Monday, January 23, 2012

Bailout Hero

Greetings friends and family,

One of the most heart-warming aspects of Easton and Layla's Daddy Day at preschool was reading the Q&A interview captured by the teachers.    

Easton is surprisingly close with his answers.  my favorite TV program is actually HIS favorite because I don't watch TV unless it is educational shows with them.  I showed him a YouTube clip of a hail storm last year in Oklahoma, which he found extremely fascinating.

Layla was surprisingly accurate, especially about the happiest day of my life.  She probably thinks I'm 4 years old because that's how I act when we play.  :)

Easton made a new friend at the neighborhood park even though the age difference was huge.  He brought his black gun and we chased each other around a while.  The neighbor friend ran to his house and came back with a very similar gun.  I had no idea that toy had such a wide breadth of age appeal.  Can't remember who bought the guns for him, but it was a good choice!

I just received the biggest bailout since Wells Fargo and AIG!  Kendra flew to Los Angeles on Friday for a Mommy vacation with her friend April.  I was left all alone with Easton and Layla...  for a whole 5 hours.  Then my hero arrived via SouthWest Airlines:  Ouma!  

She was desperately missing the twins and seeking any excuse to visit.  Kendra leaving town for 4 days was the perfect excuse.  Ouma's arrival was an event all by itself because it was so late in the evening.  I placed Easton and Layla gently in the car without them knowing anything about the surprise visitor.  Their drowsy demeanor was instantly turned into elation like a lightening strike when Ouma stepped into the car.

Her time was well utilized to the point it felt like a vacation for me too.  One of the outings was a fun trip to the Museum of Natural History.  Easton was brave enough to be held by Ouma in front of the T-Rex...  with a smile.

Layla is very sensitive to noises and meanness. everything the dinosaurs are made of. She found many other intriguing things to do besides listen to the roar of a dinosaur.  For example, riding a sea turtle.

The crowd was nonexistent, which gave us open access to everything in the museum including the waterfall full of sand and faux gold flakes.  Panning for gold was a good learning experience in case the gold rush comes back in California.

There is a display focused on movies where the set was based in Arizona.  One of the black and whites played on the TV with a green screen behind it to add in our own two characters.

The huge, metal dinosaur outside makes for a great photo opp.  It summarizes the mood and entertainment value of the trip.  Easton and Layla enjoyed showing Ouma around their semi-familiar territory.

Another adventure we took was to the bead shop.  jewelry means a lot to Layla.  This kicked it up a notch because Layla and Ouma hand selected the beads then built the bracelet together.

That's one happy girl lovin' every minute of the attention and creation.

Easton was equally excited once I gave him some choices of pendents.  A snake, dragon, train, and dinosaur were all in the running.  I was relieved when he chose the train.  Building the necklace with Ouma meant even more to him than I expected.

The wire inside is metal, which means they will last longer than previous attempts at jewelry wearing.  Good thinking, Dad!  The total cost was $14, but it was clearly a priceless experience for the twins.

Another thing one can do with $14 is buy one bag of cotton candy at the US Airways Center.  OK, it was only $12, but still that was outrageous!  We ate every morsel in the bag resulting in sticky hands and smiles for everyone.

Why did the chicken go to the US Airways Center?  To see Toy Story 3 on ice!

Tickets were about $115 for the four of us, but I won them for free at work!  It's hard to imagine forking out that kind of money for a 2 hour show, but I certainly got my money's worth.  I've never seen professional ice skaters and I detest watching the boring "sport" on TV.  However, they were awesomely impressive and I'm really happy we went.  Ever seen an ice skating horse?  I have...  Here is a good pic of the other characters from the movie too.   Slinky Dog was the best.

Layla's favorite segment was the one with Barbie and her workout friends.  It was Barbie overdose for Layla.

One of my favorite parts was Ken and Barbie reenacting their first meeting to the background music of Dream Weaver.  I was laughing at the humor and in awe of the performance.

Then the wardrobe show by Ken played out.  The show did justice to the scene in the movie.  Wasn't sure they could pull that off, but I was blown away by the choreography and professionalism on display.

Before we even arrived I was secretly hoping they would allow Spanish Buzz Lightyear to perform.  It didn't disappoint either.  Does this scene look familiar?

Why yes...  Yes it does.  With the minor detail of Kendra dressing as the Progressive Insurance lady, Flo, instead of Jesse.

Ouma's time with us was short, but completely enjoyable by all of us.  She was able to spend some serious quality time with the twins.  I was able to take care of myself and even have dinner with my friends.

I admit it was a chicken thing to do by accepting Ouma's offer to be here instead of taking the helm for four days by myself.  No shame in my game.  Not many people I know who have such a great mother-in-law they would willingly spend 4 days with kids her, but without their spouse around.  I must also give big thanks to Oupa for sacrificing money and Ouma's time.  Hope he made the most of the quiet, alone time!

See you soon.

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