The Herron Family is Ready for Disney World

George and I are lucky enough to be traveling to Florida with his mom and dad (Grandma and Grandpa Bird) this year and due to Abbey’s maturing obsession with Mickey Mouse and friends we’ve decided to tack on a day at Disney during this week-long trip. We know that she adores Mickey and Minnie and will bust out some serious dance moves when the “Hot dog” song comes on but we aren’t sure how she’ll react to the characters and the events of the day as a whole. After spending about 20 minutes in the Disney store tonight at Kenwood Mall with Abbey, I’m pretty sure she will have a BLAST!

As soon as Abbey rounded the corner to step inside the store she transformed into super toddler that had just received a bolt of energy. She wanted to touch and hold every single plush character and looked back at mom and dad with this huge smile and of course she was babbling on and on (in toddler speak) the whole time. Abbey even made a friend, Austin, who chased her around the back part of the store and through the tunnel of the windmill tower thingy. Personally, I had my eyes set on the clearance rack where I found a 12-18 month sized Tinkerbell dress for $19.99, I’m sure this would have been every bit of $35 at Disney. Perfect fit and I had to put it on Abbey as soon as we got home.

Tinkerbell 1

Here’s my model showing off her new dress! She saw herself in the mirror and said, “ABBEY” which is one of her new words this week.

Besides finding this great dress for an awesome price we also talked with the cashier who had been an amazing resource to us the last time we visited the store in November. She suggested that we book a breakfast buffet at Chef Mickey’s (where you are guaranteed to see characters without waiting in long lines) and to do it way in advance. So when she and I were talking I brought up that conversation, told her I took her advice and asked if she had other information to pass along. Lucky us she had just got back from Disney 4 days ago and had plenty of ideas, tips and tricks to share.

  • Tip #1: bring a soft pouch cooler with your own snacks and drinks (Jami, I need to place a Thirty-One order soon).
  • Tip #2: Park at the Central Ticketing Center (CTC) then take a ferry or train to Magic Kingdom.
  • Tip #3: Go to the park early!
  • Tip #4: She assured us that going from Magic Kingdom to Chef Mickey at the Contemporary Resort and back was a cinch, I like “cinches” a LOT. 

Even though Disney store Cashier (didn’t catch her name) was amazing with the resources I’m happy to take other tidbits of information and especially any tips with bringing a toddler to Magic Kingdom. I started a “rides for Abbey” list in Evernote, I might be a bit too organized. Nahhh!

Just in case you need to get this song in your head like it’s in mine every day… go ahead and click the play button, you know you want to!

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Hope

Everyone, Hope. Hope, everyone.

Does anyone know what in the hell was going on at Kenwood mall this Saturday?  Was there some huge sale going on?  Was it the “Please come out and shop because the economy sucks and we need some business and let’s face it, it’s the middle of January and you weren’t doing anything anyway” sale?  Because that place was packed like it was the week before Christmas…and it was the only mall in America.  You would have been hard pressed to tell that there is a recession going on at Kenwood mall.

Normally I would have just turned around and went home after Jesy and I went up and down at least four isles to find a parking spot.  I’m just not that patient when it comes to mall parking.  Nine times out of ten I don’t want to be there anyway, so why would I put that much effort to find a parking spot three zip codes away?

But it was a special day.  Today was the day that both Jesy and I felt like we could handle going to the Build-A-Bear Workshop at Kenwood to make the stuffed bear that we had planned on making for our child.  You see, before we heard the heart beat for the last time (wow, that was tougher to type that I thought it would be) we went to Build-A-Bear and bought a recorder and took it with us to the appointment to record the heartbeat. Our plan was to then put it in a bear for our baby.  I must admit this was not my idea, I stole it from a co-worker who suggested it.  So, before everything blew up, we had recorded the heartbeat and for the last two months that recorder just sat in the original bag that we bought it in collecting dust.  As a matter of fact I hadn’t even listened to it since that day, couldn’t.

Sooooo, yeah it was worth the Everest-like hike from Scooby Doo 17 to the mall entrance.

Picking the right bear:

Harder than I thought.  I’m an unconventional thinker sometimes and I like to mix it up.  I thought the rabbits they had were very cute and didn’t feel like going all main-stream with this.  But, Jesy hates rabbits because she had a real rabbit when she was younger and it was mean apparently.  So the rabbit was out.  I liked the wolf that they had, it was a special WWF (World Wildlife Foundation, not wrestling) that would be replaced by another animal in the coming months.  But the way it had to sit didn’t make it very cuddly.  Dear God, I just used cuddly and cute in the same paragraph, this is getting dangerous.  So two strikes so far.  Jesy and I just kind of wandered around like zombies staring at the bears and other animals you could build not getting “that feeling” from any of them.  And of course I didn’t want to budge either about getting a traditional brown bear, it just seemed to normal for any kid of mine.

But then there it was.  A white bear with pink hearts.  Perfect for that little girl we had lost.  I mean if they had a frog it would have been an easy choice, but this bear was a fine substitute.  I can imagine a very young Jesy picking out this exact bear.

Building the bear:

Once we had the deflated bear in hand it was time to get her all stuffed.  As we were waiting in line to get the bear innards I noticed that we were the only people in there without an ankle biter with us, I’m sure it seemed a bit strange to the employees there, because several times we were asked, “Oh, building a bear for your little one?”  Ummmmmmmmmmmmm.  Blank face. That was our response.  Pretty articulate right?  What do you say, how do you respond to that?  “Well Build-A-Bear employee that I have never met, let me tell you all about how we lost the baby that we had planned on building this bear for, and please excuse my wife’s tears right now as you have struck a nerve.  Thanks.”

I know it wasn’t their fault at all and they were just trying to make small talk as the machine filled the bear, but dammit I was really hoping to get out of here without Jesy having to even think about re-hashing that story verbally again.  I was prepared just to say yes to shut him up, but Jesy bravely told him a VERY Reader’s Digest condensed version.  He did the awkward shut up and looked down at the ground.

Naming the bear:

The hardest part of all.  With bear in hand we had to sit at the “naming station” and fill out a “birth certificate” for the bear.  Weird.  The bear gets a birth certificate and our baby doesn’t.  Surreal really.  So what do you call a bear that you build for someone who has passed away?  What do you name a bear that the intended recipient will never receive?  What do you name a bear that your wife will cuddle with and cry on?

Hope.

It was so easy, but I blanked.  Jesy was the one that came up with the name and it couldn’t have been more perfect.  I think she felt like she needed some hope, and Hope is what she got.

Jesy has slept with the bear both nights since bringing it home.  Even I rolled over this morning while Jesy was in the shower and hugged it.  I’m not sure that I will be brave enough to listen to the heart beat again anytime soon, but baby steps right?

It was a powerful and emotional day/weekend, but I’m glad we finally did it.  It was another necessary step in healing and moving on I think.

“You have to admit it’s getting better.  It’s getting better all the time.”