Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cruising again

Last Saturday Eammon, Maisie and I drove down to Florida to spend an evening at my parents house before heading down to Tampa Sunday morning to board the Carnival Legend for a seven day western Caribbean cruise. 

IMG_2417As soon as we entered our stateroom Maisie wanted a picture of herself in the bathroom of all places and started posing for the camera.  We had a lovely suite with huge and numerous closets, a dressing room and vanity area, a large bathroom with a whirlpool tub and double sinks and outside, an extra large balcony where we spent time watching the ocean and admiring our ports of call. 

IMG_2419aIn my usual fashion, Maisie on the first night after dinner with her towel animal, a seal with shades. 

IMG_2422aMaisie loved coming back to the room each night to see what animal she would find and of course eat the squares of chocolate.  Here she is on night two with …I’m not sure what-it-is animal.

P9210002Tuesday was our first port day and we were in Grand Cayman.  We had fun looking around for a bit and taking pictures with some of the painted Blue Dragons.  This one is Blu.

P9210005This one is Arti.

P9210006It wasn’t just iguanas that Maisie was willing to pose with, she was happy to pose in front of just about anything.

P9210008Maisie was all about finding a pool so we headed up to the roof deck Margaritaville where she and Eammon had fun playing in the pool and going down the water slide while I headed off to do a quick bit of shopping.

P9210011Eammon and I decided to dine at the upscale onboard steakhouse so after returning from a day in Grand Cayman we enjoyed a wonderful meal while Maisie played and had dinner with the kids club.  Eammon and I feasted on escargot, lobster bisque with cognac, a surf & turf of grilled filet mignon and seared lobster tail with sides of sautéed mushrooms, creamed spinach with garlic as well as wasabi mashed potatoes.  All the portions were gigantic and though I barely made a dent in my meal and was stuffed, I couldn’t resist when our waiter recommended the chocolate sampler for dessert.  It too was huge and I could only manage a small taste of each of the selections and unfortunately wasn’t able at that point to really enjoy it, just too full.  Do you think next time they’d let me start with the dessert because it sure looked wonderful.

IMG_2426aAfter our fancy dinner we picked Maisie up from the kids club and though she had fun she was thrilled to leave and return to our room to see what awaited.  Maisie found a stingray with goggles and plenty of chocolate.  Maisie hadn’t been happy as she didn’t get to dress as a Princess and didn’t get to eat dinner with us.    Eating a few extra chocolates seemed to make up for all of that though and she went to bed a happy little girl.

IMG_2434Wednesday we visited Cozumel where Maisie and I just did a bit of shopping right in the port area and Eammon just hung out on the ship.  While shopping Maisie picked out matching yellow t-shirts with frogs on them for all three of us as well as a cute t-shirt for herself with a shark on the front which can open its mouth to reveal its tongue and fish skeletons.  She also picked out two fans, one a very lacy looking carved wood one that opens like a traditional fan and the second one, big, gaudy and bright and oh how she loves it!  Another night of not being quite sure of what the towel animal was but Maisie loved it just the same.

P9230017Thursday we visited Roatan, Honduras.  Maisie and I headed off to Mahogany Beach which was just perfect for the two of us.  Beautiful smooth white sand beach, calm crystal clean water and plenty of beach loungers.  Not a cultural or getting to know Honduras experience in any way but a perfect way to spend a gorgeous day in the sun and at the beach.

P9230019Walking along Maisie found more animals to have her picture taken with.

P9230021Maisie and Mama turtle.

P9230024Maisie with the rest of the turtle family.

P9230030It was a beautiful day on the beach and it reminded me a lot of Disney’s Castaway Cay.

P9230031Maisie never misses the opportunity to bury herself in the sand.

P9230037Being covered in sand just makes my skin crawl but Maisie loves it.

P9230032The nice calm waters provided a safe place for Maisie to play.

IMG_0104While Maisie and I spent the day at the beach, Eammon decided to try Snuba.

IMG_0072He got to see coral.

IMG_0076And fish.   

IMG_0007Coral & fish together.

IMG_0041And even more fish, which was all wonderful until...

IMG_0025This guy appeared right next to Eammon.

IMG_0107And his response…

P9230039Carnival did a good job in matching us with dinner companions.  Each night we enjoyed dinner with a couple from Massachusetts and their five year-old son Rowan.  Maisie and Rowan really enjoyed being together so it made for enjoyable dinners.  

IMG_2436aMaisie after dinner Thursday with her towel elephant.

