Sunday, July 19, 2015

Girl on Fire

Mimi was enthralled with sparklers and had a wonderful time this year on the fourth of July.

We all had a great time shooting off fireworks with friends and neighbors, except for a brief heart-pounding incident.  I lit a firework that was supposed to shoot several flaming balls into the air one after another but on the first shot the firework knocked itself on its side and then swung around shooting the balls out sideways.  One of them shot into our neighbor's open garage and started a small fire, melting a model helicopter that was on a workbench!  We put out the fire and no one got hurt but I felt badly about it.  I'm not sure what happened; I had set the firework on a flat spot.  Overall it was a fun and exciting evening.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Round-Up Parade

E has been having some adventures of his own this summer.  He got to walk in our town parade!

One of the quirks about living in Utah is how closely involved the Mormon church (which we're members of) is in civic matters. For our town's big summer parade different wards (or congregations) get assigned each year to make parade floats. This year our ward made a Dr. Seuss-themed float. E dressed up as Sam I am from Green Eggs and Ham and walked alongside the float.

I thought our ward did a great job on our float.  It was fun to see what other wards did.  Some of the floats were pretty impressive. 

I still miss a lot of things about living in WA, where I grew up. But I have to admit, aspects of UT are growing on me :)

Friday, July 10, 2015

4th of July: Balloon Festival

A picture of a young girl in a striped tshirt standing in front of a half-inflated rainbow-colored hot air balloon.

The city of Provo hosts a big festival every 4th of July and one of the main events is a hot air balloon launch. I've always wanted to attend but we are really not early-risers if we can help it (especially N) so it never seemed like the right time. But this year our friends and neighbors were going and graciously offered us the two extra seats in their van so Mimi and I rolled out at bed at 5:10am and tagged along.

It was totally worth it :)

A photo of 4 young children looking at a group of hot air balloons.

There were around 12 hot air balloons spread out on the ground in a field behind Provo High School waiting to be inflated.  People sat on blankets and camping chairs hanging out and waiting.  Unfortunately it was too windy for the balloons to launch but the crews still inflated them to show them off to the crowd (and then deflated them).

A photo of a crowd of people in front of a red coca-cola hot air balloon and a green Yoda balloon.

It was fascinating to see the crews inflate the balloons.  It was crowded and people were able to stand close to the balloons as they went up.  The heat coming off the burners was intense; we could feel it on our faces. 

Two people squeezing the air out of a deflating hot air balloon.
A crew squeezing the air out of a deflating balloon.

I didn't mind that much that the balloons couldn't launch since watching them inflate was so interesting but Mimi was a little bummed as you can see in the above picture.  Later that day we were driving on the freeway past some windmills and she indignantly said, "They should have turn off those windmills so the balloons could've taken off!" and cracked us up.

Early morning wake up aside, it was great.  I would definitely attend this or another balloon launch again if I have the chance.  

If you're in Utah the city of Sandy is having a balloon festival on August 7th and 8th, including a "balloon glow" in the evening.   The website says that some of the pilots will need help so if you come early you may be able to volunteer to help crew a balloon--how cool would that be?  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Disneyland Photos

Our summer is in full swing (last week we went to a rodeo and this Friday E is walking in our town's summer parade!) but I wanted post some photos from our trip to Disneyland back in May before I forget.  It is becoming much easier and enjoyable to travel with the kids now that Mimi is potty trained and doesn't nap. 


Monday, June 01, 2015

Disneyland: Residence Inn Anaheim

The kids watching TV in their room
Downtime in the hotel
After talking to friends and literally spending a few hours checking out hotels online (because I like to stress myself out) I booked us at the Residence Inn Anaheim Resort Area/Garden Grove.

I wanted a suite so the kids would have their own room and we would have a fridge for E's food.  Our suite was spacious with two bedrooms, each with their own TVs and adjoining bathrooms, a living room with another TV, a dining table for 4 and a full kitchen (full-sized fridge, dishwasher, stove/oven, and microwave).  Having all that space was great and meant we could easily separate the kids when they got cranky/or when Mimi needed to take a nap.  

  • Good price for the space (I booked our plane tickets and hotel together and saved money).
  • Friendly and helpful staff (I was trying to find a vending machine with something other than soda in it (which they didn't have) and when I asked the front desk they gave me a couple bottles of Snapple from their break room and wouldn't let me pay or tip them for them)
  • Decent complimentary breakfast with hot items like waffles, eggs, oatmeal, and sausages in addition to bagels, fruit, and cereal.
  • Grocery-shopping service: In the morning you can fill out a card requesting the items you want and they will shop for them and drop them off in your room in the afternoon along with a photocopy of the store receipt.  We had a rental car but were always too tired to go out by the time we got back to the hotel so this was a nice option.
  • It's the first stop of the shuttle going to Disneyland which only stops at one or two other hotels so we always got seats and the ride was fairly short.   
  • Quiet rooms and good water pressure even on the 17th floor.

  • It's further away from Disneyland than several hotels and walking with kids isn't really an option. (But the shuttle was easy to use).
  • The shuttle stop at Disneyland was out by the street and a long walk from the park gate but it wasn't a huge deal.
  • The hotel is a little older and showing some signs of wear--it didn't really bother me though since then I wasn't worried about my kids damaging things ;-)
  • Housekeeping's routine was to clean our room in the mid-afternoon which was when we were back in our hotel room for some down time so we missed them two days in a row. 
  • There are only 2 elevators so in the morning rush they get crowded.
  • Parking costs about $14 a day and the lot was crowded and the spaces were tight. 
Overall, we really liked the Residence Inn Anaheim Resort Area/Garden Grove.  I think it's a good place to stay if you're going to Disneyland and you don't mind not being able to walk to the park.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Disneyland: Meeting Mickey

We're in the home stretch, friends!  School gets out for us tomorrow and it's probably a toss up as to whether E or I are more excited about him not having any more homework.  

The weeks have been whipping by in a blur (per usual around here) and I wanted to blog about a trip to Disneyland we took at the end of April before the details escaped me.  We haven't been on a family vacation in a few years and thought the kids were good ages to go and it turned out wonderfully.

We wanted to limit the time N and the kids missed work and school and so we flew into the Long Beach airport instead of driving.  It was our first time using this airport and we loved it!  It's small, relaxed, and very easy to get around.  We picked up our rental car, stopped by a Whole Foods to get some food allergy-safe food for E, and then had dinner at a fun Korean fusion burrito place we found online.  After dinner we drove to our hotel and as we got to our room and started unpacking we watched an impressive fireworks display from our window.  And then we put the kids to bed in their bunk beds and closed the door on their separate bedroom and it was awesome :)

The next morning we headed into Disneyland for the first of our three days at the parks.  It was a Wednesday and busy but not crazy crowded.  As we walked into the park we were checking out Main Street when we saw Minnie pop out of an unmarked door.  Mimi loves Minnie but before we could approach her Minnie grabbed a couple of kids by the hand and booked it across the square to where a long line immediately formed.  The kids were a little dejected at having missed Minnie but then Mickey popped out of the same door!  E and Mimi ran up to him and he grabbed their hands and immediately started hauling it out of there.  

As soon as people saw Mickey they joined the quickly-growing crowd following him and the kids.  N and I had to weave in and out of the crowd and scramble to keep up with them.  Mickey took the kids to what I'm assuming was his assigned meet-and-greet spot, I quickly snapped a pic of them with my phone, and we said goodbye. 

It was a surprising and memorable start our Disneyland trip :)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Finished (with the dollhouse and also this week!)

The dollhouse bookcase has landed!  I've been working hard the last few weeks to get it finished and on Wednesday my friend Amy helped me pick it up from the shop with her truck.  I just need to nail the back on and then it will be 100% finished.  I'll take some pictures with my real camera and do a making-of post in (if we're being honest) a couple of weeks. 

Mimi immediately started moving some of her ponies and Little People in.  Fun tidbit: she calls Wonder Woman, "Wonder Human." It's the best thing ever and I will die a little inside when she starts using the right name. 

This is one of the funnest things I've seen online in a while and I've been keeping it open in a window on my phone FOR WEEKS as a reminder to post here: If John Cho Were Your Boyfriend

This is also funny (but probably not safe for work/kids).  I got in a little trouble because the kids caught me singing part of it around the house and immediately started mimicking me.  Oops.

Kids can get a free book from Barnes and Noble if they read any 8 books.  E is excited about this.

I hope you have a nice weekend.  E just started spring soccer so we are going to his game tomorrow (unless it gets rained out) and then N and I are going to a comedy show in the evening.  And somewhere in between all that I'm going to attack a mountain of dirty laundry which I am oddly looking forward to.  Cheers!


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