Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tooth Fairy

"What does the tooth fairy do with the teeth?" she asked me.
My mind darts around frantically...
"They use them to build their cities."
Looking at my very suspiciously...
"What? Why? Really?"
Holding to my guns...
"Because teeth are really strong! How else do you suppose you can eat all that food?"
Not buying it ...
"To build houses?"
Refusing to budge...
"Yes! With your back molars? They build towers."
Moving on ...
"So how to they lift them? Isn't the tooth fairy small?"
Using a little imagination...
"They are like ants. Even though they are really small, they can lift like ten times their weight."
Switching directions ...
"Is that why we have to brush all the time? So their houses are sparkley?"
Grasping at any line thrown to me ...
"Yes, exactly. Everyone likes a sparkely clean house."
"That's why you wash the outside of the house?"
Not willing to admit I am just a little neurotic to my daughter...
"Yep, that's exactly why."

Cinnamon Spread

My sister, Dawn, posted this recipe on her blog. Some of you may not frequent her site, so I am going to post a recipe she wrote up there. It is not only a time saver and very UNmessy - it's delicious. B-man licked the food processor clean. Literally. Thanks, Dawn!

Cinnamon Spread

1 cup softened Butter (or Margarine)
2 cups Icing Sugar
3 tablespoons ground Cinnamon (yes 3 TABLESPOONS, trust me)
Combine all ingredients in mixer (food processor if you have one) and whip it all up. Store in airtight container in cupboard or fridge, depending on how soft you want it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Survived. Barley.

As my friend Sally Sue (that's not REALLY her name, I just like saying it) mentioned - the "prep" part of the colonoscopy was THE WORST.
I have never tasted anything so vile, wretched, stomach turning, puke inducing in all my life. You're suppose to drink 2 LITERS (8 cups) of this putrid solution. All the while your body is shivering and quaking and sweating and trying to understand WHY WHY WHY you are doing this to it. I am proud I got 5 cups down before I started hurling. Violently.
After that, the "flush" part was easy schmeasy.
Even the actual "scope", which they gave me a "conscious sedation" so I was awake for, not so bad. Infact, not bad at all. Interesting to be honest. Have something going 6-8 feet up your backside, not feel a thing but see it all? Pretty cool.
I love the report they gave me after, with color pictures and all!
(excerpts from report)
"Procedure: The quality of the preparation was good" (woo hoo! So throwing up my guts time and time again wasn't a wasted exercise!)
"Findings: Medium Grade 2 internal hemorrhoids"
"Impression: milk proctitis"
"Recommendations: Suppositories, Follow up with Dr. within 4 weeks."

I have to give the nurse who administered the I.V. props - I ALWAYS bruise around the area an I.V. is placed. I've taken it as a fact of life. This time, however, no bruising, no residual soreness or ache. Well done, Nurse Lady, well done.

Yesterday afternoon I was racked with cramping from the air "introduced" into the colon for the procedure - but other than that - nothing. I feel good today. No sedation side effects. No remaining air to "dispense" of.

If I never have to drink that crap again though. It will be too soon.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Noticing that the girl
broke into a sweat
while she was sleeping
after having a fever for over 24 hours...
Me: Did your fever break, baby?
Girl: (worried look on face) Did it break what?

It's funny how literal the girl can be.
Funny how the English language can be taken in so many different context.
It's confusing to the people it's a first language too!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

It's true.
It's going to happen.
To me.
The Thrill.

Honestly, I am not too worried about the actual procedure.

It's the results that have me jittery.

I drink the flush tomorrow.

Go in for the procedure Monday morning at 8:30.

Get the results ... ??


The wrap up.

Everything is right there for you.
The kids can keep sleeping while you start out early in the morning - or grab a nap during the day without having to sit up to do it.
When you get to a camp site in the evening, you don't have to worry about setting up a tent. You just attach the sewer/water/electric connections and you're set.
The RV sites are not much more than a tenting site.
You have a toilet RIGHT THERE!

The mileage was HORRIBLE. The best I could manage was 7.68 mpg. I was stopping every 250 miles to fill up. And the fill ups were NOT cheap.
Having an older RV, something or other always seemed to be breaking down - it really put me on edge.
After the tire blow out, every little sound made me weary.
Once you got to your destination ... you were stuck. There was no adventuring. It's not like you're going to take an RV into down town San Francisco.
After a couple weeks it REALLY doesn't seem big enough. Even with one adult and two small kids - it seemed like every time I turned around I was always bumping into them.
The AC didn't get any cooler than 80 degrees. That IS cooler than 107 ... but not THAT cool enough when you're driving through the desert.

The Rest

From San Francisco on, the trip is pretty much a blur of nothingness.
I let the kids take turns pumping gas every stinking 250 miles.Kid labor is where it's at, I tell ya.
Then we stopped some where near the Petrified Forest and took these pictures of my kids. These pictures, more than anything else encapsulates what it's like to try to take pictures of my kids together. Ms. R can't be natural for the life of her and B-Man looks like he's about to bust a cornea. (She's leaning on a piece of petrified wood, by the way.)One of our last stops was at Bottomless Lake State Park. A GREAT place to go camping, if you don't mind A LOT of flies. And nightly lighting storms. No rain, no thunder. Just lighting and a lot of wind. Odd. Other than that, it's great. Nice lake with a lifeguard, paddle boats and float boards for rent, fish that nibble on your toes (freaked out the boy, enthralled the girl), a fun/shaded park, a bath house (with odd showers that you had to hold down the button in order for it to work) and a sandy beach. I'd definitely go back there.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day 8 - San Francisco

With mom only with us for one more day, we took advantage of the time we had left and went on an adventure into San Francisco. We probably only saw 1/4 of the stuff you're "suppose to see" - but the stuff we saw, we really enjoyed.

Friday, July 17, 2009


We took some what of a big detour and took the kids to the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield. Not as much production going on as I'd hoped, but it was still interesting and worth going to, if only because it was free entertainment.
Since I planned on the next day being a "big" day, after we got to the RV park we were going to stay at for the next few days ... we just chilled. The kids and mom took a dip in the pool, while I, being a big baby (the water was frickin' freezing!) did the laundry.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 6 - Samoa/Redwoods/Disaster

The best thing about traveling in an RV? Being able to get going without having to wait for the kids to wake up, or having to wake them up. Unless a cop is reading this. Then of course I wake my kids up and strap them in every single time we start The Beast up. Of Course!
We kept up our meandering pace today and took time to smell the flowers, spent time at a play ground, admired the fog as it was rolling off the ocean mid morning, ogled a couple elk and stopped at a delicious restaurant I read about on an obscure travel site.
The Samoa Cookhouse.
This place is completely worth writing about. Mentioning time and time again. Taking a bit of a detour to go to. All of the above.
It's set in an old lumber companies mess hall. Still the same set up with huge communal tables, two REALLY busy/efficient but friendly waitresses and fabulous food. Basically, you take your chances as to if you're going to like what they are serving, as there is no menu. It's: "This is what we are serving. If you don't like it, eat else where." type deal. We got there for lunch, they were serving "short ribs" (roast in layman's terms). First a big bowl of salad is brought out, along with a loaf of home made bread. Then a vegetable stew. Followed up by the main course, vegetable side dishes and pasta. Finished up with a dessert. It was filling but not so filling you are uncomfortable. Just Full. Simply wonderful.
I never thought I'd do what we did next ... drive through the Redwoods! It was beyond what I thought it'd be like. I was enraptured. REALLY glad I had my mom along to drive so I could sit with my head stuck out the window, getting whip lash as we saw the amazing sites. We couldn't go through The Avenue of the Giants without stopping at the Drive Thru Tree shrine thing, that'd just be silly. Once again, something that was just for me ... but I'm sure my kids enjoyed it too ;)

After that ... the day went down hill then back up hill then down hill then back up hill then down hill. No, that's not entirely correct. It was like we did switch backs for 22 miles. Then 35 more miles.
Let me back up.
After we'd seen the Redwoods, my mom and I looked at the maps we had and made a judgement call. Even though I don't think it was ENTIRELY my fault, it was my idea. I decided from the bottom of Humbolt state park we'd head over to the coast and go down on the "1" (starting at Leggett, going down to Fort Bragg). On the map it looks like this: When in REALITY it REALLY looks like this: Seriously. There were points on the winding mountainous road we were winding around so tightly, we could see on my GPS where we'd been just a few minutes before ... BESIDE the road we were currently on. Once we hit Fort Bragg we played on the beach - which we could FINALLY see. Then took stock of the map again. Once again, take a look at the map - it's the "20" you can see that we decided to take from Fort Bragg to Willits.... because there was NO WAY we were staying on the dreaded "1". *sigh* It was THIRTY FIVE more miles of the same. This time ... in the dark. Oh happy day. That 57 miles took us at least four hours to drive. It was insane. It was brutal. It was painful.
So bad that when we finally stopped for the day we actually had to remind ourselves that we HAD done something fun that day.
No campground that night. After we got past Willits I found the nearest parking lot and we both fell asleep completely exhausted.

Day 5 - Newport

An Aquarium, lunch and a Beach, oh my!

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a cute place with interesting exhibits, tons to stuff to touch and an otter than was just dying to interact with the boy.

We stopped in a town of an unremembered name for lunch. Place looked like a light house. Served AMAZING pasta/pizza dishes.

Poked around a second hand store across the way.

Moved on to our last Oregon beach. Rolled down the dunes, collected a few oyster and crab shells and saw a gorgeous sunset.

Day 4 - Tillamook

We hit the Tillamook Cheese Factory in Oregon. Ate the creamiest ice cream my mom and I have had in a long long long long time. Enjoyed the tour. Learned a bunch about Co-Op dairy farming. Decided against buying any cheese there, as a "loaf" was $5 MORE than I can buy it at COSTCO. Absurd.

Drove down the coast, stopped at a beach here and there.Stopped at Beverly Beach State Park for the night. Really decent park - VERY quiet and it's just a short walk to the beach from all the campsites.

Day 3 - Seattle

What a stinking awesome way to spend the day!
No expectations, no agenda.
Just see.
Just do.
Just be.

We were pooped when we got back to the campground at 8.
NO ONE made it to the fire works.
Oh well, there will be more July 4ths in the years to come to enjoy those.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Day 2

First of all, to update you on THAT campground - BAH! It seemed alright as we were going to bed. Sure, the events leading up to it weren't ideal - whatever, right? Fine.
However, THEN all stinking night long TRAINS came rambling through right beside the campground. You either have to be deaf or a really deep sleeper (like my kids). It was ridiculous. Both my mom and I were up by 7, ready to get the heck out of there.

I'm driving, we're truckin' along. We see a fun thing - in the middle of a field with no other visible signs of wind anywhere.So when I feel like my RV is punched with a gust of wind, I figure it's one of those anomalies and keep going, with my eye peeled for any other signs of mysterious wind. THEN it kind of feels like the road all of the sudden changes groves, when to my eye it doesn't look any different at all. Last straw. PUFFFFFF ... tires blow. I pull over as quickly and safely as I can.
Mom jumps out, assesses the situation, comes back in and we call AAA. Get told she doesn't have RV coverage and it will take 7-10 days to come into effect if we add it then. The AAA people in Moses Lake, WA give me the number to the Les Schwab place .I give them a call. The service guy has one call before us and will be there A.S.A.P Three hours and $450 later, we're on our way with two brand new tires and a new healthy fear of something else going wrong with the stinking RV.

We arrived at the Tacoma KOA around 7pm. Grabbed our swim suits and ditched the beast.
It's a great little place. NO TRAINS. Breakfast every morning, playground, beside the river and a bird sanctuary, free showers, camp store ...

We're off to explore Seattle today. Should be a zoo with all the stuff going on for the Fourth - Totally excited about that (sincerely)!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Trip Home Day 1

We (and by "we" I of course me "I") have the whole trip mapped out. Even things to do ALONG the path home. I am willing to vary on times and actual activities, but in the beginning you have to have at least a "sort of" plan on how things are going to go.
So before we left Canada I had made reservations at a camp site near Bonners Ferry, ID. It's only about 6 hours from Raymond, a nice days drive with time to stop and admire the sites if need be.
We did stop in Sparwood,B.C. to take the prerequisite "Biggest Truck in the World" picture, then again just after we entered the U.S.of A to start taking a series of pictures I've been planning on taking since I started driving the kids up to Canada and back. The camp spot we're at for the night TOTALLY fails as a "family" place. It's called Blue Lake RV resort and it's about 8 miles south of Bonner's Ferry, ID. There is a POND (that I am assuming they are considering a "lake") which you can swim in if you're brave. Like swim in Stafford Lake brave. It's clean enough, but has a lot of "pond elements" if you know what I mean. There are non-motorized water toys you can rent FOR HALF DAYS (but no shorter amounts of time). They asked us not to let B-man throw rocks into the pond, as they have to buy the gravel (really? That's absurd.) There is no play ground.
However, if I were coming here with a group of adults, it'd be awesome. Showers, gym, laundry, quiet, views, variety of sites, games to borrow, fire pits, picnic tables, docks ... but for families ... not so much.