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Maddie Mia

My sweet girl has decided she wants to be called Maddie Mia.  It is adorable.

This girl is so sweet.  She loves to help mother Landon whenever she is needed and often does things to help him without asking.

She is learning so much and loves to go to school.  At school her main interest is art, but she’ll also do the other work.  She loves to sing and participate and get questions right often raising her hand to answer them.  Maddie Mia has overcome her intense natural shyness in many ways even participating as the daily helping hand when her turn comes up.  Last year she would not be the helping hand.

She loves church.  It is her favorite destination.  She asks me many mornings if it is a church day yet.  She even told me once she wished she could go to church as many days a week as she goes to school and school once a week.  I love all her questions about Jesus and Heavenly Father.  She asked me the other day why Jesus made the night time so long, because she would like it to be wake up time more.

Madison loves to ‘read’ to herself every night before bed.  She looks at the pictures and tells these fantastical stories filled with action, love and whimsy spoken out loud in different voices and tones.  We love to listen to her.  {Blake is starting to do this also!}

That is just a few little tid bits about our sweet baby girl.

Over the last week I was getting a little concerned about my recent ‘tinkling’.  My wonderful friend Heather creates lovely jewelry.  She created a neckless for me with three charms that each have a kids name on them.  Her store, HHP designs, is found on Etsy and Facebook.    Well, Maddie Mia corrected my thinking on that!  She told me several times this week how much she loved to hear my neckless tinkle and how it sounded like a wonderful tiny bell to her.  The tinkling isn’t often and is very quite, and she loves it.  I can hear the wonder in her voice as she gently reaches up to play with my neckless.

More dreams on the Dream

 Well, for those who asked for more details on the Disney cruise, this is another valiant attempt to share.  Or should I say over share?…  I hope you don’t kill me for sharing too many images again.  This time there are more then the last time by almost double.

Last post we left off as we took shelter from the rain that started within minutes of the ship pulling away from the dock.  We headed down to the main atrium/lobby area where a woman was singing beautifully.  All of our kids are love to listen to music so they headed over to watch with their damp scraggly hair.


Within moments they noticed one of the window seat porthole windows that are everywhere on the ship.


Madison got bored pretty quick while Blake could have stayed there for a long long time.


She found a much more fun activity {to her}.  Dancing to the beautiful music with her daddy!  Landon {in the foreground} was toddling around back and forth from the musician to the window.


I barely turned around to catch this {hence the blurry pic!}.  So delighted with this sweet image of a daddy/daughter kiss.


That look on her face is pure satisfied happiness.

 

I don’t know who to call Mr. Personality anymore with both Landon and Blake.  They give each other a run for the money on pure imaginative entertainment power.  Those two boys seem to be hardwired to being able to convey meaning and entertainment with the slightest gesture.  Landon is on a mission to ‘tell’ me something here.  It should be extra entertaining when he really starts to talking.


Blake had a great view of the pilot boat right outside his window seat.


I came back to the window just in time to see the area we were watching the cruise ships pass by us the previous day.   {This shot is a little further out}


One relaxed and happy boy.


The sunset a few minutes later was awesome with the perfect lifting of the storm just for sunset!!!

Dinner for us in our regular life is not generally a fun affair.  Being on the cruise ship didn’t change this fact at all.  In some ways it was easier with lovely wait staff who would cut up the kids food for them and the distraction of the people and the restaurant itself.   In other ways it was harder with people around to stare if our kids got whiny and pouty because the ‘had’ to eat, were bored or didn’t like something.  So dinner was not really photographed and will not be mentioned until the last night gets blogged.  The food was good.  It was cruise ship food to me.  Overall tasty and an opportunity to try things you wouldn’t normally.  I got a few fish dishes to try with a regular backup dish as well.  Worked great.  About 50% of what I tried was yummy and the other 50% not so good.


The one evening show we attended was the first night.  It is touted as the best and not to miss show.   I enjoyed it and we almost made it through the whole thing.  Of course, this means we also beat the crowd exiting at once too!  This allowed us to have a great leisurely exit and some wander time with few people around.


The premise of the show is like a academy awards show with a staffer stuck hosting due to a no show.  The old Disney dream to be the impossible kicks in and the staffer accomplishes the impossible.  This was the ‘red carpet’ before show part.

 

It was amazing how many cool and different sets they did during this short show.  Loved it.  A dreamy Snow White.  {This reminds me….  If we had named Madison snow she would have been both Snow White and White, Snow.  lol}


The incredibly buff Tarzan.  They did a great arial trick with those ‘vines’ hanging in the background.


The Mulan character was super tiny!


They really made Jessie and Woody look WAY bigger then the other toys onstage.  Cool costume tricks.  Blake was really at attention for this part!


And then we get to Madison’s favorite princess, hands down, Repunzel.  She was almost in tears excited to see her here.  She also was completely crushed beyond words that she couldn’t meet her on the cruise ship when so many other characters and princesses were there.  Anytime we saw any of the princesses she made sure to bemoan the fact that Repunzel was not there to us.


After Repunzel, I was busted for taking pics during the show.  It must of been my super bright LCD screen that gave me away.  It could also have been the increasingly restless Landon.


In the morning we went right from the tasty buffet breakfast to get in the princess greeting line early.  The kids played in the lounge area with Guy while I waited in line.  There were some other kids over there off and on as well.  It broke Guy’s heart to see our shy and very tenderhearted Madison try and get in on some play time with the other kids.  Many times they don’t understand she wants to play with them by the way she acts.  But sometimes she will boss around or correct kids behavior which turns them off of her.  She is such a little bossy mama.


Everyone started getting really excited and the kids ran over to try and get a good look at the princesses as they approached.  They are avidly watching the stairs here.  Then we looked up to their left…


…To find princesses right above us!!  Oh the delight.


Then shifting quickly back to the stairs we see the other princesses descending the stairs.  Madison had that breathy excitement thing going on.


Snow White was so sweet to have a conversation with the kids.  Really, most of the characters had conversations with the kids.  It felt so personal and like a real meeting instead of just a picture op.


As a parent, this face right here is what makes spending an extra grand on a Disney cruise verses a regular one worth it!


I wish we could just tell their photographer to bugger off so the kids wouldn’t get confused at who to look at.  Well, I never even checked to see if we could.  Next time we go to Disney I plan on it.


The kids like to call her Beauty and the Beast instead of Belle.  So funny.


Our kids are so perfectly normal when it comes to smile on cue image ops.   Not so much looking at the camera or smile or do it at the same time if they do.  Not sure if being a photographer helps or hinders.


It was about this time Guy remarked to me how Blake kept looking at one of the princesses down the line and had been since Snow White.  Both of us thought it must be Tiana.  The angle seemed right.


Love!


Maddie is like me.  If clothes have scratchy tags or seams she wants them off immediately.  Socks were my biggest issue growing up.  Those seams had to be just right.  It dawned on me that I’ve never heard Madison complain about them.  Oh yeah that’s right, I’m totally obsessive about getting them just right the first time when putting them on them!  lol    The reason I bring this up?  Notice how far away from Cinderella she is?  She is still talking about how scratchy her dress was.   Maddie loves princess dresses, but she can’t wear so many pretty dresses she loves since they are scratchy.


And then we arrived at Tiana.  Both kids rushed in to meet her.


She got in there first.


Then he got in a good hug while Madison giddily looked on.


Hmmmm, maybe this wasn’t the princess he was all about.


He sure got in there first for Sleeping Beauty {who kind of resembles Taylor Swift}.


Blake’s body posture definitely looks a little like he’s looking at a crush.


They had the longest conversation with her.


Talking about the broken arm here.


Madison has been practicing doing her hands like this.  “Princess Hands.  Ummmm Hmmm.”  Said with a little know it all smile.  lol  Blake looks a little left out.  Definitely crushing here!


Wooing her back to him.


Little mama policing her brother.


