Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Vacation Day 2…Dance Lessons and Swimming

After waking up this morning the girls were treated to an introduction to ballet. My aunt Nancy has been dancing since she was little and teaching ballet for many years. When I was growing up she was in the Colorado Ballet, and we went down to see her dance one year. So in her home she has a ballet room with hardwood and a ballet bar. She had little ballet slippers for the girls and put on a little class for them. Cody was in there for about 2 min before he lost interest.She taught them first position with their feet…..And then their arms….Then they did a little stretching exercise. Alex was funny, kind of doing her own thing and watching rather than participating.
(videos to follow later as they won't upload on the road)

My aunt has taken many trips to Italy and has written a book about her travels and I think some of our family history from there. She took the time to show Amy and me around her home and tell us all about where she picked up different things in her home. We got to this statue of David and she explained that she had covered him up since the kids were coming. I thought the “outfit” was hysterical. He looks more like Tarzan now.The kids were in the pool from 9am to when we left that afternoon at 2pm. Here they are taking a hiatus from swimming. They decided they wanted to paint. I had picked up some things to keep them busy at the dollar store and these paint sets were a score. They came with two cardboard pictures to paint and then a set of paints. They LOVED them.Cody has turned into a little Michelangelo.Jon manned this position for most of the day catching the kids while they jumped off the wall. Way to go Dad-e-o!




My cousin Kathy came back over for lunch and to hang out for a bit before we left and Nancy treated us all to California Pizza Kitchen. Yummy! Here is my sister Amy, Nancy and me.




We left Palm Desert at about 2:30 and drove down to San Diego. Most of the kids slept on the way down, but what an ugly drive. Not what I think of when I think of California. It was mostly winding roads through desert-ish mountains with no trees. When we got to San Diego it was probably only mid 60s which was a huge switch from mid 90s out in Palm Desert so we all changed back into our pants and hit the Olive Garden for dinner. Jon and I ended up picking up a navigation system at Best Buy on the way out of LA since the rental car company wanted to charge us 10 bucks a day for one, we figured we might as well spend a little extra and take it home with us afterwards. So far it has turned out to be super helpful. It even found us an array of places to eat this evening that were close to the hotel. Isn’t technology cool? We came back to the hotel and the kids were all past out by 8:30 and we are raring to go and spend a full day at Sea World tomorrow!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Vacation Day 1....

We made it in one piece out here to sunny (and hot!) CA. Jon and I both had an enormous to-do list yesterday so didn't make it to bed until midnight and then were up bright and early at 4:30am. Wow, I don't know that I have ever been up that early for the day, but I was so excited to embark on our trip I was wide awake. The kids on the other hand....grouchy, tired, un-excited-to-be-up-so-early-with-an-in-a-hurry-mom. We made it out the door by 5:15 and headed down to DIA.

We parked in long term parking so had to take a shuttle to the terminal and it made for pretty interesting times having 5 suit cases to check, 3 booster seats, a carry on for all 5 of us and a partridge in a pear tree. Basically Jon and I carrying all of these items plus keeping track of 3 children......I wouldn't recommend it. After we got through the nightmare of actually getting up to the terminal, checking our luggage, and getting through security (not to mention making it on time), it was not quite so stressful. Here is a snap shot of the kiddos running to the gate with their back packs. I still can't get over how small this giant back pack makes Cody look. What a midget.

When we finally got a seat at our gate and a moment's rest they were pre boarding for all the "special" passengers which included families with children so we had our queue to get back up and shuffle the kids onto the plane. All in all they did pretty well on the plane. I was excited to see their reaction to flying for the first time. Take off was pretty exciting but after that the whining started and Cody wanted to get off the airplane because it was boring. We did our best to entertain with Ipods and coloring books. At one point both Cody and Alex were quietly listening to a movie on the Ipods. This didn't last long before mom was up taking kids to the bathroom. I think I made 5 trips to the bathroom on that flight. Which warranted a comment from the stewardess about me having the patients of Job from the bible. I give it my best effort! Olivia actually had a hard time popping her ears on our decent but Jon finally got her to pop them by blowing her nose. She was in tears, poor girl.

We ended up renting a mini van for our vehicle this week because I wasn't about to pay a premium price for an expedition or something of the likes and so Jon will have the pleasure of driving his dream car for the week. Ha! He hates mini vans. I had to take a picture of him while he was entranced in his excitement!



