I've been completely behind on everything. As the kids are getting older and more active, I seem to spend more time cleaning and cooking with a lot less time doing things like blogging. I wish I could muster up the energy to do all those things that I'd like to do, but somehow, I seem to spend more time picking up cars and not enough doing things like showering and washing my hair much less surfing the internet for interesting things and writing about the kids. In the last few months, we've done some really fun and wonderful things like going to Disney World.
In November, Aunt Faith came for a visit. I was so excited to see someone from home that I broke down in tears picking her up at the airport. Even though I like Jacksonville, I do miss our family and friends. For Faith's birthday, we bought her ticket and promised her a trip to the Magic Kingdom. Our original plan was to take her and leave the boys with Bob's parents, but they've been in Tyler with Bob's sister for the last few months, so since our babysitters were out, the boys were in for the House of Mouse.
We decided to get up early and make the drive to Orlando on Saturday morning. Aunt Faith took a wee nap in the car. I'm pretty sure that she's not going to appreciate seeing this picture on the internet, but I find it supremely amusing.
Before Aunt Faith came, we started talking about going to Mickey Mouse's house and seeing his castle. All of the kids were pumped up (Aunt Faith included), so when we hopped in the car despite our best intentions, no one went back to sleep.
Ryan was really happy to talk about Mickey Mouse and all the things we were going to see. He also really enjoyed the small cinnamon rolls with the tasty cream cheese on top. Ryan has a sweet tooth that won't quit.
Michael is never happy to wake up on other people's terms. He maintained this grumpy look for quite a while, but once we started getting closer to the park, the Disney billboards really helped to turn that frown upside down.
We pulled in a few minutes before opening, changed the kids clothes in the parking lot, and jumped on the tram to the Magic Kingdom. The boys were very excited to ride the tram. They still talk about it two months later.
Instead of taking the monorail, we took the boat across. The boys were pretty excited to ride the boat.
So was Aunt Faith. We all spent most of the boat ride chasing the boys around. Ryan especially enjoyed climbing the stairs on the boat and trying to wiggle under the ropes keeping the crowd at bay.
We made it to the Magic Kingdom! James was a little perturbed that we didn't go immediately to the castle. He refused to enjoy the picture taking experience.
The first thirty minutes was pure torture. The kids were running around, not listening, freaking out, and I think I look a little frazzled and haggard (as well as fat) in this picture. It took a wee bit out of me. We didn't realize that James was focused on the castle like it was the holy grail. Once he got a good look, things calmed down, and we really started to have a great time.
Main Street Disney, also known as James's Speedway. Aunt Faith looks like she's about to drop Ryan, but she did a great job triplet wrangling all day.
Michael loved Disney. He still talks about all of the fun things we did there.
Little Man finally made it to his castle. FYI, Mickey Mouse lives in this castle not a princess.
Aunt Faith poses for her castle picture. It was a beautiful day, the weather was great, the lines weren't too long (at the beginning of the day), and the kids had a blast. I learned that the stroller was more of a hinderance than a help until the end of the day when the boys were about to pass out.
Our first ride of the day was the Jungle Cruise - Grandpa Newhouse's favorite. The boys didn't quite understand the whole concept of waiting in line. They were very excited about getting on the rides but not too sure about the whole concept of being trapped in a never ending maze of ropes and lines of people.Eagerly anticipating the ride.
Michael sporting his dino-saur-us shirt from Toy Story. I found the boys Disney themed shirts for the big visit.
Our Jungle boys on the cruise. The jokes are still as bad as always, but the kids loved it (even Aunt Faith). We did think that a lot of those jokes could have been told by Papa Joe.
Our next stop was Aladdin's Magic Carpet ride. Michael loved it. He cried when we got off and threw a fit. I had to explain to him that we were going to the next ride. Once he realized that getting off one ride meant getting on another, he was all in.
Ryan and Mommy enjoying a magic carpet ride. He really enjoyed pushing the button to move us up and down.
The gang takes a seat in the Tiki Room where the birds all sing and the flowers croon.
I think I need to invest in more stocks. I'm pretty sure we could keep the house a little cleaner if there were stocks in our house.
As the day progressed, my time was spent wrangling kids rather than taking pictures, especially since my camera went on the fritz. Here we are standing in line for the Fantasia movie. The boys really liked it, but Ryan was not fond of those 3D glasses. None of the kids kept them on for long, which made Bob and I realize that there is no need to spend lots of cash going to see 3D movies with the kids.
The longest line of the day was the Winnie the Pooh ride. Thankfully, they had lots of entertaining things along the way.
I think the kids would have spent hours in Pooh's house. It made me wish that the Mickey Mouse kiddie land was open. They are remodeling it, so we didn't get to tour Mickey's house or any of those fun things that are just right for our size kids.
Michael and James enjoyed moving the honey bees along. They were a little hard to keep contained in the line for Pooh, and I was definitely upset when they let a whole group of those fast pass people in front of us.
Ryan takes a minute to hang out with Daddy. I'm not sure if the ride was worth the wait, but they did enjoy it.
I love this picture of Aunt Faith. She looks so happy like she fits in with the crew from the Hundred Acre Wood.
The TEACUPS! James loved the teacups. He and Ryan spun around like two little maniacs. I would say James's favorite ride of the day was the teacups. Michael was most happy with the Country Bear Jamboree although he still talks about the Snow White ride pretty often. Ryan, by far, loved the "drive cars" ride the most.
When we got to the "drive cars" speedway, Michael rode with Aunt Faith, James rode with Daddy. James went crazy laughing every time he hit the side. Sadly Bob didn't get most of the giddiness on film.
I was with Ryan and unlike Daddy, I was able to catch his crazy laughter every time he almost knocked me out of the car.
Aunt Faith takes a slow ride with Michael on the teacups. He had about reached his limit. We were planning on me taking the kids to the hotel for a nap and returning later in the evening to see the fireworks, but they did such a good job we ended up staying until around six.
James was so excited to see the castle light up. At the beginning of all those Disney movies we watch, the boys love to watch for the train, see the castle, and then cheer for the fireworks. I'm pretty sure that if we went back today, James would still have a powerful love for the castle.
Ryan has one speed - go. He was having such a great time. He enjoyed every minute. We bought a five pack of suckers, and he ate three of them, so maybe it was a sugar high, but he was so excited by everything we did. In Tomorrowland, the boys really wanted to see Buzz Lightyear. We stood in line for a bit, but they sent Buzz on a five minute break, and we chose to leave rather than try and keep the three of them contained in a non-interesting, unmoving line.
Michael decided he was tired. After this picture, he crawled into the back chair of the stroller, kicked back, and then passed out. He missed the whole parade, but I don't think he cared.
This very bad iPhone picture is supposed to be of Aunt Faith and Baloo. At the beginning of the day, it was the one character she said she wanted a picture with. Sadly, it's not a very good picture, but Baloo is that blurry blue thing in the yellow shirt.
Here are James and Ryan fascinated by the Dancing Woody.
Bob, James and Faith Shake Their Groove Thang. Well, Faith does sort of anyway.
After the parade and street dance, we made our one souvenir purchase (I'm pretty sure thanks to our tight finances and the kids being young, this is the only time we'll ever make it out of Disney with just one souvenir). We got each of the kids mouse ears with their names on them. They occasionally wear them to ride their horse. As a kid, I always wanted mouse ears (and the trip to Disney they represented), so I made sure that our guys got them.
Once the ears were finished, the diaper were changed, and Mommy went to the bathroom, I loaded the kids into the stroller and we left Aunt Faith and Daddy to go ride the big kid rides. I was really proud of myself and the boys. We took the monorail to the parking lot, and the people in our car were extremely helpful and seemed to enjoy the kids. The boys loved the monorail, but they really liked that tram. We made it to the car, swung by McDonalds to pick up dinner and headed to the hotel. I must say that the day couldn't have gone better. They were so happy and cooperative. They listened well and had a great time. Bob always says that kids shouldn't go to amusement parks until they are 7 or 8, but I think our trip to Disney made him realize that while the boys might not remember their first trip, we will, and the pure joy and wonder on their faces made it worth the time and money.
Perhaps the thing I was most impressed by was getting us all loaded up and checked into the hotel. It was a feat of impressive proportions although I will not bore you with the details, I chalk it up to one of the most impressive things I've done with the kids.
The hotel was great. All of Bob's travel got us a nice suite with two queen beds and a rollaway. There was a table just right for three little men, a patio with a table and chairs for Bob and I to hang out in after all the kids were asleep, and a playground right outside our door. I'm pretty sure both of us thought it was a magical day. I was so happy that we got to take Faith and that she didn't mind having to share her magical day with her favorite nephews.