Monday, July 30, 2007

Can you handle another day of my vacation?
San Francisco: Day 3

We started Day 3 just like all of the others: with a scrumptious breakfast of whatever the heck we wanted to eat. Then we headed out to the BART station where we caught a bus to visit the Legion of Honor art museum. It's at the top of a hill in the middle of a golf course, so we had to hike up through the links to get there, but the view from above was definitely worth the near asthma attack.I have to say, Joel enjoyed the art museum much more than I thought he would. I don't think I've been to many museums with him, and I was pleasantly surprised. Personally, I love art museums. We saw works by Monet, Picasso, Renoir, Rembrandt, Dali, and one of the largest collections of Rodin sculptures outside the Louvre. Very cool.We then hopped on a bus, made a transfer and headed for the Golden Gate Bridge. Amazing to be right there...I think I would have liked to bike across it, but that will have to wait for another trip. Had fun browsing the gift shop, reading about the bridge, and of course taking our pictures with the foggy bridge in the background:

Next stop, The Palace of Fine Arts.
Once inside the "palace" it is a science exploratorium. It was on our CityPass, so we hurried on in, even though it closed a half hour later. Can't wait to take the kids there someday. Because, as much as we enjoyed it there, it was almost worthless without them. Here is a picture of us messing around inside the kaleidescope mirrors. (Wish I had a wider angle lens with me, but I only brought my 50mm since it's easiest to carry around.) Under the guise of trying to find the right bus stop, we walked through a very victorian part of town and admired the homes there. Very fun. After walking down several residential streets, we finally figured out how to get back down to Fisherman's Wharf and headed out.We ate lunch/dinner at Ghirardelli Square in a little diner place. I was feeling like a good old fashioned hamburger and fries. No more fancy food for me, thankyouverymuch! And then my husband had the nerve to order another huge sundae at Ghirardelli when I had sworn off of such evils. I almost didn't speak to him for the entire rest of the vacation. But, luckily for him, in the square was a fun red door, and that lifted my spirits quite a bit. For some reason I have a fascination with finding cool brick buildings or alley ways with funky doors to photograph. We seem to have a shortage of such places here in Cedar City, so I took the opportunity while I had it: After nourishing ourselves a bit (do you realize we only ate two meals a day? Our big fancy breakfast, and then somewhere in town late afternoon or early evening. Great diet plan, coupled with all that walking, don't ya think? Too bad I didn't actually lose any weight. I blame the caramel heaven I ate.) we hopped onto the cable cars and headed for Chinatown. By the time we got there, it was dusk, but it was still really fun to walk through and look around the shops there. We bought a couple of those cheap paper umbrellas for the girls (which they adored, by the way) and a couple other things. We hopped back on the cable car and took a brief stop off at Union Square to browse and pick up some juice at Walgreens, then headed back to the BART station and went back to our hotel. But if you think we decided to actually sleep after all of that, you think wrong. No, no, no...we found a bookstore close to our hotel and we went and stood in line until nearly 1:00 am to buy the new Harry Potter book. Got a huge kick out of this window display: And then I stayed up for another half hour to read the first 2 chapters.

I realize I'm insane. No need to tell me.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

San Francisco: Day 2
A recap including pictures

We spent most of our second day in San Francisco with Hilary and Drew. After eating our omelets and leisurely getting ourselves showered and ready, we took the CalTrain down to Santa Clara where Hilary picked us up and took us to her house. We hung out together for awhile, listening to our husbands talk about the life of a high school music teacher (did I mention that Hilary and I have pretty much everything in common, except she has boys and I have girls? Yeah. Well, we do.) and just enjoying one another's company.

We took some pictures...I did some family pictures of Hilary's brood and she did a few of Joel and me.
Afterwards, we all got ready for our fancy date downtown. We all piled into the minivan , dropped off the Erickson kids at their respective sitters and headed for the Civic Center.

First, we ate at a fancy schmancy place called Absinthe. Very fun atmosphere and very good food. Downright amazing food, actually.
After dinner, we walked to the Civic Center, where City Hall, the Opera House, Symphony Hall, some theatres and war memorials and a bunch of other cool buildings are. We had fun admiring the architecture and snapping some photos.

City Hall:

Hilary and Drew with a City Hall lamppost:

Us, with Symphony Hall: And then it was time to see the concert. We went to an all Tchaikovsky (I'm never sure if I'm spelling that right) concert played by the San Francisco Symphony. The associate conductor, who is several years younger that Joel, conducted and it was interesting, to say the least. Perhaps if you've seen him conduct, you'll know what I mean.

Just because I thought it was artistic, a photo on the second floor of Symphony Hall looking down into the bar:

And then the concert was over, and we all went home and lived happily ever after.

Stay tuned for Days 3 and 4!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Ten pictures of San Francisco: Day 1
(In no particular order)

Quite possibly my favorite picture from the entire vacation. The Golden Gate Bridge:
Me and the Golden Gate Bridge, taken by Joel from the boat:
Joel and a shoe eating cable car:
Picture of Alcatraz I took from the boat on our fancy cruise around the bay:
A visit to Ghirardelli Square:
My luscious caramel sundae at Ghirardelli Square (incidentally the last sugar I have ever eaten, and hope to keep it that way for a very long time):
Eating at the Blue Mermaid:

Fisherman's Wharf (I love how this picture turned out):
The Sea Lions at Pier 39: More to come.....

Friday, July 27, 2007

Putting me in my proper place

Just now, Chloe and I had the following conversation:

Chloe: Mom, pretend you're a lady, okay?

Me: But I am a lady, I don't have to pretend.

Chloe (looking at me as if I have sprouted 2 new heads): No, you're not a lady, you're just a mom. (pause) Now, pretend you're a lady, okay?

I guess she told me.

Oh....vacation pictures are coming, I promise. I just haven't had much time to sit down and edit them. As soon as I got home I had a friend from Arizona and her 2 kids visiting. They left yesterday and I'm trying to get to it. Trying. Honest. Stay tuned. Really.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Interrupting vacation recaps to wish Sophia a very happy first birthday!!!!

Happy Birthday kiddo! I can't even believe she is already a year old. And I am kind of sad about it, actually. She might be my last child and that means I am done with the cute little tiny baby stage forever. At least until I have grandchildren. Sigh.

But no, this is a happy, momentous occasion. Even though Sophie was totally cranky. She scowled at the cake and the candle. She stared at all of us crazy people (cousins, aunts, uncles and friends) singing happy birthday to her, totally unfazed. She even cried a bit when we gave her her cupcake to eat. "What is this blob of food you so audaciously put in front of me, and do you actually expect me to consume such a disgusting looking thing?"
And then, she figured out it tasted good. I have never seen a baby eat birthday cake so delicately. One little finger scraping up the frosting and then putting it in her mouth to daintily suck it off. After the frosting was totally finished she decided the rest of the cake was too crumbly and messy so she had a bit of a meltdown.
So, we were back to cranky. Then she got her present: A toy lawnmower. And she was so excited. Even though she screamed of annoyance every time she ran it into a wall or got it stuck under a chair, she was just as happy toddling around with it as a birthday girl should be.
Happy birthday, baby girl! I sure love you!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Left my heart in San Francisco

Well, actually, that's not quite true. As much as we enjoyed ourselves, and were actually grateful for the trip without kids, we (I) missed them an awful lot. Everytime I saw kids that were the same ages as mine I got a little homesick. But, that's not even the point of this post. I'm home, had lots of fun and I thought I'd blog a bit about our vacation.

So we'll start with Day 1. (In reality, Day 2, but I'm sure you don't especially want to hear about our long drive on Day 1.)

We bought our cool San Francisco City Passes which gave us free public transportation and lots of tickets to various museums and other attractions. So we first took BART into the city after eating our lavish breakfast at our fancy hotel (we love Priceline) and started out at Pier 39 (doesn't everyone?).

Went to the aquarium, took a cruise around the Bay and under the Golden Gate Bridge, looked at the everpresent sea lions even though there were only like 6 of them there, ate chowder at a great little restaurant called the Blue Mermaid, walked up to Ghirardelli Square to eat ice cream, and rode the cable car (where my shoe fell off into the whole brake/rail mechanism thing and I embarrassed Joel to death by having to ask the operator to retrieve it for me) back to the BART station and arrived back at the hotel around 10 pm. Very fun day.

Pictures later. And updates on more days later.

Stay tuned...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Monkey Business

We're dropping off the girls at my parents' house tomorrow. I guess technically I should say later today as it's now past midnight. (And I really ought to be getting along to bed now as I just had to look up the word technically because I'm positive that is not how you spell it. But, apparently, it is. )

Anyway, we're leaving the girls and heading for San Francisco. I only hope that my poor parents will be able to keep up. Oh, I have no doubt that they'll be just fine where Bria and Chloe are concerned, but Sophie? Sophie is a whole 'nother story.

She climbs. On everything. She's also walking everywhere now, but the climbing thing is really giving me a run for my money. And since gravity is a side effect of this desire she has to go up, she also falls a lot. I feel like I can't turn my back on her anymore, and when I forget, I am soon reminded by her wails after falling off of some piece of furniture. Every time this child is met with a chair, a bathtub, a box, or anything like unto them, her little leg lifts right up and on she goes.

Is this even normal? My other two did not figure this out until they were much older and had much better skills at actually staying up. I'm starting to fear that she will climb right out of her crib any minute now.

