Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Birthday call from my parents.
I played a game of Top-It (War) with Roman before school.
I graded a bunch of projects and am now actually ahead of my self-imposed schedule.
I ate a lot of lasagna for lunch. Leftovers, but it was sooo good.
I taught. As always, fun and trying at the same time.
Picked up Ro and played a game of Cooties after school. I love playing games with him.
Got Wendy's for dinner. Again. Second year in a row. Next year, we're going out. Hopefully not to Wendy's.
Had a Wendy's Frosty w/M&Ms for dessert. That was nice. Half is still in the freezer.
Birthday call from my brother.
Birthday call from my in-laws.
Charlie was in a fabulous mood, all smiles & jabbering.
Got a gift from my boys - a digital photo frame! Very exciting.
Doug and I coordinated schedules & to-do lists.
Going to order clothing from Land's End after I blog.
Then I will go to bed & peruse a scrapbooking magazine.
I now enter my 35th year.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Right. Things started out okay, although Roman is cautious by nature and was very nervous. He strapped on knee & elbow pads, as well as helmet. He actually is good at balancing until he thinks about what he's doing, then the minute he wobbles he freaks out and causes himself to fall. After four or five (forced) spills and one accidental one where he scraped the back of his calf, Roman threw his bike down, kicked it multiple times, yelled at me about how he's no good at it and will NEVER ride his bike again.
By this time I was pretty frustrated with his constant whining that had preceded this tantrum, and I said "fine, we'll stop. I'm going inside." Then the tears started. Roman just fell apart, sobbing about the bike riding. I finally got out of him that he expected to do it right the first or second time and he didn't want to keep practicing. If he couldn't do it right, right away, then he didn't want to do it. We have encountered this behavior many times before; he has this perfectionist streak and a very quick "I quit" attitude. He also whines and asks for help before he even actually tries anything.
So, I did let him sob it out in his room, told him we'd have a popsicle for snack in a couple hours, and he went off to color and I took a nap. Perhaps we'll try again another day - with much lower expectations.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
We had an hour, and darnit I was going to go fishing. We all headed over to the Fishin' Hole and got a couple cane poles and a cup of worms for a half-hour period. Ro grew bored quickly (no surprise) and when Daddy caught 2, and he caught none, Ro decided to go to the playscape with Charlie and Grandpa. I took over his pole and had my worm stripped but then caught a little one. We figured that was good fishin' for 20 minutes, and so turned in our poles & extra worms and headed in for lunch.
Off to the airport after lunch, and while our flight was pushed back about 30 min., it was no big deal. Roman had a Pirates of the Caribbean coloring book that he was busy with, and Charlie was alternating walking & laughing with throwing temper tantrums. Flight was great -Charlie zonked out around 10,000 feet, so I took him in my lap and slept almost an hour myself. Roman is a GREAT flyer, I tell you. He happily colored & chatted with his Daddy the whole time.
Got home around 7pm this evening, and amazingly have the 3 suitcases unpacked and everyone's "stuff" at least in the proper rooms, if not put away. Still have lots of pick-up to do around the house tomorrow and some things to get us back on track for the return to real life, but we are glad to sleep in our own beds. At dinner tonight here's what was reported as our favorite things we did on our vacation:
Roman: Star Tours
Doug: Space Mountain
Amy: SpectroMagic parade
Charlie: It's a Small World
Roman again: "Vacation is a fun time spent with grandparents. And family. Where are we going on our next vacation?"
We then wandered through Asia and had ice cream at 11:15 for snack. Yay vacation! Roman wanted to go to Dinoland so we headed that way. They had a huge play area that looked like an excavation site, and Roman and I played in there for awhile. Then we checked out the rides. It looks like an old-fashioned midway, which none of us are too keen on. Roman wanted to ride the Triceratop Twirl, and he and Daddy did that while the rest of us scoped out a place for lunch. Went to Restaurantosaurus and had hot dogs and fries. Charlie was in a much better mood today, having had snacks and a good rest.
After lunch we decided to head back to Riverside and go swimming. Adults thought it would be great to go do Fantasmic, the nighttime show at Hollywood Studios, as a last big hurrah of our vacation. As Ro and Doug swam and Charlie and I wandered, Baba took a look at the schedule of shows and realized it didn't list a show for tonight! I went to the concierge to check and sure enough, Studios was closing early for "Grad Night." We were all very disappointed and I was irritated as well. I get that Disney is doing cool things for locals, but on a Friday night of Spring Break week?
