Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Exhausted but satisfied

Yet again, I kept my children out of school, so we could visit Disneyland. At the end of February we did this same thing, and then a couple of weeks ago, my kids missed a week of school to visit family in Austin.

What is wrong with me?

I rationalize that it is okay to ditch school since BoopaLoop is still in pre-school and LittleMan is a repeat Kindergartener... but STILL!

Whatever. We had a blast, but I'm am extremely tired.

I have a lot of pictures to show of our trip today to Disneyland with MamaDB's family, but that's what the next few blogs will showcase. Until I've downloaded all of these photos off of my digital camera, I will leave you with these two conversations that I had with LittleMan in a restaurant we stopped at on the way home today.

Me - BoopaLoop, did you eat all of your broccoli?

BoopaLoop - (Smiling) Yes!

Me - That's such a great job! Your body LOVES broccoli!

BoopaLoop - (Picks up the last broccoli to put into her mouth)

Me - Your body loves, Loves, LOVES broccoli.

LittleMan - But your tongue does NOT like it.


(In the ladies' room)

Me - Honey, are you doing alright in there.

LittleMan - Yup

(About 10 minutes pass)

Me - Honey, are you having some icky poop issues?

LittleMan - Nope. It is just coming out slow.

Me - (Getting a little grossed out)

(About 2 minutes pass)

LittleMan - It is a little creamy... and tiny and short.

Me - That's... great. (EW - TOO MUCH INFORMATION!!)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Coming Home

On our last day in Texas, we woke up at 5:30 AM in order to make it to the airport on time. Fortunately, the kids are awesome travelers, so they didn't complain about being rudely awakened well before their normal time. In fact, the sun wasn't even a slight sparkle in the sky, yet.

I left the children in their pajamas, and they slowly woke up during our ride to the airport.

Thank you again, All Things BD, for braving the early morning to drive us!

As the kids and I boarded the airplane, the stewardess pointed to BoopaLoop's booster seat and said, "You know boosters are not allowed to be used on the airplane?"

Me - "Uh, we used it on the trip here."

Stewardess - Immediately defensive, "Then someone on trip here allowed you to do the wrong thing. If you just look on the booster I'm certain you will see in red..."

Me - Interrupting, "No, that's fine, actually. The booster forced my daughter next to the window, and my son wanted to sit next to the window this time. So, that works out quite well."

Stewardess - Looking at me warily, expecting me to throw a temper tantrum any moment

Me - Smiling at the stewardess as I walked gingerly past her.

Is it just me, or are airline stewards getting a little grumpy of late? If I'm the only one experiencing this perhaps I come off a tad grumpy, so they are just responding in kind. But I'm nothing but a gorgeous beam of light, DARN IT, so that CAN'T be it.

I remember one incident (the last time we visited Texas in 2008) where the stewardess asked me what beverage we wanted.

Me - "I would like a Diet Pepsi, and kids would like water."

Stewardess - Goes to fill out our order

Now, LittleMan was drawing an elaborate picture - taking up all of his tray table space, and BoopaLoop was using my laptop to play some Dora the Explorer game.

The stewardess returns with my Diet Pepsi, which I put on my tray table. She then hands me two cups of water.

I realize that cups are normal procedure, but on our trip out to Texas, I was given two water bottles for the kids. For anyone who has traveled with young ones, bottles make the difference between disaster and a little mess. You can put a cap on the bottles. You can't cap these very wide-mouthed cups.

I look at my laptop on one side of me and the artist-in-training on the other side of me, and I ask the stewardess if I could please have water bottles instead.

Stewardess - No.

Me - (Are you kidding me with this attitude? What do you mean no?) I'm sorry, but I don't think having two open cups of water with my two children is very wise, do you?

Stewardess - It is against airline policy to offer bottles.

Me - This same airline gave me bottled water on the trip here!

Stewardess - I can't help you with that. They shouldn't have.

Me - Can you please help me out? I don't want to get water all over the place, especially in my laptop. I have two sippy cups for my kids. Could you transfer the water from these cups to the sippy cups for me?

Stewardess - It is against airline policy for me to do that.

Me - You have got to be kidding me?! What is your name, so I know who I'm complaining about when I call the airline?!

Okay, by now several ROWS of passengers are watching this interchange with avid interest.  I mean, what else is there to do on a plane except sleep?... oh and watch as a frazzled passenger dukes it out with a grumpy and unpleasant airline stewardess?!

Me - I have two children I am trying to keep happy, and you are quoting regulations at me as if there was a booklet I was supposed to have read before boarding so I would know all of this.

Stewardess - (Fuming, she grabs my sippy cups and walks away.)

I'm too irritated to say thank you, but I should have.

Stewardess returns with sippy cups full of milky-water since she didn't bother to rinse the cups out for us.

My kids complained about the water a little bit, but I reminded them that they should be thankful to have that. I also had to explain that both mommy and the stewardess were tired and grumpy, and we weren't being very nice to each other.

The flight was about 3 hours long.

When there was 45 minutes left to the flight, the stewardess came over to me, handed me a water bottle, and said, "I'm sorry for my attitude earlier. Please accept this. It is my personal water bottle."

Me - Thanks.

Yeah, thanks a lot. My kids have been sucking down milk-water for 2 1/2 hours, and you bring us fresh water now! Sigh... don't worry. I smiled at her and accepted the bottle without any attitude. But, come on!

Anyway, back to our return trip this time.

We touched down, and it was still morning for us. We spent most of the day vegging out and napping.

That evening we went to the kids' favorite restaurant, Islands, where they sang songs about how awesome I am and the heaven that is Islands.



We had a wonderful trip, and I didn't get into a fight with a stewardess. All in all it was a successful trip!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

On the 2nd to last day in Texas, my SIL did for me...

All Things BD took some fabulous pictures of me sitting with each of the kids.

First was me with BoopaLoop.

Next was me with LittleMan.

Next was me with my niece, Loodle.

And finally was me with my niece, Boodle.

She's a pretty excellent photographer, no? Anyone who can make two people look this photogenic is a miracle worker, in my opinion.

Yesterday, I posted a movie quote (located below the final picture I posted). For those of you who were DYING to know what movie that was a quote from, here it is. It is a quote from the dinosaur in Toy Story when he is worried that the little boy, Andy, will be receiving a mean dinosaur for his birthday. And he says, "What if Andy gets another dinosaur - a mean one? I just don't think I could take that kind of rejection?!"

My Mukor claims that the quote is too obscure, but I submit that any parent of little ones has seen that movie often enough to have the whole thing memorized. Unfortunately. To think that I can't remember why I entered the kitchen some days, but my brain has all of the dialog to Toy Story filling it up concerns me a little.

I have more pictures of our time at the park / river place, but I'll post those on Monday.

After that, I'll write a book entitled "How to Stretch Out Your Vacation Photos Over Several Blogs In 1 Easy Step".

Thursday, March 26, 2009

On the third day of... REDUX

I couldn't stand it.

I finally went through all of my zoo pictures from our trip to Texas, and they were AWFUL. I'm not talking "Oh, I'm such an accomplished photographer that I could NEVER show these ameturish pictures to the public" bad pictures; I'm talking "For the love of PETE, what in the world was I talking a picture of here?!" bad.

I mean, I had a picture where it was clear that I was trying to capture a crocodile with my kids, nieces and All Things BD looking at the animal through the glass, but instead I captured a bunch of blondish-brown haired people looking at a gigantic reflection of my SIL's face! Nice.

I was tempted to post that picture for you all to see, but I love my SIL too much to do that to her.

Did I not SEE how awful that picture was on my digital camera? The camera even has a nifty little aid called a DIGITAL DISPLAY to help me weed out the garbage!! But, I deemed this photo worthy of keeping.


Well, I am going to plead ignorance. Actually, I'm going to blame my SIL and MamaDB for being such great photographers that I can't look at my own pictures without comparing it to their brilliance.

I have been spoiled.

However, the pictures I took the next day at a park and river were pretty good, so tomorrow's pictures will be much nicer.

