Friday, July 31, 2009

Dance Recital

Well tonight was the Dress Rehersal for the dance recital. It was the only night that we are allowed to take pictures and videos. So hubby was armed with the camera and I did the video camera. I was backstage most of the show helping the girls but came out to film during their dance.

A few days before the show I practiced putting make up on Aly and took some pictures of her with both costumes on. KK didn't want to have anything to do with putting make up on or trying her costume on.

The blue costume is supposed to be a Sailor Girl and they dance to the song Grand Ole Flag.

For this Dorothy costume they dance to the song Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

KK is in the picture on the left standing right next to the director who is the lady in orange pants. In the second picture on the right Aly is standing to the left of the director right next to her butt.

This video is their first dance to Somewhere Over the Rainbow. We were surprised that KK actually went out on stage to dance. She starts out on the right group, top row, third person from left. A minute in to the video you will see her jump off the top row and walk off only to have one of the helpers drag her back to her spot. It was pretty funny actually. Aly is in the middle group and starts out in the bottom row second person from the left. She is so fun to watch because she takes it so seriously. She works really hard at doing each step right. She looks just precious!

In this dance KK wouldn't go out of stage. Poor girl after she saw everybody start dancing she changed her mind but they wouldn't let her go. Aly is in the middle again. She is to the right of the dark tan girl with dark hair that is a really good dancer.

Well Aly had fun for sure and is looking forward to doing it again. We are not sure if KK will be dancing on stage again. Due to the poor quality of these videos I may buy the dvd the studio will sell but KK might not be in it. I think they only film the weekend shows and I don't know if KK will end up dancing.

Dance Mom

First of all can I just say it is much easier to be a soccer mom than it is to be a dance mom!!! I swear I haven't been this stressed out since I was working! Not only has dance been far more expensive than soccer but it is a ton more work and you better be a domestic diva or you are out of luck!

We joined dance last January and thought we were just signing up for some fun. Little did we know this is a very professional studio with an amazing reputation. By March we learned that the girls could be in a dance recital the first weekend in August. We thought it would be so cute. At that point it was only Aly in dance but KK had been begging to go. In April we let KK give it a try. I wasn't sure she was quite ready but the dance instructor said she would be fine.

Once the summer started things got really serious, really quick! We started having extra practices and rehearsals. The girls were already getting tired. Mom's were expected to volunteer two times out of five events but I got signed up for four times. I am guessing because they felt like KK needed her mom as a backstage mom!

I volunteered at the two practice rehearsals. I was supposed to have another mom to help me with the 8 girls but both times no one was on the schedule and the schedule was not being monitored. You know both of the classes have more than enough parents to volunteer but so many moms are just not stepping up to the plate. This has been so frustrating for me. The studio isn't even putting pressure on the moms that aren't volunteering. You know what's worse, they are asking the mom's that are already committed to two times volunteering, to pick up the slack and volunteer an extra day. Seriously, I feel bad for some of those mom's that are really frustrated with all the extra volunteering, and what the heck, how can the mom's that haven't even volunteered not feel guilty? Seriously some people I just don't get!

Now I am coming to the part of all the extra work. First of all we need two costumes. One for the ballet dance and one for the tap dance. Our fist dance is Somewhere Over the Rainbow. The girls will be wearing sparkly Dorothy dresses. They will have their hair in low pig tails with Dorothy bows. Do you know what the worst part is? They have to have red Dorothy slippers. The studio picked out these totally cheesy covers that go over the ballet slipper. You guessed it, because they are made so poorly they won't even stay on. So now we are told to either hot glue gun them on our ballet slippers or tack them on! I chose to tack them on in hopes that I can salvage the slippers after the recital. If I hot glue gunned them on I would never be able to take them off.

Our second costume is a sparkly blue sailor outfit for the tap dance routine to Grand Ole Flag. On this costume we need to tack the waist ribbon down, tack the sailor collar down, and try to figure out how to get all the wrinkles out of the tulle!

