Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Birthday

Even though Jared was not in town for my birthday I was determined to not cook. I knew that I would be able to use the "birthday" card that evening and get my kids to try to be civil at dinner. It worked. Sort of. I had to remind them several times, but I got a good 30 seconds of good kids before they would forget what day it was.

A couple of observations from our dinner:
When choosing a side dish neither of my two older girls picked fries. Fries aren't optional for their mom.
Sadie chose Mandarin oranges and Kylie picked a green salad, only because Broccoli with ranch wasn't a choice.
Normally Jared keeps our waiter busy with refills but this night the only one that needed a refill was Brynlie, and she needed it before the food even arrived. That girl loves her chocolate milk!
The hostess was super good. I mean really good. I mean, wow! She put us at the table closest to the bathroom. It was like she knew.
Both of my girls tried my thick steak fries and gave them back to, deeming them unsuitable to eat. I'm not totally convinced that they are my kids.

Brynlie having fun at dinner...
And Brynlie grossing herself out after looking at the treasure she blew out of her nose...

We also stopped at Wal-Mart on the way home. Who's 30th birthday would be complete without a trip to Wal-Mart?
I was disgusted when I realized how dirty Brynlie's shirt was. Kylie was disgusted when she saw me turn it inside out.
The guy running the checkout stand was chatting with the lady in front of him about the birthday cake she was purchasing for her daughter. His daughter's birthday is on the 15th and his is at the end of the month. I could have stepped in and announced that it was not only my birthday at that exact moment, but that I was also turning 30. I would have totally won, but I didn't want to show them both up.
The cashier then told the lady that he was going to Italy at the end of the month. I made a mental note that I should get a job at Wal-Mart. When he was ringing up my groceries he mentioned that I was buying a "lifetime" supply of macaroni and cheese. If 10 boxes of mac-n-cheese is really a lifetime supply for him I definitely need to get a job at Wal-Mart.
This is a result of the best $.50 spent all evening:

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Adrienne!

My parents and Adrienne's parents were good friends, both in the same ward, and both expecting their first babies at the same time. Adrienne was born on May 11th and I was born two days later, on the 13th. For the first five years of our lives we were best friends. Our moms, along with several other moms, rotated teaching our preschool class each week. We both went to the same dance class. I remember that our teacher Miss Tania would end the class by having us lay on our backs, with our hands flat on the floor next to our ears, and have us use our arms and legs to lift up our torso so that our back was arched and our stomach in the air. Anyone able to hold this position, and hold it correctly while waiting for her parents got a bright circle sticker on her tap shoes. Adrienne's shoes always had the most stickers. Always! I was so jealous of all those stickers and could never catch up. On my 5th birthday my family moved away from Vernal for a year. When we moved back we were no longer living close to Adrienne's family and I didn't see her much again until middle school, where we quickly struck up our friendship again. From that time forth we always called each other our "almost twin" since we were almost born on the same day. As a child Adrienne was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, but she never let it get her down. She was always happy and had a gift for making those around her happy. She and her mom were close, and Adrienne definitely got her sense of humor from her mom. We went to an awards dinner once in Jr. high and my mom and I sat with Adrienne and her mom Candy. I still have the letter that Candy sat and carefully wrote to me on the paper table cloth, complete with border. Adrienne's arthritis was a set back for her, but it didn't stop her from doing what she wanted to do. In high school she joined the drill team as their manager. I remember finding a picture of us, along with my brother and a couple of other friends, sitting on the stairs at my house. We were probably about 4 years old, and Adrienne was wearing a dress while sitting in an unladylike position. I brought the picture to school to show her, not realizing that the flash of underwear would be such an embarrassment to her. Her face went bright red and she tried to steal the picture. It still has the corner torn off from us fighting over it. But that was Adrienne...always very done up, and pretty with her hair and make up perfect. Nothing amiss, like her underwear showing! When we were in middle school my mom suggested that I give all of my friends Mormon Ad posters for Christmas. At $.50 each, this was perfect for my budget. I had previously asked Adrienne what she wanted for Christmas and the only she would tell me, over and over again, was "your eternal friendship". One of the Mormon Ads in the package showed two girls looking down a dirt road. It said..."Eternity is a long time so take along a friend." When I saw it, I just knew that it was the perfect gift for her. This "gift" has so much more meaning to me now because on August 9th, 2004 Adrienne died from heart problems, probably stemming from the arthritis that she had as a child. I will always remember Adrienne and the wonderful friend and example she was to me. I love you Adrienne and Happy Birthday up in Heaven!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Brook Marie Merrell

Brook was born at 2:59 on May 7th (she has a very cool birthday 5-7-9).
She weighed 8 lbs even and was 20 inches long.
So beautiful!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Memories of Disneyland

*The girls were so excited for their first airplane ride and it did not disappoint. They squealed and laughed in delight when the plane took off, and squealed even louder when the plane touched back down. They had several people laughing at them and the dad behind us commented that there were "too many girls on this plane".*On the shuttle to the hotel we discovered the couple riding with us had been on our plane and said that the girls were "very entertaining on the flight, in a good way". The wife said that it was wonderful and they acted the way that grown ups wish they could act*The girls surprised me and Mom by how well they could swim without their life vests. Sadie would purposely jump and swim AWAY from us, in the deep end. They are both little fish.

