Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Schwartz's vs Cody's 11 Months Old

(PS, I just noticed you are wearing the same shirt as last month's picture.  I'm sorry.  But it's a cute shirt.  I will try to make sure next month you are wearing something different.)

Cody Boy!  Oh Cody Boy!  You are 11 months old today!  That is soooooo exciting.  Do you know why that is so exciting?!?  Because that means that in one month you and I will no longer have bottles to fight about.  That's right.  In one month I am packing them all up and you will be purely drinking from sippy cups.  So I *REALLY* need you to focus on NOT throwing them off the high chair or shaking them wildly above your head anymore.  You see, I'm not sure how you do it but you manage to pitch those cups down with such force that the lid pops off every time.  And since I've only been giving you water to practice drinking with it's no big deal.  But next month it becomes milk and we, sir, will not be friends if you sling milk all over my house.

In other news, here's what you've been up to:

* You have 8 teeth now.  4 bottom, 4 top.  (You got a new bottom tooth this month.)
* You learned how to clap about a week ago.  You don't know what the word clap means, instead you clap when you hear, "good job!"
* We got you a push walking toy this month and got the push/ride lion down out of the attic this month.  You like them and were trying to use them until Sister got up from her nap and stole them.  Now you seem a little hesitant.  But I think it's because we only have wood floors and they move to fast in front of you.
* You seemed like you were practicing to stand on your own at the beginning of the month.  But after a few too many falls you've given up for now.
* You love to blow raspberries.  You and Sarah entertain each other in the car doing it back and forth and then laughing.
* We are still working on a nap routine for you.  You NEED a morning nap but you get really mad when I try to put you down for one.  So recently we've been skipping it and heading to the Y.  I pack you a lunch and feed it to you there so you can fall asleep on the way home.  Then with the car ride home you typically sleep from about 1 to 3.  Most days it's less, some days it's more.
* You are still eating mostly baby purees.  It's the only way we can get you to eat fruit and vegetables.  We do offer you what we're having for dinner but you will only eat the bread and meat.  If a vegetable somehow makes it into your mouth you cough and hack and make a horrible disgusted face until you manage to get it out.  Then you go back to searching your tray for meat and bread.
* You hate it when I take a shower.  You can be perfectly content playing with your cars in your room and if you hear the shower start up you start crying hysterically and crawl across the house to come cry in my bathroom because the shower is on.  
* You love to take baths.  You chew on a turtle toy the whole time and watch sister play and try to get your hands on some of the toys.
* You love to dance!  It's adorable!  You bounce up and down with a huge smile on your face.  I love it!
* You have learned how to give high fives but it's not 100%.  Sometimes you'll do it, sometimes you won't.  But when you do, it's always followed up with clapping because inevitably someone says, "good job!"
* You are the best shopping buddy EVER.  If you are being fussy at home all we have to do is go to walmart and you are instantly happy.  You love to ride in the basket and just look around.  You smile the whole time.  So much so that when we were out last week running errands and I knew you wouldn't get a nap.  I refused to go home until Chris would be there too.  Instead we just went to more stores so you could look around at different things and went to the park.  You passed out on the way home, but you never cried once while we were out and about.
* You have an adorable monkey crawl when you are outside or on a rough surface.
* You are stubborn, opinionated, and fiercely independent.  And we love every inch of you.

P.S. I'm sorry about you not wearing any shoes.  This was the day I didn't know we were going to be out and about so long.  I thought we were only going to Costco but it took too long and then we had to keep running errands to keep you happy.  Anyway, you didn't seem to mind being barefoot but it scratched up your feet so you've been wearing shoes every day since this.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Schwartz's vs Why to Have Multiple Kids

Family planning, I think, is a lot like religion and politics.  It just shouldn't be discussed in mixed company.  Everyone has an opinion and too many people want to give you their unwanted opinion.  I'm pretty good about just smiling and then turning a corner and laughing at the audacity of some people.  One of my good friends, Bekah, has 5 kids and she has said more than once about how people will say, "are ALL of these your kids" in a mixture of shock and horror.  They're kids people, not the plague, and they're not contagious.  You won't have one just by touching one of hers.  Or my SIL told me about when she was pregnant with her 3rd she told someone and that person then went on a 20 minute diatribe doling out all the reasons why 2 is the perfect number of kids to have.  Um, it's too late lady!  She just said she was pregnant with #3.

So since I have said all that I am sure there are plenty of good reasons to have only 1 kid and plenty of good reasons to have more than 1 kid.

I will now telling you the reason why I had 2 kids.

