Tuesday, December 31, 2013


This post is brought to you by my dislike of mopping my kitchen floor.

Since I have fed the kids, done the dishes, and shaped my eyebrows, it was blog or mop the floor.  As previously mentioned we choose to stay at a Disney Resort because they were having a special deal that threw in free meal plans.  We choose the Disney Art of Animation Resort.  Huge win!  The newest Disneyworld resort, the Art of Animation, was a blast that both we and the kids enjoyed.  One of my goals with this trip was to make my life as easy as possible when vacationing with three kids age seven and under.  I always get stressed while traveling and I hoped that staying at a Disney resort would ease my stress; it really did.  When we got to the resort, a day and a half late, they checked us in and it was a short hop over to our room in the Cars Wing.
The Cars suites were basically three small hotels all designed to look like Radiator Springs that surrounded a semi circle pool with cabanas in the shape of Orange Cones.  Life size cars of all the characters were spread throughout the area.  The room was large with a separate bedroom for Jeff and I and two full bathrooms.  Mae slept on the pull out couch, Max slept on the pull down bed that folded up to a dining table during the day, and there was plenty of room for the pack n play provided for Spike.
The entire room decorated with the cars motif was more cute and tasteful then overwhelming.  My parents got a smaller room in the Little Mermaid wing and the room d├ęcor was a bit much for their taste, (Including a shower curtain with life size Ariel starting at them.)  The main pool of the hotel was in the Finding Nemo wing.  It is apparently the largest resort pool at Disney World.  With a zero entry and lots of beautiful jelly fish statues, this was a big favorite of our family.  Right in front of the pool was a splash pad with all the school kids from Nemo. 
Spike at the Splash Pad.
Spike love love loved this area.  I am not sure who was happier, Spike, or my dad watching Spike at the splash pad.  The water was always the perfect temperature and they even had organized games on the deck.  Max came in second place during a hula hoop competition.  One evening Jeff rested with the younger kids while I did laundry and took Max to the really nice arcade.  We kicked butt at the two person, giant flat screen, fruit ninja.  The employees were not only helpful but super cheery all the time.  There really is a Disney difference even at the resorts.  While the hotel provided a free shuttle to the park, we choose to drive, (cause remember we now had our car there.)  I think it was faster to drive and we got free parking by staying at the resort.  I think the nicest part of our hotel was that the kids loved it so much that they didn't complain at all each night when we said we were done at the parks and ready to go back to the hotel.  We had to rip them out of the pool one morning and beg them to go to the park.  It was perfect. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Booking the Trip

The only picture I took in the car.
So last July I was talking to a friend of mine who happened to mention that AirTran was having a flash sale.  Being the only budget airline that flies out of our local airport I was game and took a look.  Round trip tickets from here to Orlando for less then a hundred dollars a pop was enough for me to call Jeff and we booked out flights.  Then for the hotel, luckily Disney was having a deal where if you stayed at one of their resorts you got a free meal plan, so we booked with the new Art of Animation hotel on the property and got a stellar deal.  Within a few hours I had spent quite a bit of money but felt very excited to take my kids to Disney World.  I love Disney.  I've not only been to Disneyland quite a few times but also worked at Disney world.  Last year I had hoped to send Max and Jeff together,  (because I was worried about Max getting jaded in school and not believing in the characters,) but we had to replace our furnace instead.  Luckily Max survived Kindergarten with his innocence in tact  and this time we were able to go as a family.  I worried about dragging Spike along, and we did debate whether or not to take him or leave him with friends.  I randomly called my parents and asked if they wanted to come along and was pleasantly surprised at how quickly they were game.  This solved the Spike problem.

So here's what everyone wants to know, what happened to the flight.  Part of me still doesn't want to talk about it cause I'm embarrassed, but at the same time I shouldn't be prideful.  (I do want to say that it isn't any ones business.  It was really annoying, the people who pressed me for details even when I said I didn't want to talk about it.  Hats off to my dad who I had to call quickly and in tears since he and my mom had already flown out.  That man didn't ask a question but just laughed off my brief conversation saying they would be there when we arrived!)  Somewhere along the planning stages I started looking at the arrival time of the plane as the departure time.  Yup, it was all me.  I made a huge mistake that cost us some money and two 18 hour drives.  I didn't realize it until the plane had already left.  Kudos to Jeff for never once saying one word or making one scoff to make me feel bad or place blame.  I really don't deserve that man.  I seem to be surrounded by the best men that this planet has to offer.  Within an hour of discovering my mistake we were in the van and headed to Florida. 