I could only find two pictures from the zoo that were worth posting... and I used the word "worth" lightly here. Please judge for yourselves.

LittleMan finding the log in front of him more fascinating than the bald eagles. I can't help but put people in my pictures. Even when they are looking at a log that is 2 inches in front of their face. It is a sickness.

I took this picture, and it wasn't until later when I was looking at it that I noticed this look that the rhino was giving my kiddos. I think I'm glad I was ignorant at the time. Cause that's just what my SIL needed at the time - her vising friend to throw down a good hysterics-bash in the middle of a gun-packing state. Surrounded by wild animals.

Okay, this wasn't taken at the zoo. And it wasn't taken by me. Here I am holding my eldest niece, Boodle, for a photo op at the park. You will see more photos from this outing tomorrow. The reason I posted this photo today on the zoo post was so you wouldn't feel inclined to compare my photos with All Things BD. "I just don't think I could take that kind of rejection!" (Anyone?)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program...

I will continue the 6 Days in Texas photo collection tomorrow.

For me, one of the greatest joys in parenthood is watching our children discover some pretty silly things! Oh sure, they drive me batty, but they also come up with stuff that remind me that they are individuals with their own voices in their heads.

Some of the stuff they come up with makes me want to scream.

Other stuff makes me want to laugh.

Tonight was the laughing variety.

I haven't quite figured out how take video footage and put it on my blog, so you'll have to imagine the hilarity that my children WANTED to show me today.

BoopaLoop - Wanna show Mom Fleas Navidad?

LittleMan - Feliz Navidad?

BoopaLoop - YEAH!

LittleMan - Yeah, okay.

Me - ?!?!?!?!

So, without further adieu, I bring you the way the Tolman clan welcome spring. We sing Feliz Navidad while sprinting back and forth in our bedroom... apparently.

Again, photos don't do this little episode justice, but I think you'll be able to fill in the blanks.

Feliz Navidad and Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

On the third day of Texas, my SIL gave to me...

A day at the zoo!

BoopaLoop loves the zoo. I think she secretly believes that some miracle will happen where the animals will be let loose and wander up to her to snuggle. I seriously think she believes this. I don't know what she would actually do if a giant, I dunno, BEAVER came over to be pet by her. She'd probably freak out... but a girl can dream, right?

After having a hard time recovering from the 24 hour stomach flu, it seemed appropriate that BoopaLoop's first outing (aside from a quick jaunt to the local park) was to the zoo.

I have a lot of useless photos of the animals we saw at the zoo, so I'll be certain to stretch these painful pictures out over a few posts.

The kids are simply "thrilled" at being at the zoo. Apparently, the one gibbon that was visble wasn't doing enough to entertain these kids.

My oldest niece, Boodle, requested my digital camera to take a few shots before lunch. Here is LittleMan looking far more charming than I could ever get him for my photos.

Again a Boodle-cam. And again, she manages to capture a beautiful smile from BoopaLoop that I have to threaten and bride to get out of her.

Monday, March 23, 2009

We're back (*grumble*)

As to be expected, upon arriving back to the open arms of My Mukor, I was hit with a wave of joy - followed soon thereafter with a wave of sadness.

We had a blast with All Things BD's family, and I love my nieces like they are my own daughters. Every time we return home, I feel like there is a huge chunk of me sitting in Texas.

Stupid California. Stupid beautiful weather. Stupid My Mukor's company doing well. Stupid family and friends here in Cali. Stupid, stupid, stupid... sigh.

It is times like this that I wish teleportation was a scientific possibility.

(*shaking it off*) Hhhheeeeaaaaa. Okay, enough of that. Here are a few pictures of the many pictures I took during our trip to Texas. Interestingly, there aren't any of All Things BD or my brother. Huh. I'll have to correct that next time.

Interesting. This picture looked to be in focus when I took it. I will blame hunger. I boarded the plane after not eating dinner (I was too busy last-minute packing). Our flight was at 7:15 PM. We would arrive in Texas in the wee hours. BoopaLoop cried during take off but didn't notice anything on the trip back home.

