Thursday, November 19, 2015

I'm going to Las Vegas

The rest of the title:

So I'm going to cram a week's worth of stuff into one post so I won't be two weeks behind when I return.

Wow.  Wordy blog post title today.

Last Wednesday, on Veteran's Day, we started the day at the orthodontist to have Spencer's palate expander re-glued.  They worked on the fit quite a bit before putting it in and it has made a world of difference in his comfort.  I guess it's a good thing it fell out.
After we were done there we took the kids to The Waffle House for breakfast.  We had taken Spencer when he was a toddler, but it was Elliott's first time.  I don't know why we don't eat there more often.  They are cheap and their hash browns are the best.

After breakfast we went to see The Peanuts Movie.  We were all appropriately dressed, of course.

Elliott did some lounging in our bed that evening.
I worked on Thursday and Friday.  After work on Friday I rushed home to get ready for my date with Spencer.  Although I wasn't allowed to call it a date.
First, I took him out to dinner at an Italian restaurant in Mesa.  He is really into Garfield cartoons these days so he wanted to get lasagna.  There was no lasagna on the kids menu, but our waitress was sweet and gave us a half order of the adult portion.
He was so excited about it.  I'm glad that his culinary experiences stem from a cartoon cat.

This is his fake expression of being too full.
I had already anticipated being tired that night so before I left for work in the morning I told Spencer that maybe after dinner we could go and get a coffee.  He was 100% in agreement.  I got him a white hot chocolate with 1/2 a shot of decaf coffee.  I'm amazed that the barista would even let me do such a thing, but I guess it was a pretty basic order for them.  They didn't balk at all.

I got a flat white.  I think.  I actually don't remember.  Maybe it was a crème brulee latte. Does it really matter?
Our last stop of the night, the reason I needed a little caffeine boost, was to see The Secret Garden at Mesa Community College.  We've been looking forward to this ever since I found out about it over the summer, but I did not know until I bought the tickets that it was 2.5 hours long.  Yikes.

No photography was allowed in the theater, but I found these on Google.
It was a fantastic show.  The costumes and music and scenery were all very well done.  It was quite impressive for a community college production.  And even though there were a lot of adult themes and adult language used in the show, Spencer really "got" it.   We talked about it on the way home and I was amazed at the things he understood.
On Saturday we mostly stayed at home doing boring stuff like laundry and cleaning.  We did take a picture to make Elliott's birthday invitation.  The amount of bribery and threatening that went into getting this is just staggering.
On Sunday we ordered a pick-up from Salvation Army and put together all of the piles of our give-away stuff in the garage.  We've had those dog stairs since we adopted Ginger.  She never used them but Spencer used them for years to get into his bed.
I worked on Monday.  Facebook reminded me that I have posted every year for the last five years about the day that Michael and I met in 1996.  It was our 19th meetiversary this year.  Spencer took our picture when I got home from work so I could post about it again.
We were putting Elliott into bed that night when I realized we had never taken his monthly picture.  It was on the chalkboard calendar and everything.  I still have never missed a month with him in 47 months and I wasn't going to start one month shy of age four.

So we did an in-bed-in-jammies photo shoot.

My mom had been visiting her brother in Kansas City last week so late Monday night she flew into Phoenix.  She spent the night with us before driving back to Tucson.  Tuesday just so happened to be her birthday so I got everyone up and out the door by 7:00 am (a small miracle) so we could take her to breakfast before Spencer had to be at school. 
Spencer waited until five seconds before we left to spill hot chocolate all over his new shirt.  I had to hold my breathe to send him to school like that.

Elliott took a glorious nap that day, mostly because of the early wake-up call, but also because the weather has been deliciously cool and we took Ginger for a long walk in the morning.

I've been trying to force the kids to play by themselves outside every afternoon. 
By the time they came in Spencer had stripped down to just his underwear and was complaining that he was cold.  Well, son, maybe it's because it's in the 50's and you're just wearing underwear and no shoes.  Maybe.  Just perhaps.
And finally, Tuesday was preemie awareness day and wear purple for preemies day.  I had kind of forgotten about it, so in the evening we all put on purple and took a picture.  I feel like I have to keep pushing the no preemies agenda, since both of my kids were not fully baked when they were born.
Truth be told, I loaded the pictures for this post on Wednesday afternoon, but did not have the desire to add anything from the actual day, so we will stop our journey on Tuesday.  Nobody minds, right?  I can't even remember, just 24 hours later, what I did yesterday so it is likely that nothing cool or fun happened anyway.

Michael and I go to Las Vegas early Friday morning with my parents and brother, and the kids are staying home with Michael's parents.  My next post will hopefully show everyone having a fun and rowdy time during our individual weekends.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Still busy

"Still busy" is pretty much going to be the theme of our lives until January.  I love it and, at the same time, I'm already tired thinking about it.

Last Monday I threw a dinner party for all of Monica's remaining out of town relatives. She had been hosting them at her house for close to a week and I thought she could use a break in the "feeding a lot of people" department. 

I'm proud of myself for throwing a dinner party for ten people (yes, one of them was a tiny baby who didn't eat anything) with no help from Michael on a week day.  It's the first time since having two kids that I wasn't even phased by the idea.  I did plan a pretty simple menu though: goat cheese crostini, bacon wrapped pork roast, roasted potatoes, creamed spinach and homemade ice cream sandwiches.

My plan was to photograph the whole shebang.  You know, for blogging purposes.  Then something happened.  You'll see.

Goat cheese crostini with balsamic fig jam

Goat cheese crostini with olive tapenade
This is what happened.

I went into the dining room hutch to get two big servings platters and found this:
Yes.  A scorpion!!!!

It was dead, but it was still incredibly unnerving to find this nestled between my dishes.  We have since taken everything out of the hutch and checked for his or her family members.  We found none.
So, after that little problem was quickly and quietly dealt with, I forgot to get pictures of any of the other food.

I did manage to get the people though.

And this gem.  Josh with a bottle of Josh wine.
I don't have either of my grandmothers remaining in my life.  Just memories.  So I sometimes feel like Monica's grandma is my grandma too.

All the lovely ladies, including baby Emma.
Spencer had a big Veteran's Day assembly at his school last Tuesday.  The 2nd grade provided all of the music and Spencer had a speaking part to introduce "The Army Goes Rolling Along."

He was supposed to wear patriotic clothes.  All of the clothes he has with flags are short sleeves or tank tops, but at least we got the colors right with this long sleeved, striped shirt.

Elliott wanted to look good too.

The assembly lasted about 45 minutes.  The 2nd graders did a great job with all of their musical numbers.

The principal spoke.

As did the man who the school is named for.

Elliott got restless after about 15 minutes so I let him run around with some of the other restless toddlers and preschoolers.

I love the joy on his face.

Each individual class did one of the military songs.  The veterans from each branch stood during their song.
Spencer's class did the Army song.  He read part of the introduction.

This is what he read:
I should mention that his palate expander fell out on Saturday and we didn't go in to have it re-glued until Wednesday, so it really helped him be less lispy and slushy with some of those tricky words (Caissons, ammunition) without all that metal in his mouth.

Spencer's teacher was one of the last speakers.

I thought the art work that the students created made a nice back drop for some pictures.

Fast forward to Tuesday night.  I checked on Elliott before I went to bed.  This is what I found.  What a silly kid.

Then I decided, again for blogging purposes, to take pictures of all the sleepers.

Spencer doesn't stay in his pajamas for more than 10 minutes ever, so I had to cover his body with buttons.  You can see his little head sticking out though.