Just Heather

One of these days I’ll actually participate in ANBOW, but until then my Monday morning recaps will have to suffice. This one’s a doozy, so grab a cup of coffee and settle in. The weekend started like any other. If you hadn’t checked my calendar, you would never know a Super Family Fun Weekend was about to occur. We had our typical fast, cheap and easy Friday dinner, followed by my weekly sleep day. I get Saturdays; he gets Sundays.

As per our arrangement, Saturday starts with the kids waking me up and me kicking Spencer until he gets out of bed. Then I snuggle in for a few more hours of uninterrupted guilt-free extra sleep. This is the one day of the week I get to wake up, shower, and get ready without a tagalong. In fact, this is generally the one day a week I actually get to shower before naptime. While the sleeping in may not be all it’s cracked up to be, this is bliss!

After lunch, I run my weekly errands. This day was no exception. What made it so great was a serendipitous meeting with someone who works at the newspaper delivery station. I have been going through their old paper stacks for 6 months to get my weekly coupons. Last week, the station manager kicked me out, saying it was for employees only. The lady I met had spoken to me in the past, and even given me her extra Sunday papers. She told me on Sunday that she argued with him for 10 minutes after I left, and that she wanted to help. I typically pick up 15 papers each week. Some for my personal use, some for my sister, and some to get extra freebies for food banks. She is working out getting me way more than I could have ever collected in the newspaper bins.

After my errands, it was back home to prepare for the first phase of Super Family Fun Weekend—SuperCross 2005! This was my 5th SuperCross, and it started quite by accident. The first year my father-in-law was all excited because he was getting tickets for Valentine’s Day. He asked if we’d like to go. Spencer said sure, which made his dad very happy. A few weeks later, his wife calls me to make sure we really wanted to go before she bought tickets. I said if Spencer said we’d go I guess he wants to and double checked the calendar. Spencer’s sisters would babysit, so we were set.

Spencer had no idea what I was talking about when I told him we had tickets. No recollection whatsoever of the conversation. Since his dad was so excited about the opportunity to share this with us, we decided to go anyway. It was so cool! At least I thought so. Spencer? Not so much. He stays home with the girls now and his little sisters come along. There is just something so exciting about the buzz of all those motorcycles flying through the air. I look forward to it every year.

Ricky Carmichael is back from last year’s injury and kicking butt. As expected, he flew right passed the competition, including our Hoosier boy, Mike LaRocco.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, SuperCross 2005 pictures (click to bigify). And picture me right there in the middle!

To balance out the hick, I rounded out the weekend on Sunday with a Symphony Orchestra Concert. My Brownie troop finished up our Sounds of Music Try-It with the Family Fun Concert. The symphony opened with the Star Wars theme. I was still waiting for late Brownies, but rushed Stacia inside to hear it. After giving up on the ones who were now 40 minutes late, I joined the girls. Stacia leans over to me to whisper “They just played Star Wars! It sounded just like it!” We’re raising such geeks.

The orchestra went on to play some classics, like Beethoven and Pachelbel. The kids were invited onto the stage to hear the music from the orchestra’s point of view. I was concerned about the length of the concert (almost 2 hours), but by the time intermission came around the kids didn’t want to leave! Never fear, I came prepared with snacks—which could only be eaten out in the lobby! The second half of the concert was nice, but not near as interactive.

The orchestra had invited 2 local young musicians to play with them. These girls—one high school, one junior high— won an award and scholarship for their musical accomplishments. They were truly amazing, but did they really have to choose the 2 longest songs on the face of the earth?! After the concert, we stopped by the “musical petting zoo” so Stacia could try out a violin. I sure hope she chooses a different instrument. The hesitant, I-have-no-idea-what-I’m-doing sound of a new violinist is not something I’m prepared to tolerate.

I hope your weekend was a Super Fun as mine! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need a nap.

Well, that went well. /sarcasm

It started when they arrived 20 minutes late. Par for the course with my brother, though. The chicken I cooked because it’s all she’ll eat spent an hour and 40 minutes when it only required an hour and 20. I was afraid it might be slightly dry. Not so much. It was bleeding! Yuck.

So we ordered pizza instead. They wanted pepperoni and peppers. I ordered pepperoni and peppers, but I got green when they wanted jalapeno. Oops. We ate the pizza anyway and played Scrabble. A game which our 7 year old won. Okay, so I helped a little.

Once the food arrived, it was actually pretty nice. We relaxed, played Scrabble, and talked without me grilling The Girlfriend—which I was seriously worried I might do. I made my favorite dessert and everyone seemed to enjoy it, if the scraping of plates was any indication.

I sent them away with a container of my finally cooked chicken so they can marvel at my culinary skills during lunch tomorrow. It could have ended there. It could have been nice. Instead we spent 5 minutes discussing porn. I’m thinking recommending a movie to my brother and his new girlfriend was probably not the best idea.

It was fun at my vacation. I liked it. It was really, really fun! I loved it! I loved it, loved it, loved it! It was so awesome. I got to meet Mickey and Jasmine, Aladdin. But I didn’t get to meet Genie last time. Or I didn’t get to see any of the people Aladdin’s story last time. It was very hard to figure out which ones I knew. Because I know every one of them, but one of them I didn’t get to see on my vacation—my second vacation.

I got to sleep in a hotel. It was fun. I got to sleep with my sister, Brenia! (picks Brenia up for hugs) And my mom and dad had fun too. I could tell. And I know my mom had really good fun. (hugs: I love you, mother.) And I also got to see Chip ‘n’ Dale. Last time I didn’t get to see them either. I don’t think I got to see Donald last time either. I can’t remember. The end.

Our final day at Disney World proved what wusses the men are. Both my little brother and my hubby stayed at the hotel to sleep in. My mom, dad (who I’m sure would have stayed to sleep if not for penalty of death), sister and I took the girls to breakfast at Animal Kingdom. The band was having yet another breakfast buffet—this time at Rainforest Cafe. I adore Rainforest Cafe—it’s a fun place what with all the waterfalls and pretend rainforest creatures. Too bad it was breakfast or I would have completely forced my family to partake in a Volcano dessert. It rocks!

The plan was to go home, get hubby, check out of the hotel and head back to Animal Kingdom. We were going to spend an hour or so there before meeting up with my family at Epcot. They weren’t going to Animal Kingdom by unanimous decision not to attend what they term “the worst them park on the face of the planet.” The first part worked out okay, but on our way to Animal Kingdom Stacia remembered that her scrapbook page for signature collection was in my parents’ car. Naturally, we had to go get it. Once at Epcot there was no point going to AK and then back again so we stayed thinking we’d hit there later in the day. Never happened. We’ll take the kids to the zoo next week. That’s why we have a membership!

So instead we took a little ferry across Epcot into another world. We hit Japan first because Spencer wanted to see some Robotech thing, but we apparantly missed it. I will say we had a great time visiting the countries and if I had a whole day to spend at Epcot we would just wander through them all! The girls got to see Japanese music, a funny acrobat performance in France, and hear the story of Christmas in France from Pere Noel.

We met up with my family for the Honey I Shrunk the Audience 3D show—which was great! The best part was seeing the kids in their “safety” glasses.

It was a long week and the girls crashed out in the middle of our last day. My family wanted to get on the road so I couldn’t make it over to MGM to see the Spectacle of Lights, but I did get to see the Epcot tree all lit up. Disney World is so beautiful at Christmas time—I think I’d like to go back next year in December! Hubby’s gonna get right on that whole vacation fund thing.

And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for: a synopsis of our trip to the Magic Kingdom! I got my butt up at 5:30 in the morning to pick up a few of the items on my Christmas list first. Target had it all on sale for Black Friday, and I wasn’t about to miss it! I was back before 8 with a trunk-full of presents. I walked into the hotel room to find my entire family sound asleep! Never mind that I had called 20 minutes earlier, spoken to Spencer, and asked him to have the girls up and dressed. The plan was for me to breeze in, get myself ready, fix the girls’ hair, swing to the food court to fill my eleventy hundred dollar souvenir cup with coke, and make it to the bus stop by 8:30. He’s damn lucky my sister called a few minutes after I freaked out to say the bus wasn’t leaving until 8:45. Otherwise, I might have seriously freaked.

The band was having breakfast at Fantasia Gardens and—since it was free with our package—I wasn’t about to miss the buffet! We rode the band bus over to breakfast to give the girls some time with Hayley. This was her big trip so she wasn’t much a part of the whole family vacation thing.

The character hunt continued. Everyone had a fun time with that. Even Daddy since Jasmine is decidedly hot. Plus, her top kept coming undone. Since I was busy watching my girls, I didn’t notice. Spencer did. You’ll note Brenia’s not in the picture. She was hiding from the Genie who was also not in the picture as he was nice enough to hide from her so she would be. It didn’t work.

Next stop was Pirates of the Caribbean—my all-time favorite ride. The first time I went to Disney—when I was 5—I made my parents go on it 6 times. That was back in the day, when you actually could go on rides multiple times without wasting away in gargantuan lines. Stacia stopped on the way out to have her hair wrapped. Brenia was fascinated and wanted to be just like sis. I didn’t think much of it until the gal said she could do it. I would never have imagined that an almost 2-year-old could sit still for such a thing, but she was great! Now imagine my excitement over pink and blue hair wraps for birthday and holiday pictures. Did you know these suckers can stay for up to 2 months? Me neither, but I will admit they are too cute.

Brenia enjoyed the princesses a lot more than the big characters. The girls saw Aurora, Cinderella, and Snow White. My sister had a great time with that too. Lexie has decided she wants to move to Orlando and play Sleeping Beauty. Right—my sister the princess. She’s got the sleeping part down pat. It’s the soft-spoken thing she’ll need to work on.

Of course, we can’t forget the reason for our trip. My sister’s band marched ahead of the light parade. It was really cool to see her coming down Main Street USA. Unfortunately just when Spencer had the camera settings figured out for the dark, the batteries died. We got them replaced in time, but the settings reverted back and he didn’t get that fixed until the end of the band. Which worked out nice for my cousin as her daughter was in the last row so we have a decent picture of Jasmine trying not to smile as my whole family woo-hoos

I know I’m late, but I was out of town so I get a good excuse! We had Thanksgiving Dinner at the Coronado Hotel in Walt Disney World. It sucked ass. Well, the food did anyway. The two bands that were preforming in the parade the next day were joined together for a Thanksgiving “feast” and dance. Yes. That’s right. I spent Thanksgiving Day at a high school dance.

Mickey, Minnie and Goofy all stopped by to see us so it balances out. This one will probably be our Christmas card. That is, if I can actually manage to get them printed and mailed in time. On second thought, it probably won’t be our Christmas card. It’s just a cute picture of my kids with Mickey and Minnie in their gay apparel.

Here, you’ll note me freaking out as I yell for someone to take a picture of Brenia kissing Mickey Mouse. Good thing hubby was on it. Next to that is Brenia mimicking my sister in some funky lean back dance. The girl loves to dance!

And this is the part where I get all sentimental and list the stuff I’m thankful for:

  • Mickey Mouse
  • JoJo’s Circus
  • pizza delivery
  • bubble baths

I’m kidding. (sort of) Here’s my real list:

  • finding The One and chasing him down
  • happy and healthy children
  • a friend who knows to say “what’s wrong?” just from hearing “hello”
  • a large extended family who—for all their faults—would drop anything if I needed something
  • not needing stuff

On our second day, we visited MGM. I was the most excited about this because Brenia’s favorite cartoon is on Disney’s Playhouse. There was no JoJo to be found in April when we were at Disney, but now JoJo and her pet lion, Goliath, visit MGM daily. It was, of course, our first stop. Brenia didn’t quite know what to think of the little pet lion who turned out to be 6 feet tall. She loved seeing JoJo though.

My brother’s best friend, Jeremy, recently moved to Orlando. He came out to MGM to spend the day with us. That was cool as he’s always just been like another brother to me. We’re a close family so I know all my sibs closest friends pretty well. You can see below how happy he was to be with us (Jeremy on the left, my little bro on the right).

We took Stacia on Tower of Terror. That was a trip! In row 1 were Robbie, Jeremy, and Lexie. Spencer, Stacia and I sat right behind them. Every time light entered the ride, they would turn around to see how much Stacia was freaking out. She was terrified. I guess that’s why they call it Tower of Terror. If I had a scanner, I’d show you the ride photo. It is so hysterical. Spencer and I laughing (we’re such good parents), Stacia paralyzed with fear, and the entire front row turned around watching her!

After an all-night drive, we arrived in Florida and promptly got lost. Well, not really. I kept saying, I’m pretty sure Orlando’s the other way. My brother kept saying, no this is the way I always go. When we got to Alamonte Springs, where my cousin—who my brother always visits—lives I knew we were definitely going the wrong way. So we had breakfast at McDonald’s and got back on the highway, headed toward Disney this time! Our hotel wasn’t quite ready, so after showering in the pool area we headed to Downtown Disney.

Day 1 Synopsis:

  • went to Disney Quest—against my better judgement
  • made a funny song called I Don’t Wanna Grow Up that fit hubby pefectly
  • did not purchase said song because little one pushed a bunch of buttons and deleted it (well, that and the fact that it was $12.99 for a cd of one single song!)
  • got bored at Disney Quest—as predicted
  • left Disney Quest to eat lunch at House of Blues
  • headed for Downtown Disney Marketplace
  • stopped at Lego Imagination Center
  • went to hotel to check-in
  • went to MGM Studios to see Fantasmic
  • FYI—Fantasmic is not so fantastic in the rain!
  • went back to hotel soaking wet
  • tucked little ones in bed to watch a bedtime story on tv (Toy Story 2)
  • hung out in my parents’ hotel room to finish Disney Scrapbook for signature collection