Friday, February 24, 2012

Another day at the park

While the weekend forecast calls for rain and snow today was nice out. The boys asked to go to the park again, so right after breakfast I loaded them into the wagon and grabbed their soccer balls as well for when they got bored of the slides. Today they were much more interested in the bigger slides and trying to climb up them resulting in a few pile ups at the bottom of the slide. Luckily they just laughed together before climbing back up.

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Nicholas, Parker, Andrew

They spent a good half hour going up and down the spiral slide and cheering each other on as they climbed.

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Once the fun of the slide started to wear off everyone split off to play with other parts of the playground. Nicholas was so upset he couldn’t reach the monkey bars. It was adorable and a little heartbreaking hearing him say he couldn’t reach.

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To prevent a meltdown I brought out the soccer balls and let the boys run free. Of course it took a while to talk them into kicking the balls instead just carrying them up and down the hill at the park. They were having fun chasing them down the hill, but eventually Nicholas and Andrew got into dribbling the ball

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Then they noticed the drain in the middle of the field and the enjoyed bouncing the balls off them until a couple of dogs wandered into the park.

We made our way back to the playground on the opposite side of the park from the dogs. Shortly after we made it back to the slides one of the dogs and one of it’s owner joined us. She introduced herself, told me that she was turning 4 tomorrow and that she was having a big party. The boys decided her name was “Hair” and no amount of correcting or telling them her actual name would change their minds. She tried to play with the boys and they included her as much as I would expect 2 year olds to include another child in playing. She was hanging on one of the low bars and showing the boys how to hang upside down. They didn’t really grasp it but at least they all took turns.

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Yes I get why they decided her name was hair.

The taking turns didn’t last for very long, luckily they were able to share.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

A break from the house

Due to a minor car accident on the 14th and potty training we have more or less been stuck at home since last Friday. I had prepared to be stuck at home for at least 4 days with potty training, but with the van in the shop for a week it means we are without any way of taking the boys out or going somewhere as a family.
Spending a week in the house is not the worst thing in the world, but it means I can’t just run to the store or run errands like I normally would and the boys are getting bored. The good news is potty training for Parker started last Friday and we haven’t had an accident in two days. He’s filled almost an entire poster with stickers and still gets excited when he gets to add another one to it. I’m hoping that in a few more days he’ll be completely trained, for the day time at least.
While Parker has had no trouble with the potty, his brothers have had no interest in it at all. They happily point to and talk about Parker’s big boy pants and his sticker chart but are just fine cheering for him without participating.
By Wednesday the boys were getting stir crazy around the house and so was I. We have a park just over a half a mile from the house, so I pulled the wagon out and off we went. Luckily the weather was perfect, mid 50s with barely a breeze.
We spent an hour at the park enjoying the slides, tunnel, ladders and the steering wheels.

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Nicholas

The playground has a double slide and it was so much fun watching them slide down together. They would wait for one of their brothers to join them before sliding down.

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Nicholas, Andrew


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Nicholas, Parker

There was a dog wandering around the playground that probably belongs to one of the houses next door and the boys were none to happy about having share the space with it. They kept telling it to go home and watching it very carefully, Andrew especially was adamant that the dog go home.

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It seems like the boys do something on a daily basis that makes me wonder what happened to my babies. They climb everything all over the playground now without fear and for the most part I can let them.

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Everyone had fun, boys ran off some energy and the best part was that Parker was still dry when we got home.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

WDW day 8 Magic Kingdom and Epcot and heading home

Our last day in the parks is always bitter sweet; no one wants the vacation to end, but we are ready to sleep in our own beds again.  We woke up extra early to make sure we would make rope drop and so we could get to Space Mountain before the crowds arrived and take the boys on the Tomorrowland Speedway.

