Friday, December 31, 2010

Done: 2010

2010 was a pretty decent year for the Sipos family.

Katie learned to walk and turned 1 all in the same month. Over the next 9 months, she learned how to climb on almost everything in our house. She also started saying words and formed her first sentence when she was just 19 months old. It was "I want a snack now!". She got her first pair of glasses in May and started to wear them consistently in December, as it was quite a battle to get her to understand that they would help her see better.

Michael has continued to learn so many new things. He finished up his first year of preschool and is attending 5 mornings a week in his second year. I can't believe he will be in kindergarten in 2011. We have been working with him on learning how to write his name and he is getting there. He played his first organized sport, soccer, this fall, and loved it.

We took our first trip as a family to Disney World. Michael had a blast but Katie may have been a bit too young. She was a real trooper and let us cart her around to all of the parks. As long as she had something to eat she was happy! We also went on our annual trip to Johns Hopkins for doctor's appointments for Todd and Michael.

Todd accepted a new position at work this fall, which was a bit unexpected, but will be a great opportunity for his career. I am fortunate enough to continue to stay at home with the kids and am enjoying my time with them!

Here's hoping that 2011 is at least as good as 2010.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Almost a White Christmas

According to weather reports, it started snowing here around 1am on December 26. That means we missed having a white Christmas by about an hour. The weather reports were calling for snow but I didn't believe it. It had rained a bit on Christmas though. Imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning to see the lawn covered in snow. Thankfully it wasn't sticking to the roads and tapered off early afternoon.

We didn't take the kids outside into the snow this time. I didn't want Katie to get cold and Michael just doesn't like to be cold and lets me know that. In fact, I didn't even ask him if he wanted to go out and play in it. We did go to the store this afternoon and he got to run in the falling snow. That seemed to be enough for him!

I did get a picture of the front of our house showing the snow that had fallen.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

Snowy Berry Tree Christmas Card
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Cookies

Every year, I bake cookies to give to friends and family for Christmas. Todd always takes some to give to his co-workers too. I always try at least one new recipe and this year it was Oreo truffles. They were delicious but extremely rich. I think they would be better with a white chocolate coating.

I participated in a cookie exchange earlier this month for the first time. It was something that I had been wanting to do for a while but never knew enough people who were interested in participating. I really like getting a variety of cookies that I had never tried before.

I made chocolate crinkles, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip meringues, and chocolate peanut butter bars....are you sensing a theme here? It was not intentional. We always take the leftover cookies to our family gatherings and everyone enjoys them there. If we don't eat them first....

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Todd

Happy birthday to my wonderful, loving husband. I am so thankful for him every day. He is the perfect husband and father for our family. I know that he wished he felt better today as he is sick with a cold.

We look forward to spending another year together as a family. The kids are so lucky to have him, as am I. It's so much fun to watch Katie interacting with Todd now like Michael does and see the joy in Todd's face. Michael even signed his own name on Todd's card and wrote "Daddy" on the envelope.

We all love him very much!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Michael's Christmas Program

Michael's class at preschool had their program yesterday and sang for the other 4 year old class program today. It was so cute to watch the kids sing songs and play their roles.

The teachers let each child choose what they wanted to be. The only roles that were assigned were Mary and Joseph. Michael chose to be a sheep. We were sitting in the audience watching him come in and noticed that his costume didn't look like a sheep at all. When they were getting dressed, he saw another costume in the box and wanted to be that instead. It was a goat.

As the narrator told the story of the birth of the baby Jesus, Michael was sitting on stage in front of Mary and Joseph. Apparently he wasn't too fond of the tail on his costume as he tried to get it out from under him. It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen and so adorable at the same time. He finally realized that it was attached to his costume and just sat on it.

After the show was over, we went to the hall for some cookies and drinks. Michael got to leave school early as they were done for the day after the program. Today Katie and I went to watch him sing for the other class. It was one of the first times that he actually sang and participated in the program.

