The Last Dance

For her 3rd birthday in January, Kate's birthday present was dance classes.
It seems like just yesterday that it was her first dance class!
Her last dance class was this past Tuesday.
And, can you believe it....I LEFT MY CAMERA AT HOME!
(And, I left my purse at home along with Claire's shoes. It was one of those days....)

Anyways, thank goodness for Becky, she is a responsible mom & brought her camera & I got these pictures from her! Thanks Becky!
The dance studio puts on a recital for all the students in June, but we decided not to do the recital for a few reasons.
1. The costumes for the recital were about $75
2. The "matching" tap shoes for the recital were an additional $30
3. The recital tickets are $10 a pop & each family has to buy at least 4 tickets.
4. Knowing Kate's personality, chances are that she would get stage fright & not even go on stage during the recital. And, if that happened, I would be so, so annoyed that I spent all that money for nothing!

We decided to save ourselves some money & stress and just pull her out of dance the month before the recital. Plus, she is only 3 years old & has no idea that there is even a recital that she is missing out on! (And, it helped that Becky & I decided to do the same thing & Maddie wasn't doing the recital either)
Because it was her last day of dance, Kevin left work early to come watch part of the dance class & see Kate in "action". The girls did a practice run through of the dance that they learned.
(Kate didn't really remember much of it)
Twice during the "performance" Kate pretended to trip & fall.
As she did this she shouted out, "Oops, I fell!"
TWICE. She did this twice.
I wish I had a video of it. But, oh yeah, I forgot the video camera at home also. (Mom of the year, right here!)

Here are Maddie & Kate with their teacher Miss Ashley.
She was so great with the girls & has a lot of patience!
(Oh man, I just realized I didn't get Miss Ashley a thank you gift or anything. I think you are supposed to do that, right? Oops. Another Mommy Fail right there. Sorry Miss Ashley!)
I asked Kate after her class if she liked ballet or tap better.
(The first half of class is tap & the last half is ballet)
Kate said she likes tap because it is noisy and that ballet is boring. ha!
She also told me she isn't sad that dance class is over & that she wants to do "hymnastics and somersaults" instead. (That is Kate-speak for gymnastics).

It appears that Kate's dancing days are over (for now). I'll ask her next year if she wants to try dance again.
Good thing "So You Think You Can Dance" has started for the summer.
I LOVE that show and I've got to get my dance fix in somehow!


Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding

Want an easy & yummy dessert recipe that is perfect for the summer months and that doesn't require using the oven?

Well, here you go! It is also a perfect recipe for kids to help with. Kate LOVES helping me cook, bake, etc. I have found that on days where I include her with cooking, she is in a much better mood. And, when she helps me make something, she is more inclined to eat it (she is a VERY picky eater).
I had this banana pudding a few years ago & I just had to have the recipe!

Turns out it is a Paula Deen recipe. I don't know about you, but I love Paula Deen.

In fact, it was exactly one year ago that Kevin & I were in the South trying to go to her restaurant!

Since it is a Paula Deen recipe, you know it tastes good, but it isn't good for you!

I tweaked this recipe slightly to try and make it have fewer calories. I mean, it's bathing suit season people!

Here is what you need for Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding:
- 2 packages of Pepperidge Farm Chessman Cookies
- 1 (5oz) package of instant vanilla pudding
- 1 container of Cool Whip, thawed (I used Cool Whip Lite)
- 1 (8oz) package of cream cheese, softened (I used less fat cream cheese)
- 1 can of Sweetened Condensed milk (the original recipe calls for the whole can, I only use half)
- 2 cups of milk (I used non-fat milk)
- 4-6 bananas, sliced (depending on how many bananas you like)

Step 1:
Layer 1 package of the cookies into a 9x13 pan
Step 2:
Slice your bananas
Step 3:
Layer the bananas on top of the cookies
(I had Kate do this for me)

Step 4:
In a bowl, mix the 2 cups of milk with the instant vanilla pudding. Mix until well blended.
Step 5:
In a new bowl, mix the cream cheese & sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Then, fold in the cool whip.
Step 6:
Add the pudding mixture to the cream cheese/cool whip mixture. Stir until well blended.
Step 7:
Pour the mixture over the cookies/bananas.
Step 8:
Have your helper spread the mixture evenly over the bananas.
Step 9:
Layer the 2nd package of cookies on top.
Sneak a lick of the mixture when you think no one is looking.
All layered up & ready to go in the fridge!
Step 10:
Put the dish in the fridge for 4-6 hours
Step 11:
Eat & Enjoy!
Both girls loved this dessert...it has bananas & low fat ingredients, so that makes it "healthier" right?
Claire kept saying, "More, More"
You will lick your plate (or your fingers) clean!
I may or may not have had a big serving of this last night while watching the season finale of The Biggest Loser. And, I didn't feel guilty at all...not one bit!


Scaredy Dog

Our poor yellow lab is having a hard time adjusting to our new house.
You see, our new house is a two story house, but the stairs are hardwood.
Apparently, Boulder is a scaredy dog & won't go DOWN the stairs (unless Kevin is carrying her)
She goes up them just fine, but is too scared to come down them.