Friday we tendered in Belize and because hurricane Matthew was just a couple of days behind us, some tours were cancelled and many of the others filled up so Eammon’s plans to do a tour got nixed so he and Maisie stayed on the ship while I headed to shore to do a little shopping.  I had a great shopping day finding some wonderful bargains especially on silver so Maisie got a charm/ID bracelet, I got a tanzanite, Australian opal and white sapphire ring and Eammon got a sterling silver key chain with a Mayan deity on it.  I wasn’t onshore long but by the time I returned Eammon was tuckered out so Maisie and I played, she took a bath and we had fun together.

P9240041Friday night at dinner Maisie and Rowan spent lots of time sitting together and playing Maisie’s DSi.  Not the best thing to bring to dinner and not allowed at home but for tired children on a trip, to keep them happy, not a problem.

IMG_2439When we returned from dinner Friday night a towel gorilla was using the loo.  (Those towels were quickly discarded on the bathroom floor!)

IMG_2441Then Maisie found her worry dolls neatly tucked in and snoozing on a dozen pillows of chocolate.

P9250047Saturday morning Maisie awoke and let us know that she wanted us all to ear our matching Cozumel t-shirts that she picked out and then asked what Rowan was doing as she wanted to play with him.  Much to her delight he was having breakfast with his Dad when we went for breakfast in our matching t’s so just like dinner we shared a table and the children had fun together.

P9250052Saturday was our final full day and it was a sea day.  The children were having so much fun together at breakfast and we had nothing planned for the day so Rowan and his Dad joined us in our stateroom where Maisie and Rowan watched videos, played together and had a blast in Maisie’s castle (the dressing room) while the adults enjoyed sitting and chatting on the balcony.  Before we knew it, it was lunch time and on the menu was the chocolate buffet so Rowan’s Mom joined us and the six of us headed up for lunch and a chocolate fix. 

IMG_2447aAll the sugar got to Maisie and she just melted down so I knew a nap was needed.  Much to her chagrin I took her back to our room where though fighting it, quickly fell asleep holding one of her worry dolls.  After an hour long nap Maisie was ready to go again so she and I headed up to the pool where we met up with Rowan and his parents.  We spent the remainder of the afternoon playing in the pool and before we knew it, it was time to eat again! 

P9250053Saturday night, our final dinner together.  Maisie and Rowan were unfortunately more interested in playing Cooking Mama 3 (which my parents had given to Maisie the day we sailed) than eating their dinner but they did both eventually eat and their game playing allowed the adults time to chat.

IMG_2449aMaisie with her final towel ghost???  It didn’t matter, Maisie loved it and she especially loved all the chocolate!! (Each night she was allowed 2 or 3 squares of chocolate and the rest were dolled out as treats during the day for things like doing her homework and other good behavior.)

Overall the cruise was good fun and though we chose not to do any tours and just take it easy in our ports, it was perfect for us.  Maisie did a lot of school work and home work each day so she kept up with everything that her classmates were doing while she was away.  Maisie went to the kids club only twice this voyage, on our first at-sea day so that she could participate in the t-shirt decorating activity and then the one evening that Eammon and I went to the steakhouse.  Maisie and I did go to a show just one night and that was good fun but most nights after dinner Maisie was tired and wanted to go and stay in the room and most nights she and I were asleep by 9. 

It’s good to be home but now it’s time to get back into the swing of real life and experience the shock of having to cook and clean for myself again and Maisie has to get used to not dressing for and being a Princess each night at dinner.  Good fun and we can’t wait to plan our next cruise as we’re hooked.

IMG_2471xBecause Colleen asked, the ring I got in Belize.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gymnastics team pictures & a busy week

Yes I’m playing catch-up again with my blog posting as we’ve had another busy week here at chez Maisie.  On Saturday Maisie and I were scheduled to attend a fun cooking class at a local restaurant but I had to cancel as her gym scheduled for team pictures to be taken at the exact same time…maybe next month when the class is offered again we’ll be able to attend.  So on Saturday I had to get Maisie’s hair into a bun for the pictures but as you can see we had fun playing with her hair after I got lots of gel into it.

IMG_2375It’s amazing how long her hair looks when it’s spiked on top of her head and I don’t think she’d be able to do her forward roll on the beam with that hair-do!

IMG_2380Don’t move, it’s going to fall.

IMG_2382And there it goes…oh well there’s always more gel.

IMG_2391I’m getting good at this bun thing and doesn’t Maisie look beautiful, ready to head to the gym.

photo (1)There were individual pictures, team pictures and then finally a picture of all the team members together.  Maisie was in one of the last groups to have pictures taken and we were there for 2.5 hours so I can’t even imagine how long some of the older girls had been there waiting to have the group picture taken. 

photo (2)I didn’t realize that the picture taking would take so long and K had decided to go along with us so once we finally finished I took the girls out for a lunch of their choice, pizza.  They were so cute together, wanting to share the same chair.  Come to think of it, they do that chair sharing thing quite often.  The girls were hungry and both ate and finished giant slices. 

