Welcome 2nd Grade!!

No more sleeping late for us! It's back to school time!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Magical Kingdom

That's what T calls it, and today it truly was. Close readers of this site may have realized that as Florida residents, Dot and I fully take advantage of our proximity to the Mouse's House. We're veritable Disney Queens. Its almost ridiculous how many times T has been already. Each time is different. Today, for the first time ever and at the ripe old age of 3.5, T actually enjoyed the rides and asked to go on them. We did the Tea Cups, the Pooh ride, Peter pan, Its a Small World, and the Carousel at least 2 times each. For the first time, we did the Mickey's Philharmagic 3d movie. We'd always skipped it in the past since we thought it was about Fantasia, and now regret it. It may at one time have been about fantasia, but its been updated big-time. Funny the changes they can make in 30 or so years! It really is cute and enjoyable. We Highly recommend it!

On a distressing note re the teacups...I'm not sure what they're doing, but over they years they seem to be shrinking. I remember in 1971 - 72, we crammed like 8 kids inside. In college, we crammed 4 - 5 adults in their twenties. Today, with just me, dot who are in our 40's and T, there was barely room for anyone else. What's up with that? As I said, quite distressing. Luckily, a medicinal Ice Cream Cone did the trick and restored my distressed nerves to normal!!

Of course, T got her fill of the damn princesses again. She was thrilled to meet them all. A horde of them were hanging out in toon town, and we took advantage. We're home now, and I just asked T what her favorite part of the vacation was, and she answered "The Princesses", so there you have it. Recently, she's launched a campaign for a Sleeping Beauty dress, her current favorite. I've got a bid on ebay for a Snow White dress. Doubt I'll get it as lots of moms are trolling for hall'n costumes. We'll see.
Meanwhile back at the park, we actually lasted in it from 9:30 to 3:30. Amazing. No melt downs or anything. Plus, T ate a big plate of spaghetti for lunch. That's her new favorite. She was about to "turn" (i.e. pitch a fit) before lunch, but after her big plate of spaghetti, she was raring to go again. After naps, and had a comparatively slow night. Told dot I'd have to slit my wrists if she made me enter Epcot again, so we just went to the hotel restaurant. Of course, T dressed for dinner in her Belle ensemble.

Adios for now.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Are we Brave, or Just Stupid???

That was the question of the morning. Today, we woke up bright and early and headed out to Disney's Hollywood Studios...or MGM Studios for us old-timers. Close readers of this site, will remember that MGM and the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground was the scene of our "discontent" last year. Some may remember that T threw the mother of all temper tantrums when we made her leave it. Dot and I had a plan this time. We'd just pretend it didn't exist.

This year, we got to the park, and T was acutally excited to go to the Ariel and Playhouse Disney Live Shows. Last year she needed some coaxing. Afterwards, we made it to a new ride, the Toy Story Ride. That's actually really fun, as its 3d and interactive, you ride through and shoot at stuff like in a shooting gallery. Quite clever. I was thrilled with my score in the 70,000's...that is until I saw posted that some snot-nosed little boy had the high score of the day...over 270,000. The Brat.

Anyway, we strolled some more, and T noticed right off the Shrunken Kids Nightmare Playground. And wanted in. Bad. There ensued quite a lengthy lecture from mom about how she can go inside, but can't get mad when its time to leave. I reminded her that last hear she hit and bit Aunt Dot and me, and made us very, very sad. I pointed out the area on my arm where my bruise had been from the little stinker, and she came over and kissed it. Ok, score one for the kid. Inside we went.

I'm happy to report that T acted very well. She enjoyed quite a few of the displays, and even went into this Rope house thing all by herself. Dot went with her first to make sure she could do it all, then she was rarin' to do it "all my myself". God, I hate that phrase. Anyway, I'm happy to report that there were no tantrums upon leaving. Of course as we strolled to lunch at the Sci Fi diner, like a Vietnam vet, I was having post-traumatic stress flash-backs of how I went tearing out of the place last year on the scooter with piercing horn a-tooting.

