Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving week and the days running up to it

Last weekend we had plans for some friends (Amy and Topher) to come over to play board games. Something we have been trying to do about once a month. We usually spend a good chunk of the day playing games we’ve discovered thanks to Tabletop or other games our friends have introduced us to. They also bring their five year old and 4 month old, the older boys will watch a movie or play with the room full of toys. Before they arrived the boys were a bit cooperative for some photos and were very excited to wear their new Angry Birds shirts.
I was excited to find multiple shirts of the same theme, especially since the boys have chosen their favorite colors. Andrew and Nicholas like blue, Parker likes red. So this day became a day of confusion for us. When the boys get up in the morning whoever volunteers to get dressed first gets to pick the first shirt of the three offered for the day. Andrew went first and I assumed he’d pick one of the blue shirts, of course he chose the red one.

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Parker, Andrew, Nicholas Doesn’t help that Parker is giving us a very Nicholas like smile.

We played games for about five hours, we just bought Pandemic and learned to play it as a group. It’s a ton of fun to play since it’s a cooperative game we spent the time trying to cure disease instead of trying to figure out how to keep the guys from winning (well that’s what Amy and I do). It was the most fun I think I’ve ever had losing a game, we did win the second attempt though.
Sunday was a lazy day, Cody introduced the boys to a racing game. Since they have been obsessed with racing since we got back from California. The loved it! Doesn’t hurt that Cody has a racing wheel and pedals, everyone got a turn ‘driving’ it was a lot of crashing and going in circles while we ran the pedals.

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Driving takes a lot of concentration.

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At school the boys had a Thanksgiving themed week, they came home Monday wanting to make more turkey hands and insisting Cody did too.

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Nicholas also wanted to make sure Biscuit wasn’t left out.

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The Thanksgiving crafts continued on Tuesday where the boys painted giant feathers, those luckily stayed at school. On Wednesday Cody was only working a half day so he had already planned on picking up the boys from school. That turned out to be a very good thing. The boys made feathered hats.

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Modeling his hat and eating a banana (I think).

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Wednesday morning about 3 am the stomach flu hit me, but since my work has a policy that requires you work at least half of your scheduled shift on the day before and after a paid holiday to receive holiday pay I drug myself in to the office. I kept my distance from everyone and clocked out exactly half way through my day. I spent the rest of the day and the next two days in bed, stomach flu plus what I’m fairly sure is another sinus infection/head/chest cold.
Cody took the boys to Thanksgiving dinner at his parents after letting them play all morning in hopes of getting a car nap on the drive.

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I more or less didn’t see the boys for two days, I wanted to make sure we did everything we could to prevent them getting sick. The boys loved all of the Daddy time, lots of playing with cars. Including some racing around the house.

Ready, set, go!

The stomach flu seems to have passed for me, still dealing with the other gunk but at least I’m functioning again. We were hoping Cody had dodged the flu and instead it was just delayed in getting to him.  Fingers crossed he recovers faster than I did and doesn’t pick up anything else and even more hoping the boys stay healthy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Simon Says

Sunday afternoon after playing in the snow the boys asked Cody to take their picture. This never happens, in fact more often than not they refuse to look at the camera and getting smiles can be like pulling teeth. Not one to miss out on the opportunity Cody grabbed his camera and got this:

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It’s photos like this that remind me that they do look a lot alike. I understand why people get them mixed up sometimes, but spending so much of my day with them has desensitized me to seeing the similarities.
After Cody took that picture he asked the boys if they wanted him to set up his other camera stuff and they agreed. Not only did they agree, but they also gathered on the couch again for more pictures. It turned into a game of Simon Says.

Simon Says hands on your head:

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Simon Says touch your ears:

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Simon Says cover your mouth:

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Simon Says hug Parker:

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Simon Says yay:

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Finally, Simon Says smile:

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Snow!

This weekend we had our first real storm of the year. It started snowing Friday night and snowed almost continually until Sunday night. The boys couldn’t wait to go play outside. It starts with stomping around the yard and eventually ends up with the boys throwing snow at Daddy.

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Get him Parker.

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By Saturday afternoon their was about a foot of snow in the yard, the boys were so excited to play and to help Cody build a snowman.

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It was a good snowman.

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Lacking a carrot, coal or any of the traditional snowman parts we used a wooden clothes pin for a nose and dum-dums for everything else.

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The sticks helped everything stay in place even when he started to melt, the downside was the suckers started to dissolve by the next morning. Our snowman looked like he was crying.

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Sunday the snow continued to pile up, the boys insisted on making snow angels and just tromping through the deepest snow they could find.
Just a lot of photos:

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He’s smiling in there.

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The Disney carry over

Since we returned from Disneyland the boys have talked about the rides, the characters and even the food almost non-stop since we got home. In the bath they have been using the larger toys as boats for Small World to take the the other toys through the ride. They even sing the song and talk about all of the animals they would see.

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The bath time fun has been so much fun to watch. Then the boys made themselves a roller coaster. They lined up all of their mini couches and took turns sitting in the front.