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We beat the rush and made our way to Space Mountain to pick up fast passes before getting in line for the Speedway. One of the little know secrets about the Speedway is that if you have two kids that want to drive but only one adult you can ask to go around a second time after doing a driver swap. The boys were so excited for a chance to drive, but they are not ready to drive on their own. Parker kept taking his hands off the wheel to point at stuff that we were driving past.

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After we drove around the track it was time for our fast passes. Cody and I took turns riding Space Mountain while waiting with the boys. After riding it was finally time for the boys to meet Buzz Lightyear. We waited in a short line while the boy tried to contain their excitement.

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They did really enjoy meeting Buzz, Andrew and Nicholas couldn’t take his eyes off him.

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We still had another fast pass for Space Mountain so Cody wanted to ride one more time. While waiting the boys were talking about all of the birds around us and then they started talking about Stitch. I didn’t know what they were looking at and just sort of agreed with them, at least until they started pointing while yelling his name. Stich had snuck up behind me. He took a few minutes to interact with the boys. He had stopped on his way backstage.

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Up next was another ride on Small World, there was a surprisingly long wait. The boys didn’t mind the wait and they happily waved to all of the passing boats.

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After riding it was time for lunch and a last walk through the park before heading for naptime. Of course we stopped at the entrance for a few pictures.

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We were competing with passing monorails to get them to look at the camera. We headed for naptime, as we unloaded everyone from the van the boys demanded that we take a picture. I can’t say no to that and it’s the best shot at getting everyone looking at/near the camera at the same time.

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Post nap it was back to Epcot to see more of World Showcase and visit the character spot. Of course we stopped at Nemo and had dinner at the Land before heading to the showcase. We took our time walking through some of the stroller friendly shops and stopped at all of the fountains at the boys request.

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The boys favorite part though was the train set in Germany. We spent at least a half hour watching the trains go by and the boys threw a fit when it was time to move on.

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We rushed back to the character spot and made it 10 minutes before it closed meaning there was a very short line. It was kind of crazy the way the greets are set up. You are ushered from one stop to the next then you have to wait in a short line for the character to be available.

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That night Magic Kingdom had extra magic hours and was open until 2 am. Cody didn’t have a lot of time to take photos beyond family shots so that night the plan was for the boys and I to head back to the room while Cody met some local photographers and stayed until the park closed.
This gave me a chance to get the boys down for bed and pack everything we wouldn’t need for the next day to make it easier to get out early for our breakfast reservation.
We had a breakfast reservation at the Kona CafĂ© (mmm tonga toast) followed by some time riding the monorail around the resorts. We stopped at the Contemporary to take a few photos, but the boys didn’t want to cooperate or hold still. It was back to the van and to Downtown Disney to purchase some souvenirs we had picked out earlier in the week. At this point both Cody and I didn’t even take our cameras out for the rest of the day, except for Cody getting one shot for his 365 project from the plane.
Of course the boys made out like bandits getting a couple more toys while we picked up a photo album to put all of our vacation photos in and a couple of thank you gifts for friends.
The airport was uneventful, returned the rental car and waited for our flight. We had a connecting flight with a plane change on the way home which was very hectic but we made it.  
We had an amazing vacation and despite the hassles I’m so glad we went. The boys are still asking about riding different rides everyday and meeting the characters. I don’t think we’ll be going back to Disney World for quite a while or at least until the boys are past stroller age and able to ride everything. Disneyland though is a different story as we are already planning on going once Cars land is open.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WDW Day 7 DHS, tiny bit of Epcot and Beaches and Cream

Saturday we wanted to head back to DHS for some additional character meets, we missed Phineas and Ferb the previous visit and were hoping to meet Buzz Lightyear. It was also time to ride Rockin’ Roller Coaster. It was much more crowded than most of the days we had been in the parks so we headed straight for Phineas and Ferb only to find that they had at least a 45 minute wait. Hoping the long lines we due to the morning rush we decided to head to Pixar. The wait for Buzz and Wood was 50 minutes and no strollers were allowed in the lines. There was no we could handle the wait without strollers no matter what distractions they had along the queue.
We had already planned on getting the boys a Woody doll based on how much they love Woody and how excited they were every time we saw one. So we didn’t get to meet him, but we they each brought one home.

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They didn’t even ask us to take them out of the packaging for a half hour. We we able to make our way to Rockin’ Roller coaster before freeing Woody from his twisty tie and cardboard prison.

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The hats became the coolest part of Woody’s outfit, they kept putting the hats on the dolls and then trying them on themselves.

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After both riding Rockin’ Roller Coaster we made our way back to the characters, we were happy to find the line much shorter. While waiting in line the boys kept saying “Hey where’s Perry?” Once again Nicholas jumped right in to hugging and talking to the characters, Parker was reserved and Andrew still a bit unsure.

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We wandered around the park a little more and slowly made our way back towards the front gates for naps. After nap the plan was to go to Epcot to see more of the country pavilions then head for dinner at Beaches and Cream. It was a new restaurant for us and on the other end of Epcot at the Caribbean Beach resort. We made our way through Epcot to the other entrance stopping briefly and Innoventions before deciding there wasn’t really anything we wanted to see or that was at the boys age level.
We made our way to the boardwalk and made a wrong turn, so we walked about an extra mile in the process of going the wrong way then making our way back in the right direction. 
Having never been there all we knew is that they had ice cream sundaes and something call The Kitchen Sink. We had nice dinner where the boys more or less inhaled their food and were very excited for the promised ice cream.

The video is pretty loud, the whole place was loud. The boys had some mouse sundaes and we all shared a No Way Jose.

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It’s a good thing Disney calories don’t count, right?

We were all very full as we walked back through Epcot, once again we made it to the front of the park as Illuminations was starting. We were trying to get in early since I was determined to make rope drop at Magic Kingdom the next morning.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Brief break from the Disney posts

I don’t know how interesting the day by day Disney posts are for everyone, but they are mainly for me. It’s the easiest way for me to keep track of what we did and I may some day want to print this blog.
We have been taking advantage of the warmish (upper 40s and low 50s) to let the boys play outside. They have been loving it! Friday night we took their big Tonka trucks outside for the first time and of course they headed straight for the dirt.

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Parker was so excited we got jazz hands.

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They ran down the street pushing their trucks and giggling.

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Of course when they got tired of pushing them they carried them.

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They hauled dirt, leaves and bark all over the yard.

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Today was also fairly warm outside as well so we took the boys to the capitol and Memory Grove, they request to go to capitol hill every time we drive downtown.  The boys love getting the chance to run up and down the hills outside and hear the echo inside the capitol building. Like most weekends the grounds were sprinkled with people getting bridals and engagement photos taken. Parker started calling the the brides princesses and it caught on. We waved at and watched many ‘princesses’ while we walked around.
While walking around on the balconies the boys started telling me that they couldn’t see the animals, I guess they remember the hotel. Instead they saw one of the princesses posing with balloons.

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Inside the building Andrew immediately laid down on the floor to look at the murals on the ceiling.

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It’s worth getting down on the floor to get a good look.

I asked the boys to sit down for a group picture, this is what I got:

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At least they were all facing forward. I asked them to sit on the same step and chaos happened.
After many laps around the inside of the building we went back outside to run up and down the hills and around the monuments. Once the boys became bored of running on the lawns we headed across the street to Memory Grove. It’s such a nice park space to wander around and somewhere I really want to have Cody take pictures of the boys in the spring (fingers crossed they are much more cooperative in a few months).
The boys are still in the run ahead of us mode, meaning lots of pictures of the back of heads.

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The boys enjoyed seeing the water and all of the dogs running and swimming around. It was nearly lunch and nap time so we started ushering the boys back to the van.

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Parker turned around to tell me “come on Mommy, catch up” it’s very sweet. While walking around he started to say “Parker and Mommy best friends” repeatedly, melts my heart.