Gatlinburg is so much fun! This weekend the Girl Scout troop spent the weekend at the cabin belonging to one of the moms in the troop.

Friday right after school Tina, Lynn, and I picked up the girls and drove the 4 hours to Tennessee and met up at her cabin. Some of the girls saw a bear outside the cabin (before my car load got there) and they all hung out in the hot tub while Patrol 1 made a taco dinner for everyone. Tina had arranged all the food for the whole trip and she did an amazing job. Everything was sooo yummy. And of course kudos to the girls for cooking it all! After dinner we watched tv and hung out before bed.

Saturday morning the next patrol got up really early and started making an elaborate breakfast of eggs, bacon, homemade biscuits, and tater tots while my room slept in. Then we all got up, had breakfast and hit the road. We drove down to the main Parkway of Gatlinburg along which a million activities, restaurants, and shops are.


Our first and main stop was Ober Gatlinburg (German for “over”). Here you take an aerial tramway halfway up the mountain to a small amusement park at the top. Our troop had gotten a group rate wristband that gave us unlimited access to everything up there which was awesome. First we went through the Wildlife encounter which is a small zoo of black bears, otters, and other small woodland animals like owls, raccoons, snakes, etc.

Next they did a maze where they were competing in pairs against each other and the clock to find 4 checkpoints and then their way out.

There was a swing that they get in seats and it spins around lifting you up off the ground. At noon we stopped for a quick lunch and let the girls run around at the little shops, arcade, and carousel inside. Then all of them (except Grace who was really sick that morning and kept throwing up) went ice skating. The final stop in Ober was the chairlift and slide. You get on a ski left that takes you the rest of the way up the mountain. You can get off the ski lift half way up the trip and take a sled down a curving slide back down to Ober. All of the girls did the slide and said it was amazing.

You can also take the chairlift all the way to the top of the mountain to see the views.

After Ober we went to a 5D interactive theater called Shoot Em Up Cinema. It was only about 15 minutes, but was lots of fun. You go in a small movie theater and sit on mechanical saddle ride thing with a gun and 3D glasses. Then it plays a little movie where you are riding through mine shafts and such trying to shoot cowboys that pop in and out of the screen. Everyone in the theater has a score and you are all competing against one another. I got 3rd place at one point! Not from any skill on my part, though, I mostly just tried to point my gun in the direction of a coybow and squeezed the trigger over and over and over.

Next stop was a mirror maze. The girls really liked this one. It was dark with black and colored lights and they ran around through it a couple of times. It only took a few minutes, but the passes are all day passes so you can go over and over.

Tina and Lynn had gone on ahead to get us a table at a little Italian joint while we were at the maze and we met up with them there for dinner. The food was decent,but expensive, and the service was *awful*. The waitress was SO RUDE. But we are Girl Scouts so we didn’t say anything.

After dinner we went to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum. This is a museum of all kinds of oddities and was really interesting. The best part was that about 1/3rd of the way through there is a photo of a girl that can roll her tongue all weird and then a mirror for you to try it out. Well, when you get to the end of the museum, you discover it isn’t a mirror but a 2-way mirror, and everyone can see you standing there sticking out your tongue at them!

When we got out of the museum (it ends with a little arcade and candy shop), we met up with the others (Lynn, Grace, and I had lagged behind reading everything) and found out that McKenzie was crying b/c something inside had scared her, and Tina was tired and fed up. We decided that Tina would take Deb (her two-year old daughter she had with us), McKenzie, and Mallory back to the cabin while the rest of us went on ahead to the Ghost Tour.

The Ghost Tour was a walking tour of Gatlinburg where a guide takes you around to local “haunted” spots and tells you stories of grizzly murders and deaths that happened there. The guide was pretty funny and a good storyteller; it was fun to do to get a little bit of spooky w/o being actually scary like a haunted house or something.

Poor Tina had gotten lost trying to go back to the cabin, so her and the girls had to sit at a gas station and wait for the rest of us to finish so she could follow us back to the cabin. She wasn’t having a great night. By the time we were all back at the cabin, it was late and we were about ready to collapse.

Sunday morning we lucked out and the time changed on us so we got an extra hour to sleep in. The last group of girls got up and made another awesome breakfast, and the rest hung out in the hot tub while it was cooking.

Then we all headed to the Great Smoky Mountains for a “scavenger hunt” hike. The trail follows along a creek and through an area that >100 years ago was a settlement instead of woods. There are various landmarks to try to find (a pioneer kissing rock, the remains of an old homestead, the remains of a Model T car, etc). At one point all the girls climbed down to the creek and were climbing up the creek via all the massive rocks. I even joined in with them for a little bit of it, climbing over rocks as best I could.

After the hike, it was back to the cabin for a quick lunch, pack up, clean up, and head back home. The trip was sooo much fun and I’m so glad we were able to do it. I had no idea there was so much to do up there and I will definitely be back when I have “kids”!