Finally we got to Ariel. m These two were all over getting in super close.


This is also where we realized Blake is a sucker for red heads!!  Check out these shots.  If that isn’t a major crush, I don’t know what is.


His eyes are glued to her.


Then he shyly looks down when she talks to him.


As soon as she looks up he doesn’t take his eyes off her and is giving her a totally adoring look!


We headed up to go play in the kids area during the family open house.  It was the perfect time to go in there and play with the kids.  I wish we had been more aware of these open house times so we could have made more of them.


Princess Mini was also a hit with Mad.  She thought she was gorgeous.


In the kids area there were two huge groupings of rooms each with its own center area where shows, group activities, story time and character events happened.  Durning open houses only one of the two groupings would be open to the parents.  The floor lit up in the section we were in this time.  Before sitting here we explored Pixie Hollow where Madison fell in love with the crayons and coloring pages.  lol  Thought I’d say something more exciting?  At first she wanted to put on all the dress up clothes, but the first one she tried was scratchy.  Blake fell in love with the more exploration themed room including Nemo’s sub.  Andy’s room was also really cool!


We didn’t tell the kids, but Mickey and some friends were about to come see them!  They just loved the lights.  The colors are freaky weird throughout this space making all the images look weird.


Two fun ladies got the kids going and led the adventure.


We solved riddles and puzzels to see who was coming next.


The Goofster came out first.


He got the kids to do a bean bag toss.


Then we all got into our groove with some dancing.


Maddie did her best to figure it out.


Guy was her biggest cheer leader!   She’d also look over at me to make sure I was watching.


Then Pluto came out.  Pluto must have been a super stocky dude with massive thighs.  You could see those suckers even with the costume.


Blake loved getting down like a dog.


All four of us were having fun dancing around.


Then it was Mickey’s turn!


Madison is checking back to make sure Blake joined her in the congo line.


Back to Pixie Hollow for some coloring.


We were happy for two things on this heavily rainy and pretty windy day..  1. We had already decided we were staying on the ship at Nassau.  2.  We weren’t at sea with what would probably be not so calm seas.


These kids ended up celebrating their birthdays for more then two weeks.  Guy is giving them their birthday buttons from Disney.


So excited to once again be a special birthday girl.


All three kids were all over the place when we saw Donald Duck.


I finally got the flash dialed in and decided on just an image of Donald would be fine.


After seeing Donald we let the kids spend their $100 birthday money from Grammy and Grandpa in the Toy Store!  These are all the goodies they got.  Landon was happy to play with the kids stuff so the two big kids just split the total.   With a little appropriately exclaimed steering towards items we thought were both a good fit and a good value they ended up with a Car’s car launcher & car set, Woody doll, Jessie doll and a cool Tangled set.  The car launcher and Tangled set get the most use here at home, but the dolls are out every day too.


Oh, I also forgot to mention we went on the slides again this day.  Landon went to the nursery for his morning nap.   Lunch was really tasty.  I normally Do Not like buffets, but the Disney one had great food every time we went there.  The pizza, chicken strips, panini’s and fries were also good.  My only complaint about the pizza was that they had two pre-made of each kind.  If you want a pipping hot one then you pretty much have to go with pepperoni since they are ordered most often.  The other ones had been sitting too long for my taste.  We also took the opportunity to take an afternoon nap as a family each day.  It gave the kids renewed energy making dinner less miserable then it would have been and we got to stay up later at night.  It also gave me a chance to do a basic edit on all of our cruise ship images which wouldn’t have gotten done otherwise.

The ship also has a great movie theatre that shows first run and other favorite movies during the cruise.  The perfect touch would have been some freshly popped popcorn.  I’m a sucker for some good popcorn.  They had some bagged popcorn like you can buy in a gas station that just didn’t appeal.


We got there pretty early so Landon got a chance to wander all over the place.  The twins met a little boy their age who had a great set of Star Wars figurines {like her Tangled set}.  They made fast friends and had those figurines scattered all along the middle front row wall.  They loved playing good guys and bad guys.