Thursday, May 26, 2011


Last weekend, we drove up to Carlsbad to see the California Surf Museum. I've read a lot of stuff about how cool it is, so I figured Josh needed to see it. We got there and got inside before we realized just how small the museum really is. We just missed the "Women in Surfing" exhibit, but there were tons of boards that were apparently pretty neat. Josh kept telling me about this board or that surfer. I wasn't really all that impressed, but I don't surf. If Laird Hamilton and his lovely wife, Gabby (Reece) were browsing through the museum I would have been considerably more impressed. Just check him out in Google images. You will be impressed too. Seriously, go Google him (or click on that link). 

It all turned around for me when I saw Bethany Hamilton's (no relation to Laird that I'm aware of) board. She is the girl the movie Soul Surfer is about. If you didn't hear about the accident when it happened, I assume you have heard about the movie. I couldn't get over the sheer size of the bite into her board, and how she survived the attack. The info said they estimated the shark to be 15 feet long and weigh over a ton. This is why I don't like the ocean. Well, that and the movie Jaws

On a side not, I realize this is an irrational fear. In case you were wondering, I will get in the water. I would just prefer to be able to see (like SCUBA) or have shark spotters around me (above and below water) at all times. I'm always a little concerned that I might be gulped up in a moments notice, and Gray will have to be raised knowing a shark ate his poor mother. I should add that some of the people who filmed Jaws will not go into the water anymore (like Steven Spielberg), so don't judge.

Anyway, that was the thing that I paid the most attention to in the whole museum. I even read the little cards. If you are into surfing, I would recommend the museum. If you are like me, well... not so much. 

After we toured the museum, we walked down to the Carlsbad Pier. I could see that on a pretty day, it would have been quite nice. It was another one of those weekends at the beach, where a coat was required. What's up with San Diego this spring/summer? 

Watching surfers.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Keeping Disney in business.

Gray got a new table yesterday. It has Buzz and Woody on it, so he is pretty excited. Gray put his chairs under the kitchen table (after moving the big chairs out of his way). He also gave Buzz and Woody kisses after dinner last night. Is it just me, or is he the cutest kid ever? 
This face says it all.
PS-Mom is pretty excited too. We can use this table inside or outside. PLUS the table/chairs fold up nicely, so they will fit in his closet when not in use. 

Old pictures. New camera.

I pulled out a camera for Josh to take to Operation Enduring Freedom* with him, and found a ton of pictures I had forgotten were even on the camera. It was kind of like Christmas in May! Here is one shot I found, and maybe the most exciting. Gray rarely looks in self-portraits without grabbing for the camera, but I got lucky this day. I think this was in October or November of last year. 
Mommy and Monkey 
Josh and I rarely visit restaurants we have back home because San Diego has so many fantastic places to try, and Josh isn't the biggest fan of chains. One day we randomly got the hankerin' (Is that real word or just a word Southerners made up?) for something from Chili's. It's been so long I can't even remember what it was now. We decided to get the Molten Chocolate Cake since we haven't had one in what seems like decades. Gray had never had one before, so at the first bite he thought he had died and gone to Heaven. 
Gray's 1st Molten from Chili's 
I recently had a camera fiasco (not my 'good' camera, the point and shoot), where someone dropped it and basically broke the camera in such a way that I could see the insides of my camera. It wasn't pretty. The 'fiasco' as I will refer to it, was wrought with drama. Luckily it has been resolved. All of that is to say, I got a new point and shoot for my purse/diaper bag. I'm fairly excited about the prospect of a new camera. Now, I've just got to see how it performs. After owning a digital SLR (the kind of camera that can switch lenses) the quality of most point and shoot cameras leaves something to be desired. Gray is much to fast to get crisp images, so I hope this new camera can do the job when I'm not carrying the DSLR around. So far, so good.
Gray loves books. 

*1. Yes. Josh is deploying to the Middle East. 
   2. No. I'm not scared he is going to die. 
   3. He should be gone between 6-9 months. 
  4. Please don't ask me any specifics as to his time of deployment, where he is going, etc via the Internet. Troop movement isn't something to be freely discussed, as it could put lives in danger. It is even possible that the enemy could take tidbits of information from lots of places and figure out missions, etc. It's not good. If you want to know more information, just call me. :)

