Points of Interest

  • I wanted to pack up as much stuff as possible the night before, but my parents decided that all we needed to do was put in the car seats and load the big bags.
  • The mini van was more narrow than my SUV.
  • I was ready at 6am.  They were ten minutes late.  I could have slept in ten more minutes.  Ok. Now I’ll drop it.
  • “Wow.  You should go away more often.  I’ve never seen your house this clean.”  “You’ve never visited at breakfast before the tornadoes are loose.”
  • I can now cuss only in my mind while I struggle to strap boys into seats on a bench slightly too narrow.
  • Best line: “I think your son just got the clap.”  My brother took them to the bathroom at a stop.  “Tornado S laid his junk right on the urinal.”  There is only so much theory teaching I can do.  By the way, Friendly Giant, do you mind teaching them to shake too?
  • My boys are completely melodramatic.  “My back hurts so much.  I’m going to die.”  “I’m so cold.  I’m going to die.”  “I’m so bored.  I’m going to die.”  “It’s so fluffy.  I’m going to die.”  (Their reference.  Not mine.)
  • It’s totally weird to find yourself getting excited like a homecoming when you no longer live there.
  • Two story suite.  A room with two queens and a crib for the boys and me.  The hide-a-bed in the living room for The Friendly Giant.  A loft room with a CA King for the parents.
  • Being a loft means there is a half wall at the head of the bed, overlooking the living room.  Up popped a very blond head with sparkling eyes and a mischievous smile.  My heart stopped.
  • And my dad laughed.
  • Mrs. Knott’s Fried Chicken.
  • Thanks to The Violinist for getting us discount tickets at Disneyland.
  • We would have been the first ones there except for the free breakfast.  FREE breakfast.
  • First ride: Star Tours.  I got the before and after interview on the Flip.
  • Thanks to the BFF for teaching me to snag Fast Passes and to hold them and snag when you can.
  • Both boys were tall enough for Star Tours, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
  • I’m going to say this just once. *I* did not lose any boys on my watch, in my zone, no matter how many I had.
  • Tornado S decided he will never do again nor should the party do again  Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, The Haunted Mansion.
  • I found my new hobby.  Building light sabers.
  • My family lacks communication when we are tired and hungry.
  • Nothing is more fun than the Buzz Lightyear ride with the boys.
  • To the jerk who stole a light saber from our stroller while we were in a ride, you suck.  I hope karma kicks your ass.
  • So maybe leaving the park at dinner time *was* a good idea.  I still didn’t have to like it.
  • S’more bark and the discussion on how we can make it at home.
  • Disneyland TWO DAYS IN A ROW.
  • Tornado E was just tall enough to do Indiana Jones.  He freakin’ loved it!
  • He also bought a necklace.  I call it creepy.  He calls it Frank.
  • Tornado A loved The Tiki Room.  And blue grass.  Go figure.
  • When we’re not tired and hungry, my mom and I kick @ss as a team.
  • My dad and I left the park after lunch for “naps.” But Tornado A fell asleep as we walked to lunch.  He slept through lunch.  He was not interested in napping again.  Far from it.
  • On the other hand, the older boys slept for an hour and half, and I had to wake them up.
  • Last ride on Star Tours, Tornado E was the rebel spy.
  • More souvenirs.  Little things.  I should have bought the boys more Star Wars cars.
  • The ice cream parlor was closed!  WTH!
  • The fireworks were awesome as usual, but Tornado A prefered to snuggle up in my arms and ignore them.
  • Getting out of the park was a b*tch as usual.
  • The weekend was much too short.
  • I didn’t get to see the BFF.
  • Tornado E came down with a fever on the way home and blamed the Friendly Giant for turning on the AC and making him sick.
  • I slept so very much.  Jane Eyre can’t be that boring.
  • Now that I think about it.  I should have bought more.  They have a website, right?

Super Trooper

With the knowledge that The Husband wanted a separation, I couldn’t face my family for Thanksgiving.  I didn’t want to answer questions.  I didn’t want to lie.  I didn’t want to be honest and bare my heart.  So did what any sane person does.  I organized a trip to California to take my family to Disneyland. 

