wan-na find something?

Friday, May 30, 2008

oh, kobe.

i hooted and hollered last night, with just the bean and the molly looking on, as the lakers kicked it into high gear during the second half of last night's playoff game. and i clapped with glee as i watched this:

go muthafuckin' lakers, GO! i love my lakers. funny to imagine that last year, there was so much uproar over kobe and all his shit-talking. simma down, playa, and just do what you do best.

and he has been, yes? and then comes this.


you gonna fix that with another $4 million ring, dude?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

wii fit makes three.

i swear, this is my last post for the day.

but the UPS man just paid me a visit and dropped off my new toy:

gotta love ebay!

the hub is out for the day and night at his company's golf tourney and dinner. i think wii know what i'll be doing in his absence, now don't wii?

a not-so-shocking confession

i've grown to LIKE the jonas brothers.

that's right. i said it. i even have a favorite song. pwah!

obviously, you can guess what i'm about to share: i was successful in securing some fairly decent seats for the newly added shows. please note, i said showS.

i told the teen yesterday that i was going to shoot for better seats at the monday show and that we could just sell the shitty tickets we'd bought for the show on saturday at the further-from-home venue.

"nooooooo! i've got birthday money, mom, can't we pleeeeease just go to both?"


and as i'm high-fiving myself on my ticketbastard victory, i decide to check out what i can get for the sunday show - just in case the seats are better. and then as they came up (pretty shitty, nosebleed-section), i noticed they were cheap as hell ($25).

yup, you guessed it. i bought those too. but i think i'll sell those as the date approaches. these shows are sure to sell out, so i'm thinking i'll at least get face value for them, if not more. heh. and now i get to see if i can dig up a friend who's willing to be my date for the show. er, showS.

mark your calendars, folks. weekend of july 12th. it's gonna be a jo-bros extravaganza! woo-hoo!

on the hunt AGAIN

two new jonas brothers shows just added, at a venue i like - the honda center (formerly the arrowhead pond). pre-sale starts in 2 minutes.

am stalking ticketbastard yet again.

back later.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

ferberizing the bean - epic fail!

alternatively, this post could be titled "worst mom ever, episode 10837423."

okay, let me rewind.

at saturday's bbq, i took quite a beating in regards to the fact that i still give the bean late-night feedings on demand. i guess that at this age, they should be able to get through an entire night's worth of sleep without being fed. and at that point, i hadn't even mentioned that she sleeps in our room. heh. i can't even imagine what kind of shit i'd have taken had i let slip that we
co-sleep. horrors!

anyway, the hub has been trying to get me to move the bean out of our room and into her crib. he's convinced that we're going to be *those* parents, whose kid sleeps in their bed till they're 10. ha! i know i probably should, but the part of me who's clinging on to her baby-ness weeps at the notion. and i've got copies of the no-cry sleep solution and the sleepeasy solution that i'm starting to read for ideas on getting her to soothe herself back to sleep when she wakes up. either way, i know i'm facing some crying once i start this whole sleep training thing. ugh.

but i do have to say that i haven't felt sleep-deprived since the bean and i learned to nurse while lying down in bed. ha! yes, i'm a lazy ass. we both get a good night's sleep, plus a lot of cuddle time that i know i'm going to miss like crazy. we start out the night by putting her in the bassinet that attaches to the side of our bed, but when she wakes up and starts to cry, i pull her into bed next to me and she stays there till morning - usually around 7:30 or so.

fast-forward to last night. i decide to give it a shot. at 1:00, she's semi-crying with her eyes still shut. so i put my hand on her so that she knows i'm there, but i don't pick her up. after a few minutes, she settles down and goes back to sleep. phew.

but at 1:40, she wakes up again and this time she's crying for real. and putting my hand on her isn't helping this time. no, her eyes are open and she's reaching out to me as if to say "helloooooo! WTF, mom? i'm crying here!"

and of course, this is ripping my heart right out of my chest. but i continue to try to calm her down without picking her up. i'm feeling kind of bad for the hub, who's got early meetings the next morning, but hey - he knew there was going to be crying involved. and she keeps crying. every time i think she's finally relaxing a bit, she lets loose with renewed vigor. crap.

i try to stick to my resolve, but it's killing me. KILLING me. with the teen, i had to go back to work, so i had more incentive to get her to sleep through the night. the "cry it out" method HAD to work with her. i had no choice but to stick it out, as sad as it made me.

