Disney: First Aid and Baby Care Center

This is an important sign friends. There is a similar one in all Disney parks. And, these spots are clearly marked on every park map.

Take a minute to see where it is.

Because you never know when you’re going to need it.

Let’s talk about the First Aid Center well, first.

Yes, I’ve visited the one at Magic Kingdom. Several times. Yes, I keep a small first aid kit in my Disney backpack. However, when your child wipes out as you’re getting on the bus and takes the skin off her ENTIRE knee, you need a LARGE bandage, not a little band-aid.

The First Aid Center folks kindly gave us a bandage and offered to help us if we needed anything else. They carry basic over the counter medications and can help you find medical attention if you’ve got more than a small boo-boo.

If you are having a medical emergency while in one of the parks, contact the closest Cast Member, and they will assist you. Seriously, they’re trained for that.

Now, let’s talk about one of my favorite places in all the parks, the Baby Care Center. Oh My. Word. They are an oasis in the intensity that is a visit to Disney.

We discovered them on our first trip with the Princess when she was just three months old. We were in the Magic Kingdom and realized we had dressed her WAY to warmly. A quick duck into the shops on Main Street and we were the proud owners of a summery Mini Mouse outfit. Then, we had to find somewhere to change her. We were directed to the Baby Care Center just up the road right near the Crystal Palace Restaurant.

We went in and found this massive group of rooms. It was WONDERFUL! They had a huge room with multiple changing tables. There was a dimly lit room with rockers for breast-feeding (or bottle feeding) mommies. There was  room with small tables and a television – a space for toddlers to relax,  eat lunch, or just cool off and decompress from the outside craziness. There were loving Cast Members who offered help to tired and overwhelmed mommies (and daddies). Like I said, WONDERFUL.

We’ve visited the Baby Care Centers regularly over the years. Once the Princess was out of diapers, we were potty training and of course had some accidents. It was much easier and calmer to go deal with that at the Baby Care Center than in a regular bathroom stall. The last time we visited was two years ago because the Princess had a really upset tummy caused by the ridiculous food she’d been eating. (What parent allows their child to exist on nuggets and popcorn? Oh, that would be me.) We discovered then that they have a mini-pharmacy in there and will gladly sell you anything from children’s Tums to a pack of diapers or wipes.

We love the Baby Care Centers and can’t say enough about their amenities and their convenience. However, truly the best part of the centers are the Cast Members who work there. They are so patient and kind with both parents and kids. On several occasions, we’ve met up with some special friends in there too…characters dropping by to give the kids some love.

While they may not be a MUST SEE at Disney parks, the First Aid Center and the Baby Care Center are for sure a MUST KNOW. They can make your trip even more enjoyable by assisting you in a time of need.

Linked to Things I Love Thursday, ’cause I love the Baby Care Centers.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post in any way. I’m just a huge fan of these services at Disney.

Things I Love Thursday: The Sisters

These are “The Sisters” – that’s what my Katie’s hubby, Scott, has dubbed us. We’re not biologically related, and we weren’t even great friends six months ago. But now, we are “The Sisters,” and we are tight.

How can three ladies, who all revolved around one person (my Katie) become close and sister-like in less than six months? Actually, I think it took less than forty-eight hours. It only takes one thing. It takes a tragedy. It takes a monumental event that pulls you out of the orbiting that you’ve been doing and straight into the heat of battle.

Before Katie passed, we all knew each other. We were all Katie’s friends. We were at some of the same gatherings. We’d made small talk and compared kid stats. But we didn’t have a strong relationship with one another.

Then, Katie went into hospice on Valentine’s Day. Yes, it was Valentine’s Day. And everything changed.

I was there as the chief BFF. (That’s what I always called myself. Katie called me sister by another mother.) I stood in the room and rushed to the nurse when needed and made sure Scott drank water and Katie’s mom had a coke. That was my role. To be there, bedside.

Angela was chief logistics coordinator. She and her husband had already started talking to the church about the Celebration Service. She was at the ready with funeral home and graveside service information. She was the connection to their current small group and the church. She was a vault of phone numbers. She is AMAZING in “go” mode.

