Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekend Heat Wave

The temperature on the coast stays pretty much the same. The highs hit 75-80 in July and August and the lows in the 60's for the January and February months. This is just the temps on the coast. The more inland you go the hotter it gets. Last night I left HB with the temp at 82 and when I got to work about 15miles away the temp was 99. Then I walked into the restaurant and the temp didn't change. The a/c in the entire place was out. We had guests leaving as soon as they walked in the door. The cooks in the kitchen had it even worse then the servers. As the sun went down the place got a little cooler and business picked up. The bartender calls me "Alabama" and told me he wanted to make me feel at home in the heat. I hope they have the air fixed by the time I go in tonight.

On Friday afternoon, I was getting gas on my way home. While leaving the gas station, a man in a wheelchair came up to my car and told me that I had ran over his wheelchair ramp. I pulled back to where the man's van was. I never felt the ramp and there was no apparent damage but he asked for my insurance info so I called the police to the scene. Nate came over for moral support. The man kept yelling at me that I was being irresponsible and was leaving the scene of an accident. The cop shows up and I tell him what happens and that the man thinks I ran over his ramp. (while waiting on the cop the man open and closes the ramp and door 3-4 times and then gets in the van - everything works fine). The cop said he did not see any damage and that he could not file a report with no damage. The man said he just wanted my insurance info and did not want to call the cops. The man started yelling and getting very upset and the cop basically told him there was not damage so no report. The man wanted me to be responsible and not leave the scene, which the cop said I did. Anyway the man finally gets ready to leave and tells the cop never mind on getting my insurance info, he was just ready to go. While the man was closing his door he kept yelling I was a liar and irresponsible. The cop turned to me and Nate and said we did the right thing and to prove it, it was all on audio tape. I am so glad we called the police to file a report instead of just swapping info. I know I did not hit his ramp and the cop knew it too.

That was the only 2 drama episodes for the week! Thank goodness. The rest of the week was spend working, kids school and watching all the new season openers of my shows. Nate is so sweet to give up the TV most of the time.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pajama Party!

Living in an Apartment/Condo Complex is like living in a Pajama Party! 

Having only lived in a Condo for 3 months, I am still adjusting to the party time. I am now living in very close proximity to everyone. If you are afraid for people to see you in your pj's, no make-up, or sporting your weekly mud mask, then don't go outside, on the patio, check the mail, or open the blinds. The one time you think it is okay to go get the mail in your pj's at 9pm at night, is when you run into your neighbor and you both talk for 30 min to catch up on the weekly activities. 

There is always someone to talk to you as you walk to your car, get the mail, walk the dog. The people in our complex are all very friendly and my kids know almost all of them. Cori has a radar for one of our neighbors and can always tell when he is at the pool, or coming back from the beach. My kids are recycling to earn money and Joel goes around to the different people who walk their dogs to ask them to help him. Almost every day there is a bag of cans or bottles by my door for the kids. 

There is also not a curfew for visiting the neighbors. I have had people knock on the door at 9pm to say hi, or return a movie or child. On the flip side, I have returned a book at 10pm in order to get another one to read that night. I have also headed out to the hot tub by the pool at 10pm while my kids were watching tv and hanging out inside. 

~ Weird Moments with the Neighbor's ~

One of our neighbors, Mike, was leaving our house one night and rounded the corner to see one of the neighbor's kids looking into Cori's window, while the Mom was watching her look in the window. It was not until the mom saw Mike that she started telling her kid to get out of the window. 

Last week at the pool, there were about 10 kids playing in the pool, most of the kids are friends and play often together. There were a couple of new kids in the pool. My kids said hello and then proceeded to play with everyone in the pool. One little girl, about 8, started to complain that the kids were playing in the pool but not with her. We did not know the kid or mom....which meant they had not been at the pool all summer....where my kids lived this summer. Cori and her friend, Taylor are diving and jumping in the deep end of the pool not being mean to anyone. Anyway, the woman got mad and went to Cori and her friend and told them they had to make friends and play with her daughter right now. I just stared at the lady as she talked to Cori. My mouth is hanging open in shock that some stranger would come fuss at my kid for not playing with her kid. Woman get a life.....Cori came over a couple minutes later to talk to me about it. I told Cori to just be nice and go back to diving and if the girl wants to dive with her, let her. I am very outspoken but I would NEVER tell some strangers kid to play with my kid because she was in the pool with them. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Football Season has Arrived in HD!

College football just finished the second weekend and Alabama is looking good with 2 wins already. I was able to record the game Saturday night while I was at work. I now live in a state where people do not live, talk and breathe SEC football. This is a BIG adjustment. Because no one lives football, I was able to work a 6 hour shift with no guests talking about or asking me about the game. I got home at 10:30pm PST and watched the entire game! The good news is I am off this Saturday to watch Alabama vs Duke, Florida vs Tenn etc.....all day long! A special thanks to Nate for putting the Alabama fight song on my iphone as my ringtone. So anytime people call know that Alabama is cheering!

On to Sunday's Pro football games, no so good for the Dallas Cowboys. Lesson 101, PENALTIES! Once the Cowboys learn this one we will have much better games. Tonight is more football but I will be working and not able to watch the 1st Monday Night Game but will be home in time for the Chargers game. When I said something about turning on the football game last night, Cori asked "again, didn't you just watch football on Thursday and Saturday now Sunday too" I just laughed and said YES! from now to January. 

The kids have finished their first week of school. Cori was happy to leave this morning, Joel not so much. I think he was just tired. Both of them have made a couple of friends and found a lunch buddy. The days around the complex have gotten quieter with all the kids in school all week and going to bed early for school. The pool on Sunday was hopping with all the kids getting their swimming in for the week. The weather is cooling here, this week highs 70-75 and lows 60's. Last Thursday with Nate and I both off work and the kids in school, we went for a bike ride. We went to the park and 4 miles away, and we passed 3 parks to get to this big one. We also went and got library cards! This was especially fun for me.

We are more than 3 months into this new home, new city, new jobs, new everything! Nate told me on Thursday he is finally feeling settled. This is so true. We have the kids in school and we both have jobs and it is starting to feel like home. Nate thanked me for making this move to CA. It was a joint decision for our family and one I am happy with but Nate knew he was asking a lot to leave our family and friends. Nate did not need to thank me but it made me misty-eyed when he did. God is blessing us in so many ways. I know a lot of people are praying for us. Thanks for the prayers and keep them coming.

One more thing, Nate finished his 2-year Associates Degree last night. Sunday was the last class and he passed with flying colors. I am so proud of all the hard work he has put into getting his degree. He is working full time, spending time with the family, going to 2 different schools online and still finding time for his video/computer games. He will start his last 2 years of his Bachelor's Degree in 2 weeks. I am so proud and happy for him. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

First Day of School

I sent Cori off to Middle School yesterday. It is hard to believe I have a daughter in 6th grade. Cori was in bed early on Tuesday night but did not sleep well for being nervous. Nate and I got up and walked her to the bus stop. There were about 20 other kids that got on the bus with her. Nate and I walked home and then woke Joel up to get him ready for school. Cori asked me to meet her at the bus stop yesterday afternoon. Joel, Bella and I met her at the park, where her bus stop is. She was running off the bus because she had an AWESOME day! She sat down on the grass and started telling me all about school. She made a friend and they sat together in lunch and math class. There is an 8th grader, Chloe in our complex and Cori saw her at lunch. Chloe came and gave Cori a big hug and started asking about her teachers and her morning. This meant a lot to Cori since she is a 6th grader. Cori also did not have homework but reorganized her folders and binder 3 times yesterday afternoon as well as do two extra credit assignments.

Joel went off to the 4th grade yesterday. Nate and I both walked him to his class yesterday. Joel's class lines up outside the classroom everyday before school. The only thing in the buildings is the classrooms and bathrooms. The hallways, lunchroom and backpack area is outside. This is why the school is fenced and locked during school hours. Joel has his first male teacher this year. He made a couple of friends and enjoyed walking home from school by himself.

I am glad both of my kids had a great first day of school. Now to get them through the rest of the year.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rock Climbing and More

The last big day with my mom visiting, we took her and the kids to a place called Boomers. It has putt-putt golf, rock climbing, laser tag, go-karts, and video games. We spend more than 8 hours at this park. We rode and played everything. Mom won at putt-putt the first time and we did not keep score on the last round that we played at night. Joel did get the best score on the 18th hole. Nate took time to show both kids how to line up and concentrate on their putting. We rode go-carts over and over and over. Joel and Cori had to drive the little go-carts and Joel was the fearless driver that would not let the other drivers win. He knocked a couple of people into the wall. I really wanted to ride the bumper boats till I saw how wet everyone was when they came off the ride. We all played a round of laser tag and ganged up on Nate. That was fun to shoot the video game sniper.

Joel driving the go-cart
My favorite part of the day was the rock climbing wall. Nate and I tried it first, and a kid on the other side kept stealing my hand holds. Then Joel and Cori took their turn. Joel made it to the top, with lots of encouraging from us. Cori made it almost up to the top and did a great job.
Joel making it to the top

Lastly my mom took her turn.....She made it 4 feet off the ground and that was with 3 tries. I have never laughed so hard. Mom was a good sport and was laughing as much as Nate and I.
Mom's Attempt
Nate and his delicious food

I was really proud of her trying the rock wall and other rides and adventures over the course of her stay with us. Thanks Mom for all the fun times and great memories. Can't wait till your next visit.
Last night before Mom leaves

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Santa Monica Pier

Saturday with my mom was a relaxing day. Both Nate and I had to work so Mom had the kids all day. I played Settlers with Mom and Cori in the morning before leaving for work. Mom took the kids to the park and pool during the afternoon.

Sunday, Nate had to work and Mom and I took the time to watch a bunch of tv shows. Mom and I both like a lot of the same shows and since she was in town I had not had a chance to catch up on my DVR shows. We watched Covert Affairs, Rizzoli and Isles, Matlock, and a couple of other shows. It was a relaxing day and of course, there were more games of Settlers. At this point we just left the game on the kitchen table so we would not have to keep setting it up everyday.

Monday, Nate and I both worked the lunch shift then we took the family to Santa Monica Pier. This was a first for Mom and the kids. We had a great time. We all brought our jackets and our game faces. There is a ferris wheel (which no one rode), a small roller coaster, ( I lost how many times the kids rode this), a spinning thing, and a rocking dragon. We got the kids a pass so they could ride all the rides as long as they wanted. Mom and I took the time to go walk up and down the pier and look in shops and press some pennies.  It got cold enough for me to go get a large cup of hot tea and sit and watch the kids run around and ride the rides. We stayed and watched the sunset on the ocean while the kids played. Here are some pictures from the day.
The Beach @ Santa Monica
Roller Coaster, Kids rode by themselves and Cori has her hands up the whole time

Spinning ride the kids are on.

Mom at the Pier

Me and the Zoltar machine (like the one from the movie BIG)

Rocking Dragon the kids and Nate rode. This ride goes almost vertical

The kids after they got off the Dragon, we do not know the kid in the back. He just jumped into the picture as Nate was taking it. He wound up going around with the kids riding all the rides together.

End of Route 66

The Sunset

San Diego Zoo

Family photo @ the Zoo

We all drove down to San Diego and went to the zoo. This is one of the largest zoo's in the US and one of the best. I have only been to 2 other zoos Birmingham and Oklahoma. Both were okay zoo's but not impressive. The San Diego Zoo was impressive!

We went through the Monkey exhibit first, it has a rain forest feel to it. Then on to the Panda Bears which were a big excitement. Two of them just slept and the third ate on his bamboo.
Panda Eating Bamboo
Cori's Panda impersonation

My Favorite!
After lunch we went to the Elephant Odyssey section. This had a ton of Elephants and other animals I can't remember (or pronounce). 

Then we went to the Polar bear exhibit. This was very cool and cold too. The bears were eating on carrots. There was a seal playground that both the kids played in. They could stick their heads up through the holes and act like seals. 

Then we went to the Sea Lion show. They had some birds and sea lions. The show asked for a couple of volunteers, which brought up 2 little girls. The sea lion waves (and splashed) the girls with water and the smaller girl started crying. The other girl was more brave, she fed the sea lion, hugged the sea lion and let the sea lion give her a kiss on the cheek.

The whole day was fun with animals, cokes, smiling for pictures, laughing, hurting feet, sweating (80 degrees), and me asking what kind of animal is this? Joel did a great job of reading and telling us all about the animals in each exhibit. We will defiantly be back to visit the zoo again. Here are some more pictures of the trip. 

Polar Bear
Cori's Seal Pose

Mom and the Kids
Joel really looks like a seal
The map of the zoo, the one Nate only let me hold once, while he navigated us through the park.
Cori and Nate on the Hippo
This is my favorite animal at the zoo. I love Koala Bears
Our other family photo, under the butt of the elephant statue

Cori's Orientation and Beach Trip

Cori is really excited about starting middle school. She went to a 2 hour orientation on Thursday morning. Cori does not get nervous and is already ready to jump in and have fun. She looked like a very scared little girl as she left me to go to orientation. I told my mom this will either end in tears or smiles and excitement for the new school. When we picked Cori up 2 hours later, she was all smiles. She immediately told us which room was the detention room. This from a child who has never had detention.

After school orientation we had lunch and then loaded up the car with wave-boards, chairs, towels, cooler and ourselves and headed to the beach. This was our first chance to so Mom the Pacific ocean. We spent about 2 hours at the beach with Mom and I reading our books and the kids playing in the sand. The kids played in the water about 20 mins then spent the rest of the time, sand playing, throwing, stomping, and screaming.......

The next stop was the pool with Mom and the kids. 

My Mom comes for a visit ~ Arriving Day

My mom came for her fist visit. She flew in on Wednesday August 25th. Mom had not been to California since she was 10, so it was like it was never for her. I left with the kids to go pick her up at LAX. Her plane was on time but it still was very hectic getting her to the car and out of the airport. We got on the rode and headed home. She was already overwhelmed with the traffic and lanes of traffic on the freeways. Poor kids talked her ears off the entire way one. We spent the afternoon and evening hanging out at home. We took Mom to the pool for a few hours and showed her around the complex. Then we walked to the corner grocery store and made hamburgers for dinner. The kids had borrowed the movie "Jaws" from a neighbor so they watched in 2 different parts that night. The Settlers Game was broken out and we played 3 games that night.
Watching Jaws