Monday, December 26, 2011


We finally ventured out to see the ICE display at the Gaylord Texan this year. We went right after Thanksgiving to beat all the crazy crowds that form closer to Christmas. We joined Mama (Grandma) and Papa, plus my sisters and their kiddos.

The snow hill wasn't open yet, so we just enjoyed exploring the resort and also checking out the ICE display, this year themed to "Shrek the Halls."

William loved all of the train displays.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa Pinnochio

We started our Elf on the Shelf tradition last year, however, William was still too little to really get it. This year, however, he got really into it. We brought our elf out this year right after Thanksgiving and let Will name him. The chosen name? Santa Pinocchio. I guess he sort of does look like a Pinocchio.

So Santa Pinocchio it is. William woke up each morning and hurried around to try and find Santa Pinocchio. It was so cute, he was so into it. Our elf was pretty good, he was too busy flying back and forth to the North Pole to actually get into any trouble, but he definitely hid in some crazy places. We also have read the story about our Elf over and over again. We will read it one last time tonight and say good bye.

Enjoy a few pics of Santa Pinocchio's adventure with us this year. He flies off tonight to be with Santa the rest of the year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday Williamisms

As we are reading a story last night about Piglet yawning, he stops me and says "Mommy, stop reading for a few minutes, now I need to yawn." He's so funny, he even makes me pause movies or tv shows so he can go to the bathroom.

Because he likes to stay up late in his bed reading each night, he is always tired in the morning when I wake him for preschool. He says, "Mommy, help wake me up." That's code word for splash cold water on my face!

"...and around and around and zoom zoom zoom."

Best of all, we are supporting a needy family this year by providing gifts, clothes and household items. We will be delivering the gifts directly to the single mom and her three children on Sunday (joint effort with my family and some other friends). As the presents piled up on the dining room table in preparation to give to them, William says, "Mommy, I want to help give those presents to those kids who don't have much. I want to share." Even at four, so proud he gets it.

"Can I eat the gingerbread house Mommy?"

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday Williamisms

William likes to stay up in his bed "reading" after I put him down. I walk up, see him sitting on the edge of his bed, with the closet light on for reading, looking through a book. "I'm sorry Mommy, I' done reading now." So sweet. Not sure how to scold a kid for wanting to read (well a four year old's version of reading). He knows just what to say. Next was "I like going to sleep Mommy."

"I got fart shoes." Yes, we saw the Muppets this past weekend.

"Is warm the same as hot?"

"But Mommy, I didn't tell Santa what I wanted from that aisle."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing You and Yours a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I am thankful for so many things....
My health and my family's health
My son, William- the light and joy of my life
A hubby I can always count on
Sisters who are like my best friends
Devoted, considerate parents that are such a big part of my life
A happy, warm home
A stable job and income
Friends that make me laugh
Technology that lets me share photos and life

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

Our room during our recent stay at the Disneyland Hotel back in August was just so cute, it deserves its own post.

As Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members (Disney's idea of a timeshare), we were able to use our points to stay here, so it didn't cost us anything out of pocket. We just had a regular room with two queen beds, but we loved all the special details and magic that Disney is known for.

Of course the lights in the bathrooms featured Mickey hands. Even the handles on the faucet were Mickey hands.

There was a huge wooden headboard behind both beds that went the length of the room. It was huge and had a beautifully carved piece of Sleeping Beauty castle. The pillows on the bed each said "A Dream is a WISH Your Heart Makes"
"When You're Fast Asleep"

And the big winner of our stay was discovered on accident....the head board lights up and plays music. William was playing with the buttons for the light on the nightstand just like most curious toddlers do. He flipped a switch and suddenly we hear the "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes...." song! Then all of the stars over the castle light up. It was so amazing. We went to sleep that night sleeping with the stars on over our heads. William thought it was just the coolest thing. Okay, and so did Alan and I. No one does the magic touches like Disney.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wednesday Williamisms

"Mommy, my butt was on fire."