Here are a few pictures of him from yesterday's show:





Wearing his sweatshirt after singing today



Katie waiting for the show to start

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Holiday Season

With all of the hustling and bustling that we have been doing this December, there seems to be very little time to catch up with blogging. We have been getting ready for Christmas by shopping, baking and decorating. Michael has his Christmas program at school tomorrow and his class will be singing for the other classes' programs on Wednesday.

The annual cookie baking when I make several different kids of cookies will most likely take place this week. I still have to finish my Christmas cards but I should be able to get them out by the end of the week. Shopping is about halfway finished but I don't feel that stressed out about it this year for some reason. And that's a good thing.

We will go to see the lights at the zoo but not sure if we will make it there before Christmas or not. We also will drive around our neighborhood to look at the decorations on different houses. I love this time of the year because there is so much to see and do!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Eye Doctor Update

Yesterday Michael had his semi-annual checkup with the opthalmologist. He did well on the vision tests but his vision has gotten a little worse. He has become more near-sighted since the last appointment. It has been a year since he got a new pair of glasses so the doctor wrote a new prescription. The good news is that his lenses haven't moved and the dislocation is the same as last time.

And I was finally able to get Katie and Michael on the same schedule for their appointments. At the next 6 month checkup, Katie and Michael will be seen on the same day. This is such a relief because we are always at the appointments for at least 2 hours. Trying to keep 2 kids entertained for that amount of time in a small area can be quite difficult. Michael is pretty cooperative now but I spend most of the time chasing Katie around the waiting area and up and down the hallways.

Todd also had his second follow-up appointment from his second eye surgery to remove his lens. Everything looks good and his vision is 20/30 in the right eye with glasses, which is better than it has ever been before. He was having some problems with dry eye in his left eye but that has almost resolved itself with the use of eye drops. He will have another appointment in 3 months to see if his vision has changed any further.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Visit with Santa

We decided that we would take Katie and Michael to see Santa at the mall tonight. Michael has been asking about going to see him as he already has his list ready. We went right after Santa got back from his break to minimize the wait time. There were only 3 or 4 people in line in front of us. Tonight was also pet night so we were taking turns with people who had brought their pets to see Santa!

When it was our turn, Michael walked right up to Santa and sat in his lap. Katie didn't realize what was going on at first. She was OK until she looked at Santa and realized that we wanted her to sit with him. I picked her up to put her on his lap and she pushed him away. I offered a piece of candy to her if she would sit with him. She wanted candy but still wouldn't sit with Santa. We finally got her to stand in front of him with the candy in her cheek.

After we gave up on getting her to sit on Santa's lap, Michael sat with Santa and told him what he wanted for Christmas. We got a picture of the two of them together.

We were able to get one shot of Katie, Michael and Santa. Pictures like these are the ones that memories are made of!



Friday, December 3, 2010

Show Me the Mommy

This picture is from our trip to Florida 2 months ago. It makes me realize that I really need to take more pictures of myself!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

At our house, at least. This is the first year that we have gotten our Christmas tree and put up the decorations before December 1st. I feel like there is so little time between now and Christmas. We have gone out of town for the past few Thanksgivings so we decided to take advantage of being here this year.

Todd did the outside of the house while Michael and I concentrated on the inside. We were able to finish almost all of it in one day. And we even put the boxes away after we put the decorations out, which is a first!

Here are a few pictures getting ready for Christmas:







Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Recap

We went to Todd's parents to celebrate Thanksgiving. We were joined by his brothers, sister-in-law, niece and nephew. We ate the traditional turkey, dressing and mashed potatoes. We also had a variety of desserts, including pumpkin pie and several cakes. It was nice to be able to relax and spend time with family. Michael and Katie had a great time playing with their cousins too.

