Check out Nicholas’ Recipe!

Over on Take Back the Kitchen, the month of January is Kids’ Cooking Month, with a contest to get the 5 best kid-submitted recipes on TV at the end of the month. Since Nicholas is a foodie, it seems obvious that he’d have his own recipes for things. We submitted his future classic, Chicken Sabate.

I’ll post again when it’s time to get out the vote!

Where’d My Baby Go?

Thanks to our internet being out, I was forced to hit the Starbucks this AM to deliver some client work. Since I was out, I had the pleasure of picking up my 4YO from Pre-K.

It’s a considerably different feeling between seeing your oldest kid at school and your youngest kid at school. I mean, he’s just a baby! I guess I’m finally beginning to understand that sentiment that my mom spoke of as I (the youngest) was getting older an growing up.

But I still have a hard time seeing him as a bigger kid as opposed to being a baby. And I suppose I always will.

MedBase 1.1

The first update to my iOS app MedBase is now available on the iOS App Store. New features include the ability to share a list of medications via email attachment. This email attachment can then be opened by MedBase 1.1 or later to automatically import the new user into the app. I’ve also added the ability to print a medication list for a user.

Go check it out on the App Store and as always, if you dig it, please rate it on iTunes.

MedBase 1.0

Over the past few years, I’ve been trying to teach myself Objective-C and write an iPhone app. I finally sat down a few months ago and began, in earnest, working on an app idea I had. Today, I’m happy to announce the fruit of my labors: My first application, MedBase is available on the iOS App Store.

MedBase is a simple app that lets you keep track of medications that you and others are taking, but I learned a ton in the process about Objective-C, crazy C stuff like pointers, and the app review process itself. Now that I’ve done this, there are a few other ideas kicking around in my head that I’d like to bring to fruition.

In the meantime, if you take medications, or know someone who does, MedBase is a great way to keep track them and to keep that information with you. You can check it out on the AppStore. And if you like it, please rate it or leave a nice review.

Disney World: Day 5

We took the kids to Disney World in March for NIcholas’ sixth birthday. If you have the opportunity to do a kid’s birthday in Disney World, I highly recommend it. Below is the fifth and final part in a series of each day of our adventure. You can see the other posts here.

On Monday, it looked like monsoon season at the Polynesian. We got to sleep in a little bit this day because we had a 9:20 reservation at the Grand Floridian for breakfast with Mary Poppins. This was a fun-filled raucous buffet with characters rolling by one after the other. We saw Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Alice, and the Mad Hatter. Our waitress recognized Nicholas’ birthday button and brought him out a cupcake with a candle and we sang happy birthday to him.

The Boys with Pooh Bear

After breakfast, we hopped on the monorail for the Magic Kingdom. It wasn’t terribly crowded, but it certainly wasn’t empty. We headed for Fantasy Land and got our FastPass for Peter Pan (2 hours later), and then aimed for some short line, no rain attractions like the Hall of Presidents and the Country Bear Jamboree.

We arrived at the Hall of Presidents about 15 minutes before the next show, and there was a small line beginning to build that turned out to be a photo-op with Mickey! Anyone who’s been to Disney World knows that Mickey isn’t the most visible character in the parks outside of special events like parades, etc. So we jumped on the line while Mickey was having a piece of cheesecake, so he wasn’t there to attract a line yet. After a couple of minutes, it was the boys’ turn to have their picture taken with General Washington Mickey, and that was pretty cool.

The Boys with General Mickey

Once that was done, there was only a few minutes to wait before going into the Hall of Presidents show. Nicholas enjoyed it and Tommy wasn’t scared of it, so I think it counted as a win for everyone. After that we headed over to the Country Bear Jamboree which the boys really wanted to see going into the trip. Of course, Tommy started saying he didn’t want to go and that it would be scary. Even though after it was over, he said it was scary, I think he still enjoyed it.

Now it was time for lunch, so we went next door to Pecos Bill’s cafe and ate on the cheap. A side of chili for myself, a kids’ cheeseburger for Katie, turkey sandwich for Nicholas and PB & J for Tommy. Lunch in the park for under $20!

After lunch we headed back toward Fantasy Land to ride Peter Pan, which, once again, Tommy was scared to go on. However, after riding it he loved it and wanted to go again. Unfortunately, the next FastPass time was for 5:00 or so, which conflicted with our 5:10 dinner reservation at Germany. We all rode the carousel, and then Katie decided she’d swing over to Peter Pan and see what the FastPass time window was up to after she got the stroller from stroller parking. She got one for 5:40 – 6:40 while Nicholas, Tommy and I rode the carousel again. Not a much better time, but we figured we had it just in case.

Knights with Invisible Swords

Now it was time to head to EPCOT to do some of the pavilion stuff before dinner at the BIergarten. We avoided much of the rain (and the parade) by walking back through the Emporium on Main Street, USA. We got the boys some souvenirs and then boarded the express to the TTC. However, Nicholas became a wet poncho and wanted to just go back to the hotel. Tommy was asleep in the stroller and we argued with Nicholas for a while before just giving in and heading back to the hotel. By the time we arrived at the hotel, it was about 4:00 and we had to wait until 5:00 before we could walk into Kona for dinner.

The boys sat and played army guys and watched a Donald Duck movie in the lobby lounge area until it was dinner time. We gave our Peter Pan FastPasses to a family that was headed to Magic Kingdom, and they said something that struck me as odd: They had wanted to ride Peter Pan the few times they were there, but the line was too long. Did they not know about FastPass? Do people really not know about how that works?! Either way, they were grateful for the tickets, and we were grateful to eat.

I clearly overate at our last large meal on vacation, having wings followed by a pork chop. My belly hurt for a while, and Arwen my trainer is going to kick my arse when I get back to the gym :-( Either way, we headed back to the room, dried off, and began packing to go home.

Disney World: Day 4

We took the kids to Disney World in March for NIcholas’ sixth birthday. If you have the opportunity to do a kid’s birthday in Disney World, I highly recommend it. Below is the fourth part in a series of each day of our adventure. You can see the other posts here.

After a quick breakfast at Captain Cook’s, Hastings picked us up at 9:00. After hearing about Tommy’s stuffed Big Puppy on Saturday, he arrived with a stuffed Pluto for Tommy, which Tommy absolutely loved. We promptly headed off to Hollywood Studios to check out the Toy Story ride. This is one of Disney’s most popular attractions. It’s a 3D shooter of sorts, in which your car stops at a number of carnival games. Your gun changes from shooting tennis balls to baseballs, to confetti and is really done quite well.

Hastings checked on the meeting times for Mater and McQueen from Cars, and it turns out they were available, so we headed over there to see them. Tommy got scared by McQueen’s engine, but Nicholas was brave enough to hang for pictures with each of them.

Nicholas shooing Mater & McQueen
Nicholas shooing Mater & McQueen

We headed back to Toy Story again, but Tommy still didn’t want to give it a shot, so Katie went on with Nicholas. On our way out at 9:45-ish AM, I noticed the FastPass times for that ride was 4:30 – 5:30 PM.

With the only good things for kids as sensitive as Tommy and Nicholas knocked out at the Studios, we headed over to EPCOT. After driving around behind the whole World Showcase area, We parked behind the Seas. We saw Turtle Talk with Crush, which is really pretty cool, although the boys didn’t want to sit in the special kids area. After that, we headed over to ride the clamshells through the aquarium. I expected this to be a little longer with more time looking at the aquarium, but alas, it was pretty short. Apparently, Disney is adding the Seas with Nemo technology to the interior staterooms on the Disney cruise lines. Since those rooms can’t have portholes, they will be equipped with live feeds from under the water and then Nemo and Dori will be superimposed onto the feed.

Nicholas in the mouth of a shark

After enjoying some more of the aquarium, we had lunch in the Land building. All of the food here is fresh, and nothing is fried, which was a nice departure for Disney world. Nicholas and I shared the seared tuna with Asian noodles, Katie had a roasted beet salad with goat cheese, and Tommy enjoyed the mac & cheese.

After lunch, it was time to ride the Land attraction, taking us on a tour of the history of agriculture. Tommy liked to see the old-time farm and even the modern “farmers” working in the crop area where they grow lots of the food for use in the Disney restaurants.

Across the pavilion from the Land ride is Soarin’. We tried to convince Tommy to hang with Hastings while Katie, Nicholas and I rode Soarin’, but he wouldn’t have it. Alas, Nicholas, Hastings and I rode. I was concerned Nicholas may chicken out or get sick on the ride, but he didn’t – in fact, he absolutely loved it! It’s a really cool ride and very well done.

After leaving the Land, we headed next door for Journey into the Imagination with Figment. I recall this being a really fun ride, but it didn’t seem the same, even after they brought Figment back. Nonetheless, the kids enjoyed it, so that was good.

Next, we headed on to Mexico to ride the Three Caballeros ride, which Tommy really enjoyed. I think he liked the fact that around every corner was another huge TV with Donald Duck on it. Next, we stopped for a quick ice cream to tide everyone over for the walk back to Spaceship Earth. Nicholas loved Spaceship Earth, maybe just for the fact that we got to go inside of the huge ball.

Spaceship Earth marked the end of our time at EPCOT for the day, and the end of our time with Hastings. He drove us back to the Polynesian and we went our separate ways. Using the VIP Tours at Disney World may be expensive, but when you consider how much you can do in a given day, you can condense several days into one. Further, because they pick you up and drop you off at your hotel, you can stay further out at a much less expensive hotel and not have to worry about catching buses to get around. Factor in the savings of a budget hotel, and you could probably get away with an amazing VIP experience for around the same price as staying longer at one of the Deluxe hotels.

We got settled back in the room for a few minutes, then threw on our bathing suits for some pool time. Nicholas and I detoured to the marina and took out a SeaRaycer for a half hour, taking a spin around the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. I used to love taking those out in the afternoon when my dad would take a nap in the hotel, and Nicholas had a great time seeing the area from the water.

Tommy Splashing Around

After we docked, we headed back to the pool for a refreshing swim. and then headed back to the room to get ready for dinner. Dinner this evening was back in EPCOT at Les Chefs de France. We started with the cheese plate and the pate & charcuterie. Nicholas thoroughly enjoyed the pates and the cheeses. We followed that with salmon for Katie, the tenderloin of beef for myself, and Nicholas and Tommy had a burger and pasta with chicken, respectively. I neglected to mention that we’d like a cake for Nicholas, so they didn’t have it prepared, but the waiter brought a slice of chocolate mousse cake with a candle in it for Nicholas, so we were covered there.

Nicholas and I with cake

Next, we headed for stroll around World Showcase, although we didn’t really get a chance to see much, as the lights were beginning to go down ahead of the Illuminations: Reflections of Earth fireworks show. We found ourselves a spot near the United States pavilion for the show, but had to abandon our post shortly after it began because it was just too loud for the boys. So, we hightailed it back to the monorail station for the ride back to the TTC, and then on to the hotel. However, when we got back to the TTC, Katie and Nicholas wanted to go to the Magic Kingdom, so we jumped onto the express and headed that way. Tommy was asleep in the stroller, but the plan was to head up to Peter Pan, which we didn’t get to ride yet. When we got to the Magic Kingdom, however, I checked the Lines app and it showed FastPass time for Peter Pan was 2:30 AM, and Nicholas decided he wanted to just go back to the hotel. So, we hopped over to the Resort monorail and headed back to the Poly for bed.