Disney World Trip

Okay, time for some blog catching up. I have so many posts I want to do, and just need to start somewhere, so here goes with our Disney World trip!!

I got a very part-time job with Angie's List doing computer stuff from home, and have been working my tail off to save for a vacation for the four of us. We really needed it! We wanted to do something fun with the kids and something with just us, our last hoorah before our family expands again. We really needed some good time together with the kids.... I know, I know, you're probably thinking, "Then why on earth pick Disney World?! The magical world of screaming and over-tired children?!?!" But thankfully, we really didn't have much of that and had a great time.

Here are a few highlights from our trip!

I'm a "personalizer" by nature. By that I mean, I like to add small details to things, personalize things, make them extra fun. Go a little bit of the extra mile in creating fun memories for my kids growing up.

Even though we didn't fly, our travel agent sent us Mickey luggage tags and the kids thought it was so cool they were on their bags. 
 We drove to Florida instead of flying and stayed with my aunt and uncle for two days before heading to Disney. I put together special "Disney bags" full of activities and things for the 16 hour car ride. 
 Cruisin' to Disney in their new shades. 
We did allow the kids to get some souvenirs at the park, but to avoid many of the over-priced items, I bought some here in Indy before going and secretly stashed them. :) Every night when we got back to our room Mickey Mouse left them a present on their pillows. They thought this was totally real and loved it. Here they are with one of their gifts. Goofy and Daisy! 
Day 1- Resort Day
The first day at the resort, we spent the day swimming and enjoying the pools. They kids had a blast! 
 We had the kids nap everyday because of all the activity and it was the funniest thing because they were out like a light in about 3 minutes, both of them snoring, and making all those funny sleep noises. They were WIPED OUT. 
 The kids LOVED the huge Cars at the Art of Animation resort. Mekonen was in heaven. Got his picture taken with pretty much every Cars character and got to climb all over them. 
 Our first night in Disney we went to Downtown Disney and took the kids to the T.Rex Cafe, an interactive dinosaur restaurant. Here's Evie, keeping an eye on a moving dinosaur above her. We were in the much more tame section of plant-eating dinosaurs so we thought they would be fine. But then the meteor shower hit and there was a lot of noise, moving & growling dinosaurs, as well as flashing lights, and both kids were toast. We had to leave. Good thing we hadn't ordered our food yet! 
Day 2- Hollywood Studios
The kids thought it was so fun to ride the bus over to the parks. Evie always found a stranger to chat with. 
 They were all excited to see the characters. (Or "charafters" as Evie called them). But when we got through the gate Evie had a changed mind. Donald and Daisy were the first ones we saw. Evie was all excited in line until it was their turn. She threw the autograph book at Daisy and then ran. Hahaha. The only way to get her back in the picture was to include Mommy and Daddy. 
 Mekonen with his favorites. Buzz and Woody. The kids cared more about seeing all the characters than riding the rides. They thought they were real. So cute. 
 We finally convinced Evie to walk up to Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen with Mekonen. After all, they weren't even "live." But as soon as she got up there, their engines revved and she took off! Hilarious. 
Later that night, my Auntie Ruth and Uncle Bill, my closest aunt and uncle, joined us for dinner and seeing all the Christmas lights. So thankful for them and glad they could be with us. My uncle of course spoiled the kids with some fancy flashing necklaces for the lights display. 

Day 3 & 4- Magic Kingdom
Here's Evie, all ready to meet Cinderella that day. So excited. 
 We got to the park right before it opened and got to see all the characters ride in on the train and sing a goodmorning song. So fun. 
And of course, Cinderella's castle. 
So glad we did a breakfast with Winnie the Pooh. Definitely worth it once we found out how obsessed the kids were with the characters. 
 Can't handle her cuteness. So big and proud waiting to meet Cinderella.
 Walking with Daddy to meet Cinderella. 
 This is probably my favorite picture of Evie from our trip. He facial expression is priceless. She was in awe. 
 If you know Evie, this shy girl look and act is soooooo not her. She must've really been enthralled! 
Each of them got to pick a special souvenir at the parks. Evie chose a Cinderella doll in the princess shop outside the fairytale hall.
 Mekonen chose this crazy Zurg addition to his Toy Story toys. Too funny. 
We went to an interactive story with Belle in the Beast's castle. Evie didn't get picked to play a part and as soon as Belle came out singing (we were in the front row), Evie was mesmerized. Belle looked right at her and waved and from that point on Evie kept whispering to us, "Mommy, I need to go see her. Please!!!!" Hard explaining to a 2 year old only some of the kids get to meet her and be next to her. Thankfully, at the end, she asked Evie if she would like to come up. So sweet.
Evie eventually got over her fear of the characters and had a great time getting them to sign their autograph book. At one point she told me, "It's okay. They're all friendly." We got every single character they knew to sign our book and they were thrilled. Even "Ru-dog" (Pluto) as Evie called him. 
After the 1st day at Magic Kingdom there was the big Disney parade at night. This was so much fun! The kids had such a good time. This is another one of my all-time favorite pics from the trip.Tons of people told us it was a waste to bring our kids to Disney World because "they won't remember it." But bringing them at 4 and 2 when they wholeheartedly believe all the characters and princesses are real was SO MUCH FUN and definitely worth it. 
Evie kept yelling, "HI!!!!!" "HI!!!!!!!" at all the characters going by. She whole-heartedly believed they would say hi back.
On our last day, we gave both our kids small cans of soda to push through naptime in order to maximize our last park day. Crazy, you say? Nope, parenting genius! (And they thought we were awesome). 

I had to include this picture of the "It's a Small World" ride because our last ride of it on the last day was epic. It consisted of Evie peeing all over the ride, which flowed down the seat and soaked Jon's tush and her beloved blanket. Of course it was the one time I didn't bring extra clothes. Later that evening she also peed all over the ferry boat. Funny thing is that this kid has had about 5 accidents total since being potty trained 7 months ago at 2 years old! 
We had to high tail it through a torrential downpour to ride Buzz one last time for Mekonen.
After Disney, we spent a day at the beach before the long trek home to Indy. I so wish we had more days for this, because they were LOVING IT!!!!! When Jon took off his shirt Mekonen took one look at him and said, "Dad, why is your skin so white?!?!" HA!!!

Evie's first time at the beach!
 Such happiness. 
 So thankful we had GORGEOUS weather!!!
 And within about 3 minutes of leaving the beach, they looked like this. I guess that was a good day!
 We were so super excited to stop and visit some of our best friends, the Webers, halfway home. We got to meet Annabelle for the first time! 
Mekonen kept snuggling up to her and talking to her. So sweet. 
 And this one? Yep..she was obsessed with Annabelle. Girls in the bows....the best! 
 We frequently laugh because we're such good friends and before this picture we have ONE, just ONE picture of us. No one was around to take the picture except for our 4 year old. It's too funny not to keep. :) 
So we had a great trip! Tons of pictures and fun things to share. These were just the highlights! If we 
are friends on Facebook, check out the Disney album there. 


Boy or Girl You Ask?

Today was our big mid-pregnancy ultrasound, although, we did not find out the gender! Gasp you say? No baby wasn't being modest, we just decided to keep the gender a surprise until his/her birthday! We did this with Evie and loved it. The surprise at the end was super fun for us and we are excited to do it again. We have a boys name completely nailed down, and still have no clue, on a girl's name. We are always open to suggestions, but nothing trendy, and meaning/significance is importance to us.

We brought the kids along to the ultrasound because they've been talking a lot about the baby in Mommy's belly and because Evie has been particularly obsessed with the whole idea. They didn't find it quite as exciting as I thought they would (surprise, surprise, they are 4 and 2). But probably mostly because they didn't understand that the weird looking black and white thing on the TV screen was their little brother or sister. Evie said she didn't like the noise because it was scary (the baby's heartbeat), and Mekonen said the baby looked like a dinosaur. They asked a million questions about the buttons on the computer the tech was using and were more fascinated with watching her move the wand across my stomach with the gooey blue gel, than the actual baby up on the screen. But oh well, it was fun, and I'm glad they were there.

Baby is happy and healthy, and this Mama can breathe a sigh of relief. There's always that mid-pregnancy mild freak out that "what if something is wrong?" "are they ok?" etc., that comes. At least for me, so it's great to hear a strong heartbeat and see all the parts working together and moving around like they're supposed to. Baby was pretty active, jumping around, kicking its feet, opened and closed its mouth, had the hiccups, and even waved. Evie thought the waving part was hilarious. Haha. It's about the only thing that she really seemed to understand. ;) Baby is weighing about 10 oz. and measuring exactly 19 weeks (and I'm not technically 19 weeks until Sunday- two more days). So growth is excellent.

So without further ado, here is Baby Oren the 3rd, in his/her cute and creepy alien stage. Awww, it's okay baby, you will get chunky and fat, and be the cutest little thing we've ever seen.

They are a little fuzzy because I took picture of them with my phone rather than scanning them.  Arm is bent up by head and mouth is opening.
This is when the baby was waving. It was the only thing Evie recognized and she thought it was funny to see the baby waving. She wanted to know why it was waving. The lady told her that the baby was friendly. ;)


And the Baby Keeps Growing

18 Weeks 
(well, almost 19 weeks).
Baby Facts:
  • Baby is 5 1/2 inches long, and 7 oz, and the size of a green bell pepper. 
  • Many moms can feel movement by now. 
  • Baby can yawn and hiccup
  • Baby has a full set of fingerprints and toe prints!

Fun Facts:
  • October 29th, at exactly 17 1/2 weeks, I felt baby move for the first time! I thought I had been feeling it earlier that week, but wasn't sure, and thought a few times earlier on the 29th I felt it. But it wasn't until I was laying down, still, and quiet, in bed that night that I knew for sure that I felt it. And it moved A LOT. Rolling and turning, punching, and kicking. Coolest little feeling ever. Although truthfully, a tad creepy feeling too! I woke Jon up to tell him. I thought for sure with how strong the kicks felt that he could feel from the outside, but he couldn't. A few more weeks before that. :) 
  • In the first several weeks of the 2nd trimester, I felt so nauseous and sick at night, even more than the 1st trimester. Weird. I'm thankful most of that has passed now!
  • As was true with Evie, my gums/teeth hurt! I think I need more calcium! 
  • I'm seeing a pregnancy chiropractor and it's been awesome. I have super tight round ligaments in the front, and it's been great getting put back in place every couple weeks. My bones already hurt when I walk around too much. That happened a lot later with Evie! Maybe Jon will end up pushing me in the stroller at Disney World in a couple weeks. 
  • I've been having random calf cramps at night. 
  • Still wearing regular clothes, but starting to get a little uncomfortable, especially when I sit down. So looks like I won't be able to button my pants before long! Then, on to the sexy maternity pants!
  • Evie continues to be obsessed with the baby in my belly. She's always asking things like, "Where's the paci for that baby in your belly?" And, "Mom, do we have a highchair for the baby?" She now walks around with a baby doll under her shirt (taught to her by her big girl friend, Lila. haha). 

I'm excited for tomorrow. It's our "half-way" ultrasound! Love seeing that little baby on the screen. We are planning on taking the kids. Evie will probably go nuts. :)


Trick or Treat!

This year, trick or treating in our county, and the nearby county, was changed from the 31st to the November 1st due to heavy wind and rain. I never heard of "postponing" Halloween, but that's what they did! My kids are 4 and 2 and they really did not understand this. They were looking forward to Thursday all week! I kept telling them that "the news switched trick or treating to Friday." Normally, this would've been no big deal, but it really made the whole trick or treating ordeal very difficult, seeing as though Mekonen had a birthday party to go to smack dab in the middle of trick or treat hours. Poor buddy was so disappointed to miss out on the full trick or treating experience, even though he did have fun at the party.

We dressed up and went out for a bit before the party but not many people were home yet and handing out candy. So he was sad to leave. After we dropped him off, Evie and I went back out until his party was over and collected him lots of candy. He was super excited about this.

Mekonen was Woody from Toy Story, and Evie was a chicken. Due to many hilarious adventures we've had with our chickens and rooster this summer, I tried convincing Mekonen to be an egg, and Evie be the chicken, because, well, it was only fitting given the last many months of chicken season. But, I couldn't convince him that an egg was cooler than Woody or a superhero.

And they're off on an adventure of candy hunting. 
"Hello? Is anybody in there?"
 "I think I see someone coming!"
After dropping Mekonen off at his friend's birthday party, Evie and I went back out together. She was hysterical. She'd walk boldly, and confidently, up to every door, and say "Trick or Treat, do you have a doggie?" After one dog came ferociously barking at the door, she got so scared she fell backwards off the steps, and from then on she wanted to know who had dogs and who didn't! That lady gave her extra treats for falling off the steps. Once the candy plopped into her bag at each house she said, "Thank you! Okay Mom, next one!" She had this system down-pat! 
Evie absolutely loved the one-on-one Mommy attention and the fact that it was mixed with endless candy was BONUS! Can we say sugar high? 
After picking up Mekonen from his party we did our annual stop at Mr. and Mrs. Wolfe's house. For the last two years, Mr. Spencer and Mr. Wolfe try to one up each other by who gives the best cash prize. My kids made out with buckets of candy that night and $10! They thought they were rich. :) 
And just for fun, here's some of our Halloween costume out-takes that didn't make trick or treating this year! 
We aren't sure what this is. A dog maybe? A penguin with ears? 
 Candy corn. This one makes me laugh the most. 
 A 4th of July firecracker. This one comes in a close second to the candy corn. Haha. 
 This was the sweetest little costume, but when she walked it fell down to mid-shin and the head piece refused to stay on. Maybe next year!
Every year around Halloween, Facebook and blogs are flooded with articles about whether or not Christians should or shouldn't celebrate Halloween and go trick or treating. I wouldn't say we "celebrate" Halloween, but we do allow our kids to dress up in costumes and go out and get some candy. They think it's a blast. We don't allow scary or gory costumes, but it's fun to see them enjoy the whole experience.

There are a lot of good articles out there talking about how to engage your neighbors as they come to your door trick or treating, etc. We don't really have those same kinds of opportunities as we live in the country and don't get trick or treaters, but we do try to make a point to connect with and visit our neighbors regardless of Halloween. So for now, we usually drive to a friends neighborhood and just let the kids enjoy the evening, and have a good time.

If you're interested, I wrote a blog post in the past called "What to Do About Halloween" discussing Christians and the holiday, and how we landed on the decision to let our kids dress-up and trick or treat.