Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ultrasound Update

Monday I went in for an ultrasound update because last month there was a lake of blood on my placenta they wanted to check again. I'm pleased to say that it has shrunk on it's own to almost nothing (what the Dr. thought would happen) and everything looks good. They might do one more follow-up as a double check, but since my Dr. was out on maternity leave (she had her baby on Tday) we'll see what happens next month. I guess Jordan has been worried and was really relieved, but I haven't been. I thought it would probably shrink and haven't been worrying about it until I needed to worry.

Next month is my last 4 week appt and then I'm down to 2 week appointments. Craziness!

I made yummy treats last night (with Jordan's help) so I'll be posting those recipes soon. I had a couple of failures on Monday night just because I haven't made them in awhile and made dumb mistakes. Gasp...I even burned chocolate in the microwave and that smelled gross. I felt like a rookie.

Last night everything turned out pretty well except for our first tray of molasses cookies which were way too doughy so they were dumped. The fudge is way yummy and the graham cracker cookies with sliced almonds drizzled and cooked with a butter and sugar mixture turned out great on my third try (two trys on Monday and the last try last night-success!). The recipe from my mom had wrong proportions so that's what threw off my 2 first batches trying to adjust the amounts. We made these when I was little so for sure my mom wouldn't know the correct amounts. It was a few trial and errors before getting it right.

Also, only 3 more days of work and then we're both off for 2 weeks-yipee!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Eatings

This year we are staying home for Christmas which is going to be fun in so many ways. Jordan and I are both taking 2 weeks off from work and we are planning activities to do everyday as a family - like the zoo and Children's museum and I can make lots yummy food. I am looking forward to not traveling anywhere.

We are also hosting some get togethers at our house like the BYU football game and an all day LOTR (Lord of the Rings) Nerd-a-thon. Jordan's little brother and his family are also coming to visit for a few days so I'm planning our food for the two weeks of Christmas and wanted some additional ideas of yummy things you like to make over the holidays.

Some recipes I've pulled to possibly make. We have a $50 Basha's card that I received for Thanksgiving from my company so that will help towards the food costs.

Menu ideas for the 2 weeks of Christmas:
Our favorite homemade Chicken Parmesan (dinner)-maybe Christmas Eve dinner
Breakfast casserole (breakfast)
Blueberry stuffed french toast (breakfast)-maybe for Christmas breakfast
Gooey pull aparts (breakfast)
Chicken Enchiladas (dinner)
Cheese ball (get together)
Turkey Meatballs (get together)
7-layer Mexican Dip (get together)
Challah bread and Salmon-also possible Christmas Eve dinner
Cheesy potatoes (get together)
Potato Skins (get together)
Crockpot Stew w/homemade bread or rolls-dinner this Sunday
Carne Asada Tacos (dinner)

Let me know of any of your favorites that you love around this time of year. Of course I'll also be making some yummy treats to give away and for our family. I'll be posting some of these recipes in the coming weeks.

We're almost done with Christmas and just have a few last things to wrap (ha, ha) up. Matthew, us, my parents, Jordan's parents are all done and we just have a few other things to finish. Our Christmas cards are going out tomorrow so I'm excited about that!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Rainbow Jell-o Salad Recipe

Here is the rainbow jell-o salad that I made for Thanksgiving. I've had this recipe since my college days when we made it in a class. It is time consuming but easy to make. The results look cool and is really yummy!

Ingredients:
-1 small package of each of the following jell-o flavors: Black Cherry, Raspberry, Orange, Lemon, Lime.
-Boiling Water
-2.5 cups of sour cream

-Dissolve the black cherry jell-o in 1 cup of boiling water. Divide the mixture in half and add 2 tablespoons cold water to one half and pour into a 9x13 pan. Put in the freezer for 8-9 minutes (make sure it is level).
-Add 1/2 cup sour cream to the other half of jell-o and mix well until well mixed. When clear jell-o is set add jell-o w/sour cream on top and put back into the freezer for another 8-9 minutes.
-Continue with the rest of the jell-o flavors. Layer in the order listed above ending with the Lime sour cream layer.

I suggest putting into a clear 9x13 pan as it looks really cool when all the layers are set-up. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

No More Daycare Center!

We've had continual problems with our daycare center saying that we owe money when in fact we don't. I pay up front on time every week and have been tired of the continual hassle about our payments. To be fair their old manager wasn't keeping up properly with the payments in the system and everything was off. She was let go and I think they are just trying to keep up with things.

