Monday, September 23, 2013

I Lied to Ty.

A little while ago Russell and I talked about whether or not we would lie to our kids.  Ya know, the little white lie, fib kind that parents sometimes use to trick their children or avoid a problem.  We didn't really come up with an answer.

Well, Ty was supposed to be going to sleep (for a nap?) and he heard some music playing: an ice cream truck.  Now, I give my kids plenty of treats, but they don't need to know quite yet about the over-priced, stale gumball in the middle, never-as-good-as-you-hope ice cream truck.  So the subject was avoided.  He was supposed to be going to sleep. 

Instead of telling him it was a truck playing music to entice kids to waste their parents' money, I said he was hearing a lullaby for another kid.  Then we got to go through the barrage of questions: "Who is it for?  What's the kid's name? Why are they playing it?  What's a lullaby?  Can I have more water?"  I hope the ice cream truck puts him to sleep every time he hears it...that could be kinda funny.  :)

For the Final Time...RUSSELL GRADUATED!!!

While the children and I were hanging out with family in CA, Russell was working his patootie off (well, not all the way off--thank goodness!) on the research project that he had been working on for the past 3 years.  Like his graduate school thesis...  Anyway, I'm going to let Russell fill this part in since, duh, it's all about him!

Earning his cords with his faculty adviser.  This means he's done!  He passed!  Just the official walking with the gown and song and stuff left.  Oh, yeah--and the big ol' bill from the whole fun school process!
Lila totally passed out during her Daddy's ceremony.  In her defense, it was a little long...  Glad Gramma Vicki was there to hold her!
We started as Russell and pregnant Carolyn.  And look at us now!  We're a family!

We're so glad that Big Papa (Russell's dad) and Gramma Vicki came down to commemorate this big event for Russell.  Right after this, we headed to Famous Dave's, a favorite BBQ place of ours that we were happy to introduce to another generation.  (My dad has already been there a number of times; he knows what's up with FD's!)
I really am SO proud.  He put in lots of work--I should know!--not just for his degree and to complete to program, but to start a great career and be a knowledgeable and complete professional. 

As a graduation present, we went with Russell's parents to see KA, the Cirque du Soleil show at the MGM Grand.  It was mind-blowingly amazing!  (Hey, look--no kids!  Thanks a BILLION, Dad, for watching them!)
The generous half of our double date.
After the show we went to Bobby Flay's restaurant (which, FYI, took forever to find/get to), but it was worth it!  This was checking off an item on Vicki's bucket list and it was fun to watch her soak it all in!  Like these tiny, but de-lish lobster tacos.
For UNLV's actual graduation ceremony, which was on a Sunday, my dad helped me get the kids ready and we ended up right next to Big Papa and Gramma Vicki!  Lucky us: we got to pack into the stadium for a few hours to see Russell's hooding ceremony.  Luckier us: we have babies who needed to get home and take a nap, so we left shortly after the Physical Therapy class was all graduated.  So, thanks, children. :)

We fairly easily spotted Russell sitting down with the other graduates.  It was nice that he was sitting on the end of a row, too!  Also nice that he wasn't lost in the sea of red...
Your fans, Dr. Russell.  :)  (Nevermind the fact that Avery looks a little...okay, a lot disheveled.  She arrived at the event just as dressed as Lila was, but that girl is squirmy!)
Here's a question: who' s SO handsome...
SO smart...
SO officially graduated (apparently, the red and white is UNLV and the green is Health on his hood)...
And has 2 thumbs?  This guy!
Ladies and gentlemen: Dr. Russell Gourlie, PT, DPT
Love 'im.  Even though he did all of the schoolwork and I was many times more of a distraction than a help with the whole studying and school thing, I'd like to think that we still kinda went through it together. 
All Ty's ever known is his daddy being in school!  There is life beyond graduate school, so they say...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cousin Sawyer's B-day and the JBF!

