Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Disneyland Part 2

As I looked through my pictures of this trip, I realized that I didn't get as many as I thought I would of the boys or of all three kids together. Our group dynamic has changed a lot since we first started going. On our first trip it was four adults to three kids and over the years we have lost an adult and added four more kids. For this trip, Bek and I corralled the littlest ones while the big kids all went on the bigger rides with Uncle D. When we were all together, it was a little like herding cats and we just wanted to make sure we didn't lose anyone. The camera stayed tucked away most of the time. Either way, I came away with enough reminders of what a fantastic trip it was. We are all still talking about it and it was certainly something I couldn't have managed without our own personal fairy godmother. As always, the churros were yummy, the company was amazing and the memories are treasures. The boys are already talking about 'next time.' I'll think about that when I have recovered from the drive.
That's the plan...
Sis and cousin N waiting in line at the Princess Fair. I bought Sis a set of small Princess figurines which she carried everywhere and played with when she was bored. Best. Purchase. Ever!!
Princess Ariel, Princess Lulu, Princess N and Princess Sis.
Very shy at first...
Still not too sure. I think it mostly amazed her to see the Princesses in real life size.
On a trip several years ago, Bubba was a far more nervous kid, who happened to love Captain Hook. He would make the hook sign with his finger whenever something in the Park made him nervous because it made him feel braver. He loves to hear that story and he asked me to take this picture as a re-creation of one he and junior were in before. I look at the two and can't believe how much he has grown.
We love our cousins! Disneyland wouldn't be the same without them!!
When I first found out that Sis was a girl, my first thought was that it would be so fun to take her to see the Princesses when she was old enough. And then I was nervous that she would be a tomboy and wouldn't care. No worries though. Sis and the Princesses were one of the best parts of this particular trip. I am so glad that I was able to see her light up at Disneyland at this age. Kids this age are definitely harder to chase, but they really lose the magic the older they get. Bubba spent most of this trip reminding me that the characters were all just people in costumes (*sigh).
Moments from eating the most amazing Monte Cristos, garlic fries and Cajun sauce. I have dreams about that meal...
Dancing Cousins. These two were a huge hit with each other even though N is closer to Bubba's age.
Walking little G to Snow White's wishing well while waiting for the parade to start. She was just thrilled to be out of the stroller.
Cubby and Bubba keeping an eye out for pirates.
Junior's souvenir was an Indiana Jones set. He was brave enough to go on the Indiana Jones ride three times, which was impressive since his initial reaction when I asked what he thought was that he really liked it, but he never wanted to go on it again. Uncle D talked him into it though and by the third day, it was all he wanted to do.
'Til next time...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Disneyland Part 1

In February, I finally got to do something I have always wanted to do. I secretly planned and prepared for a Disneyland trip and didn't say anything to the kids until the morning we left. They had been at J's for a few days and I decorated the front door with their Mickey ears, lanyard and pins and a note that told them to get in the car because we were leaving for Disneyland. I can't even begin to describe how hard it was to keep it a secret. In the past, we have always made such a big deal about preparing to go with countdown paper chains, looking up the different rides on youtube and talking endlessly about what we would do when we got there. I almost spilled the beans accidently about a dozen times a day. Good thing my kids don't listen to me ;-)

I spent the month before the trip gathering things for inidividual car kits for the kids with white boards, books, dvd's and candy. I packed the car the night before and put each kids kit on their seat so we could just literally get into the car and go. I have done the solo drive to CA more than once, and while the kids have become a little easier to entertain as they have grown, they also remember how boring it is to be in the car for hours on end. I am happy to say that they were all super troopers and despite a little wooziness from Junior who was just getting over the flu, we made it to Las Vegas in record time. Unfortunately, I managed to catch Junior's bug, which hit me shortly after arriving in Vegas (fortunately). I spent an awesome night throwing up and trying to sleep in between so that I didn't drive us all off the road the next day. It is just not a night in Vegas unless someone in the family throws up. I just need to accept that :-)

I slept in the next morning and emerged shaky, but fortunately no longer puking. After we settled in the car, Junior thoughtfully rummaged around until he found an empty bag for me in case I needed it. The poor kid has thrown up in a bag in the car more than once...

Our room this time was set up with an awesome kids room. I wish I had gotten another picture, but it had Disney pictures on the walls, Disney themed bedding and a TV that showed only the Disney channel. It was a handy place to corral all the kids and their cousins during down time. The boys took turns sleeping on the top bunk and Sis did a fabulous job sleeping in the 'big girl bed' on the bottom.

We usually try to start with the Character Breakfast in the park on the first morning. Aside from being really good food, it is worth every single penny to get so many of the character meet and greets out of the way before heading out into the park. Then when we see other people waiting in long lines around the park to see a character, we can smirk inside a little and then walk on to Star Tours for the third time in a row.

Little Cousin G felt her ipod was far more entertaining than Alice, who came over to say hello...

...but the Mad Hatter got her full attention!

The seven cousins (honestly, it felt like twice as many at any given time, didn't it Bek? :-)

Lu introduces New Minnie to Vintage Minnie

My twins! They are such good buddies.

Bubba, Cubby and Junior. These three were inseperable. It was really fun to watch, especially since the combination of three usually backfires and causes fights and people feeling left out. It was perfect.

All Bubba has talked about for months is getting to fight Darth Vader like Junior did a few years ago. We were really excited that he got picked to participate in the Jedi training show and he got to be the first one to take on the dark side. After this, Cubby used his souvenir money to buy flashing light sabers for himself and my boys. He and Bubba put on a light saber show every evening on the grass in front of the hotel to the amusement of all the park guests walking by.

My princess with a churro in front of her castle. Three of my favorite things!