Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Spit Up & Rolling & Laughter OH MY!

Happy Six Months to "L Man" What an amazing six months it's been!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Maple Christmas...

I keep trying to capture the Christmas's of past where I was a little girl in the house of my grandparents on Maple. Our family was what is called "Dysfunctional" but there was something about Christmas I always looked forward to.

The lights on the house were those old basic Christmas lights that were the basic colors and didn't blink. The tree was large and there were decorations about.

I don't even know what was so special about the Christmas's I keep thinking of often but I know that I keep feeling it hasn't felt like a real Christmas for sometime.

Living in a tiny apartment where there isn't room for a decent size tree I imagine is part of the problem or living in a neighborhood where I'm one of three homes with lights or a tree for that matter can be part of the problem. I don't feel like there is a Christmas feel around here.

I love going to the valley and looking at the homes with all the lights or driving through Griffith Park in a long line of cars or walking the path to see all the lights and listen to the Christmas music.

I can't wait for us to have a home where I can bring Christmas to life again, something I really notice this year I've been missing. Yes, we do Chrismukkah but I just feel like somethings missing. I'm going to take the rest of the season to really try and have a more Christmas feel in the home.

I know I'll never get back those Christmas times on Maple but I know that I can build new memories for my children despite where we live and I'm going to do so.

Oh Tiny Christmas Trees

Seeing we live in a tiny little apartment and have a tiny little boy who is a rolling machine we pulled the tiny old tree out of it's box and propped it up on a tiny little table by our huge bay front window. We also have Eric's "fiber-optic tree" set up on top of my antique stand up radio.

Enjoy the wonder of the tiny trees

Eric's amazing tree & Noah's Ark Menorah along with his UCLA stocking.

Our tiny little tree this year

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Domestic Project "Three" Completed????

The test was to see if I the shopper of food ready to be eaten (OK not really) but if I a person with no skills creating baby food could indeed make and have a baby like my baby food.

I think I scored one for the team. First I tried organic apple sauce and yesterday created a squash masterpiece. Please don't be jealous of my skills with fruits and vegetables. Also, it's a fact that I enjoyed doing this.

I think this will begin my love affair with creating dishes for babies, 10 year olds, and grown men. Watch out Paula Deen! Here I come!!!!

Said Squash to be enjoyed starting tomorrow. Looks like apples are ok for said taste tester.

Taste Tester ~ Cute baby clueless to what he may have to eat going forward.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rice Cereal & Other Adventures in Baby Food

With teeth cut through and feeling less pain L was one little happy guy yesterday really eating his rice cereal for the first time. L and his Daddy for that matter both enjoyed it.

Maybe it was the heatable bowl I received from my SIL that did the trick. Maybe he really likes the cereal warmer???

I made homemade apple baby food for him as well yesterday which was nice. Why go waste money when I can make it myself. I received a baby food making kit off my baby registry and finally got to use it.

I'm looking forward to our adventures in eating with Mr. L

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Domestic Project "Two" Complete

My attempt at making L's first "Chrismukkah" onsie was an adventure. From cross stitch to iron on was a journey.

I tried to use sewing thread from Eric's grandmother as she was a seamstress and had great thread but it was too thin. Then I went to Michaels and tried to do cross stitch and well you can see from the picture that it didn't go well.

So finally, I went with iron on and had fun figuring out how to do writing and pictures to come out correct on the onsie and found a plain white long sleeved onsie to use. It came out great I believe BUT had a few cracks in the print after I put it on L. Who knows where I can end up if I perfect the iron on onsie technique.

Until "Project 3"

Cross Stitch ~ bad idea.

The way the onsie should look ~ Model Teething so not too thrilled but there's a little smile there.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kastans September to November 2010

Click here to view this photo book larger

10 Things You Can Do To Help Your Family Get Healthy Today

When I come across things I figure why not pass them on. Maybe just maybe there will be a little something for you too....

10 Things you can do to help your family get healthy:

1. Eat Fruits / Veggies daily
2. Eat breakfast everyday
3. Go meatless at least 1 day a week
4. Get out and move for 60 minutes every day (think about it. Kids do most of this at school)
5. Turn off the screen. Limit TV, non-homework computer time, phone, and video screen to 2 hours or less
6. Drink water instead of soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks, or juice
7. Eat real food. Make sure you can understand and read a food's ingredient list. Remember some of the healthiest foods do not have labels, like fruits / veggies
8. Eat at least one meal a day with your family
9. Be a health hero and demand that fresh and local fruit / veggies are available at your school and at your local grocery store
10. Parents - tell your children, no matter how old, that you love them frequently and regularly. Youth should know that they are loved just the way they are no matter what their shape or size.

