Saturday, January 31, 2009


I can't believe the movie Cocktail is more than 20 years old... or that I'm sitting here watching it at midnight on a Friday night!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Random thoughts/observations from vacation

  • It wasn't nearly as bad driving to Florida by myself as I thought it'd be. In fact, I liked it better than riding in the passenger seat the whole way back.
  • We rarely waited in line at the parks for longer than 15 or 20 minutes. It appears January is a good time to go.
  • The counter service food inside the parks was as good as any non-park fast food, and comparably priced.
  • Eating breakfast at the condo and packing food to snack on during the day saved us from buying a lot of food in the parks. We at out only at dinner.
  • There were a lot more characters around the parks -- especially Magic Kingdom and Epcot -- than I remember from previous visits.
  • Fast food in the south really isn't.
  • I have two of the least daring kids on the face of the Earth.
  • Doesn't matter where you are, people will always try to push to the front and butt in line, and it's no less annoying just because you're at Disney World.
  • The roads in and around the Disney property are among the best marked I've ever seen.
  • I am still amazed that the kids didn't ask to go in any stores or to buy anything unti lthe very last day we were there -- especially since half the rides dump you out into a store or across from a store.
  • It was fun looking for "hidden Mickeys" around the parks -- next time we'll plan to do that as an actual activity.
  • I'm definitely glad we waited until J-Mav was "older" to go.
  • Keeper Boy wouldn't put something back in its correct place, even if it had blinking neon arrows showing him where to put it... and he'll still get mad and blame everyone else when it's lost. (We already knew this, but it was reinforced several times over the course of the week.)
  • J-Mav can talk to a brick. For hours. About nothing. (We also knew this already...)
  • One shouldn't need to wear knit hats, gloves, and winter coats in Florida -- even in January!
  • A minivan seems much smaller with four people in it than with two.
  • I was surprised to see that gas is much cheaper here in northern Virginia than it was anywhere south of here (in some cases, by 20 cents).
  • Not everyone who works for Disney is nice and/or helpful. In fact, we ran into a few who were downright rude.
  • You're never too old for Disney World!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


As J-Mav was munching on a blow-pop tonight...

"Oh, that wasn't the lollipop."


"Mama! My tooth came out!"

That's #2 on the bottom...


It would be nice to live somewhere in which people could actually deal with snow without freaking out and shutting everything down. Then again, it'd be nice to live somewhere that never got any snow...

(Though I shouldn't be complaining... this is the first snow we've had all winter.)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Disney Adventure - Day 10

End of the Road.

'Twas the last day of vacay, and all through the room
We were dreading the day, and a long drive did loom.
The bags were repacked, and breakfast was done.
The boys were both wired, which is always so fun!

We got on the road; due north we headed.
Another long day in the van we dreaded.
But it wasn't that bad with a few short pit stops.
We set the cruise control and avoided the cops.

We found ourselves home by the late afternoon
We unloaded the car and unpacked real soon.
K-Dog was so happy to see all of us
We obliged for awhile and made quite a fuss.

With laundry started, but no food to be had,
We left once again, making K-Dog quite sad.
To Logan's and back after a quick little bite
It was homework, more laundry, and also bath night.

Back to the grind, the vacation is done.
But oh what a time... we had so much fun!
We did four Disney parks in much less than a week
And at a few other things we also did peak.

Animal Kingdom was great; truly amazing
To see all the animals playing and grazing.
Of all the parks, J-Mav and I liked it the best.
But that's not to say we disliked all the rest.

Hubby's favorite park had the big silver ball.
As well as many countries, both big and small.
Epcot that is, for those not in the know
We liked it so much, right back we did go!

Hollywood Studios was quite action-packed
With stunt shows and rides and bugs that attacked.
Fantasmic!, the show, was quite a sight to see
It was cold, but there was nowhere else to be.

Keeper Boy became much more brave during day four--
Roller coasters and the haunted house were in store.
A full day, ending with a fireworks show
And yet we still had another day to go!

Back to Epcot, and then on to some shopping
Then back "home" for some late night belly flopping.
Our stay was almost complete, we were sad to say
For we had to head north early the next day.

So now we're home, our Disney vacation complete.
This awesome experience will be hard to beat.
The only complaint: the warm weather did lack.
But we loved it all and someday we'll go back!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Disney Adventure - Day 9

Travel day. Back toward the arctic chill (though, thankfully, not as cold as where my aunt lives, where it was -13 this morning).

We left warm Kissimmee at 10am and, sadly, headed north, away from the magic of Disney World. We got on I-95 and drove back through the northern part of Florida, through the eastern part of Georgia, the eastern part of South Carolina, and into North Carolina. Tonight we find ourselves in Rocky Mount, NC at a Holiday Inn -- not a Holiday Inn Express, so no expectations of extraordinary abilities in the morning this time. :-)

It was a boring, uneventful day. J-Mav talked to himself and narrated while he played games on his CyberSmile. Keeper Boy complained about doing homework, but did some this morning. I finished my Michael Phelps autobiography and, amazingly, didn't sleep at all. Hubby did all the driving, apparently playing the alphabet game in his own head. I found this out only when he got to "x" and couldn't find anything because we were apparently past all of the trucker porn stops by then. We did pass the Risque Cafe; however, there were no Xs to be found on the signage.

We stopped for lunch/potty/gas in Jacksonville, FL, then at a rest area later in the afternoon. We stopped in Fayetteville, NC for dinner. We ate at Ruby Tuesday's, but decided that we'd drive through McDonald's for dessert and get back on the road for another hour or so. We got gas and then got in the line for the drive-through at what we now know to be the world's slowest McDonald's. No joke! There were three cars in front of us. I know the one directly in front of us ordered only two sundaes. We ordered two McFlurries, a milkshake, and a plain sundae. It took us -- and I am not exagerating -- 35 minutes to get through the drive-through line! We could've stayed at Ruby Tuesday's and ordered dessert there and gotten back on the road faster!!

