Side Story from Disney World

This story has been on my mind since it happened in Florida and I’ve been wanting to share it.

During our time in Magic Kingdom, Kalli said she wanted to ride “Prince Charming’s Carousel’ and Cassie was all for it.  While waiting for our turn I mention to Andy that I don’t know if I’ll be able to get Cassie up on a horse.  Meaning that I can’t do it by myself.  (Due to motion sickness, Andy can’t ride on carousels)  It is this point Cassie starts going back and forth with if she wants to even ride at all.  I tell her that of course she does because I know that she really does.

When it is our turn I give Cassie the option of riding on a horse or in the sleigh-like seat thing that they have.  Cassie goes for the horse, but when she can’t get her foot up on the stirrup the first time she says that she will just sit in the sleigh…and then she starts tearing up.  This is when Andy and I step in and tell her to come get on the horse.  I help get her foot into place while Andy helps her pop up onto the horse.  She smiled the entire ride.  I sat in the sleigh thinking about Cassie and how she handles things.  Knowing that she wants to do something but giving up because she thinks she can’t or that it may be to hard.

After her ride Andy and I talked to Cassie about how she can do almost anything that she wants to do.  If she wants to do something she needs to talk to us and we will work with her to find a way, if at all possible, for her to do it.  We need to teach her problem solving and more determination.

This isn’t something you are taught or told about when you are pregnant.  Being a parent can be heart breaking and painful at times.  Watching them try new things, fail at times, and sometimes fall apart and crumble…it is hard.  It’s easy to see your child succeed and do well, but seeing them struggle can be downright awful.  As I watch Cassie struggle with her limitations and finding herself, it is sometimes heart wrenching.  I realize that it is something she has to go through. I can encourage and be her cheerleader, I can be that person she can talk to, but I can’t ‘fix’ it for her.

From time to time a moment will stand out to me.  The carousel ride was one of those moments.  I want my girls to both know that they can do almost anything the put their minds to and that together we can problem solve ways to accomplish the harder stuff.

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Home Sweet Home

Vacations are wonderful.  Getting away for a while and seeing different things.  However, it is always nice coming home.  To get back to your normal and, more importantly, your own bed.

This morning we were up at 5:30am (which is 4:30am our time).  At 6:30am someone came to help us load up our suitcases and get us to the main lobby to check our luggage.  There was a few hiccups, but things all worked out and at 7:25 we boarded a bus for the airport.

As you can imagine, we were all very tired.  This worked out well because on the plane I sat between Cassie and Kalli.  Once we were in the air the girls leaned in on me and the three of us went to sleep for about an hour.  Andy was seated behind us and he dozed in and out as well.  The nice part is that time flies when you are napping.  Before we knew it we were landing in Milwaukee.

All of us are looking very forward to being able to sleep in tomorrow morning and not having to do anything tomorrow.  Well, anything except for unpacking, laundry, and all the stuff that goes with coming home from a vacation.  I’m just glad that we won’t have to walk miles and miles and miles.

Andy wore a pedometer whenever we were going to parks to see how far we ended up walking.  Total for the 8 days that we visited parks we walked just short of 50 miles.  And I can’t even explain how much time we spent standing.  So much standing.  My feet are better, but my hip and back may take a little bit to recover.  Vacations….they are rough.  🙂

Tomorrow I plan to blog about the one day that I missed…the day we were in Magic Kingdom.  For know, I’m going to put my feet up and enjoy being home.



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Disney – Full Day #8

We had scheduled ourselves for Hollywood Studios and Downtown Disney today.  Plans change though.  Plans change when one child is up with back pain again and at 4am you are up massaging her back until it calms enouch for her to sleep again.  Plans also change when you wake up in the morning and everyone’s feet and legs are still hurting.  It is when these plans change that you decide to have a morning in the resort room to just rest.

We didn’t have any reservations until 6pm so we took the morning off, had lunch here on resort property, and then headed to Downtown for a little retail therapy and dinner.

After dinner we visited a few more stores and then we came back to the resort.  Tomorrow morning we are up bright and early.  5/5:30am early.  I know, crazy!  I can’t believe it either.  At 6:30am Bell Services will be coming for us and our luggage.  We will then head over to check out, board our bus that will take us to the airport, and go from there.

