I have to put a break in my chronicles of Disney because of three thoughts that I don’t want to forget and are relevant now.

Elise had to get her shots a day after we got back from the trip.  Chris came along because I knew she also was going to get the anemia and lead testing done (which translates to blood being drawn, a weakness of Mommie and I was afraid Elise would be screaming.  One of my most memorable events was the jaundice test for Joelle, less then one week old.  They couldn’t get enough blood and her crying literally drove me mad.  Chris sent me out of the room while they finished scraping the hell out of Joelle’s heel.)  First up, the shots.  She only shed one tear for three shots.   Second test, the blood sample.  I assumed they’d scrape Elise’s heel to get the blood, but they actually gave my tiny baby a little tourniquet and stuck a needle in her arm!   It was the craziest thing.  Elise sat in Chris’s lap, eating yogurt raisans, without batting an eye lash.   Both the nurse and lab technician were also in shock, waiting for the plaintive wails to ensue.  Elise is one tough baby.

Joelle caught me by suprise this week with her intelligence.  She’s this little thing who was so, so cute walking down the aisle for practice last night for Meg and Danny’s wedding, but she’s also got this spark of witty straightforwardness that seems so big for her age.  We were getting her valentine baggies ready for her classmates.  Chris walked in and I said, “yeah, I’m not sure if these were supposed to go yesterday with the actual valentines (they were due a day early to give the kids time to sort them out and distribute to the appropriate mailboxes).  I just figured these wouldn’t fit in the mailbox slots.”  Joelle looked incredulously at me and said, “Mommie, they’re shoeboxes.  You can take the lid off.”  I started giggling at her observation.  Chris, too, thought it was funny.

As mentioned above, we went to Meg and Danny’s rehearsal last night for the wedding.  Chris mentioned afterwards, “I was struck by the moment.  Danny really is getting married.”  Meg has felt part of our family for a very long time.  Joelle has always adored her and is quite confused that she is only now becoming an “aunt noonie” because she has always thought of her as an aunt, but Chris is right – it’s so cool that Meg and Danny are getting married.  It’s such an awesome event and I am always moved during the ceremony.  I expect no less tonight.  I was personally also struck last night by something that seems so obvious.  Danny is old now.  I don’t mean that in a mean way, I just mean to say that in my mind he’s always stayed about the age he was when Chris and I got married.  Standing up there, it struck me that he’s grown up so much.  As the second kid with a big brother, it just felt like Danny would always be way younger.  Maybe I’m trying to kid myself into thinking I’m still young!  Anyway, I can’t wait for tonight.  I’m very happy for them.   


Joelle is loving High School Musical.  She goes through cycles of adoration and, after Danny and Meg’s giftie at Christmas (HS Musical CD), she’s been all over it.  Chris and I have been agreeable with this cycle, it’s actually pretty fun music.  So, we bought HS Musical 2.  Joelle was watching it the other morning.  I walked in the room and tears were in my baby’s eyes.  Troy (Joelle calls him Trent) and Gabrielle had just broken up.  She was so upset and it was time to walk out the door for school, but I did my best to console her and said, “baby, that’s a good lesson.  Trent wasn’t treating Gabrielle right, so she left him.  I hope you do the same thing if that happens to you.”  She looked up at me as if she understood, but then broke out in fresh tears and said, “but Trent gets more jewelry!”  I felt like saying, “come again.”  I did encourage her to explain more and she said, “Trent already has a ring and now he gets the necklace, too?”  Yeah, clearly Joelle didn’t really get the whole idea behind what was going on.  (Troy gives Gabrielle a necklace at the beginning of the movie and she gives it back when they break up.) 

Oh well, like I said before, the music is catchy.  Little Elise even likes it.  Her favorite is the “bop to the top” song.  She sings along, “bop, bop, bop,” with the music.

Joelle and I were playing with her “Christmas” Playmobil set. The way Joelle plays with figures right now she usually has them all do something as a group. For example, “they are all going to go ice skating” and she takes them via a sleigh ride in groups to the lake. If she asks me what I think various characters should do I usually engage them in dialogue and make up situations.

So, I was surprised when Joelle abruptly started a dialogue between two characters: Santa and a boy. I was further surprised with the direction the discussion went:

Santa (Joelle): Ho, ho, ho. I am brining GOOD NEWS to Playmobil Land.

Boy (Joelle): What, Santa?

Santa (Joelle) : There will be NO CHRISTMAS this year.

She stopped here as if that was the full script she had worked up by herself, so I interjected as “the boy”.

Boy (me): No Christmas? That’s not good news!

Santa (Joelle): It is for me, I get to take a break.

Santa (Joelle): Actually the elves and the reindeer aren’t available and they usually help me so Christmas has been moved to May 25th.

Boy (me): <silence>

I guess one of the hardest thing for kids (and adults) to learn is to look at a situation from someone else’s point of view. Joelle impressed me with her insight there!

We were sitting in Fuddrucker’s the other day and Joelle asked who sang a song that was playing. Most of the songs they play are from the 1960’s. I knew most of them and I started thinking – how did I learn these songs? My parents didn’t play music from the 1960’s all the time. Growing up without the internet (“dark ages”), we had to either listen to the music on the radio or play it in the house/in the car….and we didn’t do either.

Then I realized at least a piece of the equation. The 1980’s TV commercials selling music compilations. Those of you who watched a lot of TV during the 80’s will remember them. They usually a loose “theme” with cheesy actors in the background while the names/artists scroll on the screen with a medley of the “hits” playing. I guess that turned out to be an effective way to cram a couple of decades of music into kids’ heads. Think about it – you get the tune and the artist for about 20 popular songs within a couple of minutes. And you see the same commercials over and over and over again. I watched the CCR example and it was as if I had just seen it yesterday.

Here are some examples of what I’m talking about. I know I’m not the only one who remembers these, right?

1. “Heartbeat” – too bad I couldn’t find a good quality video of this one.

2. “CCR” – this one is the most memorable to me for some reason. I could only find it with another commercial (for “Lamar Savings”…a symbol of the S&L Crisis in the 80’s) in front of it, which is humorous in its own right.

3. “Freedom Rock” – I always assumed that they were trying to be over the top on cheesiness here, but I could be wrong. Embedding is disabled on this one so you’ll have to click HERE to view it.

Saw this when we we were looking at restaurants in the park for our next Disney trip:

Make a culinary discovery of your own right in the bustling heart of Innoventions. Choose from cheeseburgers, deli-style sandwiches and scrumptious salads. Spice things up at our fixin’s bar.”

Ooh – discover a cheeseburger!

Learning to read is just so cool. I’m in awe of how all the pieces are clicking in Joelle’s head. It’s also teaching us that we can no longer spell to “say” things to each other without Joelle knowing what we are saying. We were invited to a party at Monkey Bizness and it happens to be the site of a tragic incident where a local mom got a burn from a slide and later died from a staph infection. When we got the invite, I said to Chris, “oh, this is where the Wilchester mom D-I-E-D.” Joelle immediately picked up on the spelling and tried to decipher the code. Quickly, I laughed and said the first phrase that started with “D” and sounded like “dee-eye-ee-dee”. Oddly, it was “duty free.” We all laughed… Note to self, come up with something funny to just change the subject! It worked.

Not to make light, of course, of the mommie who passed away. I must admit that I was in a bit of a funk that day after reading that e-mail with the news of her tragedy. What if it had been me? I was clearly trying to protect my baby from this story when I conjured up “duty free.”

Petie and I are reading “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child”. Elise isn’t a bad sleeper necessarily, I’m guessing she’s about average. But we long for the long, uninterrupted sleep at night that we eventually got from Joelle so we’re looking for any tips we can.

I won’t review the book – as most of these books go it has a bunch of “success stories” which are kind of fluff to make the book long enough to be, well, a book. It has a few nuggets of really interesting information as well. One thing the author does is to use boxes every now and again with headings like “Practical Point”, “Major Point”, “Helpful Hint”, etc. The first night I opened the book to Chapter Six: Month Four to Twelve to get a feel for what is “average”. There is a section in this chapter about “Bedtime”, starting with a paragraph about establishing a routine before bedtime. OK, sounds reasonable…pretty common knowledge if you’ve read books like this.

Then he hits us with a “Practical Point”. I expect suggestions on what to do for a bedtime routine. Instead he states “One parent who keeps a baby up past the child’s natural time to sleep may be using this play time with the child to avoid unpleasant private time with the other parent.”

I don’t really know what to say about that.

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