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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Disney World Trip!

This past May, I went to DISNEYWORLD!! If you couldn't tell from the caps, I was pretty excited about. As a long time, Disney and Disneyland fan, I have always wanted to go to Disney World. So, when my friend and I saw that a conference was happening in Orlando, we made sure to put in a proposal to present so we could attend. Well, they accepted our proposal (because we are awesome) and suddenly my dreams of going were a reality!

I convinced my husband that this was a great opportunity and that we should turn it in to a family vacation. At first, he was hesitant, as he did not want to take our 9 month old daughter on a long plane ride. I got where he was coming from, but I could tell she would be a good traveler and thought we would be ok. So, he finally agreed and the planning began! Aurora did awesome the whole trip, I was so proud of what a good traveler she really is!! :)

We decided to stay on resort (helps that the conference hotel was sold out) and ended up going with the Fort Wilderness Cabins. We originally were going to stay at another hotel, but my Mom was also going to join us and felt a standard hotel room would be a bit cramped! So, she upgraded us to the Cabins!

The Fort Wilderness Resort was AWESOME! It did make more sense to be there with so many people as we had a full kitchen, a full bathroom, and my Mom had a cool murphy bed in the living room! That way, we each had our own space, and a night, we could put Aurora down in the bedroom, and we could still be up chatting and getting ready for the next day without bothering her. The resort also had an awesome restaurant, Trail's End, which had a wonderful dinner buffet. We liked it so much we went twice! We didn't leave ourselves any free days, so we did not get to utilize the resort as much as we would have liked. So, we will definitely be returning here someday!!

Our first day, we went to Epcot. I was like a child that morning as I was SO excited! When the bus pulled up that said Epcot, I literally squealed in excitement! We were on our way to our first park!! The bus was a pretty quick ride (the whole bus system is awesome and really makes staying on a resort worth it)! As soon as we pulled up, I saw the huge iconic ball, and was thrilled beyond belief! We got in pretty quickly and high tailed it to the World Showcase. I kept thinking, wow, it is so calm today, no one is here, this is amazing! Well, come to find out the World Showcase doesn't open until 11! No wonder no one was there yet! So, we made our way back to the front, and did the space ride (well Aurora and my Mom sat that one out!) and it was really fun. Then we walked over to the Nemo Ride with our fastpass. It was a fun ride which Aurora loved but what she really loved was the huge aquarium that you end at! I had no idea they had an aquarium! We saw rays, turtles, manatees, dolphins, and so many other fish. Aurora, was in love with the aquarium! I think she would have been happy there all day! But, it was now past 11, and I knew Princess Aurora was going to be in France and I needed my Aurora to meet the princess, so we hiked it over to the World Showcase! We spent the rest of the day here and LOVED it. All the countries, all the food, all the excitement! We also got to meet Mulan, who was so good with Aurora and spent a lot of time with her! We also did the ride in Norway which was similar to Pirates. We ended the night with their firework show which was really cool. Aurora again surprised me as she wasn't phased at all! It was SO loud, and if I didn't already know she could hear, I would worry she was deaf as she did not react at all to the noise! After the show, we made our way back to our cabin to get ready for the next day!

The Animal Kingdom was next. This became my Mom and Jon's favorite of the parks. I sadly was only there for a couple hours as I had to leave early to go present (you know, the whole reason we got to come here in the first place...!). I couldn't get a fastpass for the safari so we ran to that first as it was the one thing I really wanted to do! Luckily, it wasn't crowded again, and we got on in 15 minutes! It was a very cool ride! They actually drive you around their open park area where the animals are just chillin. The animals were actually really close to us and we saw a ton, the coolest being the elephants! After, we walked through one of the trails that they have to see more animals. We also then rushed to the Dinosaur area so we could ride the Dinosaur ride, which was really fun!

The next day, we actually went off Disney property and went to Universal Studios, Island of Adventure! Basically, we were going for one part of the park, Harry Potter!! And it was better than I imagined! They really have made the books and movie come to life there! The castle ride they have is probably one of the best rides I have ever taken (sorry, Disney!)! We loved it so much we rode it twice (and I really was trying for a third time!). Just walking down the street and seeing Honeydukes, Hogwarts, Hogwarts Express, eating lunch and drinking ButterBeer at the three broomsticks, was absolutely amazing. The only bummer was the that we missed the opening of Diagon Alley by 2 weeks! But that just means we will have to come back :)