but i'm home with the bean. if i have to, i can nap with her during the day. so after i don't know how long, i give in, pull her into bed, and nurse her. she's breathing in ragged breaths, but she stops crying and her little body relaxes and curls up next to mine. and she keeps reaching out to stroke my neck, as if to reassure herself that i am, indeed, there.

the two of us sleep like freaking rocks till 7:30.

i'm never going to be able to do this. when this little face crumples up, i turn to mush.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

weekend recap, sans photos

sad, ain't it? what's a blog post without visual aids? boo. i'll make it short.

oh, and by the way, i just wanted to say that although we were annoyed by our experience at katsuya, we do dig the americana. i know a lot of folks don't - it's a grove 2.0, the traffic sucks, parking for $$ blows, it's an architectural eyesore, etc. - but hey, you know what? it's a lot closer to home for us than the grove is. although the americana lacks the fabulous farmer's market, so we'll still drive out to 3rd and fairfax for it now and then.

somehow, we've fallen off the wagon in regards to regular church attendance. seriously, i can't even remember the last time we went. bad churchgoers! bad! i'm sure we'll be forgiven, though.

we were invited to a bbq at one of the hub's co-workers' homes that afternoon. the hub and i got our wires crossed and we ended up arriving in the area about half an hour too early - which was good, because we needed to find something to bring anyway. i don't like to arrive at gatherings empty-handed, and luckily, the hub knows the area fairly well.

he got off the freeway and we found ourselves at riverside plaza, a fairly new retail center with fun shops like trader joe's, active ride shop, and a cute little boutique run by one of the hub's buddies' wives called reggie & luca. since the bean was asleep, he dropped me off there to browse while they went to trader joe's for flowers and something sweet to bring to the party.

but since the bean woke up as i got out of the car, they joined me in the shop as i drooled over the shop's selection of clothing and accessories - jeans by citizens, hudson, rock & republic, dresses and tops by trina turk, ella moss, theory. everything was so cute and summery! i managed to score a cute pair of straight-leg citizens jeans for less than half price and left happy.

at trader joe's, we picked out a lemon tart, a berry pie, some cookies, and a pretty, colorful bouquet of flowers. and when we arrived at the CW's house, we found that we were the first ones to arrive. boo. i try to be really punctual for things, but i hate being the first one there. oh, well. we toured their lovely home, in an older area of riverside, and ooh'd and aah'd at their huge back yard, which featured a pool and spa, built-in bbq, basketball hoop, lawn areas, plus a small sitting area with patio furniture and outdoor heater.

we giggled at their artificial grass, but came to embrace the idea. no maintenance! no gardener! when we finally buy a house, i'm going to see if i can talk the hub into this. since mollydog doesn't go outside anyway, we don't have to worry about dog poop to hose off. so great.

it was a nice evening, with yummy food - bbq'd steak and chicken, served with garlic bread, grilled veggies, and a really delicious, rich potato side that had sour cream, cheese, and other gooey goodness and topped with crunchy corn flakes. i debated asking for the recipe and then decided i'd probably just find it online. ha!

and then yesterday we ended up hosting a bbq of our own here at the house for the hub's family. it was nice, and we grilled up some steaks, salmon kebabs, and veggies. i made some of that yummy clearman's cheese bread, as well as a few skewers of that delicious bacon-wrapped asparagus from last weekend. the grandmas brought a freshly baked berry pie and ice cream, and i'd picked up some cookies and brownies at the grocery store.

the funniest part of the evening was watching the hub's dad and grandfather playing the boxing game on the wii. hi-lar-ious. and after they left, i got hooked on playing tennis while the bean slept in her carrier. ha!

and that is all. it was SO nice to have a low-key weekend, after the craziness of the last 3! and i have several fun get-togethers with friends coming up over the next few weekends. it'll be nice to get back to normal life. not to mention, the school year's almost over, so i'll get some time to hang out with the teen.

the year is going by all too fast. slow down, 2008!

