Bolin Elementary in Allen, Texas: THANK YOU!!!

A special shout-out to ALL the second-graders at Bolin Elementary in Texas!  They took the time to make beautiful and unique birthday cards for Chille!  Opening the huge box from Fed Ex with all the kind birthday wishes filled our hearts with love.  Thank you!  And you should all be very proud of yourselves, as the cards are AMAZING!  Chille is very busy hanging them up in his bedroom so that every day he can be reminded of YOU!  Yes, I mean YOU!!  Thank you Bolin Elementary!! CHILLE LOVES YOU!!

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Chille Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Disney Store!

Chille enters the Disney Store in Times Square on 46th Street and Broadway in Manhattan. A local hang-out for the 4-6 year-old-OMG-IT'S-MICKEY!! set...

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Disney Store, all stores were offering a 25% discount on EVERYTHING! With that in mind, Chille quickly heads up to the 3rd (ahem... Disney vernacular reminder) floor, where he believes this sale will have the maximum effect.

But before Chille could reach his Cars' haven, he is met with FREE GIFTS GALORE!

Robby is one of Chille's FAVORITE cast members and after he bestows upon Chille a beautiful puzzle, Robby begs Chille for a photograph with him. Of course, Chille obliges all of his fans...

As more cast members approach and the manager of ALL cast members dons a special 25th Anniversary Mickey's Ears Hat, more requests for photos are made and Chille takes time out of his busy day for what Disney says will be 'the BEST 30 minutes of your child's day'...

Chille is quick to find fun games and trivia happening under the beautiful Princess Canopy.

In perfect Disney-style, the questions are easy for the children and fun for the adults as they go through the history of Disney movies...

With a gorgeous collector's edition of stickers handed out free to all participants, Mama started to think that MAYBE, just MAYBE, with all these celebratory gifts, we'd be able to leave the Disney Store with lots of smiles and wallet perfectly intact....

HA! Chille is too smart for that, however, and as he raced over to the Cars display, he reminded Mama that it was the 25th anniversary that brought them to the Disney Store.

and the 25% off of EVERYTHING sale that was only available in stores and online THAT DAY...

Since Chille works very hard for his allowance of $4 per chore chart, I will attest to the fact that he really took advantage of this sale and picked out EXACTLY what he has had his eyes on since Cars 2 was released in theaters on June 24th of 2011...

So up to the Box Office Chille went...

and proudly showed off the Cars 2 Siddeley Spy Jet Shoot Out Play Set complete with a die-cast metal Finn McMissile that he has waited OH-SO long for and worked OH-SO hard for these past 9 months!

And so Chille completed his transaction... with a little flirting going a long way in perfect Chille fashion...

With a quick wave to all of his cast members and fans...

He heads out into the hustle and bustle of Times Square.

After all, it's just another ordinary day in an extraordinary city!

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Live from da Hood, we take you to Times Square as Disney invites Chille to make his BIG SCREEN debut LIVE!!!

Chille's call time is bright and early on a November morning in Times Square.

Disney Cast Members are already set to go and greet their love, Chille!

Legal goes over his release and Chille signs on the dotted line. This gives Disney the right to use his image in their promotional materials.

Disney sets the stage in the heart of Times Square across from their Disney Store! Hmm.... maybe there will be time for some shopping later!

There is a nice, warm tent on this crisp, autumn day.

A crowd begins to gather to watch Chille star in his first-ever billboard for Disney!

Chille smiles and blows kisses to his adoring fans...

The cameras and crew get ready. Chille will have ONE TAKE to nail the live shot!

The director explains that Chille will need to follow her directions closely. The animation is with Buzz Lightyear and will be added to Chille's shot live.

They ready his mark with a stand in teddy bear...

And Chille gets ready for his count live in 5,4,3,2,ROLLING!

Up on the giant Disney billboard in Times Square, Chille must be 50 feet tall!

Buzz Lightyear flies in...

Buzz lands right next to Chille and makes his mark...

Buzz uses his laser and Chille outsmarts him by ducking just in time!

But for Chille, it was just another ordinary day in an extraordinary city...

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Live from da Hood Chille’s NYC latest adventure takes us to the Disney Store’s Halloween Dress Rehearsal!!

Ah, Times Square in a city so nice they named it twice. Chille feels most at home surrounded by 8 million of his nearest and dearest...

The grit and the grime and the smell of urine mixed with roasting almonds makes this city irresistible. What are these columns of white smoke coming up from the street, you ask? Well, the island of Manhattan is made up of many interesting things. Rivers run under it, there are sunken ships that cannon balls destroyed to create the edge of it, Wall Street was once an ACTUAL Wall, but these columns are much easier to explain: it is steam from boiling hot water that a manhole would ordinarily cover, were it not for the explosive, boiling hot water making steam. That's right. The city didn't used to put a wooden barrier around them. But then too many drunk men got into fights sometime around the bursting of the internet bubble, and would push one drunk guy into one of these columns, which, naturally, made for one-too-many deaths by a 100 foot fall into boiling water. Lesson learned, said the city: GO AROUND!

Either Chille likes being a tourist in his own town, or his Mama likes the public bathrooms at the Times Square Visitors' Center. Either way, it is a cool place to pop into for a minute. They even have a restroom with a changing table that the kind people at the information desk will unlock for you. Good to know, right?!

While there, you can check out the actual ball that will drop live to bring in the New Year!

Sure, you can be distracted by the bright lights of the city, but Buzz Lightyear is on a mission!

To Infinity and beyond!

That's Right! To the Disney Store for a Magical Halloween Dress Rehearsal! Because isn't life just a dress rehearsal?

Upon entering the Disney Store, Chille AKA Buzz Lightyear, is excitedly greeted by Heath. Heath is not a Disney Store "employee". Heath is a Disney Store "Cast Member". Need the 411 on the Disney vernacular? No worries, I've got you covered. Try to follow along... Everyone who works there is a Cast Member and when they interact with your child, these Cast Members make the interaction the BEST 30 minutes of your child's day. No kidding. It IS the happiest place on earth for a reason! Fo shizzle!

The Times Square Disney Store is kinda the headquarters of all things SPEED. There is even a make-your-own car shop that Chille LOVES (and owns three already.) But don't you Princess Fans think that I've forgotten about you! There is an entire Disney Princess Castle on the 3rd floor! (More on that Disney Magical Vernacular floor counting later...)

Everywhere Chille turns, there is something new and magical to explore.

THAT Disney magic coupled with a genetic disposition to shop from his Mama has us hemming...

and hawing...

And finally deciding on a Reserve Your Copy Now of the DVD release of Cars 2 being released November 1! If you order your copy ahead of time, you get a DELUXE gift of a portfolio of authentic, 2011 Disney Store Lithographs from the movie PLUS a $10 Off coupon! Bam! Disney Magic! (BTW, in case you ARE following along, that is a Disney Cast Member helping Chille with his purchase at the Disney Box Office ;) *Big Sigh* I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried!

But that's not the only reason we are here! There's a rumor going around town (and in Time Out Kids New York Magazine) that there is a party on the 3rd floor! So we get on the escalator on the 1st floor which brings us UP ....

...past the bird's eye view of the 1st floor (still on the same escalator)

which, mathematically, would bring us to the NEXT floor following the First Floor which is....

The THIRD floor in Disney Store Vernacular. (Whew! Thanks for following along so closely, yes, you ALMOST got left behind.) I, personally, as Chille's Mama, think that SOMEDAY a Disney Cast Member who is a few pennies short on her till at the Disney Store Box Office will eventually be asked one-too-many times about IF there is another escalator to the third floor or if this is the second floor or if, perhaps, there is a Disney Magical Kingdom within a Quantum Physics-type existence that would make the second floor invisible to either non-Cast Members or to anyone, really, who can count. I suspect that this Disney Cast Member, who was already a few pennies shy at the Box Office, will quit their job of making our children have the best 30 minutes of their day and go and work at a more appropriate place, like the Post Office or the DMV. Jus sayin'...

And the Disney Store Third Floor has even MORE awesome ways to hem and haw or single-handedly do your part to stoke the economy! Or make-your-own car or visit the Princess Castle!

AND as though you don't already have a million reasons to go to the Times Square Disney Store, they ACTUALLY CARRY ADULT COSTUMES for Halloween that DEFY the Slut-ifying of American Halloween Costumes for women! (*Note to Robert Iger: I know that "slut-ifying" is NOT a Disney vernacular, but rather, is the vernacular of this one, specific Mommy-blogger only. PUH-LEASE don't make me give up Chille's stock as a shareholder in your company.)

So, with a salute to all things Buzz Lightyear, the Halloween Dress Rehearsal can commence!

and a crowd begins to gather...

And Buzz Lightyear says "No Pictures!" to the paparazzi (paparazzo, really) as the excitement begins to build!

Cast Members direct all the Princesses and Toys and Superheroes under the Princess Canopy for some fun games and prizes.

And the Cast Members lead the children in games like Snow White (Enter THAT into your Disney Store Vernacular Google Translator and you will get Simon Says, no need to thank me ;)

and games like "Who am I?!" where they gives clues and then the Disney Magic Wall shows them who was correct!

So all the Princesses and Toys and Superheroes settled down to view an EXCLUSIVE video clip!

On October 3, 2011 at the REAL Kensington Palace in London, the 10th Disney Princess was officially crowned! And everyone at the Disney Store got to see the footage of Rapunzel's Coronation. Jealous, much?

So how did all this Disney fun culminate?

With a Disney Store Imagination Parade!!!!! The Disney Parade song (complete with video fireworks) was piped through the store as they followed the pixie dust parade route to lots of clapping along and, well, that Disney Magic that produces what I like to call the Disney Smile!

As Disney Cast Members handed out lots of free games and collectibles, the children bid their farewells.

And as we take the escalator from the third floor down to the first floor, I kinda get that Mama Disney feeling inside me... You know the one. Where I see a sign like this and privately, to myself, think "No, thank YOU!!!" cause I kinda get teared up inside every time I see that Disney Smile on my son...

But for Chille? It's just another ordinary day in an extraordinary city...

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Personal Plea from Ali

Earlier this year, I was named the Executive Director of the World Network for Children(WNC) and in May, we successfully launched Chille’s Cardiac Campaign to raise awareness for the number one birth defect in the world:  Congenital Heart Defects.  Since that time, I have been busy at work trying to provide solutions to horrible problems that affect the children of the world.  In a meeting at UNICEF, I was told that what children needed most was INNOVATIVE ideas and solutions.  This became the mission of the WNC and since then, I have travelled the world and visited children and homes.  At each place I encountered, I asked the same question “What do you NEED?”  Sometimes, I would hear requests for doctors or medicine, sometimes I would hear requests for clean water or basic food beyond rice.  And then others would request things that were much easier to fix.  If only someone knew.  Since my PERSONAL blog here has over 100,000 subscribers, most of you MOMMIES, I thought I would bring their requests DIRECTLY to you.  Likewise, here are two of my most recent trips and their requests and the bank details of the children orphanages I visited.  PLEASE listen to their requests and then dig deep into your pockets or reach out on Facebook to your friends.  Sometimes, all it takes is a 5 minute conversation with someone you may know in the vitamin industry.  Without fail, however, these places need cash.  HARD CORE CASH.  Please check out my photos and see their smiling faces and ask yourself:  Do you have 5 minutes and $20 to help a kid DIRECTLY?

I have found that the world over, every one loves a football! Whether a refugee camp in Afghanistan or an orphanage in Trinidad and Tobago, bringing a gift of footballs is ALWAYS welcomed. Here, I stop in at our supply shop to gather gifts for the orphans in Grenada.

Little babies are often left alone in their cribs with very little to progress their development. Rarely does any money ever go to toys for babies less than one year of age, so these are things that I try to bring with me when I visit an orphanage. I never arrive empty handed, no matter how often I visit, and I always purchase candies to hand out upon my arrival. Children LOVE lollies of all kinds and little containers of bubbles. Older children LOVE bags of chips.

An old USAID supply bag being reused for shelter is a common clue that I am getting closer to the orphanage.

An old USAID supply bag being reused for shelter is a common clue that I am getting closer to the orphanage.

Throughout most of the world, the cost between an education and not is the price of an uniform. Ranging anywhere from $10-40 USD, this is the number one hinderance to keeping kids in school. If their parents cannot afford a uniform, they cannot attend. Welcoming us to the Bel Air Home for Children and Adolescents in Grenada, West Indies, is this beautiful little girl, a resident of the orphanage. She is wearing her school uniform and her hair is kept in bright red ribbons. This is the best sign that THIS orphanage is doing their best against great odds!

Whenever I visit orphanages, there are two things I like to do. The first is holding babies. I could hold a baby all day!

The second thing I LOVE to do is to sit on the floor and sing songs with the older kids.

But I am here on a fact-finding mission. I asked the director of this beautiful orphanage what it was that they needed most. They didn't have any toys or school books. They had very little food. So her answer surprised me. Her reply? Vitamins. Even a bottle of 30 vitamins only lasts for one day when you have 35 children. They need vitamins. I have 100,000 mommy-subscribers who care. Can't you PLEASE send some vitamins to this orphanage? Please mail gifts to: BEL AIR CHILDREN'S AND ADOLESCENTS HOME/ CALLISTE, ST. GEORGE'S/GRENADA, WEST INDIES

If you would prefer to wire some money directly to this orphanage, I hope you will take the time to do so immediately. HERE ARE THE BANK DETAILS:

THE REPUBLIC BANK (GRENADA) LIMITED

ACCOUNT NAME: BEL AIR HOME FOR CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS INC.

ACCOUNT NO: 52002609

SWIFT ADDRESS: NCBGGDGD

THANK YOU!!

In Jamaica, we visited a wonderful orphanage for children aged 7-17. We fell in love with them! Holding Chille is Shawnna. She's 14 years old and plans to study law at university some day in the near future.

When I asked Ms. Woodit, who is runs the home, what she needed, her reply left me stunned. "Food." She said. Isn't it AMAZING that we can go about our days and categorize them as 'good or bad' when there are hundreds of millions of children that go without even one bowl of rice each day? And look at their smiling faces! No matter where I go in the world, I am met with hugs and kisses and smiling faces. When you ask them "Did you eat today?" It is as if it is the furthest thing from their mind.

Every government is different. In Jamaica, the orphanage is taxed a fee to receive boxes and shipments of things. They had 4 barrels sitting on the wharf for months until we came along to pay their release. So they won't benefit from you sending them packages. This orphanage receives NO funding at all from their government and subsists on rice and water. The children LITERALLY do not have any food to eat. I met with the woman who ran the orphanage, I spoke with the children, I looked in every cupboard. They have NO FOOD. Please consider sending cash in the form of Western Union to this home in Jamaica.

To send money via Western Union so that Ms. Woodit can buy the children some food, please use these details:

GWENDOLYN WOODIT

GARLAND HALL CHILDREN’S HOME

ANCHOVY, ST. JAMES

MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA

TEL: +1 876 853 1034

+1 876 956 4020

FROM OUR BROKEN AND MENDED HEARTS TO YOURS:  THANK YOU!!

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Live from da Hood Chille’s NYC adventures takes us to the Grand Opening of the new DISNEY STORE in Times Square!!

Chille's Halloween pumpkin magically turns into his awaiting chariot.  For inner-city street cred, this is also known as a 'Gypsy Cab'.  I'm jus sayin'...  ;)

With the sun shining on a beautiful, crisp autumn day, Chille sets out for yet another NYC adventure...

"Times Square, please.  And step on it!  Mickey is waiting for me!"

"Times Square, please. And step on it! Mickey is waiting for me!"

46th and Broadway.  Perfect!

46th and Broadway. Perfect!

Ah. the bustling of Times Square on a Tuesday morning at 10 am...  *Note to tourists:  EXCELLENT time to experience all that Times Square has to offer!

Ah, the bustling of Times Square on a Tuesday morning at 10 am... *Note to tourists: EXCELLENT time to experience all that Times Square has to offer!

Hmm...   Which way to the Disney Store on Broadway?

Hmm... Which way to the Disney Store?

You never know WHO you will run into on the streets of New York. This was a random celebrity sighting. Chille recognized her Calvin's. No, seriously!

You never know WHO you will run into on the streets of New York. This was a random celebrity sighting. Chille recognized Brooke Shields' Calvins. No, seriously, Chille LOVES the ladies...

When, what to our wondering eyes should appear?!

When, what to our wondering eyes should appear?!

Chille dutifully takes his place: first in line for the grand opening!  All the better to plan out what Disney says will be the best 30 minutes of every child's day!

Chille dutifully takes his place: first in line for the grand opening! All the better to plan out what Disney says will be the best 30 minutes of every child's day!

Just a quick peek...

Just a quick peek...

Oh yeah!   SOMETHING is going on!

Oh yeah! SOMETHING is going on!

"No worries, Mama.  Watch as I move through the throngs of peeps and past the velvet ropes to show you how it is done!"

"No worries, Mama. Watch as I move through the throngs of peeps and past the velvet ropes to show you how it is done!"

VIP Chille gets positioned awkwardly to the side of the stage.  Why is this giant white thing blocking my view?!

VIP Chille gets positioned awkwardly to the side of the stage. Why is this giant white thing blocking my view?!

There is a lot of chatter and excitement among the Royalties present...

There is a lot of chatter and excitement among the Royalties present...

And a lot of chatter among the not so Royal, as well...

And a lot of chatter among the not-so-Royal, as well...

Who doesn't love a Phineas and Ferb sighting?

Phineas and Ferb create a buzz about the big reveal!

The Army Men from Disney's Toy Story stand in full attention as that secret white covering is removed!

The Army Men from Disney Pixar's 'Toy Story' stand in full attention as that secret white covering is removed!

CInderella GASPS as the sight!!

Cinderella GASPS at the sight!!

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I AM SPEED!!

Proximity to Speed?  1 meter, baby!

Proximity to Speed? 1 meter, baby!

Matching Disney Store racing jacket for VIP Chille?  $35

Matching Disney Store racing jacket for VIP Chille? $35

Happiest day of Chille's life?  PRICELESS

Happiest day of Chille's life? PRICELESS

Mr. Robert Iger, the President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, takes the podium to welcome Lightning McQueen to NYC.

Mr. Robert Iger, the President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, takes the podium to welcome Lightning McQueen to NYC.

As does NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg...

As does NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg...

And, of course, Buzz Lightyear...

And, of course, Buzz Lightyear...

And certainly, the most famouse of them all:  Mickey Mouse!

And certainly, the most famouse of them all: Mickey Mouse!

A quick thanks to his sponsors...

A quick thanks to his sponsors...

For making THIS all possible!

For making THIS all possible!

Naturally, after a HUGE production like THAT incredible Disney welcome...

Naturally, after a HUGE production like THAT incredible Disney welcome...

A crowd begins to gather and the usual people line up to request a photo with Chille...

A crowd begins to gather...

And the usual people and fans line up to request a photo with Chille...

And the usual people and fans line up to request a photo with Chille...

Mayor Bloomberg is first in line.  (Click on the photo to see the OFFICIAL Times Square website's coverage of the Disney Store opening with more photos of the Mayor and Chille!)

Mayor Bloomberg is first in line. (Click on the photo to see the OFFICIAL Times Square website's coverage of the Disney Store opening with more photos of the Mayor and Chille!)

Good Morning America's Robin Roberts is next!

Good Morning America's Robin Roberts is next!

And, last but not least, Mr. Lightning McQueen himself!

And, last but not least, Mr. Lightning McQueen himself!

Even I had to admit, having the Army there to escort us safely among the fans was super duper nice!

Even I had to admit that having the Army there to escort us safely among the fans was super duper nice!

Sometimes, having the honor of wiping Chille's bottom has its perks...

Sometimes, having the honor of wiping Chille's bottom has its perks. As Chille's Mama, I'm usually not photographed in this blog, but for Lightning McQueen, who could resist? Here's Mama and son!

As the Disney Family Reunion took place in the middle of Times Square...

As the Disney Family Reunion took place in the middle of Times Square...

We have the opportunity to meet the newest members from the upcoming 3D Disney movie 'Tangled'  hitting theaters nationwide on November 24th!  *Click on the photo to see the official trailer*

We have the opportunity to meet the newest members of the family from the upcoming 3D Disney movie 'Tangled' hitting theaters nationwide on November 24th! *Click on the photo to see the official trailer*

Mickey and Minnie and the gang is all ready for the Grand Opening of the new Disney Store!

Mickey and Minnie and the gang are all ready for the Grand Opening of the new Disney Store!

So Chille gives the 'thumbs up' to his brother-from-another-mother, Mickey..

So Chille gives the 'thumbs up' to his brother-from-another-mother, Mickey..

And the Disney gang basks in their joy about this incredible event happening right here in Chille's hometown.

And the Disney gang basks in their joy about this incredible event happening right here in Chille's hometown.

Since the Disney Princesses are looking mighty fine to lil' Chille from da Hood...

As the Disney Princesses prepare to unlock the new store...

Chille bids a fond farewell to his friends...

Chille bids a fond farewell to his friends...

But not before having a quick chat with Chille's new BFF about going right to turn left...

But not before having a quick chat with Chille's new BFF about going right to turn left...

... and going left to turn right...

... and going left to turn right...

...  and speed...

... and speed and Piston Cups to be had and won. After all, isn't it ALWAYS...

... and Piston Cups to be had and won.  After all, isn't it ALWAYS...

Just another ordinary day in an extraordinary city...

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Trick or Treat for UNICEF

Is that Chille or Lightning McQueen?

Is that Chille or Lightning McQueen?

In NYC, we are lucky that Chille's cousins live in a building with over 30 stories of a Trick or Treaters Paradise!

We are lucky that Chille's cousins live in a building with over 30 stories. Otherwise known as Trick or Treaters' Paradise!

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In NYC, you must KNOW someone in the building to be let in by the Doormen, who call up and get permission to let a guest inside. Once Lightning McQueen passes a cool $5 to this Doorman, he passes on the list of apartment numbers that are participating in this year's Halloween festivities.

Like all good New Yorkers, it is best to have a plan of attack...

Like all good New Yorkers, it is best to have a plan of attack...

Lesson learned from visit to the Guggenheim:  Start at the top and work your way down manually!

Lesson learned from visit to the Guggenheim: Start at the top and work your way down manually!

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Trick or Treat for UNICEF!!  Now give me your money!

Trick or Treat for UNICEF!! Now give me your money!

"Weren't we here already?"  After a while, all apartments begin to look alike.

"Weren't we here already?" After a while, all apartments begin to look alike.

So what pranks do kids play if there isn't a scary house someone dared you to approach and ring their bell??

So what pranks do kids play if there isn't a scary house someone dared you to approach and ring their bell??

Someone mentions on the elevator that 3A has the BEST candy around!!

Someone mentions on the elevator that 3A has the BEST candy around!!

Sure, the kids didn't know that MAYBE, just MAYBE, Apt. 2A thought that 3A had one-to-many dogs prancing above their sleepy heads...

Sure, the kids didn't know that MAYBE, just MAYBE, Apt. 2A thought that 3A had one-too-many dogs prancing above their sleepy heads...

But Chille can't be distracted from neighborly pay-back when there is candy to be had and UNICEF coins to collect!

But Chille can't be distracted from neighborly pay-back when there is candy to be had and UNICEF coins to collect!

So a friendly door is found and the night resumes...

So a friendly door is found and the night resumes...

And a heart-healthy treat is given and STRANGELY enough, eaten...  *Note to self: show Chille Disney's Snow White ASAP!*

And a heart-healthy treat is given and STRANGELY enough, eaten... *Note to self: show Chille Disney's Snow White ASAP!*

And JUST ON THE OFF CHANCE that the children didn't QUITE get their risk of diabetes increased sufficiently, we stop by our cousins' for the AFTER PAR-TAY with the peeps.

And JUST ON THE OFF CHANCE that the children didn't QUITE get their risk of diabetes increased sufficiently, we stop by our cousins' for the AFTER PAR-TAY with our peeps.

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Just another ordinary day in an extraordinary city...

Since ExtraOrdinaryCity.com is over ONE YEAR OLD now, I hope you will click on “Select Category” on the top right and select ‘Halloween’ to view last year’s event and see how much Chille has grown!

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Chille’s Cardiac Campaign

I recently became the Executive Director of the World Network for Children.  A new, global non-profit committed to raising awareness and creating solutions for issues that affect children.  Just in time for Chille’s birthday during the month of May, we are launching Chille’s Cardiac Campaign to raise awareness about the number one birth defect in the world: Congenital Heart Defects.  Congenital Heart Defects affect more children in the United States than AIDS, cancer, and autism COMBINED and yet, there is no discussion, no dialog, no Oprah show about this horrible birth defect.  I believe that this is due to the fact that 50% of all diagnoses are made AFTER the child dies.  Two things MUST be done.  First, we must raise awareness.  Secondly, given its prevalence here in the United States, we must work towards non-invasive, simple screening of ALL newborns.  Chille’s Cardiac Campaign hopes to jump start this awareness and bring about change.  This campaign could not be closer to our hearts, as Chille has already endured two open heart surgeries before the age of 2 and is kept alive via a Medtronic Dual-chamber Pacemaker.  YOU can help make a difference in the lives of children throughout the world.  PLEASE donate to Chille’s Cardiac Campaign during the month of May and Help be a Hero for Children.

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Live from da Hood Chille’s NYC adventures take us to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

After Swine Flu, anyting goes, apparently.  If snow can shut down the city that never sleeps, and the standing-room-only 6 train at rush hour can be empty, then pigs MUST be flying.

Pigs must be flying if snow can shut down the city that never sleeps and the standing-room-only 6 train at rush hour can be empty. None of these things ever happened before Swine Flu! I'm jus sayin'...

The very first time Chille has ever felt snow fall on his face (he prefers his 'winters' Down Under...)

The very first time Chille has ever felt snow fall on his face (he prefers his 'winters' Down Under...)

When morning hits, one possible destination comes to mind...

When morning hits, one possible destination comes to mind...

So Chille hops in a taxi.

So Chille hops in a taxi.

NYC Taxicabs are EXEMPT from car seat laws in NYC.

NYC Taxicabs are EXEMPT from car seat laws in NYC.

All NYC Taxis have an interactive touchscreen with maps and television and weather, etc.  VERY 'Bladerunner'...  A quick swipe of my Visa and we're good to go!

All NYC Taxis have an interactive touchscreen with maps and television and weather, etc. VERY 'Bladerunner'... A quick swipe of my Visa and we're good to go!

Live from da Hood Chille's NYC adventures take us to the MET!

Live from da Hood Chille's NYC adventures take us to the MET!

The famous steps are usually crowded with tourists and locals alike, taking a rest in a city that loves to walk.  The MET, located on Museum Mile on 5th ave. shares space with Central Park.

The famous steps are usually crowded with tourists and locals alike, taking a rest in a city that loves to walk. The MET, located on 'Museum Mile' on 5th ave. shares space with Central Park. A fantastic spot to sit and have a pretzel! Mmm... carbs....

Along with the usual MET fare, the museum hosts incredible exhibits that are unparalleled in the rest of the world.  Just in time for Chinese New Year is this AMAZING show.

Along with the usual MET fare, the museum hosts incredible exhibits that are unparalleled in the rest of the world. Just in time for Chinese New Year is this AMAZING show.

The Security Guard lets Chille know that although early, he'll have to wait a few minutes until the MET opens to the public.

The Security Guard lets Chille know that although early, he'll have to wait a few minutes until the MET opens to the public.

Most stores in NYC don't open until 10 am, and museums and galleries in NYC run on a totally different schedule all together. Most are completely closed on Mondays and have bizarre hours.  I strongly recommend that you check websites for times before venturing off in the morning...

Most stores in NYC don't open until 10 am, and museums and galleries in NYC run on a totally different schedule all together. Most are completely closed on Mondays and have bizarre hours. I strongly recommend that you check websites for times before venturing off in the morning...

Of course, every savvy New Yorker knows this and within minutes, Chille is running in to the MET's famously efficient coat room!

Of course, every savvy New Yorker knows this and within minutes, Chille is running in to the MET's famously efficient coat room!

You may leave your coats and backpacks and things here.  It is free, of course, but everyone in NYC usually tips a dollar a person.

You may leave your coats and backpacks and things here. It is free, of course, but everyone in NYC usually tips a dollar a person.

The MET store is INCREDIBLE and you could literally spend all day there.  It is an awesome place to get interesting gifts for all the people you love!

The MET store is INCREDIBLE and you could literally spend all day there. It is an awesome place to get interesting gifts for all the people you love!

Plus, it is a nice place to practice the "look don't touch" command before you let a toddler loose around priceless art.  I'm jus sayin'...

Plus, it is a nice place to practice the "look don't touch" command before you let a toddler loose around priceless art. I'm jus sayin'...

The price of admission to the MET is a "recommended" $20.  A friend of mine works there and she told me that the suggested price was mostly ignored.  The most common 'donation' for admission? $1.  Yep.  You hand the cashier a dollar and say "One, please."

The price of admission to the MET is a "recommended" $20. A friend of mine works there and she told me that the suggested price was mostly ignored. The most common 'donation' for admission? $1. Yep. You hand the cashier a dollar and say "One, please."

The books are the best at the Met Store.

The books are the best at the Met Store.

Chille ponders the HUGE flight of stairs up to the second floor.

Chille ponders the HUGE flight of stairs up to the second floor.

The MET is made up of a ton of smaller galleries.  You could LIVE in the museum and still never see everything.  So Chille carefully considers his options for today...

The MET is made up of a ton of smaller galleries. You could LIVE in the museum and still never see everything. So Chille carefully considers his options for today...

With his mind made up to visit the "shark" his experience with art begins...

With his mind made up to visit "the shark" his experience with art begins...

"The goal of life is rapture.  Art is the way we experience it." Joseph Campbell

"The goal of life is rapture. Art is the way we experience it." Joseph Campbell

Chille seems to experience art by running past it.  How glorious!

Chille seems to experience art by running past it. How glorious!

Except when it's Warhol...

Except when it's Warhol...

And Chuck Close...

And Chuck Close...

Everywhere you turn, there is art to experience...

Everywhere you turn, there is art to experience...

Hmmm....  ;)

Hmmm.... ;)

In all of its glory: a shark

In all of its glory: the shark

Also known by its more formal title, of course...

Also known by its more formal title, of course...

Just another ordinary day in an extraordinary city...

Just another ordinary day in an extraordinary city...

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Live from da Hood Chille’s NYC adventures take us to Disney’s The Princess and the Frog with the Ultimate Disney Experience!

Chille and I hop on the B train to 7th avenue and 53rd street.

Chille and I hop on the B train to 7th avenue and 53rd street.

With so many stairs to climb in NYC, a subway station escalator is always a relief.  Word to the WISE, however:  There is strict ettiquette while on escalators in NYC.  You STAND on the RIGHT and you WALK on the LEFT single file always!

With so many stairs to climb in NYC, a subway station escalator is always a relief. Word to the wise, however: There is strict etiquette while on escalators in NYC. You STAND on the RIGHT and WALK on the LEFT in a single file.

Chille and Mama head out on Broadway at 9 am.  Most New Yorkers start work at 10.  Aren't we lucky!

Chille and Mama head out on Broadway at 9 am. Many New York office workers start at 10. Aren't we lucky!

A quick walk from Times Square, this area is known for it's Broadway Theatres, television studios and Carnegie Hall.

A quick walk from Times Square, this area is known for its Broadway theatres, television studios and Carnegie Hall.

Like the rest of the country, New Yorker City kids go on field trips, too.  They each walk with one partner with whom they hold hands.  Here are 40 kids with 4 teachers heading out for a day of learning outside the classroom.

Like the rest of the country, New Yorker City kids go on field trips, too. They each walk with one partner with whom they hold hands. Here are 40 kids with 4 teachers heading out for a day of learning outside the classroom.

As Chille and I head down 54th street, the view is awesome when you look down broadway.

As Chille and I head down 54th street, we check out the view as we look down Broadway.

New York is priced by VOLUME.  Paper towels and toilet paper are more expensive in the city due to the amount of space they take up.  Likewise, you'll find a gallon of milk,  This is the price of parking PER HOUR IF you are in by 6am for the early bird specail.  Expect to pay around $7-8 per 30 minutes.

New York is priced by VOLUME. Paper towels and toilet paper are more expensive in the city due to the amount of space they take up. Likewise, you'll never find a gallon of milk. This is the price of parking PER HOUR IF you are in by 6am for the early bird special. Expect to pay around $7-8 per 30 minutes.

We reach our destination in a matter of minutes.  The historic Ziegfeld Theatre (you may have heard of it from the famous Ziegfeld Folley's).  There are beautiful chandeliers and gorgeous red velvet seats throughout this theatre.

We reach our destination in a matter of minutes. The historic Ziegfeld Theatre (of the famous Ziegfeld Follies) has beautiful chandeliers and gorgeous red velvet seats.

The Ultimate Disney Experience begins with a viewing of the new Disney animated feature film.

The Ultimate Disney Experience begins with a viewing of the new Disney animated feature film.

Chille picks up our tickets at the Will Call booth.

Chille picks up our tickets at the Will Call booth.

Disney's The Princess and the Frog opens across the USA on Friday, December 11th.  Since it is Monday, December 7th, there is much security and identifications are checked and recorded.  Even the tickets are not enough, we all received green wristbands, as well.

Disney's The Princess and the Frog opens across the USA on Friday, December 11th. Since it is Monday, December 7th, there is a lot of security to prevent scenes appearing on YouTube prior to the release date. Identifications are checked and recorded. Along with the tickets, we all received separate green wristbands.

Since this movie isn't yet released everywhere, security is tight to prevent scenes appearing on YouTube.  All cameras and phones were confiscated before we were even allowing into the theatre.  This is getting EXCITING!  See you in a couple hours!!

All cameras and phones were confiscated before we were even allowed into the theatre. This is getting EXCITING! See you in a couple hours!!

WOWZAH!!  BEST DISNEY PRINCESS MOVIE EVER!!  Incredible!  Chille was clapping and dancing in his seat from the sounds of New Orleans!!!!

WOWZAH!! BEST DISNEY PRINCESS MOVIE EVER!! Incredible! Chille was clapping and dancing in his seat from the sounds of New Orleans!!!!

After the film, we walk a couple blocks to the Roseland Ballroom for part two of our Ultimate Disney Experience...

After the film, we walk a couple blocks to the Roseland Ballroom for part two of our Ultimate Disney Experience...

Disney really does make dreams come true...

Disney really does make dreams come true...

Her Royal Highness Princess Tiana in the flesh!  So stunningly beautiful and her accent is simple lovely!

Her Royal Highness Princess Tiana in the flesh! So stunningly beautiful and her accent is simply lovely!

Every Disney Princess is in attendance.  Isn't Jasmine spectacular?

Every Disney Princess is in attendance. Isn't Jasmine spectacular?

Chille is STILL taking about Belle's beautiful yellow gown.  "It was YELLOW, Mama!  YELLOW!"  He said as I put him to bed....  sweet dreams, no doubt!

Chille is STILL talking about Belle's beautiful yellow gown. "It was YELLOW, Mama! YELLOW!" He said as I put him to bed.... sweet dreams, no doubt!

Oh!  To be surrounded by such beauties!  All the girls were dressed in their Princess Best...

Oh! To be surrounded by such beauties! All the girls were dressed in their Princess Best...

Snow White thought Chille's size was just right...

Snow White thought Chille's size was just right...

Ariel was simply PERFECT!

Ariel was simply PERFECT!

Pocahontas and Chille checked out each other's bling...

Pocahontas and Chille checked out each other's bling...

Chille just couldn't stay away from Mulan.  He repeatedly visited her and she was the lucky Princess to be wrapped in a warm embrace.  Prince Charming!

Chille just couldn't stay away from Mulan. He repeatedly visited her and she was the lucky Princess to be wrapped in a warm embrace. Prince Charming!

Chille and Sleeping Beauty had a wonderful time together and they sat for a bit of a chat...

Chille and Sleeping Beauty had a wonderful time together and they sat for a bit of a chat...

The set and decor was shipped in from Hollywood and the walls were painted as if we were back in time deep in the magical New Orleans.

The set and decor was shipped in from Hollywood.

paintedwallsbackgroundlouisiana

The walls were painted as if we were back in time deep in magical New Orleans.

There was so much to see and do!  First stop, a trip inside a Bayou for a good play!

There was so much to see and do! First stop, a trip inside the Bayou for a good play!

Once Disney personel sanitized every child's hands (AWESOME!) they were allowed to enter one of the most clever and fun experiences Chille has ever had!

Once Disney personnel sanitized every child's hands (AWESOME!) they were allowed to enter one of the most clever and fun experiences Chille has ever had!

The entire play area was made into the Louisiana Bayou.

The entire play area was made into the Louisiana Bayou.

Blue foam made up the swamp water and children jumped from lilly pad to lilly pad while a real soundtrack of frogs played.  Like all things Disney, every interaction with anyone associated with them is positive.  Here, Chille is given some assistance for the best possible experience.

Blue foam made up the swamp water and children jumped from lily pad to lily pad all while listening to a soundtrack of real frogs in the Bayou. Here, Chille is given some assistance for the best possible experience.

You never knew when it was shallow or deep as Chille waded through the Bayou.

You never knew when it was shallow or deep as Chille waded through the Bayou.

There were lots of cool tree houses and forts to climb and hide in!

There were lots of cool tree houses and forts to climb and hide in!

There were smiles on Chille's face that were completely new!

There were smiles on Chille's face that were completely new! It brought tears to Mama's eyes to see Chille experience such joy...

There were vines to swing on and slippery slides...

There were vines to swing on and slippery slides...

Who could say "Ultimate Experience" and live up to it?  Only DISNEY!

Who could say "Ultimate Experience" and live up to it? Only DISNEY!

Besides the Main Ballroom where the Princesses and the Bayou Adventure were, there were three floors to explore, as well!

Besides the Main Ballroom where the Princesses and the Bayou Adventure were, there were three floors to explore, as well!

There were Kodak photo booths...

There were Kodak photo booths and a website with a special code to download the images at home...

And green screens for special effects.  Kodak let you choose your scene from the movie and Chille thought the music was the best part of the film!

And there were cool green screens for special effects. Kodak let you choose your scene from the movie and Chille thought the music was the best part of the film.

Disney handed out enough keepsakes to fill an album!

Disney handed out enough keepsakes to fill an album!

Chille received a special card with every Disney Princesses autograph.

Chille received every Disney Princess' autograph.

While little girls did crafts and made tiaras and older siblings played the Xboxes tucked away in every nook and cranny, it was fun for us Mamas to walk through the Archives Area.

While little girls did crafts and made tiaras and older siblings played the Xboxes tucked away in every nook and cranny, it was fun for us Mamas to walk through the Archives Area.

There was the original dress that Toni Braxton wore as Belle on Braodway.  (a reminder of Disney's multi-racial casting, I'm sure)

There was the original dress that Toni Braxton wore as Belle on Broadway (a reminder of Disney's multi-racial casting, I'm sure).

It was ceat to see the dress that Amy Adams wore in Disney's Enchanted.  Especially since she wore this gown mere blocks away in Times Square!

It was neat to see the dress that Amy Adams wore in Disney's Enchanted. Especially since she wore this gown mere blocks away in Times Square!

There were the costumes used in Disney's High School Musical 3.

There were the costumes used in Disney's High School Musical 3.

And Miley Cyrus' real guitar that she played in Disney's Hannah Montana The Movie.

And Miley Cyrus' real guitar that she played in Disney's Hannah Montana: The Movie.

There was an area where children could learn how to be an animator.

There was an area where children could learn how to be an animator.

No stone was left unturned and Disney made sure that every last detail was perfect.  The kids were streaming in and exciting to test out their drawing skills with a pro!

Disney thought of everything for the Ultimate Experience.

This REAL Disney Animator has worked on The Princess and the Frog for years already!

This REAL Disney Animator has worked on The Princess and the Frog for years already!

After playing some New Orleans themed carnival games, Chille took one last look at the vintage cars painted on the walls as we were leaving.  He proudly wore his 'Mardi Gras' beads all day...

After playing some New Orleans-themed carnival games, Chille took one last look at the vintage cars painted on the walls as we were leaving. He proudly wore his 'Mardi Gras' beads all day...

With enough energy left to make our way home...

Since we barely had enough energy left to make our way home...

Chille got a good idea and thought to carb up before we hit the subway.

Chille came up with an inspired way to carb up quickly before we hit the subway.

Just another ordinary day in an extraordinary city....

Just another ordinary day in an extraordinary city....

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