It’s hard to believe that we are already at the end of our vacation.  It has been such a wonderful time.  We are, however, very ready to be able to sit for a bit and sleep in our own beds.  The girls are ready to see their friends and get back to a normal routine.  Andy is off of work on Monday to have one extra day to recover and the girls will be off because of appointments.  Tuesday, though, will be back to work and school.  And I will be back to my norm and trying to get the girls all caught up on school work.  I can’t even fathom how much Cassie will have to make up.  The girlies will have missed a total of 8 days.  Pray for me.


I know that I said I’d tell you about our fun that we had yesterday at Magic Kingdom, but I really need to get some rest.  I’ll work on it when I get back home tomorrow afternoon.  🙂

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Disney – Full Day #7

Goodness gracious great balls of fire!!  This is how I would describe my feet right now.  Great. Balls. Of. Fire.

We spent today at Magic Kingdom and while we started out later then normal it was a very long day.  A VERY long day!  It included a lot of walking.  And a lot of standing.  Did you know that standing can be even more painful than just walking?  I’m not sure why this is, but it is true.  I have the proof in my feet, legs, knees, hips, low back, and feet.  Why yes I did mention feet twice…they deserved to be mentioned twice though since they are on fire.

I would love to share everything we did with you, but it is almost 11pm and we are getting up early-ish tomorrow since it is our last day to visit parks.  Hollywood Studios and Downtown Disney are on the agenda.  I promise to let you know more about today’s day when I blog tomorrow.  We had a wonderful day…so much fun.  I guess you could say that the more fun you had in a day the more your feet hurt??  Is that a thing?

Good night all!

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Disney – Full Day #6

Things I need to share:

1.) When in Florida, 20% chance of rain means it will pour all day while 64% means that you won’t even see clouds.  They are very confused here.
2.) No one mentions this in the ‘packing’ articles, but bring a pedometer.  It is fun to see how far you go.  It is also a good way to understand why your body hurts so much.  In 6 days we’ve walked 40 miles.  This does not include going through airport or any walking around the resort itself that we’ve done.
3.) Be sure to pack pain medicine.  For everyone.  It’s expensive to get while here and after walking on cement day after day, you’ll need it.  My hips, low back, knees, calves, and feet all hurt.  Kalli’s calves and feet hurt.  And Andy…well he hurting too.  We remembered ours, but I want to give this ever important tip.  Remember. The. Pain. Medicine.

Today we were at Epcot.  We got there at 8:30 and waited for them to open at 9.  We had breakfast reservations at Akershus for 9:45 so we headed back towards the World Showcase and Norway, where it is located.  It was a princess breakfast so we were able to meet and get pictures with Belle, Snow White, Aurora, Ariel, and Cinderella.  Not only were the girls very happy with the experience, but the food was very good as well.


We spent our afternoon wondering around from place to place, stopping from time to time to rest and cool down.  We visited the Character Spot where we saw Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy.  Pictures of those will be posted when I’m back home and have the pictures that were taken by the PhotoPass people.

Tonight we had dinner at Tepan Edo which is a hibachi grill located in the Japan part of the World Showcase.  We’ve never eaten at a hibachi grill before, but we all loved it.  The girls giggled and we really enjoyed the show that accompanied our food.  Andy had swordfish and I tried some too.  It was very good!

We have someone who helps us plan our vacation….last time and this time.  She knows all the ins and outs of Disney.  She gives us tips and schedules all our meals for us.  And we love it.  We would never have tried most of the places she has sent us.  We are more adventurous this way and the food is part of what we end up remembering the most about our trips.  Don’t get me wrong…we talk about the experiences a lot, but we still talk about the food that we had when we went to Disney 3 years ago.  And I know that these meals will also stick out in our memory.

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Disney – Full Day #5

This morning was a good one for me.  I was able to sleep in an extra hour since Animal Kingdom didn’t open until a little later.

Animal Kingdom, for whatever reason, isn’t our favorite park.  This time ’round we went to see Finding Nemo – The Musical and everyone really enjoyed it.  Having Cassie in the wheelchair and both my parents using scooters make getting through crowds a little difficult.  Because of this we have learned to just sit tight after a show until pretty much everyone else clears out.  It’s just easier to move and to stick together.  Besides, we are in no hurry.

That is one thing I’ve really been enjoying this trip.  We aren’t in any huge rush.  We have reservations for our sit down meals and a few Fast Passes scheduled, but everything else is just as we go.  We’ve even skipped a Fast Past already because we weren’t in that area and were doing other things.  We’ve been letting the girls really be part of the planning as well.  They pick out things that they would like to do each day and we try to accomplish as much as we can.

