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Monica

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(no subject) [Oct. 26th, 2008|02:43 pm]
Monica
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Playing Catch-Up [Mar. 30th, 2008|10:06 pm]
Monica
(X-posted to my blogger account)

The week before Easter we went back up to Camp 4 1/2 to camp...this time just us, no friends. It was lovely. All we did was play games, hike, fish, read....it was heaven.

vacationCollapse )
So, Easter was great. I added some camo material to some cardboard baskets I found at the Dollar Tree and the boys were thrilled they weren't "little girl" baskets. Yeesh...what happened to the boy who would wear nothing but pink Dora panties when he was potty-training? Hah.

Right, so I filled their baskets with stuff that I would buy them anyway...I just sort of hoarded it for the month before Easter. Craft supplies, puzzles, kid band-aids, kid floss, books journals and goldfish crackers. Oooh...and an extra-large plastic egg filled with M&M's. I knew my parents would give them loads of candy, and they knew I wouldn't...so it worked out well.

I didn't get any good Easter pics, but I do like *this* pic of my little 70's boys. :) The shirts they're wearing are ones I remember my brother wearing when he was their age. I'll be sad when they dont' fit them anymore...big collars and all.



Steve came home a few days ago with a "just because" present for me (read: us). A new Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi. Yay! Needless to say we've been taking photos of everything including his hairy toes and his faded tattoo...but I won't subject you to those. I will however show you a photo of 2 of my favorite thrift finds, and a close-up of some of the flowers in my backyard. I know....not as interesting as hairy toes...

NOT hairy toesCollapse )
Yesterday, we went into the pet store to get a new fish for the mini pond/fountain outside. We came home with Godzilla!

meet GodzillaCollapse )

And last, but not least...we took the boys to have their photos professionally done this afternoon by an awesome photographer who also happens to be fellow LJ friend! :) Looking forward to seeing what the beautiful MIss M comes up with.

photos Steve took from todayCollapse )
I hope everyone had a great Spring Break, and good weekend.
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New Floors! [Feb. 26th, 2008|01:19 pm]
Monica
[music |Breakdown // In Between Dreams by Jack Johnson]

Weekend before last, Steve and I decided to pull the carpet from the playroom and install hardwood flooring. So...Saturday afternoon we took the boys to my parents' house and moved the furniture out and pulled up the carpeting and padding. Grody. Seriously grody. No matter how much you vacuum...dirt still falls through and you can never get carpets as clean as you'd like. Yuck!

Sunday we installed the floor, replaced the baseboards with all new freshly painted ones and replaced the furniture. I told Steve we better have all the home improvement stuff completed in the next 5 years or our bodies will be severely pissed at us. Installing floors is hard work!

So, here's a photo. It was taken in the evening so it's dark...and kinda colourless, so I'll upload a new one once I finish making new curtains for the room. I'm still deciding which fabric to use. Something light airy and clourful...springy.

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Camping [Feb. 20th, 2008|08:11 am]
Monica
[mood |goodgood]
[music |Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying // If You're Feeling Sinister by Belle And Seba]

We bought a pop-up/tent trailer yesterday. We've just kinda been perusing...talking about it for a while then, the opportunity came up yesterday so we just decided to make the purchase.

Looking forward to using it a lot this year.

This weekend however, we're going to Camp 4 1/2. It's an old ranger's cabin that is now available to rent. The Kings River runs right in front of it. Some friends will join us this weekend as well. Fishing, exploring, nature, friends...good times.

I've been feeling like crap about my weight lately. I really really need to make a real commitment to just get it off. It slowly keeps creeping back up on me. I lost all that weight a few years ago and to go back to what I was would just be a huge disappointment...and disgusting.

I had this dream last night that my mom told me I was gaining weight every day. I woke up freaked out.

I think part of the problem is I sorta just got away from all my hobbies...mostly sewing. Just recently have I gotten back into it. So, when I start for the refrigerator when I'm not even hungry, I've got to reroute myself to my sewing area.

Good luck to me. :)
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(no subject) [Feb. 15th, 2008|04:59 pm]
Monica
 My MacBook took a dive a few days ago.  For good it seems.  I was surprised with a new one yesterday.  Yay Steve.  :)  It was just a coincidence it was Valentine's day but it worked out just fine.

