Monday, July 21, 2008

Vacation Review

Here are some pictures from our really fun mini-vacation weekend:

First up was the Carousel at Como Zoo. This is a REAL carousel that used to be at the Minnesota State Fair. We've been on it before and Olivia loved it. This was the first time she actually rode on a horse though. It started off good...

then it got bad.. Olivia wanted off the horse ASAP, but Matt had her sit there because you aren't supposed to move once it's moving. So here's what I got when I asked her to smile at the end:

So then after the carousel we went over to Como Zoo which was busy as hell. We had to not only park 15 minutes away and walk through a very steep bike path, but then it was so full of people to boot. But we ate lunch as soon as we got there because it was 12:30 and we were all super hungry from the drive down. Here's Olivia in front of flamingos. She kept saying that they smell bad and they need lotion. Several people around us thought this was funny and all I wanted was a good picture. And of course- Jackson could care less- he was just happy to be out of his car seat.

Another favorite animal was the zebra, which Olivia was Marty. If you've seen Madagascar, then you know who Marty is. She was pretty upset he had no friends, so we had to tell her that his friends were napping.

This is us, at the end of the zoo looking (and feeling) exhausted. We walked for 4 hours at the zoo and then realized our 15 minute walk to the van was all up hill. Yah- we were EXHAUSTED by the time we got there.
So then we went to the hotel. Kids missed their nap, but luckily didn't have meltdowns. They both went to bed early. I slept awful between Matt's snoring and Olivia insisting on sleeping on top of me "to cuddle". Matt didn't do much better because I kept telling him to shut up, which would then wake him, and then feeding Jackson. Jack woke up every 3 hours to eat since he hardly ate anything all day, and then kept puking on Matt. It was rough on everyone except Olivia. But here's a cute pic of them in the morning while we were getting ready:
So then on Sunday we went to the Mall of America. We had big plans and got to do them all! First stop was the Underwater Adventures aquarium. That is always really fun. We got there at 10:15 and they open at 10, and there was already a 45 minute wait for tickets!! But while we waited, Olivia got to meet the shark. She wanted to keep him of course.

Olivia absolutely loved the turtles, and they had a lot of different kinds, sizes, etc.

Me and Livi in front of a cool waterfall thing.

Here's Jack being cute as we wait at Build a Bear. Sorry it's sideways- I couldn't figure out how to rotate it in here.

Olivia got to meet Blue from Blue's Clues. She kept saying, "I like your show" and then since it's just a person earning minimum wage to wear a horribly hot costume, she got no response and then tells me that Blue was broken. Bless her little heart. :)

THEN, she got to meet Dora and Diego! She was hugging them like crazy!

So that was our trip. We also swam at the hotel pool, but that was on a disposable camera, so when I get those back I'll post anything that came out good. The lighting was weird in there, so we'll see what we get back. The car ride home was long, but there wasn't much traffic, so we got home in 3 1/2 hours, which included a 40 minutes stop in White Bear Lake to feed Jackson (again).

Friday, July 18, 2008

Just some updates..

Hi everyone. So I changed my music around for some variety. These are my favorites that I listen to all of the time right now. Not as eclectic as usual, but that's ok. :) If you've ever watched the movie "Meet the Robinson's" with your kids you'll recognize the first song. Ironically, I heard that song before I seen the movie. The first time I heard it was last summer when I was making some big life decisions and for some reason- that came on my radio and it just really floored me. Great song- so when I hear it I think of where I was. Strange, huh?

So tomorrow we go on our mini-vacation to the zoo and stuff. In the end, we decided to do the Mall of America on Sunday and as a bonus- Dora and Diego will be there, so Olivia gets to meet them. :) So that will be fun, AND I get to sneak a trip to Archivers!!!! I am SO excited about that. I should get lots of fun pictures of the weekend, so I'll share as soon as I can.

Speaking of pictures, I have tons to scrapbook soon. I am going to be starting the Baby's 1st year albums for our parents with Jack's pictures. It'll be a Xmas gift eventually just as I did with Olivia. Then I have to work on Jack's baby book- coming along very nicely. I have some new stuff for our family book, so that's like low priority. :) And I decided I am going to make a scrapbook of my favorite songs. Not just the stuff I'm into right now, but all of the songs that have some meaning to me. I have a TON and I discovered a ton more when I found my other cd book with the 1500 cd's I thought I lost. I cried- it was like the best thing ever to find my old cd's. And while they aren't major old, they are some of the first ones I ever got. Smashing Pumpkins- Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness- LOVE IT. My EverClear, Garbage, Matchbox 20, etc. etc. etc.. got there's tons in there. I remember when I worked at DQ (my first job) my paycheck would be like $300/every other week and I'd blow all but $40 (gas money) on cd's. That's how I got so many. My collection HAS to be close to 2500 by now. I obviously don't buy many anymore, but if I had money I have an enormous "wish list". :) I'm not the iTune freak all of my friends are, I much prefer buying an entire disc and finding unreleased gems on it. :)

OK- enough about that. So I have that to do and tonight I have to pack for the trip. YUCK!! I got the diaper bag done, the bag with the kids' clothes/blankets done, and the toy bag partly done. I just need something for Olivia to entertain herself with. We'll be busy, but the down time at the hotel is going to be the killer. But she has a color book/crayon travel set that she can bring, and then she can bring one toy. I have her fav books picked out so that's easy. Then I have to get the snacks ready. We aren't buying juice/crackers/etc down there- they scalp you on prices. So I'm bringing snacks for her scheduled snack time and will be bringing a big cup to refill with water. Matt is charging the laptop up so they can watch a movie if needed so that will be nice. I am SO excited to go I can barely stand it. It's just a weekend and we're only 3 hours from home, but it's a big deal since we don't go anywhere ever! But it's going to be nice and we have enough cash to pay for everything- even better. :)

OK- back to cleaning the house since I won't get to it this weekend. More later/sara

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

AWESOME Chicken Nuggets

Ok folks- almost all of you know I am a horribly picky eater. I hate everything, I don't like any vegetables other than cucumbers and lettuce. And let's be honest- there's little to no vegetable value in those. :) So I was watching Oprah last week and Jessica Seinfeld was hawking her book "Deceptively Delicious". Now I have seen this in Target and just never looked at it. She made these chicken nuggets opn there with cauliflower puree and they looked FREAKING GOOD. So I went online this weekend to find a recipe, and sure enough- I found it. We made it this weekend and let me tell you: if I hadn't pureed sweet potatoes myself- I would not have known they were in there. It was SO good. Olivia even ate it, and we all know how picky she is!! I would say though, I would add a few more spices next time because it didn't have enough for my taste, but it was really good. Oh- and I baked mine at 400 degrees for like 20-25 minutes because I don't like frying them myself. And I found that by using the puree, I would use a little less next time because the coating mixture for the chicken is a little runny, so I had to really roll it in that, then put it in the bread crumbs ASAP and kind of spread it to cover the chicken. I also wonder if you used like corn flakes or potato chips instead of bread crumbs if it'd be more crunchy?

AND, as I was reading online, all of her recipes in this book are low fat or no fat. :) How cool is that? So I am definitely going to buy this book on pay day and I will periodically put recipes on here and let you know if it fooled me and Olivia. :) They have a chocolate cake in the book too, so if I can find that recipe online I'll let you know. :)

Deceptively Delicious Chicken Nuggets (With Veggie Puree)

20 min 10 min prep
1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (or panko)
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 cup broccoli or spinach or sweet potato or beet, puree
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast or chicken tenders, rinsed, dried and cut into small chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt
nonstick cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, flaxseed meal, Parmesan, paprika, garlic and onion powder on the paper or foil and mix well with your fingers.
In a shallow bowl, mix the vegetable puree and egg with a fork and set the bowl next to the breadcrumb mixture.
Sprinkle the chicken chunks with the salt. Dip the chunks into the egg mixture and then toss them in the breadcrumbs until completely coated.
Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the oil.
Place the chicken nuggets in the skillet in a single layer, being careful not to crowd the pan, and cook until crisp and golden on one side, 3 to 4 minutes.
Turn and cook until the chicken is cooked through, golden brown and crisp all over, 4 to 5 minutes longer. (Cut through a piece to check that it's cooked through.) Serve warm.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Yard Sale

Phew! We just finished our yard sale and got rid of a lot of stuff- didn't make as much as we wanted, but our hotel room for next weekend is paid for- so that's great. We'll probably do another one the weekend after our trip just to try to get rid of more stuff. BUT, we started with 23 rubbermaid boxes and we're down to 10, so that's nice. I now have boxes to put the clothes Jackson is rapidly growing out of! :)

So I am off to do some laundry and clean up the dining room which has been yard sale preparation area for the last month! Should be great fun.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Almost Vacation Time!

Well this Saturday is our yard sale and I am hoping for decent weather and big sales. I have so much stuff to get rid of, so I hope a lot of it moves.

We have our summer mini-vacation all planned out. We are for sure going to Como Zoo on 7/19, and then we decided on the Children's Museum for 7/20. We hit a few snags on the way- such as friends of ours who we were going to stay with are now going to be out of town. Luckily, I was able to find a really nice hotel for $79/night and they have a great breakfast, huge pool, and a playground. Doesn't get much better than that! The Children's Museum is even going to be free since it happens to be the 3rd Sunday- so they advise no strollers. Yikes. Olivia will do well, but that means Matt and I take turns carrying Jackson in the Snugli. I don't know that I like that so much. Plus, whoever isn't carrying Jackson is carrying the diaper bag backpack thing. Double yikes. So we'll see how that goes. Matt doesn't like crowds or large amounts of people, so if it's out of control- we'll do something else or come home early. I could maybe stop at the Mall of America to shop at Archiver's. Or IKEA!!! Oh.. maybe we'll do that. :) We'll see!

So I think it's going to be a lot of fun. Olivia likes our "trips" but this will be Jackson's longest car ride. We're a little nervous because of his reflux- he normally screams the entire car ride around town- so we're driving almost two hours on the way there, and then almost 3 hours on the way back (depending on traffic). I HOPE it goes well. Keep your fingers crossed.

Other than that, not much else is new. I got some picutres developed so we'll see if they turned out good. I've posted some cute ones on here already. I'll go through and see if there are any other fun ones and maybe post later.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fourth of July

OK- this will be a HUGE post, lots of pictures to put on here. We had a jam packed day with lots of fun!

First, we did the parade in Superior. It's usually 4 hours long, and after 2 we left because we were all hot and hungry. I also got super sun burned again. It wouldn't be the 4th of July unless I was sunburned during the parade. It's just tradition:

Olivia didn't understand the concept of running out to get candy- but she ended up with a few pieces. The bigger kids pretty much took it all. Luckily- a few floats were giving out popsicles, so she got one of those which was GREAT because it was like 90 degrees easily.

After that, we did Happy Meals and cooled off at McDonald's and went home for naps. Once everyone woke up we headed over to my parent's house to do a BBQ and some more pool time.

Then my brother Travis came home and brought out fireworks that he had. Olivia was so excited to see her Uncle, so I was able to grab one quick picture of them:

Then after lighting a bunch of duds at my parent's house- we walked about 7 blocks to where the fireworks are lit in Superior. These were Olivia's first fireworks and she loved them. Of course, none of my firework pictures came out because of my funky flash. But Olivia kept saying that the fireworks were "burping" because of the noise. But it worked out great to have her in her pajama's and put her to sleep as soon as we got home. The worst part of the day- the MOSQUITOS!! They are seriously out of control. We were all pretty well sprayed, but it's like they could care less because the swarms were awful. Have you seen the movie The Birds? Well it's like that but with mosquitos. Totally gross.

And that's it- another Independence Day come and gone, but this is the first year that we've done something together as a family. And poor Jackson slept through the entire thing. :)

Walker Ride..

Also dragged the walker out of the garage. Olivia was SO excited to push him around in it- and his feet don't quite touch the ground yet- but he was so happy to be moving around the house without being held..

Through the kitchen-

Into the dining room..

And he's pooped out...

Jack grasps rattle!

OK- so he's been working on this for awhile but last week he mastered grabbing and shaking something! He was so excited when he grabbed onto something- and I caught it on film!

So this is his first grasp and shake..

and this is him really shaking it...

Good job buddy!

Grandma's House, Pool & Popsicles

These were from my mom's house. We got Olivia a pool with a teeter-totter crocodile in the middle. The crocodile was a lot of fun at first, until she fell off into the freezing water. Since then, the crocodile mostly sits next to the pool, but every once in awhile she gets on. :)

Olivia loves to eat popsicles now, so here she is showing me her stick and wiping her sticky fingers through her hair. What fun it is trying to wash that out! :)

Jump, Jump, Jumparoo!!

Well I have LOTS to post here, so let's start with the Jumperoo pictures! We hauled the Jumperoo in from the garage like two weeks ago. The first day, not so much fun. But since then- it's Jackson's favorite place to be! He squeals so loud when he's in there and jumps like crazy!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

More fun pictures from "yester" year...

This is from our honeymoon to Madeira Beach, FL. I think this is the night before we left..

Here's one of my mom and I, obviously from my wedding.

Lisa- do you remember tying bubble bottles?! I really have to say Lisa is one of the greatest friends I have! Nobody else would help me tie 200 bottles of bubbles with two kinds of ribbon for my wedding. And to boot- we pretty much forgot to give them out at the wedding- so only a few people blew bubbles... after we left! Oh well- we'll always have the memory of sitting on my apartment floor bonding over blue & silver ribbon. :) LOL!