Friday, August 26, 2011

fill in the blank friday

I've only been gone from blogging for like, oh, a couple of months. I have tried to write a few posts but nothing inspired me. Then I stumbled upon a new blog and found this. So I thought I would join up. It is like Mad Libs, but less inappropriate!

Here is Fill in the Blank Friday from the little things we do.

1.   One of life's most simple pleasures is  drinking wine with family and friends.
2.   Driving at or below the speed limit  makes me want to punch someone.

3.  I like  reality television   because   those crazy people make me feel normal.

4.   Oy   is a funny word. "Oy with the poodles already!" If you know that quote, I love you.

5.  If I had to choose one beauty product to use for the rest of eternity it would be   conditioner. I love to condition my hair!  "Conditioner is better! I make the hair silky and smooth!" You should also know that quote.
6.  I'm happy that   I have two hands, two feet, two eyes, two ears and two babies .
7.  I would never    say never. You never know what might happen ;)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Checking in...

We've been busy around our house.

There are two crawlers.
11 teeth.
We are saying goodbye to another size of clothes and moving into 9 month and 9-12 month sizes.
Ana likes to pull herself to stand anywhere there is something to hold onto...whether it is safe or not.
Grace can say "da" "ba" and "ma" over and over again.
They eat mostly whole foods like fruit, bread and meat; they only eat purees with the babysitters.
They love the dog.
Their smiles keep getting bigger and their sense of exploration and adventure is growing.

I love them.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Easy margaritas

Ladies and gentlemen I am going to share with you the easiest and most delightful summer margarita recipe.* This is amazingly delicious. Go make it. Right now.

Ingredients: 1 can of limeade (I think it tastes best with Minute Maid), 1 can of lemon-lime soda, 1 can of beer and tequila. Mix equal parts of each (use the Minute Maid can to measure tequila. Warning: it is a LOT of tequila. Sometimes I don't put a full can because it is too much!)

Stir. Because of the beer it is going to be yellowish-brown. Don't worry about the color. It is delicious.

Serve and enjoy!

And because I know I have a lot of underage readers, I present you with an equally awesome non-alcoholic alternative:
Limeade. Enjoy.

 *This is not my own recipe; it was from a friend of my mom's, so I am giving credit to that person, even though I don't actually know who that person is.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Video killed the radio star

Want to know something weird about a twenty-something living in the digital age?


I don't hate movies or anything. And I don't care if everyone else wants to record their lives. But I don't really "get" it. I didn't really "get" it before YouTube even existed. I just don't like videos of my life.

Maybe it's because my grandma was obsessed with her video camera and carried it to every family function and trip around the world.  Then I spent hours of my formative years watching her fast-forward through 93 minutes of the sidewalk in Prague.

I know there are some videos of my childhood. One rare occasion we tried to watch one and it was 20 minutes of us playing in mud by the lake: riveting stuff people. Then there are the many, many clips of my dad's shaky hand recording the wrong kid at swim meets (in his defense, it can be hard to distinguish little people in the water).

My mother-in-law was shocked when I said there would be no videographer at our wedding. Her kids used to love to plop down on the couch and watch their wedding video. I really didn't see much use. I was pretty confident I would never watch it. In my defense, it's been four years and I have never once regretted not having a video. (There is ONE thing I wish had been videotaped-- when all the guys at the wedding got down on their knees and sang "You've Lost That Lovin Feeling." It.was.awesome. Totally YouTube material)

Now I have my own kids and sometimes they do something cool and I think to myself, "shoot, I should probably video tape that." And then I wonder why, because I really don't have much intention of ever watching it.

It's not that I don't want to remember. Quite the opposite actually-- I am a huge lover of nostalgia and I value my experiences with people and in life above most things. But I am happy with a beautiful picture and the memories of those moments.

Oh, and I hate the way I sound on video. Maybe that's it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Making baby food

This is not revolutionary or very exciting... so many of you probably will want to skip this post! But I have a few friends who have asked me about making baby food lately, so here we go...

I decided to make my own baby food because I wanted to know exactly what was going into my kids' bodies. I was nervous that I was going to do something "wrong" when making the food but it turns out that it is VERY easy to do and I have fun making it now!

We started with bananas (success!) and avocado (failure) which do not require any cooking. The first cooked food I made was sweet potato. Since then I have made green beans, yams, acorn squash, butternut squash, carrots, lamb, peas, zucchini and broccoli.

