Saturday, August 13, 2011

San Diego - Day One

We don't do a lot of vacations, we really don't do any. We don't make the time and my job doesn't allow for much time away. Jeffrey is fortunate to have a ton of vacation time so we decided to go for it this summer and go somewhere fun for the boys. Disneyland is next year (yay!) so we decided to head to San Diego.

I'd always rather fly but with two little kids it's usually easier to drive since they come with so much baggage - double stroller, two large carseats, pack and play/crib, diaper bag, tons of diapers, etc. etc. etc. etc. So we drove. The trip there deserves it's own bit of attention because driving with family is horrible. absolutely horrible. That's not fair - sometimes it was mediocre, but mostly horrible.

I facebooked our way there so that I could complain in real time. The posts got a lot of feedback so I figured I'd let them narrate the pics of our vacay here along with a few other captions.

have learned a few things at this point being 4 hour into our trip. 1. i
always say i want to live in a small rural town...gila bend is not that town.
neither is tacna. 2. being stuck in a car with screaming children brings out the
WORST in everyone 3. no matter how many varieties of crackers you bring you
failed to bring the ones they want.

the boys in the truck right before we left the house. This was Noah's first time in a forward facing carseat. I have a pretty large SUV but it was full - all three rows and the back too!

Noah playing hide & seek

each of the boys had a backpack within their reach with toys, books, movies, snacks and other fun to keep them happy...or at least occupied

This is an ant pile. The ants were huge. We had to pull over along the 8 or the 85 or something. Noah was screaming and we had to get something for him that we couldn't reach. I stepped right out of the truck and into this. Sweet. I think it was at this point - one hour into the trip - that Jeff said the vacation was a mistake. #alwaystheoptimist

Noah selecting his snack of choice in Tacna.

#5. gas stations in Yuma clearly do not specialize in names like Noah and Connor.

#6. i got bored since the last stop when jeffrey took over driving. the result is an intense amount of eyeshadow for 12 noon. (I have no photo of this one to show)

#7. i have discovered that i thoroughly doubt jeffrey reads signs so i find myself reading them out loud. "strong winds ahead. use caution" "be prepared to stop". i dont think i am fooling him that this narrative is for my own benefit.

#8. am sick of jeffrey's answer to his poor driving decisions being "it's California".

#9. connor just asked us when our vacation starts. #subtledisappointmentstillstin​gs

boys love trains and we saw several on our way to and from CA

i dont tend to be in too many of the pictures because i'm taking them so i have to shoot a few of these...please note noah passed out in the back :)

the windmills

‎4. border control is far too chill in their questioning.
"where you traveling from?"

getting some work done in the car

grabbing dinner in downtown San Diego

so good when it hits your lips

noah likes to scream for an hour before passing out. sorry san diego, did we not mention that?

When we were booking a hotel for the trip I was really insistent on getting a suite - not for snooty reasons but because I didn't want to go to bed every night at 8pm. Being in a hotel room with kids is tough because every move you make they hear you and everytime they pee you hear them. It's as amazing as it sounds. So the suite was necessary and we'll have to do that from this point forward. The kids have their space and we have ours - this is one of my top 5 recommendations when traveling with kids. I don't know my other top 4 recs - snacks, portable dvd player, being flexible but still planning ahead and bringing a nanny.

We decided the week before our trip that we'd stop at a Costco mid-way and grab fruit, veggies and one of those sandwich platters to eat all week. That way we'd cut down on all the pricey food spending and we'd be able to grab lunch while driving on Monday. It worked out well. We love Costco.

So that was most of Day One. Our 6 hour drive took around 9 hours but included two gas station stops and one Costco stop. We landed at the hotel, thoroughly exhausted but decided to head back out and wander around downtown San Diego a bit and find something to eat. Tomorrow...SeaWorld!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cooking for 15

Oh, it just feels like I'm cooking for 15? Gotcha.

I really fell off the wagon the week we were on vacation, but I expected that to happen and refused to feel bad about it - I'm on vacation afterall! Gearing up for vacay, we cleaned out the fridge so this past week there was nothing in the fridge, seriously, near nothing. I find that I do best on my current "diet" when I have plenty of food on hand. If I have plenty of cooked chicken, fish, chops, and even burgers on hand, I always have options. While I've never been a totally healthy eater, my issue has always been that I don't eat enough. I can tell when my weight loss slows that it's because I've had two meals lately instead of 4. My water intake sometimes slows too which is tell-tale.

So, we found a ton of cans of green chiles in the pantry today. They expire in less than 2 weeks. There's so much food in this house that I don't eat/cook with anymore and they've expired. We just had to throw out several ricearoni and hamburger helper boxes. such a waste, but I didn't even realize they were up there anymore since I'm not making them anymore.

Back to the green chiles. I just spent all morning making green chile talapia, green chile hamburgers, green chile pork chops and green chile chicken. The great thing is that I'll have food available for the next week and then some for both jeffrey and I. The bad thing is that the boys can't eat any of what I've made so I'm back to cooking at least two different meals everyday.

We did some serious grocery shopping yesterday and stocked back up on fruits & veggies so we'll have plenty of food for the next week. It really is amazing how much food a family of 4 (two of which have a combined weight of 55ish lbs) goes through.

There are so many amazing low carb recipes out there but they involve so much prep work and I just don't have the time. I do however, have the time to spend an hour one day cooking up a ton of chicken or pork chops to reheat throughout the week. After working all day and then getting home after picking up the boys, it's so much easier to reheat something for myself, dump some salad on my plate and maybe a tomato. Simple is what I need! If you have any simple ideas, let me know!

what's annoying me today you ask??

Changing my email address. I have a gmail account that I never use for email, but have it for a couple things I use constantly like google calendar, docs and this blog. I just set up a new gmail account to start using instead of my yahoo one I've had for a million years. 7 years in reality.

I'm already over it. Trying to notify everyone and update the lists I actually want to be on. I have friends who check multiple email addresses but I can't do it. I want to have one work and one personal - no more. I get way too many emails everyday between Chi O stuff, friends, facebook, blog, etc. and I am on email constantly so I can't even imagine checking multiple personal email addresses. I realized when my yahoo email was having issues last week that I should just have a gmail address that I use since I use so many other google functions anyway.

I'm thinking it's going to take a good 6 months to get everything over to the new gmail address. Lame-o.

So today, I'm annoyed with trying to figure out if I can switch my blog, calendar, docs and anything else associated with my old gmail to the new one. I have a tough enough time remembering logins/passwords for the million things I already have...don't want to have even more.

PS - if you don't have my shiny new email address yet, please know it's only because I'm working my way through my contacts and have the attention span of a 5 y.o. Comment if you still need it and I'll send it to you!