Minnie even gave Colin a kiss when we met her this time. As we were leaving the park later this evening, Colin was looking for Minnie at the same place where we saw her in this photo. Since she was not there I told him Minnie had gone to bed and the next day he talked a lot about how Minnie was asleep.
Jane does come too and has also been a Disneyland trooper. It is nice because she is able to come on quite a few rides with us and when she can't we just take turns.
Outside Toad Hall from Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Colin has been on this ride close to 10 times (the line is usually short and he gets to drive a car which is a good combo).
We are lucky to still keep in touch with a lot of people we knew as teenagers. Ted and Juliet fall into that category since we all met our freshman year of college. They came to visit from Arizona so we could take our kids to Disneyland and to go to the opera. We love seeing them and are always sad that we do not live closer together. Their little girl is just 3 days older than Colin and they do pretty well playing together. Colin has missed her terribly since she left. She was not a big fan of many of the Disneyland rides. I think the above photo summarizes a lot of her Disney Day. She loved the Princesses, but the first ride she went on was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, which is a little scary (he ends up in hell). Brian did not think much about taking her on it because Colin loves it (since he gets to drive a car). Many of the rides are quite dark and could be very scary to small children. We still had a great time and both kids loved the parade.
Ted and Juliet are also expecting twin girls in a few weeks! Juliet is about the cutest pregnant woman I have ever seen and I was so impressed she made the trip to see us.
Colin looks a little too big to be in a stroller, but he is still only 2 and gets tired from walking. We realized he is 40 inches tall so he can go on pretty much everything except the Indiana Jones ride. Since he loves the Matterhorn, we are going to try him on a few other big rides. Brian and I took turns on the Indiana Jones ride and when I told Colin Dada was on a little scary ride Colin answered "I want to go on a scary ride too!" I think we have a little dare devil.
Here is Brian's bit from the OC Register's review:
Brian Stucki, as her suitor in disguise Count Almaviva, introduced a plush, lightweight tenor, evenly gauged and delicately ardent.
We also liked this comment on the OC Arts blog:
Young Brian Stucki promises to be a world class bel canto tenor if he sticks with the repertoire. He seems to have it all (looks, voice, acting talent, intelligence) and he was able to convey both sides of the Almaviva persona (head-over-heels in love young dufus and imperious artistocrat who expects people to jump when he commands) And his glorious Rossinian embellishments (along with those of Jennifer Rivera) were to die for. I’ve seen Barbiere many times and never heard anything like those two. (Stanford Olson came close in his youth.)
(Thanks Bill Keiser)
We have been so lucky here in California because our friend SueAnne's brother's family lives less than 2 miles away from where we are renting. They have been very fun and take good photos. Thanks Zollingers!
This is just a close up of the youngest. Other people in the photos had eyes closed but I loved this little face. Brian had told him to smile with his teeth.
Brian was holding the reflector to bounce the flash and that is where the youngest is looking. So cute!
The show opened last night and things went very well. Brian sounded great and seemed to have a good time with it. I am not one to write a review, but I was very happy to see what Brian has been up to and kind of even teared up at the beginning because I was proud of his hard work. I stumbled across the singer who is playing Rosina's blog (Jennifer Rivera) and she mentioned a recent conversation she had with the director:
[he cited a] study Time magazine did a few years back, where they made a list of the 50 most difficult jobs. Number one was some crazy kind of rock climbing without ropes, number three was neurosurgery, and number two was - yup, you guessed it - opera singing. So when people say "it's not brain surgery" we can reply "that's right - it's MORE difficult."
The cast all did great and it was a really fun production that was well received.
Colin is dressing as a Pirate for Halloween so he will be excited to see Dada looking like a Pirate, although he is a drunken soldier here. (It will look like a Pirate to a 2 year old).
Oh yeah, the opera opens tonight (The Barber of Seville with Opera Pacific in Orange County). Brian is still sleeping so he will be well rested for his work. We really are here for his work and not just Disneyland. It is nice that Brian's work also turns into a family vacation, but he really is working.
Toi, toi, toi Brian!
We went and bought a bag of candy corn right after this photo. This morning before breakfast Colin was singing a little "I want candy corn" song. A couple of weeks ago I bought some candy corn that I had hidden up in the cupboard but I woke up to find Colin in the kitchen with a chair pulled up to the counter and he had eaten at least 1/2 cup of candy corn. I like candy corn, but only a few at a time. Kind of makes me sick to think about it.
Colin really seems to be infatuated with Minnie. On Monday when he and I were just in Disneyland briefly, our main goal was to see Minnie. When we finally found her, the line to see her was closed so we just waved. Going back to the car Colin was sad because he did not give Minnie a hug. The first thing he wanted to do yesterday in the parks was also to see Minnie. Brian took him to a Playhouse Disney show where Minnie had a birthday and we got to see her right after the show. He again got shy, but I thought it was cute that she kneeled down to greet him. Thanks Minnie!
Colin loves the rides! He likes to go fast. Brian even took him on the Matterhorn and he giggled the whole time. We also went (twice) through the Haunted Mansion that has been taken over by the Nightmare Before Christmas. I was carrying Colin and he kept saying "It is a little scary for me" but then also giggling. We made it on Pirates of the Caribbean and the Jungle Cruise. There were no lines yesterday afternoon on the adult rides, but Fantasyland was still packed. Sadly, we may never ride Dumbo.
We spent the day as a family at Disneyland (since we bought an obscenely huge pass. Colin and I even went to Disneyland alone for about an hour on Monday just because we can. In a couple weeks Colin will wonder why we do not go to Disneyland several times a week). Colin LOVES anything he can drive.
We finally made it to Disneyland yesterday, or Mickey's house as we have been telling Colin. Colin has been properly prepared (or brainwashed?) because Sue Anne got him 3 DVD's of old Mickey cartoons from the 20's, 30's and 40's along with Toy Story and Monsters Inc. We love the old cartoons and some of them are very crazy. (There must have been a lot more chewing tobacco back in the day because there are lots of spittoon jokes, along with chamber pots and several deal with alcoholism and involve animal abuse, but they are mainly just crazy little music videos.) He has been transformed by Mickey and kind of cannot get enough of him, although his true affections seem to go for Minnie. He is always very concerned when she is not in a cartoon.
In Toon Town, we first went to Minnie's house to find her but she was not there. Colin now talks about how we have to find Minnie. I was asking him yesterday where she was and he told me she had gone to the store to buy bananas. Mickey was home, but the line took Brian and Colin about an hour to see him. When Colin got there he was very shy. He loves looking at these photos.
We also met Pluto and Colin was also shy. It must be a little overwhelming for a 2 year old to process.
We will be back to Disneyland as much as we can since buying the big pass was a better deal. Since we are close we can just head over for a couple of hours. To get an even better deal from our pass, I think we will be there a lot, which I do not think Colin will mind.
Sweet photo with her Daddy's hand
Fourteen weeks, and planning how to take over the world.
Jane has been in a hurry from the beginning, It was just last September when we started to think about another baby and then two weeks later we were pregnant (much, much faster than we thought). Her timing has been so amazing since her birth made it so we could be home this summer for my Dad's last days. We are very grateful she is here.
During my growing up my mom had a cross stitch on the wall that I obviously looked at because I think I have it memorized. It said something like:
I hope my children look back on today and see a mother who had time to play.
For there will be time for cleaning and cooking but
Children grow up when you're not looking.