Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Sir


Since Gabe hasn't had a post dedicated to him in awhile, here is a sweet picture of him asleep on his bedroom floor. Apparently his chubby legs slipped over the side of the bed and onto the floor at some point in the night and he decided to just make himself comfortable. He's a real tummy sleeper lately. No sleeping on his back with his hands behind his head, sun-bathing-style, like older brother. Have you ever read the study that says that how you sleep is a sign of what kind of personality you have? If I remember correctly, tummy-sleeping means that you don't like babies, sharing, tags sticking out of your shirt, or shoes that are too tight. You do like coloring on Disneyland maps for hours at a time (see top picture), carrying a bat and glove around, and picking apart everything that you eat. Wow, they really have him pegged!

On a side note, Gabe was the first one in the family to feel the baby kick (besides me, of course)! For awhile I have been joking with the boys and telling them to put their hands on my tummy to feel the baby kick. Then I will purposely jut it out quickly to make their hands jump, and they will laugh. They know it is all a big joke and Gabe always laughs and says, "Baby kicked my nose!" Well, last week I was sitting down and he walked up to give me a hug, putting his head on my belly. Right at that moment, the baby moved right where Gabe's head was, and before I could wonder if he felt it, Gabe lifted his head up and gave me a surprised and delighted smile, as if to say, "Woah! That one was real!" It was such a sweet moment. Maybe someday he and this baby will be friends. Since I am the only one in the world that Gabe is sweet with on a regular basis, I am hoping that when little brother arrives, Gabe will just view him as an extension of mom, and treat him with kindness. We will see. Colin absolutely loved Gabe and he still pushed him off the bed within the first month or so, so my expectations aren't too high.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Our day at the Biltmore

The drive to the house was beautiful. It looks natural but was actually all designed by the same man who designed Central Park.
The first grand view as you walk in from the parking lot.
All of the flowering trees were in full bloom.
Chad in front at the entrance to the walled garden, and a view of the azalea garden.

Chad in the Italian Garden.


No kids!!!! Woohoo!


The walled garden, where there was a string quartet playing.

It was a very nice day, and as much as we missed the kids, we were very glad that they weren't there. We we inside the opulent house, touring it, for almost two hours, and spent just as long walking around the grounds. They would have gone crazy. Thanks Bobby and Sabina, for watching them. By the way, no pictures were allowed inside the Biltmore House, which is probably a good thing - I would have been tempted to take a picture of everything. It was truly amazing. It is 175,000 square feet, with 101 bedrooms and 43 bedrooms. It had an indoor swimming pool and bowling alley and was finished in 1895! It was definitely unlike anything Chad and I will see again.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Why we will never be "foodies"

This is Chad and I before we left our hotel room to go to Limones, the restaurant that I had researched for hours and heard nothing but good things about.
When we arrived there, we were seated in a charming window seat with beautiful cushions. The waitress brought us bread and an infused olive oil dip, which were both just as impressive as the atmosphere. We were excited to receive our menu, which featured about two dozen different dishes that all made our mouths water. We really wanted to try a lot of things, so we decided to get two appetizers and then share an entree. We ordered the duck confit taquitos and the smoked salmon and marscapone empanadas to start off with and the rack of lamb with cashew couscous as our main dish.
And here is where things got scary for us.
The appetizers came. The taquitos, which were swimming in an out-of-this-world broth, were about three and half inches long, and there were TWO of them. The empanadas were maybe two inches long and there were two of them as well. They were absolutely delicious. Unlike anything we had ever had. Layered with exciting yet balanced tastes.
But I can't be a foodie, because when I am paying $9 for one appetizer, I can not feel satisfied by one little ounce of food, not matter how good it is.
The rack of lamb was just as delicious, and just as unsatisfying for the same reason.
Maybe being pregnant heightens my feelings about this, but a huge part of my satisfaction in eating relies upon not being hungry when I leave the restaurant despite having just spent $60.
Neither of us were upset about the experience. We wanted to try something new and the food was just as delicious as we expected. We will never go there again though because we just aren't cut out for that type of dining experience.
We were at McDonald's two hours later ordering two McChickens and two sundaes.
Let me note that we went to Cracker Barrel this morning for breakfast for the first time (we have heard so much about it that I have always avoided it because I thought it was over-hyed). I don't know how it is for the other two meals of the day, but for breakfast is was awesome. Best french toast I have ever had. Completely satisfying.
Once again, why we could never be "foodies." Turns out that we are just Cracker Barrel type-uh-people.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Congrats....


