August 24, 2012

Pre-Vacation Jitters

We leave for Disney World TOMORROW!!!

I was really excited, like little kid excited, for about the last month. Until a little something called Tropical Storm Isaac decided to put a damper (no pun intended) on our plans.

A lot of people have asked us if we are still going on our trip and, yes, we are still going. While Isaac appears to be trending west and we will not have to experience a full on hurricane, we are facing facts: we are going to get WET. It is going to rain like hell. I expect to have some very bad hair photos from this vacation while wearing a most un-sexy poncho not to mention that there isn't much of a likelihood I'll be working on getting a golden tan.

However... There is a bright side! You know me, I always try to find the positive in every situation. We are hoping the crowds at the parks will be light which means we will quickly be able to go to all the rides and attractions we want to without a whole lot of waiting. Getting wet on water rides? Big deal! We'll already be soaked from the tropical downpours.

In the case that Isaac decides to take a turn towards the most magical place on earth, you can basically leave it up to Disney to ensure that it stays the happiest place on the planet. I have read numerous accounts from people who witnessed Hurricane Charley back in 2004 who said Disney made it seem like all Charley did was mess up their hair a little bit. They evacuated people out of the park in a calm, collected manner. The resorts piped in a constant stream of Disney movies to keep their shut in guests entertained. I read that some resorts even brought in some characters to keep the magic going. Apparently the morning before Charley hit, they were only allowing resort guests into the park which meant really light crowds and plenty of time to have at least some Magic Kingdom experiences. The parks re-opened the next morning, albeit a little late, and my understanding is that you couldn't even tell a hurricane plowed through because the staff was up all night cleaning up the debris. So, really, if you're going to get trapped in a hurricane, I'm thinking Disney is definitely the right place to be! Check out this bloggers photos & story: http://www.laughingplace.com/News-ID508630.asp

Am I still nervous? You bet. I'm traveling with my almost 4 year old son. For the first time. On an airplane. Into a potential hurricane. What kind of awful parent am I?

Regardless of what mother nature is trying to toss at us, she isn't going to destroy our magic. It has been 27 years since I have been to Disney. I was 9 years old and I still remember it like it was yesterday. My Mickey ears. Riding Space Mountain for the first time. Staying at the Polynesian Village. Loving the luau but hating the food. Breakfast With Mickey.

I could go on and on...

Despite some sketchy weather, I feel so blessed and fortunate to be able to take my little boy to Disney World to experience the magic at such a young age. Heck, I feel blessed and fortunate to even HAVE a son to take to Disney.

August 15, 2012

Can I Get a Do Over For Today?

Today was one of THOSE days. Here is my story:

As I am getting ready for work this morning, around 6:20am I heard the rumble of thunder. I kicked it into high gear as I knew a larger crack of thunder would awaken my sweetly sleeping nearly 4 year old. I wasn't fast enough. I was caught. Child did not want me to leave. Cue immense mom guilt.

In the torrential rain, I made my way to the bus transit station. Firstly, they need to work on the cracks in this structure. Even parked in a ramp, the leaky structure was spewing water everywhere. They also need to figure out a drainage system because my cutely skirted, high-heeled self was ankle deep in water crossing the road.

Drenched, I made it to the bus. I walked on, briefly turned to close my umbrella and completely and utterly biffed it. As in feet out from under me, not the least bit graceful, biffed it. Injured, both mentally and physically, I made my way to the far back of the bus where I could hide my head in embarrassed shame.

Still raining, I reach my destination. My adorable shoes squishing and my injured leg pounding, I made my way through the skyway to avoid any further rain mishaps. I get to my new dime-sized cube and realize, my skirt has twisted sideways, I had put my rings on the wrong fingers and my hair was a complete disaster. Did I mention they haven't really figured out the temperature on my new floor? Not only am I drenched, but I am now freezing.

You would think I would have the smarts to stay put. But no. I venture out into the great big city for a Target run as my hair was in desperation for a band, I was out of gum and embarrassingly enough, needed to buy a product that puts the fear in any consumer. Thank god for Target downtown and their self-checkout lanes. Nobody had to witness my embarrassing purchase. That was until two young gals obviously up to no good set off the store alarm at the same moment I walked through. In that mortifying moment I had to produce my receipt and show my goods. On the walk of shame back to my office, I did what any food addict does and stopped for lunch at Erbert & Gerbert's. I guess I could have made worse choices, but nonetheless, 700 calories later, I continue to pile on the shame.

