Yep. TJ's teacher had to tell him to be quiet. It's true. I know this doesn't sound drastic to some of you... but TJ is SO good at school. Teachers are usually stunned when he acts out. It's those damn steroids.

Meanwhile, Tommy is crying on my bed. Why? I have no idea. Well, other than the fact he doesn't feel good. Poor kid. And Tori ended up at the pedi instead of the orthodontist due to a small fever and continued throat complaints. Negative strep test though, so home to take it easy.

An online friend pointed me towards some American Girl coupons and I found Tori's Easter dress, hat and chocker. Shipped to the door for $26. You can't beat that!

I'm off to love on my poor crying Tommy.


Happy Friday!

I'm playing taxi mom for all kinds of medical appointments today.

TJ finally saw the new allergist. He has a bad sinus infection along with some funky throat stuff going on. Including a swollen uvula, you know that thing that hangs down in the back of your throat? Once again the poor kid is back on oral steroids, but just for 48 hours. I hope they don't give him the steroid meanies TOO badly.

Talked to the school nurse at length about Tommy's nut allergies and carrying epinephrine next year. The school is now allowing (thank GOD) the kids to have their meds either 1-on them 2-with the teacher of 3-in the office. Nurse said his emergency pack would go where he went. It would not be a problem at all. That really is a huge weight off of me. We are still unsure if there is a peanut allergy on top of the tree nuts, and don't ever plan to challenge. Doc said that even though the skin test was neagtive for peanuts he would still like us to take all precautions as if it were positive. And it really doesn't change much. We do need to find out if he is truly 'contact reactive' to the nuts he tested positive for (pistachios, cashews, and walnuts). If so we will need to start a stricter cleaning protocol for areas he eats in out in public, you know?

We have soccer in the morning. And some friends coming over for a cookout football kind of thing that afternoon.

Everyone have a great weekend.

Oh! And I'll post those last couple of vacation day reports soon. Maybe tonight! :D


Disney 2006



I hate this time of year.

<--- insert me hacking here --->

Tori and TJ both are complaining of a sore throat. And when I took a peek I see why they are complaining!

TJ's OTHER eye got infected as well (as Tim pointed out I should have just started drops in BOTH eyes, but the directions said the 'affected' eye so that's what I did!) and so he had to stay home from school today.

<--- insert TJ hacking here --->

It's totally psychological (or so I hope) but my eyes feel itchy.

<--- insert me hacking here --->

I really don't like this time of year.

Oh, I did get a new layout done between laundry and extra TJ time today.

I'll try to get Epcot Day 2 done tonight... may be a few days though. Sorry!

TJ's been hacking for almost 2 weeks now. But it got better for a bit. Today it must have been pretty bad at school though. When I got to the K-1 Center my friend, Jane, came out to let me know TJ had coughed quite a bit during the day. He came walking out pale and miserable and asked "Could you take me to the doctor? I don't feel so good." So off we went to the pedi wtih all three kids. When I put him on the exam table I noticed his eye... his ever so slightly pink tiny bit goopy eye. Yep. Pink Eye. Doc said she already seen 3 cases that afternoon. Joy.

His lungs were actually clear (can you belive it an office visit without an xray for TJ?) and the pedi gave me some new antihistamines to try until Friday when he goes to see the new allergist. We also put him back on Pulmicort in hopes of NOT getting into an acute asthma episode. Whatever blooms this time of year gets him BAD. Back in 2003 he ended up in the ER. Blech. Let's not go back there again.

So we're home. Kids are finally in bed (after getting homework done, soccer practice completed, a late dinner, and tubs...) and I'm doing a load of possible pink eye germy things. Then it's off to bed for me. Too much excitement in one day.



Oh heck.

I've been tagged by Kim Hill.

"List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether or not they have words, or even if they're not any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your LiveJournal/blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they're listening to."

I don't think I have seven other people to tag!!!!!!!

Ok first of all songs:

1. "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" from Disney Mania 4 (Ok, I'm SO not into that song but it's totally in my head. I'm using it for the kids' Movie Maker Diseny Trip to share with their classmates, so I've heard it a FEW time recently.)

2. "Smoothie Song" by Nickel Creek Yes, I am still so into them even months after the concert. Kick A$$ band

3. "This Side" by Nickel Creek Yes, another Nickel Creek Song

4. "Virginia Wolf" by Indigo Girls

5. "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol

6. "If I had $1,000,000" by Bare Naked Ladies

7. "Running with Scissors" by Ben Lee

And I'm tagging uh...

and uh... I'll have to find a few more poor souls!


HOOORAY! I appear to have fixed the blasted problem with these postings.
So on with the postings! :D

This was our appointed morning to sleep in. We wandered into the park around 9:50 a.m. and headed, slowly, towards The World Showcase which opened at 10 a.m. right? Perfect timing.

OOOOOPS! It didn't open until 11:00 a.m. (Remember those best laid plans?) Nana and Lalo decided to take it easy while we took the kids over for some pictures with a few characters in a nice airconditioned building. The lines were a miserable 3-5 minutes long max. I hate Disney this time of year. Not NEAR enough time standing around in lines, you know? Here's just a couple of pictures.

THEN we headed back towards the World Showcase and began our trip around the World. We started in Mexico. The kids got their Kidcot masks and began the Sharpie decorating. Check out these two freaks I found wandering around Norway. You never know WHAT you are going to see in Disney!

In China Tori totally cracked me up, and yet really touched my heart. As the woman at the Kidcot station was writing Tori's name for her in Chinese characters Tori piped up with 'My cousin was born in China!' The woman and smiled and asked how old her cousin was... to which Tori gave her a complete and total blank stare. I couldn't help but laugh as I patted her back. Her cousin from China hasn't even been picked up yet. But my kids talk about that baby almost daily. It'll be nice when they finally get to meet their cousin, don't you think? That little baby is in their hearts already. I love that.

By Germany the 'I'm hungry' rumblings had started. After a few more Kidcot stations we had lunch. I took the kids into the USA hall to get their meals, while the adults got Bratwursts and beer. Yummy lunch. Yummy, I say.

After lunch Tommy learned he could bum a ride off his Lalo. The kid had it tough I tell you.

In Japan we watched the lady making candy out front. She is amazing to watch. So amazing I forgot to take a picture in fact. But next time you are there be sure to try to make time to see her. Cool stuff I'm telling you.

In yet another attempt to fix this post I'm breaking it into two days.


In Morrocco Tori and I got matching Henna tattoos on our wrists. The drying time was a bit of a pain for Tori, but they were still fun to get. By the way, we used a gift card that was sent to us as a total random act of kindness from an online friend of mine. She knows who she is. Thank you so much!! What a fun little extra magic we had that day thanks to you.

We ran into Jasmine and Alladin by the lake. They were quite the chatty couple. Abu apperently was lost, but we promised to keep an eye out for him.

I got a pastry in France (yummy, of course) and then we decided to join Nana and Lalo for the film. Just a few more countries and the Kidcot masks would be done! Beast was found prowling the streets. Luckily he was in a good mood (unlike Momma who was getting a bit tired of Tori's tween attitude, I digress...) and he agreed to pose for a picture. He even tried to help blow on Tori's tattoo to help it dry.

In Great Britain we saw Mary Poppins and Pooh with some of his friends. The kids declined a photo op with Ms. Poppins but hugged all over Pooh and pals. The phone booth was a hit for all of 15 seconds.

A buch of men 'wearing skirts' were playing some pretty good music according to TJ. The adults were all amused by the band's name: "Off Kilter".

In Canada they apparently think hiding the Kidcot station in the stupidest place they could possibly imagine is a great form of entertainment. Of course this was the LAST country left on the masks and they REALLY wanted to complete it. (=sigh=) The Kidcot stationg was eventually found and the masks completed.

