Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Day at the Zoo

Isn't that a creative title for this post? The kids and I went to the zoo today (thanks to the free passes from Owen's piano teacher). I just decided we would stay there until they couldn't handle it anymore and do everything the zoo had to offer! The website says it should take 2-3 hrs. to see everything at the zoo. We stayed for five and loved every minute of it! I didn't bring a camera, but my cell phone took some suprisingly decent shots of the day!

We bought a carousel pass (because I know that's what they love best), ensuring us 3 rides each on the carousel. So- we started our excursion with two of those rides.

Carousels have always confused me. Why is it that there is such happy music playing and general merriment all around, yet the animals all have these vicious, ready-to-pounce-at-any-moment looks on their faces? Don't get it. Maybe everyone is just so darn happy that the animals aren't real.

Right next to the carousel is the stingray exhibit. We splurged and paid to pet the stingrays and sharks. SO cool. Owen had to really warm up to the idea, but once he touched one, he was hooked (as long as there was not a shark in sight...he took his hand out every time he saw a shark nearby). I finally convinced Hazel to touch a stingray, but she would only do it once. I guess she just wanted to be able to say she had done it.

Then we walked by the little "stadium" right as a show was about to start, so we stopped to watch "The Land of Ooz." That's zoo spelled backwards. Slightly more creative than my post title. It was cute. We saw lots of fun animals right up next to us, and Hazel got REALLY into it (I think she thought the wicked witch of the southwest was real....she can't stop talking about it).

In my opinion, the porcupine was the star of the show.

So- by now I'm pretty sure more than and hour had passed and we finally made our way to the animal exhibits (with fresh kettle corn in hand). We saw every. single. animal. And I do mean every single one. But I'm pretty sure this one was my favorite.

Seriously- he was so cute and fat. We were feeding him popcorn and he ate a couple of pieces very slowly (it appeared as though he had quite enough to eat for the day). Then the birds caught on and started swarming down on the popcorn. So our little friend started taking the popcorn from us (I swear he would have eaten out of my hand if Hazel hadn't been squealing) and running them one piece at a time to his special rock and burying them. All around the rock. He picked a new spot for each piece. I couldn't get enough of watching him furiously trying to hide all the popcorn from the birds so he could enjoy it in peace later. So cute.

Here are the rest of the random shots of the day.

Eating ginormous snow cones.

"Monkeying" around outside the baboon exhibit.

Flamingos! Why does everyone (including me) get so excited about the flamingos?

Vicious gorilla we found hiding in the bushes...holding a spork.

Crossing the bridge to the petting zoo (because who doesn't love goats?).

Like manna from heaven.


Owen fell and dropped his snow cone (I felt SO bad for him), but luckily his precious little sister loves to share!

Owen jumping the "creek"

I told Nathan it was the best time I have had with my kids in a long time. I'm sure a lot of their fantastic behavior had to do with the fact that I spoiled them like crazy and let them do everything they wanted on their own little time schedules. And it was so worth it. We were happy and laughing and had five whole hours of fun together. I cherish moments like this, and even though they called me mean an hour after it all ended, I know times like these are helping them make great memories, too!

Friday, January 30, 2009


I don't want to compete with Dannii, who REALLY likes to blog about Nutella, but I just have to post this. I finished off a jar of Nutella tonight (my ONLY reason for talking myself into going to the grocery store), and threw it in the garbage. Now- the Nutella jar does not go in the garbage until I have licked it clean.

Apparently Hazel did not approve of the "clean-licking" I had done, because 30 minutes later I caught her licking Nutella off her fingers and face. That's right- she had sniffed it out and removed it from the garbage to finish off what I left. I've created a monster!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tonight's dinner

Can you say counting calories (Just to clarify (since my food appears to be so large that it is falling off the plate), this is a salad plate)???

Phoenix Bandit

Zach played at our house for a couple of hours the other day, and when I told him it was time to go home, he said "Adios Amigos!!!" and ran outside. I followed him out so I could make sure he was safe, and he was outside putting on his hood and tying a bandana around his mouth. I don't know why, but this cracked me up. Kids are freakin' hilarious.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

How do you people not get it?! You have to type in one of those weird word verifications in order to leave a comment on my blog, so I know you have experienced it! I don't get how you don't get it! :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Word Verification

Am I the only one who has completely gotten used to these things?

When I first started with my blogging obsession, I had to squint to pick out each letter of the "word" and then slowly peck it out on the keyboard, double & triple checking to make sure I got it just right.

Now I read these things like they are real words, and my fingers fly over the keys like they are a part of my lifelong vocabulary.







They are dear friends to me. I find myself relishing the pronunciation of each clump of letters and wondering what their definition might be were they real.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January Spring

Just some signs that Arizona is a little seasonally confused.