The sweet potatoes, yams, carrots and green beans were all steamed first. The squash are best cooked in the oven in about an inch of water. I cook them at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes. This is acorn squash and butternut squash (get your mind out of the gutter).

This weekend I tried making peas for the first time. Since I have been buying only fresh ingredients, I hadn't gotten to peas yet (you can usually only find frozen in the store). I bought some at the farmer's market the other day so after a long time shucking them, I got this small amount of peas:
Not sure it was worth all that work for such a small return on the peas.

I break down the food using my trusty Cuisinart! In the beginning I added milk or formula to make it the right consistency. Now I reserve the water from cooking the vegetable and then add it until I get the consistency I want. Warning: when the food is defrosted they tend to be a little more watery than they are before you freeze the food!

And voila! I scoop them into ice trays. Two of these are the fancy baby ones that have a lid (which are fantastic! I love them!) but the other two are $.99 cube trays from Target. Whatever you have will work!

I just put these in the freezer and then take them out as necessary!

Trying meat really freaked me out. I boiled lamb and then pureed it in the food processor. But the consistency of that was just strange. So I ended up mixing the lamb with sweet potato. If anyone has better ideas on how to prepare the meat, let me know!

Happy cooking my friends!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Grab a beer!


Well I tried to post with Kim last week but blogger hated me and now my pictures are lost in the internets. Aren't you sad you will never those pictures?!

Let's start with a little special series entitled "Ana falls asleep wherever she wants." She is officially CRAWLING and basically getting into all sorts of trouble. So I assume that all this movement makes her super tired.

Asleep in her high chair.
Asleep in her jumperoo.

Asleep in the backpack. And those pictures are all from this week.

I made these chocolate dipped strawberries for Brandon for our 4th anniversary (traditional gift: fruits and flowers)

We celebrated at a fabulous restaurant. Wine for BG, Cosmo for me!

Brandon wrote this really nice blog about me and all he got is this picture from my phone. I love you babe!

I am all about reading, but I do have to wonder what we are teaching our children when the books have made up words like "table," "chair," and "sofa."

Brandon loves to bring the girls to bed on the weekends.

I skipped lunch one day this week for a much needed pedicure...

Us girls pre-shopped the Anniversary Sale at Nordstrom. The girls got balloons (and shoes and legwarmers!) (Sorry Aunt Cristina that we didn't come visit you in SF!) (if anyone wants to shop in Roseville or San Francisco I will set you up with great people to shop with!)

My mom bought the girls these adorable rompers with little watermelon butts. So cute!

Pretty sure this isn't safe.

I was nursing Ana in bed and looked over the edge to see only Grace's arm.

I pulled up the ruffle and there she was, smiling big! Apparently she likes it under the bed!

Ana took this picture for you. The end.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

if you buy this we can't be friends

I went to Disneyland  Costco last week and as always I checked out all of the unnecessary items I could buy in bulk. And then I came across this gem:

That is one year emergency food supply in the form of freeze-dried and dehydrated food. 17,586 servings of food in 336 cans.

In event of emergency, I will be eating from the 336 cans of tomato paste that I keep forgetting I already have in the back of my pantry.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Grab a beer because I'm back!

I know. It's been weeks since I've done a picture post. Get over it. I am a busy woman and if my phone isn't in Ana's mouth, I am using it to take another picture of her sweet face or of Grace, and really people would stop reading my blog if I posted EVERY picture I took of my girls. That's why I stopped reading your blog. (Kidding) (Kind of) (I like variety)

Without further ado, here is two weeks worth of pictures, broken up into three sections:
I. Stuff you don't care about
II.Weddings of people you don't know
III. Pictures and stories of my kids

Part I: Stuff you don't care about

I have turned into a bag lady. On any given day I can been seen carrying all this crap around: my swim bag, my pump, my bag/purse of personal belongings and my laptop. I look like a nut. Maybe cuz I am.
Speaking of bags... check out this gem. Um, the bag isn't really my style to begin with. But then the whole Daniel Boone look really takes this to a whole new level. Hi, we live in the suburbs, not the wild, wild west. Leave your raccoon hat at home.

I had to stop for this drawbridge. I was pretty amazed that drawbridges actually get used. And then I was terrified to drive across, like it was going to fall or something. Um, ya.

