Sunday, March 25, 2012

baking Peanut butter Bars

Made Peanut butter bars. Found the recipe through pinterest. 
calculated the calories and it was super calorie heavy.
If you want the recipe check out my cooking blog,
I worked through the recipe and tried to lower the calories. I sort of did. It wasn't low, but it is at least better than the original. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

Here are my handsome men at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Its in Scottsdale. We decided to make our last full day together as a family memorable. 
 Since our son LOVES trains it seems like a great choice.
 and I think it was. We all had fun and there wasn't anything at the park that wasn't a hit with our toddler. He loved ridding the trains, going to the museum, and the models. 
 My camera was having issues, but a great day.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pizzeria Mimosa

Pizzeria Mimosa opened in Hereford at the beginning of the fall. We went for dinner for the first time one of the nights while daddy was home.
 We had their Theresa Pizza and the gnocchi. Yummy stuff. 
My husband's parents took us. 
 The best part was the Nutella, banana pizza topped with vanilla gelato.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Disneyland with BABIES

We had planned on going to Disneyland after my husband returned for good. But he changed his mind and expressed he wanted to go while on his R&R. At first I wanted to argue that we should stick to our plan. But then something a friend of mind said about going while on R&R and making memories during that time so that the children will remember that more than daddy being gone, made me feel that we needed to go.
We never took the picture just inside the park as a group. I had the people in front of us in line to get in snap this one and I'm glad we did.
To start our three days in Disneyland we did Minnie's Character Breakfast at the Plaza. I am so glad we decided to do this. Our son was just in AWE. Although at first he was startled by how big the characters were, but I put the autograph book in his hand and he was loving every minute after. Character breakfasts are not doing Disneyland on the cheap. So if that is what you're doing then it may not be for your family. 
Things to consider:
1-character dinning is a quick way to meet characters
2- saves you time while in the park
3- Your family gets personal time with each character
4- Makes a HUGE and fast impact on your child
5- the food is excellent
In retro-spect, we are really glad that we decided to do it to start because we spend most of the day trying to ride rides and do things the adults wanted to do.
 If not for the awesome morning we started with I would have worried he had a horrible time. We learned a lot about bringing a child and making sure they are having a great time. It took us till our third day to figure it out. The biggest challenge in going with a mixed age group is finding a balance between doing the kiddie stuff and doing the things adults and teens want to do.
Our twins were the cutest babies in the park.
My MIL and I love pin trading. This time we bought a set of pins on ebay then we had some pins to trade. In the set I purchased about 1/3 were fake, 1/3 I'm convinced they were fake but can't prove it by any means, and the last sure I could find no reason to suspect that they were fakes other than my thoughts on the others.
My next project is to find a way to display my pins.
 We had a great trip.
Tips for taking babies and children:
  • Remember to take your time. There is no reason to feel like you're in a rush. When I was a young adult it was all about running through the park trying to see how many times we could ride all the rides in the shortest amount of time. This isn't needed with children. Young children don't have that sort of expectation. Just take it easy.
  • Use the Baby Care Centers- in Disneyland the Baby Care Center is located next to the Photoshop and  First Aid. I love the Baby Care Centers. There are nursing areas there (although you are welcome to nurse anywhere in the park), high chairs, toddler potty's, padded changing tables, they have a drinking fountain, and facets that come from filtered water (after feeding my girls I fill up our water bottles for me to drink between feedings).  They also have baby supplies if you find you're missing something (baby food, diapers...) The ladies there are so nice and helpful. I practically lived there our last two trips. This is also a nice place to stop to do those things when its cold or hot outside to thaw/cool off while taking care of your baby. A couple times I went there to nurse in the evening just to be warm while feeding them.
  • Don't just sit around and wait when using baby passes for the other group to go. Take the other children on near by rides or activities. In nothing else walk around, see if you can find a character. Take advantage of baby passes and if fast passes are offered remember you only need as many fast passes for as many are going in the first group (less two adults to stay with the children- per baby pass)
  • Ware your baby. Bring a front or wrap, for babies while going on rides or in places you can't take your stroller.
  • Bring or rent a stroller. Mark your stroller well. Tags, balloons. We used carabiners hooks to organize our many bags. We didn't leave anything of value in our bags. Its just with three under three we have a lot of stuff and we tend to go during a time of year of rain and cold. We have to be prepared because I hate buying stuff I already own. Also remember your walking age children will still get tired and not want to walk. They may even start fighting with their younger siblings for their seat in the stroller. Bringing a stroller for 5 and 6 yr olds may still be needed.
  • Make a check off list of things you need to bring into the park with you: snacks, fever reliever, allergy meds, jackets, ponchos, hats, sunscreen, water bottles (There are no restrictions on bringing food or drinks into the park, only no glass bottles). 