After some brainstorming and getting over our disappointment, we made alternate plans to go back to Downtown Disney. We went by boat again and went to another section called Pleasure Island. Used to be the old nightlife/bar scene, and they're now turning it into more restaurants (which they can never have enough of) and some shops. We chose an Irish restaurant called Raglan Road, and were seated right away. They had live entertainment in the other room, and Charlie just bebopped along while we ate. Roman could not get enough of the Dubliner mac and cheese, he cleaned the bowl and wanted more!
We went to a couple stores again on our way back through to the boat. Lego store for Roman, where because he had stopped asking for his $5 a day gifts on Tuesday, Doug rewarded him. They had a really cool build-your-own Lego guys, a big table with all the body parts. Could build 3 for $10, and they put it in a cool package to wear around his neck. Ro was beaming ear to ear. While they went there, Baba & I went to the Disney store again. I bought a ring with an oh-so-subtle Mickey head on it, and Doug (when they joined me) agreed to a collage picture frame. Good thing we did, too, because soon after returning to the condo Roman began crying because our vacation was over and he wanted to see pictures right away and he had to have something to remember our fun, etc., etc.
We did ice cream again at Ghirardelli's (yay vacation!) and then headed back on the boat. Charlie fell asleep on the boat as is his usual habit. We came back to the condo by 10pm, where Roman had the aforementioned expression of sadness. We hit the hay immediately, as Saturday is all packing & flying home! After we pack and sort what needs to go home with us and what can go home with my parents, we are going to go to Riverside for lunch and then grandparents are going to take us to the airport.
Pictures to be posted ASAP! Goodbye, Disney!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Went to Magic Kingdom again, fast-passed Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. Roman really wanted to do Aladdin's Magic Carpets again but this time with Doug, me, & Baba, so we did that. Then we wandered through the Swiss Family Treehouse with Grandpa while Baba stayed with Charlie. Then it was off to the Crystal Palace where our breakfast with Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet was held. It was a good choice - we had a table for 6, good seats, delicious breakfast buffet that lasted us pretty much to dinner. Except for Charlie. It turns out his apple spice muffin was going to be the last bit of food he had for the day.
We went back and Doug, me, and Baba did "Pirates" one last time. Doug and I decided to surprise Roman and buy him the Pirate Mickey-Ears which he had been pining for since Sunday. He wore them the rest of the day, no joking. Then we went over and did Buzz. We were done after that - crowd was thick today.
We went back to Riverside and swam in the pool. Charlie and I went to the 1-foot-deep baby pool (nice warm water, too!) and he became quite the daredevil, holding on to the side and dropping to his knees real fast with a big grin. Doesn't sound like much, but when the water goes up to your chin that way, it's very thrilling. Roman jumped off the side of the junk pool. And jumped. And jumped. I think he and Doug spent an hour, Roman just jumping off the side.
We decided then to go to Downtown Disney, the shopping mecca. We thought to buy Charlie a turkey sandwich to eat as we figured he'd be hungry, even though the rest of us weren't. He refused to eat it. Okay... We took a boat to Downtown which was really fun. Charlie loves the movement of the boats. We found a neat restaurant at Downtown called T. Rex, from the same people who do Rainforest Cafe. It was better, though - more room, more creativity (in my opinion). We got right in at 5:15, too, which is surprising. Before that, though, we did the LEGO store (Roman spent his Easter money on the tie fighter), the Disney store (Charlie's gift from us is a stuffed Roo which he reached for amid three options). Also went to the Pantry (Mickey everything for your kitchen!), yet another toy store (the big gift - the Indiana Jones pack - purchased here), and the scrapbooking store - duh. After dinner at T. Rex, we had dessert at Ghirardelli's Soda Fountain. Mmm. Roman thanked us over and over for all we bought today, and we talked - he has never had this much bought for him in one day in his life! Thank goodness.
