Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Our Family Motto

Mr. Man... who we love and adore, who also works very very hard for our family has a small problem. I have jokingly referred to our family motto as, "tout dans l'exc├Ęs" which translates to "Everything in Excess". Mr. Man is a collector, he loves to have "all of it", whatever "it" might be. Mr. Boy had a gift card to the toy store and has recently discovered the joy of Legos. Who doesn't love Legos!? I spent hours and hours and hours building elaborate scenes with Legos when I was growing up. Shhhh... I still love to play with Legos under the guise of "playing with the kids".
I went to grab some other items and when I got back to the Lego aisle Mr. Man was there with a certain gleam in his eye. Star Wars Legos. It's like the perfect marriage of geek & nerd. Soon Mr. Man was pushing a giant cartful of Legos and telling me how this was something for the whole family. "Legos are great for developing spatial skills, mechanics, and problem solving." Whatever... I know he just spent a small fortune on Legos for him... not so much Mr. Boy. But for the sake of his ego, I just nodded and smiled. And they did build the ships together, which is great. UPDATE: #%(&@# #%*&!# #%*#(%& Star Wars Legos! I cannot tell you how many times those flipping ships break. I have put together the stinking Star Wars ships a thousand times, and my feet are raw from stepping on Lego's pieces or a Lego Light Saber. However, on the upside we have made some cool ships out of the "Lego assortment box" that I picked up.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The most hated errand...

I have no idea what it is about the regular grocery store that causes my children to turn into demons. They become these wild animals with a bad case of the "Gimme Gimmes". We tend to shop at the natural food store the majority of the time so I am sure it's the rows of processed junk food with it's clever packaging that causes this wild rampage of naughtiness. Here is Mr. Boy having a tantrum during one of our visits, his arms are crossed and he is pouting, because I wouldn't buy him choco-puffs. I literally dreamed the other night that I was being charged with a crime (that I didn't commit of course.... I must lay off the legal dramas before bed). The judge sentenced me to daily shopping trips to the regualr grocery store with my children instead of jail. I begged and pleaded with the judge to please lock me up and screamed, "Noooooooooo, anything but that!"

The only thing that could be worse than a trip to the grocery store with my kids would be if they were spitting the whole time. That's my other hot button issue... I can NOT stand spitting.

I gotta know... what's your nightmare errand or your "makes me go crazy" button? Certainly I'm not the only one!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Carpe Diem!

On the left is Cinnamon (yes, her real name), I know I've mentioned her before. She is an amazing person, and you know what I love about her? She is game for anything. She has an adventurous spirit. Her "must have on her at all times" list includes a wallet, passport, cell phone and her motorcycle license . For the sole purpose that maybe she'll get a call that says, " Hey, want to go to Ixtapa tomorrow night?" She has actually gotten that very call, and found herself 48 hours later lying by the pool at a resort in Mexico. You know what is on my "must have in my purse at all times" list: wipes, a sippy cup, inhaler, goldfish crackers, two lollipops, bandaids, androgynous change of clothes size 5t, and I could go on and on. *yawn... I just bored myself by typing out that list*
If I got a phone call asking me to go to Mexico, it would take 1,000 phone calls and a logistical miracle to pull it off. I love my family... love being with them... however, they cramp my spontaneity. I was telling Mr. Man about how the term "ball and chain" describes what I feel when it came to being a young mom with an adventurous spirit, and his response, "Carpe Diem, seize the next opportunity when it strikes." So, I packed my bags and went to Paris the next day and never returned. The End. I wish! I didn't go to Paris. However, on Saturday Night I was in the middle of making dinner when Laura (pictured above) of Auntie Laura fame called me. "Hey, I'm going to the Park tonight, come meet me!" (The Park = Disneyland to those who rule the Disney Empire) So I seized the opportunity and went out for the evening. So much fun, I laughed a lot, didn't talk about school woes or tantrums the whole evening. It was a good reminder to say yes more often... take advantage of opportunities and indulge myself in a little self nurturing.

