Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dog Bite

Our neighbor picked up our mail for us while we were at Disney. We went to their house to pick it up last night. They have a very friendly great dane, who Brady has played with a few times before. Brady and the dog were in the other room when we heard Brady scream. Since I first saw him, I keep thanking God that his eyes weren't effected.

Long story short, we took him to one of the retail center ER's (Excel) to get 5 stitches. They saw him quickly and tried to make the process as painless as possible. The doctor and nurse said Brady was their most polite patient. He kept saying, "Don't touch me! Please?" He also called both the women "naughty boys."

It was my hardest moment as a parent, thus far, to hold my baby while he was clearly so afraid and in pain as they stitched him up. I was up most of the night worrying about him.

This morning I picked up his anti-biotics, some ointment and rented a few movies for him (my mom always rented movies for me when I didn't feel well, which I remember fondly). After watching some hard-to-find how-to YouTube videos, I cleaned Brady's sutures. He did really well; I'm so proud of my little guy. The photo above was taken after this morning's clean up.

Anna Belle has a little cough (I think she was on germ overload from all her well-meaning fans at Disney world) and Bailey has some sort of stomach bug. It's time for me to put on my Dr. Mom hat and get back to work.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Disney Photo Pass Pics

Giving Vader a bump.
Biting his lip, after turning to the dark side.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Last day at Magic Kingdom

Though challenging with 2 young children, we stayed at the park late to see the 10:00 pm fireworks show at Magic Kingdom. I'm so glad we did. I didn't really capture the fireworks in this video, but the dialogue with Brady is great. The Disney castle looked beautiful in it's icicle lights too.
We had an Aloha dinner at the Polynesian resort, and got a lot of good family pictures.
Brianna, Luke and Brady do the hula while we wait to be seated.
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Anna Belle is increasingly mobile and loves to crawl through the coffee table in Grammy's condo. She's so proud of herself.
Brady enjoyed the jungle cruise with Aunt Megan. He got his Frontlock at the pirate's gift shop and used it to ward off unfriendly animals.
The Pirates of the Caribbean ride was a little scary, but Brady did well and enjoyed it. Captain Jack Sparrow was a dead ringer for Johnny Depp.
Brady rode Aladin's magic carpets 3 times.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Harry Potter Land

As you enter Universal Studio's Islands of Adventure, you have to go through Suess Landing. We just stopped for a quick picture on our long walk to Harry Potter Land.
Entrance, with the Hogwarts Express
Hogsmeade (with a little Diagon Alley flare)
The quaffles were jiggling around in the box; Brady watched and waited for them to break loose.
Grammy got Brady a Harry Potter wand...
...and a really cute Hedwig.
We stopped for Butterbeer and a bite to eat at the Three Broomsticks / the Hogs Head (they're the same building). Moaning Myrtle's voice was piped into the restrooms. I think we all had fun shopping at the Owl Post, Olivanders, Zonko's and especially Honeydukes.

Taylor and Megan rode both the big rides. Papa rode one of the rides too! I was on kiddo duty, and Anna Belle was not a fan of leaving me long enough to stand in line. All in all, it was fun, we're glad we went, but I know that Disney would have made Harry Potter Land a lot more magical and true to the movie. We're going back to finish Magic Kingdom this morning, come back home for a desperately needed nap and then we're going to a Luau at the Polynesian Resort.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hollywood Studios (cont)

Monday's visit to Hollywood Studios started very slowly, but ended with our magical Jedi experience. This morning, we went back to ride Toy Story Mania and the Tower of Terror. It was a short, but productive trip. We didn't want to stay long because we're going to Harry Potter Land tonight.
The Toy Story Mania ride was VERY much like the Toy Story Mania iPhone app. We were pushing and shoving to get in line for Toy Story as soon as the park opened. We were 2nd in line, had a great time, and found a 75 minute wait as soon as we left?! It was an insanely busy ride! Here's what the carts look like and a really blurry picture of Megan and Brady during the ride.
Here we are with the Bowers family at the 50's Prime Time Cafe. The wait was long, but the food and service were really great.
Here's Brady while we were waiting for our table. You can see Walt Disney playing on the TV in the back. The restaurant is supposed to be like having dinner at grandma's house. The wait staff bribes you with dessert for eating your vegetables.
Here we are at the park entrance on our first day of Hollywood Studios.
My precious little Anna Belle has gotten a lot of attention on the trip. She's been very sweet and happy in the park.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Magic + The Force = Epic Awesome

We arrived at Hollywood Studios too late (11:00am) to go to Toy Story Mania or the Tower of Terror. There was a light rain which made it incredibly sticky, steamy hot. Our 2:35pm lunch reservation (only time we could get) was running about 50 minutes late... and then the day got really cool.

Brady is 4" too short to ride "Star Tours", so he watched the 4-12 year olds in "Jedi Training". Brady loved it, Anna Belle loved the shade, and the grown ups found the show highly entertaining.
After 2 classes (2 hours) of watching Jedi Training, a really nice Disney photographer named Laura offered to let Brady meet Darth Vader and the Storm Troopers back stage after the next training. I think Brady stole the photographer's heart when he started using his glow stick as a light saber, as he is in the video below.
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Between training, we ran over to the Star Wars themed gift shop to get Brady a "build your own light saber" and a Jedi robe. I generally hate buying things at theme parks, but how could you meet Darth Vader without a Jedi robe and light saber?! Here's Brady at his 3rd Jedi Training. You can see the Storm Trooper had it out for Brady.
Brady's Jedi Master escorted us to a platform on the ADA accessible ramp of the Star Tours ride, so we felt like we were on an Imperial Star Cruiser. We stopped on a large landing where we met Darth Vader and the Storm Troopers. After a brief light saber duel with Brady, Darth Vader surrendered his autographed red light saber to Brady!!! So cool!!!

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We couldn't be more grateful for Laura the photographer and the Disney cast members (Jedi Master, Darth Vader and the Storm Troopers) who made our trip so magical. Hopefully I'll be able to post the professional photos soon.

Magic Kingdom Day 2

We went to Magic Kingdom early Sunday, so we could see the opening ceremony and all the characters enter the park from the Walt Disney World Railroad. It was magical to say the least. I think Megan and I both teared up a little with all of Brady's excitement and because a "Make a Wish" kid got to "unlock" Magic Kingdom.

It was fun to have the family with us as we explored Fantasyland (we finished Tomorrowland Saturday). We rode Dumbo, the carousel, PhilarMagic, Peter Pan's Flight, It's a Small World, the new Winnie the Pooh ride (really long line, blah ride), and of course the Tea Cups.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

First Magical Day

We're at Walt Disney World! Taylor, Brady and Anna Belle are all first timers. It makes me giggle how frequently the "cast members" wish you a "magical day". It makes me want to add magic to all of my questions. "Can you help me find the most magical place to take pictures of this ride?" Taylor jokes, "Where can I find the magical restrooms?"
Our first Disney parade
These photos are from the All Star Movie Resort, which we stayed at for one night before coming to my Papa's timeshare.

We stayed in one of the Fantasia themed buildings.
Reservations for Chef Mickey's go really quickly. Fortunately, a few friends of ours let us know that Disney frequently keeps a small block open for walk-ins. We came when they opened, they said it might be a 2 hour wait. 20 minutes later, they seated us?! Now THAT was magical.
Brady was really apprehensive at first, but eventually warmed up to the characters. Chef Mickey's has Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto. It's also fun to be in the Contemporary Resort, where you can watch the monorail travel through the building.
Minnie was very sweet with Anna Belle.
We left Houston 5pm Thursday, drove through the night and arrived to our resort around noon. I was really glad they could check us in right away. We enjoyed our dinner a lot, but my favorite part was riding with Brady on the monorail when he first saw the Disney castle. It almost brought tears to my eyes to see how happy and excited he was.