Sunday, October 16, 2016

Our Disney Trip: Packing and Traveling

This is the second post in the series about our trip to Disney.  You can read the first post about the planning process here.  

When I started the whole process, the one thing I wasn't really looking forward to was the travel to and from Disney.  I mean is anyone EVER really all that excited about going that far with two little kids?  Didn't think so.  Since I know my personal limit in the car is the beach, there was never any debate around flying vs. driving for my family - I knew all along we would be flying.  (Luckily, Sage knows me well, too, and also knew immediately driving wasn't an option!)

We booked a direct flight into Orlando International Airport, and I would recommend anyone flying with little kids do the same.  The flight was about an hour and a half, and I think that was perfect!  While the kids were both really excited about flying, and I felt like I brought them a good amount of things to keep them occupied (more on that later!), anything else would have been too long for Baby Sage I think.

Since we arrived in Orland right around noon, we decided to have lunch immediately in the airport food court.  It is good sized, and we figured eating before anyone got too hungry and cranky was the best decision.  It worked perfectly for our family, because that 45 minute travel-time to the hotel would have been a bit much on empty stomachs.

We had arranged transportation on Disney's Magical Express, which is complimentary motor coach service from the airpot to the hotel.  My favorite thing about this is that we never had to go to baggage claim!  About two weeks prior to our trip, I received a set of yellow luggage tags.  All I had to do was place these on the bags, and Disney arranged to have those bags delivered directly to our rooms.  It was amazing!  I definitely recommend going this route, but as a tip:  make sure you pack anything you might need upon arrival in your carry-on luggage, because the delivery service can take up to three hours.

Since we had planned to go into the Magic Kingdom on the day we arrived, I made sure to also pack a small rolling carry-on suitcase with some things we would need immediately.  This included a change of clothes for myself, Emma's Elsa dress (for the reservations we had at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique followed by dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table), and of course, our Magic Bands!  The rolling suitcase also held the kids' backpacks with activities until we boarded the plane, and they both got all of their own stuff.

I started packing about a week in advance so that there was no way I would forget something.  I'd pack, discuss with friends, add to it, repeat.  So what did we (I) pack?

  • Travel-size dishwashing liquid (used to clean sip cups each night in the hotel)
  • Bottle Brush
  • Sippy Cups
  • Disposable Bibs
  • Snacks
  • Gallon & Quart size Ziplock bags (to hold ice, clothes, etc)
  • Sunscreen
  • Ponchos
  • Medicines & Thermometer
  • Clothing for each of us
  • Diapers, & Wipes
  • Travel-Size First Aid Kit (Neosporin & a variety of bandages were in it)
  • Blister Bandages
  • Autograph Pillow Cases:  A lot of people do "Autograph Books" but I knew those would get shoved in a drawer.  So instead, I bought pillowcases on Etsy, and then got a clipboard, some binder clips, and fabric pens for each kid.  And if the number of times Emma has brought it out and looked at the signatures is any indication, this was a good idea!!!
  • Activity stuff for the plane for the kids

Each day, Sage carried a backpack into the park.  This was typically stuff that we might need throughout the day, but didn't need at our fingertips at all times.  When it was time to go on rides, he just left it with the stroller.  We made sure there was nothing in it couldn't be replaced if needed, but we did not have any issues!  In that bag, we had the following things every day:

  • Autograph Pillowcases
  • Change of clothes for both kids (never know when an accident can happen or when a Mickey Ice Cream Bar can make a total mess).  I put these in gallon size bags in the bottom of the backpack.
  • Snacks
  • Changing Pad, Diapers, & Wipes
  • First Aid Kit
  • Disposable Bibs for Baby Sage
  • Sippy Cups
  • Sunscreen

In turn, every day I carried a cross-body purse that held the things we might need immediate access to, like:

  • Travel-size baby wipes
  • Travel-size Kleenex
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Travel-size Advil
  • Cell Phones

If you've made it this far, I'm willing to bet you still have two questions, the first of which would be, "So just what did you pack for the kids for the airplane????"

Disney-related stuff of course!

So, we decided to surprise the kids with the trip.  This was done partly (ok, mostly) to preserve my sanity - I knew they would need a heads-up, but I also knew I couldn't handle questions like Emma asked about her trip to visit Momma G.  Originally, we had planned to only tell them two days prior to departure, but since Emma can be extremely quiet, reserved, and shy, we wanted to have time to prepare her for the trip.  This worked out really well, as Emma never hesitated to hug the characters, ask for autographs, etc., which is all very out of character for her.  If you have a shy child, definitely take the time to prepare them!!

So the Sunday night before the trip, we gave both kids baskets filled with Disney-related items.  They were both incredibly excited to see the Mickey and Minnie stuffed animals - so excited, they didn't even think to ask what all of this meant!  We had to prod them a bit, and told them "We're going to Disney World!"

And... they both looked at us in confusion.  Emma asked, "What's Disney World?"

Not exactly the response we were expecting, but when we told them it's where Mickey, Cinderella, Elsa, Anna, etc., lived, they started to get excited.  And when we pulled out the Disney Vacation Planning DVD, they got really excited!!  We also watched YouTube videos of kids getting their hair done at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, meeting characters, parades, and more.

Here's a list of what the kids got in their baskets (and then took on the airplane):
  • Crayola Color Wonder and Markers (these are great for travel because markers only work on special color wonder paper!!)
  • Coloring Books and Crayons
  • Melissa & Doug Minnie Mouse Dress Up Play Set (for Emma)
  • Melissa & Doug Mickey Mouse Magnetic Puzzle (for Baby Sage) 
  • They each carried on their Mickey and Minnie stuffed animals
  • Usborne Travel Activity Book (for Emma) sold at Cloud 9
  • Usborne Airport Sticker Book (for Baby Sage) sold at Cloud 9
And naturally, they both got new Disney outfits to wear on the plane!

So, regarding that one last question you might be having - "Bailey, you didn't mention a camera...?  No, I didn't.  Because we didn't take one.

Before you think I've lost my mind, not taking a camera to document this amazing trip, let me tell you about the Memory Maker Package.

Basically Disney has photographers at hundreds of locations across the parks.  These photos connected to your My Disney Experience with a touch of your Magic Band.  You can conveniently view and download your pictures within minutes if you have the Memory Maker Package.

We decided to purchase this add-on package, and I'm so glad we did.  It was well worth the money - never worrying about our camera being stolen, having to be responsible for capturing photos, etc.  We got all the pictures we could have dreamed of wanting, and with no stress!

My next post will be dedicated entirely to our time in the Magic Kingdom.  As always, if you have questions or comments, feel free to do so!  I'll be responding!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Our Disney Trip: The Planning Process

About a year ago, I started to think about taking the kids to Disney this summer.  At least - I think it was about a year ago.  Time moves differently as a Mom so I can't be sure, but we are going to go with that.  Naturally, I took the idea to my husband - and he was almost as against it as I was for it.

"They aren't even going to remember any of it!" was his (frequently repeated) argument.

While I certainly couldn't ague with his logic, my determination won him over.  I argued that I would remember it.  I argued that they would never again be at an age that meeting their favorite characters would spark so much joy and magic in their hearts.  And finally, I argued, who cares???  It will be fun!  (Clearly that was the argument that won him over - ha!)

Once I had gotten him to agree that we would do a Disney trip this year, I suggested we invite the grandparents along.  I had wonderful memories of visiting Disney with my grandmother when I was young, and I kept thinking how much enjoyment Emma and Baby Sage (and their grandparents!) would get out of sharing this experience with them.  This was an easy sell to Dad, and an even easier sell to the grandparents.  They were all in!

