To My Daughter on her 9th Birthday

Today is the day before your 9th birthday and watching you be goofy waiting on the bus and running through spelling words made me realize how far you have come. You are truly our miracle. In the beginning I was told I would never have children because of PCOS. Which was absolutely heartbreaking.

Then I met your dad in October 2008 and it must have been fate because we found out about you on Valentine’s day 2009. We were both terrified but excited all the same. Then a few months in we had a problem and we almost lost you but thanks to bed rest we were good to go. We moved to Florida in May of 2009 and moved in with a friend. It was not easy. No baby shower, not close to my family, it was real hard.

On October 5th your grandma came into town and it was then real, I would also be a mom that next day. We checked into the hospital at midnight and were prepped. Lovely pitocine and I slept until 6 AM. The doctor came in and broke my water and then the fun began. Your heart rate would not stay up. We went for an emergency C-section and you came into this world blue as a smurf and not making a sound. I refused to say a word until I heard your cry. When it finally came I cried out of relief and happiness. You’re daddy was thrilled. Daddy got to hold you before me (I had to wait an hour) but when they brought you to me it was great.

We had a rough few months with post partum depression but we made it, all 3 of us. Then in December I made a crucial first mom mistake. You were sick and refused to eat. I thought it was fine because you were sick. We rushed you to the ER and you had RSV. I still blame myself for not knowing something was majorly wrong. 3 long days nights in the hospital but you made it.

Months passed and we were broke as all get out but we were making it. At 9 months I got a job and it was smooth sailing. We had an apartment and made lifelong friends with our landlord. Your first time to be able to enjoy Halloween and Christmas. Life was good. We tried to move back to Texas to be near family because I thought that was what I wanted. It was not as I hoped and we came back to Florida. Life was good again.

Fast forward to your first day in Kindergarten. I was so proud but so sad. We both cried and it killed me to leave you but if I didn’t let go then I knew it would be even harder later. Watching you learn to read and write and become this little person was so amazing to me. I would always tell daddy, “we made her”. First field day, first best friend, so many firsts.

We did real vacations like Universal, Sea World, St Augustine and Disney. I am so glad I got to experience them while having a child. It makes it so much more fun.

Real time, sometimes you are a pain and I wanna FedEx you to grandma but I will forever be thankful that I was blessed with such a beautiful and carefree little girl. Thank you for making me your mom and for being the most awesome kid! Daddy and I are so proud of you. Happy birthday my love!

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How we failed at Epcot

We started out really well our first morning. We got up on time, grabbed a drive thru breakfast, got to Epcot early and got decent parking. We felt ready and prepared. That rope dropped and the stampede started, for real. We decided on Spaceship Earth first. It was close, no line, plus, it was a ride all three of us would ride. We really enjoyed it and the after ride activities were fun. We spent a good 10 – 15 minutes doing the activities. We walked out and had no idea where we were going next. We started walking and looking around (we were also waiting on mother in law as well). We walked upon the Baymax meet and greet. We got in line and waited patiently. The wait unfortunately was for nothing. There was a costume malfunction and would be over an hour for him to return so we bailed. We walked towards The Seas with Nemo and Friends and waited for my mother in law to arrive, since we got the “on the way” text. We didn’t have to wait very long luckily. We rode the Seas with Nemo and Friends which kiddo got a kick out of and learned we would be hearing that song in our heads at random times for a while. We looked into riding Living with the Land but that line was well over an hour. Nope, maybe next time. Journey into Imagination with Figment however was a short wait! That ride was enjoyed by all of us. World Showcase was next. By the time we came to Canada, it was getting hot and our new shoes were causing our feet to hurt. The husband was no longer enjoying himself due to pain. We stopped in Canada to cool off and get water. Mother in law took kiddo to Kidcot to get her hand fan and stamp. She got to color a little bit and we continued on to London. (I was a little ticked at this point because I didn’t get Poutine like I wanted). We got to London, and husband sat in the shade, as my mother in law and I took kiddo to see Mary Poppins. I do not think I have ever seen a better Mary Poppins since the movie. Kiddo was so excited to see her and fully believed it was the real Mary Poppins, score! We made our way to Alice and waited in line maybe 10 minutes. After our visit with Alice, we made a second Kidcot stop as well. So far, things were looking up with the frequent breaks. About this time, my feet were flaring up as well. We made a stop in France and tried to see Belle but she was leaving, my kid was the only one standing there as they left. Talk about upset. We got to Morocco and we had had enough. The mother in law left for a “nap” and we jumped on the boat and headed back to the entrance. We passed by Test Track and by damned I was riding this ride. Husband found a shady spot and kiddo and I waited the hour to ride Test Track. It was totally worth it. Short but worth it. I did get scared on the ride because as I was putting my seatbelt on the ride started moving. I had no idea they had a seat belt checkpoint and I was tripping. Overall, I like the ride. One thing I did find that would come to annoy me was this; my daughter asked for popcorn and we said no because we were going offsite for lunch. A cast member heard my daughter and we were called over. They handed her a bag of popcorn and told us to have a good day. I did not want to be rude but I do not like that. If I tell my kid no, I have a good reason. We found husband and left Epcot.

Here is why we failed:

  1. My husband does not wear sneakers – why in the world would I think Disney would be better with them
  2. We didn’t get all the way through Epcot
  3. I didn’t get the poutine I wanted
  4. Meet and greet fails all around
  5. Poor planning
  6. Husband did not get coffee prior to park visit
  7. Mother in law and Disney do not mix

What I learned for next time:

Make a bucket list for the parks of what you want to do and make it happen. Also make sure everyone is comfortable in their shoes, and has coffee.

The New School Adventure

I sat thinking this morning about getting together the blogs for our prior trips and thought I would go off topic for this blog. This is a travel and adventure blog, but adventure can mean different things. Today we had the first day at a new school adventure. I say adventure because it was not normal. We are in a new district and county than the prior years and of course there will be snags and it will not go smoothly. Especially the first day of school because the bus routes for drivers are different and the children aren’t always the same ones. The rhythm is not there yet. We live in a multi family home and today it took a village to get through the morning. Getting my daughter ready for school, dragging her out of bed almost literally, the hair, lunch, breakfast, etc. I let DH sleep as I went through the motions. By some miracle I had her ready on time. The other two students in the home were also getting ready. My friend, the matriarch of the family we live with, was also making sure her kids were ready. So far so good. The plan was for my friend’s daughter to ride with our other friend to school the first day. My daughter was going to ride the bus and I would meet her at the school. My friend’s son was going to ride the bus on his own. We waited outside for the buses to come, then came the cluster. First bus came, the elephant (they have the kids use animal names and it has a picture on it), we were waiting on the rabbit. Then another unidentifiable by animal bus came by. The 3rd came, the seal, after a talk with the driver it was the correct bus for my daughter. I just love how we got that call that the bus changed. The son’s bus never came, sigh. I offered to take him since I was going to meet my daughter at her school. Thanks to the map app on my phone, I got to the high school and dropped the boy off. Then I had to figure out where to go from the high school. I made a wrong turn big surprise and had to make a u-turn in crazy student traffic. Once I got out of that nightmare I was on the right track. Got to the school and no parking. Normal for the first day, I parked on the side of the road. I got inside and tried to hunt down my kid. First, I made sure the seal was correct, which it was and guess what bus was running late. I walked through the school and outside to another building. Y’all that was a trek good lord, but I made it. Still no kid. I waited 10 mins and tracked down a faculty member and was told it would be another 10 mins. At this point I was not happy, but again it was the first day of school. Finally, here comes my girl in her blue dress running at me. I had enough time to walk her to class and give a hug and kiss and she walked into class. No tears or look back this year. My only child taking on 3rd grade without needing mom’s reassurance. It tugs at your heart when they start not needing mom, but that just means I did good when it came to preparing her for this. Now I get to enjoy my day off of work without worrying if she is okay. I just hope drop off is a lot smoother and everyone gets home without us having to track them down. Happy First day of school!