Disney Tips

  Disney Tips

  • #10 Don’t stress. If you’re overwhelmed with planning, hire a travel agent that specializes in Disney. Most TA’s are paid by Disney and their services are free.
  • #9 Enjoy the experience. There are stressed out parents all around you. Simply accept the fact that your kids are going to melt down at some point. You might even melt down. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you’re in DISNEY!
  • #8 Don’t parent shame. There is absolutely no parent shaming in Disney- Got it?- If you don’t know what parent shaming is – look it up and just don’t do it. Parenting 101: We are all doing the best we can, especially in Disney with excited, exhausted, and over-stimulated kids.
  • #7 Be flexible. Even the most organized Disney trips don’t go as planned. You might wake up late, the bus system may be off schedule, or it might – wait for it – rain. Contrary to popular belief, there is NO dome over Disney, so please don’t lash out at the cast members if it rains.
  • #6 Get Memory Maker. Don’t forget to stop and take it all in. For some families, Disney is a one and done trip, or a once in a lifetime trip. Don’t try to get the “perfect” picture or take “every” picture – (I am guilty of this) – be in the moment. Memory Maker is worth every single penny.
  • #5 Be respectful. There are people from ALL over the world vacationing at Disney. Every family and person that is there, spent money to be there – like a lot of money – Everyone’s trip is special in their own way – please don’t act like an entitled ass.
  • #4 Respect the cast members. I PROMISE YOU, cast members aren’t trying to ruin your trip by telling you to move your stroller or to exit a certain way. Disney has a system and it works. If you have an issue or concern, address it in a mature manner.
  • #3 Stay hydrated. Florida heat is like NO other. Don’t forget to drink water and make sure your kids are hydrated. If you need to take a mommy or daddy “time out” and grab a beer, there’s plenty of places to do so – just don’t act like a buffoon. (Also it’s an unspoken parent rule, when you see another parent pushing a stroller with a beer in hand, it’s socially acceptable to have a drink). Please read Disney tip #8 titled – “no parent shaming”- sometimes mommy and daddy need a drink.
  • #2 Don’t “expect” Pixie Dust. You will be highly disappointed in your trip if you “expect” Pixie Dust. There will be lines, there will be crowds, and every single second of your trip may not be perfect. If you want a relaxing trip, without kids, don’t go to Disney. Go to an island.
  • #1 PLAN YOUR NEXT TRIP. Sometimes Disney leaves bounce back offers. Be sure to ask upon check out or check your room before you leave.

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Welcome to Wonderland

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This will be the first of MANY Disney blogs! These are all my personal pictures and my personal experiences. You are entitled to disagree and quite frankly, it doesn’t bother me one Disney bit!

It’s Complicated

For days, I’ve tried to put together a post on the recent school shooting. I started to write…then deleted my post…started again…only to delete –  My emotions, mostly sadness and frustration, have prevented me from doing what I love most – writing –

As a teacher and a mom of two school-aged children, I’ve been at a loss for words. I can’t believe school shootings are still happening. Even more frustrating, I don’t have the solution. The issue is, there is no “one” solution. There are so many variables – it’s complicated – guns, mental illness, anger issues, lack of school security – I don’t know – honestly – I just don’t.

In the aftermath of Parkland, I have read numerous articles, blog posts, Instagram posts, and watched many news segments. I have read the cruel and insensitive comments on social media from the keyboard warriors. I have read the heart breaking stories from families of the victims –  I have also read some really interesting, intelligent, and well-written pieces.

I’ve struggled to write this  -mostly due to the backlash – but mostly, I’ve struggled to write because my post won’t be any different from what has already been said. And a lot has been said.

I am writing mostly to be a voice – a voice for parents and teachers – a voice for the students and teachers that are anxious to go to school – and a voice to say – we CAN’T forget about this in a week, a month, a year – we can’t sit back and add this shooting to the list –

I am writing because, sitting behind a computer screen clicking “share” is much different than actually sitting at a teacher desk looking around your classroom wondering…

“Where would I hide my 28 kids?” “Could I protect my students?”  “What would I actually do?”

I’ve thought about it…I know the drills – I know “what to do” – but will it be enough?

Instead of writing – I read – I read articles suggesting teachers can, “simply arrange” classrooms differently. Another article talked about a teacher who has students write notes on Fridays about who they would like to sit with the following week or a classmate they would want to get to know better. The teacher studies the notes over the weekend to identify struggling students or “loners” – It’s a sweet idea – and it may work for some grade levels – but aren’t teachers already aware of their struggling students or loners – isn’t that already in their instinctual teacher super powers?  It seems teachers should add therapist, psychologist, and mind reader to their already extensive list of responsibilities and unrealistic expectations.

I don’t have the answers it seems nobody has answers — and since Columbine, the only thing that has changed is an increase in the amount and type of drills conducted on a monthly basis, and an alarming increase in the amount of school shootings.

I am just like every other frustrated teacher and I’m just like every other worried parent — praying Parkland doesn’t happen in our community.

How cliche? Hoping and praying doesn’t prevent school shootings. Hoping and praying doesn’t stop tragedy, but change could. I just don’t know what that change is.

I’m just like every other teacher, hoping I never have to make the split second decision to take a bullet for my students; I’m just like every parent, praying that there is a teacher that would take a bullet for my children.  

  Continue reading “It’s Complicated”

Yes. I Am Going to Disney. AGAIN.

