The Winding Down of Summer (Long, Multimedia)

I can’t believe how fast the summer went. My mom was here for a week; that sped by. I can’t believe I’ve already been home from Disney World for a week. Life’s too short, babe, time is flying….

My mom was here and that was cool. She made us fried chicken and meatloaf, and she bought me a new doll. (I am up to 11 dolls now–and just when I think I have enough, I find out that a bunch of new ones are coming out next week. Aye yi yi.). Here is my mom, Aidan, and me at McDonald’s for lunch one day:

Isn’t my mommy pretty? :)

And here are a bunch of pictures from the week she was here. She had her first Chicago hot dog, she spent lots of time with Aidan, and even went to American Girl Place with me. We also went to Naperville, where I love to go to get away from the city and shop at the indie stores, especially Anderson’s Bookshops.

DSC02094 Buzz Mommy! Mommy at Hot Doug's Cuddle Wuddle


Goofy Family Portrait

Riverwalk Crime Scene

Sonali Matthews
New doll, Sonali

After my mom left, it was time to throw ourselves into preparing for Disney World. That meant last minute trips to Target for stuff, laundry, and packing. And then, the night before, the neighbors behind us had a guest who was drunk and yelling from 7pm until 5am, when I had to get up. I got NO sleep. I’m pretty sure they were still yelling when we left at 6am for the airport. I thought, foolishly, that I’d get to sleep on the plane. Nope. I mean hello, a flight to Orlando, where Disney World is? Kids and babies. Babies hate flying. Babies were screaming the whole time. My iPod Skullcandy ear buds were pretty good but I still didn’t sleep well. Fortunately, I had enough adrenaline running that I was able to hit the parks at about 2:15pm and I kept going until 1am, when the awesome Extra Magic Hours ended. Woohoo.

Family Photo
We really are having fun. It’s just that the sun is all up in our faces. :D

A few highlights that we didn’t get video of pix of. On our first night, we were eating at Liberty Tree Tavern. There were LOADS of people celebrating birthdays. There was a birthday in our room. After everyone sang Happy Birthday and applauded, Aidan yelled out the biggest YAY I’d ever heard. My first instinct was to be kind of mortified, but then the entire room burst out laughing. Another thing happened at LTT. Aidan had asked for a root beer and was given a Coke. I told him to ask the server nicely for a root beer instead, which Aidan did. Not only did the server replace Aidan’s Coke with a root beer, he gave it to him in one of the $7 souvenir cups with a light-up Lightning McQueen!

Aidan's Bonus!

Watching Aidan during the parades was SUCH a treat. I remember how I felt the first time I saw a parade, but it was nothing compared to watching Aidan see Celebrate a Dream Come True and Spectromagic.

Aidan also got to help the, well, I call them Magic Makers. They’re the guys with fancy brooms that paint Disney characters on the ground with water.

Magical Characters

Aidan was so enthusiastic during the shows that he got singled out at Crush’s Turtle Talk, and it was hilarious. He was next to the man who got picked on during Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor so he was on the big screen quite a bit. During two parades/parties, he was pulled out into the street by characters and performers to dance, and at the end of the Toy Story Block Party Bash, he got a little Nerf ball that says “Block Party Bash” on it. He was terrified of Soarin’, but when we got off, he said he loved it and said “Can we do that again???”

Garden Grill, as usual, was a pleasure. The characters there are TOP NOTCH, you get to see them tons of times, and the food is outstanding, especially the blueberry buckle. YUMMMM. 1900 Park Fare’s characters were hilarious. And autographs are fun.

I watched the High School Musical 3 show, and we got to meet the $heriff of Nottingham from Robin Hood and Marie from The Aristocats. And THE FAIRY GODMOTHER!

Fairy Godmother

But you don’t want to read my jabber. You want to see MORE pictures, right? Here goes!

Southwest FTW! Adam and Aidan

On the Magical Express

Daisy Duck Aidan and Goofy Me and Lilo

Us With the Mouse

Aidan and Dale Aidan, Adam and Mickey

Aidan and Stitch Aidan and the Gang

Aidan and Spaceship Earth Love! Aidan and Buzz

Here’s a slide show of the whole trip, minus the Photopass pictures, which are not here yet:


And if you’re still reading, I encourage you to check out this video of highlights I made of the trip (if you haven’t seen it already).

About halfway through the trip, Adam said “We’re coming back next year.” :) Wheeee! He mentioned trying out Chef Mickey’s, and I sure do wish we could stay at the Polynesian, but hey, I’ll be happy with Pop Century again if it means having more money to spend in the parks. Shopping for Disney stuff is FUN (especially during the parades when the stores are pretty empty)!

Aidan went back to Ohio on Sunday. :( Fortunately, he didn’t cry at the airport. When he cries, I cry. Or at least a lot worse than normal. But when he doesn’t cry, I feel OK. It’s been so quiet here, though. I miss kissing his little cheeks, and I keep watching videos of him over and over just to hear his voice. He started first grade yesterday. Apparently, he’s popular. Kids leaping out of their seats because they were so excited to see him! How fun is that? Today, he rode the school bus to school. I can’t believe my baby’s a first grader now. First grade is like REAL school, you know? Next summer should be fun, with all the reading he’ll be able to do.

OK, I guess this entry is long enough. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go and continue recovering from a busy August. I’ve been hit with a cold or mini-flu or something and I’m been drained. Hope you enjoyed my recap and my Disney memories! :)

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I Am The Firebird’s Child! (Videos)

S.J. Tucker is in town today and I didn’t get a chance to go to see her sing. *sniffle* Next time. Definitely next time.

I had a yummy July 4th. Tried to get a nap in, but it was hard as Aidan had lots to talk about. Jeff and Deborah came over and we had good food and walked to watch fireworks. We also had Italian Ice. Adam had pineapple, Aidan and I had cherry, and Jeff and Deborah had blue razz. Yummy.

Baked beans are full of win. Especially with a grilled hot dog. Oh yum.

Of course I took video of the ridiculous neighborhood fireworks:

Next weekend, Sarah Dessen and Laurie Halse Anderson will be here! *insert fangirlSQUEEing here* I am already nervous about it. I’m thinking that Aidan and I will head out to Naperville early and kind of make a day of it… I want to get PRIMO seats, and OMG OMG OMG SARAH DESSEN you guys.

Adam and I paid off our Disney World balance on July 1st. Now all I have to do is wait for all the fun stuff to come in the mail…then go on the trip! Aidan and I went online and customized maps, and we talked about which things we want to ride. As the trip gets closer, the real hard core planning comes. He said he wants to do autographs, which will be new for both of us. We’ll see how it all goes! Autographs tend to annoy me, unless they’re at the character meals. They really hog up a line, especially if a mom brings up eight books or something like that.

I guess I don’t have a whole lot to say. Just wanted to show off the fireworks video, and the video of Aidan kicking his own butt, right here:

Ta ta!

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Where To Begin? (Long, Multimedia)

To state the obvious, it’s been a really long time since I’ve blogged. More than a month; the longest I’ve ever gone, I believe. It’s a complicated paradigm. I have too much to say, and yet, I don’t have anything to say at all.

I have been active on some forums, and on Facebook and Plurk and somewhat on Twitter, so I haven’t been completely off the Internet or anything like that.

Aidan is in town for the summer. He arrived on June 20th. He’s very happy to be in Chicago. I’ve been trying to get outside with him every day. I mean, HELLO, it’s summer! And it’s warm, finally! Sometimes I take him downtown, sometimes we simply walk around the block. Or we hit the CVS. Nothing too exciting, but it’s a nice way to get out of the house every day. We also have a nice courtyard in the back, and we’ve been out there drawing with sidewalk chalk and playing with a bubble machine.

Aidan on Michigan Avenue

Aidan Playing Bubbles

Hmm. Well, it wouldn’t be an update post if I didn’t mention dolls. I’ve gotten two more since my last post. Here is my complete collection (minus the mini Addy, who was inside):

The Girls
back: Marisol, Jess, Kit, Bizzy
front: Molly, Rebecca, Riley, Ruthie

Of course I want more, but unless I find a “YOU’D BE A STARK RAVING IDIOTIC BANANA TO PASS THIS UP” deal on eBay, I won’t be getting any for a while. I’m trying to hold out for gift giving occasions like my birthday or Christmas–but the sucky thing about that is that they’re five days apart. I don’t get gifts in the middle of the year like people whose birthdays are in summer or whatever. That’s hard! But it’s FUN at the time.

Last weekend, Adam, Aidan and I headed to Des Moines, IA for the Selzer Family Reunion. I had fun. Iowa is nice. It reminds me of Columbus without the Buckeye mania. I liked it. So much that I think I wouldn’t mind living there. Except for the fact that I would NOT be proofreading there–I’d be someone’s secretary and working for a bank or an insurance company. I don’t know how I feel about that. But the slower pace, the non-cutthroat culture, and the cost of living is so much easier to swallow. I dunno. Who knows what the future will bring?

Anyway, it was nice seeing family and spending time in a park (even though it was hotter than all blazes). Aidan tried his hand at the monkey bars:

Monkey Bars

It didn’t go well.

"This Is Not Happy"

“That is not happy,” he said when he saw his face in the picture.

It’s been a joy and a challenge having Aidan here. He’s pretty clumsy, so nothing’s really safe around him. He’s a maddeningly picky eater, so dinner time is always a challenge unless it’s chicken fries and mac & cheese. He still wets the bed at night if I don’t get up in time to take him. If I need to concentrate and work, he doesn’t get that. He wants to share everything, so it’s constantly MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY. Sometimes, it’s tiring.

But he’s so affectionate. He will often come over just to put his hand on my cheek. His laugh is the most awesome sound ever and he laughs a LOT. It’s easy to make him laugh, too. He’s very gentle. His world is still sunshine and lollipops. I can tell that by the stories he makes up. He draws–my God–his art is unbelievable. And he draws all the time. He’s really good at the Wii (he did Wii Fit for about an hour today!), and he’s super smart–got all 100s and is at the top of his class. After Adam leaves in the morning, he’ll come out and climb into bed with me to keep me company, hand on my cheek, of course.

On July 13, Adam and I went one day to DucKon 18, a sci-fi con that takes place in a Chicago suburb. I had a lot of fun. I got to hear great music (Vixy & Tony, SJ Tucker–who blew me AWAY with her song Firebird’s Child) and got to meet cool people. I bought a new worry stone in the dealer’s room. I also got to see Tesla Coils. They played music. Here they are playing The Imperial March:

And here is SJ, backed by Vixy, singing Firebird’s Child. It was this performance that almost caused me to fall out of my chair, and this performance that inspired me to run to the dealer’s room and buy her CD as soon as the concert ended before they all sold out. And thank goodness I did, because they DID all sell out!

(I want to go to more cons NOW.)

Today, happiness came in the mail for me. An arc of CATCHING FIRE. Yes, the sequel to THE HUNGER GAMES, (which I have read way more times than I could ever count). I have CATCHING FIRE right next to me. I am deliberately prolonging reading it to build the anticipation, but you’d better believe that once I’m done with this entry, I’m going to make myself a turkey sandwich and dive in. Oh yeah. *salivates*

Only 30 days until my and Adam’s one year anniversary. ♥

Only 50 more days until Disney World!

And a whole summer ahead of me. :)

To finish up, I want to say that I’m very much in shock and saddened by Michael Jackson’s passing. Wow, that was really hard to type. I am still in a state of STRONG disbelief over it. He was my first crush. I was seven years old, watching Billie Jean, and staring at the TV slack-jawed. It was love at first sight. And now… I just can’t believe he’s gone. I don’t know what will make me believe he’s gone. My friend Jen called me that night, to see if I was OK. I mean, I once got *really* upset because a bunch of people took my Michael Jackson doll and hid it or were abusing it or something. So yeah, this is hitting me hard when I let myself think about it, which really isn’t often, to be honest. I’m scared if I think too much about it, I’ll get too upset, and with Aidan around, I don’t want to do that.

‘Til next time.

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Annoying Little Aidan (Video)

A few weeks back, newlifeinstpaul posted a video of The Most Annoying X-mas Song Ever. I laughed my butt off. Then I annoyed Adam with it that night, which made him kinda mad. While I was in Ohio visiting Aidan (pic filled entry on that soon), I did it to him. Here is the post with the original video: [LINK]

Here is my video:


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