Friday, April 28, 2006

It's Friday!

I have had several helpful suggestions in helping me get the mylar balloon off of the ceiling--Hubby suggested last night to whack it over to the stairs with a lightbulb changer. So I'll try that today. I did briefly consider throwing a sharp dart at it, but I had visions of a dart imbedded in the wall forty feet up while the balloon danced happily around it, unharmed. ;-)

Today it's rainy and cold. So much for planting flowers. I couldn't plant in the beginning of the week because of the snow and frost, and now, rain. I give up. Next week it will be, apparently.

I have a lot to do today. Too much, in fact. And on rainy days I don't want to do anything. But we definitely need the water.

United 93 is opening today, and frankly, I am not going to see it. I am of two minds on the movie: One, I think it's gross that moviemakers are cashing in on the tragedies of 9/11--they know that people will come in droves to see what might have happened, or out of some patriotic sense of duty.
Then the other part of me feels that it's a good thing--after five years, the horror of 9/11 has faded somewhat, and this movie will bring the feelings back sharp and to the forefront. We are battling an enemy...terrorism, and we need to remember that no matter what face it wears, it is still horrible and wrong.

I just hate to watch movies where I know the ending is not a happy one. Like Titanic, or Tristan and Isolde. But the power is in the storytelling, and I am drawn to them.

Well Thing One can't find her homework book and Things Two and Three are having a "sword fight" on the catwalk upstairs and freaking me out. I'd better go...have a good weekend!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Quirks of my House

Mmmm, right now my house smells like pancakes and toast. That is the best smell!

Okay, disturbing house creaks. And it cracks. And sometimes, the cracks are loud like a gunshot.

That's what I get for having a "floating" house. Apparently it's a soil thing here in Colorado--the soil shifts a lot so people "float" their houses. (Don't ask me how its done, but I will tell you that underneath my basement floor is a three foot crawlspace that runs underneath the entire house.) I'm not sure what is supporting it, but my house moves. Especially when its windy. Our formal living room is open all the way to the top (which I am currently lamenting because Thing Two got a hold of one of my Anniversary day mylar balloons and lo and behold, it's stuck about 40 feet up on the ceiling, refusing to move) and every once in a while we hear this loud CRACK! coming from the walls or ceiling.

Now the house itself is nearly ten years old, so you think it would have settled by now. But I have to remind myself that there is no floats. So it never really will "settle." So when I hear cracks and creaks (that are spectacularly good at keeping me awake at night when Hubby is traveling and I'm alone) its enough to drive me crazy. Thank heaven it only does this when it's REALLY windy outside. Weird.

Here's that lovely balloon. Any suggestions for getting it down?

I almost sat down and started typing yesterday. Almost. Hubby surprised me for lunch at home (he had just come from the airport and had to go straight to work) and since I had gotten the house clean, I didn't know what to do with myself for the next few hours until I had to pick up the kids. Thing Three went outside to play with bubbles, and my office overlooks the entire back yard, so I kept one eye open for him and sat in front of the computer. But I didn't know where to start! I'm rusty. I haven't written a word in ages. Except for this blog. But does that count?

Hmmm...maybe I'll make some progress today. Off to the races!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I woke up with a pounding headache this morning. I think it was because I stayed up and watched King Kong until 11:30 last night. And of course I bawled my eyes out the entire last 30 minutes, just like I did in the theatre when I first saw it.

Why am I such a ninny over this movie? I remember when we saw it in the theatre, everyone was looking at me like I was crazy, because I was full-on SOBBING.
I guess it was because I knew he was going to die, and he seemed like such a "nice" monster. In fact, that last part, where they "skate" on the ice together, I completely lost it. Maybe it's because I have a soft spot for animals. Who knows. But every time I watch this movie, I bawl like a baby. It's very embarrassing.

Ugh, I am going to take something for this headache as soon as I get this post out. Waking up with a headache sucks, that's for sure.

Today I have to clean all my bathrooms. I've put it off long enough. And mop my floors and do about five loads of laundry, and basically be a slave all day. That's what I get for doing nothing for two days while Hubby was on his trip. Well, I didn't exactly do nothing--I watched a lot of movies! ;-) Now it's back to reality.

I'm off to take Excedrin. Have a good day, all...

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

My Morning So Far...

Breakfast is always a small affair at our house, except on Saturdays. At seven a.m. sharp, the kids have a bowl of cereal and a glass of orange juice. You would think breakfast would be quick and they would be on their merry way.


Breakfast was a little earlier today (thanks to me accidentally keeping the 6am time on the alarm clock that Hubby used yesterday) and let's just say, I about killed everybody at breakfast.

Thing Two: Mom, Thing One is staring at me.

Me: Thing One, stop staring.

Thing One: MOM!! Thing Two just laughed at me!

Me: You guys, knock it off! Just eat your breakfast!

Thing Two: MOM! Thing One is kicking me under the table!

Me: Thing One! You know better! Stop!

Thing One: Mom, he's laughing at me again! And Thing Three is too!


Yes, lovely, I know. This is a typical morning. If I ever leave them alone at the table, chaos ensues. I certainly don't remember doing this to MY parents--heaven knows we were left alone at the table often enough--were we this bad?

It also doesn't help that we got three inches of snow overnight. WHAT IS THE DEAL??? It was 85 and beautiful on Sunday!

I was complaining about this to Hubby and he said it will all melt today and be in the 70's. WONKY weather. I'd rather it either stayed cold, or stayed warm. This hot/cold/just kidding/hot/cold/hot crap is really frustrating.

And on that lovely note, I need to go break up the boys...they're arguing over a Gameboy game now, and they KNOW I don't allow them to play Gameboy before school. UGH.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Weekend Over.

We ended up staying close to home this weekend, because Hubby had to give a talk in church. (He did a fabulous job, of course, public speaking is a no-brainer for him) But we're going up to Estes Park next weekend for our "getaway." It will be fun. The kids had swimming lessons and we spent time in the yard, and played lots of family games, so the weekend was fun.

The weather here is wonky again. Yesterday it was 85 and bright, today, rain and low forties. Tomorrow it's supposed to be beautiful again. What can I say? Wonky.

Hubby is on his way to the airport now, he'll be gone for a few days in Portland. So I am going to try and get the flowers planted while he's away. It's amazing how the yard looks now--when we moved here all trees and bushes had lost their leaves, and I never saw this place in full bloom. Now that everything is blooming and the grass is a deep green it really is beautiful. The only slowpokes are the ginormous Aspen trees in our backyard. We have them lining the side of our house and for some reason they are late bloomers. But the leaves are starting to poke out. I can see them. This rain we're getting today should help.

I didn't get any writing done this weekend, but I sure had a lot of movies running through my head. Speaking of which, I got my dvd versions of Jane Eyre (with Ciaran Hinds as Mr. Rochester--I have the Timothy Dalton version and it bored me to tears) and George Eliot's Middlemarch (SEVEN hours long--but Rufus Sewell will make it worthwhile) and Mansfield Park in the mail. So I know what I'll be watching at night! :-)

I ordered a TON of Finch Family Games books yesterday. I have always loved them. There is nothing like them--I especially like the educational ones. You can see the website here. (Of course they're geared towards the LDS church, but the educational ones are good for scrapbooking and homeschooling, and non-denominational.) I went crazy a couple of years ago and colored and laminated a TON of Finch games and my kids still love to play with them today. And it's something I put together for them, so it makes it even more special, in my opinion.

I have all three kiddos in school today, so I just might have to spend some "me time" at Hobby Lobby!

Or I could clean toilets.

Hmmm, decisions, decisions...

Friday, April 21, 2006


Thing One and I have been butting heads lately. A LOT. She's asserting her newfound snottiness, and I am just like my dad in the sense that I can't tolerate disrespect, in any form. I think if I were a man I'd make a good drill sergeant. :-)

So I was complaining to Hubby on the phone about it, and he suggested that we need to "get away" and spend some quality time together as a family this weekend. (Do the "bonding" thing.) I wonder what he's got up his sleeve--the mountains, maybe? But he's right. Our Disneyworld vacation was anything but relaxing--it was fun but major stressful. We all need to reconnect with each other.

We're getting a flatscreen TV installed in our workout room as I type this. Finally. Staring at blank walls while beating yourself up on a treadmill is not fun. So my resolve to workout regularly just got stronger.

I am going to bust it and get this house clean, from top to bottom. Not that it's dirty, just cluttered. And DUSTY! There is way too much dust in Colorado! (No humidity--the dust has nothing to stick to).

I have been hit by a flash of inspiration. The story that my agent submitted (and came thisclose a couple of times to selling) is going to get restyled. I'm going to rewrite it, and package it as a trilogy. I have the first and second novels written, and the third outlined. I've got to keep trying with this one. I'm not ready to give up on it yet.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Thursday, April 20, 2006


I don't think I ever want to see another shrimp or crab leg EVER again. Ugh.

For our anniversary dinner, Hubby and I chose Pappadeaux. Not very quiet and romantic, I agree, but it was all about nostalgia for us.
When we were newly married and living in Houston, TX, we would always go to the Pappadeaux restaurant off of Westheimer. I hated seafood, and wouldn't eat it at all (unless it was breaded and deep-fried and smothered in tartar sauce) and through our many visits to Pappadeaux, Hubby coaxed me into liking seafood. We took friends there. We had special dinners there. It was our favorite restaurant.

Then after we moved to Wisconsin, we couldn't find a Cajun seafood place anywhere. It was sad. Imagine our joy when we moved to Denver and found that there was a Pappadeaux only a ten minute's drive from where we lived!

So, that was the logical choice. Hubby had Swordfish, I had King Crablegs (it's tradition that I always try something new, so I can branch out) and he showed me how to crack them and dig the stuff out. It was messy, but yummy, and we reminisced about how poor we were when we first got married, and how our jobs were terrible, and our little roach-infested Houston apartment that we thought was so wonderful at first...and then we talked about the moves we've made, and the children, and how we've progressed over the years.

It was a wonderful dinner. Of course, we both ate WAY too much and we both had an upset stomach later on...but it was really wonderful. And I don't think we've laughed that hard in a while. Good old Pappadeaux. Great memories.

Of course now, I don't want to see anything remotely seafood again for a while.

Honey-nut Cheerios. That sounds safe...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

Hubby and I are celebrating our TENTH Anniversary today! I'm not going to say "It seems like yesterday" but it sure has flown by fast!

We've got a sitter for tonight and we're going to a swanky restaraunt, and it will be nice. I was looking at the proper gift for the Tenth and it was weird--TIN. So I went to the antique store and found this tin lamp--you can deduce the symbolism! (Lara blushes). I heard the "modern day" proper gift is diamonds...but Hubby really isn't a "diamond" man. He has a plain wedding band and he doesn't wear any other jewelry--that's how I like him.

I was bad yesterday, and watched "The Scarlet Pimpernel." (the Jane Seymor version). What a GREAT film! So witty, so romantic, adventurous, everything! Next week it will be "Lady Jane." What can I say, I'm a Period Film Junkie.

And I finished Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I swear, in order for Jo Rowling to tie up all her loose ends (that's assuming she will) her seventh and final book will have to be roughly the size of a mack truck. What's funny is--it could be as thick as a dictionary and we'd still all eagerly read it. In fact, I would actually welcome a mack-truck sized final book. I mean, it will be THE END. How sad. I might actually have to read it slowly, just to relish everything for the last time.

Well, must dash. Furniture people are coming at 8am (they installed Thing Three's headboard backwards--so we've told them to come make it right) and I have lots to do. And BRRRRRR, it's cold today! Arctic temperatures even! What is the deal with the Denver weather??

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Back to Normal

Lots of stuff to do--but it keeps me busy!

Okay, I couldn't sleep last night after I went to this link. (If you go there, DO NOT skip the intro!) It's the site for the new horror movie coming out called "Silent Hill."
Not that I'd ever watch the movie. The trailer itself scared the pee out of me. WHEW. I am not usually scared of horror films, but ever since "The Ring" came out, that has changed. Hollywood finally figured out how to scare me--and I'm staying away.

I'm re-reading (for the third time) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I think it's affecting me. I had a dream last night that Thing One and I were stranded at the airport, and a lady came over and sat with my daughter and started talking about Writing with her. I looked closer and it turned out the lady was Jo Rowling. I am in such awe of her imagination. She really is an amazing storyteller. And like a fool, I asked her to sign my copy of HBP. Oh well. At least I got to speak to her in my dream!

Well I have to scoot--the kids are being turkeys and not getting dressed for school. Sorry this is such a lame post. Kind of like my life right now...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter Weekend

The Weekend ran fairly smoothly, except for one teeny detail: a month ago I bought all the baskets and candy for Easter, then stuffed them into a large black plastic bag and hid them in the basement for safekeeping.

So, imagine my surprise at eleven o'clock Easter Eve, when I couldn't find the bag. Anywhere. For about three panic-stricken minutes, I thought I'd thrown the trashbag away, with the 27 other identical trashbags I had when I de-junked the basement. Which means all my early-bird planning was rotting away in a landfill somewhere.

I knew Safeway was open 24 hours, but they had nothing left. NOTHING.

Then, by some miracle, I moved a few boxes and found the trashbag, behind them. Easter morning was saved!

And of course the next morning Hubby accidentally threw the trashbag away, with all the leftover candy still in it.

I guess that's a good thing...

Friday, April 14, 2006


Man, I'm beat. I stayed up until 1am, writing a detailed synopsis of my Edwardian-era novel. I just had to get it down, and out of my head, or lose it forever.

Now the frustration begins: the writing process itself. I liken Writing to Crosstitch: you can spend three hours working earnestly, and all you've got when you're done for the day is one petal to one stupid flower--and you say to yourself: "I've just put three hours of effort into ONE petal?"

But then, the next night, you do another petal, and the next night, another, and after many hours and many days (weeks, months, years, however long it takes) you have a beautiful flower, and you're proud of it. Your're just a hundred years older now, it seems. That's how I feel about the writing process.

I didn't get done what I wanted to yesterday. I pulled all of the "stuff" (heh, a polite word) out of my walk-in closet so I could actually walk in it, and realized I now had Mount Everest in my bathroom (made entirely of clothes) and it took me four bloody hours to sort it all out. By the time I was done, my closet was clean, but the rest of the house looked the same. I called it quits and surfed the net and Ebayed the rest of the day. I am SO bad. And I was in a foul mood, too.

After the kids went to bed, I watched Possession with Jennifer Ehle and Jeremy Northam (and Gwyneth Paltrow with her impeccable British accent--wow I love that movie) and it put me in a better mood. If you can ignore Aaron Eckhart's character and try not to let him annoy you--I highly recommend this movie. It is fantastic. And it's VERY romantic.

But then when the movie was over it was twelve a.m. and I was gripped with the sudden urge to sit at the computer and write out the synopsis to my new novel idea. When I was finished it was 1am--and I had five pages of detailed synopsis, single-spaced. Go me. But I'm paying for it this morning. My kids get up at six, and they come and jump on the bed and sigh until I wake up. Little poopheads.

No school today, but time for breakfast. Hubby comes home tonight, and I need to try and finish the basement. Pray for me...

Have a good weekend, all, and Happy Easter!


Thursday, April 13, 2006


Monet's Flowers and Fruits. I always thought he did landscapes. I guess he did regular stuff, too.

Apparently people give flowers for Easter, because suddenly my email inbox is being flooded with offers from Harry and David, FTD,, etc. I would think they would be going bonkers for Mother's Day next month, but Easter?

I did the smart thing, or so I thought. About three weeks ago I went and bought all the candy and baskets and stuff for Easter, and hid it all in a black garbage sack in the basement. So now that people are rushing to the stores and the stock is getting picked over, I just smile smugly because I already have done it. I've been on the other end before. You know what I mean. You rush to the store a few days before Easter, only to find that the only thing left is Jelly Beans and Marshmallow Peeps (the latter, by the way, in my opinion could very possibly be the NASTIEST candy on Earth). So, I got it done early, and I'm proud of myself. Now only if I could do that for Christmas. ;-)

I finally tackled all the leftover unopened boxes in the basement. It's funny how the movers will box up anything. But I threw out about eight boxes and condensed down to six. Lucky for me the lady who built this house had EXTENSIVE clothing and furs (she had a storage room just for her furs--can you believe) and so she had huge storage rooms put in, and fashioned like California closets. I'm putting all my holiday decorations in one, and my food storage in another. So at least that will be organized. I still haven't tackled the MAIN storage area, though. Ugh. They crammed every box into it, and there's this really creepy area where there's a square opening about chest level, and when you look inside it's literally a 20X20 foot room, that is completely filled with dirt up to chest level and covered over with black plastic. I'm still not sure of the purpose of this room, but I HATE it and I told Hubby that it's where the Vampires sleep. I won't go near it if I don't have to. CREEPY.
I hope I can finish the house in time to plant the flowers. I like the landscaping of the house, a big variety of trees and bushes, and the beds are filled with decorative rocks rather than bark mulch, but you can't plant flowers in rocks. So I have all these pots I bought and it's just a matter of filling them and placing them in strategic places all over the yard. That will be a major undertaking--maybe all next week it will be my project. This week it's de-junking the house.

I think I'm going to have to tip the garbagemen a $20 just to keep them happy this time--I'm going to have a TON to pick up tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Wednesday, Part II

Here's a trip down Memory Lane--I was Spring Cleaning and dug up this old picture--this was the very first house Hubby and I owned--in Texas. We built it and we were so excited to finally have a house after four years of apartment living--with two children. My kids called it "The Apple House" because we selected this hideous apple border for the kitchen (hey, we had been looking at wallpaper samples for THREE hours, we were under duress!). But we changed the border after looking at it for a year.
Aahh, memories. I really loved that house. I think there's something special about your first house.


Feeling better now because an exasperated mother (with a daughter my daughter's age) griped to me yesterday about her daughter's newfound "sassy tongue." I told her it's normal. It HAS to be.
As soon as a girl turns eight (and in some girls, it's earlier) there is a "Sassy Gene" that surges to the forefront, and she becomes a whining, complaining smart mouth. Thank heaven I only had one girl. My boys are so much far.

Hubby just left for L.A. this morning, so I have three nights of watching chick flicks. Woo hoo! I can actually WATCH a Jane Austen film without the annoying snoring noise and the resulting "snapping awake" ten minutes before the film ends (where Hubby asks me to recount the entire plot and what he missed, at which point I am tempted to "Fly him the Bird" because he's a frustrating typical MAN).


I finished Posie Graeme-Evans' "The Innocent" yesterday (another chronic case of Couldn't-Put-The-Book-Down-itis) and I will say it was a little "spicy" for my taste, but I loved the attention to detail and the extraordinary medieval world Evans created. This woman knows her stuff.

So my goal for the next few days is Spring Cleaning (wait, didn't I do that already? Oh, that was last year, darn it) and I HATE Spring Cleaning but one must do it. And I refuse to hire a cleaning service because I can do it myself (sort of) and frankly, I'm spoiled enough.

I think I'm going to indulge in a visit to Barnes & Noble today while all three of the kids are in school (Thing Three will be for two and a half hours) and since there is no school Friday and they will undoubtedly drive me crazy, I am going to relish some alone time. Gotta get it where I can, you know?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Wow, Blogger is S-L-O-W this morning...

No rabbits on the lawn this morning--heh heh, they were all over the neighbor's yard. I guess blocking their access hole did the trick. It looked like they tried to dig it back out, but gave up. We'll see how long that lasts.

I wrote a prologue last night. My stories come to me as movies in my head, so I write what I see. Granted, it was only 847 words, but it was something. I've just decided that there's no pressure, I'm just going to set my goals low, and sit down when I can to write. I have to write out the movie in my head, before I lose it.

Reading a new book too--I only had time to read the first chapter yesterday, but it looks promising. It's The Innocent by Posie Graeme-Evans. It's the first book in a trilogy--and its a medieval novel. I love historical fiction. You can look into a window of time and experience what the characters experience, and it's entertaining and educating at the same time.

I hope I have time to read more. The first chapter really grabbed me in.

Everything is turning green, and I am SO PROUD to announce that I mowed the lawn. Hubby edged, and Father-in-law whacked down shrubs, and now I'm busy buying planters and ornate pots to put everywhere, to fill with flowers. Hubby goes to California tomorrow for three days so I think I'll do all the planting while he's gone and surprise him. I am no green thumb, but I definitely know how to plant some flowers. It was nearly 80 degrees yesterday, Spring is officially here!

Time to rally the Troops for school. Thing Two just came downstairs with a VERY scary ensemble--yes, I should be off my head with joy that he can dress himself, but I have to remember that six-year old boys have ZERO fashion sense. Ugh.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Didn't get any writing done this weekend (surprise surprise) but I've decided that if I just SIT MY REAR DOWN and do it, it will happen.
Of course today the kids are back in school after a two week break, and I'm sad to say I'm relieved.
But I have a lady coming this morning to help me hang window treatments and then I have to do the dry cleaners, grocery shopping, and make schedules and a stoplight system for the youngest two, because I'm tired of asking them more than once to do things. (More like SEVEN times!)

It's like I heard somewhere, as soon as they turn five, they go deaf and you become invisible. Well, I won't have that. I have too much of my dad in me. ;-)

Okay, time for a rant: Rabbits. I have too many of those d*** things eating my lawn and bushes! Things are blooming now and the grass is turning green, except in the back yard, there are all these roundish yellow dead spots--and if you look closely, you see Rabbit turds. The bloody things are eating my lovely lawn! Just this morning I looked outside to make sure the sprinklers went on (heh heh, it took Hubby a while to figure out the system--we're not used to it) and there were two rabbits sitting on our lawn, munching away. Since I was in a state of er...considerable undress...I picked up one of my kids' shoes and opened the sliding back door and hucked it at the rabbits.
It didn't phase them. They just paused, looked at the shoe, and bent back down to their business.
This for some reason really ticked me off, so I ran upstairs and threw on a shirt and some capris, ran back downstairs, and ran outside. This time, they scattered. They ran around the side of the house, and I found them, each one hiding behind an air conditioner unit. So I ran around and chased them out and they went under the fence. I blocked their access hole (like that will do any good) and complained to Hubby when I went back inside. He just chuckled at me and told me that the day before I was gushing about how cute they were. Yeah. Cute like blood-sucking leeches. You mess with MY lawn--you are no longer cute. You are the Enemy. Rabbits be warned. I WILL take action...

*Ahem* Well, time to get the kids ready for school. I hope I can squeeze some writing in today, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it isn't going to happen.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Getting Back Into It...?

I always experience this phenomenon. Whenever I take a vacation, or I go out of town, I run around so much, I don't do any writing. And then, when I get back, I don't have the desire to do any writing, either. And when I finally do, it's strange, like using a muscle I'm not used to flexing. Or sometimes it's like riding a bicycle, and I get right back into the seat and start pedaling, as if I never had a hitch.

It's sad to say, but I think writing truly is just a hobby, for me. Sure, I love to do it, and I have the drive to sell novels, but I am not focused or disciplined enough to do it consistently. Therein lies my entire problem. Until I am ready to MAKE IT MY CAREER, it isn't going to happen for me. I know this wishy-washy attitude drives other writers crazy, but it's just me being honest. Or it's the Adult ADD. One of the two. ;-)

So I was cleaning yesterday, and a story came to me. A period romance, Jane Austen style. The idea itself is absolutely delicious. I ran to the computer and wrote out the story bones, before I lost them, and all day long I had conversations between the main characters and secondary characters, running in my head. But did I sit down and begin to write it? NO. I continued doing what I was doing, and after I wrote out the idea, I left it alone.

The characters are still talking today, a little more muted, perhaps, but they're there. I am still struggling with the mediocrity of my writing. I am the unfortunate who has the great ideas, but not the skills to adequately portray the story in prose. I've recently come to this realization, and it's not pleasant. I think that might be part of my hangup. Or my hesitation.
Why spend all the time writing it out, and editing and re-editing, alternating between abject suffering and joyful bliss during the drawn-out process, only to have it sit on my computer, for my eyes only? Why in the hell would I put myself through all that, for nothing?

