Canyon Hike

24 Mar

It’s starting to hit me that we’re on the verge of a lot of “lasts” with Michaela. In a few months, she’ll be done with preschool and move on to elementary school. This is the last spring we can go on vacation without having to worry about disrupting her academic schedule. It’s the last few months of taking a nap each day at school. And as it happened, today was the last Canyon Hike she’ll go on with her preschool class.

A Canyon Hike is exactly what it sounds like. The class, along with teachers and parent chaperones, walk down into the canyon behind the school and look at nature, learn about plants, and just enjoy being off campus. I was able to go on one Canyon Hike last year but had missed all of this year’s. So when I got an email this morning from the teacher saying they’d be doing one today – the last chance, since April marks the start of snake season and they don’t do them at that time – I was really bummed I couldn’t be able to attend. Tuesday, you see, is when we have executive cabinet meetings at work and I really can’t miss those unless it’s a big deal.

I told Michaela there’d be a hike today and she immediately started pleading with me to go. I explained to her that I couldn’t, that I had an important meeting… and then I thought, “Wait. That meeting isn’t more important than participating in this ‘last.'” I double checked the agenda to be sure I wouldn’t be missing anything vital and then sent a note to my boss that I wouldn’t be in.

I took Michaela out for bagels before we went to school, which is a special treat in and of itself. After the whole class gathered for some instructions and reminders, we departed. I hiked around with her and her classmates for two glorious hours, holding hands with wee ones, helping them across a little stream, looking through binoculars, examining tracks on the trail, and just being a mom. It was fantastic.

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Another Lost Tooth!

2 Mar

On our way home from the mountains, Michaela lost her third tooth! It had been wiggly for a few of weeks and today she yanked it out. She stuck the tooth, along with a note for the Tooth Fairy, under her pillow tonight.

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My Hero

2 Mar

Our local Target has an interactive kiosk where kids can strike a “power pose.” They select a background image then stand in front of a screen and pose; a mask and cape are superimposed on top of the image. It’s a Barbie thing, so of course the accessories are girly, but it’s mildly entertaining. To me, at least. Michaela loves it; we have to stop there whenever we’re at the store.

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Are you getting “power” from these pictures?

 

 

Lessons Completed

2 Mar

Michaela and I finished our “parent and tot” ice skating class!

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Snow Day

2 Mar

It’s been raining in San Diego… and snowing in the mountains just east of the city. So today I took a half day at work and Mike, Michaela and I headed out to play in the snow!

I’m a city girl who hasn’t spent much time in the snow. In fact, today was the first time I had hung out in a winter wonderland. We sledded down a hill, tossed snowballs, and froze our butts off. (Fun fact: my car has a light in the shape of a snowflake that comes on when it’s 32 degrees out or colder.)

But it was a blast, as these pictures show!

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Disney on Ice

21 Jan

Mike and I took Michaela to the opening night of “Disney on Ice presents Let’s Celebrate.” It was Michaela’s first time seeing a Disney on Ice show and my first time since second grade. (How cool is it that 30-ish years later, I took my daughter to the same place I saw my first ice show?) Since we’ve been taking ice skating lessons, I thought it might mean something more to her than if we’d gone to see it before… plus Michaela’s love of all things Disney just keeps growing.

She picked out a special outfit this morning before school, declaring she wanted to change into it before going to the show: an Elsa shirt and pants, a “Let It Go” sweatshirt, and Anna socks. She was so excited I couldn’t even get her to sit still for a picture!

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When the lights went down, Michaela squirmed in her seat. And when two dozen characters – princesses, Mickey, Minnie, Alice in Wonderland and many, many more – streamed out onto the ice, Michaela’s eyes were the size of saucers. She was so excited! And I was so excited to see her excitement!

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Here’s how Disney on Ice describes the show:

It’s one colossal party on ice, with all your favorite Disney friends at Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! Presented by YoKids Organic Yogurt. Join Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald and Goofy as they celebrate a Very Merry Unbirthday Party with Alice and the Mad Hatter; a Royal Valentine’s Day Ball with your favorite Disney Princesses, including Cinderella, Ariel, Belle and Tiana; a Hawaiian luau with Lilo & Stitch; a whole new world with Jasmine and Aladdin; a winter wonderland with Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear; a Halloween haunt with the Disney villains and more in a magical medley of holidays, celebrations and festivities from around the globe. Come join the celebration you’ve been waiting for when Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! skates into your hometown!

The villains scared Michaela so she snuggled up with dad. But during the Unbirthday Party segment, she was literally bouncing in her seat.

