Friday, July 31, 2009

New Product Alert!

Do you love onion rings? Don't like the hassle of making them? I found these Alexia snacks at the grocery store (and Costco) and they are so good! They are ACTUAL onion rings, okay well strips of onion instead of rings but they taste exactly the same without having the onion fall out of the breading when you bite it. They are crunchy like a chip though. Mmmm. They would be even more awesome with a dip like a blooming onion has. So if you love onion rings you should grab a bag of these next time you're out shopping.
(Nutritional info: 150Cal/8Fat/1Fiber)


Also check out their Waffle Fries. I tried the Bold and Spicy BBQ ones the other night when I found them on BOGO and they definitely lived up to their name. They were extra crunchy and had just enough spice. My only issue with these- there's not enough in a bag to go around! The label claims 5 servings but I was lucky to get 3.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

In the Wild

I decided to take the kids to the zoo this morning. OMG it was hot. Thankfully I had brought my Squeeze Breeze fan with me. I got some looks while using it but I think they were just jealous they didn't think of bringing one! ;) Bella sure appreciated it. Poor baby was sweating and so hot. The boys had little hand held light up fans I bought at Target this week for 90% off. I think they came to maybe 0.28 each. :)

We started our day trying to find some animals out and actually moving around. It was too hot even for them. We walked by an empty rhino exhibit at one point and I had totally forgotten there was a new baby just born to the Indian Rhino 3 weeks ago. So when we looped back around and saw they were out we stopped by again. I did notice some newspeople around filming so I wasn't sure we could get up there but all was okay. There was a guy standing next to us as we were oohing and aahhing over the new baby (sooooo freaking adorable!!) and it ended up that he was with the St Pete Times newspaper. He took some video of the boys and asked me their names and ages and told me to look at the website later today. As it turns out the video is up but we ended up on the cutting room floor. Oh well.
(This pic is actually over by the tigers)
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Back to the baby. She is Adorable- with a capital A. She reminded me of a toddler just following after her mama- even in the way she walked. The handler you see in the video was giving them half of a cantaloupe (we were there to see it) and Mama gobbled it right up. When offered to the baby she pretty much turned her nose up at it and Mama nosed her out of the way to get to it. Mmm treat! The baby is still nursing, she knows what's best! By the way if you go to the LPZ website there's a contest to name the baby!
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After the rhinos we went down another path and right in the middle of the boardwalk under the flume ride where the water sprinkles down was a beautiful black and yellow butterfly. It was drinking? the water off of the boards. I didn't have my SLR with me but I was able to get a decent photo.
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From there we ended up in the Manatee/amphibian/reptile/aquatic exhibits. Ahhh air conditioning! Logan sat on the floor and Bella came over to sit in his lap. Aww. Awkward pic but cute nonetheless. Photobucket
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I had told the boys we'd play in the water area but by the time we got over there the storm clouds were starting to build. We did go see Bundaleer, our new koala bear. I didn't get a good photo though as he was turned away from us sleeping. Turns out they sleep 20 hours each day. I like my sleep but I don't think I could sleep that much! As we made our way over to Africa it started to sprinkle. It felt so nice so we kept going. Got just about to the elephants (near the end) and the thunder started. Most people in FL seem to ignore thunder but I know better and told the kids it was time to go. By the time we got closer to the entrance of the zoo it was raining harder and we ended up pretty darn wet by the time we made it to the car. I had handed one of our beach towels to the boys and when we got to the car, it was gone. Argh. So here I am trying to load 3 kids into carseats in the now pouring rain, load my soaked stroller in the back and trying to keep from getting soaked completely through myself. I did drive around the front of the zoo and my towel was hanging up on some railing. Just as I jumped out of the truck to get it an old man grabbed it to dry himself off! I guess he's the one who found it too and left it hanging. It's a *good* towel so I was happy to get it back.

What a day! I ended up stopping at Little Caesars on the way home for $5 Hot & Ready pizza and Crazy Bread (mmm). I must have looked like a total mess but we were all hungry and I had promised them pizza for lunch today. Hey $8.03 isn't bad for a pizza and 2 bags of CB! The kids were happy. I was happy when naptime came just a half hour later!

More to the story

So my Dad called this morning and he was actually thinking of taking a trip to PA himself this fall/winter. He wants to go the week after Thanksgiving because my Gran's 90th birthday is that week. (Wow. 90 years.) He said we could stay at his cousin's house(she has a donkey farm) and that she has plenty of room for 2 nights and then we'd head to Philly for another night in a hotel. So that would be 3 nights total for hotel instead of 5. It would only knock maybe $200 off the cost though and maybe some food. That would bring the next issue up though- fitting 6 people into my truck. It has a 3rd row but it's too small for an adult. I could maybe put one of the kid's carseats back there though but with the 3rd row up there isn't as much room for luggage and the pack and play I'd have to bring. And once again we'd have to deal with the COLD weather aspect. Yuck. More to think about....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Weighing the Pros and Cons

Dh and I have been obsessing over discussing a trip to Pennsylvania this fall. I'd love to see my family and mostly my Grandma. None of them have met Bella yet. It's been 4 years since we last saw anyone. The trip would cost quite a bit of dough though. Money we really shouldn't spend and would mean us dipping into our small savings account which is scary in this economy (and yes we did decide to wait on Disney passes). The costs of driving up there, food on the way, and hotels would probably be close to $2ooo from what I figured. Maybe more since we'll need to find stuff to do during the day while everyone else is working or maybe slightly less but still costly.

Our plan was to go the week of Thanksgiving but it's so freaking cold then! Average temp is like 46*. Brrr. I'm a Floridian, 70 is chilly! :) So I'd have to add in the cost of cold weather clothing as well. The last time we were up there we brought normal cold weather stuff (jeans, heavy jackets, etc) and the wind seemed to blow right thru it. I'm not so keen on that again! If there isn't snow, then what's the point? So then I started thinking maybe we could go in Sept/Oct. when fall is coming and maybe, just maybe the leaves will be starting to turn colors.

But it all comes back down to the green stuff, moolah, bread, bucks, whatever you want to call it. Oh and Logan and Ian would have to take time off from school. A no-no in my Aunt's eyes! I thought we were getting the entire week off at T-Day but I'm still not seeing it changed on our school board's website so that's 2 days and more if we went earlier this year.

Sigh...I know this trip should be important too. I'm sure my family would be thrilled to see us but I'm not close to them at all. I've seen them maybe 4 times in the past...25+ years? But I feel like I should go see them even though I'd feel awkward. Ugh! Too much stress. It's be cheaper to just do a Disney vacation! LOL Dh had the brilliant idea of just bringing Gran to FL for a week and we'd take her to Disney. haha I actually think it would be a great idea to do a Grand Gathering and have the entire family and all the cousins/cousins kids come down for just that. How much fun would a family reunion at WDW be?!

So even after writing this entire post I still have no clue what to do and now it's after midnight and I need to go to bed. I guess I'll obsess over this some more tomorrow.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Date Day

I actually had a date this morning! Dh and I have been wanting to go see the new Harry Potter movie as we both loved the books and the other movies so I called my mom yesterday to see if she'd come over to babysit. She said she would so this morning dh and I took off for a few hours all by ourselves. It was so nice! After the movie we went over to Moe's ("Welcome to Moe's!") for some lunch. Yum! Every parent needs a bit of adult time with their spouse once in a while IMO.

As for the movie. We were a bit disappointed in it. They left out sooo much and added/changed scenes that really didn't need to be there. Usually a good movie leaves you wondering where the time went. This time I felt like I'd been sitting there for 2.5 hours. :( I just wish they'd stayed truer to the books. Since they did leave stuff out I'm wondering how they are going to make the next 2 movies (1 thick book left so they are splitting it). I'm glad we got to see it though.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Beach Photos

Some of these didn't come out like I wanted but being it was so bright outside I couldn't see the viewing screen and had no idea until I came home.

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Practicing her surf moves
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P.S. I'm still working on editing and using different preset filters.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Beach Baby

I finally have one. Neither of the boys liked the beach when they were little. They hated the sand. Bella loves it.... and the water! Before I get ahead of myself though...

Dh had some cousins come into town that he hasn't seem in probably 13 or more years (and they don't live that far). They wanted to go to the beach so I bought a new beach umbrella/tent (since I'm still burned), went grocery shopping and packed as much as possible on Saturday. This morning we took off with my BIL/SIL (future) following us and headed to Coquina Beach down in Bradenton. It's a really nice family beach. Our families always took us there as kids. This was Bella's first trip to an actual beach on the Gulf. Dh's cousin, his cousin's teenage nephews (1st cousins once removed?), our niece Christina and MIL all met us there too.

We got there and started setting up and Bella took to the sand and toys like she'd been doing it forever. Dh took her out to the water while I sat in my wonderfully shady tent and when he came back he said she loved it- all except for the waves that crashed into her face- can't say I blame her there. She giggled when he jumped the waves. Logan got right in too and would go further and further past my comfort level at times. He's not a strong swimmer so I kept calling him back or making sure someone else was with him. There was a yellow warning out which is moderate surf and currents. I didn't have to worry about Ian so much. He stayed at the shoreline building sand castles or helping the other boys out. He's not a water boy...yet.

