Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Swimming Lessons

All three kids are taking swimming lessons this week. Emma Jo is already a great swimmer. Cooper loves the water and wishes he could swim on his own. Grace likes to play in the water, but she is terrified of getting her ears wet. I'm sure it is a side-effect of all the ear problems she has had over the years and the way the water feels with her tubes. All three are doing great at lessons this week! Grace was intimidated the first night but recovered and hasn't had any issues the last two nights. Cooper likes doing what he wants to do, not what the instructor wants him to do. Emma Jo is in a class of just four kids and they are practicing as if they were training for swim team.
Daddy and the little kids getting in the little pool.
Emma Jo swimming the backstroke.Grace getting wet and then floating with the instructor.
Cooper John wearing Daddy's sunglasses and hat before swimming lessons

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Great Day!

I still have one day of our Disneyland trip to recount, hopefully I'll get to it soon, but today was too good of a day not to share. It started out as a typical Saturday. Jason had to work and I was home alone with the kids. I felt like sleeping in, but it never turns out to be a good day when I don't get my shower in before the first kid wakes up. This morning at 6:00 I decided I needed to jump into the shower because Cooper would be up any minute. As I threw back the covers, Grace walked in my door. I invited her into my bed and we snuggled for a few minutes. Then I told her I needed to take a shower and offered for her to watch Mickey Mouse until I was done. She was very happy to get to watch her show and have the bed to herself.
After all three kids were awake we decided to make breakfast. Emma Jo was in charge of the scrambled eggs and I made pancakes. We all sat at the table together and really enjoyed each other's company. After breakfast everyone got dressed, brushed their hair and brushed their teeth. We started some laundry, set Rosie to vacuum Cooper's room and took Lucy to the groomers. Then we went by the dry cleaners and Funky Monkey to put the deposit on Grace's party next weekend. While we were at Funky Monkey we decided to play some games and ride some of the rides. I really enjoyed watching the kids play together. The girls did a great job looking out for Cooper and including him in their fun. Emma Jo was a fantastic big sister and helped both Cooper and Grace with the jungle gym.
By the end of the day, all of the bedrooms had been vacuumed, all of the dirty clothes had been washed, folded and put away, and everyone was still in a good mood. Dinner was BBQ steak and corn. While Jason was cooking we enjoyed the evening air while the kids played on the swing set and slide and built sandcastles.
All in all it was a great day. We got lots accomplished but still felt relaxed at the end of the day.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Disneyland Day 4 - Grammie & Grampa Arrive!!!

Grammie and Grampa came down to visit us for our last two days at Disneyland. We were so excited to see them and share our vacation. We started Thursday with a breakfast with Minnie & Company. The restaurant is right at the end of Main Street next to Tomorrowland. It was a great buffet with several characters who come right to your table and sign autographs and take pictures. Grace was so happy to finally really work on filling up her book.The girls with Minnie Mouse.Grammie, Grampa and MinnieBrer Bear really liked Grampa. Grampa didn't like him quite as much.Cooper liked to see the characters from afar, but really didn't want to touch them.Max (Goofy's son? nephew?) was very cute and played a hand game with Cooper.Cooper would only let Jason or Grammie hold him. Here he climbed unto her lap and was eating Grace's Fruit Loops with a fork.Grammie, the kids, and PinocchioAfter breakfast, Nemo was the first order of business. Here is Emma Jo looking through one of the rocks in the Nemo line. The new Nemo ride is pretty amazing with the integration of water, movies and holograms. Cooper especially liked the bubbles.Gracie loves her Grampa. They drove together on Autopia and share some special moments while waiting in line.Grammie waiting in line with Emma Jo.Cooper John loved Buzz Lightyear, especially his AstroBlasters.Cooper and Daddy on the Jungle Ride.
Grammie and Grampa on the Jungle Ride.
It was so much fun to watch the kids and their Grandparents at Disneyland. The love betwen the five of them is evident and I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful family.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Disneyland - Day 3

On Wednesday we decided we needed a break from Disney. We chose to spend the morning driving up into LA to visit the American Girl Store. Emma Jo has been collecting American Girls for a few years (thanks to Grammie) and Gracie has Alice her Bitty Baby whom she loves to pieces. We thought it would be a welcome break to take the girls to see something not associated with Disney.
The store was beautiful. Probably the nicest kids store we have ever visited. There was every possible accessory or outfit you would need for an American Girl or Bitty Baby. The store was airy and spacious with beautiful displays that just lured your to buy everything in site. Emma Jo had Nikki's hair re-styled and Grace bought Alice a couple of new outfits.
When we got back to the hotel (after visiting a Woodcraft, and getting In-and-Out Burger) we decided it was time for swimming. Cooper knows the drill and tried to apply his own sunscreen.
Later in the evening we decided to drive into Disney and we waited for Grammie and Grampa to arrive.
We spent most of our time in FantasyLand and rode Alice in Wonderland and the Carousel (again).
On the way back to Downtown Disney (where we parked) we were able to sit in the nose of the monorail and pretend to drive the shuttle.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

California Adventure

On Tuesday we took the kids to California Adventure. We were there right when the gates opened and had to wait for the rides. While we waited the kids had the chance to meet Minnie, Mickie and Pluto. Cooper was so excited to meet Pluto but then got scared and didn't want to go anywhere near him.

The girls getting Minnie's autograph.

Grace was so excited to finally get Minnie's autograph. She wants to fill up her book with all of the characters from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Emma Jo meeting Pluto.

Grace wanted Pluto to sign her book, but she did not want to be anywhere close to him.

Cooper would only get close to Pluto if Daddy was holding him. As soon as we walked away he waved and yelled "Bye-Bye Doggie!"

Daddy helped the kids meet Adventure Mickey.

Grace and Cooper loved the Playhouse Disney show. Gracie especially liked the bubbles and when the leaves fell from the sky. Cooper was enthralled with all of the action on stage and liked dancing with the characters.

California Adventure is under major construction as they prepare the setting for a nighttime light spectacular which will feature Ariel and Pocahontas among others.

What does a Monkey Say?

On Monday night we went to Rainforest Cafe for dinner. We sat right under some monkeys. While we were there Cooper told us what a monkey says. video

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Disneyland 2009 - Pictures from Day 1

Here are some pictures from our first night and day at Disneyland.
This is our first trip to Disneyland when we didn't stay at the Disneyland Hotel. With three kids, it was very important to me to have a two-bedroom suite. Vacation isn't any fun when all five of us are cooped up in a regular hotel room. The girls put in a special request for a room with a bunk-bed. I spent hours researching hotels on the web and came up with the Residence Inn-Resort Area in Garden Grove. It is a few miles from Disney but has a shuttle that runs "continuously". It wasn't until after we checked in that "continuously" really means every 20-40 minutes.Waiting for the shuttle for our first trip into Disneyland.Cooper is ready to go!Grace loves riding on the bus."Over there Mom! I think I see Mickey!" ~GraceFirst ride of the night, Storybook Adventure.Emma Jo was not impressed with this ride. She wanted to go on Space Mountain.First thing we saw when we got into the park on Monday morning was Goofy. Right at the beginning of Main Street.Cooper loves the carousel. Each time he sees it he starts yelling. Cooper did not want to let go of his horse.Daddy and Grace riding Dumbo.

Emma Jo waving to the crowds while riding Dumbo all by herself.