DisneyWorld, family vacations, Kate, Lexi, William

DisneyWorld HollyWood Studios (Day 2)

There is a reason they say this place is magic. Day 1 in the parks was nothing short of magic! We started the day off really early at HollyWood studios and ended it with an amazing firework and laser show at Magic Kingdom. Exhausted but WOW!

The day began around 6am (5:45 for me) with the goal of getting into a Minnie Van (Lyft branded as Minnie Vans as they have car seats) at 6:30 to arrive at the park by 7:00, about an hour before it opened. Busses don’t start running until 7:00 am. StarWars land had just opened in September, and a hot new ride, Rise of Resistance opened in December. If you wanted to ride it, you needed to be in the park before it opened. Additionally, I was hoping to also arrive before others so we could be near the front of the line to ride Slinky Dog as our FastPasses were late in the evening and all at different times.

Disney is leveraging a new system called boarding groups to get on the ride. In order to get into a boarding group, you need to be in the park before it opens, with ALL people that would like to ride, and then use the My Disney Experience App to try and get placed into a group. It really is the luck of the draw on if you get into a group and what group you get into. They only guarantee so many groups will get to ride, but have back-up groups if they get through everyone. Most days, the guaranteed and back-up boarding groups were gone in 90 seconds–so it really it a hot commodity.

Back do the day, my plan didn’t go very well. We were running late and there weren’t any Minnie Van’s available. By the time I found one, it was 7:00 and busses were starting to run, so we opted for the bus. We arrived and were in the park by 7:45, 45 min behind schedule and quickly figured out Slinky dog was not very likely–insane crowd line-ups. The line of people went all the way around the big tall building on the right and then down another street that was about as long as seen below–and this was to entry into Toy Story land–there was an equal wall of people on the other side of the park attempting to ride Smuggler’s Run, the other new Star Wars ride.

When the clock struck 8, we along with 10,000 other people scrambled to get in the app and secure a boarding group. We got group 89, which meant we may get called, we may not. (the ride breaks down a lot, so even through you may get a boarding group, it doesn’t mean you’ll get called). Then slowly, the hoards of people started making their way into ToyStory land. The line to ride Slinky Dog was well over 2 hours so we walked right past it to see the rest of the land and eventually popped into Alien Swirling Saucers, which had a 15 min wait. All 5 of us rode, 6 if you include Nonee, Kate’s bunny. Kate didn’t like when we spun out and clung really close to me, but also didn’t screen, so I called it a win. You couldn’t wipe the grins off of Lexi and William.

The crowds in ToyStory land were a bit much, so we headed out, but not before taking a quick family pick, sans Kate because she wanted to stay in the stroller and was crabby. As much as my OCD-self wanted all of these perfect family photos, I also knew Kate wasn’t feeling good and I shouldn’t push it and force her. As Elsa says… I needed to Let it Go.

We stopped quickly at guest services to see if we could move the random Slinky Dog Fastpasses together and also be at 11:25, when one of them was booked. And sure enough they worked some pixie dust for us and moved all of them together and at a earlier time.

After that, we headed over to Meet Olaf. The wait for Olaf was about 30 minutes and was one of the longest waits we had the entire trip. But the kids hadn’t met Olaf yet so they were pretty excited to add his signature to their book.

After that, our first FastPass of the day was available, Toy Story Mania–one of my favorite rides. You ride in your little cart wearing your 3D glasses and play a series of video games, of course trying to get a high score. We rode this in DisneyLand and Daddy went on it 3+ times (several of them by himself) trying to beat his high score.

After that, we headed over to watch the Lightning McQueen show. Daddy also had a FastPass for Rock’n Roller Coaster. Technically, Lexi didn’t have one, but Daddy was able to sneak her by. While waiting in line, Lexi as Bill–Does this go upside down? Does this go in the dark? Bill had never rode so he didn’t know, but sure enough–it did both and went over 60mph. Lexi was pretty scared, but also loved it and got her super excited for more roller coasters. While they were riding, Kate quickly feel asleep in the stroller while William and I grabbed some Lunch.

