Tuesday, June 24, 2008

58 grams of poo

Last winter I was reading in a health magazine about hidden germs in homes. Last week I was reading another mag and saw again that the average pair of dirty undies have 1 gram of poop in them! Since I read the original article, I have been washing undies separately, with hot water and bleach! This weekend I counted how many pairs of undies I washed and it was 58! 58 grams of poop......2+ ounces.......14 peanuts.......eewwwwwwwww.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Proof in in the picture

Well I complained that there were no pictures from Disney with me in them. Aunt Suzie to the rescue! I was there! I really was there!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Visiting a castle

At the turn-of-the-century, George C. Boldt, millionaire proprietor of the world famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, set out to build a full size Rhineland Castle in Alexandria Bay, on Picturesque Heart Island. The grandiose structure was to be a display of his love for his wife, Louise.

Beginning in 1900, Boldt's family shared four glorious summers on the island in the Alster Tower while 300 workers, stonemasons, carpenters, and artists fashioned the six story, 120 room castle, complete with tunnels, a powerhouse, Italian gardens, a draw bridge, and a dove cote. Not a single detail or expense was spared.

In 1904, tragedy struck. Boldt telegrammed the island and commanded the workers to immediately "stop all construction." Louise had died suddenly. A broken hearted Boldt could not imagine his dream castle without his beloved. Boldt never returned to the island, leaving behind the structure as a monument of his love.

For 73 years, the castle and various stone structures were left to the mercy of the wind, rain, ice, snow and vandals. When the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority acquired the property in 1977, it was decided that through the use of all net revenues from the Castle operation it would be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.

Since 1977, several million dollars have been applied to rehabilitating, restoring and improving the Heart Island structures.
We went to the 1000 islands, w*a*y up in NY last weekend to celebrate my Father's 80th birthday and Father's Day. On Saturday we went on a boat tour and stopped at Boldt Castle for a look around. Aunt Suzie and Lew didn't join us - Suzie offered to stay around the dock with a very cranky boy.

The exterior, first floor and grounds were magnificent. Beautiful details.

The top floors were a *bit* stark. Just the shell - most walls were just brick.

We had this view from our hotel room balcony. The kids were very impressed!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dancing with the Lew

Let me just say from the get-go that Lewie is a bit of an airhead. He has a strange stream of consciousness and dances to his own drummer. Teachers complain that he doesn't pay attention or follow directions. But put this boy on a stage and he is all business. He listens, does his dance and is not silly at all! He loves it although he is quick to point out that "boys don't dance. I just dance because Peter (his dance pal) wants me to." Yeah, right. Lewis takes lessons at his am daycare and every year there is a big recital with all the daycares that take lessons with "Danc*ing with De*nice."
When we arrived, all the kids had their wigs on. Lewis groaned, "I will not wear that stupid wig."

It's good being one of 2 boys with the girls flocking around in their cheetah leotards.

I think I have to find a boyish dance class for next year!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

WDW - the Saga Continues

Back to the exciting adventure in WDW. It's Day 3 of walking and walking in 90 degree heat and humidity. The troops think this is the hottest day yet. Off we go to Hollywood Studios. Since we don't do many rides, we have to figure out show times.....sometimes that involves trudging from one attraction to another, just to get a fastpass or check the times.
Within 15 minutes of getting there, the High School Musical show started. A bunch of teenagers singing and dancing in the blazing heat. My kids LOVED it, except Lewis who declared "this is so dumb." The girls who played cheerleaders were wearing pantyhose! I sweated for them. At the end of the show they invited all the kids up to dance.

Another highlight was the Indiana Jones set, with stunt doubles performing. No photos though, I was too busy watching.
We went to a Playhouse Disney show, mostly for the air conditioning! The kids posed with Leo from Little Einsteins after the show. Notice Frances would not be a party to that. Combine a "baby show" with the fact that adults in character costumes freak her out, and you'll understand.

The party is almost over. Everyone is wilting and whining about going to the awesome pool at our hotel. Here are the kids with Aunt Suzie. I'd like to give a medal of bravery to Aunt Suzie for going to WDW with her sister, sil & 4 nieces & nephew. Suzanne dubbed my family "Turtle Mountain" back in Wuhan, China when we only had 2 kids. Iy takes us "a while" to get anywhere. She (kind of) patiently waited as we got ready in the morning. Me: "OK guys are you ready?" Kids: "YES!" Me: "Did everyone go potty?" Kid: "Oops, I didn't. Me: "GO GO!" Me: "Everybody ready now?" Kids: "YES!" Me: "Lewis, why don't you have your socks on, your feet will hurt if you wear those sneakers without socks" Lewis: "OK" ............... You get the picture. Thanks Aunt Suzie!

Notice there is no evidence that I was ever there. The Lawyer can't take a picture to save her life and Aunt Suzie, the photographer, prefers taking photos of strange cultural phenomenon.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The big one-o

It happened. Yesterday, my Frances turned TEN! To quote the birthday girl, "I feel absolutely the same as yesterday." Imagine that.
Takes a lot of huffin' to blow out all those candles

Reading all the sentimental comments from her siblings.......ok, they just signed their names

For the past month or so, Frances has been calling me on my cell, every day, when she gets home from school. Yesterday she called and said "remember, I just asked for ONE thing, that makeup artist kit from Bar*nes and No*ble." Yup, I went to Bar*nes and No*ble on the way home. Sucker

The girl in her birthday suit......errr, new outfit. The hat is too cute.

I know some of you may be upset that the gripping conclusion to "The Griswolds go to Disney" has been delayed. Fear not, I will be back.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Adventure of a Lifetime

Well, well, well, what to say about the BIG TRIP..... It was hot. It was a lot of walking for 4 little punks. It was REALLY hot.
BUT, like women who do not recall the pain of childbirth and go on to give birth again, I can now say that it was an interesting trip.... but HOT, really hot.
Our flight down was great - 2 hours and 20 minutes. We easily got our rental car (ok, big ass van) and found our hotel with minimal hysteria. Our hotel/condo was unbelievable. 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, full kitchen and a pool that I had to drag the kids out of each evening. Floridays Resort, about 20 minutes from Disney.
Here are the highlights of the whirlwind tour.
The troop started out giddy and full of energy.

Still smiling on the magic carpet ride

Ana on the carousel

I think they had the most fun of the day when we got back to the hotel and I took them down to the pool. At least 1/2 of the pool was 3 feet or less so they could play without choking me by gripping onto my neck.

On Day 2 we went to Animal Kingdom. All was well for a good 5 minutes until Ana tripped over Elizabeth, fell and cut her knee. We had to get a stroller for her which turned out to be a good thing because all the kids got a chance to ride with her when they got tired.

One of my favorite animals was the komodo dragon. It's crazy! It eats it own babies, a fact Elizabeth could just not comprehend. It also kills by biting its prey, leaving nasty bacteria in the wound. It follows the animal's scent for 2 days as it dies from infection! Isn't it funky looking?

Frances jammed on the outdoor drums

By the time we stopped to eat lunch, my babies were done. They only had energy left for shopping!

Tune in tomorrow for the gripping conclusion of The Griswolds go to Disney!