November 2017

Wrapping Up October!

Halloween weekend sure was a treat for us, again, this year!

At school on the Friday before Halloween, the 1st grade classes celebrated with some fall-themed activities. This was one of the treats Liam created & brought home.

Later that evening, we headed over to the Bengels for the annual Halloween bash. These two yahoos were my dates 😛 ….that bear head inevitably was tried on by every kid later that evening. I’m still not sure how I feel about that — #germaphob.

Halloween fell on a Tuesday this year, so that made for an interesting & late night of trick-or-treating. Nevertheless, we trudged through and still had a blast! We continued our trick-or-treat tradition of hanging out with the Bengels in their neighborhood. Liam’s official costume was the LEGO minifigure Nexo Knights Clay character.

His costume was pretty cute and elaborate. A little hot, too, so I’m glad it was a cooler evening for us …he definitely needed it with all the pieces he had to wear. It included a tunic with detachable shoulder pieces, pants, mask and pair of hands.

This is our normal set up the last few years as we head out to walk the neighborhood 🙂 …we use Liam’s wagon to load up some drinks (child & adult beverages), as well as any other misc necessities (bug spray, jackets). Thanks to technology, Alexa joins us & provides our Halloween themed background music as we walk. It’s a super fun time …and Lisa & I usually end up having almost more fun watching our husbands goof off by the end of the evening after the kids are worn out 🙂

These kiddos move so fast from door to door that it was difficult to get any good shots this year. I was reading through last year’s post and remember how Liam really took charge then with being proactive with trick-or-treating. He definitely continued that this year. If anything, he was even more so. All of us commented how fast the kids were blowing through the neighborhood this year. Much faster than ever before. In fact, we went farther down & to more houses than we ever have! I think we all definitely noticed how much bigger they all were this year. It was a little bitter sweet.

As we walked from house to house, Liam was checking each one out. If the house was dark, he would yell out really loud — “this one is not celebrating!” 🙂 …At other houses where they got candy, we would get a report back on some of his more favorable collections before he even left the driveway. It really was hilarious!  …Speaking of that, one house we had never made it to before, gave each kiddo a goodie bag that had (no lie) about 30 pieces of candy in it. I thought the kids were going to come unglued with excitement when they came running back to us!! We were trying to figure out how we’d missed this house all these years? LOL

One of our favorite parts of trick-or-treating is getting to see all the neighborhood decorations. Some of the homes really go all out. It’s so fun! ….There are a few houses that we seek out especially — one that always turns their garage into a haunted house, one whose entire front lawn is decorated, and another who makes the whole yard dark & creepy looking.

End of the night shenanigans!

I would say this face was pleased with his haul. This ended up being WAY more candy than what any six-year-old could possibly dream off. He almost had more fun just counting all pieces once we got home more than anything else 🙂 ….extra candy pays off for gingerbread house making down the road…..hahaha!!

October went by in the blink of an eye, but it was a blast!

Happy Halloween!

HERE is a look back on last year’s fun.

Until next time, friends!

October 2017

Weekend Fun at Hollywood Studies

This past weekend, we hopped over to Hollywood Studies for a few hours. I’m not gonna lie….I was super stoked that it wasn’t raining when we got there this time (it had been on our last trip for Liam’s birthday). So, we were able to finally check out Cruz Ramirez from the Cars 3 movie. She was revving her motor & talking….so cute!

One of our other favorite parts of having the annual passes is meeting up with family/friends. My cousin, Melissa & her daughter, Giana were at the parks for the day, so we were able to say hello. So much fun!

While the boys were waiting for me on a potty break 🙂 …Liam was randomly selected to be a Launch Bay Guard!!! — How cool was that?!?!

While the Star Wars characters came marching toward the Launch Bay, Liam stood there all by himself BUT was armed with a light saber 😉 …he was the best guard!

Darth Maul & a Storm Trooper each pointed at him & let him know they were watching him. It was awesome!

He was jumping up & down after this ….so exciting for him!

His certificate from guarding could be used as a Fast Pass to meet Kylo Ren. We had seen him back in February, when Liam still had his cast on from his broken arm. So, he wanted to meet him again. The Dark Side characters are so intense & serious ….I love it!

Our last stop of the night was Halloween-themed character dining at Hollywood & VineMinnie’s Halloween Dine!

It was buffet style dining and the menu was seasonal Halloween themed dishes & treats. It did not disappoint!