We had a nice weekend, Maisie, K & A spent most of the weekend playing together which was good as they don’t get much of a chance to play together during the week and with Fall break starting this weekend, it will be a while before they can be together again.  Eammon and I both had various projects to do around the house and I did a good bit of cooking.  Sunday Anne & Steve came over for brunch as I made sous vide eggs and giant popovers which were delish then both Anne & I did some cooking and Sunday night we all enjoyed yet another wonderful meal together. 

Once the school week rolls around, life is busy, busy and go, go, go…until it comes to a screeching halt when my little girl gets sick.  Tuesday night Maisie just didn’t feel well and awoke at 11PM, then midnight, then was crying at 2am and just before 3am she was up and really not feeling well.  Her poor little tummy was hurting her and we made multiple trips to the bathroom.  She finally got settled back into bed only to then throw up all over the bed.  Poor girl was so upset and her tummy was in pain.  I got her cleaned up and settled in the bathroom for a bit as I got all the bedding into the laundry…fun times at 4am.  Maisie and I then snuggled on the couch with her big bowl near at hand while she watched some of her shows.  Wednesday morning around 10 she took a very brief nap but was in a lot of pain so really couldn’t sleep well.  It wasn’t until just after 3PM when I had her lay down with a warm pack on her tummy that she finally fell asleep for over an hour and thankfully awoke feeling quite a bit better but still exhausted.

IMG_2409Here she is just after 3PM, finally sleeping peacefully, holding her fan and with her giant just-in-case bowl near at hand.  After a night and day of being sick multiple times, a good number of popsicles, water, saltines and way too much television, both she and I got into bed at 6:30PM and thankfully slept until morning.  

Today Maisie awoke feeling back to normal so she went to school and then we spent a quiet afternoon home together as I worked on getting the house cleaned up, laundry finished and all our clothes packed for our upcoming cruise.   Today is also Eammon and my 11th wedding Anniversary.  We didn’t get dressed up, we didn’t go out and I didn’t put back on the dress I wore at our wedding because we figured that we’ll be eating “out” for a week on the ship and that’s a good way to celebrate.  I did make a special dinner for Eammon, one of his favorites, Chicken Tikka Masala which he said was excellent.  I am flying on a sugar high as Eammon gave me a box of lovely designer gourmet chocolates and well, I couldn’t resist and ate more than I should have especially as I’ve been avoiding sugar for months so it was a shock to my system but oh-so-worth it.

Also this week I booked a room at Disney for January.  Maisie’s school has been accepted for the Disney Y.E.S. Program so her entire school, first grade and up will be heading down to Florida for classes, very fun!  Maisie will have three classes over three days, The American Story, Wild by Nature and Synergy in Science.  The classes are only in the morning so we’ll have park-hopper passes so that we can play in the afternoons and evenings.  My Mom will be joining us so that will be fun and Maisie will love having her Grandma there with her too. 

Finally, don’t forget that Maisie is selling 1200 thread count linen sheets as a gymnastics booster club fundraiser so if you’re interested please let me know, thanks.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

It’s that time again

4913419915_6b0d41fe33_o My little gymnast Maisie is doing her second gymnastics booster club* fund-raiser and is once again selling 1200 thread count sheets like she sold back in April. We participating in this fund-raiser again as the sheet sales back in April was a huge success and the people who purchased the sheets loved them and have asked for more so here it is.  So if you LOVE luxurious high thread count sheets, you know those super expensive cotton, amazingly soft and wonderful wish you could spend all day wrapped up in them sheets, well this is your chance to get some and for a fabulously low price while also helping Maisie and her teammates.   These would make great Christmas & Hanukkah gifts!!

The sheets are a 1200 thread count linen. They are made of high strength micro fiber yarns to stay soft and wrinkle-free for years to come. They are soft to the touch, easy care, no ironing necessary and have deep pocket for over-sized mattresses. All the sets include a fitted and flat sheet as well as two pillow cases.  The 1200 thread count sheets are available in 12 color choices: white, eggplant, cream, camel, gray, burgundy, sage, navy blue, mocha chocolate, light blue, chocolate brown and burnt orange.

You are probably thinking these have to be at least $80+ a set but you would be wrong. All sizes are just $35.00 a set, What a deal!!! If you're not local the shipping charges for the sheets will be $12 for the first set and $3 for each additional set. (Shipping within the U.S. only) Please ask all your family and friends if they need sheets as the more Maisie sells, the more money she makes to cover all her uniform & gymnastics meet charges!! Please check your own household, check with parents, grandparents, neighbors, friends and even co-workers. Sheet sets make great gifts for Christmas, newlyweds and clients. Sheets aren't fattening like cookie dough and pizzas and you'll have them and enjoy them for years and years!

Maisie and I truly would appreciate your support and help. All orders must be placed and paid for by Tuesday, September 28 and I will receive the sheet sets the end of October. If you are interested in purchasing a set or more, please contact me at and I will give you my PayPal information.

Thank you in advance for your support.

* The Booster Club, by its definition as a “non-profit” does not seek to make money, but is merely a pass-through entity to simplify paying the expenses of many athletes competing in gymnastics. The purpose of the Booster Club is to pay entry fees for the gymnasts to compete in gymnastics’ meets, to pay for and supply uniforms to the team, to organize and staff volunteers for Home Meets, to organize and pay for gymnasts’ travel at travel meets, and to cover any administrative expenses incurred by the Booster Club. These expenses will be covered by income received from parent donations, corporate sponsorships, program advertising, family/friend donations, and other fund raising efforts.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Just not feeling it lately

Blogging that is, just can’t seem to motivate myself to get pictures taken, get a post up or even check out my bloglines.  Between Maisie’s activities, her school, getting all her homework done, some projects around the house, doctor appointments, insomnia, lots of cooking and some fun times with friends, being online lately just hasn’t been happening. 

We did have a nice Labor Day weekend though spending lots of time with friends.  On Saturday, Maisie, K & A spent the entire day playing together because other than a little time together Thursday night, they hadn’t been together since last Sunday and they all missed one-another.  Saturday night we had a wonderful dinner over at Steve & Anne’s with some other neighbors and some friends.  I made a sous vide boneless leg of lamb which we had as an appetizer, delish!!  Anne made a wonderful butternut soup with squash from our garden as well as one of my favorites, her pea salad.  Steve made beer can chicken which was so moist and tender and our other neighbor Ann made a tasty peach and bourbon cobbler.  It was a fun night with lots of laughs, good company and delicious food.     

Labor Dat weekend 2010The kids were so good playing together and even as we kept them all up way past their bedtimes, they behaved so well.  Maisie and A love being together and are just so sweet, always right next to one another.  

Labor Dat weekend 2010aSunday morning Steve, Anne, K, A, Maisie and I headed over to Chuck E.Cheese so that the kids could play for a bit.  Maisie has been there only once before and she really didn’t enjoy it.  The place seems to overwhelm her and she’s timid there but after some coaxing she did get on the Kiddie Coaster with K and had a blast.  Funny thing is, Maisie’s not timid on real coasters or slides (remember Utah!) but these little fun games aren’t her thing.

Labor Dat weekend 2010bSunday was such a gorgeous day, temps in the 80’s, dry and sunny so we decided to do an afternoon walk along the Chattahoochee.  After dining and playing until after 10PM Saturday night, Chuck E Cheese first thing Sunday morning, some fun playtime mid-day and about an hour and an half of walking the trails, the kids were all pretty tuckered out.  We all returned home and Eammon took Maisie to the pool while I ran a few quick errands, then a quick dinner and Maisie was in bed and asleep before 8PM, one knackered little girl!

IMG_2359This morning Steve called and asked us to join them for breakfast so we headed next door for yet another meal together.  The children of course had a blast playing together, as always.  Anne took A out shoe shopping so K & Maisie played at our house and they had fun making some blinged out foam frames.  After the wee girls ate lunch Anne & A returned from their shopping so Anne and I did a bit of cooking together and the adults ate yet again.  After so much eating we decided to head over to the local elementary school so that we all could get some exercise and the kids could play on the climbing equipment and ride their bikes.  It was good fun until poor K turned her ankle and needed to be taken home to get ice on it.  A came back with Maisie and I and spent time playing over here while Steve & Anne attended to K.  Next thing we knew it was time to eat again so Anne and I pulled out all our leftovers, cooked up a few new things and another delicious meal was enjoyed together.  Because it’s a school night we had to break up the fun early and I managed to get Maisie in bed and asleep by 7:30 and after such a fun and busy weekend she should sleep well and I’m hoping the same for myself!  Maybe a good nights rest will help me get my blogging mojo back, or maybe I just need a vacation. 

Speaking about vacations, we are less than two weeks away from our cruise, woohoo!!  If anyone has suggestions for fun, interesting and Maisie friendly ideas of things to do in our ports of call, please either leave a comment or shoot me an email.  We basically have between seven and nine hours depending on the port, in Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Isla Roatan and Belize so any good ideas are welcome.  Thanks and have a great week!!

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