Thursday night I went out shopping for Black Friday. I went to Toys R Us first. After waiting in line for almost 2 hours, I went into the store, walked around and headed out to the next stop. I went to Walmart next and got a few deals that started at midnight. I left there and went to CVS to pick up a few deals there since I had some time until Target opened at 4am. I was in line for Target before the doors opened. I was in the store by 4:05 and checked out by 4:15. I headed home after that as I exhausted for being up for almost 24 hours!

Friday morning Todd got up with the kids while I slept in. When I got up, I was feeling terrible. I had some sort of stomach flu that kept me in bed all day Friday. Luckily Todd took care of the kids while I slept and recovered.

Saturday, we went out to get our Christmas tree. We decided to do this early since there are only 4 weeks until Christmas. Michael was so excited to get the tree. He asked if Christmas was going to be tomorrow since we were getting our tree now. It was so cute! We found a tree at the second place we looked and got it in the stand last night.

When Michael woke up this morning, he wanted to decorate the tree. So Todd and Michael put the lights on the tree. Then Michael and I put the ornaments on it after that. We talked about the different ornaments and where they came from. I let Michael put most of his ornaments on the tree. Of course, we had to put most of them out of reach of Katie too!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Trying to get a head start this year

Every year I say that I am going to get a head start on Christmas cards and I always wait until the last minute. Well, this year is going to be different.

I just love photo holiday cards because I send a lot to family and friends who live far away. Photo cards are a great way for them to see how our family has grown and changed over the past year. Shutterfly has a great selection of cards to choose from. Not only do they offer photo cards but they also have photo gifts and calendars for the holidays.

They have traditional cards, as well as modern cards. They use bold, bright colors to make your photos stand out. They also offer many great deals on cards and other items at the holidays, which makes Shutterfly even more appealing to me. With the wide variety of cards to choose from, I know where I will be getting our holiday cards from this year!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

4.5

Tuesday also marked the half birthday for Michael on the way to 5 years old. I am such a numbers person and think it's so neat that Todd, Michael and Katie are all born on the 16th of their birth month.

4.5 years old brings its' share of ups and downs, just like every other age before it. Michael can be a great helper when he wants to. He loves to help with Katie and gets upset when she doesn't want his help. I can finally ask him to do something and he does it. Some days he doesn't want to help at all though and it can be quite frustrating and I feel like I am talking to a wall.

He still enjoys puzzles and being read to. He can play independently for at least 30 minutes with his toys. Todd recently fixed up an old computer we had and set it up in the family room. Michael has loved to play Cars on the computer and we are looking for some new games to show him. He was so excited to get his very own computer! While he plays games, Katie sits there and watches him. He explains the rules to her and she is his own cheering section.

Michael has mastered getting dressed. The only thing he can't do is to tie his shoes. And he is now washing his own body during bathtime. After he eats a meal, he will bring his cup and plate into the kitchen. He also buckles the top clip on his carseat and fixes the bottom buckles so all I have to do is clip them.

He still enjoys going to preschool every day. I try to get information from him about what goes on during the day but he doesn't share very much. Thank goodness for the daily notes! I do know that they are working on learning their letters and numbers. So far Michael seems to be much more interested in numbers than letters, which doesn't surprise me.

He has started stretching the truth a bit about some things and will often ask us if we are joking when we tell him something that he isn't crazy about doing. He expresses his dislike for doing some things and lets us know it. When he gets upset, he can't always control it but he is very sorry after it happens. He also seems to be in tune with other people's emotions and always knows the right thing to say to calm me down.

Michael is a very loving little boy and loves giving hugs and kisses. And we love getting them!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

2/3 of the way to 2

Katie turned 20 months old today. Since she is tall for her age and has a full head of hair, people often think that she is already 2. I don't want to rush her growing up and she has already started to become more independent. She is showing some of the 2 year old behaviors already though, like screaming to try to get her way.