We then headed back to ToyStory land for our 3rd time of the morning to use our next FastPass for the much anticipated Slinky Dog Dash. This is what William and Lexi were most excited for about Disney. You couldn’t wait to go on this roller coaster. This was also William’s first big roller coaster. We got our rider switch set up (this allowed you guys to ride twice, once with me since Daddy had to stay with Kate, and then again with Daddy while I stayed with Kate). The two of you were bouncing around like a bunch of rabbits while we scooted through the FastPass line. William and I sat in front and Lexi sat behind us and away we went. The ride is over 2+ min long. It started off pretty good, but the moment we went down our first drop, William started panicking and screaming in terror. Then we got to a quick resting point and the moment we started to move again, the fear kicked in and was yelling, Mommy, mommy, I don’t like this, I don’t like this. I even tried to cover your eyes to make it less scary. When we got off to meet daddy, I for sure thought William wouldn’t want to go again, but Daddy convinced him and sure enough again, he was terrified the entire ride. Lexi on the other hand loved it and kept her hands up almost the entire ride.

After that, we used our last pre-booked fastpass of the day and Lexi, William and Daddy rode Alien Swirling Saucers again.

It was just about 1:00 at this point and The Beauty and the Beast Show was about to begin, so we high-tailed it back over the Tower of Terror/Rock’n Roller Coaster area to watch the Beauty and the Beast show. Lots of criss-crossing paths. Daddy stayed with Kate since she was still napping and William, Lexi and I sat down and watched a condensed play of Beauty and the Beast. As all Disney things, it was done extremely well with great costumes, props, singing etc. During the show, I was also able to book another round of FastPasses at Magic Kingdom, the Buzz LightYear ride.

After the show, we headed over to the Little Mermaid show. On the way, we stopped to get a family photo in front of the iconic HollyWood Tower of Terror. Throughout all of the parks, Disney has professional photographers available to take your picture in front of great backdrops or with characters. They take your photo for free, and will also use your own camera/cell phone to take pictures too. They’ll also scan your magic band and all of those photos will be linked to your account. For a fee, you can purchase all of the photos from your trip–which also includes all of the photos from rides. This is one of those things that makes Disney magical. They just make it so easy for you.

After a few pics, we headed over to the Little Mermaid show. I wasn’t too sure what this was, but it was very similar to ‘A Bugs Life’ at Animal Kingdom. We went into a dark theater, sat down like a Movie theater and they re-told the story of The Little Mermaid. Really impressive puppiteering and fun extras like water falling on you to make it feel like you were under the sea, bubbles everywhere. Overall, it was pretty cute.

Lexi and William were begging for a snack, so they each picked out Mickey IceCream on a stick and Mom and dad got frozen Lemonades. It was so nice to have our dinning plan as we just scanned our badges and each got a snack without having to worry about money or how over-price an ice cream bar shaped as Mickey Mouse was. We found a quiet bench in the shade to just relax a bit. Mr. and Mrs. Incredible were walking around and were super fun. The walked around and really interacted with guests verses just standing in a spot and signing autographs and taking pictures.

Kate also woke up around this time after an epic 3 hour nap!

Then around 3:30, we our boarding group for Rise of the Resistance was called!!! We headed over to StarWars land and for someone who has never seen one Star Wars movie, I was just blown away at the detail of this experience. They nailed it. From the fossad and color of the rocks, to the details in the cement, to the way they merchandised food and products, it was really amazing. The girls and I walked around the land while Daddy and Oats rode Rise of the Resistance. Even with the boarding groups, you do still have to wait in a bit of a line and then the ride itself is 20 minutes long, so it was a good hour before they were through.

While waiting in line, William asks, “Dad, where are all the other kids? I don’t think this is a ride for a little kid like me.” Overall, I think he was pretty scared and didn’t enjoy it too much, but still cool that he was able to ride it. After the boys came off, Lexi and I took our turn. Again, the level of detail of everything was remarkable. And the technology that went into building this ride is just crazy. I probably didn’t enjoy it as much as the Star Wars fans did, but was still very impressed with the detail and complexity of the ride. While Lexi and I were on the ride, Daddy and Kate went to the Muppets 3D show and had a few laughs.

