Tuesday, August 21, 2007

vacation diary, volume 1

Things are sunny here in San Diego. Our travels up to this point have been a little less so. Don't get me wrong, we are enjoying being here, but it has definitely had it's share of challenges. We left the house by 6:30 am on Sunday morning, only a half an hour later than we originally hoped for. When we arrived in Grand Junction we decided that we needed to grab a bite to eat. I'm aware that it was Sunday, and yes, we broke the Sabbath, which is probably why we had problems. Anyways, we stopped at McDonalds, because if you know our family you know that we love a McDonalds breakfast! I ordered the usual for the kids, pancakes with orange juice. The kid at the register says nothing. I seat myself and kids, and a few minutes later Jon peeks around the corner and asks me if I ordered apples for them. Um, NO. Don't get me wrong, I like apples, they have just never been an option at breakfast. It turns out they had informed Jon that they weren't doing pancakes anymore for breakfast, which is stupid, but whatever. Now I'm wondering what else they planned to give me in the kid's meal and why the guy at the counter didn't tell me that when I ordered. Then, the people behind Jon walk up and order pancakes and they give them to them! Jon asks what is going on and they tell him that they still make pancakes, but they aren't serving them to kids anymore because some dietician said it wasn't good for them. OK, that is a bunch of you know what. First of all, who is McDonald's to tell me what I can or can't feed my kids? Second, that can't possibly be a new McDonald's policy because we had just had them for breakfast the day before with grandma and grandpa. Thirdly, do they think that a better option would have been a sausage patty and biscuit? Because that is about the extent of their other options. And, what's to stop me from ordering a regular meal with pancakes and just giving it to my kids? As it turned out, Jon got our money refunded, two orders of pancakes, and OJ for the kids. I guess I can get over it now.

The rest of the drive to Las Vegas (our pit stop for the night) went really well. Gracie slept so well and Derrick and Abbie just watched movies. We made really good time and were pleased with the hotel that we booked on Hotwire at the last minute. What we forgot is how disgusting Vegas really is, and it just seems to get worse, especially when you have your kids with you. This was our first visit with any of our kids, and will probably be one of last unless absolutely necessary. We really wish we had just stayed in the hotel room once we got there. But, we had to eat. I've learned that I don't like the Rainforest Cafe. I've also learned that just because a hotel looks like it is only a couple of blocks away, "block" on the strip are bigger than you remember. The only thing I care to see on the strip are the fountains at Bellagio, and I made the bad decision for all of us to walk down there. It's not that my kids were traumatized by seeing something they shouldn't. They were just exhausted and I shouldn't have pushed them. By the time were got down there, Abbie wasn't even interested in seeing them anymore. It was a long walk back to the hotel, but the kids crashed really quickly. Needless to say, we got on the road pretty early in the morning.

Monday's drive in to San Diego went well, except we could tell that Abbie just wasn't quite herself. She was really lethargic and had told us she felt like throwing up in the middle of the night in Las Vegas, but then nothing happened. When we stopped for lunch, Derrick broke out in hives again, so we had to stop for some Benadryl. Gracie was perfect up until the last 45 minutes before San Diego, which felt like 2 hours. Anyways, we checked in to the hotel, which is really nice, and then walked with everyone down to Seaport Village. We had a great time walking around and spending time with my family, until Abbie threw up during her dinner. Seeing how she was not feeling well, I guess the carousel ride was probably a bad idea! Anyways, after an interesting walk back (Derrick got his elbow stuck in an elevator railing), we ditched out on ice cream at Ghiradelli's because now Jon wasn't feeling great either. We had an early night.

Today's excursion was to Sea World. Abbie didn't even want to go this morning and we had to rent a stroller for her at the park. We were able to see some of the shows. Derrick, Gracie and I got soaked at the dolphin show (I let him choose the seats and we were on row 2)! I would probably sit just on the edge of the soak zone next time, as it took me at least 3 hours to completely dry out. I'm exhausted, so I should go, but not before I leave with the icing on the cake. As you can see, I'm doing my best to earn the mother of the year award the last couple of days. This ought to do it!

Yes, I left the hotel without sunscreen and burned my baby! My sister arrived shortly after us and we lathered them all up, but it was too late. The damage was done! I'm just hoping the preemptive Tylenol kicks in and keeps her comfortable through the night. I hope we make it to Saturday, although I think that red is a part of the wedding's color scheme, so maybe we'll be OK!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

what time is it?...summertime...it's our vacation!

I just read Emily's post, hence the title for this post. Tomorrow morning we leave for California and a week of family vacation before my brother's wedding next Saturday. I'm excited to go, but hate the last minute craziness of packing and wondering what it is that I'm leaving behind. The day after we get back happens to be the kids' first day of school and the day that we are getting our new dog. We just love to pack it all in at the same time!

As a side note, today is Jon's last working day at his old job. For those who have expressed curiosity, I'll send you both the info as to his new position...sometime soon!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

i love my teeth!

Today I had my first dental appointment in over seven years. Seriously. Both Jon and I had a check-up right after we got married, then it has just not been a priority unless our teeth bothered us, which they never really did. It wasn't always because we didn't have dental insurance, either, because we have had it off and on during the last 8 years. I have just been lazy in keeping up with it, until recently. Our dental insurance kicked in and so I made sure to get all of us in, especially the kids. Poor Jon didn't fare so well at his appointment a few months ago. I, on the other hand, am the queen of teeth! My streak remains unbroken, 29 years with no cavities. Sure, I needed a good cleaning, but the hygienist was surprised at how clean my teeth were, all things considered. Yippee for me!!!! She even told me I could probably get away with only yearly cleanings, but I have vowed to be better so they'll be seeing me again in February 2008. Speaking of teeth, I sure hope Gracie starts to pop some through here soon. I'm ready to turn the drool faucet OFF.

Monday, August 13, 2007

good news

After an anxious wait over the weekend, Jon got some good news early this afternoon. The previously mentioned job opportunity came through and we are very excited. He will put in a 2 week notice at work tomorrow. Because of our prescheduled vacation to San Diego, he won't even be here for about half of that time. It's always exciting to make a change like this, but the transition can be a bit stressful. It sounds like he will be spending a good deal of time in Denver for about 2 months, so I'll be glad when November rolls around. In any case, the pay increase and other benefits will be worth it.

We did so much other stuff today but none of it really seems blog worthy. I'm trying to finalize my piano lesson schedule for the school year and figure out which of my students will participate in the Monster Concert that our local music teachers association is putting on in October. We will have 10 pianos on the stage with up to 20 students playing the same duet at one time, involving all skill levels. It will be so exciting, but is tons of work. I have to design the advertising poster in the next couple of weeks. I'll be glad to get back to a normal schedule once school starts. Some parents tend to be a little more forgetful about lessons during the summer months and it can be frustrating.

My brain isn't functioning very well, so I'd better stop trying to think. Good night to a good day. : )

Saturday, August 11, 2007

desktop fun

Just a quick FYI for everyone, there are really cute desktop templates out there that you can get for free and just add your photos to. Here's a look at the one I put up for this month and the one I had up last month. I found them at Shabby Miss Jenn and the Shabby Princess blog, in case you are interested (see my sidebar). I'm sure there are even more out there yet to be found. Enjoy!

Friday, August 10, 2007


The real countdown has begun. In one year I will no longer be a twenty-something. So far I've enjoyed some lovely gifts, several phone calls, a nice lunch, and a birthday cake. The rest of the day will be quiet since Jon is at work. I tried to think about what I did for my birthday 10 years ago, at 19. That was the year that Tori and Sierra organized a surprise party at Brick Oven with some friends and people from the summer ward. I remember a blindfold and the shock of almost sitting on some guy's lap before they took it off! In some ways it seems like yesterday, but a hundred years ago at the same time. Birthdays mean a little less these days. I'm not waiting to turn 12 so I can get my ears pierced, or 14 so I can go to stake dances, or 16 so I can date and drive, or 18 so I can be an adult. Now getting older just means I should feel like more of a grown up. At what point do you turn that corner where the teenagers start thinking of you as old? I'm pretty sure I always used to think of anyone over 30 as real grown ups. Seems kind of funny now, because in a lot of ways I still see myself as a kid. My youth is wasting away! Jon's 30th is coming up in December, I think I'll focus on that now. ;)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

week(s) in review

I just realized that it has been about two weeks since my last entry. This is due to a number of distractions, most importantly the complete crash of the hard drive on our new laptop. Fortunately, our system is still under warranty so I promptly put in a call to Gateway technical support, and after a lenghty process it was determined that we would be sent a new hard drive, no charges for anything as long as we returned the old one to see if they could repair it. I asked specifically whether or not it would come installed with Windows Vista and everything I would need to get back up and running, minus any extra programs I had installed myself. The promise was made, we waited three days for it to come, and when I went to install it, NO OPERATING SYSTEM. I called again. I'm told that I need a System Recovery disk, which is free, but their policy is that I need to pay a $20 shipping and handling charge to get it. Not happening. I very politely explained that there was no way I was going to pay anything to get this disk when they had just sent me the hard drive free of charge but forgot to do it right. My fee was waived, but I had another three day wait. I just barely got my computer up and running again yesterday. Now I'll have computer anxiety for a couple of weeks, fearful that I'll click a seemingly innocent button and it will crash again.

At least I had other distractions during this time. The kids and I traveled to Utah to help my mother and sisters throw a bridal shower for our soon to be sister-in-law. Things went well even though we were running a little late that morning getting ready, but my lovely brother was there to bail us out by ironing table cloths and running last minute errands to insure the gathering for his love was a success. I can't believe that the wedding is just over two weeks away! We are leaving again in just over a week for San Diego. I'm really excited to go and spend time with all my family and have a true vacation with my hubby and kids, but I'm already tired. It will be great, though.

While in Utah, I had one of those great restaurant moments, which is bad enough when both parents are there, but even worse when you are the lone ranger. Fortunately Jon's sister was with me and quick to help. We were eating at Olive Garden, and nearly finished with our meal, when Derrick announced that he needed to use the restroom. In the process of getting out of his chair, he informs me that it is too late. What?!? He is 6 1/2 years old, so I usually get a little more warning than that! I look down to see poop running down his leg into his crocs (thank goodness for crocs with no socks!). We are literally at the table farthest from the bathroom, and he is just standing there making puddles on their carpet. I felt so bad! I'm not quite sure what to do because Gracie is fussing, I have Abbie, and now Derrick needs to rush to the bathroom before it gets worse. Thankfully Kim jumped to the rescue and took him to the bathroom, while I stayed behind to handle the mess and get us out of there as quickly as possible. Our server was so understanding and helpful. I laugh, though, because he kept telling me that I would be surprised at how often this type of thing happened. Somehow I doubt that, I'm sure he was just trying to make me feel better.

Our last week has also been consumed with the prospect of a new job for Jon. It's no surprise to some that he is fairly miserable at his current job and has been seeking new opportunities for some time now. It turns out that he might go back to work for a company that he worked for during college. I don't want to go too in depth, just in case it doesn't work out. I will say that he has had three interviews up the chain in the last week and we feel pretty confident. I hope it works out because I haven't seem him this excited about work for some time.

You're out of town for a few days, do you know what your husbands are doing? Well, I left town and my husband bought this.

Not a total surprise, I will admit. But, we had talked about getting a dog after our trip to Hawaii in January, not quite this soon. Fortunately, the breeder agreed to keep him until after we get back from San Diego. He is a basset hound, we've named him Bauer (thanks to 24 we've had this name for a while), and he'll be just over 11 weeks when we bring him home. I hope this time is better than our last dog attempt!

Finally, here are some of my favorite pics from our adventures over the last few weeks. Enjoy!

Abbie always finds her way to Aunt Kimmy's lipstick!

My bugaphobic boy with a caterpillar on his arm. It tickled!

Tea party fun with Aunt Katie and cousin Allie.

Drinking the proper way, pinky a-flying!

Not to be left out of the fun, the boys had a Hot Wheels party!

Sitting on my own.

She fell asleep this way. I couldn't resist!

Sweet potatoes make the perfect accessory!