A surprise is born... *Updated with DHS

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Laura.bora, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. Laura.bora

    Laura.bora DIS Veteran

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    So once upon a time (2008), we surprised our kids with a little birthday surprise. ;) A little surprise called Disney World!! :goodvibes

    If you'd like to read about it, here is the link: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1605602

    As soon as we were home, Disney fever hit. We've been wanting and waiting to go back. So finally, we decided enough was enough. The baby of 2008 isn't a baby any more. The kids are getting older and are talking about Disney every day. They just can't wait to go back! And so, a secret was born. We are assuming Free Dining will be out again this year and so - we're going back again this year!!
     
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  3. Laura.bora

    Laura.bora DIS Veteran

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    The Who:

    Some characters will be familiar, some will not!

    First up, the head of our household and love of my life - Ken! He's a Disney grump turned Disney Fanatic. In DIS language - he's drunk the kool-aid. :thumbsup2 (we are doing a homeschool project in this picture)

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    Next up is me! Laura. Suffers from Disney OCD, overplanner, TGM lover, and CAN NOT WAIT TO GO BACK!!!!! :dance3:

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  4. Laura.bora

    Laura.bora DIS Veteran

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    Nathaniel - The oldest of our children. This birthday boy will be turning 8 this year:bday: and since, once again, free dining falls on his birthday - we're surprising him with a trip to the world for his birthday! He is the artist of the family by far!

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    Ainsley - Our only daughter. A little bit princess, a little bit Laura Ingalls. It will be her 5th birthday while visiting the world.

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    Ephraim - no longer the baby of the family. In love with all things Tigger and "lalalalalalala Pooh" (We have a christmas CD in which Pooh sings Deck the Halls - hence the name lalalalalalalala pooh). In love with all things Mickey and Minnie...and Goofy...and Pluto...and Donald Duck...and Daisy Duck...you get the picture! We have done a good job preparing him for the WONDERFUL place known as Disney World. (He was 9 months the last time we went, so no memories for him there.) He's our resident trouble maker, comedian and love bug and prayer warrior. Will not go to bed unless you and he and everyone around has prayed for everyone in the room - including the 10 Sesame Street and Disney stuffed animals he has brought into the bed with him.

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    We have one more addition to our family! The new baby of the family - Mr. Felix Matthew!

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    Obviously, much like the last trip report - this one will consist of waiting for a surprise trip and a baby!!

    We will hopefully have 2 others joining us as well, Kris and Jade - although as of yet, those plans are not set in stone. We will refer to them as our "borrowed children" - mostly because that's what we call them! :) They are the children of a good family friend. They have been to Disney once...almost. They drove all the way down there and had one day to visit MK. And on that day - it POURED. And so they did not go. :guilty: They are a bit older than my kids (12 and 10), but they get along GREAT, and we just couldn't imagine going on this vacation without them!

    This will be a surprise for ALL involved except for Ken and me! You'll need to wait for all the other details!!
     
  5. Laura.bora

    Laura.bora DIS Veteran

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    The details:

    The all important questions! When to go, where to stay, how will we get there? Decisions, decisions, decisions!

    When to go was back and forth for a bit. We were REALLY contemplating going for the beginning of December. The beautiful Christmas decorations, MVMCP - it was all in the works....and would have most likely stayed in the works...but then I got pregnant and horrors of horrors - WE DIDN'T FIT IN THE WILDERNESS LODGE ANYMORE!! Did we REALLY want to go down for Christmas if we weren't going to be in the Wilderness Lodge?? We LOVE Christmas, and we just weren't thrilled with being anywhere else but Wilderness Lodge - ESPECIALLY for Christmas. Besides, it could be cold and we wouldn't be able to go swimming. Packing multi layered clothing would be a pain. So we decided to wait on Christmas in Disney. We decided that September was perfect last time, let's stick with perfection. And since Nathaniel and Ainsley's birthdays are in September, that made it pretty easy to decide when in September. So we are going basically the exact time we went last time. Tuesday September 14th - Thursday September 23rd.

