Monday, June 29, 2009

The Professional Soda

photo courtesy of my favorite site, Google

Sometimes I just crave a professional soda. No, not a soda from a can - or even a bottle.

What's a professional soda, you ask? I'll tell you.

The definition of a professional soda is...a purchased, fountain drink, in a cup, with clean/filtered ice, lots of fizz, and a straw.

Is your mouth watering? Mine is.

I think my mom coined the term, "professional soda." And...just about all of us now use it on a regular basis. It's as common of a phrase as..."Starbucks coffee" in our family. Back in the day, near my childhood mom had been known to order a professional soda from her favorite drive-thru establishment early in the morning...and slowly sip it all day long. Yes, she'd drink it all day...watered-down...and all.

Let's talk about this establishment. Today...and for about the last 30 years it has been called La Milk Depot. Apparently, many moons ago - before I was born - it was called Cal Palace. So...that is what I have grown up calling it. No - Cal Palace hasn't been it's name since before my birth...but, that is still it's name in our family.

My mom was a regular to Cal Palace. And, by regular - I mean 2 times-a-day, regular. Once in the morning, and once on the way home from work. When my parents moved away - I swear the Cal Palace monthly profit drastically decreased. Luckily, we still have a lot of family around the, when nearby - we always make a pit stop for our $1 sodas. Which are probably not $1 anymore, but when you have been ordering a $1 soda forever - I guess they just give it to you for that price.

My favorite professional soda is from McDonald's. Why is it that Mickey D's has the best tasting sodas? There are rumors that they spike it...but - seriously, we know that's not true. Right now - the sodas are $1 at McDonald's. Yes, $1. All. Summer. Long. So...if I'm facing rush-hour traffic, with at least an hour drive home with the Cuties in tow...we have been known to stop for a happy meal for them to share and a $1 soda for me.

Yes, I know - it's only the utmost of nutrition at our house.

Mmmmm. The professional soda. Deeeeeee-licious.

p.s. Cori recently reminded me just how much of a regular my mom was to good ole' Cal Palace. They knew her so well that when she pulled up - she could just put up 1 or 2 fingers to note either order 1 or order 2...they'd know what she'd want. HILARIOUS!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Graduation vs Graduation

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending my cousin's RN pinning ceremony & graduation. Yep - Congratulations to Rainie!!

My mom calls Rainie her 5th child. And, she pretty much is.

Sitting at the graduation, I couldn't help but think of my ASU graduation...yes, 8 years ago this past May. Wow. I could have been a doctor at this point. Well...maybe...if I could handle blood. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science. My graduation consisted of about a million people walking across a stage in a gigantic auditorium. I don't even think people could hear their name being called. VERY IMPERSONAL!

I guess I got the diploma - so that is all that should matter.

A nursing graduation is WAAAAAAAY different. I remember when my mom graduated with her RN. It was very similar to Rainie's. This is how Rainie's went down.

*approximately 59 graduates
*a salute to the spouses and children and families of the
graduates...nursing school is tough!
*a picture of each individual graduate on the big screen as they walked across the stage
*an individual audio recording of each graduate giving "personal thanks" shout-outs
*a candle ceremony with nurses' pledge
*2 graduate speeches - think valedictorian without the grade point average

So NOT what mine was like. It was truly memorable. inspirational. phenomenal.

One of the graduate speeches said that the ceremony would probably make each one of us want to run out to nursing school because it sounds like so much fun. And, it truly did. Only I got to see it pretty much first hand with my mom...and it definitely wasn't always loads of laughs. It is definitely intense. They certainly deserve such a memorable graduation.

On a side note - I think I am turning into my mom. I seem to cry at the drop of a hat these days. AI. SYTYCD. Army Wives. Weddings. and now...graduations. I think I probably cried - literally - a dozen times.

Congrats Rain!!! Yippee!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Favorite Picture in Awhile...

Yes - it's Lil.
Only, Lil doesn't think it's her.
She thinks it's a baby.
Yes - it's blurry. I don't care.
Yes - possibly blackmail-able one day.
Yes - I LOVE IT!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

First Cuts

Growing up...I always had really, really long hair. The kind of hair that you would sit on - the "past your hiney" kind of hair. It was super silky. I loved it. And so did my mom and dad.

Once when I was around 5 - I had it cut for the first time. I came home with it chopped off to my shoulders. My dad about fainted. Lucky for me it grows way too fast.

I took Lily for her 1st haircut yesterday. I was a nervous wreck. You would have never known. I played it off very well. In my head all I was thinking was...Lily is going to come home with her hair chopped off to her chin.

Yes - bobs are cute. bangs are cute.

But...I want Lil's hair long and all one length. least until she reaches an age to tell me what she wants.

So...they trimmed it. Barely. Straightened out the ratty baby edges. Cleaned it up. Lil stayed perfectly still. Definitely a diva - loved the entire experience. Loved the braids. And, especially loved the lollipop she went home with as a treat.

