Friday, May 29, 2009

Disneyland Mania

*not too happy about waiting for Parker to say hi to Winnie the Pooh

Of course ALL kids love Disneyland. And our family (extended family included) is all about Disneyland. But Griffin takes it to a whole new level. Not only does he love going, but when he's not there he's either a.) talking about it, b.) watching youtube videos of rides, c.) building his own mini magic kingdom in the living room, or d.) making new roller coasters on Rollercoaster Tycoon with Daddy.

This is a boy who for the past two weeks when I tucked him in wanted me to lay down with him and tell him all about the Matterhorn (one of the few rides he had not been on till yesterday). I told him about the monster.
"But what side is he on?"
"Umm, well it depends what side of the tunnel you go in I guess, there's two ways."
"Wow. But how many pounds does he weigh?"
"Umm I have no idea. He's really tall. So maybe like three hundred, four hundred pounds?"
"Oh my gosh. I just wish I could ride it."
"Well maybe next time we go."
"Like tomorrow?"

He finally rode it yesterday. The line was really fast, so we did one side of the tunnel, and then the other. He is in love. He rode it a third time later on and spent a good portion of the day asking, "But WHEN ARE WE GOING ON THE MATTERHORN AGAIN?" And when he wasn't begging to go on it again he was reliving every moment of it and coming up with additions that he would make, "It'd be weally cool if there was a tiger in it!"

This morning he made his most ambitious mini Disneyland to date. Behold:

*A view of the whole park

*Disneyland Train (or the "dinosaur train")

*Dinosaurs in the tunnel

*Ariel waiting for her train. Poles in back are "where the voices come out and tell you the train is there."

* I was given the task of making the Teacup ride.


*Splash Mountain (note the splashing noise he's making) The log is a ruler.

*Pirates of the Caribbean (waterfall is up behind us on the stairs, complete with a skull above the "entrance" to the waterfall)

*Ten points if you can guess this one. Thats a caterpillar on top and its "up high" on the coffee table.

The only contributions I made to this was to suggest the blanket over the sit'n'spin for Splash Mountain and the Teacup Ride. Everything else was his idea. I love the dinosaurs in the tunnel and the speakers at the loading dock for the train. And I think the last ride in the pictures is too funny. The whole time he was building he was singing "Zippity DO DAH! Zippity DE DAY!" over and over and over.

"But when are we going to Disneyland Mama?"
"We just went yesterday!"
"I know, but I just wuv it. Is it open tomorrow?"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend Project - Phase One and Two

Our backyard for the last three years has been nothing except a place where our bikes die a slow death and we grow colonies of various poisonous spiders. When people would come over, we'd close the blinds and if any one walked towards them we'd all do a little dance and wave our arms and become the man who screams "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!!!" Since we've moved in we always talked about "fixing" up the backyard. But then we didn't have the time, or the money, or the energy. And its hard to put time and money into something you'll have to leave behind at some point (since we're renters). But this Saturday I said, enough. We're doing this. We weeded and de-spidered all day Saturday. Sunday we bought some weed blocking fabric, edging, and bark. And we put it all in with the world's tiniest garden hoe and a hand shovel meant to be used only in emergencies (shoveling emergencies?). And then Sunday we just ran around in circles gleefully, exclaiming "Ugh! Its SO NICE!!" Finally all the kids various riding apparatuses can go outside instead of occupying one third of my kitchen. The bikes have finally gone up on the hooks in the carport. We ate dinner outside. It was lovely.

Phase III will be actually getting something green out there and maybe a new, smaller table to eat at. We'll keep ya posted.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Laughlin/Mitchell Cavern Trip

This weekend was a lot of firsts for our little family. It was the first time we all stayed in a hotel (the kids LOVED it, and when I explained what room service was Fin's eyes got really big and he sighed, woooow. Dats weally cool.) He also became our official elevator operator, dashing inside yelling "I GOT IT! I GOT IT!" so he could push the buttons. As soon as the door closed he would position himself inches away from the door, exactly in the middle, shoving middle aged men out of the way to secure his spot with a polite but firm, "scuse me!" so that he would always be the first one out.
It was also the kid's first time at a buffet. Griffin was thrilled with the idea of not having to wait for your food, and Parker. Well she just about died and went to heaven. I caved and gave her a plate with some cottage cheese on it (her lactose intolerance usually stops me from giving her any dairy). All of us were laughing so hard because she would SO happy. No one in the entire history of cottage cheese has been that happy to have a plate of it. "Cheese cheese cheese!! Cheeeeeeessssee! I got cheese!!" as she shoveled it into her mouth. She was also tired, so her exhaustion and exhilaration led her to act like a loopy drunk, making faces and deliriously offering her cheese to everyone, laughing maniacally to herself.
It was also, of course, the first time Josh and the kids had been inside a cave. I'd been to this cave when I was younger with my family. It was my dad that suggested this particular cave when I mentioned that I wanted to take Josh and the kids to a cave. And it was such a perfect choice. It has several of the major cave formations that you can find in caves (stalactites, stalagmites, cave shields, mushrooms, fossils just to name a few). The path through the cave is paved, with hand rails, and uplighting, so that I was easily able to walk through holding Parker in one hand and a camera in the other, and Griffin was able to make the journey all on his own. I was the only one to see a bat as we walked out, so there were no creatures to freak Josh out. And the hike to the cave, while hot, was completely do-able, even for those of us that are not in perfect shape.

*Six in the morning we started our trip!

*Nothing like Donettes on the road!

*Five and half hours later, we made it!

*Parker spent the majority of the time in the hotel room plastered to the windows, watching the motorboats on the river and the people in the pool.

*Josh and Parker making a hike in the Mojave look good

*Josh only lasted about three minutes carrying both kids in the 90+ degree weather. Wimp. ;)

*It always amazes me the colors and plants that exist somewhere considered so "barren."

*Trail to the cave

*The view from the mouth of the cave

*Parker and I listening to Mike, our tour guide at the mouth of the cave

*The entrance to the cave

*A cave column

*Auntie Jessie in a cave!

*Parker and Josh as tour guides. They were to point out the formations that looked like a dead chicken, and a yawning walrus. Parker wanted nothing to do with the cave till she got this job. Then she was all business.

*Can you find Gammie and Fin in the desert?

and finally:

*Uncle Chris' contribution to the shoe marks on the ceiling of the Harrah's parking structure (which by the way has the most amazing breakfast buffet you've ever seen. The hotel, not the parking structure, that is).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Petsmart Just Turned Tammie into An....

Ewok. Apparently she was matted on her ears, and was not "cooperating" with the groomer (hey at least this time no one had bandages when I picked her up!) sooooo they just shaved her ears. And nothing else. So she went from this:

To this:

I can not help but burst out in laughter every time I look at her.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Breaking Her Vegetarian Daddy's Heart

On the drive home from preschool this morning Parker and I listened to a segment on NPR on urban chicken owners. I turn to her and say,
"Wouldn't it be fun to have a chicken, we should get a chicken."
"Yeah" she pauses,

"I wanna chicken sam-ich (sandwich)"

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Griffin on his color preferences:
"I rrreeally don't like the color purple, except I DO."


Griffin is playing Scrabble with us. He puts down some tiles.
"What does that word say?"
"Umm it says kdkjg."
"Hey, about you do the word fire? You have the right letters for that."
"I was JUST about to SAY that!!"
this continues for the entire game...
"ugh! MAA-HAAMM, I was JUST about to SAY that!!"

*side note - Griffin can not read, nor can he spell, which makes his annoyance at my "help" that much funnier


Parker and I are walking back to the car from dropping off Fin at school when around the corner Clifford the Big Red Dog appears. Parker literally shrieks like those girls you see in Beatles footage, claps her hands together, laughs manically, throws her arms around my neck and declares, "I'm SO happy! ohhh I'm SO happy!! I WUV you! I'm so happy!"

So help us God should Mickey Mouse decide to visit. The girl might just pass out.


We had a play date at the Butterfly House. Our "date" ran a little behind, so we had to wait while she finished her lunch before we could go explore. Not willing to be rushed simply because Fin demanded her too, she was relishing every bite.
"Are you done now?"
Fin looks at her aunt.
"She can eat on the way." He says completely stone face.

I'm Back!

I have been remiss in my bloggin duties. But in my defense, my old camera pretty much bit the dust, and I've been waiting for its replacement so I could post brand new shiny new pics! And it came yesterday!! Behold the wonder that is my new camera.

*Doesn't it look jolly in this pic?

No, its not the most expensive, it doesn't have the most megapixels or gigaboo-bots or whatever, but my goodness does it beat the heck out of that 'ol chunk of wood I was using before! We went to visit Nana and Grandpa today and I got to put it to some tests. Well, only a few though. I still need to get a new memory card, since I think I'm going to be taking more than the ten pictures it currently holds. The kids and I had a grand 'ol time (apparently today is see how many times I can use the word 'ol in a paragraph day). We played a little at the park next to their house, which gets the loveliest of sea breezes (they are in HB).

Then it was back to Nana's for some sandwiches. She had lovingly cut out bread in the shapes of stars and hearts and the kids were delighted with them ("so cute!" declared Parker). They then promptly chose the rectangle pieces for their sandwiches. Apparently bread in the shape of stars is delightful! but uh, just give me my regular 'ol (oohh I'm up to three now!) sandwich, thank you very much. Grandpa suggested we take a walk on the pier so we piled in and set off. Parker wanted to hold Grandpa's hand which was so sweet and when Nana called her back when she set off running, she came barreling back, threw her arms around her legs and declared "I wuuvvv you!" Coming from the girl who usually spends her visits to Nana and Grandpa with her head burrowed under my arm it was especially sweet to see her so loving and finally enjoying herself.

*Parker refused to pose for a picture, preferring
instead to try to play with bird poop

Her exuberance was driving poor Fin crazy though, being the big protective brother that he is, she nearly gave him a heart attack when she stuck her foot over the water ("PARKER!!!! YOUR SHOES!!!! DOONNNN'TT!!"). But he enjoyed watching the surfers (even if he was annoyed that Parker would laugh gleefully whenever one would fall) and wants to go back so he can finish the space ship he started with the K'nex set left at Nana's house by my little cousins.

* She wanted Grandpa to sit down next to her on the sidewalk.