Once it was decided we would all go to Disney this year, I bought a Disney book and started planning!  And by planning - I do mean PLANNING.  I would be willing to put money (I no longer have because we just got back from Disney) on the fact that I spent more time planning for this trip than I did our wedding.  No joke.

So, in case anyone has the misguided idea that you just book hotel rooms and buy park tickets (which may have been what I thought prior to all of my research and planning...), this blog post is for you.  I had many friends who offered helpful hints and tips to plan the perfect trip, and I'm going to share my own experiences with you, so that you can better plan for your family.

To start, I called Carey Sutton with Sterling Travel.  This was one of the smartest things I did, as she has done this a time or two (thousand).  One of the biggest things she helped me with was understanding all of the deadlines that come with booking a trip to Disney.  For instance, once we had decided on a timeframe (the first week of September worked best for everyone's schedules), she helped us book our trip - the last week of December.  Take note procrastinators:  that's roughly 8 months prior.

Beyond making our initial reservations, one of the first things she recommended was to set up an account on the My Disney Experience website.  This was a huge step and would be used for EVERYTHING we did.  Definitely don't skip this step!

Dining reservations were the next thing we needed to worry about.  Those were booked 180 days prior to departure (that's 6 months in advance!!!!  6 MONTHS!!!!!).  Of course, I had gone through and done plenty of research prior to that time so that we knew what we wanted for meals, dining times, etc.  And then... I turned that information over to Carey.  She got up early on that 180-days-out-morning and booked all of our meals for us.  She got us within 10 minutes of our preferred time slot every time!

Remember our account on the My Disney Experience website?  Carey linked our hotel and dining reservations right to it, and we were able to view and modify them whenever we wanted!  We used this same account to book our FastPass+ reservations - 60 days out.  Once again, I had done research on the parks prior to booking our FastPass+ reservations - and I totally recommend you to do the same.  This will force you to thoroughly research the parks, determine a route so you aren't wandering aimlessly, and you will get more out of your trip.

You can originally book up to three FastPass+ reservations per day.  Once you have used all three, you are able to book more, one at a time.  We used the My Disney Experience App on our phones to do this on the go.  It was a easy to use as the website, allowing us to book, modify, and even delete FastPass+ reservations.

Another decision we made based on recommendations from several friends was to rent a stroller for our kids.  Next to working with Carey - this was the best decision we made!  We rented from Kingdom Strollers, and booked the stroller six months in advance.  The stroller was delivered to our hotel, and we picked it up at the bell desk upon arrival.  (We dropped it off there when we left, too.  So easy!)  We rented the Double BOB, and I'm so glad we did.

We called the stroller our "hotel room on the go" - and it was.  The seats laid back for our kids to nap (which Baby Sage did EVERY single day), there was plenty of underneath storage, and the canopy was large enough to cover both kids fully, which was great in the hot September sun.  With great tires and suspension, it was easy to push for miles and miles every day.

We added the rain cover and cooler for FREE!  (I made sure to remind Sage that they were free - I loved being able to say something at Disney was free!)  We also added a case of water (24 bottles) to our order for $9 - that might sound like a lot, but compared to buying bottles after bottle in the park, it was super cheap!  Plus, it was so hot when we went, I would say it was just a must.  We got ice from the vending machine in the hotel each morning and iced down the water.  Pro-tip:  pack Ziplock bags.  We used them for the ice so the cooler didn't leak all over everything.  (Turns out the cooler is free for a reason...)

About the last thing we waited on before the trip was our Magic Bands.  We got these about a month before departure.  Of course, we had customized them by color and name prior to that!  Now, let me tell you - these are aren't called "Magic" Bands for no reason!  They were amazing!  They were our room key, park ticket, FastPass+ reservation, AND credit card!  You link everything to your Magic Band and just go!  It was a real downer when I got home and went to Kroger and I had to use a real credit card instead of my Magic Band - and don't even get me started on having to pull out a real key to unlock my house!  One thing I will advise:  If you fly to Disney, make sure you have your Magic Bands in your carry-on luggage because you will need it as soon as you get off the flight if you are taking advantage of Disney's Magical Express (complimentary motor coach service from Orlando International Airport to your hotel)  You don't want to have to try and find it in your packed luggage - or worse, deal with things if your luggage gets lost.

Speaking of luggage, packing and travel, that's what I'll dedicate the next blog in our Disney series to!  If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!  I'd love to hear your thoughts on my planning process.

For those who can't wait to hear how the rest of our trip went, I will say that on the very first night we were there, my husband agreed that he was glad we had brought the kids and the trip was worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY to see the kids that happy.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

That time my kids went back to school in 2016

It may be a cliche, but that doesn't make it any less true:  the summer FLEW by!!!  One minute, I was planning all these educational activities for the kids, and the next minute, I was planning for back-to-school.  And by "planning for back-to-school," I mean looking up from my calendar to realize they were headed back in less than a week!

I think part of it was that I just wasn't ready for them to go back this year.  Maybe it's their ages (2 and 4), but they were so much fun this summer.  They played well together, and I really enjoyed everything we did.  I'm sure you'll be shocked by this, but... I was kind of dreading them going back to school.

(Disclaimer:  now that we are a few weeks almost two months back into our school-year routine and I finally have time to sit down and blog about back-to-school, I have to admit -- I LOVE it!  It's so nice having the structure of school schedules back.)

I guess I should have been better prepared for school to start, because Emma has been asking about it all.summer.long.  What is the name of my new school?  What is the name of my new teacher?  Will my friends be there again?  There were more, but I heard these three all.summer.long.  We even drove by her new school from time-to-time as summer progressed so that she could see it.  (Lucky for Mom, it's less than 5 minutes from our house!!!)

You may remember me writing last year about Emma's acceptance in the Decatur City Schools' inclusion program, which couples special needs children and their "typical peers" with the intent of enhancing the learning and development of both groups.  Because of her participation last year, she was automatically enrolled again this year in their 4K program.

Baby Sage started school on August 9th and I wasn't the least bit worried about him.  I knew before I dropped him off that he would have a fantastic day.  (I truthfully don't know the last time he didn't have a fantastic day!  He is just always happy.)  When I got him there that morning, he walked in, sat down at the table and started on a puzzle.  When it came time for me to leave, he waved to me, and kept on playing!  Not a single tear was shed -- by either of us!  When I know how happy he is going to be, it's easier on me leaving him behind.  Want to guess what kind of report I got when I picked him up?  That's right:  he had a great day!  He played well, ate well, and napped well.  Yep, that's my boy!

Emma didn't start school until the 10th, so that was my real "back-to-school" day for the kids.  Naturally, they wore matching outfits from Cloud 9!  Just like last year, I spent the night before packing Emma's bag and lunchbox, ironing clothes and worrying like crazy.  I just had so many questions!

Would she be happy at her new school?  Would she love it as much as she did last year?  Would she be scared her first day?  Would she love her new teacher?  Well, the answer to all of those questions was YES! -- except for being scared.  Apparently, her momma was scared enough, and Emma didn't take any of that from her.  She was so excited for her first day -- we walked in with no tears, and total excitement!!!  She shocked me for the second year in a row. (Someday, I'll stop worrying.  You know, when she's like 40.)

Luckily for me, both of Emma's first two days were only half days again.  I honestly don't know what I'll do when she goes for a full day her first day back, because I couldn't wait to hear all about her day!  She walked towards my car with the BIGGEST smile on her face I have ever seen, and once she got it, she couldn't stop talking!  She absolutely LOVED school!  Getting to hold Curious George while Ms. B read a story might have topped off her first day, but she was also very excited about her old friends that were back again, and the new friendships she had already made.

