andiamo: January 2014


friday thoughts

1.31.2014

Well well. Hello last day of January. You and your crazy bipolar weather can just wave goodbye to us now please and thank you because summer:

1 - So I hear that the Super Bowl is this Sunday. We haven't really gotten in to my love of sports on the blog but maybe now is a good time. So. Me no like sports. None of them. No Kerri, not even the Olympics, which I'm pretty sure makes me un-American. I hit the jack pot with a husband who is not a fan either. So have fun sports junkies!!! We will be not watching football this Sunday, but probably a gangster movie and enjoying a glass of red. But just for fun and to prove I can pretend with the best of them, I was at one point in my life lucky enough to be in a box at The Meadowlands for a game. A football game. There was a football. See I know sports good.



2 - Mister Torticollis, otherwise known as David, had a little appointment with a neurosurgeon this week. You can read a bit about torticollis here. David was born with it and we followed the correct chains and got him physical therapy and did the stretches, etc. until they decided developmentally, he was a-okay. But that Colbert ear did not improve. His jawline is still crooked, basically only visible to me when we look in a mirror. Strange but true fact. Our pediatrician just wanted to cover her bases and make sure there were no surprises, and try as I might to pretend it was no big deal it was in fact, a big deal. My brain went anywhere from MRI's to surgery to blood work. A very kind doctor came in and blew some bubbles and made D giggle and after a speedy examination deemed him just fine. Hey even the ear might fix itself on it's own. Now that. That's a tiny bit of good news for this mama. This isn't the most drastic of images but you can kind  of see the tilt. The tilt that caused it all.


3 - Wild. It's good. Add it to your read list. She is just phenomenal and my heart breaks for the stuff in her life. Some of the stuff she's been through. Any book that makes me cry a chapter in? Well I am cold-hearted so you know it's good. And I am just so thrilled to be reading something new. Thanks to my brother for the recommendation.
4 - Perusing Bean in Love is motivating me to go against every fiber in my being and try out consignment/thrift stores. I know Sarah has this on lock down but I have never attempted it other than the occasional Halloween costume. So help me my kiwi friend on this new adventure. That will probably take me down the block to the nearest consignment store. Where I will probably spend 45 minutes searching and leave with a cookbook of the Italian variety. Have patience.

5 - Speaking of shopping all of the Frozen merchandise in all of the lands seems to be sold out. Particularly if Elsa is involved. I realize that I am just perpetuating her obsession but it is kind of fun to discover your child's likes and so on. She is just crazy about this movie and the songs and the princesses and yes I just want to feed into that excitement for a little. Because to be honest. Do we as adults love anything as much as a child loves their... whatever it is they love? Take it away Paul Rudd. (Although I must disagree a bit because... their smiling faces make me enjoy just about anything.)


Linking up with these lovely ladies.... and have a great weekend! Uhm. Go team!


THE GOOD LIFE BLOG



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the inner workings of my twisted mind

1.30.2014

The kids have sort of been on the mend and maybe not so infectious lately so we ventured out into the great unknown the prior two days. Firstly we meandered to the Hands on House and then the next day to a local toddler gym. I am, or I was, a solid proponent of the 'wear your kids out' mentality. I changed it to 'was' because, it doesn't work. Not with these two. Trust me when I say that they were even more unruly during the witching hour than if we hadn't left our living room all the live-long-day. The decibel level was up no more than six extra notches at night. But that is not the point of this post. The point of this post is much more random. Which, if we are being honest here, if the post has a point how then can it in fact, be random? Mind blown. 

During the moments when I am out in the wild my mind tends to wander. The children just need to be watched. They are playing well with each other and hell, maybe even another kid. As long as they are at least in my peripheral vision - the brain can go anywhere between a soft white sandy (peaceful) beach with cocktails and these thoughts....

What must it be like to be placed into a three by five by four foot crate to sleep? There really is no way out unless you are quite the Houdini. It's a cage. A cage with a pillow. I'm feeling quite claustrophobic just thinking such a thought. I must look like such a traitor when I place him so unceremoniously inside that thing. Throw some pads on there and it could turn into a panic room.

Why do moms at these things always start a conversation with the 'how old is she/he' question? Is that it? Can't we at least comment on the polar vortex or maybe how cute my kids are? Clearly my eff you face isn't prominent enough today. Focus Laur and try it again. Then I find myself blankly staring at a strange mom and I ask... so, how old is she? 

