Friday, October 21, 2011

Pictures

Wow, it's dusty in here...

So, yeah.  I fell off the face of the Earth.  Again.

Sorry 'bout that.

Things have been a bit hectic...our new schedule, birthday parties, traveling, blah blah blah.

The girls are doing great.  Mini Me is absolutely LOVING school and is doing really well.  Sweet Pea is now 2.  She's also doing really well.  She loves gymnastics!

And.....  we're headed into potty training.  Which, I'm sure will provide with plenty of material for the blog.

The other day, she pooped on the potty for the first time.  I'll be completely honest....  I hate potty training.  I'd rather change a diaper.  And, really....  I do NOT want to be driving to FL and spending a week at Disney with a newly PT'd child.  Ahh, well.  She calls the shots now.

I'll get a post together with some pictures of our fall fun so far.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Preschool

It's official.

My first born is growing up way too fast.  She started preschool today.  I was/am excited about this new chapter.  I am looking forward to getting to spend time with just Sweet Pea.  But, it was still hard to watch Mini Me wave goodbye and walk into school without us.

Sweet Pea was devastated that Mini Me was not getting back into the car with us....until she realized that she could have the toys all to herself.  :-)

Come inside it's party time!

Let's face it.  I only have so much creative energy left after a day entertaining a preschooler and toddler.  So, instead of using that to blog, I've been working on Sweet Pea's second birthday party.  I am making the gift bags, banner, lacing cards, and felt cupcakes for each child.  I am *trying* to finish knitting mickey washcloths too, to go along with some adorable Mickey shaped soaps.  But, the jury is still out on whether or not the knitting will be done in time.

I am also making a huge Mickey's Clubhouse feltboard for the kids to play with.

Thank goodness I have someone awesome who is making the cake for me.  I can't wait to see it!

13 days until party day!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fall!

The past week has been busy with a visit from my parents, a trip to the zoo, my birthday (and subsequent obsession with my iPhone--thank you hubby!!!!!!), fall decorating (I LOVE fall, it is by far the best time of the year), and preparing for Sweet Pea's 2nd birthday.

Mini Me starts gymnastics tonight and we officially begin our fall schedule.  I can't wait!

Sorry.  Gotta run.  My iPhone is calling.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Irene

Hurricane Tropical Storm Irene has come and gone.  We are extremely fortunate and did not get hit as hard as others.  Our neighboring town (and by that I mean the town that is on the other side of our backyard) got hit pretty hard.

We did what we could to prepare--had non-perishable foods, bottled water for drinking, bathtub full of water for flushing toilets, and secured everything that was outside.  All we could do was sit here and wait.  We had rain that was pretty heavy, but clearly nothing compared to other areas.  The wind was crazy at times, particularly during the night when it woke us up--several hours after we thought it was all over.  But, all things considered, it was not that bad for us.

We lost power around 12:30pm on Sunday and it was back on at 4:30 Monday afternoon.  So, 28 hours with no power or running water.  We will certainly be investing in a generator soon.  The worst "damage" from the storm was to our refrigerator, since we lost a fair amount of food.  But, even that wasn't a huge deal.

Here are the few obligatory fallen tree pics from our yard:



One tree down, but note the one leaning in the upper left corner 
That tree that was leaning in the previous picture?  Yup, it fell down too.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sisters



I love when I catch them in these little moments when they are just enjoying life together.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane

Well, I'm sure I *could* be talking about about Hurricane Irene which is on track to hit us over the weekend.  Most of the projected tracks are showing it going directly over us.  Thankfully, flooding shouldn't be an issues since we're far enough inland, and at the top of a hill.  However, wind and power outages are pretty much a given, I think.  So, who would have thunk it...we're preparing for a hurricane.

But, I digress.  This post wasn't meant to be about a hurricane in the meteorological sense.

I overheard my 4 year old singing in the playroom the other day:
"pour me a hurricane before I go insane.  It's only half past twelve, but I don't care.  It's 5 o'clock somewhere."  --Pause  "MOMMMMY?  What's a hurricane?"


Do I tell her about the weather phenomenon type or this kind?

Clearly, I explain that it's a drink for adults.



What?!  She'll have plenty of time to learn about hurricanes this weekend while we're sitting in the dark in the middle of one.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ooohhhhh, shiny.

That's what I've been feeling like lately.

I have an idea.  I get all excited about it.  About 5 minutes into executing it, a newer, shinier thought pops into my head and I drop what I'm doing to chase the newer, shinier idea for about 5 minutes until an even newer, shinier thought pops into my head and I drop what I'm doing to chase the newist shiniest idea for 5 minutes until....  You get the idea.

As much as I'm not ready for my little girl to start school...I can't wait to have a routine again.  To have some structure to our days.  Without it....  I just bounce around like a day-glo green orb in a pin ball machine.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Literal

That is the definition of a 4 year old.

Mini Me loves using the computer and is quite proficient at navigating websites.  On occasion when something happens and the computer freezes up, she'll ask for help:

"My computer stopped working.  I think it's cold again."


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fun with a hot glue gun

Please excuse my absence for the past few days.  I've been distracted by a hot glue gun:



I'm making these treat bags for Sweet Pea's birthday.  But... I must have been absent on the day they taught how to cut circles.  :-/

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

180

The long awaited day finally arrived!  Yesterday was our 180 day mark for our Disney trip.  That means, we got to make our dining reservations!

We got everything we wanted:


  • Dinner with Cinderella & Prince Charming the night we arrive (1900 Park Fare)
  • Breakfast with Cinderella and other princesses in the Castle our first day at Magic Kingdom (CRT)
  • Late breakfast with the princesses on Valentine's Day in Epcot (Akershus)
  • Breakfast with the Disney Jr. gang at DHS (Hollywood & Vine)
  • Breakfast with Mickey & Pals at Animal Kingdom (Tusker House)
I've always been the one really "into" Disney and hubby has lovingly tolerated my obsession recently.  However, yesterday, when we got all the reservations, he was grinning like a kid in a candy store.  I think he's more excited to take his princesses to Disney than he wants to let on.  That's OK.  We'll let him be our stoic knight in shining armor.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's 10pm...

do you know where your baby's diaper is?


If it was last night in my house:  Next to the crib.  Sweet Pea decided she was not wearing it to bed.

Before I went to bed last night, I remembered that I had left Sweet Pea's window open a little bit and it was getting cool.  So, I grabbed a blanket and quietly slipped into her room.  Just as I was about to put the blanket over her (it is August, right?) I noticed something didn't look quite right.  Then I saw the perfectly dry diaper sitting on the floor and realized that Sweet Pea had taken off her bottoms and her diaper before falling asleep.

Awesome.

I tried to get the diaper back on her without waking her up too much, but I knew I hadn't gotten it on perfectly.  Needless to say, I've still got laundry to do this morning.

Monday, August 15, 2011

101 Things

Woo Hoo!

Getting my 101 Things up and running.  Hope to have it fully updated by the end of the week.  But, go check it out.  Please and Thanks.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Goldilocks and the 3 backpacks

Mini Me is going to be starting preschool in a few weeks.  We have started shopping for clothes and getting things in order.

One of the most important items is, of course, a backpack.  (Not really sure what a preschooler needs to lug around....?)

We currently have 3:

  • A green frog knapsack
  • A toddler size Dora backpack
  • A full size Minnie Mouse backpack

Mini Me decided that the full size one is too big.

The frog one is too small.

The Dora one is just right, except...

It's Dora.  After telling me that the Dora backpack fit the best, she paused and said, "But, I hope the other kids don't laugh at me.  Big girls don't like Dora, only babies like Dora."

Well now.  Haven't we just taken another huge leap forward through the realm of social awareness?!?  

F*ck! F*ck!

That's what my daughter screamed at the top of her lungs as we were walking into the toy store this morning because there was a TRuck parked outside.  Good times.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Disney Dining

How's this for Magic?

We arrive at The World on a Sunday.  Monday will be our first day at the parks.  Of course, we're heading to the Magic Kingdom.  I will be trying to get a reservation at Cinderella's Royal Table for close to 8am.  That means, we'll get to be in the park...before it opens.  Mini Me and Sweet Pea will get to see the castle in person for the first time, with almost no one else around!

