Startin’ Today: Thursdays are Disney Days around here

I may have mentioned once or twice or fifty times that we recently went on a vacation to Disney World. I had big ambitious plans to bestow upon you all wonderful insights, advice, suggestions, trip highlights, near disasters, don’t miss this ideas, photos, and…more photos.

Then I got busy with something else.

But I really want to torture bless y’all with our Disney experience. So what to do?

The only thing that seems to work for me: schedule a date and make it “official.” It’s crazy how motivating the simple act of assigning a specific date/time to something can be.

So from this Thursday til infinity (and hopefully probably not beyond), you can catch a bit of Disney Magic…Drama Mama style.

I’m going to start at the very beginning… a very good place to start…when you read you begin with A -B-C, when you sing you begin with (do you know the rest? Can you name that tune?)

So – why Disney? Um…..Miss A is a little girl in love with all things Princess.


And even more in love with all things Peter Pan.

Miss A and Mr Pan

And even more in love with all things Mermaid.

Miss A and Ariel

And even MORE in love with all things Fairy.

Miss A and Tink

So really, this trip was for Miss A. There is no denying I enjoyed myself…but a healthy chunk of that enjoyment was watching how much fun Miss A had.

The husband and I had bounced the idea of a Disney trip around for awhile…always thinking it would be a few more years down the road – when both girls were old enough to enjoy it. Then I happened to have lunch with a friend who was leaving soon for a – you guessed it – trip to Disney. After hearing how cheap it was (the buy 4 days, get 3 free promotion was going on at the time) I started to wonder “what if…” just a bit. Then I told my husband about it and he sealed the deal with a simple “Let’s do it.”  Miss A was the perfect age to really enjoy all the magic of a trip to Disney: old enough to remember everything and young enough to love everything about it.

Of course,  the actual scheduling and arranging of the trip wasn’t quite so simple. Let me tell you here and now – don’t waste your time stressing about it – find a travel agent that specializes in Disney vacations. Their services are free, and priceless in the time they save you:  from planning the trip, to making hotel and dining arrangements, to finding out about little extras and special deals,  a great Disney travel agent is the first step to a great Disney trip (I should be making commercials for these guys).  Our travel agent was Lori Bandera, part of Small World Vacations, and I found her through the MouseSavers website.

That’s another thing…websites. There are an insane amount of websites devoted to Disney travel, and you could go insane trying to read them all (I did get the feeling many posters to these sites are a bit mad in the hatter). My favorite was MouseSavers, but I also found AllEars quite helpful. After that, they tend to blur together. These two sites distinguished themselves from the rest and seem to offer the most variety of info in the most depth, and they both offer e-letters with updates on all things Disney.

I think that’s enough Disney for one day; to review (in case you’re a skimmer):

1: If you are speculating on a Disney trip – go for it, there are lots of great deals right now.

2. Get a travel agent who specializes in all things Disney.

3. Use the sites to help you plan, but don’t get sucked into the insanity.

Next time: we plan how to surprise Miss A with the big news, and some ideas for creative fun ways to build the anticipation.

When am I going to learn…

that if I want to get a full workout in during the a.m. that I can’t, not even for one second, touch my computer? I was all set for a morning session of yoga, everything ready, girls still in bed, hubby at work. Then I went to grab my ipod off the computer and thought I’d check e-mail “real quick,” which turned into checking a few blogs, which turned into commenting at a few blogs…and before too long Miss A was awake, it was 7:30, and the window of opportunity had closed.  Missing a workout that I planned to do in the morning can really make me mad at myself all day…whereas when I manage to squeeze it in I feel great about myself all day…so why don’t I do myself a favor and just get it done?

One more hurdle for the old willpower…I am doing a great job of saying no to chocolate, now I need to learn how to say no to the computer.

I think I’ll make a little sign to put above the monitor…”Have you worked out this morning?”

Maybe I’ll add this: “No? Then GET YOUR ASS OUT OF THE CHAIR AND JUST DO IT.”

I’m sure Nike won’t mind if I borrow that last part…they’re free to use my half of the statement.

Surfin’ for a Mama Artist

I was browsing the web looking for blogs from moms who work hard to find the balance between raising their kids, maintaining a home/career, and indulging in whatever art form speaks to them… and that’s when I stumbled across this woman’s site. Her most recent post really illustrated what I look for in a Monday Muse, and I love the way she took a frustrating situation and highlighted all the perks. It can be so easy to forget such perks when you just want ten minutes of un-interrupted time to finish that paragraph you’re writing, that face you’re sketching, that photo you’re editing…whatever.

Sometimes all the interruptions can be really disheartening and make the finished project seem an impossible dream…but deep down I know one day I will be begging my children for 10 minutes of THEIR time, so for now that paragraph can wait. But as this Monday Muse Judith Hunt says, “Being a mom made me a healthier, happier, and much more complex artist.” I need to remember how much my children enrich my life, not just frustrate it.

Enrich your  life with a visit to her site: the Art Farm.

Now I need to go, my baby has just enriched my life by taking her own pants off.

