Wednesday, June 30, 2010

movie stars in the making

i just lost a ton of minutes of my life trying to upload videos to this post. in fact, it's still uploading now. this better work or i am going to be UPSET. apparently my 'settings' were on the 'new version', which doesn't include the 'filmstrip icon' needed to upload videos. some geek named 'peter' from the 'internet' helped me out with this. thanks 'peter'!

it's 9:42pm. chris was supposed to get off of work at 5pm today... i am wondering what is going to break down and need major repairs since chris has been pulling a lot of overtime this week. c'mon criminals! take a break! my kids want to hang out with their dad and i just want to eat a warm meal with my husband! is that too much to ask??!?

now it's 1:17pm. two days after i started the beginning of this post. chris actually ended up coming home soon after i started complaining to the world about his fantastic job that he happens to love and that puts bread, rice, meat, and mangoes on the table. it's been a really slow posting week. sorry. but mostly cause the kids and i have been really busy having a great time together. tey've both been in pretty great moods this week, which is great for me since i have spent a LOT of time with them. it is hotter than hades here in arizona so we have been doing more-than-usual hanging out at home. this means we are watching more movies (the kids just watched 'The Lion King' and LOVED it. they didn't even notice that i skipped about 3 major scenes that had blood and fighting.) and making our own movies. or i guess you could call them videos. whatever.

i've been taking tons of videos of the kids since we got our FlipShare video camera in march, but i am a disgustingly lazy and not-techy bum, so it's taken me this long to figure out how to upload the videos to my computer, and to post them to this blog. better late than never.

so here are my kids, singing two of their favorite songs. lily knows 75-90% of the words in "Jesus Loves Me", depending on how distracted she is. in her video debut, she knows about 76% of the words, and gets caught in two 'loops'. kinda like rousseau and her message on the island in LOST. topher is singing his favorite song/line: "Happy Birthday". it's really just one line of the 'Happy Birthday' song, sung over and over again. the lines 'Happy birthday dear whoever' never comes up, so don't hold your breath for it. at the end of the 'song', he 'blows out the candles.' usually, if you 'blow out the candles' with him, he gets upset and starts the song all over again. chris loves to 'blow out the candles' with topher and can get his son to sing the song for about five minutes straight. it's amazing. i have not been able to capture it on film yet though.

anyway, i definitely feel like one of those 'american idol moms' who think their kids are the most talented and most beautiful things in the world. i used to laugh at those moms, until i realized there's nothing wrong with being your kids' biggest fans. would i be their biggest fan to the point of embarrassing them and myself on national tv? i'm not sure. we'll have to see in 13 years when lily will be old enough to audtion... (don't get me wrong folks, i am hoping and praying that show is not still on in 13 years. in fact, after this last season, i think they should pack it up and call it a day.)

hope you enjoy our home-movies as much as i do! stay cool arizonites

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

terrible twos? kinda... terrific threes? yes!

tonight, i was putting the kids down and we were going through our regular bedtime routine of stories and songs and lots of 'sit down, stop doing that, no jumping on the bed, sit down, quit it's in between. lily was in the middle of singing 'Jesus loves me' and got her foot stuck in topher's bed. these kids cannot sit still! so i was comforting lily, a very very tired lily, and so i held her in my arms and sang the rest of "Jesus loves me", my lullabye of choice when she was a baby (and i couldn't remember any other kids' songs). my heart just melted as she started to drift off to sleep in my arms as i rocked her and topher sat on the floor and sang along. bliss. pure.

anyway, the last few days i have been meaning to write a post of encouragement to parents who may be having a hard time with the 'two and under' crowd. cause a hard time i did have with my little lilster! but she is blossoming! too fast now.

here are some 'big' issues we have had and have recently overcome, and i am just hoping it brings you some hope if you are in the midst of some of the same:

- picky eater: when lily was a baby, she loved to eat. and she would eat anything. and it showed. in her thunder thighs :) she started getting trimmer and slimmer when she started crawling, and life changed when she turned one- she was walking, she was a big sister, and she was suddenly too cool for food. so from the age of one to three, she was picky and therefore hungry. i am an absolute believer that you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make them drink. i've seen it! even if the horse is thirsty! sometimes it just won't drink! a rule in our house is that you just have to taste what's on your plate. just a little lick. don't reject it til you've tried it. she wouldn't eat vegetables, or meat, or certain fruits, or anything that didn't have ketchup smeared on it. it was a source of much stress and many battles at the dinner table. as some of my friends have noticed, my love language is FOOD. yes i am fond of words of affirmation and all that, but i speak love through food. i feed those i love. whether that's me cooking or buying food. you reject my food, you reject me. i say that kinda jokingly and kinda not at all. lily has been so good about eating almost everything we put in front of her lately- curry, hot dogs, cooked carrots, ribs, etc. i could not be happier that this portion of our lives is behind us.

