Archive | July, 2013

Stay Strong … The Right Guy Is Out There

30 Jul
:)

Author Unknown

 

 

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Sandbox Adventure List 16: Urban Cowboys

29 Jul

I felt the need to wear cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. Unfortunately I’m a baseball cap wearing city slicker and I had neither. But they still let me in. It was Cowboy and Cowgirl Day at the Autry National Center and the Guats were about to get our country on.

Billy The Kid.

Annie Oakley.

Bill Picket.

Wyatt Earp.

Doc Holiday.

Wild Bill Hickok.

Gene Autry.

With all this cowboy heritage and hospitality we felt right at home, even if we did say “dude” instead of y’all. We were introduced to the ways of the wrangler and this Sandbox Adventure List item was something we all enjoyed.

 

This is where the fun began.

This is where the fun began.

 

We started with rope tricks and realized we lacked the wrist action to be awesome cowboys ... we were urban cowboys.

We started with rope tricks and realized we lacked the wrist action to be awesome cowboys … we were urban cowboys.

 

Then the game of horseshoes began ... first my daughter gave it try. It was so awesome that she was out there for half an hour. She hit the peg once, but it was a spectacular one.

Then the game of horseshoes began … first my daughter gave it try. It was so awesome that she was out there for half an hour. She hit the peg once, but it was a spectacular one.

 

My son went on to the Big Leagues. He wasn't doing the plastic horseshoes. He felt grown up enough to try the real deal.

My son went on to the Big Leagues. He wasn’t doing the plastic horseshoes. He felt grown up enough to try the real deal. He definitely had some muscle behind those throws, Glad there were haystacks lying around to help protect people’s shins, because let me tell you … those horseshoes definitely hurt. Definitely. Note to self … stand behind the haystacks.

 

Then we headed into the museum to check out the exhibits, cowboy scavenger hunt, and horseshoe crafts.  Nothing like feathers and pipecleaners to make things fun.

Then we headed into the museum to check out the exhibits, cowboy scavenger hunt, and horseshoe crafts. Nothing like feathers and pipe cleaners to make things fun.

 

The masterpiece.

The masterpiece.

 

After the educating ourselves on the life and times of the cowboy, we decided to be part of The Gold Rush era and pan for gold. There was water everywhere.

After educating ourselves on the life and times of the cowboy, we decided to be part of The Gold Rush era and pan for gold. There was water everywhere.

 

We headed out

The day ended with an awesome gunslinger and lasso whirling show. A definite wild west photo opportunity.

 

The day ended with an awesome gunslinger and lasso whirling show.

With a name like Loop Rawlins this guy definitely caught our attention. He had mad cowboy skills.

 

By nap time we were all pooped out. Being a cowboy is tiring, even if it was just for a day.

At the end of our cowboy adventure, we were pooped out. Being a cowboy is tiring, even if it was just for a day.

 

To The Guat On Her 38th Birthday

27 Jul

Had I checked my phone earlier maybe the morning vibe would have been different. I don’t know … maybe the snowball would have taken a different path down the avalanche.

I don’t know. Maybe.

Had I checked my phone first, I would have seen a text message from my sister and heard a message from my nephew wishing me a happy birthday. But instead I found myself online checking my email and getting my very first birthday greeting from West Coast Hooters.

Free wings.

Normally free on my birthday would have sent me cartwheeling, but alas a birthday wish from Hooters was not what I was looking for that morning. I was in search for a “yes-we-want-you” response from a publisher or potential employer. But no … I got Hooters. So I closed my email and continued with my morning.

I had pictured the morning differently. I envisioned it. Kidless, not involving the clean up of Cheerios. I visualized myself in the sun, wearing my O’Neill surfing shirt and board shorts, paddling on the long board in the cool calm waters of the beach. No sharks. No falling over. Crossing off an item from my bucket list on my birthday … that was the goal. That was the awesome feeling I was looking for. That’s how I imagined my birthday.

This did not happen.

I got a West Coast Hooters greeting, no babysitter, two rejection letters, and the day ahead of me. I was 38 and it wasn’t working out already.

