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 Thursday, April 29, 2010

Allergies are apparently very common here in Texas.  I am not a fan, by any means.  I have had them since December, without knowing it.  Finally, I couldn't figure out why I was getting these darn sinus headaches.  And they keep getting more frequent.  Not fun.  They were pretty much taking over my life.  As what I have learned about myself in the last year or so, when I am in pain, I just want to lay down and go to sleep.  So, once a headache comes on, I want to sleep.  The boys don't comply.  Weird.  But I have found a miracle product!  It is weird, crazy, and maybe just plain dumb.  But it works for me.  And I will continue to use it daily.  I am really hoping I am not jinxing myself here.  (Let me also preface with saying that I have also tried other random home remedies like garlic, steam, apple cider vinegar, etc.) 

It is called Sinus Buster.  It is made from the capsaicin in peppers.  It is a 'kick in your pants", but worth the couple seconds of stinging discomfort. 

Here is some info about the product:  Sinus Buster is all-natural, which means it does not contain chemicals, additives or preservatives of any kind. It is non habit forming, zinc-free and has no known drug interactions. And it comes in a recyclable, environmentally-friendly glass bottle.

You can find it at  They have a few different ones and I think I saw a mild sinus buster,  but I say just go for it!

Bottom line: if your allergies are unbearable, give it a try.  But then again I love jalapenos and anything hot.  So I am a little biased.  


Photograhy Class

 Wednesday, April 28, 2010

As an early Mother's Day gift, I took an all-day photography class put on by Shutter Storm on Saturday.  I learned so much!  I walked away with so much knowledge about my camera, even though I think I was the lone Canon user, they were all Nikon fans.  But it is okay, I like to be different.  I learned how to shoot in full manual (and in RAW) mode, which included learning how to control white balance, ISO, shutter speed, aperture, exposure, composition, and the list goes on and on.  If you have no idea what I am talking about, then you must take this class.  It was awesome!

However, I walked out of the class with a long list of wants:

  • Shoot Sac (but I need some lenses to put in it)
Those are just my top wants at the moment, but there are several more!  I need more memory cards-I actually ran out of space on my one and only memory card.  I also would like a battery pack.  Oh gosh, I could go on for days.  And let's not forget the software to process the photos.  Yikes.  This sure is an expensive hobby.  But it is fun! 

We went to 3 different location to shoot in different settings.  Here are a couple of photos I took during out day.  It was great to be able to go out and shoot and be able to ask and get direction as to what to do in certain lighting situations, etc.  Very helpful.  Sure beats the YouTube videos, books from the library, and apps I have downloaded.

I need some serious help (practice, guidance, etc) with Lightroom (actually anything Photoshop related, we just don't get along).  I have been attempting this all night and figure it it time to get to bed!

On a final note, the class was amazing (even if these photos aren't perfect, I learned SO much!  I hope to take more of their classes someday!  Thanks Jason, Caleb, and Erica! And a special thanks to my 3 favorite boys for a wonderful Mother's Day gift!  I love you Chris, Connor & Dylan.  You guys are the BEST!



 Monday, April 26, 2010

If you haven't noticed, we spend a lot of time at the park.  We have a couple in our subdivision and a couple others across town that we frequent quite often.  Sometimes I take my camera, sometimes I don't.  But it is fun for me to experiment with different settings, etc.  Here are some pictures from one of our recent trips to the park:

"Mom, I promise I won't eat the dirt!"  I should have known that a one year old can't make promises that last more than 3 minutes!

Walking the tight rope.

These boys just have fun at the park!



 Thursday, April 22, 2010

Connor has been taking gymnastics classes for a few weeks now and is loving it!  He asked me to take pictures to show Daddy since Daddy can't go watch.  So, you get to enjoy them as well...

He did awesome on the balance beam.

Perfecting those somersaults.

Working on hand stands.  Not quite there yet!

Waiting patiently to get their daily sheets, stickers, stamps, and even a sucker. 


Ack! Spring Cleaning...

