Wednesday, January 30, 2013

California Dreamin'

on such a winter's day

Last Friday we received torrential downpours - which I happen to love - but what's nice about storms is the day you wake up to after they pass. Saturday was completely gorgeous and deserving of a famous Sean-Jessie-spur-of-the-mo' day trip in the old family Yaris. Sean and I have been doing mini roadtrips such as this since we were dating; we explore old roads and find new favorite spots. We made our way down to the beach eventually, after a stint of meandering on Mulholland Drive.

As you can see, Jordan doesn't share her parents' love of adventure or of natural beauty. She finds it all very mundane and would rather feast upon her animal crackers while verbosely backseat driving.

Jordan does appreciate a good beach picnic though, and my new uterus passenger requires sustenance approximately every 18 minutes, so we picked up an exorbitantly priced snackfest of crackers, brie and orange juice at some uppity Malibu market then parked our bottoms sea-side to enjoy some free sunshine.

feed the birds. tuppins a bag.

The water was predictably nippy - I'd venture a 56° guess - but Jordan and I toe- and calf-dipped like the bold and brassy women we are. Sean lounged about reading his book on the beach towel like the pansy-bum that he is. They got their quality time in later though, when they simulated a little Baywatch

look at those heroes.

So basically this was a big fat photo dump of our weekend but sometimes that's just what Wednesday calls for. 

whoops, that one slipped. wink.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Thanks for all the warm sentiments both here and via the 'gram yesterday. Sean and I are SUPER super excited, and Jordan....alright well Jordan doesn't know what's about to hit her. Sean has joked that Jordan has, however, "felt a disturbance in the force" (which, when I think about it, she probably has the ability to do)

because ever since we found out I was expecting Jordan has upped her cling status to code crimson. Don't get me wrong, it's adorable and all, but just making her eggs every morning has turned into the tiniest bit of a tribulation since she literally won't let go of my legs.

Joking aside, I think she'll actually be a rockin big sister. Jordan has nothing but utmost fascination toward people that are her size and smaller, and she has stared intently so long at a pair of twins before that the mom started giving me weird, disapproving looks. The only problem might be that Jordan doesn't seem to know her own mighty. It's happened twice now where she goes in to give a hug (both times to kids older than her) and she has actually tackled them to the ground like a linebacker. Kill them with kindness?

So far Jordan seems to approve of the situation

I guess when Sean says "kiss Mom's belly" it actually means "jump on Mom's belly and smother your sibling lovingly."

On an unrelated note: Bonnie over at A Knotted Life popped the most unexpected email in my inbox yesterday. Apparently she's hosting a round of blogging awards and I've been nominated? Who did it. Show yourself. Thank you/you guys who put my name in there! I'm e-blushing. If you so desire  you can go over and vote for me, but rest assured I'll never know if you don't. But you better believe I'd spam your inbox with hatemail if I did. I KID. I'm very honored to even have been nominated, so thanks!

A tolerable Tuesday to you, one and all.

Monday, January 28, 2013

the Bug and the Beanstalk

The only version of this fairytale - whose name I parodied above - that I am familiar with is Mickey and the Beanstalk. According to this critically acclaimed short film, Mickey is getting along fine, the star of Happy Valley, in his prime and loving life. Then some giant presence swoops in and lays bare everything he holds dear.

That sounds about right as far as Jordan's imminent future is concerned:

hello bean

The Brutus to Jordan's Caesar arrives August of 2013.
I'll keep you posted (ba-da-ching).

Friday, January 25, 2013

Like a Rolling Stone

I'm like a rolling stone because this is a music review. And.. Rolling Stone magazine reviews music, among other things. And.. my morning voice sounds like Bob Dylan. I don't know. I try too hard with my post titles.

A disclaimer, if you please: Sean thinks my music is boring. He thinks it's monotonous and contrived. It's because I'm a lyricist. That sounds super snooty, but what I mean is if the lyrics are compelling or creative then I can overlook a mediocre melody. But Sean doesn't consider any song appropriate for his 9000+ downloads library unless it has a Guitar Hero-worthy riff. So whatever, man.

