Thursday, September 23, 2010

73 Days!

For any of you that know me, you will know exactly what 73 days is referring to....our next trip to Disney World of course!! Since we started our coutdown at 108 days, 73 seems like it's getting pretty close!  We have our countdown on Olivia's door and each night she pulls one of the Mickey heads off the door.

As most of you know, this trip is to celebrate our princesses 3rd birthday! This trip is a bit of a splurge trip for us, but we wanted to make an extra week for Olivia.  Here is a quick recap for those of your just joining this journey:

Who: Myself (Erin), my wonderful hubby (Toby) and our princess Olivia
What: Olivia's 3rd Birthday trip!
When: December 5-10
Where: Disney's Pop Century Resort
Why: To celebrate of course!!

We have some amazing thing planned for this trip that I am beyond excited about:
*We are doing the Deluxe Dining Plan for the first time this trip! Disney has some wonderful restaurants to splurge on and enjoy! Here are our selections:
          ~Yak & Yeti (Lunch)
          ~California Grill (dinner)
          ~Kona Cafe (Tonga Toast here we come)
          ~Crystal Palace (lunch)
          ~1900 Park Fare (dinner with Cinderella!)
          ~Hollywood & Vine (lunch)
          ~Garden Grill (dinner)
          ~Cape May Cafe (breakfast)
          ~LeCellier (lunch-I'm dying to try the cheddar cheese soup & pretzel bread!)
          ~Ohana (dinner)
          ~Ohana (breakfast)
          ~Teppan Edo (dinner)
          ~Chef Mickey's (we love this place!)
          ~Planet Hollywood (I can't stand it, but it is Toby's only request)

*We are also taking Olivia to the Bibbiddi Bobbiddi Boutique!!! She is super excited about this and I simply cannot wait to see her face after her transformation into Cinderella!!! 

*I am over the moon excited to be able to spend some time in the World during the holidays! I love Christmas and everything that goes with it! I made sure to schedule lots of meals in the resorts so we can experience all of their amazing holiday decor!

There you have it. A quick recap of what our upcoming trip has in store for us! I will be sure to add more details in as we get closer to our departure date, but if you want to read the nitty gritty, feel free to join in my PTR (pre trip report) over on the DIS! 

So, who else has a magical vacation in the works?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Got the Monday blues? We don't!

Well, once again, it's Monday. The most dreaded day of the week for most people. In our house Monday is actually a great day! With my husbands work schedule, his days off are Sunday and Monday. Sunday is beyond busy for us. I work in our church nursery from about 8:30-1:00. After church we head to my sister-in-laws in-laws (confusing I know) for brunch which is absolutely delicious! Once we have stuffed our bellies beyond full, we head home so Olivia can get in an afternoon nap, before she and I head back to the church nursery from about 5:30-8:30 for evening service. Whew, I'm exhausted just typing that!

So, on to Monday. They are the total opposite from Sunday! As I type, Olivia and Toby are in our bedroom watching the Lion King together and I am watching the noon news in the living room. Our plans for the day include a whole lot of nothing! No running around. No work to head to. No nothing! I might sneak in a load of laundry and I know I will have to clean up the kitchen, but other than that, we just enjoy our Monday's as it's our only day that we have to ourselves!

I think this post has been long enough! I'm off to make some lunch and then enjoy a movie with my hubby while Olivia naps!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In Mickey's Hands

I did it. I submitted my application to the Moms Panel yesterday afternoon and now there is nothing I can do but wait and hope I have advanced to the second round.

This year the questions were pretty much the polar opposite of those asked last year. To me, they were much more fact-based and it was more difficult to show creativity. Of course the 100 word limit was pretty tough for a talked like me! Here are the questions:

1.) A) When was your last vacation to Walt Disney World® with your family? B) Do you work in an industry that is in competition, would benefit from being associated with the Walt Disney World® Moms Panel or be in conflict with Disney’s family friendly brand? If yes, please explain. C) True or False - World Showcase is a collection of pavilions representing 14 countries that border the 5 miles surrounding World Showcase Lagoon.

2.)In 100 words or less, explain when and how you helped a non-family member plan their first trip toWalt Disney World® Resort.

3.)In 100 words or less, tell us about what resources you use to find and share interesting park facts and vacation planning tips with others.

I feel pretty confident in my answers, but who knows? There are literally thousands of hopefuls just as qualified as myself, who want this amazing opportunity just as much as I do. For right now, all we can do is wait and hope for lots of Pixie Dust!

Good luck to all of my fellow applicants, I wish there were enough spaces for all of us!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The yuck is here...

Ughh, I guess it must be September, the yuck has returned to our house. Yep the visitor we seem to have every September made it's unwelcome appearance early last week and has very much overstayed it's (un)welcome. What is the yuck I speak of? It is the sinus, upper respiratory, throat junk that feels as though it deserves a Florida vacation every September.

It all started last Tuesday. The day seemed to begin normal, but when Olivia woke up from her nap she had a fever, chesty cough and a charming snot covered face. Ughh. I went in action right away. Give Olivia Tylenol. Check Slather her in Vicks rub. Check. Clean/scrape crusty snot off Livy's poor face. Check. Tuck her in on the couch with a Disney movie of her choosing (Mulan). Check. Over the next few days we repeated this routine multiple times a day, all with hopes of have my princess c0ugh and snot free by Saturday since we had ticket to go see Disney on Ice. By Friday night my little lady was back to her old, happy, snot free self!! Yeah! Victory for mom! Yuck has been defeated!

Saturday morning. Victory for yuck, mom defeated. What you may be asking? Olivia was fine Friday night, what could have happened? No worries, Olivia was still happy and snot free. Apparently, yuck felt as though I was left out. Now to be clear, I was not feeling upset at all by being "left out" of the sickness all week. The complete opposite was true as a matter of fact! I was miserable!! I felt like an elephant was sitting on my face. My sinuses were horribly stuffy and I was totally unable to breath out of my nose.

We were supposed to leave at 5:00 to head for the show. That meant I had about 10 hours to make a miraculous recovery. Yeah right. I did my very best. I took cold medicine, slathered myself in Vicks, relaxed on the couch, and even managed to nap a bit. 5:00 rolled around and I was feeling a little bit better, not bad enough to miss the show. Maybe I was trying to prove a point to yuck that I couldn't keep me down.

We ended up going and having a great time even though I felt like my head was in a vice the whole time. I came right home, took some lovely meds and went off to dreamland.

Today is a new day and I am feeling marginally better, still no where near perfect, but better. I think when the yuck has really left us, I will be posting no trespassing signs and writing a strongly worded letter to whom it may concern about yuck and it's belief that it must return every September.

Friday, September 3, 2010

It's Mom's Panel time again!

To most people the beginning of September means the start of another school year, or the coming of fall. To myself, and thousands of other moms and dads, it means that it is almost time for the search for the new group of panelists for the Disney World Mom's Panel. That day this year is Monday September 13th.

What is the Mom's Panel you ask? It is an online forum on the Disney World website that allows guests to ask any question they have about the WDW resort. Not sure which deluxe resort to choose? Ask the Mom's Panel. Which character meal is the best for a Goofy lover? Ask the Mom's Panel. Not sure when you can catch a performance of Fantasmic! during your trip? Ask the Mom's Panel.

Who are these Mom's? Well, let me first say that the name "Mom's Panel" is a bit misleading. There are in fact Dad's on the panel! In addition to the Dad's, there are even grandmothers! Each and every one of them was selected based on their love and knowledge of all things Disney.

How are the lucky folks selected you ask? Each September for the past 3 years, Disney has held an online application process. The first phase is 3 essay questions that let the selection committee know who you are, why you love Disney and why you think you would be an essential member of the panel. If you are lucky enough to pass this phase, you get to answer another set of essay questions that are a bit more in depth and (from what I understand) focus more on your specialties and other characteristics of why you would be an awesome panelist. The third and final round is the ever so daunting phone interview! Yep, the people who you have been writing to actually exist! A week or two after the phone interviews (in October or November) the lucky new Mom's and Dad's are informed of their selection and they are in heaven (or at least I am assuming they are)!!

So there you go. Sounds easy right? NOT! This will be my second year applying and I have not yet made it past the first round. Last year when I answered, I took forever and really thought about it and probably totally over analyzed each little word. After talking to some current and past panel members, I think this year I am just going to write from the heart and really be myself, after all, that is what they are looking for.

I should also say that I have made some great online friends throughout this whole process! These are people who are now my friends on Facebook and Twitter as well as buddies on the DIS boards! I have also gotten to meet some of them in person recently at the Mickey Mom's Club Illuminations party held at Epcot a few weeks ago! *The Mickey Mom's Club-MMC is sort of like a consolation prize for not making the actual Mom's Panel. If you apply to the panel and don't make it, you are automatically part of the MMC. There is a special newsletter, and many different opportunities throughout the year.

I cannot say enough how much I would love to be a part of this amazing panel! I have loved all things Disney since my first visit when I was 4 years old and my grandparents took me. I started converting my husband to a Disney lover when we took our first trip together when I was 4 months pregnant with Olivia. Although he says he is not a fan, his eyes light up as soon as we get there and he is just as sad as me when we leave. Olivia has had no choice but to be a Disney lover, she was born into it! From her first visit at the age of 15 months to the most recent trip a couple of weeks ago she has loved every single second. I start planning our next trip to the World even before our current one has finished and get great joy from helping others plan theirs! Making this panel would be an incredible honor and I would be so proud to say that I am a member of the Walt Disney World Mom's Panel!