Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Sis

Many, many moons ago (I'd tell you how many but I don't want to make the b-day girl mad:) the stork made a special deliver to the Anderson household with baby Cynthia Mariuna Anderson--and my life hasn't been the same since!

I know most kids are excited about getting a baby brother or sister. Although I don't remember the specifics, I do remember not being that enthused about this new "bundle of joy"...Baby Cynthia was noisy and messy and she wasn't that fun to play with. Luckily for me, my mom and dad didn't take my advice of sending her back as she has turned out to be a great sister with many wonderful skills including:Booty Shaker: Cynthia is the resident booty shaker for our family. That means if there is a luau, she has to shake those tahitian hips of hers. It is also a little known fact that in her younger college years, Cynthia used to enjoy shaking her booty at Provo's own, Club Omni. (I made sure to go anytime Cynthia was going so that I could chaperone.)Babysitter:I'd be broke if I had to pay Cynthia for all the times that she watched the kids when she was living in Utah. The good thing is since she watched them so much if they have any bad habits I can always blame them on her! This is a pic from when the kids and I went out to visit the "babysitter" after she moved away.
Person not to rob a bank with: It is a well known fact in our family that Cynthia cannot keep a secret. And although our family does not spend a lot of time talking about robbing banks, I know who not to take with me if I ever plan a robbery. This was a photo from the ONE time Cynthia kept a secret when we flew in from Utah and surprised for my mom for her 50th b-day.

Travel Companion--From Tahiti to Chicago to the "pyramids" of Las Vegas, if the fam is going on a trip we can usually count on the assistance of our resident kid wrangler, Auntie Cynthia, to join us.
And last, but not least, Best Friend. I didn't realize how much Cynthia and I talked until she moved away. And although I miss seeing her all time time like we did when she lived in Utah, thank goodness for unlimited long distance because the kids and I can still talk to Cynthia anytime we want!!

Happy Birthday Cynthia!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

We love Grandma (and United!)

When you grow up with a parent that works for an airline (my mom is retired from United) you definitely develop strange travel habits. For example, in the past my mother has flown with her friends (other UAL employees) to visit the Mall of America for an afternoon. When I first went to college, Cynthia would fly out to Provo to visit me for the day “just for fun.” So there should be nothing strange about me waking up early on Saturday morning and deciding to fly to Chicago and surprise my mom, right?

Well, that is exactly what the kids and I did this past weekend. At 4:00am (I’m not sure why I was up at that hour, but in this case it turned out to be a good thing J) I woke up Norm and convinced him of my crazy plan. He was in charge of dressing the kids and packing their clothes while I showered and did my hair. By 6am we were at the airport and at 7:20 am we were in the air. I did break down and tell my Dad about my secret “surprise” plot because I was worried that we would not all be able to fit in the car to get to my parents house. Our original plan had been to surprise my mom at her gate at the airport--she was also flying in on Saturday morning after spending the last 4 months in Tahiti taking care of my Grandpa. Her flight ended up being delayed so we opted not to wait at the airport but the kids still had fun “surprising” her when she finally got home around lunch time.

And although we were only in Chicago for less than 48 hours, we did manage to pack in the fun for every second that we were there:

Kobe & Tehani and their new pet –My Dad found a garden snake in his yard the morning we arrived. Everyone (except for Grandma) had tons of fun with “Snakey.” The kids were making all sorts of plans to smuggle their new friend home on the plane but we somehow convinced them that Snakey would be better off out in the wild with his other snakey friends and dropped him off at the forest preserve on Sunday morning.Playing with Baby Charlotte—As luck would have it, Cynthia was up in town as well so the kids got to see their favorite cousin. Kobe and Tehani had a lot of fun playing with Charlotte, watching her in her Jennie Jump Up, and helping Auntie Cynthia with all that baby stuff. (Cynthia tried to remind me that my kids used to make messy diapers and puke up all over the place but my mind has apparently repressed all those memories :)Chicago Pizza—A trip to Chicago would not be complete without some Chicago-style pizza. Uncle Raymond even managed to join us for some of "the good stuff" before his way into work.Cynthia’s Birthday—Ok, her birthday is not actually until Thursday but we figured if we’re in town, Kobe and Tehani mind as well sing Happy Birthday to Auntie Cynthia. It also gave us all a good excuse to get a cake from Jaroche, one of the best bakeries in the Chicagoland area. Charlotte is a quick one and managed to take a swipe at the cake when her mom wasn’t paying attention, but the cake was still good (even if some of the pieces had a baby handprint in them)Quality time with Jake—Kobe loves his cat—but he also loves my Dad’s dog Jake! Kobe is always the first to let Jake out of his pen and he spent who knows how much time rolling around with Jake in the yard before we left today.Whew! So if you see me over the next few days, don’t be surprised if I look exhausted—‘cause I am! But the trip was worth it.

Welcome back Grandma!

Friday, April 24, 2009


So today was Class 3's Talent Show. And unlike other talent shows where only a few people get up and perform, all the kids were required to share a talent--whether they had one or not! At first I wasn't sure what talent Kobe should share. Don't get me wrong, Kobe is super talented but I'm not sure that watching tv and aggravating your sister really counts as a talent?!?

When I first asked Kobe what talent he wanted to share he mentioned something about video games (Playing video games for your class is probably not what the teacher had in mind...) Anyway, Kobe opted to share some of his magic tricks with his classmates. And after lots of practicing with his Dad last night(during the commercials of the Lakers/Jazz game, Kobe's Magic Show went off without a hitch. So if you are ever interested in seeing an invisible magic wand, a color changing handkerchief, a disappearing coin or flying paperclips, I can hook you up with a great magician.

Also, can I just tell you that his class is super talented! There was something like 4 piano players, a drummer, karate girl, and then a harpist of all things. I'm worried now that Kobe is going to start asking about piano lessons again (he's asked before.) I just figured since I was forced to take piano lessons that I wouldn't inflict that cruel and unusual punishment on my kids. Apparently Kobe has other ideas...I'll just have to see if I can work MY magic to make those ideas disappear!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Parlez vous...

So the kids have decided to teach their dad some French before we go to Tahiti this summer. I think Tehani is a little more into this teaching assignment than Kobe is. Not sure if it is because she is able to remember more of the things she learns in class or if it's because it makes her feel like she can be a bossy teacher like her Auntie Cynthia :) Anyway, tonight's lesson consisted of:
  • Petit pois peas. My absolute least favorite vegetable in the whole world. When I was little my dad used to spell my name on my plate with peas to torture me for not eating them. (Someone should have called DCSF!)

  • Le lait or...milk. I think this was Kobe's word because he actually drinks the stuff. I will not be surprised when Tehani is older if she is a vegan. We have a hard time getting her to eat--or drink--anything animal related. (Am I a bad mom if I tell her that hamburgers grow on trees?!?)

  • Deja vu or...deja vu. Not sure if they learned this as part of their food lesson or what.

So if Norm gets separated from his "translators" while in Tahiti at least he can order a glass of milk with a side of peas and tell the natives that he thinks he has been there before....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Prime Meridian

A few weeks ago, the kids and I went to see a matinee of Race to Witch Mountain (that's what happens when you let the kids pic the flick!) Anyway, I ran into an old friend that asked about why we decided to send our kids to Meridian. We're definitely not rich (that's the first question people usually ask when they find out the kiddos go to a private school :) and it was really quite by accident that we even found out about the school in the first place.

When I went back to work a few years ago, we were left with the decision of trying to figure out what to do with Tehani since she wasn’t in school yet. I’d been staying home with the kids at the time and hadn’t even planned on going back to the tv station yet (that’s a whole ‘nother story!) so I was scrambling to find daycare. Somehow I found out that Meridian offers all day kindergarten AND that they had a later cut-off date for turning five meaning that Tehani could start school that year even though she wasn’t turning five until later in Sept. Good-bye, daycare. Hello Kindergarten!! (In my mind it wasn’t “costing” us anything because I was simply taking the money I would have paid to the daycare and giving it to Meridian :)

Anyway, our original plan was always to just send Tehani there for one year. Then we’d transfer her to the local public where Kobe was in 1st grade. (Those of you that have been to our house know we are right across the street from a school) It was a very simple plan—until Tehani actually started going to Meridian and we could see the difference in the education she was getting!! Her classes were tiny--and I’m not just talking about the kids. It also helped that she had a fabulous teacher (Believe me, I love my kids but wrangling a room full of 5 year olds all day long is not my idea of fun!) And while I know Kobe was getting the basics at his school, Tehani was getting a lot of extras—foreign language, drama, art, dance, etc.

Norm was instantly sold—he wanted both kids to attend Meridian. I was sold as well, but I’m also the one that balances our checkbook. I didn’t see how we could afford to send both kids to school there. At the time, Meridian had a few partial “scholarships” for new students so the next year Kobe was able to start 2nd grade as a Meridian Mongoose as well (don’t ask me how they decided to choose a mongoose as their school mascot!)

It was a stretch for us financially. Don’t get me wrong, Meridian’s tuition is a steal when compared to other private schools. And I can think of a million other things that I could do with their tuition money--buy myself a whole new wardrobe, finish our basement, finally put up a fence in our backyard…but I can honestly say that the education they’re receiving has been worth every penny! (I’m just counting on the fact that when they are grown and rich, I will be able to guilt them into taking care of Norm and I in our old age—or at least paying for our nursing home!)

So from French class (the kids start a foreign language in first grade), to learning how to ballroom dance (Yes, Kobe is dancing with a girl in that photo), to super high test scores, we’ve found our Prime Meridian. Go Meridian Mongeese!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

From The Tevaga's

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mean Girls

So I got an email from Tehani's teacher the other day that some of the girls in class are not being nice to each other. Unfortunately for us, Tehani was on the "not being nice" end. I was mortified--and of course immediatley forwarded the teacher's email on to my sister for some words of encouragement and moral support.

I was hoping for a "You're not a bad mom Laura, I promise" or maybe "I'm sure she's just going through a phase." Cynthia was a teacher after all so I run any school related things by her for teacherly advice. Cynthia replied by sending me one suggested remedy to the problem...

Dear Teacher:
I am very sorry for the behavior of my daughter, and it will stop immediately. We will be taking care of this "Polynesian style". Please ignore any bruises and bloodiness that you see on our daughter over the next few weeks. This should surely cure her behavior. Thank you for making us aware of this situation.

Not quite the answer I was looking for but it did make me laugh. So Friday after school, the other moms and I met with the teacher to discuss what we can do to help our daughters get along better. I thought that I would have until when my kids get into junior high to get ready for all of the catty games and craziness that girls are known for (I was a girl once--I know how mean girls can be.) Well, the meeting went well and Tehani and I have talked a lot about this since then. She even came and showed me an apology note she made today. I guess it's actually a little more like a ransom note since the words are all spelled out with cut out letters...
i'M SoRrY tHaT i saiD
mEaN StUfF tO yOu

I guess its a start. Wish me luck (I think I'm going to need it!)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Can you say OCD?

So my sister and I like to tease each other about our OCD tendencies. Growing up with Crazy J (aka: our mom) there was no chance of us NOT growing up with some of her obsessive compulsive ailments. In our house, it was required that you be able to see vaccum lines in the carpet at all times and there was no such thing as doing the dirty dishes later. My mom also doesn't believe in letting the dishes air dry (we didn't have a dishwasher--unless you count us kids!) So now that Cynthia and I are grown and have families of our own (to control :) it would only be natural that some of these obsessions would begin to surface...

Well, apparently the fruit doesn't fall far from the OCD tree. Tehani and I were cleaning her bathroom the other day when I noticed she was messing around with the toilet paper holder. When I asked what she was doing, she explained that SOMEONE had put the roll of toilet paper in backwards and she was fixing it!

Grandma would be so proud!! Next Tehani will probably start getting after Kobe about not putting the toothpaste lid back on. In the meantime, we'll have to pay better attention when we are replacing rolls of toilet paper.