After lunch, T wanted to go back to the hotel. So, good old mom took her back, where she is currently napping, while Dot stayed and enjoyed the park some more. So here I sit, updating the blog and surfing the net, checking out the prices on Disney.com. Here's a tip, the princess dresses are 1/2 the cost online as they are in the park...that's not even when they're on sale. All the dresses in the park are an outrageous 65.00 - 70.00 apiece. Thieves. I'm waiting once again for after halloween, when I'm hoping to score a Snow White dress on clearance. Its currently on sale now for about 29.99, but I'm holding out for an after-holiday percentage off. Wish me luck

That's it from Disney Central.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, we're very excited b/c Aunt Ceci and Baisler will be meeting us at the magic kingdom. Yippee!!!!!! All T's been talking about is the Teacup ride. She can't wait. It will be interesting to see if she balks at it, at the last minute. That seems to be her MO.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Princess Overdose

...that would be me overdosing, not T. She's in her glory.

This morning we were up bright and early, and checked out of the Castle Hotel to head toward Disney's Coronado Springs. First though, we stopped off at the Craziest McDonalds I have ever seen in my life. Orlando truly is a nutty town. So tourist oriented that its indescribable. Apparently, in an attempt to lure tourists into one establishment like McDonalds, vs. the others located just down the street, they're all going to odd lengths to entice the customers. This McDonalds that we were in, had normal McDonalds food, but also had "Bistro Food"...pasta dishes, wraps, grilled deli-type sandwiches, etc. Truly an odd assortment. Almost like a whole other restaurant inside McD's. They also had a full arcade of video games, two huge fish tanks, and an upstairs with god-knows what. We told T that the sign saying "watch your step" said "Closed". God help us when she knows how to read.

Anyway, after our bizarre breakfast, we stopped off at the outlet mall to visit the Disney outlet. We always like stopping off there first, to get junk at cut rates vs. paying the exhorbitant Disney prices. Of course, we have paid those stupid prices on some things, but at least I know that they're not 1/2 off down the street.

We checked into our hotel, ate lunch, took naps, then headed out to Epcot for the Princess Dinner. T wore her Ariel princess dress. We also brought a change of clothes for her, so she wouldn't be stuck in the stupid, hot dress in the god-awful Disney heat. The dinner came with a "free" picture of her with Belle, who was the princess on duty posing with all the kids before dinner. Then during the dinner, Jasmine, Ariel, Cinderalla, and Snow White made their way through the dining room posing with all the little girls. T also found Mulan and Mushu at the China exhibit.

After dinner we strolled around the park. MGM studios is on the list for tomorrow. Meanwhile, we're enjoying the hotel room and resting.

I'm happy to note that my foot is holding up reasonably well. I was nervous and had meant to order a scooter, but forgot. So far, so good.

Check in tomorrow for our continuing saga...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Downtown Disney Fun

After naps, we woke up and took off to downtown disney. A bunch of shops and restaurants. T got free pixie dust (glitter powder) sprinkled all over her, and was thrilled to be "glowing". She also got to post for a picture with sleeping beauty...the plastic version. We walked around and then had dinner at a seafood restaurant there. Yummy!

After, we strolled around and T got to ride on the choo-choo train and also the merry-go-round. Plus, there was a live DJ there, and we were able to join a kid dance party. It was the cutest thing. Stand by for some pics and video from today. Unfortunately, I don't think i brought my usb cord to connect the camera to the laptop.

We're pretty much exhausted from today, and T is still quite busy jumping back and forth, from one bed to the other. That's also one of her new favorite things. Tomorrow, we're sleeping in late, changing to the new hotel, and plan to play in the pool during the day. After naps, we're off to our 4:50 dinner with the princesses.

See Ya!

We're In Orlando...

Yippee, the weekend has arrived!!! As Marie asked as we were leaving work, "Carol Jordan, you just eviscerated the defense's expert witness in deposition...what are you going to do?" I'M GOING TO DISNEY!!!!!!"

Dot emailed me friday at work and said.., "Screw it...why wait til Sunday....let's go now". So we packed up and took off, in kind of a harem scarem way. As we were leaving Palm Beach County after a yucky dinner on the turnpike, as I asked Dot, "So, you got the tickets?". Um, no guess who forgot the tix?? Yippee!!! I feel vindicated!!!! I'm always catching flack for forgetting stuff like that. Dot, who claims never to forget anything, forgot the tickets this time. It was too late and we were too far from home to turn around again. So, here we are. Guess who will be purchasing their new seasonal passes a few days early if they can't look us up in the system?

Anyway, Dot found a hotel online as we drove up here. Take one guess. We're at the "Castle Hotel". Its a riot. As the name implies, its got a castel theme to it. T is in love with it. We arrived around 10:00 p.m. last night and crashed.

On Sat. morning, we went to Universal Studios for the first time. T loved the Shrek movie and scored a Princess Fiona Doll. We played carnival games and won a Kung Fu Panda, then had lunch. As is usual, T didn't want to do anything else, except go back to the hotel. So currently, we're in the hotel room watching KungFu Panda on TV and taking naps. Tomorrow, we'll move to the coronado springs hotel in disney for further fun.

Sunday p.m., we have reservations in Epcot to have dinner with the princesses. T is so excited she can't stand it. She's selected her Belle princess dress for the festivities. We'll see if she chooses red or gold for the evening. I'll be sure to get lots of pics.

Update: One of T's favorite things in Universal, was in the kids area. I think that its really intended for an animal show. It had a little slide, monkey bars, this yellow net thing to crawl through, etc. The kid play area she couldn't care less about. The dog play area, she loved. Go figure!
Ciao for now.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Land

This is what, in our family, we have always called "the land". It was almost like another member of the family. My dad would always want to go visit it...and go tromping through it despite nests of rattle snakes and his girls (my mom, me and dot) screaming at him not to do it. One time he actually drove a huge 1970's car into the thing, got stuck, and we had to find a tractor to push us out.

Here we are having a family picnic in 1965. I'm the baby, and Aunt dot is the toddler that you see. This is a photo of one of my scrapbook pages.

Whenever we went on family vacations, we had to visit "the land". We hated it. It was always hot and boring, and my dad would stay there FOREVER, while we were stuck roasting in the car waiting. My dad bought it in 1962 for about $5,000.00, and has held onto it ever since. Technically, its in Enterprise, Florida. Its about 16 acres, almost 4 of which are in the lake. I'd forgotten how beautiful it is. The dirt rode that we used to travel on to get to is is now a paved highway. There's even a publix down the street.

We were just in Deland (a nearby bigger town, home of Stetson College), completing the negotiations for the sale of it. The time
had come. My parents are in their 80's, don't need to continue paying taxes on it, and need to start liquifying their assets. Anyway, closing will be November 18. After coming to an agreement, we had to go look at it one last time and take a some pictures.

So, since it has been a member of the family for so long, I thought I'd post a picture of it on the old blog, for T to see some day, as I'm sure she'll grow up hearing stories about it. Hmmm, maybe I'll hunt up some old pictures of us stuck there, and post them here.

Adieu fair Land, fare thee well.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm just working for the Weekend...

Wasn't that a song from the 80's?? Maybe Rick Springfield or someone similar? That's the theme song of my life at the moment. As you may know, we'll be headed out to Disney this Sunday...that is if I can just make it through the next few days. Between now and then, I have to :

1. Prep two trials simultaneously at work. Something I've never done before and didn't think it would be as hard as it actually is. First one starts 10/6.

2. Drive my dad to Deland Florida (about 3.5 hours north) and back today (Wed) for a 1;00 p.m. meeting.

3. Back at work on Thursday and Friday for more prep and depos.

There very last thing I need to be doing is spending 3 days in Disney at this time, but it was all booked before my trial got moved to 10/6. The first trial was supposed to be done well before this trip. "The best laid plans...", huh?

All this, and I'm out of Calgon. I won't be "taken away" anytime soon, unless of course I'm Baker Acted, and dragged off to the looney bin. What could make this all the more miserable you ask? Yep, woke up at 3:00 a.m. with girlie cramps ...right in time to make the drive torture.

On an upnote, I was pleased to find out that I'm not too much of a geek. Click on the icon to rate yourself:

24% Geek

Unfortunately, I'm not quite sure I'd score as well on a Nerd test. I've yet to find that one, though!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What the hell is that?

So after I took pics of my favorite new deck of cards, T could not stop asking, "Can I take a picture of my cards, too?" So I handed her over the camera, and these are the best of the results. I admit that I cropped only the one of her foot. The others are in their unvarnished original state. As I was scrolling through, I see the last one. Huh? What the hell is that???

Well, yes, that is my ceiling, but what is that odd circle-looking spot?? Shit. Turns out, I think I have a roof leak. If not for T's photographic abilities, I doubt that I would have discovered it for quite a while.

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Gymnastics Saturday

Well, we survived Saturday, but just barely. Here's T in her tard that matches Miss Sara's. She actually agreed to wear it (over her more sparklie ones). However, when I brought it out her comment was, "But I don't have white legs" like Sara. I had to explain that white legs were only for dance, and that gymnists didn't wear stockings. She wasn't thrilled with that, but didn't put up a fuss.

She had a great time playing with all the kids and did really well. As you can see from the last picture, ever since her Idol "Taylor" the big girl gymnist said hello, T has wanted to sit at he picnic tables and "have a picnic", too. Of course, I let her do it this time, and she enjoyed her scooby snack at the tables.

After the class, we then headed over to my parents, where we spent the whole day. They were getting new windows put in and I was supervising. Unfortunately, not all the windows that I want replacing were done. We wanted to see how we liked them, as we didn't buy them from a showroom, just via internet. However, since they are the same window manufacturer as mine, I felt safe doing that. Anyway, the rest of the windows will be done in the future. Oh Joy.

Anyway, As is usual when we're there, T didn't nap. Unlike our friend little Katie Starr, if T doesn't get a nap she becomes the biggest crank on the face of the earth. We left and went to visit Aunt Dot around 6:00 p.m. Went to dinner and had to abruptly leave the mall, as we were dangerously close to an all-out tantrum.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

I'm a Photo Swiper

I confess. I'm a photo swiper! Here's a photo that I shamelessly pirated from another mom's website. Whoever shot this is much better with a camera than I. This is a much better angle than the ones I took, and the background is depicted better. Plus, I think you can see all the kids better, too.

Meanwhile, its 6:30 a.m., and T is still sleeping. That's good, as this is gynastics day. Hopefully we won't suffer the debacle of last week. After, we're headed over to my parents, where I'm having some new windows installed. Then this afternoon and evening, we're off to Aunt Dot's house. She's stuck at home all day long on both sat and sun, from 9 - 6 p.m., monitoring training calls for her work. She's stuck and will need her weekly Taylor fix, so we're going to her.

Meanwhile, we just go a few pics in from T's maonan sissy Sara. Sara is busy in ballet and dance class and Laura sent me some cute pics of that. I often speak about how alike they are. I'm also finding that Laura and I are much alike, too! In addition to general philosophies, we both are apparently passionate in our love for Target shopping. I spotted right away little Sara's cute leo. T has the same one!! I'll try and con her into wearing it today to gynastics, and post pics later. Ginger Rogers and Paula Abdul better watch out! Miss Sara's in the house!!!

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Impromptu Borders Poll

Close readers of this site remember how excited I was with my Hillary deck of playing cards. Well, look what I found tonight in Borders!! I'm equally excited. You may note the 2 red hearts cards....my boyfriends.... Jon Stewart and George Clooney! Similar to the other pack, the dueces are reserved for a select group of hated republicans...like Limbaugh, etc. Too funny. Unfortunately, the decks were manufactured before the Veeps were selected. They could have had some added fun with that!

Anyway, It seems that every time you turn around these days, the pundits are blabbing on and on about "the latest poll". One station has Obama ahead, and another (I like to think less reliable) network has The Joker ahead. Hard to know who to believe. Myself, I was heartened to see that in the playing card display in Borders tonight, Obama was sold out. I got the last pack.

There were 3 packs left of the Joker.

Sign of the times? I like to think so!

p.s. if you look closely at the 2nd Joker in this pack, you'll see McC, who I dubbed the Joker a few weeks ago based on a vile joke of his. Hmmm, clearly the maker of these cards agrees with me!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We're Helping Haiti to Smile

At T's school, there has been a box set up all week, with flyers posted asking one to donate clothes, food, really anything ...to help out the poor country of Haiti, which has been so ravaged recently by various storms and hurricanes. As is usual, I'm usually too busy to really think about it as I go about my daily hassle. That's a shame.

