Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ice and Wind and Snow....Oh my!

The winter storm hit us hard, leaving us without power, with many down trees and limbs and with a mess to clean up! I hate to admit it, but the ice and snow hanging from the tree limbs is a beautiful sight!
On Monday, we were hit with several inches of snow, and I spent a long day at the hospital trying to have crews pick up nurses, nursing support and physicians so we could try to run business as usual. After an exhausting day, I came home to watch the news. We had heard that we were expecting an ice storm, so I finally opted to head back into work about 11P.M. to spend the night. I knew that missing work was not an option for me, and new that with the hill and road that I live on, that making it downtown early the next morning might be impossible. I spent the night at work, but was up most of the night talking to staff, arranging rides, and simply trying my best to hold my part of the hospital together. Gary called about 6:00 AM to tell me that he heard a tree fall on the house and that he and Libby were going to the basement. Not long after, we discovered that our power was out, and other long day at the hospital awaited me.
We were so fortunate that Ray & Betsy had power, and spent Wednesday and Thursday night with them. Friday, while at work, we were thrilled to hear that our power was back on! We were really lucky to not have more damage than we did, looking at our property, the amount of trees on houses, cars and debris everywhere! Here is the limb-covered side of our house.
This is the other limb-covered side of the house.The trees down on and around our fence.All and all, we have a mess to clean up, but we were lucky. I am looking forward to actually getting to spend some time playing in the snow!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Disney--Day 4

On day 4, we went to Magic Kingdom again to do the things that we didn't have time for on day 1. The weather much warmer, but the lines were longer. We did find time to wait in line for Libby's first ever roller-coaster ride. She was just tall enough to ride it...and loved it! I think we are going to have an enthusiast on our hands!

She was equally as thrilled on the Aladdin ride. What a fun day!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Disney Trip---Day 3

We started the morning out on Day 3 visiting Hollywood Studios. This place was right up Libby's alley...completely full of characters from the shows that she watches every day on The Disney Channel. We went to see a show starring Handy Manny, Tigger & Pooh, Little Einsteins and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She was standing up, dancing, singing, jumping and laughing the entire time. We went into the "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" playground where she took a ride on an ant, slid down a leaf and played with lots of over sized everyday items. Betsy and Gary waiting in line to audition for American Idol, but Paula and Randy threw them out before they even got to meet Simon.
It was not long before the character spoting began again. We walked up to a few Power Rangers, but Libby was not too excited about meeting them. She was thrilled to meet Handy Manny, though! She was so sweet, hugging him, kissing him and giving him high-5's, that a couple in line behind us were taking her picture, too.
I must admit that I am not that familiar with Jo-Jo's Circus (but Gary was--go figure), but again, Libby was star-struck. Finally, she got to touch Rocket from The Little Einsteins! She was singing the intro to the show while we waited to meet a few of the stars. She thought it was pretty cool.
We rode a few rides, watched a funny Monster's, Inc. interactive show and enjoyed the warmer weather. We got to meet Mike Wazowski from Monster's, Inc. Libby was not so sure about walking up to him on her you blame her? I was excited about meeting Woody from Toy Story, but Libby has never seen it, and was not that thrilled about them. I guess Buzz Lightyear can be a little overwhelming if you've never seen him before.
After a short nap on the bus, we went back to Epcot in hopes to spot a princess or two. Also, we knew that we needed to take the tram to dinner with Chef Mickey, so we figured it'd be a good spot to spend the rest of the day.
We ran into Princess Jasmine, Aladdin and the Jeanie right away. We saw Belle (Libby's Daddy was glad to meet her), but Libby was scared of the Beast. He stood behind her for this cute photo-op.Dinner at Chef Mickey's

Chef Mickey was a lot of fun! We got to meet all of our friends again (Donald, Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and Goofy). Betsy said she heard Libby tell Donald, "You are my favorite" again.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Disney Trip--Day 2

We got up early on day 2 to go to the Animal Kingdom for breakfast with Donald, Goofy, Daisy and Micky. Just as we had discovered the day before, Libby was in love with the characters! She has small toys of each of the characters, so she had to show it to each of them (note the Donald Duck in her hand!) Mimi, Libby, Gary & Goofy. Gary's the one on the far right. Hugging Daisy Duck.
As we were getting ready to leave breakfast, they started the parade--which Libby joined in. She marched around (Yes, in her winter coat!) shaking her instrument with Goofy. It was so much fun to see this through her eyes! After leaving the restaurant, we went to Animal Kingdom, where we had more character sightings.
It warmed up enough for us to enjoy an awesome safari--getting to see lots of cool animals up close!
Libby decided to take a nap as we ran into more friends---We parked her next to Pluto for a photo-op.
After her nice long nap, we took the bus to Epcot.
One of our first stops was the "Finding Nemo" ride. It was so cute and Libby loved it (plus we didn't have to wait!)Here she is looking for Nemo...thanks to Libby, we found him!
She also found some of Nemo's friends.
We waiting in line for a few minutes to see Mickey and his friends. She had been doing really good with the characters up to this point, but were still unsure if she'd walk up to them herself.
She saw Pluto again (this time while she was awake).
She loved Minnie Mouse!
We got to see Donald Duck again. I had to go up and get her from him, since she was hugging all over him! When we were walking away from him, she told him, "You are my favorite". My heart melted! What a long and awesome day we had Day 2! Literally, the only time Libby cried was that morning when I put her hair in pigtails! What a trooper!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Disney Trip--Day 1

Due to the weather conditions and the long hours I have been spending at the hospital, I am just now getting around to adding more photos of our Disney trip. Let's start from the Libby is watching Dora on the plane trip to Orlando. She was such a great girl!
Self-portrait as we enjoyed the plane.
Once we arrived in Florida on Wednesday afternoon, we headed right onto Magic Kingdom. I love this photo that I snapped while Gary was showing Libby the castle.
We ran into a few characters and enjoyed the short lines before heading to dinner.
Libby loved the tea-cups (she called them the hiccups). Yes, it was pretty cold our first few days!
After we rode some of the "classic" rides (The Teacups, Dumbo, It's a Small World) we went to have dinner with Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet. We were all a little scared about how she'd react to the characters...but we were so pleasantly surprised by her reaction!
The Banets with Eeyore. After dinner, we went to our hotel to gear up for Day 2. We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, which was awesome...complete with a view of animals from our balcony!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


We headed to Disney for Libby's first trip on Wednesday. She did amazingly well on the airplane and at Magic Kingdom. After a visiting the castle, riding Dumbo, The Teacups and It's a Small World (more photos to be posted later), we went to have dinner with Winnie the Pooh and his friends. We were so afraid that Libby was going to freak out when she saw the characters (you all remember our visit with Santa), but she absolutely loved them! She wanted to hug and talk to them.
For any of you who knew Gary when he was little, you may remember that his nickname was Piglet. Here, Libby and I posed with the two Piglets.
We got up early this morning (it was freezing!) and headed to Animal Kingdom for our breakfast with Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Goofy. Again, Libby was so sweet and excited to see her favorite "friends".
On our way out, we ran into Pluto. Libby was sound asleep by then, but Pluto waved us over for a photo-op. She'd be sad that she missed it (lucky for us, we ran into him again while she was awake at Epcot).
After a short nap and a trip back to the room to re-group, Libby was going strong so we decided to head over to Epcot. Awesome photo-op.
We waited in line for a few minutes to see Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and Libby's favorite, Donald. I am absolutely in love with this photo! Libby with Donald. Over the past few days, she has become obsessed with Donald. After she hugged him, she told him, "Donald, you're my favorite". I almost teared up! I'll be posting more photos later! Stay tuned.........