Welcome 2nd Grade!!

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

Monday, January 31, 2011

Spirit Week - School Colors Day

Here's my spirited little student, festooned in her school colors. She was particularly proud of her pig tails, which were quite long.

In other news I'm just sick. One of the party deliveries arrived today according to UPS, but is nowhere to be found. Either they delivered it to the wrong address. Or, more likely, they delivered it correctly and it was stolen from my front porch.

No word yet on whether or not they will replace the items, or whether I'll have to pay for the things again. Some of the items are easily replaced. But one item...22 favor gift boxes and loot to fill them, are irreplacable. The things were on sale at 1/2 price...plus a percentage off. No way I'll ever find replacements that cheaply.

I only have one more outstanding order, and its a small one. I'll be watching out for that one like a hawk. Its supposed to arrive on 2/3.

At the rate I'm going, I might as well have shelled out the $$ to have the party at some business establishment, and saved myself the trouble.

Live and learn, right?

UPDATE AT 11:37 P.M.: I'm asleep, my phone rings, and its some man saying that he lives at the same house number, but a few streets over, and he just got home to discover a package addressed to me, delivered to his house. Would I like him to bring it over? I say YES! So, I get up, find a robe and go out in my livingroom to wait. Meanwhile, all the home invasion robberies I ever handled wherein they posed as package delivery fly through my head, and I start getting nervous about opening the door. Guy calls again and he's outside my house. I peek out, open the door, he hands me my hugely bigger than expected box. (I had forgotten about the pinata inside) Smiles, says he saw it was from a party store and wanted to get it to me, b/c he has 4 kids, too.

See? Its nice to be reminded that the world is not full of criminals! Honest people other than you and I do exist! Yippee!!!!!!!

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

I'm Exhausted

I can't tell you how exhausted I am. On Sunday, we slept late and then went to the diner for breakfast. After that it was to the toy store. We are the happy new owners of 8 hula hoops, for T's birthday party hula hoop contest.

After the toy store, we went up to my parents' house. Everyone there was doing well, and Leonor actually got my dad to change his clothes. Yippee! My mom seemed to be having a good day, as well. T and I went to the grocery store for them, to the party store for more bday stuff, and then up to Dot's house to check the mail.

Then....a big surprise for T....

We met Sophie and Nick at the St. Rose carnival. T actually went on a few rides, and went into two bounce houses. They made vast improvements from my days there. In the area where the bike racks were located, they now set up a "Wine Bistro". Beer, Wine, Frozen Rum Drinks, and everything. Woohoo!
Taylor was in her glory, hanging with the big girls. We then went on the ferris wheel, got some ice cream, and headed home.

I'm off to relax in my bed for a while, the its the start of Spirit Week at T's school.

Hope you all had a great weekend.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cookies, anyone?

Boy did we have fun today selling out cookies. The girls were just too cute. Interestingly, it was mostly men that purchased. 90% of our sales were to the men. They also universally fell for the line, "Buy some girl scout cookies, they're tasty and sweet". T came up with that one. Who could resist these cute tirls saying that?

The funniest who purchased were clearly three college guys from UM. They were festooned in green and orange, and each exited the publix with a 12 pack of beer. That's it.

We teased them that nothing goes better with beer than a girl scout cookie. They quickly hid the beer behind their backs claiming it was sparkling cider. Hmm, never heard of Corona sparkling cider.

These boys didn't seem to need any hints when it came to girls, as they were all adorable, but when we mentioned that the easiest way to strike up a conversation with a cute girl is to offer her a girl scout cookie, their wallets were out.

Smart boys.
One of the moms had an old lemon drop cookie costume, that all the girls wore at one time or another during the day. T looked the funniest, as it was HUGE on her.

We did some brisk sales, and then returned home for hair cutting. Had to even up T's bangs, as you can see.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Plans in the works...and other nonsense

We have some fun stuff coming up in the next week or so. On Sat., we have our big Girl Scout cookie sale. We will be hanging out at a nearby grocery store, hocking cookies to every poor soul who gets within 30 feet of us. Wish us luck.

