December 31, 2011

Six Years Down...Fifty Four To Go

Six years ago I told my best friend I'd be with him forever...actually I specifically never used the word forever because I'm a commitment-phobe and the idea of forever gave me palpitations. Forever was of course implied in the vows but I very specifically told my now husband beforehand that I could only promise 60 years and we'll do sort of a year-to-year lease option after that. 

Somehow what I had intended to be a slightly sappy, cute little post about my husband and our anniversary has gone badly off course. So, I guess I'll just make it short and sweet...

Joshua understands my fears, my failures, my weaknesses and loves me anyway. He says the sarcastic things I think but does it so masterfully that the people it's directed towards, love him that much more for it. He's the best father any kid could have. He takes care of me when I'm sick and doesn't hold it against me that I tell him to suck it up when he's sick. He comes across as the mean one and lets me be the nice one (shh, it's a secret...he's a marshmallow-I'm the mean one). He lets me hold the remote. He shares my ridiculous obsession with all things Disney and graciously cooperates when I'm constantly saying that I want to stop and take a picture...over and over when most of the time he'd rather be doing just about anything in that moment other than smiling and pinning the children in their places while I click away. He supports my decision to stay home and would equally support me if I chose to go back to work. He cuddles up with me and watches chick flicks without complaint (even the ones he's not secretly excited about too).

He's my best friend and I miss him. 

Ok. Sappy moment over.

December 28, 2011

Post-Christmas Wrap Up

This is the obligatory recount of the Christmas highlights. We went up to my mom and step-dad's house for a long weekend. Did some shopping. Got to see my step-brothers...always fun. Opened some presents. Ate some good food. Kids caught Grandma's winter crud. 

Christmas Eve

Christmas morning-the boy is helping his sister open her new toys and stuff

The boy got a camera of his's a Fisher Price and it takes really amazing video but the still picture quality is lacking (to say the least)

We're home again and I think the boy is on the upswing of the winter crud...I believe this because he invaded MY Christmas box of chocolates while I was out of the kitchen. 

His mug shot.

December 21, 2011

Abandoned by Technology

This deployment has brought with it a technological curse. Since Joshua left in February, here's a list of the things which have either become possessed or straight up died on no particular order...

Waffle Maker
Laptop-only briefly until the Laptop Dr could fix it-Thank God!
Breast Pump
Cell phone-actually 2 cell phones, 3 different times
Washing Machine
Battery in my truck
Fuse Box-for the house...meaning no power to two rooms until it was fixed
Address Book-file on computer
DVD player in the truck-on the drive back from Florida
Laptop Cooling Thing-not the internal fan but the thing it sits on and has a fan that is powered by the laptop via USB (made a funny/slightly terrifying smell when it died)
iPod Shuffle

And most in yesterday, my printer.

I'm not sure if that's an excessive amount, given that it's been 10 months and I'm sure most, if not all of these mini-disasters would have happened anyway but I married Joshua for two big reasons (other than the whole I love him and want to spend my life with him thing)...
A-he's know, so he can reach things that I can't and I can breed height back into my gene pool
B-he can fix just about anything...sure, I know how to fix a flat tire and if I absolutely had to, I could even change my own oil...probably...but that's just it, I married Joshua so I would never have to do anything remotely resembling mechanical/electrical work. 

So, I'm counting the days and praying nothing else breaks between now and when Joshua comes home because at this point, I'll most likely leave anything that abandons me for him to fix.

December 19, 2011

Disney World with Infants/Small Children Part 2

As always, if you're planning your first trip to Disney World and are bit overwhelmed, check out our post for Starting to Plan your Disney World Vacation...we break down everything for you!

Also, check out Disney World with Infants/Small Children Part 1 for information about Disney World's Baby Care Centers, Disney's Rider Swap option for rides that are too big for the little ones, all your stroller options and helpful information explaining the Single Rider Lines.

In this post we're going to cover...

