Day 1 Epcot -princesses, a turtle, and the beginning of Screamfest 2013

After a successful first plane ride we had arrived at Epcot! It was also our 1st Visit to Disney World! I was so excited for us, for them.


Epcot Family

The big boy was duly impressed with the giant sphere that greeted us and we went straight inside it to Spaceship Earth. He has just started to get into history and this was an awesome crash course in the coolest form available – a Disney ride!

After travelling through time, we went over to get some Fastpasses for Soarin’. Our very first setback was upon us. Our return time was 8:30, we were bummed. I was pretty sure we’d never make it since the kids had been up at 5:30. We soldiered on and found ourselves on Living with the Land. The first bit was sort of ho- hum but the kids really enjoyed seeing the greenhouses and all the different plants.

We then headed off to our dinner reservation at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall to see all the princesses at once for my little princess. I couldn’t get us in to Cinderella’s Table at the Magic Kingdom with only a couple of months lead time. If you’re even considering going to Disney and want to spend a whole lot of money seeing the princesses in the Castle – BOOK EARLY. Akershus was still a lot of coin (thank you Nana!), but dining with Cinderelly at the MK is even more! We figured we would catch up with her the next day :-)

To everyone’s delight Belle, Jasmine, Aurora, Snow White, and Ariel were in da house! My little girl was SO happy. She eagerly waited for each princess with her autograph book in hand. Big boy was into it as well politely asking them for their autographs.

Princess Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
Baby boy on the other had was yelling and crying as soon as we sat down. Rather, as soon as I tried to sit him down. He stiff legged me and started screaming and didn’t stop for about a half hour. How is it that people so little can suddenly have super human strength?

He wouldn’t eat anything. He wouldn’t drink anything. He wouldn’t DO anything – other than yell.This would be the beginning of what we now call Screamfest 2013. Every time we tried to set him down to eat he would yell. Put him in the stoller? Scream. Have Daddy hold you? Cry. Nana? Shout. Mama? Whimper -ok that’s good. OMG.

Did his ears hurt from the plane? Was he getting even more sick? He yelled at Nana for a while as we went on Maelstrom.  We put him in the stroller and he settled a bit as we walked over to The Seas for the Nemo ride.

At this point we realized we weren’t going to make it to stay up for Soarin’. Wanting to do one more thing we almost walked away from Turtle Talk with Crush. So glad we didn’t! If you have kids under 6, or heck, even over – Go! It’s cute and funny and it lifted all of our spirits a bit. Crush zeroed in on our little family and it’s a really great memory for all of us. Duuuuuuude!

We headed home eager to get a good night’s sleep for our big day at the Magic Kingdom!

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Surprise! We’re going to Disney.

Big boy’s reaction is priceless and just what I wanted.

S is cold and not awake and isn’t quite clear until we get in the car what is happening.

I should have taken T’s reaction as a warning of things to come…


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The Hidden Costs of Disney

So I hemmed and hawed and decided. Then undecided, then decided again. The money has been spent. I think I’m home free. Then come all the hidden costs of Disney. You think that you’re going to just buy some plane tickets and book a place to stay. Not so fast sister.

There’s SO MUCH more.


Before we go

I need to BUY…

  • Guidebook
  • Disney merch
  • Autograph books and pens
  • Activities for the plane
  • id bracelets for the kids

I need to BOOK or ORDER…

  • Stroller rental and a parking space at the airport (which is almost as much as a plane ticket).
  • Dining reservation that require prepayments.

While we’re there the possibilities are endless really…

  • Balloons, hats, pins, dresses, cups, books, stuffed things, snowglobes, shirts, stickers, more stuffed things.

These two are in the Wildcard category.

  • Food- Not so hidden – we have to eat, but how much will we actually end up paying? We decided NOT to purchase the Disney Dining Plan. So we’re on our own. Groceries to be ordered and delivered with the stroller.
  • Clothes- ok we don’t really need these. But? Rain jackets that fold up. Warm weather clothes for kids that live somewhere very cold and have grown out of their summer stuff already. Summer stuff?! Masks for the pool and a swim diaper for the baby. And dammit I’m going on vacation for the first time in 6 years. Mama is gettin’ a few new things! New shoes, new sunglasses, and maybe a pretty new dress.

I think I could go on and on!

How do you manage not going broke before and during your vacation? Do you set a budget? Do you stop caring about it at some point? How many snowglobes does one person really need?

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To Disney World or not to Disney World?

