Yes, we really are going to Mickey's land o' make believe (and overpriced food vendors) this weekend.
We'll be gone for 5 days.
My parents are treating all of us (kids, spouses and grandkids) to a week there for the first time (they have a timeshare agreement so future trips will be in order).
So damn great of them.
The kids are going to be out of their minds with happiness at all the kid-friendly hijinks at Disney. Molly will be thrilled with the water park near our hotel, the Disney-esque bit of everything she sees.
Personally, I'm not a huge Disney fan. However, after I had kids and saw all the dreck on Nickeloden and the Cartoon Network, Disney didn't look so bad after all.
At age 3, Molly is just getting into the "Disney scene" by knowing Cinderella, Mickey Mouse, etc. by sight and name. We watched Mary Poppins (one of my favorites when I was a kid) last weekend, so now she knows that story.
Actually, Molly has been a Disney fan because she has loved Winnie the Pooh and his whole gang (one of the least offensive children's stories/stuff except the characters are almost all MALE).
So, let's just say Molly will be really happy at just seeing familiar characters that she loves.
I do resent Disney for not updating their characters to include female characters who aren't antiquated and disturbing role models (Cinderella, Snow White, anyone?). Even a recent addition like Ariel, The Little Mermaid, looks and acts like a redheaded Barbie doll.
Yes, we'll visit Cinderella's castle and stuff like that and we'll have fun, but it's really going to be hanging out with family (Molly LOVES to be with her same-age cousins) that will be the very best of the week.
Every now and then, you realize that everything can change on a dime and sometimes does.
People get sick, people die, people's children die, houses burn down, car accidents happen. It's not a pretty world.
I got an email this week from my aunt, a family member I am very close to. She and her partner cannot attend Molly's birthday party on Friday because she is going for a biopsy.
The doctor says there is a 75% chance that her breast lump is malignant. My heart started pounding when I read her email about that.
Another aunt--one of her sisters--was treated for breast cancer a few years ago and is doing quite well now. A lump doesn't always equal cancer and cancer no longer equals death automatically. That's the good news if we are facing worst-case scenario.
Still....it's not a pretty world. Terrible things happen to good, innocent people every day.
My friend Mary was walking across the street in October and was hit by an SUV and her life will never be the same. I just emailed her today to check up on her status. She had both hands/wrists operated on after her accident. Her husband has been reading her email and replying for her...so I was eager to see how she's doing.
This is a good reminder, people: live your life today as fully as possible. What we have is today. That is all we can know for sure.
Like most mothers, I am a professional worrier when it comes to my kids. What if something happens to me and/or Ed--what will happen to them? Or even worse, what if something awful happens to them?
Okay, people, here's the other reminder: WRITE your will. Get it done by a lawyer. Make sure you're "covered."
Ed and I have already talked about what we need to put into our will. We just need to put it in writing. Soon.
We have already asked the people in our family to be guardians for our kids "just in case."
"Just in case" seems so remote, so odds-are-against-it-ever-happening. But it happens.
Four days off did wonders for my state of mind and the state of our new house. I needed a break to catch up on sleep and spend time with the family, so Thanksgiving was really nice. Food. Family. That kind of thing. Sleep. Play with the kids. Nice.
We unpacked about 12 boxes and organized the living room and the dining room. I'm putting together a photo display in the dining room of old black and white family photos from the 19th century through the present. We have photos representing both sides of the family in cool, old frames. They look great collected together. I feel like I should be on "Trading Spaces" or something.
I had some photos that were not in frames and then I went to Frank's Nursery & Crafts and found frames at 75% off! I took it as a sign from the gods that this family photo project is meant to me and so I bought more frames and am putting more family photos up--all black and white, all old photos with classic frames.
I want to get them up in time for Molly's 3rd birthday party with the family on Friday.
Yesterday was officially Molly's 3rd birthday. She was very excited. Sunday we made cupcakes and we took them into her preschool classroom yesterday. They made her a paper crown with her name in glue glitter on it and sang happy birthday to her at snack time and enjoyed the cupcakes. She was thrilled.
She was less thrilled about giving up the pacifier for good on Sunday. We had talked this up for weeks:
"Molly, when you turn 3, no more pacifier!"
I told her she could pick out anything in the toy store (knowing that her desires are modest) when she turned all her pacifiers in to the store clerk.
Sunday afternoon we gathered up her pacifiers and went to the toy store. She picked out a Fisher Price doll house (overpriced and short on accessories if you ask me) that she absolutely loves. It's nice to see her so happy and engaged in something that does not require batteries or a VCR. We de-emphasize noisy toys and movies at our house for play time. I admit it, I'm biased. I love it that Molly has been to the library about 100 more times than the toy store.
Although a well-placed video, as every parent knows, can be a sanity saver.
Sunday night was our first night without the pacifier.
At bedtime, she screamed and cried to me to let her take one of Sean's pacifiers. It was like watching a junkie try to go cold turkey. It was hard. I rocked her, I sang to her, I tried to comfort her but I was very firm: "No more pacifier."
A three year old who needs a pacifier to sleep is not a pretty sight.
Finally, she dropped off to sleep. Last night I braced myself for another night of screaming and crying.
She didn't mention it once during bath or getting ready for bed. I read her 5 books and then she took a big pile of storybooks to bed to "read" before falling asleep (a ritual she does every night). Although she "read" for 90 minutes using the light from the hallway, she never ever mentioned the pacifier. We were stunned. We were thrilled.
I think doing this on her birthday was a way to help her mark "growing up" out of the pacifier. And the doll house didn't hurt, either.
It's SO NICE to see the things that make her happy--a cupcake, a birthday gift, a paper crown and a big stack of storybooks.
Three-year-olds have a lot to teach us about simple pleasures in life.