How often do they disinfect these toys? Is it like Spring cleaning, once a year? Because David has just licked and/or sucked every single faux grocery item in this faux grocery store at least once, if not three times. He's going to get sick. Again. Can I maybe hope that it's monthly? Pass the anti-bacterial gel. Speaking of germs how do hotels disinfect pack n' plays? Do they just spray them all down with Lysol? Inside and out? (Upon reading this Matt informs me that they do not clean them in which case my sweet baby's cheeks shall never press up against another disgusting den of plague ever again!)

I wonder if I look like that mom over there. She is wearing washed out tapered mom jeans and white sneakers ala 1986. Her shirt is tucked in. She is younger than I am that is for certain. Am I there yet? Am I that kind of mom? I didn't even brush my hair this morning. So... yes. Yes I am. I should try to be less judgmental. Add that to my non-existent New Year's resolution list.

Why is no other mother at this gym watching their child? Your kid just ran over my kid's fingers with that trike. Your kid just cut in front of Letty as she was waiting patiently in line for that slide. I will stare you down you rude little two year old with the chatty mother. Do you have any idea how difficult it is for Letty to even wait in line to begin with? Lord help me I'm going to be one of those moms that hovers and gets involved and picks fights for my kids. Just walk away Laur...But where is your mother kid? Because. I'm going to start talking loudly about how we wait patiently and we take turns and I'm SURE if his mother saw him he would have to WAIT just like every other SWEET little boy or girl. 

How long till it is acceptable to leave this wretched place? Thirty minutes? Thirty-three minutes? I can only pretend to pick corn for 2.4 minutes before I start to get glossy-eyed. I'm going to text my mom and see if I can bring her lunch and two little children. Maybe I can convince her that McDonald's is, in fact, on the menu (spoiler alert: success with the kids, failure with the McD's.). 

I really shouldn't come to these places. It just brings out my annoying self-pity (which makes no sense, I am aware). All these pregnant people waddling around with their cute pregnant bellies. Slapping me in the face with those bellies. How will that one do it? 1..2..3 kids and one on the way. Count it.  Will I be able to handle coming to this place if I have three humans? I only have two arms last time I checked. Is there a bar here?





Isn't my brain a fun place? I tend to think so.




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walt disney world with toddlers. a list of tips.

1.29.2014


I am no expert. But I have traversed the madness of Walt Disney World twice before with toddlers and babies. The first visit Letty was 14 months. The second visit Letty was 27 months and David was four months. This time Letty is three and a half and David is 21 months. These are my tips for a successful, less stressful Disney vacation. 


- Pack your own snacks and drinks. Self-contained in their own little pre-packaged goodness. Grab and go. Nothing that requires refrigeration. We normally have the meal plan but this still comes in handy. Kids need snacks. Nothing like a low blood sugar meltdown. 

- Glow sticks. Hit up the Dollar Store and stock up on these bad boys. Just pack them carefully because you don't want them to crack before you need them. These come in handy anywhere it's dark (!). Haunted Mansion. Pirates of the Caribbean. Fireworks. Bus ride back to resort. Etc. It makes them less scared and other kids will have them. Can't have your children being the only ones without a glow stick now can we?

- I have heard the suggestion to pack everything in a clear backpack to ease security check points. I have mixed feelings about this. I've done it both ways. The snacks and drinks we decided on keeping in clear bags that just required a quick glance by security. But our main bag had so much stuff it needed a further search. And all that stuff you require is much more organized in your regular diaper bag than in a clear plastic catch-all type bag. If I find a clear bag with many compartments I would go that route. 

- Rain cover for your stroller. In any way that works for you. In our case I bought many cheap ponchos from the Dollar Store and planned on using them if it rained. If you need a poncho believe me Disney sells them but they are right between ouch and boing on the cost scale. Rather have them and don't need them than the other way around. Trust me. 

- Only bring what you need in to the park each day. Don't bring your whole purse if you just need a credit card and driver's license. Narrow it down to the bare essentials. Keep all important things in one single bag that you'll never leave with the stroller. Camera, cell phones, money, all together. We had a bag that went everywhere with us and the snack and drinks bags were left with the stroller. 

- Mark your stroller. There are a finite amount of strollers made in the world and there will be others just like yours there. Mark yours. I hung a bright blue scarf on ours. Even if you park your stroller in one spot it might not be there when you come back for it. They have stroller parking attendants who organize the mayhem. 

- I have a feeling Letty will be doing the parks by foot this time but that doesn't mean I won't bring the double stroller. Do you have any idea how many miles you'll end up walking each day? It's a lot. Like averaging over ten a day. Girl is going to get tired. Make sure she has a spot to rest her dogs for awhile. 

- Most lists such as these recommend going back to the resort for a "rest" time. This is not one of those lists. I find that idea quite annoying. It's not easy getting the kids, the stroller, the bags on and off the buses. The whole process takes a lot of time and makes me sweat. So far my kids have been good taking stroller naps. Take them to a quieter area of the park or around something less interesting to them. Put your iPhone with a white noise app going near by. Even 20 minutes will be enough to take the edge off. But packing up and leaving the wonder of the parks for a nap? No thank you. 

- Figure out what is a must see for each park. Do those things first thing in any given day. If you have to see Tinkerbell be at the park when it opens and go straight there. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. 

- You're a mom (I'm making an assumption that's why you're still with me) so you know what to pack in your bag. Band-aids. Change of clothes. Diapers. Wipes. Sippy cups or bottles. Snacks. Medications if there are any. But if you forget? It's ok. Each park has everything you need. A baby station if you will. So it may cost as much as your first born but it's good to know you won't be without. 

- Plan outfits ahead of time and put each day's outfit in a ziploc bag. Makes for an easy morning. Socks and hair ties in each bag as well. If daddy dresses you then daddy knows just what bow goes with that outfit. Keep an extra outfit per kid in the bag you'll bring with you to the park. Just in case. Traversing back to the resort for a change of clothes would be such a pain. 

- I realize I'm more OCD than the average individual but I found it was much easier to repack the bag each night. I would put the kids to bed and then wash bottles and cups and refill snacks and diapers so that the next morning we could just breeze right on out the door. Because let's face it. We all are just really excited to get to the park. 

There are literally thousands of tips out there for handling WDW with young kids. What are your tips and tricks?



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the romantic equivalent of a nightlight

1.28.2014

The above is a line from one of my favorite movies, Bed of Roses. And this post is about how I am so very unthoughtful. Because, to quote the movie once more, "it wouldn't have occurred to me. "


That sounds like a cop out. And I suppose it is. I have to make a conscious effort to do thoughtful things. I have to sit and ponder what a thoughtful person would do. It simply doesn't occur naturally. I don't think to myself, self, it's been awhile since you've heard from _____ and maybe you should text them. Nope. Sending greeting cards? What is that? A note expressing condolences or just thinking of you? Touching base to ask about something important in the other person's life? I'm telling you. It just does not occur to me. And it never has. 

This situation has gotten all the more difficult for me since the arrival of children. My brain is scattered. My thoughts go with the wind. My memory is lost and it is short term. My life, in order to function, requires lists and things planned at regular intervals. I would lose track of the days of the week if it weren't for my cleaning routine. Sounds quite alarming doesn't it? I think it's the result of doing too much. Having kids so close in age. And my iPhone. Not that I mind those things or would even change any. Well maybe the iPhone.

All this to say I'm trying. I try and look through my messages to see how long it's been since I've spoken to a friend. I reread recent conversations to see if there is something I should touch base on. I try and remember. I try and be thoughtful. It probably all comes off as very forced. But I'm trying. 

And lest you think something along the lines of oh but she has time and the mental capacity for this blog? Yeah it's mostly written during one night or two maybe during the week once the kids are asleep. If I don't write it down here it will be lost forever. And once it's written it is most likely promptly forgotten.  Such is my brain. I don't really miss it too much.



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mawnday mawnday...

1.27.2014

So good to me....

Ahem. I'll leave that one to The Mamas and the Papas

Welcome back Monday and welcome back you. In light of the fact that I have nothing really massive and important to add to this space today I'll just relive the weekend. It was a real doozy. Hi, my name is Laurie and I am sarcastic. Bear with me. This might turn into a tome the likes of The Pillars of The Earth. Which, by the way, is 973 pages long. 973!

- Friday David received his second torture session haircut. This time I had to use the entire strength in both of my biceps to restrain him in a generally upright position for optimum hair cuttage. I'm pretty sure he has forgiven both of us. I'm also certain that he aged 6 months in appearances. Thank you Aunt Rhonda for your kind sentiments that "you've seen worse." 

- Letteria Sings. It's the truth. She sings in the tub. She sings while she plays. She sings while she eats. She sings while she watches movies. And she sings in the car. She even sings when she's tired. She has quite the repertoire but lately we have been focusing on our Frozen soundtrack, which, she is addicted to. Please ignore the rogue chocolate milk drips down the side of the car. I can't tell you how long they've been there. But I can say with certainty that it was in the year 2013. Just which half I don't know. Also. We went to Burger King. Because I'm extremely health conscious.


- Saturday night we watched Captain Phillips. Highly intense. The only movie that has stressed me out more is The Impossible, which, my fingers were bloody and ragged for a solid week after that one. I need someone to explain to me why they couldn't give that cargo ship even one gun. One! I certainly hope that now there is another method of pirate repellent available to crew members other than fire hoses. Yes?

- David has been graced with pink eye! This happened to us the exact same month last year. Conjunctivitis swept through here and left no soul untouched. So watch out anyone who has come in contact with us in the last week or so.... don't touch your eyes! Wash your hands! If you have drops use them preventatively! Which is what we will all be doing.

- Sunday night after we returned to Babysitter Central (i.e. my parent's house) from a graduation party we attempted something we haven't attempted since Thanksgiving Night of 2010. Gulp. A. Shower. My kids. In a shower. Sneer if you will but we tried it. Once. She screamed. She was scarred. She cannot and will not shower. However! My parents have a walk-in, multiple shower head shower. It's as big as my closet. My socks came off and my leggings were rolled up and the attempt was made. Who needs a water park? Who needs a pool? Not these kids. My parent's water tank may be empty now but these kid's hearts are filled with joy.  And this mama is just thrilled that she was able to kill a few minutes during the witching hour. Note to self: slippery when wet. Bring crocs for future.


You're still with me? Yes? I'm sure you aren't because you, like me, value your sanity. So thank you mom for putting up with my rambling nonsensical concoction of a post. I promise I'll get my stuff together at some point. Just as soon as I scratch that itch in my right eye.....




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the pit & the peak

1.24.2014

When Jen from That's What She Read first tweeted about this link-up with TOATS my mind instantly went to, where else, a movie.  The Story of Us to be exact. This is a movie my parents enjoy and they used to quote a scene where apparently the main characters ask each other for their "high" and the "low" of each day. And that's what this link-up makes me think of. Because of course you needed to know my every passing thought and whim.

button


So my Pit. And my Peak.

I'll just start out with my pit to get this negativity done with. There could be so many things. The cabin fever that's got me shaking in a corner. Letty's new vocabulary term, freaking. Which I suppose it could be a peak that it's not something worse. The realization that the pair of glasses sitting in the diaper bag since 2009 should probably be worn each and every waking moment. The nasty head cold that snuck up on me. Again. See how easily this being negative thing comes to me? I'll let you in on a secret: it's because I'm a negative person by nature. Anyways. The cold wins. I am mouth breathing as I type this. You've got your visual. Moving on to greener pastures, not of the mucus variety (ew! did I just really type that? Yes. Yes I did.).

My peak! We finally got out of the house and headed toward my parent's for the day yesterday. Letty spent a solid two hours "washing dishes" which is three year old code for playing in soapy water and well. When that was done she was soaked through her top two layers. Thankfully my mother, ever the saver, happened to have a certain gem from my fourth year on the earth:
If you can't tell by the photo quality that would be me on the left, and my Letty on the right of course. After some discussion and searching through photo albums it was decided that I made this in preschool in New York, but that the photo was taken at my grandparent's house in Maine. That I was four. And Letty of course would be 3 and almost a half.


Other things of note? The pageboy haircut was so very much in style in 1987. I apparently wore jeans and turtlenecks even with my tactile issues. I had a very false smile (what else is new). And I loved Fig Newtons. But who doesn't? Whereas Letteria has the most beautiful hair this side of the Susquehanna (just not yesterday, because, play day). She is, as always, in some sort of elastic banded bottoms. She smiles like a champ and poses like models of old.


We both have/had a cute little brother but mine didn't happen to wander on by during the photo shoot like David did. Small until recently forgotten fact: Rob had lightish hair when he was David's age. Perhaps the color is not just Olsen related?




So after all that rambling my peak is this: my mom saved a horrendous shirt I made when I was four for 26 years. My daughter wore the shirt. And Letty asked my mom if I made the shirt for her. As if my four year old self would have had the foresight to make this ugly thing for my future daughter to one day parade around my parent's house in. Good thing I was out of site of Letty. Because such a thought made me get a bit teary-eyed. There were years when I doubted I would ever have a child. Hearing that very child wonder if something was made for her well before I even knew where babies came from.... well it just got to me. My life. That wasn't whole until she was born. My mother had the foresight to save the shirt for my future daughter, knowing someday as mother's often do that I would in fact have one. I sense a tradition starting...

Funny what a simple craft a preschooler made can do to you.




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things I never thought I would do. otherwise known as the joys of motherhood.

1.23.2014

You know being a mom is going to have it's gross moments. You hear about what it does to your body before they are even on the outside. How you lose all sense of humility after such a show that is childbirth. Breast feeding in public? Something I never thought I would do. Much less traumatic than the scene that is birth, these kids just bring a whole lot of other "I can't believe I'm doing this" moments. And yes, I know. I've only just begun. Cue The Carpenters. But I also wouldn't change a single thing. Being a mom is the best thing I've ever been. But it is the grossest. 

Warning: Poop. If you can't handle that you know what to do.


I have been caught red-handed eating something I didn't want to share. A time or two. There was the blank stare. The stopping of the chewing. The awkward swallowing and then the pretending there was nothing to see here. Hoarding my candy? Something I never thought I'd do. Other such things?

Using my shirt to wipe snot off a nose. Or two. 

Wiping a tiney hiney after she uses the potty a half dozen times a day. 

Having two other humans with me while I use the bathroom. Every time. 

Cutting in line in front of 30 people so SOMEONE can use the bathroom. In a port-a-john.

Scarfing down my food so fast I get hiccups. Frequently.

Getting human fecal matter on my hands so often I've lost count. Also: the loss of my gag reflex. 

Repeat the above but on my pants. 

Showering with two humans running amok daily. I guess we live in a naked house. Shudder.

Cleaning food off a restaurant floor to save the poor server that chore. 

Catching throw up IN MY HANDS to protect a carpet. 

Recreating a scene from Dexter in my living room for a sick kid. Projectile vomit is no joke.

Holding a three year old in my arms while she goes to the bathroom. Outside. In the wide open space. 

Excuse me while I go douse myself in anti-bacterial gel. Gag. Oh good! It's back. 





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eleven random answers

1.22.2014

Have you all met Tabitha? She likes hot coffee and warm hugs Disney as much as I do and she's one of my very first real blogging friends. She so kindly nominated me for the Liebster Award which is a great way to find other blogs and so on and so forth. And so thanks to her. She gave me 11 questions and I shall give 11 answers. The rest of it I might sit out on (sorry Tab, blame SAD).


1. What colour do you feel the most fabulous in? Extra points if you don't say black.  I just really like how you spell the word color. The extra 'u' just makes me feel all kinds of fancy. I love turquoise. Teal? This color (especially if I have a tan and I'm standing in Bermuda next to my thin sister):


2. What is the funniest thing you have ever worn? This turkey hat. I rocked it. It was for a turkey trot. I wore it the next year and even won a pumpkin pie for it. 


3. What is your idea of the perfect blate? (Mom a "blate" is when two bloggers meet in real life (which they call IRL) for a date. Or blate. Can you believe blogging is real?) The thought of this gets me all kinds of anxious. Because well. I'm a mean girl. Unintentionally!! But I am. I have a permanent "eff you" written on my forehead. I have to make a point to say, self: smile. So. There are so many wonderful ladies I have "met" through blogging and I would love to meet all of you in real life... But I'm warning you. I come across as a real bitch. Which is where the wine comes in handy. This is an example taken by my sister-in-law. But it's not even a good one because I'm kind of smiling. Normally my resting facial expression is much more menacing.


4. If you could live in the world of your favourite book or movie where would it be? You saucy minx you. With another extra 'u' and a near impossible question. I would love to be a friend to Scarlet O'Hara and wear a giant hoop skirt and be all kinds of dressed up. But not only is Gone With the Wind not a favorite movie of mine there's the whole war/slavery/inequality/lack of air conditioning thing happening. Some of my other favorite books involve dystopian societies and I'm frankly too outspoken to survive there. And just like that the lightbulb turned on! Under the Tuscan Sun. I want to live her (Frances Mayes's not Diane Lane's) life. Soaking up all of Tuscany all while cooking delicious meals and aged wines served to friends and family on your back patio under round bulbed string lights...

5. What is your favourite flavour of ice cream? Double the u! Sorry I'm still in Tuscany. Say what now? Ah. Gelato!!! Caffe. Due. Per favore. From someplace like this:


6. Name your best quality. My insane memory. Insane in the membrane insane. Not with important things. Heavens no those I forget lickedy split. But inane things like song lyrics and movie quotes. I could have ruled the world with that brain power. 

7. What is your guilty pleasure? Wine. And trash tv. I recently exposed my sister-in-law to the glory of Mob Wives. It's so bad it's good. 

8. What is your favourite blog post you have written? Tell us why and leave a link. How does one narrow it down? I'm asking for a friend. I really liked my 30th birthday post but probably just because I had a great 30th birthday. I have a running list of my top favorite posts here if you're interested.

9. If you were to cast a Patronus Charm what would you conjure?
A dolphin!!!! I think they are fantastic creatures. I was such a dolphin fanatic when I was a kid. I had a ring from Hawaii that I spent more money on than I had ever heard of at the time. Plus they can kill sharks with that nose. Bad. Ass. 

10. What is your go to song on your workout/run playlist? Hurricane by 30 Seconds to Mars. If anything is going to make you move your booty faster it's Jared Leto and that amazing voice of his. We kind of love that band.





11. Who is your most embarrassing celebrity crush? Devon Sawa. It first started with Casper and then moved on to Night of the Twisters. By the time of Final Destination I was over it. Clearly my taste has improved with age. See above.

And that was fun. Definitely helped with the aforementioned SAD. It was a way better way to spend David's nap rather than the alternative of sleeping. I need to get out more. The cabin fever. It's making me a bit nuts. Not quite to Jack being a dull boy status.... But... Thankfully I go to my sister's tomorrow. I'm coming for you Beth.



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what i'm looking forward to most in disney

Disney is one of our most favorite destinations. Matt and I would go there just the two of us and love it (have I mentioned that before?). We have gone there just the two of us. It's got something for everyone. Young and old. And it's just so magical. Every time I go there I remember all the times we went as kids and just how amazing an experience it is to visit Disney World. They know what they're doing for sure. In a few short months we'll be headed there once again and we are pretty excited about it. So in anticipation of this impending trip I'll be doing a weekly Disney-related post. If you don't like all things Disney then I am sorry. Wednesdays will be a bit Disney heavy here. Consider yourself warned. The way to avoid this is that little 'X' up there in the corner.



This week....some things we are looking forward to the most....

- Seeing Letty's face as she rounds the corner and sees the castle. And meets Anna and Elsa. And Sofia the First. And goes on a big girl roller coaster.
//her first viewing of the castle on our last visit\\

- Riding Pirates of the Caribbean. It's our favorite ride. Just hearing the soundtrack makes Matt and I giddy. He was a pirate in a prior life.  

- Drinking around the world in Epcot. This really is our favorite. Soarin. Drinks around the world. Repeat. If we can coincide this with nap time that's absolute perfection. More on this later I'm sure.

- David was too little to remember anything from last year, so I'm excited to watch him take it all in. That's the most fun. Watching the joy in your child's eyes.

- Investigating the New Fantasyland. Last time we were there only parts of it open. I also hear you can now get booze there. A first for Magic Kingdom. 

Being that WDW is in Orlando and being that Kerri is also in Orlando of course we're looking forward to a visit with her as well. And she now has a season pass sooo. Yeah. 

Some people get Disney and some don't. I respect you either way. We are a Disney family. Fact. If you are of the Disney-loving variety, what are your favorite things to do?



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