A further disclaimer: I haven't updated my iTunes library since 2007 when I lost my iPod and never replaced it. I still listen to CD's that are stored in my ultra-cool big black binder that I acquired in high school. I still have Ace of Base in there. Any current tunes in my repertoire are found via my sometimes-kinda-like but mostly hatehatehate relationship with the radio, and are consequently downloaded to my phone to be cued up by Jordan whenever she's so inclined. (She can't say "cracker" but she can navigate her way to Flo & the Machine on the iPhizzle. This generation.) In the meantime, I can't figure out Pinterest. You can just call me Pam. Pam's my mom, whom I call a techno-tard (to her face - I'm not backstabbing here. I'm not a monster.) However she's stepping up her game, as she's learned to text - and it's super awesomely hysterical: she first needs her glasses that make her eyes look as big as that sketchy pilot's in Endless Summer II:

then she amps up the text size to like size 72. Then she texts with one finger.

Before you get the wrong idea, my mom's not old. She's actually super foxy.

 here she is posing with her besties at my wedding, but I don't have their publishing permish so I cropped them.

See? She's in her prime. She's just blind as a belligerent bat and needs technical support logging into her email. So, she's me.

Back to the point after that Cal Trans detour (aka, unrelated, unnecessary and not going anywhere): before you take my advice, know that my all-time fave bands are CAKE, Guster, and even though it's not trendy anymore because they are so very popular, Muse has my undying love. Add a healthy dash of The Airborne Toxic Event and that stray song I can't get enough of, and you've just about summed me up. (btw that Little Talks music video is freaky so watch at your own risk. Guess they're trying to match the imagery to the neuroses the lyrics communicate?)

Lucky for you: I'm reviewing children's tunes. Oh yes, we only host the choicest post materials here. Let me explain though. I hate kids' music all kinds. When the adults sing they make their voices downright cloying (I'm thinking Barney here) and when the kids sing they get REALLY ENTHUSIASTIC and try to SHOUT YOUR EAR OFF. Up to this point I've been playing either a CD of French café tunes that my mother-in-law bought for me, or the classical station during Jordan's and my half-hour commute every morning. Mainly I'm trying to offset the earful I know she gets when Sean picks her up and tries to Van Halen our daughter into permanent stupidity.

It occurred to me that Jordan is not getting enough fun out of music. I'm lulling her to sleep and Sean's riffing her into derangement. I had another idea. If you're my age or perhaps a little older, I'll bet you doughnuts to dollars you listed to 


I grew up on him. His voice is clean and unobtrusive, and the acoustic simplicity of his arrangements make him easy enough to listen to that I don't feel the need to plunge my little compact car into an embankment. And Jordan loves  him. He has some songs that I know will be helpful in the future (like about sharing, which I know will produce an eyeroll from you all, but I really do think songs are an easier/less dramatic way to reinforce a solution) and songs that are helpful now ("Brush Your Teeth" comes with a little interlude of Raffi making "ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch" sounds - supposed to be brushing sounds? - that Jordan thinks is great fun to emulate, so it helps us through the HORROR that is teeth-cleaning lately) and songs that produce a round of clapping and the sweetest little heartmelting giggle from the backseat.

Basically, Raffi has the Jessie approval stamp. It's so funny how these songs that I haven't heard in 20 years came right on back to me. Sean and I were both singing along to the lyrics upon listening to the CD the first time through with Jordan. See? Sean grew up on Raffi too. Must've been an 80's thing. The best part was I found some of his used CD's on Amazon for a penny. A penny! You pay shipping and it comes to $2.99. Not a scratch on it.

Ok but I'm gonna wrap this up by saying: those songs will stick. I have a half-hour after dropping Jordan off in the morning to purge my cerebellum with radio trash. But somehow I'm still sitting at my desk at 4:30 and all I've got is

Mama's taking us to the ZOO tomorrow, zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow.
Mama's taking us to the ZOO tomorrow. We can stay all day.
We're going to the ZOO zoo zoo, how about YOU you you?
You can come too, too, too. We're going to the zoo.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Laundering Business

The business of laundry in an apartment complex that doesn't have machines in each unit, but rather a community laundry room, can be a bit tricky. I'll just say it: it's a pain in the ass. It doesn't help that this mother-load (-loads, technically) is what's facing you every time you set out to accomplish this unwieldy chore:

I hid our unmentionables, you're welcome.

This beast is a week's worth and takes up four washers, so if I'm going to have a prayer of beating the after-5 laundry room rush, I have to carry it myself instead of waiting for the strong brute of a man to get home from work.... And we live on the second floor. I'm reminded weekly of my mortality when I'm carrying this approximately 750 pound behemoth as gingerly as possible down fifteen endless and very very concrete steps.

