Good way to spend September

It’s still pretty hot around here … like in the 80’s kind of hot … like you wonna go to a Farmer’s Market and then play in a fountain kind of hot. So we did. Aria, Christina and I went to this Framer’s Market in Rancho Cucamonga at this shopping center called Victoria Gardens. And it was a beautiful day. Sometimes the boys are crazy and fight and it’s too hot, but not today. It was wonderful. We bought flavored honey sticks (they had rootbeer honey!), strawberries and the best hummus on the planet along with the greatest pita bread. Then we went to the fountain, let the boys run around in it and sat and talked on a bench in the shade with the babies. Dream. come. true. The boys continued playing by running around on the grass once they dried off from the fountain. And we watched and handed out food and water when they ran by. So good. So fun. Such an awesome way to blow a September day, eh? This is Fall around here I guess :)

Honey sticks

Luca turning his honey sticks into, of course, a gun.

Now this is a rare siting … Rocco in a picture.


I blame ridiculous faces like this on Daniel. Daniel makes the same faces when I hold up the camera ….

At least this shows how Noah has lost his two front teeth and his adult teeth are coming in.

Now Luca is just a child model. He is so gorgeous. His luscious lips (which you HAVE to appreciate in person) and the perfect tan skin and deep, dark, brown eyes. He is just so pretty!

you’re welcome.

Then there’s Chiara, who is THE perfect baby. She was sick today. But still beautiful. I look like someone hit me in the face with a frying pan when I’m sick, but Chiara dons sickness a little better than me.

Emily painted her toes for the day.

Thank you Daniel for creating weirdos that don’t know how to pose for a picture …

Enzo, telling me something.

Zacky. He is fun. He embodies what fun is.

He is being a zombie in this picture.

A little chilly with the wind blowing, but it was 84 degrees. It must be so fun to be Zacky. Eating pita bread, running in fountains, being a zombie for a minute. It’s the life basically.

The sun dried tomato hummus. Ben is taking a swipe with pita bread. So yummy.

Nice moves in the water by Liam.

Noah knows how to get air when he jumps. Noah is a fierce player.

Emily got in on the fountain action too. This girl is a thrill seeker!

Ray … not so much of a thrill seeker.

The scene

Cousins. I don’t know if I ever tire of seeing my boys lined up next to their cousins, enjoying life.

The End :) courtesy of the Blackburn boys.

my life in pictures

Well, I’m bummed out. Daniel just left on a plane … again. He keeps doing that. So I sat down with my computer and the only sugar I could find in the house was a bag of somewhat stale red vines and started blogging. I feel sick. The red vines were probably not a good choice.

I have had so much going on, but I’ve been keeping tabs with my camera phone. So here it goes, my life over the past few months (aka “the blur”) in pictures with mild storytelling:

Once upon a time, movers came to pack up my house in two days …

And while they were packing, the boys and I had nowhere to go but our backyard. So that’s where we ate, and played and sat and talked on the phone for two days. In the backyard, mostly on the ground.

And so my house was packed. And we began living out of suitcases in empty houses (both in MI for a few days, then CA for ten days).

We ate sitting on the floor a lot over the span of two weeks.

Before we headed out of MI, Daniel and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary and partied in Ann Arbor for the last time. We of course had to visit the Farmer’s Market.

And Zingerman’s.

And most importantly …. Treasure Mart. One of the coolest consignment shops on the planet. Ahhhhh, look at all that wonderful junk around us. It was an awesome farewell and celebration at the same time (even though Daniel wouldn’t let me buy the $6 globe I wanted for the boys’ room. Yes, only $6!!!! I said I could rearrange our luggage and fit it in, but he made me put it down and walk out of there. big mistake. huge! Who’s with me on this??).

I love him anyways :) I actually adore this man. He’s perfect.

Then the goodbyes commenced. Sad, tearful goodbyes to good people and friends in Michigan. I will not miss Michigan. But I will miss my friends there and my boys’ dear Ordaz boys.

Oh the Ordaz Boys!!

Then goodbyes to Liam’s “Woocus (Lucas)”.

But after goodbyes, there are always loving and happy hellos!!!!!!

