Thursday, February 4, 2016

Mish mash.

Several times recently I've opened up a new blog entry to start writing and nothing comes out. I have a desire to write and share and think and reflect but then... nothing. I've said it before but sometimes blogging feels silly. Like, why am I writing this? What use it is now or ever? And what is so fascinating or important about my life that I feel the need to share it? And then I read a friends blog or something they've shared about their own life and I enjoy reading it so much. So I write incase someone else enjoys it and hope that I enjoy it in the process.

What's everyone reading or planning to read this year? I don't remember the last time I read a book or what it was. I know Tony and I committed to reading the Harry Potter series last year (again for me but for the first time for Tony) and around the time we started really planning our Disney trip was the time we stopped reading. Tony made it to book 2 and I made it to book 4. Usually I can't put those books down! I'm sure we'll pick up where we left off in a couple weeks.

The first book I plan to read this year is Howl's Moving Castle. I have it waiting for me at the library but keep forgetting to pick it up! I watched bits and pieces of the movie with Presley - which I really enjoyed - but I kept feeling like there were explanations on so many things that I was somehow missing. I read a review of the movie in which someone said the book was really a companion piece to the movie and without reading it you wouldn't get the entire picture. I'm excited to read it and then to also finish the movie.

I also really want to read Room after hearing great things about it. I started reading Paper Towns several weeks ago and never finished... I'd like to read that one soonish. I'd still like to read The Opposite of Loneliness that I meant to read last year and never did. I started Wild sometime last year and never got fully invested... so I'd like to give that one another try.

This month my oldest baby will turn four. The one who - at the time - felt like she would always be in a baby stage. And now there is nothing baby left about her. I don't even like the baby phase very much!!! It's a lot of diaper changes, little sleep, crying, and lots of messes. Then why is it so difficult for me that Presley is getting older? We signed her up for preschool last week. So many feelings. She is so ready to go to school and craves that social interaction. She can't wait to go to school with her backpack and get to meet new friends. But for me, it is so hard for me to let go. It'll more than likely just be a two day a week gig... but still. Most days I would LOVE for a little more "me" time - so why does sending her to preschool feel so sad for me?


I mean, this is the beginning of it all. After she starts preschool, she will start elementary school. And then she's gone all day five days a week and I will have to trust her to strangers. I will have to accept that she could get hurt. Or sick. Or bullied. That is hard for me. It's easy for me to think about the things she will gain from school - she will love it. But the fact that I won't be there to protect her or experience life right next to her feels very unnatural to me. When we were in the thick of the baby stage I could not wait until I could send her off to daycare and get a job or the days where she would be in school all day. And now it's terrifying! Maybe it'll all feel different once she gets started in school. Most of this could just be fear of the unknown at the moment.

I'd love to hear from parents who felt the same before sending their kids to school or who chose to homeschool. What has having school aged children been like for you?

I forgot to write about meeting our newest niece, Claire! It was nice to spend some time with the Carrico family and to see baby Claire. Both girls absolutely adore her and still talk about her. Anne Marie and Matthew are the best older siblings, too!!! And of course, I didn't get a single picture of Matthew from the trip. Poor middle kid! You'd think as a middle child myself I would be more conscious about that!!!!








Other than the upcoming birthday, not a whole lot is on our agenda. Muddling through this winter at the moment seems like my main goal. And coffee. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

WDW Day Four: Ohana, EPCOT, & Magic Kingdom

Sorry for the unexpected lapse of time since my last Disney post... I totally lost steam when it came to chronicling the trip. It's WAY less fun writing about the trip as it was experiencing it all!

So, onto our beautiful fourth day at Walt Disney World! We woke up at the Caribbean Beach Resort, got ready, and headed to the Polynesian Village Resort for a 10:30am breakfast reservation at 'Ohana! None of us had been to 'Ohana and it was on my Disney Bucket List of places to eat so I was REALLY looking forward to this meal. I had heard such great thing about the restaurant in general, about the amazing breakfast spread, and also about the fun character interaction and let me happily tell you that none of it disappointed!!! It's also so fun visiting the monorail resorts - both for their beauty and for the fun monorail rides.










The character interaction at 'Ohana is with Mickey, Pluto, Lilo, and Stitch and they're decked out in Hawaiian wear. Knowing this ahead of time, I brought leis and a grass skirt for Presley (all bought from the Dollar Tree in the summertime) and I'm so glad we did. Disney is the best place to go all-out in celebration for every.single.exciting.thing!








But first, we got seated at our table. They brought out some truly delicious breads - a pineapple bread and a raisin bread. I couldn't pick a favorite between the two if I tried! Both were SO delicious. Oh and the POG/Stitch Juice... YUUUUM! POG is passionfruit/orange/guava juice and I am usually NOT a juice person at all and it was sincerely one of my favorite things about the entire meal. They also brought out a nice assortment of fruits that all of us loved. After that it was a gigantic platter of scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, sausage, bacon and most importantly Stitch and Mickey waffles! Presley wasn't a fan of the Mickey waffles but she LOVED the Stitch waffles! (Yep... same thing, different shape! Of course they taste totally different...)





During  your meal the characters will come around and visit with you. It wasn't just the kids getting so excited before each character that would come to visit - all of us were excited! Stitch was just about the best character interaction we had our entire Disney vacation. He came up behind Presley and gave her a huge bear hug and usually something like that would completely freak Presley out but she rolled with it and handled it SO GREAT! She was just tickled to meet Stitch and he even licked her face! So so so much fun. After the meal all the kids got in a line to dance around the restaurant while shaking maracas. I jumped in line with Presley and that was something we both really enjoyed! We also visited the gift shop at the Polynesian Village Resort and got some postcards and stamps (and goofed off a bit) before hopping on the monorail and heading to EPCOT!

One of the first things we did at EPCOT was split up. I stayed behind to wait in line to meet Baymax while everybody else headed to the Seas pavilion to ride the Nemo ride again (the girls LOVED it). They headed back over in perfect time to meet Baymax! It was awesome to meet him but he was a less memorable experience only because there wasn't much interaction there. I bet that's a hard job for the cast member there!!! I'm so so glad we met him as we really love Big Hero 6!


We hung out at the Land and Seas pavilions for a good chunk of the day (Living with the Land was one of the favorites for us) and decided to have a late lunch at Sunshine Seasons - which is a big food court inside the Land Pavilion. Molly fell asleep on Tony during the Living with the Land ride and he accidentally left his phone on the boat ride so we ran back over real quick once we realized he forgot it! Thankfully one of the cast members grabbed it! Molly continued her nap on the comfy booth seat while we rested and ate some really good Salmon. Presley had mac & cheese... big surprise... and Selena and Mike got some kind of tuna dish! The food at Sunshine Seasons is fantastic and you have so much to choose from! Tony and I stumbled upon it on our honeymoon and had no idea it was such a delicious place to eat, especially for a quick service restaurant!










After that Tony, Selena, and Mike went to ride the Test Track ride and I took the girls to walk around since they were too little for the ride. We wanted the girls to pick out some kind-of souvenir while we were at WDW so this was the perfect time. Molly got a little Elsa doll and Presley got the matching Anna doll. We didn't have much else to do at EPCOT and Selena and Mike were heading to Animal Kingdom Resort for a date night dinner at Sanaa - so we all headed out of the park. Tony, the girls, and I decided to hop on the monorail and head to Magic Kingdom.





We rode the railroad all around the park - which was really beautiful and fun - and the girls got stickers from the conductor (who was right behind us) after they made it around the whole park. He told us it was for them being so well behaved! It's always such a great feeling to hear that!



The park was closing early that evening at 7pm for a special event (Mickey's Very Merry Christmas) so we didn't spend an awful long time at the park. We did have a late dinner at Pinocchio Village Haus since it was one of the only Quick Service restaurants that was still open. I hadn't heard many good food reviews from Pinocchio Haus but one redeeming quality is that if you get a window seat in the restaurant you have a view of the It's a Small World boat ride entrance! Which thankfully my amazing husband scored us a window seat! So that was REALLY neat. Tony and the girls hung out at the table while I went to get us some food. While I was gone, Tony was teaching the girls to wave to the people riding the boats and it was adorable!!




I got three meals and we all shared - two flatbreads (one pepperoni and one caprese), two side salads, tomato basil soup, and chicken parmesan. If we ever came back here it'd be for the nice view and pretty restaurant, definitely not for the food. It wasn't terrible but it really wasn't great. The best thing here was the chocolate cake that we had for dessert. SOOO yummy! Then we headed back to the Caribbean Beach Resort to call it an early night.



