Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Destination: Disney

Turning five is a big deal.  You aren't really a preschooler, and you are beginning to become a big kid. Whereas Sam is still and most likely always will be small for his age, and he acts significantly younger than he is, we still wanted his fifth birthday to be a big deal.  Not only that, it is his first birthday in America with his family!  Thus, we decided on a family vacation to Disney World.  He doesn't actually turn 5 until December 17, so we went a week and a half before his birthday.

It was a spectacular week!  Watching the kids' faces light up when they saw characters and princesses was priceless.  All three of them loved the rides, and begged constantly for more roller coasters. They enjoyed the shows as well, and we did a dining plan meaning we had some spectacular meals. 

Alex had a lot of fun, but also acted like a typical two year old much of the time.  She would go from sheer joy and excitement to a temper tantrum in no time at all.  Why are two year olds so crazy?  I had Alex duty frequently because her stature and my pregnancy meant we could ride the same rides.  Once we were on the rides, she was a blast.  She soaked up every thing and would grin from ear to ear.  At one point, while Brent had the big kids for a roller coaster, Alex asked if we could meet Pluto and Goofy.  The line was long, but she really wanted to meet them.  Our turn finally came along, and she freaked out in utter terror!  We weren't even able to get a picture with my own camera before she went ballistic.  This poor child who had been potty trained for a year teeteed all over me due to her fright.

Lilly Grace was the perfect age for a little girl to be in Disney World.  Her imagination is still strong, and seeing lovely princesses was heavenly for her.  She asked Sofia the First to dance, and they spun in circles and curtsied.  She couldn't give enough hugs and high fives to the characters we met.  She also was a trooper and walked a ton each day.  She absolutely loved every single ride.  I admit I was jealous of Brent that he got to experience all of the kids' first roller coaster rides.  Though she is the middle child, in many ways she acts like the oldest so there were a few days she got to skip her nap and stay in one of the parks with either Brent or me.  She and Brent rode several of the rides that even Sam wasn't tall enough for, and the day I had her we met characters and did a few fun shows.  It was a treat to Brent and me to be able to spend some time alone with her.

Sam gets so excited about things, and watching him get excited about every new park, ride, character, and experience was priceless.  His entire face would light up, he would start chattering in his Spanglish, and he would literally leap for joy.  He claims his favorite ride was Splash Mountain, though he cried at the bottom of the mountain.  His other favorite ride was the Speedway in Magic Kingdom.  Brent says he drove like a true Colombian taxi driver.  Sam thoroughly enjoyed meeting the characters, especially Mickey and Pluto.  Though his English is coming along superbly, there were still times when the language barrier made explaining things difficult, especially when it came time for us to go home. 

Brent was such an awesome dad the entire trip.  He pushed the double stroller most of the time, and always grabbed our breakfast while I located a table.  He organized FastPasses so the big kids could ride as many roller coasters as possible.  He would take Alex to the bathroom, which is a major big deal because she is terrified of public bathrooms and has major breakdowns.  He put Prince Charming to shame and not only was super-dad, but was such a precious and supportive husband. 

This was my 8th trip to Disney World, and being 24 weeks pregnant and having three preschoolers in tow made this trip far different than the others.  Seeing children experience imagination and magic is precious and joyous, which made this one of my favorite Disney trips thus far.  Walking several miles a day gave me ginormous swollen ankles and feet, and my sciatica was rather uncomfortable, but it was totally worth it! 

By the end of the week, we were all exhausted.  We were averaging about 8-10 miles a day, which made us not feel so guilty about all the meals we devoured.  We already are looking forward to our next trip, and are definitely bringing along grandparents since there will be a fourth kid in the mix by that time!

Dumbo with the big kids

Alex and Sam enjoying a snack in front of the Tree of Life before heading back for naps

Alex being her two year old diva self

The big kids loved the Christmas lights and fake snow in Hollywood Studios

Riding the People Mover our last day in Disney World

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