I think now I am lacking motivation!  Just a week ago, I was going strong and completely keeping up to date with my goal of a room/space a day.  And just a short week later, I have not made any progress.  But as an excuse, we are attempting to try out new bedtime rules for Connor, which has proven to be unsuccessful and a battle.  So, that is making for a long week. 

As, I am watching the TLC Hoarder's: Buried Alive, I am gaining more motivation.  Ack!  It is so sad how some people live.  I just couldn't imagine.  Although, in all seriousness, my craft room does look like some of those rooms.  But, we also use it as the basement (since we no longer have one), storage room, and place for all the extra things crap goes. 

So, I am going to re-start my spring cleaning again starting on Monday.  I would start earlier, but the rest of the week is busy and I am trying to be realistic since I have lots of cleaning and laundry to catch up on as it is.  And on Saturday I am taking an all-day photography class.  I am SO excited.  It is an early Mother's Day gift.  So fun.  I really hope I learn something!


Sloppy Joes

 Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Although I have tried lots of new recipes lately, not all have been winners.  Actually very few have been.  But this is one of them: Sloppy Joes.  They were quite tasty and very simple to make.  I am usually not a fan of Sloppy Joes, but these were pretty good.  And they have a good amount of vegetables in them.

And I even followed the recipe exactly, which as you know, only happens in a blue moon.

Give them a try.  They are pretty good.



 Monday, April 19, 2010

37.  Yes, 37. 37 was a significant number if you were counting the times we went up the stairs to put Connor back in his bed last night.  For some reason, he has not wanted to stay in his bed to fall asleep, wants us in there to hold his hand, read one more book, sing one more song, chat more about his day, one more drink of water, and the list goes on and on.  And he has been sneaking into our bed again in the middle of the night and is very much interrupting my sleep since he kicks my back and head, or I wake up and he is laying on top of me.  Not fun.  So, we decided to go with the 'Super Nanny' method and it only took about 35 minutes and 37 trips to his room, not saying a word.  I was well prepared for it to take at least an hour and a half.  And I only took him back to his bed twice in the middle of the night.  And that was without a fight.  Let's hope the next few nights go well...

They both sleep SO good in the car. 


Date Night!

 Sunday, April 18, 2010

Who:  Chris & Jenn
What: Dinner, bookstore, walking in the rain, margaritas, and a movie
When:  Saturday night
WhereMaster Grill
Why:  We needed (and deserved) a night out.
How:  Our lovely friends (the Strebs) took our two little rascals for the night for a fun sleepover. 

Details:  We dropped the boys off at the Strebs' house, went and walked through a few shops, went to dinner, which was absolutely wonderful.  If you have never been to a Brazilian Steakhouse, you are missing out.  The food was amazing, the service was great, and the company was pretty good too!  I ate and ate and ate, and then ate some more.  The salad bar was really good, the bread was tasty, and the shrimp was even pretty good.  But the meat was awesome.  My favorites were the garlic beef, the tenderloin, and the fillet.  I ven had a roasted jalepeno, it was hot and delicious.  BUT the pineapple was to die for!  It was melt in your mouth, cinnamon and sugar deliciousness.  Oh my, I could have had 13 servings of that.  Oh wait!  I did!  The Gauchos knew me as the garlic beef and pineapple girl!  It was truly heaven.  And they even gave Chris a hard time that his wife could out-eat him.  But it is true.  I think I could probably out-eat just about anybody if the food is good.  After dinner, we went and walked around Borders for a bit, which was so nice and relaxing to be able to sit and read a book. 

We stopped and got a movie The Men Who Stare at Goats.  It was weird, but we watched it.  From the title, it was obvious it was going to be a little odd.  It wasn't a total waste of 94 minutes, but it wasn't one we want to watch again anytime soon.

 I slept in until 8am!  How amazing it that?!?  I have not seen the inside of my eye lids at 8am since long before Connor was born!  It was amazing.  And I slept SO good.  It was wonderful.  We were ready to go pick up the boys.  The house was just too quiet  But first, we had to go get us some Starbucks.  We took a nice walk to Starbucks and even sat there and enjoyed our coffee.  