Monday, November 29, 2010

First Teeth & First Feeding

L had his first few bites of rice cereal & cut his first two teeth. It's been a busy week for the little guy. Enjoy some pics of his interesting week!

K helping with L's first feeding

Not sure if he's into it...Really he's not.

What do I do?

That little white thing in the middle on the right is L's tooth that cut through. The other middle tooth just made it's appearance as well.

No. Cal Two Trip

We made it up to Mountain View, CA to see my SIL & Hubbys family. Here are a few pics taken on my dear K's iTouch since I forgot our memory card lol. The pictures may not be A~1 quality BUT they show we had a great time!

Eric & K Ice Skating before the rain started but that didn't keep K off the ice. Her bruised wrist is proof of that!

Sitting inside where it's warm.

I heart Christmas!

K & Cousins S & R

K & Moi.

Little Holiday Eating Help

I know I want to enjoy the holidays but I also want to continue losing the "L" weight. Here are some tips I saw that I like...Take them or leave them but let the Chrismukkah season begin!

  1. It is easier to get distracted from signals of physical hunger and satiety at social gatherings, especially if food is the main event. Make an effort to pay close attention to your body's signals.

  2. Be a food snob. Skip the store-bought goodies, the dried-out fudge and the so-so stuffing. If the food you select doesn't taste as good as you expected, stop eating it and choose something else. Think of how much less you'd eat if you only ate things that tasted fabulous!

  3. Think of your appetite as an expense account. How much do you want to spend on appetizers or the entrée? Do you want to save some room for dessert? Go through this process mentally to avoid eating too much food and feeling uncomfortable for the rest of the evening.

  4. Pace your eating prior to the event so you will be hungry but not famished at mealtime. But ignore the old diet advice of "eat before you go to a party so you won't be tempted." That is absurd! You want to be hungry enough to enjoy your favorites.

  5. Socialize away from the sight of the food. People who tend to overeat are "food suggestible" so just hanging around food causes them to eat more than they need.

  6. Survey all of the food at a buffet before making your choices. Choose the foods that you really want most at that time and remind yourself that you can have the other foods at a later time.

  7. If the food is so special, give it your full attention rather than eating on autopilot. Eat mindfully by reducing distractions and sitting down to eat - even if it's just a cookie. Appreciate the appearance and aroma of your food and savor one small bite at a time by putting your fork down. You'll eat less food but enjoy it more.

  8. If the food doesn't taste as good as you expected, stop eating it and choose something else.

  9. Since the duration of the meal tends to be extended at social events, you may need to have your plate taken away (or put your napkin on it) once you are satisfied to avoid nibbling unconsciously.

  10. Be aware of the effects of alcohol on your food intake. And don't forget that many beverages contain calories too.

  11. Be cautious of "obligatory eating" - avoid eating just because it is on the table, on your plate, because you paid for it, or because someone made it. Deal with Food Pushers with a polite but firm, "No thank you." If you're concerned about hurting their feelings, ask for the recipe or a small portion to take home with you for another meal.

  12. It's common to have candy and snacks lying all over the place this time of year. Avoid indulging in food just because it's there. Grazing unconsciously will lead to many extra calories that you probably won't even remember enjoying.

  13. Before having a cookie, a piece of fudge or other holiday treat that was laid in the break room, check your hunger scale. If you are hungry and you wish to choose a particular food to satisfy you, remember to sit down and eat it mindfully.

  14. At restaurants, the portion sizes are usually huge - almost always "two for the price of one." Request appetizer portions, co-order and co-eat with your dining partner, or have the server package up your meal to go as soon as you feel satisfied. Remember, "super-size" is no bargain if you didn't need that much food in the first place!

  15. Look for opportunities for physical activity - take a walk after dinner to enjoy the lights, take a few laps around the mall before it opens to do some window shopping or take guests to local attractions.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

This was a great Thanksgiving & L's first. K was a big help today and we enjoyed a lovely dinner with E's family. My Angel Babies came out good and my Caramelized Sweet Potatoes were a hit. Now off to bed as we leave early tomorrow for a weekend with E's family in the Bay area including the annual skating party & The Nutcracker.

So grateful for my life today and my little family plus the friends who put up with my crazy self. Life may be busy (extremely) but that is a quality problem of my wonderful life.

The final Angel Baby in all it's glory.
She let me take a picture. I can't believe she's 10. Time sure flies.
L's first Thanksgiving shirt brought to you by Grandma E but it ended up being a teether for the little guy.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Columbia Trip 2010

Going to Central CA in the fall lets you see the beauty in nature. Something you don't see in So. California too often or at all really. The red in the leaves was just so beautiful. Here are some photos from our trip. Very few taken but these I liked:
Columbia, CA...
Yes, I forgot shoes other than flip flops. A problem being from So. Cal...
L ready for the rain...
Columbia, CA

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Domestic Project "One" Complete!

