A coworker commented one day on how great it must be to have two girls, because of the hand me down clothes. That WOULD be the case, if I didn't like to dress the girls in matching outfits. Now, in my defense, sometimes it's safer that way - like at Disney... I liked them to be the same so I could easily find both of them.
Yes. I know we aren't at Disney everyday. But, safety aside... they LIKE it! Seriously!
But. Even I had to admit it was a bit much one Sunday morning. We headed to Kohls after church, the girls in matching dresses and their babies in their matching dresses. I looked up at one point to see the girls, their babies, and the display... all identical.
Last year Addi and I got the opportunity to walk in a parade with the Center for Prevention of Abuse, including Quacky the Duck. The parade was a bust - we got soaked - but the experience was fantastic.
This year I had hopes to join Beth and Sydney again, but our plans were once again foiled when I found out the date - it was the the Saturday we were at Disney World. Lucky for us, we found another parade to help us check this one off our list.
Afternoon parade at Hollywood Studios
Night parade at the Magic Kingdom
and finally, the afternoon parade at the Magic Kingdom (Grandma, Sam and Addi)
Maybe next year we can hit up a cold, rainy parade in Illinois. This year, I'm glad the parade was in hot, sunny Florida.
1. They stop eating when they are full. It doesn’t matter if the bowl is ½ full of ice cream or black olives. If they are full, they are done.
2. They can have fun anytime. If it’s raining – they want to jump in the puddles. If they are waiting in line, they’ll make up a game.
3. They forgive quickly. They forgive each other, they forgive their friends, and they forgive Jay and I when we screw up.
4. They are motivated by something as small as a sticker. Even Addison at age 5 gets excited about a cool sticker and will work extra hard to get to her goal.
5. They love unconditionally. They are friends with everyone, regardless of what their parents do, what they wear or what they look like. They are colorblind, money blind, and even hug their friends when they have smelly breath and dirty clothes.
Disney World is one of those iconic milestones each kid should have. I vividly remember my visits there as a kid, and Jay remembers their whole family trekking there and camping, including the armadillo they saw. So, last year, as a test run, we went to Disneyland in California. When the kids enjoyed it and we didn’t want to run away screaming from the park, we decided to book a big Disney World trip this year.
After months of planning, asking my mom to go, and a lot of anal-retentive planning on my part (yes, the girls matched every day, what’s it to you?) we climbed aboard a plane to Orlando.
Addi and Grandma, ready to take off
[Let me just say right now, I’m going to go into a lot of boring details – mostly so I don’t forget. If you don’t want to hear all about Disney, you should go away now.]
I’m not always the most emotional person – but when I started crying on the bus to the hotel, I knew I was done for. Man, those videos of kids being surprised really got to me. From that part on, the brochures were totally right. Disney really is magical. Pulling up the Wilderness Lodge Resort, we were whisked inside and in no time had our room, our stroller, and groceries being delivered. Our room was a one bedroom villa, so my mom had her own space and the Ralphs had their own. We got settled and headed to Epcot.
Daddy, Addi and Sam
That was when we realized this was not the Disney of our former 10 year old selves. This Disney was BIG. Much bigger than we remembered, with more parks, more princesses, and a lot more food. So we took it easy at Epcot, riding Soarin’ (so, so fun by the way) and having dinner at our hotel restaurant (Whispering Canyons Café, so fun and yummy!) and headed to bed.
When Addi started kindergarten I planned to take her for to lunch, to get her nails done, and enjoy an day with her, before school took up all of our time. Since her first day was a half day, we did about half of what we planned – lunch and swimming. We just ran out of time for the rest.
So, the day before we left for Disney, Addi and I made up what we missed… and went for her first mani/pedi. And just as I suspected – she loved it!