Tuesday, March 31

Hollywood Studios: Big Hero 6 and Jedis

Hollywood Studios is such a fun one for kids and grown-ups! After doing a few rides, we headed over to Hollywood and Vine for lunch. I tried to schedule a few character meals while we were there--it's fun for the kids and relaxing for the parents... even if it is a little pricier. You can only eat park burgers so many times before you begin to die inside.

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Today's shirts were Mickey characters. The Woods boys were Buzz and Woody and my boys and Piper were Peter Pan characters. I'm getting to be a pro at making these shirts... but I don't want to make any more. I retire. As you might expect, getting a picture of all 6 kids went poorly. That second one is about as good as it gets!

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Finley was so delighted to have Edmund there with him--even if Edmund was bigger (but younger!) and could do all the roller coasters. Next time pal! Maybe.

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Want to hear a Disney secret? A few times a day, there's an unpublicized character meet and greet through some gates behind the Tower of Terror--called Characterpalooza. We got there about 10 minutes early and waited to see which characters would be there and met Princess Tiana and Aladdin and the Genie! Sometimes awesome characters like Mary Poppins and Bert will be there--or Robin Hood, a favorite around our house.

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All the boys were most excited to see Hiro and Baymax. We're pretty obsessed with Big Hero 6 these days. We waited in a LONG LONG line and right as we got to the front--Baymax had to go "recharge". The sweet cast member let the boys run all over Hiro's lab and talked to them about everything--it was sweet and much needed after the super long wait. We squeezed in a group picture with everyone looking before Hiro and Baymax came back out.

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Baymax was pretty impressive. The boys really liked seeing both of them!

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We dod the Jedi Training Academy on our last visit--but it was too rainy for the little Jedis to actually fight Darth. This time... they got to fight him! Edmund and Finley were adorable and were quite terrifying with their light sabers.

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They practiced a little sequence of moves as a group--and then one by one got to fight Darth.

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And a few cute videos of the boys...

Monday, March 30

Magic Kingdom Days: Castle and Peter Pan

Before it becomes April, I figured I should start posting Disney things! We spent eight days at the parks this trip (it was a lot). I didn't take as many pictures as you might expect--Sol had to go home for a few of the days to do some work and three kids just keep me busy. I did get some shots that I love--but I always kick myself for only grabbing the camera when they meet characters and getting fewer of the more candid shots.

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Everyone needs a picture with the castle! Except Keaton, who made a run for it. We were really lucky to have Courtney with us this trip--a former Disney photographer. It means I'm in a few pictures! Hooray!

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We (and especially Finley) are suckers for the Street Party Parade in front of the castle. All the characters and performers get down off the floats and the kids (and Sol) get to dance with them. Braden wasn't sure if he wanted to have fun yet.

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Dumbo! And little Piper dressed as Elsa.

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This was our first trip to get to ride the Seven Dwarves Mine Train--and its pretty fun! This video has Sol, Court, Braden, Finley and I on the thrilllling ride--frozen on a lovely shot of me.

The next day at Magic Kingdom... Yep, I made us all Justin Timberlake shirts. They made us very popular. Cory tried so hard not to wear his unless he had to--but I think he secretly liked it. We got lots of comments and we thought we were hilarious. We made it to rope drop most days--a perk of children who all wake up very early. The opening show at the Magic Kingdom is fun and sweet--as is rushing through the park to get in a short line.

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The whole group in from of the castle! And some faces--it was clearly very sunny. It was SO fun to go with a big group. They were very kind to me and (for the most part) followed the plan I made for every day. They'll thank me if they ever have to go back to Disney and fend for themselves.

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Carousel! I always think its funny that Disney even has a carousel... but everyone loves it. And Courtney almost got a picture with all five of our faces--not easy when you are standing on a spinning platform with everyone going up and down.

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And our third day at Disney. We had to break out the Peter Pan costumes obviously. For some reason Braden always refuses to be Peter and wants to be Hook... I'm not sure if I should be concerned about that or not.

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Meeting Tinkerbell is always fun--her set is really cute! Piper gave her the sweetest hug before she realized she was not a person and was actually a character and resumed being scared of characters.

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We had the characters all sign polaroids we took of them with the boys--which was so fun. We got a lot of really hilarious pictures and the boys love flipping through them now. It was also pretty motivating for Finley--he loved the "magic" camera and showing the pictures to the characters.

Friday, March 27

Spring Break in Little Rock

Sol wasn't able to come on a spring break adventure with us this year--so I decided the easiest option would be for me to take the boys to my parents' house in Little Rock for a few days. It's a six hour drive, which seemed almost reasonable to do alone. The day before the trip, the air conditioning decided not to work, which made the trip a little more uncomfortable. It would periodically come on--but not when we needed it most.

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I've been a lousy photographer lately--I think its because my children outnumber my arms, so its hard to actually use a camera. We had lots of fun in Little Rock--the boys played with my brothers and learned about Super Smash Brothers. We went to our favorite train restaurant and an awesome children's play place. We also ventured out to a trampoline park on what happened to be character day. The boys had a ball running around chasing Spiderman and Batman! They mostly wanted to build towers out of foam blocks instead of jumping... whatever makes them happy.

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I managed to squeeze in three Pure Barre classes and many more donuts. I routinely call Finley and Braden by my brothers' names--Dan and Ben. So I was glad to have this picture of the big boys matched up with the brother I confuse them with! They thought being on all the shoulders was pretty funny.

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Thursday, March 26

Baby Numero Cuatro

New baby coming... September 2015!

Everyone's excited for the new baby (except KJ--he's clueless and cute)! I've felt fantastic--to the point where I was really nervous something was wrong since there was very little morning sickness or tiredness. A few weeks where I felt less than great, but really nothing I can complain about. I've been able to keep running--I was trying to get in a few 6-7 mile runs a week but have cut down the mileage a bit due to some knee pain.

We're strongly considering NOT finding out whether this one is a boy or a girl... we found out with everybody else (they are all boys) and even though it drives me NUTS when people don't find out, I think we may hold out. Just in case it is a little lady--I think the extra few months of not knowing will really help our bank account.

And speaking of--just so it's on the record--I really love my boys and would be thrilled to have another boy. They are great. I'd also be thrilled to have a girl. What I REALLY want is a chubby baby. I love these little sacks of bones, but I'll tell you what, chubby babies are cute and soft. Mine are all elbow-y and bony. Sol is worried about what will happen in 20 years if we don't have a girl... but I'm planning on being the world's best mom so that the boys will call me every day and be completely dependent on me. #healthyrelationships

Here's a longish video of me telling the big boys about the baby. Braden was surprisingly excited and also couldn't keep his hands out of my shirt trying to find the baby. Not how it works, bud.

Wednesday, March 25

Houston Rodeo

We met our friends, the Greens, at the Houston Rodeo last weekend.  It was the perfect excuse for Sol and I to wear cowboy boots! We love spending time with the Greens--our kids match up just about perfectly in ages. They had a great time learning about milking cows, seeing lots of rabbits, petting many animals (deer and wallabies!) and seeing some newborn animals. It was cute and gross.

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You'd think we'd be pros at taking our children to large events like this since we are Disney vets--but they were all varying levels of sick and we all got soaked as we left... meaning there were many crying, pantsless boys in the car on the way home. But I truly believe the more crying there is at the end of an event, the more of a success it was. Which means we had TONS of fun.

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Sunday, March 22

Finley's Rodeo

Texas apparently likes cowboys and rodeos. Before Spring Break, all the kindergartners dressed up in their western duds (or their friend's western duds if you aren't quite Texan enough yet to have your own). The classes started by moseying around the gym--Finley was really into his mosey as you can tell by my commentary and poor videoing.

Then the kids all did different rodeo events--barrel racing, riding a bronco, popping a balloon by sitting on it... you know, all the classic rodeo things. Finley loved it.

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Braden was so excited about the rodeo and seeing Finley! Braden insisted on holding Finley's hand all the way to the classroom.

After the events, the kids had a hot dog party in the classroom. Luckily there was enough for Braden and Keaton! Braden also insisted on sharing a chair with Finley. He was really in the mood for Finley. And hot dogs with cheese.

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I had to snap a few pictures of the Texas art they did--blue bonnets, longhorns and cowboy boots. It's such a different place--I'm still adjusting to the culture!

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