Sunday, March 24, 2013

Disney World!

We are officially (and reluctantly) back from our whirlwind Disney World vacation.  Although seven nights hardly constitutes a "whirlwind," we were so busy having fun that time passed by all too quickly.  I'm sure the kids would have gladly stayed an additional seven nights if we let them.  Heck, the beautiful weather alone (70's-80's and sunny the majority of the time) had me wishing we could stay just a bit longer...or at least until the snow melts here in Minnesota.

Granted, in spite of the still-winter-weather, it did feel good to sleep in our very own beds.  Disney World had us on our feet all day, every day and we were all ready to finally rest and relax when we arrived home.  I don't think we've ever had as much fun and been simultaneously so exhausted as the week we spent at Disney. 

Exhibit A:  The Kids at MSP before departure to Orlando

Exhibit B:  The kids in the truck on the way home after a week at Disney World:



After we unpacked, did laundry, and put our souvenirs away....

Olivia's Pin Collection

Zach's Pin Collection

Allie's Pin Collection

Souvenirs from Grandma and Grandpa

A Few of Our Pressed Coins

.....I began to sort through the over 900 pictures we took.  Instead of posting them all here, I decided to pick the best photos and create a photo book with some of the highlights of our trip.  If you're interested, you can follow the link to see the book I created:  Disney World Photo Book.

Otherwise, there were a few pictures that didn't make the photo book cut that I thought I would post here. 

First up, Allie and Zach meeting the pilot of our airplane:


On the way to Florida all three kids were very excited about flying.


They were great on the airplane and kept busy playing on their Leap Pads, reading, coloring, watching movies on my IPad, and eating snacks.  Olivia refused to use the bathroom (she was deathly afraid of the airplane bathroom), but amazingly made it accident-free on both flights (actually we only had one potty accident the ENTIRE WEEK at Disney...I was completely and totally amazed!).  However, by the return home, the airplane had definitely lost its lustre for the kids...Olivia even declared within the first five minutes of take off, "I'm all done!  Get me outta here!"

I also thought some of the ride shots were pretty hilarious.  Here are the ones I snapped of us while on the Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin:





And here is my mom, Allie, and me on Space Mountain...either I'm getting old or Space Mountain is a little more crazy than I remember it being!


Here's my dad and Zach getting ready for the Toy Story Midway Mania ride at Hollywood Studios:


Although the weather was mostly beautiful, we did have one morning of rain and we were thankful for our ponchos.  Although the rain was a bummer, we did get to ride a ton of rides with absolutely no wait!  Score!



By mid-morning it was sunny and beautiful again! 


The kids loved swimming just about as much as they loved visiting the parks. 



Magic Kingdom was the overwhelming favorite, mostly due to all the rides and characters.  We collected quite a few character signatures and got our pictures taken with many of them!  Here's Zach having fun on the go-karts that he could drive!


Overall, we had an amazing time! 




Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Disney World, Here We Come!

The laundry is complete, the house is actually cleaned, and our bags are packed! 


Despite a strep throat diagnosis for Zach this past weekend, a possible strep diagnosis for Olivia (she had a temperature...she wouldn't open her mouth...the nurse couldn't get an accurate culture) that resulted in a pretty severe intestinal reaction to amoxicillin (which had me mildly concerned about being confined to an airplane with a 2 year old who couldn't control her #2), we are officially ready to roll! 

We had one last task to accomplish this evening...pedicures and manicures for the gals.  We definitely need pink toe nails if we are going to be sportin' sandals! 

After Allie requested a Mickey Mouse mani/pedi, I did my best with a Sharpie marker and delivered pretty good results. 

 
 
Olivia was thrilled with her pink nails...it was just a little difficult to get a picture of her showing them off.
 
 
 
Here she is in all her excitement shouting, "We're goin' to Disney World!"
 



I'll be surprised if any of us gets any sleep tonight considering the level of excitement amongst the three youngest members of our family.  Truth be told, Ben and I are pretty excited too. 


WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD TOMORROW! 

Zach's Second Visit From the Tooth Fairy

Yesterday during quiet time Zach came racing out of his bedroom to report the loss of his second tooth.  Actually, as Olivia rightly corrected us, "Zach did not woose his toof...he puwwed it out!"



He was pretty darn pleased with himself.  This tooth has been hanging on by a mere thread for the past couple weeks, so I knew it was only a matter of time before he wiggled it free. 

The tooth fairy made her second stop at Zach's room last night, leaving a crisp $1 bill.  Zach is already planning on spending it at Disney World....which is a good thing because if he did perhaps want to save it, that would prove difficult since he managed to break his piggy bank this afternoon. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Snow Day!

The very first thing I did this morning after the alarm went off at 5:15 am was peer out the window to see how much snow had accumulated overnight.  The weathermen have been hyping up this "winter weather event" for the past few days now, so I was anxious to see if they were right in their predictions.  While there was definitely a lot of snow out there, I wasn't anticipating a school cancellation and when I checked the district's website at 5:20 am, my own predictions were confirmed...school was still on. 

So, I proceeded to drag my butt downstairs, put in my three miles on the treadmill, and began to dread the drive to take Allie to school.  After seeing the yucky road conditions on the news, I decided to check the website one more time...you know...just in case they changed their minds.  Lo and behold....as of 6:00 am....a SNOW DAY was officially declared!

We don't get a lot of snow days here in Minnesota.  Snow is pretty much a way of life for us.  So, I was actually shocked to discover that a mere 8 inches of snow resulted in the cancellations of school districts all over the metro area.  Definitely not complaining.  The break in routine was definitely needed (especially as we are highly, HIGHLY anticipating Spring Break next week). 

Telling Allie this morning about the snow day went a little something like this:

Ben:  Allie, guess what?  You have a snow day today!

Allie:  (looking outside) I know.  I can see all the snow.

Ben:  But, I said you have a snow day.

Allie:  Yep, Dad, there is sure a lot of SNOW!

Ben:  Allie, do you even know what a snow day means?

Allie:  That there's lots of snow?

Ben:  Well, yes, and there is so much snow that they cancelled school.

Allie:  Are you kidding?
Ben:  NO!

Allie:  Seriously?
Ben:  Allie, you do not have school today.  It's cancelled!

Allie:  ALL RIGHT!  I LOVE SNOW DAYS!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anyway, since snow days are such a rare occurrence, I thought we should have an extra special fun day.  It started out with breakfast in the living room while watching cartoons. 


Then, we watched as the cop car got stuck on our un-plowed road right in front of our house.  Thankfully, one of our neighbors ran out with a shovel to help.



After all that excitement, we made Snickerdoodles together.





This was the inaugural batch of cookies in my brand new oven and they are delicious!  I don't think these cookies will last too long...especially once Ben arrives home!

While I got lunch ready (mini corn dogs--all the kids were so very excited about this), Allie read to Zach and Olivia in the living room. 



For dessert, I whipped up some snow ice cream for the kids (thanks to my sister's suggestion).





Then, while Olivia and I stayed inside to clean up the mess in the kitchen, Allie and Zach suited up to go play in the snow.






I originally told them they could play outside for an hour, but after two hours, I still had to drag them inside.  Granted, Olivia and I finished cleaning up the kitchen well before then.  So, we spent the remainder of the time packing for our trip to Disney World next week.  Only a handful of days to go....


How refreshing to fill a suitcase with shorts, t-shirts, swimsuits, and flip flops instead of coats, boots, sweaters, and sweatshirts! 

The kids kept busy after coming inside, building train tracks downstairs.  Olivia was beyond upset when I announced quiet/nap time a little over a half hour ago, but she is now sleeping soundly in her bed while Allie and Zach are happily playing their Leap Pads downstairs. 

All in all, I think it was quite a successful snow day!