Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New York City

We had an exciting, fun, and incredibly exhausting weekend in New York. We left Thursday night after work and the 4 hour trip turned into 6 1/2 hours when the D.C. traffic would not cooperate. We got to our apartment around midnight. Thanks to Scott's mom and her Delta Connections we had an awesome apartment on 2nd Avenue and 47th street right across the street from the United Nations building. Our bedroom had an awesome view of the city including the Chrysler Building. Here is a synopsis of the weekend's activities:
Day 1
Despite a very late night the boys were up by 6:30AM and we were out the door by 7:30. Unfortunately, nothing was open this early so we wandered around 5th Avenue in the rain until FAO Shwarz opened at 10AM. We spent at least 3 hours in FAO Shwarz. Atley custom built his very own hotwheels car and Nash rearranged the store by pulling toys off shelves and dropping them in different places. They played the big piano, just like Tom Hanks in "BIG." After three hours in FAO Shwarz it was time for a mommy store so we went to Tiffany's. Of course with the boys along we were only in Tiffany's for about 15 minutes. We checked out Trump
Tower and then we returned to the apartment ate lunch and took a nap. That night we walked around the United Nation's building where I found 20 British Pounds- equivalent to $36. Then we spent the rest of the night on Time's Square. Most of that time was again spent in a Toy Store. Toys R Us on Times Square is incredible. It has an enormous Ferris Wheel inside that we had a ton of fun on. After dinner we walked back home only getting lost once and meandering down a scary street with even scarier people. Scott's parents and sister flew in Friday night to join the party.

Day 2
Up early to attend a session at the Manhattan Temple. This was a great experience, a moment's peace from the noise and bustle of the city. A somewhat confusing subway ride back to the apartment for a quick bite and we were off again. We took the subway to the World Trade Center site, which was a pretty emotional experience. Next, shopping at Century 21-my opinion the world's largest TJ Max. We then walked up Wall Street and explored Trinity Church of National Treasure fame and burial site of Alexander Hamilton. Then, more walking to Battery Park to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, it was too cloudy to see her though. After spending at least an hour on the wrong subway trains we ended up in Chinatown. What a crazy place. The goal was to buy an expensive brand name purse at a really cheap price. This turned into a bit of a frightening experience. I go into a little open street store and a woman whispers in my ear that they have Gucci, Coach, and Chanel purses in the back. So, I naively follow her. She unlocks one door closes it behind us. She then unlocks another door and closes it behind us. Finally, behind door number three Bruce Lee is waiting with his stash of stolen purses. I suddenly find myself locked in a back room on some scary alley, with a guy who looks quite skilled in the art of Kung Fu. I survived and the most important thing is I got my Coach purse. We continued to peruse Chinatown looking at all the vendors and the strange fruits and vegetables on sale. Then we headed back to the apartment for dinner.
Day 3
The boys all went to Yankee stadium to see it once more before they tear it down. The girls spent the morning in the American Girl Doll Store, very fun-very cute. But, before that I had to exchange my pounds for dollars. So, we stopped at the Waldorf Astoria and I completely made a fool out of myself by pretending to be a guest registered under the name of Paul Smith. It is a very long story that I will not bore you with, but I eventually got my money. Next, onto Rockefeller Center and a taxi ride to Pier 83 to meet up with the guys and take a 3 hour boat tour around Manhattan Island. We were finally able to see the Statue of Liberty. The tour was great even though Nash threw-up right before we got on the boat. Taxi ride back to the apartment quick dinner and then we were back on the road for Washington. We got home around 11:30 Sunday night.

Atley Throws a Dinner Party!

Last week I had a Relief Society meeting at our home. When I told Atley that I had a meeting and that one of the sister's was going to bring her daughter, Atley replied by saying, "Oh, I'll throw her a dinner party!" A little bizarre considering the fact that I doubt he has ever heard me use the term "dinner party." As you can see in the picture his dinner party was quite a fancy affair made strictly from the always delightful canned food variety fare.

Although I would have liked the "dinner party," to have been Atley's funniest comment of the day, he came up with another strange comment when a counselor in our Relief Society presidency arrived. She came through the door and told Atley that he had a lovely home. Atley says, "Yeah, I know. It's great. If you turn the hose on outside money comes out and that is why we are so rich!" Where does he come up with this stuff! I am glad he is living in the delusional world where he believes that his mommy and daddy are rich. But, I am afraid when he turns about 16 he might be a bit disappointed when he discovers the truth, that he is not really an aristocrat who can throw dinner parties with the money that comes from his garden hose.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Election Quiz!

Shae sent this link to me and I thought it was very interesting. If you are having trouble choosing a candidate this election season, and I really hope you are not, follow this link and take the quiz. Maybe it will give you a better idea of where you stand politically.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Love to see the Temple!

