Magic Kingdom

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My favorite park! I love all the Disney parks. I certainly wouldn’t want to spend every day of our vacation at Magic Kingdom, but there is just something about walking around Magic Kingdom specifically. There’s nothing like it.

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Let the Memories Begin? Don’t mind if we do! The whole park was decorated for the Holiday’s. Something odd about listening to Christmas music when it is 80 degrees. Felt more like Christmas in July!

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The park was dead! Do you see how there is NO ONE behind me?? We felt like VIPs. We were running through the lines going on rides three times in a row. AWESOME. The fast pass plus worked out really well. I had the times scheduled for the afternoon when the crowd picked up (a little).

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Butter’s favorite ride. YO HO YO HO a pirate’s life for me! It’s more catchy than it’s a small world. Well, after the 14th time around anyway. Apparently, there’s a picture floating around somewhere of Mr. Macaroni doing this exact same pose. Boys…

Domi and BuzzAnthony Domi and Buzz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peanut’s favorite moment. Meeting BUZZ!!! I could of cried it was so sweet.

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We went on the Buzz ride a few times. Somehow while wrangling Peanut to sit in his seat without climbing out to Buzz I managed to get the highest score possible of 999,999. Mr. Macaroni was very impressed. I however was disappointed with the glitch in the ride. Ah well, when necessary I’ll exercise my bragging rights.

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The New Fantasyland was pretty neat. Mostly things for girls. I just did a google image search for New Fantasyland and forgot to put in the “land”. YIKES!

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Look at this view from our lunch table. Doesn’t get better this!

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Ok maybe it does. Look at this view. Two sleeping boys. Mr. Macaroni and I were able to have a dinner date!

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My favorite part of the day. I love a parade.  This one was really neat with all the lights.

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Speaking of lights. Look at the castle all lit up! We didn’t stay for the fireworks, which is  a shame. Mr. Macaroni wanted to avoid the crowd so we skipped out before so as not to have to wait for a bus back to the resort.

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This more than made up for it though. Precious.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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It’s a shame vacation can’t last forever…. if it could I would be in sunny Florida soaking up some rays. We had a great trip! Turns out our kids are EXCELLENT flyers. They were on their best behavior. Our plane was delayed 45 minutes on the runway and Peanut had a blast watching the planes take off. After every one he would turn away from the window look at us and say “More More!” Butter sat quietly in his seat and played with his stickers. We brought a portable dvd player and once the plane was in the air the Peanut watched Toy Story 2. Butter colored and did “school” and they both ate a ton of snacks. They both got a kick out of getting apple juice from the flight attendant and drinking it through tiny straws.

Our first day we got acquainted with the resort. We stayed at All Star Movies. Mostly because our kids are ENORMOUS Toy Story fans. Ever since Peanut was a baby if he was inconsolable we would put on Toy Story and he would instantly calm. Now he’ll bring us the remote nod his head and say “Buzz, Buzz,Buzz” The resort had GIANT character statues. It certainly was hard to get lost when your room is right near Buzz’s rear end!

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Mr. Macaroni is posing with Butter and his favorite character Woody and then with Peanut and his favorite Buzz. These things were MASSIVE! We were in the Toy Story section, which all circled around Andy’s room. There were also 101 Dalmatians, Love Bug, Fantasia and The Mighty Duck Sections all with their own enormous attractions.

We had some pool time, which is ALWAYS exciting when it’s December 🙂

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We received a free quick service dining plan with our trip for everyone in our party with a park ticket. (We didn’t have to purchase tickets for Peanut because he is under 2) The dining plan included 2 meals and 1 snack for everyday of our trip including the arrival date and departure date. We got an incredible amount of food. There was plenty to share, so we only had to purchase something extra for Peanut a couple of times. Otherwise he shared what we had or had leftovers from other meals. The last day of our trip we ended up having extra meals and snacks because one night we decided to go out to downtown Disney and eat at a restaurant not covered by the dining plan and we ordered a pizza for dinner twice, which only counted as two meals.

The next day we went to Animal Kingdom. We went on the Kilimanjaro safari for the first time. The last time we went I thought it was something that you had to pay extra for, but it’s included in the price of your park ticket. I told Mr. Macaroni I would only go on if he would sacrifice his arm to any lion who thought Peanut or Butter looked tasty. He agreed. We saw some amazing animals VERY close. I apologize for the blurriness of the pictures, but my camera… it’s not great.

