Welcome 2nd Grade!!

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

Saturday, October 31, 2009


I'm happy to report that T did not look quite like Bill the Cat...but it was a close thing! I was happy with my efforts at facepainting from the eyebrows down. Eyebrows up? Not so much. I also learned its a hell of a lot harder for a right handed person to paint the left side of someone's face. The girls at disney are truly professionals!

Anyway, we lost out ears headband, so we improvised with pigtails.

We headed over to trick or treat my parents, then to my friend Marie's house, which is nearby. Marie had lots of fun things planned for the kids...she made green spaghetti in a bowl, and put toys in it. the idea was to stick your hands into the "worms" to get the "eyeballs". The kids decorated cupcakes like witches, painted faces on pumpkins that John then carved, and of course there was the highlight of the evening....trick or treating.

Like last year, T went running at top speed from street to door and then again from door to street. I don't know where she gets her energy. She got lots of candy, and hasn't asked to eat anything tonight except for 2 starburst. I think letting her gorge last night did the trick. She doesn't seem to have any interest in it any longer.

So, we're home. T is watching the new Tinkerbell movie and working a craft. Picked up one of those purses with a picture on it that one colors. Tiana-themed. So, T is quite content.

Dot, who is in the air as I type this on her way to Manila, will be annoyed to learn that I forgot my camera tonight. Not to worry, though, we took pics with Marie's camera. Just need to wait til she sends them to us.

Hope everybody had a really spooky night!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Harvest Party

Today was finally the "big day". T's "Harvest Party" at school. I also finally figured out why its a harvest party vs. a halloween party. Unlike lots of protestant religions, the catholics usually have no problem with halloween, so I was a bit surprised.

Turns out, what really happens is that the little kids, prek through 1st grade, get to wear their halloween costumes to school. The rest of the school gets to dress up "for the harvest". Lots of farmers and cowboy hats and the like.
All the kids bring a pumpkin to school, either decorated or carved, for the school's pumpkin patch, where pictures are taken and snow cones are sold. Apparently, there was also a school play that T got to watch.
All the kids are also asked to bring a can of food and a shirt with long sleeves, to be donated to migrant workers. I like that.

Its a nice compromise between wearing uniforms and letting kids dress up. It avoids the older kids who always crave the "inappropriate" costume that would likely scare the little kids. Hard to look goth and spooky with pigtail braids and overalls!
T has come home with a ton of candy, which I'm letting herself gorge herself silly on, since its halloween. I offered her dinner, but she insists on just candy.

Boy, I miss those days!

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I've got a bad feeling...

...that in my quest to perfectly replicate T's wonderful disney facepainting, since I've NEVER applied facepaint to anyone before in my life, and since I really don't have that much luck putting makeup on myself, Poor T will wind up looking more like...
Bill the Cat!

Oy, the stress.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Let the Haunting Begin!

Tomorrow marks the start of our halloween festivities. T is allowed to wear a costume to school, and they will have a "Harvest Party" during school The school is also doing a pumpkin patch, that I'm sure she'll frequent. I have instructions to send a dollar to school with her, so she can purchase a snow cone. T will be taking along her very own lucky halloween dollar, provided by her Great Aunt Connie.


After school, she'll be changing into shorts and a shirt for aftercare. I think Aunt Dot will be coming over fri night, to get one last T fix. She's headed off to Manila on saturday for a few weeks. Then there's Sat...

T is so excited, she can't stand it. I bought some face paints at Michaels, in hopes of replicating the disney face painting. Wish me luck. I've never face painted before. We'll be going over to the Perikles house, for some major trick or treating. So....


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Update

All I can say is that its a good thing I can take the pumpkin to school tomorrow, for friday's party. Right on cue, its beginning to rot...inside my air conditioned house that is never hotter than 76 degrees. (When it comes to a/c, green I am not!)

Poor Mrs. Pumpkin has developed three spots that I touched, and my finger broke the skin. I'm hoping that she holds out another day, otherwise, we'll have to bring the little ones to school. So, she's now sporting three barbie band-aids on her chin/cheek. Looks odd, but that's the breaks.

The joys of living in a swamp.