Our last full day of our trip, we saved for the Magic Kingdom! I am glad we saved it for last because it was a FULL day! We met a ton of characters (Ariel, Tinkerbell, Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, Belle, Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, and more I am forgetting!). I really liked the new Fantasyland that they have. Having all the castles there just makes it look so magical. I think my favorite ride though was the People Mover, because I loved that ride at Disneyland, and because Aurora LOVED it! She laughed and smiled the whole time! It was so cute! We also did Jungle Cruise, Pirates (totally not the same as Disneyland!), Ariel's ride, and I think others but now I am forgetting! We also did the Tiki Room, which was another big hit with Aurora! And my favorite, getting Dole Whip after! Then we watched their Castle and Firework show. The castle show, if very, very cool! They put all these images on the castle and it was amazing what they could do and they even made it appear as if it were moving at times! We kept meaning to leave, but, then would get caught up by something, like the shows, or buying presents, or seeing a sign for Snow White and "Princess" which I had to go see! So, we were there for a good 12 hours and I loved every minute! Oh, totally forgot to mention we also got to eat at Be Our Guest! This is the Beast's castle and they have three rooms decorated just like from the movie. It was again, amazing! Best part though was having dessert, I had - "try the gray stuff, its delicious!" and it really was! :)

Overall, this trip was better than I even imagined. I knew I would love it, but I loved it so much! I can't wait until we can plan our next trip out there as there is still so much to see!! :)

Monday, June 23, 2014


This deserves its own post!  At 9 months old, on June 22, 2014, my little one took her first steps on her own!

She has been walking assisted for almost two months now, but she just wouldn't take those steps by herself. She would stand there and hold her hand up and wait until J or I gave her our hand, and then she would start walking. Or, she would find things she could walk along, or move along, to get her where she needed to go. But, yesterday, we found the motivating piece to get her to take steps on her own - PLUMS!

We went for a walk to the park to check out a potential birthday site (that is coming up WAY to quickly!), and J had brought a plum for a snack. He was eating and she seemed really interested in it so we have her a bite. Well, she LOVED it. So, I said, let's put her down, maybe she will walk to it. I was totally joking as I did not think she would do it at all. But, I put her down and J held the plum out, AND SHE WALKED TO IT! I was in shock! Granted, it was only three steps, but still three steps, by herself! I was SO proud! She did it!! Of course, once the plum was gone, she didn't do it again. Clearly, we need to go buy more plums!

I am one very proud mama today! :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

9 Months!


Another month has flown by! And this month you went on your very first airplane ride! :) This was a very busy month for you!

You are eating more and more food! You LOVE your food! You also are already very independent and want to feed yourself as well! We just got a new spoon for you that seems to be working a bit better. Now you take one bite with you spoon and then one bite with your whole hand. It is messy, but so great to see you having fun and enjoying yourself! There is plenty of time to work on proper eating etiquette later in life! You seem to really enjoy bananas, I think because they mush between your fingers and you can play with it! And of course, your puffs, you just light up when you see the puff container! The purple carrot ones are your favorite flavor. You have also used a sippy cup with water a couple of times. You are slowly getting the hang of it! You have tried lots of different foods, but sweet potatoes seem to be the thing you have the most of, I think you will be like me and be a potato girl! :)

You are our little curious girl as well. You just love to see everything and want to know everything going on around you. You now point at things and make this "oo" sound. It is adorable! Or, my favorite, is you will fling your head back and make this OOO sound and the cutest face with it. You also keep Daddy and I on our toes as you are very active! You crawl everywhere and into everything! You also immediately crawl to anything that you can find that you can stand up on and then try to stand. This usually works out fine and you will stand and then walk around holding onto things, but occasionally, you find something wobbly and we have to run and catch you! Which means, you have had a few things tumble on you, but you always just keep trooping on to the next thing and try and stand right back up! You have also stood up now on your own quite a few times! I always get really excited when you do that! And while you haven't walked unassisted yet, you walk really well when you are holding on to someones hand or something solid and I see you thinking about taking a step and know it will happen any day now!

You totally have your own language as well. You babble away and carry on conversations with us. You have said a few words, Mama, of course being my favorite word you say :) But you have also said Dada, Hi, and Tag (this one really shocked us because you pointed at a tag and said tag!), and then some other words that you have made up that we know mean something, we just haven't translated yet!

This month was our big DisneyWorld vacation! You did SO amazing! You did awesome on the both flights and just loved waving at everyone and laughing!  You liked crawling between me, grandma (my mom), and daddy and seeing all the different things you could see. At all the theme parks (Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Universal) you had a blast meetings characters, watching the parades (your favorite!), and even riding some rides (People Mover was your favorite I think!). It was so fun to experience these theme parks with you and see what got you excited and seeing the joy on your face. You had so much fun that you did not want to take naps, so I would just put you in the Ergo Carrier and you would pass out for your nap! You even took some rides that way! I know you won't remember this vacation, but I took plenty of pictures to show you when you are older! It looks like you are going to be a great traveler, I see many trips in our future!

Each month, you amaze me more and more each day and each day I am filled with more love and pride for you. I am so excited that I get to be your Mommy and when I see your smiling face each day, it just makes me happier than anything! I love you more than words can say, always and forever!