Thursday, October 29, 2009

Shock & Awe

It's been coming on for a while now. But once MiniMe turned double digits, she entered the age range when she begins to think parents - namely me - don't know anything. I've discussed this with my girlfriends and we've identified several stages and warning signs. 

First, around the age of 10 or 11, the child begins to explain things to you as if you're an idiot. Especially anything having to do with the pop culture of tweens/teens.

By the time the child reaches 13, they no longer feel obligated to explain things to you that they think you don't understand. They just begin to roll their eyes and give you one word answers.

By 14, the child begins to openly argue with the parent that he/she doesn't know what they're talking about. This is the crucial phase when parents really become completely clueless and stupid.

Apparently, parents stay stupid and clueless until the child reaches the early 20s. Then they start asking for your help, guidance, advice again. Surprise, parents actually do know what they're talking about.

MiniMe is firmly in the early stage. She was reading aloud to me this week and one of the characters in her book about friends at a middle school used the term BTW. MiniMe stops reading to explain to me that BTW means "for your information," since of course her dumb old mom would have no idea what this hip, cool youthful term could mean.

"Actually, MiniMe, BTW means By The Way, but as it is being used in the sentence, the sentiment as you explained it is the same. It's another way of saying For Your Information, or FYI."

MiniMe looks back at her book and checks the spelling of BTW. I can see the wheels turning as she realizes By The Way and BTW share the same letter set.

She glances up at me with a look of pure astonishment. "How did you know that?!?"

"Because I'm a cool mom."

"No really, how did you know that?"

Like I said, she's in the early stage of my parental slide into stupidity. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Native Mom Recommends . . .

MiniMe and I enjoyed ourselves immensely this past Sunday when we took the Kim Possible Mission at Epcot. All I can say is, great job Disney! You've got a real winner with this activity and I can see sooooo much entertainment possibility with this. The Kim Possible Mission is not a ride. It's not a show. It's completely interactive. It's the wave of Theme Park future! It worked like this.

We checked in at a Kim Possible command center. They swiped our park admission ticket and we were given a ticket with a scheduled time and place to report for our "mission," which in our case was Norway in about 30 minutes. When we got to Norway, we received our Kim Possible Kommunicator, which looks like a clunky cell phone. 

Once we activated our Kommunicator, the screen ran a animated video that gave us directions and clues. We had to travel around the park looking for "clues" and when we found them, we pushed a button on the Kommunicator and it activated something - like making wind chimes spin in Japan or making a fountain turn on in China. 

MiniMe and I got a huge kick out of looking for the clues and seeing what would happen when we pushed our Kommunicator button. Along the way, we ran across other families, kids and even adults playing the Kim Possible game with their tell-tale Kommunicators. 

There are 5 different missions in 5 different countries in Epcot. Each mission takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete. It doesn't cost anything extra to participate.

You learn a little about the country on the way, you get some excercise, you learn to work together as a team and see things you might not have noticed before as you do your search.

It was really great. We had a blast. Great job Epcot Magic Makers!!! We'll definitely be back!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Take a ride for kids this weekend!

This weekend is the 15th annual Harley-Davidson Ride for Children. Tell anyone you know who likes to ride that there is still time to register to take part in the Sunday, Oct. 11 ride to benefit Camp Boggy Creek. I'll be working at the camp that day and Beloved will be riding along with some of our family and friends. Register and learn more at

If you join this ride, here's what you'll experience. 

  • A police escorted ride from Destination Daytona in Ormond Beach, FL. to Camp Boggy Creek, Eustis, FL. 
  • Nearly 1,000 motorcycles take part in the ride, which stretches for miles along the route.
  • When the riders arrive at camp, they're greeted by dozens and dozens of children and their families who line the route into camp. These are the families who have benefited from this amazing camp.
  • Outback Steakhouse serves up a great meal to each and every person that participates in the ride. 
  • There will be music, entertainment and a chance to see the camp and meet the staff, campers and their parents. 
  • The ride has raised more than $1 Million dollars for the camp. 

See what Camp Boggy Creek is all about at

Monday, October 5, 2009

Class Reunion

Our annual trip to Epcot's Food and Wine Festival has turned into a class reunion of sorts. My two best friends from high school bring their husbands along and we all spend a few days eating and drinking our way around the world. I think Epcot should embrace this idea of class reunions. I mean, after all, sometimes class reunions aren't that much fun. But if you get to eat and drink your way through a couple of dozen countries while catching up with people you haven't seen or talked to in 20 plus years (cause maybe there's a reason why you haven't spoken to them), that would be a big seller.

Not that it is that way with my group. These are folks I would spend time with whether or not there was a pinot noir from Australia involved. 

Beloved and I were also celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary. Here are my top picks from the Food & Wine Fest menu. NativeMom recommends:
  • Chile's Rock Shrimp Ceviche (I had one each day)
  • Ireland's Cheese Plate (Big H had 3 in one day)
  • The wine in Greece (pick one, they're all good)
  • The sparkling pomegranate Kir in France (even better at night when they serve it in a glass that glows)
  • Sausage on a pretzel roll in Germany (especially when served by a man in lederhosen, right Bob!)
  • Pork pot stickers in China (Mis & I agree on this)
  • Braised pork shank with cabbage in Poland
  • South Africa's seared beef tenderloin with sweet potato and mango barbecue sauce
  • Frozen margaritas, mango, peach, any flavor (Wondertwin calls them adult slurpees)

Best by far . . . the New England Lobster Roll and Boston Crab Cake. No one wanted to share one of these. 

It was a great weekend of weather, relaxation, entertainment, great food and great friends. Same time next year!