Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Have you ever seen a grown woman do a happy dance over bread?

When I become a rich and famous celebrity I'm only going to do paid endorsements* on products I really like and use regularly. Luckily these two products would fit the bill because I already buy their brand weekly.

So I'm a bit late in saying it but September is Whole Grain Month. For our family it wasn't really a big deal because we eat whole grains throughout the whole year. Our sandwich bread of choice is Oroweat** 100% Whole Wheat bread. When Jack started school two years ago and sandwiches became a major lunch item, I tried out lots of whole grain bread. Most were rough or dry or hard. I went so far as to try and make my own sandwich bread but couldn't get it to slice thin enough. My quest was over after we tried Oroweat 100% Whole Wheat. I buy a loaf every week.

Oroweat has two new products that they sent me to try.

Have you ever seen a grown woman do a happy dance over bread? Yea, it's a little pathetic but here is why I was so excited when I heard about one of their new products. One of our regular dinners is homemade veggie burgers and my consistent problem is what to serve them on. Buns are way too thick and bready for my taste and I hate the fact that my kids are getting way more bread than veggie burger.

So every time I make veggie burgers I cut my sandwich bread (Oroweat 100% Whole Grain) into rounds. I get one round per slice of bread. It's the perfect bread/veggie burger ratio in my mind.

The one problem? I'm left with this:And I hate waste.

But then I found out about Oroweat Sandwich Thins. (Envision me doing the happy dance!) Seriously, it is the perfect solution.
Round? Check!
Not too thick? Check!
100% whole wheat? Check!
No high fructose corn syrup? Check!

I love it when a reoccurring problem gets solved! I haven't made the veggie burgers on them yet but we did give them a test run for grilled cheese sandwiches. YUM! Besides burgers and sandwiches, these would also be great for a paninis.

And I needed a quick and easy dinner tonight and I thought, "Why not use the sandwich thins to make mini pizzas for the boys?" They gobbled them up!
The second new product from Oroweat is their Dutch Country 100% Whole Wheat bread. Quite honestly, I couldn't tell much difference between this bread and the Oroweat bread that I buy weekly...which is a good thing since I obviously like what I usually buy. The Dutch Country smelled and tasted like the standard 100% whole wheat but had a smoother springier texture. In that regard it seemed more like white bread. I'm not a food critic so I'm not sure how best to describe it other than to say that it was good.

I guess we are an Oroweat family because I like their old stuff and their new stuff. I'd definitely recommend them, especially if you don't think you'll like whole grain bread but want to make the switch for health reasons.

Now, who wants to buy me a panini press for Christmas?

*This wasn't a paid endorsement, though I did get some dough...I mean bread. ;)
**West of the Mississippi the brand is called Oroweat. Over the river it's called Arnold.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's so hard...

All this summer I heard:

You just don't get it! - Jack
Can I have an iPod? - Jack
You ruined my life! - Logan
I'm not your son anymore! - Jack

It's so hard raising teenagers...
Oh, wait...my kids are 4 and 3.

And, yes, I did laugh out loud when my 3 year old informed me that I ruined his life!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Threes of Me

Alright, so I've majorly slacked off once again. I have excuses though...school and colds. I'm trying to get back in the groove so here is a generic and easy post (taken from Facebook). Hopefully I'll get something original out some time this week...sigh...

The Threes of Me

Three Names I go by:
1. Mama
2. Hey you!
3. Carey

Three Jobs I Have Had in My Life:
1. Butt wiper
2. Booboo kisser
3. Hygiene consultant

Oh, wait...those were just today. Here are my more broad answers:
1. Media Supervisor
2. Restaurant Cashier
3. Gift Wrapper

Three Places I Have Lived:
1. Monterey, CA
2. Fairfax, VA
3. Newport, RI

Three Favorite Drinks:
1. Coke Zero
2. Arnold Palmer
3. Water

Three TV Shows That I Watch:
1. The Gilmore Girls (in ABC Family reruns)
2. The Amazing Race
3. Everything on Noggin

Three Places I Have Been:
1. Morocco
2. Cook Islands
3. Vietnam

Three of My Favorite Foods:
1. Hummus with Pita Chips
2. Chopped Veggie Salad
3. Oatmeal Cookies with Mini Chocolate Chips

Three Things I Am Looking Forward To:
1. Meeting our daughter in China
2. Showing my kids the world
3. Growing old with Scott

Monday, September 14, 2009

Who's who?

