Through the years...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Halloween Festivities

The candy I made for Isaac since he can't have sugar and all the other stuff that's in candy. I made this with honey, ground pecans and a little bit of pumpkin...they were delicious, Isaac loved them. YAY! Success!
Isaac posed for this picture all on his own, so cute! His sense of humor and imagination are really blossoming!!
This was the first year that Isaac came up with the idea on his own of what he wanted to be for Halloween...a scarecrow!
We just went with left-over costumes for the twins, James was a monkey and Evie was a lion, not really a girl costume, I know...but she still looked adorable!
The most I can get Michael to dress up for Halloween, wear a wizard hat. ha ha
This is at a pumpkin patch in Half Moon Bay. Isaac is saying hello to a witch that was wandering around. :-)
I let the twins loose and it was crazy chasing after the both of them.

That's Isaac sliding down the giant slide. This year he climbed up the rope in a matter of seconds, just last year and the year took him a long time...he's really progressing so much, we are thrilled!
He had a great time riding the pony, he wasn't scared at all this year.
We all carved pumpkins after Isaac got home from school on Halloween.
This is at Isaac's school for the Halloween parade.
Here he is coming out of the classroom for the parade.

Monday, September 1, 2008

My Trip to India!

We stopped and got some corn from the locals here on the bridge over-looking the damn. This is in Pune.
This is like the down-town area of Pune. A market street...or what they call a bazaar. If you can believe motorcycles would go through in between all of those people, sometimes even cars. There was a time that a motorcycle came by me so close that the handle bar caught the strap of my camara case. Thankfully she wasn't going that fast.
I would always brace myself when we would come to a stop, cause that's when someone would come right up and beg. It was so heart wrenching when it was a child or a young mother holding a baby. I'm inside what is called a is open on the sides and people walk all along everywhere on the street, so the beggars would come right up to you and touch you. I was so afraid that when the cars would start moving again that they would hit this little boy, but Tushar reassured me that the boy was very used to the traffic and the traffic was very used to kids and people walking all around the street. There were several times that I struggled to hold back the tears, sometimes it was too much when I would be missing my own children and then see all these kids and babies the same ages as mine, homeless, naked and begging...and I would lose it.
This was on the way to the studio. Those little buggie things are the rickshaws. They are little taxi's, but they are open. Sometimes I would have to pretty much jump in quick, cause those drivers just take off! The motors are like lawn mower motors...they use a rip chord. The were especially fun to ride in when it was raining! :-)
In the center is Dominic, he's the bass player on the album...amazing, truly pro.
Sitting in the chair is Noam Vazana, she played the trombone on a couple of the songs!
This picture we are posing for press. To my left is Chinmai Harshe, the recording engineer on the album, and to my right a friend of Tushar's and a famous Bollywood director who's name is Vishaal Bahardwaj (he stopped by the studio to say 'hi' and he also listened to a song, and loved it! :-) Next to him is of course, Tushar Parte...he is who I collaborated on the album with...the one who invited me and flew me to India!
This is the room above the studio room where we would have lunch and dinner. The food was so yummy. There was always also a little treat with every favorite part. :-) To my left is Chinmai, and to my right is Tushar.
This is Hamza, he is the drummer on the album. Very talented and fun to hang out with.
Here I am with Suchita and Juie (my right). I stayed with Juie and her family during the first week of my stay in Bombay. I fell in love with this family, they treated me like I was a part of their family. Juie is only 15 and so mature and wise, she really impressed me. Juie and her family are dear friends of Tushar and Suchita. Suchita has been giving Juie singing lessons for many years.
Here I am with Suchita and her best friend Darshina. I instantly connected with these wonderful women!
Here I tried to take a picture of the man who is in the doorway. He looked really cool...long white beard, a turban on and a wrap around bright orange skirt...if you look close you can kind of see the orange skirt. But, turned out to be a cool picture with the buildings and the rain and the guys on their motorcycles.
These are the beautiful mountains that we passed through driving from Bombay to Pune (about a 3 hour drive). These mountains are covered with waterfalls just about every where you look...and it was so misty from the monsoon beautiful and magical.
The waterfalls were just everywhere....there were a lot that were even falling onto the road a little bit.
We stopped when we saw some monkeys hanging out on the side of the freeway. In his hand is some corn on the cob that someone must have given to them just before we saw them.
Here is an old beautiful bridge that we passed under....I think someone told me that it was 100 years old.
This is the view from the bedroom I stayed at in Pune. There is a balcony off of the bedroom....I think the flat is 7 stories up.
This is the view from the balcony off of the living room. This is Tushar and Suchita's second home in Pune.

Our studio time got some press in a popular Marathi Bombay newspaper. Here is the news clipping with that picture noted above. It's a pretty long article, I wish I knew what it said! ha ha :-) But anyway... it was a pleasure meeting him, he was very nice.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Twins 1st Birthday!

I can't believe that a year has already gone by since the twins were born! They are growing so fast! Here's a quick update: They both love to dance...everytime music comes on, or any kind of beat...they both start doing a little's the cutest! They also both love to eat!! They would probably eat all day long if I let them! They will eat just about anything too. Their favorites are bananas and soon as they see them, they start hooting like monkeys.

Evie loves to make all different noises that she can using her tongue and she loves to point at everything as if to ask what it is or tell us about it. She likes to use her bib to play peek-a-boo while she eats, so cute! She's getting good at cruising along the furniture and she has recently started to stand unassisted....she gets really proud of herself when she does this. I'm sure it won't be long til she starts walking....she has just really mastered crawling and she knows that she is fast. She's very adventurous and doesn't seem to mind at all to get far away from me. (scary)

James loves to sing...he goes 'la la la' when he hears music or hears me sing. He has the cutest look on his face when he does if he is singing a very heartfelt dramatic song, it's adorable! He loves to see new faces (as long as I'm holding him) and he loves to flirt and play peek-a-boo with these faces...shyly smiling and then turning to nuzzle me. James has more seperation anxiety...he likes to be near me and doesn't crawl too far away when we are not at home. He's also alot more easily content to just be in one place and take everything in. He loves the little walker we have (walking pushing it like a cart) he gets so excited and laughs the whole time while walking! You can tell he feels like a big boy!

Well, here are some pictures of yesterday's birthday celebration (their actual birthday is today, the 21st) I realized that I didn't take any pictures of the guest's, so I'll name them here: Grandma and Grandpa Burke, Grandma and Grandpa Jensen, The Judson's and The Mendoza's - little Sierra Mendoza (Isaac's best friend) shares a birthday with the twins.Before you think James is smaller than Evie....he looks small here because the high chair he is sitting in has a really high tray (or low seat) and it's can't be adjusted. They completely devoured the cake that I made them the second that I put them on their tray, so I didn't get a chance to take a picture of them eating their first bite!
They enjoyed unwraping their presents....then tearing the paper into bits! Isaac helped with that too! :-)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Yummy Recipe I wanted to Share

I've been having fun learning about nutrition and being adventurous with Isaac's diet....a much better attitude I've chosen to have than feel burdened or stressed. So, with the experiences of his new diet and having to cook everything he eats from scratch, I've discovered an interest and creative talent that I only wondered before if I had. I'm an adventurous and creative chef! A good one too! :-) Here's a recipe that I got from a book and then ran with it, I call it:

Janeen's Versatile Pancakes, Bread and Buns!
(ok, more of a practical name than creative, but the pancakes themselves are creative, nutritious and delicious!) Note: All ingredients are approx. I don't actually measure.


1 cup ground almonds (grind into a meal or flour using food processor or blender, but I just got mine already ground from Trader Joe's in the nut section called "Almond Meal")
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2 tblsp. honey
1 mashed banana (the riper the better!)
1 tblsp. grated fresh ginger

Mash up the ripe banana (or puree in blender) add eggs and whisk. Mix together all the rest of the ingredients. Heat oil in pan or skillet and pour on the batter using the whisk to spread out for a round shape. The pancake will be darker than your standard pancake and cooks a little faster. It might need to flip before you think it's ready, just take edge and flip carefully...if some batter from top runs off, jut use the spatula to push it back to the edge of the pancake to keep it's shape. It won't look perfect, but the shape is the importance...and who cares, it's delicious!

TIP: Use a bit of oil in the pan before every pancake you cook...otherwise it's a bit dry and 'spongey'.

It may sound hard, but it's actually really easy. Like I said, I don't measure...I just toss in what looks right...I think I did measure the almond meal, but that was it. Also, what I did if you want to have it on hand for a quick batch......I took all the dry ingredients and put it into sandwich baggies for single batches and put them in the will keep for several months and then all I have to do is grab a baggie and add all of the wet ingredients and the batter is done! I do the whole batch at one time and put what is left in a zip-lock bag, it will keep for a few days to a week....but, it's usually eaten before then. :-)

These pancakes are versatile in two ways....first, what you add to the batter is practically an endless possibility! I've done instead of the banana, grated zucchini or grated carrot...or put it all together! The ginger is optional (I just really like it). You could use applesauce instead of a banana, or whatever! Also, they are versatile because they are more than just breakfast pancakes, I've used them as bread slices for a sandwich or even hamburger buns! I made meat loaf and then used the left-overs for a sandwich using this bread, and I about passed was so delicious! A little mayo, mustard and cheese! Yum! You could even make these with garlic and spices, just get crazy and creative!
I haven't tried this yet, but I bet you could even spread the batter thin on a low heat and make tortillas!

That's one thing I've definitely learned is to think outside the box and use all kinds of ingredients and do things that are unconventional to make something delicious! That's the fun of it, knowing you created a new flavor that maybe no-one else has thought of before!
If you are allergic to eggs, the standard egg replacer like gelatin or applesauce I'm sure would apply. Or if you are allergic to almonds and there's a nut that you aren't allergic to, I'm sure you could use would still be yummy. Or of course your standard pancake mix. I just don't do that cause Isaac can't have, nuts are really nutritious and hearty.
Another thing that is cool is that this is a great way to 'sneak' nutrition into your kids diet, or your husband for that matter. ;-) These things are so yummy! That's why I had to share. Have fun, and if you come up with a yummy variation...please do share!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The twins at 8 months old. James looks like he thinks he's super cool. ha ha Evie is between fussing and smiling.
Here is Evie doing her yoga plank. :-)
Ha ha, I love this one because it looks like James just smacked the back of Evie's head (he didn't), but it looks funny...I love James' little smile!
Here is handsome Isaac showing the two missing teeth that just fell out.

Isaac loves to play with his brother and sister in the jumper and walkers.
I took these pictures to enlarge and frame. James was being so smiley...isn't this an adorable picture of him!!
And here is my Evie, so happy and clapping. :-D So cute.
Evie kept squinting when it was about to flash. I have yet to get a picture of both of them smiling in it! :-)
I thought this was cute....they interact with each other all the time. They will smile at each other, I haven't gotten a picture of them smiling at each other, but they do it all the time and it's so cute!

The twins had a really bad cold or the flu for like 2 was so hard. Especially because I was sick too. Here they are at 7 months old. I had to take a picture of them looking so pitiful...they were leaking from their eyes, nose and mouth almost contantly with green gunk coming from their eyes. Poor little guys!