Saturday, February 26, 2011

Our Magic Kingdom

So we went to Disneyland a couple weeks ago. Tyson got an entire 9 consecutive days off, and we are finally back into the swing of family life after being somewhat out of touch with routine and reality.

The last time we were at Disneyland, it was a completely last minute trip, and we only went for one day. The kids were 3 and 4 years old at the time, and I don't think they remembered a whole lot about the trip, except for that Dawson remembered he had battled Darth Vader (and WON!) and Anabelle remembered that her tummy got sick on one of the rides and there were princesses.

This was a whole different ball game. We bought annual passes, planned a three day trip, got the whole fam damily involved, and showed up prepared.

Now might be a good time to mention, our lovely Jessica works for Disney and got us the ROYAL hook up. She takes her Disney pretty seriously~ which is one of the many reasons I adore her so. All that said- she actually got all TEN of us special Disney t-shirts to wear... so we were actually that cool family that all looked like we belonged there and had money to burn. She ALSO called me wayyyyy back in the fall when the uuuuuber expensive authentic Disney ball gown costumes went on clearance after Halloween and offered to use her discount for our favorite little princess. Since the gowns HAPPEN to be, oh, a cool $75, once you're inside the park... I gladly obliged.

So... day one... Dawson was Woody, and Anabelle was Cinderella (in a wedding gown).

Side note: if anyone ever needs a super affordable, super clean, super great value hotel for Disney, I would HIGHLY recommend the Candy Cane Inn. Between the fact that its next door to the main entrance (we walked), it also has a pool, spa, kiddie pool, free shuttle, and free poolside continental breakfast. Its around $100/night. Brilliant.

So... the first stop the first day was the Bibbity Bobbity Bo-tique, where my daughter was transformed into a true Disney Diva before my very eyes by her personal fairy godmother (all pre-arranged as a birthday surprise by Jessica and KJ, the Disney miracle worker(s)). She got to choose her own hairstyle, her own tiara, her own ring that Princess Jasmine plucked from the cave of wonders, got her nails polished, her makeup done, and her own private bath in pixie dust. She was completely dumbfounded and hardly spoke the whole time... but not a day goes by now that she doesn't apply makeup to anything that breaths and sits still long enough to be tortured. I think its safe to say, it made an impression (our cat has never looked or smelled more beautiful...)

And so our day1 of adventure continued. We hit up all the rides we wanted, and never waited once. The weather was 70 degrees and sunny. There was minimal whining, and plenty of energy to go around...
Yep. She's pretty well taken care of I'd say...

We ate our weight in cotton candy...

Dawson raced race cars, 'wasn't even kind of a little bit scared' on the haunted house, couldn't WAIT to ride 'Tower of Terror," and was the first kid chosen to vanquish Darth Vader.

Anabelle was admittedly "too shy," but adored watching her brother from the sidelines.

Anabelle was particularly looking forward to discovering the mystery of the Tiki Room...

...and had no problem what so ever letting me know promptly and LOUDLY that she was "kinda bored of this ride" not long after the first singing plant number was concluded. She's a tough crowd...

We saw several beloved Disney characters, but only made it a point to pose with the favorites. Dawson has had a Jasmin fetish since I can remember. I asked him once why he loved her so much (we rarely watch Aladdin!), and I assumed he would say he liked the tiger.

Guess again.

My little ladies man will maintain to this day... Jasmine is his favorite because he "loves her jewels." I hope he uses that as an actual pick up line one day. It would be a great story to tell my grand kids. ;)

We concluded day one in California Adventure.

Anabelle ADORED Soaring over California ride, and, not gonna lie, I cry just about every time I go on it. I think I just really, really feel pride of the Golden State! I know I'm weird. Anabelle just squealed and kicked her feet and laughed the whole time and was SO AMAZED and kept asking over and over "are we really flying?!? Is this for reals?!" It was a bonding moment.

I mentioned earlier Dawson couldn't WAIT to ride the Tower of Terror. When he told the kids at school he was going to Disneyland and how he couldn't wait to ride the Haunted Mansion (which I made a big deal about not knowing if they were ready for), some little booger planted seeds of wonder in my innocent baby's head about the evil Tower. The cool boys at the lunch table all told him it was awesome and super scary and he absolutely must ride it. He told us over and over again about how it said something about saying "goodbye to the earth!," and throughout the day at Disneyland I would catch him staring longingly at it off in the distance. He had a lot of questions about the structural integrity as the time approached to ride it, as it was built to look old and falling apart... I assured him Grandpa the builder extraordinaire wouldn't allow his family inside a building that wasn't built to code. He just about had a nervous breakdown once we got inside he just couldn't take the suspense. Anabelle had no qualms at all about the giant free fall she was about to take (ignorance is bliss!). After the ride was over... I think they had both had about enough terror to last a lifetime in them. They were sososososoSO scared.

