Wednesday, November 26, 2014

{Disney} Day 6 - Making magic happen

When I last left off, we had wrapped up lunch at Crystal Palace and were heading back out into Magic Kingdom for the afternoon.  This was our last full day of vacation and our last day in the parks, so if there was something the girls wanted to do, now was the time.  We had two main goals for the afternoon:  watch the Festival of Fantasy parade (which had been rained out Wednesday afternoon) and ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (which is a newish attraction and one we had not yet experienced.)

After cathing Anna and a bathroom break, we found spots along the sidewalk near the castle to watch the parade, which would begin at 3:00.  We had a FP+ time of 2:55 - 3:55 for the Mine Train so we wanted to be near that side of the park.

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So here's the deal with viewing the parade - if you want a front row spot, you need to get there early.  It's that easy.  It irks me to no end to watch other guests rush up 3 minutes before a parade is supposed to begin and expect others to move for them.  No.  Manage your own time.  Also, Disney is very good with marking off parade viewing areas and keeping walkways clear.  It's in their best interest for guests to stay save during parades.  If you want to go from one place to the next and there are guests sitting, waiting for the parade, please don't step over them.  If you simply walk 20 feet or so, you'll find an open walkway.  At every single parade we've waited for, I've had a ton of guests climb over me and my kids, lift strollers over my kids and/or expect me to move for their convenience. No.

I love how these two look too cool for school.

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For this parade, we found our viewing spots about 30 minutes prior to the parade start time.  Easywdw.com had the crowd calendar at a 5 (out of 10) for that day and 30 minutes was plenty of time to find a good spot.  I will say that after a parade starts and I don't have to worry about adults cramming me out of my spot or blocking my kids' views with their big heads, I will move for kids.  So after this parade started, I was able to scoot over and make room for a little boy to sit on the curb next to me.

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The girls really, really enjoyed this parade, which is fairly new to the park and was definitely new to us.  I didn't take any pictures of the fire breathing dragon but it was pretty cool.  After the parade, we headed over to the Mine Train.  As we were walking to the entrance, Rich pointed up to the ride.  "Uh, why is there a guy walking next to the tracks?"  Yeah, so the ride was down.  When a ride goes out of service and you have a FP+ for it, you can return at any point during the day to ride it.  Instead of hanging around, we went and rode the Tea Cups and then PeopleMover, both of which had no stand-by wait times.

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After those two rides, we returned to the Mine Train to find it up and running.  This is mostly a roller coaster with a slower part in the middle.  I'd rate it on the same scary level as Big Thunder Mountain.  In other words, not very intense.  I thought it was pretty good but Grammy and Rich said that they had expected something different.  My response was, "It's a Disney ride, not a miracle maker."

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The sky was clouding up and rain had begun to spit on us.  We were all thirsty and wanted to get out of the rain so we headed over to the circus tent gift shop for slushes.  Next up was our FP+ for the Ariel Under the Sea ride and then we decided we had time for one more thing before we should leave.  Lucky for us, a stand-by wait time of 20 minutes was posted for Enchanted Tales with Belle.  It actually wasn't even that long.  I think we waited less than ten minutes before we were lead inside by a cast member.

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Funny enough, Allie was picked for Philippe again.

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Our timing for ending the day was perfect as it was now raining yet again.  The ferry stops first at the Grand Floridan and then the Polynesian.  For a change from Captain Cook's, we left the ferry at the GF to eat dinner at one of their counter service restaurants.  Essentially, the food is similar but they did have a different menu/selection.  We then walked back to the Polynesian from the Grand Floridian.  If you can't tell, we like to walk.

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Up next - Departure Day 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Where I pretend this is a fashion blog

It may be possible that I'm the only parent who didn't buy her children new clothes at the beginning of the school year.  They each picked out a new outfit a few months ago and then we picked up a new long-sleeved shirt for each of them a few weeks ago but otherwise a lot of clothes from last year still fit and we've been hanging on to items until they come home from school trashed (think rips or non-washable paint) or the item is outgrown.  They are in need of some replacements now though, especially pants.

Because the girls wear what are essentially play clothes to school, they don't have many "nice" items for this time of the year.  Rich's family was having a family reunion the weekend after I was sick and I ended up embarking on a last minute journey to find something decent for them to wear.  Normally, I don't obsess over their clothing - there are more important things in life to worry about - but there are some days when I want them to look nice.

I still wasn't feeling 100% but I headed off the outlets for what I hoped would be a quick excursion.  My first stop was OshKosh, where I finally found jeggings that looked like they would fit in the waist.  The girls have been wearing their size 5s from last year and you can kind of get away with them not looking like floods by wearing boots or just because they are fitted around the ankle.  I picked up a few things at OshKosh and headed off to Gymboree, where I struck gold.  I usually don't feel like I make out well at Gymboree, even the outlet store.  Here and there you can find a bargain but it's usually on random items, like bathing suits.  If you weren't aware - and I wasn't - the outlets now accept the regular store coupons.  Luckily, I had one on my person.  So, I walked out of there with four dresses and three pairs of tights for $60.  I even told the sales clerk that I never do that well and she agreed that the sales were pretty good.    

With their new clothes, my little fashionistas pulled together outfits for the family reunion.

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To make this look like a real fashion blog, here are the outfit details:

Emily
Blue and white dress - Gymboree Outlet
Pink tights - Gymboree Outlet
White shoes - Gymboree Outlet (last year)

Allie
Blue sweater poncho - OshKosh Outlet
Pink velvet jeggings - OshKosh Outlet
Boots - Children's Place Outlet

Anna
Kitty ears headband - Crazy 8
Blue dress - Gymboree Outlet
Leopard tights - Gymboree Outlet
Sparkly shoes - Nordstrom (hand me down)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

{Disney} Day 6 - A Crystal Palace Luncheon

Crystal Palace is a table service restaurant in Magic Kingdom featuring table to table appearances by Winnie the Pooh and friends (Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger.)  Food is served buffet style.  We've enjoyed our meals here in the past and because the girls prefer character meals right now, I searched and searched for an open ADR and was lucky to eventually find one for lunch.  This restaurant is fairly popular, which is evidenced by the lines to check-in and all the guests waiting to be seated.  If you're looking for a character meal at lunchtime in Magic Kingdom, Crystal Palace and Cinderella's Royal Table are your only choices.

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Eeyore, Allie's favorite, was first to visit our table.

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Then came Winnie the Pooh.

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Followed by Piglet.

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The buffet isn't huge but we all felt that it was decent, especially for a buffet.  There was enough of a selection to keep everyone satisfied.

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(It looks like I color coordinated my food.)

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Tigger was the last character to stop by our table.  He tried to steal Allie's Minnie ears, which they all found to be hysterical.

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For some reason, the girls' facial expressions in all of these pictures crack me up.

Up next - Our last afternoon at Magic Kingdom.  How much can we fit it?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Body by triplets v7.5

When you shop for clothes for yourself, do you hold up a clothing item and imagine what it would look like on you?  That's what I do.  Not sure if that's the norm though.  Since I've had the girls, what I think an item will look like on me is usually not what I see in the dressing room mirror.  I recently came to the realization that when I think about what I look like, I see myself as I was before I became pregnant with Abbey.  That was 9 years ago.

I suppose it's because I've gone through so many changes over the past 9 years whereas prior to 2005, I was the same size for 10+ years.  This isn't to lament the loss of my former self.  I knew I would never look the same the day my doctor told me that I could always, without surgery, look pregnant.  I'm still not comfortable with the way I am now but I've mostly accepted that this is it and I want to work with what I've got.

I allowed myself a week to recover from Disney and then I hit the treadmill.  I was never sure the last time I attempted to run if I had hurt my foot from starting off with too much or from stepping on a toy in Allie's room.  This time I decided to take it nice and slow and keep the mileage down, waaaay down.  I ran .75 miles one day, gave myself two days to rest (I know, how pathetic) and then ran another .75 miles.  After one rest day, I ran .75 miles again.  It wasn't difficult to run that distance - I most definitely could have run farther - but I wanted to take it nice and slow and ease my aging body (ha ha) back into the swing of things.    

I was feeling pretty good and ready to slightly increase my mileage and pace for week 2 when Emily came down with that nasty stomach/flu thing and my plans for running went bye bye.  Whatever.  It happens.  I suppose if I was super hardcore, I would have sucked it up and found a way to fit it in but I'm not. I'm tired.  My thought was there's always next week.  But then there was some other excuse not to run and then Allie got sick. And then I came down with whatever Allie had. Would you believe that was more than two weeks ago and I still don't have my voice back completely.

There's a local 5K this weekend and another next weekend, along with the 5 miler on Thanksgiving day. I won't be running in any of those and I guess I'm a bit bummed out by that. The other day, I was thinking about that 5 mile race last Thanksgiving and how happy I was with how I ran considering I hadn't really been able to train for it. This Thanksgiving, I'm sure I'll be jealous of all those out there running races.

So my point in all of this is that I need to start running and working out again and it's the same story as always - where to find the time, energy and motivation. I really do miss running though. I think I'm going to give a try again this weekend. When Rich and I found out about the 5Ks I thought about walking/light running one with the girls but then an artic blast blew in. It looks like it's going to warm up this weekend though. I don't know about you, but I am not ready for winter. I'll be running on the treadmill until April.

I still want to run a half marathon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Life lately

-  Anna, the child who claimed she would be the only 100 year old with baby teeth, finally, FINALLY lost her first tooth!

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And solidifying the identicalness of identicals, her first tooth lost was her left central incisor (same as her sisters) and she also had a shark tooth (same as her sisters.)  Unlike her sisters was the fact that I actually plucked the tooth out for her.  After a week of it hanging on by a thread, it had to go.

- So far second grade has been going well.  We don't have our first parent/teacher conferences until December but lots of paperwork makes it way home on a daily basis.  I like seeing these

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Maybe, possibly one of these kids can secure some type of scholarship for college.

- Seven years of age has been full of surprises.  The girls took an interest in learning about the presidents and I've found Allie reading a (really thick) book of Rich's that talks about the "human" side of the presidents.  She recently checked this out from her school library

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and read it to her class on her day to be guest reader.  She also, unbeknownst to us, was reading a Time magazine.  

Allie:  "There were 43 students in Mexico who were kidnapped and killed."    
Me:  "What?  Where did you hear that?"
Allie:  "I read it in Time."
Me:  "Why were you reading that?"
Allie:  "Taylor Swift was on the cover."

Then she started telling us about all the records Taylor Swift and Usher have sold.  She has no idea who Usher is, by the way.

- Last week, I chaperoned a field trip to Plimouth Plantation for Anna's class.  Emily's class was also there at the same time and we were able to see her several times throughout the day.  My reason for chaperoning (besides wanting to) was to be able to cath Anna in our van and also to help her walk around.  There were only four chaperones needed per class and because more than four parents said they were available, the teachers actually drew names from hats.  I went in place of a nurse for Anna's class.  The cathing part went fine.  The walking around part was tough.  There was a TON of walking and we had two boys in our group who kept running ahead, forcing all of us to walk super fast.  I still hadn't recovered my voice from when I had been sick, so yelling for them to halt wasn't as effective as it would have been if I'd had my normal big mouth.

There were a few times I had to pick her up and carry her.  Mostly up hills.  She weighs 40 pounds which is almost 40% of what I weigh and I am not strong but I'll carry her until my arms start to give out.  I couldn't figure out an alternative for her to get around besides walking but that was just too much walking for her.  It all worked out in the end and I was prepared to crack a joke if any of the kids said anything about me carrying her.  But no one blinked an eye.  The two girls in our group were awesome and one of them watches out for Anna so that helped the situation.  Walking issues are the norm for Anna so it didn't really bother her.  It's what she's used to.  She had fun on the field and that's the most important part.      

- I finally installed the RunKeeper app on my phone.  I'd been curious as to how long my commuting walk is so I used it Monday morning.

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Yeah, city walking is sloooow walking.