Thursday, February 28, 2013

A night at the Jazz

Last night was the night the boys had free tickets to the Utah Jazz game through their Jr Jazz teams.



Benny was counting down for hours, and they got there plenty early. It paid off. An official spotted them walking to their upper bowl seats, and said since they were wearing their official Jr Jazz jerseys, "How would you like to sit in the lower bowl?" The answer to that is always, yes please! (Max's jersey is under his sweatshirt)

The Jazz lost but the boys wanted to stay until the bitter end, so JB let them, even on a school night. This is not an every day opportunity after all.

Andrew and I stayed home so we could go to bed on time, but I woke up a bit when I heard the front door open and Benny announce, "Dey wost," just in case I was there waiting for them. Then there was a lot of "shussshhh!" as they got ready for bed. Cute boys.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Whosa cutest? Huh?

Andrew is just getting to be so much fun.

He speaks all the time, he says funny things like "Gooooo Daddy! Gooooo Mommy! Gooooo An-shoo!"

And he likes to wear football helmets sometimes.



He also still loves his animals from his birthday and Christmas and really does hilarious sounds for them. Did you know most anything goes "mooo" or "roar?"


He's growing up fast. He'll be 2 1/2 in June when this new baby brother is born so I should probably stop calling him baby when I cuddle him. But I can't help it, even as he becomes a little boy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hoop Dreams

We are obsessed with basketball at our house right now. Junior Jazz ended the Saturday before our trip, and Max and Benny loved it so much, we are doing it again at another venue next month.




At any given moment during the day you can hear a basketball bouncing downstairs and being shot into their adjustable indoor hoop. Sometimes it's at 6 feet; lately it's down a bit so they can practice slam dunks. Why? Because their favorite show right now is the recording of Saturday night's NBA Slam Dunk Competition.

Many times if I'm downstairs doing laundry or sewing or hanging out with the boys, I'll hear, "Watch this, Mom!" and it's either a long shot or a dunk again.

Andrew even wants to be a baller. He begs for me to hold him up to put his smaller ball through the hoop.

They can't wait until the snow melts and they can shoot outside again using the hoop on the garage. I can't wait, either. They keep trying to bring basketballs upstairs to bounce but it's only a matter of time before something breaks!

Whenever there is a Jazz game Benny begs to stay up "just a widdle bit wonger" so he can watch it. Every morning after a game he wants to see the sports section of the newspaper first. He can't read yet, but he recognizes the words "Utes" "Jazz" "Cougars," etc, and can tell by the graphics who won and by how much. He even keeps tracks of winning streaks.

A few weeks ago was Jr Jazz night at Energy Solutions Arena, and Gordon Hayward came out to talk to the kids (I may have squealed. He's very cool).

We go up to the church gym to shoot hoops. I gave JB a new Jazz basketball for Valentine's Day and Max keeps trying to sneak it into his room for himself. I lost count of how many basketballs of various sizes are often lying around the house.

Looking back I'm very glad for those high school years I spent in St Louis where I was OBSESSED with the Cardinals, and for all the sports I watched on TV with my dad. I know it was preparing me for life with sports-obsessed boys!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Road trip food!

Of course I had to blog about the food from our California trip because:

-JB is a foodie and does all the research into must-eat spots.
-Max daydreams about cheeseburgers and pizza so we had pizza at the hotel one night, and ate at In-N-Out twice during the week. Max also got a cheeseburger on two other occasions for lunch at the amusement parks.
-I daydream about chicken and mashed potatoes so we had that at Knott's Berry Farm.
-JB and I both remembered great fish tacos from a place near Huntington Beach from our last trip so we had that one night, too.
-Benny daydreams about breakfast food so he was in heaven at the hotel's complimentary breakfast. I think he had a bowl of cereal, two mini-muffins, two mini-bagels, and an orange every morning.


Some other places we visited included Chili John's in LA. Very old place, very yummy.


It's small, and you sit on stools around a U shaped bar and very nice ladies let you taste test before dishing it up.




Another new place we tried in the LA-area was Philippe's. Also very old and very yummy. They are known for inventing the french dip sandwich.



Benny got a pre-packaged PB&J. He wasn't feeling the meat. JB and the mini-JB liked it a lot, as did I.




And finally, at Universal Studios, we tried Jodi Maroni's Sausages. Also tasty. It appears the old wives' tale is true for me that craving meat means you are having a boy.

It feels like the rest of the time we ate goldfish crackers and fruit snacks and other stuff I had packed from home. And I had some treats for the drive that the boys could trade their "Travel Tickets" for.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Knott's Berry Farm

Friday was our last day in California and it rained off and on most of the day. That was the day I had passes to Knott's Berry Farm.