We’ve been thinking about going to Disney World since N was born. Of course that seems impractical, going to Disney with a newborn. So we waited. Then we had another baby two years later, and another two years after that. So we waited.

So now there are three kids ages 6,4,& 2. We think that this might be a great time to start planning for Disney. Or is it?

I’m pretty cheap thrifty. The thought of paying that much for a vacation has me twitching. Will they even remember it? Should we wait until they’re older? Does that even matter? Should we stay on Disney property? Can that even BE cost effctive? Or should we think about staying off property?

So many questions. And from what I’ve found from the first few days of searching is that there are just as many answers. Different answers to the same question. Sigh.

I am a person that has traveled around the world following the sun. I didn’t plan much more than that. The thought of over planning something like this goes against my nature. But it seems that this kind of thing, unplanned, would outright waste money. That, completely goes against my nature.

Yesterday I spent much of the day online trying to figure it all out. Originally I thought surprising them for their birthdays would be awesome. But then I read somewhere else that end of January is cheaper. Since I have to take them out of school anyway, cheaper seems better. Plane fares are also slightly cheaper in January. Is that because it’s cold there? Cold in Florida? It happens right?

Also I’d be willing to ditch the whole thing all together. My kids don’t HAVE to go to Disney. Plenty of kids don’t. We could use that money for loads of other stuff. Seems, well unseemly. But I waaaaaanaaaaaa go. So there’s that.

I saw lots of tweets and post and status updates from friends on the Disney Moms panel at the opening of the New Fantasyland. Now THAT would be a good way to go – as press. Or does anyone know of any contests running right now where I could WIN a trip. That would be easiest I think ;-)

So here are the places I’ll be looking in the next few days to get my act together

The Moms Panel, natch. My bloggy friends know their stuff.

Mouse Savers

All Ears

And of course Disney World.

Ok so I KNOW you all have tips. Lay em on me, I’m all ears. Heh.

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Hello Instagram! Where have you been all my life?

Oh, on my phone? This whole time? Really? Dammit!

While at BlogHer, when I wasn’t imploding or seeing naked men, I kept hearing about Instagram. Went to a session on it, but left.

Everyone kept saying how much they loved it. I kept saying I didn’t get it. I can’t see all of the photos someone posted what’s the point? I would say.

We went on a short vacation to VT and I logged into Instagram. I put the app on my phone 86 weeks ago. That’s like 10 years ago I think. I maintained that I didn’t like nor would I like it, ever.

Well, I’m here to tell you I love it. LOVE it. I instagramed the hell out of our little vacay. I sent the pics directly to Twitter and Facebook without all those upload, change to tiny url, blabla bla issues. LOVE IT!

And the photos save to phone so I can, oh I don’t know, put them in a blog post if I want…

Old timey feels to the photos or a new age edginess. Whatever you like. But sharing your life with family and friends easily? Grandmothers would surely approve of that. I am declaring this app Nana- approved.


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Girls, girls, girls!

I just came back from a girl’s weekend.

I have not been on a trip since my honeymoon. I have not been away from my kids for more than 36 hours. The littlest for not more than 2 hours. As I got up at 4:30 on Thursday morning I could not believe I was leaving them. Leaving at all. I felt…conflicted. Yet, I went (wheeeeeeeeeee! I mean, I’ll miss them all so much ;-).

I went because the girls I went with, these women- I love them. Truly, madly, deeply kind of love. Since like, 4th grade. We all turn 40 this year. We’ve been planning this trip for roughly 4 years. We were all a little bit giddy as we gathered at the airport. Four days and three nights of no kids, no husbands, and nothing to do.

It was relaxing and energizing at the same time. I sat on the beach, and went for walks on it. I went off my diet, and then back on it. We drank and danced (and got shot in the head with helium – we STILL don’t get this). We stayed up late and slept late. I planned on reading a book, like a novel, not a parenting book. I never did. Too much talking, and listening and laughing. Oh the laughing.

The only aberration to this blissful weekend is that ALL of my friends are marathon runners so they went on like a 10 mile run or something ridiculous – I slept and then drank coffee and watched the royal wedding recap. They all look amazing so I can’t really fault them for wanting to keep up their rockin’ bods :-)

There will be no pictures or stories from this event beyond the discreet details I am now telling you. My IRL friends do not read blogs, some aren’t even on Facebook (gasp) I will respect their desire not to be splattered all over my blog. But GAWD I wish I had a picture of that helium weirdness. We are SO old.


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