Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Day 5- Still Going Strong!

Our last day at Disneyworld was very relaxing. We went back to the Magic Kingdom to ride about 3 rides we hadn't gotten to do yet, and do a few again that the kids really enjoyed. We bought a lot of souveniers that day and just walked around. Let me say this, this vacation really was magical! Every single employee is the friendliest person, and everyone is willing to serve you. We even saw construction men working on a road, and they stopped and waved as our bus drove by. It is almost silly just how happy everyone is there. And so clean! If you've been to amusement parks, they can be gross, sticky, and unpleasant. Not Disneyworld- they keep it so nice and clean and manicured lawns and shrubs everywhere. It is a great place and we had a 100% better time than I thought we were going to have. I would really recommend this time of year(Jan or Feb) before Spring Breaks start. The weather was perfect and people were even swimming! Overall, I would say every family has to try this vacation once. It was wonderful!
This was the Mighty Ducks part of the resort, where our room was. We probably wouldn't stay here again, just because of the "motel" feel, but there was nothing really wrong with it. I am just glad the shuttles came right to our door and we didn't have to drive anywhere.
Sweetest picture of the whole trip!

At our resort- we walked by this area every day to get on the shuttles to take us to the different parks.

Here is finally the resort where we stayed. It was called the All-Star movie resort, and there were 3 different parts: 101 Dalmatians, Toy Story, and the Mighty Ducks. The rooms were like motels, where you enter your room from outside, but they were all in a circle around the pool. The main lobby area also had a food court, which had 4 different lines for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There was always something different to eat. When we checked into the hotel, we got a credit card type card, that was linked to our Visa. That ONE card was all we had to carry the whole week! We left our wallets in a safe in our room. Disney is awesome! We could use that one card as our room key, to pay for food at our resort or at any of the parks, and it was also our park entrance card. It was used for everything which was so nice!

This was the certificate she got for helping Cinderella decide what to wear

We decided to go into this huge shop that had everything Disney you ever wanted to purchase. While we were looking around, this sales lady came up and asked if Grace could help her. She said Cinderella was going to be in the parade that night, and she needed help deciding what to wear. Grace got to help pick her outfit and she dressed this doll. The lady said Cinderella would come and see what Grace chose and that's what she would wear to the parade. Grace loved it!

This was a great parade that we saw during our last day. Almost every Disney character was in it, and the kids were mesmerized!

Grace and me on the Dumbo ride

Brady and Josh on the Dumbo ride. This was the longest line we waited in, which is crazy! Even the major rollercoaster rides were shorter waits.

Grace finally got to meet Jasmine! She saw little girls all over the park wearing this Jasmine outfit and she really wanted one for herself, but Daddy said no.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Day 4- All About the Magic Kingdom

We let Grammy and Pops take Brady back to our hotel this night, and we stayed out with Grace. The parade was just amazing, with everything in lights. Then we stayed for the fireworks show, which was good too. It had rained that evening, so not as many people were still at the park. That turned out great for us, because we got to run up to rides and do them again and again. This is when we figured out how much Grace loved the "adult" rollercoasters. Her #2 ride was the Runaway Mine Train and her #1 ride was the Brer Rabbit Log Ride. You not only got wet, but you saw the Brer Rabbit story and took a 50 ft. plunge! She loved it! Too bad I didn't get pictures of those rides!

Cinderella and the Prince in a completely lit up coach! The parade was amazing at night because every float and costume had lights all over it!

Ursula from "The Little Mermaid"
One of the fairy godmothers from "Sleeping Beauty" on a float

Grace in "It's a small world" and loving her new Minnie hat!
"It's a small world, after all...it's a small, small world!"

Let me explain... we were waiting in line for "It's a small world", when I realized Brady's pants were wet. If you've been to Disney, you know you don't want to get out of line. I had to change his diaper IN LINE while moving forward. Aunt Marisa wanted a shot of this. Meanwhile, you're listening to the song "It's a small world" over and over. Josh avoided this ride this time, but it ended up being Brady's favorite, and Grace's #5, so we had to ride it again with Daddy. The funny thing was that when Josh rode it with us, it broke and we were stuck in the last room hearing that song over and over for at least 10 minutes. I thought he was going to jump overboard!

The Peter Pan ride! This was Grace's #4 ride and we rode it 2 or 3 times. Brady actually liked this one, which was rare. And we all 4 got to ride together.

This was Grace's #3 ride(meaning it was her third favorite). It was a Goofy rollercoaster that she rode with Mommy. She rode it again the next day with Daddy. The bad thing is that all these rides are about 1 minute long.

This is the Mad Hatter Tea Party ride. Grace, Marisa, Grammy and Brady were in the slow teacup. Brady cried the whole time. I mistakenly got in one with Josh and Pops, who spun it as hard as they could the entire time. I got a major headache from being dizzy!

We were going to stay at Magic Kingdom all day, and the kids were excited! They knew this is where the most fun would happen! Brady liked his stroller for the most part, and Grace has a place to sit or stand on the back.

Day 3- Probably 10,000th time of hearing "When you wish upon a star"

Day 3 was mostly spent at the Animal Kingdom. We saw some great hippos, among other animals. They make all of the parks so interesting, and always have things to look at. Even if some things aren't really for small kids, there is plenty to look at. We did go back to our room and nap this day, and finished the day up back at the Magic Kingdom. We rode Aladdin carpets, went on a Jack Sparrow pirate's ride, and a boat cruise. At night Cinderella's castle would light up different colors, which the kids thought was real magic! Here they are actually being nice to one another!
We took an actual safari ride, which was amazing. Brady loved looking at the wild animals, many of which we had never seen before. We got really close to the lion!

This was a "Bug's Life" 3-D show. Not only was the show in 3-D, but water would spray on you when the bugs spit, you smelled different smells, like a dung beetle spraying (which stunk), and at the end of the show when the lights came on, you could hear bugs scatter and felt them run underneath your bottom. Everyone was screaming and it was hilarious!

This was a dinosaur dig the kids loved. They could dig in the sand and find huge, life-size dinosaur bones. Cleaning them up was a challenge for mommy, but hey, isn't that what vacation is for?

This was a great dinosaur park where the kids played for quite some time. They had little slides, big slides, dino footprints and bones.

Disneyworld has this ride in serveral versions. This is the dinosaur one, but their are Aladdin carpets, Dumbo, and rockets. Josh and Grace rode this one. This was the beginning of us finding out that Grace is quite the daredevil. She wanted high and fast! She was scared in rides that were completely dark and had skeletons or ghosts, but rollercoasters and high rides were her favorite! Who knew? Brady was scared in everything, but if he could ride it, we took him on it.

Disneyworld- Part II

We ended Day 2 at the Magic Kingdom. We took a bullet train from Epcot over to the MK. Then we took a boat across a lake. Magic Kingdom is really where all the action is for little kids to enjoy. We saw a Mickey Show at Cinderella's castle and climbed all through the Swiss Family Robinson tree house. Grace kept saying, "Look Daddy, more stairs!"
This was still Day 2 at Epcot, and they had a special building where all the main characters were. I thought that was great! Although it was a little line to wait, at least you could knock out a lot of characters at once. Let me interject here about the Photo Pass you could get. There were employees of Disney all over the park, who had a credit card type thing and a camera. They would give you one card, and you could have your picture made with any character, at the castle, or a number of other places. They would scan your card before they took your picture. Now that we're home, we log on to a website and look at all the pictures that were taken. You can purchase different sizes, or not any! Of course all of these pictures came from our digital camera, which are great I think, but we will order some off our Photo Pass too.

Brady was loving to give each character "high five".

Disneyworld, Here We Come!!

We had planned on taking the kids back to our room each day for a nap, like our smart friends Kelly and Tim, but we just never got around to it. Brady would eventually wear out and take a 30 minute nap in the stroller. He was surprisingly good, much better than I was expecting him to be. As long as the stroller was moving or he was out running around, he was fine.
Brady really cared nothing about seeing the princesses, but we had to get a picture nonetheless. The Aurora "Sleeping Beauty" was very nice. We also have a picture of Grace with Belle, but she was NOT pleased with Belle. Belle was wearing her blue dress and white apron from the beginning of the movie, and Grace was very disappointed that she wasn't wearing her yellow dress that she wore with the Beast. Funny what kids do!

This is a perfect picture to explain what awe Grace was in everywhere we went. Disney really is a magical place, and the kids had so much to look at! Meeting Cinderella was like her dream come true, and it was so sweet to watch. That one moment was worth the whole trip!

Grace and Snow White.
The most hilarious thing was that all of these princesses talked in the most squeaky, high voice, just as Snow White does in the movie. They called Grace "princess" and had funny little things to say.
Grace and Ariel, "The Little Mermaid"
Our second day was spent at Epcot, because we had special reservations for a lunch with all the princesses. This lunch was the most talked about thing for months before we actually went on the trip. Grace is crazy for the princesses, and dresses in their outfits daily. Here we are waiting for our lunch to begin. Uncle Gary is in the white shirt.

Josh, Brady, Pops, Grace, and Grammy at the Disney Channel Show. Aunt Marisa and Uncle Gary were not thrilled to be at this show. Their little one won't arrive until May, so they don't know the joys of kid's tv shows and the annoying songs they sing. This was the first day we were there, and we spent half a day at Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM Studios.) There wasn't a whole lot for the kids to do there, but we saw some great shows (Beauty & the Beast, Muppets 3-D, Little Mermaid, Disney Channel).

Meeting the Little Einstein's was a real treat! Both kids loved that, along with the Disney channel show that had "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Tigger and Pooh, and Handy Manny."

Here we are waiting at the shuttle stops to get on the bus. Disney is a well-oiled machine, that's for sure! There are buses to take you everywhere! From the time we landed at the airport, we were shuttled around by Disney. No car seats needed, thank goodness. They really know how to treat you like you're on vacation. They even deliver your bags from the airport into your hotel room. Genius!!

Valentine's Day

I am a former teacher, and therefore feel like I need to decorate my house AND my children for every holiday. The aggrivating thing is that you can't find stuff for boys to wear. I can never find shirts for Valentine's, St. Patrick's, Easter, even Christmas was hard. I try to be fair, but Grace has tons of holiday related outfits and Brady is just boring. Any tips from any of you??
Granna also had a scarf made for Grace. She wants to wear it everywhere, and was insistent on taking it to Florida, where I told her she would not be needing a scarf!

The kids got all sorts of candy, cards and stuffed animals from Granna and Mimi. Josh got me a spa day, so that will be awesome!

Valentine's was really a blur this year, because we were leaving on our trip the next morning. Everyone hurried to open their presents that evening, then we all put on our pj's and drove over to Josh's parents house. We spent the night there because it is near the airport, where we were flying out the next morning.

Grace's Birthday

The Fam at Chuck E Cheese
Daddy was the biggest kid there. All he wanted to do was keep playing games to get more tickets. With 10,000 tickets you can buy a whole pack of gum.

Aunt Marisa

Brother hated all the rides, but enjoyed the pizza.

Daddy brought her donuts for breakfast. It will be a sugary day!!

It was a sad day for Mommy when Grace turned 4 on Feb. 12th. I just can't believe she has grown up so much already. I am already stressing about leaving her with another person all day for kindergarten! She is such a blessing to us, and really a miracle. Josh and I weren't sure if we would ever be able to have children once I was diagnosed with PCOS, but God had a miracle in store for us, and our precious baby girl was born. Grace has always been a joy, very funny in our opinion, and generally wants to please and obey. She constantly sings and amazes us with her memory. She is a big helper to me with Brady, and is loving dance and choir. I could go on and on with what she knows intellectually, but the latest is the Lord's prayer. Kids' memories are amazing!

Anyway, we didn't have a party this year because we were about to leave on our big vacation, so we just took her to Chuck E Cheese. Not the most fun place for adults, but she loved it. Josh's grandparents drove in from Lubbock just to eat with us. That was a wonderful treat! Grammy, Pops, and Aunt Marisa also came. We also took cupcakes to school for her class to enjoy. Princess cupcakes, of course.