Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Randoms

1- Day 10 of the special special diet. . . I'm still alive. I haven't had a lick of caffeine, sugar, or many other substances in that span of time.

I must admit to having ingested, somewhat accidentally, a small amount of cheddar cheese. . . I tried to eat around it in my Cafe Rio salad, but wasn't wholly successful.

STILL, I'm awfully proud of myself, and am 1/3 of the way through this first month of joy.

Also, I haven't had a migraine since Sunday. Which I think its pretty darn awesome.

---------------------------

2- This probably goes without saying. . . but I'm really ready for it not to be winter any more. I'm tired of being cold.

----------------------------

3- We saw our last 2 Sundance films of the year last night. It was a sparse year for us, only seeing 3 (though I also saw one with my team from work). I have to say, though, that I'm really happy with the ones we saw. I liked all 3!

I'll post a separate entry about those.

----------------------------

4- My favorite product this week. . . mint water.
It's saving me once again.

Anyone have any experience with Stevia or Xylitol that can shed some light for me? I would be much more content with my morning bowl of oatmeal if it had SOME flavor. . . Slivered almonds just aren't doing it for me.

----------------------------

5- One of my plans for the new year was to clean and PURGE one room a week. I have had varying levels of success so far. The first week we did the pantry, which hardly counts as a ROOM, but it was big ol' job, and it was a brilliant success, so it counts as far as I'm concerned.

Week 2 I tried our bedroom. This is where I was only marginally successful. I managed to clean about half of the room (which in my world means dust. . . because dark wood furniture is a disaster to keep dusted for those who are GOOD about dusting. And let's just say that's not me.) I also managed to remove a huge pile of clothes that don't fit me any more from the closet and fold them and fill 2 garbage bags to take to the DI.

Problem? They're still sitting on the floor of the bedroom. Why? because this special little diet has had some unexpected side effects. Namely, a slight bit of weight loss. This morning, I was down 7 lbs since I started. Now, it's not that I'm holding out hope that this kind of marvelous happening will continue.

(OK, I AM holding out hope)

But just in case, I don't want to send those clothes packing yet. Because they're good clothes. My behind (and all other parts) was just too big to fit in them.

So the bedroom project is on hold.

Week 3. . . I was home alone with the boy on Saturday, as Ben had one of his MANY weekend work days to attend to. . . so I tackled the downstairs bathroom. Easily the smallest room in the house, but there was still an amazing amount of dejunking to do. I'm awed at the amount of STUFF we had crammed into that vanity.

The plan for this weekend. . . the office. Which, if you've seen it, will be no small task. It's likely to take us 2 weeks. Or at least every spare moment of this weekend, ASSUMING the small boy is cooperative.

And let's be honest, when was the last time he was cooperative?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Holy Quilting Bee!

OK, I kind of knew in advance that this thing was going to turn out beautifully. Kalli happens to know some people, who know some people, who know some people, etc. . . And the count she had going in to Monday morning was 50 ladies.

That's a LOT to keep busy.

little did we know that we had NOTHING to worry about.

The ladies (and gentlemen, incidentally) of Kalli's former Stake were ON IT. They are awesome people who make it a part time job to fill the humanitarian needs of the world, through our church in the best way they can. I got to talk to so many of them yesterday and they just made me smile. Seriously.

Kalli summed the whole thing up beautifully. So did Sue. And Emily.

I, on the other hand, was a bad blogger and forgot my camera.

(In my defense, when I left the house, Nolan was having an EPIC meltdown because there were 6 dozen cupcakes leaving his house and I wouldn't give him one for breakfast.
Bless his heart.
He had one later, never you fear.)

And so, I will instead share with you a photo I stole from Kalli. She said I could, but also, since it is so HIGHLY flattering of me, I feel entitled. (sorry mom, you are included by association)

By the end of the day we had 11 quilts tied, hundreds of diapers and receiving blankets serged and folded, 50 pairs of pajamas made. . . the list goes ON and ON. We can really take none of the credit. Everything was in the works when we got there. We prodded people and those people brought supplies, and we all brought treats, but we only initiated something that flooded those that were already doing so much with a little extra support.