So, here I sit, praying that I have no more horrific moments. Praying that the sun will stay out until I am safely back at home. Praying I remember the huge metal thing under my desk so I can stop whacking my knee on it every time I cross my legs. Praying nobody is watching me blog when I should be working. Praying the thunderstorm threat for this evening will fizzle and we'll all get a good night's sleep.

There is good on the horizon. I am 10 days from my dream family vacation to Disney! Despite some deeply seated fears that my child will throw a tantrum on the airplane and we'll have to be removed, I am beyond excited. Not only is this my child's first trip to Disney, but it is my husband's as well. I seriously cannot wait to see the look on both of their faces when they see that castle for the first time. My husband has many more fears than I do about the trip that include my above-mentioned fear of an airplane temper tantrum but also hurricanes and theft. LOL. The threat of a hurricane in the next 15 days appears to be minimal, so I am not worried about weather in the least. Yes, it will be hot. Yes, we will get tired. I. Don't. Care. I am going to do everything I can to stay positive and light-hearted about our first "real" family vacation.

Despite my overly embarrassing day, I am staying positive. I mean, how much worse can it get??

August 14, 2012

The Five Hour Energy Experiment

Every now and then I come across blogging opportunities that are intriguing. Whether they are an awesome contest or a product to try that I'm actually genuinely interested in, it's kind of fun. Before I launch into my latest experiment, know that I will ALWAYS be 100% honest in my opinions.

When I had the opportunity to try the 5-Hour Energy drink, my curiosity got the best of me. There have been people handing it out along Nicollet Mall and Marquette Ave to which I said no to their free samples every time. When the Smiley360 mission came up, it was a sign that I needed to try the stuff.

So, last weekend, I chose to forego my usual cup of Joe and chug the 5-Hour Energy drink instead.

Holy crap, the stuff does not taste very good. Thank god it isn't more than a shot (although a wolfing a shot of vodka sounds much better than drinking this stuff).

Day 1, Saturday: I guess you could say it worked. I was pretty amped up for a bit and then I got the shakes. Getting jittery is exactly what I do not like about some of these energy supplements. It probably explains why my blood pressure was up a bit too. Yikes. I crashed hard that afternoon though. They might need to call it the 5-Hour Crash.

Day 2, Sunday: The shakes were a little better and I didn't get a caffeine (or lack thereof) headache so I know I got the caffeine I needed. It was a busy day so I didn't notice a crash.

The Verdict: Frankly, I'm not going to run out and buy the stuff. I personally enjoy my cup of coffee in the morning.

Now, I'm not going to completely throw 5-Hour Energy under the bus. Not everyone likes coffee. Not everyone drinks Diet Coke like water. It contains about as much caffeine as a cup of premium coffee, has zero sugar, zero herbal stimulants and only 4 calories. It also contains a bunch of vitamins and nutrients (which is something your morning cup of coffee doesn't have). It may just be the thing you need to get the energy you need to get through your day. I've heard of some people taking it before a workout to get a bit of an energy jolt (perhaps that is why they sell it at the gym?).

My Recommendation: Give it a try! What do you have to lose?


Disclaimer stuff: I was provided two bottles of 5-Hour Energy through Smiley360. 
5-hour ENERGY® is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and/or ailments and does not enhance performance. Stating otherwise is considered to be a false claim. Do not post any false claims stating that this product did, or is intended to, cure any disease and/or ailments and does not enhance performance.Important Note:
  • 5-hour ENERGY® is not to be consumed before going to the club/bar
  • 5-hour ENERGY® is not recommended for use with alcohol
  • 5-hour ENERGY® is not for children

Visit the 5-hour ENERGY® website here for more information and read the FAQs here
For questions or comments regarding 5-hour ENERGY® products call 1-888-960-9495

August 08, 2012

Semi Wordless Wednesday: Valleyfair

If there is one thing I couldn't wait for when I became a mom, it was to bring my boy to Valleyfair. For those of you who are not familiar, Valleyfair is a theme park. Six Flags calibur. Roller coaster awesomeness. I have been going to Valleyfair since I was about 5 years old. This moment... bringing my son here... I have no words for how excited I was. When our friends invited us to join them for the day, we jumped at the chance. It was also a chance to do some Disney training. Just 17 days to go!

It was an awesome day and I won't forget his face at seeing all the roller coasters and even his fear of some of the kiddie rides. He was so brave and so well behaved all day. We were so proud.

Jack and Mason and Facepainting

Daddy & Jack driving the antique cars. A Valleyfair must. 

Jack's first ride by himself. I was terrified. 

Watching the Peanuts show. They weren't too sure what the hell was going on. 

Mason & Jack with Snoopy

His smile didn't last long. 

Modern Day Ball Crawl

My beautiful family. 


 
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