Saturday, May 24, 2008

A couple of my favorite highlights....

of the American Idol Finale. Although, let me preface this with the fact that I was not an avid watcher of the show this season, I guess I found it boring so many times that I cut if from my list to watch. It did remain on the DVR schedule so we managed to watch the finale in fast forward mode.

First of all...get a load of this. I can watch it 50 times and laugh hysterically each time--I bet you can too!

...and finally, the Love Guru, my favorite part--everytime he greets or says good-bye to someone he says, "Mariska Hargitay!" Seriously, so freakin' hilarious! (For those of you out there that are not Law & Order SVU fans...Mariska is the star of the show as Olivia Benson.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Chemical Romance

As many of you know, I was a bit "concert-deprived" growing up. Before I married Ry at age 23, I had only been to one concert, Debbie Gibson. :) That's right, go ahead, have your laugh. Well, a lot has changed for me since marrying Ryan and my concert attendance is one of them. Bless his heart, he's brought me along slowly. From the beginning he always said he was gearing up to get me to a real rock concert. To date we had been to Diamond Rio and Faith Hill/Tim McGraw, country, dang fun, and easy going. After seven years, I finally felt I was ready to go to a real rock concert and knowing how much he loves the band, My Chemical Romance, I gave him tickets to their upcoming concert for his birthday.

April 8th was the big day. The concert was to be held at the Crystal Ballroom downtown, a well known venue for rock concerts, with standing room mostly. Well, the day arrived for us to attend and so did some serious pre-term labor contractions—apparently Sydnei was excited to go the concert too. But where were we at 4pm of the day of the concert??? Right! We were in Labor and Delivery at OHSU on a fetal monitor and having contractions. I kept telling Ryan that if the doctors confirmed that I was definitely NOT having the baby then (at this point I was 29 weeks) we were going to the concert...there was NO WAY we would miss it!

The concert started at 7pm with two warm-up bands playing. At about 7:30pm, the doctors received some test results back that gave a 98% guarantee that I wouldn't have the baby for at least two weeks. By about 7pm, the contractions finally had dwindled and were less painful. I looked at the nurse and told her about the concert. She encouraged me to go home and rest. I said, "okay, we'll talk about it," rolling my eyes as she left the room. Of course, there was no way on earth we were missing the concert! I had told Ryan that if there was a problem, we would leave, and if I needed to sit down, I'd do that as often as necessary. We discharged from L&D at 8pm, picked up some food, and then headed to the concert. He wanted me to go home and rest as he was concerned but this was my chance—a real live rock band, and My Chemical Romance no less. If I was fine, the baby was fine and wouldn't be born pre-maturely, then we were going to the concert, dang it!

When we arrived at the venue, I, of course, had to stop at the bathroom. When I went to wash my hands my belly kept me from squeezing between the garbage can and a woman at the sink next to the one I wanted to use. I looked at her and said, "excuse me" and then explained that unless she wanted me to take her out with my preggo belly, she would need to scoot over a bit. She complied and proceeded to ask me what I was having. She and her friend each had two boys and they couldn't stop talking about how much they each wanted a girl. After we finished discussing that they both decided they need to rub my belly like a Buddha for good luck! So that was that, I walked out of the bathroom with huge eyes, looked at Ryan and said, "this is going to be an interesting and entertaining night!

The beauty of our arrival time to the concert was that My Chemical Romance hadn't come on yet and did 15-minutes after we got there. They played for nearly two hours, the perfect amount of time for me to stand, sit, stand, and not feel exhausted or as if I had over done it. This concert was part of the Black Parade tour. I really like this band and the theatrical side to their music and performance; it's intriguing to listen to and interpret. I loved seeing Ryan "in his element" a true rocker at heart. We had such an awesome time. I was blown away by the range of ages in the concert attendees.

One young (maybe freshman-sophomore in high school-age) couple stood by us the entire time. But they weren't just standing there...they were SLOW DANCING the ENTIRE time! Seriously, who slow dances at a rock concert? For crying out loud, the girl had her back to the stage the whole time! It blew me away and I mean it when I say they slow danced for the entire two hours the band played. Geez! If anything they belonged at a Debbie Gibson concert slow dancing to songs like "Lost in Your Eyes" not the Black Parade!

The concert ended with my favorite song, "Helena." It's a song written about Gerard Way's (the lead singer), grandmother. It was awesome and incredible to hear live. Wow...there's nothing like hearing the best songs played live. Thank goodness Ryan saved me from my concert deprived life, I'm sure he'll continue to bring me along slowly. :D Thanks, Sweetheart!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sturgeon Fishing on the Columbia River

So, my brother-in-law, Wilson, gave me an Abu Garcia fishing reel as a gift one year for Christmas, and for my birthday one year, he completed the set-up with a Dawia Eliminator fishing rod. It was a one of the greatest gifts I’d ever received, and I couldn’t wait to go out on the water to fish with it, and thus the reason for the post.

Wilson called last Wednesday evening, inviting me to go sturgeon fishing that Friday on the Columbia River, which borders Oregon and Washington. Believe me, when one has the opportunity to go sturgeon fishing on the Columbia, he or she doesn't, under any circumstances, turn it down. What's even better is that the weather in Oregon was just starting to turn nice, which would mean there would be a ninety-degree day on the river.

Here's a little background and some food for thought: Sturgeon are, in every sense of the phrase, living dinosaurs. Specifically, white sturgeon, which are often referred to as the Pacific Sturgeon, Oregon Sturgeon, and the Columbia Sturgeon that can grow up to fifteen feet long and live to be well over 100 years old. In Oregon, to keep a sturgeon you have caught, it has to be at least 42 inches long; otherwise, you have to let it go.

Everyone whom Wilson works with has a nickname: Wilson has been given the name" the Fatty," and Charlie is nothing other than "the Captain," because he owns the boat. What's my nickname, you ask? Well, they started calling me "Young David Ryan" on our first trip, and, well, it stuck. Although Charlie told me on this last trip that they could only call me Young David Ryan for two more years, since I'll turn thirty. Wilson started calling me "DR" while on this last trip, which I think has the potential to stick, but we’ll see.

Since my pole hadn’t ever caught a sturgeon, or any fish for that matter, the Captain and the Fatty referred to it as a “virgin.” However, I was bound and determined to change that fact on this trip. The pictures below show the two “keepers” that my pole caught, and is now the “lucky pole.” The two sturgeons we kept measured 46 and 49 inches long. Enjoy the photos!

Here's the first "Keeper"

"The Captain" holding up both "Keepers." Yes, I caught both on my pole.

"The Fatty" proudly holding up a "non-keeper."

Cooking the sturgeon to eat!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hiking up Multnomah Falls

April 12th we spent the afternoon at the gorgeous, well-known national site, Multnomah Falls. It was the warmest day yet--reaching 80 degrees so we took full advantage to get outside!

It was warm but the mist from the falls was very refreshing as we hiked. Sofia brought along her baby Belle and stroller because she just new Belle "needed to go for a walk too!" It was a lot of fun while we talked, laughed, and took pictures as we hiked. It's over a mile hike to the top and we made it a little over half way, which is when I reached my limit. We arrived at a scenic view point and relaxed to enjoy the view and play with a puppy of some fellow hikers before retreating back down the mountain.

We ended the day enjoying some stellar pizza at BJ's and talking to Sofia about the beautiful nature that surrounds us. Here are some pics we took along the trail...

Sofia is actually looking at the camera!

We loved how beautiful the falls looked and how lush the greenery was surrounding them. It was breathtaking.

I don't remember what we were talking about here but we were cracking up at something!

Papi and Sofia pose for the camera in a "little cave." Before Sofia would take the picture she asked us at least 5 times to assure her there were no "BATS" in the cave!

A quick stop to do some climbing along the trail.

A view of the Columbia River Gorge. I can't wait to go back after I'm done being pregnant and recovered so that we can get to the very top!

Puzzles galore...

A few weeks ago I woke up one Saturday morning and decided I needed some alone time. Ry was working from home and Sofia was still asleep so I got dressed and headed out to do some shopping. Keep in mind I didn't have the cash flow to go real shopping so I opted to cruise around town and check out some garage sales.

It couldn't have been anymore relaxing: me, myself, and I jamming to some death cab for cutie--singing my little heart out, the windows down--because it was actually warm, enjoying the beautiful Oregon country and scoring some killer deals at the garage sales.

Which leads me to the purpose of this post to share my killer find: puzzles. Yes, care bears, strawberry shortcake, and sesame street. I paid a buck for 3 and took them home to Sofia. They are 24-piece puzzles and the minute I walked in the door we sat down at the kitchen table and I taught her how to put them together. She hasn't stopped doing them and I just keep finding more and more at garage sales! It only took me once to teach her how to put them together and she does it all on her own. After she finished putting a few together she asked me to take her picture as she was so proud of her is our princess sillygoose.

Sofia has this thing about looking everywhere other than the camera...thus the "looking off in the distance" pose. Ryan didn't want me to post this pic as he's in the background but I just couldn't help myself! I love that his hair looks like it's 5 feet tall!

Sorry about the mini-hiatus

Hi everyone, I'm so sorry I've been MIA online (and phone...and e-mail) for over a month now. Life has been utterly hectic with a bazillion things to do preparing for Sydnei, family in town, a couple of premature labor scares etc. My exhaustion has increased by a factor of at least 50, oh and the nausea and vomiting is back although not to the degree of the first and second trimester! (So grateful for that). I have so much to blog about it's unreal! I've made a goal today that I'm going to post at least once a day this week to get caught up. I figure I've got a couple of weeks left to get the blog up-to-date before Sydnei could decide to make her entrance into the world.

Toodle-oo for now,