Dec 11, 2008

Thanks again for babysitting Dad!

Tonight we had a Christmas party for my Mom's YW. We worked all day on cleaning house and making treats so everything would be perfect {okay, you caught me, we squeezed some 'crafting' in there too}.
Anyway, Pop Pop was volunteered to take the kids off our hands during the party. I guess a trip to the 99 cent store got tacked on to the original itinerary that had only consisted of happy meals and McDonald's play land.
Yeah, so Dad pretty much thought it would be pretty hilarious to give Laine a Dora 'tramp stamp' {okay, I give up, it was hilarious} with the Dora tats courtesy of said 99 cent store.

Here's Laine with her 'reading glasses' {like Grandma?} picking out some Dora tats for everyone else to share in the fun. She later remarked of the evening:

'I'm not super Laine, I'm just Laine, only, I'm not Laine, I'm Dora'

Sounds kinda like her typical logic...

And that's Gabey showing me his 'gockit' -chocolate.

It was a pretty exciting night had by all if you were wondering.

Dec 8, 2008

just fartin around

Greetings from my continued vacay with my family. It has been a lot of fun and the kids continue to be in heaven with their Gaengy & Pop Pop and Hannah. They're also enjoying being part of a family that has pet dogs. Gabe spends about an hour each morning out in the cold -no shoes on of course, playing with his goggies and jumpin' on the tramp. I must get footage, it is thoroughly entertaining. PS -I think he may have ADHD... {as with the time I wondered if he had Prader Willi Syndrome, I am only half joking...}

We've had lot's of time spent at Pop Pop's firehouse functions where Gabey has been in 2 year old boy heaven. He loves trucks. The bigger the better. And if you can climb on them and jump all over them and goober 'em up -so much the better.

I think it has been fun and eye-opening for my parents to spend so much time with this wild boy. He sure does love life. Almost as much as being naughty... And Laine and her new alter-ego 'Super Laine' have continued to be bright, cheerful angels -most of the time!

We've had a lot of laughs and good times. As many of you know, Katie and I, and possibly others of my sisters, have a real knack for having the craziest and stupidest things happen to us. However, I had no idea that it all started with my parents...

We keep laughing and laughing about a story they told me a few nights ago over dinner: When my older sister Nicole was in kindergarten, they had their first parent-teacher conference. Being new parents, they were really excited and welcomed the new experience and had high hopes for not only this child's, but their their others' as well.

On that high, they arrive to the conference and sit down to talk to the teacher, only to have her say, 'Nicole doesn't stay within the lines when she is coloring' and then she honestly, purely and genuinely looked at my Mom and Dad and to their faces asked 'are either of you retarded?' No jokes, no kidding. Purely, earnestly a serious question.

Needless to say it is the new family inside joke, well, one of them... and it was almost as good as this story of Katie's that pretty much goes down in Gildea history as the MVP. Will it be topped? Sorry if you've already read it on this blog and HG, I just can't get enough of it, and I'm worried that 1 or 2 new readers may have missed it, which would be such a shame.

Okay, I'll let the pictures do the talking:

Gabey and Gaengy 'fartin' around' on the truck

*FYI *Bringing out a classic Gildea inside joke. Allow me to elaborate... When we were in HS, my Dad loved to torment us in any way possible {what am I saying?? He still does. He lives for it actually} He used to see the caller ID and know who was calling and obviously then who they were calling for -so he would answer in a mock-woman's voice, 'Natalie Hotline, how may I help you?' or something stupid like that. Anyway, when we weren't home at the time, and our friends ever asked where we were and when we would be home -Dad's classic response was, 'I don't know, they must be out somewhere farting off"
It was kind of akin to all of the friends of mine who when they came to the door, he asked why they looked different and if it was because they'd had their head gear removed -when they obviously handn't ever had it on. As if my Dad wasn't intimidating enough. But it was hilarious, I'll admit it.
In a sick way, I miss it...

More farting off...

