Ultimate Blog Party: 2012 Edition #UBP12

It is finally that time of year when bloggers party like crazy together in the mad fun that is the Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom. I’m excited to join in again this year and am ready to party away until the fun comes to an end on the 20th.

Introductions

Photo By: By The Sean & Lauren Spectacular

It would be rude to show up to a party and not introduce yourself, so I invite you to head over and find out more about me or read some of my Day to Day post to get a feel for the life of an Odd Mom. I must admit though that if this were an in person party I would probably be the wallflower hanging out in a low lit nook somewhere avoiding introduction and waiting for some friendly faces to chat the night away with.

Breaking out of My Shell

This isn't me, but you get the picture! Photo By: By onourownpath.com

Speaking of in person parties, if this were one, chances are the only way you would get me out of the corner and my shell would be to have plenty of Twisted Tea on hand as well as some karaoke. Please don’t hold my ridiculously embarrassing behavior against me later though and recognize that I probably spent the morning wondering how I got puke in my hair and swearing I will never drink again. Don’t worry though, even though I have my rare idiotic moments where I drink entirely too much and make an ass of myself, I’m not one of “Those Moms.”

Another Reason to Party

Even though it still has me completely freaked out, I’m turning 30 at the end of the month, which gives me one more reason to party. My plans for my actual birthday will be really low key or non-existent since I’m still in the avoidance stage and the hubs has to go to Vegas for a week for work the following week. So I’m bringing the celebration to my blog instead.

To celebrate my birthday and the Ultimate Blog Party I’m giving away my ALL TIME FAVORITE cake, Shari's Berries: Chocolate Mousse Torte Happy Birthday Cake. Chocolate on top of chocolate, this cake leaves my family fighting like ravenous dogs for the last piece of meat. I want to share that cake passion with you too. Just enter below.

And don't forget to go join in the party and link up your blog at 5 Minutes for Mom too!

Two Birthdays Make for One Hectic Week!

LittleRedBday.jpg

Daddy told her to smile for the camera for a b-day pic and she just had to make a funny face for him! : )Wow, what a week! I spent the most of last week running errands preparing for Papa Bear’s birthday Friday and our Little Red’s third birthday on Sunday. During the course of it all, I did some serious curriculum overhaul and spent days trying to figure out how I was going to plan (or not plan) and get started with the new stuff. Not easy to do, but it has definitely let me sigh a bit of relief, well for now anyways.

The problem, during this hectic week I totally dropped the ball on my poor little blog here missing several planned post, including a review of The Founder’s Academy Electives on Demand. So, to help keep me accountable, here are my personal plans for the day, to keep accountable, so I get caught back up and no longer feel like a frazzled freak.

Top Priority

Write “The Founders Academy: Electives on Demand” review. Really, this is easy, because I cannot wait to share it with you.

Write my “Always IceCream” review for the TOS Crew due to post tomorrow.

Once these are done, we’ll get some schoolwork done and then is on to…

Medium Priority

Tackle that mountain of laundry that never seems to go away!

Make my way through the 400+ emails for the Home School Tweet that I have avoided for the last week.

Make my way through my 400+ personal emails, also avoided for the last week.

Finish working through my new lesson plans and getting my personal binder together.

Sign back up for Fly Lady, because I obviously need some sort of motivation to get my butt back in gear!

Low Priority

Write my “Cooking with History” post.

Review my calendar, checking twitter party dates, blog hops etc….

Check out the deals currently going on at some of my favorite stores to see if I can start to check off items on our Christmas list.

(clearly I am working out of order today and you can see if you follow along that I am just NOT motivated to get this all done!)

If I can manage all of this today without losing my mind and still taking care of the normal day to day, I’m going to reward myself with a nice glass of wine with dinner. If not, well, there is always tomorrow, but I’m sure going to try!

How do you get back on track when life has gotten a little hectic and interrupted your plans?

THE WEEKEND THAT DISNEY KICKED MY BUTT

Literally, my butt hurts! However, let us start out at the beginning.

We set out Friday night for the little over an hour drive to Orlando for a three-day mini-vacation for our middle daughter, Goldilocks, sixth birthday. Our intentions were to go to SeaWorld and the Pirates Dinner Adventure for her birthday dinner, but man how plans change.

We got up Saturday morning, had super cheap but really good hotel buffet breakfast and then hopped on the I-Ride Trolley to SeaWorld, swimsuits on, suntan lotion on and ready to go. I even had our show itinerary all ready.

We arrived at the gate with the EZ-Pay vouchers for the annual passes I purchased ($38 down for four passes) in hand and went to turn them in.

The customer service worker stared at me with a puzzled look and that is when I knew something was wrong.

“I’m sorry, I cannot give you your passes, the system says you owe $1057 from you passes two years ago.”

“I Owe You What?”

I was in shock, as we had made two payments on those passes when our finances took a serious downturn that we have just recently recovered from. I called and canceled the passes, never had another payment deducted from our bank account, never received any correspondence in the mail and yet two years later they want me to hand over more than 1K.

The kicker, they wouldn’t refund the down payment I put down on the new passes. Humppfff, and I was nice enough to include a $5 donation to the wildlife conservation fund when I purchased the passes this time.

Think Mom Think!

Now it was time for a quick change of plans, as we rode the trolley back to the hotel I had to think and figure out what we would do for her birthday. We had already decided that Universal was out of the question in our original planning stages because Little Red (2) could only go on two rides between the two parks and we were not up for the tantrums that would ensue from that.

I snagged up hubby's Optimus phone and got on Disney’s site and by the time we got back to the hotel I had purchased annual passes for a down payment of $332. I ran to the guest services area of the lobby, printed the vouchers, double checked our sunscreen, bags and all that good stuff and we hopped in the car and made the 15 minute drive to Animal Kingdom.

Maybe it is because we have been to Bush Gardens in the past, but let me tell you, my kids were less than thrilled with Animal Kingdom.

To see the limited number they have at the park versus Bush Gardens you must wait in the LONG lines, get a Fast Pass to skip the long line and have to trek back to the exhibit later or go on what seems like a never-ending winding hike through the trees to see about five animals at a time while all the while your impatient kids are saying

“Where are ALL the Rides?”

Including eating lunch, we were only in the park for three and half hours before we headed over to Hollywood Studios. The kids were slightly more receptive here, they enjoyed the shows and what we did and we left the park around dusk and headed back to the hotel to clean up for dinner.

Good Morning Magic Kingdom, I’m Ready to Have my Butt Kicked!

Ah, it is Sunday morning, Birthday day and we arrive at Magic Kingdom at 9:30 in the morning ready for the RIDES. We planned to ride every ride the kids were interested in and then go to Epcot to see a few things and have dinner.

We started out in Adventureland (I’ve always done this, less crowd in the morning) and quickly got Aladdin’s magic carpet ride, The Swiss Family Tree House, Jungle Cruise and Pirates marked off our list of to do’s.

Then we headed over and snagged up Fast Passes for Big Thunder Mountain, while we waited it was the Country Bear Jamboree and lunchtime.

After that it was time grab Splash Mountain Fast Passes (3hr wait) so we did the Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan’s Flight, Ice Cream and the Tea Cups before we headed back.

Finally, it was time to tackle Tomorrowland! The big kids and their daddy ran into the Stitch Ride (which by the way they don’t suggest) while the little one and I had a water fight with our two $15 a piece Disney Misting Fans.

Then we all watched the Monsters Inc. Laugh Factory Show (really worth it for little kids) and then headed over for our Space Mountain Fast Passes. While we waited for our board time we hopped on the Buzz Lightyear ride, rode the little race car ride, shopped for our souvenirs and watched the live stage show that featured Goofy, Pluto and Chip and Dale.

It was finally time for the last ride, Space Mountain (both kids have since proclaimed it their favorite though they looked scared out of their wits) and when it was done, we exited the park at 9pm.

We were all tired and hungry and dinner at Epcot was a no go since they closed up at nine. We attempted to keep the kids awake until we got back to the hotel as we swung through for drive thru to make sure they ate before they fell asleep.

After trying to keep up with my power-walking husband for two days, downing hoards of medicine to deal with my nasty cold and infected tooth, I was done for and exhausted.

Disney Didn’t Get me Yet Though!

Really, it wasn’t the exhaustion that kicked my butt; it was when I looked at my bank account that I realized how bad that happy little park had beaten me.

Total cost for park entry (since they already charged our monthly payment yesterday) $432.57

Total cost for lunch and snacks for two days (breakfast and dinner are a whole other tally away from Disney) 118.38

Souvenirs & Misc. $81.77

And then a random freaking charge that I DID NOT spend ?????? $54.00

 For a Grand total of a $686.72 butt kicking from Disney in two days. Man does that hurt!

Especially since it does not include our gas, hotel, breakfast and dinner cost. In all, a three day weekend getaway to Disney for a family living an hour away cost…..bum…bum…bum….$1125.75!

Yeah, I totally just fainted! Next visit will be a DAY trip, no hotel, and I will be packing snacks in our bag to help cut the cost down.

Thank you Disney, my Children thoroughly enjoyed my butt kicking and we will begin reading the Swiss Family Robinson this week as part of our schoolwork since you have sparked their interest!

(psstt...I'll share some pics Friday in my Homeschool Mother's Journal Post)