On the Sunday before my birthday, Kyle and I had an extremely busy day serving at an (incredible!) Worship Concert in the new Four Corners space. Grandma Shelly came down to hang out with the girls while we were gone all day, and when I came home, they had this wonderful surprise for me! (Well, and a gift certificate I'm about to use for a Mani/Pedi before vacation... but Elise and Avery weren't nearly as excited about that part as I am! ;))
I had also received delicious goodies from my family, and even flowers from Kyle on my actual birthday!
No, I won't document all of Elise's and Avery's haircuts. This one was just super fun (though of course not QUITE as much fun as the first!) because we went to Cookie Cutters. The girls played on an indoor "playground" while waiting, and sat in adorable cars of their choice while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. They did great, and are as cute as ever! :)
This year, we finally made it back to Balluminaria. I'm not sure if it was the success it's gained over the last few years, the gorgeous weather, or a combination of factors, but it was PACKED. So much so, that we were absolutely on the verge of leaving and going elsewhere.
I'm glad we didn't.
It was as beautiful as we knew it would be, and Avery and Elise were just enthralled. And dinner at Skyline after? What a fun night!
In true form (at least lately - seriously, remember when Disney Family Days were, well, something worth writing about? anyway...) our most recent DFDs were a bit, um, on the low-key side.
First, we enjoyed Aristocats together and a yummy meal... and called it a night :)
But Elise and Avery think it counted, so I'll take it.
The most recent one, just before Thanksgiving, was the perfect time for Pocahontas. Admittedly I never loved the movie, but it seemed fitting ;) The girls were very intrigued. We had a mini thanksgiving meal, and made flowers to talk about the things for which we're thankful.
In October, the girls' room began to get a makeover. We knew Baby K would need the bedding, mattresses, etc for the nursery, so a few months ago we began planning out the transition. We still would like to paint it, add curtain ties, and other finishing touches, but they're quite enamored with it - even a month later!
There's even a little extra Christmas spirit right now! Don't mind the half-complete tree... at any given moment it is in various states of decor. Ahh, giving three-year-olds free reign. :)
Before our pumpkin extravaganza this year, we made sure to talk to our kids (namely Avery) about last year's incident, in hopes to avoid anything similar. If she was going to freak out about pumpkin guts, we were going to just set her up somewhere far away with some toys, and let her be.
Instead, they were both extremely excited... and as helpful as they could be, after having picked out designs that were too elaborate for three-year-olds. Next year, it's jack-o-lantern faces. (Right?)
They weren't actually too thrilled about the gunk, but instead of repeating the historic meltdown of 2010, we just got these faces. Hehe!
Once it wasn't terribly full, Elise did eventually decide she wanted to give the scooping a shot.
When he got to a "kid part" (ha), Kyle even let them help carve a bit.
Earlier this month, all four of us went to an Open House event at CHCA. For reasons I'd be happy to discuss with you in person :) we are not really satisfied sending them just anywhere right now, so one way or another (read: serious budgeting, and extra work?) they'll be starting in the PK-4 class next fall... if they get in. Yeah, that's going to be a nerve-wracking set of other posts (in my head only, likely).
But the Open House? That was super fun. We checked out the classrooms, talked with teachers, heard from the Head of Schools, etc. Elise and Avery got little "surprises" throughout the tour.
I can't wait to (God-willing) have two little Eagles in the house, and be a part of the incredible community that has developed there since I graduated!
In the meantime, we'll keep doing "house school", as Avery lovingly calls it.
Wow, it's strange having a relatively easy pregnancy!
No weight gain (or loss), blood pressure is "beautiful", and I'm measuring just right. Baby was cracking the tech up running from the Doppler, which was not surprising to me since I was just commenting last night on how much stronger (and more high strung?) movements were becoming.
Dr S recalled how sick I was at this point with the girls, then went on (not looking at old charts) to recall my "absolutely terrible case of PUPPP", bedrest, etc and express great joy that this time around, so far, is so much better.
After Kyle survived the peds boards in October, I thought it would be a fun surprise for all of us to have a mini getaway to Great Wolf Lodge for a couple of days. After dance class on a Tuesday, we loaded up the car, ate lunch, and pulled into the lot. The girls were still convinced we were going swimming at the Community Center as our "big surprise", after having seen the swimsuits and towels packed in the car. If only I'd have known they were so easy (and inexpensive!) to please! ;)
Waiting in the lobby during check-in
Thanks to my friend Jenn, we had secured a great rate on one of their incredible themed suites again - this time a "Kid Kabin" room. I was so excited for the girls to see their very own sleeping arrangements. You can see below how that turned out ;)
But seriously, isn't that "anorable"? We thought so, too.
We get a BRACELET?! ;)
After settling in for a few minutes, we hit the waterpark! You might recall that we had been once before, but Elise and Avery most certainly didn't recall their time on the inside. Instead, each time we go to Snowland they stare longingly at the waterpark through the giant window... and were so excited that this time they got to take part!
After several hours in the waterpark (and no nap), it was time for a break. The Lodge had a "Trick or Treat Trail" event going on, so - as you saw in a sneak peak - two sweet little Tinker Bells got to grab a bit of candy from a handful of treat stations. While doing so, I ordered pizza and (incredible) dessert from a few of the lodge eateries, and we had a fun dinner in our room.
Admittedly the murals by the beds freaked Elise out a bit at night, so we had to cover hers up before she'd sleep. But they both did really well in their very own "house", and the next morning were ready to go again!
Since the waterpark doesn't open until 10 in the off-season (and, well, I had a dentist appointment - a fun interruption, no?), Kyle took them on the morning "Wolf Walk" where they learned about different animals, checked out more parts of the Lodge, and learned how to make origami wolves. They had a great time. When I got back, we also checked out Cub Club, where we colored a bit, played in the playroom, and did a little work on the computer.
Once the waterpark was open, we made one more stop there. Both girls were quite brave in there, despite us having forgotten their puddle jumpers. They borrowed life jackets and played in some of the deeper areas with us, as well as enjoying the zero entry and shallow kiddie areas and small slides. Next time, without a baby in utero (and I guess with a sitter), we're going to spend a LOT of time on the family tube slides. I can't wait! :)
We grabbed lunch at the snack stand inside the waterpark before saying goodbye (for now) to Great Wolf Lodge. It was a wonderful break!