Now comes the hard part the day of the show. Our show is an hour and 15 minute drive away! They want our girls to come dressed in their tights, with their make up and hair done. Seriously, my four year old would not keep her hair in pig tails during that drive and even if she did, it would be a huge mess by the time we got there. So I am going to break the rules and wait until we get there to do everything. We are supposed to be there 45 minutes early and our dance isn't until number 6. So in 45 minutes time before the show even begins I am pretty confident I can get both girls ready. KK doesn't even want to wear make up and honestly, we don't even know if she is going to put on her costume and dance. At this point she doesn't want to. So I will focus on Aly first and do KK second. That way KK can see all the other girls getting all fancy and it will give her time to consider it. Plus she finds the costumes really itchy so the less time she has to wear it the better.

Man soccer was far less work! All I had to do was bring snack twice! Oh well, hopefully the girls will wow me on stage and it will make it all worth it!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Aly Can Swim

Last Wednesday at swim lessons Aly finally was able to swim. I swear it was like riding a bike for her, she just decided one day she was ready and she let herself do it! She even swam the length of the pool. I don't have any pictures yet or video but I will eventually. Just so you know she does not like her face in the water so she swims with her head above the water...kind of like her mom and grandma from what I have heard! I will try hard to get pics and video in the next week. Congratulations Aly we are so proud and so happy for you!

Local Swap Meet Not so Good

So this morning a friend and I decided to try and sell more of our baby and toddler items at the swap meet. We both slept horrible last night. She only got like 45 minutes of sleep and I got about 3 hours. We both had a hard time sleeping due to the children waking up and stressing out over not waking up to the alarm, if we had everything we needed, etc. We ended up leaving my house around 4:50 a.m. We made it down to the swap meet by 5:15 and there were plenty of spots to choose from. Since today would be a hot day we picked a spot that would get plenty of shade. This was our second time selling so we are learning a bit more with each time.

We shared a spot which costs ten dollars so it is nice to be able to split the cost. All the blue bins and the black infant car seat was mine and the rest was hers. It was such a dead day!!! Nobody was there. There was never a rush. It was very slow but I guess the good news was we got to have mostly uninterrupted conversation! I only made $40 and I spent $7 so really I came home with $33. I think Meghann made around $50 and she was a good girl and didn't spend anything!

We heard from people that do it regularly that the best time to come is the first or second Sunday of the month. The good news for me is that all my stuff is now nicely separated in bins so I can easily just pack them in the car. However, due to our busy schedules I don't think we will be able to make it out again until the first weekend in October! Crazy huh! After that whatever is left will be donated.

I bet I will sleep really well tonight! Let's hope the kids do too!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

KK loves getting her picture taken now

So many times when we are out and about now KK will ask me to take a picture of her. Sometimes it is with an object or scenery, and other times she just wants to make a big smile for the camera. Some of the latest pictures I have taken of her have turned out really well. A few weeks ago we were at Old Navy and she thought the mannequin's were so beautiful! It was so cute. She begged me to take a picture of her standing next to the mannequin.

I wonder if she thought that mannequin should be her mommy?
For some reason while we were at gymnastics she thought it would be fun to get her picture taken. Look how cute her smile is!

Yet another picture she asked me to take. I am just loving that she wants her picture taken now. I guess that means trying to take pictures of the girls at Christmas will be a lot easier this year. It used to stress me out big time and take a few days of trying to get a good picture of both of them!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Aly got a new haircut

Last night Aly was irritated with her very long hair. Yes her very long hair that both Daddy and Mommy love but it isn't about what we want is it? We want to raise Aly and KK letting them have control over their own "look." So this morning when she woke up and was still adamant over getting her hair cut I asked her how she wanted it. She said she wanted it short. So I told her we could look through some Internet pictures of children's haircuts. She picked out a picture she liked with a girl with a layered bob hair cut. It was cute. So I emailed hubby the picture, printed it out for the hair stylist, and left to go let Aly get her haircut.

