"Children come into this world with fresh eyes to see all that is beautiful, embrace all that is joyful, and love unconditionally with open hearts and minds."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Still Magical As Ever

View of the "Mickey Boat" and the Flying Dutchman from the Castaway Cay beach.

This was our third Disney Cruise as a family. My fourth because I went many years ago on a work-related vacation. Even after 3x, it's is magical as ever, especially when you have young children or grandchildren.

This year, we went with Bob's Dad and Step-Mom. We love the fact that Nana and Pop Pop live in Punta Gorda Florida because we can extend our vacation for a few more days after the cruise and celebrate Christmas a week early with them.  I love going to their house after the cruise because I'm not ready for our vacation to end, but in need of some real relaxation.  They have a beautiful home right on the water with pool, boat and the best part... They are the most amazing host/in-laws ever!

Sydney was more excited to see Nana and Pop Pop then the cruise (and she LOVES the cruise). I tried to take her picture when we were heading over to the Cape Canaveral Port. I asked her to smile for the camera, she told me not until she sees Nana and Pop Pop. I love the fact that our girls cannot get enough of their grandparents. Our Staterooms were connected by an interior door which made it extremely convenient, gave us double the space and the girls had maximum time with Pop Pop and Nana.

Last December, I went into detail on our Disney Cruise vacation [7 Separate Post!]. I'm keeping it short this year. I'm only doing one post with a few photos with captions. Okay, maybe more than a few photos in the form of collages !

Photos Above:
  1. Sophia (turning 3 in a couple days!) with an early Birthday present. A Leap Frog Tag Pen and Book. Perfect for on the airplane! 
  2. Our girls are gadget wizards!! They know how to use both the iPhone and Laptop with no problem!
  3. Sydney with Nana's Minnie Santa hat. We are seconds away from boarding the Mickey Boat
  4. The entire gang (minus Bob who's taking the pic) during the safety drill.
 Photos Above: A wonderful lunch just after boarding the ship. We had a few special guest stop by during our lunch. Their names were GOOFY and PLUTO! Last Photo: Daddy and Sophia at the Bon Voyage Deck Party!!

Photos Above: They saw dozens of characters each day and were never board with it!  I probably have hundred-plus shots of them with Disney Characters! Even Pop Pop was in on the action!!

Photos Above: Mickey Boat, Mickey Pools, Pirate Mickey and Island Mickey with his two favorite girls ;)!

 Photos Above: Princess Belle, Cinderella and Tiana. They LOVED seeing all the princesses!

Photos Above: Castaway Cay Rocks! They do it up for Christmas! Sydney still loves Stich... she has a soft spot for him!

Photos Above:
  1. Miss Sophia dropping into the water from over 10 feet high! What a way to celebrate her THIRD BIRTHDAY!!
  2. Syd and Sophia having fun with Nana in the water!
  3. Pop Pop sitting back while enjoying a few.
  4. Relaxing on the beach with my girls and an island drink in hand.

Photos Above:
  1. View of Castaway Cay and the Flying Dutchman from our stateroom veranda.
  2. Sophia EXHAUSTED at the end of a long (BIRTH)day.It started with Scuttle's Cove kids club on the island (lots of games and digging in the sand), then swimming with the family at the beach and then a long island bike ride with Pop Pop and Daddy. Her nap started on the bike ride. Bob said she was like a bobble-head on the back of PopPop's bike.
  3. Me out on our stateroom veranda after a day on the beach.
  4. Me with my two FAVORITE girls!

Photos Above: Our Beautiful Birthday Princesses and my wonderful In-Laws!

Photo Above: We celebrated Sydney's FOURTH Birthday (again) on the ship. Here she is with her cake. She looks so grown up in this photo :((.

Photo Above: The Gang! Every night after the Live Show and before dinner, we went to the Family Dance Party that was held in the Promenade Lounge. Sydney insisted that we go dancing each night.


Photos Above: Our last night and our first dinner without the girls [who were banished to the Oceaneere Club for the evening]. We enjoyed an adult-only dinner in Palo and celebrated Pop Pop's birthday. It was a beautiful night with amazing food and great company!!

During the year, I find myself thinking about going somewhere new in December. Then we end up back on the cruise because it's addicting! It is an magical vacation for the girls (especially at this age) and for us. Watching their faces and excitement each day on the cruise makes me want to do it again next year!

Thank You Nana and Pop Pop for making our vacation extra special!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Best Four Years of Our Life

My Sweet Sydney, You turned Four yesterday! It amazes me how much you know and how self-sufficient your are at such a young age. You will spend hours by yourself working on a couple art projects, reading books in your bed or arranging your stuffed animals while making a cozy bed for them. A year ago when you were three, Daddy and I woke up and found you sitting at the kitchen island with a carton of eggs. You had three eggs cracked open in a bowl. I said to you, "I can't believe that there are no shells in the bowl". You said, there were a couple, but I picked them out". You must have been really hungry that morning! Here are some many things that you do each and every day that amaze me and make me smile.

You love art and spend hours each day doing crafts, coloring and painting. Before starting a project, you decide who you are going to give it to. You make projects for Daddy and me daily. You must have inherited her artistic ability from Daddy or Grandmom.

You will diligently clean up the playroom and bedroom until everything is put away and in its proper place. You are responsible and reliable!

You run your own bath and always offer to run mine (and you do it perfectly).

Your absolute FAVORITE pastime is reading books and being read too. You love going to the library each week to pick out new books and videos.

You can hand-print your ABC's, your name and Sophia's name. You practice writing your letters all the time! The first word you wrote from memory last year was Pop Pop [even before writing your own name].

You never get tired of playing games. You make up games that you can play with your sister. Your favorite games are hide-n-seek, duck-duck-goose, freeze dance, musical chairs, tag, memory games and board games.

You LOVE to dance, dance, dance and perform "on stage" for us. You are very artistic and serious when you dance. It warms my heart just watching you.

You are my little helper and a mother hen to your little sister.

You want to be the best (and first) at everything.

Your favorite TV channels are Noggin and Sprout. Your favorite TV shows are Upside Down Show, Little Bear, Imagination Movers, The Backyardigans, Olivia, Wow Wow Wubbzy, Scooby Doo, Max and Ruby and Mickey Mouse playhouse.

You still love to sleep in bed with us. [Sophia is the complete opposite and wants to be in her own bed until morning when she comes into cuddle.]

You love to tell stories before going to bed and you like to read books in bed with a flashlight.

You like to pray to Jesus in private.

You are a whiz on the laptop (your favorite is PBS.ORG) and you play games on my iPhone.

You like to pick your own outfits out in the morning.

You help me set the table and have great table manners.

Your favorite drink is water with ice. You take a glass of water to bed with you EVERY night.

You eat cheesy eggs almost every morning for breakfast. You like PASTA, Shrimp, Broccoli, Veal Chops, Hamburgers, Mac-n-Cheese and French Fries. You are a great eater and will try anything. You love to go out to restaurants and help cook dinner.

You listens to (and remember) everything we say... it is no longer a surprise when you bring something we said up a few weeks (or months) later!

You are always helping your sister and are easily frustrated with her when trying to teach her something new.
You adore Grandmom, Grandpop, GMa, Popie, Nana and Pop Pop.

You love animals especially your cat Uno. You are very gentle with them. Uno loves to sleep on your lap.

You are Daddy's little girl. If Daddy is not home when you wake up in the morning, you ask about him or want to call him.

Your favorite princesses are Belle and Cinderella.

You love your cousins Rose, Corban, Morgan, Anna, Noah, Velia, Tony and Isabelle (and the list goes on...). Your best friend is Rose.

You’ve been doing ballet/tap for almost a year and you just started gymnastics. You are good at both, but have more fun at gymnastics.

You tell me many times throughout the day that you love me and you hold your hands up in the shape of a heart. It makes my heart melt.



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Caught Nappin’

Sydney and Sophia napping after dance class. Sophia leaves her dance outfit on every Tuesday until Daddy comes home from work. Sydney, who is always warm, likes to nap in her underclothes.

I love the above photo of Sydney. She fell asleep reading her book before bedtime. She was using her Mickey Christmas House as a reading light because we told her to turn out her lights.  [We used the Mickey House as her nightlight during the Christmas Holiday.]

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving in the Poconos

Despite the dreary weather in the Poconos, we had a wonderful, relaxing Thanksgiving at Bob's Mom and Step-Dad's mountain house. Sophia enjoyed splashing in the puddles on our morning walk. Her pink fuzzy crocks and stockings were COVERED IN MUD! Sydney entertained herself with a "walking" stick that she found. The walk in the woods had Sydney howling like the boy in Where the Wilds Things Are [Sydney and I went on a movie date a couple weeks ago. Needless to say, she liked the movie].