We are starting our trip by visiting my aunt Nancy and cousin Kathy in the Palm Desert area so we drove down there from LA. On the way there was this huge wind farm with hundreds of wind turbines. I tried to take a picture but it just didn't capture the massive amounts like I thought it would. They were on both sides of the interstate, it was crazy.When we finally arrived in Palm Desert for the afternoon the kids enjoyed a swim at Kathy's house. I was surprised they swam there because the pool wasn't heated and even thought it was mid 90s outside it was freezing. But they were all in.....


I tried to stay dry but Cody and Alex couldn't touch the bottom so it made it hard to. They had a blast!

video


Here is Olivia showing off her jumping, what a little fish. She loves the water.


video

Since I don't see Nancy and Kathy often we had to snap a few photos, of course!

After visiting a bit at Kathy's we came back to Nancy's for dinner and we stayed the night there. Nancy also has a pool and jacuzzi in her back yard so the kids wanted to of course come back and swim there. She turned the heater on in the jacuzzi and the kids played for most of the time with Jon in the "warm tub". This was of course followed by the entourage of when are we getting one of these in our back yard type questions.....in your dreams Olivia! My sister Amy drove down from Sacramento and met us at Nancy's for dinner. Her family is also spending the week with us. We got a snap snot of all of us together. The kids were SO ready for bed by the time 8 o'clock rolled around they went right to bed. Nancy and I sat in the jacuzzi for a bit and got to visit since Jon was also wiped out and went to bed with the kids. It was nice just being able to hang out and relax a bit after a long day. What a fun first day! Now off to bed to do it again tomorrow!

Hurray!

If anyone else is lucky enough to drive a diesel vehicle this is as exciting for you as it is for me. I can't even remember the last time we paid under 4 bucks a gallon for diesel.....

I guess even regular is under 3, so it's good news for all. My nephew had his birthday party on Thursday and so we had to snap a picture with all the cousins that were present for the gathering. What a cute bunch of kiddos! Happy birthday Aiden!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday, Monday....

We have had lots going on since my last post. On Thursday I got together with 4 other ladies and did freezer meals. With TONS of pre-preparation (mostly by Michelle--you're awesome) we spent Thursday morning putting together 20 meals that will go in the freezer and then are ready to pop in the oven after thawing. I hope that it is a huge time saver and the family will like them.

Thursday night my mom invited us over for scones because she made home-made bread on Thursday. Scones are a favorite of mine so we all headed over there for dinner. Oh my, yummy. After some convincing and lots of sugar the kids ate them and actually liked them too. Good thing, because those might be making an appearance in my house before too long! Before dinner the kids had a great time playing with grandpa in the backyard. They found a different way to swing, it was pretty funny. My dad looked like he had an extra appendage, or two. (Aren't the trees pretty when they are changing colors?)

Jon hurt his neck last week at work and it just seemed to get worse and worse and so he went to the chiropractor and little by little it has improved. Here is the happy camper icing down his injury.Poor guy! Luckily he is feeling better this week. I received a call last week from my local support group Hope Lives! asking me if I would be willing to go and hang out with a dorm over at CSU (Colorado State University) while they made shirts for breast cancer awareness month. I asked my friend Heather if she wanted to go along with me. The 2 of us headed out there on Thursday evening and joined in making shirts and then told our stories and answered questions. I was surprised at the turn out, there was probably 30 kids there making shirts. I had a great experience just sharing my story, answering questions, and also hearing more of Heather's story. I had such a great time that I came home and researched volunteer opportunities for Komen. Apparently they have a young women's program that promotes education on high school and college campuses. I sent in a volunteer application and hoping to be able to be more involved with the education side of this disease. So we will see what happens with that.

Friday Jon and I went out to dinner and bowling with Courtnee and Seth to celebrate her birthday. We of course had a great time and were home by 10:30. Wow, sad, but alas we are now responsible (most of the time) parents and those kids still are awake early no matter how late we stay out. Bringing me to a new late night past time.....Jon and I now like to play Lego Star Wars on Xbox 360. Jon isn't home very much at night since he works nights and always has a hard time switching back and forth on the weekends so we ended up staying up late playing the xbox and have had fun just playing and hanging out.

Saturday and Sunday Jon was on call so gone for most of those days. He has been working a ton and we are both really excited to be leaving for our big vacation on Saturday....yeah! Saturday night we went over to my friend Abbey's house to hang out with friends. So all in all a pretty jam packed weekend.