Lemonade baby. That’s what I thought. Making some sweet lemonade with these sour life lemons.

So what could I do?

What adventurous Bucket List item could I do with a five-year old and two-year old?

I thought for a minute … and then I had it!

 

My answer. For ages three and up. It was on.

My answer. For ages three and up. It was on.

 

I signed us up and we suited up. My two-year old couldn't fly high, but at least she could get suited up and accompany us to the adventure. It was entertaining enough for her to sit still and watch.

I signed us up and we suited up. My two-year old couldn’t fly high, but at least she could get suited up and accompany us on the adventure. It was entertaining enough for her to sit still and watch.

 

After we suited up we waited our turn. A little nerves on my son's part, a little excitement on mine.  Javier the skydiving expert looked at us and gave us a thumbs up.  We got next!

After we suited up we waited our turn. A little nerves on my son’s part, a little excitement on mine. Javier the skydiving expert from Brazil looked at us and gave us a thumbs up. We got next!

 

My son enjoying his moment ... trying to smile but the wind was too powerful ... this was the best he could do. And I loved it. He forgot about his nervousness once he was there. He forgot about it so much that he asked to go twice. Little Superman was in the house being propelled like a helicopter up, up, and up.

3-2-1 … My son enjoying his moment … trying to smile but the wind was too powerful … this was the best he could do. And I loved it. He forgot about his nervousness once he was there. He forgot about it so much that he asked to go twice. The Little Guat was in the house being propelled like a helicopter up, up, and up.

 

It was the best forty-five minutes of the day. My son’s Sandbox Adventure List. Check. Mom’s Bucket List. Check. I was smiling now and 38 was looking a lot better.

The birthday adventure was followed up with a few other activities before dinner time.

 

We headed home for the baby's naptime. But we managed to keep the festivities going. After an hour and a half, and 522 pieces our Lego firefighter airplane and company was complete.

We headed home for the baby’s nap time. But we managed to keep the festivities going. After an hour and a half, and 522 pieces, our Lego firefighter airplane and company was complete.

 

After all that Lego fun I needed some fun of my own. I opened my first birthday gift. It rocked.

After all that Lego fun I needed some fun of my own. I opened my first birthday gift. A friend sent it to me in the mail. It rocked.

 

After a little sweetness it was time for dinner. A kid-friendly place with good one. I could only think of one place.

After a little sweetness it was time for dinner. A kid-friendly place with good food. I could only think of one place.

 

Started off with something fruity before dinner.

Started off with something fruity before dinner.

 

Then it was time for the main attraction. I savored every moment, every tasty buttery-lemony bite.

Then it was time for the main attraction. I savored every moment, every tasty buttery-lemony bite.

 

As I was enjoying my meal and having a great dinner with my family I looked down and saw this ... it summarized my entire day. Forrest Gump was definitely wise. Maybe he was 38.

As I was enjoying my meal and having a great dinner with my family I looked down and saw this … it summarized my entire day. Forrest Gump was definitely wise. Maybe he was 38.

 

After dinner it was time for birthday wishes and chocolate cake. I made a good one so hope it comes true. And yeah Forrest ... you're right. It is funny how things work out.

After dinner it was time for birthday wishes and chocolate cake. I made a good one so hope it comes true. And yeah Forrest … you’re right. It is funny how things work out because 38 didn’t turn out to be that bad.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh

24 Jul
:)

🙂

 

 

Fresh

Hanging out with college friends on a 90+ degree day.

A friend sees the waterfall.

She decides to jump in.

“Give me your best sexy pose,” I say cracking up.

We see the picture.

“Yeah … you look more fresh than sexy.”

Fresh.

 

Fixing Broken Windows

23 Jul

Dear Broken Windows Theory,

I had never heard of you, but after getting that background check courtesy of Google I think you apply more to relationships than law-enforcement theories.

I know that originally you define yourself as a policing philosophy that believes if a neighborhood tolerates small examples of crime, like broken windows, public drunkenness, or graffiti, people are “more likely to commit more serious crimes”.

I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I do know that you definitely apply to relationships.

Yes.

Definitely.

Here is the list of a few “Broken Windows” that cause disorder, frustration, and out of control feelings, which may eventually lead to Snapped! moments.

 

.

.

Leaving wet towels on the floor and then wondering why the towel smells moldy.

Not replacing the toilet paper roll and leaving the sad empty roll clinging to bits of tissue.

Leaving the toilet seat up.

Throwing dirty clothes right next to the hamper, not in it, just next to it.

Drinking out of the carton, leaving one drop left, and then putting it back in the fridge.

Throwing out the garbage, but never replacing the trash bag.

Never “finding” anything in the refrigerator because you never look behind anything, and then asking your better half … Where’s the _____?

Driving the car for two days and then failing to put gas in it when the “empty” gas light is on.

Leaving piles of baby bottles with milk still in them on the counter. Not washed. Not even rinsed. Just there … smelling of stale milk.

Never making the bed knowing full well that the sheets on the floor are due to your non-diagnosed Restless Leg Syndrome.

Shoes left in the middle of the room, so that I can trip and fall on them in the middle of the night.

Leaving all the kitchen cabinet doors and drawers open so that when I walk in I smack myself with the very sharp corners.

Piles of clean laundry scattered about the room, folded, but not put away.

Channel surfing at the speed of light.

 

All these “broken windows” by themselves don’t seem that catastrophic, but a few of these in a row can definitely require meditation and a chocolate emergency. Everyone has broken windows, I guess the trick is to be aware of your own and make sure you board those up before hostility erupts and someone gets thrown off a cliff. I’ve got plenty of hammer and nails because there are a couple of broken windows here in Guatville. So Broken Window Theory, I think you definitely could expand passed the neighborhood watch program and into our Everybody Loves Raymond existences.

You Gotta Love George

22 Jul

 

:)

🙂

 

Whenever I need a laugh I know I can count on George … he sees things from a different perspective.

 

 

Laverne … My Friday Night Savior

19 Jul

They did it again. I don’t know how they do it, but they do. They never let me down, except for their small parking lots. But other than that they always come through.  Trader Joe’s you made this lazy person very happy. Well lazy might not be very accurate … exhausted. Yeah … that’s it. Exhausted. You made this pooped-out person in need of Vitameatavegamin very happy.

It had been a long day of Lego Building, DreamWorks Turbo watching and Chuck E. Cheese adventuring.

I was done.

The day was packed with birthday promises I had made last week. And today those promises were cashed in by my five-year old and two-year old. And let me tell you Chuck E. Cheese may be the place where a kid can be a kid, but it’s definitely a place where moms like me run out of fuel after two hours, even when the place is not crowded. It’s just a whole lot of fun, games, and ha-ha moments going around. At the end of all those games and rides, we earned enough tickets for two Slinkys and a lollipop.

And as I drove home I saw it creeping up on me … dinner time.

Dude.

There would be no cooking going on tonight. Friday night, after a movie and Chuck E. Cheese extravaganza? No. I was running on empty.

I could’ve gone back to my college days at that point and had a Cup O’ Noodles and I would have been fine. But that didn’t really seem nutritious enough for my kids. Luckily there were leftovers. Dude never underestimate leftovers. The Food Network can definitely help you rock out whatever is in your fridge. However upon further examination I realized that there was just enough baked chicken for the kids. So it looked like I would have to make a trip to Trader Joe’s. And luckily there were still some samples.

And let me tell you Sample Lady you play an important role in my supermarket shopping experience. It’s critical. It’s vital. It’s free. You provide me with free … something you know I am a big fan of. You expose me to new culinary adventures and for this one … I thank you.

The healthy deliciousness that I met at TJs

The healthy deliciousness that I met at TJs

I never would have thought of buying it on my own. I was hanging out in the frozen food section before I went over to the next aisle. And that’s where I saw you Laverne … in your Trader Joes Hawaiian shirt handing out the tiny Dixie cups of deliciousness.

I never would have thought to buy something called a kale salad, but Laverne you totally changed my mind. Trader Joe’s Broccoli Slaw & Kale Salad With Chicken was my Friday night savior.

Laverne it had it all. I high-five you, Laverne. You’re awesome.

I ended up buying two.

 

 

Just A Little Reminder …

18 Jul
IMG_5920

🙂

 

 

As I finished my year-long Happiness Project last week I thought … well?

What next?

You gonna keep going?

Will it be your lifestyle now, or was it a survival mode mechanism?

Then I got a little reminder at the CVS.

And I knew …

Reminders are a good thing.

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

17 Jul
Exploring during The Golden Hour

Exploring during The Golden Hour

 

 

While having our Go-Diego-Go Explorer expedition I caught a shot of a golden moment during the golden hour.

My son thoroughly engaged in the life of ants, grass, and leaves … so engaged that he didn’t fit into the entire picture.

My daughter not so much interested in ants, but much more into the stomping of leaves and the search for butterflies.

The golden hour rocks as it’s close to bath time, bedtime, and mommy quiet time.

Yes!

I love the golden hour around here.

 

Superheroes To The Rescue

16 Jul

The emotional highs and lows of this weekend was more than any chocolate could handle. It took superhero strength to get me through Saturday and Sunday … the Batman and Wonder Woman kind.

 

:)

🙂

 

Celebrating my kids birthday party one day and then remembering the anniversary of my father’s death the next definitely took me for roller coaster ride of monstrous proportions. Thinking about my dad and knowing how much he would have loved our Superhero Bowling Party made it difficult for it to be a cartwheel-worthy experience.

Seeing my dad laugh and give my son a high five on his spectacular spare would have been great. Having him teach my daughter how to roll the ball down the lane and hit that one awesome pin that would eventually wobble and fall would have been even better.

 

My dad with my son ... thinking about future Grandpa stuff.

My dad with my son … thinking about future Grandpa stuff.

 

Not seeing him on lanes 11 and 12 celebrating my little Guats birthday party was a little difficult to handle, but seeing my son and daughter dressed up in their Justice League attire creating their own high-five moments made it a little easier. I don’t know how it’s possible to be happy and sad at the same time, but I was … emotions were all over the place, which was why I took a three-day weekend away from writing.

Luckily my two superheroes created moments that I wanted to witness and be present for, stuff like tiny bowling shoes, rolling their first strike, bustin’ out their best Justice-League-Defend-The-Universe pose, blowing out the candles on their awesome superhero cake, playing arcade games and being able to hit the 100+ ticket jackpot in the Slam-A-Winner Game that sent everyone in high-five mode. That was the stuff that helped me get through the day … well that and the craziness of a freeway closure due to an overturned semi-truck that made many people late to the party.

In addition the chaos of preschoolers, their parents, food party platters, and the bowling alley staff kept me busy enough to keep my emotions from spilling over in public. Although I don’t think that would have happened, I had more of a private chocolate-induced coma at the cemetery the day after the party. Those kind of emotions tend to put a damper on the Happy-Birthday-To-You moment as well as the unwrapping of the presents, so I kept them reserved for the next day. This was my weekend of roller coasters, so glad I had Wonder Woman and Batman riding along with me.

 

A little souvenir to get the party started ...

A little souvenir to get the party started …

 

Waiting ... waiting ... waiting for people to get passed the Sigalert on the highway and make it to the party.

Waiting … waiting … waiting for people to get passed the Sigalert on the highway and make it to the party.

 

My little Wonder Woman waiting for her turn to knock down some pins ... she bowled an 85 that day :)

My little Wonder Woman waiting for her turn to knock down some pins … she bowled an 85 that day 🙂

 

Getting reading to put the candles on the birthday cake ... so hoping I wouldn't drop it when I took it out of the box.

Getting ready to put the candles on the birthday cake … so hoping I wouldn’t drop it when I took it out of the box.

 

The Jackpot

The Jackpot

 

My daughter helping her older brother cash in his tickets

My daughter helping her older brother cash in his tickets

 

While opening his presents I made sure he opened all the cards. As a knock-knock enthusiast I was glad that my card cracked him up.

While opening his presents I made sure he opened all the cards. As a knock-knock joke enthusiast I was glad that my card cracked him up.

 

:)

🙂