    After Christmas was decided against, but before September was decided on came the problem of where? As a family of 5, we no longer fit in our favorite resort. Unless we did club level of course - but no. Not happening. We looked at the values. The price was more than right....and yet....it just didn't give us that warm fuzzy feeling of relaxation and home that Wilderness Lodge did...and besides - they had double beds. With kids in the bed, that would get old very fast.

    How about the Family Suites? Again, price was right. This one had queen beds in the master and pull out fulls and twins. We are getting warmer. And yet, the ambiance of the All Stars Music leaves MUCH to be desired for us. We don't listen to music that doesn't focus on Jesus very much at all (with the exception of good old Blues Clues or Sesame Street) - and every time I saw photos of the food court, I just did not feel comfortable with making that decision. So we ruled out Values and ruled out Disney. Sigh...we'll just have to wait for DVC.

    But the Disney bug just wouldn't stop biting. And before long, we were back looking at Deluxes. Maybe, just maybe there was a way we COULD swing a Deluxe! We started praying and crunching numbers and realized we COULD in fact stay at a Deluxe if the savings were right! We were back and forth. Contemporary? Poly? Beach Club? Yacht Club? Where oh where to stay!? We finally decided on Contemporary because the price was right and it was right on the monorail line. One of the things we had LOVED about Wilderness Lodge was it's location - so close to the parks, easy to make it to the monorail line to have meals. The contemporary grounds left us feeling ehhhh, but the location was the best spot for us. And it wasn't HORRIBLE - it just wasn't Wilderness.

    Then one day I over hear Nathaniel talking to Kris about Disney. Nathaniel asked him something about what he thought his favorite part of going to Disney would be or something like that. Kris' answer reminded me of his response to his birthday present this summer. We took Kris (sports fan fanatic) to his first baseball game. It was supposed to be a surprise, but Nathaniel blew it and started talking about the baseball game. Kris responded with "Oh...well, I guess that team is ok, but I wouldn't really want to go because that team isn't that great." So of course I jumped in and said "That teams not that great? Really? Oh...I guess then I'll give someone else the ticket we got for you." His reaction went something like this: :) :confused: :eek: :woohoo: :yay: :dance3: Kris' response to Nathaniel's Disney question put a thought in my head...and I just kept it to myself and prayed about it. I figured if Jesus wanted us to bring Kris and Jade along, then He'll show my husband the same thing.

    Then one night, as my husband and I are talking, he brought it up. "What would you think of having Kris and Jade come with us? I just can't imagine going without them. They're like part of the family!" (They are currently here 4x a week while there Mom is in school full time to become a nurse. God bless her heart and determination! I would NOT be choosing to go back to school anytime soon!) Of course, I had been praying about that very same thing - so that was a no brainer! We then did the children and adult math and realized we'd have to get two rooms and before that sentence left our mouth we just stopped and looked at each other.....how much would TWO rooms at Wilderness Lodge be?? Could we swing it? SHOULD we swing it? After lots and lots of praying and lots and lots of pricing and math - we were decided!!! 2 rooms at our home away from home - WILDERNESS LODGE! We wouldn't be staying courtyard like last time - but we don't care! We are going home!
     
  6. Laura.bora

    Laura.bora DIS Veteran

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    Hey Terri -

    If you are looking for ideas, here's what I did last time (Scroll a bit towards the bottom and you'll see the videos - I think the 2nd one is the start of the reveal)
    http://www.tourguidemike.com/forums/tm.asp?m=757012&mpage=5&key=

    There is also a thread called KOTS (keeper of the Secret) over on www.disboards.com that has tons of people who surprised their kids and how they did it.

    Youtube is also great for collecting ideas.

    I'll post what we plan to do this time around later!
     
  7. Laura.bora

    Laura.bora DIS Veteran

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    The Surprise:

    So we have 5 kids who haven't the slightest clue as to what we have up our sleeves. :goodvibes (well, 6 - but the littlest doesn't count)

    The last time we surprised the kids, we did a box inside of a box inside of a box with one word on each box. Each of those words spelled out the question "Guess where we are going tomorrow?"

