Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Hayley!

So, Jeremy and I were gone for most of the day on Hayley's actual birthday. We got home from our cruise that day. I think we more than made up for it though. The girl had three parties! Yup, I'll admit it: she's spoiled.

First up we had the Bachman Clan over to our house. Hayley was totally excited about her Nemo cake, and got lots of fun presents from her cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.

A few days later she had a combined birthday party with her cousins, Liesje and Justin. They all have birthdays within a few days of each other, so we usually just do one big party all together. I'd been telling her no on the cupcakes all day, can you tell? And yes, she actually really took a lick off of one. Funny how the pack of Lifesavers was one of the favorite gifts.

Next up we went out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse with my dad, Whitney, Stacey, Matt, and Grandma Dame and Aunt Jan. I don't know if it was all the partying in the last few days or what, but Hayley had a nasty cold just in time for her own party. She was a trooper though, and made out like a bandit with more treasures to add to her stash, including a change purse full of coins. Lots of fun until she stuck one in an outlet a few days later. Good times.

Another fun thing we got see with Hayley this birthday was how much she enjoyed her new dolls (and the real baby, little Ryker). I just think she's excited to be a big sister, and she's getting some practicing in. It makes me excited too. I can't believe that for Hayley's next birthday, we'll have another little one around!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Remember when...

Ronald McDonald used to have a whole posse?

Did you ever wonder what happened to them?

Well, while sitting in a now-generic playplace of a McDonald's not long ago, I decided that I would find out. So, here's the deal.

McDonaldland started in 1971, when Ronald and the other characters would play around the Filet of Fish Lake and Apple Pie Trees, and pick hamburgers out of the Hamburger Patch during their commercials. This continued until they were sued in 1977. As a result of the lawsuit, many of the characters and much of the magic of McDonaldland was phased out.

From the 1980's to 2007, the friends that remained were Ronald, Grimace, Hamburgler, and the Fry Kids. Birdie the Early Bird and the McNugget Buddies (My mom still has these! Hayley loves them!) would come along later. This bunch of friends also had a seven part video series, available for purchase only at the Golden Arches.

In 2007, with obesity being a growing problem, McDonald's pledged to stop advertising to kids under 12, and advertise healthier alternatives. Goodbye, McDonaldland gang!

So, now you know. Now you can sleep at night. You're welcome.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Always check your child's homework

In honor of me going back on track today, here's another teacher/mother funny. I wish these kinds of things would happen to me, but instead I'll just pass them along to others that I know will appreciate them. That's you, dear reader.

Here's the reply that the teacher received the following day:

Dear Mrs. Jones,

I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer. I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out of every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot. From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.

Mrs. Smith

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Very Happy Valentine's Day

So, for Valentine's Day Jeremy had to work until 9:00 p.m. And he totally forgot to give me a Valentine's card until the next day. Obviously this post could have been a total downer, but really this year's Valentine's ended up being one of the best of the past few years.
Jeremy was not satisfied with us doing nothing for Valentine's, so I dropped off Hayley at Grandma's for a sleepover. Then Jeremy and I went out for late dinner at Chili's. After that we debated watching a movie, but ended up going home and zonking out due to our food comas. The best part of our date was the next morning when we weren't woken up by the pitter patter of feet coming to climb in our bed, or the whine of needing help going to the potty. It was so nice to wake up and be able to snuggle without another little body kicking one of us who knows where, or telling us rather incessantly that it's time to get out of bed. Don't get me wrong, I love our little Hayley, but it was so nice to get what I really needed this Valentine's, even if I didn't know I needed it: some rest and relaxation with my dear husband.

Oh, and his card was very sweet, even if a day late. :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hayley plays beauty parlor

This is what we came home to after our cruise...
Here is Hayley's handiwork. All that part that looks like fuzz? Yeah, that's because there's no bangs there anymore. Below you see her mischievous smile. Like, "I know what I did. That's what you get for going on vacation without me."
At least she didn't cut all of them, and the cover up was a pretty easy fix.

