Saturday, January 29, 2011

Confession Time

I have a confession to make…

I feel like a total failure.

I finally made the decision that things just weren’t working out with Lando, and I’m working with greyhound adoption group to find a new home for him.

I’m abandoning my dog.

Am I a terrible person?

Every time you watch one of those animal trainer shows, you hear about how pets aren’t disposable and how you can’t just give them away because you don’t live in an ideal situation.

So now I’m one of those jerks with disposable pets.

But really…I don’t feel as bad as I thought I would.

Does that make me a worse person?

I do have MANY good reasons why we’re rehoming him.

But mostly it’s because he’s dead bored.  He needs another dog.

And my dear, sweet husband would probably shoot me if I brought home another dog.  Or maybe he would shoot the dogs.  Either way—bad situation.

Lando doesn’t play with people.

At all.


He won’t even play with toys if people are watching him.

He needs a dog friend.

I just talked to the lady that will probably be his foster mom, and he will have LOTS of dog friends.

So really it’s better for everyone.

And it’s not like I gave away one of my children.

And really, I won’t mind not having to pick up poop.

Or watering my yard every time he pees.

Or the 2 am wake-up calls.

Or the broken plates.

Or being unable to use a crock pot because then it’s Lando’s dinner.

Or the paint-peeling gas.

Or the “Sorry I just spent your college fund, kids” vet bills.

And let’s face it, dog beds just don’t “go” with my decor.

So maybe I am a jerk.

But really, deep down inside, I’m sad.  Because I really wanted a dog.  And maybe this just means I’m not dog material. Or maybe he just wasn’t for us.  Who knows?

Have fun, Lando.  I’ll miss you.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

December 25: Animal Kingdom

I don’t know why I have a problem documenting longer events, but I do.  I always get about half-way through and then lose steam.  So I’m here to finish up the Disney posts.  (So she says.)

On Christmas Day we went to Animal Kingdom.  We had originally planned to do Magic Kingdom on this day, but thought better of it.  And I’m sure glad we did.  I heard that they closed the gates shortly after 10 in the morning because there were so many people.  Can you imagine how miserable that would have been?  Animal Kingdom was not too crowded, and it was a really fun park for everyone in our group.  The safari was my favorite, and Aaron’s was the bird show. 


Kiera was picked as the volunteer for the bird show, and she had a little “math” competition with a parrot.  Parrot won every time (except the last, which was a toss-up).  Turns out the parrot was responding to cues, but it was cute anyway.





Sharing an ice cream with Grandpa.



The kids loved seeing the baby giraffe.  It was super cute.



This sight inspired everyone to sing “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” for the rest of the trip.  Really.  The singing did not stop for days.




My favorite picture from the safari. 

After we watched the Festival of the Lion King we ran to go catch another show (which we just barely missed).  On the way, though, we ran past a guy yelling, “No line to meet Tigger!  Come and see him!”  How often does that happen at Disney World?  So we made a quick detour to say hi to Tigger.  And even though it probably caused us to miss the Nemo show, I’m so glad we did it.  It was the highlight of the trip for Averi.  As soon as she saw him she RAN to greet him and barreled into his arms.  It was the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen in my life.  We were the last family to take pictures of him, since he needed to “go and eat some birthday cake,” according to his handler.  Hardly a day passes (nearly a month later!) that Averi doesn’t mention seeing Tigger and Tigger eating his birthday cake.  Way too cute.






Friday, January 21, 2011

Something Useless into Something Adorable

I love blogs.  Craft blogs are a particular weakness.  And really I mean sewing crafts.  I’m not a paper crafter.  I had my go at that with paper scrapbooking.  And I was no good at it.  But I have a little sewing machine that I’m totally in love with, and I imagine myself doing all sorts of amazing things on it.  I’m not extremely confident, though, so I usually just drool over projects and put them in my “When I Become Good At Sewing” file.

Yesterday was a busy day.  I had sick kids to take care of, a preschool lesson to plan, a house that was a total disaster, about 13 loads of laundry to do, and a 275-page book to read by that evening for our book club.  So of course I started blog browsing (as one does).  And I came across this tutorial (love love love this blog, BTW).  This is when lightning struck.  I had that SAME, EXACT shirt sitting unworn in my closet.  I didn’t have to be creative!  All I had to do was follow exactly what she did and I would be set.

And it was ADORABLE.  And quick.  It would have been even quicker if I would have read to the end of the tutorial and found her tips on working with knit.  Because knit is fussy.  But after I figured it out (and put a hole in a sleeve with my vigorous unpicking), it was a cinch.  I’m kicking myself for giving away the other 3 shirts that I owned in this style because I want to make dresses out of all of them.  They never looked that good on me anyway (I must have been smoking something when I bought FOUR of the same shirt that didn’t really fit well).

Averi loves her dress.  She’s particularly enamored with the pockets and buttons.  And because I was feeling crafty (and I obviously had nothing else on my plate that day) I made a bow out of the scraps.  It was originally going to have green leaves (as flowers do) but I didn’t have green felt.  And I knew if I didn’t make it NOW, it was never going to happen.  I did have yellow felt, so yellow it was.  And I love how it turned out.  The yellow buttons add some pop to the dress and make it even more adorable than the purple buttons I was going to use.  The clip was also going to be a headband.  But, alas, I had no spare headbands lying around.  Someone had so kindly broken all of my skinny headbands.  So I raided a clip from the girls’ hair drawer and glued it onto that.  The clip caused some minor trauma because her hair is fine and it kept falling out when she yanked on it (surprise!).  But we solved that by putting her hair in a ponytail first.  And it completes the dress and makes me look like I’m some ultra-fashionable mom.  But we all know the truth.

It also helps to have an extremely cute model…







Checking out the dinosaurs she has stashed in the pockets. 

So there you have it.  My first repurposing project which turned out exactly like I wanted it to.  Not often that happens!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Magic Kingdom

The next two days of our trip were spent in the Magic Kingdom.  The kids LOVED Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Katie rode it three times.  Splash Mountain is my personal favorite there.  I have lots of memories of this ride, and the animatronics don’t come any cuter.  Averi and Brayden got a kick out of the Bear Country Jamboree, and we got a kick out of watching them. 

Day 1:


Gratuitous shot of Averi.  Seriously, they don’t come any cuter than this girl.


They revamped the Winnie-the-Pooh ride, and so even though the line was miserably long, the kids didn’t mind waiting at all (the adults are an entirely different story).  Throughout the line there were fun play areas to entertain the kids.


Paul took this picture.  I was quite impressed.


The fam on Small World


Averi enjoying the ride


Getting ready to ride Space Mountain with Ashley


Outside the Bear Country Jamboree.  One of the few semi-group pictures we have.  Apparently I’m the only one who wasn’t aware a photo was being taken.


Kissing cousins


Cinderella’s castle in the background.  So pretty!

Day 2:

We slept in, so we didn’t get to the park until the afternoon.  But our slackness was for a reason.  The night before, we decided we were sick of park food and wanted to go to Olive Garden.  There was a mix up, and our car ended up getting separated from the rest of our group.  We didn’t have a map or a GPS and we were going to a different Olive Garden than we thought we were supposed to go to, so we got lost.  A frustrating 30+ minutes later, we arrived, starved and frazzled.  And of course the kids had fallen sound asleep in the car while we were driving.  So we woke everyone up and dragged ourselves inside.  Since the rest of the group was there, they were already seated and had ordered.  We made our way back to the table, where Averi promptly proceeded to puke all over Aaron and several chairs—before we were even seated.  We figured that she probably threw up because of the excitement of the day, a lack of sleep, and because she had eaten nothing but fruit snacks all day (not that we didn’t try to feed her).  So we cleaned up as best we could and sat down to try to have a normal meal.  I ordered the unlimited soup and salad, because I wanted something besides hamburgers, and because I was starving.  I got halfway through a bowl of soup when up came everything Averi had eaten up to that point.  This time it was all over me.  We decided to cut our losses and make as graceful an exit as possible, shouting out a quick apology for the mess and leaving a generous tip for the meal we didn’t eat.  Of course she also threw up once we were in the car, which meant we had four loads of laundry (lights, whites, darks, and car seat) to do as soon as possible when we got back to the rental house.  The car smelled LOVELY for the rest of the trip.  We were just glad it wasn’t ours!

After that lovely story, now for the pictures.  All our pictures this day were from the Main Street Electrical Parade. 


Waiting for the parade.  Our tushes we so frozen from sitting on the ground and staking out a good seat.  My parents, Ashley, Kiera, and Katie stayed until closing, and so they say the parade a second time at 11pm.  According to them, there was no crowd at all and the characters interacted a ton with the kids.  Lesson for next time.  Later is better.



I love how the lights turned out on this one with the slow shutter speed.  It looks like the butterfly is about to take off.




Drizella saw me snapping away, and she was hilarious posing for pictures.  I love the stepsisters!







The Pete’s Dragon float was my favorite.  I loved that movie so much growing up.


We also stayed for the Wishes fireworks show, but I was busy balancing a child on my shoulders, so the camera didn’t come out for that.  It really was incredible, though.  And the kids now believe that Tinkerbell is actually real since they saw her flying during the show.  Our last day at the Magic Kingdom was on Christmas Eve.  As my parents were taking the late group home, they walked down Main Street.  At exactly 12am on Christmas morning, it began to snow.  My mom said it was incredibly beautiful and that it melted just like real snow.  Only at Disney.