Rooster Soup

We recently visited our friends Colin and CC in Mendocino who live on "The Land"  They are considered family and our kids are like cousins. We always look forward to our annual trip to their property and this year was no exception.

We were lucky enough to visit when they had a surplus of roosters. You see, one of their hens hatched 4 eggs and 3 of those eggs ended up being boys. Too many roosters in a pen is allot of noise and expensive to feed. I was hoping we could kill us some rooster and make rooster soup. I really wanted my girls to see the process from animal to the dinner plate. CC was more than happy to oblige and do the dirty work.

She hung them by their feet and quickly cut off their heads. I know chickens supposedly go crazy after their heads are chopped off, but I didn't know how crazy. They really flap and flutter, so much they sprayed blood in a giant radius, giving us all a fine dimpling of red splatter. The kids decided to stay away for this part.

After the roosters stilled, the kids came for me to collect feathers. It is fricken hard to pluck the darn things out. CC  began the arduous task of skinning and gutting them. Thankfully she has done this before and I didn't have to help as I am sure I would have been all thumbs.  It is quite a messy and time consuming task.

A couple hours later we had two beautifully cleaned roosters ready for the stock pot.  We composted the third one because we ran out of time to skin it. Later than night we feasted on a rich rooster soup. The meat was too tough to get off the birds so we gave the carcasses to the dogs. The soup was delicious!!!

I love that my kids got to see what is really involved in making a chicken dinner. Thanks so much Colin and CC!

Tying them up

One on left ready to get it and one on right already got it

Coruna & CC skinning the chicken

Safeway is Cool

The reason I created this blog was to record those awesome kid moments that I always forget to write down. I also wanted to keep the long distance family connected. So far its been fun and one day in the far away future my kids will have an arsenal of stories to remember me by.

A month ago a Safeway/Vons rep contacted me asking if I could do a review on the Mom to Mom pull-up and diaper brand. The funny thing was, that same day I bought a pack of Safeway pull-ups because Ava is still struggling with wetting the bed. The rep said she would send me a pack to try out.

I was so excited because we have been struggling with wet sheets for so long now that I make sure Ava is always in a pull-up. It doesn't seem to be getting any better and we have visited the doctor to be informed that nothing is wrong and that this could go on for years. YEARS!! That is a lot of money spent on pull-ups. So naturally that was why I bought the Safeway brand, called Mom to Mom, in the purple package. They are way cheaper than the rest. I bought them today for 7.99 when all the other packs were 11.99. They work equally as good and save me a bundle.

The coolest part of the story is that Safeway sent me TWO 25$ Safeway gift cards in the mail. The perks of blogging are great!

The Happiest Place on Earth

Tea Cup Ride
Disneyland is truly the happiest place on earth. I recently took my girls with their grandparents to this land of wonder. I grew up going to Disneyland and it was a big part of my childhood, but this was my kids first visit.

Walt Disney was a genius when it came to kids having fun. Everything about the place is magical. I know I may sound like a dweeb, but I am a true believer.

The trick is to get there right when they open and do as many rides as you can before the mid day crowds and stifling heat beat you down. After hours of fun we said goodbye to the parents, and head across the street to this awesome hotel my dad got for us. He convinced me not to drive back to Santa Cruz after a full day at Disneyland. Thank goodness, because we rested up and got our second wind before heading back to max out on fun.

Fairy Land
My favorite part of the day was watching the parade. Ava was shocked to hear they do it every single day, twice a day. The parade is such a spectacle that it seems like you are a part of the magical world of Disney. And for all of you non believers out there, Ariel really is a mermaid, I saw her tail. Both my girls were awestruck by the princesses who make eye contact as they pass. A chimney sweeper from Marry Poppins came over and gave Ava five and said, Hello love. I dont know what got into me, but I couldn't keep the happy tears from flowing.

Ava's favorite ride was Autoptopia, she drove that car like her daddy's daughter, in other words like a bat out of hell. Scarlett loved the Buzz Lightyear ride, which we got stuck on for 10 minutes shooting the giant robot at the end.

That night we head back to our hotel, wash off the grime and sunscrean, and climb into our king size bed where we giggled and tickled until we fell asleep. It was a trip of a lifetime and I hope my kids remember it as vividly as I do.

Thanks to both sets of parents for making this happen!!!

Nana and the girls

Lunch at the Blue Bayou

Closet Barbie

Ava has never been interested in barbies, dolls, or princesses. When ever we go to the toy store she prefers the boy sections.

The other day I found her in the bathroom playing with Scarlett's new Cinderella Barbie, brushing it's hair and getting it dressed. She had this guilty look on her face when I walked in and it took me a few seconds to figure out why. Then I saw the barbie behind her back.  I told her the hair looked great!

She is hesitant to embrace her girlyness that seems to be coming out these days, so I am trying to help her foster it by encouraging her.

When we were at the baby resale shop she found an old misfit looking Ariel Barbie. After the Barbie purchase I offered to make it some clothes because the ones she came in were gross and falling apart. A couple hours later, Ariel was a new woman, dressed up in ocean blue. Ava then made me a happy mamma by showing all her friends and their parents the outfit I made. She really liked it!  I plan to make many more Barbie outfits and let my inner girlyness come out too!

Long dress transforms to short

Cocktail dress 

Ava's 1st Roller Coaster

Ava HATES fast rides, and I dont use the H word lightly.  Her fear of fast is great because her and Scarlett like the same kind of rides at the fair, Boardwalk, or Disneyland. Makes it easy for me when I can take the girls on the same thing at the same time.

We recently spent 2 days at Seaworld with my sister and her kids. By the second day, Ava worked up the courage to go on this ride called Atlantis, as long as I went with her. I was surprised because this ride is a roller coaster and has a huge drop. I dont think she saw the coaster part of it when we were in line.

My sister watched the babies while Ethan, Ava and I went on Atlantis. You see, I have never been on this ride so I didnt know exactly how fast it was. Right out of the gate it is fricken fast and a full on roller coaster. Ava is hysterically screaming and crying and asking to get off, spewing giant crocodile tears. She is truly afraid. I am holding her as best I can but there are these big U shaped bars over each of us, so it is hard to get to her. I cant help but laugh as we coaster onward. Ethan is in front of us cracking up as he spins around to see Ava's hysterics.

I distinctly remember when my mom took me on Space Mountain. I recall being nervous in line and her telling me it will be fun. Then I remember screaming and crying for the entire ride, feeling terrified. Note to self - 'Do not take my child on a roller coaster if she cant even handle the pirate boat at the boardwalk.'  I have a feeling that ride will be one of Ava's permanent memories that lasts until adulthood.

In Line Before the Ride

The Scary Ride

Lost in the Woods!

Big Rock Hole Trail One sunny day we drove to Henry Cowell State Park to meet up with some friends who were camping there. They told us ...