Golden Four

My sweetest Asher,
I wish I could freeze this moment. I’m worried that if I don’t, you will not be so cuddly tomorrow. Or there won’t be hundreds of kisses adorning my face as you perfectly place each one with a smacking sound while holding my head with you’re small, soft hands.

From three to four, you have changed so much. You are so different from your sister, but when both of your tempers flare, you two are combustible. You are not as easy going as I thought you’d be. You can be defiant and stubborn on a daily basis, just like your momma.

You’re priorities are so different from your sisters. Please forgive me when I compare you two, I try really hard not to. You are concerned with which superhero is going to defeat Vector or Joker instead of what letter you learned in school, let alone how to spell your name. There’s plenty of time for letters when the safety of your imaginary world is at stake.

Everything is exciting to you. During Christmas, you received a movie and the look on your face seemed like Santa gave you a ticket to visit his toy shop. You were beyond excited!

Every morning that you wake, you say “cuddle with me, momma” in your sleepy, raspy voice. My heart grows with each word as you snuggle your warm body against mine and whisper “I love you”. Now, I can’t just simply reply “I love you”. If I do, you will slowly raise your voice and repeat “I love you” until I say “I love you, too”.

You sneak into our bed every night, whispering that you had a bad dream, I pick you up and you settle in-between me and daddy. We rarely get much sleep after your nightly appearance, as you like to assume the letter H with your dad and I on either side while you lay primarily across us; however, I can’t just take you back to your room right away. I love knowing that you still need us to chase the monsters away. Your sister no longer comes in our room at night and soon, you won’t either. So, I’ll hold on as long as I can.

You still can’t stay still for pictures. I’m pretty sure there are at least a thousand little ants in your pants that wake up the second a camera is pointed your way.

You build the best lego towers and when I am at work, you make sure that dad knows to show me that you made them for me. You are a mommy’s boy through and through.

You love fiercely; especially your sister. How else would you endure her dressing you up to play house and her makeup skills?

You, sir, are a goofy boy. A goofy boy that has added an extra beat in my heart. Momma loves you to the moon and back.

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Happy birthday, sweet boy. 

How We Did Disney World Better This Year

Here’s part 2 of our summer vacation! It’s the part we’ve researched the most and it’s the most chaotic part of our trip. But, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

For anyone who has been to Disney with young children, they understand how frustrations can be at a high level, especially when the parks are super busy, the lines are long and the heat index is over 100. Last year we went right after Spring Break shortly after Asher turned 2 and Madelyn was 5 1/2 years old. We thought we were prepared with a double stroller, plenty of water, a backpack full of snacks, a detailed plan that stated what to ride at each particular time, and we brought over a friend to help us if 1 kid needed to go back for a nap or a break from the chaos. Shockingly, things didn’t go as planned. We didn’t realize how impossible it is to stick to a detailed plan with young kids. Before we knew it, it was 2pm and we had crabby kids, crabby adults and no one ate lunch. The stroller was a life saver, but they were so excited to see everything, we’d have to bribe them with snacks to stay in it. The good thing about our friend, Lacee, coming with us, was that Dave and I got to have a night out at Epcot alone. But, she also got to see all of our meltdowns.

When we got home, I told Dave that I didn’t know when we’d come back to Disney.  So, when he told me that he wanted to go back this year, I’m pretty sure I gave him the “you have to be kidding me” look. He started planning nonetheless and eventually we began talking about when to go and how we will go about it this time around.

So what changed this year from last year?

We were flexible. There were no plans set in stone.  Sure, we had reservations to lunch or dinner a couple of times and we had to make some fast passes, but we made a point to have time in the middle of the day to go back to the hotel and unwind or swim in the pool. We couldn’t be go, go, go all day. It wasn’t going to work.

Our first day was at Hollywood studios, but since we had to drive from the Gulf coast and check into our room, we didn’t get there until lunch time so we planned on just staying into the evening, if the kids could handle it. Once we got there, I wished we would’ve stayed at the hotel and gone in the pool! I felt like I was showering in my own sweat!!! We just shoved water, slushes and ice cream at the kids to stay hydrated and cool, along with trying to get on rides often enough to get into some air conditioning or fans. Like I mentioned though, we had to stay flexible. For example, we ended up missing the Disney Jr show we had a fast pass for because we got there late and the later show we missed because we decided to eat dinner instead. Last year we would’ve run for the ride/show without realizing what time it was. Not even thinking about when the last time the kids ate.

Instead of running around like a bunch of crazed tourists, we worked around meal times and the kids behavior. We met characters that we didn’t last year and we had fun waiting in lines.

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Day 2 and 3 we had set up for Epcot. Madelyn was really excited to try and eat different food at all of the countries {is this my child???} and Dave and I were exited to try and drink around the world:)

 

The kids had fun, tried new foods, played in the rain and helped out a mariachi band during their break. Madelyn had her first experience on Rockin Roller coaster and loved it! But she refused to go on Tower of Terror this year. She hated the dark part, so I ended up going alone. Maybe next time she’ll go.

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The kids were good until the 2nd day at Epcot; actually it was in the evening when Asher became unhinged. We realized that we didn’t throw in enough rides when we were walking around the countries. We needed to eat a little and walk to some rides, but instead we continued to walk around and go into stores. Oops!

