Family

Leah’s first Christmas

Christmas in downtown Holland

We had a chance to take some pictures downtown after meeting with Santa, even though it was bitterly cold and windy on this day. No coats on our kids, though – that would ruin the pictures, wouldn’t it?

Note the attractive photographer in the reflection

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Family

Stranger Anxiety Pictured

Kids go though interesting stages, don’t they? Leah was very outgoing, even with strangers, until maybe October or so. Leah and I were shopping at the grocery store, she strapped into her car seat in the cart I was pushing. Towards the end of the trip, an old guy came up and started talking to her, and you could see her tense right up, but he kept his distance, so she was fairly mellow. Then the old guy’s wife comes out of nowhere (Leah couldn’t see her coming), pops in front of Leah and tickles her foot. It was instant screaming in terror, which of course caused me to have a good laugh. Here’s best part:

The old lady angrily turns to her husband and says, “Look what you did to that baby!”, grabs him by the arm, and drags him away. We’ve even seen the stranger anxiety thing with people who see her every week – it’s an interesting phase.

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shit my blog says

Ted vs. Car II

How I got hit by a car. again.

 

Keep reading, you’ll see why there’s a giant Clark bar

Having survived my previous pedestrian encounter with a car, I continued walking to school until the completion of third grade, where a redistricting moved our neighborhood to a different school that was too far for walking, so I joined the bus brigades for the remaining three years of elementary school. I was also a bus rider for my 7th grade year at West Junior High, and my 8th grade year at West Middle School – things are always changing, aren’t they?

I entered Rochester High School as a freshman, and once again, returned to the ranks of the kids who were turned loose in the early morning darkness and supposed to find their own way to school without finding any trouble along the way. Trouble, find me? Never.

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Travel, Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World December 2011 Trip Report

The travlin’

This was our second trip on AirTran, after our trip out east this summer. We upgraded to business class both ways when we checked in online for our flights, and it was worth every penny. We picked the first row on both flights, and it worked out great to have the extra room for Leah, and the endless animal crackers for Aly. The crews on both flights were polite, friendly, and engaging, which is a nice departure from what we had been accustomed to flying NWA and Delta over the years. Aly got to spend quite a while in the cockpit on both ends of the southbound leg, and another good chunk of time in the cockpit upon our return to GRR. The pilots were great with her in both instances, and she absolutely loved it – can’t say enough good things about AirTran at this point. 10/10 for air travel.

 

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Travel

WDW December Last Day – Getting Home

We all hit the sack pretty early last night, and Leah once again decided she couldn’t wait to spend more time with her parents, so she and I wandered out before 7am. We started by taking the elevator up to the 15th floor of Bay Lake Tower and taking in the pre-sunrise views of Magic Kingdom, the Contemporary, and Bay Lake. We then headed down to the fifth floor to take the skybridge across to the Contemporary proper, so I could see out some breakfast. The Contempo Cafe wasn’t open yet, so Leah and wandered over to the bar outside Chef Mickey’s and hung out for a while.

Once Contempo opened, we ordered my breakfast on the touch screen (Mickey Waffle with Banana Caramel Syrup, turkey sausage, bacon) and got her some apple slices to chew into little pieces and then spit out – she’s like one of those mincing gizmos. Waffle good, bacon good, turkey sausage, um, well, there’s a reason that sausage is supposed to come from pigs and not turkeys, let’s just leave it at that. Even my caramel syrup couldn’t make that taste good. After I ate my breakfast and Leah finished decorating the carpet with minced apples, we headed back over to the BLT and went outside to visit the pool area. It seemed like a pretty cool pool area, great slide, and a large padded splash area for kids and babies, with fountains and other spraying thingies. We also walked the jogging path around the hotel and then headed back up to wake up the other two.

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Travel, Walt Disney World

WDW December Day Seven – “Lean way in”

Leah, as part of her campaign for 2011 Goudie Baby of the Year, blessed us by sleeping until 7:30, which meant I didn’t have to freeze my arse off taking her around the Boardwalk this morning – it was 38 degrees or some such silliness. We got all our stuff packed up and I took our luggage to the car while the girls checked me out (of the hotel, you lechers) and then I met them at Kouzzina for breakfast.

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Travel

WDW December Day Six – A Taste of Home

Once Leah woke up from her afternoon nap, we got our stuff together and headed out to the Magic Kingdom. There are windows about halfway down the hallway toward the elevator, and I stopped dead in my tracks, because the 82-degree sunny day we had left outside a few hours back had been replaced by sideways rain. And a lot of it. I muttered “Oh shit” a couple times under my breath and hoped Aly didn’t hear me. We decided to press on and Aly and I pulled on our rain ponchos to go retrieve the car and pick up Rachel, Leah and the stroller.

I invited Aly to sit in the passenger seat while we drove through the parking lot over to the driveway, and when we parked, she said “Dad, since we’re on vacation, can I just stay up here?” How can you argue with that? Laws be damned, we’re on vacation, people. So I had pink-ponchoed 45″ blonde riding next to me in the passenger seat.

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Travel

WDW December Day Six – Triple Toy Story Morning

Once again, Leah wanted to get up early, so I took her out for a spin around the Boardwalk in the early hours this morning, but this time, I brought my real camera and got some good shots across the lake. We hit the Boardwalk Bakery for a chocolate chip muffin (sorry, gluten-free Leah!), checked out the Christmas decorations inside the Beach Club, and continued around to the Yacht Club, where Leah watched their train for a while. Crossing back over to the BW side, we saw them setting up the satellite uplink trucks and security perimeters at the Atlantic Dance Hall for the College Football Awards show, which is here tomorrow night. Denard, swing by and see me if you’re town baby!

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Travel, Walt Disney World

WDW December Day Five – Test Track, Soarin & Princesses

After my pleasant (but too) early morning with Leah, we woke Aly up and got her ready for the Princess Storybook breakfast at Akershus in the Norway pavilion at EPCOT. Leah was already ready for her first nap, so she slept in the stroller on the walk into EPCOT and around the front of the World Showcase while Rachel detoured over to Soarin’ to grab fastpasses for later in the day (that’s the kind of pre-kids commando stuff we used to do all the time). Leah woke up right after we parked the stroller at Norway, so the timing worked out pretty well.

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Travel

WDW Boardwalk in the early morning

The early riser and I spent some time on the Boardwalk this morning and got some good iPhone pictures.

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