Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Why Pride Matters

This past weekend my little tribe attended our 3rd Pride festival as a family. We were joined by Gracie’s Guncles and ran into tons of our LGBT friends and their kiddos that we haven’t seen in years. It was definitely one of those Prides where everyone came out to join in the fun and I think the gorgeous weather had a lot to do with that (even though it ended up raining a bit). I just love years when it feels like the entire community shows up.

The Pride Parade and festivities at the local State Fairgrounds in New Mexico are super kid friendly. There’s a “Kids Zone” that Grace absolutely loves to play in every year! There’s a family friendly parade, face painting, jumpers, children’s music and vendors who cater to parents out shopping for their kiddos. The park is basically crawling with strollers, wagons and kids most of the afternoon and it’s so much fun. Now don’t get me wrong, there are events for adults only but those come in the evenings after all the kiddos have been taken home. There’s a pool party for the grownups that is basically clothing optional… yikes, lol.. and several other adult events that take place separate from the main events at the fairgrounds. To give you an idea of how things are set up, you have to have a bracelet if you want a beer and you have to drink said beer in a fenced off portion of the grounds where alcohol cannot be taken in or out of, no kids allowed. The reason I mention this is that it became clear to me this past weekend that some of my fellow heterosexual parents have a distorted view of what Pride is all about and what goes on at this annual event.    

I posted the following picture on Saturday of my beautiful wife and daughter watching the parade with the following caption: “We just may be the most Prideful family there ever was. Grace knows she has two moms and happily tells anyone who will listen. Still, it’s important to us that she knows she comes from an amazing community. A community of people who live their lives with authenticity, regardless of the circumstance. Today we celebrate the LGBT community. We rule!” This post was met with 120+ “likes” and lots of loving and supportive comments from friends and family, many of which have attended Pride events with us over the years.

But not all were supportive.
One in particular was quite judgmental and caught me completely off guard.

It came from a family member who has always appeared to be supportive of my family and Georgia and I, as parents. This person has since deleted his comment (I’ll explain why he did in a bit) but he said something along the lines of, Pride is not an appropriate environment for children and he would NEVER take his kids to Pride. He went on to compare NM Pride to San Francisco Pride explaining that it is overly sexual in nature and not a suitable environment for children.

He responded further defending his views while throwing in the ever so annoying, “no offense but” remark and I just left it there. I could have become super defensive making it clear that I do take offense to someone saying they would never take their kids to a event that I just clearly made the conscious decision to take my kid to, but I just let it go.

My LGBT friends however, did not…

They quickly came to our defense and the conversations that followed resulted in this person apologizing to us and deleting his comment. It felt like a small victory but more than that, it made me happy to know that anyone following the conversation, some of whom may share in this persons views, were educated about what Pride is really all about and why it’s so important to LGBT families that it exists.

There are definitely things that happen at Pride that are not necessarily kid-friendly and I would never want to change that.  That is what makes it Pride, the freedom to express and celebrate your individuality in whatever way you choose.  But it’s also important to share that as the gay community becomes more family-oriented, we are aware of this and we take our parental responsibilities very seriously which is exactly why the Pride events of today include safe-spaces where we can attend with our children and be prideful but also ensure that we are doing our jobs as parents.

In the end, you can’t protect your children from everything they might encounter in the world and you shouldn’t feel you need to. Why not instead take the mindset that in those small instances or encounters like, oh I don’t know, seeing a man in a dress, we use them as teaching moments.  The tradeoff of teaching them about diversity, open-mindedness and to be proud of their family definitely outweighs the small chance that they might see something that requires an explanation.

Pride was born of the courageous actions taken by the gay community following the 1969 Stonewall Riots, when gays rose up and fought back against police brutality in New York. Since that time, Pride events, which are celebrated the entire month of June, have spread to cities both large and small all over the world. It is a celebration of love, acceptance, inclusion, diversity and fair treatment of all families.

