Where do I begin??? Our itinerary? Our hotel? The memories? Recommendations? Guess I'll start from the beginning:
Mati Claire and Mattox's first plane trip! Direct flight on Southwest is awesome! 1 1/2 hr flight! Yes, mattox will kill me one day for forcing him to ride around in a pink stroller. The blue one was just too big for this trip. People ask about their clothes - so I'll comment after each outfit pic. Also, either my computer or Blogger is being slow so I'm only posting my absolute favorite pics (out of a million).
Arrived Monday afternoon too late to go to any park. We stayed at the Treehouse Villas of Saratoga Springs Resort. Loved. BUT would not stay there again. They failed to mention when I booked it, that you had to catch TWO buses...which can take up to an hour or more altogether. I felt like we spent more time on buses than we probably should have (had we stayed somewhere else). But we had total privacy, no neighbors above or below or beside us. No one to hear Mattox screaming because he had to sleep in a pack-n-play. 2 steps away from the bus stop. Full size fridge, washer/dryer, dishwasher, you name it. So totally worth it.
Had dinner at Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary. Found out early that Mattox was not a fan of the celebrities. ha! bless his heart. He liked looking at them from a distance...
Tuesday at Magic Kingdom!!! I would highly recommend making a breakfast reservation at 9:00 (or anytime before 9:15) because they let you into the park EARLY! So while the herds of people are standing at the gate - you get to walk through a gate for special people. While you are walking to your restaurant, you get to take pictures with NO ONE else around you! Except maybe the 3 other people who also have reservations. So we got pics of us and the castle with no crowd. Worth it! Course MC was overwhelmed.... but loved it. Such a girly girl.
Cinderella's Royal Castle Character Breakfast. Princess heaven. I think we probably could have gone home after this meeting. She was done. She met Cinderella and we were done. Food was ok.
Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. I'm 50/50 on this. MC got to pick out which hairstyle she wanted, which crown, makeup, face stickers, nail polish, etc... so I'm happy that she's happy. Personally, I didn't like this look on her and paid $$ for it, but she thought she looked like a princess. I loved that she loved it. She had the first major meltdown during this. ha! the first of many to come!
(Bibbity Bobbity Boutique)
Wednesday at Animal Kingdom!!! Nobody in my family had ever been here before. So it was new to all of us. Again, 9:00 breakfasts are soooo worth it! Got through the gate around 8:30 and spent time checking everything out. We were a little skeptical --- if you were judging a book by its cover. But our absolute FAVORITE character meal was Donald's Safari at the Tusker House. Best food the whole week. And great variety. Rode the safari which was a hit with my kids. Lion King show was awesome! Played around there for most of the day.
We knew it was going to rain later in the week so we tried to push our "must-do's". Matt changed up my schedule I had planned. So we left Animal Kingdom and went to Hollywood Studios for the rest of the day.
Let me tell you that Mattox was asleep the whole trip until we got to TOY STORY mania. man oh man did he come alive when he saw Woody and Buzz! For him, it doesn't get any better than that!
(never seen mattox so happy in his entire life)
Thursday was our day off! sort of. When we booked this trip a year ago, Matt wanted a day off from everything so it felt more like a relaxing vacation. In other words he wanted to play golf = get away from the kids. So we slept late. Mom and I took them back to Magic Kingdom while the boys played golf. Both kids were exhausted by this point and we struggled all day. I caught some upper respiratory bug so I wasn't feeling well (fever, chills, aches, sinus drainage, sore throat). We were all tired but pressed on!
Friday was our last day and it rained! No worries - just wore ponchos. Made it a little harder to do stuff. Had breakfast at the Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom. Then we made our way to Epcot for dinner at the Princess Storybook Dinner at Ackershus (sp?) at Norway. Only place I would not recommend. The food was not that good. But again, MC loved the princesses. My love is her love. [Anyone hearing that Whitney Houston song playing in your head now? ha.]
Can't really see their outfits here but gotta love some TrendiTots.
"Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween"... hmmm.... overall I would NOT recommend this to anyone with small children. Sorry. Hope I didn't disappoint anyone. Maybe we got there too late after dinner, but this was not a hit with my kids AT ALL. They hated every minute of it. Very cool for adults and older kids; but it was scary for small children. The castle was lit up in scary colors and had smoke coming from every turret. Scary music playing overhead. There was a parade of villains (Ursula, Jafar, Scar, the hyenas, Evil Queen, Stepmother/sisters, etc...) And every person there was dressed pretty scary/ugly. There were some funny and cool costumes, but of course my kids only saw the scary ones. We decided to go hunt down the candy.. Exactly! We had to HUNT for the candy. Practically beg for it. Only found 3 places passing out candy in the entire Magic Kingdom! While we were hunting, we went into the Saloon in Frontierland. To our surprise, Woody and Jessie were dancing inside. We got to dance with them - very cool. And it was not crowded at all. That was the best part of the night. We moved on and thought they would enjoy the fireworks - WRONG again! Fireworks scare the mess out of little kids. Thought it was just my kids - but every kid around us was screaming and crying!!!! Mattox kept his head buried in his stroller. We paid almost $70/each for those tickets and were only there 1 hour. And Mati Claire's vision of Cinderella's Castle is seriously disturbed now. She kept asking what was wrong with Cinderella's castle? was it on fire? was someone attacking it? was Cinderella ok?...
Here is my absolute FAVORITE picture of the whole week though. Considering how bad he cried when he saw most of the characters, this is priceless. He finally warmed up to them on the LAST day at breakfast:
(butterfly kisses make me want to cry)
And we left Saturday morning. So sad. There are hundreds of more pics with every ride and every character that each have a different story - but these are my faves. Mati Claire did NOT want to go home. I'm glad to be home. Can't wait to take them again (when they are much older)! and when everyone is potty-trained. ;)
I have to admit. Mati Claire makes my heart skip a beat. And Mattox just melts it. How cute are they?? This was the annual Halloween kids party. For the first time in 5 years, I think every child in the group photo cooperated as well as they could. They'rrrrre gggrrrrrreat! Mattox played his part of the cowardly lion well!! I tease. He's so bashful. I can. not. believe. he sat still for this pic. No meltdowns, no drama, just a fun-filled party! We are surprising Mati Claire with our trip to DisneyWorld this week. So I will be posting when we get back. Can't wait to see her face!!!!!!!!
Maybe I'm getting old...or maybe I'm just emotional lately. Sorry, I have to get this emotional surge out. Everytime I see my one of my kids' faces, I immediately picture their face when they were just a few months old. I imagine what her hair used to look like thinking it would NEVER change... and look at it now. I didn't think he would EVER stop crying... and well, he stops every now and then ;) She gives me a certain look, and I immediately recognize and remember it staring back at me when I was nursing her: chipmunk cheeks and M&M eyes. They are growing up way too fast. I can barely hold mati claire anymore. and mattox went from 7 lbs to 27 lbs in no time. I'm just sad... my baby is well on his way to turning 2... my other baby starts kindegarten next year and keeps talking about how her teeth will fall out when she turns 6. Neither of them are what I ever expected.. they are way better!!!!
For instance, I never expected [this story for those of you not on FB]: I decided to deliver our neighbors' mail the other day that we mistakenly received. Mattox was taking a nap upstairs. Mati Claire was content sitting in the living room watching MickeyMouse. I didn't want to walk through the grass, so I sort of took the long way around. Was about halfway there, when I hear MC yelling 'wait for me, mommy!' I turn around, and see this 4 year old pig-tailed NAKED little girl running towards me! Can't you just see the hair bouncing and blowing in the breeze? Whatever you are imagining right now, you are correct. So I scream, "MATI CLAIRE!! You don't have any clothes on!!" And she looks at me very seriously and pauses....... and says, "... but I have shoes on mom." And she knew she couldn't go outside without shoes on. Now, if that had been Mattox, I probably would not have even looked back...much less been absolutely shocked! Why was she naked? no idea. And no, she was fully clothed when I left. So to be honest, I'm not sure which one of my kids will get arrested first for streaking or public indecent exposure. Hopefully the shock wears off by then.
They are VERY different (more than they are very alike). The other day we were walking in the door. There was a ball in the floor that was in our way. I noticed MC walked around it, and mattox walked over it. MC likes vegetables, Mattox likes fruit. MC doesn't care for dirt, Mattox thrives on it. MC is not a touchy-feely person, Mattox wants you to hold him constantly. MC understands after 1 or 2 times of telling her 'no', Mattox will never understand. MC doesn't care to read (just likes the attention), but Mattox loves to read. I can't think of 1 thing MC ever broke, and Mattox, well... just call him the destroyer.
It's okay though. All that huggin' and kissin' he gives me makes up for it. ;)
I was going to do another pharmacy rant --- but I digress. Think I'll do a 'mommy needs a break' rant instead. Here's how my day went... boring but to a stay at home mom - its constant:
7:00am Shot out of bed (late) to the sounds of both kids screaming through the monitor
7:10am Pull Mati Claire out of bed whining that she "misses her bed" already.
7:20am Drag Mati Claire to the closet to let her choose 1 of 2 or 3 outfits I pre-laid out night before. She wants none of the above and would like to wear her pajamas to school. I place her on potty kicking and screaming because after almost 12 hours of sleep - she claims she still does not have to go potty.
I finally get her dressed and teeth brushed to much despair. And hair. Still haven't gone potty yet.
7:30am Change Mattox's disgusting diaper, fix both kids warm - not cold- milk. Heaven forbid they drink cold or even room temp milk. Force them to eat Nutrigrain of their choice. Again, heaven forbid they actually eat any "normal" breakfast food. Or even food in general... any food would be nice.
7:45am I unexpectedly volunteer to take MC to school with our neighbor, Jack (Carly has been taking MC to school for me the last few weeks - I have such sweet neighbors!) As I'm proposing to take them to school, I realize I am still in pajamas, glasses, haven't brushed my teeth, and I need to be walking out the door. No shower, no contacts, managed to get dressed and brush teeth and find a car seat. Unfortunately Jack had to ride in the pink car seat. He informs me on the way to school that his "favorite color is NOT pink." Note to self: unbox the new RED seat for Mattox that is sitting in the garage.
8:15am Drop kids off at school. But I have to be THAT mommy, and tell the teacher that we discovered a recurrent allergy to baby wipes used on her face last Friday. Ugh...family pictures are in a week for Christmas cards. Please go away rash please go away rash.
8:30am Stop and get gas or I won't make it home...back at home, I attempt to put myself together better. Work on laundry, clean up the kitchen from the night before, talk to Matt for a few minutes before he goes to sleep, catch up on email, work on Bible Study homework, look at my preplanned menu for the week and decide I really don't feel like eating chicken tonight...i feel like tacos. All of that takes up time until...
11:15am Mattox falls asleep in the car on the way to pick up sista. uh-oh. big mistake. huge.
11:25am Wait in line... yes it rained... so the pick up line is l.o.n.g.
11:45am Get home, fix lunch for everyone, and SUPRISE! No one wants to eat except me. Really? where do these people come from? what. is wrong. with eating? you. must. eat. to. survive, my child. ok. i give up. they can go to bed hungry. i mentally can't argue anymore with food.
12:15pm I make Mati Claire take a nap because she has ballet today. Only took 4 times threatening her to make her stop talking to herself. Mattox on the other hand who usually still naps pretty good - got a good 15 minutes in the car earlier, so he's good for the rest of the day. No nap for him. He fussed in the crib for an hour - but that is normally my time to get more stuff done.
1:30pm Sweep the crumbs and food off the kitchen floor for the 3rd time today.
1:35pm work on another load of laundry...work on another load of dishes...browse internet for coordinating outfits for our upcoming family pic...
2:45pm oh dear heavens...i have to wake mati claire up AGAIN. so i ddddrrrrrraaaaggggg her out of bed again to get dressed for ballet. she is prevented from getting dressed because she can't move past the mosquito bites on her leg. perhaps if she took my advice and actually slept UNDER the sheets, that MIGHT not have happened. just a thought though. maybe so. WHY do kids not listen to their parents? Really. Would we steer them wrong? No, we love them too much. But still...
3:15pm ballet time. she usually enjoys this so I don't catch too much trouble from her. mattox on the other hand is bored out of his mind. I can't wait in the waiting room anymore because it wouldn't still be standing afterwards. so I say a quick prayer to thank God for car dvd players. plus he's strapped down to his car seat so he can't do too much damage.
4:30pm Start getting dinner ready... clean up after Mattox pulls a glass root beer bottle out of fridge, shakes it, and drops it. It sprays everywhere... clean some more because the floor is sticky. clean again, because the floor is still sticky. And I clean it again. meanwhile, he pulls the garbage can over. give Mati Claire her bath early in an attempt to go to bed early and get a headstart on our evening rituals. I see her sitting in yellow water...hm... gross, mati claire. drain tub out and start over. Mattox starts to throw every toy he owns into the bathtub as well. Even books. I spend more time just drying non-bath-toys. WHEN will he learn? WHEN I say!! While I'm doing that, he proceeds to break a beaded toy princess necklace in MC's room...about 50 tiny little beads go EVERYWHERE! gotta love toddlers.
5:30pm Cook dinner...
6:05pm Matt appears out of his man cave. Ahh...a sit down family dinner...even if it is tacos. I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I sit down to eat, get up because MC wants a fork - not a spoon. I get up again because I forgot napkins. I take 1 bite. Mattox is screaming because he's through with his dinner already. So I clean him up, pick up the food off the floor, now MC is through with her dinner. So I take 1 more cold bite. Phone rings. My family has yet to understand the 1 hour time change after living there for several years. So I eat while I talk. Gross I know. Matt makes his way back to the cave to get ready for work.
7:00pm I give Mattox his bath. Diaper change, brush teeth, new pajamas, get his bedtime milk, read a book, rock for a few minutes, and put him down to sleep...on a good night.
7:30pm I clean up the kitchen...for the 1000th time today. dishes for like the 3rd time today. Oh and then i get to finish eating my dinner.
8:00pm Realized I haven't gone to the bathroom all day... would be nice to go alone.
8:05pm Start Mati Claire's nighttime ritual. PJ's, brush teeth, clean up her room, read a book, rock for an extended period of time, say prayers, lay out clothes for next day (which she likes to help), clean out her sink because she's been playing with the toothpaste again, clean the toilet because apparently she's been watching too many boys go tee-tee at school and thought she could tee-tee like them. This is usually about the time of her meltdown.
8:45pm Exit Mati Claire's room (hopefully for the last time).
9:46pm Ahh...maybe I can watch a few minutes of tv. or watch something I had to record from last week. oh wait, the dryer just buzzed at me...go finish laundry. and iron her field trip tshirt for tomorrow. while you're at it, go ahead and iron everything in the laundry room because its been sitting there for a month waiting on "ironing day" that has yet to arrive.
10:00pm tired of ironing. watch a few minutes of the news. clinton is on the news AGAIN?? wow - we are 1 popular town lately. sinkholes. bus drivers. or maybe I should say UN-popular.
10:30pm would like to go to bed, but I never got a shower. i never read that book. i never put up the clean folded clothes. one of the kids is having a nightmare. i need to go check and make sure all the doors are locked. pick up a few of the dishes out of the kitchen b/c i hate waking up to a dirty kitchen.
11:00pm hmm..maybe i should blog to vent how tired i am.
2:30am mati claire is talking in her sleep.
4:15am mattox is yelling in his sleep because his teeth hurt.
4:59am rain and thunder woke me up
5:30am mati claire asks if the sun is up yet. she talks herself back to sleep.
7:00am wow - here we go again.
And this was a "normal" good everyone's been in a pretty decent mood day. boring, huh? Just curious - how does your day go (to other sahm's)?
And this pic has nothing to do with this post. But thought I'd share. He got to wear his new boots for the first time to Hayes' birthday party on the farm! And the next because I NEVER see them holding hands. She wanted to take him by the hand and show him all the animals! One of her sweeter moments. ;)