Saturday, December 29, 2007

No crazier than usual.

4 witty remarks
First of all, if you aren't reading A Dress A Day, you probably should be, even if you don't sew. I got hooked on that blog before I had sewn a stitch; it's just a fun read. Also, both the blogger and her commenters often post images and links of beautiful, gorgeous vintage dress patterns. I've drooled over them many a time, but I've never been tempted to buy one (the ones that are for sale) because I don't know the first thing about vintage sewing and I already have a huge stash of patterns (I like to stock up when Hobby Lobby has them for 99 cents).

And then I saw this:
I think that may be, actually, the perfect dress pattern. And it's my size (or, anyway, close enough to my size that I should be able to alter it to fit). And look, it has pockets! I'm always and forever adding pockets to my dresses so that I have somewhere to stash my Chap Stick. Sooo... I bought it off the internet and it's now happily sitting in my stash. Where it will probably sit for a long time. You may notice that a) this is not a maternity dress and b)it's a wrap dress that wraps closed in the back, so there's no conceivable way to nurse a baby while wearing it. Which is okay, that gives me a lot of time to trace the pattern and fit a muslin and find the absolutely perfect fabric.

Speaking of fabric, I went to JoAnn's the other day to see if they had gotten anything new in. They had. I counted at least 20 bolts of Alexander Henry, which you may have noticed by now, is my very very favorite brand of fabric. (And I like to rub it in for my mom, because her JoAnn's never gets the good stuff. Nyah nyah and all that.) I've been toying with the idea of making the New Look wrap dress to wear after the baby is born (this dress actually opens in the front, and I like wrap dresses, they are very forgiving of post-baby figures) and I thought, What if I make it with a different fabric on the top & the bottom? I love the idea of coordinating prints (If you don't believe me, come and look at all of my scrapbook paper) but also, I don't want to look totally crazy. I consulted with my mother and she gave her blessing with the caveat that if I use a smaller print on top and a larger one on the bottom, then I won't look crazy. Or at least, no crazier than usual.

So, this is what I got: Alexander Henry 'Bangle Dots' for the top

and 'Kleo' for the bottom. (The picture doesn't do the fabric justice, by the way. Those flowers are ginormous.) And then I got a sort of mulberry red quilters' cotton for the contrast bands. I did a test layout to figure the yardages before I went to the store, and I found out I actually used less fabric by cutting it that way. The pattern calls for 3.5 yards of the main fabric and I only had to get 3 (1 for the top and 2 for the bottom) because of the way that the pieces are laid out when you're cutting. I was pretty happy about that, since I was paying $6 a yard for the fabric and I really prefer to get it for $4 or $5. So yesterday, I went in my "sewing room" and did a whole lot of cutting. Because I finally also got around to tracing the Kwik Sew maternity dress pattern I got back in... October? I should probably sew that one first, don't you think? And then because I was on a roll, I cut out the pieces for the wrap dress as well. I have it all laid out on my table so I could see if it looks crazy, and it doesn't, except for crazy hot maybe.

In other news, we've had sort of a major crisis around here. Porter has lost both of his Baseball Guys. It was weird because he had them in the living room, with the gate up and the basement door closed, and they are both gone. I mean, we turned the whole house upside down last night looking for these things, and we've seen neither hide nor ratty yarn hair of them. It's very weird. My poor son had to cry himself to sleep last night because he didn't have his necessary comfort objects. I even went to Kohls last night and bought a third Baseball Guy for him but he threw it across the room, so I guess that wasn't okay. I gave him his Swedish Chef doll from Disneyworld and he slept with that, eventually. I mean, I know it's a rite of passage and he would have had to give up the Guys eventually and all that, but still, it kind of stinks that the things just disappeared.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Just a few...

2 witty remarks
Christmas morning pictures to share. Enjoy!

Actually, I find it really hard to get good pictures on Christmas morning. I think it's a combination of the early-morning light (not too early - my kids love me), the Christmas tree, and a lot of action. I always face the dilemma of flash vs. no flash. Use the flash, and I get red eyes, weird shadows, and photos that look like they were taken underwater or possibly at midnight. No flash, and I get dark grainy photos but at least we don't all look washed out. I tend to err on the side of no flash. I had to edit the heck out of these pictures before I couldven consider sharing: I jacked up the fill light & highlights, changed to black & white, cropped, and added a 'glow' (and you thought my children were like that naturally).

I suspect that the answer to my dilemma is to get a better camera. My $150 point-and-shoot probably isn't doing much to help the situation. And I am using Picasa (which is free) to edit the pictures afterwards, instead of Photoshop (which is a couple hundred dollars). But... I'm sure it's shocking to admit this as a scrapbooker, but I don't really have a huge desire to improve my photography all that much. I tend to view it as only one piece of the puzzle and as long as I have good design and relevant journaling, I can get by on so-so photography. Plus, I would have changed these pictures into B&W no matter how good they are... the kids' pajamas totally don't match my scrapbook papers.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The most wonderful time of the year

2 witty remarks

Today is Christmas Eve - my favorite day out of all 365. You'd think that someone as Christmas-obsessed as I am would list Christmas actual Day as my favorite... but no. Christmas Day means that the Christmas season is over and there's no more anticipation, and that's always been my favorite part. The planning, the wrapping, the ridiculous amount of cookie-baking. I love it even more now that I have kids, because I get all the fun on my own behalf PLUS I get to witness it on the faces of my children. And I think we really outdid ourselves this year. I'd better make sure Matt charges the battery for the video camera.

I've been busy busy busy the last few days - but in a good way. On Friday night we went to see Santa down at the courthouse square. Betsy was a little scared but not too scared, whereas Porter climbed right up on the old man's lap and didn't want to get down. And if you ask him what Santa says, Porter goes, "Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!" It's really cute. On Saturday I went to Meijer for the ham and stopped in the post office as well. Nothing like mailing things 3 days before Christmas! But it wasn't any presents, it was some layouts that Scrapbook Trends requested. (I've really been on a roll lately! I actually have six layouts out for publication right now, which is some kind of freakish personal record. I was on the fence about entering Hall of Fame but now I think I will, just to see if my luck holds!) And the post office was mobbed but fortunately I was able to use the kiosk - one of the few times using the self-serve has actually saved me time.

Sunday, we did all the music at church. I sang in two somgs with the choir and played flute for a third. I haven't played my flute for a long, long time, but when we were looking at the choir pieces for the holidays and one had a flute part written for it... well, before I knew what had happened, my large mouth had opened and I'd volunteered myself. I'm a little surprised that there aren't 1,000 girls in the ward who play flute - that seems to be a very popular instrument. But it wasn't like they really needed me to sing, anyway, since our choir is about half sopranos. And with a little practice, I was surprised at how quickly everything came back to me. I think it turned out pretty good.

Porter told his nursery leaders, "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!" Have I ever mentioned that my son is way too into pop culture?

