Yes. It. Is. With the Christmas season baring down on us again, the toy wish books have been descending upon our house. Hadley wasted no time snatching a marker out of her box and going to town on all the toys she needs. Everything from horses to movies to snow cone machines. For the two days following her crazy marking, she clutched her precious ToysRUs book to her chest and carried it everywhere she could get away with. She lost the cover and a whole section of coupons fell off of it. Once, I saw it lying on the hallway floor, and dared to pick it up and put it in her nightstand in her room. HUGE mistake. She almost came completely apart in her quest to find it (which did not include just asking her mother if maybe she had seen it). Although I can kind of relate because if I don't get a Kindle for Christmas, I myself will probably have some sort of catastrophic meltdown. I mean it (Doug if you're reading this).
Well....it's happened again. Another year has come and gone and my babies just keep getting bigger and bigger. The good news? Both girls have informed me that they want to live with me forever. FOREVER! Something tells me that one day they are both going to change their minds but for now, I'm banking on this.
I approached Delaney about her big day approaching like I always do to feel her out and see what kind of party she wants to have, who to invite, etc. This year, she told me she wanted to have her two bestest friends from school come over, take them to the movies to see Wreck-It Ralph, and then let them spend the night. Y'all know we are no strangers to sleepovers. We've had some fun and very fond memories in the past with our sleepovers. So I was completely fine with all of the above. Turns out though that only one bestie could make it. So....Doug and I packed up 3 girls and ourselves, and headed off to give Delaney special memories for her 8th birthday (gasp, OMG FREAKING EIGHT YEARS OLD....AAAAHHHHH!).
Wreck-it Ralph was genius! I mean I know I say this about all Disney movies but this one was so good and so darn creative! The girls all seemed to love it; especially the birthday girl. It must be a sign of old age but I swear I am constantly finding reasons to tear up or full out cry at "kid" movies. Sad to say that this one was no different. I am a wuss.
Of course as lots of people do, we take the birthday girl/boy out to dinner to his/her favorite restaurant on his/her birthday. Delaney's favorite happens to be Applebees (vomit). I swear, I've probably tried 10-15 entrees trying to find one that's good or even semi-good but it just doesn't happen. Like ever. Nonetheless, Delaney asked to go to Applebees for her birthday so that's where we took the gang for dinner.
We ended the night by coming home and I gave the girls mani/pedis. Doug built them a small fire so they could roast marshmallows and make smores. They even got to jump on the trampoline while it was dark out which was obviously a bigger deal than I anticipated as I was sure the cops were going to get called on the amount of noise those 3 were making. Doug set up one of his smaller tents in the playroom for them to sleep. I'm not sure what time exactly Delaney passed out but when I went to check in on them at 10:15 she was out cold. Mikalah managed another 15 minutes before she joined her friend. It was a GREAT day and we were so very thankful that Mikalah was able to join us and make Delaney's birthday vision a success. Delaney told me later as we were driving home from Mikalah's house, "I am so lucky to have her as my friend." I couldn't agree more....
Happy Halloween...may you all have a fun, creepy kinda night! But if I see one more grown-up jump out and scare the toothpicks (Hadley's word) out of my kids...it's ON! Just saying....
P.S. I am struck, as I am sifting through our pictures, that my cheetah is looking so grown up. I mean, the girl is crossing her legs in pictures for crying out loud. Without being prompted. Sniff, sniff.
Things you should know before going to Disney on Ice (if you've never been):
1) Make sure you sell a kidney or some other organ before you go. The minute you step foot inside the arena you are completely assaulted with vendors trying to sell you toys, food, snow cones, cinnamon toasted almonds (which I was a complete and utter sucker for), programs, drinks, etc. Delaney and Hadley each picked out a horse which cost $16 per horse. I got almonds & a water for a mere $12. The popcorn seemed reasonable for only $6 per box.
2) Be prepared for LOTS of singing. And I'm not talking about the characters in the show whom I love to hear sing my favorite Disney movie songs. I'm talking about the jokers sitting around us who are singing at the top-of-their-freaking-lungs like they've been transported down to the ice to sing in the show. Puh-lease shut the eff up so I can listen to the people whom I've paid to hear. You're not Ariel. Or Belle. Or Rapunzel. Not even close.
3) Beware the drunken twenty-somethings with no kids who crash into seats that don't belong to them half way through the show only sit three rows in front of our family and completely try to ruin our good time and the good time of all the other folks around us. I wish I were kidding. A group of 4 college students who couldn't have been older than 21ish showed up right before the second half began. They each had GIANT beers and pizza and loudly sat themselves down right in front of us. They were completely obnoxious with their stupid iPhones as they must have posed for about 26 different pictures. As the last show came on (Beauty & the Beast), the girl on the end (closest to us) picked up her beer and started belting out tunes that Belle was singing. She was swaying and shouting and high-fiving her other comrades. We're like magnets for these kinds of people because it never fails to amaze me how often I find myself seated in these situations.