Today we had lunch reservations at Yak and Yeti.  It is an Asian type restaurant, but also some non-Asian foods as well.  Andy had a burger with Gouda cheese and Shiitake mushrooms on it.  He said that it is the best burger he has ever had.  I had the Maple Tamarind Chicken which was a seared chicken breast with an Indonesian tamarind glaze with coconut-ginger rice, baby bok choy, and shiitake mushroom stir-fry.  One word to describe it…Amazing!

IMG_2798Maple Tamarind Chicken from Yak and Yeti

For dessert I had grilled pineapple that was skewered with fried wontons.  The wontons were stuffed with a cream cheese mixture.  I forgot to take a picture because I felt the need to dig in immediately.  Oops!  Sometimes a plate shows up and you just can’t take time to take a picture.

While we were eating, it started raining outside.  We went outside and found that my parent’s scooters were wet.  Wet bottoms ensued.

We decided to head to Downtown Disney to do some shopping.  We ended up moving from shop to shop trying to dodge raindrops.  After grabbing some supper we headed back to the resort so that the girls could get some more homework done.  Kalli had asked her teacher for homework ahead of time so she could get some done before going back to school.  Cassie was given the assignment of keeping a photo journal for her Language class.  She has been choosing photos from the pictures I take each day and started a document on Google Drive so that she can also access it at school.  I’ve been editing for her and making sure she expands on some things.  One day she only wrote one sentence.  I told her that I didn’t think that would fly with her teacher.  Cassie didn’t look pleased with me, but she elaborated and in the end it met my standards.

Tomorrow we head back to Epcot.  We have reservations for breakfast and supper and the girls have a list of things that they would like to do.  Hopefully the day allows for all their plans.


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Disney – Full Day #4

This morning we woke up to my alarm and none of us wanted to get out of bed.  Kalli threw the blankets up over her head, Cassie rolled over and moaned, and I wanted to postpone the time that we were going to head out.

Fortunately, Cassie had slept through the night and woke up feeling a lot better.  She is still having a little tummy trouble but overall is much better.  She was actually able to enjoy our day.

Magic Kingdom was our destination and we arrived before opening so that we could see the performance that they put on before they let everyone in.  The girls were very excited when the park’s train pulled up and had many of the main characters in it.  We waved and clapped to the music.  Then as everyone made their way into the park, we followed.

First we went to see Tinker Bell.  Getting autographs and pictures with the characters is important, ya know.



DSC_0065Cassie and Kalli with Tinker Bell

We rode some rides, tried the Dole Whips that everyone talks about (I liked them a lot…but then again I love ice cream and the like), and made our way around.  Then, just as a parade was going to start, it started pouring.  And it poured throughout the entire parade.  Luckily, Andy and I had invested in better ponchos and we had them all with us.  I have to give all the Disney staff/cast credit…they danced, sang, and smiled throughout the entire downpour.  As soon as the parade was finished, so was the rain.

After the parade, we headed to dinner at Ohana which is located in the Polynesian Resort.  Their food is very good and their dessert…mouth watering. Pineapple Bread Pudding with Banana Foster Sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  We visited Ohana the last time we were in Disney (3 years ago) and their dessert is the main reason we went back again.  I can’t say enough about that bread pudding.

Moving on… Even though it was on the early side, we decided to head back to our resort so that the kids could work on some of their homework that they have with them, shower, and we could get rest.  It seems that Andy, Kalli, and I are all wimps.  Our feet and legs are hurting so much each day.  I now have a blister on the bottom of one of my feet where my arch support ends.  This is making walking more interesting.  Most nights I have to take Ibuprofen so that my legs stop aching enough for me to sleep.  Getting old sucks!  I just wish we’d get use to all the walking already but instead it seems that each day we start hurting earlier.  It’s a bit confusing.

Tomorrow we head to Animal Kingdom for part of the day and then to Downtown Disney for the end of the day.  I can’t wait to get to Downtown Disney and do a little shopping!

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Disney – Full Day #3

Early this morning at 2am Cassie was awake again with pain in her back.  I did some of my magic massage and she was able to get some more sleep.  At 6am she woke again and was definitely not doing well.  She seems to have a stomach bug.  We skipped our morning of activities so that she could lay nice and low and get some rest.

Around 11 we headed out because we had lunch reservations at Epcot.  We ate at Via Napoli which is located in the Italy section of the World Showcase. Delizioso! (That is Italian for delicious)  The waiters there are all Italian as well…I don’t know what it is about Italians, but they make everything seem like a celebration.


Here is the dessert that I had…Coppa Brutti Ma Buoni.  It was an Amarena cherry & vanilla gelato sundae.  It was a little piece of heaven. Yum!

IMG_2768Coppa Brutti Ma Buoni – Dessert at Via Napoli

After lunch we made our way to the Japan area and went to do a little shopping.  The girls knew that there would be Pokemon stuff there and were determined to get there. (I don’t understand the whole Pokemon thing, but they love it)  While in Japan, the girls did the “Pick a Pearl”.  For this you get to pick an oyster from the tanks and the cast members open it for you…right in front of you.  Both Cassie and Kalli had oysters with pearls that were 7mm in size.  When we go back to Epcot later this week we are going to look at getting the pearls put into a setting and I’m considering possibly getting one for myself.

DSC_0060Cassie and Kalli’s pearls

While passing through the United Kingdom, we had to take the photo-op of posing with the telephone box.  Would have been so much cooler if it was a blue police box though.  🙂

DSC_0047After Epcot we came back to the room and rested for a couple hours before heading to Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.  We were able to trick or treat some, watch a show with many of the movie villains, and see the Halloween parade.  It was an absolute blast.  By the end of the parade our feet were sore and Kalli was sitting on Cassie’s lap in the wheelchair.  We decided to look through some of the shops on Main Street while the major part of the crowd cleared out.

Now the kids are sleeping and Andy and I are showered and just about ready for bed too.  Cassie seems to be doing better tonight, but we will see what overnight brings.  I’m hoping she has finally shaken this bug so that she can enjoy the rest of our vacation.  It’s horrible to be at Disney World, the happiest place in the world, and be miserable. (She actually was asking to go home at one point)  We are all crossing our fingers!!

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Disney – Full Day #2

We had an…interesting morning.  Cassie spent a large part of her night tossing and turning, which in turn would wake me.  At about 4:00am I looked over to see her sitting up in bed.  I ask what is wrong and she tells me that her back is hurting.  After some Ibuprofen and a little bit of  massaging, she says it feels better so she lays back down.  At 5:00am she was sitting up again with her back hurting.  Long story short, we’ve been dealing all day with back pain and stomach issues.

Today we woke early and got ready to head to the bus stop.  (One of the perks of staying at a Disney resort is that there is free transportation to and from all the parks)  Andy opened our door and we heard the loud sound of pouring rain.  To say we were less then excited would be an understatement.  Yet, we had reservations for breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom so we ponchoed up and headed out.  Until this morning, I never knew that Florida has really loud frogs/toads that like to croak in the rain.  We couldn’t believe how loud it was.

Breakfast was very yummy.  And the girls loved seeing the princesses.  I was able to get pictures so I’m happy.  Andy joined some of the pictures since it is his birthday…and he gave in to the pressure of the girls, princesses, and myself. 😉

DSC_0014 DSC_0015 DSC_0017 DSC_0018

After breakfast, we visited more characters, saw a show, and rode the teacups.  After lunch Cassie started not feeling well again and her back started hurting more again.  Due to this fact, we headed back to the resort and spent the rest of the day laying low.  I’m really hoping that tomorrow she is feeling much better because it really sucks being sick when you are suppose to be having fun at Disney World.

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Disney- Full Day #1

While it has been months since I last posted, I am starting up right now with some very fun posts!

We are currently in Florida visiting Disney World.  We got to our resort at about 7:45pm and were very ready to go to bed.  Food took precedence though and we headed to the local food court to fill our starving tummies before settling in for the night.  It was after 10 by the time we got things sorted in our room and everyone into bed.  Needless to say, no one wanted to get up this morning when the alarm went off at 6:30.

DSC_0387Picture taken by Cassie on the way to Florida

We finally dragged everyone out of bed and readied ourselves.  After meeting up with my parents we headed to Hollywood Studios.  First stop was, a family favorite, Star Tours.  Then we had Fast Passes for Indiana Jones Spectacular Stunt Show and Beauty and the Beast Live.  Both were good, but I think everyone’s favorite was the stunt show.  It was amazing some of the stunts they can do. (They showed us how some stunts are done)

DSC_0394 Cassie and Kalli outside of Hollywood Studios

For dinner we headed to Hollywood and Vine.  It was delicious!

Unfortunately, once we came out from dinner the sprinkles that we had been dealing with all day had turned into pouring rain.  We had our ponchos, but with nothing else planned for the evening, we decided to head back to our resort for an early night.

Tomorrow morning we are having breakfast with the princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table.  We are all excited for that as we’ve been there once before and the food was amazing.

Until tomorrow….  G’night.

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