The first morning there, we were allowed to enter the park before the general public. My parents had given us breakfast at Cinderella’s Castle for our Christmas gift. This was better than anything they could have unwrapped and put on their shelves. This memory was priceless!
It was so quiet when we entered the park. It was so nice just to take it all in with the girls and not have to fight our way through lines.
We walked around a little bit before going to the castle. They were so nice there at the castle and were able to seat us before our reservation.
When we entered the castle, we got our pictures taken with Cinderella. I did not know this was part of the breakfast package. We were quite pleased! The girls were sooooo in heaven.
The little details around the castle really made you feel like you were back in time.
Throughout the meal, the princesses would come and meet the girls. These actresses truly took on the characters from their mannerisms to their appearances.
The food was pretty good too! Disney never let’s you down.
This was one of my favorite memories as a mother so far. Going to Disney World as a child was fun, but as a parent, it is truly magical to see the world through your daughters’ eyes.
The girls were such troopers when we arrived at Disney World. Addisan is such a wonderful big sister to Campbell. She truly looks after her. I love this picture of the two of them because they are still smiling after a long car ride while Tommy checks us in.
When we arrived in our room, it reminded me almost of a cruise ship. They did our towels into fancy shaped animals.
The first thing the girls did when we arrived to our hotel room was go out onto our patio overlooking the “safari.”
Here is what we saw daily outside of our window. It was amazing!
On the first day, we were not in our room for more than an hour before catching the shuttle bus to Downtown Disney. The shuttle system was fabulous! We did not have to wait more than fifteen minutes for any of our shuttles. We often took advantage of the wait by taking pictures.
There was so much to do and see there. We did not have as much time there as we would have liked due to our dinner reservation at our hotel at Boma. The food was AWESOME! They had entertainment and kid friendly choices for dinner. The girls dined on chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese.
This is what my plate looked like…..many African dishes that were so yummy!!
This was my dessert plate. I had some of the best bread pudding in the world!
She even started making her own.
After dinner, we walked to the site at our hotel where we could use night goggles to watch the animals. It was pretty cool!
The girls’ big Christmas gift this year was a trip to Disney World. This has been in the works for months. Tommy and I are doing our best as parents to emphasize to the girls that creating memories with the ones you love is more important than something that sits on your shelf that you forget about. To be honest, the only things my girls play with on a consistent basis anyways, are their dress up clothes and art supplies.
Santa brought the girls matching pillowcase dresses made by an elf named Etsy. I thought these would be ideal not knowing what the weather would be like in Florida in January. I could layer them with short or long sleeve shirts and in the summer, they can be worn without anything underneath.
Santa also brought them two long sleeve shirts along with Britta water bottles in preparation for our trip.
Three weeks later, we were ready for our trip and bags were packed.
I purchased their souvenirs prior to going. Each item was a Disney themed gift from the dollar bin at Michael’s. It gets better though….they were 75% off and to top that, I was able to use my teacher discount!!! Each morning, they could pick a new souvenir.
My parents were very gracious and let us borrow their Prius. I am in LOVE with their car. It is so high tech compared to our older Hondas. We spent less than $200 in gas roundtrip. Not too shabby!
The girls were rock stars during the lengthy car ride. There was minimum bickering, especially considering we do not own a portable DVD player. Each of them received an iPod touch for their birthdays this past year. We do not splurge on gifts like this for their birthdays, but we thought this would be a gift that they can grow into for years to come as well as help the car ride go by quickly for them. They played several games and listened to their music during the car ride.
For a good portion of the trip, they played imaginative games as well as did lots of artwork. They truly amazed me how well behaved they were.
Too much to write for one blog entry…more to come. All I can say though…this vacation was magical!
I thought I enjoyed plays, but I think Addisan has me beat. She has always been very into the arts and drama. Not sure how she is my kid sometimes considering I grew up in a swim cap and cleats year round:) I really do enjoy going to the theater and do my best to take Addisan (and Campbell) as much as possible. I try to rationalize it to Tommy by reminding him that we seldom go to the movies (unless it is at the Byrd Theater which tickets are $1.99) and that we are not ones who indulge our kids with purchasing toys throughout the year.
So today we went to go see Madeline’s Christmas at the Barksdale Theater. This theater is very small and intimate. The performance was amazing, considering 12 of the main characters were young girls. Madeline herself was unbelievable. When leaving, Addisan asked if she could return to SPARC for the hope of one day being able to take part in a performance like this.
Yesterday, we went up to the Kennedy Center (one of my favorite places) to see an Eric Carle series at their Family Theater with some of our friends. Eric Carle is one of my all time favorite children’s authors. This puppet crew was from Scandinavia and used black lights to make their puppets glow. It was AMAZING. They performed The Very Hungry Caterpillar; Brown Bear; and Papa, Get Me the Moon.
As many of you know, I tend to get side tracked very easily. I have SLACKED big time on our family blog. I have tried scrap booking and other ways to keep my memories fresh and nothing has worked, except the blog (with the exception of the past few months). Our girls have grown so much, both inside and out. Addisan has learned to go with the flow more and let the little things roll off her back (which I need to start doing) and Campbell has more spunk than I know what to do with. I have heard folks who scrapbook say to start with the most current event and work backward. I think that is what I am going to try to do in order to get caught up. I want my girls to look back on this blog as they grow as a personal diary of the memories we have created. As I sit here typing now, I here giggles upstairs and they are “suppose” to be winding down for bedtime. There is nothing better than the sound of my girls’ laughter…..except maybe the sound of them snoring after some long, high energy wintry days:)
Campbell loves to play soccer at home in the front yard. Her coordination is fabulous and her speed is remarkable. As her mother, I am a little biased, I know! Somehow though, when she got on the soccer field with 9 other kids and 2 coaches, she would freeze and not do anything. The only thing she would look forward to would be the water breaks to use her “cool” water bottle.
I am not one to bribe, but I did not know what else to do. So I told her if she actually ran with the ball, that we would pass her a Reese’s Pieces on her way down the sideline. THIS WORKED! Now she is playing and actually making contact with the ball and we do not even have to bribe her anyone.
Now Campbell is a true soccer pro….
Now Addisan even wants to play next year! There is some hope for my girly girls!
Below is a picture of her during intermission with her overpriced cookie. I was hoping to get a picture of all the kids together, but time got away from me. If you have seen The Lion King, you know why I lost track of time….the music and the puppetry is absolutely amazing! Even with the show being during her nap time, she was fully engrossed for the whole THREE hours! On the way home though, I knew she was really tired when she was showing Mr. Patrick how she could gargle her own spit. I know, I am not sure where she gets these special talents….from her mother or from her father?
I felt guilty not bringing Campbell, but I knew she was not going to be able to handle the performance. I have mother’s guilt that I have been taking Addisan to the theater since she was 2 1/2 and poor Campbell has gotten gypped. This past year, we have brought her to two children’s performances and she did fabulous……BUT they are only an hour long and there is no intermission. It is amazing how two girls raised in the same environment can be so different, but it is nice how they compliment each other so nicely.
This is our lovely dog couch…the only piece of furniture that our dogs are allowed to sit on. Don’t judge us to harshly by how disgusting it is! We do not sit on it ourselves.
The couch I have been looking at for the past TWO years is from Pottery Barn. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a sales hunter and pride myself on good finds! I cannot find another couch that I like nearly as much and is as comfortable as this one. This is the first time I have not been able to find an appropriate substitution for what I want. So, I have been putting a little bit of my tutoring money aside each week to purchase it this summer. My rationale was if I have to look at it each and every day and it has to be functional for humans and NOT dogs, I want to make the investment instead of looking at a so-so couch and always wishing I got the one I really wanted.
Our neighborhood uses a fabulous painting family. They are the nicest people and love dogs…..so they fit right into our house! They helped Tommy move the final pieces before starting the painting process this winter.
Here are the final photos of the painting. We decided to use two tones of blue to highlight the vaulted ceilings.
Dogs are already to claim their couch again while trying to get another picture of the painting.
I have already ordered and bought frames to make a collage of pictures above the couch. That is going to be my summer project along with purchasing curtains. I have found some curtains that I like on Overstock.com, but I am nervous about ordering them sight unseen. I hope to have more pictures in the next couple of weeks of the completed room.
We did get one snowfall this season. It was the best type of snow….it came early enough in the morning to cancel school without delay and it was melted away by dinner time! Perfect, huh?
After a 20 minute temper tantrum inside because her snow pants were not “girly” enough, Addisan finally joined us outside.