I've completed my journey into creating the perfect or next to perfect meringue aka Angel Babies. You see I had to do a trial run to (a) see if I'd kill the family with some bad meringue pie or (b) if I'd fail miserably the last moment and have to explain why there are no Angel Babies, just Pumpkin Pie.

My first adventure into this led to a runny kind of mess on the wax paper. I didn't get how the magazine was saying "White Firm Peaks" for these shells when mine was a gooey mess. I figured out my hand blender was not a mixer and my days of cooking from a box were over so I went and yes, bought a real mixer.

Not only did this mixer open my eyes to "White Firm Peaks" of future meringue goodness it also showed me to follow directions.

So attempt two went much better. I also saw that yes, over time proper mixing of Heavy Whipping Cream will get firm as well.

I've included Picture (A) How the meringues looked in the magazine and (B) my version for the trial run. I am hoping the real run on Thanksgiving looks even better since I will be comfortable.

Until my next Domestic Adventure.....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Adventures in being DOMESTIC...Yes, I said DOMESTIC

So, here's the deal. I'm starting a new daily or weekly blog here in my current blog about "My Adventures in being Domestic" First stop cooking a real desert (not my boxed specialties) then onto crafting!!!

I FAILED big time last night at making Angel Babies. It's OK. I didn't have the proper mixer for the egg whites SO it was a sign to buy one, which I will do today. I will attempt this again this evening. Stay tuned for pictures of what may be a Angel Baby.

By the way...I FAILED 3x last night. Can't blame me for trying over and over again...I'm a bit insane like that.

Wish me luck! There may be some very interesting pictures posted from time to time as I try to be Super Domestic Mom!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Give and Get is Here!

Give and Get is Here!: "Enjoy 30% off from November 11-14 at Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy plus we'll make a 5% donation to a non-profit."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Awaken to the ordinary beauty...

I get these emails with inspirational quotes, etc. and this one really stood out to me and made me stop and think....I really do need to slow down sometimes....I think a lot of us do.

Our lives are filled with demands, responsibilities, expectations, places to go, people to see, things to do. We may get so caught up in the next task that we miss the golden moment happening right now. No matter where we are or what we are doing, if we stop to breathe slowly and notice our surroundings, we will find something to appreciate. We may see a glint of light reflecting off a pane of glass, the look in a friend's eyes, or a small thoughtful thing that our partner does.

Spiritual development is nourished by our senses. The sights, sounds, tastes, touch, and scents in our immediate surroundings are the doorway to awe and mystery. When we awaken to the ordinary beauty in our everyday lives, warm and loving parts of ourselves grow and extend out to those we love.

Quiet yourself for a moment, slowly breathe in and out, and focus on something you appreciate.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch 2010

Our family ventured to the only Pumpkin Patch near us and enjoyed a bit of Halloween fun.
Thank you Mr. Bones for another perfect pumpkin. This years pumpkin will show a spider in all it's might.

K & L enjoying the giant rocking horse.

L's first time hanging with the pumpkins.
Creepy Crows. See the orb by the eye....So Halloween.
Moi with the kiddos.
Daddy & the kiddos.

Monday, September 20, 2010


L is now 3 months old...At our most recent appointment he was put in the 25th percentile...Weighed 12 lbs. & was 23 inches long. Not only that but he rolled over when the pediatrician asked "Has he rolled over yet?", well after we said "No" is when he rolled over because he's a show off.

K is now 10 and in the 50th percentile for height...received two shots....and will be seen again next September when she turns 11.

Our pediatrician offered us some great advice for meals.

1. Serve everyone from the kitchen and bring the plates to the table.
2. You can have seconds but NOT UNTIL everyone at the table has finished eating first. This will (a) make you eat slower & (b) may tell your brain you are full.
3. No food allowed on the table.

Love our Pediatrician. Just saying...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

5th Grade...

K was so excited to start 5th grade yesterday. I hope this is a magical and wonderful year for her!

Ready for 5th Grade!

K & Mommy

K & Daddy

K & L before walking to school

K & Friends. First day back & they rule the school this year.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Three Months...

As we continue our adventures in L's first year...Here are some pics from tonight before bed...Three Months old today!

I love to entertain before bed and play a bit. I decided to not stay still for any pictures.

Look I'm getting better at sitting up...

That is until L decides it's a good idea to start eating his hands...

but what he really prefers is his stuffed monkeys hand. Notice the monkey is as big as him lol

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

3:36AM &...

a baby stirs, you think he is up, make a bottle, and BAM he's back asleep again & you're up. Oh joy! Should I even try and go back to bed? I think I will.

Friday, September 3, 2010

My Loves....

My two favorite people in the whole wide world....