Her language skills continue to develop rapidly. I am able to have mini conversations with her about food, sleep and what she wants to do. I ask her if she is hungry and she will tell me what she wants to eat. After eating her dinner, she can see the Elmo candy bucket on top of the fridge. She will start to chant "Elmo" until you give in with the candy or take it out of her sight. When it's time to go somewhere, I ask her to get ready and she does. She will also hold your hand when walking in the store instead of running away. One day last week she pointed to the frog in her room and said "look, water". I was shocked!

Katie has taken her love for climbing to new levels. She now climbs on the chair at Michael's little table to gain access to the countertops. And she is now picking up the stool in the kitchen to move it to get what she wants.

We have started sitting Katie on the potty on a daily basis, either before bath or naps. She will sit on it sometimes for a few minutes. She will tell you that she has to pee and ask for Elmo potty. However, when she is asking, I think that's when she is peeing. I am hoping that she will be fairly easy to train as she can communicate her needs. And she is pretty obvious about when she is going #2 in her diaper since she hides or walks up to a wall and is still for more than 2 seconds.

Her relationship with Michael continues to develop. She calls for him by name and loves to watch him play the Cars game on the computer. He explains it to her and she just laughs when she is not watching him intently. She asks about Daddy all day and walks around saying "Daddy happy". It's so cute!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lessons Learned

Yesterday we went to a birthday party for one of Michael's classmates. One of the things that they did at the party was to roast marshmallows to make smores. On the table were the other ingredients for the smores: the graham crackers and the chocolate bars.

The kids were playing in the yard after the birthday boy opened his presents. I kept noticing Michael going over to the table where the chocolate was. He was taking a few squares of the chocolate bar at a time. I told him not to eat so much candy but I figured he wasn't eating that much. And we let him eat as much candy as he wanted on Halloween and he was fine.

Fast forward to this morning. Michael woke up around 7:00, complaining of a stomach ache. He kept saying that he was hot too and was trying to get on to the cool sheets. Next thing I know he is heading to the bathroom to get sick. I asked him if he felt better and he said that he was worried about getting sick on the grass at school. He is home today and seems to be doing much better now.

Lesson learned: there can be such a thing as too much chocolate!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Things to be thankful for

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. And a cold is making its' way through our family again for the second time in less than a month. It started with Katie last time and Michael this time.

Michael has had a cough for a few days now and I have been monitoring it to make sure that it's not getting any worse. As he gets older, he is really doing well with covering his mouth while coughing. Unfortunately, that didn't stop the germs from spreading to Katie. She is mainly affected with a runny nose but also has the cough. It's causing her to eat poorly and her sleep schedule is off. And now Todd thinks that he may be getting the cold as well.

I am thankful that I generally don't seem to get these colds. I am exposed to them as much as everyone else but I seem to have a good immune system. And that's a blessing because someone has to be healthy to take care of everyone else when they are sick. Let's hope that this round of sickness leaves the house before Thanksgiving and then we can really be thankful!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Time Change

Last night was the end of Daylight Savings Time for this year. Before we had kids, I used to love the time change in the fall. It meant being able to stay up later at night and still get an extra hour of sleep. Now it just means that the kids get up earlier than they normally would. I feel like they should be tired and go to bed an hour earlier but I think that would keep the cycle going. Hopefully it won't take them too long to adjust to the change. Michael knows that he can't get up until it's light outside so I wonder how this is going to affect him.

The beauty of this year was that Todd let me sleep in today. It's been a while since I have slept in and it was most welcome on this day. I heard Michael up shortly before 8:00 old time, which would be 7:00 new time. I think Katie got up about 30-45 minutes later. I slept in until 10:00, new time. It felt so good to get the extra rest, especially since Michael was up twice last night due to his cough. Thanks to Todd for taking one for the team! It made Daylight Savings Time go much smoother this year.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Michael's First Trophy

This fall, Michael played his first organized sport, soccer, at a local park. His team was the Fury and he played with 9 other boys and girls. The final game was on Monday night and they had a team dinner to celebrate the end of the season last night.

All of the kids sat at one table and the adults sat at another one. The dinner was at a local pizza buffet. After the kids were done eating, the coaches called each child's name. They received a trophy and a certificate for participating. Michael proudly accepted his trophy. He kept looking at it today at home and pointed out that the player was wearing a shirt with buttons and his did not have any.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Recap 2010

This year it seemed like the Halloween festivities never ended. And this was a good thing.

It started on Friday at Michael's preschool. They had a parade for all of the kids and then each classroom had their own party. Michael was dressed as Spiderman, which was the same as his best friend Connor, except that Connor's costume had muscles. It was so fun to see everyone in their costumes. Katie was wearing a Halloween outfit of a cat t-shirt with black pants with a pumpkin on them.





Friday afternoon we made our tie-dyed pumpkin t-shirts. Michael had fun stirring up the hot water with the dye in it. Once we took them out of the dye, we rinsed the shirts, washed and dried them. I drew the faces on the shirts for everyone to wear. That night, we went to a local church to pick out pumpkins. Since it was late in the season, we were only able to get small pumpkins for the kids. Katie did say "pumpkin", which was a new word for her.









Saturday afternoon I took Michael out to Publix, a local grocery store, for Trick or Treating. Each of the store's departments gave out candy and Michael got a balloon and silly bands. He had fun walking around the store in his costume.

Sunday night we had our neighborhood Trick or Treating. Todd's parents came over, along with some of our friends and their kids. We set out in a big group and went through a few sections of our neighborhood. Katie sat in the stroller and was perfectly happy to be pushed around in it. We quickly found out why. She was eating candy from her Elmo basket, wrapper and all! After she ate 2 pieces that way, we started putting the candy in the basket under the stroller.


Michael did pretty well going to quite a few houses and he walked the whole way, which was even more impressive. When we got back to our street, Todd gave him the choice of going to a few more houses or heading home. He chose going home so he could eat his candy. On Halloween night, we let Michael eat as much candy as he wants and then put the rest away to be eaten over the next few weeks. Michael told us how much fun he had this year. I think that we all did!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Show Me the Mommy

I got this idea from LauraC's blog. I figure that I post enough pics of the kids, how about me too?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Todd's eye surgery

Today Todd was scheduled to have the lens in his right eye removed. The surgery was originally scheduled for 8:00 but it got moved back a little bit as he was the second one to be worked on today.

Things went pretty well in the surgery. One of the biggest risks associated with this surgery is an increased chance of detached retina. There were two small tears in the retina but nothing that caused the retina to float up away from the wall of the eye. The doctor was able to repair these with a laser to strengthen the walls. He had already done this a few weeks ago when Todd went in for a follow-up visit from the first surgery.

Todd's lens was removed so he no longer has any cataracts in his eyes. He has a patch on his eye and has been sleeping for most of the day. We will go back in the morning so that the doctor can take the patch off the eye and make sure that everything looks good. If all went well, Todd should be able to return to work next week. It's amazing how many advances have been made in the field of medicine in recent years. It gives me hope for Katie and Michael as they get older.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Make new friends but keep the old

We left Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday morning to start the journey back home. On the way, we stopped to see our old neighbors, Gary and Louise, who moved to a small town about 45 minutes from Orlando. They lived across the street from us for 2 years and we used to have nightly get togethers in their driveway. Eating popsicles and talking were the staples of these nights.

We got there around 2 in the afternoon and all ate lunch together. Michael and Katie were fascinated with their 3 collies and new kitten. Both kids wanted to pet the dogs (or in Katie's case, pull their hair) and play with the kitten. Katie seemed to have virtually no fear of any of the pets.

We spent the afternoon catching up and the kids played outside for a while. They have 3 kids, ranging from 10 to 19. Michael loved following everyone around asking questions. It was pretty funny as he didn't really seem to stop until it was time for bed. I got to ride downtown with Louise and see all the cute shops and restaurants.

After dinner, we put Michael and Katie to bed and ate some ice cream. We talked some more while the men watched football and then headed to bed ourselves. We woke up the next morning and got ready to hit the road but not before a breakfast of waffles and eggs. We were finishing the final leg of our trip and wanted to get a decent start.

Our time with Gary, Louise and their kids was far too short. We realized how much we missed spending time with them. They were very generous in opening their home to us and we had a great time. Let's hope it's not another 5 years before we see them again! And can you believe we didn't get a single picture together?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Catching Up

We got back from our vacation today and I have been working on some blog posts. It seems like there is so much to write about. I have a tendency to promise myself to blog about vacation and then it never happens. Not this year. Hoping to have a few posts up by tomorrow.....

Friday, October 22, 2010

Playground Time

We headed to different playgrounds on the beach twice this week. It was a great way to get the kids out to burn off some energy and Todd & I got to enjoy the gorgeous view of the ocean! I think the idea of a playground beach side is great because it gives you something else to do at the beach if you get tired of the ocean and playing in the sand.

Michael loved going down the slide and climbing up to the top. Katie wanted to climb up to the top but was not a fan of going down the slide, even with someone else. So she practiced the stairs, as well as saying "got it" when she went down the steps. Both kids are went on the swings. They had huge blue tire swings for Michael and small swings for Katie. Katie had a blast in her swing and Michael pushed her too.

We spent over 2 hours at the playground one afternoon. It is amazing how much entertainment the playground can provide. We usually go to a local playground at least once a week and the kids can easily stay there for 2 hours. It also gets lots of energy out!










Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sun, Sand and Fun

This morning we decided to head out to the beach in Fort Lauderdale for a few hours. We packed a picnic lunch and drove to a beach that had a parking lot at the entrance. It was different than going to the beach in NC/SC, as they had a grassy area in front of the beach with benches and picnic tables. We were able to eat our lunch at the tables and keep the sand out of our food, which was great!

The kids used their shovels to dig in the sand, as well as throw some sand on each other. We all went in the ocean. There was a sand bar so we were able to go out a little bit without the water getting too deep. The kids had fun while we held them and the waves crashed around us. Michael has made great strides since last summer with going in the ocean and Katie loved bouncing up and down in the surf. The sun was out and there was a nice breeze blowing so it was the perfect temperature.

Here are a few pictures from our beach time.










Monday, October 18, 2010

My First Coupon Friend Meetup

Sunday morning, we spent some time in Orlando at the Disney Marketplace and then got in the car to make the journey to Ft. Lauderdale. Before we left for the trip, I had arranged to meet up with Holly, one of the girls on my coupon train. She was going to lend me a pack & play so we didn't have to bring ours. I was excited to meet her as I have only met May 2006 moms and none of my coupon friends.

We arrived at her house late in the afternoon. It was so nice to finally meet Holly, her husband Sean and their daughter Sammie. The kids started playing with Sammie's toys, which she so generously shared with them. Amazingly all 3 of the kids seemed to get along well and played nicely together, while the adults chatted.

The men talked about sports while Holly and I got to talk about deals, coupons and hunting for bargains. We talked about where we get our coupons from, what stores we like to shop at and what other people think about couponers. It was great to chat with someone who understands my use of coupons and the need to run out to CVS for the weekly deals!

Thanks to Holly for taking these few pictures. Can you believe I forgot my camera in the car?


Sunday, October 17, 2010

19 months old

Katie turned 19 months old yesterday, on our last day in Disney World. I can't even believe how fast the time is flying by. I know I say this all the time but it is just so true.

Over the past month, she is really starting to say things in response to what you say and understand what they mean. She asks for things by name now, like cup, shoe, sock, and cookie. When she is eating, she says "all done" when she is finished. She also says "all done" when she doesn't like something or wants to get out of the bath. Her most recent words include "Katie" and "Michael". It's so cute to hear her call herself or to call Michael. I need to get it on video because the way she says it is adorable.

Her newest physical feat is climbing on table tops. She uses the chairs to stand up on and then she crawls across tables. And she is fast! All tabletops need to be cleared of anything that you don't want her to touch or try to get. It's a constant battle with her and you can't take your eyes off of her for even a minute.

She has also started to give kisses. When you would ask her for a kiss before, she would come up to you with her mouth open. Now she actually comes up and makes the smooching sound when she kisses you. She took my chin into her hands yesterday to make sure she got her kiss on my lips. I had to laugh a little when she was doing it. And she loves to hug Michael. They are really loving and sweet with each other, when they are not at each other's throats.

Katie got another tooth this month, which leaves only the 2 year molars for her to get. I figure we probably have about 6 months with no teething, which suits me just fine since it really seems to affect Katie.

As we are now closer to 2 than 1, Katie's starting to get very independent. She can throw a little temper tantrum when she doesn't get her way. We do our best to ignore them but she wants it to be known that she is not happy. And she also screams to show her displeasure. I am pretty sure this is about the same time that Michael started to act out too. Seeing her personality emerge is one of my favorite things about this age!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Last Day at Disney

Today was our last day of our Disney vacation. Michelle and Alex had to get up early to head back home but we were going to be able to take advantage of another day in the parks as we drove there and were heading on to Ft. Lauderdale for the second week of our vacation.

After getting up, we finished packing and loaded up the van. That way, we only had to come back later to pick up the car and not worry about getting all of our stuff out of the hotel room. We boarded a bus to Hollywood Studios. We had planned to get there early as it was a day with Extra Magic Hours but we didn't get there until the park was opening at its' regular hours.

Since we had already been there earlier in the week, we headed straight for the Toy Story Mania ride. The wait was already 70 minutes but we were able to get fastpasses for 3:30 in the afternoon. We went to see the Playhouse Disney show, which Michael enjoyed. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse has been a favorite show of his for several years now.



After the show, we headed over to the Rock N Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. Since I am not a fan of these rides and Michael wasn't tall enough, Todd rode these rides alone. He loves rides like those. While he was on the rides, we got a little snack for breakfast and did some people watching. On our way out of the park, Michael got a souvenir, a Pluto hat. He was really good about not wanting everything that he saw while we were there.





We left Hollywood Studios after this and took a boat over to Epcot. We headed into the countries again and went over to Germany to eat lunch. We had bratwurst, frankfurters and pretzels. It was a nice change from what we had been having and Michael got a popsicle on our walk back to the boat.





Outside the country of Norway was the coolest train track through a small town. It was setup over two areas and went under the sidewalk in one part. Michael could have watched the train go for hours. It was quite elaborate and detailed. I can't even imagine the time and effort that went into the design and execution.





We took the boat back to Hollywood Studios with a detour at the Boardwalk to get some candy and do some window shopping. As we exited the boat, someone getting on offered us fastpasses to Toy Story Mania. We now had 4 additional passes and headed back to the ride. The 4 of us went on the first time as there was no height restriction on the ride. We got about 30 seconds into the ride and Katie started saying "all done". Guess she didn't like it as much as the rest of us did!



So we took the kids over to where you could meet Woody and Buzz Lightyear while Todd and I took turns riding Toy Story Mania with Michael one more time each. Michael LOVED the ride and probably could have gone on it 10 more times. He also was thrilled to meet Buzz and Woody and have his picture taken with them.....Katie not so much.





We ate our final dinner at the Cape May Cafe, which was a seafood buffet. I think it was a great ending to our trip. Todd and I both took advantage of the all you could eat crab legs, although I think we could have eaten more if it was just the two of us there. By the time dinner was over, it was almost 8:00 and the kids were DONE. I think we were all pretty exhausted. What a great vacation it was!!