By this time it was nearing 5:00. We asked the kids if they wanted a break and to head back to the hotel, but choose to go straight to Magic Kingdom. We got there a little after 5, took a family photo in front of the castle and then went to pick up our mobile order from Peco Bill’s. Another great thing about Disney and the app, is your ability to pre-order food. On the bus ride over, I ordered food for everyone and selected a time I wanted to pick it up. When I arrived, it was there waiting for us so we just had to find a table and dig in.

Eventually, we made our way back over to the opposite side of the park to ride Buzz Lightyear. It was starting to get dark, so we made our way to the front of the castle and found a spot to watch the fireworks.

While waiting, Lexi had been asking for some Minnie Ears for the past two day, so we went on a mission to find her beloved pair with the pink, purple and teal fabric that flowed between them.

The fireworks were great, but the laser show with coordinating music was amazing. They just nailed how the fireworks compliment the music and the laser show in the most remarkable way. So inspiring.

About 20 minutes after the fireworks show, they do a follow up show, Once Upon A Time. I didn’t know what this was, but I loved it. There were way fewer people, most of whom sat down. There was still a laser show and fireworks that accompanied it, but the show was in the form of a bedtime story and it just felt so much more intimate and was a pleasant surprise.

At this point, we were pushing on 13 straight hours of magic and you three kids were exhausted, but remarkably well behaved with very little whining and complaining considering. You all climbed into the strollers and passed out as we made our way back to the bus. With all three of you sleeping, it made it pretty challenging to actually get you into the bus. We had to fold up the strollers,  and carry a sleeping kiddo in, which also meant we had to wake Lexi up to walk on her own. Your legs were like limp french fries as we tried to get you out of the stroller and wake up enough to walk. We transferred all three of you right into the bed and crashed ourselves.

Despite Kate not feeling well and refusing to participate in most things, the day was filled with so much magic. I can’t wait for the next few.



DisneyWorld, family vacations, Kate, Lexi, William

Disney World Resort Day (Day 1)

We are here! It was VERY touch-and-go leading up to this moment. All 5 of us had influenza within the last 7 days and I wasn’t sure we were going to make it and were very close to canceling but we are here in the warm sunshine and it is divine!

Our flight took off around 6:30 pm and landed around 10:30. Flight was smooth and so nice to have a direct flight. Fun fact, we flew on leap day, so Sun Country was selling beer for $2.29, which is a steal anywhere but even more so on a flight. So Daddy and I each enjoyed a Fulton.

By the time we got to the our bags, rode the Magical Express and arrived at Pop Century (our hotel for the next 3 day), it was past midnight (Magical Express is the bus that takes you from the airport to your hotel). Badgie and Kate both feel asleep on the Magical Express and Lexi was pretty tired, so getting off the bus and then getting all of our things to get to our room was a little challenging, but we made it, got the three of you into a bed and then I unpacked and got us situated a bit.

Kate was the final one to get sick and although she was fever free, she still didn’t feel good. She had a rough night of sleeping and was up whining for mama several times, but thankfully didn’t wake Lexi and William up.

This morning, Kate, William and I explored the hotel grounds a bit. We checked out the SkyLiner, the cafeteria and got our drinking mugs. Around 9:15 or so,  we all walked over to the SkyLiner to head over to the Boardwalk for the Bon Voyage Breakfast with Rapunzel, Flynn Ryder, Ariel and Prince Eric. The SkyLiner is a gondola type system that connects a few hotels to Epcot and HollyWood Studios. It just opened in September and it is awesome and they need it at every hotel and park. It is so fast, comfortable and easy to ride. No waiting in lines, it was just slick! We took it right to Epcot, and walked over to the Boardwalk for our reservation at 10:15.

