Monday, October 27, 2008

The demon barber of Fleet Street

Ryan and I were Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett (the Tim Burton version) for Halloween:


We got to dress up for Mandy's (Ryan's sister) annual Halloween party. Mandy and Charlie were Ms. Hannigan and Daddy Warbucks. Here's Mandy along with a pretty good Sarah Palin. You can see Charlie sitting in the background:Ryan's cousins Dave and Matt and their wives were the gang from Scooby Doo. I like Rebecca's glasses:
Ryan's brother Sam was a Chia pet. And in this picture I guess he's a Chia pet pretending to play the saxophone:

We got to dress up again the next night for our ward Halloween party. This time the kids joined in:

Ryan pointed out that it might not be the best idea to base our costumes on an R rated movie for the ward party. A lot of people didn't know who we were supposed to be. Some thought Ryan was Edward Scissor Hands, which isn't too far off. In the past whenever Ryan or I have been in a costume the boys are a little wary of us, but it didn't seem to faze them this time. Not even Charlie.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sequoia

Last weekend we went camping up in Sequoia National Park. I don't know why we've never been there before. It's not as far as I thought (maybe three hours?) and home to General Sherman, the most massive (but not the tallest) tree on earth. We did have to brave some very windy (as in twisty, not breezy) roads. Here are the boys with the tree further back in the distance.

One of our objectives on this excursion was to see how well the boys (specifically Charlie) would sleep in a tent in 30 to 40 degrees. Charlie did about as well as we expected, which wasn't great. I tried to keep him in my sleeping bag but that was too crowded and Charlie couldn't get settled. Ryan had to start a fire in the middle of the night and sit with Charlie to get him to sleep, and then when he finally was asleep we kept waking up to make sure he wasn't freezing. He didn't like wearing his hat.


We had smores of course.





The box behind my head in this picture was where we had to put any food/scented items so the bears wouldn't get them. I have to admit, I was a little paranoid about the bears since there were signs and warnings about them everywhere we turned. "If you leave something as small as chapstick in your car the bears will break the windows to get it." or "Don't even use toothpaste to brush your teeth or the bears will smell that and come after you!" Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but not by much.


The other objective was to catch a fish. Ryan has taken the boys fishing a few times and hadn't had any luck. We drove up to Hume lake but didn't have any nibbles, so we headed over to another lake that we thought we could hike to. We found out that we would have to hike three or four miles and we didn't have enough time or energetic enough kids (or moms) to do that. Luckily we found a teeny little stream that had a few teeny little fish in it.


Success!


Here is a video I took, barely missing the action. My favorite part is when I yell, "Uuuuuh!".
video


Alex and Benjamin both managed to catch a fish so our work was done.

I almost forgot! We also had a celebrity sighting. We saw these two brothers at our campsite's bathroom.


And they were wearing these same outfits! Just kidding. Drew Lachey was washing a dish in the sink and Nick Lachey poked his head out of their rented RV. Exciting stuff.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy birthday to this guy:

(His birthday was actually on Thursday, and I tried to post this but blogger was being funny.)

If anyone is curious, this costume was inpsired by one of Val Kilmer's disguises in The Saint.

A great pumpkin

Lest anyone thinks I've gone and become a groupie, I haven't forgotten the boys. Last week Benjamin's preschool class went to the pumpkin patch. It's always a fun place but the weather that day was in the 90's so it didn't feel very autumnal. I usually let the kids roam a little and climb on the haystack for a while but I was in a hurry to get home and out of the heat.

Charlie looking for llamas.
Benjamin's pick.

thanks for all you've shown us

Tuesday night Ryan was kind enough to escort me to fulfill one of my childhood (okay, teenage) wishes. We went to see Weezer in concert. We were a little self conscious about being too old for something like this, but we saw a few other gray hairs there. Most of them belonged to parents who were chaperoning their kids. I had never had floor tickets to a rock concert before, so I was also a little nervous about mosh pits and crowd surfing (see? I'm old). Ryan urged me to move in as close as we could (we eventually got about 20 or 30 feet from center stage), which I was surprised at since I thought he would be claustrophobic. We were smashed in but weren't quite close enough to be in danger's way. I only saw moshing during one song (a Nirvana cover). Ryan said he saw some in a few other songs, but he's taller so he can see a lot more than I can.
We waited patiently through the opening bands and then Weezer fully lived up to my expectations. It must be the geek in me that connects to their music. They just have a happy vibe, especially compared to the band that came on just before them. Near the end of the show they had a bunch of people come onstage and play whatever instrument they specialized in for a few of their songs. Accordion, cowbell, electric cello, clarinet, whatever. It almost made me wish I had kept up on my clarinet skills from 6th grade.

Can you find us?

(I took these pictures from weezer.com- just giving credit where credit is due)

I told Ryan I'm so glad I married someone who would can enjoy something like this with me. He likes Weezer too, but I was especially glad when they did a Pink Floyd song. Just for Ryan.

This ends a recent trend of concert-going for us. I had decided earlier this year that we needed to take advantage of living near L.A. and go see bands/performances that we might not get a chance to see if we lived somewhere less populated. We crossed a few off our list, and now we need to be more diligent at saving our money. Sigh. It was fun while it lasted. Maybe if Weezer is still going strong in ten years we can take Alex to a concert.

Thank you Joel for introducing me all those years ago. I am forever in your debt.

Here is a Weezer song for those who are unfamiliar:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Carved out of Caring, Fashioned by Fate

When I was growing up I liked whatever kind of music my older siblings liked. Running in the Family got a lot of playtime on the huge stereo in the living room. Somehow though, I never saw any videos of Level 42 songs. Until now. I just came across one the other day while wasting time on the internet. I don't understand it at all, but I find it amusing.

More questions

From Alex: "Do frogs have eyelids?"

From Benjamin: "Would a spaceship fit in a movie theater?"

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008

raindrops keep falling on my head

When I was little I think we had a toy radio that played that song. (Am I right, family members?) I always thought the line that goes, "but that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turning red" was weird.
Yesterday was the first day that felt like autumn. It was cool all day and even rained a little. We had to take advantage of it.

Benjamin said, "Charlie's head is like a drum!" He changed into pants and a jacket soon after this.

Peek-a-boo.

Alex wanted to take a picture.I was so excited that it finally felt like Fall that I made pumpkin cookies and hamburger soup. And later that night we had a fire in the fireplace. Maybe we get a little too excited when the temperature is below 80 degrees.

Fall Break, The Croup, and The Ark.

This week Alex had Fall Break (don't ask me why the school district does this), so I had a few things planned so that he wouldn't get too bored at home. As is often the case, most of those plans were never implemented because someone got sick. Charlie came down with croup. The doctor prescribed a steroid and albuterol but I discontinued the albuterol after a few doses because from what I could tell, it was actually speed. I was told that it might make him a little hyper, but that was an understatement. He would repeatedly grab at his wrists like they were itchy, and whenever I would pick him up he would try to bang his head against my head. Plus he couldn't calm down enough to sleep, and this was after three or four nights of little sleep already. I stopped giving it to him and he's doing fine. He's still on the prednisolone (steroid) and you should see his biceps.

Earlier in the week we were at the grocery store when Alex lost his second tooth. Alex was helping push the cart while Charlie was kind of grabbing at Alex's face. I guess he grabbed just right and all of a sudden Alex gave out a yelp and started looking around on the ground for his tooth. He found it. He says he wants to show everyone at school how he looks like a jack-0-lantern. I think it's a popular look in his class.
And on Friday Charlie was doing well enough so that we could get one fun thing in this week. We went to see the Noah's Ark exhibit at the Skirball Center (a Jewish museum). It came highly recommended by a lot of people and I've been meaning to go for a long time. I'm glad we finally did. The animals were made from everyday items from whatever part of the world that kind of animal is from. Some of my favorites were the crocodiles, which were made from violin cases and tires. I didn't get a picture of those while I was there, so I'm taking these from the Skirball website.




It was very interactive and the boys were interested and involved the whole time. Benjamin's favorite was loading the animals into the ark.



Charlie's favorite was cleaning up the fake animal poop.



Alex liked pulling the rope to make the elephant trumpet (is that the right word?):



He was also pretty good at building things with these tubes.



There were a lot of fun puppets to play with:


Possums, sloths, and a black widow:

We really enjoyed it and anyone who is near L.A. should definitely check it out if they haven't already. We even got free cookies on the way out.

Neil.

So in honor of Ryan's upcoming birthday we went to see:

Yes, it was our second time at one of his concerts. What can I say? I am fully aware of how cheesy he is, but it was fun.