February 20, 2013

Catch-Up Time

What's that you say? You haven't heard from me in a while?
Well, I have been on a blog-cation. I don't know what my deal is, but I just couldn't get myself to sit down and crank out a post lately! Then, I felt so behind, I felt overwhelmed and didn't know where to start, so that didn't help matters! Anyhow, I'm back. Hopefully I can attempt to catch up on what we've been up to lately!! :)

First of all, Graham's been doing SO much better in the sleep department, and I cannot tell you how much of a blessing that is! It was so weird, because as soon as we got back from Disney World, it was like a light a switch went off in his little head, and he realized he could stay in his bed and sleep in there all by himself, he only asks that we leave the door cracked. Wow, what a turn-around. I read recently kids can't grasp the invisible boundaries of a bed until 2 1/2 yrs old, and it just so happens, this changed around 2 1/2 with him! Crazy!

Of course, right around the time we got Graham under control, sissy started acting up. Poor girl had FOUR teeth coming in at once, and she only wanted to be held. It was rough. No napping, no sleeping. Torture. Well, they finally busted through, and when she was still being a fusser, we realized we had to let her CIO until she re-learned how to put herself to sleep. It took a few days (and nights) but it payed off. She now fusses for a few when we put her down, but will go to sleep on her own. Makes a world of difference!!!

We've been busy celebrating lots of birthday's (including my sister's 30th in Austin!!)

Chad's Grandad had triple by-pass surgery recently, and is recovering well. We've all been praying hard for him, and are so thankful he is doing better!

I recently purchased some new decor for the house to spruce it up for springtime, and rearranged a few things.

Claire turned 11 months yesterday, so it's officially time to start full-on party planning!! I have a theme in mind, of course a pinterest board started, and I've already made a few small purchases. Can't wait to see it all come together, and to celebrate the sweet girl's Big Day!!!!

We have a few other exciting things in the works, but I'll share that soon. (No, it's not another baby!) It is pretty exciting, though!

Other than that, we've just been busy living life!!

Disney World!!!! (Finally!)

Once again, I can't believe I am just now getting around to our Disney World trip! First of all, we had an amazing time. It was exciting, exhausting, amazing, crazy and FUN. I was just in awe because I hadn't been but only one time when I was 7, so it was literally like I was there for the first time. Chad was making fun of me, he said I was just like a little kid, haha! But I was seriously so amazed and impressed at the cleanliness, the attention to detail, and the amazing cast members (as Disney calls them). It was so fun experiencing it, and then getting to experience it through the eyes of Graham and Claire. They were such little troopers, poor kids were WORN OUT. Graham would literally crash and be dead to the world every night. Considering his sleeping habits, it was awesome, ha! We were gone from Wednesday ( Dec. 19) until Sunday (Dec. 23rd).

DAY ONE: Arriving and Epcot

Our flight departed around 11 am, we were all on the same flight (my parents, my sister and her family, and Chad and I and the kids.)

We arrived around 1 or 2, headed straight to our hotel on the Disney's Magical Express, which was awesome!! They took our bags from the airport and they were in our room a few hours later. We stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside Resort, I loved it!!! The grounds were gorgeous, our room was "Princess themed" and so cute.  We arrived at the hotel, and unpacked the carry-ons, then met up with my parents at Epcot. We grabbed a late lunch, rode a few rides, then rushed to the other side of the park for our hibachi-style dinner in "Asia". So fun and delcious!! After dinner, we were treated to the VIP section for the fireworks. One of my sister's friends from college works at Disney and she hooked us up ;) the fireworks were incredible, and Graham was in hog heaven. We were SO close, it was very loud, but amazing.

Our hotel room

Entering Epcot!

Meeting Mickey for the first time!!!

DAY TWO: Magic Kingdom

We got to the park bright and early (magic park hours), and met some of the Princesses, then we rode Prince Charming's carousel, and just did almost every ride we could. We ate lunch in Frontier Land, rode more rides, then headed back to the hotel to freshen up before dinner and the Mickey's Christmas Party (parade, fireworks, late park hours). Our dinner was at the Crystal Ballroom with the Winnie the Pooh characters. After dinner, we rode some of our favorite rides again, then watched the parade. After the parade, we were all wiped out, and it started to rain during the fireworks show, so we headed out pretty quickly. Graham's favorite ride was the spinning tea cups! :) He was a little scared of the rides (especially the dark and loud ones, but he was a pretty good sport. On the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, Charlotte said to Graham "We're scared, right Graham?" Haha! They are so funny together. :) It was SO fun for them to ride rides together. :)







DAY THREE: Animal Kingdom

On this day, we split up, my parents took Evan back to Epcot, while Mer, Randall and Chad and I and the kids went to Animal Kingdom. We are soo glad we didn't miss out on AK, it was a blast! We did the Kilamanjaro Safari first, then walked to Dino Land, did some kiddie rides, and the adults took turns riding Everest. Seriously such a cool roller coaster! We ate lunch, then rode Dinosaurs, a super fun ride too. Not exactly a roller coaster, but it was a blast. What I love about Disney World, is that they really submerse you in every ride. They each have a story line, and really neat special effects.
That night, my parents watched the kids while the 4 of us went to Downtown Disney for dinner and drinks. We ate dinner at The House of Blues, and walked around. Fun date night, wish we could've had more time there, there was a lot to do and see!



DAY FOUR: Hollywood Studios

We had fun at this park. We loved the Tower of Terror, we all rode it twice! The Rockin' Roller Coaster was a blast too. There wasn't as much for the kiddos to do here, but they did like the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area. We ate lunch at Pizza Planet, rode some more rides, then headed back to the hotel to rest and change for dinner. We met back up for dinner at The Brown Derby. I remember eating there as a kid. It was pretty good, the kids were acting a little wild though, and we were all EXHAUSTED, so we headed back after dinner.



DAY FIVE: Going home

We had planned to take the kids to a character breakfast that morning, but we were all too exhausted. We ate breakfast at the hotel, packed up, and headed to the airport. We were so tired, so it was good to be going home. Poor Evan came down with a virus, so he was feeling crummy. The kids did good on the flight home, Graham and Claire napped, hallelujah! We made it home safe and sound, and got ready for Christmas Eve the next day!

It was such a wonderful trip, lots of memories I know we will remember forever. I can't wait to take the kids back when they get a little older and can really enjoy everything!! They had so much fun at this age too, though. Plus, Claire was a free plane ticket, and they were both free tickets to the parks, so it really worked out. I think next time, we will stay at a resort that has access to the monorail. That would be a huge plus next time. It would've been SO nice this time, with carting the strollers around, too. Also, I would love to go right after Thanksgiving, I've read that's a really good time to go to get away from the crowds. It wasn't really too crowded at this time, though, either. And that's our first family trip to The Happiest Place on Earth!!! I'm already excited about going back!!!