Disney Recap #1: The Ride

Every time someone asks me “How was Disney?” I respond with “it was the least relaxing vacation of my life.” Because that’s pretty much how it was. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? The drive down there was surprisingly great- the kids did really, really well with just a couple of minor meltdowns. And up until the last hour, I managed to stay in the front seat.

Our first meltdown belonged to Brody (of course it did) who had a fit because I wouldn’t turn the pages of his tractor book for him. It’s blurry because he was thrashing like an alligator while screaming at me “TURN IT DA PAGE!!!” No thank you, I don’t believe I will.

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Meltdown #2 belonged to Knox who did NOT want to watch “Finding Nemo.” He wanted to watch the screensaver on the TV, instead.

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We started out just driving, trying to hold off on using the DVD player until we had to. We made it about an hour before we busted out the first goodie bag. Those things definitely worked!! I wish I had made another set for the trip back… oh, the trip back. You guys. Don’t even. Anyway, they were very happy with their little toys and goodies.

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We drove about four hours before we had to stop for lunch. We stopped at a random Chick-fil-a in Georgia to eat and stretch our legs. It was also pouring down rain, monsoon style, which was lovely. I always enjoy getting drenched in a torrential downpour then sitting in wet clothes while I drive for an eternity.

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When we were about an hour away from Disney, Brody had enough of the drive. He was getting belligerent and just generally obnoxious in the back seat. There was crying, yelling, throwing, etc. So, I did what needed to be done.

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And I stole one of their lollipops because I needed to reward myself for sitting in the 11 inch space between those huge carseats for an hour. It was not worth it. However the crying did stop, so I count that as a victory! When we finally arrived at our hotel, we checked in and decided to go on a walk to Downtown Disney- we stayed at the Hilton right across the street (we had extra magical hours and bus transport to the parks, which was nice), so it was a very short walk. Knox passed out, and we sweat ourselves to death before deciding to go back to the hotel for dinner and some rest before hitting the Magic Kingdom the next day.

IMG_6281 IMG_6286 IMG_6292 IMG_6314Next up: Magic Kingdom day!

Disney Bound!

We’re leaving for Disney this week, and it’s the boys’ first trip. I am AMPED, you guys. Like, it’s a little sad how excited I am. Trevor and I went to Disney on our honeymoon six years ago, and it was by far, the most fun vacation I’ve ever been on. Of course, seeing that it was our honeymoon, we stayed at a Deluxe resort (Wilderness Lodge) got the nicest dining plan, etc. It will be much different this time around, but we are just as excited.

The one part I am not looking forward to?

The seven hour drive there.

YIKES.

My youngest, that shall remain nameless, ::cough:: Brody ::cough::, despises the car and has since the day he was born. He is better now on short trips (less than an hour), but long trips, please. We can’t handle the screaming. So. much. screaming.

I’ve been thinking up ways to make this drive less like a hellacious nightmare and more of a pleasant jaunt, so I decided to make bribery bags. Of course, I am not calling them that, they’re “Busy Bags.” I mean, let’s be PC (even though we all know what’s up).

Road Trip "busy bags" to keep preschoolers behaving on a long drive- road trip ideas for kids- from mycoffeeiscold.com

I went to the Target dollar section and bought up all kinds of little cheap toys and games and made each boy four goodie bags (they’re identical… because I don’t have time for sibling rivalry whilst in the car for a million years). I may have spent $30 total on everything? I also included some little fruit snacks and Dum Dums in some of the bags. I numbered each bag to let me know which ones are the same (there two 1s, two 2s, two 3s, two 4s) without having to dig through them. This is the kind of thing each bag has in it:

A light-up, spinning toy, silly putty, fruit snacks

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Stickers, glittery water stick (it is NOT a purple magic wand… at least that’s what I tell my husband), sticky octopus, lollipop

 

 

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More stickers, water game, fruit snacks

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Squishy light up toy, matchbox car, lollipop

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I also took everything out of the packing because I don’t want to hear “open this, open this, open this, OPEN THISSSSS!!!!” 45 times in a row, which Brody does for everything. My plan is to give them out when the kids start to get restless and bored. Obciously, these are nothing crazy involved or complicated because I have a life outside of creating busy bags for my children, but just something simple and fun to keep them interested. They’re too young (or in Knox’s case, doesn’t have the attention span with his Autism) to play road games, so here’s hoping this keeps them entertained.

We also put in our car DVD player this morning, so we can watch Disney movies all the way down. We only use this for trips, so it will be something new and exciting for them to be able to watch TV in the car.

I also took their little toy basket I keep between their carseats and replaced all the toys and books with different ones so there would be something new in there, as well.

I am, of course, armed with snacks. Boxes of pop-tarts, cookies, candy, juice and more. I figure I have done just about everything to keep us sane on this trip, the rest is up to the kids!

If it was up to me, we would have left at 3 a.m. and let them sleep the whole way. Sadly, Trevor is working the day before, so we can’t leave until he gets home at 7:30, a.k.a. wide awake time for these hyperactive monkey children. The good news is that in case we’re in meltdown mode, my brother lives in Jacksonville, so we can always make a pit stop for them to get out, run around and play with Jake the dog at Uncle Austin’s house. We would love to drive straight, just stopping for a few potty breaks and lunch, so we get there faster, but we’ll play it by ear. I’d rather it take longer and have the kids be happy the whole time!

Do you have any car trip secrets to share with your dear, sweet, desperate blog friend?? Because, seriously, do it.

Brody’s Room Update

The boys’ rooms have come a long way since we moved in, but they’re not quite “finished.” Though, is any room really ever finished? Probably not! This is what Brody’s room looked like when we moved in. Essentially, we had painted walls (Sherwin Williams Moody Blue),  a bed (bedding from Pottery Barn) without a headboard and his dresser. Wow… thrilling.

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A few weeks ago, Trevor had some free time and was finally able to make Brody’s headboard. We had tons of pallets lying around after construction, so my handy husband deconstructed those and used them for this headboard. He sanded down the individual boards and made a basic headboard. Then, he stained them with a walnut wood stain. Voila! Brody’s bed looks much more substantial, now. We hung his “B” that was in his nursery right over the headboard. This wall will likely get more “stuff” as we move along, I’d love to do some wall-mounted lighting on either side of his bed, but we’ll see where we land. We just moved the rocking chair out last week (tear!), and I stuck an extra side table we had in it’s place. I’d love to get something more interesting there one day, but for now, it works. We also did some quick drop cloth curtains. We chose not to hang blinds on the front of our house, and we have curtains in all of those spaces.

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My favorite, favorite part of this room is the wall over his dresser. I went with an outdoorsy look in this room because Brody is a major BOY. And when I say “boy,” what I really mean is that he’s a miniature version of his outdoorsy father, so it fit perfectly.

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He loves to show people his room and shows everyone his moose head (from Cardboard Safari)

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His fish (from Hobby Lobby)

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and his big arrow (also Hobby Lobby). Not sure why those three are his faves, but they are. I love this little moose head hook I found at TJ Maxx.

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I freehanded the moose silhouette and just put it on top of some scrapbook paper. I did something similar in his nursery with safari animals.

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My favorite part is the “Be Brave” canvas. This is kind of an interesting piece because when I first saw this canvas by Lindsay Letters online, I NEEDED IT. I mean, seriously, it was perfect. However, it was too expensive. So, I faked it. I made this one myself. I pulled up a picture of the canvas and freehanded it with a pencil onto a white canvas, then painted over the pencil with navy paint.

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Of course, a couple months after I went through this process, this canvas appeared at Hobby Lobby for much cheaper than the original canvas price. This is pretty much what happens in my life, and I am pretending I never heard that for sanity’s sake. BUT, I do love how it turned out.

The boys’ rooms are not huge. We planned on keeping toys in a common play room as opposed to filling every square inch of the room with stuff. The layouts are also a little odd with the bathroom doors and large double closet doors (on the wall closest to the foot of the bed) creating not much wall space for the furniture. This is what the whole dresser wall looks like:

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I used the same book slings I made when I was pregnant with Brody for this small part of the wall. The art over the slings says “Count Your Blessings” and then “Every good and perfect gift is from above” from the Bible. That little door is the pocket door into Knox and Brody’s shared bathroom.IMG_5988

 

That’s it for now, but we’re happy with our progress! Have y’all done any decorating lately? I love getting things feeling more “done” and homey around here!

Side hugs and tatertot casserole

Last night was the night- our Duggar premiere party! The new season of “19 Kids and Counting” began last night, and my fellow Duggar-lovers and I decided to celebrate. My friend, Carrie, and I hosted the party at my house, and it was a BLAST! If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that I seriously love the Duggars. I have their books, their DVDs and generally just think they’re awesome. We decided to invite everyone to dress as their favorite Duggar and bring a Duggar-approved food.

We HAD to make a paper banner because that’s what the Duggars would do for a party.

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We also made a Duggar photo booth, which was hilarious. I have to say that my favorite costumes of the evening belong to Ian and Carrie aka Jim Bob and Michelle. Yes, Ian hairsprayed the fool out of his hair to look the part.

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I was Jill. No, I’m not pregnant, but she is, so I was in character poking out my stomach (it wasn’t hard… there was lots of tatertot casserole in there).

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Rachel was also Jill- her hair was perfect! (also, not really pregnant)

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Mindy as Jinger

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Trevor was Joseph (eating a pickle)

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Maegan came as Cousin Amy, and she’s drinking the only Duggar-approved “wine” aka Cheerwine soda!

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Mindy, Candice and Catherine in their Duggar outfits

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And the best ever, baby Hadley as the future Baby Dilly (aka baby Dillard)

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Then there’s the food. Y’all. We do not eat like this normally. It hurt me deep to buy condensed soup, and I thought very seriously about making my own, but then I thought: that’s not the Duggar way. We had quite a spread which included Tatertot Casserole, Chicken-Etti, green beans, bread, Jim Bob’s favorite oatmeal cookies & Grandpa Duggar’s Banana Cake. Oh, and yes, we had an assortment of pickles because OF COURSE WE DID. Also, we used the Duggar-standard styrofoam plates and cups (sorry, environment!) for authenticity.

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We even made the same decorations the Duggars use for parties- also known as toilet paper rolls wrapped in tissue paper.

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This whole night was SO much fun. Of course, the climax of the evening was the actual show at 9 p.m., and while we were all hoping they would just go ahead and show the wedding, it was still good! I also discovered that I know a crazy amount of Duggar trivia… I like them, okay?

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In conclusion: we love the Duggars. So, so much. Duggars, if you ever see this, you rock.

Did y’all watch the premiere? Or do anything equally as nerdy this week (I doubt you can even approach the level of geekdom that we reached with this party, but please try!)?

Random week update

This has been a busy week, hence the lack of blogging. Mainly just lots to do at work, and our house is always a busy place. We are trying to start going to dinner & service at church Wednesday nights, which is extra work to get the kids ready and out, but it’s fun and breaks up the monotony of the week. The boys have a great time at church and so do we! Our church just finished a sensory room for kids with special needs, and Knox is in love with it! It has lots of cool things like a trampoline, swing, ball pit and more. I love that Knox is valued and loved there- we are blessed to be a part of such a great church family (and for me to be employed there too!).

Tomorrow night, my friend, Carrie, and I are hosting a Duggar premiere party for the “19 Kids and Counting”
season premiere. We have about 15 people coming to our house for it, and I am so excited! We will have Duggar food, decorations and are even dressing like our favorite Duggars- it’s going to be so much fun, and yes, we are nerds! I will be posting pictures for sure. :)

School starts tomorrow for Knox and Wednesday for Brody. Oh, early mornings, how I loathe thee. We have to be ready and out the door by 7 a.m. to get Knox there by 7:30. We are not attending the school he’s zoned for, so it takes forever to get there as we drive through FIVE different school zones to get there. Ick. He’s excited though- his teacher and speech therapist came for a visit just over a week ago, and Knox was thrilled to see them. I am ready for them to get back, too, and have some more structure to our schedules again.

Okay, that was the most boring post ever, but it’s all I’ve got right now. Here are a few cute kid pictures:

Knox rocking his Duggar-approved hat:
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Knox and his new shoes:
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All the time, we are rolling trucks. ALL THE TIME.
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