After we finished up at Disneyland, the littles and I rode back with my dad to Fairfield, CA to spend some time up there and our of Russell's hair while he finished up his final presentation in preparation for graduation.  
While in NorCal, we got to hang out with Leslie, Sawyer, and Carl a bunch!  We even helped to celebrate Sawyer's 3rd birthday!
 Cute 3-year-old Soy
 Funny kid!
 We failed to bring over a 2nd pack-n-play while we were at Curt and Lel's house, so I decided unwisely to just put Avery on Sawyer's bed and put some pillows next to it in case she fell off.  We heard a little squawk, so I ran upstairs and couldn't find her!  I moved the pillows and found her underneath the bed!  Guess we won't try that again.  Oops.
I was excited for Ty to get to go to the Jelly Belly Factory, a Fairfield, CA landmark and our "claim to fame."  This little car was right inside the door and the boys were already having fun!  (And by "fun" I mean fighting over who got to steer...)
 Far-Far, Soy, and Ty watching the chocolate confections being made.

 We had to wait a few minutes before the factory tour started, but Ty was great entertainment for his sisters!
Even the wallpaper was delicious!  The strawberries taste like strawberries, the snozberries taste like snozberries...!  ;)
There's no picture-taking allowed on the candy-making tour, but I assure you Sawyer and Ty's little faces were smashed up against each of the viewing windows watching all of the people, robots, machines, and CANDY!
After the tour, Ty was SO excited to get his own bag of Jelly beans! 
 You can't tell in this picture, but the babies' hats have wet spots and pieces bitten/ripped off.  I realize that it's all safety/food handling policy for everyone on the tour to wear a hat, but Avery and Lila
 The gang outside the factory...minus Sawyer.  (I think Leslie had already picked him up...I hope.)

Shout out to Naps.

I'd like to send a special "thank you" to naps today.  My children needed you and you were there, naps.  Way to go.  Here's why you were needed:
  • Ty woke up at 6:30. Doesn't he know by now that kids aren't supposed to wake up early in this family?
  • Ty was cranky and whiny about...well, just about everything.  For example: he was mad I finished changing Lila's diaper instead of playing baseball right away with him.
  • When playing baseball (in our living room; don't worry, the ball is squishy), Ty cried and threw the plastic bat because I threw him a bad pitch.
  • I dropped a diaper down the stairs to throw out in the trash and it exploded.  I had a big ol' mess to clean up.
  • Lila cried because she couldn't go down the 2 steps to the play room from the hallway.
  • Avery had a melt down because Ty took my phone away from her.  I took it away from both of them.  C'mon, guys. 
  • Ty told me a sassy, "NO!" to just about every request.
  • Lila and Avery followed me into the bathroom (great) and then Ty closed the door on us when I asked him not to, causing the babies to cry.  And I was still just trying to use the dang restroom.
  • I didn't go to bed as early as I should have, but didn't bake the cookies I was supposed to have ready for today, so I still needed to do that.  Plus I was tired.
  • Ty freaked out because he didn't have his clothes on yet.
  • And so on.
SO, thank you, thank you.  I now have cookies made, plated, and ready to go, the diaper mess cleaned up, and clothes on.  Let's hope this afternoon is much better.  I know you have magical powers that turn cranky-pants children (and adults) into the happy ones we know and love. We'll probably use your services again.  Come around any time, naps.  We love you.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Disneyland: The End!

We skipped going back to the hotel for naps and just went ahead with our day.  It just took SO much time out of our day to trek back to the parking garage, unload into our room, get settled into beds, wake up, eat, load back up, yada, yada, yada.  Of course, we suffered the consequences and Ty was beyond tired at the end, but one day nap-free won't kill him.  I'm sure that's not what he remembers about Disneyland, right?  Uh, right?

