Sunday, November 26, 2006

We're Baaaaccck!!

So you’ve been looking at LaFred for the better part of 2 weeks now and probably wondering if we fell off the planet. Nope. Tenley went to Grandma & Grandpa’s in Clovis and we went to Mexico.

Our Vacation

We ditched Tenley and Kim & Zak ditched Jaxon and the parents took off on a well deserved cruise. Eight days of sun, margaritas, and eating our bodyweight in food daily! It was fabulous: no one sat in our laps or wanted to walk up and down the stairs continuously, no one was forced to share their food, and we didn’t hear “no no no no nooooo!” “mine!” “share? some? some?” for over a week. However, Jeff read 4 books, Kim knitted 2 purses, Zak wrote 40 pages of fiction, and I lost track of my nap count. There were also a couple facials, a massage, a mani & pedi, 1 game of bingo, several games of shuffleboard, some sun, 2 or 3 games of gin, a giant coconut monkey filled with pina colada, shopping, and lots and lots of dessert.
The group consensus was that Acapulco was a dive, with the exception of El Zorrito which had beyond excellent food and killer margaritas (never mind that it took us 50 minutes in the humidity to walk there – our guide from earlier in the day had estimated 15- and we were only buoyed by Zak declaring “I think it’s right up here!” at every corner), Ziuhuatenauo was charming, pretty, and (surprise) clean- we would all go there again; we didn’t even bother getting off the ship in Puerto Vallarta- what with the picturesque Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club right at the end of the pier, and a good time was had in Cabo by all.
It was all over way too fast and it has been agreed that we need to do this again…soon.

Tenley's Vacation

Ten went to Camp Clovis to spend 9 days having frosted animal cookies for breakfast & terrorizing poor Charlie. Grandma Barbara says she did really well: bedtime occurred at 8:30 ish every night, an hour or so nap was taken daily, there was a consistently good appetite (despite having a cold), a new jacket and dress were purchased, the potty was sat on many times (but there was no activity), everyone else received assistance with their potty experiences, Charlie was chased, having her own slide to monopolize was bliss, a fine collection of ordinary-everyday rocks was established, she knew to tell people we were in “Messsico”, and she helped Grandma Christmas-cize the house. For the most part she had a good time, but this time she knew right away that we were missing and asked for us daily.

Grandma & Grandpa made the huge sacrifice and braved 6 hours of pre-Thanksgiving traffic to deliver her to us. She was both happy to see us and sad to say good bye to her grandparents. So we called it a success and we’re already plotting our next escape!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sharing the Lovey

The other day LaFred was having a small nap on one of the couch pillows. She was being cute so Michelle decided to snap a couple of quick pictures. Tenley saw this and decided, all on her own, to share her lovey with 'Fred. She told Michelle, Shhhh, Fred was sleeping and then she went over and put her lovey on Fred. It's very cute.

Everyone seems to be getting along and Tenley is bonding with LaFred since they are both the baby. Now Tenley has her own cat to grow up with.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Today I was sitting at work when my cell phone beeped. It was a text message from Michelle with a picture of a small kitty attached with a note that said “Isn’t she cute, can I have her?”

Now any of you who know Michelle knows that there isn’t an animal on the planet that she does not want to take into our house and make our pet. The easiest of these animals is the cat. We already have three cats. In Michelle’s world three, four or five…it’s all the same. While I love the cats as well, I think with three cats we were set. So I called Michelle and asked where she was. “The pet store with Kim” she replied. I immediately told her to leave the store and don’t look back. She had other ideas and started extolling the virtues of the cute little kitten she had just seen…and held???

Good grief, she had already held it before I called her. I knew then I was fighting a losing battle and my only position could be NO! I tried to tell her that three cats were plenty and we definitely didn’t need four. What if the other three don’t like her? What if she doesn’t like them? What if Tenley didn’t like her? (Okay, that was a stupid question)

We hung up with the understanding that they would leave the store. About 10 minutes later my phone rang again and it was Michelle telling me that Zack had told Kim that she could have a new cat! I said to Michelle “wasn’t it nice that Kim had a loving and understanding husband” and then told her to once again leave the store and not look back. Unfortunately she was still standing close to the cage and the little kitten was meowing loudly at Michelle. Now some of us hear “Meow, meow, meow” and it’s really cute. Michelle hears “Pick me up, love me and I will love you back and purr in your ear.”

We hung up again. Now I started to think about it and my co-worker, Allison, was not helping matters either since she is a cat person too. When next my phone rang it was Michelle telling me what time she had to work tonight and that I should meet her to pick up Tenley and the new cat. I told her absolutely not! She said ok, she would just take the cat home and it would be in the bathroom when I got there.

