Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Living in the Moment

I've been doing a lot of reflecting on our trip since we've been home from Disney. I had such a great time and it was a once in a lifetime trip-truly, because the kids will never be 5 years old again, both sets of grandparents won't be able to come with us again (most likely), there will never be another first time, C will probably never be as in love with Belle as he is now, A will never wave at the characters like she did this trip...you get the idea.

I've also been thinking about how with all of those things I know, I think back to me on that trip. I think about what I thought and how I felt. And then I think I don't really remember. I remember planning and knowing what we were doing next. I remember looking at the kids and loving the look on their faces. I remember trying to get the right picture. I remember feeling HOT. But I'm not really sure I remember how I felt about everything.

I know that's how it is supposed to be. You know, plan something like that so the kids and everyone else has fun...but then I sometimes forget about me. I have to live in the moment. I have to be selfish and think about me sometimes. I have to know that I'm outside to play with my kids, not to pull weeds-those can wait. I have to know I'm on a walk to the park and that it's ok if the kids wander a bit into somebody's yard. I have to know that it's ok if A & C aren't behaving perfectly all the time...no kids act perfect all the time. I have to be present.

I have to know that when I'm cleaning and my kids want me to read a book, I can stop and read it; not say, "Just a few more minutes." I have to know that when I'm tired and the kids want me to play a game, I can go to bed a little earlier and rest later. I have to know that when J asks me to sit outside with him, it's ok to stop whatever I might be doing (like being on the computer) and join him. I have to be present.

It's a tricky balance, isn't it? I'm not sure how to change it. See I've always been like this. I'm usually organized. I'm a people pleaser. I want everyone to be happy. I want to do my best. I do procrastinate with some things. It's just how I am. I have to figure out a way to let go.

It means relaxing a bit more. It means stopping to see the joy on my kids' faces while they're swinging. It means kissing and hugging my family whenever I can. It means understanding the fact that life continues to go, and usually so do I, so I have to make a conscious effort to look around and take it in. It seems cliche, I know, but it's true. I really need to "stop and smell the flowers." I'll take time for me and the little life moments.  I will be present.

Disney, here we come!

Of course I thought I would remember to post this the morning we left, but I forgot. So, better late than never! Here are their reactions...a bit long, but if you get through the first few minutes, you'll see it. Priceless!
We're on our way! 
We went!
(the video is a bit lengthy...watch the first half for the reaction!)

Monday, August 29, 2011

I have to start somewhere!

I'm apologizing in advance. No, never mind. There should never be apologies made for what you write about. I learned that in a writing class I took last summer. So here it goes...the beginning of my chronological entries about Disney. It's a big thing, isn't it? To write about a summer vacation? So I decided I would go day by day. And yes, it's probably more information than you'll need to know, but I'm writing this way so I remember it when I come back to these posts. We'll see how I keep up with that. My goal is to be done by next week. Here we go!

Day 1
The day started out with me waking up the kids about 8 minutes before we backed out of the driveway. I knew we were eating at the airport and I knew they would leap out of their beds (which they did), so I didn't have to allow too much extra time.
Off we went to the airport, bags in hand!
We waited for Mamma and Papa to come too (my parents flew down with us while J's parents met us there on Saturday the 20th). After we were all checked in and grabbed some breakfast, we went to wait at our gate. There we found an unexpected traveler...
Yes, that is the real Bullseye-the Target dog! He was off to LA for some publicity of sorts. The kids loved it! Pretty soon it was our turn to get on the plane. A & C really wanted to carry their own boarding passes, so off they went down the jetway.
I have to say, the flight was the most uneventful thing of the whole trip. The kids were amazing! They were completely content, sitting in their seats the whole flight down. They didn't get up for any reason...although they didn't know there was a bathroom on the trip down. That was discovered on the flight home! They occupied themselves by coloring, reading, looking out the window at this:
It's kind of what I expected, though. Because this was only their second time on a plane-the first they remember-I knew they would be fairly settled with taking it all in. And they did just that! After we landed-which was a smooth one, at that-we were on our way to the Magical Express bus.
It was great because we didn't even have to grab our luggage before getting on!
We watched a little video about Disney and before we knew it, we were there! We stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort and it was perfect. I know you're not going to believe this, but I didn't really take any "landscape" pictures of the resort. Shocking, right?! You'll just have to trust me when I say it was perfect. We were on the first floor and were within a few minutes of the pool and food area. We could have been much further away, so I'm thankful for our room placement.

We swam right away after getting checked in. The pool had a pirate theme to it, so there were cannons with water coming out of them and there was also a huge pirate ship in the little kid area. We all loved it. The pool was so warm-warmer than any pool I've been in in a while! We went in the pirate ship area, which had a bit cooler water in it, and came back to the big pool where C said, "Ouch, Mommy! This is the hot tub, not the pool!" That give you a little bit of an idea as to how warm it was.

After about 2 hours of swimming we decided we would try to get to a park for a few hours. We hadn't planned on going, but we were all in fairly good moods and everyone was up for it, so we tried...and then it POURED! While we were on the bus, it started raining. So we were dropped off at Hollywood Studios, only to send J running in the rain to find the bus we needed to get to the Boardwalk area. Once we were on our way (completely soaked, I might add), we found ESPN Zone and ate dinner. Not exactly how we thought our first day would end, but exactly how we thought it would end at the same time. See, that was our original plan-just to head to dinner-so it was really ok for us! As we headed back "home," we were all tired but ready for the next day. The kids got situated in the bed-loving the fact we were connected to my parents' room-and fell fast asleep. Magic Kingdom, here we come!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

All ears!

We were all ears!
And had a great time!
...more to come!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

packed and ready to go

Our bags are packed.
We're ready to go.
(I'll spare you the rest of the song.)
See you soon, Mickey and Minnie!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Getting ready for Kindergarten

we're getting ready
for something else in our house
it's coming up soon
we practiced riding the bus

we met some friends
we had some fun with a fire truck
ice cream was had
balloon animals made
a juggler juggled
and our kindergarteners had a night filled with fun as they thought about school...and J and I couldn't believe we were actually bringing our 5 year olds to something like this...getting ready for kindergarten!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

She's toothless!

Well, at least on the top. A lost another tooth this weekend! For those of you keeping track, that's tooth number 3, already! And we haven't started kindergarten yet (but we're close!).
We were at the cabin this weekend and I tried over and over to pull it out. She wasn't too thrilled with that, so I stopped. Then she was playing in her room and knocked her mouth on one of the steps of her bunk bed and out it came!
She was quite excited...but the tooth fairy didn't quite find her last night, so we're trying again tonight, at home. Hopefully she'll find us here!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The countdown is on!

Can you guess what we're counting down?
Do you remember?
I'll give you a hint...
It begins with a D.
Did you guess it?
The kids each made their own way to count down the days...
until...DISNEY!! Only 10 to go! We cannot wait!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fancy Nancy

Fancy Nancy. You don't know who she is? Why she lives right in this house! Perhaps you've seen her before?
This Fancy Nancy had a great time at her Fancy Nancy Camp at Stages Theater this week. Our little honey was at camp every afternoon this week, learning how to be fancy. She also learned about using her mind, body and imagination while she's acting. They taught her about "actor center" (standing with your feet together and arms by your side), but they used words like diamond, ring, sparkle-fancy words like that because "actor center" is too boring
Thursday night she had a performance at the theater where they got to go on stage. She was so ecstatic (one of her new words from the week), she started talking about it on Tuesday: "Ok, Mommy, we sleep tonight, right? And then it's tomorrow and then one more night of sleep, and then my show! On stage! I can hardly wait!" Just a bit excited...
She did the camp with her good friend, Audrey. They loved doing the show together; showing off the things they learned and the emotions they could demonstrate (frustrated).
and they even did a version of Bonjour Butterfly, a Fancy Nancy book! They all were Fancy Nancy as well as the butterflies, flying around. It was adorable. A did a great job being on stage. We just might have an actor on our hands!
We came to support her and cheer her on...
Mamma came too...(thanks!)
I'll keep you posted on any more Fancy Nancy shows or any other acting news coming from our house in the future! Orevwa! That's French for goodbye!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Saints Game

Tonight was another first for us as a family...we went to the Saints game. It was a baseball game, for those of you not familiar. They're a part of the Northern League-an independent minor league league. Does that make sense? We went with some friends of ours who had invited us a while back. We picked this game because there were fireworks at the end of the game (which we didn't make it for).
This was a fun night for everyone, I think; I hope. The kids Our kids were pretty antsy and I really wondered how long we would last as we were only through the first half of the first inning after 30 minutes of play. The dads brought the kids for a walk during the second inning and were gone for quite a while. We found out they played on a playground, spun a wheel of sorts-where they got a lollipop
and a few glow-in-the-dark necklaces, and came back with smoothies.
That held them for a bit-working on the smoothies and playing with their necklaces. We even had a visit from the mascot which happens to be a pig!
Then it was the moms' turn.

We found cotton candy and an area where the kids could run. Between the sugar rush of pure sugar and the ability to run as they pleased, I'm pretty sure the kids did about 20 passes, back and forth, between the two rows of picnic tables. Then it was hot and they were sweaty which necessitated a bottle of water. All of that running and eating and I was sure it was going to be about the 8th inning or so-real close to fireworks time. But no. It was, wait for it (for you "How I Met Your Mother" fans)...the middle of the 6th inning. Right. Only 1 inning had gone by since we had brought them for their running sugar time. Pretty sure at that point we wouldn't make it to the end. We were right.
As we left we sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" on our way to the car. The kids did well, considering how late it was. Bleacher seats were another first for us; oh-so-tempting to climb up and down. And hard to sit and stay in one spot. Did we see much baseball? No. Did they think Joe Mauer was going to play? Yes. Did we have a great time with great friends? YES! Thanks for the invite and for thinking of us. We'll have to do it again sometime!

Monday, August 1, 2011

A hot, but fun day

Sometimes days are busy. Busy. Busy. Busy. If you know me, though, you know that's how I like things. Very rarely do I sit still or like to spend an entire day at home. Just ask J. Or any of my friends or family. They'd say the same thing. I especially like to be busy when J is gone. Sometimes the kids need a little more activity when he's gone because there isn't the usual rough-housing that takes place. This weekend was no different.
We started the day off at a parade with Mamma and Papa. Thanks for coming! You know I love parades, and even the heat couldn't keep us away! We went from there to get some lunch and the headed to the kiddie carnival to do some rides with our friend Connor.

The kids did great and had a great time.
We even found time in our day to have a picnic, play at a park and enjoy fireworks at the end of the day!
Whew! Busy, that's what I like to be.
Albeit there is something to be said for a little down time (which we did get!). It was a great day all the way around!