Sunday, January 31, 2010

Nina and Papa

For some reason, despite the fact that we try to see them as much as we can (considering they live about 960 miles away), I don't do a very good job of photographing the girls with Nina and Papa.

So, today (before they leave tomorrow), I started trying to reverse that trend. One snuggle, one smile, one kiss at a time.

Who Says You Need Boots?!?

We got our once-yearly snowfall Friday night. And since this weather is not typical for North Carolina, I don't take the time to get snow-appropriate outfits/footwear for the girls. Which is why when Ivie wanted to go out and play in it yesterday, she was dressed like this:

Since the picture doesn't show anything but the outer layer, I'll have to break them all down for you here. You know, to give you the full story of just how makeshift it was.

1) Skin tight pants from her Mickey Mouse PJ's that are too small and, thus, perfect to act as long underwear;

2) Pink fleece sweatpants that only stretch to mid-calf on her (she's growing like a weed!);

3) Soccer socks;

4) The only pair of windsuit (and, thus, semi-water-repelling) pants she owns;

5) An orange Halloween long-sleeved shirt;

6) Pink hooded princess jacket;

7) "Go Tar Heels" (as she calls it) sweatshirt on top; and

8) Brand new sneakers (since her only other pair busted Friday night at the mall).

You can see, of course, her hat, the couple-sizes-too-big gloves (at least they are adorned with princesses), and, of course, my version of boots: Target bags (double-bagged!) held on with masking tape.

While I consider this to be a fairly ingenious way of protecting her shoes (it's now a 2-year tradition), I must admit that halfway into the taping process (and again during the "de-bagging" process after the fun in the snow), I began to wonder if I needed to apply the "time is money" philosophy to this scenario. So I'm contemplating, for next year, the idea of purchasing cheapo rain/snow boots for just this occasion...

Thankfully, Ivie doesn't care what she's wearing. So I'm taking full advantage of this attitude at age almost-4, since I'm fully aware that, before I know it, the idea of wrapping bags on her legs and appearing in public will be (GASP!) awful. But yesterday, she just wanted to hit the snow. And fast!

Waiting for Mommy to get ready

The Players

Ivie and Emerson had a blast running around playing and making snow angels. I made one of my own, too, at Ivie's urging. Can I mention how happy I am that Brooke was there to document this (tongue firmly in cheek)?

Turns out the snow was not the right variety for making a snowball, much less a snowman. It was straight powder, not wet or sticky at all. But, thanks to Durham Public Works, we (thanks to Danny's muscles) were able to improvise and make a snowman (of sorts) out of three various-sized balls of ice (literally) that the plow pushed into our cul-de-sac. Looking at him upon completion made me want to break out into song:

"With his golf ball eyes and his golf ball nose and his mouth made out of a paint stick....." (Stretching it, I know. Was desperately looking for a way to add a little humor to this post.)

You won't be surprised that both girls wanted to name him Frosty.

By the time we finished Frosty, the adults were ready to retreat back into the warmth of our homes. We had to fight through a tantrum from Ivie, who (in her personal opinion) wasn't quite finished playing, but we ultimately called it a successful outing and headed in for some hot cocoa. (Not really, but I wanted it to have a storybook ending - in reality, we might have had a glass of milk and some 'Nilla Wafers. Or maybe we just dove right into our chicken sandwiches for lunch.)

Simplify Sunday (#4)

Remember my "Dining Room Table North", otherwise known as our guest bed? It's cleaned off!

I'd like to say that I did it solely because I was working on "simplifying". In reality, I didn't have a choice. If I wanted my parents to have a place to sleep when they came to visit this weekend, that is!

Speaking of my parents. I joked with my mom, but all I really would have had to do for Simplify Sunday was post a picture of her. Because she's "SuperNina". She irons, cooks (thanks for helping me with the yummy apple ebelskivers and BBQ Meatloaf!), folds laundry, sweeps, and sews. Not to mention that she can't get enough playtime with the girls.

