Friday, November 21, 2014

Aria's 2nd Birthday & Christmas Wish List - Toddler Gifts

Aria's 2nd Birthday & Christmas Wish List - Toddler Gifts
 [ 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8-a,b,c  / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 ]

1 & 3. Puzzles - Letters, numbers, animals, shapes, etc. Right now we have a solitary puzzle and I think Aria is getting a little bored of it. Plus, she is just so good at it now.

2. Little People Play Sets - I adore this North Pole Cottage.

4. Kitchen Accessories - These Hape ones are the cutest. I've seen the coffee maker, mixer, and toaster. All things Aria's loves when we use them in the kitchen.

5. B. Fish & Splish Boat - I'm sick and tired of telling Aria to stop sucking on her squeezy bath toys, so I'm ready to toss the lot and get something new.

6. Penguin Backpack - Aria loves putting things in other things, so I'm thinking this would be a hit.

7. Skip Hop Zoo Plates - Our favourite plates. This moose is calling my name. Pretty Hard.

8. Books, books, books - Christmas books, and truck books, and moon books, and board books. Aria loves them all.

9. Sippy Valves - These are squarely under the need category. We go through a new one every couple of months.

10. Long sleeves tops - I about died when I saw these Disney long sleeves tops over at Old Navy. Aria needs them all. Size 24 months or 2T!

11. Pajamas - Pretty sure we rock the jams more than anything else around here. What can I say we like being comfy. Size 2T!

12. Pants & Baby Jeggings - We have about 70 skirts and shorts at the moment, but only about 3 pairs of pants. Aria mostly wears pants even in the summer because of the AC, constant fan usage, and tile combo. Size 24 months or 2T!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Disney Trip #8 - Half Day at Magic Kingdom

Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
We had some festive business to attend to in Orlando so we decided we might as well pop over to the Magic Kingdom afterwards. Too bad we aren't just a bit closer to Disney property because then we could say that all the time. 

Since we were all hungry we stopped over at Downtown Disney for lunch at Earl of Sandwich. Chris is always down for a Greek salad, and he actually got two this time because he knew one wouldn't be enough. I can talk him into heading over to Disney property if I throw in the promise of the Earl's Greek salad. I got the bbq chicken sandwich because it is heavenly and also messy. Aria got a grilled cheese because you can't go wrong with a grilled cheese. I should have told Chris to get some soup too, they have good soup. The weather was so nice that soup would have been perfect.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
We had great timing with a table, which never happens. We walked up and a group of people left so Aria and I sat right down while Chris went to stand in the ridiculously long line. Aria and I entertained ourselves with sunglasses, books, the free Ghirardelli chocolate they hand out, and watching the birds sneak crumbs.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
The Earl/Christmas Tree us-ie!

Do you know they are re-doing the parking lot at Downtown Disney? They are revamping the whole thing, but the parking lot is a nightmare. We've been avoiding the place for a while now, but thought that if we went for lunch it would probably be less congested. Wrong. People were swarming there! Can not wait for the parking lot to be done.

Moving on.

We got back to our car (parked way over yonder) and headed to the Magic Kingdom. Aria apparently decided it was nap time unbeknownst to her parents, and unfortunately the stroller transfer did not go well. Somebody also decided that that 7 or so minute nap was all she 'needed' and was verging on grumpy the rest of the day. At least full on grumpy didn't rear its head though. She was pretty awesome considering, but definitely testier than her usual self.

I bumped our fastpass+ times up because we were actually doing so well on time, and then of course we started running behind. We power walked all the way from the parking lot (4 lots out by the way) because we hate the tram with a stroller to the Jingle Cruise. We were only 6 minutes late! phew. You can actually be, I think, 15 minutes late before they turn you away. And, the Jingle Cruise was one of the main reasons we wanted to hit up Magic Kingdom over the Christmas holidays.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
It was quite cute. Our skipper was pretty good, and definitely better than some we've had. I handed Chris the camera and he ended up videoing almost the entire thing if you want to see what it is all about in the video at the end of the post.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
After our power walk we made our way leisurely, or as leisurely as you can when the crowds are insane (we weren't expecting it to be such a nut house, felt just as crowded as our trip on the 4th of July), over to Pirates of the Caribbean only to find that it was closed. Sad.

After a few aimless loops right in front of Pirates we decided to head over to Tom Sawyer's Island hoping it would be less crowded than everywhere else, and also because Aria had yet to visit it. She's been to Magic Kingdom 6 separate times now and she still hasn't checked everything off of her list, and that doesn't include the things she isn't tall enough to do.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
We were also kind of hoping that if we let her just go crazy over there that she would run herself down and take a nap. Wishful thinking, but she did go crazy and have a blast.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
I didn't even know there was a little play set on Tom's Island. I think Aria went through that tunnel about 800 times. Chris stood on the front side and I stood on the back side and we just watched her run around like her fearless self.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Eventually she moved on and explored every inch she encountered. She was not overly fond of the walkways though. All of a sudden she'd scale the rocks that lined the path and shoot off for adventure. Chris had to chase her down a couple times.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
I tried to talk her into going and exploring the caves, because it is one of the few things I actually remember from Tom's Island myself. But, no.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
She made her way over to 'Fort Langhorn'. After tripping down a step and scraping her knee and face because she is totally my child. Combine toddler legs with my clutz genes and it is a recipe for many busted knees. She didn't care at all though. I even offered her a bandaid because she loves bandaids, but she declined. You know they are having too much fun when a bandaid has lost its appeal.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
I spy an Aria.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Aria spies a horse.

She ran around for about an hour before letting us know she was ready for a break. We could hear the Festival of Fantasy Parade going on across the water so we made our way over to an edge and caught the tail end of it. The best part really because it has the dragon and then Mickey and Minnie. I love the heck out of the whole thing, but those are my favourite bits.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
I asked Aria if she wanted to run around anymore or if she wanted to go see a show. She picked show, so we made our way over to the dock to catch a raft back to Frontierland.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
The show I was referring to was the Hall of Presidents. I thought she might nod off during it if I got her to rest her head on me. Nope. She did, however, want to kick the kid sitting in front of us and practice her flopping skills. Oh well.

Our next attempt was to recline her in the stroller and walk around through the gift shops. Again, nope.

So, I thought ice cream. Storybook Treats is my favourite place to get ice cream, so Chris waited in line while I took Aria out of the stroller and walked her around in large circles through Fantasyland seeing if she would doze off on my shoulder. Nope, nope, nope. That is when I threw in the towel.

Aria and I made our way back to Chris just as he was stepping up to the order window. Then we found a spot to sit and enjoyed our ice cream. I got the strawberry shortcake sundae, and Chris got a caramel sundae with chocolate ice cream. Soft serve if you want to get technical. Aria shared, but she preferred mine because mama always orders better.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Aria had asked to ride the horses while I was walking her around Fantasyland so that is where we went next.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
 Yeah, pretty sure she loves this ride.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Not a bad ride to love either. The line is always quick. When in doubt ride the Carrousel.

After the Carrousel our fastpass+ for Small World was open. Another of Aria's favourites. She always asks for more when we are pulling back up to the loading area, much to Chris' chagrin. He always falls asleep on Small World, although I definitely don't see how that is possible.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
The other main reason we wanted to visit Magic Kingdom during the holidays was so we could see the castle lit up. So, we made our way over to the castle for the lighting ceremony and found it packed. I mean packed. Disney is usually really great at keeping traffic flowing. They mark off areas to stand and rope off walkways. They are good at it. Not this time. The guy coming by to set up the ropes actually couldn't because he could not get through the people. We just pushed our way as far over to the side as we could and stood our ground. I couldn't see a thing but the top of the castle.  So when the Frozen Holiday Wish show started Chris put Aria up on his shoulders. I'm pretty sure she could see at least something because she was mesmerized, good enough for me.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
The regular castle.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Aria watching the Frozen characters chat about turning the castle into ice.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
And, whabam. The lit up result. I actually started to get teary when they started the process (which is also in the video below ((the magic, not the tears)) - although only the top half of the castle since that is all I could see), and then it snowed and there were a few fireworks. Totally worth being sardined for.

Then we stood around for a while trying to make our way back over to Fantasyland. We were right across from the bridge that leads to Liberty Square. It was probably 10 minutes before we moved a foot. Half the people wanted to move closer to the castle, I'm assumed to see it better, and the other half were trying to scatter. Eventually we made our way back over.

We had one more fastpass+, but because my phone died I had to go find one of the kiosks to check it. It was an open fastpass+ given to us when we missed our Pirates fastpass+ when it was closed earlier in the day, but it is only open to a handful of rides. We found that out after being rejected by Peter Pan. So, I went to find our options while Chris and Aria went to ride the Carrousel one more time.

I actually caught up to them just in time to join in before they entered the fenced part of the queue.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
This picture totally captures Aria. Free spirit, loves life, fearless.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Out of the ride options we had we picked The Little Mermaid ride and then called it a day. The lines were way too long to even want to try any other rides, and Aria was definitely tired.

On the way out we stopped into the Christmas shop and got a stocking for Aria. She'd been borrowing ones we already had the previous two Christmas's. We figured it was time she had her very own - I posted it on IG the other day if you want a peek. And, of course snapped just a few more pictures.
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
I love the chaos on Main Street. I'm not a fan of it anywhere else in the park, but there is something traditional about a sea of people flowing down Main Street after a day of fun. Most of them were flowing to find a spot before the fireworks and parade. So it was an easy exit. I only ran over about 8 people while I was pushing the stroller. Oops.

Aria was out cold by the time we hit the monorail. This time she stayed asleep when I transferred her, and then passed right back out when we got home. She was so tired I didn't even change her into her pajamas. You know you had a fun when...
Disney Trip #8 - Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

And, here is the video of our trip!


Thanks for joining us for another fun filled Disney recap!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's the Little Things: Laughing & Dancing

It's the Little Things: Laughing & Dancing
I've been diligently taking little videos here and there, but I've been falling behind on actually posting them. So today I have two short clips to share. I'm nothing if not a giver. Both make me laugh and are completely adorable in my totally biased opinion.

The first is Aria's reaction to Baxter being coned several weeks back.


The second is a compilation of Aria's dance moves.

This kid cracks me up. I definitely don't want to forget the way she laughs or the way she moves her hands while dancing. It's always the little things that I want to remember the most, and they slip away far too easily.

Linking up with Ashley at Words About Waverly and Jess at Sadie Sky Boutique:
littlethingslogo

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

These Are a Few of my Favourite Things - My Christmas Wish List

These Are a Few of my Favourite Things - My Christmas Wish List
[ 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 ]
 
1. A Weekly Planner - I have to write things down or they simply will never get done. I'm working with a Simplified Planner this year, but I think a weekly planner will jive better with our lives. I would have gotten a Simplified Weekly Planner, but those sold out in no time. Jerks.

2. Disney Gift Card - We love going to Disney, but you know how quickly the money can fly out of your bank account at that place. So, a little fun money is always appreciated...and usually goes toward ice cream!

3. Godiva Hot Cocoa Mix - I love hot cocoa, and Godiva hot cocoa has always been a favourite of mine. Perfect stocking stuffer too!

4. An Owl Cup - One of those things you didn't know you wanted until you got it. How completely whimsical.

5. Elk Measuring Cups - I love baking so a total no brainer for me. You can never have too many measuring cups, especially ones as festive as these.

6. DVDs - I am a huge DVD fan. We don't watch much TV here, unless it is binge-able on Netflix. So, I am always glad to have a few more DVDs to add to our collection.

7. A Scarf Camera Strap - Adore. Practical and feminine. My camera strap is totally uncomfortable. I'd love it if they weren't so expensive, but a basic necessity in my book.

8 & 10. Sweaters - Even in Florida you could always use just one more sweater. And, those two are lovely.

9. A Yoga Mat - The Cat peed on mine. Enough said.

11. Red Nail Polish - Red is my favourite nail colour, which explains why my last bottle of it is almost completely gone. Tragedy.

12, 13, & 15. Wedges/Booties/Flats - You can never have too many pairs of shoes.

14. Jeans - I usually rotate through two pairs of jeans, even when I lived in Colorado, but I'm down to just a single pair currently.

16. Christmas PJs - I own more PJ pants than anything else in my wardrobe, but I would never turn down just one more pair. Especially plaid!

Linking up with:

Monday, November 17, 2014

25 Christmas Books Perfect for a Toddler's Christmas Book Advent Calendar

25 Christmas Books Perfect for a Toddler's Christmas Book Advent Calendar
I'd seen the Christmas book countdown idea ages ago, back in those pre-Aria days when I'd just figured out that pinterest wasn't some sort of game (who knew?), and thought it was a downright wonderful idea.

Fast forward a few years and now we are coming up on Aria's 3rd Christmas. No book advent to date, but I think we might just be able to pull it off this year.

Last year we had so few Christmas books at all and I didn't have a lot of luck with the library that I gave it up as a lost cause, and the year before Aria was days old not to mention a month early...not at all prepared, didn't even cross my mind.

This year though, I've got my fingers crossed. Aria received a whole bunch of Christmas books last year (yay!), and I'd like to pick up at least a few more this holiday, plus I'm much better at navigating the children's section at the library now.

So, I think this year will be the year. The year of the Christmas Book Advent Calendar!

I'm pretty jazzed about it. Here are 25 suggestions if you are looking for a few to fill your book advent calendar holes. Some we own, some we've borrowed, and some are on our must-get list. All come highly recommended.

1. Dream Snow
2. Charlie and the Christmas Kitty
3. The Jolly Christmas Postman
4. A Christmas Carol: A BabyLit Colors Primer
5. Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale
6. Snowmen at Christmas
7. The Polar Express
8. Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree
9. A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree
10. The Twelve Days of Christmas
11. Red Nose Go!
12. The Night Before Christmas: The Classic Edition
13. An Otis Christmas
14. Little Blue Truck's Christmas
15. The Spirit of Christmas
16. Olive, the Other Reindeer
17. My Wonderful Christmas Tree
18. The Christmas Wish
19. Snowmen All Year
20. Bear Stays Up for Christmas
21. Clifford's Christmas Presents
22. Stick Man
23. Reindeer Christmas
24. A Creature Was Stirring
25. Merry Christmas, Mouse!

*affiliate links above.


And, while we are on the subject of books...don't forget that the mail-by date is this Friday, November 21st for the Secret Santa: Mommy & Me Book Exchange!