Anabelle said "It hurt my tummy so bad I couldn't even scream!" and Dawson said it wasn't as bad as he thought... but did NOT want to ride again.

Valuable teaching moment and life lesson: Don't listen to the cool kids at school. They lie. Listen to mommy. And sometimes daddy. ;)

Day 2 was just as fun. Anabelle was Jesse from Toy Story, and Dawson dressed in his size 3T pirate costume from our dress up archives. He looked SO CUTE in his skull bandanna... which lasted long enough for this ONE picture...

...and then it was 'hot and it itched his head and it was bothering him and wahhhhh!' so he took it off... and looked a LOT like Sir Elton John in the younger years with his frilly shirt and cool shades. :)

Whatever. Pirate or aspiring rock star... he still pulled it off. What a kid.

Luckily the Elton getup was temporary... because Dawson chose the coolest souvenir of all...

An Indiana Jones set complete with a gun, a whip, a hat, a pouch of jewels (that he didn't have to steal from any princesses!), and a treasure map! What a MAN this kid is... he must have known deep down his Mommy has had a crush on Indiana Jones since she was 6 years old herself. *SWOON*

I won't bore you with every single detail. We all had a great time.

Anabelle was very particular about which characters she would or would not take a photo with.

I feel like she used good discretion.

The days all ended with the kids being carried home half awake begging and pleading for the mercy of bedtime and snoring away with dirt and sticky still caked between their fingers in a matter of seconds.

The mark of any good time is complete and utter exhaustion...

Watching them have the time of their lives and getting to spend quality family time in the beautiful sunshine in the dead of Winter for three whole days was the closest thing to actual magic a mom could ask for.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Take No Prisoners


Today, daddy got HIS massage.

He also got a wedding veil.

Anabelle said she can be a bride. And Tyson can be a bride. But I am not allowed to be a bride, because I already got a turn when I married dad.

Alrighty, then. Noted!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spa Day

Don't be jealous...

But I had the most ah-maaaazing massage experience this weekend.

  • It was affordable!
  • The location was convenient!
  • The masseuse was incredibly gorgeous!
  • The atmosphere made me feel right at home...

Oh, wait.

I was at home.

My sweet little boy masterminded this afternoon of pampering for his Mom since I "worked so hard at the grocery store for him," and he "thought I should just come home and they could do all the work for me the rest of the night."


(Im so incredibly touched/ afraid of the aftermath of this idea...)

But. It ended up being awfully adorable, and quite entertaining!

He got his lovely assistant involved... Dawson sat on a 'stool' and worked my feet, back, neck, each finger, and even my scalp, while Anabelle got me water in a sports water bottle, set out puzzles for me to do 'in case I got bored...' and even got her singing Aurora doll (thanks, Auntie Jessica...) to serenade me for a little background music (right next to my ear).

Dawson must have seen this happen somehow or heard the spa experience talked about. He frequently asked if I was comfortable enough, if I needed anything else, like a drink (Absoloutely!, I'll take a house chardonnay please!, oh, sure, creme de la juice box is a great second option...), if the lighting was OK, or did I want the curtains closed so I could sleep, and complimented me several times on liking that I had "large spots" for him to rub. I'm guessing he was comparing them to Anabelle?! Hmmm.

Then, I glanced over my shoulder, and noticed they had dragged THIS little gem out... that I made them for their hot cocoa stand at Christmas time...

No such thing as a free lunch, people!

Even with the tip, I'm pretty sure I came out ahead...

I was so enjoying my rub down (it wasn't actually half bad!) that I accidentally told them so, and the kids figured why stop there? ;) Miss Anabelle Drug out all her hair accessories and her new makeup stash from the Bibbity Bobbity Bo-tique at Disneyland!

They carefully laid out all my accessory options... and asked how I wanted to be styled. I asked what they could do... and Dawson said "Um. I don't know, lets find out!"

Uhhhh, that doesn't sound scary. Nope. Not at all.

At one point, I opened my eyes when Anabelle started muttering something about just needing to take a little bit since it was pretty long... and literally this is what I saw:


Check, please.

In all seriousness tho, Anabelle proceeded to do her makeup...

My makeup... (bright pink Rapunzel braids and hot pink hair bow *barely pictured*, compliments of Dawson)...

And yes, i'm afraid to say by the end of our activity, even Dawson fell victim to Anabelle's newly discovered talent.

I will say, not half bad for a budding artist! Although I must say, in the future I will be sure to put the scissors up high until after she passes the State mandated beautician's test...

By the end of our little play date, I felt like a queen (and probably looked like one, too... queen of some martian territory, that is!).

Know who else looked like a queen?...

Don't worry. The kids assured me she loved every moment of it.

I'm choosing to believe them.

The best part is how I specifically told them I don't think she minds the hair clips, but absolutely no lotions or hairsprays allowed...

And this morning, when poor pretty kitty smelled like a potpourri factory exploded on her and I interrogated the little delinquents about why that may be?, Anabelle looked at me with the guiltiest look I have ever seen on her face and said...

"... Well...She smells like that because we did exactly what you told us not to do..."


At least she's honest.

I wanted to die laughing. And I really really want to give our poor cat a bath.

But truely, that was the sweetest experience. They even cleaned up the giant mess they made, which the mother in me was secretly obsessing over since the house was as close to clean as it gets when they started their brilliant idea.

My kids are so good to me.

Who needs a 'real' massage, anyway?


Monday, February 14, 2011

A Day of Love

This morning, I am reminded of how rich I am to wake up to these lovely little faces every single day.

I feel blessed by how simple it is to make my children happy, and try hard to focus on the fact that Disneyland is just as special to them as waking up to parents who leave them cheesy little Valentine mementos and are available to build forts and eat candy kisses with them.

I am thankful for the simple things in life, like a home, being healthy, and having jobs that cover our basic needs and even a few of our "wants."

I am the luckiest girl that ever was for the girlfriends that keep me sane and laughing till my insides hurt.

My kids have the most amazing tribe of grandparents, and aunties, and uncles, and friends, and neighbors.

And my husband is just lovely for appreciating my distorted humor, being patient with my quirks and insecurities, and his exceptional kindness and gentle loving spirit toward the tiny darlings. He manages quite well at keeping me entertained in the most unexpected ways even a decade after the I DOs are said and done...

My life is so full of love- today and every other day.

Chocolate and home made cards are always a nice touch, tho. ;)

Hope you are all feeling the love!


Monday, February 7, 2011

All Hail the Queen of 5!

Tomorrow our baby turns 5.


I just can't believe how fast it went. Every day, I just miss my sweet natured, belly laughing cartoon character of a baby girl that rolled across my living room and danced in her crib the minute you opened her bedroom door... but I am also completely smitten with this sweet and spicy little girl who pours me pretend tea in her beloved mermaid ball gown and begs me to sing to her and tickle scratch her back every night.

Tomorrow we are taking a family trip to Disneyland. This time, the kids are as excited as we are which only makes us more aware of the fact that we are undeniably grown up ourselves.

I am especially aware of time these days as Tyson and I have both lost grandparents since the start of 2011. I am proud of our families and each member who plays a part in making our daily fairy tale possible. I appreciate these passing moments so much more, realizing the good ones and the awful ones are all so temporary. And, I feel so incredibly hopeful and inspired for the future of our family that awaits our beautiful little legacies.

SO. With that said... here is a glimpse of the beautiful Anabelle Lee, and what her heart looks like at five years old:

What is your favorite food in the whole world?:

Fruit snack gummys!

What is the best thing about having a brother?

That we can share toys

What is your favorite thing about your Daddy?

That he plays with me, and he takes me to the Father Daughter Dance.

Favorite animal:


Favorite color:


Favorite thing to wear:

Favorite game:

Dawson's video games when he lets me play them

Favorite place to go:

Yogert Creations and DISNEYLAND!

What is the best thing about your mommy?:

That you are finally letting me turn 5

What is the best thing about YOU?:

I have the best friends.

What are you really good at?:

Drawing pictures for you

What are you not so good at?:


Who is the best singer?

Taylor Swift.

What do you want to be when you grow up?:

A gymnastics teacher.

Ah, Anabelle Lee.
How deeply you are loved, your heart is beautiful, and your dreams are too.
You may turn 5 for now, but in the words of your precious Taylor Swift... Don't you ever grow up!