September 11th at Disney

Today I woke up feeling torn since it’s 9/11 and we’re at Disney.

Personally, it just didn’t feel right being in the happiest place on earth when so many people are still mourning the day.

Like everyone else, I remember the details of that day clearly.

So even though we were at a Disney Park, my thoughts were on the events that took place 11 years ago.

I watched as my children laughed and enjoyed themselves and it lightened my heart to see their innocence.

It also got me thinking that maybe by being at Disney, we were doing the exact opposite of the goals of those who committed such horrific acts a little over a decade ago.  Instead of living our life in fear, which was obviously their goal, we were enjoying our day as a family.  We were in a place that is the epitome of the United States of America, we were happy, we knew we were safe and no one could rob us of our security.

We ended up having a good time at Animal Kingdom.  The Little Professor rode Mt. Everest for the first time and loved it.

The Milk Monkey has not been feeling well for the last couple days.  He broke out in hives a little while back and they have blistered and scabbed over.  We have gotten a lot of dirty looks and comments about him having so many “bug bites” and getting over “chicken pox”.  We’ve patiently explained to those that they are hives and not contagious.  In the meantime he’s also come down with a bit of a cold.  We go from cold air conditioning to super hot and humid heat continuously through out the day..  It’s not helping the little guy.

Tonight he threw up all over me.  I was so thankful that we have a bathroom in our trailer…one that has a nice sized shower.  I can’t imagine having to deal with all that in a tent or a trailer without a bathroom.

We are certainly blessed!

Earlier, this evening, we went for a swim.  The Milk Monkey enoyed the cool water but evenutally it got to be a little too cold for him and he started to shiver.  We wrapped him in a towel.  I just happened to look up and notice the Princess’ life jacket by the side of the pool and not on her.  I jumped up and started to frantically search for her just in time to see her coming down the slide and out into the current.  She can swim but she’s not strong enough to do it alone.  Panicked, I started to hand the baby off to a stranger next to me just as the life guard caught my eye and saw the alarm in my face.  She spotted the Princess immediately and jumped in and saved my sweet little girl.

Thank you, thank you, thank you whoever you are!!!  I can’t express my appreciation to you.  Especially since it was the last 10 minutes of your  shift and you were still so alert!!  I will definitely be calling tomorrow and letting management know you are amazing at what you do!

First Love…

Since we arrived at Disney we’ve had a lot of interaction with Disney Characters.

We’ve waited in lines to do a Meet and Greet, today we went to Chef Mickey’s for a character breakfast and we’ve even spent time playing with Chip and Dale at the campfire in the campgrounds.

The Princess and the Professor love the character interaction.  They are old pro’s at it.  They remember it from our last visit and they’re excited to spend time with their beloved characters from their favourite movies.

For the Milk Monkey this is all new.

The first time he actually saw one of the characters was at the campground campfire.

He had just woken from a deep sleep to the extra large furry chipmunks.  He was petrified at first.  Every time the Princess or the Professor got close to one, he would scream in fear for them.  After a while he began to realize they were not going to hurt his dear siblings and really, they seemed to be having a lot of fun.

Eventually he wanted to get down and play along with them.

Even still, throughout our days here, his caution of each new character has won out over his joy of meeting these new and exciting characters in his life.

That is…

until today, when he met Cinderella!

My youngest son fell instantly in love.

He practically ran to her, he took her hand, he hugged her and I’m pretty sure he was even ogling her!

There was definitely some flirting

and when it was time to go he kicked and screamed as we pulled him from her grasp!

It was definitely love at first sight!

Cinderella…forget Prince Charming…the Milk Monkey is where it’s at!!!

PS…Do you babysit??!!

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue

Last night we went to the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue and it was definitely a night to remember.

The food was delicious, the show was hilarious and the whole dinner was really loud which was great

because it drowned out the Milk Monkey’s shrieks.  I was able to relax!

We ate, we laughed, we sang along.

The Little Professor was completely captivated by the performance.

He was laughing so hard that he was cracking up the cast members.  They got a real kick out of his enjoyment.

When it came time to pick some people in the audience, one of the female performers made a beeline straight to our Professor.

He played the Texas Ranger and did a fabulous job!

 

He even got a kiss on the cheek from the blond girl which he promptly wiped off…eliciting laughter from the audience.

Thankfully I had my iphone with me and managed to record it all….

We’re Here!

We’ve now been at Disney for 3 days and so far it has ranged from extremely stressful to absolutely amazing.  Thankfully, the stressful parts were mostly at the beginning, when we first arrived and the further we get into our vacation the more fun and relaxing it gets.  I guess we just needed an adjustment period from the long drive and the nightmare campground we stayed at in Georgia.  We will never stay there again!

Our second day of travel went really smoothly, it was uneventful and we made great timing.  When we arrived at the St. Mary’s/Jacksonville KOA the first thing I noticed was the sites were not level which makes leveling the trailer tough but doable.  When we pulled into the site we realized we wouldn’t be able to just pull out because of the huge tree right in front of us, even though it was a pull through site.  Again, not a huge deal but still a pain.  We unhitched the trailer and started to set up and plug things in.  It was at that point I realized we didn’t have a sewer hookup.  After two days of travel I wanted us to be able to take showers but since we were there for one night we could forgo the sewer and just dump before we leave.  When we checked out the dump site it was super narrow and very awkward and would be difficult in the best conditions but nearly impossible at 5am before the sun was fully out.

We ended up having to move sites which involved hooking everything back up.  When we arrived at the new site we double checked the sewer and it was there, so we unhooked the trailer and started setting up.  We realized the electric was 50Amp and not the 30Amp we need.  We again talked to the front desk and they said they’d bring us an adaptor.  They showed up with the wrong kind and went to get a different one which ended up being the exact same as the first, except black so they tried a third time and finally had the right one.  The other issue we had on the second site was with the water, our hose wasn’t long enough.  We decided to just go and buy a new hose.  Thankfully the Walmart in St. Mary’s had a whole RV isle.  Super cool!!!  We ended up buying all sorts of things we “needed”.   By the time we were done getting everything together it was late and we just went to sleep.

When we showed up at Disney we were just so happy to be here but that changed quickly as we tried to back our trailer up into our site.  Since we’re still so new at it, we’re just not very good at it so it causes a lot of stress.  It was at that point I had a melt down.  The stress of the past 24 hours along with parking the trailer became overwhelming.  Then there was the moment when Daddy accidently came very close to running me over with the truck.  We did manage to get set up and we went to the pool and had a good swim and it washed all the stress off of us.  That’s when our amazing vacation began.

Today we went to Animal Kingdom in the morning and Magic Kingdom in the evening.  There weren’t many lines and we were able to walk on to just about all the rides.  It was really nice!  It may be super hot but at least we don’t have to stand in the hot sun in long line ups.  Tomorrow we’re back at Magic Kingdom and we also have dinner at the Hoop Dee Doo Review!  We’re very excited for that!

From the Road…We’re On Our Way!

We are on our way! We left at 2:30am and it’s now almost 4am. So far the drive is going well. The kids are so excited that sleep has been evasive, except for the Milk Monkey. He managed to fall back to sleep almost immediately even with all his excitement. He wasn’t quite sure what we were doing but it’s definitely fun getting up in the middle of the night to go for a drive!

As usual I’ve had minimal sleep and my excitement is keeping me awake at the moment. Because of this I’m able to keep Daddy company with words of encouragement like “Are you ok?” and “Is that a car on the side of the road, watch out, oh no it’s ok…it’s just a sign” or “oh no, it’s ok…that cars moving too”. As you can imagine Daddy is appreciative of my observations and his suggestions for me to get some sleep are purely out of concern for my well being.

I’m testing my remote posting through email from my iPhone. I hope this goes through and is clear to read. I’ll update more later.

Sent from my iPhone

 

Life of Fred

As a mother homeschooling my children, I’m always on the hunt for new and exciting ways to teach the kids.  One of our many reasons in making the decision to home school was so that we could provide our children with some unique approaches to learning, along side of the more traditional methods.  The older I get the more I realize that “generally accepted” isn’t always the best way of doing things.

On one of my journey’s for a different approach to teaching math, I came across Life of Fred.  It’s a series of books written by Stanley F. Schmidt, who’s a retired high school and college math teacher.  He writes the story about Fred Gauss, a teacher at Kitten’s University.  In the first book, Fred is 5 years old and his companion is a doll named Kingie.  The story itself is amusing, but it also introduces math in a way that shows its use our daily lives by demonstrating it in Fred’s life.

The chapters are relatively short and in the first book the math is very basic but it makes sense.  Along with the math it also touches on other life lessons like “Why you shouldn’t be rude” and “Sugar rots teeth”.

So far the Little Professor is really enjoying our new approach to math.  I’d consider it more supplemental than a main curriculum, though I read the higher level texts are much more involved.  It has definitely given the Little Professor a more rounded view on math and has enforced it’s importance in our life.  He’s beginning to get a more tangible understanding, it’s not just about memorizing numbers and rules.