A Bit Too Much

After dropping Atley off at preschool this morning Nash and I had to pick up a few things at K-Mart. As most grocery/big box stores do, K-Mart generally has carts made especially for kids. Everyone knows what I am talking about. They are usually shaped like a car and if for some reason there are none available while you are shopping these carts are the source of extreme agony, disappointment, and frustration for your child. Nash and I walk into K-Mart and fortunately there was one of the fancy kid carts waiting for Nash's shopping pleasure. However, this cart was nicer than usual. It was shaped like Thomas the train, but it also had pictures of Bob the Builder, and Barney along the sides. Nash could hardly contain his excitement. I open the door for him and he climbs inside for his shopping excursion.

Just as I am getting ready to shove off for a fun time of consumer spending at K-Mart, the greeter approaches me and says, "What show do you want him to watch?" My reply, "Huh?" Her reply, "His cart has a TV in it. What show do you want him to watch?" I look down and sure enough, there it is, a TV right next to him on the passenger side of his cart/train. The greeter then recites a long list of available programs for Nash to watch while I push him around the store. A program was decided on and we began our shopping adventure. Suddenly, I was startled when I looked down to see another small TV near the handle of my shopping cart playing commercials and enticing me to buy all kinds of items not previously on my list. Perhaps I don't get out much but have any of you been exposed to this high-tech shopping cart equipped with two TV's, cup holders, and kiddie-seats that actually recline?

I'm no prude. It isn't as if my kids weren't watching cartoons while eating breakfast this morning and it isn't like they didn't watch a Disney Movie in the car on the way to school, but do I really need them watching TV while we shop. This is CRAZY! The worst part is that I know the next time we go to K-Mart if the crazy TV/Train cart is not available, my life will become a nightmare and if the TV/Train cart is available I will have no other option but to allow my boys to sit in it, because I am way too nice to deny them that pleasure. But, I really wish I didn't have to make the choice of what television program my kids should watch while we grocery shop.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

BYU Defeats UCLA
59 to 0
Go Cougars!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Definition of Despair

If you all will indulge me for a moment I feel the therapeutic need to write down the events that surrounded my life yesterday.
1. Nash is a total grouch because I have to wake him up to take Atley to preschool. I attempt to give him breakfast, but he throws it on the ground and on the walls and on me.
2. Atley cries because he wants to wear his dad's shirt to school. Yes, the shirt is enormous and drags below his feet so this was not gonna happen.
3. After a complete breakdown Nash finally lets me change his morning diaper. When I am finished he happily decides he is going to take it to the trash. He is so helpful. However, Nash has a tendency to get the sink and the trash confused.Unbeknown to me the diaper went into the sink. I pride myself on how incredibly small I can make a dirty diaper before I dispose of it. Apparently, I made this diaper really small and that completely backfired on me because I found pieces of it in our garbage disposal last night. I spent about an hour picking nasty diaper fragments out of the disposal.
4. We dropped Atley off at school and Nash had the day's fourth breakdown, "No, Atley go! No, Atley, go!" It is only 9:00AM!
5. Nash and I spend Atley's school day organizing Atley's room. We sorted all the toys, went through his clothes and removed things that were too small. It was a really big project.
1. We pick Atley up from school. He says, "Finally, you come get me. This school is longer than church." Then when we get in the car he says, "That school only has one squeaky bike and that crazy teacher made me share it."
2. Trip to the grocery store. In some sort of brotherly spat both of the boys are yelling at each other. Atley attempts to pull Nash out of the cart by his head. Both of my hands are full of groceries and my gentle motherly imploring is unsuccessful, so I am resourceful and use my foot to give Atley a loving kick in the butt. Hey, at least I don't wear steal-toe boots like my dad used to wear. Unfortunately, there was a mean spinster-looking woman in the isle behind me who witnessed the entire incident. She gave me that look that made me terribly afraid that the police would be reviewing the store's surveillance video later that night. If you see me on the news please do not be alarmed.
3. Nap time is attempted and fails with both children!
4. Nash's greatest desire is to look at the fish. Well, the fish is on a high shelf that requires me to hold Nash up for his viewing pleasure. Because of the need I have to use the bathroom at some point during the day, I move the fish to a low shelf so that he can obtain a better view. After returning from the bathroom I discover that Nash has found a straw and is now drinking from the nasty fish bowl. Trust me when I say that "nasty" is an understatement. The bowl has not been cleaned since the flying fish fiasco two weeks ago.
5. I managed to wrestle the straw from him before the phone rang. I answered the phone and forgot all about dear little Jet Plane/Lazarus/our fish, sitting in harms way. But, it only takes a few moments before the fish bowl is shattered all over our kitchen floor and there lay Lazarus once again fighting for his life. This time the blow was almost too much. I had to remove a shard of glass from his side, but he survived and is now happily living in a flower vase on a high shelf.
6. I thought I had cleaned up all the debris from the fish bowl incident but while walking through the kitchen later that evening and stepping on a piece of glass I realized I was wrong. I attempted to retrieve the vacuum from the closet but the closet door was stuck. I tugged harder, so hard in fact that the door knob came off in my hand and I ended up on my behind on the floor. Perhaps I didn't need a vacuum, I decided the broom would be best. I took the boys up to Atley's room to keep them out of harm's way to finish cleaning the glass. Thirty seconds later I heard laughing that could only indicate mischief. When I went to Atley's room there were no children. I found them on the tread mill in my room. Atley stands at the top manually moving the belt with his feet while Nash attempts to climb to Atley before he slides off the end. This might be funny but we have already had a near fatal treadmill accident in which Atley shot off the back of the machine at a very high rate of speed.
7. I took the boys back to Atley's recently tidied room to finish the glass clean up down stairs. After an absence of five minutes I return to Atley's room and find this disaster.

8. In complete despair I put the boys in the tub, which they hate, and Nash precedes to stand up and pee directly into Atley's eye. Apparently, pee in the eye stings because Atley totally freaked out and fell out of the bathtub. At this point I had had enough and put them both in bed.
9. I took a Tylenol PM and slept soundly until 3AM when I woke up to Atley's face 3 cm. from my own saying, "You snore mommy!"

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Journey Begins...

Atley's preschool started today. Big Deal, you may say, but actually the beginning of preschool brings an end to a stressful few months in our life. Atley was placed on the waiting list of seven different preschools last February. Yes, February. Apparently, (as I as was told by one teacher) you really have to be on the ball to get your kids "accepted" into a preschool in these parts. Not only is there a qualifying period for many of the schools most of the schools also have waiting lists nearly 2 years long. In other words after you give birth your husband shouldn't stay with you at the hospital to make sure you are doing well and feeling comfortable. No, he should immediately leave the hospital and get that child signed up for a suitable preschool. It is what all good parents do! Just remind him before he goes that preschool in the D.C. area will cost him more than that child's mission and/or equivalent to at least a year of college tuition. But, hey Nash doesn't eat much and I can always try to grow my hair out and sell it to charity. After all preschool is imperative, right? In all seriousness we were resolved to just attempt to teach Atley at home during this preschool year but, since he already knows more than both of us combined we along with his pediatrician really felt he needed to be in a structured school setting with more intelligent teachers than us. Three weeks before school started we had lost all hope of him "getting in." But, then we received the call that miraculously a spot was open and that spot was Atley's if we wanted it. We jumped on the chance, took out a second mortgage and now he is officially enrolled in preschool or as we call it here, "Elementary Preparatory School!" His teacher seems great and his favorite part was the play washing machine and dryer. For those of you who know Atley this should come as no surprise. He has been obsessed with washing machines since birth. The first year of his life he referred to a washer as a "Tuka, Tuka," because of the sound that it made while washing. So, in the words of the KABOOM spokesman our goal for Atley is to learn how to "remove even the toughest stain," during this, his first educational experience.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

"Hanna" From Heaven

We tried to make the most out of a miserable weekend by playing outside in the torrential rains of tropical storm Hanna. The rain stopped moments before Scott started building our ark.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day Weekend!

Scott's parents came to town this weekend and we hit the road for Pennsylvania. First stop Lancaster County, Amish or Pennsylvania Dutch country. I was completely convinced that I wanted to convert. Life seemed so much simpler there until I saw the world's biggest clothes lines and women washing by hand. I changed my mind pretty quickly. Nash rode a pony that turned mean and I had to yank him off in a hurry, and then the pony tried to bite me. Atley preferred riding on a tractor rather than a pony. That was probably a good choice.

Next stop, Hershey, home of Hershey's Chocolate. This is my new favorite vacation destination. What more could you ask for than to have a town completely centered around the production of the world's greatest food staple, chocolate.

After a night's sleep, (notice I did not say a good night's sleep) we headed for Gettysburg National Military Park. We spent the day touring the battlefield and learning more about the horrific events that surrounded the small town of Gettysburg in July of 1863. It was a great weekend and although they are thoroughly exhausted, the boys were very good travel companions.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Bath Time at the Butler's

Most night's at our house I feel just like June Cleaver on Leave It To Beaver. She is constantly trying to convince Beaver to take a bath. My boys are just like Beaver. I don't know why I didn't get a Wally, just two Beaver's. But, anyway bath night is generally a big fight. Mostly because it means that it is time to stop playing and it is also almost time for bed. However, the other night when I turned the water on in the bathtub I expected the boys to run for cover like they usually do but that wasn't the case. I left the water running while I ran to the dryer to grab their towels. When I returned Nash was already happily bathing. In his clothes of course! When I tried to take off his clothes and waterlogged diaper, he pitched a royal fit screaming and kicking while yelling, "No, pants! Pants!" Go figure, the key to having them like their baths was letting them bath in their clothes. Why didn't i think of that before!