We refuse to forget the people who came before us and fought for the equality that many of us enjoy today. This fight has cost LGBT activists their families, their jobs and for some, their lives. So every June it is our responsibility to gather and show our support for the community and for each other because there is still so much work to be done. It’s important that we show our children that there are other families that look just like theirs and that we all have a place in this world.

Happy Pride, friends. :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Lifting us up

This is such an amazing community and I’m so thankful to be a part of it. I wanted to take some time to thank you all for the supportive and encouraging comments you left for us following my last post. The calls I’ve received, the emails and the FB messages have made life just a little bit easier. It’s been a week since this leg of our journey came to an end and things are still tough. I think they’re going to be tough for a while and I think that’s just to be expected. It’s like, first you go through this devastation of learning that the dream you had in your heart isn’t going to happen and then, in the days that follow, everything sinks in and you feel covered in sadness. There are pictures I’ve saved over the years as inspiration for things like maternity photos that are now deleted. Old wish bones I’ve held on to from past Thanksgivings, candles saved from birthday wishes and other lucky charms are now tucked away. Still I’m left with reminders everywhere of the plans we had for me to add a little one to our family, and it’s just so sad. There really is no other way to explain it. It’s sad and it’s heavy but we’re managing. Grace is healthy, Georgia and I have each other and thankfully my wife is willing to get back in the hot seat, so there’s some good in there too. For all of these things, I am so very thankful.

We’re taking our time making the transition to Georgia because the process can get overwhelming. Not only are we making this huge transition to another person but we’re tasked with finding a new donor as well and we {loved} our donor. He was everything we were looking for. He helped us create our beautiful and smart baby girl and he was so stinkin’ cute, so the bar is high. Costs are high as well. It seriously shocks me what these spe.rm banks feel is a reasonable amount to charge families in need of their products and services. Our bank is located out of state and has gone up by almost $200 a vial since we last purchased back in 2011. Two hundred dollars! I printed off their new donor catalog yesterday and even after narrowing my search parameters, there are still well over a hundred donors to choose from. I don’t even know where to start let alone how to pay for it all. I know we’ll figure it out but I’m still disappointed that we have too.

The guilt associate with all of this has been pretty hard on me. To know that we would have a 6 month old had I not miscarried… Or that I would be in my 2nd trimester had that first FET worked… Or that we would have a beautiful baby due in February had this last FET worked… It’s all so heavy on my heart. I know I can’t hold onto these feelings forever but I also know that I’m going to need help letting them go so I’ve joined an infertility support group. My first meeting is this Saturday and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m hoping to find comfort and resources in meeting people who are dealing with or have dealt with the same disappointment, guilt and loneliness that accompanies infertility. Both Georgia and I think it’s going to be really good for me.

As for Georgia, she’s handling all of this with the same sense of calmness that she maintains in all avenues of her life. She’s added a prenatal vitamin to her mix of daily supplements and starts fertility acupuncture today, so we’re excited to see some glimmer of progress emerging for us. We know that our next insemination will take place this year but we’re still not sure when exactly. There’s just so much to figure out before we get to that point and we’re really trying to take it one week at a time and enjoy scratching activities off our summer bucket list.

For me, I’ve kept from falling apart by telling myself repeatedly that it’s not over. I’ve been given no death sentence and I still have all of my baby making parts. Statistically speaking, my fertility isn’t expected to take a sharp decline for another 4-5 years, so I still have some time to try again, should I decide to. For some reason, just knowing that it could happen down the road makes me feel better, even if it never does. My wife is wholeheartedly responsible for keeping this hope alive for me, reminding me often that this is, “just a break”. While she has always wanted 2 kiddos, she told me the other day, “well, it looks like you’re going to get your 3 kids after all” said with a smirk. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. Still, it’s nice to think that it could happen.

Monday, June 15, 2015

I'm out.