In Matthew's class there has been a girl lately who is having major problems. She hits the other kids, bites them, and isn't very nice. Matthew has come home with scratches and bites lately which I have felt bad about. Yesterday when I dropped off Matthew a little girl immediately hit him over the head and I saw other kids pushing and hitting each other. It felt really crazy and I felt so bad leaving Matthew there. He looked so scared to be there. :(

I finally decided enough was enough and called Jordan and said that was it. I was going to call the babysitter that comes into our house and see if she could come into our house 2 days a week and then find someone else for the other day. When I called my babysitter she said she was looking for more hours anyways since her dad lost his job and everyone needed to pitch in to help out. She is totally fine coming in 3 days a week. We are so excited as Matthew loves her and she is really great with him. I told the Daycare Center yesterday when I picked him up that Friday was going to be his last day. We're keeping him on the drop-in list as an emergency but hopefully we're done there now. It was a good center and the providers were really good I just felt that Matthew needed to be home where he felt the most comfortable. I feel so better about the situation now and I know he will feel better being at home too. Two weeks ago we were home when he woke up from his nap and he didn't want us, he wanted the babysitter. He was so upset that she wasn't there and was a grump for awhile.

Thanksgiving Update
Just a quick update about T-day. We headed to Utah early to see the Coldplay concert. It was amazing and if you get to see them on tour definitely do it. I think it's the best concert I've ever seen-awesome!

Mainly we just played with family and had our traditional pie night the night before Thanksgiving where we all bring pies and talk and play games. This year we did karaoke so that was fun! Matthew even sang Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and the ABC's and loved the microphone and wanted to keep doing more.

For Thanksgiving day there were 35 people that came to my mom/dad's house. It was a bit crazy but fun. We all contributed and I made a ribbon jello salad that is about 10 layers of different jello. Of course I knew as soon as I suggested that I make it that my mom was going to say "that is just so much work" and of course she said that. I made it Wednesday and it took just over 1.5 hours with all the layers, but it's not hard to make it just takes time. Jordan helped me so that was nice.

I was definitely looking forward to Black Friday. I started really getting into it after we got back from London. I LOVE saving money so this day is right up my alley. Jordan dreads going to my parents as it means he has to go do Black Friday. When we go to his parents they live too far away to make getting up super early worth it so he gets a break every other year (not that I haven't contemplated getting up at 2 in the morning so we can drive into Vegas). We started our morning at Kohl's (4 am) and the line was super long so I stayed there and gave the list of what we needed at Toys R Us and Jordan headed over there to wait in line until 5. Good thing he did because the main thing we wanted was a kitchen (it's a manly blue) and he only saw 4 more after the one he took. He got through his line before I was done standing in line for 1 hr. at Kohl's and came back to help me finish up and get stuff out to the car. We then headed over to Target for the craziness again. It actually didn't take us long there. The main thing we went for was a wii game but it was out of stock so we mainly got cheap but great DVD's. Jordan went back later and got a rain check for the game so that was good. We went out to breakfast and then I went out to my favorite craft store (Roberts) and got a few things. Later after lunch with the fam I went to Gymboree and The Children's Place and got some cute things at a great deal for the baby.

All in all Black Friday was a success and I can't wait until Christmas morning when Matthew opens up his presents. How pathetic that we had to buy a cargo holder for the top of our car to carry all our crap home! :) We needed one anyways with the baby coming and visits planned for this summer. There is no way everything will fit in the back of the Santa Fe for 3 people and a baby (who will most likely have the most stuff).

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Couple of Ultrasound Pics

Here are just a couple. We had them saved to a disk, so cool they can do that now. We didn't have the option 3 years ago when pregnant with Matthew.

Only 9 oz. here in weight. Less than a can of coke. It's amazing what technology can show us. The baby looked really healthy. No heart defects and the spine looks to be completely enclosed. It's amazing the detail that we could see and shows me again the miracle of life, babies, and the little beings that our Heavenly Father entrusts us with every day. We have a huge responsibility to raise our children right and teach them to love the righteous things in life. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by that responsibility and just hope that I'm parenting Matthew the right way.



She looks like she's sucking her thumb here, but who knows.


As a side note, I do have a lake (pooled blood) on my placenta. I guess they are pretty common in pregnancies and the Dr. doesn't say anything unless they are unusually large. Most are 3-4 inches, but the one she commented on is 7 inches across and thin. Next month when I go in they are going to do another ultrasound to see if it has shrunk or not. My Dr. said she wouldn't be really concerned until about week 32 as the baby isn't using much of the placenta right now to grow and that is what they would be worried about with the lake is that the complete flow of blood isn't getting to the baby as it gets bigger in the last 2 months. We're going to watch it for now and I'm not worrying about it so we'll see what happens next month. Hoping that it will shrink by then as that is what usually happens.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

So the baby is a........

GIRL!!! The Anderson tradition is still going strong. We haven't talked names yet, but I have a good idea of what I want so we'll see. The ultrasound tech said she knew from the moment she saw the baby but kept us in suspense as she looked all the other parts over. We'll try and post an ultrasound pic later after we get home from work.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Home Means Nevada

As you gathered from Karin's post, she's out of town for a week, so Matthew and I have been muddling through on our own. To break things up a little bit, I decided to take him up to Nevada for the weekend. I spent a day with my brother and his family in Vegas, and then drove the familiar road out to Beatty to spend a day or two with my parents. It was a short visit but well worth it. Going back to Beatty always brings a lot of memories to the surface, and this was the first time Matthew was old enough for me to start sharing a little bit of that with him. I'm also glad he got some quality time with his grandparents, to whom he became quickly re-attached.

