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Family update and Florida Here We Come…..double digits!

January Update: 99 days to go until Florida! Whoop!
Having a Florida holiday on the horizon just makes life better 
So shall I get the personal updates out of the way first?
My business is ticking over nicely, infact it is downright busy at the moment and at times I find it overwhelming and am very aware of the things that are now not getting done because my time is being used elsewhere. But overall I can’t complain and I have been very lucky starting up a business on facebook and getting lots of orders for Christmas.
I am trying to find time to work on this blog which I’ve wanted to make a go of for ages and so I’m determined to carry on with it and I am planning on trying a vlog soon too. Eeek!
M and G both had birthdays and luckily for me at the moment we can have a joint party for them as their birthdays are exactly two weeks apart and as they turned 4 and 2, neither of them mind sharing.
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So we hired the ‘Jungle Bus’ which is a bus totally fitted out with soft play equipment and slides etc. It has a marquee attached with a bouncy castle in and everything is provided (except for the cake!) so having done a totally diy party last it was a real treat turning up with my kids and a cake and letting someone else do the rest.

Miley and Grayson both LOVED it and we all had such a lovely day.
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Miley is very torn about growing up, she sometimes says she wants to get bigger so that she can go on bigger rides, but she also gets upset as if she is growing up bigger  it means she will have to leave me and her Dad and her brother. I tried to assure her that she wouldn’t be going anywhere for quite some time!

As you know our trip to Paultons Park was a big success which was a nice relief. Then in September we went to the Emergency Services Show in Wiltshire which was sooo good, but very busy. We queued for a while to get into the car park and then we queued on another couple of occasions throughout the day. And our kids were superstars again. Yes!
The longest queue took almost an hour (which is way longer than I will wait in florida) but it was to have a drive in a police car which was so much fun. The policeman drove the car SO fast and Miley was super brave and sat in the front seat with the policeman and he asked her if she scared easily and she just shook her head and smiled at him and then she laughed all the way around. And it really WAS FAST! The bends were crazy. Grayson also loved it and cried when we said we couldn’t go back on!  Lol. I have two mini thrill-seekers!
We then went back to Paultons Park again in October and it was an even bigger success than the first time. Miley rode a rollercoaster time and time again and loved it and still asks on a regular basis when we can go back.
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Grayson went on everything he was tall enough for and they were both so well behaved.
IMG_3443We are planning another trip back in March as a warm up for Florida and hopefully by then Grayson will have grown a bit and be able to go on a few more things too as he was at that awkward stage where some ride attendants said yes and let him on and others said no and wouldn’t let him ride. I’m sure there will be other parents reading this who understand what an impact that inconsistency can make to your day out. So next time shouldn’t have those problems as both kiddos are growing constantly!

So I am now feeling much better about queues etc with my kids. Phew. I’m sure it won’t be all plain sailing, but it has relieved a lot of my worry.
My main worry now is the flight. I know I said this before but is it immoral to sedate my 2 year old?! Joking! Kind of. 
My kids are growing up far too quickly and Miley in particular is really changing so quickly. On that same note we are actually looking at Primary Schools at the moment as Miley is due to start school next September! Argh!  Its very emotional and strange and scary to think about  my shy little girl being in a school for 5 days a week. But we will see what happens. The application will be made this week and we will actually find out what school she has been accepted to just a few days before our holidays. Fingers crossed for good news!
Then we obviously had Christmas and it was so amazing! Miley was beyond excited this year and Grayson just fed off of that excitement. It was lovely to get a taste of what Christmas will be like in the years to come. I just love seeing the look of awe on their faces at the sheer magic of it all.
****can you see they switched pyjama tops in the photos below! Apparently Miley loves Mickey and Grayson is all about Minnie.****
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Onto the holiday!  
I am VERY excited to say we have booked with Car on the Drive! Yay!  I have to say for anyone considering them they are very responsive and have been so helpful, the price is good and I really think that the whole service will make our journey so much more straightforward. I cannot wait to walk out of baggage claim and be collected by someone who will drive us to our villa and then actually SHOW us how to use our hire car. Very excited.  We have a full size SUV which my husband insisted on!

I have also booked some ADR’s for the first time EVER! We aren’t staying onsite, but I did want some character meals to try and cut down on the time we spend queuing for autographs. I had no problem at all booking our ADR’s and I have actually ended up booking more than I had originally planned to. Ooops! But some of these places were just too hard to resist! Hopefully Simon won’t look at the bill when we pay!

Crystal palace breakfast
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Akershus Breakfast
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whispering canyon café (lunch)
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chef mickeys (lunch)
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beaches and cream (lunch)
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Hollywood and Vine Disney Junior (lunch)
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So Whispering Canyon Café was a new addition, but I saw photos of someones meal here on the dibb and I knew we just had to try it. The food looks perfect for our family and I honestly cannot wait to try it. Eek! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Beaches and Cream was also a late addition, but both my kids (and husband) love burgers and my kids (and me) love ice-cream, so I have high hopes. I also really am looking forward to getting a look at the resorts around this area as they just look so pretty!
All of the other ADR’s are buffets as honestly this will be the easiest thing for us to do with crazy Grayson in tow. He likes to eat super fast and then get moving again!
Today I have booked our transport to Gatwick (and home again on our return).
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On past trips we have always driven and then parked and last time we stayed in a hotel the night before. But we’re not sure our kids would sleep in a hotel room and also the drive home from the airport is always exhausting. So we decided to splash out and get a car service to and from the airport. The extra cost seemed worth it to us. We are looking forward to not having to drive there with me giving directions and Simon driving and us (potentially) getting tense with each other etc etc. And on the way back I’m looking forward to not having to force myself to stay awake because simon is driving and he is also having to force himself to stay awake. And I am REALLY looking forward to just walking out of arrivals and getting in a car. Simples. Or that’s the hope.
I have also booked a cat/house sitter to take care of our two cats and also the house whilst we are gone.
And have also just booked a double stroller to hire for the 3 weeks we are there. Miley hasn’t used a pushchair for over 2 years now and Grayson hasn’t used one for about a year. But when we were at Peppa Pig World Grayson did get in the pushchair after a couple of hours so we will definitely need one in Florida. And I think its better to have a double as it gives Miley the option as I know the size of the parks combined with the heat and the excitement will tire them both out.
And I have also booked a parcel delivery service with Mockingjay Services.
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Simon and I normally do a lot of shopping when in Florida, but again we are aware that shopping with two kids in tow is not the best idea. So whilst we will still go shopping on a few days, it definitely won’t be as much as we would want. So we are going to try and do some online shopping in the weeks leading up to the holiday. This also means I can buy the kids some presents without needing to hide them 
So quite a few bits ticked off my list this week. I am looking at options for theme park tickets at the moment. I think we will just be sticking to Disney and Universal so that we don’t overdo it with the kids. We are very aware of what our children are like when there is too much happening and we are conscious that we want to go at their pace and try and stick to their normal routines etc to make the holiday as pleasant as possible. So tickets should be purchased in the next couple of weeks.
Next up on my to-do list are:
– Graysons passport
– Travel Insurance
– ESTA’s
As Christmas is now out of the way I am also going to make a start on some themed dresses for Miley and maybe some shorts for Grayson too. I made a few ‘practice’ dresses for Miley last year whenever I had the time and some spare fabric and I made her a dress for Halloween as well. So I’m feeling pretty optimistic. She has requested dresses for Tiana, Merida, Elsa and Captain America. So that is what I will try and do. Here are a couple of the dresses I made her this year.
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