The Babe With the Power…. a Halloween Wrap-Up

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Back in September:

When DC and I picked out his costumes two weeks ago for this, my favorite holiday, I was a little bit disappointed.

Until… after the chosen costumes arrived of course, we came upon something so much better. I was not thrilled about the Santa and Elf he had chosen for us to wear on Halloween night (I know… not… about… me) so I was glad and he was excited to happen upon a fabulous replacement.

No worries. I knew that Santa and the Elf would not go to waste. There always seems to be an extra event or party that comes up that I did not plan for and fortunately this year there were two extra events that came up.

Once again, we had to man a fundraising table to support DC’s summer camp and like last year this table was located at a local miniature golf course that decorates for the month of October. Plain old miniature golf becomes Haunted Golf for the month. Like me, DC has no interest in playing miniature golf, but if he is going to sit at the table surrounded by Halloween, he is surely  going to wear a costume.

He was planning on wearing that “extra” Santa costume, but as it happened it had rained all day and it became so hot and humid that evening the Santa costume would have been really uncomfortable. I talked him into wearing the Elf instead. I told him that I had heard that there would be a costume dance hosted by his day/work program in a few weeks and if he wanted to attend, he could wear the Santa suit then. He agreed.

The Elf it was at Haunted Golf:

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He was not shy about ‘working’ those bells…

One “extra” costume down and moving on.

Two days later, DC attended his summer Camp Halloween party. He loves to see his camp friends during the off months. For this party, he chose a Wizard. Not just any Wizard, mind you… in his mind this was Merlin from the Sword and the Stone, a very old Disney movie. Now, you knew there HAD to be at least one choice somehow related to Disney. There is no getting around that.

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Later, he did mention that he was not only the Wizard from The Sword and the Stone but also Snow White’s father. I have no recollection as to just what Snow White’s father looks like, so I will have to take his word on that one.

His work dance was coming up and I asked him more than once if he was sure he wanted to go. He said he did. DC is always up for a dance. He loves to dance, but the dances given by his day/work program are usually not anywhere on his list of things he wants to do. The very first time DC used the word ‘boring’ was to describe one of these dances and the only time he has used that word since is anytime that I ask him if he wants to go to the monthly dance. If you are wondering if he is using this new word correctly…. yes, he is. They are boring – very much so. But, it is almost always an entirely different story when costumes are involved, so he agreed to go.

Well, he lasted 45 minutes. The eating of pizza took only 5 minutes so the other 40 minutes were spent wandering over to me and telling me “Mom! I’m boring!” I thought if he would just get dancing he would have some fun, but every single time he DID start dancing, the DJ cut the song off and then there was nothing but silence for a good long time. The DJ started playing Ghost Busters (one of the few danceable songs he played) at least three times and stopped it right in the middle every single time. I really don’t know if he ever made it through that song.

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He wanted to wear the Santa suit and he did – albeit for a total of an hour and a half (including drive time) but that seemed just fine with him. He got to wear it and that was all that mattered.

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Second ‘extra’ costume, used ….Mission accomplished.

One of his favorite parties every season is the Best Buddies Halloween party. Other than the grand finale on Halloween night, he seems to look forward to the Best Buddies party the most. For this he chose the Mad Hatter. He has been both the Disney and the Johnny ‘Deep’ (DC-speak) versions of the Mad Hatter in years past and to be quite honest with you, I do not know where this particular version of the Mad Hatter comes from. He owns  so many obscure versions of Alice in Wonderland  – it could be from one of those or it could be from the new movie, Through the Looking Glass. I have no idea, but the “Dark Mad Hatter”, which was the only description I could find was his pick. As long as he seems to know what movie or book it comes from, I don’t have to.

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Finally we have reached the end of the road, um… the end of the Labyrinth – Halloween! Once the costume was on he spent a good amount of his evening looking at himself in every reflective surface he came across! I think this one will go down in history as one of his favorites.

Introducing……

Jareth the Goblin King!

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Of course we had to have a Baby Toby (that would be me)!

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Did anyone know who we were supposed to be? Maybe not. Most of the time that seems to be the case anyway, but we do not care about that. We know who we are supposed to be and we have a great time making everyone wonder (I do anyway). Last year there was only one person on the Trick-or-Treat route that knew he was Doctor Who and I was the TARDIS (yes really!). So I don’t think it’s us. I think it’s the neighborhood. We must have taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way through the Labyrinth.

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween!

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Easing my “Elf Envy” with ornaments and clues….

DC is most definitely what I would call the ultimate ornament collector. In 2013, I decided that I would start hiding them around the house to make receiving new ornaments more interesting and to ease the “Elf Envy” I was feeling by not participating in the whole Elf on the Shelf thing.

He did so well with the random hunting of ornaments by the end of that season that last year I decided to make it even more interesting by leaving clues instead of just hiding the ornaments for him to happen upon. It took a little while for him to get it, but he did and I think he had some fun with the hunt.

Below is a post from 2014 – our first attempt at hunting ornaments with clues. We have already begun our hunt this season and at this point, really all I have to say is “Here’s a clue” and he knows there is an ornament to be found somewhere.

Ornament Hunt 2014 (and one Elf on the Shelf)

As I wrote in an earlier post (There’s no elf on our shelf), I do not do the whole elf on a shelf thing with DC, but last year we did start a new tradition of hiding and hunting for the numerous ornaments he receives each year before Christmas.
Last year being the trial run, I discovered he was just not noticing them as I assumed he would, so I began writing notes each time I hid an ornament. By Christmas he was getting the hang of it. This year I decided I would not only leave a note, but also a clue. Coming up with clues that he would understand was not easy and I have to admit my clues need work – below is our 2014 Ornament Hunt –
Complete with some pretty terrible clues – so don’t judge.

#1 Elsa hidden on the shelf of his DVD cabinet

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There is a new ornament for you to find.. I hid it very well. If you should find it after you watch your movies, please give me a yell”

(he thinks I’m funny, anyway)

 ~That was the last attempt in rhyming for the season.

#2 Mary Poppins in the silverware drawer.
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There is a new ornament to be found: Just a SPOONFUL of Sugar helps the Medicine go down. What do you use to help the medicine go down?”

#3 Baloo and Mogli on the towel hook

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He found Baloo and Mogli before I had the chance to leave a clue….

#4 Tinkerbell in the drawer

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Oh No! Tink is stuck in the bedroom drawer!”

Yes, I thought I was just giving this one away. I thought so anyway…. As it turns out, because I didn’t mention an ornament in the note – he read it, put the paper down and went about his business. When I finished laughing, I explained that he had to look for his new Tinkerbell ornament.

#5 Sully hanging on the lamp

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 Sully must be very “BRIGHT” to attend Monsters University. Where is it Bright in the living room?”

It was right here that it finally clicked. He read it (no mention of an ornament) thought about it and without me having to help, looked around at the Christmas tree lights, moved on to the lamps and found it.

—–Progress, Progress, Progress——

#6 Ruby Slippers on his bedroom shelf

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Cordelia clicked her heels three times in Pylea “There’s no place like home” she said.

It didn’t work.

Who went to Pylea to save Cordelia?”

He understood the question and gave me an answer – he was really beginning to get this. The only prompting I had to give was “Do we have Angel and Lorne somewhere in our house?”

(Unfortunately, our Lorne lost his head after his last fall from the shelf, but in keeping with the theme of the hunt; he did actually lose his head temporarily while the gang was in Pylea. He just had much better luck getting it back in Pylea than he did in DC’s room)

#7 An Elf of a shelf

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Your ornament is

L O S T

so take a look around to find Buddy the Elf sitting on a shelf.

Where is the L O S T shelf in the living room?”

First, let me say – There is an elf on the shelf.

Secondly, I thought this clue might be a stretch for him. That DVD set has been on this same shelf since the show went off the air. This in no way means that DC notices it at all, but I gave it a shot.

Believe it or not, he went right to it. I am always amazed by the things he notices when I think he is paying no attention at all.

#8 Brady Bunch on the wall

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Till the one day when the lady met this fellow And they knew it was much more than a hunch, That this group must somehow form a family. That’s the way we all became the Brady ‘Bump’.

Where does Doug do the ‘Brady BUMP’?”

This one needs a little it of an explanation….. Doug sings this song, he’s done it for years. He sings the Brady Bunch theme but replaces Brady Bunch with Brady Bump and crashes into the wall.

– insert my eyes rolling –

DC thinks it is the funniest thing in the world and asks him ‘crash and repeat’ – over and over again.

“One more time!”

– insert eyes rolling and head shaking –

This happens to be the spot where the singing and the wall where the crashing takes place more often than not.

-insert,  as DC would say, “Mom, put hand to face” (hand on forehead, as in OMG), shaking head, heavy sigh and eye roll-

Again he went right to the spot. Once it all clicked, it clicked!

#9 TARDIS on the clock

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Dr. Who is a T I M E Lord. – He and the TARDIS traveled through T I M E hoping for a spot on your tree.

Where can we find the T I M E?”

I am 100% positive he would have gotten this with the clue I left. I hid this ornament while he was out with Mrs. H. at his theater volunteer Christmas Party and forgotten about it by the time they arrived home, when I would have guided him to the clue before he had the chance to run around putting his things away.

He spotted it and went over to take it down. I said “Oh, you didn’t get to read the clue”, so of course, he put it back. I told him he didn’t have to put it back, but all things in order; he went and read the clue out loud, then went back to claim his ornament.

#10 Princess Merida in the TARDIS

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Princess Merida must be very BRAVE to take a ride with DR. WHO, ROSE and K-9 in the TARDIS.

Where is ROSE and the TARDIS?”

I realized that I did not think this one through completely – He just received a TARDIS ornament a few days before. I was sure he would head straight to the ornament now hanging on the tree. I was correct in my assumption, he went to the tree. After a little bit of prompting “But where else do we have the TARDIS? Where is Rose and K-9?” , he did find it.

I still felt he should still have a few to just happen upon as he did or as I tried to have him do last year, hidden in places that I knew he would go eventually.

Trial run of 2013, over. I am declaring the 2014  Ornament Hunt a success!

Just to update you on my friends’ progress this year. As I said, if I am not going to do it, they very well better be creative about their elf!

~ Yes, it is hard to be my friend……..

Year 2 of  “The harassment of *Al” – my constant badgering to hide elf in a Rice Krispies box. (I’d seen photos, I e-mailed, texted and showed him photos and nothing). Finally he decided he would use this as one of his Elf setups. Geez!

He texted his wife while she was out shopping and asked her to buy Rice Krispies. She replied that she had Crispy Rice. He told her he wanted the real Rice Krispies. She asked why and he said he wanted to make Rice Krispie(s) treats. (Why he wouldn’t tell her what he really wanted them for, I do not know).

She bought Crispie Rice.

I told him that I had just seen a photo of someone using a Crispie Rice box, I had actually e-mailed it to him a few days before, but he said it would not be the same.

The following morning when I was getting DC’s breakfast ready it occurred to me that I had a box of the ‘real’ Rice Krispies, so I took the cereal out and brought him the empty box.

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And there you have it!

*Geri has also done a few very creative things with Derek the Elf, but still being in the training portion of the program, she has not gotten the hang of remembering to take a photo of everything Derek gets himself into.

~Maybe next year

Leave the shoe; take the chocolate…..

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I am sure at this point it is very clear to everyone that DC is a big fan of Halloween as am I. How great is it that he loves something that I do just as much as I do? How often does that happen?

When he was young, he’d wear his costume and we would drive to the houses of family members and friends, only time for 4 or 5 stops, but it was enough for him. When he was a little bit older we added Trick-Or-Treating at a few houses close by to our evening. He always had a hard time trying to figure out why we were going to the door and ringing the doorbell but we weren’t going inside. I had to stop him at every door from trying to walk right into people’s houses.

When he got older still, we stopped driving to friends and family because that could take all night and just began trick-or-treating around our own neighborhood. He did finally get passed trying to walk in to every house.

DC loves Halloween, he loves wearing a costume and of course he loves getting the candy – he just really didn’t want to have to walk for it. So our trick-or-treating around the neighborhood usually consisted of 3 or four houses willingly and then I would push him to do just a few more.

He was not very old at all when he realized that my costume ideas were always in theme (yes, I know, I am really hard to put up with at Halloween). When he was old enough to make the costume decisions himself, he always chose his, mine and Doug’s (this was before Doug decided he’d had enough of Halloween – BOO!)

With DC at the helm, the costumes as one would imagine were almost always from Disney. I have dressed as quite a few Disney characters, very many of them princesses. I did have to put my foot down at Princess Ariel, but otherwise we were usually able to pull off the theme. DC is very particular about his princesses. He had to make sure I wore lipstick (the one and only day of the year that I would) and he always had to approve the shoes. I could not get away with anything but the proper princess shoes. In most cases I was able to find those glittery shoe covers that went with the costume, so heels or pumps were not always required – PHEW!

Then came the year that he decided that we had to be Cinderella and Prince Charming. I really wondered what took him so long to pick that pair. I really thought that Cinderella, being his all-time favorite princess would have been his request much earlier on.

Under DC’s watchful eye, I was able to find a blue Cinderella ball gown and of course a blonde Cinderella wig. Although we had a hard time finding a “Prince Charming” costume back then – we were able to find a “Handsome Prince”. It was not the same but it would do.

Of course I must have glass slippers. I knew I was not going to get away with shoe covers this time around; this was CINDERELLA – this was serious! It is really a good thing that we make our Halloween costume selections in August every year because these slippers were not easy to find. I did finally find a pair. They were THE most uncomfortable shoes I have ever worn but I figured that it would be fine because he would only make me walk to 4 or 5 houses, tops.

<insert buzzer here> I was wrong, so very wrong……

Whether it was just the fact that it finally kicked in that the more houses he went to, the more candy he would get or just the over the top excitement for the glass slippers or both – he did not walk, but ran from house to house. The only time he stopped or slowed down was to check my feet for the shoes or randomly grab my dress and lift it up to show people my shoes.

I don’t think he cared that he did not look like Prince Charming at all. I had a crown for him to wear but he insisted on wearing the hat that came with the costume – a more casual Prince, we’ll call it. This Halloween was all about the shoes. We did our street and then some. Afterwards I limped home with DC grabbing at my gown the whole way.

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I do believe he had these shoes on display in his room for quite some time before I put them away. He got awfully excited when I took them out last week to take a photo of them. He did not realize that I still had them. The excitement was due to one of the costumes he had chosen for this Halloween Season – I think he may have thought I was going to pull out the gown again.

No way! Not happening!

I am now quite sure that Cinderella did not leave her shoe behind accidentally. Given the chance to do it all over again, I am positive she would have left the shoes (both of them) and just opted for some chocolate.

 

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I know exactly what she was mumbling under her breath when that darn prince returned that stinkin’ shoe…….

Forget the shoe, forget the Prince… just hand over the chocolate.

Everything is related – The Paris Edition

Back in May we went on a trip to Paris and London. There are so many things that DC can relate to in London without me having to come up with them for him, that I wasn’t worried. Before London though, there would be a 4 day stop in Paris.

Relating the things that DC loves to anything else just helps to make it more enjoyable for him. DC loves to travel, but if we are not traveling to Disney World I will always try to come up with something to make the trip more interesting and exciting for him.

We were going to be staying in Disneyland Paris for the four days, one of those days would be spent in the city. I knew the day in the city would be very boring for him and I really could not come up with very much that he could relate to in Paris other than Madeline, so I went with that. I was later very surprised at the ‘relations’ he was able to come up with on his own.

So here we have the 5th installment in the “Everything is related” series – The Paris Edition:

Yes, this could possibly all be a ploy to make you look at my vacation pictures (be thankful, not all :), but every picture you see here is relatable to something for DC.

Again, we begin with Disney. There would be no problem here. We arrived at our hotel – New York, what could be better! DC’s very favorite city! This was a “two birds-one stone” kind of relation – Disney and New York City – together!

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There were of course; Princesses!

“Oh my God, it’s Cinderella!” – during this trip he came out with a few lines I had never heard him say before – “Oh my God”, being one of them.

What could be better than a princess? Four princesses, of course…..

….especially when they are willing to spin for you!

The Princess Room in Disneyland Paris is a little bit different from Disney World. In Disney World, you get in line to get into the room where you can meet 3 or 4 princesses one by one. In DLP, we had to make a reservation to see the princess. The reservation gets you in to see one princess (there are two inside, to keep the line moving). You are not told what princesses are in there and you do not know who you will see until it is your turn and you round the corner. The people managing the line are not allowed to tell you which princesses are inside and they change them every half hour. The line manager saw how excited DC was to see a princess and pulled me aside to ask me which one he wanted to see. I told her he would be happy with any princess, but she insisted. We had the choice of “Brave” and “Ariel”. Of course, I chose Ariel. I have spent too many hours standing in line at “Ariel’s Grotto” over the years to let an opportunity to see Ariel pass us by. I wish I got a picture of his face when he turned the corner and saw her!

After he had her dance with him and of course spin, he said: “Please say hello to Prince Eric for me” – another new line; correct grammar, correct pronoun.

Needless to say, Disneyland Paris was a big hit.

Now onto Paris.

DC really loves all of the Madeline books. I am sure he has them all. He especially loves the Madeline movie that encompasses many of the stories from the books into the one movie.  This was really all I had to go on. Knowing full well that sightseeing in Paris was not going to be very exciting for him, I really tried to push the Madeline angle before we arrived. We talked about the Eiffel Tower and the time that Madeline and Pepito became trapped at the top all by themselves.

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We went to the top. It took a while. It was so crowded. It was cold. There was a nice view. He was impressed, but only slightly.

Moving on……

Before we visited the tower, our first stop which happened to be right where the train in let us off was the Arc de Triomphe. Thinking that he would not be at all impressed with this because to him it was an arch, nothing more, I was surprised when he  recognized this arch – from Anastasia. I had forgotten all about that movie. I was kicking myself for not remembering it and looking into more Anastasia references before we left on our trip.

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Thinking I had reached the end of Paris ‘relatables’ for DC, we opted for a Seine River Cruise just to get in a few sights quickly without sending him completely over the edge of boredom. On our way down the river I realized that this was the same river that Madeline fell into and was rescued by a dog they later named “Genevieve” (yes, I have seen this movie more times than I’d care to admit).

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He was impressed for a minute or so.

Continuing down the river, the tour guide announced that we were coming up on Notre-Dame Cathedral. DC chimed in with:

“Chris-mar-a-dull”

What???

“Chris-mar-a-dull”

“Es-mer-eye-da”

“DC, I don’t know what you mean. Can you spell it for me?”

“Mom! Chris-mar-a-dull! Es-mer-eye-da!”

He was getting exasperated with me.

“HUNCHBACK!!”

Another reference that I completely missed – Quasimodo and Esmeralda – The Hunchback of Notre-Dame! (I did have to write those pronunciations down right then and there so I didn’t forget).

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Our decision to take this tour instead of sightseeing on foot turned out to be a good one. It started to pour! This did not upset DC as much as one would think for some reason, but it would have been the END of the day in Paris had we been out walking around.

Boat = Saving the remainder of the day.
Paris London 053 It was still raining when we got off of the boat at the Louvre. I did remember that one part of the Madeline movie took place inside the Louvre. I mentioned it to DC as we headed in that direction. We had no plans to go inside but it was close to a few restaurants and the metro.

While running through in the rain, DC pointed out the Louvre Pyramid.

“From Madeline!” – I have seen that movie many times but I do not recall ever seeing the Louvre Pyramid at any time during the scenes at the Louvre. He recognized it – so I’ll take it!

 

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It was a long day and with the rain, the Pyramid was our last sight for the day. We stopped for dinner and headed back to Disneyland.

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I definitely dropped the ball relating Paris to DC’s world. I am happy and a little bit impressed that he was able to pick it up and run with it, this time around.

 

Everything is related – Mary Poppins to New York City

I threatened in an earlier post – a few of them as a matter of fact – I would someday write about how, in DC’s world, everything is somehow related to Disney or some of the other movies he enjoyed as a child and still enjoys now as an adult. Originally I thought this would just be a fun post to write, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized:

Everything being related,  has, many times been used as a learning tool.

– Everything being related, has helped him to move on to a more diverse realm of TV shows and movies (while still loving all of the originals he has loved since he was a baby). When attending an ARC movie activity or even just a movie night with friends, for instance, a Disney or animated movie may not be the choice of the others attending. Relating one movie or actor to another has helped him to be more open to watching something that may not be Disney-based. This was not always the case, but now he can go and enjoy a movie with his friends or at an ARC activity without issue. I can almost always find a “sixth degree of separation” from something he loves to something new ; at times it can be a stretch, but I can usually find it if he doesn’t find it for himself. These days, because he now knows that there is always the chance that something or someone just might be related to his favorites, and now that he realizes that his favorites are in many other movies than the ones he watches over and over again, he is much more willing to watch any movie with his friends, without the preparation beforehand. He has also discovered new favorite actors and movies that had not previously been in his circle of favorites.

Everything being related, oftentimes just explains his love for a particular city, game, song or some of the many other things that he does or says. – This post is about just that……

So here is the first in a series of “Everything is Related” posts:

It all started with Disney…. Those little half hour Disney Sing-A-Long VHS tapes. You know the ones…
“Come right in, sing a long, with your favorite Disney song……”
They contained many songs from many Disney movies – old and new.

At about a year old he moved on to the full length movies.

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Mary Poppins and Bert 2003

Mary Poppins –

Mary Poppins songs and clips were  included in many of his sing-a-longs videos.

Mary Poppins= Julie Andrews

His love for Julie Andrews led him, through the years  to “The Sound of Music”, “Eloise at the Plaza”, “Eloise at Christmastime”, “Shrek 2 and 3” (although he did develop a love for Shrek all on his own – Julie Andrews just added to it), “The Princess Dairies” (all)  and “Tooth Fairy”.

We were at a friend’s house for movie night one evening. The movie they chose to watch was  “Tooth Fairy”. His friends were excited to see this movie because of “The Rock”. DC on the other hand, was excited because it also stars  Julie Andrews . He did not know of or care about “The Rock”.

This soon changed when he discovered that “The Rock” was in “Race to Witch Mountain” – he has seen and owns all of the old original versions of the “Witch Mountain” movies and now “The Rock” and “Race to Witch Mountain” has been added to his collection.

– Still on the subject of Mary Poppins, we have – Dick Van Dyke

Dick Van Dyke led him to “Chitty Chitty, Bang, Bang” , Night at the Museum (s) , “Bye, Bye, Birdie” and most recently, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day“.

– “Full House”

Just how is this related. you ask? DC loves Full House. He has every single season on DVD. He first came across the show on TV one morning – the episode airing just happened to have Annette ‘Fun-chew-lo’ (Dc-speak – ‘Funicello’) guest starring. Annette ‘Fun-chew-lo’ just happens to star in another one of DC’s favorite Disney movies  – “Babes in Toyland”, (can we say “worst movie ever”?)  also starring Ray Bolger from the Wizard of OZ (we will get to OZ another time).

He was a Full House fan from that point on. – But how is this related to Mary Poppins?

A few years ago we were watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. We turned it on just in time to see  a performance from the cast of the new “Bye, Bye, Birdie” revival – and who was playing Dick Van Dyke’s, ‘Albert’ in that revival? None other than John Stamos (Uncle Jessie)! Well….. of course we HAD to go – we were due for a day trip to New York anyway.

I will never forget DC sitting in the audience pounding his leg with his fist mimicking the “Jes-sie, Jes-sie, Jes-sie!” chant.  I did everything I could to get him to stop but he was “in the zone” and determined to continue. I could see,  he was finding it very hard to control himself.  I really thought I would have to take him out of the theater. He did finally get himself together and enjoyed the show quietly (as quietly as he could manage). – So “Full House” is related by both Disney as a whole and Mary Poppins.

Let’s not forget, Ann Margaret also from “Bye, Bye, Birdie” – who also plays ‘Cinderella’ in the 10th Kingdom. The 10th Kingdom starts out and ends in New York City, with the City being the 10th Kingdom.

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Ed Wynn (Uncle Albert in Mary Poppins) is also the Toy Maker in “Babes in Toyland” (again, I say…… worst movie EVER – who’s with me?) and the voice of the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. Not only does DC know all of these actors and their names, he can also tell you who was “the voice of” almost any Disney character.

His love of New York City stems directly from Eloise at the Plaza, therefore we must visit the Plaza just about every time we go.

 

 

Our trips to the Plaza now include a visit to the “Eloise Store” where items are ‘Rah-ther’ expensive. Of course now NY means so much more to him. It means Broadway and many shows, including “Mary Poppins”. It means ‘Set-tral Park’, Toys R’Us, Times Square and we can’t forget “West Side Story”.

He is without a doubt, my Broadway Baby, and it is all due to his love of Disney and more specifically,  “Mary Poppins”

 

 

December Reruns…..Back to the Swamp

 

In keeping with my “December Reruns” theme and truthfully because it has just been a busy month, I wanted to repeat this post from June 2014.

We are on that vacation that I was so not looking forward to earlier in the month due to the fact that it was getting to be so busy and I was just getting crabbier and crabbier as the days passed. I am just about over that now that we are here.

We are staying at Gaylord Palms once again – the subject of the piece below. It is a beautiful place and even more so all decorated for Christmas. DC was really looking forward to coming back here. Not only will he be visiting Disney World and have a Christmas visit with his Dad, but he is back in the place where he was made an “Honorary Swap Guard”. He’s a happy guy!

From June 2014 (about a trip in January 2013):

The Honorary Swamp Guard

Some time ago, I wrote about our Disney Cruise, in January, 2013 – where the rule, “Don’t pick up the Princesses” was born. At the end of that post I mentioned that there was another great story to be told from the end of that trip….. so finally, here it is.

After spending 5 days on the Disney ship, our plan was to stay in Orlando for  an additional 3 days to visit Disney World and Universal Studios, because, you know, we didn’t get enough Disney on the ship……

We arrived at Gaylord Palms in Orlando. It was a beautiful place, and truth be told, I would have been perfectly happy to have skipped the cruise and just stayed there all week, but 3 days would have to do.

gaylord palms

We arrived in time for dinner – a late dinner – so we didn’t get to explore all that much on the first evening. The next morning we were planning to go to Disney World. Doug was on the balcony – he called me “outside” and said he had just seen Shrek walk though the restaurant down below. This was the restaurant we were heading to for breakfast as soon as DC was out of the shower, so I figured I’d ask about it when we went down to eat.

When we got down to Villa de Flora, I told one of the waiters (Matt) that we noticed Shrek walking by earlier. I asked if this was some sort of character “meet and greet” that they have for the kids, and if so, would they be coming back anytime soon? DC was sitting at the table away from the conversation. I didn’t tell him we saw Shrek earlier and I didn’t want him to hear me ask about it in case they wouldn’t be making another appearance.

The waiter explained that the characters did not work for the resort. They were hired for an early marketing meeting and we must have seen them on their way out.

Then he said “Let me see if I can catch them” – it had been a good while since we saw them from the balcony, so I really didn’t think he’d be able to catch up to them and I wasn’t asking so he’d have to go out of his way, I just thought they were part of the resort. I told him that it was not necessary, he did not have to do that, I hadn’t mentioned it to my son at all, so he didn’t have to worry about disappointing him.

He went to talk to his manager anyway. I didn’t really think much about it after that. DC went and got his mountain of bacon and his bagels. When I got up to get some more coffee, Matt came over to me and said he had been able to catch up them in the parking lot. Again, I said it really wasn’t necessary for him to do that. He told me his manager insisted. He said that by the time he caught up with them they were all already out of their costumes but agreed to put them back on and come back in to meet DC!!!! I couldn’t believe it! I went back to the table to try to tell Doug what was happening without DC hearing any of it.

DC had his bacon and bagels – I believe this may have been the trip where he discovered bacon – so he really wasn’t paying much attention to anything else that was going on.

I saw them coming in on the other side of the restaurant….. Shrek, Puss n’ Boots and the Swamp Guard. I tried to remain calm as not to give it away, but it was difficult.

I started taking pictures. DC was smiling because he saw me with the camera, and that is what he does….. stops whatever he is doing to smile. He was unaware of anything going on behind him.

 

He was so surprised and excited when they made their way to him. He didn’t know what to do at first.  I was taking pictures with my phone. A waitress grabbed my camera from Doug and began taking pictures as well. The staff and customers seemed to be just as excited for him as we were!

 

They were wonderful, the staff and the characters! I couldn’t believe that they would do this for him! The characters stayed and talked with him for a good long while. He was in his glory!

They presented him with Shrek ears and made him an “Honorary Swamp Guard”. Teaching him the Swamp Guard Salute was also included. DC was so excited and happy that he even offered to share his precious bacon with Shrek. Of course Shrek had 2 swamp rats earlier so he was quite full already.

 

He had the best time with them.

He wore his Honorary Swamp Guard, Shrek ears for most of the remainder of the trip.

 

I still can not believe how these wonderful people went so far out of their way for DC. I mean, I only asked a simple question. I never expected any of this. This made his day – it made his trip!

I thanked everyone I could find to thank and went back the following morning to thank the people I could not find the day before.

I tweeted, Facebooked and wrote an e-mail to Gaylord Palms. I wanted to be sure they were aware of the wonderful staff they had working in their resort.

Then, just to add the cherry to the top of this sundae…… I found these on my camera when we arrived home……

 

 

 

I can’t ever thank these people enough…………….

Ornament Hunt 2014 (and one Elf on the Shelf)

As I wrote in an earlier post (There’s no elf on our shelf), I do not do the whole elf on a shelf thing with DC, but last year we did start a new tradition of hiding and hunting for the numerous ornaments he receives each year before Christmas.
Last year being the trial run, I discovered he was just not noticing them as I assumed he would, so I began writing notes each time I hid an ornament. By Christmas he was getting the hang of it. This year I decided I would not only leave a note, but also a clue. Coming up with clues that he would understand was not easy and I have to admit my clues need work – below is our 2014 Ornament Hunt –
Complete with some pretty terrible clues – so don’t judge.

#1 Elsa hidden on the shelf of his DVD cabinet

frozen

 

There is a new ornament for you to find.. I hid it very well. If you should find it after you watch your movies, please give me a yell”

(he thinks I’m funny, anyway)

 ~That was the last attempt in rhyming for the season.

#2 Mary Poppins in the silverware drawer.
poppins

There is a new ornament to be found: Just a SPOONFUL of Sugar helps the Medicine go down. What do you use to help the medicine go down?”

#3 Baloo and Mogli on the towel hook

Mogli

He found Baloo and Mogli before I had the chance to leave a clue….

#4 Tinkerbell in the drawer

Tink

Oh No! Tink is stuck in the bedroom drawer!”

Yes, I thought I was just giving this one away. I thought so anyway…. As it turns out, because I didn’t mention an ornament in the note – he read it, put the paper down and went about his business. When I finished laughing, I explained that he had to look for his new Tinkerbell ornament.

#5 Sully hanging on the lamp

photo1

 Sully must be very “BRIGHT” to attend Monsters University. Where is it Bright in the living room?”

It was right here that it finally clicked. He read it (no mention of an ornament) thought about it and without me having to help, looked around at the Christmas tree lights, moved on to the lamps and found it.

—–Progress, Progress, Progress——

#6 Ruby Slippers on his bedroom shelf

angel

 

Cordelia clicked her heels three times in Pylea “There’s no place like home” she said.

It didn’t work.

Who went to Pylea to save Cordelia?”

He understood the question and gave me an answer – he was really beginning to get this. The only prompting I had to give was “Do we have Angel and Lorne somewhere in our house?”

(Unfortunately, our Lorne lost his head after his last fall from the shelf, but in keeping with the theme of the hunt; he did actually lose his head temporarily while the gang was in Pylea. He just had much better luck getting it back in Pylea than he did in DC’s room)

#7 An Elf of a shelf

buddy

Your ornament is

L O S T

so take a look around to find Buddy the Elf sitting on a shelf.

Where is the L O S T shelf in the living room?”

First, let me say – There is an elf on the shelf.

Secondly, I thought this clue might be a stretch for him. That DVD set has been on this same shelf since the show went off the air. This in no way means that DC notices it at all, but I gave it a shot.

Believe it or not, he went right to it. I am always amazed by the things he notices when I think he is paying no attention at all.

#8 Brady Bunch on the wall

bb

 

Till the one day when the lady met this fellow And they knew it was much more than a hunch, That this group must somehow form a family. That’s the way we all became the Brady ‘Bump’.

Where does Doug do the ‘Brady BUMP’?”

This one needs a little it of an explanation….. Doug sings this song, he’s done it for years. He sings the Brady Bunch theme but replaces Brady Bunch with Brady Bump and crashes into the wall.

– insert my eyes rolling –

DC thinks it is the funniest thing in the world and asks him ‘crash and repeat’ – over and over again.

“One more time!”

– insert eyes rolling and head shaking –

This happens to be the spot where the singing and the wall where the crashing takes place more often than not.

-insert,  as DC would say, “Mom, put hand to face” (hand on forehead, as in OMG), shaking head, heavy sigh and eye roll-

Again he went right to the spot. Once it all clicked, it clicked!

#9 TARDIS on the clock

who

 

Dr. Who is a T I M E Lord. – He and the TARDIS traveled through T I M E hoping for a spot on your tree.

Where can we find the T I M E?”

I am 100% positive he would have gotten this with the clue I left. I hid this ornament while he was out with Mrs. H. at his theater volunteer Christmas Party and forgotten about it by the time they arrived home, when I would have guided him to the clue before he had the chance to run around putting his things away.

He spotted it and went over to take it down. I said “Oh, you didn’t get to read the clue”, so of course, he put it back. I told him he didn’t have to put it back, but all things in order; he went and read the clue out loud, then went back to claim his ornament.

#10 Princess Merida in the TARDIS

brave

Princess Merida must be very BRAVE to take a ride with DR. WHO, ROSE and K-9 in the TARDIS.

Where is ROSE and the TARDIS?”

I realized that I did not think this one through completely – He just received a TARDIS ornament a few days before. I was sure he would head straight to the ornament now hanging on the tree. I was correct in my assumption, he went to the tree. After a little bit of prompting “But where else do we have the TARDIS? Where is Rose and K-9?” , he did find it.

I still felt he should still have a few to just happen upon as he did or as I tried to have him do last year, hidden in places that I knew he would go eventually.

Trial run of 2013, over. I am declaring the 2014  Ornament Hunt a success!

Just to update you on my friends’ progress this year. As I said, if I am not going to do it, they very well better be creative about their elf!

~ Yes, it is hard to be my friend……..

Year 2 of  “The harassment of *Al” – my constant badgering to hide elf in a Rice Krispies box. (I’d seen photos, I e-mailed, texted and showed him photos and nothing). Finally he decided he would use this as one of his Elf setups. Geez!

He texted his wife while she was out shopping and asked her to buy Rice Krispies. She replied that she had Crispy Rice. He told her he wanted the real Rice Krispies. She asked why and he said he wanted to make Rice Krispie(s) treats. (Why he wouldn’t tell her what he really wanted them for, I do not know).

She bought Crispie Rice.

I told him that I had just seen a photo of someone using a Crispie Rice box, I had actually e-mailed it to him a few days before, but he said it would not be the same.

The following morning when I was getting DC’s breakfast ready it occurred to me that I had a box of the ‘real’ Rice Krispies, so I took the cereal out and brought him the empty box.

krispies

And there you have it!

*Geri has also done a few very creative things with Derek the Elf, but still being in the training portion of the program, she has not gotten the hang of remembering to take a photo of everything Derek gets himself into.

~Maybe next year

but….. no one will know what you are supposed to be

In the event that it still isn’t apparent to everyone…….. I LOVE HALLOWEEN, and I couldn’t be happier that DC loves it as much as I do!

“But, no one will know what you are supposed to be”, is something I have been told quite often on Halloween over the years. I sometimes have a very odd sense of what is funny or what, I’m sure other people will get. They don’t always ‘get it’ but I am cracking myself up so no one else needs to join in.

DC and I begin planning Halloween in August. He must have a costume for every event he attends and me, being me, just LOVES this!

As I can always come up with the odd costume, again, thinking I am just totally hilarious, more often DC will come up with a costume that is not a costume at all, just a character wearing regular clothes or worse, a costume that does not exist or that no one has ever heard of except for DC – who is watching very old or obscure musicals or Disney movies.

There was the year that he wanted nothing more than to be “Charlie Bucket” for Halloween……..

Basically, Charlie Bucket is a boy with blonde hair.

Charlie Bucket - Photo Credit - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie Bucket – Photo Credit – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Alrighty, then…….

In my mind Charlie’s birthday scarf was red – it wasn’t,  but I think I duplicated the jacket (doesn’t show up well in the photo, but it was very close), the hair and hat as closely as I could. I added a Golden Ticket to his trick-or-treat bag, for added recognize-ability  and I think I came pretty close to turning DC into “Charlie Bucket”.

and ……on a side note, the bag must always match the costume….

Even with the addition of  Willy Wonka and an Ooompa Loompa , people who did not know DC personally had no idea he was in a costume..

Then there was the year that DC wanted to be “Daddy Warbucks” from one of his favorite musicals,  Annie. I had planned to dress as Annie, but I broke my toe – the first in a very long line of toe-breaking incidents – so I could not walk around the neighborhood with him. Still,  I assumed that most people would know who Daddy Warbucks was even without Annie by his side………They didn’t.

Even with the addition of Sandy the dog to his trick-trick-or-treat bag, most people thought he was Mr. Six.

(Mr. Six was one of his choices a few years later and yes, everyone “got it”)

Photo Credit - Six Flags Amusement Park and *Al (at work) - Graphic Artist who works magic with my Halloween Pics every year.

Photo Credit – Six Flags Amusement Park and *Al (at work) – Graphic Artist who works magic with my Halloween Pics every year.

I always do try to embrace his costume requests especially when he does come up with a character from a TV show or movie that is more age-appropriate than his usual choices. Generally when he does actually choose something or someone from a television show, it is usually a show that has not been on the air for years. He tends to discover favorite TV shows long after they are out of the public eye, but progress is progress and I will take it.

This year, he surprised me.

DC’s first costume of the 2014 Halloween season was “The Doppler Effect” (Sheldon – The Big Bang Theory) – He loves the Big Bang Theory and as I said,  I will go out of my way to encourage anything he might like that is more age-appropriate than the TV shows and movies he normally gravitates to. Obviously, he did not say “I want to be the ‘Dopper Inact’ (DC-speak)” but he did want to be Sheldon, which would have been easy to do,  as he has worn his Bazinga shirt to death, so we went for the Doppler Effect.

Sheldon, The Doppler Effect - photo credit teamliquid.net

Sheldon, The Doppler Effect – photo credit
teamliquid.net

No, not everyone knew who he was “supposed to be”, but he didn’t know or care. It was funny to the people that did “get it” and that is good enough for me.

DC as the Doppler Effect

Our next party costume was one that, not only did I think no one would have any idea about, but it was really difficult to find a photo on-line to copy from – The Timekeeper from “Spy Kids, All the Time in the World” – and yes, we are required to say the full title of the movie every time it is mentioned.

Timekeeper - Spy Kids All the Time in the World - Photo Credit: Disney - Spykids

Timekeeper – Spy Kids All the Time in the World – Photo Credit: Disney – Spykids

Fortunately, I found some “Bag O’ Gears” on Amazon along with goggles that looked close enough even before gluing said gears all over them. The costume, of course was not exact, it really wasn’t even close, but gears were added, a pocket watch and a flask with a compass, looking close enough to a clock to fit the theme. I thought it made the point and more importantly, DC loved it. As it turned out a few people other than DC  had actually seen this movie and knew right away who he “was supposed to be”.

The Timekeeper,the challenge of our Halloween season, “nailed”, according to a few reviews, we moved on to our final party before Halloween night.
The Beast…. because of course, there must be at least one Disney animated character in the mix.
This was not DC’s first Halloween as the Beast, but years ago, it was much more difficult to find a Beast costume, so again, we had to go “makeshift” and put random pieces together to get the effect. A friend of mine happened to have a mask, so that really helped.

This year, he had the real thing, straight from the Beast’s wardrobe – because, as you know, the Beast is no longer a Beast, he is a handsome Prince, he has no need of this outfit anymore.

The one costume that continues to make the list from the time DC was very young and still to this day is “Jim Dear” from Lady and the Tramp.

(sigh….)  A man in a suit…..

Not my idea of a Halloween costume, but – this is not about me….

……not ALL about be, anyway.

“Jim Dear” and Lady – Photo Credit – Disney’s Lady and The Tramp.

This year, while purchasing a 40’s style hat for DC to wear to an event we attended, I came across and purchased a derby type hat as well.
Next year I will give in to his request for a  “Jim Dear” costume. I suppose I will be shopping for a stuffed Lady and Tramp, and whatever else I can come up with to make “Jim Dear” recognizable. I have 10 months to think about it.

I began writing this post almost two weeks ago after DC attended his first party of the season, holding off publishing until the last costume of our season ‘dropped’ – on Halloween night.

The following is a combination of my encouragement of DC’s affection for something popular, age appropriate, something he actually thinks is funny, and me thinking myself quite hilarious.

Lizard Spock

We are just going to let you guess.

Disney, Disney and more Disney………………..

Many of you know that DC has a complete, over the top, obsession with all things Disney. This obsession began when he was probably 6 months old. He loved to watch those Disney Sing-A-Long videos, over and over again.

DC did not take naps as a baby. He did not like the playpen. He liked the bouncing chair but was over it after a few days. The swing, lasted a little bit more than a few days, but he was quite over that after a week or two. He did not like to play with toys. He was not happy unless he was being carried around. These sing-a-long tapes were the only thing that captured his attention. So yes, I used them because for 30 minutes, I was free to do something else.

He graduated quickly to full length movies. The “Jungle Book” was the first full length movie he owned. I was a bit surprised that he was able to pay complete attention for the entire length of a 90 minute movie at 9 months old.

His obsession with Disney grew from there, especially for Cinderella. The boy loved his princesses! It got to the point that this “one movie” or “one Sing-a-long” a day was interfering with everything else we needed to go. He was so preoccupied with watching a movie that he did not want to do anything else. I didn’t want to take his movies away from him – he loved them, but I had to try to limit his movie watching to weekends only. This did not go over well at all.

I remember one night, he was probably  4 years old,  DC wanted to watch a Disney movie, I told him he could not. Now, at the time he was non-verbal, afraid of the dark and would never think to go anywhere without me. Communication was rough, he was still having meltdowns and really had a hard time understanding many things – but on this night, when I told him he could not watch a movie, he took his video put it under his arm, marched to the front door and signed “Dad”. He was determined to go to Dad’s house because apparently he would allow him to watch his movie.

DC had officially learned how to play the “Guilt Card”. Obviously he was not going to go outside in the dark, but he did make me feel awful and as always, like the bad guy. No, he did not get to watch his movie, but I realized then that he understood much more than I had been giving him credit for.

Cinderella led to his fixation with flowing dresses and shiny shoes. Out in public, he would grab at strangers  wearing  ‘flowy’ dresses or skirts. He would also get on all fours to stare at their shiny shoes. This was not always welcomed by the people wearing the “Cinderella-like” garb. I had to always be aware of everyone around us at all times and what they may be wearing to avoid an uncomfortable situation.

Around this time, I had a long ‘flowy’ gauze type skirt. It was hand washable of course. I always had to be careful about drying it. We lived on the second floor and I was  afraid that if I were to hang it to dry on the clothes line,  DC would try to go out there to play with it – yes, among the other worries and issues these were the other things I had to think about. So I used to hang it on a hanger from the shower head and close the shower curtain, so he would not see it. One night,  in the middle of the night, I woke to giggles, and some thrashing about. I went into the bathroom to find DC in the bathtub playing with the hanging shirt. I got rid of the skirt not long after.

There was ONE Disney book in his classroom when he was in his “in-between birth to 3 and Kindergarten” SPED classroom. It was the Little Mermaid. His teacher hid this book on a daily basis, because he could not concentrate on anything else knowing the book was in the classroom. Everyday he found it. She went to great lengths in hiding it – finally hiding it in a storage closet where DC had never once stepped inside – but as always he found it. It was almost as if he could sense it.

It took awhile but we finally had the movies in check and he did get past searching for that book. I didn’t want to take Disney away from him altogether, I wanted him to learn to live with Disney but not be overtaken by it. When he seemed to be in that place, it was decided it would be safe to take him to Disney World without him regressing back into his Disney-Obsessed behavior.

I know, I know, you are thinking “Why would you do that”? and again I will say that I didn’t want to take away something he loved so much, I just wanted him to be able to function around it.

His first trip to Disney World was when he was 7 years old and it was there that his first words (other than “Momma) were spoken:

Bus (because he knew the bus would be taking us to one of the parks each day)

Room (because we all know how much DC loves a hotel room, even back then)

‘Citronelle’ (DC-Speak for Cinderella)

‘Too-pay’ (DC-Speak for Peter Pan)

‘Dal-may-zaas’ (DC-Speak for Dalmatians)

For a boy who’s only word up until this point was “Momma” – I thought ‘Dal-may-zaas’ was quite amazing.

After a very long hunt, he was able to find and meet ‘Citronelle’ for the very first time. He would go on to meet ‘Citronelle’, many other times over the years and it is still very exciting for him, but nothing will ever compare to their first meeting – ever.

citronelle

Moving on to grammar school, we thought the Disney book distraction was behind him. Just to play it safe, his new teachers removed Disney of any kind from the classroom before the school year began. We thought we had this covered, but little did I know, there was an entire Library in this school, just full of Disney books. Realizing very quickly that this was becoming a problem, they were removed as well (for the first few months he was there, anyway, then they slowly came back so he was not overwhelmed with a large number of books all at once).

Now that he was becoming more and more verbal, he began reciting random movie lines. The lines he recited did not always have anything to do with what was going on at the time (they still don’t), they were just what might have been spinning around in his head at the time. Some were recognizable right away, others were obscure lines that really many people would not know.

While dropping him off at Daycare one morning before school, he bowed to me and said “Thank you Lucifer”. Now I know that Lucifer is Cinderella’s cat, but really, how many other people could make that connection? Fortunately the Daycare staff, got it but I still felt it necessary to e-mail his teacher just in case, to let him know that, no, we were not worshiping Satan at home.

(and yes, that e-mail made his day)

While walking through the grocery store “Please don’t send me away, I like it here!” (Disney’s “Summer Magic” – there are very few people who even know of that movie, never mind that particular line).

Now that he is older, he has more of a handle on his obsession. He is not so distracted by Disney that he can’t or won’t do anything else. Still, he is limited to movies only on weekends. He  will spout the random movie line. He still loves his princesses. He will almost always assign anyone he meets a princess or Disney character name.

And if you are wearing a ‘flowy’ dress, he will to ask you to spin………. (most people oblige)

A year later……..I know we can’t have it both ways, but….

While driving DC and his friend to their first day of camp this summer; hearing her giggle in the back seat and watching DC “happy stim” in the front seat – both so excited to get to camp to see their “Camp Friends” again, I thought about the post I wrote last summer on their first day.

A year later, I feel exactly the same way. They were so excited to go and I felt sad that they can no longer spend their summer at camp as they used to because they are adults, out of the school system and in a work program. They have to use their vacation time to be able to attend camp for a couple of weeks every summer.

DC has attended this camp since he was 5. At first only a couple of days a week, with support because he was non-verbal at the time, and then when I noticed that he was much more responsive and receptive on the days he attended this camp than the days he attended the “main-stream”  camp, I decided to let him attend 5 days a week. Because DC would rather just sit and read a book than get involved, and this, of course is easier for the main- stream staff,  that was what they let him do. My reason for sending him to camp in the first place was to keep him occupied and involved, so he did not regress during the summer months. The main-stream camps were not providing enough support to keep him from regressing.  They weren’t making an attempt to get him involved with any of the activities, whereas this camp did.

My intention today was to write a new post about the first day of camp, but after re-reading last years post I discovered that there was nothing different about the feelings I had last year and the feelings I have right now. I thought I would be used to  “adulthood” at this point.

It turns out that I am not……

From July 2013 – We can’t have it both ways…. but it’s still a little bit sad.

Today was my son’s first day attending day camp this summer. He has attended this camp since he was 5 – he’s 22 now.

Every summer he was able to attended camp all summer long, even staying after until 8pm for a special after camp program they hold twice a week. He loves it there.

Now that he’s 22 and aged out of the school system, he is in a work program, year round. When I started looking at programs for him I was shocked that they didn’t get the summers off!

Of course they don’t, they are adults and have to do their job every day, just like we do. But it was a rude awakening for me at the time.

Everything changes after “school-age”. He’s aged out of Challengers baseball. Seventeen years of baseball….over. No more February vacations, Spring Vacations or Summer vacations. He’s “working” now, with 3 weeks’ vacation, holidays and some sick days, just like everyone else. This was probably the hardest transition for me so far. I have to think to call “work”, “work” and not “school”. It takes a minute, when I panic that I haven’t set up anything for February vacation – to realize that there is no February vacation any more. Becoming an Adult may actually be harder on me that it is on him. It’s just such a huge change.

Yes, I know we are moving into adulthood and working toward independence; as much independence as his capabilities will allow.  Yes, I know this was the goal all along, but on the other hand, he’s still so much a child. He’s still watching “Barney” (22 years of Barney! That’s a Support Group I need to form, anybody?), he’s still reading and watching Disney and is not embarrassed to hug and kiss his Mom.  On some level, for me, as much as I always work and hope for more progress, I love it,  it’s nice.

This should be a happy time, and of course it is. He is an adult. He is in a program that he loves, but when summer comes around and it’s time for Camp to start, it’s a little bit sad that he doesn’t get to spend a fun filled, happy-go-lucky summer at camp as he used to. He only gets his two weeks.

Because…..he’s an adult now………