Friday, February 26, 2016

You Just Think I'm Going To Talk About Max's Eye Issues

Remember last year when we thought Cole was sitting close to the TV because he couldn't hear?

And then it turned out he was almost blind?

And his eyes were turning in?

But I had no idea because I'm the type of parent that really tries to foster independence early on for things like sight and hearing and, well, really all the senses.

I'm a free range sense parent.

It's a thing.  Look it up.

You can read the exciting saga of Cole's vision here, but the general idea is that Cole has really poor eyesight and I had no idea.

Oops.

I've found though, one good thing about having so many children is that you get to have a re-do on these types of mistakes.

(I'll think of another good thing about all these kids some day.  Check back.)

At Max's one year appointment the nurse showed him a black view finder type thing with lights and beams.  When Max looked at the lights, the magic viewfinder told her if there were any deficiencies in his eyesight, which apparently there were.

Like a lot of deficiencies.

On Wednesday, Max had his appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist to have his vision fully checked.  I was told the appointment would take two hours, which I assumed was so long because they were first going to have to teach him how to say more than, "dog," and learn all the letters to take that eye exam.

Turns out that was not necessary.

(It would have been more entertaining if they could have pulled that off though.  So much for doctors being amazing.)

I was very concerned about how this was all going to go down. A two hour medical appointment during nap time with a one year old?

This is my zone though.  I've been taking small people to awful situations to be extremely uncomfortable for over ten years now. I stocked my purse with 6,000 raisins and crackers and food pouches and bars and water cups to be sure I could feed him out of any rough patches.

(I'm pretty sure this is not the correct approach to giving your child a healthy relationship with food, but with the fourth I'm doing whatever I can to minimize trauma to me, not him.)

Max did surprisingly well for the entire visit.  There was a kid's play area!  There was a Nemo!  There were empty offices with tissue boxes that may or may not have tissues any longer!  He sat patiently while the doctor held lens in front of his eyes and shook things and made funny sounds and switched the lighting a lot.

Several people asked me how they can test a baby's vision.  Apparently the doctor can actually just look at the workings of the inner eye while dilated and see what lens is the best match for the baby's vision.   She explained the whole process to me, but it involved a lot of physics and words I didn't remember from when I studied the eye in college.*

As far as I'm concerned, it was a lot of magic.  She could be a witch.

I'm not saying she is.

But I wouldn't be shocked or anything if I found that out later.

She was really nice though. She looked like she believed I understood her physics eye talk, and I needed that.  I was surprised by how much I liked having this very intelligent woman talk to me about complicated things while I nodded and yes'd my way through the conversation.

I, unfortunately, discovered I also felt a surge of pride when filling out the paperwork for Max when I arrived. It almost felt like I was employed in an office.  I had a clip board and a very nice ball point pen and Max was completely distracted by the baby play area so I could focus.

I filled out that entire form with excellent penmanship and 100% accuracy.  I don't want to start bragging or anything, but the receptionist did also comment on how neat my handwriting was AND how quickly I completed the entire task.

I think she was about to offer me a job.

Sorry miss, but I can't work here, I have to feed that small fat baby raisins and prevent him from throwing things in the toilet all day.

I realize this post was supposed to be about Max's eyes.  I really led you to believe that, but is anyone else a little disturbed that I enjoyed filling out a form that much?  What does this say about the lack of actual intellectual stimulation for me these days?

Alex has had several things happen recently with his job which are big accolades for him.  The details are sort of boring, but just trust me, there is stuff and it's really wonderful and I am extraordinarily proud of him.

I also might feel a pang of jealousy mixed in there.

I posted and article on Facebook this week, about the scientific link found between musical education as a child and future success. I tagged my brother with the comment that this was the explanation for our current success as adults.

(We had piano lessons as children.)

His response was "I didn't know Alex took piano lessons."

See what he did there?

My "success" is really just because I married someone successful?

Ouch.

It stings a bit because this is something I have been thinking about a lot lately.

I am a great Mom.  It's important.  It works well for our family.

Yada, yada, yada.

It's what I chose and what I want.  Childcare and extra chaos for four so I can go work at the eye doctor's office?

(Let's pretend she really did offer me a job.)

No thank you.

Did anyone else read this recent article, "Having It All Kinda Sucks?"

That's totally how I think my life would be, plus two more kids.  I don't want it.

Great for some, not for me.

Maybe that's why I keep writing here about my daughter's destruction of my wedding album and how I can't keep my calendar straight?

My kids are my success, but they can't be all of it.

Currently, it's my personal success every time I fill out a form, actually make it to something on time (or at all), and every time I finish writing something  good or bad because it's really freakin' hard to do with four kids.

For right now I have no choice but to focus on doing this every day stuff well, finding my successes here.

Please watch the following video on how successful I am at the following; comedy, silly words, nutrition, cute baby chairs, film, and child choking safety.



And I killed it on getting Max's vision checked. It took me 7 years to discover and rectify Cole's eye problems, but Max I have taken care of in less than 13 months.

Like a BOSS.


His actual glasses are blue-grey and won't be here for another week.  



*I actually didn't ever study the eye in college.  But I totally could have.**

**Probably not.  That ophthalmologist was really, really smart and it sounded really boring.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

What Time Is It?

This past weekend Aiden played in a soccer tournament.  This consisted of three games over Saturday and Sunday.

In the days leading up to the tournament I received about eight texts about the times and locations of games and the changes of the previously stated times and the locations.  I have an app on my phone with the schedule, a group text, a paper planner where I wrote all the times (in pencil,) and I had approximately five or six emails breaking down the schedule.

It is fair to say I was given ample information.

So obviously I told my whole family that our Sunday game started at 1:30.



What the hell?

See, I do this a lot. I frequently am off on a start time by thirty minutes or an hour for parties, dinners, games, meetings, appointments.  Sometimes I show up at the end time instead of the start time, which is extra fun.  It's like a little party trick I have.

But I missed the party because I decided it started at 3:00 instead of 1:00.

I'm that fun.  Alex loves this about me.

I haven't always been like this. I used to be able to put an event on my calendar, check it the day before and properly register the start time and location in my brain, then the next day execute arrival more or less on time.

I also used to pee without anyone else in the restroom.

Those days are gone.

I assume it's the trauma of all the child producing which in turn creates all the chaos in my brain, but I could be wrong.  I have several other excuses on any given day depending on what mood I am in.  It might be Alex's fault (a timeless favorite,) the overuse of technology in modern society, my lack of a pretty white office, my lack of  a manicure.

(It sounds like there couldn't possibly be a correlation to a manicure there, but you underestimate my power to draw connections where none exists. It's another gift of mine.  It's more fun that the inability to understand the start time of an event and has fewer negative consequences since usually no one believes the conclusions I come up with, but I can do it.)

What usually happens when I screw up the time is that I just pick a new time that I believe the event should have been scheduled for in the first place.

For example, the game this Sunday would have worked a lot more seamlessly in to my family's schedule at 1:30 to give us plenty of time to return from church where we were praying for the bad people who scheduled the game at 1:00.

We missed a birthday party entirely because I remembered the invitation reading that pizza would be served so I told myself the party was from 5-7 instead of 3-5, because dinner time obviously falls between 5-7 and not 3-5.  Who is making these plans? Why am I not consulted?

We can just say this is a quirk of mine and move on.  I could devise a new system for remembering start times, though I usually feel extremely confident in the times I have in my head, until I learn they are incorrect.

Perhaps Alex should start double and triple checking invites and emails for all our events?

There isn't really a big takeaway from this post other than a general public service announcement that if you would like me, or a member of my family, somewhere at a certain time, it might be a good idea to text me an hour or so prior to the start time.

Also, that I make mistakes.

I might be annoying to make plans with these days.

That mistakes happen to everyone.

Grant grace.

To me.

Love one another.

Including me and my late family.

See all those amazing connections I just made?



Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Quick, Someone Hold My Kid

I am a lady on the edge over here.

Sickness is running through the house.

Now, before I receive comments and messages about it, allow me to acknowledge that the ailments I am going to whine about here are routine and "easy."  They will quickly pass and my children and I will continue on about our lives.  I have it good, I realize.

I have friends with children who are fighting genuine medical challenges.  Cancer, heart issues, etc.

These Moms are in the trenches every day fighting for and with their kids.  They are warriors, relentless and brave in the face of so, so much.

Me?

Not so much.

I am weak.

We're going on a week here with a random assortment of vomit, fever, stomach pain, and general yuck and I am ready to check out.

As in, hop in my minivan (I would be willing to take the minivan and leave Alex his fancy car* as compensation for him being married to the worst person ever,) and just drive in to the sunset.

I'd miss everyone so much, I assume, but it would have some serious perks.

Last Thursday morning Alex picked Max out of his crib and discovered it filled with dried vomit.

(This is not normal.)

I would like to give props to Max for throwing up in the night and then promptly going back to sleep in it so he wouldn't have to wake his parents.  Apparently Max is aware of my weakness.

He also had a fever and a clingy need to be in my arms.

Max's fever and vomit and need to be held while he whined/cried continued through the weekend.

I thought it was rough.

Then Monday came and Alex and Aiden and Cole all started to feel badly.

On top of Max's situation.

Alex came home from work in the middle of the day with fever and chills and stomach pain. Aiden crashed in bed at 4:00 with fever, then starting vomiting shortly after.  Cole laid in bed with professed stomach pain and a headache.

I started to truly unravel.

There is a reason I didn't go in to nursing.

Tuesday morning brought zero relief for Aiden, but Alex was able to slowly start moving and got off to work.  Max didn't have any fever or vomiting, but still would not let me put him down without a dramatic show of emotion and whined and pointed while I held him.

Constantly.

All 25 pounds of him.

(I can't tell you how much my arms and back hurt.)

(I could, but it would be even more painful to real than this current post which is really just turning in to a play-by-play complaint session about my family's illness.)

Cole held fast to his claim of illness but I was reasonably confident he was lying.

Some of my clues:


  • Cole often is dramatic about sickness.
  • I caught him doing push ups around 9:30 am
  • Shortly after push ups he brought me the vomit bowl with a decent amount of spit in it and claimed he couldn't throw up, but he did have too much saliva.  Surely this was of great concern to his health.
  • He was trying to figure out how to slide on his blanket on the floor without being pulled.
  • He typed up this poem to butter me up.

  • He tried to do the dishes.
  • He did not succeed.
  • He finally told me he felt fine but didn't want to walk in late to school because....how embarrassing.
Lord help me.

Aiden is an easy sick kid.  He lays in bed, he moans, maybe reads, or watches a movie.  

Max is apparently an impossible, mean sick kid requiring so much physical attention it should be part of the terrorist torture program.

Max is the part that is killing me.  

I am suffocating.  

I literally can not even use the restroom without him screaming and clawing on me to hold him. 

He is not happy.  

His ears are clear, his fever is gone, there is no more vomit....but the torture continues.  

Alex is convinced he is just spoiled, but I don't think so.  I feel like he is genuinely not feeling great but I have no idea what to do.

Unfortunately I am out of sympathy.  I am at the point where I really just can't handle him anymore.  I am taking multiple walks a day because it's the only time he is calm and I don't have to hold him.

You probably think this is just his way to help me with my New Year's resolutions, because you are nicer than I am and haven't been holding him for a week.

Unfortunately I can't feel any gratitude for his help because I am done.

A sweet friend of mine on Facebook with two small children posted this yesterday with a little heart.





She is such a better person than I am.

All I could think of when I saw it was, "I know, doesn't it suck sometimes?"

Is there an emoji for that?

I know, next week we'll probably be fine.  This suffocating feeling will subside, I'll be able to break away, and I will feel substantially less crazy.  Normal life will resume and Max will walk away and play and I will be left with the most amazing arm and back muscles on a Mom of four.

Can we just fast forward?


*That fancy car would not last long with the brutality of our children on a vehicle.  This would just feel like a nice gesture at first.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Porn and Benches

As I mentioned in my post last week, we have entered a whole new world of parenting at my house.

Both boys now have Instagram accounts.

We are parenting social media.

Lord help us.

I stressed over this decision.  I fight hard and passionately that my kids stay kids for as long as possible. No violent or inappropriate movies or video games, no phones in elementary school, no TV access in their room, no unlimited screen time.

I believe in age ratings and shoving my kids outside to make up games and I'm crazy for strict bedtimes.

So agreeing to an account like this was sort of big.

Now, for Cole I wasn't too worried.  His primary concerns for Instagram were that he could follow Barack Obama and Justin Bieber.

(Cats of Instagram was a close third to the previous two. Cole also just purchased a book of poems "written by cats," and has memorized several poems.  This is Cole.)

Cole also has very few, if any, friends on Instagram.

For Aiden, however, Instagram meant a constant connection to communicate with friends.

Did you know Instagram has a messaging feature?

Me either.

Oops.

He uses Instagram for a periodic picture of himself giving the peace sign, but mostly to chat with a small group of friends, which includes boys and girls.

Their fourth grade discussions are strange, sort of amusing, but mostly annoying and confusing.  

And every conversation starts with "sup" and discusses how each person is mostly "chillin'."

(They clearly need more to do.)

Where does their language come from?  Do these kids realize they are upper middle class white kids in suburbia?  Are they watching a lot of rap videos?  Are they friends with some older "street" people that I don't know?

Other than finding a lot of this odd, I was pretty much as peace with the Instagram thing. Scrolling through photos of approved friends and posting photos of their geckos or siblings on their feeds.

Then I read this article.  What I Wish Every Parents Knew About Instagram.

Dammit Instagram.

If you don't want to read the full article, basically some Instagram hashtags are being used to publish pornographic photos, (not typical porn hashtags either, more seemingly innocent ones,) and Instagram is doing a very pathetic job at taking down the photos after people have reported them.

I can't tell you how good it feels to be able to have JUST signed my kids up for a photo feed of potential porn.

(That's sarcasm in case someone is new here.)

(Or, Mom.)

What I am about to write in no way, shape, or form means I am OK with porn on Instagram.

I'm very firmly anti-porn.

No porn.

No thank you.

I'm grateful to have the porn conversation starting though.  Let's talk.

Porn wasn't something I was planning on talking to my kids about this week.  I talk about all sorts of things with all of them, but at times the list of BIG things to discuss gets a little heavy and sometimes I just want to listen to Cole tell jokes and Stella describe her latest sequence of crazy.

So porn hadn't made it in the discussion rotation yet.  Already earlier this week we had a lengthy discussion about circumcision, cyber bullying, and another round of curse word explanations.

I'm feeling a little tapped out, but let's talk porn.

So we did.

Cole, Aiden, and I talked about hashtags, then naked photos on social media, then porn.

And it went really, really well.

This is the time.  They love to talk and ask and are so uninhibited and curious right now.

I assume they will always think I am the most informed and intelligent source of information, but just in case I want their foundations to come from me.  This way when they hear craziness on the bus they are armed with knowledge and facts they can feel confident about...and I pray knowledge that they have a Mom that they know they can ask pretty much anything.

We discussed how the naked body is amazing and there is nothing wrong with seeing that, but how that can be twisted and isn't really something to see on your electronic device. We talked about watching a train wreck and how sometimes you have to stop yourself from looking at something if there is a little voice that says, 'this isn't good for me.' We talked about how it can mess with your brain and your heart and it can actually be really, really harmful to your future joy.

(Did you know that young men are actually having a more and more difficult time enjoying or even having sex with an actual woman because so many have been continuously exposed to pornography so they are conditioned to those images for their pleasure?)

(That was not something we discussed.)

(I do not want that for my boys.)

It's here people, it's happening.

I also had read through the string of messages Aiden was participating in, because of my strong parenting/snooping skills, and became concerned that the conversation had taken a turn to a more inappropriate place.

Several of the kids were referring to "benches" and who's "bench" could sit by certain boys.

You probably are confused, because you aren't as a good of a parent as I am.

Or because it makes zero sense.

So I hopped on my phone and messaged another Mom with a boy involved in the conversation.  She had also been monitoring the conversation and was also concerned about the "bench" talk.

Side Note: Yay for other Moms who are watching out!

We both had come to the same conclusion, because we are intelligent and worldly women, that the "benches" were really "bitches" and we were going to have to chat with our boys.

When I brought this up with Aiden he looked genuinely confused and sort of disturbed that I was even saying the word bitches. He assured me he would try to figure out what was going on with that discussion.

I felt compelled to have another heavy discussion about disrespecting women in general by the use of the word bitch.  How the tone of the conversation was implying multiple girls were wanting to be one boys "bitch" and that was sad for them, and everyone is special, and on and on and on.

I was very inspiring.

This morning my friend and I learned that benches is literally referring to a bench.

As in which bench at recess are people hanging out around.

It's possible I'm a tad bit in overdrive here with the big bad world around my kids.

It's also possible my friend and I have listened to a bit too much rap music in the 90s.

Sometimes benches are just benches.

I'm sure Aiden is going to really soak in all my bitch talk though and be the most amazing young man ever.

Social media is annoying and scary...but I think mostly I'm grateful for the platform to start these insanely uncomfortable and important talks.

And the messaging feature is providing the sweetest of conversations when I leave Aiden for an hour or so home alone.



I have a lot of street cred.

Thank you Instagram.

Peace out.

Friday, February 5, 2016

What's Your Story

It's been a busy morning so I'm delayed in writing and short on time.

This is unfortunate because my head is swimming with thoughts I want to share and explore.

This is why I carry a notebook.

I have so many words about my boys new Instagram accounts, Max turning ONE and WALKING and TALKING, and the cake I am about to bake.

You'll have to wait on that though because I mostly wanted to write about marriage because right now things are kind-of hard.  That's how things go in marriage.  It's wonderful, then it's difficult, then it's great, then it's blah, then it's crazy hard work, then it's apathy, then it's really, really good.

Somehow it still totals out to be the best thing ever and I have no idea how that happens.

But right now it's kind of hard.

He's busy with work.  I'm busy with kids and busy waiting for him to be off work.

I shouldn't admit that I wait for him to be off work. I should be saying I find my own amusement and am independent...because I think that's what we want all the girls to hear and feel these days.

That isn't how it works for me, for us.

I do often find my own amusement and I am pretty independent, but we have four kids and it takes a lot of communication and a lot of babysitting money for us or for just me to do something away from them.

So I find myself frequently waiting for him.

Waiting to get off work, to get home from his meeting, to text, to call, to tell me what's next.

It's annoying.

It is what it is.

(Most unproductive statement ever right there.  'It is what it is' basically just means shut the hell up and get on with it...but we never just say that, do we?)

It's difficult to find time to have a ten minute conversation to decide whether or not we want to accept an invitation somewhere or what to do about Aiden's soccer team or should we fix that magic ice maker, much less actually enjoy being around one another.

Ain't nobody got time for enjoyment with four kids.

This is unfortunate because I happen to be bananas for my husband.

As far as I can remember, I really, really, really like to be around him.

Unless we haven't been around one another for a while and then he's SUPER annoying.  I could provide a lengthy list of all the annoying things he does, mistakes he makes in our routine, how inconsiderate he is about all the things I never told him I wanted to him to do and now he isn't even doing any of them...the worst.

Good thing he's pretty to look at.

I am sure he would struggle fiercely with a list of annoying things I do, because he is smart.

I would say my biggest weakness is that I work too hard.

FINE...I'll go ahead and put it out there that among one, maybe ten other things, I become a smidge of a martyr during our distant times.

Who doesn't love a martyr though, right?

I don't know why I do it.

I blame my Mom.

Just kidding, Mom.

I intellectually realize how much worse I am making a tough situation, but I actually can NOT open my mouth and be reasonable.  I have prayed fiercely for God to just force the words of reason out of me, but instead I find myself saying things like, "I guess I'll just take all four kids with me to my thing because I wouldn't want you to have to watch them when you are trying to catch up on the news on your phone."

Or, "That sounds great for you to go grab a beer, I'll just be here with all our kids on a Friday night watching a Barbie movie and eating bad pizza.  Sounds good."

In fairness to me, I always look really pretty when I say these things.

Or at least my eyelashes look pretty when I say these things.

I have a husband who works a lot. At times he doesn't even realize how much he is working.  I think he really believes he's usually home by around 6:30.  This is an adorable delusion.

I've written before about my gratitude for that, (you can read that here,) because despite my sour attitude at times, I genuinely am thankful.

One of my favorite things about him is that he works hard to provide and feels he is owed nothing.
I love that my kids see that attitude in everything he does and pray they grow to know the value of working hard for something and to not just expect things to come to you.

I also pray they miraculously miss my annoyed sighs when I forget all about grace and sigh loudly while putting away the creamer for the millionth time.

I don't use creamer.

Someone else does.

See, I'm obviously not my best version of my married self.  I have zero grace.

It's easy to focus on the little annoyances like creamer placement because it's there and it's small and it's fine to talk about creamer placement.  No one has to work hard to talk about creamer placement.

It's crazy hard when things get off course to talk about real things that matter.

Creamer does not matter.

Life happens and you genuinely have to fight to find a moment or maybe more than a moment to enjoy one another, to catch up, to remember that you are bananas for one another.  To say, "I miss you and let's go hide in the closet or something." Each moment that passes though makes it more challenging to recover from and the distance grows.

Someone has to take a step.  A big one.

Someone has to stop making sarcastic martyr comments and telling herself she has it so hard or he doesn't care, because that's a lie.

Telling myself stories that don't serve me, or my family, is one of my least favorite things that I do.

It can become a habit.

It can take over your brain.

It can straight up screw you out of the amazing life you have by telling you the complete opposite from your truth.

You can do it over and over again in your marriage, your friendships, your job, your own self worth.

Personally I feel like I only struggle with it in my marriage.  Maybe because it means the most?

But it can happen....

'They didn't text me back because they are mad', 'they didn't invite me because I'm not part of the right group', 'he isn't here because he doesn't want to be.'

Lies.  Really, really bad stories.

This morning as he left, he told me, "I love you and you love me.  I'm over this too."

He's the best.

We're going to take a big step tonight and talk and enjoy being around one another again.

I'm over being annoyed about the creamer placement.

I'm telling myself a new story and it's really, really good.

**************************************

And just because my brain really can't get over these two things.

He's WALKING!


And this is part of the joy that is Cole's Instagram account, which I find adorable.



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Stop Planning Your Disney Vacation, Just Pack Your Stuff Already

A few years ago my parents won Grandparents of the Year in a fictitious contest where all the grandparents of the world compete. My Dad sealed this by orchestrating a Disney vacation for our whole family.

It was glorious.

We had a fantastic time.

Little kids go crazy for Disney and I admit, as an adult I thought I might feel like I wasn't on vacation, but it was actually really enjoyable.

We even had cocktails by the pool!

The thing is, my Dad used a travel agent.

This woman took care of our hotel, booked our flights, got our park passes, gave us a suggested plan for our days, made all our dinner reservations, sent us our luggage tags and other such nonsense that none of us really have the time or energy to take on given all the children with all their needs.

Yes, we answered some questions and my Dad gave her a budget, but otherwise she did the rest.

Thank the Lord.

I constantly see people post on FB all their Disney questions. There is a desperation to their information seeking, which is understandable because it is a giant vacation with a million potential details.

I am baffled though...why aren't any of you using a travel agent?

Perhaps you don't think they exist anymore?

Did they all go away with the internet and the belief that Diet soda is good for us?

Are they all wearing shoulder pads and a telephone headset somewhere just waiting for someone to book a cruise?

I'm here to tell you they EXIST!

My friend Stephanie is a travel agent and she actually specializes in Disney.

Now, she isn't paying me anything to write this or tell you this, I just feel like it's my social responsibility to share this information with you because you all are killing yourself and you don't have to do that for your Disney trip.

Packing for your family and all sleeping in the same room is going to cause you enough strife, let someone else do the rest of it.

Maybe you guys think that it costs more?

You know you don't pay them, right?

Maybe you assume travel agents are dealing drugs at Disney to actually earn money?

That really doesn't make sense, you are crazy.

I asked Stephanie to give me some quick reasons why you should stop making this so damn hard.

Please for the love of all the dollars you are spending, read this and think about using someone, preferably my amazing friend because she obviously is so smart and beautiful because we are friends.

You are welcome.

Emotional and time drain for you Disney vacation planning GONE.


 Why use an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? 

This is a question so many people ask… My answer – Why Not?  

Top reasons to use a Disney Vacation Planner:

·       It’s already included in the price so why not use the service?
         Whether you book on your own or book with a planner, you are paying the exact same amount! I know this doesn’t seem possible but feel free to put it to the test. I guarantee my cost is, to the penny, equal to what you will find online.    
·       You have someone that knows you and your family.
         If you need to call the 800 number to discuss your reservation for any reason, you always speak to a different person and you are known by a reservation number. If you work with a me, you always have the same person to talk to and I know your individual hopes for your vacation. Feel free to call, text, or email me at any time!                        
·      Once your vacation is booked, I am always scanning for new promotions… If your reservation falls under the promotion, I will apply it to your reservation. Yes, you can do this on your own but typically I know when they are about to release and am booking as soon as the call center opens because these rooms are limited. Once you hear about the promotion, there is a good chance it will no longer be available. 
·       Hi Ho Vacations is a company with many wonderful agents, all with a huge love for Disney! Because of this, we have been able to compile many tips and tricks to make your vacation as easy and extra special as possible. I am able to pass these hints onto you! You don’t need to post 20 questions on your Facebook wall in a panic to figure it all out!        
·       Dining reservations are available 180 days before your date of arrival… Not only will I make recommendations for you, I will actually make the reservations based on your preferences as soon as we hit the 180-day mark.
·       Disney has rolled out the new FastPass + service over the past few years. This is fabulous!  It gives you the ability to quickly get on rides, have character greetings, or prime locations for fireworks/parades. You receive at least 3 FastPasses per day. FastPasses can be selected 60 days in advance and do require a little planning. Again, I will help you every step of the way!        
·       You will receive a personalized, fun travel packet prior to your travel with everything you need to prep you for your trip. It’s loaded with everything from packing tips to park maps and even has some fun goodies!

I know many of you have been to Disney, some of you more times than you can count! You might know the parks like the back of your hand and are set on the way you “do Disney”. I get it, that was me! I am here for you to do as much or as little as you want. Even if you don’t want me to book your dining, it will benefit you to have me scanning for promotions and providing personalized service. Disney World is never the same as it constantly has improvements and it continually makes changes to the parks and resorts. Consequently my tips and tricks can also be very helpful and current.

Finally, booking a Disney World vacation is easy.  It only takes a $200 deposit with the final payment being due 30 days before you travel.  I am happy to apply payments at any time to break it up. I don’t just book Walt Disney World, I can help you book all things Disney – Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, and Aulani.

You can follow me on Facebook where I post lots of tips and tricks along with promotions and much more – facebook.com/disneyvacationplanningwithStephanie and contact me by email or phone, I would love to help!   

Phone: 317-506-0392
Email: stephanie@hihovacations.com


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