Archives for the month of: November, 2012

I love Christmas. It is by far my favorite holiday. Christmas is the only holiday where I actually decorate our home and really get into the holiday cheer. πŸ™‚

One of the things I saw on Pinterest was to make an advent calendar of activities to do with your family or loved one. One activity for each day leading up to Christmas, starting with December 1st.

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Yes, I made that lol. There are some really fancy ones out there, but since this is our first year doing this I wanted to test it out. If we like it then I’ll spend more time, money and effort in making a nicer looking one. But for now this is what we have!

Here’s what each day looks like:

Sat Dec 1: Deck the halls! (Decorate our house)
Sun 2: Make festive cupcakes
Mon 3: Play a board game
Tue 4: Make hot chocolate
Wed 5: Watch “White Christmas”
Thu 6: Donate toys Owen doesn’t play with
Fri 7: Make Christmas cards
Sat 8: Get pictures taken with Santa
Sun 9: Make Christmas cookies
Mon 10: Tell each other three things you love about them
Tue 11: Play 20 questions
Wed 12: Make New Year’s resolutions
Thu 13: Go get a Christmas treat
Fri 14: Watch “The Polar Express”
Sat 15: Go to Peacock Lane
Sun 16: Make a festive brunch
Mon 17: Watch “It’s A Wonderful Life”
Tue 18: Make Owen’s ornament
Wed 19: Have a romantic candlelit dinner (even if it’s just grilled cheese sandwiches lol)
Thu 20: Give each other a back massage with holiday scented lotion
Fri 21: Watch “Love Actually”
Sat 22: Tour the Lights! Drive around the neighborhood and look at everyone’s lights
Sun 23: Go to the Solid Rock Christmas service
Mon 24:
β€’Go to the Rolling Hills candlelight service
β€’ Open stockings
β€’ Read “The Night Before Christmas” to Owen
Tue 25: Merry Christmas!!

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20121128-135823.jpgCheerio old chap πŸ˜‰

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Doesn’t it seem like Thanksgiving was ages ago?! Here’s what I’m thankful for that happened last week:

β€’ Thanksgiving went well!

β€’ Got some Christmas shopping done! Still have a lot to do, but getting a head start feels good!

β€’ I’m so thankful that I’m able to take care of Owen at home while he’s getting over being sick.

β€’ Dan had a long weekend and we were able to spend it together and just chill and relax! πŸ™‚

β€’ Yesterday Owen and I were able to spend some quality time with Grandma and Aunt Jazz πŸ™‚

β€’ Today, Owen said “mama”!! He has sorta babbled it before but wouldn’t say it again when we asked him to. Today he said it about a dozen times! (I was so in shock that he repeated it for me that I kept asking and asking him haha!)

Fellow mommy blogger, Meghan, wrote about what she would do if she won the lottery (which is up to $500 million now). Just for fun I thought I’d do the same! After all, Dan and I did buy a ticket lol πŸ˜‰

β€’ First things first – Dan and I agreed that we would split our winnings 50/50. We did that when we won $7 at the Portland Meadows, and we plan on doing that if we win anything bigger too. πŸ˜‰

β€’ Debt – We’d pay off any and all debt attached to our names.

β€’ School – I’d finish up my schooling and start on my career. I was taking the real estate courses before I got pregnant, and only have six left before I can study up and take the state exam. So close to finishing, but financially it seems so far away.

β€’ Home – We’d buy a house. Not a huge mansion or anything extravagant like that, but something bigger than what we have now, with our own yard. Not just a little yard out front, but enough land so we wouldn’t have to worry about neighbors being close. We would ideally like to live sorta out in the middle of nowhere, but still somewhat close in. We’d have a big shed for Dan to do all of his work in (for his boat and car). We’d have a big garden where we’d gather our veggies for dinner. And inside, we’d have a big kitchen with plenty of counter space and cupboards for us to neatly organize everything and for us to be able to cook together and not get frustrated whenever we’d bump into each other lol. We’d have plenty of beds for family to sleep over for the holidays (so they wouldn’t have to drive home late at night).

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β€’ We’d have more kids. At least one or two more. Maybe 8 haha πŸ˜‰

β€’ We’d set up trust funds for Owen, family, and create ones for future kids (and if we don’t have them then we’ll have that money saved up for later!). We’d have Owen’s schooling completely set aside and taken care of.

β€’ I’d buy my mom a house, or something similar (it depends on what she wanted).

β€’ I’d buy my dad a gold Cadillac, because ever since I was really little I remember him saying how he has always wanted one.

β€’ I’d give money to help each of my siblings out. Whether it be school debt or whatever!

β€’ Giving – I’d take a percentage of my share and divvy it up to organizations or people in need. Our church, some theater companies in town, and then I’d make anonymous donations to friends (I stole that idea from Dan!).

β€’ Travel – Dan and I would travel. We’d go all over the world. We always talk about going to different places like France, Germany, Tel Aviv – any place we see in a movie, magazine, or hear about we always talk about what it’d be like to go there together. And when Owen turns 5 or so, we will go to Disneyland lol. It’ll be Owen’s and my first time!

β€’ I’d fix up the Rav4. It’s a great little car but needs some TLC right now :/

β€’ Savings – I’d set up accounts so I couldn’t touch the money until a certain date (just to make sure I didn’t sneak some out earlier).

My dad and I were talking about winning the lottery after we ate thanksgiving dinner. After telling him what I’d do with it, he said that I’d be happy with only winning $1 million. That is very true, but if we end up winning more than that, my hope is that we won’t go crazy and blow it all on us. What’s the fun of only spending it on yourself??

What would you do if you won the lottery? Comment or write your own post!

On Thanksgiving I decided to try out a new recipe and it turned out really yummy! The original recipe is from Simply Recipes, but I tweaked it a bit.

Apple and Sausage Pie

Ingredients:
1 basic pie dough recipe, rolled out and lining a 9 or 10-inch pie dish, or 8×8 baking dish, chilled (or one frozen pie crust)
2 large tart Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 medium onion, chopped (about half a cup)
1 teaspoon sugar
3 Tbsp butter
3/4 lb sweet Italian sausage (bulk, or removed from casings)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups shredded Italian cheese mix
1 cup cottage cheese
2 eggs, slightly beaten

Directions:
β€’ Preheat oven to 425Β°F. Bake pie crust for 8 minutes, or until browned. Remove from oven and let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350Β°F.

β€’ Melt butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the apples, onions, and sugar, cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. In the last 30 seconds or so, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Transfer mixture to a separate bowl. Increase the heat to medium high and in the same skillet add the Italian sausage. Cook, stirring only infrequently, until sausage is browned on all sides and is cooked through. Remove from heat. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to a dish lined with paper towels to absorb the excess fat.

β€’ In medium sized bowl, mix together the cheeses and beaten eggs.

β€’Place sausage on bottom of pre-baked pie crust. Add the cooked apple onion mixture over the sausage. Pour the cheese egg mixture over the apple mixture and spread it so it evenly covers the pie.

β€’Bake at 350Β°F for 35 to 40 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Thanksgiving was yummy! And fun, but most of all really yummy lol! πŸ˜‰ We hosted Thanksgiving at our home and everyone pitched in and made a dish. We had my mom, dad, Tony, James, Charlotte, and Jasmine over. My brother Ben is currently in NYC and was able to spend it with friends (he also got to see the Macy’s parade in person!).

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Dan and I woke up early to go to coffee and Owen was in a pretty good mood. Sometimes during coffee he’ll be completely fidgety and we have to cut our special coffee time short, but other times he’ll sorta zone out and sleep and Dan and I can sip and chat for longer. Most days, like Thanksgiving, he’s somewhere in the middle.

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We then finished last minute shopping and started cookin’ and cleanin’! My family came over around 5pm and we all got to talk about what’s new in our lives while we ate. My sister Charlotte made mashed potatoes and Owen ate a bunch of them! He really liked them lol! He didn’t care so much for the turkey, but that might be due to him shoveling a handful into his mouth and almost choking on it lol… :/

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I made pumpkin pie and let Owen eat a few bites (just the pie itself, not the crust). He really liked it! It’s so funny because he seems to like really flavorful foods and even spicy foods. He’s definitely mine and Dan’s kid!

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With everyone there and all of the commotion, Owen was naturally a bit shy. But he’s gonna hafta get used to it because my family is pretty big!

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Our menu looked like this:
Turkey
Mashed potatoes
Yams with marshmallows
Stuffing (two different kinds)
Hash brown casserole (Dan’s recipe)
Broccoli salad
Apple sausage pie (I’ll post the recipe tomorrow πŸ™‚
Green bean casserole
Cranberry sauce
Rolls
Apple pie with vanilla ice cream πŸ™‚
Pumpkin pie

We had a really yummy feast!
Overall Thanksgiving went really well. We didn’t buy Owen a special outfit for his first Thanksgiving, but we did get something special for Christmas. πŸ˜€

By the way, Dan surprised me on Wednesday with a dozen roses! How sweet is he?! I used to always slyly suggest that he get me flowers and he never would hahaha except for my birthday. So I gave up and figured it was a losing battle, and after totally forgetting about it he came home and surprised me with roses! I was so surprised and I think I kinda paused when he gave them to me to see if this was for real or not haha!

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!
This is Owen’s first Thanksgiving and Dan and I are super excited to be sharing it with him. πŸ™‚
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The last pic was taken by Dan πŸ™‚

There are a lot of things to be thankful for in my life πŸ™‚

β€’ I’m getting a job AND I’m able to take Owen with me and still watch and raise him!! πŸ™‚ I’ll be watching two other kids, brothers, and they are 9 months old and 3.5 years old. I already watched them for about 4 hours last Saturday and Dan and I had dinner at their house before that. The parents are super nice and like Owen, so it’s the perfect job for me to have. πŸ™‚

β€’ Our car is working lol…barely.

β€’ Dan and I have really been talking about our future together and I’m just so excited to see where our path leads us. On one hand it’s scary to talk about getting married, buying a house together, and having more kids, but on the other hand it is really exciting because this is what I want. And this is what he says he wants. Before I met Dan I remember wondering when I’d ever meet a guy and if I’d ever get married and have a kid…little did I know that a few years later I’d have two really special guys in my life. πŸ™‚

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β€’ Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I’m so thankful that we are able to host and have family come over. Plus we are able to cook a lot of yummy foods. It’s really sad to think about all of the families around our city, state, nation, and world that go hungry everyday. The link below is to help curb child hunger in the US, even the smallest donation can help. πŸ™‚
No Kid Hungry

I’m thankful that the majority of my family will be able to all come together (have a happy Thanksgiving in NYC Ben!!!). I’m really happy that Dan got to go over and see his kids yesterday and today. It is really sad to think about the people who don’t have a family to spend the holidays with. Below is a link for Toys For Tots. They help bring new toys to kids all over the US to give them warmth and hope for their future. The link will tell you where there’s a drop off site near you. πŸ™‚
Toys for Tots

Life has been really good to us. Not only do we have our little family that brings us joy daily (for the most part), but we have everyone else – our siblings, parents, kids. We have jobs (mine will start in December) so we can further take care of ourselves and Owen. We have a good home, food, friends, and are able to do fun things like go to coffee on the weekends. There are many things that we gripe about, but when we take a step back we can’t help but be thankful for everything God has given us. πŸ™‚

Happy thanksgiving everyone!!

Liittle Rascals
Last Monday I babysat Hallie so Dan could take his kids to see Skyfall. I was a little nervous since I’ve never taken care of two babies at once, but I figured if Emily could take care of twins and be home with them 24/7 for the first several months of their lives, then I could survive a few hours with two kiddos. πŸ˜‰

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Hallie is a little over a year old and boy is she a smart little cookie! She is so quick to understand things. I showed her how to operate all of Owen’s toys (that are meant for older kids), and she instantly understood how to work them.

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The three of us had a lot of fun playing around. Owen and her really got along well and actually shared toys. πŸ™‚

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I think he was a bit surprised by her tho, cus she was climbing onto everything! The chair, the rocking chair, the couch, Owen’s toy table, the coffee table, she basically tried to climb onto anything she could.

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One thing that really surprised me was how she gave me all of the toys and books. Over and over again. She kept putting them in my lap, so I got her back and gave her all of the toys πŸ˜‰

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And with that I finally got her to laugh!! Talk about a tough critic! Owen is so different cus he will laugh at anything. You just look at him and he laughs. Hallie on the other hand was tough for me to make laugh. She’d smile but I finally got her to laugh when I piled all of the stuffed animals on her! πŸ˜€
All in all we had a great few hours, and most importantly I’m so happy that Owen and her were able to spend some quality time together. After all, he is her uncle! πŸ˜‰

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9 Month Checkup
Yesterday morning Owen had his 9 month checkup. We had a questionnaire packet to fill out about how he’s developing socially, verbally, and physically, and he is right on track (if not a lil advanced) for his age!! The doctor was really surprised at how social he was/is and said that most babies get anxious when others hold them at this age, but Owen was totally fine. He gets to interact with other babies and adults at the gym and church, and was introduced into that environment at an early age, so I think that plays a big part in him being so comfortable around others.

The doctor also made a comment about how happy he is. It’s so true, he is a happy little guy! As long as he can roam around, has a clean diaper, a full tummy and isn’t tired, then he has a smile on his face.

We then talked about what he eats, if we brush his teeth yet, and his lingering diaper rash.

Ok, we don’t brush his teeth. I know, I know. He only has two teeth plus 3 tips sprouting out, but I still feel bad that we don’t clean them. She highly recommended that we start brushing twice a day. So after the appointment we went over to Safeway and bought him his very first toothbrush!! It’s blue and has Winnie the Pooh on it. πŸ™‚

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As far as the diaper rash…ever since Owen started teething he has had a lingering diaper rash. That thing is so stubborn and will not go away!! 😑 We have tried various creams and ointments, going diaper less, giving him warm baths, just about everything. Some days it’s almost gone and some days it’s pretty bad. Pretty bad = a little bleeding. Luckily he hasn’t gotten blisters or anything like that. But still, I HATE seeing him in pain and seeing him bleed. 😦 So I asked the doctor for advice because I knew something must’ve been wrong. I mean, Owen never had diaper rashes before he started teething. Not one, and now he can’t get rid of one?? Doesn’t that seem odd?? The doctor took one look and said it looked like a fungal infection, a yeast infection. She said they’re common with babies, and proceeded to prescribe a cream that should make it go away in about a week’s time. We’ll try it out and hopefully it’ll finally go away for good!

As far as his measurements:
Weight: 19lbs 10 oz
Height: 27 3/4 inches

My favorite part of the appointment, besides knowing that Owen is a healthy lil bub, was at the very end when the doctor was leaving and I told her that he can high five sometimes. She asked for a high five and he gave her one!!

Owen’s favorite part? The toys in the lobby! πŸ˜‰

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Sorry I don’t have many pics lately, I’m working on making more! πŸ™‚
Here’s an old one that I are across πŸ™‚

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