Which little monkey:
  • When driving in the car, said "Mama, are you lost again? Did you try to take a longcut?"
  • After I explained that because it was the last day of the summer I was going to let him and his brother have ice cream for lunch said, "Mama, you're acting very strange!"
  • While on the long drive to his grandparents house, said, in all seriousness, "I wish we were there already! Logan, I have an idea! We should build a giant slingshot and then we could just 'boing' ourselves there!"


Which little love bug:
  • Said "I love lizards. They're my friends. If I get one, I'll name him Fuzzbucket."
  • Asked his Nana if he could pee in her houseplant (because he is potty training and outside I let him pee in the bushes).
  • Wanted to take the chopped peanuts from a McDonald's hot sudge sundae and plant them in the backyard in hopes they would grow watermelons.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

You know you are a mom when...

You know you are a mom when...
you get the following fortune in your cookie "You will be showered with good luck tomorrow!" and think to yourself, "I'll just be happy if I get a shower tomorrow!"
_____________________________________

You know you are mom when...
you are in a dressing room trying on clothes and you sit down on the floor to see if they comfortable enough.
_____________________________________

You know you are a mom when...
you need to write down your family's sandwich order and the only thing you can find in the car to write on is a magnadoodle.

You know you are a blom (blogging mom) when...
you take a picture of it!

(And yes, I did take the magnadoodle into the deli to place my order.)

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Country Fair

I live in a big city. Actually, a ginormous city. But I long for a smaller town...with country fairs and wide open spaces. With fresh air and safer neighborhoods. With less traffic and more quiet. With a sense of community where you actually know your neighbors' names and kids can play on their street.

So when I read that Chili Pepper over at Art's Chili is hosting a country fair, I was instantly drawn to the idea.


Starting September 14 (and running through October 7), bloggers can write their own post to participate in a bloggers' country fair.

You photograph your sewing, canning, painting, drawing, photography, baking, building, scrapbooking, needlepoint, knitting, cross stitching, etc...masterpiece and post it on your blog. You can explain your entry with some journaling or just put up your picture.

Then you can link your post on Chili Pepper's blog hop post and head over to other bloggers to see their entries. Everyone who links up will be entered to win prizes.

I have no idea what I'm going to make for the fair. Heck, I've never even been to a fair so I think a little investigative work is in order. But my local fair is out of the question. If you want a good laugh, take a look at these 30 second commercials for the fair where I live. I think you can understand why I might want to move.
And trust me...the commericals are worth seeing. I think they might be the funniest videos I've ever seen because they are supposed to be a parody but are very true to life.








Hope to see you at the bloggers' country fair!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Magic forests and chasing gulls...

Just a couple more pics to finish up the rest of our trip to my parents' house...

Every morning at Nana and Granddad's house starts with a walk down the hill to get the newspaper. Granddad usually has our dog, Marley, and both boys in tow.
Logan running back up the hill.

Jack and Granddad with the reason for their quest.

After our morning at the aquarium, we took a short nature walk.

I thought this oak grove was magical but of course, I couldn't get anyone to pose for a pic there.

However, we did convince the boys that the forest was magical because Granddad pulled coin after coin out of their ears...well, until he ran out of coins in his pocket.

The next day we headed to the river beach for a little rest and relaxation.
The boys tried catching fish in buckets...


And when that didn't work they headed to the other side to chase the seagulls.