Anyone want to go Ixtapa on Thursday?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Birthday Experiment

Summer birthdays are hard. Last year most of our buddies were out of town for his party, which was tough. So this year, we did it early, way early! Success! We had sixteen, yes sixteen, kids at his party. Super fun, the more the merrier!I fully believe that my kids are the hosts of their party, so they helped with most of the details. They helped baked the cupcakes (notice Sandy anxiously waiting to be involved too. Don't worry, these were taken when the cupcakes were baking, no finger lickin in my kitchen). Also, Mr. Boy picked out the party goods, menu, bouncehouse, and party favors. Every year my cupcakes look like a toddler frosted them, and even claimed the kids did them. However, the truth is... I did them. I learned a tip from a baker friend... heat the frosting for 15 seconds in the microwave and use an icing spatula.

Mr. Boys party was a Pokemon-Indiana Jones-Star Wars Party. He couldn't settle on one theme, so we embraced them all. My other hot tip, was buy a pinata from the Latin Supermarket ($5) and take a plate from your party, flatten the edges and paste it to the pinata.I planned these elaborate games, and they bombed. The Pokemon-Indiana Jones-Star Wars party pretty quickly turned into a Weapons Party. Everyone got a Light Saber upon entry to the party. It was basically one big Light Saber /Swordfight. Make a wish little one.... if you wished for a successful party... wish granted.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

End of the year...

Three Years ago, we came to this cute little school and I dropped off this small little boy to start his school career. I had no idea how much I would love to come and appreciate this little Jesus-lovin school. Here he is on his first day...And a pic on the last day. The Kindergarten moms were all in tears the whole day as we spent the day with our soon to be first graders. Lots of tears as we are all parting ways to go to different schools... and lots of nervous chatter as our kids leave this little safe little bubble to go to public school. *shudder* It's hard to say farewell to this little group, who has been together since the "Rainbow Room". For you non-Creekers, that means they have been together for three years.
Here is AK on her last day of school, she's been rocking the high tops lately.
The school does this Promotion Program. It's really more of a performance by each class and the Kindergarten wears a cap and gown. Mr. Boy got to lead one of the pledges, and was so proud. Remember how Mr. Boy is like super mega Irish, which means he has an enormous head to house his ginormous brilliant brain. This posed quite the challenge for his kinder sized cap. AK performed "This Little Light of Mine" with her buddy on the right. Mr. Boy performed the song "Absolutely Nothin" (is gonna get in the way of Praisin my Lord), which is fitting since he is Mr. Praise the Lord. At the end of the evening, we celebrated with Ice Cream. Such a perfect way to end the school year.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Just because these are my favorite.

These kids are cracking me up and I don't want to forget these little tidbits.
Such as this boy, whose favorite phrase is "Liar Fire Pants" (which is supposed to be Liar Liar Pants on Fire, but he's a little confused.) He is going through a bossy stage, which makes for tense times. However, this morning he was dictating his desired schedule, and when I told him it was a no go; There would be no helicopter ride followed by nachos served by pirates... he stormed out of the room, and said, "I don't care, just MAKE IT HAPPEN." He is going to make a fabulous celebrity one day, who makes his assistants find impossible items and throw Christian Bale worthy tantrums on movie sets. Then there is this little luv, who is hilarious and talking up a storm. She only eats every three to four days. Sure, she nibbles here and there, pushes her food around on her plate for days and then one meal she'll eat five bowls of cereal. Then she walks around with a ginormous bulging belly for the day. She is going to make an awesome competitive eater one day...*fingers crossed*
Last week as we unloaded the groceries she grabbed 3 baskets of raspberries and snuck off into the backyard to chow them down behind a tree. She inhaled them. Then today at summer camp, I learned that she and a friend ate a giant platter of farm fresh strawberries, intended for the whole class to share. They polished them off before the rest of the kids came to sit down. AK and her swollen tummy jumped off the picnic table and headed off for the swings. Her little accomplice took a few steps and threw up. I can just imagine AK watching her little friend and muttering "Lightweight".

