Saturday, August 27, 2011

We're Back!

We're back and we had a fantastic time hanging with Mickey and crew in the tropical sun! I wondered how Graham and Amelia would do on the ship-would it be too overstimulating, would they sleep ok, would they become sick from the slight motion of the boat, and my list went on from there. I'm pleased to say though, that they did a great job! As long as they snuck in a nap before dinner, life was good! They slept great every night, took afternoon naps, and were generally happy campers the entire time!

Don't get me wrong, they're still "favorite" toddler memory of Graham on the trip is of him being so exhausted on a walk back to the ship that he sat down in the street and refused to move. When I encouraged him to keep going, he grabbed onto my leg like a koala bear and demanded that I continue walking. So, I limped down the road with a 4 year old hanging off my leg only to turn around and see my family laughing at me. Thankfully, Grandpa came to the rescue and Graham finally got what he be carried. Amelia was actually pretty easy going the entire time. She thoroughly enjoyed choosing her food off the menu each day and each morning chose a mickey mouse pancake and for every other meal (I'm not joking...every.single.meal) she chose mac and cheese. What can I say, when my girl finds something she likes, she sticks with it!

Being on a Disney ship was a good experience for families with small children. If you don't have kids, I'm not sure why you'd want to be on the boat. We sailed around with 1,100 children on board so there were kids EVERYWHERE and quiet was hard to find. After hanging out with us for a week on a ship filled with kids, I'm surprised my parents haven't gone into hiding!

I've included a TON of pictures....enjoy!

Miles, Graham and Amelia on the main deck of the ship at the "Sail Away Party". The Disney characters sang and danced as we left port and headed out to sea.

Miles with Uncle Peter, Amelia, and Graham with Daddy Jeff at the party. The clear tube in the background is an adult water slide that ran the length of the ship more than 13 stories above the ocean . It was amazing!

Amelia loves to play in the waves! She'd get pushed off her tube, swallow water, and have her face pushed into the sand but she'd get right back up and do it all over again!


Very proud of the hole

Hanging out on our balcony with Grandpa before dinner

Graham trying out pirate gear in one of the shops. Check out his serious pirate expression!

Amelia and Pluto

Graham and Daddy on a catamaran ride out to an small island

Pep-talk on the slide

Amelia debating what to do...

On the catamaran ride back to the ship. Two minutes after I snapped this photo, Amelia began to hang her head out the window. We thought she was watching the water but she actually fell asleep standing up with her head hanging down! Clearly, she needed a nap!

All dressed up with "spikey hair just like Daddy!"

Daddy and his girl

We had the same serving staff for our meals each night and I can't say enough good things about them! They weren't afraid of tired toddlers and got right in to help how ever and when ever they could. Graham, Amelia, and especially Miles LOVED this particular server. As a joke, he started feeding Graham his ice cream one night and before we knew it, he fed Graham the entire dish! We are certainly going to miss her good friend 'Pla' from Thailand at our family meals!

We had lots of laughs!

I could eat these two up!

Graham and Amelia loved to stand in the giant port holes that lined the hallways

Happy Girl!

Playing with Daddy

Amelia and I have many beach vacations in our future...I just know it. As happy as Amelia is to play in the waves, she's equally happy to just sit in the water and relax. I think she would have stayed on my lap all day like this had I let her!

Hard at work!

All dressed up for Pirate Night! Too bad Daddy Jeff was taking the picture because he was a pretty good looking pirate complete with wig and earring!

My Pirates with Minnie

Pirate Graham relaxing in the port hole while the sun was setting

Amelia's favorite princess has always been Ariel. She was absolutely beside herself to have the opportunity to meet her. They had a conversation about was so cute! Amelia did ask me if she could live with Ariel and when I told her no, that Ariel is a mermaid, Amelia's response was "Well, I can swim!".

Amelia's second favorite princess is Snow White. Again, she's in awe here!

The Disney ships are known for having fantastic kids camps that parents can use anytime they want. Finally, on the last day, we decided to drop the kids off for an hour so we could sit by the pool. When we went to pick them up, this is what we found...Graham was dressed as Buzz Lightyear and the kids were hanging out with green Army guys from Toy Story. Both kids looked slightly annoyed to see us and wondered why they had to leave. So, a reminder to myself, or to anyone else who might take such a cruise, is to use the kids camps!!

There was a water slide for children that Graham was JUST tall enough to ride on. He'd been wanting to try it for days but then he'd change his mind at the last minute. I'd walk him to the top, he'd sit down, change his mind, and we'd walk back down the stairs only for him to see the kids coming down with smiles on their faces. Then we'd start the entire process over again. I KNEW that if he'd go down he'd love it so I bribed him! :) I knew he wanted a certain toy in the store and I told him he could have it if he was brave on the slide. Sure enough, he made himself go down and of course he loved it and I lost track of how many times he went down that afternoon. Here he is on his first trip down the slide. Daddy Jeff was prepared with the camera and I'm cheering him on!

Graham eating escargot! While Amelia eats the same exact comfort food at every meal, Graham will try anything we give him!

Our Crew

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pre-Cruise Primping

I got a pedicure last night and as I was leaving the house, Amelia told me she wanted nail polish too. As a special pre-cruise treat, I took her along, and boy was she THRILLED! Of course she chose hot pink polish for her tiny fingers and toes and was more than pleased that she got to sit in a pink chair while I had to sit in a brown one. I have never seen Amelia sit so still for so long. The fear of smudging her polish kept her absolutely frozen. Now that our toes are taken care of, I'd say it's time to party with our Disney friends!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


The kids and I took a mini-getaway with my Mom last week (the BIG getaway is coming up later this week) We packed up my mom-mobile and headed north to Duluth for a few days of toddler focused fun and thankfully, the weather was perfect! I can count on one hand the number of times in my life that I've been able to be outside in Duluth without a jacket. Yes, even in August it's cold up there! But, the sun was out and we enjoyed the summer heat. We slept at a hotel (a highlight for both kids!) and hit up nearly ever tourist attactraction in the city. By the time we got on the highway to begin our 3 hour drive home, the kids were soundly sleeping! We clearly had very tired kids after two days jam packed full of fun!

Now, about our BIG getaway....we've been counting down the months, and more recently the days, because we're heading south for a Disney Cruise! We'll be hanging out with Uncle Peter, Auntie Lynn, Miles, Grace, Grandma, and Grandpa as well as Mickey and the rest of the gang. Graham and Amelia are soooo excited and I'm confident they don't even understand what a cruise ship is or the amount of fun that is in store for them. Stay tuned for pictures of what I'm sure will be Graham and Amelia's version of heaven!

Lake Superior is COLD!

Hanging out in the rose garden

Hanging with Grandma

We took a harbor cruise and Mr. Confident walked right up to the captain to ask if he could drive the boat. Luckily, we had a very patient and friendly captain and sure enough, Graham steered the 'Vista Queen' and it's 200 passengers around the Duluth harbor!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Soccer Camp

Graham and Amelia attended soccer camp together last week. The word "camp" is probably misleading, since "camp" only lasted an hour each morning, but they both loved talking about how they went to "camp" all week long.

Both kids really enjoyed themselves, but I was surprised by how much Amelia LOVED it! Her personality in large groups is usually pretty shy and reserved, so I wondered how she would do. I kind of assumed that in both her ballet class and soccer camp, that she'd kind of hang back and follow the pack. How wrong I was! Amelia is truly a rule follower, and when a teacher or coach gives instructions, Amelia takes pride in doing it quickly and correctly. Can you say perfectionist?!?!?

Graham also really enjoyed himself but I really think his favorite part was hanging out with the "big boys"...aka coaches. Graham desperately wants to just hang out with the guys and the soccer coaches couldn't have been nicer to our chatty, always full of questions, Graham!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Graham's first t-ball season has come to an end. The grand finale tonight was a real game against another team. No scores were kept and each player was allowed to to cross home plate but I have to admit, the our 'Maroon Tigers' had a some trouble keeping up with the 'Orange Squid'. Watching a group of 4-6 year olds play an organized game was VERY entertaining. For every minute the kids spent focused on the game, they were totally distracted and playing in the sand for twice that amount of time. They goal was a fun season and I can say that Graham had a great time. Looks like we have another family milestone to cross off our list....the first season of an organized sport has come to an end....check!

At 4 years old, making it to 1st base is reason to celebrate!

With his t-ball certificate, the season is officially over. Great job, Graham!