She will sit at the top of the stairs whimpering & shaking. It is quite sad.

Our old house was 2 stories, but the stairs had carpet.
We think she is scared of slipping down the stairs because they are hardwood?!?
Kevin has been carrying her downstairs, but this weekend he decided to try and train her to walk down the stairs.

He tried putting a few pieces of her dog food on each stair to entice her down the stairs (if you have a lab, you know that they love food & will eat anything in sight). But, this didnt really work for Boulder at first, she stood there shaking & whining.
Finally, after 20 minutes & a lot of dog kibble later, she finally walked down the stairs.
Kate was there cheering her on.
Go Boulder, Go!
But, I wouldn't call it success, because that is the only time she did it.
She went back upstairs later on yesterday afternoon & didn't come back downstairs until Kevin carried her down to take her out to go potty.
Same thing today.... I had to carry her downstairs when I got home from school so that she could go to the bathroom.
It is so pathetic (but funny at the same time).
Looks like we don't have a very effective watch dog, but instead we have a high maintenance scaredy dog.


Laundry FAIL.

It's embarrassing how often I do this:

Start a load of laundry, then put it in the dryer.

Forget about it and then 3 days later discover semi-wet (smelly) clothes in the dryer.
(Because my dryer is old, it takes more than one cycle to dry everything)

Oh, the smell of your clothes when this happens...one of the worst smells ever!

Then, I have to re-wash the clothes because no amount of dryer sheets will get rid of that mildewy/damp clothes smell. *shudder*

I would like to make the excuse that I am busy with unpacking & that is why I forgot about the damp clothes in the dryer, BUT considering I do this about once a month, I can't make that excuse.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this....



We are officially living in our new house!
Our first night sleeping there was Saturday night.
The first night there our court had a block party!
We got to meet all our new neighbors, our court has 10 families on it and it ranges from older/retired couples to young families. There are 8 kids under the age of 5 (including my girls).
And, there are a handful of elementary & middle school aged kids.
Everyone is so nice & everyone looks out for each other. We felt very welcomed.
We still have A LOT of unpacking to do.
I am a bit overwhelmed with all of the boxes & stuff that is all over my house. It is really hard to unpack with 2 little girls running around! I am going to take a day off work this week to get things in our house organized because right now it is pure chaos!
The first night we slept there, we were about to put Kate to bed & she said,
"Wait! We have to take a picture on our new porch"
At our old house, I would take pictures on the porch for special occasions....Halloween, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.

It made me smile that Kate thought of this as a special occasion & reminded me that we needed a picture on the porch documenting the first night in our new place (Claire was already in bed)
Kate is so excited about our new house & so are we.
Of course, moving into a new house means new discoveries about that house.
We have "discovered" a lot about this house in the last 2 days.
- Our pool has a leak (which we knew before we bought it)
- The laundry room water line has a leak
- The girls bathroom shower has a MAJOR leak that goes through the ceiling
- The ice maker leaks every time you open the freezer door
- None of the power outlets in Kate's room work
- Our phone line is out, so we don't have phone or internet until tomorrow (I am mooching internet from our neighbors at the moment)
- Our cell phones drop calls in our house

So needless to say, we are THANKFUL we bought the home warranty! I have a feeling we are going to get a lot of use out of it! The plumber is coming out tomorrow & the electrician is coming later this week.

Despite the little issues we have discovered about the house, there are a ton of great things about the house & we are so thankful to be living here!

I can't wait to show you all the new house...I will be posting Before & After pictures once we get settled and finish our house projects!


San Diego, Sleepovers & Shoes

On Saturday morning , I headed down to San Diego for the day for my friend Heather's baby shower.
Heather lives in Nor Cal by me, but she grew up in San Diego, so a few of us from Nor Cal flew down for her shower. Southwest had amazing deals for $39 each way, so that was my Mother's Day present!
Tegan, Julie, Amanda {Heather's sister in law}, Heather & me!

The shower was beautiful & held at the home of one of Heather's mom's friends.
Every little detail was perfect. Look at the beautiful table. How cute are the hanging lampshades?
Heather asked me to type up some menus & I thought they turned out really cute!
The food was amazing!
All of the shower guests:
We got our tickets in February, so it was before we even considered moving. And, of course it just so happened to be the weekend we got the keys to our new house! ha! I am glad I still went because I had a great time even though it was a really quick trip, I was only gone 14 hours! Thank you to Kevin who watched the girls all day Saturday so that I could go!

And, I have an update to the SHOE saga!
On Saturday when I was in San Diego, Kevin had a talk with Kate about the shoes.
He even showed her the pictures on the blog & they talked about how worn out they were & that maybe she could wear some different shoes every once in a while. Kate happily agreed & on Sunday morning (Mother's Day) I let her decide what shoes she wanted to wear. She picked a different pair! And, when she put them on, she said that they were really comfortable.

