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Entries in celebration (31)

Tuesday
Jun022009

A letter to my daughters for their 6th birthday

M and L 1st Birthday


Dear L & M:
With all the excitement of Disney I neglec
ted to actually wish you a happy birthday here on my blog. Mark that as just another example of how your mother is not perfect. But you already knew that.

So let me officially welcome you to your
childhood years. These are magical years. They are magical because you will enjoy magic without worrying who else believes in it. You will enjoy getting dressed up because you love the dress, and not because the other girls are doing it. You will continue to play in the dirt, with worms, and climb trees just because you can. You will discover new skills, have new experiences, and even a few disappointments. And you will learn and grow from it all.

M turning 1

These are years that you will start to test your independence...and my patience. You will say things to me that I don't want to hear (and I will let you know you've crossed a line). And yet I know you will still cuddle with me, let me read you a book, and most importantly, laugh at my jokes.

L enjoying her 1st birthday

I want you to enjoy these years. I want them to be free of stress and drama because I know what lies ahead in the murky waters of the lands they call Tween and Teen. What you learn now will help you navigate those waters. I will do my best to help you grow to be confident, respectful (of yourself and others), and hopefully love yourself for who you are.

Because I love you just the way you are.

M & L on their 6th Birthday

In six short years
you have grown so much. Already I have seen you puff yourself up with bravery to try new things, confront difficult situations, and even learn to forgive. But don't grow up too fast. Now is the time to slow it down, enjoy these childhood days, savor the magic.

Happy Birthday my little ones.
Love forever and always,
Mommy

Tuesday
May262009

Disney Magic - NOW I get it. I get it and I love it. Here's why...

I believe in Disney magic.
There. I said it.

And, I cried like a baby during the Wishes Fireworks, but more on that later.

Disney Twofer

As you know from my earlier posts we planned a trip to Disney World for the Free on Your Birthday promotion to celebrate the Twofer's 6th birthday. Last week we flew down Wednesday and only had Thursday and Friday to spend at Magic Kingdom but that was enough to catch the bug.


If you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed some tweets go by with the hashtag #disneytwofer – that was me and the folks following along on the journey. And it was quite a journey. I may have to break this up into 2 different.

The Magic of Disney at the hotel

OK, there was definitely a line and some time spent waiting for the Disney Magical Express bus. But at least we didn’t have to wait with our big bags, just our carry-on bags. We got to the hotel (we chose Pop Century) and were able to check in right away and enjoy the pool. Later on, our bags were delivered to our room – voila!
Other highlights:
  • The Dining plan felt magical because we didn’t feel the pinch of pulling out our wallets each time we ate.
  • I told the front desk we were celebrating our twin’s birthday and there were balloons and Mickey photos in the room when we returned after dinner!
  • The pool was open until midnight and what is more magical than swimming on a warm Florida night?

Magic at The Magic Kingdom

Rides


On each ride I allowed myself to really see things from a child’s perspective and I’m telling you I remembered. I remembered how excited I was at age 5 to climb aboard Dumbo, and wind through It’s a Small World. I allowed myself to really feel like I was flying over Never Never Land with Peter Pan and witness a battle on Pirates of the Caribbean. I did something I haven’t done in a long time…I used my imagination. And I liked it.

The Castle


I have ALWAYS wanted to go in
that castle. The one way I knew I could get in there was to make reservations to have lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table and seeing as it was the Twofers’ birthday, I knew they would love it too. So this is what it’s like:

First we met and took photos with Cinderella – fabulous blue dress, white gloves, and all.


Then we headed upstairs for our meal and a number of other princesses stopped by our table for autographs and pictures. Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Jasmine were gracious and charming. The dining area had big chairs, wooden beams, and large windows with a view of the park. The food was surprisingly good and the desserts were deeeelish. Throw in some wishing stars and wands and you’ve got Disney magic…bippity, boppity, boo!


After an enormous lunch and all the excitement We headed back to the hotel for a break and returned in the evening for more rides, dinner, and those darn….Fireworks.

The Magical Fireworks


Yes, I cried during the Wishes celebration fireworks. But here’s what was swirling through my head: I remember thinking about what a great day we just had and how good it felt to be able to share this with my girls. MY girls who are no longer babies but big 6 year olds. I thought about all that is wrong in this world, and how lucky I was to have my family safe, healthy, and experiencing this together.

I thought of the Make-A-Wish kids who often get trips to Disney World and what their parents feel as they watch those same fireworks night after night. And then I thought of how my dad, who passed away just weeks after the Twofer were born, would have f-ing LOVED the whole damn thing.

What I realize now is that it was not just the fireworks that brought me to tears. It was the combination of fireworks + touching music about wishes + lack of sleep that most likely caused me to tear up (ok, bawl).

But what happened when we got back to the room was truly magical.
And that you will have to come back to read in my next post…Why you should celebrate a birthday at Disney.

Read more in this series:
Help! Disney World Questions - Need Your Input!
The Twofer Get a Disney Surprise

Wearing my mouse ears,
Janine

Friday
May152009

Mom's Night Out - who makes dinner?

Baked Pasta Primavera via Unilever

I'm just wondering if my fellow mom's feel the 'need' to arrange dinner plans (either cook or order) when they go out for a night with girlfriends.

Do I plan the meals even when it's my Girls Night Out?


Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.
Usually, I do.
It's not a guilt thing...these day
s it's a save-money thing. I'd rather cook something ahead of time that my husband can serve to himself and the kids because I know in the end it's a lot cheaper than the pizza guy.
First, pizza around here can be expensive.
Second, the Mister can eat like a growing teenager...for that matter, the Twofer often eat like growing teens so Pizza doesn't get us very far from the 'I'm huuuungry' whine.


Unilever and Mom Select to the rescue!


For National Mom's Night Out I was the lucky recipient of a Unilever Making Life Better Family Fun Package that
contained all kinds of goodies to make an easy, tasty, and filling meal for my family. This included:
  • Family Fun Book with tips for easy and affordable meals
  • Package of Lipton Tea (how did they know my husband LOVES homemade iced tea?)
  • Lipton Beefy Onion Mix (great for burgers or meat loaf)
  • Knorr Cheddar Broccoli Rice
  • I Can't Believe it's Not Butter
  • Bertoli Frozen Entree (can't get any easier for Chicken Parm)
and a few more things. The only thing I needed to add was a veggie!

My Mom's Night Out


Ironically, I did not go out on National Moms Night Out but I DID go out that Saturday night...a little too late...to celebr
ate my friend Allison's birthday.
My tweets from the bar and dance floor looked like this:

BTW - the old dude RAWKED

I'm sure there is photographic evidence of my unique dancing skillz (anyone remember the 'running man'?) but none of my friends are savvy enough to get those up on Twitter, etc. Facebook may be another issue.

Working on my moves,
Janine

Product provided by
MomSelect

Wednesday
May132009

Help! Disney World Questions - Need Your Input!


So first I want to thank my travel agent/stress reliever/ Twitter friend @DailyJen who also has a very funny blog. I bought the Jet Blue tickets on a whim one day when talking with my friend Barb (otherwise known as my Flip Videographer from the Yanni Voices concert).

Anyway, Jen saw me tweeting about Disney and came to my rescue! That is, if everything goes well...no sweat, right Jen?

But even after hours on the phone with her answering hundreds if not thousands of questions...I still have more.

I have decided to give Jen a rest and see if you, my faithful friends, readers, and advice-givers can help me muddle through the crazy World of Disney.

(PS: we are going Wed-Sat. but only Thurs and Fri at Magic Kingdom)

Explain to me again Le Fast Pass?


This really only pertains to Friday since I've heard we'll get some ultimate Fast Pass on Thursday which is the girls actual birthday and we'll be foregoing the FREE part of "free on your birthday" since we paid for the tix in the package, blah, blah, blah.

What rides should we stop at first for a Fast Pass?
How many can I get at one time?

Crocs or sneakers?


I'm going with sneaks but you tell me.

6-year olds in strollers??? Won't people make fun of me?


Apparently there are Disney issued strollers that look more like jogging strollers. Still, my kids haven't been in a stroller since they were 3. I'm not kidding. I don't even know if they'll WANT to sit in one. A wheelchair, definitely! A stroller? I'm not so sure.

But I've heard from people that especially since we've only got 2 days, they will be very long days and as parents, we'll appreciate cutting down on the crankiness by having one of these.

What say you?

Must-See places in Downtown Disney?


We have dinner reservations for the first night but what else should we see while we are there? It will probably be our only time since we'll be at Magic Kingdom the other two days and nights.

Besides the rides, what are other Must-Sees at Magic Kingdom?


Note - we are having lunch at Cinderella's Castle (eee! I just peed a little I'm so excited for that) and so we'll meet some princesses there.
What about places like Ariel's Grotto or other little hideaway places?
Whatever you can tell me....

OK, that's it for now. I welcome any and all advice! Thanks!
Dreaming of Mickey,
Janine

Related Posts: Our Disney Surprise Video

Sunday
May102009

Happy Mother's Day to Me and All the Moms past, present, future

Today I remember that there was a time I was not sure I would ever get to be a mom. Today is a day I remember the mothers who have lost their children.
Today is a day to celebrate new mothers and future mothers.

But mostly, today I will celebrate having the greatest family anyone could ask for.
Today I woke up with breakfast in bed (egg and cheese on kaiser roll, sausage and fruit salad) AND the latest Us Weekly!

I also woke up to little Mother's Day decorations all over my house:

Photobucket

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Happy Mother's Day,
Janine