It's so easy to find OTHER things do fill your time, when you feel like you're only mediocre at something. And so I think I'll start scrapbooking again. At least until I feel the need to persevere.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

*Loooong Sigh*

*Whew* Long post ahead too, so consider yourself forewarned:

What a Whirlwind! Apparently we went to Disneyworld under the impression that we were going to be able to RELAX. Hmm.


It was 90 degrees with high humidity the whole time we were there, and I think I slathered enough sunblock on the kids to keep Banana Boat in business through to the millennium. Which of course resulted in them all looking just as white when they returned as when they went. (I'm wondering if putting SPF 80 might have been a bit much? I guess a suit of armor would have been sufficient, but oh well, live and learn.)

I now have about 3,589 new friends, called FRECKLES. Ugh. I look like I got attacked by a mud machine. I don't even look tan. It's just wrong wrong wrong.

So, about the trip: After a four-hour flight (thank HEAVEN for Gameboys!) we arrived at the Boardwalk Inn (reminiscent of circa 1920's Atlantic City, FUN) and got checked in--and the kids were literally boinging off the walls with excitement. We ate at Spoodles (Mediterranean cuisine) and much to our dismay, we found out that when you're on the Disney Dining Plan, you might as well invest in a stomach-stretching machine, because you HAVE TO HAVE an appetizer, entree, dessert and drink (and we're talking Disney-sized portions, which are HUGE) at every single meal, and we had seven people, and the food we accumulated at each meal could have served about 20. I kid you not. It was disgusting. And you feel bad if you don't eat it all, and I really did try, but I just couldn't. Next time we'll opt for Dinner Only or something. Yikes.

So the first day we went to Epcot. Aside from a few perilous moments for Grandpa on Mission Space, it went rather smoothly. And it was fun and interesting. We completely skipped Epcot last time, because our kids were just babies. But this time it was neat. And Test Track was fun too--Thing One's first ever roller-coaster-type ride. She was being an annoying chicken**** at first, but after it was over she was whooping and wanting to go again.

Okay, mini-rant here. Why, WHY do people go to Disneyworld, and wait in line for three hours for a four minute ride? Only to go wait another 90 minutes for a three minute ride? WHY? I mean, what a waste of a day! FASTPASS, people! FASTPASS!!!!!
Hubby and Grandma became experts of the Fastpass. It's where you can stick your pass into a kiosk at the ride of your choice (which usually has a gazillion people in line) and it gives you a window of time that you can return, and NOT wait in line at all. You just breeze right through, and if you do wait, it's for only about two minutes or so.

One of the more brilliant Disney inventions, if you ask me. We got to ride every single ride and attraction in each park, and hang out and actually enjoy the scenery to boot. Granted, we ran everywhere and I felt like I'd run a marathon at the end of each day, but it was worth it. Say it with me, people. FASTPASS. And here's a little-known Disney secret: let's say your fastpass has a return window of 1-2pm, well, you can actually use it ANY time after 1pm, up until the park closes. They don't care. So we fastpassed and went and actually did back-to-back rides at night. It was really fun.

So, first day was Epcot, second day was MGM Studios, Third Day was Animal Kingdom (we got to go on a neat behind-the-scenes tour of the animal facilities that is only available to concierge-level guests, so we felt special) and the last day was Magic Kingdom, and despite sharing the park with about six million other people, can I say it really was magic?

Now that we're back, we're tired and the kids are on "Decompress Mode" but it was fun. The In-laws flew out last night, so I finally have the house to myself. No more "run run run" and I just might be tempted to take a nap today. Ahhhh.

I got invited to a Stampin' Up! Party tonight, and I'm loving it. I haven't been to one in about three years because people in Wisconsin just don't seem to be "into" that sort of thing. So it will be nice to have Hubby watch the kids and get away for an evening.

I AM proud to say that I took 311 photos at Disneyworld. And I fully intend to make a scrapbook for them.

Sometime next year...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Okay, I KNOW...

I know I said I'd update the blog today, but the In-laws extended their stay, and they're still here. So I have no time to blog. But I promise to--tomorrow!