Tuesday, July 21, 2015

M-I-C-K-E-Y ... // 2015

Planning and stressing and planning some more.. This was it! We said when our oldest turned 7 we would make the trip to the most magical of all places... Luckily, we had my parents on board. I simply cannot vacation without them!!  They put it in my hands to plan (EEEK!) which was stressful but super fun. I reached out to any and everyone for advice AND I had the "I go to see Mickey every chance I get" neighbor and friend. BIG shout out to Dave!

The bands arrived about a month before the trip and I felt my heart literally skip a beat! AHHHH!!! SO freaking exciting!!! Yes, I am completely afraid of color when I have to wear an accessory for a week. Grey for me!
The packing was insane. I made lists and more lists and more lists... For YEARS we have traveled via the motorhome. I was somewhat limited in what I could bring but not really. I mean the entire underneath of the thing is storage! So to try to pack in a few suitcases for really two vacations (Mickey AND the beach) was a bit of a challenge. We did have a washer and dryer in both locations but that didn't keep me from over packing.

Now let's compare. The Hubs.
Mine... and I actually packed more after this! What?!? Good gravy.  I won't even show you the kiddos' bags. Their clothes are small so it doesn't matter, right?
Some things are completely necessary for the vaca. Yes, the toes and the fingers are completely necessary!  Let the vacation begin!!!!
And then it was time.. Did I mention we had to be OUT THE DOOR by 4am?!?! Yes, we all got completely ready and then woke the boys up. They had about 15 minutes to get in the car. To say it was complete chaos would be a MAJOR understatement. They knew we were going on vacation but thought it was a motorhome trip (which are awesome but this was going to be epic) and yes, wait for the end.. the kid who has NEVER wet the bed.................ugh.
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Still trying to compute. He now thinks we are going on Papa's plane! Hilarious!
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They were half asleep on the way to the airport. Well, Dane was, Chaz was wired. There was a car traveling down airport road on the wrong side of the road, THAT would have been a sucky way to start/end vacation. The saving grace of that one is my pops is used to being awake at that time of the morning so he was completely awake and not foggy at all. THANK GOD!!

By the time we got to the airport, they were BEYOND excited! I Pinterested the heck out of this trip and airplane trips in general. Again, Dane has NEVER been on a plane and Chaz hasn't since he was 10 months old. WHAT!?!?! New backpacks complete with every goodie, snack, surprise, book, activity, new ear buds, etc you could ever imagine.
They melt me!
Needless to say, we haven't been in the airport in quite some time so the kids were pretty pumped with all the fun!
It really doesn't take much for our crew. We kinda have fun no matter where we are!
And in all honesty, we ALL had some pretty good talks about how this was their vacation and we all vowed to relax. We didn't all do a good job (except for my momma, she is gold) but we certainly tried!
Getting ready! He wanted to do everything himself.
And he was SO proud when he did it!
We had to do some switching of seats when he figure out he could see out the window. I love this face!
"Where is our plane?" I think he was a wee bit confused to say the least. 
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This was about 35 seconds later.
The things a kid finds awesome after being up for a long time!
Did your heart just explode? Because mine did! They pretty much think she hung the moon!
There are those activities coming into play on a 2hr layover!

As does some selfie action. I would do anything to keep us all sane. It was a long day!
Someone thinks he is funny because he knows how to work a video.
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He is so fun!
He was mesmerized! "Mom, look. Mom, look. Mom, look"
He was pretty proud of his wings.
We finally landed in Orlando and were ready to get this party started!! Yes, my face is very tired. Stop judging me.
He was WIRED! I was pretty sure we were about to be kicked off the Disney bus.
They love us. THANK GOD! If they didn't love us, I do believe they would go running and screaming!
Still going..
About 2.5 seconds later.
O.U.T.
I had to take this picture as our neighbor and Disney vacation planner, Dave, showed me many a picture of his little guy sitting in these exact chairs. It was his favorite! When I turned to see my "kiddos" sitting here, I had to get a picture. Love them so!
So I took the advice of many when planning this vacation. One piece of said advice was to pack swim suits in my carry-on as their would be a delay between when we got to the hotel and when we were able to check in.  I thought this was genius!   I didn't pack mine as I pictured myself kicking it at the poolside bar with my parents while the hubs played in the pool with the kids. The picture is fantastic in my head but it didn't really play out that way in real life..

