Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sleep is Overrated

If I count the sleepless nights during pregnancy, it has been 8 years since I have had a full nights sleep. By a full night I mean more than 5 or 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I can remember being so excited when Dylan was a toddler and strong enough to open the refrigerator. I could fill a sippy cup with milk and he could get it when he woke up then crawl back in bed with me; I was good for at least another 30 minutes. Then he was old enough to use the remote and he could turn on the Disney channel and watch cartoons; this gave me almost another hour of sleep. Dylan is now 7 years old. He is fully capable of getting himself something to drink, a cereal bar to tide him over, watch some cartoons, play with Lego's, or even play the Wii ... so I am left wondering, Why must he always wake me up at 7am on a Saturday?

Does he not realize that we do not have to go to work or school today? Or that I was up past 1 am working on homework or marketing projects for Shel Cosmetics? I only get about 5 hours of sleep during the week, so I treasure my weekends when I have the option to sleep until at least 8 am. Yes, I said option. As I sit here watching Dylan play Donkey Kong on the Wii I am reminded of what I seem to always complain about. Quality time with my son. Having me in the room watching him play, commenting every now and then on his game playing skills, and congratulating him when he beats a level is important to my son. I had 30+ years to sleep in on the weekends and soon it will be me trying to get him up when he is a teenager. So considering the limited amount of time that I have with my son before he is grown up and off to college ... I can do without sleep.

Besides, what other excuse would I have to order my Vanilla Macadamia Nut coffee in bulk direct from Hawaii? Quality time with my son and great Hawaiian coffee, Yes ... sleep is definitely overrated!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bon Appetit!

Who knew Dylan would be such a natural in the kitchen! I know he loves food, but what a surprise when I took him kicking and screaming to Sur la Table that he was the one not wanting to leave the store. Mom look at this ... oh, Mom we need one of these ... Hey Mom, what's this? The child was simply in awe of all the cooking and baking supplies surrounding us. And I was ecstatic that my son was just like me ... at home in the kitchen!
Our small purchase from Sur la Table ...
Dylan actually came home and read this cookbook like it was a chapter book. The funniest piece of newly acquired knowledge was when Dylan said, "Mom, did you know you can make fried chicken?" Yes dear, you can make almost anything. Not all food comes pre-made from the deli. His response, "Well, you can't make cheese unless you have a cow. So can we just buy the cheese from the store?" 

Reading to me the ingredients and what we should make first. Together we made a grocery list and viola ... good home-cooking. 

Homemade Chili 

Buttermilk Biscuits 'cuz Dylan doesn't like cornbread

Now for the next meal Dylan informed me that I was a nerd in the kitchen. What? Yes, my son called me a nerd because I have so many gadgets, bowls, dishes, ramekins, and other cooking things. The plus side is he told me this was a good thing.

Before adding the sauce

I must admit ... Amazing dinner!
So we've done home cookin' and Chinese, so what's next  ... Italian of course! Dylan just loves his plain cheese pizza; however, I will take artichoke hearts, spinach, mozzarella, and a little balsamic/olive oil mixture over cheese any day.

Pizza Margherita

My favorite ... White pizza

As Dylan likes to say Mama Mia ... mmmmmwah and Bon Appetit!

A New Year Brings New Pets

As you may remember, Dylan lost his beloved friend Swim last February. Swim was a part of our family for almost 5 years and to this day Dylan still cries about him. After many talks, Dylan and I decided that Swim would not want him to be sad and that by getting a new fish did not mean he was replacing Swim. (Because we know nothing can ever replace that first beloved pet) Swim was such a happy fish, mainly because of the excellent care he received from Dylan, and even though he is in Heaven waiting to see Dylan one day it is time to move on.

Now choosing the new fish was not an easy task. The new fish could not be the same color as Swim because that would be too sad for Dylan. Two pet stores and almost 2 hours later we finally had our new family members. We have made it past the critical first three weeks and are now ready to share these friends with you.
Meet Fireball, Sea Baby, and Neptune.

Fireball lives in Dylan's room

Sea Baby lives in the hallway
Mommy's Fish Neptune lives in the kitchen

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wii Love Christmas Morning!