We ended up having to leave early because it’s a school night, but since tickets are still available, we may go back to a matinee showing to see the second half. San Diego friends, I highly recommend the Disney on Ice experience!

Fun in the Sun

21 Jan

Last week I had to go out of town for a work conference and Mike was had a series of very early morning shoots. We’re fortunate that his mom and stepdad were able to come and visit to help with Michaela, spend time with us, and get out of a cold Colorado winter. And what a great time we had! Nana and Papa spoiled Michaela like nobody’s business.

Here are a few pictures from the time they were here.

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We love you, Nana and Papa!

Mediterranean-Inspired Tostadas

10 Jan

I am a recipe follower. If I’m going to cook, it’s because I saw a recipe somewhere that looked really good and wanted to try it, not because I thought, “let’s see what I can throw together that would be delicious.” In fact, Mike makes fun of me (but in a nice way) about it; that’s how much of a recipe follower I am.

Tonight, though, I decided I would make dinner using food we had at home. Maybe it’s the new year, maybe it’s the fact that I cleaned out the pantry during the holiday break, but I feel like we should be eating down our food stockpile. We had tortillas and cooked quinoa (left over from this), plus some veggies and a jar of Kalamata olives, so I thought I’d do a Mediterranean-inspired tostada.

I warmed the whole wheat tortillas in the oven for 3 minutes at 350. Then I topped two of them with roasted red pepper hummus and one with Greek yogurt (Michaela thinks the hummus is spicy and therefore won’t eat it). I topped that with some spinach leaves, then quinoa, shredded carrots, diced tomatoes and red onion, some chickpeas (drained and rinsed, from a can) and a handful of sunflower seeds. On Mike’s and Michaela’s, I added some sliced olives. Then I sprinkled on some shredded cheese (feta would have been amazing, but the point was to eat what we already had) and baked for 10 minutes. I added a dollop of Greek yogurt on top and voila, dinner!

They ended up being delicious! Light but filling and actually pretty healthy, all things considered.

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No recipe required!

Happy New Year!

1 Jan

2015? Crazy!

Mike, Michaela and I started off Dec. 31 with breakfast at a well-regarded restaurant in our neighborhood. A pancake, some bacon and eggs for Michaela; a pesto scramble with home fries and sourdough toast for Mike; a machaca scramble with beans and tortillas for me. Great way to say “adios” to 2014!

After breakfast, we hung out at home before taking Michaela to a friend’s house for a new year’s eve sleepover! She and her friend had a pillow fight, shared a bath, ate snacks, and rang in the new year at 8:45. They had a blast! Meanwhile, Rey went to our neighbors’ and we got gussied up for a night on the town.

Mike’s friend started an event production company and their second event was a NYE event in Corona headlined by Smash Mouth. You know, the band from the mid-90s that did “All Star” and “Walkin’ on the Sun.” I wasn’t that excited — going out on NYE isn’t my favorite thing, Corona isn’t exactly a hot spot, and it’s not like Smash Mouth is hot today. But we went and ended up having a really nice night!

We were VIP, so we had seats that were close to the stage but not too close.

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(I know, I’m old! It reminded me of the “How I Met Your Mother” when the gang goes out with Barney’s brother and all the people who’re part of a couple immediately flock to the few seats in the club.)

The drinks were large — Mike’s beer came in a quart-sized Mason jar– and they had Malibu, so I was happy.

 

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We looked cute.

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I was especially happy because I wore a dress I haven’t been able to fit into for four years.

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There was champagne at midnight and we all counted down with Smash Mouth.

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And, being old, we decided to leave at about 12:30 a.m.. We headed to a hotel and crashed. The next morning, we saw the lead singer of Smash Mouth in the hotel lobby before making our way to In-N-Out for some fuel for the drive home.

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Can’t complain about that– I hope all of 2015 is this good!

 

Thank You

25 Dec

We had a great Christmas today. Michaela woke up not too early then ran out to the living room to see what Santa brought her. An Olaf doll, a giant (as tall as she is) dollhouse, a Hello Kitty sleeping bag and pillow, a marble tower, plus tons of wrapped presents from her family. She got several dolls to go with the dollhouse, games, books, plenty of “Frozen” stuff, art supplies, clothes, and more.

Several hours later, Michaela asked me how to spell “thank.” A little after that, she asked me in the sweetest voice if I would please help her by opening a letter she made for me. When I opened it, it was a card that said “Thank Mom” on it and had a smiling person. I asked her, “thank you for what?” and in return, she gave me a big snuggle and said “for a great Christmas morning.”

Cute, polite and all mine. I love her so much!

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