Our other reservations will be:

breakfast at Tusker House with Donald and friends at Animal Kingdom.
either breakfast or lunch at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall with the princesses in Epcot
either breakfast or lunch at Hollywood & Vine with Special Agent Oso and Disney Jr. friends

Using the dining plan credits for breakfast is not the most cost effective use.  However, since it's "free" I'm not as concerned about getting every penny out of it.  We feel like it's the best plan for us:  we get to eat, the kids get to see the characters (without waiting in lots of lines), we won't be using up valuable park time at the restaurants because we'll be eating before the park opens and don't really need to plan around it or hope the kids don't crash before our dinner reservations.

Hubby and I are also planning a night out and are thinking of dinner and getting tickets to see Cirque du Soleil-La Nouba.

Less than 2 weeks to go until we can make our reservations!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Feed the Fridays

As I mentioned last week, I feel like we're in a bit of a rut with lunches.  So, I've been on a search for some awesome new ideas.  I turned to the blogosphere and have not been disappointed.  With an abundance of food-related content and a plethora of mommy bloggers, there are more than enough resources combining the two interests.

Some of the awesome new blogs I have come across are:

Weelicious
In the Kitchen with Audrey
The Menu Mom


I can't wait to check out some of these recipes and ideas!

In the meantime, we made Energy Balls.  There are a million variations for these.  I followed this recipe loosely.  This time, I simply made them with granola & oats.  I'm planning to do a batch with granola, oats and raisins and a batch with granola, oats and chocolate chips.



Even the plain jane version of these were so good that at least one of us *may* have eaten them instead of a meal today.  Just sayin'.  And, if you make them-- do yourself a favor.  Serve well chilled (or even frozen).  Much more satisfying.

I also baked a batch of corn dog muffins.


Mini Me will be starting Preschool for the first time in a couple of wee-----------------  (sorry, my heart stopped there for a minute...)  weeks.  ::deep breath::   We've started talking to her what kind of healthy snacks she'd like, and she got to pick out her "lunchbox".  So, any suggestions for healthy snacks?  What fun but filling stuff do you send with your kids?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Free Dining!!!!!

This week has been all about Disney Dining Math!

Several years ago, when hubby and I went to Disney, the dining plan was an AMAZING deal.  There was no way possible you wouldn't save money...it even included tip!  Seriously amazing.  And, it was SO.MUCH.FOOD!

Since then, several changes have been made to the plans, and they are not always the best deal.  It's convenient because all you have to do is swipe your room key to use your dining credits.  And, its "prepaid" so no worrying about how much you are spending.  However, if you look at the cost of the meals you would typically eat on a trip, it doesn't always turn out to be a good savings.

Also, it depends on how you eat.  For some, sitting down at a full service restaurant every day at a predetermined time is no big deal.  Some people hate it. We're in the middle.  We want to do some character meals for the girls, but don't want to have too many scheduled meal times.  Who knows what time the kids will want to eat, what the kids will want to do instead of heading over to the restaurant, when they will need to nap?

We went back and forth on the merits of the dining plans.  If there was not a promotion, we decided that we would not sign up for the dining plan.

However, this week Disney message boards lit up with rumors that the Free Dining promotion would be announced for the fall.  Then, on Tuesday, the rumors came about Free Dining in 2012!!!  I started to get a little excited.  Could it be?

Wednesday morning, the message boards were abuzz with crazy Disney fans like myself, obsessively hitting the refresh button on the Disney site waiting for the 7am announcement and with their finger on the dial button.  At 7am, despite nothing being posted on the website, hundreds of people began calling in for this deal.  So many people that the servers on the Disney board crashed, and the reservation lines at Disney were jam packed.

I started running the numbers.  We were scheduled to arrive 2 days before the dining promotion started.  After running different vacation packages, internal debate, reading reviews, flipping some coins and consulting a Ouija board (OK, not really.  But, if we had one, I may have.  It was just that hard!) I decided to change our dates (yet again) and drop our stay at Animal Kingdom.  :-(  I really want to stay there, and I think we will.  Just not this trip.

What's the end result of all this playing around?  I decided to make some changes and picked up the phone expecting be on hold for hours.  Reports of wait times and drop calls had me nervous.  I called twice.  Once to add the package to the second part of our stay, and then to add the additional nights to the end of our stay, instead of the beginning.  Both times I called, I was speaking to a Cast Member within 15 minutes.  Considering some people had been on hold well over an hour, I felt very lucky.

Our original costs broke down to be:

$1200 resort
$700 for park tickets
$1200 for food (projected budget)
$3100  Total  (Keep in mind this doesn't include travel, spending money, planned special experiences & birthday surprises, etc)

New Plan:

$1750 Resort, Dining, & Park Tickets  Woo Hoo!!!!!!!

A savings of $1350.  Granted, the change in hotels accounted for about $500 difference.  So, taking that out, we still saved $850.  Not too bad!  More money for all the "extra" stuff!!!!

Next up:  Planning out the Advance Dining Reservations!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A man on a mission

It wasn't without a good deal of swearing, blisters, sunburn and exhaustion...but, it's done.  The girls and I are so thankful for all of hubby's hard work!  They are having a blast on their new swing set!


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Who's got the key?

Ever talk to a 4 year old and feel like you could have made more headway with a coffee table?  Yeah, me too.

The other night, I took the girls to a playground to burn off some energy with friends.  Mini Me and her friend were playing in the castle structure and both were having their moments being "mean" to each other.  They were pretending to 'lock' the non-existent door.  This led to the one who was locked out to come running and complain that they weren't being let into the castle.

My friend and I stood there, amazed at how deeply these kids believed they couldn't get in.  Seriously?!?  There isn't even a door, much less a locked door.  If you want in....go in!  But, no. It would seem that if one were to attempt to enter through the 'locked door' there would be a giant rip in the time-space continuum or something.

Good thing I never leave home without my magic castle unlocking keys.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Feed Them Fridays

The granola bars we made a few weeks ago were a big hit, and we have continued to make them.  (Although, just as an aside, these are not so awesome in 90+ degree temperatures.  They kind of lose their 'bar' shape and become more of a sticky mess).

In non-melted status, they look a little something like this:

We also took the girls blueberry picking:
  


So, in addition to having fresh blueberries for snacks, and frozen blueberries for smoothies, we made blueberry muffins.  Yummy!

Blueberry picking was much more enjoyable than strawberry picking.  We didn't need to crawl around on the ground.  There were plenty at our height and also at the perfect height for the kids to pick.  My kids didn't even squish too many, which is HUGE for Sweet Pea.  It could have gone so horribly wrong.  

I've kind of fallen off the cooking ahead wagon.  Last week the temperatures looked like this:


So, really?  Smoothies with frozen fruit was about as ambitious as I got last week.   I'm working on my plan now for next week.  I'm feeling like we're in a rut for lunches, so I'm looking for some awesome new blogs/websites with kid friendly, healthy meal ideas.




Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mommy's Little Helper

Sweet Pea likes to help around the house.  She especially likes to feed our dog and take clothes out of the dryer.

Yesterday, I grabbed an armful of clothes from the dryer and went to the living room and started folding them.  Sweet Pea was running back and forth bringing me various items from the dryer.  After a few trips, I could hear her at the dryer but her return was taking much longer than usual.  I went to investigate, and found this:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

AK Touring Plan

Disney Hours for February have been released!  ::Happy Dance::  That means, we can start making some more solid "plans".  Woo Hoo!

Since we are starting our trip at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, we were thinking of going to Animal Kingdom our first park day.

I think our AK day will look a little something like:

Tusker House Breakfast (8am-ish)
Grab FPs for Kilimanjaro Safari and get into line for the Safari
Walk the Pangani Trail
Take the Wildlife Express Train
Rafiki's Planet Watch
Use Safari FPs
Maharajah Jungle Trek
Lunch @ Flametree BBQ
Tree of Life
It's Tough to be a Bug
Camp Minnie Mickey
Jungle Parade
Dinoland/Triceratop Spin
Back to resort for dinner & evening activities

This is a very ambitious plan, especially with 2 little ones.  We fully expect not to get through it all.  We may also want to check out a few shows, which would leave us even less time.  However, I also don't want to waste time walking back & forth across a large park.  So, having a plan helps us make sure we hit the things in each area we are interested in.  If the kids aren't into the treks or shows, we won't do them.

Up next:  DHS

Monday, July 18, 2011

Beach!

Despite being in the Northeast, we have a plethora of beaches a short distance away.  This past week, we packed up the car and headed to one.  We had not been to this particular beach before, but I think it will be one of our favorites.

Mini Me, who isn't really crazy about rides, had a BLAST at the beach-side amusement park.  At first she was a little hesitant, but throughout the day, she got more and more daring and went on things she originally refused to go on.  It was great watching her.  She especially liked the bumper cars.

Then we headed onto the beach.  We splashed in the waves for a bit.  Sweet Pea thought it was great to run back and forth, playing tag with the waves.  Squeals of delight.  Then, of course, we played in the sand before heading back to the rides.

We also saw fireworks on the beach.  The girls had their glow sticks and they LOVED the fireworks!  

As Mini Me would say:  Best.Day.Ever!  LOL









Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bye, Bye Binkie!

Sweet Pea has been teething...forever.  She's apt to chew on anything and everything that she can, regardless of whether or not she should.

In order to keep her from sticking too many strange things in her mouth, we have relied heavily on pacifiers.  However, the other day, we discovered that she had bitten holes into them.  Into the trash they went.

I was afraid the first night.  I put her to bed and she immediately yelled "dee dee!  dee dee!" and searched around frantically for one.  After a few minutes of crying, she went to sleep.  She has only asked for it once, and was easily redirected.

So, that's it!  My baby is a big girl now.

Oh, and to add to all this big girlness, we turned her car seat forward facing.   ::sigh::  Bye, bye binkies, and babies.  :-(

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dueling Sprinklers

Last Wednesday, the last planned phase of our house construction was done:   The grass seed was spread!

So, hubby has been out there watering.  And, our neighbor has been as well.  I won't say they are competitive, but last night after turning off the sprinkler because it was starting to get dark hubby saw neighbor outside still watering and considered going back out to turn it on.

I'm waiting for the moment they each have their sprinklers set up on either side of the driveway, with water spraying at each other like a duel.  That I will capture a picture of!

However, I guess it seems to be working, because we have the very beginnings of some grass.  Woo Hoo!

It is starting to come together nicely.  I think some painting projects are in store for the fall.  Maybe finishing the basement as well.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Disney Planning

Clothing.

Yup, I've already started to think about it.  I've seen pictures of kids all dressed up in their princess best at the parks.  Yes, it's cute.  Yes, it makes for awesome pictures.  But, no.  It's not practical for a day running around at the parks.

So, I am planning on bringing a dress for the girls, in case they really want to dress up for a day.  But, the rest of the time I'll have some Disney clothes for them.  I am also planning a couple tutus & skirts to coordinate with some tops to mimic the princess look, without the big, uncomfortable dress.

Even though its Florida, it can still get cold in the winter.  I know this first hand.  I remember being at Epcot in 2006 wearing a sweatshirt, winter coat, scarf and still freezing.  So, who knows.  We'll have some options for all weather.  I'm a notorious over-packer anyway, so that shouldn't be difficult for me.

I also picked up rain poncho's just in case.  At least I'm fairly certain we won't need snow boots!

Monday, July 11, 2011

What's with the birds?!?

So, after last weeks birdie snow globe, I had a close call with a bird myself.

Yesterday, as I was driving to the grocery store, a bird swooped in front of my car.  It hit my antenna and kept going, but I certainly hears the thump.  I think the little birdie was OK, at least I hope so.  There were no feathers flying, so I took that as a good sign.

Seriously.  What is with the birds around here?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Weekend Workout

Since we had a long weekend (made even longer by hubby taking 2 vacation days!  Hello 5 day weekend!), we decided to get a bunch of house projects done.

Hubby cut the grass and put together a shelving unit for the garage.  We got the garage organized so that hubby can now use it for his car, instead of stuff.

We also have this rock retaining wall that Sweet Pea has almost launched herself off of several times.  So, we transformed it (with a little more swearing and arguing than I'd like to admit) into this:


It's a fairly temporary solution, since we have plans to have the retaining walls redone next year (come on tax refund!)

Then, I painted Sweet Pea's room, so that it looks like this:



Throw in planting flowers near the deck, dishes, laundry, cleaning out my car, trips to several stores, and some 4th of July fun with our neighbors and we've had a crazy busy holiday weekend.  Mini Me even managed to see fireworks from her bedroom window.




Oh, and who could forget our trip to an amusement park that the kids did not find so amusing???  Mini Me *insisted* we ride this spinning turtle ride and the screamed to get off as soon as it started moving.  So, we went on the whale ride (sort of like Dumbo) that she LOVED when we were there a few weeks ago.  She freaked out!  I don't know what was up with that.  But, I made her stay on (ha ha, bad mom) and she settled down halfway through.

Also, Sweet Pea would not go on anything except a tractor ride.  She wouldn't even get on a boat or train.  But, we did get to meet Curious George, so that was fun!




Sweet Pea was just in awe of the princess:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

It was funny, but it wasn't.

I love animals.  I really do.  (Well, except the slithering variety.)

And, I never want to see an animal injured or killed--but, I still found myself giggling a little bit today when the car in front of me hit a bird.

No, not one that was on the ground.  But, a bird that flew perpendicular to the road.  It happens all the time--they swoop right in front of you and then out of the way before you can even think of doing anything.  But, this poor bird must have been having a bad navigational day because he did not make it out of the way.

So, why was I giggling?  Because it was just like a scene from a cartoon where a bird explodes and feathers fly everywhere.  It was kind of like driving through a snow globe.  I just had to laugh a little. 


Disney Planning

Since there's not a whole lot I can do until the park hours are posted and our Advance Dining Reservation window opens up, I've been working on some other stuff to make the trip fun.

I ordered some goodies for the kids.  When we arrive, I'm going to have hubby distract the kids in the lobby while I secretly run to our room to set up a "welcome" from Mickey & the gang.

For Mini Me, I bought personalized princess ears, a personalized lanyard with a set of cupcake trading pins (I thought since it was a birthday celebration, the cupcakes would be fun!), and an autograph book.  I also bought her a special Tinkerbell February Birthday pin as a birthday present.  That one will not be a 'trade' pin.

For Sweet Pea, I bought personalized Minnie ears and an autograph book.  

I'll also be checking the dollar stores and dollar bins for random Disney stuff so that Tinkerbell can leave a little gift for each of them each day.

The other things on my agenda:  planning activities for the car ride, figuring out how we're going to reveal the surprise, and outfit planning.

I've also been "planting" the idea of going to Disney.  We've been watching a bit more Disney shows & movies, than the usual PBS stuff.  We've also talked about when hubby and I went to Disney, and showed her some pictures.  Mini Me has started to talk about wanting to go to Disney someday and Sweet Pea is loving Mickey & the gang now.  

Seriously, the planning (even though we aren't really do a whole lot of structure when we're there-other than meals & special experiences) is so much fun! 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The messiest kid in the universe

So, while I was doing all that cooking, my little ones were snacking and doing some art.

Sweet Pea decided to decorate herself:



And, the floor:


Friday, July 1, 2011

Nothing says bed time like...

Nothing says bedtime like spraying your screaming kid with Pam.

Sweet Pea went to bed after a long day.  She wasn't entirely happy about it, but nothing too crazy.  Until I heard this awful scream and thumping coming from her room.  I ran upstairs-convinced she had climbed/fallen out of her crib- only to find her with her leg, past her knee, wedged through the slats of the crib.

I tried to turn her in different ways to no avail.  Hubby came to help, but no luck.  So, when in doubt...

I ran downstairs, flung open the cabinets and grabbed the Pam.  A few squirts and poof!-her leg was free.

So much for an early bedtime.....

Feed Them Fridays

This weeks plan for getting ahead in the kitchen focused on breakfast & morning snack stuff for the girls.

I made 27 pancakes (some regular, some blueberry), a banana bread, and a dozen oatmeal raisin muffins.


It all looked a little something like this:


And, left a mess like this:

Next week, the plan includes:
Cornbread
Corndog muffins
Chicken & Rice Wraps

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Disney Planning

So, as some of you may know, Mini Me is turning 5 in a mere eight months.  How can that be?  I have no idea, but, it's happening.  And, since I was pregnant with her, I have had this dream of taking her to Disney for her 5th birthday.