Well guys, it didn’t work. Two weeks ago we transferred my last little embryo and hoped and prayed, rested and did everything we were told to do and it just didn’t take. My RE made sure to point out once again that we opted out of genetic testing of the embryos so we have no way of knowing if they were even viable prior to transfer. Honestly, in hindsight, I’ve very thankful that we chose not to spend the addition $4000 to have them tested. Had we gone into even more debt for something that still has less than a 50% chance of working, the negative result would have been all that much harder to deal with.

This last time I was convinced it worked. I even went so far as to tell G that it worked and that I was sure I was pregnant, without a doubt. My body felt pregnant. My uterus felt tight and heavy. I was exhausted. All the signs were there, so it was so confusing to hear that we weren’t successful. Then, a few days later, as I was packing up the TTC stuff located all over the house, I went to put away all of my meds and thought, no wonder I thought I was pregnant. Between the Metformin, Foltab 800, Progesterone and Oil injections, Estradiol, Vivelle Estrogen Patches and supplements I was taking, what made me think it was even remotely possible to know what was going on with my body. There was just no way I could have read any kind of signs considering I don’t even feel connected to my body right now. It’s just amazing how easily hope can create symptoms of things that aren’t really there.

To be honest guys, I’m very sad. We’re extremely sad. When we found out that IVF would be a covered option, I honestly thought it was going to happen. This was it. I really was going to get to experience pregnancy. It was finally going to be my turn to feel those kicks from the inside, so right now, it feels like a dream that’s died. I feel like there’s a little piece of me that’s gone. I’ve cried, a lot. Most of the tears came the two days before my beta and then again Saturday night. I should have listened to my wife and not peed on a stick before my beta but I didn’t listen. I never do. When it was negative, I just knew that wasn’t going to change in the next 24 hours and it was crushing because I also knew that this was it. There was no plan C for me. There were no more embryos left. I failed at this and nothing could change that.

Right now, I feel like a victim of circumstance. If we had an unlimited amount of money to spend on expanding our family, I really do think I could get pregnant and stay pregnant. If we had unlimited access to fresh sp.erm, I believe in my heart it could happen, but we don’t and that isn’t anyone’s fault. G’s asked me several times if I’m really done or if I want to try again and my answer has been and will continue to be, I’m out. I’m so done. I honestly don’t know how people go through this for years on end because I barely survived 20 months of this shit storm and that was with a supportive family, a loving wife, a flexible work schedule and an encouraging community made up of all of you.

I know we're going to be ok and I really don't think it will be difficult for G to bless us with another little one. I guess, at the end of the day, I really do care more for Gracie and my desire to give her a sibling than I do about being the one to carry that sibling. All I know is being a non-belly mama and it’s been my greatest gift. We're moms and we both know how fortunate we are to hold that title.

I’m sure I’ll feel broken for a while. I’m sure my heart will continue to hurt when I see a beautiful pregnant woman and I know that the image of a brown eyed, curly haired baby will continue to live in my heart and mind. 

I hope I’ll get the chance to hold that baby in my arms one day but for now, I will joyously take any baby God decides to give me. 

I know I did my best. 

Sometimes your best just isn't enough.

Friday, June 12, 2015

*2015 Summer Bucket List*

The Bean’s preschool co-op is officially on break until her next school year and New Mexico is expected to have temperatures reaching the mid-90s this week. What does this all mean you ask? It’s officially SUMMER up in here, woot!

It’s actually felt like summer for a few weeks now because the weather has been great, but for our little tribe, until our gal starts her summer activities, it doesn’t feel like much of a change. I wanted to wait until the “official” start to summer, i.e. the Summer Solstice on June 21st to unveil our 5th Annual Summer Bucket List, but we’re already scratching things off our list and I was eager to share, especially because most of my fav bloggers started weeks ago. Once again, I’m falling behind but I’m thrilled that more people are participating in the Summer Bucket List Challenge because for a while there it felt like it was just me and K over at Role Playing with Kids, holding down the fort. Then she decided to stop blogging (I’m still not happy about this, btw) and deserted me. Thankfully I’m friends with an oh-so popular blogging mama named Amanda over at Little Monster(s) and Mommies and she’s done an awesome job of spreading the word and getting more bloggers involved. Hey Amanda, air high-five!