Off to check the weather forecast to see if there's any more snow coming our way... I'm afraid we might need a little more for my parents to get "stuck" here beyond their scheduled departure tomorrow!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Show-and-Tell, Round 41: Magical Moments Princess Book

Sometimes, when Dale's out-and-about making sales calls, he has a little spare time. And, being the shopper in the family, he often chooses to spend these breaks at TJ Maxx. Or Belk, looking for Red Dot sales. Or Hallmark, perusing cards (sorry to blow your manly cover, Dale!).

Earlier this week, TJ Maxx called his name, and he spent a little time in the kids' book section. Where he found this princess book that he thought Ivie would love.

He was right, of course. We've read it before bed every night since. So it was the logical choice for Show-and-Tell yesterday. I, of course, was a little stressed about the photo cards, worried that all 20 of them wouldn't make it back home after school. But the baggie storage "trick" worked, and the book is still functional for its stories, camera, and photo cards/princess puzzle pieces.

Reading Body Language

Ivie has an odd love affair with mannequins, particularly those in the Belk at Southpoint, since we park in the lot outside the store each time we go to the mall, thus venturing past them twice per mall visit. Every time she sees them, she has to give each of them a hug and, if they're lucky and she's in an especially good mood, a kiss.

Last night, on our way back to the car after playing at the play place and eating dinner at the Food Court, Ivie spotted these "friends" in the women's department. She glanced at them only for a split second, before saying,

"Mommy, why are they mad at each other?!?"

I vehemently deny that her ability to accurately read this form of body language has anything to do with her witnessing the facial expressions/actions of her mother.

Monkey Joe's!!!

Several weeks ago (4, today, to be exact), Ivie and Macie were invited to celebrate Will Cherry's 2nd birthday at Monkey Joe's in Cary. I believe this is the only bounce house of this nature in our area to which we hadn't previously paid a visit, so we were all excited to check it out.

Ivie loved the princess castle and its slide. And they even have a special bounce house especially for the "under-2 variety", which Macie greatly appreciated. Not to mention the mountains of jelly beans, monkey-cupcakes-on-a-stick, and juice boxes galore. Kids' heaven! Actually, who am I kidding? Mommy (or at least this mommy) heaven, too!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Matching Sweaters

These were a gift from the Devers for Christmas, and we finally had occasion to show them off. (Read: The girls were both wearing outfits that at least semi-matched the sweaters to the point that their daddy, the fashion-minded adult in the household, wouldn't have been embarrassed to be seen with them in public.)

We miss you, Daddy, but we're having a great time with Nina and Papa, and we're excited to play in the SNOW tomorrow!

Just Call Me Buck

Remember my comments about the size of Macie's front teeth?

I wasn't joking.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ivie's Random Thoughts (#8)

Sir or Ma'am?

All was well on our trip to school this morning. That is, until Ivie said,

"Mommy, will you tell Micah that boys are ma'ams?"

I gave her what I believed to be a fairly safe response. "Ivie, I can't tell Micah that, because that's not right. Girls are ma'ams. And boys are sirs."

You'd have thought I told her that she could never have another pop-tart for breakfast or popsicle for dessert. She broke into tears, telling me over and over that she wanted to be a sir. Despite my apparently feeble attempts to calm her and explain that it's actually very cool to be a ma'am, she wasn't backing down. It resulted in a screaming tantrum during which she pulled off her socks and shoes and threw them on the floorboard in the car. And when we got to school and I was finally able to FORCE said items back on her feet (with absolutely no assistance from her whatsoever), she got out of the car and threw herself on the ground in the parking lot, still wailing.



I've downloaded several kids' games onto my new iTouch. And in an effort to educate Ivie as to what exactly the contraption is (you know, so she can sound "hip"), I've told her that when she wants to play with it, she needs to ask if she can use my "iTouch".

