Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Countdown to Disney

I'm A Bit Excited

So we are going to Disneyland in roughly two or so weeks. I. Am. So. Excited. You have no idea. We have sort of been making plans for it all summer(ish). But then we actually bought the tickets and booked the hotel and I almost lost my damn mind. Eeeeeeeee! Disneyland! Basically we figured that we are so close that there is no reason not to go and with the benefits of a $99/ticket military special we could not pass it up. Even better? Some really good friends of ours are going with us. They were planning to take their son (who Link has proclaimed as his best friend... though I think he just has a crush on his mommy) to see the new Car's Land in the fall so we combined our trips. As an added bonus I get to meet up with a good friend of mine from Alaska that will be there. As if Disneyland were not magical enough I get to share it with my two amazing guys and some of my other favorite people! Winning.

My elaborate, unnecessary and way fun countdown.

So once I realized this was real -because once you shovel out money, it's real- my inner "7 year old only child, rainbow loving, unicorn obsessed, magic is real, princesses are awesome and cars can really talk" got right to work. I created a countdown calendar with Disney related activities to do every day until we leave. Some were more elaborate that others and I knew when I added "go out for donuts" and claimed they were related to Disney because they would look like tires on cars that I was starting to reach! But that didn't stop me. I believe we had a total of 40 days worth of activities.

I don't know if anyone recalls my post about how  craft time is not always as amazing as it appears on facebook pictures? You can view that here: Craft time is the devil. I saw a comment one of my friends made the other day when someone said something about her being a really fun mom. She said "Remember, this is just the highlight reel." I love that. I have no doubt I am a good mom. Or, rather, I have no doubt I am the mom that Link needs. I very much enjoy doing fun things with him. He's my sidekick. So when you see the following activities don't assume they all went as amazing as it looks. I will try my best to also share anything that might have gone terribly awry. But for the most part the activities have been geared toward his current level of attention and ability. My biggest problem is always getting the picture. After 3+ years of a camera in his face, Link has finally had enough!

And now a few of our activities.
Each card has an activity on it. Some were really simple. We had some Mickey Mouse tattoos. So we put them on. Here's my tattoo artist and our eager client:
 Very proud of his tattoo. Now, as promised, the downside. These particular tattoos basically come off when you look at them. This pissed off our kid and when D washed it off in the bath the world ended. Did you feel it? That was caused by Mickey Mouse and his crappy tats. True story.

Some days were just to watch a movie. I usually try to incorporate some sort of activity into movie viewing as well but it doesn't always work. We were slated to watch Snow White so I figured we would eat apples while watching. Because who doesn't want to pretend to be poisoned by a piece of fruit!? Here's Link's wicked witch impression:

 And here's his Snow White impression. These are funny because guess what? We didn't even end up watching Snow White (and still haven't as I write this). A friend let us borrow Cinderella and we watched that instead. I didn't actually remember the mice being that annoying. It's amazing the things you can overlook when you a little. Like the fact that that crazy bitch decided she was in love after dancing with the prince and that she was just going to marry him. Don't get me started on Sleeping Beauty or The Little Mermaid. Seriously. Animals talk to you and your hormones are out of control. Moving on.

We did actually watch Sleeping Beauty and he's really good at taking direction as a model. Here he is as Aurora:

 I had him color Maleficent as the dragon for his activity. He's getting much better but I was still working with him to grip his writing utensils correctly so I have him color with markers and such as often as possible.

Watching Beauty and the Beast. Did I mention I printed out "movie tickets" for our movie viewings? I did. I'm an overachiever (it's a nice word for OCD). Also, Belle is cool. At least she got to know the dude before she decided she was going to marry him. And am I the only one that thinks Beast is way more handsome than his prince self?

We watched A Bug's Life (I love this movie) and this one was easy to plan an activity with. Link has a bug catcher thing so we ventured out to our yard jungle to looks for some bugs. We eventually found a spider that he thought was "so cute." My kid is strange. The crappy part about this one? We eventually had to let the spider go and I think he cried. 

One of our activities early on was to make a Disney collage. We had some brochures we cut up, some pics I printed from the net and some stickers. I had no idea he was going to love making a collage as much as he did. 

We had a few friends over for this activity. This one was making "tennis equipment." Basically some paper plates, popsicle sticks and a couple balloons. Here are the "rackets" that Link and I made. 
 Above is me helping Link staple some ears on. And yes, I am wearing the outside of a plate around my neck. It's all about accessories.
Below is some tennis in action. This would have worked a bit better had the balloons actually stayed inflated. This was awesome until Link decided it was a weapon. But then again most things in our house lately end up as weapons.
 Yes, yes she is doing what you think she is.
 My tennis star with our friend's "racket." They decided to make them duel purpose and cut out some eye holes.
 And Link and his buddy Stewart watching Lady and the Tramp when we had one of our family dinner nights. I had no activity planned with this. They just watched the movie. But they looked cute doing it.

Wall-E was an awesome viewing. Link sat there through the whole thing and loved it. I had forgotten how much I love that movie as well. I'm going to go ahead and say it's my fave of the newer ones. 
 As an activity we set out things he could gather to recycle and collected them, sorted them and recycled them.
Even dogs can help recycle. Save the planet!
 Then there was the dog treat baking. I was reaching. I called it "Pluto Doggy Snack Baking" so it counts as a Disney activity.

 Bowser was happy we included him. The downer of this activity? Bowser got into the container a few days later and ate every last one of them. Yup.

The Lion King! Love it. 
 I made Link a "Circle of Life" activity board and D helped him arrange all the little dude on there. They come off with velcro.

Gettin' some Ratatouille time in.
 We made a Remy chef hat.

 And then everyone had to wear it!

There are plenty more activities but since this post is already longer than most people will read I leave you with this one. Because Link thinks Ariel is the shiz.

A Time I Had

A Week in August

 Here we go. Two months in one! I am finally bringing you August as well! It seems that the last month or two happened to just slip by without me even noticing. You will see one of the reasons it got so crazy when you see Link's 2012 August pic. My baby isn't really a baby anymore.

August 2009:

I have always loved this picture of my sweet little 4 month(at least almost 4 months) old. We had just gotten his bouncer for him because every time you held him he wanted to be standing. If you are a parent you know a bouncing child who wants to stand gets old. The bouncer was the best. It also provided much needed entertainment. On more than one occasion he fell asleep in this contraption. The thing about it is that is makes noise when it moves. So he would twitch a bit, it would sing and he would wake up, bob his head and fall asleep again. This went on for about ten minutes and when we could finally breathe again from laughing so hard we got him out and put him to sleep for real.

August 2010:

An amazing day at the park in Alaska. Since he had been trying to climb on everything since before he could crawl he loved the park. He ran up and down the hills and was all over that playground equipment. This was probably the beginning of the other moms looking at me like I was the devil because my kid was a daredevil climber and actually knew what he was doing. Unfortunately this did not earn us points on the playground since the other one year old were flopping around in the sand like wounded jellyfish. 

August 2011:
 Feeding baby goats. This is when I realized that my child was A LOT like me. He's squeeky, weird and dramatic. I love it.

August 2012:
Link started preschool this year! He's going to a school called Challenger and I can brag about it on here because reading my blog is optional! The school is kind of intense but they believe that kids this young can learn a lot (which I completely agree with... and why I have to watch everything I say and do around him). The kindergartners at this school are already reading chapter books and able to do book reports! It's only been a few weeks but I can already see a major improvement with him. His main issue is more group participation. He gets a little shy when all attention is focused on him and he doesn't like talking in front of a group. I hate public speaking too and quite frankly sing alongs kind of weird me out. I have been trying to be better about that though in front of him to show him there's nothing to be afraid or embarrassed about. I was really shy when I was a kid. I actually had someone tell me a few weeks ago that they can't ever imagine me being shy. This is weird for me as I still feel I am pretty shy in certain situations. I want Link to be more comfortable around people though and know that it's awesome to be yourself and talk about it! I think Challenger will help him with this as well. I have no concerns when it comes to the subjects they are teaching him. I think he will excel in these areas. I am just really hoping he learns more participation and social graces while in the company of kids his age as well as the teachers.

A Time I Had

A week in July

 Yes I know it's September and I am just now getting to my July post but whatever. Life happens.
So here  you have it.

My little munchkin in July of 2009 at just 3 months old:
One of my most favorite things about him when he was this small was his awesomely rad hair. This kid came out with a full head of it and even though everyone told us he would most likely lose it, he never did and we ended up giving him his first haircut a month later after returning from a trip to see family. Check out those beautiful eyes of his that look just like another handsome man I happen to know!

The tiny goomba July 2010:
This pic was taken when we went fishing with some friends up in Alaska. We spent most of our time trying to keep him from diving into that water. He was quite a helper though. He seemed very interested in helping us grab some cold beers from the cooler. Like I said, very helpful!

July 2011:
 This was at the park across the street from the house I grew up in. We took several "back home" trips last summer. One to my parents and on to D's. Link loved playing at the park with Grandpa. He was really getting into playing outside since we moved and were able to do more of said activities!

July 2012:
 I was trying to find a decent pic of my little dude alone in July but apparently we were so busy and had so much fun that there was no time for solo picture taking. We are really warming to Vegas and there is a lot to do here. Nothing like I expected and we're pleasantly surprised. We took Link to The Tournament of Kings and he LOVED it. He's very into these kinds of things now. He loves good guy/bad guy type stories and situations. Loves Star Wars, Legend of Zelda (anyone surprised!?) and anything that involved a sword... much to my dismay. 

A Time I Had