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Going down the hill.

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The also leaned into imaginary turns and spent easily a half hour riding their “roller coaster.”

Monday, November 12, 2012

Halloween

Still catching up. Halloween felt like a two week event at our house. First we had the trick or treating at Disneyland, then we had a family party on the 28th. On the 30th my office had an open house event where kids were invited to trick or treat, play games and do some coloring. I went by myself, so I didn’t take any pictures. It was challenging enough to keep the boys together and somewhat quiet as people were still working.
I’m sure the boys will be convinced that I’ll I do at work is give out candy, play games and listen to loud music. Walking them through aisles of cubicles felt like I was herding cats. The boys gathered a ton of candy and were getting the hang of saying trick or treat, they didn’t do so well with the just taking one part.
On Halloween we got the boys dressed, sprayed their hair and only made it around one block before everyone was ready to go home.

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I’m hoping next year will be less frustrating and I just keep telling myself they are only 3 years old. At every door they each wanted to ring the doorbell at least a dozen times, take a handful of candy and they also started telling people what candy they wanted even if it wasn’t one of the options.
Not everyone understood what they were dressed as, the assumption was just that they were dressed as Scottish boys. The few that got the reference were very excited.
At home we attempted to limit the candy intake, for some reason they were much more interested in the candy then their actual dinner.

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I was just happy we got so much use of their costumes this year since I think this is the last year I’ll get to choose the boys costumes.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Disneyland continued (long post)

I didn’t keep track of what rides we went on for this trip, we just kind of went where ever sounded fun without too long of a line. We were not ready for the heat on our trip which meant we were going a little more slowly than we normally would have. While planning and packing I kept a close eye on the forecast and the normal weather is highs of around 80, so I planned on at least a day or two of needing long sleeves. Instead by Wednesday the temperature hit 100 and it was in the mid to upper 90s almost everyday. When packing I thought I was being silly packing a bunch of tank tops for the boys, turns out it was a very good thing.
We spent before and after naptime at Disneyland on Wednesday trying to see a few rides we’d missed. The boys were a little apprehensive on the Nemo subs, but ended up really enjoying them. We rode Buzz Lightyear multiple times and spent a lot of time in Toontown.
For the first time we rode Roger Rabbit, the last two years it had broken down or was closed every time we tried to ride. This time we all entered the queue and quickly found the boys were not okay with the dark loud spaces. The line didn’t get too scary until it was to late to turn around and exit. When we did make it to the ride the boys opted out of riding. Even Parker was not willing to ride. I rode by myself, it was a fun ride and I’m very glad you could control the amount of spinning. When it was Cody’s turn to ride Parker decided to ride and ended up loving it.

At the exit we met Goofy again.

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Posed for some photos before lunch.

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That was just about the end of the boys willingness to look at the camera or even near the camera for the afternoon. We have a ton of photos of the sides and back of their heads.
We did a lap over to Critter Country to get fast passes for Splash Mountain for after naptime. Splash is Cody’s favorite ride in Disneyland and we were so excited to take the boys on it for the first time. We were so happy that we picked up fast passes, due to the heat and the crowds the wait for Splash was over an hour. In the fast pass line we spent about 20 minutes trying to convince the boys that this would be fun. Parker was okay with the prospect of riding, Nicholas and Andrew were bribed with the promise of a cookie after the ride.

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On the ride Parker had fun, so of course on the photo he’s the only one you can’t see. Andrew and Nicholas well their faces really say how much they were enjoying it. Parker’s response to “What did you think of Splash Mountain?”

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Giant cookie being shared as promised for surviving the ride.

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We stayed until the park closed re-riding a few of the boys favorites and finally taking them on the monorail. The monorail had broken down earlier in the day and we’d been promising to ride it all week.
On Thursday it was back to California adventure for more time in Carsland and to get to spend some time at Paradise Pier. We arrived early enough to get fast passes for Radiator Spring Racers. On the Pier we stopped to meet Donald and the boys were talking up a storm.

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We took the boys on Toy Story and the loved shooting the targets followed by riding the carousel.

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Unprompted adorable-ness!

We had a quick lunch before heading back to Carsland, we rode Racers and Junkyard Jamboree. We waited to meet Lightning and Mater at the Cozy Cones. The boys wanted to touch the cars, not have their picture taken.

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After our midday break we went back to California Adventure for more Carsland some time on the Pier and we watched World of Color. We had a great spot to watch from and the boys alternated between being held or standing on their strollers (with support). Everyone enjoyed the show then it was a slow shuffle through the crowds to dinner and finally bed.
Friday was our last full day at Disney, we again started with Carsland where the boys enjoyed sharing the front seat.

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After riding Racers we hopped over to Disneyland to just wander around and ride whatever sounded fun. Including I think our 7th time on Small World. The best part of this ride was it was a slow moving line and the parade starts right next to the queue, so we had the best view of the first few floats before we boarded. We did stop to attempt to get a photo of the boys heading into the castle.

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Disneyland was closing early for a Halloween party that night, so we had already planned on another evening in DCA. We spent more time on the Pier. The boys had been asking to ride Golden Zephyr for most of the day as they remembered it from last year. While in line Cody had Andrew and Nicholas with him while Parker and I were bringing up the rear. Nicholas started telling another little boy not to climb the railings (something he’d been told countless times that week) when a man behind me spoke up to tell him “Careful you never know when someone has a twin brother.” Being the smart aleck I am, I almost immediately responded with “I see your twins and raise you a triplet.” Thank goodness he had a sense of humor! It made the waiting in line fun having 5 three year olds together.
We had dinner in the park, spent some time in Redwood Creek Challenge Trail running around the ropes and really draining every last bit of energy from the boys. After the trails Cody walked me to the park exit where I took the boys back to the hotel while he closed out the park taking photos. I think he made it back to the room at around 2 am.
Saturday we spent the morning in Downtown Disney picking up some souvenirs before heading home. We drove straight through with just one stop for a meal. We had an amazing vacation and I’m so glad we added the extra days for San Diego.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Disneyland

This years Disney trip was so much fun, we changed our normal touring schedule a bit so we could head straight for Carsland.

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The very first thing we did was head for Radiator Spring Racers and it was completely worth the 40 minute wait to ride.

I’m so glad Cody took video of this first ride, we ended up riding multiple times. On the last ride we let the boys all ride in the front seat and they loved it just as much as the first time. We spent the morning in Carsland and some time in a bug’s land riding rides and enjoying seeing the park without all of the construction walls up. The plan was to not spend to much time in the park for the morning so we could get a nice long nap since we knew we’d have a late night.
Monday night we had tickets for Mickey’s Halloween Party, this meant trick or treating in Disneyland from 5 pm until the boys ran out of energy. I was probably much more excited about this than anyone else since I’d spent nearly a month making the boys costumes.

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Still not all that cooperative for photos.

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They were the Brave triplets, as soon as we saw that there was a Disney movie with identical triplet boys it seemed like there was no we couldn’t do this for their costumes. We went through the candy lines and the boys filled their bags, in addition to all of the candy they also were handing out apple slices, carrot sticks and dried apples. The boys ate all the apples first, then started asking for tootsie rolls. In between gathering candy we rode some rides, Small World, Teacups and the boys first ride on Big Thunder. On Big Thunder we got a good glimpse into the boys response to the big rides. We learned that Parker is game to try just about anything, Andrew could be convinced (or bribed) to try almost everything, Nicholas just was not going to be okay with some of the rides. We all survived Big Thunder but only Parker wanted to ride it again.
The whole night the boys loved the attention they were getting for their costumes and it was nice to have them dressed as Disney characters. All night they insisted on saying hi to all of the little girls dressed as Merida saying “it’s our sister.”
We stayed until about 10:30 way past bedtime for everyone, It was worth going though.
The next day it was back to Disneyland to ride more of the classics, meet some characters and just enjoy ourselves.

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We rode Dumbo, the carousel, the honey train (Winnie the Pooh), and some other rides in Fantasyland. The boys had spent the whole first day asking for new Mickey hats. They grew out of their old hats and we had promised them new ones. After getting hats we stopped to meet Goofy.

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They were really excited and couldn’t be convinced to stand next to Goofy without us holding them, but by the time we got to Mickey they had figured it out.

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Still not willing to look at the camera though.

Almost everyday we would start out in one park then switch after nap time. We spent most of our time in California Adventure in Carsland, but that was what we had planned on. That night we rode Mater’s Junyard Jamboree for the first time, what a fun ride! The line moves fast and the queue has a bunch of fun things to look at. Of course we rode Racers again after some issues with a cast member deciding that Nicholas suddenly wasn’t tall enough to ride. For the most part every cast member we encountered was helpful and polite some you can even tell love their job. This one left Nicholas crying uncontrollably and made him fearful of other cast members. We also had to make it clear going forward that measuring the boys was fine, but they were not to touch the boys in anyway.
At one point under a cast members direction two CMs were holding Nick’s feet to the ground, two holding his shoulders flat and a fifth holding his head on both sides. Of course he was upset, the one holding his head then informed us that he may just be tense so his spine was compressed and that we should let him walk around for a little while to relax. Safe to say Cody and I were pretty angry. If five people were holding me in place and surrounding me, I would be pretty tense too. Luckily after walking away to calm Nicholas down and of course assure Andrew and Parker that we would still be riding I was able to walk Nicholas up to the measuring sign and he was quickly passed through as tall enough. The line was an hour long, but we chatted with others in line while the boys played with the other kids waiting. It was our last attraction for the evening we stopped for a couple pictures and headed back to the hotel.

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On the walk back to the the hotel we were treated to a Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile at the intersection in front of the hotel. The boys didn’t understand why there was a hotdog sandwich car, but thought it was pretty cool anyway.

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Planning to break this into a couple of posts, up next it was very hot and first time on Splash Mountain.