This morning, as we were about to head out the door for school, she said,

"Mommy, can I play with your Touch-ear in the car?"

I can certainly understand her confusion... We'll keep working on it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tooth #13 (and Popsicles)

Macie's teeth are out of control right now. Her newest addition is her lower left first molar. With 5 new teeth in the past 11 days, even I am tiring of the tooth chart. I mean, I haven't even been able to snap a normal picture of her since the last tooth blog to include in this post for you! So I'll do the next best thing and go back to a couple of pictures that I took early in January, when we, for the first time, tried out our new popsicle maker. You'll note that Macie's popsicle that first evening spans the entire length of the stick. I learned my lesson quickly. Her popsicles now cover only the very tip of it. More of a handle for her to grip, less mess for me to clean up afterward when it melts and drips everywhere because she doesn't eat it fast enough. Win-win.

It certainly makes her happy, though, can't you tell? So I won't be complaining anytime soon about the clean-up. I'm a sucker for just about anything that elicits her adorable grin...

And since I'm showing Mac with the popsicle, I'll throw in one of Iv, too. And one of them practicing "sharing". (Yes, I am aware that Ivie is shirtless again. It was right before bathtime. I know I sound like a broken record.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

You've GOT to be Kidding Me

So after my post yesterday about, at least one of my readers (and there are only, like, 10 of you, so that's a fairly high percentage!) went to jasmere and signed on as a Facebook fan of theirs. Who wouldn't, right?!?

But the specific reader I'm referencing is none other than Marcia George Fletcher, freshman year college roommate of mine, wonderful long-distance friend (she lives with her husband and adorable little boy, Kale, in Arkansas), and the inspiration behind me even starting a blog in the first place.

For those of you that don't read the comments on my blog, here's what Marcia had to say after reading my post:

I am ROFLMBO* , but not at the idea of you being a winner or the fact that you won shapewear. It's the idea of you going out to purchase tight clothing that has me sitting here with tears rolling down my cheek while my co-workers try to figure out whether to offer me assistance or just let me be! The idea of you trying to shop for tight fitting clothing is enough to get me going, but the idea of you saying "excuse me, I got this GREAT shapewear free, so now I need an outfit to go with it" that has me rolling!

*"rolling-on-the-floor-laughing-my-butt-off", for those of you that don't understand this sort of 21st century shorthand.

(And that's just a small taste of how funny she is. Check her blog out here.)

Anyway, and I'm sure you're not going to believe it, because I didn't at first when I got her email, either, but GUESS WHO WAS THE JASMERE RANDOM DRAWING WINNER TODAY?!?

jasmere: Woo hoo! Marcia George Fletcher, you are today's winner. $40 of deluxe personalized stationery, etc., from Visit to contact us and claim your prize. Congratulations, Marcia! We'll announce another winner this time tomorrow...

I can't make this stuff up, folks.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Not Me! Monday (#3): Jasmere Shapewear

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! For those of you that read MckMama, you've heard of this. For those of you that don't, feel free to check out her blog to get the background on how this started as a way to tell about some of the funny things that you generally would refuse to admit to doing.

Third Installment...

It was not me who spent at least 15 minutes (we'll call it the first part of my lunch break) walking around the 2nd floor of our office building telling my 4 fellow compliance officers the following story:

I'm pretty sure most of you are not familiar with I wasn't either, until a couple of months ago. And I'm not even sure who brought it to my attention.

Anyway, jasmere is an online shopping website that "seeks out lesser-known specialty retailers that deserve national attention" and offers buyers wonderful deals on said retailers' products. In exchange, obviously, the retailers get a national audience that they wouldn't have gotten otherwise. So they're happily willing to participate with jasmere in one day of huge sales with the hope of becoming more widely-known. The idea is that the more people that buy the day's (each day there is a new one) feature product at an already-crazy-low price, the more the price drops. So that ultimately, at the end of the 24-hour feature, everyone who purchased the item pays the price to which the feature dropped during its time as a feature item.