Today's high was 80 degrees.

The flowers are all blooming.
POLLEN! Seriously....pollen.

I'm not so sure I love Arizona yet.

Bumbleride Giveaway!!!

Check out this awesome giveaway! Good luck.

Bumbleride Indie Twin Stroller in Spice

Monday, January 19, 2009


Is it creepy that I think these are the cutest things in the whole world? They almost make it fun to do laundry!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Nephew #2!!!

Everyone else has already posted about sweet baby Kyle, but I figured I would do it anyway for the select few who don't read all my family's blogs. Kyle Dean Ethington was born January 17th at 9:10 p.m. He weighed 8 lbs. 1 oz and was 20 inches long. He is identical to his daddy. I'm so sad I can't be there, but we will see him in a couple of months!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fish Tales...

Our dear Nemo passed away today. This isn't exactly what he looked like. He had longer fins- more wispy. He really was a beautiful fish. People commented on it all the time. But after looking through literally 45 pages of goldfish pictures, I give up. Why, might you ask, did I waste such an elaborate amount of time looking for a picture of a fish that wasn't even Nemo?! Maybe because I felt guilty that I had never taken a picture of this fish in the 4 (2) years that we owned him. For crying out loud!!!! It's a fish! What am I talking about?!?!?!

So- since this was his second death, we decided to be done with him and actually tell the kids (something we neglected to do with the first passing) he had died and have a little burial for him in the backyard.

As Owen, Hazel, and I were covering his grave with dirt, Nathan walked off to find a rock to cover the grave. Suddenly, from the other side of the fence, we heard a very high-pitched, fishy sounding voice saying "Hey kids. This is the ghost of Nemo. I just wanted to tell you to obey your parents. Peace out."

Then I tried to sing Amazing Grace but Nathan cut me off and said that was a little over the top.

Farewell were a good fish with lots of good tricks. You can not be I guess we will have to get a hermit crab.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Scaredy Cat

Against my better judgement, I let Owen play some Goosebumps games on the computer the other day. I no longer let him watch this show because it always causes nightmares, but the games looked pretty harmless. Things like "Create a Monster" where you pick funny body parts, etc. to make up your own monster. This couldn't scare him, right?

Putting him to bed tonight, the following conversation ensued:

Owen: "I'm scared"
Me: "There's nothing to be scared of"
Owen: "I don't want to have bad dreams. Those Goosebumps games scared me and I think I will have bad dreams now."
Me: "But you have to remember that they are only dreams- they are not real. Just funny thoughts that come into your head while you are sleeping."
Owen: "Why?"
Me: "Well....sometimes it has to do with what you were thinking about before you went to sleep, so maybe you should think of something funny before you fall a bunch of cats dancing." (first thing that came into my head)
Owen giggled a little bit and then hesitated before saying:
"That's kind of scary."

So I tried to look up some dancing cats to show him, and he's right! They ARE kind of scary.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How I spent my evening.....

I felt like Alobar (that's for you, Chris) trying to postpone my fate this evening, as I plucked gray hair after gray hair from my head.

How did you spend your evening?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What's the hold up?!

Today, while I was picking up Owen from school, there was a man who decided to park his car right in front of the exit for the pick up line. I mean, every person picking up their child from this school (where there are 900 students) had to swerve around him to get out of the line and back onto the road. As you can imagine, it was holding things up quite a bit and everyone was getting annoyed.

Well, if being Sue Parker's daughter has taught me anything, it's that some people are just too darn oblivious to know that they are being a nuisance, and someone needs to speak up! So of course, I took it upon myself to be that person.

All my windows were rolled down as I swerved around him and I politely yelled out the window (in my most chipper voice), "That's not a very good place to park!"

Now, in my opinion, this was not at all offensive.....that is until Hazel decided to add:

"Yeah, MORON!!!!"

What could I do besides laugh hysterically and speed away?!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The infomercial strikes again!

Yesterday, Owen asked me "Mom, do you have any gold jewelry?"
I chuckled because I already knew where this was heading (especially since my mother asked me the same question a few days ago when I was complaining about my finances). I said "No."
Owen: "Well there are these people who will take your old jewelry like necklaces or rings and they will destroy it and then they will give you a ton of money!"
Me: "Really?"
Owen: "Yeah- you should do that cause we need money more than we need gold."
Then he was sitting on the couch with Nathan watching this commercial:
and when it got to the part where they said "Wait! That's not all. Act now and we will include this stick anywhere closet light with 5 LCD bulbs," Owen said "That's pretty cool."
But the real clincher was when they told him to call now and they would include a second set of hangers for free. Owen turned to Nathan and said "Okay, now I really want to get that."
He's just like his dad.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

TRAVEL LOG (aka: I'm too old for this..........)

...too old for travel in general it seems. It makes me cranky and tired. Even when it is for one night. But I must say, it was all worth it to watch my kids play in the snow for a few hours (and do a little playing myself). We drove up to Flagstaff with Ghee and Aunt Sarah to celebrate New Year's Eve and enjoy the 2 feet of snow that still covered the ground.

Here are my backseat drivers (minus the biggest one- Nathan). They were awesome. And I mean awesome (in the most sarcastic sense of the word). I don't know how I ever would have pulled into a parking spot or managed to avoid rear-ending all those cars if they had not been there to keep me in line. I just had to give them some props.
We had a good drive. There were definitely some fights and screaming from the "way back," but G-Mommy's awesome Christmas gift of a dual screened DVD player (which Ghee thanks her for) kept it to a minimum. We had to make a trip to Wal-Mart before we could even get out of Phoenix so that I wouldn't be forced to play in the snow in flip-flops. We enjoyed the scenery and fast food stops along the way. We even stopped at a McDonald's that had leather club chairs and a flat screen T.V. And can I just take a moment to complain about public restrooms? I DESPISE having to rest my sweet bum upon a toilet seat that has been recently warmed by someone else's bum. Who's bum? What did they do on that toilet? What did they last eat? Who were they last with? I just can't handle it. But back to the drive....I especially enjoyed the stretch where I was stuck behind a semi emitting a strange odor that I quickly identified as hydrogen peroxide poured over sweaty feet.
We stayed at the Quality Inn. It was high class! We read reviews before we picked it and laughed at the things people complained about. What picky little terds. But then we got there and apparently the laugh was on us. It had the appearance of cleanliness, for sure. And that special smell that you can only experience at the old folks home. Like death covered by pine cleaner. Add a little bit of stale cigarette smoke and you can feel what I felt....or smelt. Seriously- it wasn't that bad. Although there was dried up spaghetti under our dresser. Lots of it. Bizarre.

So- we made it to Flagstaff safely and stopped at 4 different gas stations/stores to find sleds. We bundled up and made it to the snow park!!!!! We had too much fun to describe so I will let the insane amount of pictures do the talking.

Since this is how our snow experience began, I will start you out with a killer wipeout. Who doesn't love a good wipeout, right? This is me and Owen. He didn't think it was as funny as I did, but he recovered quickly. I'm pretty sure I had a serious butt injury.

Daddy and the kiddos stop to pose.

Aunt Sarah's action shot (doesn't this look like an American Eagle ad?).

Collapsed at the bottom of the hill.

Daddy catching some air. I would just like to say that I did this first before anyone else was brave enough to try. Admittedly, I probably started a little too high and caused my second injury of the trip- a swollen neck and sore tongue (which I bit as I hit the ground). But was it worth it? Did I do it again? Oh yes.

Our brave little slope shredder

Ghee watched and worried from a distance

Little snow bunny

The fam

Sarah and Lindsey warm up in the car after Day 1 of snow fun

On Day two we went to a different park that was WAY more crowded. There were about 300 people there. Lots of crashing into each other and people getting injured. Owen got to the point that he would just walk over to a hill and throw himself down onto his sled without even looking to see if anyone was in the way. He would hit people on the way down and then get hit at the bottom of the hill and he would just stand up and keep going. It was hilarious. Hazel kept saying "I want to go down a teeny hill where ice won't hit me in the face," so we just started calling all the hills teeny hills and she was satisfied.

Daddy takes Hazel down a "teeny" hill

Mom and the kiddos going for a ride

Can you tell what Sarah is?

Me and Aunt Sarah. Did I mention that I love her and want her to come live with us?

Trekking uphill for the 10,000,000,000th time

Owen waiting in line

Hazel standing amidst all the popped floats and looking precious as ever

Speaking of popped innertubes, Daddy managed to rip a big hole in ours on the biggest slope (again....was it worth it? yes). Hazel quickly realized that it was now the perfect "sled" for her. It made for a gentle ride. Not too fast, and easy to drag back up the hill. I wonder how many times she said "Again!"

Me and Hazel

Brother and sister resting at the bottom of the hill.
Nathan, Ghee and Sarah went to the town square at midnight to watch the pinecone drop. It was super crowded with 20 somethings gettin crazy. Oh how glad I am that I stayed at the hotel with the kids and went to bed at 11:00! Happy New Year!

Here's one snapshot of our relaxing scenic drive home. This might have been my favorite part because I slept through most of it.
I am just reminded of this morning when I woke up and couldn't move my swollen and bruised neck. I jumped in the shower (imagining a scalding, massaging shower to heal my wounds) and the shower head fell off. So instead I attempted to rinse myself with the water that gushed out of the hole in the wall. Like I said...I am too old for traveling.