We then will get our hair cut, and hopefully go off to a carnival that's in town in the evening. I'm keeping that under wraps from you-know-who, just in case I dont feel like going.

Then, since next week is spirit week at school, we're planning what to wear.

On monday, she must wear anything in the school colors. I see a target run in our future.

Tuesday is Blast from the Past day, where she can go dressed in clothes from the 50's through the 80's. T will wear her gogo boots and dress from Aunt Ceci with peace signs all over it. She looks like "that girl" in it. Um, can I just say that this irks a bit and since when are the 80's now included in "oldies" celebrations? That's when I was graduating high school. It was just yesterday, right? RIGHT??? but i digress...

Wednesday is "Pastor Appreciation Day". Hmm. Catholic School. Always throwing in the religion. Guess that's not a bad thing, but the kids have to wear their uniforms and go to church. bummer.

Thursday is Wacky Tacky Day, where she will wear a wild, mis-matched outfit. Additionally, we have to pack her daisy uniform, so that she can perform a quick change routine in the car, as Thursday is also our big Daisy Restaurant Extravaganza, where the girls will practice their newly-minted manners.

So that's what's on our plate for the near future.

Meanwhile, we were in nordstrom last night, and I see THE CUTEST bathing suit. I point it out to T, who takes it off the rack and holds it up to her body. She then announces, "No, I don't think its big enough". A strange statement since she was holding what looked to be a size 8. When questioned, she said...and I quote...."I don't think its big enough to cover my weenie" What do you mean your weenie, I screeched. She then proceeded to point "down below".

Huh? My mouth drops to the floor. Clearly, I've got some 'splainin to do, which we started discussing, right in the middle of the damned store. When done, I come back to reality, to realize about 4 - 5 other moms had been listening to our nonsense, and were laughing their asses off. We exited the store, at the speed of light and went home to have a glass of wine to settle my nerves.

Life with an almost-six year old.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cutest Invite EVER!!!!

What did I tell you?

Have you ever seen a cuter invite???

Bonus: I found matching tableware online via another website....AND IT WAS ON SALE!!!!

I love when a plan comes together!

Weekend Update

Hmmm, what to report?

My mom wasn't doing too well last week, and Icolene was worried. We started her on oxygen, though, and she seems to have bounced back. We're all very much relieved and happy.

Dot goes off to Manila for 2 weeks on monday morning.

T and I will be manning a girl scout cookie booth this saturday.

Biggest news: I'm starting to plan Taylor's 6th birthday party. I've decided to have it at the house, in an attempt to economize. So, I'm slowly buying decorations, planning entertainment and menus (um, that would be pizza and chips), and honing the guest list. We're having a Hula Birthday Party with Mom's day out Tiki Cocktail Party. Should be alot of fun. If nothing else, I'm having a ball planning the thing.

I'm sure you'll be hearing much more about it as the weeks go by. It is, after all, at the end of March!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Special Photos

Lastly, I leave you with these 3 photos, that I ordered from the disney site. Disney has photographers all over the park, who will take your photo for you and save them digitally to a card, similar to a credit card that one carries around. Bunches can be saved to the card, and then One can go to their site and order up a few shots, for a fee.

I ordered these three and are saving them here, as I just ordered them in electronic form (the cheapest). If I didn't save them here and my computer crashed, I would lose them forever.

No can do!

This one I like b/c we have so few photos of just the two of us together. I chose the border due to our Family-versary. I love it!

The last two I ordered b/c I couldn't resist. I just think she looks so stinkin' cute!

So ends our wonderful vacation.

We can't wait to go back!!!

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

What a day!

