Monday, November 30, 2009

Wow, November is already over. How does that happen? Christmas will be here in no time, and then the new year. Insane.

I don't have anything fun or specific to blog about, I just couldn't believe it's been almost a month since I've posted anything. We've had lots of family in town, multiple illnesses, tons of traveling, and the end of 7 Brides. So. So. Sad.

So, I guess we'll catch up family who live far away, and those of you I don't see anymore because we moved, or those of you who don't have facebook. Like my mom.

Grayden is seven months now. Crazy! He's happy and fun and started pulling himself up whenever possible.....he is still not a huge fan of being on his stomach, so he's only scooted a couple times. Mostly he rolls to what he wants. He's had a horrible ear infection this weekend which has made him sad.

Nate goes out of town every week for work. Poor guy has to suffer on the beach in Carlsbad Monday through Friday. When he comes home, he watches Gray and I go do the show. Those of you who know Nate may be shocked to hear this......he didn't even go to his friend's house to watch the BYU - Utah game because Grayden was sick and he wanted to take care of him at home. That's love, folks. We're grateful Nate has a good job in this rough economy and now that the show is over I'll go to Cali with him sometimes so we can be together.

The show is over. Closing night was Saturday. I keep trying to console myself with thoughts of free weekends and less driving and more time for other things.....but it's not working at all. The hard thing about this hobby is how abruptly it can end. You know those things you love? Now imagine if you woke up one day and you were told this was the last day you could sew, or scrapbook, or play the piano.....for months, maybe years. It's so heartbreaking. And that only applies to the performances, then add on all the amazing people you met and grew to love, and saw 3 to 5 days a week, and now you can't see them like that anymore. It's just awful. I'll miss it more than I can express.

And since I'm already crying, here are some happy memories of those people I love and miss terribly.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Belated Halloween

I realize that according to the radio, Target, and the mall, it's Christmastime in the city. If your tree is up already, I'm sorry to remind you of that distantly past holiday we call Halloween. However, I just got these pictures off of Nate's camera, and as most first-time mothers often do, I feel I must catalog the events of "baby's first Halloween". Here's what we did that week:

Grayden and I went to California with Nate for a few days, he's been traveling a lot for work. Since we had to be home in three days, there was a lot to do. First, we carved a pumpkin for Family Home Evening. (We were neither home, nor was it evening, but we're a family so it counts). Grayden's job was to help scoop out the seeds:

Hold the top for Dad while he carved for 60 seconds:

And then to pose with the finished product:

Then, do we ever go to California without dropping by D-land? (answer: no, we do not)
First, we put on the Mickey Crocs. Thanks Jame!

Then we attempted to warm up a very cold baby. Phoenix has spoiled this child.

At dinnertime, with what was Grayden so fascinated?

The ducks. He could not tear his eyes away from them.

And finally, we went on the ferris wheel. I always forget I'm afraid of ferris wheels until I get on one. I'll take the highest, fastest roller coaster in the world over the ferris wheel.

For Halloween, Gray wore the costume Aunt Melissa gave him last year before he was born. I've been surprised at the number of people that can't tell what he is. Seriously? He's a brown leather oval with white stripes around each end and white stitching up the middle. I can't think of anything else that falls under that description.

He's a football, people, a FOOTBALL! Sheesh.

Ok, now you can turn the radio back on and rock around the Christmas tree all you want.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Why I've ditched my husband, baby, and all other responsibilities. If you're in the area and are looking for a fun date night, come see the show!

Sadly, yes, I'm the pink bride.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


We're packing.

We've been packing slowly for a couple weeks. I strongly dislike moving. Mostly because of all the packing. We're getting down to the wire, though, but there are still random things all over the house that I'm avoiding. I walk past it, consider it for a second, and then move on and plan on dealing with that one thing later.

You know that scene on PeeWee's Big Adventure? Or is it only my family that quotes that movie incessantly? When the pet store is on fire and he's getting all the animals out, but he keeps passing by the snakes and then moving on to another animal, postponing the inevitable. That's me. Something is too breakable, or too heavy, or too oddly shaped to fit in a box, etc. So, I glance at something and then quickly look away, like if I can't see it, it can't see me.

