Wednesday, March 30, 2011


We had a fabulous first week of Spring Break then the second week went downhill.  We had a couple of outings planned (zoo, park with friends, playdates...) but mostly we all sat around grumpy as can be watching tv all day and not getting dressed until after noon. By Saturday I had to ground myself from going with the family to the neighbor's birthday party because I was such a grouch. I stayed home and cried in bed because this baby is giving me the emotions of a 16 year old girl and because I was guilt stricken since all I do is yell at the kids. By Sunday we were all counting down the days until school started on Tuesday (the kids had decided I wasn't too much fun to be around either), but Monday morning I had a change of heart.  The weather was gorgeous enough to distract the kids from "Arthur" and we headed out back with our bed head hair and milk stained pajamas.  We cracked open the bubbles from the birthday party that I had banned myself from, then me, my enlarged womb and my zoom lens plopped down on a patio chair and soaked in the sun while my cute kiddos surrounded themselves with bubbles.  Then I realized lazy mornings aren't so bad, why am I in such a rush to send them back to school?  So what if I have to drag 3 kids on marathon grocery shopping trips, it's worth it if we can have days like this.  So we went through 6 bottles of bubbles, jumped in the pool, had friends over and rode our bikes to the park. Maybe we will survive summer break afterall, and I just think we may even enjoy it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


 Phew, this is the vacation that never ends!  This is the last post, I promise. By this last day we were all ready to head home.  The night before Jayden cried himself to sleep because he missed Maddox and his friends and Jason & I traded back rubs until we fell asleep. My 28 week belly and Jason's backpack loaded with atleast 10 water bottles and the "complimentary" apples did quite the number on our old and achey backs.  As anxious as we were to get home, I'm glad we had a chance to stop in Philly before heading to the airport. I felt like we came full circle after going to DC and seeing the results of all that has come about from what took place in these quaint little buildings.

The very room that the Declaration of Independance was signed and the very chair where George Washington sat.  It gave me goosebumps being there and knowing what happened within those very walls.  As soon as we got home we had to borrow "National Treasure" and had fun seeing all the same places we had just been to, like Independance Hall.

Kylie got excited to answer the question about John Hancock's large signature when the tour guide asked.  This really was like the greatest school field trip ever.

This is the room where the first senate would meet.  The guide tried to keep a straight face when a 12 yr oldish boy asked if this is where the current senate still meets.  His parents had a horrified look on their face like they were failures as parents.  No question is a bad question, it was just cute.

by this time Jayden had maxed out his attention span when it came to history lessons.  He gladly jumped at the opportunity to leave the tour early to face the 100 mph winds and get the car with dad.  I'm glad Kylie got so much out of it and one day when he learns about this stuff at school I'm sure he'll appreciate it alot more.

We did a couple drive-bys with some historical landmarks like Betsy Ross's house and of course we couldn't go to Philly without an authentic Philly cheesesteak (well, I could but Jason couldn't.  I had some mighty good french fries though).  We had to venture into the inner city to find the best of the best. The employees were rude, the only seating was outside in the wind tunnel so we had to eat in the car, BUT it was all worth it because apparently they were amazing.  I'll take Jason's and Kylie's word for it. 

We had mixed emotions as we headed back to AZ. This was such an amazing trip but we were so excited to get back to Maddox, our comfy beds, our sunshine and Jayden's wii games.  I knew Jason and I would miss Maddox like crazy, but I wasn't prepared for how much the kids would miss him.  They talked about him so much and once we got off the plane they started full out running to meet him at the security check point then fought about who got to sit by him in the car. A huge thank you to my sister Julene for becoming Maddox's second mother for the week. A huge thankyou to the Southwest frequent flyer miles and Marriott rewards. A huge thank you to Amazon for providing a replacement Justin Beiber CD to get us through all the driving since we lost the last one in Florida.  And a huge thankyou to the dollar store, redbox and starbursts for getting the kids through the 5 hour flight. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

New York: Day 3

Manhattan Temple. The kids were amazed by this non-traditional looking temple nestled right between restraunts and sky rises.  Once you go inside it is the same peaceful spirit and as a bonus they have the cleanest bathrooms in all of New York.