My parents did some reorganization of their office and so Brandon and I inherited this daybed for our office. I am really excited because our office looks better and now I have a very comfortable place to lay and watch tv. Thanks mom!

On Wednesday morning I found this guy in my sink. I named him Frank. Then I blocked the disposal and covered the sink so he couldn't escape and waited for my brother--in-law to get to my house and save him =)

Frank came to visit again tonight. He stayed outside this time.

I made a nice little cheese display for my mom. I got skills.

Part II: Weddings of people you don't know.

My sister-in-law got married last weekend at a mansion near the Delta. We had so much fun!! I was a bridesmaid. Here I am messing around while we were up in the room waiting for the wedding to start.

It was a beautiful wedding and my sister-in-law was the most gorgeous bride I have ever seen. I have a ton of pictures, but it was her day, not mine. So all you get is this sneak peek...


Last night we went to the wedding of a long time family friend. It was a blast because all of our friends were there. It was held on their family property and it was a beautiful ceremony set against a pond and the reception in the backyard.

The centerpieces had bright flowers in mason jars and there was homemade strawberry jam on all the tables. That's my sissy in the background, pretending not to be in the picture.

Two weddings in two weeks is enough. Moving on.

Part III: Pictures and stories of my kids

If I wasn't too lazy to upload pictures from my camera, you would have some cute, "real" pictures of my kids. Instead you get life captured by my iPhone.

My kids wrestle everyday. And by wrestle I mean that Ana attacks Grace when she wants the toy Grace has or also for no apparent reason. Ana will army crawl right over Grace and my poor Gracie just looks stunned.

"Hey mom! Let me out!"
In addition to her wrestling and army crawling skills, Ana has also recently learned how to pull herself up on the bumpers or side of the crib. Tonight we lowered the crib so that I don't walk in and find herself hanging over the edge.

For a safer naptime until we had time to lower the mattress I put Ana in the pack n' play. She did not like it. She spent all of naptime trying to claw her way out. Naptime fail.

I try really hard to keep the girls out of the sun. Unfortunately they look to be as fair skinned as I am, so I want to protect my poor little babies. When I got back from my walk the other day I noticed that their little feet had slipped out.

For those of you who made it all the way through my silly photos, you are rewarded with the two cutest faces I ever have seen.

Friday, June 24, 2011

dreaming of my happy place...

Welcome to my happy place: a place high up on a mountain, nestled in next to Donner Lake, a place where I can swim, wakeboard, hike and throw the ball in the water for the dog in the summer. A place where I can snowboard and sit in complete awe of the snow in the winter. And between the two seasons of extreme sports is the fall- my favorite time when the ride up the mountain is transformed by trees on fire with yellow, orange and red leaves.

I am dreaming of my happy place-- an area that I have visited so many times in my life that I can drive the roads comfortably in the dark and in the snow. It is a place that holds memories of early ski lessons, camping trips, family Christmases, 4th of July and my engagement. In that place I have experienced snow storms and rain storms. When I am there I feel small next to enormous trees and pristine lakes.

There are many places on this great Earth that I love including Hawaii and Spain. But maybe it is the familiarity and my deep roots that always call me back to a little area in the greater Lake Tahoe area called Truckee. My heart yearns to be there.

This is the longest period in my life I have gone without visiting there. Where for years I went almost every month, it has been ten months since I visited last, when I was five months pregnant with my babies. Since then there has been no time for snowboarding or hiking. But in August we will go back again, this time with our family a little bigger. And I ache for my babies to have the same love for this place I love, this place that I plan on taking them back to, season after season.

I am thinking of the cold waters of Donner on my toes. I am imagining the scent of your trees. I am planning the hikes. Until then I am dreaming of you, Truckee.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I would rather

I would rather freeze to death in the snow than suffer through a hot, stifling death.
I would rather wear flip flops than tennis shoes.
I would rather wear heels if they didn't kill my feet.
I would rather have a dog than a cat.
I would rather find a frog in my sink than a bug.
I would rather go without heat than without air conditioning.
I would rather eat cookies than vegetables.
I would rather have drinks at bar while socializing than dance at a club.
I would rather drive than be a passenger.
I would rather have the aisle seat than the window seat.
I would rather jump into the middle of a lake than walk into it from shore.
I would rather snowboard than wakeboard.
I would rather write a blog than do laundry or dishes or vacuum.
I would rather be skinny than rich. (I think) (I am neither)
I would rather use Facebook than Twitter.
I would rather watch The Hangover than Anchorman.
I would rather eat brussel sprouts than broccoli.
I would rather take a shower than a bath.
I would rather cook than go out.
I would rather laugh than cry.
I would rather spend time looking at my babies more than any other pasttime I used to enjoy.