I helped out in both boys' classes at their parties.  And the preschoolers were MUCH more calm than the 1st graders.  I think crushes start forming in first grade...so it has more "meaning" if you will.  Girls were giddy crazy and boys were just like..."whatever". 

Then, I came home and made everyone their own pizza, and carrot cake for Steve.

My boys made me cards, picked flowers and shared their candy.

I'm loving my new Macbook.
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(no subject) [Feb. 12th, 2008|08:40 am]
Monica
this morning breakfast was made, lunches for school were made, boys were dressed, and when i dropped ben off at school they didn't need me this morning (i saw peeps of red crafting going on...and the kids were all giggly and secretive when i walked in...so they're making something for the parents. just what i need...more crappy homemade valentines. hahah JUST KIDDING!).

anyway, i came home and cleaned up the kitchen from the breakfast-time rush, did some laundry & sweeping, and am now enjoying my own breakfast at my speed. nice and slow. :)



uploading photos from yesterdays excursion with the boys and am putting together everything i need to register joaquin for kindergarten. KINDER GARTEN! holy crap. i realized i don't have his birth certificate. so i need to go into the recorder's office and get one. i hope they don't tell me i have to wait weeks for it. i need it this week.

it's crazy foggy here this morning so i'll be inside until it clears up. i'm in a baking mood...hmmmm
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(no subject) [Feb. 10th, 2008|01:25 pm]
Monica
when steve got his truck last year i was a bit put off. i mean...a 4x4 truck? it just didn't seem to fit in w/ our lifestyle. it seemed superfluous and unnecessary. i kinda felt embarrassed. here i am, actively teaching my boys about recycling, reducing, compositing, re-using...and their papa purchased a huge gass guzzler.

but after a year of using his truck almost every weekend going up to the mountains, the snow, the river...and other remote places we wouldn't be able to see w/o a 4x4 truck it's probably the best buy he's ever made. :) sure it still guzzles gas and admittedly isn't as clean for the environment as we'd like, but to be able to enjoy nature at it's finest...teach the boys about the importance of all living things...it kinda evens out any bad implications of a truck like that.

yesterday we left the house at 9:30 and were up at the kings river in the sequoias in 45 minutes. of course it took another 45 minutes of pretty muddy and scary "roads" to get to where we were going, but when we got there it was all worth it. it was beautiful. gorgeous greenery abound, wildlife, streams, amphibians...it was heaven for this little family of ours.

photos from our adventure yesterdayCollapse )

i love that we live so close to all these beautiful places.

On that same line of thought, I highly recommend this book to all parents, aunts, uncles, teachers etc...Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Chidlren from Nature-Deficit Disorder.


the boys started the day with a nice cup of tea and ventured out in the backyard to enjoy the spring-like weather. gathering old planks, old blankets, unused lattices and some of their toys & play tents and making their own "city". complete with petting zoo, conversation area (hahah really...no kidding), ranger exploration, and resting area.

photos from todayCollapse )

awww...they just brought me "smelling containers." they rumaged through the recyling bin and each got a container. ben picked all of my flowers that have bloomed (i had to get over that one) and smashed them up. joaquin took fruit from our trees (oranges, lemons & cumquats) and chopped them up with rocks. they really are amazing little contraptions. they smell wonderful. ben said "mama...whenever you think we stink up the house and make it smell like dirty puppies, you can just open up one of the smelling containers. they're like natural candles!" haha

i've been thrifting as of late. have found some great gems including some games with all the pieces which would have cost me well over $75 new for less than $3.

also completed the boys' dress-up corner in their bedroom. i've been trying to find a better solution than just having all their clothes, hats, belts & capes in a big trunk. that always just ended up being a huge mess digging through trying to find the right spy accessory! steve and i came up with this. it does the job very well.



my sewing machine has been in use almost constantly as well. i'm gearing up for spring with some skirts made from thrifted fabrics as well.

steve's making stew for dinner and i'm about to make some sugar cookies.

what a lovely weekend it's been. too bad steve has to work tomorrow. it's just me and the boys. :)
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(no subject) [Jan. 22nd, 2008|11:13 am]
Monica
Steve is leaving today to Indianapolis again until Friday.

Steve and I were watching Jaimie Oliver's new show on the Food Network on Sunday evening and we just about salivated ourselves to death with his "Steak, Guinness & Cheese Pie". So, since Steve was leaving today I thought I'd make that special for him last night. The recipe calls for sauteeing a few things over the stove, then in the same pan, 'stewing' them in the oven for 2 hours. I kept reminding myself not to hold the handle of the pan when I took it out of the oven...but forgot about it when I was transfering the filling into the pastry shell.

I literally palmed the handle and it felt like slow motion. I could not get my hand off quick enough. So my entire left palm is burned and blistered...conveniently enough the most comfortable position is typing position with the palm a bit arched off the keyboard. ;)

Steve gave me some vicodin last night, cleaned up the entire house including the huge mess I made in the kitchen, and even offered to stay home instead of leave to Indianapolis. LOVE him! I'm not THAT bad, so he just talked to the boys this morning before he fed them breakfast & took them to school and made them promise to be nice to me this week. :) Did I mention how much I LOVE him!

Here we are in Monterey this past weekend...relaxing on a blanket while the boys played in the ocean.

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(no subject) [Jan. 21st, 2008|02:12 pm]
Monica
There was a special Members Only night at the Monterey Bay Aquarium this past Saturday, so we made a trip of it.

We went to the tidepools in the afternoon then to the aquarium in the evening. We got a suite at the hotel we were staying in, so we didn't have to share a bed with the kids and each one got their own beds as well. Though, they started out in the same bed together, Ben quickly kicked Joaquin out when he got sleepy.

It made for a much more restful night so we were able to go back to the ocean the next day. We finished the trip off with the traditional visit to Fisherman's Wharf & a breadbowl of clam chowder. Yum!

The tidepools were amazing. We came at the perfect time. We saw some huge anenomes in the tidepools (they're so gooshy!) as well as 3 starfish...along with the other typical hermit crabs & seaweed. It's always fun to see these things out in their natural habitat.

Big gooshy looking anenomes. They were seriously huge.


The boys loved these little kid-sized viewing areas.


Watching Oswald on papa's computer right before bedtime.
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(no subject) [Jan. 9th, 2008|08:54 am]
Monica
The boys are officially back in school, and I'm enjoying complete peace and quiet (during the day) for the first time in over 3 weeks. Truth be told, it was very nice for a while, but it's already starting to get lonely.

I walk around the house & stumble into little traps the boys have made for their lego guys, or trip over bits of cardboard. And while they look like trash at first glance, I realize that an old shoe box was torn up to make an entire city (car wash included with leftover Christmas ribbon) around their slotcar set. The lines on my brow from cussing about the 'trash', quickly turns into smiles almost hearing them playing...and sometimes fighting...with each other with these little pieces of imagination.

Anyway...in a nutshell, the past week was as follows:

New Year's Eve, we went up to our friends' cabin with at Shaver Lake. We went up past Sierra Summit Ski Resort and went to a smallish sno-park. There was noone else around. Just us, and it was fabulous. All the kids had a fabulous time (even though Joaquin thought it was a good idea to take his snow boots off!), as did the adults.

The next day we went to my grandma's house for the traditional Mexican New Year's Day hangover cure...Menudo! My grandma makes 2 batches. The traditional way with pigs feet (no kidding!) and tripe, and another way with spareribs....called Posole. Posole is nummers. Joaquin said..."This soup is good, but it's gonna make my butt burn when I go to the bafroom!" Hahah...very spicy!

Grandma's is always a good time. Not like "Whee! FUN!", but just lazy, cozy time with family. Grandma has a napping room where we all take turns trying to nap. :) It's never a fruitful endeavor as there's just always too much talking & laughing at the kitchen table. It's a time where we get to see our Tia's and Tio's and cousins. Reminisce about old times at the farm. Laugh about the birthday party from the weekend before, and sometimes cry because we miss Pop and Tia Alice. I LOVE that the boys have a great-grandma who's spunky and plays & talks with them.

This past weekend Steve, the boys and I went up to the Sequoias while it was snowing and had an amazing time there as well. It was an impromptu trip. We were suited up and out of the house by 8:00. It was perfect really. We were crazy active hiking around, sledding, making snowmen. All with fresh snow slowly drifting down on us. At one point Ben just pounced on me and said..."I love you guys!" then ran back up the hill with his sled.



We were home by noon so we took the kids to my parent's house and Steve and I made an afternoon of it. We had lunch at the Thai House then went to see "I Am Legend". I thouroughly enjoyed it, and Steve said it was better than he thought it would be.

It was awesome for us all to be together for so many days in a row.
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