The real reason laundry is such a production is because I'm utterly and completely OCD about folding clothes. It was my job growing up to fold 8 children's + 2 parents' worth of laundry (this was a daily chore, as you can imagine the pile-up) and yes ok siblings, fine FINE fine, I elected myself president of folding because it entitled me to sit and watch TV for hours at a time while I completed the lengthy task, while you guys were relegated to the entertainmentless kitchen for dishwasher-emptying and stacking of the dirties. Mwa-aa-aa. But ALSO! I was the president because no one but I put the creases in the right spots in the towels; no one lined up the seams of the each pant leg so that they ran perfectly parallel to one another; no one made sure the socks were paired, folded in half at the heel, then stuffed one into the other.

No, who's "Monk"? I don't know what that is.

These days, however, certain rituals must be observed before I may be allowed to exorcise that bit of controlling crazy from my system each week.

1. Pile all the laundry on the floor. It will be as high as Jordan.
(didn't think to hide the boxers this time around so you might enjoy a peak at the festive candy-cane print nestled next to a cheery shamrock print. Am I the only wife to purchase her husband boxers themed for every holiday?)

2. Allow the big kid and the little kid to pounce upon and infect the freshly laundered with their unbathed bodies. 
Because it's fun.

3. Employ much head-scratching as the little kid engages in some kind of creative yet perplexing play in which she selects a piece of clothing, puts it upon her crown like a nun's habit, decides she doesn't like it there and flings about her neck like a scarf, and finally throws it in front of her face completely and dances an animated jig to Raffi's "Brush Your Teeth" until she runs smack into the bookshelf because she has voluntarily impeded her vision. Watch her become bored of that particular dishtowel, cast it aside, and select a fresh tunic victim.

Only after all of this pomp and circumstance am I permitted to do what I do best.

Let us focus not upon the countless dark stains in the carpet, the source of which Sean and I are completely at a loss to name (spots, thy names are....Jordan?), but instead upon all of this perfected goodness of obsessive compulsive. Neat piles of generically scented clothing framing a rectangle of space that I wall myself into when I set about to conquer the cliffs of absurdity. While watching Homeland, like days of yore. Well no, when I was home-schooled and conquering laundry I was probably watching My Man Godfrey or The Philadelphia Story or Laura or some 1930's-40's classic equivalent, but my point is laundry goes hand in hand with a good screen story.

That's how we get our jollies around here. An edge-of-your-seat foldfest. Pret-ty dangerous if you ask me.

Monday, January 21, 2013

For the Trivially Inclined

File this one under "most random blog post you have ever read, the content of which is not related to, nor is helpful for anything ever." I thought I'd still write it out just in case I have a fellow nerdling or two among my readers. Anyway, don't say I didn't caution you because I clearly just did.

A conversation sprang up between my uncle and I the other day, which was founded in our observance of a gang of nasty crows just outside the window taking turns dive-bombing parked cars with their disgusting ammunition of poop. Always one to offer meaningless trivia, I asked him if he knew what the collective noun for crows was, which he did not. "A murder  of crows," said I.

look at these thug crows. they're murderous.

The only related fact I had left in my nerdtillery was, "Well, do you know what a collection of owls is called?" No, he didn't. "A parliament  of owls." Really, I'm serious, that's what they're called. Which I think is rather AWESOME.
this painting is the first thing that pops up when you Google Image "parliament of owls."
and isn't this just what you were thinking when you heard that phrase?

Naturally this launched my uncle and I into a Google session, eventually leading us to this site, which outlines the collective nouns for pretty much every animal you can think of. My uncle commented that there were probably a bunch of old guys that got together 300 years ago and thought they'd have a laugh at the future generations forced to use these ridiculous words which they had set forth as "proper." Like a tower of giraffes? An ostentation of peacocks? A memory of elephants? A bloat of hippopotami? Or how about this one: a crash of rhinocerouses? These etymologists were totally messing with us.

Here were a couple of favorites, because they brought to mind pretty much exactly what I was able to find in Google Images:

And then I came across "an implausibility of gnus," and I have no idea what the flip a gnu is but why is it so implausible? Is it a mythical creature? (Because they had a couple of those in there too, like "a wing of dragon.") But no:

and it's just implausibly ugly.

So...I'm the only one that found that entertaining? I'm the only one that thinks this type of thing is really hilarious? Probably. Because among my repertoire of wife, mother, [responsible?] adult, blogger, and anything-chocolate-craver, you can also tack on: total dweeb.

