Thursday, December 30, 2010

Josh's family decided to try something different this year in gift giving. Instead of giving a gift to the person/family you had, we were all to do a service in their honor. It was a great idea and so fun for us to execute. I really hope we continue it next year. :)

Btw - if you want to read it, just click on the image, it will enlarge it and then click on it again to enlarge it a second time. :)

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Every year we have a birthday party for Jesus on Christmas eve. We start by writing down our Christmas gift for the Savior, sing happy birthday, enjoy birthday cake and read a sweet poem about Jesus' birthday.

This year as Kira and I were talking about what she wanted to give Jesus, Kira told me that she wanted to give him $2. (She works hard all year to earn her money.) I asked her how she wanted the money to get to him and she told me that she wanted to feed someone. As we continued to discuss it she decided that she would buy food and put it in a food box at the Salvation Army. (Throughout the year when we have time we head over to the S.A. office and fill food boxes so she is familiar with it.)
We headed over to Kroger where she bought one box of tuna helper and a 12 pack of top ramen. We then took them to the Salvation Army's food pantry.

Here are our girls sporting their new Christmas pj's and getting ready to dig into Jesus' birthday cake. As you can see, there are 4 candles on the cake. One for each member of the family. :)

We then read 'Happy Birthday Jesus'

A house so quiet, so humble, a child beside the bed,
Hands clasped tightly, it's time to pray,
So bows the little head....Happy Birthday, Jesus.
Mommy said that you were near and that
You had a birthday this time every year.
She told me how you listened to every word we say
And that you hear us calling in the night or in the day.
She explained how badly they hurt you and made you suffer so,
But said you let them do it for children like me,...I know.
She told me about the manger they put you in.
I'da let you have my blanket if I was there back then.
She said you are watching everything we do,
Her and Daddy and Grammy and.....our new baby, too!
I like what Mommy told me of how you healed the lame
And that they don't have to have any wealth or fame...
She told me you were so awful good, and then, she made me cry.
She said they nailed you to the cross...they wanted you to die.
She said that you forgave them though, 'cause you were dyin' for our sins,
And then it made me happy when she came back again!
Mommy said, Christmas is what we celebrate, because on that were born!
So I hope I'm not too wish you a Happy Birthday, Jesus...I'll be true
'Cause Mommy said if I was good, you'd let me live with you.
~Author Unknown

It's a great way for me to bring back into perspective the true meaning of Christmas. I know im a little late in posting this, but Happy birthday, Jesus! And Merry Christmas to everyone!


So I am way behind on blogging...hopefully this weekend I can get caught up!...anyways... :)

This year we tried to focus our time during the Christmas season by serving. We picked a couple angels from the Salvation Army's angel tree and Kira and I had a blast picking the perfect gifts for them. Here is a cute picture the girls with the gifts for our angels. Josh's team at work was also able to adopt two angels.

We also spent (basically all) our freetime working with the angel tree. From manning the booth in the mall - Here is Kira with some volunteers at the booth in the mall -

Kira decorating the tree with Angels :)

Miss Bonnie (volunteer coordinator at S.A.) capturing all the hard work!

to eating, drinking and breathing the toy shop. Both girls did fantastic and Kira couldn't wait until we could go back and 'volunteer' every morning when she woke up.
This picture is Kira enjoying the toy shop. There were over 3700 angels this year and each angel needs to be checked in, organized (if the angel didn't get returned a bag filled) and double checked. In this one section you can see how massive the toy shop is :)

Since we spent so much time in the toy shop we got to know Carla a lot better. This picture has (from left to right) Mrs. Major Satterlee who is with the Salvation army, Carla, volunteer super warrior, Rora, Kira, Cassidy (Carla's granddaughter and Kiras new friend) and a sweet little girl who volunteered and told me that every year she saves money throughout the entire year so she can(all on her own) adopt an angel. How precious is that!?! She is eight years old and adorable!

There is such a sense of satisfaction that you get when you immerse yourself in volunteer work. Especially when you see how the entire community comes together on such a grand scale.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas I remember best...

Ok, so tonight is going to become one of my greatest memories. Here's the story:
I received an email from a friend about a family in need. Their house burned down and the children are in desperate need of clothing. I told Kira what a knew, that there is a 6 year old and 3 year old that don't have house anymore. That everything they had burned down in a fire. I asked her if she could maybe find a toy or two that she could give them for Christmas since they don't have anything. Sweet Kira went straight in to her room and started getting things together that she thought they would like. She didn't choose the toys she never plays with, or things that are ratty or broken, she picked her favorite and the best of her toys. She even gave away a couple of her new Christmas toys! By the time she was done going through her room she had grabbed a set of dishes, a unopened doll, a like new doll, her favorite teddy bear(like new), a set of like new hand puppets, a stack of books(including her all time favorite Cinderella book) and a entire trunk of dress ups, the dress ups consisting of her favorite wedding dress, her belle dress, barbie dress, black tutu, tinkerbell, a bunch of jewelry, a couple purses, some shoes and her trunk that she got for her birthday(which she LOVES!) I have to admit that when she got all her stuff together I was shocked at the generosity that she displayed. She not only gave her toys, but she truly gave the best that she has.
I am so honored that I get to be her mother. What a precious child that the Lord has entrusted to me. Little does she know that her sweet act has done more than share some of her toys, but it has touched my heart to the core. My sweet 4 year old Kira knows that it truly is more blessed to give than to receive. I can't ask for anything more.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Yesterday I took the plunge and cut Kira's hair...I knew the way that I wanted it to look and im cheap, so I cut it myself. Did it turn out perfectly? No, however, it is cute :)

I did learn that its sort of exhilarating to cut hair...even though I was petrified the entire time I was cutting, it was so nice to see that I could do it. Very empowering!

Monday, November 29, 2010

"And mine Angels round about you, to bear you up..."

This scripture(D&C 84: 88) has been in my heart the last hour. I had the day off from babysitting and had a TON of housework to do. Of course, being me, I didn't want to do the housework. However, when I woke up I decided that I had better start cleaning. 10am rolls around and I have barely made a dent in what I needed to do when the phone rang. It was Bonnie from the Salvation Army telling me that they needed help setting up the toy distribution center for the Angel Tree. Of course I jumped at the chance to ignore my messy house for the day and we hurried out the door. 3:30 rolls around and we are finally getting home after a fulfilling day of volunteering. I walk in the door and my house is just as messy as before, ACK! After putting Rora to sleep I rolled up my sleeves and started back in on the mess. The next time I looked around my house was clean. Even the dishes(the nasty ones that sat on the counter since Saturday...) rinsed off easily. It was only 4:45 and I was ready to start dinner. The only explanation that I can offer is that Angels truly were helping me clean my house. They prerinsed my dishes and made every mess clean up just a little bit faster. I know that what I did today isn't going to change lives, but the Lord saw that, he saw the stress I felt when I walked back in the door to my messy house and he "bore me up." Something so simple as cleaning my house and the Lord is there to help me. I am such a blessed Daughter of God! Thank you Lord!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

M&M's and Cleanup time!

Lately Kira has had a hard time cleaning her room, ending with me so frustrated that she is throwing a fit that I say something like, "ok, if you are going to throw a fit then you can take a nap...and THEN clean your room. You'll have plenty of time since you can't eat dinner until it's clean." Which results in more tears and whining. I have tried helping her, which ends in me cleaning her entire room. Directing her, which makes me frustrated because she moves SOO SLOW, and I have a million things I could be doing instead of standing there. Anyways, we woke up this morning and I told her she had to clean her room before Covey(her friend) comes over to play and that she had to have her room cleaned before he came over. She wasn't thrilled about cleaning it, but at least she wasn't whining.
After she had been cleaning for about 5 minutes, every minute or so asking me to come see her progress, I was so happy that she was cleaning with a great attitude! It made me remember the incentive that my Mom occationally used to get me to clean my room: M&M's.
Thankfully I have M&M packs left over from halloween so I told Kira to go in the livingroom and play while I went to get the M&M's. I then proceeded to hide them around the mess in her room. One under her doll blanket, one next to the dirty clothes, etc. Now as I type this I keep hearing the happy sounds of her scurrying around her room and the occational squeal of, "I found one!"
Thank you Mom for your ingenious idea! I have a feeling that cleaning her room is now a game and not a chore!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I took this video tonight...Kira and Daddy went out on their weekly Friday night Daddy Daughter Date to the HARK meeting. I love my one on one time with my sweet girl! Rora has gotten so steady on her feet and is just adorable! Enjoy!

Since im online, ill share...

Kira just went out to play with the neighbor girl...Rora was standing by the door looking at me heartbroken and crying...she then came over to me, took my hand and led me to the door. When I told her that she can't go outside she sat down and started crying again. Now her face is glued to the window watching for a glimpse of Kira. She sure loves her big sister! I just had to share!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Angel Tree

Angel tree opened last Friday. This year there are over 3700 children, disabled and seniors that need to be adopted. The numbers are staggering. The Angel tree is only one of the Christmas charities that helps locally. My heart breaks for all those in need, both locally and globally.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, I have been reflecting on the many things that I can be thankful for, starting with the ability to not only care for my children's needs, but that we can also help someone else's children. But then I feel guilty. The blessings that I receive when I adopt an angel, or work the booth are far greater than anything that I give. Isn't it amazing the way that our Heavenly Father gives us tenfold whatever we give. I just wish everyone would know about the blessings we receive when we give. Even if you have nothing, give of your time, you will be blessed for it. How can you afford not to?
Anyway, back to Angel Tree...please adopt. Use it as an opportunity to teach your children about the joy of giving. Last year Kira had a hard time understanding that we were giving away the gifts we collected. She even worked hard and was great about spending her money to buy a toy to donate. But she really didn't understand that it went to one person. This year, she told me that she wanted to give away a barbie that she received last Christmas. We haven't opened it yet because she got two of the same barbie and we were waiting until the first one needed to be replaced. We got first pick of the Angel's since we put the cards together and were able to find siblings that are near my girls ages. As soon as we got home and started collecting gifts that we had already, Kira went to her barbies, pulled out the unopened one and offered it for the Angel.
There is no greater joy for me as a Mom to see that she is understanding the joy that giving brings. With that said, as Thanksgiving approaches, please find some way that you can give. I promise that the more you give the more you receive. I know that it works in my life.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Since I have been asked a million trillion times...

Ok, so it seems like everytime I go out someone asks me if/when we are planning on having another child. Even at the grocery store I have been asked by complete strangers if we are going to have another child. I am not sure what everyones fascination with my children is, so I can only assume that it is because we create such beautiful babies. :) I have always answered that when the Lord is ready, we will have another child, and then as many as he will bless us with. Yet up until now my body has been recovering from Aurora.
It is official...we are trying to have another baby! Now before you get excited, just remember that it took us two years from when we started trying after Kira to get Rora so this most likely will take awhile, yet it is still exciting that any month could be the month!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Woman - Man = EXHAUSTION!!!

Last week, the week before Halloween, Josh was gone to Rochester NY for the week for work. I have to admit, when he left I was kind of excited that I would have a week where I didn't need to worry about making a nice dinner or being done with the housework before he got home so we could enjoy family time. I had high hopes of getting the floors cleaned, the office closet cleaned out and the garage swept up and decluttered...HAHAHA!!!
Josh left Sunday morning at 6am! So I was already sleep deprived just waking up to get him to the airport. We came home and since neither girl was ready to go back to bed I sent them off to play in Kira's room and started cleaning the kitchen. By the time lunch rolled around I was feeling so great! I had cleaned the house, made bread and had both girls ready for church.(Ours starts at 1:30.) Even church went fairly smoothly. I sat next to a family with older girls who could occupy Kira when I needed to nurse Aurora, I made it through primary with my sanity intact and we got home with that wonderfully cleansing Sunday Spirit in our hearts. Sunday night I made homemade macaroni and broccoli for dinner...note the absence of any meat product...anyways :) We spent the evening reading stories, playing and just enjoying being with each other. Kira even got to sleep in Mommy's bed!
Then Monday morning dawned. Life was great. I was going to start in on the office and get that done before the end of the day. Of course, life had other plans. I reached down and threw out my neck at 8:30am! So my morning was spent icing and heating my neck along with watching my girls plus Lizzy and Anna since it was Monday and I watch them all day on Mondays. By the end of the day I was so exhausted and ready for Josh to come home!
Thankfully Tuesday is preschool day. I sent Kira to preschool and immediately went to the chiropractor. I had been in need of a new one for awhile and thanks to Jenny Horrocks I found a great one. Since I needed to be seen that day and had to bring Aurora, I assumed that it would be a rushed visit to get the baby out of the office. Boy was I wrong! I was there for over 90 minutes! The nurses passed Rora around and kept her happy. I walked out the there feeling soo much better! I could finally turn my head again! The rest of Tuesday was spent trying to clean up the backlogged chores from Monday.
Wednesday was a flurry of preschool(I stay with Kira at Wed. school) and childcare. Finally by Wednesday evening I was able to tackly the office. Wow! What a project! It took til Friday morning before I was able to call it finished! Of course by then I was exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally. I knew that I relied on Josh a lot, but I didn't realise how much of that was emotional. On Wednesday Josh started throwing up so we didn't even talk on the phone. When I picked him up Friday night he was still sick. Saturday was spent alone as well since he had to work and then came home and crashed(still sick.) It was our wards trunk or treat so I took the girls by myself.
Needless to say, I am so greatful that I have a husband who takes care of me. He keeps me sane and helps me tackle everything. The hardest part of having him away was that Rora started really walking while he was gone and he missed it. He came home and kept saying how much she had changed in those 6 days. I am greatful that he works hard for us and makes sacrifices so that I can stay at home with my children. I love him and am so greatful that he is back home and well!! Life with my hubby is so much better than without him!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Aurora is walking!...among other things...

Last week Aurora started walking! Here's the short story ;) She had been furniture bouncing for a couple weeks, something happened when Josh went to Rochester for a week. It was like she needed to show Daddy how big she was when he got home. All week she was following after Kira and practicing her walking. By the end of the week when Daddy came home, she was steadily walking everywhere! Now she gets frustrated if she falls and isn't near anything to help her stand up. It's really cute. At ten months old Rora is walking! That makes her only a month later than Kira to start walking, I was sure she would be older.
Unfortunately with her new independence she has also started throwing temper tantrums. These are full blown, throw yourself on the ground, back arched tantrums. She is way to young to be throwing tantrums! I have no idea how to stop them and I have just been letting them run their course. That means that for five minutes she screams and throws herself around on the floor waiting for my attention. Finally when the fiveish minutes are up she gets her binki and lays there looking pathetic until I pick her up and give her a love. Its pathetic and in some situations, it can be scary. At our trunk or treat last week I sat her down on the side walk so I could clean up our trunk. She screamed and threw herself backwards smacking her head into the sidewalk. I reached down and scooped her up and she was so mad at me that she arched herself back trying to get away from me since I was the reason she was set down in the first place. Really!?! She is 10 months old, acting like she has hit the terrible two's! It's insane! I really hope she gets over this pretty quickly and truth be told, she has already gotten better...of course, I want perfect children and this really hampers the perfect aspect ;)
Along with the bitter comes the sweet. She is forming more sounds and has started clapping. Kira worships the ground that she walks on and will share anything and everything with her. They share suckers, cookies, juice boxes, etc. Kira will even share her breakfast/lunch/dinner with Rora! They are such great sisters and Kira really looks out for Aurora. I love to see my girls playing together. There is nothing that makes my heart happier. I love my girls!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Musings about my Mom...

So I do try not to talk about my Mom in every post, yet everything I do/am/try to be has been touched by my Mom. So if I sound a little redundant, that's why ;)
Anyways, back to my post...our ward just had our primary program last week. (Where the kids ages 3-11 teach our worship service.) I got the privilege of writing it this year. Of course when you put your heart into something you want it to turn out perfect and you especially want the Spirit to be felt by the congregation. Wow! What a learning experience it was! It was so amazing to see it all come together. From writing it, to interjecting the children in and finally, arranging seats on the 'stage.'(sorry, I don't know what it's called...) It all came together. from having exactly the right amount of parts, to seating arrangements. It's so comforting to know that the Lord watches over me as I try my best to serve him, no matter how small my task.
I also learned so much about myself. I have always known that I am not usually a person who stresses about things, and when I do stress about something, its because I have no control over someone else's actions and that saddens me and causes my stress. I really didn't stress about the program. Sure, I dreamed about kids embarassing themselves and detracting from the Spirit, but I never really stressed. I felt so close to my Mom because of it. I don't recall her getting stressed very often when I was younger. She would always do her best and let the Lord take any worry that could turn into stress. I am so grateful that she passed that on to me, no matter that I am not able to do it as easily, I learned it from her. That trait that she possesses, she passed it on to me! If only I can live up to her legacy.
Another thing my Mom taught me was that my children are the most important things in my life. We had a rainstorm today, it was one of those 'Singing in the Rain' rainstorms. Where the rain is pouring down as hard and unrealistically as it does in the movie. What did we do? We stopped what we were doing, Kira ignored her barbies and I left the messy after-lunch kitchen, we had a storm to play in! Kira, Lizzy(Kira's friend) and I had a blast for about 10 minutes just running, dancing, jumping in puddles and enjoying the rain. When we came back in the house Kira told me that, "Grandma used to do that when you were a little girl." Yes, yes my Mother taught me so much. About life, family and the Lord. She also taught me about trials.

I have never met another being as enduring as my Mom. To think that she layed in that bed for over two years fighting each day to live makes me feel so shameful. She never complained. She always had a smile and did everything she could to make my life and everyone else's as easy as possible. How many times have I complained because I had a headache? Or didn't get enough sleep? I know on Sunday I made bread. It was a colder morning and as I was kneading the dough I had to stop in between loaves because of my arthritis. As I finished the last loaf I started to cry, realising that if it keeps progressing, one day I may not have the ability to make bread, or teach my children to embroider, etc, etc, etc. Yet that is nothing to the trials that Mom faced. Days before her passing she was asking about my kids and helping me through, in comparison, simple trials. One day I hope to have her graceful and charming spirit of endurance...yes, I need to work on it!
So now you know, nothing that I do is without my Mom. She is gone, but she is still very much a part of my life. And if I do say so myself, she taught me I just need to learn it all!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Update on our life...

So I realize that I haven't finished our Disney trip report, but life is crazy and I haven't had time. Anyways, I figure I better put an update out for the few of you who actually read this ;) Here goes:

Kira just turned 4. She had a princess and prince party. They were knighted and went on a quest to slay the dragon(pinata). She had a blast! Who says that you need to spend a fortune on a party in order for kids to have fun? Plus, instead of those annoying goody bags the kids got to take home a sword...much better in my opinion!

Rora loves playing peekaboo. She has a blast every time you look at her. She just hides her head by leaning down and then shoots it up with a huge grin. So sweet. She isn't saying any words yet, but she does mimic sounds and inflections so it sounds like words :)

Kira is obsessed with horses. She enjoyed a play date hosted by Merri and she spent the entire two hours on one of her horses. She looked like such a natural. I think when she turns 6(maybe 5) we will try to get her riding lessons. It's her first time enjoying anything outdoors and I think that, although expensive, horseback riding would be a great activity!

Rora now has enough hair to put in pigtails and curl. She is looking more and more like a toddler and less like a baby. Plus she acts more mature. Yes, she loves putting things in her mouth and has a fascination with the garbage, but she also understands sign language, is really good at rolling a ball and listens more often than not when you tell her no.

Kira is learning to read. She is getting better and better at sounding out words. I really haven't been working with her, except when we are reading. If I read a story and notice a short word that I think she could read then I have her read it. She does pretty well and it doesn't feel like I'm forcing her to read.

Josh is now working the morning shift. So he goes in to work at 5:40! It is so hard on him, but is so appreciated by me! I love that he is willing to work so hard to provide for us. Especially early in the morning!

As for me, I am just enjoying the time I have with my babies. Preschool is so fun, but who knew how much work it would be to prepare a 15 minute lesson!
There you go, a quick look at our life lately...yes, it could be deemed as a boring existence, but I disagree. We may be busy doing the same thing over and over, but with kids no matter how many times you do anything its a new experience and I love it!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

just playing

I tried to upload this to facebook, but it wont let me so I figured i'd put it here. Please ignore my messy house...I was cleaning the kitchen before moving on to the livingroom when I had to stop and record the girls are just too cute!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 5 part 2 - I know its been a LOONNNGGGG time coming!

After such a great lunch, we were ready to conquer the rest of the world. As we left Coral Reef, my concern for Aurora grew. She had been sleeping most of the morning and even after a long break in the ac, she was still so hot. We decided to split up. Josh took Kira to go ride Soarin' again while I took Rora over to the first aid center to see how high her fever was. The first aid center was so nice. They got us in and out in a few minutes. Turns out Rora had a fever of 102.5! Yikes! Luckily I had my mini first aid kit with me so I didn't have to fork over Disney prices for baby tylenol. After a dose of tylenol and a trip to the babycare center to nurse, we were on our way to meet Josh and Kira and finish our tour of the world. Fist stop was Canada. Then the U.K. where we met Pooh Bear, Tigger, Mary Poppins and Mr. Penguin. Kira finally saw Mary Poppins. She was so in love! We then headed to France. Where we were able to complete another Kim Possible mission. We finished it up just as Marie(from Aristocats) was coming outside. Of course we had to meet her :) You couldn't even tell Rora was under the weather, she was so cute. She just loved on Marie. It was so cute! We took a quick trip to Morocco before heading back to France so we could meet both Belle and Beast. Side note: Did you know that Beast's real name is Prince Adam? We didn't. Thanks to google and the teenagers in line behind us, we found out :) Now you know! We then headed back to Morocco to meet Jasmine. Thankfully it was a short walk between France and Morocco and we had plenty of water. Unfortunately, Rora was ready to snuggle back in the wrap and I wanted her to wait...I put her in the stroller and since I was going to put her in the wrap in just one minute, I only buckled one side. Rora flipped herself out of the stroller and whacked her face on the concrete. Thankfully her guardian angel was watching her because it could have been so much worse. After that fiasco, Rora slept the rest of the way around the world. The line to see Jasmine was long so by the time we got to the front of it, Rora was out and Kira had completely forgotten what had happened. Kira had a blast with Jasmine. There is just something better about the characters in Epcot. They take more time with the kids than in the other parks. Japan was the next country on our stop around the world. I was a little bummed because none of the yummy Japanese candy was included as a snack in the dining plan. Since my snack idea fell through, we stopped and got a Kaki gori. It was yummy, but soo messy! Not the best idea for a baby... Up next we were finally back in the good old U.S.of A. After enjoying some shopping(we skipped the show since it wasn't playing right then and we saw it last year.) we stopped to grab a turkey leg. It was delicious, but oh so messy. Thankfully we were able to grab a table in Italy and watch the World Showcase Performers while we enjoyed our turkey leg. They are a hoot! Kira still spouts of, "eh, forget about it!" Italy was our last stop on our journey around the world. We headed back out. Here is a picture Josh took...yes, I was nursing Aurora and pushing Kira in the stroller while he was taking pictures...nothing like multitasking, even in Disney World...right!?! We were leaving Epcot to head over to the Magic Kingdom to watch the Electrical Parade. We did however, have one last stop before we left Epcot for good...(for this trip anyways ;) We needed to buy an international stamp. While we were being sent from store to store since no one knew where they could be bought(we eventually gave up and got one in Magic Kingdom) we saw a large braille map. Josh being the great friend that he is snapped a picture to show Heath. since most of you don't know Heath(and yes, I got his permission for this...) he is Josh's best friend...and he is blind. Yep, Josh took a picture to show to a blind guy. Classic. He is and will be teased mercilessly for the rest of eternity for that moment. His defense? It was hot and he realised after he took the picture that Heath couldn't see it...yeah....what more can I say? Here is one final picture of us as we were leaving Epcot. It was a great day! Laughing about the braille map the entire way to Magic Kingdom, we were full of energy as we entered. To top it off, there was a perfect spot for viewing the parade with our names on it(figuratively, of course.) We got seated and Kira started playing with the kids sitting next to us. They all had fun collecting the 'magic' that Fairy Godmother throws during the afternoon parade. When Kira was getting bored of that I pulled out the rings that I had saved throughout the last few months. I had collected all the cheap rings that came on the tops of cupcakes. The ones we brought were all Pooh & gang ones. Kira had so much fun handing them out to all the kids along the route that were waiting. One little boy even came over to us afterwards and asked to take his picture with Kira. It was so gratifying as a Mom to see my child not caring that she got a ring, just happy to share them with others. To top it off after the parade a CM came over and thanked me for raising such a good girl. I know, it is bragging, but seriously, when you spend months planning the perfect vacation and then you have that 'perfect' day, can you blame me for being the proud Mamma? Back to the parade. The Electrical Parade is my new favorite. I like it much better than Spectromagic. There is just a difference about it that made it magical. Hands down, it was fantastic. Since we were right at the start of the parade(watched it coming out of the gate) we were able to follow right behind the end of the parade after and get to a perfect spot for wishes. We did grab the perfect spot. The family that we cosied up next to was a homeschooling family. It was great to talk to them and I enjoyed asking the kids(ages 10,9&7) all about their favorite thing from that day and the trip in general. Plus they were so well behaved. It was so nice to see. When wishes started we had a perfect view of Tinkerbell's flight. After the fireworks, I left Josh with a (now sleeping) Akira and took Rora over to the baby care center for one last long nursing while the park cleared out. Yeah, bad idea. Why the baby care center closes before the park is cleared ill never understand...anyways, I slipped inside the first aid center planning on nursing her in the lobby since she needed air conditioning and peace and quiet. Thankfully the nurse was very sweet and let me nurse her in one of the exam rooms. Even though the bus ride back took forever(slow buses...we waited over an hour!) this was still my favorite day. We made it back to the hotel just after midnight and crashed! The perfect day of vacation!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 5...part 1...

Day five started out early! Josh was up at 6 and the rest of us were up by 6:30! Remember, this is EASTERN TIME! EEK! But we had a breakfast ADR at Akershus at 8:30so we needed to be on our way by 7:30. The bus situation is not the greatest at All Star Music, but we were in Disney so it brushed off easily. We arrived a bit late, but it wasn't a problem. We were quickly seated(within 3 minutes) yet before we were seated we had the big meet with Belle. Belle has become Kira's favorite princess, im not exactly sure when she switched from Cinderella, but im happy since Belle is my favorite. Kira got to wear her new Belle dress that we gave her for her birthday(we celebrated it a bit early but its Disney World, anything is possible :)...anyways, tangent over. We first met Belle before being seated. I knew it would be dissapointing, since all she does is sign autographs and then you are ushered to your seat. And there was no surprise. Josh didn't even get a picture with his camera. It was in, smile, out, done. But thats ok. We knew we would see her again in France. Breakfast was delicious. Snow White was by far the best princess to come around. She spent so much time with Akira and really made her come out of her 'shy shell.' It was fabulous! The food was also delicious...which of course, is why we went back. After a filling and delicious breakfast, plus Daddy going all gaga eyes over Ariel(she being his childhood 'fantasy' princess;)...admit it, every boy had one! We headed out to enjoy the park, at a relaxing pace of course. We started at test track. Kira still didn't want to ride it so the babyswap pass came in handy. Since Josh and I were also celebrating our 5th anniversary, by this day whenever I was on a ride and someone asked where my spouse was, I started to reply that as a treat for being married for five years I got to go to Disney without Josh...I mean really!?! Where do you think he is? I left him in the car? The doghouse? kept people smiling and gave me one of those *eye rolling* moments. When we had finished with test track, it was time for world showcase to open so we headed back that way to meander around the countries. We stopped at the Kim Possible kiosk to get our fastpass for a KP mission. We also stopped at the baby care center, I noticed that Rora was a little warmer than usual and since it was in a convenient spot, I made use of it. It was very nice and we were able to nurse in privacy, not that that matters to me, but it helped Rora to buckle down and eat without any distractions. When she was finished we were back out and on our way to a whirlwind tour around the world! First stop was Mexico. Shopping, Kidcot and an enjoyable ride on what we call the "Mexican small world." A fun start to our day. Plus by the time we left the pavillion Kira was saying 'Hola' to all the cast members. Adorable! We next headed to Norway. The line for the ride was ridiculous so we skipped the Maelstrom ride and shopped our way around Norway. Next we headed to China where we were summoned to help save the world! Of course, it is all thanks to Verizon Wireless(they're a great cell phone company, excellent coverage and they treat their employees Kira knows how to spell it and that is too cute! She saw the Verizon logo on our KP phone and was so excited because, "that's where my Daddy works!" The mission was so fun! Next trip I think we will plan three days for Epcot just so we can do all the missions as they brought the kid out in Josh and my heart was melting as he and Kira were saving the world:) Of course, no trip (even to save the world) would be complete without enjoying some shopping. As an added bonus, on our way out of China Mulan stopped to congratulate Kira for saving China, and to wish 'Princess Belle' happy birthday :) As we left China we ran into Snow White again! She has so much fun visiting with Kira at breakfast that she cleared her schedule to see her again! Of course, Kira was once again awestruck. After we perused Germany we hopped on the ferry so we could enjoy our lunch at Coral Reef. It was by far the best meal of the trip. Light, refreshing and delicious food! We were seated right by the fish tank so we had great conversation. Plus Kira ate all her food! Coming up next, what happened after lunch...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hollywood Studios

Day four started out rough. Rora had been having a hard time sleeping so I was only averaging around 5-6 hours of sleep each night of our trip so by our Hollywood Studios day I was exhausted. I don't do well on less than 8-9 hours of sleep each night and was surprised that I hadn't had a migraine that was bad enough to have me throwing up...anyways, we had an early morning reservation at 1900 Park Fare for breakfast. This was the breakfast that Kira was most excited about since Mary Poppins would be there and she is Kira's favorite. Needless to say, we were to tired to get up and slept through our reservation.