The group that normally does this is just amazing, and if you want to join them (I plan to go back) they are there every Monday from 10am-1pm @ 240 S. Center Street in American Fork.

And, if you're a UT blogger (or blog reader) that wants to get in on the service project action, Sue is starting a movement. Jump on board!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Quilting Bee Today!

Don't forget, we're holding our quilting bee for Haiti TODAY!

10 am-1pm

240 South Center Street in American Fork
(that's a slight change from the previous address noted)

I baked 3 kinds of cupcakes last night, just for you, which is saying something, because I can't eat them, nor could I taste them as I was baking.

THAT is how much I love you guys.

See you there!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Randoms, diet edition

I am posting this from bed because I forgot to do it earlier... Why?

1- I am on a new diet. I hate diets. I don't believe in them as a tool for weight loss. (some of you just responded with "obviously!" in your heads, and I'll try to forgive you). But this diet is not aimed at weight loss. It's aimed at improving my health and mainly my headaches, once and for all.

A tall order to be sure.

I'll spare you the details, but let's just say I'm grateful that it's only a month. And that it's 3 days over already. (not that I can go back to all of my evil ways in a month, but a few... And hopefully I'll form a few good habits in the mean time)

And I'll brag a little... No Coke for 3 days! Seriously?! Did anyone think I was capable of that? Me neither. I think I have crossed over to the land of "just water please", and I'm trying really hard to embrace it.

2- I have watched a lot of CNN this evening, starting with their telethon, and I really want to adopt several Haitian babies right now.

Someone talk me down and tell me how many years and dollars that takes, please, even under these circumstances, because I'm right on the edge of figuring out how it's done. Those babies need some love!

3- I will leave you with those, because part of eliminating all the crap I'm eliminating from my diet is the distinct need to sleep. Constantly.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sledding

Remember how much Nolan loved playing in the snow last year?

I'm not sure we've improved his opinion on the subject very much, but we sure tried.

There was supposed to be snow the morning of MLKJ day. . . but it only worked out to about a 1/4 inch on top of the old stuff, so the hill was nice and crunchy with a few little holes, but it was still fun! (until Nolan gave up because he was tired and we went home early)

Bless his heart, his mother forgot his boots, so he had to wear Aubrey's old ones.



Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Helping Haiti

(Photo via the NY daily news - Laughlin/AP)

SO. . . the situation in Haiti has been making me cry. A lot. I can't listen to a news report, see a photo, watch a story on Nightline without bawling. It's just so awful. Gut wrenchingly awful.

To say I have felt blessed and unprepared to help this past week is an understatement of epic proportions.

My like minded (and awesome) friend Kalli and I decided that we needed to do something. We're lucky. We belong to a church that is AMAZING at humanitarian aid. Regardless of where the need exists, these people are THERE. & they're there FAST. So we called them. We asked what we could do. We wanted to contribute. . .

I was so happy about their answer.

QUILTS!

The people of Haiti are sleeping in the streets. And while it's generally warm there, it's still winter. . . And they need blankets. And so we formed our plan.

We're holding a Quilting Bee!

Monday, January 25th in American Fork, we are joining some members of Kalli's former congregation in their weekly quilting. And since the need is great, we need as many helpers as possible.

We'll be at the American Fork LDS Stake Center @ 240 South Center Street from 10 am-1pm.

It's not the most ideal time of day, obviously, but the ladies that do this every week are going to be SO valuable to us that we need to be there when they are. Come on your lunch break if you need to (that's what I'll be doing)

We need people to cut, iron, sew, tie and bind. We need cutting mats, rulers and rotary cutters, sewing machines, sergers, and batting (that is the only part of the quilts that wasn't already provided by the church) We need people to occasionally chase the children that will be there. We need people to entertain us with their sweet dance moves. (OK, maybe not that, but if you can tell a joke, that's cool too)

And let me just say, I WILL be bringing some delicious cupcakes to entice you all to keep on trucking. (and if you have a flavor preference, speak on up!)


