Friday, July 31, 2009

Day 3

This was the day that I kept counting to make sure we were all together. Michael's cousin Brett+girlfriend, and our friend Robert+sister and two nieces joined us at Hollywood studios. We made a group of 15. We didn't move fast, but we had a lot of fun.
Riding the tram for the studio tour.
In front of the Rockin' Roller Coaster. I think this broke down with a handful of our group. Lily wasn't quite tall enough for this, so some of us went to ride the Tower of Terror. Yes, Lily went on the ride three times. It was almost more fun to watch her than the ride itself.
Jack is happy he got to "ride" this.
Not the actual Sesame Street, but it felt like it.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 2

We met up with Michael's sister and family for our vacation. Tricia is a great "cruise director" and did an excellent job moving our group through the park. It takes a bit more planning the more people involved. Fast Pass was our friend. Jack is the same age as Quinn and they can hang as any 9 year olds can. Gabrielle is great with Lily and were instant best friend again. I had to keep telling Gab to not carry Lily.
The weather in Florida is...awful. Hot, humid, with a chance of rain everyday. I started out with my hair down and quickly realized that wasn't an option. I never knew that my knee caps could sweat. It wasn't pretty.
This was the beginings of a torrential downpour. We had just ducked under the awnings for the Haunted Mansion when it started to DUMP rain. We had ponchos and a few umbrellas, but it was so wet that we were drenched no matter what. Once we got through the ride, we tried to wait it out in the Hall of Presidents and thought that we might as well watch the show. As it turns out, the Hall of Presidents is a Safety Shelter in emergencies or inclement weather. We couldn't even watch the show because they had to keep it available...just in case. I think by the time we got back to our hotel, the rain was fading.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Surprise Vacation-Day 1

No, it wasn't a surprise to us, but we did manage to surprise the kids. The only clues we gave them were that we were going to a "park". I slipped and said it was in Florida. Jack guessed that we were going to NASA, and I had to gently let him down that we weren't going there.
Jack and Emma at the Orlando Airport watching the shuttles between gates.
We started to point out all the Michey's and even then the kids weren't entirely sure we were actually going there.
If you stay on a Disney property the easiest way to get around is on the buses. Much like the subways of last years trip, Lily had a knack for falling asleep in the buses. The first night we were there we decided to ride the bus to Downtown Disney and grab dinner. After dinner we were trying to decide whether to try and walk back to our hotel or just ride the bus. Since we weren't entirely sure how to get back, we rode the bus for 25 minutes. As it turns out, we were about a five minute walk away from where we were staying.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Doctor Visits

We're going on vacation and I do NOT want to have to deal with sick kids while vacationing. When Lily said it hurt to go pee, I immediately called to set up an appointment. Luckily, nothing was wrong.

The next day we hung out and I noticed that Lily's eye was getting more swollen as the day progressed. I kept telling myself not to flip out, but when Sunday morning rolled around and Lily's eye was nearly swollen shut, I had Michael take her to Urgent Care. Once again, it wasn't anything to freak out about, it was a mosquito bite that was on her eyelid.

Jack also happened to get knocked in the eye while playing with some friends and got a black eye. Lily and Jack were quite the pair.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Back To School Time

We start school a little earlier this year. August 19th is "D" day in our district. I haven't started school supply shopping yet, but I have managed to find a few pairs of uniform slacks for Jack and Emma. For the most part, I like having the kids wear uniforms. There are no argument about what to wear in the mornings. That being said, it can get a little spendy when you *gasp* have to pay FULL price for a pair of slacks.

Emma will have a new addition to her ensemble this year. The kids are required to wear a belt when they start 2nd grade. I've been keeping my eyes peeled for a "girlish" belt that is not encrusted with sparkles and rhinestones. A plain belt is not an easy thing to find when you're looking.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Happiness is...

Happiness is....getting to go to a "paint your own" pottery place. Emma would have loved to go to the day camp that Jack is attending. I couldn't quite afford to send both, but I conned her into choosing something"special" this week. She chose to paint a princess.
The last time we did this, Emma cried when we picked up the piece after it was fired. She didn't realize what the paint looks like after. I'm crossing my fingers there are no tears this time.
Lily painted a pig. She really wanted to go crazy with the colors, but I managed to keep it to three. She did a great job covering the entire piece all by her self. I'm sure the extra layers of paint will only protect it when it gets knocked around.

Monday, July 20, 2009

You Can Do Anything With Two

I got a call last week asking if Jack could attend a day camp this week. Short notice, but the session was going to get canceled if there weren't enough participants. I wasn't planning on signing up Jack for a camp, but I thought; "I can do anything with two." Plus, I got the camp for cheap since they were slightly desperate to fill the session.

Life is supposed to be easier with two. Not so when it's Emma and Lily. I think that they double the work. They seem to thrive on fighting with each other. I might have to preemptively take Tylenol.