I knew right then that it was going to be a great school year.

(But I might also already be looking forward to next summer, too!)

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Pancakes + Pajamas = A Sweet 2nd Birthday Party

We had Baby Sage's birthday party on June 25th, but honestly it was almost like he had a week-long celebration with Emma gone to Momma G's for the week.  It was so incredibly nice to have that time with him!  While he is always a happy-go-lucky kid, I was really able to see his personality shine through when he was alone.

I guess I never really knew how much Emma bossed him around -- including which toys he could play with and which room he went in!  I knew she as a little 'mother,' but with her gone, I was really able to see all of his amazing personality shine through.

Plus, it was nice for me to get that one-on-one time with him.  I had a lot of that with Emma, of course, but haven't had as much with Baby Sage.  I found myself spoiling him just a bit -- almost like a grandparent!  I let him get by with things he normally would not been allowed to do if Emma had been around, too.  I can see why grandparents have so much fun!  But I can wait to be a grandparent: Baby Sage is already growing up too fast!  I literally cannot believe that as I am writing this he is TWO YEARS old.

(Speaking of which -- how long can I call him "Baby Sage"???  I mean, I still feel like he is my baby and always will be, but... I suspect someone is going to say something soon.)

I told him all week that we were going to have a birthday party for him on Saturday morning.  He seemed happy and excited -- because I was happy and excited. But I don't think he ever really 'got it.' In fact, event the morning of his party, I'm still not sure it sunk in.  Oh well!

Emma came home Friday night, just in time to make it to Sage's party Saturday morning.  We had it at AA and G Daddy's (my in-laws) house, and decided that since we were celebrating in the morning, we would have a pancake and pajama party!

Spoiler alert:  only the kids wore pajamas.

When we got to AA and G Daddy's house, his gifts were all sitting out on the back porch -- along with that amazing cake!  His new grill and basketball goal were not wrapped, so he got into those right away!  We actually had to point him in the direction of the wrapped gifts.


Emma was especially excited about Baby Sage's birthday part -- to the point that we had to keep reminding her this wasn't her party.  We told her she could help, but they were his gifts.  And help she did!  Baby Sage would get slightly distracted by the new toys he had just unwrapped, and only wanted to play with that, not even thinking about his big stack of gifts yet to unwrap!  Emma would start his gifts, and then he would finish tearing the paper off.  She has mastered the art of unwrapping!  He needs a little practice yet, but with Emma as a big sister, I have no doubt Baby Sage will be caught up by Christmas.

After Baby Sage -- with help from his big sister -- finished opening all of his gifts, we moved to the griddle with Mimosas and Bloody Mary's in hand (adults only, of course) to watch G Daddy flip pancakes for our clan.

Speaking of pancakes -- did you see that cake?  In case you were wondering:  yes, we did eat pancakes and cake!  We were all on quite the sugar high after that, with syrup and frosting leading the way!  Everyone crashed pretty hard for naps after the party -- and this time, the adults are included in that.  Made me wish I had worn my pajamas after all, now that I think about it.

It was a fantastic day for my baby.  For both of my babies, actually, as Emma seemed to enjoy Baby Sage's party just like he loved her.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Emma's Big Girl Trip to Visit Momma G

I have gotten lots of questions about Emma's week with Momma G.  Most people want to know what all she did.  My answer?  "What didn't she do?!?!"

Let me start by telling you how excited she was to spend a week in Mississippi all by herself with Momma G.  To prepare her, I had told her in advance she was going to get to go.  I started to regret that!  Between the time that I first told her and her actual trip, she asked me more than a hundred times (it felt like 1,000) "When am I going to Momma G's?"  While I would have been fine answering that question a few less times, I was glad she was so excited about her trip.

When I was Emma's age, all I cared about were American Girl dolls.  When we were there over Mother's Day weekend, Momma G had gotten all of my American Girl dolls out of storage, and Emma fell in love!  In fact, those dolls have been all she has been able to focus on!   When she would talk about going to Momma G's, she talked about playing with those dolls.

