Friday, June 26, 2009


Little know Shaun fact - I love watching America's Best Dance Crew on MTV. So to mark the passing of pop sensation Michael Jackson, here is Kaba Modern performing Thriller. Fast forward a bit (1:28 or so) to get to the actual dancing - Enjoy and RIP Michael.
Kaba Modern - Americas Best Dance Crew - Episode 5

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Disney - Day 2 EPCOT

Day 2 began bright and early at the Cape May character breakfast at the Yacht and Beach Club resort. This place definitely goes on my list of Places to Stay Someday. Jacob's first character encounter...Donald Duck.

Bella was all smiles for Minnie Mouse (I was smiling pretty big too! Come on, it's Minnie!!!!)

From left to right: Aunt Leigh (aka Aunt Leaf), LuLu, Uncle Bob, Goofy, Theresa and Will.

After breakfast we took the ferry over to EPCOT.

For future scrap booking purposes (yeah right) I tried to get one iconic shot from the front of each park - so here's the EPCOT "ball" courtesy of Will's Dad's camera.

We went during the Flower and Garden Festival. The topiary were amazing. I don't know if they were especially amazing or not, since I've never been before. Here's Jacob and Will in front of (literally) Goofy and Donald Duck. You can just see Goofy's snout above Jacob's head.
Of course I had to get pictures of Lady and Tramp too, because of our Lady dog.

Jacob especially loved the "Sea" exhibit because of all the Nemo stuff. Here they are inside a shark's mouth. This was a very popular spot to take pictures. You can see this one Mom in our picture, she just wouldn't budge or take a hint so finally I just took the picture with her in it!

Here we stopped at a pavilion in "Africa" to get slushies and play the drums.

More drumming, Will is chillin' in the background with his slush, and oh look, it's "Sleeping Bella". How she slept in the heat and with all the kids drumming I'll never know.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Disney Day 1 - Travel

Jacob & Anabel get cozy on the plane, thank goodness for portable DVD players! Notice their outfits, Mickey Mouse for Jacob and Hawaiian print for Bella (I thought that was appropriate for tropical Florida) Since PaPaw was in First Class, he got off first, and had all three strollers set up and waiting for us at the gate! Oh I love to travel with grandparents! Having skipped her nap, Bella was asleep by the time we were waiting for our bus, the Magic Express, to take us to the hotel. Bella got a new stroller just for the trip, I wanted one that was lightweight and that reclined. Disney world wears babies out, so this is the first of many "Sleeping Bella" in the stroller shots! Upon arrival, this is the view from our room - notice the gray skies and pouring rain! This was to be our experience most afternoons at this same time - 5 PM or so.

Undeterred by the weather, we headed out for our dinner reservations at Spoodles, an Italian restaurant on the water at the Boardwalk Resort. Here we are waiting for our transportation in our rain ponchos. Jacob is doing the "down came the rain" part of the Itsy Bitsy Spider song.

At the restaurant a man came around to the tables and he would spin plates and then let the kids do it too - below there's Jacob giving it a try. One cool thing about Disney world is how the castmembers (people that work there) all really know how to bring out the best in your child, after every interaction the children always came away feeling really special.

A little help at first, and then all on his own.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sorry Cat Guy

