the scene....

This is quite often the scene in my bed when David is out of town.... Sleep is for the weak, right? Actually, it really wasn't that bad last night. I crash so hard at night these days that I have no recollection of when Lila climbed in the bed with me...I know it was sometime before 4, because that is when Bennett (and Buzz) joined the party!


blogger problems??

I don't know what is up with blogger. My last two posts look a mess. Is anyone else having technical difficulties?????


elise's field day

Today was Elise's last preschool field day- and she had a blast!! She has been begging and begging for David to come this year, and at the very last minute his trial got continued and he was able to make it. She was thrilled!! We were sure how long he was going to be able to stay, and I had already arranged for Lila and Bennett to play in the church nursery, so we both went along to watch the fun.

She really wanted her Dad to be her partner, so I mostly played the role of photographer, and caught up with some of the other Moms. This morning I had to have thick skin to deal with my daughter because A.) She said, "Mom, you are always around. I really, really, want Daddy to come." {It was very tempting to go into a long speech about how I gave up my job so that I could always be around, but I refrained. :)} and B.) I had on my gym clothes and as she was getting ready to leave she said, "Mom, is that what you are wearing?". Guess I am embarrassing her already!!! I was planning to change, but my goodness!!

Elise and Reese...these girls love each other! Fingers crossed this crew will be in class together next year in kindergarten!

Such a sweet, fun, class!!!!
We had a great morning, and celebrated by all going to lunch together afterwards. David worked last night, and although he had to check emails frequently he was able to spend the morning with us- a real treat for me and the kids! A great way to start off the week!
Lila and Bennett's turn tomorrow! It is their first field day, and they can't wait!!


jam packed saturday

We started off our jam packed day with a trip to the elementary school fair. This is the school that Elise will be attending next year, and so we thought it would be a great opportunity to spend some time getting her acquainted with it, while also showing our support for the school. The kids had a blast playing games, jumping on inflatables, getting their faces painted, running into the neighbors, watching the children's singing performances, and just being kids.....
It was a blast....

After the fair, we made a quick trip home for lunch and then headed to the soccer field for Elise's second to last game of the season. It already feels like the middle of summer here, so it was a hot one!! She started off the season really getting after the ball, but in the past few weeks she has become less and less aggressive...so, we'll see. This could be her last season of soccer for a while...
After that we grabbed sno-balls with the team, as David is playing in a golf tournament next weekend and won't be able to coach the team. The girls had a blast. It is a really cute group and they all get along so well. I am going to miss this team!
The kids are wiped and finishing up a movie...we are hoping we are all in for some good sleep tonight!

And I just threw in a pic of Boss because we love him so much and think he is such a little cutie!
Happy Weekend!


new favorite spot...

With this perfect weather we have been having lately, we finally decided it was time to find a spot for the hammock my parents gave David for Christmas.
It is our new favorite spot in the backyard....luckily it is big enough for all of us.....for now.....


day seven: the end of the adventure

On Friday morning we woke up bummed that it was time to pack up and leave the wonderful world of Disney! Lila had a rough night, and after a dose of Motrin went back to sleep and slept through all of our packing! We took our time because check out wasn't until 11, and enjoyed our last morning. After the bellman helped us get our bags to the car, he brought us back to the hotel and we grabbed a bite to eat. Lila was much better, and all three really wanted to spend our last day back at the Magic Kingdom. So, off we went!

Bennett excitedly holding his fast pass to ride Buzz Lightyear again.

Elise excited about it too! And she loved putting our tickets into the machines!

After we got a few fast passes we decided to enjoy the pretty, cool weather and take a ride on the People Mover in TommorrowLand. From here you can see alot of the area, it is a fun way to people watch and park watch...

David and the happy little ones on our last day!

The only princess that the girls had not met that they really wanted to was Rapunzel, from the newest movie Tangled. For some reason she only appears one place in Disney, in Magic Kingdom, and she does a different type of meet and greet where only about 15 kids are allowed in per time. As you can imagine the wait is ridiculous. We were extremely blessed when, as we made our way to the line (after being told we would have to wait 3 hours!!!) to see Boyd Kitchen already holding a spot in line. He was actually holding 4 slots and only needed one, and so he said our girls could go in with Mary Miller to meet Rapunzel! What a lucky break for us! And on top of cutting significantly down on our wait, the girls were thrilled to finally get to spend some time with MM.

Once they were admitted into the little courtyard they were given Rapunzel crayons and a color sheet.

As you can see, MM had had her BBB experience earlier that morning, and loved it as well!

I would have loved to know the topic of this conversation!

Sweet friends!

When Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder came out they came to the table with the kids and did a little dance with them. Lila and MM were thrilled because Rapunzel got right in between them and held their hands while they danced!

Then it was finally our turn for pictures!

And a cute group shot!

We spent the rest of the day revisiting rides that the kids loved, as well as squeezing in a few we had not had a chance to do yet (Winnie the Pooh was super cute!)....

Then we went to the Christmas Shoppe to chose a Christmas ornament as our family souvenir. David and I try to get one whenever we visit somewhere...not that we travel much, but when we have we have always bought an ornament. We have been doing this since we got married. This time, instead of me getting to pick outright I narrowed it down and then we took a family vote! :)

Lots of opinions these days!

In addition, David's parents wanted the kids to each pick something out to remember their trip by and so they had lots of fun doing that. I knew right off the bat what Bennett would pick, as for the past 3 days he had been eyeing the wall of Buzz Dolls that are in the store that you exit through from the Buzz ride. (Honestly pretty shocked that he had not had a breakdown over this. There is no way around it, you come off of the ride and are in a store with only about a million Buzz toys!) He already has probably 5 Buzz dolls, but this one talks, has a laser, and his arms and legs are able to be manipulated. He LOVES it.

At first Lila wanted Ariel dress up, but the (thankfully) changed her mind and chose a precious Ariel doll. Elise surprised David and I both by choosing to get a slinky dog (from Toy Story) and a Minnie Mouse necklace.

All three had fun making their choices and are very thankful!

As the sun started to go down the kids were still going strong and so we decided we might as well stay as long as they are happy!! Crossing a bridge the castle looked so pretty we tried to get the kids to take a picture. Guess we had exhausted them with all of our picture taking as none of them wanted any part of it- so David asked someone to take a picture of us instead!

A rare shot of just us- since we are usually the photographers!

We grabbed dinner at Pecos Bill's, and then hopped on the train and took a leisurely ride back to the gates of the Magic Kingdom. Here we got off the train and made our way down Main Street to find a spot for the Electrical parade. David had told me how neat it was from the night before, and thought if the kids were doing well we should try to stay at make it as the grand finale of our trip.

Everyone was happy so we found a spot!

The parade really is super neat, and completely different than the ones we had seen during the day. I was so glad we were able to stay.

Tinkerbell was on the first float. They turn all of the lights off in the park and the floats are all made of lights..it is super neat! All of the costumes incorporate lights as well.

Part of Cinderella's Ball....

Can't remember what this is...but it is pretty!

Peter Pan!

Not sure how we did this with the camera, but I think it looks really neat...

Everyone amazed at the sights...

The vain part of me did not want to post this, because I look like I have been hit by a bus, but E in the background cracks me up. I think she was heading towards delirium at this point!

Also, my lap or on my hip is where Lila likes to spend A LOT of time!

After the magical parade happens everyone shuffles down closer to the castle and they do an amazing light show projected onto it. Words can't even describe how amazing it is. Then the "Wishes" show, full of fireworks, kicks off with Tinkerbell flying out of the castle...

She moves pretty quickly!!
The kids (and parents) were wiped, and by the time we got back to the boat (which would take us to the hotel) Lila and Bennett were out. It was quite an ordeal trying to figure out how to carry them, the strollers, and all of our stuff to the car, as they were so asleep we couldn't even wake them! Looking back it is actually pretty hilarious, but at the time it was slightly stressful- and a really good workout! Ha!
I could go on and on about the trip....I really could. It was so special on so many levels. Not only was it our first real family trip, but it was the longest vacation David has had since our honeymoon almost 11 years ago. We had soooo much fun being together for 9 whole days, and felt so blessed that we were able to have that time and that experience as a family.
For me, it made me realize how much more I want to expose our kids to, and I hope we are able to take them on many more exciting family adventures in the future!
I will say that I was also able to focus on really being grateful for the kids closeness of age...often times this is something that completely overwhelms me as a Mom, because I feel like I can not give each of them the individual attention that they need (or that I would like to give them) because, let's face it, it would be impossible for me to achieve that. But, in Disney, the fact that they all (for the most part) are into the same things meant that we were able to spend 95% of the trip all together, rather than trying to entertain the "older" ones, and "younger" ones...It actually made the trip easier!
I loved watching David experience the "magic" with the kids for the first time. He is such a good travel partner, as he is great about coming up with a fun game plan for each day. I was so thankful that he was able to fight through the sickness (I know he felt really, really bad) in order to make sure that the kids had a blast on our vacation. I am very, very blessed.
So, our big adventure comes to an end. I know it is one we will never forget! There is only one first time to go to DisneyWorld....and it was magical!

day six: a slow start with a happy ending

Elise woke up feeling pretty crummy Thursday morning, and had quite a fever. This coincided with the rainy weather Florida was receiving. We had breakfast reservations in our hotel with Alice & friends, Mary Poppins, and Pooh and so David was going to just take Lila and Bennett, but Elise was devastated and really wanted to go. So, after giving her some Motrin we all walked to breakfast. In hindsight I probably should have made her stay in the room with me, as all she did was sit on my lap the whole time, but at least she got a touch of the experience...and the Mad Hatter did make her smile.

The Mad Hatter was quite entertaining...he made all of us laugh!

He tried to trick Bennett when asking his age, and Bennett's response was, "YOU'RE SILLY!"

After breakfast we went back to the room for some quiet time, and as the rain cleared up Elise began to feel much better. So much so that she was asking to go the Magic Kingdom by lunch time and so (fever-free) we headed that way. We decided we would just play it by ear and see how the day went.

We stopped first to grab a quick bite to eat, and Bennett imitated a Walrus with his fries. Then the kids fed the ducks some fries and just thought it was hilarious that ducks like french fries. EVERYONE likes french fries!!
Then we headed to Frontierland, as we had not been able to spend much time there thus far. Right off the bat the kids saw Woody and Jessie, and were dying to meet them! I explained to Lila that Jessie was a non-talker and she insisted that she didn't care and had to meet her.
While we waited in line David took Bennett on Splash Mountain for the first time- which he LOVED!

They came back just in time for us to take a cute pic of the kids and some of their favorite characters! And, Lila stuck to her word and went right up to Jessie and hugged her!

After seeing this drop, Lila was having no part of Splash mountain, but Elise really wanted to go try it out. So, Lila and I waited and watched while David took E and B on the ride.

And we got a great pic!! It turned out that they were in line right near some friends of ours from home, and the Muntans ended up in the same boat! I thought David was pretty brave to put the kids in the front seat on their first ride, but they loved it!

While I had been in line for the Woody/Jessie meet and greet David had grabbed two fast passes for Thunder Mountain (my favorite!). I love that it is an outdoor roller coaster, goes really fast, but has no "scary" (i.e. things jumping out at you) aspects. Elise took one look and said, "I'll go!".
So, just she and I went on it together. It was a great moment holding hands and riding the ride with just her. We had a blast!
Afterwards we could see that they were getting ready for a parade, so we went and found a good spot to watch it...

The songs are so catchy- Lila was singing along in no time!
About this time Elise said she wanted to take a rest in the stroller (NOT go back to the room!) and so David took her to find a shady spot to rest and Lila and Bennett and I got in line for the race track. They were so excited! It was probably the longest ride line we waited in, as fast passes aren't available. But, they both had a great time and Bennett is still talking about driving the red car. (You don't know how happy I was when a RED car pulled up to our spot!).

David took some pictures of us as we went around the track. Bennett drove and I controlled the gas.

For the most part I deferred to David to do rides with the kids if/when we had to split up for various reasons...since it was his first time to experience Disney I wanted him to do as much as possible. But, I did have fun getting the chance to do the cars with L and B. They both had such a great time!

After that we headed back to our room, picked up turkey sandwiches at the hotel deli and had a picnic. David and I had actually arranged for a babysitter (thankfully I had gotten the name of Theresa's babysitter, a teacher, who she has used for years) to come Thursday night. We thought it would be fun to go back to the park and go on some rides (Space Mountain, etc) that the kids couldn't; but, with Elise being sick we just didn't feel right leaving her with someone new. She had perked up quite a bit during the day, but by nightfall was pretty miserable again.
So instead, David had date with one of his other ladies- little Lila!
Bennett was exhausted, so he, Elise, and I stayed in the room and watched Finding Nemo together. David took Lila back to the park to catch the Electronic parade...

They had a great time together, and she passed out in his arms right before the fireworks!!
Little did we know she was coming down with the little virus as well. She has such a high pain tolerance and never acts sick! Other than the fact that she woke up a few times that night, when she had been sleeping really well, and had fever, we would not have known.
All in all, even with everyone not 100% we still had such a great, fun, laid back day.....what started off so dreary ended up fantastic!