It's time to start planning!

We have decided that against my long held, super strong emotional attachment to walking into the Magic Kingdom for the first time ON her actual birthday, that we will go earlier in the month.  I won't go into the myriad of reasons, but I am slowly coming to terms with this.

Regardless, this is still a birthday celebration trip!

Here's what I've got so far:

We are driving.  Yes, we are crazy.  But, it's the best option for us.

Saturday:  Arrive late morning.  Check in to Animal Kingdom Lodge.  (We're getting a savanna view room!!!!)  The plan is to just hang out at the resort this day.  I'm not ruling out heading to a park, but there should be plenty to keep us occupied at the resort (you know---like animals right outside our window!!!!)

Sunday:  Heading to Animal Kingdom.  Hoping to get a reservation at Tusker House for a character breakfast.  Not sure if this will be a full day or not, but we will spend any remaining time at the resort, soaking up all the deluxe goodness, because...

Monday:  Check out of AKL and check in at POP Century.  We've stayed here before.  It's nothing fancy, but think it will be fun for the little ones.  Once we really start hitting the parks, I think they'll be too tired to really appreciate all the deluxe resorts have to offer.  So, this makes more sense for us.

We don't have park plans yet for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.

I'm waiting for the park hours to be released (hopefully sometime next month) in order to get a better plan.

Originally, I was thinking we would skip DHS, but there are several things there that the girls will love:  Cars M&G, Disney Jr., etc.  So, maybe we'll make a half day of it.  Mini Me wants to eat at the Sci Fi, and we're going to surprise her with lunch at Cinderella's Royal Table.  I mean, what birthday celebration for a princess be would be complete without a meal in the castle?!?!

I'm also planning Sweet Pea's first haircut at Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street-they do a cute little package.  And, Mini Me will also be getting a little princess hair treatment too.  I'm hoping to plan this for right before lunch.

At this stage, all my "planning" is hypothetical- reservations can be made 180 days in advance, so I am anxiously awaiting that date in August.  Woo Hoo!

And, this shouldn't surprise anyone who knows me, I've already started thinking about Sweet Pea's 5th birthday trip.

Oh, and remember:  Mini Me doesn't know about this!  Shhhhhhhhhh, it's a secret!

The Resurrection

But, you know.  Not in the Jesus rises from the dead way.  Just, hey there!  Haven't used this blog in quite some time and thought it might be fun to get back into blogging-kind of way.

Anyway, I'm back and have a slew of posts brewing.  I'll update the tickers  ::side eyes the long overdue birthday tickers::

I'm going to be making a new attempt at some weekly features including the 1001 Things project, Disney Planning, Cooking, and of course the crazy antics of 2 adorable kids.

So, grab some popcorn and see you real soon!  (No, really.  I promise I'll be back)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Jump. Laugh. Climb. Rinse and Repeat.

Couch cushions and storage ottomans have provided HOURS of jumping entertainment for the girls over the past couple of days.  


video

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A+ in Geometry?

Mini Me just turned 4.  So, this week she had her annual check up.  They did all the usual stuff, and part of her exam was an eye test.  The eye chart they use has symbols/shapes instead of letters.  The nurse went through all the shapes with her to make sure she knew what they were and then they started.

Mini Me stood there and read off the shapes.

It wasn't a moon, it was a crescent.  .  It wasn't just a flag, it was a striped flag.  As the shapes got smaller, Mini Me struggled a little.

When she got to the hand picture, she couldn't quite tell what it was, so she went with her best guess:  It looks like a rectangle.

Even better, when she got to a picture of a tea cup on a saucer:  Well, I'm not sure exactly, but it kind of looks like a trapezoid.

The nurse didn't really know how to respond to that one.  I just smiled.  That's our girl.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The day his bum got smaller...

I know I've been horrible about updating this blog.  But, today I have a story that I really want to remember in 15 years, so I'm going to blog about it in case I ever have my memory erased by aliens or something equally as likely.

