Disneyland!

this big!

Disneyland was so awesome. It wasn’t crowded, it wasn’t too hot. We got to do everything we wanted to do. Our tickets were free (thanks to a friend who works there who signed us in, SCORE!). Our packed lunch was delicious…I couldn’t have asked for a better day! It was just great! Toby and I didn’t even really squabble that much which was really really awesome since I thought Disneyland was pretty much everything Toby hates about everything and I was dreading his ongoing commentary. He was on his best behavior all day and so was Bug!

it's late!

We got a bit of a late start but it was fine! Because Disneyland wasn’t crowded! I don’t think I’ve ever been on a better day. If you’re thinking of visiting, I cannot recommend an odd Thursday AFTER spring break enough. Guess how long the wait was for Pirates of the Caribbean? Five minutes. Small World? Ten. That NEVER happens! At least not to me.

obligatory family portrait taken by random person

Obligatory family portrait taken by a total stranger. He didn’t even cut off our heads!

Ariel

We met Ariel right off. Bug was enthralled.

sweet spot

Then we hit the teacups. This is my favorite photo of the whole day.

spin!

And I was there too! It’s kinda nice having Toby around to take photos of me. I get tired of taking the hand-held self-portraits sometimes.

let's do it!

We kinda sprung Matterhorn on Bug which was not really very smart. Prepping a kid for a roller coaster is tricky. You have to tell them how scary it is so they aren’t traumatized but you have to tell them in such a way that you don’t scare them into not going. Bug was pretty brave but Matterhorn was a little too dark and fast for her. Thankfully she seemed to get over it pretty quick and it didn’t scare her off roller coasters for good. Of course we praised her to high heaven for being so brave so maybe that helped.

blur twist

Toby had fun challenging himself with my camera. (Shot while twisting. He had the camera strap wrapped around his wrist about eight times, don’t worry.)

fascinated

Next up was the underwater Finding Nemo submarine ride. This is my least favorite ride up there next to the Haunted Mansion and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Dark, claustrophobic and it takes forever to load and unload. I wasn’t terribly impressed with the new Nemo features but Bug seemed to like it. Except for the pretend crash and all the electricity sparking. I think she’s taken our “Don’t play with the electrical cords” sermons to heart.

I don't see Nemo

Meh. We promised we’d take her to Catalina and show her some real fish on a glass-bottomed boat.

Nemo land

It looks pretty from the top though.

put put

Autopia was a huge hit. I’d talked it up before we got there and Bug couldn’t wait to drive a car. She was pumped.

driving

Unfortunately the steering wheel in our car was useless so she ended up letting Toby drive and just enjoying the scenery.

autotopia

We wished we had bumpers like these cars (especially after my recent bank-parking-lot incident).

Aurora

We waited 45 minutes to see the princesses. Normally I would think that was ridiculously stupid but then I had Bug and she reprogrammed my brain. We love princesses now and I am eating all my words one by one with salt. I’m so glad Aurora was there, Bug’s favorite princess. Bug was so shy. It was kinda like how I acted when I finally met Dooce in person.

Snow White Jasmine

By the time we got to Snow White and Jasmine she’d lost her timidity. She loved the princesses and I think they loved her right back. It was really sweet.

princess

Then Toby bought her her own crown. I had stupidly stepped on her old pink plastic one a while back and she’s been mourning it for months now. As you know, Bug loves her crowns—sharp, hard, plastic crowns jammed right down on her ears. It was kind of nice that that was all she wanted. I was prepared to shell out major bucks for souvenir crap but she didn’t seem that into the merchandise. Good thing too ’cause it looked kinda cheap for the dollars they were asking.

Small World

Then we hit Small World. I thought for sure Toby would rather die than go on this ride since he suffers from earworms that will last up to a week. But he was a trouper and really enjoyed himself by taking photos in challenging lighting situations. Who knew Disneyland was such fun for photographers?! Also, my camera rocks. I’m so glad I bought it. (Thank you, again.)

it's a...

pink awe

Toby mocks
(Toby pretending to be in awe.)

tick tock

Tick tock, what an awesome clock.

balloons

I just thought these balloons were pretty. No other reason.

silly mask Tarzan's Treehouse

We didn’t do much in Adventureland/Frontierland. They were preparing for the premiere of the latest Pirates movie and a lot of stuff was blocked off. Bug wanted to go see the singing plastic flowers in the Tiki Room but I promised Bug we’d do that next time.

treasure

But we did ride Pirates of the Caribbean! Five-minute wait!!! Bug wasn’t scared at all. She’s braver than I was at five.

ship

Then we passed by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, my favorite ride of all time. I just figured she’d be too short for it but she wasn’t!!! Then I had to talk her into going. It took a lot of negotiating.

getting up the guts to go on Big Thunder

major negotiation

We pretty much just walked past it and gave up. She wasn’t into it and you know how stubborn Bug can be once she makes up her mind.

Toontown at sunset

We wasted some time at Toon Town, which she loved but we hated. And then right before the park closed, she changed her mind and we ended up going on Big Thunder at dusk!! I have no photos but that seriously made my day. And! She liked it. Best. Day. Ever.

even big kids can ride on it!

fun!

The rest was cake.

pretty lights

night settles

end of the day

Then we called it a day and took our tired selves home. I can’t wait to go back.

An Update and a half!

All American Family

I’m sure you are all on the edges of your seats wondering how the gardening went. It went great! We planted strawberries. Or at least I think they are strawberries. That’s what the package said. They’re bare root strawberries. (Now that I find a link for them, I see we did not plant them properly. They’re doomed.) They looked pretty dead to me but my mom kept saying, “You’d be surprised!” I really hope she’s right because I don’t want to grow dead roots for months. Wouldn’t that be a letdown?

bare root strawberries...are they dead?

See? Dead. Or at least deadish. I don’t see any sign of life in these gnarled rooty things. I really hope my mom is right. She is the one with the green thumb after all.

This weekend when we went out to visit Toby, Bug was telling him all about our planting experience and she kept going on and on about planting the strawberries’ hula skirts in the ground. We both were very puzzled until I finally figured out that the “hula skirts” were the strawberry roots—which they do kind of look like. Like zombie hula skirts from the dead!!!! Aaaaack! Anyway, I’m pessimistically optimistic. We’ll see.

digging together future strawberries!

Even if they don’t grow, it sure was fun planting. I’m really liking this American Dream backyard experience I’m living. I feel like a Norman Rockwell painting sometimes. I love digging and fixing it up. I love standing in it and listening to the birds. I love sending my kid out to play for hours on end and hearing her laughing and making up complicated games with the neighborhood kids. I know I’ve gone on and on about how fun it is to have a dog to play with in the backyard. I really hate this town I live in but if I could transport my backyard to the beach, I’d live there forever!

watering

Of course Bug loves it just as much as I do. Maybe even more.

water girl

5

In other news, we had a really great weekend at the beach. I’m sure those of you who are tuned into the Toby-Brenda-Separation-Saga are thoroughly confused over our relationship. I can’t really go into it but I’d just say that we are still good friends and that we both hope this makes things easier for Bug. We see Toby every weekend and often we still do things together as a family.

Bug and Toby

raking the ball in

This weekend we went miniature golfing. Can I just say that miniature golfing is the most boring game ever?!! Oh my goodness, I thought I was going to curl up and die right there on the astroturf.

on the rocks

I wanted to climb inside one of the little boarded up houses and take a nap. Bug and I were both very disappointed that you can’t go inside the little houses. Why do they build them then? Just to frustrate you? That’s what I think.

blue house

Toby and I had a long discussion about how a homeless person could probably break into one of these and live there for years without anyone ever finding out. I think that sounds like a good book I’d like to read. Anyone?

miniture golfing

Anyway, it was good family time. Toby’s mom came. We haven’t seen her much lately (she’s in assisted living now) and it was good to just hang out with her and let her know we still care about her. I think she really enjoyed herself.

up down

Then we hit the park which was way way way more fun than golfing and it was FREEEEE! Parks are the best, especially the ones with really good swings. Now that Bug can pump, it has made my whole park-going experience about a thousand times more fun.

swingin'! happy

swing-swinging crazy!

Now I get to swing too!

blur monster

And act like a crazy idiot. But that’s really nothing new.

By the way, the crazy blurring was just Toby playing with my camera. Who says that thing was a waste of money now? Not me!

dandelion

I love my camera.

making a wish sunny park day

It’s just so fun and awesome. For work and for play. Thank you, internet, for helping me buy it.

peek-a-boo!

I heart you.

p.s. Marilyn interviewed me! Everything you probably already know and more!