Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lucas is no longer a baby.......

Way back in May or June - somewhere in there - Lucas graduated Pre-K.  It was such a cute day - a fabulous little ceremony, and a very proud day for us.  My mom was able to sneak away to come, and Ethan and I ran off from school for a bit as well - so we could celebrate with our little man.  Such a special day!

Ethan had a hard time not being jealous.  His pre-k program had no such ceremony, and when you're the older kid it is hard to accept your brother doing things you didn't get to.  Thus is life.  He rallied though, and was a good big brother - very proud. 

Brian wasn't able to make it, but Lucas went through the whole process again for him at home.  He made me play the graduation march and everything.

It's hard to believe we are just a short while away from Kindergarten!!!  So crazy.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Family Camp - Catch up!!

We love Family Camp - like really really love it!  The weather wasn't as cooperative this year, but it didn't matter- we still had a great time doing all sorts of activities as a family.

 The biggest change was how much more independent the boys were- making friends with our roommates, going off to activities by themselves (though not much).  It was a lot more spectating as a parent and less participating, but that was okay by me :).
 Archery was totally the favorite this year.

 Lucas finally got to climb the climbing wall!

 Before the big canoe trip in the rain.....
I love seeing how much fun the boys have - especially Lucas.  Family Camp is totally Lucas' thing.  He loves the feeling of belonging, the kum-ba-yah of it all.  He loves all the activities he can do with us safely near.  He loves the back and forth of being close and stretching away.  I just love seeing him happy and getting so much time with the boys and Brian - uninterrupted by the regular life stuff.
I'm catching up on my blogging - I don't know how I got so far behind!  I'll be back!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 4 - Cars Land - and everything else

I was afraid it would be hard to drag the boys out of bed the next morning - being that they were up way late and it was way early - but the light sabers did the trick.  They practiced their training while we got ready for the day.
 Once again, we were there bright and early, but so was everyone else.  The crowd was overwhelming.  Everyone was heading to Radiator Springs first off.  The lines even for the Fastpass were super long.  We decided to just head there and get in line.  The whole town was straight out of the movie - so awesome!  The line was the longest we'd been in, but well worth it.  The ride was amazing.  I was a bit nerve wracked because when we sat in the car - with the boys in front - I could not see them!  I was afraid they were too scared, as it was pretty intense, but I think they may have done better without me.

 We all loved it and so Brian ran back to the Fastpass lot and picked up Fastpasses for the night (as they were almost all given out for the day!)
 We hung out some in Radiator Springs.  Lucas wanted to touch everything.  He was absolutely mesmerized - truly enveloped in the magic.

 After a bit, we decided to move on knowing that we'd be back later that evening.  We headed over to A Bug's Land - which was so cool because you truly felt like you were a teeny bug with the giant clovers looming over you!
Our first stop was the show, "Tough to be a Bug."  And it was.  The boys were terrified and overwhelmed.  Oops.  But they looked cute in their glasses.
 Bugs' Land had all sorts of cute little rides and the boys loved meeting Flik.  The boys' first room was decorated in Bugs' Life characters - so they were super excited.

 Next we headed down to Hollywood (the part of the park, not actually Hollywood) and enjoyed a few little rides and best of all - Alladin!  It was amazing.  Ethan was most taken by the Genie's comment, "I can't get anyone to fall in love with you.  Believe me.  I tried with Tayler Swift.  Apparently we are never, ever, ever, ever, ever, getting back together."
We also really enjoyed "Turtle Talk with Crush" where you get to interact with the animated Crush from Nemo.  So cool!
 The other big ride that we were excited for was Toy Story Midway Mania.  The line had been long all day, so we just decided to go for it, and the boys did fine.  40 minutes later and they loved it.  Lucas has the Wii game and loved seeing the same games he likes to play at home.
 We had to stop at Ghiradelli's - a favorite of ours - though it was incredibly messy!

 After Goofy's Sky School (which was a bit intense for the adults) - we sat and watched the Pixar Play Parade.
 Except once Lucas figured out they were spraying water, he watched from under my sweatshirt.
 We went back to Cars Land and the boys got to meet Mater!  Such a silly truck.
 Luigi's tires were a hoot - way cooler than they look from the videos!  We battled against Brian and Ethan.  There was no clear winner.
 We ate at Flo's and the food was amazing.  Though the boys were just excited about the lunch boxes.
 And the entertainment on the street!  Hi McQueen!
 We got to do the racers again, and this time I sat up front with Lucas - such a fun ride!
 It was time to say goodbye to Radiator Springs - so sad!  But we got some cool cone cups to leave with and headed down to the Pier for the World of Color Show.
 Lucas was exhausted - good thing we had the cones to keep people from stepping on him.
 The water show was amazing.  Lucas only wanted to see it for bits and pieces, and then he'd hide at my feet again.  But Ethan loved every minute.  It was a fabulous send off to our trip.
It was an amazing 4 days.  I think when you're little and you experience Disneyland, the magic is in the place.  The rides truly take you to stories far away - the details wrap you up in the moment.  As a mom, it changed. The magic was in watching my kids take it in - watching the magic through their eyes.  And though as a teenager and a young adult, the rides were the reason I was there, this time I saw it through the boys' eyes.  The magic truly is in the characters, the elaborate decorations, etc.  They transport you to a whole other world filled with wonder. It was awesome.  From our day at the beach, to our 2 days of Disney.  It was awesome.


We were all so excited.  Armed with loads of blog, word of mouth, and website tips, we were set with a plan and there ready to roll a half hour before the park opened.  Everyone was just jumping up and down (Brian and myself included).
 Our first stop was Space Mountain.  Please don't judge me for what I'm about to say.  I knew the boys would probably all hate it.  But I still decided we needed to do it first.  It's my favorite!  And I honestly thought they should at least give it a try.  Which they did.  And then they all hated me for a good half hour after.  I knew they wouldn't like it, but I didn't realize how sick it would make Brian.  Oops.  And following it up with Star Tours was probably not our best bet.  That made Brian even sicker.  Ethan loved it.  Lucas kept asking every 30 seconds if it was over yet.
 After that, we headed to some rides that I knew they'd like.  The Buzz Lightyear ride was a favorite.  They loved shooting Zurg.  I loved spinning around (though I didn't figure out I could until round 2).

 We made our way systematically through the park - basing our schedule on the next, nearest Fastpass ride and winding our way around.  The boys did all love Splash Mountain, though not getting wet.  Lucas was shaking he was so scared.  And Ethan sat in the front, so he got it pretty bad - and was not happy about that.
 Pirates was a big hit.  Lucas just kept asking, "Not real, right?  They're just robots, right?"  And he seemed to do okay as long as he could ask me that frequently.
Ethan kept talking about getting an autograph book, so we finally decided to grab one and they met a few characters.  They treasured those autographs, though I refused to stand in any long lines to get them.

 After hitting most of the big rides (the ones we were going to do anyway, as the boys had put a few off limits after the Space Mountain fiasco), we stopped for the world famous corn dogs.  Which were very good.  We also sent our Auntie Jess a birthday message from her very favorite place (Disneyland).  We'd always said we would go with them for the boys' first trip (they are their godparents), but the timing didn't work out this time.  Next time McConnels!!
 As much as the boys (Brian included) had no interest in seeing the princesses, they all really wanted to see the castle.  They loved Fantasyland - with all it's cute rides.  I think we could have spent a whole day just in there.  The funniest part was Mr. Toad - the boys had said they were driving, so we had fun teasing them when it was over that they were horrible drivers.
 We had a rule on the trip.  If you asked the boys what would happen if they bickered or didn't listen, they'd tell you, "We'll spend our whole trip at Starbucks."  It was effective.  They were awesome.  We never had to wait in any really long lines, but the few that were around 20 minutes or so were a bit trying - and they made it no problem.

 Mickey's house was awesome - mostly because it was super cute and AIR CONDITIONED.  The boys loved meeting Mickey - loved the magic in their eyes!
 It was so nice and cool in there, we went in for a second time and just turned around before the autograph part.  Lucas loved hanging out in Pluto's bed.
 Next up was the Jedi Training Academy.  I was so nervous.  They only pick some of the kids from the crowd and I knew how much the boys were wanting to be chosen.  I was literally sick to my stomach.
 But it was fine, because the head Jedi - or whatever you call him - took both boys up and suited them up.  It was so cute.  Lucas was so nervous.  Ethan, so determined.
 When Darth Vader popped up, I was sure Lucas would be running back to us.
 And then when Darth Maul ran out - I thought it was for sure over!  But he handled it fine (though he did opt out of proving to Darth Vader that he wouldn't go to the Dark Side.  I'm hoping he was just scared and not leaving his options open).
 Ethan ran right up to take on Darth Vader, who said, "The force is great with this one."
 He remembered his training and proved himself.

 At the end, they received certificates for their Jedi training and the boys were thrilled.  Beyond thrilled.
 The rides kept coming throughout the evening.  Brian can't go on any spinning rides, and it seems there are a lot of spinning rides - teacups being my favorite!
 Autopia may be my favorite from the day.  I did the gas while Ethan steered, and it was hilarious.  He could not go straight to save his life and we kept banging into the sides over and over.  We laughed so hard it hurt. I kept comparing him to Mr. Toad.  And I told him that I am resigning from teaching him how to drive.  Can't handle the stress!
 For dinner we headed back to Big Thunder Ranch for some family style barbeque and a dinner show.
 So.Much.Food.  But it was so good!  We made a good dent, and then headed out for some more fun.
 Our last ride of the day was ride #3 on Buzz.  The boys were so tired by this point, but we snuck in a last ride.  And Ethan got to level 4 with his points, so he was thrilled!
 After seeing the lines for the parking trams, we headed to Downtown Disney.  It had changed (and grown) so much in 9 years!  But our favorite, the Lego store was still there.  We were amazed at all the huge lego structures.
It was truly a magical day.  The boys crashed as soon as the car started moving - though they woke up long enough to fill Kyle and Kerry in on their day back at the condo.  They were so happy.  I don't think you could have wiped those smiles off their faces if you tried!