Wednesday, October 26, 2016

L2 turns five!

Our little L2 is five! These past few months have been so amazing for him, and I just know five is going to be such a great year. L2 is probably one of the most loving and sweet kids you could ever meet. He hugs everyone, he always wants to cuddle and hold hands, and he always says "I love you". He can also be super stubborn, and he can have a temper when he doesn't get his way. He is our little bear and we love him so much.

We actually got back from camping on the morning of L2's birthday, so after we all got cleaned up and took L to school, we took the little boys to a birthday lunch at their favorite place : McDonald's.

And of course the favorite part of any kids birthday, the presents.

It's really hard when you're two and it's someones else birthday.

After presents we were suppose to go to dinner. We had a bit of an incident, which I will post about soon, but things got a bit derailed. We ended up sticking some candles in some ice-cream to sing happy birthday, and dinner has been postponed until later this week!

Luckily, L2 is sweet and easygoing and was fine with just his presents and ice cream!

Happy, happy birthday, my sweet boy. You have made me a better mother, and a better person, in your short five years here. You are so strong and determined and kind, I know you are going to take this world by storm!

Camping Fall 2016

While the rest of the country is enjoying crisp fall weather, and quickly heading into winter, we spent this last weekend escaping up to the lake for a weekend of camping! (Most of the time of super jealous of all the fall weather, but you can't beat camping and kayaking at the end of October!) This trip we had friends and their boys (my boys best friends!) join us!

It was so much fun. The boys spent pretty much the entire day in the water kayaking. It's nice that they are getting old enough that we can give them some freedom (with lots of rules and life vests obviously!).

They even took turns "paddle boarding" by standing up on their kayaks! 

Once we got them out of the water and fed them some dinner, they spent the rest of the time exploring. Our campsite backed up to a big hill which they spent the rest of the time climbing and having adventure on!

And then of course there was s'mores and after a long day of playing the kids went to bed fairly easy and the adults got to stay up and enjoy the rest of the night!

It also feels important to mention that at 32 years old I got my first ever bee sting. It was not delightful.

The second day our friends unfortunately had to head back, but we stayed another day and night. It was the perfect relaxing family time, and because we were there on Sunday the campground and lake were practically empty, so it was very peaceful!

This face though!!!!!

We did campfire and s'mores again. I spent a good portion of my childhood camping and I love that my kids are going to have these amazing memories, just like I did, that they will pass down to their kids too.

Until next time, Lake Pleasant!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Vacation Part 2: Disneyland

Want to know what your kids face looks life when you lie to and deceive them for weeks, only to be able to surprise them by randomly showing up at Disneyland instead of driving back home to Arizona?

Well, it looks something like this:

I can't believe we actually pulled the Surprise off, but they had no idea. After S and I got back to my in-laws house from our wedding weekend, we packed up the car and told the kids it was time to head home. It wasn't until we were literally pulling up in front of the hotel, and Landon started seeing the rides and sounded out the signs that he got it. To say they were all pretty thrilled is an understatement!

We got to Anaheim in the afternoon on Monday, so we checked into our super cute hotel (The Annabelle, if your looking for a place to stay!) and then headed into downtown Disney to buy our tickers for the next day, walk around, and get the kids excited! We were lucky that our hotel was right across the street, so it was easy to pop over and walk around and then head back to the hotel and let the kids swim and burn off some energy. We ended just having pizza delivered to the room and put everyone to bed early, because we knew we had a big, long day in front of us!

We were up bright and early the next morning and managed not only to get the the gates right before they opened, the just happened to open several more lines as we were walking by, so we were some of the first people in the park. We had to, of course, stop for some requisite "First Trip to Disneyland" photos, but then we were off!

We took the kids on Pirates of the Caribbean first. It was one S and I both really like, we knew it would have long lines later, and it was one all the kids could ride and we figured they would all love it! They did and it was the perfect way to kick off our day!

After Pirates, we hopped into line for one of my all time favorite rides: The Haunted Mansion. Not only is it one of my favorites, we were here when the park was decorated for Halloween, so it was even more perfect.

Unfortunately, it seems my kids don't share my (ahem) affinity for all things ghostly and creepy. R and L left looking like they had literally seen ghosts, and poor L2 collapsed into sobs as soon as we walked out. I know, Mom of the year over here.

Luckily, everyone moved on pretty quickly once we explored the tree house, and then L and I headed onto Indian Jones. (The little boys were to little)

(He's happy here, but he ended up being scared of the skeletons in the ride!)

And so went the rest of the day. The crowds and lines were thankfully not too bad, and we utilized fast passes and parent rides wherever we could. I was amazed that L2 was so willing to go on every single ride with no hesitation, and also amazed that R for the most part didn't seem to mind that he could go on everything.

Ok, R might have had a small meltdown at one point, but it had more to do that he didn't want to walk anymore than that he was missing out on anything. Being two is rough sometimes.

We took a quick break midday to sit down and eat lunch. The boys all got corn dogs that were the size of their heads and I got clam chowder in a bread bowl that I had majorly been craving!

After lunch we were off again! The longest line we waited in all day was to meet Mickey. It ended up being an hour, and we didn't realize how long it was going to be until we were already inside and the boys were all invested in meeting him. The wait involved two bathroom breaks were S and I had to shepherd the little ones through the line and then fight back to our place in line, but the inside of Mickey's house was cool and the boys really enjoyed it.

R, however, was not too sure when it came to actually meeting the mouse himself. 

L and L2 were all about it and super excited, but I ended up having to hop in the picture just to get R to stay in it!

I have to say, the kids were troopers. We ended up being in the park from 8:00 AM until 9:30 PM, with no naps and no breaks except for lunch, and they did awesome. Everyone was well behaved, they did amazing waiting in lines, and there were no major meltdowns. It was definitely a hugely successful trip, more so than I had even hoped for. And it was magical. I know that sounds cheesy, but it was. I love Disneyland, always have, but taking my kids there for the first time and seeing it through their eyes was awesome. Parenting isn't always easy, but days like this make it worth every single second.

We can't wait to go back!!!