Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Haley the Whale Trainer.

So day one at Sea World. Of course, I want to go to the Dolphin Show first. It just so happens, that the show is going to begin in about 10 we head to the stadium.

Those who have known me the longest know that I am crazy for dolphins. Examples? I wanted to be a Dolphin Trainer at Sea World. When I started college, I was a Theater Major with a minor in Oceanography. I LOVE MARINE LIFE. I collected all things Dolphins. Almost got a dolphin tattoo. (LAME) Yeah, it was crazy.

Sidebar - the professor that I took my Oceanography classes from at CSULB could barely speak English which put a serious dent in my learning process, so I focused on theater instead.

But back to Sea World.

I LOVE these animals.

So here we are...reading the map, waiting for the show to start.

Tap Tap... A Sea World employee comes up.... would your daughter like to meet a dolphin? WHAT?????? YES!!!!! They asked Haley and Curtis to go be a part of the show. I could not have been more excited. Well, I guess I could have if I got to go with her...but they needed a "dad."

Even Lexi is excited.

So they take Lexi and Curtis backstage and bring them out with a "mom" who is actually a Sea World Trainer and incidentally looks a lot like me. From afar, it really looks like our family sans Lexi.

The show begins...

The Cast. (I wonder if they are union?)

Curtis gets to meet Dolly...and teach her some tricks.

The trainer tells Haley to dive into the water and wait for the dolphin to come by and pick her up and swim around with her on his back. OF COURSE - she was ready to do it!

Haley asking the Pilot Whale to talk.

Playing Splash the Whale.

The Whale Splashes Back by spitting at her.

Feeding the Whale His Treat. Of course, Haley took to this, and snuck in the pail and gave him more fish much to the trainer's chagrin.

I love this picture... sheer beauty.

Trainer Surfin' the Whale (with our "family" in the background.)

Whale Saying Goodbye.

This was just an emotional experience for me. At one point during the show, I just started crying. I can't explain what it is like to watch your child experience something that you've always longed to do. It doesn't matter that I didn't do it. Watching her experience it was even more joyful. Such a beautiful memory.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Is it Weird?

...that phrases people have typed into google that have led them to my blog are....

"boys who wear nylons"


"big women who wear nylons"

i'm just curious.

San Diego Adventure Night #1

We arrived at the hotel and expected to cozy up for the night and enjoy sushi in their restaurant. They were closed, so we got a recommendation to a local restaurant. EDI MAMI. It was a beautiful, cozy restaurant overlooking the coast in Del Mar. Lovely.

While we were waiting, I looked over beside me and Haley had drawn WALL-E...all by herself. Since I can't draw at ALL, I thought this was a pretty cool pic. So, I in turn, took a pic of the pic.

We enjoyed our dinner...even though I didn't eat much. I had just gotten over that crazy 24 hour flu thing. In retrospect, Sushi probably wasn't the best choice, but what is a girl to do?

We had a credit of $25 a night for food that we had to use (or it expired) so we ordered room service -cookies and milk. The girls liked drinking milk in their "fancy cups".

Haley isn't tired at all!!!!! I love how she is trying to stay awake.

The next morning was Sea World... I'll post those later.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

From our Family to Yours....

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

This one's for you....

"LEXI???? What are you doing?"

"Getting my stickies out Mom!" She said.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hush little Baby.

Lexi didn't take a nap today because we went over to Sarah B's. house for a FABULOUS cookie decorating party! Needless to say, by the time we got home (5:30ish), Lexi was screaming "I want my night-night...I want to go to bed." I got her to hold out until about 7. Then we came upstairs, brushed our teeth and read a delightful Corduroy story. I started signing our song "Baby Mine." And she put the thumb in her mouth and started cuddling with her night-night. I knew she was tired when she didn't demand for me to sing the Little Einsteins theme song...which has been her trademark lately.

Within a minute, she was asleep. Within 2, she was snoring. Completely sprawled out all over me. I prayed over her. I thanked God for allowing me to be her mom. I prayed for forgiveness for the times I am a horrible, impatient, mom. I prayed for grace on my behalf and that she would have grace with me. I thanked God for her laugh and for all of the fun, precious memories we have created together too.

I prayed for her future. And as I looked her her beautiful face and thought of the lyrics I heard today in church, "Mary did you know, that when you kissed your little kissed the face of God?" I thought of the uncertainity of my own daughter's future, and how Mary must have felt holding our Savior in her arms...unaware of how her own son's life would unfold. Can you imagine the weight of understanding what she had just experienced? A virgin birth? Delivering in a stable? Surrounded by horrible smells? It must have been overwhelming.

Holding my daughter was so special tonight. And thinking about all this just made me realize how incredibly beautiful and poetic God is. A baby can soften the hearts of any person. God knew this. He could have given us a Savior in a mighty, triumphant way. But he gave us one in the form of a child. One that Mary had to care for, tend to, feed, comfort, and hold. And the poetic, beautiful part? Her child is the one that cares for, tends to, feeds, comforts, and holds me.

My daughter never falls asleep in my arms. I think it was a divine snuggle time tonight. A time for God to use my own baby to remind me of His...and what Christmas is all about.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Vomit, Santa, Moles & Christmas

So the headline got you huh? Just a few highlights of the week.

I keep thinking I should blog what is going on (for my mom who cares)....but I keep I will take this moment to summarize what's been going on this week.


Nothing too exciting during the day...Staff party at night. It was lovely. White Elephant DVD exchange. Even though we bought horrible movies from the 99cent store - A knock-off Pinocchio spanish film and A knock-off Aladin (yes, spelled with 1 d) spanish film...we actually left with Season 1 of Grey's Anatomy and one of Curtis' fave - Uncle Buck. That was cool.

I went and hung out with my new friend Jennifer. We invited a bunch of women from our Mops group. I was the only one who came. We had a LOT of food. We had a great time together, til I lost my keys. It took us 1 HOUR to find them. GREEEEEEEATTTTT first impression. I took the kids shopping after that. They had a nervous breakdown at COSTCO. Oh wait, that was me dealing with my kids. Sometimes, I get confused. :) But it was bad. The best was standing in the 20 person deep line and Haley deciding she "HAD TO PEE". I figured she was serious when she started turning blue. So we went. Only to get home and have Lexi pee on me. Oh some, you lose some.


Went to work. Had a gyno appointment in the afternoon. That's always fun. Small talk while some stranger is messing around with your areas? Ah... Lovely. Sorry if that was too much information. I feel bad for Rick Falk. I know he is reading this and is grossed out. My apologies.

STORM WATCH 2008. Yeah, when it rains here, people FREAK out. It was pretty rainy. The worst part was when we got back, I had to somehow get the kids back into the house with all of our stuff by myself. SIDENOTE: Curtis has been working like 16 hour days...getting our stage ready for Christmas. He has been gone EVERY night this week for hours at a time to paint. So, in an effort to show him my love, I parked the kids in a spot significantly far away from the house so that he could have our one parking spot. We were quite wet by the time we got home. Which then I had to take my dog out in 2 inch water (apparently our greenbelt/sidewalks have no drainage), and then come back in and dry everyone off and get them in bed. That was awesome. What made it better? When Curtis came home and said, "oh man...there were like 5 empty spots right by the house." OF COURSE there were....that never happens. Oh well. I still like the rain.

Oh - that night Haley was up from 2am on (in about 20 minute spurts). Food poisoning. Vomit. No sleep.

