Thursday, February 25, 2010

I beat-ed you!

This is one of Robby's "Bobo brothers." Or as he says it, "bobo budders." So he calls it a bobo brother because it looks like the monkeys on Go Diego Go called the Bobo Brothers. When I was in MD for Nessa's wedding I found him a second monkey to get him to make a pair so he could have Bobo Brothers, plural. He was very excited. He even let Daddy hold one of his Bobo brothers in the car on the way to the zoo, hence, the monkey driving.

So without meaning to we have created a very very competitive little guy. It became a way to get him to do things - "let's race to the door!" "Race to the car!" "Bet you can't put your shoes on super fast!" And now it's turned into this constant yelling of "I beat-ed you!" Ah! Oh brother! What did we do!? And he doesn't like to lose but we are working on that.

Rob: "What do you say if daddy gets there fast?"
Robby: "Oh dang. Good job, daddy."

He doesn't like it when his friends say, "I beat-ed you" to him (which pretty sure they only started because HE was always making it a race, whoops) so we are trying to explain the whole, "if you don't want them to do it to you then don't do it to them!"

We knew this was a SERIOUS problem when we were in church last week.... we take the bread for the sacrament... sitting there quietly... and Robby looks up at Rob and says, kinda loud, "I beat-ed you!" He opens his mouth to show he's chewed his bread already. Oh my goodness. Seriously kid? Rob and I just looked at each other like, NO WAY! Ha ha ha... something's got to change.

I usually try to think through the psychology of what I'm saying and can't believe I didn't forsee the consequences of making everything a race! Sheesh! It was just so darn effective at a time where it was just so hard to get him to sit down and put shoes on or get dressed... Oh well. So we'll have to work on un-doing some of that...

We've been working on reading our scriptures at night before we read bedtime stories... with this we've been working on being reverent during scriptures... it's hard to sit still and listen to something you can hardly understand. We have him repeat words as we go which is always so cute... and I knew he was getting the picture when the other day he did a big sneeze and then said, "I'm horry my neeze was houd." (sorry my sneeze was loud) He's always making us smile.

I've been trying to come up with ideas for how to deal with this weaning off of naps business... he would probably still take a nap every day if I let him but it'd be from like 3-5 by the time he falls asleep and then he's up until like 10 pm. No thanks. I've tried having him do "quiet time" in his crib and gave him some books to read but all he ends up doing is yelling the BYU fight song. So, not much resting going on... and come 4:30 he is cranky and falling apart.... so tricky!

Something I've been wanting to try is getting some stories on cd for him to listen to during "rest time" to see if that would keep him quiet... Sunday I put him in his crib and put on some Primary songs on the ipod and within 30 minutes he'd actually fallen ASLEEP! I was shocked and thrilled. So I rented some cds to try from the library... today he was listening to a Backyardigans cd and fell asleep. Not so great though cause he fell asleep at like 4 pm... but I woke him up at 5 and he didn't go to bed too late. We'll figure it out. But I'm excited about this whole stories on cd idea.

Why have I been taking NO pictures lately? I'm gonna work on this! That also helps me remember what we've been doing and what things Robby's been up to...

He's my snuggly little boy.... I love it. He's always playing with my hair, likes to give hugs and kisses... this morning when we're eating breakfast he looks at me and smiles and says, "I hove you mommy!" I love listening to his sweet little prayers... "peese bwess I can have a brodder or a sister." Although when I said that the other day he added (during the prayer), "a brodder." Okay... we'll take either one!

I love that he LOVES playing with his cousins and friends but also is great at playing by himself! He'll get into his own world playing with his firefighter legos and spiderman guys... I heard him the other day playing with his toys and saying, "Can I be excused? No, you need to eat more. Okay...." ha ha ha! Love that they totally mimic what their own life is like in their play. So cute.

Today we did some preschool stuff while I watched Syd & Rob and our neighbor Ryan joined in for some of it too! We talked about My Sense of Touch and Sound... I'll leave you with the recap of the day!

