Monday, March 30, 2009

Ahh Vacation....Points of interest

Vacation was a little rough getting going but I'll highlight a few of the more interesting parts that have happened (so far)

  1. We had decent weather driving from Cleveland to South Carolina. It didn't get too rainy and it was only foggy in North Carolina. Fortunately it wasn't foggy in West Virginia's hilly parts. We had that back in 2003. It wasn't fun.

  2. Our hotel in South Carolina was a dive - but we arrived at 1:00 am and left again at 8:30 am. So I told the girls to consider it "Roughing it" and promised that our Orlando hotel wouldn't be as bad as this.

  3. Our hotel in South Carolina had a stray cat in the parking lot that became quickly attached to us - even so far as trying to get into our hotel room. We consider her the welcoming committee. (It for sure was a she since she looked a little pregnant. My kids didn't realize it and I didn't tell them. They already feel bad about leaving it there in SC - alone.)

  4. I was able to keep my promise about the Orlando hotel. Our resort suite is awesome! I can't believe how nice this is for how little we paid. My kids want to live here. Forever. They don't even care that they have to share a room. They have their own bathroom...... I want to live here forever too. My personal bathroom is nicer. It has a huge bath tub with a separate shower. Go Me!!!!!

  5. I went to buy groceries for the week with my Master Card - it was declined and told us to call the card company. I was buying groceries at 10:51 pm and the store closed at 11:00 pm on Sunday night. I was still able to pay for the food - but I was upset because we specifically called the company to let them know that we would be traveling out of town and that the charges would be from us. (We had an incident when we started paying for our room and tickets that they declined because they were big ticket items purchased from another area. We cleared it up and were advised to call before we went......bastards) Mr Happy called them and confirmed that we were out of town and want to use our card. When I went to pay for souvenirs at the Magic Kingdom today - they declined the card again. Rat Bastards!!!! I hate them! It was so embarrassing to have to use "another form of payment" because MC can't get their act together. Hopefully Mr. Happy wasn't as nice when he called them tonight......if not I might have to tell them to take their 10,000.00 limit and shove it up their a@@! Obviously they want to give it to me - but they don't want me to use any of it. They have totally messed me out of 1300+ dollars in rewards points.

  6. Monday was a slow start but we made it to Magic Kingdom. Since there were so many people today - they decided to extend park hours. It was beautiful - weather wise and we enjoyed walking around visiting shows. Princess Happy was in awe to see Cinderella's castle for the 1st time. Happy Girl did a lot of texting.

  7. My Dear Hubby got picked to be "the Beast/Prince" during Belle's Story Hour at MK. Princess Happy was a little anxious that some "man" was going to put on the Beast costume during the show. Little did she know that "some man" would end up being her dad. She wasn't too sure at first but Happy girl and I just laughed our butts off. She got better as the show progressed. I always knew my husband was a prince - but this proves it. He was such good sport.......What a guy! Of course we got lots of pictures.

Well, that's enough for now. I'll write more as time allows!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

3 Days & Counting....Destination: Insanity

3 more days. I can't believe it. I'm not ready. I think by the time this vacation begins I will be in desperate need of it. (Oh, wait....I think that was last week when I got there. Damn. Now I'm starting to forget stuff.)

I love going on vacation but I hate the chaos that I experience before I go. Some things on my to do list:
  • Pack Clothing by Wednesday. (Yeah right. Like that's going to happen and I'll explain more below)
  • Clean House so that relatives won't be completely grossed out when the come to stay with my MIL. (Okay - derailed again. See below)
  • Finish Shopping for trip and go grocery shopping so that MIL can eat next week. (I got 1/2 done before last night)
  • Call Roto Rooter and have them snake out basement toilet. (AHHHHH the problem within my carefully laid out schedule. They came last night and didn't snake the toilet. They used a truck/machine to "power clean" the pipes all the way to the street. It was twice as much as snaking AND they told us that in the future we are going to either do the whole power wash thing as part of our yearly maintenance OR we are going to have to dig up - possibly the driveway - to Straighten the pipe that leads to the street. Apparently we have a "dippy" line and refuse collects in the bottom of the dips and within a year it will block up again since the flow of water can't push past it. They blew the line clean but some of it did back up into my downstairs bathroom and laundry room. Of course the water is disgusting so my DH spent most of the night bleaching and tossing. I stayed upstairs so that I wouldn't get a perpetual "stink" in my nose. (Once that happens - forget it. It never leaves. No really - it's true.) He didn't get done until 1:00 am.
  • Middle School: Write note for Happy Girl so that I don't have to remember to call her off on April 6th and maybe they will give her the homework/classwork ahead of time to do before we go.
  • Preschool: Fill out all field trip forms and fill 12 eggs for Easter hunt when we get back. Do this by Thursday
  • Plan Easter: My brother and his family will be out to visit us on April 9th to stay for Easter. We will have professional pictures done and go to some activity (like a museum, zoo - something weather appropriate) I've already ordered the "Easter food" that I won't be making this year. The rest I can pick up and freeze this week or the fresh stuff won't be picked up until Tues the 7th.
  • Lastly - Pay all bills that will be due up to April 13th. I definitely don't want to come back to phone messages from anyone regarding a bill. Or worse - find out I can't get gas to come home because my card won't work. That would really suck.

We have a few fun things to look forward to this week. Mr. Happy will be going to the princess's preschool for a father's evening. Friday is observation week at dance and my MIL has said she will go. Later that evening we are going to an "80's" party. And then lastly - Saturday morning we will be going to a friend's 4th birthday party and then leaving for our vacation.

It will be a busy, crazy, (hopefully) stink-less, rest of the week.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Countdown begins....

Well. Next week at this time I will be in the car driving to Florida. We will have "almost" arrived to the happiest place on earth. I'm sure it will be a lot warmer than here in Cleveland. At least I'm hoping it will be A LOT warmer than here in Cleveland. That would suck if wasn't. (Especially since I'm planning to pack mostly "warm weather wear")

We've shopped for new clothing (for all of us but especially for the kids.) They've grown so much. The princess has grown about 3-4 inches since last summer and another kid's size. Happy girl has grown expensive taste in clothing since last summer so her "target" duds aren't cool enough to wear anymore. Especially if I want to take any family photo's on this trip.

Today is when the packing will begin. Today I will begin packing and repacking the same 5 articles of clothing. Why? Because the family will want to help (especially my princess). I've already found several items I've put into a pile to be packed in the suitcases suspiciously moved into the toy washer & dryer in the laundry room. I've also seen every purse and backpack pulled out and strewn thru the house.

Also on my list to do: Clean House so that it looks the ABSOLUTE best it ever could. My in-laws are coming to take care of my MIL for the time we are away and I always worry that my house is a disaster and they are forced to stay in a mess.

Also on the list: 2 birthday parties, a Dad's night at preschool, an ortho appointment, a trip to both the hairdresser and nail shop.

I can see - it will be a very, VERY, busy week.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Final 24....

Yes - it's the final 24. "24 What?" you say. Well - the final 24 hours of being in my 30's. What else? (Yes, I'm aware that there is a television series out there named "24" but the Sutherlands are not real high on my list of "Have to Watch" television and so naturally the mind will turn itself to age.)

I don't know why I'm so bothered. I keep hearing that "40" is the new "30" and that "50" is the new "40". Yeah right! I wonder who came up with that logic. Also I've heard - "Your as old as you feel". Well most days I feel like signing up at the nearest nursing home for occupancy. Basket Weaving and tapioca pudding sound really good sometimes. So how old does that make me? 30? 40? 50? 90? 115? For good measure I should probably put in there that I seem to be on the verge of more "Temper Tantrums" than usual. Maybe we could throw the number "3" in there too. After all - the inner brat wants out sometimes too and since we're as "old as we feel" - "3" is a good description too. Of course - I also want to "roll my eyes", pop gum, forget to clean my room, and give a few blond stares when questioned about it. all Maybe I should throw in "13" too. Yes - I believe that "13" is a good age to be. Because I have young children I also still hang out with some "20 somethings" and "30 somethings". Through them I see my young child through the eyes of new parenting skills. I even get to make the same parenting mistakes - again. (I know - one would think that I would learn the first time but parenting rules change every 10 years or so. So what was acceptable 10 years ago has evolved or devolved - depending on your perspective - into something else.) I also have friends and relatives whose children are going into college or have graduated already and are starting their own families. Through them I see where my children are headed and I feel like the "baby" of the group. When we compare woes I hear "Just Wait!" "You'll See!" "That was easy compared to _______."

Yes - I know these final "24" hours are just numbers. Hours ticked off until the big "4 - 0" happens. I've used them to think about what these numbers really mean and how they will affect me tomorrow. I think what I need to remind myself is that at any given moment tomorrow and/or the next year, I will mentally be a baby, 3, 13, 20 something, 30 something, 40, 50, 90, and 115. That's just something that happens to all of us at some point in our lives. I will not be the exception. 40 is the physical age of my body, not my mind. I will just have to get used to it. Considering what the alternative is......I guess 40 sounds pretty good.

I do however hope that there won't be 40 candles on the cake tomorrow. That just might be dangerous.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What I've Been Doing Since I Last Posted...

  • We've planned a trip to Walt Disney World for the end of the month. We decided because Mr. Happy probably won't get a week off this summer that we should take advantage of him being off during Happy Girl's spring break and go somewhere. Warm. Far Away. By Ourselves. Without Additional Relatives.
  • I spoke to my youngest brother and planned for him and his family to visit us for Easter. They will be out the Thursday before Easter and stay with us until Holy Monday or the Tuesday after Easter. We spent last Easter together at his house and had a very relaxing holiday. I hope that they will come out and have the same experience.
  • I've been taking advantage of spending time with friends by going to play areas at Fast Food restaurants or the mall. We've had some fun - especially because I have gotten to crochet with someone who actually understands more of what I'm supposed to be doing than I do. I made a shopping bag. I'm so proud of myself - especially because my MIL can't believe I made it myself. She thinks that I made some of the stitches too big. I laugh because she is legally blind. (And the blind woman gives advice on stitch size... This is the same lady that can't knit anymore because she can't see the stiches. Sighhhh - I just agree, but I am still proud of my efforts)
  • I'm gearing myself up for turning 40. I'm still not sure how I feel about this birthday - but I know that it isn't something that I'm going to be able to do anything about. I should just accept it - but it bothers me.
  • I've been scrapbooking a little more than I was before. I dug out photo's from our last two trips to Disney and since there aren't too many I am able to scrap them. Hopefully I will be done with at least 1999 before we leave.
  • I've also been sorting thru Princess Happy's summer stuff & Happy Girl's summer stuff. Some of it has been packed away for the princesses cousin who is a year younger, some of it has gone to Plato's closet, and some of it was just plain junky and went into the garbage.
  • I've also been watching my diet. It's not easy - especially around my house with several picky eaters. I've made a lot of homemade soup lately. It's by products have made my MIL happy (She loves dark meat chicken and eating it reminds her of the meals she used to cook for her & my FIL) and my kids love homemade chicken noodle soup. I'm trying to make healthier meals and still satisfy everyone.

So that is what I am doing. It's not exciting - but it's time consuming. I'm not complaining.....but it's why I'm not here.