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Oh, how I love a giraffe.

We all got a chuckle watching how a creature of that stature must climb a small hill in order to not fall down.

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HIPPO! He even yawned and we were able to see his big Hippo teeth.

 

 

 

 

This big guy was right next to our truck. I couldn’t get back far enough to get him in the frame. According to our guide his horns aren’t heavy they are hollow. Either way they look mighty sharp to me.

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Butter insisted these crocs (or were they gators?) were just pretend, because they weren’t moving.

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Zebras ❤

 

 

 

 

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Lioness, luckily she stayed put so Mr. Macaroni was able to keep both his arms. Phew!

 

 

The Safari was just one attraction at Animal Kingdom. We saw tons of animals, rode rides, took in a parade and saw a couple shows.

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and of course the one way to know the day was a true success:

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Hurray Disney!

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Our trip to Disney World is coming up VERY soon! This will be my 4th, Butter’s 3rd, Peanut’s 2nd and Mr. Macaroni’s umpteenth trip 🙂 We got some snail mail from Disney today letting us know we were selected to participate in their FastPass+ program. I am loving this idea! We were able to go online in the comfort of our own home and pick what experiences we wanted to enjoy. They included rides, character meet and greets and prefered seating for fireworks and parades. For those of you who have been to Disney before you know that you can only have one fast pass at a time. For example, if you go to Hollywood Studios and get to the Toy Story ride as soon as the park opens and don’t feel like waiting in line for 2 hours you may be shocked by how many people had the same idea as you and now your Fast Pass isn’t until 6:00 that night, you are now done for fast passes for the rest of the day! With this program we were able to choose 4 fast passes at Magic Kingdom and 3 for Hollywood studios! With our yearly trips we had a general idea which rides tend to have the longest lines and picked those. The only thing I don’t like about this program is that you have to decide what day you are going to which park. Since at this point we can’t foresee what the weather will be like I am glad we are allowed to go back and make changes when necessary. If only there was a fast pass for the plane ride!

Snow day!

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Last year we got hardly any snow, and Peanut was too little to enjoy it. The year before that Butter had a broken leg and could not play in it. So, when I saw all this beautiful snow today I made a call to Mr. Macaroni at work to pick up a new snow suit for Butter and new mittens for Peanut, because when he gets home we are going to play in the snow! I wasn’t sure what he was going to bring home from the store. I typically do all the shopping for the kids. I couldn’t go out today because I was watching Baby. He did well though he came home with exactly what I asked for. I should give him more credit.

Peanut lasted for about 45 minutes, he thought it was great!

Butter was out well over an hour and only came in because it was getting dark!

I didn’t have the heart to tell him it will all be melted tomorrow.

Thanksgiving and a Wedding

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Did everyone have a  happy holiday? We certainly did. Busy, but GREAT! The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving I would ask Butter what he was thankful for. His response was always “Grandma”, which is really quite sweet. Today, now that all the craziness is over I thought I would ask him again. What are you thankful for? His response “my teeth.” this caught me off guard. “Your teeth?” Okay… I’ll play along…. “Why are you thankful for your teeth?”

“because I love my teeth” Well, I guess you can’t argue with that.

We went to my parent’s for Thanksgiving. It was a Thanksgiving/rehearsal dinner of sorts. I made my sister and new brother-in-law, who I adore, a cake.

We got a chance to meet my brother-in-laws family and they were all so kind and genuine. We spent a lot of time laughing. Peanut fell in love with the three dogs that were there and learned a new word. “Doggy”.

We spent the night at a hotel (practice for when we’re all in one room at Disney). My in-laws beat us there. We made a wrong turn on the way over. I could really really really use one of those tom toms. I can get lost in a parking lot. Ok, I have gotten lost in a parking lot. Anyway, the first thing we did was change into our bathing suits and the kids had a blast swimming in the pool.

The next day was the WEDDING!!! I got to sneak out for the morning to help get my sister ready, I am pretty sure that she was the calmest bride that there ever was. Even if you’re not nervous about the marriage, there is the whole wedding going off without a hitch (that you have been planning FOREVER) and the fact that everyone is staring at you to give you butterflys. Regardless. The weather was perfect, the bride was gorgeous and my boys were ADORABLE.

My sister had gotten her flowers from Lily of Angels on etsy. Can you believe these are silk?