What would you rather?

Friday, June 3, 2011

my 200th post will be about a bagel

I don't really care about celebrating my 200th blog post. But I just happened to notice it when I went to write a new one. In honor of this, do a little happy dance for me. Okay? Good. Did you do it? Did you dance? 

One of the many lovely perks of working at my job is that on Friday mornings we get Noah's Bagels. In the last few months it has been easy to pass up a bagel because I love cream cheese, and since nursing my little babes I have not been eating dairy. As a result, I have been skipping the bagel because it is just not as good without cream cheese.

(Side note: my husband hates cream cheese. WTF? Cream cheese is amazing. Whatever).

But this morning I rushed out of the house without having a proper breakfast and so when I got to work I decided to have a bagel. I chose a delicious cinnamon and sugar bagel and I put it into the toaster. When it popped up I grabbed it like always and immediately the cinnamon and sugar goodness welded to my finger and I dropped to my knees (literally) while yelling profanities. THE DAMN CINNAMON AND SUGAR BAGEL BURNT MY FINGER.

("The bagel bit my finger and it really hurt!" If you don't know what I am talking about, click here)

Now I was feeling like a real wimp, because c'mon, it is a bagel. It wasn't like I just grabbed a boiling pot of water or something.

But ladies and gentlemen I am here to warn you: BAGELS CAN BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR HEALTH:

See that white spot on my finger? That is a BLISTER. From getting burned. And trust me, it hurts. I spent most of the morning drenching it in burn cream. And let me tell you, typing without your index finger is nearly impossible.

And to think, if I had known that today was National Donut Day none of this would have ever happened.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

on motherhood

I wish I could give you a perfect mother. As it is, you have inherited a broken woman. I eat too much, I drink too much, I swear more than your grandma would want me to. I don't always make the best decisions on how to spend my money.

I have terrible fashion sense and I hate wearing makeup. I prefer flip flips to any other type of shoe. My eyebrows are always overgrown. I don't remember the last time I shaved my legs.

I cry when I am stressed, frustrated or overwhelmed. I cry when I am angry or tired. I cry when I am overjoyed and filled with love.

I talk too much. I talk too loud. Sometimes I say things that are hurtful.

I forget things that I said I would do. I procrastinate.

I am no good at keeping a journal, calendar, planner or for that matter, even my blog.

As you grow you will see that my armor has been chipped, that I am covered in bandaids trying to cover up the injuries my heart has suffered. The perfect mother that you see through infant eyes will melt away and what will be left is just me.

Me. Your mama.

I am broken but I heal a little when I hold your tiny hands. I look for ways to get better when I catch you looking at me. Your smile reminds me that there is good inside me.

I love deeply. I am passionate. I am creative.

I always give my best. I work hard.

I value relationships ahead of material items. I love all sorts of people, but I have a soft spot for talking to old men.

I know how to make sacrifices. I can make tough choices. I have chosen to do the right thing against popular demand.

I value life. I love travel. I appreciate language, culture and history. I have faith in God.

I have a sense of humor. I enjoy quiet time for prayer. I can sit in the woods or on sandy shores for hours and just appreciate the greatness of the earth.

I am not the perfect mother. But I am all you get. And I promise to give you all I have.

Friday, May 27, 2011

the hunger games

Part of my absence in the last few weeks can be blamed on the four days I spent reading "The Hunger Games" series by Suzanne Collins. I was an absentee wife, mom and employee while I plowed through all three books. Several people have asked me questions about the books and the upcoming movie, so I decided to write a blog about it. I have tried to avoid spoilers in case you decide you want to read the books too!

Summary from GoodreadsIn the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

The Hunger Games is intriguing, smart, haunting and addicting. I couldn't put the books down and when I finished the first I was immediately anxious to read the next. The books have a lot of killing and military like content, but because it is young adult literature it thankfully lacks gruesome details. As a huge fan of the Ender's Game books, I found this a suitable comparison in that it uses children in decidedly adult roles in sort of a futuristic way. I loved Katniss as the main character, a young woman who I thought was portrayed mostly accurately for a 16-year old girl. Bottom line: this is a great series.