First Halloween Party

just now lucas came running in saying he was getting the step stool to take to the kitchen. after a minute i was about to get up to see what he was getting into, when he comes running back in with a granola bar in his hand that he had gotten out of the pantry. had he only been able to open the wrapper, he would have just been completely self-sufficient at getting his own snack.

thursday i felt like such a fail mom. at like 1145 i told lucas i was just going to lie down for a few minutes, and if he would be good and go play in the playroom and leave me alone for ten minutes, that i would take him to gymboree and he could wear his costume. i made it all exciting that he got to be a dragon at gymboree and all the stuff we would do there, if he would just be good and leave me alone for “just ten minutes”. well, he did as i asked and he was SO GOOD that i actually fell asleep and slept thru the first half of gymboree. i felt horrible. normally it wouldnt be a big deal except that a) id made a big deal of going before hand if he left me alone and b) if he hadn’t been so good and completely left me alone, i wouldn’t have fallen asleep. luckily we at least made it for the second half of the class, and since his party was that same night, he got to go twice.

lol he just came back in with another granola bar, and i asked him, “did you already eat the other one?” and he said “that one dragon’s” and ran off with it and said “here you go” to his toy dragon. then he came back with a third one and said “that one mommy’s” and gave me one.

thurs evening gymboree had a halloween party. all the kids wore their costumes and had a halloween themed gymboree class. they hunted for pumpkins, decorated trick-or-treat bags, ate cookies and cupcakes, and ended with a parade through kroger. kroger was having a trick-or-treat event going on where they had different stations of activities set up around the store for the kids to do and then get candy. lucas did even better than some of the older kids at the beanbag toss.

24 Weeks

“How your baby’s growing:
Your baby’s growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he’s almost a foot long, he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he’ll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing “branches” of the respiratory “tree” as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon. In the past few weeks, the top of your uterus has risen above your belly button and is now about the size of a soccer ball.”

One thing it doesn’t mention is that 24 weeks hits Viability Day: This just means that if for some awful reason i had to have the baby now, the doctors would at least try to save it, whereas before there wouldn’t be much point. i found this chart online that actually shows chances by week.

mmm frosty

so im watching Mentalist and a random guy on it says “stay frosty” or something like that. so of course i had to pause and drive down to wendy’s and buy a frosty. only i hadn’t been out of the house today so i was still in my nightie. i grabbed paul’s bando sweatshirt and pulled that over the top. we decided i needed pants, too, but mine were in the wash, so i went with my sparkly aqua pj pants. i grabbed my slipons (that i recently came across a mention of in my *2005* blog entry) and was ready to go.

paul looked at me and told me that i looked like the clothing monster threw up on me. he also told me not to let anyone see me or they would think i was homeless.


as an aside, Wendys burgers are disgusting

he shoots, he scores

lucas is getting good at basketball. both yesterday and today paul and he were in the garage shooting hoops. i don’t know how he did yesterday, but i was sitting out there with them today, and he got two hoops in a row! the hoop is 5ft off the ground, so about level with my face.

i spent quite a bit of time today trying to transfer my domain name to a new registrar so that i can use it with this blog. it was registered in 2004 and had an email addy from back then, so it took me a bit to figure out how to get access.

i ordered a crib from kmart.

“23 weeks, How your baby’s growing:

Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she’s more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound, you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby’s increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. ”

i’m still having daily nausea. as long as i take a pill when i feel it coming on, i’m fine, though. she has been kicking up quite a storm today, and i’m starting to feel mini bladder punches. i often have trouble sleeping at night either for leg cramps or nausea or who knows what else, and it is only the 2nd trimester, so i wonder how bad it’ll be in the 3rd trimester 😛

so my sister is officially engaged. unfortunately the custom ring she is having made isn’t ready yet, so i still don’t get to see it (and more importantly, she doesn’t get to wear it). i just want to gloat a little over how my sister that i originally had a disagreement with over her even *having* a ring at all is now getting a custom ring made. i can’t wait to see it, though. i’m sooo excited for her and ross.

i think i just stole someone’s cat

so there is a post on our community forums about someone missing a cat (but no picture). i see a cat that looks as described out by the playground so i nabbed it in case it is the missing cat. only now im really regretting it, and not just because it clawed up my face when i tried to carry it back to the house. now im all worried that it isn’t the right cat and i stole someone else’s cat. i only planned to keep it for a day and if the lady hasn’t contacted me back by then, letting it go again. a) it has a green collar on and the ad didn’t mention a collar. b) im not really comfortable keeping a strange cat in my house. it is currently locked in the guest room away from my other cats, but that could still cause all kinds of problems. c) the person’s facebook account doesn’t look frequently used, so how do i even know if she’ll get my msg anytime soon? so now i’m thinking i should just go ahead and let it go. it probably isn’t even the missing cat, i’ll probably not hear back from her for a week, and itll probably cause a bunch of issues in my house. BUT what if if i go ahead and let it go and tomorrow she is all like “omg that is my cat! you found it!”

