Wednesday, November 30, 2011

a girl and her bear

If you know anything about my Bella, it is that she loves Pooh Bear.  My favorite part of the entire trip was this first day when Bella got to meet Pooh for the first time. She was so excited. Pooh's assistant could hear the girls chatting about how excited she was and overheard Bella say she slept with 4 pooh bears. She told Pooh as Bella was walking up to meet him and Bella almost tackled poor Pooh.  He hugged her and cuddled her, and I of course got teary-eyed.  After pics galore, autographs and hugs, Bella was all smiles.  It was the highlight of her trip too.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hollywood Studios

We checked into our hotel at 9 a.m. and hopped on a DW bus to Hollywood Studios.  Our DW travel expert (BTW if you are planning a DW trip, I HIGHLY recommend her for MANY reasons) had planned out an itinerary for us for every day we were in the park;  complete with dining reservations info, recommended rides for each section of the park, info on what rides had restrictions or were appropriate or inappropriate (ie too scary) based on the info she had for the girls.  She told us what rides could be skipped if the wait times were too long, which ones were worth the wait.  It was so helpful.  The only ride we waited in line for was Toy Story Mania.  It was so fun, we got a fast pass to ride it again.  (FP gives you a scheduled time to return and you can return and most times walk right up to the ride w/out any wait).  
The girls also had their first encounter with a character at Hollywood Studios and it was Piglet.  Who could be afraid of Piglet?  I promised to hold their hands and we would ask Piglet for his autograph.  I could feel the resistance in LE's hands, but Bella walked right up to him and hugged him.  By the end of our time with Piglet, we had autographs, hugs and pictures, SUCCESS!  And that was the beginning of a whole new adventure, to try and collect every character's autograph (and the only other thing we waited in line for the rest of the week).  We had lunch at Pizza Planet, it was a quick service meal, meatball sandwiches and salads for Daddy and I, snack packs for the girls.  It was OK, decent for quick service.  It was fun for the girls to eat in the Pizza Planet from Toy Story.
We got a text mid afternoon that our room was ready, but ended up closing the park down.  We went to Target and bought bagels, juice and fruit for our breakfasts, another recommendation by travel expert.  Bed time 11:00 pm. with a 7 am wake up call the next morning.
Best Ride- Toy Story Mania
Best Moment - Bella meeting Pooh Bear
Best Show - Beauty and the Beast
Best Downtime - Honey, I Shrunk the Kids playscape

Monday, November 28, 2011

travel days

The girls did awesome on the drive to and from Disneyworld.  I did a lot of prep work to keep our sanity.  It paid off greatly.  I packed snacks for all of us and had them tucked into the pockets of the car doors.  The girls did not get drinks and we only had to make one potty stop that was not a lunch or gas stop.  Our first stop was outside Houston for lunch and then onto Louisiana where we stayed with my Uncle Chuck and Aunt Martha (arrived at 4:30).  I surprised Ben and made arrangements for us to eat at Ben's favorite seafood restaurant Middendorf''s, which kicked off our 2 weeks of gluttony behavior. 
The next morning we were on the road at 7:30 and stopped near the Louisiana border for breakfast.  We drove all day and arrived around 8:00 and decided to go ahead and hit Disney Downtown.  We had dinner at the Earl of Sandwich (best quick service meal we had- awesome hot sandwiches).  We decided to arrive the night before and stay at a non-Disney World  hotel.  I found an app called hotel tonight  (last minute hotel deals) and with my initial registration I received a $25 credit.  Our hotel bill was $20.  We had breakfast at IHOP and checked into our resort and spend the day at Hollywood Studios for our first adventure.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

the big reveal

Originally we decided to not tell the girls we were going to Disneyworld until we arrived at the parks.  But changed our minds b/c we wanted to capture the moment on video. 
We decided to tell the girls the morning we were leaving and would announce we were late for a very important date.  The girls earned all of their tokens and so we were going to celebrate with a tea party.  I was able to get an Alice and white rabbit costume to seal the deal and the girls dressed up in silly costumes too.  At first, they were excited, but then it got a little too silly for them at 7 a.m. and Bella ended up in tears wanting to go back to bed.  We were able to coherse the girls back to the breakfast table, but they were not getting into the tea party vive.  Ben told them we were late for a very important date, and I asked where he was late too.  He said Disneyworld.  I asked who was going to Disneyworld, his reply was; me, you and these 2 princesses.  They did not believe us.  We finally had to show them the car packed with suitcases before they believed us.   They were still a little aprehensive, but as it sunk in, they got more excited.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Things I have heard today:
Ahhh, my juice got smaller. - Bella
Its Nornia, not Narnia. - Bella
I rode the roller coaster called child swap. - Landry
We aren't in Texas b/c the roads are too bumpy. - Bella
Chicken, chicken, chicken, what combo you picken? -lunch stop in Baton Rouge
Are we there yet? - Mama

Friday, November 11, 2011

Movie time

Games - $10, books -$20, map pencils-$2, ipods loaded with movies - priceless

on the road again

I have been scouring pinterest and the Internet for road trip ideas.  Here are a few of my faves:
  • atlas for each girl with a highlighter to mark our progress
  • clipboards with a ream of paper, map pencils, sharpener, pencil attached with a string
  • gifts to unwrap as we cross each state
  • clip for each girl, if they disobey their clip is removed = discipline next pit stop
  • roll of quarters for each girl, each time they ask how far or if we are there, I get a quarter; leftover quarters for arcade in hotel.
  • tons of healthy snacks in snack bag servings
  • rubbermaid container between their seats for all of their goodies
  • a rubbermaid cereal box for trash

Thursday, November 10, 2011

marker boy

"Hey Mom, I figured out how to get the lid off markers!!"

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

birthday girl

The family is complete.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

"family party"

If you ask Bella at any given family time what she wants to do, 9 out of 10 times her response, is "family party".  She makes decorations, creates food and menus for all of us. 
On Sunday, we were able to surprise her with a family party. 
LE gave her Buzz, R2 gave her Bullseye and Mommy and Daddy gave her a pair of twinkle toe shoes. 
Her menu choice - girl cheeses, strawberries, grapes, lemonade and surprise pink cupcakes.

Monday, November 07, 2011

5 years old

Oh my, Bella Boo Bunny. 
I love hearing your stories, and your ideas.  I love to hear you read.  I love how you write your numbers backwards and insist they are right.   I love how you sleep with 42 stuffed animals every night.  I love how every morning you talk in grunts and sign-language until after you have had breakfast.  I love how you cuddle in bed with me and put your cold feet on my legs.  I love you how you insist to pray first and how you lay your hands on everyone when you are praying for them.  I love your very colorful sense of style.  I love how you love to sing and always want music playing.  I love how you love your family and always remind us. 
You are my joy, my laughter, my unique kid. You are so free-spirited, so lively and creative.

You are so very special to Daddy and I.  You are Landry's best friend, and Read's favorite person to laugh with.
I love you, Boo.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

best buds

R2 and Uncle Troy

Saturday, November 05, 2011


 I called Granny last Thursday just to chat and she told me the family was taking her out for her birthday that night.  I was kind of surprised mom hadn't told me, but figured she had forgotten.  I got home and was very upset to miss.  Even my Bryan and Susan were going to be there.  I called Ben downstairs and tried to hold back the tears.  I knew money was tight, but I really wanted to be there.  I called Ryan and he filled me in on the details, even with mom at the table.  I told him to keep it a secret.  Called Ben's parents to make sure the kids and I could stay the night, packed the car and headed  back home.  When we left it was 71 degrees, when we arrived it was 51.  I had to pull over and change the kid's clothes.  When we walked in my mom's brother said, "there's Kristi".  The look on my mom and Gran's faces was priceless.  Mom told me she didn't tell me b/c she didn't want me to be bummed about missing.  I am so thankful Ben made it possible for me to go and so thankful we got to be there for the night.  I even got to watch the world series with my brothers, Gran and Dad, nothing like watching tv with fans.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Hook ' Em

On Saturday afternoon, I was in the dressing room at the outlet mall and I get this text from Ben:
"The game is only on the longhorn network?  Want to go see it live?"
"Live? Where?"
I can say he has never gotten me out of a dressing room more quickly than that.
We drove home, changed clothes, bought tickets and drove downtown.  And we won!
I love spontaneous events.  It was one of the best nights.  Thank you honey for an awesome date and thank you Mimi for staying ALL day long with the kids.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

pumpkin carvin' party

We enjoyed a fun night of burgers, hot dogs, and pumpkin carving at our friends the Richards last week.  Daddy carved Bella a special Pooh Bear Pumpkin and LE created her own special pumpkin complete with makeup.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

11 months old

We now say Mama and hi dad; but more communication is happening with non-verbal cues.  He shakes his head no, waves hi and bye, pulls his head away and makes the worst faces when he doesn't like something. 
He has become a very picky eater.  It has to be on a spoon and someone has to feed him, except for his puffs (no cheerios!)  He will not drink out of a cup and will not drink water.
He pulls himself up and is a speed crawler.  He pulls books off the shelf and his favorite toy is a dinosaur-ball game.  He can throw a ball, which makes his dad so proud. 
He has 8 teeth now, 4 came in at the same time this past week. 

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

the costumes

the veterinarian