Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dance Delirium 2014

Here are the videos from the dress rehearsal yesterday for the dance recital tomorrow.  The girls are very excited.  I am very tired just thinking about it.
Ella's Ballet

Ella's Tap
Ella's Jazz
Ella's Hip Hop

Livi's Dance

Friday, May 23, 2014

Only One Lap

Tonks was cuddling on my lap while Livi got ready for bed. She didn't jump off when Livi climbed on to read books before bed. Tonks stayed her ground. Livi didn't want to budge. So...I read to them both.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tonksie The Good Sport

Our poor dog puts up with a lot.

She has to wear the stupid rain jackets I put on her.
 She has the kids constantly trying to make her look silly,
and she is so little she is constantly being used as a prop.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Gagging at Lake Minitare

After a particularly hard afternoon Eric decided we should probably all get out of the house. We went up to Lake Minitare to do some fishing and s'more making.  Unfortunately the lake was so low all the good fishing spots were completely dried up.  The kids were content to run around, find shells, and dig in the sand.

I was fine with it too, until I noticed that the kids where building a weird looking sandcastle...
a really weird sandcastle...
It was a giant smoked sausage someone left behind.  After much gagging on my part, and lots of hand sanitizer use on the kids part, we went up to make s'mores.

It was a fun, cold, strange trip.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Goin' to the Getty Part 2, or Train of Doom

One of the reasons I was excited to go to the Getty again is because they are having an Ansel Adams exhibit and I really do love good photography.  This was the very end of the day and Livi was DONE.  She hung on for a long time, through statue halls, impressionist paintings, and even 18th century paneled rooms, but this was her breaking point and I just wanted to quickly look at the prints.  She was whining and pulling on me so I did what every great mother does and handed her my phone to play a game.  She then decided that the one place in the WHOLE museum where you can't take photos would be a good place to start her budding photography career.  I got yelled at by a guard, who seemed awfully mean about a 5 year old taking pictures, which means I got beet red and teared up (because I fear breaking rules) but then looked at the photo she took and thought her interesting composition  was worth it.
 We went out into the gardens before we left, and was sad to see we couldn't go in the majority of it because they were trying to fix the problem of the sun scorching all the plants planted around the water. Who would have thought that the sun could get really hot in Southern California? Oh, everyone who has ever spent time there in the summer??? Yep.
 In the background is the arch that Eric and I took a picture in front of for my 18th birthday.  It was part of the roped off area and I'd had my fill of being yelled at by authority figures so didn't risk going down for a photo.
To get to the Getty itself you have to park down below the mountain and then take a train up to the museum itself.
On our way back down we barely made it to the stop in time and Ella raced right on.  I was right behind her, but the door closed right in my face.  She was on the train, all by herself, surrounded by strangers, in L.A.  Luckily they are the type of people in L.A. who frequent fine art museums, so they tried valiantly to get the doors open, but none of our efforts worked.  The automated train started taking my 8 year old off without me.  I yelled at her to wait down at the platform for me and not go anywhere.

It was an excruciating 5 minutes waiting for the next train.  I could have run down the path, but didn't think my already tired knees and out of shape body would get me there any sooner than the train.  As we pulled up there was at least 5 workers who saw our group waving at Ella and cheered.  The group of strangers on the train alerted the workers about the situation and those workers kept close to Ella.  I will never see those people again, but I am thankful to them from the bottom of my heart.  It's not typical California behavior (outside of Disneyland) and honestly nothing probably would have happened, but it made me happy to know that there are still good people out there

Monday, May 19, 2014

Goin' to the Getty Part 1

For my 18th birthday I was lucky enough to have a wonderful boyfriend, and two great friends who were willing to humor me and my nerdiness and go to the Getty Art Museum (not something most 18 year olds want to do for fun).  I hadn't been back since, but I had always wanted to since I had had such a wonderful experience the first time.

My mom pointed out that the kids were probably old enough that we could possibly have a good time at the Getty.  We arrived on one of the busiest days (Spring Break gets us again) and had to wait in line just to get some food.  One we had full tummies and empty bladders (which getting 3 kids to all go even if they "don't need to go" is a chore itself) we were able to head off and enjoy the compound of museums.
The first building is always one of my favorites because it houses the illuminated manuscripts.  It also held Livi's favorite piece "Venus and Mars Embracing."  She stared at it a good 10 minutes, which was fine, but then I would try and get her to go into another room to look at manuscripts or stained glass windows and she would always want to go back.  We kept going back, because I like that she was interested in art, but I was starting to get a little concerned by her obsession with the sculpture, and was able to finally pull her away with a promise of M&M's.  Because no matter how intriguing kissing, naked people are, M&M's are better when you are 5.
They have a small kids area where there are some interactive stations that incorporate famous art in other parts of the museum.  Here the kids made the creepiest masks ever, to match the creepiest painting ever

There is also a reproduction of an 18th century French aristocrats bed. 
Livi was VERY taken with the real thing, and although very respectful of the bed and good about not touching, she did inform me that she WILL have a bed like that when she is grown up.  Yep, because I totally have my VW Bug, and pink bedroom.
Also in the kid center (which was actually quite empty.  I think the rest of the museum was busy with all the teachers and professors on Spring Break) was a giant illuminated manuscript the kids could add to using white board markers.
Ethan added a ghost and a farmer saying "You scared me," because all provincial landscapes need more ghosts.
On this one he added the shepherd saying "Let me just check my email," and the sheep exclaiming "WHAT?"
The craziest story is yet to come, including one of my worst nightmares as a mother, but I have to go get kids in a second, so I'll make this a two part post.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hidden Treasure

We had the Bagleys over last night for Ella's birthday (which I will post more of another time). The kids were playing capture the flag outside and were sad when we called them into eat. I guess they improvised because later I went to get a paper towel and it felt heavier than usual.

When I found this the kids started laughing like hyenas. They thought it was the funniest thing ever. I guess the boys hid the remote as the "flag" and it was such a good hiding spot they forgot all about it.  

Friday, May 16, 2014

Random California Fun

When we moved to Scottsbluff I was very hesitant about moving to someplace so small, but there were a few things that made it tolerable. There was a bookstore, a Starbucks (best hot chocolate!), and a Little Caesars (our favorite pizza place, I know, we are charlatans).  The first to go out of business was the Starbucks which we lost within a year of moving here.  The Little Caesars left, came back, and then left for good.  The bookstore held on for almost 4 years, but it too left.  It has been a lonely, yummy free area for a while now.

So, while in California my mother-in-law took the kids on a picnic and when I was buckling them into seat-belts I smelled the most heavenly smell.  Luckily she is the nicest lady in the world and let me poach a little of the bounty before they left to be attacked by geese.
I think half of why my parents like having the kids visit is they get an excuse to do things like see the newest Muppet movie.  They have a great theater in Lancaster with extra leg room and higher rises between rows.  I'm sure this is pretty standard in the civilized world, but it is still pretty novel to those of us in Hickville.  The theater wasn't crowded so we were putting out feet up on the row ahead of us (which is pretty gross when you think about it, so I choose not to).  Livi wanted to get in on the action:

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Everybody Spring Break Tonight

Due to sinus surgery being exponentially worse than advertised, we postponed our spring break trip to California from our spring break to Everyone In The Nations' spring break.  Here are some highlights from this particular Disneyland trip (because as I've often said, every time is different).

The girls' favorite part of the airport:
 We went straight from the airport to Disneyland since I screwed up the airport we were flying into and the timing worked out really well.  Happy accidents.

Livi really didn't want to go Splash Mountain, but we eventually talked her into it, by promising multiple treats, the Winnie the Pooh ride, and that I would sit next to her in the back.  She assured me it would be better if it was Dad sitting next to her, and I was a poor substitute, but she did agree to go on the ride.
Immediately after this drop she said that she would never go on it again.
I laughed when I saw these helmets and asked the kids to try them on and without prompting THIS happened:
 We were pretty tired by the end of the day, what with flying half way across the country and putting in a solid 9 hours at Disneyland, but everyone wanted to stop and watch the fireworks when we were in the parking garage.
 The next day we realized that Fridays during Spring Break are kind of the worst days in the world to spend at Disneyland, but we still managed to have fun.  Dad was able to come for part of the day, and it was fun to just spend time with my parents, even if it was for an hour in line at Roger Rabbit (which is only worth a 10 minute wait, tops).

Livi noticing Cinderella's castle on the Story Book Land ride, in sequence:
 Ethan has become a wee bit obsessed with Jim Henson's Muppet's lately (hey, better than a lot of things 11 year old boys are obsessed with). We hadn't realized before that there was a Muppet theater here in California Adventures, so we made sure to stop by for him.
 The kids really wanted to go on Chip and Dale's Horrible Line/Short Ride Coaster and unfortunately Ghirardelli single handedly gave me a gallbladder attack, so while I was fitting in multiple bathroom stops my mom kindly went on the ride with them.  Doesn't she look like it was the most fun thing in the world?
 The weirdest thing about the whole trip was Livi's new OCD behavior (no joke).  EVERY TIME we went on a ride she would freak out if we had any drinks or food on us. We got churros in line at Splash Mountain and she just about had a heart attack. She didn't want to eat it because she was afraid they wouldn't let us go on the ride if we had food, while also worrying they would take the food from us and throw it away.  I tried explaining we would have over an hour in line, which was plenty of time to eat a churro, and she just wouldn't calm down.  It kept going the whole trip.  She would try and take our drinks and throw them away, even if we weren't finished.  She wouldn't want to get snacks, and would try and cram them in our purses as soon as we entered a line.  This was the reaction when she found a drink in my hand:
Hopefully it was a one time thing.  I'm sure she will have something different to feel strongly about next time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Big 35

Eric recently had a birthday, I'm not going to tell you how old he is, but I bet you could figure it out.  The kids were great about picking out and wrapping presents...

 until Livi realized none of them were going to be for her.
 Eric picked chicken enchiladas for dinner, which no one ate except the two of us, but they were still yummy.
 He also picked homemade yellow cake with chocolate butter-cream icing, which everyone did eat.
It was a fun night, with lots of yummy food.  We love you Eric, happy birthday.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dinner With The Stotts

I feel like if someone came up to me and said "What is life like at your house?" I could show them this video and it would sum up everything perfectly.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Why So Serious?

Why do you look so serious little one?

Oh, because you are in character.  Of course.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

We Fought (at) A Zoo

The weather was finally nice enough to go to the zoo again. It's sad to see Ethan getting big enough that although he still likes the animals, the other stuff doesn't see quite so fun.
He does not seem thrilled to have to put his face in an animals...
 or measure his arms/wingspan...
or pose at the petting zoo...
The girls are still having a blast driving their invisible horses at the playground though.  I still have some little ones... least for a little while longer.
Although he doesn't seem to have liked it much when he was 3 either: