Thursday, February 28, 2008

Crazy few days

What a rollercoaster of a few days! My great aunt died last night, and I'd love to do a post on her but I realized I have no pictures of her, and believe me, you'd have to see her. She was a pretty cool lady.

Also my Rug has been diagnosed with GERD, or gastroesphageal reflux disease. She constantly is having bouts of throwing up, out of nowhere, and then she'd be fine. So yesterday we were driving to school and she had me stop the car so she could puke. I took her to the doctor, and now she is on Zantac twice a day. Oh the fun.

Mo is testing the limits. We are in that zone of the child rearing process. Yesterday she got stuck in the cat's little tunnel/sleeping area. She loves to scream and pull hair when she does not get her way. It's a great time.

My other two were already talking a lot by this time, she is just lazy I guess. She signs easily and understands what we're saying, but the only things she will say are "Meow" (it's been 6 months now, she says it consistently to any and every animal we come across.), "Da-Da" (any human being) and "SpongeBob" (Bob-Bob) which, is in reality, the only thing she knows for sure and will point him out everywhere. Thank goodness for merchandising. It's helping my daughter's vocabulary.

I've not missed a workout in three weeks and I'm very proud of this fact. LP and I have made a HUGE bet, and if I can win, I will be the happiest girl on Earth at the Happiest PLACE on earth. Can you believe that? I made a bet that involves Disney. That is just ridiculous. Anyway, once I've lost a certain # of poundages, I will let you in on the bet. It's fantastic. To me, anyway.

Did anyone catch Rick Springfield on Oprah the other day? I do not watch Oprah, and i only heard about it right before it started (one of my friends called) but I was already knee deep in my workout and didn't want to stop. I know! You'd think Rick had more control over me than that. Don't worry, his songs are on my iPod so it's not like I have completely lost my mind, right? He's still my #1.

Monday, February 25, 2008

February, or as I like to call it, Depressyouary

Every February is the same, I get the serious blues. Nothing in particular, but just about anything can set me off in a downward spiral of mopiness. I've been on a regular workout schedule now though since New Year's and it is definitely helping, well, at least helping me not to stick my head in the microwave, but I am still contemplating say, the toaster.

LP is really pushing the Atlanta move. He is ready to get outta the Midwest. I can't say I disagree, I mean, we've both lived here all our lives and we neither one say to people, 'oh, it's great you should move here'. Because you shouldn't. It's dirty, boring, and I drive 3 hours in any direction and I'm on a farm. Plus the weather is atrocious and I am 100% sure attributes every year to my February blahs. It was 14 frickin' degrees out there this weekend people. That is not cheery weather. And did I mention we're near the once notorious "Murder capital of the U.S." East St. Louis? And St. Louis was recently rated #3 on the "Most Stressed City in the U.S." list!


My mom and dad are here. And I adore my parents. They have made me into the neurotic mess that I am today, and there is something to be said to put that much into a crazy. It takes a lot of effort to make one as dysfunctional as myself. And I can't just up and leave them. Because they will not follow. No sir, those roots are stuck, planted and not coming up. So there lies the dilemma.


So, I need to finish up this Disney trip. After that, I might close up shop. I don't know. If we move I might start an Atlanta blog. My creative juices right now are at an all time low. I do write this for posterity and to remember my kids being young, but it is getting harder and harder to do. I'll keep you 'posted', ha ha.

Oh and one more thing. Remember the picture of LP in the convertible? Yeah, he bought it. So now he has a brand new Saab convertible. He is going out of town soon so guess who will be driving the kids around in something OTHER than a minivan? That ought to shake my blues away!!!


Okay well I will finish up Disney later. Mo is wanting to play computer.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Speaking of...

Since I truly am not able to do anything (example: I just made mac and cheese and put WAY too much milk in it.) I want SO badly to change my blog look, the background, fonts, ANYTHING, but when I start reading the tutorials I start getting rashes and hives and completely black out. Is anyone willing to help me or is capable of doing so? I'd really like a change.

Oh, and there is one thing I can do right. Produce BEAUTIFUL babies. :)

Jana Say Disney: Day 7...Magic Kingdom

Good heavens it's almost March and I'm still not done with this thing. LP suggested I write a book. Yeah I'm sure that would be a best seller.

Can I just tell you that I'm not good at ANYTHING? No, it's actually true. One day, Rug was telling her Daddy how great he was at math, and at fixing things, and yada yada yada, and I said, "Well, what am I good at?"

Her response?

"Oh mommy you are a good tracer."

A TRACER. That is how I will go down in my life. LP has promised me he will put that on my grave stone. "JanaSayQua, Loving Wife, Beloved Mom, Good Tracer."



Day 7, Wednesday at Magic Kingdom

Today I had two character meals reserved. Breakfast with Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, Mad Hatter. For dinner it was the Winnie-The-Pooh gang. We did decide today that since we'd already spent so much time at MK on Monday, that since AK was having extra magic hours, that we would leave MK early to go there and ride Expedition Everest again.