2 words: Matching Outfits.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  Aren't they cute!  Aren't I glad they are too young to be able to tell me no.  I figure I have a small window of opportunity to do this to them and I'm going to milk it for all that's it worth.

I ordered those matching sailor suits back when Cody was 2 months old.  I have been waiting patiently for a long time to put them on the kids.  And they were PERFECT.  I love it!  And don't worry, you'll see them again.  I bought them or Cody's 1 year photo session.  And then I need to take the kids down by a lake to snap some photos too.  It's going to be epic.  Can't you just tell by the look on Cody's face.

Oh, and the other reason I wanted multiple kids, see above.  Built in best friends.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Schwartz's vs Celebrate Munford 5K (2012)

I've been running again.  I started C25K about 4 months ago (I think).  I wasn't too hard core about it and with vacations in June and July I took off a few weeks and missed some runs here and there.  Plus with the blistering heat, some days I just sissyed out and didn't want to run.  But in early July I had finished C25K and was running 3 miles consistently.  Then I took 2 weeks off for my birthday vacation and came back and realized I needed an organized 5K to motivate me to get out there and push through the heat.  I needed a goal.  My friend Travis runs the Celebrate Munford race every year so I thought I'd give that a try.  It was two weeks away when I signed up.  Just enough time to get me back up to running 30 minutes and maybe enough time to work on a new PR (personal record).  

Training for this race was a little weird for me.  I registered on Sunday, August 5th.  I made the mistake of looking at last year's results and saw that the winner of my age group ran it in 32:47.  And that got me thinking, I run that on a regular basis at the Y.  My PR from my first 5K back after I had Sarah was a 30:49.  So that meant that if I ran my PR time I could win my age group (if I ran last year).   And that got me really excited.  I am by no means a fast runner.  I will NEVER win a race.  But a small local one like this where there aren't too many people and they are all just casual runners like me--maybe, just maybe, I could beat them.  So Monday when I went out for my run I was moving along and my regular clip and the whole time I was thinking, "If I can just come in at 30 I could maybe win my age group.  Chris would be so proud of me."  And I thought that for a mile and a half.  Then all of a sudden at about the 1.7 mark on my Garmin, I quit.  I quit!  I have never quit on a run since I started this whole C25K thing EVER.  I always push through my goals.  If I say I'm going out to run 3 miles, then I go out and run 3 miles.  I've run in the 100+ heat at noon.  I'm not a quitter.  So I felt totally defeated when I quit for no reason.  I think the stress and pressure I was putting on myself to win my age group when I know I am by no means someone who will ever win just did me in and when my pace dropped I gave up.

So Wednesday Travis ran with me and showed me the out and back route he takes at the Y.  We ran 3 miles together.  It wasn't an amazing pace, I think I was pushing an 11-12 minute per mile pace.  Then Friday I ran that same out and back course, just as slow as I ran it on Wednesday.  I was definitely NOT going to get a PR at the Munford 5k.

Last Monday I headed out to run the loop at the Y.  I thought I needed to really make a good push and set myself up for a good week.  I figured I'd run hard on Monday, do an easy 2 on Wednesday, work on some sprints on Thursday, rest on Friday and rock the Munford on Saturday.  So when I headed out for my run on Monday the weather was nice and I killed it.  I ran 5K in 31:05, 2 minutes faster than I was running 3 miles the week before.  That was my best time on a training run I think since I got the Garmin.  I was pumped and ready for the Munford run.  Wednesday my sciatica was flaring up so I took the day off from running.  I just went to yoga.  Then Thursday I did a mile sprinting for a minute then recovering for 90 seconds just to work on that final push to the end of a race.

Friday night we went to go pick up my race pack.  Sarah enjoyed going through the swag bag.
She thought the rockin' "cool neck wrap" was pretty awesome.  We had a good time trying it on.

Race morning.  BLUH!  I woke up feel like total poop.  Then even though Munford is literally right across the street from our house I somehow managed to get lost trying to find the race.  Thankfully, I called my friend Jen who was leading the YogaLifeWay warm up before the race.  She hadn't gotten there yet so she pulled over and told me where to find her so I could follow her to the right park.  Then I ran a little warm up lap with Travis and he gave me a pep talk and showed me the lay of the course.  It was at that point that he warned me, "the race is a little hilly."  Holy cow!  He was not kidding.  The loop at the Y is completely flat.  Anytime I hit hills it's a rough battle since I don't practice on them.  He pointed out the last down hill coming in the home stretch and told me to ride it down because there was one last up hill before the finishers shoot.  By the end of the race, I'm not sure if I ever found that last downhill to ride in.  I'm pretty sure the last mile was all up hill.  ;-)