We headed out for a nice long afternoon break after one last stop by Club Cool. TJ finally gave into the allure of sodas. All this time he's been the kid to have water at parties, milk at McDonalds. And I thought it was great. But Club Cool changed all that. In Club Cool they have samples of Sodas from around the world. TJ LOVED Gingerale. I mean he LOVED it.

Tori found some tastes to be a bit too foreign for her palate though. Nice one there, Tori.

Later that evening we hit Downtown Disney again. Tori and I picked up our dinner at Earl of Sandwich while everyone else got food over at Wolfgang Puck Express. Each year the kids get to help pick out a new ornament for themselves. They picked out ornaments from the Christmas Disney Store. Too cute. Tommy went and made his 'gween guy' over at the Lego place again. He was thrilled. A nice laid back night all things considered.

And so ends the saga for Epcot Day One.

I'm sorry to report that there will be no Disney fix today for those of you in need. After the kids get in bed I'm watching a movie with Tim. So there.

Yes, I'm in a mood.

TJ's class was part of the Pirate Play at his school on Friday. His class sang with lots of enthusiasm and had a great time dressing up for their schoolmates. It was quite the hoot to watch.

Tommy had his first soccer game today (we missed his first due to Disney). He really enjoyed playing which made me SO happy.

Coach told him to kick hard on the kick off, so he put his heart into it, don't you think?!


For Digiscrappers checking in be sure to stop over by DSD for my weekly ad challenge. I give away a free kit each week. So join in the fun. :D


Yep, that's it for now. I'll try to get on here Sunday night and continue the epic novel of our Disney vacation.

Until then.


So are you ready?!


We arrived at the gates about 10 minutes before the official opening ceremony (good hustling troops!) A CM was by the ropes making some balloon animals. Happy Disney music played. All was well. Good time for pictures right?

While everyone else moved over for a better view of the ceremony we moved over by the rope. As we stood there Tori informs me she'd like to try to wake up Tinkerbell for the day. There is a shop just past the castle called 'Tink's Treasure'. The first child in the shop that asks can help wake up Tinkerbell. I warned her that other families might be trying and not to be upset if she didn't get to. As soon as the rope dropped Tim and Tori took of down Main Street. Nana and I followed with the boys at a more normal person rate. (Lalo was getting his little electric cart thingy and missed the insanity).

As we approached the castle all the little Princesses that had breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table were waiting at the rope to enter Fantasy Land. I told Nana there was no way Tim and Tori would make it to Tink's first. Imagine my surprise when we walked in the shop and Tori was helping two other girls wake up Tinkerbell! They each had a magic wand that they tapped on Tink's box three times and said 'Wake Up!' for each tap. She was beaming.

Later I got the whole story from Tim. At the second rope drop Tori (a bit too loudly I take it) commented that she hoped she got to wake Tink. As the rope dropped a father blocked Tori's progress (intentionally or not) into the shop with his stroller, allowing his two girls in the shop first. I guess Tim congratulated the Mom on the Dad's blocking ability and the Mom invited Tori to join her girls. I had no idea about the drama at the time or I would have taken a second to thank her. At any rate, I think that was really nice of that Mom. So THANKS for the Pixie Dust!

While Tori got her certificate I took the boys on Dumbo. Nice to only wait for about 5 minutes for that ride.

Then we did all the usual Fantasy Land type stuff: Winnie the Pooh (such a cute ride), Peter Pan (Tommy had really been looking forward to that one), and Snow White's Scary Adventure (Tommy refused to get on it). All had zero wait time.

Then it was off for Tom Sawyer's Island. Yes, Tom Sawyers Island. Tim had found a thread on one of the Disney Bulletin Boards about hidden paintbrushes on the island. If you find one you get a certificate that amounts to a fast pass to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or Splash Mountain. So off we went looking for a hidden paintbrushes in the drizzling rain. I quickly gave up the search (I'm not a very good seeker, sorry!) and hung out on the porch. The ever brave Lalo was following Tommy and ended up having to cross a barrel bridge. Nana went through the dark caves. TJ and Tori explored. And yet, I still sat on the proch, bravely watching for Indians. Ok, I have nothing for you... I just hate looking for stuff. At any rate, of course, Tim found a hidden brush to his delight.