When we got the Strebs house, Dylan was asleep on Aidan (he & Sydney were taking turns holding him while he slept-how sweet!) and Connor was busy playing and said he didn't want to go home (after he gave me a hug, of course).  He said he wanted to stay and play all day long.  They both had so much fun.  Can't wait to do it again soon!

*We had only been out to dinner (without kids) once in over 3 years.  It was when Connor was a year and a half.  And this was the first time we have ever been away from the boys overnight, besides when we were in the hospital when Dylan was born.  It was well overdue and much needed.  We had a blast.

Highlights:  The food. Walking in the rain.  Margaritas.  Using a public bathroom by myself (the joys of parenthood).  And sleeping in.


Fun with the Water

 Friday, April 16, 2010

Playing so nicely with the hose:  filling up the water table, watering the flowers & the grass... 

Then they played nicely in the water...

Then I turned around for a brief second...
And I saw Dylan soaking wet, dripping water from his entire body.  But he didn't make a peep.  I think he enjoyed it.  That is until he realized it was only about 70 degrees outside and a bit windy.  Brrrr....

And this is what Connor looked like...
Guilty?!?  I think so.  He said, "Dylan is so silly.  He wanted to get sprayed with the fire hose.  He likes it!"  Connor is pretty cute standing their not making eye contact with me in his flip flops.  Funny kid.


Spring Cleaning!

 Thursday, April 15, 2010

I am ALL caught up on my Spring Cleaning.  I still have a lot to do, but doing one room (or space) a day, I have completed that.  Yah!  11 days in and still lots more to do.  Some days I wish I didn't have this many windows or I wish they weren't as big as they were or I wish I didn't have so many bathrooms or so many bedrooms with so much bedding to wash.  But I do love our house and it is what I wanted, just sometimes it is a lot of work.  I truly do wish we had less crap.  And I really wish I was better at getting rid of the crap!

Here is my recap:

Day 7- Master Bathroom.  Scrubbed the shower.  Note to self: I hate glass doors.  Scrubbed the tub.  Cleaned the window (didn't attempt the outside one yet).  Washed mirrors, counters, toilet, wiped down baseboards, and cleaned out all the drains, and used steam mop on tile floors.  And washed rugs.  Nice and sparkly.

Day 8- Stairway.  Vacuumed, dusted, wiped down rails.  Took down Easter decorations (yes, I know pathetic they were still up.)  This was an easy day.

Day 9- Downstairs hall & closet.  Another small space, but things tend to end up here.  You go through here to get inside the house from the garage, which you walk through the laundry room.  So, laundry, shoes, library books, etc ends up here.  And Chris backpack and lunch box too =)  Closet is all cleaned out, vacuumed hall and wiped down baseboards. 

Day 10- Eat-in kitchen area.  This small space has A LOT of windows.  It was a lot of work to clean them since I washed both inside and outside, plus had to use a ladder.  But I took the leaf out of the table, dusted and wiped down the blinds, used the steam mop on the floors, and wiped down the baseboards.  And it is already dirty again.  But at least I know it was clean for all of 23 minutes!

Day 11- Downstairs bathroom.  I scrubbed the shower, cleaned the drains, wiped down baseboards, washed rugs, and used steam mop on floors.  I just love clean bathrooms.


Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!

I think we make pizza at least once a week.  Sometimes Connor says, "Pizza AGAIN?!?"  But then he gladly eats it up for dinner, then again for lunch the next day.  Sometimes I do mix it up and make calzones.  But I am a pizza lover.  I could survive on pizza and Mexican food alone.  That would be a delicious life.

Here is what our pizzas sometimes look like.  I tend to out whatever we have in the fridge on them...

This time the toppings consisted of cheese, diced ham, pepperoni, fresh pineapple, and jalapenos.  We each get our own pizza, so I always make 4 different pizzas.  So, as you can see each pizza is different.  Connor's only has pepperoni.  Dylan's has pepperoni, ham, and pineapple.  Chris' has pepperoni and a few jalapenos.  Mine has ham, pineapple, and jalapenos.  Usually all are topped with black olives too, but I forgot to get them out this time.  And generally there are onions and bell peppers too, but we didn't have either.  Another favorite is basil and fresh mozarella.  Oh yum.  And sometimes we like to mix it up a bit and put some pesto on instead of the homeade pizza sauce.  There are endless variations for pizzas.

Here is my newest favorite pizza dough recipe.  I got it from Pioneer Woman.

4 simple ingredients is all it takes:
  • 1 teaspoon Active Dry Or Instant Yeast
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ⅓ cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
I throw it all in with 1.5 cups of warm water into the bread machine, turn it on pizza dough and in less than an hour I have delicious pizza dough.  Could not be easier.  And mighty tasty.  I cook mine at 450 degrees for about 8 minutes.  And it comes our perfect. 


Spring Cleaning - Day 6

Well, I have finally completed the hallway upstairs which was supposed to be day 5 of spring cleaning.  But as I am typing this, I should have included the stairs in this category.  Oh well, that will be done in the coming days..

Day 6 - Master bedroom.  I think this turned out to be the most involved so far.  I originally thought this would be pretty simple.  But then I started in and decided to pack away the electric blanket, so put new organic cotton sheets on our bed (of course, had to wash them first), then washed the mattress cover, all the pillow cases, comforter, and duvet cover.  So, 6+ loads of laundry later, the bedding is ALL washed.  However, as I went to put the comforter in the duvet cover, it was still a bit damp.  So, really, it is not completed yet.  But I did spend what seemed like 2 hours ironing all the pillow cases and duvet cover into the late hours of the night (last night). 

*I found this post just hanging out in blogger.  Obviously, I thought I ad posted it already. 
**I will give a quick update of the Spring cleaning and how it is going sometime later today. 


Go Mariners!

 Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Well, it was Friday afternoon and I heard something about the Rangers vs. Mariners game on the radio.  I jumped online and figured out they were playing in Dallas this weekend.  We don't get to go to many Mariner's games and Connor has this adorable jersey that he has not gotten the chance to wear yet.  So, what better reason, I called Chris at work and asked him what day he would prefer to go.  So, I bought tickets for today's (Sunday) game and off we went.  It was a blast.  Nice weather.  Not very many people.  A great view.  Lots of great pictures.  Got to see Ken Griffey, Jr. play.  Pretty awesome.  Oh, and the best part...GARLIC FRIES!  I was in heaven.  Seriously.  They were so full of garlic, I loved it!  They were so worth the outrageous price!

Here is Dylan enjoying the garlic fries...

I think this is what my face looked like while I was enjoying these garlic-y potatoes.  But Dylan makes the faces look cute.  With me, it was just plain weird!

The stadium was nothing spectacular, but we are a little bias to Safeco stadium in Seattle.  It is pretty cool.  And then, we are also used to watching the Cardinals play in St. Louis, which is also just awesome.  You really can't help but become a Cards fan when you live in St. Louis.  The energy at the games is amazing.  So, we went with high expectations.  It was nothing like being at Safeco or Busch, but it was still awesome.

  Seeing Griffey play was a highlight.
His first at bat was a single.  He ended up scoring on it.  We even got to see him steal second base & slide.  Pretty cool.  Then, the last at bat (that we saw) he hit a fly out to right field and was out.  So, as he was walking back to the dug-out, I got that last shot of him.
Here are my favorite moments of my sweet little boys at the game:

And now Dylan needs his own jersey and we will be all set!  What a fun day at the ball park this was.

Pretty cheap outing:
(3) Tickets = $25.00
Parking = $15.00
Ice Cream Cone = $1.00
Garlic Fries = $7.75
24 oz. beer = $8.75
Lemonade = $5.75
Taking the boys to their first Mariners game = PRICELESS


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