Monday, September 27, 2010

Family Date Night

 D.R. and I rarely go out on 'date nights' these days.  It's just not that practical with two little ones at home, and of course I don't like to spend the money because as most of you know, I'm CHEAP  When we do go out, it's usually with all 4 of us.  Our favorite place to go as a family is Benihana.
Did you know if you go to their website and become a member of "The Chef's Table", they will send you a $30 gift for your birthday?  I think that's a pretty cool deal, especially since we love Benihana, and would be going there anyway!  The deal was supposed to be 'up to' $30 off the birthday persons meal, however I ordered 3 things a la carte and our awesome server just took the entire amount off of our total bill.  That's my kind of deal.  We just ordered a whole bunch of stuff and shared. 
The girls got to try out training chopsticks, and had a blast.  They did very well, even with the little grains of rice.  It was fun to watch.


Gia is our adventurous eater.  She got her own sushi and a bowl of rice.  She ate my soup and some of her Dad's sushi too!  She loves trying new things and seems to really enjoy the whole culinary experience.  Tia on the other hand was happy with her bowl of rice and nothing more.  I'm surprised she didn't ask for peanut butter and jelly!  Not exactly a foodie.

It was a great experience to go to a nice restaurant as a family.  The girls call it "family date night" and we think that's cute.  We do these sorts of things with them for many reasons.  Of course we want them to grow up with fond memories of the time we spend together.  But we also think it's important that they experience different cultures and foods, as well as learning how to behave in a restaurant.  These are things that we didn't get to experience much as children, and now we can offer the experience to our kids.
Fun stuff!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Talk about savings!

I blogged a while back about how my Canon D-SLR camera died on us.  I loved that camera and used it almost every day.  D.R. wanted to replace it for my birthday with an $800 Nikon.  I talked him out of it.  I convinced him to just get me a convenient pocked-sized camera and wait until Christmas to get the big expensive one.  Well, we're both glad that he listened to me!
Today while preparing to list our 'broken' Canon on Craigslist, D.R. noticed that the internal lens was slightly off kilter.  He pushed it in with his thumb, and voila!  The camera now works again.  Can you imagine the lucky person who would have bought that camera from us and discovered that it really worked after all?!
I'm tickled pink and can't wait to start shootin' again!
Ahhh, it feels good to save $800.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tia's Birthday...sort of.

Tia's birthday isn't until October, but we had her birthday this past weekend.  Why?  Well, the grandparents were in town and we wouldn't dream of doing a birthday party without them.  When her actual birthday rolls around, we'll do something special with her, just our little family.

I decided I really didn't want 10 kids running around my house for the occasion, so we had the party at McDonald's.  Talk about irony!  Tia wouldn't eat a burger, nugget, or french fry if it was the last meal available.  I had to laugh while I was making her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to bring to the party.  She did drink the milk and eat the apple dippers (minus the dip), so she wasn't totally left out of the 'happy meal' fun.

The party was a big hit.  All the kids had a great time, but the best part was that I didn't have to clean up!  This is definitely something we'll do again.  Good times!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My Birthday

I woke up yesterday morning and something really strange had happened. Without much warning, I some how turned 39! I'm not sure how this happened. I certainly don't feel 39 (most days anyway). I think I'm still in shock. Or is it denial.
At any rate, my family didn't let me forget this historical moment. In the morning the girls gave me the gifts they picked out from the Dollar Store. They were SO excited. It was just adorable. They had actually slipped and told me about the secret gifts numerous times before my birthday, but I acted surprised anyway!
My dear husband gave me a camera. Phew, I can take pictures again! I had been feeling like I lost a limb, and now it's been put back on. I told him I wanted a small camera that I could just toss in my purse and take along to museums, parks, etc. That's just what he got me. He's a good husband!
Later in the day D.R.'s folks arrived in town. They usually come for a visit around this time of year, and this time it happened to fall right on my birthday. What a nice gift. We REALLY enjoy our visits from Nonna and PaPa. They got here just in time to join us on Tia's school field trip to a local farm. It definitely wasn't my favorite field trip, but Tia enjoyed it.

