Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The season comes to an end

There isn't much to say that hasn't already been said.

Haley and my mom hit on some key points of the state tournament game yesterday.  I just showed up, yelled a lot, swore a couple times, and was hoarse by the end.  I don't like to see good teams play bad.  I don't like to see teams get homered and an unfair game called.  I do however like to watch my brother bust his  butt on the court and am proud that he can hold his head high because he did his best, hustled when he needed to hustle, and ended the game knowing he did his best.  I love to watch my baby brother play basketball!

And, I'm proud of him for his efforts to generate some school spirit from a school that tries to crush school spirit as quickly as possible.  The first games of the season there were a handful of students attending the games, for boys and girls.  But, by being "Mr. Awesome" and waging a full fledged twitter and facebook campaign, my brother and a few of his friends were able to create one of the best student sections, I bet in the state. 

The power of persuasion, perseverance, and putting yourself on the line.  Pretty freakin' cool.

Regardless of how insane the game was yesterday, I pretty much just took pictures.  Here they are (more on flickr)

state tourney 12

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sea World

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Prior to our trip I couldn't for the life of me remember how old I was the last time that I visited Sea World.  I sort of remembered the last trip to the aquarium - we had gone to watch my cousin clog her way through California and on one fateful night, in our hotel room my uncle crouched down between the two beds and farted such a fart that I almost threw up and we had to vacate the room (with windows and door open and AC at full blast) for what felt like several hours for the stench to dissipate.  Anyway, I was probably still in high school, which means at least 15 years since my last visit to Sea World.

And guess what.  I don't thin that anything really changed in all those years.

Aquatic animals aren't my favorite.  Walking into dark cavernous buildings to stand right next to walls of water with fish gliding around makes me a little nervous.  And dizzy.  And I don't do sharks.  Period.  But watching the absolute joy and amazement and jaw dropping excitement in my kids faces when they saw Shamu jump out of the water for the first time, and then a bunch of whales splash hundreds of people with a wall of water just by flicking their tales, that was super cool.  And pretty priceless.  And I probably should have taken a picture of my kids watching Shamu instead of 30 pictures attempting to track with the whales and get their picture.

We spend one and a half days at Sea World.  One with the big family group and then a half day just the four of us.  We caught all the shows (Shamu twice!), saw all the animals and ate plenty of churros and popcorn.

One strange thing to note about Sea World - it is a split park.  Almost quite literally down the middle of the map, Sea World is separated into Coke and Pepsi products.  It was strange.  And, they just didn't have any good t-shirts for high school aged brothers with beluga whales on them.


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Sunday, February 26, 2012

LegoLand

Our trip to San Diego wasn't just the four of us.  We traveled with Ross' family - his parents and his brothers family.  This was the first time we'd ever traveled together as such a large group - 6 adults and 5 kids five and under and I think we were all prepared for any sort of adventure that fell upon us.

Luckily - all the adventures were of the good variety.

The first all day family outing was to Lego Land.  This was largely to humor my Lego obsessed children and those boys of mine could have, much to the boredom of their parents, spent the entire vacation at Lego Land.  People had told me that the park is really geared towards little boys around 7 years old and those people couldn't have been more right.  I'll extend the age group from 3-9 year old boys, but it's pretty much the same thing.

All we needed was a burp and fart station, and the entree into boy land would have been complete. 

We rode kid rides, played kid games, made kid driver's licences, built race cars in a building with the biggest collection of Lego's I've ever seen, and saw little boys living out their wildest fantasies.  I thought that maybe my kids dreamed about Lego's before our visit to the park but I'm pretty certain that after our visit, they do for sure.

It was a grand adventure.


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The warmest day of our trip was the day we spent in Carlsbad.  It was delightful.  I got a sunburn.  We really had so much fun.  We played, we rode rides, we made Wyatt go on a little roller coaster that scared the crap out of him.  Not literally of course - that took a little help from the Walgreen's and dad that night in the hotel room.

As we were leaving the park, I only had one thing on my mind.  Gassing up the mini van.  We'd coasted into San Diego the night before on fumes.  We drove to Lego Land on the fumes of fumes and never in my life have I been in a car that was so low on gas.  34 miles in the tank before my husband quit messing with my head and filled up the tank.

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We all met up for dinner at this place called Tip Top meats.  It didn't make the food post because I didn't remember to take a picture.  I got a French dip.  It was excellent!  We ended the night as we always seem to do when we travel.  Ross found an outlet mall with a Banana Republic outlet.  The second BR outlet run of the trip.

And then, Ice cream.  Who doesn't want to eat ice cream in California when the sun goes down in February and it's only 42 degrees outside.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Booger picking spaz

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While traveling....forget that, nearly every minute of the day, my technology is not my own.  We have the "pink phone" and the "purple phone" and there is always a monster fight to decide who gets which phone, the pink one being deemed lesser and mom being deemed unworthy of either.

When we travel in the car for a long trip, this is how it goes.