On Saturday morning, we (sans my mom, who had to work for a few hours) went out to Rhyolite, the local ghost town, which about a hundred years ago was a lot bigger than Beatty. My dad has done a lot of work out there renovating a building appropriately called the "Red Barn," which is now serving as an art museum, so we went to check that out. The Red Barn sits on land which actually was in the town of Bullfrog, apparently, given that the old Bullfrog jail is right next door. My dad snapped this picture of Matthew "locked up":



Probably the most unique building in Rhyolite is a house made largely out of bottles. Matthew was a big Bottle House fan - he spent about 10 minutes just walking around the outside running his hand along the bottles. Here's another shot from my dad:

Karin here: I love this picture of Matthew and don't be surprised if you see it somewhere soon!
Here's another one I shot:
That afternoon after my mom got back from work, we went down to the Amargosa River (which is basically an underground river - just a little stream above ground most of the time).
Matthew was mostly interested in playing with sticks and rocks. He used this one to lead music for a while.
Karin here: People always tell me that Matthew looks like Jordan and I just didn't see it until I saw this picture and I really see Jordan in Matthew here.
At some point over the weekend, he started yelling in the middle of singing songs to try to scare my mom:
Karin here: I've played a game in the car with Matthew before where we sing songs and then in the middle either I sing louder or he does and then I act scared. I made it up one day when he wouldn't stop screaming (because he was upset) in the car home from work/daycare and we laughed all the way home doing these songs/scaring each other. We play lots of silly games together.

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Unfortunately it was a pretty short weekend. I wasn't too excited to drive back today, but I did better than I thought I would on my own with him, courtesy of a portable DVD player, some Pixar movies, and Kung Fu Panda.
I'm so glad they had a great time in Beatty without me as it helped break up the week for both of them. Today Matthew was sad being dropped off at daycare and wanted to play with Jordan today poor kid.
Karin again: Our event just ended and we'll do some final packing tomorrow (Tuesday) and then I catch a flight home at 4 pm. I can't wait to see my boys again. I've really missed them this week. It's been a fun event, but I'm really glad it's pretty much over. It's hard being at an event where I can't participate as much as I would like because of my energy level. This is our last big event until February and it will be nice to have a few mellow months in the office. I've been traveling/out of the office way too much lately for my liking.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

El Capitan in Santa Barbara, CA

I am enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery in Santa Barbara, CA. I flew in on Tuesday afternoon to start setting up for our camp event that started on Thursday. I have never been here before and didn't know what to expect. It is so beautiful and my kind of camping. We are in cabins that have showers, but then we are in the beautiful outside. I just wanted to post a couple of pictures.

Thanks once again to Jordan for watching Matthew while I am away for a week.



You can see more about this resort canyon by visiting http://www.elcapitancanyon.com/index.html

Monday, November 10, 2008

Kung Fu Panda and sexes of babies in my family

We rented Kung Fu Panda this weekend and Matthew LOVES it! We watched it as a family on Saturday night after I got home from my event and he keeps wanting to watch it. Pretty cute! I think we'll have to add to our collection. We need to rent Madagascar too as I think he'd really LOVE it.

So, my (Karin) six older siblings have had either a boy first and then a girl next or a girl first and then a boy second. Jordan comes from a family of all boys and his two brothers have had: Brother #1-Boy, boy, girl and Brother #2-Girl, boy.

Hmmmm....so what do you think we'll have??? Do you think we'll break the history of 6 children in my family and have a boy instead of a girl or do you think we'll follow with the streak and have a girl? Vote in our new poll on the right. We find out on November 20th what we're having so I'll announce and we'll see how many of you were right.

I'm on week 18 right now and I can't believe I'm almost half way through. It's been pretty easy so far except for the constant fatigue. I have a week long event that I am leaving for tomorrow and I just hope I can get through the long days with little sleep. It might just kill me off and I'll be excited for a few days break over Thanksgiving.

(I'm secretly hoping for a girl, but I really just want a healthy baby either way).

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Redskins streak continues

See in the post below, but apparently the skins are to follow when they play before Presidential Election time. See you in 4 years to see if it holds true for a 19th election.

Did you Vote?

Did you vote? If so, you maybe didn't need to. According to the Red Skins game last night the election has already been decided.

I am always amazed by the stats that Sports staticians come up with. Jordan was watching the Red Skins last night because one of their receivers needed to get him some fantasy football points (another day, another tangent-one thing this chick just doesn't get-watching a team on your computer that's fake).

