Tuesday, June 30, 2009

You Scratch My Back...

I love it when I catch the boys doing something really sweet for each other. The other day Max asked Jack to scratch his back, and he dropped what he was doing without hesitation and did it.

Man, I love these guys!

Monday, June 29, 2009

A ReAL Good Time

I'm not a sports fan. Actually, I'm pretty anti-sports. A friend of mine once asked me if I could eliminate one thing from the world that people love but you hate, what would it be? My answer: professional sports. Can you imagine how much beneficial all the money that goes into professional sports would be if it was put towards, say, starving children in Africa? But I digress.

I'm also not a Nazi about sports though, and I decided that if the boys show interest in something, even sports, I will be 110% supportive. So this year, for career day, Max said he wanted to be a soccer player when he grew up, so I asked him if he wanted to sign up to play soccer and he was totally excited. He had a great soccer camp in June and loved every minute of it.

The league he plays with offered discount tickets to the Salt Lake ReAL soccer game Saturday night, so we decided to take the boys. It was so much fun that I almost forgot I was at a professional sporting event (but not so much that I forgot about those children in Africa). Here's some photos:

Max, the newborn ReAL Soccer Fan.

Max's friend who came with us enjoyed it too.

Watching the last few minutes of the game. We won 3 - 0.

Jack and Steve had fun with a big tub of popcorn...

...and I had fun discovering Kyle Beckerman. Can you say HAWT? (No, that's not a typo. This man is so hot it must be spelled with a AW.) Too bad I'm (almost) old enough to be his mother.

I will admit I am a bit of a sleep Nazi though. I train my kids to sleep at 4 months old and they have a strictly set bedtime. The game ended at about 9:30 PM, which is way past the kids usual bedtime, but I am learning to be more flexible. I realized that I may need to be a little bit more flexible when we were walking to the car and they asked me "Mommy, why is it so dark outside?" I told them "Well, it's night," and they were all "Woah." When they kept saying "Wow, look at all the lights" when we were driving home, I realized maybe it's time for this Nazi to change her ways.

At least a little bit.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy Sorta Father's Day

We celebrated Father's Day today instead of a week ago because we had just returned from our week long cruise and a) I had nothing to give Steve for Father's Day, and b) I had no energy to put anything together for Father's Day. So, today we had his favorite dinner, Shrimp Fra Diavolo, Lemon Spaghetti, salad, bread and my Famous Triple Layer Chocolate Cake. We invited my parents eat dinner with us so we could celebrate my Dad too.

I have to say here and now, that I am so lucky to have my Dad. He's a great friend, has taught me some of life's most valuable lessons, and is someone I can always count on. If everyone on the planet had a Dad like him, this world would be a much, much better place.

And as for Steve, well, he rocks. When we were at his brother's wedding a couple of months ago I thought back to how I felt about him when we got married, and it's funny to say I loved him then because the way I love him now makes that kind of "just married" love seem so trivial. And he's an amazing father that is a HUGE part of Max and Jack's lives. If everyone in the world had a Dad like him, the world would be a much, much better place too.

If only we could figure out how to clone these two guys, we might just have a chance of figuring out that World Peace problem.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Our Ibiza, Chapter 19: Miracles Never Cease

It looks like a real house!

And we will actually be living there by the end of July!

Well, at least we should be.

Stay tuned...

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Terminal

The day we got off the boat to come home we found ourselves in the airport at about 10 AM and didn't have a flight until 5 pm (it was the only direct flight of the day, which after our very bad layover in Atlanta, was worth the wait). But the question loomed: What do you do with 27 people (15 of which are kids) in the airport for all that time?

First of all, we were in the Orlando airport which has a ton of shops and restaurants, so we did a lot of walking around. I was really excited to see that they had a Lush shop, which I was totally addicted to in London. We don't have one locally, so I stocked up on my favorite Butterball Bath Bombs and some hair products. The boys both got a little treat too:

These guys have an unhealthy attachment to Lilo and Stitch.

And there was a lot of fun playing with the cousins (and thanks to Lynette who had the forethought to pack a big bucket of play dough). Jack found it a good opportunity to bust out his dance moves.

When we finally went through security to get on our flight, the boys loved sitting at the front of the train to our gate.

In the end, it was a whole lotta time to spend in an airport, but the boys didn't complain once since they got to hang out with all their cousins. I wasn't complaining because of my new Lush buys.

I did kind of feel like I was living the Tom Hanks movie The Terminal, but in the end it was a great chance to hang out with family.