Friday, January 18, 2013


I'm 26. Which means I'm practically 30. Yet I'm still finding out basic things about being a grown-up; more particularly, a grown-up woman. I'm pretty sure that every single person who is reading this sentence has a self-care and/or beauty regimen that they have refined to fit their needs, and adhere to on a daily basis. Jordan has even crafted one for herself in the last couple weeks:
  • morning refresh: make mom change my diaper
  • morning nutrition: make mom make me eggs with ketchup or muffins with bananas or plain tomatoes
  • morning exercise: sprint back and forth across the tabletop and grin hugely as mom fends off a heart attack
  • morning beauty routine: gnaw on my toothbrush whose bristles i've already defeated into sad splayed strings, while doing my best to interrupt mom's attempts at fixing her face for work. make mom lift me to the bathroom counter and apply eyeliner to my eyebrows and cheeks. splash any residual water in the sink on myself so i can have a new outfit because i don't like this one anyway.

See? This child is ahead of the curve. My point is, I've just had a couple revelations. They just happened like two days ago. I do  have a "regimen" so to speak, but it sucks. I always buy crappy drugstore facial cleansers/moisturizers and crappy drugstore makeup and crappy drugstore shampoo/conditioner. Always. I just never thought expensive products made that much of a difference. It took getting a Christmas gift of Sephora bucks from mi madre to change things up.

A good friend and I ventured to the mall last weekend, clutching our gift cards and meandering aimlessly. We decided to stop into LUSH because a) my friend is three months preg (cutest.preg.ever) and has been experiencing some pregnant pigment problems and b) I'm prone to breakouts along my hairline and shoulders, and for whatever reason my liter of Cetaphil picked up for an easy $6 wasn't curing my issues. But at least the price was right. Enter Herbalism, which looks and smells like algae. Oh, is that not really a selling point? No seriously, this stuff rocks. LUSH will cut whatever amount you choose from their blocks of product in the store, so I only got $13 worth, but it will last me months.

So after spending 3x as much on a cleanser as I ever have ever, I skipped over to Sephora for the free stuff. At my friend's recommendation, I sampled and immediately purchased bare Minerals Purely Nourishing moisturizer. I parted with $8 because my gift card didn't cover it, but between these two luscious products it was the BEST $20 I EVER spent. My face feels like a new face! Is this what newborns feel like? Aside from disorientation and confusion as to why they're no longer enveloped in womb?

My "spoil yourself" attitude is catching fire because I immediately updated my shampoo & conditioner set to L'oreal EverPure, which is sulfate-free. And I don't know what that means but I know that's good. It's $6 each for the shampoo and conditioner, so it's really not spoiling myself that much (hey, it's not Pureology, though I wish), just collectively about $7 more than I would spend.

Behold, the new beaut-route (that's "beauty routine" in lazy speak)

So does your face feel like someone has replaced your dry, blemished, irritated skin with Charlize Theron's beautifully flawless skin, everyday? Because since I went on my spree to both LUSH and Sephora, MINE DOES. But please note: I said my new products have made me feel  like Charlize's skin was subbed in for mine. It does not look like it. Not yet. But I'm gonna cross my fingers that magic exists.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


It has been fah-REEZING around here lately. And by freezing I mean it was 37 murderous degrees this morning. And by murderous I mean I'm pretty sure I would actually perish if I lived in a state further east than Nevada. #pansy

I bring this up because I have been craving a warm delicious toasty something or other to do battle against the jolt of arctic I get hit with when I venture from the safety of my down comforter these past few mornings. But what should it be...tea? predictable. cinnamon rolls? equal parts tempting and fattening. breakfast burritos? that seems like a lot of work...OR

I follow this woman on Instagram (@jl_designs) who I have never met but she posts awesome pics of weddings she designs, decor ideas, her süber über cute son, and some pret-ty delish looking recipes. She posted this recipe a few days ago that she had adapted from Pinterest and it looked like my ticket out of morning hell frozen over.

What's cool about this one, for those of you who care about this sort of thing, is: NO flour. NO wheat. NO [added] sugar (there is sugar in chocolate chips though...doi). NO oil. How can  this be? I'm glad you asked, because I documented it's every detail right here, right now.

One usually begins a recipe with one's ingredients, I believe:

Note Bene: if your toddler has made the tabletop her most favorite new play station, then you will in fact need the stacking blocks and wooden puzzle as pictured. Tabletop play: for how else would your heartbeat stop every 15-18 seconds as your child flirts vivaciously with the precariously high edge?

