Watching Boogie Grow

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Quickly Growing into Mommie's Shoes

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

The baby princess..

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Eyes have it...

I remember when I was about 12 looking at my mom and just wishing and praying that I would wake up and my eyes would magically be blue just like hers.  I mean who wants to be a blond with hazel green eyes, how ordinary. My eyes were the bane of my teenage existence. Well they never changed blue, but I learned to love them.  On days when I am sad or very happy they are bright mossy green, on days  when I am mad they are golden yellow and flashy, on any given day they can change a multitude of colors.  This is the joy of having Hazel eyes, there are so many colors in those eyes why be tied down to one.  My husband says they remind him of sunflowers, now if that isn't the nicest complement ever I don't know what is.  I have really come to love and embrace my beautiful hazel eyes over my lifetime.

I say all of this because one day PJ is going to look at her big sister with her pretty blond hair and her crystal blue eyes and wish and pray to wake up with them.  Grant you she can dye her hair and get contacts, but I hope instead that she will look at these photos and see how truly gorgeous her own chameleon eyes are.

These eyes remind me of a black hole with all the diverse colors swirling around the center.

They are innocent,

full of laughter



 Full of questions,

and uniquely and beautifully hers.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Disney Princess...the Finale!!

So here we are back after an interesting Wordless Wednesday to finish up our first full day at Disney.  It was tiring but after naps all around it was time to make it to our last event of the day, dinner with Cinderella and friends at 1900 Park Fare.  I made a reservation for 7pm thinking this would give us plenty of time to get dressed and get there using park transportation and it ALMOST did.

First thing to know when booking this event is that while not as popular at Cinderella's Royal Table in the castle, it is still a popular meal so reservations MUST be made as far in advance as possible.  Unlike Cinderella's Royal Table you do not have to put the price of the full meal on your credit card at the time of booking, so the reservation can be cancelled within a reasonable period of time without any type of penalty.  This is also the only meal where you will see Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizella all in one place and it is a great experience. Like many of the other character meals you are paying not only for dinner, but also for the time to interact with the characters so it is a bit of a splurge but one that I thought was well worth it, and I didn't even get to eat that much!

Now on with the photos...

 This is the little picnic table and porch off of the cabin.  Boogie doesn't look to thrilled in this photo but trust me she was excited. It takes her a while to wake up after a nap and until that time has passed she can be a bit of a sour puss.  You should know though, that I only had to do minor repair to her do after the nap, so the stuff they put in there is super strong.

We took our golf cart from the Cabin down to the Marine and waited for the boat to the Contemporary Resort.  Its a cute little boat and the ride was very unique Boogie really enjoyed herself as did my parents.  We were running a bit behind and I mentioned that to my husband and the captain overheard me.  He told me not to worry that when you make a reservation you have priority seating and they will sit you when you show up.  This turned out to be a really good thing for us, because the boat ride went very smoothly but the monorail was another story all together. 

Once we got to the Contemporary we just followed the signs for the Monorail and got in line.  If you taking a child in a stroller you should know that the escalators to get to the train platforms are not wide enough for a stroller and you will have to calapse it momentarily.  On the way back down from the train you have the option of taking an elevator so no worries there.  The monorails only run one direction so you can not get on the wrong train just follow the signs, and wait will about 150 or so of your closest friends for it to arrive.  Ours arrived in a timely manner, but then we got stuck, on the tracks, three times, for a long time and didn't make it to The Grand Floridian where 1900 Park Fare is located until very close to 8pm, I was very worried that they were going to tell us so sorry  but there is no seating.  Luckily that was not the case, once we finally found the restaurant. To me it was not clearly marked in the lobby, but a friendly cast member was more then happy to point us in the right direction, and we finally made it. 

Once we got in and got seated, with only one run in with a very very rude mom who pushed us aside and went in front of us, the characters came around immediately.  Just as inside the Magic Kingdom they were fantastic.

 I really think that Boogie liked the Step sisters best of all.  They really were fantastic and so over the top.  They would yell across the restaurant at each other, Lady Tremaine would scold them.  They fawned over Prince Charming, and pouted when he danced with Cinderella.  They really did steal the show.

 Despite loving the Stepsisters, Cinderella was really who Boogie was waiting to see, and I think she was just a bit star struck when she showed up.  She just kinda froze and didn't know what to say to her, it was cute and Cinderella was fantastic with her.

Love this photo it is one of my favorites.

 Prince Charming Boogie wasn't real sure about, and said she didn't want to meet him, but once he got to the table, she was quite excited.

 Boogie would not stand with Lady Tremaine unless Jon stood with her first.  She insisted that daddy HAD to stand with her.

 Once he did though, she was all smiles.  Also if you'll notice all three of the characters where the same characters that we saw in the park. Here is where Disney gets an A+ from me for attention to detail.

Once we saw all the characters it was time to sample the buffet.  Grant you there was plenty of time in between characters to get food, but Boogie wanted to make sure she didn't miss anyone.

I have to say that while some people were rather blah with their reviews of the dinner at 1900 Park Fare I really enjoyed it.  There was a very nice selection, it was all fresh and replenished often.  The kids had their own section to chose from and the dessert offerings were great.  The food combined with the character interaction made for a very enjoyable meal and one that I did not feel bad paying $225 (4 adults and 1 child).

We were just finishing up dessert when there was a surprise.  Prince Charming and Cinderella came out to dance a waltz.  Once they were finished they chose other people to dance with, and Boogie got to dance with Cinderella.  Another wonderful Disney moment and such a nice way for her to celebrate her 4th birthday.

Once the dance was over then it was time for the parade around the restaurant with all the kids, dancing and clapping, and Boogie got scooped up by Anastasia.  I am telling you she loved these sisters.

I'm not sure but I think that she was having a great time.  What do you think?

Don't be afraid to encourage your child just to jump right in there. It was a lot of fun, and everyone was encouraged to participate.

 All the fun did have to come to an end and although we were sad to leave we had to head back to the cabin for some birthday cake and to meet up with my brother and his wife.

 On the way back across the lagoon we were lucky enough to catch a bit of the Electric light parade that goes on every night, and the fireworks from Hallowishes at the Magic Kingdom.  The evening was a delight from start to finish even if we did get started a bit late.

 Once we picked up Uncle Joe and Aunt Erica it was time to get into Jammies and open up presents.  Boogies hair finally came down, but we still found a Birthday Princess crown to wear.

Once all the presents were opened it was time for the cake.  This cake DID NOT come from Disney, there is a Publix fairly close by and for about 1/2 of what Disney charges we were able to order and pick up the cake there.  Now if you don't have transportation it would be difficult, and they I would say use one of Disney's great bakeries and keep in mind that cakes can be brought to your table at most sit down meals.

 I have to say that I was very happy with the job that Publix did on this cake.  It was very cute and tasted fantastic.  I got the smallest one they would decorate and we still didn't eat it all during our stay.

Now for a public service announcement.  Please note that when ordering this cake the Fairy Godmother is holding a WAND and NOT a candle.  My dad was lighting the candles without his glasses and melted the poor ladies wand before we could stop him.  Boogie will still point it out to me and ask me if I remember when Papa did that. 

Boogie at one point while watching the Planning DVD said she wanted to have a big bunch of Mickey Balloons like the little girl at the beginning of the DVD.  Well people those balloons A) don't exist like you see in the DVD and B) cost $10 a balloon. So I took a quick look at EBay and for 20 Mickey Latex balloons and two big mylars of Mickey and Minnie it was $35.  Saved us a ton of money and Boogie got her wish.  I was also pleasantly surprised to find that they concierge at the check in desk would fill them all for us.  Jon looked hysterical bringing them all back from the front in his golf cart.  He said at one point he had 6 or 7 little kids chasing him down the road asking for a balloon.  I wish I had been able to get a photo of that.

So there you have it our 1st day, and Boogie birthday at Disney World.  I know it took three posts but I hope that I provided some good information along the way.  The next two days at the parks should zoom by compared to this one so hold on tight and thanks again for joining us.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Pictures of small children

Okay however said taking a photo of a group of small children was easy, clearly was only photographing sleeping children.  My wonderful in laws requested a photo with all their grandchildren when we were all together over the holidays.  I agreed, and this is how it went.

Finally a photo that everyone was happy with

It only took about 35 photos to get the one above, and the dramatic crying child may or may not belong to the photographer.  Still these photos will definitely make me laugh in a few years.

Happy wordless Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Disney Princess...Part 2

I must sincerely apologize for taking so long to get back to this, we had a bit of a weather issue here in Atlanta last week and that has thrown everything into a tailspin.  Who knew that 5 inches of snow could close school for an entire week.  Yep you read that right an entire week, then add on MLK and the kiddos in the area just started back to school today.  Good gravy!

