Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Things I {heart}

Catie... especially in this spot of our kitchen.

She can only be looking for one thing... chocolate!!

(giving me the stare down)

And it is probably mean... but I love how mad she gets when I won't give her something. She has no patience whatsoever. It's not like I keep her mad for long... her tears totally make me give in to her every demand.

Andrew... he passed the Preschool Marshmallow Test with flying colors.

Now we think he actually might be ok in life. 
You know, since your ability to sit and stare at a marshmallow for 5-15 minutes and not eat it really does determine whether or not you will be successful in life. My favorite moment was when he said, "I don't want just one. I want to wait so I can get another one too." Hooray. He gets it. Sometimes it does pay to wait! 

Now, if he gets rid of this creepy smile... that might also help his future success?

If only he could teach his crazy sister some patience too.

The Heart Project... A fundraiser for the American Heart Association

My blogging friend Jamie had this incredible idea to get a group of bloggers together and create a book full of kid-related and heart-related crafts and activities. I am lucky to be participating and to even have a project published in the ebook and print version of the book. 

You can read more about The Heart project on my Toddler Approved blog. We have family members that struggle with heart disease and one of Andrew's little buddies was born with a heart problem. I still vividly remember the day that I got a text message from my friend telling me that her little three week old (was he really that little Liz?) was heading in for heart surgery. Andrew was only a month or two old and we knelt down in our condo bathroom together and prayed our hearts out. We are so grateful for the doctors and nurses that saved our little friend's life- in addition to his super mom who was in tune enough with the spirit to know her little one was struggling. 

This project has made me even more conscious of how many families have struggled with heart disease or other heart problems... and I am grateful to participate in this fundraiser during February's "Heart" month.

The print version of the book is pretty enough that I'm going to use it as a coffee table book... and the ebook is going to help me come up with a gazillion ways to craft, create, cook, and play with hearts during the month of February.

You can donate to AHA on my Toddler Approved blog and receive your own ebook or printed book as a gift.

Lastly, I {heart} Kevin

He just got back from a business trip tonight and I have missed him!

I also {heart} sleep... and I haven't been getting enough of it lately... so I am off to bed!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

New header

I put a new header on the blog. The other one had been there since Dec 2010. If you like that sorta thing, check it out. It has our family motto on it. :)

Also, I played around with the blog design settings a bit. Would love you to let me know if the width of the text is perfect, too wide, or too narrow for your computer screen.

I really should be asleep, but Catie was so nice to me last night and let me sleep in... so I'm not tired yet. Love her! (Could've also been the DC I drank at 10pm too?)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Memories- Palo Alto Palooza

I saw the word palooza the other day... which took me back a few years and allowed me to reminisce a bit about some crazy times with friends as we put on Palo Alto Palooza (Fall 2003) and Palo Alto Palooza II (Fall 2004).

Back in 2003, after teaching little guys with autism for awhile, I had the grand idea to put on a benefit concert to raise money for Parents Helping Parents and SF Chapter of The Autism Society of America. I have no real musical talent, but I have friends who do... and we used to organize concerts in Utah... so I decided I'd be able to do it here in Cali. So... Palo Alto Palooza: A Benefit Concert for Autism was born.

The first Palo Alto Palooza was held at Escondido Elementary School on a freezing cold night at the end of October. 

The highlights of the night included making hot cocoa in a HUGE McDonalds Gatorade container and stirring it with a semi-clean lacrosse stick (not my idea- and I didn't drink it :)) and then a mishap with the school sprinklers halfway through the performance which then caused all performers and guests to have to make a run for it so they wouldn't get soaked. The evening was beautiful nonetheless. Some super moms from PHP even came to talk about autism. Two of my favorite performers (Josh & Laura) got married (not any of my doing... but a fun fact)... and my friend Scott later worked at KPMG with Kevin and was Kevin's biggest cheerleader (besides my mom and Elise) when we were starting to date :)

The next year we moved onto a bigger and better (and less chilly) location at the Palo Alto Art Center. We had a real green room for musicians to wait in and actual sound. We also had an official emcee and my darling little class of special little people performed the opening number along with their 1st grade regular ed friends from my friend/performer Laura's class. They sang and signed to "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. The musicians who performed were great and tons of my friends donated treats for us to serve. It was an incredible evening! Both classes of elementary students also displayed artwork that portrayed what a wonderful world would look like. Looking back, the most comical part of the event was that Kevin auditioned to perform at the concert and I turned him down. :)

I need to reminisce more often... and I really need to find some of the pictures from this night and scan them.

