Let The Memories Begin

While there are still A LOT of adjustments going on at our house, we took advantage of the opportunity to visit Disney World while we were in Florida. Nathan, Jaxon and I had our annual passes from when we lived there and since they were expiring in May, it was great timing to make the trip to Orlando. We set out to remain really flexible with our days, not knowing how Jaydn would do with all the "eye candy" and chaos that Disney can bring. We arrived on a Sunday evening and had the amazing gift given to us of a two night stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. So we dined in the cafeteria type restaurant and then toured the grounds. We saw many safari type animals from the giraffe to the ostrich. We even saw flamingos! The kids played on the playground until dark and then we all crashed in our room for some spotty sleeping hours - what do you expect with 3 kids and 2 adults in one room? We woke up at 7am and prepared for the Magic Kingdom. We made sure to ride the favs including Small World, Peter Pan, and Cinderella's Carousel. I managed to squeeze in time for my favorite too: funnel cake! We watched the Fantasia 3D show and the celebration parade before taking the Monorail over to Epcot. We snagged some lunch then rode Soarin', Living with the Land, Finding Nemo, played RunTime, walked through the butterfly garden, and lastly rode the ride in the globe (can't recall the name). It was dinner time so we drove over to downtown Disney and ate at T-REX.

Overall Jaydn did amazing for her first Disney day! I thought she would have fallen asleep but no luck- what happened to our little girl that fell asleep anywhere and everywhere? The only thing she expressed any fear of was the 3D show, she couldn't grasp the concept of the glasses and kept swatting the air to make the "flying things" go away. But I kept her on my lap so she never felt alone. The other thing she tended to seek comfort from was the "meteor showers" that took place every 15 minutes at the T-REX resturaunt. Not sure what it was about those noises that caused her to turn into me but as long as she felt safe it was ok by me to get snuggles every 15 minutes! We went back to the hotel for another night of spotty sleep and up again by 8am.

Day #2 we took on Animal Kingdom! We started with the Nemo musical which was AMAZING, and Jaydn LOVED it! She kept saying, "Nemo, Mommy! Fishy!" in her own garbled, partially annunciated way. She loved all the colors and the music and when this girl hears a beat, she can't stand still, so she was dancing in my lap. After the show we played in DinoLand and had lunch then hit the big playground and sandpit. Jaydn loves slides and getting dirty so it was a jackpot place for her. She started getting tired so we put her in the stroller (her all time favorite place to be) and walked our way through the park to the safari ride. Then we boarded a train to the petting zoo and animal house where we met Rafiki and Jiminy Cricket. Now let me pause here to say that Nathan and I had made the decision beforehand to avoid contact with characters b/c of the way Jaydn has reacted to the Chick Fil A cow
on two separate occasions. But I guess when she saw Jax and Jo approach without fear she went too, although cautiously for sure. She turned around long enough for me to grab a pic and then she was on to the next thing which happened to be another picture with another character. Nathan and I were AMAZED! We sat down to watch a talk about snakes but Jaydn opted not to pet the snake like the other kids were doing. Also, allow me to backtrack a bit and say that in the petting zoo were a lot of goats. The last time Jaydn saw a goat was in Uganda when we visited our Compassion Child Esther Akinyii. She FREAKED out when those goats were around her but on this day she grabbed a brush and was practically chasing them around b/c she wanted to touch them so often.

Its things like this that remind me progress is being made. She is slowly building a sense of security not from her surroundings but from the people who are there with her. I hope that her rapid change in fears in some areas, is a result of trusting that mommy & daddy wouldn't put her in a situation that would harm her. Maybe these are signs of security with us-one can hope.

After the animals and characters we grabbed some ice cream for the kids while the adults took turns on the roller coaster. By this time the lines were so short it was easy to do. We left the park and grabbed some dinner at Sizzler on the way out of town. As to be expected, all the kids crashed during the 3 hour car ride back to Naples.

I would have to say, it was a successful trip! Jaydn did amazingly well and we got lucky in so many areas (short wait times etc). But I really see this trip as the beginning of our lifelong process of making memories with Jaydn as a part of this family finally! She adds so much to this crazy crew and we look forward to making so many more memories with her in the future!

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