Friday, September 29, 2006

A Trip to the Mall

Last night I went to scrapbook with some girls from my MOPS group. One of them mentioned that a new scrapbook store was opening at Opry Mills today so I absolutely had to check it out today! Our TIPS lady is out of town so we kind of hung out and did nothing this morning but called Bobby to see if he would meet us at the mall for dinner. It is much easier to check out a new store without having to wrangle with kids at the same time.

When we got there we had to pass Customer Service. This is where you can sign up for the Opry Mills Kids club, Mugsys Meadow. We have been by there a couple of times before because when you sign up you get to spin the wheel and win a prize. Well, we signed up online and have been told you don't get to spin if you signed up that way. Fair? I think not. Tonight we got a sympathetic older gentleman that let the kids spin. Munchkin landed on the space with the star and got a $10 gift card to the mall. She got to spin again for Little Man since he wanted nothing to do with it and got a voucher for a little gift at Build-A-Bear workshop. He ended up getting a little stencil thing. Munchkin decided that she wanted a build a bear with her $10 gift card plus she had about $20 left over from her lemonade stand earlier this year. So she got a $10 bear with an ice skating outfit. It's name is Abby. She is pretty excited about it and we thought it was cool she got it for $10 off!

The scrapbook store is pretty cool. Since it was the first day they had everything in stock including the new tool The Crop-a-dile. They had the new Bohemia line from My Minds Eye. I love the mathcy matchy papers and saying. It makes really easy cute pages.

After a yummy dinner at Macaroni Grill we walked back around the mall, which is long way with 2 rambunctious kiddos, and headed home. All in all a very enjoyable trip to the mall.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

St Louisand our dog

The first two pictures are from The City Museum. This one was taken as we were waiting on a catwalk to go down the giant slide to the exit.
This turtle wanted a little sun!


Kelsey loves her treat ball!



Yoda!

St Louis 2

Onour way to St Louis


The Gateway Arch

The Space Pod we were stuck in at the top of the Arch

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

St Louis

This weekend Bobby and I got the chance to go on a vacation by ourselves. The only time Munchkin has been away from us (aside from a movie and dinner) was the night Little Man was born and the night I went to a high school reunion. Little Man had never been away from us overnight. And, we have not been on a vacation since our honeymoon. Sure, we have gone places but they are never just focused on us. We visit family, go to weddings or reunions, or go on band trips but not anywhere by ourselves (don't get me wrong we love the these kinds of trips).

So, I earned a 2 night hotel certificate for Marriott from Pampered Chef and could travel anywhere in the United States. We thought about going to Gatlinburg since it is only about 3 and 1/2 hours away and we really miss the mountains. However, this weekend was the UT/Florida game in Knoxville. Now coming from California where the biggest thing was the Lakers when they were winning it was kind of a shock that people love these teams so much. It is almost a cult! We have friends who got married a couple of years ago the day of this game. People told them they needed to have TV's at the reception. The thing is I don't think they were kidding!

Wow, I am rambly tonight! Anyway, back to St Louis. After therapy on Friday we dropped the kiddos off at our friends Ron and Angelas. They have a little girl a little older that Munchkin and a little boy a little younger than Little Man. We got to St Louis about 7:45 and headed right to the Cheesecake Factory. That was kind of my birthday dinner. Afterwards we headed to the Residence Inn to check in. I highly recommend this hotel! The staff was really friendly and extremely helpful and our room was really comfy. Pampered Chef provided us with a Studio Suite. There was a full kitchen, a sitting area with a fireplace, a king size bed and a separate bathroom area. After checking in we headed back to the movie theatre. The one movie left playing was Black Dahlia. Not a movie we would recommend. Thankfully the guy only charged us for 1 ticket. He rang it up for both but it only charged for one.

After sleeping in for the first time in 4 years we got breakfast at the buffet. The food was really good. Bobby being the hotel waffle connoisseur said they were really fluffy!
We got directions to the arch, grabbed our sun glasses and took off. When we got out of the car there was a ticket booth where a few people were in line. The girl at the counter told us we could also buy tickets inside the arch. After waiting in line to get through security there was a line of about 300 people waiting to buy tickets. I stayed in the big line while Bobby ran back out to buy tickets. Apparently we got some of the last tickets before they started limiting them. When we asked why they stopped selling tickets the guy told us that they were having some technical difficulties with one of the trams. When we told him when our ticket time was he said to go ahead and go so he could keep the line short. After seeing the spectacular view of St Louis all the way out to St Charles we got on the South tram (aka space pods) and waited to get moving. We got stuck at the top of the arch for about 5 minutes. A voice kept coming over the speaker saying things like: we realize the doors are not opening we are working on the problem and will get you our as soon as possible, and we are having technical difficulties and will get you moving shortly. Now this right here is for our friends over at addisonrd. Apparently the Gateway Arch is a PC Arch and not a Mac Arch. The reason Bobby decided this was the case is because all of a sudden the lights went off and came back on and we started moving. We guessed we just had to reboot and everything was fine! The nice voice didn't bother to tell us we were going to start moving so we were a little freaked out.

After the Arch experience we went and found a letterbox that was close by and then to the City Museum. Some friends of our told us about this museum and really liked it. It was interesting but both of us were hungry when we got there and Bobby gets grumpy when he is hungry. So, he was not as impressed as he could have been. His big comment was "My life is full of chaos, and then there is this place!" Most likely if our kids were a few years older and had been with us he probably would have like it more.

Since Salient travels through St Louis quite a bit Bobby thought he could find a good movie theatre and a Red Robin. We didn't really have a plan and we love Red Robin so we started driving to where he thought it was. When he decided he had no idea where we were we found a mall exit that had a great movie theatre. He bought tickets for the movie The Illusionist and immediately realized he thought he bought tickets for Prestige. As the movie started he leaned over and told me if that movie stunk we could go next door and watch Invincible. But, it turned out to be really good! As luck would have it, there was a Red Robin at the exit. Yum!

The next day when we went to pick the kids up Little Man was thrilled to see us but he did fantastic. He didn't like going to bed and hated his bath but overall did really well. Munchkin was not as happy to see us but she and our friends daughter had so much fun they didn't want it to end.

It was so nice to have that weekend together and now that we know the kids can handle it hopefully we will get to do it more often. And, who knew St Louis was so cool!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Walking the dog

April 28th we got a dog. Her name is Kelsey and she is a German Shepard. Now, I am not sure why but this dog loves me. I am not particularly fond of dogs having been bit while delivering Girl Scout Cookies and later being chased on my bike by a German Shepard. Bobbys child hood dog Fluffy even snapped at my hand the first time I met her. We got this dog under the stipulation that I would not have to take care of her. I have 2 kids a cat and a fish(I just feed the fish Bobby cleans the bowl) to take care of I don't want to take care of a dog too. Well duh! Guess who is home with her most of the time? Yep you guessed it. Bobby has been pretty good about feeding her and will take her on walks every once in awhile but she definitly needs more interaction than that. See, the thing is, she weighs more than the kids so when she is around them she wants to play but just knocks them down so it is difficult to do anything with her with the kids. The redeeming factor I see in this dog is the day we got her Little Man started walking. That was kind of a miricle in itself and the one glimmer of hope I have for her.

Anyway, on to the walking part. I have decided that I need excercise and the best way to do that is to walk the dog in the mornings before everyone gets out of bed. I used to be a morning person but I really don't feel like I am anymore. If I can get a few more minutes of shut eye I am a pretty happy camper. Here is how each day has gone with the dog:
Day 1: Got up before the alarm, not a problem since I woke up every hour to see what time it was not wanting to wake everyone else up, got the leash and gentle leader attached to the dog got my MP3 player going and did 3 laps around the park by our house (6 laps is a mile)

Day 2: Woke up extremely cranky. Little Man woke up at 5 I went in to comfort him and stayed by his side for 45 minutes at which point Munchkin decided she needed to wake up with a bad dream so I went to comfort her. Finally got out the door at about 6:40 to walk the dog. We did 2 laps around the park. Go home and had to make Mac and Cheese do a load of laundry and get everyone dressed.

Day 3: Not too bad got up a little bit later got the leash on without incident and did 4 laps around the park. 2 other dogs came and Kelsey got a little excited. As soon as I we got in our backyard she jumped into a little pool of muddy water and proceeded to jump all over me. grr...

Day 4 Munchkin climbed into bed with us right after the alarm would have gone off if I hadn't turned it off. I stayed there and cuddled for a few minutes but still got up and took Kelsey to the park. I listened to about half of my James Blunt album while we did 5 laps around the park.

So, overall things are going well with walking the dog. Hopefully things will keep going well and I can get some of this weight off that I have been carrying from stress and carrying 2 babies!

Oh yeah, did I mention I do not like dog poop? I have been a good pet owner though and brought my plastic bags to the park and picked Kelseys up so no one will step in it. If you have a dog that you walk please do the same!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Cleaning

Who likes to clean? Not me that is fo sho! We have so much stuff in our house it is getting harder and harder to clean around. We are having a yard sale in a couple of weeks and hopefully will be able to get rid of a lot of stuff. Much of what we want to sell is hidden though in the attic.
Back to cleaning... What is the best product (my 3 blog readers) for cleaning hard wood floors? I have a shark steamer but our dog and kids like to get a lot more than what the shark can get without first precleaning. They look great once steamed. I have been using pledge wood floors but I am not sure I am happy with it.
I love it when my house it shiny and clean but I think I need professional help. Maybe once I get Molly Maid or someone in to do a deep clean I can start flylady and keep it that way. I think I might be getting back on top of the game now that my kiddos are 2 and 4.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

So

Did I mention that we had to change the door knob on our office? It had a lock on it. After Munchkin locked Little Man and me in the office, laughed and ran away, we decided it was time. Yes, she got in big trouble for that one.

Friday, September 08, 2006

So much going on

The last few days have been crazy around here. Bobbys dad flew back home on Wednesday but not until after an adventure. On Tuesday we took Little Man down to therapy. He had both PT and OT so we were there an extra long time. He did great though. Afterwards we met Bobby at a flying field so he could try out a new plane and so dad could fly also. He did pretty well but crashed fairly quickly (not unusual for someone who doesn't fly remote control planes). We took a picnic lunch with us and ate at the field. After flying and lunch we headed to the Parthenon to visit Athena. I had some woman walk up to me and ask what was in there. I told her and she was appalled that it cost $5 to go in and see some big statue. Later we had dinner at Blackstone Brewery. They have great food, reasonable prices and bring M&Ms for the kids for dessert.

On Wednesday we were going to run a couple of errands and Bobby and his dad were going to drop me off for a MOPS table leader meeting. We got done at Lowes and when I turned the key to the car nothing happened. Since we need to change the belts I automatically thought my timing belt had broken. Bob said it was the battery but I was convinced he was wrong. We have jumper cables for the truck but do not have any in the car. A nice guy with a truck came out and pulled around to help. Aside from being really nice the thing that struck me was the guys T-shirt. It had the scary clown from the Steven King Book "It" on the front. I was hoping it wouldn't freak the kids out. He tried to jump the battery and it wouldn't work. Apparently my battery is old enough that it needed water. So, we put water in the guys jump started again and we were on our way to Sears for a new battery. I didn't make it to the meeting....

Last night I went to a women's event at church. Anita Renfroe came and spoke. She was really funny and kind of made me think of Weird Al. She did some parody songs, talked a lot about how she met her trainer, and ended by sending us all out for some chocolate. It was fun but I ended up going by myself. I thought a couple of my friends would be there and I ran into them later but, it would have been more fun to have been sitting with them throughout the entire program.

Tonight we had a birthday party to attend. Those are always fun. The kids were wound up!

When we got home I had Munchkin head upstairs while I took care of the dog. When I got up there she got jammies on and we prayed together. One of the things I prayed was that when she is ready she will understand a relationship with Jesus and that she will want that. She looked me in the eye and said I know Jesus is in my heart. I sang it to him the other day. I just haven't picked a day to be bapti-tized yet. We know she is only 4 and there are many things she needs to learn but to hear her say she knows Jesus is in her heart makes me feel like we are pointing her in the right direction and we are teaching her the way to go. Our prayer for both of the kids is that they will have relationships with Christ, that it will be their own, and that we have wisdom in raising them. We just feel blessed that God has given us these two babies to raise to know Him.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Happy Birthday to...

ME!! Hahaha!
Today has been a really good day. Bobby let me sleep in while he took the dog out, got the kids dressed and fed them. After that I opened my presents from Bobby and the kids. Can I just say I am so excited to have my very own Creative Zen Microphoto MP3 player? :) Now I just have to rip and burn my CD collection. Maybe it will motivate me to get out and walk now.

After the present opening frenzy we took off to find a letterbox near the wave pool. Not only did we have turn around twice we had to take an exit and turn around a third time. The clues were good though and we were able to find the box fairly easily. Once we stopped for gas we were off to PF Changs for lunch. It has been 6 hours and I am no where close to hungry. On our way back we stopped for one more letterbox. It is about time we found it, it was my 3rd attempt.

Now we are home and Bobby is working on my computer so I can start burning CDs.
I am not sure what the rest of the day will hold but I am sure it will be fun! Where the heck did my 20's go?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Zen

The area where we live has had a major turnover in restaurants since we moved here 5 years ago. We have tried them all. Some of our favorites that are now gone were Rio Bravo, Santa Fe Cattle CO, Copelands and Pargos (we wish El Chico would leave, that is the worst restaurant we have EVER eaten at). Well, there are 2 brand new restaurants in the area that opened in the last couple of weeks. One was Jakes Mountain Grill where Copelands used to be and the other is Zen Bar and Grille where Pargos was.

Last night Bobby and I took the kids to Zen. If we go back we will probably not take the kids. They were kid friendly enough but it was too expensive to have them with us. Unfortunately for them their sign went up at least a month ago so people have been driving by for awhile. Now that people are used to seeing it they are not going in. So far there has been no advertising and they are hoping for good word of mouth. It is a locally owned and operated restaurant.

All of that said I will tell you about our experience there and you can decide if you would like to try it out. We did not change out of our grubby clothes before we went but the first guy we saw coming out was in shorts and a tshirt ala KFed. If you have been to Pargos you will remember the set up. When we walked in the door we were greeted by 3 hosts in white button down shirts and black pants and thought we might be a little out of our element with the kids. We spotted another family though and felt better about being there. That and you have to walk past the sports bar area to get to the non smoking dining room. (I wish every restaurant in TN was smoke free but that probably won't happen for another 10 years or so.)
The host brought crayons and white paper for the kids. Munchkin drew a picture of 2 guys licking ice cream. We told we would sell it on ebay if she wanted but she declined.
Our kids are good eaters at times but others they are not. Last night we ordered a side of fried rice for them to share since we know they will eat that.
We ordered our drinks (diet coke, coke, milk and sprite) and they came pretty quickly. Zen gets extra points for having Coke and not Pepsi. Unfortunately it comes out of the tap so it has that soda from a bar taste. The server was great though at making sure our drinks were full.
Bobby ordered chicken Teriyaki with an extra 6 shrimp for $13.95. I ordered Chicken Curry with rice for $13.95. Both of us thought it was really good. There must be different kinds of curry because this was red curry and I am used to it being a little milder and more yellow. The curry was spicy but good spicy. The portions were not huge but they were satisfying. Neither of us need a box to bring half of our meal home and you could tell the ingredients were really good quality.
After Little Man spilled half his rice in the booth and on the floor, chucked a crayon almost at some ladies head and tried to pour his milk out we decided he has really hit his terrible 2's. It is really unusual for him to act like that but he is trying to get more independent (rereading that we sound like the patrons from Hades!). The kids did spend the time between ordering and getting our food making faces at each other (quietly) in the mirror behind their head. They were so occupied it was almost like we were on a date! :)

Last but not least we ordered a mousse cake for dessert. It was delicious. Our server told us that the company that they get their desserts from is local and that it took her 3 days to find the right Tiaramisu for them.

This was a fantastic restaurant for a date. They seemed to like the kids there but we would not take them if it was later. We were there just before 6pm. It is a little spendy for our budget but it was just about Outback prices.

So, in my opinion if you like food with an Asian flair you should try it out!