"Mama, do you like the scary hotel? You know it goes up and down really fast and there is a thunderstorm on 12." .....describing the Tower of Terror ride at Disney World to his Grandma which he rode twice in October and really liked.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday Williamisms

"That's ri-doc-ul-lous."

"What's the big idea?"

"Mommy, you're pretty."

"This is how Peter Pan stands."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tricks, Treats and Toddler

Our family loves Halloween. Fortunately, we returned from our Disney trip just in time to celebrate. It was a busy Halloween weekend.

Friday night William's school closed down early for their annual Fall Festival. William was so excited for "Halloween at school." He dressed as Peter Pan. This was his third time wearing the costume, since he wore it twice while at Disney, including for the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) during our trip.

He loved bouncing in the bounce houses and playing games inside. He got a balloon animal and a tattoo. He would barely wash that hand after getting the tattoo. I assured him we could get a new tattoo if it washed off. We enjoyed some food, cotton candy and fun. He spent a lot of time on the playground. Yes, the same playground he plays on every single day.

On Saturday, October 29th, after a big morning celebrating his birthday party at Pump It Up, we headed to my parent's house for their first annual Halloween party! Usually I would help them plan and set up, but we were so busy returning to life after vacation and celebrating William's birthday that I didn't have time. They had created a small haunted house in one of their garages out back. We all had a great time at the party with family and friends. Almost everyone was in costume too. We even had a Donald Duck, one of William's favorites.

The kids had a ball in the haunted house and we can't wait to help my parents create an even better one next year. William loved bobbing for apples and chasing around all of his friends upstairs.

Finally, we went trick or treating on Halloween night. William certainly has gotten use out of his Peter Pan costume, as this was the 5th time in two weeks for him to wear it. We headed out just as one of our neighbors and his classmate, Tinsley stopped by to trick or treat. He was so excited to see her. She was cute as ever dressed as Dorothy. William and I made the rounds through our neighborhood. It is one way in and out, so usually not heavy traffic- just 50 homes in our HOA. But we did have a lot of outside traffic, families driving around that were not from our neighborhood. Maybe from some of the nearby apartments? We hit all the houses in the neighborhood with lights on, which was only about a third of them. We said hi to many of our friendly neighbors.

William said "trick or treat" each time, followed by a "thank you." I couldn't have been prouder. As we rounded towards the front of the neighborhood, we stopped at Tinsley's house, they had just returned for the night. She was so excited to give him some candy and wanted to walk him home. She is too cute. William started to complain his legs were hurting. He had four immunizations that morning for his 4 year old checkup, so he was tired and sore. We headed home to Alan running the fog machine on the porch. He had scared quite a few kids with his spooky fog.

William scored a lot of candy that he will never eat. He isn't a big sweets eater, thankfully. Unlike his mommy.

And so another fun year of tricks and treats was had by all. We look forward to an even better Halloween next year! BOO!

The Birthday That Wouldn't End

My little guy just celebrated his 4th birthday on October 30th. He was born just after 6pm on the day before Halloween. I remember it so vividly and how happy we were. That happiness hasn't left our hearts as we watch William grow and explore every day.

His birthday celebration this year seemed to go on and on. First, we celebrated during our trip to Disney. He wore a birthday button most days and received special desserts (cupcakes) at meals and many "Happy Birthdays" from friendly cast members. One cast member at the Haunted Mansion even had everyone waiting in line sing to him. Not really sure how you top a birthday at Disney!

Upon our return home, he got to celebrate with his choice of birthday parties...a Phineas and Ferb themed party at Pump It Up this past Saturday. He had family, friends from school, neighbors and more in attendance to celebrate. He loved jumping and sliding and turning into a sweaty mess. We enjoyed cake, pizza and fun with friends. He received some great gifts too, I think his favorite is the monorail from Disney (courtesy of a gift a card from my parents), some workbooks and the Phineas and Ferb roller coaster. He is still playing with all of his new toys! Thank you to all friends and family for celebrating with us.

On Sunday, October 30th, his ACTUAL birthday, we took him McDonald's to play for breakfast, followed by shopping for books and workbooks per his request. Then onto lunch. Chicken nuggets and fries at his request. He wanted to get back home and play with all of his new toys the rest of the day. I kept telling him that this day was his actual birthday and I think he almost expected another party!

William also had a birthday celebration at school yesterday, on Halloween. We brought in cupcakes for his class and goodie bags for everyone to take home. He said he had a lot of fun and that his class all sang Happy Birthday.

And so now with three behind us, we move forward to discover what this next year will hold for him! I can only imagine! Happy birthday William!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Freaking Out Friday

Today is freaking out Friday. I've termed it as such (lovingly of course), because I have been anxiously awaiting news from the big cheese himself. No, not my boss, DH or the big cheese in the sky, but the one that runs that Magic Kingdom in Orlando. Mickey Mouse.

Back in September I began yet another journey with the Disney Moms Panel. I've applied every year since its inception in 2008. With up to 20,000 applying, I've never made the cut to round two. But this year, the one year I didn't actually devote much time or energy to my application, I made it. Imagine my surprise when I got my congratulations email. Maybe I've been over thinking it all these years and not spending as much time on it allowed my real personality and passion to come through? Who knows. There I go over thinking that!

So after receiving my congratulatory email, I had to submit answers to a handful of questions, again, limiting my answers to 100 words each. If you know me, you know that isn't easy. First off, I am long-winded. Second, limiting my answer about something I love so dearly to 100 words, well is almost impossible, but I did it. We also had to produce a minute long video sharing our favorite Walt Disney World memory. My sister kindly helped me film using my iphone and then I edited the clips into a cohesive piece. I didn't do 100 takes, only four.

I think my video was pretty unique, at least the topic. I tried to stay away from what I thought most might share as a favorite memory, like meeting Cinderella. It's definitely a special memory for a lot of folks and I wanted mine to be different. Thankfully, one of my favorites is when Will met PUSH the talking trash can at the Magic Kingdom on the first day of our vacation last December. You see, he's obsessed with trash cans. Heck, I even wrote a post about it. So meeting a walking, talking trash can was amazing for him. PUSH even singled him out and sang Happy Birthday after seeing Will's birthday button. We even dressed William as a trash can for last Halloween!

William was wearing a Pooh bear t-shirt since we had breakfast plans at Crystal Palace that morning. PUSH told him, "You have some Pooh on your shirt." Hilarious PUSH!

So while filming my video, I surrounded myself with some of Will's favorite trash cans from his collection, just to give my video a unique background. Plus, I do get a little nervous, so having props helps.

I submitted my finished video and answers on October 14th, the day before we left for eight fabulous nights in the world. So for those next eight days, I didn't even think about it. I was too busy creating new memories at my favorite place. But as I returned to real life this past Monday and started visiting the forum threads, Facebook groups, watching tweets etc., I started to panic. The emails announcing who will advance to round three are supposed to be delivered this week. At first we all thought it might happen on Tuesday. Then we all held our collective breath on Wednesday. Nothing. Yesterday (Thursday), still nothing. By this point, I think some of my round two friends and I just might break the Internet with our constant posting, attempts to distract each other and burning up our email accounts. Open email, close eyes, hold breath, open eyes, heart drops, realize the Disney email is from Disney Movie Rewards.....not Disney Moms. I think this is the only time I am frustrated at the amount of Disney related email traffic I get. Disney shopping, Disney Interactive, Disney Movie Rewards, disboards, AllEars etc. Each time I hold my breath thinking it is THE email. Alas, it's not.

Not yet.

And so we wait. And wait. And wait some more.

So is today the day? We can't be sure, but we can hope.

The round two email stated that if selected to move on as a finalist, we would be contacted by email to schedule a phone interview the first week of November. Well next week is the first week of November. So here's hoping we hear today or tomorrow.

In the meantime I am trying to stay busy. I have a lot to keep busy with, William's day care party is today, his birthday party is tomorrow morning and my mom's Halloween party is tomorrow night. But I can't help myself from checking my email every five seconds, hoping I've been blessed enough to make it to the next step- phone interviews and continue on my journey to obtain the coveted pink Moms Panel jacket.

So why is being on this panel so important to me? The pink jacket? Sure. The training trip in early December? Definitely. But most of all, sharing my passion and love for planning the perfect Disney trip. I already do it for friends and family all of the time. Being able to do it almost daily for strangers? Fabulous! Doing it with the official support of the big cheese himself? Well, that would be totally awesome.

So here's hoping I don't develop a callus on my mouse clicking finger as I continue to constantly check email today. Sending pixie dust to all of my other friends awaiting news!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Royal Treatment- Disney World 2011

We're back!!! We just returned from a magical eight nights at our favorite place on earth, Walt Disney World! It's been a whirlwind since we returned late Saturday night, catching up on work and life.

So I'll share some of the highlights of our special trip over a few posts. Our trip began on Friday, October 14th as we boarded an Air Tran flight to Atlanta, with a final stop in Orlando at 6:30pm that night. Our flight was delayed and we didn't make it in until almost 8pm. William was a complete angel on both flights. One woman behind us even commented on how he was the best behaved kid she had ever seen on a plane. Wow! She must not have seen him on our last two trips.

We rented a car and made the short 20 minute drive to our home for the next eight nights, Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort, our Disney Vacation Club (DVC) home. We used online check in and were in our room quickly.

We were starving, so we headed to the Contempo Cafe for a late dinner. Had our groceries delivered and received a special box from a special online disboard friend who sent us her leftover juice, water and more from her stay the week prior. Thanks Kimberly in NY!!

We settled in for a good night's sleep. Saturday, October 15th began our actual fun! We were greeted with a beautiful sunrise from our balcony!

We were up early to hit Disney's Hollywood Studios for extra magic hour (EMH) at 8am. We ran a little late, but managed to get a fastpass for the ever popular Toy Story Mania and then William experienced his first ride on Tower of Terror. This kid is so brave! He was scared once it started dropping, but we had prepped him by watching a youtube video, so he knew what to expect. On the ride, he was scared and had us both in a death grip, but once we got off, he said it was the "funnest elevator ever."

We then got in line to meet some of his favorite characters, Phineas and Ferb! We also took a ride on the new Star Wars ride and then we visited Pooh and some other friends. William loved the Disney Jr. show featuring Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Jake and the Neverland Pirates- two of his all time favorite shows. He watches episodes online often with his daddy at home on the computer.

We visited the Muppets store and I found this adorable kermit hat that I had been searching for on previous trips. They also had animal and beeker! William loves this hat and wore it even when it was warm out. He got so many compliments on it from guests and cast members alike. I mean, who doesn't like Kermit?

We enjoyed a great lunch on the patio at Toy Story Pizza Planet and then headed back to Bay Lake Tower (BLT) for a break and nap.

That night, we ventured out for a special royal meal. I was able to book the hard to get Cinderella's Royal Table meal in the castle. William dressed up in his knight costume to meet his princess. We had a great dinner in the castle and managed to see Ariel, Belle, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. The food was actually much better than I anticipated too. William was quite shy once the princesses actually visited our table. Cinderella asked him how many dragons he had slayed. He was given a special sword and participate in the wishing ceremony with his wishing star.

After our brush with royalty, we hit a few rides in the Magic Kingdom. But given it was a Saturday night and the park was closing early (7pm) many nights during the week for the Halloween party, it was packed. Folks were taking advantage of the late night hours offered on Saturday. We only hit a few rides before bailing due to the crazy crowds. We had a whole week ahead of us, including less crowded weekdays. We did hit the Haunted Mansion on the way out- William's absolute favorite ride. While in line, one of the cast members had everyone sing him happy birthday! He was wearing his birthday button, so he got special treatment all week long and this was just the beginning. If you are celebrating anything while at the world, be sure and ask for a button! Here is William checking out the new cemetery at Haunted Mansion.

We ended our great night hearing the Electrical Water Pageant (now celebrating 40 years!) going on right outside our window. We sat on the balcony and enjoyed this classic light parade on the water.