We wait all year long for this day to come and the night before is filled with so much excitement that it is hard to sleep. The anticipation of Santa's arrival and whether or not he had been good enough all year long was all Dylan could think about. The only thing Dylan asked for this year was for Santa to bring him a Wii. He told me and Grandma that he didn't want anything from us, just the Wii.

7am and all smiles!

Gummy Bears from Dylan's Candy Shop in NY

LEGO Hero Factory from Mom ...

And what could this be? It says To Dylan, From Santa

As much excitement that Dylan had for this moment, my excitement and happiness was 10 times more. Being a parent and seeing your child's face on Christmas morning as they open "the present" from Santa makes all the temper tantrums, fighting over homework, sleepless nights, and doubting your capabilities as a parent simply disappear. 

 Dylan is so happy that he actually had tears in his eyes

I asked Dylan why he was hugging me and thanking me. He said, "because I am so happy and I can't hug Santa" ... if he only knew!

Now I must share a little secret. About a week before Christmas Dylan came walking out of his room crying late at night. He was so upset that he couldn't even talk. He was convinced that he had not been good enough all year long and that he "did not deserve" to get a Wii from Santa. Once he calmed down a little, he told me Remember when I didn't listen to you, and when I had to go to the principal's office, and when I didn't clean my room ... he went on and on. I tried to assure him that those were small things compared to all the good things he had done and that it was up to Santa to decide if he deserved a Wii. He decided to leave Santa a present with his cookies in hopes that he would earn some bonus points. I have never wanted to tell him the story of Santa so badly as I did that night.
Now you understand why the tears came Christmas morning. <3

Yes, the clock on the DVR says 9:28 am  Presents are opened, Mom has her coffee, and Dylan is setting up the Wii

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dylan's Annual Gingerbread House

As you may remember, last Christmas Dylan made his first gingerbread house. This year, he wanted to make it all from scratch! (Guess he has been spending too much time in the kitchen with Mom, more on that in another post) So needless to say, we made gingerbread (not the kind from a box) and we rolled it out, cut rectangular shapes, and even a chimney. Although this was not going to be a 3-D gingerbread house, Dylan was set on making it as realistic as possible.

Homemade royal icing, M & M's, Skittles, Tootsie Rolls, Candy Canes, Gumdrops, Licorice, and Mom's homemade chocolate Snowman and Santa made this gingerbread house complete. Oh, and it was delicious!

Our Christmas Card Photo Shoot

This year we decided to go with a photo card and who better to take the pictures than our favorite Aunt Stephanie.
Forget the perfectly posed portrait, we like candid, laughing, this is who we are pictures!
No Dylan, don't smile, don't do funny faces, don't make bunny ears behind Mommy's head ... yep, threw those rules out the window and had a blast just being us!

And here is what we got ...

 For some reason, I adore this picture. Maybe because the expression on his face that I love so much was finally captured on film.

 He may be 60+ pounds, but he will always be my baby!

And here is the completed project ...

Something Had To Give ...

There come a point in time when you have many so many things going on, deadlines to meet, papers to write, laundry to wash, and as hard as you try to keep all the balls in the air sometimes something has to give. Unfortunately, the ball that I just couldn't keep in the air was our blog. So, finally someone told me that they have been checking our blog and it still shows Dylan's birthday from July 2010.

Once again, I will do a quick recap and try my best to keep up. I promise once school is done in May I will have more time. At least I hope so! In a nutshell, here is what we have been doing:
DYLAN - excelling at school (2nd grade now), advanced to Wolf Cub Scout, started after-school tennis and science classes, loves reading and of course playing his video games!
MICHELLE - still working for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, still attending University of Phoenix (BS in Psychology), running a successful business (Shel Cosmetics), single handedly keeping Starbucks in business so I can stay awake on a mere 4 1/2 hours sleep, and of course raising the most wonderful child on God's planet!

OK, now for the pictures to get you all caught up ...

Dylan caught a fish!

Just another summer day at Disneyland ...

First day of school, not a happy camper to get up at 6:30am after sleeping til 9 all summer

The cutest Anakin Skywalker for Halloween

Mommy and Dylan self-portrait after Aunt Stephie's Engagement Party!

2nd Grade School Picture