Thursday, January 31, 2013

Back For More

Yesterday Cindy and I went to Disney again to use up the last remaining day on a three-time pass.  It was truly the best day at Disney I have ever had in my entire life.  Ever.  The weather was so sunny and gorgeous, I didn't have to wear pants and we only had to relent and finally put on a hoodie right as we were watching the fireworks at 8pm. Just to clarify, I was wearing capris, I was not without bottoms.

The best way to show you the day is always with pictures.  So if you want a long, boring post about a day where you were not involved whatsoever, read on!

I can honestly say she has been on this exact same horse 5 years in a row.

Cindy rides the carousel like a girl!  I ride it like a someone who doesn't get out much.  

Ever since Cindy learned that her Aunt Tara, somehow, at Disneyland, pulled out the Sword in the Stone, Cindy is OBSESSED with pulling out this one.  I am not sure that this one ever comes out???  
Nevertheless, she will never give up! Never surrender!

She even tried later that night....

Nope, still not gonna budge.   Guess we will just have to keep going back to keep trying :)

Most of the real reason that yesterday was so awesome was due to something else. I don't even know if I should be telling you this, but I am about to reveal an amazing secret.  An amazing secret about Disney World.  Are you ready?  If you go the last week in January, you won't have to wait in line for anything.  
Just a little tip for anyone out there thinking of visiting one day.   So as you can see, this was the scene on It's  Small World, which was running a negative wait time and the boats were going mostly empty.  
Which makes for excellent leg room, apparently.

Did we do the teacups?  Four times.

By the way, I went and had my teeth whitening done last weekend.  This pictures shows it a little.  I guess I already had pretty white teeth, so it's not a huge difference, but I like it.  And since Cindy actually told me that my teeth were "glowing" while riding Peter Pan's Magic Flight, I guess in a small way I have been elevated to Ross Gellar status ;)

Did we do International Raceway?  Twice.

Will Cindy actually ever get her real driver's license? As a public service, not until she is forty.

Did we get asked a few times to take the timer card to the front of the line?  
Yep.  Cindy asks, "Do I have to do everything around here?"

Did we ride the Jungle Cruise?  Oh yeah.  And Did they ask Cindy to be the guest skipper and drive it through the dark and scary tunnel?  Yes they did.  She was so excited.  And terrified of crashing and killing everyone.  But, would you believe she drove it as well as the regular driver???? Whaaaaat?   And here is a bit of trivia for you:  My dad's lifelong retirement dream job is being a Jungle Cruise driver.  Would he be perfect for that or what?  He seriously has to check into that one day...

Did we ride the Mississippi style steamboat?  Yes, Cindy loves this ride almost as much as the people mover.  And that is saying something!  But like the people mover, it is all about the sitting down :)

I was also thinking that this trip to Magic Kingdom would pretty much be the same as most of the times we had gone before, but we managed to find a lot of new things this time around.  Like....

The Swiss Family Robinson Tree House!  Come and dance with Roberter!

Meeting Merida from Brave.....

Her accent and hair were spot on!

Meeting Rapunzel and Jasmine....

We had met Tinkerbell in the past....

But we also got to meet her sister, Periwinkle, this time.

What can I say? I have a thing for Native American guys....

So my report on the new Fantasyland is as follows:  While some of it is open, most of it really isn't.  What is open is Storytime with Belle (a show), Be Our Guest Dining Hall (a restaurant), Gaston's Tavern (a snack bar), some other gift shop and then Voyage of the Little Mermaid. Which is an actual ride and had zero line each time we went so we didn't even get to spend much time admiring all the craftsmanship of the outside!  But it was right up there with all the other Disney awesomeness.  Of course.

That waterfall is going to make a lot of people very, very happy this summer.

You can see Rapunzel's tower over the construction wall here.  
The Snow White mine car roller coaster looks like it is going to be a big deal too.

I will definitely tolerate the people mover at the end of the day when the sun is going down and I need to sit and take a break for a bit.  Cindy would ride it all day long if she could.  So weird!

Me and my crazy eyes!!! And my waffle/Nutella/fruit sandwich.  I told Cindy I wish I had had candles with me.  I would have lit them and had everyone sing, because that was a cake and an entire day fit for a most excellent 34th Birthday :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Girls Day Out

Hopefully while you are reading this, I am out at Disney World with Cindy to celebrate my birthday :)  The forecast high for Orlando for Wednesday is near 85 degrees.  Winter? What's that?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Luke Quickie

Luke has been hard at work on painting a watercolor picture of each of the Avengers.  Yesterday he was working on Hawkeye.  He was having a little trouble drawing him, so I decided to help a little, filling in certain parts and helping with some of the proportions.  The overall finished product was actually really good!  And when Jacob came home and saw it he asked, "Wow, who did this?"  I told him that Luke and I did it together and specifically I made mention that Luke did the head all by himself.  (Which he did and it looks impressive!)  Well, later on Luke was holding the picture and admiring his handiwork when all of a sudden his brow furrowed and he looked at me and asked, "If I did the head all by myself, then why does it look so good?"  Because you are awesome Luke, that's why :)

