Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Outlet Shopping, Garth Singing, Buffet Eating trip to Vegas!!!!

Crank up your volume, you'll get it about eight paragraphs down.  :)

I would like to think that Rich and I are still young and capable to doing the late nights that we have become accustomed to when in Vegas...apparently something has happened and we're getting old.  Or stupid.  Yes, it's either old or money  is on the latter.

On Sunday morning, we woke a little before 4:00am to be in the car by 4:15am to head to San Fransisco to make a  flight that left at 7:00am.  Now, both of us work MILES from our house.  I think it might be two miles from our front door to my school and it might be four or five miles from our door to Rich's work.  The term "commuting to work" will never apply to us.  THANK GOD!  You may find this hard to believe, but apparently it is possible to have road rage at 5:00 in the morning.  I am not a fan of road rage, well unless I am the one driving, and Rich knows this.  That's why he kept saying to me...."I'll give them ten more seconds before I flash my lights to get them to MOVE THE HELL OVER!"  I'd like to say this happened once, maybe twice, but unfortunately it happened several times.  We made it to SF in plenty of time.

So back to being stupid.  This was the plan.  Plane takes off from SF at 7:00am, arrives in LV at 8:15ish, take a cab straight to MGM to get in line for the shuttle out to the outlets that leaves at 9:15am.  Are you following?  On paper, it sounded good and looked doable.  But when you've been up since 3:45am and you have already been in the car for an hour and a half getting to the airport, then on a flight for an hour and fifteen minutes, the thought of hauling ass to a casino to get tickets to then turn around and get on a bus for 45 more minutes to outlets in the middle of a desert sounds S-T-U-P-I-D!!!!!! 

Time out---Remember the post I did a long time back where I had told you that Rich lied to the man at the desk about us being "guests" at the MGM hotel and got me on the bus for free after putting down a bogus room number?  Do you remember how furious I was that he had done that and then all I could think about was that they were going to come and find me and call me out for something he did to save TWELVE DOLLARS????  Remember that?  Well, right when we got to MGM Rich stops me and says..."You have to play along."  I looked at him, realization hit and then I screamed..."NO I DON'T AND NO YOU ARE NOT!!"  He smiled and then I told him I am not standing next you, I do not know you, and I am not a part of this at all!!!!!  Approximately three minutes after Rich walked up to the counter, he was walking toward me with two tickets comped!!!  I am not pleased for him and his smug smile that was all over his face, I am now again worried that at some point we will be escorted off the bus, in front of everyone, because he wouldn't cough up the twelve dollars for us to go!!!

You know what relieves stress?  Stress that comes from your husbands antics?  Shopping.  Shopping relieves stress.  So that's what I did...for three hours straight.  I shopped and shopped.  And you know what?  I did feel better! 

So, because we were still on a time crunch, we got back to the hotel in time to check in and Rich headed off to his first meeting.  While he went there, I went to the room to get ready.  Because even though we have been up since 3:45am, we still had a full night of plans.  (And real quick, do to the craziness of our schedule up until this point, I thought I would mention that it was around 3:00pm and the only thing Rich and I had eaten at this point was a granola bar.)  At 4:00pm we had a cocktail walk-thru down at the convention and two beers on an empty stomach...not such a great thing.  At 5:00pm we headed to the mall because I needed make-up and I know this sounds weird, but I always get my make-up while we're in Vegas.  While I was getting make-up, Rich went and picked up our Garth tickets.  We met back up at the food court...not the finest dining establishment in Vegas, but fourteen hours of nothing but a granola bar said we were eating whatever was available.  Finally, tickets in hand and stomachs full, we headed to Garth.

GARTH--I have no words.  Well, maybe a few.  Best show I have ever seen.  Yes, even better than Bon Jovi (GASP!).  And the best part....Rich like it too.  He didn't fall asleep and snore like he did watching Phantom of the Opera, he didn't roll his eyes and complain about a $14 margarita like he did at Elton John.  No!  He clapped, laughed, made fun of me acting like a twelve year was was great.  Garth was unbelievable! 

My absolute favorite part of the night was during his 70's part.  (He went through the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and present day with favorite songs)  He talked about a song that used to play on the radio while his mom drove his dad to work and he said it was one of those songs that you could fall asleep, take a short nap, and it would still be playing when you woke up.  I of course turned to Rich and screamed....AMERICAN PIE!!!!  Quickly, let me tell you why I made it my life's goal to learn all 8 minutes and 34 seconds of this song.  I was on trip to Disneyland with the Lee's (my best friends family growing up) and we were on our way home going through LA traffic and this song came on the radio and it went on forever, and ever.  And Amber's parents, Deanna and Joe, knew every word to every verse.  The first couple of minutes Amber, Staci and I made fun of them singing it and made fun of the crazy lyrics.  By the sixth minute of the song, we then were singing and humming to the chorus.  From that day on I said....I have to learn this song.  And I did.  Every weekend when I drove home to Lodi from Chico I played this song and learned every word to every verse.  And so when Garth started playing it, I went crazy and sang at the top of my lungs.  Rich looked at me like I was crazy and said..."How do you know the words to this song?" and I looked at him and said, "How do you NOT know them????"  Because I was pretty sure he was the only one not singing at the top of his lungs.  Best part of the concert!!  I turned to Rich and said "That alone was worth the price of the ticket!" 

The last part of this very detailed long post was our eating...after that first day.  We had all day buffet passes.  You could go in for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Before the trip I thought....that will be nice, we won't have to spend a lot of money at different restaurants and we literally could go whenever we wanted.  This will be good.  Fast forward to Tuesday at lunch when I turned to Rich and said, "I'm not eating at another buffet for fourteen more years!!!"  I can't look at a buffet again for a long time.  Not that we ate a lot, but it was just the same thing over and over.  The best thing I had was a salad because they had beets and I love beets like crazy, so my main meals were beets with a side of lettuce. more buffets.  He'll have to go with someone else from now on!

Overall we had a great trip.  Can't wait to head back same time next year!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Way We Were

Yesterday Oprah rocked the house!  Not only did she have Barbra Streisand on, but then she secretly brought out Robert Redford and blew the roof off the house.  HUBBLE!!!!!!  "Your girl is lovely Hubble, you should bring her by sometime."

Now, I have two reasons for this post.  The first is to tell you that when we were growing up, every Saturday morning my mom would put on her Barbra Streisand albums (yep--the actually big record) and we would listen to it as we cleaned the house.  That was our Saturday morning tradition.  I have know who Kris Kristofferson is most of my life and I can almost tell you in detail what the A Star is Born" album looks like inside and out simply because I used to stare at it while "dusting" the cabinet.  I love every song she has ever sang and I would pay an obscene amount of money to go and see her in concert with my mother and sister.  It would be beyond words...

The second reason for this post.  Hubble, of course.  Not only is The Way We Were a fantastic movie, I really don't think any other man on the face of the earth has looked more handsome than Robert Redford during this movie.  He is painfully handsome!!!!  So what better reason than to spread a little love and share the handsomeness with you all!!!

Just indulge me....

Monday, November 15, 2010

Disney time!

I would thank Lodi Unified School district for being so financially screwed up because thanks to them I took a pay cut this year and I now have furlough days. My first furlough day was Friday and what better way to celebrate a pay cut then by going on a vacation. Disneyland….here we come!

***Side note---this was the first time we had left Teddy for an extended amount of time. Before we left, I typed up two pages of information for my in-laws. I can GUARANTEE you that when the boys were babies and we left for vacation, the only information I left was the doctor’s name and number and a written permission letter for them to get medical care if needed. I’d say overall the two pages typed Teddy’s Helpful Hints were a bit much, but I certainly felt better.

Because I have so much to report on from our vacation, I will do this post in bullet points, because I love a good bulleted, just get to the good parts, list.

• As much as I LOVE the holiday season, I love it more at Disneyland. I love the huge tree at the end of Main Street. I love that they play Christmas music you can hear no matter where you are in the park. Everyone walking around in Santa Mickey ears, singing along to the music…it just screams Christmas. My only problem with this whole “love the holiday season” was that it was 80 degrees. It is REALLY hard to think of chestnuts roasting on a open fire when your in a tank top and wearing flip flops. Not cool.  I appreciated Disney’s efforts with the “snow” on Main Street after the fireworks, but I’m still in summer night clothes and eating an ice cream cone.

• Matthew turned seven a few days before the trip. Turning seven at Disneyland means solo rider pass on most young kid rides. So he dropped us like a bad habit anytime he could. Instead of two and two, it was one (Matt), two (Mom and Ryan), and one (Dad). The only time I got super nervous was when he was on Dumbo and I know I ruined a couple of people’s pleasant flights as I was yelling “HOLD ON!!!” and “SCOOT IN---YOUR TOO CLOSE TO THE OPENING!!!”

• Our camera was apparently not charged. I have issues with this because I then had to result to taking pictures with my phone the entire trip. I then looked like that person that I have previously made fun of a lot, for them wasting their time taking a picture from a phone that won’t even turn out. All of the pictures posted today were taken from my camera phone…deal with it!

• Ryan hit 40 inches. This is good news for him and better news for us! The first ride we took him on was Soaring over California. I have been impatiently waiting to take him on this for a couple of years now and I was so excited when the four of us lined up together. The first twenty seconds of the ride were our “Uh-oh”, because Ryan turned his head and looked down and away from the hundred foot screen. Because we're idiots, we forgot to think as a three year old and imagine what was going through his mind. He told us later….he was afraid he was going to fall off!!!  Which now, thinking back, is heartbreaking to hear because the boy must have been terrified.  He then rebounded and told us his favorite parts and then he agreed to ride on it the next day again. The other ride we took him onto “celebrate” his 40 inch big boy status was Thunder Mountain. We really had no business doing this to him. We told him it was fast train ride—Parents of the Year, right? The entire time we were in line I kept saying, “Is this a good idea? Is this a good idea?” He of course got no help from his brother because Matthew was continuing his solo riding status and wanted nothing to do with sitting with Rich and Ryan to ease the fear. After it was over he was very quiet and then asked to call his cousins, Mason and Mikayla, to tell them how brave he was.

• Friday ended up being the first day that the park went completely Christmas with all the decorations and so on. It was also the busiest day I have ever experienced. There were times we didn’t move because there was simply no where to go. We were stand still in the middle of the street and it was crazy.  I hated it.  Had I known it would have been that busy, we maybe could have done something else in LA that day.  INSANE BUSY!

• My favorite times in the park are usually the first hour when it opens and the last hour before it closes. Yes, it is the time with the least amount of people, but it is also the most peaceful. I love the mornings because everyone is happy, well rested and taking their time going from place to place. The last hour of the night is fantastic because that’s when the strong are still at it and there are no long lines and screaming kids. It is priceless. The last night we were there we rode a ton of rides in that last hour. In fact we were in line for Small World at 11:55pm and by the time we actually got on the ride it was 12:10am. The coolest part was walking from the back of the park to the front of the park with only a few people around and the park was silent. 

• The great thing about modern technology is now waiting in line for 45 minutes goes by quicker if you have something to play with…like a phone or an ipod. This will come as not shock to anyone who knows me that my phone was on and in my face during most wait times. And since I since I didn’t want my children to feel left out or ignored, we charger the ipod for them to play games while in line too. We looked like one big happy family with our heads down not speaking to each other. Did we get stares? Sure. Were they filled with disgusted looks? Maybe. But were our kids screaming and crying and complaining about the lines….NOPE!!!! The only heated times were the ones that Matthew and Ryan were begging their father to give back the ipod because his time was WAY past fair and he was hogging the game at times.

• After four fun filled days, I was glad to head home. I have listened to Toy Story 3 four times now as it seemed to play on a loop in the back seat of the car. I tear up at the exact time every time it’s on and really compose myself enough to not burst out into full on crying. On the way home I drove for a while so Rich could rest. I enjoy driving while the kids have the movie going and Rich is asleep because I get control back over my radio and I can play whatever I want. Yesterday I chose Garth Brooks first album because we will be seeing him in concert next week. I needed to freshen up on the old stuff and I thought what a perfect time to do so. The pained look in Rich’s eye was I’m sure just a preview of what he is going to look like at the concert. I then took pity on him and switched over to my mixed CD that had a collection of songs that I find very enjoyable. Some of them include Whitesnake, Bee Gees, Guns N’ Roses, Wham, Dixie Chicks, Bon Jovi, and other classics from the 80’s and 90’s. When Rich offered to drive, I knew he had hit his limit of my song selection and wanted me back in the passenger seat reading my book quietly. I told him that I was fine, in a groove and then I proceeded to turn up the volume and sing louder.  I then pointed out to him that most of my selection was really from his "era" and he should embrace the fact that I have a variety of music.  Whoever says they don't like "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" is just flat out lying....LYING!  I find it enjoyable.