Can you believe she is the Grandma?? She's Madonna's clone. She hates that, but she is. She has the gap and everything -but not the fake British accent. I think I'll get her a leotard + corset and some heels for Christmas

The whole crew. We've been calling Laine 'Margo' from the Royal Tenenbaum's in her fur coat. I think I really will darken the eye make-up and get her a purse for a fabulous-hilarious photo-op. I'll of course enlist Katie's help since she was her for Halloween...

Awwwwe... cute

Inside eating, Gabe being a buckin' bronco on Gaengy's lap. I spared you the action shots, but the reel was pretty funny

Margo forgot to open her eyes for the pic

Why were we in some half-finished building eating do you ask? Days later I'm still not sure, but when there's free food involved I tend to not ask questions...

Okay, now this was the day we went to 'King's Buffet' -one of my Dad's favorite restaurants. Yes, it's an all you can eat, Chinese buffet, I'm sure you were wondering. Since we were going some place so nice, he wore his Rocawear shirt, as you can plainly see
That's why I dance so good, cause my Dad's a thug

Unrelated to our day at the buffet, here is a candid shot of my Dad the next day in the Marie Callendar's parking lot -rocking his G-Unit jeans

Back to Kings,
Laine and G
Even though we joked about Laine's helmet hair and call her the baby broadcast journalist, she really doesn't look 4 going on 44, as this picture would lead you to believe

Gabe, drinking his ice cream...
Okay, I know I always make promises that I don't keep, but there truly is plenty more where this solid gold diamond mine came from. I've got a whole other 2 posts worth of pictures, I'm on it.

Dec 2, 2008

This post needs pictures

Ugh, I've been meaning to post all of this for weeks -does anyone else get major blog back-up paired with a complete lack of desire to post? It's a nasty combination... one that I sometimes fear that it is lethal and has no cure.

Anyway, I did want to repost this story I already post on HG for many of you who don't read HG, sorry for the repeat for those who do:

A few weeks ago was Laine's last week at preschool. She will be sad to say goodbye to David, her first 'boyfriend' she's had at school all year. He is such a sweetie cutie. He always led her to the door and helped her sit in her seat. He's a real gentleman at the ripe old age of 4.Last week when I went to pick her up it was just David and Laine left. I talked to David's Mom for a minute and then Laine came up and interupted me with the usual patting and 'Mom Mom Mom!'. I finally stopped my converation and said, 'What??' and she said {as David's Mom was right there listening of course}:'

Mommy... I don't want Daddy break David's legs, cause he's my friend...'
Ah! I was so mortified! Obviously as I had ooed and awed over how cute they were, Ben was polishing his rifle and getting out his baseball bat -he seriously HATES hearing the cute stories. So the threat of breaking his legs was one of Daddy's usual responses and I was SO embarrased as Laine overshared. It actually was pretty funny though.
That was also a few days after I attempted to wear the first hat I'd worn in years. With my short hair I felt like I truly looked like a lesbian or homeless -or even possibly a homeless lesbian {nothing wrong with it! Just not the look I typically go for...} Now that my hair has grown out some, I thought I'd brave it.
I came out of my room with Laine beaming "Mom, you look so cute!" -Wow, that was the reception I was hoping for and more! Then she followed it up with "Yeah, you look like a Dad!" ...hmmm
Seems like something else funny happened, if only I could remember. This is why you should blog more often, so you don't forget! Maybe it was the 75 year old pregnant man in a blonde wig and pink sparkly outfit we saw on the streetcorner before we left... not sure...
So how as the flight you ask?
It truly was. Gabe slept all of 45 mintues during the whole 14 hours. Instead he stuck to a healthy regimen of 1 part running up and down the aisles laughing during the 'night' when the plane was dark and most everyone was trying desperately to sleep -including me. 2 parts kicking the seat in front of him as if it were his last kicks on earth. 2 parts using my quads as a trampoline. 1 part practicing for his big debut as a WWF wrestler. 3 parts sending Daddy to a fit so severe he may need anger management afterall. 1 part waking Laine from her blissful rest. 2 parts playing with his Thomas trains, praise the heavens. 1 part spilling drinks or food and then whining about it. 1 part meltdown... let's see, am I forgetting anything? The look {I mean scowl} on the crusty old woman's face in the row in front of us WAS priceless, and surprisingly it never did get old.
And a huge thanks to the Quantas team who was so patient and didn't treat us like we were diseased because we had children unlike some airlines I know of {UNITED!}
Okay, I'm getting the urge to get out my paperbag since posting this has not been the therapy I hoped it would be, instead it is inducing rage as I'm forced to relive it. Out.

Nov 24, 2008


I'm so behind in posts. I've got a bajillion crazy stories building up but just can't take the time to get them down! Here's some fam pics and I'll be back Arnold style asap

Nov 10, 2008

Playing Dress-up, I mean Catch-Up

Sadie the painted lady!

Not sure why Gabey looks like a balding-on-top, old man groom, his hair is thick and lustrous!

The happy couple! Congrats you two!

Next day, Mullett Bogan rather than Black Roots Blonde Hair and Sunglasses Bogan. Getting the goods from Clara

Rasta Ben {kinda...} taking the kids out

Happy Halloween! ...Two weeks ago! I'm a little behind -which is also something I'd like to have but anyway, I digress.

We went to a fun ward party a few days before Halloween and then trick-or-treated to about 5-6 houses on the actual night. Halloween hasn't exactly caught on here. We got about 10 trick-or-treaters in all. Which was not good because the kids and I, mostly I, then had to eat all of the 'lollies' -as they say here, that I had purchased. Damn, again, also as they say here.

Ben and I were what we always are since we must get our money's worth out of the wigs we invested in 6 years ago and paid $10 for -it was a lot of money at the time you see. So yes, once again we were Bogans, Bevans, aka White Trash -whatever you want to call us. We now have an aditionaly wig that is a hat with nasty black braids that we got courtesy of a white elephant party. Our costumes were complete with bbq stains and mustard in the arm-pits for that yellow-pits effect. I wore a nice shade of blue eye shadow and nice pink shade of rouge to complete the look. I didn't have any lip-liner, which would have accentuated to look, unfortunately. I'll have to remember that for next year.

Laine and Gabe were the cutest Bride and Groom you've ever seen. You can't tell the beautiful detail on Laine's dress, it was so pretty! I'm not sure it was what they would have chosen to be, but I thought it was cute and I realized this may be one of the last years that I can choose what their costumes will be. Even this year was borderline -Laine was quite insistent that she be a chicken again. She didn't get the memo that we need to enjoy and relish these years of Halloween in the summertime and that we need not bundle up in the heat and humidity!

Later that week it was my birthday, which was one of the best adult birthdays of my life. Ray and Christine, our neighbors, took us on a date to the city to celebrate. Ben even got to be designated driver and drive Ray's brand new AU$270,000 BMW convertible {yes, you read that right} home. It was a little chilly with the top down, but was ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE to drive through the city with the top down -over the Harbour Bridge, by the Opera House... It was breathtaking. It was SUCH a great night. Thanks again R & C!

The next day was my actual birthday, Sunday, and Ben has meetings all morning and I do everything and get the kids all ready for him to drive home and pick us up. That day he actually got someone to cover for him and snuck home to make me breakfast in bed with Laine and decorate the house. It was so festive! I was so surprised and it really made the day so fun.

We had dinner over at Clara and Francis's house -our Korean neighbors, and it was so, SO good I could have died! I realized that it actually was the first time I'd been invited over to a Korean's home to eat -I had only had Korean food in restaurants until that point. Actually, while we were living in Korea, one family from Ben's mission DID invite us over, but they took us out to eat at Pizza Hut... Normally I would have been totally P.O'd and felt ripped off, but I was pregnant and wanted to kiss the ground at Pizza Hut -I was not about to handle Asian food at that point.

Anyway, Ben had snuck away to the bakery to get me one of my FAVORITE things for a birthday cake. I LOVE those cute little tarts that have the strawberries, blueberries and kiwi's and that shiny glaze on them. Seriously, I'm obsessed. Any time we go to a classy buffet that has them or any kind of function, wedding, what have you -I bring back a plate so full that I tell people it is to share for the whole table. And then I get to the table and I start to growl if people start inching toward them, thinking I was sharing. True story. I really, REALLY loves my tarts.

Since I didn't want to share my tart with the Koreans, I DID make my own cake. But it turned out so ugly that I made Ben tell them that he made it.

Anyway, it was a great day and a huge thanks to my family for making it so special for me!

Oct 28, 2008

Long Overdue

Yeah Yeah Yeah, I know I'm overdue to post, but I'm REALLY overdue to put these pics up. This was a while ago after church when Gabey decided to go for a something a little more sexy than his usual attire. It was hilarious. Little Boy has quite the shoe fetish. Don't tell the Grandpas, especially Pop Pop. They may start to wonder. The thing is though, that Gabe is so BOY that you really can joke comfortably about these things.

This was Laine around the time of her birthday when she wore the aprons that Grams Riley made her. Are they not uber-ADORABLE?? You can't see the other one, I know I have pics of it somewhere but can't find them and she's at school today so no chance for a totally real photo op... Anyway, Laine and I both love the aprons and we use them all of the time and here are the pics for Grams finally!

And how sad are these pics??

You remember the pics of the back garden from before I assume. Here is what it looks {and SOUNDS!!} like today, which is even worse than the pics I posted yesterday on HG. I should have snapped them a half hour ago when they excavator was on the fence line and the massive tree grinder was obnoxiously grinding those beautiful trees that used to line that fence line!

Oct 21, 2008

Welcome Welcome Terrible Two's... Bring it on!

Happy Birthday Manchild!

PS -if you've seen Ben's neck, let us know where to find it, we've looked everywhere!

The other night we had this great impromptu pizza party with our neighbors and we ended up discussing that Gabe's birthday would be on Monday. The ladies were a little tipsy, and suggested pulling the neighborhood together for a street party for Gabe. It all sounded like the kind of idea that seemed great...when drunk. And for a second I wondered if anyone would remember the grandeos plans the next day. I didn't have anything else planned, I felt bad since I didn't do anything for Laine's birthday a few months back, it was just too much at that time to put something on...

To my relief / horror / joy, they did remember. And Monday, it was on. It was some work for sure, but was so worth it and was probably the greatest birthday party we have thrown to date. That is not saying much. I'm not nearly as festive as I should be, and with most birthdays happening overseas or while pregnant or just on the verge of moving or having just moved, it hasn't helped.

This was great though. Everyone brought some nibbles and there were presents galore. Gabe was surrounded by his favorite ladies who he just adores. The tall one is Amberleigh of whom he is in love with and even calls 'Mummy' sometimes. He follows her around where ever she goes, arms outstretched and whining until she'll pick him up. It's a crack-up.

I made a mountain cake with some hills and country roads. Gabe is so into cars, so I thought he'd like it. It was probably the ugliest thing I've ever seen, not being modest, but the girls all went apey for it and thought it was magnificent. And it did taste incredible... it was a raspberry almond cake with coconut, of my own creation. I made it with half flour and half almond meal and the recipe will be on HG tomorrow if you're interest has been piqued.

Happy Birthday to the best little boy a mom could ask for. You keep me laughing and smiling and I just don't know what to do with myself I love you so much. I just want to squeeze you all day long. In fact, to quote Paula, you're ridiculous. I just want to squeeze you, squish your head off and dangle you from my rear view mirror.

You are so fun and have such a joy about you. Your little chicklette teeth and deep husky voice with accompanying lisp keep everyone cracking up. And you run like a girl, which is hilarious /adorable now but we do hope you grow out of it, but not too soon.

You are a Wildman, and you grow more and more wild everyday. It's been very eye-opening as a Mum who grew up without any brothers! But we love your antics and none of us can get enough of you. You're one in a million my little bebe! Kisses!

Oct 16, 2008

He pooped on me, but it's cool

Yep, he did

PS I just discovered the phone has been off the hook for the last 859 minutes. Congrats to us, a new record.

So here we are, back from our trip. I can't say that I really should even be blogging with the mountain of laundry, emails, and phonecalls waiting for me. But I don't think I need to remind you people that I like to live life on the edge.

The first few days were a little rocky, what with the rain, sick kids, Ben's nerves about how the convention was going to go and all of this going down in a tiny hotel room. But once the convention was underway, things started to look up and they only got better from there.

It was so great to see some faces from home and there are so many distributors that I was looking forward to seeing as well. There were lovely dinners, beautiful awards nights, dancing, breakfast cruises. And it all took place 50 meters from Surfer's Paradise on the Gold Coast.

Here's a little story to boost your self esteem:

Jason Norton {who somehow manages to get on this blog more frequently than most of our family...} had flown in from SLC via Tahiti on a 36 HOUR flight with Bianca Lisonbee, one of the co-founders of the company. We had dinner all together with them and Moira and Reg from the Sydney office and then everyone retired to their rooms. There was only one more day of prep before the big days started, so Ben suggest I do anything I needed to get done before I was deprived of the internet for the next few days since he would need his laptop 24/7.

So after putting the kids to bed, including Ben, I stayed up late blogging, facebooking, emailing, trying to get as much done as I could. I was just about done, and so beyond tired I could barely see straight, by then it was 1:30 in the morning. Then it occured to me that I hadn't checked my old yahoo email account, which really has mostly turned into a spamfest. However, there is the occasional golden nugget -like a forward from an estranged relative- that keeps me coming back for more.

So I open it up to see and urgent email from Jason's wife, Kim, relating that I must have him get in touch with her ASAP. Not knowing more than that, my groggy brain tried to process the information and what to do with it. Since he had just flown in, I figured he had jetlag and would possibly be up in a few short hours. I, on the other hand, was sure I was afforded sleep until 10 {didn't happen anyway, not even close} since I was on vacay, so by then it might be too late! Immediate action WAS necessary I decided.

I woke Ben up to ask if he had seen Jason talking to Kim or if he had mentioned anything about getting in touch with her. He said he didn't think so. I then asked him what room Jason was in, hoping he was right next door and this could be easy. Nope, he was 8 floors down. Oh well, this was an emergency situation, one of which Jason may need to catch the next flight out of town. I emailed Kim, assuring her that she did the right thing to contact me, and that I would ensure Jason got the message. I wrote a note, put on the hotel bathrobe, and trudged 8 floors down to Jason's room, barefoot and barefaced. I was just going to leave the note, WHY didn't I leave the note!? but then I heard the TV on, so I figured so much the better, he was up, and I could relay this most important message now! I knocked, and waited for a good 30 seconds, realizing he probably had NOT been awake, that he had fallen asleep with the TV on and that I've now just woken a man up with jetlag on the eve of a very important convention. I should have turned and ran, instead, I waited to greet his groggy face {seriously groggy face, the next morning he had to double check that he had put clothes on, which he had} and then hear that he had already been in touch with Kim. So I didn't save the day afterall... Well, my heart was in the right place! My intentions were good!

The latter part of the trip was the best. Theme parks, Water Parks, Wildlife Santuaries, dining out sans kids with fun friends. Life couldn't be any more grand.

Breakfast cruise. My fly is down at this very moment, but I haven't yet discovered it...

No the 70's are not back and double no, I am not wearing blue mascara -despite what it looks like

Riding the train at the Currumbin Wildlife Santuary

It's a little blurry, but I love this pic of Jason and Gabe. Though you'd think it was monkey's in the background, not Koalas...

So Sad!

This bird was sitting on this ledge and sweet little Laine went up to touch it and the nasty thing lunged at her with it's x-tra long Gumby neck and needle sharp beak. She was SO scared, and I screamed as I saw it happen out of the corner of my eye. She shouted 'I don't like it!' and I ran up to her and cradled her little trembling body as she whimpered. I swear she'll never be the same. Nasty bird!

This little Kanga had a precious little joey in the pouch. So cute! We can't get enough of the roos. They are fascinating to watch as they bouce all over the place!

Laine wasn't so sure...

Lookout point on the border of Queensland and New South Wales. Captain Cook did something here that was significant... wasn't really getting it...

Humpback whales who were migrating back to the Antarctic were breaching in the distance which was awesome

Good times...
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