Each of the characters were dressed up in their Halloween attire. It was so cute!

Donald was hilarious! He was bouncing his springy thing on this helmet back & forth with Liam 🙂

This was THE tallest Goofy I have ever seen.

Liam was most excited for Mickey again ….he loved his vampire costume!

Family pic with the hostess, Miss Minnie Mouse, herself.

We had a really fun evening! It was a real treat being able to get in a little Disney Halloween magic as we kick off this spooky month!

Until next time, friends!

September 2017

Liam’s 6th Birthday Weekend ~ Part 4 ~ Wrapping It Up!

For Liam’s 6th birthday weekend, we had packed our bags & enjoyed a staycation at Walt Disney World. This is the last post in our series. It’s really been a blast sharing our memories & photos. My main purpose of this blog is turning it into a keepsake book for Liam, so capturing all of these special moments & memories is a privilege for him.

You can catch up with the 1st post about our stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge – HERE ; the 2nd post about our magical time at Cinderella’s Royal Table – HERE ; and, the 3rd post about our fun time with character dining – HERE.

I’ve mentioned before how much we LOVE the magic shots throughout the parks. This was a cute one with our friend, Olof, that we found while wandering through the Magic Kingdom.  Showing a little personal flurry & of course, all good things!! — I’ve finally started to remember to ask some of the photographers if they have any they can use 🙂

Ever since our annual passes started in January, we’ve been dying to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom. However, each time I attempted to secure a Fast Pass for this ride, I was not able to & the lines were always ridiculously long. Since we had a resort reservation, though, I finally was able to get one & Stephen and I were stoked. Liam ….not so much at 1st. In fact, he down right almost refused to get on the ride. He’s not a fan of roller coaster rides, and thought this was one. You can see from his face below that he wasn’t thrilled as the ride started….lol.

Got to love the Photopass shots — this one was snagged from the ride & sent directly to our magic bands! So awesome. — Liam was still not loving the ride at this point ….but by the time we pulled back into the cottage area, he was all smiles. Thanks to Hurricane Irma & low crowds at the park lately, we’ve been able to ride it again since his birthday weekend.

Another family favorite ride for us is Pirates of the Caribbean. Love this new fun snap shot that’s yet another Photopass feature. — Murphy family holding it down in the back of the boat!

Family Picture in front of Cinderella Castle….

Believe it or not, one of Liam’s most favorite parts of the weekend was riding the resort buses. He talked about it a lot in the weeks leading up to this weekend. We see the resort buses all the time while we are driving around on property, but we never have (or need) the opportunity to ride in them. I think it has just been the curiosity to be in them and see what they are all about.

He was all about it each time. He even noticed when there was a different type of bus picking us up. In the gift shop of our hotel, he chose the matchbox car gift set of the resort buses as one of his birthday presents.

On Sunday afternoon, as we were heading over to Epcot, we stepped onto the bus and Liam was holding his matchbox version of the same bus. The bus driver noticed he had it, and the two sparked conversation. She told him all about the bus and gave him little cards that looked like trading cards. They have photographs of the bus on one side and info/stats on the other. He loved them.

When we got to the park, she asked if we could wait to leave until everyone else stepped off. We obliged. She then asked if it was okay if Liam sat in her seat & wore her captain’s hat. O M G — yes!! He was over the moon excited! She raised the seat up for him to reach the steering wheel & pointed out some buttons. He was beaming! — It was so kind of her & we will forever be grateful 🙂

Sunday evening, we hopped over to Animal Kingdom. Doesn’t the Tree of Life look amazing at night?

We also were excited to check out Pandora — The World of Avatar. I had previously taken Liam back in May for the annual passholders preview event, but Stephen had to work. Thus, this was his 1st time checking it out. The first night time experience for all of us. The lighting effects throughout were very cool….

Last sleep as a five year old …..the next morning, our sweet boy woke up SIX!! 🙂

We have love all things Disney & this Build Your Disney Family image & decal was super fun to create. Check it out HERE while it’s still available! The best part of all is that it’s FREE!

Liam’s entire 6th birthday weekend was filled with so many wonderful memories and special experiences. We are blessed to have been able to share that together as a family, and it’s a time we won’t soon forget. He’s growing in to an amazing little man! Watching his personality flourish and seeing him mature before our eyes is the greatest blessing as a parent.