So, first thing is I dressed to ride on airplanes for half the day, not to sit poolside. As the kiddos and the hubs were getting in their swimming gear, I headed down to the pool area to get a place to sit. The bar was packed so I ended up on a lounge chair in the blistering heat. Did I mention I was wearing a red (Razorback, of course) T-shirt and jeans. Yes, jeans. I freeze on airplanes so I thought I was making a good choice to wear jeans and flip flops but bring socks for the plane... Well poolside, this didn't really work. Now here is where the story gets a little frightening.

As I am sitting poolside, in my jeans, I notice my crew heading over to the pool. The headed to the stairs, all together, and sat at the edge of the entrance. I looked down at something in my bag for a second and when I looked up I saw Chaz but not Dane. I stood up from my lounge chair to see my little guy with about 1/2 an inch of his head above water. I started screaming at Chaz to "GET YOUR BROTHER!!" I thought I was screaming but there wasn't much sound coming out. I was trying to run but felt like I was moving in quicksand to get to my baby. I finally made it to the pool and walked in up to my armpits to grab my baby. As I was grabbing his arm I see the hubs come flying into the pool, almost walking on water, to pull Dane's other arm up. I sat on the edge of the pool, in my soaking wet clothes only to hear my baby say "Well, that sucked"

Now I tell you this because I am a crazy safe person around pools. We grew up with a pool. I know pool safety. We were in a place with a TON of kids, lifeguards and adults yet my little 3 year-old ended up under the water with no way to save himself. This could have been very tragic. The hubs was about 2 feet away getting a life jacket, he told Dane to sit, he told Chaz to watch, he knew I was watching, as were my parents. Net, this could happen to anyone, anywhere.  The best is that Dane is Dane and ended with "that sucked." This kid can bring laughter in the most stressful situations. I am glad this story had a happy ending.

I will tell you, although I firmly believe I am responsible for my kids in EVERY situation.....the lifeguard that came over several minutes after I had retrieved my kid and was sitting on the edge of the pool, in soaking wet clothes, talking to my sweet boy, asking me if "everything was ok" almost made me lose my cool. Really, dude? Really??

Ok now back to the fun!  If you haven't been to Disney, or even if you have, I HIGHLY recommend the Ohana breakfast at the Polynesian Resort. It is wonderful! The food is great, the atmosphere is awesome and it gives the kids a chance to ease into the larger than life characters circling them at every moment. We did this the first morning. Such a good plan!
I wasn't sure how the kids were going to react but they LOVED it!
Side story for a second... When you are going to Disney with the kiddos for the first time you plan, I planned! I mean, I am a planner by nature. I read all the blogs, check the heck out of some Pinterest, talked to anyone and everyone who would give me advice. I had the M&M tubes for the smash pennies (genius btw) I had enough ponchos for a small army (we didn't use a single one) I had mini fans. I had literally EVERYTHING......except autograph books. WHAT?!?!  So as soon as we got to breakfast I scurried the hubs off to the gift shop. He knew he was on a mission and the clock was ticking but that didn't keep him from chatting with the cashier about rugby, I have no idea how they even got on the subject. This resulted in a "HURRY THE HELL UP! STITCH IS HERE" text. Really?? That is not a text I ever thought I would be sending the hubs.
Mickey shaped waffles were a hit!
 
Next up was Pluto!
And Lilo!
I love how he is eyeballing her! HA!
They had a little parade around the restaurant. Dane didn't want any part of it until I decided to join him!
Yes we had maracas. When in Rome, right??!
Yep, this guy is who he was looking at. He was in awe.
Yes his hat is too little. Yes he has WAY too much hair. Some battles, especially when on vacation, I am just not willing to fight. I still think he is just adorable!