We had Betsy's favorite dinner - chicken pie and lemoname (it used to be called lemonabe) - and I let the kids watch the Charlie Brown special a couple of times. (One of my roommates gave me the tape when I was in college. Probably the most useful gift I've ever been given.) You've gotta love the touching holiday story of a boy named Caillou (I guess one bald-headed kid is as good as the next) and his dog Snoofy. My mother called me last night (on our new phone. Thanks Mom!) to brag about her fudge success and as it happened, I was in the middle of making a batch myself.

Despite all of my good planning, I still have to run a few more errands today. The paper pad I got for Betsy absolutely dwarfs her easel, so I've gotta go back to Michaels. And the 2-liter of root beer I got for us to drink tonight has somehow totally and completely disappeared. But, it shouldn't be too bad as long as I only have to get 2 things and I don't have to bring the kids with me... as long as I can find a parking space. We got some new board games to play with the kids tonight (I'm hoping that Hi-Ho Cherry-O isn't beyond their comprehension, let alone attention span) and we'll eat cheese balls and meat stick and crackers and do the nativity story. Which reminds me, I have to go dig up the Fisher Price sheep out of the basement...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


9 witty remarks
We went down to the Children's Museum today for their Christmas exhibit. Also, dinosaurs. We actually went last week but had to leave early because of a poop incident. (Note to self: keep spare diapers in the van at ALL times.) Since I don't have seminary this week (HOORAY) we decided we might as well just go again. The kids had a really good time and Porter helpfully pointed out all of the stop signs between here and 30th & Meridian.

In the car I discovered that one of the local high school radio stations was playing Christmas music all day. (There's actually another station that's been playing holiday music since October, but it's mostly the cheesy stuff that I can't stand. I haven't decided which is worse, "Do They Know It's Christmas" or "Wonderful Christmastime.") Anyway, they played the Muppets version of 12 Days of Christmas, which got the kids (okay, me) all excited. Now, it's not like I haven't listened to the album eleventy-jillion times since the day after Thanksgiving. But still, hearing it on the radio was like running into an old friend unexpectedly. And, it's always nice to know that there are other people who love that album too. The kids love trying to identify the Muppet voices and I like to wail along, "FIVE... GOOOO-OOOLD... RIIIIINGS!" And, don't ask me why "Badum-pum-pum" is legitimate song-writing while "Parum-pum-pum-pum" is not acceptable. (Yes, I have inherited my father's bias against 'The Little Drummer Boy.' Dad, can you explain in exactly seventeen syllables why that is a horrible song?)

When I'm not listening to the radio in the car, I play my CD of the Messiah. Porter really likes the 'ayayooya' part.

I'm still baking cookies like a madwoman. Someone on an NCIS site posted the recipe for those cookies Laura Nielsen always made - the ones with the stripe of jam down the middle. I picked up some raspberry jam today (seedless, because that's the only way Matt will eat it; I prefer it with seeds) and I'm going to make some tonight, hopefully. I also made spinach dip today for Matt's work party and I started truffles, although I probably won't finish those until tomorrow. There's a lot of chilling involved, which is probably a metaphor for something.

I'm having issues with my maternity pants lately. I don't like the ones with the old-school belly pocket in the front, because my shirts aren't long enough to cover it and I think visible belly pouch is a huge faux pas. But, the ones with the elastic all the way around the waist keep falling off my hips (what, they aren't BIG ENOUGH TO HOLD UP MY PANTS??!!) and I'm always hiking them up. I'm starting to feel like Matt Foley. And I wanna live in a van down by the river.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

So far, so good!

8 witty remarks
We have been married SEVEN YEARS today.

And notice the huge piles of snow standing all around. Who was the genius that decided we should go up to CHICAGO to get married... in DECEMBER??? Actually, we could have driven south to Louisville, but we chose the Chicago temple because my grandpa is a sealer there, so he married us. Also, my sister-in-law's parents used to live like ten minutes away from the temple, so Matt and his family members stayed there the night before the wedding. It wasn't actually snowing when we got married... we tied the knot at ten in the morning (probably would have been sooner if Matt's car keys hadn't gotten stuck in the ignition. I can't wait to watch the video with the kids this evening!), had lunch at the Macaroni Grill with the families, went back to the sister-in-law's parents' house to change out of our wedding clothes, started driving back to Indiana... and then the snow started. I remember being all nervous and thinking, "Well, if I die, at least I got married first, right?"

But we didn't die. And to commemorate the event, we got a huge blizzard last night and this morning. I never heard if church was cancelled or not but we didn't go... couldn't even get out of the driveway. Although later our neighbor... snowblew? snowblowed? snowblowered?... cleared our driveway with his snowblower, which was nice. I made biscuits for breakfast, Matt made some hot chocolate, and then we all piled in the bed with the kids and played pirates. Arrrgh. And I thought, Yeah, I wouldn't mind spending eternity with these people.

So anyway, seven years, I think it's a good-luck number... or possibly bad-luck. I prefer to look on the bright side. We haven't been married long enough that our towels are starting to fray... I think they were really good towels to begin with. Although I replaced one of the sets of sheets this summer. I was lucky enough to get a massive set of silverware from my grandmother - she collects Betty Crocker points - so I think we will never need to buy another utensil as long as we live. Especially not spoons. It was really nice when everyone came for Thanksgiving, we used paper plates but we didn't have to go with plastic cutlery (which I hate).

Betsy said that our house is called a castle and actually, I think she's right. (She's very keen on royalty lately. You will address me as 'Queen Mommy,' thank you very much.) Granted, the castle is a little bit messy at the moment. The floors are crumby, the stairs need to be vacuumed, the sheets are popping off the corners of our mattress and I took the slipcovers off the sofas two weeks ago to wash them and I still haven't put them back on, but it is a castle none the less.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


3 witty remarks
So, Betsy said to me the other day, "I petending to be a grownup!" Then she thought for a minute and said, "I still have a long time to be a kid."

Boy, don't I wish that was actually true.

When I was buying the paint for Betsy's room before Thanksgiving, I saw a pack of princess wall decals and they were less than ten bucks - I always thought stuff like that cost more. So I picked them up and last night, when Betsy was sleeping, I decorated her walls with princesses. (This only worked because Betsy sleeps the sleep of the dead. I don't think I could get away with that for Porter - he's more like me and actually can be awakened by things like a herd of elephants stampeding through his bedroom.) So, this morning when I was trying to get my extra hour of sleep after teaching seminary, "Why my walls have princesses on them?" repeated A THOUSAND TIMES AT FIFTY THOUSAND DECIBELS. (The word of the month, by the way, is Why.) So I kicked Matt awake so he could go explain to her that the princesses are there because we like her, and it's her birthday. And I went back to sleep until it was time to go make the frosting for her cake.

We had to open gifts before Matt left for work. (If it seems weird to be eating cake at 10:30 in the morning... believe me, you get used to it.) I got Betsy two more DVD's of Charlie and Lola: Vol. 5 "But I AM an alligator!" and Vol. 6 "How many more minutes until CHRISTMAS?" Betsy shows signs of becoming a Yulephile like me, so she was really excited about the Christmas one. (Which also features the episode I do not ever want my wobbly tooth to fall out, which I think is timely because Betsy has a wobbly tooth of her VERY OWN.) That's what she was so happy about in the first picture.

And in the second picture, Betsy is unwrapping her heart's desire... an Island Princess Barbie, "the one with wings like a heecop." (Porter calls her 'Barbie Iyyand.' He knows a lot about girl stuff. He'll make a great husband someday.) Actually, she's been telling us that Santa was going to bring her a Barbie so I'm hoping she won't be all upset that she got it a whole twelve days ahead of schedule. I mean, the only difference is the wrapping paper, right? She's been over-the-moon happy with her new toy. Once I extricated Barbie from the 56,798 little twisty ties holding her into place, Betsy's been brushing her hair and gently stroking the heecop wings and pushing the little stone on her necklace: Barbie sings two songs from the DVD. Yeah, I bought a noise-making toy for my kid. But the batteries probably won't last that long.

Matt's mom got Betsy this neat princess art kit. She brought it when they visited in early October: we theorize that she actually bought it sometime in January or February. It has a DVD to show you how to draw the princesses, and a book where you can trace the princesses with a dry-erase marker, and it came with stickers and glitter-glue too. As soon as Porter went to bed, Betsy attacked.


Actually, she likes anything art-related (don't tell, but Santa is bringing an easel! ssshh!) so this was definitely up her alley. I was pretty pleased: she really seemed thrilled with her presents.

There was definitely some Cake Angst, though. When it came time to blow out the candles she didn't get them all at once, and I think she hadn't realized that they smoke a little after they go out. Which resulted in this.

I think maybe she was afraid her hair was going to catch on fire or something? Bless her little heart. So I leaned across the table and blew extra hard and together we got the candles out. All five of them.

sneaky peeky!

5 witty remarks
Will post for real later... but I just wanted to share these. See, she DOES smile sometimes... just not AT the camera!

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 6, 2007

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

8 witty remarks
I had a birthday yesterday. I am now a number divisible by 7 years old. We started off the day by getting dumped with snow; I made it to seminary only to find out that the schools are on a 2-hour delay (we don't do seminary when there's a delay). Apparently, the school districs announce their closings at 6 a.m., and I have to leave for seminary at 5:40 (earlier if there's snow). So, this could potentially happen a lot over the next couple of months. It's all good, though; I still got to go home and go back to sleep.

Porter wasn't feeling too well yesterday either. He was up the night before coughing and wheezing. Matt actually slept in his room (the noise doesn't bother him as much) just to make sure he didn't, I don't know, stop breathing or anything. So I took him to the doctor, and she gave him some drugs and I think he'll be all right, he's still having a hard time but he hasn't in any way stopped being the little monster that we all know and love. Anyway, since I was out I did a bunch more errands, such as picking up snowboots for the kids.

Matt always complains about having to get me a birthday AND a Christmas gift in the same month, so I usually take pity on him and make a big list of all the things that have caught my eye. He didn't use the list this time around so I was a little worried: was I going to get a coupon for an oil change and a dozen personalized spatulas? Fortunately, after 7 years my husband knows me pretty well. He got a blank book from Target and he and the kids filled it out with all of the things they love about me, and interspersed it with gift cards to various locations. (For example: "We love you because you smell nice" and a gift card to Bath & Body Works, because I LOVE their lotions.)

Anyway, one of the GC's was to Target so I could get a CD and/or a DVD, since I am the media junkie in our family. (Well, and Porter is too.) Target is located right by the pediatrician's office - hooray! - so I popped in to see what I could get. (I may have also picked up some little baby girl clothes while I was in there. What? They were 75% off.) Anyway, I got the Sarah Maclachlan Christmas CD which I've had my eye on for a while, and the 20th anniversary DVD of The Princess Bride.

Now, I know it may seem inconceivable, but I actually hadn't watched that movie in a couple of years. In the family I grew up in TPB is practically an institution; I'm not sure you can have a family gathering without someone quoting it eventually. (Granted, some of my family members may belong in an institution but that's another matter altogether.) I put the movie on for the kids when we got home and they loved it almost immediately. Betsy's scared of the Fire Swamp part, so I just skip it with the remote. She's convinced that it's a movie about a princess and some pirates, and she spent a good part of yesterday afternoon clomping around in her new pink snowboots because apparently that's what pirates wear. And she's said "Inconceivable!" six or seven times already. Porter's actually the one who inherited the Movie Nerd Gene so I suspect that he'll have the movie memorized by the time he's seven years old.

So yeah, in spite of lame weather and a sick little boy, it was a pretty good birthday. And with all the snow on the ground, Matt took the kids out this morning and played in the yard. Betsy makes a cute snow angel.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Two weddings and a mission. Also, 39 takes.

8 witty remarks
I went for my ultrasound today. Actually this is the fourth time I've had an ultrasound on this pregnancy - for various reasons, we've done a lot of peeking - but this is the first time we've been able to see the really interesting bits.

Fortunately at least when it came to that part, she cooperated. Yes, I said she. We're having another little girl! I'm really excited about that, even if I've been saying a boy would be more convenient for logistical reasons. Because I get to have another girl! Betsy really, really wants a baby sister. Every day she tells me that we can name the girl baby Cutie Pie and she can share all her princess toys with her sister. It's nice to be able to give Betsy what she wants every once in a while. Porter doesn't seem to have an opinion, or maybe he doesn't voice it as strongly - but I'm not really convinced that he even knows there's a baby growing in there. (I still have a lap, and I'm likely to have one for the entire pregnancy. One of the benefits of being five-foot-seven. So, I think it's pretty easy for my son to ignore the pregnancy if he tries hard enough.)

What we figured out, then, is that we're on the hook for two weddings and at least one mission. Also, I'm really glad that I learned how to sew because that's twice as many prom dresses I'm going to have to come up with. It doesn't bother me all that much that most of the baby clothes I have carefully packed away in my basement are now useless (Betsy is the wrong season and Porter is the wrong gender. Which would be fine for a seasonally inappropriate cross-dresser, but otherwise no.) I've already picked up a few girl baby outfits, on clearance (is there any other way?), on the theory that I could always return them if I had to. But I've kind of suspected all along that it would be a girl. I came away with an armload of clothes at the last Half Price Goodwill Day on Saturday, along with a baker's dozen of onesies. Since this is our third child, our onesies are pretty much trashed, especially because we got them second-hand to begin with. (I mean, we got the onesies second hand. The kids were brand new.)

This is the best picture of her face we were able to get - the ultrasound tech had to go for a side view because wouldn't you know it, she was blocking her face with her arm. She reminded me of nothing so much as a celebrity ducking the paparazzi. "No photographs, please!" And despite all the kicking she did during the whole session, that little arm would. not. budge. I wasn't too stressed about it, though. I think at this point I can make at least an educated guess as to what my child is going to look like. The only burning question is will she have light blond hair (like Porter) or slightly darker blond hair (like Betsy)?

Anyway, not being photogenic seems to run in our family. I tried to take a Christmas card photo last night - after 39 takes, I finally had to cut my losses and stop torturing the kids.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Annual Fudge Rant

5 witty remarks
I like to think of myself as a relatively accomplished person. I've had scrapbook layouts published, I taught myself how to sew, I can make ten different varieties of Christmas cookies without even batting an eye. And yet there is one goal that continues to elude my squatty-thumbed grasp.


I've been trying for years to duplicate my mom's Christmas fudge. It's not even a top secret recipe or anything; it's right there on the back of the jar of marshmallow fluff, the one with the insulting name of Never Fail Fudge. And I have failed it many, many times. It's boiled over or burned or failed to set and slithered off the counter top like something from a bad science fiction movie, in search of the plutonium it so desperately needs for survival. It's only in the last year or two that I've even produced something edible and even then, while the flavor is acceptable, the texture is way off.

Fudge is supposed to be smooth and melty, yielding slightly to the pressure of sticky fingers as you go for your fifth piece. Mine is coming out grainy and stiff, and it comes apart in big shaggy flakes when I try to cut it into bite-sized pieces. The most recent batch (this year's second) is the closest I've ever come: it's pretty smooth, but it still went all crumbly on the cutting board. (Matt doesn't mind. He throws the shards into his hot chocolate.)

I think I'm far too heavily invested into this project to give it up now. And it's slightly a matter of pride: I have a degree in chemistry, I should be able to handle fudge, right? I think that the problem is coming in when I add the chocolate chips to the butter-sugar-evaporated milk mixture. I've noticed that it tends to coagulate into a grainy lump, making it hard to incorporate with only the residual heat in the pan and the residual strength in my arm after stirring nonstop for about 20 minutes. (And I have no idea how my mom managed to make 2 or 3 double batches a night... the only thing I can figure is that by then, Mom had plenty of teenage helpers to aid with the stirring.)

On the other hand... I can not for the life of me find a 9x9 pan as called for by the recipe. I can only come up with 8x8 or smaller. So perhaps it's a conspiracy after all...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Does that make today Gray Saturday?

4 witty remarks
You know, because yesterday was Black Friday. Our last guests just left so I'm now finally writing my long-awaited Thanksgiving post. We had Grammie, Laura, Molly, Emily, Russell, Baby Gavin, Mike, Mandy, and Baby Miles. Plus the four of us, of course. My mom and I spent all of Wednesday cooking, plus Mom painted Betsy's room pink. We were able to get all of the pies, the cinnamon rolls, and most of the side dishes prepared ahead of time - it was still a pretty hectic Thanksgiving so I can't imagine what would have happened if I hadn't gotten a head start! But, there was plenty of food to go around and I think everyone had a pretty good time.

I made a 17-pound turkey which, surprisingly enough, didn't actually have any giblets. It was actually kind of disturbing. I pulled out the turkey neck and then I kept rooting around in there, looking for the liver and the gizzards and whatever other disgustingness is inside the turkey, and I couldn't find anything. I looked inside of it even. Apparently the good people at Archer Farms have figured out a way to grow a turkey with no internal organs.
We put all the leaves in the dining room table, even though we probably didn't really need it - we had 8 at the grownups' table and 3 at the kids' table (plus 2 babies). But it was handy to have extra room for the rolls and gravy and cranberry sauce and delicious sparkling white grape juice. And, I totally had Emily bring paper plates for the dinner because no way am I washing all those dishes.

We decided not to let Russell come back next year.
Baby Miles (that's what my kids call him and I have a hard time thinking of him as just 'Miles.' He's really going to hate me when he's a teenager) had a cute little My First Thanksgiving outfit, although you can't really see it here. But there was a turkey on the front. He was a good baby for most of the day until Mike and Mandy actually wanted to sit down for dinner. Isn't that kind of Murphy's Law for Babies? Just like they have to poop the moment you finally get the carseat buckled up and the diaper bag loaded. So, they got to take turns eating one-handed. I, meanwhile, got to use both hands to shovel food into my gaping maw because my baby still eats with an umbilical cord. Yes, I am enjoying while it lasts, why do you ask?
Here's Grammie and Molly with Baby Gavin. His favorite thing at our house is the ceiling fan. It lights up, and it spins around. What more could a little boy ask for?
The boys both have little red sweaters that Grammie hand-knitted. Miles has a red one for IU, naturally. I think Gavin's is just red because Mom already had the yarn. And, here's all of us. Well, most of us. Mandy, Russell and Matt were taking the pictures. So I guess it's really some of us because my dad stayed in Rochester, Kevin went to Catherine's place in Philadelphia, and Rob is still in Iraq. Still, it's a pretty good sized gathering of people. Unlike a lot of (normal-sized) families, we can round up ten or twelve people without breaking a sweat.
We absolutely did NOT do any shopping on Black Friday. Especially not at four o' clock in the morning. That's what sleep is for. Although I did feel for my dad who was working at Toys R Us yesterday, that must have been a madhouse. Nope, we pretty much sat around the house. Russell cooked us a fat-laden breakfast (seriously, no one can fry potatoes like Emily's husband), Matt put up Christmas lights outside (Betsy: "Oh, look! My house has a lot of sparkles on the door, and on the winnows, and on the garage!") and I put on the Muppets and baked the first official batch of chocolate cherry cookies. The first of many because those cookies are the best ever. In fact, I had my mom pick me up an industrial size vat of maraschino cherries at the wholesale club before she came out, because it's cheaper than buying them in the cute little jars that may be perfect for stocking the mini-fridge in your wet bar, but are wholly inadequate for producing the necessary amount of cookies for the holiday season. I'll probably make three or four (double) batches between now and the New Year.

In the evening, we bundled up the kids and went to see the Christmas windows, just like last year. (We thought about going down to Monument Circle to see the lighting ceremony, but I decided against it because it was a lot colder this year than last year.) Betsy really liked the one antique store with dolls in the window.

Had Steak n Shake afterwards, of course. I've managed to turn Emily into a Frisco melt convert so of course I had to have one myself. (For years I always got the same thing: Frisco melt platter and an orange freeze. I've branched out some since then. For example, the dark chocolate milkshake is heaven in a glass.) I guess there's only so much leftover turkey a person can take. Of course, we still have a lot of it left but the skinny little fries gave me a lot of fortitude to go home and make casseroles.

So: It was a good time and a nice kick off to the holiday season. Also, the Colts won!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


6 witty remarks
Did I seriously just go two weeks without updating my blog? Whoops. I hope you all don't hate me now.

Not a ton going on here, right now. The baby moves a lot, particularly when I'm laying in bed. I find it amusing now but ask me again in four more months when I can't sleep because someone's playing tetherball with my internal organs.

I had another layout picked by Scrapbook Trends - this time for an idea book about embellishments. It was one of my favorite layouts - part of my SOY entry - so I'm really glad I'll get to see it in print. And after a long dry spell, I seem to be getting a lot of publications.

Porter somehow knows all of the letters of the alphabet (upper case, at least). I've never actually tried to teach him that stuff so I don't know how he knows it - must be from TV, I guess.

I did some sewing this week: made matching Santa aprons for Betsy and me. Here's Betsy modeling hers - mine is the same only bigger and not worn by as cute of a person.
This was pretty intense on NCIS last week. Could not believe that they didn't mention it at all in this week's episode. Also, am I the only one who's incredibly nervous about the writers' strike? I don't know how long I can go without my fix.

I hate our telephone. The battery dies if you try and talk for more than 30 seconds. And I cannot figure out the deal with the paragraph breaks on Blogger. Either I get huge breaks or everything is all smooshed together. I'm tired of trying to figure it out.

I think that's everything. See? Not exciting. Next week will be, though.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Trick or Treat (mostly treat)

7 witty remarks
Ahh, Halloween. One of the Candy Holidays and therefore, one of my favorites. The kids wore the same costumes as last year (princess, zebra) and made the same faces when I tried to take their picture. Maybe next year at least one will smile, huh?

Matt worked a day shift so that he could go out with the kids. He actually did one side of the street and then I did the other. We got a pretty good haul, actually. And I made pumpkin soup for dinner - it has something like 900% of your RDA of Vitamin A (even more, because there are carrots pureed into it as well). The soup was quite delicious, especially with tiny chocolate bars for dessert.

The Halloween episode of NCIS was freakin' awesome. Go to the CBS website and watch it, if you haven't already. So much love.

The very next day, I got to take Porter to the pediatrician... he dislocated his elbow again. The same one that he popped out of joint last year. Dr Davis said that it's not super uncommon for little kids to do that - it goes by the colorfully archaic term of "nursemaid's elbow." (He's also had croup. I'm thinking that the plague is next.) And it probably wouldn't have happened if he wasn't doing stupid stuff all of the time. Porter was a little confused... he told me he hurt his Elmo. Which he then extrapolated and told me that he also hurt his Cookie Monster, his Big Bird and his Buzz Lightyear.

Anyway, he's fine now. But he sure was ticked when the doctor was pushing his elbow back into place. The boy was sobbing and in the saddest voice ever he kept saying, "What's the matter, buddy? I sad!"

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Is it wrong to be excited about this?

10 witty remarks
I got a new vacuum cleaner this week and it's purple.

No, not a Dyson. I didn't feel like trading in my firstborn just to get my floors clean. (Get my floors clean and fold the laundry... you may have a deal.) But the nice thing is, since the Dyson has been out for a few years, the technology has started to trickle down into more affordable vacuums. Also, they're making them cuter.

Our old vacuum gave up the ghost this weekend; I'm fairly sure it's at least indirectly related to the 43 pounds of dead spiders Matt sucked up with it in the basement. Turns out, that's not good for your appliances. But, I got the old vacuum for free from my friend a few years ago - when she got a Dyson - so it was probably on its last legs anyway. So I did some comparison internet shopping on Sunday night and decided on this one, not only because of its color (which the manufacturer describes as Black Cherry Fizz. Mmm, dusty soda.) but also because I could get it online from Linens & Things with a 20% off coupon. I had it delivered to the store for free shipping and picked it up on Tuesday morning.

And let me tell ya, this thing really sucks. (Get it? Because it's a vacuum.) I was astonished at the quantity of dirt, fuzz, and dust it sucked out of my supposedly clean (okay, sorta clean) carpets. And sand. Where on earth is sand coming from? We live in Indiana, not Arizona. I've been doing a lot more vacuuming than usual this week.

Let me tell you, if it's wrong to be excited, then I don't want to be right.

I also got to go to my OB's office this week to solve the mystery of the random stabbing pains that have been waking me up at night. The good news is, there's nothing obvious wrong with me. The bad news is, there's nothing obvious wrong with me. But the baby is fine, so I'll take that.

I've actually seen this baby three times already on ultrasound, for various reasons. It's pretty interesting to see it develop almost in real time. At ten weeks, it still had a yolk sac and the characteristic giant alien head. Now it actually looks like a very small person, complete with ribcage and little tiny vertebrae. Think about it: sixteen weeks ago he was two cells, and now he's got bones. Hundreds of bones. No wonder I've been so sleepy lately.

The ultrasound tech was actually looking for ovarian cysts, which fortunately I don't have any of. Seeing my little peanut was just a bonus. The dialogue went something like this:

JONI: What's that?

ULTRASOUND LADY: That's bowel gas.

JONI: Ohh, nice. What's that?

ULTRASOUND LADY: That's your ovary.

JONI: Cool. Hey, I know what that is! That's my baby!

I'm sure I annoyed the crap out of her, but she's gotta be used to me by now. And I love anyone who puts the gel in a nice little warmer so it doesn't shock your poor delicate tummy-skin. I'll be going back in another month or so - I'm pretty sure I'm 16 weeks pregnant right now - and we can find out the sex. Although Ultrasound Lady told me that the baby had its legs closed, so I'm pretty sure it's a girl.

So, to summarize: New vacuum cleaner. Baby vertebrae. Bowel gas.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Just happy

5 witty remarks
Just plugging along still! I am so sooo tired but the high school has school break later this week... two days of sleeping in for me! Woo hoo!

I got my Thanksgiving layout back from Scrapbook Trends recently and two copies of their Home for the Holidays idea book. Can I just say, I love Scrapbook Trends. Their magazines are beautifully photographed and actually full of ideas. And I love that they publish me sometimes because I get free mags, and I'm not about to pay $15 for a magazine. Anyway, last Thursday I got TWO page requests for their March issue! I was pretty excited. One is a layout I did of Molly and Betsy together with some 7Gypsies quote stickers, and the other is the page I did after we found Porter asleep in a drawer. Love both of those pages - so happy to see them both in print (though it will be hard to wait until March).

We went to the haunted house at the Children's Museum last week. (I took some pictures but haven't bothered to upload them yet. Lazy, lazy, lazy.) Even though it was the 'friendly' hours Betsy was a little scared at first. But she really started to get into the 'scary ones' and it helps that there was some candy, too. The theme was 'Ghostly Grand Hotel' and one of the sponsors was this soap company that makes little hotel toiletries. (I actually interviewed with them when I was looking for my first and only chemist job... they didn't hire me. Poo.) I did think it was a little strange that the goody bag the kids got at the end included a shoe polishing sponge AND a polishing mitt. How many 4 year olds do you know that need to polish their shoes? However, Betsy was excited about the little round soaps, so it's all good.

I have now officially started my Christmas shopping. Still not listening to the Muppets.

We finished cleaning out the basement and now one end of it is a play area for the kids. They woudl live down there if I'd let them. All the Mr Potato Head pieces are in the basement (can you guess who was sick of picking them up?) so there's really no reason to be anywhere else.

There was a ward party on Friday night, and we had square dancing. Yes, actual square dancing! I made Betsy be my partner and we actually had a really, really good time. I am still wicked sore from all the do-si-doing we do-si-did.

The Primary kids did their program on Sunday. How cute. Betsy didn't sing at all (I think she gets that from her dad - he doesn't like to sing either. Porter on the other hand is Mr. One Mand Band.) but she nailed her one line. "If we study the scrishpures, we will feel the promptings of the Holy Ghost." And she spoke clearly and didn't lick the microphone. That's pretty good for an almost-five-year-old.

We're making Betsy go to sleep without a Pull Up now. Which equals more laundry, but it was about time.

Monday, October 15, 2007 it December yet?

6 witty remarks
It hits me about this time every year. I am so ready for the Christmas season to start. Not physically ready - not a single gift has been purchased (at least by me: Connie brought all the kids' gifts when they were here last week) - but emotionally. I think that the moment the weather starts to turn cool, I am humming Christmas songs.

It doesn't help, of course, that Hobby Lobby has their Christmas trees up already. Or that I got the Scrapbook Trends holiday book the other day (my layout is on page 48, in case you're looking) and I've been drooling over the products and ideas. (As if I didn't have enough Christmas-related papers and embellishments. Seriously, it's kind of embarrassing.) I'm sure that pretty soon, the ward choir will start rehearsing for the Christmas program. I'm tempted to start listening to Christmas music, but I do feel that October 15 is a little early for the Muppets.

So, I've been releasing my pent-up holiday lust by flipping through magazines of cookie recipes. Cookies are pretty much suitable year-round, right?

It didn't always used to be this way. When I was a kid, I was adamant that the Christmas season does not start until December 1st. Period. No negotiations allowed. Not that I didn't love every minute of it - I think it was because I loved it, that I was afraid of seasonal overkill. Now, of course, I see the error of my ways. There is no way that Christmas could ever wear out its welcome. I've revised my hard-and-fast stance a bit... now the season begins the day after Thanksgiving, but if I need to start listening to the music or watching the Charlie Brown special a few weeks ahead of schedule, that's okay too.

However. I do still need to get through Halloween first, right? And it's possible, just possible, that I may be a crazy person. I need to do a scrapbook layout to purge my feelings... just as soon as I can figure out a photo that appropriately conveys the sentiment "I'm so obsessed with Christmas that I want it to start in mid-October even though I know that's wrong. Wrong." How on earth am I supposed to take a picture of that?

Monday, October 8, 2007


10 witty remarks
Just coming off the end of an incredibly busy week. All we did yesterday was lay around and listen to General Conference!

On Monday, I cleaned. And cleaned. Have I ever mentioned that I don't like cleaning? I also watched Chuck, one of the new shows on NBC. I really liked it, and not just because Chuck's Nerd Herd car is a Yaris hatchback like my husband's. (Pam Beesley on The Office drives one, too.)

On Tuesday, my mother and sisters got here. Mom brought books for the kids and hand knitted washcloths with their initials knitted right in. Betsy had her first dance class that night. I found dance classes that are actually affordable; the Tuesday night session is taught in the dining room of an assisted living center. The seniors sitting in the lobby loved seeing Betsy come in all decked out in her dance attire. I left Porter with my mom so that I could actually sit in on the lesson. Betsy was actually the only kid in the class that day. Twenty bucks a month for a private dance lesson? That's not a bad deal! She was really cute, but she's still having a hard time with paying attention.

Mom and I watched NCIS, or tried to anyway. Somehow - I think Porter changed the settings on the VCR - we were getting the audio commentary for the blind. It was kind of funny at first - "Ziva gives Tony a scathing glance." - but it got super annoying. So, I muted the TV and we just read the captions which are, you know, for the hearing impaired. We all applauded when Tony threw the note into the fire. If you don't follow the show you have no idea, but if you do watch NCIS you probably hated Jeanne as much as I did.

On Wednesday, we had a fun girly day of shopping. I took Mom to the sweet new fabric store that's opened up near the library. They have Amy Butler fabric! I still didn't buy anything, because yeah, it's like $9 a yard. But my mom came out with an armload of fabric, plus we left a trail of drool all through the store. Had Steak & Shake for lunch, because that's what you do when Cindy's in town. The dark chocolate milkshakes are delicious, are they not? We hit up the local Goodwill, but no spectacular finds this time. Wednesday night, I watched another new show, Pushing Daisies. I've been really looking forward to that one because I'm one of the approximately 19 people in the world who watched Wonderfalls. Mmm, I loved it. Bryan Fuller is still a genius, Lee Pace is still very tall and funny, and pies are delicious. (I did actually make pies a little later in the week.) We also saw Life, mainly because it's got the guy from Band of Brothers in it. I'm liking a lot of the new shows this fall - like I didn't have enough to do, right? But I haven't watched Cavemen.

This is the dress we made, when we weren't watching TV. I really need to get my own serger.

Thursday my mom & sisters left in the morning, so I had a little time to regroup before Matt's parents arrived that night. I made a big old pot of chili. Wally and Connie exercised their grandparental right (that's a word, isn't it?) to bring the kids candy and toss them in the air. Porter loves his grandpa, they are like two peas in a pod.

Matt took Friday off from work (I am having a little too much fun with the bold tag, can't you tell?) to spend some time with his parents. I had a doctor's appointment in the morning (everything looks good, baby's heartbeat is 165-170, and I am NOT going to tell you how much weight I've already gained) and we went to the pumpkin patch. It felt slightly un-autumnal, hayrides notwithstanding, because it was like 85 degrees.

Had Chinese buffet for lunch, and then I went home and napped for a long time.

We started listening to General Conference on Saturday. Also got to see Mark (Matt's brother) and Jenny again, for the first time in over two years (when they moved to Texas). They were stopping in on their way home from Cleveland, where they went to a neuroscience conference at the Cleveland Clinic. Jenny was answering questions about her stroke and the aftereffects. It sounds like it was pretty interesting. Anyway, I learned that two things have happened in the last two years: 1)Jenny can finger spell really fast and 2)I'm actually slightly better at interpreting what she says. (I found that Sesame Street sign language book at the state fair, and I've been practicing. I still mix up G, H, P, and Q though.)

While the guys went off to Priesthood session, we had sort of a girls night in. A lot of Jenny's friends from their old ward came over. That was also the ward that Matt and I were in when we were first married, so I knew everyone too, which was pretty nice. It was just a really fun time. I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. They guys didn't get home from conference until after 11 at night, though, which was crazy. But not too late to eat pie.

And on Sunday, everyone cleared out. And now it's Monday and I'm sitting here writing this.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

the cat's out of the bag...

