Friday, November 13, 2015


It's nearly Thanksgiving already, but let's talk about Halloween, shall we?

Charley has been talking about what she wanted to be for Halloween since November 1st of last year. Disney princesses were talked about the most often, with Rapunzel obviously leading the pack. We (or, I. John just goes along with it and helps in the crafting.) really like to make Charley's Halloween costumes so I was dreading her choosing a Disney princess this year. We could definitely pull something together, but if you were to lay an actual dress-up princess dress next to one of our creations, she would undoubtedly choose the dress-up dress every time. So I just crossed my fingers things would change before Halloween was here.

At about a month pre-Halloween Charley was still very much leaning towards Rapunzel. I didn't want to tell her she couldn't be that but I was brainstorming ideas on how I could get her to change her own mind. She's very much like her daddy in that if she believes something was her idea she will get enthusiastic and excited about it. Now if it is a suggestion that you make to her, she's resistant. BUT! The way around that (and I have a decade's worth of experience with this thanks to her daddy!) is to plant seeds so you still get the ultimate outcome you want. Don't tell John my secrets. (Hi John!)

So, one day Charley was playing at her desk and I was perusing Pinterest. I typed in "DIY kids costumes" and marveled over some of the ideas. I then invited Charley over to look at the cute costume ideas too. And that's when she spotted Astrid from How To Train Your Dragon.

She LOVES these moves and the Netflix series too. She was sold! It was one of the first ones she saw but she kept coming back to it. Not even this octopus (which would have been my pick!) could sway her.

I was perfectly fine with her choice though. It was very much a DIY costume and it wasn't a Disney princess. (Which she dresses up as every single day of her life.) My tactics worked and she was excited too. In case you aren't familiar (which I don't think anyone at all we saw while trick-or-treating knew who she was), this is how Astrid looks in the movies.


In another interesting turn of events this year, I didn't wait until the absolute last second like in years past. Sure, there were things we still finished up on Halloween day itself, but it wasn't the whole costume that we completed at the last second. All of the sewing parts were done a couple weeks in advance, which John was very thankful about. Things always get a little stressy between us when I inevitably wait until the night before Halloween and I'm rushing him through stuff on the sewing machine. So he and I were both glad to get those parts done early.

So, with Charley being Astrid who is one of the dragon trainers in the movie, it meant Laney needed to be her dragon of course! Astrid's dragon is blue with yellow wings. Not wanting to spend a lot of time or money on a costume for Laney who isn't really trick or treating anyways, I was just going to get a blue zip-up hoodie and sew some yellow wings underneath the arms and add big eyeballs and horns to the hooded part. Done! But, about 10 days before Halloween the blog Hip2Save posted that Wal-mart had a dragon costume for only $5! I didn't like the one she shared, but after perusing around I found a blue dragon costume that even had the yellow wings for only $7. Sold. It wasn't much more than I'd spend on a jacket and supplies.

She had too much cheek to velcro the hat closed.

Back to Charley's costume. So we used a combination of a few different tutorials we found. In addition to the one up there, this one was really helpful too. Mostly everything we did came from something in one of those two tutorials. So, it definitely wasn't our own ideas, but I still think it came out great!


Most importantly, Charley loved it! I loved that it was a little out of character for her to NOT be something super girly and princessy.

We used these supplies:

  • An army green long-sleeved shirt from last year. The sleeves were too short for this year so it was a perfect free shirt to ruin. 
  • denim looking leggings
  • faux leather
  • elastic tape
  • black ink pad for "distressing" the metal spikes a bit
  • green duck fabric
  • 1 sheet of grey fun foam
  • 2 bags of Crayola model magic
  • leather roping
  • 1/8 yard faux fur
  • her regular boots
  • and at the last second we made the shield and axe from cardboard
Charley and I made the spikes from the model magic together. We let those dry overnight and the next day Charley painted all of them silver. While she painted I made the skulls and the "metal" pieces for her headband from the model magic as well. The model magic is very light and takes paint very well. We did have a couple of issues with it though. I must have made my skulls too thin because a couple of them crumbled when I tried to glue them to the skirt or shoulder armor. Luckily I'd made extra though. Also, even though they'd stayed glued onto everything for about a week leading up to Halloween and Charley had tried the stuff on a few times too with no issues, for whatever reason just before we set out to trick or treat, the little spikes started falling off! We used hot glue but they were falling off both the faux leather AND the shoulder armor so I don't think it was an issue with what they were adhered to. Not a huge deal, but something I'll consider if we use the model magic again in the future.