Soooooo all that is to say that things are finally getting back to normal around here and I can pick up where I left off which was, having the guys and PJ finally join us for some fun in the Magic Kingdom.

 Jon made it with PJ and I was trying to get a cute shot of him with his girls, but PJ was having none of it..

 Here Boogie even gave up, soooooo
 I thought maybe the professional photographer might have better luck.

 Almost but not quite, oh well we tried.  Maybe in a couple of years we'll have better results.
These photos were taken by the photopass photographer, so again it is definitely worth the price to use the service.  The photographers are more then happy to take photos with your camera for you, which is great.  Its especially nice if you are normally the person taking all the shots.

 We next headed back towards the train depot to get a snack I think and saw Snow White hidden over to the side of the Emporium.  There was a small line, but definitely worth the wait, she was fantastic, and Boogie just loved her.

 She really took a lot of time with Boogie, which is probably one of the most memorable things for little kids.  These are their hero's, their fairy tales in real life, so to get to meet them and hug them and talk to them, has to simply blow their minds.

 While Boogie went to get a cold treat, PJ and I waited to see this guy.

 PJ wasn't quite sure what to think of him, and kept trying to grab his nose, but she also wasn't scared of him.  I was worried that she might be but thought an open area might be a good place to test it out.  At least then we could make a quick getaway if we needed to.

We didn't need to though, and PJ got to meet her very first Disney character.

 On our way back up Main street towards the castle we were lucky enough to catch this little show.  If you happen upon the trolley definitely stop and watch, its a cute show and they do one of my favorite songs Clang Clang Clang Went the Trolley  from Meet me in St. Louis, great musical, and here a great performance.

Boogie loved the dancers, so we watched the little performance which was maybe 10 minutes.  Also know that when they are not using the trolley, or carriage or cars that drive down Main Street periodically, you can hop on in and they'll drop you off at the other end.  Another fun experience for young and old alike as there are some great vehicles that they bring out for this.

Our next stop was Adventureland and as you can tell we have covered a lot of territory, so here is a big, big, big tip; bring your stroller.  The ones that you can rent are perfectly fine,  but if your kiddos are comfy in their own stroller then find a way to get it there as they will more then likely spend a good deal of time in it.  PJ even took naps in ours which let us extend our day in the park a bit.  Be courteous of course, but we found that there was plenty of room for everyone and plenty of stroller parking.  We also never had any issues with stuff coming up missing, but never left anything that we would really miss if it was gone.  So repeat after me, BRING A STROLLER!  Trust me it will improve the quality of your time in the parks.

 Once we got into Adventureland we headed for Aladdin's Magic Carpets, we did have to wait a bit as it was getting a little more crowded but honestly we waited in line longer for lunch then anything else.  Please note that PJ is also in line for these rides, most rides unless a height restriction is posted are fine for little ones.  Depending on their temperament of course, but PJ rode this, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion and Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin without any issues at all.  So don't shy away from some of the calmer rides just because you have a smaller person in tow, they should be fine.

We really have to work on PJ's posing skills Boogie has it down pat. 

 We were all smiles once we were strapped into our carpet.  Unlike Dumbo that only holds two people per car, the carpets hold four, and there are controls not only in the back but also the front, so fun for all no matter where you sit.

 Once we got a bite to eat at Pecos Bills, which sadly I can not recommend as the wait was horrible and the food was very very greasy.  We headed over to Pirates of the Caribbean, one of my favorites.  Boogie swears that her Papa  is a pirate and has a pirate boat, so I knew she was going to love this ride, which she did.  They have updated it a bit and there were a few more thrilling parts that I forgot about, so if you have a child that is a little timid or scared of the dark, this may not be the ride for them.  Also I have no problem with giving a small child a little flashlight to get through a ride, however please be engaged enough to know when they are shining it in the eyes of the people directly behind them.  Being blinded by beams of light kinda takes away from the rides a bit.  LOL!!

 Boogie just loved meeting Pirate Goofie too.  Again all the characters were just great, and many of the bigger ones get right down on the child's level which I think makes the experience all the more special.

