we haven’t taken a vacation without the kids since the last time we went to new york.  my sister was supposed to babysit but last minute elle got chickenpox and we couldn’t have her tiny baby around elle.  so i found a last minute neighbor girl that turned out to be a total disaster.  like left my three kids with her 16 year old brother whom id never met so she could go to a party and lied to me about it kind of bad.  needless to say i’ve been scared to leave ever since.  that compiled with jack, i swore id never leave again.  up until the day we left i still wasn’t sure if we should just bring him.  we decided to go just us.  heaven knows we needed it after the last year we’ve had.  i’m so happy we went.  my mom watched the kids so we knew they were safe and could relax and enjoy ourselves.  this was my third time in new york so we skipped past some of the touristy stuff and did a lot of eating.  i mean a lot.  we also did a lot of walking.  hopefully it balanced out a little bit.
the new york library is beautiful.  i mean look at it.  our pitiful library has nothing on this.  i really really love the history and architecture nyc has to offer.

this was the first time we actually went inside grand central station.  its beautiful i don’t know why its taken me this long to step foot inside.

the view outside our room was amazing and shake shack because shake shack is always a good idea.

doughnut plant never disappoints.  i always get the coco nut cream.  the pb&j and the banana peanut butter is good too.

the flatiron building is my absolute favorite.   we wandered rockefeller center along with a million other people.  new york is just so different than where we live.  these building are crazy big and every time i go i forget just how big they really are.

i had to take a picture of the room.  its about three times bigger than any hotel I’ve ever stayed at in new york.  the last time we went the bed just about touched the walls on both sides.

fishs’s eddy is a great place to get lost in.  i would have bought the whole store if i could’ve fit it in my suitcase.

little italy,  zeppole’s and cannoli’s.  enough said.

the best place for cannoli’s in little italy.

cafe habana corn on a stick

this was my first time eating at katz and i wasn’t super impressed.  the lines are long, the guy didn’t even let me finish my sentence before he cut me a pastrami sandwich when i was trying to say pastrami reuben.  sandwich wasted, his bad i guess.  and i think carnagie deli is a million times better.  their payment system is dumb.  is you lose your blue ticket plan on paying $50 if you want to be let out of the store.  i read all the bad reviews but went against my better judgement and tried it anyways.  oh well, the sandwich was decent.

first knish, wasn’t bad.

ice cream cone covered in rice krispies.  ill take it!  i took close to a thousand picture so ill post the second half tomorrow.



i helped my sister plan a surprise birthday party for my brother in law over the weekend.  it turned out really great.  i love planning parties and she doesn’t so it was a lot of fun for me.  my dad has a million old cars and jack went up to the camaro he drove to the party and put his hand on it like he was posing for a car ad.  i’m glad i snapped a pic of him doing it, made me laugh.  how many times can one baby fall backwards and hit their head in one day?  jack exceeded the limit by at least one hundred and twenty seven times.  i took elle on a date. first we had to put on piles of makeup then we made our way over to build a bear to spend an obscene amount of money on a pony and her new wardrobe.  this pony has a better closet than i do.  oh and a baby for her of course.  so two ponies.
we then came home and found out that jack can fit in pony clothes and all had a good laugh.  he didn’t like the hoof shoes so much.  we drove up to globe for the day to eat a delicious meal of what else, mexican food.  el ray is worth the drive.  i took elle and jack outside while ivan and the kids finished up.  a bee chased us up and down the street at least nine times.  i couldn’t help but laugh as i pushed the stroller with elle hanging on for dear life screaming.  we ran past the window back and forth and i can only imagine what everyone inside was thinking.  hopefully they laughed as much as i did.


last thursday we had jacks 16 month cardiologist appointment.  oh man do those appointments give me anxiety.  a lot of late night thinking about all the possibilities of what they will say. a lot of thinking and dwelling on the time he was in the hospital.  its always a tough few weeks.  this appointment was going to tell us a lot about what the future should hold.  normally a baby with tapvr would have their asd closed during their open heart surgery.  jack couldn’t because the pressure in his heart was too high.  he had pulmonary hypertension which is not normal for tapvr babies but since he was sick for those first two weeks undiagnosed he had more complications than normal.  seeing those ekg wires on him really brings me back to all the wires and tubes at the hospital.  i had to take a picture of ivan taking off the little stickies that hold the wires on.  they are so dang sticky look at his skin being pulled up.  poor guy.

how sweet does he look wrapped in that little hospital blanket getting his echo.  watching baby einstein and eating his sucker.  this is the hardest age to make them lay there.  he doesn’t care about tv and the last thing he wants to do is lay on his back while a lady rubs jelly on his chest, but he did it and he did awesome.  she was quick which anyone who’s baby has had an echo knows is the greatest thing ever.  we’ve had some slow ones and its not fun.  i brought a lot of treats to keep him happy.  he discovered lollipops the week before and they were a life saver during his visit.  the visits can drag on weight, height, waiting, vitals, ekg, waiting, echo, more waiting then finally the doctor.  we made our way through 3 suckers and by the end we were both so sticky.  his doctor came in and said let me start off by saying i love appointments where everything is amazing.  he’s great, his asd is almost completely closed and his confluence where the veins are attached is growing.  he couldn’t be better!  I’m thrilled, his doctors thrilled and jacks thrilled that we don’t have to go back for a whole year.  a whole year!!  i can’t believe we already get to space his appointments out a year.  best news ever!

^^^see what i mean about sticky?! he kept touching his hands together and pulling them apart.  he thought it was funny that they stuck together.  and look at all that slobber, yep very sticky.




waffle trucks are on every corner these days.  the waffles are really good but the lines are really long and it costs me a small fortune to feed my family waffles.  so after finding several ideas I came up with a recipe.  it’s super easy and tastes identical to what you can buy at the truck.

line up of ingredients

what your yeast mixture should look like

dough after everything is combined

cover and let rise


3/4 cup heavy cream (heated)
2 T. warm water
1 1/2 t. sugar (for yeast mixture)
2 t. instant yeast
1 cup butter (softened)
2 T. sugar
1 T. brown sugar
2 eggs
3 T. honey
3 t. vanilla
4 cups flour
1 box pearl sugar (i get the sugar from ikea but its swedish and a little smaller you can order the belgian on amazon)

heat cream in microwave for 1 1/2 minutes until hot, let cool until warm to the touch.  add 1 1/2 t. sugar, water and yeast to the cream.  stir to combine and let yeast rest until it foams up.

in another bowl beat butter and sugars.  add eggs, vanilla and honey. beat together then add yeast mixture.  place in kitchen aid using dough hook and add flour 2 cups at a time.  cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for at least 3 hours up to 24 hours.  knead in pearl sugar. separate into 12 balls and cook until golden brown.

we top ours with cookie butter, berries and a spoonful of homemade whipped cream.  i make the dough and leave it on the counter overnight and cook them up in the morning to make breakfast time quick and easy.  my kids think i’m the greatest when i make these.



I haven’t been cooking much lately.  Between my stinky diet and it being so hot the last thing I want to do is cook.  I grew up on simple meals.  Chicken, salad, chicken, salad.  In that rotation.  Then I got married and he grew up on a gourmet 5 course meal every night of his life.  That’s a lot to live up to for a girl who considered tater tots an acceptable dinner.  If you know my mother in law or her family you know everything they make is amazing.  My mother in law owns a bakery and her sister a catering company.  The food is delicious and not complicated.  Over the years I’ve learned to really love to cook and bake.  I enjoying making good food and I enjoy feeding that good food to family and friends.  So I thought I ‘d share what I made for dinner last night.  Its not a family recipe.  Just a super easy taco recipe I whipped up before I headed to my trainer.  Best part was the kids LOVED them, they haven’t stopped talking about them.  They came home from school and asked if I’d make them burritos with the left over chicken. 
I put two chicken breasts in a crock pot with a small can of diced green chilies.  Then poured about 2 cups of chicken stock over the top and the some garlic salt.  Turned it on high for 4 or 5 hours and once I could shred it I turned it to low to keep it warm until dinner.  If it seem dry at any point add a little more chicken stock.  I then shredded cheese and cut up our favorite veggies.  Have you tried the green olives in the can from Trader Joe’s?  They’re similar to black olives but better!  Ive been making a big batch of salsa every Sunday so we have it throughout the week.
The salsa recipe is adapted from my father in law.  I don’t measure, just throw in what I like.  In a food processor put about 1/4 of an onion, 2 jalapeños, cilantro, 1/2 cup tomato juice.  Blend that up. In another bowl I put a 27 oz can of diced tomatoes, another cup of tomato juice, 3 green onions diced.  Pour the blended mix in the bowl.  Add garlic salt, salt and pepper to taste.  I really like cilantro so I rough chop a little more and toss it in.  This recipe is super simple and the best salsa I’ve ever tasted.  Add more of what you like and less of what you don’t.
For dessert we had Joe Joe’s (Trader Joe’s version of an Oreo) and chocolate milk. This was Jacks first time and he thought they were pretty great.  I mean come on, he pulled it apart and ate it like a pro!
Chicken Tacos
2 chicken breasts
1 small can green chilies
2 cups chicken broth
garlic salt
1/4 of an onion
2 jalapeno’s (more if you like it spicier)
1/2 cup tomato juice
27 oz. can of diced tomatoes
3 green onions
garlic salt to taste
salt and pepper to taste


Saturdays are for playing in the hose and having a bike wash.  Santa brought us this Cadillac for Henri’s first Christmas.  You know, not the one he was born on but the one he turned a year old on. We had to replaced the battery but other than that its been great.  Aside from the fact that it looks like its been through it.  The kids decided to clean up their toys and take them for a spin.  Jack loves being outside but with it being so hot we rarely make it out there.  So this was a real treat for him.  Its hard to convince him to come back inside when there is so much fun going on outside.


last week we took the kids to a baseball game.  we’ve been cooped up in the house a lot lately with this awful weather.  so we thought we’d give the game a try.  ava didn’t want to go, she’s become a real homebody and i’ve been giving in and letting her stay back but i think i need to start pushing her more.  she stayed at my sisters when we went to disneyland, i mean come on!  who doesn’t love disneyland.  jack is in that i want to get into everything phase so we left them both at ivan’s moms and took the middle two with us.

we had so much fun.  they got to eat and drink everything they normally wouldn’t get.  we cheered and sang.  elle wanted to be on the big screen so she danced the whole time.  we stayed until the bottom of the 7th then decided it was time to get these babes home for bed.  we had a blast and it was good to get out of the house but still be in air-conditioning.

on a side note we are headed to new york at the end of this month and we are going to a yankee’s vs red Sox game.  i’m pretty excited!



Lately I’ve been in a funk.  I don’t even know why.  I started working out with a trainer and he gave me this crazy boring diet and really that’s the only thing in my life that’s changed.  So is that’s whats making me crazy?!  I don’t know but I’m trying to dig myself out of this bad mood.

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t go back to sleep, typical me.  I tossed and turned for hours and hours.  At some point I fell asleep and woke up crying, again.  This happened to me a few months back.  I dream we are back in the hospital.  Last night it was that Jack was sick again and we didn’t know what was wrong.  They wanted to do a cystic fibrosis test.  Which is what they had scheduled to do after his echo on the day we found out he had tapvr.  He was sedated in my dream.  The hardest part of Jack being sick was when he was sedated, just lying there, lifeless.  Not knowing if he would make it another day.  I was right there again.  The worst time of my life, reliving it.  Is this my way of working through everything we went through?  Is it the fear of his next cardiologist appointment looming around the corner?

