SIP [stacy ideus photography] » portrait photographer serving Eastern Nebraska

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First of all… we dearly loved our Disney Cruise! 28 of us went (for my step-mom Jana’s 65th b day!) and we’re better people because of it. I can say that I now know (and can definitely remember) names and who goes to who when it comes to my step-family. Jana has 5 kids and THEY all have at least 2 kids. Lots of names and personalities to learn.

Only 2 of us had every gone on a cruise before, so we just didn’t know what to expect. I’m thankful for all the blogposts and Pinterest pins I found on the subject (not to mention JoAnna and Amy! Friends who have recently returned from Disney Cruises). So now I’m paying it forward. Here’s my top 10 list of things to know about Cruising with an 18 month old:

  1. Potty training is key. When we cruise again, everyone will be potty trained. It means the difference between paying for childcare Vs. having them play in the kids club for hours and hours with free supervision. There aren’t a whole lot of diaper changing stations on the ship in the public areas, but they did have a diaper genie for us in our state room upon arrival, which was kind.
  2. If you DO have a baby in diapers, pack swim diapers. They are $2 a piece in the gift shop and sizes are limited. Diaper kids aren’t allowed to swim… they can only play in this splash zone and even then they need swim diapers.
  3. Book the nursery FIRST day. Even if you’re just ‘kinda sure’ what you’ll be up to. Times fill up fast and unless you want random small time blocks sporadically placed throughout the day, making it super annoying to do any activities, DO IT. You can always cancel if plans change.
  4. Bring large water bottles. We took 2. One for milk and one for water. They have self-serve stations 24 hours with coffee, milk, soda, lemonade… you name it! BUT it’s on the pool deck. When Violet wants her milk in the morning, she wants it NOW. So we always filled up the night before and stuck it in our mini fridge.
  5. The service is OUTSTANDING. Be prepared to be blown away. You will want to tip them because they really do rock.
  6. Grown ups aren’t bored. Not being into Disney, like at all, I was apprehensive about not finding stuff to do that seemed interesting. To our surprise, we were able to go to an awesome tequila tasting, a whiskey tasting, and every night they had live shows in the theatre! We even got to see Jungle Book 3D before it hit theatres.
  7. Alcoholic Drinks are expensive. No surprise, right?  But everyday they had a ‘drink of the day’ which was generally cheaper than most mixed drinks. If you do order a mixed drink, though, they give you your money’s worth. They also had a giant beer mug thing you could purchase and refill. That would be good if you only drink beer.
  8. The best time to enjoy the ship is on excursion days. It’s empty and peaceful. Especially if you have babies that are too little to do any excursions… may as well stay on the ship.
  9. They have strollers you can rent for free as long as you bring it back at the end. We took ours and were very happy to have it! She napped in it most days and made transporting across the ship easier on our backs. Downside: waiting for the elevator and squeezing on. They are TINY.
  10. I’m going to talk about the service again because it’s SO AMAZING. We had the same servers every night. They learned our names. They cut the kids meat for them! They learned that Violet was only into eating french fries and fruit and she got served first to avoid meltdowns. So blown away. Seriously. Arjay and Salomi… let’s be Facebook friends! (our servers)

So seriously… save your money. Get a Disney credit card and start racking up points. You won’t regret it! 5 days was perfect.

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IMG_7748 IMG_7751My Mother’s Day was awesome. I slept in (as late as you can with an 18 month old in the living room and thin walls)

Awaiting me was flowers from my Mom’s garden and homemade waffles.

The day was spent getting groceries (Daddy did all the grunt work!) and playing football in the yard.

A movie on the couch after Violet went to bed… my choice. Oh, I COULD HAVE chosen the ultimate chick flick. ‘How to make an American Quilt’ was in my que on Netflix. But instead I was nice and we watched an indie BBC film called ‘Man Up.’ Strange, but kept us interest enough to keep watching it.

how was your Mother’s Day? Relaxing I hope!

A little cabin update: electrical is FINISHED! Next up: bathroom so we have a place to go on our pilot camping trip at the end of May.

Now off to Disney Cruise with the family (28 of us!!) for a week then to Costa Rica on Wildtree‘s dime for another week! Life is good.


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Dani Groff. Isn’t she a cutie? And her pup, Mitzie (is that how you guys spell it? :/) We know her at SCLP as Little Girl. She was adopted last year and has quite the awesome family to take care of her! She’s a sweetie, but also enjoys her a good cat chase. (side note: Amy, Dani’s mom, received a sore shoulder and some lovely grass stains from an ‘incident’)

But back to Dani. Such a pretty little thing. She isn’t quite sure what she wants to do after graduation next Month, but one things for sure… she is a very modest artist. SO TALENTED. You should definitely do something with that. : )

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So at first glance, the studio doesn’t maybe look much different to those who are frequent visitors. However, here’s a list of the stuff we’ve been doing in here the last few months:

added molding around the perimeter of my office and the floating wall

covered the entire TV wall with molding to add texture

painted everything with a fresh coat of white

cleaned all the windows (ugh. least favorite thing)

3 coats of black paint

cleaned the curtains

scrubbed the floors

purged all my crap hidden in the dark corners

cleared off my computer desktop to make room for Spring/Summer sessions!

We’re ready to rock and roll.

Now we should have a party, don’t you think?

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We don’t think Arrow budged an inch the entire renovation.

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a lllllll white…..

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AFTER: (with more character added)

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What do you think?

  • April 22, 2016 - 2:48 pm

    ru - eye spy…my favorite redhead painting. 🙂

    looks gorgeous!ReplyCancel

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This little peanut is growing like a little weed. He was born in January and got to spend some quality time in the NICU before joining his fam at home, but he’s adjusting very well to life at casa de la Todd.

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it was one of those days that’s perfect for skiing with no coat on.

now—if only we had a mountain. or at least a large hill. dawson 04 dawson 05 dawson 15 dawson 25 dawson 30 dawson 32 dawson 34 dawson 43 dawson 46 dawson 51 dawson 56 dawson 64 dawson 70 dawson 74 dawson 78 dawson 82 dawson 85 dawson 86 dawson 92 dawson 93 dawson 96 dawson 104 dawson 105 dawson 107 dawson 110 dawson 111 dawson 113 dawson 114 dawson 118 dawson 119

SOO so so so tardy in getting these posted. I can’t lie as to when this session was. heheh


Not much to say about this very fun day… the images speak for themselves.

From the singing groomsmen to the Sarah’s bright pink hair.

Love you guys!

One note:  Thank you to Pandora. You played the perfect song at the perfect moment all. day.

She and Him is the best station.

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