Then it was off to the Magic Kingdom via the monorail. Chaz really wanted to sit next to his brother to "keep him safe."
My heart... just.exploded.
We made it! Forgive all the oddly dressed people in my picture. There really isn't a way to get a good "clean" picture of the castle. I mean, it is Disney, there are a bagillion people there!
Dane wanted nothing of this.. nothing.
And he was 100% not having any of this!
Oh well, they are still adorable!
First up, Buzz Lightyear. This is pretty much my favorite ride. I can't even tell you how many times we rode this thing!
A ride where our short boy can ride is always a bonus. The hubs actually suggested making him wear cowboy boots to give him an extra life. Really? You are going to make our sweet baby trek around Disney in boot just to gain him 1/2 and inch in height? No. Just no.
The baby and his Papa. Adorableness.
 My boys!!
Getting his book ready for Buzz.
My buddy!
They thought this was pretty awesome!
Why is my husband standing like Buzz? BAHAHAHA!!
And yes, we did this! So fun!
The hubs didn't make the shot. Ooops!
Then we rode this awesome rocket ride. We literally just stood in line for something. We didn't know what it was going to be but it did not disappoint. Chaz wanted in with his Papa.
Dane rode with his daddy.
And I was in with my momma. Good thing we are little people. The views from this thing were awesome! I am pretty sure I wasn't suppose to be taking pictures but I really didn't care!
Check these out! So cool!!
I wish the boy and my daddy were behind me. I had no idea we would be able to get such good pictures. This is what happens when they are in front of you. HA!
He was having a BLAST....and so was Dane!
These are their faces when they realize the mister really stinks.. REALLY stinks.
And we had some of these moments. I don't remember why he was mad but he was certainly ticked.
BEST treat on the planet. I don't think I can even count how many of these I finished for them (yeah, I am a nice mom like that) while we were there.
Dumbo. How can you not ride Dumbo?!
It was HOT. Really Hot. So we decided to take the train to get some air and relax a bit. Love my happy little crew!
And then there is this. THIS may be hands down the biggest Pinterest fail ever.

This is how it was suppose to go.... You write on their skin with a pen, cover it with liquid skin and it won't come off. 
And this is how it really turned out. It looked good until the sweat came. It may not come off when wet but get some sweat on it or rub against it and it ends up looking like this. AND the kiddos said it was itching their skin. So we spent a majority of the train ride picking this nonsense off.
He was in charge. HA!
Have I mentioned I love them?
And again, when in Rome. This is just a MUST! The song is still in my head. We sang it all day.. all week long.  Chaz plugged his ears during the ride. I think it was probably his Dad's singing that wasn't working for him.
He LOVED it!
When you see the sword in the stone, you HAVE to try and remove it, right??
You gotta get some help from your big brother. So precious!
But it didn't work.
And this is what happens when you try to get a picture of these two.
But at least this cutie cooperated!
I think the backside of the castle is prettier than the front side!
He finally took a picture but he wasn't happy about it!
I love these boys! All three of my children. Heeheehee.
I was even able to sneak in for a quick shot!
I had to prove I actually was on the vaca. I didn't know how may pictures there would be so this was my proof!
After a full day at the Magic Kingdom we headed back for a quick nap before going back for dinner and fireworks. Someone was tired and cranky.
But a quick little round of selfies will get anyone smiling.
Especially when you decide to be completely goofy.
Yes, we have lost all sanity!
Did I mention he was tired? This was about 35 seconds after the above.
Selfie sticks are banned from the most magical place on earth!?! WHAT?!?
THIS was one of the BEST things we did! Upon the advice of our friend, we rented a stroller. We have a double stroller at home but for a minimal charge, not having to lug one through our travels was priceless. And although Chaz is technically "too old" for a stroller, I didn't feel it was fair to ask him to walk so much without a break. He was really good about walking but sometimes your legs just need a break. Don't think I didn't think about hitching a ride!
And these two. Are you kidding me? They are just amazing. We already knew this but to do Disney with us was just beyond amazing. I love vacationing with my parents and this was certainly one of the best!
And they are just stinkin' adorable!
Another character dinner was a hit. The kids were starving so they ate so good and were in great moods when the characters came to our table.