  

I wasn’t able to find the Elementary books in any of the stores around where we live but I did find them online.  The cheapest I found them was through Z-Twist Books.  I wasn’t sure about ordering through them even though they were recommended by the Publisher because the website looked amateurish but my cheapness overruled my doubt and I went ahead and bought the book it.  As it turns out they were very quick and professional.  I received an email instantly confirming my order and within the hour I had a shipping confirmation number.  Shipping was free through Media Mail…I like free!  It’s my favourite!

At the rate the Little Professor is going through the first book, we’ll be ordering the next one very soon at which point I will start the Princess on the first one.

If you want more information, the webiste for the books are:

Life of Fred

Awesome Goody Bags…

  

Four days left until we tackle the long drive to Disney.

In order to make the trip more pleasant for the kids,

and for us,

we put together a bag of surprises for both the Princess and the Professor.

Each bag is filled to the brim with goodies, games, snacks, movies and lots of other fun and time consuming items.

  

More specifically, some of the items are:

Crayons

Scooby Snacks

Pad of paper

Index cards

Colourful dot stickers

Bubble Wrap – at least for as long as Daddy can stand it…Yikes!

Movies

Ninjago DS game – Professor

Pixar Leappad – Princess

Spiderman/Brave Napkins – for those messy little hands

Wet Wipes – for those messier little hands

Stickers, stickers and more stickers

Activity books of all kinds

Flat Stanley Books for the Little Professor

Pop Rocks – to try for the first time

Lots and lots of yummy snacks!

Some of my favourite items are:

and

and these,

which look fun and yummy…

We are looking at about 50 hours of vehicle time on this trip, so we want to be prepared.  We’re going to break the trip up into 11 hours of driving the first day.  At that point we’re going to stop at a KOA and go for a swim, have nice dinner, and get a good nights sleep.  The next day we’ll wake up super early and do another 10 hours and repeat the process.  Stop at an KOA, swim, eat, and sleep.

That will leave us with a 3 hour drive to Disney!

As I’m writing this, Daddy is putting together a playlist of Disney songs that we’ll play for the kids along the way.

We’re so exited to start our vacation!

We will be leaving around 2am so that the kids can sleep for the first part of the trip.  I can’t wait to see their little faces when they wake up to their goody bags and find out what’s in them!

Happy Birthday Little Professor…

Today my Little Professor turned 7 years old!

It doesn’t feel like 7 years have gone by since he was born…

but it has and every year we celebrate having our sweet boy as part of our family.

Daddy dressed The Little Professor for his first birthday.  He also styled his hair!

On the Little Professor’s 2nd Birthday, he helped mummy make the cake.

On his 3rd Birthday Mummy and Daddy had to take a big splinter out of his foot.  It hurt and he was out of sorts for the first part of his party.  The gifts helped lighten his mood.

On his 4th Birthday he was just starting to become aware of Star Wars.  It didn’t take him long to be a fan.  Nana bought him a cool Clone Trooper cap and that was awesome!

Star Wars remained a hit for the rest of the year and on the Little Professor’s 5th Birthday, Mummy attempted to make him an R2D2 cake.  My little boy was thrilled!

For his 6th Birthday it was all about Spider-man!

Which brings us to my Little Professor’s 7th Birthday.  As Daddy mentioned a couple posts back, his “party” was having two of his friends camp with us but today was his actual birthday.  Nana J and Papa came over to celebrate with us.

There were many gifts…

  

money, lego, clothes, books and toys!

  

Nana J even gave the Princess some Pj’s and the Milk Monkey his own Tv remote!

Star Wars is still a favourite…some things never change.

The Little Professor had a great day celebrating his birthday!

My Birthday wish for my precious, 7 year old boy is…

that this year slows down for us so we can enjoy and cherish our time together

because the last 7 years went by in a flash!

Nekkid!!!!

Lately the Milk Monkey has taken up a new lifestyle…

He’s become a nudist.

This is not something new for my children.

The Little Professor spent the first couple years of his life naked.  He’d keep his clothes on when we went out but as soon as we stepped back through the door he’d strip down to his birthday suit.

The Princess was even worse…there was no guarantee she’d keep her clothes on whether we were home or not.  At her third birthday party she took off all her clothes in the jumpy house and really partied!

Then there was the time she mooned everyone at a BBQ we were guests at….

It would seem the the Milk Monkey is following in the steps of his older siblings.

   

Unfortunately, the downside to all the cute nakedness is that un-diapered privates leads to some very unwanted accidents.

That very thing happened today and I had to spend some of my very, precious time on my hands and knees scrubbing pee out of my rug.

The upside is…

It looks like it’s time to bring out the potty!