Until next time, friends,

Script Signature

September 2017

Liam’s 6th Birthday Weekend ~ Part 3 ~ Character Dining Fun

For Liam’s 6th birthday weekend, we had packed our bags & enjoyed a staycation at Walt Disney World. If you’ve been following along on my last few posts, this is the 3rd in a series from Liam’s birthday. We had so many adventures this year that I wanted to break it up, as there were a ton of photos to share. You can catch up with the 1st post about our stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge – HERE – and the 2nd post about our magical time at Cinderella’s Royal Table – HERE.  As part of our celebration, we splurged on a few super fun character dining experiences.

On the morning of Liam’s actual birthDAY, we had breakfast at the Crystal Palace on the corner of Main Street at the Magic Kingdom. It’s a buffet-style service, and the food was good. We enjoyed the charming atmosphere, which is inspired by the Victorian greenhouses of the late 1800s.

All of our favorite friends from the Hundred-Acre Woods were there, so that made little man’s day! He even got to particpate in a celebatory parade that marched them all around the restaurant with the characters. So cute!

Winne the Pooh….

I couldn’t decide between sharing the hug picture above or this regular ‘cheese’ pic ….had to do both. Loved the hugs from Pooh Bear.

Seriously, how cute is Piglet? 🙂

Not even sure how Eeyore signed the book, but kudos to him! That was one area, too, that Liam was completely on top of. He made sure that no one forgot about his book. That was top of his list before any hugs, pics, or small talk with these guys. It was too funny!

Can’t say enough about how good all of these character meet & greets are at the dining experiences. They take so much time with the kids & are so patient. Love it!

Tigger…..

Our final character dining experience took us over to Epcot to the Garden Grill in the Land. We had dinner at Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast. This is a family-style dining meal with food that’s grown from the Living with the Land area there. OH.MY.GOODNESS — it was SO delicious!

It is also neat because the restaurant slowly turns in a circle while you eat, and you get to see different part of the Living with the Land attraction. While you’re dining the characters come around to your table.

We had told our server it was Liam’s birthday, so they presented him with this signed birthday card & stickers. So sweet & he was thrilled!!

Hanging with Chip….

Sharing a laugh with Dale …..

His best pal, Pluto…

So in love with the one & only — Mickey Mouse …& loved his farmer Mickey outfit, too!…. 

We had THE best time at all of our character dining experiences over Liam’s 6th birthday weekend. I’m sure we’ll be looking for more unique visits in the future. The food at all the venues was so yummy, and all 3 of us LOVED the convenience of the meeting the characters right at the table.

Until next time, friends,

Script Signature

September 2017

Liam’s 6th Birthday Weekend ~ Part 2 ~ Cinderella’s Royal Table

For Liam’s 6th birthday weekend, we had packed our bags & enjoyed a staycation at the Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge. As part of our celebration, we had a special birthday dinner in Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

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This restaurant is described by Disney as a ‘one-of-a-kind fairytale dining experience’, and it 100% was. We all LOVED the entire night! I literally had to book our reservation months in advance, so this was one dinner we had been anticipating for a while. The restaurant, itself, is quite small & quaint but I think that made for a more personable experience. It’s situated in the back half of the 2nd floor of the castle. You can see it from the carousel area.

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When we 1st went into the castle, we were greeted by the lovely, Cinderella. Liam was smitten ❤ — She chatted it up with him & danced with him. It was seriously the cutest moment ever! We snagged a nice family pic with her, as well. 🙂

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While we waited to be seated, we hung out in the downstairs area where Cinderella was. Both floors are decorated in a medieval-style & you totally feel like you are in a page from the storybook.

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A winding staircase takes you up to this view, which is where the actual restaurant is ….

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So many pretty details everywhere you looked to make the experience feel complete. Our server was so sweet, too! She referred to Liam, as ‘my Prince’. I was ‘my Queen’ and Stephen was ‘my King’. Loved it!

Each of the boys got their own sword and I was given a wand 🙂 ….We also were given a ‘Wishing Star‘ that Fairy Godmother helped us to make a wish with toward the end of the meal ❤

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While dinner got underway, MORE PRINCESSES came out & around to everyone’s table. How cool is that?!?! — They took their time & chatted with Liam for a minute & then posed for a picture. This mama appreciated that they didn’t leave until you acknowledged that you got a pic you were happy with 😉

Ariel from the Little Mermaid….

