Disney’s MOANA Passes

I received an email last week with a fun local opportunity I wanted to share with my readers. The new Disney film MOANA opens nationwide on November 23rd, but YOU my dear, sweet, fun, local to the Raleigh-Durham area readers have the opportunity to be able to come see the advanced screening of MOANA (& me & Lucy & Zach) THIS Thursday 11/17 at 7p in 3D at Southpoint AMC.

Suz's Treats Moana

Moana

From the creators of Zootopia & Frozen & featuring Dwayne Johnson as the voice of Maui & Auli‘i Cravalho as Moana, this sailing epic adventure film looks fun for all ages. It’s rated PG so I’m thinking Lucy & Zach will love it too.

If you’ll be around this week & want to join us, I was kindly given a good number of first come, first serve passes. Please comment here, email me with the contact me form, Facebook message, text or call me if you’re interested!

Four Year Olds

Y’all four not just sounds old. It is old. Like go potty on your own old, wash your hands by yourself old, get your our (already poured) drinks out of the fridge old, get our own snacks from the pantry shelf old, kinda-sorta play & occupy yourself without the world falling apart old. And it’s crazy because half the time, in my head, they still need help, like walking &/or eating.

But as these fabulous sneak peeks from our belated birthday photo session from Kira of Blessed Reflections photography show, Lucy & Zach are big little kids now. But they’ll also always be this Momma’s babies.

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Lucy loves to hug & kiss. Sometimes not so gently but were working on that. Zach’s not such the abundant affectionate one does come in close for cuddles on the couch or night kisses. Zach thought the photographer telling Lucy to kiss him was the funniest thing ever!

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How she got that smile? Asking if Zach had stinky feet! (He does!)

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This girl saw a bride taking portraits while we were waiting for Kira & shouted out Hello Beautiful Princess!! Lucy is princess obsessed & is happiest when her dress “touches her toes”.

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My boy loves his Mommy. Demanding he sit by me always at restaurants & having me strap him in & me putting on his blankets at night.

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When it comes to playing parent favorites Lucy is an equal opportunity lover. She’s happy to sit by Dad (she’s almost stopped calling us Mommy & Daddy, choosing Mom & Dad instead) but she loves to cuddle under MJ blankets with me on the couch at night too.

Finding Dory

I don’t think we (& by we, I mean Lucy, Zach & I) have been anticipating anything like we have the sequel to Finding Nemo. Finding Nemo was a college weekend de-stressing, chill movie for me then when we got tired of ‘Let It Go’ing 5 times a weekend, we showed L&Z Finding Nemo very early on. We’d fast forward through the traumatic beginning & show them the sweet, poignant story of love between a father & son. Nemo, Marlin, the sharks & my favorite Dude Crush became staple names in our household & “hold my fin” is often said instead of holding hands for busy parks or walkways.

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As soon as we heard the Finding Dory release date, I had it down for June! We shared with Lucy & Zach the trailers & promotion photos, talked about what the new characters names might be & what they might do in the new film. I found Zach two Nemo & Finding Dory tops at Target & pre-ordered Lucy a Finding Dory KPea dress online. We were ready to go when I got the email that we were invited to see Finding Dory in 3D!
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Can you tell they were excited! They ran from poster to display to the aquarium (“Mommy, Nemo AND Dory are in there!”) & I had to corral them just to get into the theater.
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Speaking of, make sure when you go see Finding Dory, you get there a little early as the new animated short film Piper is absolutely precious.

PIPER – Concept Art by Jason Deamer (Production Designer). ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

PIPER – Concept Art by Jason Deamer (Production Designer). ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

I see Lucy & Zach searching for baby sea gulls on our next beach trip!

Glasses on, snacks in hand & we were ready for Dory! I was prepared for a few scary (for 4 year olds) parts of this film & was happily surprised that L & Z were not nervous a single time! A few jokes (as typical for Disney) went over their heads but Finding Dory is definitely in my opinion safe for the preschool age crowd.

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The new characters are darling & funny & perfect mix in with the return of beloved Finding Nemo characters. I might’ve squealed when my favorite guys were back on the big screen. Ellen DeGenereres comes back as the voice of Dory, with Albert Brooks back as Marlin & Nemo voiced by Hayden Rolence.

I asked Lucy & Zach their favorite part & Lucy all week has said Mommy, there were 3 Dorys while Zach corrects her that were were four then LOTS of Dorys! (Bless their hearts, all Blue Tang fish look alike to them 😛 ) Zach says he loved the octopus & Lucy said she also liked the cuddly otters. I loved how they focused this film on Dory’s story- from baby fish, to her meeting Marlin, Finding Nemo & then took them to current with her, Marlin & Nemo in the reef & Dory beginning to recall more of her past & wanting to find her family.

FINDING DORY – Hank is an octopus—or actually a "septopus": he lost a tentacle—along with his sense of humor—somewhere along the way. When Dory finds herself at the Marine Life Institute, a rehabilitation center and aquarium, Hank reluctantly agrees to help her navigate the massive facility. Directed by Andrew Stanton, "Finding Dory" opens on June 17, 2016. ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

FINDING DORY – Hank is an octopus—or actually a “septopus”: he lost a tentacle—along with his sense of humor—somewhere along the way. When Dory finds herself at the Marine Life Institute, a rehabilitation center and aquarium, Hank reluctantly agrees to help her navigate the massive facility. Directed by Andrew Stanton, “Finding Dory” opens on June 17, 2016. ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

We picked up the Finding Dory busy book at Costco this week & have been reading more about Hank, Destiny & Bailey & more! These guys had me laughing every time they were on screen.

FINDING DORY – Marlin and Nemo get guidance from a pair of lazy sea lions in an effort to catch up with Dory. Featuring Idris Elba as the voice of Fluke and Dominic West as the voice of Rudder, "Finding Dory" opens on June 17, 2016. ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

FINDING DORY – Marlin and Nemo get guidance from a pair of lazy sea lions in an effort to catch up with Dory. Featuring Idris Elba as the voice of Fluke and Dominic West as the voice of Rudder, “Finding Dory” opens on June 17, 2016. ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Of course, we had three seats & at one point all of us were cuddling in my lap. It was a late night for them & they did get a little sleepy but perked up for the end of the film. The story of family & what & who is your family was such a sweet message for me as a parent watching Finding Dory. I hope you go with your kids & enjoy it as much as we did!

Insider tip, stay until the end of the credits for a peek at old Finding Nemo friends too!

Since Lucy is all into coloring these days, here’s a few coloring sheets that will help get your little ones (even more) excited over seeing Finding Dory!

While we did get passing to see Finding Dory early on behalf of Disney Pixar, my review is honest & not persuaded by their kindness.

Zootopia

We’ve been trying to do more individually with each kiddo. Which is hard for us because they like doing things all together & if we say one is going then the other left behind gets upset. (Also how I know we need to do this more often.)

So the week Zootopia premiered, Lucy had had a stomach bug & missed daycare Tues, Wed & Thurs. I made a big deal out of taking Zach & Mommy rides to school & we also did a Zach & Mommy Chickfila dinner date that week. It was sweet & fun but after we ate & he played for a few, he said, let’s go home to see my sister.

But that Thursday night, Lucy was feeling on the mend finally so it was time for her to get out of the house. Zootopia was just her second time going to see a movie in the theater (Kung Fu Panda 3 was the first) & she was very excited.

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We loved it! Judy Hopps was an awesome female leading lady & I loved the message that seeing a strong female main character who believes in herself gave to Lucy.

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Lucy loved Nick Wilde & will still months later say I loved the Nick the fox when she sees Zootopia merchandise at stores.

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I had seen a preview of the sloth part & laughed out loud while watching it. Lucy has thought it even more funny since she’s since watched Wild Kratts sloth episode & recognized “sloth creature powers” from watching that animal both.

There were a few parts of Zootopia that I think made us both jump but Lucy at 3.5 wasn’t scared. Actually she said the wolves part was one of her favorites & that was a darker part of the movie. (Go Wolfpack! We’ve trained her well LOL)

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I’d recommend Zootopia as a fun, family movie that your kids will enjoy & you will too! I can’t wait for Zach to see it once it’s out on DVD.

Have y’all seen it yet? Who was your favorite? Do you take one child out for solo events? I’d love ideas for us to do that more.
I was invited to see Zootopia in 3D as a media guest. That didn’t influence my thoughts on the film though.

Help! Book Recommendations Needed

::cough cough as I clear off the dust on this blog::

Just over a week ago, I finished Written on My Own Heart’s Blood for the second time. That’s the 8th book of my beloved Outlander series. When the TV series came out, I decided to re-read Outlander (book 1) & from there I ended up tackling the quest of 8 1000 page novels. It has taken me well over a year but I did it & loved every minute.

Claire & Jamie, Ian, Bree & Roger accompanied me through countless solo workday lunches, too many “Praise the Lord, they’re in bed” evenings & a few vacation car rides too. I already miss them.

But now my Kindle has sat unloved in my purse & on my nightstand for too long for this book nerd.

So help me friends, what are you reading or what have you read & loved over the last year or two? I’m open to pretty much any genre (I’ve read & liked teen, classics, smut, fantasy, thrillers, scary, light, heavy). Throw your favorites at me! And I might even bring back a few random book reviews here!

What is it about sunny, summer weather that has me itching to be deep in a good book?! Anyone else?