Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day Four: Disney -- the tour guides!

After we rode one of Macey's favorite rides, the ride to Storybookland, we met up with Garry's brother and his family. Aren't they a beautiful family? Amber is from California, and I believe that she is an expert at all things Disney. After we met up with them, we could put the map down and really hit the rides we wanted . It was great!
Here's all four cousins together.

One of the last rides: Winnie the Pooh! Macey went through the whole ride waving at the characters and saying, "I like your show!"

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day Four: Disney -- My Favorite Part of the Day

We always ask the girls what their favorite part of the day is. Usually we are surprised that it's the little things they really enjoy. My favorite part of Disney was Emma training to be a Jedi.

We had lunch right next to Tomorrowland and there was a Jedi training show that was going to start in an hour right where we were eating. We talked to Emma about how to wave her hands and shout "Me! Me!" because we knew about 30 kids would be picked from the audience. Though there were over 100 kids begging to be picked, Emma got selected to Come On Down! Evidentally, the force was very strong with her, and she was a natural pick. (It didn't hurt that there were only three girls in the audience.)

Emma learned to activate her light saber, hit left, hit right, strike down, duck and deactivate. The training was intense.
After the training, Emma had an opportunity to prove her skill against Darth Vader or Darth Mal, but she sat the actual fight out. She's a lover, not a fighter. And hey, Luke didn't want to fight him, either.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day Four: DISNEY!

On Monday morning we headed out EARLY to Disneyland. When I was last there, over 20 years ago, I remember eating at IHOP and getting Chocolate Chip pancakes. Who'da thunk -- chocolate chips in pancakes! I was amazed. So, I made Garry stop and have breakfast there again. And I had chocolate chip pancakes. The girls in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle! We got there right when it opened and headed off to the Nemo submarine ride. Then Garry took the girls on the cars and we went to go meet Tinkerbell. Finally, off to the castle!
While Garry took Emma on Dumbo, I got Macey a sucker. Shaped like Mickey. Is there anything better?

The circus train! Emma insisted that we ride in the monkey cage.

My beautiful Molly. Check out her Minnie shirt.

My Dad's favorite ride is the tea cups. He asked that we take a spin for him. So we spun and spun and thought about Grandpa!

One of Macey's favorite: the boat ride to Storybook Village. You enter through the mouth of a whale. Where did my Macey who was scared of everything go?

A little overwhelmed by It's A Small World.

More pictures to come. The girls collapsed after the fireworks. What a day!

Day Three: Father's Day!

We woke up really early on Sunday morning so that we could pack up and head on out! We loved, loved the Residence Inn but the walls were very thin. Garry woke up to the girl in the next room complaining on the phone about her guy troubles. Something about "Girl, you know how I can get when I like a guy!" Wished we could have stuck around to hear more!

We went North (but it surprisingly got warmer) to Valencia, California to go to church with Garry's brother and his family. We really liked their church house! They had stadium seating in the chapel. Fabulous. We were on the back row but it felt like we were right in front of the speakers!

Valencia is a really nice part of California. The Relief Society teacher started a story by saying: "I was talking to my nanny, and. . ." Wow.

Our sister-in-law was so great and prepared a fabulous dinner for us. We really appreciate them letting us crash their Father's Day!

At night, we headed off to Anaheim. Off to Disneyland! We could see the Mattahorn from the Interstate and Garry and I both looked at each other. It seems like it was much, much bigger 20 years ago.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day Two: Sea World! Night Visit

Did I mention in the below blog that San Diego was FREEZING when we went to Sea World? Well, it was. I was cold and tired of being damp (it drizzled and rained on and off. Mostly on.) And Molly was not feeling well. So after dinner at In & Out, Garry took Molly and I to the hotel and the big girls back to Sea World for the night shows and fireworks. Here's Emma and Macey with Shamu. Garry has a fabulous trigger finger -- I am still amazed that he got this shot.

I loved seeing Macey react to everything on this trip. The first time she saw Shamu jump out of the water -- the look on her face was priceless. Just full of amazement and wonder.
Emma & Macey at the nighttime Shamu show entitled Shamu Rocks. It's a little rock concert with Shamu and friends doing flips throughout.

Day Two: Sea World! Daytime Visit

On Saturday morning we headed off to Sea World, one of Garry's favorite places on earth. We got there before it opened, in true Cunningham fashion. It was freezing! Not exactly sunny California that day. Emma is holding the map.
Emma and Macey in front of the Manatee. Thank you Dora & Diego for teaching us all about the Manatees so that the girls would be excited to see them! Notice we broke down and got Emma a sweatshirt. Did I mention it was FREEZING?

Emma & Garry at the shark exhibit. I love the exhibits at Sea World with the moving people movers. It keeps people, well, moving.

Waiting for a show at Sea World. I can explain the hair. I flatironed it before we left that morning but then it rained.

At the Sesame Playground portion of the park. Meeting Ernie! Emma was much more excited to meet him two years ago. Here, it looks like she's ready to run.

Elmo & Cookie Monster. I think that my big girls are so done with Sesame Street, but I am a little in denial that they are getting too big for all of this.

At the Sesame Playground there was a huge net for the girls to climb, a rickety bridge to walk over, and a fun slide to go down. Look at my Macey, who is scared of everything, tackling the bridge! I was amazed.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Big Trip: Day One

On Friday, June 11th, we headed off for California! We left the house around 10 a.m. If you think that it is stressful packing for a big trip, try packing while cleaning in case someone comes to look at your house while you are gone. STRESS!

And speaking of stress, I was a little nervous on the flight since it was one of the 9-11 airplane flight patterns: Dulles to Los Angeles. I became even more nervous when I walked on the plane and saw the pilot from the ABC hit LOST.
We arrived at Los Angeles around 5:00 in the evening and headed south to San Diego. We stayed at the Marriott Residence Inn which I loved. The girls stayed in the living room on a sofa bed and Garry and I had the bedroom. And each room had a t.v. Heaven. In the morning, we would begin our adventure!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sincere Gratitude

Dear New Nike Swimsuit:

Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting me find you at Kohls last night. Your fabric and specially placed padding make my waist look itty bitty and my chest look not flat! Truly, you are a miracle worker as my waist is not itty bitty and I am, indeed, flat. Whose brilliant idea was it to stop nursing before summer??

I would wear you EVERYWHERE. WalMart, Target, Safeway . . .all my usual haunts where I hang with my peeps . . . because you make me feel so sucked in and pushed up all at once. But, there's a problem.

About five days ago I woke up with my Mom's thighs. (No offense, Mom). I was surprised to see them. Surely my mother still needs them? Isn't it too soon for them to be passed down? Until I can find a way to give them back, it's best to keep clothes over them. So, darling new swim suit, you'll have to be saved for small outings to the pool.

You're the best!



Thursday, June 18, 2009

This Is What Happens. . .

This is what happens when G dresses Molly. She ends up with pink polka dots matched with blue ducks. Molly looked at her clothes and got all weepy. She said she felt ridiculous.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


This is my 300th post. Wow, can I write about nothing or can I write about nothing? 300 times, too!

Today I have been thinking about a few current events.

First, I am a little annoyed by the continuing coverage of the Casey Anthony case in Florida. The news media keeps trying to find a new angle so that they can rehash the case. Again. Yesterday the Today show did a story on it. Again. Before going to commercial, Meredith announced, "And in the next half hour we'll be discussing the Casey Anthony case. Is the evidence as damaging as has been assumed?" So I turned the television off. Is the evidence damaging? Yes, yes, and more yes. End of story. I looked at my girls and tried to think how long it would take me to call the police if they were missing. How long would I let it go? Ten minutes? Five minutes? Two? How long did she go? A couple of weeks?

The second and third topic are interlinked. I think that the protests in Iran can be a very positive thing. I do not think that a "recount" is necessarily going to work as the "recount" will probably just make the same insane guy the winner. But maybe by a smaller margin. It'll be interesting to watch it all play out.

What I do worry a little bit about is the American tolerance for international stories. It seems that the national media thinks that we can only take one story at a time. So what this unrest in Iran has done is drive press coverage away from the reporters captured in North Korea.

But, about those reporters, they did enter the country illegally and were involved in activities that go against the laws of that country. So I am wondering what the United States responsibility is to them now. Certainly they should not be allowed to serve 12 years of hard labor. But what is our level of responsibility for getting them out? I really do not know.

And that's what I've been thinking about the last few hours. Aren't you glad I usually stick with writing about the antics of Emma, Macey and Molly?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

In Case You Missed It The First Time. . .

I remember several months ago a friend told me that her kids loved watching their siblings get in trouble. She said that she could sell tickets for a front row seat of their sibling getting a spanking or a stern talking to. Since my little girls were little little when she told me this story, I just laughed. But now I am living it.

A few days ago the girls got in a lot of trouble for plucking leaves off of one of my ficus plants. Since then, they have left the ficus alone. But on the way out the door yesterday Macey plucked a leaf off of a tree right next to the front door.

Emma seized on this little event.

"Macey," she said loudly. Too loudly. "You know you are not supposed to take leaves off of the tree."

I was busy trying to get Molly in her seat, so I ignored her.

So she tried harder.

"Macey, oh no!" she exclaimed! Loudly! "You should not take leaves off of the tree. You know the tree right outside. By the door. You should not have done that! Oh, Macey!"

Finally I decided to give Emma what she was looking for. "Macey, do not take leaves off of the tree," I said.

And Emma smiled.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Macey's Home Remedies

Yesterday Emma was eating the ice cream that she picked out when the ice cream truck went down our street: Cotton Candy Swirl. Yum.

She was in heaven, silently eating her sweet sweet dessert when she discovered that she had a problem.
"Mom," she asked, "what do I do when my tongue gets too cold?"

I thought for a few seconds and told Emma, "When you are done eating your ice cream, just keep your tongue in your mouth for a few seconds and it will warm right back up!"

Macey thought that this response was silly and told Emma her own special remedy.

"Emma," she said, "go like this three times and you will feel better." Macey demonstrated and smacked her lips together three times.
Would you like to guess who Emma listened to? All I can say is that there was a whole lot of smacking going on while they ate their ice cream.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Flying Angel

This picture is a little grainy because it was from my cell phone, but I had to capture Molly's first experience in a swing at the park. She looked like a flying angel with those little sleeves on her outfit. So beautiful.

Friday, June 12, 2009

My Article of Faith

In the summertime, we believe in being outside, at the park, in the pool, riding on trails, and in soaking up the sun. But indeed, trouble may follow even after admonitions from Mama. We believe in having fun, we hope to have fun, we have already endured through much fun and hope to be able to endure even more fun this summer. But, I swear, if there is anything outside sticky, yucky, dirty, filthy or disgusting, somehow my girls seek after these things.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Overwhelmed By The Numbers

We are in the process of trying to sell our townhouse here in Southern Maryland. We are also looking to possibly move to the Salt Lake City area in a few months and have spent some time on Realtor.com looking at available houses.

I started just looking at 3 bedroom houses. It's what we have now, and though our bedrooms need to be much, much bigger, 3 has worked.

But then I saw houses with four! five! seven! bedrooms! Oh, the space! What could I do with more rooms? A music room? An office? How exciting!

And then there are the bathrooms. Right now we have 2 1/2 bedrooms, and that seems to work out fine. One for Garry & me, one for the girls, and one for guests on the main level. That's about right.

But the other day I was amazed to see a house with four bathrooms. Four! Wow!

And then reality settled in. I do not even like cleaning the bathrooms I have. What would I do with more?!?!

I need to stop looking at higher numbers as big and exciting and start seeing them for what they really are: more work.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Beating The Storm

We have had several storms in the last month. I really have not minded. Since school has been out, there is not anywhere the girls and I have to be and so we have not gotten stuck in any of the storms.

But Garry has.

Yesterday he left for work at zero-way-too-early in the morning. He could see the storm coming and knew it could be disasterous. The garage parking at work is under construction and so he has to park outside. In the elements. Exposed to whatever might come his way. And this storm was coming in fast.

He drove as fast as he could, probably saying a few choice words as he went at all the slow people in front of him. I'm certain that a favorite "J" word came out a few times. But, alas, it was all for nothing. By the time that he got into the parking lot, the storm had hit. Sheets of rain were coming down all around him.

Quickly Garry looked around for options to keep him somewhat dry on his long walk to the building front door. He remembered a sweatshirt that used to be in the Jeep. Still there? Nope.

But there was one thing in the Jeep.

Macey's Princess Umbrella.

Don't you wish you could have been there? Wouldn't you have loved to see him run into a NAVY building with a Princess Umbrella?

Yep, me too.

He claims he did not use it and just got sopping wet. But unless surveilance video shows up, I guess we'll never know.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Is It Possible To Love Something Too Much?

When Emma and Macey were little, I would put them in their bouncy chair while I took a shower and when they outgrew that I put them in their over-the-door bouncer. Emma loved, loved, loved the bouncer. Macey endured it.

Molly outgrew the bouncy chair and was not digging the bouncer. She did not understand the concept and would just cry and cry. It was making shower time very difficult.

But one day, she realized that if she jumped great things happened. So she kept jumping. And soon, she LOVED it. And she jumped and jumped and jumped and then while I was blow drying my hair, I saw this:

Too much bouncing. I guess it's possible to love something too much. But doesn't she look incredible in blue?

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Curse of the Middle Name

Macey's middle name is Grace. And, we have to admit, she lacks a little grace. Yesterday at church in the parking lot she tripped (ka-boom!) over a parking divider. Not quite sure how she missed it, but she did, until her foot found it in the worst possible way. She's also the most likely to fall down on a simple walk down the sidewalk or to really, really bang up her knee on the playground. For her, Grace has been a curse.

Then there's Miss Molly Joy Cunningham. As her mama, I have to admit that she's kind of moody and tempermental. There's one place she likes to be, with me, and she's willing to scream her way into that spot. Sometimes in the midst of her screaming fits we wish that she could find, um, some joy.

If we have another kid, and, of course, it will be a boy, I think that we'll name him Jack Ugly Grouch Cunningham.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Precious And Few

In the spirit of the blog below (where I finally got to watch the movie He's Just Not That Into You) I have something to say on the classical song "Precious And Few".

You know that song. Precious and few are the moments we two can share. . .

I bet that you are humming it right now. Or if you still cannot remember it, click here


The part of the song I do not understand is where he sings "And if I can't find my way back home, it just wouldn't be fair, 'cause precious and few are the moments we two can share."

Ladies, if he can't find his way back home, he's just not that into you.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Back Up Plan

Yesterday Garry and I had big plans in the evening. He was going to go out with an old friend and I invited the girls over to watch a movie. It was going to be great!

But then his friend never called him back and then my friends bailed as well.

So, Garry and I looked at each other. You're free . . . I'm free. . .


So I put the girls to bed at 7 pm (good thing that they cannot tell time or they might have been upset), washed the dishes, made some brownies, brushed my teeth and even put on some perfume. We sat on the couch, snuggled up and ordered "He's Just Not That Into You."

Sometimes the back-up plan is even better than the original.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Miracle At Colonial Beach

Emma looking into the sun.

Macey with her watering can.

Molly in her beautiful pink hat!

Yesterday the girls and I headed for Colonial Beach! Alright, it's not a beach beach by the strictest terms -- it's just an area where the Potomac is very wide and you can almost imagine that it might be the ocean. And the beach was made up more of rock than sand, but my girls did not notice and did not care. They were happy with the permission to play in the water and get dirty!

We were alone on the beach and feeling pretty lonely when all of the sudden another minivan pulled up. Out jumped a family with three kids: a four year old, a three year old and a baby that was a few months old. Sound familiar? AND they were from my home state of IDAHO! Go figure. So we hung out and let the kids play for several hours. It was nice having other kids there because then the girls were less likely to fight with each other!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Best Part

At the end of the day, Garry and I like to ask the girls what their favorite part of the day was. Sometimes their answers surprise us. We'll spend an exciting day at the park and their favorite part of the day was stopping at Target for a $1.50 popcorn combo. Who knew?

Below I blogged about out trip to the National Arboretum. I have to tell you my favorite part.

It's really hard to get three girls out the door. Really hard. Sometimes the stress makes me just want to stay home but I try to push through. What I've tried to do lately is ask the girls to get their backpacks and pack their own snacks. It's just one step I do not have to worry about.

Before we left I checked Macey's backpack to make sure she had enough food/the right food. But I trusted Emma. So imagine my surprise when we sat down on a bench and Emma starts unloading all of this food! She brought two of everything -- "one for Momma". She packed double snacks to make sure I had something, too.

I was stunned. What four year old thinks to pack food for her Mom!