When KK saw Aly getting a haircut she wanted one too. She has never had her haircut at a salon. So I let her but told the hair stylist to just take off a little and even it out. She didn't care how they cut her hair, she just wanted a hair cut like her big sister!

Aly feels so pretty with her new haircut. We went to Claire's afterwards and bought some headbands. She chose this cute rainbow headband.

Monday, July 13, 2009

What kind of bug is this?

We are having a great time finding bugs in our yard this year. I am very proud of Aly not being scared of them and having a great time catching and observing all type of wildlife in our yard. Many times she lets them go right away or within a few hours. The other day while getting the BBQ ready to grill I found this bug on the grill. I called Aly and hubby over right away. Of course Aly wanted to hold it. It sure looks like a giant cricket but do you know what is weird? It can change its color when it goes to different surroundings. When it was on the BBQ it was much darker in color. When it was on the cement it was pale. So if you happen to know what this is please do tell us, leave a comment!

Baking my own sandwich rolls

Wow, it only took me three tries but I finally got it right! I have never made my own bread before so I needed to experience a learning curve. The first try my yeast was bad. The second try I didn't let it rise enough, but by the third try I had it right!

Here is try number three. I made whole wheat sandwich rolls and brushed them with garlic olive oil and added italian herbs. Check out my sandwich. It was so good!

I made them again today and used some flour I bought from costco. It says it is unbleached flour with whole grains and has all the same nutritional value as whole wheat. They were so yummy! Now I need some company to come over and try out my sandwich rolls! Here is the recipe I am using if you want to give it a try:
2 1/2 teaspoons dry instant yeast
1 1/3 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey, molasses, or maple syrup
3 1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour (more if needed)
1/4 cup nonfat dried milk
1 1/4 teaspoon salt

Place all ingredients in the container of your bread machine, or into the bowl of a heavy duty mix master. For bread machine follow the instructions for making dough. For mix master, mix with a spoon until dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Now using the dough hooks knead dough for 6 to 8 minutes or until it becomes smooth and supple. Place dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover and place in a warm place rises and becomes puffy about 60 minutes. Dough may not double in size this is ok. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled surface and shape into a log about 8 1/2 inches long. Place log into a bread pan, cover loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow bread to rise for 1 hour or until crowned about 1 inch above edge of pan. Bake bread in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes, or it sounds hollow when thumped on bottom of loaf.

I actually didn't have any dried milk so I made the recipe without it. Since I was doing sandwich rolls instead of bread I divided the mixture into six balls and stretched out the dough to form the rolls. I then brushed them with olive oil and added italian herbs. I baked them at 375 degrees for twenty minutes.

A Day trip to the beach

Hubby and I love the beach, in fact if we could afford it we would live at the beach and raise the girls. Since that is not reality for us we try and go to the beach as often as we can which unfortunately only turns out to be about 3-4 times a year. Hubby has been wanting to take a day trip to the beach but I have always been a bit hesitant. I don't like driving in the car on trips. So for us a day trip to the beach could be around 5-6 hours round trip.

Hubby finally convinced me to give it a try. I was still considering a one night trip but paying for a hotel at summer rates just wasn't in our budget. So we got up early Friday morning and left for the beach. When we got to San Francisco the fog was heavy and it was very cold. So we decided to go ahead and use the free zoo tickets I had and take the girls to the zoo.

The girls had so much fun climbing on all of the statues and they insisted that I take their picture on everything! Finally KK is happy to have her picture taken and she actually poses!

It was quite chilly that day. We all had to wear sweatshirts.

Have you seen the lions at the San Francisco zoo? Man that male lion is so big, sure makes me scared. They let you see him close up too since they used Plexiglas for the viewing.

After the zoo around 5:00 we headed to the beach. The cool thing was the sun finally burned off all the fog so we had a few hours of fun! Unfortunately the beach we chose didn't have any shells. Daddy and KK had fun anyway jumping the waves in the very cold water!
We made it home shortly after 10 and all of us were quite exhausted!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cable TV

Back in April I believe it was, we decided to get rid of cable television. At the time we thought we would be able to use the digital converter boxes and an amplifier antennae to get free tv. Apparently we live too far away from a transmitter so it didn't work at all. So we were stuck just getting channels 3-13. In the beginning this was fine because most of the shows I watch were on that channel. If I missed it, which I found that I did the majority of the time, I could watch it for the most part on my laptop. Bravo tv wouldn't post current episodes so I missed their shows. CBS was great about having their shows posted by the next day. However The Biggest Looser wouldn't post their episodes for a week so that was annoying.

All in all I found the process to be just a little too complicated. A few weeks ago we decided to call the cable company to see how much it would cost to get cable channels 3-80. The lady on the phone said it would be $56 dollars a month. I gasped. I couldn't justify that much a month so I told her we just couldn't do it. Well, I don't know what changed between then and now but tonight was sure my lucky night. We already have cable Internet with them so hubby told me I should check out a bundle package. So I went online and found one. I called up the cable company to get it. The guy on the phone gave me an even better deal! He is giving me digital cable channels 3-80 plus free HBO for the next 24 months!!! Yes you heard right, 24 months! I couldn't pass that up! I can surely justify $30 a month! Plus he is giving me a DVR for $4.95 a month for the next 6 months and after that it will only be $7 a month!

I realized I also could not live without my DVR. I tried watching my laptop while I ran on the treadmill but there were so many times I would have to click to continue after a quick commercial was played. It was just plain annoying! As a matter of fact it was so annoying that I have been pathetic over the past three months on the treadmill and I think I have only used it 5 or 6 times. Yes that meant I gained 2 pounds but I am already working at getting rid of it.

I am so happy to be getting cable television and DVR back and my health will be happy too! Treadmill days are back again!

Finally got my hair done right

On Wednesday I was able to get my hair done and this time I wanted it done right. I was thrilled when my new hair dresser suggested I do highlight low lights in my hair. I had that done a few years ago and loved the results. Plus the best part is it doesn't leave your hair feeling dead and dried out. I was very happy with the results and the color looks perfectly natural! She is also trying to help me fix and old bad hair cut so she worked on blending the bottom because I am wanting to grow my hair out.

The picture on the left I took while driving home...the picture on the right I took after I played with my hair a bit. You know what, I feel like I look younger in the first picture. With partial bangs across my forehead....what do you think?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nevada Gets a Haircut

A few weeks ago after all the cold weather passed, we finally shaved our Golden Retriever. We had shaved her a year ago for the first time and found it really easy. So we decided to do it again. Too bad I didn't look at my blog from last year. Last year we used the biggest blade guard. This year we used the second to smallest. Let's just saw, Nevada's hair is shorter than we wanted. I am sure she feels good though!

We took pictures of both dogs so you could see how big our puppy Shasta is getting. She is 7 months old now and already the size of Nevada. Shasta is the light colored dog and Nevada is the reddish colored dog.

They love playing together and play all day. Our old dog Sierra used to be the dominant dog and Nevada was very passive. Now Nevada has taken the dominant dog role over Shasta. I wonder if that will last long.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

KK did so well today

Wow, KK had a great day today. It was as if the dog bite never happened. She was running around all morning bending her wrist and putting pressure/weight on it. It also healed quite well over night. The swelling went down, there was only minor bruising, and it is already beginning to scab over. Tonight I will let the wound air out over night and take the bandage off.