GMa picked out a fun recipe that the girls could make together. Paula Deen's Pineapple Upside-Down Biscuits. They were delicious! Popie and the girls hung bird feeders behind their house. GMa made a wonderful breakfast and an awesome Thanksgiving dinner.  Mommy and Daddy were along for the ride, sitting fireside a majority of the two days.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Girl Time!

The day before Halloween, we had our very first visit to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden NJ (near Philadelphia). We went with their favorite Aunt Becky. We arrived soon after it opened that morning. The Aquarium was empty when we arrived. Everyone had a great time!

On our way home, we had a YUMMY lunch at Rembrandt's in downtown Philadelphia near the Art Museum. Rembrandt's has been around for over 20 years. It's well known for it's awesome burgers which Becky and I devoured. Sydney's mac-n-cheese was [artery clogging] "to die for"!

 Aunt Becky holding Sophia and Sydney.

They have a wonderful live shark exhibit.

Sydney... the girl who loves turtles!

Sophia with her new (stuffed) baby harp seal and good old "Uno" (the cat).

Philadelphia skyline in the background across the Delaware River.


Monday, October 26, 2009

{Not So Scary} Monster Mash


On Friday night, the Please Touch Museum (formerly known as Memorial Hall) in Fairmont Park Philadelphia had a MONSTER MASH for members of the museum. Sophia, my 2 yr old, went as Disney's Princess Aurora (in pink) and Sydney , my 3 yr old, went as Disney's Princess Belle (in golden yellow)... although she preferred to be called QUEEN Belle! It was a fun night of dinner, dancing, exhibits and a "trick-or-treat" treasure hunt. Sydney had more fun checking out all the cool costumes the kids were wearing. Sophia liked the music and dancing. The girls were mellow because they missed their naps (wish I could have a do-over because my girls don't have much energy after 6pm without a nap!).

The girls made the the 10 o'clock Philadelphia Fox News later that night [the news clip is at the very end of the video clip below... it's a 3 minute video so you may want to FF to the end of the video :) ]

Video of Sophia {Princess Aurora} Dancing to Ghostbusters:

Sydney was Princess Belle and Sophia was Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty):

Philadelphia SEPTA Bus Exhibit:
CHECK OUT THE SHOES!! (they light up too)

Metrorail train exhibit (nicer then the Philly trains!!):

Pretty Backhoe Operator:

Beautiful Mechanic:

What girl doesn't like to Shop... the only time "no nap" wasn't noticeable :)

My "Victorian" Queen costume which looked more like a Maid of Milking! Ha!! Only half of the parents dressed up... I couldn't wait to get my costume off. I'm not much of a costume person.

Carousel ride:

Leaving the Museum:

We were the last ones to leave the museum that night. We were also the last one's to eat before the cafeteria doors closed. What a fun night!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I'm a Turtle

A couple of minutes ago, Bob was getting the girls ready for a bath. Sydney was on the toilet... she pulled the toilet seat down on top of her back and said "I'm a Turtle".

Monday, October 19, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake!

Sydney and Sophia cannot resist a yummy dessert when we are dining-out. Sydney is known to clean her plate no matter how big the dessert!  They both love baking at home..... especially when it's cake, cupcakes or cookies with ICING and SPRINKLES!

Sydney celebrating her 3rd Birthday on the Disney Cruise:

Sydney (3 years) @ Marly's BYO Phoenixville PA... sampling each dessert with Aunt Becky & Mommy:

Sydney (3 yrs) and Sophia (2 yrs) @ Basta Pasta in Skippack PA: ICE CREAM!!

Sydney and Sophia @ Bucca's: Cheesecake!!!

Sydney and Sophia @ Inn at St. Peters, St Peters Village PA: ICE CREAM with fresh berries for Sophia....

Apple Tart with Ice Cream & whip cream for Sydney....
and yes, she ate the whole thing...

Baking Apple pie's or tarts (???) with no recipe ;) @ HOME in the kitchen:

Finished product.... a Cinnamon Apple thing with ice cream....
You are (both) the apple of my eye!! I love you... and love that you enjoy food as much as Mama!!
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