It was a long drive.  The kids did remarkably well.  I am glad that Mae was only four cause this took place on her birthday and an older child would have been a bit bummed to spend the day in the car when they were expecting a day at Disney world.  She was more then rewarded as the week turned into a birthday week.  If Jeff and I weren't such wusses we probably could have made the trip in one day, but neither Jeff nor I are night drivers.  Despite that we made good time and the kids behaved beautifully.  I also get to add Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi to my states visited list. 

Trip observations:  Memphis is a nasty looking city and I hope to never go there again.  The Mississippi river seemed a lot smaller then I remember as a teenager, or perhaps it is smaller down south then in Illinois.  Cotton Fields are awesome!  They are so surreal and it was one of those I'm in the South moments.  The bugs in the panhandle of Florida were so bad it was like a plague of locusts.  Some are permanently smashed into the front bumper of out car that no amount of cleaning has been able to get out 4 months later! 

We arrived late the next afternoon and spent a few hours at Disney world with my parents.  The hotel was a dream come true, but I'll talk about that in the next post.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Crossing the Line

Okay so I promised the trip recap, but I don't have time right now.  But it took me a lot of effort to get my butt downstairs, find the secret password to Jeff's new computer and get on blogger so I thought I'd share a tidbit to tide you over til tomorrow. 

I think it is safe to say there are lines we just wont allow ourselves to cross for one reason or another.  My mom wont go anywhere without makeup on.  I have a friend who refuses to wear flip flops.  Well I really want to cross one of my lines.  I really want to buy a shower chair.  Like a medical, sick person, I cant stand on my own in the shower chair.  A little background as to what has gotten me to this pathetic point. 

1.  being the youngest of three girls often living with one bathroom, I always had to shower at night.  I found this to also be convenient with roommates that by the time I got married it was habit.  I like showering at night.  It is a nice way to relax from the day, and the bed seems extra nice sliding into it all clean, (and since moving to a more humid climate going to bed with wet hair really only helps it curl.) 

2.  Our current house has three bathrooms but none of them will work for taking a straight up bath.  All three have tubs, but each has a problem.  The master bath is a huge cast iron whirlpool that doesn't work, so I cant clean out the pipes.  That creeps me out enough just showering in it, I can't imagine filling it all the way up.  The other two tubs are small and positioned in the bathroom so that the far end of the tub, (the side where my head would go,)  is right next to the toilet.  RIGHT NEXT TO IT.  So no relaxing baths for me.

3.  The older I get, and more children I have, the more tired I am at the end of the day.  I still like showering at night, but now some days I find it hard to stand up. 

But can I really get myself a shower chair?  Is that just too pathetic?  Is it straight from there to the wheelie carts at Walmart?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

One More Before the Trip

Before I begin the long recap of our trip, I decided to give Mae's update so it doesn't get lost.  Miss Mae is now 4!  What a difference a year makes.  The speech therapy has made a huge difference over this past year.  We can understand Mae and she is now just working on some pronunciation problems.  Mae started preschool this year once a week and loves going, it helps that her two best friends also attend.  She gets two days a week of therapy so we are pretty busy during the week.  I have signed her up for a pre-tumbling class at the fitness center that starts next week.  I want to have her in dance classes of some sort, but between the money and scheduling nothing seems to work right now.  She would look so cute in a leotard.  She is a nasty picky eater and lives on a diet of go-gurts, eggo waffles, and peanut butter sandwiches.  Mae loves to draw which I'm thrilled about.  Kids art is my favorite so I encourage her stick people in all mediums as much as possible.  As an American girl she loves the Disney Princesses.  Rapunzel and Tiana are usually her favorites.  I really don't have a problem with this princess obsession.  The only thing that bothers me is when clothes or shows refer to girls as princesses as a sassy personality.  I say she can pretend to be a specific princess just not act like a spoiled princess herself.  (A slight aside- I have recently acquired a big dislike of Belle.  Have you listened to the opening lyrics of that movie?  Little town full of little people.  Man what a condescending cow!) Anyway, Mae is such a loving girl.  Hugs and kisses for everyone.  (except Spike.)  She also knows how to work a situation to her advantage by turning up the charm.  Her pretty please is just ridiculously adorable and hard to resist.  Messier then Max, and less obedient, I am a bit worried about how to keep her from becoming a slob.  We have a new job chart that has worked wonders for the last two days, but I worry it won't last long.  I am so glad I have this adorable cutie-pie bubbles.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Other Entry

In August Max turned seven.  I almost can't wrap my head around this.  Last year was all about getting used to him being in school and this year I am in awe that is no longer a little kid.  I think part of the reason this is so odd to me is because he is still such a good kid.  Max is sweet, kind, and super well behaved.  He cleans his room, does his chores, and helps out with this siblings all with minimal asking.  About a month before we went to Disneyworld Max decided he was into Pirates.  I was thrilled by this turn of events.  Score, they just happen to have pirates at Disneyworld!  This made the trip, (post coming soon,)  all the more enjoyable.  A few days ago Jeff pointed out how everyone likes Max, but that Max isn't the kind of kid to have super best friends.  Max will play well with anyone and is pretty easy going about his company.  I quickly pointed out to Jeff how while that was true, it basically described himself.  I'm not sure if that is a learned behavior or genetics.  I love that Max can read.  Its so much fun to have a reader.  He still plays a lot of video games, but he still bounces in place while playing them.  Yesterday afternoon I had to stop him because he was sweating heavily and out of breath.  Max is such and amazing kid that we are lucky to have in our family.

Two for Tuesday

And for a two year old.  Spikey turned two at the end of June.  We took the kids to a large water park in Branson for the big day.  We're not sure if it was the two hour drive, the heat, or the chaos of the park, but Spikey was done after twenty minuets and threw a nice big two year old tantrum.  Jeff was lovely enough to take him and wait in the car for another hour so I could take the other two kids to the wave pool and on a big family slide.  We had just driven two hours and the other kids didn't want to go home.
   For a few months I was a bit worried that he would have the same speech problems as Mae, but I can say now that isn't the case.  He has a much larger vocabulary then Mae had at his age.  He has this funny way of talking where he physically spits out his words like he's almost choking on them.  It makes everything he says sound urgent and aggressive. He has a scary addiction to Diet Coke and is always bogarting my drinks.  We had to move his car seat to the back of the van because when he would see us reaching for our drinks he would whine and fuss til he got some.  He also likes salad which is really weird for a toddler.  He is the spitting image of my dad, which is odd since I never thought I looked much like him myself.  Spike loves all things buses.  He loves watching Max get on the school bus every morning and waves adorably to the bus driver.  He gets excited when he sees different busses around town.  Spike has a dog from build a bear that is his soul mate.  He loves that dog and rubs the tail between two fingers to calm himself.  It is a cute nervous tick.  Sadly his favorite show is the insufferable Super Why!  I hate that show.  Spike has begun to potty train himself.  I really need to bare down and get this thing done, cause he keeps taking off his diaper.  I hope that it will go faster then it did with Max.   He loves Max and they are adorable when they play together.  There isn't much affection between Spike and Mae, but he is always there to get her a bunny when she is in need.  I love my squishy Spike.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Greatest Primary Talk Ever Given

      I love Mae.  Yesterday was her first talk in Junior Primary.  We were kindly given ample notice, honestly to the point where I was almost expecting a limo to pick her up, (but seriously I do appreciate the effort of our new primary regime.)  I have no idea what the topic was supposed to be cause she's three and rarely says more then two connecting sentences on any topic.  I figured I would go up with her and whisper some platitudes to her; i.e.  I love my family, I love my Father in Heaven, I love Primary.
     Things started off pretty good.  She sat up front swinging her feet and looking adorable in her smocked sundress with fluffy under slip and white patented leather shoes.  When it was her time to talk she hopped up and grabbed the mike.  She was disappointed that I was there to help and told me to sit down.  She then proceeded to talk about how she loved her new necklace.  She said that a couple times and when I tried to get her more on topic she snapped no and pushed me back.  With death grip on the mike, she mentioned her necklace a few more times then branched off on to how she loves her mom.  Yeah!  I thought we were now headed somewhere good.  She followed that up with how she doesn't like her dad right now.  Hmmmmm not sure where that came from.  As far as Jeff and I could think they hadn't had any negative interactions that morning.  I tried to get her to finish up at this point with an amen and she yelled at me again.  At this point things got ugly and I had to pry her away from the podium trying very hard not to break the microphone.  I got her off and hauled her screaming butt out of the room.

 Lessons learned from this talk;  Maybe try some sort of practice next time.  Don't let Mae near a microphone.