If you can't join us, but you'd still like to help, you can donate funds through our church. 100% of the money you donate goes to those in need. They don't use a penny of it to cover administrative costs. And I'm telling you, they are MASTERS of making the most out of a dollar and helping those that need help.

Questions? let me know.
And let me know if you'll be there so I can be sure to make enough cupcakes.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Week In TV

The following is a summary of what we watch (and will be watching) this Season. (If Sept-Dec was the "fall season" are we calling Jan-April the "winter season" or the "Spring season"? I'm confused by all of the partial seasons. . .)

Also, I planned to make this list by day of the week, but then it occurred to me that i had NO IDEA what day of the week half of these things are on. Sad but true. So instead, I decided to categorize them by type. I KNOW we watch way more TV than anyone should. I also know that we never watch it when it's actually ON, so we never watch commercials. . . which decreases the time spent watching by a LOT. And I'm not just being defensive here. I'm talking 1/3 of the time to watch any given show, GONE.

Notice that my only 2 NBC shows are Biggest Loser and Mercy, and Mercy is on the way out for me. I just can't give up Biggest Loser, but I wish I could, because I'd like to just boycott NBC. They're a bunch of idiots. (this was prompted by the Jay Leno/Conan debacle, in case that was confusing anyone)

ANYWAY. . .

REALITY
Amazing Race (CBS) We are still surprised it took us so long to catch this wave... we're still into it, 2 seasons later, so we're excited for a new one to start.

American Idol (FOX) We may be watching or the impending train wreck that is this season... I love Ellen, but I don't think she fits as a judge for this show. . . I have a feeling this might be the last season, what with Simon leaving, so i will definitely be watching. (well, skimming for the first couple of weeks, but still)

Biggest Loser (NBC) Can't. stop. watching. fat. people. get. skinny.

Extreme Makeover Home Edition (ABC) Our catharsis show. We cry EVERY time. And don't feel badly about it.

Project Runway (Lifetime) Again, how did it take us so long? Oh yeah, we didn't have Bravo. But now that we CAN watch, we do. I heard that last season was relatively boring, so I can't wait to see this one.

Models of the Runway (Lifetime) This one is new on Lifetime. . . and was surprisingly drama free last season. I somehow bet it's not this time around.


COMEDY
(a category that was SO short before, and is so much better suddenly)

Better Off Ted (ABC) Holy crap, this show is funny. The writing is SO funny. Which means it will probably be off the air next week. Because heaven forbid the studios keep ANYTHING witty on the air.

Big Bang Theory (CBS) Nerd humor. Need I say more? OK, the writing is uneven, but it still cracks me up. Jim Parsons is either a genius or actually like that. . . in either case, he's hilarious.

Cougar Town (ABC) I started out really disliking this. . . but it's growing on me. Apparently I didn't hate it, because we still record it. Maybe it's all the pretty people? Maybe.

Glee (FOX) The writing is mostly bad, and the songs are SO overproduced. But I still love it. And I will not stop watching it, and buying the CDs, even if I have to roll my eyes at it several times a week. Hopefully the writing will mature, if it stays on the air.

How I Met Your Mother (CBS) Still funny. Really funny. NPH is one of those characters you just can't stop laughing at, even if you don't really know why.

Modern Family (ABC) Speaking of good writing. I LOVE this show. It's playing on stereotypes without bashing you over the head with them. . . or maybe it IS bashing you over the head, but it's so funny I don't care. . . I'm not sure. But watch it. Seriously.

DRAMA
Castle (ABC) I have a celebrity crush on Nathan Fillion. I have since the first time I saw Firefly (thank you melissa) I am SO glad he is finally in a series that seems to be solid. The writing is fantastic, the characters are great. It's a cop show, but in a good way. A funny way.

Flash Forward (ABC) This won't start until, like, MARCH, but I still had to include it, because I LOVED it in the fall and fully intend to keep watching. It's replacing LOST in my need to follow a complex story line genre.

