Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Tenley Does Disneyland

Ok, I'm a little behind, but I'm trying to catch up! Waaaay back on Nov. 13th, we met up with Scott & Gaynor and their 2 cuties Lauren & Amanda, and Joe (sans Sue- sadly) with his 3 beauties Amanda, Roxy, & Kate at Disneyland.

This was Tenley's 1st trip to the Kingdom, and we weren't sure what she was going to make of the whole thing. We knew she'd have a great time looking at everything, but the rides were a question. 3 year old Lauren likes the "girly" rides like Small World, the Carousel, and Dumbo...although she was very brave and went on her 1st roller coaster ride and lived to tell the tale! We were all very proud of her!! Big Amanda & Roxy as the 2 oldest kids had the most varied taste in rides, and the little ones (like the adults) didn't care much.

Everyone went on the carousel, and as predicted, Tenley was done with that by the second revolution and screamed until Jeff removed her from the offending horse and held her for the rest of the ride. It's a Small World, however, was a different story: she sat in Jeff's lap with eyes wide and a look of wonder on her little face. She swayed to the music, pointed at everything, squealed in delight and clapped her hands. As far as Tenley was concerned, we could have stayed there all day. She was also delighted with the Jungle Cruise, and stood on the seat hanging on to my shoulder with one hand and pointing at all the animals with the other. No so with the Tiki Room- she liked those singing birds for all of 2 minutes, and then she wanted to get down and run around. That would have been rude, so instead she spent most of the show in a corner being held by daddy & having a small meltdown. Unfortunately, she didn't make it to Dumbo: 6 hours into the day (and long after all the other little girls had had a nap) she gave up the ghost and fell asleep in my arms while we waited in line. She only napped for about an hour, and woke up while the guys and the 3 big girls were on the Autopia. Scott & I were looking forward to a spin on Space Mountain, but the FastPasses were gone before noon, and the standby time was 75 minutes, so we gave it a miss.

Highlights of the day:

Seeing 11 of us crowded around 1 tiny table at Village Haus having lunch. It was hilarious.

The warm smile that flooded the face of the older Chinese gentleman when I said "thank you" in Chinese for allowing us to swipe a chair from his table.

Having Roxy velcro herself to me and make me her buddy for the day. She wanted to sit next to me or on me everywhere and hold my hand as we walked. It's a fabulous feeling when a child chooses you to trust and be close with. It also was a great reminder of why I love the 3-6 age, and of how much I'm looking forward to being with Tenley when she hits it.

Gaynor buying Tenley, Amanda & Kate their 1st mouse ears. I remember getting ears as a kid, and it was fun to see my kid wearing them...especially since their golden 5oth Anniversary ears. Thanks Gaynor!!!!

Sharing my Dole Pineapple whip before the Tiki Room show. I love the whip, and so did everyone but Little Amanda!

Watching Tenley toddle around in front of the kennels while we waited to rendezvous with everyone in the morning. (see video at click on Tenley's page!)

Just seeing everyone again, and reveling in how much our girls have grown and progressed since our days in China!!!

Unfortunately, we didn't get many pictures. :( But, we'll be back at on Dec. 5 for the Cast Christmas Party, and we hope to get some more then. We're also going to try some different rides with the Tenster- I have a feeling she'll like things like Mr. Toad & Pirates of the Caribbean.

It was a good 1st trip and it was so great to see everyone!!! I don't know if we'll get a chance to meet up again during the holidays, but I'm looking forward to a Group 103/104 6 Month Reunion in January, and Chinese New Year in Feb!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Hat Part V

Here is yet another in a long string of attempts to find the perfect hat for Tenley. Tenley is sporting her Golden Mouse Ears in support of Disneyland's 50th Anniversary year. This hat didn't seem to bother her as much as the others. Maybe this one is a keeper...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Celebratin' With Vikki & Kipp

Tenley's big day on Saturday was spent at our friends Don & Betsy's house at a little shindig celebrating the engagement of their daughter Vikki & her boyfriend (now fiancee) Kipp. An engagement party may not sound like a big deal, but our little extended family is incapable of throwing a party lasting less than 6 hours and hosting less than 30 people. To a 14 month old, that is alot of excitement.

The day didn't actually start the way I wanted, because little miss busy pants woke up waaay earlier than I expected/wanted her to. I was grateful Jeff hadn't left for his shift at Disney yet, because we were able to trade off entertaining Ten while we got ourselves and her ready. The big problem was that Ten was going to be ready for a nap just about the time we were supposed to be arriving at D&B's to help finish setting up the festivities.

If their house had been a mile further, she would have been asleep when we arrived, but she was only heavy lidded and in true Tenley form, she perked right up as soon as she realized we were somewhere new and that there were kitties to chase.

