Sunday, March 29, 2009

Week in Review--Vacay Edition

No Work!!
Sneezing & Allergies!!

I was SO looking forward to our spring break. Then the Thursday before I started in on a migraine. That's always fun. Three days later the headache was gone but I was left with the chest infection from hell. BUT, because I am a total Studette, I went on vacation with the fam. Coughing, hacking and wheezing all the way to SoCal, all the while thinking, "what was I thinking?"

Byron and I lived in Los Angeles for four years while he attended Dental School. As bizarre as it sounds, we love it there. Our kids love it there and when ever we have a few days, that's where they want to go. Mr. Thrify and Frugal 'Pricelined ' hotels and got us in to the Hilton Anaheim, 12th floor overlooking the pool and Disneyland for $50/night. It was lovely watching the fireworks from the comfort of my bed.

So we went to Disneyland. Actually they walked down at 9:00 am, I took the trolley at noon, rode three rides, didn't eat my lunch and was back safely in the hotel, half dead, by 5:00. I was
whole lot of fun.

Paige, this is how you do Disneyland. Take your husband

And his bank account, don't take extra kids and then leave them while you go back to the hotel to read and sleep.
Don't let the smile fool you, I was on drugs.

We took the boys to where we lived in South Central LA. They were pretty horrified by the neighborhood. It was rough but there were about 7 LDS Dental school families all living in these old duplexes. Our neighbors watched out for us and when ever there was police activity they would protect us "white kids". We lived above a three car garage in an old in-law setup. It was old, old, old and really cool.
Pink tile in the bathroom, a fake fireplace and a kitchen with about 10 layers of wallpaper and an old gas stove you had to light with a match.
My inlaws put in the metal door and it's still there, 25 years later. Once they were visiting and I took my mother in law to the laundromat with me and baby Rachel. She came back to our apartment..."Clark!! We're going to Sears! We're buying the kids a washer and dryer!" Score. Love it when unintentional strokes of genius turn out so well.

We went to the Santa Monica pier to show the boys the wackos there. We weren't disappointed. A "drummer" , pounding on paint buckets and hub caps. Now that's a way to earn a good living.

This is not exactly what I pictured Power Rangers looking like.

Then over to Sprinkles to get Rachel H. some cupcakes. While we were driving on Rodeo drive Scotty told me that someday when he is rich he is bringing me there to buy a beautiful dress. Love that boy. Jeff says 'way to suck up'. I told him he could learn something from his brother.

On to the world famous Pinks Hot Dogs. A bazillion calories in a bun.

I saw this lovely creature while waiting in line, she was advertising her line of business.
I'll pass.

We parked outside a Jewish school, all of a sudden all these little Hassidic boys with ear locks started streaming out. I was so excited! It's the MorJew in me. I know, I'm a goober.

I love driving in LA, it's kind of like my own little "Woman vs Wild" adventure.

On our way to San Diego to see the Hazens, we stopped by San Clemente and saw our friend, the ridiculously misguided Dodger fan, Tylyn. They live about a block from the beach. Gorgeous.

On to San Marcos and the Hazens! We love this family and are so blessed to count them as some of our bestest friends. It was fun to see RJ pitch in his little league game. We went to pick up Payton from school and we went into her class. There all the cute little 1st graders are and then there's Pay, with a crown on. Because she truly is a princess.

Then, the highlight of my trip....meeting DIANE!! What a doll, a teeny-tiny little doll. I very generously offered to share some of the junk in my trunk with her. I'm a good friend. It was wonderful to spend time with Rachel, my soul sister and to meet Diane. Not enough time, but fun.

Saturday morning was spent at the Oakland temple with this sweet couple, Ashley and Brett.
Ashley was in seminary with me for three years and spent lots and lots of time with me at school as my TA for two years. I love this girl and am so proud of the beautiful young lady she has become. In the temple she grabbed me in a bearhug and started to cry. "Thank you, thank you for helping me understand that this is worth it" she whispered to me. Those are the moments that make the early, early mornings worth it, when you realize that you HAVE done something good in the world.

Just a little quiet moment, hard to find at a wedding.

Is there anything more beautiful than a happy bride?

THEN, we saw Celia's kids in Fiddler on the Roof. Celia has every right to be proud, they were marvelous. My mouth hurt from smiling so much!

I came back home to five days worth of dishes in the sink that Mitch 'forgot' to wash and even more blossoms. Home sweet home.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

U Can't Touch This

It was Hammertime at Liberty today and I was there!!

Yep--MC Hammer came to Liberty and yours truly had some real fun with it.
But I'm wishin' I had worn some parachute pants, shoulder pads and some gold bling! I would have impressed him with my dance moves, but I don't have any. This white girl can't groove.

Why was he at little Liberty HS?
Here's the deal: A & E Television is filming a reality TV about Hammer that will be shown this summer. Ashton Kutcher (!) has a production company that is filming it. The premise is about what Hammer is doing now and his family and his life.

Me and the Ashton Kutcher look a like production manager.

Apparently after MC lost his $12 million house he moved to Tracy, (yes Jessica, YOUR Tracy!). He has been married to the same wife for 23 years and they have 4 children plus his nephew, Jamari.

Jamari runs track for Tracy High. Jamari's mother has had brain tumors and major health problems so Jamari has lived with Hammer and his family. Well, Jamari's mother was well enough to come to the track meet so she and Hammer came and A & E filmed the whole thing.

My children hate something about me.... I will talk to anyone. They don't like to go places with me because it "will take too long cuz you'll start talking to someone...." Today my little talent paid off. We were sitting right there and whenever they weren't filming, I was talking. For instance, I found out that last week they filmed in PROVO because he did a show at UVSC. He loved Provo/Orem and even went to Kneaders for breakfast and had French toast. (Yep, I had a little chat with MC. )

Because of my lack of social norms and taboo's, we got to visit with the production staff, Jamari's mother Debbie and Hammer himself. And we will be in the show a ton. We signed the release forms and had our pictures taken. SO FUN! What a nice guy and what a fun afternoon my 'homies' and I had.

I'd like to thank Hammer for coming today and giving me the inspiration to continue dieting, I saw these pictures ....and enuf said.

ALSO: In an unrelated matter, I got yelled at by my beautiful daughter today for failing to mention Jeffrey's birthday yesterday.

My boy turned 15. I thought that the two posts in two weeks dedicated to him were sufficient, I was wrong. Mea Culpa. Also, last year I did an in-depth blog in honor of Jeff. We did get him a camera, took him putt-putt golfing and took him to Cheesecake Factory for dinner, where he got sick and couldn't eat. Typical Groseclose family dinner. Happy Belated Birthday Fefe, we love you!

Once again Scotty wears a great outfit...where is his mother?

Hate it when your kids get taller than you!

His own camera, now he can stop doing funky things to mine!!!

P.S. Scotty made the Competition team. Let the games begin.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A little progress report...

Five months from today I turn 5-0, that’s 50!
When I turned 49 I was totally okay with 50…now?
Not so much.
Unfortunately I saw the US Government’s mortality stats and my life is a little less than 2/3 over. I’m not ready for that. I don’t have Grandchildren yet and my life is doing nothing but going downhill from here!!

But I made a goal, and so far, so good.
My goal was to lose 50 pounds before I turned 50.
(I can’t believe that I am putting that out there!)

I am faithfully starving to death, (dieting), eating 1200 calories a day.
I am also enjoying (enduring) going to the gym a few days a week.
Once again I am attempting to give up my beloved Diet Pepsi and be happy (tolerate) the benefits of only water.

I am happy to report that I am 1/3 of the way to this goal.
Truthfully, I can’t really tell yet that I have lost anything. Nothing is loose on me yet, I guess that means I was wearing everything too tight!!
I think my double chin is smaller, I think. THAT would make me happy, happy, happy!

I have learned a couple of things during this little process:

a. I really don’t like to sweat. I REALLY don’t like to sweat.
b. For some reason I don’t think I have endorphins. If I do, they aren’t releasing themselves and making me love exercise.
c. Giving up soda is like giving up crack, I’m sure of it.
d. I’m still not loving salads. If God had wanted me to be a rabbit, He would have made me one.
e. It’s easier for me if I eat the same exact thing everyday, but I don’t think I supposed to be doing that.
f. Calories OUT must be more than calories IN. Simple equation.
f. I have to write everything down for accountability. If it’s a crumb, I write the dumb crumb down.
g. Unfortunately, low fat and low sugar doesn’t necessarily mean low-calorie.
h. We’re living in a 100 calorie world, too many of those can be trouble.
i. I can not have Oreos in my house.
k. This is mind over matter, and I need to get to the point that how I feel matters.
k. Losing weight is my Mt. Everest. I sure wish I had a Sherpa to carry the load for me.

I think I might have a little 50th birthday/50 less pounds contest/giveaway.
And you have 5 months to plan the celebration. (Dang, if only my real friends read my blog. Tell your moms will you Brandi & Erin?)
Maybe if I’m busy I won’t notice my ever more present wrinkles.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Not my favorite...Humble Pie

How do you like your crow?

I hate eating crow,
Luckily I'm not the one who has to THIS TIME...
This time
The Crow feasting goes to.....


These are our friends John and Tylyn (and their newly engaged daughter, Tahnee)
We love John and Tylyn, they are practically perfect except for one pretty major character flaw.
They are fans of the 'cough' 'cough' 'gag''choke' (I can barely type the words...):

Friends don't let friends be Dod-ger fans.
The only good Dodger is....

Well, there isn't one!

They really are terrific people , if you can just get past that one little thing.

Last summer we were lucky enough to meet for dinner while we were in SoCal. John and Jeff got in a friendly little conversation about baseball. John forgot he is a nice guy and started rubbing it in that the best team in baseball has been a little down on its luck for the past few (many) years. He proposed a friendly little bet with Jeff, (which just reinforces my 'no-gambling allowed' policy) The bet was something to the effect that the team
that went furthest in the playoffs, the other person would have to wear that teams shirt for a week.

When the Dodgers (ew ick) went to the playoffs, John called crowing about it.
(They went out in the first round may I point out....)

So for months we have been waiting for THE SHIRT.
John would make little snide phone calls....
Tylyn would send mocking e-mails...
Really, they forgot they are our friends and were tormenting my son.
What would you expect of a Tommy Lasorda fan after all?

BUT....the bet was made fair and square.
The shirt came and to our surprise, it was personalized!
Jeff pulled it reluctantly on and shivered a bit with distaste and horror.
But he wore it. To seminary, to school, to the store, in public
Facing the ridicule of his peers. What a brave, brave, boy.

Opening day is just around the corner and John,
we have already picked out your Giants shirt for next year.

Get ready's OUR year.
Wanna bet?

And Tylyn...remember THIS day?....that would be YOU, smiling, at a Giants game.

Picture circa 1996...check out the size of the "cell" phone the guy behind us is using!!!

Love the Orange and Black
Go Giants!

Friday, March 6, 2009

How I got my Girl Scout Cookies...

Thursday night I went out with my friends. I am big believer in girl friendships, I think they keep me sane. We went to my high school's spring musical, 'Little Women', starring Shaelie, my bff Pam's ultra talented daughter. And she really was the star, she played Jo, and I gotta say, she was amazing. (And who knew Little Women was a musical?)

So while I was gone having a good time, Mr. Neat and Tidy got a bee in his bonnet and decided to clean out the refrigerator. It's a good thing I have him, I would let things grow mold and legs and walk out on their own in protest. But this particular episode did not go well.

Thrown away was the soft, yucky fruit. Out went old chili, potato salad and spaghetti. It was the spaghetti that turned the whole, usually fulfilling activity for Mr. Neat and Tidy, sour.

Now he says it was two tablespoons of spaghetti down the drain. Um. no.

So here's a public service announcement for you....Don't put large amounts of spaghetti down the drain. It clogs them. No bueno.

After swearing and plunging, and plunging and swearing some more, the drain was still clogged. I got home at 10:30, surveyed the kitchen and my husband's mood and went off to the store to buy Draino, or something like it.

So here's a second public service announcement for you....Draino, Liquid Plumber and Draino Max DON'T dissolve spaghetti. That was a $17 lesson. Learn from me on this one.

It was still plugged when I got up this morning and Mr. Neat and Tidy almost had cardiac arrest that he had to leave it all day long. I went somewhere after work and when I finally got home, Mr. Neat and Tidy had turned into Mr. Neat and Tidy Plumber. Arranged neatly were all the assorted under the kitchen sink products. He was under the sink, trying to dislodge pipes that have never been undone for 15 years. Virtually impossible.

He asked me to go to the hardware store to buy a 'snake'. Sensing that he was just about to snap, of course I did! I drove up to my local Ace Hardware and what do you think I saw?

Of all people! Celia Fae and the lovely and gracious and funny Claire. Imagine my surprise and my delight!

Now THIS friends, is the way to make a sale. Learn from a master all ye amatuers!

Celia came in the store with me and in the six minutes we spent together we discussed gift giving (wink-wink Ilene and Lisa Marie), wacky relatives, seminary drama and Scotty's soccer progress, (he made the school team, one of only 3 sixth graders, woot woot). It was like speed dating friend style; because let's face it, Celia and I both have ADD and that's about our attention span.

I bought a snake and went outside where I was assaulted by boxes of Girl Scout cookies. One clogged sink + 1 trip to the hardware store = 7 boxes and $28 worth of Thin Mints and Tagalongs.

Claire and her friend Brianna

I'm dieting and having several thousand calories of Thin Mint cookies within reach is an exercise in stamina. I will not eat, I will not eat, I will not eat. Lucky for me Claire buckled them in safely so I wouldn't have cooky crumbles when I got home.

There was tons more excitement before this adventure was over, but I'll spare you all the scintillating details involving pipe wrenches, drills, chuk keys and a trip to Home Depot. Byron went to the play, I took over and it's done.

And there was more than a couple of tablespoons of spaghetti, but who's measuring? (moi)

I'm taking bets on how long the cookies last... seeing as how Scotty has eaten an entire box by himself in one night. I'm going to need a refill on the tagalongs Claire.

Monday, March 2, 2009

For the love of the game

I think I have mentioned a couple (hundred) times that Scotty loves soccer. Yesterday was the big day for Competition Tryouts. Yep, yesterday, as in Sunday. Soccer tryouts were on Sunday and I let my kid go. ( Let the judging and tsk-tsking begin).

Every year he begs me to try out for the advanced teams, but being the lazy, slacker mother that I am, I don't let him and he plays on a house team. I make it sound good by using this logic: "Scotty...what would you rather do? You can go on Comp and play half the time and just be one of the players...OR you can play house, play every minute and be the BEST one on the team!!" It worked beautifully; until this year when the Comp coaches and Trainers came to his games to recruit him. Dang it. Dang it. Dang it. Then they started inviting him to THEIR practices, DANG IT.

It was freezing! What was that woman doing in a skirt and leggings? I know, I live in Cali, I don't really KNOW freezing. It's relative .

So I buckled under peer pressure, (who says it only teenagers who have pressure)? I was totally outnumbered, parents of kids on the comp team came to my office..."are we going to see Scotty at tryouts?" Daily e-mails..."just want to remind you about tryouts!". Messages on the cell phone, "Can't wait to see Scotty Sunday!!" Geez Louise folks; he's not Pele'!

We went. It rained and rained and rained. They had tryouts anyway. I think it was God teaching me a lesson. The wind was blowing with hurricane force, my umbrella kept turning inside out. My ears hurt, my hands were frozen. Long gone are those childhood days when if you were having fun the elements didn't matter. I was having fun watching him but I was cold. So, being the complete wussy-butt that I am I went to my car, pulled it around to kind of watch the kids playing (in a distance, far, far away). I lasted 30 of the 90 minute tryouts.
My drowned Soccer Rat. It was so cold and wet I couldn't get out of the car to take a proper picture. I know, LAZY.
Here's Scotty on his death-floor, hacking and moaning. That was the fastest case of pnuemonia EVER to develop.
BUT, I do have a question. I am curious about what other families have done about Sunday sports, performing arts, etc....? The coaches know that I am LDS and know that church is a must and they seem willing to work with us. What has your family done? What are your thoughts?
(If you haven't been through this, but have an opinion, bring it on, just keep it nice. I'm tenderhearted).