Alright, time for the real race recap if you're still reading this.  We got to the start line and Travis told me to go head and line up in front with all the fast runners.  He said it was better to do that then get stuck behind people who were going to be walking from the get go.  The race started with a pretty big down hill so I shot out from the go and was booking it down the hill.  I wanted to get away from the crowd as quick as possible and then let the real runners go around me.  I don't get in the way and I figure they are better at zigging and zagging the start of a race.  So that's what I did.  And I pushed hard for that first mile and when I hit the lap button it said, 8 something for my time. That was my fastest mile ever but I burned too much too fast and I was already getting tired and those hills were killing me.  When I swung through the first water break I swallowed wrong and the water went down the wrong pipe and I hacked and coughed for about a quarter of a mile before I was breathing easy again.  Mile 2 was a long stretch on a super hilly road.  A jogging stroller passed me.  I always hate that.  But on this stretch I finally passed some kid that was running and walking.  When I hit the lap button I knew my pace had slowed considerably but my lap time was a little under 10 minutes so when I saw the water kids I made a decision I was not proud of.  I grabbed a cup of water from the first kid and walked while I drank until the last kid.  I feel like a total loser for walking but I just didn't want a repeat of the first water break.

3rd mile I was feeling tired but ready to push through.  I didn't bother pressing the lap button I'm not sure what my time was on that mile but with rounded and estimating it was a little less than 10.  Coming down the last quarter mile there was a guy who was done that was yelling at everyone.  He looked at me and told me to drop my shoulders and relax my arms.  So I tried.  Just ahead of the 3 mile mark my friend Ian, was there cheering for me.  I'm sure I looked like death but he said it was right there so I kept on pushing.  As I turned to come into the final stretch Chris and the kids were there cheering for me.  I heard Sarah yell, "there's Mommy!  She's running!"
Chris snapped this terrible picture of me.  I never realized how fat I looked when I run.  I need to work on that. 

I saw that clock and I just was so relieved and excited at the same time.  My goal was to push really hard and finish this in 30 minutes.  I even had a 30 written on my arm so that I could see it when I was running to remind me to push.
There I am crossing the finish line.  A new PR!  I completed my goal of finishing in 30 minutes.  (To be precise, my garmin said 3.13 miles in 29:35 just for the record.)  When I saw that I was so pumped!  (See arm in air!)  As I wheezed like a fat kid and turned my card into the box, I was heart broken to see that there were already 4 cards in there.  This was not last year's race.  All the ladies that won my age group did it in 26 something.  (And next year when I'm in the next bracket they all did it in 24 something.)  

All in all, it was a good race I guess.  I'm not too thrilled with it.  I got a new PR and I beat my time goal and I pushed.  But I wasn't as fast as I should have been on the hills and I wasn't consistent with my pace.  And then there was the dreaded walk through the water stop.  I know that even if I didn't walk that I wouldn't have placed.  But I enjoyed running the local race so I'll train better for it next year and work on some hill training.

Now it's time to start training for the St. Jude Half.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Schwartz's vs Singing in the Rain

We were sitting at the table having spaghetti for dinner (this is important because it explains why Sarah's dressed the way she is) when it started to thunder.
Sarah: Hey!  What's that?
Me: It's thunder.
Sarah: Oh! It's going to rain.  Hey, we have to get our jackets and go outside and it will rain on our heads.
Me: Ok (sarcastically), are you done with your dinner.
Sarah: Yes.

So I looked at Chris and told him to let her out on the deck.  It wasn't raining yet and we weren't done eating so I figured it would entertain her for a few minutes.  Chris opened the backdoor and she ran out, then he opened the window so we could talk to her.  She ran around for a few minutes until it started to rain, then she was banging on the door to get back in.

By that point we were done eating and it was sprinkling.  I hate messes.  Seriously HATE messes, so I think Chris about fell out when I said, "Come on Sarah, let's head outside."  She said, "Ok.  But we need jackets."  I looked at the coat rack and there weren't any that would fit Sarah, so I grabbed the knit hat she likes to wear around and asked her if that would work.

(Ok, remember I said we were having spaghetti for dinner, and I hate messes.  So this is how she still eats spaghetti and then she gets straight in the bath tub.  It's just easier for me then scrubbing out red tomato sauce stains.)

She thought the hat was an acceptable substitute for a jacket and headed straight out to play in the rain.
I stayed safely on the front porch for a while and watched.  Then Chris and Cody came out and we were trying to explain to Sarah from the porch how to jump in puddles and it wasn't really working.  So again, to Chris's complete and total shock, I bit the bullet and ran out into the rain with Sarah.

