Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Get your kicks

5 witty remarks
I've been sewing again! I spotted this fabric at JoAnn's last week (it's Alexander Henry, of course) and thought, Now what can I sew with that? Fortunately there had been a 99-cent pattern sale a month or two before, so I had several skirt patterns to choose from in my stash. This one is Simplicity 3841 and I love it. The only downside is that there's a zipper... well, it was time to stop delaying the inevitable. My machine doesn't take a zipper foot, so I hand-basted everything, and only did the topstitching by machine. The topstitching is crooked but when isn't my topstitching crooked? Anyway, it's not too noticeable, I think, and the zipper zips and unzips, so I'm calling it a victory.

(I wrote a pattern review here - I always have a lot to say about my projects.)

On a completely unrelated note, the Number of the Day yesterday was 7, and they actually played The Alligator King And His Seven Sons. I was shocked - it's been years since I've seen that anywhere besides YouTube. I always assumed that the reason for the omission was the reference to the 'perfume that smelled like cheap cigars' and of course, Sesame Street can't have anything even resembling an endorsement of smoking, because hundreds of thousands of kids will start lighting up, because don't you know Sesame Street has that kind of power? (*eyeroll*) Anyway, they have been bringing back some of their old stuff from the vault - Everybody Sleeps was always a favorite of mine, and those wacky pinball sequences - and they have some new sketches which are quite good as well (like the Grouch broadway musical 'Scramalot.')
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Friday, May 25, 2007

It's Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween and the Fourth of July... in May!!

6 witty remarks
Despite having lived in Indiana for almost ten years, this was my first visit to Holiday World. Matt thought it would be a good dry run for Disneyworld, especially since our kids don't have the best track record with actually being willing to sleep in hotel beds. We were able to work out some of the kinks, such as, if you pack your toothbrush holder, don't forget to pack some sort of actual toothbrush inside of it (that was Matt, but I let him use mine. Lest you think I was on top of things, I forgot my pajamas.)

The first thing that impressed me at Holiday World was before we even got inside: Pat Koch (you know, the lady you see in the TV commercials) was standing outside the gates and greeting people as the came inside. I'm pretty sure the CEO of Disneyworld doesn't do that (probably too busy rolling on piles of money or something). Anyway, all that stuff they say in the commercials about being the cleanest and friendliest park in the world? Totally not an exaggeration. Lines were short (although we were there on a weekday so that may have helped), there weren't any guests milling about in obscene T shirts, smoking is limited to 2 small areas, and the restrooms are spotless (I should know, I took Betsy about seven times).

Holiday World has lots of kid rides, and they aren't all clustered in a single area of the park, either. Another thing that I like is that the kids' rides were mostly staffed by female park employees - seems trivial, but it's always a bit disconcerting when you go to the State Fair and some skeevy tattooed guy is putting your kid on the ride. And the park employees really were friendly - I spent a lot of time chatting with them while the kids were riding (and even while Betsy and I were waiting at the top of the log ride). And they really do have free unlimited soft drinks - there's about 10 or 12 stations throughout the park where you can get a refill - plus the prices on food are really reasonable. I think we probably won't ever go back to Kings Island or Kentucky Kingdom.

Betsy really surprised me: I had expected her to be freaked out by some of the 'scarier' rides but she actually LOVED them. She went on the family roller coaster EIGHT TIMES. It helps that there were no lines to speak of, so the ride operators often let us do things two or three times in a row. They'd say, "Do you want to go again?" and Betsy's little voice would pipe up, "Yes, please." She and Porter rode everything that they were big enough for. Porter really liked this canoe river ride that is seriously the tamest thing I have ever seen... but he couldn't get enough. And shockingly enough, Betsy ADORED the log ride. I thought she would be scared of the dark, dark tunnel and the big, big hill but she couldn't get enough. The first time we splashed down, the first words out of her mouth were, "That was funny!"

Yes, we did wear jackets on the log ride. The junior-high students that were in line behind us the first time were totally snickering, but I got the last laugh. There's no way I would have gone on that ride four times (Betsy went a total of six) without some protection. Man, we would have been SOAKED.

Porter, we found out, loves a water park. Betsy wasn't too thrilled. We never could get her to go down any of the tiny, mini water slides so we didn't stay for too long, but it was enough to cool off when the day was really hot.

Matt and I, independently of each other, came to a surprising conclusion: We just aren't roller coaster people anymore. Holiday World has some of the highest-rated wooden coasters in the country, and the lines were wicked short so we both had time to go on one or two. I rode on The Legend and the whole time I was like, "Is this over yet?" Something about all the jolting... I don't know, maybe my equilibrium has changed from having kids. All I know is that it gave me a really huge headache. Matt went on two coasters and he said the same thing (except for the part about having given birth). We're at a point in our lives now where most of our fun is centered around seeing our kids have fun... and that's okay.

Porter really liked the stroller coaster. Seriously, that boy was tuckered out. They both slept in until 8:30 the next morning. Now we keep seeing the commercials for Holiday World on TV and they get all excited. We asked Betsy what her favorite ride was and she said "The red one." (She was wearing a red shirt when we went, so everything had to match it. She would only go in the RED boats or the RED horses on the merry-go-round. Thank goodness the park wasn't crowded.) And I'm even more excited now for our trip to Disneyworld in the fall.

Friday, May 18, 2007


5 witty remarks
My fabulous friends Beth and Susan tagged me via their blog, oh, sometime last week. I've had a lot of Spamalot- and Disney-related posts to get through (Seriously! We're going to Disneyworld.) before I could allow myself the total luxury of an entire blog post about myself. But, there's no putting it off now, so without further ado...

Seven Random Facts About Myself
1. You know the John Denver/Muppets collaboration without which Christmas would be just a hollow mockery of the holiday season? It appeared as both a record (which I now own on CD) and a TV special (which for some reason has never been released on video or DVD. Crazy!) Are you wondering what this has to do with me? I recently learned that the original airdate for the TV special was the actual day that I was born. (Hey Mom, did you watch it?)
2. Speaking of TV shows and childbirth, I watched NCIS when I was in labor with Porter. And I watched Scrubs both of the times I gave birth (the show has been on for several years, and it keeps changing nights).
3. My first car was a 1986 Chevy Caprice... which doesn't sound too bad until you consider the year was 1999. Calling it a rust bucket is actually fairly generous.
4. I don't know any foreign languages. How did I manage to avoid learning one, you wonder? I took Latin in high school.
5. Despite having been an avid scrapbooker for over six years, I don't subscribe to any scrapbook magazines and I never have. I'd rather get back issues at the library and spend my money on something else (usually paper). My favorite mag. is Scrapbook Trends, which is $15 an issue (seriously: ouch!) but they are also the most likely to publish me, so I get a free issue from time to time.
6. My favorite kind of bagel is Everything.
7. My favorite scent at Bath and Body Works is Peony, which used to be a limited-edition and is now part of their regular lineup. The peony is also the state flower of Indiana, so that seems appropriate somehow.
Okay, that's seven... next up, I'm tagging Mom. (There must be seven things about you that I don't know!)

Thursday, May 17, 2007


2 witty remarks
I just booked our trip to Disney World.

We'll be going in early September, after school has started - they will still have the free dining and also special activities for preschoolers. We decided to go ahead and fly down there instead of drive - I found really cheap flights, and frankly, with the cost of gas, PLUS the massive inconvenience of spending four days in the car with the kids... yeah, it's supposed to be a fun vacation.

I've already booked a princess lunch for Betsy and me, since I've heard they fill up really fast. She better love me the most now. You sure don't see Dad taking her to eat with princesses.

I think I'm ten times more excited than the kids, at this point. Matt and I went to Disney for our honeymoon six-and-a-half years ago, and ever since then we've been wanting to go back with little kids. I can only imagine how much fun it's going to be watching them enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mothers: they have to push the pram a lot.

3 witty remarks
First off, yes, we did go and see Spamalot on Saturday, with my brother Mike and his pregnant wife Mandy. So, it was the three of us hardcore Python fans, plus Matt, who has seen the movie but maybe doesn't necessarily feel the need to quote it. And even he enjoyed the show, which should tell you something. One thing the actors do is throw out a local culture reference - "You will be as revered in {city} as {thing this city is famous for}." Now, this being Indianapolis it was Peyton Manning, which was not surprising but did get a huge reaction out of the audience (what with winning the Super Bowl and everything this year). Anyway, I found out that when they played Rochester the weekend before, the reference was to Dinosaur barbecue. And I know first-hand how tasty that stuff is, since we had it for Emily's rehearsal dinner. So, it's nice to know that the actors are putting forth an effort. Also, the program was hilarious - in the vein of the original movie, Michael Palin wrote a set of fake moose-related credits. We decided to make a day of it and had dinner at the same Greek restaurant downtown where Matt took me the night he didn't propose to me. It was really good, and Mike had a beer named after my son (it may have been the other way around).

Also, Sunday was a little holiday known as Mother's Day. I got to take a nap, had chocolate in church (which is way better than flowers if you ask me), and talked to my mother and mother-in-law. Matt grilled steaks for dinner, and we had strawberries and pound cake for dessert. This is my Mother's Day gift from Matt:

Yes, so technically he gave me a Michaels giftcard and I did the shopping myself. It does tend to work out better that way. I've been eyeing some of the new Martha Stewart stuff but was reluctant to buy it - that no-coupon thing is a real bummer - so the giftcard was a perfect excuse. A lot of the Martha stuff is too clean and simple for my taste, but those acrylic letter stamps could actually work quite well on a funky, doodley page - I'm thinking Sassafrass Lass or Scenic Route - and the word bubble stickers are just plain fun. I think it's all in how you use it.

This was my gift from the kids:

Like a macaroni necklace, only for your feet. Don't you just love the pictures of the kids where my big toes will go? I haven't worn them yet; I want to apply a couple coats of Mod Podge first to keep everything from falling off.

And speaking of mothers, here's (finally) a picture of the mother-daughter aprons I sewed a couple of weeks ago. Betsy and I wear them whenever we make cookies together, which is at least once a week.

They were supposed to have pockets, but I lazied out and skipped them... maybe I will add the pockets later. Also, mine ended up being way too long in the torso (I'm 5'7" and I sewed a small! Dang, patterns do run large) but that should be easy enough to fix, just as soon as I get my sewing machine out again.

Anyway, my friends Beth and Susan tagged me on their blog... but I think this post has been massive enough (congratulations on making it this far) so that will have to wait until next time.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

yep, he's a keeper!

2 witty remarks
So, I had a really lousy day yesterday. I got rained on when I went to Meijer and the kids were non-stop screaming all day. Not good. So, Matt brought flowers AND chocolate when he came home last night.
But, the best part was, Matt brought me chocolate that he doesn't like. (It was a Cadbury with roasted almonds, which always reminds me of when Emily was born.) He does this so that he won't be tempted to eat it and the chocolatey goodness is all mine. Now, if that's not love, I don't know what is!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Yep, we have a holiday!

6 witty remarks
Today is National Scrapbooking Day.

Can I just take a moment and share why I love this hobby so much? It's because I love telling the story of my family through pictures and words. Also because I truly love all the paper, stickers, and ribbon (which if you've been in my house, you already knew!) And because it's FUN!

I plan on doing some scrapbooking today if I get a minute... I'll be working on Porter's birthday layout and maybe making some Mother's Day cards.

And speaking of Mother's Day... I finished the mother-daughter aprons that I was sewing for Betsy and me. I'll post a picture as soon as I have one... I haven'ttaken a shower yet this morning so no camera is coming near me!

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