Yesterday, we went to a playdate.  It was a breakfast playdate where the kids all wore their PJ's and the organizer made pancakes for everyone.  The older kids has run off to play, and then this is what happened:

One of the boys, around 3 years old, comes running out-followed by the other kids, including Mini Me.  He has his PJ's unzipped down to his waist, with his penis out, yelling that "it's smaller now!". 

Thankfully, all the moms there were really cool, and we all just laughed hysterically while the host/mom told her son to keep his PJ's on for the rest of the playdate.  

When hubby got home last night, Mini Me informed him that her friends "bum gets smaller".  Well, let's stick with that for now.  Yeah....it's his bum that got smaller.  

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Seeing Red

I'll say it upfront: we are not the crunchy organic types.  We don't go out of our way to avoid any and all additives and the like.  But, we're not junk food junkies either.  Our kids very rarely get juice, treats, candy, etc.  (I reserve that stuff for bribes/rewards for good behavior when I really need them to behave)

However, we recently discovered something that may change our habits, at least a little bit.  I am not the type to buy into all the hype about the latest thing that is bad for you.  So, while I had heard that the dyes used to color food were "bad" and linked to behavior issues in some children, I never really gave it much thought.  I really wish I had.

Since Mini Me was around 2, her life has been in an almost constant state of chaos.  I'll spare the rundown, but suffice it to say, its been a little hard on us all.  So, naturally, when Mini Me's tantrums and behavior progressively got worse, we blamed it on age (three is so much harder than 2, we said) and blamed it on the constant state of change we were living in.

Mini Me was the center of my universe.  Up until around 2 years old, I couldn't take my eyes off of her.  Not because she was getting into trouble, but because I was so in love with the sweet little miracle she was.  But, then, things started to change.  At times, she was that same sweet little girl.  Then, other times....well, it was different.  She was aggressive, bossy, mean, and just horrible to be around.  There were times when she has been sitting with me, playing a game, laughing and happy and in an instant, it was as if someone flipped a switch and she would start screaming, stomp out of the room, slam doors, hit....  Who was this kid???  What happened to my angel?

She ended up in time outs and getting punished for this behavior more than I even want to think about.  I hate to admit this, but most days I just plain out didn't like her.  Of course she's my kid, and I love her.  But, I didn't like her.  I avoided spending time with her because she could just be so horrible to be around.  It broke my heart and I know that she suffered too.  Something just wasn't right.

Recently, while away for Christmas, we forgot to give her the Flintstones vitamins that she usually gets every morning.  We noticed that her behavior was different.  More even.  Sure she still had her moments, but they were more 'normal'.  Thinking that maybe something in the vitamins were making her stomach hurt or something, we stopped giving them to her.  All seemed well.  Until....snack time came around one day.  In a hurry, I grabbed a blueberry Nutrigrain bar.  About 10 minutes later, all hell broke loose.  Mini Me came running into the room, yelled at me because I was doing the Wiggles dance wrong, hit me, and was carried kicking and screaming to time out, where she proceeded to scream.  She continued this stomping, yelling craziness through dinner time, then just like it started, it was over.  And, everything was calm again.

On a whim, I got out the box, and noticed Red #40 as one of the ingredients.  I checked the Flintstones vitamins.  Guess what?  Red #40.  A quick google search turned up hundreds of descriptions by other parents of behavior that was almost identical to what we have been going through with Mini Me.  How could we have missed this?  Why didn't we see it sooner?  It explains why she would wake up in a good mood, have her vitamin and by the time breakfast was over, I'd have a monster on my hands.  Thankfully, other than the vitamin that she was getting daily, there isn't much else that I routinely give her that has Red #40.  I've searched the house and only came up with the cereal bars and the colored marshmallows in the hot cocoa.

She is a completely different child.  I am starting to enjoy spending time with her again.  I think even she knows she's feeling better.  She's saying "I love you" randomly.  She's happy.  She's more independent and cooperative.  It breaks my heart that all this time, she has been miserable because of something as simple as her daily vitamin and unable to express what she was going through.  But, I am happy that we are on the right path.  I certainly still expect tantrums and stuff.  She is still a kid, after all.  However, what I have seen in the past couple of weeks and what I've read, has made me a believer.  Bye-Bye Dye.