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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chalk it Up...

...to my poor memory. I forgot one. It's from two weeks ago when we were flying to Oregon. We had the funniest lady flight attendant. She kept announcing over the PA system that "it sure is your pleasure to have us aboard today." I don't think many people were paying attention because you'd hear a few titters here and there. Then, she walked down the aisle collecting garbage with fake teeth in her mouth, making her look more like a witch than a flight attendant. Again, not many people noticed. It's amazing how little we seem to look at each other in the face anymore. It reminded me of Wall-E, where all the humans are zipping around on their "hover craft" talking to each other on computer screens without knowing that they are actually floating right next to their cyber buddy. Anyway, I liked her. She was funny.

We got home today. I love San Diego. I have missed it...and now I miss my Oregon family.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Funny Oregon Blips

Here are a few funny blips from Buddha and Bugga. We've been having a great time here in Oregon and I have TONS of pictures. But, of course, I can't get them off my camera until I get home to my computer. It'll be a photo party on the Bagel Blog when I get back to San Diego!

1. After church the first Sunday we were here, I was asking Bugga questions about nursery in the car on the way home.

Me: "Did you get snacks?"

Bugga: Nodding "yes."

Me: "Did you play with toys?"

Bugga: Nodding "yes."

Me: "Did you learn about Jesus?"

Bugga: "Jesus? ... Nope."

2. Buddha recently helped me out during one particularly comical nap time fiasco. After listening to Bugga and Faces playing and talking and messing around in their bedroom for a long time, I finally asked Buddha to go in there and tell them to go to bed. So, he marched in there, threw them each their blankets that they had discarded, and told them to go to bed. Bugga started begging for milk and Buddha replied with authority, "No. I don't have milk. I don't have breasts!"

3. The Chief and I stopped at Dairy Queen on the way back from Silver Falls (more about this excursion later). Buddha asked, "What's Dairy McQueen?"

4. Bugga calls my brother "Unkey Dino." I love it.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Picture Me

This was on my friend, Megan's, blog. I thought it'd be fun to try and it was. I typed my answer to each of the questions below in a Flickr search. Using only the first page of results, I selected the photo I thought best represented my answer. Then, I copied and pasted each of the photo's URLs into Mosaic Maker at bighugelabs.com (four columns, three rows). Enjoy!

*Starting at the left of each row....

1. What is your first name? Liz
2. What is your favorite food? Veggie Burritos
3. What school did you go to? BYU
4. What is your favorite color? Green
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Henry Cavill (Stephenie Meyer's first pick for Edward Cullen)
6. Favorite drink? Water
7. Dream vacation? Bora Bora
8. Favorite dessert? Cheesecake
9. What you want to be when you grow up? Mother
10. What do you love most in life? Husband and sons
11. One word to describe you? Funny
12. Your nickname? Lizard

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hey Chub

To Papa, with love. We miss you!

We arrived in Oregon on Friday and we hit the ground running. Or perhaps, I should say, swimming. The heat was sweltering and the humidity made the air seem almost tropical. I was instantly struck by the lush, green vegetation everywhere - even climbing up and hanging all over the parking structure at the airport. It was quite lovely and lent a bit of mystery to the edifice. The whole thing made me feel like I was walking straight into an abandoned Mayan ruin, overrun with thick jungle vegetation. Anyway, I digress. Ratchet and Faces picked us up at the Portland airport and we took the three boys (Buddha, Bugga and Faces) straight to the park to burn off some energy before we got home. When we got too hot at the park (which didn't take long at all), we did a bit of shopping and then headed to the casita. Ratchet dropped us off there and went back to the Bella Vie Birth Center to spend the night with Chub and Auntie. Back at the home front, I stuck the three turbulent toddlers into a warm bath, made some stir fry (ha ha ha) for dinner and started to ready the house for bedtime. This involved opening up all the curtains and windows to let the cooler night air break up the steam room atmosphere inside the home. I ended up putting all three boys in my room because Buddha and Bugga sleep with a white noise CD and I knew that if anyone broke in or anything else happened outside the room (like Faces waking up in the middle of the night and crying), I wouldn't hear it. I wasn't sure it would work with all three boys in there, but they all zonked shortly after putting them in there and they slept the whole night through just fine. I, on the other hand, started contemplating the long, lonely evening ahead and eventually freaked myself out so bad (you know, open windows and unfamiliar surroundings and all) that I couldn't sleep in the room with the boys for the very same reason that I didn't want Faces in another room - I couldn't stomach the thought of someone breaking in and me not being able to hear it. So, I slept on a bed in the living room. It was great. I was tired.

Friday was spent mostly at the birthing center preparing Auntie and Chub for their homecoming. We did some much-needed grocery shopping to restock the fridge for the coming days and then we collected the precious cargo - driving away from the birthing center listening to the Beatles singing "Hey Chub."

On Saturday, I decided to take the boys to this free indoor kids playhouse I'd heard about. It's in McMinnville and it's located at The Church on the Hill. I was floored when we walked in. I couldn't believe that it was free; that I could walk in and let the kids play for four hours and walk right back out without spending a dime. Unreal. Seriously. The boys had a blast and I even got in on the fun as I boldly disregarded the age rules (only kids 3 and older left Faces and Bugga out of the mix...at first), crawling through tubes, sliding down twisty slides and maneuvering over and under horizontal pylons all while juggling two little guys and warding off the bigger (more exuberant) kids. It was a workout and despite the blessed air conditioning I ended up sweaty and stinky at the end of four hours. Here's to a sunblock-and-heatstroke-free Saturday activity. FREE!! We're going back again tomorrow.

Sunday, Ratchet and I took the boys to church at nine (I can't seem to escape the early morning services no matter where I go). Buddha and Bugga sauntered into their respective classes without so much as a backward glance and I suddenly found myself struggling to keep up with the very adult scripture discussions in Sunday School and Relief Society (I've heard Primary does that to you). After church and naps, Ratchet and I took the three little guys to explore Glacier Rock - a random stone that scientists believe must have been deposited here by a receding glacier since it doesn't fit the geology of the area. It wasn't much of a hike, so after climbing all over the rock for a little while, we headed back down and took the boys to romp through a field. They had fun running around and smelling flowers. We were happy to help them get the lead out.

Yesterday (Monday) we didn't go anywhere and definitely regretted it at the end of the day. Apparently the honeymoon had worn off for the three boys and we were busy breaking up fights all day long.

So today, having learned from our mistakes, we planned to hit the beach. However, Auntie's friend Kristen, who is in her first trimester and very ill, brought her two boys over and we had to rethink things a bit. Well, though I have a terrible memory normally, yesterday's house-bound fiasco was still quite vivid in my mind. So, we decided to squish two more car seats in Auntie and Ratchet's new van and in no time at all Ratchet and I found ourselves headed toward the ocean with five boys behind us, ages three and under, yakking away sounding like a gaggle of geese. We were hoping for good weather, but as we got closer to the coast, we hit rain. We were not to be deterred. So we found the beach Ratchet had been telling me about - pebble strewn and graced with a picturesque lighthouse - parked the car and opened our doors. That's when we realized our trip would probably be cut short, really short. We were blasted with a chilling, gusting wind and rain droplets while we struggled to keep our doors open. Still we pressed on. We changed some of the boys' clothes, switching shorts with pants and donning jackets, then started our descent down the cliffs on the rickety wooden staircase they had in place. When I arrived at the bottom with the three older kids, I seated them on a bench and ran back up to help Ratchet get the younger two down faster. The rain was picking up and the wind was relentless. The kids were huddling together in a miserable mass of jacket hoods and dripping eyelashes. Coming to the bottom of the staircase for the second time, a sign caught my eye warning visitors to be on the lookout for sneaker waves - random large waves that can suddenly crash higher up on the beach, sweeping away innocent onlookers who aren't quick enough. That was it. Looking down into the brooding, choppy ocean water not fifteen feet away on this rocky shore, I knew our outing was doomed. After a brief conference with Ratchet, we agreed to hike back up the endless staircase to check out the lighthouse. Let me tell you, trying to keep five kids under the age of four going in the same direction at the same time and rate is like trying to herd cattle - I was yearning for a horse to help me keep up with the quick little escapees. At any rate, we finally arrived at the lighthouse only to find that it was like a cattle drive inside. All the visitors were packed tightly together and the lines were barely moving. The kids couldn't climb up the lighthouse because they weren't tall enough, so, yet again, we were foiled. We trudged back outside into the driving rain and Ratchet went ahead to get the van and drive it closer while I deposited all five boys on a bench and threatened them with fruit snack confiscation if anyone so much as twitched. It worked. They sat there obediently, faces squinted against the stinging, frigid rain. What little troopers! When we arrived back at the homestead, we discovered that a winter storm was moving into the coast. A winter storm - in August. Go figure.

Tomorrow, while Ratchet gets a massage, I'm going to give Auntie more peace and quiet by taking the kids back to Scotty's Playhouse at The Church on the Hill. I still can't get over it being free - and the kids absolutely love it! Ha, this is funny. I was going to just upload some pictures and put a couple of videos on here for The Chief, but of course, I waxed eloquent and now I have another chapter in the novel I constantly seem to be writing.

Buddha holding Bugga on our flight to Oregon.

Scotty's Playhouse at Church on the Hill.

Faces playing house.

Buddha in space.

Taking a break for lunch.

Bugga and Faces in the ball pit

Bugga running on air

Look what I found on the side of the road, hiking up to Glacier Rock.

Climbing up to Glacier Rock.

Faces and Ratchet

What a great big brother!

The four kings of Glacier Rock.

Little climbers.

Bugga sauntering down the trail.

Meandering boys.

Little stud. I love that smile!

Playing together in the meadow.

Faces is so expressive. His faces never cease to crack me up!

Here he is burying his face in a flower.

Faces trying to put his flower back.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Curse You, Library Scum!!

I just got kicked out of the public library ... sort of.

I'm so upset that I'm crying. I hate that about myself. I cry when I'm angry - when I've been privy to an injustice.

Bugga and Buddha were happily playing in the kid area. I knew that Bugga would put up a fight if I tried to tear him away in order to find my books. So, I asked the lady if Bugga could walk around with the two trucks he was playing with, just while I found my books. Enter power trip. Of course he can't. It's best if the toys stay in the kid corner. Alright, I thought to myself, she asked for it. So I took them away and Bugga set into his best impression of a banshee. I just walked away, trailing the distraught child behind me and ignoring all the furtive glances from library patrons as I set off to find my books. I hoped that lady was proud of herself. Bugga calmed down when he found some stairs to climb. And then he started right up again when he happened to fall down the stairs. Nice. I hauled him to the computers to do a search for my stupid books that I was now really frustrated with (why weren't they where they were supposed to be???). Bugga kicked it up a notch when I wouldn't let him work the mouse. Enter destroying angels. "Excuse me ma'am. Can we help you find something because you really need to quiet him down?" Was that last part absolutely necessary? Did she think I was deaf? Did it occur to her that maybe those two trucks back in the kid corner would have done the trick nicely, but that her compatriot had already denied him that simple solution? Then I lost it right along with Bugga. I told the lady I was going home, set my books (lucky finds) next to the computer and fled/stalked (flalked) right out the door. I was angry and mortified. I was that woman with those kids. You know the ones? The unruly, uncontrollable kids that people look at and think "Where did their parents go wrong?" To that last I answer only this: "Apparently I went wrong in thinking that children would be welcome in a public library and that the atmosphere would be nurturing rather than severe." I was definitely wrong.

Incidentally, Buddha was quite the angel through it all. He took his trucks back when I asked him to and he was calm and quiet and obedient. I must be doing something right.

Birthdays Galore!




Farewell San Diego. Hello Oregon!!

I am excited about this trip! We get to see Auntie and Ratchet and their sons Faces and Chub. Yep, that's right. Auntie had her baby. It's a bit of a bummer that he couldn't wait one more day, because I was going to take pictures during the birth, but I'm sure she's relieved to have him out. He was born this morning, weighing in at a healthy 10 lbs. 1 oz. Auntie, of course, delivered him naturally at a birthing center. The woman is a powerhouse! I can't wait to meet the little bugger, hang out with my sister, watch more Olympics and explore the natural wonders of Oregon with my camera. Wish me luck with traveling tomorrow. I'm going to need it!


I've had problems with my kids zealously plucking premature tomatoes off my tomato plants lately. A few days ago, Buddha came running in from the backyard with a tiny green tomato in his hands. He headed straight for the fridge, jerked open the door and fairly threw the tomato in saying, "I'm just going to put this in the fridge so it can grow ... red."

I was asking Buddha how old we all were. He knew Bugga's age, he knew my age and I helped him with Daddy's age. After finishing with our little family, Buddha solidly declared "...and Unkey Dino is ONE HUNDRED!"

The other day I was tickling the boys. When they've had enough, they have to say "uncle." When Bugga was clearly losing it with the tickling, I prompted him (while tickling him mercilessly), "What do you say, Bugga?" He managed to cough out, "Uncle ... Dino!"

A few weeks ago when I was running on the treadmill, Buddha paused in his race around the house to ask me, "Mom, why are you doing that?" I told him that it's good for me, it'll make me healthy and build my muscles. He replied, "Oh, your little ones?" I have a built-in reality check in my family, how about you?

Okay, here's some of my favorite Primary moments since I was called as Primary president:

One Sunday during sharing time, we were talking about the blessings that come from paying tithing. The kids were coming up with some great answers like having the Spirit, always having enough food and other necessities, increased love, strengthened testimonies, etc. But one little Sunbeam, a very precocious boy who also happens to be of genius stock, blurted out "TAX EXEMPTION!" The adults couldn't help but bust up laughing at that. For those not of our faith, Sunbeams are three and four-year-olds.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the second counselor in the bishopric came in to do his sharing time lesson. He started out by taping a picture of the "pearly gates" on the chalkboard and asked the kids who lived in heaven. The very first answer was "Harry Potter!" Close.

During this same sharing time, the second counselor asked the children what their fathers generally did on Sunday to keep the Sabbath day holy. He was trying to wheedle the answer "reads scriptures" out of the kids. Instead, he got an earful of very interesting Sunday practices. One little Sunbeam proudly revealed that his father watches football after church on Sundays. Another little girl said her father sleeps all day. So funny!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Breaking Dawn Review WARNING **SPOILERS**

My rating: 2 of 5 stars = it was ok.



So, first of all, I felt like Stephenie Meyer just jumped off the fantasy cliff. Her last three books were a bit more intertwined with reality, involving her father and the La Push "humans" as well as the Forks High School kids. This book was absolutely and totally all about mythical creatures. Okay, Charlie was still there, but come on, accepting all the weird changes on a "need to know" basis?? What's up with that? "Yeah, sure Jacob, I still love ya kid. The fact that you just turned into a werewolf in front of me doesn't bother me one bit as long as I don't think about it." Right. Out of touch with reality - not bad, just different. It was a bit of an adjustment.

In the beginning, I felt like I was reading the front page of a National Enquirer magazine: abnormally swollen pregnant belly harboring a monstrous half-human. And, as if that wasn't enough of a stretch, suddenly the vampire husband was offering his wife to the werewolf for mating purposes so that they could kill the violent unborn half-vampire fetus and save the mother, allowing her to try again later???? Yikes. Did anybody else see those odd pulsing lights over Utah Lake last night?

After Bella became a vampire, I became more interested. I really like reading about the different "talents" and "abilities" the fantasy creatures possess. I especially loved the introduction of many more vampires in preparation for the meeting with the Volturi. I must harbor a secret desire for a super power.

The end was anticlimactic for me. I totally was looking forward to this epic battle between the over-reaching Volturi and the innocent, more-likable Cullens. When the issue was resolved without a proper fight, I was disappointed. I wanted to see them match up to the egotistical Guard and crush them one-by-one. It's not that I like blood and gore or anything, it's just that I feel like Stephenie Meyer didn't provide true closure, especially since Carlisle says in the end that the Volturi would probably try to hunt them down individually and pick them off that way after they finished licking their wounds. Anyway, anticlimactic.

And last, but not least, I've been noticing the increasing sensuality between the characters and the multiple "sex scenes" in this book were a little much for me. Unnecessary. Maybe it's because I'm wondering how Stephenie Meyer will keep Hollywood from having a hay day with the sex in the future movies. I hope she is able to or we'll have an R-rated "Eclipse" on our hands (and you can guess what "Breaking Dawn" will be rated, therefore). Can you imagine reading this with a teenage girl and having to answer questions about bruised arms and legs and broken furniture? No thanks!

In summary, I liked the book, but I didn't love it. In the words of a good friend, "I'm all Twilighted out." Farewell Stephenie Meyer ... until December, anyway.

*Afterthought: I really wasn't a fan of the name Renesmee, either. Dumb.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Breaking Dawn

We got our books ...

... and made some friends.

Enough said. Good night!