I just used velcro to make the faux fur loops that slipped over her regular boots. The armor on her shoulders was just strips of the grey fun foam held together at both ends by brads. John secured the armor to her shirt, but I think he used another brad through small holes he made in her shirt to get them to stay. It was either that or safety pins. I think we tried both and can't remember what ended up working better. Regardless, they stayed secured all evening, even if some of the spikes were already missing before we even got to our first house to trick or treat!


The weapons were a last minute addition. The shield was a cardboard circle painted black, and I used leftover fun foam to make a border around the edge. I cut a smaller circle to place in the middle and used an extra skull there and extra spikes around the edges. We just made a velcro loop on the back to put around her arm so her hand was freed up for carrying her pumpkin.

The axe was also cut out of cardboard and then painted silver. I used the black ink pad to distress it a bit too. For the handle, I asked John to get one of her dollar store rakes or shovels out of the garage so we could use the handle. I was just going to paint the handle brown or black. Instead, he came in from the garage with the best axe handle ever! He sawed off a piece of a tiki torch we had in the garage that we haven't used in years. It was perfect! He used zip ties to secure the axe head on top and I added the last of the extra spikes on it as well.

The underskirt was triangular pieces of the duck fabric sewed over a piece of elastic. The outerskirt was strips of the faux fur sewed to a belt, and then the belt closed with velcro. I hot glued the skulls and spikes on top.

Also! This costume also consisted of my very first french braid! I get the technique. I know how it is supposed to work. It is my fingers that don't quite get it yet. But they sort of somehow got it together that day! Charley however started whining about it hurting when I got closer to the end so it ended up being a french braid into a ponytail. But still! Not too bad right?!


Laney napped maybe only an hour the whole day of Halloween so she was not having the pictures or especially not the hat part of the costume. So I never did get a good one of both Charley and Laney together. Oh well. I try not to get too bummed when I don't get great pictures. I definitely don't want to spend too much time trying to take good pictures instead of enjoying the moment of which I'm taking pictures. You know?



In the end though, I was pretty darn proud of Charley's costume! Can't wait to see what we will do for next year! Even if Charley starts refusing our homemade costumes, I'll still have Laney to do with as I please. Perhaps she'll make a good octopus next year!



And finally, a couple weeks prior to Halloween the owner of the company for which I work sent out an email asking us to dress up for Halloween in the office on October 30th if we'd like. Also mentioned that there would be prizes for the top 3. A few days prior to the 30th I started asking around to see who was going to dress up and I wasn't sensing a whole lot of participation. I decided my chances to win something the costume contest were pretty good and so I tried to think of something to throw together really quickly. Tuesday evening while perusing my closet for something anything to pop out at me I figured it out. I threw together a couple of black/white striped pieces, a longer black cardigan, boots and tights and became the Hamburglar. 


I purchased the red tie from Goodwill and the black mask from Michael's. I borrowed the hat from my niece and used felt and ribbon to make the rest. It cost me around $6. And as I suspected, there were only 8 participants in the costume contest, so yours truly brought home first place! 

I won dinner for John and I at a place of our choosing. So tonight we are cashing in on that offer and going to Melting Pot. I know I should have chosen McDonald's for our dinner for giving me the easy costume idea, but another time, Ronald and pals, another time. I'm super excited to have a dinner date at a place that is most known for their DESSERT. My mouth is watering at the thought of it!

Anyway, the good candy from our kid's candy loot has all been consumed and our thoughts are no longer on Halloween but focused on Thanksgiving (who am I kidding) Christmas. Bring on the holidays! My little crafty self goes into overdrive this time of year and I'm feeling pretty trigger happy with my glue gun. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Just Me & Charley

Saturday was yet ANOTHER rainy weekend day here. I feel really bad for any of the fall festival type businesses in our area this year as almost every weekend so far this fall has been rainy. So, when we woke up to yet another rainy day I knew we wouldn't be able to stay in the house all day and an outing would be necessary.

In an effort to not spend much money I decided our outing would consist of these stops:

A trip to the library to return books and check out new ones

A stop at Barnes & Noble to use a birthday gift card (we don't have one super close so it's always a special trip to be able to go spend it)

A visit to Toys R Us so Charley could find ideas for her Santa list

While getting ourselves ready Laney was pretty tired and was getting fussy so I decided I'd nurse her and put her down for a nap and just take Charley out instead. It's much easier to just take Charley and she appreciates the one on one time too. Laney hasn't been the greatest napper for us at home lately so I wasn't sure how it would go for John. But I was able to get her down and get myself ready and we were out of the door around 12:30.

Our first stop ended up being the gas station a couple miles from our house. While I'm about to pull out of the gas station I get a text from John.


Good grief. That nap lasted for all of twenty minutes. LANEY!! I call John back and ask if he wanted me to come back and get her so he could continue working on his project at home and he told me no and to just go ahead and he'd take care of her. So onward we went.

When we got close to the area where the Barnes & Noble and Toys R Us were located (they are right across the street from each other and by a shopping mall) I noticed that we were not the only ones that decided to shop today. Apparently the whole city had cabin fever and the exit ramp was backed up to the interstate. Luckily I knew a shortcut through a neighborhood so I skipped that traffic and went to the next exit.

We were just about to our first stop of Toys R Us when Charley tells me she may be getting carsick. She tends to feel that way when she gets hungry and we are in the car (obvs!). I asked her right before we left home if she wanted lunch and she declined (she slept until 9:00 that morning so we had a late breakfast & I believed her lunch would be later too). Change of plans. The Barnes & Noble is actually attached to the mall food court so I told her to hold it together for a couple more minutes and we'd get lunch first.

Why yes. She is wearing a character shirt that has WORDS on it. My sister is very generous and bought this for her and laughed all the way to the register, I'm sure. :P

Whew. Crisis averted.

So after lunch in a very busy food court we moseyed on over to the bookstore. 

Charley ended up choosing Uni The Unicorn. A good choice for her (unicorn lover) and for me (not too long!). As we walked by the Barnes & Noble snack bar she asked for a treat & I just couldn't tell her no. Plus, do you see these smiles? Totally worth it.


After we ate our treats (of course I had one too) we hopped back in the car to go to Toys R Us. We only come here once or twice a year to get ideas for Christmas or birthdays. It's further than I usually drive and let's be real - I do almost all of my shopping online and normally they just cannot compete with prices online. But I knew we wouldn't be getting out of the store without buying something so I told her if she was good she could pick out something small.


We had a lot of fun wandering around and oohing and ahhing over all of the things she'd love to have. I opted to take pictures of things she wanted to ask for so she'd remember what to write on her list when she got home. Or, so SANTA would be able to add these to the Amazon wish list and not forget about them.


Once she'd visited the very pink rows several times each and was sure she'd seen it all, she then began to look for something small to buy that day. Of course, nothing small is at kid eye level so everything she asked for was out of the budget I'd set in my head of ~$15. Finally though she found something that she really wanted. She's been really into Scooby Doo lately and although it was priced at $20 & therefore a little over budget, they were action figures that I knew she'd get a lot of play time out of so I agreed.


She played with these things ALL WEEKEND. And she turned her Shopkins ice cream truck into a Scooby Doo Mystery Van which I thought was pretty creative, too. I checked the price on Amazon once we got home and was very pleased to see the action figures were the same price on Amazon as they were in the store.

After we left the store she had no interest in going to the library any more. "My feet are so tired, Mama." so we headed home. Laney was napping, John was happy & project-ing, and Charley and I were happy too.

Take that dreary, rainy Saturday! If only we could do something about this dreary, rainy Monday now.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Week In Review

This is for the week of November 1-7.


The highs of the week were:

Some friend time on Friday night.
A really great Charley/Mama outing Saturday which is getting a blog post all its own.
Two free lunches at work. I mean, it doesn't take much to make me happy & free food is an easy way to do so.
Securing someone to do the next step in finishing the basement. (Sheet rock hanging/mudding/sanding/finishing)

The lows of the week were:

Working until 8:40 p.m. Friday night. 

The best money I spent was on:

A couple of Stitch Fix pieces. Got some really great jeans from my actual fix, and then a shirt from a Stitch Fix Buy/Sell/Trade page that I really love.

The book I am currently reading is:

Still not reading. Unless you count Uni the Unicorn which was last night's bedtime story.

The TV shows I watched were:

Monday Night Football, Survivor, Amazing Race & Dateline


The meals we had were:

(This is indicative of the crazy/on the go/unprepared week we had)
Sunday: Steak/mashed potatoes/green beans 
Monday: Pizza Hut at the Target snack bar for Charley and I (I fed Laney some veggies while we ate too) and John ate at his Monday Night Football game tailgate. 
Tuesday: Out at Hubee D's - a local place that has chicken & wings
Wednesday:  Take-out pizza from the place John where got a couple happy hour beers
Thursday: Chicken Alfredo
Friday: I'm not sure what they ate since I worked so late. I think my parent's fed Charley and John ate some leftovers. I ended up eating the last slice of pizza from Wednesday around 10 p.m. that night.
Saturday: Fiesta Chicken (one of our favorite crock pot meals) 

My favorite picture from the week was:

Don't worry I took the rubber bands off her arm soon after the picture was taken.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Laney: 6 Months

This whole second child thing speeds up the aging/growing process to WARP SPEED. 6 months already when I still feel like I have a newborn! What the what?! I remember reading other moms say this before I had baby number 2, so basically I'm just saying I get it and I agree.

So, 6 months!


This month brought a lot of firsts. First time....

sitting unassisted
flying on a plane
reaching to be held
going to Disney
getting sick (colds & croup)
spending a night away from Mama
trying formula
swimming in a pool


It was another good month for little miss Laney bug.

She's still sleeping great overall, but is not as consistent as Charley was. She will have a random wake-up in the middle of the night which always makes me think we aren't feeding her enough during the day. Hence us starting solids last month. And then just last night she woke at 4 to nurse so today I sent solids to my sister's house to add on another meal during the day. Ha! Not sure if that is really the issue but the answer is always: MORE FOOD. Maybe that is my personal problem too.


Naps are still the same. Wonderful at my sister's, not so much at home. (Very similar to Charley! Assuming this is another ME problem. I should just let my sister adopt them!) On Halloween she napped for a whopping ONE hour the whole day. She usually gets 4+. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but at least she's with my sister for 5 days versus me for just 2.

So, solids. We don't do the whole baby-led weaning thing so we are doing purees right now. I've even given her (GASP!) oatmeal cereal. [Apparently some people feel strongly against baby cereal these days. Most of them also feel strongly against buying baby food so obviously I'm not in their camp. Mama ain't go no time to be making baby food.] Anyways, oatmeal was what we started Charley with to get some practice with the spoon and fill up her little belly more, so I bought a box to give Laney sometimes as well. It is much easier to throw a veggie or fruit pouch and a spoon and a bib in a bag though so she gets purees more often. Regardless, she's doing really well with them and has only turned her nose up at pears so far. Loves any of the orangey ones best: sweet potatoes, carrots, mangoes.


She is sitting up so well and is even learning to fall more gently. She's had a few head bonking falls too and a few of those were my fault. Either reacting too slow or trusting her new abilities too much. But my goodness I cannot wait to sit her and her sister in front of the Christmas tree and take their picture. I think that was the thing I was most giddy about when she started sitting up a few weeks ago. Hopefully the timing will work out where she is still not very mobile so I can just sit her there and snap pictures to my heart's content! But she may surprise me and start crawling soon. Charley was closer to 9 months before she crawled.


Bring out the baby toys. She's really enjoying toys now and tends to love blocks (which are harder for her to grasp and get in her mouth but she still loves them) and anything with a tag the best. She is very content to plop her in the floor with toys all around and just play. And toys are still new and interesting enough that just handing her one when she gets fussy in the car or on the changing table will calm her down instantly.


At her sick visit 2 weeks ago she was weighed and was around 15 pounds. I'll get an official measurement at her well appointment next week but I can definitely tell our time with the infant seat is ending soon. I am still finishing up the last of the size 2 diapers but she is ready for size 3. She is solidly in 6-9 month or 6-12 month clothing and I need to go ahead and take the 3-6 month out of her drawers.

In the comparison department, Charley was still about a pound smaller than Laney at the same age. She was scooting and rolling both ways (I still haven't seen Laney roll belly to back) and had her first two teeth pop through right at 6 months old. No signs of teeth yet for Laney, but she is sitting up already which is a little sooner than Charley. They both have been pretty attached to Mama at this age. No complaints about that at all. I think they are not looking as much alike these days, either.

Laney, Charley

I am still pumping twice a day at work (down from three times a day) and our frozen stash will be all used up this week. So that means next week 2/3 of her daily milk will still come from me pumping, and 1/3 will be formula. She tried formula this past month but didn't take much before she refused it, so we will have to work on her acquired taste for it over the weekend.

She can be a very serious baby at times!
Charley is truly a great big sister so far as I knew she would be. She constantly talks about how she cannot wait until she is old enough to play with her. I think that is coming very soon so I hope she doesn't change her mind when she's got to start sharing!


6 months have gone by in a flash! Love you Laney Beth!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015



We recently got back from our short little trip to Disney and it pains me to say it wasn't as magical as we were hoping. Gah. That's not to say we didn't have fun because we did. But it just wasn't as good as it could have been.

Let me give you some of our Disney background to start. We are not first time Disney goers. We've done Disney many times and most of those times were just day trips while we were vacationing in Daytona. Those didn't take much planning at all except maybe scoping out a crowd calendar to pick which day we wanted to go during our week vacation. We would choose some Fast Passes once we got there and that was it for planning. We had also found that going around noon and staying until the park closed was so much better for us - the mornings were always the worst for crowds. So of course, I threw all of those tried and true tips out of the window for this trip. THIS trip was going to be different because I picked a slower time of year and we were staying in a Disney resort.

