Monday, February 28, 2011

Wrapping Up

Hey there blog readers! Just a reminder that March 1st (tomorrow) is our goal date for our fundraising push. Thanks to everyone for being patient while we awkardly ask for money. I'm sure many people at least raised eyebrows at the concept, but overall the response was positive to such an unusual request. As I've said before--knowing that this type of brazen (ha) fundraising would have to be a part of our adoption process was one of the mental obstacles we struggled with before we decided to go for it. But we decided the akwardness and embarassment was worth it. I still feel that way. Thanks so all who gave great thought and consideration into your ability to give and your willingness to do so. For a refresher on how to give a tax-deductable donation, see the previous post (I posted it separately so I can create a link on the side bar). To read our fundraising letter, click HERE.
Soon, I'll post an update on how God has blessed us through YOU. :)

Giving a (tax-deductable) gift!

If you would like to make a tax-deductable donation towards our adoption fund, we thank you! Bringing our little kiddo home would not be happening if not for your support.

There are 2 ways to go about it:

1) You can write a check to Lifesong for Orphans, and write TOMPKINS 1664 in the memo line. Mail it to Lifesong for Orphans PO BOX 40 Gridley, IL 61744

2) You can go to THIS PAGE on the Lifesong website and give through Paypal. You will still need to clarify that the donation if for TOMPKINS 1664.

Thank you for being a part of our baby's homecoming story!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Brazenlilly's Movie Reviews

So, a few weeks ago on Wendy's blog, she awarded me as one of her Irresistibly Sweet blogs. Such an honor! Which I have not lived up to, what with me hardly blogging lately. Plus, I never followed through on the honor, which included listing 5 guilty pleasures and 5 fave blogs. (Of course, when Wendy did hers, she was stuck at home for eleventeen days in a ginormous blizzard, and had a bit of time on her hands. I'm just sayin.) But I have guilty pleasure to reveal today.

See, on Wednesday, my MIL and SILs took the kids for the night and I saw 2 movies--IN A THEATER in one day. When I realized how giddy this made me, I had a conscious though that I LOVE MOVIES. That's just a fun fact. I saw The Kings Speech with my mom and The Tourist with Trent. (Tourist? Total renter.) It was really important to me to see The King's Speech before Sunday, which leads me to the guilty pleasure: I love awards shows. I know the date of the Oscars months in advance. I start my VCR (oh yes, you read that correctly. Old school, baby!) at 3pm on Oscar Sunday, which is a lesson I learned when I had my first toddler. It turns out that my personality morphed into a short-tempered, inattentive mommy when the Oscars were on and I thought I might miss something. So, I've learned to record the whole darn thing--red carpet to Best Picture--and not even try to watch it. Watch it the next day and FF through commercials, pause when needed by offspring. I love escaping into the frivolity of it all. YES, I realize it's completely superficial and the Hollywood culture completely feeds our obsession with outer beauty and body image. (That's why it's called a GUILTY pleasure.) YES, I love seeing what the women are wearing. YES, I really am curious to find out who wins. YES, it does affect what movies I'll see in the following months, because usually I don't see most of the movies until they are out on DVD! But each year I scramble to try and at least see some of the front-runners.