Ten had a great time toddling all over the house, climbing the stairs, and introducing herself to everyone that came through the door. As usual she ate like a horse: 4 mini quiche, a slice of turkey, 2 slices of marble pound cake, 2 cubes of cheese, and 4 apple slices. However, with all that activity and food, the lack of nap was becoming apparent in her steadily decreased attention span and increased level of crank. She wanted to nap, and she would grab her lovey and put her head on my shoulder, but she just couldn't give over to it and after only a moment she would pick her head back up and look around again. Fortunately, at that moment Bumpa Don wandered into the den to see what Aunty Meg, Ten & I were up to. Tenley trotted right over to him and demanded to be picked up. She giggled at him and then stuck her thumb in her mouth and put her head on his shoulder. I tossed him the lovey. 5 minutes later my kid was dead asleep and we laid her on her quilt, and I went out to party and have conversation with real adults!!! Way to go Bumpa Don- you're my hero!

I had a fine time chatting with other grown-ups and even got a snack, a slice of cake, and 2 glasses of sangria before I heard a piteous wail and and a muffled pounding on the door of the den. Poor Tenley had woken up in a strange place all by herself and was a little upset. She calmed right down, and chased away her sorrows with another piece of pound cake and 2 more apples.

Mostly she loved being outside in D & B's backyard. Kipp's nephew Aidian was out playing in the grass, and Tenley was darned if she was going to let him have all the fun...and besides he's a boy: shouldn't he have been paying attention and adoring her? Don't all boys? She crawled around on the grass, toddled around the patio (hoping someone would share their mimosa), chased and pet Dinah the cat, and loved ringing the windchimes.

I think my favourite moment was when Cousin Caleb came and had brought his Thomas the Train toys. Now Caleb loves Thomas (even more than Bob the Builder) and like all good almost 3 year olds, he has no intention of sharing- especially not his prized possessions. Tenley of course, has no clue what Thomas is, and lives by the Toddler's Creed of "if I can see it, it's mine." Lynae, Caleb's mom, tried valliently to convince him that it was ok to share, and that Tenley wouldn't take his Thomas toys, but he was having none of it. As soon as she would come near he would throw his entire body over the track and cars to keep her from getting near it. Tenley tried to lure him away by batting her eyes at Colin, Caleb's dad, and eating all Caleb's snacks. Caleb was undeterred. Eventually he was lured into the house for a snack and potty...and then Tenley struck. She ran to the footstool where Caleb's railroad empire was being built, grabbed two pieces of track and went running down the patio waving one in each hand. It took five minutes for me to stop laughing long enough to go retrieve the snatched track.

We made it to the opening of the gifts, but by then Tenley was toast, and it was time to go. My little social butterfly seemed to have a great time, and had definately enjoyed being picked up and carried around by everyone. She was in a good mood for the whole 8 hours we were there, and had no meltdowns...just a little whiny when she got tired. I'm so proud of her for being such a trooper, and so happy to see her recognizing and bonding to the members of my family.

More party pix at!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Last Weekend

It's the Chick-fil-a Cow!!
We found this poor holstein dancing around on Foothill Blvd. last Friday when we popped over to Victoria Gardens to get the cake mix Jeff was lusting for. We just had to get a picture!!

Since Tenley has another big weekend coming up, I guess I should talk about last weekend!

As though she knew we had somewhere to be in the morning, last Friday Tenley decided to pass on her 9:30 bedtime and stay up until 12:30. Of course because she stayed up late she also slept in, leaving me with only enough time to get her up, feed her and get her dressed and out the door. Except that the little pee monster had overloaded her diaper and her pj’s, sheet and herself were soaked and stinky. So much for breakfast- bath time instead!

Our destination was Mary’s baby shower at Jen’s house, which was fine with Tenley because there was food to devour and stairs to climb. So my agenda for the day became: follow the kid up the stairs, carry the kid down the stairs, stuff in a couple bites of fruit- repeat. We eventually distracted her from the stairs, and she toddled happily about visiting with everybody, and cruising by mom for food. She was thankfully in a good mood until the very end when she began to get cranky having played hard and been charming for 5 hours with no nap. Her highlights of the day included playing with the Big-Sis-To-Be Emma in the back yard and discovering rose petals and bark chips, climbing the stairs, and sampling the yummy cake.

At the end of the shower we decided to get the rest of the extended family and go out for dinner. So I dropped Meg at her house, and went home to change Tenley& I’s clothes and collect Jeff who was just back from an MMD shift at Disneyland. Amazingly Ooka, the local hibachi place, could accommodate a reservation for 14 at the last minute on a Sat night! Unfortunately, Tenley had only had a piddly hour long nap in the car on the way home from Jen’s, and she couldn’t really accommodate staying up and in a good mood long enough for us to eat. However, my totally fabulous husband was also a little tired and happily handed me my wallet, cell phone, and a wad of cash and took the little fortune cookie home leaving me to have drinks and dinner with grown-ups!!

Sunday was another first for Tenley- it was her first SSC lunch. The Secret Squirrel Club was started when we all worked for an employer we all universally disliked. Our SSC lunches were a great escape, and after we all moved on we just continued to get together every month or so to catch up.