One of my favorite pics from the day! This kid is so cute and full of personality, I couldn't believe it. And smart as a whip. All of them were, in fact. P, though, was more of an age with Taylor, and the two of them got along famously. While the big boys were off doing space mountain, P and T went to see the Laugh floor, ride the people mover, and otherwise try and get into trouble.
Finally, I was able to get the two older kids to smile for a picture. The only reason they deigned to smile, was because their beloved speedway and space mountains were in the background, and I asked them to take a pic with those rides in it. They couldn't have posed fast enough!
We ended the very long day with dinner a the Grand Floridian cafe. Here's a pic of the special dessert the chef made for the boys, as the have allergies and couldn't order off the menu. After dinner we returned to our hotel after 9 at night. The boys were zonked, and couldn't understand why T was still jumping around full of energy.

That, is one of the great mysteries of life. After we parted company, the only way I averted and all out tantrum from T who was upset and "missing her cousins" was with an outright bribe of going to the hotel arcade. She was instantly diverted, and T and her tired old mom spend another hour in there, fooling around.
So ended our big day. We left disney the next day, in pouring rain. Both of us were literally drenched trying to pack up my van in the pouring rain. I posted this last pic, as T basically got her face painted every day we were there. Here she is, sporting the "Flower Mask". I must say, those disney face painters are true artists. They use glitter and everything and the results, that don't show as well in pictures, are stunning.

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Cousin fun never stops!

After adventureland, we made our way to frontierland. While the 2 big boys were busy on the thunder mountain RR, I took T and P off to the shooting gallery, where T just wanted to watch. Sense a theme here?

In front of the gallery is this checkers table, where they sat down to play. P is a flat-out checker-shark. I've never seen a kid so young play with such skill. The one time I conned him into letting T take one of his pieces, in the very next move he took back two of hers! He was just setting us up! Well, you know this whole incident did not sit well with my competitive little girl. Luckily, the other boys showed up before she could fly across the board to draw blood b/c she wasn't winning. Crisis averted, whew!

After this, the cousins went to the haunted mansion, while T and I sat on a porch in rocking chairs and she played on my phone. While we were in the park for over 9 hours this day, I must say it was quite relaxing for me with all the sitting around I was doing! Best park day for me yet!

And then we entered fantasyland. T was so excited to share with the boys her favorite ride in the whole wide world: Its a small world. She was literally jumping up and down in excitement. I admit the ride was not as big a hit as others, but I think they secretly enjoyed it, despite it being a "girly" ride.

Chris and I then forced the big boys onto the teacups. And I do mean forced. How in the world could they think that this was not a fun ride? Kids today, don't know what they're missing. Chris and I would ride this thing over and over, trying to see who would cry uncle first. Neither of us ever did. We would spin the thing so fast that I'm surprised the damned cup didn't break off and take flight. ah well.

One thing we were successful in doing, is sharing our love for all things arcade. Both of us considered ourselves quite the pinball wizzards, back in the day. Our children seem to have inherited the same "arcade fever".
Lastly we were off to tomorrow land. This last pic was taken while waiting in line for the speedway. It is also evidence of what happens when you ask 9 and 10 yr old boys to pose for a picture with their little cousin. T the ham, strikes quite the pose. The boys, on the otherhand, could not scramble out of the picture fast enough!

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Cousin Day Continued

When we got into the park, we immediately vered left toward adventure land. While the boys did the tree house, jungle cruise, and Pirates, T and I had breakfast and roamed the Pirate store.

Despite what you might think from viewing these pictures, where T is looking quite brave and daring, she's a big fat chicken.

Totally afraid to go on the rides.

This group of pics just makes me laugh, b/c she poses like she's the bravest girl in the world!
Her favorite part of the store was discovering this chest of jewels. She played here for quite a while.

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Cousin Day

Here we are in our room, waiting for our cousins to arrive. I threw in these to pic for sentimental reasons. As T was playing between the beds with her barbies, I was thinking back to the last time she was corralled between the beds.

That would have been 5 yrs ago in china. I stacked pillows at the end, and she would play inbetween the beds, holding on and furniture surfing as she was trying to learn to walk.

Boy, was she a cute baby!
Now she's full of sass and all grown up.

Time flies!
On Sunday, we woke up and hightailed it to MK, to show our cousins around the park. It was quite a surreal experience running around the park with my cousin and his sons. C and I ran the park as kids. We must have been around 7/8 yrs old at the time. Back then, we literally ran the park, with no adult supervision. Now we were running the park again, this time accompanied by our kids, two of which are spitting images of him as a boy.