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The Kings Speech is one of the front-runners for BP and Colin Firth is a clear lead for Best Actor. I definitely believe he deserves it.
The movie was exceptionally well made, but it was the acting that really captures you. This first scene (below) had me so emotionally involved that I couldn't look away. You've just met this character and his wife and you immediately want so badly for good things to happen to them. Great, great story. Highly recommend.
If you have a Facebook account, then I think you would enjoy/should see this other front-runner, The Social Network.
I mean, the killer screenplay alone blows my mind--in a good way. (Aaron Sorkin=genius.) But it was such an enthralling look at the beginning of this phenomenon that has totally changed our way of life. (That's not hyperbole--I truly believe that. Even if you personally don't have an account.) I saw it after reading an article about Mark Zuckerberg in TIME magazine and the 2 together were nothing short of captivating. It makes you ask this question: What is a FRIEND? Can you have a hundred friends and still be lonely? Have no social skills? Can you be "friends" with your spouse, your boss, your kindergarten teacher and your plumber? SHOULD you be? How if facebook (and blogging, for that matter) feeding into our narcissistic tendencies? It was a great flick.
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But my unabashed endorsement of a movie this year was
INCEPTION.
I. LOVED. THIS.MOVIE.
Trent and I saw this movie in a theater during an afternoon matinee. We had just eaten and were wide awake. (Do not see this movie when sleepy.) The guy taking our tickets smiled and said, "You better buckle your seatbelts. That show is quite a ride." He was right! I've talked to a few people who did not love this movie as much as me. They thought the logic of dreams within a dream was not scientific enough, or that it was too confusing, or too long.
Well, I guess I disagree! The whole premise is about a fictional ability to get into people's dreams. To go into one person's dreams with other people, create environments and steal ideas. Going into dreams in a movie is like time travel--just smile, enjoy and suspend your disbelief for a couple hours.
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I cannot remember ENJOYING a movie-viewing experience EVER as much a I enjoyed watching this movie the first time. (It loses a bit of oomph when watched at home.) It was complicated and smart, the special effects were off the charts, and yet it still had an old-fashioned heist-movie feel to it. The emotional depth of the characters was not sacrificed for action--there was a mesmerizing backstory weaved throughout. It was just so UNIQUE. The first portion of the movie is explaining the intricacies of getting into someone's dream. Then there is a clear build up to an incredibly risky, high-stakes, elaborately planned dream sequence. I'm not kidding you when I say that as they were beginning this "heist," as it were, I realized I was grinning at the screen. I was having so much stinking fun.

This scene:
was probably my favorite, which is saying a lot, b/c I had a lot of favorite scenes. I am extremely bitter that Christopher Nolan didn't get a nomination for his directing of this film. To take a concept that is so complicated and deliver a product that is so attainable and delightful
was nothing short of masterful. The "experts" all say that Inception has no chance of winning Best Picture, which is fine, but I would like to bestow upon it my own personal award:
Brazenlilly's Best Picture of 2010




Tuesday, February 22, 2011

For Jack

I don't have anything brilliant floating around in my head to blog about, but I remembered this one pic from Cali I forgot to post. I was with some of my girlfriends, enjoying one of the "SWITCH" hours, where the moms and dads switch off the kids so each group gets to go on a grown-up ride or two. We saw Handy Manny and my heart seriously jumped, thinking reflexively that one of my kids loves him. Then I realized it wasn't one of my kids, but my nephew, Jack. He even had a Handy Manny birthday party! So, even without kids, I asked Manny to pose with me for a pic.
This is for you, Jack! Funny side story: when we saw him, one of my friends (who has a young daughter, evidently not a huge Handy Manny fan) said "Oh, it's Bob!" [as in: the Builder. Wrong guy, wrong channel.] Manny, who is not allowed to talk, expressed his dismay by throwing his head back and raising his hands in the air. It was pretty funny.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Random Thoughts

*At the end of April, Trent has to go to a work conference about 5 hours from here. It happens to fall on the weekend of our 10th anniversary. So, we've decided to make a weekend out of it, go up a day early and pay for just one night in the hotel, and work will pay for the rest and the gas. Win-win! But the other day as we were talking about it, he said, as though this thought had just popped up: "Oh--but what will you do all day when I'm at the conference?" My immediate and dramatic response was a bit over-the-top: "HA! Are you KIDDING ME?! I'm going to sleep in, watch TV, read a book, get ready while watching TV and not have anyone asking me for anything, then I'll walk around and get coffee and actually SIT in a coffee shop and not have to use the drive-through and read by myself, then EAT by myself and watch movies and take a nap, and...." I don't remember his exact response, but it was something like: "Thought about this much, have you?"

*Here's a few Carsonisms from just the last 24 hours. We read a book called Tumble Bumble--some of you have it. We were reading it, the kids and I, and Carson asked why the pig had a name and none of the other characters did. I said I don't think he had a name. "Yes he does," said Carson. "It's NOAH VAIL." I stifled a giggle and told him, actually the sentence said that after they stepped on his tail, "They apologized to NO AVAIL." It took several synonyms and my best preschool thesaurus brains to explain that one.

Then this morning we were watching Toy Story 2 (we've been on a kick lately, and I know this might be controversial, but I like 2 better than 3. It's funnier and has more light-heartedness. But I digress...). The toys see a sign on the store and he asked me what it said. I told him it said "Sorry, we're CLOSED." His response: "Why are they sorry?"

