Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cooking

Isabelle and I love to cook together. She is my little sous chef, peeling garlic, measuring ingredients and mixing. This week we tried a couple new recipes that turned out great. Both are Williams-Sonoma recipes and they were easy and delicious. If they look good to you I've added the links to the recipes on the W.S. website.

Isabelle is usually not a picky eater but I wouldn't count squash as one of her favorite vegetables. However, in this dish she ate it up! She also now thinks it's really fun to take pictures of her food and wants to do it at every meal.


For those of you who haven't seen a slice of watermelon before, this is what it looks like.

Pork with Marsala Sauce

Today Isabelle and I went to my friend Cindy's house for lunch and we were in charge of bringing dessert. Isabelle and I looked through my baking book and Isabelle chose to make Maple Pecan Squares. It was a good choice because everybody loved them. Isabelle did a great job!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Having fun with Aunt Darla and the Cats

Aunt Darla came by for a visit this week and, as usual, mayhem and hyjinx ensued. This is also the world premier of what Isabelle calls her "lollipop dance".

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It seems that our cats Annie and Emma are finally warming up to Isabelle. Annie is very tolerant of Isabelle hugging and kissing her, while Emma deigns to sit still for up to 5 seconds at a time while Isabelle pets her. Little do our poor cats know that there will be another child in the house very soon to terrorize them anew.

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A Good Helper

Having a three-year-old around is pretty nice. Isabelle folds laundry, sets the table for dinner, washes dishes and makes her own bed. The best part about all this helpfulness is that she loves doing it! I know this won't last long so I'm making the most of it while I can. We picked a ton of strawberries and raspberries the other day (our freezer is now stuffed) - Isabelle even picked beautiful, ripe strawberries as opposed to last year when a lot of green or mushy strawberries made it into the box. Here are some pictures of Isabelle taking care of her chores.

After a 2 1/2 hour grocery shopping trip Isabelle was still in good spirits and had the job of putting all the plastic bags away. She had watched intently at the store during check-out and then devised her own way of hooking one bag onto the cabinet handles to put the other bags in. I thought this was pretty ingenious!
Jason just finished installing a new closet system in Isabelle's room so we could finally transfer her clothes out of the baby room. Isabelle had a great time organizing her shoes.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Our last day at Disneyland

On our last day at Disneyland Isabelle wanted to say goodbye to all her Disney friends, including the princesses and Mickey and the gang. We got on the monorail one last time, which Isabelle loved to ride, and headed to breakfast at the River Belle Terrace for Mickey Mouse Pancakes. I remember having breakfast there with my parents when we went to Disneyland. :) Then, it was off to the "Princess Fantasy Faire" for a royal coronation ceremony, Maypole dance and farewell to the princesses. From there we went on all of Isabelle's favorite rides one more time and watched the "Parade of Dreams", which is how we started our trip, so we could wave goodbye to Mickey, Goofy and Minnie Mouse. It was really sad to leave but our vacation was wonderful and we have great memories.

Waiting for the monorail
This is so much fun!
Isabelle ate the pineapple mouth off Mickey before I could take the picture
Isabelle's not quite sure what this is all about
Dancing around the Maypole with Snow White
Watching the princesses
Isabelle always loves when confetti streamers come down at the end of a show
On King Arthur's Carousel
Waiting for the parade on Main Street
Whew! That was exhausting!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dinner at Goofy's Kitchen

For our last character meal we went to Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel. The food was definitely the most interesting we had on our trip. It was a huge buffet with lots of options for kids. Does peanut butter and jelly pizza sound good to anyone? Isabelle usually eats "adult food" so she chose to have chicken, rice and fruit for dinner. Throughout dinner the characters came by to chat with Isabelle and sign her autograph book.

Isabelle's transportation to dinner

One more picture with Minnie Mouse

It's a pleasure to meet you!
On one of our first days of the trip Isabelle and I went to the Tomorrowland Terrace to listen to a band and dance while Jason stood in line for the "Finding Nemo" ride. The rest of the week she kept asking to go back and dance some more. On our last night we stayed up late to wait for the 80's All Stars so Isabelle could get her groove on.
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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Day Seven - See Below

Somehow my posts got out of order so look for our seventh day under the post for day six. Sorry!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Day Six

We spent the morning at California Adventure, exploring "A Bug's Land" and the "Hollywood Pictures Backlot". We also had a delicious lunch at Wine Country Trattoria and saw the live stage show of "Aladdin".

Isabelle making some new animal friends
Flik and Atta are also favorites
With Handy Manny

Yummy sorbet!


Day Seven

We had another relaxing day on Saturday, sleeping in after watching "Fantasmic" the night before, and having a late breakfast at the La Brea Bakery. After that we explored Downtown Disney and took Isabelle to Build-a-Bear Workshop to create her own stuffed animal. She's done this once before but this was a huge two-story shop and she was much more interested in choosing clothes and dressing her new animal than the first time we went.

"I a big girl!" - her new catch phrase. Incidentally, when we had to measure her to see if she could go on a certain ride this is the pose she used, accompanied by standing on her tiptoes. While this clever strategy never worked Isabelle remained undaunted and was clearly convinced she would fool somebody before the week was out.
This is "Cheetah Polar Bear". From this point on the cheetah went with us everywhere. Isabelle picked out a surfing outfit and accessories for her new friend. Waiting for our table at the Storyteller's Cafe Applying faux sunscreen to her cheetah Sipping Perrier and lounging by the pool

Our last night at Disneyland Isabelle loved Winnie-the-Pooh so much I recorded some of the ride for her. Even after getting knocked on the noggin she still wanted to ride again.
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Isabelle chooses her animal
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Day Six - Swimming

Isabelle couldn't wait any longer to get in the pool at our hotel. She really loves the water -especially when Jason throws her up in the air!





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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day Five

Today was our lucky day at California Adventure. We got there as soon as it opened to be first in line to see "Turtle Talk with Crush", a virtual reality show with the surfing turtle from Finding Nemo. We watched as hordes of people ran to the Tower of Terror so as not to wait in a long line for that. Meanwhile, Disney cast members were busy handing out Dream Fastpass badges to everyone at the animation studio - including us! We got tickets to walk right onto every major ride at Disneyland and California Adventure. The only catch was that we had to use them all on the same day, which meant that Isabelle would be taking her nap in the stroller rather than the hotel room. For anyone who thinks we're horrible parents for doing this please refer to earlier posts regarding Winnie-the-Pooh. 15 times people!! Some of you may be thinking, "but Aubrey was frightened on Dumbo, how could she go on a huge roller coaster, by herself no less?" The answer: I don't know! But I'm certainly not going to let a little fear make me miss out on something fun, even if it does lower my life expectancy. Luckily there was always a fun activity, ride or snack to keep Isabelle occupied while Jason and I went on the grown-up rides. This may also be a good time to mention that Isabelle went on every ride the Disney officials would allow her to including Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion and the Matterhorn. Clearly we worked our way up as the week progressed but at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean Isabelle exclaimed, "that was awesome!" (I blame this comment on the aforementioned surfing turtle).

On the ropes course at California Adventure




King Triton's Carousel


Just plain excited

Another day, another parade
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Videos

Okay, so now my videos are really out of order, but at least you'll get to see them.

On the teacup ride with Daddy

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Talking about pirates. Isabelle says, "Arghh, Matey!"

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Waking Isabelle up to go to Disneyland

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Eeyore must look especially lovable to Isabelle because he got a big hug too.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Dinner with the Princesses

On the evening of the 9th we took Isabelle to Ariel's Grotto for a special dinner with the princesses. Cinderella, Jasmine and Belle were there but Isabelle was especially excited about meeting Snow White - her favorite Disney princess. Snow White came out first and Isabelle was so overwhelmed with shyness she couldn't speak. Luckily, as the evening went on she became more comfortable and Snow White came back for a second visit. Isabelle was so glad she through herself into Snow White's arms to give her a big hug. I think it was one of Isabelle's favorite moments of our trip.

Descending the palace steps
Belle signing Isabelle's "art book" (autograph book)
Two princesses
You're my idol!

I love you Snow White!