Friday, February 11, 2011

Walker Girl Funnies

Claire was watching the movie "Annie" with her sisters and a friend from across the street, Katey, when I heard Katey ask "Who is that guy?" to which Claire replied, "He's one of the sinister characters."

What??? Did she just say that? So I asked her "Claire, what does that mean?" to which she quickly (because I was interrupting the movie) and seemingly a bit annoyed answered, "He's one of the bad guys." I don't know where it comes from. Maybe it's because she's a daughter of an english professor. Or maybe she's just that brilliant. :)

Rachel came up to me a few weeks ago with something spilled down the front of her shirt. So I asked her what it was to which she of course replied, "I don't know." After much prodding, she finally admitted it was chocolate milk. I then quickly deduced that if it was spilled on her shirt, she most likely had spilled it somewhere else - especially since she didn't have any chocolate milk out and would have had to get it out of the refrigerator. (You can't get anything past this smart mom). So I asked her if she spilled the milk on the floor. Her answer of course was "Noooo!" in a "quit bugging me" tone. I then asked her to take a little walk with me downstairs to the kitchen. Upon arriving in the kitchen we discovered the refrigerator door wide open with a stool in front of it and a chocolate milk container lying on the floor in a pool of spilled chocolate milk. So I once again asked her if she did this. (I should know better than to set my kids up to lie) And she once again adamantly replied "NO!" I of course was very curious who could have done this so I asked her what happened and she told me this tale....

"Someone walked in the door and came in and got the chocolate milk and drank it and then spilled the milk on the floor and then dropped the cup and then spilled it on me and then left. And didn't even clean up."

I of course wanted to know who would do such a thing so I asked her who it was. She stated she did not know. I reminded her that if she saw them do it, then she did know and she should tell me who it was (of course this was the only flaw in her story) to which she gave a deep sigh and said, "Jonathan's mommy" (our friend who goes to church with us). With a little smirk on my face since I was trying not to crack up said, "You are telling me that Jonathan's mommy came in the door, opened the refrigerator, pushed the stool in front of the shelves, drank the chocolate milk, spilled it on the floor and you and then left?" Rachel looked at me with a disappointed look and even more disappointed tone in her voice and while shaking her head said, "And, she didn't even clean up."

Maggie has a burst of energy every day at about 5:30pm or 6pm which just so happens to coincide with our dinner time. How perfect. So instead of eating, she takes a bite or two of vanilla yogurt or a cracker (the main constituents of her diet) and then begins her lap running around the table. She sometimes accompanies the running reciting verse or song (in her own language of course), but she doesn't let much interrupt her. She just puts her head down and goes. At first I tried to make her stop and sit down and then discovered what a fool I am. If I just let her go, it keeps her busy, out of trouble, burns off some energy and I get to eat!

Claire has been asking for a dictionary for quite some time now (maybe to look up words like sinister or something). Well, you would think that we would have one in our house especially with an English professor in our home, but we didn't - that English guy stole them all and took them to work. So Paul brought one home one day for Claire and she grinned from ear to ear. That night in bed, she was listening to her new Taylor Swift CD she got for Valentine's Day and reading/singing the lyrics with the CD. I watched her as every once in awhile she would pause and look a word up in the dictionary (we practiced how to find words earlier that night) and then go on listening and singing. It was getting late, so I went in and turned off the CD and told her it was time to go to bed, to which I was expecting some whining and "5 more minutes", but instead, she had a sweet smile on her face and said, "Come here, mama." I walked over to her bed and with the biggest grin and excitement of winning a million dollars on her face gave me hug and said, "Thank you so much for the dictionary!" If only a dictionary would bring everyone so much happiness.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving - Disney Style

Paul had a conference in Orlando the week before Thanksgiving this year, so we decided to start our Thanksgiving break a little early and head down at the end of his conference to have a the Disney World experience. My sister Kari traditionally has visited us at Thanksgiving time each year no matter where we live, so she was able to join us also (and three adults makes trying to keep track of three little girls a much easier job).

Paul flew down earlier in the week and I drove with the girls to pick up Aunt Kari at the airport in Nashville on Friday and we made the drive down to Florida. We got to Orlando on Saturday late morning and wasted no time before heading to the park. Our first day was spent at Magic Kingdom. (Clark Griswald, I mean Paul, found a way to the parking lots going on back roads in order to bypass the parking fees - I thought we were going to be hunted down kicked out of the park and waste a week in Florida, but alas, we made it)

We spent the first afternoon going against all the guide books and websites, and threw caution to the wind. We did not have a plan, we did not schedule our fast passes, we did not have a time table for bathroom breaks, eating, blowing our nose, etc. We are "the fly by the seat of our pants kind of family" (a throw out to "Pretty Woman" if you didn't catch that). It was perfect. We found rides we wanted to go on, we didn't stress. We hit both the afternoon and evening parades at perfect times and just had a wonderful evening.

We took the ferry from the parking area to Magic Kingdom the first day. The girls (not to mention me) were so excited.
When we walked into the park, it was almost time for the afternoon parade to start so we stopped and had front row seats just as they came out. Perfect timing!!

Me, Aunt Kari, Maggie, Rachel (hiding behind the pamphlets) and Claire getting ready for the parade.
As with any parade, the music is just a bit loud! (Although my girls were glad there were no sirens like the local parades)

Claire and Rachel
Rachel was especially excited to meet Woody and even got to shake his hand.
Along with Jesse.
Claire and Rachel waved at all the characters on floats and got some waves back - Prince Eric even blew them a kiss!
Maggie really didn't know what to think.
Aunt Kari and Claire taking in the sights.
Claire waiting patiently in the lines. So excited!!
What three happy girls! Rachel, Claire and Maggie
Dumbo was one of our first rides. They loved it! They wanted to do it again and again.
Claire flying Dumbo (or Bumbo as Rachel calls him).

Aunt Kari and Rachel with Paul and Maggie flying right behind.
On to the Mad Hatter Tea Cup ride. Paul, Claire, Rachel and Aunt Kari really got spinning.
Paul, Rachel, Maggie, Claire and Aunt Kari in front of Cinderella's castle. The girls, especially Rachel could not get enough of seeing the castle.
Claire and Rachel trapped with a scary alien!
Rachel practicing some dance moves while waiting in line.
Rachel and Aunt Kari on It's A Small World - a big hit with the girls.Aunt Kari and Claire on It's a Small World.
Paul and Maggie on It's a Small World. Looks like Maggie is ready to jump over board. Maybe it it was the music.Rachel and Paul riding on Prince Phillip's carousel.
Me and Maggie.
Claire and Aunt KariClaire braving the horse on her own.Maggie at the end of a long first day. Only 3 more to go!
But Claire and Rachel were still going strong.
Cinderella's castle was it up at night for Christmas with millions of lights. It was really impressive...
...and beautiful!!
We (at least Rachel and Maggie) were getting pretty tired by the time the night parade came, but we stayed and it was worth it. Even Flat Stanley came out to see the excitement. The electrical night parade was pretty cool.
Does this look like pure excitement or what?

The next few days we hit Epcot for a "Princess Lunch" which was quite an event in and of itself. We ate lunch and many of the Disney Princesses came to our table and visited with us, took pictures with the girls and signed autographs. To see the girls face light up when they saw the princesses and give them hugs was priceless! Paul didn't know until after he got the bill how much we were spending for this special time with the princesses (I made the reservations), but even he had to admit it was a highlight of the trip (the princess meeting, not the bill). I did have to keep reminding him - "Their faces were priceless!" And back to Magic Kingdom again. The adults did make it to one roller coaster but most of the rides were for the girls. They did enjoy the rides, especially Dumbo and Peter Pan, but meeting all the characters was probably their favorite part of the trip.
The fam at Epcot.
Rachel and Claire waited patiently in lines to meet characters and get autographs. Luckily we never had to wait very long.
At our princess lunch, we were greeted by Belle before we were even seated at our table. She along with all the other princesses were beautiful and so nice!
Claire, Belle and Rachel.

These expressions say it all.

Maggie wasn't too excited to meet the princesses.
Look at Rachel's face upon meeting Cinderella.
Claire, Cinderella and Rachel.
Claire, Snow White and Rachel.
Ariel greeting Claire.
Claire, Ariel and Rachel.
Still this was as close as Maggie got.
And, Rachel's favorite princess - Aurora aka Sleeping Beauty.Claire, Aurora and Rachel.I think Rachel was in shock.
Claire wanted to try out the princess chair. It seemed to fit just right.
Rachel seemed to fit pretty good also.
Rachel and Claire as Vikings in Norway at Epcot.Once again - the Walker girl models.Rachel is still working on her moves.
They had some pretty impressive bushes which were trimmed into different characters.
Here is Claire with Mickey and Minnie.Claire and Rachel with Donald Duck
Doesn't this look like we are having fun?
Aunt Kari and Maggie in Morocco.
Claire, Paul and Rachel also in Morocco.
Rachel, Claire and I as totem pole faces.
Rachel tried the upside down look.
So Claire decided to try it out too.
Maggie mostly enjoyed the views from her stroller.
Paul, Claire, Aunt Kari and Rachel riding in the shells through the Nemo ride.
There was a pretty cool aquarium after the Nemo ride. It was as good as any of the other attractions and in fact was Maggie's favorite thing of all the parks.
AAAGH! It's a shark!! With a Claire in it's mouth!
AAAGH! Now it's got Aunt Kari and Rachel.
I love Aunt Kari's new hair color compliments of Rachel's skirt.
I loved the poinsettia trees and new my mom would also, so we took a couple of pictures with the Walker models in front of them.

A quiet ride back on the monorail.
Once again, Maggie was pretty wiped out.
We also went to Animal Kingdom where we saw lots of fun animals and met lots more of the characters.
Claire, Paul and Maggie on the Safari at Animal Kingdom.
We saw lots of really cool animals of which I am not posting pictures, but it was really fun riding the trucks through the area.
Aunt Kari and Rachel.
Maggie liked the animals too.
Claire dancing with a funny ape thing.
Claire, Rachel and I dancing at Animal Kingdom.Just posting this picture to show our redneck moment - Maggie in just a diaper out in public. Really, the first activity of the day, Maggie had a huge blow out and the only time I don't have an extra pair of pants happened to be that day. So, we were the rednecks from Kentucky. Several other women noticed and sympathized letting me know that they had been in the same boat at some time. A bonus was that she was sitting on my lap when it happened, and since I couldn't walk around in my undies all day, I unfortunately smelled all day. Yuck!Rachel and Claire meeting Donald Duck.
Rachel, Goofy and Claire.
Rachel and Claire meeting Minnie Mouse.

This was about as close as Maggie got to any of the characters. She did blow Minnie a kiss though.
Rachel, Mickey and Claire.

Rachel, Tigger and Claire.
I had to get in the picture with Eyore. He is my favorite.
Rachel, Eyore, Claire, me and Maggie.
Rachel, Winnie the Pooh and Claire.
Rachel dancing in Asia.
Claire in Asia
Claire scuba diving.

Claire on an animal hunt.
There was a small playground area in Animal Kingdom which of course the girls loved.
Rachel got worn out a little early in the day on day 3.

Aunt Kari excited to crack into the crab legs and shrimp. She doesn't get to eat these at home due to her boyfriend being allergic to them, so she took advantage of the situation and enjoyed them at Joe's Crab Shack.
Claire and Rachel enjoyed Joe's also.
I wanted to get a picture of the girls with their Minnie shirts on (which I made by the way) and their ears (which I made also). But once again, Maggie was quite uncooperative.
Rachel and Claire sitting in Minnie Mouse's living room in her house.
Rachel in Minnie's sun room.And by her front door.Maggie's nap time.
The Mickey and Minnie Mouse gang with our ears on. Can you tell how excited Paul and Kari are to wear their ears? These took some hard work, but I don't think they really appreciated it.
After 4 days at Disney World, I think this is about how we all felt. (Notice the close up of the shirt I made. Pretty proud of it.)
We never spent a whole day and night at the parks because with three little girls, they just don't as that long. So the rest of the time we enjoyed our beautiful hotel! We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. It was such a nice hotel. Beautiful swimming pools, water slides, lake beach, bikes, walking paths, parrots. We were on the 18th floor so we had pretty good views in fact from the hallway where there were floor to ceiling windows you could see the fireworks from Epcot at night. It was fun watching fireworks in our jammies.
Our hotel was amazing. Maggie, Paul, Rachel and Claire loved the bouncy bridges going over the pools.
Aunt Kari and Rachel playing in the pool...
...and out of the pool.
Claire has really come to love the water. She could have swam (and jumped) for hours.
Maggie and I enjoyed a little water and then observed the others.
Rachel worked on her bike riding skills.
They had amazing decorations set up in the hotel lobby including this enormous tree.
Claire and Rachel practiced their poses in front of the tree.
Maggie has not been much of a poser for us lately and most pictures of her end up being of her lying on the floor throwing a fit because she doesn't want her picture taken.
Claire on the other hand loves practicing her many poses. Flat Stanley came to join us here also.
Claire picking the nose of the hog in the garden area of our hotel.
The room did seem quite small with six people and after five days in it. Luckily we were out most of the time. Everyone did seem to find the sleeping arrangements okay though.

Maggie didn't get tired of the room.

After four days having a blast, we drove to Daytona Beach. Paul had served his mission in this area and told me you drove on the beaches and parked there. I thought we would be calling AAA to tow us out of the sand, but in an unlikely event, he was correct! It was crazy! Now, I knew we were going to the beach, but in another unlikely event, I wasn't thinking and didn't pack beach clothes (at least on top of the other luggage). So the adults wore the clothes we had on and the girls stripped down to underwear, shirts and diapers. The weather was perfect. Had we had bathing suits, it may have been a bit cold in the water, but we still would have done it. Sorry girls. They still had fun though! We decided next time we come this way, we need to make plans for a couple days at the beach too.
Maggie and Paul
Maggie and Paul
Maggie and Rachel making "sand castles"...or just sand piles.
Maggie, Claire, Paul and Rachel
Claire and Maggie. Notice our van parked on the beach. The cars drive between where we are parked and the water.
Paul and Rachel
Claire and her sandy bum.
The Walkers!
My sister (Kari) and I. I love her!! Thanks so much for coming with us!!!

After the beach, we started on our way home stopping at a Cracker Barrel in the middle of Alabama somewhere for Thanksgiving dinner. It was perfect. Our kids ate Mac and Cheese and we had a Thanksgiving dinner plate which was good. I could go for this type of Thanksgiving every year. No cooking, no worrying, just yummy! The only downside was no leftover turkey for sandwiches.

We stopped at a park also somewhere in Alabama on Thanksgiving day so the girls could get out and use up some of the energy! It was a beautiful day!

Ride em' Rachel!
MaggieRide like the wind, Claire!
Go, Maggie, Go!
Claire, Rachel and Maggie in the Thanksgiving dresses I made them. I think they turned out pretty cute.
Maggie multi-tasking in the car with a calculator and cell phone.

We made better time on the way home than we expected, so when we got to Nashville, Paul drove on home with the Claire and Maggie and Rachel and I stayed with Kari in a hotel and took her to the airport in the morning before we made our way home.

It was a wonderful trip. We all had so much fun (except Paul aka Scrooge after the first day who then tolerated the parks, although just barely - not sure if it was the lines, the crowds, the food, the warmth or just too much estrogen staying in one room for 4 days). And a huge thanks to my sister, Aunt Kari! Without her it would have been much more stressful. It truly was a magical Thanksgiving!