Sunday, October 26, 2003
I am dead tired. It has been one long day. We were supposed to go to the aquarium this morning for their Halloween event, but last night I decided I didn't want to rush around all day. But when I got up this morning, the smoke and haze were just horrid. There was so much ash here that I left foot prints when I walked on the driveway to get the paper. I started coughing the minute I walked out the door. I figured we had to escape and decided we would go to the aquarium after all. Even though we went 40 miles southwest, the smoke and ash were just as thick there. We couldn't even touch the railings on the outside stairs because our hands would just be covered in black ash. It's really, really bad around here. The worst thing is how many homes have been lost. I haven't heard of any deaths and I sincerly hope there aren't any.
So, we couldn't escape the smoke or the ash. The supposed Halloween events were pretty scarce and nothing seemed to really start until 2 hours after the advertised time so I was rather disappointed. But, on the bright side, 9:00am on a Sunday morning means one empty aquarium. This place is always packed, so it was nice to get an hour of free-roaming time. We'll probably do it again on another Sunday some day.
We came home for lunch and then I dressed Tabitha in her costume so we could head to Downtown Disney for trick-or-treating. This is the first year theyv'e had this event and we were pretty excited. We got there a half hour early and the line was already completely outrageous. Let's put it this way, once the event started at 2:00pm and they let people in, it still took us 38 minutes in a moving line to get in. And by the time the event started, our spot was probably the middle of a very, very, long line. So, we finally got a treat bag and got inside the ropes. I don't even know where to start explaining it. We were handed a card with 16 villains' names. Each one represented a "treat station" inside Downtown Disney. We were supposed to go to each station, get a punch on the cooresponding name on our card and get a treat. In reality, each station was nothing more than another long line of people. Sure my kid eventually got her treats, but I could have saved us both a lot of time and bought a bag of candy and cheap dollar store toys myself. The lines were absurd. It took us 2.5 hours before we finally got in the last line. Now this particular station had to be last, they would only give the treat in exchange for a completely filled punch card. The reason was they were giving big things, like Harry Potter books, Disney passes, Rainforest Cafe passes and such. So everybody had to do this line last. Which means when we finally got in it (5 minutes after the event was supposed to end) it was beyond obscenely long. And then they ran out of all the good stuff and were just handing out $5.00 ESPN zone cards. We left at that point as I'm not waiting 45 minutes to save five bucks. The main problem was simply too many people. I don't think anything could have been done to make the event less hectic short of selling tickets to only 1000 people. Picture the smallest mall you know of, now pack about 7000 people in it. That's what we were in. Too many people in too small of an area. Who knows if they'll even have the event again next year, I wouldn't exactly call it a success.
So, that was my day. It smelled, it was dirty, it was crowded and my legs and back are now killing me. Is Halloween over yet?
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 09:37 PM PST
Saturday, October 25, 2003
I don't think I should feel proud of myself for outsmarting a 4-year old, but I'm pleased that my plan is working, lol. Every night we go through the same "no you do it" back and forth about putting on Tabitha's pajamas. Frankly, I'm tired of dressing her. Some days she gets all fired up to pick out her clothes and dress herself in the morning, but she never wants to put on her pajamas. But when I try to put them on her, something goes wrong, and I can't even say what, but both of us end up ticked off. So tonight I made her a list of things to do to get ready for bed. She loves lists and never questions what is on them. She lives for crossing things off. It's working, in about 3 minutes she will not only be dressed for bed, but she'll be in bed waiting for me to sing her songs with the lights out. Now, if she'll just go to sleep sometime before 10:00pm. Though with the time changing, it doesn't really matter as long as she doesn't keep calling me.
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 08:56 PM PST
We went to Boo at the Zoo this morning at the LA Zoo. It was different than last year, but in a good way. There were 4 different Halloween stations set up in the zoo. Each one had a trick-or-treat line and a craft and something extra. The extras were different at each location. We got some free stuff from Radio Disney and Nick Jr. as well. I think they did a great job this year.
