Sunday, November 29, 2015

the happiest place on earth

A few weeks ago we took our first family (flight) vacation to Florida to visit Matt's parents and Grandma. Grandma had not met little Norah yet, and since Norah passed her first three months without getting sick, we figured it was safe to venture out. And a good start was a two hour flight with no layovers. Plus, traveling in early November meant getting cheap tickets. We would have loved to travel over the holidays but it's just so expensive, especially since we have to buy three tickets now. It actually cost us more to board the dog than to buy one of the plane tickets!

we are going where in this thing???

Both girls did pretty good on the flight. Charlotte is/was a much better traveller than Norah. If her ears hurt or she was tired I could nurse her asleep. Norah will NOT be forced to nurse. Ever. It does make it easier to figure out what the problem is, but harder to solve it when confined to an itty bitty airplane seat. My stress level automatically rises when we get on the plane. Keeping the kids calm and somewhat quiet is never an easy task. I don't know when or if I would be up for a solo flight with both of them. What if I have to pee? What if Charlotte does? It seems like someone always wanted something: a snack, to cuddle, to be bounced, to go potty, a snack, to be bounced. Overall it wasn't too bad and we survived. I was expecting a little more appreciation of all our hard work from our fellow such luck. Ungrateful I tell you.

we made it!!

meeting Grandma Dot!

reading together

We could not go to Orlando and not go to Disney. Pretty sure this might be something we do every time we go. Spoiled! Grandpa got the day off work and happily took us to the park. Everyone had a blast! Norah did great. I just loaded her into the pack and off we went. We didn't hear a peep from her all day. She slept, woke to eat a few times and went back to sleep. It was ideal. Except for the heat. While it is Florida and we definitely wanted to enjoy some warm weather, 90+ was a tad much. A lovely 75 would have been preferred. ;) So we just enjoyed ice cream to help us cool off. Charlotte loved that! Who am I kidding, Charlotte loved everything about Disney. 

we made it!!! Look at my castle!!

obligatory family photo

heading off for some adventure 

 first ride...the magic carpet!!

ride we had to wait the longest for....the jungle cruise!
Grandpa look at that BIG elephant!!

I sit, she wakes. 
checking out the sites on the jungle cruise.

Meeting the characters was definitely the highlight of my day. There is nothing like seeing the look of pure joy and awe on your child's face. It makes me feel like a kid again myself and I just can't stop smiling. Plus they actually talk!! So cool to meet Mickey Mouse!!
she even jumped around and danced with him!

lighting: bad. slouching to be shorter like Mickey: bad. Memory created: perfect. And look....Norah is awake too. Bonus: we didn't have to pay for this picture, they took it for us! 

While C and I were meeting Mickey, Matt went to wait in line for food. He insisted on a sit down, air conditioned place where we could rest up and regroup. Everything in Disney is pricey so you might as well pick a nice cool spot and enjoy yourself. So glad we listened to him. Not only did we eat some pretty delicious food, Charlotte got to meet some of her favorite characters! 
OMG it's Tigger!!!

"look Mommy me and Piglet are twinnies!!"

Oh Eeyore!

eskimo kiss for Pooh

Norah gave Pooh a smile!

yay Piglet!!
So funny: she was a little disappointed that Roo wasn't there. haha!

the only ride she requested we ride more than once! Tea Cups!! Daddy probably didn't spin it.

 Princess time....
in awe of Cinderella. They discussed Prince Charming.


having a very serious conversation with Rapunzel, probably about hair.

Before we left we just had to stop and dance in the street with the band. Charlotte put on an amazing one girl show. Grandpa, Daddy and I were asked to join in a few times too. :) 

all smiles on the way home!

Later in the week we hit up the Animal Kingdom...Charlotte's (and obv Norah's) first trip to that park. It was super hot out so we made sure to see a lot of the indoor shows: The Lion King, Bugs, Nemo. And of course we went on the few rides we could (height restrictions). Another really fun day for the memory bank. Thanks Grandpa for spending another day with us at Disney!!
on our way and super excited! 
we are going to see what?! 

another family shot :) 
enjoy the heck outta the Lion King show

Safari ride!!

real bagraffes!!

hello Mr Hippo I see you! "Mommy where is his horn?!" LOL

crocs ahhh!!

riding up front

Grandpa joined in on the fun too!

face painting....she begged....I couldn't resist

beautiful girl

all of us on the dino ride. look at that pose Miss C!

two minutes after leaving the park: asleep. It was a good day.

When we weren't skipping happily around Disney World we were enjoying our little vacation with family. Spending time with Grandma, Grandpa and Great Grandma. All in one house, cozy and perfect. We went for walks, took two trips to the pool and a trip to Chuck E Cheese. Matt and I even managed to sneak in two little dates. Massages and a movie. Norah did mediocre while we were gone. On this trip she learned how to manipulate everyone to get to me. Mainly if she sucks on someones shirt or arm they immediately hand her over. Sneaky little one. Oh and she basically refused to take a bottle. Dah!! I think perhaps she is going through a Mommy phase. That or the girl just loves being at home in her predictable environment. Thank you all you Grand people for putting up with some tears while we were gone!! It was much appreciated!!

story time with my girls. Love

Rocking out at Chuck E Cheese!

found some dirt on our walk!

the face.

oh Hi mom!!

We ended up having to buy a little swing to get us through the week! 
finally asleep!

more reading time with GGMA!

N: "I am telling you, there is candy in that drawer over there."

the reason for the trip, so these two could meet.

 Thank you Clutes for hosting us for a week, for giving up your room for us, for watching our kiddos, and for living so close to Disney! :) We had a wonderful time and can't wait to come back and do it all over again!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

All things Fall

Ahh Fall. Finally you have arrived. Welcome. It is definitely our favorite time of the year. It isn't sweltering hot anymore and not yet cold enough to require heavy coats. The leaves are changing and there are still long beautiful days. And yet it flies by before I can really start to appreciate it. It reminds me of Monterey and that makes me a little home sick. Not that that is where I am from, but it is the most recent place we called home and gosh it sure was beautiful there. Thank you Navy for allowing us a wonderfully fabulous 18 months there.

But on to the goods....the fall recap. If I was more on top of my game I would have broken some of these posts out but alas life with two littles and all sorts of other excuses. blah blah blah. So you will just have to deal with a bit of a picture overload. We actually did some fun stuff over the past few weeks and it's all getting revisited right now. Enjoy my people. But you won't get to enjoy any Disney pictures yet, that is all going in to the next post. Suspense.

Charlotte started swim lessons in October. Finally!! Turning 3 meant all sorts of solo (aka without Mommy at her side) activities opened up. We want her pool ready for the summer so now is the time to start the lessons. And thank goodness too because girlfriend hates getting her face wet. And seeing as that is a requirement to pass level 1, we may hoover there for a while. As soon as I blink she will be jumping off the high dive so I better watch out!!

all ready for her first class!!

water in the face...tears to follow

happy happy now that she is swimming 

proud parents watching from the sidelines

Norah slept through most of it

post lesson smiles!!

Grandma Clute came to visit us in the beginning of October and I tried not to keep her locked away in the house the entire time. We dragged her along to the swim lessons, of course, and an afternoon out at AnneMarie gardens. It was my first time and an absolutely beautiful day! One of our last really warm "summer" days. I already miss shorts.

running in for a high five!

why hello miss C

enjoying the play area

especially loving the houses

bahahahaha. Feel like maybe I should submit this to George Takei.
I'm sure there is a funny caption to be had here.

passed out happy girl

trying out the bars at MyGym

I also insisted upon a few pictures of Grandma and the girls. It took a little work but we got a few good ones. Capturing this wonderful moment in time.


selfie with Grandma!! Love!!

One of our favorite fall activities is heading down the street to the local pumpkin patch to pick a few pumpkins, ride a few rides and enjoy the sunshine. We somehow picked one of the colder days, which was a bit of a bummer, but we made it work. We also attempted a family photo op....
tears for one and refusing the smile for the other. typical.

bad light but at least nobody is crying. typical.
 screw it. let's get our pumpkins and get outta here.
searching high and low

perhaps way over there is a good one
 this is a good one, Christmas card worthy?! who needs daddy! ;)
due to cost we just got two little ones for the girls. can we say rip off?!!
(I got some for mommy and daddy from the grocery store. cheaper. lol)

enjoying the slightly scary but fun hay ride. "you sure we are going to make it back ma?"

train ride is a must!

my beautiful girl


For Halloween this year I wanted to make sure C was able to trick or treat her heart out. So we went 3 times. First up was AnneMarie gardens. That was a lot of fun but boy was the line long! Norah slept most of the time (yay!) and Charlotte did really well waiting in line and listening to me. It was a fun girls day.
two princesses and a baby bagraffe

princess Charlotte (didn't want to wear her crown)


best costume. I'm buying it for Matt

Lego man

hey I can't see I'm too short

that's better!!

not creepy at all. 

mr. froggy

she made out like a bandit!

trick or treating is such hard work.

We also did a trunk or treat with Matt's work. It was dark out so here are the before pictures at home...
an old lady, ballerina and baby bagraffe. Rocking Grandma's Moo moo.

So apparently I didn't get the memo that adults weren't dressing up for this trunk or treat. And my lovely husband kinda figured nobody would and chose not to say anything to me. He didn't want to "crush my halloween spirit". Thanks babe.

ur beautiful ballerina

sister pic. Next year will be better when Norah can sit or stand on her own.
And finally we did some trick or treating around our neighborhood. It was a small crowd but still a lot of fun. Our neighbors did a great job decorating and the kids had a lot of fun! Charlotte went as a ballerina again, but I decided to spice it up and go as just "some bunny". Get it?! haha. Good times!

And finally, to close out this little (long) post, a few pictures of randomness. Clute's having a good ol time.
going for a walk/bike ride

 note: I have to carry the bike back every.single.time. Sometimes her on the end of the stroller too. lol.

my fav pic

splenda anyone?

Harley enjoying our first fire in the fireplace. Heaven.

swinging with bagraffe 
C made a bed for Harley and he crawled right in.

getting ready for winter!

making her Christmas wish list. All of it. I want all of it she says.
 Attempting to take the Jeep for a spin. I almost had to ride this back. lol. Still learning to steer properly. Harley feared for his life most of the walk. Good times. 

camping downstairs.

love this smiley picture of my girl

"hmmm how ridiculous is my Mom??? Let me count the ways."