It was really pouring by then and we got soaked to the bone.  But we laughed and jumped and danced and chased.  We splashed in puddles and swung around.  There were a couple of slips and falls but everyone popped up unharmed.  

I wasn't out there for too long before the boys decided they didn't want the girls to have all the fun.

So then we chased Daddy and Cody around.  Cody thought it was hilarious.  He was giggling the whole time Chris was running around holding him.  

Eventually I bailed on the fun.  Cause someone has to document it.  Right, and Chris was holding Cody so it only made sense for me to stand on the covered porch while the rain was coming down the hardest.  =)
Chris show Sarah how to kick up water.

This was the first time Sarah's ever gotten to play in the rain.  Do you think she liked it?

Then we laid some towels down and shuffled to the bathroom for the kids to get straight into the tub. 

Classic Childhood Experiences:
Play in the rain as a family--check.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Schwartz's vs Lunch Time=Play Time

Kids play with their food.  That's normal.  Right?  Well that's good because Sarah totally plays with her food and I know I should stop her but sometimes it is just down right hilarious!  Now when I say she "plays with her food" I'm not talking about how she might push food around on her plate or build the occasional carrot tower.  I mean she totally does that too.

But no, when I say "Sarah plays with her food" I mean she plays with them like they are toys.  You'd swear if you watched her at a meal time that we must not provide her with anything else to play with.  Generally she just talks to food and has food talk to each other but today at lunch she had a long and in depth play session that had Cody and I both cracking up.

I gave her a Kraft single and I can't remember everything she did with it but I'll try to hit the highlights in a scatter brained way.

First she of course ripped a smaller piece off so she would have a baby cheese and a mommy cheese.  They talked and played for a while until Baby cheese jumped into Sarah's mouth.
Mommy cheese: Oh no!  My baby!  My baby is trapped!  We have to rescue her!

(Now mind you, she wasn't talking to me.  Her cheese was talking to HER.)

The mommy cheese then made a brave and bold move towards Sarah's mouth and I was a little worried for a second that the old cheese was about to be plucked from her mouth but thankfully she instead just pulled a new baby off the mommy.

Mommy cheese: You're back!  I was so worried!
New baby cheese: It's ok mommy!  I alright.  It was fun.
Mommy cheese: Oh, I so proud of you.  (And then wraps herself around the baby cheese in a hug.)

Then Sarah pulled off another small chunk of cheese and put the large part down and just played with the two small pieces.  They sang and danced around on the plate while she sang, "na na na na boo boo".  Before the finished with their grand finale of synchronized jumping into her mouth.

Finally she picked back up the mommy and baby cheese and gibbered for a bit.  I was feeding Cody so I didn't catch all of the act, but it ended with

Baby cheese: Ok mommy you ready?
Mommy cheese: Yes, I ready.
Baby cheese: Ok, jump!

And then the last two pieces of cheese jumped into her mouth.  That's when she asked for more carrots and proceed to stack them, count them, name them, all before she finally ate them.

Never a dull moment folks.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Schwartz's vs The Magic Kingdom

Riding the Monorail to the Magic Kingdom

By the third day of Disney Sarah was ready.  After getting dressed and trying on her very own pair of ears she said multiple times as the rest of us were getting ready, "I want to go to disney world!"  Since we had stayed the night at the Polynesian resort we were able to ride the Monorail into the Magic Kingdom in the morning and we made it in time to see the cute welcome song and dance they put on.  Sarah loved it!  A train comes pulling into the station and all the characters get out.  When she saw Mickey she started waving and shouting, "Hi Mickey!  Hi!"

I had a loose plan for the Magic Kingdom.  I mostly wanted to get all the kiddie rides done in the morning so we could spend the afternoon catching some shows and trying to stay in the air conditioning.  I really tried to mentally prepare myself for the ridiculous lines and crowds we were going to face going at the height of their season.  So I was REALLY shocked at how lucky we were.  This was probably one of the best trips to the MK I've had.  We walked on or had less than a 20 minute wait for almost every ride we did in the morning.  

The first thing we did was head to what's left of old Fantasy Land (they are building a new one) to get a fast pass for the new Dumbo ride and go ahead and ride Peter Pan's Flight.  That ride normally has a 90 minute wait, we walked on in under 10!

Then we crossed over and were able to walk right onto It's A Small World.  I know this isn't a great picture.  It's hard to take pictures when you are sitting right next to Sarah in a small boat.  I couldn't really get far enough way.  But she was mesmorized by the dancing dolls.  When we got off the line was short enough we could have walked around and done it again, but once is about all I can take.  

 After that we walked over to the Royal Carrousel and again we waited less than 10 minutes.  I think we got on right after the ride that was currently going ended.  Great timing!
Grandma "Yehaw!"

