Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bismarck - Round 16984028

A few weeks ago, we took a long weekend and headed up to Bismarck. It was a pretty spur of the moment trip. Mike's Grandma is getting older, and he wanted to make sure she was able to meet Asher before she passed, if she does. (sorry, i'm trying not to be morbid and obviously failing). was a great trip.
We've taken Asher on many airplane trips before, but this was the first one since he is able to walk. And since he's been extremely aware of his surroundings, and wanting things, etc. So I was definitely a bit nervous as to how this was going to work out. Luckily, he was totally enamoured with the window, so anytime he started to get fussy I would point out the window and go 'Look!' and he would start out for 10 more minutes... It was a nice distraction tool.

On the second leg, we laid him across both our laps, gave him a sippy cup of milk and said 'Night Night'. He drank the milk, tried for a second to get up and I laid him down and said 'No No, it's Night Night'. He drank a little more milk and fell asleep. It was like magic...wonderful. Except of course the part where I was afraid to move and wake him, so I sat as still as possible to 1.5 hours. But, it was definitely less stressful. And mike had the iPad so we could watch a little video while we sat quietly.
Overall, he's a great flier. No complaints, yet. :)

As soon as we got of the plane, Mike's mom whisked us away to the hospital where her uncle had just had surgery for a heart attack. It was great to meet him, as he lives a little ways out of Bismarck, so I had never met him before. He was in good spirits and had the cowboy boots on, ready to get discharged.
The next day we headed up to Minot to visit Mike's grandma. We headed up with Mike's Dad and wife Julie. It is not a bad drive, about 2 hours. There are tons of wind farms on the way, so Mike spends hours noticing them and talking about them. Which is really fun for about 20 minutes....I seem to have a limited capacity for enjoy conversations about energy. I enjoy it, but not so much for 2 hours :)

We got into town and headed over to the nursing home where mike's grandma is. She seemed in good spirits, a little more quiet then usual. Mike really likes her, it's cute to watch him talk to her and try to get her excited about everything. I enjoy it.

After visiting for a bit, Mike's uncle George and Aunt Sue arrived. They were wearing these crazy hats that apparently were the rage in Minot. We all headed out to the local hotspot. Golden Corral. And it was a hoppin hotspot. We barely found a table.
I don't think I'm very good at the buffet style eating. I tend to get platefuls, eat 3 bites and go get a different plate. So, I end up getting 5 plates and not really eating that much. Which is what happened this time as well.
I think Asher was a little frazzled with all the new faces and places, and the popularity of the hot spot that he was getting a bit fussy. So Mike and I tag teamed and took turns entertaining him with straws while the other went and got yet another plate at the buffet.

After Lunch we headed back to the nursing home to sit and visit. Asher started to get a little restless, so we headed down to the main room where there was a couple playing music. He enjoyed that quite a bit, dancing, etc. Julie took him for some exploration time around the halls and through the offices. I think he had a great time.
Then we hopped back in the car and headed back to the big city of Bismarck.
We hung out in Bismarck for another day or two, visiting Mike's moms office friends, Mike's other grandma, the mall, etc. You know, all the hot spots in Bismarck.
We got to the airport to leave on Monday, and there was quite a line at United. When we finally got to the counter the lady said that due to weather in Denver our flight was delayed...and we probably wouldn't make our connection. So I asked her if we could take the direct flight to Salt Lake and bypass Denver. She said 'hmm, let me look'. And she booked us on the direct the next morning. Leaving at 6am, getting in at 8am SLC. Score!
As we're driving out of the airport I hear this weird whining noise, so I ask what it is. Pat says it's the Tornado warnings. Huh? Tornado warnings? Oh yeah, I am in the Midwest.
So, we're in Bismarck for another night. And what did I want to do that I didn't get to do so far, go to Big Boy and get a pizza burger flying style, fries with gravy and a purple cow milkshake. Isn't that why everyone goes to Bismarck?
Mike's mom was a little nervous that a hailstorm was going to come and ruin her car, so we had to hurry. Luckily the line was only just beginning to go out to the street, it wasn't all the way down the street.
Alas, we made it back and enjoyed our Big Boy. As I'm sitting at the kitchen table casually enjoying my delicious shake I hear that same whining noise again. So I ask, what is that noise?
And, it's the tornado sirens again. I, obviously, have never lived in the Midwest, so the magnitude of the event was lost on me. I continued to sit and drink my shake while Mike's mom looked around outside, gathered flash lights and shoes and shooed us all downstairs for safety.
I was enjoying the bachellorette so I was a little sad we had to go downstairs until I realized Mike had just hung his moms tv in the basement earlier in the day! Score Again!
I get down there and realize everyones a bit intense. So I casually asked Mike if I could turn on the TV. I wasn't really sure if that was kosher for such an event. He said 'Oh yeah, good idea'. And I though, 'Wow! He wants to continue watching the bachelorette too! Score yet Again!'.
After getting the TV on and back to my show, Mike yells 'Mom, what's the weather channel?' and then I knew. The TV was not for my entertainment, but to follow the storm. So for the next 20 minutes Mike sat on his laptop, Pat on hers and the TV on the weather channel. Mike kept talking about funnel clouds spotted around the corner, up the road, over here, over there. And kept looking outside thinking 'This really doesn't look like the wizard of oz'.
When I finally mentioned this, everyone reminded me that Tornados are sneaky. They can plow through a house and collapse the whole thing, without touching the rose bushes in the neighbors yard. So, I wizened up to the strength of the storm and decided to keep quiet and be patient and happy the house isn't being blown to shreds.
Luckily, after about 30 minutes it seems the funnel clouds had stopped forming and the sirens were turned off. Then I was allowed to turn it back to Ali and her suitors....

The Park / The Oil

For those that don't know, we live just a block away from a fabulous park in Salt Lake City. It is complete with eateries, playgrounds, water features, a lake with paddle boats, ducks to feed, a running trail, tennis courts, an, the list is endless.

One of our favortie things to do on a sunny day is take a walk down to the park and feed the ducks and play on the playground.

Well, since the oil spill in Salt Lake (you can read about it here) it hasn't been quite the same. They have closed off half of the park and it's now full of semi's, oil sucking trucks, booms, and a bunch of other random scientific looking stuff.

The whole lake is full of booms. The ducks are all gone, and it's all surrounded by a beatiful orange fence.

Rumor has it Chevron will be all done cleaning up in the next week or two. I cannot wait! But, it does make me realize if it takes them this long to clean up a little over 20,000 gallons of oil...just imagine how long it will take to clean up the gulf. Bum deal...

A Utah Original

We are lucky, in that we live right around the corner from Arctic Circle. It's a local burger joint, similar to a Dairy Queen I guess.

One thing Arctic Circle has that I love (besides the ice cream treats in endless supply) is the fry sauce. Fry Sauce is a funny thing...I think it's pretty local to Utah. You can make it anywhere, it's just ketchup and mayonnaise, but here in Utah is packaged and usually better then just ketchup and mayonnaise because they must add some secret spices.

Well one awesome thing about Arctic Circle is they give you fry sauce by the gallons. (okay, but the small cup fulls, but still). And it's delicious.

We went there recently and ordered Asher a grilled cheese sandwich. When he wasn't really eating it to well, I decided to give him a little fry sauce to add some deliciousness to it. Well, it worked in that it definitely added deliciousness, but not necissarly to the sandwich. He continued to dip his finger in the cup of fry sauce and lick it off. Then he wisened up and just put the whole cup in his mouth and drank the fry sauce out.

Needless to say, his white shirt was toast. I tried with the Spray N Wash, and it got most of it out, but there's still the ting of fry sauce all over the it's become a landry day shirt. And I'm not sure of the overall nutritional value of the dinner, but it sure was fun to watch.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bad Blogger

I've been a very bad blogger lately...and i just realized it's been over a MONTH!!! So, here's a few pics from my phone of what we've been up to lately.

Mike is teaching our son the ways of Apple. Asher really enjoys the iPad...he 'gets' it, more so then the iPhone. I'm not sure why, probably the bigger screen. On the iPhone all he wants to do is press the button to get to the home screen. The iPad, he'll move things around, tap the screen, etc. It's very cute.

Asher loves Griffin (our dog). So much so, that he has started trying to 'ride' him. Griffin is extremely patient and loving, and we are very appreciative of that. Because Asher really loves Griffin and will follow him around the's quite cute.

We grilled hot dogs when the weather turned nice (before it started snowing again. This has been, by far, the longest winter i've ever experienced. And I grew up in Alaska.) But like father, like son. I thought it was cute they were both enjoying their hot dogs together.

We went to Liberty Park (before the Oil Spill closed it :( ) and fed the ducks some leftover bread. Asher really enjoyed it, as did mike. Personally, I'm not sure about them....they seem a little aggressive, and for some reason I have a deeply rooted fear of geese. The little ducks were super cute, but the geese....pretty much afraid. Notice that I'm standing behind the bench.

We really love our park, and how close it is. It's nice to be able to just grab the stroller and walk over to a beautiful park with a lake, ducks, playgrounds, water fountains, etc. It is super kid friendly and tons of fun.

We let Asher play in one of the streams at the '7 Canyons Fountain'. It's a little water feature in the middle of the park that mimics the 7 different canyons in the salt lake valley and the streams/creeks/rivers they create and feed into.

Asher uses spoons as his 'security blanket' so he almost always has one in his hand. He dropped this one down the river about 5 times. Luckily I was sitting on the bridge waiting for it to come out the other side.

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