Friday, February 28, 2014

Winding Down Disney in the Rain

Disney had extremely unusual (for Southern California) rainfall during our visit.  I went to Target loaded up on ponchos and umbrellas and we decided to head on to the parks for our last day as soon as the rain slowed.

It really wasn't very bad.  Once the stroller got caught in a down pour that really soaked it, but overall it was nothing more than an occasional shower.

This was the one and only nap Lydia took in any carrier. It was in the rain and I think it was because it was the same background sound as the noise maker going under her crib. I'm kind of sad about how independent she is becoming. I still wear and hold her sometimes, but more often than not she wants to be off exploring.  It is a good thing, but every step of the growing up is bittersweet for this momma.

In Orlando when it rains at DisneyWorld, you know you can always head to Innoventions at Epcot.  Same thing in Anaheim, only there is no Epcot, but there is Ironman and there are video games.

There was much ride riding in between the rain showers and Eli even conquered Space Mountain with daddy and declared it is favorite ride of all.

We gave baby girl a quick nap pre-dinner.  Had an average dinner at the Grand Californian hotel.  But they kids did get to "make their own pizza" which was fun, but I wish that would have meant they would have "eaten more than 2 bites of their own pizza."

And then we decided to try and see the fireworks.  The rain had stopped and all they will announce is they wait until the last moment to cancel the fireworks.  And they did, wait and cancel.  But momma got a picture so I'm calling it good.

It was nice to have a last day to let the boys do what they wanted to do again and to catch up on somethings we missed on the first couple of days. It is also nice that a "rain event" in California is a 1/2 inch of rain.

The Disney Faces of Colin

The little ham was the only one interested in actually posing for the occasional picture.

Love this passionate fun kid!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Disney's California Adventure

The addition of Cars Land and the boys growing interest in thrill rides made California Adventure much more fun this time.

Walker loved the "Screamin" roller coaster.  He was giddy and bouncing around with joy each time he got off the ride.  It was fantastic to be there to witness this from him.  I might have gotten a little teary thinking about having a kid old enough to enjoy roller coasters.

While he was tall enough to ride, he was barely tall enough for his eyebrows to make the post-ride picture.  And he strained for that.  The first few times it was just his hair.  He saw the camera and stretched, and I almost died of laughter.

Here is a a link to the start of the ride.  Jason and Walker are on the second row.

The "Racers" ride was so fun! The theming for Cars Land was amazing.  I felt 100% like we were in the movie.  The boys really benefitted from the adult ride swap.  It allows up to three riders so they got to ride most rides two times in a row for the price of one standing in line.

With all the thrill rides there was quite a bit of time where Jason and I split up the older two and the younger two.

I even rode the under the sea themed carousel with Colin and Lydia.  This is love.  Because it goes round in circles you know.  It is weird how I can ride roller coasters all day, but a carousel can be the end of me.

Sidebar: We can't decide what color her eyes are going to settle on being.  Sometimes they look brown, sometimes green, and sometimes blue.  So for now we are going with hazel, but next week we could have a completely different opinion.

The Army men were a hit with the younger two.  We were on our way to ride "The Little Mermaid"

We then made it to the mermaid ride.  Which Colin declared was, "so stupid.  a stupid girl thing. i don't like girl things."  So we talked about no saying stupid and started prepping him for where this whole sister thing is headed.

The Cozy Cone was a fun area to let a bit of freedom.

We did dinner at Carthay Circle to get the World Of Color reserved seating and Baby Girl really enjoyed the fancy lobby.

She felt like quite the big stuff.

Dinner was really good, even Colin ate well.

The reserved seating for the World of Color was definitely the way to go.  There was plenty of room and even the boys could see most of the show.  Now it was the end of a long day and past any sort of reasonable bedtime for Lydia, so it wasn't exactly a completely relaxing experience, but totally worth it.

This was the best shot I got.  It is lousy, but water - color - lights, you get the idea.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lydia Turns 1

She is a big girl, and she thinks she is bigger than that.  She is every bit a toddler.

She walks or runs everywhere.  She wants down more than she wants to be held.  She wants to eat what the big kids are eating. She has found her (loud) voice and expresses how she feels.  She says; hi, da, ma (which is momma and milk), more,  all done (ah da), ohhhh, wow, uh oh, bath and she has sounds for all boys that are unique but are not quite relatable to their names.  She is pretty committed to her naps, but still request a visit from momma in the middle of the night.

Now those are the basics.  The general baby to toddler facts, but I only write those things because they are what I will forget.

I will never forget what she has done for this family.  Everyone in this house adores her.  She has reminded us all of a tender quiet kind of unconditional love.   She can do no wrong in the eyes of her brothers.  Walker, in particular, loves her and defends her like no other.

The first birthday celebration is more for the family than the kid, and this one was really no different.  But it is pretty special to be able to spend your first birthday in the "Happiest place on Earth" with the people who love you dearly.

(look, even Minnie is surprised by how many there are)

She is a happy little girl with a big laugh.  She will get into trouble in a minute if she is given the opportunity. She runs fastest when she thinks she can get into her big brothers' things.  She loves to sit down and read a book, two pages at a time, but really sitting in the lap is the best part.

She has reminded this momma of the grace and honor it is to mother.  She has reminded me of the simple but complete love of a snuggling babe and of how quickly the time is passing we have with our little ones.

Disneyland 2014 - Day 1

There truly is nothing like Disney with the family.  I love storing up these memories that we can touch back on for years to come.

We started with a character breakfast for Lydia's birthday

She was enamored with the characters - well mostly with their noses.

The boys did better than last time, and surprisingly Captain Hook was a big hit.

This "kiss" from Minnie is killing me.

I mean, has Minnie tried to eat your kids?  But, at least Eli agreed to the picture.

Eeyore and Tigger were there, too.  But honestly this is the worst flow of a character breakfast we have ever had.  They sat the entire restaurant at the same time and several of the characters came through while Jason was at the buffet trying to get the kids' breakfast in a very long line. It was still good, but it is disappointing to feel so rushed for something that is supposed to be fun.

Lydia's first ride was a train ride, of course.

No, not the Matterhorn.  It was Casey's Circus Train, and the line was way long.

But we enjoyed the one train ride that was actually opened during our visit.

She also got to ride the Jungle Cruise.  She did not laugh at one of the tour guides jokes.  Not one.

Of course she did her fair share of waiting for brothers to ride, but she didn't seem to mind.

She just charmed every stranger that walked by.

Lydia does not like to take naps anywhere that is not her crib.  This made for some tired moments, but eventually she did succumb to a few cat naps.

She did amazingly well and really the biggest challenge was that her little independent self wanted to walk everywhere.

We accidentally ended the night with the parade.  We had planned to head on back for the night, but though a series of events the parade was in between us and our stroller so we were able to watch the parade.  She was in awe, and Walker wouldn't let us leave until she had seen the princesses and Tinkerbell.  It was pretty precious, and quite the happy accident.

It was more than we could have hoped for in a Disney birthday!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lydia's Virtual Party

We miss our families everyday, but on special holidays it is even harder to be so far away.  I am so thankful for technology that lets us see and celebrate with those miles and miles away.

The Sunday before Lydia's birthday we set up a Google Hangout with the grandparents and aunts and uncles so we could all celebrate together, if even only for a few moments.

Honestly.  She wasn't that into the cupcake.  She tasted it and wasn't offended, but never really dove in. She seems to prefer more savory tastes right now, which is a surprise considering her mother.

This McCay/Brown crew is kind of loud, so it wasn't perfect, but it was great being able to share these moments with each other.

(ps - those are the google chat glasses, not my dad's actual glasses)

There were presents

Maybe by her fifth or sixth birthday the boys will actually let her unwrap her own presents.

It's not all bad to have a virtual party.  The party prep was super easy so we spent pre-party time  at the beach.

Can't do that in Alabama.