Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Nick and Catie are 4!

I've always wanted to dress Catie and Nick as Mickey and Minnie Mouse for Halloween, and since we went to Disneyland recently and this is probably the last year I'll be able to choose their costumes for them, this is the year. And, since I'm always looking for a way to make the most of every purchase, we had a Mickey and Minnie birthday party too. :)
It started that morning as the kids came downstairs to a house decorated for the party. They each opened up a present with a toy that they could play with during the party (a Mickey Mouse playhouse for Nick and a Melissa & Doug wooden birthday cake for Catie.)
At 10 o'clock we greeted 8 other 3 and 4 year-olds and their parents (plus 2 babies.) It was a full and noisy house!
After about a half an hour of playing, we corralled everyone together for a game of pin the tail on Pluto.
I realized too late that I should have practiced with Catie and Nick. They wanted to go first, but they had no idea what the game was about. There were only a couple of the kids who had played pin the tail on the donkey before, but it was entertaining! :)
After that, Catie threw a fit because I wouldn't let her open her prize from pin the tail on Pluto (a stamp set.) I had to take the birthday girl upstairs for a little time-out.
Crisis averted, we moved on to the pinata. I'm not going to post pictures because 1) they aren't that great and 2) I'm not sure if the other parents want their kids pictures on the Internet. Anyway, it was fun. It was a "safe" pinata where the whole thing has a cardboard shell and the bottom is made of tissue paper. There are a bunch of ribbons hanging on the bottom and one of them when a kid pulls it, will pull that tissue paper off. Catie was not shy about grabbing 2 or 3 times as much candy as the rest of the kids. That's my girl. :)
After the pinata chaos, it was time for lunch. I served chili, hot dogs, fruit kabobs, Mickey shaped cheese (you can buy it pre-cut in Mickey heads) with crackers, and veggies with dip. It was a big hit. I even found Donald Duck orange juice at the store earlier this week.
Not to be outdone, Nicky had a minor meltdown at lunch. First when he didn't get to sit in the chair he wanted and then when he spilled his juice. (I'll be the first to admit that ten 3 and 4 year olds in a fairly unstructured environment can be pretty overwhelming!)
Cake time! Not one to give up tradition, I made their cakes again this year, but I cheated. :) The toppers are painted Styrofoam.

Catie was so cute when we were singing happy birthday. She sang along and said, "Happy birthday to me!"
After the party, we gave the kids a little time to play with their new toys and settle down, then they went down for a nap.
Later that afternoon, they opened presents from Grandma and Grandpa Herzog and Uncle Rusty and Aunt Brittany while we were on the phone with Grandma.
After dinner, we webcammed with Grandma and Grandpa Phelps and opened the presents from them.
Thank you to everyone for your birthday wishes and presents. It was a great day, but I'm glad we only do this once a year! :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Pixar Parade at California Adventure Park

Monster's Inc.

The Incredibles

Finding Nemo

A Bug's Life
This parade included lots of water. The caterpillar in the picture above is holding flower that sprayed water at the audience. I spent a lot of the parade holding my camera away from things that I thought would shoot water.

Some of the floats had people doing acrobatics. These guys were spinning all around the poles while the poles themselves were swinging back and forth.

Toy Story
See the cowgirl spinning on the bar in Rex's mouth?

Celebrate: A Street Party at Disneyland
This parade was different. They actually stopped the whole thing at three different points on the route and had an interactive street party. We were lucky enough to choose the perfect spot right where the main float stopped.

There were lots of people performing as well as the characters.
You can kind of see the people riding bikes with large baskets on the back. The costumed characters rode in the back when the parade was moving.
The parade was tons of fun. It was hard to take good pictures though because it was dark and everything was moving so quickly.

We had so much fun at Disneyland! Thanks for letting me relive it here on the blog. :) Hope you enjoyed seeing the pictures!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Toon Town

There were lots of hidden surprises around Toon Town. Here's Grandma showing Nick what happens when you try to open this door.

And here's Nick running away because it made a loud noise. :)

This manhole made noises like someone was under there.

There were lots of different cars to sit in.

Grandma and Catie having a tea party at Minnie's house.

Minnie's voice would come out of this well every minute or so, saying little phrases about wishes and such.
There were little plates to stomp on around the fountain with musical instruments on them that would make that instrument make a sound.

Catie's dog tired at Mickey's house.
A second visit with the Mouse resulted in a much better picture. :)

See ya!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Princess Fantasy Walk

One day at Disneyland, Catie and I spent 45 minutes waiting in line while everyone else rode the train around the park. It was so worth it, because we got to meet three princesses. :)

These were the A-game princesses too. They were all totally patient with my little chatterbox. She told all three of them one of her endless, pointless "stories" and they all three listened and asked her questions. She loved it.

Here she is telling a story to Belle:

And here she is telling a story to Cinderella:

She was so happy to talk to Ariel. At the end she asked Ariel to sing, and since I'm sure she's not supposed to sing Ariel said, "Yes, I love to sing; I sing all the time, especially at Sebastian's concerts." Catie was so charmed by her she didn't even realize that Ariel had dodged her request.
Isn't she precious?

What a fun memory to share with Catie!

I have two more sets of pictures to share. Sorry for the break this week; I was taking care of our MOPS meeting which was today and went very well. :)

One more note about these pictures. Can you tell how hot Catie is? Have I mentioned that while we were there LA had it's hottest day ever, EVER? As in, this is the hottest it's ever been since they started recording temperatures. 114 degrees! We just baked. And sucked down $4 drinks.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

More Disney Fun: Rides

We didn't ride the Ferris wheel (do you see how the cars spin around as the wheel turns? No thank you.) but it did make a great backdrop to the California Adventure park. I took this second picture as we were waiting for the nightly show "World of Color," which was pretty cool, but I didn't take any photos.
This is the carousel in the middle of Fantasyland, the first ride of the trip.

King Arthur's sword is in front of the carousel.

I love It's a Small World. Mainly because it has a short line and it's well air conditioned.

Recently, the ride was renovated to include Disney characters. Here's Alice and the White Rabbit in England.
And Pinocchio in Germany.
They also had Jasmine and Aladdin, Lilo and Stitch, Ariel and Flounder, Nemo and Dory, Woody Bullseye and Jessie, and some others that aren't coming to mind right now. You get the idea.

Here's another carousel; this one is King Triton's, so it's a sea theme.

California Adventure park has a little kids section fashioned after A Bug's Life. It's really cute and well done. Everything is made to look like you're a bug, huge cereal box entrance, a leaky water pipe play area, etc.

Here I am with the kids before the ladybug ride (basically the teacup ride.) I'm pretty sure that afterwords I was as green as my shirt.
The kids loved riding the rides that told a story. Here they are "eating honey" after riding the Winnie the Pooh ride.

On our last day, Catie was pretty sick with a cold. I took her back to the hotel for a nap, and everyone else stayed at the park to play. They rode this pirate ship around the canal in Frontierland.
Obviously, I don't have pictures of all the rides that we went on. Catie and Nick were fearless, though. We rode on pretty much every ride that didn't have a height restriction. Actually, we rode a few that did have height restrictions. (They're getting so tall!)
Like I said before, they loved the rides with stories like Peter Pan's flight, Pinocchio, and the 2000 leagues under the sea ride which has been redone with a Finding Nemo storyline. Catie asked to ride It's a Small World again, and as soon as we finished the Buzz Lightyear ride Nick asked to ride again. I hope they remember some of this trip. It was so fun to see them enjoy it so much.
I still have lots of pictures to come...