This weekend, DadJovi headed over to Tampa for a boys weekend (OK, I guess guys don’t call it that but that’s what I kept calling it) with his buddies from NY and DC. It’s one of his friend’s 40th birthday, so he somehow suckered them into celebrating it in Florida so that he didn’t have to fly anywhere. It doesn’t hurt that they’re all huge Redskins fans, so he was able to plan it for the Skins-Bucs game in Tampa.
When Daddy was away, E. and I lived it up, well in between ballet and piano lessons. Our schedules aren’t as freewheeling as they used to be.
After ballet on Friday, we stopped by our favorite diner to have breakfast for dinner. Then, to run off all that pancake syrup, we hit a park in our neighborhood and ran into some old friends we haven’t seen in awhile. Sometimes, my neighborhood really does feel like Anytown USA.
I finally tore E. away from the park with the promise of Family Movie Night. I also made a pact with her that night. Lately, she’s been obsessed with questioning why she has to sleep alone in her room at night but DadJovi and I get to sleep in the same room. None of my reasons have satisfied her (maybe because most of them fall along the lines of “because that’s the way it is” or “because I said so”). Since we were the only two home on Friday night, she wanted to know if she could sleep with me. In a moment of weakness, I couldn’t come up with a good excuse. I got her to agree to fall asleep in her bed and promised I’d move her into my bed when I went to bed.
And I kept my promise.
Unlike times when she climbs into my bed when she’s sick or has a bad dream, I barely even knew she was there all night. Every once in awhile she would snuggle up for a little bit with me, but then she always retreated back to DadJovi’s side of the bed. Frankly, it was pretty nice to have the company.
On Saturday, we had piano lessons in the morning and then I decided I needed to Jovi up. Every time I go out of town, DadJovi makes all these elaborate plans, like books character lunches at Disney or sets off on beach/mini-golf/state park extravaganzas. Since the bar is low for me, all I had to do is agree to take E. to Disney to get her excited. I consulted Easy WDW and discovered Hollywood Studios was the most recommended. And since I was in it to win it, I promised E. we’d do all the things at Studios that Daddy never wants to do.
Before we left the house, I decided to try something I’d been meaning to try for awhile — a sock bun. Since I suddenly have all this long hair, I have to figure out something to do with it other than a ponytail. I used this tutorial, and here was the result.
I’m sure it was operator error, but I had a hard time keeping the hair wrapped around the sock. I used a trouser sock for it, so maybe I should try a cotton one? I thought a stocking would be easier to manipulate though. It stayed up for the most part throughout the day, but I had to keep fixing the loose ends. I still can’t decide if I think they’re cute or stupid but at least it was something different than a ponytail for a change since I’m braiding challenged.
The first stop on our Mother-Daughter Disney adventure was The Voyage of the Little Mermaid.
I can’t even remember the last time we did this show. And about halfway through I remembered why — it’s terrifying. So much of it is dark and loud, with a giant, creepy Ursula moving across the stage. From a certain point on, you just hear scared toddlers crying. E. sat on my lap for most of it, but still liked it. Since DadJovi never wants to do this one, I wanted to see it at least one more time because I read that it’s closing soon with the opening of the new Little Mermaid ride in the New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom.
When we exited The Little Mermaid, I looked across Animation Plaza and noticed something I’d been meaning to do with E. for a long time — meet Jake from “Jake and the Neverland Pirates,” her absolute favorite show now and of all-time. E. has never met Jake and I don’t even think she knew it was an option. As we waited in the line, this was her reaction the entire time.
Think she was excited? Before too long, it was her turn to meet her favorite pirate.
She was in heaven. I’ve said it before, but E. lives a charmed life.
As we exited Jake, we happened to notice a sad, lonely character with no line. Since we’ve got the new autograph book to break in, we decided to stop and say hola.
For those of you without kids, that’s Handy Manny. And given the current state of his career, I wouldn’t be surprised if Wilmer Valderrama, the voice of Manny, was actually in there.
We had one more item to cross off our Daddy Won’t Do These Things list (poor DadJovi. It sounds like I’m giving him a bad rap, despite the fact that he’s usually the one to take E. to Disney) — the Disney Junior stage show. Now, he has a good reason for not doing this show. It’s painfully uncomfortable for parents. You have to sit on the hard concrete floor, battling your child to stay seated. It’s harder than it sounds.
Despite how annoying it is, it was something I’d been meaning to bring E. to for awhile since they retooled it about a year ago or so. Any guesses who now has a starring role in it?
Yup, it’s those pint-sized pirates. Sharkey, Bones, Hook and Smee even made appearances. And as their segment ended. hundreds of gold doubloons rained down on us (they were tissue paper gold circles). To E., it was like manna from heaven. She loved every second of it. She’s also a big “Little Einsteins” fan, so I was glad to see they’re still a part of a show.
At this point, I should also mention that Hollywood Studios was empty. Like, seriously empty. We walked right onto everything we wanted to do all day, including Star Tours twice. It was so empty that we walked up to Hollywood Boulevard less than five minutes before the Pixar Pals parade started and got front-row seats.
After the parade, we hit a couple more rides and saw a few more characters. And then E. struck her first blogger pose.
Oh, wait, that’s a superhero pose? Then why do so many bloggers (present company included) strike that same pose?
The park was closing early because of the Tower of Terror 10 Miler, so we had time to knock one more thing off our Daddy Won’t Do list: The Beauty and the Beast stage show.
This show is the reason I feel no need to see the traveling Broadway “Beauty and the Beast” show when it comes to Orlando. I know it’d be longer but how much better could it really be?
By this point, I was exhausted and so ready to go home. But one of DadJovi’s friends from DC was in town and just across the street at Epcot so I felt bad not popping over to say hello.
Easier said than done.
I know I’ve only been going to Food and Wine regularly for about eight years, but I’ve NEVER seen it that crowded. It was insane. We came in the back entrance, between England and France, and discovered that they were in Mexico. Of course. Exactly 180 degrees from where we were. I started the painful journey through the crowd. Even E. said, “This is a disaster.”
But we finally found him.
If it was just anyone, I might not have gone through the hassle, but here’s the thing. Without him, there’d be no E. He is directly responsible for me and DadJovi meeting. He went to Syracuse and during our championship run in 2003, he brought his friend, DadJovi, to the official Syracuse game-watching bar in DC, where I was. I always joke that I don’t if he or Carmelo Anthony is more responsible for us meeting.
Plus, E. LOVES him.
She and I lasted about a half lap with them before we had to escape the crowds. I only got two items from the Food and Wine kiosks — the pierogies in Poland the ravioli in Italy. Both were excellent, but I’m looking forward to exploring some of this year’s new items when the crowds aren’t quite so heavy.
We didn’t end up getting home until 9. After finally getting an overexcited E. to sleep (I swear, she runs on a unique no-sleep-needed energy source), I settled in for a chick flick.
Even though Charlize Theron was pretty creeptastic awesome, the rest of the movie was pretty awful. I don’t think Kristen Stewart did a bad job; she just barely had any dialogue. And soulful expressions aren’t her strong suit. And there needed to be a lot more Chris Hemsworth. A lot more. I’m still glad I saw it, but I just don’t think it worked very well.
And of course since I was home alone, I started hearing noises during the movie. Right before it was over, I heard a huge crash in my kitchen and assumed it was an axe murderer. After I finally sucked up enough courage to go investigate, I discovered that a bag of flour had fallen off a pantry shelf. How the hell does that happen?
It was enough to scare me into picking up a sleeping E. and bring her into my bed, even though she hadn’t asked me, too. Oh well!
On Sunday, we both slept in (we didn’t wake up til 9. Hooray!). After breakfast, I picked up one of her friends and headed to the Orlando Science Center because I realized the passes I’d bought at a silent auction in the spring expired that day. Oops.
The girls had fun, though.
And then I came home and napped. For real. E. watched a movie and I napped. Seriously. Why doesn’t she ever sleep?
It was a fun weekend, and, for the most part, E. was awesome. The meltdowns are few and far between these days, and other than when we’re negotiating outfits or meals, we get along swell. But it sure is hard to be the sole parent for that long. We both missed DadJovi a lot.
So, how was your weekend? And does anyone else start hearing noises when they’re home alone?