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WE ARE BACK! We did Disney with a 4 year old and 1 year old and lived to tell the tale.

The trip was both everything we imagined it would be, and nothing like we imagined at all. Yeah, I realize that doesn’t make much sense, but more on that to come. I’m definitely planning on putting together a few Disney posts, but I don’t want to do my usual “On Monday, we did X, and on Tuesday, we did Y…” vacation recap. Because honestly, we spent six days at the parks. We rode rides (a few of them). We met characters (some of them). We ate… a lot. There aren’t a lot of specific things to recap without boring the crap out of everyone. So I’m trying to figure out a few different topics on which to focus—things that are both helpful for others planning future trips AND do their part to recap our experiences a bit. And include pictures. There have to be a lot of pictures. If you have any ideas, let me know!

While I’m mulling that over, I did want to post quickly about essential oils. It’s been a little while since I’ve done a full-fledged essential oils post, and that’s OK—I don’t want to flood my blog with essential oils content (and I’m sure a lot of you don’t, either), even though they are definitely playing a pretty significant role in my life currently! But there are some promos and specials going on this week that I wanted to tell you all about, in case there is anyone out there who has been on the fence for a while, or is interested in dabbling a bit.

Before I talk about that, though, I need to share an essential oils success story from last week. As I mentioned before we left for vacation, I was in Denver for work for a few days. When I got home that Friday, that night, I had one of the worst sore throats ever. I could barely swallow, and I was sure I must have had strep throat. I was even texting my brother (who works at an urgent care) asking him about rapid strep tests, thinking I might need to go in and get one on Saturday before we left for vacation early Sunday.

But that night, I mixed up an essential oils “Flu Bomb” in a roller bottle—a blend of OnGuard, Melaleuca, Oregano, Lemon, and Breathe—and began rubbing it on the bottoms of my feet every couple of hours. When I woke up on Saturday morning, the sore throat was better, but it had given way to congestion. I had a stuffy/runny nose all day. I continued with the Flu Bomb application every few hours throughout the day, and I kid you not—by Sunday morning, I was feeling drastically better for getting on that airplane to Disney! Given how awful I was feeling on Friday night, I was pretty amazed. Hooray for essential oils.

In addition, for those who follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that Vivienne was feeling under the weather the first few days of our trip. I could tell she was running a fever (despite having no thermometer to confirm), and she was not acting like herself. She was more irritable, and wasn’t eating—VERY unusual for her, since she’s normally a piggy! I did give her infant ibuprofen to help with the fever, since we were on vacation and I wasn’t messing around. I was feeling pretty convinced she had an ear infection as the only time she’s ever really had a relentless fever like this was with an ear infection, plus she seemed to have an increased amount of drainage/waxy build-up going on.

We debated heavily about taking a shuttle from our resort to urgent care, but decided to give it a little bit of time. In the meantime, I applied Lavender and Melaleuca essential oils to her neck and head, right around her ear. She had definitely been feeling lousy on Sunday and Monday—even with ibuprofen to help the fever—but by Monday night she was improving (behavior wise) and by Tuesday morning, she didn’t have a fever anymore, and ate a breakfast of champions. Of course, since we didn’t end up going to the doctor, I don’t know for sure what she had, or what helped most (essential oils or just time), but she definitely seemed to turn a corner quickly, without any other problems the rest of the week.

OK, so enough about my essential oils love affair, right? Let’s talk special deals… :)

First, in celebration of Thanksgiving, doTERRA is offering special one-day deals every day this week. Today (Monday), anyone who buys a bottle of Breathe—the respiratory blend that can help with cough, colds, congestion and asthma—will receive a FREE bag of Breathe Respiratory Throat Drops. This particular offer is valid today only, so if you’re interested, act quickly and email me at heatherdriveblog at yahoo dot com, as I’ll be placing an order tonight! I’d be happy to extend my wholesale discount to you, which brings the cost of Breathe down to $20. The Breathe Respiratory Throat Drops retail for $19.33, and you’d get a bag of those for FREE! So $20 for both, great deal!

A new daily deal will be announced every morning, so stay tuned this week to my Instagram feed (heatherkj) or follow doTERRA International on Facebook to find out what the other deals will be. And email me at any time (again, heatherdriveblog at yahoo dot com) if you’re interested in any of it.

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Secondly, I’m offering a promotion through the end of the month for those who are interested in the doTERRA starter kits. Anyone who purchases a Family Physician Kit from me between now and November 30 will receive a free 15mL bottle of Wild Orange essential oil as a bonus, and anyone who purchases a Home Essentials Kit (also by November 30) will receive a free 15mL bottle of Holiday Joy, which is doTERRA’s delightful seasonal blend, available only in November and December! If you want to learn more about essential oils—specifically the ones that come in these two kits—watch our recent webinar, or of course, email me and I’m happy to provide information and chat with you about it all!

As always, if you’re interested in trying just a single oil or two, I can also help you with that. So don’t hesitate to email me about any of this stuff. Woohoo!

 

That’s the sound of another nine days, gone like a flash. I have the best intentions about making time for blogging but it just seems to happen less and less these days.

It’s been a busy few weeks, though. I just got back from Denver last night, having traveled there this week for work.

Temperatures were negative, zero, or in the single digits the entire time I was there, so couple that with my busy meeting schedule and I saw basically none of the city. Oh well, what can you do? And hey, at least there was a donut wall involved.

Now we’re gearing up for DISNEY! Oh my gosh, I still can’t even really believe we’re going. I’m sure I’ll be Instagramming the crap out of the trip so stay tuned over there (@heatherkj) if you’re interested in what we’re up to. I may not have much time for blogging these days, but I can usually find a few minutes to throw up some photos here and there. :)

By the time we get back, we’ll be crazy close to Thanksgiving. THAT.IS.NUTS. Especially since Christmas will be on its heels. I’ll be back with some kind of recap, though I’m certainly not going to promise when that’ll be. It’s time for me to go cram things into suitcases and figure out how to survive a 2.5-hour flight with a 15-month-old. Wish us luck!

Toodles!

 

The countdown is on. Our Disney trip is just around the corner.

We have dining reservations (too many, actually. I need to narrow it down). We have a (fairly loose) itinerary—a plan for which days we’re spending in which parks. We have our Fast Passes (wasn’t able to get Elsa and Anna. booooo). Our Magic Bands came in the mail.

http://parksandresorts.wdpromedia.com/media/disneyparks/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/fwk111002LARGE.jpg(Image Source: Disney Parks Blog)

I’m starting to panic a little. I’m so, so excited, but also kind of nervous.

Vivienne is the wild card. She’s what I think is a typical toddler with wildly unpredictable moods which can change at the drop of a hat. Typically, she’s a pretty good kid but if she’s hungry or tired or wants something she can’t have… watch out, world. Our pediatrician used to tell us that Nora was a “spirited child,” but now that I have Vivienne… no way. Nora has her moments but she is quiet and reserved and mostly well behaved. Vivienne is the definition of spirited child—loud and vocal, stubborn and determined. Nora observes and proceeds with caution. Vivienne flings herself into the world with reckless abandon.

I cannot imagine her falling asleep in the stroller the way we used to get Nora to do, at least for cat naps. CANNOT.IMAGINE. She is just not that kind of kid. If it happens, it will be some sort of miracle.

To say I’m nervous about traveling with Vivienne—on the plane, in the parks, in the restaurants, in the hotel—is a little bit of an understatement. Who knows what she’s going to do. Michael and I have discussed it at length and we are going to try to roll with the punches. Go at their pace. Go back to the hotel for naps if we must. But the problem with all of that is that we don’t have just one child… we have two. Vivienne isn’t our only consideration. We have Nora, who would likely be fine to be out and about having fun most days. We hate to ruin her fun for the sake of her baby sister. But I suppose there’s a life lesson to be had in there. We’ll do the best we can.

Side note: What were we thinking getting a standard hotel room? We’ve all slept in the same room before—in the Poconos and even this summer in the Outer Banks—but in those instances, we had other places to hang out if we weren’t ready to sleep when they were sleeping. We were only ever in the room all together to SLEEP. This should be interesting. I guess Michael and I will be seeing some early bedtimes. LOL.

I know people do this all of the time and we made the decision to go now for good reasons. We’re going to have fun. It’s just that when we made the reservations, Vivienne was nine months old and I had no idea what kind of toddler she would actually be. Now I know, haha. To be fair, when we spent a day at Disneyland with Nora when she was about 2.5, she presented her own set of challenges. SO… rolling with it. Relaxing. Breathing. Woo-sah.

Moving along… packing and preparing. I could definitely use any last-minute tips that you all might have. What to bring, what to leave at home. What to buy in advance, what to buy on site, etc.

We are staying at Coronado Springs.

Instead of lugging ours, we are renting a double stroller in Orlando, which will be delivered to our hotel before our arrival. But then for the airport, we’re wondering—do we bring our umbrella stroller? Carry Vivienne in the backpack carrier? But if Michael is carrying Vivienne in the backpack carrier, then we lose a backpack for carry-on “stuff” (since he won’t have a free back to carry it on). Thankfully, we are flying an airline that offers a free checked bag for every ticketed passenger, so we get to dump three suitcases at the ticket counter, freeing up valuable arms and hands. Suggestions on all of that?

We’ve already received some good advice and have some ideas, but what about keeping a 15-month-old busy on the plane? We have a direct flight, so it’s a little over two hours. Vivienne likes electronics as much as the next toddler, but she isn’t quite “into” apps and movies yet. She will busy herself for a while by pressing Apple devices’ “Home” button a million times, but I’m not sure that’ll cut it for long.

Speaking of cut… thanks to a few readers who suggested it, I scheduled Nora’s first-ever haircut at the Harmony Barber Shop in the Magic Kingdom. I get a pit in my stomach whenever I think about someone taking scissors to her curls, but as I mentioned in my post last week, the ends of her hair are really not healthy right now. Dry and frizzy. Something needs to be done and a cut is in order. I know it’ll still be beautiful regardless of whether the curls stay or go, but there’s also something really weird about them cutting off the hair that was on her head when she was a baby. And the curls are leftover from that babyhood, too. It hurts my heart a little.

http://tombricker.smugmug.com/Disney/Magic-Kingdom/i-frXp7P6/0/M/minnie-mickey-mouse-disney-world-christmas-parade-M.jpg(Image Source: Disney Tourist Blog)

We’re debating about whether or not to go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. It’s an extra expense that I’m not entirely sure is worth it, but mostly we don’t want to spend the money and then have Vivienne turn into a beast at the party start time—7:00 p.m., which is usually her bedtime. We’ve wrestled with it, and are even contemplating me taking Nora and Michael staying back at the hotel with Vivienne. But then maybe we just take our chances with the cost of Michael’s ticket (Vivienne is free) and see how it goes. I don’t know.

Anyway, I’m all (Mickey) ears. About anything. Everything. Except for things we can’t really change at this point (like hotel, dining reservations and Fast Passes). Share your wisdom, my friends. If I survive this, I’ll be sure to pay it forward when I get back! :)

 

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Love,
Anna & Elsa

(Vivienne, 15 months & Nora, 4 years)

My mom made the costumes; my mother-in-law made the Anna hat/braids. They turned out sooo cute and it was so fun to see them in action on Halloween. Nora had a Halloween “parade” at her preschool, so we took Vivienne in costume as well. The class sang us a few songs and recited some Halloween rhymes. It’s awesome to hear and see firsthand what she’s learning.

{Doing her Elsa moves a la “Let It Go”}

When Nora walked into her classroom before the parade, all the little girls ran and gathered around her. This one little girl (dressed as Tinkerbell, REALLY cute) put her hands on the sides of her face and very dramatically exclaimed, “I *LOVE* that costume! I want to be Elsa for Halloween!” It was hysterical. Also? I was shocked to discover that Nora was the only Elsa in her entire class. What? How? I’m still baffled. There were, however, two Annas. Maybe those girls had bossy older sisters going as Elsa (that was certainly the situation in our house! LOL).

My one contribution to the costumes was to paint all of the snowflakes onto Nora’s “Elsa” cape. A finishing touch!

The costumes will see another day when we go to DISNEY! Although I don’t think I’ll be able to get Vivienne to wear the hat in Florida… :)

 

I don’t think it’s any secret at this point that I’ve lost a bit of my flare for blogging. Very little time, struggles with motivation, lack of things I really want to write about. We’re great, our kids are great. They’re growing up. I want to write about all of the things they’re saying and doing and take a million pictures and document it all, but at the same time, I kind of just want to LIVE the life we’re living. Anyway, I’ve been wrestling with all of this for a while. I keep coming back to throw up random posts here and there, but this blog certainly isn’t the chronicle of my life that it used to be. I don’t know if I can ever get back to that. I don’t know if I want to. It’s a tough spot. I’m still trying to figure it out.

In the meantime, there are some little tidbits to share. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably already seen all of these (or most of these) glimpses into the last few weeks, but here’s a little round-up.

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I want to do one big fall recap where I share a bunch of pics I’ve taken of leaves and fall activities. I just haven’t had time to go through all of my pics and weed out the ones I want to show you. And my computer’s hard drive is FULL and I am having trouble with backing up my images to Flickr so I’m afraid to delete anything. Which kind of makes my computer useless for anything more than the Internet and email right now. Not awesome.

But we have been getting out and enjoying fall as much as we can. We went a few weeks ago to a local ski resort to get my mom, Nora, and Hunter their season passes, and the foliage was amazing so we spent some time walking around the lower part of the mountain.

On the way back home, we stopped at an apple farm and Nora got to ride a pony for the first time ever. (Thanks, Grammy.) She really loved it, even though she did tell us the horse was stinky.

Vivienne loves riding around in our structured backpack carrier—the Osprey Poco Premium. It’s pretty awesome, and she likes it a lot more than the Ergo now. I think it’s more comfortable, she’s not as squished, and she sits higher up so she can see more—a winning combination for our “spirited” Miss Vivienne. We’re trying to figure out a good way to get it to Florida with us for Disney World, even though we’re far more likely to use the double stroller we’re renting, I think. We’ll see.

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Speaking of Disney World… our Magic Bands came in the mail! Even though I got a shipping notice for them when they went out, I completely forgot about them. I had no idea what the mystery package was that arrived for us last week, until I opened them and SQUEEEEEEEE! So fun. Nora picked her color (pink, of course). I was originally going to do red or something for Viv, but then Nora insisted that her sister match her. It won’t be for much longer that Vivienne will allow her sister to dictate her choices, so I’m going with it for now.

We leave in less than three weeks. We made a paper chain for Nora to use to countdown, with a big Mickey head on top. I’m nervous about tackling a week in Disney with two kids—and all of us in one hotel room, ahh!—but I’m trying to go into it with a laid-back attitude and level head. It’s for them. We’re going to go at their pace. Let’s just go with the flow and have fun with it.

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Also in Florida… I traveled to Fort Lauderdale for a work retreat last week, Thursday-Saturday. It was fun and it was really nice to get out of town for a few days, but I missed my family at home. Palm trees are good for the soul, though. So is the ocean. There was also gelato and beer.


I also missed a beautiful fall day at home on Saturday—it was 82 degrees and sunny in Florida, so it’s hard to complain! But we still hadn’t picked up our pumpkins. So after I got home late on Saturday night, we headed out early on Sunday morning to the pumpkin patch, despite the cold and a little rain. It was at least an opportunity to get a few photos of the girls for posterity. :)

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I think I’m finally building up the courage to cut Nora’s hair. I still would rather not, but the fact is that the ends of it are really dried out and frizzy now. I’m still worried it’ll mean the end of her curls, but I can’t hold onto them forever, and they’re already not what they used to be—and that might be largely due to the unhealthy ends she’s got going on. Or it could just mean her hair is changing. She still has days where her curls are incredible, but then there are others where it seems like she only has a slight wave to her hair. It’s weird.

I don’t want to do anything drastic, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t either (she loves her “Rapunzel” hair), but she could definitely use an inch or two cut off the ends, at least. So now I just have to figure out who I actually want to cut it, and make an appointment.

Hold me.

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I’m co-hosting another Essential Oils 101 webinar tonight (Thursday, 10/30)—it’s meant to be an introduction for newbies or those who are interested in learning more about some of the most popular oils and their uses. Whether you’re looking to makeover your medicine cabinet with more natural remedies, make your own natural personal care products or household cleaners, or even if you don’t really know where to start, this webinar is geared toward you.

Tonight, we’ll also be discussing doTERRA’s supplements. They aren’t something that people really expect from doTERRA, but they’ve been clinically proven to support the immune system, cardiovascular health, and digestive health, help with stress management, and so much more. There is a promo going on where new wholesale account members can get these for free!

We’ve had really great feedback on our first two webinars, so as you can probably tell, we’re doing them pretty regularly now. If you haven’t yet had a chance to attend one and you want to, please give me a shout. I’d love for you to join us. Send me an email at heatherdriveblog at yahoo dot com and I’ll make sure to get you an invitation to the webinar.

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We’re prepping for Halloween tomorrow. My mom made the girls’ costumes (she’s so amazing), but I’ve been putting the finishing touches on Nora’s. It’s supposed to be in the 40s tomorrow night which is not awesome. I was frantically searching earlier this week for an extra layer for Nora to wear under her costume.

Upstate New York and Halloween do not mix. We had one year maybe three years ago when it was freakishly like 70 degrees, but typically, we’re fighting the urge to throw our kids into snowsuits. Or it’s raining. Boo.

Nora has a Halloween parade tomorrow at preschool, though, which should be adorable. I’m sure there will be a hundred Elsas. I can’t wait to see the madness. Hopefully I’ll be able to throw up a quick post tomorrow with the girls in their costumes.

If not… HAPPY HALLOWEEN!