*I cannot get into a great amount of detail about THIS little red-headed angel and her behavior this week, or my blood-pressure will go up again. Let's just say, she's TWO and she's testing. And testing. And testing some more. And her mood swings give me whiplash. And gray hairs. One minute she is utterly detesting my authority and expressing her rebellion with every ounce of her 26 pounds and 99 decibels, and the next moment she can't stand not to be touching me, is literally clinging to my legs, crying "Hold me! Mama, hold me! Hold me! Hold me! Hold me!" I'm not gonna lie. I had to have a glass of wine last night to calm my nerves after the day she gave me. But I tell you what. It's a good thing she is so stinking cute:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2 weeks left!

So, I've been holding back with the "push," but just a reminder, we still have a little less than 2 weeks left in our old-fashioned fundraising letter push. Except, for most of you reading this, it's a new-fangled-blog-fundraising-push! If you need a refresher about the process, or would like to read our letter, click HERE. But let me sum up for you:
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We are partnering with an organization called Lifesong for Orphans. They created a fund for us, and any donations made to them in our name are a)tax deductible and b)can be used to pay for any and all adoption-related expenses for us, including (and primarily for) the $11,000 fee due upon referral of our child. Lifesong is not taking out any percentage for their own costs. From now until March 1st, we are humbly asking pretty much anyone we know if they would consider donating.
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You can donate online through paypal (still tax-deductible!) by going to THIS page and clicking on the yellow donate button AND clarifying that the gift is for Tompkins #1664. Or you can write an old-fashioned check, made payable TO Lifesong, with Tompkins $1664 in the memo line. You would mail it to
Lifesong for Orphans
PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744
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This is what I have to say about how amazing God has been so far:
I mean that in a good way! I have said it before and I'll say it again: every bit helps. The donations that may feel small to the giver are big to the receiver, and are multiplied by the Father. Thanks for considering being a part of our child's story in this way, and thanks for being patient while we do this necessary step in our adoption.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Storytime! (Valentine's Edition)

Carson is in a phase. He likes to hear stories at night--not just read books. He wants to hear stories about when I was a kid. It started with "Uncle Mike" stories, about when Mike broke a window, a toilet, a bathroom door, accidentally stabbed a neighbor kid's neck with a fork...you know. The usual. The "Uncle Mike" stories lasted a good couple of weeks and now I've been just kind of raiding my memory for interesting stories about my childhood.
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I thought of one the other day that reminded me how awesome my mom is. It was February of my 4th grade year, and Valentine's Day snuck up fast. Somehow, I completely forgot that we were supposed to handmake special mailboxes for our V-day party for our classmates to deliver the chintzy little valentines. It was no sooner than 7am on February 14th when I was in a complete meltdown that I did not have a beautiful, hand-crafted mailbox.

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I'm pretty sure my mom missed her morning meeting so we could take a bit of time to whip something together. And when I say "whip something together" you need to know MY mother. This was not a shoebox with construction paper. Oh no. She found a cute little basket about the size of a sald plate. She just happened to have red fabric with white hearts (of course she did) that she lined the bottom of the basket with. Then? She hot-glued lacey trim around the edge of the basket. And to top it all off: my mom had the GENIUS idea that this basket would not sit on my desk, like all the other boxes. It would---WAIT FOR IT--hang from the ceiling with ribbon, dangling at eye-level to maximize the AWESOMENESS. I was filled with giddy glee, thinking of how I would be the envy of all the other people who had labored over their boring paper hearts. It's a memory that is etched in my brain and I don't know if I've thanked my mom enough for it. Thanks, Mom! You are awesomeness. ;)

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Another memory I had this week was when we (Bunch family, circa 1988) were going on our own road trip. The DAY before we left, we happened to see something in another family's mini-van. It was, how can I explain this? It was kind of like a fabric shoe rack that hangs on your closet door. But instead of hooks at the top, it had a "hood" that went over the head rest on the passenger seat, hanging down the back. And instead of pockets for shoes, it had smaller pockets for whatever little trinkets an 11 and 8 year old would want to have handy for a 2 week trip. We saw this Fabric Trinket Holder Thingy and realized how perfect it was. How badly we "needed" it. Did I mention that this was the DAY BEFORE we left?