Infant Car Seat Carriers
Stroller Bassinets
Wraps/Baby Carriers
Restaurant Tips
Weather Concerns
Harmony Barber Shop

Most people would agree that strollers are a MUST at Disney World for the littlest guests but strollers are really just one part of the equation. Many of the attractions will allow your little matter how little so the question becomes...wake the sleeping baby from the stroller or find another solution. If you still are able to use an infant car seat carrier, it's a great option...especially if you have a travel system stroller and it just snaps into the stroller frame or toddler seat. An even better option is if your stroller has a bassinet that attaches and detaches from the stroller. Both are great options especially at restaurants BUT, you should know that there are some attractions which will allow the baby but not in an infant carrier or bassinet. They will, however, allow you to "wear" your baby onto the attraction in either a wrap or snugli style baby carrier (not to be confused with the infant car seat carrier).
(wrap style)

(snugli style)

Many moms prefer the sling style carrier (often used for newborns) but unfortunately, there are less attractions which will allow a sling-only style carrier because several require that you either hold the baby or the baby be upright and facing out. The reasons for the various touring options are as many as the attractions themselves...some for instance, require you to sit with a bar down (Peter Pan) which would make it all but impossible to have the baby in any other way but upright and facing out. Other factors like the size of the seating in attractions like Dumbo make it impossible to bring an infant car seat carrier onto the ride.

At the bottom of this post, you'll find a list all of the rides which will allow you to take baby on and in what manner Disney will allow it.

Another big concern for parents can be restaurants. If you're going to a sit down table service meal, be sure to mention the baby when you call to make your reservation and whether or not the baby will be in a high chair. If you're planning on using an infant car seat carrier, a few of the restaurants have the slings which are designed to hold infant car seats but if they don't, the high chairs they have are designed to be flipped upside down and have straps to attach the car seat to the high chair frame. If your baby isn't in an infant carrier but falls asleep in the stroller before your meal, just mention it to the hostess and they'll usually make an exception to allow you to bring your stroller in and place it next to the table if at all possible. Almost all of the counter service restaurants (check out the Disney Dining Plan to read more about the differences between counter service and table service restaurants at Disney World) will allow you to bring your stroller into the restaurant.

One of the biggest issues you'll face with an infant or small child is the weather. will give you a good idea of what to expect...both a 10 day forecast and an annual average so that you can tentatively plan ahead. One must-have in the summertime is a stroller fan. They can attach to just about any stroller, car seat or bassinet and can keep baby much cooler. Of course, if you forget your stroller fan, Disney sells a Mickey Mouse version that offers pretty decent air flow although the battery life could be better. If you go in the hottest part of summer, however, even the best fan won't do much more than blow hot air so a misting fan may be a better option. 

Just fyi: we tried the cooling pads you can buy at Walgreens and don't recommend them.

(photo: ...we have the same exact fan but it's December so ours is packed away in a summer box in the back of my son's closet)

Most people assume sun is an issue when you go to Florida (sun shades for strollers are a great option if your stroller doesn't have much of one already) but rain is often overlooked especially if you bring your own stroller. Bring a rain cover unless you're going to rent a stroller from an outside company which will allow you to also rent a rain cover. If you forget, Disney DOES NOT sell or rent stroller covers. They do, however, sell ponchos and you can always buy an adult poncho and make it work with your stroller.

Also, if you have a little one who's not quite a baby anymore but not yet a big kid, Disney has a kiddie coaster in Magic Kingdom called the Great Goofini. It has a height requirement of only 35 inches and many children can ride it as young as two. Speaking of can be a disappointing age...sure, it's free to take them at two but they are too young for the full experience at Pirate's League or Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique. They can, however, still have a magical experience. Bring costumes from home. Give them their own Princess or Pirate makeover while older siblings get the Disney experience. 

Or, take them to the Harmony Barber Shop (advance reservations recommended!!!) and let them get their first hair cut or just colored hair gel and confetti (no age limit and a fairly inexpensive extra you could easily add).


