Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bachelorette Surprise Coming...

Sorry ladies (and the few guys with great taste who read my blog). There won't be a recap today. I am sick as a dog with the flu but check back on Thursday for a little Bachelorette surprise you won't want to miss!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Part 3--The Beach

I kind of forgot that I was doing a three part series on our trip to California. Not that anyone cares, but here is part three--the Beach.

When Sam told me he wanted to get a four-day park hopper, I demanded one day at the beach. Next time, I will wise-up and demand at least two days there. We went to Newport Beach and it was perfect.

The weather could have been a little warmer but it wasn't terrible. The kids built sand castles and loved playing in the water. Luke even made a couple buddies and went body surfing for about an hour.

There is nothing finer than Mickie D's on the beach:

My dad taught me a long time ago, you never come to the beach unprepared. The necessary items are a cooler, beach chairs, mats, towels, umbrellas, sand toys and sunscreen. I looked over at the family next to us who literally brought nothing but towels, and felt bad for them. That is no way to spend a day at the beach.

The only bad part of the day was when I was tossing a frisbee with Sam and I stepped into some tar in the sand. It looked like some sort of sea creature had crabbed my toes and I couldn't get it off. I screamed like a maniac until I figured out it was just tar. It took me all night in the hotel hot tub to work the tar off my toes with a towel...don't say I'm not classy.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Please Tell Me I Wasn't the Only One Who Got Sucked In!

I wasn't going to watch. Then I thought of 20 guys getting out of the limo and I had to watch. I'm not going to commit to recapping every week. It starts to feel like a job and Heaven knows I hate to work!

So here are my really quick thoughts from tonight (because I'm dead tired but I always have something to say.)

*Ashley looked cute in her dress. Do we think she got an "augmentation?" She was sooo flat before. I think she may have eyelash extensions too but who can blame her. If I was going on the show (just humor me for a minute) I would have a spray tan, fake eyelashes, and every procedure the show was willing to pay for.

*I liked the Butcher. He was sooo the cliche guy named Anthony from New Jersey. He reminded me of Nicholas Cage in Moonstruck. I was so sad she sent him home.

*There were a lot of guys this season with real careers (with the exception of the cell phone salesmen and the guy who works at Staples.) I like that. She likes that.

*Do I even have to say how completely ridiculous it was for Tim to get fall down drunk and pass out? My question is why did Ashley feel like she needed to go to all the work to put him in a cab? I would have just left him for dead and not wasted my time!

*I've seen a lot of party tricks and gimmicks over the years on this show but the masked dude is the very worst. It is totally embarrassing that he is 35....way too old for that crap.

*How did you like Ashley's conversation with Chris about Bentley? Leave it to SLC to bring the drama. We are two for two folks. I'm going to give Bentley the benefit of the doubt for now. Rumor has it, his ex-wife is besties with Michelle Money. Do the math.

*I don't trust the producers further than I can throw them (and with my bad knee, I shouldn't be throwing anybody..name the movie!) I can pretty much guarantee that Bentley doesn't say all of the stuff they have him saying in the preview of the season.

*There is a guy (I'm too lazy to look up names) that totally looks like a young Tom Hanks.

*Love Ryan who got the first impression rose. He is cute and seems confident without being arrogant.

*Love Nick, the blond surfer looking guy from Florida who is a personal trainer. He is a hottie.

*I like the two lawyers so far but I think Ben might be a little too eager.

*West is sweet. He would have been the perfect match for Emily...both from the South...both with a dead fiance/spouse.

*I was so embarrassed for the two guys who blubbered to the camera after they got sent packing. It is the first night!! Somehow, it is even worse for a guy to be crying and talking about how he will never find love!

I'm excited. I hate to admit it but I love looking forward to Mondays. Are you watching?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sam's 10 Commandments of Disneyland

Sam left his 10 commandments of Disneyland in a comment on my Disneyland post. I decided it was good enough for its own post. Here it is:

Disneyland is a magical place and a national treasure. In order to enjoy your time at Disneyland, you need to follow certain principles outlined below.

My Ten Commandments of Disneyland (in no particular order):

1. Get to the gates early; arrive at least 20 mins before the park opens. You have a limited amount of park time, don't waste it going through security or sleeping in.

