Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Break Vacation: March 14, Day 7

Happy Birthday Shaunton! What a sport to let us end a vacation traveling 6 hours on his birthday. What a good man.

Because I am cheap frugal, we went back to Disneyland (park hopper pass) on Shaunton's birthday. We planned it this way because if you go to Disneyland on your birthday you get in free. If you have a park hopper pass, you essentially get Disney Dollars worth the amount for the day. We Shaunton got $69, which he kindly used to buy each of his kids (he loved them at the moment...it was touch and go some of the vacation...you have kids....you know) a souvenir and his lovely pregnant starving wife a churro.

Speaking of cheap, while we were there we listened to an hour presentation on time shares (at the hotel) and got a $50 Visa card, that helped pay for the souvenirs and stuff. Nice...all the extra's were free!

Back to the story. Off the Disneyland we go. This time, we just wanted to catch the attractions we missed before. Apparently, all the good rides and stuff are on the East side of Disneyland, and the West is just kinda boring.

Shaun went on the Indian Jones ride, and we walked around, visited Tarzan's tree and went on a cheesy Winnie the Pooh ride. The kids then got to pick what last ride they wanted. So we hit up Buzz Lightyear, Star Tours and the Spinning Tea Cups.

We then went over the California Adventures to ride the Toy Story ride one last time, the jellyfish, and the roller coaster. It was a short day, but we planned it that way.

We ended the day at the Lego store, which has more Lego's then I had ever thought possible. Jaxen was in heaven.

Owen got his first pair of "ears". Which, he adores, as you can tell. He also got a ball. His favorite type of toy at the moment. It wasn't long before it had to be hidden because he kept throwing it out of the stroller.
Ember cleaned up with a cat in a carry purse (surprise choice I might add) and an Ariel dress up set. Cinderella is her favorite character, but that slip on fin sure is hard to beat. Jaxen finished off the rest of our money with a Darth Vader Lego Ship and a few Star Wars Lego figurines. All were happy and content to leave. Amazing what toys can do.

Jaxen's crazy dance on the way out.

The kids slept most of the way home, which was nice (and quiet). Owen decided he needed personal attention with about 45 minutes to go, so I ended up craned back to play with him until we got home.

Boy was it nice to get home. The kids miss our "new" home (and cable). For about a whole week after we got back, it was still in their prayers. Too cute. We did, however, decide that Disneyland is a once in three years kind a vacation.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Break Vacation: March 13, Day 6

Because I am cheap frugal, I looked on-line ahead of time for deals. I was able to find a city pass for San Diego, that included a day at Universal Studios. This was not a destination of choice, but the pass was cheaper than a one day trip to Disneyland and Sea World, so we went with it.

We drove FOREVER to get there.

Upon arrival we had a hard time trying to find somewhere to park that didn't have a cone. Where we come from, a cone means you can't park there, apparently it takes on a whole new meaning in California.

We parked and went inside. We see characters. Dora, Curious George, Sponge Bob, the likes. We take a few pics and look for something to do. There isn't very much it seems.

We take in another pet show, and then venture over the Shrek 4-D movie. Not sure why, but I am pretty sure I have seen the movie somewhere. Hmm, OK, on to the next ride.

We went onto special effects show to see how it is done. Shaun gets picked as a volunteer. He gets turned into a tortured, turned into a skeleton, and has his arm sawed through. Pretty cool.

We took in Backdraft, talked about the importance of not playing with fires, matches, etc....seemed like a good time to throw that in.

Shaun rode the Mummy and Jurassic Park, the kids weren't tall enough.

We took in the Studio tour which was pretty cool. We saw Wisteria Lane, some scene sets, Jaws eat a scuba diver, experienced an earthquake, all without leaving the convenient cushion-y seats on the bus.

We planned to end the day at the Curious George playground, but alas it was closed. I felt so bad that I had promised them they could play on it "later" and when later came it was closed. :(

Overall, don't waste your money. I am glad it was essentially free (minus gas).