Monday, May 23, 2011


A good friend of ours was crazy enough to invite a bunch of kids (including two sets of twins under 4) over for a playdate. The kids are fairly close in age (ages spread between 1 1/2 to 4 years old), so they played for a few hours. A little running around outside and a little coloring inside, Gray thought he was in Heaven. We all had lunch and the kids got popsicles, then Gray knew he was in Heaven. 
Gray's 2nd popsicle of his lifetime.
Gray loves playdates. 
Laughing with Angela and Ari in the hammock. 
Gray and the Holman twins (big brother was in the back) on the way back to SD. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pacific Beach

A friend of ours has started a scholarship at the Naval Academy for a Marine who was killed in action last May in Afghanistan, so Josh and I drove down to Pacific Beach to support the cause. After we spent a few hours (and lost the raffle for the trip to Mexico) we decided to head home to get Gray and relieve the babysitter. We walked down the PB pier so Josh could watch the waves before heading home. We quickly realized that there was a junior surf competition going on, so we had to watch the guys surf for a few minutes. 

While Josh was observing, I was watching this kid catch sharks while fishing off the pier. To say I was impressed is not really a good description. I couldn't stop staring. I'm sure he thought I was insane. He told me he caught them pretty frequently. 

I think maybe where there are babies, there are mommies... 
Baby shark.
Watching the surf competition. 
You see what I meant in the previous post about the weekend weather in San Diego lately? It was a muggy cold (kind of like Louisiana in January) with no sun at the beach. At our house 10 miles inland? Beautiful, sunny, perfect. That makes no sense. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wild Animal Park

Gray and I try to visit the SD Zoo or SD Wild Animal Park at least every month or so. We went back to the Wild Animal Park again, because it is closer to home and is always less crowded than the zoo. We went into the butterfly pavilion for the first time (I find something new practically every time I go) and Gray loved it! He is a big fan of butterflies and birds, so the whole thing was pretty exciting. He kept pointing at butterflies and saying "butterfly" (which actually sounds like fly). He also pointed at the flowers and said "flowers" (which actually sounds like flou-ie)! Very exciting. 
Spotted a butterfly!
Gray 'helping' the other kids find butterflies. 
Some were huge.
It was so hot in SD that day.
This face cracks me up.  
After we had seen all of the park we could handle that day, we headed to the carousel then home. Gray has only ridden this carousel (or any carousel for that matter) once. The first time he was pretty excited about it for a few seconds, then freaked out. This time he wouldn't sit on the animals at all. We decided the handicapped bench was much more exciting (in that it was much less scary) and he loved his ride! He even said "WEEEEE!" while we were riding. Too cute!
Loving the carousel!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Torrey Pines

We decided to take Monkey to the beach a few weekends ago since the weather was so nice. It has been very pretty outside in general, but every weekend the weather seems to get yucky. This weekend was different, so we decided to take Gray out. One of the greatest things about San Diego is the myriad of beach choices. Torrey Pines is pretty close to the house. It has tons of families, but isn't always the best to surf. Since Josh didn't bring his board, we picked Torrey Pines because there is a lagoon that runs into the ocean that's pretty tame. It's awesome because Gray can play in the water, but not in the huge waves that happen in the Pacific. He didn't seem to mind that he wasn't in the ocean because he had so much fun in the lagoon. We ran into our next door neighbors, so we all had a good time (until it was nap time). 
Dada putting sunscreen on the Monkey. 
Gray loves the beach!
Running for the water!
Jumping in the water.  
I hope we have a few more pretty weekends to take Gray to the beach before Josh deploys... 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Slow Cooked Chicken Stroganoff

I found this recipe a few weeks ago. I haven't ever heard of chicken stroganoff, but the recipe looked good and I LOVE crock pot recipes. They are generally the easiest things in the world to throw together, and this was no different. This recipe was full of flavor and I plan to put it into the regular rotation at our house!
 I forgot to get a picture, but found this one online.
*I can't remember where I found this recipe. I normally write that down on my index card when writing down a new recipe, but somehow managed not to do that this time. If you know where I got it, please let me know so I can give credit to the person who created it! 

Slow Cooked Chicken Stroganoff

2 lbs chicken breasts
1 cup chopped onion
2 (10 3/4 oz) cans cream of mushroom with roasted garlic
1/3 cup water
12 oz  dried egg white noodles
1 (8 oz) carton sour cream
mushrooms, optional
black pepper, to taste

1. Cut chicken into 1" pieces. Combine chicken and onion in the slow cooker. In a medium bowl, stir together the cream of mushroom soup and water. Pour over chicken and onions. Cover and cook on low heat for 6-7 hours or high heat for 3-3.5 hours. 
2. Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Just before serving, stir sour cream into mixture in slow cooker. To serve, spoon stroganoff over noodles.