I even went so far as to ask if we should pack her babies for Momma G's house because they go everywhere with us.  She actually said no!  I was super shocked, but she told me she only wanted to play with the dolls at Momma G's house.

When she got to Momma G's house, my mom had cleaned up my old Playmobil Doll House that I received from Santa one year around Emma's age.  She had it sitting on her kitchen island when she and Emma walked in the door, and Emma went right to it!  Mom told me that Emma climbed on the bar stool and didn't move for hours!  She even ate dinner in front of it!  That whole first night, she didn't go to a different room or play with any other toys besides that one doll house.

And the next morning, Emma went straight to the doll house again.  (I guess it's a good thing I just ordered a bunch of new Playmobil toys for the store -- including their great line of doll houses!  They've been updated, but it is still the same great quality.)

Let me tell you a little something:  my mom is a night owl.  And when Emma is with Momma G, she is a bit of one, too.  She definitely stays up wayyyyyyyyyyy past her 7 o'clock bed time.

In addition to playing with the doll house and keeping some rather late hours, Emma also went to see Finding Dory with Momma G.  This was especially exciting for Emma because I had taken her and Baby Sage to see it the day it opened in Decatur.  Unfortunately, we only got to see the first 20 minutes of the movie (from what I saw, it was a great movie!), before someone (cough -- Baby Sage -- cough) decided to throw a pack of gummies at people three rows in front of us and I decided it was time to leave.  You can imagine all the tears Emma shed when we had to leave the movie early!  So, I was very glad to hear that not only had she and Momma G gone to see it, but that she loved the whole movie!

Momma G loves to cook, so after Emma had her fill of the doll house, they moved that out of the kitchen to do more traditional kitchen things -- like baking and decorating cookies!  Emma had a blast, and I have to say that the cookies she brought home for me to try were delicious and gorgeous.

To round out a fun weekend, Emma also decided to torture my Mom's cat, Moe, by chasing him around.  Moe may be been glad to see Emma leave, but I know she is already excited for her next big girl trip to Momma G.  And to play with those dolls again.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Turning Four on the Farm

We celebrated my firstborn's 4th birthday on June 5th - even though her actual birthday is in May AND there is no way she's already four.  Nope, she can't be.  Not my baby girl!

Now I love to throw a party of any kind and I was really excited this year for Emma's first real party.  In the past, we kept her birthday celebrations to family only.  But now that she has turned four (I'm still not sure I believe that) it was time to go all out.

I have known since Emma was a baby that when it came time to throw her first 'big-girl' party, we would have it at 1818 Farms in Mooresville.  I absolutely love it there and was sure she would, too.

When we arrived, we were greeted by Natasha (the owner) and Mr. Tony, who gave us the farm rules:

1) Don't chase the chickens.
2) Don't kick the chickens.
3) Stay with our group.

Baby Sage totally broke rules 1 and 3.  I never saw him break rule #2, but it wouldn't surprise me if he did.

As the remaining guests were arriving, Mr. Tony brought some kittens over for the kids to pet.  They loved them!  Of course, they also loved chasing Trouble, the yellow barn cat, around the farm.  Baby Sage got in on that action, too.  I guess you might call that a bit of Double Trouble.  Get it??

Did I mention Baby Sage had the best time at his, I mean Emma's, party??

After all the guests had arrived, it was off to feed the chickens!  Here's a fun fact for you:  Chickens love to eat watermelon!  Who knew??  Everyone was able to pet and feed the chickens, and gather eggs from the coop.  It made me wish we still had our backyard chickens.  (It might be time to think about getting some more!)

In addition to the chickens, we also got to feed and pet the babydoll sheep and the goat - Miss Farrah Fawcett.  I'm pretty sure most of the kids (and probably some of the adults) had no idea who Farrah Fawcett was.  Then we were able to pet the pigs - Cupcake and Mr. Wrigley.  And the kids all petted the Great Pyrenees dogs and the kittens again.

