Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jessica's Party

Well, Jessica's party circuit has come to an end. We had a great time at the Claywerks Pottery Studio in Bremerton. They do a very relaxed fun party by the way!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Latest Kitsap Moment

Ok, so as many of you know I really do not care for living in Kitsap. Washington State as a whole, but especially the area we ended up living in. Oh well right. Life goes on. We have made amazing friends, we love our house, you learn to deal. Ok, so my husband has to take PRESCRIPTION Vitamin D...... oh well........ ok.

Well, last night was one of those Kitsap Moments that I dread having to admit happen in our life in this crap hole place. I can hear some of you already saying, "That happens everywhere." Well, yes it does........ but until you have been here and realize that it is the rule rather than the exception in this place, well then you just don't know and shouldn't tell me that......

Bill went to a meeting last night in Tacoma. He was on his way home coming down Sedgwick, which is a major thoroughfare in our town. He was stopped in a line of traffic because they are doing road work in that area. He was on his motorcycle. The guy in the Mazda Millenia in front of him kept fidgeting with his rear view mirror. Bill didn't think much of it. Well a few minutes later the guy gets out of his car, walks back to Bill, flicks his LIT cigarette at Bill's face (luckily it skimmed the top of his helmet instead of flying into the open face shield), shoves Bill, all as he screams at him about F'ing this, and F'ing that SHOULDN'T HAVE YOUR HIGH BEAMS ON. Um, ok....... Bill didn't have his high beams on.......

We were VERY fortunate that about 2-3 cars back was a Kitsap County Sheriff who witnessed the whole thing and almost immediately after the guy shoved Bill the Sheriff lit up the night and had his gun drawn on the asshole.

So the Sheriff arrested the guy. Bill said yes he wants to press charges, and now we wait for the summons for the Court.

Beautiful Easter Girl!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I am still in shock........ yesterday Jessica, my baby, turned SIX!!!! Can it really be that it was 6 years ago when we woke up to our first full day with her? It is amazing how fast they grow. The older you get the more afraid you are that you are going to miss a moment of life with them. Jessica is an amazing, crazy kid. She is really smart, really funny, very literal, very caring, and very strong-- willed as well as in strength!! Every day I am so thankful to have her in my life!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I didn't know I could be this tired.....

WOW! I don't know if I will ever recuperate!!! Is this getting old??? I could sleep for a week!!! Our routine almost seems easy as opposed to traveling with 4 kids for a week, but I just can't seem to get motivated to do anything!! :) Good thing Jessica had Disney for her birthday! Mom isn't doing such a good job of planning anything for tomorrow!! I suppose she'll live huh?

Monday, April 6, 2009

I can't figure out where else to put this to get a lot of photos on...... this is good for now.

Not the best picture but my favorite.......

A few times on our trip Bill asked me why I would want to go to Disneyland for a family vacation..... he pointed out his friend Eric takes his girls to a wonderful, quiet, isolated lake in Canada once a year, why can't we do something like that? This picture sums up perfectly why I wanted to go to Disneyland......

This is the look on Jessica's face when Tinkerbell was flying over Sleeping Beauty's castle during the fireworks.......

She totally believed in the magic......... And Daddy who didn't get to have any of this when he was growing up shared in a lot of it......

Disneyland is just magical.......

The Final LONG road home........

Well........ we knew that there would potentially be problems with our flights home........ I don't know if I explained why there were ever flight problems at all. My dear sister Latisha works for US Airways..... she gets buddy passes......... you get an amazing deal........ but you are flying standby........ We decided to risk it because typically the very early morning flights are not too hard to get on. Well, we found out the hard way when we headed down that wasn't always true. But we decided to be optimistic on the way home and try again. We got out of John Wayne on time. After my snafu with security........ Latisha got me Tiki Room 45th Anniversary glasses and I wanted to keep them safe so I was going to carry them on. I forgot about it and threw all my toiletries into the bag too...... well, they were were not packed TSA regulation! I just didn't put two and two together at 3:00 am!!! The funny part though was that Latisha was the one with my bag so she was the one who got busted initially!! LOL!! First they asked if she had forgotten to tell them if something was in there and as she adamantly denied any wrong doing she then said, "It's not even my bag!" Which as we all know by now is a BIG no-no!!! We got that straightened out, got everyone settled with some breakfast, and then got on the flight no problem.

Once in Phoenix it was a whole other story!! There they told us they probably could not get us out for a few days!!!! OMG!! We turned to our old standby Southwest...... partly because they saved us before and partly because they are the only ones in the same building as US Airways. US Airways "owns" the bulk of the gates in Phoenix!! So it was go home Monday or take Southwest's offer....... we took their offer...... a significant $$ amount later.......... bear in mind we landed at Phoenix at 8:30am............. we looked like a homeless encampment in the International Wing of PHX!!! It was quiet and they had a "play area" consisting of three foam blocks and mats. We took turns sleeping off and on (me, Alexis, and Joe did), Mom was afraid to fall asleep because she would snore. Bill just didn't sleep because that is Bill. Jessica, god bless her, was awake from 3:30 am to 9:20 pm!!!! At one point she broke down crying begging me to just please take her home!!!

Our flight out was at 8:10 PM........ then it got delayed and we actually left at 9pm!!! We landed at Portland sometime very late........ arrived back at Mom's even later....... then we slept. Glorious sleep!!!

We headed back to Washington sometime in the late afternoon. I believe we arrived home at 4:30pm......... I completely lost track of time........

My Family loves their mother with her list........

Ok, so my family knows I am a little OCD, not truly because I do not have an unnatural preoccupation with death, but you could probably find a therapist out there who would say I am close enough!

Anyway, Wednesday night I went through the Disneyland and CA Adventure maps and wrote down everything we had not yet done that I wanted to make sure we did! LOL!! There were little things I knew we would miss if I didn't and then I would be bummed!!!

First and foremost we had to go on It's a Small World....... we had to go see Pixie Hollow... we had to get our Mouse Ears.... we had to go to the Tiki Room........and Aiden still needed a photo and autograph with Mickey Mouse!!!

So, today was our "Magic Morning" where we could go in an hour early....... We headed in and did a pretty good job, we entered the park at 8:25. The kids were bummed Space Mountain was closed, but Mom and Alexis went on Nemo. Joe and Jessica did Matterhorn and Buzz again. Then they hit Space Mountain right after it opened. I think they got to go on twice before the crowd really grew!

At 12:30 we had to book it over to CA Adventures. We had a lunch date at Ariel's Grotto!! We got to meet Ariel and 4 of her princess friends!!! We ended up seeing 6 altogether though! This is what happens when Mommy's are tired and will drag a sit down lunch out as long as possible!!! Right as we were getting ready to go, I had come out of the restroom and heard the announcement that Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) was on her way out. Well, the nice man who had seated us in the beginning asked her if she would mind visiting our table! She said yes, so we got an extra princess!! This was especially awesome because she is Isabella's FAVORITE!
After lunch we headed back to Disneyland. We got so lucky and instead of having to go all the way back to the back where Toon Town is, we caught Mickey right up on Main Street!! he signed Aiden's book and took his picture with him. This also had us right in front of the Mad Hatter and so we all made our Mouse Ears. Then the girls got MAJOR front row seats because we were right where the parade comes out in the evening!!

By this time it was getting late....... time flies in these places...... really it becomes inconsequential, but whatever........ So I willingly exchanged a trip to the Tiki room for finishing souvenir shopping and taking photos with everyone with their Mouse Ears on at the front of the park........pure exhaustion has set in......... time to go home.........

Wednesday-- Back to Sea World

Today we returned to Sea World. When we went the other day we didn't quite make it to the Shamu show, and you cannot say you went to Sea World and not have seen the Shamu show!

First up was the dolphin show!! It was AMAZING!! What was REALLY cool was as I went into the show at the last minute there was a guy yelling that if you want to have your pictures taken with the dolphins after the show, then sign up!! So I did! That was AWESOME!! That is the kind of thing I hear other people talk about but never quite hit the right place at the right time to do it ourselves!!! It was a pretty good substitute for the Wade With the Dolphins Encounter. All of the kids could have done that encounter, but to be honest we were worried about watching our spending in case we had to fork out more money for airfare again on the way home........ Anyway......
I'll post Shamu pictures when Mom gets them sent out!

Tuesday-- California Adventure

Ok, so we made it through Monday without losing anyone...... literally and figuratively....... neither in the crush of the crowds or in the venomous barbs being tossed around in our exhaustion!!

Tuesday we hit California Adventure and it was a whole new day. The whole atmosphere of the park is different too. Very stereotype California. Very sunny, very bright, very laid back....... the whole day just started at a way lower stress level!! The park is beautiful. The rides are bigger and more theme park that you would expect nowadays. It is a lot smaller feeling, so it was a lot easier to kind of let the kids roam. We had a great sit down lunch at the California Trattoria and it was nice to be sitting and being waited on. Not to mention to be eating something that at least didn't taste like park food. Vince, Latisha, Mom, Bill, and I sort of just sat back and let the kids go off and do a few rides on their own. Here is a picture of my fabulous orange sorbet dessert...... so fresh, just what you want sitting int he sun on a warm fabulous California afternoon!

I went on the Tower of Terror with Bill!! That was FUN! I think he was laughing a little too hard at my actual terror though when you drop and then they swing some big doors open in front of you that look out across forever!!!

This was a VERY good day. We left the park fairly early and headed home to have a BBQ with Erica, Buzz, and the kids. They had a GREAT time putting on shows in the hot tub and we all sort of just stretched out and relaxed some more. Renting a house when gone so long with so many kiddos, DEFINITELY the way to go!!!

Monday... Ups and Downs Day

Well....... not a lot to say about Monday. We were SO TIRED....... everyone was VERY crabby....... this was your stereotype, I need a vacation from my vacation day.......

Actually, I must say we did do an amazing thing in the morning...... we went to brunch at Goofy's Kitchen. It was SOOOOO cool!! Jessica got the bulk of her character autographs at this one.....

We Actually Enter Disneyland!

Sunday was our first day at Disneyland!!

It doesn't take too long to find parking and we get a halfway decent spot. Ok, so then we head in. Latisha says find the Will Call office........ come to find out they have no will call office...... so even though we pre-purchased our tickets we get to stand in line with the masses........ the hordes....... the oodles of people!! We are not early risers even on a good day, so as you can imagine we are arriving at Disneyland at lunch time. So there are lots of people in line with us. Everyone is super nice though and people are all so excited to be there. You can start to feel the anticipation!!

WOO HOO!!! We are at DISNEYLAND!!!!
So we get our tickets, get inside, get a stroller........ and stand in line!!! The kids seem flabbergasted that every where they turn for anything they want they have to stand in line...... We hit a mediocre number of rides this day as we drag butt and feel very tired!! Jessica, Alexis, and Mom stood in line for 2 hours to go on Space Mountain!!! That is Jessica's favorite though!!!

I went on Buzz Light Year with Joe, every time I tried to take a picture he would spin our cart! RUDE! I wasn't even taking shots of him!! LOL!!!

We finish today by being joined by Buzz, Erica, Sam, and Zack. The kids had a GREAT time!! It was like our kids have always known each other and it hadn't been 3 years since we had seen each other!! Thank goodness Erica joined us because Mom thought Mickey's House was closed!! Erica showed us how you are supposed to go in the side door! The kids got their first autograph with Mickey himself!!!

On to Sea World!

Ok, so for our first full day in sunny CA, we went to Sea World. My friend Tracy and her daughter Cara met up with us. Sea World is so cool!! They have a GREAT show called Pets Rule. It is right up there with the Shamu show as far as not to be missed if you go to Sea World!!! Cats run crazy on the stage doing tricks that you would not expect them to do!! Dogs did cool things, even birds, a pig, and ducks!!! It was awesome!!!

We had some pretty good BBQ, for being park food. Saw some very pink flamingos! The kids fed the seals, went on two water rides, and had a great time!!! We had to buy a new outfit for almost everyone. It caught us by surprise to get cold in California!! We expected to go on water rides and dry right off!! LOL!! But by the end of the day it was pretty cool and the kids went on a water rapids ride that really got them wet!!

Let us not forget that we got to go have REAL Mexican food for dinner. Tracy took us to Santana's and it rocked!! The food was so authentic and so fresh and so good!!! And it only cost $35 to feed all of us! THAT is a good Mexican meal!

It was an awesome day. It felt SO good to be in weather that was warm and sunny!! VERY uplifting for the mind and body!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Disneyland Day 1 continued.... (yes, there is more)

So........ Mom jumps out of the mini van........ finds Vince and Latisha, retrieves Jessica before my head explodes, I tell Bill just to drive up the wrong damn aisle and get me the hell out of there!! OMG!! That place gets CRAZY on a Friday night!!!! We head over to our rental house and we find the key under the mat....... we all breathe a collective sigh of relief!!!

Erica Ewing comes over to drop off Aiden's stuff I had shipped down. I cannot believe it had been three years plus since I saw her!!! Her kids are adorable and she is such a great and funny mom!! She has a great perspective on their kid behavior and just makes me laugh as she deals with it. Being a stay at home mom is what it is. Sometimes you rock it and sometimes........ well......... most of my friends reading this are stay at home moms, so you know what we would all insert here some days!!!

The house we rented is AWESOME!! Very well put together and very cozy. The beds were comfy, the couches were comfy. Big flat screen tvs in every room, a fabulous hot tub, a beautiful above ground pool. Everything is very well maintained and just perfect. It felt so good to collapse there!

Well, Aiden is awake.......... so I will have to finish our adventures later!

But for as badly as it started Day 1 ended on a rockin note! We made it to SoCal and it was awsome!

Disneyland Day 1 Continued.....

Ok....... so we survived the flight and buying new tickets, and a layover with no stroller..... Jessica had a great time on the plane. She turned her window covers into stage curtains and really put on a fabulous display of flashing light throughout the entire 5:40 am flight. I am sure everyone loved it. Especially on the second leg of the flight when we arrived in SUNNY Southern California and the light was VERY bright!! LOL!! You choose people, a little flashing light show or a screaming kid.... I know what I choose!!!

Everything went smoothly when we got into John Wayne. We were able to gather all our belongings, picked up the rental car: yes people I spent a week in a mini van. Never ever would I suggest a Kia Sedona, thought I was going to perish with my family on I-5 in Southern California! Little bucket of bolts and plastic that sways when you pick up speed-- which it eventually does after much praying and heavy pushing on the gas peddle........ I did manage to avoid having to drive it all week though!! HOORAY! You go Bill you min van papa.......

We got to the rental house which looked great from outside, dropped our stuff in the garage, hit Target for supplies, and then of course what trip is complete without visiting the local Costco.....

So now we are stocked up on groceries and everything and decide it would be a great idea to go run by Disneyland to grab our passes from Will Call.........


First off there is no "running by Disneyland"........ you pay for parking, you drive around many times, you drive up the wrong way many times, you exchange dirty looks with the lady in the Mercedes SUV who is dragging an orange cone under her car (indicating she also went a wrong way at one time), you completely start to freak out because there is no damn parking, you want your kid out of your friends car, you have been up and stressing out for way to long, it is check in time at the house........


Disneyland...... Happiest Place on Earth?!?! Day 1

PHEW!!!!!!!!! WOW!! I cannot believe we survived! to be honest I cannot believe several people in my path throughout the course of this trip survived, but that is a whole other story!!

It all started out last week when we found out that our buddy passes were not going to get us out of SeaTac in a timely fashion. My girlfriend, god bless her, said there is no way they will get you on a flight, head to Portland. So instead of just Mom having to book it up here Thursday night I had to have everyone loaded and ready when Bill arrived home from work Thursday night and we headed down to Moms. We got there around 10:30, got the kids settled and then got back up at 2:30 or so.........

We arrived in Portland to SUPER rude staff of US Airways telling us they didn't think we would get on the flight and that we probably wouldn't get on one for a couple days!! I started getting pissed, Jessica started crying she wasn't going to get to see Mickey...... everyone else started ducking for cover. Bill and Mom started roaming the airport and we got to a Southwest Gate Counter where we met James who for a small fee saved our butts. I am being sarcastic here when I say small, but he did save our butts....... He got us on a flight 20 minutes later and we were on our way!!!

We had a layover in Oakland where we learned never ever send your stroller all the way through. Gate check it and get it at each stop....... Babies get very heavy after being held on the plane and then being held during a layover..... they also get very annoyed........