Our reservations for breakfast were for 8:20 a.m. and LP drove to the Grand Floridian and dropped us off to park. He took a VERY long time to get back. Rug had the vibrating thingee, and I was trying to keep up with Mo who was running all over the place. The Grand Floridian is THE nicest hotel on Disney property, it costs about $500 a night to stay there. And Mo proceeded to crouch down in the middle of the lobby and poop.

That's when I realized the diaper bag was in the car.

I knew that if it was taking this long to park, LP must've had to park in Disney LAND so I knew there wasn't going to be another trip back to the car. I saw a woman who had a baby about Mo's age and asked to borrow a diaper. She was more than helpful, and said that it had happened to her before as well. Lovely. So I changed Mo in the super deluxe fancy schmancy bathroom and luckily our buzzer soon went off.

I immediately went up to the buffet to get some food for Mo so she would be occupied. Apparently Mary Poppins stopped by while I was gone. They'd already seen her at Epcot, but still got a picture.

Tigger was 'bouncing from table to table and Mo was giggling so much. I think she was finally used to the big characters and was having a ball watching him. She even hugged him when he came to our table.

After breakfast we drove over to the MK parking lot and took the monorail to MK. No drama today! The only thing LP wanted was to make sure Mo got to ride It's A Small World. I'm not sure why, but he just really wanted her to. First we went through Tomorrowland and stopped off at the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, which was hysterical. It was hosted by Mike Wazowski and was a stand-up comedy act full of monsters. The jokes were really great. We were all cracking up.

We rode Peter Pan's Ride first and then went to It's a Small World, and there was no line at all.

LP was so excited, and thought Mo would think this ride was the neatest thing ever.

Yep, you guessed it. She immediately fell asleep!!

So we went to Mickey's Philharmagic while she was sleeping, and also took the opportunity to ride Haunted Mansion. She slept through it all.

Haunted horse carriage, in front of the Haunted Mansion.

We sat near the Country Bear Jamboree and ate some treats, i had the best snickerdoodle cookie I've ever had, and the girls ate some fudge. My goal on this trip was to find a "Dole Whip" which I've read is the best snack IN DisneyWorld, but we still never got around to it. The girls came very close to winning a pin from one of the CM, but ended up trading for some neat pins instead.

Next we headed to ToonTown where we wanted Mo to play, but it was getting very hot and we were all pretty tired. Although I did not forget anything on this trip, I did fail miserably in choosing clothing. it was almost 80 degrees that day, and Mo was in a long-sleeved dress. I bought her a Tinkerbell onesie and we took the train back to Main Street.

The one thing I wanted to do while we were there is get Mo's first haircut. She has a LOT of hair, so it wasn't going to be difficult to do! She was so good and she got a pair of Mickey ears that say "My First Haircut" after she was done.

As she was getting her haircut, LP saw two characters signing autographs, and didn't know who they were. I recognized them from old Disney cartoons. Fortunately, in the hotel there was a 'classic' disney cartoon channel, and the girls were able to see them in a cartoon later that evening. Horace and Clarabelle. I think Clarabelle was actually Goofy's girlfriend at one time.

We went back to the hotel and LP and I did some packing, the girls went down to the pool to swim (we'd heard that all week--can we swim? can we swim? I didn't realize the need to swim was so embedded in a child's brain) and Mo took a bath. We got to AK around 4:30 and got our bracelets for the extra magic hours. We rode Expedition Everest again (still awesome) and went to eat dinner at a place called Yak and Yeti LP was convinced we could eat there but I thought we needed reservations. That wasn't the case though and it was the best food we had. We all LOVE Chinese food, and this was delicious.

The whole time we were there it looked like it was about to pour, the sky was black. LP's knees were not working at all. It never rained though! The only time it ever rained was the Saturday we had soccer games, and we were already sleeping!

Next we did Child Swap and rode Dinosaur. I rode with the girls first, and I mean to tell you this was the scariest ride I've ever been on! And I do not scare easily. Big ol' dinos jumping out from everywhere. I can't imagine a young kid riding this, it would scar them forever. While LP rode with the girls, I walked down a pathway to a gift shop to pick up a water, and talk about Disney detail...while walking through this small path of foliage, it sounded like dinosaurs were sifting their way through the leaves. ANd since it was completely dark, wow, it was really cool. Mo thought it was neat too, saying 'oooooooh' back at the elusive dinos.

There wasn't much more to do, so we headed for It's Tough to Be a Bug, which gave us a chance to get closer to the Tree of Life. It is so amazing. Mo did NOT like this show at all. It was one of those 'it's almost over, it's almost over' kinds of shows. Stink bugs, spiders, mean grasshoppers, can't say I blame her.

We were all tired so we went back to the hotel and crashed. And watched cartoons. Here is the last picture I got, not a good one, but at least Mo enjoyed one ride at Animal Kingdom:

Next up: Last day at Disney and it finally rains! :(

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Jana say Disney: Day 6 Epcot Con't.

Holy moley I should go see a doctor. Can't seem to shake this thing. My lungs feel like someone is gripping them tightly and my nose runs like the Mississippi. Yet I have the strength and courage to continue to blog...ah, the sacrifices I make.

And I gave up cursing for Lent. I may not seem to curse a lot on this blog, but in my real life I'm a sailor. A dirty sailor, at that. It's been very difficult for me to stop calling people a$$hats. There's just so many of them!


Day 6 continued...will I ever finish this thing?

We arrived back into Future World and Al got some more pressed pennies and I became the Official babysitter of the Monchichis. Did I mention how much I hate stuffed animals? Egads. Off to Soarin'. LP stayed back with Mo, amongst a very large and very vocal Brazilian tour group.

While we were in line for Soarin' a man in line behind me gave me his fast passes for Test Track. This would help, as our FPs weren't until later, and the ones he gave us were earlier in time. That meant less time in Future World, more time back at World Showcase! Woot! We were happy to see Putty from Seinfeld was our host for Soarin', and we were in the 3rd row of the ride. Note: Never, ever get on the 3rd row. I don't know if it was all the hype of this ride, but Al, Rug and I ALL conceded that this was our LEAST favorite ride of the whole trip. Not sure, it just reminded me of the old "Chevy Show" that used to play at Six Flags. It was cool when you flew over the pine trees you could smell pine, but I must've been directly under the thing that pumped out the smell, because it really stunk. Al was being all snarky, oh wow, we're flying woo hoo sort of thing. When we got off neither one of them wanted to ride again, so we gave our Child Swaps to someone else. LP was not disappointed as he was more excited about riding Test Track.

We headed to Test Track and as I sat and waited for them to go first, the fountains near the Spaceship Earth were dancing similar to the Bellagio. It was gorgeous. I swear every time they rode a ride, I found some 'secret' Disney thing to enjoy.

Test Track is sponsored by GM so of course there was a show room of GM cars. And guess what was there? The SAAB convertible LP has been lusting over for a year now. So I sprawled all over it as he was walking off the ride. I'm surprised he didn't jump on me like David Coverdale on Tawny Kitaen in that Whitesnake video.

Please note, this picture will come in handy in a future post. Remember, for Valentine's Day I got him a test drive in this car--theres a story there!

After he was done drooling I took the girls back on Test Track. The idea is that you are one of the 'test dummies' in the test car and you get to go over several of the tests they give the car, bad road conditions, cold and hot conditions, hairpin turns...getting hit by a was a good time.

I told LP we'd meet him at Club Cool. I'd read about it on my website, basically it's just a big advertisement for Coca Cola. There are several samples of Coca Cola products made around the country. Apparently there is one called the "Beverly" that is so awful, it causes many to lose their lunch. Of course I didn't tell them this. But I had my camera ready.

Riley drinking the Beverly:

And Alex:

The faces say it all. It was disgusting!

We rode a Nemo ride for Mo and we headed back to World Showcase, starting with Mexico. We ate churros and I think that's it because someone needed to use the restroom and apparently there weren't any?

So while whoever was going to the bathroom at Norway, I went and grabbed a lefse and something to drink. I remember my ex-boyfriend, who was 100% Norwegian, talking about lefse and how good it was. Oh boy, was he wrong. Like I ever trusted him in the first place. Blech.
Norway: (this is NOT my ex-boyfriend, but if looks matched his personality it would be)

We traveled to China and everyone got egg rolls and pot stickers. The Chinese shop was really fun to visit, and the CM at the "Kidcot" table (for their masks) was very entertaining to the girls and wrote their names in Chinese on their masks. It was already getting dark so we weren't able to see much.
I was a bit worried about this PhotoPass photographer, he was making the family before us pose in all these ridiculous positions, hey I'm all for fun but just take the darn picture could ya? This is not Glamour Shots.

Next up was Germany which was very excited to visit, being 90% German and all. We weren't able to hear all the Oktoberfest music, but we did sit down and have bratwurst and LP had his weight in sauerkraut. Mo really wanted to walk around here. The whole pavillion reminded me of my Grandma's with the cuckoo clocks and the smell of German food. Being German we always have a pickle on our Christmas tree. I don not however, have a pickle TREE:

These Disney pickles were $11 apiece. I got mine at Kohl's for 90 cents last year.
After Germany was Italy and LP was feeling amorous, only because, you guessed it, more soccer jerseys. He never bought one though. We didn't eat in Italy, I think because the only restaurants were sit down. We also had a Monchichi incident where Rug left hers in one of the gift shops. Luckily he was still sitting there, looking all Monchichi'd out.
Next stop was America. The girls did some pin trading and I got yelled at for trying to take my beer into the Pavillion. Whoops! But isn't that what America is about? Being able to drink my beer wherever I so please, right? I didn't have a wifebeater on, so I guess that made my ineligible. The pavillion was really neat, they even had some Abraham Lincoln memorabilia. I didn't get good pics though, and Mo really enjoyed the shrub garden maze. The garden was beautiful, with roses named after presidents.

After grabbing some sushi in Japan (I had to have SOME, even if it was just counter service) we headed to Canada to plant our butts to get a seat for the fireworks. I waited in a very long line to get a really delicious bag of popcorn. The fireworks started and immediately Mo started screaming. So off we went, ending our day at Epcot. (The fireworks were spectacular though!!)

Next up: Magic Kingdom with Mo and Who Got Their First Haircut At Disney World?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Jana say Disney: Day 6 Epcot

Tuesday was a SLEEPING IN kind of day. With no Mo keeping us up all night like the nights before, we slept SO well. She just wasn't used to somewhere other than her own bed I guess.

Our plan today was eat somewhere off Disney after picking up Mo from his mom's, then Epcot, but the words "let's not make this an all day day" slipped out, as if we weren't going to go balls to the walls again. As if.

We made our way to his mom's and Mo was not really eager to see us. I guess she was getting used to living in luxury. Too bad, missy, we picked you to be in our family not the other way around! You've gotta live with us!

After we left, we decided to drive down the highway to find somewhere to eat, preferably a Bob Evans or such. We found a very, very sketchy Shoney's. I was ready to go and really didn't want to drive all over looking for a place to eat. It was STILL $45 for us to have breakfast. Wow. At least we were full. And of course Mo loaded up her pants as soon as I sat down to eat. Yes, she has impeccable timing.

We got to Epcot around 10 a.m. Our goal was to ride Mission Space first, then Test Track and Soarin'. These are the 3 big rides there, so we'd have to get FPs for one of them. I told LP I'd go get a FP for Soarin' while they all got ready to ride Mission: Space. (I was not interested in riding a ride that requires barf bags) Soarin' was ALL the way on the other side. I can honestly say I have a very good judge of character, and in this case, I knew instantly Epcot was not going to be my favorite park. But of course I was willing to give it another chance!

LP, Rug and Al went to ride Mission: Space and Mo and I walked over to "Innoventions" which to me just seemed like a lame science center. I did find a place to email postcards of our faces, but couldn't remember anybody's address! I tried to let her walk around, but there were just too many people. So we walked back to the entrance of Mission Space but noticed a small crowd gathering. It was yet another 'street acting' thing, but this different. They were three men, dressed as sanitation workers, with garbage cans, brooms, sweepers, but they stopped in the middle of the walkway and started playing music a la STOMP. I let Mo out of her stroller (FREEDOM!) and she just went nuts. She was jamming and shaking her tush all over the place. Afterwards, a woman came up to me and told me she was the cutest thing she'd ever seen! One of the men gave her a sticker for being a 'junior jammer'. She is going to be my jivin' mamma.

I took them into Innoventions and we attempted to email another postcard, not sure if it even worked. Nobody ever mentioned it, and there was a couple in front of us that sent 5 different pictures to about 1000 different people. Not worth it!

All morning LP kept talking about how it was going to just downpour. As though he was an old man and felt it in his knee joints. It never rained. Not a drop. Maybe his knees are just predicting good weather and he doesn't realize it.

Epcot is divided into two areas: Future World and World Showcase. Future World is where we were, and where all the rides are, as well as the big Epcot ball. World Showcase has pavillions for several countries.

Since LP was CONVINCED it was going to pour, he wanted to go to World Showcase before, as he put it, 'the skies unleashed all hell'. I was irritated with all the lines at Epcot anyway, and was just not feeling it. Future World did not make me feel promising about the Future. At least our IMMEDIATE future, at Epcot.

The first country we visited was Canada. Yeah, really exotic right? I think we were hitting a total lull and all of us were feeling it. The crankiness had set in and was rearing its ugly face.

I'd read on my favorite Disney website ( that at the beginning of your 'journey' at Epcot you can get a mask, and as you make your way around the countries, each will have a place to do a craft, get a stamp and a 'symbol' of that country to attach to the mask. This ended up being the coolest souvenirs my kids got, and it was F-R-E-E.

Ah but first we had to pick what color. And since there was crankiness there was 'mom she copied off of me' to be done. But I sat them down at the table, in the a/c (it was rain) and they made designs on their masks. Even Mo got one. We didn't stay long in Canada because, well, it was Canada. But after a few minutes relaxing, all of us were recharged, and realizing that the World Showcase was a LOT different than the Future World.

In each country I told the girls to pretend that they were natives of that country. I didn't get much effort.

We were also hoping to see Brother Bear but he wasn't around. Next up was Britain. I could NOT get LP out of the stores there. I thought for sure he would get a pint but he didn't. He was fixated on the coats of arms. Of course he bought one. They also had a ton of soccer jerseys in there so he was in heaven. I did enjoy the Beatles store and trying to explain to my poor misguided children about how the Beatles impacted my life. They were too busy begging for pennies for the penny press. Mo got to hear a lot about the Beatles. She listened. Here the girls perfect their British waves on the streets of London:

And Mary Poppins was visiting, and told the girls they were much too giggly and would have to try to get them down from the ceiling if they didn't mind.

By this time Mary Poppins had made us all feel supercalifragilisticexpialadocious and we were truly enjoying World Showcase. It ended being one of the highlights of our trip. The Say Quas are not ones for lines and gotta go and do everything kind of mentality. We like to take it easy. Slower paced, that's our style. This was great. I could breathe again.

France was incredible. I could imagine that there were truly parts of France that had the feel of this pavillion. The French music in the background, it was gorgeous. We had wanted to sample foods from all the countries, but we figured Canada and Britain were pretty close to America, so we started with France. I took the girls to get their masks done and they were totally enamored with the French boy who spoke with them. (all CMs in the countries are usually if not always FROM that country) He was quite a cutie. We then went to the French perfume shop and I had to seriously hold myself back from buying some. Across from there was a small wine shop, and I had a sample of Riesling. It was just what a Mamma needed. I could have probably gotten pretty ripped if I wanted to. Oh the girls also saw Aurora, aka Sleeping Beauty:

We walked across the 'street' and LP got a table outside and I took the older girls into the Boulangerie Patisserie, a French bakery and we ordered four things for all of us to sample. The girls chose a strawberry tart, Raspberry Schuss, and I got a chocolate croissant and something called 'Pralineige'.

This is what I will remember for years and years to come. This was Magic.

Once we finished I took a few more pictures and the girls spotted Belle and the Beast signing autographs. They waited in line while we sat near the lake. A couple passed by with St. Louis Cardinals gear on and of course I had to chat them up. Turned out they were from the same grade school I went to as a kid!

The girls came back and we headed to Morocco. I have a feeling Morocco smells and looks similar to this as well. When I said, 'act like you're in Morocco!' Rug really did not know what to do.

We started heading towards Japan. I love the culture of Japan so we really took everything in. They had a very interesting display of antique Japanese tin toys. I also wanted to get some sushi, but I saved that for later. We went into the VERY big gift shop and immediately the girls fell in love...with Monchichis. Seriously? Are you kidding? I had one of those when I was in 3rd grade! So since they had their OWN souvenir money, they each got one. Wasn't my rule no more stuffed animals? Eh, nobody ever listens to me. LP and I both got a pair of hand painted chopsticks and the girls enjoyed having their names signed in japanese on their masks by the CMs. Those masks again, were such a valuable souvenir. The girls learned a little about each country and were able to meet and listen to people from each country. They were so thrilled.

Since we had FPs to Soarin still, we decided to take the boat across the lagoon, back to *YAWN* Future Showcase and ride Soarin' as well as Test Track. When we were done we'd head back to World Showcase and finish our travels around the world.

The boat ride was fun and we sat by some Germans, this time very NICE Germans and had nice conversations with them. Mo fell asleep and we went straight to Soarin'.

Next: Soarin', Test Track and Lp's Dream Car. Also, what is a BEVERLY????

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Hearts and all that junk

I'm really fighting this head cold, and Al has gotten it too, but looks to feel worse than all of us. Today I signed up for their Valentine's Day party so I will have take a shower today. Darnit! I was hoping for a day off of cleanliness.

I think we're going to go get sushi tonight. Around here, sushi places are the only place you can go on Valentine's Day without a reservation. Either that or McDonald's.

I didn't get LP anything for our anniversary this year except an appointment to test drive a car. He is in desperate need for a new car. But desperate to him means something else, i.e., he's driven a POS for 11 years so now it's time to splurge. I do not agree with this mentality, but in all fairness he rocks my world so I made an appointment for him to go test drive his dream car...a Saab convertible. When I called the woman said, "So you'd like to purchase a car for your husband for Valentine's day?" Oh, yes, that's right, let me just write you a check!

LP got me a watch for our anniversary. I love it. He bought it for me in Disney World so i could remember 'my time' at Disney. Har de har har. I guess they only sell them on Disney property because I cannot find a picture anywhere.

So here is a moral quandry for you.

Al has a very good friend H who goes to a different school. Last year she went to camp for a week, and when she returned begged Al to go with her this year. I agreed. So she and H have been planning this since June of last year to go together, and H and Al got about 5 other girls to go too. There are a few girls H asked that Al does not know very well, but who are very good friends with H. Now then, there are 8 girls to a cabin, and they got 8 altogether.

Last WEEK, a friend of mine who has a daughter in Al's class, called me to find out because all of sudden her daughter has decided she wants to go to camp. So I told her I THOUGHT there were already 8 but she might want to call one of the other moms. Well, the other mom felt obligated to allow her to send her stuff in with ours, even though this would break up all the girls who had previously signed up. So, this mom sends an email to the mom explaining her daughter would cause the other girls to split up and is there any way her daughter could find more girls to go with since our girls had already planned to go together?

Well, this sent my friend into a tizzy and is now not letting her daughter go at all.

So what would be the logical answer to this? Should we make the girls who had planned on going all along split up to accomodate the last girl? Or should the last girl be required to find more girls to go with in another cabin (but the same unit).

These are the problems I have to deal with on a regular basis as a Soccer Mom. It sucks.

Well, Miss M, who will now be referred to as Mo, is too quiet, so I must find out what she is doing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Jana Say Disney: Day 5 STILL!

Miss M is taking a nap so there shouldn't be any further interruptions so I can finish off the day! Now where was i in my magnificent story telling? Ah yes. Smee.

After meeting Smee and Hook, we made it our job to go on as many rides as we could while we were there. We started on Aladdin's carpets, which is basically the Dumbo ride with flying carpets. Then we rode Haunted Mansion and listened to an all-pirate banjo band in Liberty Square. We went to the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which is a roller coaster loosely based on the Disney movie "Song of the South" which I remember from being a kid, but you can't find it anywhere because supposedly there is a character that appears a wee bit racist. I haven't seen it since I was like 6 so I don't know the whole politically correct aspect of it. All I know is they were in a brer patch, and well, whatever. The ride has Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox and Bear, and you go through this and they all sing and what not. The cool thing was the girls got to ride front row two times in a row with no wait! That is always great, plus the park at night is just gorgeous.

We lined up for the Pirate/Princess Party Parade and I'm glad we did. They had a 60 foot replica of the Black Pearl and it was incredible. LP wasn't able to get great pics but it was awesome.

All of the princesses had a float, and Jasmine and Aladdin were on horses. I think LP has a thing for Jasmine, it was the only clear picture he was able to achieve:

After the parade we went back to the Big Thunder Railroad, and then headed to Tomorrowland, which was a place we really didn't get to in 2005. The fireworks were just starting, and my family totally denied me. I only got to see the beginning of them, and the rest of my family sat and chowed on a funnel cake. I was able to pull them away from the sugary sludge to get a picture in Cinderella's throne:

We headed to Space Mountain and Rug was so excited, as she had been denied entry to it in 2005 due to a height deficiency. I myself find Space Mountain to be a little outdated, but fun nonetheless. We rode Buzz Lightyear's ride which we'd never done, and it was very similar to the Men in Black ride at Universal, the latter being far superior in my opinion. Next was Stitch's Escape, which is an interactive 'show' where he ruffles your hair and burps chili dog breath in your face. Well, right after he burped, our 'seatbelts' came off, the lights went up, and Stitch...well, he went, uh...limp. Clearly this was not part of the show! A very thick-accented CM came in to apologize but none of us could understand our instructions, so we just headed out the door! So much for that!

There were several 'dance parties' going on around the park and I'm not sure what the purpose was, but I got a quick picture of Sebastian from the Little Mermaid cutting a rug:

Ah, what else. Yes, LP and the girls rode the Tea Cups while I sat and rested...Momma doesn't do spinning-round things. Then we rode a few more rides in Fantasyland and decided it was time to go. As we stood in front of the beautifully lit castle, I felt the need for a group hug, so I said to the SayQua Family: "Let's all hug and remember this as a great memory in the SayQua lifetime." Well, as we were hugging, apparently Rug 'pinched' Al and she got upset. Me, being the ever caring Mom that I am, replied, "Al, we are in Disney World, come on, get over it." Which exploded into a Al tween-been-up-since-eight-and-walking-around-all-day complete meltdown. Right in front of the castle. Well, it had to happen once right?
As I am completely ignoring her, I found a Photo guy to take our picture in front of the castle. Pictures can be deceiving right? You can tell how red her face is that that smile is completely and utterly forced.

I'm evil, no?

Just wait!

As we are leaving, still admiring the details that Disney has put on Main Street, Al is all but mopity mope. I take one last picture of Rug to remember the day:

We hop on the monorail, to take us to the ticket center, to take us to the tram that will take us to our car, that will take us to our hotel. Al is still not speaking to me (when did this become about me? Oh that's right, I'm mom. The meanest one.) I told her I wanted to get one last picture for posterity, and this is what I got:

Mom don't you DARE TAKE MY PICTURE!!!

Okay, now she gave me a hug after we got off the monorail, and I told her I knew she was tired, I'm not a monster. It was funny though.

We got home and immediately went to sleep. And slept. Because Miss M was elsewhere!


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Jana Say Disney: Day Five and the Pirate/Princess Party

Well it's official, I got whatever my kids had. blah. At least I've gotten better sleep, last week was awful with the cranky kids and puking everywhere. I really don't feel like working today so I'd rather think Disney! Woot, I'm a Tigger today, not an Eeyore!

Continuing on...

We left AK around 3 and went back to our hotel to clean up and get our pirate gear on. I was very pleased that Rug wanted to wear the Elizabeth Swann costume, I thought she might've been reluctant. Even Al, my 'tween' wore her pirate hat, even for a little while. It was off by the time we hit the park.

Miss M was going to be spending the night at LP's mom and stepdad's bungalow, so we dropped her off and she was thrilled to have room to roam! That is definitely something to consider next time...the All Star Sports was just too little for all of us. Maybe we'll do half on Disney, half off. I was terribly jealous of their garden tub and the view they had of the MK fireworks. (and they had a Sizzler! Who can resist that?)

It seriously takes a half an hour to get to Magic Kingdom. It's such a pain. We drove, so we had to park, get the shuttle to the Ticket center, walk to the Monorail, wait for that and then it took us to MK. It sounds much easier than it was, trust me. We sat by a younger woman with her daughter who was around 5. We struck up a conversation, and it looked like they had planned this as a once in a lifetime trip to take. How exciting! I was also surprised at how FEW princesses there was all pirate girls. I guess the princesses can't stay past midnight...

Once we got off of the monorail, it was pretty obvious that everyone was leaving the park and not entering. This was when I had the butterflies in my stomach...not the ones when you're excited because you think you're going to have fun...these were the butterflies that told me i KNEW we would...that this would be a fantastic memory.

The people entering the P&P party went to the right, and there was a red carpet laid out as they handed us our treasure bags and maps. The corridor was smoky and very ominous. It was almost like walking the plank!

The atmosphere was so incredible. They had red covers on most of the lights and projected skull and crossbones on the sidewalks. We walked down Main Street with very few people in front of us. The park was closed to anyone who did not have a P&P party ticket. It was amazing.

I had tried to get reservations for dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern but they were booked solid, so I figured we'd just grab a bite somewhere in MK. We ended up eating VERY expensive hot dogs at Casey's. We were the only ones sitting outside on the patio, and got to be entertained by a show Mickey was giving in front of the castle.

I knew Captain Jack would be in Adventureland, so we headed that way. Just as we entered, we saw a line forming, and I asked the woman last in line what it was for. "This is the line for Jack Sparrow meet and greet!" Well, needless to say we immediately got in line!

The line started moving instantly. We were led into a building, with Pirate music in the background, and we weaved our way past different scenes from the movie, including the island Jack escaped from on a sea turtle:

They led us into a room, and shut the door. We were the last of the group that was allowed into to see Jack, so we basically had him all to ourselves (menacing laugh...) And then Rug...she went right up to him...and did NOTHING! Said, NOTHING! She later said she was so nervous she froze.

I sent this picture to a friend of mine and they thought Jack was a wax figure! Not at all! He was SPOT on Jack Sparrow, talked and acted just like him. Rug was convinced it was Johnny Depp. "Mom, I know it is! Nobody could be that good!" Oh, be he was. We were all star struck.

When we walked out, Rug had to immediately call her grandma to tell her about it. She was walking on clouds for the rest of the night!

In Adventureland, we started hitting some of the 'treasure spots' marked with an X but they were just beads and plastic jewels, so they girls quickly lost interest in waiting in line for them (candy might've kept their interest I think!)

Next we waited in line to see the Genie and Abu from Aladdin. There was some crazy German girl who asked me if she could cut in front of me because she didn't have a bracelet and was leaving for Germany tomorrow and just HAD to get a picture of the Genie. Whatever, I said, I could barely understand her and who was I to deny some loony girl a picture of a big blue cartoon. The Genie was hilarious, really messing with the girls, and he took Al's autograph book and would NOT give it back, causing Al to lose it with uncontrollable giggling, and causing some guy in line to lose it as well, "Enough playing around Genie," he said, "move it along!" I wonder if he'd gotten a cheeseburger at the soccer tournament that weekend....

We rode the Pirates of the Caribbean ride twice in a row (Rug might be smart about the movie, but she didn't even realize it was based on the RIDE) and found Captain Hook and Mr. Smee waiting outside for us. Mr. Smee was quite smitten with Rug...well, actually he was trying to steal her very valuable skeleton ring!

Aye, I hate to break this up even more but Miss M continues to turn off the computer while I'm trying to do this, so I will finish later!

Monday, February 11, 2008


Not sure if any of you had heard about the shootings in Kirkwood (a suburb of St. Louis) this past week. It was pretty awful. The mood around always changes when something like that happens. You always have to wonder why and what could possibly send someone to such a desperate measure. I certainly feel for the victims and families of all those affected.

Last night, LP got tickets to see Kathy Griffin at the Fox theater. We had good seats and it was a sold out show. Kathy started the show by stating that one of the journalists who was at the shooting and had been SHOT was in the audience watching her show. She made him stand up and the crowd gave him an ovation. It was pretty touching.

Then she went on to talk about Britney's va-jajay, but that's how she rolls.

Will resume the oh-so-exciting Disney recap later. I've got sick kids in da house.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Jana Say Disney: Day Five Animal Kingdom

Rug is in our bedroom watching Pirates as I type this, which makes it all the more appropriate.

Our plan today is to go to Animal Kingdom during the day, drop Miss M with my in-laws (who are staying in Kissimmee) and go to the Pirate and Princess Party from six p.m. to midnight. And also our plan today was to take it in slowly...not go 'warp speed'. I'd heard AK was a park to slow down and truly enjoy. I learned that was entirely too true.

We got up early again but this time the girls were ready to go. Rug was the last one to get out of the shower. She says, "Mom?"

"Yeah, Rug, come one let's get going now."

"I know, but Mom? Wasn't Elizabeth Swann the governor's daughter?"


Are you freaking kidding me? My 7-year-old daughter is that obsessed with POTC that she figured my husband's dorky clue out? Wow, we are bigger nerds than I try to pretend. So, yeah, LP got all of our pirate gear out...I had purchased pirate hats, beads, eye patches, and brought along Rug's Elizabeth Swann costume from Halloween out, and we laid them out on the bed with the tickets for the party. Her eyes were as wide as doubloons. Little did she know she'd be meeting Captain Jack himself...

AK opened at 9 so again we traveled to the McDonald's down the road, LP insisting they were cheaper than the food court. True, but my god man the calories...and another thing we noticed was the accents are VERY thick around Orlando. Pair that with a poorly functioning drive-through speaker and I was surprised we didn't end up with a bag of peanuts instead of breakfast food.

**The Tree of Life, in the background, is the "Castle" of AK. It has over 300 animals carved into it and I took a gazillion pictures of it. I almost had to buy a new memory card with all the stupid pics I have of it.**

We arrived at AK right at opening and it was fairly crowded. Our first stop was to go to Expedition Everest to get a Fast Pass. Once we got it, we decided to saunter and check out the park. We stumbled upon the Maharajah Jungle Trek and decided to take that path. It was amazing. The park was packed all day (it was MLK day) but we were the ONLY ones on this trek. There were tigers, warthogs, all sorts of animals on this lush beautiful trail. We enjoyed every second of it, and Miss M loved being able to walk around freely. The fruit bats were the coolest, and the CM there said they never come out, but they were all out of the cave for us to see. Al was our tour guide, they had maps to help her and by the end of the trek she'd decided her career choice was going to be a zoologist. It was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

The trek also had 'ruins' that were carved with detailed pictures and made us feel like we were in a different world.

We left the trek and made our way to the Safari. On our way, we passed 'DeVine' who is a woman dressed entirely as a tree on stilts who graciously walked and blended in with the foliage. She was incredible to watch. (click on her name to see a video of her)

Right down the road we got to see the first characters of the day, Baloo and King Louie from the Jungle Book:

Miss M was laughing almost all day at AK, but not in any of the pictures. She's like a total sourpuss in all of them. She had a blast, honestly.
After that we stood in line for the safari because the wait time said only 20 minutes. Oh no. Apparently the warthogs were 'migrating' across the tracks and they couldn't start the ride until they were all done. We waited in line for over an HOUR. Fortunately this was the only time this happened our whole trip (warthogs, who knew?) but Miss M was thankfully in good spirits and we had a lot of treats to keep her happy in line. Once the warthogs made their destination, we got on the ride pretty quickly. I have no pictures of it because it was the bumpiest thing I've ever been on. I wasn't even going to bother.

After the safari our Fast Passes were ready for Expedition Everest. LP went on first with the girls, and I waited in the gift shop. It wasn't long and they were back and I took the older girls iwth me to ride it again. Remember I said Tower of Terror was my favorite ride? Well, this is my favorite coaster. What a great time! The theme is, you are traveling Mt. Everest, going uphill, and you come across the infamous Yeti who proceeds to pull the track off the coaster and go backwards and down a very steep hill. It was pretty amazing. (I swear Miss M smiled on this trip)

After Everest, the girls decided to get into the 'pin trading' craze and I was all for it. They bought lanyards with 4 pins on them, and immediately traded with one of the CMs. After that we visited Minnie and Donald Duck. Donald was a riot, kissing on Rug and scratching pictures out of Mickey in each of their autograph books. Apparently there is a lot of competition between Donald and Mickey. I was not aware. Our lunch consisted of chocolate covered marshmallows for Al, a power bar for LP and I and a chocolate chip cookie for Rug. Miss M was snacking on whatever we dropped.
We went to Dino-Land and they rode the Primevial Whirl (no thanks) while Miss M and I stood in line to see Goofy and Pluto. She loved them.

Of course, every animal we saw she still said "Me-ooooow" but at least she "woofed" at Pluto. She's got a little animal schizo, so what, right? This week I finally got her to say "Spongebob" so at least I'm warping her brain sufficiently. "Meow" and "Spongebob", really what else does she need to learn to say? Maybe, "Shut your piehole!" but that's about it. Look! Another picture of the Tree of Life! But holy guacamole it's a pic of just me and LP. That doesn't happen. Look honey, let's pretend we're young and single again. Woot!

Traveling down the pretty walkway, we noticed a line for the Winnie-the-Pooh characters. Sensing Miss M's boredom, we decided to go and check them out to see how she would react, since we'd reserved a dinner with the Gang for later that week.
At first she was thrilled to see Pooh,

Then he went in for the hug and she wasn't so sure:

And finally she was all, "Holy FRICK! This big yellow BEAR hopped up on HONEY wants to hug me. Get me outta here!

She got one last punch in as LP held her in his loving arms:

On our way out we visited Conservation World and met up with Jiminy Cricket, Rafiki and Pocahontas. That was one of those 'educational' things at AK where most kids would be bored, but again, my kids (and LP and I) really enjoyed. Dorks, seriously.

A parade was starting to evolve, so we high-tailed it before it could begin. Beating the crowds, we wanted to be at Magic Kingdom early for the Pirate and Princess Party.

We all agreed to make Thursday another Animal Kingdom day and we all agree it is definitely our favorite park.

More tomorrow!