Sunday, March 16, 2008

What a Wonderful Trip!

I thought I better get this written before I forget what happened! We had an absolutely wonderful vacation. All of us wish we were still there. Tayler actually cried when it was about time to leave, begging to stay just one more day. It was such a great time together as a family, definitely money well spent, or I guess it will be well spent once we have it paid for.:) Both the girls were absolutely fearless with all the rides. They both rode everything they were allowed to. For Tayler that was everything, including roller coasters that went backwards, upside down, 65 miles per hour, in the dark, etc. Aubree would have loved to ride all of them, unfortunately her size wouldn’t allow it. Aubree is 39”with her tennis shoes on, and most the decent rides require a 40” requirement. You’ll notice the pony tail on top of her head for most the pictures. This gave her a little boost. I also carried some platform sandals in the backpack. When we approached the 40” rides we would take the tennis shoes off and put the platforms on. It got her on all the 40” rides, but she could barely walk in them. Dave would usually have to carry her to the front of the line.

OK. On with the rest of the trip…

Aubree woke up Friday with no fever. Davey, however, was another story. He was chilled through the night and woke with a fever Friday morning. Just like Aubree, he was a trooper. Thank God for motrin. We spent the day at Hollywood Studios, which was our least favorite of all the parks. The whole day is show after show with hardly any rides. Some families probably really enjoy this, but we were "showed" out. This was also the largest crowds we had to face. It was ESPN weekend and they were broadcasting live with professional athletes on hand. This must have brought out the massive crowd. Although Aubree wasn't tall enough to ride anything here, Tayler rode the Rock'N Roller Coaster. It was her first upside down coaster and she loved it. Aubree's highlight of the day was the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground set. We had just rented the movie before we came. I did enjoy Indiana Jones and Fantasmic, which is quite the spectacular that closes the evening.

Picture with Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable- A Favorite for Tay

Photos from Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground. Look at the size of that ant! The slide is a blade of grass.

On Saturday everyone was healthy and we had a wonderful day at Animal Kingdom. Expedition Everest was a huge hit with Dave and Tayler. It is a roller coaster staged to be on Mount Everest. Dave claims it is the best ride in all the Disney parks. My favorite was the Kilaminjaro Safari. It was unbelievable driving past all these wild animals in a natural habitat. We could practically reach out and touch elephants, cheetahs, alligators, etc. The park is absolutely beautiful. The tree of life in the middle is home to Its Tough to be a Bug 3D show- another huge hit with our family. We left the park early to go swimming back at the resort. Before we left we had to ride Dinosaur. It is an extremely scary ride in which life-size very real looking dinosaurs are after you. When we got off, Dave said he was surprised the girls weren't balling. A gentleman told me he couldn't believe my little girls rode that. He said he came out white as a ghost and would never ride it again. I came out scared for a different reason. The ride threw me all over the place. I was so scared hurt the baby. Definitely not a ride pregnant women should go on. Thank the Lord everything is fine. I didn’t ride one more ride with health warnings the rest of the trip after that episode.

When we got back from Animal Kingdom, we went swimming for a little while, but it was pretty cool. I wanted to check out Downtown Disney although we were pretty tired. Dave stayed back at the room to sleep while the girls and I headed to Downtown Disney for a little shopping. Our resort has a ferry that transports there, pretty exciting. It was so crowded when we got there, so we didn’t stay very long. It was very beautiful and the girls of course made some purchases. Aubree fell asleep on the twenty minute fairy ride back to the resort. We were all exhausted! It was quite the haul from the ferry drop off back to the room. Some how my pregnant body managed to carry Aubree all the way back. We all slept great that night.

Sunday was an absolutely beautiful day. Everyone was healthy and it was suppose to reach 80 degrees. The plan was Epcot, but Tayler desperately wanted to get back early to swim. Luckily, the crowds were small, so we rode everything we wanted with very little wait. Test Track is a roller coaster that goes from 0-65 in 2 seconds. Since there was only a 40” requirement, we let Aubree ride. This was her favorite ride in all the parks. Tayler loved Spaceship Earth. The ride is in the Epcot ball and takes you through all the stages of history and advancement. My favorite was Soarin’. It is a simulation of hand gliding over the state of California. It actually feels like you are hand gliding. The wind even blows through your hair as you go over the ocean, mountains, forest, etc. Amazing!

We had a one o’clock princess character lunch in the World Showcase country of Norway. What a great way to meet all the princesses and enjoy a great meal. After lunch Dave and I would have loved to tour World Showcase, but the girls wanted to get to the resort pool. What a great afternoon for the pool. We all had a wonderful time! That evening we went back to Epcot to ride our favorites again and eat at the Coral Reef. We sat right next to the aquarium. This was truly entertaining. We had shark, exotic fish, and divers swimming past us. One of the divers blew Tayler and Aubree a kiss. Personally, I was surprised anyone would swim with a shark, but Davey said it was no big deal. To each his own.

Monday was our last full day at Disney. The plan of attack was Magic Kingdom in the morning and swimming at the resort all afternoon. I told the girls they could each pick their four favorite rides. Davey thought eight rides sounded like a full day at Magic Kingdom. We actually rode all eight by one o’clock and we didn’t arrive at the park until close to ten. The picks were Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, The Haunted Mansion, Snow White’s Scary Adventure, Mickey’s Philharmagic, and Space Mountain for Tayler and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin for Aubree. This ride is a shooting/points game that I have to brag I absolutely wasted my husband on my third time through!

It was so sad to leave Magic Kingdom, but what a great afternoon at the pool. The weather was perfect. We were forced to leave the main pool after an hour because someone had an “accident” in the pool. We did find a smaller side pool. The girls enjoyed swimming lessons from dad, while I enjoyed my book all afternoon. What a great way to end a vacation. There were plenty of tears when it was time to leave. There was also threats to tear up our plane tickets so we would have to stay.:) This is definitely a vacation we will be taking again, maybe when baby brother is 2 and a ½.

Port Orleans Riverside Resort

Thursday, February 28, 2008

"Disney World is Not Very Much Fun."

“Disney World is not very much fun” was Tayler’s comment during the midst of a not too enjoyable first day. The not very much fun began when our plane was forced to hover over Orlando for an hour because the airport was closed due to storms. When we finally landed we only had two hours to catch the bus to our resort, check in, catch a bus to Epcot, and get to Japan for our 7:30 dinner reservation. It was 7:30 before we finally entered the bus to take us to Epcot. Tayler’s suggestion was, “Why don’t want we just order room service?” Oh, I should have listened to her after our long day of traveling.

By the time we reached Epcot it was absolutely pouring rain. People were flying out of the park to get out of the rain, but not us. We were going to make that reservation no matter how late we were going to be! Mom came prepared and had ponchos for everyone. Unfortunately, the ponchos stop around the knees. It didn’t take long to completely soak the lower legs, shoes, and socks. Tayler asked multiple times during our trek to stop to dump the water out of her shoes and she asked multiple times to turn around and go back to the hotel for room service. I actually heard one of the masses coming out of the park ask, “Where are those people going?” Good question! Mom had her plan and it couldn’t be thwarted. Hey, I had already paid for us to visit the park that day.

Epcot is expansive, twice the size of Magic Kingdom. As we walked that thought kept coming to mind, especially since Japan, where we were suppose to eat dinner, is on the very far end of the park. We couldn’t have picked a further away point if we had tried. I knew we only had to make it half way because once we got to that halfway point they had ferries that would take us across Future World to Japan. I had done my research! We finally made it to our halfway point absolutely drenched, but guess what? Ferries stopped running at 7:20! That was not mentioned in the books I read! Now what do we do? We had already walked a good 15 minutes in the rainstorm. It had been probably 45 minutes since we left the hotel. We couldn’t turn back now. Another fifteen minute walk around Future World in the downpour with exhausted kids would put us there. Toward the end of our trek Tayler had a revelation, “Disney World is not very much fun.” Almost immediately the tears began to well in my eyes. What am I doing to my family! Fortunately her comment came only minutes before we entered Japan. They got us a table almost immediately-probably because everyone else fled the park because of the rainstorm! The girls, though cold, enjoyed the chefs preparing the food in front of them and eating with chopsticks. By the time we left the restaurant, the rain had stopped. We began our thirty minute walk back to wait for the buses.

We reached the resort around 10:30 completely exhausted. The girls crashed as soon as their heads hit the pillow, but it didn’t last long for Aubree. She started coughing fits shortly after falling asleep. Within the hour she started throwing up. The vomiting lasted close to an hour. Of all nights, why tonight! Not the way I planned our Disney Vacation! Thus, the end of day 1.

The girls at the completion of Day 1.

Day 2 Aubree woke with a low grade fever of 100.2. I figured I could pick up some motrin at the gift shop and she’d make it. She’s such a trooper. She was actually the first one up wanting to head to Magic Kingdom. I didn’t help redeem myself from the previous night by accidentally getting on the bus to MGM instead of Magic Kingdom! We had to go to MGM, then the ticket transport center, then take a monorail to Magic Kingdom. It took us about an hour to finally make it. At this point, Mom’s 0 for 2.

It was so cold when we left the resort. We actually ended up wearing our clothes that we were suppose to travel home in, plus the heaviest sweatshirt we could find. The entire day was windy, cold, and I don’t remember seeing the sun all day. Tuesday they saw 82 in Orlando. Our first full day was going to be lucky to reach 55. On the plus side, it kept the crowds small. Our longest wait was around 20 minutes. The girls rode their favorites a few times. They had a blast. We kept rotating the tylenol and motrin for Aubree. Without knowing her, you wouldn’t have been able to tell she was sick. The favorites of the day were Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Mickey’s Philharmagic. The first is a roller coaster that we pretty much had to sneak Aubree on. She doesn’t quite make the 40 in. requirement, but of course she wants to ride everything. The second is a 3D show with most the Disney characters. We have now seen this one three times. We waited until the parked closed, so we were able to view the Wishes fireworks display over Cinderella’s castle. We ended up back at the resort around 9:00. Day two ended a success!

Tayler actually rode Cinderella's horse and Aubree got to ride Prince Charming's horse on Cinderella's Carosel. They must have a keen eye.

The pictures of Aubree only got sadder from here. From the pictures, she didn't do very well the second half of the day.:(

Day 3 began with Aubree waking in the middle of the night with a 102.3 fever. I was thankful I’d already purchased the motrin. When she woke around 7 in the morning, the fever was gone. Once again she was a trooper all day and rotating the medicine kept the fever away. We went back to the Magic Kingdom for another full day. Dave and Tayler rode Space Mountain and Splash Mountain while Aubree and I were able to enjoy Astro Orbiter and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. This was also Dave’s favorite because it is a shooting game in which each gun keeps score. Of course, he beat us all. We also went back to tour the favorites and enjoyed the afternoon parade. Another favorite of the girls is Haunted Mansion. This surprised Dave and me since they are afraid to even go upstairs at home by themselves.

Although it only reached 60 degrees, the sun shone all day. What a difference that makes! The nicer weather must have brought out bigger crowds. I’d say there were at least twice as many people there today and the waits were a lot longer. Dave and I agreed we’d rather have the cold weather without crowds, but I definitely loved the sun. It was another successful day and we’re ready to retire for the night. It will be off to MGM in the morning. I know what bus to take.

The "Cinderella" face paint

The "Wishes" face paint

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It's a boy!

We're so excited to let everyone know that last Thursday (Valentine's Day) we had an ultrasound. According to the ultrasound tech, it clearly revealed a boy. I had a hard time making it all out, but she's sure. I wanted to know her record. I guess she's only been wrong once in eight years and since then won't tell anyone unless she's positive. She said she'd painting blue.

Tayler took a little time to come around, but now she's excited. Originally she was hoping for a baby brother, but a couple weeks ago she had a revelation. She decided she wanted to have a sister instead because she didn't want to have to look at that boy part. Her sulking ended when she and Aubree decided they wanted to do brother's room in a jungle theme. Sounds good to me. Then the other night at dinner she thanked God for her new baby brother.:)

Dave's definitely excited though he doesn't show it much. It seems like everyone I called and told about having a boy had the first response of, "What did Dave say, feel, etc?" He says he's happy but never could have been disappointed with another precious little girl. I'll have to agree with that.

Now the name search will begin. We didn't want to start the stress before knowing what we were having. Why do double the work? If anyone has any suggestions, we'd love to hear them. Girl names are so much easier!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

45 Degree & Lovin' It!

I hear they cancel recess in Texas for this kind of weather but for a Des Moines winter these are our favorite days. At 45 degrees the snow was starting to melt making it perfect for snowballs and building a snowman. The girls had a blast and Scooter loved rolling around in the melting snow, basking in the sun. Tayler also made her and Aubree a throne to relax on. Of course, Dad couldn't resist throwing a snowball at her while she was trying to relax. Hopefully a few more days this winter will be this gorgeous! (I will have to give those Texans the benefit of the doubt. I can't stand being outdoors in Texas in August, but they act like its nothing!)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Finally-An Update

OK. I haven't post anything in almost 4 months now. It's time to get back on track. Well, we'll see. A lot has happened around here in the last 4 months. We're expecting our third child, due July 12th. I have been extremely sick, but praise the Lord the last week I have been doing much better. Not that that is a very good excuse for not blogging, but it is at least an excuse. This week I finally started back to work again. I am so excited to be feeling better!

Dave has been extremely busy taking care of me, the house, and the girls. He's been taking them to school each day and making all the meals. What a good man! I am so thankful to have him. I know he's glad I've started feeling better.:) When he was on a business trip last week, I made dinner for my family. As I thought about it, I realized it was the first meal I had made in probably 3 months. Tayler wasn't too excited about it though, she said she didn't want to eat anything if she couldn't see the picture on the box! I guess that speaks for our cooking or lack there of!

The girls are also excited about the upcoming baby. When we told them Tayler's draw dropped to the ground. She has been making pictures for and of the baby at school. She also loves to share the news. When Aubree found out about the pregnancy, her first comment was, "Can I hold the baby while I'm standing up?" OK. That's scarey. Although Tayler always likes to talk about the baby, Aubree's new obsession is moving to a farm. I don't know what it is, but almost every day she asks if we and when we will move to a barn. Tayler has decided she wants a break from taekwondo and has started gymnastics instead. Right now they're both loving it, but I suspect we'll be back to taekwondo eventually.

I enjoy reading all my friends and relatives blogs and hope to stay more on top of it from here on out. I spent my open house today catching myself up on their blogs and it was motivation to me. Thanks!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sea World Pictures for the Girls

This made me excited for the Sea World we'll go to when we visit Disney World. You'll see all the mammals in the pictures Mommy took.

Trainer balancing on Shamu's snout

Shamu jumping out of the water

Walrus and Sea Lion Show

Shamu and Trainer


Walrus and Sea Lion Show

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My San Diego Trip - Pictures from Hotel Del Coronado

I won a trip through Coldwell Banker to Hotel Del Coronado in California. I have been here since Monday the 24th and will be returning home Friday the 28th. I'm here without the girls and Dave. I'm having a very relaxing time, but I definitely miss my family!

Hotel Del Coronado

This picture was taken from the balcony off my room. I have a full ocean view. It's awesome!

Kyle and Karen in front of the ocean