Monday, May 26, 2008

katsuya? katsu-NO.

so despite the inevitable crowds at the still-new americana at brand in glendale, we decided to meet up with my brother and his girlfriend o there for dinner at katsuya. they'd been to the hollywood branch and raved about it, so we thought it was great that they opened a new one, located roughly halfway between us.

i was able to take pitifully few pictures, but better some than none, right? anyway, we somehow managed to find each other through the hordes of slack-jawed, blank-staring shoppers and headed to the restaurant. at check-in, the hostess eyed our stroller and said "the dining room is upstairs, and our elevator isn't working."

um, hello. as my brother and i whispered to each other, that's fucking illegal as all hell! what if our group included someone in a wheelchair, for the love of tuna? oy. so we started to unstrap the bean so we could just carry her and the stroller up the circular staircase, and then what looked like a restaurant manager walked up and said "no, no, it's okay, the elevator is working now!"

he led us to the elevator, which opened to let out a disgruntled, harried sushi chef, and we stepped in, praying that it wouldn't break down and leave us stranded. happily, we arrived safely, and we followed him to the upstairs hostess. our table was being set, so we stepped aside while my brother went to the restroom to wash his hands. and then i remembered that i'd read on yelp that the restrooms were...interesting. so i excused myself and walked into the ladies', just a few feet away.

this is really effing freaky.

as you wash your hands, these faces are just staring at you. so weird. philippe starck is one wack ass motherfucker.

our table was right in the middle of the action, with the bar on one side and one of several sushi bars on the other. we were right next to two large groups, and our table had two chairs on one side and a sofa on the other. heh. it was one of those painfully hip, modern restaurants, with minimalistic furnishings, close-up pictures of a geisha's ear covering one wall in front of us, and LOUD. anyway, i planted my ass right onto that sofa, got the bean settled, and opened my menu to check out the eats.

our server came to hand us lukewarm hand towels and take our drink order, which she tapped out onto a palm pilot-like device, and explained that there were three separate kitchens - one for sushi, one to produce the grilled menu items, and another for everything else. we hoped this meant that the food would come flying out, since we were all really hungry.

ha! not so much.

we ordered a total of four cut rolls, some miso soup, an appetizer of panko-crusted blue crab claws, edamame (SIX dollar edamame, i shit you not), and the hub ordered a variety of sushi and sashimi for himself. we figured we'd just eat and order more as we found our favorites.

and as we got the first roll - rock shrimp tempura over spicy tuna - we were in heaven. the food was really delicious! we giggled at the edamame, because it looked like about 12 pods served in a HUGE bowl, and sat and chatted. i finally had the chance to bust out the cool boon spoon, which i'd filled with pureed carrots, and the hub blurted out "what the hell is THAT?" as i proceeded to feed the bean. haha! the server saw it and thought it was the coolest thing EVAH. i liked her. ;)

the hub's sushi came out, one by one, and the rolls came at an alarmingly slow pace. the server said that she was holding some of the order back so that we wouldn't receive everything at once - which was exactly the opposite of what we wanted. um, we even TOLD you were hungry, heffa. ugh.

by the time we'd polished off the third roll, we'd already been sitting there for two hours. and we continued to chat and laugh and wait patiently for the last roll, because everything was so spaced out that we weren't even close to being full. when we voiced our annoyance to the server, she apologized and said that she'd forgotten to place the order for that last roll with the sushi chefs. ugh. and a few minutes later, the manager came over to apologize and tell us that he'd comp our appetizers and drinks (which were only sodas and a couple of beers for the hub). okay, fine.

another 30 minutes later, we STILL hadn't gotten served. and by now we were really irritated. all the tables around us had been turned over at least once, if not twice, since we'd been sitting there - including the two large tables behind us! we flagged down the server again and she apologized yet again. the manager returned to apologize again, and the hub chewed him a new asshole, but in a nice way. and i piped up this time: "hell, we've got a baby with us. we figured you'd want to get US outta here fast." and he said "i'm really sorry, i'll do the best i can in adjusting your bill for you." dude, you're the MANAGER. you could comp the whole damn meal for us, if you were really sorry.

the roll finally came, we devoured it (while we were annoyed as hell, we all had to admit that the food was really delicious), the hub handed the server his card, and the bean, o, and i headed downstairs to get the hell outta dodge. and when we looked at the receipt, we'd been comped for our edamame, the two miso soups, and a couple of rolls.

and the bill still came out to $118. holy mother of sushi.

we walked around a bit, noting that the shops were already closed - and it was only 9:00! how lame. there were still a zillion people milling around, so you'd think they'd try to take advantage and score some more sales, but that's typical retail for you. on weekdays, they're open till 9, and on weekends when people are off work, out and about, they shut down at 7. stupid.

the old school good humor ice cream truck was, unfortunately, all shut down by the time we walked past it, so we grabbed dessert at the nestle toll house kiosk and stood in front of the fountain. and in no time, the opening bars of a celine dion song came over the speakers and the water show began. the others smirked at this, but hey, i like celine. i'm sure that's no shock to you. ha!

and the bean was transfixed by the dancing water and lights. she was so tired, her eyes were so heavy, and yet she couldn't stop watching.

up the elevators we went, into the car, and before we could get on the freeway, the bean was sound asleep.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

tidbits from wan's house

a cool, drizzly, lazy weekend with no plans aside from dinner tonight with my brother and his girlfriend (the new katsuya at the equally new americana at brand) and a bbq tomorrow at one of the hub's co-worker's house. too bad this weather wasn't LAST weekend, but i'm grateful for it now.

slept in this morning, even the bean and the dog. although we did all fall asleep in the living room in front of the tv and just never got up to go to bed. heh.

yay for the lakers, although it wasn't even interesting to watch - they KILLED the spurs, winning by a solid 30 points. damn.

dinner by trader joe's last night. i got to stock up on all the stuff i'd mowed through during the week, plus stuff for dinners throughout the next week. yum.

made a batch of organic peaches for the bean. it's so much fun to make food for her and watch her wrinkle up her little face in confusion at the first bite, and then open up like a baby bird for more. love. it.

so, so, so many magazines to read. i've let them pile up over the last few weeks and i've got to get through them or i'll literally be buried alive.

and now i'm watching the bean play in the ol' jumperoo and listening to her babbling, as the hub snoozes on the couch. he's still got sleep to catch up on, having spent thursday night in vegas and not sleeping a wink all night. and the dog is completely ZONKED next to him.

ah, it's nice to relax on a weekend for once.

Friday, May 23, 2008

birthday princess bbq

i love how my final recap of the weekend comes as the next weekend is about to begin. oh, well.

sunday was the teen's birthday bbq at the casa. we kept it simple - burgers, hot dogs, chips/veggies and dip, with the ice cream cake i ordered from baskin robbins. it was such a low-key event that we didn't even get the grocery shopping done till that very morning. crazy, huh?

as the bean and i got home, the hub was just about to take the teen and her two sleepover guests to
donut man for some morning sugar. lucky for me, i caught them in time to place my order for a really healthy breakfast - a custard-filled, chocolate-topped gut bomb that was almost as big as my damn head. mmmmm. i munched as i checked out the dollhouse moon bouncer that had been delivered while we were gone.

then i strapped the bean to my back and went about setting out bowls for chips, mixing up the dips, and doing some general straightening up. i also put together some skewers of that bacon-wrapped asparagus i'd enjoyed so much at disneyland the day before. and by the time the first guests arrived - boys! - we were ready. the suckiest part was that it seemed as though we were about a mile from the sun that day - the poor air conditioning unit was crankin', and yet it still couldn't keep up with the intense heat of the day. bleh.

the teen and her friends stayed out in the back yard, huddled on chairs underneath the outdoor umbrella. as i scurried outside with more folding chairs, i somehow lost my balance and ended up dropping one
right on my fucking toe.

i gritted my teeth and smiled at the kids as i walked calmly into the house, and headed right into the nursery, where i shut the door and hopped in circles, quietly howling in pain and muttering "walk it off, walk it off, walk it off." holy shit, but my poor toe was hurting.

(later on, i had to repeat this process as i hugged my gram good-bye and she accidentally stomped on the same toe. oh, the pain.)

it wasn't long before i noticed the teen and her girlfriends sneaking around outside with cups of water, coming up behind the boys and drenching them and then running away. ha! it was cute, and i half wished i was on the other end of one of those sneak attacks. and then the hub picked up the garden hose and aimed it at them all, squealing with glee inside the moon bouncer. the teen was quick to follow his lead as soon as he put the hose down, and i cursed the fact that i'd walked right by a display of water balloons earlier at the grocery store. they would've loved that.

we had a nice turnout from both families, plus almost all of the friends that the teen invited from school. unfortunately, the bean wasn't handling the heat very well and was unusually fussy for most of the day, so i had her strapped to my person despite the heat. nothing like 100-degree weather with a little human heater attached to your chest.

yes, she's wearing a tutu. at least she took off the mickey ears and orange sunglasses.

the ice cream cake went over pretty well - the teen laughed her ass off when she saw it, as did her friends. she'd mentioned putting a picture on the cake in passing one day, but she had no idea that i'd actually ordered it, and she thought it was cool. and it was yummy - cookies & cream ice cream with a chocolate cake base.

before my parents left to meet up with a prospective buyer for their old ford explorer, i snuck outside to take a look at their new ride - a honda crv in "green tea metallic." it's really cute, and totally suits my mom. look how proud she is of her new hoopdie!
as the afternoon slipped into early evening and began to cool off slightly, we went outside to take a few silly pictures with my cousins.
and the running joke of the day was our constant cheering and use of spirit fingers. mm-hmm, yeah. don't ask.
even the bean found her spirit fingers.
here's the teen with some of her loot (yay, wii love presents!).
this was a sure sign that the party was over:
a couple of the teen's girlfriends hung out for a while after everyone else had left, so the hub hooked up that wii for them to play, and we ordered some pizza for dinner. the afterparty, such as it was. ha!

and birthday princess weekend finally came to an end. whew!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

bananas + rice cereal = hard to poop

poor baby. that's a whole lotta straining.

but lord help me, i can't look at this picture and not crack the hell up. oh, man. bad mommy!

two little monkeys

the bean, the teen and i were treated to an impromptu monkey sighting yesterday.

she loves her auntie monkey ;)

the magical disney extravaganza, continued

our day at disneyland was pretty uneventful, as disneyland days go. because of the triple-digit heat, the hub and i were loath to stand in line for a single ride. and my usual go-to ride when it's hotter than the 7th circle of hades, "it's a small world," was closed for renovations.

my sis told me the next day that there's some controversy in regards to these renovations, because they're adding disney characters to the ride. while this seems trivial and damn near natural, considering the fact that it IS disneyland, i'm rather annoyed at this. why fuck with a tried-and-true formula? it's one thing to christmas-ify it in december, but small world doesn't need a permanent makeover that totally commercializes the damn thing. okay, maybe i'm not making sense. i know what i mean.

being hotel guests, we were given the opportunity to take advantage of "magic morning" - entry into disneyland an hour before it's open to the public. now, the hub and i had no interest in taking advantage of this, but i knew the girls would jump at the chance to ride space mountain or indiana jones at 8:00 in the morning. but they didn't get up till 7:30, and being girly girls, it took them a full hour to get ready and out the door. heh. i DID, however, get a picture of them all rocking the tees i'd made with the teen's picture on the back. i'm not going to post it, because you can't see it anyway, and they all look grumpy as hell.

the hub and i took our sweet ass time getting ready, playing with the bean and getting everything packed up. hell, we'd paid for that suite, and we were going to stay in it until the very last possible minute. and at ten to eleven, we called down to have bell services pick up our bags and put them into storage for the day.

it was already hotter than hell when we stepped outside in search of something good for breakfast. but of the two restaurants in the hotel, one was only open for dinner, while the other offered a character breakfast - with a nice, long wait for a table. eff that noise. we checked out la brea bakery in downtown disney, but the only seating was outdoors. bleh. so we decided to check out the eats inside the park instead.

we ended up standing in line for cafe orleans - a little table service restaurant in new orleans square, not far from the site of our fabulous club 33 dinner.

the doors were closed, as they were cleaning up between breakfast and lunch service, and they were accepting reservations. this sounded silly to us, because the line wasn't very long, but as we stood there in the sun, we overheard some lady say "it takes half an hour to be seated if you don't have a reservation."


so i trucked on up to the hostess, who informed me that immediate reservations were all booked up, but that we could continue to wait in line or take a reservation for about half an hour later. ugh. and as i stood there, contemplating, a nice man came up and said "she can have our reservation, we decided not to wait."

whee! so we were "dave, party of 2." the server didn't need to know that dave's not here. and pay no attention to the fact that the hub's shirt most definitely didn't say "dave." heh.

it was a relief to be seated inside, with the air conditioning on full blast, even though it'd only been half an hour since we stepped inside the gates of the park. fighting our way through the crowds was tiring as it was.

after perusing the menu, i ordered a lovely, refreshing mint julep and decided to go with the monte cristo sandwich. i was happily surprised to see it on the menu, because i always thought you could only get those at blue bayou during lunchtime. nothing like a ham, turkey and swiss, dipped in egg batter, and fried with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. sounds like nasty shit, i know, but it's oh so good. really.we lingered over our meal, feeding the bean more of her freeze-dried apples and water and enjoying the comforts of being indoors. and then we had to leave, because we knew there were lots of folks waiting outside to eat. besides, i'd had so many mint julep refills, i was ready to float away.