We had to wait a bit at the restaurant, but had a wonderful breakfast and met several characters we hadn’t seen before. This is one of the few character dining options that isn’t a buffet. The characters walk around one-by-one to each of the tables and really play the characters. Ariel even commented that Kate must have done her hair with a dingle-hopper that morning as it was a bit all over the place. They even have a little parade for the kids to dance around the restaurant. Kate was a total grouch the whole time because she still wasn’t feeling well, but Lexi and William loved it.

After that, we walked around the lake to check out the Yacht Club and Beach Club resorts before heading back on the SkyLiner. We checked out the Art of Animation hotel before heading back to Pop. The Art of Animation and Pop Century are right across the pond from each other. The theming at Art of Animations is fantastic and is really geared towards young families with decor from The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo and Cars. The kids loved looking at the scotches from the Movies and the detail the use to make it feel like you are in the movie.

Kate and Daddy stayed back in the room and napped (or at least attempted to) while Lexi, William and I went swimming in the bowling pool. The weather was a little cooler (70 degrees), but the kids had lots of fun diving for rings and just playing around in the water.

Around 4:00 we hopped on a bus to Disney Springs for our dinner reservation at 5:15. Disney Springs is a big shopping and restaurant area. The whole restaurant was themed in different kinds of dinosaurs figures and environments. We ate in the cave and you guys thought it was pretty cool. This was Lexi’s favorite food Lexi ate while in Disney as she loved the spaghetti. Of course, we had to stop in the Lego store and what I imagine is the worlds largest Disney store. It was so big I just couldn’t get over it.

We hit the sack around 8:00 knowing we had an early and big day following.



Chirstmas, Kate, Lexi, William

Christmas 2019

Lexi, William & Kate,

I love to lure you out of bed on the morning of Christmas Eve with scents and sounds of bacon sizzling and warm fluffy pancakes sitting on your plate adorned with some kind of silly dollop of whole-made whip cream. Christmas music plays in the background as we excitedly start Christmas celebrations.

Christmas Eve is one of my favorite days of the whole year. I love the tradition, the beauty, excitement and joy that surrounds the day. I have such fond memories of it growing up and hope that you will too.

After breakfast and finding the elves, the rest of the morning is a lazy day cleaning up and then starting to get ready for Church. This year, we were hosting an open-house for anyone to come and gather, so we were busy getting food ready and putting some extra attention on the house and making sure it was presentable for people to come over. Around 1:00, Kate was laying in a ball on a pillow and I knew it wasn’t a good sign… she had a small fever, took a nap and then eventually threw up. Poor kiddo.

I was pretty devastated. We had all of this food ready to serve people and I knew I wasn’t going to make it to church, which is my favorite thing about Christmas Eve. I love the carols, the soft glow of the candles, the dimmed lights and everyone squeezed together in a pew. And of course the message–a new baby, a celebration, a symbol of growth and new beginnings. There is a sense of serenity and hope for the world that is filled with so much anger, deceit and struggles.

So the party was off, church was off, until Daddy decided at the very last moment to take William & Lexi and meet Great Grandma, Grandpa & Grandma. Then, headed over to Great Grandmas for a visit and spaghetti.

Kate and I snuggled at home and watched a movie together. By the time bedtime rolled around and everyone was snuggling up in their Christmas jammies, making sure we had cookies and milk for Santa–Kate was starting to feel a little better.

Once everyone was all snug in their beds, mom (and supposed to be dad, but her fell asleep) began setting up the Christmas maze. You each had a reel on plastic string (Lexi–Pink, Badger–Green, Kate–Purple) and we wrapped the string all over the main level of the house. It went under chairs, through spindles around walls–all over the place making it nearly impossible to walk anywhere on the main level. All the strings led back to one shared present. It took a lot of time to set this all up, but I could not wait to see your faces the next morning.

When you all three of you finally woke up Christmas morning, we headed downstairs and you had no idea what the heck happened. You quickly discovered Santa had arrived and brought just what you had asked for: Lexi–Rainbowcorn, William–Transformer, Kate–an Elsa dress. But then needed to figure out your maze so we could actually walk around and open the rest of the gifts. You each had your reels and started to roll up your string as you navigated around the obstinate course.

Eventually, all strings led all three of you back to the same gift–which had our DISNEY shirts in because we were going to DisneyWorld in March!!!! There were some jumps and cheers, but your excitement quickly shifted to the rest of the gifts that needed to be opened. I love that you each play a role in picking out gifts for your siblings, because you are so excited for them to open that gift–it is one of the first gifts you reach for to pass out.

Kate was still under the weather a little bit, but was still enjoying in the festivities and excitement–was just pretty clingy to mom.

After all the gift giving was complete, we had some Carmel rolls before each of you kids dug into your lego builds. Lexi had received the resort and Badger the fire station. Slowly, we started to pick up the house a bit as the Sampson’s were coming over to celebrate. Kate took a nice nap and woke up feeling like happy Kate.

A few days later we went to Grammy and Papa’s for Bothwell Christmas

Once again, we are so blessed to have wonderful families to gather with and celebrate this joyous season.

Merry Christmas my sweet babes!



Chirstmas, Kate, Lexi, William

Christmas Activities 2019

Lexi, Badgie and Katie,

When your Daddy and I walked into our house for the first time 10 years ago and I saw 25 foot ceilings in our living room, I immediately visioned our house decorated for Christmas anchored around a huge beautifully decorated tree that lit up that room from floor to ceiling.

This year, part of that dream came true. We were gifted a new 12 foot Christmas tree with more than 1000 twinkling lights built into it. It was beautiful. Unfortunately, many of those lights started to burn out, which caused the entire string to burn out and Daddy and I had to manually replace them–which was kind of a nightmare. Eventually, we just gave up and decided we’re going to have to get new lights next year. BUT it was beautiful and has really become a statement in that space. Once it was all set up, you kids loved to help decorate. In true kiddo fashion, every ornament you put on ended up in a 1″ radius of each other so once you were in bed, I had to re-disburse the ornaments around to make it a little more balanced.

You love to help decorate the rest of the house as well. The three of you especially love the little snowman collection we’ve started. Grammy gave us a lot of her snowmen and we’ve added to it and you guys LOVE to play with the snowman and pretend they are little character people.

This year, we splurged a bit on our Santa visit and did the Santa Experience at Mall of America. There are no lines, or a rush to get in and out and you get to have a much more relaxed and personal visit with Santa as he gets down on the floor and plays with the kids or talks to them before taking pictures. Kate was a little hesitant on the big guy in red, but the our appointment happened to be on Lexi’s birthday so she was extra excited to see Santa on her birthday.

Another thing that was a lot of fun that I want to continue for future years is special shopping trips with you kids to pick out gifts for your siblings. Lexi and William had a special trip to Target to pick out a gift for Kate, Lexi and Kate for William and William and Kate to pick out a gift for Lexi. Together you had to decide on a gift you thought the receiver would like. I love observing activities like this and watching each of your personalities at work. Lexi, you love to look at every toy aisle while making mental notes of things you think they might like, but will not decide until you have seen everything and then hem-and-haw over your decision. William, you like to look but when you find the gift, you know, and your mind is made up. You don’t need to look at another thing.

Other highlights of the Christmas season included: Cookie baking, gingerbread house decorating, listening to Christmas music, Christmas movies X10, looking at toy catalogs, advantage program at school, Lexi’s dance recital, Lego advent calendar and our daily elf visits.



Kate, Lexi, William

Halloween 2019

Lexi, William & Kate,

I lobbied incredibly hard (really hard) to have coordinating costumes for you three, and there was zero interest. I threw out three little pigs, grinch, disney characters and idea after idea was rejected. Sigh. I don’t think I will ever win this battle again.

Costumes this year:

Lexi: Hatchimal unicorn–because now we are at the stage where you combine two different things into one costume.

William: Dinosaur (same costume as last year, which barely fit–but was perfect as he loves green and dinosaurs)

Kate: Was supposed to be Minnie Mouse–but refused to even try on any part of any kind of Minnie Mouse costume, so we resorted to being a duck because her rain jacket–which I know she loves to wear has a duck on the hood and it was the only thing I was confident she would wear.

Halloween activities:

Per the use’ we had a slew of activities to help us celebrate.

Lexi had her Halloween celebration at Dance where they do a few different Halloween themed dances and then share some snacks.

William & Lexi both had Halloween party’s at school (sorry no pictures to share)

Then, Lexi also had a spooky lunch where the school decorates the cafeteria in spooky decor and has a spooky themed food. All the lights are turned off, black lights are on and Halloween decor is hanging. The meal had things like grapes in whip cream as googlly eyeballs and chicken fingers as grave stones. Parents are invited to join their kids for lunch and everyone gets a good kick out of it.

Following lunch is a parade for the kindergarten- through second graders in their costumes. It is short and sweet around the little loop in the school–but all the kids and teachers are dressed up and is a fun little way to celebrate. I am so grateful for the extra steps St. Vincent takes to celebrate Holidays like this and really make memories for the kids, and something they look forward to each year.

Then that evening, it was fairly chilly for trick or treating so the kids piled their layers of clothes on and headed out to get some candy. Kenzie joined us as a little strawberry and although she was only 1, she totally got the idea of trick or treating and had a death grip on her candy bin.

We made it around the block and halfway around the new neighborhood before Kate started to get tired. We headed back home and Lexi and William wanted to keep going so we went up and down Hampshire, the other side of the Georgia cauld-e-sac and then into the townhome neighborhood. It was starting to get late and William was getting tired so we headed home to do the annual candy count. Lexi and William each had about 100 pieces of candy and were pretty proud of their haul.

Pumpkins this year were

William: top left Transformer logo

Lexi: top right Unicorn that she drew

Kate: bottom: Kitty




Lexi’s First Day of 1st Grade


It is amazing how different one can feel about relatively the same experience a year apart. This time last year, everyone was a ball of emotions: excited, nervous, emotional. This year, it felt like we have been through this a bazillion times already.

We tried to keep plans on Sunday and Monday pretty minimal so we could get the house back in order and start the year off on a good and organized note. My to-do list is always longer than what is reasonable but we did get many things done.

On Monday evening, we continued our tradition of ‘last day of summer ice cream’ at the ice cream factory. Over the summer you have branched out a bit and explored some new flavors: Lexi–Birthday Cake, William–After Dinner Mint, Kate–Watermelon Sherbet.

last day of summer ice cream

We took baths, read books and were all in bed by 8:30, which is pretty remarkable considering your summer bedtime was often 10:00. Daddy made you a super awesome sign describing all things Lexi 🙂

The morning went fairly smooth. Lexi requested cinnamon rolls for breakfast and ate 3 and was requesting more!

After a few quick pics, we hopped into the Van, headed over to school to get there just as the bell was ringing.

lexi 1st day of 1st grade 2lexi 1st day of 1st grade

Lexi, you are going to have an amazing year. I’m so excited to watch your grow, learn and continue to mature into a smart 7-year-old/2nd grader over these next few years.



Kate, Lexi, William

Summer Dreams

Tonight was one of those nights that will be impressed into my memory forever. I would call it a top 10 weather day. It was sunny and about 80 degrees with no humidity or wind. It was perfect. Daddy grilled while you three kiddos rode bikes up and down the sidewalk and played on the swing set. There were lots of squeals and giggles and almost no arguing, whining or tattling.

Lexi optimistically suggested going to the Ice Cream Factory for dessert and requested we ride bikes. Initially, the plan was to have William ride in the trailer with Kate, but he insisted on riding his green bike. We gave it a go, but figured he would get tired and need to ride in the trailer and throw his bike on it.


Oats, you rocked it. Your little legs were petaling a million times a minute but you rode all the way there AND back!


You each enjoyed your ice cream and even switched it up from the usual:

  • Lexi: Birthday Cake
  • William: Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Kate: Watermelon Sherbet

So grateful for this weather, these memories and most importantly these sweet peeps that make us a family





Dance 2018-2019

Dear Lexi,

Year 3 of dance was a total blast. You were in the Kindergarten/First Grad recreation class, had fabulous Mrs. Gina, Sophia your dance friend and learned you had two friends from school; Ruby and Natalie in your class.

You did all of the fun things like the Halloween party, the Christmas recital

And of course the year-end recital. You danced three dances. Ballet was to, When you wish upon a star, and wore a beautiful Cinderella-like costume.

Then for Jazz, you wore a Jungle/zebra-ish costume and danced to Tarzan and Jane. I think this was your favorite dance you’ve done. For Tap, you wore the same costume and danced to Jungle Rhythm.

You broke your arm about a month prior to your recital so you had your cast on, but it really didn’t slow you down a beat.




First broken bone


This post is delayed by two years… but still documenting for the sake of.

It was the Thursday evening before Memorial weekend and it was beautiful out. It was warm and the sun was streaming through the front windows of our house creating a really beautiful glow. We had just finished dinner and you were outside at Ivy’s swinging away on your beloved monkey bars.

When we suddenly heard crying as you ran around the fence and to the patio door. After we got you to calm down a bit, you explained your arm hurt because you fell off the monkey bars and hit the small ‘rock climbing wall’. You have been known to be a bit dramatic from time to time, so I didn’t think too much of it. We turned on a show and you calmed down quite a bit. I believe Daddy even snuggled with you for a bit. You lied pretty low for the rest of the evening and continued to tell us it hurt if someone touched it, but you could move it without excruciating pain.

We did still give you some meds before bed to help with any pain or swelling that might have been going on and let you sleep with Mom and Dad for the night. After waking up a few times in pain throughout the night, I decided that we would take you to the Dr. to get it checked out. In the morning you were feeling OK, it still hurt to touch, but you could use your wrist and put your clothes on. I debated sending you to school since it was track and field day, but figured we better just check it out to be sure.

Given this had never happened before we went to the pediatrician, and they did an X-Ray and sure enough found a small break in your right wrist, and were then sent to the orthopedic to get a cast put on. Hopefully, this never happens again, but if it does, I now know to skip the pediatrician and go straight to the orthopedic to save time and money as you don’t have to pay to see two different doctors.

They quickly reviewed the X-Ray and went to town wrapping your arm in a cast, which you requested to be pink, of course. We did opt to pay the additional $30 to get a ‘wet’ version of the cast so you could shower and go swimming—especially as we were just heading into summer.

Thankfully, we were in and out of there within 45 min with direction to come back in as little as 3 weeks to have it removed.

You adapted pretty well to your cast, even with it being your right hand. You were still able to write, eat and do most things. You were most disappointed about not being able to ride your bike. You had everyone you knew sign the cast and wanted to keep it (so gross) when they removed it.

At 6 years old, you were the first person in our family to have broken a bone and hopefully the last!



family vacations, Kate, Lexi, William

2019 Florida Vacation–Day 2 Animal Kingdom

Today started bright and early for all of us. Daddy and I woke up around 5:30 am to get ready, and pack the car before we woke you kiddos up around 6. Daddy brought all of our stuff to the car, we quickly got changed and headed down to get in the bus line around 6:30 am. The first bus was supposed to start to pick up people around 7, but it arrived around 6:45 and we arrived to Animal Kingdom around 7.

While waiting in line for the part to open (@8), we learned what we are doing is called gate crashing :). Around 7:30, they opened the gates and people RAN in a mad dash for Flight of Passage. Never have I seen so many adults running towards something that wasn’t an organized race. If you would have been watching from a drone, you would have thought they put a million dollars out and people were racing to get to it first. We got to the ride (in a much slower but still walking in a fast manner) and weaved our way through the line. Daddy, Lexi, Papa and Mama went on the ride while Grammy hung back with William and Kate. World of Avatar (where the ride is located) is AMAZING! There are beautiful plants everywhere, huge unexplainable boulders that appear to be floating in the air. Waterfalls all over the place.


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I wish we weren’t rushing to get on the ride so we could have observed it more. The ride itself was pretty cool. You were strapped into something to made it feel like you were riding a horse-like-creature. You put on glasses and watched a screen as you dove through forests and jungles and saw whales jumping before your eyes. They created a full sensory experience changing the sents as you went throughout the ride, sprayed water in your face or felt the mist and humidity of the jungle. Lexi was pretty nervous throughout the ride and screamed a couple times but I was proud of her for giving it a try.


Following this ride, we high-tailed it up to the Kilimanjaro Safari to see the animals while they were still active. We saw lots of giraffes, white rhinos, elephants, gazelles, hippos, cheetas, crocodiles, antelope, kudo, ankole-watusi and much more. Highlight of this was having a giraffe pass our truck about 6 feet away.

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Once this was over, it was about 9:00, when the park opened to the public and became a little busier. We were all pretty hungry as we hadn’t eaten any breakfast. Unfortunately, that was the same thing on everyone else’s mind as all breakfast places were packed. We explored Gorilla Falls and saw lots of birds, fish and gorillas and went to find food.

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On our way to find food, we passed the bug’s life showing in the Tree of Life and decied to watch this as there wasn’t a line. I forgot how cool the tree of life is and all the animals that are carved into it all the way through the roots and the base of the trunk that we walked passed on our way into the ride.

Initially, the 3D show was a big hit with William and Lexi. They thought it was very funny. Kate was half laughing/half crying the entire show. Then, the spider appeard from the ceiling and scared the daylight out of William and Kate. Both were screaming (along with every other small child). I was about to take them out of the show when it ended.

It was about 10:30 around this time. We got a quick bite to eat and saw this cool looking bird.


Then made our way to Dino land. First, we went to meet Scrouge McDuck (a rare character sighting).


Then William went to play in the Dino Park and Lexi went to meet Daisy Duck–which was the only character we didn’t meet in Disneyland, so she was pretty excited.

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Lexi then joined William at the park and they had so much fun exploring, climbing up all the ropes and exploring the hidden slides, while Kate slept

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We then made our way to the triceritops ride–which was also a big hit. We grabbed some lunch (ordered all of our food on the app–so convienent to not have to wait in lines!) before heading over to the Dinosaur ride. I thought this was going to be a quite leisurly ride like A Small World. I was very wrong. It was scary and frightening and never have I ever seen William so scared in his life. He was screaming like he was about to be eaten by a dinosaur. Bill pulled him into his chest so he wouldn’t see anything and hopefully not have nightmares. #MomFail

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I did redeem myself by finding Pluto upon exisiting the ride and William thought he was pretty silly.

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After getting some pictures with Pluto we wandered around a little bit before heading to the 2:30 show of Finding Nemo. The kids thought it was OK, but weren’t as excited about it as they were about Frozen in Disneyland.

After the show, I had promised the Birthday Boy an icecream treat and there was no way he was forgetting about it.


Next, we headed over to the area of India to see some Tigers and other Indian animals. Kate feel asleep again while we walked. While exploring one of the bird zones, I said, Oats–look at that bird right there (about 3 feet away) to which he screamed like a little girl and made me giggle a little.

We had about an hour to kill before our fastpass on the rollarcoster Mt. Everest was available and the line to meet Mickey and Minnie wasn’t too long. To our advantage–we were able to somehow use a fastpass and get to the front of the line. Lexi and William were pretty excited to meet Mickey and Minnie together and in their jungle attire.

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After that, we headed over to redeem our fastpasses for Everest. Originally, I told Lexi that I thought this was too scary for her but she was insistant upon going. It was one of the craziest rollar coasters I have ever been on. (no spoiler alerts here). While going down one of the big drops, I the force of gravity had gotten Lexi and sucked her to the outside of her seat. I pulled her back in but I think that was a little too much for her. She said she liked it and it was fun, but didn’t want to go again. So Daddy and I used the rider switches to go one more time.

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By this time, it was around 5:30ish and everyone was spent. We made a quick pit-stop in the store to look at souviners before heading to the bus.

Upon our arrival back to the hotel, we packed up the cars and began our 6.5 hour drive back to PCB. In hindsight, we should have stayed another night to enjoy the hotel a bit more, swim etc… but we all made it back to the condo by 1:30 am or so to begin our next phase of vacation.