Happy Jane

Since Jane doesn't get equal representation in the Disneyland photos, I thought we should post this little portrait we recently did of her. She is such a sweet little girl. Getting smiles from her is as simple as making eye contact.
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More Disney

The handful of people who look at our blog are probably a little tired of Disney photos, but since this is a lot of what we have been doing, here is more. I still want Brian to get some night photos since he is better at night photography than I am. Colin likes to look at the blog and since it will eventually become another blurb book, here is more of our time at Disney. I thought Mrs. Incredible was pretty sassy. This is from the Pixar Parade at California Adventure.

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.

The Haunted Mansion has been taken over by Jack Skellington for a Nightmare Before Christmas and it is very fun.

Waiting in line can be hard when you are two, but he has done overall really, really well.

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.

More from the Pixar Parade. Colin is obsessed with Mater these days. (Crazy soft focus, I know)

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 got to meet Woody at the Halloween Roundup, but Colin was sad to not also meet his horse. Even just now Colin was looking at this photo with me and all he could ask is "where is Woody's horse?" I told him he had to go to the barn to eat some food and he said "oh yeah" and ran off to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on the piano.

Colin gives Jane some love in the stroller. He really can quiet her down when she is fussy. He is so cute because he now sings her "I am a child of God" when she cries and tells her "I know, I know." She adores him.

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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.

We brought the camera to the Sunday matinee. Here is Brian still wigged and made-up.

Ted has been a very loyal fan for years (15+ years). Thanks for the visit!
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Here are a couple more photos from the show (courtesy of the OC Register)

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)

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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!
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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."
I have no idea how you all do what you do.

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).
Photo credit: Nicholas Koon
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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!

Candy Corn

As part of our Disneyland time, we spent some time at California Adventure (that is where Colin was driving the car in the previous post. They have a cute Bug's Life section). The park is all candy corn crazy, and Colin thought they were real.
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 made it to the parade and Colin loved it, although he is picky with his music and was critical of some of it saying "I no like this song!" He kept grabbing our necks to get our heads down to his level to make sure we could see what he was seeing. Jane was a little overwhelmed and started crying.

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"I driving"

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.

I love that little blond head.
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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.
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Growing Jane

Jane did something this week that we were not expecting. She cut her first tooth and the second is not far behind! This took me by surprise because Colin did not get his first tooth until he was over 9 months old. (He made up for lost time and had all the teeth a 2 year old has by 18 months). It kind of made me laugh in retrospect because as first time parents with Colin we were so obsessive for months about his teething. Then with baby #2 I turn my back for two seconds and she has a tooth. She does not seem bothered or even drooly and I cannot believe she is in such a hurry to grow up. She is now asking to have her ears pierced and to wear accessories on her head. (Just kidding, and Brian and I have had a strict no gluing bows or big headbands on our baby. She has made it 4 and 1/2 months now with nothing on her head but hair. )
Mainly because it was something for me to do last night, (it is little obvious that I have less to do when we travel so I come up with little blog projects) I organized photos of Jane in roughly 2 week increments.
Hours old

Two weeks

One month

Six weeks

Two months

Sweet photo with her Daddy's hand

10 weeks

Three months

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.

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