The trouble is, sooner or later, I'm going to have to move those dumb things. And I keep having to really brainstorm to find other things to do instead of pack the random items. I'm running out of ways to procrastinate.

Hence, the random post. But now it's over. Now what am I gonna do?

Monday, October 5, 2009

High Quality Genes

Nope, that's not a misspelling, I'm not talking about denim in today's post. Actually, I'm not doing most of the talking in this post, I'm copying an email from my mother. I am sharing this with you for a couple reasons. One, I love my family and I think they are the funniest people on the planet. Two, if you didn't already know that my parents are the funniest people on the planet, you will now. Enjoy.

Okay. I apologize for this before I even start. I feel like a tattle tale. But last night, after 41 years of marriage, I do believe that something happened that I need to share. I am so startled and disbelieving about the whole thing that all I can do is go to the women I am closest to and ...........share. I was sitting in my bedroom with the TV on last night trying to watch House and Dancing With the Stars at the same time, not an easy task to begin with. All of a sudden out of the laundry room comes the most horrendous noise that you have ever heard in your whole life. I thought the washing machine (actually Melissa's washing machine) had blown up and was spewing parts all over the room. I jumped up and ran into the kitchen where Jim was doing Soduku on the computer. "What is that?" I asked with fear in my voice looking toward the laundry room afraid of what I would see. "I'm washing my GOLF BALLS. It's okay." "You're washing what?" I asked dubious to say the least. "My golf balls. It's okay. I've done it before."
Not to my knowledge.
Rather than risk an end to an otherwise long and long suffering marriage I stormed back into the bedroom and shut the door. A few minutes later the machine starts it's spin cycle.......with golf balls in it. Go ahead. Use your imagination. A washing machine in the spin cycle with golf balls:(
I got up and walked into the kitchen......"Jim, I don't think golf balls need to go through an entire cycle. Just take them out!" "No," he says, "I wash them with bleach and soap and they need to rinse."
"Jim, you can fill a bucket with water, bleach and soap let them soak and get the same results. You don't have to put them in the washing machine."
"Yes, you do. It doesn't work the same."
I hate to admit it, but at this point I was speechless. What more could I say? The man was convinced that what he was doing was perfectly normal and I was over reacting to the whole thing. I returned to House and Donny Osmond.
I sat in the room for a while until the blood was no longer pulsating in my temples. I tried to laugh. (I can today, not last night.) After a while I decided I had too much invested to let golf balls in the washing machine ruin my day, marriage, life, etc. So I went in the kitchen, gave my husband a big hug, and told him I have no idea how his genes work. They say women are an enigma.
Thanks for letting me unload. You notice I only sent this to my daughters and Sharlene. I was worried that maybe the gene slipped over to the sons and their wives would find this perfectly normal behavior. Sharlene would not let this happen in her house.
I love you all,

Seriously, you gotta love my Dad. Unless of course you are married to him, then you have to love my dad. (Sorry, Mom).

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

3 Weeks?

Sometimes when I read a friend's blog and it has a link to my blog on the sidebar with a little caption that says "three weeks" I am sure it is wrong and just hasn't refreshed itself to my most recent post.....but then without fail I check my own blog and alas, it's true. I promise I feel like I blog twice a week.

So, here's an update on the splits story. Yes, I am doing the show, and yes, I am loving 90% of it. It's my hobby, it makes me happy, and even Nate, who came to watch a little of rehearsal and do the baby swap, says I am totally in my element there. (He said this in the same breath as answering my question about how bored he looked by saying, "I just choose to have fun different ways". I guess learning 2 counts of 8 and then doing it over and over, and then from the beginning of the dance and then over again would be a little mundane for him. It's totally my idea of a good time, though, and I don't think he fully understands how I enjoy it, but he's supportive anyway). There is about four times as much dancing in this show than any of the other times I've done it, so my sad little post-pregnancy body is having to catch up quickly. To put it in the words of my friend Shelley, "I feel like the freaking Tin Man." 27 has never felt so old.

To add insult to injury, the director noticed recently that with the insane amounts of dancing in this show (including clogging and ballet......right) it just may not be ready by opening night. The solution? Starting rehearsal an hour earlier every day. Yes, that's 6pm to 10pm. With an hour drive to get there and an hour to get home, that is six hours a day I'm dedicating to this performance. GO AHEAD, call me crazy. I completely agree with you. What kind of person spends 30 hours a week killing themselves without getting paid? It's insane I tell you! Why does it have to be so fun???

