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It’s a Revolution!

Yeah, I know, I have to finish my Moms Panel Trip Report, but some things just strike me as funny, and if I don’t write them down, I not only forget about them, but I forget that they were funny.  And in a round about way, this could relate to the Moms Panel – at least to Jo, our “British Subject”.  It’s a stretch.  Sue me.

So, we have this gorgeous nativity that my husband bought for me when we moved to South Florida oh so many years ago.  I look forward to having it brought out each year, because it reminds me of the nativity my grandmother had.  There were so many pieces to her nativity, and we were always allowed to play with the pieces, move them around, and make the nativity what we wanted it to be.  Yeah, sometimes there were sheep in the cradle, and a baby Jesus face down in a trough of water somewhere, but as long as no one was getting hurt physically (forget the emotional damage done by drowning the baby Jesus), the nativity was ours to play with.

I have always allowed my girls to play with our nativity to an extent.  There is no drowning baby in our set, and I try to steer them clear of the small pieces, like the pottery and the rugs.  But it is certainly not uncommon to see Eilis and Granuaile sitting in the windowsill at Christmas time, moving the Kings further away from the manger as they shop in the pottery barn, or putting the Blessed Mother in a hair dresser chair that belongs to a Barbie (hey, do you know what kind of mess she might have under those veils?  The roots, split ends, bad color – it could happen!).

Last night was a typical night.  They played happily until bedtime, moving the pieces, chatting up the shop keepers, bargaining with the rug seller (don’t ask why I have a rug seller in my nativity – it’s like an addiction, this nativity, and I can’t stop adding pieces).  I didn’t bother to put any of the pieces back in place last night, figuring I would fix things after I did my school run this morning.

Imagine my surprise – and listen to my VERY Irish grandparents rolling over in their graves – when I came home to see that apparently the sheep have staged a bit of a revolution.  They are looking at rejoining the Kingdom!

I do know that my daughter Eilis was very much taken with the UK during our trip this summer.  It was her first time there, and she loved not only everything about London, but everything about the people.  She loved the cab drivers, the shop keepers, the waitresses (although most of them were from Poland).  She loved the stores, the food, the palace. 

Now, I’m not saying Eilis is behind this.  It’s totally possible the sheep could be planning something all on their own.  I’ve checked the manger for a secret weapons cache, and I think the Holy Family is safe for the time being.  But just in case – Jo, can you talk to your people over there and see if there’s room for a few rebellious sheep?  Or maybe a not so subtle 7 year old?

2009 Disney Moms Panel – Lights, Camera, Anxiety!

As a mom, you tend to go through life on one side of the camera.  It’s the side that allows you to capture all of the wonderful memories and glorious milestones for your family.  Sometimes, I wonder if it’s the mom’s job to make sure that when she dies, and the family goes to put a photo collage together, they will look at each other and wonder where the hell you were most of their lives. 

So, is it any wonder that we are all fairly well terrified when the day comes and we have to go in front of the camera – both the still variety and the video variety.  I don’t know about the rest of the panel, but I’m a complete novice at this sort of thing, and coming off of my 4 hours of sleep night at Cinderella Castle, I’m afraid there is no amount of makeup that will keep me from looking like the Crypt Keeper, and no time left to study dramatic acting anywhere!

About that lack of sleep – my butt is DRAGGING!  I barely feel the cold air as I hop out of our car in my pajamas and head towards my room.  I am praying that the wish I made just before I went to sleep has come true, and between the drop off location and my room, they have opened up a Starbucks.  I am going to need lattes, fed intravenously, throughout the morning. 

I manage to make it to my room, resisting the temptation to do my best Robert DeNiro impersonation as people stare while I walk by in my flannel pajamas (Are you lookin’ at me?), and I fall into the shower.  Ahhhh!  The hot water feels so good, and when I realize this is just what I need before a nice nap, I turn up the cold water a little, hoping to get a bit more awake.

I took a banana from our fresh fruit basket at the Castle, so I have that for breakfast as I do my makeup.  There’s no way I am going to make it to the Pepper Market to eat something more substantial, but with the amount of food they’ve been feeding us, I don’t think I’ll starve!

I manage to show up, where I needed to be, on time.  We are going to have a brief introduction to Meg Crofton, the president of Walt Disney World resorts, and she is gracious enough to allow for a few photographs before we have to board the bus to EPCOT.  Nearly all of us are wearing the pink jackets that were in the GIFT BASKETS that were left for us last night!  They are completely spoiling us, and we will never be able to travel to WDW again without expecting private transportation and nightly goodies in our rooms.

We get to EPCOT, and how cool is this?  GARY is there!  Gary is our new best friend from dinner at DHS the other night – funny, exciting, and I feel like this may not be as tough as I thought it would be.  Gary will surely help keep us from totally cracking under the pressure.  And then they call me first.  What the hell?  I’m ANna, not AMber – I come second in the alphabetical scheme of things!  So much for feeling instantly at ease with Gary there.  That theory only held when I thought Amber was going first!  And where is my hair and makeup team???

Off I go, to certain doom, but I admit I got a little giddy feeling when I realized I was going to have my picture taken with the boss himself – no, not Doug!  It’s MICKEY MOUSE!!  You know the excited feeling you get when you know your kids are going to see Mickey and get their picture taken?  Well, now I realize the feeling is not because the KIDS are getting to meet the Mouse – it’s all about ME meeting Mickey!  I remember these same butterflies while waiting for Jim to pick me up for our first date (on Oct. 9, 1988 – we went to see Alien Nation with Mandy Patinkin at the Deptford AMC). 

Mickey puts one hand around my waist and grabs my right hand with his left hand, and we stand together for our photo.  Pain free!  I feel much better now that this part is done, but I do find the makeup lady before I have to do my video.  I am so stressed and so nervous, and of course the makeup woman doesn’t make me feel any better.  She takes one look at the makeup job I did myself – after only minutes of sleep all night and with a banana in my mouth – and all she can do is go “Tsk” before grabbing a large makeup brush and poking at me.  Then she grabs my hair, sprays some spray, crunches it a few times, and dismisses me. 

My interviewer is so hip and so chic looking, and I look like a total mom.  I regret changing out of my original outfit – the leather thigh high boots, the leather bustier, and the stockings – because sitting next to this woman, you might as well stamp SUBURBAN SOCCER MOM on my minivan riding behind. 

She immediately makes me feel comfortable, and even though I am going blind from the sun that is shining right into my eyes, I don’t think I squint too much.  I’m okay answering the questions, and I am so grateful that this is the format.  I much prefer this to having to speak off the cuff.  And then she drops the bomb – I am supposed to have a 1 minute bio prepared – and then I have to give my tip!  Wait, what?  No more questions?  Ask me if I’m married with children!  I can answer that question!  But when I have to just SAY it, I am married to my Carol Channing instead of my Prince Charming, and I am married fewer years than I truly am, and I think my 3 daughters become the 7 dwarves, and I don’t even think it’s politically correct to use the term dwarves anymore – where are the Roloffs when I need them???  I suddenly become a bundle of nerves! 

But it’s done, it’s over, and the 4 of us who were sent to the electric chairs – I mean directors’ chairs first are free to go and have fun!  So we do!  We head off to use our super deluxe, get you anywhere you wanna go fast pass thingy to ride Soarin’, and then the phone rings.  Not mine, because I don’t have my charger and my battery is dying.  Margaret’s cell phone rings.  I hear not good things like, “Hi, Laura!” and “Yes, we’re all together, yes, Anna too, and Diane, and Kay.”  And then I hear even worse things like, “Are you serious?  We have to do it again?”  I immediately demand she ask if Bri is standing next to her, but it doesn’t sound like she is.  We have to go back.  We have to do it all again. 

By the time we get back to where we have to be, I know I have a bit of a “glow”, so I track down the makeup Nazi for a quick touch up.  She pokes at me some more, and at this point, I just want to get it over with.  I answer this woman out of Vogue magazine’s questions, I remember how many children I have and how long I’ve been married, and I only stumble a little on the tip part of things.  I don’t really have an ending….

And you know what, I know this interviewer is just paid to blow sunshine up my butt so she can move on to bigger and better things, but I half believe her when she says I’ve done a great job! 

I don’t have too many photos from today – so I borrowed this one from the Orlando Sentinel…