Wednesday, September 30, 2015

birthday princess week 2015, 2.0

since the bean opted not to have a birthday party this year, we decided to have a playdate with her friend mini cee at disneyland.  it'd been a while since we all went to the happiest place on earth together, so we planned it out and threw in a dining reservation for a character breakfast to make it extra special.

we got an early start and arrived at the park just after rope drop.  the first thing we did was the haunted mansion, since the "nightmare before christmas" holiday overlay has been recently added and it's always a hot spot for parkgoers.  on the way there, we snagged some fastpasses for the indiana jones ride, which mini cee had never been on and is currently the bean's most favorite ride.

except that when we got to indy, we found that mini cee was just an inch shy of the height requirement.  boo.  luckily, it was early enough still that we were in and out of there in about 10 minutes, and then we headed over to thunder mountain.  we knew there wouldn't be any problems there, and we had a great time on the ride.


after picking up a couple more fastpasses - one for the "frozen" show at the princess faire and one for space mountain - it was time to check in for breakfast.



our first visitor to the table was goofy's son, max.  i don't know who max's mother is, and it actually took a few minutes for us to remember what his name was, but the girls were excited to see him anyway.


i love character greetings, but at that particular moment i was most excited for food.



i never remember which one is chip and which one is dale.


the lion king's rafiki came next.


and for some reason, the old lady had an uncontrollable urge to pull his tail.


our hostess finally had a minute to come over and say hello.


and when pooh arrived, i had to get up and give him a hug.  he's an old favorite.


although space mountain is also near the top of the bean's list, mini cee was not a fan.  it took a few minutes afterwards (and the purchase of some cute new minnie ears in the adjoining gift shop) to calm her down and get her back in fun mode.


selfie with the birthday girl!


autopia was next, which i got to ride solo.


the "frozen" show was fun as always, and before we left we also managed to get on star tours, one of mini cee's other favorite rides.  the old lady needed to get back home to get ready for a late shift at work, and so we capped off our disneyland morning with a nice cold sweet treat.


and with that, the bean's birthday princess week is in full effect!  can't believe my girl is going to be 8 - as of tomorrow, we get to ditch the car seat.

YAY!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

the annual fair food fest

saturday started off with math & science class that i had to drag the bean away early from, so she could do this:


after we grabbed some lunch and did a little shopping for halloween costumes, we did a quick target run, where she found some super cute leggings for fall:


and then we headed back home to get cleaned up and work on homework while we waited for her sister to get home from work.  we managed to talk the hub into driving us to pomona so that we could get in on the last weekend of the l.a. county fair:


because of our extensive summer travels, i'd somehow managed to miss the deadline for entering the culinary contests this year.  boo.  and so we'd felt no urgency to visit the fair as soon as it opened earlier this month.  and then i realized that it was going to be over before we had a chance to go and stuff ourselves with really bad food, so we waited till the sun went down and the temperatures dropped down below 90 and headed out.  of course, that's exactly what most of southern california did too.  it took us a ridiculous amount of time before we actually made it into the gates, and that was after giving up and walking to the gate while the hub navigated his way through the traffic.

but we got to see animals:


watched the crazy erector-set rides:


and headed to the pink's kiosk for some grub.




the bean capped off her (much less gluttonous) dinner with a scoop of handcrafted nutella ice cream.


and after we walked through one of the shopping buildings (and left empty-handed), we all treated ourselves to $.25 foot massages.


see ya in 2016, fairplex.  i'll be sure to enter the competition next time!

Monday, September 28, 2015

bridging

so when a girl scout moves up in rank from one level to the next, they get to have what's called a "bridging ceremony."  as first-graders, our troop got to experience the daisy level for just one year, which meant that my co-leader and i got to plan a bridging ceremony for our girls.

we'd chosen a local park that has a little bridge that goes from one section to the next, and took pictures of it and figured it all out - or so we thought.  when we went back to make our final plans, we stumbled across a nearby building inside the park that housed this awesome-looking room:


when we investigated a little further, we found a city staff member in a small office just off to the side.  she was super nice and helpful, and when we asked her what the chances were of us using the room for a couple of hours the next evening, she looked at the schedule and found that it was available.  and for the low low price of $30 - which represented two hours' worth of a staff member to be present for our event - we found ourselves in a fabulous room with lights, tables and chairs and best of all...air conditioning.  because, of course, although it's technically fall, in southern california that still means triple-digit temperatures that stay uncomfortably warm all the way through the early evening hours.