Piglet was just adorable!!
And he was so happy about it!
He spotted another character!
One of my favs. "Thank you for noticing me" ~ Eeyore
I love how he had to sign. I was laughing so hard!

And the man of the hour!
There was a parade during this meal too. They both loved it!
Such the cutie!


High fives!
And Winnie!
Dane was obviously pretty excited!
More high fives!
And hugs!
These were in the planter at the front. Adorable flower characters!
After dinner we claimed our spot for the firework show. On the other side of the little fence were ducks. The boys were all obsessed with the ducks!
I didn't know but it wasn't just a firework show but a light show on the castle. It was amazing!!
And the hubs got suckered into the glowing cart. SUCKER!
 
Have you ever exchanged something from the glow cart at Disney? We have. Dane saw someone with a sword so the Buzz from above went back in about 3 seconds. And yes, I had to pack this thing in the suitcase. #skills
This was his face when he saw the castle light up. I LOVE this1
Light parade! My parents were awesome enough to hold our firework spot when we realized the parade wasn't coming by our spot and we needed to bail to another location. So we went around the corner to catch the light parade.
I love the snail. I actually remembered this from my childhood trip to Disney. Adorable!
Cheesiest looking Peter Pan ever!
I also remembered Puff the Magic Dragon from when I was little. LOVE!
Hands down the coolest float was this one. With a bald eagle and a GIANT flag, it was spectacular!
Back to the castle for the light show. My camera wasn't cooperating but it was simply amazing!!
Best daddy ever!
Completely mesmerized. This was so cool!
About 30 seconds after the show. This was a LONG day!
 Day 2 = Universal Studios.

One of the non Pinterest fails was the M&M coin holder. This was genius. You buy the $1 M&Ms that come in the little tubes and use the tubes to hold pennies and quarters for the penny smashing machines. I also had two that were pennies only and we used them for all the fountains. WAY easier than digging for change. They did end up spilling in the luggage but I actually think it was security riffling through to find these tubes full of dense material (Ooooops!)
Everyone got in on the wishes. We had a little bit of a stressful morning trying to get the kids moving (they were exhausted!!) so we were all wishing for a happy day in paradise.
And my little poser really wanted his picture taken in front of this statue.
Love these people!
This is shocking but he wanted a picture with just them! He was in a great mood!!
When one does, the other does. They love these two.
And then the one who is playing shy decides he wants to be center stage. "Momma, you take a picture of me.. just me, ok??" Sure thing buddy!
He did let us get in his photoshoot for a bit. And yes, my mom and I are twinning. Totally not on purpose but when we walked out of our rooms that morning and looked at each other... quick shrug of the shoulders with a "Meh, who cares?" Carry on.
And then daddy was jealous. So cute!!
Such a cutie stealing daddy's hat. I love these kids!
It was hot... HOT! So we headed to the Indiana Jones show. I seriously remember this from when I was a kid. So awesome!! The kids were totally enthralled.


Once we had a quick bite to eat, we were off to Toy Story. Chaz was beyond pumped. You know he is feeling it when he poses in front of everything..
"Momma, take a picture of that!" Sure buddy. Isn't the land of digital amazing?!? I can't wait for them to look back on them when they are bigger! (that is my mini apology for the TONS of pictures.. mini but not really. Sorry not sorry!)
Have I mentioned how much they love her? LOVE! She is pretty amazing!
Everything was awesome to him "Hey mom, picture... "
"Hey mom.." Yes, I was that lady. Do I care? NOPE!
"Mom, THAT is sooooo cool... Please?" *Snap* You got it kid!
Of course you want a picture!
And then this dude. He is a nut. He loved the glasses. CLEARLY knew they were on upsidedown, knew the hat was kicked on sideways, but could care less. He is awesome!
Monkey see... Monkey due..
GIANT TINKER TOES!! Amazing!!
And on the way out! Yep, hug a crayon, why not.
This one was having a BLAST!!
The characters were probably my favorite thing. I LOVED it. We have a rule in our crew, if the line is longer than the attraction, we bounce. Not here! We were in for the long haul! So fun. So worth it! It did help when I realized the little Mickey symbols on the map meant this is where the characters were. Yep, #didntreadthekey
I love this one! He was making Mickey ears!
This was probably my favorite Mickey. He was so kind and not in a rush!
He was so in love! 
Of course I did! I wanna play too!
Handshakes and high five.
And yes, I did this too!
This is one of my favs! I LOVE everything about this. Look at Dane, that face!! And Chaz, what is up with that tongue. LOVE it all!!!
Another I remember from my childhood.. "Honey, I shrunk the kids!!" Again, he wanted a picture in front of everything... everything!!!!
Brother wasn't as sure about climbing on a giant ant.
This thing was fun. Basically a giant maze with ramps and nets. The kids loved it!
A little blur but that is the face of having a BLAST!!
And the tunnels. Do you know that tunnels are not made for full grown men? Ask the hubs. BAHAHA! He followed Dane into one of these said tunnels. Next thing I knew, Dane came flying out ... but without his pops. I just hear the hubs echoing "Help. Anyone? Help?"
Have you ever had the chance to slide down a roll of film? To be clear, my kids had NO idea this was even a roll of film or what a roll of film even is! Digital world, y'all!
We were here for soooooooooooooooo long.
Then it was stunt time.
Tunnel crawling. So fun! Daddy was OUT on this one. "Heck no, not going in again"
But then I looked behind me to see this. He just can't stay away from the fun. BIG kid!!
This was where the fun fountain was spraying down. So fun and it was hot so who cares if he gets wet. He was having a blast.
I am pretty sure he could stay here for days!!
So fun! Back at it again!
Speaking of never leaving, this is him explaining how he ISN'T LEAVING!!! He didn't through a fit but my poor husband was certainly negotiating with a terrorist.  See the hands? That is him explaining what he was no doing. Hand motions are a must when you are wanting to get your way. I think it was nap time.
We decided to stay for just a little more fun! I mean can you really tell this kiddo no while at Disney?
HAD to have a picture with the giant super soaker! Duh!
While the hubs and the boy went to see the Star Wars show, we hung out and ate ice cream with Gaga and Papa. Dane had a great time climbing on the trashcan and stealing Papa's hat! That was until the security guard came over and told us to get down. Note to everyone: whatever you do, DO NOT put you toddler on the trashcan at Universal Studios... you will be stopped by the stop having fun and being SUPEr dangerous police. 
But isn't he SO cute?
He is pretty adorable too!!
It was hot and all of our legs were tired so he decided to hitch a ride. That is his penny smasher book. We filled two of these over the vacation. We were a bit obsessed, especially once I discovered there is a website that gives you maps to all the locations. Score!!
So if you know me at all, you know I am a wee bit obsessed with roller coasters. I seriously LOVE them. I grew up going to Six Flags and am pretty sure I have ridden every roller coaster put in front of me since I was six years-old. Sooooooooo, I REALLY want my kids to love roller coasters too. This was the challenge. I mean, go big or go home, right? 
Did he or didn't he?
Yep! He did it! He screamed and held on so tight but he did it! He was SOOOOO proud of himself!
And with that, we headed back to the resort for some pool time! This pool was fantastic. HUGE pool, slides and a splash pad.
He loved it! Every bit of it!
I'm pretty sure this is against at least one of the rules. At least one.
And the slide. I cannot tell you how many times they headed up the stairs and down the slide. I don't know that I can count that high! They loved it!
Obviously loved it! Look at that face!!
Bahahahahaha!
Such the big guy! He comes up swimming and smiling!
And here comes neon kid!
All smiles!
Oh that hair!
I love how he sits perfectly upright! Adorable!
And here comes the other boy. I love that he waited for his brother to go first and be ok. He really is a good big brother!
That was round one... get ready for round two!