Another surprising thing was that she wasn't scared of dogs at all. We went to my Grandma's house and she had three dogs at her house. Of course KK knew the dogs but I wasn't sure if she would be scared or skittish. Nope, it was as if nothing happened. We took the girls for a walk to the park and met a dog on the way. Same thing, it was as if nothing ever happened. She totally want to pet the dog. We told her to ask first so she did. I am so amazed at how quickly she bounced back from such a traumatic experience for her. Wow KK, you truly amaze me. You are so strong and courageous!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Poor KK gets bit by a dog

Poor KK, we are staying at our friends house in San Jose. They have one of those border collie dogs. His name is Lobo. He is very territorial. He is nine years old. We have stayed here at our friends house on multiple occasions. He has always been a dog you wanted to be leery about. Well tonight poor KK was walking into the kitchen and the dog bit her. He bit her right hand/wrist. He made six puncture wounds. The worst were on her wrist. She has never been in so much pain in her life. She was inconsolable for quite a long period of time. We gave her ibuprofen and took her to the emergency room. I was worried she may have torn a muscle or tendon because she kept grabbing her forearm when she would bend her hand and was crying in pain.

We got to the ER shortly after 9. It was a full room so I thought for sure we would be there till 1 a.m. Lucky for us we were done shortly after 10:30 p.m. Looks like she is fine. It was good we went in the ER because they said anytime a dog draws blood you should always get on antibiotics. We also have a wrap on her wounds and will have to clean them twice daily. We have to go in for a recheck with our DR. on Monday.

KK is sleeping now. She is a bit shaken and will probably be scared of dogs for awhile.


After we spent an hour at Sealife Aquarium Legoland was finally open. The girls were thrilled! It was really exciting to get into the park and start seeing all of the exhibits and the rides. In the beginning both Aly and KK's favorite thing to do was take pictures with the lego exhibits. Here are a few of the photos:

I just had to get a picture with Darth Vader. I am such a Star Wars fan! I thought it was funny that the girls were thrilled about the pizza guy.

Aly really enjoyed getting her picture with Shrek. Look how cute the girls are in the shark.

This plane ride was their first ride. They rode it three times in a row! They really enjoyed posing for a picture in the helicopter.

This horse ride was one of their favorites. The first time they went on Aly was a bit nervous but once she knew what to expect she loved it!

KK drove the boat on the yellow lego boat ride. Daddy said she really needed driving lessons.

Aly had fun in their dinosaur dig zone while KK and I rode the dinosaur roller coaster.

After Aly saw KK and I have fun on the roller coaster she decided to give it a try. The whole family had fun on the dinsosaur roller coaster!

In this video KK is driving a lego car for her first time ever. You can see her having a really hard time. The guy actually has to help her. She is in the second red car. It is a pretty good laugh!

Legoland Sealife

A few weeks ago we had to make a trip down to Southern Californina for my Grandfather's service. We decided to leave one day early and surprise the girls with a trip to Legoland. This is the first time ever we have surprised them so we made sure to get it on video. Hubby told the girls we would take the girls to the mall. When they are old enough they will realize if hubby ever says that they should believe something is up because hubby doesn't go to the mall. That is what he has a wife for, to do his shopping. The video is kinda funny at the end. Surprising results really. You know what the crazy thing about Legoland is? They don't really have a grand entrance so the whole time we are driving in the girls don't even know where we are.

Once Kk realized it would be a fun place to go she was happy. We planned it so that we would see the Sealife Aquarium first. They were open at 9:00 a.m. and Legoland wasn't open until 10:00. Lucky for us we had a free child's ticket to get into the park. Their tickets are very expensive if you get the park hopper for Sealife and Legoland. They are close to the same price as Disneyland and no where near worth it!

Daddy was being silly and wanted to take the first picture outside of the park next to the lego people. He told the girls to pull him just like the lego people were pulling their parents. The second picture is a lego castle inside the Sealife Aquarium.

Look at my little tourist KK. I thought the picture was so funny. She is holding a map and has her purse on her shoulder. The second picture Aly and I are enjoying some cuddle time!

These pictures were my two favorite parts of Legoland. There was a great big tank with lots of fish and shark and they made the viewing windows convex. It was really cool how close the sharks would come to you. You can see KK pointing to the shard and it is as if she was almost touching it. My second favorite part was at the end. They made exhibits that you could crawl under and stand up in the middle of a fish tank. I don't know who loved it more, me or the girls!