This amazing little boy has completely captured our hearts. He lights up the room, he delights us on a daily basis, he learns faster than the speed of light. At twenty months, Mark is communicating with both sign language and English, some of which we can even understand. New words lately include (but aren't limited to) bubbles, and several important names, Nonnie & Pape (which sounds like Papa.) He is using animal sounds to "name" about 20 animals. He is working puzzles, stacking blocks 6 or 7 high and riding the rocking horse. He climbs/walks up and down the stairs standing, mostly holding onto the wall. He is learning to ride his tricycle and has mastered the ride-on truck Santa brought.
He has recently decided to climb into and out of both our family vehicle and his car seat without help, and protests mightily when unsolicited help is given. He buckles and unbuckles his booster seat (at the table and in highchairs) by himself. He is getting proficient at putting his own shoes on his feet. A pair of Mickey Mouse crocs, a hand-me down from big sister are his favorites currently.
This darling little boy turns somersaults and plays hide-and-seek. He runs to the front door with lightening speed when the doorbell rings or Daddy comes home. He is on the cusp of reaching the door knobs and light switches. He can easily eat his weight in pasta, clementines, and blueberries. He is CERTAIN that anything big sister can do, he can and NEEDS to do as well. He'd much rather be outside than in and remains suspicious of umbrellas and kites.
I adore you and love being your mommy. Please, please don't grow up to fast. I don't want to miss any run hugs or belly laughs or babble stories.
As the month is almost over, I am so very thankful we are all in one piece. I will confess this has been a tough month/summer for our family of four. We have been at home for all of August and the last half of July was managed without Ben. Nonnie made the time without Daddy Ben bearable, but we all had struggles. Normal for summertime, there has been no school break for me, always challenging. The temperatures are sky high and playing outdoors can only be done in moderation. Mark still needs a nap and Mallory has decided to stop napping. Mallory talks ALL THE TIME and Mark is following in her footsteps. So with my ears ringing I am desperately looking forward to the start of school (will Labor day ever arrive?) and a trip for Ben and I (sans children.) Thank you Lord for the blessings of healthy exuberant children, please grant me your strength and wisdom to parent them well.
Our trip to the Studios was great! We hadn't been in YEARS and decided it was time when the parade reviews made it seem worthwhile. We spent most of the morning hanging out near toy story and revisiting the animation area. Mallory enjoyed the Ariel show and we scored fast passes for the Toy Story ride. After all the adults rode the Rockin Rollarcoaster, and a bite of lunch in the shade, we saw the Beauty and the Beast show. Mallory was enthralled. Then face painting for the little girl-not my favorite design ever, but again, she LOVES it.
We actually waited along the parade route holding our great spots. I can't remember the last time I sat on a curb waiting to see a parade (Disney or not) but it was well worth it!
I HIGHLY recommend the Pixar parade. My children loved it, the music is fun and the characters are mostly familiar and it's short enough to hold their attention and long enough to be worth waiting to see it. Really fun!
Our last day was delightful and our time filled up the Disney banks more than satisfactorily. I hope we will be able to hold off going again until the "new and improved Fantasyland" opens for guests. Hooray for getting all these posts finished!! :)
A wonderful day spent purposefully resting. Brunch at the hotel, morning naps, lunch by the pool and afternoon mini-golf. Apparently my camera too the day off too, these are the only photos from the day!
One of the FIRST things Mallory asks about when we go to Disney is hugging Minnie Mouse. I think Mickey felt a bit upstaged.
I ADORE this little boy and he had a BALL at the Winnie the Pooh ride. I'm SO not kidding when I say it has the BEST que in the park, it's interactive and fun for little ones and tremendousely fun for all. See, look
Next up, the much anticipated lunch with the Princesses. I'm not sure who was more excited, Mallory or Nonnie.
A really REALLY fun time. First up, photos with Cinderella, then we were seated and they brought the children a wand (Mallory) and a sword (Mark.) My little boy knew instantly EXACTLY what to do with it. I love that Nonnie captured Mark's expression when he caught sight of Belle for the first time. HI-LAR-I-OUS. I'm pretty sure Mallory had fun too :) Note to self, bring the grey cards to Disney next time.
After naps, we were back in Fantasyland for more including Mark's first carousel rides.
And last but not least, more parade watching and a wonderful evening stroll that included losing AND finding Mark's Keens (shoes) in Tomorrowland while Mallory and Daddy rode Autopia.
The Flower & Garden Festival at EPCOT is always a favorite for us. What's not to love? Amazing topiaries and Spaceship Earth all in one spot :) For my farming, flower loving family it's magical. Going to EPCOT was actually not on our original schedule. But when Mallory was TOTALLY disenchaned with water play, Typhoon Lagoon suddenly didn't seem the thing to do. Enter the beauty of EPCOT with our new stroller. You might not know, EPCOT is HUGE, and a stroller or two is mandatory for us. I'm pretty sure all the "adults" wanted to kick the kids off and have a turn at least once.
We spent the morning lazing around Future world and after naps, returned to walk "the world." I think I single handedly broke my daddy's feet making him walk the whole park. Sorry Daddy! All I can say is that Mallory LOVED getting to see Marie and Belle :)
Our captivating arrival at Kidani Villiage. The giraffes were an early favorite. Our May trip to Disney began with a day of rest for the weary workers, travelers, and children. We stayed at the delighful hotel and enjoyed the pool. I could live there. The pop jets were a big hit, as were the Mickey shaped rice crispy treats
Our first "official" park day was spent at the Magic Kingdom-were else :) After the mandatory photos on main street, we headed to Fantasyland for Mark's first ride on Dumbo. Mark wasn't as big a fan as I'd hoped. He spent the whole ride with clenched fists screaming at the top of his lungs. Thankfully It's a Small World was much better! The enchantment I'd been expecting showed up on his sweet face.
This was the day I realzed we HAD to have a double stroller. Mallory came down with some bug on the drive down and wanted to be carried everywhere. Mark needed a safe place to be near everyone without being held. After leaving the park this evening, Ben and I went to the only place in Orlando I could find the double stroller I wanted to buy.
Our next day we took our new stroller for a spin at EPCOT.