Sunday, January 31, 2010

Show-and-Tells # 20, #21, #22, and #23

I am pretty far behind on my Show-and-Tell blogs, so in order to get caught up, I decided I would combine them into one quick blog.
Show-and-Tell #20
December 20, 2009
Singing Santa

If you will remember from Show-and-Tells #18 and #19, we had a Christmas themed Show-and-Tell December.  So, for Emerson's last Show-and-Tell of the month and last before Christmas, she decided to take, what might be one of her favorite Christmas toys, her Singing Santa.  This was given to Emerson by Mimi and Birdie last year at Christmas.  He dances and sings three songs; a santa rap, Jingle Bell Rock, and a holiday version of Celebrate (by Kool and the Gang).  This particular Friday was the same Friday as Emerson's Christmas Pageant at school and the day we decided to take all the kids and teachers presents into school, so that morning was hectic and I didn't get a picture of Emerson with her Santa.  I have included the next best thing with pictures of her from that day.  You ask,  why didn't you just take a picture the next day and pretend it was that day...well my friends, I know it is hard for you to believe but I like to document the picture on the day it happened so I can one day go back and see the outfits Emerson wore to school.  Shocker that I would be concerned about what Emerson wore to school!!!


Show-and-Tell #21
January 8, 2010
Disney Princess Look & Find book

January brought yet another theme for Show-and-Tells for the Devers.  DISNEY was the theme of choice and for good reason, Emerson was super excited about her upcoming trip to Disney World.  She decided to take her new Disney Princess Look and Find book to school the Friday before her trip.  Emerson was so excited when she opened this on Christmas morning and we don't think she has put it down since.   


Show-and-Tell #22
January 22, 2010
Safari Minnie

Obviously fresh off our trip and still in full Disney Emerson decided she wanted to take one of her new Disney toys to school for January 22nd's Show-and-Tell.  Safari Minnie was Emerson's "toy of the day" on the first day of our trip at Animal Kingdom.   She searched the store for the perfect toy but when she saw Safari Minnie her eyes lit up and I know we would be walking out with her; oh, and a shirt for Emerson that Mommy picked out!!  Emerson was so excited about her "Fari Minnie", as she calls it, that Minnie has slept with her every night since!



Show-and-Tell #23
January 29, 2010
Baby Disney Princess set

Ahh, the theme continues.....Can you tell that the Dever Household was all about some Disney in January. Don't be surprised if it carries over to February as well!! So, this past Friday, Emerson decided to take her new Baby Disney Princess set for Show-and-Tell; we didn't want to break the January streak. This set was Emerson's pick for "toy of the day" on the second day or our trip but first day at Magic Kingdom. These are little versions of Belle, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty (which we learned at Disney has two names; Aurora and Briar Rose) and Ariel.  Emerson has a great time playing with them and having them talk to one another.  I have a great time watching and hearing all the gossip the princesses talk about. 




Play-Doh

For Christmas this year, Emerson got a bunch of Play-Doh and all the tools to go with it.  We hadn't owned any Play-Doh before that and any experience with Play-Doh before had either been at school or at her friend Ivie's house.  Not being a huge fan of making intentional messes, I had steered clear of Play-Doh with a toddler as long as I thought I could, but when I saw this neat set while Christmas shopping, I gave in.  And then proceeded to buy all the accessories that went with it.  Last Sunday, Danny, Emerson and I got out the Play-Doh bin from our new IKEA storage (more on that later) and had a great time playing with all the fun instruments and tools.  Emerson loved playing with "pluto" as she called it.  We made hearts, stars, squares, diamonds and spaghetti, as well as stamped, cut, rolled, and molded.  As someone who doesn't like their foods to touch, I was very careful not to mix any of the colors.  I realize this won't last long, but at least we got all the colors back in their respective cans this time.  What a fun Sunday afternoon activity to enjoy some great family time together!! 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mommy/Daughter outing

Last Saturday Danny had to go to his office for an "office cleaning" in anticipation for their big move this past week.  Emerson and I decided on Friday that we were going to have a Mommy/Daughter morning at Kidzu Children's Museum on Franklin Street followed by lunch at Sutton's.  Sounds perfect!  We invited the Hermans to join us for a morning of fun.  Actually, Emerson was the only one out our group that had been to Kidzu before; Mimi and Betsy took her last spring for a morning outing. 