We talked about what our hands can do and sang a bunch of songs including Where is Thumbkin - I drew smiley faces on their thumbs...

We looked at touch and feel books and tried to describe how they felt...

We buried animals in beans, dug them up, buried them and traded....

then we practiced our motor skills - using lids to fill up little cups... and spilling a lot in the process! But it was fun!

Drew in flour...

took a break and watched Backyardigans while I cleaned up all the flour! Look at these 3... Syd was totally snuggled up to Robby... so cute!

Traced our hands, talked about things we do with our hands, drew pictures....

Made "sound canisters" out of easter eggs then tried to match up the different sounds... then had fun opening them all up to see if the match was right! And then making a general huge mess of all the eggs! There were a LOT more than this...


Lots of different "feels" - crunchy, chewy, soft... Syd described the apples as "skinny and wet." :)

And did some other stuff.... we had fun.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wow it's been a while...

....since I blogged! Where has the time gone? What the heck have I been doing anyway?

One thing that's taking up a lot of time and brain power this month is trying to diet/eat more healthy. Every time I get my period I decide, heck, I'm still not pregnant, might as well try to lose some weight! But this month I got serious about it.

Liv & I had just been talking about how we wanted to do some kind of cleanse, detox diet when I happened to be flipping through Glamour magazine and came across a "healthy detox plan" which follows up with a 12 week diet plan... anyway! We decided to give it a go and we both lost like 5 lbs the first week which was exciting - and made the week of no soda horrible-ness worth it.

So the first week was intense and difficult and now I'm trying to figure out how to maintain this whole "healthy eating" thing... low carbs, whole grains, tons of veggies.... the diet plan gave lots of great recipe suggestions - go see Liv's blog, obviously I am not a real blogger and will probably never get to posting about these! Maybe one day! And she also is good at creating her own variations of this healthy eating stuff. My favorite so far has definitely been the Turkey Chili!

Me on the other hand.... I spend hours staring at the recipes, making grocery lists, walking up and down the aisles looking for things like "wheat bran", and trying to figure out what to eat each day taking into account I don't want all these mounds of vegetables, berries, and lettuce to go bad.... this is seriously slowing my brain down. I just need to make a plan for a week at a time and stick to it. I say this, and I even do it to an extent but it's still not perfected. I'm working on it.

Also eating up time is spending time at the gym - I go with Liv and our kids go to the daycare together and never want to leave when we come back to get them so that helps me feel better about leaving him there! We've really stepped it up the last couple weeks with our weight training and cardio.... feeling sore.... I kind of love lifting weights. Liv loves cardio. We try to balance each other out.

I've also been doing a lot of reading. This means I'm not on my computer as often, hence, less blogging.... I just finished the Time Travelers Wife and before that Angela's Ashes.... I like reading but I have a problem where I feel like I need to read all the time till I'm done with the book! I have a hard time putting it down to do other things.... it's like a marathon to the finish! So I go through phases of reading a lot and not reading at all so I can get other things done. I've got Peeps on my "to read" shelf next to my bed, one Liv reccommended to me a long time ago, but it's a YA book so a faster and easier read so maybe I can multi-task? Maybe?

Been doing a lot of trading kids with Olivia and my neighbor too.... it's so great to spend a couple of hours with the kids at my house and then another day get a couple hours to myself to run errands ALONE! Today I got to walk around the mall for 2 hours trying to spend my birthday money... it was wonderful. And we are going to start doing more Preschool activities during this time we trade which is fun! Liv did some awesome stuff today with the kids - I'm sure she'll blog about it! :)

Oh, and did you notice I can't describe one aspect of my life right now without talking about Olivia. Oh wait, that's because we pretty much talk every day if not hang out every day. Yeah, she's that cool. Just sayin....