Triumphantly we returned to the main land, brush in hand, to claim the certificate. And then on to Adventure Land. Quick Magic Carpet ride and then time for Pirates of the Carribean. Tommy was a tad worried about this one. When the ride was over he loudly announced "THAT WAS AWESOME!" Tommy and TJ were Pirates the rest of the trip. Note Tommy is saying 'AURGHHHHHH!!!!!' in the picture.

We then dragged our tired and hungry butts over to Cosmic Rays Cafe for lunch.

After lunch we did a few rides, even tried the Speedway to the kids delight. None of the children will not be getting a license in the near future. Afterwards we found Buzz for pictures.

Nana tried the Stitch experience that I said the kids were not allowed on (they don't like "It's Tough to be a Bug" at ALL so I knew this was totally out). She wasn't impressed either. We walked on to a few more rides: Space Mountain, Buzz, TTA, Small World (Tori and I did Haunted Mansion), and then Big Thunder Mountain Railroad one last time. We all admitted we'd never last until the 3 o'clock parade and headed on out. Tori used her money to buy herself a gift at 'Tink's Treasures' since she had a little extra magic there that day.

We headed out for the day.

Later than night we ate dinner at the Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Resort. Excellent meal, good service. I was a bit disappointed in how the handled food allergies: I was told Tommy could have 'anything' and when I requested a plain scoop of icecream they kindly brought a plate of MandM candies with it... which he's not allowed to have. Aurgh! I decided to just write the manager than get upset about it. I expect better from Disney regarding food allergies. Still, an outstanding meal. Really, one of my favorites.

We returned to the hotel for an hour or so of swimming while I did a couple of loads of laundry. I let the kids stay up late.... because believe it or not the next morning was a sleep in morning!


First of all... have you tried this recipe? Stole the recipe off of Andrea Burn's Blog. I have heard a few moms raving about this recently so I'm going to give them a go here soon, hmmmm, tonight?


Cake Balls

1 package cake mix

1 can of frosting

1 package of chocolate almond bark (Can use semi-sweet baking chocolate too)

wax paper

1. Cook cake mix according to directions on the box. 2. Let cake cool. 3. Crumble cake in a bowl. 4. Mix approximately 1/3 container of frosting until smooth dough forms 5. Roll cake into balls, packing tightly 6. Melt almond bark 7. Drop balls into chocolate until coated. (I use a fork to lift balls out of chocolate so excess chocolate can drain through the tongs on the fork) 8. Place balls on wax paper to harden.

You can use any combination of frosting and cake mix. The cake should make approximately 60 balls. You can make the cake ahead of time and freeze the balls before dipping into the chocolate.

To make festive - you can put candy bits on top while chocolate is cooling.


Insert any random jokes about Cake Balls
here ------------>


TJ suddenly decided he did NOT want to take Tae Kwon Do (sp?). I'm just glad he told me on the way to take him and a $90 check to the studio, you know? So instead he asked to take a painting class up at our local art studio. His first class is today, I hope he really likes it.

Tommy has his first soccer game this Saturday. I'm sure I'll post a picture (or two) online later that day.

Tori is being a nine year girl. A little bit trying, a little bit loving, and a whole lot cute. However, if she wakes me up at 3 a.m. again she's going to get it!


I leave you with a new layout.

Kim Hill's "Family Traditions" kit to be released on Friday. Pick it up on her site: CGEssentials

Catch you later! (Will post Magic Kingdom Day #2 late tonight)

So the plan called for us to arrive at the gates no later than 8:50 a.m. Yes, I had that typed in the plans word for word (as poor Lalo). We arrived just as the gates opened so it was perfect. Today we went straight for Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear Star Command. TJ and I had a little detour and missed the first set of rides. BUT TJ got to visit Stitch for a second.

Tommy, Tori and Nana were the very first family to ride that day so they scored a free 5x7 picture of them on the ride! Then we all went through together... unluckily Tim and TJ's car was defective and we ended up stuck in the ride for about 10 minutes. But there were no tears, so it was all good.

After Space mountain was conquered again by Tim, TJ, and Nana it was off for the Tea Cups. I don't do the Tea Cups. They make me want to... well, you get the idea. So I got to take pictures instead. I was perfectly happy. Obviously I need to work on my action shots in the dark shade... BUT I thought this one of my sweetie was pretty cool, even if out of focus.

We then waited for the rope drop for Toon Town. Have you ever seen the Disney Ad where Goofy is riding the rollercoaster with a child? Here's a fun little secret I learned in my crazy research. If you are lucky, you can have your child walk (very quickly) up to Goofy at the rope drop and hold his hand. Some days, unluckily, Goofy doesn't ride. Today would be that day. Tori got to Goofy first (without running I might add) and was nicely told that Goofy wasn't riding. Goofy waved goodbye to the kids as they hopped on Goofy's Barnstormer (a tiny rollercoaster). As you can clearly see in the picture, Tommy hates that ride.

Ok, maybe not.

Then it was time with photos with chracters. We waited no more than 5 minutes to see characters here. It was nicely done... AND air conditioned!

Time for ANOTHER ride on Barnstormer, and why not? No line what-so-ever. While Tim and his parents waited for the train a nice Cast Member gave them a Fast Pass ticket for any ride when he heard about what happened on Buzz Lightyear. We neded up never using because all the rides were no wait at all.

We squeezed in rides for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain before lunch at Pecos Bill Cafe. The we ambled out of the park for a nice long break at the hotel. Naps and swimming were a perfect way to relax. Oh, I think I forgot to mention that poor little Tommy went under at the pool the night before (we let them swim a bit after dinner that night). So, for the rest of the trip he was only allowed in the pool with one of Pop's swim vests on. More relaxing for the Momma, you know?

We then drove back the Ticket and Transportation Center and caught the monorail to dinner at Concourse Steakhouse. It took QUITE a while to get to our stop. Oooops, all my research didn't figure that out. Oh well. Yummy dinner. Concourse's staff is very well trained regarding food alergies. I was most impressed with them. TJ particuarly enjoyed his dessert that night: a Mickey cookie he could paint with frosting. As you can see below he likes those sprinkles!

We returned to Magic Kingdom for the Spectro Magic Parade. We got some very nice seats in Frontier Land where we all sat on a wall. The kids really loved the parade. I'm glad we decided to do it.

I'd LIKE to take credit for the next bit but it simply wasn't in my plans. Wishes, the big fireworks show wouldn't start for a while and we were all pretty beat. So we decided to head back to the hotel. We ended up on the ferry (Tim and Nana's idea) and got to watch the fireworks on board. What a way to end the day!!

And so we stumbled back to our rooms and collapsed into some magical dreams... knowing that Stitch and Mickey would be calling with our wake up call bright and early for another day of the Magic Kingdom.


I'll post our first day at Magic Kingdom later tonight. (Honest!)

Before I start a side note:
I spent months planning this trip. Months. It started when Disney ran their 'Free Dining' promotion again this year. If you had the code you could book a 'Magic Your Way' package that included your room, tickets and free dining. You paid rack rates for the room, yes, but it's value season anyways so the room was only $79 a night. For each night you stayed in the hotel you got a counter service, table service, and snack for each person in your party. A counter service lunch typically cost about $50 for the five of us. Snacks were around $4 each. Sitdown Dinners easily added up to $140 or higher each time. An amazing deal if you stayed at a Value Resort like Pop Century.

So, that's how we ended up with Free Dining. This is the second year in a row Disney have offered this 'Hurricane Special' as it's been dubbed by some in this area.

If you are planning on a vacation to Disney in your near future I'd suggest using Tour Guide Mike. His online service fee is quite reasonable and has up to date info. He helps you know which parks will have lighter crowds, how to best avoid long lines etc. Well worth every penney.

Anyways...let me introduce you to my master schedule. I had organized our days according to Tour Guide Mike's advice. I checked Steve Soar's site for the last up to the second times for parades shows etc. I was on a first name basis with half the Dining Reservation employees it seemed like. I printed it all up and placed the pages in a 4x6 photo album that snapped closed. Everything was easily accessible. A thing of beauty to behold.

Of course the best laid plans...

But I digress.

This was our first park day. John had never seen Animal Kingdom before so it was perfect. The kids were very excited about the new ride: Expedition Everest. (Well, Tori and TJ were. Tommy a- wasn't tall enough and b- would rather have more allergy testing done.)

We arrived just minutes after park opening. I sent Tim and John off for fast passes for Expedition Everest while the rest of us took the kids over to some tamer rides. I am quite sure between the three kids they easiliy rode Triceratop Spin 15 times. Tori somehow convinced Nana and I to ride Primeval Whirl with her (never again by the way, it's WAY too rough for me).

After some time had passed I realize the boys (Tim and John) have been gone way too long to simply get Fast Passes and suspect they are riding without us. Sure enough. They couldn't the chance to just walk straight on to the brand new ride. Eventually they caught up with us. We all headed over to Kali River Rapid Rides.

Tommy just made the height to ride and we all got on one big raft. I must take another second and apologize to the still damp Retta. I'm SO sorry Retta. But my mental photograph of you and Tori getting drenched will forever be in my memory! So... uh, guess you all get that Aunt Retta got totally and absolutely drenched? Like have to wring out your skirt drenched. Ack. Sorry!

At this point we wandered (some of us squelching along the way) back to Expedition Everest. I was brave/stupid enough to ride. That damn ride was freaky fast and unexpected. You end up go backwards through the pitch black. The kids, of course, loved it. We had a coupon for a free picture I'll have to scan in one day of Tim, Tori, John and Nana 'enjoying' the ride. DON'T sign me back up. After a second ride for Tim, John and Tori we headed over to Africa to get lunch. Along the way the kids stopped to play drums.

We then made our way to Tusker House for lunch in some air conditioning (Tim and John grabbed Fast Passes for the Safari on the way for us all.) I had a yummy salad with some yet to be identified tiny beans on it. It was a good break.

Next we did the Safari. Disney, as always, does an amazing job with this 'wild life preserve' AKA Zoo. It flows togther so well. I managed very few decent shots due to the authentic pot holes along the route. Tommy and TJ thought the pile of Hippos were pretty funny. As yes, those are real Hippos not Imagineered ones, honest!

We gave Planet Watch a try since Tori is currently into the idea of being a Veterinarian one day. The staff was showing a turtle that had been run over and was having rehab done. He had an IV port taped to his back and a partial cast on. The butterfuly room was cool to look in on as well. The petting zoo was goats. Lots of goats. I wasn't impressed. We then hauled our tired rears across the park to The Festival of the Lion King... and air conditioning! Great show.

Now, remember that GREAT schedule I had? Next on my list was for us to have a drink and watch the parade at 3 pm. Only one problem... the parade was at 4:00 and we needed to be at the Animal Kingdom Lodge to meet Wagner parents for dinner. OOOOOPS! So instead we had drinks and watched a troup of guys do some dancing/gymnastic stuff. They were pretty amazing.

We then scooted out for dinner. That morning Nana and I changed dinner reservations from a party of 9 to a party of 11 to accomodate John's parents driving up to join us for dinner. (Wasn't that nice of them to drive up?) All set for 4:30. Yet another problem. Boma didn't actually open until 5:00. Grrr. Oh well, we had good company at least! We eventually were seated and enjoyed an African Dinner. The Chef was very helpful reviewing foods that were safe for Tommy to eat regarding his tree nut/peanut allergy. He ended up crashing, sleeping on various family members. Yummy dinner, great company, and lots of fun. Both sets of Wagners had to depart after dinner. I was sad to see John and Retta go (we never see them enough) but I know we'll see them again soon.

We were then off to bed for magical dreams... I had my Buzz safely tucked in my arms, all was well with our world.

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