By this time, my defenses were low and I was out of excuses so I told her to get the cat. So like the dutiful father, I picked up Tenley at 5pm then she and I went home and played with the cute new kitty.

What can I say, I’m a pushover and a sucker for a cute face!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Kung Pow Chicken

I know we’re a little behind, but it took us a few days to recover from the Halloween festivities.

Last Sunday we met up with Doug, Tina & James; and Caryn, Tim & Hannah for the annual trip to Mickey’s Halloween Treat at California Adventure. Jeff had to work at D-land in the morning, so my in-laws politely gave Tenley and I a lift so we would only have one car there when the merriment ended in the double digit hours of the night. This gave us several hours to eat and play before donning costumes and trouping to treat stations in the park next door.

It was a grand idea, but Disneyland turned out to be incredibly crowded so we only managed to get on the carousel, the rockets, the teacups and Buzz Lightyear. Tenley also got a nice nap in allowing Jeff and I to have a leisurely lunch at the Hungry Bear.

When D,T &J and C,T &H arrived we all hooked up at Café Orleans, had a great dinner and then made our way through the gathering parade crowd to the Baby Center to change diapers & put on costumes. So we went in with 3 kids, and came out with Elmo, Cinderella and a chicken. On our way out we stopped at the giant Mickey Mouse pumpkin in Town Square to snap a few pictures.

We let the kids run across the plaza and into DCA. While we waited for the rope to drop and Tim changed into his Genie costume, Tenley the Chicken ran all over with her dad chasing her, and James/Elmo took a header and bit his tongue causing us to seek out light and something to staunch the flow of blood.

Eventually we were all fixed up and we headed into the Hollywood Backlot area to begin the marathon crusade to help Doug and Tina acquire enough candy so that they wouldn’t have to buy any to hand out on Halloween night. We only remained with our group for 2 treat stations because Tenley, as usual, had other ideas. Last year, Ten had just started walking and as long as we let her walk she didn’t care what we did. This year, she knows what the rides are and she realized that there are live bands and dance floors. It began with an incessant demand to ride the Monsters Inc. ride- which she loved. By then we had lost everyone, so we set out on our own- this event was about Tenley, not us, so we decided that whatever she wanted to do was fine.

We ran around A Bug’s Land and got some candy before Tenley saw her first band and ran for the dance floor like a moth to a flame. Our little chicken ran right into the middle of the crowd and joined right into the “Hokey Pokey” (which she did remarkably well at). And then she got into “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes” with a little help from the dance hosts. After shaking her little fluffy butt to the “Purple People Eater” we herded her along. Of all the nights not to have the video camera.

Through the magic of cell phones we were able to play Marco Polo with the rest of the gang and meet up on our way to Pacific Wharf . Tenley was utterly fascinated with Tim in the Genie costume and would follow him and wave at him wherever he went. We ditched our group over on the Paradise Pier because Tenley was in awe of the Sun Wheel and kept asking “Ride it? Ride it?” Jeff thought it would be fun to go on the swinging cars, so for the sake of the Kung Pow Chicken I said “ok”. Now if you’ve never seen the Sun Wheel, I should explain that it’s a ginormous ferris wheel with a sun motif built in…and half the cars (the ones that are attached to the sunbeams) slide along them as the wheel goes around. Ugh. I rode with my head buried on Jeff’s shoulder and Tenley pronounced it “scary” on the second time around. King Neptune’s carousel was not scary and earned a “Whee! More??” She wanted to go on the Jumping Jellyfish, but the line was awfully long, and she was really disappointed that we couldn’t go on the rollercoaster.

The only consolation was that the kid has figured out what candy is, and was also happy to go and search for more. We didn’t actually make it to all 13 treat stations which was fine with me because a) there was more than enough candy for a family of 5 or 6 – and I had already unloaded a bunch of it to Doug & Tina, and b) the nice Disney people were being more than accommodating of my love of Tootsie Rolls and Twix.

Possibly the best moment of the night happened as we were making our way out of the park. Ever see a cat chase a flashlight? Picture it with a 2 year old in a chicken costume. There was a moving light that projected Halloween pictures on the ground in various colors. Tenley saw it and spent a good 15 minutes chasing the pictures on the ground all around a five foot area. Again, where was the video camera??? Jeff did get a 15 sec. film of it on his cell phone, and if we can figure out a way to post it we will.

Tenley stopped to get her groove on to “The Monster Mash” and try out a hoola hoop before we left the Treat. We denied her her very favourite ride at Disneyland- the parking lot tram- and instead opted to walk back to the garage. I had remembered to bring her pjs, so we plucked our chicken and sure enough she was out before we were on the fwy.

Next year, we bring the video camera.

See all the pictures at ...just click on photos!