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“HOME”

Kid-Free Disney

Even before my husband and I had kids, we loved Disney. We traveled to Disney World with a big group of friends and had the best time ever! Instead of running to Anna and Elsa at rope drop, we contemplated when it would be appropriate to start drinking around the world in Epcot. You know…for the cultural experience.

When we were younger, my parents headed to Disney without us. Yes, they did… for a wedding. It was one of those sparenoexpensebecausethisisonceinalifetime weddings. There was a Cinderella Coach, footmen, cocktails in the rose garden during evening fireworks, and a reception dancing the night away with Mickey in “tails” and Minnie in evening sequins. My parents said it was the best time, the best food, the best Disney magic ever. (They really enjoyed going on all the crazy rides sans kids… but I digress).

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Peyton telling Snow White that SHE was also a princess, Princess P.

After we had our first daughter, we planned a vacation to Disney. Then the second daughter came, and well, we had to let her have the same experiences as her older sister, and the cycle began. We keep going back to Disney – and we will continue to do so- Disney is NOT just for kids. Yes, at some point in my life, I want a kid-free vacation. I want to sit my ass on an island and drink margaritas. BUT for now, my kids are 7, 5, and 2, therefore, Disney it is…

But beyond the ever-changing way that Disney encourages fans to return, again and again, it is the Disney moments that keep me up late at night clicking to get the best deals. Continue reading “Yes. I Am Going to Disney. AGAIN.”

The “F” Word

Recently, my 5-year-old daughter, Parker, asked if she was “fat”. I am not naive – I know she’s heard the word, and I would be lying if I said that it didn’t come from my mouth from time to time…I am my worst critic. I’ll look at myself in the mirror and ask my husband, “Does this outfit make me look fat?”

So horrible, I know…But…I’m not a perfect parent, and I’m not a perfect mom…And those words have totally come out of my mouth.

Parker is confident- So confident that sometimes I need to discuss modesty with her. She runs around the house in her underwear and wears sometimes too small clothes. My older daughter is the exact opposite. She needs complete privacy and is sometimes overly modest.

I asked Parker what made her think that she was “the F word”, and she said that she looks at her friends and her big sister, Peyton, and her tummy is bigger. Parker’s “tummy” is literally the cutest thing in the entire world…When I was pregnant with my youngest, Parker, would stick her tummy out and say that she had “baby Bella” in her tummy.

Parker and Baby Bella
Parker and Baby Bella

We are a healthy family. We eat healthy, for the most part. My girls are active in swim, gymnastics, and dance class year round. Parker has a “solid” and “athletic” build. Her older sister, Peyton, is taller, has ballerina long legs, and has a different shape.

As any mom would, I stressed to Parker that she is just perfect. She was easily appeased – until a few days later when she tried to squeeze into too small “skinny jeans”…eh…Why do we even have to call them “skinny” jeans?

The jeans were definitely a size too small, and her athletic gymnast legs had a hard time getting in them. I told Parker that she is growing big and strong, that’s why the pants didn’t fit…Thankfully, Parker IS confident. She threw the silly skinny jeans aside and rocked another super cool outfit…(I swear, this kid makes anything cool).

Boosting confidence in our children, and not just our daughters, but our sons too is SO important. At an early age, whether it be from television or conversation at school, our children are comparing themselves to others and trying to figure out life. It’s tough being a kid. It’s tough being a teenager, and we as parents need to encourage these beautiful children.

I completely dread the teenage years .I teach teenagers, and know how difficult it can be. For now, I will make sure Parker doesn’t lose an ounce of her confidence and spunk. That she she keeps her amazing, feisty, and adorable personality.

We will be mindful to use the words healthy, active, and making healthy choices in our house…And I promise to not use that “F” word in front of any of my daughters again.

Setting Goals

Tonight as I put my children to bed, I read them each a bedtime story of their choice. My oldest, Peyton, chose a book to read to her little sisters…Peyton set a goal in the beginning of the year to be at a letter J for the scholastic reading scale. Peyton entered first grade at a letter D.

She was just recently leveled, and advanced to a letter M! Pey has exceeded her goal. Of course I am proud of her reading ability, but she could be reading at a level A and I would still be proud. I admire that she is so young and recognized the importance of setting a goal and recognized the importance of hard work.

 

 

Peyton is learning the value of hard work and her perseverance paid off.

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Building confidence is so important at her age…It’s the foundation for the rest of her life. She doesn’t brag about her goal, yet she feels a sense of accomplishment. Her humbleness is admirable.

Setting goals are important, no matter what age we may be. Goals help us feel a sense of accomplishment and boost confidence.

Some tips for setting goals:

1. Be realistic.

2. Write your goals down. Getting a journal or a book of some sort to keep track of your goals is helpful. I’ve been using this “goal getter” book from Target.

3. If the plan doesn’t work, modify it, but don’t give up.

4. Vocalize your goal. Say it out loud when you’re doing your make up, or showering. Say “I will do this! I know I can.” Sometimes I hold myself accountable by posting something on social media.

5. Stay positive & patient. Some goals will be easier than others. If you have a positive mindset, anything is possible.

I have set some goals for this summer.

1. Workout at least 5 days a week.

2. Finish renovating my home and move in!

3. Find more time for mindfulness.

4. Do more meaningful activities with my daughter’s during our summer together.

5. Surprise my husband with a 40th birthday party (he doesn’t read my blog or even know how to access it…sooooooo…😆)

6. Put my phone down and tune in more to what is happening around me. Especially limiting my time on social media.

7. Try something new. (Not sure what, but something different)

Seven is my lucky number so I am stopping there! What are some of your goals? Go get them! Anything is possible!