Melanie was chief of childcare. She was and still is the one Katie’s kids turn to first for hugs and kisses. Katie’s kids had spent lots of time with her and her family. They felt safe and loved by them. It was Melanie who drove the kids to the hospice so they could say goodbye to their mother. It was Melanie who took their exhausted selves home to bed that night. She is a “baby angel” as Katie once called her.

The three of us and our husbands spent our Valentine’s Day night saying goodbye to our friend, Katie, and sitting with her husband, Scott. We all had childcare arrangements because it was Valentine’s Day. However, rather than going out, we ate Chick-fil-a and drank sweet tea while we sat in the hospice and talked and laughed and cried. When the hospice nurse asked if someone was coming from the church, Scott looked at the three couples sitting with him and said, “They’re already here.”

Our Katie went to dance with Jesus the next morning….

The next forty-eight hours found the three of us in the thick of caring for the family, disseminating information, organizing services, planning meals, and mourning ourselves. It was a whirlwind, but at the center was the family and us.

The day after Katie passed, I was sitting in an Atlanta Bread Company working on the obituary. (Yes, sometimes it sucks to be “the writer.”) Angela called and wanted to run something by me. She was nearby so decided to come on over. Thirty minutes later, Melanie showed up to help us pick pictures for the Celebration Service. We sat there for three hours. We laughed. We cried. We felt. We hurt. We all knew how the other was feeling. We each understood the others’ pain. We became friends. We became “The Sisters.”

I love these ladies. I’ve become extremely intentional about nurturing my relationship with them and their families. They’ve suffered the same loss I have. They know what I’m feeling. They love Katies’ babies and her hubby as much as I do. They get me. For that, I am truly blessed.

Linked to Things I Love Thursday because they are awesome and I love them.

Things I Love Thursday: Keys!!!

Do you know what these are? These are the keys to our new house! And, I LOVE them.

The House of Hills is MOVING AGAIN! Whoop!

Why do I love these keys? I love these keys because they represent some seriously hard work and patience on the part of many people. Our closing DID NOT go easily. There were complications after complications. None of them our fault. All of them frustrating. However, we remained cool (well, outwardly) and calm and trusted that all would work out in His perfect time.

It did.

We are moving Saturday into our amazing cottage.

We are SO HAPPY.

I love these keys.

Linked to Things I Love Thursday.

We’re Going to Disney World!

The House of Hills LOVES some Disney World. We go EVERY year. Seriously, every year. We honeymooned there. We took the Princess when she was just three months old, and she’s been every fall since. We’ve even been on a Disney cruise. We LOVE Disney.

That is why I am SO excited to be able to go to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration next week. I will be hanging out with some AMAZING bloggers and hearing some GREAT speakers. I can’t wait. Of course, I also get to spend time with my family. That’s going to be the best part of the entire week. Time with my family at the happiest place on earth. Hopefully we’ll make some more memories like these…

The COOLEST part of this trip is that the Princess doesn’t know we’re going. She has NO IDEA. We are totally going to surprise her! Isn’t that AWESOME?! We typically go at the same time each year, so this is probably the ONLY time we’ll ever be able to surprise her with a trip to see the Mouse. So shhhhh… don’t tell!

And don’t worry. I plan to take TONS of pictures and tell you all about it when I get back.

Do you have anything you would like me to investigate while I’m down with the Mouse? I’ve got some ideas for posts, but would love to know what you want to know about!

Disclosure: I paid a small fee for the conference which includes hotel accommodations and park tickets. All opinions are my own.

Linked to Things I Love Thursday.

Things I Love Thursday: Girl Cousins

I’ve talked about the girl cousins before… last year as a matter of fact, but I just can’t help sharing a few more pictures.

This relationship continues to amaze me. I don’t have a girl cousin. (Well, not one that I’m close with at all.) I don’t have a sister. I have a step-sister and a half-sister, but we never lived together or even in the same city. So this relationship between the Princess and E fascinates me. It fills my heart so much it wants to burst at times. I LOVE to watch it unfold. I KNOW it is a relationship that will last a lifetime. It is a relationship that will get them through many trials together. It is something I truly LOVE!

Linked to Things I Love Thursday.

Things I Love Thursday: FotoFinish Take-Out

I. LOVE. MY. CHURCH. Yes, I do! I will say it again and again. They work SO HARD to make church GREAT for the entire family. The adult service is top notch, but where they EXCEL is in their programming for children.

We are blessed to have a once a month program called KidStuf, where kids take their parents to church. It’s the first Sunday of the month and parents are introduced to what their kids are learning through an exciting and interactive family experience. One of the best parts of KidStuf is our Take-Out. Each month, we receive something to encourage us to spend time together as a family. It might be a game. It might be a family night plan. In December, it was a shoebox to fill for Operation Christmas Child.

Whatever the Take-Out is, it’s always a fun and interactive way for our family to create discussion around the monthly Big Idea. That’s what I love about it the most. It facilitates AMAZING conversation with the Princess, and she ALWAYS wants to do it.

This month’s Take-Out was “Foto Finish.” We competed as a family against other families around the metro-Atlanta area in a “Cooperation” (Cooperation is this month’s big idea) challenge. It was HYSTERICAL! The KidStuf website was set up to log in a certain time and register your family. It then gave us a series of challenges to complete and kept track of the time it took us to perform them by having us click when we finished each challenge. There were also trivia questions that we had to answer correctly or time was added on.

Our family was laughing before we even began. We played for 30 minutes on the photo booth of my computer just trying to get the “perfect” family shot (see above). Here were some of the rejects…

I had to run to the restroom, and the Princess and My Sweetie kept playing. I LOVE this one….

Once we FINALLY logged on, uploaded our picture and began, our first challenge was to put on 16 layers of clothing EACH! And, each person had to have one thing from each of the other family members. I was laughing so hard as I piled shirts and pajama pants on the Princess. Our final outfits…

I told you… It was HYSTERICAL..

We then had to do an obstacle course with the kitchen chairs and spoons and balls all the while peeling off layers of clothes because we were burning up. My Sweetie took one for the team when he drank a blended concoction of milk, water, chocolate syrup and celery.

What a trooper!! We also had to make a structure out of toothpicks and marshmallows. The Princess and I made the bottom while My Sweetie worked on the top. Then we “Cooperated” (that would be the Big Idea this month) and put them together. What a masterpiece.

The final challenge of the night was to clean up the mess we made. Yes, they made that part of the competition. You couldn’t click “done” until everything was the way it was when we started. (Pretty smart on that one. I was VERY thankful for it.)

We finished the competition at #53 out of over 100 families. We were pretty proud of that. However, where we landed in the competition didn’t really matter. What mattered was how much fun we had together while “Cooperating” (Big Idea again there) as a family.

We LOVED it!

Oh, and rumor has it, they’re going to run the competition again this coming Monday at 7pm at Kidstuf.com. Just sayin’.

Linked to Things I Love Thursday.

Things I Love Thursday : Deviled Eggs

Do you have that one recipe that people ask you to bring to EVERY gathering? Mine is deviled eggs. I take them to gatherings of friends and family year after year, especially in the summer.

The week before Christmas I emailed out the recipe for my deviled eggs to several friends and then ended up making them for my own family’s Christmas Eve gathering. As my friend Todd says, “A party’s not a party without the deviled eggs.”

I got my deviled egg recipe from this OLD church cookbook that my Grandma gave me when I was about eight. I love that it has her handwriting in the front. I used to stay with my Grandma during the summers and can remember going to church picnics with the people who wrote this cookbook. We ate well! I even have some relatives with recipes in this cookbook. It’s a definite family heirloom. Now, I’ve tweaked the recipe from the book over the years. Here is my version…

Deviled Eggs

  • 12 eggs (Hard boil, peel, and cut in half. Place yolks in bowl and whites on platter.)
  • 1/2 cup Miracle Whip
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika for garnish

Mash the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Add Miracle Whip, dry mustard, Worcestershire and salt and pepper. Mix well. Place mixture in a Ziploc bag and force into the corner. Snip the corner of the bag and fill the egg whites with the mixture. Sprinkle with Paprika.

See how I’m squeezing the yolks out of the Ziploc. The easiest way to get the yolk mixture into the Ziploc is to use the “Purple Cup Method.”

So friends…you now have the secret to my deviled eggs. They really are yummy. Feel free to play with the amount of Worcestershire you put in them. That really changes the flavor. We like them a bit tangy, and I’ve increased the amount from the original recipe.

Do you have a favorite recipe that people ask you to bring to EVERY gathering?

Linked to Things I Love Thursday at Diaper Diaries.

Linked to Spring/Summer Linky Party at Southern Hospitality.

Things I Love Thursday: The Slow Cooker

This is on my counter right now. It’s making dinner for me. I love that it makes dinner for me. It makes dinner for me often.

I cook all kinds of things in the slow cooker – roasts, ribs, bbq, chicken, mac n cheese, green beans, applesauce, cider

Oh, and I don’t have just one slow cooker. Nope, I have THREE! And yes, they have all been going at one time.

I thought I’d share a family favorite that I am asked to make every year for Thanksgiving.

Slow Cooker Green Beans

  • 2 lbs fresh green beans (ends snapped off) – I cut them into smaller pieces for easier eating
  • Salt
  • 1/4 lb ham cut into chunks – I get a slab fresh from the deli and cut it up – yummy
  • Water

Put half the beans into a 4.5 quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt and half the ham. Add the remaining beans, another sprinkle of salt and remaining ham. If I am preparing ahead of time, I put the dish in the fridge at this point until the next morning. Add enough water to cover beans (about 3 to 4 cups). Cook for 10 to 12 hours on low.

That’s right, you cook them for 10 to 12 hours. They really taste best after 12 hours. Now, that takes some planning. For Thanksgiving, I prepare the beans the night before and set the alarm for 5am. At 5, I stumble into the kitchen, add the water, turn on the slow cooker and stumble back to bed for another few hours. It’s worth the few minutes of interrupted sleep. Believe me.

What is your favorite thing to cook in your slow cooker?
How many do you have?
I love my slow cooker! Do you?

Linked to Things I Love Thursday

30 Day Give: Day 16

30-Day Giving Challenge

Tuesday morning I took my mom out to breakfast. It was an AMAZING way to start the day. My mom and I have had the typical mother-daughter ups and downs over the years. We couldn’t stand each other when I was a young teen, but as I matured and realized that my mom was pretty much right about MOST (NOT ALL) things, our relationship has gotten stronger. When the Princess was born, I talked to my mom daily. Well, to be truthful, more than once a day. I needed reassurance from my mommy that I was doing it right.

I consider my mom one of my heroes. She taught me right from wrong. She taught me to treat others with respect and kindness. She taught me how to do laundry and make mac & cheese. She taught me almost everything I needed to get a good start in this world. For that I am extremely grateful.

Mom and I don’t get to talk as much as we used to. I don’t have a long commute anymore. I always used to talk to her on my way home. She’s busy with all my nieces and nephews. One of the cousins is almost always at Grandma’s house. So, the opportunity to sit down and have a meal and a conversation with just her and no kids running around was wonderful.

I’m calling it my give to her ’cause I paid for breakfast. However, she’s given me more than I can ever repay. Thanks mom. I love you.

Linked to Things I Love Thursday ’cause I love my mom.

Pumpkin Dip

It’s fall ya’ll!! Well, the calendar says it’s fall. The temperatures in the ATL currently are not supporting that fact. However, we must move on. It is time for pumpkin. We must enjoy the pumpkin in the fall!

One of my favorite ways to enjoy the pumpkin – PUMPKIN DIP. That’s right. I said PUMPKIN DIP. Now, maybe you’ve heard of pumpkin dip. If you have, you are in the minority. I am always amazed by how many people are shocked and amazed by the delectable treat. And, a TREAT it is. I’ve been known to just stand by the bowl and just dip, dip, dip.

You need some pumpkin (duh!), an 8oz cool whip, ginger, cinnamon, and powdered sugar.

Dump it all in a bowl and whisk away until it’s all combined.

That’s it. You’re done. Seriously, could it be any easier?

Pumpkin dip is best if it is made at least twelve hours before it’s served. Twenty-four hours is even better. The longer it sits, the better the flavors blend. Mmmmm… so yummy.

I serve my pumpkin dip with ginger snap cookies. I’ve also seen it served with tart apples. I plan to offer both at my next gathering.


  • 8 oz cool whip
  • 15 oz can of pumpkin
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (more or less can be used according to taste)
  • Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Chill until time to serve.

Pumpkin Dip – I LOVE IT!

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