Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Princess and the Pea

This weekend Lily and Charlotte became big girls. Tonight their room is no longer really considered a nursery. There isn't a glider, or toddler bed in sight. Lily is in her very own twin bed! On Sunday we saw a commercial for a furniture store. They were having a huge sale. We headed over and did put a sweet bed on order. But as soon as we left Chris and I both felt something didn't feel quite right. So we took Lily and Charlotte into a store at the end of our road to just take a quick look.

Lily walked right up to a bed and told us she wanted it to be her bed. We walked around the entire children's section just to make sure. She has been very fickle lately. It came down to two very different styles. In the end Lily really seemed to favor one over the other. It just so happened that it was the cheaper of the two (score!). We ordered it and canceled the first order. We just had to wait until today to pick it up.

Sunday afternoon Chris scooted over and picked her up her mattress and box spring.

Here he is sporting his new hair do, and Lily's mattress and box spring!

Lily said one last good-bye to Dora

Watch out for the big girl! Oh By the way the skirt she is wearing is sized at 18 months! LOL

Let's play Where's Lily?!

If you look really close you can see the top of our mini van getting loaded!
I took this from our front door.

Lily with her new head board

Funny girl!

She is soooo tiny! :-)

But such a big girl!

Lovin' life!

So far so good. With Lily it is just better to make the change happen as fast as possible. The very first night she ended up having a huge melt down. She never once asked for Dora, she was just very nervous. I went back in after she calmed down and read her the book Guess How Much I Love You. I read the story but I also injected it with a side story about being brave and changed Little Nut Brown and Big Nut Brown to Mommy and the big girl. She related to that and went to sleep. She has also requested her 'Mommy and Daddy book" be read at bedtime. It is actually called Happy Adoption Day. It is her comfort book. She even asked to read it to us before we read to her. It was neat to her interpretation of the book.
Charlotte is around and kicking. I haven't posted a lot about her because I am working on something special for her and her 18 month birthday. So I don't want to give too much away! She is doing great and is really talking up a storm. I counted today and I think we are up to 15 words! Some are better understood then others!! She LOVES to show off her toes!

Here is a little video from today. If you listen you can hear Charlotte say Hi! Too cute!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

My Favorite Four Letter Word!


I was up and calling at 7am this morning! At 7:11 I made it through the automated system and placed on hold. The system was saying it was at least a 30 minute wait time! Thankfully at 7:23 I was speaking to a cast member and booking FREE DINING and our hopper tickets!! We are just a tad excited about this!

We had an awesome weekend and I will be blogging about that at nap time. Until then I will be getting caught on up all the house work that SO didn't happen this weekend!

More soon and pics!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Disney Update Episode 1

These posts are mainly for the girls when they get older to see what we were thinking as we geared up for this first trip to the "Happiest Place one Earth!"

The first thing I can say is that we are extremely excited to be going. Second I had NO idea there was as many things to consider or frankly the amount of options available. For this reason we have had to make several changes to our reservations to find the best fit for us.

This is a public service announcement,.. Anyone considering a trip to Disney with small ones in toe start your research well before you book it. There is a great website that has vast information.

This is a fan site, and is awesome!

Gives insight on how to do Disney and not go broke.

Right now we happy that Free Dining has been announced!! We have to wait until Monday at 7am to make the changes. This is going to save us $7.76! It would be more but we want the flexibility of the hopper tickets so we are going to upgrade.

For our money we are getting 8 days/7 nights at the Coronado Springs Resort, The dining plan (this includes 1 table service, including all character meal, 1 counter service, and 1 snack-all for free) for Chris, Lily and I. Charley is too young too count! She can have portions from our plates. We have the hopper tickets, we can visit any of the parks as many of times as we like during our stay.

This is our Resort

Complete with a resident crocodiidle (Lilyism)

We liked this resort for one basic reason it reminded us of Guatemala.

This is one of the pools

Lily was very excited to see the crocodile picture! She actually said that he/she was cute! She has a thing for them!

As far as planning the trip.. remember I am married to a planner we have 2 spread sheets! One is color coded! Crazy maybe, but if we get everything packed then we are good!!

That is about it for now. Monday will be a big day and then we need to wait until 6/6 to call into make our dining reservations! We are lunching in Cinderella's Castle on day. From what I have been reading that is one hot ticket!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Big Changes

Sometimes it really hard to do the right thing! Especially when you REALLY want something. That is until you realize that it is only a want and surely NOT a need.