So, this week, I took Kate to Target & let her pick out some new shoes.
Here is what she picked out:
And, she hasn't worn her pink flower shoes since then. The past few days she has worn these converse that she got for her birthday:
She likes these shoes because she "can run fast" in them.
And, you will be proud of me....I even bought her purple clothes instead of pink!
And, I will be saving the old pink shoes, I am putting them in a box with all her special baby stuff that I have saved.
And, don't let this cute face fool you, she is a sneaky little girl.
As I was getting dinner ready for the girls yesterday (chicken nuggets) Kate kept asking me for a cookie.
I said, "Not now, you can have one after dinner"
I put Claire in her high chair & turned around & Kate was nowhere to be found.
I opened the door to my parents kitchen pantry & there was Kate sitting on a stool eating a cookie!!!
I couldn't believe it! Totally caught her red handed.
I made her spit it out (and, I must admit, I was laughing inside because it was just so funny, but I didn't let her see me laugh).
She got a time out & we had a big discussion on obedience & obeying Mommy & Daddy.
This was the first time she had blatantly disobeyed me like that.
I hope this isn't the beginning of a new trend of her being sneaky...I want my little girl to stay sweet & innocent!


10 on 10 :: May 2010

10 on 10 : Take a photo once an hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of each month. Document a snapshot of your life and find beauty among the ordinary things of your day.

I can't believe it is already May 10 ! That means it is birthday month for Kevin and I!
It was fun for me to look back at my 10 on 10 from April because that is the day we moved out of our house & started living with my parents. So, we have officially been living here for exactly 1 month. And, 1 month ago, we didn't know where our next home would be! One month later, we have closed on that house & we are hopefully moving in this weekend (we are getting some work done on the house before we move in). And, in 1 month school will be out..I can't WAIT!

So, without further ado, here is my 10 on 10 for May 2010:

Today, I gave my students their placement test for next year's math class.
I bet you wish you were able to take the Algebra Readiness Test!
.After school, I had to run by our new house because it was pouring rain today (what is up with all this rain we are having!?) Kevin and I left the upstairs windows open over the weekend to air out the house. Well, I was too late. There was TONS of rain & water that already got in the house. Here are the shutters with water all over them. And, there was a nice puddle on the floor also...Bummer!
Sneak peak of the kitchen at our new house. I can't wait to use this Viking Range! *squeal*
This invitation was in our mailbox. Our new court has block parties once a month & the one for May is this Saturday. It is a Quince de Mayo (15th of May) Party. I think we are going to fit right in to our new neighborhood!
Kate (still in her pj's) during lunch. She demanded Honey Nut Cheerios for lunch. I gave in.
My mom's Mother's Day flowers:

I am obsessing/trying to figure out the right shade of pink for Claire's room.
I don't want it to be too bright or have too much of a purple tone.
I have it narrowed down to a few choices, but feel free to let me know if you have a good pink paint color!
Dinner is served...Taco Soup, Cornbread & whipped honey butter.
A perfect meal for this rainy day in May!
Let me know if you did 10 on 10 this month, I would love to check out your set of pictures!


Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet New Home.
Home is where the heart is.
There's no place I'd rather be.


These Shoes...

...have been worn every.single.day since February 7th
(Except one day last week when we couldn't find them in the morning, but don't worry...they were found under a pile of dirty laundry before dinner and she put them on right after we found them. Crisis averted.)

If you don't believe me (or have some free time on your hands) feel free to look through every post of mine since February 7th & you will see Kate wearing these lovely shoes.

I got Kate these {high quality} pink dress shoes from Target for just $10
(a picture of the shoes brand new)

So, if I calculate correctly, she has gotten a good "cost per wear" out of these shoes.
Since she has worn them for about 90 days & they were only $10, it is about 11 cents per wear.
(One of Kevin's favorite things to to is calculate "cost per wear" on clothing/shoes)

To say that Kate is obsessed with these shoes is an understatement.
She totally freaks out they are missing or if I suggest she wears a different pair of shoes.
If you are friends with us or have seen Kate for the past few months, you will have noticed these shoes because they are in rough shape. Really rough shape. I don't think the pictures do them justice. She wears them with everything...jeans, pants, skirts, dresses, pajamas. All that matters to Kate is that she wears her pink flower shoes.
I told her on Sunday that it was going to be the last day she wore those shoes because they were too worn out. She had a mini meltdown & all day she told us how sad she was about her shoes. (manipulation much?!)
The past week she has been complaining that they hurt her feet.
But, that doesn't stop her...they are still the only pair of shoes she will wear!

So, it is time for an intervention and for these shoes to go in the trash.
I took her to Target to pick out a pair of new shoes & she wouldn't even try any on.
She said I could get Claire a pair of shoes instead. *sigh*
I did buy her a pair of sandals because summer is coming & these pink shoes just won't cut it anymore. But will she wear them? No.
I am picking my battles with her lately & letting this shoe drama go, but it I think it is time to nip this one in the bud.
Any tips or advice on how to get rid of this shoe issue would be much appreciated!


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