The rest of the day was spent jumping waves, digging holes and filling them, burying Uncle Franky, and chasing waves. Bella was right in the thick of it. She's Little Miss Independent all right. Ian eventually got into the water somewhat. He laid down and let the little waves wash over him. A couple of times someone would try to take him out further and he'd cling to them like white on rice. Silly boy.

Around 3:30ish or so it started to thunder so I told dh it was time to pack it up. I live in FL and I know what thunder means. If you can hear it, there's lightning close by as well. It was amazing to me that so many people stayed and more were arriving. By the time we packed everything up and left it was getting very dark. It rained off and on while driving home but things got really bad as we got closer to our area of town. It was so bad that I could barely see the road and I ended up in an exit only lane for an exit I didn't want to get off of! To top it off it was a toll road but we were able to bypass it. The storm was B.A.D. It was like white out conditions (or what I imagine them to be) for a while. At one point I started freaking out inside because the water had puddled up next to the median and I didn't realize until I went thru it and although I slowed down and my windshield wipers were on high the water was sheeting over my windshield so much that I could not see anything!! I didn't know if I was going to drift into the next lane and hit someone or hit the median on the other side of me. OMG. Thankfully we made it home in one piece. What a day!

I'm still not a huge fan of the beach. I hate the sand getting all over me, I hate when people get sand all over my blanket and my skin hates the sun. I'm still burned and maybe burned on top of burned and I'm peeling on top of that! LOL It was nice to watch the kids but also hard to watch them. They went in three different directions! I don't think it will be something I venture out to do by myself anytime soon. There's just no way I could relax or even sit in the shade trying to keep up with those three! Pics to come tomorrow!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Ouch

OMG my shoulders hurt. Just the thought of putting a bra on is painful. Bella keeps wanting up and puts her hands on my shoulders or pulls on my shirt. Yowie! Burn, burn go away!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Yowie! I'm a lobster!

I'm feeling a bit crispy at the moment and I'm sure it won't feel much better in the morning. Our friend Karen invited the playgroup to her community pool to swim this morning. We were the only ones to go but we all had a lot of fun. Logan rediscovered he could swim this past Saturday in a jacuzzi and he was swimming and diving a ton today in the pool. Ian barely got in the water (need to get that boy into lessons asap!). He played on the steps mostly. And Bella stayed with me on my lap as I sat on the steps. I dunked her a few times and had her hold onto me while I kicked her feet behind her just like Mr. Thom, our now-moved-away swim instructor used to do to the boys and she didn't mind too much which surprised me because she hates getting her face wet. Most of the time she just sat happily with me though.

Sitting on the steps wasn't a great idea. I totally forgot sunscreen on my legs and they are quite red from mid-thigh to my knees. My shoulders are also red and I DID put sunscreen on. I put on some spray this morning and it seemed kind of oily like it was bad or something so I wiped it off and put some SPF50 lotion on. I thought I'd be okay but I was wrong! Ugh. I don't know what happened. I only put SPF15 on my face and it's fine. So all night now I'm been lotioning, diaper creme'ing and vinegaring my lobster red body. I'll try it all at this point.

The kids were SPF'd up too and Logan only got a little pink. Thankfully they all got daddy's Puerto Rican skin and they tan nicely. The biggest issue today for Logan was his eyes. I guess the chlorine in the pool really got to him and his eyes were burning terribly when we got home. I tried saline but getting him to hold his eyes open is impossible. He did say the funniest thing tonight though. When DH got home Logan was telling him about swimming. And he came out with, "... but it hurt my eyes, there are invisible tentacles in the water!" LMAO. So cute! Next time, he'll wear goggles. We wouldn't want any more tentacles getting in his eyes!

Burned or not, I'm just glad we got out of the house and the kids all had fun. I don't think I'll be headed out in the sun for a few days though. Sunburn + more sun= more pain! No thank you!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Testing

Feel free to ignore... I've been playing with my new photo program Adobe Lightroom 2 and wanted to put some before and after pics on the web for a friend to critique.

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Vintage Ads

These aren't your ordinary vintage ads. These have been named the 15 creepiest vintage ads. Check 'em out!
http://www.retrocomedy.com/2009/07/15-creepiest-vintage-ads-of-all-time.html

Seriously...check out #6 and click on it to make it bigger. Lysol?! Really?!!

#2 is pretty darn creepy too. I remember Baby Soft but I don't remember this ad.

I'm thinking these rank right up there with that Burger King ad.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Rest in Peace MJ

Despite all the controversy over your life you were a musical genius, an awesome entertainer and a pop icon. You really did help heal the world and make it a better place. You brought all races, religions and classes together with your music. You were known the world over for your charitable works and you will be sorely missed. You were truly gone too soon. We will miss you Michael Jackson and I hope that you are at peace now in Heaven. Regrettably I never got to see you perform in person but maybe one day I'll have that opportunity. Rest in peace.

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Another Disney Dilemna

If we buy our passes by July 31st, we save 10% on passes. What to do...what to do? 10% is about $135 off a FL res pass. That's a good chunk of change.

If we wait until next year or after no doubt the price will have gone up as they always do. Ugh.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Our morning started out hot and humid. For the 4th year in a row, we headed over to our town's Independance Day parade. It's always hot, sweltering hot and humid but we always have a good time and bring home a ton of necklaces (over 60 this year), flags (11) and candy, candy, candy. Today was no exception. Every once in a while there was a slight breeze and I had plenty of cold water on hand and misty fans to keep cool.

This year we were lucky in that we met up with a couple of friends and hung out with them (thank you Karen for sharing your shade tent!). Before the parade we were able to walk down the block and get a free bicycle helmet for Ian thru the local All Children's Hospital as well. Very nice because he needed one. I also learned how to properly use it.

Here are a few pics of our morning:
Our group
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Yes, that's a real helicopter!
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Shriner clowns
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Hot and sweaty baby
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R2D2
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All the kiddos minus Bella
L-R:Trey,Shawn, Logan, Evan, Ian, Zane, Joshua

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After we came home and showered we headed off to MIL's house for some food. She has no A/C and I dread going over there- especially on a hot July day. Ugh. To top it off she smokes in her home when there is noone over and it reeks. It's disgusting. I love her to death but I hate going over there. We stayed for about 2 hours and I'd had enough. Bella was tired and I was HOT. Came home, took another shower and bathed all the kids AGAIN, put Bella to bed and got the boys in their pj's. About 8:40pm I sent dh and the boys off to the mall area to watch the fireworks while I sat here and blogged and then watched the Macy's fireworks in HD on the big screen. Ahh fireworks in the air conditioning. LOL They just walked back in the door and poor Ian missed the whole thing. He fell asleep in the car. He's exhausted. In fact, while sitting here watching the fireworks with them on tv, I just looked over and he's asleep again. Off to bed he goes!

Friday, July 03, 2009

I want to go back

To Disney that is. I've been listening to Live365.com's Disney stations and dh was playing some of our home videos for the kids tonight. I still read the DISboards. Bella is getting to be at the right age to be fascinated by the rides and the fireworks and of course soon it will be the Princesses and other characters. She was watching some YouTube video with me and loved Mickey and Minnie Mouse and she always loves seeing the castle at the beginning of every Disney movie. It has only been a few months since we've been and yes, we've been 50x before if not more but unless you are a Disney nut like me you won't get this post. You won't understand the pull of Disney. We find something new each and every time we go. There are still rides the kid's haven't done and shows they haven't seen.

Anywho, dh came up with a good idea tonight. He said we should take our tax money next year and get passes again. Woohoo! I knew there was a reason I married him. ;) We would bring lunch though and do a lot of refilling water bottles or getting c/s free water. For this to come from him was a huge surprise as he's been the one so gung-ho on spending less. I know he loves Disney just as much as I do and I think he misses it too.

Then he said, well maybe we should get them in September and just pay ourselves back with the tax money. Hmm on one hand, I really, really, really want to go but then the practical side of me says just wait. It's so hard being a responsible adult sometimes. Either way I'm sure we'll be talking about it more before we make a decision. In the meantime I'll keep listening to the sounds and music of the park thru the Live365.com stations and remembering all that I love about Disney.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

4 more!

Poor Bella just got at least 4 more teeth- all her canines and all at the same time. I guess the teething necklace I bought her did some good because while there were a few times she was crankier than usual, they were usually the times I forgot to put the necklace on her. Of course she did have other cranky times but for getting 4 teeth all at once she's been remarkably happy. Getting a picture of those teeth is impossible with all her wiggling though. You'll just have to wait for that one. :)

Bittersweet

My baby girl has weaned herself. Little Miss Independent (15 months) has decided she no longer wants her Mama milk and has been quite adamant about it. I tried and I tried to persuade her but she'll have nothing to do with it now. sigh... She's so different than the boys were. Neither of them weaned until age 2+ and that was only because I was pregnant at the time. I feel partly like I failed somehow but I know she's just a different child and more independent.

So now instead of nursing in the morning and before bed, we cuddle. Our glider chair (although quite beaten up and in desperate need of new cushion covers- anyone want to sew some for me?) is finally getting the use it was meant for. The boys love to cuddle too but they were never *rockers*. We used the chair to read books and that was about it. Now I hold her and she lays her head on me and I sing and say a prayer to her as we rock at night. I rock her a bit before naptime too. I'm treasuring these moments because I know she's going to grow up so fast and it's quite possible (and almost for sure) that she'll be my last baby. :'( I'm going to have to hope that 14 months of nursing was enough and that she got the very best from it.