Below is a list of the Disney attractions which will allow babies and/or small chrildren:

Magic Kingdom:

In any form outside of the stroller...held in arms, car seat carrier, bassinet, wrap or snugli carrier:
Enchanted Tiki Room
Carousel of Progress
Monster's Inc Laugh Floor

Wrap, snugli carrier or held in arms:
Jungle Cruise
Hall of Presidents
Mickey's PhilharMagic
Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Pirates of the Caribbean
Haunted Mansion (wrap/carrier-upright and facing out or held)
It's A Small World
Mad Tea Party (although I wouldn't recommend it for the smallest of babies)
Snow White's Scary Adventure
Peter Pan's Flight (wrap/carrier-upright and facing out or held)
Prince Charming Carousel
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin (wrap/carrier-upright and facing out or held)

Unknown (sorry, I don't know all the attraction regulations):
Walt Disney World Railroad (strollers are not allowed)
Swiss Family Tree House (strollers are not allowed)
Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Astro Orbiter (although it's very similar to Dumbo so I would assume the same rules apply)
Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover
Country Bear Jamboree

Keep in mind that strollers are welcome inside Innoventions East and West as well as all of the various country pavilion shops of World Showcase. Italy, Germany, Japan and the UK pavilions don't have specific attractions which wouldn't allow a stroller. 

In any form outside of the stroller...held in arms, car seat carrier, bassinet, wrap or snugli carrier:
Turtle Talk with Crush
China, America, Morocco, France, and Canada pavilions have movie presentations which give you a brief but fascinating look into each country's history as well as what modern life there is like.

Wrap, snugli carrier or held in arms:
Journey in Imagination with Figment
Spaceship Earth
Finding Nemo Ride (upright and facing out...brings you into The Seas Pavilion)
Living with the Land
The Circle of Life
Universe of Energy (just a warning, the show lasts 45 minutes)
Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros-Mexican Pavilion attraction-boat ride
Maelstorm-Norway Pavilion attraction-boat ride

Captain EO

Hollywood Studios:

In any form outside of the stroller...held in arms, car seat carrier, bassinet, wrap or snugli carrier:
Beauty and the Beast
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
Lights Motors Action Extreme Stunt Show

Wrap, snugli carrier or held in arms:
The Great Movie Ride
Backlot Tour
Muppet Vision 3D
Toy Story Midway Mania

American Idol Experience (although I would assume you could bring the baby inside in any form)
Sounds Dangerous
Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Animal Kingdom:
Keep in mind that the Pagini Forest Exploration Trail and the Maharajah Jungle Trek allow you to take your stroller with you.

In any form outside of the stroller...held in arms, car seat carrier, bassinet, wrap or snugli carrier:
Festival of the Lion King
Flights of Wonder
Finding Nemo The Musical

Wrap, snugli carrier or held in arms:
It's Tough to Be a Bug
Kilimanjaro Safari (wrap/carrier-upright and facing out or held)

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask. I may not know the answer but I usually know how to find out.

December 16, 2011

No More Grinch

I've been in a funk lately and try as I might, I couldn't shake it. I couldn't will myself out of it. Which, for me, is very humbling because I see it as a weakness. It wasn't depression in the most dramatic sense, it was heart ache at the season and all that we're missing compounded with well-intended, ignorant people. The kind of people who think the song I'll Be Home For Christmas is a sweet song that should cheer me up...for the record, it's not sweet. It's more like soul-crushing.
But, then a friend emailed me (thanks again) and shared with me what helped her through her fiance's recent deployment. It wasn't the kind of email that gave me a three step solution to my problem or told me what I should be doing. It was just her experience and her recognition of how hard it can be during the holidays. I guess, in a sense, it reminded me that I'm not the only one doing this. It's been done since the beginning of time and the first war began.
Don't get me wrong, my funk wasn't a pity-party where I thought I was the only one having to deal with a difficult situation. It was just pain. It's so easy to get caught up in pain and isolation and allow it to pull you down even more, which in the end, just causes more pain and more isolation.
So, I'm going to try harder to remember that it's almost over, I'm not alone and maybe I'll manage to be a little less Grinch-y. In fact, we're going to a holiday parade this evening and after we'll probably drive around looking at lights. In fact, it could be fun to come up with ideas of what I want Joshua to do with our lights next year...because we will be going BIG next year with our lights.