The California days with family were underway! Trips with Clarks,

dinner and movies with Ben Rocco and Zac,

Playdates with Emily,

Hanging with Blackburns in downtown Claremont,

and eating ice cream!!

But even with all that good family fun, we had hard work ahead of us in CA. We spent a loooooooong time in an empty house and putting together chairs from IKEA (so we could sit somewhere other than the floor to eat).

We had to do laundry at Christina’s house because we didn’t have our washer or dryer yet. And when you’re doing laundry for little boys, you often times come across the needful things a boy carries around in his pocket.

And while you’re waiting for the movers to bring your stuff, you will probably find yourself at Cost Plus World Market with Christina, picking out a dining room table that is 7 feet long. And you love this table, but then Daniel sees it and says it’s impractical to own a table that big. humph.

Then one day (and this day is 4 days later than you anticipated) … your stuff arrives!!! And you spend the rest of your life unpacking.

(side note: I saw this picture and instinctively started stress eating another piece of stale licorice)

I do not have pictures (thank heavens because it was scary and gross) of the billions and billions of ants that have attacked and re-attacked different parts of our new house. But just know that that is a major part of the story – ANTS. So many ants, that one night I kept having nightmares that they were crawling all over me and didn’t sleep well and woke up about 15 times all night long. So yeah, ants. Major part.

Then it gets hot … like 102 degrees hot. So we went to the fountain and farmer’s market!

And finally …. your Cakes flies in town – Daniel cakes is finally in California!!!!! The joy is short lived however. He only gets to stay for 4 days, then flies back to Michigan all day Thursday, so he can go to Ford for his last day on Friday. He was literally in MI for less than 24 hours, but that meant he was away from me for 2 whole days and that I had to pick him up at 10:45 pm on Friday night. sigh. Ford. grrrrrrr.

But he’s home. yes. Buuuuuut, I only got him for 2 days, because tonight he flew away again on a plane. He is training for Amazon in AZ. He’ll come home in 4 days, then I get him for 3, then he’s gone … again. It’s kind of like having a weekend lover. It’s pretty stupid.

But while we had him this weekend, man, we partied! (I know they don’t look like they have party faces, but these guys were tearing it up in the pool on Saturday. It WAS a party :) )

And we squeezed in a date night! Daniel’s face doesn’t look like he’s enjoying date night, but it wasn’t date night that made his face look this way. It was me taking about 7 pictures to try and get a good one. It never worked, so I went with this picture. Gotta document it – first date night in SoCal!

And that’s the end so far … or really, the beginning.


My Noah … he’s so beautiful right? There are a few quotes that the boys have said recently that have been floating around in my head. Gotta get them written down, here goes:

Noah – Can I have some more bread?

Me – No, you need to finish your soup first.

Noah – awwwwww. But I was going to use it wisely.

While we were at swim lessons last night, Liam looked over at his teacher in a swimsuit, who was getting some papers together before class started. She is not really skinny. And Liam said, “Mommy, look – she must not work out”.

I was talking to Noah after school a few days ago and was asking him about it. He was telling me about recess and this is what he said, “I was trying to play on the slider bar, but this third grader wasn’t playing with it fairly.”

I ask, “So what did you do?”

Noah – “Well, I had to try and work it out. But she didn’t want to work it out and just wanted to go on the slider 3 times in a row! That’s not playing fairly. So I had to go tell a teacher and the third grader had to say sorry for not playing fairly with the slider”.

Noah hears certain phrases and then uses them excessively during a story. It’s funny.

I’m kind of sick right now. Just a summer cold, but annoying and tiring. Our ward had a Relief Society meeting on organization and I couldn’t resist going. I came up with a few things I want to implement into my life, or maybe just new goals now. I’m excited, here they are:

1. The Kids’ Art – I have been putting the boys’ art in sheet protectors and in a 3 rig binder for years now. It’s not easy to access (top of their closet) and the boys never look at their art and some art papers are much bigger than the 8.5×11 sheet protectors I have, so this is what I’m going to do: take pictures of each piece of art and then create a picture book of their art and get it printed in a bound book. That way they can look at it and it takes up less space and any sized art piece will fit :)

2. Clean out under my bed and donate most of it.

3. Church Stuff – I am the Activity Days leader and every other week we have activity nights where I have to bring a bunch of stuff: a binder full of info, paper, stickers, office supplies, our rules and Articles of Faith boards, the articles of faith treasure box of treats thy earn when they memorize one, magazines …. the list goes on, but you can see what I mean. All that stuff has been haphazardly collecting into an old Macy’s bag in the corner of my room and slowly starting to creep into the center of my room. It has been driving me crazy. So! I got an idea of what to do: I got a clear plastic bin that I already had, bought an accordion file folder and got out my label maker. I put all the papers, stickers, binder and magazines in the accordion file folder with labels on each file. Then I put that and all the other items in the plastic bin (in an organized fashion). I am going to keep this box in the back of my car, so it won’t take up space in my house and will always be ready for activity days!

So, that’s what I’ve been working on and thinking about. Now I’ve got to get in the shower (going on day two sans shower) and get dressed so that when Daniel and the boys get home we can run errands as a family to IKEA. I love IKEA. Daniel hates it, but he’s going.


Sooo, it’s been a while since my last entry. That was due to technical difficulties with Daniel’s server and Comcast. Also, I’ve been planning Liam’s blow-out 5th birthday party. But, I’m back. Here’s the latest:

Today is Mother’s Day and Noah just walked up to me and said, “Today must be a pretty unusual day for you. Because usually you cook and people don’t give you cards”. I told him he was right, he continued on, “yeah, people don’t usually wake you up with kisses and hugs either, huh? So, it’s a pretty special and unusual day”. I love him to pieces. What a beautiful soul.

Also, I have been trying to lose weight as of late. For the past month or so, I’ve been trying a bunch of different things and it is awful. I have 20 lbs to lose, to get back to my before pregnancy weight. When I started trying to lose weight about 6 weeks ago, I had about 23 lbs to lose. So, yeah, it’s not been a very quick or rewarding experience.

I did a 1200 calorie diet for a week, and at the end of the week I was exhausted, dizzy and was having headaches everyday. I decided those were bad signs, even though I was losing weight. So then I tried “clean eating” and got a 7 day menu plan, complete with a shopping list and I followed it to the T. I was eating new stuff like plain, nonfat greek yogurt and quinoa. I was having no sugar, little bread, lean meats and lots of fruits and vegetables. I’ve been continuing on that trend for the last few weeks and really liking it.

I am also working out. I already have a gym membership, but my friend, Leslie was convinced I should do this 6:30 am workout class with her. I am not a morning person. It’s genetic. Nothing I can do about it. I really don’t think my body is equipped for functioning before 8 am, but because I really like Les, I agreed to do it with her. Plus, how can a fat person say no to working out? So, I have been doing my regular workouts, plus this early morning workout class.

With all of these healthy changes in my life you would naturally come to a few conclusions: 1. “I’ll bet she’s losing weight!” and 2. “She probably feels stronger and has more energy. At the very least, she must feel better, even if she’s not losing weight!” …. nope. nothing. I feel terrible. I am sore all. the. time. And I don’t know what “good kind of sore is”, but I’m pretty sure it’s not this. I wake up in the mornings and everything aches. The kind of ache like a giant stepped on me and it broke every bone in my body kind of ache. I couldn’t wear high heels to church today because my right knee is out. And I don’t have more energy, because I’m so darn tired. I don’t get it. But I keep at it because I don’t know what else to do. We’ll see. Maybe it’s more of a long term effect …. I’ve only been doing this extra workout class for the past two weeks, so we’ll keep it up a while longer.

Anyway, that’s lately … now I’ve got tons of firsts and bday parties to blog about!!

ombre cupcakes

It’s a new thing. I made it up. I originally wanted these cupcakes to end up looking like layers of pink, but they melded together and ended up kinda cool! I call them “ombre cupcakes” because they fade from dark pink to light pink. It was a successful process, and man I needed today to be successful because yesterday was awful! So yeah for today:

This is the varied colorful batter. I used strawberry cake mix and added red food coloring for the darkest pink, then white cake mix to make the lightest pink batter.

Then plopped the colors by spoonfuls, starting with the darkest pink first, into my cupcake pans.

And this is what we got.

Super cool right??

A dollop of icing and a decorative candy on top and there you have it – Valentine’s Day cupcakes for Noah’s class. I love them.