We made it to Hollywood Studios around 11:30 and got there with perfect timing! Donald Duck and Daisy were just coming out. Kira's favorite of the 'traditional' characters is Daisy so to see her with Donald without having to wait in a HUGE line was such a nice start. After a nice chat with Daisy and Donald, I ran off to grab fastpasses for Toy Story Mania while Josh took the girls to see Minnie Mouse. Again, perfect timing as I returned just as they finished meeting her. Impeccable timing!

We really wanted to see 'all' Hollywood Studios had to offer as last year we didn't see or do very much. It was a mistake! We did see and do practically everything, but were exhausted by dinnertime(3:40).
We saw Indiana Jones: Definately a must do again!
Rode the great Movie Ride: again, a must do!
Watched Little Mermaid: Kira's 2nd favorite show of the day!
Rode the backlot tour: skip! Way hot and boring, plus the water that they 'recycle' for each tram is so dirty!!
Saw the Stunt Spectacular: It was ok, not my favorite but worth seeing.
Saw Muppets, 3D: cute!!
And grabbed a bite to eat at Pizza Planet: the pizza was surprisingly delicious, the 25 minute wait was atrocious!...and we went at 1 so after the main lunch crowd!

Anyways, we were beat and in need of a great meal! The food at 50's Prime Time Cafe was just ok. Not special at all. Plus I made the mistake of telling Kira that she could order whatever she wanted. She chose chicken nuggets which she normally doesn't eat(except Chick Fil A's) and these were miniature hockey pucks! She took one bite and wouldn't eat anything else. At least we got her a fruit cup for dessert that she ate later. The ambiance was really nice and the shakes were delicious! Plus our waitress came out and sang happy birthday to Kira which made her light up. We won't be back here again, but it's nice to say that we at least tried it.

After our slightly dissapointing meal we headed off to Toy Story Mania. It was one of the rides we missed last year and I had heard great things about it(thanks :D ) It did not dissapoint. Fantastic ride! Not worth waiting in line for 60-80 minutes(which is what the wait time was throughout the day), but it was fabulous with a fastpass!

Next we headed over to Beauty and the Beast. By far one of the cutest productions that Disney does and a must see for everyone! Kira's eyes were lit up like Christmas the entire show. Of course, it's even sweeter since Belle is her current 'favorite' princess.

By now Kira was in need of a break and was able to eat the fruit that was saved from her dinner. Josh went off to ride Tower of Terror while I sat on a bench with both girls. A sweet looking elder lady came and sat down next to me. Usually I love it when people come sit next to me and are chatty...but she was awful! All she did was complain about every little thing about the trip and I kept trying to find a way that I could politely escape! She really left a sour taste in my mouth and made me so grateful for what I have! I vowed to make the rest of our trip much better and everytime that I wanted to complain I thought of her and bit my tongue.
Soon Josh rescued me and I was able to ride Tower of Terror. It would have been ok, I am not one for freefalls, but I wanted to try it once. The worst part was that there was a small boy on the ride(about Kira's age) that cried and clung to both his Mom and I the entire ride. It made me so glad that Kira hadn't wanted to try it, even though she is now 'big enough.'
After that traumatic ride ;) I went off to ride Rockin' rollercoaster. It is now my FAVORITE coaster! So neat! And there was no time when it felt like my glasses were going to come off. Josh declined to ride it because it goes upside down and is in the dark...but he likes Tower of Terror!?!
I got off the ride and the fam was waiting for me! We had one final show to watch before heading back to our hotel to bed, Fantastmic. It is such a great production. Unfortunately we weren't expecting it to be quite as crowded(last year we walked in minutes before the show started and had perfect seats at the back of the stadium...this year, it was standing room only and was packed!

The show was great! We snuck out as the fireworks were starting and beelined for the buses. We got there just as a bus pulled in and were able to have seats for the way back to the hotel. They were a much needed break from standing! Plus there were a couple of nice families that we were able to visit with while we waited for the bus to be filled up like sardines :D
All in all it was a good day. We tried to do to much and ended up a bit grumpy by mealtime, yet we were able to salvage the night and enjoy each others company. If I were to do it over I would have skipped some things all together and possibly taken two days at Hollywood Studios. Especially since we missed a great place for pictures. We didn't have time to play in the Honey I shrunk the...playground. There is always next trip ;) And Aurora will be walking by then...