It was a crazy little trip.   The night before Thanksgiving, I demanded to go to our favorite sushi bar.  Not that it took a demand to convince The Husband, and afterwards I took the boys to yet another Target to buy more pants for Evan because he failed to the bathroom once a day.  I also stalked up on treats and such for the next day.

On Thanksgiving, we woke early, packed and excited.  Luckily the day before I had met with The Violinist and her adorable daughter.  Since the Violinist still worked at Disneyland, as she had when she was my college roommate, she graciously bought our park passes to use her discount (and yes, I gave her the money.  I’m not a user.).  She even told me that the family could walk across the street from our hotel and just take the parking lot tram.  (Thank you, Violinist!!!)

We actually arrived at the park a half hour after the gates opened, which is a record for us.  We proceed to Fantasyland to scare our children to never want to ride another ride without lots of coaxing, pleading, and bribing. (Snow White will do that to you.)  But after a trip to the Pirate Island, the boys were more than ready to taste their courage on The Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  Captain Jack awaited them.  After that, it was one adventure after another.  Even though Star Tours was closed (the one ride we couldn’t wait to take the boys on), we had a great time riding rides.

I was packed to the gills with the double stroller.  Aidan did fine, though he was a little grumpy over the fact he had no rolling around time.  While Disneyland has a wonderful Mothers and Babies room, with changing tables, high chairs with feeding seats, and even a breastfeeding room with gliders, Aidan just fed all over the park, like Evan did when he was a babe.  I only wish I had bundled Aidan up in a sleep ‘n’ play rather than pants that rode up on his legs to expose a little bit of leg to the cooling air.

At Aidan’s last feeding, The Husband encouraged us to seek shelter in one of the few indoor restaurants.  It was getting pretty chilly, and I had packed only light jackets.  The Husband bought hot chocolates, a brownie, and a rice krispie treat.  The boys ate gleefully (all of them), but they were fading fast (all of them). 

The Husband: Maybe we should go.

Me: It’s not even eight yet.

The Husband: Maybe we should find a warm place to watch the fireworks.

Me: But we told the boys we would ride on Pirates again after that.

We looked at our tired boys.

The Husband: They look really tired.

Me: Who wants to go on Pirates?

Evan and Sean: MEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

I cocked an eyebrow.

The Husband: Fine.  But then we’ll find some place warm to watch the fireworks, AND THEN we’ll go back to the hotel.

Me: You’re getting to be no fun in your old age.

The Husband: Responsible.  I’m getting to be responsible in my old age.

Me: Whatever. 

Then I looked over at the boys.  To find Sean with his head on the table, right hand curled around his brownie, and fast asleep.


I looked under the blanket.  To see Aidan fast asleep, snuggling against my warm breast.

Double dang.

Me: Ok, Mr. Responsible.  Does this mean we go back to the hotel now?

The end of a vacation deserves a vacation

The Husband and I wanted to visit Boston.  We only had one day without any obligations to the wedding.  One day to squeeze in a week of vacation.  Boston was our first choice.

Then a friend of The Husband, who was born and raised in Boston, told him that the boys would be completely bored with any of the historic stuff in Boston and we would spend the time trying to keep the boys occupied.  He suggested Salem.  Remembering the weeks of studying Salem’s history when I was a teen, I agreed.  My parents and baby brother were staying longer in Boston and decided to join us.

I tried to pump up the boys telling them about the pirate museum.  Sean ran around the hotel room, yelling “Yo-ho!”  Evan wasn’t convinced.  I mentioned the witch museum, grasping at straws.  I had forgotten that Evan was a witch last Halloween, and he jumped around, talking about witches and wizards.

We ended going to a pirate museum and two witch museums that were run by the same company.  The Husband had looked at the reviews the night before, worried about the negative reviews.  The negative reviews were right; I wouldn’t call these museums.  They were more like walking through a wax museum as each museum had rooms filled with manikins positioned to act out scenes.  We were walked through the tour by different guides who were knowledgeable and entertaining.  In the end, we were entertained and learned something.  Though I decided after watching a scene form “a trail” (which looked and sounded a whole lot like a scene from “The Crucible” to the point I swear it was from the play word for word) and hearing what the scenes were in the museum, I decided the boys did not need to have a look through the witch dungeon.  At the end, we spent a couple more hours there than we had planned, since we were hoping to catch a glimpse of Boston history that day.