Selena and Mike were down at the food court so once we got to our room we grabbed our refillable mugs and hiked over there to hang out with them. We were surprised to peek in on our room and see that Mousekeeping decorated the room with the girls stuffed animals and blanket! It's the little things like this that make a Disney vacation full of so much magic!




We played around at the arcade for a bit, hung out at the food court, and then headed back to our rooms and ended the evening pretty late, again! Presley ended up falling asleep before we even did their bedtime routine and when I started nursing Molly before her bedtime she fell asleep on me!! Which never happens. So they were both SUPER tuckered out!





And that's it for day four! It was pretty broad strokes for this post because I'm having a hard time remembering what we rode or experienced in specifics since it's been a while now since our vacation! But overall, that's the gist of what we did. It was another fantastic day that I'm so glad to have experienced with my family. Coming up for day five is another day at Magic Kingdom and some really wonderful foodie experiences! So hang in there ;)

To recap, here are the posts on our first and second and third days at Disney!


Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 Goals

I know, I know... it's so cliche to end the year/begin a new year by making lists and setting goals. But I can't help but get swept away in the nostalgia that the New Years holiday brings. So, here we go.


  • Save. Is this not on anyone else's list for the upcoming year? Anybody have "spend" on their list instead? I guess since nearly ever other bullet point on my list will require spending money, maybe it's good to include saving in just one. 
  • Eat out less. One, because it's healthier to eat from home. Two, because... saving money.
  • Start and finish two major projects around the house. The ones I'm reaching for at the moment: adding shoe boards to most of the house and staining a whole lots of cabinets (two bathrooms worth and a whole lotta kitchen cabinets). I'd like to add more projects to get done, but realistically, I'm just gonna stick with these two and hope we can get them done!
  • ZUMBA. I have to get back out there and be active this year... have. to. And I've been missing Zumba for years. So. It's time. I'm hoping to make it to classes twice every week.  I've got a membership through my insurance that includes all kinds of local gyms so now it's just a matter of making it to one. And if you live in town and happen to be looking for a casual workout buddy... I might be your person!
  • Preschool for Presley. How do you even begin this one?! And how is it already time for this? Just accepting that as an impending reality kinda breaks my heart a bit. Sending her out into the real world!!! Okay, I don't want to think about this so moving on...
  • Get rid of stuff. For starters the stuff we rarely use. And then move on to the stuff we just plain don't need. It always feels good to simplify.
  • Get the Corolla fixed. It's currently sitting and doing nothing just waiting for us to give it some TLC. I don't remember what was the problem with it, but I think multiple things, and mostly we just need to have it towed and diagnosed and go from there. It'd be great if Tony could drive it most of the time because 1) his is a two door and not the most family friendly and the Corolla is a four door and much more family friendly and 2) Tony drives a manual - and I don't know how - so it's impossible for us to swap cars if needed at the moment. Plus, the Corolla is probably a little less safe for the kids to be in full time when compared to the Fit... so even though I would rather drive my Corolla, I think it'd be better to drive the Fit. I don't think the Corolla would require much to get it in good, running shape again, but it's just a matter of doing it and putting in the time and money.
  • Get away. For just a weekend or a couple days. Give Tony and the girls some uninterrupted time together. ;) I'd say a sister trip but I'm not sure Amanda will be up for leaving her new babe anytime soon... so maybe a 2/3 sister trip. Or maybe just a solo trip! Who knows.
  • I'd love to hear that prediabetes is no longer an issue for me. That'd have to be the biggest hope for 2016 for myself right now. I need to start taking it even more seriously than I have been. And I'm sure that diabetes will be a part of my life in some way, shape, or form from here on out. But that also means I need to get better about my diet.
  • Give my family the best of me. Especially my baby girls. Stop wishing the days away! Enjoy the days and moments with them. Try to be happy... because it continues to go by faster and faster.




I feel like there are a million things that have been on my mind lately to keep up with or begin or let go of or change for 2016 but my mind tends to wander these days so this list will have to do for now. I'm sure I'll add things here and there as the year progresses. I'd love to hear what everybody has on their 2016 list. Here's to noticing the beauty this year... to actively stop to smell the roses!