Andrew loved these trucks. He cried "No No!" when it was time to get off, so she let us ride again. There was barely anyone at the park because of the rain.


I brought ponchos which helped. But most of the rides are outdoors, and they shut down when it rained, so we did what we could.


This is Max's favorite ride. It's called Revolution and it goes way up in the air and all around and I'm very glad I was not allowed on it because of being pregnant. JB didn't much feel like it, either, but took one for the team to go with Max.



Andrew grabbing a nap in the stroller.


We gave up and went back to the hotel, but at least we got some of the delicious fried chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy they make there.

Then the weather cleared and we spent the rest of the afternoon in the pool. Max learned to swim with his face in the water all the way across the deep end. That night we had a great seat right in the doorway of our motel room to see the weekend fireworks coming from Disneyland. We were only a block or so away. Fun memories we feel blessed to have shared before I get too big to do much, and before this baby comes and we can't go anywhere for a while!

Universal Studios

\Thursday I had passes to Universal Studios. Again, we walked on to every ride. There aren't as many rides there as at Disneyland, but we all liked Shrek 4D and the studio tour, and it was good for the boys to see how movies are made and how things are made to look real when they really aren't.

Meeting Scooby Doo and Curious George were highlights for Andrew. It was hard to get a picture of him looking at us because all he wanted to do was look up at them.



And get hugs.



We saw the famous Waterworld show and trained animals shows.



But the Jurassic Park ride they did not like. Andrew and I saw them come down the big hill at the end -- JB was smiling big but the boys were scowling on either side of him. Sweethearts. I insisted they try everything once. That one they were adamant not to go on again.

You can kind of see it in the picture, no? Universal Studios also had a huge ball pit-type-thingy where you could shoot foam balls at targets and suck them up with huge vacuums. If I had to pay for passes (I get media passes) I would have said that part was worth the price of admission. Perfect for boys who like mayhem.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Disneyland

We spent Wednesday just at the Disneyland side. Barely any lines, and the boys are tall enough for anything now and so enthusiastic. Except for the Nemo submarine voyage. Didn't really like that. But Autopia, Space Mountain, Matterhorn, Star Tours, Pirates, Jungle Cruise and Indiana Jones were all big hits (well, Benny didn't like the snake in Indiana Jones. He may be tall enough for the rides but he's still young).

Look at those faces on Space Mountain!



Buzz's Astro Blasters was fun for all of us to go on together. I kept wondering what Andrew was thinking about all the loud noises and bright lights.


Pluto gave Andrew a hug.

Benny driving. Poor baby inside got jostled a bit.


The highlight of the day was Benny being picked for the Jedi Training Academy. Max had no desire to go up there but Benny was raising his little hand as high as he could, and I will admit I said a little prayer that they would pick him and they did!

Showing off his certificate.
They watched Star Wars for the first time on the way to CA, and repeated the trilogy at the hotel, and on the way back. They went on the Star Tours ride twice. Star Wars now dominates the conversation. I'm finding I need a refresher course!

California Adventure

Ah, heated pool, where are you now?  We came back from our trip to California tonight and immediately had to shovel snow and do loads of laundry. The boys want to go on vacation again next week. Tempting....


We spent Sunday night in Las Vegas, then continued driving Monday morning, going to Venice Beach  first. All the boys loved stalking the birds.





And they liked playing basketball at the famous bball courts.





We hit the pool as soon as we got to the hotel. We were in that pool every afternoon/evening for the whole week and it was so so nice to relax after days of walking around. Plus Max improved by leaps and bounds with his confidence and swimming skills, and Benny got much braver, too. Andrew loved the hot tub: "I go pool?"

Tuesday we spent just at Disneyland-California Adventure.

On the big Ferris Wheel:



And in our favorite area, Carsland. It was awesome. I had no idea I was such a fan of the movies until I looked around in awe at the exact replicas of Radiator Springs, Mater, McQueen, etc.




Andrew was a good sport in the stroller most of the time, but liked it when there was a ride we could all go on together, like the Chew Chew Train in Bugsland.


I couldn't go on many rides during the week at the different parks because I'm 5 1/2 months pregnant, but despite the sign on the Radiator Springs Racers I went anyway and I'm glad I did. With various combinations of standing in line, fast passes and the stroller-parent-switch-thingy, the boys rode the Racers ride several times.

I tell you what, the middle of the week in February is the time to go to CA amusement parks. The locals think it's cold (we were fine in light jackets), and we walked right on to most of the rides. The longest line was the Carsland Racers because it's so new, and I think that was 40 or 45 minutes.