Kidzu is a great little museum full of hands-on learning activities.   Emerson had a great time playing in all the different sections of the museum.  Every section had its own theme; cars, kitchen, veggie market, vegetable garden, art, reading, blocks, and balls.  Kidzu really covered all their bases.  Emerson loved the art table and did such a great job on her piece that she was able to hang it from the ceiling with other pieces created by previous little ones. 

After Kidzu, we hit the most famous place on Franklin Street for lunch, Sutton's.  Emerson loved her grilled cheese, fries and ice cold milk.  She had an even better time looking at all the people in the pictures plastered all over Sutton's walls.  Emerson would point to a picture and associate it with someone in her life and then call out their name.  My entertainment was seeing what name she was going to call out for each picture; some of them were pretty funny. 

While we were sitting at lunch, I got an inkling to make dinner that night.  I decided to make Taco Ole' Soup from Make and Takes website (it had been in my Google Reader earlier that week).  Good thing I now have the Droid; I got to her site, got the recipe and made my list.  Actually I just kept the website up and took it into the grocery store with me.  Emerson and I ended our Mommy/Daughter adventure in Harris Teeter to pick up the items we needed for dinner.  She wanted to push the "sopping cart" that was her size around the store.  Since we were only going to be there for 15 mintues for about 15 items, I happily obliged.  She is a pretty good little shopper.  Hmmm, I wonder where she got that from?







The Dever's Disney Vacay - Magic Kingdom (Day 3)

After our first day in Magic Kingdom, we were ready for another day of fun but sadly this would be our last day.  We decided to ride the ferry over to Magic Kingdom from the parking lot.  Emerson and Ivie loved the views the ferry gave them of Cinderella's Castle.  Right inside the gate, on Main Street U.S.A, is the first character greeting, and that day Chip and Dale happened to be there.  We took advantage of the semi-short line to get a picture with them, along with several other photo op's before heading to that day's planned sections of the park. 

*Click on pictures to view them in a larger format


Adventureland was the first stop on our circle around Magic Kingdom that day.  We decided to FastPass the Jungle Cruise; so while we were waiting, we rode Pirates of the Caribbean and Magic Carpets of Aladdin.  Emerson wasn't very fond of Pirates of the Caribbean, especially when we got stuck for about 3 minutes on the ride.  Magic Carpets of Aladdin and Jungle Cruise were much more her speed. 


Pirates of the Caribbean


Magic Carpets of Aladdin

Jungle Cruise


Frontierland was right next to Adventureland so we headed that way but we didn't stay long.  Frontierland didn't have much to offer for us.  Danny and Dale did take advantage of a FastPass for Thunder Mountain, especially since they didn't get to ride Space Mountain the day before.  We also got to do some shopping in Frontierland, each family bought momento Christmas ornaments for their tree.  I did take a picture of the Haunted Mansion for Birdie, his favorite ride.  While Danny and Dale rode Thunder Mountain, Amy and I took the girls back to Fantasyland to ride Cinderella's Carrousel and enjoy Mickey's PhilharMagic one more time.  The guys met us back at Fantasyland for a much needed lunch break. 
  

The Haunted Mansion

After lunch we decided to let the girls stretch their legs for a bit in Pooh's Playful Spot while their dads headed to Tomorrowland to grab a spot in line for the Tomorrowland Speedway.  The girls really wanted to "drive the cars" the day before but we ran out of time.  We let the girls play for about 20 minutes before taking them over to the Speedway where they had to covertly "sneak" into the ride through the exit gate to meet their dads. 

Pooh's Playful Spot

 Tomorrowland Speedway

After the Tomorrowland Speedway, we decided to make our way back to the front of the Castle for the Dream Along with Mickey show.  We decided that no trip to Disney World would be complete without ice cream.  The girls got to enjoy their ice cream and then the show with full bellies. 

Enjoying some ice cream
 

Dream Along with Mickey

 After the show, we decided that Disney had gotten the best of us and we just didn't think we could make it for the intended 7pm SpectroMagic parade.  We decided to call it a day (and a trip, at that) and head back to the condo.  We coaxed the girls with one last stop at the souvenir store, and the promise of pizza and princess dress-up when we got back to the condo. 

Our Favorites from the Day
  

  

Emerson was so tired the next morning that she fell asleep on our way to the airport.  She was one tired girl!!
(photo quality is horrible..cell phone picture)

We were all very sad to leave Disney World. We had a great trip. The girls throughly enjoyed themselves and so did the adults. We were blessed to have great company the entire time with our travel companions. Ivie and Emerson got along great (for the most part) and will hopefully talk about this for a long time. We are so fortunate to have been able to go to Disney World and we hope we can go back one day. We had a magical time and I am sure we will be dusting off pixie dust for a long time!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Dever's Disney Vacay - Magic Kingdom (Day 2)

So, I've been slack about getting these Disney blogs out.  Life has been pretty crazy since we got back and the daunting task of going through pictures and writing about our trip hasn't been the most appealing thing to me but I have now vowed to myself to get them out, so I can be done with them and move on.  Ahhh...so to much avail, here is the next installment of our Disney Vacation; with the last installment (I hope) to soon follow!

Click on these links if you missed the first three posts:
The Dever's Disney Vacay -Travel to Orlando
The Dever's Disney Vacay - Animal Kingdom
The Dever's Disney Vacay - Chef Mickey's

*I have a couple of new readers that may not know this, but you can always click on any picture in my posts to make them larger. 

Magic Kingdom

After a hectic start to the morning on Day 2 of our trip followed by a wonderful breakfast at Chef Mickey's, it was time to head to the Magic Kingdom.  The planners of the trip (Amy and I) decided that we would spend 2 days (Day 2 & 3 of our trip) in the Magic Kingdom.  We wanted to be able to take it all in and not be rushed, plus we had been told by several people that we would need two full days.  We ended up doing half the park on Day 2 and the other half on Day 3.  The Hermans and the Devers actually separated for a bit after Chef Mickey's.  The Hermans had to meet up with a friend that was going to get them in the park for free that day (score!).  Danny, Emerson and I were headed to the main entrance of Magic Kingdom to meet Gretchen, Danny's friend from college, his fraternity's sweetheart and now great friend of mine.  It is so hard to believe that Danny has know Gretchen for almost 16 years and I have know her for almost 13.  It was also great to have Gretchen with us, since she lives about 40 minutes from Disney and is a regular to the park, she really knows her Disney stuff and gave us the grand tour. 

We had about 30 minutes to spare after Chef Mickey's while we waited on Gretchen.  We decided to ride the monorail (or Choo Choo, as Emerson called it) over to the front gate where we were going to meet Gretchen.  Before we could ride the monorail, though, Danny and Emerson made the first of what would be many Disney souvenir pennies.   Souvenir pennies are actually a tradition in our family; something Danny and I started doing while we were dating in college. 

Penny, Monorail, and Waiting for Ms. Gretchen

After meeting Gretchen, we got on another monorail to head to the famous Main Entrance of the Magic Kingdom.  After a quick photo op, a slight poop issue by Emerson (yes gross but worth mentioning for my memory when I look back on this one day), our bags being checked, and going through the turnstiles, we were in and ready for a "Magical" day at Magic Kingdom.  We met up with the Hermans on Main Street U.S.A and were promptly greeted by the "Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party".  You know you are at Disney World when the first thing that happens when you walk in the gates is a parade/street party. 

The Magic Kingdom's main gate

Main Street U.S.A and parade

After the parade, we made our way down Main Street U.S.A, around Cinderella's Castle and into Fantasyland, where most of the "kiddie" rides reside and where we spent most of the day.  We analyzed all the rides on the map, decided the ones we wanted to ride, decided the ones we wanted to FastPass, and then we were on our way.  We had a great time riding all the rides;  It's a Small World, Cinderella's Golden Carrousel, Mickey's PhilharMagic, Peter Pan's Flight, Mad Tea Party, and the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.  The girls were excited to wear their flashlights around their necks (another hint from friends) when we had dark moments in some of the rides. It really did help alleviate the "darkness fear".  I am glad we decided to FastPass a bunch of the rides because even though it was January, the lines were still long and I would have hated to stand in line for some of the rides longer than about 15 minutes. It is hard to know what ride was Emerson's favorite because she said all of them were her favorites but I  can safely say that It's a Small World was my favorite.  You can't get off that ride without feeling happy, not to mention, you have the song in your head the rest of the day. 
Fantasyland

Cinderella's Castle

It's A Small World


Cinderella's Golden Carrousel

A note about Mickey's PhilharMagic...since it really isn't a ride, then I can't say it was my favorite ride; if it was, it would be tied with It's a Small World.  It was one of my favorite shows, though.  We actually saw this show once each day we were in Magic Kingdom.  I loved it and could have seen it over and over again.  The show is a 3D show that features Donald Duck traveling through all the famous Disney movies looking for Mickey's Fantasia hat.  It is jam packed with action, flying objects, real splashes of water, and blasts of wind on your face.  Emerson jumped on more than one occasion when objects came "flying" at her but once she got the hang of it, she really enjoyed it.  She loved reaching out and grabbing for all the different items that seemingly came close to her.  By the time we headed in for the show on Day 2, she was asking for Donald to splash her face again. 
Mickey's PhilharMagic

Peter Pan's Flight

Mad Tea Party

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

We took a break after the rides to eat a packed lunch in Pooh's Playful Spot.  It had a great section with picnic tables where you could eat lunch and people watch.  After lunch, we headed back to the Castle Forecourt area to watch the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade.  Yes, another parade; we came to find that there are lots of parades at Disney.  We strolled up to the parade area about 5 minutes before it was supposed to start.  ROOKIE MISTAKE!  Parades are popular events at Disney and everyone seems to snag there spots early.  Our group hung around and tried to see over the heads of the people in front of them.  I, on the other hand, being the 5' 3" gal that I am, ventured over and found a perfect spot to watch the parade and take some pictures with no one in front of me. 


After the parade, we headed to Mickey's Toon Town.  I knew this would be a popular spot for the girls.  They were able to get out of their strollers and walk around Mickey and Minnie's houses.  Emerson loved Minnie's house, would you expect anything less?  It's PINK for gosh sake. Emerson had a great time sitting at Minnie's table and playing with her tea set.  We had a slight meltdown when it was time to leave Minnie's house, oh who am I kidding, it was a full on tantrum complete with body flung on the floor and all extremities flailing.  It was quickly soothed with the idea of leaving to see Mickey's House.  After the house tours, both girls coaxed there dads into riding The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm.  Emerson barely met the height requirement but she was ready ride the "kiddie" roller coaster. 
  Mickey's Toontown Fair

Mickey and Minnie's Houses

The Barnstormer

After all the excitement, we decided the girls might need a much needed break from stimulation.  We decided to a ride on the Walt Disney World Railroad, which is a 20 minute ride around the entire park.  It was exactly what we all needed.  Some laughs, goofing off, pictures and even some ZZZ's (Dale)!!  Ivie and I got into a camera war taking pictures of each other.  She was actually doing a great job with her Mom's camera.  It was nice to sit and just relax, even if it was only for 20 minutes.   