There was a steel drum band playing along the promenade, and that was about the only thing that would keep Charlie happy. He got grumpy during dinner but we figured he was hungry and tried chicken nuggets. He threw them. We tried baked beans. He swiped at them. We tried Jello. He swiped at that. Pretty much any food we tried to give him, he screeched. We figured he was just tired, then, since he didn't nap in the afternoon. But he refused to fall asleep, no matter how much rocking, head rubbing, or stroller pushing we did. Really, he only liked the steel drum band - he calmed down and even danced to it!
So our evening ended on a slightly grumpy-baby note when he cried for part of the boat ride (finally fell asleep) and then once we got him in the car to go back to our condo, he screamed the rest of the way. Well, we figured it was coming. Everyone else, however, had a grand time today.
Tomorrow: Animal Kingdom, which we haven't done yet, more swimming, and again - maybe fishing. We keep trying to schedule it and we keep not having time for it! Roman saw that we could rent a 4-seater bike (2 front, 2 back with a canopy kind of thing) at grandparents' resort and thinks he wants to do that, too.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
After we did Ellen's Energy Adventure (dinosaurs, Bill Nye, and Ellen DeGeneres - always fun!), we had lunch in Mexico. Roman chickened out and refused to go on Mission to Mars, and Doug decided Test Track would be too scary/fast for Roman. So our afternoon was spent this way:
Doug & Roman did 5 Kim Possible missions across the World Showcase. The rest of us wandered the stores of every country. We met up in Germany & then again in England, and decided after Soarin' to go to an early dinner so the kids could get a good night's sleep.
(I did, however, run into the matriarchs of 2 families from church - Appel & Harris - at the America restaurant where we were all grabbing a snack. Too funny!)
We hopped a bus to another resort, Wilderness Lodge, & hoped to eat at their fun restaurant. We ended up in their snack bar... because of crowds, most sit-down restaurants are booked solid for dinners. It was fine, though, they had different offerings than my parents' resort. We then took the boat over to Magic Kingdom, but just to catch a bus back to Riverside & head on home.
Charlie refused to fall asleep this evening until about 9:30, and Roman too. It will be interesting to see if they sleep late tomorrow. Thursday's plan has one set agenda: 10:15am Character Breakfast with Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, & Piglet at Magic Kingdom. Then I believe swimming in the "junk pool," & maybe fishing. We will end up at Downtown Disney for shopping (Lego store, Disney store, among other great places) & dinner by the end of the day. Roman is feverishly trying to decide what his big purchase from us is going to be - we gave him a $5 a day allowance to buy little things (which, believe me, doesn't go far) and he can have one big purchase that we will finance. It sounds like he's leaning toward an Indiana Jones pack - hat, whip, gun, jewels, the whole shebang. He did debate the make-your-own-lightsaber because he can build a double-blade, which this is the only place I'm aware of where you can find that. But we sure would like a break from Star Wars, so we'll see!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Went back to our condo but now Charlie needed to nap. Made arrangements to meet my parents for lunch, Ro and Doug watched "Clone Wars" on Cartoon Network while I read a scrapbooking magazine. Met up for lunch, and it rained. Some more. Decided we were going to go to Downtown Disney shopping. That bus took forever to come, though, so we decided to go to Plan B: Epcot. That bus showed up.
Got to Epcot and it rained. Lots more. We went on "The Seas with Nemo" which Roman just loved. Charlie too, actually, he loves watching fish. Charlie especially liked the 2 big sea turtles, actually "oooh"ed at them. Left "Seas" and trotted over to "World of Imagination," mostly because it was raining. Still. That place was fun, though. Roman didn't like when Figment the dragon farted on us, though, in the Smell Laboratory.
The rain was easing up a little, so we started toward the "countries" showcase. By this time the wind was whipping like crazy as the front came through, and there was much discussion about getting the kids out of the outdoors and maybe canceling our dinner reservation. However, my parents decided to walk the kids over to Boardwalk for dinner and Doug and I wandered in United Kingdom and ran into Mary Poppins and Alice in Wonderland! Doug, having a slight crush on Mary Poppins, got his picture taken with her. Then we wandered out and who do I run into, but a student & her family sitting on the curb waiting to watch the street performers! That was pretty surreal.
Doug and I stayed for the street performers, then had our meal at Rose & Crown (pork loin for me, steak & fish for him, and a Bass ale apiece). Met up again with grandparents & kids, who had indulged Roman after dinner with a 12-inch long tube of pixie-stix-like sugar. Whoa. We grabbed some seats on the patio next to Rose and Crown & killed 2 hours, alternating, holding down the fort so we'd have good seats for the fireworks show "Illuminations." It was great, but Roman asked if we could please stop staying up late because he's so tired. Wow.
Roman & Doug participated in 2 "Kim Possible" secret missions in the World Showcase and are so enamored with it, they're going to check out another "Kim-municator" on our next visit and do more missions. I won't go into detail here about it, but with a special cell phone you can do cool things and interact in different countries' plazas. For example, they made pinatas glow to discover a numeric code in Mexico, and a jade monkey statue rise up from the koi pond in China. Neat stuff.
Tomorrow: nothing firm, although we hear the rain is done. We really hope. It's either going to be back to Epcot (all the fam, except me, wants to do "Soarin' Over California") or Animal Kingdom, and probably pool time. Who knows what else the day may bring?
Monday, April 13, 2009
Fast-passed Star Tours, watched part of the Jedi Training Academy.
Indiana Jones Stunt Show, which blew Roman away. He had a look of nervous awe the whole time.
Lots of pictures in & around Star Tours. Lunch at Pizza Planet.
Take the "back streets" to The Great Movie Ride. Saw Lightning McQueen & Mater; Roman did not want to stand in line.
During the Great Movie Ride, Grandpa & Charlie stayed outside to wander and Grandpa reported Charlie stuck his hands in every movie star's handprint or footprint - that had water in it!
Grandparents headed back to the hotel, clan VE got in line for pictures with Buzz & Woody. Roman & Amy did the picture thing. Then we wandered over to Honey, I Shrunk the Audience playground. Doug & Roman played while Amy tried to stroller-rock Charlie to sleep. Eventually it worked.
Back to Star Tours, where the almost-meltdown began. Roman began insisting that he did NOT want to go on it. We think he was just scared. We finally convinced him to look at the ride and then take the "chicken exit" if he wanted. Well, Doug said he got on, strapped in, and pronounced it AWESOME at the end. The next almost-meltdown came in Tatooine Traders, the Star-Wars-everything store. Roman just couldn't understand that if he built a lightsaber, we'd have to buy it, and we weren't buying today. Lots of gnashing teeth & whining later, he finally gave in.
We left after this. For those of you familiar with the park, you may notice obvious, glaring omissions. By the time we got there, the fast-pass for Tower of Terror (for Doug) was listing 3pm & we were not sure how long we were staying. Which meant Rockin' Roller Coaster was just as long. By the time we made it back to Pixar Place to check out Toy Story Mania, the new interactive midway game ride, the fast-passes were out for the day and the wait was 160 min. long.
So clearly we only hit the highlights of Hollywood Studios. We may be back on Thursday for the Fantasmic show, we're not sure. Like I mentioned, things are pretty flexible. Weather is good - because of a storm front coming we've had great breezes. In fact, I was cold during lunch today! Tomorrow is a 50% chance of scattered thunderstorms, so we're going to do a few of the following:
Swim in our condo's pool
Swim in grandparents' pool
Go to Epcot
Go to Downtown Disney
All depends on weather. Doug and I will end up at Epcot for dinner as we have reservations for 2 at Rose & Crown pub. Mmm!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday: flight was great, Roman a trooper, Charlie not such a great traveler. Let's just say everyone on the plane knew who he was. Southwest is a great airline to travel, I will try to keep them first when booking from now on. Met my parents at the airport, checked into our condo (very nice!), unpacked a little, then headed to Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom. Got right in at 5:10 even though our reservation was for 5:30. Charlie had his first ever drink of chocolate milk and he downed it, every single drop in the sippy cup. Everyone went to bed slightly tired and excited for Sunday.
Boys up at 5:50 for Easter Bunny's baskets. Charlie had a stuffed bunny & a bag of toddler cookies; Roman had Skittles, M&Ms, Pez, & money for a Lego purchase later this week (Easter Bunny left a note saying he couldn't carry it and Roman should pick it out at the Lego store).
Got to Magic Kingdom around 8:30. Roman is unable to walk and stare in awe at the same time. :) Went straight to Adventureland. While Doug and I fast-passed Thunder Mt. Railroad, Grandpa & Roman rode Magic Carpets. Then we all went on Pirates of the Caribbean. Analysis: "It was scary at the beginning, but then I liked it." The changes & updates made to coordinate with the movie gets a thumbs-up from me.
