Sunday, June 28, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunday Picnic at the Oakland Temple

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As I sometimes do when Erik is out of town, I over-planned to avoid disaster and ended up having a much more productive, patient, super-fun four days than I would have in our normal routine. My fears of a long, stir-crazy Sunday led me to pack a magnificent picnic (cream cheese, tomato and cucumber sandwiches highly recommended), load up my lovies in the mini-van, and drive 45 minutes to the Oakland Temple to spend the afternoon walking around the grounds and the visitors' center. The adventure when I almost ran out of gas on the freeway, then coasted to a stop at a gas station in the heart of gang-banger Oakland (the girls in the car saying "we're praying that we'll be safe, Mommy!") only intensified the joy of arriving at that castle-like white building atop a luciously green hill, looking out over the entire bay. It was a clear, perfect day and the kids were overjoyed to run around among the flowers and visit their home temple for the first time.

We loved envisioning the kids' weddings here - the most important part in Sophie's mind being the dress, veil, shoes, flowers and earrings, of course (which supercede even the groom).
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The kids loved imagining what their grandpa must have looked like as he walked in those doors as a 19-year-old, living in the Bay area and preparing to go on his mission.
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Sunday, June 14, 2009


Some gems from the past couple of weeks:

Lucy had endured a long carpool afternoon in the car, and had needed to use the restroom for hours. She was close to an accident, so I asked her if she would make it. Her reply: "Don't worry. My bladder just grabbed my pee pee by its pants and yanked it back inside. Now it's sitting on the couch watching t.v., just waiting to come out."

Sophie (with fists clenched, leg stomping): "WHY AM I NOT AN ADULT YET???"

Also from Sophie: "I want lucy's tea set so bad, when I look at it my eyes glow."

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Heart of Stone

A person as fond of puns as I am should never be allowed to name a child "stone." It will never end, in case you're wondering.

Our sweet little boy is officially a toddler! He's been walking for two weeks, and is much faster, funnier, and more dangerous now. Formerly quite safe on the stairs, he is now trying everything big-kid style, and wants to try an upright descent instead of backwards on his tummy. He loves the slide at the park, and is starting to communicate via signs and words.

Stoney's words: His own language, which includes a lot of sounds like "ushe" and "she-she." Or maybe he's trying to say "jie-jie," as in "sister" in Mandarin. That would be appropriate.

His English words are: Dada, Mama, Dog (always followed by woof! woof!), No, Ai-Oo (thank you), and two-syllable sounds that sound like "Ih-Ee" for both Lindsay and Lucy.

Las Vegas

I have the most amazing sisters. In the Fall, my sister Courtney flew out to babysit our girls while Erik and I escaped for a long weekend to Yosemite (which will be documented in retroactive posts). In April, my sister Lindsay did the same thing. Is there a greater gift? Nay, there cannot be. Picture, if you will, our house full of an 8-year-old, a 5-year-old, two 3-year-olds, a 1-year-old, and a 6-month old. And one adult. They barely fit in the mini-van, and as we left, we were only mostly sure that no one had the stomach flu (they were okay while we were gone, but we sent Lindsay and her kids home with the vomits as a party favor).

Our trip was all about filling the bucket back up, after a long time draining. We checked into the Bellagio at noon, I walked into our room, dropped my suitcase, kicked off my shoes, and climbed into bed and slept for 3 hours. And thus began four delicious days of rejuvenation.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Erik shooting hoops with Shaquille O'Neal (on Madame Trousead's basketball court).
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We saw dolphins! These two were a mother and a baby boy, who copied her every move, turning when she turned, surfacing when she surfaced, squeaking when she squeaked. I teased Erik that Stone was going to be similarly Mama-whipped - that he will only want to read and write and play the piano and won't have any interest in sports. He didn't think it was funny. (Aren't those dolphins amazing?? I had never seen one so close.)
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Am I the only one who screeches to a halt when I pass a fancy bakery, spends 10 minutes admiring the gorgeous desserts, imagines every nuance of flavor in every single concoction, and never, ever orders one? This one was a long time coming. And oh my, it was worth every one of the 20 minutes I took deciding (and the 2,000 calories).
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Touring the hotels was like walking through a 3-D travel scrapbook. "Remember Venice?" I swooned as we strolled through the Venetian. We sat by the faux Trevi fountain at Ceasar's Palace, rode a roller coaster atop New York, New York, frollicked through Thai-style jungly gardens at Mandalay Bay. All fake and gimmicky, in the middle of the Nevada desert, but even that was sentimental as I remembered the first time I ever drove down the strip: 19 years old, in the back seat of Erik's parents' mini van as we drove through from Southern California to Provo, Utah, to take Erik to the MTC for his mission.
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Of all the culinary wizardry on the Las Vegas strip, we were most excited about Bobby Flay's Mesa Restaurant. Hopes were high, after years of late-night food-lust watching Iron Chef America. The lunch menu did not disappoint, and was quite affordable.
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mandalay Bay Pool


Three things I love: My new swimsuit (I have not loved a swimsuit this much since my red one from 2nd grade. I found at least 4 I loved from, but this was my favorite), my Contemporary American Short Story text book (nestled under a beach towel, not pictured), which I sank into for hours and hours each lazy afternoon, and the Mandalay Bay pool. Noelle, you were right about the lazy river!
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Sophie sings her favorite song