Monday, February 13, 2012

Trip, fall, get back up

Sometimes I feel like there's little point in trying to exercise regularly because something always trips me up.  Whether it's getting sick after 3 or so weeks of steady work-outs, or schedule conflicts, or kid roadblocks, or sometimes low motivation, there usually seems to be something to get in the way.  My Man's splurge to himself (and me) now that the office renovation is done was a gym membership.  I now have no excuse not to get some cardio and weights in, especially during the rainy season.  Are we going to have a rainy season?  It should have been here by now....

I tried to get to the gym this morning. I even planned ahead and was on my way when this happened.
Dropping Syd off to play with cousin Maddie, we were walking up Grandma and Grandpa's front porch steps when Syd tripped, fell, and broke her fall with her front teeth.  She was right behind me and I knew as soon as I whipped my head around to see her face rebound off the concrete step that this one was serious.  After a quick peek in her mouth to find her teeth pushed way farther back than normal and her gums ripped up and bloody, I made a quick call to the dentist to make sure they were in because I was coming straight there.  I was so nervous and worried that teeth would have to be pulled and my baby would have a naked front row in her mouth until her adult teeth started to come in.  Sure, it's not the end of the world, but it still would be sad.  I remember thinking, "At least I just took some cute birthday pictures of her with her smile in tact."  So lame, right?
Syd was such a brave girl.  I kept trying to help her feel calm while we waited in the dentist chair, but I think it was me that needed the reassurance more than her.  She was visibly worried, of course, but she took the x-ray, exam, and cleaning her up like a champ.  Thankfully, nothing was broken.  No teeth had to be removed.  There is the possibility that one tooth may die, but since she already has a wicked cross bite (can we say ortho bills?) the misplaced tooth won't hit her bottom teeth.  Syd left the office in tact with an ice pack, a scrip for antibiotics, and a promise to watch whatever movie she wanted when we got home.
     
So here I am nursing a pre-teen on the couch with a stomach ache who stayed home from school today, and a pig-lipped 4 year-old who only wants to watch movies and slide her tongue along her fat lip.  Part of me wants to curl up right next to them and finish my book, but the practical Mom will win out.  Instead I'm eating 4 day old pizza (which I shouldn't be because I didn't earn it at the gym this morning) and making a mental list of all that needs to get done today.

Hopefully, I can squeeze in a run with the dog tonight and get back on track tomorrow.  Gratefully, Syd will try a play date with Maddie again tomorrow morning with a mouth still full of teeth!

Monday, October 24, 2011

and I would walk 500 miles.....

It felt like we did walk that many miles during our three day adventure in Disneyland and California Adventure.  Aunt 'Nisey set her pedometer on her new iPhone and it said we walked over 6 miles on our slowest day from late afternoon on.  I'm sure we doubled that easily on each of the other two days, and the chillies were troopers with all that walking.  They didn't complain about sore feet or blisters like us wimpy adults.  We learned that if you do three or more days at Disney it would be ideal to take a rest day in between two of those days.  We were really dragging that second day after being in the park until midnight (date night!), and didn't get to explore California Adventure as much as we would have liked.  The kids were also burning the candle at both ends with staying up late each night to see the cool shows and fireworks.  We got our Disney feet wet with the kids first trip there and know how to do it better the next time.
Notice how fried we all look in this picture?  This was our last night and everyone had just woken up from a nap that was way too short.  Disneyland in October was amazing.  Since fall is my favorite season and Halloween one of our family's best loved holidays, I really enjoyed all the harvest decorations and jack-o-lanterns all over the park.  The rides they converted for Halloween were well done and a fun change for us Disney veterans.  

It was almost a perfect first trip.  I woke up our last day there to the realization that I hadn't seen our little camera come back with us the night before.  It had all of the pictures from the first two days on it.  I'm trying not to beat myself up too much about it, and I was almost sure someone would turn it in being that we were in Disneyland with so many other families who would realize the sadness of a lost camera.  I struck out at Lost and Found and still do not know how I lost track of that blasted camera after it ran out of batteries and I put it back in it's case.  It kinda stings that I don't have a folder full of pictures from the kids first trip to the Magic Kingdom.  All the rational men around me keep putting things in perspective though.  "Bah, it's just a camera!  You all have the memories and it's the experience that's important," my Dad said when I told him.  For me the photographs are part of the experience.  :(    

Each kid came home with their top favorites list, and for the sake of documentation here they are;

J-bird was a trooper with trying all the big kid rides that she'd never experienced before.  She went on everything Mom and Dad did except California Screamin' (her junk food-filled tummy wasn't up for the loop at that point) and the Tower of Terror (same reason and too tired).  She loved Star Tours, Jedi training, Space Mountain (Ghost Galaxy during October), Sourin' over CA, Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder, Matterhorn, Indiana Jones, the Grizzly water ride, and making her own light saber.  She spent the longest at this light saber station working and reworking the perfect double-edged light saber.  Jessie is such the Tomboy....
Sweet Toby is a chicken when it comes to rides.  Apparently that comes from his Dad when he was a little guy.  He's too careful and tentative at amusement parks which I find odd considering his outgoing personality is completely opposite.  We tried to break him in slowly, but going on Indiana Jones (kinda intense and very bumpy/jerky) ruined any chance we had of getting him or Logan on any other bigger kid rides.  Toby's favs included Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Star Tours, making his own light saber, swimming at the hotel, and getting picked for Jedi Training to fight Darth Maul.  
Logan did better than I expected with all the walking.  His all-time favorites were Buzz's Astro Blasters and Star Tours.  He also liked the rocket ride in Tomorrowland, all the delicious junk food he consumed all weekend, the Teacups, Sourin' over CA, seeing ducks everywhere, swimming at the hotel, and the Bugs Life ride.  Logan was also a little apprehensive about trying rides after taking cues from his brother, but he loosened up and became a little more adventurous.  I was surprised that he was adamantly opposed to seeing the characters.  Most the kids got pictures with various movie characters that they liked, but there was not a one that could bring Logan out of his shell.  My Man and I were in line to take pics with all the villians and had to laugh that none of our kids wanted to come anywhere near them.  Logan was across the sidewalk hiding behind a garbage can while we waited to see Cruella, the Queen of Hearts and Jafar.  He is still a shy little guy even though he was more willing to try new things.
 Sydney had the best deal of the weekend with the stroller hook-up.  It was a little hard to balance the big kid rides with the ridiculous long lines in Fantasyland that Sydney wanted to explore.  Our early Magic Morning entrance saved the day in that regard.  We headed straight for Star Tours and Fantasyland and walked onto every ride for one blessed hour.  It really was magical.  Aunt 'Nisey took all the Littles on their first ride on the Teacups, and I was shocked that Sydney loved that ride like it was the only thing she wanted to do in life.  Little Maddie is not crying either, as she loved it as much as Syd.  Since there was seriously NO line we walked back onto a different color teacup at least five times in a row.  Syd would put her arms up on the top of the cup and silly scream with wide, excited eyes the entire ride.  It was hilarious to watch her and I felt bad we didn't have time to go again later in the afternoon every time she asked to go back.  She also liked the rocket ride, seeing Cinderella and all the princesses, and the Jungle Tour.  
Did you notice the princess pose Syd is rockin' with Sleeping Beauty up there? Where did she learn that one?  She loved every second of meeting the princesses.  Now pretend you see the most adorable picture of Syd with her favorite princess, Cinderella, in the shade of a huge tree by Sleeping Beauty's castle.  She has a beaming smile similar to this on her face.  The next picture is Syd giving Cinderella a huge hug before saying goodbye.  Those are the few pictures I am really sad are lost with our little Nikon.  Over the three days Syd got to meet Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Snow White, Tinkerbell and another fairy, and Mary Poppins without too much effort on our part.  She was in princess heaven.  

The family favorites were Buzz Astro Blasters (except Syd), Star Tours, and the Teacups.  Three year-old Syd even did great on Star Tours although she didn't want to go again.  I'm sure the kids could have spent an entire morning riding those three rides over and over and over again and been perfectly content. I think Pirates of the Caribbean would have been a family fav too, but it was closed.  One of the things on my to-do list was a dinner date with my Man at the Blue Bayou which was closed with Pirates.  Next time...  

Dave loved taking the kids on all the rides for their first time.  We were so thankful that Denise and Arnold came with us so we could both take Jessie on the big kid rides together.  Dave and I really liked spooky Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, and Jessie put on a brave face to go with us.  We were proud of her brave resolve to go even though she was worried about it, being her first big ride and all.  My Man took his Sydney princess on the Ariel's Grotto ride in CA Adventure and it turned out to be a highlight for both of them.  Logan was so excited every time Daddy said yes to his request to go on Buzz and Star Tours again and again.  They both loved it!  We made the mistake of taking the boys on Indiana Jones too early thinking that they would like the bumper car feel.  I didn't know that another boy they met in the pool the night before told our boys that if you looked in the eyes of the temple guy at the beginning of the ride that you would have a BAD ride.  That's all Logan could say after we got off that ride was that "Daddy looked into his eyes because that was a bad ride!"  I'm guessing that even an adult would not have fun in that ride if they experienced the bumps, jerks and hills with eyes closed the entire time.  Ironically, Toby couldn't stop whistling the Indiana Jones theme song the rest of the trip, and he actually listed the ride as one of his favorites.  His eyes really were closed the entire ride, so I'm not sure what he liked about it.  Dave was also instrumental in getting the kids to Jedi Training early enough that they would be front and center with the best chance to get picked to wield a light saber.  Logan was picked to participate and fight Darth Vader the first day we were there, and we had to go back our last day so Toby and Jessie could have a chance.  Thankfully, they were both picked first thing in the morning and had a great time fighting Darth Maul.  Daddy loved watching each kid learn the moves and fight the dark side at the end.  Dave was uber-disappointed in how they changed the Haunted Mansion for Halloween.  Everything was Nightmare Before Christmas in the Haunted Mansion, which I loved, but it was a major downer for my Man as nothing was the same as the classic ride.    
Dave's other favs included monster corn dogs, an adults-only ice cream cone every night (oh yes!), and meeting the Evil Queen.  She came sauntering through Fantasyland early morning our last day there and Dave couldn't pass up that Kodak moment.  The Evil Queen doesn't stop to sign autographs.  She doesn't stand there and wait for everyone to line up for her.  The Evil Queen keeps walking and bids you to follow her if you dare.  Dave and I caught up to her and I asked "Her Highness" for a picture if she pleased.  She said something like, "if I must, but hurry up.  We wouldn't want to waste your time, or more importantly, mine."  She was fun. 

My favs were sharing the Fantasmic show with the kids, the yummy food (corn dogs and ice cream!), California Screamin' and Tower of Terror with my Man, and witnessing the kids experience such a fun weekend at Disney.  While Dave and I were on our date Saturday night we walked by the Fantasmic show (I'd never seen it before), and my heart sank at the fact the our kiddos were missing such a cool show.  I thought it was the last show of the weekend, so being able to share it with them the next night was awesome! I have a few vivid memories of Disney as a young kid, and I loved taking our chillies there to have the same unforgettable fun!  

It was no-holds-barred as far as food was concerned for four entire days.  At home, we only eat sweets one day a week with the exception of the kids getting something special for lunch every day (chocolate milk, granola bar, goldfish, etc.).  Since it was much cheaper to take in a bunch of packaged food, (and some token bagged veggies) instead of buying all our food in the parks, that is what we did.  My Man and Aunt 'Nisey did a Target run early our first morning there and we were set for the remainder of the trip.  We all found it a treat to reach into the magic backpack of snack mania when hunger reminded us we were indeed still on Earth.  There were PopTarts, special cereals, Gogurt, fruit snacks, trail mix, beef jerkey, granola bars, Fruit by the Foot, crackers, and cookies.  

I hear what ya'll are thinking.  How can one have enough nourishment to hike through Disneyland whilst eating so much processed junk food?  Not to worry, we balanced it out with proper proteins; turkey legs, corn dogs and chicken strips, and fruits/veggies; lemonade, pineapple wedges, and those token carrots and snap peas that were packed back home.  What about dairy you ask?  Well we don't eat much dairy at home, but we didn't hold that against the food group in Disneyland.  The dairy there was delicious!  In fact, I blame the amazing single scoop in a chocolate-dipped waffle cone with whipped cream on top for my excited hurriedness that I think led to the disappearance of our camera.  Boo.
Our family and Aunt 'Nisey (Maddie snoozing in the stroller) enjoyed a memorable meal in the Golden Horseshoe while we watched these characters play some tunes.  Check out the size of those corn dogs!  I would have had one every day they were so delicious.  We all enjoyed being entertained by the songs, instruments and punny jokes of Billy Hill and the Hillbillies as we rested our tired feet.  It was a great recharge for our last push to check off the must-do items our last day in the parks.
I thought three days in the parks would be plenty of time to get everything done that we wanted.  It almost was.  We were so tired the second day that our efficiency in checking off everyone's must-do list was pathetic.  Next time we go we will take a rest day in the middle to recharge and sleep.  That's what vacations are for anyway, right?      
Even though this weekend was not what I originally planned, it turned out to be an unforgettable weekend with my family.  At one point during the Fantasmic show Sunday night I glanced right to see my Man with Syd on his shoulders.  Their faces lit up as fireworks went off behind the river boat that was floating by.  The kids and I were soaking in every second of the amazing show.  I smiiled at my Man as a huge wave of happiness and gratitude swept over me.  I am a lucky girl to have a husband and father who provides so well for us, and who took the time, effort, and means necessary to surprise our family with a weekend at Disney to experience moments like we were having just then.  It was, dare I say,....... magical.     

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Disney's the new San Diego

The month of October is my favorite month (always jam-packed with fun) because my birthday, General Conference weekend, our wedding anniversary, Harvest time, and Halloween (a family favorite) are always celebrated within these short 31 days.  I love leap-frogging through October from one celebration to the next.  Usually the weather starts cooling a little bit with crisp fall air during the day and snuggling with my Man under a heavy blanket at night.  I always break out the pumpkin spice candles and scents and enjoy seeing happy orange pumpkins everywhere.  It's the best month of the year for me and never disappoints.

The past few years my Man and I have been blessed to take a long weekend away from the chillies in October to celebrate our anniversary.  When the time came this year to decide if we would go away I just wasn't feeling up for it.  We have been talking about taking the kids to Disneyland this fall and I felt like we should save the money for that.  My Man kept asking, "you sure you don't want to go away for our anniversary?"  Finally I gave him the go ahead to plan something since he kept asking.  He was paying for it after all, and I wasn't going to refuse a vacation dangling in front of me.  My Man said he would take care of all the arrangements, finding a baby-sitter and pet-sitter, and surprise me.  I was SO okay with that.  

For two weeks there were quiet arrangements made between my Man and his sister, Denise, for the chillies to stay with them and do all kinds of activities while we were gone.  My excitement for a quiet weekend for two to sleep in late, eat relaxing meals together, and slow down to recharge was starting to build.  One night my Man asked me if I was even curious as to where we were going.  Of course I was, but surprisingly, the control freak and planner in me didn't really mind not having to worry about the details.  He said we were heading to San Diego for the weekend, and would drop hints every once in awhile about relaxing in the tub with a good book, or window shopping in downtown San Diego.

Since I was doing all the packing for the family I was told to pack swimming gear for the kids, clothes for four days, and all the gear necessary for a day at Six Flags (hat, sunblock, good walking shoes/socks, etc.)  I kept telling Aunt 'Nisey she deserved a saint hood for not only taking all four of our kids for the weekend, but also for planning such awesome activities.  Aunt Lauren also deserves mega brownie points for being willing to have Ruby with her while Dan was away most the weekend.  The dog is still very puppyish and is always so rowdy around their dog, Simon.

Dave really did take care of everything and we left last Friday from work after his last patient.  While I was waiting for Dave to finish with patients I noticed his schedule for the next week was completely empty for Monday AND Tuesday.  I was told we were coming home on Monday.  I started to get suspicious and anticipated him surprising me once we were there with an extra day of playing.  Then as we were driving out of town he said we were stopping off on the way to San Diego to meet with one of his patients to go to dinner.  Fast forward six hours later and stuck in LA traffic and I really began to wonder what was going on.  He had been texting someone all day like he was keeping tabs on them.  As soon as we got off on one of the Disneyland exits in Anaheim I began giving him mind-prying eyes to figure out what he was up to.  He said his patient was staying at a hotel near Disney and wanted to take us out for dinner on our way down to San Diego.  Plausible.  Still fishy.  Was he taking me to Disneyland for that extra day first?  I was looking forward to going to Disneyland with the kids not just for me.  Six Flags and Disneyland were very similar in preparation.  He would not dare plan a vacation to the Magic Kingdom without me!  Would he??  We pulled into a hotel right across the street from the front entrance to Disney.  Why are we walking back to his patients hotel room instead of them meeting us up front?  We don't know these people that well.  I just want to keep driving and get in that huge warm tub with my Man!
As soon as I saw this outside a room we were walking up to, I knew.  I just packed one of those strollers in the van that morning and I knew the other one was cousin Maddie's.  My sweet stinker of a husband DID plan our Disneyland vacation without me, and I knew Arnold and Denise would be in that room with our excited chillies.  They all shouted SURPRISE when I opened the door and the secret was out.  Instead of going to Six Flags today like I thought they were, they had driven down in our van and got there just before we did.  Since I didn't really want to plan a weekend away just the two of us, and I'd been talking about taking the kids to Disney for awhile, my sneaky Man decided to combine the two to surprise us all!  The kids were so excited after the drive that they had energy to burn and didn't want to go to sleep until after 10 PM.

I will admit it took me about 12 hours and a night of restless sleep to get over the fact that a) the two of us were not going to be sleeping and relaxing this weekend b) I wasn't going to be using the long book, candles, bath salts, and lacy things to wear that I packed and c)  we both missed the kiddos reaction when they found out they were going to Disneyland.  Dave wrote them a note about how they were going to drive a little longer to go to Disneyland instead of the 75 minutes it took to get to Six Flags.  (Arnold and Denise recorded them reading the note, but it was accidentally erased from the camera before we could see it)  :(  I had to completely switch gears in my head and change my expectations about how our Disney adventure was going to start, and then it was all good.

We has a fabulous, exhausting, amazing three days at the Happiest Place on Earth.  We could not have done it without Arnold and Denise and are thankful they were willing to brave Disney with our clan.  Me and the kids kept giving huge thank-yous to Dave for providing such an awesome vacation for our family that they will never forget.  The chillies had an unforgettable first trip to Disney.

Also, I've decided Dave owes me at least a night away for teasing me with the prospect of a romantic weekend in San Diego.  

Also, I don't know if I can trust him to plan a trip again- or maybe I should ask him to surprise me more often........  

Sunday, July 03, 2011

It's not fair



We didn't get very far into the fair before everyone was hot and thirsty.  Two quick rides and a snow cone later the natives were pacified.  
Jessie's favs at the fair were the "huge, creepy swings with Mom" where she felt like her swing was going to fall off.  I'll give it to her, once those swings went up and got going fast it was a little disconcerting.  I'm glad she wanted to go with me though.  J also liked the huge slide.  
Dang this girl is getting spunky!  She has always had sass, but we see the tween years coming fast.  I try to remember she is still a kid, needs Mom time just as much as the young chillies, and helps out so much that she deserves extra-special rewards now and then.

After mutton busting we saw lots of animals and conquered a couple monster corn dogs and giant lemonade.  Logan's favorites of the day were "going on the huge slide two times, getting a silver medal, and eating junk food.  The kids were really good about deciding on the few things they wanted to see or do, and we were able to hit them all.  I knew our resident animal lover would be in heaven with all the animals available to touch and watch.  Sydney touched every living thing possible, and I'm glad she didn't come home with any disease or sickness.  
Check out the poor baby goat trying to grab a meal while Mom forages for food.  The poor little one couldn't catch up with Momma darting in between all the people in the petting zoo.  Syd thought it was the funniest thing, especially when baby accidentally got pooped on by Momma goat.  
 When Syd was happy she was a riot to watch.  She would squeal and wave every time a ride took her around to see Daddy standing on the side.  She was the last one of us out of the small animals area because she was so curious and excited to see all the different creatures.  As soon as she learned there were "real alive ponies" at the fair she didn't stop asking to find them until she was on that saddle.  Her other highlights were talking to the clowns and the animals.  Bless her little dare-devil heart; she was so sad when she was too short to go on the roller coasters.  She's going to be fun at Disneyland when she grows tall enough for Space Mountain. 
 Toby's highlight was the dragon roller coaster NOT the spinning roller coaster in the first picture.  Our Toby is not the adventurous type when it comes to flying, spinning, or riding on crazy things.  We made him go on those two roller coasters and he ended up loving the dragon one.  

This sweet boy learned a hard lesson at the fair too.  We were nearing the end of our day there and each kid had three tickets left to spend how they wished.  We tried to warn the kids that if they chose to spend their tickets on one of the games they wouldn't have any left for rides they wanted to go on.  Toby and Logan especially were sucked into the games from the beginning, but after explaining that they would get one game or three rides everyone made their choice.  Toby was the only one that chose to play those worthless games.  We tried to warm him that he could buy the dippy prize he would win for half the money, but he was determined.  He walked away from his game with a dollar store stuffed rat after less than a minute of throwing darts at balloons.  Off the other kids went to go down the big slide when Toby exclaimed, "I want to ride the slide too!"       


It finally sunk in that he really did trade more rides for his lame game prize.  Poor guy.  I felt so bad for him, yet wondered why he didn't really listen to what we were trying to tell him.  He had to find out on his own.  Isn't that how we all learn hard lessons?  At first he thought we were being unfair, until we explained that we tried numerous times to warn him.  Toby sulked while the other kiddos finished using their tickets for rides.   
 Daddy loved his monster corn dog and lemonade, and had fun helping Logan get ready for his mutton busting.  I loved the swing ride, splurging on corn dog yumminess and watching the kids have so much fun.  


The only downers of the day were that Miss Squid picked the one day we were out to be grumpy, and we had to leave early. Squid was a pickle off and on all day, and really could have used an afternoon nap. I guess we are not quite out of a stroller for her, and I was sorry I didn't bring it.  Four and a half hours went by too fast.  When it was time to leave we all wanted to stay longer.  My Man had a swim team meeting and we had family night planned to celebrate sis-in-law Kristy's birthday, so we had to cut our visit a little short.  We still had a great time as a family seeing all the animals, crafts, rides and eating the junk food!!  Although, I just realized we did not eat, or have the kids try, a funnel cake.  I can't even remember the last time I ate a funnel cake.  That might be a travesty we will remedy next time....

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mutton bustin'

When family came home from the fair last week and told us about Mutton Bustin' we had to go check it out in person.  One quick Google search later and I made tentative plans for a family trip to the county fair yesterday to take advantage of free admission.  We helped the food bank with four canned goods per person for admission and scored 99 cent carnival rides.  It turned out to be the only day we would have chosen to go, because rides alone would have drained our wallet twice over.  It was a perfect way to enjoy the fair for cheap-er.

So what is Mutton Busting you ask?  One child, one sheep, six seconds; that's what the official website says.  It's bull-riding for kids.  All our chillies wanted to ride the sheep so badly, but only Logan fit the age 3 to 6 and under 60 pounds requirement.  Once we got into the fair and Logan got a little more comfortable in his surroundings, he was all for signing up for the next mutton busting event.

This kid was all business, and a bit nervous, before and quietly enjoyed his moment of glory afterward.  I may just be biased, but his sheep (the second one) hauled mutton butt out of that gate faster than any of the other kids sheep.  Logan ended up with a second place medal and couldn't be happier.  When we asked him if he had fun Logan said, "yes and no."  Yes, for riding the sheep and getting a silver medal, and no because he flew off.  He did it with style though. 
A little nervous before.
Psyched and ready to go. Notice the cowboy boots he wore to get in the zone.


Without further ado, may I present our resident cowboy;






Mission accomplished.  He wore that medal proudly the rest of the day.  People who knew what it was would stop him every once in awhile and give him high-fives or shoot thumbs-up his way.  Surprisingly, he loved the attention.


More fair pictures coming next.....