To my brother Aaron, who graduated from BYU today!!!!!!

And, to my sister-in-law Jamie, who is a huge support to him!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Am I the only one who does this?

I really like to search for restaurants and scour their menus. Whenever we are going somewhere new, or out for a special occasion, I will look at the menu online three or four times before we go. I really like to be prepared and I don't like feeling pressured to make up my mind quickly while we are there, with the waiter breathing over my shoulder. Have you ever gotten something and it wasn't very good and you think I knew I should have gotten something else!Plus it is just fun for me to look at menus. I like food.

Okay, I don't do this for just special occasions. I study the menus at Red Robin and Macaroni Grill before we go every time - and I have been to both of those places on multiple occasions. I also study the Entertainment Book like this. I pretty much have that thing memorized.


Chad and I are going to Asheville, NC this weekend for our anniversary. It is our first time away from the kids for a night EVER (five long years), and we figured we should take advantage of it and do something that we know they would not appreciate. So we are going to The Biltmore (which is a little funny since kids get in free right now! gulp. don't tell Colin). We are really excited because we have really wanted to go to The Biltmore since we first moved to Charlotte. Plus who knows when we will get away together again (although Italy is for sure in 2011 for our tenth anniversary). We really want to make the most of the trip.


I have spent a good three or four hours deciding where we are going to eat on Friday night. I have spent a lot of time googling and reading posts on Chowhound. My "favorites" bar is full of forerunners. I also found that Racheal Ray did one of her $40 a day episodes in Asheville, so it was fun checking out the restaurants she went to. We decided to go to Early Girl Eatery, which is one of them, for breakfast on Saturday and then realized that it doesn't open 'til 9, and we need to be at The Biltmore by then. For dinner on Friday night I have decided to try and make reservations at Limones. The menu looks elegant, fun, and unlike anything we have eaten before. They don't have the full menu online (just a sample menu), so it is a little bit of adventure for me as well.


Am I the only one who gets so excited about menus? Am I crazy?

HGTV Green Home


When I was in Blythe, my mom told me about HGTV's newest home giveaway - this time it is a Green Home and it is in Hilton Head, SC (about four hours away from me - perfect for a vacation home!). I know I was in love with the last one, but I am even more in love with this one. It's honestly a little more my style. I know, I am fickle. And since apparently I am only ever going to have boys, the fact that it only has one room for the kids is just fine! ;o) Stick those little stinkers all in one room. Actually, it would probably be PERFECT for my parents! I would be just fine with them winning. Don't forget to enter Mom!

Here is some info about how "green" it is.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Maybe you aren't as mean as me....

but I thought this video was hilarious! The best part was her co-workers reaction.

Update: fixed the link. Thanks Audra, for letting me know it was broken.

I have an assignment for you!!!!!!


Watch The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. Don't like documentaries? Watch it anyway. Don't like video games? Watch it anyway. Then come back and tell me what you think.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Confession


Some of you might know that I am a little anti-video-games. I really don't want my kids to grow up sitting on the couch all day playing them, and I know they are so easy to get an addiction to. I even have a hard time seeing Chad play computer games. One night I was feeling very spiteful towards Chad so I actually hid his Madden football game and lied to his face about it. Maybe I shouldn't admit that - it makes me sound a little psycho - I swear it was the most spiteful thing I have ever done to him, and I 'fessed up a few days later when the mood had passed. I have since apologized and realize how serious a crime that was.
Until recently, only computer games were allowed in our house. No X-Box, no Playstation 3, no matter how many times I heard about how Chad's buddies at work had all of them.

Over the course of almost a year, Chad tried to talk me into getting a Wii.
It finally worked.

