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Animal Kingdom Day Three & Five

We decided long before we left that Animal Kingdom would probably be Drake’s favorite park, and thus decided to allocate two days for it so we could take everything in and not feel rushed. Animal Kingdom is my favorite park as well and I love that I get to share my love of animals with my son.

The Tree of Life and the mob of people in the park that day

This was my list for Drake at Animal Kingdom:

Kilimanjaro Safaris - The number one thing at Disney that I wanted to take Drake on above all else was the Kilimanjaro Safari. I figured that Drake would love this one as it would bring him up close to so many of his favorite animals like elephants, rhinos, crocodiles, zebras, hippos, ostriches, giraffes, etc.  On arrival we immediately went to Fast pass this ride and got so lucky in getting a slot within 10 minutes of our arrival. We hurried our way over and then talked up all the animals to Drake. I honestly don’t know who was more excited when we got on board the ride — Drake or all the adults anticipating his excitement.  I personally love this ride as well and could ride it all day. It was certainly a highlight of the trip for everyone.

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Bring on the pink!

After a miscarriage and trying for a year, we are now 14 weeks pregnant with a baby girl! We are so excited and I feel so lucky.


My NT scan was on Liam’s first day of preschool and sadly, my husband couldn’t make it. The only appointment they had was in the afternoon, so I had to take Liam with me because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to pick him up in time, and I didn’t want him to be at school that late on his first day. I was nervous about him coming with me, but he was such a good boy and he loved seeing the baby and especially listening to her heartbeat.Even though it is still considered early to determine the sex of the baby, the ultrasound tech said she was 100% positive it is a girl. She could clearly see between the legs and she said if there was a penis, she would have seen it.

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DIY Ruffle Lamp Shade

I never knew I’d care so much about a silly lampshade. I mean, it’s a lampshade, for crying out loud! But there I was, staring at a normal shade to sit on top of an old Eiffel Tower lamp I’ve had for ages, and I knew “normal” just wasn’t going to cut it. So I took to Pinterest to see how I could spruce an old shade up a bit.

And then I saw it: my inspiration for the lampshade.

The blogger answered questions about the project in the comments, but didn’t really give any directions in the post, so I had to wing it. Luckily, it was super easy and didn’t have any sewing involved. I took pictures along the way just in case you want to make something similar. Oh, and you can definitely make this during nap time; I think it took me around 30 minutes once I had everything together!

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2 year / 4.5 year update

So much has happened since my last update (6 months ago! Or, now that this post is getting written super late, almost 8 months ago!). We bought a house, packed up and moved (to the town next door!), summer started and the kids were in daycare only part time (3 mornings a week) and home with their aunt part time. I went through a huge project at work and life is only just starting to settle down now. But here we are, with a 2 year old and a 4.5 year old. Life is just as hectic as ever, but so much fun, too!

L I L  M I S S  W A G O N
2 Year Stats
Height: 35 in (78%)
Weight: 30 lbs (91%)
Head Circumference: 19.75 in (98%)

It’s quite clear that LMW is staying on her growth curves and is still quite a big girl for her age. With her being so big for her age and Wagon Jr. being so small, people often assume they’re twins. She’s definitely growing out of her clothes that are 18-24 month and fitting nicely into 2T items.

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Building an Emotional IQ

What, exactly, do you say to your child when she hangs over the back of the sofa, tears streaming down her red face, fists clenched, trying desperately to understand why her friend no longer wants to be her friend? Meanwhile, said friend calls over, “I have better friends than you. They’re nicer. I gave you two chances. Now I’m not your friend anymore.” Ellie turns to me with a look of painful desperation. “See? See? She hates me!” And off she goes. Who knows where. That’s just what Ellie does when her feelings are so strong she just can’t seem to share space with anyone else.

My heart was shattering into a million pieces. Meanwhile, my head was in a million places at once. “I hate Susie. We should never have invited her over in the first place.” If only Ellie would learn to apologize without looking like a warrior ready to ambush. Her ‘I’m sorry; let’s be friends again’ picture might have gone over better if she hadn’t hurled it at Susie’s head… Children are mean. Good thing we’re homeschooling– no more kids for us. We will just be our own, lonely, sane unit.

I was feeling so much. Angry. Worried. Disappointed. Sad. Frustrated. I know Ellie was, too, but she was having a hard time approaching Susie in a way that would mend the disagreement. I had tried to gently coach her through an apology. “Why be nice?” she asked me, incredulous. “Susie’s not being nice. She said she hated me. And she does. So now I just want her to go home.” Ellie was smart enough to direct many of these statements towards me, but, like most seven-year-olds, wasn’t quite emotionally intelligent enough to realize that her words, even when not directed at her friend, were hurting her just the same.

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Scallops with Bacon Cream Sauce

Mr. Chocolate and I recently celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. In honor of that I decided to try to make a special dinner and chose this Scallop and Fettuccine dish with a bacon cream sauce. I don’t cook much with seafood honestly so I was a bit nervous about it, but I thought it would be a nice special treat for us on our anniversary. This was Juliet’s first taste of scallops and she loved every bite!

The original recipe called for fennel as well but Mr. Chocolate hates the taste of fennel so I omitted it. It still tasted delicious to us!

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coral, mint and gold nursery on a budget

I love Pinterest and how easy it makes collecting inspiration.  I started pinning ideas for the nursery weeks before we knew what we were having.  I was really fixated on two prints that I found, one for a girl’s room and one for a boy’s.  Both gave me inspiration on the direction I wanted to take the nursery.  The first print, by Joni Lay, had flaminogs… and I decided I had to make a flamingo themed nursery. For a boy, I found a vintage race car print on Etsy and just knew that if we had a son, his room had to be vintage car themed.  But, that’s the funny thing about inspiration… once you start putting ideas together, they inspire others, and so on and so on. In the end, we designed a watercolor nursery in our original color scheme for a girl: coral, mint, navy and gold.

We reused and re-purposed as much as possible in this room.  We had it painted when we bought the house in 2009 and I love the color so much.  I didn’t want to change the paint color (it’s Benjamin Moore Stone Castle color matched by Sherwin Williams), but we did put new laminate flooring in all our bedrooms this summer.  The carpet was old and gross, and it had to go.  This room is very small – maybe 10×10 – and we knew we had to maximize space.  Since this room is so small we bought new furniture in white to make the room look larger.  The laminate flooring helped make the room look bigger and brighter, too.

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