Anyways, the stat that came up was that over the last 17 elections (17x4=68 years) if the Redskins won the game right before the election then whatever party was in office won the election and if the opponent won the game then the opposite party won the election.

Last night the Red Skins lost so that means according to their game that Obama will win the election. I have a feeling it will go this way anyways, but we are watching CNN right now as states come in.

This morning our plan was that Jordan would get up early and vote and then come home and I would vote and then we would go to work. Jordan was in line at 5:50 am and didn't get home until just after 7 and by then we needed to get ready and go to work. Also because of voting, traffic was really bad this morning and it usually takes Jordan 1/2 hour to get into work and this morning it took us almost an hour just to get to him work.

We left a little bit early from work tonight so I could get in line to vote and much to our surprise when we got to our voting area there was no line. Either everyone went this morning or we just beat the rush this evening. Either way it was very nice to just walk up and vote.

Whatever the outcome I hope that you did your civic duty and voted today. We're just hoping that our local bond gets passed so we can build a really nice library, more city parks, and a water/rec center that our relatively young city desperately needs.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Mandatory Halloween Post

We had a good time with Halloween this year, particularly because it was the first time Matthew really understood what was going on. Unfortunately, he was fighting an ear infection and didn't feel too great, but he pushed through it due to the associated candy and getting to wear his cowboy hat a few more times.

We started out thinking we'd spend some quality time at a pumpkin patch, and we found one on the internet that looked pretty good. Turns out, no one was there, and it wasn't too exciting. Matthew kept himself entertained by arranging the pumpkins, but we only lasted about 5 minutes. He did pick one out, and we carved it up a few days later for FHE (I'm assuming you are LDS; if not, Google FHE, and if you don't know what LDS is, Google that first, and then Google FHE). He helped a bit (pushed the eyes/nose/mouth out) and then just wanted to stand outside all night looking at it.











A few days before Halloween, our Disneyland candy was starting to wane, but fortunately my office has a trick-or-treat thing for families every year, and it's hard to beat the amount of candy you can get in about 30 minutes going from cubicle to cubicle.



The Hammond Halloween Party has become an annual tradition (along with soup in pumpkin bread bowls and now doughnuts homemade by Karin). Ray and EmmaLee have a good neighborhood for trick-or-treating, so Matthew did pretty well there too (he compensated for his somewhat weakened physical state by asking "one more please" at some of the houses). Karin dressed as an oven ("bun in the oven"), and although I probably should have been a baker, I was already too committed to dressing as myself (if I never mentally left high school) to change directions at that point. Karin thinks I make my costumes too complicated to understand, and she's probably right - you'd have to have known me in my glasses/letterman's jacket/Cure shirt/mustache days to appreciate it I guess (the mustache only lasted about six hours - Karin was not a fan).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Disney Movies

As promised, here is some video from our trip to Disneyland. Matthew gives us a run for our money sometimes, but we have a good time with him - at least he doesn't lack for personality.

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Happiest Place on Earth (Tied w/ In-n-Out Burger)

Pictures from our Disneyland trip - video to come tomorrow.


Matthew's flown a bunch of times, but this was the first time he really understood what an airplane is. This little toy from Burger King entertained him for about 3 seconds:


The first night, we got to go trick-or-treating in the California Adventure park:


Matthew scored a cowboy costume from his cousin Dylan. He didn't want to put the pants on at first, but then he loved them and just kept running around:






The whole park was decked out for Halloween:


Our first ride was a Monsters, Inc., ride - Matthew is a big fan:


Matthew got to see a few of his favorites in the parade:




By this point, Matthew had a big bag full of candy:





I think this was the latest Matthew had ever stayed up - it was nearly midnight when we went home. He was beat on the tram back to the parking garage:


Well-rested and read-to-go on Day 2:


In about 15 minutes, Matthew would be really scared by the 3D "Honey I Shrunk the Audience" movie (bad idea on our part):


Waiting in line for the Alice in Wonderland ride:


Back to the park that night after a nap:


Matthew's loved the Buzz Lightyear ride because he loves Toy Story and because he got to shoot at things, so we went on it twice and picked up a little gun for him, which we'll undoubtedly regret later:


Matthew liked the Pirates ride for the most part, although he didn't see the little drops coming and was a little scared:


I couldn't get a great picture of it, but the Haunted Mansion was all decked out (inside and out) for "Nightmare Before Christmas" - we had a good time on that ride:


Waiting in a long, long line for the Finding Nemo ride on day 3:


On our way out of Disneyland:


Meeting Handy Manny in California Adventure:


On our way out, we had a Micky Mouse sighting (although I think the outfit confused Matthew at first, because he insisted it was Minnie Mouse at first):


One last shot on the way out:


Sacked out at the airport:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Disneyland

Last night we just got back from 2 1/2 days of fun at Disneyland/California Adventures. I was in Anaheim for a site visit for work on Friday and then Jordan/Matthew flew in so we could all go to Disneyland. I had gotten free tickets into Disneyland from my sales person I've been working with for our Convention group. It will probably be the cheapest trip ever to DLand.

It was exhausting and really busy due to UEA weekend in Utah and breaktime in AZ. We spent a lot of times in lines, but overall we had a really great time. Jordan will be posting pics and video from this weekend.

My Highlights:
-Friday night we went to Mickey's Trick-or-Treat party at California Adventures. Matthew scored lots of candy and we went on a few rides. He dressed up as a Cowboy. It was fun and we were out until about 12:30. Matthew fell asleep in our rental car about 10 min. after we left and we went to Sonic to get treats-yum!
-Haunted Mansion-they turn this into the Nightmare Before Christmas theme. It was so cool and one of the rides I liked the best. It was perfect for Matthew too as it wasn't really scary.
-Disney's Playhouse-I have been looking forward to seeing this since we decided to have this short vacation. They take all of the characters from the Playhouse Disney series like Einsteins, Handy Manny, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and My Friends Tigger and Pooh. The kids can sing along with the songs and puppets from the shows. It was super cute and Matthew loved it. It lived up to my expectations.
-Toy Story Mania-About a 45 min-hour wait, but a new ride at California Adventures. It was really fun and it had little pop guns you pull and you shoot at electronic games. It was in 3-D and really fun. The last ride we took Sunday before we headed to the airport.
-Finding Nemo-About an hour wait. They've revamped the 20,000 leagues under the sea to a Finding Nemo ride. Really cute and Matthew loved it. Worth the LONG wait.
-Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters-I think it was Matthew's favorite ride by far. He got to shoot a gun and score points. Since it had fast passes we went on this twice.

I definitely resolved after this trip that we won't be going on busy weekends again. There were WAY too many people for my liking and there were several rides and areas that we didn't get to so I was a little disappointed in that. It was nice that since I was pregnant and couldn't go on the thrilling rides I like that we could just focus on going on the small kiddie rides for Matthew. It would have been hard to try and get on the adult rides with just the 3 of us together in the park.

We definitely pushed ourselves to the max. We stayed out late Friday, were in the park by 10 am on Saturday, came back to the hotel around 2ish until about 6:30 for a nap and then were back in the park from 7-11 pm. We had packed, checked out and were at Disneyland by 10:30 on Sunday and stayed until 5 when we left to get dinner and head to the airport. I think we are all pretty beat today and will be glad when it's the weekend again to recooperate. It's hard getting home late on Sunday night and being back to work on Monday (good thing I'm working from home today).

Look for cute pics to be posted soon. We even got pictures with Mickey Mouse.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ramblings from a tired pregnant lady!

I've just had 2 events back to back and with being pregnant I've been pretty wiped out and being VERY lazy lately! I'm on the go again this weekend to San Francisco and Anaheim for site visits to the hotels we are having our two large events at in February and next August.

Jordan left early this morning for Oregon and will be back on Thursday the day I leave for San Fran. Matthew will be here with the babysitter when I leave and Jordan will be back to relieve her in the evening. Needless to say this week will be a little crazy. It's always weird when Jordan's not around to talk to and help out. We'll miss him!

Speaking of pregnancy I feel pretty lucky that so far I've had it fairly easy. My first 12 weeks weren't bad at all and I only had a couple of days of feeling nauseous in the morning or evening. I've mostly just been tired and feel like doing nothing at the end of the day. I definitely have to eat about every 2 hours or my body does weird things like get headaches and dizziness. I'm in the middle of my 14th week right now, so in about a month we should be finding out what we are having.

It's really cooled down here the past couple of days. I know that my parents in Utah have had a cold front and my brother in Ogden got snow so it's getting chilly up there. I didn't think it would affect us much, but it's been around 75 here. A tich chilly but a nice break from the hot weather.

We made pot roast and homemade rolls last night for dinner. We tried the roast a different way that we usually make it and I think it's the best we've ever made (technically Jordan made it-I directed from the couch). :) I went to Penzey's (the best spice store EVER!) on Saturday and thought I had gotten a Pot Roast rub, but I guess I didn't erggghhh...anyways here is what we did.

-Rub a pot roast with seasoning of your choice. We did Montreal steak seasoning since we didn't have the pot roast seasoning.
-Sear each side in Olive Oil in a heavy pot (I have a cast iron pot that is enamel covered). I think about 3-5 min. on each side is good enough. You leave it alone to make a nice crust in the oil.
-After we seared each side we added 3 cups of beef broth into the pot, covered with the lid and then stuck it into the oven on 350 for about 3 hours.

Pretty simple and maybe all of you make it that way, but I haven't so it was something new for us. It was the moistest pot roast we've ever had and I can't wait to make a roast beef sandwich soon with one of our leftover rolls. Yum-o.

We're doing some fun things this weekend so I'll post pics next week.

