Monthly Archives: April 2008

Anniversary

Today is my 7th wedding anniversary. We didn’t get to really celebrate over the weekend. P started throwing up around 11 pm on Saturday night and wasn’t finished until 4 am Sunday. She spent the whole day resting yesterday. There wasn’t anymore puking during the day but she ran a slight fever and complained that her ear hurt all day long. G did his thing (working outside, running to the hardware store, etc.) and P and I did our thing inside (organizing our Disney photos, reading in bed, etc.). I would have liked for us to be able to go out for lunch or something but it wasn’t to be. It was a regular weekend day and I guess that it is a kind of celebration in itself. Before I met G, I never thought that I’d find a man to love and make a family with. There were so many disappointments and big mistakes and heartbreaks. I am so grateful that I found my one special person. I really thought I’d never find my happiness.

The weather on the day of our wedding was picture perfect. We had our ceremony outside in the courtyard of the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture on Prospect Park West. The cherry blossoms and apple blossoms were bursting from all the trees and everytime the wind blew all the petals would spin aloft until they fell gently on the grass. Our reception was held at the Montauk Club blocks away on Eighth Avenue. After the ceremony, G and I walked to the reception but detoured through Prospect Park with our photographer for photo-ops. The park was filled with joggers, roller bladers, people out with their kids, dogs, etc. It felt like every single person who walked by smiled at us or called to us and wished us well. It was another beautiful day in our neighborhood and we were just part of the mix of it. I loved being in that mix and sometimes I do miss it.

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Our Disney Trip – Day Four

Friday April 18
I got up kind of early and let P and G sleep. I went downstairs and tried to sort out what we needed to do with the bags, check-out, etc. It was actually quite simple once I had all the steps worked out in my head. They really want you to be able to make the most of your last day there. G and I were thinking about going to the Animal Kingdom park. There are a lot of kid friendly things to do there and we thought that P would enjoy it. She however had other ideas. She really wanted to see The Playhouse Disney show at the Hollywood Studios so that is where we went. We packed all our stuff up so we were ready to leave our room at 10 am. We checked our bags and left our carry-ons with the valet. My parents didn’t do the same. They had arranged for a late 1pm check-out and weren’t ready to leave their room yet. My Aunt and Uncle were coming to pick them up at 2:30 (typically they didn’t get there until after 3) and my Dad was worried about getting back in time. I wasn’t exactly encouraging them to come along with us. I wanted them to see their Grandaughter of course but wasn’t anxious for the possibility of anymore outbursts from him. We took the bus down to the Studios. It was a pretty quick ride. The show has recently been revamped to feature some of the newer Playhouse Disney characters (like the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse pals and characters from Handy Manny, Little Einsteins and My Friends Tigger and Pooh. It is all done with puppets and a live actress and I thought it was done well but it was very simplistic. It is geared more towards toddlers than pre-schoolers I thought. We also had to sit on the floor which I didn’t like too much at all. It was cute and P enjoyed it I think. After the show we took her to the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground which may have been a bit of a mistake. She got a little lost in there for a moment and we wanted to leave right after. Even though the place scared her a little bit she wasn’t done playing yet and got a little whiny about it. We had to find somewhere to eat. She was better after lunch but she knew that we were leaving at the end of the day so there was a crying moment at every moment all afternoon. We tried to do some more character encounters (Chip & Dale! Daisy Duck!) but kept on getting there as they were closing the lines. We ran into see The Little Mermaid which was OK. There was way too much of the Sea Witch in it for my taste. How much maniacal laughter are we supposed to take after all? There definitely wasn’t too much else for us to do there. We missed the start time for the Beauty and the Beast Show and she’s too little for the rides there. As we started to make our way out of the park and back to the hotel she started crying that she wanted to go to the Animal Park. I knew that she was just sad about leaving but it did get a little annoying after a while. We tried to explain to her that we could have gone there but she wanted to go and see Playhouse Disney instead and now there wasn’t any time left to do both. She cried on the entire bus ride home. We got her some food when we got back to the hotel and she got to decorate a cookie. My Aunt and Uncle finally got there and we visited with them a little bit before we got on the bus at 4:05 to go back to the airport. P was exhausted and fell asleep in my lap on the bus. It has been a long time since she has done anything like that. She was surprisingly happy when we got there – she was dancing through the security line. We didn’t have long to wait for our plane and she and G started playing Mermaids in the waiting area. He sat next to her on the plane and they played the whole way home. She preferred Mommy a number of times throughout the trip so it was nice to see them getting a little Daddy-Daughter time in together. Now that she is getting older she wants her Mommy at scary times when she used to always want Daddy and he isn’t used to that yet. He takes it very personally sometimes. Some ladies were admiring his Daddying style after we got off the plane and were waiting for the bags. They were impressed that he had played with her the entire trip. It allowed me to catch up on my Dog Whisperer and Step It Up and Dance episodes. I can’t compete when it comes to playing so I don’t even try. We were home by a quarter to 11. It is definitely a nice short commute to and from the airport to our house. P whimpered and cried the whole way home. She ate a little bit before whimpering and crying herself to sleep. It definitely felt good to sleep in our own beds again. It really was a great trip. I want to go back again very soon. You could definitely spend a lot of time and money there but if you have a young child you’re pretty much guaranteed a good time.

