Dennie Kids: February 28, 2011

Baker in training!
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)
  • School morning for Reagan and her and Dad made it nearly on time.  Meanwhile, back at home, the boys, Campbell and Mom cleaned upstairs and half of them even put on clothes
  • Anderson cried (real tears) when he realized that Grannymom’s cake was gone and he couldn’t have any for breakfast (it has been gone for days).  Mom thought fairly quick and everyone made tiny individual cakes and that topped with a spoonful of icing dried up his tears
  • The boys seemed to be obsessed with puzzles and games when Reagan is gone.  This is fairly hard for Mom because she had to corral Campbell so she doesn’t eat their pieces.  We worked puzzles, built a lincoln log cabin, played dominoes and another game.  They finally sat down to watch a movie as Reagan and Dad came in.
  • Reagan had been waiting for weeks to see a new Mickey Mouse show and it was finally on today.  As soon as she came in, she watched her movie while Campbell supervised Mom making lunch.
  • Campbell has been a fussy little girl today-when she doesn’t get her way, she has arched her back and had an all out fit.  Poor thing-too bad no one seems to notice when this happens.  She got so hot once today that Mom thought she would have a heat stroke!
  • We reviewed our Cubbie verses, read a story, worked on workbooks and Reagan’s reading before naptime.  Mom had Reagan and Anderson get up early so they could make one of the recipes that Reagan had picked out from her cookbook.  We made homemade bread with honey butter.  Thankfully, it turned out-Mom was sweating the yeast stuff.
  • Graham woke up in time to stir up the butter and after Campbell had a bite, she was quick to show Dad where it was and point and grunt until she was given another taste.  Everyone ate up their spaghetti and then were pleased to eat the bread they had worked so hard on.
  • Next up was a quick grocery store run.  We had been out of bread for days…probably a week.  Reagan was so happy that we were buying some.  Everyone else was happy because they had a cookie in their hand from the sample box.  We rushed through the story trying to finish before the cookies were gone but we didn’t make it!

Dennie Kids: February 27, 2011

Assume the Television Watching Position!
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)
  • Church morning and we are still surviving without bread so making the standard toast and jelly does get a little bit complicated.  We survived and didn’t even have to stop at Burger King
  • We were running late to church but made it before the service started and Reagan sat quietly as always and finally started drawing the flags from Mom’s bracelet
  • Graham’s class was were Mom and Dad were this morning and that was a pretty wild class with only 9 in there.  We were glad when the last parents came….a little after 12:15!
  • Then straight to Grannymom and Grandpa’s house for lunch.  The highlight for the big kids was watching Grannymom’s birthday windmill spin quickly in the breeze.  Campbell did knock her plate on the floor when she saw Mom didn’t have her juice and only had Graham juice.  It was as accident but Mom quickly found her something to drink
  • Everyone had a chance to swing and then we all came home for naps.  Sundays most be hard because Reagan and Anderson fell asleep this afternoon.  Of course, Mom had to start waking everyone up at 4, changing clothes and rushing around.  We did managed to get everyone changed and downstairs for a snack by 4:24.  That is 4 minutes per person-not bad!  Of course, a few of the kids looked like they had only 4 minutes spent on them!
  • We skipped out on big church and swung by Taco Bell for supper.  The kids gobbled up their cheese roll ups and then helped clean.  Mom and Dad worked on putting the carpet back down in the den (hopefully, there isn’t another downpour tonight).  Then we moved upstairs to pick up (the house was a wreck).  If Graham or Anderson has a small task they can do it.  But Anderson is worthless when it comes to picking up if the room is trashed.  Mom has to tell him exactly what to do: pick up the dishes, put them in the box, stand up….makes her crazy!
  • A movie before bed-even though it was already late.  Mom made the mistake of mentioning bunk beds for the boys soon and that opened up and long discussion.  Anderson wanted to make sure he would sleep on the top, Graham said he was going to sleep on the bottom but would call it the top, Reagan said that she would need a new not blue clock for the girls room.  The only way to get Graham to stop talking about it was for Mom to tell him that she was going to buy bunk beds tonight (maybe he will forget…ha!)

Dennie Kids: February 26, 2011

Yummy drink!
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)
  • The kids didn’t seem to know that this morning was Saturday.  They were up and climbing in our bed one after the other before 7
  • Jelly sandwiches, waffles and corn dogs on a stick for breakfast.  Then Graham and Mom snuck out (and I do mean snuck) to meet Nonna at Pennys to do a little bit of shopping.  Mom gave Graham a penny as a bribe and on our way home we stopped at Walmart.  We picked up some “candy cereal" (honey nut cheerios) for him along with some other things and he was delighted to “pay” with his money.  The cashier handed him back his “change” after Mom had paid for the rest
  • Back at home, Campbell was snoozing and everyone else was playing in the living room (the den carpet is still damp-eek!)  Mom wasn’t in the mood to make sandwiches for lunch so she made everyone cinnamon toast and it was a delight-such a delight that after seconds there was no more bread left in the kitchen (we can go from 3 loaves to none so quickly)
  • The kids played upstairs until Anderson’s sensor went off and he came downstairs.  His sensor alerted him to Dad and his candy that he had gotten out.  Anderson made sure that everyone knew about the candy so we all ate M&Ms watching a movie until naptime
  • After naptime, Reagan went to Emmie’s birthday party at River City.  Mom forgot her camera but Reagan loved it-climbing, jumping into huge foam pits, swinging on bars, slides with huge drops into the foam pits, trampolines and even dancing.  Reagan decided that she wanted her birthday party there.
  • We picked up the boys, Dad and Campbell and headed to Chick Fil A.  The kids played, ate, played, had their ice cream and then played some more.  Presley and Chase were there also to play-even though the Reagan, Anderson and Graham threesome stuck together. 
  • Back at home it was immediately bedtime for everyone!

Happy Birthday Grannymom: February 25, 2011

Happy Birthday!
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)
  • We had one of the first doctor’s appointments this morning to recheck Campbell’s ears.  Mom had explained multiple times about the proper way to act at the doctors office since she had everyone.  They listened well and were even all 4 sitting in chairs while Mom was sitting in the floor reading a book when Martin walked in.
  • Campbell’s ears, lungs and everything else looked good.  Martin also said that a little saline solution to flush out Graham’s nose would help with his yucky nose issues-I am taking names for any volunteers that would like to help with that!
  • Back at home, the kids played (not yet in the den though since the carpet is still airing out).  This leaves little place to play and little toys to play with but they did great.  After cleaning for a bit, we started working on Grannymom’s cake.  I iced it while the kids picked out the M&M colors-and snacked quite a bit.  They enjoyed helping decorate the cake with the candy and Graham was so proud that he helped and couldn’t wait for Grannymom to see it.
  • We met Noah, Eden, Caroline and Alyssa Kate at First Baptist to play for a bit.  Graham’s rescratched his knee and walked to me with his pants soaking in blood.  Thankfully I had a bandaid and all was well-even though he didn’t even notice his scratch until I put the bandaid on.  Graham thought the whole playdate was just for him because Eden and Caroline are both in his classes.  He told Mom “I played with my friends.  Caroline and Eden played with me"
  • Back at home, Mom promised everyone grilled cheese sandwiches-and then found out that she only had one slice of cheese.  Obviously, that didn’t work out so well and there was tears, gnashing of teeth and a few meetings with the spanking spoon.  Mom improvised with grilled peanut butter and jelly which the kids devoured
  • We played for a few minutes, picked up a tiny bit and then down for naps.  Reagan did her reading book quickly today without much fussing and then her and Anderson played until time for a movie.  Everyone woke up and then we scurried around to get ready for Grannymom’s birthday party
  • After Dad came home, we met Grannymom, Grandpa, Dana, Jenna, Lilly and Cash.  We ate our Mexican food and the kids ate up.  I think Mexican might just be their favorites-especially the smashed beans.  After supper, we all came back to our house for presents and cake.  The kids were pretty proud of the cake.  Afterwards, everyone played upstairs until time for everyone to leave
  • We had our milk, put on pjs, brushed teeth and headed to bed.  The kids had a big day and they all fell asleep pretty quickly

Dennie Kids: February 24, 2011

Cook in training!
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)
  • School day and the boys were up by 6:45.  Dad still had to wake Reagan up to get ready.  Quickly dressed and then breakfast on the couch and a quick Disney tv show
  • Graham is still waiting to get his special gift from Grannymom for not fussing when he goes into class; Dad really thought he was going to do it today but at the last minute turned on the big fuss; Campbell goes in fine and Mom has no trouble dropping Reagan and Anderson
  • Reagan was excited to take a 'transportation' item to class today - they were discussing different forms of transportation and were to big an object and let people guess the form of transportation.  Having recently returned from Las Vegas and Disney, Reagan thought of her monorail rides so she borrowed Anderson's monorail.  She said her item was the only one not guessed by classmates.
  • Grannymom and Grandpa picked up Reagan & Anderson for an afternoon of playing and snacks
  • Mom hurried to get Campbell and Graham before the storms set in; picked up the big kids and made it home before the rain
  • Mom did a little baking, with lots of help from the kids, in anticipation of Grannymom's birthday tomorrow 
  • The tornado sirens provided a little excitement around the house - Mom gathered the pillows and the kids to head to the bottom of the stairs; Reagan was so motherly to Graham assuring that it would be okay because they done this before with Dad. Campbell did have to be woken up for the sheltering.  The storm quickly passed and soon Dad had it made it home from work and a mess....
  • Anderson discovered the water had returned to the den (with the heavier thunderstorms) when his pants become wet while playing in the den.  Dad figured his drenching had got filled up so he got the hoe and cleared it out; but not before the corner part of the den got fairly wet.  He pulled up the carpet and carpet pad and set the fan out for overnight drying.  Concrete is dry now but still waiting for the carpet to dry
  • Mom decided to ESCAPE - well, she already had plans for another night of Bunko; kids had snacks and a few movies before it was time to brush teeth, potty and make it to bed
  • No fussing tonight - kind of funny when Mom is gone and everyone goes to bed without calls for Mom or Dad to return upstairs; or maybe they are just worn out from school 

Dennie Kids: February 23, 2011

Artist in training!
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)
  • The kids went to Grannymom’s house this morning.  They enjoyed riding bikes and Reagan, the artist, was just getting into the sidewalk chalk when Mom came to pick everyone up. 
  • Back at home, she decided she still needed to draw some more and worked more on her artwork-she is drawing a comic strip (I guess that is what you would call it) of her Jake and the Pirate show.  Reagan had already finished coloring and was long gone when Mom discovered that Graham was still sitting at the table coloring away.  When it comes to coloring, his attention span is crazy large.
  • Before too long Dad was home for lunch and decided to cut Anderson’s hair.  He needed a trim and Graham had gotten one the other day.  They are both getting so good about getting their haircut-Graham was so still the other day and kept his mouth closed and didn’t get any hair in his mouth (a first)
  • After Anderson’s hair, he had a bath and Graham decided to join him.  Meanwhile, Reagan was downstairs picking up recipes she wanted to cook from her cookbook.  Last time we looked at one, she couldn’t find anything to make but this time she found at least 20.  Campbell spent her time eating her grilled cheese sandwich. 
  • Everyone soon joined Campbell and Mom even had to cook another grilled cheese-5 sandwiches for 4 kids.  They even wanted Mom to make more-but she distracted them with cookies!
  • We then read a few stories, worked on our letter U (Mom decided to make an umpire but is afraid that he will look more like an inmate), Reagan did her reading (and read her longest word yet-fishing) and then finally it was naptime.
  • Reagan and Anderson had a turn on the treadmill after Mom finished and even missed Grannymom and Lilly ringing the doorbell.  Dad was able to make it home in time to go to church with us, so we scrambled around and made it to the van just in time.
  • Reagan walked Graham into class tonight and he didn’t fuss at all and he even pottied.  Reagan and Anderson had a good time and are both so good at saying their verses-maybe because they get a snack after saying their verses!

Dennie Kids: February 22, 2011

Two Future Cooks int he kitchen!
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)
  • School morning today and we even got up early enough for everyone to watch Jake and the Pirates-the new tv show obsession.  Mom has been trying to convince someone to have a pirate themed birthday party but she has gotten no takers
  • Anderson and Reagan walked right in to their class.  Campbell smiled when she saw Ms. Clarice and poor Graham, well he didn’t do too well.  When Mom picked him up, he told her “I no get special treat, maybe next time, I fuss today”-Grannymom mentioned having a special treat for him if he didn’t fuss.  She better have it ready because he will plan on picking it up the first day he doesn’t fuss!
  • Reagan and Anderson spending the afternoon with Nonna and her neighbors.  They played so hard that Anderson had holes in both of his knees-big old holes.  Mom finally knows what all of these other mothers always talk about their boys not being able to have nice pants
  • Back at home, Graham got a haircut and then a bath and even walked some on the treadmill while Campbell had her nap.  He then anxiously awaited Pops to come over and see him.  Nonna and Pops came by and dropped off a few lollipops from Beebee and Papaw
  • We played around while the manicotti cooked and then the highlight of the meal was girl scout cookies!  The kids cleaned their plates in hopes that they would get lots of cookies.  And they did-Campbell probably ate the most because she stayed at the table eating everyone’s crumbs
  • The kids played until Dad mentioned watching our trip pictures on the tv and they all came and sat on the couch for awhile until they lost interest.  Soon it was bedtime and everyone to went to bed quietly except for one-you guess who!

Dennie Kids: February 21, 2011

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)
  • Dad took Reagan to school today (and Mom forgot to have her wear her “Reagan for President” shirt on President’s Day)  She made a last minute pick to take a candy box instead of a chip box since they are learning about the letter x and needed to bring a box
  • Back at home, the boys and Campbell played upstairs while Mom tried to clean.  Then everyone headed downstairs for breakfast.  After breakfast, Graham wanted to play with the fuzzoodles so they sat at the table and worked on those for a long while.  Next up was writing with Mom’s pens.  Campbell even had a few crayons to eat.
  • Candyland Castle was the next item on the agenda.  The boys played very well together-so well that Mom was able to sweep while they played.  Campbell took a nap and the boys decided to play another game: Candyland.  This was Graham’s first time to play and probably Anderson’s first time to actually finish the game.  Mom couldn’t believe it.  They did great (with lots of help and redirection from Mom)
  • By this time, Dad arrived home from the doctor (bronchitis and a broken wrist) and also dropped off the van back at the shop.  Grannymom and Grandpa brought Dad back from the car shop and when they left, they took Anderson for a spin around the block.  Mom left with Graham to pick up Reagan and meanwhile, Anderson helped Dad fix the mini fridge and even got to use the drill-oh, what fun!
  • When Mom picked up Reagan, Ms. Stacy tried to put Carter in the car.  He looked nice enough and Mom was willing to take him.  Ms. Stacy had also seen Reagan on the news the other night.  Anyway, as soon as Reagan got in the car and saw Graham, she said “is Anderson sick?”  Thought that was a funny question. 
  • Back at home, everyone had lunch and then lots of playtime and more fuzzoodle playing.  Soon it was naptime and everyone took a good rest.  Dad even commented about how well Mom has Anderson and Reagan trained to stay in their room for well over an hour
  • When everyone woke up, they had their snack which Mom had laid out for them (she had made cookies for ill Dad).  Anderson asked if Mom made them all by herself-she did.  After a few movies it was supper time and Bunko time for Mom. 
  • Reagan worked on her drawing of Jake and the Pirates-amazing recall of details.  Campbell spent her time trying to pull down the lamp while the boys played and played (which means made a mess!)

Dennie Kids: February 20, 2011

Yes, it really is a grin :)
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)
  • We were moving along pretty well for a Sunday morning-until Mom decided that we all needed our monthly baths.  Dad suggested showers and we were in and out in no time.  Still that left us with no time for breakfast so we swung by Burger King for cinna minis.  Campbell was adamant that she was given some too-she ate 2 and could have eaten more if Mom hadn’t eaten them
  • Graham had to be drug into his class this morning but everyone else just waltzed in.  Mom and Dad were in Anderson’s class and he was delighted.  When Campbell came in she was happy to see all of the chairs and made herself busy climbing in and out of them
  • Lunch at Nonnas house but Anderson could barely eat at all because all he was thinking of was going over to Beebee’s house and getting some candy from Papaw.  Papaw remembered that Anderson wanted a lollipop and bought him some.  The kids came back and sat in the kitchen and ate their lollipop and were soon asking for more (Mom said no)
  • Back at home it was naptime.  Campbell slept well, Graham didn’t, Anderson and Reagan played until it was time to get ready for church.  Dad dropped everyone off and a few hours later, he snuck out of church to pick them back up.
  • 5+ hours at church and 2 hours at Nonnas makes for sleepy kids!

Dennie Kids: February 19, 2011

Fun Night at the Winter Festival!
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)
  • In the middle of the night, Graham woke up a few times crying about his ear.  And because of his hoarse voice and runny nose yesterday, we decided to take him to the doctor at 8.  We didn’t have to wait long at the Saturday clinic last time since we were there when it opened.  And I didn’t worry about the alarm because I knew we would be up in plenty of time.
  • We woke up and looked at the clock and it was already after 8.  We haven’t slept that long in years-probably 5 years 5 months and 7 days to be exact.  Anyway, Graham and I were leaving for the doctor when Anderson stirred first and then Campbell. 
  • At the doctor, Graham was a perfect boy and sat in my lap the whole time in the waiting room (which I was thankful for because one girl had the flu and another threw up practically on our shoes)  Surprisingly, he got the all clear for his ears.  She said one was a tiny bit pink at the bottom but good.  Good news, I guess (doesn’t explain what was wrong with him last night)
  • Back at home, Anderson and Graham devoured most of the leftover cinnamon rolls and Campbell and Reagan chose jelly toast (weirdos!)    Everyone played for awhile and then it was time to run a few errands. 
  • We went to the post office, Burger King and a few other places.  The kids each had a turn getting out of the car but when it came time for Reagan and even Anderson to get out they didn’t want to miss any of their movie.  The kids had fries and some drink-a week ago today we were at the Reagan library, the beach and Disneyland-but the kids still had fun today
  • Back at home, Dad ran to take the van to the shop.  I can’t just drop him off and us all head home in the van since there would be no place to sit.  So Grandpa gave Dad a ride and then Grannymom and Grandpa came over for a few minutes.  Everyone played outside while Grandpa worked on the fence and then Grannymom even stayed and enjoyed a cinnamon roll (the kids had ice cream and Anderson even had one last cinnamon roll)
  • Soon it was naptime.  It was oddly quiet in Reagan and Anderson’s room.  Anderson had fallen asleep and Reagan had a big time playing with her dollhouse.  She must play but always keep one eye on the clock because she knew the second it turned to 4 (the time I had told her she could get up)
  • Dad picked up the van (new tires but couldn't fix the air until a part on Monday)  We then headed out to the Lantern Festival at Wildwood.  The kids were given glosticks as we walked in and they were delighted.  We could have gone home then and they would have been completely happy.  Every so often there were countries to visit-we had hot dogs from Germany, egg rolls from Asia, taquitos and churros from Mexico, cheesecake from Venice.  There was music and Campbell really enjoyed the music in Germany-tuba and accordion.  The kids even got to take part in making a sand picture and a karate demonstration in Asia. 
  • Were you watching channel 7 news tonight?  You would have seen Reagan breaking a board at the Wildwood Festival.  Graham was behind her and Anderson was in the background with his green plaid coat on.  We will add a link if we find one.

Dennie Kids: February 18, 2011

We love when friends
come to visit!
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)
  • We were up and moving early this morning but we didn’t make it downstairs for breakfast until after 9.  Graham had already heard talk about cinnamon rolls and wanted them for breakfast-I had to show him the dough in the fridge and explain that we still had to make them.
  • The kids played in the den-it was a mess and couldn’t get much worse.  I worked in the kitchen while refereeing their arguments.  Tattling has gotten to be very big around here.  Graham even tattles-it is kind of cute when he does it-but maddening when everyone else does
  • Nonna came over for a bit while I cleaned and ran to work for a few minutes.  When I made it home, it was time for lunch.  The kids devoured Nonna’s fruit and Campbell really liked her strawberries (she didn’t eat them last time)
  • After lunch, I loaded everyone into the car and ran to Sams to buy a few gallons of milk.  Nonna stayed in the car with the kids while I ran in and grabbed my 8 gallons and a bunch of bananas
  • Back at home, it was rest time and you know people are tired when Graham was asking to go to bed.  I had Reagan read for Nonna and it didn’t go so well.  She almost hyperventilated!  Quite frustrating for me since she just read the same thing yesterday-I guess having an audience put her over the edge.
  • Everyone rested and then woke up for a snack or two while watching a movie.  Later, Anderson was playing in the den and looked up and said “I think someone’s here.”  Sure enough Jacob and Ethan were here and soon Kennedy, Camryn and Laynie arrived. 
  • The kids had a blast playing together.  The girls split up and the boys do as well.  Except that Anderson would rather play with the girls so he gets his feeling hurt when they don’t want to play.  But they all still had fun.  Campbell entertained Reagan, Kennedy and Camryn by stealing their drinks and eating their food.  They thought that was hysterical. 
  • After everyone left, we made everyone pick up and everyone made it to bed by 10.  I think they are exhausted.

Dennie Kids: February 17, 2011

Belated Valentine's!
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)
  • The kids haven’t really adjusted back to waking before 7 so we are still sleeping in-this morning Robby’s alarm clock started waking us up.  The kids got ready fairly well and we even had time for a little bit of breakfast
  • Graham didn’t do too well at dropoff-there was kicking and screaming and just plain going nuts.  Campbell did great as well as Anderson and Reagan.  Anderson said a few times on the way to school that he hoped Ms. Wendolyn would be back and she was.  He had a big smile on his face when he saw her.
  • Graham had a big day at school-painting, playing outside.  But when Mom picked him us the first thing he said  was “I didn’t get my valentines”  You should have seen his face when I opened up his bag and showed him that it was stuffed full of valentines. 
  • Reagan and Anderson had a big time at Grannymom’s house after school.  They went on a few walks, chalked the entire driveway, rode bikes and even colored.  Mom didn’t have to beg too hard for everyone to come home since she mentioned that had their valentines to go through
  • Once at home, I let everyone open up their bags and eat up.  Seriously, I opened up every piece of candy that asked for.  I even heard the term “greatest mom ever” being tossed around.  They ate until I thought Reagan was going to be sick.  They loved reading their cards but especially loved their candy.
  • Dad made it home and we ate supper and then everyone played in the den until bedtime.  Seems like everyone fell asleep fairly quickly-still tired from our trip (at least Mom and Dad are still tired)

Dennie Kids: February 16, 2011

Sometimes you make up
your own games!
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)
  • The kids went to bed last night without much of a problem (even though they were on Pacific time and it was two hours earlier).  And then they even slept until after 7-oh, how wonderful it was. 
  • Before long, everyone was playing in Graham’s room and I started on the mounds and mounds of laundry.  Campbell played as long as she could and then she was ready to eat. 
  • Downstairs we made our 8 slices of toast-1 for me, 2 for Reagan, Anderson and Graham and 1 for Campbell plus she had all of the leftovers.  Then everyone moved to the den and started playing there.  The kids were pretty calm most of the morning but it didn’t take much for everyone to get fussy when the tiredness kicked in.
  • Reagan and Anderson worked on putting an animal/toy by each letter of their alphabet puzzle.  Anderson stuck with it for awhile but Reagan finished even though it took her forever-had to make horns to make a sheep into a goat, had to make a crown to make a doll into a queen-it was quite a project
  • Nonna came by this morning and everyone enjoyed playing with her.  Campbell was so happy to see her when she woke up.  Nonna brought Nutella and some fruit for lunch and the Nutella was a big hit-especially with Campbell.  Nonna even stuck around for bathtime.
  • Next up was workbooks for Anderson and Reagan while Campbell slept and Graham continuously crawled out of his bed.  He finally went to sleep after a good meeting with the spanking spoon. 
  • Soon it was time to rush around and get ready for church.  The kids were excited to see Pops.  And Graham was excited to see Cubbie bear-and it just so happened that Cubbie said hi to Graham.  And it just so happened that Reagan said Cubbie sounded alot like Robby tonight

I Not on a Trip Anymore: February 15, 2011

Headed home after 2580 flight miles
and 910 driving miles!
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

We knew the alarm would sound early and it surely did.  We were able to get everyone ready, zip up the last few things and load the car in about 45 minutes.  We even drank a few juice boxes and grabbed some muffins from the hotel breakfast.  The muffins must have been pretty good because they devoured them before we made it to the airport-and that was pretty impressive since we were at the airport as soon as we left the hotel parking lot!

Robby dropped us off and we sat inside and watched the bags go down the conveyor belt and we even had another juice box to drink.  I had bought too many and had some left and was afraid to put them in my suitcase and couldn’t take them on our carryon.  Robby was back in no time and we ventured towards security.  Security is the most stressful part of traveling but since the kids are getting bigger it is becoming easier.  They all put their shoes in the bin and Reagan was responsible for the shoe bin, Anderson pushed one bin with a computer and Graham pushed another and they all worked at pushing the other luggage through.  I then walked everyone through the scanner thing as Robby finished taking down strollers and pushing everything threw.  I turned around to see the security lady talking to him and it turns out that she was complimenting him.  She said that most fathers they see don’t help their wives and it was nice to see.  Seriously though, how could he not help-4 kids, 2 strollers, 6 bags, 1 bin of shoes, 1 of medicines/Campbell’s milk and 2 more filled with computers.  I still wonder why people sigh when they get behind us in the security line!  Ha!

The gate was right there and we were there in time to look out the window, potty, take all of our toys out, go on a walk and even have a snack of pretzels.  Campbell was busy crawling off but Robby shook the bag of pretzels at her and she came back as quick as she could.  We boarded the plane and had the same seats as last time-the very, very back. 

The girls sat with me and the boys with Robby.  Campbell was very squirmy and almost impossible to hold.  I finally buckled her in the seat next to us and was able to get our candy necklaces out.  I had the stuff to make candy necklaces on our trip there but never had the chance so we made them today.  Anderson did his without any problem, I made Graham’s for him and Reagan made hers but then her pattern didn’t end right so she started over.  Then when she handed it over to Robby to tie, he dropped it.  Fortunately, I had another one so she was able to make hers-just took 3 tries. 

Next up were drinks and snacks.  And Graham managed to spills his-even with a lid on it.  Poor boy was drenched and all he could say was “sorry mommy”  His pants were pretty quick drying so he dried off nicely and I gave him some of my drink.  The snacks were plentiful and Robby just sat Campbell on the floor and she sat there and ate hers.  Reagan worked a few puzzles and Campbell finally went to sleep.  Before long, we were beginning our descent when Graham started screaming “I see Little Rock, I see Little Rock.”  And by the end of the evening he was just saying, "I not on a trip anymore."

Grandpa was there to pick us up and we were glad to see him and we were also glad to see all of our suitcases/carseats.  We loaded down the car-let’s just say it was loaded down with stuff-I couldn’t even put my feet on the floor.  We dropped Grandpa off at his house and shoved the kids out too and drove away quickly!  Robby and I were able to unpack and start the laundry before he ran to buy some milk and I went to pick the kids back up.

They had a blast playing with Grannymom, Grandpa and Cash.  And no one was too happy when I said it was time to go home.   Robby got home about the same time that we did and we ate our pizza and then all headed outside to play.  Campbell enjoyed her swing, Graham was happy wondering around and Reagan and Anderson spent their time gathering pinecones (which they called Racoons since they couldn’t remember the word pinecone) and then putting them up in the treehouse.  Robby read the paper and I well, I plotted about how to get rid of the dog!

Back inside the kids put on pajamas and watched a movie.  Graham came downstairs and sat by me and Robby and before long his eyes were closed.  After putting him in bed, I picked up Campbell and she laid her head down so to bed she went-all before 7.  Reagan and Anderson watched one more movie and then they were off to bed too.

Valentine’s at Disney: February 14, 2011

The boys planning our last day at Disney.
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

The alarm clock was the first thing making any noise in the hotel room this morning-even though we slept in an hour later than yesterday since the parks were opening later.  We got dressed, packed up and headed over to eat breakfast at the hotel’s continental breakfast.  It was pretty light but the kids enjoyed the powdered donuts, Robby had a cinnamon roll and I had a bagel with cream cheese.  After Robby finished and while the kids were filling up on Fruit Loops, he went to load up the car.  Once he was back we headed across the street to Disneyland.

I can’t explain enough how perfect our hotel is.  Seriously, you walk out of our hotel right to the cross walk which leads to the Disneyland sign.  It was the perfect place.  Anyway, the park opened at 9 and we were at the gates walking through before 9.  We were on Main Street when the dropped the rope and booked it to the Nemo Submarine ride.  We were on the first submarine and Reagan was really into it.  When the lights blinked and it was like the sub was having problems, she looked at me with a slight panic and then smiled realizing it was just pretend.  Graham kept his eyes behind Robby’s back most of the time and Anderson just starred out the window. 

Since the lines were short, the 3 roller coaster riders and Robby rode the Matterhorn again.  But a little before 10, we left Disneyland and walked across the street to California Adventure.  They opened at 10 and we made is just as they were opening at well.  It was pretty cool opening both parks today (it pays to be at places when they open).  We had seen a huge Ferris Wheel last night and wanted to try to ride on it.  When we made it there (and it was a very long walk pushing a 20 pound stroller plus 60-80 pounds of kids).  We were in a crowd of people walking over but they all veered off to the Toy Story ride.  We like that ride and all but it wasn’t worth an hours wait-they don’t have many fast passes here.  When we made it to the Ferris Wheel we weren’t sure if it was open-but sure enough it was.  We were the first ones on it.  It was pretty cool being up so high and seeing the park but the swinging part of the Ferris Wheel was wild.  It wasn’t huge swinging but sometimes we would really swing-enough that I was grabbing for the kids. 

After that there was a fish themed carousel and we rode it.  The carousels must be Campbell’s favorite rides.  She was really putting on a show today during the ride.  We then walked over to the other side of the park to use our Disney Visa card and get a private meet and greet with Disney characters.  At Disneyworld, the meet and greet included Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and Goofy all at once.  So we were talking it up big to the kids and had even told them that Mickey would be there.  When we arrived and turned the corner, we saw who was there-Chip and Dale.  I like Chip and Dale and all but they were not what I was expecting.  Robby and I were pretty disappointed since we had even bypassed Mickey and Minnie yesterday because we would see them today.  But the kids weren’t disappointed at all.  Reagan exclaimed “Chip and Dale!  We have never seen them!” 

We had our pictures made with them and then rode the Monster’s Inc ride again and then made our way back to the other side of the park so Robby could use his fast pass for the super big roller coaster.  I parked the kids where we could see him as he took off-they thought it was really cool.  Well, except for Graham who stood behind me the whole time with his hands covering his ears-he just doesn’t like loud noises at all.  Then we rode the fish carousel one more time and walked back over to Disneyland.  I tell you, I feel like we walked more today before lunch than we did during all of yesterday.

Robby had gotten parent switch thing at the Matterhorne and they did that while Campbell and I sat in the shade.  It was warm in the sun but when we were in the shade, I had to put on my jacket.  Anyway, I saw Robby once on the ride and started looking for the kids to come running back but then I thought I saw Robby flash by again on the ride.  Well, sure enough I did.  They had to do something to their car (probably inspect the brakes! ha!) so they asked if they wanted to ride again and of course they did.  Oh, well, Graham didn’t want to ride again.  Even though he really loved it he kept trying to tell Robby that he wanted off.
Graham must get his skittishness from Anderson.  Anderson would say every time he got off of the roller coaster that it was scary and he didn’t want to do it again but every time he was the first one to push his way into the car.  On the Ferris Wheel, he tried to convince us that he was “scared of heights” and he would scream and fake scream each time our car would swing.  Reagan is my rider.  She is already planning on growing so she can ride on all of the rides.  She has no fears when it comes to rides and would go on anything in a heartbeat. 

We took a picture in front of the castle and then walked by and bought a special Valentine’s day snack-frozen lemonade.  They each had their own so that made it really special.  We just sat on a bench near the front gate and watched everyone stream in (all the while wondering where they had been all morning long).  We then pottied up, walked across the street and hopped in the car for our drive back to Vegas. 
The GPS wasn’t cooperating at first and I just looked at the map and told Robby where to go-thankfully, the GPS came on in time to set us straight.  I did have us going to Phoenix and not Vegas.  I wonder how we ever made it before the GPS.  We drove for quite awhile-probably until about 5 and saw a sign for an In-N-Out Burger.  The plan had been to eat at one in Vegas but that would have made it too late for supper so we stopped there.  Robby had been craving an In-N-Out Burger since we touched down in Vegas so he finally got it and it was the perfect Valentine’s meal.  The kids must know something good because Robby had to buy another burger for them since they devoured theirs. 

Back in the car, we drove without stopping until we made it to Vegas around 7:45.  We filled up the tank, found our hotel which is so close to the airport that I duck every time I hear a plane.  Our room is on the first floor and right by the door-seriously, would could be more perfect.  As Robby and I unpacked, packed and repacked, the kids enjoyed Valentine’s cupcakes.  Anderson said that it was the best Valentine’s ever-cupcakes are the way to the boys heart!  Tomorrow we have an early morning so goodnight!

Disneyland and 26 Rides: February 13, 2011

A Full Cup!
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

(Click here for a video of Reagan & Anderson on Matterhorn)

Anderson needed help with his covers at 5 and Robby and I still felt like we had been hit by a bus and needed many, many more hours of sleep.  But that feeling soon vanished when panic set in because Robby couldn’t find Graham.  He wasn’t in our bed with us (the obvious place to look after the past few nights) and he wasn’t in his sleeping bag….he was finally found, way, way down at the bottom of his sleeping bag.  Everyone slept until we had to wake them up after around 7 to get ready.  They weren’t too interested in getting ready but Grannymom had sent little presents for everyone so that hurried a few up.  They were all delighted to open socks (well, Anderson wasn’t-he said “I didn’t want no socks,” laid them down and crawled back in his sleeping bag).  Graham on the other hand, put his socks on and said that he was going to show them to Tinkerbell.

The park opened at 8 and we were outside of our room around 7:30.  We knew we didn’t have time to eat at the hotel breakfast so Robby just ran down the block to pick up McDonalds.  Once he came back, we rushed to the line to wait for the opening of Disneyland.  I folded everyone’s pancakes and they ate while we strolled/raced to our first stop.

Oh, it so pays to be at the parks when it opens-we had finished riding things 9 times before 9.  We were on the second ride of Dumbo and were able to ride it twice.  Oh, the kids love rides but Campbell is a squirmy little thing on them.  She did enjoy Dumbo probably the best out of all of the rides today.  The next stop was Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.  We all rode it twice and then Reagan and Anderson wanted to do it again.  Graham didn’t because it was pretty noisy so he stayed back with Robby and Campbell.  Next up was Alice in Wonderland followed by the Teacups (I don’t like those but the kids have always wanted to do them). 
My favorite ride today was the Storybook Land.  It is similar to the Jungle Cruise with someone on the boat narrating but it goes through these little miniature villages from stories.  It was so impressive and the plants and mini trees were very interesting.  I could have definitely done it again.  The kids are tall enough to ride the Matterhorn Bobsled (the big 3 kids) and they rode it twice and loved every minute of it.  A Disney person heard Robby and I talking about the line, who to take and all of the other logistics and he offered us a parent switch pass and we saved that baby to use later in the day when the line was crazy long. 

We then opened up Toontown when it opened at 10.  The kids went right to Goofy Go Coaster and rode it 3 times.  Graham really enjoyed this and called it the “chippy roller coaster”-it was near Chip and Dale’s house so maybe that is why.  We then walked through Donald’s boat and Mickey’s house.  I am sure that was had a snack, or two or three sometime by now.  It seemed like all we did was eat today.  I had enough snacks with me but I didn’t have enough drinks (I am bringing an ice chest to Disney in May-somebody remind me).  Robby eventually had to buy a few cokes.  In the sun it was hot today but in the shade it was pleasant.  When you were in the shade you almost needed a light coat.   

We had a fastpass for the Autotopia and since Campbell can’t go on it we had to take turns taking Reagan, Anderson and Graham.  The fastpass cut off some time in the line but not very much so it took at least 30 minutes per ride.  Anderson and Robby were first and Anderson was worried that his car was having problems because it wasn’t going as fast as he thought it should.  Graham and I were next.  That boy stood in line clutching his driver’s license (they had given him one).  He took it all so seriously and really thought he was driving that car.  Reagan and I were next and she had the best time-even though I think she thought it was go carts that we were going to do.  Meanwhile, the boys, Robby and Campbell went to see the Innoventions.  Anderson was chosen from the crowd to play the piano and he must have really gotten in to it.  Later they went to a room to hear someone tell the story of Peter Pan.  Anderson was able to shoot a cannon but Campbell crawled to the front of the stage and just sat there.  She is definitely going to have a stage presence-she was so proud of herself too.

We had a fastpass for the Roger Rabbit ride and used it before heading back to the hotel for lunch and a rest.  It was nearly 1:30 so we were getting tired.  Robby grabbed lunch at Quiznos (oh, it is so nice to have all of these places on the same block-Walt Disney didn’t like the commercialization around Disneyland but I sure do!)  He came back to the room and we ate and then everyone laid down.  Campbell, Dad, Anderson finally and I all took a nap.  Graham was asleep when we came back from the park so he just continued his nap in the stroller.  Reagan never went to sleep but she did help Graham find his foxy and taggie and find his way into my bed when he woke up from the stroller.

Soon everyone was up (except Robby) and going strong.  I went to take a shower and when Robby woke up he couldn’t find me and had to come looking for me.  Reagan knew where I was but he didn’t believe her-he probably thought that I was just continuing my nap on the bathroom floor (trust me, I had thought about it).  We went back to the park a bit before 5.  I just reheated the kids leftover sandwiches from lunch and they ate the on the stroller ride to the park.  Graham immediately said he didn’t want his but I told him to just hold it and when we made it to the park it was gone. 

Back at Disneyland, we first rode the train all around the park.  Then we were off to ride the Matterhorn Bobsled again using our pass.  And let me tell you, the pass really helped.  They were on and off in no time.  We used our last fastpass for the Roger Rabbit ride and then were surprised that the Small World ride had a short line so we did it one last time.  Campbell was all into it tonight.  She clapped, shook her head, waved-she was taking cues from Reagan who was in the front seat singing her heart out. 

We had really finished most of what we wanted to do, so we hopped across the street to California Adventure.  We haven’t been there and didn’t know where we were going and ended up in the middle of crazy loud music, dancing people and almost a bar type scene.  We found the first place we could escape to get a plan and thought we were going to the Monster’s Inc show like at Disneyworld but it was a ride.  We rode it twice and then made our way back through the mosh pit outside and found Flik’s flyers.  They were little hot air balloon swings and the kids loved it.  Right near there was the Ladybugs (another teacup type thing but much faster-bleh!)   We rode it 2 times and they could have gone all night on that-I could not have though!.  Then there were bumper cars and we had to take turns because of Campbell.  Since the park was closing pretty soon I was a little worried that all 3 of our riders would get their turn but they did and everyone was very happy. 

Reagan said that she had a to go the bathroom but there was one ride right next to the others.  I begged her to just wait (I knew she could) and she did so tearfully (don’t feel that bad-keep reading…)  We rode the last ride in the area-the Catepillar and Reagan had so much fun on it that she wanted to ride it again (see, she didn’t have to go that badly).  By now it was 9 and the park was closing but we still had one more stop to make-the bathroom.  We then walked by the World of Color presentation but pressed  on since Robby had promised everyone ice cream.

We finally found our way out of the park and since Cold Stone is right beside our hotel, we thought we deserved a treat.  The kids are tired so that explains what Reagan was mad she didn’t get her own, Anderson was mad he didn’t get blue and then was mad that he didn’t get chocolate (but never asked to switch) and Graham was made when I switched his with Anderson’s ice cream.  That was fine with me and Robby-we ended up eating most of theirs.  They were all fine and happy when they got back to the room and had their milk and a cookie.  It didn’t take long for everyone to fall asleep and hopefully, we will have another restful night.

Simi Valley to Anaheim with a stop at the Beach: February 12, 2011

Boarding Air Force One!
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)
(click here for Campbell's video of 1st time in the Pacific Ocean)
(click here for larger Air Force One photo)
Sometime in the middle of the night, Graham found his way to our bed through the huge hotel room.  He was standing there with his taggie, foxy and huge pillow.  Every time he comes to our bed, he brings more stuff.  Tonight he will probably bring his sleeping bag too.  I think it was around 2 when he showed up but am not really sure.  Everyone slept until a little after 7.  When Robby told the kids that they had a big breakfast downstairs, it didn’t take long to get clothes on and teeth brushed.

Robby and I liked the omelets, the boys and Campbell liked the waffles and Reagan like the rice krispies.  We ate and ate and then we even ate some more while Robby went to load the car.  Hopefully, we didn’t leave too much in the hotel room-I trusted the kids to do a search under the furniture for their toys.  I usually double check but haven’t heard of anything that is missing-yet!  We had about a 45 minute drive to Simi Valley and Reagan’s Presidential Library.  They opened at 10 and we were a bit early and the crowds had arrived.  The library had been closed and just opened within the last few weeks-they have redone everything.  The kids thought it was funny that we were going to “Reagan’s library."  Someone even said “Reagan has a library just like Lilly has a park”-we call the park in Lilly’s neighborhood “Lilly’s park.”  They heard us saying “Ronald Reagan” so then they all started saying “Ronald Graham, Ronald Anderson, Ronald Campbell.”  They didn’t understand that Ronald was Reagan’s (the presidents) first name.

We toured the library and Robby, Anderson and Reagan even acted like they were in a movie with Reagan.  We all took turns speaking at the presidential podium and even riding horses with Reagan.  But the highlight was seeing Air Force One.  All Anderson could think about through the entire library was seeing the plane.  He asked in every room we came too if they plane was in that room.  We boarded the plane and the photographer took our picture-and it was so good that we even bought one.  Anderson was very interested in everything about the plane.  If I remember right that plane served 5 presidents and the latest was W.  The plane didn’t seem that big-I had always imagined Air Force One being huge (the current one is 3 times the size of the one we saw though).  Near the front was the president’s office, the first lady’s sitting room, then a few places for meetings and in the back were regular plane rows for everyone else on board. 
Throughout the library and even one the plane, there were jelly beans in the different rooms.  Reagan really enjoyed pointing out the jelly beans and she had a pretty good time finding her name throughout the place.  And of course she loved looking at the clothes and dishes that “Fancy Nancy” (what she called Nancy Reagan) had. 

When we finally finished the library, the place was packed.  People were parking at the bottom of a hill and having to ride shuttles up.  Anderson had seen a jet out one of the windows and he wanted to find it on the grounds.  They weren’t able to get too close to it but did see that jet so after seeing it, Air Force One, Marine One, the presidential limo and a few police motorcycles-he was pleased.  Graham loved seeing all of that stuff too but he thought we were leaving when we got on Air Force One and was a little concerned with the location of our suitcases.

We had thought about eating at the picnic tables right on the grounds but decided that we would just press on since we had a little bit more to drive today.  I made our sandwiches and passed them out.  The kids seem to eat a little bit better when we are in the car-there is nothing else to do.  Or maybe they don’t eat better, maybe I will find lots and lots of bread in the back of that van in a few days.  Anyway, on the way out of Simi Valley, Robby found that 7 Eleven that Anderson had been looking for yesterday and stopped for everyone to get a treat. 

That satisfied them on the drive.  We had thought about stopping at Santa Monica Pier and even drove by it but the traffic and crowds were just too bad, plus it was a very long walk across the sand to reach the water.  We ended up a few miles South at Huntington Beach.  The kids could have stayed at the beach forever-well, Graham wasn’t too crazy about the sand at first but warmed to it and Campbell would have nothing of it.  When I made her stand up, she would whimper and the whole beach trip was just for her.  Not many 1 year olds have been to the Atlantic AND Pacific ocean.  She did get her feet wet (and her pants) but then she was done…and I was too because the water was pretty cold.  Anderson, Reagan and Graham had a blast though and ended up with wet pants.  When we finally made it back to the car, they all rode pantless to our next stop. 

Our next stop was our hotel in Anaheim.  We saw the Best Western sign across the street from Disneyland and pulled in.  A few minutes later, Robby walked out and said our Best Western was on down the street.  And this one is literally right across the street from Disneyland.  It is crazy-less than a 1/4 of a mile to the front gate of the park.  Very, very nice.  We were back in the room tonight in less than 6 minutes from leaving the park. 

We unloaded and immediately started our laundry.  Robby then headed out to find supper and buy some snacks and juice boxes for the next few days.  The kids and I stayed in the room to rest for a little bit.  I made everyone lay down and “rest” while watching tv-no “resting” actually happened but it was quite for a few minutes and that was nice.  The room already had a crib in it (Robby doesn’t think he asked for one-but we’ll take it) so I plunked Campbell down in it.  She talked and played the entire time and tried to peek her head around the corner to see everyone else.

Robby made his way back from Walmart and brought Mexican for supper.  The kids devoured their cheese quesadillas, rice, beans and cinnamon churros (never had seen one before but even saw one tonight at Disney).  Robby and I both enjoyed our BBQ Mexican food-much better than last night.  Soon the laundry was out of the dryer and we found everyone’s pants and headed out.

We made our way across the street and Robby waited in line to buy tickets.  The line was moving slow because their computers were having trouble so the kids and I talked and took a few pictures.  It was funny because they were getting a little restless (bad) at the hotel but as soon as we made it to Disney property they knew they were some place special.  They are pretty lucky kiddos and I think they know it.  Anderson said tonight that he the “greatest Daddy ever because he will take us anywhere we want to go.” 

Finally Robby finished the line and we made it through the gates.  Since it was dark and there were some strange noises, Graham was already getting scared.  He soon calmed when he was where we were.  We walked down Main Street and the little castle and made our way to Small World.  The crowds were pretty thick but the line was moving so we were in a boat with only a small wait.  Reagan, Anderson and Graham sat in the front-they were in awe.  They just looked around and pointed.  Reagan and Anderson were so cute, they kept trying to show Graham things.  Campbell sat with Robby and me.  She would clap, point, wave and even shake her head to the music.  I could have gone home then and been happy.  They were getting ready to close some rides due to the fireworks so we ended up on the carousel.  When it was over, I went to get Graham off and he said “I’m not done.”  He got off without a fuss and was glad when Robby led us back to the line since it had cleared out and there was no wait.  The second time around, Campbell sat by herself and not with me and she was not happy about that at all.  Robby finally had to get her down even though we were standing on each side of her.  She was just whimpering-pitiful.

The park is so much smaller than Magic Kingdom.  You can just zip right across the whole thing and we did and ended up on the Pirate of Caribbean ride.  And yep, Graham who was scared standing outside the park was a nervous wreck on this ride.  He nodded his head when we asked if he liked it but his little heart was about to beat out of his chest.  Reagan took it all in and wanted to do it again because she loved the two drops at the beginning of the ride.  Anderson told Robby “sorry, I squeezed your arm” after the dropoffs.  Campbell wasn’t too impressed with the ride-she fell asleep.  As we left Pirates it was fireworks time.  Both boys covered their ears and Reagan ate it up.  She would have stayed out and watched them again.
To escape the fireworks, we ended up in the Haunted Mansion.  Surprisingly, Graham was better on this ride than the last.  He took it all in without fussing.  Anderson was with me and he was spooked but seemed to enjoy it.  Reagan loved it and got tickled when she saw the ghost riding in the car with them. 

By now it seemed that the crowd was thinning some and most were watching Fantasmic, so we stood in line for the Astro Orbiter.  The line moved slow but it wasn’t too bad and we were all orbiting soon enough.  Robby flew with Graham and Reagan and I had Anderson and Campbell.  Campbell wasn’t pleased about being on this ride-until it started and then she calmed down and enjoyed the wind in her face.  I didn’t enjoy the wind in my face.  I grabbed on tight to Campbell and Anderson and put my head down out of the wind.  After that ride, we checked on the Nemo submarine ride but the line was too long so we took a ride on the monorail even though we have already rode on 3 other ones on this trip the kids still enjoyed it and acted like it was the coolest thing ever.  We stayed on at the Downtown Disney stop and then made our way back to the Disneyland stop.  It was almost time for the park to close so we walked past the Buzz Lightyear ride to check it out.  The wait was only 5 minutes so we were on that in no time.  We let Anderson and Reagan sit together-it took them awhile to enjoy themselves since they were so worried about doing the right thing.  Finally they got it all figured out and were spinning and shooting away.  I tried to pass Campbell a gun to shoot with and she just gave it right back to me-she had had enough. 

We left the park at closing time and were back in the room in 6 minutes.  And 3 of the 4 were sacked out.  We had to change everyone’s clothes and take them all potty before dropping them in their beds.  They were exhausted-I guess that happens when you keep a 5, 4 and 2 year old out until 11.  Campbell was still going strong though after her power nap earlier at the park.  She finally calmed down but was ready to play and even tried to wake Reagan up in the stroller.

The goals tomorrow are Dumbo and the Nemo submarine.  Anything else is really just a bonus.

Death Valley and a Drive across California: February 11, 2011

Across the desert!
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

I actually don’t even remember this morning.  Oh, yes, Graham was standing beside me at 4:30 holding his taggie and foxie.  I put him bed with us and he must have fallen back asleep (I did) because Robby didn’t even know he was there at 5 when he woke up briefly.  Graham finally woke up ready to get up at 6:30 and he told me to lay on his sleeping bag-I declined and headed to the other bed.  Soon everyone was up and it had been another restful night.

The sicklings are doing much better.  Graham’s nose has stopped running.  He did have his taggie and foxie over his ears at one time today-we didn’t know if it was because he was tired of hearing the movie, if his ears hurt or if they were just popping since we were on a mountain pass.  Campbell is feeling much, much better too.  She is back to her normal self-she was pretty pitiful the day we flew out here.  Her nose is still running but she doesn’t sound nearly as congested.  She does have coughing fits every once in awhile but has just now stopped fighting me on her breather that we do every 4 hours.  She definitely has her spunk back-she crawled on top of every piece of furniture at the hotel tonight, unrolled the toilet paper and stood up to grab (and spill) Robby’s coke. 

Back to the morning, we loaded up fairly quickly and picked up breakfast on the road-McDonalds again.  We are pretty good at eating in the car-it helps that we all have plates and I can just pass their food out.  Campbell would become irate with me every time I would take her plate to refill it-she though I wasn’t going to give it back.  The drive to Death Valley was about 2 hours.  The kids did really good and we were there in no time.  Well, we almost made it to the visitor center before having to stop to find a bathroom for Anderson.  Thankfully, we were in the park and there was a bathroom beside the road-otherwise there would have been a puddle beside the road. 

Once we made it to the visitor’s center, the kids played chase and races on the grass while Robby and I took turns going inside.  Robby came out with Junior Ranger books and Reagan was all about it.  (We didn’t get their badges because you had to attend a park program but they didn’t care).  Reagan took filling our her book very seriously (hopefully, she will stay this way and school will be easy for her).  Graham was interested in the fish pictures in his but Anderson just wanted to run, run, run. 

When we pulled up to the visitor’s center, Robby started pulling out papers and checking for cell service.  I knew he was up to something.  We would have originally gone to Hoover Dam first today (if we hadn’t had the extra day) and then would have been at the park later in the day.  Anyway, we were only about 35 miles from our hotel and it wasn’t even lunch.  So he decided to just press on today and make our drive across California today rather than tomorrow.  That would give us an extra day in the LA area and any guesses what he wanted to do?…yep, the Reagan Library is on the agenda for tomorrow.

We walked over to the nearby tractor and looked at it and then drove about 10 miles down the road for a walk.  The ranger had told Robby that we might see fish on the 1/2 mile boardwalk trail-she apparently hadn’t been there in a few days because there wasn’t much water….but there was just enough for me to almost all in!  We were going to do a back picture so I got off the boardwalk and was going to jump over the 2 foot wide water which was about 3 inches high.  I put my feet near and then I started sliding.  Oh, I was sliding ever so slowly but sliding too quickly to stop.  All I could think about was my rear end landing in the water.  Luckily, my bottom landed on dry ground and all that was muddy were my shoes (and they were pretty muddy-so much so that Robby was concerned about me walking into the hotel). 

After I finally made it over the little ditch, Robby started handing me the kids.  Of course he had to swing them out for me to catch and each one of them panicked a bit.  They had all seen/heard me fall so they thought the same would happen to them.  All of them made it across without incident.  Then we all posed for our back picture like pros and then had to get back across the water.  We threw everyone back and started back towards the car.  By now, Anderson had realized that there weren’t fish and we weren’t going to see any.  And he was mad!  He crossed his arms and marched off.  He probably thought that we would try to stop him but we just let him march on-really, where was he going to go?  We had another quarter of a mile to walk on a boardwalk trail.  When he saw other people coming down the trail, he quickly turned and started marching back towards us.  Now, Graham was just beside himself that Anderson was leaving us.  He kept yelling “Anderson stop, Anderson I put you in jail”-putting people in jail is his new obsession.

There were picnic tables at the beginning of the trail and we drug out all of our stuff and had our picnic lunch.  The kids weren’t too hungry today but they sure were thirsty after the walk.  It was near 70 degrees so it was a little warm but still cool due to a nice breeze.  Perfect for a picnic.  After lunch, we got in the car and headed out of the park.  There really wasn’t much to do at Death Valley but it was beautiful to see.  We had to cross the entire park  which meant crossing over 2 mountain ranges.  I personally think that they did not have enough guard rails on the mountain tops.  It was a pretty interesting drive-below sea level, up to 4,000 feet, back down to sea level, up to 4,000 feet again and then back down.  It was stunning but I do like the flat ground very, very well. 

It was very, very deserted on our drive.  We would drive for 30 minutes and not see another car.  Sometime on the way, Robby told the kids to be on the look out for a 7 Eleven for slurpees.  Well, probably an hour later, I commented on what a good traveler Anderson was.  Robby looked back, agreed and said that he was just staring out the window.  A few minutes later, we did hear from Anderson when he said “Dad, is there EVER going to be a slurpee place?”  He had been staring out the window looking for slurpees.  Well, we never found those slurpees-not until we made it to the town we ate supper in and by then it was too late.

We stopped once to potty and once for gas on the 4+ hour drive.  The kids watched movies and played mostly.  Campbell and Graham did have a few naps along the way.  I mostly picked up toys, passed out drinks and snacks and tried to keep Robby awake (who gets very tired driving after lunch-so I turn the air down, feed him, give him something to drink, talk to him-pretty much just annoy him.  Anything so I don’t have to drive!)  Robby was able to cancel tonight’s hotel back in Nevada and find us an Embassy in Valencia, California-makes me want some orange juice.  We saw a Chipotle grill nearby and decided to try it since we had never been to one.  It was good and the kids really enjoyed sitting up on the stools while they ate.  We were sitting beside them with Campbell in a high chair between us and she spent her time waving at people outside the window. 

Our hotel was only about 2 miles away and it is very nice.  Our room is huge and it had a huge shower.  Since Campbell had poured her last cup of milk all over her, we did showers tonight.  Well we actually just let them play.  Reagan went in first and Campbell was banging on the door until I threw her in too.  They had a blast-Campbell will probably have bruises on her ankles from kicking her feet.  The boys were next and I let them take in their new cars.  They could have stayed in there forever.  We had to pry them out with a night time treat.  Robby had bought them ice cream dips since he felt bad about never finding a slurpee.  They ate some but then decided that they just wanted their milk. 

Campbell is sleeping in the shower that she loved so-it is that large that the pack n play can easily fit inside.  Reagan, Anderson and Graham are all in the front room in their sleeping bags and have all fallen asleep-we will just see how long everyone lasts there.  We have about 40 miles to Reagan’s Library in the morning and then who knows where we will end up!

Hoover Dam, Chocolate and Bellagio Fountains: February 10, 2011

That's a BIG Dam!
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

Everyone slept this morning until 6:30. Anderson was the first to stir and the first thing he did was grab my foot that was hanging off of the bed. Soon Graham was up and moaning. We just listened to him until he finally stood up and joined Anderson in his spot. The laid together for awhile until it became a wrestling match. Even though it wasn’t cold in our room and even though Reagan never covers up at home, she was all covered up with her sleeping bag this morning. Campbell also slept well and we had to wake her up again this morning.

The boys had a bath first this morning and Campbell soon found her way into the bathtub so Robby put her in. If he didn’t put her in that baby was going to find a way to crawl in the tub. They played until the water got cold and then we started getting everyone ready. Reagan said she didn’t want a bath and since we are on vacation, we didn’t insist. While everyone finished getting ready, Robby and Graham went in search of laundry and breakfast. They started looking for the guest laundry on floor 6. Robby said they walked one way and then walked the other way-and just imagine how long the floors of this huge hotel are. They never found it and I eventually called and they said they didn’t have it anymore (Graham would have appreciated it if they would have updated their book because his little feet were worn out and the day had just begun.)

They came back with McDonald’s breakfast. It is nice to have everything right here in the hotel-you would never really have to leave (and I guess that is what they want.) The boys and Campbell devoured pancakes. Reagan had an egg, biscuit and part of a potato cake. Graham had the rest of the potato cake and the rest of the egg along with his pancake. You just can’t beat a McDonald’s breakfast.

If you remember yesterday, Anderson walked right into the trash can. Well, today as we were walking down the hall of the hotel Graham had his accident. He should have had plenty of hotel hall walking practice from earlier in the day but apparently not. Poor Graham walked right into the wall, fell down and then ended up with a huge goose egg on his forehead. He was pretty upset but calmed when we let him sit in the buggy by Campbell (yes, the same thing that made Anderson happy yesterday. They all fight to sit near her-she is so popular.)

We were getting in the car about 9:45 to drive to Hoover Dam. On the way Robby spotted a grocery store and he ran in to buy our picnic food. He came out with bags of food and drinks-and ended up spending the same as we spent yesterday for lunch. You can’t beat a McDonald’s breakfast but you can’t beat a picnic lunch either. We drove over the new bridge (which I saw from the air) and then back across. Next we drove across the dam and parked on the Arizona side. We tried to explain it to the kids and they might have caught some of it. Earlier in the day, Anderson had told Graham that we were going to see a beaver’s house-pretty close.

We walked over the dam and then we looked back and saw how very far we had come. So Robby went to get the car and it was quite a hike for him. We waited and while we waited Reagan and Anderson played a little chase to blow off some steam. One family walked by and said “wow, I feel for you. And we just have one.” I just smiled and should have replied “oh, I love my kids.” Doesn’t seem like people like their kids anymore. Anyway, off the soapbox. Robby stopped in the middle of the road and I threw the kids and strollers in the car-and yes, someone did honk and yes, I did stop what I was doing to give them a stare down. Patience is a virtue and it literally took us 1 minute.

Last time we were here, we had stopped at Ethel’s chocolates and decided to again. It was perfect because right out front there were picnic tables so we had our picnic lunch there on the sidewalk. Graham slept but the rest of us devoured our food and Reagan and Anderson were very grateful that Robby had bought them more apples. Anderson and Reagan were making patterns with the different color apples-red, green, red, green…. I asked Anderson who was teaching him about patterns and he replied “Jesus” Um, that wasn’t the answer I was expecting but I will go with that.

The highlights were watching the planes fly overhead since we were near the airport and watching the buses unload a few feet from our table. One bus driver even walked by and gave us a big package of M&Ms. I guess the bus drivers get something free and he said he had zillions of M&Ms, so many that his nieces call him the M&M man. So he shared with us and the kids were very excited-except for Reagan who said they were “too sweet”-not our child!

We walked through Ethels and their M&M store. At the end of the factory walk through we were gearing up for their generous samples-that is what the book said. But the generous samples were one piece and you couldn’t even swing by and get another. Poo on them. Anderson had finished his and asked Robby for another one by the time the rest of us had even gotten ours. I had thought we would buy a little something in the gift shop to cap off our sweet tooth but no, the gift shop seemed pricey-seeing as though we had cookies and candy in the car.

The kids didn’t mind because outside we had the cactus garden to walk through. They enjoyed being able to walk for a few minutes and go down the paths. We tried to take a group picture near their Valentine’s scene but it didn’t work at all. Back in the car, we stopped at a 7 Eleven to get a few slurpees. Robby was in the store for a very, very long time. He said it took a long time to get 5 cups, 5 lids, 5 straws, fill 5 cups, balance 5 cups while taking them to check out and then pay for 5 slurpees. I had wondered if he was grinding the ice himself in the back.

We had seen a park on the way to Ethels and stopped on the way. The kids were so into the slurpees that they didn’t even realize we were just sitting in the parking lot of a park. Finally someone asked why we weren’t going and we got out. It was pleasant during lunch but at the park it was pretty windy. But that didn’t stop them. Reagan learned how to do the Fireman’s pole thing, Campbell loved playing near the slide and the boys just loved climbing and sliding. Soon we headed back to the hotel.

Back at the hotel, we laid Campbell down for a nap, Reagan and Anderson each laid on a bed and Graham laid on his sleeping bag. They all watched a movie while Robby went downstairs to see if he was lucky. He was gone for a long time and should have stopped while he was ahead but came back a loser! When he returned, I left and after playing some of my money that Robby had given me and losing it all before my seat was even warm, I decided that I would just go shopping for a Christmas ornament. I finally found one in the mall part of the hotel and ended up leaving up about 15 dollars (only because that money never left my pocket!) Back in the room, Robby had gotten the kids up and they had all eaten supper. Sandwiches again but no one seemed to complain. Robby even bought peanut butter to change things up but they didn’t want it yet.

We then cleaned up and headed back out again. We had planned on parking at the Bellagio but could never really get to their parking garage so we parked across the street at the Paris. Everywhere in this town is a long walk and once we made it to the street the fountains were going off. We were on the other side of the street so we were pretty far from the action but the girls were all into it. Campbell was watching intently and kicking her feet. Anderson was okay with it but not thrilled and Graham had his head turned around in the stroller so he couldn’t see a thing.

By the time we made it to a cross walk and made it across the street, it was time for the fountains to go off again and we had a pretty good spot. This time Graham just sat in the stroller with his hands over his ears. Anderson wanted me to hold him but Campbell and Reagan still loved it. We then walked back through the Bellagio stopping in the conservatory to show Graham the horses and bunnys-he slept through it yesterday. We even found the world’s largest chocolate fountains. Anderson said that he wished it was all “cheese dip”-that is my boy!

They have a monorail at the Bellagio and since it was the only one we haven’t done in the town, we hopped on and road to the end of the line and then back to the Bellagio. We finally found our way out of the hotel and ended up at a Toll House Cookie Shop. And since the kids had been so good, we thought we needed a snack. Everyone picked out their cookie and Campbell noticed that she wasn’t at the window with everyone else. She tried to point to them and get me to push her up there-and then Robby didn’t even buy that girl a cookie. But everyone shared and she had plenty.

We then made our way back to the Paris and back to the parking garage to find our car and go back to the hotel. And yes, every casino we have walked in today the kids have asked “is this our hotel?” and finally tonight we could say “yes.” It was near 10 so they were all pretty tired. Graham and Campbell had already fallen asleep in the car so it didn’t take them long to go back to sleep once their heads hit their bed. Graham is moving up and sleeping between the two beds and not in his cozy little cage spot from the other two nights-Reagan wanted to sleep there tonight.

Tomorrow is Death Valley and who knows what else!

Up and Down the Vegas Strip: February 9, 2011

Vegas Classic!
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

It seemed like we were up almost once every hour last night but despite that we rested really well.  It was the type of night where you wake up, look at the clock and then breathe a sigh of relief because you have so many more hours to sleep.  The first major event was Graham waking up/fussing at 4.  Since that was really 6 o’clock to him, we let
him get in bed with us.  But pretty soon he was out again.  Campbell fussed for a few minutes around that time and as I walked to her door to get her she calmed down.  So we didn’t hear from her until around 6 when Robby gave her some milk.  Everyone stirred a little after 6-well, except for Campbell who had gone back to sleep.  She didn’t even
wake up when Anderson went potty beside her bed (she is sleeping in the bathroom in her
pack n play-perfect spot if it only had a vent to turn on). 

Everyone woke up feeling good-especially Campbell.  You could tell she felt a lot better
today.  She was her old perky self.  She laughed, smiled, hammed it up for strangers.  She
still has a cough and might possibly have had fever tonight again (or her little cheeks are
just wind burned tonight)  Her cough does sound pretty bad but it is changing and it
sounds like she is coughing some of it up (sorry, that was definitely too much to share). 

After we woke up, we called Nonna to check on the snow and were glad to hear that it
was snowing.  We continued to check in through the day and each time Robby was more
and more relieved that we came a day early.  But this afternoon, we were surprised to see
that our flight was one of a few that did take off from the Little Rock airport today.  But
we still definitely made the right decision.  I tried to explain to the kids that this was all a
“Bonus Day” but they didn’t get it at all. 

We figured that 7 was a little too early to leave the hotel room and start the day so we
needed something to do to kill a little bit of time.  The kids had already watched a movie,
played with toys and stared and stared out the window, so we opted for baths.  First
Graham and Campbell took a bath.  They stayed in for awhile until Graham went ahead
and got out.  And the next thing I knew, Campbell was trying to crawl out too.  We had to
put them both back in and wash them up.  Next up was Reagan and Anderson.  They
didn’t last as long in the tub but were soon clean and in their clothes too. 

After everyone was ready, we went to downstairs to Krispy Kreme.  The kids couldn’t
get over the fact that our hotel had a mall in it.  And last night they couldn’t believe that
the hotel had so many “big people games”-in fact, every casino that we walked through
today at least one child would ask “is this our hotel?”  Anyway, we made it to Krispy
Kreme at 8:45 and we should have guessed since everything else we passed was closed,
but Krispy Kreme was closed also.  They did open at 9 so we walked around for a few
more minutes.  Apparently, Las Vegas isn’t the type of city that opens up early, it is more
of a late rising type city-not too surprising.

The kids picked out the outrageously priced (much more than at home) donuts.  Robby
paid and asked if there was a place with tables nearby.  The donut lady said that we could
eat in the neighboring and not yet open Aunt Annie’s pretzels.  She even got chairs for
us.  This was very nice but very awkward seeing as how we were eating behind the gate
of the store with the little Aunt Annie’s lady working hard behind the counter.  Yes, very
uncomfortable.  The kids must have been starving because at home, they only eat the tops
of the donuts but this morning they each finished all of 1 donut and most of another. 

Next up, we drove all the way down the strip (not much traffic before 10) and stopped at
the Las Vegas sign.  The kids enjoyed running and playing but we were able to get a few
pictures of everyone together despite the sun in their eyes.  There was a hustler there
offering to take pictures-we did decline but Robby was surprised that people were even
trusting her with their cameras. 

It was a short drive to the Mandalay Bay parking garage.  We walked through the casino
and went to the shark reef-we though you were able to see some of the sharks before
going into the aquarium but our very long walk was all for naught.  But the kids really
enjoyed this projected scene up on the wall that moved when you touched it.  The first
picture was an ocean scene and when you touched it the waves moved and the next was a
picture of cameras and their flash bulbs would go off.  Pretty cool.  Mom enjoyed looking
out at their swimming pools.  They were huge and without having seen the other hotel
pools, I think if you wanted to come to a hotel for swimming, the Mandalay Bay should
be the one.  Our hotel pool looks nice and big and when I saw it from our room, I was
slightly disappointed that we didn’t bring our bathing suits-until I saw that the pool was
closed and then remembered that it is February.

At the Mandalay Bay we caught the tram to Luxor.  We walked through that hotel
stopping to let the kids ride the escalator a little bit.  After that we hopped back on the
tram and made our way to Excalibur.  We walked through that casino and even took a
picture with Sponge Bob (well, even if it was just a statue).  The next hotel on the strip
was the New York, New York.  And it did not disappoint.  The kids were so excited
pointing out the Statue of Liberty.  We walked all through the place looking for where the
roller coaster could be seen from inside the building but it can’t be (just in case you even
need to know that).  By now, we were in need of a break and found a Nathan’s hot dogs
and decided that since it was nearly lunch time, we were ready to eat.  Reagan and
Anderson had some of a hot dog, Campbell and Graham finished off a slice of pizza, I
had a hot dog and Robby had Stromboli.  It was delicious and maybe we were just hungry
from all of that walking.   

Our goal was making it across the street to the MGM so we could see the lions-and they
did not disappoint.  There was a crowd around the 3 lions and 3 trainers but Anderson
just helped everyone push their way up to the front and there they stayed for a long, long
time.  Reagan finally gave up watching the lions and went to chase Campbell who was
blowing off some steam crawling around on the floor.  The boys though, stayed and
stayed watching the lions.  I asked Anderson if he wanted to be a lion tamer and he said

We then walked to the very, very back of the MGM and bought our monorail tickets.  We
didn’t know if we should get the 1 ride, 2 rides or all day pass so we opted with the all
day pass…and then we only ended up riding it once.  But we didn’t know how the day
would turn out so it was still a good call.  We got on and rode it all the way to the end of
the line which was a pretty good ways seeing as how we were almost back to our hotel.  
It was a nice drive and a great chance to rest for a few minutes.  Graham would get so
excited to see a train pass us, Reagan held on to the pole and was so glad that we were
letting her stand up (and even walk around), Campbell slept and Anderson just stared out
the window intently.  (He is a little Robby in that he can remember places and directions
so well-he was just soaking it all in so he can lead the way the next time we are here). 

After the tram started back the other way, we exited near Harrahs and walked through it
on the way to get to the Venetian.  It was a little bit of a hike but it was all worth it to the
kids when we arrived and they had moving walkways.  My kids don’t even need
Christmas presents, they just need a walk on a moving walkway.  The Venetian is our
favorite of the hotels.  The sky, building, gondolas and St. Peter’s Square-where we
stopped for some gelato.  And while we were eating, we saw a show with singers,
dancers, a man on stilts, a statue guy, live music and a drunk jester. 

I laughed until I cried because Robby, Reagan and Anderson were sitting on the front row
of a bench and I was behind them with Campbell and Graham.  Graham wanted to move
up to Robby but since we were on the edge, the man playing the flute was practically in
my lap.  Graham stood up, trying to pass him and as Graham neared, the flute man would
sway to the music and Graham would back up.  Then he would sway the other way and
Graham would try to move up to Robby but then the man would sway again and Graham
would jump back.  This went on for a few minutes until the man finally saw this poor
baby trying to walk beside him and scooted over. 

We then walked up to the Paris hotel (where we have stayed before) and made our way
through the shops and casino.  Before long, we were walking past the huge slot machine
that we had played at last time we were here.  We then walked through Ballys on our way
to get a coke.  Everyone had some coke or lemonade while we sat for a few minutes. 
Graham was sleeping now so he missed the refreshments. 

Across the street was the Bellagio so we made our way to the conservatory to see their
flowers.  They were all decked out for the Chinese New Year (the year of the rabbit) and
Reagan was so impressed with the flowers.  Before we went in, Robby reminded her that
we could not pick them-he knows her well.  As we were leaving, we were going to ask
about when the fountain show was but sure enough we saw it out the window.  We
rushed out there and as soon as we were near enough for the kids to see-it was over.  Oh,
well, we are going to go tomorrow night to see it.  That will be our big nightly adventure.

From the Bellagio, we trekked all the way back to the Excalibur.  It is a long way but it is
an especially long way for people with strollers.  Every crosswalk is an elevated one so
we have to take an elevator to get up, cross the street and then take an elevator to get
down.  Seriously, if we have ridden in one elevator today, we have ridden in a hundred. 
We finally made it and even stopped to watch the New York roller coaster fly by.  The
tram took us straight back to the Mandalay Bay and we were on our way to the rental car

Since we were in a day early, Robby had to rent us another car and it ended up being
from another company.  It wasn’t too big of a deal since the car was empty except for
what we had today and the 4 car seats.  We turned in the one car, loaded the car seats up
on top of the strollers and then went to check out the other car.  It would have been a lot
easier if there self check out would have worked or if the line had been short.  The kids
were already tired so they ended up getting into trouble-of course you are going to get
into a little bit of trouble when you knock over the stroller holding 4 car seats.  But
everyone survived and soon we were in a new van.  And poop, it didn’t have a movie and
it isn’t like ours.  It was so nice having a van just like ours-we knew were all of the
buttons were and everything was so easy.  This one does have a very large trunk so it will
be very good come time to load up and hit the road.

On the way back to the strip, Robby ran into Subway and picked up sandwiched and even
apple slices.  The kids devoured the apples, asked for more and then decided that they
would eat the peelings.  We will have to buy some apples while on the trip.  We ended up
eating back in the room which meant we had to drive down the strip again but this time
there was much, much more traffic.  We did make it and probably just barely made it
since Reagan and Anderson had to potty when we opened the door to the hotel room. 

After eating, we headed back downstairs to go to the top of the Stratosphere.  Anderson
has been calling it the needle and everyone was pretty excited about going high in the
sky.  On the way there, Anderson was absent mindedly following behind Robby and he
must have veered of course because we heard a bang.  Robby thought it was just
Anderson trying to pick up the trash can.  But it was Anderson running smack into the
middle of the trash can.  The poor guy was more stunned than hurt.  And I tried to control
my laughter as I picked the heavyweight up.  He finally calmed when I asked if he
wanted to ride with Campbell for a few mintues. 

As we waited in the line, Graham told me that he wanted to go back to our hotel and then
he wanted me to get him out of here.  His hands were in his mouth and he was pretty
scared.  The lights were kind of dim so it did look a little scary so I tried to reassure him. 
He calmed down when we got on the elevator and was still a little skittish at the top in the
observation room.  The kids got that we were high up but since our room is on the 18th
floor this only seemed a little bit higher to them (even though it was 108 floors). 

We then took another elevator to the outside observation area.  We spent quit a bit of time
out there watching the two rides that take place over the edge of the needle.  Pretty crazy
stuff and not from the squeamish.  Anderson would shudder every time the roller coaster
would plummet of the building.  He was pretty definite that he did NOT want to do this. 
Reagan on the other hand is starting to save her money so she can come back and do it
when she is older.  This just upset Graham a little bit more until we went back inside.

We then took the elevator down the 108 ear popping stories and were walking back
through the shops when Graham asked “we going to the needle and get poked?”  Then I
realized that he heard the word needle and thought we were going up the elevator to get a
shot.  Poor baby.  Couldn’t even enjoy it and was just waiting on his shot.  It is something
what the 2 year old mind thinks.  Needless to say, he was relieved that we were going
back to the room.

Back at the room, we put on pajamas and had something to drink before crashing.  It was
only a little after 8 but the kids crashed.  They had done a lot of riding but they had also
done a lot of walking.  They know that we are in Las Vegas but confusingly, they also
understand that we went to Egypt, to the Medieval times, to New York, to Venice and to
Paris.  It was a great trip around the world and a great excursion up and down the strip