Today the twins started back to preschool after having a week off and I started back to work. Since my hours with work have been getting cut back from work slowing down I am going to be going into the office to work part time and then picking up what I can at home still. Hopefully this will work out well with the kids school schedule and not be too hectic. Well off to bed to get my beauty sleep and be ready for another day back at work tomorrow!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Buddy Check 9

Hey ladies here is our buddy check nine message for this month. Remember to do your monthly self exam and go in and be seen for ANYTHING abnormal. Better to be safe than sorry!!

Hello Everyone!

What a day. What a race. What a crowd. For 16 years now men, women and children have come together on a Sunday morning to show their commitment to finding a cure for breast cancer. Every day, important steps are taken in research, treatment and education. These steps are best understood with the image we will hold in our memories of hundreds of women and men with pink hats crossing the finish line.

They are our sisters, friends, mothers, grandmothers, neighbors, fathers, sons and daughters. They are our inspiration and strength to keep walking and running for this goal. This is a movement that cannot be stopped or silenced. Every day more people join this battle. In Colorado, the statistics show 1 in 7 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. If the cancer is in an early stage, it is very treatable. While no one can change the diagnosis statistics, we can help with early detection. Please get a mammogram and please do regular self exams. Today is Buddy Check 9 day. We ask you to do a self exam and tell someone else to do the same.

Join us and keep the faith!

Monday, October 06, 2008

I AM....THE CURE.

Yesterday I participated in Race for the Cure in Denver. Amazing, awesome, a truly moving experience. My friend Heather who I met at the beginning of the summer and who is currently under going chemotherapy decided last week that she wanted to go down with me. What a strong lady. I was feeling so crappy during treatment that it didn't even cross my mind to try and participate in the race. I "slept in for the cure" the last 2 years. Which is just registering but not actually participating in the race. They just mail you a shirt. I was so excited when she called and wanted to participate with me. Since neither of us had participated we had no idea what to expect.
She picked me up about 6am and we drove down to the outskirts of Denver and parked her car and rode the transit bus into the city since traffic was a nightmare. I really enjoyed just being able to visit and get to know her better during the whole day. What a great experience not only for the race but just being able to strengthen our friendship. We had registered for the co-ed walk which started at 8:30 and the women's race started at 7am. While on the bus into the city we went under the overpass as the women's racers were starting. I was astounded at the sheer volume of people that were participating. We hiked over to the Pepsi Center where the race was and had some time to walk around in the survivor area. We scored some free stuff and they made us these really fun buttons. I have a picture of it on my slide show above. We were both cracking up because when we sat down I told her I felt like we were "partners" if you know what I mean and maybe next year we should come in wedding veils. Ha! I think that the 2 of us were joking around and laughing for a big part of the morning.

We started our race at 8:30 although we were a ways away from the actual starting line and it took at least 10 min to get to the starting line after they let us start. It was a 5K and I think we walked it in about an hour and a half. Heather and I had a blast just taking it all in. Seeing all the signs telling why everyone was walking, laughing at all the funny costumes, laughing at each other and just having awesome conversation the whole time. I must say that the actual walk kicked my butt. I am so sore today that I can barely move, but it was well worth it.

I cannot even put into words the overwhelming feelings that I experienced. Being one in 62,000 people attending either the biggest or 2nd biggest race in the country, I just felt so lucky to have all those people there racing for a cure. For research dollars. For me and every other woman ever diagnosed with breast cancer. Wow. I hope that in my life time we will see a cure for not only breast cancer but all types of cancer. It brought such mixed emotions when going to write my back sign. I thought, gol. It really sucks when I know so many women, some survivors, some still fighting, and some that have lost their battle with cancer that I don't have enough space to write them all down on this piece of paper. How do you sum it up? Stupid, dumb cancer. Although I am extremely grateful for all of these relationships with these women, the basis of the relationship sucks.