Boogies big request was that she wanted to ride the roller coasters.  Yep my 4 year old LOVES roller coasters and to say that she loved Splash Mountain doesn't even begin to describe the experience.  Boogie is a bit petite (unlike PJ) and so we were very worried that she was not going to make the height requirement of 40 inches for either Splash Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but she just squeezed by.( I think the bun helped a bit)

You will also note that we have a wardrobe change at this point.  The Cinderella dress simply got to itchy and so a clothing change was in order.  I just packed another cute Disney themed dress and when she was ready we changed.  This is another thing that I would stress along with the stroller.  If you have to you can buy a change of clothing, but unless you have planned that into your budget I would simply pack something for all small children, adults are on their own.

  My dad did a great job at watching out for us, and caught a great picture of Boogies very first ride down Splash Mountain.  I honestly thing my husband was more nervous then she was, she squealed at every drop.

We then headed over to The Haunted Mansion, and as you can see, no wait what so ever.  We literally walked up and walked in.  Here is where I reiterate that if you can visit Disney between say Mid September and Mid November you will be more then pleasantly surprised at the crowd levels.  Only on Saturday did we have issues with the crowds and then if there was something that we wanted to ride we easily got a fast pass and were in.  The weather was simply gorgeous each day, and the cast members were fully focused on entertaining the guests that were there.  Lots and lots of personal attention.  I am glad to know that our school system has a Fall break  right around this time each, year and I can tell you where we will be. :D 

 Once we finished up with the Haunted Mansion which was one of the only rides that Boogie didn't care for, we decided to head back to the cabin.  However on the way out we got side tracked and boy was it a good one.
 This show in front of the castle is great.  Lots of characters, dancing, singing, fireworks.  What more cold you ask for, we were lucky we arrived when we did and got a front row seat.  Boogie and PJ were both mesmerized, and I have to say I really enjoyed not only watching them, but the show itself.

Cue the grand finale!! 

 Once the show was over we once again headed toward the gates, only to stop again.  The parade was starting in 10 minutes, so we grabbed some shade and a couple of snacks and waited.  Please note that we also brought a towel, sometimes Splash Mountain can get you a little wet, we didn't need it this time, but it made a great place to sit in the shade.

 First they send out a band, we sat right at the corner by the fire station and that is where the parade starts, so we got to see everything first and then we got to turn and head on out.   The band was a tease though, as the parade didn't start for another 5 minutes or so, and that is a long time to a 4 year old.

 Jon and PJ however just hung out and enjoyed the shade, waiting patiently.

 Finally the parade came out and who did we run into but this cute guy...

 Can you name this chipmunk?  Its Chip of course, you can tell because his nose looks like a chocolate chip.

 I was so happy to see Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, Boogie wanted to meet them so badly.  I have a picture of me at her age with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum and she wanted one too, but alas this is the best I could do.

 Still it was enough to make Boogie happy so  I was happy.

 Our very favorite wicked step family.  Who we happened to see again that night at dinner.  You will notice that all the characters are exactly the same from this bunch in picture after picture.  I have to give Disney  Kudos for this, some kids would notice if the Step Mother that they saw in the park was not the one they saw at dinner, so I appreciate the attention to detail here.

 Prince Eric and Princess Ariel, who is appearing as her human self while her grotto is being completed.  You can find her on the porch to the right just as you enter under the Adventureland sign near the castle.  There was no line when we were there, but Boogie didn't not want to meet her so no pictures this time.

 Finally once the last float had made its way around and the music began to die away, it really was time to head back to the cabin.  I looked at my girls in there carriage and noticed that PJ was up to something.

 She was trying to scavenge popcorn.  She kept checking out the box to make sure that Boogie hadn't eaten it all, not that she ever got any.
 Instead she got a bit of this delicious treat, a frozen lemonade, which seemed to be just as good.

 We easily got onto a boat back to the Cabin and headed off for a little rest before our day ended with a very special dinner.

 You can see it was smiles all around so I think our first day in the Magic Kingdom was a hit.

I will say that we arrived early  and we left fairly early.  Mickey's not So Scary Halloween Party was going on that night so we had to be out by 6pm at the latest, but we finally got back to the cabin about 3:30 and that was a perfect amount of time for us.  We did not get to do or see everything, but we did accomplish a lot, and everyone was still in good spirits so I would say it was very successful.  So my recommendation here is not to push the day to hard especially if you have time to come back.  We left when everyone was happy, no one was grumpy and that made the rest of the day just perfect.  It wasn't the original plan, but it was the plan that worked best for us.

Tomorrow the end to our day...Boogie's special Birthday Princess Dinner with Cinderella and family.  Stay tuned.