So if you want to join in and you’re looking for SBL ideas, here’s a few from last year that were pretty great (including ours)!

Once our list was made and Gracie actually started her summer activities, I suddenly realized just how busy our summer is going to be. As it stands today, her t-ball, swim school, summer school and dance classes that start next week, will keep us busy 5 out of 7 days a week. You would think that would get exhausting but G and I trade off some of the time and my in-laws help with summer school pick-up so, so far it’s worked out great! As a mama who works outside the home, it’s a challenge to find stuff for your kiddo to do in the summer that doesn’t take place mid-day or in the mornings. Even so, I think we did a pretty darn good job of it this year. The Bean’s dance classes don’t actually start until next weekend and I was able to schedule her youth ranch camp following the end of theatre summer school so we don’t have too much overlap. The last thing I want is to create a SBL that’s going to stress us out and have us running all over town; so if you’re planning to make one, just know that it’ll take you some time to research everything you want to do, but it’s totally doable and can be as long or short as your time will permit.  

Here’s all the super fun things we have planned for Gracie’s 4th summer, some of which we’ve already crossed off the list and others that have started and will run all summer long. Posts on those fun things coming soon. :)

{2015 Summer Bucket List}
1. Swim school
2. T-ball
3. Dance class
4. Make a fairy garden
5. Go camping
6. Feed ducks
7. Run through the sprinklers
8. Visit the library
9. Make popsicles
10. Go to Ranch Camp
11. Theatre Themed Summer School
12. Visit local water park
13. Lake trip
14. Go swimming
15. Movies on the lawn
16. Plant a Salsa Garden
17. Have a picnic
18. Visit the Nature Center
19. Make homemade playdough
20. Go to a Zoo Music Concert
21. Light fireworks
22. Roast marshmallows
23. Make root beer floats

I’m loving all the fun summer adventures everyone is having and I’m so happy to finally be sharing ours! If you do make a Summer Bucket List, be sure to leave a link to your list in the comments below!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Preschool: Year One!

Guess what, little stinker? You have officially finished your first year of Preschool! You actually finished two weeks ago and you’ve already started a summer school program and still, your mamas are in shock that your first year is all done!

This first school year almost didn’t happen but we sure are thankful it did! Your co-op has a long waiting list every year but we somehow got you in and thank goodness because this has been such a great year for you! You’ve made new friendships, you’ve gone on so many field trip adventures, you’ve learned to spend your days with wonderful teachers without worry that your mamas aren't with you and your brain has grown! It’s grown a ton!

Mama has shared some posts of your preschool experience over this first year but that doesn’t even sum up everything you have done. I think you describe it best, often telling us that, “School is AWESOME!” It is and we hope it always remains awesome for you for many years to come.

{Ahhh, mom… Are we done yet?}

One your last day of school, Mama took a last day of school picture similar to the picture we took on your first day and while you look the same, you’re so much bigger! You are more vocal and that says a lot considering how chatty you’ve been since you were a little baby. You have no hesitation when approaching other kiddos and animals. You make friends very easily and are friendly to every kiddo you meet and you’ve become quite the leader. These are all skills that preschool has helped you to develop.

In your end of year Developmental Portfolio, your teachers outlined all of the school’s objectives that you have meet in just your first year. Just look at all the skills you’ve consistently demonstrated throughout the year:

- Displays support and respect of others
- Acts with purpose and uses tools
- Expresses emotion with increasing self-control
- Displays gross motor and fine motor skills w/out adult assistance
- Actively displays creativity and imagination
- Shows pride in creation and production
- Engages in problem solving, independently and with groups
- Enjoys playing near and with fellow classmates
- Displays ability to take responsibility for actions/self-awareness
- Meets/exceeds all academic milestones
- Speaking vocabulary exceeds 200 words (no surprise here!)

