Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My Son, the Rockstar

My mom bought this really cool little Karaoke machine for kids Caiden's age. You plug it into the TV and then insert the cartridge, turn on the microphone, and not only are you singing, but you are on TV as well.

That's exactly what Caiden and Gigi did. Well, they may not be ready for the American Idol show, but they sang a mean Itsy Bitsy Spider! :P

Below are a few pictures of their jam session.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Girl's Day Out!

Thankfully, my sister in law Wendy Budd just celebrated her 10th year wedding anniversary. The reason I say thankfully is because her husband flew her down to the LA area to stay the night at the same hotel that they stayed at the first night they became man and wife! How romantic, but why is that good for me?

Well, it's good for me because I got to see my cute nephew Micah AND I got to go out for a girl's day out with...well...the girls. The girls being my mother-in-law Sue, Wendy, Pam and myself. Jeff (Wendy's husband) and Jim (Caiden's grandpa) were nice enough to watch Caiden and Micah so we could blow off a little steam.

I had a lot of fun. I can't tell you how much I needed this. Pam had a great idea to go out to lunch with the gang, go shopping a bit and then go to a spa for some massages and facials. Ahh!!!! What a genius Pam is!

Pam found this local spa that none of us had ever been to. It was quite reasonable for what you got, and was just what the doctor ordered (if I went to a doctor and he ordered it that is) :P

Pam and Sue got facials, while Wendy and I relaxed with massages. After the treatments we all got together to compare notes. It was my first time getting a deep tissue massage, but my masseuse seemed a bit friendly (extra touchy feely). Let’s just say I feel that she got to know me pretty well. At one point she even got on the table with me. Is that normal for a deep tissue massage?

Anyway, I had a lot of fun. It was nice to go out to lunch and go to the spa and just hang out and have some fun. Thank you girls…we must do it again soon!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Big Bear Fun & He's Biting Off a Little More Than I Can Chew?

This is the FIRST weekend that Dave has had off in awhile, so we made sure to pack it full of fun and exciting things. Of course, I am not paying for it as I am tired, and have come down with a cold or flu or something very not fun.

First, I went to my first pole dancing class in 2 weeks, and it was my first day in a level 4 class. Let me tell you...2 weeks makes a difference. The next day, my body was SO sore. I have to say that I really did miss it. (there will be no pictures of this adventure, although I did learn a new trick!)

After that Dave and I loaded Caiden up and we took off to Big Bear to spend some time with Sue and Jim. We had a lot of fun. We went stuffed ourselves full at dinner, then came home where Jim and Caiden played "cars". Caiden then got a bath from Grammie, and the star treatment when Papa Jim blew dry his hair. Grammie then sat down with Caiden and watched a little TV, so Caiden could wind down before bedtime.

Caiden got up at the crack of dawn, where we heard Caiden tell Grammie and Papa to "come here...play cars". We smiled and laughed as we turned back around and tried to catch a few more winks of sleep :)

Jim and Sue made us a wonderful breakfast (apple puff pancakes and sausage) before we headed out to do some sledding in the snow.

We all had a lot of fun!

It ended in a snowball fight, where I became the victim of a vicious snowball attack by Dave.

Cold and a bit tired (as I was starting to feel a bit sick), we headed inside for some nice hot cocoa.

Later we ate lunch at the local pizza parlor before Dave, Caiden and myself headed back down the mountain.

The following is the vicious snowball attack...

Oh, but the fun weekend didn't stop there! We then headed to REI where Dave and I priced out backpacking gear for "our upcoming trip". Dave has gotten it into his head that we are going to go backpacking on a 3-4 day 30 mile adventure. Even the REI people thought that was a bit extreme for a "first" backpacking hike. Dave explained to the gentleman that he works for the fire department and is in good shape as he carries hose packs up mountains to fight fires. This is where I chimed in that I DID NOT work for the fire department, and I DID NOT hike up mountains with hose packs.

This minor detail did not detour David. His response: "Many people must come into REI where the guy is gung-ho, and the female is in the background just nodding and smiling. You are NOT one of these prissy girls. You can handle more than you give yourself credit for". My response: "Maybe, but do I WANT to?" I want to go, don't get me wrong. I just don't want to push myself so hard that I don't want to backpack again.

Anyway, now David says I need to be in training mode. So of course we loaded Caiden on our bikes and went on a short 3 mile bike ride. Dave has told me that when I am feeling better, and he has more time off we will go on a 20 mile bike ride around some lake...yeah...uh...sure we will. I think he may be biting off a little more that I Can chew. :P

Monday, January 08, 2007

Firefighter Caiden and his Trusty Pal Flashover!

Since Daddy was working on New Year's Day, I needed to come up with something to occupy Caiden. For Christmas Caiden receieved a Firefighter dress up costume...so of course we played Firefighter. Flash was even a good sport and played along.

We had a lot of fun!

Monday, January 08, 2007

New Year's Eve

New Years Eve day was the only day that David had off from work, so we took advantage of it.

Dave called me on his way home from work, so I had Caiden ready and we went out to breakfast. It was funny because throughout the entire breakfast the waitress was SHAMELESSLY flirting with David. Even when my food was delivered cold (and it was supposed to be hot) and with the added benefit of hair, it was David that got the star treatment. To be honest, I wasn't all that hungry, so instead of complaining I just didn't eat it. When the waitress came over and noticed (about the only time she laid eyes on me) that I wasn't eating, David informed her that there was hair in the food, and that it was a tad cold.

At this point the waitress bent over backwards offering to cook a new meal for me, brought the manager over, comped my meal, and then gave David 2 coupons for $5 off the next time we visit. Notice I did say, she gave DAVID the coupons. The whole time she apologized to HIM, and was practically gushing. I just sat back and enjoyed the moment. It's good for him now and again...of course I get to bring him back to reality (hehe - just kidding).

After breakfast, we went for a walk around this private lake. Caiden did very well, especially for a 2.5 mile walk. He even had enough energy left to do some pull-ups with dad!

After that, we went home and took naps...yes...all of us. When we finally woke up, we thought that we should get some dinner (notice how we slept through lunch) at Red Robin. We then drove back home to watch a movie and then hit the sack around 9pm. I know...we are a VERY adventurous couple! :)

Monday, January 08, 2007

A NYC Virgin No Longer!

On December 26th marks the day that I laid eyes and feet on New York City. I have ALWAYS wanted to go there, as long as I can remember, so I was very anxious to get off the plane.
Although I must say I should have planned it better. I got off the plane expecting people to be as accommodating as they are back home (I never really thought of Californians as friendly, but they are regular June Cleaver's compared to the New Yorkers I met). As anyone who knows me knows, I have NO sense of direction, and asking New Yorkers which way to go is like asking them for their first borne. If they even decide to look at you at all, they look extremely frustrated and disgusted that you would even ask such a question. Finally there was one nice lady there (about my age), however I think she wanted me to join her religion (which also might be the reason that she may have been so nice). Hmm...next time I will arrive WITH someone.

Anyways, I finally made it to Melissa and Mark (my best friend and her husband) and of course my cute little Godson, Gabriel. After that, the anxiety of being lost in a place where no one is friendly wore off, and was replaced with excitement at seeing the sights of the city. I have to say the entire trip was a bit frenzied, as we rushed from one place to the next. One night we met up with one of Melissa and Mark's friends (Jeff) who was gracious enough to give us a tour of this great city.

That's where I got to see Ground Zero (well...sort of...since there wasn't really any parking Jeff, Melissa, Mark and Gabe waited in the car for me), while I toured Ground Zero in a bit of a panic.

There wasn't much to see there, as they are in the rebuilding process. There was a fence up that had a number of pictures and quotes, a timeline and such. Someone had placed a rose on the fence as well. They had a privacy screen up so that you could not see the new structure that is going up either. The best memorial site that I saw for Ground Zero was actually on the New Jersey shore (Thank you Uncle Frank - Melissa's Uncle for taking me to see it). There they had a memorial stone with all of the names of the people from New Jersey that perished that fateful day. They also have some sculptures dedicated to the men and women of both the police and Fire departments for the their efforts and bravery. At this site there were some flowers dedicated to "Jeannette...our angel in heaven". Uncle Frank told me that when 9/11 happened, a lot of people came up to this site (there is an amazing view of NYC from there) to watch the scene. It sounded a bit like me at home...glued to the sights and scenery unable to believe, horried, saddened, but unable to look away.

I got to stay with Melissa's family (her Aunt Joyce and Uncle Frank and their kids). They were VERY nice, and I loved every minute of my time there. We even went over to one of their friend's house for dinner where they made the most amazing dinner. Yummy...my mouth waters at the mere memory of it all.

I also got to see the Statue of Liberty...one of the other things that I have always wanted to do. Although I saw it from the Jersey shore, it still took my breath away. I was also able to see this amazing sculpture called "Liberation" by Natan Rapoport. I included a picture below so you could see. I assume that it is a depiction of a soldier rescuing a WWII Holocaust survivor as the man that the soldier is carrying has a branding on his forearm.

Things weren't always so somber. I did get to travel around the city and see some beautiful architecture, such as Saint Patrick's Cathedral.

And of course, I couldn't travel all of the way to NYC without having a few pieces of pizza, now could I? Mark, Melissa and I dug into some authentic NY city pizza while we were in town. Yummy...it really IS better!

I would LOVE to go to New York again, only this time at a less hectic pace. I would like to really take my time to explore…go to Ground Zero again, take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and of course a Broadway show. I would also like another slice of pizza, but I guess I will have to settle for the “New York Style pizza” at Pizza Hut until I get my next shot at the beautiful city of New York!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Big Bear with Papa Jim and Grandma Sue!

Caiden is such a lucky boy. Grandpa Jim and Grandma Sue invited Caiden to spend a few days with them at their home in Big Bear. From the look of the pictures below he had SO MUCH FUN! Grandpa and Grandma kept him pretty busy between the playdates with Rachel, playing choo choo train, making playdoh bugs, making a gingerbread house with Grandma, playing tools with Grandpa, and playing with his fire engine that Gigi bought him (or as Caiden likes to say his "Fire fire truck" - trying to say Firefighter). Caiden even found that there are other uses for Grandmas...you can use them as couches!

Did I mention what a big helper he was too? He helped Grandpa carry in the groceries, and takeout the trash!! But it wasn't all hard work. Grandma and Grandpa made sure to take Caiden outside to enjoy the freshly fallen snow...oh and have a few snowball fights too. :)

Thank you Grandma and Grandpa!! Caiden had so much fun with you!