Not bad at all.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Private Island Living

Another fantastic day on the cruise was spent on Castaway Cay, Disney's own private island in the Bahamas. It was amazing. The water was blue-blue, and the sand was white-white, and the boys swam all day long. Here's some photos:

The view from my lounge chair, and Jack burying himself in the sand. When we were out swimming in the blue water Jack looked at me and said "Mommy, this is the life." I have to agree.

All of us swimming in the bright blue sea.

Max, Steve and Jack in front of the Flying Dutchman ship in the bay.

But, by far, the highlight of the day was meeting the boy's favorite pirate just before we got back on the boat.

Private Island living is definitely all it's cracked up to be.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Walking The Plank

My very favorite day on the cruise was the one we spent in the Cayman Islands. We got there in the morning, and slowly ate breakfast and pulled things together, and then headed out. We had an excursion planned later in the day, but we walked around a bit before we went. Two things I learned that day was 1) I hate tourist traps, and 2) I could not live in a place that regularly has temperatures in the 90's and 100% humidity. I literally would die. And so would the kids. Every day after we got off the boat the heat and humidity wilted them so quickly that it was about 15 minutes before they wanted to go back, but since we had an excursion later in the day, we had to push through the heat stroke (well, not quite). We wandered around town, and after a little bit of roaming, we all stopped for a much needed drink.

Jack and Max drinking their punch (minus the usual rum) to cool off.

The boys also enjoyed feeding bread to this Caribbean chicken that was wandering among the tables in the open air restaurant where we stopped.

Posing with what would not be the last pirate we saw that day.

Then it was on to our excursion. I had looked over the catalog the pamphlet that the cruise line put together, and the Pirate Encounter in the Cayman Islands sounded like fun, and all of us were old enough to go. It stated that it was a ride on a boat and a swim stop with pirates, and I thought the boys might get a kick out of it. I wasn't too hopeful as I thought it would not live up to our expectations, but it was even more awesome. Here's some photos:

The cool ship that we took around the bay. It was such a fun and exciting trip for the boys who thought we were going with real pirates. Jack was a little nervous about them, so I finally let him in on the fact that they were just pretending. He was relieved.

Max and Jack on the ship.

The first part of the trip we spent cruising around the bay pretending to shoot the cannon at all the cruise ships docked there. It was loud and had a lot of smoke, and the boys loved it.

Then it was time for the boys to earn their keep and become official "mates" on the boat. Here they are swabbing the deck.

Then, after all that work, it was time to walk the plank. Jack was a little afraid, so he just climbed down the ladder on the side of the boat, but Max's swimming lessons made him fearless, and he had no problem jumping right in.

We all had an awesome time swimming in the amazing blue water. Seriously, this stuff doesn't look real. Steve said it looks just like Sani-Flush in a public toilet. I'd have to agree, but luckily it doesn't smell just like it.

And, to top off he day, there was a huge Pirates in the Caribbean party that night on the ship. Here's Jack with his Uncle Dan and a real pirate earring.

Max was a little confused with where his eye patch went, but he still got a cute photo with Granny.

After all the festivities we hung out in our room, ordered room service, and watched some of one of the Disney movies that came on every two hours. Oh, life on a cruise.

What a day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

When Are We Getting On The Boat?

Back to the saga of the cruise. Even with all our flight delays, we arrived in plenty of time to get on the boat, and Jack kept asking all morning when we were going to get on it. He was fascinated with the idea of living on a boat for a week, so he just couldn't wait, and was VERY EXCITED on the trip from the airport to the boat:

Looking for the boat.

The thumbs up is always a good sign.

We got on the boat, met up with the other 23 members of our party, and then went to dinner. After that we went to bed to sleep off our very late night due to our unexpected trip to Nashville. Before going to bed, we were reminded that we had to be up by 8 AM to go to the special breakfast in the morning with a lot of "special guests."

We got up in the morning, and the breakfast didn't disappoint. There was lots of friends to see:


...and Minnie...

...and Mickey Mouse waffles.

And as if that wasn't enough, there were crazy napkin hats for all:

Max with Goofy ears.

Jack with a Peter Pan hat.

But best of all was Steve as a true pirate of the Caribbean.

And then it was off to what would be many, many hours playing in the Mickey Mouse pool (which came complete with water slide).

Max practicing his new found swimming skills.

Jack beside himself with happiness.

The water slide.

I think they were having fun, what do you think? I just hope Jack's smile had nothing to do with the girl in the bikini in front of him in line.

It was a fun, action packed day and by the time we turned in that night, the boys were exhausted. Just before bed Jack looked at me dreamily and asked "Mommy, when are we getting on the boat?" I don't think Jack realized what he was in for, and when I told him we were on the boat he just smiled and laughed, and went to sleep. I think it was then he finally had an idea of the fun we had in store for the next seven days.

They don't call this boat the Disney Magic for nothing.

Monday, June 22, 2009

You Never Know When You'll End Up In Nashville

We're back. The trip was fun, the boys loved it, we all got a tan, and there's lots of stories and photos to share. But instead of sharing them all in one post, I thought I'd give you the trip a day at a time.

And the trip to start the trip was an adventure in itself, so I thought I'd start there.

We were flying to Orlando through Atlanta, the kids were psyched, they had been awesome on the plane ride (thanks to a DVD player with a killer battery), and we were about 45 minutes from landing when I noticed that we were about 45 minutes from landing for about a half hour. The captain came on the PA to tell us that there were some severe storms in Atlanta, so we were going to have to circle for a while. So we circled. And circled. And circled. I was watching on the moving map through the plane's video system, and after awhile I noticed we were heading away from Atlanta. And then the captain comes on the PA again and says that we were, in fact, heading to Nashville because apparently all that circling takes up a lot of jet fuel, and we were getting low.

So, we land in Nashville, with more than 15 other waylaid planes and sat on the tarmac for over an hour and a half, with the captain getting on the PA periodically to tell us he basically had no idea how long we would be there. So we sat. And we sat. And we sat. And I was very happy that we sprung for the DVD with the 10 hour battery.

Finally we took off again for the Atlanta airport, but arrived after midnight, so we had missed our connection, and the first flight we could get on was at 11 AM the next day. We were a little worried that that would be cutting it too close to make the ship before it sailed (and if anyone knows the story of the last cruise we went on with Steve's family, flight delays caused his brother and sister to miss the boat, literally). So Steve stood in line for over an hour trying to find another way to get to Orlando earlier only to find out that we couldn't get to Orlando any earlier, and we were lucky to have a flight at all. At 2:00 AM, the last thing we were feeling was lucky. As Steve was standing in line, I found a way for Jack to get some sleep at the food court:

This whole scene had a bit of a dejavu feel to it because on a trip home from London Steve and I were stranded in the Atlanta airport after missing our connection, and I have a picture of us eating pizza about two tables over from here at 3 AM. Don't you just love it when live comes full circle?

After all that waiting we learned that one of the many things the airlines have cut to save themselves from financial ruin is the free hotel room when you miss your connection, so at 3:00 AM we found ourselves at an airport hotel being charged for our room, where we were only able to get about five hours of sleep before needing to get up to get back to the airport to catch our flight. Not surprisingly, we all fell right asleep and didn't move a muscle until the wake up call in the morning.

There was a (minor) silver lining to all of this. We were in first class on our flight to Orlando, which was pretty awesome when you've only had a few hours sleep, but since it was only a one hour flight, we really didn't get to enjoy it to the fullest.

We did make it to the cruise, without any extreme measures, so in the end it was all good.

But believe me, if I can help it, I will be making no more connections through the Atlanta airport. Two long nights there are enough for me to finally get the message: the Atlanta Airport is the Bermuda Triangle of airline travel.

More of the fun stuff tomorrow...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hey There Boys And Girls....

So, we're going on a cruise. 

A Disney cruise. 

My in-laws were kind enough to give us this trip as a gift for Christmas, and we're leaving today. Due to the insane, and I do mean insane Internet fees, I will be off the map for the next week. But believe you me, if our last cruise was any indication, I will have a WHOLE LOT TO BLOG ABOUT when I get home. 

It's going to be all Disney, all the time. 

And a whole lotta kids.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Our Ibiza, Chapter 18: Wait A Minute, I Think I Might Actually Like Building A House Again

Well, I haven't written about the house for a while, so long in fact, many of you probably wondered if we were still building a house. Well the good news is, we are, and the bad news is, we are. But let's not be negative. I'm in a much better place about it today, and I decided on this post I want to focus on something that was going right for once, so here it is:

Now, to the naked eye, this may just look like some random stainless steel sink. Oh, but it is more, so much more. You can't tell because of the cover, but this stainless steel beauty is integrated into the stainless steel counter tops. That's right, no gunk collecting between the sink and the counter top here. And it's huge, HUGE I TELL YOU! You got a big cookie sheet that needs to be hand washed? No problem. The whole thing will fit in this sink. AT THE SAME TIME! Can you tell I'm a little excited? Oh, if only I had a picture of the laundry chute. Then you'd really see some excitement. But I think they might shut this blog down if I showed that much excitement on the Internet, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Last Night At The Playground