After we took Chris to work, we stopped at McD's and they were sold out of the Madame Alexander dolls Tabitha has been collecting. So we drove to a different McDonald's and they were sold out as well! We only have 4 of the 10. Now I have to call around to all the local McD's and try to find the one's we don't have. Such a pain, but oh well. Gotta love the obsessive side to my personality, lol.
Oh, yesterday my washing machine bit the dust. Now, we have to find time to take all our laundry to my inlaws' house to do it. I don't know how we'll fit that in, but of course, we must. Plus, now I have to go shopping for a new washer. I hate having to make purchases. It's okay if I want to buy something new, but not if I *have* to. But I have been wanting a new machine for quite a while, so I know I'll enjoy having something new :)
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 04:14 PM PST
Friday, October 24, 2003
The time changes Sunday morning, but I think it changed in my child a month ago. She has not gone to sleep before 10:00pm in a month. I know that isn't *that* late, but it's an hour and half to two hours later than usual and that entire time she's calling me for a drink, or a snack, or lotion, or a massage or something! I had gotten so used to my time between putting Tabs to bed and Chris coming home and now it's gone. And it's gone in a frustrating way. I haven't a clue why she can't fall asleep. I feel for her, I really do, but I hope she goes back to normal soon.
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 08:46 PM PST
There's a fire in the next county and there is smoke covering the sky. The pic to the right shows what the sun looked like this morning. It was weird because it was dark, but not a grey dark like before a storm, but everything seemed to have a tan pallor over it. It was strange to see the sun look so red and I had no trouble looking right at it without squinting, though I thought about it and now I'm thinking that wasn't such a good idea. I've probably done irreparable damage to my light-sensitive eyes, lol. Anyway, while Tabitha and I were running errands, I had to keep hurrying her into the car and stores because it is practically raining ash and we were getting it in our eyes. My poor, beautiful new car is now covered in ash. It'll probably be a couple weeks before the fire is completely out, I just hope the wind doesn't pick up like it's supposed to or the fire could spread to homes. As always in our state, it was started by a human and they suspect arson.
Yesterday, we did go to Disneyland and had a pretty good time. First we went to Build-a-Bear so Tabitha could give her bear, Christiana, a bath. Then she picked out a whole new outfit because my mil gave her money to shop there. Afterwards, we went into the park and checked which Villains where there and got a pic of Tabs with Prince John and The Sheriff of Nottingham together. Sometimes it's hard to get two characters to pose together, but it wasn't crowded so they very nicely agreed. Now I have enough pics of those two characters to do a scrapbook layout for Tabitha's Disney Character book. We then went to eat a bit at the Blue Bayou which is the restaurant inside Pirates. See, Pirates is a ride that Tabitha doesn't particularly care for. It has two short drops at the beginning and they've always bothered her, though she loves the rest of the ride. I've got her on it a few times, but she's never happy about it. I refuse to take crying children on rides, so I don't push her. Anyway, when we were at Disney on Tuesday with our friends, all of us went on Pirates. Tabitha sat on my lap and was telling me she was to scared to go down the drops. I was talking to her and keeping her calm when we passed the Blue Bayou restaurant. She asked what it was and I told her. She said she hoped we could eat there one day. It happens to be the most expensive restaurant in the the park, so it's not somplace we frequent. Well, knowing how she feels about Pirates, I told her that if she goes on the ride with me and Chris the next time we came to the park, without being afraid, that we'd take her to eat there. Turns out she loved the ride and now declares it her favorite in the whole park, lol. I'm not sure why she changed her mind, but I had to make good on my promise. Anyway, so we did eat at the Blue Bayou and Chris and I shared one of the vegetarian meals. Oh.My.Goodness was it absolutely fabulous. It was marinated and grilled portobello mushrooms atop some heavenly mashed potatoes surrounded by a black eye pea relish. I know, it doesn't sound good but it was honestly one of the best meals I have ever had at a restaurant. Today I'll be searching for some recipes to recreate it at home. I am so glad we went there.
We're going to be plenty busy with Halloween activities the next two days, so I may not be around much.
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 01:54 PM PST
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Yesterday a friend and I took our daughters (and her baby boy) to Disneyland for a few hours. We lucked out and found 2 new characters! I know I get a little over-excited about seeing new characters, but that means more layouts I get to do for Tabitha's Disney character scrapbook. So I have now have pictures of Tabitha with The Sheriff of Nottingham and Prince John, both from Robin Hood. Besides seeing the characters, it was just a really nice time. The girls had a blast being together and they didn't get too obnoxious which can always happen on an outing with two boisterous children. We had planned to go again next week, but my friend had to cancel.
Tomorrow we're just doing some errands and whatever else strikes our fancy. Tabs is pushing for Disneyland again and I have a feeling that husband of mine wants the same thing.
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 08:06 PM PST
Sunday, October 19, 2003
We went to the a Pumpkin Festival yesterday. It was much bigger than I thought and we had so much fun. It was hosted by one the close universities that has a large agriculture department. Tabitha was just thrilled to finally be able to pick out a BIG pumpkin. We took her to the middle of the pumpkin field in her wagon and let her find just the right one. We had left our gardening shears at home, but thankfully they had a lot that were cut off the vine already. After she picked out her pumpkin, we went to the festival part. It was traditional festival stuff, a bounce house, face painting, balloon animals, etc. It was a lot of fun, even if it was 90 degrees.
Today, Tabitha and I went with my mom out to my grandmother and grandpa's house. We had a nice visit with them and a very good lunch. Tabitha kept commenting on how "tasty" the mashed potatoes were :) We also took a quick trip to their local mall and came away with 4 new books for Tabitha, courtesy of my mom.
I initially was going to start up a small blog to keep track of our savings for Disney World, but I've scrapped that idea. I don't think it would be very interesting. So, I'm going to just post our progress on the sidebar under our countdown. It's still the same info right now, because we haven't taken our deposit to the bank this week. Also, we can't recycle because all our recycling centers are at the grocery stores that are on strike. I'm not going to cross a picket line just to redeem my $2.30. I'm learning an awful lot about Disney World in the meantime and tyring to plan all we want to do. It's the current focus of my obsessions.
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 07:00 PM PST
Saturday, October 18, 2003
For whatever reason, Yahoo deleted my Tabitha's Place group and I have no way of contacting everyone that was on the list. So, I'll just have to post here that her website is updated and I'll have to email people individually, I guess. I'm a bit peeved at the whole thing.
Anyway, you can now visit the updated Tabitha's Place :)
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 10:33 PM PST
Friday, October 17, 2003
So, the hubster and I went shopping yesterday. We spent more than we usually do when we go shopping, but we think we got a good value for our money. Click here to see what we bought :)
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 01:17 PM PST
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
My child is a strange one, which isn't exactly news to me. She will not watch the movie "Cinderella." That, in and of itself, is not strange. The reason she won't watch it is because the cat, Lucifer, scares her. Okay, I can deal with that. She has a sensitivity to movies that I've become accustomed to. But she has no problems sitting down and watching a cartoon called "Justice League" that features super-heroes. This cartoon is downright disturbing and way more scary than a cat, let me tell you. Yet, it doesn't bother her in the least and she thinks it's exciting. Just a little strange is all.
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 08:41 PM PST
Monday, October 13, 2003
This may belong on my other journal because it's a small rant, but it pertains to my family so I'm putting it here. I'm just infuriated with the accusations that CBS is throwing at homeschooling parents in the name of "news." They are doing a two day report on abuse cases in homeschool families saying things like "How homeschooling is killing kids" and "Who's watching the parents?" Oh.My.God! I'm horrified is what I am! Yes, there are children who were homeschooled who were abused. It's absolutely horrible, I'm not denying that. But there are thousands more children being abused who are in public school, or private school for that matter. To insiuate that homeschooling has anything to do with the abuse of children is just wrong and irresponsible. This is not a homeschooling issue. Abuse is a terrible, terrible thing. It has nothing to do with how children get an education. "Who's watching the parents?" Who's watching the damned gov't who wants control of every aspect of our lives? That's what I'd like to know. How many times have we heard of children being molested by their teachers? Or beat up at school by other children? Or, heaven forbid, killed at the very government schools that CBS is purporting is much safer?
This kind of "news" just makes me sick. It's bad enough that many homeschoolers already face enough doubts from their family and/or friends, now we're all going to be looked at by others trying to guess if we're trying to hurt the very kids we love. Homeschooling and child abuse are two separate issues, try not to confuse them, please.
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 08:00 PM PST
Sunday, October 12, 2003
My mom and I had a great time at the Harvest Festival. It's the first time we've gone in October as we usually go in December. I liked the venue which was more spread out than the Dec. show and it did seem to be different vendors than usual. But now I want to go again in December. I don't know if my mom will want to go again, so it may just be me and the Tabster. Here's what I got today: A handpainted wooden sign with the words "Harvest Time" on it which is the one item I wanted to be sure to get; garlic teriyaki sauce; garlic cheese bread; witch pumpkin topper; this year's family dough ornament of a gingerbread mommy, daddy and child personalized; Xmas gift for our Mommy and Me instructor; and a whimsically decorated sign that reads:
When a child laughs...
When a child speaks...
When a child hurts...
When a child dreams...
I totally fell in love with it and had to get it. Actually, my mom was very nice to buy it for me and it is much appreciated. Tabitha wants me to hang it in her room so that's what I'll do since I wasn't quite sure where I wanted it.
After the festival, we had lunch at Millies and I wasn't feeling like a veggie burger so I got the appetizer plate of fried zucchini. I only ate one at lunch (they're rather large) and felt pretty full. I reheated them for dinner and ate 2 and now I feel positively quesy. Tabitha brought me water when I told her I wasn't feeling well, she's such a sweetie :)
Well, I need to get her to bed as it's late and I'm going to watch more Gameshow Network.
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 08:59 PM PST
Saturday, October 11, 2003
We took Tabitha to a Halloween party today. They had rented a bounce house so the kids spent most of the time in that, understandably. After we got home from the party, Chris went off to work and Tabs and I hit the grocery store. Thankfully they weren't picketing at this store so we didn't waste our time going up there. I don't know how aware the rest of the country is, but 3 of the major grocery stores down here have voted to strike. The store that I frequent isn't one of them, but sometimes I need stuff that my store doesn't stock and both of the other stores I could go to are involved in this strike. After we got home, Tabitha and I made a lovely dinner of Mediterranean Tortellini. She thought it was so good that she called Chris on his cell to tell him what he'll be having for lunch tomorrow. After dinner we walked to Baskin Robbins for a treat and now we're both veggin' in front of our computers.
Tomorrow my mom and I are going to a huge craft fair. We go every year but usually in Dec. I'm really looking forward to it and hope to find a couple of specific holiday decorations I've been looking for. Tabitha will spend the day with her Memere and Pepere.
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 06:59 PM PST
Thursday, October 9, 2003
So, I mentioned that Tabitha and I went to Disneyland on Monday and ended up leaving because it was crowded and also it was too hot. I felt bad about cutting our trip short, so today, all three of us went first thing in the morning. The paper said early fog and then it would be 84. We all wore shorts because of this forecast and froze our tushies off. By the time we decided to leave, around 1ish, it was actually misting! Unbelievable! We came home and kind of vegged around the house. Actually, I ran to the mall to pick up a Shanti costume that was on sale at the Disney Store. It's one Tabitha has been really wanting and we decided to get it for her for Christmas. I was very pleased to get the dress, shoes and head dress for 25% off and I also picked up a black wig that can go with the Mulan costume she already has, and the Pocahontas and Shanti costumes she's getting for Christmas. I'm waiting for stronger discounts because I currently have $40 in Disney Store gift certificates. That will buy at least one more costume and possibly two if I take my chances and wait long enough for clearance prices. The problem with that, of course, is I run the risk of not being able to find Tabitha's size.
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 09:40 PM PST
Tuesday, October 7, 2003
My Disney geekiness is showing today, I just found out that I can take Tabitha trick-or-treating at Downtown Disney! Yay! I've long lamented the lack of anything Halloweenish at Disneyland. Last year we got to meet Villains that we've never seen before, but that's it. So we are totally going to this new event. The only problem is everything is always on the weekend before Halloween and nothing during the week. Last year we had said that Chris would take that weekend off of work, but with the new job and the two week vacation in July, we didn't think it prudent to ask for more vacation time. He is taking Halloween day off at least. But, back to the weekend before. The Zoo, the Aquarium and Downtown Disney are all having their events the weekend before Halloween. So, we'll go to the zoo on Saturday for a couple hours before Chris goes to work, then on Sunday we'll go to the Aqarium for a couple hours before we take Chris to work and drive to Disney for their event. We are going to be wiped out!
We did a nice science experiment this evening. We gathered tons of different objects made out of metal and Tabitha gave her hypothosis of what she thought a magnet would stick to and then we tried it out. She was right most of the time of what the magnet would stick to. She enjoyed doing it and wants to do it again sometime. Right now she's watching Discovery Kids Channel, some show about prehistoric animals. Good thing she's not susceptible to bad dreams like her mother.
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 07:54 PM PST
Just another day, here. I'm in one of those non-online moods. I've been neglecting my email groups and both my journals. My vacation journal is at a standstill, I haven't updated my scrapbooking site, and Tabitha's site hasn't been updated since May!
Yesterday, Tabitha and I took Chris to work and then went to Disney. It seems someone forgot to tell everyone that it's October and there aren't supposed to be crowds. It's a bit ridiculous when you have to wait in line for the carousel. We only stayed about an hour and half before coming home. Then we had a mini marathon session of games. We played Disney Sorry, 3 rounds of HangMan, 3 rounds of Guess Who? and something else that I'm forgetting. We have lots of games, but I feel we need more because we play so many that I'd really like something new.
Tomorrow I head to Wal-Mart after our weekly lunch date with my mil to pay off my layaway. I haven't a clue where I'm going to put all that stuff. My garage is already full and doesn't need tons more boxes in it. Plus I have to put them where the little one won't see them since they are Christmas and birthday gifts. We also have class tomorrow morning, yee-haw. I so don't enjoy going, but I go so my kid can play with others. I have friends in class and it's always good to see them, but 3 hours is a bit long for my taste. If it was even a 1/2 hour shorter it would be better. Our craft is going to be making a fire truck out of a shoe box, goodness only knows where I'll put that once we're home.
I'm watching my child out the glass door and she is filling a bucket with water from her pool and throwing it on the grass. Good thing too, because ever since the power went out last Friday, my sprinkler system has been shut down and I don't know how to fix it. So my grass is going to be a bit dry pretty soon if we don't figure it out. I could always stand out there with the hose, but then I have to expend quite a bit of energy keeping Tabitha out of the water. Or let her run in it and risk getting soaked myself.
End of ramble.....for now.
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 05:13 PM PST
Sunday, October 5, 2003
Our little family has made the commitment to do whatever it takes to get to Walt Disney World for Tabitha's 6th birthday in January 2005. Yes, it's over a year away and the child hasn't even had her 5th birthday yet, but it's takes a while to save that much money and I'm an over-planner by nature. We have a plan of action that we are putting into effect tomorrow. I'll be making another webpage to keep track of how we achieve our goal. Since I am such a planner though, I've been researching all our options non-stop for the last 30 hours. I get so obsessive and it's hard for me to think of anything else. I'm very excited though, I even put a little monetary tracker in the sidebar there. Tomorrow I'll be able to change the amount we have to something above zero since we'll make our first deposit into our special fund then. It won't be much, but we can't get to $5000 without having $1 first.
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 09:15 PM PST
Friday, October 3, 2003
So the munchkin and I are doing whatever it is that we do in the early afternoons and I go to the fridge to get a drink. Both lights were out inside. So I'm thinking that the fridge just died because it's also not making any sound. But I wasn't sure and wanted to go to the store to buy a bulb so I could test it and glanced at the microwave clock to see if it was a good time to go. That's when I noticed the clock was off, and then my computer and, well, I think you get the idea. Our power had gone out. I checked the breakers and they weren't tripped and I didn't hear the "pop" that I usually hear if the power goes out so I called the electric company. They had no outages reported for my area so I gave them all my info and she said someone would be coming out here. After a couple hours we were just bored and decided to head to the mall. I called the elec. co. back just to verify that I didn't have to be home and they were reporting that my area and the city next to me had an unexplained power outage. So, it wasn't just us. Tabs and I took the bus and went to the mall for 3.5 hrs. I periodically called to hear the updates and it didn't come back on until 8:00pm, 5.5 hours after it went off. I'm glad we didn't wait around. So, we ate dinner at the mall and went in every single shop imaginable. On the bright side, we hit another major sale at Robinson's-May and Tabitha got another dress, a jumper with top and a pants and top outfit. She just adores trying on clothes and calls it a fashion show. So I'm now pleased with her fall/winter wardrobe as it is and don't really need to buy anything else. If I see something that's cute, I'll probably pick it up, but I don't have to actively look anymore. Well, except for she could use new slippers and maybe 2 pairs of pj's and some undies. I let her pick out two books at Borders and was pleased to see Barbie chapter books. Usually books on her reading level are a subject she can't relate to, like school. But these Barbie books are just perfect for her. She chose Swan Lake and will start reading it on our way to a playdate tomorrow since it's a bit of a drive. She also got a Halloween book to enjoy. Once we got home and she went to bed, I had the wonderful fun of setting all the clocks in the house. I'm trying to reset my sattelite, but it keeps getting stuck. I really don't feel like fiddling with it or calling customer service so I'll just wait for the hubby since he should be home relatively soon.
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 10:22 PM PST
Wednesday, October 1, 2003
Woo-Hoo! It looks like I *finally* fixed comments :)
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 06:42 PM PST
So my little stand-up comedian and I have been watching monstrous amounts of tv while first she, then I recover from our colds. Today, I mentioned having to get a flea medication for the dog and Tabitha says, "Why don't you call PetMeds? Then you don't have to leave the house!" OMG, I was laughing so darn hard! She quoted the commercial word for word. Then, to top things off, I was eating lunch and mentioned that although I couldn't taste my very spicy nachos (because of my stuffed nose) I could feel my mouth burning and she asked me if I need Prevacid because it's a heart-burn medicine! Funny, funny that kid of mine. The comedy never stops I tell ya, lol.
On a less funny note, there was an article in a supplement section of our Sunday paper that discussed the pros and cons of a vegetarian and vegan diet for children. Basically the article was saying a vegetarian diet is okay and a vegan diet is harmful. Someone actually brought this article to Chris because he was "concerned" about the welfare of our child. So, to anyone else who may have seen this article and feel you must warn us, I have this to say: First off, we're not vegan, we're vegetarian. Second of all, even if we *were* vegan, it's none of your business what we do or do not feed our child. We are well educated in nutrition (as are many vegetarians and vegans) and we are all healthy people, thank you very much. My child is not short or malnourished. No one thinks twice if I said I don't feed goat's milk to my child, so why is it shocking if she doesn't drink cow's milk? Just because it's not the "norm" doesn't mean it's bad, so please, no supposedly well-meaning comments directed towards us, okay?
Posted by Tara Zandra @ 06:22 PM PST