Monday, June 08, 2009

Disneyland Tips & Tricks

I have been requested to post my hints and tips to getting the very best out of every Disney Trip. - Bring a towel, no really, bring a towel. You never know who is going to spill, get cold, or use it as a place saver for the parade and fireworks show.
-Have the kids each pick one thing they want to do that day, and then the mom can choose something new. Do the new thing first.-Get fastpasses at some point for Buzz Lightyear. Trust me.. this will all come together at the end. Oh and hey.. fastpasses don't expire at the end of the hour they allot for them. If it says good from 4-5pm, you can use them anytime after 5pm. Want to score a billion points on Buzz & wow your friends, click here. -Promise your kids at the very end of your pass year, they can buy a souvenir. They can look all they want, but they have to wait until then. Then you aren't locked in to buying something every time.-Pack your own lunch and dinner to take in the park. And drinks for that matter. Oh, but do shell out the $3 bucks for the Pineapple Ice Cream at the Enchanted Tiki Room, because it is OH SO GOOD.
-Remember that towel... it has a purpose. Let's say you want to see the parade. So an hour before the parade or fireworks, you lay that towel down on Main street and a few random bits like you're package of wipes and I always bring a reusable grocery bag and leave it on the towel. I also park my stroller next to the towel. Then... I go do Buzz Lightyear (oh, that's why I had you get fastpasses!) because it's close to Main Street. Then we sit down on the towel and eat dinner. Then we have an impromptu dance party in the street to work out the wiggles and then it's parade time or fireworks time. I've done this almost every time, and only twice had the towel moved. Once when I plopped it down in an emergency exit area, and another time by foreign tourist, who apparently live in a country with a no save-sies rule.
-Also, because my pal Auntie Laura is like the head of Disney or something (btw, she HATES it when I say that, she actually cringes, it's awesome.) She told me that apparently the people who work there, are really there for YOUR PERSONAL ENTERTAINMENT. So, I always address them by their name and make request, such as, "Hey there Peter, can you show me your best pirate face?" It entertains the kids. Ok, so actually you're not supposed to do that, but I have and it's funny, most are accommodating. However, you can make special request, if you ask the right people and have good timing. Such as asking if you can meet a certain character during the parade, and you do it an hour before the parade, they will try their best. I've asked for some pretty outrageous things and been shocked at just how accommodating they have been. -Auntie Laura will maim me if I don't add this, please fill out a report if an employee has been extra good to you at City Hall. It takes about 3 minutes to do so (even with a line, it moves fast). You'll need the employee's first name, the time, and location you were helped. This way, Auntie Laura knows who to fire for indulging the neurotic Disney-goers who think they own the place, such as moi ;) -If the tram is super crowded... skip it and walk. Then you'll have less guilt about eating the Pineapple Ice Cream. It's a half a mile to walk to the parking structure, and takes a few minutes. We've walked while friends rode the tram on a crowded night, and beat them by 10 minutes. Post your tips!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Her scientific names shall be: Cubis Sandimus

A brief visit to the vet yesterday for a chronic cough that reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where Kramer finds a dog with the same cough, and takes dog medicine to cure him... The vet knelt down and looked at Sandy and proclaimed, "Madamoiselle, your dog is a CUBE. I mean, really, she is shaped like a perfect cube with a head and a tail, and little legs poking out." I'm rather proud of this achievement.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Redeemed!

Remember this terrifying post where I detail the recurring dream I have...

"I often have a dream where I'm in court and on the witness stand being questioned about my lack of parenting skills by a vicious attorney. My grown children sit at the Plantiffs table... and the lawyer brings over pictures that I took and says, "Oh really? You never tried to sabotage your children's attempts to socially fit in... may I enter into Evidence Exhibit A" The coutroom gasps as the pictures are revealed and I wake up in a cold sweat." (can I really quote myself from my own blog? is that legit?)
I am now redeemed and can purge the pictures of last years bike-a-thon disaster and through the magic of photoshop, I will be able to have my attorney use these pics in defense. Phew... Wait a second... Is that AK on the trike, and her friend is on a big girl bike?

Dang it... I just can't this right.