Disney now has a new savings programed aimed at helping families save for their Disney vacations. You can check out all the details here: https://disneyvacationaccount.disney.go.com/ Personally I think it’s not a bad option, especially for families where multiple individuals would be contributing towards the costs. I know we couldn’t have afforded our January trip if I hadn’t created a special savings account at our bank.
I began saving pretty much as soon as we got home from our first trip to WDW. Ten percent off the top of everything I made went straight into that savings account. And any time I could, I’d put extra in. Sometimes it was another five bucks, sometimes it was five hundred (gotta love large pay days). More often than not it was a tiny bit at a time. But a years worth of saving everything I could has meant we’re heading to WDW in three weeks.
Yeah, there were things we chose to do without. Things we could have used. I’d love a new oven or dishwasher… and we haven’t decorated yet even though we’ve now been living in this house for a little over a year. LOL But we all make choices, we all have priorities. And honestly? When Lily-Ann is grown? She won’t remember that our oven only had a top burner (which meant the bottom half of our pizzas weren’t as crisp as they should have been), but she will remember the amazing times we had as a family, laughing, and enjoying every moment. And that’s worth keeping our crummy oven a little longer. 😉
Clearly I’m not the only one in the house with Mickey on the brain. The girl made Mickey Mouse pancakes while she was playing on her breakfast app. And while yes, this kind of post would be more appropriate on a “Wordless Wednesday” let’s just call this one a “Tired Tuesday”. 😉
I am SOOO ready for the Holiday break! I don’t know who I was trying to cheer up more when I said to the girl “only three more days of school until the break”.
I’m at school all morning tomorrow, and then I have an School Community Council meeting at lunch. On Thursday we have the Saputo lunch at school. Friday is PJ day. Saturday is Yule. Sunday I have a wedding to photograph. Monday I have a family photo session to do, and some Yummy Rummy egg nog to make. Tuesday is the annual Christmas eve party. Wednesday is Christmas with my siblings and parents. Thursday is boxing day, when the extended family will all gather at my parent’s place. Friday I have a hair cut and a night out with my man. And Saturday I can kick back and do NOTHING with the kid. Maybe. I have a friend in town and we’re either going to have a little mini-high school reunion on Saturday OR Sunday. LOL The point is, on Saturday or Sunday next week I get to kick back and do nothing. LMAO Yay! Oh! I still have one teacher present to make and a gift for one of the Brides. Yikes! Tack those onto the to do list for the next day or two. I do love the holidays, but I am looking forward to a day with NOTHING. Oh! Still about eight presents to wrap too. Gotta get those done. Am I missing anything important? Grocery shopping. Right. Hard to have a merry holiday pig out without food in the house. LOL Anything else?
I’m so glad Yule falls smack in the middle of it all. While it will be a day with lots going on, it’s ALL just for us. And I’m so looking forward to seeing the girl’s reaction to the news that we’re heading back to Disney World in mid-January. 😀
I’ve always looked forward to my evening blog post. It’s a time to reflect on the day, gather my thoughts, share what’s on my mind – whether it’s something of huge importance or just a little blurb about my life. Lately though, by the time the girl is asleep in bed beside me, I find I’m too run down and tired to be much in the mood for blogging.
Lily-Ann is a “high need” kid (a term coined by Dr. Sears). She’s never been easy. She’s challenging, but oh so worth it. She’s super bright, creative, head-strong, determined, yet compassionate and full of empathy. Her emotions are always heightened and many would find them exaggerated – a fact that was nailed home in her report card, which came home right before Easter break. And all this would be just fine, if she wasn’t such a chip off the old block.
My emotions tend to get so tied up within whatever she’s feeling that I’m just exhausted by the time I’ve laid down with her to read our nightly chapters. What she feels has always translated directly into what I myself feel. When she’s happy, I’m happy, when she’s upset, I’m upset. I honestly can’t see beyond her pain when she’s hurting – and that includes when she’s in the middle of a temper tantrum… which has been happening on a more and more regular basis in the evenings.
I’m exhausted, and can’t think of anything to write beyond that.
People talk about “the terrible twos”… Lily-Ann was a BREEZE at two, and good-natured trouble at three. At four she was everything I could ever have hoped for – and then some. We’re now at five and a half, and wow! While I still wouldn’t call her terrible, there are times when she brings out the terrible in all of us.
I’ve got all sorts of parenting skills. It comes from a lifetime of parenting those around me. I have multiple siblings who are young enough to be my own children. I’ve been babysitting since I was ten (which seems crazy in retrospect). My family ran a daycare when I was a child and a teen. Parenting just kinda comes naturally. But even I am left with nothing left after an hour of break-downs over everything including something as trivial as a piece of scrap that missed the wastebasket by 1/2 cm.
Now, I know this will pass. Every child goes through phases where things are just more than they can handle. However, while we’re in the middle of this particular tempest? Blogging isn’t exactly my priority.
And hey! Advice, ideas, suggestions, and pats on the back are ALL appreciated just now. I know, as parents, this is something we’ve all faced (or are going to face) at some point. 😛
I’ll admit, I’m still torn as to whether I should keep on blogging about Walt Disney World or go back to life as we used to know it here at TD365. So what I’m thinking is this; I’ll write about what I feel like writing about. Cause, well… that’s what I’ve done for the last few years here. LOL Why change it now. 😉 That doesn’t mean I’m done writing about Disney, it just means I’m going back to writing however my muse pulls me. Sound good?
Now, I think I’m going to cuddle my sleeping girl for a bit. Watch a little streaming TV with her Daddy. Then tuck myself into bed for the night. I’m missing Bran tonight. He would have commented on my last post… and written to me on FB today. I have a feeling my one FB post would have prompted a good laugh between the two of us. Losing a much loved friend really freakin’ sucks. 😦
The last of the four Walt Disney World parks is Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and I realize it’s cliched to say it, but while it’s the last it’s not the least. Hollywood Studios is AMAZING! I’ve already shared the photos from the girl’s Jedi Training School experience, which was totally incredible and jealousy inducing, but that was just one small part of our day.
There are just a TON of character meets at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the lines were minimal compared to many of the other parks. There’s a bunch to do, yet this park doesn’t feel quite as overwhelming as the others (of course, by this point we had our system pretty much perfected – which really helps). And it’s not totally kid-centric either, which was great. This park definitely had the broadest appeal, with everything from Star Wars to the Muppets to Phineas and Ferb to Pixar’s greatest hits to classic Disney as well. We loved everything about this one. It was fabulous!
This truly is THE park. When people who have never been to Walt Disney World talk about Disney World, THIS is the park they are usually talking about. It really is quintessential Disney.
When you are planning your WDW vacation plant to spend at least two days at the Magic Kingdom. There is so much here that really shouldn’t be missed, and even with two days devoted to this park there are things you’ll have to skip. I promise to go into the rides and shows in more detail on another post – listing the must dos and the must avoids. But for now? After such a long day? I’m going to jump right into the photos. After all, that’s really what you want to see, isn’t it? 😉
I’m a planner. I like to know what’s going to happen and when. It takes away the chaos that is present in so many activities when you have an AD/HD family, and just ups the enjoyment factor immensely. So it wasn’t long into our Walt Disney World trip that I developed my own way of doing things. And as promised, I’m going to reveal a few tips and tricks to make your Disney trip stress-free and a whole lot more enjoyable too.
I’m all about keeping things simple, easy, and stress-free. Thus my tips are all about doing just that. And one of the BIGGEST helpers are those kitchy little maps they have for all the Disney parks. GRAB THOSE MAPS!
The night before you head to a park, sit down with the map and figure out your MUST HIT attractions, character meets, rides, and dining experiences:
I just laid on the bed in our Finding Nemo room at the Art of Animation resort, and using one of the pens from our room sketched little brackets around everything that we really wanted to do that second day in the park. We had already spent one day there, so it a lot of our must do’s, but there were still a lot left on our list. I tossed in a question mark on any attraction that we really wanted to do, but that wasn’t a top priority.
Then I went through the map, and drew stars beside each of the must do rides/attractions/events/dining spots, and a question mark on the want to do ones:
Lastly, but SUPER important not to miss, go through and mark an FP on all the places you’ve marked so far that offer a fast pass. Using the fast pass system makes your life SOOO much easier. So be sure to take note of which spots actually offer them and mark them on your map. You can see them on the map above, but here’s a close up of Fantasyland and New Fantasyland:
When you first hit the park, go directly to the closest area and get your first fast pass. Take note of what time you need to be back there, and then decide to do the remaining STAR attractions/rides now or closer to when you need to redeem your fast pass. You can only get a new fast pass once every hour, so once you’ve gotten one, then hit some of your starred rides and attractions that don’t offer fast pass while you wait until enough time has passed to get your next one.
Having these maps, and your choices charted out on them, really is a small thing. And honestly? It only takes about twenty minutes to do – and is a great relaxing activity for the adults in your party to tackle after any younglings are asleep. It’s a small thing that makes a BIG impact on your park experience. So take that little bit of time the night before each park visit. It saved my sanity and made our trip SOOO much more enjoyable.
Having one senior dog is tough, having three? It really is a lot to deal with… but I wouldn’t part with even one of our oldies. Today’s challenge was to photograph something old. I jokingly asked my husband to pose for me after telling him what my challenge for today was, obviously he turned me down. 😉 I thought about snagging a snapshot of one of our antiques… in the end though, Lily-Ann’s idea won out. Sweets wanted his supper, Brandibuck wouldn’t sit still, so Thora it was. I’ll admit, I don’t like photographing her with my iPhone. It just doesn’t do her justice. She really is a gorgeous, gorgeous dog. I have a hard time believing she’s twelve. I remember the first time I saw her in person – after her trek with the underground railroad (traveling to us relay style driven bit by bit by volunteers like ourselves) – I broke down in tears. She really was the most beautiful puppy I’d ever seen, and to this day I’ve never met her equal… not in brains, drive, beauty, or spirit. She is a dog who is unmatched in every way, and I have been so blessed to have her as part of my life.
The light seems crazily yellow here… but that’s a camera phone for you. 😉
We are now one week away from our trip to WDW. Time to get all the detail work done in preparation for TEN DAYS away. Time to pack, and see if there’s anything else we need to pick up before going. Time to write up info sheets on each member of our animal family for Riki and Kate (who will be staying here, and watching over them all). Time to buy food and meds, enough to last all the dogs/cat/parrot. Time to prepare games, and activities, and toys for two days of sitting around in airports. Time to decide on our budget, and to get some American money. Time to decide what things will have priority and what will be an “if we can work it out” thing. Time to get everything in order. Time to finish sewing, time to put away other projects, time to admit I didn’t get everything done that I’d hoped to… time to start getting excited as our trip is really just around the corner.
I’ve never been to Disney World, but I did go to Disneyland when I was nine – with Gramma, Grampa Bear, and Devan. And I’ll be honest, with my memory issues I don’t remember hardly any of it. I wish I did. I was old enough that I should remember it… but there really are so few moments that made it into my emotional memory that it’s barely a blip. That makes me sad. This trip though? Even with my terrible memory, I’m sure will be one I keep with me for the rest of my days.
While the girl was at school this afternoon, Damon and I headed out to visit with Karla – our travel agent. We talked over a few things. And she put my mind at ease over a couple things I was unsure of. After hanging out in her office for about an hour and a half I really do feel set to go. Now it’s just a matter of getting all the little details arranged, then we’ll be off.
So, with that on my mind, here’s my challenge shot for today:
With the challenge being “reflection” I could have gone a few different directions… I thought about taking another snapshot of Kid Kid – and talking about how our children reflect what we put into them. But then I thought about the huge number of photos I already have on this blog of her. LOL So it occurred to me (after changing into my pjs) that I could go completely literal. So I grabbed the mirror that belonged to my paternal Grandmother, who passed when I was too young to really know her, and photographed the reflection of it’s reflection. I love this little mirror. It feels like I’ve always had it, and I always feel beautiful when I look into it – even with pjs, chipped nail polish, and damp hair. 😉
I had three completely unrelated things to share seeing how I needed to post a photo for challenge days 18, 19, and 20… but then I realized I could very honestly share a project the three of us worked on today and have it fit for all three topics. Yeah, it may be a bit of a cheat – but it’s not a huge one, especially considering I did grab snapshots on both Friday and Saturday, even if I’ve decided to only share a series of images from today. LOL
But first? First I have to share a really quick little story that is super cute and totally warmed my heart. 😀
On Friday I was over at my parents place – watching everyone so Mom could go with Dad to an out of town gig. When Marie, my sister (whom Lily-Ann is named after), got home she came upstairs as usual then asked for my attention. I stopped working on supper and looked over at her: “Yes Marie?”
And with that she held up the index finger on her right hand as if to say just one second. Then she bent WAY down to where little Thor (one of my puppies from the Avenger litter whom is now my Dad’s puppy) was standing, and gave him a little pat. She then stood back up. “Moby.”
My sister, who has never been much of a pet person and who does her best to just ignore the other two dogs in the household, gave me a great big grin and an enthusiastic thumbs up. To which I replied “Awwww…. Marie! I’m so glad you like him. He’s a cute little guy, isn’t he?” She nodded in approval, which made me feel awfully wonderful. 😀
Okay… now onto my challenge photos. 😉
So, I need to share for something I bought, sweet, and someone I love. Well… here are the girl and her Dad working together to put up the last couple of shelves in her room (which he and I started putting up while she was out with my sister Riki earlier today). I think this series of pictures covers all three challenge topics pretty darn well.