Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sleeping Baby

M is taking pleasure in reminding me how difficult one-year-olds can be. He is a whirlwind of chaos. And his lack of words is creating a little communication problem. He generally refuses to do the baby sign language signs that help assist this transition. They were so helpful with J, and M knows them, he just doesn't see the point in the charade when I know what he wants, and he knows I know, so can he just get his darn milk! He prefers to shriek like a howler monkey. Unless I'm repeating my grocery list in the car to myself while buckling him. Then he will smile and sign milk because he recognized the word when I said it. And he likes to reach for things and either swat them violently if it isn't what he wants, or grab them if he does want it. It is impossible to know what kind of reach it is until you have milk or food splattered on your shirt and the wall.

Apparently I chose poorly. And do so often. 

But he is still so incredibly sweet. He loves to play and be tickled and has a laugh that just makes me think of bubbles escaping his little heart. He likes to throw things and his first non-named word was "catch" as he lobbed a ball towards his dad. He also enjoys throwing heavier things, like flashlights. At his sister. 

We are lucky we still have sweet moment like this one.  It makes me forgive the perpetually mess he leaves in his wake and the damage he has done to my ear drums. This is my favorite M. With his soft blonde hair, being still, cuddled with his favorite red blanket. These are my Kairos moments.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Dantzel and Brian got hitched!

Somehow I lost June. Not quite sure how it happened because I have physical evidence it did indeed exist. This wedding was one of the adventures.

Brian was John's college roommate and has been a great friend for along time. He's shown up on the blog often, like rock climbing here and every Balloon Fiesta and Albuquerque adventure. Dantzel was my college roommate and we stayed with her during our DC trip and another time here.

And 8 years later in the coolest turn of events ever, they decided to marry each other! I know, right?! I'm going to pretend I had something to do with the matchmaking even though I didn't really.



And to make it even better, my in-laws watched the kids, John's brother (who also roomed with Brian in college) and his wife Piper (who is probably one of the top 20 people I'd have on my team to survive the Apocolypse, for her company and not just her extensive knowledge of knots) road tripped with us. And Lil' Sis rode with us as well so it was essentially the best group ever. Please say the last phrase with a teenage girl lilt.

Brian is not one for pictures and did an admirable job suffering through.









Brian is an adventurous soul and has owned excessively large military trucks. This is his current one, next to his other large truck for scale, that they drove home in. Despite eschewing facebook, I'm sure he ended up all over the internet. Who could resist snapping a shot of the Just Married sign during a red light?




Meanwhile, our crew enjoyed ourselves. And if you know us, that means we enjoyed eating. Lots and lots of eating. And taking pictures with statues because that's what we do.




Everything in New Mexico has green chiles in it. Everything. Even the gyros at the Mediterranean place.


The eggs benedict were on green chile biscuits and had a jalepeno glaze.


Overall it was a fantastic trip with excellent company to celebrate two wonderful people. We wish them the best!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ballet

When J started spontaneous doing leg lifts, using the couch as a bar, I asked what she was doing. She replied, "My ballet exercises," in very matter-of-fact tone. It continued at random times throughout the month so I figured Angelina Ballerina must have had a greater impact than I realized.  I looked up a little ballet class through the city parks and rec and figured a class once a week for a month would be something she'd love. It goes against my principles to pay for classes for a 3 year old, but it was cheap and there should be perks to being the oldest.

Well she loved it. LOVED it. And not just for the costumes. Normally the moms have to wait in the hall and peek through the window in the door, but the last class we actually sat in back and watched. Apparently she wasn't just making sounds as she pranced down our halls. Her 3 year old pronunciation of Chasse stumped me, but was accurate.

 I was beyond impressed with her teacher. She managed to teach some basic ballet principles to 12 three year olds. She managed them artfully. She had J's heart on day 1 because Miss Stacy wore a sparkly Rainbow Dash shirt. And she gave out dumdums at the end of every class.


Since J liked it so much, we did a second session and were happy find find our friend Taylor signed up too.


Here is a video from the first session if you want to hear her joyfully exclaim, "This is so fun!"

(I spent a half hour trying to embed the video and I admit defeat)

I'm a little nervous she is going to love dance and I'm going to have to fork out hundreds on dance costumes and shoes. After finishing up last year's photobook, I found pictures of when we went to see the Nutcracker and realized I might be partially to blame for the ballet interest. I suppose I'll start budgeting for the tulle now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

First Day of Preschool


Then she wanted to take a picture of me on the first day of preschool. Here are the results:

The instagram shoe shot


The avant guard cropped head photo

dres

This is a little better. Forehead-free is the going to be the next trend in wedding photos.


She picked out her outfit at the store and was so excited to go to her "preschool house." The highlight was snack time. And I may have looked at the clock at 11:30am and realized belated I was supposed to pick her up. There were two kids still waiting so I didn't feel that bad :)



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Paddleboard Yoga

There's this thing called standing upright paddlboarding. SUP if you are cool, but I'm not that cool. It's a big buoyant surfboard sort of thing and when I first saw it done, I knew I wanted to try it and that I would like it.

Call it a fault of expectations or ego, but I tried it and I loved it. My friend Lauren invited me to do paddleboard yoga with her last summer but I got the stomach flu and had to give my spot to someone else. Well this summer,the studio she goes to was doing it again and we made it out to Tempe town lake to try out some asanas on the man-made sea.



The instructors had a water proof camera and snapped some candid pics, but the only ones of me were unflattering and not even doing anything cool. Naturally I will post one for your enjoyment. This one makes me look like an Amazon and Lauren look a snack I brought along to eat later.


This one is slightly better. And I'll tell you that it is deceptively difficult to lean like that on a board. You really have to keep your weight on both feet or you go for a swim. Yoga on the water really makes you focus on technique.


But dude, some of these ladies were rocking it. I only held the headstand for like 2 seconds and fell smack into the water, but these ladies were solid and inspiring.



As a group we looked pretty cool and all the pedestrians stopped to watch.


Strangely enough the headstands weren't as hard as I expected. I'm a bit rusty since gyms don't typically do inversions, but if you could ignore the board's seam in your head, it was doable. Tree pose was the most challenging to me. You had to keep your weight so perfectly on all 4 corners of your foot and the only stationary focal points were far away on the shore. I could barely get my foot to my ankle.


It was so much fun that I took my little friend Callyssa out to try it. And I brought my phone along in a ziplock to record the fun.









 If you ever get the chance to try paddleboarding, take it! It is so much fun!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Life lately

My go to line for dangerous chair behavior is, "Do we sit on chairs or stand on chairs?" It works great because they technically aren't in trouble, they fix the behavior and then I get to say "You're right!" and they get a positive. Works grand in the junior high circuit, but my little girl found a way around it.


M has been loving his Legoland souvenir Duplos, courtesy of Cheryl the Great. Right now he likes to dump most of them out, then shake the box as fast as he can to make thunder noise. And destroying whatever his sister has made.


He really does love his Auntie.


And donuts.



I love seeing quirky stuff like dogs in goggles.


Trina spent the a couple days with us while my friend was working. J actually let someone do her hair and taught her to make funny faces at the camera.




I made homemade fried chicken from a Martha Stewart recipe. Mostly because I like a challenge and I needed something to do with leftover buttermilk. New cooking methods and recipes is part of my strategy to stay self-actualized as a SAHM. Guys, this chicken was delicious. I highly recommend you give it a go with the recipe here. Warning: Requires brining the night before and marinating 6 hours before cooking. And bringing the chicken to room temp for an hour before cooking. And before you roll your eyes and say, "Ain't No One Got Time For That!," know that I agree with you and it's worth it for special occasions only. The hands-on time itself isn't bad though. And thanks Madre for giving me your spice stash before you left or I would never have had dry mustard.  M really liked the chicken, even though it about killed me to give up any heavenly pieces for my children to destroy.



I gave him J's remnants so he could double fist it.