When we were finished with the race Heather and I took a bit of a siesta and just parked it on the asphalt while we ate our free snacks from safeway. Chips, granola bar, package of green chili......seriously they donated a single serve packet of green chili. mmm-k. It was random. But we got a good laugh out of it. For the survivor ceremony they had all the survivors come up on the stage and sit in the grand stands. We walked up through military personnel and their swords. It was pretty neat. Heather and I were walking up to the stands and she started crying and immediately this obnoxious reported got right up in her face with his camera. Annoying. In the stands I sat in front of a gal that ended up introducing herself to me as someone I had talked to when I was doing chemo. She was a friend of a friend and had been following my blog as she had recently finished her treatment. I was so glad she stopped me because I had never met her. I hope to get in touch with her at some point. That network of survivors, I tell ya, always looking out for their own!

After the closing ceremony we met up with Ady, Kristen, Jodie, and Anne. I had talked to Ady through myspace as she is mutual friends with a few of my friends so it was nice to finally meet her. We all decided we would have to start a team for next year and do all the fun costumes and come down together. We decided to go out to eat and Noodles before coming back home. It was so fun to get to know these gals better, they are a riot and I hope to hang out with them again sometime soon.

By the time we finally made it back to Heather's car it was about 1 and then we didn't get back home until a little after 2. I think Heather and I were both ready to just crash. We had be walking around all morning, and I haven't been up that early in a long time! Thanks to Jon he had the kids taken care of all day and even made dinner on Sunday night. I was able to just lounge around the whole rest of the day. Thanks babe, you're the best.

Today I am wishing my legs would just fall out of my hip joint. I thought I would be sore in my thighs and calves but no, I feel like my hips are going to fall apart. I wonder what that is all about, besides the fact I am terribly out of shape :-) Yikes I better start walking around more before our trip to Disneyland in 2 weeks. We will be walking around for a week straight. Maybe I can get one of those rascal scooters, huh? Ha! If anyone has any good tips for us for our trip PLEASE pass them on. We have never even flown with the kids so this is going to be quite the experience. Does anyone know if the booster seats (for the car) count as a checked bag?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Girls Gone Mild #3 - Ceramics Style

***Plagiarism-shizzum warning***** Since Alyssa already did an awesome recap of our event this Friday I am going to just copy her too perfect synopsis of the evening, here it goes:

This past Friday (10/3/08) was our 3rd Girls Night Out (GNO). We decided to switch it up a bit from our previous activities that have left us rather sore the next day (roller skating, dancing, bowling) and we went to a ceramics studio and dinner We had a great time. Here we are getting our paint on.
After our ceramics extravaganza, we cruised the King Sooper parking lot at negative 2 miles an hour - no joke - thank you Aislinn and then headed out to dinner at Rock Bottom. Most of us had never been there before and we were all really happy with how nice it was.Here is Kari, Michelle and Eliza in the backseat of Ais's car. I have no idea what they could possibly be laughing at. (FYI - Eliza always cries when she laughs - we really don't "make" her cry on purpose.) hee hee

Here are Kari and Eliza throwing some hard core Vampire 4 Life signs.

Too bad thought your Vampires ain't got nothing on our Werewolf's 4 Life!!!!

Had another GRRRRREAT evening with the best gals in town!!! Very much looking forward to our next GNO on 11/21/08 Twlight premier ladies - hoooollllaaaa!!! Can't wait!

Thanks for letting me straight copy this from you Alyssa!

Twins Visit the Fire Station

This week the twins went on their first field trip on Thursday to the fire station. I wasn't sure that I would be able to take the trip with them because I got a flu bug at the beginning of the week. I was so sick on Tuesday and Wednesday but thankfully felt much better by Thursday.

We met at "Mrs. Karen's" and brought both the twins class and the Tuesday/Thursday preschool class on the trip. We all loaded into the fire station living room to sit down and watch the fireman put on all his gear.
Since we went with the 3 yr old class Grayson and Lauren were with us, so my kids thought that was neat. The kids were a little scared of the fireman after he had all of his gear on so Mrs. Karen had them all go walk around him and see. They had to explain that when he was all dressed up he was a "helper" and not someone to be scared of. They also showed the kids the pole they slide down to get to the trucks. Wow, neat!!Here is the "twin" squad. I had to sit with them because they were afraid to stand next to the truck.

Then of course they were able to take turns sitting in the truck.We wanted a group picture in front of the truck but the sun ended up shining right in their eyes so they were all trying to block the sun out of their eyes.After we went to the fire station we went to a neighborhood park to play for a bit.

Did I mention that the kid's shirts look like pajama's? A little big, well I guess Cody is just small. They had a great time and it was fun for me to be able to spend some time with them and their school class.