There were only 4 Squirrels at this lunch- the 4 with kids! This was the first chance Kristen & Amy had to meet Tenley; and Kristen, Tracy, & I’s first chance to meet Amy’s cutie pie Cody who was born while we were in China. Tenley and Natalie seemed to enjoy seeing each other again...and it’s always interesting to see how alike and different they are since they’re only 3 weeks apart! The only bummer to the whole lunch was finding out that (another squirrel) Susie’s husband Mike had passed away. Mike was a great guy, and I’m still stunned to think that he’s gone.

All in all a good action packed weekend, and Tenley received constant input- which is the way she likes it. Stay tuned- we have another busy weekend starting tomorrow!!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Sweet Tooth

Here's our little sweetie enjoying a cotton candy flavored Dum-dum surrounded by a small bit of her Halloween haul. Fortunately, the Dum-dum is the only thing she's had. Jeff and I are helping out by disposing of the Twix, Snickers & Tootise Rolls (my fave), and the girls in Jeff's office are doing their share with the M&M's, Starburst, Butterfinger, etc.

And here's your laugh for the day:

All I have to say is that if either of these guys ever shows up to take Tenley out, she's not goin'!

...and make sure your sound is on.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Another Night Out

"Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known."

Garrison Keillor

Tonight we went with Megan, Betsy and Jason & Ruthann to see Garrison Keillor at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium. Tenley went to stay with Auntie Jen for the night.

We laughed until our sides hurt while we listened to Mr. Keillor tell us a story about his youth in Lake Wobegon, MN. Tenley ran all over Jen’s house and climbed the stairs repeatedly.

When we got back to Jen & Todd’s house around 10:30pm or so, we were wondering if Tenley would be asleep or not. The answer was immediately apparent since we were greeted by a smiling baby face through the window of the front door as Todd held her up to see us. I don’t think Michelle or I were delusional enough to think that our child would be asleep as she should have been. No, there were too many things to do at this new place that she had never been before. After we made sure that Jen & Todd still had their sanity and that their house was still intact, we left took Tenley home. We did tell her that she would be back soon for a baby shower and she could once again climb the stairs repeatedly in her vain attempt to get somewhere more interesting.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Hat part IV

In the ongoing quest to find a hat that Tenley will wear happily, Daddy has finally resorted to making hats from paper menus at restaurants. This hat, much like the others, did not go over that well. "Still trying Grandma Susie!"

Halloween...Now & Then

If you had been hanging out with Jeff and I seven years ago on October 31, 1998; this is what you would have seen. The bride wore Converse hi-tops, the wedding cake was Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, and the minister had vampire fangs. No, our colors were not black & orange, and no- we're not was the only day our site was available. The fact that it was Halloween meant that there were no children at our wedding (which was the plan), it was really easy to get a florist and a caterer, and everyone (particularly gift-giving relatives) remembers our anniversary.

We've had some really great anniversaries, and some not so great ones. There have been 2 cruises, a dinner at the Chart House, a disastrous night in a cabin in Lake Arrowhead, one we can't remember, and last year was spent packing wildly for a 10 day trip to London which began on Nov 1.

Now, if you'd been hanging out with us this year on Lucky Anniversary #7, this is what you would have seen:

Yep, it's our sublime bovine mugging for the camera at Grandma Susie's house before she begins Trick-or-Treating on her 1st Halloween. We actually took her to the Baptist church down the street (look Grandma Barbara- we took her to church!) where they were having a Halloween carnival and a "Trunk-or-Treat" where the church members decorate their open trunks and hand out candy in the parking lot. Tenley enjoyed looking at all the kids and adults dressed in their costumes, met a couple of nice dogs, and danced to the Christian rock the DJ was blaring.

Afterwards we went to Ruby's (Jeff's favourite) for milkshakes and burgers. We stopped into Barnes and Noble to look for a Thanksgiving book for Ten, but there were none suitable. Although, she was really into "The Story of Kawanzaa" (we have no idea why- she kept turning the pages, pointing to the pictures, and talking to the book) and we had quite a time getting her to put it down. At bedtime we tried to read the Care Bears Halloween book that Aunty Jen & Uncle Todd sent her (thanks guys!!) but mostly Tenely just wanted to eat it. We decided she had enough fiber in her diet, and put it away for next year.

The funny thing is that when Jeff and I got married, countless people told us how stupid we were to get married on Halloween because when we had kids we'd spend every anniversary trick-or-treating or at some dumb Halloween party and we'd hate it. But honestly, I had a great time last night. Holidays are great when seen through the eyes of a child- even one as young as Tenely who doesn't quite know what's going on yet. And I suppose that if you feel like your anniversary is the 1 night of the year you must have romantic alone time with your spouse, then I can see why it would be dumb to get married on Halloween...but Jeff and I cuddle on the couch and watch TV or read books at night after Tenley goes to sleep; and tomorrow night Tenley will hang out at Camp Gutjahr while we go see Garrison Keilor...I guess it really comes down to the fact that we celebrate our marriage (and each other) all the time, so giving up the actual day for a few years is no big deal...and childhood is so fleeting- it won't be long before Tenley is going to Halloween sleepovers at her friends house to paint her nails & gossip about boys... I think we'll enjoy every minute of it while we can.