Monday, December 24, 2012

Goal #21: Birthdays!

Birthday gifts are fun, but birthday dates are more fun! I hope...because that's what all my nieces and my nephew got this year.I first started doing this because I have four nieces in the same family and I feel like they do things together a lot and don't get at lot of individual attention. So I decided to take them each out on an outing.

This took all year to do for all five of the kiddos. The fun thing about this idea is that it's also fun for me, because I get to go do fun stuff.

First was Chloe. We went to the Clark Planetarium at the Gateway to see a wacky 3D movie about bugs in space or something. I don't quite remember, it was a long time ago -- like February. After that we came back to my house and made dinner for her family who came to pick her up about an hour later.

I'm not sure what we're baking here...but they were licking up frosting or something. I had this big idea about having grilled cheese sandwiches but I remember Chloe telling me that's what she had for lunch...or dinner or something. Anyway, we had ice cream too which usually makes up for anything she's not that thrilled with.

Next was Sadie. We went to Desert Star Playhouse in Murray. I went here on a date about a month before this and thought my nieces would love this. So I took Sadie to see The Princess Bridesmaid. There was a pirate, there was a princess, and a lot of singing and dancing. Sadie, as usual challenged the dialogue and logic of the screenplay. She also had a root beer float which she was stoked about. I don't know what she's holding in this -- a water bottle? Anyway. After it was over she wasn't ready to go home so we went to Target which she was super thrilled about. She wanted to buy a bunch of stuff. We bought a broom for my house.

When we got back to her house she literally started to ball her eyes out and then she went on some sort of speech strike. Carter kept asking if she had fun and she nodded. He asked her about the play but tears were the only response that came. I think she was upset the evening was over. My mom said the next morning she asked her how it was and she refused to answer. Weird. I think she wants to come live with me.

Next is Tessa who turned 3 this year. I was honest at This is the Place and said she was 3 years-old which is the turning point when it comes to paid admission. If I was smart I would have realized her birthday was two days away.

She's holding crackers in this picture. I learned if Tessa has crackers in hand she's a happy camper.

We went to Baby Animal Days so she could pet the baby animals. It was adorable and she loved it. She also loved her little admission bracelet they made her wear. Tessa also didn't want to go home when this was over so we went back to my house. She said she was hungry so I gave her some popcorn and juice. Then she wanted to hear a story. So I read her a couple stories.

Tessa is really good to have around because she has an amazing sense of what I'm forgetting. I need that in my life.

Next is Piper. Her birthday date came about a month after her actual birthday. Because the Desert Start Theatre was a crying success for Sadie, I figured Piper would like it too. Plus, the production was Wickeder. More princesses. What little girl doesn't love that?

I told them in advance it was her birthday so they could announce it at their little intermission entertainment portion of the program. They got her name wrong and called her Tiper at first, but that was expected. They were also confused as to why she was with her aunt on her birthday and not her parents. I left it alone to avoid an explanation in front of an audience that really doesn't care.

Piper was also super excited about getting a rootbeer float. She sat on my lap for half of the production. Not because she couldn't see (we were on the front table), I think she just likes me a lot.

On the way home I asked her what she thought of Wickeder and she said, "it was like the Wizard of Oz, but different-er." She's funny.

Last but not least we have Jack. I probably see Jack a lot more than the girls but I rarely take him out by himself, so we had a good time. I had a hard time trying to decide what we should do, but Lisa suggested the Natural History Museum.  I had been there a few times and I think it's an awesome museum. If you haven't gone yet, make sure to go. It's even fun without kids with you.

I looked up their programs online and every other Saturday is the bug brigade where kids straight out of your science nerd stereotype show them beetles and black widows and tell them all about their eating habits, daily rituals and quirks.

Jack is holding a madagascar beetle here. He also held a stink bug. They wouldn't let the kids hold the spiders. I don't blame them. If they handed me a spider and it started to move I would jump and squeal. We went into the bug room twice because Jack wanted to hold the beetle again.

The rest of the museum has some cool stuff. Here Jack is making a mountain so the water can't pass through.

I bought Jack a little wind up fly that he played with the whole way home. He had no problem with me taking him home, but he did want me to spend the night at his house. And be his mom.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Goal #9: Sickos

Back when I lived on Capitol Hill I had this girl that I visit taught. Kind of. I'm a terrible visiting teacher when it comes to visiting them, giving a lesson, coming regularly, etc. But I heard she was sick and so I decided to make her a get well package. She was so appreciative of it I decided I needed to do it again.

My old roommate Mandi mentioned on FB or something that she had a terrible sinus infection. Maybe it was her blog. Anyway, I was sad she was sick but happy that I could make her a get well package.

In this bag is a box of Thai Kitchen garlic soup, a couple clementines, Grandma Durham's netti pot, some clam chowder (not awesome for sinus infections, but tasty because I made it -- in the sour cream container), the orange juice concentrate she left at my house and some zinc tablets. She also stopped by later and I gave her my humidifier so she could breathe at night. The next day, I can't say she was all better but she did call me a "healer" and a "magician".

About a month earlier my friend Jon was sick and I made him a similar get well package. I gave him the netti pot, some Vicks Kleenex, some garlic bread (always makes my colds feel better) and some zinc tablets. I don't think he got the hang of the netti pot. It takes practice. But it is nice once you get the hang of it.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Goal #28: Cousins

I honestly wasn't sure if this one would happen. But I'm so glad it did! I was able to get all but one of my Durham cousins away for the night up in Midway. First of all it's amazing that we all live in the same general area. Even Leslie who's lived Back East for awhile. The only cuz we missed was Amy (Nielsen) Roberts who lives in Washington. And she was missed.

I wanted to do this because I remember coming to a Durham Christmas party two years ago feeling like I didn't want to be there, but so happy I did because my family and my cute cousins make me happy. I think I actually wrote about it. Yes, yes I did.

We decided to stay up at Zermatt in Midway. It was only one night, but it was a blast. All eight of us (Amy, Monica, Lindsay, Sara, Liz, (me), Lisa and Leslie met up at Zermatt. Earlier that day Monica, Sara, Liz, Lisa and I did some shopping at the outlets in Park City and got some soup and salad at Red Rock. That was fun.

Before we went to dinner we served as Amy's focus group and helped her decide which products we thought Deseret Book should put on their shelves. Then we all piled in one car and went to the Snake Creek Grill. I think we all got something different. I had the salmon and it was delicious. We decided to go there in honor of Grandma Durham who loved it. It is tasty.

Some of us went to the hot tub (which was crazy crowded) and then we all stayed up until about 1 AM. There was no lack of conversation, stories and laughter. It was a blast. I hope we do it again.