And just in case you don't believe me:

Yes, she got up on both all by herself, from the floor, with absolutely no help. The rocking chair may not be so surprising, but the piano? Pure craziness, if you ask me. She has also managed to get on top of the kitchen table, on top of my computer desk, on top of a barstool, and she was recently caught in the act of climbing onto my scrapping table. The only reason I don't have photographic evidence of all situations is because I was too busy trying to save her from certain death.

So, yeah. Definitely hoping my parents can handle this monkey for a week. Because, cute as she is, she is quite a handful.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Good question

A few minutes ago, while Chloe was working on her masterpiece drawing of The Little Mermaid and friends, she looked up at me and asked with her sweetest voice:

Chloe: Mommy, are mermaids stinked?

Me: Do mermaids stink?

Chloe: No, are they stinked? You know how dinosaurs are stinked?

Me: Ooooooh....well, um. Yeah, they are.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

On being the mom

Sometimes it's hard.

And I'm not talking about all the dirty laundry and whining kids, either. What I am talking about is having to watch your kids go through hard things. I never realized just how difficult it would be for me to see them hurt. I cry when they have to get their shots. I can't handle it when they really injure themselves falling, or crashing into things, or whatever. (And I can totally tell the difference between the fake "I fell down and so I think maybe I am hurt but I'm not really sure because nothing hurts" kind of cry and the real McCoy.) And I really hate it when their tender little emotions are wounded. Bria's issues with Kindergarten bullies nearly killed me.

And then there's all the Mommy guilt. That's hard too. Of course, the two are completely intertwined. I often feel like the hard things my kids have to deal with are one hundred percent my fault. If I had been watching her better she wouldn't have fallen and her mouth wouldn't be bleeding and swollen. Maybe Bria was too young to put into Kindergarten, maybe I should have waited a year. Should I spread out shots? Should I not vaccinate? And so on and so forth.

Today, Chloe had to be put under a general anesthetic to get her "baby bottle mouth" fixed. Doesn't matter that she never took a bottle in her life because if I ever tried to give her one she looked at me with all the disgust such a tiny infant could muster and promptly spit it out. Because she still has all those cavities in her front teeth indicative of falling asleep with milk or juice bottles. I am pretty strict about going to sleep with water only, so I guess it was because she nursed till she was almost two. And when I say that, I mean she was still nursing 5 or 6 times a day at 20 months and could ask for it by name ("ah nus" and "uh side"). So, yeah, she spent quite a lot of time sleeping while nursing after she had her teeth.

So, for the two hours she was under this morning I was a nervous wreck. Because she really didn't like being in the hospital, fun as the nurses and the anesthesiologist were trying to make it for her. And I was worried about the procedure. All of the things that could possibly go wrong. And then I was feeling so guilty about her dental hygiene. Because when I was pregnant with Sophia I could barely take care of brushing my own teeth and relied on Joel to make sure the girls' teeth got done. But he wasn't used to doing that and so maybe he forgot. Maybe that's why she has so many problems. But maybe I shouldn't have nursed her for so long even though she was impossible to wean. I mean, here I thought I was doing something good and look at all the grief it's causing a couple years down the road. If only I had done something differently we wouldn't be here today. And so on and so forth.

But she did great. She rode off in the wagon happy because she was Dora and the anesthesiologist was Boots and they were going to have an adventure. She came back from recovery awake and happy to see me, although she did get progressively crankier as the anesthesia wore off. Her teeth look wonderful, and the Dentist said that everything went well and I shouldn't worry about her.

So I'll try not to.

It's just hard sometimes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Testing the limits of Tide

July 4th. Matching white Old Navy flag tees. Parade. Sno-Cones. BBQ in the canyon. Dirt. Watermelon. Ribs. Punch. Chocolate rice krispie treats. Cupcakes. Did I mention dirt?

Why did I buy white? Only because they were out of red and blue. I'm thinking that other parents are just a whole heckuva lot smarter than I am. Because I'm sure their kids are just as dirty as mine.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

True Love

In Sunday School last week we were talking about Christ and His love for us and how we could learn to show that same love to our fellow men.

In the midst of listening to people make some wonderful comments and observations about what it really means to love someone, Joel leaned over and whispered something in my ear:

"If you really love me, you'll let me beat you at Nerts."

Saturday, July 07, 2007

I rock, and so do you!

I was so excited to find that I have won my first blogging award! The title was bestowed (or perhaps inflicted, as she puts it) by Jill of Twipply Skwood. Her exact words: Cute kids and likes to laugh! Plus, you can get to her site by googling "What's going up wassa".

And now I am guaranteed the first hit on the page if anyone ever decides to Google that again. It could even be the secret code for my blog!

Speaking of Google, I love it when people land here as the result of a search. Not only because I get a kick out of the bizarre things that can direct people to this blog, but because of all the many people who Google things like "overstuffed lalakme" and "Bria Chloe overstuffed" and "Lara Neves overstuffed" and other terms that are obviously referencing yours truly. Tickles me pink, actually, to know that people want to read about my overwhelming life.

But I digress. Part of my honor in receiving this prestigious blogging award is to bestow it on other Rockin' Girl Bloggers. Five of them, to be exact. This was a hard decision as I read upwards of 60 blogs, most of them written by women. So, after much thought and deliberation and the risk of hurt feelings, I have made my choices:

Hilary of Pulling Curls. For being my best blog buddy and for writing an excellent blog. She is funny, thoughtful and educational all rolled into one.

Kerry of Curly Girl. Perhaps I just have a thing for curls, but she is quite entertaining. She has an extraordinary ability to find humor in her daily life, which is something I appreciate. Mostly because I can count on a good laugh every time she updates her blog.

Shannon of [Ramblings] Snapshots of my Brain. For being an excellent writer and an amazing photographer. I am a religious lurker/non commenter on her site, so she may be surprised for this little bestowal of honor, but hers is honestly one of my favorite blogs, and it should be one of yours, too.

Kayla Aimee of Tongue in Chic Journalings. Again, I mostly just lurk there, but if I'm being honest, hers is basically one of the best on the net. Another guaranteed daily giggle. And she is a fellow excessive italicizer.

Lara of Lara's Welt. Hers is a photo a day type blog, but she is an excellent photographer and mainly showcases Romania, a land which is close to my heart. She is also a superb person with the best name in the world.

So, rockin' girls. Your turn...lets hear who the rockin' girl bloggers are in your blogsphere.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Searching for something

My handy dandy sitemeter tells me how you got to this blog. I know if you clicked in from somewhere like 2Peas, or if you have it bookmarked. I know if you clicked in from another blog and even which post you were reading on that blog when you clicked in to my blog. I also happen to know if you googled something and my blog came up in your search. And I know the search terms.

I am nearly positive for most googlings, my blog does not give the sought-after answers. Perhaps I have helped a person or two, but mostly I think they click on to this blog hoping to find something that just isn't there (here).

Some recent examples:

Pregnancy scatterbrain (while I definitely suffered from it, I don't think anything I've ever written is going to help anyone understand why it happens).

What's going up wassa (I am very positive I have never written the word "wassa" in my blog until two seconds ago. I am also afraid Google couldn't find that word in many places, thus causing this person to never find what he was looking for).

Chloe Sophia couch (very curious what this person was actually searching for. I have noticed that many people who have a daughter named Chloe also seem to have one named Sophie/Sophia. Good taste, I say).

Harry do you need to go potty (intrigued as I was about the couch thing, this one really has me stymied. Searching for ways to help the dog (named Harry, of course) be potty trained? Perhaps looking for a story they had read on someone else's blog once upon a time? Certainly not mine. The only Harry I care about is fictional and potty trained).

Pregnancy bell necklace (if only I knew what that was).

Modest temple dresses (aren't they all modest????).

Why baby daddys leave (this one made me kind of sad. I do hope they find their answer somewhere, although the internet probably isn't the best source for something like that).

Making our weaknesses and trials into strengths (this one showed up last Saturday night late, location Salt Lake City. I'm thinking it was someone procrastinating preparing a Sunday School lesson/talk on Ether 12:27, what do you think?).

And if you are one of these people who have googled yourself on over here, go ahead, sit down and stay awhile. While I know you won't find what you're looking for (unless you're the person that googled overstuffed lalakme) I am quite sure you'll find something.

Monday, July 02, 2007

On vacation again. And again. And again.

Up north again for the week. Mainly so I could go see my doctor again (had a blood draw today and I'll have a consultation on Friday, which means I can go to IKEA with you, Ashley), but it was my brother's birthday and July 4th, so heck. It's another vacation.

Later this month we will be dropping the girls off (all three of them!) with my parents and heading to San Francisco to celebrate our anniversary. Sophia is almost weaned in preparation for this momentous event. Not too difficult since she never really cared about nursing in the first place. Not like my other two, and especially not like Chloe who acted as if I was trying to kill her when I weaned her at 21 months.

On the day before we come home from this getaway, I will be purchasing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and ignoring Joel for the rest of the time. Don't worry, it's something he has been forewarned about and is fine with.

And for my birthday my mom and I are headed off to NYC to spend five glorious days together. I am so excited. I love New York, and it's been 13 years since I've been. I went one week after my 20th birthday. And now you all know how old I am (as if it isn't in my profile).

I'm just wondering if there's any possible way I can lose 30 pounds before I head off to San Francisco. I usually drop about 10 pounds pretty easily after I wean a baby, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed...