Saturday, September 24, 2011

Herman Park

 Mommy leaves on Monday for work to California for an entire week. So I let Dad have a little break to go play golf so that Jack and I could have some time before I leave. I met up with my friend Nicole and her precious baby boy, Klein who is 9 months old. We took the boys over to Herman Park and fed the ducks, checked out the Japanese Gardens, rode the train, played in the water area and took a run around the playground. The boys were both worn out after our morning excursion!
Jack was so excited to see the ducks, and was so nice to share his cheerios
  We loved the duck with the white poof on his head!

 Over to the Japanese Gardens, which I had never been in, it was free and such a beautiful spot!
There were lots of fish and turtles for the boys to watch

 As we were at the gardens Jack heard the choo choo train,
 so we decided to take Klein on his first train trip!

 and for some reason Jack decided that the train ride (which he has been on before and we just got back from rides in Disney that WERE scary-ish) was scary and had his hands on his eyes the ENTIRE trip. But don't let those hands fool you, I'm pretty sure that someone was "peeking" the entire time...ha ha such a stinker!
 When we were on the train we passed by the small water spot and made note to come back after our ride. Jack loved running around in the water and cooling off.

 He kept getting stuck in this water area, because the water pressure would be light when he entered but then all of a sudden get really heavy and he would just stand there and put his hands over his eyes. I kept trying to tell him to keep coming but he was just standing there... so then the sweetest thing happened....
 ...this sweet sweet sweet older child, went in grabbed Jacks hand and helped him come out. Then he said to me "mam, can I take him through if I hold his hand?". Yall I thought it was so sweet that this kid just decided that my son needed help and he was going to make sure was able to go through the sprinkler.
I just loved this moment!


Friday, September 23, 2011

In the Kitchen with Jackson : Jack's Juice Bar

I took the cuuuutest video with this post and its so large it wont upload :( Makes me so sad because it was so cute watching him count the peaches and berries as he put them in and saying "yuuuuuuumy" ...any who 
I wanted to pick something different for this months in the kitchen post. So I thought we would make a fruit juice smoothie. We made it into a counting game and the end prize was really tasty!
Look @ that hair! We finally did just get a haircut :)


Sugar Snack

Our sugar snack is getting soooo big!
Each day I look at him and think he looks more and more like a little boy,
 even though I will always call  him my baby..


Holiday Fairy

We have the sweetest Holiday Fairy that goes around town, picks up small little holiday adornments in the exact quantity of Jack's classmates and delivers them straight to our door...
her name may or may not be Mimi :) ha!

Last year my mom made sure that every kid in his small class of 6 was taken care of for each holiday. This year we have 14, and so when she came by the other day with a huge basket full of goodies, I was so excited! Thank you so much for doing it again this year even though we have a few more kiddos to love on!


Packed House

On Thursday night we had a packed house for dinner. Kevin's parents came over with BBQ and our bff neighbor Wes came over as well. It was a crazy house with all of us running around after these two darlings. I'm not sure how people do it with twins, but they were a hoot!
Thanks Gran & Grandpa for helping entertain these boys! It was a fun night :)

I love that Jack has this great friendship! I cherish mine and I'm so grateful he has a best friend, lucky for him, his lives right next door!


Orlando Vacation 2011 Day Four

We got up had an easy morning because we were lucky to get a 3 pm check out, so we played around the pool again and just tried to soak up another day with Papa. It was so sad to say good bye, we only wish that we could squeeze out the states between Texas and Florida, so that we could be a little closer :(
But we had such an amazing time that we will be back soon! We love ya'll... it was the best vacation!

I think all the gogogogogogo finally caught up to little Mr.
He was so tired and wanted to go night night that he went right up to Mickey and layed down next to him!
Cutest thing ever (minus the fact that he is laying on a dirty airport
And no, we did not let him nap there :)
Bye bye Florida , you were good to us!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Orlando vacation 2011 Day Three

Jack had no clue what we were in for on day three, all 6 of us packed up bright and early to head to the most magical place on earth...Walt Disney World - Magic Kingdom! In the days leading to our trip to Florida I started to panic just a little, I had done a night worth of research but I didn't have an elaborate plan in place, however I knew I wanted us to see it all. I was nervous about picking the right day to go and if Jack would even be interested, after all he is only two years old. I consulted with so many friends on if we should even go and every time it was a "you MUST go" response. 
I can say now without a doubt it was the most amazing time with our family! 
We are soooo glad that we went and happy that my father got to see the smiles on Jack's face.
Jackson LOVED it. 
I was surprised at how many rides Jackson was able to participate in and it really took us all day to do it all.
Awesome Papa made sure that we arrived at 9: 00 am when the park opened and we stayed until 10: 30 pm!
We chose to go on Monday (Labor Day) because I thought that most people might be traveling back home from the long weekend on that Monday. It was still busy, I don't think you will ever have a day where its just your family in the park, but the lines moved quickly and we took advantage of Fast Pass, which was so easy and the timing was perfect. We never waited more than 15 minutes for any ride, and when we did have to wait, there was plenty of distractions in the line to keep you busy.  It was really so perfect! We also did Disney Photo Pass, which is so worth the $99 to pay prior to your trip (if you wait until after its $150). You get to take unlimited photos using the Disney photographers (which are everywhere) and they mail you a CD of all the high resolution images. We ended up getting 100 pictures + from that CD, including all three of our Christmas card pictures. I want to share those favorite three pictures, but I'm going to be good this year and wait to debut those on our annual vacation Christmas card.
So without further adieu on to the pictures of our amazing day at the Magic Kingdom...

On our way to the tram to take us over to the park! One trick I learned from a Disney blog was to take a bright color bandanna and tie it around your stroller. I can't tell you how many gray strollers there were, and it was so nice to be able to spot ours right away. It also was used as a wipe when we needed it. Must do!

We arrived and I was so excited to see that they had already decorated for Fall!
Let the Memories Begin!

And so we started on our perfect adventure ....
As soon as we got on main street, the experience started, you had take a minute to just look around. Everyone you were greeted by was in form and never left character, ever! As cars zoomed by with people singing we realized we were in for one spectacular day! Jack was very quiet at first, but I know he was taking in every moment and watching all these new friends with such sweet curiosity.

We stopped to take a few pictures :) 
and then we spotted Characters! The lines for the characters I think were longer than some of the lines for the rides. People are serious about their characters, and so are the character handlers! I will explain a little later on the handlers. There were four characters all up front, which all had separate lines. We decided to just pick one and so we stood in line for Pluto! I will say that if you want to meet all the characters it would be worth the money to do Chef Mickeys characters breakfast, but since Jack is 2 years old he was thrilled to see the characters that we did meet and so it wasn't necessary to go about to meet them all.

After a mini photo session we headed towards the It's a Small World ride where we ran into Cinderella's Step Mother and her evil step sisters. Just as I was in line I looked to my right to see that the Castle show was about to start, so the rest of the gang headed back down to see the start of the show. I had to meet these funny ladies, even though I'm 31, they still were in character and made me blush. I think that is one of my favorite things, no matter how old or young you are, Disney puts a smile on your face! After my picture I ran down to catch up and watch the show.
This was a great show in front of the castle and it was Jackson's first time to see Mickey Mouse in person! He didn't say a peep and was watching him so intently!

Then it was back on track to the It's a Small World ride.... which hands down was Jack's favorite!  There was no line and so we just walked right in. Jack loved all the different country rooms and especially liked the last room which was the unity room that had all the little kids dressed in white to symbolize unity and peace. 
It was humid! We were all hot and it was so nice that most rides had a/c, to get a little blast of cold air!

Jackson's favorite room

Earlier in the morning we pulled a fast pass for Winnie the Pooh ride, and so we maybe were in line for 5 minutes, the main line was 35 minutes so the fast pass worked great! A lot of the rides are dark and even WTP had some scary-ish moments with the honey pot car moving fast into dark areas, but Jack never cried, he did hold us tight, but he kept his eyes open and at the end of the rides he was so happy. So we know he enjoyed the rides, especially since he kept pointing to go do something else!

When we pulled the fast pass for WTP, we got a bonus fast pass of Mickey's PhilharMagic, which was a 3-D movie with fun special effects such as wind in the theater and getting squirted with water etc. While Jack did sit through the entire thing he would not wear the glasses, so his view was a little blurry since it was 3-D.

Papa being so silly!
By this time we were ready for lunch, so we took a pit stop and had burgers at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe. Then it was off to check out Tomorrow Land Speedway which you had to be 32" to be a passenger, so it was a GO for Jack! I let Kev & Jack go while my Dad and I went to the bridge to watch the speed racers drive off.
Kevin said that Jack was turning the wheel back and forth and thought he was hot stuff driving #11 Blue, ha! 

Edith & Jhonedi were on the blue team too!

I had read about something called Switch Pass, which is if you are a family and want to ride for example Space Mountain but you have small kids who can't, one parent can stand in line while the other parent waits with the kids, then after the parent that rode gets done, the other parent can go straight to the front of the line. I had asked the Disney cast member for a switch pass but there was such a small line he let us all in, including Jack and my Dad, who were able to just wait for us until we got off. So nice! Again we just really had such good luck with the lines and our timing!

I saw someone else taking a picture of the picture and I thought, duh I'm doing that too! The only thing that is not included in the Photo Pass are the ride pictures, and for $15 per photo (and really what are we going to do with this photo had I paid for it?) I decided a picture of it would be just as funny. So as you can see below I had not been on Space Mountain for quite some time and thought I could bring my camera! Our faces say it all, the roller coaster was FAST, I was holding on to my camera for dear life!
Jack had fun riding on the moving walkways on the way out!
It was humid and the afternoon had come, so the showers were not far off. We spotted another character group and decided to pick Chip & Dale! So we stood in line for a good 15 minutes and then the Character handler told us that due to inclement weather the characters were going to have to go inside. It wasn't even raining, it was windy (which felt really nice), but really? Come on we just waited 15 minutes and we were the NEXT ones in line. I told the handler "come on just one more, I mean look at my son, we waited so long to meet them". Then I thought, omg I'm totally being the crazy mom over characters that our son doesn't even know and they are just college kids in a costume! 
Back to smiles after I realized my crazy moment and on to the People Mover ride. :) 

The People Mover is just a open car that takes you around Tomorrow Land, it's a nice chance to get off your feet and Jack liked looking out and checking everything from higher up.

Then over to I think our family favorite Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin

We got in three per car, and you battle Emperor Zorg throughout the ride by shooting targets to get points. Jack loved pointing the space gun and turning us in circles with the spin stick.
My Dad I think loved this ride too :)
Zorg was coming close.... watch out! Ha the faces on this picture are great.

We decided to split up for a little while so that we could continue to ride the kid rides, and check out a show. We caught the afternoon Celebration Parade which was great for Jackson to see all his favorite characters!

We cut out just a little bit early from the show and what a good idea that was. We were the ONLY people in line to see Mickey & Minnie. I'm not sure how we scored that, but it was perfect and we got to take as long as we wanted with Jackson's favorite duo!! I was worried that Jackson was going to not allow the characters to touch him but he warmed up to them really fast and wanted to get down to give them BIG hugs.
This was the moment we had been talking about and it was so sweet to see his eyes light up!

After our visit with Mickey & Minnie, we stopped for some ice cream. As soon as we sat down under the porch of Mickey Creamery it started to pour. So we had planned it just right to take a break for some ice cream! Once it let up we then headed back over to Fantasy Land.

Where we rode It's a Small World again :) I told you it was his favorite! He pointed to it and said "there". 
So there we went.

Then we met back up with everyone and Kevin and I got to ride Splash Mountain while Papa & Edith watched Jack. 


The Walt Disney World Railroad was right next to Splash Mountain so we took a ride on the train. 
Alllllll aboard is what Jackson kept saying :)

We split up one more time as we had pulled a fast pass for Peter Pan, so it was time to head over that way to check it out. It was cute and Jack enjoyed it but it went by really fast.

We were going to meet back up with my Dad and then Jack spotted the Dumbo ride. I had read on a blog where it was nice to familiarize your child with a few of the stories that they may not know. So I purchased Dumbo and Winnie the Pooh on DVD before we left and let him watch them. As soon as he saw the Dumbo ride, he got soooo excited. 
He loved making us go up and down in Dumbo and it had great views of the castle from up top!

We met back up with the family and Jack was given a little Mickey souvenir which he loved! Thanks Jhonedi!
Off to Bear Country Jamboree, which I was really surprised that Jack was so still throughout the entire show, in fact he was good through every show we saw. He is a total wiggle worm and there is something about this place that just makes them perfect little angels!!

More pictures in front of the castle, yes please!

We grabbed a bite to eat on Main Street and then picked a spot early for the Electrical Parade. The spots fill up fast and early so as soon as we saw people marking their spots we did too. We brought Jackson's mobigo system with us, so he just played on that while we waited. By this time it was 9 pm and Jack had not made one yawn that I saw, such a trooper!

The parade was GREAT, but we were all sooo beat that we wanted to get a head start on the crowd, so we decided that it was time to pack up. So we headed to one last stop to pick up the mouse ears. I had grand visions of us all wearing ears and walking out with a picture perfect moment...But the entire day was perfect and we were tired, so I took what amazing memories we had and we said good night to Mickeys house, and our dreams really did come true!

As soon as we got in the car our little guy was out. I'm pretty sure he had one of the best days of his life with our family and his dreams were sweeter that night.
 To put it simple ...we loved being with our family and we loved Disney!