Another big thing in my life is my calling in the Primary in our branch. I love the people I work with and the kids are so great and there's always more I could be doing there so it's always on my mind...

I went to MD for Valentine's Day weekend for my sister Vanessa's wedding - welcome to the family, Matt! They are perfect for each other. So happy for them!

WOW this is a really long post! I'll do a separate one for what Robby's been up to lately and his funny little things.... that's the good stuff anyway! I just figured since I'm not keeping any journal really right now I might as well make some notes about what I've been doing too!

A TTC update for those interested - ha, if anyone made it this far into this post! I spent 6 months doing the Eager study and it was nice to have someone to talk to about this but my study nurse was no fertility expert. They only keep you in for 6 months if you don't get pregnant. It'll be a year next month since my miscarriage and I can't believe I'm not pregnant yet. So far this is the longest it's taken me to get pregnant (first time 7 cycles, 2nd time 9 cycles, now I'm on cycle 12....).

While this is definitely a trial in my life I'm grateful for the chance it's given me to learn and become somewhat of an expert on this subject! Obviously I'm no real expert or I'd be able to get myself knocked up, right? But I have had the chance to learn so much during this process and I absolutely love getting random phone calls from people who have some TTC question or miscarriage question... it brings me joy.

I'm talking with my doctor and figuring out where to go from here... I know I ovulate, I know my body CAN get pregnant - it's done it twice now - so there are a few things we can look at and try. It's emotionally draining and we're not rushing into any treatments of any kind... we'll see what happens! I know Robby really needs a little brother or sister to play with and I hope it happens soon!

Thanks everyone for your support and concern! I have felt so supported through all of this and like I said really feel like I've been able to find the positives in my situation and try to focus on that.

You deserve a big pat on the back if you actually read this whole thing! ;) With hardly any pictures too! How dare I? And now we see one more reason why I don't blog - because I can't do it without talking entirely too much! And now I'll stop.

Cafe Rio recipes

So for my birthday we made Cafe Rio style salads - they were absolutely delicious. Tasted as good as the real thing. Mmmm.... Not claiming to have Cafe Rio's exact recipes by any means but after some tweaking around with different recipes these have seemed the best to us!

I'll try to start from the bottom up...

Tortillas - gotta have the uncooked kind, we get ours from Costco. Just throw them on the stove for a minute, I like mine barely cooked... but they taste so fresh! I know they sell them at Wal-Mart now too - near the cream cheese...

Rice - not a deal breaker but it's fun to make it a little fancy, Cafe Rio style too! I'm not sure exactly how A&B made the rice that night but here's one option:

4 cups water
2 cups white rice
4 tsp chicken bouillon
2 garlic gloves
1/2 onion, chopped
1 large lime
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped fine

Chop onion, garlic, and cilantro small
Bring water and lime juice (make it 4 cups liquid total) with bouillon to a boil.
When it comes to a boil, add onion, garlic, cilantro and rice. Cover and cook 25 minutes, or as long as package calls for.

Beans - just a regular can of black beans

Meat - love, love, love the Cafe Rio Sweet Pork. Here's the way it was cooked that night and we've done it lots of times this way and always loved it!

3-4 lb. pork roast (boneless)

1 1/2 cup brown sugar
3 cups salsa (I like to mix some mild & medium)
6-8 oz Coke

Mix sugar and salsa, pour over pork. Cook in crock pot for 8 hrs. on low. (Can do it for 4 hours on high but better on low!) When done shred with two forks and return to juice in crock pot and allow liquid to absorb.

Seriously it's soooo good! This size roast makes enough to feed 6 ish people and still have some leftover. I like to freeze the leftovers and then enjoy the rest another day!

Lettuce - just any kind of lettuce, I like to cut it thin, kind of shredded style

Guac - my sister Taba makes the best guac... she's so good at it though she doesn't use a recipe so I will tell you what goes in it and try to guess at the proportions.

4-6 avocados
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
juice from 1/2 a lime, or more to taste
lots of salt - ground sea salt
a little pepper

Tab - did I miss anything? I'm not as good at it as she is but it's a critical part of the salad!

Pico - I got the idea to try making my own pico one day when I was making Cindy's amazing black bean salsa - I can NOT find the link to that right now but I'll keep looking and update it - but the point is when doing some of the steps I realized, hey, this could be pico.... so I looked up some pico recipes and then tried it! This is the one I used and then I just added a bunch of green onions to it and I didn't add the jalapeno because we had a lot of kids eating with us and wasn't sure how spicy it'd be and we aren't in love with hot hot stuff anyway.

8-10 Roma tomatoes (seeded)
1/2-1 red onion (to taste)
1 jalapeno pepper (or more to taste)
2 medium cloves garlic
juice of one lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Seed and dice tomatoes. Chop onion, jalapeno and garlic to a fine consistency. To these ingredients, add the fresh cilantro, salt, pepper, olive oil and lime. Mix well.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Best if served the next day.

Dressing - this is the best version of homemade dressing I've had! Got this recipe from the Kentland's Cookbook, it's Diane Romney's recipe (my SIL's MIL, does that make sense?).

Rio Grande Creamy Cilantro Salad Dressing
3 fresh tomatillos, cut into quarters
1 pkg Ranch Buttermilk Dressing mix
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 to 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup fresh cilantro
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/4 tsp crushed cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender and refrigerate at least one hour.

I made this and the pico the night before last time I did this and they both tasted great that way! Also, I doubled the dressing recipe and then froze it in small portions to pull out for later use!

And ps, tomatillos look like funny green tomatoes with a crunchy wrapper on them and they are sticky and stinky (see to the left). But I washed them, cut them up and threw them in the blender and blended them first to make sure it looked normal and sure enough it did.

Cheese - if I'd thought of it I would've looked for some Cojita cheese like Cafe Rio uses but I didn't and we just used a shredded mexican blend and it worked great.

Tortilla strips - I love the crunchy tortilla strips on top but we just used regular tortilla chips which you can crumple up on top or use to eat as you go.

Garnishes - I like to add a handful of fresh cilantro on top and squeeze a lime wedge on the whole thing...

Sorry I don't have more pictures - boring! Oh well it's taken me forever to post these so I better just do it and not wait for pictures! :)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

My darker 'do



My beautiful cousin Stacy does my hair - check out her blog here!

Monday, February 01, 2010

You've had a birthday - shout hurray!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes and messages! In some ways I can't believe a whole year has passed and yet so much has happened...

I had a great weekend! Celebrated with the girls by going out to eat at the Cheesecake Factory Saturday night! (girls email me your pictures! :))

Sunday the Primary sang Happy Birthday to me and look at the adorable little cake a friend at church made for me - thanks, Dareth!

Robby and I quickly devoured it when we got home from church!

We had a little party hosted by Andrew & Becca - made delicious Cafe Rio salads, more to come on that...

Played a little drinking game... ha ha.... I thought it would be fun to do a taste test with lots of different kinds of sodas! Rob was in charge and he did a great job!
We had 7 different kinds, all colas, and people tried guessing w/o knowing what kinds they even were but it was really hard! Even knowing what the options were it was pretty tricky!

Coke, Diet Coke, Diet Coke w/Lime, Coke Zero, Dr. Pepper, Diet Dr. Pepper, and Pepsi.

I'm pretty adamant about the fact that I dislike Pepsi so I knew I better get it right or I wouldn't be able to show my face again! Luckily I did! It was fun to actually test it out and even though it was really hard everyone did pretty well!

I do love being "Aunt Esther".... look at all these cute kids!

So it was a great birthday!

"One year older and wiser too!" It's true. And I don't mind getting older. I'm 27. I'm wiser for the experiences I've had this past year... it's been kind of a hard year but I'm grateful for my family and friends who support me and make my life so filled with joy!