And the Next Day.

Let’s see, where were we?

Oh yes. We had just had the best family day of our lives.

And then, the next day. 

When we planned this vacation, we knew who we were traveling with. A three year old and a one year old. We knew that although it was Disney World, we didn’t want to suck the fun out of it by exhausting everyone, so we added a little “buffer day” in there. So sandwiched between the two days with Mickey, we put in a day of swimming at the hotel and exploring/shopping at Downtown Disney. And thank God we did. Because Friday morning I woke up with something I had not had before. Or, at least not in a long, long time.

I woke up several times overnight with a pounding headache and just prayed that it would be gone by morning. Morning rolled around and it wasn’t. And it was now coupled with throwing up. I wanted to cry. I did cry. I was so very thankful this was a down day, but it was still heartbreaking. I’m not even going to spend much time talking about it, because I don’t want to relive it. What you should know is that Kyle played with, fed, and entertained the kids all morning in and around the hotel. I threw up repeatedly, and landed on the fact that I had some sort of food poisoning. We all made it to nap time, and I was determined to get better and go to Downtown Disney like we planned. And when they woke up, sure enough, I crawled around to put myself together and off we went. Barely making it out of the cab, I stumbled into the nearest store… Ghiradelhi chocolate (OF ALL PLACES) and threw up. It was my nightmare, but afterwards, I could kind of sense a positive shift heading my direction. The headache was gone, most of the nausea was gone, I reunited with the family and got a little pep back in my step.

Downtown Disney was fun – lots of shopping. The girls both loved looked at all of their favorite characters every.where. I didn’t know what to expect as far as shopping was concerned, I wasn’t sure who would want what, or just how much money we’d drop. We had been saving, so we were prepared for the most elaborate of replica Cinderella Castles or life sized Mickey – but my children are also Kyle’s children – and they apparently can get by with very little. I practically forced Leah to buy something, and would we all like to see what she HAD to have….

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A miniature Pooh Bear! After all, out of the 12 pooh bears she has… not one was this small. She even told me, so excitedly, “I’ve never had a tiny pooh bear before, mommy!” She thought it was the greatest thing. $9.95. The hardest part was not losing him. And Quinn’s choice…

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Mickey. Of course.

We had a nice dinner at Rainforest Cafe (I ate ice), wandered some more, and called it a day. I was happy that although Kyle had to fly solo for the morning, the afternoon ended just how we had planned it. We made it through. I needed a miracle to recover in time for… the next day.

And I got it!

Prayers answered, I woke up 100%. And starving.

You guys, this was no ordinary day. Not even a little. Our little Quinn woke up a 1 year old! Oh, be still my heart. My kids’ birthdays make me a mess. I get so emotional. So happy they’ve grown, so sad they’re growing up. This one especially. This is my baaaaaby. But there was really no time to get sappy with her, she had a big day ahead of her!!

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We quickly crammed her in a onsie to take the last ‘month’ picture. Then it was down for breakfast and on the bus for day 2! This time, we did not stop at the carousel. First thing on Leah’s list was meeting Cinderella… again. I kind of didn’t want her to. The first experience was beyond anything any of us could’ve dreamed up – I didn’t want anything to drown that out. And, I must admit, it was pretty lackluster. A different day, a different Cinderella. She was perfectly nice, but she was not even up to par with the first Cinderella. Leah said hi, bye, took a picture and we were out of there. Thank goodness my pictures are with the first one. Leah didn’t seem to mind, though, and was really excited to get back to the roller coasters!

Day two was full of fun things (duh). Kyle and Leah rode everything she was tall enough for. Quinn and I found our own fun at every turn.

Leah and Kyle rode Goofy’s Barnstormer a million more times, Quinn and I played in Dumbo’s circus tent…

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Leah and Kyle rode the Test Track (Leah got to drive)…

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Quinnie and I found a warm blanket to nap with (it was a colllld day)…

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Leah and Kyle explored the Seven Dwarfs mine and rode their roller coaster…

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(Leah’s little head beside Kyle, haha).

Quinnie and I found a cookie stand…

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And we all helped Buzz Lightyear fight the space aliens (or something)…

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We all watched Leah act out her part in Belle’s fairytale…

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And we all got candy and rested while watching the afternoon parade…

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Oh! And Quinn and I were famous! We wandered in to an interactive Monsters Inc interactive comedy show and they said they were seeking a “two headed monster.” Quinn was sitting on my lap, and thus, we fit the bill. So I answered their silly questions for a few minutes and Quinn smiled the whole time. 🙂

But the big event was coming. I researched a lot about how to handle a birthday at Disney World before we went. As if just being there on Quinn’s birthday wasn’t enough, I really wanted her to know it was her special day. So I learned all about the button she could wear, which actually did bring on lots of fun attention from the crew. I also learned that I could request a cake… so, naturally, I was going to make that happen. Right before dinner, we had an appointment with the one and only…

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She smiled so big when she saw him. I had another one of those ‘moments’ and had to quickly wipe the tear from my eye. I was so happy to see her so happy. But as much as she loved Mickey, she really loved her cake…

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And that’s where we’ll end it.

We had plans to stay up late and watch the fireworks and parade, but I think it was the coldest day Orlando had ever seen. And even though the girls had jackets and we bought a big blanket, it was just plain cold. We asked Leah what she wanted to do and she even said she was ready to go. So we went. We had years worth of memories, full bellies, and exhausted kids. We bid farewell to all of the magic and headed back to the bus. 5:30am was going to come early.

And it did.

But from the very first morning to the very last, the girls didn’t stop smiling. We truly had the time of our lives.

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Perhaps the best part came on the flight home. Quinn was down for the count, Leah was slurping apple juice, and Kyle said to me, “so we wanna do this again in a couple years?” My heart leapt.

Disney World 2016. The countdown has begun.

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