Funny things Matthew has done lately...
-Told me good job this morning when I sang the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse song with him (I always tell him good job).
-Scrunches up his nose when he says "Orangege".
-Scared me....he says that now when we scare him and then he laughs.
-He acts out the beginnings of some of our movies or says the words along with the movies while watching them.
-Loves to build towers with his blocks and then gets a huge grin on his face and knocks them all down.
-Now that we've been watching word world he's trying to spell things. He'll see a word and start spelling it. Smile...i, b, r, k. It's cute! He gets the concept but not how to do it yet.

Most of the time Matthew is such a happy fun loving kid. We have implemented the naughty circle at our house (a circle mat we have) that he sits on in our dining room for time out. This has been working pretty effeciently and is much better for everyone to keep us calm.

Off to start laundry from yesterday and today blow-outs. Matthew is a little stuffed up and I think a little sick. I'm trying to keep him hydrated and well as he needs to get better by this weekend because of the fun things we're doing. More ramblings later...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Carne Asada

We have this great little taco shop around the corner from us and we had it a couple of weeks ago and I got Carne Asada tacos. They were so yummy and I wanted to find a recipe so we could make it at home. I found this recipe on allrecipes.com and oh my goodness is it amazing! The marinade is to die for and made the yummiest tender beef. The salsa was pretty good too.

We ended up grilling the meat and cutting it up and Matthew even loved it and wanted seconds. I also cooked our tortillas in a little oil just for 30 seconds on both sides. This makes them so they don't fall apart. I learned that trick from another book and it works really well and adds just a titch of additional flavor.

If nothing else make the marinade and cook up some meat. You could definitely use this for fajitas as well. I rate this 5 stars and Jordan rates it in the high 4's (let's not even talk about his dumb rating system).

Here is the link to the Carne Asada recipe. I'm telling you it's well worth it. Yum-o!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cautionary Tales

I've had a very busy work-wise, and as a result I've been really bad about posting pictures/video. Work appears to be getting back to normal somewhat, so I'm going to try to catch up on everything I've neglected during the long summer (which seems to have ended everywhere else in the northern hemisphere expect here in Arizona). I decided it was time to get going again when I came into the kitchen tonight to find Matthew laughing about as hard as you'll ever hear him laugh. I guess Karin dropped something she was eating, and he thought it was pretty funny, so she kept doing it. He was eating something chocolate at the time, so sorry about the state of his face.

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While I'm at it, here's another one from the beginning of August. The audio is horrible, but it's too late tonight for me to bother fixing it (I may re-post this tomorrow). I mainly like this clip because Matthew decides about halfway through that a spatula he dragged into the living room would make a good guitar.

video

I'm glad I live in a time when we can capture all of these little moments, but I'm also glad that I am fairly consistent at backing all of them up. Our computer crashed over the weekend, and had I not been backing everything up, we would have lost a lot of stuff - pictures, video, Karin's projects. Twice during my MBA within about a two week span, I suffered through late night computer crashes with assignments due the next morning, so I learned my lesson. If you haven't had this happen before, learn from my experience. It's well worth the cost of an additional hard drive, an external hard drive, or a network storage box (I actually have all three, probably the result of working in a storage products division) to have a little peace of mind.

While I'm at it, let me pass along another lesson learned from the weekend. At some point in the past year or so, we started playing this little game with Matthew where we'd pretend to be asleep, and he'd sneak up on us and yell "Wake Up!". It was funny for a while, but today I was deep in the middle of a quality Sunday afternoon nap (which I don't take often enough) and awoke to a 2-year-old yelling about 3 inches from my face. In retrospect, it was kind of funny, but at the time I wasn't too amused.

One last word of caution. The other day a "friend of mine" sent me a link to this video on YouTube, and now it's been stuck in my head for two days. I would argue that this is simultaneously the low point in the history of Christian music and in the top 10 of all time (regardless of genre) in terms of catchiness (sandwiched between "Ice, Ice Baby" and the theme to "The Greatest American Hero."). It's evidently real and seems to have been well-intentioned, but watch at your own risk.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Word World

Our friends Ray & EmmaLee and fam gave Matthew this cute little cow for his birthday that is magnetized and comes apart. I didn't realize it was from a show until a few weeks ago when by chance flipping through the channels I saw this show. It's on PBS.

We finally started taping it and Matthew LOVES it. It is the cutest show I've seen about spelling. It has cute characters and their stories are just so good. I'm hoping that how words are made and spelled will eventually make sense (I know, I know, he's only 2, but I want him to be s-m-a-r-t).




Here's a link to their website http://www.wordworld.com/

A link to the opening song http://www.wordworld.com/watcho.html

And Matthew's C-O-W he was given.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Dyson

Have you heard of a Dyson? We first heard of Dyson's when we lived in the UK, but really didn't think much of it. It's been getting rave reviews all over the place and since our vacuum has been acting up and not sucking very well and we've had it for 4 years we finally decided to call it quits. We bit the big one and decided to invest in a decent vacuum cleaner. We had some friends that bought one recently and were raving about how clean their carpet was.

I've been wanting a Dyson for 4 years, but we have had other pressing expenses and kept putting it off. We finally decided since we have crappy carpet (basic that came w/the house) to at least get it as clean as we can. We bought a Dyson this weekend and boy do I feel like our house is clean. After 1 passing of the living room, hallway, and Matthew's room the dirt holder was filled to capacity (mostly from our crappy carpet fibers that suck up easily). We had vacuumed with our old vacuum recently so I was surprised with the filth that it picked up. Also the other cool thing about it is that you can turn off the spinning brush and use it on your hard floor and the brush won't kick dirt back at you. Our kitchen floor feels pretty clean.

If you can save and buy this little vacuum I swear it will change your cleaning. I love it already and wanted to pass it along. There are several models and some are cheaper than others. Of course we had to have the one with all the attachments and gadgets. :)



5 technologies that only Dyson Vacuum delivers (from their website)
-Patented Root Cyclone™ technology
No loss of suction.
-All floor performance
Excellent pick up on all floor surfaces, not just carpet.
-Cleaner exhaust air
Dyson uprights are certified asthma & allergy friendly™ by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
The air expelled from a Dyson vacuum has up to 150 times less bacteria and mold than the air you breathe.
-No extra costs
Lifetime HEPA and washable filters, and no bags to buy.
-5 year warranty
Parts and labor guaranteed

Friday, August 15, 2008

Brian Regan

It's been awhile. Jordan and I have both been inundated with lots of work and I was preparing for our annual convention so I was working way too many hours. Convention is over and my stress level is down and it's nice to spend time with Matthew again.

I'll update more next week about our vacation.

Tonight we are going to Brian Regan. He's a hilarious comedian that we found out about 2 years ago. We have all of his DVD's and CD's and die of laughter all the time. He is super clean and makes great insights about everyday life. Check him out and if you live around us we're happy to lend out our DVD's to anyone who needs a good laugh.

He's coming out with a new DVD soon (you can preorder here http://brianregan.shop.musictoday.com/Dept.aspx?cp=781_14195) and he's going to be on Comedy Central again with a new standup routine. September 7 at 9:00 pm. Make sure you have your DVR set. :)

Everyone have a great weekend!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A birthday and the 4th, plus...recipe of the week

I'm just going to preface that this is a long post!

Jordan's Birthday

Jordan's birthday was a week ago and unfortunately every year his birthday falls at the wrong time of the year for me event wise. We are always full swing into our Convention planning and this year one of our 3 day events fell right on his birthday. His birthday planning got away from me in the midst of our training event and Convention planning.

I did get off a little early last Saturday so we met up and saw Wall-e and then were going to go out to eat for Jordan's birthday. Matthew LOVED Wall-e and did so great and was pretty much glued to the screen. Afterwards I wasn't feeling so great so we ended up going home and having a mellow night.

Sunday we tried to recreate a meal from Wagamama's and failed miserably. It wasn't really our fault, but it just didn't work out so great. We made some Chili Beef Ramen and some potstickers and the Ramen wasn't good at all (the meat was excellent). :( The potstickers turned out actually pretty well, but take forever to assemble so we won't be making them very much.

I didn't ever find time to go get Jordan a present and I was going to go on Saturday after the movie but since I was feeling so crappy I didn't even have a present for him...bad wife. I felt so bad that it was the worst birthday ever for Jordan. He even had to make his own cake since I was pretty exhausted from working the event and could hardly get out of bed during the day on Jordan's birthday. Long days and late nights just wear me out. He said he didn't care, but I felt horrible all night for the bad birthday.

On Monday I went into the office since it was going to be a short week because of the 4th. I left early and went and got Jordan presents and decided we were re-doing his birthday and birthday dinner and made Chicken Parmigiana. It was yummy as usual and the gifts went over well. Jordan was a bit surprised because he wasn't expecting any presents or a dinner that was pretty much almost done by the time he got home from work.

-Side note about this recipe. It is super yummy and really isn't all that complicated. The key is to get a good crust on the chicken so it doesn't get too soggy when you cook it in the oven with the sauce/cheese. This sauce beats any bottle sauces hands down. We hardly buy pasta sauce anymore as I'd much rather make homemade with fresh herbs and garlic. We've also made the herbed bread a fair amount of times that goes along with this recipe (see the links at the bottom of the recipe) and it is YUMMY! This is one of our Sunday staples as it does take some time to create.

4th of July
All of Jordan's family was going to his hometown for the 4th of July so we decided to head up there and join in the festivities. Jordan grew up in Beatty, NV which is about 1.5 hrs north of Vegas if you were going to Reno and has a population of less than 1,000. Our goal was to leave by noon, but with work things that had to get done and getting the car packed we didn't get out of Maricopa until almost 2 pm. As were were heading on the 10 North we narrowly missed an accident. It had happened so recently that the backup wasn't bad yet. A pick-up truck and trailer had overturned across the whole road. If we had been 5 min. earlier we could have been in the accident and if we had been 15 min. later we could have been stuck in hours of traffic. Now again if we had left on time we would have missed it all, but we felt blessed to have been in the right place at the right time.

The unknown when you are driving to Vegas is the Hoover Dam. You can easily spend 2 hrs trying to get through there or fly right through. The great thing about leaving late is that by the time we got to Hoover Dam no one was there anymore visiting it and we sailed right through. We also got to Vegas around 7 pm so it was after rush hour traffic.

Matthew did so great. He loves his Pixar movies and we have a portable DVD player (one of the best inventions EVER!) so he did great watching all of his movies. He's really into Bug's Life right now so that's always his #1 pick. He so takes after me in that manner. I will get stuck on a food, or a movie, or a hobby and that's all I want to do/watch/eat. I'm definitely a creature of habit and Matthew shows some of those same traits. He'll want to watch the same movie over and over or eat the same things or play with the same toys over and over. It cracks me up!

We got into Beatty after 10 pm and Matthew was asleep so we went and got settled into the motel across from where Jordan's parents live (they have a 2 bedroom house so all of us can't sleep there). Jordan's mom gave us an itinerary for the 4th when we picked up our keys.

9:30 am - Breakfast at the Church
11:00 am - Parade downtown
1:00 pm - Games in the Park
6:00 pm - Dinner
Dark - Fireworks

It was a really fun, hot, packed day. We pretty much followed the itinerary and did everything. We ate breakfast at the church, we all met at this corner "downtown" to watch the parade, and then the boys headed over to the park to stake out our spot with a canopy for the games and then we ate dinner and went and watched fireworks. It was a pretty hot day around 103 (no 115 that we've had in Phoenix) and we brought our kiddie pool so the little kids could cool off. Matthew was superman diving at one point into the pool so he had fun. We even got him to try the egg/spoon race but he took 3 steps and threw his egg and said yay and that was about it for him. I finally took him back to Jordan's parents so he could take a nap and I dozed while watching Wimbledon.

After dinner we headed out to the fireworks and I didn't know how Matthew was going to do. Jay had bought some small fireworks and Matthew was sitting in a little chair in front of me and climbed up that thing so fast and into my lap when the little fireworks went off. Once the main city fireworks started going off he was pretty scared and we sat in the back of his mom's car and watched them from in there. By the end of the night he wasn't as scared, but still wasn't loving the whole fireworks thing. He kept saying "over"? We finally left around 10:30 and he was so pooped he fell right asleep in his bed and didn't stir until 7 am.

Saturday we took it easy - we played in the motel pool (chiillllly) the kids played outside in the afternoon in the kiddie swimming pool and on the slip and slide and Jordan/Me made dinner for the family. Mexican shredded beef and Salsa chicken with homemade salsa, guacamole, cooked up tortillas from Costco, and Gallo Pinto (Costa Rican beans and rice). I thought it was a pretty yummy dinner if I say so myself!

Today we left at about 8 am and made a couple of stops for food along the way and made it home by 4 pm. We were nervous about the Dam, but it only took us about 30 min. to get through. Matthew did really great again and I got a little carsick so I rested up this afternoon. It was a great weekend, but it's always great to be back into the routine of things and to sleep in your own bed. We have a couple of full weeks work wise ahead of us and I'm less than 30 days from our Convention so we're in the homestretch and it's only going to get crazier the next few weeks.

Here are a few pics from our camera and we're hoping to get some more from Jordan's dad and brother Skylar.


This is the ONE shot I wanted for the whole weekend. Matthew was waiting for the parade to start. Jordan's brother Jay took this picture with our camera. Isn't it just too cute? Love it. Can't wait to scrap it.


Matthew is in the blue/white top and green/blue shorts in the far left. We were waiting to get started in the egg race. The rule for this age group (1-5 yr olds) is that the parents couldn't help them at all. What 2 yr. old knows how to pick up an egg and put it back on their spoon? Matthew came in dead last but still had fun.



Here is Matthew hiding behind me after the large fireworks were over and they started doing little fireworks that Jordan's brother had brought. I think the closeness of the fireworks and the flames freaked him out.


Saturday evening all the kids (except Drew) were watching a movie together in the back room. There are six kids under the age of 7 all together - and 3 - 2 yrs olds. Matthew loved Calvin (to his right) who is about 2 yrs older than him as they are 2 little mischievous boys that get twinkles in their eyes. Calvin kept talking about his cousin "Matthew" Jay & April told us. Matthew loves playing with his cousins and he doesn't have any that are exactly his age on my side of the family.