  • Bring or buy and autograph book. It gives your child something to hold and can help them be more comfortable and get more excited about meeting their favorite characters.
  • Get your first time, birthday, celebrating pins from City Hall.
  • Find ways to multi- task your time. Such as nursing/feeding babies while part of your group uses fast passes or baby passes. Get dinner/lunch and wait for the parade while eating. Send one person with all the tickets to go get the fast passes. 

  • See the shows. In California Adventures there are all sorts of shows in the Hollywood section. Kids love that stuff. Don't forget inside the animation studios there is Talking to Crush, character greets, and film clips.
  • Do the playground stuff- Pirate Island/Tom Sawyer's Island, Wilderness play area (Cal adv), character homes in Toon Town. Growing up my dad never let us go on Tom Sawyer's Island. He said its just like anything you can do at home. But the fact is that it isn't. And they get to run, play, ware themselves out, and have more fun then then would on a normal playground.

  • If you have a potty trainer or newbie know where your bathrooms are in each area of the park. Whenever you pass or before you get into a long line, encourage potty usage. Likewise check diapers before you get in line. Also we had a small purse that was a mini diaper bag that we took on rides with us. It had a couple diapers, a few wipes, a couple snacks for waiting, a toy or two, and a nursing cover (make great sun shades for little ones). We never had to change a diaper while in line, but we did utilize the nursing cover and the snacks.
  • Fast passes and baby passes don't have to be used right away or at the specified time on the fast pass. A fast pass is good any time after the start time on the fast pass. Don't feel like you have to rush back or that you can't do ride or activity because your fast pass is going to come due or because the other half of your group is on the ride while you're waiting to use your baby pass. Or go grab lunch before using the baby pass. As long as you still have it in your possession it is still good.

  •  Ride all the rides they want to go on. But also take them on the rides that will amaze them. But don't force them or try to do too much at once. Remind yourself, there can always, and will always be a next time. Even if they aren't as small there can always be a next time.

  • one last thing while preparing- we watched lots of Disney movies and Mickey Mouse cartoons (there are many avb online through My son loves Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. He calls Pluto "frodo". Even if it is going to be a surprise you can sneek some building up in there too. We also acquired a dvd of Disneyland's history. My son loved watching it, even in b&w, little to no special effects, he was glued to it.
We had a great time. I hope these tips make your trip go smoother.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spending Time with Daddy

 In spending time with daddy we went to dinner at the local greek restaurant. I love getting zucchini fritters. 
While waiting for our food, Al wanted to play with his camera that he got for Christmas. He has trouble aiming. Daddy was trying to help him aim.
 During that time I took the opportunity to feed the girls. I have no problem with feeding in public especially with my great nursing cover I made.

Rose Loves Solids

Rose loves solid foods. She was being so cute trying to feed herself. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Homemade stroller Rain covers

When we went on our last trip to Disneyland, when our son was only a month old, it rained on us. In desperation we purchased the ponchos in the park and tried to create a make shift stroller cover.
I remember when I was in England with my sister. We noticed that all the strollers there had rain covers already. My sister and I asked one lady where she had got her cover and she said it came with it.
This time around trying to prepare for our trip to Disneyland I wasn't going to let us waste our money on those over priced ponchos again. I was going to find a solution.
I bought one clear vinyl shower curtain. I measured it over the double stroller and then cut. I then pinned it on the sides to created corners folded over. I then sewed the corners.
I was thrilled with how well this simple solution worked.

There was barely enough left to create a second for our single stroller. It took me all of ten minutes per stroller cover to make and cost be total for the two strollers less than $3 for the shower curtain.
Now I can't say how well it worked for actual rain. It never rained on us while we were at Disneyland. It I ever get a change to use them in the rain I'll let you know, I just doubt I'll have any more opportunities.

Welcome Home

Daddy came home for his R&R. Al was so happy to see his daddy. It was daddy's first time with the girls since they were less than two weeks old. They both have daddy crushes.