Archive | June, 2011

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes…

26 Jun

Back in January, we paid a visit to the House of Mouse in Florida.  We were so excited to leave behind the snow & have some fun with the Harden family!

We flew into the airport, hopped on the shuttle bus to Disney World & began our week of Princess/Buzz Lightyear fun!

Our first day, we ventured to the Magic Kingdom.

Ella met the Fairy Godmother:

Fairy Godmother

Ella & Drew with Buzz Lightyear in the background.  We eventually actually met him, but the line was too long at this point, so we just gazed from afar.


Dan & sweet June enjoying Magic Kingdom:

Before the carrier broke...

The second day, after a briefly rainy morning, we hit up EPCOT.

Classic family photo in front of the giant golf ball:

Sweet family

Morleys too:

Rainy morning

Ella & Drew are such sweet friends.


We enjoyed EPCOT, but at this time of year, a lot of it was closed until 11am.  We got to see Nemo & Crush, so it was still a great morning!

The third day, we went to Hollywood Studios.  Ella was not so sure about Lightning McQueen:

Not so sure about this one...

She did have fun in the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground, though:

Giant Ant!

We really enjoyed the Toy Story ride at Hollywood Studios, & the Green Army Men came to visit!  He said Ella’s pigtails make her look like Jessie:

Green Army guy

It was a fun, but exhausting day:

Sleepy girl

A trip to Downtown Disney that evening revealed a love for characters that don’t move:

Buddies with their buddy


Sleeping Beauty

We returned to Magic Kingdom & Hollywood Studios the last two days:

Great family photo!

If only we really lived there...

Lovely June

Finally shaking Buzz’s hand:


Ella got to pick out one souvenir to bring home.  She chose a set of figures from Princess & the Frog.  She couldn’t wait to play with them:

Love those princesses

Audrey enjoyed the Minnie Mouse that Ella picked for her, too:

Nom nom nom

Overall, it was a really great trip!  The crowds were really low, with only a couple of exceptions.  Since it was January, we did run across lots of large groups from the Southern hemisphere (where it was summer break).  The weather was great, at least compared to what was going on in St. Louis!  It was 60s-70s each day, with a little rain a couple of mornings & a thunderstorm one night.  Since the crowds were so low, we were able to let the kids run around a bit more & the lines were really short!

It was a fabulous trip & we are planning to go back again!

See ya real soon, Mickey!

Summertime, and the Livin’ is Easy…

17 Jun

Between illnesses, we’ve been keeping very busy enjoying the summer.  Once monsoon season (aka May) was finally over, we ventured around to various favorite places in St. Louis to kick start our summer fun!

Ella, Audrey & I took Uncle Chris to the Magic House one morning.  Ella decided she was finally ready to go down the big slide all by herself…and she did it!  Then she ran up the stairs & went down the slide several more times.

First time down the BIG slide!

For the past several years (minus a few here & there), my mom & I have participated in the St. Louis Komen Race for the Cure.  We do the 1 mile fun walk, but we always enjoy ourselves.  It’s been amazing watching this race grow into the biggest one in the US!  Ella’s been coming along since she was a baby, and this year, Audrey got to come, too!  The girls are wearing their pink to support finding a cure, and this was the first year for mom & I to join a team – the St. Louis Blues team!

Ella got her face painted with a rainbow & her arm painted with a pink ribbon!

Komen Race 2011

The view of the thousands of people as we walk down Olive.  There were many more behind us, and many more that had already made the turn around the corner.  But this view always makes you stop for a second to appreciate the support.

Sea of People

We made a family trip to the Zoo one Sunday morning.  We decided to check out the Children’s Zoo, ride the train & see the Sea Lion show!  Ella & Dave also visited the penguins & puffins while Audrey & I relaxed & watched the bears.

Ella’s Goat Care 101:

Goat Care 101

Ella loved the slide through the otter habitat, as well as sitting on the otter sculpture:

This is how we ride the Otters

Both girls had fun on the train ride:

Choo choo!

All aboard!

Audrey & I had some laughs while Ella & Dave were visiting the penguins:

Mom is silly

To beat the heat, we’ve been going to the Webster Groves pool for Toddler Time a lot.  This week, we decided to change it up a bit & have a picnic at Kirkwood Park & play in the sprinkler with Ella Rose & Willa.

Ella Rose was a huge fan:

Sprinkler Fun

Ella Kate wasn’t sure about running through, but had fun running around:

Not so sure about it...

Willa was hesitant at first, but decided she liked it after a while:

Ok, I like it!

Audrey is my little water baby – she loved it:

Love the sprinkler!

I will try to keep up with the summer photos as they come.  It’s going to be a busy summer!  I can’t believe Ella turns 4 in just a few weeks & Audrey will be 1 in August!  Can I order a freeze ray gun for their birthdays so I can stop time for just a bit?

Amazing, Just the Way You Are…

16 Jun

In the past 10 days or so, Audrey has had a developmental explosion!

Just a few weeks ago, she was a roller.  She could get anywhere she wanted to go by rolling, stretching, & rolling some more.  She could go from sitting to rolling quite quickly.

Then, while Dave was in Huntsville last week, Audrey decided she’d learn to do some new stuff.

She started army crawling.  At first, it was just occasionally, if something was right in front of her.  Now, she is doing about 50% army scooting & 50% roll/stretch.  I’m certain that she’ll be crawling around in no time.

Audrey also started clapping & signing “more”.  We’ve been trying to teach her how to clap, but because she often has her hands in her mouth, she was more likely to pat her legs or high chair tray than clap.  But she finally figured it out!  And her sign for “more” is similar to a clap, but with one pointed finger into a hand instead of two open hands.

Yesterday, Audrey pulled herself up to her feet.  She’s been trying to pull up on things for several days, but this was the first time I’ve seen her actually make it all the way to standing & stay there.  I’m guessing that means she’ll be cruising around soon, too.

It always amazes me to watch my girls learn to do new things.  Seeing their faces light up when they figure something out for the first time is such an honor.

I hope that as they get older & continue to learn new things, discover new ways of achieving, explore new interests that I will be privileged enough to share in their wonder & excitement.