Saturday, June 28, 2008

Disney Cruise!

We are back--and coated in pixie dust! We had a wonderful time; if it had been a little cooler, I would say that we were in paradise. But it was about 20 degrees hotter than paradise--haha! The ship was FANTASTIC and Spencer had a blast.
Some notes about our trip:

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* Spencer enjoyed flying! My little goofy kid was ALL NORTH CAROLINA when we hit a small pocket of turbulence; he decided the pilot hit an air possum. UGH! He maneuvered through airports like a champ and was an angel during each flight. I do need to mention that he cried and hugged so tightly when it was time to say bye to Boppa.

* Getting on the ship was a breeze--no lines, totally organized, etc. As soon as we embarked, we went for lunch....and here is where we hit our first glitch. When we got to the restaurant, Spencer said he didn't feel good. We were up at 4am for an early flight so I thought he was just tired. He couldn't eat. He had the chills. We left Nana eating lunch and I took him to the stateroom to rest. After a few hours of rest, he was better and we went to the (mandatory) muster drill, then I took him to the pools/big Mickey slide. We got ready for that evening's show (The Golden Mickeys) and were in the theater all of 5 minutes when he got sick again. Back to the stateroom-- we ended up missing the show and our big dinner at Animator's Palette. Spencer had meds and rested-- Mom and I ordered room service and relaxed. A little after midnight, Spencer vomited. For someone who had not eaten all day, I sure had a ton of crud to clean up off the bed, the pillows, my hair, my arms, my gown (I was holding him when it happened)--what a mess! We got all cleaned up and I was going to take him to the ship infirmary and he swore that he felt better and just wanted to rest. I told him if he was still sick in the morning, he would have to go.

* The next morning, he felt better. He wasn't 100% but he was well enough that he wanted to go to the beach. So we grabbed breakfast and the beach bag and got off the ship to enjoy Castaway Cay. I am telling you-- when they say all inclusive, they mean it. The food was fantastic, unlimited towels, chairs, umbrellas, fruit, soda--everything was included. The only thing I had to pay for was alcohol, shopping and if we wanted to rent anything that day. We rented floats for the lagoon. It would have been perfect, but it was 95 degrees and 90% humidity--- too hot. We rented a FunCat--which is a battery powered lounger-- a high class paddle boat. We also went on our stingray adventure. Not so great actually. When we first got into the ocean to start feeding them, two rays got into a fight and pinched the arm of a woman in our group. Once the blood came, Spencer and Nana ripped off their snorkel gear and stomped out of the water. I could not bribe my kid to get back in the water. I fed the rays (cautiously!) but I did not snorkel-- we went on back early. We rested a bit, got cleaned up and went to Pirate Night! Lots of fun, hi jinks, special dinner, huge deck party and fireworks off the ship. Spencer LOVED it!

* The next day, we disembarked in Nassau, Bahamas. I took Spencer through the market on the way to the Ferry and I think he was a little intimidated by the people, noise, and excessive heat. It got to 103 that day! Spencer asked me as we exited the market, "Mom, why did all those women keep asking to braid your hair?" hahah! We rode a large catamaran over to Blue Lagoon Island. It was about a 30 minute transfer. The cool breeze coming off of the water and the beautiful scenery of the Bahamas made it bearable. We got to Blue Lagoon and checked in, then we were directed to walk to the Sea Lion habitat. On our way over, two dolphins swam over to meet us and exploded out of the water in a beautiful hello--dolphin style. The look on Spencer's face right then was worth the $ for the cruise....seriously. He was WOWed. I wish we could have gotten a dolphin reservation but they were booked solid before we even decided on the cruise. We lucked up and got the Sea Lion time slot. The Sea Lion habitat was buzzing-- the evening before, they had their first ever sea pup born there. The trainers were so happy, they were nearly in tears. All the sea lions in the program are aquarium rescues from Hurricane Katrina and the funds from the excursion help support ongoing rescue programs. Our encounter was with the sweetest sea lion named PJ, she was cuddly, gave the softest fish-breath kisses and she was adorable! Spencer and I LOVED getting to meet her and learn all about her. During our training class, Spencer sat in the front row and I don't think he blinked. He clung to every word the marine specialist said. The only problem we had was when it was time to get in the lagoon with PJ, Spencer freaked at what ELSE was in the lagoon. The Caribbean water is crystal clear blue so you can see EVERYTHING. Spencer saw all the big fish in the water and he was scared that the fish would bite his toes. They wouldn't let us wear water shoes in the lagoon (or sunglasses) so I held Spencer the first few minutes and then he relaxed. After the encounter with PJ, Spencer played in the touch and learn tanks and got to feels little rays, starfish, and about 10 other things I can't remember. The marine folks there are very good with the kids! After we showered and dressed and spent the customary obscene amount on pictures, videos and souvenirs, we took the ferry back to Nassau. Spencer fell asleep on the way back. He didn't feel like shopping or anything in Nassau so went went back to the ship. He was excited to show Nana his pictures with PJ! That night was dressy night for dinner. Spencer looked very handsome in his little suit. He strutted around with Goofy and we watched the new show/musical "Toy Story."

* The next day we went back to Castaway Cay. It was another 95 day scorcher so we came back to the ship by 2:00. We spent the morning lounging under palm trees then Spencer got this genius idea to rent an Aqua Trike. Oh. Good. Lord. That was 30 minutes of cycling torture. Paddling against the wind and current in the hot sun was something more suited for Guantanamo Bay--not my vacation. Never again! Back at the ship, Spencer went to Oceaneer's Club and played all afternoon. They made Flubber! I asked him how he made it and he said, "Here's the thing Mom. Grown ups can't know the recipe." Hmmpf! While Spencer was playing at the Kids club, Nana and I enjoyed a wonderful French dinner at Triton's.

* The last day was a blur. We had an early flight so we had to skip the departure breakfast. We had a smooth transfer back to the airport. All of our flights were on time and all of a sudden we were home. Well all but one suitcase made it home and Delta delivered it to the house the next day. Spencer had a great time telling Boppa all about his trip!

And a few other notes:

* if you order a glass of wine, and the entire ship is out of your selection (what are the chances?) and you let the sommelier recommend something for you.... it is going to be $20 for a half glass. No kidding.

* I got a pretty new watch-- duty free shopping rocks. Even though Spencer giggles every time he hears the words Duty-Free. Who am I kidding-- I laugh, too!

* SPF clothing ROCKS. As sensitive as my skin is, I managed to NOT GET BURNED this entire trip.

* When the room steward leaves a towel monkey hanging from the curtain rod, a little boy will fall off the bed reaching for it--and it will make his eye red and purple.

* The corndogs on the ship were better than my prime rib. The prime rib was wonderful-- there was just something special about the corndogs!

* I spent all afternoon yesterday working on my album from the cruise. (I went digital for this one!)

* The characters left surprises in the room for Spencer every day. Tinkerbell left surprises under his pillow every morning-- he was spoiled rotten on this trip!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Remember my birthday (but forget my age)

If you *have* to get older, this was a pretty cool way to do it. I slept in, lallygagged a little, then met some friends for lunch. And by lunch I mean appetizers and drinks. I'm sure it was 5:00 somewhere....
After lunch, we went to the new coffee house in Archdale, The Wet Whistle. It is right at the south end of High Point--if you haven't been yet, it is awesome. But make sure you fix your hair and makeup before you go because you will see every dadburn person you know if you stop there. Ask me how I know this...
Laura was doing a chocolate tasting there today. Okay so maybe we were doing more of a caramel and toffee tasting, but there was definitely chocolate present. As I sit here updating my blog, I am "sampling" Laura's famous English toffee. That stuff is smack mammy good.

I received some great cards in the past couple of days! My farthest came from Paula in Australia! I received a handmade card from Ashley in Arkansas, Dee's card played music, most every one's card made me laugh, -- I love all of my cards! And wow, I was spoiled this year with gifts! Mom and Dad gave me a BEAUTIFUL jewelry set (pendant, bracelet, earrings -- diamonds and white gold) I can't wait to get dressed up just to wear it! Spencer gave me a lovely blue topaz and diamond pendant--his birthstone. He was so excited for me to open it. He kept saying, "That's a REAL gemstone Mommy!" I assured him that I did NOT think it came from the gumball machine at the fish house. It is beautiful! My friends showered me with lots of $$$ for my upcoming cruise, books, scrapbooking supplies, and giftcards to my favorite stores.

Even though a couple of my friends blew me off for really lame things like their daughter's dance recital (ahem, Lesley), stomach flu (ahem, Deb) or their vacations (ahem, Kim and Pam), we still managed to have a table full of silliness and laughed the entire time. A good part of the time was dedicated to our favorite "drunk Julie" stories... ah... good times indeed!
Jen drove all the way in from Charlotte just to have lunch with me. I had not seen her in over a year! That was probably my biggest surprise today!
I love how well all my friends merge together. I guess that means that I make friends with about the same type of people (nut jobs). My work friends, my neighbor friends, my scrapbook friends, friends of the family, my old high school friends-- all of them laugh and carry on as if they have known each other for years. I love it!

Friday, June 20, 2008

I missed him!

Valerie sent me a WONDERFUL birthday package today. She sent me an Instant Message that said "Has the Hot Fed Ex guy come to your house today?" What???? Is the hot Fed Ex guy coming??? Yes! She said she sent me a package-- yikes--just as I started to run for a hairbrush, I saw the back end of the Fed ex truck going up the driveway. I missed him. darn it all.
She IM's me at the exact time he made the drop! That Valerie must be psychic. And a pretty awesome gift shopper. Thanks Val-- I love it all!

Hey local friends

Although I will not be able to make it, I hope some of my local friends will be able to attend. If you go, make sure you run up the bid on the Mama Laura's Chocolates at the silent auction! Laura's goodies are FABULOUS and it is for a great cause! For more information, go to

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Last night I wanted to run to the mall but I decided not to go--I would wait until I needed to go out for other errands. I just realized that I made a decision NOT to shop based on gas being too high. I'm pissed now. So I bought new shoes online. God bless Zappos.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

First Birthday Gift of 2008

I received a birthday present today! True to her style, Kim went over and beyond- I received a BEAUTIFUL bag full of handpicked goodies. Kim always finds me the most beautiful pins for my collection. Today she gave me a gold and amber flourish that is so pretty! She also gave me a beautiful hardbound journal, a piece of inspiration art that I have read about 100 times since she gave it to me a few hours ago, a killer picture frame for a cruise photo, and the elusive lanyards I am always needing.
Kim and I spent the afternoon shopping. She needed a "particular" brown skirt. We looked in a few stores--she found the perfect one--but not in her size so they called around to other malls and found one at a Dillard's-- back in Charlotte, where she started looking!! How about that??
I found Spencer a few short sets at Gymboree. Belks was having a decent sale so I ended up buying a new dress for myself. Supposedly, I went to this mall looking for jeans for my Canadian friend- they didn't have her jeans, but I ended up buying myself new stuff. Funny how that seems to always happen...

Father's Day Morning

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We had an early start! I set up "Danishes for Dad" at church this morning for all the wonderful Dads. It was fun! We had mini ham biscuits, sausage biscuits, assorted danishes, muffins, buns, fruits, juices, pastries, etc. The kids really enjoyed it. For table decor, I used golf balls, tees, ties and a ball and glove--inexpensive and adorable! In one of the pictures, I am standing with Kelley--our Children's Minister. She is an absolute treasure and the children think she is divine. Well-- all of us adults think she is pretty darn awesome as well!

Spencer and I enjoyed breakfast at church with Boppa then Boppa enjoyed unwrapping his Father's Day presents from us. Notice the redneck Richard Petty wrapping paper? Sigh..... He loves it. We gave Dad a new shirt, a Johnny Cash CD, golf balls and a Richard Petty collectible. Dad is a big kid at heart. He still gets "toys" every chance he gets.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Whew! It's Hot!

It has been HOT and humid the last few days. Yuck. Why does the heat and humidity have to ruin an otherwise perfectly beautiful day?
Check out this picture of Spencer--what is more perfect than a little boy sitting on the porch on a hot day with an ice cold chunk of watermelon?

So what else is going on other than sweating??
I just found out that Johnny Depp is teaming with Warner Bros. on a movie version of the classic (late 60's - early 70's)supernatural soap opera Dark Shadows. Depp will play lead vampire Barnabas Collins. This soap was one of my mom's favorites! Did you know she got my name from the character off of Dark Shadows?

I still can't believe it is already June. I still have Easter candy- how can it be summer? Oh well- at least we have vacation coming up!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Oh what a difference one little letter can make

Today is Spencer's last day of 1st grade. All of his writing journals, artwork, etc. were sent home yesterday. My poor kid... he spells phonetically, which is okay, but sometimes he misses a letter.

If you are familiar with SpongeBob Squarepants, you will recognize this picture as Plankton going to the Chum Bucket. But Bucket is spelled wrong...oh, and he left the very important "H" out of Chum......sigh.....

What's worse is that the next page was about a flag. But he forgot the "L"....I really hope his teachers have a sense of humor; if not, they were probably shocked and offended on a regular basis.

Note to self: work on spelling with Spencer over the summer !!!!

Yet another baseball post

Spencer and IV's baseball team went to the HiToms game last night. The HiToms team is made up of College baseball players home on summer break. The boys got to run out on to the field with an assigned player and have their name announced, then they stayed for the National Anthem before leaving the field. They had a little hot dog dinner, ice cream and then met the team mascot. They had a great time despite the heat!

Is it just me, or does their mascot look like Lou Diamond Phillips????

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Little Men

IV graduated from Kindergarten today. He was his usual charismatic self -- full of silliness and affection ready for anyone who could withstand the energetic pounce of one of his bear hugs.

As a little graduation gift, Spencer and I gave him art paper, Lego's and his favorite candy. The art paper is like giant (11x16) post it notes. The center has open space for him to draw, then the border looks like it is a frame. Once his artwork is complete, you tear it off (like a post-it) and it has (wall-safe)adhesive so you can smack his artwork right up on the wall and it will look like a framed print. I have a feeling that ALL of us will get a masterpiece by Mr. IV!

Spencer's class does not have a First Grade Graduation- but they did a class party and a water fun day. On my way to an appointment, I stopped by the school and was able to see a few minutes of his fun day. Since I couldn't volunteer to help with the party, I let Spencer buy his class ice cream in the school cafeteria during lunch. I sent a note and the $ ahead of time, so the teacher had it all worked out--each kid was able to select their favorite ice cream treat from the cafeteria freezer. Boy that was INCREDIBLY easy! We are not allowed to send home-made treats to school because everything has to be labeled for allergy and sanitation reasons.

Spencer LOVED water day. They had slip-n-slides, sprinklers and water balls/toys for the kids to just go wild. We sent a change of clothes and a towel - so the kids were free to get soaked. Jimmy had my camera at IV's graduation, but I managed to get a couple of cute pictures of Spencer using Jimmy's waterproof camera.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Jurassic Reward

Last year, Spencer found a replica dino head in an aquarium shop. It was nearly $50.00 and breakable. Since he LOVES dinosaurs and I didn't have the heart to say no-- well not exactly no-- I told him he could earn the dino head by scoring his first soccer goal. I had that "smug mommy feeling" being that he felt motivated and I felt like I wouldn't have to shell out fifty bucks since....and here's the- pun intended- kicker: I knew he played goalie!
Well, this past spring season, he came out of goal for two games and played offense. He scored a goal. We celebrated his goal--and I had that "smug mommy feeling" again because I was certain he had forgotten about that hideous skull.
Well Sunday, Spencer was hemming and hawing about getting ready for church. He asked why we go to church and I told him that our church is about people who try to do good things in our community and our world and that having friends and a church like that is one of our rewards. That smart-aleck kid of mine grunted and said, "Like my reward for my soccer goal??"
Uhmmmm... Huh?
Then he asked, "Am I ever going to get my Dino skull?"
Okay, so if you are telling your kid to be a good person and do good things-- you TOTALLY have to keep your promise when he hits you up during that converstaion. My boy has some mad timing skills.
Sigh. We bought the skull Sunday after church.