Bryce worked at K-Mart and let us know when they got some in, so we brought one home with us from Blythe.

Like I said in my previous post, Colin is allowed to play each time he does a reading lesson, and then it is only for twenty minutes. I still feel a little weird about it.


Here is the big confession though - Chad now has the perfect way of getting back at me. All his has to do is hide Wii Play because I am addicted to one particular game. There is a shooting game that requires very little skill, and last night Chad and I were up 'til 11 playing it. It's fun. It's really fun. I have a higher high score than Chad, which makes me very proud. When I went to bed last night and closed my eyes, I saw targets, and last night I had a dream that I was shooting missles and saving the world. The whole thing feels very bizarre. Anyone wanna come over and play with me?

BTW, the picture above is from the level that I totally rock at. I am all about precision. The aliens at the end is where Chad dominates me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

T-Ball


Colin had his first T-Ball game today! He did a great job hitting and was even the pitcher for one inning. I was really proud of him.


The game lasted almost two hours!!! Is it just me, or is that a little excessive for T-Ball? Kids his age just don't keep their focus for that long! They have practice or games three times a week for that long! Craziness.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Just let me sleep through the night


If I tell you exactly how moody I am right now, will you still respect me in the morning? If I tell you that the tears for no reason at all and the 1 1/2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that I just downed ( I swear my diet was exemplary the rest of the day) are all because I am pregnant, will you believe me?


The second trimester started off nicely but this last week I have really started to feel pregnant again. Weird things - like I woke up this morning and my legs were sore. The only thing I can think of that might be the cause is that I drove a lot yesterday. Over an hour for church and over an hour to have dinner at Levi and Audra's, and my legs were aching by the end. Seriously?! Sore legs from driving?! I just feel so pathetic.


Yesterday at church I was carrying a large box of nursery stuff back to the storage closest (quite capably I might add) when one of my friends, who already had a large bag and binder, ran up up to me and insisted on carrying it for me! I am only 5 months pregnant! Please don't let me lose all of my dignity yet! Or is it too late for that already? Are you allowed dignity when yogurt gives you heartburn?


No consoling comments please. Only grumpiness and complaining allowed on this post.


I am going to go eat some more PB&J. Only Jif understands me.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Ugly Dresses



My oh my, this website gave me a few good laughs. Check out the above dress....not as horrible as some others on the website, but it is done in DENIM! And you have to check out the pregnant prom dress. I would have posted it here but I knew it would make me ill to see it on my blog every day. Yes, this is how I spend my time when Chad is gone.

Hurray for Colin!


Colin and I have been working in a book called Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. Colin does a great job and is proving to be as bright as I knew he was, but he isn't always enthusiastic to begin each lesson. They only take about 15 minutes each, and once he starts he seems to enjoy himself, but he never wants to start. I told him that each time he hits lesson 25, 50, and 75, he gets to go on a date with me - wherever he wants. At 100 he gets to have a water balloon party. Well, he got to lesson 25 (thanks in part to the Wii we got, which he isn't allowed to play if he hasn't done a lesson that day ) and decided that he wanted to go to Red Robin, which was convenient, because he still hadn't used his free meal from his birthday. We had to take Gabe along because Chad had to go out of town (more on that later), but Colin said that was okay. We had a really fun time and Colin actually ordered something other than mac' and cheese for once!

Chad is on his way to Spokane to see his Grandpa Jack, who is quite ill. We miss you already Chad!

Funny Converstation


Santi and Evan were over the other night and we put on Curious George. There was a preview for Barbie's 12 Dancing Princesses. I thought the conversation that ensued over the preview was cute and very indicative of their different age levels (Evan is 4, Colin is 5, and Santi will be 6 this summer) -


Santi: I don't like this.

Evan: I do!

Santi to Colin: Evan likes girls! Evan LOVES girls!

Colin, after a pause: I love my mom.

Evan: So do I.


From spending time around all them, it seems like Evan is still at that age where he freely admits to liking all "girl" things, Colin still likes those things okay, but doesn't admit it as openly, and Santi, who has been to school, draws the line much more distinctly between "boy" and "girl" things. It is crazy how early that begins!


BTW, this is pretty old picture of them.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Yummy!


Have you tried this cereal? It is my new favorite somewhat-guilty pleasure. It is 11:00 pm and I can't sleep, so I eating it with some very cold milk. So good.

Spring in the Garden


I have been anxious to get to the garden ever since we got home, and since it was sunny and 71 degrees today, I headed over with the boys and a picnic lunch. I was in heaven, and the boys were happy and uncomplaining the whole time I dawdled. It was a lovely day.




Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Dad!

We love you and miss you already. Thanks for everything!



Monday, April 7, 2008

Easter Egg Fun!

You'll have to excuse me for posting Easter Egg pictures so long after Easter, but I didn't have a chance 'til now, and I couldn't resist....


The boys had a really good time coloring eggs. Gabe's hands were disgusting afterwards.

And after the kids went to bed, my mom and I decided to dye some more. Then we discovered how cool colored Sharpies were on the already dyed eggs, so we got it a little carried away! I have always loved coloring eggs, and I think Sharpies are going to have to be included every year now. It was so much fun!

This was my mom's finest piece of art!

Who can guess.....


what this is a picture of?

Colin's birthday cake

My mom made it! Isn't it great? Colin was all about the Hot Wheels this year, so it was perfect for him. She made two extra-large half circle cakes (with Lindsey's help while both my mom and I were sick) and then shaped them into this race-track. She also bought some candles that spelled out Congratulations, which happens to have all the letters for Colin. Thanks mom!


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Colin


video


Colin's birthday was on Wednesday. I will post some pictures later, but I liked this video. This was the second attempt at singing to him, after Gabe blew out the candles the first time. Watch Gabe at the end.

We made it home!


Almost didn't get on the flight in New York, but here we are, safe and somewhat sound.


Notice that the boys already have the toys and screw-driver out.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Good Luck? Update


After searching online for hours, and checking all the sites like Expedia and Travelocity, we still couldn't find tickets for under $350 a person. We were quite depressed and not at all ready to spend another $1400 . We decided to call some airlines directly to see if they had any kind of special deals for people in our situation, especially since we read an article about some airlines doing that for ATA customers who were in a similar situation earlier this week. The first two airlines we called were absolutely no help at all. After putting Chad on hold for half an hour each, they offered him fares for $600 and $900 per person. We passed.


I saw that JetBlue had a redeye Monday evening for $199 each, which would stink because Chad really really needs to be at work on Monday, but we decided to call and see if maybe we could get that deal for an earlier day. Chad called with our sob story and the representative was extremely helpful. She had just received a memo about a special deal they were offering jilted Skybus customers - $50 each!!!!!!!!!!! She booked us standby tickets for tonight at 10:30 pm. It isn't a pretty flight - we have to fly to JFK and then down to Charlotte, arriving at 9:15 am, but we don't mind one bit. We are thrilled. She was quite positive that even though we are on standby we will have no problem getting on the flight because they are nowhere near full - the standby status was the only way she could book it through this deal. I sure hope she is right or we might be calling Chad's aunt in Phoenix tonight.


I still can't believe that we are getting four cross-country flights for a total of $200 and I don't think I will be able to really breathe until we catch that second flight. If all of this works out, I will dedicate the rest of my life to praising Jetblue.


In addition to that good luck, we called Priceline, who our hotel tonight was booked through, and explained what happened and they gave us a full refund!!!! We were shocked and so thrilled! Hurray for Priceline!



Friday, April 4, 2008

Bad Luck


We are all packed up. The plan was to leave tomorrow morning, go visit Chad's brother and sister-in-law in Santa Ana for the day, spend the night in Burbank, and fly out on Skybus on Sunday. I just received an email from Skybus informing me that....


THEY ARE CEASING ALL OPERATIONS AS OF 12:00 AM TOMORROW MORNING.


What does that mean? It means we have no flight home and Chad has to go back to work on Monday. Can you imagine getting a cross-country flight for anything resembling a reasonable price at such late notice? Somebody shoot me.
What was supposed to be a great deal ($75 a ticket!), is getting awfully expensive!