I love this kid, though! At least we got some hugs and "I love you's" and "I missed you's" when we got home. When we called her a few days into our cruise she was much too busy to talk to us. Wendi asked her,"Do you want to talk to Mommy?" "No." "Do you want to talk to Daddy?" "No." "Do you want to talk to Grandma Heidi?" "No." "How about Grandpa Bob?" "Um, okay." But then she ran off. Little stinker. At least I knew she was okay and having fun!

Cabo San Lucas and back to Long Beach

Jeremy and Robert went scuba diving again, and saw lots of cool things. Unfortunately, their underwater camera was not digital, and I'm behind the curve on scanning photos. They said that the sea lions would come right up to them though, and if they laid down at the bottom of the ocean they would come lay out next to them. Pretty cool, but not enough to make me want to go yet.

My mom and I took the opportunity to do some heavy duty shopping without the guys, which was really fun. Here's us at the harbor where we got off the cruise ship tender.

Here's our cruise ship, the Carnival Pride. When we got back on the ship after Cabo, we started booking it back to Long Beach, causing the ship to rock, and causing this pregnant lady to toss her cookies. Multiple times. For basically the whole next day. It's a good thing the rest of the cruise was totally fun!


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In Mazatlan, the four of us went on a Mexican Show and Sightseeing Tour. It started out at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, which was beautiful. We learned some cool history about the church too, like the mural behind the towers is one of only two like it that depicts the Holy Spirit as a man, and there are 26 Stars of David in the stain glass windows in the church to represent the Jewish calendar, because Jews donated money to have this Catholic Church built. It was a tribute from the current bishop to them.

We then went on to a Mexican Dance show that had dances from all of the different areas of Mexico, including the Papantla Flyers, guys that tie a rope to their waist or ankles and spin around upside down while attached to a pole with the rope.

From there we did some shopping at a fun store called Senor Frogs. To me it just looked like a cool store with a bunch of cute stuff. I realized quickly when I wore my new hat the next day that Senor Frogs is also just about the craziest bar in Mexico. People kept pointing at my hat and then asking me if I was hungover, some even asked if I was sober yet from the night before. Hmmm.

The last thing we did on the tour was see this cliff diver. Talk about crazy! The diver has a small hole that he has to make his dive into, or it won't be deep enough. He's not dead yet, so I guess he's got it figured out, but could you imagine doing that for the first time? Or at all?!

We then headed back to the ship, for an afternoon send off for Cabo San Lucas the next day!

Puerto Vallarta

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Jeremy and my stepdad Robert were up bright and early to go scuba diving. My mom and I went on a Jungle Safari, which was basically a bus ride through the city, through a little town and up to a restaurant way up in the mountains. It was really pretty, with all the greenery, a waterfall, warm temperatures, and most of all, sunshine! From there we took a short hike with the guide arourd the surrounding area, including crossing a stream barefoot while having little fishies nip at our toes! We then did some shopping in town on the way back, and headed back to the ship to get ready for our next excursion.

We met the guys back at the ship and got ready for our Sunset Sailboat ride. The sunset was great, as you can see above, but the whale that stayed right by our boat really stole the show! First I just got his tail a few times, but then I got an awesome video.

It was so neat!

Crusing on a Fun Ship

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Our first two days of our cruise were "Fun Days at Sea." They really were fun. It was great to sleep in, relax, and lay out. The ship was huge, with lots of places to hang out and read a book, listen to live music, or just people watch. And there is food everywhere. In addition to your nightly dinner in the dining room (where you can order however many meals or desserts you want), there's a full service buffet for breakfast and dinner, and just in case you get hungry in between, there's pizza, deli sandwiches, and ice cream 24 hours a day. I was honestly really missing the on demand ice cream for the first few days when we got home.

Also, the room stewards make these fun towel animals. You get a different one every night. And the waiters do some kind of entertainment at dinner just about every night also. My favorite was when they were up on the tables dancing. It really was a fun ship, and it made me excited for the rest of the week!