About a month before the trip was here I realized that my plan to go when the park was not crowded may not be what I was hoping. I had chosen Columbus Day weekend without knowing because that wasn't a day that any of us had off of work or school or anything. But, government and bank jobs and many schools around the country DID have that day off which would make the parks more crowded than another random October weekend would have been. Ugh. (Spoiler alert - the parks WERE way more crowded. Boo.)

Around 6:00 a.m. on the morning of our flight to Orlando, Charley woke up and came into our room. She was burning up, sweating, and just weepy. We took her temperature and she had a fever of 102.6. We gave her ibuprofen and let her go back to sleep. Our flight wasn't until 11:00 so she had time to get a couple more hours of sleep. I, however, could not go back to sleep. I started consulting Dr. Google and looking up information on if we needed to change our flights and our reservations to another weekend. I didn't know what we were going to do.

A couple hours later when everyone was now awake we made the decision to go ahead and go. Charley's fever was down to 99 degrees with the help of the meds and she seemed happy again. She really didn't have any other symptoms other than fever so I figured she probably just had a virus and it was on it's way out. I had already looked up information on the Disney Urgent Care in case we needed it. We also had nothing planned for that day except maybe going out to dinner at Downtown Disney which we could easily scrap so Charley could get more rest before heading to the park the next day. And off we went.


My parents also came with us and we all got to Disney with no trouble at all. Both girls were great travelers and Charley was happy.

On Disney's Magical Express bus - so convenient. So magical!

We got to our hotel around 2 and had a late lunch. Charley didn't eat much but we chalked it up to her still recovering. We also decided against going out to dinner and decided some time at the pool and an early night was a better plan. John's aunt who lives pretty close to Disney came and joined us at the pool (originally she was going to meet us out for dinner) and Charley had a blast playing with her. I'm not a pool person so Charley was so glad to have someone that would play with her in the pool as long as she wanted.

Oh - I also discovered I had lost my driver's license and about $12 in cash that I had hastily stuffed in my pocket at the airport. My pockets were rather shallow and I was sure I either lost them on the Disney bus from the airport to hotel or on the airplane, so both places had to be contacted so I could maybe get that back in time for our return flight home.

We were all in bed by 9:00 that night.

The next morning Charley woke up and didn't have much of a fever at all! Yay!! In fact, some of her spunk was back as she REFUSED the super cute Minnie Mouse tee and red shorts I had planned for the day. Oh well. Pick your battles and such.

The plan was Magic Kingdom for the day which opened at 9:00 a.m. We had never seen the opening ceremony that began at 8:40 a.m. so the plan was to quickly get us ready and out of the door to make it in time for that. We had to cut our breakfast time a little short so we just grabbed a banana for Charley from the resort restaurant and made our way to the queue for the bus to take us to Magic Kingdom. The rest of us decided to just find something at the park once we got there. There were people in line for the bus, but it wasn't too bad and we should have made it there just in time. One bus came, filled up, and left and we would for sure make it on the next bus to arrive. They came every 5 minutes so we were still doing good on time. A couple minutes after that first bus left, Charley tells me she has to go potty. Of course. She and I ran inside to the restroom and hurried back out as quickly as we could. The bus was already sitting there and the queue had emptied out. My parents, John and Laney were standing off to the side waiting for us so we all tried to squeeze on that bus also, but it is just too full. We had to wait until the next bus. And now, we were going to miss most of the opening ceremony.

We showed up with only a few minutes left of the opening ceremony and honestly we were too far back to see most of it anyways. So we just joined the masses to go through security and then the gate. Whew. We were in. But, we were hungry. We weren't able to secure a Fast Pass for the new Seven Dwarves mine train so the plan was to head straight there before the line got ridiculous, but now that we needed to eat something first that wasn't going to happen. And, on top of that, Charley's fever had returned. We found some breakfast and gave Charley some meds and continued on. Luckily she perked up once they kicked in. She wasn't 100% Charley, but she was probably about an 80% Charley.


We used Fast Passes for Peter Pan and then for meeting Rapunzel (of course!) For whatever reason, I cannot stand to wait in line for character meet and greets. I'm obviously way in the minority on that since everyone else didn't seem to have a problem with those, but that was why I insisted one of our FastPasses was for meeting Rapunzel. I cannot imagine the regular line for meeting her because the Fastpass line wasn't very fast at all. I think we still waited a half hour for her.

Anyways, Rapunzel was amazing. Charley ended up being pretty shy with her but she was just SO in character and even got down on the floor with Charley to "read" the card Charley had brought for her. It was definitely a highlight of the day so I went ahead and stuck my foot in my mouth about character meet and greets THIS ONE TIME. Haha.


[As an aside though - man. We seemed to be in the minority for the meet and greet. Most of the little girls were all done up (probably from Bippity Boppity Boutique) and were just wearing their princess dresses versus having just tossed it on over their clothing. John noticed that while waiting in line and asked if I wanted to take Charley's t-shirt off under her dress and I declined. I mean, it really isn't that serious to me! Plus, that dress is just a tidge too big and has a binder clip in the back making it smaller so it won't fall off her shoulders. It's PLAY. And I intend to keep it that way. Heaven knows we already are dealing with her wanting to be fancy all the time regardless so one less thing to get her worked up about.]

[Another aside - A mom stopped to ask us where Charley (and another little girl in line) got their Rapunzel braids from while we waited. I answered honestly - "from a yard sale but I think they originally came from the Disney store" - because I wasn't completely sure where it was originally bought. That apparently embarrassed John that I will outright admit to my bargains like that. I mean! That IS where I got it! I am not ashamed of that! We paid $1 versus the $15 - $20 I assume it originally cost! That is nothing to be ashamed of!]

Our next Fast Pass was for Splash Mountain. One of my very favorite rides! Charley was tall enough for it, but I knew she would be afraid if she saw that last drop. But I truly thought if I just got her on the ride that she'd enjoy it despite that last big hill. Since we had a Fast Pass, she never realized that the line we were in was for the ride with that big hill. She sat with me, John and my mom sat in the row behind us, and my Dad opted to sit outside with Laney. Charley was anxious even through the first parts of the ride and the smaller hills. I was holding her tightly and telling her all about the stories of Brer Rabbit and Brer Bear. But nothing could distract from that huge hill. I think she had figured it out and knew it was coming. We plunged down it and I held on to her tightly hoping she would think it was fun once we were at the bottom. Guess what? She didn't. She cried and I felt terrible. She told us she "nevah evah evah wants to ride that again" and she was just pitiful. When we met back up with my dad outside she told him all about it and the tears started up again. And then, at just 1:00 in the afternoon, Charley tells us she wants to go back to the hotel. Gah. What an epic failure of a day so far.

We (obviously) did not purchase PhotoPass so this is just a screenshot with their watermark. I did end up buying two total photos from the trip for $30 ($15/each) which makes me glad I didn't buy the PhotoPass for $170 beforehand because I had considered it! Like this one - I was so excited to see the look of terror on her face (horrible mom) and then we couldn't even see her face!)

I still think that her being sick had a lot to do with her reaction to the ride. I don't think it would have been so awful to her had she been herself. We then took a break and had lunch which calmed Charley down. Laney was SCREAMING to be fed so I was running around Columbia Harbour House trying to find a table so I could sit and feed Laney while everyone else stood in line to order our food. There is a second level with additional seating, but the stairs were guarded by restaurant worker ladies. After finding no seating at all on the first floor, I make my way to the stairs and the lady informs me that you are not allowed to go find a table upstairs until you actually have your food. Laney is SCREAMING at the same time, so I am extra frantic and impatient. I tell her I need to find a place to sit down so I can feed HER and she questions why I have no bag containing her food on my person. "Do you even have her food?". And my response was "UH YEAH! MY BOOBS." Not my finest moment. But she let me go through. Funnily enough there weren't any tables available upstairs either and I ended up taking another set of stairs back down where I finally found a table. If this all sounds frantic - it was. Thankfully though - this was probably the only moment in our whole trip where nursing her was a little stressful. Anyways. We all had lunch and Charley's little spirit was revived again. We made our way over to Mickey's PhilHarmagic.

We were basically using wait time predictions and fast passes to determine what we rode for the remainder of the day. We had made our way over to Tomorrowland and did the Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor. (Really loved that one! My mom and Laney both were on the big screen!) After that let out I noticed Stitch's Great Escape had a really short wait so we just got in line. ANOTHER. HUGE. MISTAKE. Charley was terrified and was curled up in a ball in her seat and I couldn't even hold her because you are buckled in your own seats. She was D.O.N.E. done after that. She wanted to go back to the hotel and there was no convincing her otherwise. I was pretty bummed.

(We did consider going back to the hotel and returning later like we had planned but ultimately decided against it thinking Charley would be much harder to convince to return at this point. Thinking back now, I think that is what we should have done but oh well. None of the day was really going as planned.)

But, in typical Disney fashion, as we made our way out of Tomorrowland and towards the exit, Mickey and friends were on stage performing Dream-Along with Mickey in front of the castle. Again, spirit was revived a bit and we convinced her to continue on. We went over to Dumbo and rode that.



After Dumbo we stumbled upon the splash pad and Charley let loose. She LOVED it so much. We let her play and get completely soaked (and no, we did not bring a change of clothes - whoops!) for a good half hour or more. It was so good to see her smiles at this point. Although, the thought DID cross my mind that the one of the things she was enjoying the most was a splash pad, and most of those are typically free.


From there we hit up Aladdin's Magic Carpet ride (which she will tell you was her favorite ride there) and considered doing the Jungle Cruise as it is my mom's favorite, but the wait time was insane so we ended up not doing it. We somehow wound up at the little park area back at the gate where we tried to decide what to do. Charley danced around as happy as she could be and we all sat or laid down in the turf. Ultimately, that was it for our day at Magic Kingdom. Also, do you know how hard it is to convince a sick child to put wet shoes and socks back on? It was time to go home.


Is this not the saddest Disney recap you've ever read so far? Ha!

So what tips did I take away from Day 1?

  • Stick with going later and staying until close. Even though we left at 5 or 6, we could already see the crowd levels dying way down. The evening brings cooler temps, shorter lines, and of course, the most magical fireworks display and parades that we missed. 
  • Nursing a baby at Disney wasn't bad at all. And to think this was what I was probably most stressed about. I learned to nurse the "right" way in the Beco (loosen straps a ton and let her scootch way down to nurse) and also my "wrong" way (lay her across how she's most comfortable nursing with my arm beneath her and just take the one strap diagonally across me and buckle it - not hands free this way but hand free and much easier to walk around while nursing this way. Both ways I still threw the nursing cover over her and the Beco.) I never stepped foot in one of the infant care centers so no advice there. In fact, I didn't even see one until later in the day as we were leaving.
  • Fastpasses are awesome as I already knew. While I will continue to use them in the future, I think there is a certain relaxed feeling to doing LESS research on what Fastpasses to get and blah blah blah and just winging it. I missed the more relaxed feel of our usual Disney day trips. 
  • Along the same lines, the dining reservations I am sort of glad I missed the early sign up date for those. (We had no dining reservations.) It would have been one more scheduled thing in our day and adds more to the rushing around feeling that I didn't particularly love. Next time I would be up for doing one of the reservations at one of the resort restaurants, but will stick with no reservations during the theme park days.
  • Also, this was our first Disney trip where we had MagicBands. I was QUITE fond of those! There was once where everyone but Laney and I were on a ride and I was dyingggg of thirst. John kept up with our cash and cards and all and they were all in the backpack with him. But, I did set up our credit card to link to the MagicBand so was easily able to just walk over to a vendor and get myself a water. Easy peasy. Loved that perk. And loved that they were the room key too. It was also convenient to use those for the FastPasses versus using the card that you are issued as your ticket as we didn't have to dig them out every time we wanted to use them. I think they are worth the $13/each (had we had to purchase them if we didn't stay at a Disney resort) just for convenience alone. But, I would draw the line at the ones that are $20/each. Somewhere between the $13 and $20 is my cost deal breaker apparently!
Also, worth a mention that Laney (at 5.5 months old) was AWESOME the whole day. Sure, she cried during lunch because I didn't respect her usual lunch time, but that was really it for her. She could go on so many rides with us too so there were only a couple of times someone sat out with her while the rest of the group went on the ride. It definitely helped to have my parents there as extra "here hold this baby" hands. Her and Charley took turns with the stroller all day and I got great use out of the Beco. She didn't nap as much as usual, but still got in a couple of decent stroller naps.

The next morning we went ahead and learned a few things from our Day 1 mistakes. The plan was Hollywood Studios but our first Fastpass could be used anytime from 9:30 - 10:30 so we didn't rush ourselves there. Charley had a fever again this morning after she woke (after not needing a second dose of meds at all on Day 1) so we went ahead and gave her ibuprofen. We then had a leisurely breakfast at the resort (well, as leisurely as we could with a bajillion other people) and got in the queue for the Hollywood Studios bus after that.


This was actually Columbus day so we could already tell that the crowd volume was way down. For those that were just taking advantage of the holiday weekend, many would be traveling back home this day and not in the parks. The only ride that had a ridiculous wait was Toy Story and thankfully we had Fastpasses for that! Hooray! (and wow! It was SO good! No wonder there was a 2 hour wait!)


This day was much better overall. While Charley was still not 100% (see below)...


...the combination of less people and a more relaxed pace made it much better for all of us. I even warmed some milk for Laney in a bottle beforehand so at least one of her meals wasn't dependent on me. (I tried to give her a bottle of formula the day before in Magic Kingdom and she was having none of it. She will soon have to get over that as the frozen stash is growing thin!)

We did everything that we wanted to do at this park except for the Frozen sing-a-long and the Fantasmic show (which we knew we weren't staying long enough for). The Beauty and the Beast show was AMAZING and while my parents and John and I did watch it, I know we also had our eyes on Charley for a good portion of it too. She truly loved it. Also, since so many of the things to do at this park were shows, I did the majority of nursing Laney during those. I also nursed her on The Great Movie Ride and I'm shocked that Ms. Distraction was not distracted during that. 

I don't have anything life-changing to add about day 2 really. As Charley was just about done we did a quick survey to make sure that there wasn't anything anyone wanted to do that they hadn't got to do yet and I was the only one to pipe up and request we do just one more thing. I had never ridden the Rock n Roller coaster and had heard great things about it so I really wanted to try it. We tried all day to get a Fastpass for it and just never had any luck. My parents really didn't care to ride it so we considered sending them back to the hotel with Charley and Laney and the stroller and realized that was asking a whole lot. Eventually, they urged John and I to just go ride it and they'd entertain the girls for the whole hour wait. We went to get in line and noticed the "single riders" queue and it was really a no-brainer. We skipped the regular queue and got in the single riders line knowing we may not sit together which really didn't matter to either one of us. We were in and out in 20 minutes and it was so very worth it! Loved that coaster too! (But we both agree it wasn't as good as The Mummy at Universal Studios.)

It was around 6 I think when we left for our hotel. Charley was nearly asleep on the bus on the ride back and we had had our fill of Disney too. We went back for some dinner and an evening at the pool.


Our flight home was the next day and both girls (and all adults too!) were great travelers. Laney slept the ENTIRE way (plane, taxiing, baggage claim area, bus to our parking lot) and Charley got her some rest too. We did head straight to the pediatrician from the airport for the fever that just wouldn't go away and she did have an ear infection that the doctor believed was just developing. He thinks that it was just a virus the rest of the days. I feel slightly bad that we may have spread virus germs at Disney but 1) I guarantee we weren't the only ones and 2) we KEPT thinking it had gone away because she never needed a second dose of meds - her fever would go away and stay away all the way until the next morning when we'd start all over again.

Regardless, the trip was fun but not AS fun as it could have been, so another Disney trip will have to be taken. I am pushing for sooner rather than later, but John is not on board with that just yet.

Oh! And my lost driver's license and $12? Well neither the airline or the bus was able to find it. So I was a little concerned with how security would go at the airport with no ID. But never fear - I actually ended up finding them both the day before we left. Some goofball hid them IN MY PURSE. I mean, no wonder I couldn't find them! Such an idiot.

Sorry this got SO long. I know I'll think of several more things I'll want to add after I hit publish, so feel free to ask me whatever I may have missed!

Even with the sickies I'll still say YAY DISNEY! It really is the most magical place on Earth.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week In Review

I am stealing this idea from another blogger and adding a couple of things to it. This is for the week of October 11-17.

The highs of the week were:

Disney World!
Two sleeping girls on the plane
A good yard saling morning Saturday with my mom.
Getting Charley's super cute school pictures back 

The lows of the week were:

Getting off the airplane and heading straight to the pediatrician for Charley.
John and I both getting colds
An attempted outing to buy costume supplies by myself with both girls that was an utter failure.  

The best money I spent was on:

Probably on a couple of Photopass pictures from our Disney trip.



The book I am currently reading is:

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. And maybe currently isn't the best word as I started reading this on July 29 and haven't even picked up my Kindle in the last couple of months. 

The TV shows I watched were:

Survivor, Amazing Race & Scandal

The meals we had were:

**DISCLAIMER: We usually only eat out maybe once a week for dinners. But since we got back from vacation Tuesday evening to an empty refrigerator and went back to work the very next day, there was no time for grocery shopping and meal planning.
Monday: Leftover Pizza in our hotel room
Tuesday: John picked up Chick Fil-A for us as I went in with Charley to the doctor
Wednesday:  I had a headache so John went out and got me Bojangles (mainly needed the caffeine from the soda but a biscuit helped too ;)) and then made eggs/omelets for him and Charley.
Thursday: Chicken/Corn/Green Beans
Friday: Take-Out from Wing King. My parents kept Charley and Laney both Thursday and Friday so we bought dinner for them Friday night.

My favorite picture from the week was: