Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

video
December 23, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Words

Hello, poor neglected record of my kids' life.

E is becoming a word powerhouse.  At bedtime, we go over the words he can/will say and he points to his body parts too.

He can point to his and/or my:

  • nose
  • head
  • ear
  • eye
  • foot
  • hand
  • belly
He can say:


  • hi
  • bye bye
  • bottle
  • Mama, sometimes Mommy
  • Dada
  • Daddy
  • Kitty
  • Eye
  • Cheese
  • Uhoh
  • Grammi
  • Grampy
  • A
  • Brother
  • Ball
  • Bell
  • Doggie
  • Shoe
  • Sock
  • Hat
  • Whoa
  • Big Bird
  • Baby
  • Me! Me! Me!
  • Mine
  • Foot
  • Hand
  • Nose
  • Mouth
  • Milk
  • Nana (Banana)
  • Boo!

For awhile last week, M wasn't home for bedtime.  A would help me put E to bed, and listen to story.  One night, I asked him to help me read the story, and so chose Go Dog, Go.  He was able to read almost all of it, whether from memory or not, I don't know, but he impressed me nevertheless.

At school this month, they have been doing "The Season of Kindness."  The kids get a chain on a paper chain for each act seen at home or at school, so A has been especially kind and also has been pointing out his own kind acts as well as those of his brother.  It's so sweet.

Last night, E and I were alone for the night.  He's in a big Daddy stage, so it was rough at first.  We went for a drive, and something made this kid CRACK UP.  After that, we had a great night--we actually laughed and laughed pretty much until he went to bed.  We played a game in the kitchen where I'd get down to his level, say "Boo!" and run away in an exaggerated way.  Kiddo laughed his butt off.  He's also going through a fall down stage; I've been calling him Chevy Chase.  As far as I can tell, it's completely intentional.

A is really excited for Santa and keeps asking us if it's Christmas.  They had a Polar Express Day at school, and got to see Santa, so he came home telling us it was Christmas.  



















Before Thanksgiving, we were at the mall and Santa was there with no line.  A wouldn't leave the stroller, but E went right up to him.  We haven't yet gone for our "official" Santa pictures, so hopefully the school experience will help them both have a successful Santa picture this year.

Ironically, A hasn't asked about multiple Santas in multiple places, but it came up when he asked why Mickey wouldn't talk to him way back on our Disney trip at the beginning of August.

This year is flying!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

More words

Grammi (Mami)
Wawa (water)
Shoe

He also has a distinct noise for when he's playing with cars/trucks and a different noise when he's playing with trains (his newly discovered favorite toy in the house).

On Friday, E was sick and had to stay home.  Because neither M nor I could miss a day, we asked Grammi to come to our rescue.  After spending the whole day with him, she reported that E is the only kid she's ever met who waits for permission to play with his toys.  She also seemed amazed that he cleans up so well when you ask him to. 

I have to say, he's such a good direction follower--I sure hope THAT sticks.  He's a super helper, too.  If he thinks he's going out, he'll get his coat and his shoes... or maybe he'll bring me my shoes.

Additionally, they spent some time looking at the family pictures hanging in our family room.  He'll point to the picture and identify Mama and Dada by name, and points to A, Grammi, and Grampy when you ask him where they are.

Thank you muchly to Grammi for the sick day rescue!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Words

Argh, I've fallen so far behind.  Sorry, posterity.
Anyway, E is starting to have a language explosion.  In many cases, his words are understandable only to M, A, and me, but he can now tell us what he wants/needs.  These include:

  • BeeBee (can mean his new Big Bird or his G.G.)
  • Ball
  • Mama
  • Dada
  • Ditty
  • Uh oh
  • Baba (bottle)
  • Nana (banana)
I love that when we guess what he's trying to tell us, he gets so happy--his "yes, that's right!" is a big smile and a little giggle.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Vintage Monday

November 3, 2010

Monday, October 31, 2011

Vintage Monday

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Vintage Monday

It's good to see that we went pumpkin picking very late the first time, since we still haven't made it and Halloween is but a week away.  What a cutie.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sesame Place

Today, we went to Sesame Place.  I really love going in the late fall, because the weather is still gorgeous to be outside (it was about 70 when we left this afternoon), the place is all decked out for Halloween, there are new shows, the kids (and some adults) walk around in their costumes and can trick or treat too.  It's not nearly as crowded either, though it can seem like it is because there are less places for people to be.

Alex is a pirate this year, and had a great time walking around the park in his costume. 






I think we did the headband more "Karate Kid" than "pirate," but the kid was happy.

He was excited to go on "Ernie's Big Bed," and was asking about it on the ride there--would he be able to go in the big kid's line this time?  Alas, the lines are 4 and under and 5 and up, but there were so few people today, it was a great free for all.


Trick or Treating:



The Peek a Bug ride:




We got to see a show with lots of the characters; A sat on my lap the whole time:




I also want to mention that today, A put E's shoes on for him.  My little helper!

My cutie booty is getting so big!!

18 months

E turned 18 months three days ago.  And I just got around to taking a picture in the chair.  At least it didn't get totally skipped like last month.






Today, we made the trip to Sesame Place.  M learned that E can say "Nana," (banana) or at least he heard it for the first time.  I learned he can say "Elmo," or something that means "Elmo," and at home, he can say "Ball." 

I wanted to get him his own stuffed thing from there, since A has an Elmo from SP as well as a Cookie Monster that's similar.  He chose Big Bird... random, but it's what he wanted.  He's currently sleeping with BB in his arms.

I saw a new tooth today--upper left canine.

He loved wearing his costume around the park... we even got a picture of him in the headpiece, though it lasted less than 2 minutes, and the gloves, which he loved to wear, also didn't last very long.





He was so cute with his tail dragging behind:




And today, he went on almost all the same rides A did, for the very first time.  Both went on "Ernie's Big Bed," seen here (he kept saying "Whoa"), the teacups, the bug ride, climbed on some stuff.  He didn't go on "Elmo's Flying Fish," but only because M went to do something and I wasn't able to accompany both boys.

He's also starting to run.  He looked so darn cute, running in his toddler way, in that costume.  Worth every penny of $4.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Reader in Training

When he wakes up in the morning, E has taken a liking to reading his book.  It has to be one of the touch and feel series books he has, and he calls for it with a point.  No other book will do, of course!

Crazy Hair Day

At school this week, there was a Crazy Hair Day.  Despite his avowed hatred of "spikey hair," A was so excited to do his hair crazy.  He wanted spikes.  Daddy took him to the store, where they bought hair stuff and colored hair spray for the boys.

I did A's hair, spiking it with the hair spray instead of the gel, and ohmyGod it smelled so bad.  I quickly changed my mind about E's participating in Crazy Hair Day, and gave A a blue mohawk.

The color had worn off by the time they finished their naps, but the remnants in his scalp were there when he got home.  He had a ton of fun!

A Day with Grandpa

Last weekend, M and I went to a conference, so the boys had their first alone with Grandpa time since E was born.

When we returned, the report was this:

  • Around 11, E fell asleep.  On the floor.  In the room with the pack and play.  There he stayed asleep for about 2 hours.
  • E is fearless.  And smart.
He also said that E may cry a lot but he doesn't complain like A did (Bepah always complained about A's "kvetching," because A wasn't used to him and so would whine/whimper for Mommy and Daddy to come home, at least until he started talking.)  

Overall, it went well.  They didn't go to see the horses as planned, but they did make a trip to the playground for awhile.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lover boy

E is such a lover boy.  He's a cuddle monkey.  To be honest, he's the king of what my mother in law called the "drive by loving."

He'll ask to be held, cuddle for a minute, then take off for a little while, and lather, rinse, repeat.

The other day, they were all home already when I came home from work.  I put down my things and started talking to M, without first greeting the boys.  E came over, whined a little, and then stuck his face in my legs for the 18th month old's version of a hug.  I quickly corrected my error and gave him my full attention.

cell phone

As far as words, he doesn't say much, but boy does he communicate.  E says MaMa, which can mean different things---sometimes it means MaMa, sometimes it means DaDa, and sometimes it means Brother.  He definitely says "nana," for banana.

When we recently went to a consignment sale, the boys found this slide.  E communicated, through a series of grunts and whines, his desire to climb it.

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He loved it; had it not been so expensive, I'd have bought it even though we really don't have a place or space for it.

The other day, A, M, and Bepah went for a bike ride.  E, of course, also wanted to go outside.  I took him outside to play in the yard, and remembered that we had a Cozy Coupe in the basement.  I somehow managed to get it upstairs and outside, while holding the squirmy 25 pound child, and made said squirmy 25 pound child's day.


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Speaking of consignment, I bought a package of maracas there for E.  The boys pretty much fight a LOT over them, because A only wants the blue one while E wants whatever is in his hands at the moment.  E typically walks around with a maraca in one hand and a fork in the other.

cell phone


He's thriving at daycare and is so excited to get there every day.  A kid from his class gets there at the same time as we do, so E always says hi and waves to his friend.  He's doing well with the timing of school--he goes to sleep pretty soon after dinner, around 6:30, and sleeps until I wake up A (usually), around 6:15.  And he keeps on growing---we have to take the time this weekend to adjust the straps on his carseat again!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Whoa.

Here we are, almost to the last day of September.  The list of what hasn't gotten done is enormous, including keeping up around these parts.

So, in September:

  • Back to School.  Both boys have done wonderfully at school.  No tears, no worries.  E got bit yesterday and his teacher was super surprised he didn't even cry.  My reply?  "He has a big brother."
  • The triathlon!  I did it!  My times weren't great--I really couldn't run the whole thing... I really couldn't run more than a quarter of it.  Some (incredibly awesome, I didn't know they were taking pictures at all) pictures:

 

  •  E turned 17 months, and I didn't even get a picture of him in the chair.    At 17 months, E:
    • walks
    • bounces, sort of jumps
    • trots, sort of runs
    • says Mama, Dada, psspss (the international sound to call a kitty), whoa, uh oh OFTEN
    • Occasionally says something that sounds like more, something that sounds like milk, something that sounds like brother
    • Occasionally signs more, milk
    • LOVES to give kisses.  He lets us know by making that smacking noise that everyone knows means "I want a kiss."
    • Loves to cuddle, but it's likely only going to be for a minute before he's off and running to the next thing
    • Loves to read books, but only at bedtime.  Most night, he won't go to sleep if I've skipped that step
    • Sometimes needs to be put to bed by Mommy then Daddy--if I just put him down, he'll cry until Daddy does his bedtime routine too.
    • Typically starts bedtime at 6:30
    • Typically sleeps until 6:15
    • Will occasionally look at the tv for a minute if it's on, but generally isn't interested
    • Loves pressing buttons, so calculators, timers, and other things with buttons that beep are among his favorite toys
    • Is called "Sweetie" by Daddy
    • Is a LAUGH-ER.  It seems he's always giggling and generally a very happy kid
    • Is a SCREAM-ER.  More often than not, he's imitating his brother or it's a testing out what this voice-thing can do
    • Is very difficult to take out to restaurants.  He wants to sit in Daddy's lap most of the time, demands a walk around the restaurant, and will end up doing something that gets him yelled at.
    • From Daddy:  Is stubborn, and has a really wicked temper, but when he wants to be, can be the sweetest child on the planet.  His smile lights up a room.

  • Tomorrow, A turns 4 years and 2 months, so since I'm writing, at 4 years and 2 months, A is:
    • Incredibly sweet and charming.  Yesterday, we had a fight over which door we'd use to leave in the morning.  Fed up with the tantrum, I threatened to take away his tv time, at which point he thrashed in my arms (I was carrying him to the car), wacked my chin with his head, and chipped my tooth.  He stopped his tantrum to ask if I was ok and if I wanted him to kiss it.
    • But yet he still throws some wicked tantrums.
    • Nevertheless, in general, he's incredible kind and patient with his brother, and shares with him often.  They do fight because, like most brothers I'm sure, one boy will put a toy down "for a minute," and the other will come along and claim it while the first wasn't really finished.
    • a TV Addict.  If there's a tv on, he's watching it, even if he can't hear it or understand what's going on.  He'll yell at you if you dare walk in front of the tv while he's watching.
    • funny.  He just cracks me up sometimes, like this morning when he called me (jokingly), "You little punk."
    • Changing--I've noticed that his face is different somehow this month, more defined perhaps.
    • From Daddy:  Always excited to do stuff; he always wants to try something new, and he loves to eat out and try new restaurants.  He's NOT into food [still a big mac and cheese and cheeseburger fan] and trying new foods.    Super energetic--would be running all the time if he could.  Loves to be active, loves to be outdoors.  He loves his books, but isn't big into actually reading [he'll yell at us when we try to get him to read words, that he just wants to listen].  He's a good big brother.



  •  My birthday!  It was pretty low key this year, with the whole overwhelmed with back to work and being in the  midst of a CRAZY work week (after school meeting Tuesday, Back to School Night Thursday, plus school pictures for the boys, plus bunches of other stuff going on), but we all went out to dinner on Friday.  The boys gave me a picture of the three of them from Picture People; absolutely adorable, though I haven't yet gotten it digital.



I'm a lucky girl

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Training....

Here it is, 1 week to triathlon!  I haven't been training as consistently as I'd have hoped so close to the big day, but life has gotten in the way of training.
Yesterday, I hit the pool.  I did about 10 laps (50 yds each).  I did not do 10 laps without stopping, which sort of freaks me out (the triathlon is 1/4 mile, or about 8 laps), but I also have been training doing the freestyle while my plan is to freestyle until I start to get winded, then switch to breast stroke for awhile.)
I also ran for a bit yesterday.  I really dread the running piece, so have really been slacking on the training.  Of course, everyone says it's ok to walk it, but I'd really love to jog it as well as walk it.  So, I jogged about 1.25 miles at a pretty slow pace.  I definitely think I can walk faster than I was jogging at times.
Today, I got on the bike.  For the at-home training, I've been keeping to our little block here, mostly because it's relatively flat--our neighborhood is really hilly, which I think is likely to frustrate me and so if I keep it more flat, I figure I'm way more likely to keep at it.  I figure I did about 4 miles and felt really good, despite pretty sore thighs.

I can't believe I'm actually doing this!  I hope I finish; that's how I define my success in this!

School!

The boys had a great first day of school!


Whether because it was really time, or because he'd been going into the same room and playing when we dropped off his brother, E took right to it.  There were no tears (for anyone) at drop off in the first (or second week!)  Here are the boys at drop off on the very first day!

Drop Off, Day 2

Here they are on MY first day with kids.





Unfortunately for me, they won't open the doors until 7am now.  When we started, they were closer to my route and also let us in a little bit early.  No more.  I've got it down so I leave all their stuff for the day in the drop off room, and am back in the car by 7:04.  This gets me to work about half an hour before the start of classes... it's pretty hectic.

Our daycare is willing to use our cloth diapers.  It's been an experience, for sure.  The system I've gotten down so far is to start with 10 diapers, then I replace them every other day.  We haven't yet had the discussion about bringing them home for the weekend, and we've had a hard time making it through the weekend with the diapers we have.  "They" say that using diaper cream on cloth diapers is bad for them (decreases absorbency especially), so I gave them these toilet paper like things to use... they really haven't use them PLUS, we don't have any here.  So many things to think about!  I also left a package of disposable diapers just in case there weren't enough or anything else happened.  It's funny, I typically only use one of our wipes to change a diaper, but they use four or five.  I also think it's funny that every single diaper goes into a plastic bag, which goes into my bag.  I guess their system is their system, but I just find it strange!

As for me, things are going ok on the back to school thing.  I feel completely overwhelmed--the house is beyond disaster (clutter due to being messy and also due to the contents of the office being in the hallway due to a leak induced hole in the ceiling there), cleaning is seriously falling behind, but I'm managing.  This year, I'm teaching US2, which I have taught before, but it was so long ago, it doesn't count, Economics, which I taught for two years before A was born, and this online course that doesn't have physical class meetings.  So, I'm juggling basically new courses with the juggle of two kids for the first time.

M says he's having a hard time with being sole parent for awhile after work.  He said for the past year, he'd have some downtime before having to hang out with the boys.  Now, I'm either not home when they come home, or rushing to cook dinner.  

So, the great news is the only one having a tough time with it all are Mom and Dad!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Upromise Challenges Us to Dream!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of UPromise for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Upromise, the well known place that helps families save for college, is running a contest where parents or grandparents are submitting their dreams for their children and grandchildren and others are voting on the best dreams.  There are currently 176 pages of dreams, but one of my favorites was from the mother of a 9 year old boy whose dream is to be a baseball player; Mom wants him to go to college and have a fallback career--his fallback?  To be President.

Are you interested in winning $20,000 for your child or grandchild's education?  Check out  www.upromisetodream.com to enter your dream and to vote on the dreams of others.  You should also let others know about the opportunity so they too can try to win and share their dreams!

Don't forget to check out the dream wall official rules!

Please comment on this post with your dreams for your children.  For my boys, my dreams include them being good people who help others whenever they can.  I want them to define their own success and try as hard as they possibly can to achieve that success, and I want them to have lots and lots of fun.  I also dream of their making gobs and gobs of money and taking good care of their Mommy and Daddy

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Vintage Monday

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Training....

Last week, we took the boys on a bike ride of about 4 miles at the (fairly flat) park.  This might have been the longest bike ride I've done in a really long time, and so I think it's partly to blame for the serious back spasms I had on Friday and Saturday.

So, I didn't do any training on Friday, because I also had a pending migraine.

Saturday, I went to the pool anyway, hoping it would be ok with the back pain, and it was.  In fact, despite a pretty long swim, the back pain was mostly gone when I was leaving the gym.  I ended up doing 9 laps (50yds each) of freestyle, one lap of butterfly, and one lap of breast stroke.  I did stop for a minute after 4 laps of freestyle, but still feel strong enough to do the 1/4 mile swim for the triathlon.

Today, I hit the treadmill.  Running, of course, is something I pretty much hate.  I'm slow, I have no endurance, and I feel RIDICULOUS doing it.  Plus, it's pretty boring.  But I kept at it for a whole mile (the tri is a 5k, aka: a lot more miles than 1), and ended up with a pretty slow but accomplished 15 minute mile.

I keep thinking of the feeling of accomplishment I'll have when I finish the triathlon, however I get across it.

I'm also worrying about doing the bike and the run in a swimsuit, particularly a wet one.  I can pretty much only run when "the girls" are pretty well strapped down, and my Speedo doesn't give anything close to that......

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Not Boys Related


Today, I signed up for my first triathlon.  I'm not really sure what I'm thinking here, since I am NOT a runner.  In fact, I kind of hate to run.  Oh yeah, and it's in a month and I'm just starting to train.

So far this week,  I jogged .5 mile around the neighborhood, did my swimming class today (so probably about 10 laps of 50 yards), and did a 4ish mile bike ride in the park.  My quadriceps are not happy with me at all.

What I'm thinking is that I need motivation.  I'll lift weights and take classes till the cows come home, but I don't really do much cardio.  I know that, with this goal in mind, I will do it and take it seriously. 

Wish me luck!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Vintage Monday

A fell asleep on the boatride home! 

August 7, 2009

Saturday, August 13, 2011

E walking!

I was finally able to get a video of E walking!!



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Four years old

A at four (!!!):

Can be the most affectionate kid I've ever met.  He can be incredibly clingy, stops everything to blow us kisses, and loves to cuddle. 
Continues to favor Daddy, though he also tends to get angrier with Daddy.  I'm more likely to get the cold shoulder for seemingly no reason.
The other day, he woke up after M had left.  He came into my room, asked where Daddy is, and told me that no, he couldn't be at the barn because Daddy's car was in the driveway!
Loves to read.  He now asks for his light to be left on at bedtime, and "sneaks" out of bed to read a book for a little while.  He's so proud of himself now that this little thing is now parent sanctioned.
Continues to love, play with, and protect his brother.  He's the first to let us know where there's a poopy diaper, when E has "taken a couple steps," and even picks E up to get him on the couch.
Loves Batman, Mickey Mouse, and Buzz Lightyear.
Grew two inches since January.
Lies.
Plays the "Mommy, can I....," asking Daddy the same question when Mommy says no.
LOVES Roller coasters
Follows our conversations and asks questions (usually about small details), though he doesn't quite get what's going on.
Can have an actual, grown-up, conversation.
Loves his sports teams, but doesn't know why.
Everything is a competition--first to be down the stairs, "I won the milk race," etc.
Is incredibly independent; we can give him real responsibilities.  His favorites include feeding the cats and getting the mail.
Continues to be sort of timid.  Things scare him more than they do (some) other kids his age.  Water in the face is a big one, and at Disney, bugs and spiders freaked him out.
Recently, eating has been a problem.  On our trip to Disney, the food selections made it so that he ate pretty much nothing but mac and cheese, cheeseburgers, and... that's about it.  At dinner, he'll "try" the dinner we're all having and say he doesn't like it.  Huge power struggle. 
Can be really easy or really difficult to get into the pool for swimming class.
Adores Mitten, but runs hot and cold toward Catcher.
Loves to ask about when he was a baby.  I hear often, "When I was a baby *I* did/had that..." even if he didn't.

I just can't get enough of this kiddo.  He frustrates the hell out of me, makes me laugh, warms my heart, worries me, and is such a joy to know.

Monday, August 8, 2011

What a week!

Of course, the big thing this week was A's fourth birthday!  He had a great day, celebrating with his friends and family, since his birthday fell on party day this year.  Of course, all those photos are on my laptop, which is currently inaccessible, so hopefully I'll remember to add them.

We did not, however, take A to a baseball game on or near his birthday, as has happened the past three years (Phillies game the day after his 1st birthday party, Mets game on his second birthday, and a Somerset Patriots [minor league] game on his birthday with Grammi and Grampy last year).  Instead, we took our first family vacation, with Grammi and Grampy, to Disney World!

We didn't tell him until we got there where we were going, though he was very excited to "Go on vacation," an actual destination to his mind.



So he was a little slow to react, but he got it eventually...

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Waiting for our first bus, from the hotel to the Magic Kingdom!

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A refused to take a picture here.  E didn't complain at all.

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A refused to take a picture with Snow White.  E didn't complain one bit.

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Momma wasn't feeling hot, so E and I played in the gift shop.  These were the only ears he smiled for, and happened to be the ears his brother picked out too.

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Ya have to do the teacups!  Except when one parent has vertigo and the other is feeling nauseated.  So, how excellent that Grampy was there to go with!

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Ya can't miss the Dumbo ride either!

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Or Winnie the Pooh, formerly known as Mr Toad's Wild Ride.

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Everyone loves It's a Small World, even two sleepy looking boys....

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...and Grandparents!

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A absolutely loved the parades.  We saw this parade at least twice, just by luck of walking by at the right time.  

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I wish I'd be able to get video of A's calling "Mickey!" every time he saw him close like this.  I hope I remember it forever.

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E was being a little darling, while A refused to smile for MOMMY'S camera.

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We returned to the Magic Kingdom after naptime, and A REQUESTED a picture here.  Silly kid.  At least this time, they had their mouse ears, making a far cuter picture!

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We rode the People Movers while Grampy and Daddy rode Space Mountain (they'd gotten the Fast Pass while I was feeling nauseous, which is the only reason this roller coaster fan didn't go too).

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Waiting for the Electric Light Parade.  We waited, and waited.  There was lightning and rain (thank goodness for our trip to Walmart to pick up cheap ponchos!), and once it got to be half hour after the time it was supposed to start, we decided to come back another day.

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Day 2, we went to Animal Kingdom.  I took this one soon after my beesting, which allowed me to be the absolute first non employee into the park.  Granted, I was walking to and from First Aid, but it was still cool to walk through a completely empty park!

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Three-D glasses at A Bug's Life, a show for which A lasted approximately three minutes before screaming and asking to leave.  I have a very similar picture of his daddy from our honeymoon.

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Now that's one close giraffe!

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Brushing a goat at Rafiki's Earth Watch.

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I forced my child to take a picture with Jiminy.  I'm so glad I did, though, because I think this is what caused him to fully embrace pictures with characters.   After this picture, he was willing to take pictures with everyone we encountered.

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Our hotel, despite not being owned by Disney, did a character dinner.  A completely freaked out, and loved that Pluto and Goofy came right to him.

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 Grammi LOVED seeing Goofy!

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After dinner, we went to Epcot to see the fireworks.  Our hotel was ideally located so we could walk to Epcot or even take a boat ride there.  This worked out great because we didn't have to worry as much about the boys falling asleep, waking up for the bus ride, and having the ride disrupt things.  They loved the fireworks show so much, though, that they both stayed awake until we got back to the hotel.

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A looked at the maps on our first day in Orlando, and was really excited to see the big blue hat at Hollywood Studios.

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A's favorite tv show, after Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, of course, Jake and the Neverland Pirates!

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E slept through this entire ride.  Nevertheless, M got the best score of A/me, Grammi, Grampy, and M!

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A LOVED this show, Disney Junior Live!  I did too; it was all his favorite Disney Channel shows come to life--Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Handy Manny, and Little Einsteins.  (He hasn't watched Little Einsteins in MONTHS, maybe years, and yet asked for it this morning--what an impact seeing them live has had on him!)



At :32, you can sort of hear A call out "Mickey!" 

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Back to the parade! I love this picture.  The joy on his face, the tenderness Grammi has for him.  I wish it'd been snapped with my much clearer camera than my cell phone, but at least I have it!

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We learned that A is now tall enough to go on some "adult" rides, so we took him on his first grownup roller coaster, Big Thunder Mountain!

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Hands up, kiddo, here we go!

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He came, he saw, he conquered... he wouldn't pose for a picture.

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But was totally up for it here!

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After the problem with all the 3-d shows, we were hesitant to take him on some rides we'd planned to do. Yet, Pirates of the Caribbean had such a short wait, and A had been begging to go on rides, so we decided to go for it. We talked it up a bunch, and taught him the song, which I think was a major factor in his enjoyment. E was not happy with the short drop at the beginning as well as the darkness, but A was all about it.



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Grammi and Grampy treated us to ice cream before the Electric Light Parade, and E stole my cone, which he used as a megaphone.

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A got a treat for the parade.

Both boys were enthralled by the parade. E was so sleepy but just couldn't take his eyes off everything. A enjoyed it as well, and I was concerned that it had been too built up since we couldn't see it two nights before, but he just loved it.

The last day we were in Florida, we headed to Sea World. I was shocked to see so many thrill rides there, though we didn't go for any rides at all. Again, both boys totally loved it; despite his anxieties over sharks, A went through the exhibit, and by all accounts, enjoyed it. E LOVED the shark exhibit, pointing, clapping, and laughing!

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We had such a fun time, and A is already asking when we can go back to Disney.  Thank you bunches to wonderful G&G for treating us and all the help with the kidlets!