After we FINALLY got our ice cream, we got back on the road (and ate it in less time than it took to GET it) and drove until we got to Rocky Mount. We had been following the NHL All-Star Game on my Blackberry, with live refresh every 30 seconds. We scanned the AM radio dial at the start of the game to see if we could find it somewhere, but we didn't. When we saw the game was going into overtime, we tried again. My reasoning was that we were close to Raleigh, which at least had a hockey team, so maybe it would be broadcast. Hubby scoffed, but we did find it! We were able to keep the station long enough to hear the call as "our own" Alex Ovetchkin made the game-winning goal for the East. And we had a little party in the van while we were driving up I-95. It probably looked pretty silly to anyone who happened to be passing by at the time... Return of the Jedi was playing on the entertainment system, J-Mav and Keeper Boy were staring at the screen but listening intently to the radio. Hubby and I were watching the road, but listening intently to the radio (because the station was starting to fade). When OV scored, we all threw our hands in the air and screamed "woo hoo!" Like I said, I'm sure it looked ridiculous. Anyway, shortly after that, we found this lovely, newly-built hotel to call home for tonight.

The boys were poking and annoying each other until we stuck them in separate beds to fall asleep (we'll move J-Mav in a minute when we go to bed), Hubby is checking his email, and I am updating the blog. Hmmm... it IS just like home.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Disney Adventure - Day 8

Epcot / Downtown Disney Revisited. And look ma, no coats!!

We had a plan. We sort of stuck to it, but not the way we had intended. The plan was to head back to Epcot and visit the World Showcase so we could see some of the street performers at the different countries (and see the countries in the daylight), come home and relax for little while and let the boys swim, and then head over to Downtown Disney to do our shopping and have dinner. Didn't quite work that way, but we had a GREAT day!!

We arrived at Epcot about 10:30 this morning. It was WAY more crowded than it was on Wednesday. We ran into some characters (the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, the Evil Queen, some cat from the Aristocats, and Rafiki) and took some pictures, and then stopped by the Test Track ride and grabbed Fast Passes... our first in our now five days at the parks! Our Fast Pass time slot was 12:15 - 1:15pm (which basically means we could come back and jump in the Fast Pass line any time after 12:15. With those secured (and J-Mav already whining about not wanting to go on it because it's fast and scary), we proceeded into the World Showcase, right as it was opening at 11. We went the opposite direction this time, starting at Mexico.

Other than stopping to take pictures, we actually walked past Mexico and Norway because we'd done the rides and checked out the stores in both of those countries on Wednesday night. We explored China a bit, and Keeper Boy took more pictures. His class is studying the dynasties right now, so he'll have some cool photos to take back to school with him.

At the Outpost, we stopped to let the boys play some African drums and watch a man who was carving an elephant out of wood. And then it was on to Germany. Hubby had his picture taken with Snow White, and we stopped to watch the garden railroad that is set up outside Germany. In Italy, I comtemplated purchasing a new nativity set, but decided to pass. After Italy came The American Adventure. We decided not to stop and tour since, well, we live here. :) We did watch the end of a fife and drum performance. The boys seemed to think that was cool.

Then it was on to Japan. We wandered through a Japanese tea garden and then through the stores there. Outside Morocco, we saw Aladdin and Princess Jasmine. The boys weren't interested in visiting with them, but I was going to. However, they went on a break right as we got there. So we explored Morocco and watched a belly dancer perform! Outside France we saw Beast and Belle; however, they were going on a break when we got there, too. We poked around France and then made our way to United Kingdom (where we saw Mary Poppins) as we wanted to see a comedy show that was going to happen. Little did we know, Hubby would end up being one of the stars of the show! He was picked out of the audience to play the role of Sir Galehad (sp?). Hilarity ensued. Keeper Boy was embarassed (and he's not even a teenager yet). I took lots of pictures!!

After that, we moved along to Canada. We wandered around, looked through the stores. It took Keeper Boy a minute (or two) to figure out why there were only t-shirts for Canadian hockey teams. We saw a 360-degree movie about Canada (hosted by Martin Short) and then went back outside and saw a Canadian band perform. They were all wearing kilts. I'm not sure what that was all about. The boys both decided they would never wear a kilt...

After we were tired of listening to the band, we headed back to France to catch one more street performance. It's hard to explain what it was.... a guy who didn't talk, just blew a whistle, and another guy who was, basically, an acrobat. He stacked chairs on whine bottles (which were on a table) and climbed up them and did a handstand. I think it was four chairs, the bottom sitting on four wine bottles, which were sitting on a table. I was nervous for him, but since he does it multiple times each day, I guess he's pretty good at it!

By the time we were done watching that, it was well past our Fast Pass time for the Test Track (sponsored by GM, which you were not allowed to forget throughout or after the ride). J-Mav cried the entire way through the line (which was quite short thanks to jump-toward-the-front-of-the-line-free Fast Pass cards. While we were waiting to get in our car, we saw someone we knew from church/little league. It's a small world after all! We buckled into our car and off we went. The idea of the ride is that you're put through some of the tests that cars go through... rough roads, sudden breaking, hairpin turns, etc. At the end, you go out on the test loop... it goes around the outside of the building very fast on banked track like a race track. It was a very cool ride. We asked J-Mav at the end whether he liked it. His response: "that was NOT cool."

That completed our Disney World parks experience. We walked back out to the car. By this time, it was after 4. Our timeline had slipped significantly. But whatever. No worries. We went straight to Downtown Disney, somehow landed a great parking space in a lot that was supposed to be full, and walked straight to the T-Rex Cafe (the restaurant I wanted to eat at with J-Mav on Monday, but it was too scary). We told him he'd be fine and we were going there. He whined. But Keeper Boy did a good job of keeping him distracted and he was fine once we were inside. We were seated in the Ice Cave. Thankfully, it wasn't icy! The food was really good and we had a fun dinner.

After dinner, we walked around the stores... mostly in the big Disney store that has everything under the sun with Mickey ears on it. We visited a few other places, but the bulk of our time was spent in the one store. We all got a t-shirt, we got some gifts to bring home, we tried on silly hats, J-Mav bought a pirate toy, and I got a photo album for the gagillion pictures we took. I'm thinking I should've gotten two, but I didn't. So I'll either have to narrow our trip down to 200 pictures or less, or buy another (plain) album later.

We decided we are glad we don't have another full day in the parks tomorrow because we're tired. But man did we have a blast! We stopped at the crazy Disney McDonald's on the way home for ice cream, and got back to the condo around 9:30. Hubby took the kids down to the pool for a little while while I started packing up some stuff. Less to do tomorrow morning since checkout is 10am. We are sad to leave just as it's warming up here, and we're not looking forward to the long drive home. But cold and all, it really was a magical week! I love Disney World just as much now as did when I was a kid. And it was great to share it with the boys and see the magic through their eyes. I'm pretty sure we'll be back...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Disney Adventure - Day 7

Magic Kingdom. And no winter coats, hats, or gloves!