On the flip side, Jack will be so busy that he'll hopefully be exhausted by the time I pick him up each afternoon.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cheesecake and Roses

I have a much more romantic husband than I am. He had the forethought to order the same cheesecake that we had at our wedding and have it delivered. It would have been a total surprise if the deli hadn't called the house to confirm shipment. Still a nice surprise.

Since Michael had to work the evening of our anniversary he brought home some roses. Much more thoughtful than I was.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


When you think of your ten year wedding anniversary, do you think Harry Potter? Well, our anniversary is on Friday and Michael just happens to have to work. We managed to get a babysitter and so we're going to the movies tonight instead of Friday. Should I dress up? You know, wear the Hogwarts robes and all? Just kidding, I'm not that cool.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I have had a lot of "unbloggable" days lately. (That might be why you get far and in between posts) Sure, there have been good days mixed in with the crazy ones. I find that craziness tends to seep. I just need to find my "happy" blog moments and roll with it.

Take for instance; Yesterday Lily was playing with her friend. With makeup. Real makeup. I managed to take a picture.
I call this "Send in the Clowns".

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sparklers and Ice Cream

We got together with a few neighbors for our second annual Fourth of July fireworks. The weather wasn't cooperating and we had rainstorms in the afternoon, luckily it cleared up and we didn't have to huddle on the porch. There had been early talks about having a block party and actually closing off the street. But that would have taken a little more organizing and forethought. Maybe next year!The kids were entertained with plenty of food and sparklers. Michael got wise and stocked up on the fireworks that kept the kids busy. At the very end Jack and Emma got to throw some of the ground flowers into the street. Nothing more exciting that a small explosive being thrown.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Going to the Movies

When was the last time you went to a drive-in movie?! We were invited to go with some friends to a drive-in that is about 40 minutes away. We saw Ice Age 3. Lily ended up falling asleep on the way there and woke up just as we were leaving. Jack and Emma loved the experience.

Going to the drive-in takes a little more prep than going to the regular theater. Sleeping bags, pillows, treats, drinks, bug repellent, ...I guess the list can be as long you want it. We did not get a spot next to a squawk box, we had to rely on our radio from the truck. That did not work out as well as I hoped. Maybe next time we'll bring a radio as a backup.

You can hardly beat going to the movies for $16. The last movie we went to see as a family (Up) it was around $52. Yikes! Of course, the kids have been enjoying the "free" kid's movies that the theaters offer during the Summer.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Long Ride Home

The good thing about vacations is going some place. The bad part...the long ride home. I was definitely looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, but the thought of six hours in the car was a bit daunting. I was prepared enough to have plenty of snacks for the kids. However, I finished my "vacation" book the night before. Nothing makes a car ride longer than not having anything to read.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Train Travel

We decided to take an 1880 train from Hill City to Keystone. The ride is about an hour long (each way). It was a last minute decision to go and we needed to drive from Mount Rushmore to Hill City. After the cave excursion I wanted to go back to Rushmore and look around a bit more. We ended up seeing the Sculptor's Studio which had a 1/12 scale of the mountain and faces. Michael then took the kids to have ice cream while I looked at another exhibit.

In a case of miscommunication, he waited for me on one of the patios and I was at the car. We weren't sure that we were going to make the last train of the day but we three minutes. We pulled in the parking lot at the train station and were the last ones on the train.
We ended up in the car right behind the engine. There are advantages and disadvantages to this seating arrangement. You get to hear the engine, see the steam come out, and hear the whistle REALLY well. The train whistles every time it crosses the road. We must have serpentined the road twenty times. A factoid about the train whistle. It blows two long, a short, and then another long. This harkens back to when the Queen's boat would enter or leave the harbor and would whistle the same pattern giving it the right of passage. Anyhow, when we rode the train back, we sat in last row of the last car. Much more enjoyable.

Tight Spaces Amazing Places

When Michael was researching our trip, he found this cave to go and visit. This is the second biggest cave in North America with 146 miles of caves discovered *so far*. As an added bonus, if you'd like to try spelunking, they offer tours to those 16 and older. The catch is that you have to fit in an 8 1/2 inch opening.
Michael made a reservation to go spelunking, but he wound up with a bruised chest when he tried to go through the cement torture device. I could have taken his spot, but I'm a little to claustrophobic to think that something like that is fun. The kids had to show off and slide through the opening like it was nothing to them.

As it turned out, I was happy that Michael went on the "Scenic Tour" with me and the three kids. We climbed about 725 stairs and took an hour and a half to see parts of the cave. I liked taking the tour, but we practically had epileptic seizures due to all the people taking pictures with their flash on. I swear that we would turn around and a flash would blind us. It probably didn't help that we didn't have lunch until we were done with the tour. Low blood sugar is not a good thing when you're traveling.