Neither could my mother in law when I told her, and she had pinned a boutonniere onto Mr. Macaroni.

The venue was GORGEOUS! If you’re looking for a place to get married in Connecticut I highly recommend the Waterview. http://www.waterviewcatering.com/I wish I could take credit for the beautiful cake!

Unfortunately, running after two kids I didn’t get to try it. I am sure it was delicious. I wasn’t too disappointed after the previous days treats of pumpkin pie, pecan pie, pumpkin roll and german chocolate cake. I, dare I say it, was a little sweetsed out. I decided to send Mr. Macaroni home with his parent’s after the wedding and spend the night at my parent’s with the kids. They crashed early since we skipped naps and I was able to meet up with some old, but very dear friends, who I don’t see nearly enough. The next day ended the wedding festivities with a brunch at my parents.

Like I said it was a very busy weekend, but GREAT!

Let’s do school

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Butter’s old enough to have gone to preschool this year. I didn’t send him for a couple of reasons… 1) I watch a baby during the day and I am unable to fit three car seats in my car, so getting him to and from school would be difficult. 2) He will definitely be doing pre school this coming Fall and I thought he might get bored doing it two years in a row 3) it’s EXPENSIVE!! 4) I’d miss him 5) and this is the most important reason… I really didn’t think he was ready. Butter is my WILD man, he is incredibly smart a genius if you ask his Pop Pop, but the thought of sending him to school sent me into a panic. I can just see him climbing on top of the tables and jumping off and over the other children quietly sitting and waiting to fill their minds with knowledge.

Since I am home I like to do crafts and educational activities with the kids.I get my inspiration from pinterest and other Mommy blogs, but I was looking for more.

I was recently talking to another Mom who told me about this amazing website. www.preschoolpalace.com It is exactly what I was looking for! It’s a curriculum that tells you exactly what to teach and go over daily. We’re doing letters, colors, shapes, feelings/manners/behaviors and holidays.

We have a special corner in the playroom for “school”

Every morning Butter says “Let’s do school!” I have never seen him so proud of himself as he is when he follows the directions to complete a worksheet or can successfully trace the letter of the day. I am so glad I can see his face light up and experience these achievements with him, which I would be missing if he were at school by himself.  He has a long way to go on improving his, coloring inside the line skills, but I am very happy to report that  he has not climbed on top of his table and jumped over his brother who is quietly sitting and coloring in his chair. Not yet anyway.

LeapPad2

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My Mother in Law asked what to get Butter for Christmas. Of course one of the toys on my his wish list is the LeapPad2, one of this years hottest toys! I couldn’t believe she decided to get it, since it’s a bit pricey at $99.

We’d been staying at her house since we lost power and after I put the kids to bed we took a trip to my favorite store, Target, to pick it up. When we got home I took it out of the box to get it set up, so when Butter opens it he’ll be able to play right away. Mr. Macaroni was teasing me, by saying I just wanted to play with it first. Since we don’t have cellphones or Ipads I’ll admit it, he wasn’t wrong. Turns out Leapster recommends you set it up early. I’ll pat myself on the back for that one! One of the reasons I really like the LeapPad is because you can download apps (games/music/videos/etc.) directly to the device instead of relying entirely on game cartridges. I’d rather not have to worry about losing those.

I purchased one additional app called LeapSchool Cooking. Butter has played a similar game before and really enjoyed it, so I am hoping it will be a hit. Also, I scored two free apps!

The Book of Super Awesome Stuff with code: 5813 1140 1518 1413 and a game
Alphabet Stew with code: 5813 0790 4610 4973 (https://us.appcenter.leapfrog.com/storefront/leapster-explorer/games/cLSTR,cLSTR_GAMES,p0.html Click on “redeem a code” instead of adding the apps to your cart.)

I’m also going to purchase a gel skin to protect the LeapPad and a rechargeable battery pack.

For Peanut she decided to get him a train table! I found this one at toysRus we snagged it on sale at $40 off with free shipping! http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11766021

I’ve gotten the kids a couple things I know they’ll enjoy as well. www.Fisher-price.com/store had a 20% off sale, so I picked up the

Jake and the Neverland Pirate’s Musical Pirate Ship

The Imaginext Super Friends Batcave

The Imaginext catapult,  which is the only accessory we are missing for their Eagle Talon Castle toy.

It seems like a lot, but the only time we get the kids toys is birthdays and holidays, so it’s fun to get a chance to spoil them a little. There are a couple things I still need to pick up, but overall I think we will have some very happy boys on Christmas morning.

On another note we are BACK IN OUR HOUSE! The power came on Tuesday night. It took awhile to get the chill out. The temperature inside had gotten down to 48 degrees. We are so grateful that we were safe, we had family to stay with and that there was no damage done to our home. So many others weren’t as lucky. Our thoughts and prayers are with you!

Hurricane Sandy

Hello everyone, sorry I haven’t posted, but we had a visit from Sandy that has left us still without power. It went out around 6:30 on Monday. That was the scariest because every time I heard crack then boom my heart would stop. The kids had a good time that night. We had anticipated we would lose power and picked up batteries, water and by glow sticks.

Around 9:00pm we saw lights flashing outside our window. Turns out a tree fell in the road by our driveway. I couldn’t believe they were already out clearing the road in the middle of the storm. While we watched a tree fell miraculously missing the men.

I got no sleep that night because I kept checking on the kids to make sure they were ok. Thank goodness they were. We had a few trees fall in our backyard and miraculously they missed our home, swing set and fence. One house down a tree took out a telephone pole and transformer. This lovely mess is still here almost a week later.

We stayed in our house until Wednesday and by then it had gotten very very cold. We are so lucky that my in-laws got their power back. There is a shelter available at a local college and with all the hotels booked that would have been where we were headed. Instead we have been able to stay with family.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this storm. My heart is broken seeing images of the Jersey shore. We love our annual trip and are looking forward to the next time we can feel its soft sand beneath our toes.

Supposedly our power will be back on by Tuesday. It will be nice to be back in our home again. However, I can’t help but count our blessings on how lucky we were and so grateful that our loved ones are safe as well.

The little gym

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Well, it looks like we have picked a place to have Peanut’s Birthday party. Yes, we are well aware that his birthday is not until February. On Saturday we went to a party for our friends son at the little gym. We all had a great time and it was actually Mr. Macaroni’s idea to have the party there. This year we are going to do two parties One for family and a separate party for friends. It’s just too crazy having a big party with everyone inside.

Butter impressed us all with his brute strength!

Peanut has been all about Mr. Macaroni lately. It breaks my heart! I know when they are little they go back and forth between being Mommy and Daddy’s boys. I am so ready for it to be all about Mommy again.

I love these group shots of kids eating at parties. It’s practically impossible to get them all to pose for a group photo, but give everyone a slice of pizza and everyone cooperates. They must have worked up quite an appetite after all that playing because for the number of kids and adults in this room it was very very quiet. I was joking with Mr. Macaroni that we should finish our basement into a little gym. It would definitely be worth the investment! I think we will be signing the boys up for gymnastics instead. After the party we took a trip to the mall to pick up one of Peanut’s Christmas presents. He is very into Buzz Lightyear and the talking doll was on sale at the Disney store. Unfortunately, they were out of stock. They had plenty of “Spanish Speaking Buzz”, but that wasn’t what I was looking for. The customer service was excellent (after they tried convincing me it was the same toy) because he was out of stock they shipped him to me for free and I was able to get the sales price. HURRAY! In the end it worked out, because I really didn’t want the boys to see it.

We have been keeping very busy lately between trick or treating, pumpkin patching and apple picking… Mr. Macaroni and I even had a night out to ourselves on Friday. Well sort of. We were invited to a dinner for his work. It was nice. My in-laws came over took the kids out for ice cream and put them to bed. Butter had a great time he was on his best behavior. Peanut missed us and was mopey. Poor babe.

We also went to a Halloween parade on Thursday. The weather was perfect. It goes right by my sister in laws house. It wasn’t until 7:00 so we got there an hour earlier to eat and let all the kids run around a bit beforehand. Of course I forgot my camera. The parade was awesome! I don’t think I have even been to a parade at night before. Peanut is REALLY into trucks, so he got a big kick out of seeing all the fire trucks and floats go by. Butter loved picking up all the candy that was thrown his way and we went home with a very full gallon plastic bag of candy.

I hear the kids waking up from their naps, so I’ll leave you with a picture of the boys playing in the leaves. This is the best shot I could get of them. I was having the hardest time getting them to look up and not down at the leaves!