Here Comes the Bride

So, this past sunday T and I were over at my parent's house. I took the opportunity to clean out 1/2 of their closet in their bedroom. I don't think that its ever been cleaned out since they moved in...in 1969. Got rid of about 8 big bags of junk. I'm only 1/2 done.

Anyway, one of the gems I found in their time-capsule of a closet, is the first holy communion veil worn by both my sissy and me. I made mine in 1971. My sissy a year or two before me.

T loves it. Its actually in much better shape than dot's old bridal veil. T insisted on grabbing some fake flowers, and prancing around the house pretending to be a bride.

Kept her out of my hair, at least.

I plan to look around for an old photo of me to scan in, wearing the veil, and post it with a pic of T in one of her white princess dresses. I thought of saving it for her event, but its yellowed and discolored from time, with some stains on it.

Good times!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Most Beautiful Word...

...in the English language is:


That's the word that was murmured in my ear by one of the girls at Baptist Breast Center, when she called me today to tell me that the results of Friday's biopsy. Yippee!!!!

While I didn't think I was worried, in reality I guess I was b/c it felt like a 1000 pounds was lifted from my shoulders. Just the thing I needed to give me a 2nd wind in prepping for my trial on monday. My 4.5 yr old case that's been around forever, is set once again. Defendant has been pulling tricks to stall it, quite successfully over the years. Looks like the judge has lost all patience with her, though, and hopefully the trial will commence. My secretary informs me, though, that my witnesses may be wagering amoungst themselves.

Rumor has it that Smart money is on the possibility that she'll throw herself down some stairs and have to seek medical attention, to delay things again. Coming in a close second is that she'll pretend to be crazy and get herself Baker Act'ed ( i.e. involuntarily hospitalized), thereby delaying things again.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Jack-O-Lanterns Miami-style

We've been very busy this evening decorating up our pumpkins. As I may have mentioned before, its so hot in this swamp-town, that we really don't carve up our pumpkins more than the day before halloween, else risk them decaying into a soupy stinky mess...with bugs. However, we still enjoy decorating them up, as you can see. We just have to be a bit more creative.

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Pumpkin Patch

Yep, fall is in the air in sunny So. Fla. Weather is in the high 80's, and pumpkins abound. We visited the pumpkin patch at the Miami Shores Presbytarian Church. They've had one every year since I was a little girl. We score one smallish pumpkin and two tiny ones. T thought that all three of us needed one. We're going to be decorating one of them, to bring to T's Halloween party at school. Just bought a template book at target, to hopefully draw appropriate faces on them with a sharpie.

Meanwhile, my boob still hurts from the biopsy, but is getting better. Results should be in by about Tuesday or so.

Lastly, I've ordered up a vanity top for my parent's upstairs bathroom from Granite Transformations. That's the outfit that fabricates countertops that look like stone and granite...but are harder and more durable, that fit OVER your existing countertop. The template man was there today, and the thing will be created and then installed Nov. 13. I'm very excited about this, and will let everyone know how it turns out.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Back Home on Wednesday

We drove home Wednesday, without incident. I had wanted to drive around the state and visit a certain family in Tampa, but I have a needle biopsy scheduled today (Friday). Found a place with a different table, so hopefully, it will all go without a hitch.

This cute pic is when we were on the merry go round. T was very concerned that I wasn't holding on, and was instead taking her picture. I was on the horse next to T. She kept admonishing me to "Hold on, mama, you have to hold on!" Sweet child.
This character is Madame Tremaine, the wicked step mother from Cinderella. She and the two wicked step sisters were hanging out in fantasy land. They were funny b/c they'd make rude comments to people. They said to Dot and I, "Hey, what are you looking at?".

So ends our short vacation.

Update at 1:30 p.m. on Friday: home from the doc, and it all went off without a hitch. The table was much better, as I remembered, and they had me lined up and in position in just a few minutes. So, I've popped some pain pills and will have an enjoyable rest of the afternoon feeling slightly high.

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Mickey's Halloween Part II

T with her idol Ariel.

We were extremely lucky to be seated at a table outside, at the Italian Restaurant. This was fab as we got to see all the people in their costumes entering the park. There were some really clever, elaborate costumes. Of course, nothing to rival the sights one sees on Lincoln Road on the beach, but that's another story. This is g-rated disney, after all.

After dinner we headed back to fantasy land. On the way there, disney had set up special stations with candy. You got in line, and were able to trick or treat the employees handing out the candy. T was thrilled. There were also special areas set up for a dance party. In tomorrow land (where space mountain is located) there was a DJ, who was mixing cool songs and everyone was dancing. What was extra special for us was the dance party in Fantasy land...where all the kiddie rides are located.
I can not tell you how much fun T had dancing in the dance area. It was set up by Ariel's Grotto. All these little kids in their costumes were rocking out to songs. I have a short video of T dancing to "Walk Like an Egyptian", that's really really cute.

T danced her heart out for about 45 minutes straight. Poor thing was dancing so hard, she got a cramp in her side.
After dancing around, we rode Its a Small World a few more times, then found a spot to watch the fireworks. T wanted to leave, b/c the spooky haunted mansion voice would come on making announcements park-wide, which she proclaimed was too scary. We made her stay, and she really enjoyed the fireworks show. Nobody does fireworks like Disney.

After that, we had to go one last time on Its a Small World, and then left the park around 11:00 p.m.

I can't say enough about how much fun this was. Even the parades were fun. They would stop the parade, all the characters would get off the floats, and they'd invite everyone into the middle of the street to dance with all the cast members. Conga lines were going ever 20 feet or so. So, if you ever get a chance to go, I highly recommend it!

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Mickey's Halloween Party

This is a picture of our hotel courtyard. The hotel has about 4 courtyards, all with different movie themes. We were lucky enough to score a room in the "Toy Story" section.


Dot and I loved it too, b/c it was conveniently close to the restaurant/lobby. What's neat is that there is also a tot lot nearby, that T enjoyed playing in when we were spending time at the hotel. The first night, she inserted herself into another family's fun. It was another chinese adoptive family, who had a little girl named Jordan. T loved playing with her, and Jordan's older brothers and sisters. I'm always a little surprised to see all of the adoptive families at disney. There are always loads. I love it.

By Tuesday night, it was warming up enough that we didn't need our jean jackets, yet it was still cool. Like disney was air conditioned.

T is particularly thrilled with her costume, after learning that Sophie Perikles has the same one for halloween. They'll be trick or treating together, and T is so excited that she can't stand it.
Once we entered the park, we made a bee-line to toon town to touch up T's face paint, then we were off to fanstasy land again. T enjoyed playing in the Pooh area, and was thrilled to have a little one-on-one quality time with her idol Ariel. We also were able to get a few rounds in on Its a small world, before heading off to dinner.

In honor of the big event, I wore a bat headband. Tried to con Dot into wearing the princess-bride mickey ears that we bought T, but she refused. We were getting enough odd looks from people, when T would yell "Doddy", and hug my sissy. God knows the looks we'd get if she had the bride ears on...like all the honeymooning couples. We just have to laugh.

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Prepping for the Party at Downtown Disney

Aunt Dot bought us some special tickets to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party on Tuesday. Party started at 7:00 p.m. in the magic kingdom, although we could enter earlier and did. In preparation thereof, T brought her halloween costume to disney. She's a kitty cat this year. While we were face painting yesterday, I noticed that one of the choices was a kitty cat princess face. So, as we were fooling around at downtown disney, having a relatively slow day in prep for our big night, we found face painting there.

I must say, she looked so stinkin cute I couldn't stand it. Pics don't really do justice, as you cant see the sparkle from the glitter.

Anyway, we posed with all kinds of characters, shopped til we dropped, and headed back to the hotel for naps and to prep for our big night.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Monday at MGM....NOT!

We started bright and early on monday at MGM. T professed to having NO INTEREST in any of the attractions, which seems to have been a theme for the trip. We conned her into going onto the movie tour, and she's pictured here with a princess dress from a Queen Eliz II movie. The ride was a big mistake, b/c it had scary parts to it, from T's point of view. We then walked to the Honey I shrunk the kids playground, the scene of our discontent from years past.

T went inside, but didn't have fun at all. Said she was scared of basically everything. I think the problem was that the place was empty. She was one of only 2 children inside the place. As we left, she started balling on that same stupid street where she pitched a fit in years past. We've decided that that street is possessed, and will avoid it at all costs in the future.
We quickly left MGM, and headed over to the Magic Kingdom. We were out of there before 10:00 a.m., and the place opens at 9:00.

At the Magic Kingdom, we enjoyed the parade and were surprised to see Mr. Incredible and Frozone on a float. We've never seen them in MK before.

We then, you guessed it, rode Its a Small World a few times. Interestingly, this monday was twice as crowded as it had been the day before. Dot and i were both baffled as to why that occurred. Can't figure it out.

T perked up quite a bit when we let her get her face painted. That was the highlight of the day. Since T was still on the verge of freaking on us, we stayed in the hotel that night for dinner, then went out to the outlet mall to troll for cheap disney stuff. That was a big fat bust, so no pics of that.

Tuesday, was very special. Stand by for pics from that!

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sunday Park Fun

We were up bright and early on Sunday, and headed out to the Magic Kingdom. As you can tell from how we're dressed, it was COLD. Highs were only in the 60's. Perfect Disney weather. Another bonus, it wasn't too crowded.

I basically stay off most rides due to my bad back. I'd hate to throw it out over something so dumb as a disney ride, so I'm a bit "ride-shy". My sister Dot, however, is more than willing to fill in for me. She and T went on dumbo, which was inexplicitly pronounced as "too scary and too high" this time. The Kid has ridden it many times before, but this time balked. She also refused to go on almost every other ride. You'll note that I used the the word "almost". T did deign to go on "The Dolls", aka Its a Small World.


And Over.

And Over.

I think we rode the dumb thing about 20 times over the course of all the days. If I hear that song again, somebody's going to have to shoot me to put me out of my misery.

For the first time, though, we experienced Tom Sawyer's Island. I have many fond memories of the island. Ran wild for hours on it a few times with my cousins back in the 70's. In July, no less. Lets just say that its a bit more difficult for a 40 something, out of shape, overweight mom to do it. Yikes. Luckily, T wasn't in a very exploratory mood, so she was pretty easy to keep up with.
We left the park about 2:00 p.m., to take naps, then suited up for the evening at epcot. I relented and let T wear her Mulan costume, and she was thrilled. As you can see, she had her clothes on underneath due to the cold. She even got to meet "Mulan" in the park and get her autograph. We had dinner in mexico, explored china some more, then headed back to the hotel, as T was definitely "on the edge".

Next up: MGM Studios

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Sara and Taylor Tore Up the Town!

Downtown Disney, that is! We woke up bright and early on Saturday, and my sister Dot had us on the road before 7:00 a.m. Oy. Turns out it was a good thing, b/c it gave us a little time to settle in before we went off to Downtown Disney to meet the Manvilles.

For those not in the know, Sara is from the same orphanage as Taylor, we adopted our girls at the same time. They now live in Tampa, we we get together every now and then.

The girls got along great, and had a fab time riding the train and carousel, and stalking princesses and pixie dust. The adults had a fab time at an Irish pub, despite the poor service and hot sun.
There's something very special of seeing these girls together. They each started from such humble beginnings, and were lucky enough to be placed into the international adoption track at their orphanage. Both were given families at a very young age, and now live 1/2 way around the world from their original home, a mere few hours away from the other.
T was very sad when they had to leave at the end of the day. We left and went back to our hotel, the All-Star Movie hotel, and hung out there for the rest of the night.

Next day?

Magic Kingdom!

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Friday, October 16, 2009

What's a Girl to Do?

Said with a booming TV announcer's voice:

"Gee Carol, the defense attorney on your trial set for Monday just took a continuance, clearing your calender. What are you going to do now?"

WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yep, you read that right, we're off bright and early in the a.m. to pay a little impromptu hommage to the magical rat. Between my schedule, my sister's schedule, and my parents' general demands, if we don't go now, I doubt we'll go again til after the new year. So, adios, syonara, and all those other words painted on the walls at the end of Its a Small World.

Stay tuned for reports from the happiest place on earth... that will be blessedly cool for the next few days. Paradise!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Miscellaneous Nothings...

  • Taylor has been surprisingly well behaved since "the incident". Still no tv, though, and she's not putting upa fuss.
  • Was sick to my stomach watching the balloon fly across Colorado with a supposed 6 yr old inside. I'm praying the boy turns up OK, since he wasn't found inside the balloon. I've got a bad feeling, though.
  • Funny comment from T lately: after I hear a tell-tale "sound" from her, she turns to me and says "Its OK mama, I didn't go poopie. That was just bubbles."
  • We were almost late for school today b/c T has lost her sneakers. She had to wear her black school shoes with her gym clothes today.
  • Stone crab season opened today, and I'm jones'ing for a fix.
  • Cold front is supposedly coming to So. Fla., to bring some welcome relief to the old swamp town we live in. Its been consistently over 90 degrees since last March.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

All Hell Broke Loose Here

Yep, it was a bad, bad night. T wanted to sleep with me, then proceeded to put her legs on me, instead of laying correctly. When I asked her to stop fooling around and go to sleep, her response was a difinitive "no".

After a few more nos, I said fine, go sleep in your own bed. Again, NO.

Knowing I'd never lift her up to carry her back into her room without risking my back, I said "Fine, I'll go sleep in your bed. I have no interest in sleeping with anyone who keeps kicking me".

All was quiet, and about 10 minutes later a light goes on in my bedroom. I go inside, and find the blinds wide open, and T naked as a jay bird standing in front of the window. When I asked her what she thought she was doing, her reply?

I went pee pee in your bed

Yep, that's about the time all hell broke loose. I was so, so mad that I didn't know what to do. T was ordered back into her room to go to sleep, which she did without a peep. She's also once again, unplugged. She also admitted that she did it on purpose, because she was mad.

Myself? I was up all night b/c I was so mad I couldn't go to sleep, so I guess she won in the end. So, today we're starting over. She has vowed to be a good girl and I have vowed not to be mad at her anymore.

Not sure which of us will break our vow first...

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Dot's birthday fell in the middle of the week while she was in TX. So, T and I planned a small impromptu bday party Friday night, when she got home. T was so excited, she couldn't stand it, and felt her Tinkerbell costume was the only appropriate attire for the festivities.

I picked up a tiny cake at publix, which by the way, is DELICIOUS! Got a couple gifts, lit some candles, and we were in business. It was a party!
Funny how T always has a way of horning into somebody else's candle-blowing ritual. The kid likes nothing better, than blowing out nicely lit candles atop yummy cakes. Who can blame her, right?

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Friday, October 9, 2009


My mom is the proud new owner of yet another hearing aid. This one, though, has a nifty string with a clip attached to it, that I'm hoping will save it from the fate her previous hearing aids suffered. We'll see.

While I was over there, the railing man called, and wanted to come and install the railings. They are FAB! and look great, too. They are just the thing that my mom needed. Unfortunately, they fabricated a railing incorrectly, and I made them take it back and redo it, so I'll have to go over there this morning as well, to make sure its done correctly.

We're off to the dr for a followup appointment regarding T's parotid gland. She reports that the rocks are gone, but the doc will officially confirm that.

T also claims that Mrs. M said that all the kids could wear costumes to school today. Call me crazy, but this sounds a bit suspicious to me! Since nothing was mentioned to me yesterday by the teacher, and there was no notice sent home in her lunchbox, I have my doubts. So, we've reached a compromise. T, herself, packed a bag with princess dress, crown, and shoes. Its waiting by the front door. I'm very interested to see whether or not all the other kids are in costume, or if T got the message all balled up. Something has given her the impression that costumes are OK today. I'm wondering, though, if perhaps the class was discussing their upcoming halloween festivities, and T got confused.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sock-o-holics of the World Unite!

My friend Lori over at Stress is the New Black, confessed a dirty little secret today. She's a sock-o-holic. Immediately recognizing a sister-at-arms, I felt compelled to do a little soul-baring myself. So....

I give you T's sock drawer. (No, i'm no crazed neat freak, this drawer is religiously maintained on a weekly basis by Leonor, who enjoys sorting things by color. She does it in my closets, too, but I digress). The basket on top are T's white school socks. Call me crazy, but I've always felt it very important that T's socks match her outfit. Like any good addict, I think I'm suffering from black outs, since I have no independent memory of purchasing all of these socks. However, the evidence speaks for itself.

So, there you have it. What does your kid's sock drawer look like? I'm just glad that somebody has more socks than T, which allows me to maintain the illusion that I'm not nuts.

Thanks, Lori!

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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: