Thursday, November 17, 2016

Halloween Festivities 2016

This year we started celebrating Halloween early by going to Disney World. By the time we returned, we were in full Fall/Halloween mode!

We kicked off the season with Z's school carnival, which is a huge, kindof overwhelming event, but it was fun. Last year, it seemed Lu picked up strep there that led to her stay at Children's Hospital, and this year while we avoided that, it does seem something there (either the hay or the dirt from the field) triggered her asthma.

So, a visit to the asthma and allergy specialist (where we got our own nebulizer) and many home breathing treatments later and we were on the mend. Thankfully, she didn't feel bad. In fact, the hardest part was trying to pin her down for her breathing treatments!

Saturday, Nick volunteered at Boo at the Zoo, so my parents came over to hang out with Lu (she didn't really need to be outside for a couple of days while she was recovering) and I took Z to it. It was crazy crowded, but we squeezed in some fun and lots of candy while we were there.

Monday night was Halloween, so we came home, ate a quick dinner, and headed out. It was pretty low-key (I think we got out a little later than everyone else), but we had fun trick or treating in the neighborhood. Afterwards, we got some ice cream from CFA, and went home to start the best part, sorting!

 I hate to harp on last year, but it was just such a bust! Lu was sick and it POURED down rain on Halloween. We were determined to have a better Halloween, and with everyone feeling a better and the Alabama drought in full effect, I'm thankful to report that I think we definitely did!

Last year, we really wanted to check out the Day of the Dead festival, but didn't get to (it was still raining and Lu was still sick). This year, even though it fell on a Wednesday, we made it happen. And we were so glad we did! It was lots of fun and a great cultural experience!

They had crafts for the kids, great costumes and face painting, a whole section of altars, music, dancing, great food, and yummy treats! I really can't say enough great things about it. I hope we get to make it a tradition!

That concluded the Halloween festivities! Next up, Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Disney, Part 3

The next morning, we headed to the Polynesian for Ohana, breakfast with Lilo and Stitch! Z and Lu LOVE Lilo and Stitch, and Lu had her brand new Stitch (purchased during the hurricane) ready to show them!

Despite the fact I had NO VOICE (I mean none), I had a great time and the food was super yummy! Side note: the kids were freaked out about my losing my voice, and Lu kept waving her wand (not the Snow White wand, I never caved on that one, but the one they give her at the Princess breakfast) and saying "Bippity Boppity Boo, give Mama her voice back!" Haha, didn't work, but it got a little better by the middle of the day or so.

The food and view were amazing, and the characters were great, of course.

Stitch even pretended to run off with Lu's stuffed animal stitch. It was too cute!

Monday was our Epcot day. I think Epcot doesn't get enough credit. Of course, the fact the the food and wine festival was going on helped our feelings towards it tremendously. We sampled food from Greece, France, Morocco, Japan, Korea, and Germany (give or take), and it was all really good! The weather was gorgeous, it was a little slower paced and just perfect!

We headed to the store in the Japan area for, you guessed it, Pokemon! Between the Pokemon, Hello Kitty, and gaming paraphernalia, Japan was the place to be! After a little shopping, we took the kids over to the cafeteria type place, because the international food was not speaking to them like it was to us, haha!


After lunch, we had a fast pass for Frozen Ever After, which had not one but two fun drops in it, so the boys were actually pleasantly surprised that the "girl ride" was really fun!


The wait to meet Anna and Elsa wasn't terrible, and Lu didn't get to see them last time we went, so we decided to go for it. We ran into some citizens from Arendelle while we were waiting. They were hilarious!

 Anna and Elsa were fabulous, of course, and so worth the wait! Lu loved them, even the photo pass photographer commented about how she was looking at Elsa so adoringly!

On our way out they were doing a little muppet science show, so we stopped and checked it out.

 That night was the Not So Scary Halloween Party, so we went back to the room and rested/napped until it was time to get our seats for the parade and dinner. The kids were decked out and ready!

They trick or treated while we waited for the parade to start and had dinner. The parade was awesome! The headless horseman led, which we've had to have a few conversations about since they saw it, you know, like, it isn't real and he was just in a costume, etc. etc. 

After the parade, we went to tomorrowland and rode the people mover (during the fireworks) and joined a Monsters, Inc. dance party! Z and Lu were jamming out!

After that (or before it, I have no idea) we drove the go karts which is by far one of my favorite moments of the whole trip! Z and Nick went together and Lu and I rode together. Z called out first thing that he did NOT want to drive. To my surprise, Lu said she DID want to drive. I tried to veto, but one of the workers overheard us and said she actually can drive, so I let her! The cars are on tracks, so how bad could it be?!

Well, it was hilarious! I pressed the gas and she was in charge of the wheel, she kept saying "I'm a baaaad driver," then she'd veer off the track and the car would jerk itself back. She said "I'm a baaad driver," and "I'm such a bad driver, I have no radio!" all night long. I was laughing so hard, I thought I was going to lose it!

I'm pretty sure we rode some more rides, like Pirates and maybe It's a Small World. I do know it was another amazing (and tiring) Magic Kingdom evening after a near perfect Epcot Day!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Z's 7th Birthday Party!

The weekend before Z's actual birthday, we had his party at our house. Technically, the party was in the Game Truck in front of our house, and believe me, that was even better!

The boys played outside while we waited for the truck. To say Z was excited would surely be an understatement!

The Gametruck has a wall of gaming consoles with large screens and a long bench/couch facing them! It's air conditioned and there are 2 game coaches (plus the proprietor) keeping an eye on things. In short, it's amazing!

We also decided to have our local ice cream truck come by and set up our table with food in front of the trucks.

The boys had a great time, and were completely occupied the whole time! I had some adult food and conversation going on inside the house (hello, air conditioning!), so that was nice for my adult friends and my family. It was relatively low-key overall, and we had a great turnout! Happy birthday, Z!!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Disney, Part 2

We woke up bright and early on Day 3 and went to Hollywood Studios before it opened so we could sign the boys up for Jedi Training. The weather was gorgeous, and we were ready to make up for lost time!

After the boys secured their spots, we headed to meet Kylo Ren and Chewbacca. Lu was not feeling Kylo (obviously, super real looking and acting), but she LOVED Chewbacca. He was really friendly and made sweet Chewbacca noises (I know, great analysis, huh ;)).



Then we went on the Great American Movie ride, which is not supposed to be scary, but got to Z a bit during the Western scene when they were shooting. Real looking guns freak him out.  

Then, the boys rode Star Tours and prepared for Jedi training and the girls went to Disney Junior Live. Lu enjoyed it, but I think our Disney Junior days are numbered (tear)!

 We had to peace out of Disney Junior Live to make it in time to see the boys do their Jedi Training. I couldn't believe how much bigger Z looked this time compared to last time!

They were very serious!

The girls met Doc (I think, while the boys did Star Tours again), and we went to the Muppets 3D. 

 Attempted a reproduction of the snowman shot from 2014 (fail).

Julie magically and mysteriously got us into the Sci-fi Dine-in theater for lunch, and it was perfect! Yummy food and milkshakes, nice and cool and entertaining for the kids!

After lunch, we had a fast pass for the Buzz Lightyear ride, which is super fun!

And then, the Frozen Sing-Along, where I laughed, (maybe) cried (a little), and lost my voice, because it was my most favorite part of the day! It worked out where Nick sat with Lu, which I was sad about, but then I realized I really would've cried if I had been sitting next to her. Don't know how Disney does it, but dang they get me all the time!

The plan was to stick around for Fantasmic, well, really the plan was that we had reservations at Mama Melrose's on Friday, so we'd have prime seats for fantasmic, but we lost that with the hurricane. We decided instead of waiting around that we'd head back to rest for a bit then walk to Magic Kingdom. Seeing the castle for two days and not being able to go was slowly killing me! I needed some Magic in my life!

These guys were hanging out in front of our room when we got there!

 Then, MK in the Fall!!!


It was beautiful (and packed!), but we snuck in a few fun things, like Mickey's Philharmagic, The Haunted Mansion and the Jungle Cruise and ended up sticking around for the second to the last (ever!) Electrical Parade!

The next morning was Bippity Boppity Boutique! I only packed Lu's Elsa dress for the Halloween party (which she wore for the ride out hotel dance party), and she had been saying she wanted to be Minnie for BBB, so I just decided to let her pick when we got there, so she chose Snow White.

 After the makeover, they did a little photo shoot with her. The photographer was so nice and funny. He kept calling her other princess names and doing other funny things to make her smile. I think he did a pretty good job (also, shout out to the Smith's for letting us use their Photo Pass!).

After the ROYAL treatment, Lu turned into a ROYAL pill. I don't know what got into her, oh yeah, she wanted the package that included the special crown and wand! It was rough! 

The boys rode Space Mountain (Z's favorite) and a couple other rides while we were BBB-ing, then we met up for breakfast in the castle with the princesses! Maybe it was all just too much for Lu, because it took her a while to snap out of her "moment," and it's ironic because the whole morning was planned just for her. Okay, I'm over it now...

We spent the morning at MK (can't remember what we rode, Pirates and Little Mermaid, I think), then decided to go to Animal Kingdom for the afternoon. We were going to scrap AK all together when we lost a day and a half to the hurricane, but I'm glad we didn't. We made it just in time to see the Lion King show, which is another one of my faves!

After Lion King, we had some TIRED kids, and Lu was in a mood! She changed out of her princess dress, splashed around got some TLC from Aunt Julie, then she was feeling (mostly) better.  

We took much needed naps then headed back to MK for dinner at the one and only Crystal Palace! We love Crystal Palace! While Z didn't run to Pooh and exclaim, I have you! He did give him a big hug and tell him he has a stuffed animal of him, and while I didn't shed any tears, it was still very sweet!

I think that night we rode It's a Small World, Winnie the Pooh, Pirates of the Carribean, Jungle Cruise, and finally Dumbo during the fireworks! That was a moment!

It was a jam-packed fun-filled perfect day! Days 5 and 6 up next!