Walt Disney World Railroad

After our railroad adventure, we headed back to stroller parking which was subsequently right in front of the Toontown Hall of Fame.  You see, the Toontown Hall of Fame houses the character greetings for the Princesses and the Fairies.  Amy and I looked at each at the same time and said, "let's check the wait".  We knew we had to do a princess greeting or we would have two very unhappy little girls.  Surprisingly, the wait for the Princesses was only 15 minutes so we decided to check one more thing off our list.  We waited "patiently" in line (if that is possible with an anxious 2 and 3 year old) until it was time to go back to, what I have affectionately named, The Royal Room.  When we walked in, we saw that Belle and Cinderella were the two princesses there for greetings, unfortunately Sleeping Beauty wasn't there at that time.  It just so happens that Belle and Cinderella are Emerson's two favorite princesses (of her very brief princess knowledge).   
Belle and Cinderella

By this time, it was time for dinner and we decided to eat in Tomorroland.  We were hopeful we could get this last section of the park in before the Wishes fireworks spectacular and the closing of the park.  We enjoyed a nice but quick bite to eat in Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe.  Then we were off to ride the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (we had to kill time before our FastPass), and Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin.  The guys tried to ride Space Mountain, in fact they had been trying all day, but the wait was never less than an hour and the FastPass times just didn't work with Amy and my schedule (Ha!), so they gave up.  Maybe next time guys.  After our fun and excitement in Tomorrowland, we headed toward the Castle for the evening fireworks display.  It was 7:15 pm and the display was at 8:00 pm, but we learned our lesson from the parade earlier.  The guys snagged great spots for us on the bridge and were nice enough to stay put while Amy and I took the girls to get their daily toy. 

Tomorrowland

Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin

Wishes Nighttime Spectacular

I am so glad we stayed for the fireworks. It was a great show with Tinkerbell starting the whole thing off by flying from the castle right over our heads. Although I think both Amy and I would agree that night photography isn't our strong suit (yet), between the two of us, we got some great shots of the display. It was a great way to end a perfect day in the Magic Kingdom. By the time we got to the hotel, our little princess was sacked out....good thing, because the next morning we would be right back to do it all over again.

Some of our favorites from the day......


Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Sign??

Just a quick blog...(not for weak stomachs or for anyone who doesn't like talk about vomit, so moms read on :) )

As I was putting Emerson to bed tonight she kept complaining about her tummy hurting.  At one point, I even got up and went into our master bathroom thinking she was going to throw up; know that if she did, it would be better to be on tile.  When I felt like I was in the clear, I moved back to Emerson's chair and continued to rock her and rub her belly as she had requested.  We rocked for awhile and then I put Emerson down, kissed her goodnight and told her i would check on her later.  Danny was on the computer upstairs, so I went downstairs to check my email on my laptop.  Of course, I turned on our baby monitor so I could hear Emerson (yes, we are still using a baby monitor with a 2 1/2 year old, to be honest, I'm not sure when I will let that one go).  About 40 minutues later, I heard Emerson cough and then Danny's voice comforting her.  Then I heard Danny calling for me (in a not so comforting voice).  Emerson had thrown up and I do mean THROWN UP!!

When I got upstairs, Emerson was in the tub with her dad by her side.  So I went in to assess the situation.  GROSS was the first thing that came to my mind.  It was everywhere, EVERYWHERE!!!  Pajamas, pillow, sheet, mattress cover, all her stuffed animals in the crib, and her beautiful non-washable bumpers all got a good soak.  And it wasn't just liquid, it was everything she had eaten today and included her dinner mile and night cap milk in a curdled form.  DOUBLE GROSS I tell you!! 

We got Emerson bathed and she was laying on our bed while Danny and I scraped, sprayed, cleaned, lysoled, and started a load of laundry on extra hot.  To make a bad situation a bit lighter, Danny said, "Maybe she was trying to tell us that she wanted a big girl bed."  Yeah Dan, maybe, but that's a funny way of showing it.  You see, Danny and I have been debating about a big girl bed for some time now.  We have several friends who have done this parenting thing before us and most of them have said, keep her in the crib as long as she will stay in it.  Big girl beds can bring a whole new set of sleeping problems (and we certainly don't need those, especially since we are in a great sleeping place right now).  Emerson has been pretty compliant about her crib, in fact, just a month ago at the beach, she missed her crib so much that she was asking to go home and sleep in her own bed.  Plus, getting a big girl bed brings issues for Danny and I too...do we buy for the room she is in now, or the one she will move into if and when we have a second child?  Do we go ahead and move her to the other room?  Too much to think about and deal with now, so the easy choice has been to just leave her in her crib.  I digress.

As I was bleaching the bathtub, Danny went in to check on Emerson who was still sitting on our bed.  I think the conversation went like this:

Danny:  How ya' feeling Emerson?  Does your tummy still hurt?

Emerson:  No (shaking her head back and forth with a very sad look on her face) Daddy, I don't want to sleep in my crib anymore.  I want a big girl bed.

NO JOKE!!!  And she hadn't heard Danny tell me, because we were in the bathroom when he did (on the other side of the house).  She said it all by herself.  A Sign?  Coincidence?  Damn, I guess internet searches for a big girl bed start tomorrow. 

As I write this, Emerson is fast asleep on Mommy and Daddy's big bed. 
We hope you feel better sweetheart.  If a big girl bed will do it, then Mommy will start looking!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Emersonisms

Taking a quick break from my Disney blog posts, I thought I would post some cute Emersonisms from our drive home from daycare this afternoon. 

Rockin' Out
I guess since it was Friday, and it was a long work week (even though it was only four days), I was rockin' out on the way to daycare this afternoon.  I tend to blare the music and sing really loud when I am by myself; it is a good stress reliever.  When we got in the car, Emerson asked if I would turn on some music.  I had quickly forgotten about my aforementioned rock out session and when I went to find a station, there was a small pause of silence and then, the music blared.  Emerson said, "Mommy, that music is really higher."  (meaning, it's too loud!) I turned the music down and said, "Sorry Emerson, Mommy was rockin' out on the way to get you."  "Rockin' out?" she asked.  I then proceeded to teach my 2 1/2 year old how to rock out, mommy-style.  With hands in the air and heads bobbing back and forth, Emerson and I rocked out the rest of the way home. 

I love you THIS MUCH
Emerson always asks about her Daddy on the way home.  Usually it ends in me telling Emerson that her Daddy is at work and will meet us at home.  She asked about her Daddy again on the way home today and I, again, told her he was at work and would be home soon.  I also told her that Daddy had to work tomorrow morning and that we were going to get to spend some time together.  Our conversation went like this:

Me:  Emerson, Daddy has to work tomorrow morning so it is just and me tomorrow for a bit.  What do you want to do?  Do you want to go to the museum?  We can play with your toys, and kitchen and we can go eat lunch somewhere if you want to. 
Emerson: Mommy, you love me?
Me: I love you very much Emerson Dever.  I love you THIS much.  (with my arms spread wide open)
Do you love me Emerson?
Emerson: Yes I do Mommy!
Me: How much do you love me?
Emerson: I love you THIS much, Mommy! (with her arms spread wide open)
Me: How much do you love your Daddy, Emerson?
Emerson: Mommy, I love Daddy TOO much!

Yes, Emerson, you are certainly a Daddy's girl!!!

The Dever's Disney Vacay - Chef Mickey's (Day 2)

Our second day at Disney didn't start out like any of us had envisioned, I'm sure.  We decided early in our Disney planning stage that we were only going to do one "character meal,"  assuming Emerson and Ivie would eventually have the opportunity to visit Disney again, and because most of these meals can be quite expensive.  So, I made our reservation back in October for the Chef Mickey Breakfast at the Contemporary Resort.  I made the reservation at 8:40 am, knowing the girls (my girl, at least) were early risers and this should give us plenty of time to get to the resort.  I was told that we needed to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to our reservation...not a problem at all, right?  Amy and I discussed the night before and decided we would leave our condo around 8:00 am, considering it was only 10 minutes away, that was ample time to get to the Contemporary, park, and head up to the fourth floor for breakfast to meet our 15 minute window before 8:40 am. 

If only things were simple and went as planned.  We assumed we could follow the signs like we did the day before; in fact, we swore that we even saw signs for the Contemporary the day before.  We were right, we saw A sign, but that was it; only one sign directing us to our destination.  We continued to think we were going the right way until we realized we were lost and had gone too far.  We were in two separate cars and I'm not sure what the Herman car was like, but I can tell you the Dever car was not fun.  Danny and I were stressed out, trying to figure out where we were going and trying to make it there by our 8:40 am reservation.  Emerson and Ivie, on the other hand, were so excited singing and laughing in the back seat, oblivious to the situation at hand.  Finally, Dale pulled up next to us and informed us of what we already knew, we had passed the exit.  He was more successful at pulling up the directions on his droid than I was, so we let him take the lead.  Amy and I, unaware the other was doing it, both made calls to the restaurant and told them we were going to be late.  The said they would hold our reservation for 15 - 20 minutes.  After one more wrong turn, we finally made it to the resort.  Whew!!  What was supposed to be a great morning, started a bit rocky, but that all changed when we got upstairs and saw Mickey. 

All the adults took deep breaths and tried to forget about the mess we had just come from.  We had a moment to take some pictures while we waited to be seated.  It was then time to fill our bellies and meet all the characters.  As the waitress came around to take drink orders, she asked if anyone would like coffee, to which Emerson replied, "I would like some coffee, please!"  (Ahh, Mimi has spoiled that child...now she wants coffee at breakfast; next thing you know, she will only want Starbucks.)  The food was great and the girls, along with the adults, loved their Mickey shaped waffles.  The most important part was getting to meet all the characters.  Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy all came out one-by-one to greet each table.  They were so nice to spend time at each table and give every child personal attention, and the kids were thrilled they got that attention. 

After all the madness of the beginning of the day, the breakfast surely was a great treat to enjoy before we started the rest of our day at Magic Kingdom!!




Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Dever's Disney Vacay - Animal Kingdom (Day 1)

We started the first day of our Disney adventures at a Disney ticket discount store.  It's hard to believe that with both Amy and me, two self-proclaimed planners, we headed to Florida with no tickets in hand for Disney World, thus having to make a pit stop for tickets before our adventures could begin.  After finally getting our tickets, we had to wait for wholesale tickets to be brought over from Disney by "Big Mike", we spent the first day of our 3-day adventure at Disney's Animal Kingdom. 

Our first sight of Disney World


Emerson and Ivie were super excited on our way. 


Animal Kingdom


Once we made it to Animal Kingdom, we followed the advice of several of our friends and headed straight to the back of the park to the Africa section so that we could ride Kilimanjaro Safaris.  We were told most of the animals came out in the morning and later in the afternoon.  We were also told that lines for this ride could get pretty long, so it was crucial to try and ride first thing in the morning or at least get a fastpass the moment you got to Animal Kingdom.  We actually got lucky because there was only a 10 minute wait when we got to the ride, so we decided to ride it right then.  The ride was very fun and full of great views of the animals. 
Waiting for and Riding Kilimanjaro Safaris


The Animals of Kilimanjaro Safaris


After Kilimanjaro Safaris, we were let off at the beginning of the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.  We decided to walk through the trail, not wanting to miss any experience Animal Kingdom had to offer, but halfway through the walk, with mothers intuition and instinct, Amy and I looked at each other and knew what the other was thinking, "Let's hurry it up and move on to the next activitiy."

Pangani Forest Exploration Trail


Our next activity included food....something everyone was happy about!  We found this great little cement hut with a bench and tables; perfect for the girls to enjoy a mid-morning snack and for Amy and I to plan our next move on the Animal Kingdom map.
Snack Time!!!


After snack time, we decided to head to the Camp Minnie-Mickey section for some character greetings and to catch the Festival of The Lion King show.  We made a small detour so Emerson could bang on some drums. 


The Festival of the Lion King was a great show.  There were four sections of seating and each section got to be an animal; a lion, giraffe, warthog, or an elephant.  We were seated in the warthog section.  The show was fast paced and the colors were vibrant.  This was probably one of my favorite shows, but then again, I loved the Lion King movie. 

The Festival of the Lion King


After the Lion King show, it was time to finally do some "character greetings."  The Camp Minnie-Mickey section of Animal Kingdom had a great area for all the characters with each character having their own gazebo.  We were able to meet both Minnie and Mickey.  Emerson was a bit timid at first, but soon got used to the character greetings.  She was very excited to show Minnie her Safari Minnie shirt. 

Minnie


Mickey


After the character greetings, Amy and I decided it was time for everyone to eat some lunch and relax for a few minutes.  One of the items on our agenda was to catch the Finding Nemo show that was in the DinoLand U.S.A section of the park, so we headed that way to grab lunch before the show.  We ate lunch at Restaurantosaurus and took a few minutes to relax.  After lunch, we took a ride on TriceraTop Spin and walked around DinoLand for a bit.  We found out we had some time before the Nemo show, so we decided to get some more character greetings in.  Emerson wasn't as interested in Pooh, Eeyore and Tigger, probably because she really doesn't know who they are.  She was a trooper and still "greeted" them all, but not without protection from her daddy!!!
Dinoland U.S.A


Pooh, Eeyore and Tigger /  Goofy and Pluto


After our last character greeting for the day, we raced over to the Finding Nemo show.  You'll find that there aren't many pictures of this show, as flash photography was not permitted once the show started.  I really didn't get to enjoy the show as much as I wanted to.  Emerson was preoccupied and didn't want to pay attention to the show, which means Mommy didn't get to pay attention.  Come to find out, Emerson wasn't preoccupied, she was TIRED; about 10 minutes into the 30 minute show, Emerson laid her head down on my shoulder and fell fast asleep.  I think the heat and darkness of the auditorium, combined with no nap from the day before, put her right to sleep.  I was actually happy she was going to at least get a short nap in.  We stayed in the auditorium as long as we could, then successfully transferred Emerson to her stroller where she stayed asleep for another hour; long enough for us to walk around to the Asia section for Danny and Dale to take on the Expedition Everest rollercoaster and for Ivie to tackle a Mickey Mouse ice cream sandwich.  (I didn't zoom in on the roller coaster picture for fear that Danny and Dale might kill me.  But I do have the originals for blackmail if anyone is interested.)



After the boys made it down the rollercoaster ALIVE and Ivie finished her ice cream, we decided to head toward the front of the park to catch Mickey's Jammin Jungle Parade.  The parade happens almost everyday at 4:45 pm, right before the park closes at 5:00 pm.  We had a great location for the parade and an even better location to hit the stores right after the parade, before the park closed.  Ivie and Emerson both picked out toys to enjoy later.  Once we got out of the park, we decided to head straight for dinner at Downtown Disney.  We headed straight to Planet Hollywood, one because it was the closest restaurant we could find and two because there was no line and no wait.  It was the perfect ending to our first Disney day!! 

Mickey's Jammin Jungle Parade


More sights from Animal Kingdom


Some of our favorites from the day