- won't poop on the potty: lily has been using the potty since january, and she has been amazing. she even stopped needing a pull-up to sleep in about a month into the whole thing. she's got a huge bladder! she has not had any accidents on the peeing front, but pooping has not been her forte. what she makes up in huge bladderness, she loses in having a very very sensitive toosh. she was not the most regular girl, and admittedly she probably did not have the most balanced diet. she drank a lot of milk (a natural constipator. unless you're lactose intolerant like me. then it's a natural get-out-of-my-way-before-i-poop-me-pants.) did not eat hardly any vegetables and was even pretty picky about the fruit she would consume. i had fiber gummies, fiber bars, and we tried to eat lots of strawberries that i think have a lot of fiber in em. per our pediatricians recommendations we had her on a 'healthy' dose of miralax everyday. that helped. if lily had a painful bowel movement, she would be scared to poo, and therefore wouldn't. for a while she dropped her deuces in pull-ups, sometimes in her undies. it was very very very frustrating for all of us, but lots of websites we read just told us to be patient and not push the issue. so we bit our tongues and waited and waited. chris really took the reins on this pooping on the potty situation. he read articles on it, and told lily stories about how the poops in her belly needed to go to their mommy and daddy poopoos that lived in the potty. "let your baby poopoos go to their mommy and daddy!" he would tell her. now when lily excretes into the toilet, she looks in and 'names' the poops: "baby, mommy, daddy." she waves, and says good bye as she flushes them home. the miralax definitely helped her to get to where she needed to be- a comfortable place. now with it being summer and us swimming almost every day and consuming insane amounts of mango and watermelon and other wonderful summer fruit and drinking tons and tons of water, we are all regularly waving bye to the poopoo families in the toilet. this can, and will be you and your toddler!!!!

-won't talk. i remember i used to freak out due to lily's silence. it didn't help that some people commented on it. she was not really saying a whole lot even after she turned two. she knew plenty of words and would obey two  to three step commands. but words were not her forte. and that's so crazy to think of, since she is such a chatty cathy now! she counts in english, korean, and spanish. she doesn't speak much korean (geez, whose fault is that...) but she understands what i tell her when i remember to speak it to her. she runs around the house singing, whispering, blubbering, talking. she has a secret language that is decipherable only to topher, and that is precious. i don't even care what they are saying, it's so cute that they are saying it to each other. but when she talks to the rest of us- it's english! and it's clear (ok, really clear to chris and i, clear to others if you really pay attention.) and i am so ashamed that i lost so much sleep and felt so much angst about the fact that she wasn't speaking when i 'thought she was supposed to be' talking. that is one of my main struggles- making sure my kids are keepin up with the joneses. and i work daily to let that crap go. cause it doesn't matter! my kids (your kids!) will do what they need to do when they are good and ready to do it!

you may be judging me for admitting that lily's 'twos' were kinda terrible. lily was not terrible. the stage we found ourselves in was not easy though! and NO ONE ever said parenting was going to be easy. so i don't know why i thought it might be... lily really made me 'work' and kept me on my toes. and i love her for it! she is so special. so unique. so stubborn. :) i am no 'professional parent', you gotta take my stories with a grain of salt. everyone's stories are different. lily's stories are different than topher's stories, and they have the exact same messed up mom! but these are the tunnels that we have come through, and we are basking in the light! i just want to give you hope, if hope is what you need, that one day you will bask too.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

be a superstar korean chef

i guess from the sounds of my title, i am saying that i am a superstar chef and that i can teach you how to become like me. sorry if that's the impression you got. i am no superstar chef, especially not a korean one. ( i do have the awesome caucasian people i cook for fooled though.)  BUT i do hold the most basic of all korean recipes, from which millions of korean dishes are born.

the picture up top is your secret to korean cooking success. it's red pepper paste. every korean family has one of these in their fridge. my little tub is 1kg. (2.2 lbs) and i'm pretty sure the one in my mom's fridge is 5kg. that's a lot of fermented soybean, rice, and mashed up red peppers. this can be bought at any asian/international food store. for those in the east valley: pretty much anywhere along dobson rd.

also to be found in every korean household are the following ingredients:
sesame oil, soy sauce, crushed garlic, and of course the red pepper paste. and some sugar (the brown stuff int he middle.) these are the 5 ingredients you need to make the sauce for the million aformentioned korean dishes.

all you have to do is scoop and pour out as you please. i usually do about 1-2 heaping tablespoons of the paste. a teaspoon of garlic. a tablespoon of sugar (white suage is fine). a good drizzle of the soy sauce and sesame oil. mix it all together and give it a taste. it should kinda look like this:
you can add a bit of water to make the sauce spread out more. and add more sugar or other ingrdient that you feel is kinda lacking. more paste if you need more bite. more sugar if you have too much bite. more soy sauce if you need a bit more tartness. you get the picture. you kinda can't go wrong with these five ingredients.

then you add your meat.
here i used chicken leg quarters. you can add ANYTHING. i really love ribs in this sauce. you can do pork, beef, squid, or octopus. (i know i lost some of you land-locked arizonites just now. but that's what we korean-surrounded-by-water folk like to eat. and it's cause it's DELICIOUS!) you can also add 'rice cakes' (not the 'Quaker' kind you buy at the store. i mean korean sticky rice 'cakes'), potatoes, carrots, zucchini, even some old kimchi if you got it (which i had so i did.) 

cook your meat till it's done. with my chicken i did about 15 minutes on one side and 10-15 on the other. covered. but my chicken pieces were pretty big and not completely thawed out.

when you're done, get your rice, throw your meat on top, and voila! a korean meal! 
i make mine pretty not-too-spicy cause the kids eat it too. i'm so proud of my little half-korean babies and their ever-expanding palette for different foods!

this may have seemed like a complicated recipe but i assure you it's not! otherwise i wouldn't use it. ever. the sauce takes one minute to make if you have all the ingredients on the counter with you. the only thing that is time consuming is the cooking of the meat itself. this is sersiously so very easy. try it. and love it. and tell your friends you are a superstar korean chef.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

great dads all around


today is father's day. and i am seriously surrounded, innundated in fact, by amazing dads. my own father, living in toronto, is awesome. we don't have the most conventional relationship- i see him once a year and we speak on the phone every few weeks- mostly so the kids can say 'hi' to him and make his day. we are not superclose, but it's not from a lack of effort on his part. when i was a little kid he thought being a 'great dad' was being the most involved dad in the world. and involved he was! he was at every parent-teacher meeting, every school function, he signed us up for everything from swimming lessons to self-defense classes to piano lessons to girl scouts to korean language classes. we were busy kids, but that's cause he wanted us to be the best kids we could be. he tried so hard. and only now, in my old age am i thankful for his efforts. kids- so ungrateful and unaware... sheesh! sorry dad!

i now have the honor of having two awesome father-in-laws. they are so special to my heart for different reasons. wes, chris' dad, is hilarious, just like his son. hanging out with him is always great fun. the man is talented in a plethora of ways. i got chris a laptop for father's day (he needed it. and would have bought it himself eventually. but he was very happy to unwrap it this morning! boys and their gadgets) anyway, before i made the purchase, wes was the first person i asked for advice. he is a bonafide geek. and proud of it. he is a musical genius, arizona sports fanatic, and a really great grandfather. he LOVES his grandbabies. his idea of love is sharing. he NEEDS to share his favorite shows (LOST!) with the people he loves so they can have even more common ground, and more time to hang out together. big games, big events, small events, everyday, his home is open and he loves to hang out. he is a life-share-er and love-giver.

jerry is a wonderful father-in-law as well. so chill, so hospitable, so loving. he is also a man of many many talents. he works hard at everything he does, whether mowing the lawn every other day (you have to see this man's yard. it is beyond absurd. only lawn that has green grass every day of the year here in the desert. no small feat people.) or fixing a bargain-basement steal of a deal toy for his grandbabies (like their fully operational battery-powered cadillac escalade) or working hard at his job or just loving the little people who bring him so much joy. jerry loves well. you can see it in his wife's countenance, and in my kids' squeals of joy when we pull up to his house and the kids scream out for "nana and papa!!!!" we had the pleasure of going out for dinner with jerry and barb today and we LOVE to hang out with these people. not only are they our family, but they are some of our closest friends. oh love. how great it is.

it is crazy to be surrounded by so many men who show love and speak love as openly as all these men. 
they are such great examples for my kids to be around!

but there is no greater example of love and great daddy-ness than my dear husband (c'mon, you all saw this coming.) oh the love he has for his children! and the love he so freely displays! the kids are never in doubt of his love and affection for them. which is why they favor him so heavily when we are all hanging out together. sometimes it is really hard/impossible for chris to eat a meal cause the kids both want to sit on his lap. they love their daddy!

and every day chris is striving to love his kids better. today he told me that he wanted to make sure that he is aware of who his kids are and to celebrate that. it is too easy to make the kids a portal of all our missed opportunities- to push them to become everything we wanted to be and never became. this is chris' beautiful illustration: he doesn't want to wish for lily to be a rose but then look at her shortcomings in being a rose, because she is in fact a sunflower. instead of focusing on what an ugly rose she is, to recognize that she is a sunflower, and a beautiful one at that. 

father's day is a special one in our household cause there are so many great dads in our lives to celebrate. and don't even get me started on all the great dads, and uncles, that my brothers james, justin, and robert are! we had a great father's day today, we hope you and your family did as well.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

summer photo funtimes!


last week, or maybe two weeks ago, my friend jenny kidnapped my kids and took ridiculously cute pictures of them doing their favorite thing in the whole wide world- playing in water! seriously, the first words out of lily and topher's mouths, every morning is: "bathing suit". we sing songs about their bathing suits (happy birthday bathing suit, the itsy botsy spider climbed up the bathing suit, etc)  this morning, i heard the pitter patter of their feet, at 6am, going to the potty, and then over to the laundry 'room' and opening the dryer to see if their suits were there. which they usually are, but weren't this morning. so i had to get out of bed to help them out. if their suits had been in the dryer, i could have bought myself about 15 more minutes of sleep. i think. i will try it tomorrow and let you know.

i digress, so we met jenny at the splash pad right behind liberty market (one of my favoritest restaurants) at 6:30pm. apparently this is good light for pictures. i just trust jenny when she tells me these things. this ended up being the perfect time cause not too many people were out and it was still SO HOT. 110 degrees (40+ celsius) at 6:30. that's not right. anyhoo, the kids had tons of fun and jenny did a great job capturing my kids in all their crazy glory.

check out her website: jennybishopphotography.com for more details about this awesome summer promo she is running. and you may be so lucky as to get pictures of your kids like this:


and here is the artist at work:
(look jenny! i caught sunflare!)

Friday, June 18, 2010

salads!

we are not the healthiest eaters in the world. i am a big fan of food in boxes- like rice a roni, and hamburger helper, kraft macaroni and cheese, etc.  but lately i have a been a big fan of salads, so here is a quick look (sans pictures. sorry) at some salads we've been eating lately as i have been seriously lazy from this horrendous heat.

southwest salad-
-chicken, get the rotisserie one that they make for you at the store and shred it up. so easy! or grill, roast your own
-vegetables of your choice, bag salads are also a lazy favorite of mine
-crushed tortilla chips
-shredded cheese
-southwest ranch dressing (either mix some salsa or taco sauce with some ranch dressing)

some variations:
-brown ground beef with taco seasoning
-chicken marinaded in buffalo wing sauce mixed with dry ranch dressing. put this in the crock pot until chicken is cooked through. change dressing to blue cheese (if that's your thing. it's not mine.)

if you are not a big 'bagged salad' fan- give it a shot! they have a couple of different options- caesar, asian sesame, southwest, and once you try one and like it, you can just copy all the things that you find in their kit. (which is what i did with the above salad recipe)

especially for you moms out there- do what you have to do to feed your family and make it as easy as possible for yourself. ready-to-make meals are all around!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

the sauce lady commeth



lately i have heard lots of grief, sighs, complaints about the same thing: cooking. and women- i hear ya! sometimes i love to cook, and sometimes i loathe it. but when you're on a tight budget- you gotta do what you gotta do. so i am going to try to post some supereasy recipes to hopefully inspire you, whether from my own ideas or cause you think you can do much better than me. and i bet you could.

the secret to my success in the kitchen is to have a lot of different sauces and marinades. it makes the exact same meal (say chicken and rice) so different, depending on the 'sauce' you use.
here's what i'm talking about:
one day- chicken in cream of mushroom soup, with cubed potatoes and carrots, and rice
another day- chicken in terriyaki sauce (i like 'yoshidas'), with added cabbage and onions, and rice
another day- chicken curry (i get these packages from the asian food store. so easy and seriously delicous. try vermonts, or... the one that i always buy and cannot remember the name of...) with frozen veggies, and rice
yet another day- chicken in spicy korean sauce (i will have a seperate post on this later), with mushrooms, zucchini, and rice
another day still- bread and fry chicken pieces, buy or make sweet and sour sauce, eat with rice

that's 5 days of meals, using the same two basic staples, and adding vegetables as you/if you please. and these meals do not require any sweat or tears or time. start your rice, do up the chicken so there's no pink (cause no one likes salmonella), and dinner is done!

and then here's the twist- you switch out the chicken for beef, or pork, and you've got ten more meals. switch out the rice for pasta, or even fix different kinds of rice (most of the time i use korean rice, but i have a big place in my heart for Rice-a-roni long grain rice) and you have EVEN MORE meal choices!

cans of soup are pretty cheap, and if you buy a couple bottles of marinaes that you really like, those will last you a good 4-8 meals, depending on how many people you are feeding and how much marinade you use every time. stock up your pantry with these supereasy meal boosters and you will be good to go!

be on the look our for more detailed recipes over the next few days.

happy cooking, and more importantly- happy eating!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

great hub

my husband is awesome. i say thi soften, and i mean it every time. yesterday he came home early from work (cause he had training all day. i love training days!) then we went to target to do some random+grocery shopping together, we had dinner, put the kids down, and then had our first bible study together. i got 'reading the psalms with Luther' for my birthday MANY years ago from grandma. i read/used the book as a devotional guide for awhile, and then i had a bunch of kids and never really picked it back up. but it has been awesome to go through with chris! so i had a pretty unbelievable night. but the one part i left out was that when chris came home early from work, he stopped by AJs (purveyors of fine foods.... it's a 'fancy' grocery store, but they happen to have an AMAZING selection of flowers in there too.) and got me some flowers! for no reason! and he even said that he almost contemplated NOT getting them for me because he was afraid it would make my mind explode, trying to come up with the millions of different reasons he was getting me flowers (cheating? got fired? has herpes? has a gambling addiction? etc.) but his only reason was cause he loves me and thinks i'm wonderful. oh my wonderful husband!!!! 

the bouquet was too big for one vase so i split it up. the sunflowers (my fave) are in my fave blue vase from lindsay (thanks sister!) and gerber daisies (my superclose second fave) plus other pretties in my other little vase that i don't remember the origin of...

Monday, June 14, 2010

the rhyme bible

time for another book review! cause it's been awhile. this is a serious favorite in our household. i think i bought this for my girlfriend who was about to have a baby a million years ago when we were both teaching in korea together. does that sound accurate to you janice? i got this for stephen, right? if not... i meant to!...

anyway, when i had lily, janice, my beautiful, thoughtful friend, sent this to me from canada. thanks janice, we read this all the time!

this is the Bible in rhyme and pictures. it's by L.J Sattgast and illustrated by Toni Goffe. it's not the whole bible (otherwise this thing would be a million piages instead of 441). but it's got the important stories like creation, jonah, the birth and death of Christ, the kid who shared his lunch so that Jesus could feed the 5000, and other gems. i have another Bible for kids and they do not talk about the death of Christ at all! what would i read for easter if that were my only kids' Bible? i have to admit that i am disappointed that Sattgast didn't make up any rhymes for any verses or stories from Leviticus or Numbers. it's not hard to find a rhyme for Shupham and the Shuphamite clan. the next line has it for you: "Hupham and the Huphamite clan." oh well, you can't have it all i guess. or maybe i will write a rhyme and picture book of Leviticus and Numbers... hmm... new summer (read: lifelong)  project?...

the pictures in this Bible are just as good as the rhymes. i thought they were by Quentin Blake (the guy who illustrated all those roald dahl books. if you don't know who that is, then i just can't help you.), but apparently Toni Goffe is the genius behind the pencil on this one.

anyway, i'm certain you and your family will love this book as much as me and mine. happy reading!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

san diego: a terrible hotel

i'm not sure how much of this is going to be repeat information, but i feel that it is my duty to let the public know about the terrible hotel i stayed at while we were in san diego. i have stayed in some pretty bad hotels, actually, all in san diego. in our first year of marriage, two of our good friends got married, but in san diego, and not to each other. so were down there more often than usual. so we stayed in some really cheap hotels. but at least you know what to expect when you stay in a place where you pay only $60 a night- nothing. you expect nothing, and you get nothing. and you leave feeling satisfied that you got everything you thought you were going to get. when we booked our rooms at PORTA VISTA BOUTIQUE HOTEL. apparently 'boutique' means 'crap house' in california. who knew?...


so, the website looks nice enough. i was looking forward to staying at a quaint-looking independent hotel. they had recently renovated the place to look modern. i didn't really care for the decor, but that was the least of my issues. the rooms were TINY, which is ok, since it made us not spend time in our room. there was supposed to be 'free wi-fi', but of course it just happened to be 'down' for our first two days there. there was a 'stain' on the carpet by my side of the bed. i called it 'lotion' the whole time, but that may have been wishful thinking. my shoes were on the whole time i was in our room.

the walls are very thin, and pretty much any outside noise sounds like it is in your room. we got there on thursday afternoon, so friday morning was still a school day. in arizona, school is out. i can only assume california kids are still in school, cause i could hear the blasted crossing guard blowing his blasted whistle every five minutes, starting at 7am. awesome. friday also happened to be garbage day. i know this cause i could hear the garbage guys faithfully doing their job. at about 7am. if anyone in the hotel is taking a shower- i could hear them taking a shower. i was really tired, so despite all the noise, i managed to go back to sleep after every interruption. i got my butt out of bed at 9:30 every morning, just in time to get my free breakfast upstairs...

the wait staff at 'the glass door' are very lucky that i ate breakfast there twice after having gotten more sleep than i am used to. cause if i had been tired AND hungry, people would have surely died there. i have never seen so many incompetent people working in one place at the same time. lily and topher move with more purpose and speed. they could work there. serisously.  i asked for 'cutlery'. 'what?' 'a knife and a fork dude.' english was this idiot's first language. i got a knife and fork about 20 minutes later. after having asked a different guy for it. the food was mediocre at best. the coffee was terrible. did i mention the service was garbage?

oh yeah, and they had those tiny little jars of jam on the tables. four of them. in a cute little jam-holder. and of course, at least 2 out of the 4 jams were half-used. that's gross for a restaurant. not hygienic people. what if people licked their knives and re-dipped it into the jam jar? there were so many opportunities for me to catch a disease at this hotel! if you read lindsay's blog, you have already heard about how her coffee mug had lipstick on it. lipstick that wasn't hers! here are robert and lindsay pretending to enjoy their breakfast experience: 



the location of the hotel is pretty central, so that's one positive for this horrible establishment. also, they were pretty close to the starting line for the marathon. i saw lots of people walking towards the spot where i dropped off my princess husband. (just joking chris!) another nice thing was that the hotel staff did have a spread of fruit and coffee for the marathon runners, starting at 4am. so thanks for that.

but otherwise, our experience was a pretty negative one. someone also managed to lose half of their bikini down a drain which caused the pipes to back up and spew dirty nastiness up in some of the rooms. our room was unaffected, but poor robert and lindsay were not so lucky. remember what i said about disease-catching? the hotel wanted to compensate them with a free toothbrush and toothpaste because robert's toiletry bag probably caught an std. scoundrels. they ended up comping our mandatory valet parking of $14/day. so i guess we 'saved' $56.

anyway, i am all about supporting small businesses and giving the 'little people' a chance. but porta vista hotel- you had your chance, and you guys suck. i give thee no support.
here we are in the hotel lobby, on our last night there. so happy to be leaving in the morning! (i look a little pregnant in my dress. it's the dress. not me. do not ask if i am pregnant unless you want me to punch you in the face.)

Friday, June 11, 2010

san diego: marathon

this post is dedicated to my psychotic husband. the marathon runner. this all just started off as 'something to do'. he had always kinda wanted to run a marathon, just so he could say he had done it. there are things that i want to do just so i can say i've done it, but none of those things include me running for over 4 or 5 or 6 hours. most of them include consuming copious amounts of coffee around the world.

anyhow, chris' marathon day started at 3am. he had to pee. which sucked cause his alarm clock was set for 4:15am. needless to say he didn't get much sleep for that last hour. (it may or may not have had something to do with my snoring. i'm actually still not sure.) when his alarm went off he was more than ready. shower. make coffee. drink coffee. pray for a good bowel movement. before the race of course.

i woke up with chris- ONLY to drive him to the starting line. or to the general vacinity at least. i went back to the hotel room, prayed for no shin splints, no poop in the pants, no cramps, no dehydration, no dying. and then i went back to sleep.

robert, lindsay and i left our gross hotel at about 8am. i already started getting text messages about chris' times. he had started at 6:27am. then he crossed the 5k mark in 27 min and 31 seconds. that freaked me out cause that meant he was running too fast. but it took me til RIGHT NOW as i am writing this post to realize that the text said 5k, not 5 mile. that's different. ok. so, he passed the half marathon mark in 2 hours and 4 minutes. that's 13.1 miles. 21 kilometers. that was at 8:31am and i started sweating cause we were just leaving the hotel. but then i realized he still had at least 2 hours and 4 minutes to go, so we headed to starbucks and got some coffees and pastries. the best breakfast i had had all weekend. (did i complain about my hotel yet? i might have to write a full-post complaint about that).

we proceeded to Qualcom stadium, where the Chargers play football, cause that's where there was free parking. from there we (and about 30,000 other people) took a trolley, then a bus to the finish line. getting there was actually not all that bad. getting back to the car was a nightmare. NIGHTMARE. or night terror. whatever. it was bad. the marathon organizers are going to get an earfull when i'm through with this post.

anyway, chris was still trucking along VERY steadily, and i was pretty sure we had plenty of time to get to the finish line before he did, but i had a sinking feeling in my stomach. there were so many people everywhere. but we managed to find an amazing spot near the 26 mile marker along the beach. we were there for a good couple minutes, and then robert camped out a few yards ahead of lindsay and i. we were standing there observing people running, walking, limping, falling in front of us. some family and friends jumped in to support their runner for the last few feet. it was all very very moving. i was nervously awaiting my husband, not sure what state he would be in at this point. and then lindsay got a call: "he's coming!"

we looked down the lane of runners and this is what we saw:

yes. chris on robert's back. classic watson move. ridiculous. these boys could not be cuter together. robert carried his sweaty big brother for a couple more steps, and then let him down. they crossed the finish line together. but not without chris yelling at him once: "slow down!" fresh legs vs very very tired ones. chris crossed the finish line in 4 hours and 19 minutes and 24 seconds. again- ridiculous.

so that was 'our' marathon experience. it was better than good. the running part that is. chris had even stopped during the run to get a massage from the medics, walk during water breaks, and even wait in line at the port-a-pottys. for the poop that never came. (as long as it wasn't in his shorts!)

chris watson- i could not be prouder of you! you are one fit specimen of awesomeness. be prepared for another marathon post in january!  

time and sanity flies...

i know i said i would write a post about chris' marathon "soon", but how the heck is it already friday? how is it already june 11th? how is it june?? time flies too quickly my friends.

anyway, i wanted to write a quick post about how crazy i am. for those of you who are my facebook friends, you may already know about my drama from yesterday. but there are plenty of you who are smarter than me, and don't even have facebook accounts (yes you michelle and kendra! i applaud you guys and your time-saving ways!) so here is my story from yesterday:

actually, my story kinda started wednesday night. chris and i put the kids down for bed. it was a long and drawn out process because lily decided she REALLY wanted to get a lot of spankings and timeouts before calling it a day. chris was captain discipline, which he hates being. but he's so good at it! we don't really know what got into our precious little girl. over-tiredness? sadness from not seeing daddy all day? just being three? so many possibilities. anyway, she finally went down, and chris and i were able to unwind with some special treats and 'so you think you can dance'. chris' treat was a root beer float, and mine was a handful or ten of cheeseballs. after some much needed time in front of the tv, with each other, and things that will make us chubby, we called it a night.

then thursday morning happened. a glorious thursday morning! topher came into my room at SEVEN AM!!!! the morning before he woke up at 5:50am. with his sister in tow. but topher came silently, and alone, which was great cause lily fell asleep later than topher, and managed to 'sleep in' till 7:20am. miracle of miracles. we got ready for our day which would include hanging out at mc donald's toddler zone, going to the mall to find birthday presents for james and sungu, chillin at home, then hanging out with gabe and corban in the evening. fun-filled! but as i was about to leave the apartment, i realized i didn't have my phone on me. i knew without a doubt in my mind that the phone had been with me on the couch while we were watching tv, because i am a text-a-holic. phone could not be found. oh well, i would look for it later during nap time.

we came back from our outing. and the search began. all the couch cushions were removed. all the crevices were searched. many crumbs were found. but no phone. i called it again and again. i was pretty sure i had it on the lowest volume, but i could not find it or hear it! i asked topher a million times if he had seen or touched the phone. maybe he had actuallly woken up at 6am and wandered about the apartment aimlessly for an hour. i checked his bed, his favorite hiding spots (the pantry, behind the enteretainment unit, the cabinet with all my pots and pans), the toilet, his toy bins, etc etc. and i asked lily if she had seen or touched my phone. she said "in the kitchen". in the kitchen? really? so i checked everywhere in the kitchen. i tought maybe i was losing my mind, so i checked the microwave, the oven, the dishwasher, the load of laundry i had just done, the freezer, the fridge, all the shelves, nothing. no phone. then i checked her little play kitchen. still no phone. 

then i got on facebook to see what kind of awesome advice i might get from my friends. i got some good ones: the garbage, the backyard, the last place i had had it... etc. so i tried again to replay my night from when i had actually seen my phone, so i went back to the kitchen and looked in the freezer, cause i know i got the ice cream out of there. then i remembered that i had eaten cheeseballs, but i knew for sure that there was no way that i would have put my phone in the bag of cheeseballs. but i decided to check anyway, just to humor myself...



i am not a smart person... but i am a great detective.

Monday, June 7, 2010

san diego: friends and family

we are back from our awesome san diego trip!!! if you read lindsay or christin's blog, you can tell that san diego is the place to be! it was an awesome 75 degrees the whole time we were there, while the locals here in arizona tried not to die in 100+ degree weather.

i have 3 different posts that go with our san diego trip (at least 2. but i think maybe 3) this first one is dedicated to the family and friends that made the trip incredible.

the first shout out goes to robert and lindsay, who demanded that the four of us take this trip together without kids. i was skeptical at first, but so thankful afterwards! great job robert and lindsay! (here's the cute couple
at the lovely italian restaurant we ate at in little italy. cafe benetto or something like that.)
the next shout out goes to mike, cindy, and especially brielle. they came by on wednesday night with a little gift for chris- an inspirational poster, some protein bars, and a homemade card that mike wrote in! so precious! so wonderful to have wonderful friends.
we got to san diego thursday afternoon. after a 'special' time at sea port village (it was special because someone misplaced our parking validation thing and we spent a good amount of time looking for it so we wouldn't have to pay the $30 fine.) we had dinner with our friends braden and emily. you have heard of them before, as we went to their wedding exactly a year ago (happy anniversary kids!) and that was the most memorable wedding ever because the cops showed up. i would put a link to my post from last year, but i don't know how to do that. anyway, we had a severely delicious home-cooked meal, had a great time hanging out with our friends, watching 'so you think you can dance', and eating and eating and eating. 
here is an 'action shot' of us at the expo that you have to go to in order to pick up all your marathon gear/sign-in. in this picture are robert and lindsay, and matt and syria. matt is chris' uncle, the one who many of you prayed for as he was fighting and beating cancer. to celebrate his cancer-freeness he was running in the half marathon with his wife. loser. i could think of a million different ways to celebrate being cancer-free and absolutely none of them have to do with exercise, running, or exercise. to each his own. (there will be many more pics of these fine folks in the 'marathon' post that will follow shortly) 
in the next two pics, we have the perrys. if you are from arizona, you may notice these pics were in fact taken at chandler mall, when they were out here visitng a few months ago. we saw these wonderful folk on saturday for lunch, but of course i didn't bring my camera. so here i am posting an old pic of them. amos used to be a marine with chris in korea. they became bffs (one of chris' many bffs), then amos, who is originally from tucson, moved to san diego, met the lovely nickole, married her, and has her working overtime and a half as a busybusybusy mom of 2 boys and pregnant with their 3rd. elijah, their eldest, is almost 2 and a half, benny is almost 1, and she is already 13 weeks in with the new bun in the oven. i am exhausted just writing about these crazy people.
finally, i need to send out the BIGGEST shout out to the crazyawesome people who watched our crazyawesome kids while we were gone. thursday, our friends grace and charles watched the kids. well, mostly grace, but charles came around for a nap, eating, and general hanging out. 
i owe grace a ton cause the one night she had the kids, they woke up at 5:30am. sorry grace!
 
then my lovely friend samantha, and her daughter leila, came to hang out with the kids friday during the day. samantha is in our small group, and i have been so fortunate to develop a close friendship with this sassy mama! leila, who is 4, is one of lily's bffs. (like her dad, lily also has a ton of bffs.)
last, but never the least, we have barb and jerry. they watched the kids from friday afternoon till we got home sunday night. they had one morning that started at 6:30am, and another that started at 5:30am. (yep. i owe them big time too!) the kids had so much fun with their nana and papa. so much so that when topher woke up from his nap today, he cried out for nana. that kid is crazy. but we love him. and we love barb and jerry so much. even though they pull terrible stunts like this:
\

yup. it's a journal of lily and topher's time without their mom and dad. who does stuff like that? what kind of sick people have the time and energy to take care of their grandkids, feed them, bathe them, sleep on the floor with them, take them to their first sportsball class on saturday morning (more on that later), swim with them every day, and make a journal,  complete with colored pictures? i give you barb and jerry.
(of course they're not looking at my camera. they are too busy, and too awesome 
to pose for pictures people!)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

bye bye justin

this weekend was a busy one! and we are getting ready to go to san diego, so this post is going to be a short one. our busy weekend started on saturday when we had a going away party for chris' older brother, justin, who is giong back into the army to be a helicopter pilot of sorts. justin was actually in the army straight out of high school, and was in for a few years. he recently became a helicopter pilot, and joining the army to be a helicopter pilot was the next step in the right direction. he should actually be in alabama by now as he left some time this morning, leaving behind his beautiful wife and almost-9-month-old daugher. for eight weeks. or something like that. i should text my sister-in-law after i finish this post.
anyhow, we had a lovely little shindig at barb's house. i tried to make an army cake, with camouflage siding... i'll have to try that again another time. hopefully it'll turn out better. but i was happy enough with how my fondant family turned out (except for justin's arm falling off. oops....)

this is our family up in heber, at a mexican restaurant (yes, real authentic mexican food up in the middle of nowhere near chris' dad's cabin. i love arizona.) justin, jen and zoe are at the front of the pic. kim, wes, and the rest of us are in the back, peeking around a tree that was in the middle of our table:

anyhoo, so sunday after church all these people in this picture headed up to heber to have a great time hanging out in 75 degree weather. so incredible! it was so great getting to hang out as a big happy family. we are so blessed!

oh yeah, leaving the mexican restaurant, we saw an suv that had a 'lakers' sticker on it. it was chris' dad's idea to take a picture of chris urinating on said vehicle. (don't call the cops. cause 1. it'll go straight to chris' cell phone. just joking. and 2. he's not really urinating.) as you can see, the watson family is still not over the tragic end to the suns' season. and we don't deal with loss very well. at all.



and i added this picture because i caught lily mid-jump! this is lily and her cousin zoe and lovely aunt jen. they are all dressed warm and toasty-like. my favorite!


and i love this picture of lily and gabe with grandma kim. they had been throwing rocks and pine cones into the lake to see if they sink or float. so cute watching the kids learn/not learn new things. they never made the connection that all the pine cones floated and all the rocks sank. that's ok though. and in this picture, lily is getting ready to throw a pine cone, but because of my INCREDIBLE photography skills, it looks like she is about to throw a huge boulder that is actually on the hillside behind her. but it also kind of looks like a hat made of rock that is shaped like poo.


and now i am off to pack and prepare for our san diego trip. look out for some pretty ecstatic posts-
sans enfants! (no kids.) we are leaving tomorrow and will be back sunday after chris a) dominates the marathon or b) gets dominated by the marathon. (i've got my money on a. you can do it chris!)
pictures and stories to follow...