I've made a few purchases on jasmere since my discovery of how fun it is. One of them is a little surprise for my mom (so I can't give details), and the other is a semi-surprise that my sister, Sarah, sister-in-law, Bobbie, and soon-to-be-sister-in-law, Carla, will be receiving as soon as I can get to the post office to mail them (or until I procrastinate long enough to just send them home with my mom and dad this weekend!). At the moment, said sisters are probably a little befuddled as to why in the world I asked them to pick out their favorite bags on and then never brought it up again. After reading this post, I guess they will no longer be confused.

But back to jasmere. This weekend, I was on their site perusing the weekend feature item. Though I wasn't interested in purchasing it, I did see a button on their home page that advertised a way to "get the feature item for free!". Always eager to get something for free, I clicked on the button and found that, beginning this weekend and every day thereafter, jasmere was going to do random drawings amongst their "fans" on Facebook. So all you had to do was "Become a Fan", and you would be entered into their daily drawings. Sounds like a no-brainer to me! Once I got to their site, I saw that they only had 441 fans. That's not bad odds to maybe someday win a prize, I thought to myself, promptly returned to my weekend blogging and forgetting about jasmere.

Until today at 12:21p. When I received an email from Facebook notifying me that, you guessed it, I was the random drawing winner for jasmere today! Eager to see what I'd won, I headed immediately to the site. To see this:

And here's what jasmere's Facebook status reported:

Now, for those of you that know me well, you're probably just now getting back up into your chair after having fallen out from laughing so hard. I will be the first to admit (and Dale will be the first to second the fact) that I hardly EVER wear clothes that would warrant the donning of this type of undergarment. I mean, I didn't even know what "spanx" were until a couple months ago at a "girls' night" party when it came up and, seeing the blank look on my face, my friends educated me.

Nonetheless, I am fired up about the "shapewear" that will be arriving in my mailbox in the near future. Maybe I'll have to buy some tight-fitting clothes so I can justify wearing it!

To summarize, it was also not me who just spent 30 minutes writing this post. We'll call it the "rest" of my lunch break.

Back to prepping Football National Letters of Intent. And eating some Starburst.

Pledge of Allegiance

Friday night in the car, Ivie randomly broke out into the Pledge of Allegiance. Dale and I just looked at each other, neither of us having any idea that she was learning it at school (we love Miss Erin!!!).

So when we had to make a quick stop at Best Buy, I used my newly-downloaded iTouch kid games as bait to get her to agree to do the Pledge on video for me.

I think you'll get a kick out of it. Particularly the following words:


After she finished, she wanted to film MY version. And she thought it was just hilarious. I love her laughing through it. So, at the risk of embarrassing myself for my silliness, I'm going to include that part here, too...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Teeth # 10, 11, and 12

Bob (our soon-to-be-full-fledged-pediatric-dentist friend) wasn't joking when he told Dale that Macie had "4 or 5 teeth" ready to break through very soon...

I can't say for sure that all 3 of the newbies popped through yesterday, but that's when I first noticed them, so they're all going in the baby book/blog as 1.23.10! Upper and lower right cuspids and upper right first molar.

Don't worry, I've already started teaching her to chew her Starburst on the side with the molars. And I hope her speediness with cutting teeth on the right side doesn't mean anything in terms of handedness - I'm still holding out hope that she'll be my lefty...

Macie's response when I asked her to "Say Ahhhh and show everyone your teeth!".

Simplify Sunday (#3)

Two weeks combined into one this time around, since last week Sunday was our trip home from Disney, and all we did was add more junk to the house in the form of Disney souvenir toys.

But we made up for it by some major purging in the girls' toy buckets, as well as new shelving in our living room.

First, the toy buckets. They each have their own, if you remember, and they've become the resting spot for all the miscellaneous small items that don't have a home elsewhere. Essentially all the toys you get in kids' meals at fast-food restaurants. I think Chick-fil-A's got a great thing going, whereby they allow you to swap the toy for ice cream. I wish others would jump on board with that idea - it would make my resolution to not let the toys take over my house a lot easier to manage.