To answer your question before you ask, I have not been able to do the splits since that fateful audition. I'm hoping in the next three weeks I can master it, but if not, who cares! We're wearing long skirts the whole time, none of you will be able to see my legs! HA!

Did I mention Nate and I are moving next week? It's only two miles east, but that doesn't change the fact that we have to box up all our stuff and get a truck and haul everything those two miles and then unpack, all while I am gone all night and Nate is gone all day. Perhaps we should loan our five-month-old out to someone, we would get so much more done!

Speaking of.....

He's hilarious.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Raise your hand if you can.......

The girls in my family have an inside joke about auditions and performances. I don’t think I even know how it started, but the rule is, if you are asked whether or not you can do something, anything, the answer is yes. Who here can juggle? (raise hand). Back handsprings? Yup. Can you do a triple pirouette? Yes I can. You get the idea.

Well, last Monday I auditioned for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. (This would be my third time doing this show). The Hale Center Theatre is the only one in the valley that doesn’t perform on Sundays, so even though it is an hour away in traffic, I decided to give it a shot. I got there 10 minutes early and the lobby was full of people and it looked like everyone knew each other, most in dance clothes and stretching out. I was suddenly really glad I wore my stretchy capris.

Anyway, they split us up into 4 groups of 20 and I was in the first group to learn the dance. Then we split up in smaller groups to dance for the director, blah blah blah, moving on. As we sat there after the last small group had danced, the director started asking the girls one by one if they could do the splits. I started to giggle to myself. I was finally going to get the chance to raise my hand and claim I can do something I really can’t! “Raise your hand if you can juggle.” “Who here can do a triple pirouette?” Me! Me! Inside I was thinking I couldn’t do the splits right now if someone held me at gun point, but of course I’m saying I can…until after asking the first 4 girls he says, “I guess I should be having you do these.” Crud! Knot in stomach forms. ….There is no stinking way, I just had a baby! Not to mention I lost all flexibility years ago. He told us we would be doing the splits before the singing portion of the audition.

At this point the 60 other people in the lobby hadn’t done anything yet, so we left the stage and waited while they all learned the dance. During that hour plus, I watched all these other girls stretch out for the splits…..and most of them were real dancers. I did a couple token stretches here and there, pretending like I couldn’t touch my toes because I wasn’t really trying, not because I wasn’t capable, which I wasn’t. When we finally went back in to sing, the choreographer said we would all do the “jump splits” first, then sing our songs. I was about sixth on the list, so I had very little time to think of how to get out of it. (By the way, jump splits are not a toe touch, it means to jump up and then fall into the splits). As a last vain attempt, when my name was called I stood up and said in a joking tone, “I had a baby three months ago, doesn’t that qualify me for a get out of jail free card?” The director and the choreographer both smiled and gave a chuckle…and then the room went quiet and everyone was staring at me. I stared back and waited a second…..

Isn’t anyone going to stop me?

No. So, I shrugged and knowing full well that I would hurt myself jumped up and went down into the splits….all….. the… way …down! Adrenaline is a beautiful thing. I was so shocked I kind of stared at my legs for second, then stood up and tried to act natural. I haven’t done the splits since 2002. It was an audition miracle!

Wednesday callbacks did not have the same magic. After we all did the dance he went around asking if anyone could do special leaps or tricks. The guys did some tumbling, but none of the girls were doing anything, and I DO NOT know what possessed me, but I raised my hand and said I could do a side switch leap. ….probably the most difficult leap I ever did in my dancing days. Why, why did I say that? SO he asked me to do it and I gave it my best shot, the leap was pretty darn good but I landed on my butt. Yes, right on my rear. ( honestly a common way to fall when learning to do that leap, but still). The choreographer said, well, the mechanics are there! Awesome.

Then he split the girls into three groups of seven to read parts and I read the part of Dorkas…..when it got to the part that Millie tells us she’s getting married and we’re supposed to “ad lib” I tried to think of what a hussy would say to that. So I said, “Lucky!” But it came out sounding just like Napoleon Dynamite says it and the director doubled over and laughed out loud for a long time.