we meandered through critter country, shook our heads at the hordes of hot, sweaty folks standing in line for splash mountain (a 75 minute wait! with fastpass return times of 6:00 that evening!), and stopped to take random pictures of the bean here and there.

the heat had obviously gotten to us, because before we knew it, we were shelling out $17.50 (plus tax) for one of these battery-operated fans attached to a squirt bottle. that's right. but we had fun playing with it and squirting cool water at the bean, who scrunched up her face but laughed in delight.

and when we got truly bored, we made our way back to main street, where we knew we could find seats inside one of the shops. and after weaving through several souvenir stores, we found two open seats next to an old-fashioned woodburning stove (thankfully, not in use at the time) with a checkers game board between us. we parked our asses in those chairs for the next couple of hours, just chatting and peoplewatching.

i had to laugh at this poor disney employee, who had to follow a character riding on horseback preceding the parade.

how much must it suck to have THAT job, wheeling a shit wagon in 100-degree weather, in a wack ass costume, no less?

and then the bean needed a diaper change. we hated to give up our sweet seats, but finally we got up and headed towards the baby care center, not too far down main street from where we were. i'd always seen this place during previous visits, but had never needed to use it till then. and it was nice - there was a changing room with several cushy tables, tiny toddler butt-sized toilets, high chairs for feeding, and even a private nursing room. and, of course, there was a wide variety of baby items available for sale - like formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, etc. how convenient!

we met up with the girls to see how they were doing, get them something to eat, and then went to one of the shops in adventureland to buy one of the girls a pair of shorts. silly girl - even with the heat of the previous couple of days, she'd only packed jeans to wear, and was sweltering in the heat. oy. and i couldn't stop laughing at the teen - she'd screamed so much riding rides, she had no voice left. she definitely gets her love of amusement park rides from her mother.

once they were fed and clothed properly, they took off again to stand in more lines for more rides. i decided to grab a snack at bengal barbecue.

i chose a safari skewer - bacon wrapped asparagus. seriously, two of my most favorite things in the world, ON A STICK! what could be better? i munched happily as we continued our stroll through the crowds, back towards main street and our comfy chairs by the (nonlit) stove.

sadly for us, when we got there, our seats were taken! but the occupants were obviously on the verge of leaving, so we did the "hover and sigh" and sure enough, they left in search of other members of their party. oh yeah.

and before we knew it, it was time to meet up with the girls for our dinner reservation at blue bayou. it was nice to walk past the waiting crowds right up to the hostess and be seated immediately. and when we were seated, i looked up behind us and eyed the balcony we'd stood on just the night before, during our tour of club 33.

since i'd had such a big, heavy dinner the night before, i decided to go with the shrimp-topped mahi mahi. it was yummy, even though it was garnished with white asparagus.

i'm sorry, but asparagus has no business being white. i'm no racist, but my asparagus must have color to it - preferably green, thankyouverymuch.

the bean enjoyed smashing a piece of celery with her two teeth:

and our birthday princess went with macaroni & cheese from the kids' menu.

we pored over the "pirates"-themed dessert menu and HAD to go with the "flying dutchman cookie boat." and then we took some fun pictures as we waited for it to be served.

after dinner was over, the girls were off to ride even more rides, and we headed back towards cinderella's castle to find a nice spot and wait for the fireworks. on the way there, we spied the disney "dream suite" - one group is chosen randomly every day to spend that night in this fab, luxe suite created in what was supposed to be walt disney's personal apartment in new orleans square. sadly, today's group was not us. boo.

we managed to find an empty bench right in front of the castle, and we settled in to wait for the fireworks as we did more peoplewatching and the bean took a nap.

i fully expected her to wake up once it started, but she actually stayed asleep - and what ended up waking her up was the crowds of people cheering loudly as each set of fireworks lit up the sky. so i managed to get a quick shot of her watching her very first fireworks show.

we finally left the park at 11:00, after the girls used their late-night fastpasses for splash mountain. after dropping off one friend who needed to get home, we took the others back to our house for a sleepover. they laid out sleeping bags in the living room, we put the bean down for the night, and we happily fell into our own bed for some well-deserved shuteye.

of course, we still had one more hurdle: the teen's birthday party the next day. the alarm was set for 8am, and i groaned at the thought.

gotta love birthdays!

squeezing in all the sightseeing

this was our NYC home for a whole week: it was one of only a few hotels that i could find that offered two beds in a room rather than, say, ...