Monday, April 27, 2009

Drew's 5th Birthday

Drew's Birthday Weekend!
We had a great time taking Drew and the rest of the family to Florida for his fifth birthday. We had a jam packed, extra long weekend. We drove down on Saturday. We went to church with my parents Sunday morning and then to Orlando to visit my sister Katy and her husband Jason. Jason let us tour the fire station (he's a firefighter) and the kids really had a ball. They got to sit in the trucks, play with the lights and sirens, and they got little fire hats. Thanks Uncle Jason! The kids also had a great time running amuck in Aunt Katy's house. Hopefully we left your house in tact Aunt Katy!

Monday, we went to a new park in Lakeland that was simply awesome. It was completely fenced and was huge with fun equipment for all ages. We will definately be going there again. Then, we were off to downtown Disney for Drew's birthday party. We went to LegoLand and the kids enjoyed racing their lego cars and looking at all of the big Lego creations. My mom picked out some pirate legos for Drew's birthday gift. Age five opens up a whole new world of toys and interests!

We went to the Rainforest Cafe for Drew's party. My mom and Bob, my sister Samantha and her friend Adalaide, and my sister Katy and her husband Jason were able to join us. Drew felt special to have family there. We had a great time eating, opening gifts, and having cake. Of course, the Rainforest Cafe staff brought out our Thomas Carnival cake and sang a birthday song to Drew. The storm part of the restaurant's theme frightened the kids a little at first, but they soon saw it as fun and loved the animals and plants all around.

After dinner, the kids rode on the small train and the carousel.
We went to Once Upon A Toy Store where the kids have so much fun seeing all of their favorite characters in one place. Aunt Katy and Uncle Jason's gift to Drew (and the other munchkins) was to fill 2 boxes full of Mr. Potato Head parts. They have had so much fun with all of those pieces!!
Thursday was our big Disney day. We left Peyton and Carter (sorry guys) with my mom, Bob, and Sam while Pete, Drew, Logan and I went to Magic Kingdom. We didn't tell the boys where we were going (they wouldn't have truly understood anyway) until we were in the parks and they started seeing the Disney signs. This is where Drew's being able to read makes surprises difficult. But they didn't really understand where we were until we were in the park itself. This made the long way especially fun, exciting, and memorable. They thought everything was "it" and "it" was great! Drew had read about several "lands" so everything became a "land."  We passed "train land," "parking lot land," "hotel land," and even a "dirt land" where they were doing construction (now every construction site is an exciting "dirt land.")

After we parked, we had to ride the tram from the parking lot to the front entrance. They got to ride a "train!" Then, Drew got a special birthday ticket and button with his name on it (more on the button later.) Next, was the Monorail. Another "train!" The others on the monorail with us commented that we could just ride around the park on the rail and they wouldn't know the difference!

We had a little meltdown when we first entered the Magic Kingdom, in large part due to being way overtired and I think they were a little overwhelmed. Drew's feet were tired before we were halfway to the park and he wanted a stroller. Then, we got a double, which was really small and the boys did not want to share. (I personally don't blame them.) Next time, we know that each child should get there own stroller. Live and learn. They snapped out of it when we came to the Tea Cup ride. Only then, we got through the line and Drew had to go to the bathroom. So, Pete took Drew and I rode the first ride of the day with Logan. I think it was the best time he had even had up to that point.
When Pete and Drew came back, we all decided to ride again together. Then, it was the most fun that either had had up to that point. Pete got it to spin a lot faster than I did so they got a little scared at one point, but it was the fun kind of scared.
We went to the Indy Ride next and I rode with Drew while Pete rode behind us with Logan. Drew tried hard to steer but it was very hard (it was hard for me too) but he had a lot of fun. He did want it to go faster. Am I raising a thrill junky? I hope not!
Our next stop was "Toon Town" and we went inside "Minnie's House." They thought it was great to see all of the character's pictures on the walls, and the interactive kitchen was a hit with Drew.
The boys wanted to ride Goofy's Barnyard ride. There was a long wait, but the boys were mostly patient and enjoyed all of the things to look at in line. I had Logan with me this time and Pete had Drew. This ride wasn't much of a hit with Logan as he kept screaming, "not fun, not fun, not fun" the entire ride. After, he said it was too scarey. Drew screamed and was scared but loved it and said it was the fun kind of scared. Now, they have riden thier first roller coaster.
The boys went on "Donald's Boat," in "Mickey's House," and played in a play area before we stood in the very long line to meet Mickey and Minnie. Those Disney people are smart though, they stuck it indoors with a big movie screen of cartoons. The boys were awestruck when they finally were in view of them. They got thier autographs in their books and had thier picture taken. That was very exciting. Drew still talks about meeting them.
We had a quick lunch before we went to the Mickey's PhilharMagic.  The boys really enjoyed it but Logan refused to wear the 3D glasses.  He was scared at the things coming at him.  Then, on to my all time favorite ride, "It's A Small World." Drew really liked this one and wanted my to take pictures of everything! He tried to figure out the different lands as we went through. I guess he is a sucker for itty bitty things like his mom.

Winnie the Pooh was next and I think Logan liked this one more than Drew.
After the Winnie the Pooh ride, we stopped to listen to the street performers. They recognized Drew's birthday (from his button) and played "Happy Birthday" for him. By the end of the song, a few other birthday kids had come up and he added thier names to the song. Drew beamed with pride. I think this was the first real time that Drew realized that his button had power. He held the botton out for everyone to see. There is a permanent, large hole and the fabric is stretched out where he had his button from pulling it out to be in more plain view. He got a huge, proud grin everytime someone noticed it was his birthday (which was an aweful lot!)
We let the boys play at the Pooh's play area.  They ran around and got some energy out.  
Dumbo was next.  The boys had a snack while I waited in a very long line.  It was worth the wait.  They really loved it and wanted to go again!  We chose not to stand in the line again but to head to another side of the park to see other things.  But not until they played on the Dumbo statue.
We went on the Buzz Lightyear Ride next.  I think this was a favorite for both of the boys.  Logan and I were in one car and Pete and Drew were behind us.  (Pete and I switched off throughout the day so that we would both get to experience things with both.)  Our car could turn all the way around so we could turn and "shoot" each other.  They loved "helping" Buzz get the bad guy Zorg.  Buzz was waiting outside to greet his "junior rangers" when the ride was over.
Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor was next.  The boys didn't really get as much out of this one.  They enjoyed it at the beginning because they love Monster's Inc, but they didn't really get the humor.  It was a nice break for them to sit down inside though.  Pete and I thought it was hilarious and were amazed at the animation.  It was amazing that they could change the animation based on what the people in the audience did.  We still don't understand how, but it was cool.  You actually started believing the characters were real.

We took them on the Astro Orbiter but it was really high and a little scary for them.

We went to Peter Pan's Flight next.  They really enjoyed this since has always been a favorite.  What is it with boys and Pirates?

We took a dinner break at Pinocchio's Tavern.  Then it was off to the last ride of the night and possibly the overall favorite.  Pirates of the Caribbean.  They loved it!!  I was sure they were going to be scared, but they had a ball.  It was a great ride to end that part of the night.

We had a long walk back to the castle and the boys fought part of the time and played the other.  We should have gotten two singles instead of the double.  Same price, separate space.  Live and learn.
We settled in front of the castle for the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.  They really enjoyed this.

We had a long walk back through the park to get to the monorail and parking lot tram but the boys were troopers.  They were extremely exhausted, but they had enough excitement to get them to the car and changed into their pj's.  They were hungry so we stopped to get them a snack right outside the park.  They were asleep about 5 minutes later.
What a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Our little Logan has a favorite word. You guessed it, coconut. He thinks this is the funniest word on the planet (Drew thinks it should be pumpernickel). But anyway, he randomly says "coconuts" all of the time. He screams it at the top of his lungs when he is in a goofy mood. He sings it, as in "Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb. Mary had a coconut." He answers questions like when I ask him what he wants to eat, "Coconut!" (Which is especially funny to me since his crazy father always answers "squid" to this same question. Weird.) He makes up songs with his silly word and even says it under his breath when he is playing. The best part of this fascination with the word "coconut" is the huge grin and contagious laugh that follow. This is all what has led to Logan's new nickname, "Loganut."