Monday, July 28, 2014

Our Disney Vacation (part 1)

About two years ago we told the kids that as soon as Michael was 5, we could take them to Disneyland. He turned 5 on July 7th, and the very next day we were on our way to California!

It was so fun to take them, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as enjoyable for everyone if my sister hadn’t come with us. I’m so glad she could come! She was such a giant help with the kids, even taking all of them for about 5 1/2 hours one night so that Ben and I could have a date night alone at Disneyland. She was seriously amazing with them the whole trip. We’re lucky she is such a great aunt and was willing to come!

We left on Tuesday early early morning and got into Orange County around noon. We wasted no time and immediately set off to Downtown Disney. We weren’t going in the park until the next day, but wanted to give the kids a taste of Disney as soon as we could. Plus we couldn’t check into our apartment we were renting for another 4 hours anyway. Winking smile We ate lunch at Rainforest CafĂ© and then spent the next couple hours walking around Downtown Disney. The kids enjoyed walking around and looking in some of the shops and getting excited for Disneyland the next day.




Hulk Smash!



The next day, Wednesday, we all headed off to Disneyland as soon as we could get out the door. Our apartment was literally across the street from the Disneyland Parking garage, so it was just a quick walk to the tram. It was really nice to be so close and not have to worry about parking every time we went.

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Tickets passed out and ready to go in!

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Lily is getting so grown-up! I had fun hanging out with her whenever it was just us. She surprised me by being ready and excited about some of the bigger rides, but she thought Tower of Terror was “way too scary!”

Ben and Michael’s favorite ride was Star Tours and Adam’s favorite was the Buzz Lightyear ride. Lily’s favorite was the Alice in Wonderland ride (so she says, although it was the It’s a Small World ride that she kept asking over and over to go on again – we said no) and my favorite was Space Mountain. I forgot to ask Anna what her favorite was, but I’m pretty sure I remember her saying that she really liked Pirates of the Caribbean.

We had at least one ice cream break every day. None of us were used to the heat, and ice cream is definitely the best way to cool off!



Peter did a lot of this:

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Disneyland and California Adventure have a policy where if one adult needs to stay behind with kids too little to go on the ride, then they get a special pass to go through the fast pass lane after the rest of the group comes back. Plus they can take two other people with them. It was awesome, because either Ben or I or Anna could stay behind with Peter (or Adam and Peter, since Adam was still too small for a lot of the rides), and then whoever stayed behind could take the two older kids again. So by combining that policy with using the fast passes when we could, we all spent a lot less time waiting in lines then we otherwise would have. It was nice and worked well.


Exhausted little boy after a full day at Disneyland!

Around 3:00 that first day at Disneyland, I was nursing Peter while the rest of the group was on a ride, and I lost my phone. I set it down for a couple minutes and stupidly left where I was standing. I realized what I did pretty quickly, but when I went back to where I had lain it down, it was gone. Spent about an hour looking around for it, and then Ben found it by using the Find Your Phone feature that it apparently has. Someone had actually turned it into lost and found. It was super stressful to lose it, but I was so glad we were able to find it. But we decided to leave right after we found it just cuz we were all worn out and tired. As we were picking it up from lost and found, the parade started, so we stayed for that and left after it was done. We went back home, rested for a few hours and had dinner, then went back so we could catch the fireworks.

Some pictures from the parade:

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And from the fireworks:





Sleepy boy – it was 10:00 by the time we headed back to the apartment, and he was out.

The next day we had kind of a slow start to the day and headed up to the beach right before lunch time. We had planned to spend a good half a day there, but we ended up leaving after just a few hours. It was fun, but Peter hated it and screamed the whole time he was awake. Wouldn’t nurse, wouldn’t take a bottle, and couldn’t fall asleep for a long time cuz it was too hot to be swaddled, but he really only falls asleep when he is swaddled. Hated the sun in his eyes, but hated the sunhat I brought for him, too. It was rough. That combined with Ben feeling sick after a few hours, and we decided it was better to go then try to force it to be fun, lol. The other kids did enjoy it though and were really happy we went. They had been really looking forward to it, so I was happy we could take them.

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Haha, Adam makes me laugh! Such a poser.

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It was a gorgeous beach, too bad we didn’t enjoy it more. I think we’re just not beach people. We like it in small doses! Smile

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Cute Peter back at home. Even though I dressed him in his swimsuit, he didn’t even get near the water. Maybe next time! By the way, Peter is getting so big! He’s my chubbiest baby yet, I love it!

Since this is already much too long, I’ll wrap it up for now. Part 2 coming soon!


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Summer So Far

Yay for summer!! School is out and I feel like we’ve already packed a lot of fun into our summer break, and we’ve only just started! We started off with a bang with Grandma and Grandpa Lemmon visiting. Unfortunately almost everyone got sick! We made the best of it and still really enjoyed seeing lots of family that we don’t get to see often.

Zoo fun:

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We had Katie’s family, Dave’s family, Daniel’s crew, and of course Mom and Dad over on Sunday for Peter’s baby blessing. It was pretty nice to have so many people there. It was a bummer Matt and Kayla were sick and missed the blessing.

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The gang!

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Our fam.

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We tried to get a picture of all the cousins there in cute tie-dye shirts Grandma Debbie brought for everyone. This is honestly the best picture I got. Maybe somebody else got a better one, but this is the most smiling kids in one picture that I managed to capture. Most of them looked more like this:

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Yup, not a single one smiling. LOL! We tried so hard!

Despite what it looks like in the picture above, the kids all really enjoyed seeing each other and playing together all week/weekend. It was too bad that so many kids kept taking turns getting sick, but that’s life, right? It was really nice that we were able to get together.

Other notable events: Lily finishing kindergarten and Michael finishing preschool.

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Soo cute and proud of himself. He had a blast with preschool. Made some good friends. I feel like I kind of missed out on a lot of it being pregnant and then having a newborn, but I know he was always excited to go and always had a great time.

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On the left, Lily on the last day of school, and on the right, on the first day of school. She loved her teacher and had a great year. She was incredibly social. Whenever I’d ask her about school, the only thing she’d ever talk about was what she did with her friends. When I asked her what kind of things she learned or worked on that day, it was almost always, “I don’t remember.” Her best friend from school is Indie. She absolutely loves him and often during the year commented to me “I wish Indie was my brother!” I’m glad she found such a good friend, he’s a sweet boy.

Peter is pretty good at smiling now. He’s got an adorable dimple on one side of his face and often sticks our his tongue when he smiles. He’s almost giggling when somebody tickles him. He loves to be swaddled to sleep, and is kind of falling into a routine lately. Adam gave him a candied cashew once, and he looked at Adam like it was the best thing of his entire life. (It probably was! lol) Of course I fished it out of his mouth right away, but now he loves it when people give him little tastes of whatever we’re eating. I think introducing solids to him in a few months will go really smoothly. Smile

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Hmm, not a great collage, but I don’t feel like making a decent one right now, takes too long. Anyway, here’s my Peter boy at just about 2 months old. He’s pretty awesome. He has an adorable sad face, and an even better happy face. We’re pretty obsessed with him.

Well that definitely isn’t all of our summer, but I think California and Disneyland need their own post. But I’ll leave you with a picture of my sweet Adam boy, since he deserves a bit of the spotlight, too. Smile

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Melt my heart with those deep brown eyes.