Monday, December 31, 2012

Disney World! - Day 1

Since Evan died in 2006 we've talked about taking a trip the week of Thanksgiving. To be somewhere, anywhere besides home. This year Justin said, "Let's do it!" I think his thoughts were more along the lines of a quiet trip to the beach. Mine? Disney World! Obviously, I won. My main concern was how the kids would do with the large crowds. Being surrounded by people and then having to wait in line didn't sound like something our little high maintenance girl would like. But give the girl some sparkly Mickey ears, and she's ready to roll with, well, some punches. Here she is waiting to meet Mickey Mouse.

While the rest of the family waited in line (my parents joined us!), I went and got fast passes for the Meet the Princess event. Miranda did ok when Mommy was nearby, but if I went off somewhere, she had a tougher time. (Read: Grandma also had a tougher time.)

We got bonus fast passes for Dumbo, so we took that in before princess time! Here Miranda takes an important call.

Dumbo! Both kids loved this ride! Miranda giggled the whole time. Afterwards, Duncan decided he didn't care about meeting princesses, and got in line with Daddy to ride The Barnstormer. It's supposed to be a kiddie coaster. Thirty seconds of terror is what it turned out to be for poor little Duncan. Justin tried to videotape Duncan's reaction, and had to put his phone down to comfort our little guy. He did record Duncan's voice, and he sounded so scared. We knew from that encounter that the kids wouldn't be trying anything scarier.

"I wish I could meet a princess!"

Wishes do come true! The fast passes were totally worth the short wait to meet Disney royalty. The girls were SO sweet. They each took Miranda by the hand and talked to her, and then gave her a hug.

I was so impressed and pleased. Miranda, I think, was a little shy and perhaps a little star struck.

After the princess visit Miranda talked about "my friend Sleeping Beauty," and "my best friend Cinderella" for the rest of the week!

We took an afternoon break back at our condo, and returned to the Magic Kingdom in the evening. The lines were shorter on many rides, so we were able to get right on. Both kids loved "It's a Small World."

Duncan looking a little more Saturday Night Live than Pirates of the Carribean!

He loved Pirates, except for the loud cannons. We also went to the Haunted Mansion. Pretty tame ride, right? Not for Miranda. She did okay at first, but when that Vincent Price voice came on, things got scary. And, of course, he's on for most of the ride. So, I spent the whole ride comforting her and trying to draw her attention toward the silly things. Live and learn, I guess!

The end of the day arrived, and the kids were beat. Shoot, we were all beat! After walking around, waiting in line, and carrying a little girl all day I was ready to hit the hay, too.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Nature's Bubble Wrap

Our neighbors have a couple of Sugar Maples in their front yard. Every year around Halloween those trees drop their leaves and cover every inch of that yard. They rake them up neatly into piles under the trees. Nice, perfect circles. They don't bag them up or blow them away. Why not? Because they remember when their daughter jumped in the leaves, and they encourage Duncan and Miranda to jump, too.
Duncan always is the first to jump in.
Miranda looks on from our drive way.
But the fun is too much too resist!
The leaves crunching!

 The mess making!

It's kind of like Nature's bubble wrap.

It doesn't take too long before somebody starts picking up leaves to throw.


And Mommy's the perfect target!

A moment to reflect on the beauty of Nature.

And then back together to try to knock every last leaf down!