update: paul took pix of the cat down to the house of the person, and they weren’t home. i also noticed when taking pix that the color was slightly off and so were the markings ( i didn’t see any white on its face). so, i decided it wasn’t the missing cat and released it back into the wild.

update 2: so when i tried to heard the not-missing-but-stolen cat out the backdoor, apparently Booda escaped the house. he didn’t come when i fed him at night or come out any of the times i called him. i tried looking around for him outside, but by this time it was dark. i thought abby would be able to locate him, but there was a neighborhood cat in our front yard so i couldn’t tell if booda was around as well. i finally had to give up and went to bed. this morning booda was still missing. paul suggested that i look for him with abby inside. so i went looking around the house and found him curled up in the very back corner under our front porch. as soon as he saw me he started creeping towards me, looking all around for dogs or other stray cats. he let me carry him back into the house and the second i opened the back door he lept from my arms like “omg im home!”

convo with mom

i was clearing out old emails, and i found where i had emailed myself a funny. don’t know that i ever posted it, so i’ll post it here. it looks like we were probably in Tennessee at the time based on the date and subject.


Sent: Monday, April 11, 2011 4:01 PM
Me: where is Bristol Caverns?
Mom: in Bristol
Me: pretend I didn’t just ask that

lucas latests

well today we are going to give potty training a bit of a go. we got his big boy underwear in the mail last week and i put them on him just now. he is also sitting in my lap at the moment, so this could end badly.

last weekend dad built lucas this awesome thomas the train table (they retail for $200!) and brought it over. we got him a train track set and he has been loving it. thank you dad!!

he commonly says 4 word sentences now, and as always picks up new words easily and quickly. he is learning to count, “1, 2, 3, 5” and can tell you how old he is. he can identify numbers 0-9 and occasionally letters (or at least that it is a letter even if he doesn’t get the right one). he understands about taking turns and sharing pretty well. he seems to remember people now. he saw a picture of Rachel when i was scrapbooking and named her, even though he hadn’t seen her or heard her talked about in 3 or 4 months.

ive started letting him watch tv occasionally. i keep a couple eps of Thomas and Sesame St on my DVR for when i need to get him out of my hair and he actually sits there the whole time and watches it. not sure if that is good or bad.

he got his dragon costume for halloween and he actually likes wearing it (unlike the last two years). he gets to wear it to gymboree the week of halloween and also to both the gymboree halloween party and the neighborhood halloween party. we will also go trick-or-treating this year now that he is old enough. we’ll just do a few houses, though.

he hasn’t been napping for awhile now. he was really cranky yesterday so i did put him down then and he slept from 2-4, but that is the first time in like a week that we even bothered to put him in his room at naptime.

he’s inherited my ability to sniff out sweets, and found the Crunch bars i had stashed in a kitchen drawer under the towels. he spotted a cookie on my desk last night and came up with various devious measures to get at it, including asking me to go find a toy for him (that he already knew where it was) so that i would leave the desk and he could get at the cookie.

things i’m supposed to remember to write down that lucas has said over the past few weeks;

– i was heating food in the microwave and went into the office while waiting. the microwave went off and lucas ran in to find me and said, “food’s ready!”
– if you ask him who is in mommy’s tummy, he replies with “cookie monster!” (he’s not wrong)

there were at least two more of those i was supposed to remember, but of course i dont


little squirts

im standing at the window looking at paint samples when paul and lucas start cracking up laughing. i turn around and ask what’s so funny to paul, but it takes him a second to answer b/c he is laughing. i turn further around to look at lucas and realize he has been standing behind me squirting me in the ass with a water squirter! (i didnt feel it b/c i had jeans on)

conversations with Paul

Mon Oct 3rd
ally: lucas’s poop was literally teal
like, really really teal
like i almost took a picture of it
but then decided that would be too weird
Paul: lol
Tues Oct 4th
ally: so i had this dream that you and i were at the old house getting some more stuff we left behind. and i kept finding stuff i really wanted to keep and didnt know why i hadnt gotten it the first time around
like for some reason my tank was still there and you said it was too big to take with us 😦
Paul: the dream is wrong because I wouldn’t be there
ally: so then your mom busts in
Paul: the dream is wrong, I wouldn’t be there
ally: why wouldnt you be there?
and she is all bitching about money. and i was just like “i dont want to hear about it” and she was like “i said youd get some money from me, in half a decade” and she still never asked where we had gone
Paul: because I’m never going back to that old house
I’m done with it
maybe if I own it
but most likely I’ll just send Terence
ally: well in my dream we didnt already have all our stuff out
Paul: I’d like to say that you should stop dreaming in the past
dream about Damon Salvatore or something
ally: hahahaha
Paul: I wish they’d turn on the heater in this place
man it is cold
 ally: why dont you take that mini heater to work with you
Paul: because I don’t like it here
this reminds me how miserable a place it is
wouldn’t want to get comfortable that might make me productive
Weds Oct 5th
ally: i found the dragon costume on amazon so i bought it there for $31
Paul: whatever
dress him in a white sheet and pointy hat
then say he is a ghost