4) Watch out for those unsupervised toddlers as well. Our seat neighbors on the right of us, showed up about 25 minutes into the show with a toddler and a preschooler. The preschooler was huddled up on her mother's lap almost the entire time they were there, not seeming to be enjoying herself a whole lot. The toddler, who could not have been more than 18 months old, was left down on the ground where she thoroughly annoyed another family in front of us by banging on their seats during her favorite Disney scenes. I'm not paying a whole lot of attention to her at this point until I feel a slight pinching sensation on my arm. I look down and this kid is literally trying to pry my cuff bracelet off of my arm. I look at her mother to find that she is not paying a bit of attention to her. The little girl makes eye contact with me and then launches herself onto my shoe where she proceeds to grind her heel into my toes. Ugh! I remove her from my foot as it's throbbing at this point and I really don't want her scuffing up my new shoes. Her mom then sees that she is all over me and coaxes her to come back over to where she is supposed to be. She offers up a nervous smile in our direction. Five minutes later she scoops her up and they depart the show which they were probably present for all of 15-20 minutes.
Like I told Doug...sometimes it's not even about the show as to whether or not you've had a good time. Sometimes it's about all the other distractions that have kept you and your family thoroughly entertained. But seriously....GREAT show! My personal favorite, as well as Doug's, was The Little Mermaid. Delaney claimed Brave was her favorite. Hadley claimed it was by far...."too long!"
1) Pumpkin spiced waffles. Or pumpkin bars. Or pumpkin spice coffee creamer. Really....I love anything to eat/drink that has the word pumpkin inserted in front of it. A few of my co-workers have gone on a Pinterest inspired bake off with all things pumpkin. Last week we were surprised with pumpkin bars with frosting drizzled on the top. My blood sugar was spiking up just looking at the darn bars! But my...oh my, they were heaven! And moments ago I logged onto Facebook to read that another co-worker is making.......(drum roll).....pumpkin dump cake! Holy crap I'm in a good mood now!
2) I love how each and every single morning, when the girls get out of the car in car line at school, Hadley immediately reaches for Delaney's hand and Delaney holds her hand and walks her into the building. It's so automatic. It's like they've synchronized it down to how many steps they take before they clutch each other's hand and head off into their world. It never fails to evoke a smile from me and I secretly love that I never even asked them to do it but it's done all on their terms. My sweet girls.
3) I am loving all of my good books! I was telling a friend the other day that the amount of money I've spent in the last 6 months on books alone, I could have purchased several Kindles by now. Sigh. Here are a few of my latest good reads:
Easy by Tammara Webber (If you're a fan of Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire you'll LOVE this one)
On Dublin Street by Samantha Young
The Other Woman by Jane Green
I am dying to get my hands on Reflected in You by Sylvia Day! I am cooling my heels until October 23 when Amazon promises to deliver my pre-ordered copy. I pray our UPS man does not call out sick.
4) I am loving the cooler weather. Not because I like cold weather....I don't. It's just nice to get a break from all the humidity and hot temperatures. It's nice to send the girls out into the backyard to play in the afternoons and not have to worry about the DAMN mosquitoes. Or if they ask me to jump on the trampoline, I don't have to fake an injury/back ache/old age to avoid sweating to death. Bottom line, the cooler weather makes it easier to enjoy time spent outdoors.
5) I love the "fall spice" scent made for Febreeze plug-ins. There's something to be said to coming home to a house that has a nice aroma. Cuz with a dog, two kids and a husband who insists on cooking food that punches you in the face the second you step onto the main floor, we need the Febreeze.
6) I love that I have learned that the word "no" is not a bad word. It's just plain necessary. I have really learned to embrace the fact that I cannot do everything and wouldn't want to even if I could. Instead of feeling guilty, I just feel empowered.
7) I love Henry Cavill. Seriously. I love that Doug is not threatened by my obsession. In fact, when he learned that Henry Cavill is the new Superman, he called to share the news with me, knowing how excited I would be. If that's not true love, I don't know what is.
8) I love the movie Hotel Transylvania. Doug and I took the girls over the weekend and it was AWESOME! Honestly, I love most kid movies but this one was particularly good. The characters were super funny, plenty of adult humor and I loved that it was a new idea. I am looking forward to seeing it again!
This post makes me super happy for so many reasons! Secret fact I have probably never divulged before is.....(drum roll)....I love the fair. Like A LOT. I think a lot of my enthusiasm comes from being a child and experiencing this for the first time and many other times to follow. My parents never took us to the fair. I didn't even really know what a fair was or why my best friend at the time, Kristina Kellogg, used to get so fired up about going. After finding out that we didn't go, I was invited along with her and her father. I remember walking in and seeing rides, cotton candy, candied apples, games, giant stuffed animals, popcorn, funnel cakes and hearing shouts/screams/shrieks/laughter drifting down from the rides. I was caught. I had fallen in love with something that would stay with me and I would pass down to my children. To this day when I go, I think back to that first time and remember the girl I shared it with. The girl who went on to be my best friend for several years before moving away to Florida (thank God for Facebook). I point out rides that she and I rode together and the girls nod along to my story and stare in awe at the scary rides that their momma has ridden (gasp). I love that Doug and I were able to split up for a while and Delaney and I snuck off to ride some of the bigger rides that Hadley eyed for about two seconds and refused to step near. I love that Delaney was able to step out of her comfort zone a few times and allow me to coax her on rides that ordinarily she wouldn't have thought twice about getting on....and she LOVED them. I love that feeling you get as you get on a ride that you know is gonna scare the crap out of you, yet you do it anyway and leave with the rush that you survived and want to do it all over again. Even though there is always the "interesting" crowd (putting it nicely), annoying people subjecting you to their second-hand smoke, and crying kids who obviously are way past nap time, I always leave feeling happy, completely broke, and looking forward to next year.