After much feeding and petting of the animals, it was time to retreat to the Garden House for story time and painting led by Mr. Tony.  The parents took this time to venture on a garden tour given by Natasha. (But don't worry, we didn't miss the story time.)  Mr. Tony read a book called "Barnyard Chase."  It seemed appropriate to me given the actions of Baby Sage!

Mr. Tony also led everyone in a rousing rendition of "Old MacDonald."  It was so much fun!  He had a bag of animals, and when it would come time to sing about a new animal in the song, he would pull that animal out of the bag.  By the end of the son, the kids (and maybe a few of the adults) were standing, jumping, and singing with excitement about which animal would be next.  It was seriously the most fun I've ever seen anyone have with that song!

The next activity was painting.  And it was good timing, too, because that was about the time the sky decided to open up.  It sounded so good hearing the pouring rain hitting the Garden House roof.

After painting came... cake!  And boy, what a cake it was!!  Crazy Daisy Cakes in Hartselle made it, and modeled it off the invitations we sent out.  Not only was it gorgeous, but it was mighty tasty, too.

Cake time did not pass without a few tears, though.  Poor Emma is a bit shy around crowds so when everyone started to sing "Happy Birthday" all the attention focused on her proved to be a bit much.  But hey, it's her party and she'll cry if she wants to, right?

She wouldn't blow out the candles either, but like a good brother, Baby Sage jumped right in to help out.  This is about the time I noticed he was drenched -- either in sweat or rain.  The verdict is still out on that.  (Did I mention he had a great time?)

Finally, after Emma opened her gifts it was time to leave.  While we were sad to see all of our friends go, this was also when Emma had one of her favorite moments of the day.  While we were packing up, she got a chance to dance and play in the rain with her baby brother.  Unfortunately we didn't have any rain boots for Sage (that obviously didn't stop him), but we do now!

 Overall, it was a wonderful afternoon spent with family and friends.  I know Emma loved it, too, because she still talks about it and wears the pink cowgirl hat (that the kids got as a party favor) around the house.

Venue:  1818 Farms
Invitations:  Love Lucy
Photographer:  Lauren Tomasella Photography
Cake:  Crazy Daisy Cakes

Monday, May 23, 2016

Summer Fun

Easter has come and gone.  Memorial Day is just around the corner.  It's hard to believe, but summer is on the doorstep.

I've see lots of Facebook posts from friends looking forward to summer.  And I've had several parents ask what I'm doing with the kids this year.  Sounds like the makings of a Cloud 9 blog post to me.

Emma has a very busy June scheduled -- definitely busier than mine!  She will be attending Vacation Bible School as well as Princess Ballerina Camp.  While she's buy with that, I plan to take Baby Sage to Book Babies at the Library on Wednesdays.

Speaking of books, I have decided to pick a different book each week and will plan activities with the kids related to the particular book.  And by plan activities, I mean find cool things on Pinterest to try.

On Make Something Monday, we will make a craft that goes along with the book.  For Book Cooks Wednesday we will cook something related to the book.  And then we'll have Fun Friday, which will be our day to get out and have some fun -- at the movies, water park, or just in the backyard.  (I will be working at the store on Tuesdays and Thursdays.) Oh, and I'll also select a related movie that we can watch each week.

Here's an example of our first week:

June 6-10:  The Pout Pout Fish

Make Something Monday:  Ocean Discovery Bottle (

Book Cooks Wednesday:  Fish Bowl Gelatin (

Friday:  Frozen Ocean Animal Rescue (

So that's some of what I have planned with the kids for the summer.  As for what they have planned for me... well, they've not let me know yet, and neither of them has a blog as far as I know.  But I'm sure it will be an adventure.

What are your summertime plans?