my portion of prepping for the ceremony involved making little treats to hand the girls - brownies, of course, individually wrapped for each scout.


and also these little certificates, which i managed to whip up in about an hour before sending off to costco's 1-hour photo department.  a little corner rounding, some glue and brown cardstock and we had these:


on the big day, we arrived at the hall with about 45 minutes to get everything all set up and ready.  with lots of help from a few parents, we managed to pull it off:



the bean had already held her own bridging ceremony for her bear, who she brought along as decor.


we gathered sashes and pins and started arranging them on the podium for the ceremony:


final photo ops with our daisy:



and a selfie, because duh.


we lined the girls up, walked them up to the stage, and then the ceremony began.  each girl went up the steps, and if they'd been daisies they removed the blue tunic they were wearing for the last time.  then they walked over to the arch, received their sash, certificate, and brownie, and said a little something about what they liked most about being a daisy - or if they were brand new to girl scouts, what they were most looking forward to doing.  then a smile for the cameras and then cross over to the other side of the stage to receive their official membership pins.


it went quickly and easily, and the girls were obviously proud of themselves as they beamed at their adoring audience.  and then everyone hung out afterwards and snacked on the refreshments.


now that we're finally, officially brownies, we can really get down to the business of being brownies.  we're on the lookout for all sorts of fun activities and outing ideas for earning lots and lots of badges, and i can't wait to see what we get to do with these girls this year.  it's gonna be a blast, i just know it.

Friday, September 25, 2015

blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol

i know you've gotta be pretty stinking tired of hearing about the endless birthday week celebration, so i'll wrap up the weekend in this one last post.  i'd skip over it, but it was just so much damn fun.

well, actually, it started off pretty slowly with the bean's saturday math and science class, plus her weekly soccer game.  and then things got quiet as the hub went off to work at the lounge for a bit and the old lady took a nap.  i decided to make good on a promise to the bean and made her a dress just like the one i'd worn to disneyland the day before:


she ended up wearing it that evening to dinner.  we headed out to tokyo wako, where we were treated to dinner AND a show:


everybody was happy.



my crab roll appetizer was really delicious.


as he perused the drink menu, the hub said "you should get one of these."  when i went to decline as i usually do, the old lady side eyed me with a "ugh, you're such a square."  OH YEAH?


i kid you not, i got through about half of this bad boy and things started getting fuzzy.  what a lightweight.  but it sure made stuff like this even more entertaining:



i do remember saying something about how it tasted like gasoline before i went to chug more of it down.  and then i also recall getting to the end of it and gesturing to the server to bring me another.  yup.  and then when i tried to get the girls to take a selfie with me, i got this:


the hub was much more accommodating.


so much so that when i blurted out "hey, i'm gonna get on social media!"  he just chuckled and said "yeah, that sounds like a GREAT idea!"  and if you follow me on twitter or are my facebook friend, well, you know the rest.

we went on a shopping spree at bath & body works because i said that the house smelled like dog pee, and i face planted right into several different candles trying to figure out which one i liked best.  the girls scored when i pointed out some fuzzy socks that i said they absolutely had to have, and then we were outta there.  the second we got home i ran to the potty and then, remembering that i needed to get up early for a 10K, face planted into bed with all my clothes and makeup and everything on.  at 2:30 i woke up with cotton mouth and got up to drink about four gallons of water, and then at 6:30 i was outta there.

luckily, the race was literally 10 minutes away from the house.  i look ready, don't i?


i found a couple of friends before the race started.



and then we were off!


oh, that oprah.  always so inspiring.


one down, five to go.


off to the side, i caught a glimpse of raging waters.  it was really warm and humid already at that hour, and i would've loved to take a ride down just one water slide.


at least the views of the lake were pretty.


right as i hit the first of what turned out to be many hills, the most perfect song came on my pandora.


just keep swimming, just keep swimming.



 somewhere between miles 3 and 5, i was so pooped and hot i missed the 4th mile marker.


miley took me on through the rest of the race.



with that done, i headed home to get cleaned up and then right back out again to south pasadena to meet up with mama wan for brunch.  it was lovely to see her, and i happily filled up on eggs, bacon and lemon ricotta pancakes.  yum.


then we had a quick playdate with friends at a nearby bowling alley:


and then went home and gave the bean a history lesson.


guess what starts this weekend?  THE BEAN'S BIRTHDAY WEEK.  i'm almost as excited for hers as i was for mine.  the fun around here, i tell ya - it never ends.
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