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Snow White …..

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Aurora from Sleeping Beauty…

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Jasmine from Aladdin…. 

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Now, let’s talk about the food for a sec because it was fabulous! Both Stephen & I had the beef & shrimp dinner. So yummy! I didn’t take a pic of his, but Liam had the kids mac n’ cheese. Holy cow, it was probably the best mac n’ cheese ever. SO good! For dessert, we had a dark chocolate mousse dish, “The Clock Strikes Twelves“. — heaven!

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Liam got to make/decorate his own cupcake for his dessert. Our server also brought out an extra birthday cupcake with a candle & we sung to him ❤

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It was such a magical evening & such a memorable way to celebrate this special boy’s 6th birthday. We even timed the reservation pretty perfect, as we were able to see & listen to the Happily Ever After fireworks show as we finished up dessert. So fun!

Love our sweet boy & loved everything about this night! Until next time, friends,

Script Signature

August 2017

Liam’s 6th Birthday Weekend ~ Part 1 ~ Animal Kingdom Lodge

For Liam’s 6th Birthday weekend, we packed our bags & had a staycation at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

This was honestly our 1st real vacation away from home as a family since Liam was born, so we were extra excited for this experience. We stayed in Jambo house, and our room was off of the Kudo Trail on the 2nd floor. This is the view of the massive lobby area when you 1st walk into the resort. It is gorgeous!!

The details that you see throughout the resort are incredible. The entire resort is themed after the Animal Kingdom theme park. You can tell, at every glance, that great care was taken to showcase the culture, wildlife & artwork of Africa.

As soon as we started exploring the grounds, we found the fire pit that is surrounded by rocking chairs. If it wasn’t 100 degrees outside, it would have been perfect….LOL!

I usually am not one to talk about food, but I would be a fool to not rave about all of the deliciousness we enjoyed throughout the entire weekend. We ate at some pretty cool dining experiences, and there’s definitely more to share in my next few posts.

First up –> Boma ….This is a buffet style restaurant with African-themed dishes, and all of the food was amazing. We ate there for breakfast on Sunday.

Their signature drink at breakfast is Jungle Juice. It’s a tasty mixture of orange, pineapple & mango juices. Liam didn’t quite care for it, but Stephen & I thought it was pretty yummy!

Mickey Waffles 🙂

Now onto the grounds outside the resort …..there is a cute, shaded playground for the kiddos & it’s close by the pool.

Once we found the Uzima Pool area, we didn’t want to leave. This pool is amazing! It is SO big — 11,000 square feet & it has an awesome water slide.

Liam was thrilled for this slide! He went down it over & over again 🙂

Cheese!

Our room was nothing short of incredible. It felt like we stepped into our own safari get away the moment we walked in & I’m sure that was the plan. We were fortunate to be able to have the savanna view room, and it did not disappoint.

When you stepped out onto the balcony, it was immediately overlooking one of the savanna’s. There were beautiful animals freely roaming around so close to you. It was awesome!

In total, there are over 30 species of wildlife out on the savanna here. We loved the Wildlife Field Guide that was in our room for helping to track & discover some friends we spotted.

This Giraffe guy, here, was one of our favs. He stayed close by our balcony a lot. ❤

Zebra friends….

Ankole Cattle….

White-Bearded Wildebeest….

Addax….

At one point, on Sunday afternoon, we looked out & saw a little heard of friends 🙂 ….

We saw so may other amazing creatures during our stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. So many birds, cranes, Ostriches, & Gazelles just to name a few. Even by walking through the resort, there are so many spots you can stop & observe the savanna’s or even catch little spots, like the Flamingo area that’s over by the pool. It was truly an experience we will never forget and one that we all LOVED!!

The Animal Kingdom Lodge was, hands-down, a magical Disney experience. It was a perfect way to ring in little man’s 6th birthday! We hope to someday return ❤

Until next time friends,

 

 

 

 

August 2017

Disney Fun ~ Character Meet & Greets!

