Floriday Vaycay Day One

Moments before piling into the car to leave Toronto

It’s morning here, and we’re waking up slowly before padding off for breakfast and some pool side relaxation prior to braving day two of Magic Kingdom. The girls are engaged (i.e. fighting like cats) in a game of Math Dice.

We arrived very late on Tuesday night, and the kids were total troupers despite a full day of making our way from Toronto to Buffalo Airport. Our resort is beautiful, and we’ve got all of the pool we could ever ask for here (I think there are four on site). Today our mission is to discover the kid friendly pool with the pirate ship.

Yesterday we woke up at a leisurely pace, went for breakfast at the resort restaurants, and then piled in the car and headed to Magic Kingdom. The excitement level was through the roof (literally – I couldn’t believe how loud the car was) and both girls patiently weathered the series of gates and monorails and check ins that led into entering the park once and for all. Upon entry, A got the chance to get up close and personal with Princess Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty). She was lovely and didn’t look sweaty or uncomfortable at all.

H & A take on the Magic Kingdom

Despite a fairly rainy morning (including a brush with a typhoon that left us all soaking wet and ducking for cover in a ‘tribal market’) we managed to knock off half the park at a pace that suited everyone, and the kids got to experience several of the rides that were our own childhood favourites. Highlights included Pirates of the Caribbean, and my favorite The Haunted Mansion. I finally got to ride It’s a Small World, after it being closed all three times I’d previously been to Magic Kingdom. In typical Schnooville fashion, I saw a Toronto colleague running for cover in the downpour. It seems I can’t travel without bumping into someone I know!

I was able to enjoy nearly every ride, except the roller coaster they rode in Frontierland. Riding with the kids was so much fun because they were totally amazed by everything. Instead of the coaster I took a cruise on a riverboat, waving at enthusiastic strangers and wearing my big floppy hat. There were no seats on the boat, and at one point we cruised past a canopied area filled with rocking chairs that seemed to mock me from the shore. The rain made the afternoon temperature quite awesome for a pregnant lady, and my feet held up for nearly six hours. We enjoyed several rests for snacks and water, and an ice cream break to bolster us towards the end of the day. If you can call that soft serve stuff ice cream.

My view from the riverboat

The infamous line ups that we read about really weren’t so bad. The worst was for the last ride we rode – the Peter Pan Adventure. It really was epic, and the ride was really not as impressive as some of the others that we only had to wait 15 mins for. The kids seemed to enjoy it though (H thought we were actually flying), which is the whole point, isn’t it? We headed back to the hotel, enjoyed a late supper, and then a very late family swim before bed time. Our pool is open until 1am!

Today we’ll return to Magic Kingdom in the late afternoon and visit the attractions we didn’t get to yesterday and probably stay for the fireworks. May the gods have mercy as we attempt to drag two exhausted kids home in the epic traffic after park closing. Maybe the Internet gods will show us a free place off site where we can enjoy them?

At dinner last night, six-year-old A spontaneously queried “Do you know how much we love you guys?” and we were treated to an impromptu dance party by the girls who cared not a whit about what other people on the patio might think of their exuberant display. The family vacation simply MUST be an annual tradition.

Third TryMester



It’s astonishing how quickly seven months have passed. I’ve tried with all of my might to hang on to each moment of this pregnancy, and still the time is racing by. My belly is enormous, and I actually can’t believe there are two and a half more months of stretching left. How can I get any bigger than this?

In recent days, I’ve felt more ‘pregnant’ than ever before. My feet and ankles swell by the end of the day no matter how much water I drink, I get winded very quickly by simple things like walking or stair climbing, and on some days I feel each and every one of my extra 20 pounds with each movement I make. Oh, and now I waddle. My energy levels are only slightly better than first trimester, but I’m determined to stay fit, so yoga continues to be part of my daily routine. I’m still loving this, don’t get me wrong. I just think it’s remarkable how each stage affects my body.

Tomorrow we’re off on our first-ever family vacation all together. We’re taking on Orlando, in August. I believe that if we let the kids set the pace, and I wear comfortable shoes and drink lots of water, I will have fun, despite feeling a little bit like a manatee. My mantra for this trip is “Relax, be easy”. It will be an adventure in letting go and living in each moment. More and more each day I realize these are the two biggest lessons that I need to learn.

One of the many great things about children who have very limited exposure to television or the Internet is that telling them we’re going to Orlando, Florida is utterly meaningless. We held off about telling them that we’re visiting the Magic Kingdom until Friday night, and even then all they seem to care about is whether or not they will be able to go swimming. With such lowered expectations, I feel like we’re in complete control of how insane this trip will be (or not be). The plan right now is to enjoy a few theme park days peppered with days lounging at the resort pool. We’re trying out a Sheraton resort because of a sweet family hook up. See the photos above. Mamma S and I bought Daddy a few laps on a race track in a Ferrari too to celebrate our three year tri-anniversary. All her brilliant idea.

How wonderful to have a birthday this year where my focus has gladly shifted from self to this little being I am growing. All I wanted was to have my family close and be with the people I love. I feel like there is so much to celebrate in our lives right now, and I’m so lucky to have such an abundance of blessing. It hasn’t been easy for us trying to ‘reinvent the wheel’ and I’m sure we’ll have challenges ahead, but we’ve reached a place of greater understanding and it feels like I hoped it could feel, with each day getting better and better. I think this success has largely been due to setting boundaries and creating more structure, opening communication, and making therapy a priority for each of us. I can’t say enough about how wonderful therapy is.

Stay tuned for vacation updates. For now, I’ll leave you with my 2012 Birthday Wishes.

1. Continued good health

2. A safe and positive delivery of this baby

3. Good health for my family

4. Continued growth and deepening of love for my family

5. More visits from my parents and my brother, who I wish were more physically present in my life

6. Deeper patience and greater ability to manage stress

7. A true, clear sign that my artistic endeavors are going to yield a profit

8. The strength to handle being a mother as gracefully as I would like

9. More time with my dear friends and their families

10. The ability to break down my own issues to have deeper love and give better love

Pool side and mouse ears, here I come!