Food, Glorious FOOD!!!

Here are some pictures of some food. Here are the girls with their Easter project, it is a little robin's nest with some eggs. It was pretty fun to make them. The girls had fun, and I did too.

This is the garlic bread I made a while ago.

I made spaghetti that night also, it looks pretty much like every other spaghetti, and it was pretty good. I made some meatballs, too.

Here are the Dutch babies. They were so good. There is whipped cream on top of the powdered sugar and syrup on top of that.


More Disneyland, YAY!!

This is a continuation of the Tuesday we were at Disneyland. The rest of Tuesday went fine. Kate and I finally made it over to the parks when Amy and Sarah were coming out of Disneyland and we were going to California adventure. Kate wanted to go on Monster's Inc., which is a fun little ride. So we went on that.

They have this animation place, it is not really a ride, but a building with some different rooms with different activities like learning to draw a disney character and some little mini-shows. I didn't really know what it was when we went in there but I knew there was one thing we had to do. One of them is Turtle Talk with Crush. They have a big screen with Crush from Finding Nemo and he interacts with the crowd, he picks people from the audience and they ask questions. He answers their questions and talks to everyone and does some neat things on screen. They did a phenomenal job with it. One girl said her favorite food was bananas. He said his favorite food was sea grass and since he ate so much of it, he turned green. Then he asked if she ate a lot of bananas, is she banana colored? It was funny. I don't know if they have someone back in the back operating a microphone, or what, but it is pretty impressive. It was a lot of fun.

After that was over we went back out to the main foyer area and the girls were just kind of standing there. All of a sudden, Cinderella just waltzes in, spins and plops down right in between both the girls. In this picture, you can see what it was like, the girls didn't know what to do. Then she tells all the other kids to go form a line, and she talks with Sarah and Kate for a minute, gets a picture, and then we go. But talk about being in the right place at the right time! The girls didn't even know what to think. We had our camera with us, luckily, but not the book, so we didn't get her signature. But it was still good.

Then we went and got some lunch, after which Kate fell asleep. There were a few rides in California Adventure that Kate couldn't go on, so Amy and I took turns with Sarah on some of them. One was Soarin' over California. It is a pretty cool ride, but really short, and the wait was long. I don't think it was worth the wait, but people seem to love it. You get in these seats and they push you out to a giant screen and fly through parts of California. It seems like you are in an Ultra-lite, or something. They have some scents, and other physical effects to make it more real. It is pretty cool, but not something I will go on again if given the choice.

Since Kate was sleeping still, Sarah wanted to go to the Hollywood Tower of Terror. If you have never been on that ride, it is wicked fun. Basically, you sit in the car, they roll you backward a little into this shaft. Then they zoom you up, like you are in an elevator, and zoom you up again, then rocket you to the top of this 14 story building, and you can see the whole park because the doors open to the outside, then they actually pull you down, you are falling faster than gravity, then they bring you up, then pull you down. It is not jerky at all, it is very smooth, sometimes they slow you down and reverse direction and you can barely even tell they did. Then they take you back up to the top and you sit there for a couple seconds, and they make the car tremble, then pull you down again. The ride is really really fun. Sarah wanted to go on it a few times, so we did. Amy was with Kate who was sleeping at this point, so we just kept going. It wasn't very busy and our itinerary was pretty useless because there were no lines for anything.

So Kate finally woke up and it was time to go to our dinner appointment. We had an early appointment for dinner this night and went to Ariel's Grotto. It was pretty fun because the princesses came out after a barker came and announced their entry. One thing that was nice is that we got to sit right by the entry to the kitchen, which is where the princesses came out, so we were lucky enough to be the first table for all of them. The princesses were kind of weird here. There was something in the air maybe. When we came in, Aeriel was right there at the entrance and you got your picture with her. She looked like she was ready to kill someone. I didn't get it. She was courteous, but not really nice, you know? It just looked like she was having a hard day or something. The other princesses were kind of distant, and not very warm. It is hard to explain. When you have been to Disneyland a few times, you expect them to act a certain way, and it seemed like they were not acting as friendly. At Aeriel's Grotto, I think the girls liked Belle the best. I think they are reluctant to showcase Belle very much, because I have not seen her like I have all the other princesses. The times I have seen her, I was unimpressed. She did not live up to her character. This Belle was very pretty, though, and Sarah asked her if she was a teenager. Belle seemed to like that very much.

After dinner, Amy was still sick, so she went back to the hotel to rest. I took the girls on some more rides and to see "It's tough to be a bug." That is a really fun show with 3-D "Bug" glasses, and they have a few physical effects like smoke and stench from a stinkbug, stings from hornets, "acid" from an acid-spewing termite, plus projectiles flying toward you. And at the end, they ask you to stay seated so the beetles can leave first, and you feel these little bumps slide under your butt. It is really fun, and you definitely should see that if you are there. While we were waiting to get in that one, they let you into this waiting area where there was a giant root sticking out of the ground. Sarah climbed up to sit on it, and of course Kate wanted to also. She asked me to lift her up, but my policy is if they can't climb up, they can't get on it. So I said she had to climb up herself. So she asked Sarah to help her, and Sarah, being the sweet sister that she is, offered a helping back. Kate was happy to have made it. That is in Bug's Land where they have a lot of kid-friendly rides. The favorite for Kate is the Heimlich's Chew Chew Train. On our way to that ride, we had to walk by the water fountain area. I told the girls they could go in there, but not to get wet. Kate did pretty good running around and not getting wet at all. Sarah was nervous, she was worried that she was going to get wet. But she finally ran out there. On about her 5th step, she stepped right over one of the jets as it shot water out, and she got drenched. Sarah is so sweet, she thought she was going to get in trouble for getting wet, so she was really sad. I just didn't want them to be cold, I didn't really care if they got wet. So I took a picture of Sarah. I didn't realize she was so upset until after I took the pictures. I thought she was just shocked and looking at her shirt. But then I realized she was crying. So I went over and consoled her and told her that she was not in trouble, I just didn't want them to get wet so they wouldn't be cold. Kate was within earshot and when she heard that she wasn't going to get in trouble for getting wet, she stopped trying to stay dry. What was really funny, is she kept standing above the jets trying to get sprayed, but they never came on when she was standing there.

We went on the Chew Chew train after the water area and then on to the ladybug cups. I really hate those rides, it is similar to the teacups. I just get to sick, but they wouldn't let the girls go on by themselves, so I had to go. I took a video so people could get the full effect, but the port on my camera is broken that allows me to download the video. I will have to find another way to post the video. We went on a couple other rides, like the ferris wheel, then started home. It took us a while, but I was glad to get home, because I was tired-ito.


Was it Mother's Day?

Yesterday was Mother's Day of course! I wanted to do something really memorable for Amy for mother's day. Of course you have to have the traditional breakfast in bed, but that didn't exactly work out. The girls both got up a little late and were being really loud. Also, they kept going up to check on Amy to see if she was still in bed, then they would get in bed with her, wake her up and tell her she should still be asleep. I tried to get the girls to help me with breakfast, but they weren't very interested for some reason.

We had to go to church and everything, so I just focused on a feast. I made a mother's day feast for Amy, and I foolishly forgot to take pictures!!! I don't know why I can't remember to take pictures. The more I remind myself, the more I will remember. I will keep this post short, though. This is what we had for breakfast:

Ham tomato and cheese english muffins
Creamy Quiche Lorraine
Streusel coffee cake
Dutch Babies with whipped cream and syrup for dessert

It was more like a brunch since it took a little longer to make all that than I thought. It would have helped to have two ovens, that is for sure!

For dinner we had:

Egg Rolls
Kung Po chicken
Garlic Bread
Better than Simulated Sex cake for dessert

As you all should know by now, I like cooking, and I have for a long time. I am just getting back into doing it more often. Amy's mom, Sandra, has said for a long time that home made cakes from scratch are always too dry. I agree that a terrible cook can make a gross dry cake, and cakes are something that there are so many recipes for and you can easily mess it up if you don't measure properly, or do something else wrong. I wanted to present a gift to her, also, so that she would know that you can make a cake from scratch that is not too dry, and is plenty moist. The cake I made was completely from scratch, except the crumbled Heath® bars on top.

I did get a picture of the cake, and I will post that when I get home tonight.


Tuesday at the DL


They say Disneyland is the happiest place on earth. They don't say anything about the hotels nearby, though. Prepare yourself, for what you are about to read. It may shock you, it may sadden you. It may change the way you see certain people. There are times in one's life, where you come to a fork in the road, you may choose the dry path, or the wet one...

We woke up Tuesday a little bit later than we wanted to. We were so tired from the day before and I was starting to feel a little bit sick, Amy was already really sick, Kate was getting over being sick, and Sarah was a sweet chipper angel ready to have a great time at Disneyland.

Sarah just amazes me. Every day she seems to get more and more mature. Lately we have been cracking down on whining, and attitudes from the girls, and I mean really cracking down. We have a sort of zero-tolerance policy. It has all but completely vanished from Sarah. Kate is a little more resistant to give it up. Sarah practically jumped out of bed and got up and got ready and was cheerful, and happy and just perfect. I was so pleased with the way she was acting, but I didn't get to enjoy it very much, because while Amy was getting ready, I was trying to get Kate ready. Kate is very unpredictable. Some mornings she will wake up happy as a lark and get dressed and ready with 100% cooperation. Other days, not so much. This Tuesday was a not so much day.

Kate did not want to get up. Not only did she not want to get up, she did not want to wake up, or get dressed, or be happy. Nothing seemed to help. Sarah was up, dressed, hair fixed and everything, and Kate was still zonked out on the bed. So I started to get her dressed while she was sleeping. She wasn't quite sleeping all the way, and she made it very difficult. She kept saying that she wanted to do it herself, but would not do it. She would pull off her shirt, or her pants, or her socks after I would get them on. It was very frustrating. I tried to remain calm and patient, but I couldn't wait all morning for her to wake up. I had already spent 45 minutes and no progress. So I had to practically hold her down to get her pants on. Of course she was screaming the whole time. During this, Sarah was a little bored and asked if she could take some video. I said sure, she could go out on the balcony and shoot some video. So she started recording right away as I am wrestling with Kate to get her dressed. She went outside and tried to make all future viewers of the video sick by waving it all over the place, it was pretty funny, actually. The whole time, in the background, Kate is screaming as if she is being tortured.

Amy asked Sarah to stop video taping because it was getting pretty tense inside. So she set the camera down, but it kept rolling. I finally got Kate into the bathroom and told her to use the potty, while I got ready to get dressed. She sat up on the toilet, fully clothed in rebellion. What happened next absolutely shocked me to no end. I never thought I would witness this from Kate. She just sat there. Then Amy asked her if she was peeing in her pants. I was looking at Kate when Amy said this and her expression changed, like she just got an idea. Amy doesn't really acknowledge that, and I am not blaming her by any means, but I think she started right then. I said "You better not be." That is when I heard the drip, drip, drip. Kate was wearing this brand new outfit from Gymboree and the pants were that kind of material that looks kind of water resistant. It was water resistant. When I saw that she was really peeing, I lifted her off the toilet, and however much pee she can store in her bladder fell out the bottom of her pants and splashed all over the floor, her shoes, my feet, and anything else it could splash on. I was furious. I have never been so angry at one of my children before. I picked her up and said, angrily, "THAT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT ACCEPTABLE!" Then I spanked her three times. Then I put her down, pulled all her clothes off and put her in the shower, and turned it on. Amy had just gotten out, so I knew there would be some warm water in there, but I guess a little cold water was in the pipes, because Kate, who was already crying, shrieked that it was cold. I adjusted the temperature and had to go sit in the other room to calm down. I was so mad, I was willing to keep Kate home from Disneyland all day. I wanted to make an impression on her that it was not cool, or funny. I felt so bad for Sarah, though because she was being so perfect.

Amy and I talked it over. Kate was going to have to wait until her clothes were washed and dry, and then she would put them back on, and whatever she missed, too bad. So we got her clothes washed, finished getting ready, and we dropped Amy and Sarah off at the park, then went back to the hotel with Kate. She must not have cared too much about what was going on because her clothes were dry pretty quickly and she took her time putting them on. I didn't push it because I didn't care about missing rides. There were some rides that she did want to go on that we were going to go on that morning, they just got skipped.

I will post the rest of this story later...stay tuned.


More Disneyland stories

Here are some more Disneyland stories. I posted a couple others already, but I posted so many on one day, that I think they got missed, so go back a few posts and make sure you read "Delivering the news" and "I'll kill them all" They are good.

After we got to DL on Sunday night, we checked into the hotel and went to bed. The girls were so excited, but they were plenty tired from the drive down.

Monday morning, we woke up and had the Chip and Dale character breakfast. This is at the StoryTeller Cafe inside the Grand California hotel. That is a really nice hotel, and it has it's own entrance to California Adventure that is very tucked away, so keep that in mind if you ever stay there. We wanted to make sure and get to our breakfast on time, so we could take our time eating, and get to the park right when it opened. Breakfast was great, the girls had a blast and the food was good. One thing I love about those Disney restaurants is the omelet bar. They ask you what you want, and make it for you. There is usually a long line, but worth the wait. We had the earliest reservation so it was not very crowded, and that was a very good thing. It is a buffet, also, so you just get whatever you want. Sarah and Kate loaded up their plates and ate away. We tried to be careful and not get syrup on everything. They had the cute little Mickey Waffles and the girls loved those.

We finished breakfast and realized that we left in such a hurry, we forgot to give Kate her antibiotic. She got a sinus infection about 4 days before we left, so we had to bring that with us. So Sarah and Amy went to the park and Kate and I had to run back to the hotel to give her her antibiotic. The hotel wasn't that far away, but for a 4 year old with short little legs, it took a while.

When we got back to the park, we met up with Amy and Sarah and we weren't too far behind on our itinerary. About the itinerary. Last year I discovered RideMax. If you haven't used this, it is AWESOME!! What it is, is a software program that you program in the rides you want to go on and it will build a schedule for you telling you when to get on what rides, and the ride times are calculated along with expected wait times and you spend less time waiting in line, and more time riding. I will never, ever, ever go to Disneyland, or DisneyWorld without it. The only bad thing about it, is that only Disneyland and Disneyworld are supported. There are a couple tricks to get the most out of it, but it is well worth it. They update the wait times daily and it works like a charm. We went on pretty much every ride that day. The park was not very crowded and with Ridemax, it was even better. There were a few rides where we literally walked on the ride, when there were lines other places. Sarah was finally able to ride Indiana Jones, and we rode it a couple of times. We went on the Buzz Lightyear ride, which was a ton of fun. That is a newer ride and my personal favorite. As you can see from the pictures, it is more fun for the e-dults than the kids, but they still loved it and wanted to go on it again.

We got lots of great pictures and most of the story can be told through those. We saw Sandra's (Amy's mom) friend Arlene there and that was fun. We knew she was going to be there, but did not think that we would run into her. We had lunch at a mexican food place and it was really good. Rancho del Zocalo or something like that, a little gem in the middle of the park. Amy wasn't feeling very energetic, so I told her to go back to the hotel and lay down before dinner. She did and the girls went on some more rides. We had fun. Then we left for dinner at Goofy's kitchen.

We went back to the hotel to get Amy and took a cab to the restaurant. It is in the Disneyland hotel, which was much farther away from us, and too far to walk with everyone. We had fun in the cab, it was the first time for both girls and they thought it was great.

Goofy's kitchen is my favorite restaurant there. They have the characters come around to your table and Goofy comes out every once in a while and throws a bunch of pots and utensils on the ground for the kids to pick up and bang and parade around. Then he will come out and do the macarena or something with some of the princesses. The food there is great, and the kids have a very fun time. It is a buffet, also, but it is really three buffets. One for the adult-friendly food, one with kid-friendly food, and one with only desserts. There are a ton of desserts and they are all very good. There are more desserts than main course choices. I should have gotten a picture of the dessert bar. We ran into Arlene again at Goofy's kitchen. When we were done, we actually walked back to the hotel to try and get the girls to burn off the 4000 calories they ate in chocolate. It worked pretty well. The picture of them zonked out is that night.