Saturday, March 22, 2008

charlie and lola

The softie craze continues with softies of the kids' favorite characters, Charlie and Lola! Charlie and Lola are two little British kids who have great imaginations. Charlie is the older brother and he always corrals his little sister Lola's wild imagination, gets her to try new things and teaches her how to be a kind kid. I am so happy that my kids love these stories and I also love the artistry of Lauren Child, the creator of Charlie and Lola. Cameron loves to wear "Lola" dresses and check out Lola books from the library. Jason can read the books in a cute British accent. Very funny. So I was inspired to take the softies into the world of Chralie and Lola, enjoy!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


There's a new craze at the Rusco house..... softies! I have been admiring this book from afar and finally bought it the other day. So far we have made three projects from the book and are itching to make more. Jason just had to make the ice cream sandwich and I love the tree. Today we made the Lonely Dollop (otherwise known as a pile of poo, no joke, see page 91 in the book). The owl was a project from an textile artist named Anna Maria Horner. I'm going to make some of her fabric canvas paintings for Cameron's room, hopefully I'll post pics soon. Softies are basically personified things or animals. I have my eye on a cute dog to make next and maybe even a robot. Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

more disney pics

I just had to sneak in this picture of Cameron... after a lot of swimming she just had to take a break for some Cheetos... too cute!

disney continued

Greetings blog fans! Sorry about the gap, but last weekend I had every intention of finishing when the vomit broke loose in our home. Yeah, it was yucky. The positive is that I have a great partner in Darren and we tag team puke like nobody's business. The kids finished their sickness in time to get back to school and into our normal routine. Jason is absolutely excelling in school, sorry to brag, but the kid is smart (his teacher pulled me aside to tell me he is very smart, her words, not mine...)! I was concerned that a little vacation time would derail him, but he poured himself into his work this week and had no problems, now he has 2 weeks off for Easter.
A little more about the Magic Kingdom.... the kids loved it and we did too! The weather was lovely, warm but not horribly humid and the crowds were ok, not too bad. We went on Friday and then again on Monday. We spent the majority of our time in Fantasyland because all the rides there are perfect for our kids. The highlight for Cameron was riding the carousel, she loves the horses ("they go up and down and round and round!"). Jason was fascinated by "It's a Small World", he loved Buzz Lightyear's ride and he couldn't get enough of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. The kids also loved Dumbo and the Magic Carpets. I think one of my favorite things was the awesome strollers you can rent there, they maneuver through crowds fabulously! Just kidding, I mean they were good strollers, but really Magic Kingdom was awesome. It's definitely a lot like Disneyland, and we've been there plenty, but it's got a few different touches. We caught the parade both days and the kids loved seeing all the characters, Cameron would exclaim every time she knew a character's name. She also had a great moment when we met Mickey Mouse. In the picture she looks shy, but she talked about Mickey Mouse the rest of the trip.

Friday, March 7, 2008

the main reason

Here we are in Ft. Meyers, FL, the main reason for our trip. We visited Jeff, Christine, Noah and Kadin at NMSI. They were kind enough to put us up for the night, feed us normal, non-food court food and take us to 2 parks for the kids to play. We also saw the spring training home of the Red Sox. A great visit, and the part I was most happy about is the way Noah and Jason just started playing as if no time had passed.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

meet my new friend

Here he is, Oscar Nunez, one of the accountants on The Office. Don't we look so fresh after our five hour flight together?

disney blog done right

Alright, now that I've lost count of how many loads of laundry I've done and restocked our house with nutritious food, I'm sitting down to tell you all of the magical wonders of a Disney vacation. These magical wonders would have been posted earlier if Disney had offered free Wi-Fi instead of opting to suck more dollars out of our slim wallets by requiring payment for internet. Bygones.... The drive to LA and stay in the Howard Johnson was blissfully uneventful. Cameron was a lovely little lady and I have a nice picture at LAX to prove it.
Unfortunately for Darren, his driver's license had expired and he didn't realize it until a TSA agent pulled him aside for a very thorough search. The kids and I got to witness this special moment. We knew he would have to go through this again on the return trip and I would have to do a lot of driving until the problem was fixed. The 4 1/2 hour trip to Orlando was fine except for the few times we dared to confine Cameron to a seatbelt... she does not like to be confined. She also hates elevators. We arrived in Orlando and were whisked away by Disney's Magical Express, a service that picks you up at the airport and delivers you to your hotel. They even claim your luggage for you and deliver it to your room. We loved that service!!!!! There's nothing worse than dragging your kids and luggage through an airport! Our hotel was Disney's All-Star Movies Resort. It is one of their 3 budget-friendly resorts, a basic Motel 6 room, Disney-fied. We stayed in The Love Bug section of the resort, other sections included Toy Story, The Mighty Ducks, 101 Dalmations and Fantasia. All around the resort they had giant replicas of Disney icons and the kids loved seeing them all!

The next day we took the shuttle to Downtown Disney (sidenote: you can't just walk around Disney World, this is 22 square miles to explore, they have their own freeway system...). Our main objective for coming here was a trip to the Lego store. Before leaving home I had withdrawn $20 from Jason's savings account so he could buy something for himself, I knew this is exactly what he would want. The kid was all business, he was a serious shopper who left us in the dust. It was so cute! After much deliberation he bought a cargo crane, very cool. We then went out to the tables where he and 50 other kids played Legos while their parents rested their weary feet. We had a nice time exploring the other stores and posing by all the characters.

I'll post more later, time to put in another load of laundry...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

walt disney world

Yeah, the title says it all... we were gone for a week in Florida, home of Mickey Mouse! But, before I get to that can I just spew out all my excitement over what happened today.... I met OSCAR, from THE OFFICE! We got up this morning at the crack of dawn to be at the Orlando airport to catch our 7:05 to LAX, and who was there waiting for the same flight? OSCAR, from THE OFFICE! He was tired, just like everyone else at the terminal, and I spotted him as we walked up. I turned to Darren and with a silly grin plastered all over my face I tried to discreetly hiss... "it's OSCAR, from THE OFFICE!" At that moment I instantly forgot where I put the camera, and it was OK, because the poor man needed a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich from Starbucks. I sipped my mocha and plotted how I would extract his used cup from the trashcan. We began boarding and you know who was in 1st class. He was traveling with a guy named Steve (saw it on his Starbucks cup... I'm not crazy... just a rabid fan... support the rabid) who Darren figured out was Ned Bryerson from Groundhog Day ("Ned? Ned Bryerson?" steps in puddle...). Finally, our section was called and we of course were seated in the very back. I smiled at Oscar as I walked through 1st class while lugging Cameron, 2 carry-ons and a sippy cup, I remembered exactly where I packed my camera. The whole flight I debated with myself as to how I would get a picture with him. I decided my only hope was a delay at baggage claim... who wants to disturb a guy on a 5 hour flight, maybe he wants to sleep? As we disembarked, remember we're at the back, I gathered up Cameron and all her gear (which seems to multiply as the day wears on) and rushed off the plane. I left Jason and Darren in a cloud of dust as I ran up the jetway and shouted "see you at baggage claim!" Everyone must have assumed Cameron had a poopy diaper because the crowds parted for me and I arrived at baggage claim in a breathless heap. I spotted him and calmly removed the camera from the diaper bag. Darren and Jason finally arrived and the carousel had not started turning yet. Perfect. I handed the camera over to Darren and casually sauntered up to him, "Oscar?" I innocently asked. He turned and smiled as if he had done this a million times and said, "yes." I introduced myself, AND SHOOK HIS HAND! Darren snapped a picture as I was trying to ask him about the writer's strike and when they would get back to work (tomorrow!). He and Steve Somebody had been in Orlando shooting "Beethoven's 6th". This is the reason I want to fly out of LAX from now on... with all those black Lincoln Towncars zipping around the terminals, there's bound to be famous people flying to the same places I'm going! He politely posed for a picture with me and I would love to show it to you except...... curses, you Kodak EasyShare C340! You pick now to quit on me! I shall post pictures as soon as I can upload them, my camera is stubbornly holding on to them right now. And yes I will also post about Florida, for now enjoy these pics of the kids which I uploaded a few days ago at our hotel, Disney's All-Star Movies Resort.