The Princesses!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

We stayed in Sarasota which is about 2 hours south of Orlando. However, we decided that we couldn't go to Florida without taking the kids to Disney World. Bill and I signed up for Disney's "Give a Day Get a Day" program. We volunteered a Saturday at a resale shop and each got a free ticket to a Disney theme park. Liam was free because he was under three, so it was not a very expensive day (minus paying obscene amounts of money for hotdogs and water). My mom came with us--she almost wasn't able to because she wasn't feeling well, but thankfully she rallied because she didn't want to miss the kids' first trip to Disney! I had one wish and one wish only for our trip to Disney; that was for Rori to at least see a princess. I knew that the only guaranteed way to meet a princess at the Magic Kingdom was to dine at Cinderella's Table restaurant. You have to make reservations 6 months in advance. We did not do that, so we couldn't get in. However, right about the time we arrived at the Magic Kingdom a show was starting at Cinderella's Castle. I was worried that Minnie and Mickey were going to be the only ones in the show, but out came Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White! I don't know who was more excited--Rori or me! Being the cheese that I am, I teared up a bit because I was sooooo happy that Rori got to see them--even if they were on stage and not right up close.

The kids rode a bunch of rides and had a blast. Bill, my mom, and I melted into puddles of sweat, but thoroughly enjoyed seeing their faces. I saw on the map that there was a character greet area so we headed over there in the hopes of seeing at least one princess. We got there and I asked if the princesses were there and the lady told me there were some inside. I was worried we'd be waiting hours in line, so Bill and Liam went off to meet Mickey and Minnie. We only ended up waiting about twenty minutes and Rori got to meet three princesses!! Each one took some time to talk with her and give her a hug. Rori was in heaven, as was her mommy and grandma. They were each so sweet to her and it made the whole trek to Disney worth it!

Liam got to meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse and he was almost as thrilled. Not as thrilled as if he had gotten to meet Batman, though!

By the end of the day, everyone was exhausted, but satisfied!

Notice Liam's sweaty head (although it's mixed with obscene amounts of sunscreen that Bill sprayed on his head)!!

Fleas, Roaches, and Dirty Underwear, Oh My!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I am clearly behind on my blogging, so I think I am going to go backwards and start with the most recent events. We just went on our first family vacation, and our first any kind of vacation in 6 years! We decided to go to Florida to see my grandma who turned 90 years old this year. My parents, Jenna and Ryan, and all our kids rented a really large house that looked fabulous on the internet. It was originally owned by the Ringling family--you know, the circus Ringling's. You can kind of see from the picture it was quite spacious.
That's the ballroom with the sitting room attached, behind it are two huge master bedrooms. It really was enormous!

There were 5 bedrooms--four had bathrooms attached. It seemed like a dream vacation home. However, it was not the ideal vacation getaway I had hoped for. The fifth bedroom was unusable because the air conditioning didn't reach it. The air conditioner for the kitchen and dining room didn't work--it was replaced four days into our vacation. Because of losing a bedroom, we ended up with all three kids in our room. The room was spacious enough, but it made it difficult once the kids went to bed for us to get anything out of the room. We were wandering the house with our toiletries to get a shower in either my parents room or Jenna and Ryan's room.

Almost once a day we found a dead cockroach in the house. I know that Florida has lots of bugs, and big bugs, so I could mostly deal with the occasional dead roach. Thankfully, Jenna was the only one to see one alive. I think I would have lost it if I had seen that. To add insult to it all, we had paid a cleaning fee with the rental cost, and yet we found a pair of dirty underwear in the hot room (I'm assuming it was dirty, we didn't inspect it closely since noone was staying in that room). Jenna and my mom also found a human molar on the table outside. ummm...gross.

Now, I could deal with all of the above and chalk it up to you get what you pay for (the house wasn't terribly expensive). I would even consider going back. However, by day two I had several itchy bites on my ankles. They progressively got worse. We were thinking they were no see 'ums which are tiny bugs that can bite and some people have a reaction to them. A few days into the vacation, I decided to check the sheets because I was starting to suspect fleas. Sure enough, I found a flea in our bed. Then I found two in Jenna's bed. Worse, I found two on Juliana's face at random times and Bill found two on Brendan's face. By the end of the trip, I had over 75 bites on my ankles, feet, legs, back, and arms. And they itched like the dickens. Near the end of the vacation I started spraying myself with bug spray after showers and swimming to fend off the fleas. Needless to say, I was ready to burn the house down by the time we left. Note to self: Next time you go on a Florida vacation, ask when the last time the house was exterminated!

Note the bites but pay no attention to the ugly foot, I had gotten a pedicure, but what can I say, that's my foot...

The rest of the vacation was mostly wonderful and I will post about that next.

Welcome to the family Marylou!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

This weekend we were so excited to celebrate an addition to our family! No, not another baby :) Todd and Marylou got married!!! I'm so excited for her to officially join our family.
Whenever Marylou offers to bring food to a family function, I get really excited because I know it's going to be yummy! She makes a coconut cake and a cheesecake that are to die for!

Marylou has a wonderful sense of humor
She loves the kids and even though she thinks diapers and spit up are gross--it doesn't stop her from playing with them (the kids that is--not playing with the spit up)!

She even let us hi-jack her pre-wedding bar-b-que with a birthday party for Liam and his cousin, Ashley.
Granted, she did make us stare at this during the bar-b-que/pig roast...
Marylou was one of the most beautiful brides I have ever seen!

Because she cares about hers and Todd's families so much, she had every small child in the wedding and put up with their lack of cooperation with grace!

Oh, yeah, Todd was there too :)
Welcome to the family Marylou! I'm so glad you're a part of it!