Friday, March 19, 2010

A Magical Week, Indeed

Hooray for Disney! We had a fabulous week in Orlando staying at the Disney All Star Sports resort and spending every waking hour basking in the glow and chaos of everything magical. Despite the major effort of hauling four small children around from plane to bus to stroller to bus to hotel and trying to keep track of one particular wandering four-year-old, things went remarkably well and we had the times of our lives!

Flight 1: SLC to Phoenix. We were late (of course) and after two trips to the ticketing counter and the security gate, we finally made it to our terminal and onto the jet way. Case was screaming, Rex was screaming, and since we're too cheap to pay to check baggage, both Adam and I were toting several bags and rolling suitcases, for which there was NO room. After bumping into every aisle passenger in 20 rows, we were finally in our seats and ready to rock. Thanks to constant feeding of Case and an incessant stream of candy for Rex, our kids were very well behaved and we made it to Phoenix with only a few enemies. Of course, though, we had to rush off the plane and run to our connecting flight, for which we were also late, and went through the whole process again.

Flight 2: Phoenix to Orlando. Is it a bad sign when all three people in front, two to the side, and all three people behind us are drinking? I think so! For the most part, the kids were fine, but for about 30 minutes when we began the descent, Rex and Case both cried and whined with no stopping, thanks to their ear infections. Eventually, though, we made it to Florida and boarded the "magical, sparkly bus!" to the hotel. Hooray! The girls loved watching the movie about Disney World as we rode from the airport to the hotel and it was delightful to hear them laughing and squealing with excitement.

Once we settled in to our cool basketball hotel (everything at Disney World is magical and completely over-the-top), the kids went wild jumping from bed to bed, Rex kept peeking out the window and shrieking "baskuh bawl!" and we finally drifted off to sleep. The next day was great; we sat by the pool, took naps, and I did a bunch of administrative stuff for the cheer competition. Thursday and Friday were plagued by the worst rainstorms I've ever seen, and after spending Thursday at Magic Kingdom trying to brave the weather, I was amazed to see how much water human feet can actually absorb. Disgusting! Thanks to the 96% humidity, my clothes from Thursday didn't dry until we were safe and sound in Utah, but we took advantage of Friday's crummy weather to practice with our teams and have a makeshift birthday party for Amber.

Case loved being nudie by the pool and all the ladies loved him.

Amer and Karli were thrilled to meet Belle, but even more thrilled that, according to Amber, "Case got his first true love's kiss on the forehead from Belle! And she left lipstick on him!" It was adorable.
Aurora told the girls that Prince Phillip loves to ride roller coasters, which eased Amber's aggravation that Adam took her on one prior to meeting the princesses.

The teacups were Karli's favorite ride, so we all took several spins.

Adam and Amber spinning madly.

"It's a Small World" is still a great ride. The kids loved it.

Ariel was so sweet to the girls. They couldn't believe they got to meet "the real Ariel".

All that rain worked wonders on our hair, and Ariel politely told my mom "you have lovely hair. Do you use a dinglehopper?"

It was the first time I've ever bought a cake from the grocery store for my kids' birthdays (it was nasty!), so I kind of felt like Amber got the shaft, but hey, she was at Disney World, so how bad could it be, right? She was so excited and loved the little Cinderella and Fairy God Mother characters atop the shortening-laden confection. Hannah, Mette, Allison, Angela, Marianne, and my mom all came over to sing and have cake, and the kids all loved the party horns so I think the party was a success. We tried our hardest to get everyone settled down for the night at a decent hour since my girls had to be awake, fed, and ready for their competition at 7:00 a.m. (which really felt like 5:00 a.m. to us mountain-time-zoners), but that plan failed miserably and the last one was sound asleep by 11:30 p.m.

Morning came too soon and before we knew it, my team of darling little gals and I were on the bus to the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. The girls did great considering the circumstances, and aside from Karli's major meltdown and refusal to perform, I was proud of their efforts. They got to compete twice, which was fabulous because the initial performance (sans Karli) was pretty much a disaster. They got to watch the routine on a replay screen afterward and I didn't have to say anything--two of them pointed out "we look terrible!" and they knew what they had to do. Performance numero dos was 100% better and totally adorable. Adam saved the day and talked (and fed) Karli into participating during the second half of the competition and that helped us remarkably. Unfortunately, I don't have video or photos since I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, but I was completely proud of my sweet little team and very grateful to Stephanie, Allison, and Micah who all helped me out beyond measure. Of course, though, Adam was the best. He's so wonderful to help and put up with all the craziness. I was relieved and thrilled all at the same time. Go Flash Twinkles!

This is the only competition photo I have; Amber and Karli looked so adorable!

The rest of the week was awesome and we had so much fun meeting princesses, tasting food from all over the world, watching parades and fireworks, and being what seemed like the spectacle of Florida with our brood of little kids. We truly had the vacation of a lifetime and I'm beyond happy that we were able to take our whole family to have such a fun week. Adam and I were really exhausted by the time we made it home at 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday. We have a whole new appreciation for our our parents who took us on family vacations when we were young. Hopefully we'll be able to take our family to Disney World again sometime, because it was amazing!

Stitch and Stitch

Karli meeting Leo from Little Einstiens was one of my favorite moments. She was so excited to show Leo that she wears glasses, too.

Rex really liked the "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" playground.

The Clarks on the bus go waaah, waaah, waaah!

The cozy front pack is where Case spent 95% of the vacation. He hates it now!


Also adorable.

Please tell me this is the creepiest thing you've ever seen. Why don't you just write "Hey, sex offenders: stop here first!"

My daughters love princesses.

New, darling, and waaay over-priced sunglasses, but worth it. It was a grand experience!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Fifth Birthday, Amber!

Wow, how time flies! Amber turned five today, and just like every parent with every child, I can't believe she's already so old. I still remember the nail polish I wore to the hospital on the day she was born! The past five years have been marvelous with Amber in our lives and we are all crazy about her. Since she's five now, here are a few of Amber's top-fives:

Favorite Things
Shopping at Justice
Eating taco salad
Traveling with Dad
Choreographing and performing routines
Watching Project Runway

Least Favorite Things
Cleaning her room
Having her hair brushed
Going to bed
Sharing clothes
Getting shots at the doctor's office

Accomplishments This Year
Learning how to write her name
Spelling short words
Competing at the NASCC in Orlando
Singing karaoke at Alpine Days
Being a wonderful big sister

We all love Amber to pieces and think she is so funny, smart, and beautiful. I am very proud to have her as my oldest daughter and appreciate all she does to help me. I hope this year of Amber's life is the best thus far!