Thursday, March 17, 2011

Disney World:: Day 5

We woke up at Disney World on our final morning of vacation to the bright, warm sun. We packed up five days' worth of souvenirs while you moaned in bed that your tummy hurt. You even tried to throw up in the toilet; I thought you were being dramatic.

Until you threw up on the shuttle bus on the way to the Magic Kingdom.

Yeah, that's something I can cross off my bucket list, now. Cleaning up vomit from me, you, the seat ... all the while going 70mph down the Orlando freeway and fielding polite looks and sighs from fellow passengers. You felt so bad, you kept apologizing and crying.

Our first line item of business was securing Rapunzel's autograph at the Tangled castle. We made a beeline for the line, and were literally the last family they let in for the morning's meet and greet. Daddy and I high-fived each other, marveling at the things now in our lives that bring us happiness! You weren't too sure of Rapunzel or Flynn Rider ... think you still felt crummy. Mama thought Flynn's smolder was dead on!

I let you pick out a new cup, since your princess one did not survive the incident on the bus. You insisted on the babiest of baby cups ... who was I to argue with you?

We asked you what you wanted to do on your final day at Disney. You said the Teacups! without hesitation. I asked you repeatedly if your tummy hurt and you said no. I told Daddy, who loathes rides, he better witness his daughter's absolute joy at least once ... the way you threw your head back and shrieked with glee when you and I rode them Friday!

He said it was worth it.

After lunch, we told you our time at the park was waning ... what did you want to do next? You said, see the princesses! So we got in yet another line as you waited very patiently for 45 minutes. The bonus was the handler said Belle would be behind the curtain, and you needed her autograph yet. Perfect!

This time when you saw Sleeping Beauty, you didn't even hesitate to love on her.

Cinderella was as sweet as they come, and raved about your matching outfits.

She asked you if you wanted to dance and you just nodded, in awe.

It's a moment I don't think any of us will forget.

Belle was behind the curtain! You loved her, too. So did Daddy ... a little.

We randomly spotted Ariel and Prince Eric as we exited the princess tent. We again lucked out by being the last family they let in line to meet them. Ariel tried to teach you the Flounder handshake, but you wanted no part.

We made sure to take as many photos as we could as we prepared to leave the park. By then, your coping mechanisms were deteriorating quickly. Here's proof you were DONE taking photos!

We took the shuttle back to the resort to gather our luggage for the shuttle to the airport. Since it was finally sunny and nice, we explored the resort a little, visiting the 101 Dalmatians wing. This is Mama's favorite picture of the entire trip!

The bus to the airport took almost an hour with the waiting and other stops. You fell asleep hard. When I picked you up to carry you out, I could tell you weren't yourself. The wind had gone out of your sails. It was a good time for vacation to come to an end.

The flight home went well- you called dibs on the window seat. Mama sat in the middle, sleeping, while Daddy took advantage of in-flight Wi-Fi and caught up on the sports world. You fell asleep the last hour, curled in an impossible ball on the seat. Daddy carried you off the plane and back into our frigid state at 10:45pm.

From the airport home is just over an hour's drive. You were nestled in your carseat in the back, sandwiched between Daddy, who was tired and had a headcold, and the Beagle, who we picked up from Uncle D's. We hadn't gone more than 10 miles when, without warning, you threw up all over the place. There was no time to react. I was driving 75mph down the freeway in a wind storm.

We pulled over, you're bawling, Daddy's wretching, the dog's ... "helping" and it's dark, rainy, freezing, and windier than hell. Your carseat was a total loss. We made room in the trunk for it. As I am opening suitcases to get you extra clothes, things are flying across the parking lot. It was chaos. I tried cleaning you off the best I could with what I had left for wipes, water, and Kleenex. You were screaming. So, Daddy took over driving, made room for the Beagle away from you (so he'd stop licking you) and I buckled you in the middle, huddled next to you, and told Daddy not to exceed 60mph. I held a reusable grocery bag in front of you the rest of the way home, and you kept puking.

Vacation was so over!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


A very, very Happy 5th Birthday to the Beagle today!
We love you for your calm predictability.
You truly make our family.

Photo courtesy of the lovely & talented Auntie Mo!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Biggest Little Fan

When I was growing up, admittedly I was a tomboy. I loved basketball more than anything. When I was three and four, I was allowed bench access at all my aunt's home games. I was hooked from a very early age. To this day, my grandma likes to tell the story of me running circles in her kitchen, blowing an imaginary whistle, pretending to be a referee.

As I got older, I had my favorite players. I loved Chris Webber from his days in the Fab Five. (To this day, I love seeing him commentating on NBA games!) I loved Penny Hardaway and wore his shoes. Of course I liked Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller, and Nick Van Exel.

It seems you are following in my footsteps. Your very first favorite basketball player is Kevin Love. You love Love.

Friday night you and Daddy headed to Target Center to sit in good seats. You proudly wore your new jersey from uncle D. and spent the entire first half of the game watching the action at the edge of your seat, cheering as appropriate.

I asked you the next morning what your favorite part of the night was.

You said, Kevin Love.

I should have known!

Monday, March 14, 2011


We're thankful for Grandma S.'s fortitude in keeping a stack of Daddy's old t-shirts ...

Because I know a little girl who looks very, very cute and very, very girly in these tough t-shirts that are 30 years old!

Thanks for being a memory keeper and sweet saver, Grandma S.!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Daddy's Girls

It's game day! Conference championship time ... I don't know how Daddy sleeps at night once this point in March rolls around- these are his glory days. We're happy to wear his team colors, today and always!

Go Orange!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Disney World:: Day 4

We woke up Saturday morning to sunshine! Even though the thermometer read 44*, the Florida sun was in full effect. We quickly grabbed some grapes for breakfast and boarded the bus for Animal Kingdom.

You insisted you wanted to wear shorts like Daddy and threw a FIT when I tried to put you in pants. I get it, you little fashionista, I truly do. That's why I packed legwarmers. This is not my first rodeo!

I was anxious to walk through the wild bird sanctuary. They passed out bird guides, and we tried to spy as many listed birds as we could. I found delicate nests like this all amongst the trees.

From there, we walked through the primate section. Some big guys like him were busy gathering breakfast and stuffing their faces. There was this smaller gorilla who would find a nice, big, lush branch and would seclude himself to sit down to eat, when the bigger gorillas would bombard him and steal his breakfast. It made me sad.

Daddy said the highlight of our day would be to go on the safari tour, so we grabbed our Fast Pass and got in line immediately. The Animal Kingdom staff kept telling us how to capture the best photos from a moving vehicle. Seems some other creatures were excited to see the Florida sun, too. See the birds pestering the lazy hippos?

Your Daddy's favorite part- the gator pit. Seriously, when we were on the shuttle from the airport, the driver kept telling us to look for alligators in the ditches and he was plastered to the windows on the lookout. He has a weird, weird, fascination.

There were tiny, baby elephants further away from the herd I desperately wanted to capture. And not in the photography sense, either. In the real life sense. They were so darling. We got to see baby elephants!

Another surrealistic moment was seeing these big guys. You said that was your favorite part. There were quite a few giraffes lumbering about, heads in the trees. It was an amazing sight to behold.

After the safari, you took stock of what autographs you were missing in your book. We knew we needed to hunt down Minnie Mouse. She was on our hit list.

My hardcore cuties in their shorts. What's vacation without them?

Minnie! In her appropriate safari gear! You were actually excited to see her and when she asked for a kiss, you obliged. You'll be proud to know that I only gave a fleeting thought to how many other kids had their mouths on her snout. Just a solitary, fleeting thought I swear.

We had front-row seats to see the Lion King Musical. It was one of my favorite parts of the trip. Simba was loud and proud! There were fire eaters and jungle dancers and trapeze artists flying high. It was a sight. The Lion King will always remind me of 8th grade and all your aunties. Simba, Nala, Timon, and Pumba hold a special place in my heart.

When Mama was busy hunting down an iced coffee (I seriously only had coffee twice in Florida, twice!) you and Daddy literally ran into Meeko, a shy raccoon from Pocahontas. He made you laugh, and likewise when he dropped your pen, and you kicked it back to him. Apparently, that made a lot of people laugh.

We saw "Bugs Life" in 3D in the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life is 14 stories high, and 50 feet wide. 325 different animals are carved into the tree like lemurs, lizards, and tortoises. It took 10 artists 18 months of full-time work to create.

We wandered into the midway portion of Animal Kingdom, and your Daddy was your hero at the basketball hoops. You, my little dreamer, picked the biggest prize offered to you. Awesome. Even more awesome was you demanding to sleep with the orange snake after you drug it all over creation. When he slipped in between the wall and your bed that night, we didn't move him. Sorry, babe. He was not ready for our harsh winter!

The park closed at 5:00 that day, so we boarded another bus and headed for the Boardwalk so we could eat at ESPN Zone. Your Daddy and I sort of have a thing for those places, we visit them no matter what city we're in. Anyways, we bellied up to a table in a bar and I kept saying, "we have a baby, in a bar," and you two comedians kept correcting me. No baby. Well, no matter. You happily played with your Sleeping Beauty and Prince Phillip characters, and garnered attention with your orange snake. We eventually made our way back to our resort. You took a nasty fall on the way to our room, and gave yourself a nice little Disney souvenir on your knee.

We all eagerly went to sleep on our final night at Walt Disney World.