    We were debating on how to surprise the kids. The scavenger hunt leading to suitcases packed in the van was the runner up until while laying in bed I had a stroke of genius. 5 kids....1 word for each kid.... Guess...where...we...are...going? PERFECT! So here is the plan as of now (subject to change since we have a long time to wait - but last time I was certain we would change it between when I wrote my pre trip a year in advance to when we revealed the surprise - and the plan was played out exactly as I had envisioned it a year in advance. So now I'm less likely to believe it will change!)

    So - the plan....Line the kids up in age order on one side of the kitchen table and explain that we have a little present for all of them. There will be a card and a present for each of them. Jade is the oldest and so she will open her card first. It will say "Guess" - of course in the Lowes Mickey head. (I'll need to be a bit more sneaky in grabbing these lest my kids start to suspect.)

    I think at Jade opening the word "Guess", at the very least Nathaniel will know what is going on. We may need to prep them before not to say anything if they figure it out until we ask them.

    Kris will be next with his card saying "where". Then Nathaniel, Ainsley and Ephraim. Once everyone has opened there card and they understand what the question is, we'll have them all open their presents. We were going to at first go with Mickey Hats as their gift, but then I priced them. I couldn't justify spending $20 a hat when I knew they'd wear them once or twice. So I think instead we will be grabbing matching shirts off of Disney.com with Mickey or Minnie on them. I have no doubt that at this point my kids will fully know what is going on. Kris and Jade might not. I'm thinking they'll be in too much shock! :laughing:

    Here was where I got my inspiration for this surprise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GX4gR5bv27Q
     
  8. Laura.bora

    Laura.bora DIS Veteran

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    Since I have a little bit to wait until Disney releases their hours for September and Tour Guide Mike to release his best days calendar, I'll go over our hopeful ADR's!

    We are planning to be on the dining plan. (Assuming there is free dining - which I am 100% sure there will be)

    Kona - This is a must for us - a multiple must for us. Hands down our favorite place to eat!
    Nine Dragons - We wanted to eat here last time for dinner, but it was closed for renovations.
    Yak and Yetti - We were supposed to eat here last time for lunch and canceled our reservation and instead ate counter service. We ate Yak and Yetti counter service and it was DELICIOUS. The Yak and Yetti became a must for us after that!
    Artist Point - The highlight of our dining last trip! A must repeat!
    Coral Reef - We want to try someplace new. The menu looks good and it has a giant aquarium so we can't go wrong!
    Cinderella's Royal Table - We will be celebrating Ainsley's birthday again the same way we did last time. A trip to BBB in the morning followed by lunch or dinner with Cinderella and friends!
    Chef Mickey's - You don't think we could visit WDW without stopping here, did you?
    Hollywood and Vine - Like last time, we plan to spend the entire day in this park (DHS) - so a nice long air conditioned break is needed along with the freedom for the kids to get up and roam with their favorite Playhouse Disney characters. Hoping we'll get lucky enough to do some more pin trading with Leo!
    Liberty Tree Tavern - This was simply delicious for lunch last time, so it's a must on our list!
    Tony's - This one we are uncertain about. Want to do something in MK or near it - and the menu looks good, but we are originally from Long Island....we tend to be picky about our Italian food.
     
  9. Laura.bora

    Laura.bora DIS Veteran

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    So, no hours yet - but that isn't going to stop my planning! I'm basing a tentative schedule based on last years hours and TGM information. Hopefully there won't be too much rearranging once the hours and TGM's best days chart comes out!

    We'll be in the world for 10 wonderful days! We would have loved to swing more - but that just isn't going to happen this time around! Last trip, we spent 4 days in the Magic Kingdom, 2 days in Epcot, 1 in Animal Kingdom, 1 in DHS and 2 rest days. For the most part, it worked great. I had done some rearranging of the schedule while down in WDW which led to 4 days touring in a row. 4 days was a bit much - however 3 days was fine. So here's my not set in stone plans as of now:

    Day 0
    - Let the vacation begin! We'll be spending the day hopefully at a museum until we can check in at our park and fly hotel!
    Day 1 - We'll be grabbing the earliest non stop flight we can and hope to be down in the world by late morning/early afternoon. Check in and then mad dash to MK! We'll grab lunch at Colombia Harbor House this time! No more Casey's for us!! :sick: Dinner at Kona Cafe about 6 and back to the hotel for an early night.
    Day 2 - MK rope drop! Good morning, Good morning....hopefully we've slept the whole night through and will be bright eyed and bushy tailed! We'll break for lunch at Tony's before heading back to WL for our afternoon break. We'll head back to the park after dinner and maybe stay for Wishes.
    Day 3 - Our Epcot day! We plan to be here for rope drop and tour Future World. We will NOT make the same mistake we made last time by staying too late by seeing just "one more thing". We'll break in the early afternoon before the insane heat hits and then we'll be back for dinner at 9 dragons. We'll do a little shopping around the world. Ken REALLY wants to see Illuminations this trip, so we'll try to stick around for it. Worst case scenario, Ken and the older kids will stay and I will take tired kids back home!
    Day 4 - Rest day! Nothing planned today but swimming and relaxing! Maybe a photoshoot - and at least one meal at Kona...maybe 2! And the Chip and Dale campfire - just for Nathaniel! No movie though - need to prep him for that before hand!
    Day 5 - AK day. It's also the day we'll be celebrating Nathaniel's birthday. We tried to stick it out to the parade last time without an air conditioned lunch break. That didn't happen. So, we'll tour in the morning, break for an early lunch at Yak and Yetti and then continue on our touring - making sure we have lots of AC shows planned! We'll stick it out to the parade if we can, and then head home. We'll stay no later than the end of the parade. We'll come home, relax, freshen up and then have a later dinner at Artist Point - our favorite special restaurant!
    Day 6 - Another Epcot Day. We'll be here for ropedrop again. We'll tour some of the fillers/favorites in FW until World showcase opens. Then we'll go and visit a few of the countries. Was going to try and fit in Coral Reef for lunch- we'll see how that fits into the plans. Tonight is an early night.
    Day 7 - Magic Kingdom day! We'll be celebrating Ainsley's birthday today! We are going to have a repeat performance of last trip. 8:00 BBB appointment, spend the morning on Tom Sawyer Island and then either lunch (not 2:15 this time!!!) or dinner at the castle. We'll break mid day and head back at night to see Spectro and maybe Wishes.
    Day 8 - Break day! Nothing planned! Late breakfast at Chef Mickey's. Lots of swimming - maybe shopping at DTD and hopefully if we can swing it - La Nouba!
    Day 9 - Full day in DHS. No F! Try to see as much as we can in the day - take a LONG AC break at Hollywood and Vine for lunch. Stay to park close.
    Day 10 - Good bye Disney World! We'll check out and head over to MK for the day. We'll have lunch at Liberty tree tavern and just enjoy some of our favorite rides....and WE WON'T BUY ANYTHING!!!!! Lesson learned from last trip! We also won't stay incredibly late and almost miss our plane.
     
  10. Laura.bora

    Laura.bora DIS Veteran

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    See - already changes to the plan! This is why I love pre trip reports. Typing out my plan helps me to see the flaws!