For Christmas, we were beyond excited to get annual passes to Disney!! Santa brought Liam the news & we shared that HERE. While we have made one-day trips here & there to the parks over the years, this is honestly the 1st time we have ever held annual passes. It’s made both Stephen & I feel like little kids, ourselves 🙂

Those who are familiar with the annual passholder program know that there are several different tiers for the passes with various different blackout dates, benefits, etc. — We opted for the Gold passes, which have just two different weeks of blackout dates throughout the year and no water park admission (which is okay for us). So exciting that parking is included (that, alone, saves $20 a visit) and the Photopass Memory Memory Maker. Oh my goodness — We LOVE this Photopass feature and use it SO SO much! First, it is fantastic to be able to snag a quick family picture and the convenience of having the Photopass photographers just immediately scan it to download to your magicband is awesome! I can then save it right to the pictures on my phone. LOVE! Second, the Character Meet & Greets! We are obsessed! We have gotten some of the cutest pictures …and again, FREE downloads to your magicband! Liam also loves to get their autographs filled up in his book.

When our passes were 1st activated, we had to wait until the 1st week in January, as we were in one of those small blackout windows due to Christmas. However, once we had the greenlight, we were like kids in a candy shop! I think we went every weekend for that 1st month 🙂 ….Mickey Mouse was our 1st Character Meet & Greet. This one is from Main Street at the Magic Kingdom. We were blown away when we saw that he spoke and interacted!! So cool!!

In January, we also visited Animal Kingdom & got our 1st taste of magic shots. This is Pascal from Tangled on little man’s head ….LOL! I haven’t been too good with asking for many of these yet, so definitely have these on my list for future pictures…

Russell from Up …..

Safari Donald also at Animal Kingdom ……

In Epcot, we met Baymax!

We also met Mickey (in a different outfit this time….more classic looking), Minnie & Goofy 🙂

We found Daisy near Spaceship Earth. She kissed Liam & made him blush …loved it! ❤

In February, we made our 1st trip to Hollywood Studios. We skipped the end of night fireworks & instead, went to meet Kylo Ren from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We were just a little bit bummed because they said no one from the First Order signs autographs BUT at least we got a cool pic. It was serious business time with this guy! Haha!

Chewbacca!

In March, we went back for some more Hollywood Studios fun… After some face painting, we ran into Green Army Man from Toy Story 🙂

So excited to find Moana! …she was so nice 🙂

Buzz & Woody from Toy Story ….they said Liam looked like Zurg & they were scared! Too funny!

He was thrilled to meet his pal, Pluto. He still says that this meet & greet is one of his favs! ❤

On Spring Break, we also bounced over to the Magic Kingdom. We found Donald Duck dressed up as the Astounding Donaldo Snake Charmer in the Storybook Circus Fantasyland area.

We also found Goofy here dressed as a stuntman, the Great Goofini 🙂

In Frontierland, we found Chip & Dale ….they were so super cute! These pics are a few of my favs so far ❤

Our trips to Disney have been filled with so many smiles & so much laughter. We are thankful to be creating some really awesome memories together as a family. We have lots more fun to share, so stay tuned ….

Until next time, friends

July 2017

Happy 6th Birthday, Liam!

This week, we celebrate our kiddo’s 6th birthday!

I can’t believe we have a SIX year old now! He has grown up so much since last year. I see a lot of change in him when I compare his pics from month to month, and he also has matured a great deal. Not to mention the fact that he will soon be taller than his mama. LOL! — He’s definitely getting closer & closer.

Here is the latest teddy bear pic ❤

If you follow our adventures, you know this teddy bear pic is a fun regular measure of growth for us. Check out all our past pics & updates HERE.


As is our tradition, we conducted our annual BIRTHDAY INTERVIEW. As with previous years, some of his answers were both quite surprising & entertaining! This time around, and for the 1st time, Liam actually insisted on filling out the form himself! He even read the questions. I was quite impressed. He got tired of writing midway through, so I took over, but he didn’t do too bad!

MORE FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR’S QUESTIONNAIRE THAT WE USED:

What is your name?: Liam

How old are you?: Six

What is your favorite food?: Pizza

What makes you laugh?: Daddy shaking his butt

What are you afraid of?: Bears

What is the best time of the day?: Spending time with Mommy & Daddy

Where do you like to go?: Animal Kingdom Lodge

What do you like to do with your family?: Snuggling with Mommy & Daddy


Other notable things these days….

We have a kindergarten graduate! It was an amazing school year.

We have a kiddo who can now read! He has been doing a great job of keeping up with his reading on his own over the summer, too, and building on his skills. I can already tell 1st Grade is going to so much fun for him 🙂

He is also very good at spelling now, too. Gone are the days when Stephen & I can spell things out to one another when we are trying to talk about something without him knowing.

He stayed pretty even with his growth for the majority of the school year and was wearing a size Extra-Small to Small in boys and a size 13 boys in shoes. However, towards the end of Spring, he went through another growth spurt, and we could tell that he’s probably grown a few inches again. He is definitely moving into a size medium boys in clothes and has already went up a half size in shoes this summer.

We started karate (taekwondo) in October, and he’s been doing so well. I think he has probably built some lean muscle from all the work he’s put into his classes there, so I honestly don’t think his weight has changed too much, but we’ll see with his annual check up in a few weeks. He can almost do a full splits from all his weekly stretching in class…that’s pretty impressive. Last we checked, he was at 52 lbs. He is definitely a strong boy!

He is still our little dancer and is SO good at it. We love to watch him. His latest obsession is the JUST DANCE game for Play Station, and it’s hilarious how good he is! High scores all the time!

He also loves to sing and still knows the words to most songs better than me.

When he is happy or excited, you will see him skipping along next to you.

He loves to color, and is really good at staying inside the lines now.

If it’s dark in a room in the house, he doesn’t like to go in there alone. He will ask you to come with him and turn the  light on first.

He is wrapping up his 2nd summer of Junior Summer Camp. This year, we continued enrollment at the same camp but also mixed in a week of vacation bible school, which he absolutely loved.


This year, we spent his birthday weekend at Disney. Back at the beginning of the year, we asked him if he would like to have a whole Disney weekend of fun & stay at a hotel on property or have a party with his friends. He was thrilled to choose to stay at the hotel. We don’t do many overnights away from home, and almost all we’ve done in the past have been staying with family. Thus, he was extra excited to check out a hotel experience & do it in Disney style!

I have SO many pics to share soon, but for now, here’s a few of our favs. We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and the first evening, we celebrated his birthday with dinner in Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom — Cinderella’s Royal Table. During the meet & greet with her before dinner, she danced with him …..it was THE sweetest moment!

Happy 6th Birthday, our sweet little man, Liam Michael!

You continue to overflow our hearts with joy, love & laughter. You are our biggest & brightest blessing. It is our privilege to watch you grow into such an amazing & beautiful little person with the biggest personality! Daddy & Mommy love you!

 

July 2017

10 Tips For a Safe July 4th!

Happy Birthday, America!

I want to share another post I wrote a few year’s back for Orlando Mom’s Blog, as the tips are still relevant for each & every 4th of July holiday. Many of us choose to celebrate with fireworks (who doesn’t love them, right?), so let’s always remember to be safe while we are having fun celebrating this great holiday for our nation.

When I think of the fourth of July, I think of fireworks. Yes, I realize that we are celebrating the birth of American independence, but ever since I was a child, I have always associated this holiday with those beautiful colors that light up the night sky.

Even at 34 weeks pregnant a few years back, I made my husband take me out in what seemed like 100 degree Florida heat to gather around Lake Eola here in downtown Orlando to see the spectacular fireworks show. Now that we have our little man, we have continued the tradition of returning to see this show each year. I truly love seeing my son’s eyes light up as he watches what he believe to be magic!

Whether you are like our family & choose to go to public fireworks events, or you like to do them at your home, please always remember to be safe! While fireworks are fun, we must not forget that they are dangerous. Only adults should handle them, and children & pets should be closely supervised while around them. Children like to do sparklers, and admittedly, we let our almost 4 year old do his 1st sparkler this past weekend. We made sure we stood right next to him & he held it far away from his body, but I will tell you that this momma was still a tad bit nervous. If you are not comfortable with it, don’t do it. Simple as that. Little arms are short, and sparklers can heat up to a staggering 1,200 degrees. A great alternative to sparklers is glow sticks! I know my little one LOVES them & never turns one down.

Here are my TOP 10 Tips for Fireworks Safety this July 4th:

1. Obey all laws regarding the use of fireworks.

2. Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.

3. Point fireworks away from your body, other people, homes, and keep away from brush and leaves and flammable substances.

4. Light one firework at a time (not in glass or metal containers), and never relight a dud.

5. Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed on the Fourth of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they’ll run loose or get injured.

6. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.

7. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.

8. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

9. Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.

10. Never try to make your own fireworks.

Did you know there is a National Council on Fireworks Safety? Many of my tips were taken from the recommendations on their website — www.fireworkssafety.org

I hope you & your family have a happy & SAFE Independence Day holiday!

March 2017

5 1/2 Years!

As we said good-bye to January, we said hello to 5 1/2 years old for this little man. In keeping with our family photo tradition, here’s the latest teddy bear pic ❤

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February was a pretty eventful month for us, so the time slipped away from me before I could get this update posted. We had some fun playing with his shadow one evening after school just before we broke his arm — sooo, this WAS pretty close to his 5 1/2 mark, which technically fell on January 31st.

AGE: 5 1/2 years // 66 months

WEIGHT: 51 lbs.

HEIGHT: 3 ft., 9 in. // 45 in.

CLOTHES: size 5 or 6 to a size small — depending on the brand ; He went through a major growth spurt over the summer and continues to get taller. I feel like we had about a year & a half where he had slowed down a bit with growth and now he’s definitely making up for it 🙂 — He also is very into his own style of dress and I think I said this before….gone are the days where I can buy & dress him in whatever I want. He knows what he wants to wear on any given day and will often fight you on it. At least, he is into matching colors. HA!

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WHAT’S NEW:

Liam has continued to immensely change & grow since his birthday. Since he’s our only child, it’s hard for me to compare him to anything else, but at this point, I would say it’s probably this age. He’s just like a sponge and it’s really amazing to watch him learn and be curious about the world around him.

Since just after his birthday, he began Kindergarten. As I recapped in THIS post, he has far surpassed both Stephen and my’s expectations for what he’s been learning. Most currently, he is reading beginner sight word books, and eagerly asks what words are that he doesn’t recognize. He picks up on the meaning of things that I wouldn’t even dream about him getting. For instance, in the Disney movie, Moana, I didn’t think he would understand the significance & connection of the grandmother’s death and the stingray. As we were watching, he immediately told me, ‘I think the grandma just died and that’s her in the water now as the stingray to help Moana‘. I was blown away.

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In September, he started taking Taekwondo lessons. If you see my posts on Instagram, I usually refer to them as karate, but the boys are quick to correct me, as it is technically Taekwondo, and he is now certified with the American Taekwondo Association. He just completed his 2nd belt promotion and competed in his 1st tournament, so not only is he excelling but we are also so proud of the hard work & dedication is showing. A separate recap post is coming soon on all this, but of course, I’m running behind {story.of.my.life}.

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Our new obsession is Disney. We love ALL the parks here in Orlando, and for the 1st time for any of us, we are feeling total Disney magic being able to drop into  any of them when we have free time. Santa brought us annual passes and let me tell you, we have been totally been taking advantage of that! I haven’t counted exactly, but I think we’ve visited the parks about 8 times since the 1st week in January. I have so many super fun pics to post soon! 🙂

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NOT SO INTO:

I’m putting this update under the ‘not so into’ as it was a bummer. On Valentine’s Eve, little dude fell off a slide during after-care and got a hairline fracture in his humerus bone on his left arm. He was in a cast for 3 weeks. He did very well with it, but it was an adjustment. We had to keep it dry, so bath time was interesting, but he & Daddy did great with that! He is a lefty, too, so he was a trooper with getting by with his school work & using his right-hand for a while.

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The struggle is REAL people with homework, friends. Little man does fantastic with his schoolwork, and while he doesn’t get a whole lot of homework…he is NOT a fan {I mean, really, who is?} …We do the bulk over the weekends, and there is usually some timeouts involved & stern talks…lol! One day, I’m sure we’ll look back on this & laugh, but man, this is the one area where he really pushes my buttons.

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At some point, over the last few months, we magically {maybe?} entered the gaming universe {help me!}. I think it partly is due to the fact that there is an XBOX and a Wii at the after-care room he attends, so he’s been exposed and allowed to sometimes play it since school started. We also gave him my old iPhone {as an iPod} not too long ago when I upgraded. All I know is that one day, I feel like I blinked, and he was playing games on the iPod, iPad, and Wii more than he was touching his regular toys. I started complaining to Stephen, and he just laughed. Not cool! LOL 😛 — He was back in his play room over this past weekend digging into his toys, so needlesstosay, this mama was over the moon. I love technology, but I’m also all for old-fashioned fun for as long as possible.

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You can catch up on all our previous monthly/yearly updates HERE.

Happy Half Birthday, Liam Michael! — Mommy & Daddy love you SO VERY much!

xoxo

Until next time friends,