Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Must Have

These might just be the CUTEST skirts on the planet.

My friend Rachel makes them. She is awesome and creative and can do no wrong.

You can find them here. There are plenty of different colors and patterns (I'm really loving the Halloween themed ones right now!) Get one for your little twirler (or send the link to Grandma!) You will NOT regret it...

Monday, September 22, 2008

You guys, every day I die a little...

...because my babies won't stop growing. I love these little people and why do they have to get big? They are jumping up and down in their cribs as I type this. All I hear over the baby monitor is Boing! Boing! And lots of giggles. It's their daily pre-nap ritual.

Lucy, going down the slide for the 50th time in a row


Mila had an XBox party recently and invited three boys. They all ran inside our house after taking the bus home and Mila said, "You guys! My mom put out lots of snacks that rock!" (I totally did.) She also knows everything about Pokemon and Club Penguin. Do you think the boys think she's cool? Um, yeah! She is almost finished with Harry Potter Book 5, and she understands everything that's happening, she claims. I told her that I am proud of her because she never lets her peers tell her what to do or what she likes. She replied, "It's because I'm brimming with confidence, Mom."

Mila and Lucy

Ethan sometimes kills me the most of all. He tells me that when he grows up and gets married, I will stay behind in the house that he grew up in, sort of like "a servant who stays in the castle, while the king goes out to find new lands..." I always thought I was his queen, but clearly, I was mistaken.

His prayers right now are awesome. He says things like, "You know what? It is really hard to be good, but we are trying our hardest to be good every day. Sometimes the babies bug me a lot, but that's OK because they're little and don't know any better so I need to respect them. Also, when people move in, you need to be nice, because once I moved in and I was afraid, so I learned to be nice to new kids. Oh yeah, and when we're helping, we're happy..." and so on. We all just sit there and wait patiently--Mila doesn't even open her eyes, bless her heart, but I open mine almost the whole time because I'm silent laughing with Ben.

I also love listening to him rant about how the only thing he hates about school is the bus ride home because "it is TOO crowded, and one day, I even had to sit on Mila's lap! Aargh! And another day, I saw a spot, but before I could grab it, Carrie was yelling, 'Sit here, sit here, sit here!' and argh! I got so confused and then I lost my spot!!" I love it. So. Much.

He is really into taking self-portraits with our old digital camera

I just like my kids a lot, you guys. (This is the kind of post my friend Josh was talking about.) But I will counterbalance this bragging by admitting to everyone that I am a big disorganized mess and my house will always look like it's a Monday morning. So wah wah waaaaah...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hot Sugar

At our last Thrillionaires show, the theme was 80's rock and it was radical. We had an audience of 75, all ready to be taken back to the decade of John Hughes and shoulder pads. For our first play, we got the title "Back to the Top" as a suggestion. What followed was a high school drama about a stuck-up football jock who learned a valuable lesson about trust, life and love, after discovering the dark secrets of a 30 year old gold stamp collector. There was also a prom queen runner-up who fell in love with a rebel artist! (Are you crying yet that you missed it?)

Brett, Lisa and I before the show (also before Brett had his first wig of the evening on)

For the musical half of our show, we were given the suggestion "Hot Sugar" as a band name, and we then told the story of a trio of gas station workers who realized their dreams when a music idol-turned producer (named Nigel Thorpe, aka Gold Stamp) and his assistant discovered them. Brigham played the piano, and Brady was on the electric guitar, improvising their musical hearts out. Overall, it was one of our best shows, even though my hair, huge when I first left the house, continued to shrink throughout the night. Aqua Net, anyone?

Maclain, me, Jake, Lisa, and Brett, after the musical

Monday, September 08, 2008

Labor Day

On the 1st of September, we were treated with rain. Ben was at school playing catch-up, so I bundled up the kids to go to Costco. Everything was closed, so we returned home to do some puddle-jumping. Good times and hot cocoa ensued. P.S. I may need a polka dot intervention...

Mila and Ethan



I make them give each other kisses--mean mom

Friday, September 05, 2008

It's that easy!

Exactly two weeks ago, I was eagerly awaiting the return of my husband from his seventh week of being gone this summer. We would have two days with him home before he would have to leave again the following week, this time for New York.

He called me from the LA airport: "Just come with me...it will be fun...free hotel, free food..." (Dangit, he knows me too well, that kid--I can't resist free stuff and especially edible free stuff!)

I certainly didn't doubt that it would be awesome, but how could I possibly abandon my children in the middle of a school week, and who would I ever convince to watch them?

He wouldn't give up, so I told him I'd make a few calls, get a few rejections, and then he'd see just how crazy his plan was.

Well, naturally I turned to my sisters. Sort of. I called Courtney, who played my sister Meg in Little Women. I made my crazy offer and she insanely accepted! It could not have been easier. To fill in the gaps when Courtney had to nanny for another family, I called on Lex, who played my sister Beth. I love fake sisters!

Lex is on the left, Courtney is on the far right. Emily's in the middle--we love her, too.

I bought my ticket that night and wondered what I had done. The following weekend was a blur of cleaning, typing up schedules, laundry and packing.

Monday afternoon, I snapped some pics of my little guy and took him to his first day of Kindergarten. I put the girls down for a nap and we left for the airport. It was that easy.

We flew into Newark after 11 pm, and took a cab to our hotel in Times Square. In the entrance of our hotel, there was a glass ceiling with water rushing through it. On the 7th floor check-in area/lounge, there was a bar and very loud music. As we escaped back into the elevator to head to our room, we decided we were old and we liked it that way. This is what our room on the 21st floor looked like:

We played around with all of the modern contraptions in the room, looked out the window at all of the people in Times Square, not sleeping, then shut the blind to block out the midnight daylight. We decided that this was the best free hotel money could buy, even with the obnoxious music on the 7th floor.

Tuesday morning, I took a cab with Ben to his first callback and then went and ate breakfast across the street. I called my mom and said, "I'm eating breakfast in New York by myself!" She was so proud.

After breakfast, I began to walk. I walked and walked. When I'd get to a corner, I would just look down both streets and decide which one looked more fun. I passed lots of fancy shops, like Tiffany & Co., I passed the Trump Tower, and I passed five hundred and twenty Starbucks. I came to Central Park. I walked along the south end of it and up another street. At this point, my friend Ryan called me and asked me where I was. I told him, and he said, "Oh, you are near the temple." I looked up and I was, in fact, standing in front of the temple! I was pretty proud of myself for accidentally finding so many landmarks. It was SO easy!

Manhattan Temple

Next, I headed across Central Park and to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. When I went to buy my ticket, the man said, "Student?" I said, "No, adult." He didn't look convinced. (Incidentally, the exact same thing happened to Ben and I at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. The lady would not believe we wanted to pay the admission for people over 30.) I told the man that I was pretty sure that I had not been a student for eight years and then he proceeded to actually try and talk me out of paying the full fare. He was not making it easy:

"You know, $20 is only recommended, but you can pay whatever you'd like."

"Oh, it's OK, I'll pay $20."

"Are you sure?"

Well, now I WAS sure I wanted to pay the $20, just to prove I was an adult! I felt like if I backed down and paid $3 like he was trying to convince me to, he'd think "Aha, she IS a student!" As if someone would fight to pay more. Silly man. I showed him! Silly me. Next time, I'm offering all the change in my pocket, like Ryan does. Of course, he says they treat you like dirt when you do that.

The Met was incredibly large, and I got lost many times, but that was part of the fun, I think. My findings included:

A Vermeer

A favorite Monet

A famous Seurat

Ben called and said he was done, and after spending a long time trying to find my way out of the museum (not easy), I met up with him again. The rest of our day included the following adventures:

We went to the top of 30 Rock

A nice view of Central Park

We HAD to take a picture of this place for a certain 8-year old

We saw this Chris Clark favorite after eating dinner at a steakhouse full of French waiters

We went to the Stardust Diner for dessert, where Ryan treated us to some Barry Manilow

I'd say it was a pretty awesome day, all around. Stay tuned to hear about Day 2, which included lots more Ryan and a New Jersey outing, and Day 3, which involved more walking. And shopping. And walking. And Pinkberry!