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Yeah. Guess who had a brand-new, hand-made Fabric Trinket Holder Thingy, surely sewn in love late into the night, in our Toyota minivan as we embarked towards Colorado and Wyoming? WE DID! As my friend Kellie would say: "Classic Jo!" (That's my mom's name, in case you didn't know.)

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I had my own moment of Jobunch spark the week before our trip. I saw a space between the kids' seats in our van. I eye-balled it and thought of a little plastic set of 3 drawers that is in Sydney's closet, holding junk. Then I measured it. Then I dumped the junk and? IT FIT! So the kids had a little 3 Drawer Trinket Storage of their own for our road trip. It started out with coloring books, crayons and snacks, and then just picked up pretty much any misc. item we wanted off the floor. I'm not really sure that C and S appreciate it as much as Uncle Mike and I appreciated our road trip gift, but they did like it. If only I hadn't run out of time, I would have put a nice lacey trim around it, just for old times' sake!

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pleasant Surprise

letter FImetal type letter ve

We got an email from our agency a few days ago that had lots of routine information and also the news that something extremely rare and unusual had taken place--a single referral outside of the quarterly groups. It happened in January. Which means that we have moved from #6 to #5 on the waiting list! I emailed with our wonderful rep at the agency and she said we need to "be mentally and emotionally prepared" for a possible referral in March. She said in her opinion it is an equal chance of THE CALL coming in March or June. Yeah, thanks. Now I'll REALLY have a hard time not getting my hopes up!
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But speaking of hopes and wait lists and excitement, I did a lot of thinking after reading THIS POST by a friend of mine, who has been home with their adopted son for 6 months. At first I felt very defensive, as she talked about waiting families happily moving up the list (as we are very publicly doing) and that she felt conflicting emotions at their giddiness, almost like they were only seeing the story through their own (adoptive parent) lense. But once I read through the post again with less-defensive eyes, read her response to my comment and thought more about what she was saying I came to this conclusion. Excitement for our referral, which is a step towards bringing home our child, is expected and desired. We SO STRONGLY believe that this is God's will for our family and for our future child and we are as excited as you can imagine to begin our life with him or her! We can't contain it! However, as adoptive parents striving to learn and grow as we go, the joy is tempered with the somber reality of the tragedy that necessitates the adoption in the first place. Somewhere in Thailand, a young woman has made the unimaginably painful decision to plan for her child to be adopted into another family. I will never know her, but will never doubt that she will grieve throughout her life. Our child was separated from his birth mother, possibly birth parents. He (or she) will then be taken abruptly from the culture, language and only family he's ever known. He will be grieving and will always have this loss at the foundation of his adoption story. We need to be prepared for a difficult road as we love our child and honor his grief, while happily welcoming him into this forever family.
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So, I will continue to shout out our move up the waiting list until we have news for you. We won't dial down the excitement! But we will also continue to educate ourselves and attempt to have an empathetic view through the lense of the other people in the adoption triad. And you better believe I won't be caught dead without my cell phone for the entire month of March.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Disney Sydney

Whereas our Precious First Born does everything with flair and drama, our (soon-to-be) middle child has become one that does not choose to express her emotions very often in public. (Exceptions, OF COURSE.) The bummer is that she did not gush and awe over things at Disneyland--even things that we knew she liked. She didn't grin for the camera or run to hug any characters--even her favorites. But the upside is, she just went with the flow, walked where we walked, went on any ride we were in line for, etc. She loves looking at the pictures of our time in Cali and talks animatedly about it, so I know she had fun.
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Here she is getting reacquainted with her friend Peyton.
Aaaand, our first picture with a Disney character. Poor Goofy. How could he not be offended? As our friend Sarah said "That's awesomely awkward."
This is a little roller coaster for kids. Sydney buried her head in my armpit halfway through...
...but afterwards she said she liked it and even went on it again.
Haha! I don't know why, but it kind of just cracks me up. The over-the-top cast members trying to talk to Stonewall Tompkins.
THAT is as close as she got all week.
We discovered that Sydney loved any ride where she got to hold onto a steering wheel.

This was a cute photo-op, but we couldn't figure out how to do it without all the glare and reflection. Both kids thought this was pretty funny.
This is classic Sydney: ever since she was an infant, she has always been a home-body. I remember at 3 months old we took her to camp and she was SO fussy in big groups. Then we would take her into a quiet cabin with just our family and she calmed down and started playing and grinning. This was one morning before we went to the park--she was hamming it up for the camera.

Minnie Mouse is one of the characters she knew before we went on our trip, so she did not protest when Minnie wanted to hold the kids' hands while she walked down the street a bit.

One thing Sydney DID seem to adjust to was the California sun and Hollywood feel.

We saw Jessie on Tuesday and Sydney wasn't ready. Then she talked about Jessie for 2 days. On Thursday we went back and stood in line, but I think Jessie was just a little too BIG for Sydney.

Here's another ride that Sydney specifically liked and requested. (See--steering wheel.) In fact, after this picture was taken, I ran to go on Tower of Terror (for the third time!) with some friends. I found out after the fact that when this bumper car ride was over, Sydney would not get off. She bolted from Mimi and ran to the middle of the arena and pitched a fit. So, maybe she does show her emotions a BIT in public!
This was on the last day at Dland. I can tell by her stance that she was loose and having fun. She also had a ring pop from Uncle Ashley. Sugar always helps.
After five days of forcing her to interact, this was the last character we saw, and we saw some improvement on her distaste for the big people. (Just to ward off your thoughts and comments, I'm joking. We never FORCED Sydney to touch or even be close to character if she didn't want. We MAY have just held her in our arms and walked up to them. ;))
But THIS is Sydney's best moment of the week caught on film. After listening to countless discussions about Carson the Jedi Trainee, and watching his skill with a light saber, Little Miss knew exactly what to do when she had the saber to herself in the hotel lobby. I don't know if the blog quality will allow you to see her facial expression, but it is priceless.

video

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Car-car at Disneyland

There's no doubt our little man had a great time at Dland. But it was a bit of a bumpy ride. With this kid, the highs are HIGH and the lows are LOW (and loud). I mentioned in one of my other posts that Trent talked Carson into riding Space Mountain on day one. I'm pretty sure this scarred him for life and I've not let Trent live it down. We had to leave (well, usually I made Trent leave with him) numerous lines because Carson was completely and totally freaking out--yelling, crying, screaming, holding onto the railing, yelling "NO! NO! YOU CAN'T MAKE ME GO ON IT!" I mean, he did this even on the Jungle Cruise. THE JUNGLE CRUISE. The ride that pregnant women, people with pacemakers and newborns can go on. It was a bit exhausting.
But, to his credit, Trent worked hard the rest of the week trying to earn back Carson's trust and help his overcome his fears. He even went to Target early the next morning and got ear plugs and a mini-light-saber to help Carson on any rides that were dark or loud (which are a lot of the rides.) Eventually Carson did ride Soarin' over California and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, both with Trent and without too much protest.
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Here's some pics of Carson throughout the week. He almost ALWAYS wanted to ride with Trent, so this was one time I got to sit with him.
Carson loves the movie Tarzan, and was pretty tickled to walk through Tarzan's house (formerly the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse). Trent took this pic while I was somewhere else. Carson repeated and re-enacted this rope climbing experience to me several times before I was able to walk through the house with him and see it for myself. On Tuesday, Carson was having a near-meltdown. He was having little panic attacks in every line. So, Trent took him out of the park to Downtown Disney for some downtime and to get away from the crowds. Of course they went to the Lego Store.
And I WONDER whose idea it was to make a stop at ESPN Zone? Hmmmm.....

Whatever it was, it worked! The next morning he was back to himself.
On Wednesday, Carson wore his Star Wars shirt and wanted to try again to do the Jedi Training. We went early, stood in front and he was the first one chosen! We worried that the Jedi man would recognize him and not choose him, then we realized he sees hundreds of kids come through daily, so we were safe. :) Car got to stand front and center this time! (That's him in the hood to the left of the Jedi Trainer.)
He was even more enthusiastic the second time around. (PS: We were SO bummed the Star Tours was closed for rennovation! I think he would have loved it.)
This is the best moment of the show, when Darth Vader arrives:

video

Here's a video of his actual fight with Darth Mal.
video

Unlike his sis, Carson was more than happy to pose with any of the characters we saw.
Over in California Adventure, there is an area like a park on steroids. It has rope bridges, a climbing wall, ropes coarse, lookout towers, etc. And it has this kid-sized zip-line. Riding this on Thursday was a minor victory for Carson, who was still too scared to try it on Tuesday. Once he did it once, he was hooked! He just kept going back to the end of the line, again and again.


I think you can tell he liked it a little.


video
I wish I had some pictures of the Toy Story Mania ride, b/c that was one of our favorites. I'll have to ask around to see if any of our friends got one. It was in 3-D and we each got to shoot at targets like in a Carnival. Despite his underriding fears, I know Carson had a great time, and he's currently walking around with Sydney playing Star Wars. He just told her that she is Princess Leia and he is "C-PPO." I can't corrent him! It's just too cute.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Home Sweet Home

We're BAAAAAAAACK!
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We survived. More than that--we had a great trip. I was so proud of my planning self--we came in $75 under budget! It was a completely cash-only trip. Trent and I agreed the only time we would use our debit cards was to get Redbox videos along the way, and 2 Priceline hotels for the drive--$50 both times! Yeah! Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty tired of picnic lunches, but we were in Disneyland for five days and ate only ONE MEAL at the park. But the biggest reason we were able to do this trip so frugally is due to the graciousness and generosity of friends and family. Thank you, everyone!
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The trip recap will definitely be a multi-post. So many moments I don't have pictures of, like how I had to squat in front of Sydney, helping her not to fall into grown-up toilets (which she's not used to sitting on) in bathrooms clean and filthy from here to Southern Cal. I feel like I spent half the trip nose-to-nose with my baby, holding her by the armpits, pleading with her to please go potty. Then, inevitably, as I was bending down to pull up her undies and pants, she would give into the temptation and flush the toilet with my face squarely in the splash path. Awesome.
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Speaking of Syd, I need to start with this photo, for my mom, who requested one of Sydney looking like she's having fun. Turns out this is pretty much the only one out of 486 photos. Each kid will get their own blog post later this week, but let me just say that the Birdie DID have a good time, she just is not one to be overly expressive or to smile on cue.The following photos are just some of my faves from the week, in absolutely no particular order. Here's one of my besties, Ms. KT, sporting a Krochet Kids hat, which you should totally check out. Fortunately, Kristi's kids don't read my blog, because she snuck out to Dland on Monday to hang out with us while they were in school! I'm not sure they ever found out, but we were so glad to see her!
At first I was so sad that Sydney was asleep when we saw Woody and Jessie, because they are the 2 people she kept talking about seeing. But then we realized that she was not one to pose happily with the huge Disney characters.
Case in point.
(But I do love this photo!)
Oh, and by the way? I. LOVE. ROLLER COASTERS! I loved this one so much I went on it 4 times, even once walking over to ride it all by myself. Also by the way? Trent totally knew where the cameras were and he POSED for this pic. He looked exactly like this in every roller coaster pic.
Case in point re: Sydney vs. Characters #2. Chip (or Dale?) pushed my sunglasses down right before this pic.
#3
My parents-in-law joined us at Disneyland and it was so great to have them there! And not just because they helped watch and hold the kids! We got Linda to go on California Screamin' (see above) one time...and one time only. But you'll have to ask her about that. ;)
Here's our Sleeping Beauty in her Rapunzel dress.
This is another bestie, who totally hooked us up all week! She just decided to make it her vacation week as well, and their family joined us as often as possible. I'm convinced her Love Language is "gifts" because she is always buying little treats or matching clothes for the kids. This particular day we decided to be matching too.
The mouse, the myth, the legend...ladies and gentlemen...
MICKEY MOUSE! (Once again, Sydney is non-plussed.)
Here's a chaotic photo-op with several of our friends with Jessie and the Army Man.
Thursday turned out to be a special day, when so many of our friends came to the park. We didn't plan it, we just sent out emails to everyone telling them to come by whenever they could that week. It turned out this was a good day for lots of friends, so we partied! I thought it would be hard to have so many people there with us, but it actually worked out beautifully. We even managed to get a pic of all the adults in a Monster's Inc car.
Then bring in the kids!

This is one of the only pictures we got of Disneyland at night. Partly because we were only there after dark twice. On Thursday night we stayed and got special tickets to see World of Color, which is a water and lights show. Describing it that way is pretty much the biggest undersell in history. It was so awesome we didn't even attempt to take photos. The music alone left me speechless--and that is a rarity, let me tell you. It's just something you have to see! So there's your first session of the post-millennial version of coming over to my living room and sitting down while I force you to watch slides of my vacation. Come on over a couple more times this week for the rest of the story.