December 15, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes

A commercial came on (which is a rare event in our house-usually the boy is only allowed to watch movies or dvr'd TV and I never have time to watch TV live) and the boy's reaction took me by surprise. He was watching Beauty and The Beast live on the Disney Channel. The commercial was for the Joining Forces Campaign with the first lady and a couple Disney stars-I have no idea who they are...some teeny bopper boy band or Hannah Montana actors-is that even still on?-I'm not sure but thankfully we're not at that stage yet so I don't have to know such things. 
I tried to find a youtube clip of the commercial so you could see it but I couldn't find it. Most of the commercial was the two young Disney stars talking about what it's like to grow up in a military family...the good and some of the bad. Mrs. Obama then made her plea to go to the White House's Joining Forces website
Anyway, the boy was glued to the TV and I could see the wheels turning so when the commercial ended, I paused the TV and waited for him to say whatever it was that he needed to say.
Boy: "I don't like that."
Me: "Ok...what don't you like?"
Boy: "Their Daddy was gone."
Me: "Yes. Their Daddy was a soldier like your Daddy. They're a military family and sometimes military families like us have to be away from each other."
Boy: "I don't want to do that anymore."
Me: "Me neither little man. What would make you feel better?"
Boy: "Popcorn chicken."
Me: "That I can do." 
So that's what we did. Sometimes I think I forget how hard this is on the boy because he's handled it so well. It's easy to mistake his ability to deal with the deployment as him being ok with the deployment. Other times I think I delude myself into believing he doesn't understand it when I know even without days like today that he understands it better than I do sometimes. He knew what would make him feel better and he let it work. We had popcorn chicken and now, he's scaring off an imaginary dinosaur from attacking his sister. 

December 14, 2011

I Surrender

I'm waving the white least for the rest of this month. Deployment has won. There's just too many holidays...too many reminders of how much it sucks to be apart.

Hanukkah starts in less than a week.
Joshua's birthday is the 22nd.
Christmas (yes, we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas) at my family's house.
New Year's Eve...which happens to also be our anniversary (looking back, we really didn't think that one through).

Any other year, it's much to do in such a short amount of time but it's fun. It's so full of family time and love and joy.

This year, it's so hard to not be a Grinch. Just ask our local post office employee...I don't know his name but by now he's come to know us fairly well with all the times we've gone in to send Joshua boxes. The last time I went in, he congratulated me and asked if I was excited. I was confused and then he went on to say that I must be excited because my husband is coming home soon. I started to respond that it's still a few months away (nothing more specific than that per OPSEC and the fact that we don't even know much more than that) but yeah, it's getting closer when he cut me off to inform me that ALL the troops would be home by the end of the year. He heard it on the news.

And then it clicked.

This man, who knows my husband is in Afghanistan...who moments before had stamped the customs paperwork for the box I was sending to Afghanistan was excited because troops are leaving Iraq. He didn't understand that there are two wars. Two battlefields. Two. All he knew was the news reported troops coming home.

My first reaction was nausea at the heart wrenching reminder that we still have months to go. My second was a feeling of being totally and completely alone. Granted, we have our friends, family and the military community but outside of that, it often feels like no one cares. Finally, I was angry that this man and so many others like him live their lives blissfully ignorant. 

I'm proud to say that I kept my composure. I didn't throw up, cry or yell at him. I just curtly replied that the troops in Iraq will be home shortly but the troops in Afghanistan continue to fight. In the end, that's all that really matters. My husband is still in Afghanistan so this year, we'll celebrate Hanukkah, his birthday, Christmas, New Year's and our anniversary without him. It's going to be eleven days that suck. I'm proud of my husband and what he's doing. I know I can't make him come home earlier but I really hope January 2nd gets here fast so at least we'll be done with the holidays.

December 12, 2011

Disney World - Fireworks

Three of the four main theme parks have nighttime fireworks/light shows. Animal Kingdom does not do fireworks or light shows and often is the first park to close...sometimes as early as 5pm depending on what time of year (a big reason I always recommend park hopper can spend all day in Animal Kingdom and then hop over to any of the other parks for dinner and fireworks. Magic Kingdom and Epcot's shows are nightly but the Hollywood Studios show is only held two or three nights a week based on park hours so be sure to look up the show times before you go. WDW Entertainment is a great place to look up show times for an upcoming trip.

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom's fireworks show is called Wishes and has been the fireworks show for Magic Kingdom since 2003. Before Wishes, Magic Kingdom had a show called Fantasy in the Sky which was preformed nightly for almost 30 years. There are certain times of the year such as the 4th of July and New Years when an extended version (more fireworks) are preformed. Also, Disney has a few specific nights leading up to both Halloween and Christmas when a totally different show will be preformed. Both the Halloween and Christmas shows are part of what Disney calls "hard-ticketed" events...meaning that entrance to the park starting usually at 7pm and going until midnight requires a separate special ticket to either the Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. 

But, the vast majority of the year, Magic Kingdom is home to Wishes. The show lasts for 12 minutes (although we've always thought it felt much longer because it's so spectacular). Narrated by Jiminy Cricket and with the help of classic Disney songs and character voices, Wishes isn't just's fireworks, lights, and music coming together to tell the story of wishes coming true. 

Check the times guide when you first enter the park but more often than not, Wishes starts at 9pm...which means you should be wherever you plan to watch it by 8:30pm if not earlier. We always like to sit in front of the Castle by the statue of Mickey and Walt so we can see (SPOILER ALERT) Tinker Bell fly down from the Castle. Wherever you are in the park, you'll be able to hear the Wishes music and probably see at least some of the fireworks. One year, Joshua and I happened to be riding Big Thunder Railroad (my favorite ride) when Wishes began. Another year, we were taking the boy on Dumbo when it started.

Little known facts:

*Has 557 fireworks firing cues and 655 individual pieces of pyrotechnics
*Uses 15 songs from 10 different Disney movies
*Used the same fireworks designer, Eric Tucker and the same show director, Steven Davison as Epcot's IllumiNations: A Reflection of Earth
*Features the voices of...Jiminy Cricket, Snow White and the Evil Queen, Aladdin and the Genie, Cinderella, Ariel, and Peter Pan

(from behind the Castle...after Wishes began while we were on Dumbo)


Epcot doesn't just have a fireworks show. Epcot has an LED, laser light and fireworks show that is absolutely amazing call IllumiNations: A Reflection of Earth. IllumiNations is a 13 minute show that starts with fireworks and a grand explosion over the lagoon...the smoke from which is used to help illuminate the laser lights which shoot out from all of the country pavilions that surround the lagoon. Slowly a giant globe of LED lights floats out into the center of the lagoon and lights up to show video images from around the world. IllumiNations also usually starts at 9pm so be sure to find your spot by 8:30pm...earlier if it's a particularly busy day in the park. We prefer the little bridge in front of the Italian pavilion but since that area is frequently used for private events (wedding receptions and the like), we also really enjoy the walkway between the UK and French pavilions but we don't mind waiting for the crowds to thin out before we leave. If you're wanting to get to your car or the buses as soon as possible after the show, be sure to be on the other side of the lagoon...closer to the Canadian or Mexican pavilions.

Little known facts:

*Uses the world's first spherical video display system covered in 15,000 LED lights
*Uses laser lights and per FAA regulations, Disney is required to notify the Orlando International Airport every night prior to the show so that air traffic controllers can advice and direct airplanes accordingly
*Has 67 different computers in 40 different locations controlling the show

(photo: Walt Disney Company)

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios doesn't just do a fireworks or light does a nightly 25 minute extravaganza called Fantasmic. The show takes place inside the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater...just go towards the Tower of Terror and the entrance will be on your right. During busier times of year, Fantasmic will have two showings in one night. The second showing is almost always less busy. The ampitheater holds 6,500 sitting guests and up to 2,500 standing guests. We have gone at the slowest, least crowded times of year and still have yet to see a Fantasmic show where they didn't run out of sitting room. Arriving 30 minutes early is a necessity...45-60 minutes early would be better if you want the closest seats.

The show starts out with Mickey falling asleep. His dream starts out filled with animated fountains and wonderfully magical moments including three huge "water screens." Disney projects video clips on the water screens that correspond with the story and music. The show takes a dark turn when villains invade Mickey's dream including a giant snake, the evil queen and a black dragon. It can be frightening for small children but if they stick with it, Mickey triumphs over evil.

There really isn't a bad seat in the house but if you don't want to risk having to stand and don't want to arrive early to the show, consider purchasing the Fantasmic Dinner includes dinner at either Mama Melrose ($32.99 adults/11.99 children) or at Hollywood & Vine ($26.99 adults/$13.99 children) and reserved seating at Fantasmic. Also if you're on the Disney Dining Plan, you can use dining credits for the package at no extra charge.

Little known facts:

*Is held on an island stage with a 59 foot man made mountain surrounded by a moat that holds 1.9 million gallons of water
*Has a fire breathing dragon which rises 50 feet into the air and has a 50 foot wing span
*Originated in Disneyland and although the shows are very similar, there are a few differences including incorporating scenes from The Lion King, Pocahontas, Hercules and Mulan

(photo: Disneyworld.disney.go)


December 10, 2011


I don't like to blog on the weekend but this weekend I'm dealing with two sick kids alone and I've missed yet another phone call from Joshua because my phone isn't working properly...again. It's a replacement phone. The same exact model as the first...Samsung Instinct. DO NOT BUY THE SAMSUNG INSTINCT. 
Long story short, I desperately want to upgrade and although Sprint, for years, has allowed the primary user to upgrade annually instead of every other year, this year, it ended. Actually, the program doesn't officially end until the end of this month and I should have been able to upgrade my phone 3 days ago but somehow in Sprint world...not ending the program doesn't mean you can actually still get the program benefits...figure that one out. I tried calling account services, they told me I have to wait until October for the upgrade credit or I could cancel our account and go elsewhere...great customer retention program. I even asked Joshua to call because let's face it, sometimes a man's voice will get more respect and a better response than a woman's. Instead, they were straight rude to him. 
He was calling from Afghanistan and they were rude to him. It boggles my mind.
So now, we're trying to get an exact amount of what it would cost to cancel and go elsewhere since that seems to be what they want from us...surprising since we've had service in good standing with Sprint for nearly 8 years. 
Basically what I'm anyone that will that if you're just starting out and want a cell phone...AVOID SPRINT. GO ANYWHERE ELSE. The unlimited data plans, the coverage, none of it matters if the phone you're using is a piece of crap and you miss calls left and right.

December 7, 2011

Lying Kills

The times in my life when I've been most hurt (outside of miscarriages) have been direct results of a lie. Sometimes, I'm ashamed to admit, even lies of my own. It's changed me. It's changed how I view lying and the kind of friend, daughter, sister, and wife I am. I've always considered myself at least reasonably non-judgmental...mostly because I've done so much wrong in my own life that to judge others for their failures would be the very definition of hypocrisy. That said, I cannot stand by and say or at least feel nothing when I know someone is lying. Not just leaving out part of a story but straight up, pants on fire lying. It just gets under my skin and reminds me of all the times a lie has hurt me. I recently lost a, she didn't die. We disagreed on a fairly inconsequential issue. She took offense at my position and lashed out. When I tried to discuss it, she lied and claimed her attack (for lack of a better word) was directed at someone else. I won't go into all the details because it doesn't matter but I know for a fact that she lied to me. She wouldn't own her words and now I grieve the friendship we could have had. 

December 5, 2011

Disney World's Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique

I cannot wait for my daughter to be three years old and the Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique is a big reason why. So far, we have not yet had the pleasure of seeing the Fairy Godmothers transform little girls into the beautiful Princesses that they truly are but we have several family and friends who have done it. If you have a little girl who tends to be on the shy side, you may want to go with The Pirate's League instead because she can get a Pirate Empress makeover and it might be a little less overwhelming. My cousin's daughter has done the BBB twice now. The first time she was five and enjoyed it but all the attention was a bit much for her at the time. She went back this year at seven years old and LOVED it. Disney World has introduced a Knight Package to the BBB options but it is still primarily the "girl" spot.

Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique

WHERE: There are two locations. The "must-have" location is INSIDE CINDERELLA'S CASTLE in Magic Kingdom...yup, inside the castle. To say this location is popular would be a massive understatement. Reservations are taken up to 180 days in advance by calling 407-WDW-STYL and I would highly recommend calling 180 days in advance if you know it's something your princess will want to do. The second location is at Downtown Disney and although reservations are also recommended for this location, if you're already in the parks and/or you decide last minute that your princess wants a make-over, the Downtown location is more likely to have an opening. 

WHO: Children 3-12yrs

PACKAGE DETAILS: Each of the princess packages includes make up and hair styling...