Ahhhhh...I can now relax. Still long. Still my Lil.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Best Friends

Saturday evening we had a house guest.

Avery Lee Truran.

When she arrived, Lil was sleepin' away.
We tried to wake her up.
She wouldn't budge.

Avery didn't care.

She made herself at home.

Played with the girlie toys.
Ruffed' it outside with Brady.
She made herself right at home.
Just how I wanted her to be.

When Lil finally awoke,
the girls played together like the bestest of friends.
Strollers. Cars. Baseball. Dolls. Kitchen.
It didn't matter - they had fun.

We took a field trip to the San Tan mall playground.
The kids were all great.
Waiting for the round-up call
to head over to the DQ for a little treat.
Over at the DQ the girls had vanilla with sprinkles.
Brady had a cherry dipped cone - in a dish.

I hate the word delish.

We made it back just in time to change into jammies.
Then, Avery's grandma picked her up.
As Avery was leaving she says,
"There goes my best friend, Lily."


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!!

I love my Dad, and
I love my kids' Daddy.

How did I get so lucky?

Today...I got to spend the day with both my Dad
and of course, the Cuties' Dad.
Relaxing. Family. Fun.

There was only a small group of us today.
It was different.
But, still fun.

Oh...and Lil peed on the carpet.
Potty training = YUCK!

Happy Father's Day!!

The Cuties in one of their favorite places...the Hottie's arms.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lil's New Thing

Our little clown -
stickin' her tongue out for pictures...


Monday, June 15, 2009

It's a BIG Birthday

Happy Birthday!!

I do hope you have the best, most fabulous, fantastic, exciting and memorable birthday. You deserve it. Birthdays are meant to be celebrated. After's another year that you had to share with your family and friends. And, lucky for you - I know that you have the best :)

Don't worry about the birthday number. Women don't age after 29. It's a fact. I promise. I know - I'm already going on 29 for the 2nd time. The good news is this - You are strong, sensitive, successful, and hilarious. You have children that love and respect you. You have a GIGANTIC family and a remarkably close bond with your sisters. You have 2 dogs that love you.'re a Nanny - and Nannys are AWESOME!

Happy Birthday Aunt Karen!


Saturday, June 13, 2009

1st Birthdays

I love first birthdays.

I love everything about them. I love that the birthday child doesn't know it is their birthday. I love that first birthdays include more adults than children. I love that the birthday child is more interested in the people than in the presents. I love that the presents are mainly toys, but the birthday child could care less. I love that people cheer on the birthday child just like a newlywed couple - hoping for the birthday cake to be worn rather than eaten. And, I even love that first birthdays often lead to meltdowns.

Today was Lincoln's first birthday party. Robin and Aaron put on quite a shindig at Jeepers. I can honestly say that we had a blast. And, by we...I mean all of us - the kids and me!!

All first birthday characteristics - definitely fit Lincoln...well, all but the meltdown. He was super cute - super happy - super brave (even rode the scary/fast spinny ride) and the only mini meltdown I saw was during presents. He was eyeing all the toys as they were opened and was torn to pieces when they were taken away to open the next one. But, come was a big tease!! Thank goodness they quickly opened up a phone for him to play with. Instant satisfaction.

The true meltdown was owned by Lil. To say she had fun is a complete understatement. She literally threw herself to the ground in true meltdown/tantrum fashion when it was time to leave. (Makes me really excited for those teenage years.) I had to carry her out - kicking and screaming.

Happy Birthday Lincoln!!!
Thanks for having a FANTABULOUS party!!

Hmm...who had more fun?
The kids? Or, the adults?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

We're Bored

A night at home with the cuties.
We were bored as can be.

Comfy clothes - Check.

Milk - Check.
Read books - Check.

So what did I decide to do? Hand the camera over to the Cuties and let them go to town. Brady loved it. I had to work with him on taking closer pictures. He was all about the as far away as possible look. Lil - had no clue. She'd hold the camera and stick out her tongue like she was in the picture.

Here's what we got.

Well...the best of what we got.
Doesn't matter - we had fun.

It's June for Goodness Sakes

Bugs started swim lessons.
I wouldn't really call them lessons.
It's more - fun with mommy while
singing in the pool.
Not at all like Brady's Infant Swim classes
from a couple years back.

Brady's = hard core, life-saving, survival skills.
Lil's = happy, sweet, fun times in the pool.

It's Arizona.
You'd expect the pool to be like bath water.
It's not.
It feels like a pool in March.
We've had weird weather the last few days.
Rather cool...for Arizona.

We got out of the pool after the lesson,

Lil's lips were purple.
I was shivering.
We couldn't get to our towels fast enough.
I think I'm still thawing out.

I guess we should feel lucky.

This weather will too soon pass.
Next week, we'll probably be sweating during the lesson.
And...we'll wish it was more like the last couple days.