I had this light bulb moment a week ago when I was looking over our exploding budget for Disney World. That was enough to clear my brain! I started looking at what I could do to cut corners. I just didn't want to wake up the day after our trip and have any regret. I also knew that keeping things as they were wasn't going to happen. I started running the numbers before I even brought it up this discovery to Chris. One of us worried is more then enough.

When I had a working idea I let Chris in on what I had figured out. I may give him a run for his money sometimes but Chris is extremely smart. So it took him much less time to see what it took me a few days to.

We were going to be staying at the Wilderness Lodge on a 40% discount pin on the room only. We would have 7 day base passes (no park hopping), and the Quick Service Dining Plan. That by itself was doable. It was when we started adding in everything else is where it was getting out of hand.

Friday evening Chris and I had a Disney planning meeting. Honestly, planning my wedding was easier then this is! There are just too many options. This is a good thing but I find myself double guessing everything we choose! Here is the newest new plan!

We switched resorts and changed to The Coronado Springs. We still booked under the 40% discount. We left the tickets alone, and upgraded to the full dining package. This gets us any Character meals we want. All that and we save nearly $500! This is good!

I am stalking the Disney website waiting for the annual September Promo of free dining to come out. We should know about that in about 10 days. If that happens then I will call drop off the 40% room discount and add on the free dining, and upgrade our tickets to park hoppers. I have to drop off the 40% discount because there can only be one discount per reservation. The free dining will save us an additional $200!


Planning this trip has taken a life of it's own! I think starting this week I am going to blog about the week in planning.

This should hold you over until later on this week!

Daddy and his Princesses!

Our (Not So Quite) Hallmark Moment

Lily has been talking a great deal lately about Guatemala. Last week I had gone into her bedroom to check on her. I found her in a little cubby area. I asked her what she was up to and she told me she was "taking a atend (pretend) shower." After getting a good little giggle from that I left her to finish up. About 10 mins later she came out and asked me to smell her hair, as I was doing this she held out an empty hand and asked me if I liked her new pony. I played along and told her that I thought it was beautiful and asked where she got it. She told me Guatemala. Now I was intrigued so I asked who in Guatemala gave her the new pony for her hair. She told me her "Birthmommy". I asked her if she remembered her Birthmommy's name. She nodded and told me. I told her that she was right and that it was very nice that her Birthmommy gave it to her. Then she said something that stopped my heart.

Lily told me that she had told her Birthmommy thank you for the pony, gave her a hug and kiss and told her that she needed to go back to her Mommy.

For about 30 seconds I didn't know what to say (truly shocking I know :-) Then I just hugged her and she went onto play.

When I told Chris what had happened we talked it over and decided that it was time to pull out the only picture we have of her Birthmother. We would do it on Saturday after swimming while Charlotte was having her nap.

It is hard to describe what I was feeling about what we were going to do. I finally settled on happy and sad. Not sad to share this with her, more sadness because she is growing up. I know that 3 is hardly grown, it just seems like we would have had a little more time to prepare for this. Her adoption is something that is part of her and something that we want her to feel proud about, so we make it as normal as possible. Once we had a doctor ask us if we intended to tell her. Chris stated back with "well one day she is going to realize that she is better looking then us!" She has "known" from the start.

On Saturday we got up and went to swimming like normal. She is really getting good at this! We should have named her Minnow instead of Lilliana! On the way home I told her that she was going to have special time with Mommy and Daddy after Charlotte went to take her nap. She was excited about this.

When Charlotte was down in her crib Chris put the first DVD in. He and I hadn't seen these DVD's since the night before we went to bring her home. She watched it and asked a few questions, but mainly she really wasn't interested! We went through all the DVD's that we had from that time period. When we were done with all the videos we asked her if she would like to see a special picture. Then we showed her. We asked if she knew who was holding the baby in the picture. She piped right up and said Maina (Brianna-our cousin). Brianna does bare a striking resemblance to her Birthmother. We told her the woman in the picture was her Birthmother. She looked at the picture for a about a minute. Then yelled out..

"I gotta go potty!!"

Sigh.... there goes that Hallmark moment!

When she came back she didn't ask anything more or even to see the picture again. She just wanted to play.

Chris and I talked about it more that night and we both think that she is just trying to put it all together in her mind. She is understanding more and more. But there are still big concepts that are still too big for her right now. There is more that we are going to tell her as she gets older that is just for Lily to know. To tell her those things now would only confuse her. Then she can decide to share as she wishes. Right now we are just fine with her taking 'atend' showers and talking to her Birthmommy in her own way.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St .Patty's!

Hope that you had a happy, safe and sober day! We had a good day. I had to go back to the doctor to have some blood work redone. I had a physical a few weeks ago and everything was fine, although my cholesterol number came back "weird". It was too low. Off the chart too low. I thought that would be a great thing, but apparently you need a certain level of this. If you don't it could make you go postal! No joke! ... might explain a few things!!
Anywho, I needed to have this rechecked. Before we left though I wanted to make sure that I our traditional corned beef and cabbage started! I bow down to the inventor of the crock-pot! It is honestly my favorite thing to cook in. I got all that together and then forgot that oops I need to feed my children before we hit the road. Lily asked for her favorite strawberry oatmeal. Today she was surprised to find it a little different. It was really GREEN! Charlotte's was just a little green.
Once I got them started on that I went ahead and made their lunches. We were going to go play at Playwise after my appointment. I drew little green hearts on their sandwiches!
We left the house later then I wanted to, but we made it to the appointment just fine. I got poked, Lily held my hand and was totally into it! Charlotte was madder then mad that she was stuck in the stroller. Thankfully I am a easy stick and we are back in the van in no time.
Next stop gas station, then a quick stop to see Daddy to drop off paperwork. Then finally we make it to Playwise! No, there were no meat issues this time!! It is funny though Charlotte is at a stage where she is changing a a rapid rate. Everyday it seems she is adding a new word. Today it was Key for cookie! Even watching her play this morning it is clear that she understands loads more then she can express.
We played for the morning, then Lily announces that she is NOT going home because she is not tired and is NOT going to be taking a nap. I assure that she IS going to go home soon and she WILL be at least resting. Naps are long over for her, but I still mandate a rest period for her. Some days that goes better then others! After that little outburst I decide that it is time for a break and they have lunch. Lily LOVED her little green hearts! Charlotte LOVED eating!! Then we got all cleaned up and Lily again proclaimed that she would be napping. I just nod along and let her carry the bag to the car.
Once we got home and naps/rests were completed as planned ;-)
Here is the surprising part of the day. I fully intended on giving in if the girls turned up their noses to dinner. Lily can be a little picky from time to time. We don't subscribe to the full plate club. When they tell us or sign that they are done and they ate it we let don't push it. The only catch is that they must try everything before really turning noses up. Lily asked a few questions about the cabbage and then exclaimed that it was "wonderful" and tore into it!! Charlotte actually only liked the corned beef! She probably ate an adult portion! She wasn't at all impressed with the cabbage or even the potatoes. But she would whine and basically stole meat off of our plates!!
Then it was time for dessert. On bath night we go a little crazy and have ice cream cups. Tonight before everybody came in for dinner I opened them and drew little green flowers on them. It was such a hit!! Lily really thought a little St. Patty Elf was leaving all these green additions. It was sweet to see her face light up.
It was such a nice day! Lily was really excited to see what would be green next! Charlotte played so hard at Playwise that she was over tired and needed to be rocked to calm her. We stopped the rocking a while ago. I forgot how much I miss that. Chris didn't have school tonight so we could enjoy a few minutes of family time tonight. It was just nice!!
Tomorrow we are going shopping for goggles for Lily's swim class! I am going to ask Chris to post his adventure in swim class last weekend! They did great, just lots of little funny tidbits to share!

And The Award Goes To...

Chris' Dad was one this years 2009 Copernicus Award winners! From the AFCEA website... "Recipients are selected based on their sustained superior performance in a C4I/IT-related job. The selections are made each year by Navy judges who review applications from the departments of the Navy and Coast Guard, including active duty and civilians. AFCEA presents the awards at their annual Western Conference held in San Diego each winter."


Mr. Clifford L. Henry
Naval Communications Security Material System
Mr. Henry is the Principal Assistant for Communications Security (COMSEC) Operations. As a key member of the Joint Service COMSEC standardization initiative, he researched, developed, and implemented a solution to a long-standing problem involving the transfer of electronic COMSEC keys from local management device/key processor accounts to non-automated accounts. This capability made an immediate impact on the Warfighter by enabling the COMSEC account to transfer accountability for keying material to coalition partners and COMSEC users without electronic capability. There will no longer be a need to embed the Warfighter with Coalition Units for key transfer/keying operations in hostile environments. In addition, COMSEC accounts in all services will not have to act as a surrogate for another account in order to receive electronic key. This new capability will be fielded to NATO countries when the International Electronic Key Management System is deployed. Mr. Henry was recognized by the National Security Agency for developing and implementing the concept. Mr. Henry developed the Navy Transaction Clearing House (TCH), resulting in the total automation of COMSEC accounting transactions, a necessary step in the Navy’s transition to the Tri-Service Common Tier 1 (CT-1). The TCH eliminated the use of record messages for the submission of electronic transaction reports in use for more than 20 years. It also enabled taking off line the COMSEC Automated Reporting System Front End Processor, saving $500,000 in replacement and maintenance costs. The TCH dramatically reduced the labor-intensive manual entry of SF-153 Accounting Reports from more than 300 per day to 83 and was the single most important tool for account managers to accustom themselves to the new CT-1 paradigm. This initiative saved more than 1,000 man-hours per month.

Chris' Dad travels a lot for his job sometimes taking him away for long stints at a time. Now, every now and then he does gets to go to Hawaii. But how many times can a person really enjoy the same volcanoes, knowing that he is so far away from his family? But he does it faithfully. I guess it helps knowing that these two cuties are here waiting to see Meepaw. No, not Chris and I... although we are pretty darn cute!

These cuties....

They L O V E their Meepaw. And we love our Dad. Good Job!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

For the Love of Paint

We are are pretty crafty bunch. Normally the girls and I try to get into something pretty regularly. However there is one thing that we just don't do... paint. For one solid reason. There is a small, cute, blond child that will remain nameless who is just not ready to. Well I am not ready for her to go there!! Lily has been on a kick lately about wanting to paint. (sigh)

A little background... Lily was still having issues with the potty. Things were going really great and then we took a giant step backwards. We couldn't figure it out. But she was just wetting on herself again at least daily. No matter how many times we were sending her. Then she cranked it up a notch and started having BM's in her panties! She hasn't done that since July! I did make her an appointment with the doctor just to make sure this wasn't anything medical. Her doctor couldn't find a thing wrong that would be making her do this.

When we got home from the appointment we went cold turkey. We took off the pull-up and went right into panties. Day and night. In the house and out. Lily was told that IF she kept her panties dry for the rest of the week (this was Tuesday) that after swimming class we would go to the store and get her a paint set.

I think we should call the Pope! We witnessed a Miracle! She hasn't had a big accident in over a week! There have been a (very) few damp times. But nothing like she was doing!

On Saturday after swimming we went over to the store and let her pick out some paint. I had been looking for water-color paint books for them. Finally I found them on Saturday. She picked out Handy Manny and Pooh Bear. We also picked up a few that will be put in their Easter Baskets.

Since Saturday we have painted every afternoon. Lily LOVES it! Charlotte like to play in the water. Mommy LOVES it b/c there is little to no mess! Everybody is happy!

Chats with Charlotte

This is her very first 'Chats' post!! It is short and sweet!

C: >Sitting at the table playing with her bus.

M: What are you doing over there?

C: >Then pushes the bus right off the table and says "Uh- oh!"

That is her favorite word! Now that she has learned how to use it we hear it a lot!

Chats With Lily

We have been taking with the girls about Disney everyday. We look at pictures, talk about who/what we are going to see etc. I want them to be as prepared as possible. Charlotte won't get it until we are there, but Lily is REALLY excited about it.

Chris and I have decided that we are going to have one meal with the Characters. There are a ton to choose from. However I found one that would be perfect for both them and us. It is in the Magic Kingdom at the Crystal Palace and it is with Pooh and friends. Here is the best part... we can make early morning reservations. Before the Magic Kingdom even opens for the day! How cool is that! Even better we can get pictures of them on Main Street practically alone!

Here is the sweet Chat!

M: Hey, Lily do you want to have breakfast with Pooh Bear?

L: Yeah (smiles really big!) and, wait, wait and Tigger?

M: Yup!

L: and Piglet too?

M: Yup

L: And Darby?

M: Well I don't know about her. We will have to see.

L: OK, we will see. Maybe we ask the peoples.

M: We can ask.

L: If they say yes, then yes. If they say no, then no?

M: Right.

L: Maybe we say please? Then the peoples let Darby come too?

I just smiled at her little innocent face and told her that we would have to wait and see. It is so much fun to plan this trip!

PS: When we asked Lily what she was going to do when she met Cinderella she said quite frankly 'I gonna freak out!' :-)