There was a lot more details and pictures included for each of these points but it basically translates into – you’re one smart cookie!

For your last day of school, your co-op had a pizza party for the kiddos and parents, so Mommy and I got to join in the fun. You all swam, played games, blew bubbles, ate pizza and enjoyed cupcakes in celebration of your buddy K’s birthday.

Your BFF, T spent most of the day with you basking in the sun and enjoying all of the goodies. We hung back with T’s mom and other parents laughing at how silly you all are and how much fun you were having.

And because your Mom is forever playing catch-up on our family blog, here’s a couple pictures from your last field trip of the school year. Your class went to the Aquarium and Botanical Gardens and Mama and Nani came along too! Here are a few of Mama’s favorite pictures from your last outing in year ONE! Such a great way to end the year. :)

My new favorite Gracie video! The end is the best.
Love you, Mama

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Gracie’s 1st Disney Trip {Part II: California Adventure}

For our Disney Trip Part I, click here.

There was so much planning that went into the Bean’s first Disneyland experience that we felt the need to start last year. And while there was a lot involved in creating the magic, please know that this type A, party-planning Mama is not complaining. Not one bit because we loved every minute of it and not just because it was a welcomed distraction from TTC (which it totally was), but also because it’s something we’ve been waiting to do since our stinker was born. It’s a trip that had I gone along with it, would have taken place when the Bean was just 8 months old. Can you believe that my wife tried talking me into that back in 2012? My response to her was, if Grace isn’t big enough to remember going to Disneyland and can’t get on a single ride AND isn’t even walking yet – we’re not going! Aren’t you glad I made you wait, babe?

Quick side note: I do realize that I will likely be eating my words when baby #2 decides to make his or her appearance. I have no doubt that we’ll be taking that little one to Disneyland as a baby because big sister is itching to go… So you all can make fun of me for that later. Anyway, I digress. Back to the trip.

Our morning at California Adventure was my favorite experience out of everything we did at Disneyland! We started the day with the character breakfast, Ariel’s Disney Princess Celebration. I had no idea that a thing like this existed so the wife deserves all the credit for this one. If you have a princess loving kiddo, it’s basically the best opportunity to insure that your little one will get to meet all of their favorite Disney Princesses at one time. Knowing we were going to do the character breakfast, we picked out a princess dress for the Bean for her birthday that we knew she would love and she sooo did! She was super pumped to be able to wear her Little Mermaid dress to the park complete with pink jellies and a turquoise tiara. Just look at this cutie!

Gracie’s Gaga and Papa looked adorable as well in the tees G made and they were just as excited to meet some princesses as Grace was. The first princess to come out for meet and greet was Mulan and this is where it got funny. Let me start by saying that Grace has only watched the movie, Mulan a few times and its one Disney movie that she can never seem to watch from beginning to end. I think you know where I’m going with this… We had told Grace that she was going to meet Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Belle and Tiana (her favs), so when Mulan came out first she looked at us like – umm, where’s Little Mermaid?! Eventually Mulan made her way to us and Grace seemed somewhat unmoved. She still smiled and hugged Mulan but was a bit subdued. Right after taking the picture below, Belle was introduced and came around the corner. In a split second Grace let go of Mulan, pointed at Belle and began screaming “BELLE, BELLE, LOOK IT’S BELLE!” I swear you would have thought Madonna turned the corner with how crazy she went. Poor Mulan. ;)

Belle was a beauty, as expected and looked just like her animated self so we took a lot of pictures, especially uncle Dean. As you can see, Gracie smiled so hard her eyes were barely open the entire time we visited with Belle. At one point she asked Belle where Beast was to which Belle replied with the best excuse ever. I’m convinced that these princesses are prepared to answer any possible question a kiddo can throw at them. They’re total pros.

The remainder of our character breakfast was filled with squeals, jumps for joy and pure 3 year old elation!

Grace goes through some serious phases when it comes to Disney princesses and you can usually tell which phase she’s in based off the pictures I post of her on Instagram. If you notice that she’s worn the same Sleeping Beauty dress for 2 weeks, it’s a Sleeping Beauty month and so on and so on. When we left for Disneyland she was going through some serious Cinderella love. Because of this, her mind was blown when Cinderella made her entrance.

Cinderella was the most animated, friendly and sweet of all the princesses and her voice was spot on. Her and Grace spent their entire visit holding hands and hugging. You would have thought Cinderella was Gracie’s mom or something, haha!

She spent so much time with us that Tiana ended up standing behind Cinderella waiting for her turn to visit our table and while Gracie was excited to visit with Tiana, we were all sad to see Cinderella go.

Tiana was our final visitor before heading in to meet the queen bee, Little Mermaid. She had dimples and was gorgeous and very nice. Grace was on a total princess high at this point and thought Tiana was “so pretty”. Miss T has always been a favorite of Gracie’s so it made us happy to see them chatting it up.

The finale of Ariel’s Disney Princess Celebration came as we entered Ariel’s Grotto. Entering the Grotto feels like you’re walking right into the Disney movie. There are seashells everywhere, everything is turquoise and bright and you’re surrounded by sea life. We were all pretty excited!  

Yummy breakfast, amazing view!

When it was Gracie’s turn to meet her hero, she ran to Little Mermaid with zero hesitation and gave her a big hug. They then had a little conversation, just the two of them and while we couldn’t hear what was being said, Grace had the biggest smile the entire time. We of course got suckered into purchasing the ridiculously priced professional picture because it was the CUTEST.picture.ever. I’m telling you, these Disney people know what they’re doing. After meeting LM we rode Ariel’s Undersea Adventure ride and headed to the gift shop. 

I think the reason we absolutely LOVED our princess breakfast, was that it was sooo Gracie. It involved everything and everyone she loves and she was in heaven. I remember when the Bean was a newborn, G often talked about how Grace was going to be a star athlete like she was, I mean heck, we put the kid in soccer when she was just 17 months old for crying out loud. Eventually even Georgia had to come to terms with the fact that right now, sports just isn’t her thing. I know so many parents who don’t want their daughters to be the stereotypical princess but what if that’s what they love?! What if they adore the color pink and think that Disney princesses are the coolest gals around? We’ve chosen not to fight it but to embrace it. We have a cha-cha heel wearing, jewelry obsessed, princess-loving girly girl and I wouldn’t want her to be anything else because all this fluff makes her happy! And that makes her mamas happy. :)   

After breakfast we headed to A Bugs Land, which was another super awesome place. We started our adventure going “underground” to watch the 3D movie, “It’s Tough to Be a Bug”. It’s one of those 3D experiences where the chairs poke you, water sprays from the ceiling and wind blows on your face while you watch. The Bean was a bit cautious but seemed to be ok as long as she was sandwiched between her moms.

We rode Flik’s Flyers where we had a view of all of Bugs Land!

And jumped aboard the Heimlich Chew Chew Train!

As we were walking around checking everything out we ran into Flik himself and he was sooo tall! I’m not sure how it worked out that we kept running into characters but we weren’t complaining.

It’s amazing how having a kid totally changes your Disneyland experience. I remember walking through A Bugs Land with friends (wine in hand) when we visited for a 30th birthday a few years back. I thought everything looked cute but we quickly moved on to the next thing. Having Grace with us totally changed how we saw everything. Watching her run around blissfully happy allowed us to notice things that we totally missed the last time. There’s just nothing like seeing the world through your child’s eyes.

