Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Bambi Story

Once upon a time, in the forest, there lived a bunch of woodland creatures who...

No, not THAT story.

In my Christmas post, I told you to remind me to tell you the story of the Bambi incident. You forgot already?? Geez.

Isabel had a small list for Santa. Weird things that we would never be able to find, for example: Hello Kitty's mom. Huh? No such plush. McWorld toys (from; they don't exist. A skateboard (she can't even ride a bike without training wheels yet, so no.) Makeup (double no.)

She did have things like Jimmy Neutron toys, which we scored at the Nickelodeon store at Universal Studios, and a Bambi plush toy she saw at the Disney store at the local mall. No problem with that one. I just needed to drop by the mall when she was not with me.

Saturday, Christmas Eve day, I am setting the table for Christmas Day dinner with two of my sisters and their families. As I work, Isabel is running around the table. She says "I am soooooo EXCITED to get my Bambi toy from Santa!!!"



Immediately I text David who was out shopping: "OMG! I FORGOT Bambi! Please stop by the Disney Store @ mall!!"

About an hour later, he calls to say "They sold the last one yesterday."


The store clerk called the next nearest Disney store (about an hour away from us.) They did not have any!

I text message my two West Coast sisters: "Anyone near a mall with Disney store?" Since they are coming to dinner the next day, maybe they could bring it by. I'd invent an excuse as to why they had it. Jany calls back to say she'd be driving by a mall in Tampa. I get the mall name, google it and call the Disney store there.

"No, sorry. Bambi is a seasonal item. We normally don't get them in until Easter."

Really? Bambi and THE resurrection story? Weird.

So, now I am in full freak-out mode and am thinking of a way to slowly let my girl know that tomorrow Santa crushes her heart to mush, only...there is one more option.

I drive down over an hour to Downtown Disney Marketplace and see if they have one.

Problems with this idea:

1) It's over an hour away
2) David has to work; I'd have to take the kids with me.
3) Downtown Disney on Christmas Eve?!?! With the kids?? Am I insane??
4) There is NO WAY to speak with a human being inside one of their stores. None. I tried. I Googled. I called 4 different phone numbers that all connected me to the same automated system that would not let you ask "Do you have a Bambi toy in your store?" I was taking a huge chance driving down there.

I decided to suck it up and go. We took our Universal Studios passes with us. After almost an hour's drive, I dropped the kids off at Universal's drop-off area, with explicit instructions to Jacob to take care of his sister, not be mean to her, and for Isabel to not whine and to obey her brother! Oy!

I hop back on the interstate for another 10 minute jaunt to Downtown Disney. Traffic is actually not bad. Thank you Lord. I get into a "Lot FULL" parking lot and immediately find a person backing out of a spot. Thank you Lord. The spot is in front of the one store I need to go to. Thank you Lord. I walk in, snake my way to the plush section, and ask the guy behind the register "Do you have Bambi plushes?"

He replies "No, we're out."


That's the sound of my heart hitting my feet.

I leave the register, and walk around. I see two workers stocking more plush toys. I walk up to them and ask "Would you happen to have Bambi plushes?" One looks pensive, while the other one says "Well, we do have Baby Bambi, would that do?" Thank you Lord.

Baby Bambi to the Rescue!
The above picture was taken with my phone, after squashing the urge to do the HAPPY DANCE right there in the store.

I worried a bit about whether she would be disappointed that this would not be the same one she wanted, which was Bambi as a "teen," not a baby. Oh well, I'm buying it.

I went back to Universal Studios and met up with the kids. We jumped from park to park, they were really not that crowded, it was great. We had Christmas Eve dinner at The Three Broomsticks restaurant in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter section at Islands of Adventure. It was really a fantastic evening. Thank you Lord. All that was missing was David. :( He had to work.

The next morning, when she saw that Bambi toy, she squealed. No, really. SQUEALED with delight at the baby Bambi. Here's the action shot:

That reaction is not faked. She was in heaven. She has not yet let go of this toy. So maybe they were right, those Disney store people. Bambi does have something to do with the Lord. (Thanks again Lord, and Happy Birthday.)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sci-Fi Hoedown: Stargate Universe Season 1

My hubby is a huge Stargate fan. We own all 10 Seasons of SG1 and all 5 of Atlantis. I've watched them all one time through. He's watched them at least two to three times through.

When they announced a new show, Stargate Universe, we decided to give it a try.

stargate Pictures, Images and Photos

Here's a brief synopsis from

A team of scientists and soldiers from the Icarus Base, are forced to evacuate their secret base and end up on the failing ancient spaceship Destiny in the farthest part of the universe, with no idea how to get home.

After unlocking the mystery of the Stargate's Ninth Chevron, a team of explorers led by Dr. Nicholas Rush and Colonel Everett Young travel to an unmanned starship called the Destiny, launched by the Ancients millions of years ago, at the height of their civilization as a grand experiment to seed galaxies with Stargates. They had plans for a second ship that would follow it up and explore those planets. This plan was set in motion, but it was abandoned
when the Ancients began concentrating on ascension.

What starts as a simple reconnaissance turns into a never ending mission, as the Stargate Universe crew discovers they are trapped on the ship, unable to change the programmed mission, or return to Earth, and they must now fend for themselves aboard the Destiny. They will encounter new races, new technology and new enemies, as the runaway ship takes them to the far ends of the universe.

I started to watch season 1, but about half-way through, I gave up. The redundant infighting between the military personnel and the medical/scientific staff was driving me nuts. I know the creators wanted a more realistic, true-to-life show. They did that, I totally agree, but I grew tired. It was the same back-stabbing every other episode.

About 4 months later I picked the series back up, because how can I review it, if I never finished it? As much as it pains me to say it, because I'll get an "I told you so" from David, I am actually glad I did. The writing hit its stride mid-season. There was still some infighting, but it was not the main theme of every flipping episode. SO glad they got over that. They have to gel as a team if they are going to survive. They finally get a common enemy to join them; actually more than one set of enemies. It makes you want to root for them rather than wishing the ship would blow up.

Kudos to actor Robert Carlyle as Dr. Nicholas Rush; he's so good because he made me HATE his character for the first half, and was the top reason I gave up on the series. The writers humanized him later on, thank goodness.

Louis Ferreira is well-placed as Colonel Everett Young. He was a realistic leader and I enjoyed his work.

Ming-Na's "Camile Wray" was just tedious; her character did not deserve that loving girlfriend at home. "Chloe Armstrong" = waste of space, while "Eli Wallace" is a waste of a wonderful character. The tight shirts and "cold" conditions for Lt. James are extremely ridiculous *eyeroll* Men.

Also, MICHAEL SHANKS guest starring! I would have missed that (plus O'Neill and Carter, yea, yea) had I not continued. *fanning self* Great Gobs of Gorgeousness! The man STILL looks good!

Make it through the first 10 episodes or so, and it gets better. I am looking forward to seeing Season 2.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Feliz Navidad 2010

Wishing You a Very Merry Christmas!

The Santa pile. Santa does not wrap presents. The "gifts from parents" pile was under the tree, wrapped.

Remind me later to tell you the Bambi story. This face right here made it all worth the effort.

Harry? Is that you?
(Pssst! The robe? It's mine! Jacob is just modeling it for me. It's all I wanted for Christmas.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy 17th Birthday!


My son is 17 today. Happy Birthday to my baby boy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Buffyfest Ornaments; Soldier Xander

Kyle from Ohio sent this Xander Soldier Nutcracker. That's Xander's face printed and pasted on the front of the nutcracker. :)

My daughter decided he needed slaying. Silly slayer.

Thanks, Kyle!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Epcot's Candlelight 2010

My son's school choir got to attend this year's Candlelight Processional at Epcot once again. Their performance was on Tuesday 12/14/10, and the guest reader was Grammy Winner Steven Curtis Chapman (whose story a few years back about the accidental death of his daughter broke my heart.)

I chaperoned for the school so I got to get in for free. We are fortunate to have a friend who works there who kindly met David and Isabel at the Epcot gate and got them in for free. Thank you, my friend.

It was COLD! In the low 30's/high 20's. You northerners may scoff but here's my point: I chose to live in Florida, not Minnesota, Wisconsin, Massachusetts. Florida. We are not prepared for weather like this. Our clothing is not made for this type of weather.

It was COLD.

A real Eagle perches atop the flag pole at the America pavilion of Epcot. How appropriate.

Click this picture to make it bigger. You can see where I circled Jacob, and then you can know where to look on the video below.

We got the rest of the night free to walk around Epcot, do some rides and see the fireworks before heading back to the chartered bus (and the world's crankiest bus driver. Mister, you need a new line of work. You were a Scrooge, and this is a mom talking here, not one of the kids you yelled at on the bus.)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Universal Browncoats!

Not one person knew what our hats were about. Not a one. We had one person comment on the hats, but it was a Hogsmeade worker, and I think they thought we were just wearing Gryffindor colors.

Come on Browncoats, represent! :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Buffyfest Ornaments; Paper Doll Buffy

Courtney from NY sent me this Buffy paper doll. But wait, there's more.

She has interchangeable clothes!

Then there's always Beach Bikini Buffy.

Now, if only I can keep it out of my daughter's hands, we're all set.

Thanks, Courtney!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Visiting Santa

Ah, it's that time again. Visiting old St. Nick. The hour-long wait actually wasn't that bad. I left them in line while I went to get us some coffee. Then David and I talked about this and that, and the time flew.

She wanted to read her entire list to him, but I dissuaded her. I explained there were soooo many more kids in line and she should just tell him one or two things she'd like.

He's a silly Santa.

Doesn't he look a bit like Mr. Miyagi in this picture below?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Universal Orlando in Pictures

We are really enjoying our annual passes to Universal Studios Florida and they are really making it fun to own. From a private invitation to a Harry Potter party (which we rsvp'd to, but then had to skip because of one of Jake's musical performances ended up being on the same night *sniff*) to special e-mail offers, we feel, that's the word? Oh, appreciated. They appreciate our business.

To that end, here's a photo book they gave us for free (of course, there's S&H, but whatever. I'm happy.) We were allowed to upload pictures and also choose pictures that we had taken by Universal photographers and rides at the parks on various days.

UPDATE: I can't get the video to load, can you? If not, click here instead.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Buffyfest Ornaments; Spike Book

Alissa from PA created this full-color book "written" by our very own Andrew Wells.

This biography tells of the life and times of one of our favorite vampyres with a soul, Spike.

Full color pictures of the blondie-bear fill its pages.

Well played, Alissa, well played. :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Singing 2010

Our son Jacob sang again with his school's choir at their Holiday Concert. This year, they shared the stage with a new high school in our county; this is their first year ever being open, and our choral director invited them to share in our show this year.

After singing together, Encore performed. Encore is the school's Vocal Ensemble group that you have to audition for. PROUD MOM MOMENT: Jacob is in it. Here they sing a cool version of "Carol of The Bells." Jacob is one of the 4 basses vocalizing in the beginning and throughout.

Encore also sang separate in this arrangement of "Do You Hear What I Hear."


Thursday, December 9, 2010

On the Weight Loss Front; Month 2

I forgot to update my month 2 results.

Month 1 = 11 lb. loss

Month 2 = 4.6 lb. loss.

I was a little disappointed, but still, a loss is a loss.

Month 3 is currently happening. Thanksgiving was in Month 3 and although I have not gained (Amen) the weight loss so far has been minimal. I'm just hoping to make it through the holidays unscathed. :)

Two month weight loss total = 15.6 pounds.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Buffyfest Ornaments; Blue Sun

Theresa/Tilt Creations sent me this hand-painted Blue Sun ornament.

Here it is with some of last year's ornaments.

Thanks, Theresa!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Is that Jeep window of yours slipping?

Two months ago, my 2004 Jeep Liberty's rear window stopped working. Well, the motor worked, but the window glass would not go up or down. Then, it just started slipping on its own. You have no idea how annoying it is to have a window slowly slip down, especially in the rain.

Back in 2009, my Jeep dealership that I loved closed down. The nearest one is just too darned far away. I was loyal to them for 3 years. I've been taking it to the local Firestone, so when I had my next oil change, I asked them to look at the window. The mechanics there are very nice and called me back to say that they could probably fix it, but in doing research, they found that this problem has happened to hundreds of people all over country. They suggested I call a Jeep dealership to see if there was some recall, or warranty first. If not, they would fix it, but just the parts would be $100+, not counting labor.

I am glad they were honest and gave me the option to check. I called the too-far dealership and left a message with their service manager, asking them if there was some kind of recall on that rear window, because I saw on the internet that a lot of people were having the same issue.

He never called me back; today will be 4 weeks since I left the message. They in turn will never get my business, like the closed Jeep dealership did.

While Googling the many complaints about this problem, I stumbled across the Jeep Forum. The problem is happening everywhere, but since it is not a safety issue, Jeep won't replace the item for free; the cheap plastic item that some people have gotten replaced at dealerships, only to have it break again a few months later. $200-$300 in repairs!

A website with replacement parts kept popping up on various websites: Steiger Performance's repair kits. Unlike the cheap plastic replacement parts Jeep uses, the people at Steiger came up with their own metal version. Many people expressed satisfaction, so I took a chance and ordered the parts; $89.95 plus shipping.

I was nervous but optimistic. Having a mechanic friend is a plus!!

The door panel was removed,

the motor was disconnected, the cheap plastic part was removed and

replaced by the nice Steiger Performance one aaaaaand

my window was fixed for $89.95, plus shipping and a $25 Starbucks gift card to my friend. I also have peace-of-mind that this metal part won't break like the cheap plastic kind.

I love my Jeep, I truly do. It saddens me that Jeep just does not care enough to (return calls and) replace cheap plastic parts for good quality parts, leaving us hard-working people out $200-$300 if we were to go to them.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Buffyfest Ornaments; The Punching Bag

Woo Hoo! Richelle from Brooklyn, NY sent this fabulous ornament! Jacob and I have not stopped laughing at its awesomeness!

What is it, you non-Whedonists may ask?

In the episode "Chosen," Spike sees Buffy kissing Angel. Spike, being in love with Buffy, gets upset and quietly goes back home (which is currently in Buffy's basement.) When Buffy gets back, she finds Spike punching on a punching bag with a special drawing on it.

Angel's head, as depicted by Spike.

LOVE this ornament!! Thanks Richelle!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Buffy Season 8; The Who Whating How With Huh?

I really am not cut out for comic book reading. I must be doing something wrong. No, really. I truly believe it is me.

Season 8 has been up and down for me. A lot of times, I've had no clue why things are happening, or if they were even relevant. This entire Twilight arc has been bizarre for me. Angel is Twilight. Huh? Why? I don't get it.

I just read # 39 tonight. If you've read it, you know why I say that I REALLY don't get it. Yea, pathos. Pain. How could you, yada yada.

What the heck? What the heck is Twilight? Why is he/it also the ...thing...created in this new universe of Buffy and Angel's creation? How can he/it be the thing in the new universe and also have been here before, leading Angel on? What was the point of Angel fighting the Slayers? To get the seed? Um, just go get it. Or was that not the point of Twilight? I can't remember. Please help explain.

And really? Bangel create a new 'verse by copulating?

Please, someone explain. Seriously. It's me. I am apparently comic-stupid. I can dissect novels until the cows come home, and then I can dissect the cows, but comics? My head is going to implode, but not until I re-read the entire series again (for a third time.)


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Choose Me!

Somebody recently asked me "If you could trade places with anyone you know, who would it be and why?"

I thought. I pondered. I then said "I choose me!"

I don't really want to be a famous singer/actor/dancer, etc. and I don't know any famous people. In looking around at friends, great friends, and family, crazy-great family, I still choose me.

I like me. I'm not being stuck-up, and if I come off that way, I apologize. I am NOT being self-aggrandizing. I am not perfect. I need to lose weight, gain more patience, be a little bolder. I have hurt other's feelings and have not been forgiven. Although my apology was accepted, and I was at fault, it has really not been forgotten, and the loss of the friendship makes me sad.

I'm not perfect.

Yet, in the grand scheme of things, I would want to be my friend. I would! I am loyal, kind, caring, intelligent. I have fantastic children, a husband who I love and loves me back, neat-freakness and all, a good job, a lovely home.

I am a book nerding, sci-fi geeking, crafty chic-ing, cool cake baking & decorating gal.

So again, to the person who asked: I Choose Me!