Sarah enjoying the ride.

Next it was over to the Winnie-the-Pooh ride.  Apparently as part of the New Fantasy land they have revamped the waiting line.  Now it has all kinds of cute things for the kids to play with.  There is a whole garden with interactive games for the kids to enjoy while their adults stay in the line cue.  This was about the only time I wish the wait had been longer.  We had less than a 10 minute wait so we boogied past the garden.  But she did get to walk through Pooh's house and take a second to check out Eeyore's gloomy place.

 We actually rode Pooh's ride twice.  The first time through it was just so much for her to take in when we got off we saw that we could literally walk right on and ride it again so we did that.  She loved it!  She was so into it.  Look how far forward she's leaning.

They have built 2 brand new Dumbo rides.  One carrosel is just for fast pass riders and the other is for stand by.  Before we headed over to Dumbo I split off to get our next fast passes so we could ride Space Mountain.  As they were waiting for me they saw Dumbo stand by had a 10 minute wait so Grandma and Cam went ahead through that line.  Grandma said they loop you through the big top tent and as they went that way Sarah got upset because it was further from Dumbo.  She was much happier when they came out and she saw she was in fact still in line to ride.

Then we switched riders and went through the Fast Pass carrousel.  I love all the new bright colors of Fantasy Land.  They are redoing the kids area to be a Circus theme.  They even have a new spray park zone that was already up and running.  But I really didn't want to tote around a wet child so we just skirted past that without Sarah noticing. 

After Dumbo it was time for a moment of truth.  I was so excited when I check the height requirements online and measured Sarah to discover that she was just barely tall enough to ride Goofy's Barnstormer.  It's the kiddie coaster but it has some good speed, turns, and hills.  It's quite fun!  I figured I'd get Sarah on it once and she'd scream the whole time.  I was thrilled when that was not the case.  I rode with her the first time and she loved it!  She giggled and laughed the whole time and even put her hands up as we went up the hill and kept them up on the way down until they slung us around a corner.  She thought it was great.  When we got off there was still less than a 10 minute wait so we got in line and did it again.  This time I rode in front so I could try to take pictures.  I pretty much almost dropped my camera so this is the only good one I got.  But it was just great.  This was probably the highlight of the trip of me.  Seeing her really enjoy a good rollercoaster.  That's my girl!

Then Cam and I waited with Sarah while Grandma and Aunt Sarah went to use their fast pass for Space Mountain.  While we were waiting a street artist came by.  He had a broom and a dustpan full of water and was "painting" a Mickey face on the street.  Sarah watched him and he was nice enough to let Sarah help him paint Mickey's eyes on.

 Then he let her keep playing while another cast member that was with him went to find out where Rapunzel was in the MK so that Sarah could meet her.  I know it's hard to tell in this picture but if you look on the ground you can see an the Mickey Face.  Sarah's standing on his cheek and coloring in his ear.

After everyone (except Sarah) rode Space Mountain we took a break from the heat and watched the Carrousel of Progress.  A nice moving theater that is air conditioned.  Ahhh.  Sarah was looking a little tired so I considered seeing if we could stay on for another 20 minute go around so she could take a nap but decided against it.  So instead we hopped off and went over to Buzz Lightyear's ride and had about a 20 minute wait.  It's another shooting game but instead of being parked in front of various screens for a minute you continuously ride through and push a button to shoot your laser at targets.  There's a spin control that allows you to swivel and aim at different targets.  Sarah rode with Cam and me and was in charge of the spin control.  I thought at one point I was going to be sick.  While we were on the ride it got jammed up or something because we came to a stop for what must have been 5 minutes.  But the guns were still working so everyone went to town shooting.  While I was the big winner on the Toy Story ride I was a total loser on this one.  I can't remember what my score was exactly but I know that EVERYONE else beat me.  Cam got 300,000 something, Mom got 100,000 something, I got 80,000something.  Terrible.  Just terrible!

It sure was getting hot and lunch was nearing but we had some more time to kill and Sarah really wanted to meet Rapunzel so we went over to the Storybook Princesses Place so she could meet them.  We had probably a 45 minute wait for this but it's all inside so we just sat down on the carpet and scooted our way down.
Quick group shot in front of the Castle.

The Princesses there this day were Cinderella, Belle, and Rapunzel.  Well, I knew we were just about to see Cinderella so I was a little worried this would make going to the castle a little anti-climatic for Sarah so I had Mom boogie in first and to tell Cinderella that Sarah was about to go have lunch at the Royal Table and ask her to ask Sarah to come have lunch with her.
 Cinderella inviting Sarah to come have lunch in the castle with her. 

We met Belle and then Sarah got to meet Rapunzel.  She was so excited.  She asked her where Pascal was and they had a nice chat about that.  

As excited as Sarah was to met Rapunzel, I think someone else was even more excited.
 Cam has been talking about geeking out over meeting Rapunzel ever since we decided to go on this trip.  She told Rapunzel this was her first time to see the castle and Rapunzel was very excited for Cam.  She said Cam must feel just like she did the first time she left the tower.  Cam's response was, "yeah, but with out all the singing."  To which Rapunzel offered to break out into song with Cam and while I would have paid good money to see that happen Cam just laughed and turned it down.

From there we headed straight to the castle since Cinderella had invited us personally to go have lunch there.  I was so excited that my mom offered to take me to Cinderella's Royal Table for my birthday lunch.  We got lucky to even get a reservation on such short notice and it was a great time slot.  Our lunch was a 2, just when the heat was finally getting to us.  So we planned to sit and eat for as long as humanly possible.  And we did.  I think we killed 2 hours enjoying our lunch and the air conditioning.  When you first check in they take you to meet Cinderella and have a picture taken with her before being escorted upstairs.  Then we got seated, drinks, and looked over the menu.  All of the food choices looked awesome but our server recommended Major Domo's short ribs and it was a great choice.  Everyone but the vegetarian had that and they were yummy!  

Then the trumpets play and princesses are announced and begin to circulate through the tables.  We had a very exciting and special surprise.  The 2 princesses that Sarah really wanted to meet were Rapunzel and Ariel.  When I booked the lunch I was told Jasmine would be there not Ariel.  So when they were introducing the Princesses we were thrilled to hear it would be Ariel!  That saved us from having to go hunting after lunch for her.  =)

I think Snow White was one of my favorites.  She looked so cute and was so sweet to Sarah.  Look at the big hug she's got Sarah in.  All of the ladies were so great with Sarah really.
Ariel colored with Sarah for a few minutes while the chatted.
Princess Aurora made the rounds and stopped by to give Sarah some hugs and of course an autograph.

Then Belle came by.  After just seeing Belle over at Storybook Princesses it was nice to see Belle in her everyday clothes.  Plus this Belle was way cuter.  I've never seen Belle in her blue dress before so this was nice.  We figure she has to wear her blue dress because the yellow one is huge and probably too big to fit through the tables.

When I booked the lunch they asked if I was celebrating anything, and since I told them it was my birthday they brought me out a cupcake.  Sarah helped me blow out the candle before she helped herself to a spoon full of my icing.
Then it was back out into the heat.  We headed over to the Haunted Mansion which has also just redone it's waiting area.  It has a long of neat things to look at and cool interactive things to play with.  This was our longest wait for an attraction, I think we waited 40 minutes or so and Sarah did a great job since there was so much stuff to play with and look at.
They've changed so much about the ride it was almost completely brand new to me.  So that was fun.  They've changed the ghosts that follow you home and it's super cute.

Afterwards we had some time to kill while we waited to for our fast passes to ride Big Thunder Railroad and it was hot so we headed to the Hall of Presidents.  It's a nicely done Animatronic show that takes you through some history highlights and then the big reveal at the end is all the presidents and it goes through and introduces each one and they nod or wave or whatever.  It's really pretty cool.  Apparently, unless you are two.  Here's the conversation I had with Sarah while they were introducing the presidents.

Sarah: Mommy!  Those are robots.
Me: (surprised) No honey, those are the presidents.
Sarah: Mommy. (with a look like, seriously).  They. are. robots.

That just blew my mind hole.  I mean, really, a 2 year old looks down there and isn't fooled.  Oh well.  At least she still believes in Mickey Mouse.  I'd hate to have that kid who is trying to pull the people's stuffed heads off.

So then while Grandma and Aunt Sarah rode Big Thunder I took Sarah window shopping for tiaras.  

We didn't get one but had a good time trying them all on.

Afterwards our good luck continued on wait times for rides.  We walked right on to Pirates of the Carribean.  Sarah liked that ride.  She watches Jake and the Neverland Pirates every now and then so when asked "What's the pirate password" she'll answer, "Yo ho ho!".  And she holds up her crooked index finger and says, "Arrrrrr!"  

Then we walked right onto the Jungle Cruise and had the best guide in a while.  He was a hoot.  He had a lot of good and cheesy jokes and did some things I'd never seen before like drove the boat with his feet.  As we were getting off that ride there was a huge line so we got there at just the right time.  Then we walked right over and got straight onto Aladdin's Magic Carpet ride where we got spit on by a camel.  Awesome. 

After that the only must do's were meet Tinkerbell then grab a spot for the Electric Parade and fireworks.

Over in Pixie Hollow we met Vidia, the fastest flying fairy.  Sarah only has one Tinkerbell cartoon on the DVR and Vidia is kinda mean in it so I'm not sure if she is actually Tinkerbell's friend in other movies but it was fun because this Vidia taught Sarah how to stand with spunk.  She told her to put her hands on her lip stick her chin out and purse her lips.

She tried to explain it to me but I clearly didn't get it.  But look at Sarah working it with her Pixie attitude.  Such a hoot!

Then we met Tinkerbell and Sarah asked her for some pixie dust.  If you ask Tinkerbell for pixie dust she has some in a jar on the table and she'll sprinkle it on you.  Sarah loved it.  Even now if you ask her if she met Tinkerbell she'll tell you about how Tink put sparkles on her arms.

After that it was time to wait and wait and wait on the hard warm concert for the Electric Parade.  We were lucky and actually got a spot to sit down and even better it was behind a family that had 2 little girls (3 and 1) so Sarah was able to pass the time playing with them.  They were very nice and shared their glow necklaces with Sarah.  She enjoyed the parade but I'll never do it again.  To me, it's just a bit of a waste of time.  Sorry.  It's crowded and hot, and you have to literally get to a spot at least an hour in advance and then fight to hold that spot while others crowd in on top of you.  No thanks.  I've done it once and that's good enough.

After the parade we waited for the fireworks and Sarah was just exhausted.  I knew this day was going to be long and hard.  She didn't even care to watch the fireworks she just laid her head on my shoulder and told me that she wanted to go home and see Daddy.  She fell asleep in her stroller before we got out of the circle in front of the castle.

It was a long and wonderful trip.  She did a great job and we only had a few tiny melt downs.  I know she won't remember it, but she'll always have these pictures and I'll always have these memories.  It was so great to see her expressions as she met the characters and really seeing how much she loved the roller coaster was just fantastic.  I'm so glad that I have such wonderful family and friends who made this happen.  I love my Aunt Sarah and am glad she got to enjoy seeing Sarah in the park.  It was awesome that my mom and friend Cam were able to come.  I don't think the trip would have been as much fun without both of them.  They are both hilarious.  And I'm really thankful for my family who stayed back home.  Chris is such a great husband to encourage me to go and he took off Monday to stay home with Cody and then Tuesday after I got home to help with the kids while I recouped.  And most importantly thanks to Grandma Schwartz who watched Cody 3 days in a row so Chris could go to work.

It was an awesome trip, and I think I'm good on my Disney fix until Cody is 3.  But by then I'll probably be itching to spend some time in the happiest place on Earth again.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Schwartz's vs Conversations with My 2 Year Old

After leaving Costco and loading up the car:
Sarah: What are we doing next guys?
Chris: laughing
Me: Well, we're going to another store.
Sarah: Oh!  (very excited) That sounds FUN!

Do you think she heard a lot of "this is what we're doing next" and "it'll be fun" while we were at Disney?

This past Friday we were driving home from the gym.  One turn away from our street Sarah starts freaking out throwing a huge fit and crying, screaming, "I don't want want to go home!  I want to go to Chick-fil-a!"  (parenting fail #1...clearly we go there too often).  After much fighting she concedes to come in the house.  After even more fighting she has agreed to eat a strawberry sandwich for lunch.   Over lunch I'm letting her know what's happening today:

Me: Sarah, your friend Julie is coming over tonight to play with you while mommy and daddy go out.
Sarah: Oh!  Cool!
Me: Do you remember Julie?
Sarah: Yes!  I like her!  Her my friend.  Her listen to me.  (and in a snarky voice) Her'll take me to Chick-fil-a.
Me: Julie doesn't have a car, so, good luck with that.

Sunday over lunch, we asked Sarah what she did and learned in nursery.

Me: What did you learn today in nursery?
Sarah: We talked about family.
Me: Oh that's nice.  Did you color a picture?
Sarah: Yes.  I drew a picture of you mommy.  I drew you mad.
Me: What! You drew me mad?
Sarah: Yes, you mad because I pee pee in my panties.

Whomp whomp!  Parent Fail.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Schwartz's vs Hollywood Studios

Since we didn't want to wear Sarah out we didn't plan on staying past 3 in Hollywood Studios.  So the major things we wanted to hit were the 2 thrill rides (The Rockin' Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror), the new Toy Story Mania ride, and then a couple of shows Sarah would like (The Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Disney Junior).  So after breakfast we had to enact our opening park plan.  I hurried over and got the Fast Passes for everyone for Toy Story (when we went last Christmas Chris and I waited with Aunt Sarah for over 2 hours to ride that ride).  And everyone else headed over to get in line for the Rockin' Roller Coaster.  When I caught up with them we decided to have Cam and me ride first and while Aunt Sarah and Grandma took lil Sarah shopping for a new shirt (she had an accident at breakfast).

 Cam in front of Rockin Roller Coaster

It was a hot day so we decided it would be a good idea to kill some time in the AC while we waited for our Toy Story time.  So we caught Voyage of the Little Mermaid.  Sarah seemed to like it.  It's a mix of puppets, live people, and animated scenes from the movie.  Definitely a cute show and a nice way to get out of the heat for a little bit.

Then we moseyed over to Pixar Place to ride the new Toy Story ride.  It's a fun 3D interactive game where you are parked for a few moments in front of a screen and have to shoot at targets and stuff.  I beat Cam but she later completely spanked me on the similar Buzz Lightyear ride.  Sarah was big enough to ride but not really shoot so she rode with Grandma and Aunt Sarah.  (On the Buzz Lightyear ride you have a spin control so she got to play with that when we rode that ride together.)
Aunt Sarah and Grandma getting ready to load up.

After that we sent Auntie Cam over to Tower of Terror to get Fast Passes for that so we killed time waiting in line to meet Buzz and Woody.  This is another one of those places where Buzz and Woody are there all day and it's nice because the cue line is inside with cute little photo ops.
 Grandma and Sarah in Buzz Lightyear's Space Ship on Andy's bed.
 The Claw has chosen Sarah.
 Sarah totally being a Stinky Pete.

Finally we made it to the Promise Land and there was Buzz and Woody.  I'm not sure how she knows these characters.  We haven't watched the movies with her yet because I think Sid is a little scary but she knew them and was excited to see them both.  I was a little worried she'd be scared because both of them are so big!  Clearly that was not the case:

Cam and I had to snap a quick pic with the guys too.  Buzz and Woody showed us how they wanted us to pose with them.

On the way out one of the Green Army Men popped out.  That was pretty exciting!  They are another one of those characters that just appears every now and then for a few minutes.
After we got done meeting Buzz and Woody we had some time to kill before our last 2 things on the to-do list (Tower of Terror and Disney Junior show).  So we headed over to the Honey I Shrunk the Kid playground.

 We also paused there for a snack.
Then we cruised the set streets taking some silly photos on our way over to my favorite ride, Tower of Terror.
 Cam and Grandma taking Sarah for a stroll on the streets of New York.

We saw someone take a real cute heel click picture with the Singing in the Rain prop so we decided to give it a try.
 Aunt Sarah
 Cam pretty much asked me what in our history together made me think she was able to do a heel click so she went with this classic pose.

Hanging out on the front stoop of some Brownstones.
 Crossing the police line.
 Up at the hat the Disney Channel Rocks show was going on, so Aunt Sarah and Grandma went to go ride Tower of Terror first while I took Sarah over to go watch the show.  It was a cute show.  I didn't recognize any of the songs but that's probably because we're in the Disney Junior age right now.  But near the end they invited all the kids to come out and dance.  I asked Sarah if she wanted to go dance and I don't think I could have gotten her unbuckled fast enough.  She walked about 5 feet away from me and then got a little overwhelmed.  It was clear she wanted to go out there but was a little intimdated.  Then one of the dancers was so sweet and came and took her hand and brought her out there and danced with her.  It was so special.  Sarah had such a great time.

Then after the show was over while they were doing their dance out the girl came over so to high five Sarah one more time and pose for a picture.  I just love how great Disney cast members are.  They really make the kids feel special.

After that we rode the Tower of Terror then headed over to the Disney Junior Live show.  It was a cute puppet show.  My only complaint was I didn't know it was a puppet show so I was excited that we were on the front row.  But with an elevated stage, being seated on the floor, and the puppets being short Sarah couldn't see much.  She wanted to keep standing up but I didn't want her to block kids behind us.  But she enjoyed it.  

Then it was time to head out.  Aunt Sarah surprised us with a stay at the Polynesian Resort.  I've never stayed at a Disney resort before so this was a very special treat.  We had an awesome room with a view of the Magic Kingdom.  If you could zoom in you can see the castle over my right shoulder.  And Mom and Aunt Sarah were able to watch the fireworks from the balcony that night.  We headed to the pool to swim and take multiple trips down the volcano slide.  Then Mom and Aunt Sarah kept Sarah while Cam and I headed to Epcot for dinner and then back to Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic.