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.

Monday, November 17, 2014

{Disney} Day 6 - Magic Kingdom, morning

This was to be our last full day at Disney and we planned to make the most of it. Although, I did want to be back to the rooms early so that I could pack. Rich didn't understand my obsession with packing to return home but I have four people to take care of, compared to his one, and the room was a mess. I didn't want to deal with it in the morning.  And yes, I was obsessed.

Slight sidetrack to talk about the rooms at the Polynesian.  These rooms sleep five with two queen sized beds and this bed that folds out from the couch.

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Allie called this her "private bed."  She slept in it almost every night and said she liked it but once we returned home, she told me that she had been afraid she was going to find a snake under the covers.  I think she heard some snake talk.  One day at the pool, another guest was telling the lifeguard that a snake had been sunning itself on their patio.  Ack!  

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We ate breakfast in our rooms and then headed to Magic Kingdom via the boat, our preferred mode of transportation from our resort.

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Lady Tremaine and Cinderella's stepsisters take turns with the Fairy Godmother meeting and greeting behind the castle in the mornings. We had already met the Fairy Godmother so we headed back there first to see if Lady T and the step isters were out. They were not - the Fairy Godmother was there - but we were told that they would be out in a bit.

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We walked down the other side of the castle and joined the line to meet Merida, which was fairly short but quickly grew.

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We then went back behind the castle and joined the line to meet Cinderella's stepmother and sisters. They weren't out yet and only a very short line had formed. That's the trick with some of these character meets - get in line before the character comes out because once other guests see the character, the line grows quickly. Out of sight, out of mind I guess. These characters seemed to be more tame than in the past. Don't get me wrong - the meet was still good. I just found it interesting that they didn't seem to have as much sass.

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We had a little bit of time to kill before our Winnie the Pooh ride FP+ time so we checked out that princess gift shop behind the castle before heading over to the ride. After Winnie the Pooh, the girls wanted to ride Splash Mountain, which didn't have a long stand-by wait time, so we headed off to that end of the park. It was still fairly warm out but didn't feel as hot as the day before. Maybe because there was more shade at Magic Kingdom? At the last minute, Emily decided to not ride and hung out with Grammy. Somehow Anna and I ended up in the front of the log. Never again! I was soaked. Because of the heat though, I dried out in ten minutes.

We had a lunch ADR at 12:50 for Crystal Palace. When we exited Splash Mountain, there was the M&G for Woody and Jessie. The girls and I joined the line while Rich went to find Grammy and Emily. We had about 30 minutes or so before we would have to be at Crystal Palace and while there was a line, it wasn't terribly long. It didn't extend past the ropes and it was moving. Long story short - we didn't get to meet them.  It appeared that Bullseye needed a lot of water that day and the cast member/handler appeared to be, um, new.  We had to bail so we wouldn't miss our ADR window.  Thankfully, the girls weren't overly bummed.  I told them we would try again later if we had time.

Up next - Would Tigger behave?  Lunch at Crystal Palace.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

{Disney} Day 5 - Epcot, afternoon

*Edit to fix duplicate picture... Duffy is Anna's favorite. Can't forget the Duffy picture!

After lunch, we walked over to the area where Duffy meets and greets.  Well, first we popped in this little building in Norway to check out some items which inspired the movie, Frozen.  I think that's what they were.  I can't really remember.  I know there's been chatter (and complaints) that Disney will eventually convert Norway into Arendelle.  I guess you can include me on the "Whatever" list.  Frozen has been such a huge moneymaker for Disney, I'm betting we can expect to see more in the parks in the future.

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When we arrived at the Duffy M&G pavilion, the gigantic teddy bear was wrapping up and heading off for a break so we became the first ones in line for his return meeting and greeting.

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We then decided to walk around the World counterclockwise.  The girls like the ride in Mexico so we did that and spent some time checking out the gift shop where it was nice and cool.  Aside from window shopping and a gelato stop in Italy, we didn't really do much in the countries.  I'm actually not sure what else we could have done.  Well, that's not completely true.  In the last gift shop we visited, I spotted the kid passport kit.  The girls are also into maps right now and we could have had them find the countries on a map as we walked through them.  There are craft stations in most of (maybe all of) the countries but the girls were not interested.  I think they were too old for it.

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After the World, we headed over to the aquarium and the Nemo ride, which had a stand-by wait time of 5 minutes.  The kind of stand-by time that we love.  And of course, there was a Chip and Dale meet.

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This was the first day of our trip without any rain and as much as we enjoyed that, we were not mentally prepared for the heat.  It was 90 degrees that day with a real feel temperature of 103.  So although there was much left undone at Epcot, we headed back to the Polynesian for some pool time.  The heat can be bothersome for Anna, who tends to overheat due to her medication.  At one point, I wet some paper towels in the bathroom and she used those to cool off as we walked.  I also did that every time I cathed her.  When it's hot like that, we have to plan a somewhat easy day.  Which is probably best for all of us.

I think I mentioned in an earlier post how we had been fearful that the quiet pool would be overcrowded now that the main pool was under construction.

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I've seen some folks refer to this as a kiddie pool because of the depth, which may be one of the reasons why it was almost always empty.  It was perfect for the girls.  The life guards, who I think were bored out of their minds, were all very friendly.  The one in my picture is posing for me.

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Rich watched the girls at the pool while Grammy and I grabbed dinner for all of us at Captain Cook's.  It was nice to rest and eat dinner at an uncrowded poolside.  I had that tuna croissant sandwich again and it was still fresh and tasty.  After swimming, we made it an early night.  We wanted everyone to have energy for our last day in the parks.

Up next - Back to Magic Kingdom