"Mom is great! Gives us chocolate cake!"
Well, it wasn't actually chocolate cake, but it WAS cake for breakfast. We had our first annual school carnival on Friday and Monkey Boy won a cake in the cakewalk. There were dozens of beautiful homemade cakes and which one did he pick? The pink one with frosting so yellow that someone asked me if it was mustard! It didn't seem to matter to the small men- they asked if they could eat it for breakfast this morning so I said Yes.
That's what happens when momma walks a 5k, goes out to dinner with friends and wakes up at 8am on Sunday with no idea what to make for breakfast!
This week is Spring Break for the kids, so we took our first family camping trip of the year at Anza Borrega Desert State Park. Anza Borrega is located inland and north of San Diego, about a 2.5 hour drive from our home in the OC. This time of year, it's not too hot (about 80F during the day), and there are usually a lot of wildflowers blooming. We left late Sunday morning and arrived at the campground at the same time as our friends (we camped with three other families).
The sunrise as seen from our campsite the next morning:
And of course there were TONS of rocks to climb up, over, and on! The kids were in heaven! Is there anything better than a big rock to climb and sticks to carry??? Not if you're a kid!
We eventually found a wash and started walking along the sandy bottom, which was covered with these beautiful purple flowers:
I had to tell Monkey Boy, "Put your hat on!" about 2600x times:
Little Man was quite the explorer with his binoculars and backpack:
The kids did great- it was a pretty long hike, especially for the littler ones - we went about two miles or so in our search for lizards and chuckwallas.
And with all the beautiful scenery and silence, I couldn't resist a little yoga-
It was a great trip with plenty of dirt, smores, bug-catching and hiking....all the fun stuff about camping! And look at the gorgeous fields we saw on the way home:
The small men have been itching to try out the fishing rods they got for Christmas so we took them to the beach yesterday for some surf-fishing. The weather was beautiful, and it didn't take long before Little Man reeled in this sand perch:
We don't eat the fish so we just throw them back, but the boys really enjoyed using their new rods and reels. Here is Monkey Boy doing his best to catch something (he never did, but he didn't seem to care!). MB has even started getting the hang of casting on his own- though it's still much safer to stand FAR FAR away when he's casting.
Little Man and the Dearest:
It was getting pretty chilly by the time we left, but a good time was had by all. Rain is expected later this week so I'm glad we took the time to head down to the beach and enjoy the sun while we could!
The small men are suffering through another wintertime cold; this one seems to be mostly about the coughing. Little Man spent half the night doing this: cough cough cough *pause* cough. Poor thing. He woke up this morning and said he couldn't sleep very well, and his back hurts from all the coughing. Luckily it's a dry cough and it seems a bit better today.....but now Monkey Boy is coughing too. Both of them were complaining of headaches over the past couple of days but I thought it was just because we have been staying up late (Pajama Party, anyone?) and they have been super busy.
Evidently not; I talked to a friend and her kids have the same thing: a dry cough, headache - but no fever- tiredness and lots of time spent being cranky on the couch.
Oh well, the coughing has given me a chance to try out honey has a natural cough reliever. Normally I just give it straight (the kids get a 1/2tsp straight out of the jar) but then I thought it might be good to thin the honey and add some lemon. I found a couple of recipes online that involved mixing the honey and lemon juice with warm water to create a cough syrup. Those looked good, but then check THIS recipe out:
|ITALIAN COUGH SYRUP|
Read more about it at www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1818,157175-235203,00.html
Content Copyright © 2011 Cooks.com - All rights reserved.
1/2 c. whiskey
1/2 c. honey
Juice of 1 lemon
In small jar mix whiskey, honey and lemon juice. Take 1-2 tablespoons every 3-4 hours. I can't promise it will get rid of your cough, but it sure tastes good!
I'm going to make this one and see how the small men like it....though I might just have to have a nip first to test it out myself. :)
Most of the kids went home around 8:30pm, but a few were invited to stay over night. The sleepover went pretty well- we managed to get the kids all asleep by 11:30pm (tho the Dearest did have to sit with them in the loft and use his "daddy voice" once or twice to quiet them down). And they even slept all the way through to 7am this morning without a peep!
Monkey Boy had specifically asked for a Perry-shaped cake and after finding this tutorial at Dabbled and decided to give it a try. My multi-talented friend Lanya came over to help, since I had never worked with fondant on a cake before. She showed me how to knead in the color (hmmm...actually I think she did all of that herself), and how thin to roll out the fondant. Here's our process and the finished result:
A slightly better photo of the finished cake (click for a bigger photo and notes): The kids loved it, especially Monkey Boy! He was super excited to "eat Perry"....working with the fondant wasn't as scary as I thought. Lanya even suggested a marshmallow based fondant that I actually liked the taste of (I'm not usually a fan of the regular fondant). So I might be making more cakes with fondant in the future.
All in all, a succesful party! And look at the 'day after':
Yesterday we went up to the local mountains for the day with the intent to let the kids do some sledding and snow play. We made great time- then we hit the single lane road to Mountain High ski resort and spent an hour creeping along at 3mph. Luckily it looked like everyone was trying to ski because once we went past Mtn. High, there was literally no one on the road and we found an awesome spot to sled and have a picnic. I shot tons of video of the kids (and growups) sledding, so I played with Windows Movie Maker and came up with this:
We had so much fun, can you tell??? Everyone, including the adults, got in on the sledding. Unfortunately the camera battery ran out on us and we couldn't use it for the last hour or so. But the Dearest did get some good photos of the snowball fight:
more photos here
It was a great day- the perfect celebration for Monkey Boy, who turns six today!!!! Can you believe it??? I can't! I remember when he was this little:
And now look at him! My baby is no longer a baby.
It makes me sad, but at the same time MB has turned into such an interesting, fun kid that I'll forgive his growing up. He says the funniest things and has an opinion on *everything*. The kid can talk you into believing the sky is purple if he feels like it. At six years old, Monkey Boy loves:
Six-year-old Monkey Boy is a lively, completely extroverted little boy who makes me laugh and exasperates me daily. I'm so lucky to be his mom, and I'm so glad to see him growing up...so happy birthday Monkey Boy!
our annual Christmas Caroling...done inside because it was raining all week!
Finally time to open some presents on Christmas Eve!
G'ma P and G'pa T
We finished off Christmas day with a delicious filet mignon dinner cooked by the Dearest (no pics because we ate is so quickly!), plus a trip to see some outrageous Christmas lights at a nearby neighborhood. Everyone had their own cup of hot chocolate to sip while we enjoyed the light show. A nice end to a lovely Christmas!
Christmas Eve is the last day before Sneaky Fred flies back to Santa to file his report on the behavior of the small men over the holiday season. Every night, Fred finds a new hidey hole from which to watch the boys. Look at his very last hiding place this year....
(and thank you, Michele, for the funny idea!!!)