So Dale and I took some time to go through the bins and throw out the toys that are cool for, say, 5 minutes in the car as you drive home from the restaurant. We even were able to entirely clear out the decorative bowl that sits on our island and collects the junk from day-to-day living (including the toys that hadn't yet found their way into a bucket). And look at the result! You can actually fit the lids on the buckets without sitting on them, and you can actually tell that the bowl is one intended for decoration, not just a way to hold more junk. Ahhhhhhhh.

I've also previously referenced our living room toy corner. "A Mess" is the understatement of the century. So Dale and I have been actively looking for some sort of organizational shelving to use for the toys that would still look decent in the living room. We finally found it! What do you think? The girls love that they can actually see their toys now, instead of them all falling to the bottom of the basket, which is now designated only for balls and stuffed animals. Double Ahhhhhhhh.


Yesterday morning was our first trip to Kidzu in Chapel Hill! What a cute little place for kids to run around and play. It's like a dream bonus room, totally kid-proof and full of lots of fun toys. And it's on Franklin Street, which gave us the perfect excuse to eat lunch at Firehouse Subs, just a block or so down the street. Ivie loves the fireman hats, which was the deciding factor as to why she chose a turkey sandwich at Firehouse over a hot dog at Sutton's. It also helped us avoid a little bit of grease, since we knew we were headed to Armadillo Grill (Dale's favorite wing spot) for dinner before taking in a high school girls basketball game (GO, NORTHWOOD!).

OK, what was the purpose of this post? That's right. Kidzu. Back to it. I'll let the pictures do the talking, but Macie's nap yesterday was 2.5 hours long (unheard of, since she usually doesn't sleep more than an hour), so I think Kidzu did its job of entertaining and wearing her out!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


My perfectionistic mind causes me to (sometimes) stress unduly about certain things that probably aren't worth the fuss. For example, when we're playing with our assortment of playground, golf, tennis, and various other bouncy balls in the cul-de-sac, I'm constantly worried that they're going to go down the water drain at the end of our driveway. I know exactly which ones will fit through the gap behind the drain grate (because I've tested them). And if one of the smaller ones starts to roll even remotely in that direction, I drop everything and take off to "save" it. (You can imagine my stress level when Dale is practicing his chipping in the front yard, hitting the tiny foam golf balls into the cul-de-sac and letting the girls chase after them.)

Anyway, Ivie has either inherited or learned this trait from me. She, too, is quite worried about the ill-placed drain eating our toys and Dale's golf balls. And, this morning, she showed that this attitude is more global in her thinking than I had hoped...

As we headed to Kidzu (pictures to follow soon, I'm sure!), we passed a man holding a sign that said, "Cash For Gold" on the corner at the stoplight right near out house. Here's a visual of what the corner looks like, for those of you who don't know our surroundings here.

As you can see, there's a fairly large grassy area between the sidewalk where the guy was standing and the pond in the background. The sign he was holding was a long, thin, rectangular one, and he was doing "tricks" with it, tossing and flipping it in the air, over his head, through his legs, etc. I pointed him out to Ivie, since we were stopped at the light. She observed him for a while and then, as we began driving through the now-green light, she exclaimed,

"I hope he doesn't throw it in the pond!!!"

Dale's response? "I wonder where she gets THAT attitude?!?"

I started to defend myself, but stopped short. Because there's just really no way I could argue with that.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Blast from the (Way) Past

I'm proooooooobably going to get in a lot of trouble for this one. But after it literally took Ivie 10 seconds of staring at this photograph to figure out which guy was her daddy, I knew it had to be a blog.

When she figured it out, she started cracking up, and said, "Daddy, your hair was CUUUUUUURLY!!!"