The following day, BoopaLoop woke up, had breakfast and proceeded to throw-up all over the dining room table. I didn't actually see this. I was blissfully unaware - sleeping to my heart's content. Once I woke up, my SIL then regaled me with the horrific events.

Did I mention that I love my SIL?

By the next day, BoopaLoop was just fine, so we went to the local park. I'll have more pictures to share tomorrow.

Loodle and BoopaLoop took it upon themselves to gather all of the pill bugs (or rollie-pollies) to keep them "safe" from the fire ants. They had an entire family amassed. Boodle decided to keep one for her very own pet... which later died (the very next day).

LittleMan didn't care that he was borrowing his cousins' "girly" scooter. It was a scooter, and it was cool. He would tear up the sidewalk at the park until he reached the highest point. Then, he would put both feet on the scooter and shoot down the hill regardless of who was standing on the sidewalk - like his little sister - who he then yelled at to move out of the way - and barely avoided when she finally noticed him and scrambled to the side. I yelled at him a little bit.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

You know your kids are well when...

... they harass you all day to play Rock Band 2.

That's right - I CAVED!

I count this as exercise. If you've ever had the pleasure of watching your children play the drums on Rock Band, you know they put their whole body into breaking playing them. LittleMan was sweating after playing, and it wasn't from a fever.  BoopaLoop considers the kick pedal an excuse to make a lot of noise.

I'm looking forward to the Easy Listening Band version.

I told my kids that they will get a lot of Rock Band jamming done when they are visiting their cousins in Texas. We will be staying with AllThingsBD's family from the 13th to the 20th.

I have a feeling my kids will be too busy doing other things to want to play Rock Band, but we'll see.

I've begun my packing.

I know seeing this woefully lacking amount of stuff I've already packed for a week long trip is going to give AllThingsBD a brain hemorrage, but she should be used to my ways by now. (Please ignore the pile of boxes behind the luggage. That's where I'm storing my Pick Up Palz.)

Days Until Texas: 1 day and 3 hours

Days Until Packing Is Complete: 1 day

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In Sickness and For Health

About a week ago, I was sick. Again. And like all good mothers, I passed my illness on to my LittleMan.

This was how he looked 10 minutes before we left for the doctor's office. Ironically, we were visiting the doctor for BoopaLoop who had an infection. She's doing very well now. Ah, the wonders of antibiotics...

However, LittleMan went from bouncing around in the morning, to telling me that he was a little tired, to building a sick-nest on the floor (pictured), and finally falling asleep in the van on the way to the doctor's.

Dr. K., the pediatrician, is amazing, and she's been the kids' doctor since LittleMan was 7 months old. Our appointment was for BoopaLoop only, but she insisted on checking out LittleMan just to be sure. Yup. LittleMan has the flu.

By the time we were done at the doctor's office, it was well past lunchtime. LittleMan claimed to be feeling "much better", and BoopaLoop was so good for the doctor that they convinced me that we should go to a restaurant for lunch.

I know! I'm a bad, bad, bad parent. But we had a good time, so I'm exonerated from all wrong doing.

I almost pushed this trip further by including a trip to a shoe store for me, but I decided THAT was going too far with sick children.

I'm really in desperate need of new tennis shoes. Granted, I have one pair of dress shoes and that would be high heel boots, and I have 3 pairs of running shoes - all of which need to be replaced. But, I consider the tennis shoes my highest priority.

I will buy 4 pairs of tennis shoes per year. I will buy new shoes of the other varieties once every 3 years! Apparently, with how often I play tennis I'm supposed to replace them every two months. I do it every 3-4 months.

Here is what my current pair of tennis shoes look like.

It is the lack of tread that is the problem. Several ladies on my team have twisted ankles, broken feet, and pulled calf muscles all from having poor shoes.

See? It takes a health hazard for me to buy new shoes. Now if there was a health hazard for not wearing the appropriate shoe to go with an evening dress, I'd have the proper motivation to go shopping.

Now, if only there was a health hazard requiring me to have an evening dress.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day two of my massively impressive camera work. I know many of you are wondering (Really just All Things BD) what kind of professional-quality camera I bought.