Did I fool ya? This is Lil a couple week's ago in our pool. Not in the arctic pool from this week. But isn't she a cutie?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

My Boys and Their Toys

When I first met the Hottie...well, he was a...toy collector. Not only that - but, he had a wall of perfectly-spaced, unopened, Hot Wheel cars.

Seriously. It's a miracle we're married, isn't it? Just kidding.

In fact, he even reminded me tonight of our 1st home. sigh. sniffle, sniffle, tear. And, how in our front room we had some built-in shelves that held some of his prized car collection. Needless to say - as soon as we were able to furnish the home (little-by-little) those cars mysteriously made their way to the garage or storage.

What can I say? He has loads of toys.

I really didn't know how many until tonight. And, thankfully - I still don't know how much. Besides being an avid toy collector - he is also a pack rat. I have been trying to break that habit for years...and he has been getting much better.

Recently, Brady has been asking for Bryan's Star Wurls (that's how he says it) toys. Bryan has been bribing Brady with good behavior. Tonight was THE night. After I taught Brady how to say Star Wars (he still resorts back) Bryan went to the attic and got his collection of Star Wars toys in their perfectly new-ish case.

Brady was in toy-heaven.

All I heard was Brady's shriek of joy and even louder, Bryan's loud, excited reminiscing of childhood playtime with these toys. Brady was all ears. It was adorable.

Then I hear Bryan saying..."well, these 4 are mine. I just can't let you have these ones. You can have the rest. have to take care of these. They are really old. They are worth a lot of money."

That's what the Hottie always says. Now, don't get me wrong...I'm sure they are worth a heck of a lot more than the few dollars that they cost back-in-the-day...but, tell me when that matters considering he would never in a million years sell them. But, whatever. It makes him feel good to say they are worth a lot - so, I excitedly nod and smile approvingly.

Then, the Hottie leaves the room. He comes back with a white box. Where this box came from - I have no idea. But, he did carry it out from our bedroom. Inside the box...many, many more toys.

Brady couldn't believe his eyes. He was giddy. Bryan...well, I'm sure you can imagine the look of excitement he had on his face as he one-by-one took each item out - talked about it - said how old it is - let Brady touch it - and then after a short bit of each item gently back into the box. He then returned the box to it's magical hiding spot, free from my view.

Hilariously cute!

As Brady continued playing with the Star Wurls toys, the Hottie brings out the last treat for the night. A Voltron. Apparently, this was THE toy to have back in 1984. And, I guess as luck would have it, Bryan had the entire set of die-cast toys. Well, you would have thought Santa just arrived - the excitement from both boys was uncontrollable.

After demonstrating for Brady the transformer-like ability of the Voltron - the Hottie packed it up, put the toy in it's VH-1 bag (that apparently has been it's home ever since 1984) and placed it, too, back into the magical hiding place for Bryan's toys.

"That's it for tonight Brady", he said. "You can play with the Star Wars toys, but remember they are worth a lot of money - so be careful with them. And, if you continue to be good - there are a lot, and I mean a lot more toys that I have saved to share with you."

Frighteningly cute, isn't it. I house is not very big. And, believe me...I do NOT have much storage room at all. Yet...apparently, our home has all of these magical toy hiding places. Hmm...just where is this hiding space? I could certainly use it at Christmas time.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


One of my favorite things about motherhood...


*p.s. please don't mind the totally unflattering photo....

Monday, June 1, 2009


Well, I guess it is not technically Summer.
Not quite yet.
But, for us certainly is.
We love you Summer.

Wait, I take that back.
We don't love the heat -
but, we certainly love the entertainment!

Summertime = FUN
Cool Air Conditioning EVERYWHERE you go
Splash pads

We didn't have splash pads when I was a kid.

Unless you call a run through a sprinkler a splash pad.
Nowadays...they have splash pads.
Cool kiddie "playgrounds" made up of fountains -
meant specifically for splashing and fun.
The cuties looooove splash pads.

I remember swimming everyday as a kid.

Swimming until my toes would get blisters from the pool plaster.
Brady got a blister.
He's not a fan of that swimming souvenir.
Doesn't matter - he'd swim 24/7 if we'd let him.

I've gone swimsuit shopping twice this year.

I've purchased nothing.
Who likes swimsuit shopping anyway?
Nothing like looking in a mirror while trying on a suit...
Don't you remember when swimsuits were FUN to wear.
Not frightening.
Not intimidating.
Lil loves her suit.
Can you blame her??
Look how cute she is in it.
Patiently waiting to swim.

All this talk about Summertime...are you singing yet?

And if it ain't broke then don't try to fix it
And think of the summers of the past
Adjust the base and let the alpine blast
Pop in my cd and let me run a rhyme
And put your car
on cruise and lay back cause this is summertime
Summer, Summer, Summer-time
Time to sit back and unwind
Summer, Summer, Summer-time
Time to sit back and unwind