Here are the pictures from the trip.  Again, I didn't have my camera so the pictures aren't that clear.
No trip is complete without a Toy Story Mania picture.

Main Street decorations

Ryan right before Soaring over California!!!  40 inches baby!!!!!!

Desperately tired!

Ryan's treat

Matthew's treat

Daddy's treat

 Mommy's treat

Main Street at night

Small World cruise

Some of my favorite parts of Small World during Christmas

The boys in line for Thunder Mountain

Daddy and Ryan right before getting on Thunder Mountain

This is so sad...he has no idea what his parents just tricked him into doing and he looks excited.

Solo rider

REINDEER!!!!  I LOVE the reindeer!!!!

Pluto hanging out with the reindeer.
 Doesn't everyone come to Disneyland to sit and color?  We had a hard time getting them to leave this place.

Small World at night

Our one and only Mickey picture.  Pathetic quality!

Last shot of the trip.  These guys are never out and we caught them on the last day as we were leaving!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sweet 7th Heaven

On Sunday Matthew turned SEVEN!!!  Still has all of his teeth, but good news is he can start drinking soda I am predicting they will start falling out soon.

That's our deal.  He had to be five to chew gum.  The next goal was seven, and that means he can have soda.  Luckily the next three aren't for many more years to come.  18--Drive a car.  21--Casinos with Dad.  35--Tattoo/Body Piercing.  I threw the last one in there because he asked one day when he was in preschool when does he get to get his ears pierced because a little girl in his class had hers pierced.  I told him boys don't get their ears pierced, but men do and they have to be 35.  So, we'll see how long that sticks!

The "LIST"--A couple of weeks ago when we asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he was VERY specific.  He wanted (take a deep breath) Lime Green Vans, Pink Quicksilver shirt, Skinny Jeans, skateboard, and Wipeout Wii. 

I'm not going to lie...when he said this I started laughing and said, "Who is he?"  Matt said, "What do you mean?" And I said, "Who is the boy you are trying to look like?"  Matt's response, "His name is Zane.  He's in the third grade.  He has a skateboard too.  He dresses really cool!"  I wanted to start laughing again but I couldn't.  Because when I was close his age, Adrienne Guiness had  light denim Guess Jean overalls that I wanted with every fiber of my being.  And when my mom took me shopping for school clothes and I had $100 to spend and the Guess Jean overalls were $79.99 (85.00 with tax) I bought them and one shirt.  My mom was trying to make it VERY clear that she was not giving me any more money and if I spent all that money on these two items, then I was crazy.  I turned out to be crazy AND cutely dressed on the first day of school.

Maybe the funniest part of all of this was my mother and mother-in-law calling me saying "Where in the world do I find skinny jeans????" 

Sunday we met the Lockes' and Guido's at The Chuck for some morning fun!  Kirsten turns seven on Wednesday and it was the perfect way to celebrate without the party and all!!!

Let us in!!!  Rainy Sunday and The Chuck's not open yet!

I only put this in because Kelly did her hair just in case I posted a pic of her on the blog!  What up Kel!

Baby Leah!

Game face on.  I don't ever "let" me kids win..they have to earn it!  He knows this and he is all business!

Love this picture!

Colson riding the Barney train.

Matthew and Camden playing.

This is the look of sweet success.  Yep, he beat me!

The loot.

Kirsten, Matthew, and Kelly.

The seven year olds!

Camden---how do you not love that face!

After Chuck E Cheese, we took the boys to lunch before going bowling.  When we got to the bowling alley, they were not going to fit us in for hours so we had to go to plan B....John's Incredible Pizza...AKA--chuck E. Cheese's older brother!

So glad this was for the "kids".

Story of his life right now.  A day late and a few inches short.

The view from the outside...

So much fun!

Just pathetic!

Only him and his father have that look on their face when they are holding money.

The coolest shirt ever!!!  Thanks Mason and Mikayla!

Sooooo excited!

Laker Silly Bands!

The guitar for his "band".

Isn't this how all guitar players do it?

Rockin' out!

Crabby Patty Cake!

Matthew asked me to make a pineapple upside down cake.  I did it with pleasure...he hasn't had any yet!


I know the song choice is odd....but it's one of his favorites!  He's his father's son.