The building I work in is connected by a shared green space to some apartments, some luxury townhouses and is across the street from the Junior League. It’s a nice space, there are paths and grass and benches all shaded by huge arching oak trees. I go out here when I need to use the phone and I am always interested in the mix of people that I see. There are the smoking bankers in their blue suits, students, housewives walking small dogs, strolling junior leaguers, couples making out on blankets and the list goes on. And there is Cat Guy. Cat Guy is a disheveled older man in baggy pants, a white undershirt and baseball cap. Cat Guy, as the name suggests enters the commons carrying two cats in slings. The slings look like padded cat beds with handles like a tote bag sewn onto the sides. So the cats are carried in like royalty (which is very catlike of them, “take me over there but don’t touch me while you do it” if you think about it). So I’m watching all this but then I sit down on a bench and am talking to my Dad and examining the ends of my hair for split ends in the sunshine so I don’t notice until he’s right up on me. And he’s waving around one of the slings (which is empty) and saying “Hey, miss, hey….” trying to get my attention. I wasn’t very nice “Hey buddy, I’m on the phone here…” but he keeps coming closer and I say “Could you maybe take a step back” and he says “I just want to get my cat!” and I look down and one of the cats is next to my foot! Oops. I tell him “sorry” and “of course” and move out of the way. I was still on the phone with my Dad so I tell him what’s happened and I ask him why he thinks it is that I’m totally at ease and comfortable with some people and others just weird me out. I mean if the guy had been covered in piercings and tattoos and crazy hair I truly wouldn’t have thought twice about him. My Dad said he thought that was because with piercings and tattoos you can kind of know where they’re coming from but with Cat Guy, it’s a crapshoot. So, sorry Cat Guy, if I misjudged you or made you feel creepy when all you wanted was to retrieve your pet.

Friday, June 12, 2009

This one's for Amy

I love seersucker , curls and crisscross back's too! Here's Bella checking out zebras at the Animal Kingdom Lodge savannah.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What was I thinking????

As a result of doing "Daddy daycare" for Bella when she's been so sick, now Will is sick. I thought that since Father's Day is coming up, and it is late night at the MudPie (the local paint your own pottery place) and that I would take the children and work on something for Will while also giving him the "gift" of a quiet chance to rest. Funny thing, I called my friend Amy to see if she was interested in joining us up there and she was already on her way there to meet church friends, AND was just one car behind me leaving the neighborhood, Ha, it was really a qoinkydence! (quirky coincidence). So as you read this, imagine it against the backdrop of pretty much every woman I know from church watching on! It was great, Jacob got to work on his plate and I worked on a mug. I set Bella up with brushes, a bowl of water and a tiny bit of paint and gave her a palette tile, she thought she was painting and was happy. I remembered juice boxes, the music was nice, friends stopped to chat (they had the whole back room reserved) and they would comment how nicely the children were working on their projects. I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing. Oh how pride goeth before a fall! In college I developed the talent for knowing when a social situation was about to go downhill. Many years ago, Will and I had a rather different social life than we do now, and we'd be out and at one point I'd nudge him and say, "OK, it's time to go" and sure enough we'd find out later that right after we left something stupid happened, a fight or break up or someone made a fool of themselves on the dance floor. I could pretty accurately judge when it was time to call it a night. Somehow, when it comes to my kids I can't seem to always pick up on those "imminent breakdown" cues. At 7:45 Jacob's plate was done and the mug looked oh so cute with multiple really thin stripes in four shades of blue, I was so proud of it! Instead of wrapping it up while things were still great, I pushed the children a bit, because I really wanted them to add their hand prints to the pottery pieces. It was then that things went downhill. Jacob just flat out refused. Bella was willing but right when I had her little hand covered in paint she grabbed the mug and just smeared it all over with globs of dark brown paint. In retrospect I should have let them fire it that way, it would have been kind of funny. Instead I washed off all my work and we tried three more times, not repainting the whole thing, just trying to get her hand print but every time she would just smear it everywhere. By this time she was tired and miserable and I was frustrated. As I'm cleaning up Bella for the fourth time I hear Jacob over by the sink area telling a church lady , "Wow you sure are are big!" I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. Bella decides that the brown paint is chocolate and literally starts licking the palette. It was time to go! So while I'm filling out the forms so we can at least fire Jacob's plate, Bella grabs everything on the checkout counter and is just chunking it all on the floor (ACK!), So Bella is on my hip, I'm filling out the form with one hand and catching falling breakables with the other hand. Meanwhile Jacob is having a meltdown because I told him that when they fire the pieces the colors get brighter, he is losing it, wailing "But Mommy, I don't want the colors to change, I want them to leave it the colors that I picked! Daddy will only like MY colors!" Oh why did I think this would be a good idea??? The thing is, it would have been. If I had just been willing to call it done, let go of my mental picture of how I wanted it be just so, if I had just let good enough be good enough... Eh, I am so human, so not perfect, so much still a work in progress! On the way home Jacob says, "Oh Mommy, look at the beautiful sunset!" and he told his Dad,"Daddy we worked on a big big surprise for you and I can't talk about it, but it's ART!" OK, no hand prints, but raising a child who loves sunsets and gets excited about art, that's the important, real, lasting stuff.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Stunt Show

I’ve been trying to gather all my thoughts and memories of our family vacation to Disneyworld and also go through the 800+ (seriously) pictures to see what to blog. I promise a Disney blog is coming sooner or later! In the midst of our return to work and school, Bella came down with strep throat, a virus and a rash all at once. She is usually a pretty healthy girl. I see a lot of runny noses in her daycare class and yet she usually manages to avoid most of the bugs. [By contrast, at this age Jacob seemed to catch every little thing and I swear he coughed every single night the entire year he was two. At three he miraculously turned into a child who is basically never sick. Actually I think it was that his adenoids, nasal and ear structures grew and he is able to use a prescription nasal spray to keep allergies at bay.] I can’t think that Bella’s been sick since she had the flu back in February. When she does get sick, she gets really sick. When I arrived at daycare to pick her up she was lying motionless across the teacher’s lap, with her eyes rolled back in her head, 103 fever and white as a sheet except for deep scarlet shadows under each eye. Scared me. I couldn't understand how she became so sick just since I dropped her off that morning. I was infuriated that the pediatrician would not see her that day (in Humble there is basically a monopoly on pediatric care but that’s a topic for another day) but she did get an appointment for the next day. She was diagnosed with strep throat and a virus and we still have no answer on the tiny rash – it may just be a reaction to so much sunscreen at Disney world. This began roughly four days and nights of nearly constant bleating crying and needing to be held. At 1 am, 2 am, 4 am, 5 am etc. She ate about two bites of food and then would scream and push it away because it hurt her throat. She was so hoarse by the second day that she was squeaking when she tried to talk. Saddest. Thing. Ever. By Sunday the antibiotics kicked in and she turned the corner. She is still home with her Daddy today for one more day of rest and recuperation but by late yesterday she was eating, smiling an and playing and thankfully she slept through the night. Jacob on the other hand had a fabulous weekend. We took him to two birthday parties and to a going-away party. Normally we wouldn’t try to do all of that in one weekend, not that we don’t want to do it all, but it is necessary to say no sometimes in order to keep our family together, rested, and not rushing from one place to another all weekend. All the wonderful gatherings kept a very busy, active, non-sick Jacob occupied and away from Bella. He got to jump in a moon bounce on Saturday, rock out with the guitar hero game on Saturday night, and run and scream and play at a McDonald’s birthday party on Sunday afternoon. The rest of his free time was spent playing cars. He likes to act out the stunt show he saw at Hollywood Studios. Since we’ve been back he has asked to watch that part of the Disney video over and over and he acts out the stunt show very elaborately with all his cars and even asked very nicely if we would get him some motorcycles so he could pretend that part of it. You would think that it was his favorite thing at Disney but in reality –he pretty much hated it the actual show. He does not like loud unpredictable noises (fireworks, gun shots etc.) and this show had all of that, plus things bursting into flames, glass shattering etc. The adults thought it was cool but poor Jacob sort of suffered through it, even though we went because he had wanted to see it. Of all the things I thought he might re-enact once we were home, I never thought it would be that show! (There – see you got a little bit of a Disney post after all) Here is a photo of the stunt show that I took, yes that is a real car and real flames. I don’t know how Will is doing. Honestly, since one of us has been off somewhere with Jacob and the other at home or up all night with Anabel, I feel like I haven’t really seen Will lately. Hi babe! (waves) I Love ya’!

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