I did discover that part of the 2003 performance was recorded and is online here. So seriously awesome. 

I need a bumper sticker that says, "If it wasn't blogged, did it happen?" That's how I feel about unblogged parts of my life. I have no memory of them if I didn't write them down. Everything before 2008 is a blur. 

I definitely need to work on jotting them down from time to time.

If you were at any of the Palo Alto Palooza concerts, what do you remember?

(PS- Elise designed my flier above. I had forgotten about that too)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ancestors, Book Club, and a Dragon

We had a mellow but awesome day today. Caitlin somehow slept in until 9:15, so I was lazy and slept in until 8:45. Andrew kept himself entertained until we got up and then we made cinnamon rolls again. Andrew is quite persuasive. 

Later in the morning we headed over to our monthly Mommy and Me Book Club. My friend Chrissie hosted this month and did an adorable job. We talked about weather, sang songs, read a book, and did a few craft projects.

Catie thought she was pretty cool to get to be included. Usually she is asleep... but since she slept in so late her nap was off and she got to participate. She liked rolling around on the big pillows ("clouds"), eating lots of snacks, and playing with baby Miles. She was a little miffed when there wasn't a chair at the big kid table for her... but made herself comfortable on the floor.

We spent the rest of the day being lazy. We crafted a bit and mostly just played, put away laundry, and attempted to clean up. Andrew is really good at cleaning up toys now (more OCD than me with it), so it is really nice. He puts things in the right place. I love it.

Tonight we had FHE and talked about ancestors. My friend Heather shared this awesome FHE website link, so we put it to use right away and did the first lesson for January.

Andrew thought these pictures of Grandpa Kim were pretty darn cool.
I think this is one of my favorite pictures of Grandma Ewart.
She looks like a knock-out and still looks so composed with her passel of 5 boys.

Andrew also liked learning a bit about his Great Grandpa Henry and Great Grandpa Fred.

We also talked about where our ancestors are from and talked about how Heavenly Father loves children from all around the world. Since I wasn't prepared to do a craft project or something from a place where our ancestors were from, we worked as a family to finish up our Chinese New Year dragon project (since today is Chinese New Year). I thought it turned out pretty cool. Andrew is mostly excited that the dragon breathes fire.

We are looking forward to hopefully another great day tomorrow!

Crazy Andrew

This kid cracks me up.

I need to be better about documenting the things that he says/does.

Tonight we did a painting project that turned into a mom/Andrew hand painting activity with both of our hands/forearms totally covered in lots of paint. It was a lot of fun... mostly because it was just the two of us and we were both being silly and creative and not worrying about staying too clean. Love him.

This morning I decided to wake up early (before my snooze alarm went off for the 2nd/3rd time) and sneak downstairs to make cinnamon rolls for Andrew. A few second later I heard him bounding down the stairs excitedly. He could barely contain himself. He absolutely loves cinnamon rolls. These aren't real homemade ones, they are the ones that you pop from a can, but he doesn't know any different.

I loved (as he sat down and started devouring the rolls) that he paused for a second and asked,
"How did you make these so wonderful mom?" And then he proceeded to thank me all morning for making them. Such a sweetheart!

I cannot believe he is going to be 4 in almost a month. Crazy?!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


These are the best things ever. We are making them right now! 

1 cup sugar
1 cup Karo syrup
1 cup peanut butter
5 cups rice krispies
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips

Bring Karo and sugar to a boil on med heat. Remove from heat and add peanut butter. Add rice krispies. Spread evenly into a greased 9x13 pan. Melt chocolate chips and butterscotch chips together and spread on the rice krispies. Let set. So easy and So yummy!!! Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

These boots were made for...

Walking, chasing, and tickling!

How cute are these boots that Scott and Tito got for Catie for Christmas?

She practiced walking in them today while we were putting laundry away... and unfortunately ended up like this on the floor once or twice

She thought pounding them on the wood floor was pretty seriously awesome though.

So adorable! Can't wait to actually put together a cute outfit to wear them with... today we just put them on with what she was already wearing.

The boots definitely helped her escape from crazy Andrew a time or two as well

I love that my rocking chair gets so much use from their games of chase and hide and seek

I also loved that for a few minutes when she first put the boots on she didn't know how to walk in them and just stood perfectly still so I could snap a picture of her. I think I'll be bringing them out for more photo shoots. Maybe then I'll actually have a few photos that don't have her running away from me (her new favorite thing).

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lazy Sundays

This is what lazy Sundays look like around here after church 
(the first five hours of the day from 7am-12pm are NOT lazy)

Tea parties

Andrew was way more into it than Catie was


Lots of toy time

Lots of smiles because dad is home

Parading around in cute outfits

Attempting to play together 
(swing... and a miss... Catie's more interested in cars and balls than a tea party)

 posing... contemplating how to get more treats

M&M face- hoping to score lots of M&Ms from mom!

A little too much iPad time

A tantrum or two... or more
(someone got woken up by her brother an hour too early)

Weekly Sunday family walk... this week in the bitter cold

Climbing trees with dad!

(talking strategy)

Lots of hugs!

And of course, we did plenty of relaxing!

It was a great Sunday! So glad tomorrow is a holiday so we get to do it all again.

Friday, January 13, 2012


When I was reflecting on my week yesterday, I thought, "I have barely seen any of my friends this week. I need to get planning some parties or something."

Then today I took a sec to actually go moment by moment through my week and I realized that I think I have a problem with my social gauge. Here's how our week has gone.

- Andrew had two friends over and I hung out and chatted with my friend Cara while the kids played.
- Met up with three other friends at the park for a lunch playdate AND ran into my newest neighbor there too. Played for over an hour and a half.
- Went running to the Snake Park in the late afternoon and bumped into my new neighbor again. We chatted while the kids played.

Um... I think I had probably 4 hours of friend social time just on Monday.

- Went walking with my friend Sandy for an hour in the morning while Andrew was at preschool
- Had a lunch playdate with my neighbor and kids after preschool
- Played in the court with the neighbor kids in the afternoon and chatted with their babysitter
- Went to our neighborhood HOA meeting with my other neighbor in the evening and got some more girl chat time in

(Catie totally thinks she is one of the big kids)

At least 3+ more friend social hours

This is my chill day of the week... so we hung out and I think I chatted with Flab to Fab competition friends on Facebook or Kid Blogger friends for like half the day. Catie was trying to take a nap for like 3 hours! We also ate a lot chocolate.

(coming for my chocolate)

(eating my chocolate)

- Went to our speed dating youth activity and chatted with the other leaders and the YW for an hour and a half.

Probably only 1.5 hours of actual face time with friends... maybe that's why I was feeling like I needed to plan a party?

- Chatted with friends at preschool drop off/pick up
- Got my hair cut by one of my favorite people and chatted with her for a fun full hour while Cate went and got babysat by a friend
- played on the computer

- met up with two friends and kids at Blackhawk for lunch and more socializing
- Went running in the afternoon and met up with my friend's family at the park for an hour or so
- Came home and hung out in the cul-de-sac with my fabulous neighbors for like another half an hour

(Catie loves having bikes to steal and friends to push her around)

Um... at least 4+ hours of more social time.

None of this is counting time on the phone with Etta or Elise. Yeah... I think I have a problem if I somehow think that I have been not social enough this week. I am tired reading this!

We also managed to get a lot of errands and random projects done... and one of these days I will catch up on laundry/dishes. But instead we did art projects, played dress up, and actually got a workout in every day (at least once).

(checking out her new outfit)

This little cutie loves necklaces, wings, hats, clippies... I love it!

I am so excited for a relaxing Friday tomorrow! Here's to hoping my kids (I mean Andrew) don't continue the trend of waking me up 2 times every night because of problems with sheets or lost flashlights or monsters. Mommy is tired... probably from all the socializing I didn't even realize I was doing!