I LOVED the first two books (The Hunger Games and Catching Fire). Those two books have great continuity and tug at the same heartstrings. Nothing that I thought would happen did. I kept turning pages because I had to know what happened next. The final book in the series (Mockingjay) is my least favorite, but I understand that it was not going to be able to continue as the first two had. Even though I didn't love Mockingjay, I had to read it because I needed resolution of the story.

The Hunger Games movie comes out in 2012 and casting is nearly complete. Jennifer Lawrence has been cast as Katniss and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. I don't have a lot of feelings about either of them, as for some reason I never had much of a vision of their faces in my head. They were both in critically acclaimed films last year so I imagine they are deserving of their roles. Lenny Kravitz will play the role of Cinna. Kravitz certainly doesn't fit the image I held in my head of Cinna, as I envisioned someone a little less sexy. Elizabeth Banks will play Effie. That one is great casting as is Woody Harrelson in the role of drunken Haymitch. Stanley Tucci will be playing Caesar, the interviewer. My husband doesn't really agree with that casting, but I can't really say for sure. All of the people from the capital should be costumed and made up strangely as the book describes, thus making for speculation of their characters difficult for me.

This is one of those series that will stay with me for a long time. The idea of putting teenagers in a fight-to-the-death match disturbed me the whole time I was reading, but I couldn't put it down. This is definitely a series you don't want to miss!


I almost didn't go to graduation on Wednesday night. I had meetings for work scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday that required me leaving the house in the morning earlier than normal. By Wednesday afternoon I was feeling detached from my babies and I was aching to go home and snuggle with them. But I had already arranged to attend graduation that night to watch some of my former students receive their diplomas. I was feeling overwhelmed with mom guilt at the thought of leaving my girls again. I tried to justify skipping it, thinking maybe my former students wouldn't notice if I didn't show. Besides, my husband was home sick, with pink eye too, and I couldn't very well leave him with two babies, could I?

In the end I left the husband with strict instructions on hand washing and I got myself downtown in time for graduation. I was only there a few minutes before running into one of my former students in the bathroom and it was just moments until I was fighting back tears. I needed to be there.

Just a few years ago they were bouncy freshman who brightened my classroom with joy and enthusiasm. They, like all of us, thought that in 2011 they would be graduates of Loretto High School. Two years ago I watched them as they were forced to choose new schools and new paths. As I watched the sea of young women in white caps last night, I wondered what they were thinking. I wondered if they related to everything the speakers talked about, or if they were thinking of how their experience was different from the rest.

As I watched the young women I used to know sit before me, I realized it was okay that I left my babies at home last night. Because the "Loretto girls" are my family too. I may be the weird old aunt they don't want to talk about, but still I am part of their past and they are part of mine. They are a part of my life that I am immensely proud of, a part of my life that has forever changed how I look at young women, and a part of my life that I will always miss. As I watched the Loretto women receive their diplomas I remembered that I always envisioned a family full of boys; I got twin girls. Sometimes I think God knows exactly what we need.

Loretto, I ache for you. Loretto women, I hold you always close to my heart. Red Robots, Loretto Class of 2011, I wish you congratulations. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your lives.


Monday, May 23, 2011

how to eat a pb&j sandwich, erin style

hi friends. i know, i know: it's been awhile since i've written a blog. i've got a whole list of reasons i haven't blogged:
  1. i was sick
  2. i didn't want to interrupt any exciting coverage about the rapture
  3. i got myself involved in too many things again
  4. i have twins
  5. a dinosaur ate my computer. rawr.
but really i have just been feeling a little uninspired. which leads me to this post... i took pictures of how i eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. yes folks, we have reached a new low. so without further ado...

1. a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in its entirety. i am a CHUNKY peanut butter person. BG likes creamy. that means in our house we always have both kinds. but if you ask me, there is no excuse for creamy peanut butter. ever.

2. i eat the crust first by tearing off pieces. i do not bite.

3. crust has all been removed and consumed. NOW comes the yummy part.

4. sometimes i tear, sometimes i just bite in. the only thing that matters is that this is the BEST part of the sandiwch and i enjoy each little bite.

5. yum. pb&j with raspberry jam. all gone.

i know. you can hardly stand the excitement in this blog post.