My husband shoves ear buds into his ears, finds his favorite pod cast and drives, laughing like Beavis and Butt head (and burping a lot, though I'm not sure why) for hours on end.  When I try to talk to him, he cannot hear me.  When I ask him a question, he is unaware.  In order to get him to stop so I can use the bathroom, I pretty much have do go crazy in the car to get his attention.

My children sit in the back seat doing one of two things.  Staring at little DVD screens watching Cars 2 or they each have a phone and they are staring at the screen, a few steps away from going blind.

For the most part, I'm cool and the gang with this situation.  However, after about 6 hours of it...the males in my life doing their own thing and ignoring me, leaving me to sit and stare out the window in absolute silence I start to lose it.

Losing it usually results in me moaning, whining, and occasionally, swearing and yelling at them.

Guess what they do in response.  Unplug, listen to the rant, laugh at me, and plug back in.

But for at least Elliott, who lucked out with good old purple most of the drive home, he did a great job (as seen in the video) entertaining himself.

Road Trippin'

As with all grand adventures we Griswold's take, our adventure to San Diego got off to a roaring start.

A few days before we were to leave, Elliott seemed a little off.  Sort of sick, bad cough, the usual for him.   Because of the trip, Ross took both boys to the doctor on the Saturday before we left.  Both got a clean bill of health - Elliott it seems was reacting to having his 6 year old molars coming in and Wyatt was fine.

By Sunday night, even though it had only been 24 hours since going to the doctor, we realized Wyatt was not fine.  On Monday afternoon we were back at the doctor with moderately tragic results for the little chickadee....two ear infections and a mild case of croup.

Awesome.

Why does this kid get sick every single time we want to go anywhere?

The next three days were completely miserable.  My sweet lovable little boy forgot all about that stuff and became a screaming meanie - the three worst days of my parenting experience with him.  He literally followed me around the house screaming.  Forgot all the words he knows, couldn't ask or tell.  Just blood curdling screams.

And of course, we were leaving on vacation.

Wednesday was a trying day.  We got the rental van, picked up Elliott from school, ate lunch, loaded up and hit the road.  Much to the chagrin of the screaming banshee in the back seat.  Of our 6 hour drive to Las Vegas on the first  day of our vacation, that child of mine easily screamed for 3 hours.  We hit major weather (white out snow, and torrential rain) and road delays in Southern Utah and were pretty stressed out.  But, by the time we got to Vegas and loaded up on chicken fingers though, Captain Crazy had calmed down enough to fall right to sleep.  In a queen bed with his dad.

The other kid was in a queen with me.

I don't recommend it.  Head butts to the gut all night long.

The next day we got up, listened to children whining about the inadequate offerings at the hotel breakfast, and were on our way (a bit fearfully mind you) to San Diego.


What else but two ear infections and the croup will make a little chick fall asleep at 9:20 in the morning?

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

a taste of san diego

We arrived home last night after traveling 13 hours through 4 states.  My children were excellent in the car on the long drive home except for the last hour or so and who can blame them.  My bum is still numb from sitting in a rented mini van all day long.

We went to San Diego on a grand familial adventure which will get it's own post soon enough.  After I have some clean clothes and underwear.  Which at the moment, I do not have.

I would however, like to share with you some of our food adventures.  When we travel, our children collect stuffed animals as souvenirs.  My husband and I collect full bellies of tasty food.  Here is a small sampling.

Raising Cane's.  THE BEST CHICKEN FINGERS IN THE ENTIRE WORLD! If we had the money, we'd open a franchise locally because it totally sucks that we only get these things in Las Vegas once a year or less.  Delicious melt in your mouth chicken, crinkle fries and a giant slice of Texas toast buttered and grilled.  And crushed ice.  They have crushed ice.


The finest chicken fingers my money has ever bought. I could eat at raising canes every day!

Lee's Sandwiches in SO CAL (pretty much just orange county though) is, for my husband, worth any detour necessary.  It's a Vietnamese (or is it Korean?) sandwich joint that has primarily pork based sandwiches on french baguettes that they make in house all day long.  I get the BBQ pork and it comes drenched in soy sauce with jalapenos, carrots, cilantro and a bunch of other stuff I cannot recognize but tastes yummy.


Next stop on the food tour:  lees sandwiches. BBQ pork w cilantro ad jalapeño. Yum!

A few others worth mentioning - best cheap eats of San Diego for the last couple of years was Devine Pastabilities.  A pasta and pizza place that serves it's pasta stuffed in a hoagie roll.  The whole concept grossed me out so I got a salad.  Ross however proclaimed it was one of the best things he's ever eaten.


Ross torpasta from Devine pastabilities. I just had a salad.

El Indio was pretty awesome Mexican food that had been featured on Diners, Drive-In's and Dives.  The food was good and their chips were awesome.  So good that we actually brought the extras home.


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Let's see, what else?  Filippi's pizza and pasta in little Italy.  Not my favorite but one of those huge serving, authentic-ish Italian places where Ross can eat all his lasagna and pasta and the left over pizza and salad and garlic bread and then we have to roll him out of the restaurant.