Dale says this picture is from circa 1994 or 1995, around the time he graduated from UNC. Aside from the crazy hair (which has since been tamed), isn't he a cutie?!?

Show-and-Tell, Round 40: Minnie

I'm sure you're not surprised that today's Show-and-Tell was one of Ivie's souvenirs from Disney World. The baby Minnie, at least. The purse was actually from Disney on Ice in December. But since it was Minnie, we played the "theme" card and she took them both to school today.

"When I Get Big..."

Last night, Ivie had some separation issues at bedtime. While Dale handled the initial reading-books-and-holding-hands session with her, I put Macie to bed and took a quick shower. As I shut off the water and got out, I heard Ivie saying, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy" non-stop in the monitor.

Our typical response to this is for Dale to return to Ivie's room, since my entering her room would result in essentially having to redo the entire bedtime process. So, after I'd dressed, I poked my head into Dale's office and asked him if he heard Ivie calling for me.

He said that he did, but that he'd already been back in there 5 times (maybe a slight exaggeration, given that my shower wasn't any longer than 10 minutes, max!) and that he'd told her he wasn't coming back. So it was "my call" as to whether I was going to give in and check on her.

Being the softy that I am (and not wanting her voice to escalate and wake up Mac!), I gave in. As I entered her room, she immediately asked me to "hold her hand". I obliged, telling her I would for "one minute". We eventually negotiated to 2 minutes (since it really doesn't matter, as she has no real concept of time yet), and she settled in and closed her eyes.

Seconds later, she opened them up and asked me if I would "tie Puppy and Bunny's ears". Puppy and Bunny are, as you can guess, her stuffed dog and rabbit loveys (with names that match my creativity level, since I named them before Ivie could talk). For some reason, Ivie's enthralled these days with Dale tying their ears into knots.

As I was tying, Ivie looked at me, entirely serious, and said, "Mommy, when I get big, will you teach me how to tie and take a shower?"

Isn't it funny how a statement that simple can send a (deliriously tired after a long day at work) mom into deep thoughts about just how significant, substantial, and weighty the role of parenthood is?!?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Magic Kingdom, Part Two

Our second day in Magic Kingdom began much the same as the first. After riding the ferry over from the parking lot, we made a quick stop on Main Street, U.S.A. to get pictures with a couple more characters. This time? Chip and Dale. Though I don't believe Ivie has ever seen a show with Chip and Dale, they do make an appearance in one of her books and, of course, she thinks that Dale is named after her daddy! So she's a big fan...

Doing a little research into them tonight, I discovered that Chip is described as the "logical schemer", with two centered protruding teeth and smooth, short fur atop his head. And Dale? He's the "dumb schemer", with two prominent buck teeth exposed (quite a diastema!) and ruffled fur on his head.

Given these descriptions, I cannot confirm nor deny that Ivie's daddy is tied to the appropriate Disney chipmunk.

Following the various photo opp's, we headed over to Adventureland, home of the Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Magic Carpets of Aladdin.

Frontierland, next on the circular path, is home to Splash Mountain and the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Splash Mountain was "dried up", for some reason, though we weren't too sad about missing out on a water ride. The guys took advantage of the Fast Passes to ride Thunder Mountain, however, which turned out to be their only semi-adult roller coaster of the trip, since the lines/waits for Space Mountain didn't "work" with our schedule either day.

We also passed on the Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square, opting instead to return to Fantasyland for a second run on Cinderella's Golden Carrousel and Mickey's PhilharMagic.

Midday, we let the girls run around in Pooh's Playful Spot. They enjoyed being able to roam, free of strollers and crowds, for 20 minutes or so before relaxing with quickly-melting ice cream in front of the Castle.

After ice cream, we settled in to watch the Dream Along with Mickey program on the Castle Forecourt Stage. Both girls watched intently as all the characters, including their beloved princesses, put on a wonderful show. They were both quite sad when the characters disappeared into the castle at the end.

