Friday, July 31, 2009

Staycation 2009 Part Deux

We met up with some friends for a beach bonfire before tourist season hits the local beach. FYI... you don't have to arrive at 4pm on a Monday evening to reserve a pit like we did during the off season. Notice how there are empty pits all around us? Mr. Man won't stop teasing me about how I insisted on arriving 3 hours early to save a firepit.However, arriving at the beach early gave everyone a chance to play and chat. We LOVE this family.During our staycation, Mr. Man and I could have hot brunch or lunch dates while the kids were at school. Even better we could attend the kids performances together. Such as Mr. Boy's re-enactment of Noah's Ark. We hit Sea World and said hello to Shamu. We loved watching the Manatees. So peaceful. The whole family loved Sea World. AK met Elmo & Zoie(?) and told Elmo, "Don't SING" before she would take a pic. (Apparently, she also finds Elmo's voice ridiculously annoying. What a smart girl!) During our Staycation, Mr. Man got some much needed rest.

We went to Disneyland a bunch of times!
With Mr. Man home, I got to sneak out and do "Super Mega Awesome Days" with each kid, which involved a trip to Disneyland where the answer was "Yes" to everything they asked for. Which surprisingly wasn't much more than a pirate gun, face painting, and a lollipop.We indulged in our favorite pastime of hanging out at the beach. Our favorite is to go late afternoon and take a snack. We go for a walk, collect shells, and chat while the sun goes down.

We come home and have baths, then a late dinner with children whose eyelids are heavy from all the salty air.
And thus ended the annual Staycation... I'm grateful Mr. Man is still gainfully employed and has a job that lets him take a large of chunk of time off here and there.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Staycation 2009

Here's a recap of the last six months. Mr. Man was moved up to Seattle for a bit, which was tough. Then it looked like we would be spending the summer in Seattle with Mr. Man, hanging out with Billy. Billy who? Oh, I guess other people call him Bill Gates. Ok, maybe not really, but are you aware that he pretty much dominates the economic state of Washington? When he sighs, it causes the winds to blow off the Puget Sound. Anyway...... when Mr. Man was moved back down to Southern California he was able to take a month off. Which meant STAYCATION! Wahoo. No one Staycations like us, we've got this down to a science. So now you are caught up. Here is a recap of our month long staycation which happened in May, but I am so terribly behind on my life. Thanks to one of my clients we saw an Angels game. Anyone need some good advertising help, I've got a fabulous agency to refer you to. We camped out in the living room, since Mr. Boy was going to miss the Father & Son's campout. We are such wussy campers, someone needs to help us. Otherwise the kids are going to think that camping is something you do in your living room in a tent bought from Ikea. Mr. Boy lost his first tooth, and was visited by the tooth fairy who littered the house with fairy dust. Mr. Man and I got away for a little amore to this great little hotel we love. We had the best time. Then we packed up the car and headed to Ahwatuckee (Phoenix) for a family wedding. Check out how we found Woody when we opened up the back at the end of the drive. AK & her cousin are great friends. Both oh-so-girly and yet influenced by their brothers. We headed off for some pre-wedding primping. I got new eyebrows from a lady who had no idea what it's like to have been born with a unibrow. Nor did she know anything about shaping, and I loved my pencil thin brows for the 48 hours I was graced with them. But they just weren't me.My job for the wedding was getting the girls ready. They were so cute helping each other get ready. Fast forward 20 plus years and hopefully they'll be helping each other button up a wedding dress. The nuptials were very casual. Here is Mr. Uncle, Their Mom, and Mr. Man.
No really, it was super casual. Most of us were swimming just 20 minutes earlier. The couple is married.....
And moments later AK re-enacts her favorite part of the wedding and subsequently gets grounded for the next 29 years. Then we headed home.
Oooo I bet you are just riveted waiting for Part Deux of this Staycation Saga.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Fourth of July

Summer is flying by, and we are on this lazy lovely schedule. We are swimming everyday, hitting the beach a ton, and being visited by friends. I haven't booted my computer up in days, so I'm far far far behind.
For the Fourth of July, we hit the annual pancake breakfast and waterfight and took our standard pic on the front steps.We came home and threw rocks at my neighbor Robby Joyner. (Person who can name that reference gets a prize!) In reality, we threw Water Balloons at Mr. Maxwell*. Many of you don't know that I smoke. I love smoking, do it quite often, especially with the neighbors. Every Fourth, Mr. Maxwell has a big smoking party and I go over and smoke an assortment of meats for the evening BBQ. (Did you think I meant smoking ciggarettes?) I didn't get any pics of me smoking with the guys. However, I did capture one with Baby Jojo, the Maxwells Baby. Pass the BBQ sauce please, because I could eat her up, I really could. During the BBQ, I looked over to find AK naked and playing in the kiddie pool. I'm going to have start sewing her into her clothes. She takes being "French" to literally. At the conclusion of the BBQ, there is always a pinata. Mr. Boy was the biggest kid there and demolished it!There is a King Edward pinata for the adults, most of whom are a bit tipsy. We smash the pinata to again declare our Independence from the King. At the end of the night, we watched the fireworks of multiple shows from atop the jungle gym. Mr. Boy was fascinated at the story of the birth of our great nation. He loved hearing about the "redcoats" and it was a very cool conversation to have with fireworks bursting all around you. I'm grateful for the freedoms we enjoy.

*Names changed

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Ruby, a darling canine, is bunking here at Chateau du la French for the next week or so. Mr. Boy insists that she likes having books read to her. This dog actually does tricks on command, unlike the other two lazy canines who reside her.
Sandy will only do tricks if after her careful analysis and deems the treat to be worthy of the effort. Skoopix, who has heart so big we are certain it actually encroaches on her brain (a very polite way of saying "limited mental capacity") can only follow the command of "sit" and "down".
The kids are having a blast entertaining us with "The Ruby Show", and have decided that Ruby should be in the circus with the tricks she performs. Maybe while Ruby's folks are out of town, I'll take Sandy the half shaved dog and Ruby on the road in a traveling circus!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tough Times

Everyone's feeling the pinch of the tough economy. These dogs of ours are just a drain on the finances. We are all looking for ways to make a buck. I came across this vintage poster, and it reminded me of old fashioned carnivals. Remember, the half man, half woman.. What if...I put these lazy dogs to work at the carnival to bring in some dough... Maybe if we go for the half normal labrador... Half hairless wonder dog? Kind of like the half man / half woman? Even Sandy yawned out of boredom (and the her shaved streaky fur doesn't even really show up in the picture. Believe it or not, I did a better job this year compared to last year. ) You'll just have to believe me that this post was 10 times funnier in my head. I was chuckling the whole time I shaved just half of her for this pic. (I did shave the other half later.) The best part about shaving her myself besides the $100 bucks I saved is that it cracks me up every time she wanders into the room for 6 weeks until it grows back. She looks fantastically awful.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Happy Birthday Mr. Boy

Dearest Mr. Boy,
On the occasion of your sixth birthday, I sit down to write a note to you and reflect on the last 365 days. Last year, at this time dad and I were uneasy with the future of your education. We both laid in bed at night unable to sleep fearing that we were taking you, our precious beloved son, and screwing up as parents! We knew deep down what we needed to do. We made the decision to stop fighting our intuition and keep you at the school you loved, with the friends you loved, and send you to the deliciously teeny, tiny, Kindergarten. And you know what... best decision ever. You thrived, you conquered, you succeeded. Mr. Boy, learn from us, trust your instincts, you know the things you need to do in your heart. In Kindergarten, you learned to read, do basic math, and other skills. Your teacher was amazing and knew exactly what you needed to succeed. You are strong willed; Oh so head strong! Some might see this as a downfall, she saw this as a huge strength. She let your leadership skills grow and thrive in the classroom. Everyday you looked forward to school, and I pray that will continue. Mr. Boy, education is the key that will unlock endless opportunities. It will provide an important foundation for the rest of your life. During the year we watched you fall prey to clever advertising and you started to notice the things your friends were playing with. Oh, curse those blasted Pokemon cards! However, you also influenced your friends and every single one of your classmates had picked a favorite Superhero. It was like the whole Justice League resided in your classroom.
The year has been bittersweet as we know all those cute "Mr Boy-isms" are going to fade away quickly. We love hearing you say certain phrases. Such as: Wonder Woven (Wonder Woman), Roon (Room), Ping Bong (Ping Pong), and how you refer to tomorrow as yesterday. You still love animals and that has not changed from when you were a baby. You talk all the time about the cat named "Winkle" that you want to have. Lately, you have become interested in Parrots and really want one to talk with. One day in the car you blurted out, "This is so dumb! We don't have any animals that can talk!" It was so out of the blue, however, looking back I can see that those pensive moments before you were obviously mulling over your parrot-less existence. You are a constant thinker.This year you've ventured into extracurricular activities. You did your sports class, karate, and "superstar" class (aka reading tutor). You love to be busy, but you LOVE your downtime. You love to hang out at home and play with your toys. You need this imaginative time and I love to eavesdrop on your creative play. Right now you and your father are crazy obsessed with Star Wars Legos. It's fun to watch you play together. You and I have a special bond over watching some silly reality competition shows. Many of which include people falling off big rubber balls or giant swings. We laugh and laugh about that. Also, we love to watch Ninja Warrior and practice our Karate moves. I love hanging out with you, and it's been a fun year. The other day I tried to play catch with you, and after I tossed you the ball you stared at me shaking your head in shame. "Mom, try holding the ball up by your ear when you throw." I was flabbergasted... where was this small baby who giggled and coo'd at me? Now he was a boy, teaching me to throw a baseball. Your big compassionate heart is something to be commended. You are the first one on the scene when AK gets hurt, handing out hugs and reminding her she will be okay. You want nothing more in life than for everyone to have a good time. You are an eager host to those who come over. You are the life of the party, and it's so fun to watch your friends look up to you. You are trying to run the show around here all the time. It is not uncommon for you to come up and say, "Mom here is the plan, and you need to deal with me." You then will present two options, and the later option is usually, "or I won't go to bed until the sun comes up." or something impossible. The cashier at Target leaned over to me after watching you negotiate and said, "He is going to be a lawyer, you know this right?" Currently, it's lawyer or politician that seems to be the consensus by those who meet you. Again, we can't help but address this strong personality that you have had since you were very young. You were a sweet and easy going baby. As soon as you could communicate, you took charge and never looked back. We love this about you, and it's going to be your strength and it could be your kryptonite if you aren't careful. As your parents we are trying so hard to empower you and try to teach you to be nice, be grateful, be respectful, and be obedient as set out in our family creed. Mr. Boy, we hope and pray that this will be your best year yet. We are so excited for the amazing things that are coming your way. You are this HUGE personality, trapped in this little body, and it is an honor to be your parents.
We love you!
Mom & Dad

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Farewell Michael Jackson

I hesitated to do this post, but want to document my memories. I'm not in anyway justifying Michael Jackson, as a hero, a philanthropist... in my life, he is nothing more than a truly talented entertainer and gifted musician. He has influenced my children in the form of their fashion taste as I documented Here and Here.
As I watched the endless news coverage of Michael Jackson's death, I reflected upon my memories of him. Normally, I'm not the type to get nostalgic by a star's death. I have not shed a tear over MJ's death. However, I couldn't help but flashback to my youth. Rock music was banished from our home during the 80's... So listening to Michael Jackson was forbidden. Oh, and when the "BAD" album came out, my parents were up in arms at the title alone. I snuck over to my friend Sarah's house to listen to it. I felt so guilty that I couldn't look my mother in the eye for weeks.
The whole irony on the "Rock Music Ban" is that I have very fond family memories that center around Michael Jackson's music. My brothers and I watched MTV when my parents weren't home, and we tried to teach ourselves how to moonwalk in our socks on the kitchen floor. When "Beat It" came out my brother would sing the Weird Al Yankovic version "Eat It" while we ate breakfast. That would make me laugh so hard milk would come out of my nose. I would scream "Stop it!" over and over, because even the mere humming of it would make me laugh hysterically. I can vividly remember sitting at the counter eating my puffed wheat, wearing Strawberry Shortcake Pajamas, laughing so hard that I could not breathe. I remember wearing one glove with swimsuit and putting on a Michael Jackson show in the backyard with my neighbor. The grand finale included moonwalking off the diving board, with one gloved hand coming back up out of the water and slowly dissappearing again. I remember thinking, "I should be a dancer when I grow up" I was that proud of myself.