Here it is:

That's right!  The Cannon PowerShot A1000 IS.  I paid a total of ~$210 at Best Buy for this beauty. Before you swallow your tongue at the cost, this total includes an 8 GB memory card, a 2-year replacement warranty, and of course, SALES TAX.

Usually I avoid the warranties as unnecessary money sucks, but with the age my kids are at now and their propensity to allow curiosity to overcome wisdom, I thought the "accidental" breakage warranty was a good idea. Plus, Best Buy replaces EVERYTHING if something breaks it - including water.

I'm not used to carrying a camera around, so I may be just this stupid. I'm picturing myself playing at the water area at Universal Studios City Park. For those of you unfamiliar with this tourist attraction, just picture a bunch of people with cameras inside a fountain of water that shoots up to about 8 feet high.

But this wasn't what I wanted to blog about today. I wanted to talk about the circus that is dinner time.

Tonight was "left overs" night. It is only Tuesday, and we are already eating left overs. That's because last Thursday I made a pan of lasagna. My kids HATE lasagna, but My Mukor LOVES it.

I make this dish about three times a year.

Well, since the kids don't eat it, and I don't eat a LOT of it, you can only imagine how much we had left over. However, I couldn't bring myself to make lasagna for the kids for the 6th night in a row, so I made them a treat dinner.

I am NEVER a short order cook - or a mom who is willing to make three different meals in order to make everyone happy. Pretty much whatever I make, you eat or don't and starve. I always include a couple of sides on the plate the kids like to avoid the whining.

However, tonight I bent my no-short-order-cook rule just a bit.

BoopaLoop had a hotdog, olives, baby carrots, mild cheddar cheese and a lot of ketchup. LittleMan had a hotdog, baby corn, baby carrots, and pickled beets (ick). So, I personalized their side dishes to make the kids happy. Whatever - it was special-treat-left-overs-dinner night.

However, even with this complicated title, it is ironic that every dinner the same thing happens.

My Mukor and I have been trying for 7 years to get our dog Travis to not beg at the table. I was making a lot of progress with Travis in this skill until My Mukor and I decided to eat at home more.

As I said, every dinner the same thing happens.

Do you see Travis? That's RIGHT! My Mukor is completely oblivious that the dog is right next to him every time we eat! I'm on the other side of the table, and the dog knows that if I see him, he will be banished.

For a few months, I thought Travis was laying down where he was supposed to be until the sound of our scraping chairs alerted him that the meal was over. Only then, is he allowed anywhere near the dining room table. I mean, less work for me if he cleans up after us, right?

It wasn't until one night about 6 years ago that I noticed a shiny, black object under My Mukor's elbow - about 4 inches from his plate. It was Travis's nose!! For crying out loud!! In shock I pointed at the dog and said, "WHHAAA...?!"

My Mukor looks to where I'm pointing, recognizes the nose, and says very calmly, "Oh, go lay down."

Oh sure! That's the dominate spirit. Way to shape that dog up! Sigh...

Now, repeat that event hundreds of times, most of the time without either of us noticing the dog until dinner was over, and you have this picture.

Seriously, it wasn't until I took this picture that My Mukor noticed the dog. So, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? I now don't bother looking for the dog during dinner. I just keep my head down and focus on my food.

This is what the dog did after My Mukor noticed him next to his elbow in the previous picture.

It is hopeless.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Finally! A camera!!

Okay, I once had a digital camera, but I think I mentioned that it was devoured by battery corrosion.  R I P little Canon PowerShot... R I P. Which reminds me, I need to remove that memory card to see what is on there - from 3 years ago! Whoa, that will be a walk down memory lane.

Oh well.

Today, I played with my new camera! Quick disclaimer - I have no interest in becoming a photographer. So, please enjoy these layman shots. The only modification I made was to crop them.

Greeting LittleMan after school

Welcome home!

Excellent swim class

As you can see, I'm having a lot of fun with my new camera. I had forgotten how much I enjoy taking still photos. Now, the grandparents can stop harassing me to send them current pictures!

Huh, I've only taken 15 shots so far.

I have to go take more photos...