic eating plans with my friends. Miss you tons, and can't wait until tomorrows post!

IDEA #9 It's Hard to Eat Right

 okay I am cheating a little bit.  I just posted this on my blog http://www.hadleywellness.org/ and thought I would post it over on my sisters blog too!  I hope you find it helpfull.

*okay I have to laugh, here I can't even make the time  to come up with an orginal post for my sisters blog but Dana's guest blogger #1 will have hiked another mountain today!  Geez, Sam you are amazing.  Max is going to sleep for a month when you give him back.

I am always amazed at how hard it is to make the right choices when it comes to eating. But I have realized the secret to eating right is...BE intentional about your eating, make a plan . Here are a few ideas to help you out:


  • Meal Plan for the week (even if it is only three meals a week that is a great start) and this isn't just for dinner, think about lunches too. Be proactive when you wake up in the morning ask yourself what am I having for lunch. My favorite lunch item right now: tuna fish (light on the mayo) on top of 1/2 an avocado. This is really satisfying!

  • Challenge yourself to eat those veggies and fruits before they die . (it is one thing to buy the veggies and fruits but how many of us end up throwing some of them out a week later because they died in our frig?) *today I came home from the gym and sautéed broccoli, cauliflower and cherry tomatoes. I sprinkled Trader Joe's Pasta Seasoning Blend on top while it sautéed and then sprinkled a little bit of parmesan cheese on top when it was done cooking. All of these veggies were a day away from dying in my frig. So I cooked them up for lunch with a piece of left over chicken! Success... a great lunch.

  • Frozen Fruits and Frozen Veggies are a great choice too. It is expensive to eat right. So remember to check the frozen food isle, especially in the winter!

  • It all starts with breakfast. What are you and your children eating for breakfast. My 16-year-old asked me last night if I would make her eggs this morning. (this was something I did all fall when she was playing varsity volleyball. She said I really think I do better at school when I have a good breakfast!) OMG I am actually doing something right as a parent! Breakfast ideas: eggs, german pancake, oatmeal, egg on an english muffin, egg wrapped in a tortilla, crepes, protein smoothie, yogurt, especially greek yogurt, cereal but read the labels watch the salts and sugars. Can't get your kids to eat a healthy cereal try LIFE.

  • Eat five fruits and five vegetables a day for optimal health? Think about your day right now...how did you do? How did your kids do? I have started a little chart on our fridge that tracks each person in our family and they get to put a check on the chart when they eat a fruit or vegetable for that day. We are doing this as an awareness challenge for our family and also so the kids can learn to take ownership over their food choices. This is also good for me because I am a huge enabler! We call the chart the HIGH FIVE Chart...because we need to have how many fruits and veggies a day? That's right FIVE. Plus when my son puts a check on the chart he gets a high five...sometimes it really is the simple things, unfortunately the 16-year-old didn't care so much for the high five idea she thought the $5.00 chart sounded better!

These are just a few ideas to help you and your family eat right in this crazy, crazy world where many of us are all on the go 24/7! I really do believe eating right, really starts with having a plan and then actually following through with the plan. But remember, it isn't about being perfect it is about trying and then trying again!

Monday, January 11, 2010

WA rain and no dog idea


Guest blogger Sam again, so excited to have guest blogger 2 join us. Especially since she has ideas and I haven't brought any to the table - thereby keeping her more in the spirit of the blog. :)

Today the WA rain and wind came in. With rain gear on we still hit part of the Rattlesnake trail, Winery/Snoqualmie Point Park end.We didn't walk long, but it was still a good outing. And in this weather we had the trail to ourselves.

 

IDEA # 8 Take the Time When They are Young

After surviving 24 hours of club volleyball this past weekend, I am finally on my sisters blog as guest blogger #2!

First let me tell you a little about me  (yes dana even on your blog I am narcissistic!)
I am seven years older than my sister, Dana. (that makes me 41) I have been married for 17 years and have two children.  A 16 year old girl that plays a TON of volleyball and a 12 year old boy that plays basketball and baseball. This past year I have became obsessed (my mom and sister will tell you I don't know how to just become interested in something) with  health and wellness.  I am commited to being in the best shape I can be in by the end of 2010 and this goal is going to be much easier after I have my bladder surgery on monday!  okay that might of been a bit of an overshare.

So with all that said, some of my blogs this week will be health related and some will be how I have managed to survive raising two children to this point!

Now on to IDEA #8...Take the time... today.
  When my children were both under five I remember knowing moms that had older children and  I remember thinking, "when my kids are older I will have so much time?"  WRONG ,  you may be physically exhausted when your children are young but your schedule is still your own.  As your children grow, you become mentally exhausted and your schedule begins to take a back seat while you try to work around their schedule... dance lessons, tutors, sport practices, staying over at friends, driving them to a location to hang out b/c being at home is boring, working in their classroom so the teacher knows you are an involved parent and please give your kid some grace, staying up late because they had to see the late movie with their friends and on and on.  But something else that has started to creep into my schedule is the fact that I WANT to be with my kids as much as possible, especially my 16 year old.  She will be gone in two years, forever, and that is a shocking thought, when it feels like yesterday she was just eating dirt.  So here I am driving my daughter around when she will still let me, b/c now she has her licsense, getting up at 5:30am to just make her a breakfast with protein, anything, anything that will get me near her orbit so I can at least just "be" with her.

So if your children are young, don't say..."when they are older" b/c when they are older you will have even less time.  Make the time now too... start that business, go to the gym, go on a date night, take a trip with your husband or a girlfriend, go down to the local coffee shop and read a book. Whatever it is take some time for you.  It will be the best gift you give yourself but it will also be a gift to your children b/c when they are grown they will know it is OKAY when a parent takes time for themselves, so they will in turn be able to do the same when they are grown.  So again, now is the time because when your children are older it isn't as easy to get a sitter that can drive them to all of their events and help them with their homework while you're a way.  But when they are small you just need to find someone that has the energy to get them fed, changed and cleaned up from there day in their own backyard.

Here I am with Allie, my 16 year old.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Another Day of WA Sun


Sam here (again). :) Still no other guest bloggers or Hawaii bloggers, but we do know that the family made it safely to Hawaii. It is currently 7pm WA time and Max has managed to only eat his own dog food...not for lack of trying.
 

The above photo is Max sitting in from of Big Creek. And below is another photo of Big Creek feeding into the main North Fork line.




Today I decided we were going to walk another North Fork road that is nice and exposed due to clear cutting so we could enjoy what sun there is. My goal was to find this site that I have located a few years before that I am assuming is used for some sort of water measuring/study.


We got to the site which is a US Department of Interior/Geological Survey site. At which point I about had heart failure because Max started down the bank towards very deep and fast water. So he went on leash after that.



In the round building there is a very small window and you can see a work bench and maybe just a little equipment. Over the embankment (that Max was going down) you can see some sort of measuring device and all the wiring is coming back into the building.


The trolly is locked down. 




Can you see the trolly line in the above photo?



Apparently Max has a thing for sticks that I was not aware of. Or he is using them as an excuse to lay down for awhile.




The drive back from the hike is on a long, poorly maintained road, but that didn't prevent Max from sleeping.


PS. The bad weather will supposedly be back tomorrow; so don't worry, it won't be sunny in WA the entire time just come because you guys all left.

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