In other culinary adventures, we went to a donut place called the Fractured Prune. You get to watch the donuts made hot in front of you and can customize them however you like. The Peppermint Pattie was interesting, as well as Cookies and Cream. My favorite was the OC Sand that had cinnamon sugar and graham cracker crumbs over the vanilla glaze.



And this is just M being completely delighted to run around in the retention basin without his mother chasing him or directing him.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Cheese, Gromit!

I embarked in a cheese making adventure this week. While in my French pastry chef phase, I was in AJ's looking for snobby chocolate couveture (they were a ridiculous $7 for fancy chocolate disks, but oh honey, they did taste good in those croissants), when I spied rennet tablets. I am one google search away from actually knowing what rennet actually is, but I did know it was necessary for making some cheeses. I had stumbled on a pinterest pin for ricotta and loved it because it only took buttermilk, cream, milk, and salt to make. Now armed with my rennet I could explore the world of mozzarella, feta, and cheddar. 

It sat in my cupboard next to the cheesecloth for 6 months. 

I blame the delay on the mobility of my second born.


But this week I went for it! And didn't get a picture of the finish product floating bloated in a pool of salted brine. This is the spongy fresh stuff that comes in balled in tupperware, not the shrink wrapped variety. I did get a picture of it on the pizza though and it was excellent!


Mushroom and Onion Pizza from here gets two thumbs up. The fresh basil and tomato is equally excellent as far as toppings go

The beauty of cheese making is you get to use the left over whey to make even MORE cheese. Not to mention and increased understand of Little Miss Muffet. You cook up the gallon of left over whey and you get a cup of ricotta. A little gross looking when it isn't prepackaged, but it makes up for it in flavor.



I felt bad tossing the left over whey after the ricotta and decided to save it for protein shakes. I don't know why the idea seems grosser than my chocolate whey powder, but I imagine it's probably better for you without all the other junk packed into protein shakes. 

If you want to try your own hand at fromagerie, here are the rennet tablets and they come with all the recipes inside the box. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Legoland

I with originally a little skeptical on how much fun a theme park would be for a three year old and a 1 year old, but Cheryl the Great sold me on it months before the reunion. And there was SO much for J to do and enjoy. We sort of took over the park in our matching Tshirts. I gave a design to Cheryl and she had the brilliant idea of making names form the waves. She also did the cool logo on the kids shirt that is also on the back of the adult shirts. It's a snazzy top.




It's flat Elder and Sister Castillo again!






She isn't so great at waiting in line, but she liked the boat ride.






M preferred his freedom in the Duplo room.







 Mom and Dad helped build race cars too.


M already wants to play Xbox





The little model cities out of legos were pretty awesome as well.





After I said, "Take your thumb out of your mouth!," she put her other hand in front to prevent anyone forcefully removing it. Stubborn children are prepared to be on the defensive.





" I want to ride with Julie!"



Flat Mom and Dad helped Weston and I fly.









Husband and J did the rescue relay race.


Dad cheered them on.


M loved the set of the Lego Movie. I wish I had actually seen the movie so it could have made more sense.


They have an aquarium attached, but I must say that the Tempe one is better. It's the same company and had pretty much the same elements, but Tempe has a 360 tunnel instead of a half view one.



This, this is my biggest irrational fear. The room full of jellies both fascinates me and freaks me out.






After our jaunt in the aquarium's heaven-sent air conditioning, we checked out the shops. Dad liked this one.


J was a bit scared of this ride at the beginning but she really loved it and I was proud of her for not chickening out.





M likes ribs and ketchup. Maybe just the ketchup.



I think these two look so much alike in this picture, even if they are making goofy faces.







J had fun playing with Grammy and PopPop while we waited for fireworks.


They ate a lego picnic and had lego ice cream




Grammy shared a bite of hot dog.


They were impressed at the moon.



 Then we found out the fam was congregating in the parking lot to watch fireworks to facilitate an easy getaway.




I was surprised M wasn't crying and freaked out the entire time, but he was mesmerized.



 Mom and Dad were impressed too.




 It was a fantastic day and we were so happy Grammy and PopPop could come with us.



 

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