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Old 10-16-2012, 01:46 PM   #76
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I'm late but I'm in!

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Old 10-16-2012, 03:02 PM   #77
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Hi Fantasyland Mom
I'm following along, love your updates! We go thru GA too, and totally agree about the billboards.


And I don't mean to hijack, but...
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... - this trip report will work nicely to keep me going until out trip at Christmas!
Hi golden2323 - join us on the December trip thread also, it's really hopping along!
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:26 PM   #78
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Yay, another trip report! I enjoyed your last one...love all the pictures!! Cant wait to hear more!
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:37 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Fantasyland Mom View Post

It was a rough moment in time. We were not amused! The girls started banging on the window!


People DON'T get it! That's why I'm happy to be on the Dis, surrounded by people like you guys!


Oh, Tom Selleck...be still my heart! That man gets even better with age, too.
See, I didn't even know Disney didn't have the Diet Gold Peak. I have such tunnel vision when I get near the machine that I haven't even bothered looking at what else they have. Dedication.
This house is full of crazy faces and eye rolling! The littles definitely keep me entertained and on my toes!
Let it be known that even though I'm not far north of Atlanta, I DO NOT drive like those crazies. Not at all. But I am great at yelling at them.


Welcome! Happy you're following along!


Last time I think we were in Martinique 22. I didn't realize how much of a maze the buildings were, and how much time they could add. And I needed my Gold Peak Tea with a quickness, dang it! I'm totally specifying a building next time, though I don't think we're staying at a moderate on the next trip.
Glad I can expect more cute animals and men. It wouldn't be a Lia TR without them, really.
Stacey has pretty much been elevated to goddess level in our household, and I encourage it. I have a video of Julia quoting her highness one night when we were in line for BTMRR. I need to find that to post as exhibit A (or B, because I think in the last TR I got a video of Brynn about to go on Test Track...and you know what that means...).


Okay, I had lots to say to you about packing, resort size, etc....
But then I got to "urination issues," and I'm just stuck. Please explain. My imagination is running wild.


Queen, I have always known we were kindred spirits! Tea and overly-organized suitcases...that's perfection right there!


You have got to get some earmuffs. They make things so much better. Just letting her calm herself like that while having her hands free to be a kid is wonderful!
We did get a GAC for her this trip. We never have before, but I will just go ahead and spoil the suspense and tell you that I am not sure how we've ever done a trip without it. We never will be without one again. It doesn't decrease your wait time in most cases, but it DOES decrease anxiety (for all involved) and meltdowns. I will for sure go into more detail on all that.
Tom Selleck has always been and will always be one beautiful man. I'm getting distracted just thinking about it...


I am jealous in advance of your Christmas trip!
I am very guilty of lurking, so don't feel bad or then I'll have to feel bad and we don't want that!
Yeah, as soon as you get south of the perimeter, all billboard heck breaks loose. What is wrong with these people!?!?! Does your area of N. GA have mostly signs about neighborhoods? That's what we've got. And I can personally never afford to live in a neighborhood with an acre pool or beginning in the "low 1 millions."


HEY! Glad you made it over! Hopefully things will calm down tonight or tomorrow so I can get another update up!

You asked for it! http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2...residents.html

It's not that bad, but it's a very interesting sign to see while driving to work.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:00 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by lauren_elizabeth View Post
AHHHHHHHH! I'm here!

Your children are adorable and I love the picture of the girls with their faces in the cut-outs. You're right ~ each one totally matches the character!

Yay for getting to Disney! Driving under those arches for the very first time on vacation is probably one of the best feelings ever!

I love that you packed each outfit in a ziplock bag. I've never done this myself and I think I'm going to for our trip in February!

Looking forward to reading more!
I absolutely LOVE that feeling. Knowing you have an entire vacation ahead of you...Magic.
On past trips, we packed just the kids' clothes in individual ziplocks, but their clothes were starting to get too big to fit. I was at Target and saw GINORMOUS ziplocks and bought them. Aside from Brandon's shorts, which are bulky, I was able to fit clothes for all five of us in those babies! I squeezed out the air, wrote the day on them, and we were good to go. A great bonus was that I didn't have to unpack some of the clothes at CBR because I knew we wouldn't be wearing them until Poly! Also, it helped in my insane outfit coordination efforts.

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I'm late but I'm in!

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You're not late--we haven't even really gotten started!

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Originally Posted by cjlvsccm View Post
Hi Fantasyland Mom
I'm following along, love your updates! We go thru GA too, and totally agree about the billboards.
They're horrible. And besides me hating my kids reading them, I also hate other travelers reading them and thinking that all Georgians are like that! I've never seen anything like that north of Atlanta, I promise!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 209Disney View Post
Yay, another trip report! I enjoyed your last one...love all the pictures!! Cant wait to hear more!
Happy to have you reading along!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kbendig View Post
You asked for it! http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2...residents.html

It's not that bad, but it's a very interesting sign to see while driving to work.
Wow. Just...wow. That was my initial thought.
And then my second thought was that it would be really funny if it were placed in an area where there's bumper-to-bumper traffic, because then you just know there are lots of people who need to go and can't!

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Old 10-17-2012, 11:38 AM   #81
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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Good morning, good morning, to you, and YOU, and YOU, and YOU!

It was the first morning of waking up at Disney, and I was beyond excited. I was so excited, in fact, that I woke up at about 4:30 and couldn’t go back to sleep!

(Insert commercial memory from childhood here—“We’re too excited to sleep!” You know you thought it, too.)

I had slept so hard and so well for the rest of the night on those comfy beds that it didn’t even bother me, and at 5:40 I decided just to get up and start getting ready. The alarm wasn’t set to turn on for a few more minutes, and being the nice mommy I am, I decided to shut it off and let the kids have a few more minutes of precious sleep. Unfortunately, I am technologically inept and ended up turning ON the radio, and it was LOUD. Oops. Good morning??

Only Julia woke up then, because my other family members were apparently zombies that day, and she had no problem watching Stacey while I took a quick shower. So what if she has the whole thing memorized!? Actually, she did point out to me that there were some new commercials and sections added since last year. I noticed the Star Tours one on my own. I felt proud.
Even though we were about to embark on the happiest day ever in the happiest place on earth, I had to gently (ahem…) nudge the others awake and make them start nomming on some breakfast foods. Sawyer went for leftover fruit that we’d stashed in the fridge after dinner the night before. He also had some dry Cheerios and a big cup of milk that we’d gotten with our drink credits the night before, since we’d used mugs for our drinks. The others had various pastries and cereals, and I was too nervous to eat anything just then. I tried. It didn’t work. Instead, I worked on my organizational boxes.

And here’s where I’m kicking myself. You will learn quickly (like today) that we take pictures of EVERYTHING, and I write about EVERY DETAIL. It means that my TR will be long and cover just about anything you can think of. It means I leave nothing out, good or bad. It means you’ll often be wondering why on earth I would include such things. This trip, I instituted a new system, because, oh, how I love my systems! Being in one hotel room with five people means you have to organize, or run the risk of losing your mind. Before the trip, I purchased several canvas boxes that fold flat from the Dollar Tree for a dollar each (duh). On the shelf of the open closet, I put the boxes up and we had them for everything we needed, but high enough that the kids couldn’t reach them. GENIUS! We had one for adult “getting-ready-things,” like toothpaste, hair gel, deodorant, etc., one for girls “getting-ready-things,” like hair bands, detangling spray, kid panties, jeweled crowns, etc., one for baby needs, like diapers, wipes, toddler toothpaste, etc., one for food, one for medicines we hoped to not have to use, one for things we’d all have to use, like sunscreen, bug spray, Kleenex, etc., and one for things we’d use to replenish items in our park bag, like glow sticks, antibacterial wipes, ink pens, etc. We put the things in the boxes, and you didn’t see what was inside from ground level. You saw NO CLUTTER, though everything was clearly in its place and easy to find. It was spectacular and worked so well for us all week! It was a work of art! And we didn’t get a picture. Frowny face. Just take my word that I worked on this the first morning and didn’t have to worry with it again.

Everyone was fed and I was dressed and ready (except for my make-up, which I throw on in the van ride to the park…one of my strange Disney traditions, I guess?), but the kids were dragging. They were loving watching Must Do Disney a little too much. It was right then and there that I gave up my dream of being early enough to have a shot at Family of the Day…sigh…but we still left at 7:35 and were there way before park opening, which turned out to be perfect for what we needed to accomplish. As a bonus, we figured out in the daylight that our room was very near the parking lot and our van, even if it was a maze and a long walk from Old Port Royal. Also, the tropical plants and trees were looking and smelling wonderful that early in the morning, but we had no time to waste!

Where were we going? Here’s a hint: it was the first day.

MAGIC KINGDOM, of course!

We pulled into one of the first parking spaces, unloaded the double stroller and a single umbrella stroller we’d brought from home, and all our park bags. Our park bags consisted this trip of one mesh stroller bag with things we probably wouldn’t need much, like extra clothes and camp towels, one messenger bag I won in a contest last year for my Disney memory (and that many of you voted for me in…thanks again, Dis friends!) with things we’d mainly need for mealtimes, like bibs, disposable placemats, antibacterial wipes, and the like, along with some medications and flashlights, and Brandon’s camera backpack, which doubles as our diaper bag, because we are never without diapers and never without his camera. True story.
We started our walk the few steps to the TTC, and the morning Florida sun was making me so very happy and looking so very beautiful. For the moment, it was nice and cool, and I had all the first day excitement and jitters!



See how close we were? We were parked across the tram lane, right in front of that gate opening.

If you read my last TR, you know that I can never make it past the TTC restroom without stopping. I guess that makes it another one of my odd Disney traditions? I have a tiny bladder, and also the bathrooms first thing in the morning are so clean and actually smell really great. I know it’s odd, but for some reason, that smell memory is one of the strongest ones for me, and it makes me happy. Don’t judge. I even know that Target restrooms must use the same air freshener, because they have that same smell. Yes, I’ve gone there to get my Disney fix. Again, don’t judge. Brandon even uses the Old Spice Fuji deodorant and body wash because it reminds me so much of this combo of bleach and air freshener. Need I say it again? Don’t judge! Just know that the Disney obsession is strong in this one, mmmkay? It’s become a joke in our household that this particular bathroom has some sort of power over me. So Brandon took a picture.



No embarrassment here. Okay, maybe a little embarrassment.

While I took care of business and took deep breaths, Brandon gave Julia her own camera to use for this trip. It was just a little Olympus Tough 10mp Waterproof/Shockproof/kidproof camera, and she was going to use it to take pictures of Hidden Mickeys she found. She ended up taking pictures of everything.



This just about says it all: Julia wide awake, the other two thinking about their beds.



As we walked towards the transportation, we discussed whether or not we wanted to use the monorail or ferry boats. That was decided for us, though, because the monorail wasn’t running! Ferry Boat it is!





Approaching the Magic Kingdom from the Ferry is a wonderful way to catch that first glimpse of the castle, in my opinion. See? Pretty happy about it.



We just bought that video camera a couple of months ago, specifically so we can make a kick-booty Disney Trip Video. At least, that’s what Brandon has promised me since I allowed him to drop hundreds of dollars. We took six hours of video on the trip, so hopefully I’ll be able to show you guys that before the TR is finished!



Soon, we were making our way through bag check and the ticket gates.





As you can see, it was still pretty much empty, as it was nearly an hour until park opening at this point.

We first walked to the open area to the left near the tree. Hardly anyone was over there, and I took the opportunity to go to the little shop and get a new autograph book and pen. When I walked back to the strollers a minute later, a smell overwhelmed me. Was that…no…surely not here.

CIGARETTE SMOKE. Right here. There were three redneck (and I’m not categorizing smokers as rednecks—these were rednecks if I’ve ever seen them, which I have, because…Georgian here) men sitting up on the wall just puffing away. These were the same men in the Ferry Boat sign picture above...classy. Brandon’s neck was red and his jaw was clenched. I knew we needed to move away from them, and FAST, so we went clear across to the opposite side and parked our strollers. We couldn’t smell it over there, thank goodness, but it was still strange that nobody was stopping them, and the wall is clearly not a designated smoking area! There were plenty of CMs around and barely any people, so it’s not like it wasn’t noticeable.

We still had plenty of time, so I took Brynn and did the best thing I have ever done on any trip ever—I got her a GAC (guest assistance card). We’ve been on trips before and didn’t use them, but we’ve had plenty of issues on those trips, plus she was smaller and somewhat easier to manage back then and we usually had an extra person to help us. I wasn’t even sure we’d need it, because I really wasn’t sure how she’d react since it had been a full year since we were here, but let me tell you now that I will never do another trip without one if she’s with us. They tell you that it doesn’t speed up your wait time, and that is true, but the time we waited was much less stressful and involved many less meltdowns than in years past.

I carried Brynn over to the Guest Relations desk outside the turnstiles. We were first in line and were called up by a young girl named Morgan. I didn’t know how to go about getting the GAC, so I just told her I had heard about a card to help people with disabilities to be accommodated better, and she was more than happy to help me. She never asked Brynn’s diagnosis, but instead asked what kinds of things she might need assistance with. I told her about Brynn’s paroxysmal spells, and how she can’t move during them and is often weak after them, so she might need to use the umbrella stroller as a wheelchair if that’s going on, and also if she’s in need of a “safe place” when she’s too stimulated. I also told her that she’d need a separate place to wait if the waiting area had people jammed in too close—think show waiting areas, where it looks like a can of sardines with very little personal space. This was for Brynn’s benefit (so she didn’t panic if she was closed in) and for the benefit of those waiting around her (in case she had a meltdown and flailed her arms and legs, or in case she was in one of her touchy moods so she wouldn’t be rubbing her hands all over them). Most of the time we’d use Fastpass and be in lines that were narrow enough that our family could surround her just in case, but if not, a little extra space would be greatly appreciated. Within a minute, she had the card with stamps for stroller=wheelchair and for alternate entrance, plus a sticker to put on the stroller.



I folded this in half and had the alternate entrance side showing through the clear pocket of my lanyard pouch, which I either wear around my neck or clip to my belt loop, and figured the sticker on the stroller would be obvious if we were going to have to use that.

With all the little things taken care of, all we had to do was wait for the opening show!

So? BUBBLES!





Soon, that glorious music of the Welcome Show started playing through the speakers, and Julia was waving wildly to the performers!



And after we all loudly counted down, the park was open!



We had somewhere to be first thing, so we decided to make another stop at the restrooms. (Stop laughing.) On the way to the ones next to Guest Relations, we spotted this guy, which even a sleepy Sawyer enjoyed!



NOW it was time for our first view of that castle from Main Street U.S.A.!



Who’s the most excited? Me, obviously. Kid at heart here, people.

We stopped for a quick family photo because a CM insisted, though it didn’t turn out to be our best, and definitely not our last!



We were hurrying down Main Street to make it to our appointment on time, but we did make sure to take in all our magical surroundings on this beautiful morning!





And just like that, we were veering left on our way to our first adventure of the trip, and our first experience of this kind ever!

Where were we headed?

You’ll have to stay tuned to find out, Matey!

Arrrrr you realizing that this TR will be overly-detailed? Arrrrrrr you ready for the best pictures my husband has ever taken? Those are coming up in the next update!

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Last edited by Fantasyland Mom; 10-17-2012 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:05 PM   #82
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Jennifer you are an incredible tease! An amazing organization scheme and you don't even show it to us? For shame! Seriously though, I LOVE your totally detailed reports. It makes me think of all the things I could be doing to make our trip even more special.

Keep the great updates coming!
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:50 PM   #83
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What a great morning! And it's barely started, yyaaay!! The first morning I'm always out of bed SO early and ready to go right away, especially on the Magic Kingdom day!

I have to say, it was actually on the 15th that was the first time I'd been on the ferry in the MK area, and UGH, It's absolutely amazing, I definitely love it! (yup, definitely in MK for an hour or two that morning!)

That's so great that you were able to get a GAC card for Brynn, I hope it does help out a lot!

I'm loving the details & lots of pictures! Excited for more!
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:52 PM   #84
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Eating lunch and was laughing out loud (which can be awkward) about getting your smell fix on in the Target bathrooms... I often think I'm a little weird because I swear I have an over sensitive sense of smell (maybe to make up for my bad eyesite...) but smell is such a strong sense -and you can smell something and it can totally take you back to another place and time...

I love first days... You have EVERYTHING ahead of you... I still get that giddy feeling on Main Street...


Yeah for the Welcome Show and Yeah for detailed Trip Reports...

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Old 10-17-2012, 01:21 PM   #85
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Your kids are just awesome because they have the whole Must Do Disney show memorized. People who say Stacey is annoying are just weird. I am just like Julia in the morning, watching Stacey while I get ready.

I have to agree and say when the Disney bathrooms are clean, they do smell nice.

I can’t STAND the people who decided to smoke wherever they want. It’s not enjoyable AT ALL. They should spend some time looking at a map to see where the smoking spots are.

I have never heard of the GAC cards before! I think it is awesome that Disney does stuff like that.

Wait! The best pictures Brandon has ever taken WEREN’T in this update?! The Main Street pictures he took are AMAZING.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:40 PM   #86
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Great start to your first day! I just LOVE all of the pictures...they are beautiful!
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:06 PM   #87
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WAHOO!!! Another post!!!!

I'm not sure if I asked you about a GAC in another post (or jsut thought I should ask you!)...I felt funny getting one for Cody, but as more of his issues become apparent, and now Caseys as well, I think I should. Meltdowns are a common thing in our household and it would make the screaming bareable, knowing I'm not being judged by all the eyes that I *JUST* know are focused on me and my screaming child in the middle of a meltdown, telling me they think I am a bad parent.

Hopefully everyone got to be bright eyed and bushy tailed before they went to the Carribean!
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:30 PM   #88
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you are all wearing turquoise, how cute!
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:27 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Mrs. Gumdrop View Post
Jennifer you are an incredible tease! An amazing organization scheme and you don't even show it to us? For shame! Seriously though, I LOVE your totally detailed reports. It makes me think of all the things I could be doing to make our trip even more special.

Keep the great updates coming!
It IS shameful, and so unlike me! I'm going to go through all the other pictures and see if somehow it's in the background of any of the shots we took in the room. Seriously, though, picture a row of boxes with no clutter sticking out the top, all perfectly aligned on the wire rack up high next to the sink, and that's what it was. It was perfection.
I love being detailed, not only to be helpful, but so that when I go back and read my own TR, I can remember every little thing.

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Originally Posted by katt789 View Post
What a great morning! And it's barely started, yyaaay!! The first morning I'm always out of bed SO early and ready to go right away, especially on the Magic Kingdom day!

I have to say, it was actually on the 15th that was the first time I'd been on the ferry in the MK area, and UGH, It's absolutely amazing, I definitely love it! (yup, definitely in MK for an hour or two that morning!)

That's so great that you were able to get a GAC card for Brynn, I hope it does help out a lot!

I'm loving the details & lots of pictures! Excited for more!
Hmmm...wonder if you're in the background of our pictures!?!? You'll have to look extra close!
Yeah, the first morning is easy to pop out of bed...not so much later on...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PracPerfPatricia View Post
Eating lunch and was laughing out loud (which can be awkward) about getting your smell fix on in the Target bathrooms... I often think I'm a little weird because I swear I have an over sensitive sense of smell (maybe to make up for my bad eyesite...) but smell is such a strong sense -and you can smell something and it can totally take you back to another place and time...

I love first days... You have EVERYTHING ahead of you... I still get that giddy feeling on Main Street...


Yeah for the Welcome Show and Yeah for detailed Trip Reports...

You know, I have horrible eyesight, too! Maybe you're onto something there! My smell memory is definitely my strongest, and I have several of them for Disney.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LifeIsDis View Post
Your kids are just awesome because they have the whole Must Do Disney show memorized. People who say Stacey is annoying are just weird. I am just like Julia in the morning, watching Stacey while I get ready.

I have to agree and say when the Disney bathrooms are clean, they do smell nice.

I can’t STAND the people who decided to smoke wherever they want. It’s not enjoyable AT ALL. They should spend some time looking at a map to see where the smoking spots are.

I have never heard of the GAC cards before! I think it is awesome that Disney does stuff like that.

Wait! The best pictures Brandon has ever taken WEREN’T in this update?! The Main Street pictures he took are AMAZING.
Yes, *when* they are clean they smell amazing! And I also know which bathrooms stay relatively clean all day long. The more I talk about this, the more insane I sound to myself!
Even if those people had never been to Magic Kingdom before, and even if they'd never even seen a map, common sense should tell them that you can't just plop your butt right there on the wall in front of Mickey and everybody and puff away! Or the announcer guy on the monorail or ferry telling you that there are designated smoking areas. Or the signs. Or the looks people are giving you. I know I was shooting daggers with my eyes!
I hadn't heard of the GAC until I saw something about it on the DISabilities board a couple of months ago. I really didn't even know if we'd use it because we're so good at Fastpasses, but it turns out we needed it quite a bit. I'll fill you in on all that a little later.
GIRL. You ain't see NOTHIN' yet! These pictures are ho-hum compared to the ones that are coming up in the rest of the TR! But I am very fond of the Main Street pictures--takes me back to the feeling that first morning when everything was cool and clean and empty and we had the whole week ahead of us!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancegrl624 View Post
Great start to your first day! I just LOVE all of the pictures...they are beautiful!
It was a great start, and it's hardly begun! This day was one of the longest and most eventful. I can't wait to share it all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by starann View Post
WAHOO!!! Another post!!!!

I'm not sure if I asked you about a GAC in another post (or jsut thought I should ask you!)...I felt funny getting one for Cody, but as more of his issues become apparent, and now Caseys as well, I think I should. Meltdowns are a common thing in our household and it would make the screaming bareable, knowing I'm not being judged by all the eyes that I *JUST* know are focused on me and my screaming child in the middle of a meltdown, telling me they think I am a bad parent.

Hopefully everyone got to be bright eyed and bushy tailed before they went to the Carribean!
We've never gotten one for Brynn before, but her issues get bigger as she gets bigger. She can't be contained as much, she's more combative during meltdowns, and when she can't or won't walk, she's so big that we can't just carry her everywhere now. She HAD to have it, and I didn't realize how much she would need it or how much it would help just to give her a little breathing room and a place to rest her legs when they just weren't working with her. It definitely helped that people weren't right on top of us with their judging eyes all the time, though she did get plenty of stares when people didn't realize her stroller was being used as a wheelchair. I didn't care.
Everyone perked up very well. You'll see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dara00 View Post
you are all wearing turquoise, how cute!
...and some of us will be even MORE turquoise in the next update.
Yes, I am an outfit-coordinating crazy lady. (<---best smilie I could come up with).

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Old 10-17-2012, 03:48 PM   #90
sachiiiii
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Great pictures and a funny writer! I'm subscribing! Can't wait to read more!
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