Don't get me started on the way home. It took us about and hour and a half to go 30 miles. It took us more than 3 hours to get back to the hotel. I thought our rush hour traffic was bad!

Monday, March 23, 2009

NTS Regarding Vacations

Apparently, all you really need to have a really fun, totally awesome vacation your kids can't stop talking about is....cable. If I never hear SpongeBob's voice again, it will be too soon.

Spring Break Vacation: March 12, Day 5

California Adventures was on the venue for today. Located 100 yards from Disneyland's main entrance.

We started off getting our pictures taken with all the characters that the kids felt were worth enough to stand in line for. We got pics with Goofy, Pluto, and Cinderella.

Shaun took the kids on the Tower of Terror. As I was waiting outside, I got to thinking...just because they are tall enough to go on the ride doesn't mean they should. They didn't look too traumatized when they got out, but maybe without the pregnancy brain I wouldn't of had them go on it anyway.

We went on the Monster's Inc ride, and toured through "A Bug's Land", which had rides and fixtures were made to make you feel like you were a bug. Riding on animal cracker crates, bumper bugs, etc. The lamp posts and such were made to look like straws with flowers hanging from them. Really neat. Owen and I were able to go on most everything, but he had to sit between me and Shaun, which didn't seem to be a problem.

We stood in line for a good hour to ride the Toy Story ride. It was really fun, and we would be dumb enough to stand in line again later to go on it again. (The kids wanted to go again.) At least the second time the line went faster.

First time in line for Toy Story...slept through half the line and the ride.

Awake the second time through and ready to go!

Ember was a little more riskier than Jaxen when it came to most rides, which sounds a lot like me and my brothers growing up too.

We "let" Dad go on the bigger rides, and either waited at a play area and had a snack, or walked around.

I only lost Jaxen once. Granted, it was in an enclosed area, but still freaky. He was just really excited to go up the rope towers and didn't want to wait. I thought he went back in line for a ride he had just done. He had told me he wanted to go again, but I guess he changed his mind and decided to go to the rope tower. At least there were no "rain" today.

We ended the day with a roller coast ride that Jaxen and Ember were reluctant to go on, but as soon as they got off they were ready to go again. Too bad it was closing time, and they were really upset they didn't get to go again.
Waiting for the kids to get off the roller coaster. We practiced our stair climbing.

It was a slower paced day compared to Disneyland, but it was nice and they kids and I could go on almost everything.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring Break Vacation: March 11, Day 4

Another closer destination: Sea World. The kids have never been to Sea World, and we were excited to go.

Our first order of business was to have Ember ding the nice Dodge Ram next to us. While their door was open. I guess, technically, it is their fault because we were parked and getting out first. She hit the inside of their door when she tried to shut the van door. The guy was right there, and didn't say anything. Lucky day, I suppose.

We took a look at when all the shows were being offered and planned our exhibit wandering around them. There really is a lot at Sea World to pack into one day.

The kids took the Wild Arctic ride, which is a helicopter simulation. Owen and I took the regular route and did the walk through. It was really neat. I was a little worried the polar bears were going to give me kids the first questions about the birds and the bees...but I think Shaun hustled them through before the real wrestling begun.

Owen and I proceeded to wait an excruciating 30 minutes or more for Shaun and the older kids to get off the ride and get through the exhibit. Owen had fun going through the fixtures and chasing pigeons. Although, that is free and he could do it at home at the the park.

Waiting for the show to start.

I found it hilarious that at every show, there are those stupid people that sit in the soak zone. Not that sitting in the soak zone is stupid, per se, it is sitting in the soak zone and freaking out when you get wet, that is stupid. The pre-show warns about the soak zone, the presenter talks about it before the show. So why, once they get wet, do they go running like roaches who have seen the light? Pretty funny. I think one of the highlights of the day was watching all those people acting so dumb.

Before the day was over, we snuck in a pet show (dogs and cats do tricks), Shamu show, dolphin show, touched bat rays and starfish, and played on the playground. The playground consisted of towers and rope bridges. Owen and I went to the kiddie area that had big soft blocks. Most attractions at Sea World have a soak zone. I didn't know the playground was one of them. As I was sitting there it started raining...right next to me and all over the lady sitting about two feet away. Hmm, that's weird...I didn't know there was water areas on the playground...at least not on the rope bridge above us. I take a gander upward to see a little boy holding his crotch right above us. I kindly informed the lady she had just been peed on. Eek. I was totally laughing and apologized for laughing, but in that situation, what else can you do. Luckily she had a water proof
pee proof jacket on. What a difference two feet make. At least she didn't look up all like, "What's that?!" and get it in the face.

Shaun convinced the kids to go on the Atlantis ride, which has a pretty steep drop and water. I was surprised they went, but they did. Doesn't mean they would do it again. Owen and I perfected the sit and wait.

Friday, March 20, 2009

When You Die Mom...

Mom, when you die, will me and Ember have to take care of Owen? What about the baby in your tummy? (I wonder where their dad comes in?)

Mom, when you die, I will bury you. I will cover you with sand and put a rock or a paper or a Popsicle stick there so I know where you are. It will say "Ripe Mom". No, it will say Monique. Or maybe Mom too.

I will be sad when you die.

First he wants the house, now he wants to bury me in the backyard. He loves me...and he plans ahead. Let's hope some of those plans change.

Of course, this is all followed up with the, hopefully I will be a old lady, etc etc. speech. How we will all be waiting for each other in Heaven etc.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Break Vacation: March 10, Day 3

Our closest traveling destination yet, the San Diego Zoo.

We got to sleep in a little because we didn't have to drive to far to get to the zoo.

It is amazing how much more different other zoo's are compared to ours. It seems the animals are all right up close and the habitats seem much more natural.

There are tons more animals there then at our zoo. I think their weather might be a little more kinder to the animals. One thing I liked is that each sign about the animals had a scale that showed if it was in danger of becoming extinct and why. The kids enjoyed hearing about each animal and why it was endangered.

Jaxen's favorite part of the zoo was taking all the funny pictures in the big wooden cut outs of the animals. He liked the porcupines and the snakes as well. Funny thing, the porcupines were close enough to touch, in the kids section of the zoo...um hello, a little dangerous.

Ember's favorite part was the petting zoo. They had goats, sheep and miniature ponies. You would think it wouldn't be that big of a deal, she sees sheep and goats all the time on the rez, but the ponies made all the difference.

Owen's favorite part was getting to walk. He also really liked sticking his head in the holes and saying cheee....for his picture.

The zoo is crazy. One minute you are walking up a mountain to see the polar bears and the next your are going into a canyon to see the aviary. It has some very steep inclines and declines. Nice workout....definitely something you feel the next day....unless you have a nice huge jacuzzi tub at home waiting for you.

My little monkey.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Break Vacation: March 9, Day 2

Off to Disneyland we go. We will be spending two days at Disneyland over the week, so we planned to spit it up so we didn't feel like we had to see everything in one day or stay until nine o'clock at night.

We started off early and there was no wait for the first four rides we went on. Jaxen, being the Star Wars obsessed kid he is, loved the Star Tours ride. After the first few rides of Tomorrow land, we turned the corner to find...Jedi Training. How cool is that?! There are Jedi who pick a certain number of kids from the audience to train to be a Jedi. I was so hoping that Jaxen would be picked and he was! (Ember was jumping up and down to get picked too, and when she was, she seemed like she wasn't too sure if she really wanted to. But she did.) The kids got to put on the brown cloaks the Jedi wear and learned how to hold a light saber and how to fight with it.

Without warning, out of nowhere come clone troopers preparing the way for...Dark Vader. Sweet! The kids are shuffled off to the side so Darth Vader can talk and try to persuade them to the Dark Side. Then, to top it off, Darth Maul comes out.

At this point I am looking to make sure that Ember is not totally freaking out. She seems OK. Then all of the kids get to fight Darth Vader or Darth Maul. It was really neat. Ember and Jaxen got to go up against Darth Vader. Jaxen got so into it that his light saber flew out of his hands after he finished fighting.

In the end, the Dark Side realizes that the kids are Jedi and won't turn to the Dark Side. It was an exciting show and the highlight of Jaxen's trip to Disneyland, which made it a highlight for Shaun and I too.

As they completed their training, they got a certificate that announces that they have proven worthy to become a Jedi, and they are now Padawans, students devoted to the ancient training of the Jedi Knights.

We ventured on to many a ride after. I was surprised that Owen was able to go on almost all of the rides. I was thankful I didn't have to sit on the side with him the whole time.

Being the penny pincher I am, I packed lunches, drinks and snacks to avoid the outrageous cost of everything at Disneyland.

Owen loved Toon Town and I love this picture.

My jailbirds.

Monday, March 16, 2009

R.I.P. Chicken Little

Poor Chicken Little. All that is left of her is the feathery remains of what used to be. I understandably have shielded Jaxen from the sight of said feathers. The worst what-could-go-wrong scenario when leaving your beloved chickens in the care of others. Others who have giant Saint Bernards that break into their backyards for something quick to eat.

He does know that his chicken was, as we are assuming, eaten by some neighborhood animal. A big animal. These chickens aren't tiny (even though her name is Chicken Little).

We will get another chicken. Look at the bright side Jaxen, it will be a different breed and you will definitely be able to tell the difference between Chicken Little and Sparkles.

Spring Break Vacation: March 8, Day 1

We got into California on Saturday night, but since we didn't do anything fun, I am not going to count that as day one.

Day one happened to be a Sunday. Shaunton and I planned in advance to go to church in the morning and even printed out driving directions from the hotel to the church. There was a time difference of an hour when we got there. I was unaware that the time switched again on Saturday night and we were back to the same time as AZ time. We ended up at the church an hour late and missed sacrament meeting, but stayed for the other two meetings.

After church we went home and prepared to go to the beach. Seeing as how it is free and we could try our hardest not to break the Sabbath. We initially went down in regular clothes figuring the kids wouldn't really want to get wet because the water was really cold. Last time we went to the beach (about 3 years ago) the kids were afraid to get anywhere near the shore line into the water. They couldn't have been any more different this year!

Jaxen was out in the water and wading to his knees...so much for the pant legs being rolled up. Ember even ventured out into the water. We decided to send dad back for the swimsuits so we didn't carry a whole beach worth of sand into the hotel when we went back. I figured the water couldn't be that cold, and tried to wade in. It was like walking into a ice water. Eek.

Owen preferred to play in the sand. He would squat and pick up the squishy sand, throw it, and repeat. He loved going into the water and would freak out when it would rise up to him. His eyes would get wide and he almost always lost his balance as he looked down at the water coming up to him.

The kids collected sea shells that made their way back into the ocean and made sand castles (or tried to anyway).

We spent a good 5 hours at the beach playing, wading, walking, and just having fun.

Time to go back to the hotel and enjoy a dip in the huge jacuzzi tub and try to get the sand off all the places it shouldn't be.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Getting Big

Owen is getting big. He is starting to talk a lot more. In the past week he has put something away (where it goes) without being directed. He has said thank you and love you. He has gotten better at walking in shoes. (Probably because his mom puts them on him more often.)

He is so independent. He has figured out how to open up markers, color on himself and the kitchen floor. He has also figured out that they don't taste good, and now half the tips are missing on the markers. Good thing they are non-toxic and washable.

He loves to play outside. He managed to turn the hose on, at least this is the news according to Ember, and got sprayed by the water coming out between the hose and the faucet. He was crying until I turned the water off, then he just sat there and looked at me all dazed. I brought out the camera, and he turned into a ham. Cheeeeee!...that is what he says, so darn cute!

In the past two weeks, he has weaned. I don't think he even realized he did. Sad, but about time. 18 months it is. Pretty good, I would say. This is definitely the longest I nursed while pregnant. Usually it is to about 3 months in before I can't take it anymore. Luck guy.