    Day 0 - Let the vacation begin! We'll be spending the day hopefully in a museum until we can check in at our park and fly hotel!
    Day 1 - We'll be grabbing the earliest non stop flight we can and hope to be down in the world by late morning/early afternoon. Check in and then mad dash to MK! We are hoping it will be a MNSSHP this day again. When we went in 2008, it was - and we had the parks to ourselves! We'll grab lunch at Colombia Harbor House this time! No more Casey's for us!! Dinner at Kona Cafe about 6 and back to the hotel for an early night.
    Day 2 - MK rope drop! Good morning, Good morning....hopefully we've slept the whole night through and will be bright eyed and bushy tailed! We'll break for lunch at Tony's before heading back to WL for our afternoon break. We'll head back to the park after dinner, use up those FP's and maybe stay for Wishes.
    Day 3 - Our Epcot day! We plan to be here for rope drop and tour Future World. We will NOT make the same mistake we made last time by staying too late by seeing just "one more thing". We'll stop for an early lunch at Coral Reef and make sure we break by 1 before the insane heat hits and then we'll be back for dinner at Chef de France. (after reading reviews of the refurbished 9 dragons, we are skipping this one and opting for Chef de France instead!) We'll use up some of those FP's and see some fillers. Ken REALLY wants to see Illuminations this trip, so we'll try to stick around for it. Worst case senario, Ken and the older kids will stay and I will take tired kids back home!
    Day 4 - Rest day! Nothing planned today but swimming and relaxing! Maybe a photoshoot - and at least one meal at Kona...maybe 2! And the Chip and Dale campfire - just for Nathaniel! No movie though - need to prep him for that before hand!
    Day 5 - AK day. It's also the day we'll be celebrating Nathaniel's birthday. We tried to stick it out to the parade last time without an air conditioned lunch break. That didn't happen. So, we'll tour in the morning, break for an early lunch at Yak and Yetti and then continue on our touring - making sure we have lots of AC shows planned! We'll stick it out to the parade if we can, and then head home. We'll stay no later than the end of the parade. We'll come home, relax, freshen up and then have a later dinner at Artist Point - our favorite special restaurant!
    Day 6 - Another Epcot Day. We will skip rope drop unless we REALLY feel we want to see just a bit more of Future World. We plan to be there just before 11 and spend the day in WS. We'll go and visit a few of the countries. We'll snack around the world and top it off around 2 or 3 with a stop to Beaches and Cream. After that, we'll roll on home to spend the evening relaxing and swimming.
    Day 7 - Magic Kingdom day! We'll be celebrating Ainsley's birthday today! We are going to have a repeat performance of last trip. 8:00 BBB appointment, pictures taken at the expo, late breakfast at Main St. Bakery, spend the morning on Tom Sawyer Island (try to be there before 11) and then break around 1. Mandatory nap today for EVERYONE! We'll have a birthday dinner at the castle around 5, use up FP's we've collected during the day, and stay for Spectro and Wishes.
    Day 8 - Break day! Nothing planned! Late breakfast at Chef Mickey's. Lots of swimming - maybe shopping at DTD and hopefully if we can swing it - La Nouba!
    Day 9 - Full day in DHS. No F! Try to see as much as we can in the day - take a LONG AC break at Hollywood and Vine for lunch. Stay to park close.
    Day 10 - Good bye Disney World! We'll check out and head over to MK for the day. We'll have lunch at Liberty tree tavern and just enjoy some of our favorite rides....and WE WON'T BUY ANYTHING!!!!! Lesson learned from last trip! We also won't stay incredibly late and almost miss our plane.
     
  11. Laura.bora

    Laura.bora DIS Veteran

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    Just noticed that Cirque blackout days are from 21st - 24th. So I'm reversing my break days so that we can leave room for Cirque. I am REALLY hoping we get to see it! It was just amazing last time!
     
  12. Laura.bora

    Laura.bora DIS Veteran

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    We are wanting to get walkie talkies for our trip so we don't have a repeat performance of last trip:

    "Originally I was going to grab a FP for BTMRR and ride Splash, but Splash was shut down, so I grabbed a FP for Splash and told Ken if he wanted to, he could take a ride on the railroad with the kids and we'd meet him under the umbrella by hte railroad afterwards. Then Nathaniel and I took off for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It was about 11:10 at this point. Nathaniel of course LOVED it! We got off and headed back to teh train station. I didn't see Ken so we took a bathroom break. Still no Ken.... I notice Goofy was nearby so we stood online and met Goofy. Nathaniel and I get our picture taken with Goofy because there was a photopass photographer there! We got our use of the Photopass guys! We come back....Still no Ken.....At this point I noticed 2 trains had gone by so I figured he'd be on the next train. Under the train Depot is a playground. So I sat in the shade while Nathaniel played. The train came....and still no Ken... Now I'm starting to get worried. How in the world am I supposed to find him? He has a cell phone, but I don't. He has all my stuff, so if I leave the park without him, I can't get back in AND I can't get back into the hotel room! What if Ephraim's getting hungry? It's getting closer and closer to our Liberty Tree Tavern lunch. I know they won't let us check in without our whole party. I think, "maybe he's waiting by the enterance to Big thunder Mountain?" I go over and look - no luck. I check near the exit. No luck....I better just wait by where we said we'd meet. Maybe he needed to change a diaper or something. I asked someone what time it was and it was 11:35! Ok, WHERE WAS KEN!??! We start wandering around looking for him. We stop to say hi to Jesse (no autograph or picture because Ken has everything!) and still no Ken....We go over and check Big Thunder again - no Ken. I check down by the Tom sawyer docks - no Ken! As we are coming up from the docks I hear my name - THERE HE IS! He didn't listen to the plan and waited for me at the exit instead. He figured he had time to run the kids to the bathroom, so while he was in there, Nathaniel and I finsihed the ride. The one time I looked over there, he was out searching for me......This is why we STICK TO THE PLAN!" - The 2008 Surprise Trip

    Soooo - anyone care to recommend walkie talkies for us!?
     
  13. Laura.bora

    Laura.bora DIS Veteran

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    Sooooo - today the September hours were published here on TGM BEFORE they were released on Disney's website!! YEAAAA! Thank you TGM! So, while no Least Crowded Park Days are out, it looks like I was spot on with my plans except for our last day, the 23rd. I don't know what I did, because last years MK Thursday was a red day too, but I had planned on our last day being MK because I somehow thought it was green. MK was really was the only park that made sense because of the amount of days we'd be at each park. And so, we did the only logical thing to do - added another day onto our reservation!!! So now we'll be leaving Friday the 24th instead - which is a MK green day! Perfection. We'll use the extra day (day 10) to do a half day at AK to see a few other things we had wanted to see there and just couldn't fit in a 1 day plan.
     
  14. Laura.bora

    Laura.bora DIS Veteran

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    So, this afternoon I'm sitting here on the internet and doing a little research on pins - where to buy them etc. I need to pick up Kris, Jade and Ephraim some pins and a lanyard so that they can have pins to trade too. (Nathaniel and Ainsley have some from their last trip.) Jade is sitting next to me working on school work.

    Jade: "Sooooooo.....When do you think you are going back to Disney World?"
    Me: "ummmmmmmmm......some time in the future...." (see - no lying!)
    Jade: "oh.....so.....how much do you think it would be for the average teenager to go to Disney?" (Lol - the average teenager...aka - Jade!)
    Me: "ummmmmmm.....Well the cost of an adult ticket...and then the air plane ticket and stuff..." At this point I "casually" but as fast as I can shut down TGM, Mousepinsonline, and the other things I had up and said "Well, OK - I'm done here - Tell me when you finish your essay" and I skeedadle out of the room!!!

    This is going to be MUCH trickier to get all my extras done with certain children wishing and hoping to go to Disney (mine included)! It was much easier when all children were younger and didn't suspect a thing!!! Last time I was even able to PACK in front of them without question!! I guess the easy days of surprises is over!
     
  15. Laura.bora

    Laura.bora DIS Veteran

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    So, we have a little over 180 days until our trip, and about a month before Felix arrives. So what have I been doing to keep myself busy? Making my husband be busy of course! Since I have the desire to nest like crazy, but do not have the physical strength to do it, he has become my hands and feet. We are in the middle of some major kitchen renovations, and who has he recruited to help him other than our borroweds and our bios! My goal as much as it depends on me...which really isn't at all other than that I am the lead supervisor because I'm too sick to help - as my sister puts it "It's good to be the pregnant queen" . Anywhoo - my goal is to have the kitchen mostly finished by the time Felix arrives. Should he decide to show up early, I will not complain however!

    So our Kitchen before:

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    Our kitchen had some very good bones, but was just in need of a facelift! I had grown tired of the yellow and green color scheme, the @ 30 year old linoleum needed to be replaced. It was disgusting - past the point of being clean even after a cleaning. And those awful vinyl tiles had to go. We had been praying about replacing the countertops too. As one can imagine, red peel and stick countertops are only in style for so long - and it went out of style in the 60's....Not to mention red countertops really don't go with anything.

    I never thought of myself as a person who loved the color brown...but it's become very apparent that I do! If you read my other Pre-trip, you know that when we gutted and redid the bathroom, brown wound up being the color scheme. Turns out I loved it so much, I wanted it in the kitchen too!

    First up on the destruction list is to get those awful tiles off the wall! We recruited Ainsley's help for this - she was a MUCH bigger help than Ken had imagined she would be. He wished he had her help for the whole kitchen.

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    While laying sick in bed, I had a clear view of the insides cabinets since Ken had removed the doors. Lined with old contact paper and over cluttered - they were a mess. Doing the insides of the cabinets had not been on the original "Honey -do" list, but as I sat in bed and those ugly things stared at me, I begged him to add it onto the "Honey do" list. He was originally very persistent in his "no" answer. But my asking made him curious about just how bad it was under the contact paper. Turns out it just needed a small sanding in some spots and a good coat of paint! We even found under the contact paper some of the wallpaper that we're assuming went with the counter tops - red rose floral pattern. So after some MAJOR decluttering of the cabinets - I mean did we REALLY need 50+ tupperware containers....if I wasn't nesting I would have said yes, but thankfully I am so I tossed a whole lot of stuff...here was the finished results of the insides of the cabinets

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    and the walls...

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    Next up on our demolition list was the floor.

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    As you can see - it was a little worse for the wear. Do you see the big gouge in the linoleum? This is why you do not let the wife help move furniture.

    So one of our borroweds to the rescue. Kris came over to help Ken demo the floor. That kid worked like a beast! Ken was so glad he was there to help! It would have been longer than a weekend job without him!

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    The original plan was to pull up the linoleum and luon (sp?) and then have someone come in and replace the linoleum. That was the plan until we found this...

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    At that point we went "Oh my!!!" Obviously a MUCH different find than what we found in the bathroom. (For those of you who didn't read my last pre-trip - what we found was that our toilet's wax seal had broken years ago and we didn't know it. Waste soaked through the floor and up the walls. We found all sorts of nasties under that linoleum!!!) At that point, we decided if our landlord consented, we wanted to keep the hardwood floors, provided they were in good condition.

    Ephraim was as good as could be during the floor demo. While the older kids played outside in the snow, he sat quiet as a mouse playing with his brothers legos...see - he's not ALWAYS a trouble maker!

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    We demoed the rest of the kitchen and low and behold - it's beautiful throughout!

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    The boys clean up and call it a night!
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  16. Laura.bora

    Laura.bora DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Messages:
    770
    The next morning they are back at it again! This time it's the bios turn to help! Nathaniel helped get up all the nails out of the floor while Ken tackled the last of the linoleum on the floor.

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    Finally there was a "Ladies Job" and Ainsley could help out without killing herself!

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    Even Ephraim "helped"

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    We put the cabinet doors up and called it a weekend!

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    Next up was the sanding and staining and polyurethane-ing of the floor. We sent the kids over to our neighbors for the sanding so that hopefully we wouldn't have an asthma attack on our hands. And then Kris and Ken went to work!

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    After Kris saw how it was done, Ken let Kris have a go with the sander.

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    The finished project

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    The next day, Jade helped out with staining the floor.

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    While Ephraim lounged and watched TV

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    And in case you are wondering where all the kitchen furniture went....

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    We got the Polyurethane on. It was supposed to be "quick dry" - a 3 hour drying time. The first coat took about 4 hours to be tacky to the touch...the 2nd coat??? over 12 hours to be tacky to the touch! So because of the central location of our kitchen (you can't get from point A to B without going through the kitchen), there are foot prints in the floor polyurethane! We decided our next weekend trip to see family we'll put down the last coat right before we leave. That way it will have plenty of time to dry!

    You are now up to date with the kitchen remodel! As for the baby...


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    He's still growing! I have about a month left! Can't wait!

    By the way - do you know how difficult it is for a very pregnant lady to jump over a table??

    Oh and because we had budgeted about $400 for the Linoleum kitchen floor, but wound up spending just over $100 on the hardwood - we are going to do the counter tops (with our landlords permission) - and still come in under budget!!! :)
     
  17. Laura.bora

    Laura.bora DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Messages:
    770
    Jade came across the kids 2008 Birnbaum for kids book - so now I have a pretty good idea what are her "must do's". Turns out Tower of Terror is one of the top things to do on her list "if she ever ever gets to go to Disney." DHS is going to be tricky to plan....I'm thinking maybe Ken and the older kids can hit TOT and RNR while I take the little ones to Playhouse Disney. While my older kids would sit through Playhouse Disney (and secretly enjoy it), I don't think they'd MIND missing it....at least I'm telling them a bit early this time! That will help with some last minute park tour planning.

    And no surprise here - but Canada is number 2 on her "must do" list. She has a random obsession with Canada.
     
  18. Laura.bora

    Laura.bora DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Messages:
    770
    After a very restless sleep, I was finally up at the crack of dawn to book my ADR's.

    9/14 - Kona Cafe 6:15 (wanted 6:20)
    9/15 - Tony's 11:35 (wanted 11:40)
    9/16 - Coral Reef 11:35 (wanted 11:40)
    9/16 - Teppan Edo 5:30 (Wanted 5:45)
    9/17 - Chef Mickey's 11:10 (I wanted the latest breakfast)
    9/17 - Kona Cafe 6:15 (Wanted 6:20)
    9/18 - Yak and Yetti 11:30 (wanted 11:40)
    9/18 - Kona 5:30 (wanted 5:40)
    9/19 - Donald's Safari Breakfast 9:55 (wanted 10:30)
    9/19 - Artist Point 5:40 (wanted 5:00)
    9/20 - BBB 8 am - exactly what I wanted!
    9/20 - CRT 5:25 (wanted 5:00)
    9/21 - Kona Cafe11:05 (wanted 11:05)
    9/21 - Kona Cafe 5:10 (wanted 5:00)
    9/22 - Hollywood and vine 12:10 (wanted 11:40)
    9/23 - nothing! - Snacking around the world and Beaches and Cream
    9/24 - LTT - 12:05 (wanted 11:40)
     
  19. 3princesses+aprince

    3princesses+aprince DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Messages:
    3,879
    Hi :goodvibes I came on to to go my PTR and ended up seeing yours. I remember the name from your last PTR! I enjoyed it, and I loved your surprise videos! The kids are so much bigger now!

    We went for the first time last May and are going back in September as well. We are staying from 9/18-9/27!!!

    Great job and congrats with getting all of your ADRs.

    And that kitchen of yours looked like quite the job! But it's looking great!

    It's also so nice of you to take your friend's kids along. It sounds like they are going to be super surprised and grateful to be going. :thumbsup2

    ALSO CONGRATS ON THE NEW BABY COMING!!!!
     
  20. Laura.bora

    Laura.bora DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Messages:
    770
    Lol - The word "surprise" always pulls me into a pre trip or trip report too because I love people surprising their kids with Disney!

    We hadn't realized how much the kids had grown until we started watching the old videos from the last trip. Ainsley was as tall as Ephraim is currently!!

    Oh - we'll be there around the same time! Where are you staying? I'll have to read your pretrip - did you get the ADR's you wanted too?

    The kitchen hasn't been too much of a job - especially for me since I just sit and supervise! :rotfl2: But seriously - after the bathroom, the kitchen is a walk in the park.

    I can't wait to surprise our kids and Kris and Jade - they are ALL going to be so excited, and I think our kids will be doubly surprised that Kris and Jade get to come! :thumbsup2 They know that we want to go back to Disney "sometime in the future" - but they think between the baby coming, and buying a house this year, that it won't be for a while. ;)

    And thank you! I am waiting not-so-patiently for Felix to arrive. The warm spring weather has me feeling impatient because I've been telling the kids "when the flowers appear, it will be time for Felix to come." Well, the flowers are starting to poke through the ground now and I'm like HURRY UP!!!!!!
     
  21. 3princesses+aprince

    3princesses+aprince DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Messages:
    3,879
    Oh, I know toward the end of a pregnancy you just can't wait any longer for that little baby!

    And on our ADRs, we didn't need to make any ,we are doing the quick service dining plan! I debated between upgrading to the regular ddp, but we are staying with QS.
     

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