All in all a wonderful weekend. And traffic wasn't even bad on the way home!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The other side of the camera - Aquarium morning

Forever In Blue Jeans
I'm participating in what I think is a really smart weekly challenge hosted by Carin at Forever in Blue Jeans. It seems like mamas spend an awful lot of time behind the camera. The idea of this challenge is for mamas to get on the other side of the camera in at least one photo a week.

When my boys grow up they'll inherit hundreds of thousands of photos taken from their childhood, but how many of those will show their mama? At least for this year I can answer 52!
_______________________________________

We spent the long last weekend of summer at my parents' house in Monterey. The whole family loves visiting there not only because of getting to spend time with my parents but also because there is so much family-friendly fun stuff to do.

On this trip, we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We've been there lots of times throughout the years so the boys have their favorite exhibits but we also love to see the new rotating exhibits like the great white shark and the seahorses.

Of course I took pictures of all the interesting creatures to see.

Here is the seahorse family. That's me, Mama Seahorse, two juvenile seahorses and Papa Seashorse. How do I know that is the papa? Because he is currently giving birth . (Male seahorses get pregnant and birth the babies.) Of course, Jack just wanted to know why the baby was coming out of the statue's butt.

Okay, so here is a real seahorse. Yes, that leafy seaweedy looking thing is a seahorse. A Sea Dragon to be exact. (His head is on the lower left side.)

The otters were very active...so much so that I couldn't get a picture of them. The penquins, on the other hand, were perfectly happy to pose for me.


Logan and the great white shark:




My measly photos don't do the Monterey Bay Aquarium justice. If you are in the area you should definately go.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Packing the packpack

The last couple of times we've taken a little trip I've let the boys pack their own toys. They each have a small backpack (or packpack as Logan calls it) and at the mere mention of a trip they are off to fill them up.

I give the boys no directions other than to include a stuffed animal. So, when we get wherever we are going, I am always interested to see what they have brought along.

This time, once we got to Nana and Grandad's house I decided to photograph the contents of their bags.

Here is what Jack (age 4) considers essential on a trip:
  • Nutmeg (the mangy stuffed cat)
  • drawing for his grandparents
  • cell phone (that no longer works)
  • checkers
  • candy picked up on his last road trip (I had no idea he even had any left)
  • Bakugan marble and magnetic cards


Here is what Logan (age 3) thinks are must haves on a trip:
  • stuffed dog
  • pliers
  • extra long screw
  • 2 cars and 1 helicopter
  • headphones (that don't plug in to anything)

You never know what you'll need when you're 3 or 4...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Gameboy

Jack is a competitive kid by nature. He always wants to race or play a game. For awhile, Candyland was his game of choice. And every time we saw him carting that big candyrific box around we inwardly give a little sigh. (It is not the most interesting game.)

We recently went on a trip with Scott's side of the family...there are 25 of us in all. Jack, of course, brought Candyland because there were lots and lots of potential players.

I wanted to get a picture of all the games that happened but, sadly, I couldn't. Here are just a few of the match-ups:
Blake, Amanda and Jack (with Logan observing)

Amanda, Drew and Jack

Grandmama and Jack (with Logan observing)


Shortly after that trip, Jack and Scott had a special day out. They first stopped at a store to buy checkers before heading to the pier to play a couple games, have lunch and ride some rides. Checkers is now Jack's game of choice.

This past weekend, we went to my parents' house. Though there are certainly not as many potential competitors, Jack did manage to get in games with me, Scott, Nana and Granddad...multiple times.
Jack and Granddad

Nana and Jack
The kid is pretty good.

On the last day of our trip, Scott taught Jack tic-tac-toe. He played it for several hours on the way home in the car with either Scott or I. Let's just say that it was a long, long drive...

I have to admit that I don't like playing games. I never have. So it seems strange to me that my oldest would love it so. But he does... And because of that I'm (nearly) always up for a game with Jack. And now wondering what the next game on the horizon is...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Who's who?

Which little monkey:
  • Has spent ALL summer drawing...people, cars, a dog, trees and swings
  • Said to his brother, "Some people like me are called models!"
  • Always watches out for his friends' younger siblings at the park and tells their moms if the toddlers are doing something dangerous

Which little love bug:
  • Grabbed me by the hand and pulled me to his room saying, "Mama, can you help me build a waterslide in my room?"
  • When asked if I could get a little love (like a kiss or cuddle) said, "No, Mama. It's not your birthday anymore."
  • When I said something about him being born, got very upset and said, "I wasn't born. I was in the neighborhood!" When I asked him what happened in the neighborhood he said, very matter-of-factly, "I walked up to you and asked if you wanted to be my mama!"

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The other side of the camera - Painted lady (and boys)

Forever In Blue Jeans
I'm participating in what I think is a really smart weekly challenge hosted by Carin at Forever in Blue Jeans. It seems like mamas spend an awful lot of time behind the camera. The idea of this challenge is for mamas to get on the other side of the camera in at least one photo a week.

When my boys grow up they'll inherit hundreds of thousands of photos taken from their childhood, but how many of those will show their mama? At least for this year I can answer 52!
_______________________________________

This was an idea I was going to include in my Tuesday Tips for Summer Survival, but well, you know...I bailed halfway through the summer.

On a very, very warm day, the boys stripped down and make quick use of some body paint. I even got in the act.








Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A box (and a day) of love

I recently celebrated my...um, 25th birthday, again. You may remember that was a complete slacker for Scott's birthday. The poor guy had to make his own birthday treat and buy and wrap and hide his own birthday present. So I was really, really hoping that Scott would be a total slacker to relieve a bit of my guilt.

No such luck...

The night before we went out to a grown-up meal. Of course, we took the two boys with us but it was at a nice non-chain restaurant. I even put on clean clothes which clearly signifies how nice the restaurant was.

The morning of my actual birthday started with love...lots of love. Jack had decided that he wanted to get me "love" for my birthday. There were lots of kisses and "I love you"s. Scott helped the boys put together a box of love which consisted of lots of drawings, a couple of gifts and a song by Jack (written down by Scott).

Here are the lyrics:
Mama, I love you...really much.
I love you in the springs
and even in the afternoons.
I love you everywhere we go together.

Jack had memorized his song and sang it to me several times.

We spent the morning at the pool and then had an unexpected visit to the doctor's office (for a weird bump on Logan's thumb). I, of course, told the boys that the doctor's visit was no big deal...she was just going to look at Logan's thumb.

"Shots, mama?"
"No. Definately no need for shots today, my dears."

After the doctor inspects Logan's thumb (which was completely fine) she excitedly says, "We just got our shipment of flu shots in this morning! Want some?"

"Um...sorry boys! I guess I lied. Yes, doctor, we'll take two."

The last minute doctor's appointment (during nap time) and the surprise shots left the boys in bad moods. They perked up a bit after a late nap and getting to work on my very unusual birthday cake with Scott.

This is a recipe that Jack invented and called "Chocolate Syrup Banana Ice Cream Cake." Oddly enough, there was no chocolate syrup or bananas. There were, however, graham crackers, triple chocolate fudge cake, mini fruit-flavored marshmellows, chocolate frosting, nuts, jumbo chocolate chips, cookies and cream ice cream and sprinkles. Only a 4 year old boy could invent such a conncotion!


After Scott picked up one of my favorites for dinner, Chipotle, we dug into the cake which was actually really good but seriously rich!

Then I was treated to a concert from all the of my boys. Scott on guitar while Jack and Logan took turns seranading me. So sweet...

These videos are each really short but pretty entertaining if I do say so myself.

Jack's original birthday song (and no, he can't read but it looks like he is):
video


Logan playing the guitar and some impromptu singing (try as you might, you can't ignore Jack talking throughout):
video


Jack needs to get some 'privacy' to help him think of the words:
video

An impromptu birthday song by Jack:
video