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Our Disney Trip – Day Three

Thursday April 17

We dragged ourselves out of bed so we could enjoy the Magic Hour at the Magic Kingdom. There were still several rides that we hadn’t had a chance to get to yet and didn’t want to miss. I just grabbed a few light food items from the place downstairs because we knew that we had a breakfast reservation at 10:30 at Chef Mickey’s. We took the boat over and got to it. We were able to do a number of classic rides before having to leave to go to breakfast. We rode on Winnie-the-Pooh, It’s a Small World (as we’re getting on my Dad asked me if P knew the song, I said no, but she will) and the Teacups. On our way back to the boat dock we took another ride on the Indy Speedway. P drove G around this time. I really think that this was her favorite ride in the whole place. G got some video of her steering wildly and laughing her head off. She is so cute.

As we crossed in front of the Castle that morning I heard the song “Bicycle Built for Two” playing over the PA system. When we were kids my brother and I would torture my Dad in the car by singing that song as many times as we could on long car trips. There was one trip back from Florida in particular. I asked my Dad if he could hear what song was playing and I hummed a few bars for him in case he couldn’t. He looked at me and said, “yeah” but I knew from the look in his eye that he either didn’t recognize the song or didn’t hear it. He’d never ever say that though. He just smiled his usual blank smile he uses when he wants you to think that he knows everything. I felt broken hearted there for a second. I don’t think he remembers a lot of these things anymore and with my brother gone now I’m the only one who can remember all this stuff. My Mother hardly ever came with us anywhere so it is up to me now. It is all slipping away from me too – the good and the bad and that made me feel sad. It made me miss my brother – he’s the only one who I didn’t have to explain this stuff to.

We made our way to the Contemporary for our breakfast at Chef Mickey’s. I was kind of shocked to see how old and dated the Contemporary looks now. When we stayed there way back when it was so modern and cutting edge – now it looks like a parking garage on the outside. It is still nice and colorful on the inside. The buffet at the breakfast was very large and had a lot of options but when you get down to it – other than watery scrambled eggs and fruit there wasn’t a lot for P to eat there that didn’t involve maple syrup. I think we all enjoyed our food. The highlight of course was the characters. It is a much bigger place then the Akershus Royal Hall where we had the Princess Lunch and the characters didn’t seem to have quite as much time to spend with us as the Princesses did. We got to meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald Duck (who was quite funny with P) and Pluto. Towards the end of the meal P had to go to the bathroom so I took her downstairs with me. This is when they brought the two checks to the table. G and P and I had not used our third dining plan sit-down meal credit yet so we only had to pay the tip. My parents on the other hand had returned to the Whispering Canyon for dinner the night before and so they were all out of their sit-down meal credits. G said that my Dad looked at the bill and when he realized that they were being (correctly) charged for their breakfast he freaked out. He loudly yelled, “what the fuck is this?” Sitting in the middle of the dining room with Mickey and Minnie Mouse steps away, surrounded by little kids and their horrified parents. Then he started yelling for our server to “get back here!” It is truly disgusting what a lack of control he has now. He then went storming off looking for a manager to yell at. P and I came back to the table then blissfully unaware of what had just happened. I was so glad that I wasn’t there then. I would have probably fallen apart or killed him or worse. How mortifying! When I walked out towards the front of the restaurant I found my Father talking to the Manager who was trying to calmly explain to him that he didn’t have any sit-down meal credits left. I mouthed, I’m sorry, to this woman and started explaining it to him myself. I reminded him that he had used two credits the day before (he had forgotten about the Princess Lunch). He said OK and signed for the bill but didn’t apologize to the Manager or to me for getting so upset. Why should he really? Clearly he’s the only person in the whole flippin’ place who matters. I was really mad at him after that. I was just so glad that P and I had missed that display. You’d think that there may have been a chance he wouldn’t have lost it quite so far if his little Grandaughter were sitting there in front of him but I doubt it. We had talked about maybe trying to go to the Animal Kingdom park after breakfast but at that point I didn’t want to make any special trips with him. I don’t think he could handle it. We decided to go back to the Magic Kingdom so P could ride on Goofy’s Barnstormer. This was a great ride. Very fast and fun. She loved it. My little girl is getting so brave in her old age. I think we might have hit the gift shop before we took the steam train back up to the front of the park to catch the boat back to the hotel. It was getting quite warm out by then and we wanted to get a chance to swim before it got too late and cold again. P and I tried the water slide but it was a little too dippy at the end for her. She got dunked under when we hit the bottom and she didn’t want to go on it again. After we got her a life vest she was a lot more confident and she swam back and forth between G and I many many times. She was very proud of herself for that. Lola came down to the pool and sat with us a little bit. She put her feet in the water but didn’t go in. She is not a swimmer and was never too keen on pools, etc. P and I went back upstairs after a little while and G went for a bike ride on one of the trails. We decided to go back to Magic Kingdom for dinner (hot dogs at Casey’s on Main Street) after we all got cleaned up. Right after we finished we walked to the front of the Castle and watched the Million Dreams show. It had some villans in it but P was OK with that. After the show we rode on Cinderella’s Carrousel and then we hopped over to see Mickey’s Philharmagic. This is a 3-D movie and it is AWESOME. Everyone in the family loved it! After the movie we decided to try to pay a visit to Ariel in her grotto. When we got to the gate the Cast Member there said that he was sorry, there was an hour wait and they had just closed the line. I guess he thought we looked disappointed so he asked us if we had gotten to see the Princesses at Toon Town yet. When he started pulling out a little pad, I knew that we were in for a treat. He gave us a special Fast Pass that enabled us to jump the enormous 1 hour+ wait line to have a personal audience with Cinderella, Belle and Aurora. It was truly magical. Those three girls were so sweet to P and made her feel so special. Each one took her time to talk to P, have pictures taken and give her lots of hugs. Before we left Belle asked if she would mind posing for a special picture with all three of them. It was fantastic. P’s smile was as wide as the room. It was really one of the major highlights of the trip. After the Princess bonanza we started to make our way back to the front of Magic Kingdom. Main Street was packed on all sides with people lining up to watch the Spectro-Magic parade. It was amazingly crowded. We wanted Ice Cream so I left everyone waiting in a quiet alley and I went and got ice cream. By the time we were half way done with our ice cream G was wanting to get out of there. It was just getting more and more crowded and you could tell that he didn’t want to be there anymore. He was also worrying about getting out of there once the thing was over. We started squeezing our way through the crowd. At one point my parents decided that they wanted to stay behind and see the parade. We got on the boat and went back to the hotel. We told P that she could stay up a little later and see the electric water pageant. I remembered it from my first trip to Disney and I think I can see it has clearly changed very little since then. It would definitely benefit from a rehab. It took a while longer for P to fall asleep once we got back to the room again. We weren’t going to rush out the next morning so it wasn’t a giant deal but we did want her rested for the ride home. G and I got a nice chance to talk before bed. It had been a long day.

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Our Disney Trip – Day Two

Wednesday April 16

This was the big day of our big Lunch with the Princesses. Early on in my planning I had contemplated taking P to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo Salon and having her hair and “make-up” done for this meal but decided against it after thinking about it. I was reading reviews on http://www.allears.net/ and got all sucked in to the idea of it. So many mothers wrote about how wonderful it was and how special their daughters felt during the whole experience, etc. Then I looked it up on youtube and saw some video montages that parents had made from their visits there and changed my mind. Every single one of these videos was exactly the same. The kids were different of course but each hair-do and dress, photo pose and background music were all exactly the same. I don’t want P to think that there is only one way to be a princess or there is only one thing you can wear to be a princess. I love the crazy outfits she comes up with when she’s dressing up and I don’t want to squash that with some big corporate idea. It would have been a mad dash in the morning to make it to MK and then to Epcot in time anyway. When we were finally there and actually saw all the girls walking around with the glitter in their hair I knew I made the right decision. I just ran downstairs and got us some food for breakfast and we ate it in the room. P put on her princess dress and I did her hair (with the small tiara I got on ebay) and we met my parents in the lobby. We took the boat to Magic Kingdom and then transferred to the Monorail to Epcot. It was chilly waiting for the boat but the Monorail was great fun – especially since the first one we got on was pink. P really loved it. We got to Epcot shortly after it opened and we went on the Finding Nemo ride and then went to see Turtle Talk with Crush right afterwards. Both were great, especially Turtle Talk. P got a little scared on the Nemo ride when it got dark and we saw Bruce the shark. She didn’t like the visit from the whale in Turtle Talk but I think she mostly enjoyed both. We thought about trying to see Soarin’ but we had to get to our reservation in Norway. While waiting outside we got to meet Mary Poppins and P got her autograph. We really enjoyed the Lunch with the Princesses. Belle was the photo op princess and the photopass shot of the two of them is really adorable. We ordered our food and our young Norwegian server invited us to go to the cold buffet. Shortly after my Dad went up there I heard a woman angrily telling him that he was rude. I think that he had tried to push his way past her child. When it was my turn to go to the buffet I found her at her table and apologized for my Father’s behaviour. She said that it was OK. I almost burst into tears when I was talking to her. I had read mixed things about the food but I thought that it was really good. I had a roast chicken breast served over a mixture of beans, bacon and asparagus. We definitely got our fill of Princesses as well. We met Ariel, Sleeping Beauty (Aurora), Jasmine and Cinderella. Each one was really sweet with P, signed her book and posed for photos with her. My Father commented that Cinderella was a bit too quick but she is the big star (she’s got the enormous castle after all) and not normally seen at this meal so I felt we were lucky to see her at all. P had a grand old time with all the attention. We brought our baby Ariel and Aurora dolls with us and each commented on them. After lunch we walked over to China which was right next door to Norway. P got to meet Mulan and get her autograph. My parents went to see the Reflections of China movie while we hung around outside. P was anxious to get back to the Magic Kingdom. I had made a dinner reservation for us at Ohana for 5pm but G and I decided to bag it. We didn’t want to have a time constraint hanging over us all afternoon. My parents decided to stay at Epcot for the afternoon and we went back to Magic Kingdom. We took P to the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse and Tom Sawyer’s Island. We also got to ride on Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride. We got fast passes for the Jungle Cruise but I wish we hadn’t of bothered. She got scared in the first few minutes when the boat operator made a loud noise and she cried through the rest of the entire ride. She was tired out by then and ready to have a rest. We made our way back to the room and tried to go swimming. It was late in the day and a little chilly when we got out but we had fun. After swimming P and G went up to the room and I grabbed us some dinner at the Roaring Fork. The Hawaiian dinner would have been fun but it would have been a bit of a hassle getting there and back. I think that my parents were a little bit disappointed that we didn’t go but they could have gone without us. They ended up going back to the Whispering Canyon again which puzzled me. I didn’t think that they liked it that much in the first place. I guess that they could have gone to Artists Point but my Dad didn’t bring any other clothes besides his sweatpants and sneakers so I guess that was out. After dinner we got P into bed and she fell asleep pretty easily. After she was out my parents came over so G and I could go out for a drink. We went down to the Territory Lounge in the lobby. It was very nice to be able to get out for a little time with my husband. I ordered a Myer’s rum and tonic with a lime. It was good though I forgot to say that I wanted white rum. It has been such a long time since I’ve had a big girl drink like that. It was strong! G ordered something green from the drink menu book. When the waiter came by and asked if we’d like another round, I said “no thank you”. He brought me another one anyway. I drank about half of it because I didn’t want to suffer too badly in the morning. We went back up to our room and my parents went back to theirs. P slept the whole time and was none the wiser. We soon went to bed as well. We knew that we were getting up early the next morning for the Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom.

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Our Disney Trip – Day One

I’ve got to get this all down before I forget!
Tuesday April 15
This was P’s first airplane ride. We tried to prepare her for the noise, the security check, the tiny bathroom, the ear discomfort and the seat belt. I guess we didn’t do a good enough job on the seat belt. She squirmed and got mad at it. She didn’t want to stay strapped in and all her promises of being good on our trip and not throwing any fits while on our trip went right out the window. We got there in one piece though. I hate the take-off and landing part but I think I did alright too. Lola and Grandpa met us in the lobby like my Dad had planned. After check-in we went straight to the Roaring Fork and had lunch. Then we caught the boat into the Magic Kingdom. While waiting for check-in one of the cast members asked P if she wanted to see Minnie Mouse’s house. We knew that it was closed for rehab (and had been preparing her for this fact for a long time) and I was surprised that he didn’t. Minnie’s house was the first thing that P wanted to see. We went straight there after getting off the boat. When we walked up Main Street and I saw Cinderella Castle for the first time, it truly took my breath away. It sounds so cliche and stupid to say that but it was so beautiful. We were finally there. No more waiting! We made our way to Toon Town and Minnie’s House was indeed closed. Next door was Mickey Mouse’s house so we decided to go there. It was very crowded inside but we got to see everything. It was fun to see his gigantic shoes in his bedroom. The house leads you straight to the line to meet the Mouse himself so we decided to try it. We weren’t that experienced in these things yet and we really couldn’t see the length of the line from where we were outside in the backyard. We probably should have bagged it. We ended up waiting close to an hour to get to the front. P got to have Mickey & Minnie’s autographs as numbers 1 and 2 in her book.

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Birthday

This past Friday was my 42nd birthday. Eeeeks! I know that 42 isn’t that old but I still can’t believe it. All in all it was an OK birthday. I had to work and my co-workers got me a cake and a card. I got half of the cake to take home with me but I ended up throwing it out. G and P won’t eat it and I need half of a 12″ cannoli cake like a hole in the head. G got me a couple of blouses for our trip. I love it when he buys me clothes! He has such good taste. We celebrated more officially last night. I thought about going out to dinner but decided to stay home and grill instead. It was a good thing too because P was a beast by dinner time. We’ll do a big celebration at Disney. We’re eating at the Whispering Canyon in our hotel the first night and I’ve heard that they make you do a lot of ridiculous things if you tell them it’s your birthday. It will be fun!

My birthday had a lot of tears this year. I kept thinking about my brother and how I wouldn’t be hearing from him this year or any year. I really miss him. We weren’t the closest but I’m stunned by how much I feel his absence. Everytime I see a picture of him I’m reminded of what a massive waste it is. He was a beautiful person. He had a lot of issues and was troubled but he was so smart and funny and handsome and he was the only one who could really understand me and where I’ve come from. I spoke to my parents twice on Friday. They called and left a message in the afternoon and I listened to it when I got home. It was so typical. You hear my Mother telling me some story about how my uncle from the Phillipines sent an email and he wished me happy birthday. At the end you can hear my Father shrieking at her in the background because she was telling the story wrong or some stupid crap. Why would he think that I’d want to hear that on my birthday? The problem is that sometimes he doesn’t think. Not. At. All. Why did my brother leave me alone with them?

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