Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer Sickness

Bleh, who gets sick in the summer?! Apparently I do. Fortunately, it's currently just a minor tummy ache, but it's depressing in the summer especially when there's so much on my 'to do' list and school is just around the corner. As such, the blog has suffered, but I'll back at it in the next couple of days. I promised an update on our potty training so that is in the works along with others in the pipeline. Back to resting now.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Slow Cookers and Grocery Shopping

As I've gotten older, I'm less and less tolerant of crowds. As such, I prefer to do my grocery shopping during the week even if it means having the monkeys tag along. Although, I've figured out the secret to getting them to sit (mostly) still through the store is to buy a couple of agua frescas at the counter near the produce section right when we walk in (Thank you HEB for that, I'll miss it if we move). Also, thank goodness for programs like Mother's Day Out so I only have to do that during the summer. Who knew I'd be grateful for the ability to do errands on my own? Although I'm still hoping to find some of that precious alone time to just sit in a quiet house and do whatever it is my heart desires at the time.

Part of my plan to reduce time spent working at home and shuffling the kids to various activities meant utilizing my slow cooker more. However, that's getting more and more difficult for a couple of reasons. First, it seems most slow cooker recipes are better suited for cooler weather. Second, most of the recipes I find are for chicken. We made a pork dish the other night, but it came out very dry. Third, I do NOT enjoy cooking my food BEFORE putting it in the slow cooker. I may as well be cooking the whole dish that evening. If you ask me to saute, boil, or brown my food before putting it in the slow cooker, I'm most likely going to move onto the next recipe. I want to dump my food and go! Please share if you have any good ones. Anyways, I'm off to find some decent meal options for this week so I can head to the grocery store tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Turbo, or the racing snail movie as we called it, was a really cute film. I'm not sure the previews do it justice. Dadda monkey wasn't sure he wanted to see it, but is glad that he did. He described it as "not so much of a racing snail movie, as a movie about following your dreams and the value of self-confidence and family". 

First off I want to mention that I didn't know this movie was in 3D and was a little worried since we brought Bro Bro monkey (currently 3 1/2) with us. We haven't brought him to a 3D movie since our second attempt (How to Train Your Dragon, I believe) where we learned he didn't have the patience to keep the glasses on or sit still through a movie. He's done better with movies as a whole, but I have avoided bringing him to any other 3D movies. However, he did great with Turbo! Both monkeys were a little tired and got a little restless during some downtime midway through the film, but rallied when the story got to the Indy 500 scenes. The monkeys said they enjoyed the film and even laughed during some of the 'silly' parts.

Turbo (AKA Theo) lives a ho hum life as a garden snail, but (somehow) has access to a TV and is enthralled with auto racing and one racer in particular. His brother continues to tell Theo to give up his passion for racing and face the reality of his life as a garden snail. Theo's routine day means going to work with the other snails harvesting tomatoes. However, his dream of being fast interrupts his daily work and ultimately is fired, along with his brother (who was always defending Theo, despite his own misgivings). It's an interesting turn of events that gives Theo/Turbo his gift of speed and he uses it to save first himself, then his brother, but along the way they are separated from their home. What happens next is what leads to them to the Indy 500. I don't want to say too much because it's a darling movie and definitely worth watching. 

There's some decent 3D effects, but I don't think you'd lose anything by not seeing it in 3D. The other kids in the theater seemed to enjoy it as there wasn't too much chatter, but there was a cute point in the movie where one moviegoer said aloud 'he cheated!' It was really cute that everyone got into it. So go out and enjoy Turbo!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Excited for Planes!

I love to fly, as a flight attendant, that was sort of a necessary requirement. However, this time I'm talking about Disney's Planes! Bro Bro monkey is a huge fan of Cars so there's no way we'd miss a chance to see Planes. We're anxiously awaiting the release on August 9th. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Best Measuring Spoons

I've had the flimsy metal measuring spoons, the plastic ones that have the labels that wear off over time, and the kind that are attached by a ring, requiring you to separate them or wash them all together. I found all of them to be disappointing, but a couple of months ago, I found my favorite measuring spoons, Progressive International Stainless Steel Magnetic Measuring Spoons. They're a durable stainless steel, the labels are attached to a magnet and haven't shown any signs of wear after several washings, and even have a 1/2 Tbsp spoon. Best of all... they nest inside each other and stay put because of the magnets! One side is narrower for fitting in spice jars and the other side is rounded for liquids. Seriously, they're just about perfect and highly recommended by this Monkey Momma who loves to bake.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Thomas Sale

Bro Bro monkey is a huge Thomas and Friends fan. Lucky for me, he can spend hours playing on the train table in his room. I went to Toys R Us online today to buy him a portable desk for our big trip this fall, when I noticed they were having a huge clearance sale (click here to go it). The desk I wanted was only $10 so, as I'm always apt to do, I chose to pad my order to get free shipping (Dadda monkey will give me his usual eye-roll for doing so). We're working on potty training and have the big trip coming up, so we could use some more toys and they were on SALE plus free shipping for padding my order!

One of the first things I added to my cart was this Take n Play Twist & Tumble Cargo Drop for half off. Then we added Sidney for $4.98. Finally, because we're just starting our Take n Play collection, I decided to splurge on the Slate Loading Station, also for half off. I normally avoid the take and play stuff for two reasons. First, we have a big table with a wooden track and these things take up a lot more space. Secondly, they're normally significantly more expensive than just buying new engines or features for our wooden track. However, Bro Bro monkey loves the features of the take and play tracks and has showed increasing interest in getting some more of them.

Hopefully, this will help us progress on our potty training. Now I need to scour their toys to see if there's anything I can get rid of to help make room for these new items. There were lots of other things in their clearance section, but I was focused on Thomas today. Happy shopping!

Friday, July 5, 2013


My parents are in town from West Florida to spend the holiday with us and visit their grandchildren. However, they also timed their trip to coincide with a bridge tournament in San Antonio. They spend most of their free time since retirement, playing bridge and are part of a bridge club in Florida. 

Dadda monkey and I are attempting to learn so we can play with them for fun, but are having a terrible time with the bidding process (more so me, than him). The game itself is fun and similar to hearts or spades, but the bidding leading up to the game is incomprehensible to me. Two diamonds seems to mean any numerous things depending on what preceded it. Dadda monkey and I joked we were going to use our own system to communicate with our teammates. Three purple unicorns may as well be what's being said because I just don't get it. Unfortunately, once my parents are gone, we don't follow through with our education of the game so there's no consistency to our instruction. 

Anyways, I neglected to wish everyone a happy 4th of July yesterday due to their visit,  but I wanted to update everyone with what's being going on in the monkey household recently. Enjoy the holiday weekend and best wishes to my parents on the last day of their tournament tomorrow!