Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Happy Fall, Y'all!

I decorated the house for fall and the kids were so excited to take pictures with the pumpkins!  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Aaron went away for the weekend recently to go to a friend's wedding.  The kids missed him A LOT and there were lots of requests for Daddy to come back, but we had some fun too.  They got an early start Saturday morning and our fun included painting, building with blocks, making a full pancake breakfast, and playing outside all before 9 AM!  

Later in the evening, Lovie and Pops had us over for dinner before the LSU game.  SG was "reading" to her brother - so sweet!
Aaron came back that Sunday and Charlie was so excited running into his arms saying, "Daddy, you came back!"  So sweet how much they like us all being together.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Lucy Love

Lucy definitely does not get the attention she wants, but sometimes the kids go out of their way to love on her and make her feel special.  Sarah Graves has not been her biggest fan and does not like to be licked or sniffed, so this kind of attention is pretty special.

Happy Birthday, Lovie!

We had a low key celebration for Lovie's birthday with dinner out and a homemade birthday cake.  The kids were very excited to sing Happy Birthday to her and of course, they were very much into the cake!  SG was eager for a picture with Lovie.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bathing Two Clowns

These two have bath paints and got the biggest kick out of painting their faces.  They thought they looked like clowns and giggle, giggled about it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sesame Street Live!

For Charlie's birthday we purchased tickets to see Elmo at Sesame Street Live!  It has been two years almost to the day since we took Sarah Graves to see Sesame Street Live.  My how they have changed!  Can't believe that tiny newborn has grown into a handsome two year old just bursting with life.  Her love for her brother has not changed one bit.  She just adores him.  
We drove up to Greenville, SC for the show and it wasn't a bad drive.  We left right after breakfast and got there with plenty of time to grab a quick lunch before getting to the arena.  Cotton candy was a must have for both of them!  We had plenty of time to take in all the details of the vendors and the messaging that happens before the show.  The show was during nap time, but he stayed awake and seemed to enjoy it mostly.  There were lots of toddlers experiencing meltdowns in there, so they could be a little rowdy and no one noticed!  

Everybody wanted to be on momma's lap!

The show was about the Sesame Street gang making a new friend with a girl from India.  It was a cute show and we now get to enjoy the soundtrack as often as we want!  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Letter Month Twenty-Four

Dear Charlie,
I blinked and you were two years old.  Then, I got caught up with the rest of our life and am just now writing your letter.  You are still changing and learning so much, but I have a few notes to help me out.
The biggest thing for you has been starting school.  We knew you needed to go and be with other kids and felt sure you would love it when you were there, but we were so worried about the separation anxiety.  Love and I worried about it a lot, but when the day came, you had only a moment's hesitation, then you went on with Ms. Vanessa like the big boy that you are.  Your school is Buckhead Prep and you go a half day five days a week.  Lovie picks you up at lunch time and you basically pass out on your way home!
You are learning lots at school.  When I ask what you do there you say, "I run with kids!"  That sounds like you!  You are coming home with new songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider and Mr. Sun, Mr. Golden Sun.  You are also acting more mature - wanting to help tidy up and understanding that you are a little boy, not a baby!  In fact, I was rocking you and telling you how you were my baby and you very politely stopped nursing and said, "I not a baby, I little boy."  Nothing could
be more true.
You are a curious little guy.  You love to ask, "What you doing, Mommy?"  You are also growing more aware of other people's feelings.  Sometimes when Sissy is having a lot of strong feelings you will look at us and say, "Sissy angy!"  You are still a sweetheart giving spontaneous kisses and loving to be hugged and cuddled.  Nursing is very soothing to you and still how you like to get ready for sleep.  You can go to sleep without it just fine, but you like to do it when you can.
You are still a good eater.  You definitely like fruit and veggies and seem to prefer that over breads and rice.  That works out well since your sister doesn't eat fruit or veggie!  You like meat too, especially your sausage.  One bread item you like is waffles and you request sausage and waffle most days for breakfast.  If you had to pick, I would say that pizza is probably your favorite food.  You are okay with sweets, but they aren't a big deal to you.
You have become a great sleeper.  You sleep 10 - 11 hours at night and nap for 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 hours in the afternoon.  You like to be rocked and snuggled before you are put in your bed and you still really want your baby.  When you wake during the night, it seems to be a bad dream or you lost your baby and can't find it.  A year ago I never thought I would be describing your sleep as being good.  We have come a long way since you were 5 or 6 months old and I was sure you would never sleep!
You have really gotten interested in Daniel Tiger.  I don't think interested is a strong enough word for it, you are addicted to Daniel Tiger.  You ask for it at the start of the day and frequently describe it as, "I need Daniel Tiger!"  It is a cute program and he is very loving.  You even say, "Ugga Mugga" like Daniel to indicate "I love you".  You like to rub noses and say, "Ugga Mugga."  Also part of your routine is looking for the trash man.  You love to watch him come to Lovie's, especially if you can catch him in the front and in the alley.
As if overnight I can see that you aren't a baby anymore.  You will always be my baby and I will always look at you and see fat cheeks and big, dark eyes, but you have made the transition from baby to little boy.  You are funny and full of life.  I am so thankful that you are my little boy.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Disney Magic

I think a big part of the magic of Disney is in the details.  They remain accurate to the stories and look for ways to include the theme (or brand) into every aspect of your trip.  
I spent a lot of time planning our trip and read a lot.  My best resource was WDW Prep School.  There were itineraries for planning a Disney trip with preschoolers and for planning a princess oriented trip.  She does a wonderful job providing all kinds of ideas for details to make your trip comfortable and memorable.  
These envelopes for leaving a daily tip for the Mousekeeping crew were a lot of fun.  She has all sorts of theme choices on her site.  

Our dining plan gave us a snack each day and many of them went to these scrumptious ice cream sandwiches!

We might have had a few of these yummy cupcakes too!  Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting - what's not to love!

These drink mugs were part of the dining plan and came in handy.  You can get them filled at the hotel dining area and you can get ice water in the park to fill them up as you go throughout the day.  Plus, it's a fun souvenir!  

Some of the tips that I read that worked well were bringing an over the door shoe organizer to hang in the hotel to keep odds and ends organized and make your mornings go smoother.  One of our biggest issues with the Contemporary hotel was the lack of counter space in the bathroom, so this was handy to have.  Another tip that worked well was bringing a towel with us.  We used it to save spots for the Elctrical Light Parade, covered up a sleeping child in a cold restaurant on a couple of occasions, and used it to stay a little dry during a rainy morning.  Another tip that saved a lot of heartache was bringing all sorts of glow bracelets and other glow toys for the night events.  They sell lights of light up toys, but they get expensive and don't last long.  I bought a lot at the dollar spot in Target and the kids enjoyed playing with a lot of light up things.  

We had the Memory Maker package and I think it was a value.  We took a lot of our own pictures, too (over 1500 actually), but their sometimes got the best shot and we could get all of us in the shot.  It is nice to have some full family shots.  Plus, the site where you download the pictures has the fun borders and decorative things to make the pictures  

It was a lot of planning and I was a little stressed about whether it would all work out like I envisioned, but it really did and once we got going it was nice having so much already figured out.  Aaron and I agree that it was fun having Mom and Dad with us, we loved seeing them enjoy the kids, and it made our trip easier.  More adults seems to always make life easier with little kids.  Pops made sure they were hydrated and found fun play areas, Lovie made sure their things stayed with us and pulled a tired kiddo back from a meltdown a few times, and there was always someone to hold a tired kiddo.  We feel fortunate that Lovie and Pops wanted to come along with us and hope they would want to do it again.  
We had a magical trip and are already looking forward to doing it again!

The Best Part - Anna and Elsa!

The part Sarah Graves was looking forward to most was meeting the Frozen sisters, Anna and Elsa!  She was nervous as we waited for our turn and she got so shy when she saw them!  It was very sweet to see the hero worship that she has for them!  We used a Fast Pass to see them and it worked out great because we only waited a few minutes and it was our turn!  Much better than the four hour waits people endured at the beginning of the year!

Magic Kingdom - Day 5

We spent our last day in Magic Kingdom.  This was by far the park with the most for the kids and I am so glad that we could spend two days there.  We visited Fantasyland and repeated some of our favorites and we also visited Tomorrowland and Adventureland.  Of douse, we saw some more princesses!

Charlie loves stickers!  Cast members would give him stickers and before we knew it, he had wallpapered his body in them!  

The morning was a bit rainy, but Merida was nice and dry tucked back in a garden.  She was kind and friendly too.  

As you can see, Charlie was tired out and slept through Buzz Lightyear.  

He was such a trooper, just falling asleep when he got tired and catching his nap on the go.  

We spent some time in Fantasyland riding their favorites from our first day.  Teacups, Dumbo, Carousel, and Barnstormer were some that they requested to do again.  

We had another visit with Jasmine and met Aladdin in Adventureland.  So fun to see these characters taking time to talk to the kids and make it memorable.  

He loved his Tigger hat!

SG and Charlie got a kick out of driving the cars.  SG rode several times and one time she told me that she was taking a shortcut!  

Seeing Cinderella's glass slipper at Fairy Tale Hall was like seeing the royal jewels at the Tower of London!

Sissy was excited to see Rapunzel and she spent some time talking to them.  

 We really were lucky that the kids would get in the stroller and go to sleep when they were tired.  The days were busy and even Sarah Graves needed a little power nap to make it through.  

Lovie generously offered to stay with the kids while we rode Space Mountain.  Using our Fast Pass and a couple of rider switches, we were able to ride it 4 times!  Definitely a lot of fun!

Our last ride of the trip was Peter Pan, Sissy's request.  What had seemed a little scary at the start of the trip, didn't scare either of them anymore.  They were both very excited to fly like Peter Pan.  
We watched the fireworks and night show one more time and headed back to the hotel.  We had some really fun days!