Other rides: Doug, Amy & Baba rode Splash Mt; we ended up skipping Thunder Mt.; Daddy & Roman rode Dumbo; then everyone rode It's a Small World; Amy, Baba, Daddy & Roman rode Haunted Mansion (verdict: "I didn't like it. Too scary.") lunch at Pecos Bill's; everyone rode Peter Pan (Roman's favorite ride). It was decided after Peter Pan that Doug would fast-pass Space Mt. for our return in the evening, and then after ice cream we all headed back to Riverside, where B&G are staying. Amy, Roman, & Charlie napped (well, not Roman) while Doug drove back to condo for swimsuits (we forgot) & grandparents read by pool. Then the VE clan swam in the "junk pool" (made to look like an old junkyard island) while Baba iced her knee & Grandpa rested. Dinner in the restaurant at Riverside, then back on the bus to go back to Magic Kingdom.
Doug & Amy rode Space Mt (it's closing in a few days for major refurbishment) and Grandparents staked out a good spot for the parade. SpectroMagic parade at 9pm was AMAZING, but Roman announced just prior that we would not be staying for the fireworks because he was too tired. Adults consulted & agreed that it was a big day and we should just head back. Charlie fell asleep 8:55pm (just before parade started), Roman fell asleep in my lap on the bus ride home.
Favorite parts: Doug loved riding Dumbo with Roman ("it was a hoot!") and laughed the entire way through Space Mt. Amy loved Pirates & watching the parade (and watching Roman at the parade!). Roman loved the Peter Pan ride and seeing the parade - I guess, because he's fast asleep but kept wanting to remember the order of every float and couldn't stop talking about how Peter Pan stood RIGHT THERE, in front of ME, and waved at ME, and came over SPECIAL. Charlie? He apparently enjoyed playing in the mulch while he & Grandpa waited for us at different places and throwing the little bits of shredded bark.
Friday, April 10, 2009
And then, after he turned the corner (in the video above), I moved and caught this video of him coming back to me:
A few minutes later he walked from the windows all the way across the room to me again. Awesome!
Side note: We're off on vacation starting tomorrow. Disney World! Will be posting again on the flip side. Happy Easter, everyone!
Sunday, April 05, 2009
While the lighting is bad, the content is great! Charlie began climbing stairs & sliding down them at my parents' house a couple weekends ago after watching his brother. Now it's his favorite thing to do - climb up, slide down, climb up, slide down... in fact he cries when we close the door to the basement. Another milestone conquered! This video was taken on our basement stairs.
If only he'd strike out with steps of his own - he has appeared to draw back into his shell, refusing to take more than 3-4 steps without holding on to two hands. He did get his first pair of shoes on Saturday, though. Size 6, double-wide. Clearly doesn't get his feet from his Mama. He doesn't mind having them on, but it's still great fun to take them off in the car.
Friday, April 03, 2009
Anyway. I find myself embroiled in drama again in a couple areas of my life, and I just want out. If I knew other people would make such a BIG DEAL out of things I never would have brought stuff up. What some people find important to devote their emotions to just amazes me. But I don't think, in either case, I can back out. Instead, here's where my emotions are going to be this weekend. I resolve to concentrate on:
Roman. He has his first loose tooth, bottom front-left tooth. He's very excited. I think he's the awesomest kid ever besides his brother, and I want to spend some real good time with him this weekend.
Charlie. When he's in a fabulous mood, no lightbulb can make a room brighter. That grin is just infectious, and he's into knocking down towers of cups or blocks and imitating. He is attempting to make words too - he can say "uh-oh" and "done." At least, that's what it sounds like. We are getting his first pair of shoes this weekend because he's so close to taking off, & he's also visiting the toddler room in preparation for being moved up soon.
Doug. My patient husband is about at the end of his rope with lack of time to himself. He has been full-service housedad & working-dad since I started the swim season, and it's taking its toll. He needs a long morning of sleeping in (which he will get Saturday) and some time to screw around in the yard (which I will do my best to give him).
And the to-do list for our vacation! Must do that. And that's all I'm going to worry about until Monday morning arrives.