We ended up not getting to Boston, staying at a hotel just outside the city.  After dinner, where Sean learned to say “Appabee’s,” charming the wait-staff, we found a park on the map.  We took the boys, letting them run off their energy.  My mom spied an ice cream shop just passed the park, and we went to satisfy our curiosity and sweet tooth.  The Husband, being a generous father, let Evan pick his own ice cream out, which was bubblegum.  In his defense, The Husband had no idea that there was real bubblegum in the ice cream.

When we got to the hotel room, The Husband fell asleep immediately; while, I tried to get the boys to sleep without much fuss, fighting, or giggling.  Nothing like sharing a double bed.  In desperation, I rolled a towel up, length wise, and placed it between them, commanding not to stray over the towel with dire consequences.

About two-thirty in the morning, I was awoken by a strange sound that I couldn’t place.  The Husband sprung from the bed, yelling for me to grab something because Sean was vomiting.  Apparently Sean doesn’t cry when he throws up but makes a gentle heaving sound that barely pierces my deep sleep.  I ran to the bathroom, grabbing a towel because we didn’t have anything else.  We held Sean over the towel until he was finished.  Then I cleaned him up, putting on a new shirt, and he fell asleep.  I washed out the towel as best I could and returned to bed.

Fifteen minutes later, I heard the heaving noise.  I sprang across the bed, grabbing the towel that laid in between the boys.  I held Sean over it, noticing that Sean was still sleeping as he emptied more of his stomach.  When Sean was finished, I went back to bed, leaving the towel folded up near Sean, ready for more. 

The Husband: What do you think is wrong with Sean?

Me: Dessert to close to bedtime.  Two nights before we left, Sean threw up because my dad fed him three cookies, a piece or pie, and some Papi candy.  Sean will be fine.  He doesn’t even have a fever.

The Husband was content and was snoring to wake the dead within seconds.  The Husband is notorious for his snoring.  His friends believe I’m a saint.  His snoring usually doesn’t bother me because I’m a heavy sleeper.  Not this night.  I lay awake for twenty minutes wondering if I put a pillow over him if it would quiet him enough for me to get some sleep or would that be murder and if he did accidently die could I claim lack of sleep and frustration over vacation as an insanity plea or would this be manslaughter.

I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I remember was waking up to a thump and crying.  It was four-thirty, and Evan had rolled out of bed, hitting his head on the night stand.  The Husband swore and picked Evan up, depositing him into our bed so I could soothe him.  Unlike the last hotel, this one didn’t have cheap chairs I could have moved around to make a gate to keep Evan from rolling out.  I had hoped my son had grown out of thrashing so much.  I was wrong.

A half an hour later, I was woken up by the screaming of the alarm as well as The Husband trying to fight it.  I hate beeping of alarms.  The Husband hates alarms.  I got up, went around the other side, removed the alarm from the monster paw, trying to bat it to death.  I shut off the alarm. 

Me: Leaving Boston at 9am.  Brilliant.

The Husband muttered something incoherent that I chose to ignore than speculate on the negative reaction to my sarcasm.  He tried to roll over and sleep again.

Evan vomited all over my side of the bed.  The Husband thought it was a good time to get up.  We calmed down Evan and cleaned him up.  He stopped crying and looked at us.

Evan: Daddy’s funny.  Why’d he do that to the alarm?

Me: Because Daddy’s not a morning person.  How do you feel?

I took a quick shower to come out dressed to find that Evan was crying because he had pooped his diaper.  (He still wears pull-ups at night.)  The Husband shrugged, still trying to comfort Evan.  I checked.  It was a little diarrhea.  I calmed him down and changed him into underwear.  As I turned to finish packing, Evan vomited again.  I grabbed the last towel.  This did not bode well for our flight.  I packed the last pull-up into the diaper bag next to the last underwear of Evan’s. 

The Husband: What are we going to do?

Me: We’re going to buy crackers when we fill up on gas.  I’m going to give him Mylocon drops in hopes that it can help settle his stomach.

We finished getting ready and began our trek to the Boston airport, stopping to get gas and crackers.  Sean refused food.  I should have guessed.  As we drove down the last freeway heading towards the airport, GPS being unreasonable helpful, Sean throw up, and there was nothing to catch it.  Luckily there wasn’t anything left in his stomach. 

When we got to the rental place, I took Sean into the bathroom to strip him and dress him.  I also found out that he too had diarrhea.  Awesome.  We came to the unanimous decision to check Sean’s car seat and use Evan’s as we had learned coming in that air regulations does not allow for a car sea on the aisle.  Siblings should not be trusted next to each other on a long, cranky airplane ride.  We had already decided I would sit in the middle this time and have Evan out of his car seat.

I won’t go into the other gory details of the diarrhea.  I’ll just say that poor Evan was horrified that he leaked.  In the end, I had to put him into a Sean diaper in Dallas.  In the hour we waited during our lay over and boarded the next plane, I had to change Sean three times.  He did not leak.  By that time, I dreamt of getting home, filling the baby pool, stripping the boys, and letting them live outside in the back yard for the rest of the day.  Never mind the 109 degrees with no shade.  Never mind this was our thunderstorm season.  I was done.

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Things I learned on our Trip

1)   Kids four and under can handle three hours on a plane.  The last half hour makes the mother want to jump out.

2)   Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine, you all need to pay for better street paint.  When it’s dark and rainy, it would be super nice to be able to see the street lanes.

3)   You all need to invest in street signs.  Especially Boston.  Not helpful for tourists.

4)   Tolls suck.  Do you know how much money we paid to just do u-turns?

5)   I’m willing to pay twenty dollars more a day to have maid service.

6)   “Take the second exit at Broadway” is not a helpful direction.  Left, right, or straight are directions.

7)   “Continue on Route 1” when you are starting at a parking lot on Route 1 is not a helpful direction.  Again, we need a left or right.

8)   Frustrated, tired husband, who is driving, ranting at tired, frustrated wife, who can’t find where they are on the map, makes the wife wonder about quickly divorces.

9)   Delusional tired husband ranting at freeway system makes delusional tired wife laugh hysterically.

10)   GPS can save you or destroy you.

11)    When lost, GPS sounds like a bitch.

12)    GPS does not know all. 

13)   My mother is an obsessive caller.

14)    The family wit came from my father.

15)   Black shirt or black tux = ring protecting ninja.

16)    Always include all children of a family in an event.  Do not leave any child out of that family.  The child will join event unasked.

17)    Never ask sister-in-law or brother where to eat because they like crowded, trendy places that are not suitable for children or tourists that would like to do something other than sit at a table waiting for breakfast.

18)    Tearing apart lobsters is harder than watching it done.

19)    Newly big-potty-trained child will always need to poop when you don’t have the little seat to use.

20)  It’s easier to hold a pooping child if you are sitting on the floor.

21)    Always buy two of everything when you have two children.

22)   Traveling with children is more tiring than traveling alone.

23)    Security guards in Boston like to start sh*t.

24)   Tired, frustrated mother is more the willing to return sh*t.

25)   Telling your mom on your cell phone as you’re waiting to board the plane that your kids have vomited and diarrheaed all morning does not make fellow passengers easy.


More details in the days to come.

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Honestly I have to say I love the place.  Though sometimes I find it particularly evil.  I mean after the huge price you pay to enter the park they gouge with the high prices for food, drink, and souvenirs. The complete immersion that is Disney entertainment, all selling the cradle to the grave advertising.  But they still have Space Mountain.

I should confess that I used to disneyland, as in my dad was worried I would flunk out of college my first semester because I was off disneylanding.  I went to a college that was close enough to the park for me to buy a Disneyland pass.  In those days it was a hundred bucks for 300 days.   Perfect for out of state college students who wouldn’t be in town for the blocked out days any ways.  Yes, in my freshman semester, I had a Disneyland partner with a car that went to Disneyland every chance he could, and I naturally was excited to get off campus, much less to Disneyland.  Basically you could say I know the ends and outs of the place pretty well.

I was nearly jumping with excitement to take Tornado E who was now old enough to experience Disneyland, voicing his likes and dislikes.  Tornado E was just excited to be with his Grandma and Papi.  After we got into the park going through bag check, ticket sales, and the entrance, we had to drop things off in a TEN DOLLAR locker (absolutely necessary because I had brought lunches, several changes of underwear, sleeping items, and extra clothes).  My mom and I debated the closest bathroom, settling on one that was just outside Fantasyland, leaving us in perfect reach of Alice in Wonderland and the Teacups.  Tornado E was “done” with Alice in Wonderland half way through.  At first, he asked us to keep the teacups slow until he warmed up to it as Tornado S, being held by his Papi, reached out to us, begging to let him come too.  Next was Dumbo, where Tornado E  decided at the last minute there was no way on earth that he would go.  Peter Pan worked out well, but it was about this time that I realized Tornado E was in shock and needed some time out.  He was quiet and actually wanted to ride in the stroller.  What?

After a little snack and chasing some birds around empty tables, we decided to try the carousal. Tornado S was excited because he had a brass pole.  He laughed and banged on it.  Tornado E wasn’t sure what the hell was going to happen.  What the hell did his mom got him into?  Then the carousel started to move, and Tornado E became excited, and Tornado S gritted his teeth and held on.  Near the end, Tornado S relaxed and enjoyed the ride.  Later we would go on it again as Tornado S reached toward the glittery lights of the carousel. 

After lunch and an hour of rest, which Tornado S slept and Tornado E was read to over and over again, we rode the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Jungle Cruise, which in the scary parts Tornado S just held on with a death grip and waited for it to be over.  Tornado E freaked out when the toilet flushed near him, and that was the end of wanting to go potty for the rest of the day.  Great.

We went to the mother and baby center for Tornado E to try the training potties.  Actual toddler-size flushing toilets.  Wow!  Are you kidding?  This place has it all.  Tornado E refused to go as I changed Tornado S.  Fine.  We went out, and Tornado E asked for a sip of Papi’s drink.  So I pulled out the juice.

Me: Tornado E, do you want some juice?

Tornado E: No, thanks.  We have soda!


As we walked into Tomorrowland to ride the somewhat new Buzz Lightyear ride, Tornado E spied the rockets and demanded to ride that.  What?  You didn’t want to ride Dumbo; what makes you think you can handle the Rockets?  We convinced him to do the Buss Lightyear ride, and after convincing him that we would buy him the laser gun at the end of the day if he didn’t want anything else, he demanded to ride the rockets.  Fine.  We’ll see if you stay in line.  I briefly remember my brother wanting to ride the Boomerang at Knott’s Berry Farm when he was like ten or so, and when the rollercoaster passed the line that he was in front of with my parents (as my baby brother and I felt we were to smart to try and waited at the exit), they turned to ask my brother, who had finally found the courage to ride Space Mountain that year, what he thought, only to find him hurtling over the bars that formed the line, to far to grab and drag back.  Tornado E amazingly held in there and loved the rockets.

Tornado E did fall asleep in my mom’s arms as we waited in our longest line to ride the Submarines.  We waited a whole half an hour.  Laughable in my younger years, it was more tedious because I was trying to keep two toddlers entertained.  But we hung in there.  We actually made it to the fireworks.  Well, almost, Tornado S started throwing a fit due to lack of nap and wouldn’t be consoled by anyone but his mother, who rocked him asleep.

But before the fireworks and the huge unicorn sucker, Tornado E finally went pee.  My mom unsuccessfully tried to convince Tornado E to try the other potties and even the toddler potty.  Finally I took him in, with tears running down Tornado E’s face, fearing the rushing water of the toilets.  “Tornado E, just pee like your in the backyard,” I said as leaned him over the potty.  After a minute, he started to pee!  I pushed his penis towards the toilet as it started to spray on the back of the toilet.  At the end, I shook his penis a little.  When I told my dad, he threw back his head in laughter.  When he was able to catch his breath, he asked, “So done it before have you?”  Do I need to remind you how many boys and men I’ve seen pee?  That shut him up because he wouldn’t want to think about when his daughter was alone in college unsupervised.

Besides I’m a mom of two boys.

My husband went with Tornado E to buy his laser gun, feeling very proud and like a cool father for buying his son a toy his toddler had picked out.  Very cool until he realized he just bought a gun for a three year old.  So my husband told Tornado E he could only shoot robots, and Tornado E pointed to some people and exclaimed, “Those are robots!”  Well, he tried.

At the end of the day, my mom asked Tornado E what he liked best.  He described Pele in front of the Tiki Room.  Wouldn’t you believe it?  The thing he remembered most was the talking Tiki goddess of fire that scared him almost straight out of the waiting area.