Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bella's Birthday Cake Part 3

Still catching up on the pictures, sorry folks...

The Saturday after Bella's actual birthday, my sister and her family came up to visit Bella and have some quality cousin play time. Bella loved it, of course, especially the Hullabaloo game they gave her that they spent a good solid hour playing (note to any other parents out there: this game is worth its weight in gold!).

The weather was pretty nice that day, so we were able to go out to the big park by our house and let the girls go nuts there for a while. Bella's very anxious for the weather to warm up so she can have her mommy and daddy spend hours pushing her on the swings. Ah, can't wait for spring.

Lastly, the shirt Bella is wearing is a classic I found at Target right before Bella's birthday. It's hard to read on the picture, but it says:
Reasons why you might confuse me with a Rock Star:
1. I can scream really loud
2. When I don't get my way, I throw a temper tantrum
3. I'm up all night
4. You can't completely understand what I'm saying
5. No one else can pull off this hairdo.

I swear that neither Michele or I had anything to do with the creation of this shirt...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bella's Birthday Cake Part 2

Yes, Part 2 of Bella's birthday cakes for her 3rd birthday. Part 1 was the cupcakes she helped to make while we were down at Grandma and Grandpa's house. This time around, she made a birthday cake with mommy while daddy was off at class. We of course then had a piece after I got home, after she had her favorite meal of, what else, mac and cheese for her birthday!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Florida Pics Part 4

Here's the last of the pics from our trip to FLA. These are from SeaWorld, including Bella watching the Shamu and sea lion shows, Bella and I on her second roller coaster trip, and Michele petting a sloth's butt. Good times.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Florida Trip Part 3

For the second half of our visit to Florida, we packed everything up and headed northing to Orlando to take Bella on her first visit to Disney World. After a pretty quick drive, we got to Disney World just before lunch time.

We must have picked the right day to go, despite it being spring break for alot of families. We got a pretty decent parking spot and got in the park with no problems. I thought for sure we'd be waiting in lines for an hour for pretty much any ride at all, but the longest we ended up waiting was about 40 minutes, and that was for the Peter Pan ride!

Bella loved the Magic Kingdom of course, she got to go on the carousel a few times, then the Dumbo ride, the Magic Carpet ride, It's a Small World, the Peter Pan ride, the Pirates of the Caribbean (which freaked her out since it's pitch black dark most of the time now), the car driving ride and a monorail type ride.

Most importantly of all though, Bella went on her first roller coaster ride at Disney! She really, really wanted to go on the kid sized roller coaster that they had at the Sesame Place park we went to in August, but she was just under the height requirement. All of those months of eating mac and cheese and pizza must have paid off, she definitely made the height requirement this time around.

She made me go on with her, and we practically walked up to the ride with no line. She wasn't afraid at all, she was super excited to go on. We went on, of course the ride barely took a minute, but she was smiling and laughing through almost the whole ride. As soon as we got off the ride, the first words out of her mouth literally were "I LOVE ROLLER COASTERS!"

So I was very proud of course. We stuck around to the end of the night, for what we thought would be the big parade at the end. It turned out to only be a big fireworks show, but Bella didn't care, she had a huge smile on her face though that. You can pretty much see how happy she was by the last picture below.

After we braved the stampede out of the park, we got into the car, and by the time we got to the exit, Bella was passed out like a rock. We got to the hotel a few miles away, put Bella in bed while Grandma kept an eye on her, and we went to get a very late dinner at the Checkers which was across the street from the hotel. The only problem with this is because of the retarded way the streets are set up there, it took us a good 15 minutes just to get across the street. Didn't matter, we don't have Checkers near us up here, so we always make the effort to go while we're in Florida and get plenty of their awesome fries.

We got up the next morning and decided to head over to SeaWorld, since Bella loves sea lions and penguins so much. We had another very good day there with excellent weather once again, Bella got to see more seals, whales and dolphins than we could shake a stick at. Michele and I even fed a bunch of sea lions at one point, which Bella enjoyed since she got to hear them all barking at us for a while.

After a trip back to the hotel, and a little time in one of the pools, we decided to have a big dinner at Maggiano's that night. "BIG" being the operative word. We did their family style dinner, had more food than I care to remember, and did a pretty good job of polishing it all off. Thank god it's getting warm up here now and I can go and run it all off again.

After one more night of good sleep, we packed everything up and headed to the airport. Once again, I don't know if we just had the luckiest time in the world, but when we got to the Orlando airport that Saturday afternoon, we walked right up to the United counter, quickly through security, and were pretty much at our gate in 20 minutes. Slight difference from O'Hare there.

It was an excellent time though, a very good warm up for Bella's big 3rd birthday week. Thanks very much again to Grandma and Grandpa G for everything.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Post-Vacation Update

We are back, we just spent 10 days in sunny and thankfully not hot Florida visiting Michele's family and doing all sorts of touristy things.

Our trip didn't get off to a great start unfortunately... As we were getting out of our car at O'Hare at 6 AM last Thursday, Bella tripped over a curb on the way into the airport and bit her lip pretty badly. So we weren't even at our gate to take our plane, and our poor girl got her first bad bruise and cut. Good times.

Luckily, that was the only bad thing that happened from there on out. Once our plane got off the ground, we made excellent time down to Miami. We even got there before the expected arrival time, so sadly I'll never know how the masterpiece "The Express" ends. Crap.

We took it easy at first to let Bella heal up, but ended up hitting the Miami zoo early on in the trip. Bella enjoyed it alot since we got a 4 person bike that Michele's parents and us powered while Bella navigated the park. We got to feed some giraffes ourselves, although Bella was too scared to do it herself.

We thankfully were able to have a couple of date nights out thanks to Grandma and Grandpa G. Bella made it extremely easy on them too, since she passed out while watching movies with them two of the nights. We did get out to see Watchmen on Friday night, I thought they did a fantastic job of translating it to the big screen, which I thought would be impossible. Don't know how much people who weren't fans of the comic would love it though.

We also got out to see Girl Talk play a small club in Fort Lauderdale to make up for the big festival that got canceled that weekend. It was good to see the show there, since the place I saw him at in Chicago held almost 2,000 people, and this place probably held 500. The band Deerhunter opened the show, they were very good, but I swear they were playing at My Bloody Valentine volume levels in a club that tiny. Of course I forgot our earplugs, so that was a painful but enjoyable set. Girl Talk did another fun, crazy set, but it just wasn't as good as the Chicago show in November for some reason I can't put my finger on. It might have been being close enough to see the 17 year olds wiping the sweat off of Gregg Gillis and wiping all over themselves and licking it.

The weather was absolutely perfect the whole time we were there, barely above 80 and sunny the entire time. We hit the beach a few times as a result, especially the beach Bella loves since it has a playground on the beach.

We took advantage of one more date night to finally get out to see Slumdog Millionaire. We're only about 5 months or so behind when I wanted to see that, so we finally knocked that one off of our list. It's pretty redundant to say it's an excellent movie as you've probably heard by now, we just took a while to get a chance to see it.

The last part of our Fort Lauderdale/Miami portion of our trip was another visit to the Miami Seaquarium. We really like that place alot, they have a very good sea lion show that Bella really loves, and they have a cool show with an Orca whale swimming in the same pool with a pair of dolphins that is really great too. Bella loved it all once again, so that was time well spent.

More to follow with our adventure up to Orlando, and Bella's first trip to Disney World...