So when I woke up this morning I decided to change my attitude.  I can’t control a lot of things but my decision to be happy or miserable is one thing I can change.  Today I’m choosing to be patient with my babies.  To be grateful for these days I get with them.  I know it won’t be easy given the mood Ive been in but I’m going to do my best.  So that’s that.  Life can feel crummy for no reason, its time for my pity party to end and for me to enjoy these last few days of summer vacation.  School starts Monday.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a tiny bit excited.


Life according to my iPhone 7-2014

Does anyone else let their baby tear up the bathroom so they can get ready?  Toilet paper keeps him busy for at least 5 min. I went back to blonde.  It feels good.  Jumping on the tramp with a hose, that’s childhood right there. Jack and Elle fight over the stool when I’m making dinner.
Chickens are getting huge.  Jack’s finally big enough to hold up a light saber.  Elle crying her eyes out because we had to leave church early, such a sweet girl.  I love when he lays his head on me.
Elle has lots of cool tricks, tucking her lip in is her latest.  Jack is petrified of the car wash.  Lots of chicken eggs these days.


Yep, we are still nursing.  My henny, he’s just so sweet and photogenic, the only one in the family.  Went to Pine to escape the heat.  Elle stuffed plastic cupcakes down her shirt and said looook mom.  What am I gonna do with her?



i have to admit i don’t think southern cali has the best food but it is one of our favorite places to beach so we end up there a lot.  we sort of rotate through the same few spots.  here’s my list of favorites.
T.K. Burgers
– big bargain special
– side of onion rings
– make sure you ask for a side of their sauce to dip your fries and onion rings in
– their breakfast is pretty good too
i don’t know why but I don’t like the mission viejo location so go to any of the others.
Big Belly Deli in newport beach
across the pch from newport beach.  perfect for ordering and taking over to the beach
– i always order the rajun cajun, it’s chicken and sausage with peppers and melted cheese.  kinda spicy and really good.
– i get the kids a turkey sandwich on squaw bread, really good
– get the side of macaroni salad
Ajisen Ramen irvine
– oh i dream of spicy pork ramen.  its just so so good.
– my kids love the regular pork ramen
walk over to 85c after dinner at ajisen ramen.  its in the same complex.  this taiwanese bakery is amazing.  i don’t even know what the name is of the pastry i get, its a puff looking pastry in what looks like a large cupcake liner and inside its filled with the most delicious custard.  we call them milk clouds.  all the sweets are really good.  i haven’t tried the savory.  i don’t drink coffee but i’ve heard the sea salt coffee is some of the best.  the lines can be reaaaaalllly long.
Ruby’s Shake Shack
we really like this place for the view alone.  play at the beach and then walk up the stairs for lunch.  sit at the bench facing the ocean while you enjoy your meal.
– breakfast burrito
– burger and fries
– shakes
 Lucha Libre in san diego
this was our first time eating at lucha and i thought it was pretty good.  i really like the green creamy sauce at the salsa bar.  i poured it all over everything.
– surfin’ califonia
– queso taco with carne asada
La Super-Rico Taqueria in santa barbara
hands down my favorite mexican food in california
– #16, homemade tortillas topped with carne asada, peppers and cheese.  amazing!!
– homemade guac is to die for
– ivan loved the adobado taco’s
if you are in santa barbara go here, there will be a line but its worth the wait. oh and they have mexican soda.  the perfect meal.
Pitfire Pizza in Costa Mesa
pizza and salads
i have yet to find a pizza i love in southern california.
Bagel Shack
– old man’s on swiss bagel, cream cheese, avocado and lemon pepper
– lower’s add sausage on cheddar bagel
– cinnamon crunch bagel with strawberry cream cheese
the best bagels i’ve ever had.
Sidecar Doughnuts in Costa Mesa
– butter and salt doughnut, my very favorite
-blueberry with cornmeal crumb, this one was doughnut of the month but i think they should always have it, it is that good.
VG Donut and Bakery
so i haven’t been here but i hear really good things about their donuts, its on my list next time i go.
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