Central Park

Another set of street performers, but this crew included a cute little half Chinese boy with freckles. Jayden was right in his element as the center of attention.

 The Loeb boathouse (yeah, I'm pretty sure we had the same boat used by Steve Carrell and Tina Fey in "Date Night").  We had a couple of meltdowns throughout the week, but the boat episode tops them all. Who knew you were supposed to sit backwards when you row a boat? Apparently Jason did and I didn't. I'm just saying. Once the tension wore off and once the kids stopped fighting over whose turn it was, we really enjoyed a leisurely row around the lake.  Really, it was beautiful.  I love Central Park, it's such a breath of fresh air (literally) from the city. 

The world's greatest toy store was a toss up between the Toys R Us in Time's Square with the indoor ferris wheel and FAO Schwartz with the ultimate lego section and the lifesize piano from the movie "Big".

We all got excited when there was a NaNa in New York sighting at the American Doll store.  We texted a picture to my sister and when she asked Maddox who it was he got excited and said, "NaNa!"

Here are the rockstars themselves emerging from the famed Plaza Hotel.  Kylie was envisioning Eloise at the Plaza, I was envisioning Charlie Sheen trashing the place. 

After one last slice of greasy pizza we headed out to Philly. Sad to say goodbye to New York, but we definately made the most of our time there!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New York: Day 2

Lady Liberty
Once again, amazing to see such an historical and iconic American symbol up close and in person.  Another Kylie fun fact: she is made of copper but the oxygen causes the copper to turn green over time.  Am I the only one who didn't know that?  Jason and I had our own version of "are you smarter than a 3rd grader" on this trip.

We thought we were safe getting a fellow Chinese tourist to take our picture, but maybe the stereotype isn't correct since half of the statue is cut off :)

The last time we were at Ellis Island I remember being amazed by the history there.  I could have spent hours reading about all the stories and studying all the pictures, but for some reason it didn't have quite the same effect on the kids.  Hopefully one day they'll appreciate it.

"If you drag me to one more historical site or take one more picture I'm going to scream."

Wall Street

Jayden didn't understand what was so important about the New York "sock exchange".

Jason craved the noodles, but I was dreaming in Pizza.  Huge, greasy, floppy, cheesy thin crust street corner New York pizza.  I kid you not when I say all we ate the whole entire time was noodles and pizza (unless you count the complimentary breakfast where we horded all the fruit and granola bars and stuffed them into the backpack)

WTC site

 I hope the kids never forget this.  Not that I want them to remember such a horrible tragedy, but I want them to remember all those who sacrificed to help others, I want them to remember those who are fighting the wars to prevent things like this, I want them to remember to never take for granted each and every day that we have with our loved ones.  Standing in that exact spot, seeing just how many people there really are walking the streets and any given time, seeing how many buildings there are surrounding it and then imagining what it would have been like to be there.  The chaos, the panic, the shock, it's unimaginable.  It's crazy to think that it has been almost 10 years yet when you are there it is obvious that the rebuilding is slow and the wounds are still fresh.
 This statue was found in the rubble, it used to sit in the entrance of one of the towers.

Union Square
I must say, this is one of my favorite places.  I love the urban grit. I love that it shows the raw beat of the city. I love that it is a true melting pot.  You see it all, street dancers, pick up ball, chess players, chalk artists, people of every race and background all just hanging out, chilling and having a good time.  It's my favorite place to people watch.   Kylie and I would always get excited to come across the street performers, but these were my favorite.  All the others were doing it for the money, but these guys were doing it for the pure love of dance.  Anyone could jump in and show what they got, there was even this kid that couldn't have been older than 13 who schooled them all. I could sit and watch for hours. (this guy was my favorite, he channelled "Twitch" from SYTYCD)

 ...and then this guy struts in with his 1980's Polo shirt and pegged leg jeans to singlehandedly confirm the fact that white men CAN'T dance. 

They have one of the best playgrounds there with really cool and innovative equipment.  It was fun to see the kids making friends and letting loose, kids will be kids no matter where you are. We stayed there until the sun started going down then we headed back to Chinatown for another round of noodles before calling it a night.