Here's the big girl getting her pumpkin. She was so proud.

After the field trip we all went out for a nice birthday dinner. I picked a family friendly place not far from home and we were not disappointed. It was very nice and they treated the birthday girl well!

Here's Gia eating my birthday cake (I'm off the sugar ya' know!)

When we got back home I was once again showered with gifts. This time from Nonna and PaPa.

Here I am showing Tia the gorgeous necklace they picked out for me. It's just beautiful.

Today D.R. and I were supposed to be going to Arlington Park for the races. Neither of us have ever been so we thought it would be a fun thing to do before the end of the season. Well, it rained all morning so plans were changed. We still got to have a date, we went to the movies. That's something we rarely get to do and it was nice to have a couple hours together, just the two of us.
Now, I think we are done celebrating my birthday. Some years it goes on for days and days! But, we must move on because tomorrow we're having Tia's birthday party. It's a few weeks early but we wanted to have it while the grandparents were in town. More reason to celebrate!
So, tomorrow she can get all the attention, and be treated like a princess all day. More pictures to come!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Swimming in Bargains

You know I love a good bargain. I was on the hunt for some clearance priced swim suits for the girls since they are in swim lessons now and will probably continue throughout the winter months. I hit the jackpot at Target, finding these suits for $3.29. That's my kind of price!

The lighting at the indoor pool isn't great for picture taking but here are the girls at their lesson. They had a great time, and loved showing their teacher the new suits. So much fun!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gia's First Day!

My baby girl started preschool today. She's in a 3 year old class, twice a week. She's been ready, more than ready, for a long time. She was so ready that she didn't know what all the fuss was about and why I was so excited.
The "school fairy" visited her last night and left a new movie under her pillow. It's an educational DVD, so it goes along with the school theme.
I brought her to school, she hung up her jacket and bag and marched right in. She found her name tag and sat on the circle time rug. No fan fare, no tears, no kiss for Mommy. That's it. Just ready to get started.

I had to ask her if I could have a kiss! I'm not sure how I should feel about this. I'm happy she was so calm, but this is my BABY! This day will never happen again for me. Oh well, I guess life goes on.
After school the three of us went to get our hair cut. When we got home I gave the girls their very special back to school treat. Now THIS she can get excited about! The kid loves food.

So, here I am with no more babies at home. I have a whole 4 1/2 hours to myself each week. Life sure is changing for me. I can now go to the dentist by myself!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Face Painting at the Festival

On Saturday we took the girls to a nearby festival. We hadn't gone in years past because we assumed that, like most festivals there would be a fee for parking, fee for admission, fee for rides, etc. We haven't had good experiences at those things because our kids are too young to fully enjoy all that there is to offer, and it ends up being a big waste of money.
We were pleasantly surprised to find out that this festival had free admission and free parking. They also had an entire tent set up specifically for younger kids. There was a clown making balloon animals, arts and crafts, sno cones, etc. Our kids loved it. We ran out of time to get the face painting done, so D.R. took them back early the next day, before the crowds, and had it done.

It really turned out great and you can see how excited they were. This was a nice little home town event and we'll definitely go back next year!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mommy Brain

I blame a lot of stuff on "Mommy Brain" lately. You know that condition which causes most mothers of small children to forget just about everything? It's what causes me to misplace my keys, sunglasses, wallet, and countless other things.
Well, last night I had a case of Mommy Brain again. The kids started their swim lessons. I was so proud of myself that I actually remembered to put the camera in my purse hours before were were to leave the house. I really wanted a picture of them on their first day of swim lessons without Mom or Dad. They've taken swimming before, but never without us in the pool with them. This was a big moment in Mommyhood.
We arrive at the lessons, meet the teacher, in they go, and out comes the camera. It would have been perfect if I had the memory card in the camera! I left it in the computer at home. So, no picture of the swim lessons this time. I guess there's always next week.

In short, Tia did great except for a few minutes when she was mortified because she got her face wet. Gia on the other hand was miserable just about the whole time and wouldn't participate. That's just the way it goes. All in a days work I guess.