Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Blood brothers.

Yesterday was a snow day.  Today is, too.  Adrian actually stayed home today, so I've got a minute of peace and quiet while he's taking his turn outside with the kids, playing in the snow.  Well, ice.  It's really ice.  Whatever.  It's white, and it's cold, and they're having fun.

Anyway, yesterday was a snowless snow day, and Max had his bestie over all day following a sleepover the night before.  And while there was a whole lot of this:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

It's like they're daring me....

It's that time of year again.  No, I'm not talking about Girl Scout cookies, damn it. This very as-we-speak moment, Max is at his second dance class of, dun dun DUUUUUN! Costume Week.  As in, look kids, this is what you'll be wearing in this year's recital!

Monday, January 20, 2014

My Little Chef

Max loves to cook.  It started when he was small, and would get a carrot and a head of broccoli out of the crisper, put it in a pot with some water, and tell me he'd made soup for lunch.  Ooh, or there was this one very memorable snack he made for me.....Anyway, over the years, we have done a lot of cooking together, with varying results. For a long time, we were severely limited by his very picky eating...I never could reconcile how he would be so interested in cooking and yet so adamant about not trying anything new.  It kinda infuriated me, actually, to the point I flat-out refused to cook anything with him that he wasn't planning to eat, himself.

Friday, January 17, 2014

E.T.R.A. (Exhaustive Trip Report Ahead - you have been warned): California Edition

Originally posted as "R is for...." on The I's Have It, November 28, 2012.  Now with bonus photos!

 I do totally recognize that it's really boring to read about someone else's vacation.  That being said....

R is for...Remembering.

Wednesday, October 3.  We had a crazy early flight, both because we were flying on points and because I had high hopes that the early hour would mean my children would go back to sleep once we were in the air (I know I don't need to tell you how THAT worked out, right?)  We flew out of Wilmington at 5:35am, with two stops and two plane changes ahead of us, full-to-capacity flights all.  About five minutes before we boarded, Milo started to freak out: "No plane! No fly! Me TRAIN!" so we had to totally lie to him, for the rest of the trip as it turned out, and tell him oh yes indeed, we are boarding A TRAIN right now.  I don't think he believed us AT ALL, but for some reason our deceptions soothed him.  I was absolutely not going to be the person on the plane with the kicking and screaming toddler, so, whatever it takes, amirite?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Throw-Back-Thursday: The Origins of Sartor

Originally posted as "C is for...." on The I's Have It, April 8, 2012.  Filed under , , , , .  Now with bonus pictures!

I fell into costuming a bit by accident.  I have been involved with theater, community and school, for most of my life, but I really dove in head first about ten years ago, when I started working with the Brunswick Little Theatre.  I started out as an actress but quickly took a turn as a director.  I kind of became a costumer by default; at the time I decided to direct my first show, the theater didn't really have anyone who "did" costumes.  My first show was Pippin, so it was easy enough, a whole lot of people wearing black and changing their hats or tunics or whatever....but those tunics had to be fabricated, and I was the one who had to do it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Around the world in an afternoon

My older son, Max, loves geography and history, is fascinated by other cultures and languages, and longs to travel the world.  Our homeschooling is entirely designed around his obsession, with me working math and science lessons into whatever his country du jour is.  (Actually, as obsessions go, I have to say it's a pretty good one to homeschool around.)

His interest dates back several years, at this point.  When he was turning six, he decided he wanted an Around the World themed birthday party.  After I cleared my head of all the hazy memories I have of Around the World parties I hosted in college (White Russian, anyone?), I got him focused on making a list of countries he wanted to have represented.  I was thinking three or four.  He gave me a list of seventeen.  We compromised.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Farewell, Camp Minnie-Mickey

On January 6, 2014, Camp Minnie-Mickey was closed to make way for Walt Disney World's new Avatarland.  I have very mixed feelings about Avatarland.  Mixed, leaning heavily towards WTF.  In fairness, I haven't seen Avatar...but I haven't seen it because I haven't cared to devote a couple hundred minutes of my life to it.  I really don't know why, actually.  It seems like it's right up my alley, on paper.  Fantasy, science fiction, majestic flying creatures, glowing stuff... Honestly, I think I haven't watched it because James Cameron just seems like an arrogant jackass.  And that's totally not okay for me to judge him like that, come to think of it, so as penance, I am going to add Avatar to my Must See List, and put it in the number three spot (right behind the second Hunger Games movie and Saving Mr. Banks.  I KNOW.) 