As has become the norm over the past few days, we left the condo just before 10am. We arrived at Magic Kingdom parking (close to the front... yay, AAA Diamond parking!) and started walking in. I was slightly dismayed to discover we were actually parked at the Transportation & Ticket Center, meaning we had to take either a water taxi or the monorail across the lagoon to the park. Not a problem this morning, but I was thinking about tonight. Keeper Boy wanted to ride the monorail, so we hopped the express and were in the park about 10 minutes later.

We took the requisite picture on Main Street with the castle in the background. We proceeded directly to Tomorrowland, thinking we might do Space Mountain first to beat long lines later. J-Mav caught on that we were going on a roller coaster and started whining and crying that he didn't want to go on. I told him I'd sit with him and hug him the whole time. Slight problem. When we got up there, we discovered the cars you ride in have been replaced since the last time I rode... each person has his or her own seat. So I strapped him into the seat in front of me (behind Hubby) and off we went with J-Mav crying. Yep... still parents of the year! We all survived. Keeper Boy thought it was cool. J-Mav did not. At least, not until later, when he admitted that it was kinda fun (but not fun enough to go back on). Oh, and we only waited, like, 20 minutes.

From there we explored the rest of Tomorrowland. There were some new shows (a funny, interactive show based on Monsters, Inc. and Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin) and the old standbys that haven't changed much since the first time I was there in 1983 (Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress, Tomorrowland Transit Authority, and Tomorrowland Indy Speedway). Then on to Mickey's Toontown Fair.

Not much in that land to see as it's geared toward the younger set, and the character tent was full of princesses today. We did tour Mickey's house and Minnie's house. Then we hopped on the train and rode it back up to the front of the park. We headed back down Main Street, grabbed some ice cream (by this time it was warm enough that we'd shed our sweatshirts), and mosied into Adventureland.

We climbed around in the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse. Since both boys have read the book (or had the book read to them), they thought this was cool. We flew on magic carpets, took a cheesy jungle cruise, and sang with the pirates on Pirates of the Caribbean (reburbished post-movies to include Captain Jack Sparrow). We spent some time in the store afterward trying on hats and J-Mav got a pirate bandana. He'd been eyeing it at Downtown Disney on Monday and I had told him we'd get it after we rode Pirates of the Caribbean. He remembered.

After that purchase, it was on to Frontierland. There are only two rides in the land: Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain. Keeper Boy must've been feeling brave because he wanted to go on Thunder Mountain. Guess who didn't? So we split up. Hubby and Keeper Boy went on the coaster. I took J-Mav over to Tom Sawyer Island, where we explored caves, crossed bridges, and walked on trails. We met up again about 40 minutes later and headed to the next land: Liberty Square.

The Hall of Presidents is currently closed for reburbishment, so there's just one attraction here: the Haunted Mansion. I braced myself for some crying and just walked into the line without mentioning what it was. No wait! Hubby held J-Mav during the initial part, where you're in the little round room, and then put him down and he walked. He was actually okay, though he didn't like the part that went backwards. He is now saying that it was his favorite ride at Magic Kingdom. Go figure. We did have quite a delay while we were within sight of the exit platform. The cars had stopped to load some wheelchair guests and some dumbass got out of his car in the middle of the mansion somewhere. We probably sat there for a good 10 minutes. Maybe longer. Anyway, after we finally go off the ride, we grabbed dinner and then headed into the last land: Fantasyland.

There's a lot of stuff aimed at the younger set here, too. We walked right on to It's a Small World, which the boys loved, then got in line for Peter Pan's Flight. I don't remember that being there before, but it was actually quite cool. We waited in line for about 30 minutes for it and talked to a nice woman from Philadelphia and her daughter the whole time. From there, we went to Dumbo. Had to do Dumbo. Then the Mad Tea Party. The boys wanted to spin really fast. I think I'm still dizzy.

After the tea cups, we had 25 minutes until the park closed. Keeper Boy wanted to ride Space Mountain again, so he and Hubby ran over there. J-Mav wanted to ride the tea cups again. Lord help me. I took him on the tea cups and then staggered over to the Speedway, which is where we were supposed to meet Hubby and Keeper Boy. They showed up about five minutes later. Apparently the line was too long for Space Mountain, so they went on the Speedway again.

We stayed in Tomorrowland and watched the fireworks finale to the day, and then headed out of the park with all the other cattle... er, guests. We took the ferry across to the Transportation & Ticket Center and walked to the car. It wasn't as bad as I was thinking it'd be this morning. I think we were back at the condo a little after 9, and the boys were both asleep by 9:30. Another good day. We did everything we wanted to do in the park, so our amount of time there was just about perfect.

We don't have a solid plan for tomorrow. We have one day left on our tickets. I know we will go to Epcot. We want to spend more time in the World Showcase. Keeper Boy would like to go on Space Mountain again. And we have Fast Passes for one attraction in Animal Kingdom if there's anything there that anyone wants to do again. I would imagine the parks will be more crowded tomorrow since it's Saturday, but who knows. We've been surprised all week by the lack of lines and waiting. It's been awesome. Anyway, we also want to go to Downtown Disney. So we'll see how it all fits together. And tomorrow is supposed to be in the mid-70s! Woo hoo!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Disney Adventure - Day 6

Disney's Hollywood Studios. And yet another day with the winter coat...

We took our time this morning, as we knew we wanted to stay at the park until closing for the highly recommended Fantasmic show. Little did we know that would be an hour and a half later than we thought, but more on that later. This is a park that's completely centered around movies. Fun, but in comparison, maybe not quite as many things to do, and things that take a little longer to complete on average.

We arrived around 10:30, I think. There was a line to get IN the park. After experiencing two days of small crowds and little to no lines, this was not a welcome sight. I suspect many people did exactly what we did... saw that Fantasmic was only going on tonight (for this week) and decided that today would be the day to visit Hollywood Studios. So it seemed crowded to us.

We skipped the Tower of Terror and Rock n Roller Coaster because of Scaredy and Cat, and started in the Animation Courtyard. What a great way to start a great day! We went to a presentation on how characters are drawn, took an interactive test to find out which Disney character we were most like (J-Mav: Mushu, from Mulan; me: Mulan, from Mulan; Keeper Boy: Woody, from Toy Story; Hubby: Hopper, from A Bug's Life), saw Mickey and Bolt (but didn't wait in line to have pictures), got a picture of J-Mav with Mr. Freeze (from The Incredibles), and then the coolest thing of all. We went to an animation workshop where we learned to draw a character. Our class learned to draw Dale (as in Chip and Dale). We now have three renditions of the loveable chipmunk. I did one, Keeper Boy did one, and J-Mav and Hubby tag-teamed on one. Very cool experience.

From there, we moved on to The Great Movie Ride. We entered what I think was a replica of The Chinese Theatre in Hollywood and rode a car through scenes from different movies through the years. J-Mav didn't like the Alien scene we rode through. It was scary. Other than that, he declared it fun and good.

Next up: Toy Story Midway Mania. This is what the boys were really looking forward to. The sign said it was an 80-minute wait, but we decided that would be time well spent eating some of our lunch snacks we had in the backpack. We munched while we snaked through the line looking at all of Andy's toys. We were entertained by a giant Mr. Potatohead when we got toward the actual ride. And when we got to the actual ride, it was worth the wait. We donned 3-D glasses, got in our cars and manned our "guns." Then we moved through various rooms, where we shot at targets or other things and earned points. I was competing against J-Mav; Keeper Boy against Hubby. We all did well. I had the highest accuracy percentage. Hubby had the highest number of points. We walked out of the ride at about the 60 minute mark, so the wait time estimation was off (in our favor). Woo hoo!

We discovered the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show was going to start at 4:30, so we went to a playground nearby to kill some time before the show began. The playground was based on the movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, so the kids played amongst giant blades of grass, huge spider webs, and ginormous ant mounds. We then went into the stunt show stadium early because we wanted to make sure we got in. We had to wait -- in the shade on metal bleachers -- about a half hour for the show to start, but man was it worth it. It was amazing! It was all about stunt car driving. I took pictures, but there's no way they will do the show justice. That show was worth going to the park just by itself! We all loved it!

From there, we went to the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. Another stunt show. This one based on scenes from the first Indiana Jones movie. Also very cool. J-Mav declared it scary because there was fire. But he thought it was cool in the end. Hubby and I thought the fire was great for the warmth it provided for a few minutes!

After that, we were about done with everything we'd wanted to see, which was good because it was 6:00 and the Fantasmic! show was starting at 7:00. We headed over that way, intending on grabbing something to eat along the way and taking it into the ampitheatre. Plans changed when there were Disney "people" along Sunset Boulevard telling us that the Fantasmic! show was, at that point, standing room only, and they'd added an 8:15 show. So we grabbed some dinner at an outdoor cafe (by this time we had all replaced any layers that had been shed during the day and put on our knit hats and gloves) and then headed over to join the small crowd of people who were waiting for the 8:15 show (even though it was still only 6:45). At 7:00, they opened a set of gates and let us part of the way down the walkway. I think this was to get the crowd off the "street" in the park. They kept coming and telling us that we didn't have to wait there because the show wasn't until 8:15; however, we (and most everyone else) decided that we didn't want to chance not having a seat for the show and stayed put. Turns out the ampitheatre wasn't full for the 8:15 show; however, we weren't sorry that we stood in line. We talked to some very nice people and they gave us some non-specific Fast Passes for Animal Kingdom that we can use on Saturday if we go back there! We also made use of our time in line to call Grandma, and Grandma & Grandpa. :) About 7:15, they let us a little further in. And about 7:45, we were allowed into the ampitheatre. The seats in the ampitheatre are metal, which did nothing to help us get warm. And the show didn't actually start until 8:30. But, again, it was worth the wait. It was an amazing display of live action, fireworks, fountains, and more. It was about a half hour and it was wonderful. Again, I'm sure my pictures won't do it justice.

So, we were back "home" later than we thought we'd be tonight. But that's okay. We're just rolling with the flow. :) Tomorrow is Magic Kingdom day. Please think happy, magical thoughts for us. There are a lot more rides there than at any of the three parks we've visited so far. It could be a very trying day for Hubby and I, with lots of whining about not wanting to go on this or that. Then again, I could be pleasantly surprised. This is Disney World after all. With a little pixie dust, maybe, just maybe, we'll have a magical day!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Disney Adventure - Day 5

Character Breakfast and Epcot. Another of the "two coldest days Orlando has seen in the last five years." We feel so honored.

We started our morning at Chef Mickey's in the Contemporary Resort with the most expensive breakfast I think we have ever eaten. But, hey, we saw and visited with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto, AND Goofy... and we got a really good breakfast to boot. So, it was worth it. You only live once, right? I think we got a lot of really good pictures. I'll let you know when we get back. :-)

From there, we drove to Epcot. And then left Epcot because the gate attendant neglected to tell us we had to follow the GREEN line today to get to the super duper AAA Diamond parking lot. Silly us. We followed the BLUE line because that's the color we had to follow yesterday at Animal Kingdom. So we had to exit the park and loop back around. This was easier said than done, but we made it. We have discovered that the signage is more than adequate when you're going INTO any area of Disney; however, once you're leaving, you're kind of on your own unless you're looking for one of the highways in the area. So anyway, we got back in, followed the GREEN line, and parked right up close. Woo hoo!

We oohed and aahed over the big silver golf ball that is Spaceship Earth as we walked in and went straight there to ride it. It was closed. Try back this afternoon... it should be open then. Great start.

So we proceeded to Innoventions. This was very cool and we spent quite a while in there. We did a game where we were split into teams and had to go through "the world's most dangerous house" looking for fire hazards and identifying them before they actually started fires. J-Mav and I were on the winning team. :-) Then the boys were able to take a picture of themselves in front of a firetruck and put some "stickers" on it and email it to the grandparents. The next thing allowed the boys to put themselves into a video game. Also very cool. They were recorded running, jumping, and doing a "victory dance" and then they went to a kiosk to play a game in which they were the stars. Very cool. We were able to email ourselves the link so they can play at home. Then Hubby and I got to take a spin on a Segway. It was very fun, and surprisingly easy.

We moved on to The Seas with Nemo and Friends. J-Mav whined through the entire thing because it was mostly dark. That made it scary. Sigh. After that ride, we went to Turtle Talk with Crush. This was Hubby's and my favorite thing of the day. It was really amazing they way they did it. Crush (the turtle from Finding Nemo) was on a big screen (like a movie). All the kids were in the front of the theatre sitting on the floor. All the adults were in the back on benches. Crush interacted with the kids. He asked them questions and then they could ask him questions. And he had facial expressions. Somehow there was a human hooked up to the image, and the turtle was taking on the real-time expressions. It was a live show and Crush would respond real-time to things going on in the audience. It was very well done.

From there we went to another amazing ride called The Land. We all enjoyed it. We rode through amazing greenhouses and fish farms. I'm not sure if they use the stuff they grow in the parks, but I know some of it was being grown for research purposes. We also saw pumpkins being shaped into Mickey heads as they were growing, and a Jackfruit tree!

We saw a few more things that J-Mav declared scary because they were partially or totally in the dark. We dragged him on anyway. We got shrunk in Honey, I Shrunk the Audience... another 3-D adventure that neither of the kids wore the glasses for. And we tried to go on the Test Track. Not really sure what this is because it was closed when we tried to go on it. Bummer.

We headed back to Spaceship Earth, but it was, once again (still?) closed. We were told it'd be opening in about a half hour. So we checked out the other half of the Innoventions area, where we played a game around recycling that was actually quite fun. When we got back to Spaceship Earth, it was actually open. We basically walked right on. It's been completely refurbished since the last time I rode it (which was 1989, so that's not surprising). Completely different cars. No Walter Kronkike narrating. And when you come down the long decline backwards at the end, you actually view a personalized future on a TV screen in your car, rather than looking at things on the walls outside your car. We all enjoyed it, though. Keeper Boy said that was one of his favorite things.

By this time, it was about 7pm and Future World was closing. The World Showcase, however, stays open until 9pm, so we headed over there. We discovered there aren't any of the street performers or anything out at night... or there weren't tonight. So we basically just walked around and went into each country's shop(s) if we needed to warm up. We rode the rides in Norway and Mexico, and when we came out of Mexico it was about time for the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth show. So we watched an amazing fireworks/laser/water show. This was Keeper Boy's other favorite part of the day. After it was done, we made our way out to the car and headed back to the condo (stopping first at the McDonald's drive-through... nothing like eating a bunch of grease at 10pm!).

I think we'd like to go back to Epcot and do the World Showcase in the daytime. So we will keep that on our to-do list. Because of the lack of wanting to RIDE anything on the boys' parts, we may not need an entire day at Hollywood Studios. So maybe we'll go back to Epcot tomorrow morning and then to Hollywood Studios. Or maybe we'll just sleep in a little tomorrow and then go to Hollywood Studios and hit World Showcase at Epcot another day before we go. I think we'll play it by ear.

Whatever we do tomorrow, we're hoping to be a little warmer...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Disney Adventure - Day 4

Animal Kingdom. Winter coats. In Florida. When the temperature should be in the high 70s. But enough about that...

We arrived at Animal Kingdom (which is pretty much across the road from where we're staying) and proceeded to our special AAA "Diamond parking," which as it turns out is NOT free, but IS very close to the entrance. Once inside, we proceeded directly to the back of the park to do the safari ride, as we'd been told to do by several people. The sign said there was a 20-minute wait, but we walked right on after snaking through the cattle shoots that must take HOURS to get through at the height of the summer tourist season. Maybe there is something to be said about visiting Disney World when it's only 50 degrees!

We LOVED the safari ride -- even the corny jokes made by the driver. We saw lots of animals, including this thing called an okapi that none of us had ever heard of. It's a member of the giraffe family, and it's built like a giraffe, but with a much shorter neck and legs. Here's the weird part: its legs are striped like a zebra! While it's odd looking, it's coloring is beautiful.

We saw black rhinos, white rhinos, African elephants, flamingoes, alligators, ostriches, cheetahs, giraffes, and lots of other animals. It was really very cool. Literally.

After we got off the safari, we explored the rest of "Africa," which included a very cool walking tour where we saw a lot more animals, and then headed to "Asia." We skipped the river rapids ride as we didn't want to be cold AND wet, and went to the Maharajah Jungle Trek. This made Hubby a happy camper. We saw tigers! Not only did we see tigers, but we saw them up close and personal. One was pacing right by the window we were standing at. It was really quite amazing. We were less than a foot away from a tiger (with a rather thick pane of glass between us). After that, we got in line for Expedition Everest, a roller coaster. For this we will likely be up for parents of the year. Not!

J-Mav was crying that he didn't want to go on the roller coaster before we even got in line. Keeper Boy was hanging back, too. He's not overly adventurous. The posted wait time was only about 20 minutes. It seemed much longer since Keeper Boy was sulking and J-Mav was sobbing. We basically told them that they can't go through life afraid to try new things and that they were going on the ride. J-Mav, however, was working himself into a tizzy. When we got to the front of the line they gave me a fast pass ticket so I could take J-Mav out of the ride area and then come back through to basically bypass the line after Hubby and Keeper Boy got off the ride. Keeper Boy decided he would go on, but I kind of feel like we bullied him into it. Even though we ended up not making him go on the ride, J-Mav was STILL crying when Hubby and Keeper Boy came off the ride. And at this point, so was Keeper Boy. It scared him. He didn't like the backwards and in the dark part. (I told Hubby there's no way we can tell him that Space Mountain is completely in the dark... we're just going to have the drag them on there... if my mom can ride it, so can they!) So now we had two crying kids. Like I said, parents of the year!

We assured them that was the only ride of its kind in Animal Kingdom and they both calmed down. We proceeded to DinoLand USA, which was kind of like a carnival (i.e., you bought tickets to play games and try to win big stuffed animals). We kept going. We paid enough for the tickets into the park itself, thank you very much. There was a cool playground type thing there called the Boneyard. Climbing nets, slides, that sort of thing. The boys played for about 20 minutes and then we moved on. There was a character area where Pooh, Eyore, and Tigger were holding court, so we went and got in line (which was amazingly short). While there, we realized we didn't have Keeper Boy's camera bag. Hubby and Keeper Boy RAN back to the Boneyard while J-Mav and I kept our spots in the character line. Luckily, the bag was right where we'd left it. Crisis averted. We got our pictures taken with Pooh, Eyore, AND Tigger. Fun! Oh, and Tigger kissed me. :-)

From there, we headed into the Discovery Island area. We wanted to see the show, It's Tough to be a Bug! It's a 3-D show based on A Bug's Life. J-Mav didn't like the 3-D aspect of it, and when the termite "spit" and we got drops of water on us, he was done. He cried through the rest of it. Luckily, the show was only 8.5 minutes long. It took almost that long outside for Hubby to convince J-Mav that nothing we just saw was real, and it was not scary!

After that, we got through the rest of the day without incident. We walked around the amazing Tree of Life (a giant "tree" with more than 300 animals carved into its trunk) looking for all the different animals. And then we sat down to wait for the 4pm parade to start. While we were sitting there, we decided that we wanted to do the safari ride again, so we headed toward the safari and ended up watching the parade from the bridge connecting Discovery Island to Africa. All the characters in the parade came up and hugged J-Mav and Keeper Boy or gave them high fives. It was cool. Immediately after the parade was over, we went to the safari ride and, again, almost walked right on. I think we waited less than five minutes. This time we were able to see the lion! He wasn't out this morning. We also had to wait while two very large white rhinos got out of the road and let us pass at one point. Talk about a situation that could turn bad quickly if something pissed them off! It was great, and we all decided that the safari ride was our favorite part of the park.

Surprisingly, we didn't go into ANY of the three zillion stores and shops that are strategically positioned around the park. Even more surprisingly, I never heard J-Mav or Keeper Boy even ask to go into any of the stores! That's a nice day in and of itself!

We LOVED Animal Kingdom. While we can see why people who love, say, Great Adventure and those types of high-thrill theme parks wouldn't like it, it was great for us. The boys both like animals and both dislike thrill rides. Perfect. I'm wondering if they'll actually like Magic Kingdom when we get there. We'll have to wait and see.

On tap for tomorrow is a character breakfast at Chef Mickey's (in the Contemporary Resort) and then EPCOT. Oh, and winter coats once again.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Disney Adventure - Day 3

Exploration/waiting day. Phew! I'm tired! And we haven't even set foot in one Disney park yet. I think I must be getting old!

J-Mav and I left the condo around 9am this morning with a loose plan -- find the giant Buzz Lightyear and see the Lego sculptures at Downtown Disney. Mission accomplished, and then some!

We made the very short, very well-marked drive to the All-Star Resorts area and gained access through the gate by just showing a photo ID. The very nice gatekeeper told us exactly how to get to said Buzz Lightyear at the All-Star Movies Resort and gave us some other helpful pointers. We hit paydirt! Not only did we see a ginormous (as in, like four stories tall) Buzz Lightyear, but we also saw several large buckets of green army men and a few other very large characters from Toy Story. In another part of the resort, we saw some huge dalmations. And then we found a part of the resort dedicated to the Mighty Ducks movies. Huge hockey sticks! Huge nets! Huge goalie masks! AND a pool in the shape of a hockey rink, complete with lines, faceoff circles, and Goofy in net on the pool deck. Very cool.

While all of this took little more than a half hour, J-Mav was already complaining abou this legs hurting. I was thinking I was going to be in for a long day! So we hopped in the car and backtracked to the All-Star Sports Resort. Apparently the three-minute car ride rejuvinated J-Mav's legs because he ran around the sports-themed resort with no trouble (and no memory that his legs hurt). We saw ginormous footballs, huge baseball bats and balls, very large basketball hoops, and humungous tennis rackets. There was also a big football field, with regulation goal posts. J-Mav showed off some of his moves (with a phantom football).

From there we journeyed down Buena Vista Blvd. to Downtown Disney. We shopped; we checked out the Lego sculptures (J-Mav didn't see there was a whole Lego store, and I didn't mention it); we tried to eat lunch at T-Rex Cafe after more complaining about tired legs, but J-Mav was scared of the animatronic dinosaurs, so we opted for the tamer Earl of Sandwich instead; he rode a carousel; I did some damage on the credit card at the Christmas Shoppe; we tried on goofy (and Goofy) hats and took pictures; and we just hung out and had fun.

From there we decided to ride around on the monorail and check things out. In hindsight, I should've just parked at the Contemporary Resort and gotten on the monorail there. However, I had it in my head to go to Fort Wilderness for some reason. So we went there. We took a bus to boat dock, and a boat to the Contemporary. We got on the monorail and did the loop (Contemporary Resort - Transportation Center - Polynesian Resort - Grand Floridian Resort - Magic Kingdom). When we got back to the Contemporary, we decided we'd switch monorails and do the Epcot loop, too. So we stayed on for one more stop (Transportation Center) and waited for the other monorail. J-Mav thought Spaceship Earth at Epcot was awesome. Wait until he finds out there's a ride inside!

While the Epcot loop seemed like a good idea at the time, when we were done, we still had to switch monorails, ride around the entire loop back to the Contemporary Resort, walk down to the boat dock, take the boat across to Fort Wilderness, and hop on the bus to the front of the campground. All of that riding around took most of the afternoon -- but I think I'm now an expert in Disney Transportation in just one day!

We stopped in the trading post at the campground and grabbed milk and some frozen chicken nuggets for dinner (which J-Mav ate ALL of... 20 of them... I think he's growing). I had promised J-Mav he could go swimming. By the time we got down to the pool at the condo, it was pushing 6pm, and the wind had picked up during the day. So while J-Mav seemed comfortable in a pool that is heated to about 80 degrees, I was sitting on the pool deck in two sweatshirts, wrapped in a beach towel!

Now we're in for the night (at least until we have to go to the airport to pick up Hubby and Keeper Boy), and watching a Scooby Doo movie. Good day! The real fun starts tomorrow...
Meanwhile in Niagara Falls...
The boys won their game this morning, ensuring them a spot in the championship game this afternoon. They played for the championship against the only team they hadn't beat in the rest of the tournament, giving Keeper Boy another shot at them since he was in net for the game they tied. Long story short, they won the game 7-1 (and the championship!)! A great weekend for the team. :) So now Keeper Boy and Hubby are en route. It sounds like both of them were hoping to snooze on the plane.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Disney Adventure - Day 2

Travel/arrival day. Alas, no special abilities from staying at the Holiday Inn Express last night.

We left at 8:30 this morning and jumped back on I-95. We drove. And drove. And drove. And then drove some more. We did make a few quick stops for gas and potty breaks, and a longer stop for lunch. J-Mav told me a few hours into our jaunt that he was "as hungry as 10 elephants." When he upped it to 12 elephants, I figured I'd better stop or I'd be broke feeding him before we ever made it to Disney. With the elephants fed, we kept going and made it to the resort around 4pm. Once we crossed into FL (around lunchtime), I was thrilled to discover it was warm enough to have the windows open. Low 70s.

We got our room keys -- 8244G and 8244H. We found our building (the resort is fairly big) and went up to the second floor. The first door we came to was 8244G. We went in and I was SERIOUSLY disappointed. It was a small hotel room with a mini-fridge and a mini-microwave -- not the two-bedroom, two-bathroom "condo" with full kitchen and living room I was expecting. So we decided to check out 8244H. Much better. Full kitchen, dining room, living room, bedroom, and large bath with huge jacuzzi tub. When the adjoining room doors are open, it's the nice two-bed, two-bath we were expecting. Crisis averted.

Watched some of the Eagles game while bringing up the stuff from the car and unpacking some. J-Mav really wanted to go to the pool and I couldn't really say no since he's been so good for the last two days of sitting in the car, so I left just as the Eagles started actually playing like they might want to go to the Superbowl. We stayed at the pool for about a half hour. J-Mav had a blast. I was cold. It wasn't so warm after the sun went down. :-( But, it's still way warmer than home! We made it back upstairs for the last two or so minutes of the game. A disappointing end to the Eagles' season.

I made us hot dogs and macaroni & cheese for dinner, and then we watched not one, but TWO, episodes of Hole in the Wall. J-Mav gets a kick out of that show. And I was pleasantly surprised to find I have a wireless connection (albeit a weak one) here in the condo. We were supposed to have to go to a common area to get a signal. Bonus!

Glad to be here. Nice to know I don't have to sit in the car all day tomorrow, though we don't really have a plan... We'll figure that out tomorrow. Maybe Downtown Disney...
Meanwhile in Niagara Falls...
The kids tied their game this morning 3-3 after coming back from a 3-1 deficit. They are currently in first place going into tomorrow morning's game. After the game, Hubby, J-Mav, and the dad and teammate they are hanging with for the weekend headed to Toronto for a trip to an equipment store called Goalie Heaven (sounds promising for goalie equipment) and the team tour of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Haven't talked to them yet tonight, but Hubby sent me a very cool picture of Keeper Boy at the HHOF on my cell phone this afternoon. Looked like he was having a good time. :-)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Disney Adventure - Day 1

Travel day. J-Mav and I pulled out of the driveway at 10:35am. We made it to Manning, SC -- exit 119 on I-95 -- about two hours north of the Georgia border. Not too bad. I could've actually gone further, but J-Mav was ready to stop after being so good all day, and I was hungry. So we stopped.

We checked into a Holiday Inn Express with a non-functioning bathroom light and a heating system that seems to only work at sauna-like levels. So, while I may not be able to see while I do my business, and I may be dehydrated in the morning (which may make the bathroom light issue a moot point), I just might find myself with an extraordinary, new ability when I wake up. (ala "... but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.")

J-Mav did GREAT today; my new FM tuner/transmitter thing worked perfectly and allowed me to jam to my iPod tunes through the car radio; we stopped at the adomination that is South of the Border and stretched our legs for a bit; and there was no vomitting.

THAT, my friends, is an excellent day of travel. :-)

Meanwhile, in Niagara Falls...
J-Mav and Hubby arrived safely in Niagara Falls last evening. J-Mav's hockey team is playing in a tournament there this weekend. Last night they took in a Buffalo State University hockey game. This morning was THEIR first game, and they won 7-1. They had the afternoon and evening free today, and Hubby and J-Mav (along with the dad and teammate they went up with) went to a hockey equipment store, ate lunch at the restaurant where Buffalo wings originated, saw Niagara Falls, and ventured into Canada for dinner. Busy day! Their next game is tomorrow morning (early: 7:15am), with the rest of the day free. The entire team is headed to Toronto after the game for a private tour of the Hockey Hall of Fame. How cool is that?


Someone should tell the Department of Transportation that the markers planted every tenth of a mile -- or even the ones that are planted every half mile -- along very l o n g and very boring interstates do nothing to make the trip go any faster. Quite the contrary.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Of little interest to anyone but me...

My "friends" total on Facebook is now well over 100 people. In general, I haven't been picky about friending people. If someone sends me a request and I know who that person is, I accept. If I stumble across someone I knew or know now, I sometimes send a friend request. But I don't want to be one of those people who is "friends" with every single person I've ever spoken a word to in my life.

I went through this morning and purged most of the friend connections who are current co-workers of mine. I just don't think they necessarily need to be linked to me on Facebook. I kept a few of them.

I would say that were it not for Facebook, I wouldn't be in touch with at least 2/3 of these people I am "friends" with. However, it's nice to check in on their pages, see their pictures, and see what they're up to. It's addicting, actually. This being the year of my 20th high school reunion fuels my curiosity, as well. But I rarely look at more than half the people I'm friends with. So maybe someday soon I'll do some more purging. We'll see.

For now, I scrolled through my friend list (after the small purge) this morning and broke it down out of curiosity.
  • People from high school: 60 [of those, 38 were in my graduating class of 174... combine that with the ones I haven't connected with yet, and more than 25% of my graduating class is on Facebook!]
  • People from college: 16
  • People from my first job out of college: 38
  • People from my second job out of college: 3
  • People from my third (current) job out of college: 5
  • People I am related to: 13
  • People I know through one of John's hockey teams: 6
  • People I know b/c they married, dated, or are dating friends/family: 6
  • People who don't fit into any of the above categories: 8

Nothing to be gleaned from these numbers. Just interesting. It's especially telling that I'm linked to so many people from the smallish Internet start-up I worked for when I graduated. Regardless of Facebook, I actually keep in touch with and see (some more than others) about 10 of those 38 people. Considering it's been 13 years since the company was sold and "the band broke up," that's kind of astonishing and speaks volumes about the kinds of people who worked there and the relationships that were forged.

OK. That's all.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I learned several random things over the weekend...
  • The Eagles CAN find a way to win, even when it's not pretty.
  • One of my uncles played ice hockey (goalie) in high school and college.
  • Traffic-wise, the drive to my parents' new house is much better than the drive to the old one.
  • Some people in my family can't drink like they used to in college. ;-P
  • I needed a short break from being "Mommy," but I was definitely ready to resume that role after said break.
  • My mom, my sister-in-law, and I apparently wear approximately the same size... at least in tops -- which actually came in quite handy.
  • You just can't get as excited while listening to a hockey game on the radio in the car as you can while watching it on TV or seeing it in person... you might drive off the road.
  • Making fun of my "little brother" never gets old.
  • My cousin who got married this weekend looked just like my aunt, and by extension, like a young version of my grandmother -- beautiful and amazing women, all.
  • Some Giants fans have no sense of humor.
  • There will always be something to fix or instruct about with regard to my parents' computer when I visit.
  • I still don't like champagne.