3 ripe bananas - mashed (next time I make these, I'm going to food process them. Unless you like a chunkier texture to your muffins, I recommend the same for you. I want my future batches a bit smoother.)
1 cup almond milk
3 cups rolled oats (you could get gluten free and then these muffins would also be NO gluten! But the GF oats were literally double the price of these ones above and my coinpurse-shaped heart couldn't allow it.
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 eggs (or eckssss, if you're Jordan. But you're probably not because she can't even hold a book the right side up yet let alone read her mother's trivial blog.)
1/2 cup chocolate chips* (really, you only need half a cup. I thought that sounded ridiculously stingy so I accidentally spilled a few more in there my hand slipped I don't know what happened. Anyway, no such thing as "too chocolatey", but it for sure didn't need to be as chocolately as all that.)
dash of salt
pinch of cinnamon 

*If you're of healthier constitution than myself, feel free to sub in golden raisins or shredded coconut for ample texture but still nooooo sugar! I couldn't quite get there this time.

There's very little rhyming and hardly any reasoning to the procedure of this recipe:

Mash 'em up good. But you probably should stop drooling at all this appetizing, though. It's unbecoming.
 Other than that, you just mix all of the above together thoroughly to come up with this:

Closely followed by this

be sure to really grease your tin down, (Pam, butter, coconut oil, I'll leave this decision with you) these suckers like to stick.

All that needs to be done at this juncture is a good solid 375° sauna for 17-20 minutes. The edges should be golden. Do you need further proof that I baked the bananabombdiggety?


a) "but I don't want to be confined to this heightened chair, I want to roam FREE about the tabletop"
b) "you've ruined my life. You ruin my life at least 8 times a day. Is it fun for you?"


a) "what meltdown?"
b) "I'm very even-keel."
c) "this is off-brand chocolate. Other than that, I approve."

Monday, January 14, 2013


it's one of those mornings. Such was Friday.
It was my fault really, I didn't recognize the signs. If I had, I would have embraced the inevitability of downward spiral.

I woke up voraciously hungry, which is rare for me, and we were out of zucchini which is my usual brekkers. Bust. Ok.

I heard Jordan complaining immediately upon waking - also a rarity, as she usually likes a good half hour of alone time in the morning (for singing her rendition of the Indiana Jones  theme song - no really, Sean's been teaching her - and chatting with Sockmonkey and flipping through The Napping House) before I invade her privacy. But that's alright, I like to hang out with Jordan. I'll just whip up her morning cup of milk and we can commence with our chillfest.

Nope, I forgot to get milk after Sean drained the last of it making his 27th latte of the day the previous evening, with his new Christmas present IncrediCoffee 2000. (I don't really know the name of the machine so I subbed in this badass title. Patent pending.) And I'm pretty sure Jordan is going to notice my not-sly waterbaba decoy.

I walked into the smell of a thousand souls shedding their searing tears for the demise of the universe in The Event that was Jordan's Diaper. So much for that onesie. Well, the contents of the diaper that had found their way up her back nearly to her rat-tail explained her unwillingness to play in her cell for any duration. Mystery solved.

After a wipe bath - and to offset the distinctly unfeminine affair we had both just been party to - I dressed Jordan in a tutu, because ridicule is my favorite. And because she can say "tutu" which is super entertaining. But I'd regret that decision in a minute too.

Jordan didn't want to be Ms. Independence of the Kelly Clarkson variety this particular morning, she opted for the Clingy McSaranWrap persona. Hey ya know, that happens sometimes, and while it slows my preparation-for-work process, it's kind of funny getting ready with her sitting on the counter while I pretend to apply mascara to her lashes and pluck her eyebrows. She tried a sneak attack reach for the open glass container of homemade bath salts that Kimmy gave me for Christmas, so I quickly latched the lid back on, narrowly avoiding a catastrophe that I didn't have time for.

Upon finishing our makeup routine I lifted Jordan off the counter, and what oh what  should her tutu be caught in but the huge, heavy, breakable Ball jar of bath salts. I freaked out until I realized it was very tightly caught, and did not detach and shatter all over the bathroom floor, but swung whimsically from Jordan's delicate ensemble.

I really need to amend my resolutions to be headed up at the tippy tip top with: THINK BEFORE YOU ACT JESS. I made a feeble and ill-advised attempt at athleticism in unlatching the lid with one hand while keeping Jordan pinned to my hip and yep. You guessed it. The whole flippin' thing clunked to the floor. Bath salts broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.

The jar did not actually break (shout out to the patron saint of clumsy), but I was on all fours scraping my beloved peppermint-scented granules from long since deserted corners of the bathroom, while Jordan berated me for my audacity in releasing her from my grasp, all while I should have been ten minutes down the freeway.

Wouldn't ya know it? I was slammed nearly to the degree of death by drowning in work, and got a particularly rude phone call from the condescendingest* of condescending customers. It was nearly 5 by then and this dang day had me itching to be sarcastic and passive aggressive right on back to him, but that's not what they pay me for, so I merely added an extra layer of saccharine to my already Mary Poppin'd professional voice. HA. That'll show him.
*fake superlatives make me feel better.

Now just look at that: I made it all the way through this much too complainy narrative with nary a snapshot and aren't you proud? However, it's affecting my psyche so I'm not going to let you off the hook.

Jordan's gleeful leer (gleer, if you will) is clearly enunciating:
"You can be kinda dumb sometimes, Mom."

No Jordan. Fridays can be kinda dumb sometimes.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Happiest Place on Earth

But you'd think we had taken her to the Most Unpleasurable Place on Earth or, at best, the Most Mundane Place on Earth.

We took Jordan on her Inaugural Disneyland Adventure in Which She Could Participate. (We took her last year with my family but she sat complacently on my lap or slept soundly in the stroller for the duration.) Now, since I was very young, Disneyland has been a special tradition and we have gone as a family nearly every year. So imagine my excitement in taking my young daughter, at an age that she might be excited at the wonder and magic and timelessness of the World of Disney. Cartoon characters walking around waving at her, rides perfectly suited to her [im]maturity level, fantastic treats and sweets at every corner. But this was where the Unpredictability of Ms. Jo struck again.

She started off our arrival to Anaheim, California by having a meltdown of epic proportions. We were still in the parking garage, and she had surmised that this was the ideal acoustical setting for screams that were due to...nothing at all, and soothed by...nothing at all. She didn't want to be held, she didn't want to walk, she didn't want the stroller, and she didn't want to be down on all fours on the certainly sanitary concrete, even though that's where she was.

The first half hour or forty-five minutes of our trip have been blocked from my memory due to a handy coping mechanism in my frontal lobe. Once we got Jordan on to her first carousel ride, she seemed to better understand the reason we were here (to make her every wish come true) and decided to play along to a certain extent. She wouldn't draw the attention of every guest, employee, and counter-terrorist unit in the surrounding area, but she became the Queen of Unimpressed of the Kingdom of Stoicism.

I'll show you:
Here we are on Dumbo. I'm so excited. I've been talking about taking Jordan on Dumbo for weeks. My siblings have all dibbed the other rides they were yearning to take Jordan on, but I played the mom card for this one. This one's mine. And look. She looks like a disinterested bulldog with her jaw set and her jowls puffed. 

Here's Winnie the Pooh's Blustery Day. We did this one twice because my sister, who accompanied Jordan on the first round, proclaimed that she actually squealed when she saw the Heffalumps and Whoozles. A reaction? We must try again! But as you can see her facial muscles are firmly set to bored.

We took a break from rides in favor of puffy jacket, stroller, and attempts at arousing her visual senses with a walk through the New Orleans sector between Frontierland and Adventureland.

"Have you considered perhaps you're trying too hard, Mom?"

"This is the worst day of my life."

By nightfall we attempted the carousel again because it had brought her out of her fits and tantrums earlier, so perhaps we might acquire a smile or the shadow of enthusiasm this time?

Aunt Sue and Eeyore, the saddest creature in the Hundred Acre Woods.

What you may like to consider if you ever take your one-year-old aboard the attraction It's a Small World  is, when you're on a twenty minute ride with a toddler past her bedtime and running on a stingy half hour nap, you may be subjected to a few hundred rousing choruses of 

It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all

with a bridge that your toddler composed herself

(This song is stabbing my soul)
(Somebody call social services)

And you'll have a driving urge to jump ship and hide amongst the swaying creepy puppets dressed in traditional garb from around the world, until your sister and aunt take pity on your charge and lift her into their row of smallworldfun and stuff a cracker in her gaping mouth
works every time.

If I'm being honest, I happen to know Jordan had least tolerable time because she would sign "more" after each ride we went on. For whatever reason, a normally bubbly Jo with a zest for a good time, particularly when everyone else is enthusiastic (as we ALL were for Disneyland) decided to be that guy. That guy that throws a wrench and a screwdriver into your best laid plans.

I'll take her next year, I will. She's gonna love Disneyland if it's the end of me.
Famous last words.