Grey's Anatomy (ABC) Yeah yeah. Cheesy overly dramatic hospital show. I still love it. Hello, Christina/Owen? how can you not love that? OK, you can think less of me if you want. I don't care. And it will just get worse in a few minutes.

The Good Wife (CBS) I have been so pleasantly surprised by this show. It's really well written. And it's interesting. It's still a lawyer drama, but I don't have any others on my list, so that's OK.

Lost (ABC) LAST SEASON! I can't WAIT to see how they wrap it up. I hope it isn't lame. I'm watching either way, all the way to the end, because I've watched it from the start.

Mercy (NBC) This is the top of the "most likely to be removed from my list" list. I keep watching it because it's there, but I kind of don't care if I'm weeks late seeing it. It's basically what kept me busy during reruns.

Private Practice (ABC) OK, here's where you're SURE I'm dumb. The writing on this one is AWFUL. But I can't stop watching Audra. And Taye Diggs. And some of the rest of them. . . I MUST support theater people when they get TV shows. I MUST.


So there you go. Get some of them on your Netflix list for when they are released. Or mock me for how much time I spend in front of the TV. (NPR says I'm 46% more likely to die "of anything" because of it) It's how I relax, OK?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Randoms

1- My sugar intake is out of control. I keep getting yelled at by Geri, the lady who rubs my feet, and yet. . . I still eat it. And drink it. ALL THE TIME.

I need good ideas for sugar detox. Clearly (based on the other day when I just tried not to eat it and then wanted to DIE from the migraine I had by 5 pm) I can't go cold turkey. I also can't stand aspertame or any other sugar substitutes.

Is there any hope for weaning?

2- After an insane couple of weeks of trading, buying and selling, we have finally settled on a TV. (why was that so complicated? I don't know, but it was)

This is where we ended up.
LED LCD.

Anyone have any experience with the energy savings they claim these things provide? Because our energy bill could REALLY use some help. Our other TV did not do good things to the numbers. We're really hoping this will help.

3- Don't you sometimes wish you lived somewhere really nice and temperate where you weren't in a constant battle to be comfortable? I do. I wish that. I feel like I am constantly cranking up the heater or air conditioner. I feel like I can never wear the right clothing to be comfortable.

Why can't I just move to Hawaii or something?

4- I HATE spam. I can't even explain how much it annoys me.
(the random emails, not the pressed meat, though I suspect I would hate that too)

My dear husband (love you, Ben, seriously, don't take this personally) gave Best Buy my gmail address. The address I only give PEOPLE. All of my spam goes to other accounts.

It is driving me BATTY to delete the 2-3 emails A DAY that they send me.

One of the many things I plan never to do in my business. . .
send so many emails that people filter me out.
Because seriously?! Enough is enough!

5- This movie is probably going to be awful, probably trying to be Love Actually (which wasn't a complete triumph on its own, in my opinion), and will fail.



Does that stop me from being excited for it in a silly girly way? No. It doesn't. Even if it IS a Gary Marshall film.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Christmas Video

And more recently. . . Some video from our Christmas adventures:

video

Woefully Behind

When I went back to iMovie to export some video for your viewing pleasure, it was immediately obvious how very far behind I am.

And so, this is a little set of clips from late summer and early fall for you. . . by way of catch up.


video

Friday, January 08, 2010

Movie Review Catch Up

Let me start by saying that there are a LOT of movies that came out at the end of December that I have yet to see. It's tragic what parenthood has done to my movie going habits. . . but that's the way it is. Thank goodness for Netflix.

Also, fall TV completely shocked me with the number of interesting offerings. . . So I'm going to do a separate post with my feelings on TV shows, in case any of you care.

Boy A

So, basically I was disturbed by this movie. I liked it, I think. . . but it was also SO sad. It is basically about a kid that was in jail for murder since he was a child. Literally. They release him under a new name, and he tries to start a new life, but eventually it comes out. . . and I know it sounds weird to feel sorry for him. . . but I did. It's a little bit graphic, so if you watch it, be prepared, but it's a really interesting movie. (Oh, and it's British)

Julie & Julia

I found this movie delightful. Meryl Streep was SO good, and if the entire movie had consisted on the Julia Child side of the story I would have loved it even more vehemently than I already did. If it had consisted entirely of the Julie side. . . probably not. Apparently they toned her character down a lot from the book, but I still struggled to care about her. . . even with Amy Adams in the part. And that's saying something. But it is a wonderful movie that everyone should see, regardless. See it. Seriously. Even if it's ONLY for the Jane Lynch part.

Miracle at St. Anna

OK, this one. . . it was tough. It's really contrived in the plot device they use. The writing isn't great. It's beautiful. The little boy sucked me in when he was central to what was going on. And I enjoyed it. . . when I wasn't being pulled out by random things. So I can't say I would suggest everyone see it. It came at a point in my Netflix Queue when I was running out of stuff I was REALLY excited to see. . . and I didn't hate it.


Sunshine Cleaning

Oh how I wanted to love this movie. I love the cast. & the truth is, I think the trailer misrepresented it. I fully thought I was going to be watching a darkish comedy along the lines of Little Miss Sunshine. Not so much. It's actually kind of depressing. The acting is fine, but the writing is un-good and the story is just. . . sad. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Breaking and Entering

I don't know how to describe this one exactly. . . It's sort of dark and a little gritty. . . And it's got a great cast, but you are never really allowed to like any of them, or side with any of them. . . so it's sort of hard to care about. I understood where all of the characters were coming from, but I didn't think any of them were right. I don't think I'd suggest this one be added to your queues.



Easy Virtue

While we're on the subject of movies I would NOT recommend. . . Don't see Easy Virtue. It's stupid. It has such a great cast that I expected it to be good. . . I honestly have no idea how the director (Stephen Elliot) managed to get this cast. The script is not good and he doesn't seem to have a long resume of films that make him THE GUY to work with. He wrote AND directed, and that was just a mistake.

That's all I have to say about that.
Love Happens

This isn't a great romantic comedy. It's predictable, and sometimes downright ridiculous. . . It's really just DUMB. But I have to admit, there were Jennifer Anniston moments, and even a Martin Sheen moment, that sucked me in a little bit. Also, it's set in Seattle. So that's pretty cool. And at least they got Judy Greer to be the best friend AGAIN. Except this time she's a little bit icky. Nothing about it will blow you away, I'll just say that.


Couples Retreat

OK, I hated this movie. It was stupid and directionless with really bad writing and bad acting all around. If it had been mocking itself, OK. . . actually, maybe it was and I just didn't have a sense of humor that day. . . I don't know.

Let's just say, I left before it was completely over to make it to another movie. (don't worry. I know how it ends)

Bright Star

I left Couples Retreat to go see this. . . and let's all just take that into account when I tell you how I feel about Bright Star, m'kay?

I love chick movies. Period chick movies like this one, LOVE THEM. This particular movie. . . I did not love. I was bored. I was annoyed by the Keats character. I could NOT understand why she loved him the way she did. She seemed smarter than that to me. . . It wasn't the acting. It might have been the direction. . . the pace was REALLY slow (but that doesn't usually bug me)

I know that people feel really strongly about this film, and I may need to see it again so I can figure out why. . . but the day I saw it, I didn't love it.


Fantastic Mr. Fox

I am a fan of Wes Anderson movies. A real fan. If you're not, don't go see this movie. You won't like it. Because although it is a really cool stop motion twist and it's based on a Roald Dahl book. . . it's a Wes Anderson movie through and through. It's clever and quirky and the voice cast is awesome. I loved it.


The Blind Side

K, so this LOOKS like it's going to be one of those "inspirational sports movies" where the climax of the movie is at the big game, and the team you love just HAS to win, and then they DO! No. It's not that movie. Is it an uplifting movie? YES. Is it a well written and different movie than you think it will be, YES.

If I can suggest that you see any of the movies on this list, see THIS ONE. All of you. No matter how cynical you think you are. And even more so if you usually dig the inspirational sports movies.