As it would turn out, they must have been looking for someone who would try to weasel out of the splits, gracefully fall flat on her butt, and do a good Napoleon Dynamite impersonation, because by some miracle they cast me anyway.

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be at rehearsal.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Wanna See Something Gross?

I love that question.

Of course
the answer is no, thank you. Who in their right mind says "Yes, please!" to that question? Except maybe a 12 year-old boy. (Or any age boy, but we're straying from the point).

The best part about that question is that no matter the answer, they always show you the gross thing anyway:

See? Told ya. Didn't you wake up this morning and think today I want to see clumps of Mandy's hair? No? Hm. Sorry about that.

Ladies, (I assume most people who see this blog are female.....although after that picture it's probably the gentlemen who didn't immediately close the browser window in disgust) this is after one shower. ONE. This has been going on for weeks and weeks. And that's not even the worst picture I could've taken! When will the insanity end?

I know I'm not alone in this, many women lose hair after pregnancy. My sisters lose their hair after they have babies. Actually, twice I have made the unfortunate faux pas of asking, "What happened to that section of hair right in the front of your hairline that is sticking straight up and is only an inch long?" And they remind me kindly that it's growing back from when it fell out after having a baby. And now it's my turn.

Boy, is it my turn.

If you leave a comment, please give me a clue as to when I can expect this wonderful aftershock of pregnancy to end. Thanks.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

All Hail Ad Match

Maybe WalMart doesn't have the greatest produce of all time, but it's average and I can handle that.....especially at these prices!!

I paid less than $12 for all of this:
That's 30 peaches, 13 pears, 8 tomatoes, 1 bunch of celery, and about 500 (6 lbs) of blueberries.

Cobbler, anyone?

*A special shout-out to Ranch Market, for advertising their peaches at 33 cents a pound so Walmart had to match their price.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Like Father Like Son

They say that the newborn walking reflex disappears by 6 weeks......but Grayden's is still going strong. Apparently Nate was walking at 8 months old, so I guess Nate really is the father.

He would do this all day if I had the energy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Cape!

Hooray for summer vacations. Cape Cod was a fabulous break from the everyday. We beached, sunned, and ate lots of fried seafood. Three cheers for Arnold's lobster shack. The following is about a million pictures of the events that transpired while in Massachusetts, basically in three categories. Beaching, kiting, eating.

This is the inside of the cape, and in the morning the tide is WAY out and you can walk forever picking up shells and squishing your toes in sand.

When Grayden spits up, which is about 87 times a day, sometimes he smears it on his face before I can get to it. Or, he sneezes and it gets everywhere.

This was the first time we put his toes in the sand. He enjoyed it, so we got nice and messy.

He liked his sunglasses because he didn't have to squint when he wore them, but they were too big so the strap had to go around his hat......kinda looks like a pilot.

One of many amazing sunsets:

Okay, Nate's dad Scott has a slight kite obsession. Here we are flying a 16 meter kiteboarding kite that has a ONE THOUSAND pound we tied it to an anchor.

Nate flying the kite:

Nate (and Ian) helping Mandy fly the kite so I didn't take off:

This was how my first attempt ended....this kite was SO strong.

This is my second see how my husband who was supposed to be helping me is cowering in fear. Once that kite starts whipping around out of control it could take your head off, so it's best he was on the ground....I, on the other hand, now know what it's like to do a belly flop on sand. Yipee!

Nate and Grayden's footprints. We were waxing artistic :)

Famous Arnold's! Gray's overalls had a lobster on the front, but you can't see it in the picture.

One restaurant gave out tattoos for the kids......and yes, we did it. (And for my family, isn't that a classic "where's the salad bar" look?)

There is not enough room on the internet to describe the Kolbaba family's love of ice cream....suffice it to say we ate it a few times a day in Cape Cod, and this turned out to be one of our favorite places:

Mandy herself gave me a balloon because we share the same name :) And LOOK! This must be where McDonald's got the idea.......I wonder if I could collect royalties on that?*

*Joke. I'm not that dumb.

And the rest of these pictures are just cute pictures of Gray for his grandparents. In this first one we were trying to get a pouty look. Success!