We realized our mistake before we headed to Magic Kingdom the next day. Live and learn.

There was only 1 day that we had to be at the parks early- day 4. The rest of the days we were at Disney, we didn’t have to be at any of the parks until 10am at the earliest. This gave us wiggle room to get there early if the kids were up, but if they slept in, so be it.

Day 4 was for Magic Kingdom and we had to have Madelyn at the Bippity Boppity Boutique at 8:30am. Madelyn begged and begged to do there last year and I just couldn’t spend $100+ on a bun that gets put in her hair and a costume to wear. After Halloween last year, I made my annual trip to Target after my night shift and saw a nice, fluffy Cinderella and Snow White costume that I got for 70% off!!! I planned on giving it to Madelyn for Christmas, but by the time Christmas came around, we were already thinking about Disney, so we held off giving it to her. Instead, we brought it to Disney and gave her the dresses before we went to the parks. We ended up spending $65 on her hair which came with these really nice mickey bobby pins {they were far from flimsy}, 2 normal size bottles of nail polish, some makeup, a sash, and a small back pack to wear. Yeah, it’s still a lot of money, but it was worth every penny when we saw the Disney staff bow to her because they were in the presence of Cinderella. And I’m not talking about the boutique staff. I mean throughout the park. She was called “princess” and characters even yelled to her off of their parade float to say hi. It was amazing.

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 I should mention how nice it was having an early appointment at Magic Kingdom. The park normally opened at 9am that day but we were able to get into the park at 8am and take some really nice pictures in front of the castle without the masses of people that are normally walking around during the open hours. Next time we go to Disney, we plan on having at least 1 day with breakfast reservations in the park so that we can get in early again.

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We ate lunch and dinner on two separate days at the Be Our Guest restaurant. We originally had a reservation for dinner but ended up getting an email allowing some people to make a fast pass for lunch {something new they were trying this year, I guess}. Both experiences had their values, but the dinner was my favorite. Mostly because I was able to have a glass of wine, or two, with dinner {it was the only place that you can drink alcohol at Magic Kingdom} but also, because we got to meet the Beast! 

 

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I just have to add here that as much as we bring our own food to Disney to save money, it’s so nice that we don’t have to bring food in for fear of Madelyn having an allergic reaction while eating the park food. Every place we would go, the staff would show us the ingredient list and/or the chef would come out and explain what is and isn’t safe for Madelyn to eat. It’s such a huge relief that even though we carried her EpiPen with us everywhere, it’s nice to know that the chance is slim that we would have to use it. 

 

The kids loved meeting all of their favorite characters while we were at Magic Kingdom. Although, Asher was still a bit hesitant at times. 

 

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On our last day at magic Kingdom, Madelyn and I ran across a dance party by the castle on our way over to Space Mountain. It was wonderful. I quickly washed the chocolate ice cream off of Madelyn’s face and she hopped out of the stroller to be a part of this. 

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 Even Mr. Incredible wanted a dance with Snow White.

 

We had such a wonderful time this year. 

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Our last moments at Magic Kingdom were spent taking a ride on the carousel.  

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Before this princess fell asleep on our last night a Disney World, she watched the amazing fireworks from our balcony. Mesmerized. 

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Preschool- Take 1

This is Asher’s final week of preschool for the year. It’s not really fair that I say that he’s done because he just started in February, once he turned 3, and he plans on returning to preschool in the Fall for another round of it. It was great that they took him in early, not only because he still needed a little bit of help in his speech and language development, but because we wanted him to be around other kids his age.

I didn’t expect him to do as well as he did. I expected him to be fearful and timid, but he amazed us all. He looks forward to each day of school and says how he can’t wait to play with his friends.

Last week, we received his progress report and except for a few things (difficult time with square and rectangle; making a stick person with correct arm and leg placement), he’s right in line with all of the other kids who are moving onto 4K. I’m so proud of him:) But, even if he didn’t know all of those things, I’d still be proud. Even though it’s exhausting at times, I love that he can chat up a storm. He gets easily distracted, though and I’ll hear:

“mama…..”.

“Yes, Asher”. {Ohhhh a rock on the ground.}

“Ummm mama”.

“Yes, Asher”.

“Can I have a….”. {Leaf falls on the ground}

You get the drift. Easily distracted. That’s my boy.

Today, Asher had his preschool program. My sweet little boy, wearing his favorite shirt. Hair done in a mohawk, which he refused outright, but he looked too darn cute. I had to do it without him knowing.

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He did such a great job during the program. He sang songs, even did some sign language, threw around a scarf and twirled around.

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He would wave to me from time to time and mouth/ whisper “hi mom” frequently during the show. It was a great time!

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Then, this happened….

Doesn’t he have the cutest wink???? And did you catch the “hi mom” that he mouthed at the end? He did that after every song he sang. Adorable!

Another favorite…

If you can’t understand what he said, this is it: “favorite color blue…. like the ocean”. Ahhhh, melt my heart.

I have a few more videos, but these are the best. I’m just BEAMING with pride for this little munchkin.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these as much as I have. Well, lets be honest, I probably love them more:) Next week will be Madelyn’s kindergarten graduation. I plan on bringing tissues along with my camera. So, get ready to watch a few more.

Have a great week!