Tonight on the news, they made an announcement about how Miami-Dade county and the City were taking up a collection to be flown out on Friday. They really need more food. I believe that the daycare's box is part of that collection, as the center has some affiliation with the county. Anyway, tonight on the news they showed footage from Haiti. Its deplorable. Its unimaginable. It showed how the army had to protect people, often children, from being mobbed after being handed a ration of food. Grown men and women so desparate and hungry for food, that they would rob a child of his share. Heartbreaking.

So, I got up off my overly-fed rearend that was sitting nice and safe in my newly hurricane-shuttered house, and decided to take a peek to see if I have anything to donate. What a load I found!! Lots of stuff that I've had for a while, will be expiring at the end of the year, that I know I will NEVER eat before then. A box of pancake mix, 2 huge jars of annoying hurricane peanutbutter, some pasta dishes, couscous and rice, veggies, even pedialyte. Its amazing. We will never, ever miss any of this stuff, and people in Haiti are literally willing to kill for it.

Once again the concept of Haiti is a little above T, but she's very excited to be giving these gifts.

"Mama, I give this to Haiti and she's gonna smile".

Yes, baby, she certainly will.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Breaking Blog News! Vacation Update

Ooops, sorry I was unclear. We leave at the end of the month, and come back on Wednesday, Oct. 1.

We are very excited that Aunt Ceci and Baisler might be able to meet us for one day in disney. To that end, I'm publishing our tentative schedule (barring tantrums, sickness and other general calamities) while we're there:

Sunday: Epcot - 4:50 p.m. Princess Dinner

Monday: MGM - 11:30 Sci Fi Theatre Lunch
5:30 Wolfgang Puck Restaurant at Downtown Disney

Tuesday: Magic Kingdom: 11:30 Tony's Town Square Lunch (the Italian Restaurant near the entrance)
4:45 Epcot Japan Dinner

Wednesday: Drive home

So Ceci, which day? Mon or Tues? Let me know in the comments and I'll enlarge our reservations!

Hello China, it's me Taylor, Are you Listening?

This is the only picture that depicts T's special drawing that she made during the FCC dinner "for my China". You can see it tied to the balloon string. Not sure exactly what it is, other than a bunch of circle-type shapes, but I'm sure its something important in T's mind.

I'm starting to think the concept of china is a little to big for T to understand. Its funny, but sometimes I wonder if she thinks that China is a real, live person, vs. a country. Since the big balloon release, she's been constantly say, "My balloon will get to China First" "Its winning" "My China will like my balloon" "I drew a picture for my China", etc. Hmmm.

Below, if I ever get it working, I'll post the video of the big "balloon release". If I do say so myself, it really is cute...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Beach Blanket Bingo!

After the big balloon release, T had a ball playing on the beach. This is T's first trip to the beach. I confess to being a wuss and being too afraid to take her by myself. I've always thought we'd start out in the gulf, and work our way up to the Atlantic. However, after seeing how much fun she had tonight, I suspect a visit to the beach is in our near future.

You'll see in the bottom photo, after playing in the surf for a while, T made a beeline for the boys playing soccar. Smart Girl! Unfortunately, with my bum foot, I couldn't keep up with here. Luckily Uncle Jack had some leftover energy and was able to chase her down before she ruined their game.

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The Balloon Release

Here's the whole gang of kids, posing for the group shot. As you can see, some were making very funny faces for the camera.
T experienced the beach for the first time ever, and LOVED IT! She had a ball playing in the sand.
Finally, everybody one the count of 3, released their balloons with their messages attached. T slightly screwed up, and let hers go too soon. T then proceeded to announce to anyone who would listen that her balloon was "winning". Where does she get this stuff?
Here go all the balloons, on their way to china.

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A marvelous plan was made in the stars,
to create a miracle across the ocean so far....
Then entwine and weave all the hopes and labor,
it would take to bring us this joy called "Taylor"....
Now three lives are blessed and somewhere in the stars,
the planners are smiling, as we all are.

Taylor's Gal Pals

How Long We've Been a Family: