Monday, May 31, 2010

Disney 2010, part 1

Sorry to go radio silent. With all the crazies I've read about, I decided not to post where we would be for a week until we returned. That said, we went with my parents to Disneyworld last week and had an absolute blast! (Thanks, Mom and Dad, for the memories!! Such a special time!).

There is far too much for one post, so I'll do a quick overview and fill in more later. Unlike last year (see here for a reminder) we didn't receive 18 inches of rain this week--it was G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S weather. Thank you Lord for that answered prayer! Last week was one of those times that you just think, "could life possibly be any better?" Although we were in the same room with all 3 kids, the big ones didn't wake the baby and vice-versa! The kids played so well together, the weather was gorgeous, the crowds were manageable, we scored some freebies, (a separate post on that know a good deal always makes me happy!) and the time with my parents, and with Chris being with us was so, so sweet. A piece of heaven I tell ya.

We arrived last Monday at the Polynesian Resort and immediately left to eat dinner at Boma, an African themed restaurant in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It was amazingly delicious and began our food filled week; we ate like kings! Tuesday we went to Magic Kingdom...and it was just that, magical. :)

The kids wearing lei's from the resort welcome in our hotel room.

On our way into the park

Group shot in front of the castle

Poor guy didn't make the picture above. He was SUCH a trooper and did great all week! Bonus, he decided this would be a splendid time to start sleeping in to 8:15 am. I thoroughly agree! :) Love this sweet angel.

Ryan loved riding Dumbo.

I really wasn't choking Anna-Kate, just trying to keep her from sliding off the handrail backwards into water.

The hubs and I. Notice the little hands creeping up my front. Must be hard to have to stand up...

Riding "It's A Small World" for the first of many times.

Anna-Kate with her sweet friend, Ansley. They were in 2 year old MMO and 3 year old preschool together until Ansley's family moved to the Orlando area. Anna-Kate still talks about her friend, and was beyond excited that it worked for her (and her mom and sister!) to come swim at "our" pool at the resort and spend the day with us. Sweet girls, both soooo tired after hours of swimming. :)

4/5ths of the family at Downtown Disney (Jack was, amazingly, asleep in the stroller!) This was right before lunch at Earl of Sandwich--YUM.

Anna-Kate on the hammock on the beach between our resort pool and the boat launch to the Magic Kingdom.

Digging with the mickey beach toys they had for the kids to play with.

Nana and Poppy with the grandbabies on the swing. We bathed the kids one night and let them stay up past bedtime to watch the water parade and the magic kingdom fireworks from the beach at our resort. They thought they were big stuff! :)

I took the kids in to watch the parade one night (more details to come in my "Disney freebies" post. :)

Our, now annual, family picture with Pooh and friends. :)

Ryan entertaining himself with his silverware. It's true, boys come hardwired with sound effects and will make a sword out of anything.

My boy was crazy about the splash pad next to the pool.

Every afternoon, one of the lifeguards led any interested kids in games and a dance party. Ryan watched and actually did pretty well keeping up. Here he is doing the Chicken Dance. I'm not gonna lie, I was perfectly content to have not heard the Macarena since high school. The kids had fun though (and other than being subjected to it, I am none the worse for it).

Swimming before brunch and heading home.

At breakfast our final morning. We had attempted to attend the luau on Saturday night, but, as is our luck in Florida, it was rained out. As a consolation, we were able to get an extra sit down meal last second. Delicious family style buffet breakfast and we were given the best table (in the corner overlooking the pool and Cinderella's castle!).

Before eating.

The pool. The beach/castle is behind me, our room was to the left, to the right is the water slide down through the volcano.

The last thing we did before leaving was to take a final boat ride on the lake between the Polynesian and Magic Kingdom. Anna-Kate began to cry saying she wanted to live there and never go home (and for daddy to get a new job at Disneyworld-ha!). Nana got all "man trying to fix the problem" logically pointing out that things aren't special if you don't ever miss them. True, true, but my girl is a girly-girl and just needed a little "ahh honey's" to soothe a sad heart. :) We sure had a great trip!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Our little ballerina!

Today was the long anticipated ballet recital. It was held at a civic center on a real-deal stage with stadium seating. (I was almost sweating, worrying that Anna-Kate was going to freeze up and not dance with a couple hundred people watching her.) She did great at practice yesterday and I told her if she did that good today she would get a special prize. What that is, I'm not sure, but that's fine.

She did AWESOME! I am SO PROUD of my girl! She knew all of her dances and smiled and participated the whole time (which, if you remember the Thanksgiving show at school and her first recital, you'll know that this is a big deal for us!).

The show lasted over two hours. We all thought it would never end (to be fair, all of the little kid performances were precious and we smiled and laughed our way through--it was the older kids that dragged on for.e.ver. Poor Ryan was asking to take a nap (but he did amazing and sat on my lap the whole time watching and clapping at the appropriate times and not being disruptive at all!).

Waiting for the music to begin.

Doing her opening ballet dance to "Somewhere, over the rainbow." Precious.

Don't forget to smile!

Tap dance was to "Let me entertain you";

The finale that I thought would never come, "There's no business like show business".

So proud of my girl! She was so proud of her flower. :) It's the little things.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

If only it were the final straw.....

So the one good thing about Kaiser insurance was my pediatrician. (Did you catch the italics?). Sigh.

Anna-Kate and Jack had their 4 year and 2 month well-baby appointments on Thursday. He's 11.8 lbs (55%) and 35% in height. Anna-Kate is 37 lbs (55%) and 39 inches tall (35%). Ironic, no? (especially considering Ryan is also 55% in weight and 30% in height). Anyway. The doctor told me that all 3 of my kids are "husky" (has anyone ever heard a 7 week old termed "husky"??) and he isn't really sure why since their screen time is low, they eat breakfast, have a well-rounded diet, don't drink cokes (seriously? who let's their toddler's have coke??) and rarely drink juice. His exact words, "not sure what the problem is (for above stated reasons) but you need to be careful since they are husky, we don't want them turning obese." Jaw drop (and, Anna-Kate was in the room.). First of all, none of my kids are fat. Second, even if they were, no doctor should ever label a 4 year old girl as "husky" in her presence. Is he trying to give her a complex?? I was fit to be tied.

It continued into the realm of sleep. I asked what the average 4 year old required for sleep and he said 10-12 hours. Then, he proceeded to tell me that I had unreal expectations for her to sleep from 8-8 (even though she's dropped her nap) and that I should make her take a nap and then put her down at 10 or 11 at night so she would sleep until 8 am. IS HE SMOKING CRACK??? I politely told him I wasn't interested in that in the slightest. Then, he began asking about Jack and his eyes about popped out when I told him I was giving him a dream feed at midnight. "You are waking him up to feed him? he asked, incredulously. I said that I was as I don't do 3 am, which is when he would wake if I fed him at 8 and left him alone. He said, "well, I can only offer you the best advice out there on the subject, I have parents who take it or leave it. Clearly, you are the latter. It's OK, I can work around that." Oh, thanks. I became even angrier when my friend told me that he doesn't have children of his own. Maybe if he had some personal experience he could jump off that high horse and mingle with us common folks called (un-medically educated) parents.

If only we could leave this God forsaken socialized medical provider now. Only 223 days until we can change insurance company's (and yes, I just spent the 2 minutes to figure out how many days were left in this calendar year. Though, on a lighter note, Christmas is in 217 days. Pathetic.).

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I could cry

Anna-Kate has been asking for a baby backpack (basically, a doll bjorn) for a couple of months. She plays with it exclusively at Sunday school and desperately wanted one for home. I looked casually and couldn't find one so passed the idea on to my mom. She ran with it, and was able to find one through an amazon affiliate and get the last one they had and had it shipped here. Well, it arrived today.

She started screaming and jumping up and down as I opened the box for her. Then (as I clearly was not moving quickly enough) she shouted, "hurry mommy! get it out, get it out!!" She wore it all day, only taking if off to nurse the baby on my boppy (while watching tv...wonder where she got that idea??). Hilarious.

I could cry looking at these pictures...I can just see her twenty years from now...

The last time I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up she said, "Mommy, I already told you this [hand on hip, clearly annoyed at my forgetfulness]. I don't want to be a doctor or a nurse or a teacher. I want to be a Mommy, just like you."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Anna-Kate is FOUR!

How is it possible that time flies by so quickly? My first baby is four years old today, and it seems like just yesterday she was born. How cliche, but true.

Anna-Kate, you are a blessing to us! You keep us smiling and are so quick to be helpful and try so hard to please us, and obey Jesus. I love you so very much my sweet girl!

Her first picture:

1st birthday party:

2nd bithday party:

3rd birthday party:

4th birthday party:


This morning, she was one happy girl while Ryan and I sang the "birthday song" before she blew the candles out of her powdered sugar donut breakfast.

As soon as she blew out the candles she said, "my birthday wish is that it won't rain at Disneyworld!!" (when we were there last year we received 18 inches of rain.

At pickup from school with her birthday crown.

Opening presents, one of which was princesses that can be "sewn".

We told her she could choose whatever she wanted for dinner. Without hesitation, "Johhny's!" Our friends met us there and then came back to our house for cupcakes (leftover from what I made for her class today at school).

Monday, May 17, 2010

Just for fun

Here are the kids' pictures as babies.

Anna-Kate's birth announcement picture:

Ryan the first day home from the hospital (I can't find his announcement pic):

Jack's announcement picture:

Do they all look alike, or do two seem to favor each other more? What do you think?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A party fit for a princess

Anna-Kate has been talking about her 4th birthday party since last June (and no, I'm not kidding or exaggerating).

Well, the day finally arrived! I stayed up way too late making her cake (and thanks to Leigh-Ann for keeping me company while I did it and making my pink sugar) but otherwise, it was a totally stress free party. I told her this week that she could pick anything she wanted for lunch at her party--she requested peanut butter and honey sandwiches (which I cut into hearts), cheese puffs, grapes, and cantaloupe. I threw in some princess teddy grahams just cause I'm nice like that. She and I looked online to get ideas for a cake, and of course, she determined she wanted a 3-d castle for her princesses. I asked what icecream she wanted to go with it..."None, just my icing on my cake" she said. Alrighty.

Here's the cake:

Closer up:

She covered her eyes to fully anticipate the excitement of seeing her cake for the first time this morning (and no, I didn't tell her to do that).

I think she likes fact, as each friend came in she said, "hi _____, come and see my princess cake!"

Chris' comment, "wow, she's good for your ego, huh?". Ya, she's a keeper for sure. :)

The food table:

One of our crafts, stringing candy necklaces.

Our other craft, decorating princess crowns (though, I did not use hot glue and should have...note to self: Elmer's glue doesn't bond glitter covered foam to pop-poms very well).

The lit cake:

Make a wish...blow the candles out...

Yay! She blew out all four candles!

Chillin', eating her candy necklace and waiting patiently to open her presents.

After she opened her gifts she was so excited to give her friends their gifts (party favors...I had a blast putting them together. Little paper purses with nail polish, stickers, ring pop).

All of the princesses in attendance: Shaylyn, Hannah, Lauren, Anna-Kate, Annie, and Natalie.