For being 8-months old and stuck in the stroller for most of the day, the twins really were champs.  Avery was excited to get out and go on "Pirates of the Caribbean" with Daddy!
Yaarrr!!  Lolly must have turned into a pirate on the ride! 
So, we decided to get each of the kids a souvenir, but we didn't know what to actually get for the girls.  What we ended up with was stopping at City Hall on Main St. in Disneyland and picking up (for free) 2 of the "1st Visit" buttons and taking their picture in pink Mickey (well, Minnie) ears.  We didn't actually buy them...just took a picture. 
Lila enjoying her souvenir.  :)
Contrary to the view here, I think everyone actually enjoyed "The Little Mermaid" ride.
This was Ty's souvenir: an expanding sword, light saber-kind of thing with a Mickey face that lit up...he thought it was cool and I definitely can't say he has anything like it!  I don't think he even knew it lit up until it was dark.  Surprise!  We did have a lesson on not hitting people and such...
We waited in line (which really was only about 10 minutes) to see the REAL Lightning McQueen!  Ty was so excited!  He went right up to McQueen's headlights and showed him his Cars shirt.  Sweet magical little Disney moment.
By the time we walked down about 100 yards to the statue of Stanley, Ty was gone.  He was melting down and losing it.
Looks like Ty is so happy.  This is SO not what was happening at this time!  While in line for the Luigi's Flying Tires ride, which I know any other day he would be dying to go on, Ty let his meltdown go into full force.  But we were going on the ride, darn it all!  Luckily the line was outside so I don't think he disturbed too many others.
So even on the ride, this is what Ty looked like.  Crazy tired boy.  (This is not a proud parenting moment.)  I got to ride with Soren, who helped me steer and was quite a good little ride partner!
Are these not the dumbest looking Disneyland hats?! When the heck else would you wear a ding-dong-looking tire on your head? They've got some stiff competition, too.
Ty saw these pictures a bit ago and busted up laughing! 
And the babies didn't quite make it until the end.  If someone pushed me around in a little red recliner, I'd never be awake!
This was Ty before we even left the parking garage!  Good.  We get as much Disney in his system as it would hold.
Tina and I realized we didn't even get any pictures together! (Or any whole-group shots.) Something about taking care of kids...  Glad they live close and came to party with us!
We were pooped by the end and it definitely is a different experience going with little kids, especially 3 under 3.   HUGE thanks to Far-Far (my dad) for joining us.  There's no way we could have gone at all if he didn't agree to come along.  We really had to beg him to go...such a chore to use his Super-Everything-Disney pass to go with his grandkids!  We really did have fun, but it was the kind of fun that will have to wait a few years before we repeat.  If I can convince Russell (and I probably can, because he's so very nice to me), we'll go again just before the twins turn they're still free, duh!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Disneyland: Morning of Day 3

Our 3rd day at Disneyland started with a fun time for Russell and me, but not so much for the rest of the crew (Tina, my dad, and aaaallll 6 little ones!) who met us later in the morning. Russell and I had the "Magic Morning" early entry on our passes so we went on a date!  Timing was good since Russell had just taken his "drain your brain" PT exam the day before. We hit some of the big rides that the kiddos would have to wait off of.  

Like Star Tours! I hadn't been on it since they added the sweet 3D goggles.  (Do you think that guy knows he's photo bombing?)
 The castle!  Cute story: a few weeks ago Ty and I were talking about why we pay tithing to the church and what it helps to do.  I told him it helps to build temples and he said, "Yeah--and the castle at Disneyland!"  Uh, not quite.
 Ride on the carousel, but this time it's the one in Disneyland!
 Aunt Tina, Soren, and Alana riding ahead of us.  :)
 We didn't actually go on the Mr. Toad ride, but the kids sorta took turns driving the car!  (Oh, and thanks for the matching Cars shirts, Curt and Lel!)
 Far-far waiting in line with us for Dumbo!
 Ty and Lila rode with me in a lovely orange Dumbo.  It took Ty a little while to get the hang of the little joystick moving the Dumbo up and down, but when he did he was giggling!  It was cute. 
 "It's a Small World!" 
 Hooray!  Lila and Avery get to go on a ride, too!  I can't remember if they stayed awake, but they didn't cry, at least!  From this picture, looks like they enjoyed looking around.  
 Riding the train with Daddy!  Ty liked this one.  :)  Oh, man. We didn't get a picture on the Monorail, but we told Ty we were going to ride it and he was excited.  As we finagled the double stroller (and twins) through the turn style, a monorail train was leaving.  Ty ran ahead, right up to the gate, crying "Monowail!  Monowail!!!"  He was kinda hysterical that it left without him...until another one pulled up. 
 A visit to Toontown!  Ty's a bad driver.
 Yep, "taking turns" driving again and apparently, Ty thought Soren's turn was over.
 Playing in Goofy's house!
 And Goofy's crazy yard!  It really was nice to have a playground area for the kids to run around in.  As much as Disneyland is for kids, there isn't a whole lot of running around and letting loose like Goofy lets you do in his yard!  Funny thing here: Soren totally fell off of the slide!  He didn't get hurt, and I'm not really sure how he did it, but he clearly is no longer on the traditional path to the ground. 
 Last but not least, look at how STRONG Russell is!  What a hunk!
 {Lucky you, there's still more Disneyland pictures to come...)