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

5 yr family-versary

Wow, what a wonderful gift to receive on this anniversary. Another family has made a facebook page for our Maonan girls, and posted this pic from the day we met. I had never seen this picture before. As I've mentioned in the past, b/c pics from that day are limited, each one is like finding a chest full of gold to me!

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Downtown Disney


Since I wasn't driving and we took the boat, I had two yummy Mai Tai's and stone crabs in celebration of our day. T? Um, she had chicken nuggets and fries, what else?

After my drinks, the night was looking a whole lot better, and we had fun on the little rides and exploring the shops. Also singing to the piped in music! No funny looks at disney, almost anything that's good, clean fun goes!

T, much to my surprise, wanted to pose with the bones of captain Jack. I had high hopes that would mean she'd deign to go on the Pirate ride tomorrow, but alas, not.

T just wanted to pose.
We took the boat back to our hotel, and awaited the arrival of our cousins. They arrived around 9:00 pm., or so and we headed immediately to their room.

We gave the boys one of those disney balloon balls to play with in the room, as I believed it would be impossible for them to do any damage with it. After all, the thing is basically a balloon encased in material. Of ocurse, I didn't take into account the velocity with which a 10 yr old football playing, huge for his age boy could throw the thing. Ooops. No work yet on whether or not it has done any damage, as they are still in disney and we're now home.

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More Disney

Turns out what T really wanted to do at Epcot was go on the Mexico ride. That's it, just the Mexico ride. We did that, then started on the walk "around the world. We made it all the way to China, where she insisted on buying a new fan, as she claims her old one is lost. I suspect its in her toybox, but today was family day, so who cared? The kid go a new fan.
We then got some ice cream in africa, and T was done. It was already around 3:00 by then, so we went back to our hotel for a much needed (for me) nap.

We took a boat across the lake and left the park. All I can say is thank god for the seasonal pass that we have, which allows us to come and go as we please. If I had shelled out the $$ for the ticket for just that day, I would have lost my mind.
Can this kid eat ice cream, or what??
After my nap, we got showers and then took the hotel boat to Downtown disney.

...to be continued....

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We made it to Disney!

We started out on Friday bright and early, around 8:00 a.m., and were in Disney by noon. Our room wasn't ready, so we took the opportunity to dump our luggage with the bellmen, and run off to the Magic Kingdom.

We spent the whole day there. A highlight was seeing Minnie and Mickey in toon town, which is scheduled to close quite soon to make way for new construction.
We headed directly to its a small world first, of course, before seeing Mickey. The weather was cool and the crowds were not as bad as I would have thought. We were able to do that ride a few times, then got some lunch. As I obtained the food, and then ate, T was spending some quality time between bites with the hula hoops.

She was very excited to show off her perfected skills, as she is now a pro. Last time there, she couldn't really do it. Once she saw another child doing 2 hoops at once. She would not stop until she could, too. She was great! Of course, my competitive little child had to up the ante, so to speak, and had to try 3 at once. Less success there, but she had a ball trying.

We saw the country bear jamboree, and stalked Rapunzel and Tiana with limited success. Though a huge fan, T did NOT want to spend the time standing in line to speak with them. We stayed in the park until around 7:00, then returned to our hotel for dinner. T was ready for action, but I was exhausted. So ended our Friday.

Saturday dawned with our waking bright and early and braving the cattle call, I mean hotel restaurant for breakfast. I can't tell you how crowded, hectic, and intense that was. Oy. After some time we found a table and were able to eat our Mickey waffles, ears first, of course.
T was allowed to set the schedule for the day. She started out wanting to go to animal kingdom, but balked at the last minute and couldn't resist another go at MK's Its a small world. We wandered the park a bit, did some shopping, then T wanted to go to epcot.

So after making T pose for this shot, we jumped on the monorail and high-tailed it to Epcot for what I thought would be a fun day at the park.

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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: