Our flight took off at 6 a.m. Monday morning and we didn't get home till the next Monday at 12:15 a.m.  Disney was phenominal.  I havent' been there since I was 18, and neither has my wife.  My girls have never been there, and it was more magical then I could have imagined.  Now, of course the rides and shows were great, but there are a few things that stand out as making the experience "Magical".  On our second day we were in Epcot.  The signatures from many princesses were great for the girls, but they were nothing compared to after dinner.  We ate at the Rose and Crown Pub in the country of England.  The food was wonderful, and our server Sophie made it that much more enjoyable.  Towards the end of our dinner another server, Hannah, approached our table and said to my girls, "We have a problem we were hoping you could help us with.  Mickey Mouse is stuck on the Monorail and we were hoping you could help us set off the fireworks tonight.  Luckily, he left his magic wands here so we have them for you."  Their eyes lit up and all I could do was nod a yes.  They stood on chairs by the waterfront and waved the wands in the air.  They swirled them around quicker and quicker until the fireworks started.  Now, I know that they didn't really set off the fireworks, it was a timed event and they must do this every night to children at their establishment.  My wife and I were standing there looking at our girls faces covered in huge smiles.  I wrapped my arms around her shoulders and whispered into her ear, "Now this is what they must mean by Disney Magic."

On Thursay, our 4th day there,  we had luch at Cinderella's Castle for my youngest's birthday (she turned 5 that day).  We met almost all of the princesses and the lunch was another magical time that kept her smiling all day.  She was so happy that she smiled as she slept; maybe having dreams of living in the castle with the other princesses.

My oldest had been dealing with a sprained ankle for a couple weeks and we even kept her out of soccer the weekend we went away so she would not aggravate it.  As the week progressed in Disney it started to hurt her earlier and earlier each day, till on friday I had to push her around in a wheel chair because she couldn't walk at all.  We still had a lot of fun, but my Disney memory happend that night.  My girls bought me a Mickey Mouse pin that said "World's Greatest Dad".  My oldest looked up at me from the wheelchair, handed me the pin, and said "Daddy, even without this pin, you are the greatest Dad in the world!"  All the blisters, sore feet, long lines, and exhaustion washed away, and I was left with that simple phrase. 

It may be people in costumes, over priced food and soveniers, and overcrowded, but Disney is magical.  And my girls thinking that I am the Greatest Dad is all the magic I will ever need.

On Saturday I was in the Wedding party for my friends Jen and Mark.  Their wedding was beautiful.  They are so perfect for eachother, and I wish them allt he blessings and good luck possible.  Last year Mark asked me to be in the wedding and I was honored and excited.  But, over the past couple of years I have not been a good friend to he or Jen.  Jen has 3 children from a previous relationship and she and Mark have a beautiful daughter together.  They live a few block from me, but I had not been to their house till the day of the wedding.  In life, you want your children to be exposed to the best things possible and that includes people.  I have hid behind the excuse of being busy and not made time to spend with Jen and Mark.  I am no longer going to do so.  It is now a priority for me to expose my children to such a great family, and I am sure they will learn great things from being around them. 

I wish I had read this in the parent's handbook...Oh, wait, there isn't one. LOL
As per the calendar, it says that I haven't blogged in 8 days.  In my mind, it seems like it has been maybe a day.  Time has flown by filled with: sick kids, sports injuries, dogs deciding the trash can is now fun to turn over in the kitchen, Florida trip planning, birthday party planning, packing, and let's not forget work.  I know we have all been there, and it sucks sometimes.

With everything going on I had to prioritize, hence the blog and podcast suffered delays.  I regret not keeping up my responsibility for the site, but I used that time to fit in time with my daughters instead.  I hope you can understand that playing Barbies, tea parties, and having those important discussions about boys far outweighed all of this.

Ok, onto something of more substance for you to enjoy.  I spent last weekend with my oldest daughter at Girl Scout Camp.  I am a Co-Leader for her troop and really enjoy the time as a male leader.  1% of Girl Scout (Girl Guides in the UK) are men, and I feel that it is important for those girls who don't have good male role models in their lives to be exposed to them in some capacity.  To make things easier I did not camp overnight, I came home and slept like 4 hours just so I could rush back and be there for breakfast.  As a result of me being one of the few men in camp, I was requested to wear a sign that had printed upon it "Dad in Camp".  I chuckled and put it on without a second thought.  I was really disappointed later when I found out that another Dad had decided he would rather leave the camp than wear the sign.  I can't understand how you would rather lose the time with your daughter over the fact of not wanting to wear a sign.  I would wear a hot pink and purple tuxedo if it meant spending time with my daughter.  I feel bad for that girl who missed the time with her father because he had some issue with wearing a small sign that I am glad they issue so that there aren't any strange men just walking around.    Grant it, women could be child predators also, but I still feel safer that men are wearing "credentials" to show that they belong there.

During this trip I was happy to see my daughter's independence show through.  Not only was she doing all of her own things (making her own breakfast, hand washing her own dishes, setting up her cot and pack in the tent), but she was always taking the time to help out other girls.  She shows that she can be a natural leader, and she cares how the group progresses.  To her, if there is someone that is having a problem with an activity, then the whole group has a problem with the activity.

My wife finally made it home, and we were overjoyed.  I have to give tons of credit to those single parents out there.  It is more difficult than anyone can imagine, unless you have to do it.

My oldest daughter has been sick, and after my Mother-In-Law took her to the doctors While I was at work, it was discovered she had Foot in Mouth Disease.  If anyone is familiar with that, it is a virus that has been around forever, but is not as common now adays.  With mouth sores, skin rashes, and a host of other symptoms; it is hard to watch your child go through any sickness, but one that impedes speech, walking, manipulating things with your hands, and swallowing makes it worse.  To make it even worse, my youngest caught it too.  A sick, almost 5 year old, is no fun at all.

Information about Foot in Mouth Disease: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/enterovirus/hfhf.htm