After crawling through the morning after a horrible night's "sleep"....I got to help out at church for a bit with some women to prepare for our Christmas dinner for the local women's shelter. I really want to help out more in ways like this...getting deeper into the community. Our town is so wealthy...but there are so many hurting people. I want to help them.
That night, we went to my friend Gina's annual Boat Party. It's at a beautiful beach home with wonderful friends and a bunch of wonderful people I don't know. We gather, stuff ourselves with cookies. Santa drops in and passes out gifts and then we go and watch the boat parade (AKA - rich people who decorate their boats with shiny lights and you go and applaud their wealth.) It's the OC way of celebrating Christmas! :o) Sadly, we did not get to participate in that part since Haley was still dragging from the night before. But it was a fun night anyway. Lexi was so cute with Santa. As soon as she saw him, she said "Will you bring my Little Einstein's toy?" And then she stared him down in awe the whole night.


Went shopping this morning as I had 2 family members to buy for and Christmas to celebrate tonight. YIKES! But I had to be at the doctors office by 11:15, which left me with very little time. I don't know how this happened??!! I started gathering stuff so early this year, but alas, here I am still shopping at the last minute.

I had to return to the dermatologist today to dig deeper into my atypical mole that was found a few weeks ago. Good news- no cancer. Bad news- more shots, digging, stitches. Now I have a nasty gash in my upper thigh that is somewhat uncomfortable. But I will take that ANY DAY over possibly having cancer down the road. I hate these appointments, but I think they are so important. I have had pre-melanoma moles before. It's not something to mess around with people. Get checked out. It could save your life. My mom's boss just lost her husband to skin cancer that spread into his brain. This is serious stuff. I always walk out of that office feeling like I took a swing at cancer before it had a chance to do me any damage.

After my procedure, I met the family at Fashion Island and we had lunch and hung out. Curtis went to see Christie Walker and get his hair done. He looks hot. The kids and I went home. I collapsed for 30 minutes with a massive headache, and a upper-thigh ache (the local wore off)....then I frantically wrapped gifts and we headed over to my parents house for an early Christmas celebration. We had a lovely dinner (THANKS MOM!) and a wonderful time exchanging gifts. My mom got choked up when I gave her socks. Who knew? rEally, she was emotional over having her family together. I get that. I don't need presents (although they were so nice.) But I was really blessed to be with family, and know we have our health and happiness. I looked at the kids toys and thought how privileged they were. I hope they always know that. My goal in this next year is to give as much as possible to the people around me in need. I have been giving so much. I am forever grateful.

I am now going to shut my eyes. Take a rest. Try to get rid of this nasty cold that has a hold on me. If you read this all the way through, I admire your dedication. My life is really not all that exciting. But it's got some good people in it (like you) that bring me great joy. Love to you all.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Shepherds Make Sushi.

Tonight, we took our kids to a little sushi restaurant.

Lexi looked up and said "A Shepherd is making da' sushi."

After choking on my salmon, and lowering her hand from the finger-pointing position, I explained that not everyone who covers their head is a shepherd.

Monday, December 15, 2008

To those who wonder...

I have sweet friends who care about me...even ones who live far away that I haven't seen in years. You have read my blog. We have had conversations. You've shown concern over our house situation. And I can't tell you how much it means to Curtis and I.

Here's the update:

We finally got approved for a short sale.
Our buyer backed out. Awesome.

We got approved Saturday for a lower offer.
It's the best news we've heard in a long time.

So, my realtor said in an email "prayer doesn't hurt." So, here I am to ask you to offer just a simple prayer for closure on our behalf. We'd love to move on from this messy situation.

In the meantime...God has used a book I am reading "Irresistible Revolution" to remind me that material things don't matter. Which has totally changed my perspective on the whole matter and makes me worry less. Ironically, that's when things started to fall into place.

Thank you for your prayers. Encouragement. Love.

Behold the Nite-Nite.

When Lexi was a baby, I was paranoid about putting blankets in her crib, so I just laid a burp cloth on her while she was sleeping. I had about 40 different ones. We would just use whatever was handy.

Eventually, she started equating bedtime with her burp cloth and she started calling them "nite-nites"

THEN she got picky about which one she wanted.

Now she only likes the soft, super-thin ones. And she SMELLS them to make sure we are giving her a nice, dirty one. She HATES them when they come out of the wash. Apparently, they lose the "good smell."

It's the ultimate comfort for her.

Sadly, a few minutes ago she just walked into the corner of our staircase, ironically as she was going upstairs to get a "nite nite". And after some snuggles with mom, she is now calmly sitting beside me, with her nite nite in hand (after sniffing several to make sure she found the right one.) Please note in the picture the reject nite-nite laying in her lap.

I know she will have to eventually give this comfort up. But it's just too sweet. The way she twirls it around while she sucks her thumb actually calms and comforts me.

The other day she was crying in the car for her nite nite. And I said, "Why do you need it Lexi?" And she answered, "for my thumb." Apparently, she can't suck her thumb without the nite-nite. Oh, what a dark day it will be in our house with the nite-nite and thumb-sucking must cease. But for now...I enjoy it. It's one of the last little things that makes me feel like I still have a baby.

Dear Santa...

The girls wrote their letters tonight.... (I edited them to protect their identities.)
I wonder if Santa will come through for us?

I have a feeling he will...
Especially when they are this sweet!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


She likes swimming. Seriously. She does.

But I have to wake her up from her nap to go to her lesson. It doesn't always work out so well. In this pic, she was upset because we wouldn't let her swim in the deep water with Haley. Aren't we awful?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

O Vulnerable Me.

People. My hair is a mess. It has been for over a week. I've worn a hat every single day to cover my roots. It's out of control. I am so blonde that I look like I am balding down the center of my head. But I haven't had the time or money to get it taken care of professionally. So what is a girl to do?

Have my friend put together some colors for me to use on my head.
And attempt it - ON MY OWN.

The last time I died my hair on my own was in Norway 1995. I had bright RED hair. I was hoping tonight might be a little more successful.

So I'd like to share my journey with you. I am being ultra vulnerable. Feel free to cozy up with a bag of popcorn and your favorite drink, and enjoy a good laugh at my expense.

Apply color and pray.

Damage is done.
Apply Vaseline around face.
Clean up the goop that I dropped on the sink.
Sit on couch in awkward position (so that hair color doesn't bleed) and wait...

I think I look a bit like a Tim Burton character in this picture.
And I think my forehead needs BOTOX.

Shower it off.
I will not show you this pic.

Dry hair.
Slight whoops of joy. No horrible stains or streaks. Looks relatively normal. (All things considering)

Best news of all - I don't have to wear a hat tomorrow. I am liberated!!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'll take fries with my Baby Jesus.

Okay.. not really. But I thought that was a catchy title to describe our Drive-Thru Nativity. The title "drive-thru" conjures up visions of trans-fatty foods, not the story of Christ being born. But 40 years ago, a man at our church (Dan Moss) started a tradition that continues today.

Our church parking lot is transformed into 9 different scenes that tell the story of Jesus being born. We have actors, animals, lights, sound, and most importantly the most precious story ever told.

Cars line up (sometimes the wait is over an hour long), and one by one they drive thru and watch the story of Jesus being born unfold before their eyes. Kids are hanging out of the windows, adults are standing up thru the sun-roofs, all to catch a glimpse of the nativity.

I grew up in this church, and played both an angel and Mary. One year, I was Mary on the donkey that took off through the parking lot with me attached. It was awesome.

Well, it's been 16 years since I've been a part of this, but last night, I made my return to the Nativity.

Haley had asked me a couple of weeks ago if she could be in the drive-thru this year, and I told her she was too small. But after talking to the drive-thru director, he told me she could do it if I went with her... so I played the role of Chaperone Shepherd and Haley was a shepherd as well.

She was so excited. Everywhere we went yesterday, she told everyone we met that she was going to be a shepherd, and then she would show them how she had been rehearsing to stand still.

So we got dressed and walked over to our scene. I'll highlight some of my favorite moments for you.

1. When they handed me a cow and told me I was in charge. This is a pic after I was given said cow.

2. Sitting next to Haley and sensing the beauty of tradition.
3. Watching Haley love on the animals and listening to her talk to them.

4. Learning from Haley how easy it is to talk to people, as she walked around from person to person while waiting for the next cars to show up, having conversations as if she has known them for years. She really enjoyed the angels.
5. When a shepherd's staff dropped and scared the cow, and Haley jumped up to get the staff, and yelled during the scene "This is what scared the cow Mom!" Then went on to comfort the cow.
6. When Haley raked the hay with her staff until she remembered she was supposed to be smiling at baby Jesus. So she jumped up and peered into the manger.
7. When part of Haley's costume fell down and she yelled (during the scene) - "My underpants fell down!"
8. When a lady who had a little too much to drink wondered through our scene (while it was being viewed) petting the animals.
9. When the cow pooped and peed and all the kids started laughing.
10. When Haley got mad cause I made her sit beside me and she folded her arms in an obvious tantrum and was turned away from the manger... I wasn't aware there was a "grumpy shepherd" role!

It was a fun evening. And what I really loved was the way it made our large church and our large community seem small. If you get a chance, come out and see it tonight (Friday) from 6-9:30. I won't be in it (I hear your sorrow) but maybe we'll see you there!


Has anyone heard Lexi say "Yes?" I swear to you, it is the cutest sounding word I have ever heard.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Punishing Mom

I try almost every day to get Haley to go out of the house without a headband in her hair. But she claims it "gets in her eyes."

On Monday, she decided to pacify me and wore her her down.

The next morning, I noticed something different about her hair.

Behold the evidence.

Though she tried to escape the truth and initially told us someone at preschool did it, she finally fessed' up and told us she did it.

"WHY would you do that Haley?"

Her response?

"Mom (rolling her eyes with disgust) hair was in my eyes."

Back to headbands.

Only Haley...

After a long Disney day and a chaotic dinner at Gardenwalk in Anaheim, we were walking back to the parking garage at 10pm, when Haley looked up at me and said...

" much further til we get to our car? My legs are out of gas."

Friday, December 5, 2008

Rested & Ready to Party!

For the past 3 years our best friends from Vegas have come down to go with us to Disneyland and celebrate CT's birthday. It's our favorite weekend of the year.

That almost got screwed up yesterday when a miscommunication left us thinking Bart & Cat were coming down today, but after I texted Cat to get her ETA, found out they were coming down next weekend. OOPS.

Next weekend wouldn't work at all for us, and after trying to figure out alternate dates, they decided to just pack up real fast and come down. Which is saying a lot for our planned out, organized friend Cat. :)

So today is our Disneyland day.

I love friends. I love traditions. I love Disneyland.

Cheers to the perfect day.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

How I Really Feel...

Seriously...this is how I feel right now. I'm not sure what's wrong. But I'm laying in bed since Curtis banished me. And I'm WASTED. (Not the alcohol kind...just exhausted).

Today started out as a good, fun, relaxing day with the kids...but as it went on, they got tired and more twisted with each passing minute. Making me one crazy lady.

So after swim lessons, I got the kids in the bath (that was after Lexi peeed all over the carpet just to test me, I'm sure)...made dinner, ate dinner (with 2 time-outs included), then Curtis sent me away.

I like it here.

The kids have since come in and given me love and have gone to bed themselves.

My goal is to make it through Survivor. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

This guy.

Is 32 today.

Show him some love.

Happy Birthday Baby!!!

Bobby Flay loves me.

I woke up this morning and found an email from Bobby Flay. Read each word of it. Can you imagine how much time and effort he spent in crafting such a beautiful sentiment? Each word is just dripping with raw emotion.

I always knew he loved me.

Monday, December 1, 2008

French Fry Casualty

I try to eat healthy. I do not eat red meat. I eat other meat very sparingly. I watch labels. Nothing artificial (oh, except my chemical infested Diet Cokes that I can't break free from). I don't eat fried food. I try not to eat stuff that is too fattening...except for my avocados which I could eat a solid diet of. I eat a lot of fruit. I do well with veggies too...though I know I should eat more.
I really try to eat well.

Now, for those of you questioning why my figure does not represent my food choices, may I suggest that I just eat WAY too much. Even healthy foods add up.

But on to my story...

Today was not the best day. If you've been keeping up with the blogs, you might recall this morning where everyone slept in. Yeah, well that backfired. Curtis ended up running really late, so we got off on a bad start. My day improved, but his did not. And I in turn (being the awesome wife that I am) took on his stress.

All that to say, by 5pm, we were both exhausted.

We usually take the girls to swim on Monday nights to practice/play before their Thursday lessons. But I just sensed that we needed to stay home.

It took some convincing to get Haley to buy into staying home. She was even saying stuff like "Come on mom...I love the chlorine. Please let us go swimming."

Well...seeing as how I already tried bribery with Lexi earlier today, I thought, what the heck? Take 2.

So I asked her one more time... "Haley, wouldn't you like to stay home and we could decorate and make Rice Krispy Treats and hang out?" See that move...I added the Rice Krispy Treats. Yep! It worked like a charm. She said okay.

So with that...I decided that only comfort food would do.

We had Grilled Cheese sandwiches. Tomato Soup. FRENCH FRIES.

Now...I don't mind the french fries at home because they are baked not fried and ACTUALLY aren't so bad for you. It's a very low fat content especially compared with the likes of Fast Food Joints.

THE PROBLEM IS... I couldn't stop eating them. Seriously. Everybody else was done and there was still half a tray. I tried offering more to the kids but they were "full" (How dare they?) So as I was in the kitchen washing dishes, I was STUFFING MY FACE. I couldn't stop. I had 6 separate helpings of ketchup to dip my fries in.

I finally cut up a tomato and put it in my mouth to keep from eating more fries.

THEN - I threw the remainder in the trash. I continued to wash dishes, but then started thinking that there wasn't anything in the trash, so what would it hurt if I reached in and had another. SERIOUSLY. I was scaring myself.

I had to take the trash outside to avoid eating any more.

It's a dark night in the Templeton house my friends. A dark night.

I won't even tell you how many Rice Krispy Treats I have had.


My girl Lexi.

I hung out with Lexi today. We went to Fashion Island since we couldn't go to the park cuz it rained.

My plan was to make it home in time for lunch. That didn't happen. She saw a McDonald's at the top of the stairs and asked if we could go.

Me - No love. No McDonald's. I can't eat there.
Lexi - Please Mom?!
Me - (lightbulb going off)... I will take you to McD's if you will go pee-pee in the potty.
Lexi - Ok.
Me - Ok you will go?
Lexi - No. I no like McDonalds anymore.


So we went to Subway.

We grabbed a sandwich and sat outside. A couple of cute teenage boys walked up to order a sandwich.

Lexi - There's boys mom.
Me - Yep.
Lexi - Where will dey sit?
Me - I don't know.
Lexi - Hi boys. Hi. (waving to get their attention.)
...boys do not hear her.
Me - Hey Lex...let's eat your sandwich.
Lexi - Come sit wid us boys.

....Oh man, now I am recalling the time she drug me to a volleyball game at the beach with 9 shirtless college boys playing ball. They tossed a ball over to her and she proceeded to sit down and watch with me feeling horribly awkward. Yeah...I'm getting those same feelings again.

Me - shh...Lexi, let's let them eat
...she turns to me and looks as if I betrayed her.
Lexi - da boys no have a seat mom.
Me - they will find one, it's okay.

Poor girl...I have no idea where she gets that from.


No one is awake in my house yet. It is 8:21. I'm enjoying the quiet.
But I must go wake Haley and Daddy up.
It's a school day.
Bummer. I woke up and thought it was Friday. :( Oh wait, that is also a school day.
I'm so confused.
But I still like the quiet.