Monday, December 21, 2009

Worst Idea Ever...

We started seriously mulling over the idea of making a move to LA at the end of the summer. We looked at some houses, some we got serious about, others we just perused. Then one evening, I walked through this little gem at the top of a hill. Little is right.... it's smaller than our current place.It doesn't look like much, but do you see what's behind that house.... Nothing... that's right... just hillside and a large flat backyard. It's got potential... LOADS of potential. And I love this kitchen, even though it's old. It's charming and I think I'll look just like Donna Reed making dinner in there. Also, out that Kitchen window is a spectacular view of Los Angeles! So we bought this place, got the keys a few weeks ago and move in a few days. For those of you doing the math... that means Christmas looks like this.... (note the moving boxes)
And instead of Christmas Cards, I'm working on these... It's plans for an addition on to this little house. Psst!! See the blue striped paper, that's a pool! Christmas + Moving + Planning for an addition = Worst Timing Ever!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A gift for the naughty or nice?

No joke, this was purchased for someone on my gift list. Are you scared it's you?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Skoopix

My sweet lovable Skoopix, Happy Birthday. On this day we celebrate the joy that you are in our lives. I know you are just a dog, but you are MY dog. You follow me everywhere, and are so lovable. It has been heavily debated whether or not you have a heart so big it encroaches on your brain capacity, or if you are a smart dog who is just loyal and good hearted. You rarely steal food, you will sit on command, and you never pull or push us. If I could describe you in one word it is: Joy. You are just happy and joyful to be part of the family. The kids climb ALL over you, and you are content to let them play. You walk in with me to check on the kids at night and sniff them both to make sure they are there. When one of the children are gone, you sit by the door waiting their return. When we drop you off at the vet for a check up, you get so anxious. Your anxiety level is so high it makes the vet nervous, and she has found that you are happiest laying on a dog bed in the corner. No need for a kennel, or a gate, you will stay where you are asked to go. All you need is to feel like you are involved. That is just like at home, you are always in the middle of it all. Tonight the kids sang to you while you happily thumped your tail. They fed you a peanut butter filled bagel and you gave each one of them a long lick on the cheek. We could learn a lot from you, patience, loyalty, and enjoying, savoring each moment as they come.
Happy Birthday Skoopix,You are well loved.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Holidays at Disneyland

After wallowing in my winning glory of the Just Spotted Holiday Giveaway, it was time to claim my prize. We attended a special day at Disneyland to celebrate the holidays. I have gone to Disneyland several times for the Christmas season, and it's a sight not to miss. Mr. Man had never gone, and kept saying, "even *insert random ride or object* is decorated!" Everything is decorated down to the last detail, I love it! The gorgeous Grand Californian hotel was our home base for the day. The lobby is a site to behold in itself, but all decked out for the holidays it is crazy beautiful. Then we did our traditional pic in front of the letters outside California Adventure. We chose F for Fabulous, Festive, or Funk... you pick. First on our list was the new show "Princess Tiana's Showboat Jubilee". It was a high energy show all about the new Disney movie "The Princess and the Frog". The kids loved it and I have a feeling AK is going to want every Princess Tiana toy this Christmas. I know what Auntie Laura is getting AK for Christmas!We took AK on Star Tours for the first time, she LOVED it and laughed the whole time. She is a daredevil, completely opposite of her brother. Mr. Boy spent the day pleading with us to avoid most of the rides that inolve a villian.
It's a Small World is all decked out for the holidays both inside and out. It is such a classic, and I love seeing it transformed for the holidays. We had passes to go on this ride, and when we approached a cast member to show them, she said, "OK hold on... because *dramatic pause* you... are... special." Then she walked away and started waving her arms at the other cast members... announcing to all of them that they were in the presence of special people. It was hilarious, and nice to be made to feel.... well... special. The rest of the day we were joking about if this was a "special water bottle" or a "special napkin".

The parade was great and I can not believe these guys march in these outfits. Look, I'm gonna confess, I was a total band nerd in Jr. high. It wasn't pretty, and it wasn't fun. The band uniforms itched like nobody's business, but I'm suddenly grateful I didn't have to march and play in this outfit. It looks heavy and hot, and I would so screw up sticking my instrument in that little hole for the mouthpiece. These guys actually play their instruments and walk in formation. If I had it my way, Mr. Boy and I would go on rides all day long, each and every day. I never tire of this face. Then we went to a special dinner reception at the Grand Californian hosted by none other than Mrs. Claus. AK asked her, "Does Santa know you're here?" She also proceeded to tell Mrs. Claus about all the times Mr. Boy had kicked or pinched her that day. Way to throw your brother under the bus... They had a kid's buffet, and then a handful of characters on hand to PLAY WITH YOUR KIDS. Technically, I think they were there for pictures, but Goofy and Minnie played with AK while I ate dinner in peace with Mr. Man. Mr. Boy played Wii and visited the cookie decorating table. He decorated cookies with the help of Mrs. Claus, and then acted like that was "no big deal" because everyone gets to do that. The kids got decked out to go see the Special Holiday fireworks show thanks to Studio 365. The fireworks show is also different for the holidays and so good. SPOILER ALERT: At the end of the fireworks show it "snows" on Main Street. My kids are such beach bums, they have never seen snow. To see their faces light up and try to catch a snowflake on their tongues after having THE MOST AMAZING day, just put me over the top. I actually got a little misty eye-d! I owe a big thanks to Just Spotted & Disneyland for this once in a lifetime experience and to all the folks who voted! Oh shoot, I'm getting all misty again. THANK YOU!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Remember a few weeks ago when I pleaded to the masses to vote for me in the Just Spotted Disneyland Holiday Contest... and then how I won... and professed my undying love and devotion to all my friends? Well, we got to do our VIP Disney Day, and it was SPECTACULAR. I have to break it up, otherwise it would a gigantic post with 200 pictures.
One of the big highlights of the day was going to a reception & dinner. We had the chance to get "dolled up" by the Disney Studio 365 team. I cannot wait to take AK and her little friend there. It was so fun, and I secretly want to have my birthday party there. AK could not believe it when the lady said, "Would you like Pink or Purple Hair Extensions?" She has wanted Pink Hair FOREVER. The last two years, when she blew out the candles on her cake, her secret wish has been for Pink hair. At school when she is Star Student, she has colored a picture of herself with pink hair in the, "If I could have one wish it would be.. " box.
Mr. Boy wanted a Blue Mohawk, and this lady went to town to make it a reality. A crowd gathered to watch her magic, and Mr. Boy was embarrassed and looked at his feet the entire time while he blushed. He secretly loved EVERY minute of it.
I want this wand so bad! It's a glitter shaker! I would go crazy and shake glitter on everything... right down to our waffles... so maybe it's best I don't have one.Wish granted! Pink Hair (extensions)!
The kids show off their new "do's". AK stroked her pink ponytails for three days straight. She loved them so much, I had a hard time trying to get her to take them out. By day 3, her hair was looking a little frumpy. She relented on one condition...
That I dye her hair pink.
And so I did, because how often do you get to fulfill someones biggest wish?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Giving Thanks for Pie

I lack a certain domestic gene when it comes to baking, it's never been a big deal because my in-laws are amazing bakers. I was super excited and a bit intimidated when it was announced that this Thanksgiving we would hold the First Annual Family Thanksgiving Pie Contest. I perused pie recipes for weeks, and decided on a Turtle Pumpkin Pie. I added the secret ingredient and all was going well. Well, until I got to the presentation portion. I was trying to drizzle homemade caramel sauce in a decorative pattern but it didn't work. A couple different attempts ended up with caramel on the cabinets, ceiling, my face & hair. I highly doubt my in laws had any kitchen mishaps during their pie baking.
It was insanely difficult to get the caramel sauce to get out of my hair. Remind you of anything?
There were 11 pies for 22 people, it was awesome.The judges enjoyed their tasting plates and took their job very seriously. I gave Mr. Man a wink hoping that would sway his vote. It worked! I won!!!The award for the "Creamiest Pie" was mine! I was awarded a sparkley bracelet as my prize. Turns out everyone was a winner, those clever judges had a category for everything. Some of them were hilarious. Even my mom who passed the pesky Anti-baking gene my way, won a prize for the "Most Manly" pie. (Pecan Pie with all those nuts!) Thanksgiving was lovely, and the pie contest was totally worth it. It's always a good time at Aunt Deb's house. The worlds most gracious host and one of my top ten favorite people on the planet.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A Birthday Surprise

I had this brilliant idea for Mr. Man's birthday. I was so excited I could barely sleep the night before, because I knew for the "Man who has everything", this would be a birthday experience he wouldn't forget. So, the minute he got home from a hard day's work, I piled everyone in the car and we headed south. Mr. Man tried to get details of where we were going, but I wouldn't say a thing. He was stunned to see Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour as we rounded the corner. This was the place of a young Mr. Man's birthday parties, and a popular hangout spot in high school. In the early 1990's Farrell's closed it's doors, but it's been brought back by some savvy investors. Mr. Man has several fond memories of Farrell's, and it was awesome to surprise him with this. I don't really know how to describe Farrell's other than it's loud and happy. They slapped a sticker on Mr. Man announcing his birthday, and told him he was in for a treat. My advice: skip the food, it was pretty much like eating cardboard.
After dinner, sirens started going off, a man with a giant bass drum led a group of "celebration assistants" who were singing, cheering, and clapping. They made Mr. Man stand up and announced to all the patrons, we were celebrating a birthday. They started to sing loudly. Mr. Boy was thoroughly entertained. Mr. Man proclaimed it was "It's just like when I was 9!" Then they served us huge amounts of ice cream which was delicious. AK ate every last drop of all our sundaes and proceeded to lick every last bit of chocolate. She gets super feisty and protective of her ice cream. If you get your spoon close to her dish, she growls and uses her spoon as a weapon. With our bellies full, we came home to open gifts. Mr. Man got Legos.. just like he when he was 9! (btw in case you can't tell... Mr. Boy is in the picture wearing camouflage from head to toe.)The misters spent most of the night perusing this awesome book, which is a must have for any Star Wars Lego Fan. All in all, a super fun surprise and a great way to celebrate the birthday of the man I love. Joyeux Anniversaire mon amour!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Flu Shots aka WWF Smackdown

Normally, we aren't the flu shot type. This year with the H1N1 virus and complications with Mr. Boy's asthma, our very conservative doc said, "Shots for everyone!" The kids do not love shots, in fact they are terrified of them. If I want them to stop doing something I tell them, "You are going to get hurt and have to get a shot if you keep doing that." I'm an evil mom, but whatever makes them obey. First round was the regular flu shot. I decided to keep silent and then just surprise them with a visit to the doctor so "Mom can get a shot." That plan backfired quickly, they soon realized we were all getting shots. The kids show off their battle wounds.
They escorted us back to the little triage area behind a flimsy curtain. I plopped both kids on the exam table while they wept, wailed, and thrashed about. I went first and put on my bravest face. Then they did AK, while Mr. Boy watched in terror as they "STABBED MY SISTER WITH THE POINTY THING!" AK starts screaming hysterically. Mr. Boy fearing that he was about to meet certain death by hypodermic needle, went hysterical. He started thrashing around doing the alligator death roll . He is yelling at the top of his lungs, "NO NO NO NO" and a whole group of nurses comes running in.

With 10 people crammed into a little triage area, Mr. Boy decides to make his move. He falls straight out of the curtain and takes off running down the hallway, with three nurses chasing him down. Our very favorite Nurse, Nurse Gloria, is exiting an exam room and sees Mr. Boy streak by, and joins in the chase. She tackles him to the ground and gets a good grip on him. It is mad chaos by now, patients all along the hallways are peeking out the exam room doors to find out what the commotion is.

Nurse Gloria scoops Mr. Boy up, walks him to the exam room holding him in a tight hug, even as he screams bloody murder. She barks "EVERYONE OUT. This is my patient." She whispers in Mr. Boys ear the entire time, "It will pinch for 3 seconds, and then it's done, count with me." Another nurse quickly administers the shot, and Mr. Boy barely had time to count to two.

He looks up at Nurse Gloria and says, "That's it!? It didn't even hurt." I collapse on the ground because I feel as though I have just endured a WWII sized battle over something that "didn't even hurt." Mr. Man who didn't believe this story, got his shot the following Monday. The triage nurse looked at his chart and said, "Oh boy, your family was in on Friday, that was something else I tell ya. I needed a stiff drink and a nap after their visit. I've never had to chase after a patient before." Good times.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Here the kids pet a loveable pig from the petting zoo.. And here a kid pets the adorable pig that resides at our house... Am I the only one who sees the resemblance?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Mr. Man & Sandy

Dear Mr. Man & Sandy, On the occassion of your shared birthdayI write a note to let you know how much I love each of you. Mr. Man, holy smokes what a year it's been. I have typed out paragraph after paragraph, but all much too personal for cyberspace. However, I want to acknowledge that last year at this time you were so sick. It took a few months for you to get better, and I am so grateful for your good health. It is something I don't take for granted and I want the universe to know it. There is a lot to celebrate this month, and I'm excited to spend the next year working on projects together. I'm grateful for the amazing dad that you are, and for the fabulous husband you are. Even in one of the worst economies you have been an excellent provider, working hard to provide for our family. Being around you makes me want to be a better person, and I love being with you. Oh Sandy the Wonder Dog, What a year you have had! Twice this year, I have taken you to the vet to be told you had days left. There is something in you that just won't quit, and you have stunned the vets with a remarkable turnaround. You have lost 15 pounds due to illness, your hips are stiff, and we have to help you stand up in the morning, but I wouldn't change a thing. Sandy, for the past fourteen years you have greeted me with exuberance and treated me like I was the best thing to walk in the room. You've done wonders for my self esteem.
You are the best family dog. The kids lay on you, bury you in stuffed animals, pull your ears, and you just wag your tail and nuzzle them. The kids love to sit in your spot on the couch, and watch you try to tell them to move. You nudge them over, snorting and grunting to show your dissapproval, while they happily oblige with giggles. Sitting in "your spot" is a sure fire way of getting to snuggle with you. The kids love to lay on you while they watch a movie.
You snore, and you snore LOUDLY, so you have been banished to a bed in the kitchen at night so we can have a peaceful slumber. For two years, you have protested this by whining and banging on the dog gate. Every night you try to tug at our heartstrings. You have been losing some of your vision, and I am convinced you are going deaf. The vet proved to me that your hearing loss was selective. You can hear a piece of food drop 100 feet away, but can not hear us calling you to come inside the house. Don't even get me started on your sneaking out.You have never been the type of dog to bolt out the door. Then eighteen months ago you started sneaking out to taunt the neighbor cats and dogs. I don't like you wandering outside by yourself. You slip out every chance you get, sniff the neighbors lawns and then come home to bark and scratch at the front door. Sandy, you have more personality in one paw than most dogs have in their entire body. I know, I know, you are just a dog... There are a million labradors named Sandy in the world, but none are as unique as you. Even the vet has acknowledged your personality is not the personality of a dog and your intelligence is off the charts.
Mr. Boy's birthday wish was for you to live forever. It broke my heart that I had to tell him that I didn't know if that was possible. You might just prove me wrong, you stubborn dog. I told Mr. Boy that during the puppy days, we were told you were not likely to make it. Sandy, you beat all the odds then and I want you beat the odds now. If I had one wish I'd wish for you to outlive us all.
Happy Birthday & Much Love,