And as soon as all the paint dries on the collection, I will show you the pictures.  Today Luke put the finishing touches on Thor.  And now he said he is going to start on Star Wars and then Plants vs. Zombies.  Those watercolors were the best Christmas present idea. Nailed it!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Look Deep Into My Brain

I had the thought today that since my blog is also part journal, I probably once in a while ought to kinda, sorta, maybe actually write something a little deeper than just stories about armadillos in my backyard or SpongeBob memes.  So here is a post that delves a into the inner workings of my gray matter....

Cindy made a C on her report card last semester.  I was a little devastated by this because up to this point she has been a straight A machine. (Hello, FCAT!)  So ever since that report card we have been diligent about emailing the teacher concerning her progress, carefully reviewing all her assignments with her, teaching her to take her time when reading and answering questions, etc.  Well, she told me last night that she already saw her report card for this next semester.  I was very anxious to know what she got!  But she said it was still a C :(  I was really bummed out because I knew that she had been trying.  I knew we had been helping her and she wanted to do better.  So I was disappointed.  Just like her.  Now, on the other hand we have Luke.  Granted he is in Kindergarten, but still, he is on cruise control.  He knows all his sight words, he made a 110% on his first spelling test, he never gets in trouble.  He is golden right now.  So thinking about the different situations I find each of my children in, I had a thought about the story of the Prodigal son.  And how the non-straying son was a little miffed at the attention and happiness over his loser brother who decided to be good.  Personally, I never could really identify a whole lot with the Prodigal son.  I have always been a straight arrow, I always made good grades, I never had any major, personal testimony crises, etc.  But the experience with Cindy and her grades has made me see that much of the rejoicing over the Prodigal son had to do with rejoicing over "progress."  Over the weeks as we have helped Cindy and looked at the grades that have come home, we have rejoiced over her progress.  Her successes, however small, have been difficult for her.  Getting a 100% on her timed math multiplication facts was a big deal.  The fact that every day she wants to try and do better is exciting.  It makes me happy.  I find real joy in watching her overcome things that are hard for her.  I understand that when she finally brings home an A in the future, I will be so proud of her because I will understand how hard it was to get.  I think I will almost throw a party too. So now I think I identify with the father of the prodigal son who was so happy over seeing his son make progress;  in seeing him want to change; in overcoming things that were hard and being humble enough to change.  I don't love Luke any less because Cindy is one day going to bring home that A and we will be ecstatic about it. The fact is that one day Luke could be in the exact same boat as she is now.  And I would have the exact same love and offering of help for him that I gave to Cindy.   Making progress and deciding to accept help and be better than we are is hard.  And it deserves to be celebrated :)  Does any of that make sense?  And now you know the reason I don't do this very often :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Living The Dream

Jacob is a very fun person, but it's a good thing he has me to sniff out the fun and make sure that it actually happens once in a while ;)  Over in Orlando there is a company called Gotham Dream Cars that will let you drive an exotic car, usually a Lamborghini or Ferrari.  I almost bought this experience as Jacob's Christmas present last year, but I never pulled the trigger because soccer was running our lives too much and we never had a free weekend.  But now that the high school season is over, I decided that just making a reservation the day of and throwing him in the car was the way to go. Plus, when your in-laws are in town and having a sleepover with your kids, it's a pretty darn good time to grab your honey and go for a date.  So yesterday afternoon we made this happen.

Two sweet cars....Which will he choose? 


But we still think your're cool too, Lambo.

The instructor sits beside you and gives you all the low down on the car.  And then they take you out for a few laps.  These are the sweet shots that the company takes for you and includes in the package.  And they use an awesome Canon Mark something camera, so the shots are really nice.  (I know my cameras.  Obviously.)

Jacob loved wearing that helmet, by the way.  
I think he wants to get one to wear when he drives his Mazda.

That's me and my husband sitting in a Ferrari F430.  And we didn't even have to go to prison.  Score!

Money shot.  Love this one.  And the picture too.

So now we just have to decide what color and how many to buy, really.  It's such a tough choice that we will probably have to take a long time to think about it.  At least 50 years or so...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Don't Stop The Party

Still alive, but still adjusting a little to being a mom who also gets a paycheck.  I would say "working mom" but all moms work and that would just be redundant ;)  Anyway, so far I love my job!  It's great hours, the people I work with are great, it's not too stressful, and it's different every day.  And do you want to know the best part?  Our office shares a parking lot with a daycare center that has the best name in the recorded history of daycare centers.  It's called "Pierre's Kiddieland."  Oui, oui! That is ten pounds of awesome in a five pound sack, right there.