My Summer Fling Has Begun

With a Sony E-reader…not some dude named Sven…though I may encounter him in one of the dozen or so novels I intend to fly through on my little digital jaunt.

Now, before I show you these pictures, I want to make it clear that I am not one of those woman who has to have expensive shoes, purses, or jewelry (which is a good thing, since I couldn’t afford any of that even if I wanted it). I have friends who get turned on by labels and brands…but I am more than happy to buy all my stuff from Kohls…or the circle store.

Even so, I was still tickled by the fact that my e-reader arrived in a cover case that matched my current purse.


And the fact that it fit perfectly in the front pocket of my non-designer purse, well, now I know we must be made for each other.

sony reader fit

Oh, Sony e-reader, our time will be brief, but memorable.

A wobbly tooth has come out!

lola wobbly toothEver since Miss A first saw this episode of Charlie and Lola, she has been fascinated with the idea of losing her tooth.  After waiting over a year, her turn had finally come! A week or so ago her tooth started to wobble…which was a good thing since she has what some refer to as “shark teeth” where her adult teeth are growing in right behind the baby teeth!

As she wiggled the tooth a little each day, we started to prepare for the big moment. We had a kit to make a plaster mold of a tooth, kind of like a little jewelery box...but for teeth.
As she wiggled the tooth a little each day, we started to prepare for the big moment. We had a kit to make a plaster mold of a tooth, kind of like a little jewelery box...but for teeth.

Then I took pictures of Miss A’s all baby tooth smile…I knew it would soon be gone forever.

baby tooth 2

Lil G, of course, had to get in on the action and show off the baby teeth she has so far.

Lil g teeth

missing toofLast night, the big event happened. Just as Miss A was getting ready for bed, she asked me to give the tooth a wiggle. I did…and pop! Out it came! There was much excitement as she examined her new smile. (She’s holding the baby tooth, the kit came with a sticky pad you put on the lid of the box, to keep the tooth in place).

tooth fairy loot

So we prepared for the tooth fairy by leaving the box with the tooth inside and my old tooth fairy pillow just outside Miss A’s door.  In the morning Miss A was excited to discover her tooth was gone! To be replaced by a shiny silver dollar and a certificate signed by the tooth fairy!

I remember what a big deal it was for me when I lost my first tooth…but I never realized it would be an even BIGGER deal when my baby lost hers.

missing tooth in the box

This Monday’s Muse is Stolen…

…from someone else’s post about inspirational artists. Over on one of my all time favorite websites, a regular guest blogger posted a series of photographers who inspire her. And wow, no surprise why! Their work is stunning, breathtaking, beautiful – in a word – inspiring.

One of the featured photographers is a Mama who focuses on natural light children’s photography and she is located out of Chicago. After seeing her work, I know she has to do a session with Miss A and Lil’ G. It’s true. My life won’t be complete until it happens. I’ll start saving now, and hopefully will be able to afford it when their b-days roll around in the spring.

The photographer’s name is Audrey Wolard. Check out her blog and professional site, it will make you have a better day.

We Must Have Something Against Closet Doors.

I never really thought about it, but looking through my house, I guess we kinda do. Have something against closet doors that is.

A's closet 1It started simply enough…I don’t like bi-fold closet doors in the kids’ rooms, because I think it is all too easy to pinch a finger in one of those. So upon moving in, we took out the doors in Miss A’s room and used the drapes from her room in the old house to “act” like closet doors.

G's closet 1So of course, when we got the spare room ready for Lil’ G, I took out the bifolds in there and used simple drapes…her room is a horse theme now, but she may decide on something different in a few years.

hubby's closet 3

Then the husband decided he needed more room to display his game collection (actually, if I remember correctly, he was the first to declare war on closet doors: removing the ones in his office at the old house, and doing the same thing in his new office.) So after several trips to Ikea for some book shelves, he had a place to house his hobby.

hubby's closet 1

laundry room closet 2

The doors to the closet in the laundry room were irksome; Miss A had a hard time manuevering them when she wanted to get a game out of there. So off those went too.

laundry room closet 1 A pretty sheer curtain can hide all kinds of scary clutter-ness.

hall closet 1

The denoument, though, is our foyer/front hall closet. It had sliding closet doors that loved to fall off the track. While incredibly annoying, it wasn’t a big deal until Lil’ G was on her way…then it became a potential hazard. So rather than buy new doors or fix the track we decided on a solution that was more “us.” We ripped the doors out, and while we were at it, we ripped the old shelving organizers out too. That left some nasty holes in the drywall. Which even after patching, were less than smooth…so I decided on some wall paper (in small amounts, I like a little wall paper. Shhh, don’t tell anyone).  Then it was off to Ikea for new shelving, hooks, and a shoe bench.

hall closet 2With all our coats, shoes, bags, etc in there it might look a little cluttered, but in reality it’s not too bad. Leaving it open makes the whole hallway feel bigger. Guests have a place to sit and take off their shoes, and Lil’ G has a constant source of entertainment removing said shoes  from the shelves.

In fact, after it was finished, I believe I inspired many friends to do the same in their own homes. Ha! I’ve started a trend…join in! Free yourselves from closet doors forever.