Camp Minnie-Mickey is the first major closure in Disney's Animal Kingdom...but since it was never part of the original plans for the park, I guess it's a wonder that it lasted as long as it did.  Themed as a summer camp set in the North American woods, the entire area was originally designated as the site for the Beastly Kingdom, a never-realized (DAMN IT) land devoted to mythical creatures (and the reason for the dragon on the AK logo, as well as the Unicorn section that I always seem to park in).  Camp Minnie-Mickey was quaint, but nothing really much happened there besides the Festival of the Lion King (now being relocated to the Africa section, thank God, because it kinda bugged me to have lions in the North American Woods) and a whole lotta character meet-n-greets.  

I gained a new appreciation for the theming of Camp Minnie-Mickey when we moved to our little house on the edge of Lake Hastie.  Living in a coastal area, we are surrounded by beach-themed decor. Every third person has signs shaped like flip-flops saying "It's five o'clock somewhere!" stuck up on their walls, or an over-abundance of seashells in their yard/living room/bathroom, or you know, these dangling from somewhere or another in their house, and so Adrian and I have kind of prided ourselves on going the lake/rustic cottage route.  Well, not really.  But we talk about it a lot.  

Anyway, one thing I really loved about Camp Minnie-Mickey was these guys:


They weren't part of a ride, or attraction, they didn't mark the entrances to the character trails or anything, they were just there, a little something to look at in an area that didn't have...a whole lot to look at.

Now, like many of you, I’m not happy unless I’m planning my next trip to WDW.  In case you haven't caught on yet, my family tries to travel to Disney World at least once a year, and we're not shy about being pretty Disney-centric even when we're not on vacation.  We have spent our fair share (probably more) on Disney souvenirs over the years, and while I love adding those items to our home, I’m not really one to decorate my whole house with character merchandise, cute as is may be.  What I love about the rich tapestry of Disney, though, is that my house can “be Disney” without being obvious, that a little faith, trust and pixie dust (and a lot of hot glue and paint) can go along way towards bringing some magic back home.  These pictures, for example, gave me a great idea to add a touch of Disney whimsy to our back porch, a place where we spend about eight months out of the year.

This project was really simple, and used materials that I had on hand, two major bonuses in my book.  (Oooh, now's a good time to record for posterity one of my main resolutions for 2014:  I may only craft with materials that I have on hand.  NO MORE ASPIRATIONAL CLUTTER!!!!)  So,  I started out by laminating the prints, to protect them from the elements.  I happen to have a laminator, so that's what I used, but I have done subsequent projects for the outdoors with the peel-and-stick laminating sheets, and they have worked just as well (disclaimer: although these items are outdoors, they are on a covered porch and not subject to direct sun or rain).   I cut a piece of dark brown fun foam (waterproof!) for the backing, giving myself about an inch-wide border all the way around the print, and glued down the laminated print.   Then, in keeping with the summer camp theme,  I made simple frames out of popsicle sticks and grosgrain ribbon – how's that for whimsy?

This is a terrible photograph.  Resolved for 2014: take better photographs.
So, now my little house by the lake has an unexpected little shrine to a bygone Disney land.  Camp Minnie-Mickey wasn't much, but it was sweet, and I'm happy to have these little photos hanging up for as long as the popsicle sticks stay glued together.  But I can pretty much promise you that even when they do fall apart,  I won't ever replace them with framed photos of these guys.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

#weVERB14: number 10

10: support

How did you volunteer your help last year? What will you do this year?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood....

Back in late 2011 or so, we were planning yet another trip to Walt Disney World, this time to coincide with Milo's second birthday.  Max, already a costume-wearing, Disney-World-visiting pro, wanted to know what costumes Milo would be wearing on the upcoming trip.

The problem was that, unlike Max, Milo had yet to exhibit anything but a very passing interest in wearing costumes.  A mere tolerance, as it were, and that was only on good days.  Max had really high hopes of the two of them traipsing all over in elaborately coordinated outfits, and I was reluctant to burst his bubble, but I didn't really see fighting with Milo over costumes as being a great addition to our vacation routine.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Throw-Back-Thursday: My Disney World Addiction

Originally posted as "My Love Affair with Walter Biznee" on "The I's Have It," December 31, 2011.  Filed under Idiosyncrasies, Imagination, Indulgence, Information.

We are a Disney family.  I freely admit it, I've bought into it: the movies, the television, the toys and books and theme parks, hook, line and sinker.  Ol' Walt ain't losin' any money over here at the Iapalucci house, that's for sure.

I have always been a fan, to a certain degree.  One of the first movies I can remember watching was The Fox and the Hound.  As a kid, Disney World held a mystical, magical appeal; the two or three times we travelled there as a family were highly anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed, but I was much older before I became aware of Disney as a brand.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Brave Boy

My younger son, Milo, will turn four in a couple of weeks, and the topic of his birthday party has been hot around here for several months, it seems.  Back in July, we went for a quick overnight to our favorite hotel-with-indoor-water-park down in Myrtle Beach, and that night there was a kids' "Glow Dance Party" - basically a rave for the 12 and unders.  Milo LOVED this event, and has been talking about having a glow dance party "but in outer space, with rockets" for his birthday ever since.

Milo started preschool this year, which is new for our family.  It means he has a whole lot of little friends whose parents I really don't know, at all.  If it were Max's birthday, I'd be all, "Heeey, Max wants a dance party for his birthday and it's gonna be in the backyard so it can't start until 7pm" and all of our usual suspects would be all, "Heeey, a kid's birthday party at night time? Par for the course at Jen's house," and it would be no big deal.  Anyway, I decided to rent out the local dance studio, which has a nice big windowless room that I can totes control the lighting in and have the party at a much more reasonable 2pm.

Last week, I began moving forward with the plans for the party, and I'm happily filling my Oriental Trading shopping cart with all sizes and shapes of glow sticks, when Milo says, "I want a Jake and the Neverland Pirates party."

Sunday, January 5, 2014

#weVerb14: number 5

A couple of days ago, someone suggested to me that I participate in #weVerb14, a series of writing prompts, a challenge, I guess.  It looks really cool, but I confess that none of the prompts inspired me enough to put pen to paper, as it were.  Too much thinking required, perhaps.

Anyway, today is the fifth prompt in the series (and let me just say, I really appreciate the laid-back vibe of this particular challenge, there is no pressure to complete every prompt, or even complete them in order.  So I am unabashedly jumping in here at number 5, with no heavy feeling of commitment for the rest of the series.  What a relief!) is:

5: sing

What song or lyrics will be forever tied to 2013 in your mind? What songs are you excited to keep with you through 2014?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Throw-Back-Thursday: I am, actually, Mark Zuckerberg.

Originally posted on "The I's Have It", March 7, 2011.  Filed under Insomnia, Insecurity, Identity.

Let me begin by saying: I am not, actually, Mark Zuckerberg. I am, in fact, a thirty-six year old woman who, for the most part, stays at home with her children, which very fact has kept me from writing a single blog post in the five years that I have owned this little bit of the Internet. And by that, of course, I mean the crippling fear that I will be misunderstood (in this case, pigeon-holed as a "mommy-blogger") has once again kept me from acting on an idea or impulse that probably will turn out to be a good thing for me. But back to Mr. Zuckerberg...

I'm gonna wreck it!

When I started this blog, a dozen posts or so ago, I was also writing another blog in which I gave voice to all of my various triumphs and trials and day-to-day minutiae.  It was completely photo-free, and I didn't really share it with too many people outside of my own family.  I can't remember exactly what prompted me to start Sartor, except I think it had to do with having the urge to break my no-photos rule while writing about some costume or another in a Disney World trip report.

I intended for Sartor to just be about costumes.....but, it turns out: