Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lazy Saturdays with Izzy

Saturday mornings...

With Tony having a wacky schedule with the only constant being he doesn't have a Saturday off and our kids being homeschooled with Saturdays being a sometimes school day, Saturday doesn't really hold the same magic in our household as it does in some.

Still some, like today, remind me why saturday is such a marvelous day to normal families.

We started out with easter bunny and eggs colored pancakes with whipped cream. Directly after, Ella headed to the play room and returned the favor and started bringing out courses of plastic food, starting with tea and sugar. She wants to be a chef.

She kept informing me there was an egg at the bottom of the bowl. Apparently that was a very important feature of the dish.

Also apparently a large ghost decided to jump in the side of the picture as my hipstamatic was capturing my plastic food spread. Jerky ghost ruined the picture and she had cleared my couch table before I had time to notice.

She also gave me a royal scepter (while dressed as Belle) that had the princesses on each side. When you turned the heart gem it made a sound specific to the princess. She told me this is how I would call for what princess I wanted. Unfortunately for her, before she had even returned to her kitchen Layla had the scepter and was calling for Ariel. And in Ariel came. She was going to learn how to do some quick costume changes in the next few minutes.

We haven't been out and about much this week so I asked if they wanted to go somewhere.
"yeah let's go to Disney World" shouted a delusional Ella.
As if it was that easy. Of course we would be there nearly daily if it was!!!

It's just nice to not have anything on the schedule (even if I need to) and pretend Saturdays are something different here too.

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Friday, March 30, 2012

A dog by any other name...

Tony's dad said we needed a bigger dog that would keep wildlife away (or eat it) apparently cockerspaniels don't have any street cred with him. So, last night we ended up with a husky. Tonys favorite- not so much mine, although there are some right up the road sired by Disney dog actors! A dog with Disney lineage? I'll take two!

We named it Crosby, after Sidney Crosby- awesomeness in a cute package- from Pittsburgh Penguins but Ella hates that because "it's SPORTS. she's a girl." and in protest is calling the dog Crystal.

It cracks me up because she picked a real person she knows, probably her favorite person at church. They share a nickname - grizzle, because Ella would throw awful fits and I'd say her behavior was not befitting a lovely lady like name as Isabelle, she must be Grizzlebelle which became Grizzle for short. Im not sure what Crystal did to earn her name.

Miss Crystal also happens to have a son who is crushing on Ella. I think there must be a connection....

This dog better Kill some menacing creatures because I am not by nature a dog person and have found myself with two in a rather short span...

She does have a nice disposition though.

And you can't beat a name like Crosby... Or Crystal.

She moved- see her pirate scar?

I have large ears. The better to hear with my dear. I also have a Parti eye (multi colored eye ) which has caused many party jokes at my expense already. And a song "there's a party in my eye so pretty so pretty " thank you Yo GABA GABA

I don't like leashes and I am not moving until I feel slack in this thing.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Make Something Monday- the never going to end edition

I didn't post my Make Something Monday yesterday because in the process if it I had to go pick up Ella from her sleepover. We were at Walmart far longer than I thought doing things like test driving bikes and shopping cart jousting .

But here is an on going Make Something Monday.

My sister and I are painting a princess mural on Ella's wall. It started out as me just doing princesses but I felt they looked a bit odd hanging out on a blank wall so I asked her to add scenery. She started a tree and is on her way to add a castle in the distance, stream and cobble stone path.

When this wall is done Ella has demanded a Rapunzel and Flynn scene and Laci a pixie hollow... Going to be painting for quite some time.::

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Another Disney Day- What you didn't do ADR for CRT during FD?!

I'm in the midst of crazy stressful dining planning for my Disney trip. We just booked this week and I only have 12 days before the 180 day mark to make ADRs (advanced dining resevations) .  Crazy you say?

No. Not when you go when Disney is offering the free dining plan.

While other times you may be able to mosey on up to any kind hostess and be given a wait time for a walk in, if you do this during free dining you're going to get laughed at by the same hostess and by all the other smug guests waiting in the their seat they scheduled 6 months in advance.

You see, free dining means EVERYONE at the Resort hotels is offered the plan with the purchase of the magic your way package (room and tickets) so unless you are an annual pass holder or opt to use another discount you're eating free. This means
              NO. SEATS. ANYWHERE.

And counter service restaurants where no reservations are accepted are like fight club. With babies. And a fixings bar.

Now why is this stressful? Well if only it were so easy to just pick where you want to eat 6 months from now- that alone is a task- I'm not sure what I want to eat tomorrow.
... Or for dinner tonight, I didn't thaw anything out.... I was making spreadsheets for meals 6 months from now.

"No kids idk what we are having for supper I can't figure that out I'm trying to figure out how in the name of Walt we are going to fit in a blasted Boma reservation to keep your dad happy! Eat a banana"

Not only do you have to know what foods sound good on the fourth Thursday of a month half a year away you have to figure out what park you will be in!

And no you can't just go magic kingdom epcot Hollywood magic animal kingdom magic.

No you can't because Wishes is only this night that night and maybe that night and the electro magic parade is only one night the week you're there- thank God coinciding with a Wishes fireworks night....

Oh and extra magic hours are at Hollywood  on this day but oh so is Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) ... HOW DO I MAKE THIS ALL WORK?!?
(shell out an extra $300 for a park hopper and be done with it)
But if you're husband says "NO I hate Disney transportation we are not park hopping" you make grids and graphs and spreadsheets and scribble all over them.

-You plot out your week and mark down the park hours for each park.

-Then you note which parks have Extra Magic Hours (EMH)- hours only available to resort hotel guests - yippie .

-Then you note down all special events limited to certain nights  - fireworks, parades, shows, parties...

-Cross reference all of them. Making sure to take advantage of all EMH and special events.

*That will give you the best day for each park.... Based on my system .

Some people say don't do EMH parks because they're busy. Those people are insane people who get up at the break of dawn and head to a park . I don't do that. EMH in the evening are a beautiful thing allowing us to ride everything in a few hours with no wait.

You've pinpointed what days you will be where now to figure out restaurants by reading tons of reviews realizing some people think they're the Queen of Disney and no food would ever be good enough for them.

Check out this site for reviews based on the best eateries for's Disney though so anywhere will accommodate your little monsters darlings.  Even the nicest places have Mac and cheese and chicken nuggets.  Boma the African buffet has a Childs buffet full of American junk food for picky kids.

After you decide what places sound best  while making sure to pick the best character restaurants you have to decide when to dine where!

-Plop them on your grid based on proximity to the park you're in that day.
* Remember if they are in the park instead of a hotel you will need park admission.

-Doodle Mickey heads while husband puts in his two cents (you're planning this not him but humor him so he doesn't argue against  your plan out of spite and feeling left out... But he has no clue how involved this really is )

By now you should have at least most of your meals planned. I always end up tweaking it for weeks changing and canceling them up until a few weeks before for the less popular restaurants. Or cancelling extra reservations on the bus to Magic Kingdom...  Yes I ended up double booked a couple days :p see you need to call early for reservations because there are a lot of selfish indecisive planners out there double booking days ... Don't judge me.

- Sit back, breathe and put the pen down! There are too Many choices and not enough days!

Now technically not all restaurants have to be picked this early and if you're very flexible on times even less need to be. But there is so much to do at Disney and if you don't take that into account early you will miss a lot due to poor planning.

Restaurants that need to be booked far in advance:

-1900 Park Faire- character meal with Cinderella and her step family at Grand Floridian.

This has become hugely popular even harder to book than the castle meal.

-Ohana- Stitch, LILO and Mickey at the lovely Polynesian resort serve a family style breakfast and host games for the kids. The breakfast is very popular but there is also a non character dinner that I could not get an ADR for the life of me last year.

- Cinderella's Royal Table- breakfast, lunch and dinner inside the castle! It's the only way to go up into the castle unless you're some lucky jerk who wins a stay in the suite. It includes a picture with Cinderella. Breakfast and lunch are with princesses, dinner has a show with the fairy godmother and mice. It is two table service credits or many Many dollars.

Chef Mickeys at the Contemporary is a buffet meal with the Fab Five, it's kind of the quintessential character meal with Mkckey that everyone knows about so rather popular and should be booked asap. The food is good the characters are swell- can't go wrong.

Also, now if you are not on dining plan they make you pay the full price up front when reserving. Cinderella's table and a few other "signature " dining experiences.  Ouch.

So what are you waiting for?! This is complex! head your browser to this page
(it has a much better layout with all the show times etc and all park hours in one place unlike the official Disney site)
And start plotting out your vacation!

Free dining is now available for vacations most dates August 25- September 29! Check here for details. Rooms are limited and they're going fast! Some resorts are all booked out which is unusual this soon!

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Check out my Disney Travel blog  for more Disney tips and hit my travel agent button in the sidebar for help planning your next getaway- my services are free paid by Mickey!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Make Something Monday- off with your head edition

It's Make Something Monday but we have been battling the plague of Norovirus and some secondary infection since Valentines Day. We had three days of everyone being healthy then everyone started throwing up again.

Now Layla is dealing with a bit of stuffiness which for a baby is apparently a huge deal as I have had to stay up all night with her the last two nights.

I got an hour sleep today - at 11 am bringing my two day total to 4.

I made nothing this Monday.

Well not physical anyway.

I had Tony rent a bunch of movies a few days ago realizing we would be couch and bed ridden over the weekend with nothing to watch. Silly me, with kids movies take s good 6 hours to finish! So today I just got around to the last of them - Anonymous.

It's about the whole was Shakespeare really Shakespeare or just a ghost writer for a noble man controversy. It's set during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I - a Tudor.

I love Tudor history and have shared some great nerdy historical fiction fun with the bestie. Subsequently I bought Laci a kids version of the diary of a young Elizabeth Tudor a few years ago. She liked her instantly for the red hair they share.

Well of Course I didn't get far into the movie and Layla demanded to be taken to bed. She doesn't like to nap downstairs. I paused the movie and hoped to get a nap in with her. That didn't happen.

When I came downstairs I came upon Laci and Ella discussing Lady Jane Grey, Catherine ... Henry the VIII wives.

Apparently not knowing how to work the new tv they turned my movie back on watching enough to find out it was about Elizabeth and to give me a spoiler of a sword fight...

As I walked into the kitchen to make a quick dinner before they headed to see The Lorax I heard "he had 6 wives. A lot of them were beheaded"

Ella: " that means dead"

Thanks Scholastic!

In any case I did make something this Monday- a couple of British history buffs.

Oh and their favorite wife - "Anne Bullion" (Boleyn)
Now off to finish my movie.
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