Though we intended to stay for the SpectroMagic parade at 7p Saturday night, we, collectively, just didn't have it in us to spend another hour and a half in the park before the parade started. Besides, after watching the princesses during the show, the girls were both very excited to have the chance to play dress up! So we decided to leave early, pick up Giordano's stuffed pizza, and head back to the condo for a restful last evening of vacation.

As I wrap up my Disney blogs, I thought I'd end with a few cute shots of Ivie taking a break to demonstrate some funny faces for me. While life with her is certainly like a box of chocolates, we sure do love this little girl!

We're so happy that we had the opportunity to take you to Disney, Iv. We hope your dreams came true! And we can't wait to come back someday so you can show Macie the Disney ropes...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Magic Kingdom, Part One

We spent our 2nd and 3rd Disney days at Magic Kingdom, because what 2 and 3 year-old girls don't want to spend as much time as possible with a castle in sight at all times?!?

We found ourselves inadvertently spending most of Day 2 on one side of the park. Main Street, U.S.A., Fantasyland, Mickey's Toontown Fair, and Tomorrowland, to be specific.

Main Street, U.S.A. was home to the "Move it! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party", which began at 11a, shortly after we made it to the park following breakfast with Chef Mickey. We also took what turned out to be our only opportunity to meet Daisy, who apparently doesn't make many appearances within the parks. We're told she spends a lot of her time shopping, spending Donald's money!

Fantasyland was next, as it is home to most of the "kid" rides at the park, including "it's a small world", Peter Pan's Flight, Cinderella's Golden Carrousel, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Mad Tea Party, and Mickey's PhilharMagic.

Since "it's a small world" was BY FAR my favorite ride of the bunch, it gets its own collage, while the rest of the rides in Fantasyland are lumped together into one. Let's just say that I'm glad we took advantage of Fast Passes when possible, as I'm pretty sure I would have been disappointed to have stood in line for any of the other rides for any more than 10 minutes...

But a quick note about Mickey's PhilharMagic, which is a 10-minute 3D movie featuring Donald chasing Mickey's magic hat around the world. It's GREAT! We saw it twice, once each day, and I could have gone several more times. Sitting next to Ivie, watching her reach for items that were seemingly within her grasp, and duck away when they came flying at her head, was, well, magical. So it lives up to its name.

From Fantasyland we headed to Mickey's Toontown Fair. Ivie and Emerson loved being able to walk through Mickey and Minnie's houses, though Ivie was very concerned that Minnie didn't have a bedroom. I had to convince her that it must be on the 2nd floor, to which we didn't have access. That seemed to satisfy her... We also jumped on the Walt Disney World Railroad and took it for a spin around the park (with Ivie manning my camera for a few pics), followed by the dads taking the girls on The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm (a kiddie roller coaster that still made me queasy while watching from afar).

Since the girls (okay, mostly their mothers) were obviously not going to settle for a trip to Magic Kingdom without a visit with the princesses, we took advantage of the fairly short line in the Toontown Hall of Fame Tent and spent some time with Cinderella and Belle. Sadly, Aurora (aka, Sleeping Beauty) was unable to join us. Ivie surmised that she must be sick. So we're hopeful that she's feeling better now...

We had dinner in Tomorrowland, rode Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, gave the girls their glowsticks, and managed to "lose" Ivie in the dark for about one minute before finding her with a nice lady who had seen her standing alone, latched onto her, and began talking with her and looking intently for her mommy and daddy. I'm not sure I've ever been that scared, although it only lasted 30 seconds until I spotted her about 10 yards away.

While we technically came back Saturday to ride the Tomorrowland Speedway, I'm including it in this collage, for ease of organization purposes...

At 7:15p, the guys snagged the perfect spot on the bridge to watch the "Wishes nighttime spectacular" fireworks at 8p, and the girls passed the time by shopping for souvenirs. And it turns out that the fireworks were well worth the wait. An amazing way to wrap up the day!