Disney World 2019

Is there anything worse than being forced to sit and look at other people having fun in their endless stream of vacation photos? Probably, but the joy of blogging means you aren’t sitting in front of a slide projector, and you can scroll on by if you like. 😉

Disney was a bunch of fun. I think I may have overestimated my family’s stamina for walking around theme parks — six days was a stretch, and Tim bowed out on day 6 so he’d have energy for travel the next day. That said, I was totally into it and would have done more if I could.

The kids met new characters, started pin collections, and we rode a lot of new rides. I particularly enjoyed the roller coasters, and the kids particularly did not enjoy the roller coasters (although they get points for bravery). This year they were also old enough to ride things alone, which meant I didn’t have to subject myself to motion sickness from multiple rounds on the teacups. Win!

We tried a couple of evenings at the parks, which had mixed results. I wanted to see some of the nighttime events (fireworks, light shows, etc.) but the parks are much more crowded in the evening, and it’s harder to see while you’re walking around. It was also about twenty degrees cooler than it was during last year’s trip, so when temps dipped into the 40s at night, we weren’t really prepared. Apparently we are morning people!

The kids loved the heated pool at our villa, and the cooler weather didn’t deter them one bit. Gwen taught herself to swim — underwater and everything — and Ellie gained more confidence in the water. I tried the pool a couple times, but much preferred the spa in our bedroom.

All in all, it was a successful trip, and we’re already figuring out the budget for next year. For now, I hibernate until my next adventure.

Aside

Ungrateful kids

Ellie, commenting on my ahem swift enjoyment of a Mickey bar: “Wow, Mama, you’re almost done already?!?”

Gwen, without missing a beat and with no trace of irony: “It’s her big mouth.”

Ten.

There are moments in parenthood that defy words to describe them, and this must be one of those times, because all I have are the same three words:

Ellie, you’re ten.

See? It’s not enough to convey the gravity of this day. Ten is a decade. Ten years is roughly a third of my life. I thought time was linear, but now I know it’s a thousand tiny loops and whorls of living and remembering and living and remembering.

I remember when you were born; the memories are vivid in places, dull in others. Sometimes it feels like I went into labor yesterday, and today I’m sending you off to fourth grade.

I remember when you turned five, my proud kindergartener marching off to school; that was last year, right? You’re closer to college than you are to babyhood. When did that happen?

The other day you told me, “I’m a pre-teen now, Mama.”

Me, not fully awake. “Uh, no…not quite..”

“Yes, I am. Ten is double digits, but not a teenager, so that makes me a pre-teen.”

Well, when you put it that way…double digits it is. I am the mother of a pre-teen.

You are so big. When I hug you, it’s like I’m hugging a shorter-than-average adult. When you were tiny, I worried I’d break you; I couldn’t snuggle you without fearing I’d hurt you, couldn’t wrap my arms around you and give you a big bear squeeze, but now you’re solid. You take up space. You stand on your own.

You are *you*, and I can’t take credit for any of it, save for the clothes on your back and the food in your stomach (and maybe the constant singing–I’ll take credit for that). We made you out of a couple of wandering cells, and now we get to stand back and watch you become.

Yesterday you were a baby, today you are ten, and tomorrow I will have to literally look up to talk to you. That’s how fast the time flies.

Keep flying, Ellie. The ride is wild, but I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Real baby cat

Gwen has been asking us for a kitten since she was five — really, since Nala passed away. At some point she latched onto the idea of a new pet and has not let go. I encouraged her to help us take care of the pets we have, and she has, but feeding and watering our elder cats is not the same. They don’t play, and they’re pretty firmly attached to the grownups.

A few weeks ago, Gwen gave us her Christmas wishlist:

IMG_5994

It’s obvious she was hanging her hopes on Santa to make her kitten-loving dreams come true.

So maybe it was the giving spirit at work, or maybe Gwen just wore us down, but on Tuesday we picked up this four-month-old fluffball from the humane society.

Meet Ginger:

Someone *really* wants to play with Stitch, but Stitch is less than interested in playing (although there’s no outright hostility). It’s cuddles with the big guy instead. Tim is Her Person.

So far, she’s pretty mellow for a kitten. She loves to snuggle, and she has the loudest purr I’ve ever heard. Her inner ear floofs are On Point and curl around her ears like fluffy halos.

So far so good.

We’re letting her adjust to the rest of the house and its inhabitants slowly. She really wants to be friends with the older cats, and they’re what I would call ambivalently tolerant — so basically, they’re cats.

The next challenge will be introducing her to the dog, but we’re waiting until she’s a bit more confident in her surroundings to do that.

And Gwen? She’s over the moon about her real baby cat. Christmas wish: granted.

Real baby cat.