2. Always hit Fantasyland first. When using Magic Morning entry, Peter Pan is your first priority. After Fantasyland, the world is your oyster.

3. Think ahead. Plan where you want to be in sixty minutes and get Fast Passes in advance if necessary. Grab switch passes even if you don't plan to use them right away. A switch pass in the hand is worth two in the bush.

4. Stop and smell the roses (and Dapper Dans). Despite the urgency to maximize your time, the best time at Disneyland is often chilling at the Corner Cafe under an umbrella or munching on a cookie at Pooh's Corner.

The famous photo of Sam enjoying the Dapper Dan's barbershop quartet

5. Aggressive politeness. Never overtly cut someone off or drill them with the stroller, but use passive aggressive techniques to make sure you don't lose a spot in line.

6. Don't leave anything in the park. Hit the park so hard that you can go 12-18 months without having any regrets about your time there. I think you need at least a 4 day parkhopper.

To quote Owen Wilson in Wedding Crashers, "Rule 76. No excuses...play like a champion."

7. Eat up. Pack lunches and snacks to defray the costs of food at the park, but don't be too miserly about the food. Disneyland has some good eats from Pooh's Corner Bakery to Gibson Girl's Ice Cream Parlor...indulge.

8. Mousewait. Use the App to track wait times in the park and see how your time is best utilized.

9. Diamonds in the Rough. I think there are some great rides/events that people ignore, such as Muppets 3D, Winnie the Pooh, Monsters Inc., Casey Jr., Regular Train, etc. Pick up a program and make sure you catch a parade, singing group, etc.

10. Lanyards & Pin trading. While lanyards and pins can be worn by all, pin trading should be reserved to kids. Get your kids a lanyard and a few pins, and they will be in hog heaven.

As Walt Disney so eloquently said, "I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing -- that it was all started by a mouse."

Unfortunately, I needed one more day at the park. It's okay though, I already have the next trip planned out, and May 2012 will be here before you know it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Guys Who Need a Swift Kick in the Face

This list is just the beginning. Who am I missing?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Part 2--Disneyland

Day 1--Sunday

We pulled into Anaheim in the late afternoon and Sam was just itching to get over to the park. We got our shiz together, packed the two strollers (the double and the single) and headed over. The double was for the kids and the single was for all of our stuff.

Coincidentally, it was Goth day in the park. When we first arrived, I actually thought "there are a lot of scary people here...Disneyland has really gone downhill." I was relieved to hear it was Goth Day and that trench coats and combat boots are not the new thing. But seriously, whose brilliant idea was it to make Mothers Day Goth day?

We rode a few rides--Dumbo is the favorite for the little guys:

Then the crowds and the cold (it was probably in the low 60s) started to get to me and we had to get out of there. The kids and I went to bed in the hotel and Sam went back over to watch "the World of Color" show and shut the park down.

Day 2--The Magical Day according to Sam

When did I get four kids--sheesh!

I actually got comments every day on this trip about having so many kids. I got "Are they all yours?" and "You guys are really brave!" and one "God bless you" as we were getting off the elevator with all of our stuff. When did four become the new eight?

Fantasyland is my favorite. I love the teacups:

and the storybook boats:

And Winnie the Pooh. This is why I had four kids (so everyone has a buddy on the rides at Disneyland):

I just love this photo of the boys:

Sam and his mini-me:

Monday evening we took the kids to a character dinner at Goofy's kitchen:

It was a total nightmare. Sam and I just took turns going from our table to the buffet and bringing food back to the kids. The characters kept skipping our area of the restaurant. Buster melted down and Sam took him out to rock him to sleep. I had to open a can on the manager just to get some D-list characters like the Fairy Godmother, Chip and Dale and Captain Hook over to our table so we could leave.

In the end, it was worth it because Luke got to have a light saber/sword duel with Captain Hook and he was thrilled. On the way out, Luke pointed out that the Star Wars theme was playing and he had the biggest grin on his face. I figure it isn't that much longer that Disneyland will hold that kind of magic for him.

Day 3--soldiering on

We started the day in California Adventure and did a bunch of rides. Our family favorite is Midway Mania.

This is my new facebook profile picture...tons of flash= no wrinkles or freckles!

Sam made a crucial discovery this day. There is a little shop right by the Winnie the Pooh ride that sells the BEST peanut butter cookies and triple chunk brownies. We hit these hard the rest of the trip. In fact, I ate so many of these babies our last day that I actually thought I was going to throw-up in the hotel room that night...classy.

Day 4--Our last Day

Sam bought Luke and Sammie lanyards and a few pins each and officially got them started on the pin trading. Heaven help us.

Later in the day, Luke's dreams came true again when he was selected to go onstage during a Jedi training and fight Darth Vader.

As the day drew to a close, Sam decided we needed to partake of every kind of high-calorie food in the park. I waited in line for close to 30 minutes for some corn dogs. I know! All the while, Sam was hunting down one of these:

oh yes he did...the infamous turkey leg. Aaargh!

I even tried a bite and it wasn't bad. We finished with ice-cream on Main Street.

We left the park at closing time and Sam was a little downtrodden on the way back to the hotel. He felt like he left a little in the park...didn't get all the magic he needed. The day we got home, I caught him online trying to book our next vacay to Disneyland. He needs professional help!

Good-bye Grandma Warner

Grandma with Ryan circa 2008

I am putting my Disneyland post on hold for the moment to say good-bye to my Grandma Warner. She passed away this morning.

About three weeks ago, I took lunch up to her house. It was no small feet to get my kids to three different friend's houses and pick up lunch and haul Buster but I am SO glad I did. I got to have a really nice lunch with her. That was the last time I saw her.

She was my last grandparent to go. I loved Grandma Warner because she always made me feel so good about myself. She thought I was the best dresser, and the best mom and are you ready for this--the best cook! Sam always laughed how she called me a "natural born cook." He was like "Are we talking about the same person?" Grandma also thought Sam was so good looking and told me again at lunch that she thought Sam was such a handsome guy!

My grandma was classy and kind and always interested in other people. She has been sick with diabetes for as long as I can remember but she never talked about it. She liked to hear about what my kids were doing and what was new with me.

My grandpa passed away a month ago and I don't think it is any coincidence that they died so close together. They always wanted to go together and I knew she wouldn't stick around very long without him. Theirs was an amazing love story and I'm so happy they are reunited.

I recently read a quote by Stephen Hawking where essentially he said that a belief in the afterlife or Heaven is only a fairytale for people who are scared of the dark. I could not disagree more. I have an absolute belief in Heaven and life beyond the grave. There is no doubt in my mind that my grandma returned to Heavenly Father and had a joyful reunion with my grandpa. I'm so thrilled that she is finally released from this body that has given her so much pain and suffering. I know that one day she will be resurrected and given her body back in its perfect form. I am so grateful to have the peace that this knowledge brings me.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Part 1 The Road Trip

We just returned from a trip to Disneyland and Newport beach. I have waaaay too many pictures to condense it all into one post. So I am going to break it into three parts--the road trip, Disneyland and the beach.

Part 1 The Road Trip

I like a good road trip. I have posted my tips for road tripping in the past. We are kind of trashy on the road.

We let the kids take their shirts off:

We make really lame jokes about the "T&A" rest stop:

We let the kids watch movies the whole way (Zombie Ryan):

and I drink Diet Coke like it is going out of style.

We always stop in St. George and let the kids play at the park for about an hour. Buster loves the swings:

Sam wore compression stockings under his shorts to keep his knee from swelling up on the road. He had absolutely no shame in wearing them into gas stations, restaurants and the hotel. Notice the sheen on these babies:

I bought my kids these little suitcases before we left at DownEast Home. They have other kids' names embroidered on them but my kids didn't care. I had considered buying these same ones at PBK for 119 bucks each before I found them at DownEast for 29 bucks each. For that deal, I can live with calling the kids "Oliver and Meredith."

At the hotel we let Buster pull every tissue out of the box because he had no other toys and we were desperate:

The highlight of the trip down was eating the best breakfast of my life on Mother's Day at the hotel. I know you will think I am exaggerating but the complimentary breakfast at the Courtyard Marriott South in Vegas is second to none. I am talking made to order omelets, fresh fruit, muffins, french toast, eggs, hot chocolate with cream...basically anything you can think of for breakfast...they have it. Here is my delicious omelet:

The breakfast was all I got for Mother's Day and I was a happy lady.

Stay tuned for Disneyland.