*On the first day I carried Sadie at least a third, if not half of the day. Partially because her feet got blisters and she was tired, but even more because I am not patient enough to wait for her to walk at her pace.

*The lines were incredible! I would definitely recommend going on a weekday instead of the weekend. Friday was the only day that we really had to wait for rides outside of Fantasyland and Toon Town. Those two lands had long lines everyday.

*It was cold! Wednesday was beautiful, but we wore jackets off and on the last two days, and even opted for longer Capri's/pants for Friday. The highs those days were in the mid to upper 60's. *We know where every single bathroom is and spent A LOT of time at them. I cannot tell you how much time was spent in the bathrooms.

*Sadie's obsession in life is Minnie Mouse and she met the REAL Minnie Mouse three times! She would have been happy visiting Minnie, playing in Minnie's house, and shopping for all things Minnie. My biggest regret is waiting in line for almost an hour to see Minnie in her house. We saw her a couple of more times throughout our trip and never waited more than a few minutes.

*The girls were so scared to go on the Haunted Mansion. Sadie had to be bribed with a Minnie doll and still screamed and forced me to remove her claws from the posts on the way in. She whined and whimpered but survived, declaring she'd never go again. The next day we told her that the real Minnie rides that ride (and ironically found a picture of Minnie in the Mansion on Sadie's lunch box) and Sadie suddenly changed her mind and decided to go. It became their favorite ride and all Thursday and Friday they would chant "Haunted Mansion, Haunted Mansion". I think we went on it at least 7 or 8 times.

*Kylie was disappointed in Soaring Over California because she thought that she was going to fly "for reals".

*The girls didn't understand just how big Disneyland would be, or how much walking we would do. They were exhausted every day! When my mom told Sadie on the afternoon of our first day that we had two more days she said "We have to come back!?" Of course by the next morning she was already begging to go back. *My late night diehards were not the night owls I had hoped they would be. We never made it until closing, although be probably could have the first night except...
*Kylie drank a lot of pop and then hot chocolate right before we got in line for Peter Pan on our first night. After waiting in line for several minutes she informed me that she had to pee and when I told her to hold it she squatted down and peed in line. Luckily it was dark so I don't think many people noticed. She ran out of the line and hid and cried. After chewing her out I felt guilty and bought her a skirt to wear home.

* The next night she almost peed on the Pirate's ride. She was rocking the boat for the last half of the ride and when it ended she and I went running for a bathroom. What we didn't realize was that Sadie also needed to go. When she and Mom made it to the bathroom mom went in the stall next to her and watched as Sadie couldn't hold it long enough to pull her pants down and squatted and peed on the floor in the stall. I asked Sadie if she was okay and she said that she was fine and just "wanted a skirt". No such luck for that little stinker!
*I brought an extra pair of panties and shorts for the girls on the last day because I knew that as long as I had extra clothes they wouldn't have an accident. It worked. We were accident free on day three.

*The girls fought over everything. Who got dressed first, who got their hair done first, who was sitting with Mom, who was sitting with Grandma, who was riding in the front, who was being the best kid, who pushed who, who got in who's way, who got what, who was more tired, who got to sit on the outside of the train...
*My number one favorite moment was coming out of the bathroom (big surprise there) with Sadie on our first night and discovering Mickey Mouse with a very small line. She went through and hugged him and then while we waited for Kylie to go to the bathroom we waited in line for him again. I kept letting people go in front of us while waiting on Kylie, until the line was gone and it was just Sadie. Mickey invited her over and sat down and they had a such a cute little conversation. Mickey was talking with his hands and Sadie had this look of complete awe and love on her face as she talked to him. They were alone for over a minute, and even when a couple of people came and got in line the assistant still let them sit for a minute. She must have know how much it meant to Sadie. I even got a little teary eyed watching my little girl with such belief in the "real" Mickey Mouse. I so wish I'd hadn't already put my camera in the locker for the night. *We discovered that Kylie has a nervous stomach. She would complain of a stomach ache when we were getting in line for a lot of rides, but it would disappear once the ride was underway.

*After the Haunted Mansion, the girl's next favorite ride was Pirates and we rode that one over and over and over. I love that ride so it didn't make me sad.

*Sadie was pouting about something and an employee at the Princess Forest stopped her and made friends with her. Then she gave her a fake flower off of the bushes. Sadie was so proud of her flower. Sadie was also pouting in a gift shop and the employee there took pity on her and gave her and Kylie each two pins. One said Happy Anniversary and the other said Just Engaged. They opted to wear the latter until they got sick of people asking them who they were engaged to. Kylie was very embarrassed once she found out what it meant.

*On the last day the girls got their faces painted first thing in the morning. We thought this would be smart because they could enjoy the paint longer. It turns out that when you are 4 years old paint never stays on your face for very long. Kylie, after seeing what Sadie's face was turning into, was very careful all day long to keep her face looking beautiful.

*On the second day our big "wait" was for the Princesses in the forest. I waited for over an hour and a half, with the girls joining me off and on. They got the giggles right before entering and really made an impression on the princesses. We got SUPER lucky and just as we were finishing with the last princess there was a shift change so we got to see 6 princesses instead of 3.

*On our last day my mom paid for us to have dinner with the Princesses. It was a very fancy meal with several courses. It was only after inhaling the delicious platter of chocolate desserts that I thought to take a picture. Oh well, you'll just have to trust was yummy! While eating we got to see Ariel, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Snow White.
*Kylie was a really good sport for most of the trip. She got less attention since Sadie was a little on the whiny side, but she did really good to be a big girl.

*On our last night we got caught in the crowd trying to watch the fireworks. If you know me and my mom you know that neither of us likes crowds at all. It was such a joke and we couldn't get out. My mom took Kylie and climbed over people to get out and I was lucky enough to find a nice guy that offered to lift the stroller we had just rented (for a whiny 4 year old) over the crowd and a rope to help me and Sadie escape. My least favorite part every time I go to Disneyland is the crowds that gather at night for the fireworks. No fireworks are worth being that squished with that many people. *As we left Disneyland for the last time my feet hurt so bad I couldn't carry Sadie. Her feet were also sore and tired and she loudly exclaimed for all around us to hear "This is why I hate coming to Disneyland!"

*Kylie was suddenly camera shy for most of our trip.

*The California side was under construction and had no water in the "Ocean", which wasn't really pretty.

*Film crews were there filming and there were signs stating that our presence in the park meant that we agreed to let them use any pictures/video of us. Something tells me that the Happiest Place on Earth won't be using any pictures of my whining children.
*Sadie would always stop and window shop, or stop and watch something and we'd realize she wasn't right behind us. Once she thought she lost us and I followed her across the pier and into a crowd. A woman stopped to help her, but Sadie got distracted by a bird and took off running again. I stopped to thank the woman and explained that I was following her. Sadie found me a minute later when she heard my cell phone ringing. I'm not sure if she cried because she was scared, or cried because she got in trouble.
*On Splash Mountain we got a boat to ourselves and Sadie was in the front. As we went down the first little waterfall she jumped up and tried to climb back and sit with my mom. Mom had to hold her tight for the last fall to make sure she didn't try to stand up again.

*While waiting in line for the Roger Rabbit ride Sadie said she needed to go but could hold it. As the car pulled up to have us jump in she said "I changed my mind, I need to go now". I made her hold it. *After her intial purchase of a Minnie Mouse Sadie would say "I changed my mind!" every time she found a different toy (usually a Minnie) that she wanted. That girl was born to shop at Disneyland.

*Between getting the girls their promised ice cream cones, trying to use our fastpasses at Soaring Over California before that park closed, and fighting the extremely unpleasant crowd of people waiting for the fireworks, we ran out of time for dinner and most places had closed. We decided that we would go to the downtown Disney District to find food and then shop. By the time we cleaned out our locker, said good bye one last time to Minnie, bought Sadie her much anticipated Mickey and Minnie getting married dolls, and returned the stroller, it was late and the girls were very ornery. We found a little pizza place where Kylie promptly fell asleep on the table. Shopping was a joke that night afterwards with me carrying Sadie and Mom dragging a half asleep Kylie through the store. I am so sorry that Mom was unable to finish her shopping!
*The flight home was horrible! Just as the light came on to put our seat belts on for the landing Sadie to my mom that she needed to go to the bathroom. I told her to hold it. That seemed to be all the she needed. But when I told Kylie the same thing a couple of minutes later it didn't work as well. By the time we landed she was almost in tears, I was sick to my stomach from the amount of moving she had done to avoid an accident, everyone at least three rows around us knew how badly she needed to go, and I felt the need to apologize to the man sitting in front of us for all the kicking she had done to his seat. The minute the wheels touched down, and long before we stopped moving, Kylie was running down the aisle for the bathroom. Then as the aisle filled with people Sadie informed me that she needed to go again. We were able to make it off the plane with no accidents, although it was a miracle.
*We had to much fun, although Mom and I had a talk about just the ADULT girls in our family going next time. Thanks Mom for making our trip so wonderful!