It's good.

Nine

I love musicals. That's no surprise to anyone. And the preview for this movie looked AWESOME. But let's just say this. . . This movie should NOT be PG-13. It is a prime example of how the MPAA fails us. This movie is sexual. Almost every single frame of it. And I saw it with Ben's mom & sisters. . . so I was a little stressed out that they would be offended pretty much the whole time I was watching it.

That aside, Rob Marshall is a master of staging musical numbers on the screen. The cinematography and design of every kind and editing were AMAZING. I don't know the musical at all, and for the most part, I wasn't impressed with the music or the script. . . so I was probably destined not to love it. . . But I have to say, I did LIKE it. Just be aware, if you see it, that the rating is off.


The Other Man

Obviously I was drawn to this movie by the cast. I had never heard of it, I just saw a preview on Apple and added it to my queue. And for about 3/4 of the movie, it wasn't really anything new or interesting. But about half an hour before the end it twists a little, and then it gets interesting. And it's worth watching specifically for the end. The acting is great, as you would expect, and it's well directed.

And I don't know how Liam Neeson still makes movies like this.
------------------------

And if you made it through all of those, I salute you!
And I will return with my TV thoughts later.

Juicy

As I mentioned before, fresh squeezed orange juice is one of life's great joys, as far as I'm concerned.

Unfortunately, we do not live in a climate that supports orange trees, or BELIEVE ME, I would have one.

When Ben brought home a 40 lb box of oranges the other day, as is his yearly tradition, the daunting task of juicing them was before us.

I staged a small challenge, just for the sake of curiousity. . .

Which method of juicing was fastest and most productive?

Ben chose to do it by hand,

I used the electric juicer,

And Nolan manned the lemon juicer. ..

(OK, that wasn't really fair to Nolan, but we were just trying to distract him)

Who do YOU think was the winner?


OK. Ben won.

In fact, he was able to juice twice as fast. . . I blame it on the fact that I'm a girl and I'm weak (and so does he)

But I got my juice!

Some day, when money and cabinet space are a lot more plentiful, I'm going to get me one of THESE:

Friday Randoms

1- Seriously. . . if Candy Cane JOe Joe's weren't enough. . .

they make a chocolate covered version.

You better believe I brought home SEVERAL boxes from our trip to AZ, where, thank the heavens, they HAVE Trader Joes!

2- I'm really glad it's January. Am I the only one? There's so much to do, but I don't feel completely crushed by my to do list like I have for the last 2 months.

And SUNDANCE is in a couple of weeks!

3- Thanks to Ben's marvelous sister Tiffany and her family, we are now the proud owners of an amazing kitchen appliance.

May I introduce to you:

The Cocoa Latte!

It mixes and heats your cocoa for you, reheating if the temperature drops too low.
Better than that, the pitcher pops off to go in the fridge to save the extra for tomorrow!

Seriously cool.

4- I have reached a point in parenthood where my child is randomly singing, and I actually recognize the song. And I understand what he says when he talks about 40% of the time too.

That feels kind of weird.

5- Ben came home with what might be my favorite gift of each winter season the other day. . .

A whole BOX of sunkist oranges. (this is not my picture, it's just representative of the joy of a box of oranges)

More on this in the next post. I promised Ben, in a bet of sorts, that it would get a whole post.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Christmas

And then there was Christmas.

I'm convinced that Ben's parents were trying to make us all gain 10 lbs in a week. I'm not even joking. These people eat breakfast. REAL BREAKFAST. EVERY DAY. (well, I'm not sure they do when we're not there. Maybe they don't, but they did for us)


Pancakes. Waffles. Bacon.

SO MUCH BACON.

Nolan was in heaven, as breakfast is one of the only things he'll eat. Plus he got to sit up to the table with his cousins, which made him feel awfully big. (this was Christmas morning)

There was much treking around the back yard, singing, playing on the rocks. . . trying to avoid the cactus. . . Which was mostly successful.

Nolan continued to play with Ben's DS for so much of the vacation that it was finally made his. He doesn't seem to mind.

But what he really enjoyed. . . REALLY enjoyed, was playing Guitar Hero. more accurately, singing into the microphone for Guitar Hero. I'm not going to lie, this game caused many a meltdown for him. As a 2 year old only child, taking turns is not so much his thing. . . and he made it known. But when it was good, it was very very good. Look how much fun he's having!

I have to say, our trip was so much more relaxed and easy than I thought it would be. On the drive back, there was snow in Flagstaff (the way we drove down) so we went back through Vegas. That was not fun. It took us 2.5 hours to get over Hoover Dam. We will not be going that way again, if we can help it.

But all told, it was a great trip. We really enjoyed the time with Ben's family.

And boy was it nice to be warm.

Pre-Christmas

OK, I have to admit. . . I was really really anxious about driving to southern AZ, (we're talking a 12 hour trek, here) with Nolan. Nolan who has never been in a car for more than 2.5 hours straight. . . And it's totally my fault. Ben loves road trips. He kept suggesting we drive. . . I kept saying no.

Now I know that I'm an idiot.

We were lucky enough to be blessed with Rachel's old DVD player for the car, and I had a bag of tricks that you WOULD NOT BELIEVE ready. We started out on Sunday morning about 10:30, and for the first 2 hours. . . nothing. Nolan just hung out. . . He sang along to the music, looked out the window, and just chilled. And then he fell asleep. But that only lasted about a half hour. So I gave him the quiet book my mom made him for Christmas. . . and he lasted another hour! When we got out for lunch in Panquitch, at the 4 hour mark, he was totally happy. Not a bit of whining. During the next 4 hours, Ben let him play with his DS for a while. . . and BOY did he play. He LOVES that thing. So much so, that when we hooked up the DVD player and put in Cars, about 2 hours to Flagstaff, he sort of ignored it. (boy am I glad we didn't pay for it. . . not that he won't love it on other trips. I'm sure he will)

So, yeah, basically, I have a lot of words to eat, silliness to feel, etc. . .

The next day we headed the 2 hours to Chandler to celebrate Nathan's birthday with him and his family. Holy cow it was fun to be able to play at the park at Christmas time! Here are a few pictures from the day we spent at the train park:

The boys played on the slides

We rode the carousel

Tanner showed Nolan around
(how much do you love that picture? It's so sweet.
I wish we lived closer so they could play together more)

We rode the train. Twice. (Ben stayed off to take pictures the second time, clearly)

And we took the kids' pictures in the cutouts. . .

30 minutes later, as we were getting off the train, a little boy was having to be CUT OUT of the snowman, having put his head through the hole, and not being able to remove it. He was panicking, his parents were trying to calm him, and the park operators were cutting through the thing with a hand saw.

We tried not to laugh.

Just as we were getting off of the train the second time, rain started to fall.

And then it rained like I haven't EVER seen it rain in the desert. And I knew why they call them monsoons in AZ.


not dead yet

I have been called out. (Thanks, Em)

2 reasons for my blogging absence.

#1- My marathon migraine at the beginning of December lasted 9, count 'em, 9 DAYS. I was forced to go get multiple shots to the hip which forced me to relax and sleep for about 15 hours, and it finally went away.

#2- Vacation. We went to AZ to visit Ben's family. We were gone for 2 weeks. And I DIDN'T TAKE MY LAPTOP.

I must admit, it felt pretty darn good.

Not that I was without connection completely, what with my fancy phone, but Green Valley is also a sucker of AT&T signal, so I was definitely less connected than usual.

I will create a post for our trip, but let me start by showing you Nolan and his favorite new ornament (a common family tradition, and one we have in our house. He gets a new ornament every year that represents his year. He of course chose Lightning McQueen)

We let him hang it on the tree. We let him play with it.

And when we took down the tree. . . it was nowhere to be found.

I'm sure I'll locate it, buried in the toy box, sometime in March. . .

But at least I know it was loved.

To be continued. . .