5 witty remarks
Yep, I'm pregnant. It seems to be working this time, and I can't really conceal it any longer, unless I start wearing muumuus. And caftans. Maybe I could sew myself a long flowing caftan and a really kicky turban to match. Or, maybe I could just come out of the gestational closet and start wearing my elastic-belly pants, which is what I'm doing now.

Anyway, I'm having a pretty busy week, which is why I haven't updated in forever. My mother and the little girls just left for Rochester. They got here on Tuesday, so it was a short visit: just long enough to go to Goodwill and the sweet new fabric store, eat lunch at Steak n Shake, and sew a dress on Mom's serger. But don't be sad, because my in-laws will be arriving later tonight. Also, Mark and Jenny will be passing through on their way home from Cleveland. That's a lot of visitors in one week. But the good thing is, I've only had to clean my toilets once.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Disneyworld, part 5: The thrilling conclusion.

2 witty remarks
Thank goodness for evening flights!

We had a relaxed evening the night before, and we were able to take our time in the morning. I picked up a delicious breakfast from our hotel food court (we didn't eat there very much, although it seems like everyone else did, because it was always crowded in the mornings. But the food was actually pretty decent.) and Matt took the kids outside to play while I finished packing.
Here's a pretty good view of our hotel - the resort is called All Star Sports, and each of the buildings is themed after a different sport. Serendipitously we ended up in the Tennis building, which is Matt's favorite sport. (I totally picked the Sports resort for Matt's benefit - I would have gone with Music. The truth is, though, they're all pretty much the same.) The All Star Resorts are the cheapest rooms that Disney offers, so while the rooms are more or less like a Motel 6, everything is still themed so you remember you are at Disneyworld. Plus, Betsy liked the Mickey Mouse soap.
Once we had checked out - and hooray for the airline check in right there inside our hotel - we went over to Downtown Disney, which is a sort of outdoor mall, only it's Disney. Probably not worth making a special trip, but it's a good way to fill some time before your flight. The other attraction, of course, was that I got to meet up with some old friends.
Tricia used to babysit us when we were kids, and Tracy and I were in Girl Scouts together (plus their mom was the troop leader). Much like me, they got out of Rochester a while ago. It was really fun to catch up. Tricia hasn't lost her touch with kids, apparently. (She teaches fourth grade now; she says that the Blinn kids were the best preparation for that.)
Tracy (the very pregnant one in the photo) also has a little girl who's just a bit older than Betsy. Betsy kept referring to her as "that little kid" until we convinced her that her name is Alex. The two little girls seemed to be kindred spirits and they had a great time playing with all the girly princess stuff (there is a LOT of girly princess stuff) at the giant Disney store.
Porter is actually standing next to me right now yelling, "MUSSER Tayo Head!" Just in case I forgot to write about it. My kids are Potato Head fanatics. I had bought one to keep them occupied on the plane and they spent the flights basically trading it back and forth. See, at Disneyworld you can get special parts for Mr. Potato Head. Like a Mr. Incredible costume, Mickey Mouse ears, a balloon, a camera, and yes, pirate accessories. Ask me how much I spent on Mr. Potato Head parts. Or better yet, don't.
We all had lunch together at Downtown Disney - I ate basically the best grilled cheese sandwich ever - before we had to get back to our resort, to catch the bus to the airport, so we could wait in the security lines again. The kids were seasoned travelers by this point: they did fine, and slept most of the way back. We got to our house at a little before 1 a.m. Sunday morning. Needless to say, we all took naps that day.
So, how would I sum it all up? Three words: Best vacation ever. I was actually kind of dreading the whole travel-with-little-kids thing, but they were great. We definitely got our money's worth - even more so, because of the free Dining Plan - and we saw everything we'd planned to see, and more. I did learn that some of my planning was a bit excessive. It was helpful to have a general idea of the paths we were going to take through the parks - especially in EPCOT, which is huge - but we also deviated from it a lot, because of show times or shorter lines or whatever. Also, I had brought a lot of snacks from home and we ended up not needing most of them (all my little snack sized baggies of crackers got smashed to bits) but you can never have too many juiceboxes.

It surprised me how much having the kids along actually enhanced our experience. When Matt and I were in Disneyworld on our honeymoon, we kind of had the feeling of "We'd better enjoy this while we can, because next time we come back here we'll have kids." And while I'm glad we went there when we were childless - we had the opportunity to go on the more grown-up rides like Space Mountain and Tower of Terror that we completely bypassed this time - our enjoyment this time was more centered on seeing our kids have fun. Everything is fresh and new to them, and things that we might have ignored before - like princesses, or the talking recycle bin - were totally captivating to them. We spent the days on our honeymoon trying to squeeze in every last bit of enjoyment; we went at a more relaxed pace this time around but still had pretty much nonstop fun. Also, we aren't quite as poor as we were when we were first married so I think that helped.

I know some families actually take a trip to Disney every year, and we're definitely not one of those families. I do hope it won't be another seven years before we make it back, though. I hope it will be sooner than that. We're probably going to Utah next year so that will be our big vacation for a while. Not so much with the Mickey Mouse. But I took over 400 pictures at Disneyworld, so I think that will be enough to sustain me for a while.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Disneyworld, part 4: Magic Kingdom - Rides, rides, rides.

1 witty remarks
Our last day at Disneyworld. And although I like the World Showcase the best, I think that the most fun we had was at the Magic Kingdom. My kids were so happy, meaning it was worth dragging them all the way down to Florida with us. We decided to focus on the rides that day, since MK has the highest concentration of kid-friendly rides. There are some shows as well but we opted to bypass those. I think the kids were really sick of shows and we were really sick of dealing with them being sick of shows. But we found more than enough rides to keep them happy. And the lines were short enough that almost everything we liked, we went on three times.

(Porter, look at the camera. PLEASE.)

Because of some promotion aimed at preschoolers - I guess, who else is visiting Disneyworld when school is in session - the Fantasyland section opened an hour early that day. At eight o'clock in the morning. Fortunately Porter got me up at 6:30 so we had no trouble making it to the park within a few minutes of its opening. Fantasyland has a lot of the rides we wanted to go on, anyway. We started off with Dumbo
which if you ask me, is slightly overrated. Unlike the dinosaurs at Animal Kingdom, each elephant only holds 2 people, so the line moves very slowly. And the line was long. I think everyone wants to go on Dumbo because it's tradition, not necessarily because it's mind-blowingly great. That was one of the longest lines we had (listen to me complain, it was still only a 10-15 minute wait) so we only went on it once.
Betsy liked the topiary, though.

The kids really, really liked the Winnie the Pooh ride. It's very closely based on that 'Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day' video we watched over and over when we were kids, complete with the very trippy Heffalumps and Woozles segment. The line for this ride moves pretty fast so we went on it twice in a row, and then once more right before we left the park.

Betsy and Porter particularly liked the ending because Piglet had a birthday cake.
Next up we went on the teacups. I think that's one ride that's more fun for adults than for children. We were pretty crammed with the four of us in one cup. (I think we could have split our party up, since they were running the ride half empty.) I kept yelling at the kids not to spin it too fast, because I didn't want anyone to puke, including myself. Still, Betsy thought it was cool to go in a life sized tea party.

After we had gone on most of the Fantasyland rides (and we caught the rest of them, like Peter Pan and Snow White, at the end of the day) it was only 9:00. The rest of the park was opening by then - except for Mickey's Toontown Fair, where there's a kiddie coaster we really wanted to try. However, we were also adjacent to Tomorrowland. Now, when I was obsessively planning out our days, I always figured we wouldn't have time to go to Tomorrowland (silly me) and I thought it wouldn't be worth it, since the kids couldn't go on Space Mountain anyway. But we once again found ourselves in the slightly surreal position of having time to kill since the lines were so short.

So, we went on the Buzz Lightyear ride. Can you guess how many times?

Buzz Lightyear's face is animated and it doesn't show up well in photos; that's why he looks like that. Actually Porter always calls him Ghost Lightyear (a combination of Buzz's name and the Ghostlight, which is one of the extras on the Cars DVD) and I think that in this case the description is apt. The ride is pretty sweet: if you've never been on it, it's actually interactive. Each ride vehicle has two space blasters, so you get to shoot at targets located all over the ride, and the vehicle keeps track of your score. (Holiday World has a 'turkey shoot' ride which is very similar, and which the kids also loved.) You can also work a joystick to make your car spin around, which is mostly what occupied Betsy. The ride is continuously loading (much like the Nemo thing at EPCOT) so it only took about twenty minutes to go on it three times, and on the last ride I finally beat Matt's score.
Here's Betsy with an alien. She's into aliens right now, for reasons I can't fathom.

It was still only 9:30 at that point, so we had more time to kill before we could go on the rollercoaster. We ended up going on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority - one of those completely overlooked attractions. It's just sort of a slow-moving train that cruises around the second level of Tomorrowland. But the ride does pass through Space Mountain, so at least I can say we went on Space Mountain, kind of.

It was finally 10:00 and time for Goofy's Barnstormer. Porter was too short for the kiddie coaster at Holiday World and he was just barely tall enough for this one. He's like 35 and no tenths inches tall (with shoes on). But he was really excited to go on his first roller coaster ride, even though it was broken. According to him. Despite the facial expression, Porter really did love the ride (we went on it once, and then we went on it again, and then we went on it a final time). And Betsy has learned the fine art of screaming on a roller coaster. She was really funny.

Our lunch reservation was at 1:00 so we still had some time to kill after the roller coaster. We were planning to go in 'It's A Small World' later, when the kids were really tired, but we also stopped in on our way over to the restaurant. I remember riding 'Small World' at Disneyland when I was 5, so we have to go mostly for nostalgia's sake. (I suspect that's why most people are there.) Betsy liked the dolls and singing along with the music; Porter liked the goat, the elephant, and the giraffe, all of which were broken.

I liked the short line, and the fact that it's very relaxing (plus air conditioned). And Matt... umm, tolerated the ride. Enough that we rode it two more times that day.

We had a delicious lunch at the Liberty Tree Tavern. The whole Liberty Square section is modeled after places like Colonial Williamsburg, and we actually visited Williamsburg in 2003. The Disney version is obviously more, well, Disney, but it was a fun trip down memory lane for us. And the kids got to have ice cream for dessert. I popped in the Christmas store after lunch and picked up an ornament - my usual souvenir from any trip. (Fortunately we don't travel that much, or I'd have to get a whole separate tree.)

We split up after that, because Matt and Betsy had FastPasses for Splash Mountain and Porter's too short. I took him on Pirates of the Caribbean, because he a pirate. Arrg!

The ride actually broke down shortly after we went on it (something actually was broken) so Matt never got to go on it. But I think Betsy wouldn't have liked the pirate ride. It's a lot like Small World, only scary. Porter actually didn't seem to notice: not just the scariness, he didn't notice the ride at all. (He did really like playing in the gift shop after, though.) I Think that was mainly because he was tired. Porter fell asleep while we were waiting for M & B to get back from Splash. He slept through Jungle Cruise,
he slept through the parade (now we will never know if Mickey Mouse was functioning correctly or not), he slept through the rain, and he slept through the delicious orange slushy the rest of us shared while we were waiting for the rain to stop. Sorry, buddy! He did wake up in time for the third trip on the Magic Carpets of Aladdin,
or as Betsy called it, the Jasmine ride. (Note: there was no Jasmine to be seen. She was extrapolating.) The magic carpets were very similar to the dinosaurs from the day before, complete with really short lines. Porter actually liked the ride a lot: he was mad when I took the picture because he had just woken up, bless his little heart.

We had gone on almost everything, and it wasn't even 5:00. (The park was open until 7 that day.) So we went back towards Fantasyland to hit the rest of the rides over there. Matt and Betsy went on Peter Pan because they had FastPasses. (That's one of those rides like Dumbo that has inexplicably long rides. It's similar to the Pooh ride but you don't see people standing in line for 45 minutes for Pooh. Huh.) I took Porter over to the Snow White ride which, despite being (marginally) princess-themed, she wouldn't have really liked. It was scary. As I was making our way back to the stroller, Porter spotted Cinderella's Golden Carousel.

Now, I hadn't planned on riding the carousel, because we can go on the one at the Children's Museum pretty much any time we want (we have a membership, so rides are free). Two things changed my mind: 1) There was practically no line, and 2) "MAYGWOUND!" That was Porter.

So we got in the line, but the ride was already going so we couldn't get on it right away. Do you think that sat well with Porter? No, it did not. He was full on, throwing himself on the ground, square-mouthed crying. We didn't have to wait very long before Porter was seated on his 'horshey' (at the museum, he usually rides on a giraffe; the Disney version only had horses, but he didn't seem to mind) and with still a slight wobble in his voice told me "Maygwound broken." He was one happy little boy, I tell you.

We went on the carousel one more time as a family after M & B came back, and then it started to rain again so we went and had dinner. We ate at the Pinocchio themed restaurant, which was cool because it overlooked the Small World ride. And once the rain let up a bit, we rode Winne the Pooh and Small World one last time (for a total of three). Usually I'm consumed with regret when I know my vacation is finally at an end, but really, we had done everything we'd planned to do. In triplicate. And we wanted to get in line for the bus back to our resort before 7:00 so we wouldn't have to wait as long. So, I shopped a little along Main Street as we were heading out, and we left by 6:45.

And that was that, really. It was an extremely satisfying day and the kids had a really great time. We took them back to the hotel so they could play with some of their new toys and have baths. I think we all went to sleep early that night.


Embellish Life Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved Baby Blog Designed by Ipiet | All Image Presented by Tadpole's Notez