Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Quiz: How Christmassy are you?

Every year, I find myself swinging between a level of love and hate for the Christmas season.  Don't get me wrong, I love the true meaning of Christmas.  It's just all of the other stuff that gets on my nerves and stresses me out.

Here are 2 quizzes you can take to see how much you love Christmas.

What is your Christmas Cheer Level?

0-I am the Grinch.
1-I do not celebrate Christmas because of my religious beliefs, or lack thereof.
2-I go to my family's house for the food.  I don't make conversation and leave after dessert.
3-I wish I could sleep in on Christmas morning after staying up late to put together a Barbie dream house.
4-I pretended that our outside lights didn't work so that I didn't have to put them up.
5-I buy my gifts online and get Amazon to wrap them.
6-I bake break and bake cookies and call them homemade.
7-I have all of my gifts purchased and wrapped by December 1st.
8-I make all of my gifts from organic and free trade recycled items.
9-I know all of the verses of "We Three Kings".
10-I am Santa

Christmas Quiz:  On a level of Grinch to Santa, how Christmassy are you?  
(Yes, I know that Christmassy is not a word, but roll with it.)

1.  When do you begin celebrating Christmas?
a.  Never.  I am the Grinch.
b.  At the last possible minute or when my kids say "EVERYBODY has a tree but us!"
c.  The day after Halloween.
d.  I keep my tree up all year.

2.  What kind of Christmas cookies do you make?
a.  Whatever kind I can take home after my work Christmas party.
b.  The kind you don't even have to slice and bake.  You know, the ones that have pictures of Christmas trees and reindeer on them.
c.  Chocolate chip cookies.
d.  Hand decorated Christmas shapes with icing.  Wrapped in hand stamped paper with real pinecones and a custom, personalized tag.

3.  What kind of Christmas cards do you send?
a.  None.  Ain't nobody got time for that.
b.  Whatever I bought on clearance last year.
c.  Photo card with my kids on it.
d.  Photo card with multiple pictures from the entire year, complete with a family timeline featuring all the things we did this year:  trip to Hawaii, our 11 year old's know, anything worth bragging about.

4.  What do you wear on Christmas day?
a.  Whatever I feel like wearing.
b.  Yoga pants that may or may not have a hole in them.
c.  Whatever my kids gave me as a gift last year.
d.  Christmas sweater made my my great aunt in 1972 with a red dickey.

5.  What's your take on Christmas music?
a.  I hate all music, but I especially loathe Christmas music.
b.  I tolerate it when my kids are in the car.
c.  I listen to it when I bake cookies.
d.  I recorded my own Christmas album, featuring "The Christmas Shoes".

Mostly a's:  You might be the Grinch.  Check for green hair on your chin.
Mostly b's:  You are most likely a working mom.
Mostly c's:  You are the person most of us try to pretend to be.
Mostly d's:  You need therapy.  Make that your New Year's Resolution.

Hope you and yours have a Merry Christmas....if you want to read another Christmas post, here's an oldie from KWTF.

Superfrykid and her baby cousin pnut, circa 2010.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Warning:  Before you read this post, if you know me, you must agree to never mention it in front of Superfrykid.  If you don't know me, feel free to mention it. 

Last night before Superfrykid went to bed, she gave her dolls and stuffed animals a kiss and tucked them under the covers.  I told her she was going to be a wonderful mommy someday and she asked me when she would be a mom.  I told her hopefully not for at least 20 years or so.  Then the following conversation happened:

Superfrykid/SFK:  HOW do you get pregnant?

Me:  That's something we'll talk about another time.  Right now, it's time for bed.

SFK:  Just tell me.  HOW?  HOW do you get pregnant?

Me:  I said we'll talk about it later.  Right now it's late and it's time for bed. 

SFK:  But, mom, just tell me.

Me:  Fine.  So you know how girls and boys have different body parts?  Well, girls and boys have different body parts on the inside too.  Girls have eggs inside and the boy fertilizes the egg and that's how a baby is made.

SFK:  So girls are like chickens because they have eggs inside and boys have manure inside?

Me:  What?

SFK:  You said that girls have eggs like chickens and boys have fertilizer.  Isn't fertilizer like, manure?

Me:  Yes, manure is fertilizer, but boys don't have manure inside them.  It's not manure.
What I am thinking:  Yes, some men ARE full of crap.

SFK:  Well that makes sense, because that's why moms poop out the baby.....because the egg is covered in manure so the mom can poop it out. 

At this point, I am hysterically laughing and Superfrykid continues to talk about how in school they are learning about mammals and reptiles, etc. and that people are mammals who give birth to live babies.  I try to explain to her that it's not like a chicken egg and it's not manure, but she is not listening because she thinks she is right.

Basically, my kid thinks babies are made with eggs and manure and childbirth is like taking a giant dump.

If you need someone to talk to your kids about the birds and the bees, I'm available.

Photo taken before she knew the truth.
Actually, she still doesn't know the truth.
But she knows enough for now.
Hopefully she won't raise her hand & share her knowledge with her entire class.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

unenergetic party hosts need not apply

So this past weekend we visited my sister, Pee (yes, that is her real nickname), her husband, SonofaDutch, and their delightful daughter, PPPnut (yes, that is also her real nickname, sometimes shortened to just Pnut).

Anyway, it was Pnut's 3rd birthday so my sister planned a party for 22 of Pnut's closest friends.
This kid has a busier social life at 3 than I've ever had my entire life.

So she booked a local place where Pnut takes soccer lessons.
In case you're wondering, 3 year old soccer teacher is about #942 on my list of jobs I never want.

The indoor soccer place offers a turn-key party, much like Monkey Joe's or Pump It Up, where you have the party there so you don't have to clean up afterward, etc.

My sister purchased the highest level package, which was to include a one hour/age appropriate soccer class, 50 minutes in a "spacious party room", one "energetic party host" for the first hour of the party, all party supplies, 3 large pizzas, and bottomless pitchers.  She also added bounce houses for an extra fee.
They always get you with the bounce houses.  Who can say no to that?

So my niece and her 22 little friends arrive.  And they wait in the spacious party room for their energetic party host to get there and begin the fun.  The party was supposed to start at 10:00 am.  Most people arrive at least a few minutes early.  At 10:10, my sister went hunting for the party host.
10-17 minutes inside a spacious party room with 22 toddlers?  Unless your definition of spacious is the size of 7 football fields, there is not enough room.  Also?  They can see the bounce houses.  And, being 3, know that the fastest way to get out of the spacious party room and go jump is to scream repeatedly and as ear-piercingly as possible.  

So finally the "energetic party host" arrives.  My sister described her as a 12 year old who let a soccer ball fall from her hands onto the field and whispered, "Okay kids, go get the ball and try to kick it into the goal," accompanied by a weak shooing motion with her hands.
Also?  One ball for 22 toddlers?  This is not a sharing class, nor does anyone have any expectation that any form of real soccer game is about to occur.  3 year olds are like tiny tyrants who all need their own ball and possibly another one to hold in case someone steals the first one.  Those people should have had at least 44 soccer balls there, plus a few extra in case someone poops on one.  Because someone WILL poop.  I'm not sure of the exact mathematical calculation, but 22 toddlers times 22 sippy cups divided by 1 milk allergy multiplied by the law of going potty right before the party starts plus forgetting your extra outfit equals at least one poop blowout. 

All in all, the party worked out.  After all, 3 year olds have the memory of a fruit fly. Once they got in the bounce houses, I'm sure they all forgot about how much the first part sucked.  My guess is, they probably didn't even notice.  I mean, kids who are entertained by colanders and wooden spoons aren't too picky, right?  They don't even know what "energetic party host" means.  And I don't think they care.  Because they're 3.  Happy Birthday, PPPnut.  You're awesome!

PPPnut & Superfrykid at the Pumpkin Patch

This photo we like to call Weekend at Bernie's-Toddler Edition,
because it looks like Pee is totally holding up Pnut a la Weekend at Bernie's.
Maybe we are the only ones who cracked up at this, but I almost peed my pants
during the wagon ride when I looked at the picture.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

feelin crafty

Warning:  This post contains mom-boasting.  Look away if you can't take it.  Or, read it and decide you are way more awesome and come away feeling great because your regular efforts blow away my self-proclaimed awesome ones.  I think if I competed in a Mompetition, I would get a green participation ribbon. And I'd be ticked because I would feel like I should have at least gotten a white third place ribbon.  But whatever.

We skipped church this morning.

I made pancakes, threw in a load of laundry, and read the book of James while I drank my coffee.

Doesn't that make me sound awesome?

Wait.....there's more.  I got my craft on today too.  Twice.

Not only am I renegade enough to skip church, domestic enough to do laundry, hip enough to drink coffee, and spiritual enough to read the Bible, I am crafty.

Be jealous, people.  Here's what's up:

Craft #1:  Spirit shirt for Superfrykid's school.
Superfrykid is supposed to wear a school shirt tomorrow.  We do not have one, so she wanted to make one.   I took a $3 red t-shirt from Michael's and used a Sharpie marker to write the name of her school on it. Even though it looks totally homemade and like a kid did it, I think it's pretty cute. Point for me.

I messed up on the "W" and made it an "H", but I don't think you can tell.
Except I just told you, so now you can't stop seeing it.

Craft #2:  Christmas Gift for Superfrykid's Whole Class
I like to try and send in a small Christmas ornament for each kid in Superfrykid's class.  The past couple years, I've been able to find large colored jingle bells pretty cheap.  This year, I found these tiny red Christmas bulbs at Dollar General.  15 OF THEM FOR ONLY $1, PEOPLE!  That's cheap, right?  So I got 2 containers of them and tried to think of a clever little poem to tie on with ribbon.  The school color is red (Remember the red spirit shirt above?  How could you forget it? It was totally awesome.)  So the school color is red, so I figured little red ornaments would be perfect.  Point for me for getting this done BEFORE December 24th and 2 points for me for being thrifty.  Negative 10 points for me for such a corny poem, but who is really keeping score? Here's how they turned out:

$1 for 15 ornaments.  That's a deal.
When you see this little red ornament,
Hope it reminds you of the time we spent
Together in our third grade year,
Memories made, and holiday cheer.
From:  Superfrykid
Mrs. Mriscin's class 2013-2014
Tomahawk Intermediate School

So basically, I made 24 gifts for $2.  That's less than 9 cents per gift.
Beat that, you crazy coupon ladies!

BONUS CRAFT:  I didn't make this today, but I did make it last week, and it's pretty crafty for me.

Metal Star Candle Holder:  $2.99 from Christmas Tree Shop
Pinecone Greenery:  $1 from Dollar General
Candle:  $1 from WalMart

The only drawback is that you can't burn the candle because I'm pretty sure that greenery is probably highly flammable and maybe even toxic.  But you could always get one of those fake candles that are battery operated.  But for $4.99, I won't burn the candle and everyone is happy (and not on fire.)

I should put this away until after Thanksgiving, but I'm too lazy for that.  I could try and get a piece of fall-ish greenery and add to it for now, but then I would have to unwind all of that wire and put the Christmas greenery somewhere I wouldn't forget about.  That's just entirely too much effort.  Christmas in September is where it's at.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Unplug the teapot

My sister and I have this inside joke called "unplug the teapot".

Basically, it means to have someone do something stupid for you that you could easily do yourself.  It began once when my sister was at my house for Christmas or something. I was in the kitchen and she asked if she could help.  I told her to unplug the iced tea maker.  This struck her as comical.  So now, if either of us asks the other to do something, we reply with "would you like me to unplug the teapot as well?"

Today my grandmother, aka "the Don", called me as soon as I got home from work.  She was very flustered and asked me if I could come over and help her.  She said she was trying to make an "impossible pumpkin pie" and the filling must be mixed in a blender.  She apparently does not own a blender, so she borrowed her daughter's blender and was having trouble getting it to work.

Side note:  The Don says when she asked to borrow the blender, my aunt asked what she was going to put in it.  The Don said she should have said "rocks" but that didn't occur to her until later.  Life lesson:  The Don does not like to be questioned.  If she asks for a blender, don't ask what she is putting in it.  

She said she couldn't figure out how to put the blender on the base and had tried all morning to get it to work.  She even called my aunt to see what to do and they were unable to figure it out over the phone.  She thought she was not getting the blender onto the base correctly.

So I drove over to see if I could help.  Immediately.  The Don waits for no one.  Unless you are Superfrydad, who promised to put in a new kitchen sink for her by last Easter.  It's still not done and the Don still seems to think Superfrydad poops gold or something.

Anyway, back to the blender.  I placed the blender jar onto the base, turned it on and hit start.  It worked fine.  The Don said, "Well she told me to hit start, she didn't tell me I had to turn it on first."


So now, instead of telling my sister to "unplug the teapot", I think I might have to add "turn on my blender".

To my grandmother's credit, the power button did not say "power".  It was just the little picture with a line with a curve under it.  She was afraid to touch any of the other buttons.  Pesky newfangled digital technology!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

19 years and counting

Yesterday was our anniversary.

We have been married for 19 years.

We've talked before about how marriage is like a burrito.

This year, our anniversary was kind of funny.  Funny as in ha ha funny AND funny as in strange funny.

First of all, Superfrydad came home last Wednesday after about a 14 hour day of working outside in the heat.  Superfrykid was already asleep and I was in bed watching TV.  Superfrydad plops down beside me and throws this piece of folded paper onto my chest.

It reads:  Thanks for 19 years of marriage.  I will always luv you.  This is good for a Sweet Water meal. Your hubby
I read the note and look at him.  He says, "You forgot, didn't you?"  I smiled and said, "Today is not our anniversary.  It's next week."  Then we both laugh hysterically.

After 19 years, it's come to this.  A piece of spiral notebook paper that is NOT EVEN RIPPED OFF EVENLY with a handwritten note ON THE WRONG DAY.

Yep, that pretty much sums up our life.

So yesterday was our actual anniversary.  I got a beautiful vase of roses at work.  On the right day.  I haven't ever had the heart to tell him that I don't really like roses all that much.  After the notebook paper "card" on the wrong day, I think I'll take it.

We also received an anniversary card in the mail from my grandmother aka "the Don", who is 81. Mind you, I am only putting this on my blog because she does not have a computer and I trust that any family member or friend who may read this will not tell her unless they want to cross her.  I wouldn't recommend it.

The Don prides herself on her greeting cards.  She always sends a funny one or a very nice one and you can be sure they are handpicked with care from the local Hallmark store.  No Dollar General fifty cent cards from this woman.  You will get the $5.99 card from Hallmark for your special day.

As you may notice, the front of the card features a picture of a man and a woman.  If you are a TV fan, you may notice that it's not just any man and woman, but a couple from the TV show "Modern Family".  I'm pretty sure my old school, traditional values grandmother doesn't know what "Modern Family" is.

Nor did she notice the gay couple with a baby at the end of the row.  Notice that it's one of those fancy pop up cards?   I told you she buys the good cards.

While I am in no way offended by this card, I think it's hilarious that it's the one she chose.  I'm sure she would be mortified.  Actually, she would probably get a kick out of it.  But don't tell her, ok?  Maybe one day I will bring it up.  I just have to wait for the right moment.  After I blog about it.

Anyway, Happy Anniversary Superfrydad.  I couldn't ask for a better husband.  Well, I guess I could ask for one who would remember our anniversary on the right date.....but I'd rather have you.

Just for kicks,  here's a picture of us on our wedding day:

Bad picture, my phone is dying and the flash won't work.  But you get the idea.  Big puffy sleeves, worst bridesmaid dresses ever, little hotdogs at the reception, the whole bad wedding bit.  We may have had horrible taste in weddings, but at least we picked the right person.  And that's what really matters.  

Friday, August 2, 2013

Crusty Ketchup

So from time to time, I post what I like to call "Crusty Ketchup".  It's stuff that you probably have already seen around the internet here or there, but maybe you are like me and are always behind the times.

Firework - great impressions of great singers all in one song.  Good and funny.  Unless you have no taste.  In which case, I have no idea why you are here.  Clearly, everyone reading this will find this lady's voice to be great and the premise to be funny.

Inspiring story - worth watching - found via Stanley Clan.  If you like to cry or if you like to smile, this story is for you.

This is's like 20 seconds, so not a big time commitment.  But will make you laugh out loud and probably even snort.

That's it for today's edition of Crusty Ketchup.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Woodrow the dog

Last year, I posted this about our dog Woodrow and his annual haircut.

This year, there is no annual shaving of the beast picture.

Because today, our dog Woodrow died.

Most of you know that I am not an animal lover.  However, today I did shed a little tear or two (or twenty....who's counting?)

This is Woodrow as a puppy (December 2000)

Here's what else:  I am guessing that I will get more likes and comments on this post because it's about a dog.  I hate that.  So if you want to irritate me, leave a comment.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Day Tripper: Washington, DC

One of the things on our summer to do list this year was to visit Washington, DC.

Summer Fun List idea copied from Perfectomom.  Who doesn't know that's my secret nickname for her, but might figure it out if she reads this.  They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  I say that mediocre imitation is more sincere.

Yesterday, we took a day trip with some friends and I thought I'd share some tips that you might find helpful if you decide to take a day trip to DC.  PS - Don't ask me why I suddenly seem to be trying to turn KWTF into a travel blog.  First, 6 posts about Disney World.  Now, onto Washington, DC.  Last year, I had a lot of cooking posts.  I hate to cook and I'm not a travel guru by any means.  However, telling people what to do even when I don't really know what I'm talking about is my forte.  

Me, 2 friends, and our 5 children took the local commuter train, which left at 6:25 AM.  Tip for locals:  You need 12 quarters for the parking meter at the station. Our little town's train station was surprisingly semi-lively so early in the morning.  We even had a local drunk approach us to ask for money.  Thankfully, we had already witnessed him ask someone else, so we were prepared.  It was interesting how the 3 of us responded to him.  He came up & asked us how we were doing and friend #1 said, "Good...." then he started in on his story.  Friend #2 interrupted him and said, "Yeah, we gotta be going." and gathered up the kids.  I just followed and pretended to herd the children, who thankfully did not ask any questions.

We took the train to Union Station, where we caught the Metro.  I have never been a fan of the Metro. Does one say "fan of the Metro" or "fan of Metro"?  I don't know, but I like calling it THE Metro, so if I'm wrong, just carry on as if I'm right.  Which mostly I am, but if I am not, it will work out for both of us better if you just pretend not to notice.

Here's a short list of my Metro fears:
1.  Metro crash:  need I say more?
2.  Metro breakdown:  in the middle of a tunnel?  on top of a bridge?  No thanks.
3.  People:  Metro is like a mixing bowl of business people and people of WalMart.  Throw in three women with five kids who obviously don't know what they are doing and things could get dicey.
4.  Germs:  One online review that I read praised Metro for it's efficiency and cleanliness.  Most of the stations smelled, as one of our kids said, "like someone pooped in front of a fan".  I would recommend using hand sanitizer.  Often.
5.  Rival gangs:  I did not see any gang members, but I always think of subways and trains being a place for rival gangs to rumble.  Maybe I watch too many movies.  Why would they pay $1.80 to fight on the Metro? Gang members have to watch their pennies too, so I guess they just go to a back alley somewhere, where there's no charge to slash each other.

I am happy to report that there were no crashes, breakdowns, crazy people, rival gangs, or diseases contracted during our visit.  My actual Metro tip would be to figure up your fare and only put that amount on your fare card.  You must have your fare card to exit the Metro and you can add more money if you need to before you exit.  We overestimated by $4 a person and therefore gave Metro 32 extra dollars, which we could have used to buy one chicken tender at the Natural History Museum, but we'll talk about that later.

The first thing we saw was the Washington Monument, which, in my mind, I still call "the pencil".

You can't really see the flags around the monument in this pic, but they are my favorite part.

Then we moved on to the World War II Memorial.

We tried to make a "W" and a "V".  Mountaineers are always free! 

Here we are trying to pose so we have the least amount of double chins. And  yes, we are sucking in our stomachs.

Kids in front of the fountain/pool at the WWII Memorial. 

Next we trekked over to the Lincoln Memorial, which was my favorite one of the day.  It's bigger than it looks in pictures and it's really beautiful.

The Lincoln Memorial is a place of quiet respect.
Our kids respectfully giggled quietly at the nudity in the mural  on the wall.  

On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, facing the reflecting pool.  I, too, have a dream.  A dream that someday my child will smile nicely when I take her picture and appreciate the place in which she is standing.  
Next stop:  The White House.  This is as close as you can get.  My idea for them to make the visit a better experience would be to sell White House shaped ice cream bars.  I mean, Sea World sells Shamu bars and Disney World sells Mickey bars.  Get with the times, White House!  A little cart with ice cream wouldn't kill you.
Future president here?  Let's hope not.
Spent the rest of the afternoon at the Museum of Natural History.  First stop was the food court.  I spent $22 on 2 baskets of chicken tenders/fries and 1 drink.  Be prepared to spend a lot of money on not a lot of food that is mediocre quality.  The Museum of Natural History has a a lot of dinosaur stuff, the Hope Diamond, mummies, and lots of other stuff.  If I'm totally honest, it was not my cup of tea.  The most exciting thing I saw was the mummy, which I'm not even sure was real.  There is a butterfly pavilion, which you must buy a ticket for.  There are also IMAX movies, which you must buy a ticket for.  We chose not to do that since collectively we spent close to $100 on a crappy lunch.

Giant shark jaws.

Did you know this elephant's name is Henry?

I have no words for this picture.
We headed back to Union Station, where we caught our train back home.  The conductor announced that the last stop was 3 stops away from our stop and that bus service would be provided for passengers.  We had not anticipated this, but figured if they were providing bus service, then bus service we would take for the last leg of our journey.  Little did we know that the bus service awaiting us was Pan Tran, our county's local form of bus service.  Aka little tiny bus.  We noticed some passengers getting up before the train arrived at the last stop and lining up at the door.  Little did we know that they were the smart ones who knew to run to the Pan Tran and get a seat because the 30 minute ride feels like eternity when standing with your butt in someone's face.  Or holding a 90 pound 8 year old child on one leg.  A leg that is numb for a good hour after and twitches some the next day.

Here are some real tips for visiting Washington, DC:
1.  Wear comfortable shoes.  You will walk more than you realize.
2.  Prepare for the heat.  The mall has little shade and the water fountains aren't plentiful, nor are they satisfying.  The water pressure is very low and the taste is not great.  Take water or be prepared to pay $2.50 for bottled water.  Wear sunblock and cool clothing.
3.  Travel light.  Whatever you take with you, you will have to carry.  We opted to take phone pics instead of lugging around a big camera.  Due to the heat, I'm glad I did not have to carry my camera.  However, if I go when the weather is cooler, I will take my camera because there are many great photo ops.
4.  Plan your meals.  The cafes in the Smithsonian buildings are expensive and the food is mediocre.  I'm pretty sure the food at  Disney World was cheaper.  There are not any restaurants next to the Smithsonian buildings.  I'm sure there are great lunch digs somewhere, but don't think you're going to walk into a cute little place right there on the mall.  You are going to eat a hot dog out of a cart for $2.50 or you are going to pay $22 for chicken tenders and fries and a drink at the Smithsonian.
5.  Have a plan.  Plan out where you are going to go and how you are going to get there.  The monuments look like they are close together, and it's fairly easy to navigate around.  However, if the weather is hot and you have children, you will want to make sure you know where you are going so you don't have to backtrack or wander around.
6.  Don't drive.  Parking is limited, and traffic can be horrid.  The train and the metro worked great for us.

Have you ever taken a trip to our nation's capital?  What's your favorite thing?

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Color Run

Have you heard of the Color Run?

If not, watch this:

Basically, it's a 5K, and you get color thrown on you throughout the course.

Sounds like fun, right?

Not to me.

Here are my concerns and how I overcame them:

1.  It's called the Color Run.
I am too old, too fat, and too out of shape to run anywhere.  I don't run because I can't run.  Believe me, if I could run, I would totally do it.  However, at this point in my life, "run" is not in my vocabulary unless it pertains to diarrhea.  As in, "I have the runs."  Luckily, you don't really have to run.  You can walk at your own pace.  There were old people, little kids, people in wheelchairs, and everyone in between.

2.  The Color.
They throw a chalk-like powder on you throughout the race.  People would say, "That looks like so much fun!" To me, that did not look fun.  I'm just being honest.  I thought it looked totally stupid.  Even with the cool video.  Who wants stuff thrown on them that will possibly cause them to look like an evil smurf?  Truth:  I did have a small, blue Hitler-esque mustache that I could not remove until I took a shower later that night.  However, running through a gauntlet of color is surprisingly fun.  Who knew?

3.  We were going to go in May.
Sometimes it's hot in May.  We've talked about my sweating problem before, so I was nervous about what I would look like.  The people in the video look happy & colorful.  I pictured myself as a melting rainbow blob of jello.  Thankfully, the weather was great.  Had it been 90 degrees out, I would have melted.  And not in the Pinterest-y melted crayon artsy-way.  More like a brown blob of warm, lumpy gravy.  But it was great weather, so all was well.

4.  The travel dilemma.
4 of us were driving down together Friday night and staying in a hotel, then meeting up with our other friend, her mom and her adorable baby girl.  4 women plus 1 bathroom equals questionable sleeping and bathroom arrangements.  The drive also had potential for disaster because 4 women trapped in a car for 2.5 hours could be a recipe for disaster.  But any crisis was quickly diverted when we discovered the custom mixed CD that the former owner of the car left behind.  Do you know anyone who knows ALL of the words to "Ice, Ice, Baby"?  Because I do.

I would definitely participate in this again.  It was a ton of fun!  I highly recommend!

Here are some pics:

My race nails!

Waiting in Baltimore traffic.

Team Not That Kind of Rainbow

Pretending to be awesome

Backdrop courtesy of Porta-Potty

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Disney Food

Disney Post 6 of 6:  Disney Food
(see bottom of this post for links to other Disney posts)

We chose to purchase the Disney Dining Plan, which includes 1 quick service meal, 1 table service meal, and one snack per person per day.  If you are unfamiliar with the Disney Dining Plan, you can read about it here and here.  The Dining Plan isn't for everyone, but for our family of 3, it was great. 

If you are a food lover, the best blog out there about dining at Disney is The Disney Food Blog.  It features restaurant reviews, Dining Plan FAQ, links to menus and great tips on where and what to eat at Disney.

One thing I will say is that not all of the reviews and comments I read on various blogs held true.  I remember reading some negative things about 1900 Park Fare and being unsure if I should make a reservation.  It turned out to be wonderful in every way, so if there's a place you want to try, go for it. You can preview all of Disney's menus before your trip, which is a great way to help make your decisions in advance.  Note that you can make reservations 180 days out, and the most popular restaurants and time slots fill quickly.

Our first Disney food item of our trip was the Dole Whip.  The Dole Whip apparently has somewhat of a cult following, so I knew I wanted to try one.  I got the float with pineapple soft serve and pineapple juice.  It was a little tart for Superfrydad, but I thought it was perfect.  Superfrykid got plain vanilla soft serve, and .  Both counted as a snack on the dining plan, which was great. Orange soft serve was also offered, and I would have liked to have tried orange and vanilla swirled together.  But alas, I could only choose one, so I went with the classic pineapple. 

Our first dinner was at Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness Resort.  We really enjoyed this restaurant on our last trip, and since we were staying at the Wilderness Resort, it was convenient.  The food was okay, but it wasn't our favorite meal of the trip.  It's rowdy and fun, and worth checking out if it suits your family's style.  Having eaten there twice, I would probably choose another place to eat on our next trip. 

Most of our breakfasts were at our resort's quick service cafe, Roaring Fork Snacks.  They had Mickey Waffles with chocolate chips or strawberries, pancakes, breakfast croissants, and lots of assorted other breakfast items.  

At Hollywood Studios, we had lunch at Sunset Ranch Market, a quick service/counter service place.  We had burgers and chicken tenders with fries.  The adult meals came with dessert, so I decided to try the Lemon Meringue Cupcake.  It was huge!  The lemon cake was pretty good, the icing/meringue on top was pretty good, but the lemon filling in the middle was awesome!  You can see the chocolate cake in the back to the right.  We gave it to a kid at a table next to us because it was just too much food.  

Dinner at Hollywood Studios was at the 50's Prime Time Cafe.  Superfrydad got the combo with fried chicken, meatloaf, and pot roast.  It was served with mashed potatoes and vegetables.  I got the fried chicken with potatoes and collard greens.  Superfrykid got chicken tenders.  The food was good, our server was funny & the atmosphere was super retro cool.  

The next day was Animal Kingdom day.  We had lunch at Yak & Yeti....Honey Chicken with Rice & Broccoli.  It was delicious & was big enough to feed all 3 of us.  We had dinner at Rainforest Cafe, which was Superfrydad's favorite meal of the whole trip.  He got steak, shrimp scampi & coconut shrimp with garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli, which is his kind of food.  He wasn't really a fan of the Asian food at lunch, so this made him really happy.  Superfrykid was a little afraid of Rainforest Cafe.  It's a little dark and the animatronic animals were a little on the creepy side for her.  I thought it was great, but if you have a child who is afraid of everything, this might not be the place for you.  

Thursday was our best day food-wise.  We started out with a character breakfast buffet at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian Resort.  We arrived a few minutes early for our 8:10 reservation, but we went ahead and checked in with the hostess.  They take your picture when you arrive with a nice background, but no character.  Later, they come to your table and offer the photo package for around $30, I think.  I was determined to NOT buy the package, but the picture was actually a really good one and I am disappointed that I was a cheapskate & did not buy it.

Getting ready to go to the hostess stand
After having our picture taken, we were instructed to stand in line by the doors, which were closed.  One of the hostesses came up to us and asked if Alaina would like to help "open" the restaurant for the day.  This consisted of saying the magic word - supercalafragilisticexpialidocious.  When Alaina yelled the word, the doors opened and Mary Poppins was there, waiting to lead Alaina into the dining room.  

Receiving her instructions

Waiting for her moment.

Opening the doors & seeing Mary Poppins!

Mary Poppins leading her to our table.

Her official certificate, rose and light up Tinkerbell toy.

Mary Poppins came back to visit later.

I'm not sure Superfrykid stopped smiling until a few hours later.  She was so excited to be picked to open the restaurant with Mary Poppins and it was one of those "magical moments" that Disney is known for.  The food at 1900 Park Fare was delicious.  They had pretty much any breakfast item you could ask for, and more.  They have a specialty item that I don't think you can get anywhere else at Disney - the strawberry soup.  I had to try it, even though I was a little skeptical.  I am happy to report that it was very good!  
Looks like Pepto, tastes like fresh strawberries with cream.

This is one experience that we will definitely do again when we visit Disney.  The characters were great - Mary Poppins, Alice & the Mad Hatter, Pooh & Tigger.  The Grand Floridian lobby and grounds are beautiful.  We took the monorail to the Magic Kingdom straight from breakfast, which was convenient.  

Lunch at the Magic Kingdom was at Pinocchio Village Haus.  It wasn't my first choice, but it was raining and it was close, so we went for it.  It was actually pretty good.  Superfrydad got a flatbread pizza, Superfrykid got macaroni & cheese, and I got a chicken caesar salad.  We had chocolate gelato for dessert, which was ok, but we were too full to appreciate it.  No pics from this meal, because my camera and phone were both in ziplocs and I was too hungry and lazy to get them out.  

It rained a little during the day when we were at the Magic Kingdom.  By late afternoon, we had accomplished our to-do list, and the sky was dark, so we decided to head back to our resort for dinner.  However, just as we were about to leave Main Street, the rain started coming down, so we ran onto the porch of Tony's Town Square.  We did not have a reservation, but I stopped by the hostess counter to see if we could get a table and wait out the rain.  She said that they could seat us outside on the porch and we were seated within a few short minutes.  As we were looking at the menu, the afternoon parade came through and we had great front row seats!  Superfrykid got steak kabobs, which was the best kid's meal of the whole trip.   Superfrydad got chicken parmesan and a caesar salad, both of which were delicious. The bread was also really yummy!  I got mushroom ravioli with a garlic pesto cream sauce, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, and crispy leeks.  I asked for the cream sauce to be served on the side, and I'm glad I did.  The sauce was really rich and delicious, but a little bit went a long way.  It was my favorite meal, by far.  
Mushroom ravioli with spinach, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts and crispy leeks.  Garlic pesto cream sauce not shown.

Chicken Parmesan

Kid's steak kabobs...halfway eaten

Many of the reviews I read on Tony's Town Square said the food was just okay.  I found it to be excellent.  I'm sure there are better restaurants with fancier food or more exotic choices, but for our family, this was a great choice and we will definitely go back.  The service was excellent and sitting out on the porch was delightful.  

On our final day at Disney, we went to Epcot.  It was the Flower & Garden Festival, so there were character topiaries everywhere and so many beautiful flowers.  It rained on and off a good bit, so I didn't get very many good pics.  

English Garden in the UK - the flower teapots were so cute!

For lunch, we stopped by the Coral Reef Restaurant, so see if they had any available tables.  We waited about 20 minutes, but were finally seated at a table with a great view of the giant fish tank.  While we were there, we saw a diver inside as well as sharks, a giant turtle, and lots of cool fish.  The menu was a little pricey for lunch, so I got an appetizer as my entree.  Spicy shrimp, very much like Bang Bang Shrimp at Bonefish Grill.  I thought they were really good.  Superfrykid got grilled chicken breast with french fries, vegetables, and a fruit cup for dessert.  Superfrydad got steak with potatoes and vegetables.  The bread before the meal was delicious, too.  Not sure if this is the best choice in Epcot since there are so many other unique restaurants, but it was definitely a relaxing and enjoyable lunch.
Superfrykid & me at the Coral Reef Restaurant - blurry photo taken by Superfrydad.
We went to Boulangerie Patisserie les Halles in France for a snack.  Superfrydad got an eclair, Superfrykid got a chocolate chip cookie & I got an apple tart.  All of them were wonderful, but the apple tart was my favorite by far.

Snacks from the French bakery...yum!

For dinner, we went to Teppan Edo, a Japanese Hibachi style restaurant.  The food was excellent, and we were seated with 2 very nice couples. 

In Japan after a great meal at Teppan Edo.
I can't say enough about the Disney Food Blog.  Reviews, recommendations, menus, tips and so much more! 

Disney Post 1 of 6:  Disney Planning 101 with KWTF
Disney Post 2 of 6:  Packing Must Haves and Road Trip Tips
Disney Post 3 of 6:  Magic Kingdom
Disney Post 4 of 6:  Hollywood Studios
Disney Post 5 of 6:  Animal Kingdom
Disney Post 6 of 6:  Food at Disney