Today also officially starts off my Birthday Semana de la Fiesta Espectacular!  I got a hot date with Jacob after school today and will hopefully show you the fruits of our escapades sometime tomorrow.  I have decided that during your birthday week you are allowed all of you favorite things- food, clothes, movies, indulgences,  whatever you want.  No more saving things for a special occasion! If you love it, you can have it.  Will I be  drinking copious amounts of Diet Caffeine Free Dr. Pepper from gold-rimmed champagne glasses this week?  Heck yes.  Will I have a Psych marathon of my top 6 most favorite episodes? Affirmative. Will I create a new Spotify playlist called "Caution: This List is Too Awesome!" and put all my favorite songs on it and listen to it while I eat macaroni and cheese?  Aye, Aye Captain!  Will I get an Oreo shake AND cookie from Chik-fil-A in the same order?  Right after I run 6 miles!  Yep, birthdays are meant for giving yourself permission to be ridiculous.  So bring on the absurdity!  You only turn 34 once, after all :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

This Just In

And now for a live report from SpongeBob Squarepants covering the 2013 Presidential Inauguration:


Thanks, SpongeBob.  And now for the weather.....

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Those Shoes Are Divine! No, Really

Today I went to the shoe store to look for another pair of shoes that I could wear to my new job.  I didn't want to, but I had to take the kids with me.  Don't get me wrong, I love my children and their company, but I mostly didn't want them to come with me because I knew that Cindy would end up trying on a gazillion pairs of shoes and end up falling in love with a pair that she would die without.  And that is exactly what happened.  The shoes of her dreams didn't have a tag on them anywhere, and after asking the associate how much they cost, the news was grim; $27 for a pair of patent leather, black, wedge heels with back strap.  Cindy was beyond devastated when I told her there was no way in my lifetime that I was going to buy them.  Weeping! Wailing! Gnashing of teeth!  It was bitter.  However, I thought that as a consolation to her that maybe we could stop by our local Goodwill on the way home and she could try on anything there she liked.  And on the very off chance she found something she really liked (and something that actually fit) maybe they would be cheap enough to splurge on.  Well, what do you know, we walked into Goodwill and looked at shoes and within 5 minutes she had found THE EXACT SAME PAIR OF SHOES in the exact same size.  For $8.  Someone up in heaven really loves Cindy :)

And to reward you for reading this story, I give you 5 shoe memes:





Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Magical World of Armadillos

Just what you were hoping for this afternoon, wasn't it?  Yesterday morning we had a surprise visitor in the backyard.  No, not Vernon, the crazy drifter who lives in our backyard shed.  It was an armadillo!  Which I think makes the first time we have really had one of these guys visit.   Not sure if he partied too hard last night or his GPS was on the fritz, but for some reason he ended up in our yard digging after the sun came up.  Even though I am normally an unceasing fountain of knowledge when it comes to Floridian critters, I had to do a little brushing up on my armadillo factoids.  I was not aware of this, but armadillo is a Spanish word meaning "potato bug rat."  Armadillos are mammals that have poor eyesight, yet a keen sense of smell and long claws that allows them to forage for bugs, beetles, and ants, as well as dig holes in people's yards that they will one day almost fall into and break their ankles when they mow their yard.  Which alerts me to the fact that I owe Rosa a huge apology.  I see now that it was not her that was turning my backyard into a wiffle ball.  It was most likely this guy:


Wow, these things are really quite strange if you stare at them for more than five seconds.

The kids went out to get as close to it as they could and almost ended up touching it.  Armadillos are not so bright.  And apparently I am not so bright either, as I have zero video or pictorial evidence to show you of this adventure.  But if this guy is living in my backyard, perhaps he will make an appearance again sometime soon and I will be ready with the camera.

And talk about timing, but did you know that an armadillo has just been chosen as the official mascot of the 2014 FIFA World Cup?  Shut my mouth and slap your grandma!  (And then tell her I said sorry.)

The World Cup is going to be hosted by Brasil in Rio de Janiero.  I wouldn't have thought the armadillo and Rio had that much in common, but I guess since armadillos kind of already have the soccer ball pattern imprinted on their head shells, it was a no-brainer.  (Just like armadillos themselves!!!)

And here is a species of armadillo that you will probably think I am making up.  Behold, the Pink Fairy Armadillo!

What. The. Heck.  It seriously looks like something I drew in 3rd grade when I was asked to create my own new animal.  And if that one wasn't good enough for you.... (It never is with you, is it?)

Screaming Hairy Armadillo, anyone? I am not making this up either.  It is totally real!  It is on the Internet, what more proof do you need?

File:Chaetophractus vellerosus3.jpg

And finally, I looked up a spiffy "How To Draw An Armadillo" tutorial, and here is my best effort in Microsoft Paint.  I call it  "Hillbilly Speed Bump."  Luke would be so proud of me :)