Friday, October 31, 2008

Concert Buzz



Ryan and I am made for each other in many ways. I always tell him that one of the reasons I married him is because we enjoy doing things together, I found that it was really hard to find people that were willing to go out and do things, anything! I never cared about spending money, I just can't sit still to save my life! One of the things we really enjoy is going to concerts. We love concerts. Recently we went up to Utah for a weekend to see Kelly Clarkson and Reba McIntyre perform together. We saw Kelly right after her 2nd album when she toured with Clay Aiken and I was 8 months prego with Madison. She was good then, but she was awesome now.



Reba is another story altogether. She is an icon. This was my 3rd concert of hers, and I have to say that she is worth seeing every time she tours. I liked her before I liked country music, actually, she is the reason I like country music. I hated country music with a passion for a long time- and considering I grew up in the mid-south that is saying something. I would ride in my friends cars and their parents would play country and I would go absolutely crazy! When her song "The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia" came out I was hooked. I started flipping to the country stations hoping it would be playing and every now and again another song would be on that I didn't think was that bad, and the down hill slide into a country music lover began. I got her Greatest Hits 2 album as my first country CD and listened to it over and over and over. So, in short, seeing her in concert is always an amazing experience for me. She has so many songs that have touched me at different times, most of them have been a "repeat offender" on my CD player at one time or another. I love Reba, she will probably always be my favorite country singer. I got a clip of her singing "The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia" because of the history behind it, and heck, I still love it and can sing along with it word for word.






The other great thing about this concert is that we got to sit in row 5 on the floor. We were so close it made for a completely different concert experience. Ryan always talks about when he went to see The Cure because he and Jon sat on row 3 of the floor, then I go and get all jealous and think "hmm, maybe I should have gone with them." Because really, when would you ever get to sit that close again? Well, I got my chance and it was awesome!


The best thing about this concert was the actual concert. I had originally thought that Kelly would sing and then we would have an intermission and then Reba would come out and then maybe for the Encore they would sing a few songs together. Nope....not even close to being right. They were on stage together the entire time singing backup for each other and about half the songs were arranged so they split the verses. It was cool. I really liked it. So, I am including fun pictures (since I could actually get some from our totally wicked awesome seats) and of course a video of the song that started it all for me.


video



On our drive up to Utah Ryan and I were trying to remember all the concerts we have been to the last 2 years. It ended up being a longer list than I thought it would be. Since our blog is somewhat of a journal to us I am listing them all here. I do believe you could call us concert junkies.....It is slowing down since we have now seen most of the artists that we really like. I also have to admit that I cannot remember the correct order that we saw them in so they are being listed in the order that we remembered them. Oy....



Reba/Kelly


The Killers (I didn't get to go to this one because I was prego and sick with Hunter. It was at the Hard Rock Cafe casino at their outdoor summer concert stage and there was no way I could have stood up for 3 hours to watch them, I am still bummed I missed them)


Toby Keith and Miranda Lambert


American Idol Tour 2008


Kelly Pickler and Rascal Flatts


Daughtry (twice because once was a poolside concert and then he opened for Bon Jovi when we saw them)


Bon Jovi (Bon Jovi is my favorite band of all time and we see them every time they tour, which has been twice during our marriage)


Jewel (this concert was cool b/c it was at an outdoor amphitheater in Vegas and only about 1500 people were there. She stood on stage with her guitar and that was it singing for 2 or so hours)


Faith Hill and Tim McGraw (eye candy for both of us)


Sugarland and Kenny Chesney (Sugarland singing Irreplaceable was the highlight of the concert-I couldn't stop laughing)


Linkin Park (Ryan went with 2 of his buddies, it was their Christmas present from the wives)


Boys Like Girls and Avril Lavigne (think what you will, but the concert rocked!)


Ashlee Simpson (yep, I know)


Gary Allan (This one was all mine, I went with a girlfriend and got to drool for 2 hours. Have I mentioned he is my favorite male country singer?)


I think that is it. I know, I know, we have been to a ton of concerts in the last 2 years. I have put us on hiatus, I need a break! At least my ears do if nothing else! I told Ryan that I will break our no concert rule for a few artists: Carrie Underwood and Journey/Def Leppard if they tour together again. We constantly kick ourselves for not seeing them a few years ago when they came here and it was only like $40, but we had NO money at the time and I thought we were making the right decision.....shows what I know, huh!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The scene of the crime


In order to tell this story I need to provide a little background info. We have all of our downstairs toys between the couch and the TV so that we can at least look like attentive parents when we are watching TV. We also had to move our coffee table to cover the cable box and DVD player in order to keep Hunter away from the "fun" buttons. So obviously that area is somewhat irresistible to the little munchkin.

I was sitting on the couch the other day and he was crawling around playing. He loves the sit 'n spin and was playing on that a little bit. I kept glancing over at him and he was fine, he kept trying to crawl on everything but I thought it was no big deal. Then I proceeded to watch him step on the top of the sit 'n spin and then climb up on the coffee table! That little stinker!
I wanted to get a picture of that but I was too nervous to leave him and get the camera for it, so I had to settle for a picture of the setup. I now have to remind Madison that it is important not to leave big toys by the coffee table or else Hunter will climb on up and could fall off.

Right when we moved in to our new house I was unpacking in our bedroom and I had Hunter with me to keep him from falling down the stairs, but at the same time had the door open to watch Madison play. I put some tupperware tubs in front of the door to keep him in the room but he decided he was having none of that. He is so smart, he crawled right over there, stood up and then started pushing it out of the way so he could escape to the toyland in our loft. I had to close our door after that. How does he know these things?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Playing around on the web


I keep seeing all these cute things that people do on their blogs so I was playing around on Flickr trying to figure it out and put this together. I thought it looked so cute, but the best part for me was the big picture of Hunter, he is so dang cute it kills me. That picture in particular captures his personality to a T so I just thought I would share it with all of you.

It's a go!

Well, one more down. We officially have another wedding coming up in our family. We are so excited, we have all really liked Brian from the beginning. I think Amily & Brian are great together. We are not certain of the date yet, but it looks like April. She is brave, her wedding and birthday will be in the same month.

Amily and Brian have been dating almost seven years now. It took her a year to convince him to date her, he was her flight instructor and almost 10 years older than her. I loved listening to her stories of how she was so in love with him and all the things she was doing to get him to cave. I think she was only 19 at the time.


I have to say I am green with envy because she somehow convinced him to buy her a 2.25 carat diamond. I guess I should have dated Ryan longer and I would have gotten a bigger rock.

Maybe one day.....When we were dating Ryan kept telling me that he would buy me a new diamond for our ten year anniversary- I never would have asked at that point. I keep reminding him that we don't have that much longer to go before our 10 years is here. What is his response? He says he bought me a bigger house instead. What do you think? Is it a copout?

So, now in our family we will have a Brian Collins, Colin, Brian and Ryan. I figure it goes with all the A's we have. It fits. Poor Phil, we figure he probably feels left out so we tell Allie she has to marry someone with the last name of Phillips to complete the utter confusion.

Chicken Enchiladas

One of my favorite dinners to make is Chicken Enchiladas. We love them in my house & the great thing about them is that if you are craving them but happen to be out of corn tortillas you can easily convert the dish to Chicken Crepes (we are super ethnic in my house). If you don't have flour, milk, and eggs on hand then you have a great excuse to not have to make dinner. Hence the reason I often conveniently "forget" to get eggs. (Sad, I know)






Madison's first real dinner was Chicken Enchiladas (obviously not the night this video was taken) and when I made them for dinner last night it became Hunter's first dinner. He isn't talking yet so I just got some pictures of him. He really dug them, I couldn't get him to look up at the camera he was so focused on dinner.


The night we took this video my sister Allie was in town. Madison kept saying "ummm, yummy" after every bite, we were cracking up. So of course we had to get a video. Madison gets a kick out of watching it now and we love it still. I hope you think it is as cute as we do. She was 2 when we took this and it is crazy to see how much she has grown.
video

Want to make them yourself? Here is the recipe.

filling:
2-3 cooked chicken breasts. I boil them or get a roast chicken from the grocery store. Chop in to chunks.
1 can diced green chilies
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup of sour cream
if you want you can add some shredded cheese to the mixture

topping:
1 can cream of chicken
3/4 c sour cream
shredded cheese

I fry the tortillas in oil to soften them up a little. Otherwise they will tear apart when you fill and roll them.

Put mixture in a tortilla (makes about 20 corn tortillas)
Pour topping mixture over the enchiladas
Top with shredded cheese

Bake 375 for about 20 min or until the cheese is all melted.

Enjoy! They are not healthy, but they are yummy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Things that rock, My top 10

We love music in our house. Madison and I are always rockin' out in the car. Here are my Top 10 (new) reasons that I get in the car each day, in no particular order. Enjoy them on my sidebar. Make sure you turn on your sound so you can rock out with us too.

Shattered (turn the car around)
I love O A R. They Rock! (pun intended). No song gets louder playtime in my car than this one. How can you not love this song?

Don't think I don't by Darius Rucker
Who knew Hootie could rock out country style. I love this song, and his new single is really good too. I wasn't a huge Hootie fan, but I totally dig this.

Lovebug by the Jonas Brothers
Yeah, I think we established that I am a total dork a few posts ago. This song is always in my head! It starts out soft and then rocks out in the end. I'm not a huge fan of their other stuff, it's good, but I LOVE this song.

Hot & Cold by Katy Perry
I know I shouldn't like this song on principle, but I love it. I still won't listen to her "other" song, I don't care how great people think it is, I just can't stomach it-I'm not even going to start. However, this song rocks.

So What by Pink
She has such a sense of humor in her songs, I love her stuff. Anyone remember "Don't let me get me"? That was an awesome song. Her Missundaztood album was really good, pick it up if you haven't ever heard it. The only song I didn't like was Get the Party Started.

She Wouldn't be Gone by Blake Shelton
I really like Blake Shelton. I fell in love with his music when "Austin" came out. I still have that song on my play lists.

Love Story by Taylor Swift
Great new single. I was a little worried about her sophomore album, but so far so good. I still love "Picture to Burn" that was my favorite from her first album. Who doesn't want to do that when they break up with a guy?

Johnny & June by Heidi Newfield
Hello, lead singer from Trick Pony? I knew I would like her stuff.

Check Yes Juliet by We the Kings and Let it Rock by Kevin Rudolf
These songs have really grown on me and now I dig when they come on.

That Darn Duck!

video

This has been one of my favorite presents to Madison. I think my dad got it for her just to annoy me, but it has been a great toy. She takes it each year to preschool on "Feathered Friends" day. The kids love it.

I babysat a friend's kid once and she was not happy that her mom left her. Madison was trying to comfort her and pulled out the duck. As long as the duck was going she wouldn't cry. If it turned off for more than 15 seconds she would start screaming. I heard this for about 2 hours before the batteries died. Thank goodness or I would have......

I love how Hunter is trying to mimic Madison with the clapping and stomping of feet. It was a fun little moment.

Yummo!


I love food. Anyone who knows me for more than 5 minutes figures that out. Heck, you can probably figure that out by looking at me. I am a well fed girl.


Anyway, the other night Ryan was taking the kids to the gym and I was headed to a mini girls night. I had to grab dinner so I thought to myself, "Oh, I haven't had Capriotti's in forever! I don't have both kids to drag in there while I wait for food and Ryan isn't here either (he is not as much of a fan as I am)." So I go.


And wait.....


and wait some more....


As I am waiting for my Capastrami, (not my usual, I totally dig "The Bobbie." You just cannot beat thanksgiving dinner on a yummy roll) I did some people watching. As I people watched I realized that of all the 20 people or so that came and went that evening that I was the skinniest of them all. Now, I do not say this in a vain way, I know I am not skinny-not fat, per se, but definitely not "skinny"- I realized this in a way that taught me a lesson. Maybe there is a reason I do not eat Cappriotti's often. So I thought to myself, "Self, we aren't eating Cappriotti's for dinner anymore." Then I ate my SMALL 7" yummy sandwich and thought, "Maybe I will just start working out again."

Check it out....I LOVE Cappriotti's and you will too. I recommend getting the 9" medium and splitting it with someone. It ends up the perfect portion size. And did I mention that they carry the individual size "Nothing Bundt Cakes" there in the fridge?

Hmmm, maybe that is the reason.......

Disclaimer: I did good and passed by with only a sigh and some drool. Same with the Chocolate frosted brownies. Now, if they had not been out of Tastykakes (http://www.tastykake.com/) I would have been all over those. Any Janet Evanovitch fans out there? Reading her books makes me want to try all the Tastykakes.

Check out locations here:

(Anyone want to teach me that cool trick on how to put here underlined and then the link shows up when you click on here?? I am a technical whiz, huh?)

Caution: Little Rascal on the loose

video





Stairs scare me when it comes to little kids, heck, let's be real here, they scare me for me. Have you noticed my lack of coordination? I am lucky I haven't broken anything, I am constantly tripping over my own two feet. Do you remember the Britney clip they showed over and over when she was carrying her baby and her ankle turned? That happens to me almost every day. I am so grateful I haven't dropped a kid or two. Anyway, Hunter just has had an insatiable curiosity regarding the stairs. From the first day we moved into our new house he has climbed up on one or two steps. The other day he got away from Ryan and I for 2 minutes and we couldn't find him anywhere. Where was he? Upstairs by himself. He would play in the toy room all day long if I let him. But, "mean mommy" actually has to get things done and most of them are downstairs.

We are now officially a "gated" house.

The other thing he has learned to do is open my cabinet door and climb in. He will get in and then start crying because he can't get out. So of course I go over there and get him out. What does he do? Opens the door and climbs back in. So I thought, okay, I'll just let him figure out how to get out on his own it's not like he can hurt himself, right? Wrong. There was a splat involved.

We now have to cover the door with the Elmo toy you see in the right side of the picture. He tries to move it over but thankfully there are grippies on the bottom of the legs. Now instead of hearing him whine all day long I hear "Nose, to help you smell and sneeze, smell and sneeze. Ears, they help you hear this song, hear this song." Yeah, and I wonder why I get headaches every day?

I'm thirsty!

To drink or not to drink

I was pondering recently on the "Great Debate" we often have with ourselves over whether we should drink caffeinated drinks, addicted or not. Then I shook my head and realized that if there was one thing that would supposedly keep me out of heaven (which I know caffeine won't) Coca-cola would not be reason for me. I figure I have plenty of other things that would hold me back. So I say Drink Up!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Any time is Sonic Time


Madison and I have this little thing we do. When we go to Sonic she gets to sit up front with me and eat her lunch. Ryan hates it, it just drives him crazy. Why? Well, she usually orders a grilled cheese sandwich. Busy hands covered in butter tend to leave prints all over the car. She likes to touch the dash, get in the middle console, maybe point to something thru the window and accidentally touch the glass, and she also loves to play with the radio/nav system screen (it is touch screen after all). Anyway, it has become such a fun thing for her to do she now requests Sonic for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Sonic. It is my happy place, I cried when they finally opened one in Utah and I convinced my husband to leave LA and move to Vegas because they have Sonic here. But even I can only have Sonic on occasion.

The finger prints drive me crazy too.

To find a Sonic near you click http://www.sonicdrivein.com/locator/viewSearch.do

The sounds kids make!

video

This video is totally goofy of me, but it encompasses two things about Hunter that I have not been able to get on video any other time. First, his squeal. That was the original reason for the video. All day long I hear him squealing, it's cute at first, but then when all you want to do is watch Jon & Kate plus 8, it gets annoying. As soon as the TV comes on so do his squeals. Enjoy...Second, his awesome laugh. He giggles so cute! I thought you might all get a kick out of it. Madison is a master at making him laugh, I have yet to find a more joyful sound than the laughs of my kids together. Those times make being a mother rewarding.

Mother of the Year award


Let's just be clear here, I am not getting any award any time soon. Today's date is October 21st and I am only now getting around to posting Madison's first day at school photo. It has been on my list of postings for oh, say two months now. Some days I don't feel like I can even stay on top of my own two feet much less the craziness of my life. Anyway, here is my darling, wonderful, beautiful little girl. She has started her 2nd year at Ms. Joy's preschool and absolutely loves it. She is so much more developed with her skills this year than she was at the end of last year. She is writing her name on all of her worksheets, her lines are straighter when then match up items, and she is actually learning how to sit still. There has only been one day so far this year that she has been disruptive and not gotten a sticker. I am so proud of her!


Every morning she gets up and gets an activity book or a blank piece of paper and a pen and does her "homework." It is about the most darling thing. She loves practicing her letters and pretends she knows how to spell things. You know how as a parent you spell things so your kids don't know what you are talking about? We do it all the time, nothing gets by her. Lately she is talking to me and she starts "spelling" things in the conversation. "Mommy, jgbml spells dog." Something like that. I get a kick out of it. I also tell her that d o g spells dog. I roll my eyes and smile inside. At least she already loves learning, hopefully that will never change.


On a side note, one of my favorite stories about her from the last few months happened when we were in Utah while I canned and we went camping. Her Gigi bought her a little purse with a wallet. She is Ryan's daughter so therefore she loves money. Let me correct myself, LOVES money. She doesn't quite understand completely how it works, but she loves having it in her hand, playing with it, washing it, etc. Anyway, so she got a little purse and wallet, cute right? Right. She takes it in to show her Papa how neat it is and everything. She shows him the picture on the purse, opens it us, takes out the barbie wallet and then shows him it is empty. She says to him, "lookat my wallet, do you want to put money in it?" She got all his quarters and even a few "paper" monies.


Smart girl....


As an FYI, it doesn't work with Ryan, he just looked at me funny when I tried it.