Thursday, February 21, 2013

A chill in the air

Two days ago I was sitting next to a pool with tranquil music being piped in while I enjoyed 80 degree weather.  Hours later I touched down to gloomy, snowy 21 degree Dayton.  I had to literally chisel my windshield wipers from the windshield and open my door to pay the parking lot toll because my window was frozen shut.  Mmmm.. February in Ohio, I curse you.

That leads me to share a few more vacay pics so that you can hate me and I can resent being back in the mid-west just a little more!  I'm good like that.

My 25 year old self would totally judge my 40 year old self over this next fact:  Our kids have seen all 6 of the Star War movies.  25 year old me would have wondered what in the WORLD are you thinking?  Clearly the themes are too adult too scary and too violent. 
My 40 year old self says, "Just you wait young Jedi!"

 One of the highlights of our entire trip was our day at Hollywood Studios.  It was also a low light.  Steve and I *might* have spent the day fighting because he was obsessed (not an exaggeration) with getting our kids in Jedi training.  I definitely wanted them to do it, but not at the expense of our whole day.  (Please shield your eyes from the glare from my halo.)

I had read enough to know that when you arrive at the park you have to go first thing to sign your kid up so they will be assigned a time to be in the Jedi training.  Spots fill up fast so you have to high tail it over there.  There were some extenuating circumstances that prevented us from getting over there right away.  We were able to get our kids on the "alternate" list.  This meant if any kid didn't show up for their assigned time, kids from the alternate list would be called on to fill the slots.  Small problem, you have to be present to fill the spot.  You had to check back 20 minutes before every show.  And PS the shows were every hour.  Which meant we had to check back every hour because our kids *might* be called.

Steve (bless his heart) wanted our kids to be in the show SO BAD.  So bad, in fact, this became his quest.  A kind of get-outta-my-way-my-kid-NEEDS-to-be-a-Jedi-it's-a-matter-of-life-or-death- kind of quest.
He is a good dad. As you can see... they got in.
They did not make it into the same show mind you.  The boys got into one show, Olivia into another(Please read between the lines... an extra 2 hours spent on Star Wars obsession.  But I'm not bitter.)
My battery died so the pictures of O fighting Darth Vader are somewhere else, but suffice it to say, she was brilliant.  I was internally really glad that they all got in to the show.  They were thrilled.
And we did have time to do a few other things (other than running back and forth to the Star Wars ride/stage.)
But the looks on the boys' faces say it all in this one.  Steve and I were totally that couple on our way out of the park literally yelling at each other and doing the "FINE" and the "Oh, so it's MY fault?" kind of thing as we spilled the stuff from the stroller getting on to the tram car.  It's true that the chill in the air during that scene may have frozen a few windows shut that night as well.

We do, however, have 3 fully trained Jedi on our hands.  Which makes it totally worth it. Right?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Humor me while I bore you

I'm on a roll... now that I've figured out how to post pics again I suppose I'll bore you to death.  But hey, it's Disney, you have to show off how much fun you had, right?  Some how it cancels out the pure exhaustion and frustration you experienced while actually AT the parks.

Here we are, about to head off to the longest, I mean HAPPIEST day on Earth.  Weather was perfection.

The monorail was shut down for the morning so we took the ferry across.  How did I not know that it took half a day just to get to the Magic Kingdom?  I was pooped before we even entered the gate.
Seeing Cinderella's Castle for the first time:
My kids were traumatized by most of the rides.  We took them on Space Mountain.  Tears and screams.  We went on the Lilo and Stitch experience.  Tears and screams.  Needless to say, we are not exactly *ride people*.  Oops.  They did, however, really enjoy meeting the characters and seeing the shows.  Here are some highlights:
There are also high lights from our Star Wars experience and the BibbityBobbityBotique.  I will post those separately.  But now, I need to jump on a plane and head back to Orlando.  Steve and I have some meetings the next few days.  Our gracious and brave friend will stay with the kids and hold the fort down.  It's strange to head back there so soon after all of this family fun with out the kids.  It makes me a tad bit sad.  And yet strangely relieved.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dreams do come true!

It's a miracle, but I finally figured it out.  I will resist the urge to post 50 pics all at once... instead I'll try and tell the story bit by bit.  The smiles in these pics are my favorite.  Pure delight. 

 Here they just found out where they are going.  I think they are excited!

Grandma and Papa went all out to make their room so special.  Looks like it worked.

But there was no time to lose.  We dropped our bags and were off to Epcot.  The first stop was Talking with Crush.  It was really cool.  Crush from Finding Nemo had a nice long conversation with Quinn (and then Quinn's mom, that would be me.)  I have to say, I'm not the best at stuff like that.   We also found our favorite ride... Test Track.  It was super fun and worth the long wait.  We loved it so much we went back at the end of the week to ride it some more.  Just today, my kids were asking if we could go back and ride it again. 
Good luck with that one, kids!
Stay tuned, high lights from Magic Kingdom to follow.
Here's one just to peak your interest :

Princess Olivia

Seriously, I'm at a loss.  This is the only picture from my phone that I could access- I'm about to lose heart.  At least this is a good one.

I can hardly believe this little princess is going to be 7 on Tuesday.  I can remember when I was 7.  That is big time, real memories kind of stuff.  She doesn't want a party.  She wants to go and get her ears pierced.  So she and I and her good friend, Lila, from school will go get her ears pierced and then we will go for some "fancy dining."  (For real, that is what she requested.)  Cheesecake Factory.  That is about as fancy as we are getting for two seven year olds.

Honestly, I can't think of a better way to celebrate. 

While we were at Disney World, we treated her to a major birthday treat.  She had her hair and nails done at the BibbityBobbityBoutique.  She soaked it in.  She felt like a princess.  For an hour, she was a princess (and if I had half a brain you could see pictures of it.)

What makes my heart swell over my little girl is that her heart is the heart of a princess.  She is well-mannered, kind, thoughtful, not bratty .  She loves Jesus.  She is not bossy (well... maybe a touch with her brothers) but can stand up for herself.  She is creative and loves to read.  I am so proud of Olivia and I am excited to celebrate her this week.

Friday, February 15, 2013

An exercise in imagination

I am seriously such an old fuddie duddie.  I just spent the past hour trying to figure out how to get the pictures from my phone uploaded onto this blog.  Have I not been singing that same tune since last May?  Grr...  I have some great pictures from Disney on my phone and I feel like they are trapped there.  You think I would make an adjustment and either STOP taking pictures on my phone or once and for all figure out how to sync the dang things.  I totally feel like I'm getting left behind in technology. 

Happy late Valentine's Day.  Steve and I (and probably the rest of Dayton) are going out to celebrate tonight.  We took the kids to Spaghetti Warehouse last night.  Thankfully we beat the crowds.  The kids were totally hopped up on sugar and were so into all the cards they got from school.  I remember the feeling I'd get on Valentine's Day as a kid.  My dad always gave me a heart shaped box of chocolates (all the way up until the year he died in fact.)  It was so thrilling to know I was going to get spoiled by my dad.

Steve went out of his way to do the same for Olivia.  He brought home a few roses for me and had one wrapped separately for her.  He also bought her a journal and wrote her a very sweet entry.  She carried the journal with her to dinner and I caught her reading it and re-reading it several times.

I bought the boys a small box of chocolates and that seemed to communicate just about the same thing.

I feel like just yesterday I finally recovered from the trip.  Seriously, if you are going to Disney World anytime soon... start working out.  NOW!  It is just brutal on your body and your whole emotional state.  Don't get me wrong, it was fun.  We did things we'll probably never do again.   But I might have aged about 12 years while we were there. 

One of the best experiences of the trip was Belle's Enchanted Castle.  We stood in line an hour and it was totally worth it.  Each child is picked to be a *part* in the play.  Quinn was an enchanted mirror, Olivia was an enchanted salt shaker and Turner got to be the Beast.  We all moved into a room and the grown ups sat on benches while the kids took their spots to be in the show.  Belle came out and some helpers told each child what to do.  At the end *the Beast* (aka Turner) came out and got a chance to dance with Belle.  Turner took his role so seriously.  He was absolutely stunned by Belle and danced so nicely with her.  We may be in for it, because ever since then Turner has been noticing pretty girls and pointing them out to Quinn.  Yep.  A beast was born.

So, there is one highlight from the trip.  I so wish I could post a picture of it to show you.  Once I figure it out, I will.  Until then you'll have to use your imagination- just like the good old days.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

There and back again

In the blink of an eye (and several miles later) it's over.  We had an amazing trip to Disney!  I won't use the word vacation, because if you were around for our trip to Myrtle Beach last spring break, you know I've given up that word when there are small people involved.

It was a memory of a lifetime.

Details and pictures to follow.  I just wanted to let you know that the surprise went off without a hitch, the weather was PERFECT (80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky everyday kind of perfect.)  We had a ton of special surprises along the way.  Many late nights and a few melt downs. 

I may have been that mom that other people blog about once or twice.  But AT LEAST I didn't tell my kids to "Shut up!  You are not in control... your father and I are in control!!!"  like another mom I passed by.  I totally can't judge her.  She just said out loud what I was saying in my brain.  She is at home writing a blog post about Steve and I loading on to the tram at 10pm after a long day at Hollywood Studios and me yelling about him spilling stuff out of the stroller and him yelling back.  Yep.  We had a stroller.  Nope, we had no patience left.  Yep, we quit speaking to each other for a few hours.  Nope.  TOTALLY not my fault.  (Ok, maybe a little.  But just a very little.)

I have lots of stories.  Lots of observations.  Tons of memories that I can't wait to share.