*3 hair styles to chose from:

(not my picture...Disney promo pic)
Fairytale Princess-hair is swooped up into a bun with a rhinestone tiara, crystal hairpin and fairy dust/confetti glitter

(not my picture...Disney promo pic))
Disney Diva-clip in hair extensions that match your princess's own hair color with regal clips and fairy dust/confetti glitter (this style does not come with a tiara but many girls opt to add one one for an additional fee-you can also bring your own tiara from home if there's a specific one your princess likes or you want to save some money)

(not my pic)
Pop Princess-clip in hair extensions that are brightly colored with big bright hair clips and fairy dust/confetti glitter

Coach Package: Hair styling, princess sash and shimmering makeup $54.95+tax

update: Disney is now offering a Merida makeover which is essentially the Coach package with a curly red wig substituted for the up-do hair styling...but keep in mind, if it's hot out, the wig will only make the heat more intense

Crown Package: Hair styling, sash, makeup, princess sash and nail polish $59.95+tax

Courtyard Package: Exclusive Courtyard Package hair styling,  makeup, nail polish, princess sash and face gems $89.95+tax

Castle Package: Hair styling, sash, makeup, nail polish, an imaging packing which includes one 6" x 8" and four 4" x 6" photos in a princess themed photo holder, and a complete costume with dress, shoes, crown and wand...current costume options: Ariel-mermaid, Ariel-bridal gown, Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora, Belle, Jasmine, Tiana, Tinkerbell, and Rapunzel...$189.95-$239.95+tax (prices vary based on costume of choice)

Knight Package: If you don't want to leave your little boy out, the BBB offers this package which includes crazy colored gel either in a stenciled design or just spiked on top with confetti, a sword and shield $14.95+tax  
*If your prince wants the cool hair style but doesn't care about the sword and shield, call 407-WDW-7529 also to book a reservation at the Harmony Barber Shop. It's only $7+tax and the shop is located on Main Street next to the fire station. Harmony Barber Shop will take walk ins and it's usually not too hard to get in but without a reservation, you will have to wait because it is a popular place for baby's first hair cuts.
(our son at the Harmony Barber Shop...also a great option if you have a 2 yr old who can't do either the Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique or The Pirate's League)

(Miss A wasn't so sure she wanted to do BBB this we started at Harmony Barber Shop but ended up doing the BBB at Downtown Disney...both were BIG hits)


*Don't forget about The Pirate's League...lots of princesses prefer to be a pirate and it's a great option if you can't afford the BBB or you have a boy who wants the whole experience
*Coach and crown packages will take about 30-45 minutes, castle packages are more like 60-75 minutes start to finish
*Disney asks that you arrive 15-30 minutes early for your appointment
*Be sure to bring your own brush or comb for the fairy godmothers to use-it's required although like everything at Disney, you can always buy a new one
*If your princess is going to have her nails done, be sure to arrive without any polish already on 
*Hair must be free of gels, oils, hair spray and be clean
*Scalp must be free of issues like lice for at least 30 days
*Fairy Godmothers are not permitted to accept tips but if you have a particularly excellant experience, be sure to fill out a comment card located near the register
*There are almost always photopass photographers available at the BBB so if you don't want to do the optional photo package but have a photopass card and plan to buy the cd, be sure to have them capture a few shots for you
*Decide BEFORE you go what you plan to do about a costume. Many people opt to bring their own as it can be significantly cheaper (even if you buy one at a Disney Store in your home town compared to at the BBB) but if you don't have the room in your luggage or just don't care to bring one, either buy one there or be sure to prepare your princess because we've seen parents who didn't think their daughter would want a dress end up spending hundreds of dollars they didn't expect to spend because their little girl got caught up in the moment (and so did they).

December 2, 2011


The last few days I've been feeling a little down when it comes to the whole body image thing. I've had two kids after all but really I've never had a great body image. Reason #86 why deployment sucks-Joshua's not home to tell me I'm pretty in or over the phone just isn't the same. So I thought about changing my go-to response especially because I prefer myself blond and Joshua prefers me brunette (I don't get it). I'm constantly going back and forth. I'll probably be brunette by the end of the weekend but in the meantime, I decided I wanted a pretty picture of myself that wasn't the typical "mom" picture that I always have. So I got the camera was fun (thank God for naptime). Not sure it will ever be my facebook profile pic because it's a little more scandalous than I had intended but Joshua likes it and it made me feel pretty so I'm good with it.