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Also, we ate at Ruby's diner, one of my favorites to take the place of Johnny Rockets for great greasy food and giant malts and shakes that they bring you BEFORE your food. Awesome.

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We got doughnuts a couple of times early in the morning and they were good.

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We provided a quick meal for some sea lions at sea world but did not partake ourselves.

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We bought four dollar cupcakes that were beautiful but not as tasty as they should have been.

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And unfortunately, our worst meal, in my opinion came from the Asian flavor spot at the San Diego Zoo (Shock). The only thing we ate the whole trip that had leftovers headed for the trash.

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And that my friends, not including about a dozen churros and diet cokes, made up a pretty tasty trip.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ouch!

Last Saturday I went with a friend to get a pedicure.  Two years ago on my birthday, my husband gave me a gift certificate for a pedicure.  A few months ago I gave it to my friend because I thought she would be more likely to use it.

She invited me to go.

I picked yellow.  My boys said the flowers on my toes look like spiders.

First pedicure in like two years. Did I really choose yellow?

By the end of Saturday I'd already scuffed the polish up pretty bad and got a little wierded out by the yellow so I applied a thin layer of gold glitter to all 10 toes. It's better now.

When I got home from the pedicure it was time to get to business. First, I stopped at the gas station and got a coke. Then my husband and boys got home from the doctor and they brought me a coke. Score! One had lime and the other lemon so I was pretty happy. Second, it was time to make potatoes. A young girl with cerebral palsy passed away in my neighborhood/ward and I volunteered to fix some scalloped potatoes for the family luncheon.

To keep the potato slices uniform, I decided to use the mandolin slicer. On my second potato, I quite literally sliced off more than I was prepared for and took a huge chunk of my thumb off.

I swore.

It hurt.

Under the cold water, the blood was gushing. This kind of think normally doesn't phase me, but on this day, with this thumb, I was starting to lose it. The thumb got wrapped in a cold towel and elevated. It was throbbing and I was woozy.

I marched myself to the bathroom and sat on the toilet with my thumb under some more cold water. Seriously thought those delicious diet cokes were going to come back up for a visit.

Such a wimp.

In the end, my kind husband bandaged my thumb's missing parts (and a big chunk of finger nail, too), helped me off the floor to the couch and got me an ice pack. I settled into the couch in all my spastic glory and watched more house hunters than should be allowed.

Ross finished my potatoes. By the time they were done and needed to be to the church I had cowboyed up.

But only for the next 30 minutes or so. Thank heavens I was home alone and no one was looking.

My chopped up thumb. 20% missing was a blood loss exaggeration. More like 5%.

I was only brave until Sunday morning when I had to take the bandaid off. Part of the adhesive was stuck to my wound. It was time for wimp round two....eventually, after about 15 minutes I was man enough to pull the bandaid off.

That made me a bit dizzy, too.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cliche

We don't officially celebrate Valentine's Day. We call it "VD" because that is somehow funny.

Even though we don't officially celebrate, there always seems to be a card floating around, some chocolate covered strawberries (the size of my fist and absolutely divine) to be consumed and a small gift, usually including pez, for the boys.

And, this year, I bought myself a new jacket (two actually at 50% off the lowest ticketed price which gave me two for less the price of one...steal) and a box of cherry cordials. Yum!

A dozen for the day we don't celebrate. We each get 4 and they are as big as my fist.

VD is dumb. Bought my own candy this morning.

Oh, and the boys painted ceramic magnet frogs because how else am I going to get them to stop whining at the craft store except with a walk down the dollar aisle?

Painting frog magnets

Bribery w dollar aisle stuff  at the craft store is the only way to survive.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cloak of invisibility

I'm sleepy.  We've been busy but no real interest in documenting any of it...at least through the written word.  Here are a few photos though to take you through your weekend.


My final super bowl party menu. Time to get cooking…it's like thanksgiving for this party.

Our super bowl party menu from last week. We hosted 20 people and had yummy food. For the record, I did not watch one second of the game or the half-time show. I am awesome. I did however set my smoke detector off in the house three times.

Working on a conference presentation.

On February 25 I'm presenting at my mom's stake women's conference on living an abundant life and finding joy in the little things. Part of my presentation will be to talk about Louis Zemperini because he is awesome.

Pretty sure my nook is full. I guess it's time to do some cleaning.

This is the junkiest most cluttered place in my house right now and it is all mine. I kind of like it. Not really. I think it will get an overhaul this weekend.

A pretty afternoon drive.

Both boys were grumpy and desperate for a change of scene (and a nap) the other day so we went on our usual knock out drive. It makes both boys sleep and I get to see beautiful scenery. Win, win for everyone.

Bball

Tough loss for the Wolverines on Tuesday night. The boys and I left early because I was too sad to watch them lose the region championship. But, second place for a team that last year only won 4 games is pretty awesome.

Happy valentines strawberry

The grocery store had an over abundance of strawberries the other day two packs for $5. We love strawberries and haven't bought them for months because they are out of season and too expensive. The boys and I have nearly snarfed them all but this one took the cake, or the heart, so to speak. What an amazing strawberry - just in time for valentines day.

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