This morning while applying my mascara...

Ya know mom, there's a metal thing on TV that sticks your eyelashes up. You should get one.

Great. Now I'm getting makeup advice from my five-year-old. Boy.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The one about my cousins...

Have I ever mentioned how much I love my cousins? Not just because they're family and I HAVE to like them... I genuinely love my cousins and enjoy spending time with them. We don't all see each other nearly often enough, and that probably amplifies my enjoyment of the time I do get to spend with them... and makes me want to see them more often. I saw almost all of my cousins on my dad's side of the family this weekend at my youngest cousin's wedding. We sat together at the kid's table. I guess we'll never get away from it. But we had a great time catching up and it just made me want to see them more often.

My parents and my aunts and uncles (on both sides of the family) did a wonderful thing while we were all growing up. They got us all together, at the very least, for all of us kids' birthdays. On my dad's side of the family, there were seven of us. Some of us had birthdays fairly close together and I think those celebrations were combined, but all those birthdays still allowed us to get together several times every year. On my mom's side of the family, there are only four of us, and we all got together several times a year, too. In a way it was easier with mom's side of the family because we had to coordinate with only one other family, as opposed to two other familes, for get-togethers. But it worked on both sides of the family, and I grew up KNOWING my cousins, not just knowing who they were. I honestly don't know a lot of people today who can say that.

We are a diverse group. Of the original cousins (not counting those that have since married into the family), I am the oldest on both sides of the family . Oddly, the youngest on both sides is also female, with boys in between on both sides -- two on my mom's side; five on my dad's. Three of my cousins, as well as my brother and I, are now married, and another is in a long-term relationship. So there are six more cousins in the crew now, bringing the total to 12 on my dad's side of the family; seven on my mom's.

We range in age from 25 to 38. Our chosen professions are all over the spectrum -- publications manager/editor, insurance underwriter, dock supervisor (unfortunately, currently unemployed), student (soon to be medical billing/coding specialist), radio big whig, actor/boring day job toiler, actress/life-sucking day job survivor, corporate communications professional, chemical engineer (I think), waiter/cook, teacher, train route scheduler (I think that's what the newest official addition to the cousins does... something for Amtrak, anyway), sheet metal genious, another teacher, and a journalist. I think we are all successful at what we do and, for the most part, enjoy it as well. We are spread out across five states -- New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Texas.

Where am I going with this post? I don't know. Nowhere, really. I just spent a lot of time thinking about how awesome my cousins are when I was driving home from my parents house yesterday (after the Eagles beat the Giants... Woooo!!) and how I don't think in this day and age that it's necessarily normal to (a) KNOW all of your cousins, (b) actually LIKE ALL of your cousins, and (c) make a concerted effort to keep in touch with said cousins (email and Facebook help a lot!). I just felt like I wanted to write about it... and for those of you who are reading this, I love you and I'm so glad I'm related to you. :)

It's easier to see some of my cousins than others. My youngest cousin on my mom's side of the family, and her hubby, live very close to my parents. I actually saw them for breakfast yesterday morning, which was great! Her brother doesn't live as close, but I see him about once a year and I keep up with him through his sister and my aunt. I see the cousin that is the new bride and her hubby a few times a year -- either Thanksgiving or Christmas, and usually at the shore over the summer. Same with her older brother. The NY/NJ cousins I've seen more in the past five months than in the past few years because of family weddings. Logistically it's harder to see them, BUT I do keep in touch more with them via Facebook. We've vowed to try to see each other more often going forward. One thing seems clear -- it appears that no matter how old we get, you'll always find us together at the kids' table. But that's okay. It's fun there. :-)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Even Spiderman needs his mama

As it turns out, I am related to Spiderman! To be more specific, my three-year-old nephew (JGS) is convinced that he is "Pidey" (or Peter Parker, depending on his mood), although since leaving our house he is also quite into being Superman. But this post is about Pidey...

Pidey arrived at our house with his mom (Jenrie), his dog (S-dog), and his grandma (my MIL; Hubby's mom) the Monday night before Christmas. They stayed with us until the morning of the 28th and it was a wonderful week of family and fun.

As he is enamored with his older cousins (J-Mav and Keeper Boy), if any of us needed Pidey to do something, it was generally enough to ask J-Mav and/or Keeper Boy to do the same thing, and Pidey would imitate. Mission accomplished.

On some occasions, however, that didn't work with Pidey. On the other hand, statements like these did often work to distract him from potential meltdowns or accomplish tasks:
"Drink your Spidey Milk so you get big and strong."
"Use your Spidey Webs to help clean up."
"[J-Mav] and [Keeper Boy] are getting THEIR jammies on..."
"You need to go to sleep so you can get up when [J-Mav] and [Keeper Boy] get up!"

But there was one monumental force working against us all that even special Spidey powers couldn't overcome. Fatigue. Pidey is at that stage dreaded by parents everywhere: he's not really napping anymore, but he kinda still needs a nap, but if he takes a nap he doesn't go to bed at a good time, and so on. When Pidey was tired (a) it was very easy to tell, and (b) there was nothing to really be done about it. As his aunt and uncle (and not his parents), these events did provide many moments of amusement for Hubby and I.

When Pidey has hit the wall, most conversations with him are much the same. Following is a paraphrased example from a trip to Red Robin one night while they were here. Note: Pidey's lines are are verbatim. The rest is paraphrased.

Hubby: Hey [Spidey], how's your dinner?
Pidey [said in a somewhat whiney, somewhat sing-songy voice while looking away from whomever is speaking to him]: Mama
Hubby: You aren't going to finish eating?
Pidey: Mama
Me: How come you won't talk to Uncle [Hubby]?
Pidey: Mama
Hubby: I'm going to have to come over there and tickle you again.
Pidey: Mama

And on and on. It really was amusing. It was helpful in knowing when he had hit his wall though. No questions on that one.

I think I'll try that the next time I'm asked for something and I'm just too tired.


Think it'll work with the kids?

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Keeper Boy: "Mom?"

Me (as I hear J-Mav playing his newly-acquired kazoo): "Yeah, bud. What's up?"

Keeper Boy: "Should [J-Mav] be playing a kazoo that fell in the toilet?"

Me (as I'm trying not to gag and swatting Hubby, who has fallen over on the sofa laughing): "Uh, that would be a no."