Note to self… if you wear a hat half the day, you WILL have hat hair the other half the day…

My in-laws are awesome and volunteered to take Grace sightseeing for an hour so her mamas and uncles could ride some big kid rides. I don’t know how we did it but we managed to squeeze 4 rides in under an hour and when we finished our last, we came back to a napping birthday girl. She was so pooped she couldn’t stay awake a minute longer and thankfully California Adventure had strollers for rent. I was happy to hear that she got to meet Sofia the First right before passing out.

We had planned to watch the Pixar Play Parade and even had curb seats but we decided not to wake our exhausted gal. I was sad she missed it but she had a lot of sun and was on her way to cranky town, so she needed to rest up a bit before dinner. Here’s a little of what she missed. :(

If you’re planning a Disney trip and plan on watching any of the shows at either parks, I would highly suggest purchasing dinning packages. They are pricey but once you see what you get with each package, it’s totally worth it. The package we purchased for our day at the main park came with Disney seat cushions for each of us that we got to take home and 2nd row sets to the show + a delicious dinner! As awesome as that was, I feel like our World of Color Dinning Package was even better!

Our dinner was at the Carthay Circle Restaurant, which is a reproduction of the iconic theatre where the first animated Disney film, Snow White premiered. It was gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous and the food was amazing! I'm talking, making yummy sounds while you eat amazing! Grace was still sleeping when we arrived and ended up sleeping through the first course of the meal. When she did wake she was ready to go again and starving. Thankfully with a full service 3-course meal, there was plenty of food to go around. Her face was too funny waking up in that fancy place. It was also crazy to see such an elegant restaurant crawling with kids! G's parents enjoyed some delicious Disney wine and the rest of us sampled a few of the classic Carthay Circle cocktails. It was pretty sweet!   

After dinner we had a little over an hour before World of Color, so we headed to, “Freeze the Night”, a family dance party! It’s a temporary attraction that just opened in Hollywood Land featuring Frozen themed music, dancing, live performances and special guests. While we were there they had what looked like a Stomp performance only the winter version and there was a huge dance party with an ice carving competition going on. We got to meet the giant ice monster from Frozen and even had our picture taken with the ice beast!

Here’s Grace making sure he wasn’t real. This kid, she always has to check things out for herself, lol!

He totally freaked her out at first (she wanted nothing to do with him) but once we showed her that he wasn’t real and convinced her that he wouldn’t “get her” like she thought, she started laughing at him and wanted to get a closer look.

At this point it was show time and we were so excited that I forgot our stroller clear across the park. Yup, Mama fail… We walked all the way back to Ariel’s Grotto when G asked me for the tickets and I realized that I left the stroller in the middle of the walking path, as I was buying a balloon… clear across the entire park. Keep in mind it had our $500 Nikon D3200 camera, my mother-in-laws purse, ALL the souvenirs we purchased throughout the day, our jackets, tickets, everything! I honestly can't remember the last time I ran so fast (and without the aid of a sports bra). It was quite the sight I’m sure. These are the things that happen when you haven’t used a stroller in over 2 years…

Thankfully Disneyland is the most magical place on earth and a place where people obviously don’t steal, so everything was as I left it, phew. Some person was even nice enough to push the stroller off to the side leaving it in a well lit area. I love Disney people!

This was the 3rd time seeing World of Color for Georgia and I but the first for Gracie and her eyes were glued! We had great seats, right in the middle and she remained perched on the back of her Gaga’s chair the entire time switching between G, Uncle Dean and me.

She yelled out the names of the characters who appeared in the show, singing her favorite songs along with them and when Little Mermaid came on she yelled for all of us to “LOOK, IT’S LITTLE MERMAID!” She was just so excited!

Here’s a video of the finale! Pretty amazing, right?

And saving the best for last, my favorite picture from our 2nd day at Disneyland! It’s dark and a bit grainy but pure magic. This is the face we saw for two days straight as we watched our baby girl’s dreams come to life. It’s a face that we’ll never forget.

Thank you Disneyland! We’ll see you again in 2017.
Planning is already underway. :)

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