Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Disney World!

Way back at the beginning of November, we took the boys for their first trip to Disney World.  Peter's family has gone every year to Disney World since he was pretty small - maybe two or three years old, so it's become something of a tradition.  They're members of the Disney Vacation Club, which basically gives the member points to use against hotel rooms during each year, so we only had to worry about our flights and costs once we got there, which was nice.

The boys did pretty well on the flight; they slept most of the way there.  Once we got there and picked up our luggage, we headed for Enterprise rental car.  That was an absolute mess.  It took forever to get our car, and then once we got everyone settled and ready to go, there were no keys.  Nobody knew where they were.  So we had to find another car and get everything transferred.  The car they tried to give us was a no-go, because the boys' seats wouldn't fit in it properly.  Finally, we got a small Volvo crossover/SUV type thing, so I think we really ended up ahead in the deal, since we got a premium car, but it took over an hour to get the whole thing settled.

We finally arrived and got settled in at the hotel - we stayed at the Kidani Villages (the Disney Vacation Club property at the Animal Kingdom Lodge).  It was wonderful for the boys - they could see animals from the balcony, which they thought was awesome!  We all stayed in a three-bedroom grand villa.  Initially, Peter and the boys and I were in a separate room, but somehow the booking got mixed up and they had us in a studio rather than a one-bedroom.  That meant that everything was in one room, so there would be no place for us to go after the boys were asleep, not to mention that there really wasn't room for two pack and plays.  But we switched into the grand villa where everyone else was staying, and there was plenty of room - plus we got to bank the points that would have been used on that extra room!  Generally there are enough points in a year for the family trip, plus one kid (they alternate between Peter and each of his sisters) to take a long weekend.  So there are some years we've been to Disney twice in one year, and his sister has been even more times than that - she loves Disney!

We had lunch in the room (very late - I think it was probably 3:30 or 4 by the time we got to eat) and then room service for dinner that night with Peter's mom, his sister, and her husband.  Peter's other sister arrived late that night, and her boyfriend arrived a few days later (he had to work).  The first night was hard; the boys were up off and on all night.  I think they both ended up sleeping in the (thankfully) king-size bed with us.  I think the combination of a new place, seeing more people for the first time in awhile, plus the noise whenever they rolled over in the pack and plays (there were sheets, but you could still hear a plastic-y noise) just kept the poor little guys awake.

Monday, December 17, 2012


I realize that I haven't posted in a month and a half; things have been a little crazy at our house.  After we got back from Disney World (which I hope to write about later), one of us was sick after the other, and in any spare moments I've been trying to get the boys' playroom done so that they have a place of their own to play, rather than in the middle of the living room.  All that, plus holiday prep, means things like blogging have fallen to the end of the list.  Now, though, I'm sitting in a doctor's waiting room undergoing fructose sensitivity testing.  Basically, I've had to drink a really awful, sweet solution and they then have me breathe into a machine every 30 minutes for 2 hours to see if I have a fructose sensitivity.  Fun times, let me tell you.  But since I'm a captive audience, I thought I'd get back on the blogging train.  Before I start back with general blogging though, I wanted to say a few words about the Newtown tragedy (or as many as I can before I start sobbing in front of all these people).

I honestly don't know what to say.  Every time I think about those babies with their lives cut short, I'm heartbroken.  How do you write an obituary for a six- or seven-year-old?  And then how do you write nineteen more?  The funerals and services begin today, and my heart aches for the parents and families and friends.  The other night, I was up with James in the middle of the night for over an hour trying to get him back to sleep.  I was annoyed and tired, but then I thought, you know, there are twenty families who would give anything to be awake with their babies.  Anything for a crying child in the middle of the night.  Twenty families who may be awake, because they are so overcome with grief that they can't sleep.  And then the countless other families who are awake with children who can't sleep because they're terrified, terrified because they saw or heard their friends and teachers get gunned down in a place that was supposed to be a safe haven.  I don't know what the answer is.  I know that it is important that we have this conversation now.  Don't put it off, and say it's too soon.  Soon it will be too late.  I've seen people commenting that it isn't all about guns; it's about access to mental health care, too.  This is certainly true; we need to have quality mental health care available to anyone who needs it.  But I think people jump to guns because there's no way we can ever help all the people who need mental health care.  There's no way to track everyone down, and no real way to force those who need help to take it if they don't want it.  And because of that, I think people look to something that can be legislated, and that's gun control.  Living in Texas, I don't know that banning handguns would work.  I know that several countries have done that, but I wonder what their rate of gun ownership was beforehand.  As I said, I don't know what the answer is.  There probably isn't one single answer.  But we have to do something.  No parent should ever have to bury her child.  No child should ever see his best friend gunned down, or hear his favorite teacher die defending his life.  This has to stop.