Sunday, March 25, 2012

Favorite Moments

Oh where to start?  On our trip to Disney, the whole time was wonderful (aside from THE duck incident).  To be able to see the park and attractions through the eyes of children that have never seen these things before was awesome.  There are a few moments that stand out as our favorites, though....

On our first day, we took the monorail from the parking lot to the Magic Kingdom.  The cab was crowded, but the kids were super stoked just to look out the windows at the tops of trees while in a moving box.  As we got closer to the park, Cinderella's Castle came into view between the trees.  Well!  When Trey spotted the castle, he started SCREAMING!!!  A couple of older folks looked slightly put off by the screams of a toddler, but everyone else seemed to ignore his excitement.  This is exactly what Trey said..."WOOK!!!  IT'S CINDERELLA'S HOUSE!!!  CINDERELLA'S HOUSE!!  CINDER! ELLA'S!!!  HOUSE!!!  WOOK, WOOK!!!  Was that too loud?"  The whole cab burst out laughing.  Seriously?  This kid is too much.  I probably didn't do it kinda had to be there.  But, man!  Trey has comedic timing!  What a wonderful reaction to seeing the castle!

Another moment that you'll think is gross...but I find hilarious!  We were on our way to Legoland and we went through the drive-thru at McDonald's.  While waiting in line, Bella starts yelling that Joe needs a tissue.  Thinking that Joe just has a little clear drip of snot, I start rummaging for a tissue.  I can't find one...not a tissue, not a napkin, not an extra shirt...nothing.  As I'm searching Bella becomes more and more agitated, yelling that Joe is disgusting and gross.  Plus, I hear that Joe is now giggling.  When I look back at Joe, there is a HUGE string (like the length and width of my pinky finger) of bright, neon green snot dangling out of his teeny, tiny nose!!  I'm telling ya, I have not laughed that hard in a long time!  Poor Bella was distraught, but Jay, Joe, myself and even Trey were laughing until tears streamed down our faces.  The fact that I had not one single thing for him to wipe his nose with made it even better.  Joe had to hold still until we got our food...with extra napkins!  I know, I know!  We're so immature!  Nanny nanny boo boo!  I thought it was a great moment.

As we entered a different park everyday, Bella would scramble to grab a park map.  It just made my heart happy to see her everyday walking, studying her maps as if Jay and I might not be able to find our way around.  Bonus!  She could really read them!

The fireworks over Cinderella's Castle!!!  It really is magical!

Joe overcame a lot of fears (though some were just temporary reprieves).  He got his picture taken with a character!  He rode a horse!

I'm sure there are a thousand more stories, but those stick out to me...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

They're Listening!

I will get to more stories from Disney!  But I got slapped in the face with a different blog post. 

One time when Joe was in pre-school, the kids saw me get angry.  Allow me to fill in the blanks that are clearly running through your head.  At this time, I was either overly pregnant with Trey or had just had him...I can't remember ALL the details.  This was, after all, 4years ago!  But either way, hormones were running high.  Joe had just turned 5, so Bella was 3.  Very near the school/church is a hairy intersection.  There's a blinking yellow light...another stop light...left turns trying to turn another left...left turns trying to go to the right.  It can get tricky.  For some reason, the intersection was seriously congested.   I had to wait to make the right turn because I absolutely could not see if any traffic was coming from the left.  The car next to me had pulled up too far and was blocking my line of sight.  The car behind me beeped aggressively at me.  Remember how I said that hormones were running high?  Well, Mommy got a little angry.  I have always disliked using the horn.  Unless you're trying to warn me of impending danger, then don't beep at me.  Please believe me when I say that I did not swear at the woman behind me or get out of the van, but she knew that she had made a bad decision.

The kids have obviously heard me yell before, but the sheer anger in my voice frightened them.  It stuck in their brains.  For a long time after, one of them would say "Remember how you yelled at that lady?"  In fact, the most recent time was THIS PAST WEDNESDAY!!!  Are you serious?  This happened 4 years ago!!  Joe and I were driving to Jiu Jitsu and a car didn't yield like it was supposed to...I said something like "God bless you and yield next time."  Joe asked what yield means so I explained what the other driver did wrong but that it wasn't a huge deal, yada, yada, yada.  From the back of the van, Joe says "Mom, remember the time you yelled at that lady?"  I had to explain that it was wrong that I yelled and that if I could I would apologize to that woman.

What a wake up call, though.  What I say and do absolutely impacts my children in both good and bad ways.  I knew this, but to have it brought front and center by something that happened years ago was a real zinger. 

They're listening....

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Duck Incident

As Jay and I (and the rest of the Facebook community) relive our trip to Disney through 764 pictures, we often land on the topic of 'what was THE best part' or 'what was THE worst part' of the trip.  There are so many great moments and I will share those, too.  But, I wanted to put on the record the worst part of the trip for me.

It was our first day at the park.  We went to the Magic Kingdom.  The day was really hot, much hotter than we anticipated (and yes, I know we were in Florida, duh!).  Joe's feet hurt, my neck was sunburned, everyone was hot and sticky.  But!  We were still pushing through all that and having fun, enjoying rides and sights and shows.  For lunch, we found a cute place that sold hot dogs and fries.  Perfect and simple.  Jay stood in the food line, while I tried to find Joe a new pair of sunglasses for less than an arm and a leg.  No luck there, so we headed to back to help with the food.  There was no seating inside, so we moved out to the patio area.  This is when things start to go down hill.  People are sitting at the tables with no food.  They are saving the table while someone else gets the food.  Ugh!  So annoying!  You can't save tables in a place like that!  To make it worse, people can clearly see the 5 of us roaming, looking for an open table, carrying our tray, balancing water bottles....So, we grumpily find a spot on the sidewalk next to the building.  The good thing is that it's shaded, the bad thing is that you can't convince me that someone hasn't thrown up on the ground in that exact spot.  No amount of hand sanitizer can comfort me.  To add to the anxiety, Joe is freaking out about the birds.  What are they?  Sea gulls?  Ducks?  Bald Eagle?  They swooped down and swipe any crumb off the ground, then tell their friends about it so that they come lookin'.  We assure Joe that as long as he doesn't feed the birds, they won't come near him.  He eats huddled in the corner of the building using his baby brother as a shield from the birds.  There's a family sitting on the curb, who like us, have given up finding a table without having to start a fight in the happiest place on earth.  As we are finishing up, the youngest child of the other family starts to actually feed to birds!  Jay and I look at each other, then try to make eye contact with the parents of the bird feeder.  They must have been distracted by Joe's whimpering, because they won't look at us.  The little girl keeps backing up as more and more birds start to gather near her.  To our further chagrin, she's backing up into our little area!  Still, the parent do nothing!!!  Jay and I hurry to gather garbage and extract all the kids from what has become the unhappiest corner on earth.  Jay pushes the stroller away quickly, dragging Bella by the arm.  I follow behind pulling Joe with me.  The little bird feeder has now trapped a huge duck in the corner that we just vacated and just as we pass by, the duck FLIES STRAIGHT AT US!!!  It's wing brushed my arm!!!  Have we talked about how much I hate birds???  So, here I am gripping Joe's hand for dear life and of course, I scream!  To make it even worse, the parents were giggling at my distress.  Ugh!  I hate birds!  p.s. Don't save tables!  And, don't feed the birds!

*please know that I am extremely thankful that the worst part of the trip for me was a 10 minute window of time where no one was hurt or sick or lost*

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Home Sweet Home!

What an amazing week we had at Give Kids The World and Disney!  There are so many stories and pictures to share!  Before I get to all that, though, I wanted to say that I think that preparation was key to our trip's success.  {along with an army of prayer warriors, Holy Spirit, and God!}  We really tried to think of ways to prepare the kids as best we could for the things that were going to happen...

*We talked a lot with the kids about what would happen once we got to the airport and on the plane.  They knew that they would have to go through the metal detectors and security.  On the plane they knew that the flight attendant would go over a lot of safety information that might sound scary, but was for "just in case".   The bathrooms would be tiny (and gross) and they would get one small drink from the cart.

*We also prepared them for the other families at GKTW.  From the outside, it looks as though nothing is wrong with Trey.  We could be just your average family.  However, a lot of the kids at GKTW have very obvious special needs.  Joe and Bella knew not to stare or point or say anything rude.  Trey seems to be oblivious to differences in other kids.  They really did great with this and Bella was so sweet to talk with and stand in line for something with a little girl in a wheelchair, a ventilator and a slew of other issues.

*We would prepare them for each day by explaining where we were going and what was going to be there as best we could.

Everyday held its own surprises and curve balls, but the kids had enough knowledge and confidence to deal with them and even overcome fears and nervousness!