Sunday, December 29, 2013

Baby Update

We are now 25 weeks into our Baby #3 journey.  The morning sickness is long gone, however the weakened immune system has led to some very childish illnesses on my part.  I have been battling an ear infection for weeks!  I joke that I need tubes, but I am only half-kidding as I can barely hear out of one ear due to fluid issues.  Ridiculous!  The kids have been bringing home germs from school and it seems that no amount of hand washing and sanitizing keeps me from catching every cold.  Ideally I would stay home for two weeks, but that is impossible.
The photo below is from our 19 week anatomy ultrasound appointment.  This is the appointment where Ryan did his best to act happy despite my insistence on NOT finding out the gender of our baby.  All three of my boys are hoping for a girl.  Since I am not wanting to see any of them disappointed I thought it made sense to wait until the birth to find out the gender.  Please show me ONE (sane) person who can pull off disappointment when meeting their new child/sibling for the first time.  I don't think it's possible!  Anyway, Ryan is convinced it is a boy and most days I am convinced it is a girl.  Naturally, I am secretly hoping it is a boy (because I have TONS of boy clothes and already know what the heck to do with boys) and Ryan is hoping it is a girl.  Either way ONE of us is going to be completely surprised when the baby is born.

This little one is different in utero than both boys.  I find he/she to be more active than both boys, but not as strong in his/her movements as Ian.  He/she is nocturnal like me so we often keep each other company at 1 am when we should both be sleeping.  He/she likes to be active at the dining table so I can only assume that he/she does not want to miss out on family time already. 

The boys hug and talk to their new sibling almost daily and it is the most adorable thing in the world to me.  They are more excited that I could have imagined and I love that they see this new addition as a positive.  I predict that I will have more assistance than I ever thought possible when the new baby arrives.  Both boys like to list all the ways they will help no matter how often I remind them that helping is not necessarily their responsibility and that they are still my babies too!

15 weeks (or so) to go!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Last Day of School

So many of my friends kept posting things on Facebook talking about how much they were dreading the last day of school for their kids.  (Not ALL my friends, by any means, but enough that it bothered me.)  Here at the Peck home, we had the exact opposite mentality.  To help the boys know how excited I was to spend my summer with them, I turned the last day of school into a bit of a celebration.

Before picking up the boys, in the entry I set up some new outdoor toys, craft supplies, my favorite childhood book (The Castle in the Attic) and two bridge activity booklets.

Naturally, I had to decorate our super sweet minivan too.  The neighbors and police officer that passed by looked at me like I was nuts as I taped up streamers and blew up balloons in the elementary school's colors.  Did I mention it was raining?

The boys were NOT expecting this at all and Ian just kept laughing.  Somehow the balloons inside the van just blew their mind.

Neither boy seemed too sure how to get in the van no matter how much I told them the streamers were not precious to me.  Before heading home we just had to swing by Dunkin Donuts for a special treat and the child in the van next to our in the parking lot was quite jealous.  Mommy success!

They're too big!!!

Summer party time!

We didn't know at the time that this would be our last summer as a family of four.  I am so happy that the boys and I spent so much quality time together since next year we will have a little baby demanding our attention.  We were extra thrilled to have Ryan home too!  We even managed some fun family activities despite Ryan's always crazy and unpredictable schedule.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Big News!

First, let me apologize for basically forgetting that this blog exists.  With email, Facebook and Instagram, I often find myself forgetting to share here with all our family and friends.  I will post a summer update this weekend.  I promise!!!

Now onto our BIG news!

Forgive me?  I hope so because I spent the second half of August and all of September on the couch with "morning" sickness.  Now that I am feeling better it is time to catch up on everything.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Disney Part 5: Hollywood Studios

We spent the first half of our final day at Disney at Hollywood Studios.  There is a lot to do here, but we skipped most of it and went back to the Magic Kingdom.  The ONLY attraction the boys insisted upon experiencing was Star Tours.  Needless to say we headed there immediately!
The boys loved having the chance to ride the speeder bike from Star Wars!


Here is Ian pretending that he is about to be crushed by an AT-AT.  Such a silly kid.

For lunch we went to the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater.  We had a great time!  Each "table" is a replica of an old car and there is a huge screen playing clips from old sci-fi movies.  It was quite entertaining.  We again stuffed ourselves and I had a steak.  Oddly, the best steak I had at Disney was the New York strip steak coated in blue cheese at this establishment.  Delish!  Both boys were distracted by the huge movie screen and had to be reminded regularly to eat their meal.  Anyone that knows these two kids knows that food is normally priority number one so this was unusual behavior to say the least.

The streets of San Francisco...sort of. This is probably as close to San Francisco as we will get for at least a few more years since I don't see myself flying again soon.

We were all so sad to leave Disney the following day.  I doubt anyone finds it easy to return to "normal" life after a Disney vacation.  Can't wait for retirement so we can go work at Disney!!!

Disney Part 4: Animal Kingdom

On day three at Disney we went to the Animal Kingdom.  The Animal Kingdom was a rather new park when we went to Disney for our honeymoon almost thirteen years ago, but was immediately my second favorite park.  I was hoping with the additions the boys would love this park as much as I did.
Posing for the requisite cut-out picture. 

Nathan was most excited to see a rhino on the safari adventure.  We had to make sure to capture a photo of this moment.

Goofy as always, on the lookout for more exotic animals.

After a short train ride it was time to climb on some elephants, of course!


 The petting zoo remains my second favorite attraction at Animal Kingdom.  I can go around the corner and brush goats, but somehow it is far more awesome at Disney.  The boys had a great time catching up to various goats to give them a pet or brush.

The boys were drenched after riding the Kali River Rapids.  Seriously, it took us hours to dry off.  The similar ride at Great America was more exciting, but this one definitely guarantees you will get wet!

For dinner this particular evening we decided to head on over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for the buffet at Boma.  Oh, my goodness.  We ate ourselves sick.  The food and variety was incredible.  I am full just thinking about that dinner.
Before dinner Ryan and I picked up some coffee and took the boys outside to check out the animals on property.  Ryan was able to teach some Swahili to Ian and then practice a bit with one of the employees originally from Tanzania.

Disney Part 3: Epcot

Let's see if I can knock out the rest of our Disney trip in a few posts today.  If so I can finally share what the heck we've been up to in May, June and July!

On our second day at Disney we went to Epcot.  We knew the boys would not be as excited with this park, but they still had a great time.  Ian now calls Epcot his favorite park because there weren't any scary rides.  He seems to have forgotten how uneasy he was when riding California Adventure.

We found a great store at Epcot where we asked the boys to select any ear hats they liked  Nathan immediately selected the R2-D2 hat and eventually Ian chose the same one.

Ryan wanted to "drink around the world", but I was initially not in favor of this idea.  This was not because I don't enjoy beer, but because the choices in Mexico were lame.  Then we stumbled upon a delicious fruity drink cart in China and I was sold on the idea.  We were visiting Epcot during their Flower Festival or something like that (who can remember after all the beer what exactly the festival was called).  This year instead of just having a bunch of booths and topiaries, tons of kiosks were set up all over the park featuring little country treats and booze.  We were in trouble.  Notice the sampler of four beers we picked up in Germany BEFORE we managed to finish our drinks from China.  The boys were happy to pause repeatedly since they enjoyed snack after snack to include potato pancakes and panna cotta.

While we worked our way through another beer sampler in Italy (super delicious selections, by the way), the boys goofed off, ate and posed for pictures.

For you, Mom, the Lady and The Tramp topiaries.  How they capture the characters expressions so well with plants amazes me!

The boys were very happy to pose for a pictures with Captain Hook.  Notice Nathan's "hook".  Ian is pretending to be scared.  Silly boys.  I promise they were not drinking along with us.

After wandering all over Epcot we ended our day with dinner at Coral Reef and a mad dash to ride the Little Mermaid ride next to the restaurant minutes before the park closed.  Dinner was delicious!!!  I highly recommend this restaurant.  It was where I had my SECOND steak of the day which is crazy since I generally eat red meat maybe once a month.  I would like to point out that my FIRST steak of the day was at Le Cellier.  That restaurant was a HUGE disappointment.  The cheese soup was out of this world, but I've already managed to get my hands on the recipe so none of you need go there...just ask me for the recipe.  ;)  Our steak was dry, overcooked and overall nothing special.  For $44 I believe it should have been better than something we could make at home.

I hope we can go back to Disney during April soon.  The festival carts were really great and a perfect way to use up a bunch of those snacks from our dining plan.  I honestly don't know how we would have "spent" all those snack points without all the unique carts!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Disney Part 2: Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom was our favorite park, except Ian's.  We loved it so much that this was the only park we went to twice on this trip.  Next time I definitely want two full days at the Magic Kingdom.
The boys could barely contain their excitement as we waited for the bus to pick us up at our hotel.  Note to parents:  buy your children their Disney shirts at the nearest Disney store before you go on vacation.  These shirts cost me $10 each at our local store and we saw them for sale at Downtown Disney for $24.99 each!  Crazy.

Our first ride at the Magic Kingdom was the Astro Orbiter in Tomorrowland while we waited for our FastPass time to be able to ride Space Mountain.  Nathan had a great time, but Ian cowered in fear and would not allow Ryan to move their spaceship up at all.  The boy does not like heights.
Later in the day and after MUCH convincing, we were able to get Ian on Splash Mountain.  We had to stand at the bottom of the drop and let him watch log after log of people having a good time before he would get in line with all of us.  This ended up being his favorite ride!  In case you are wondering, Space Mountain was his absolute LEAST favorite ride.

 Here are the boys outside the Haunted House.  We prepped both of them so they understood it was spooky, but all fake.  I guess we did not prep Nathan enough.  He lost it as soon as they closed the doors and said we could not get out.  He literally climbed me, clung to me and began to freak out.  Ah, kids.  I had to let the poor boy play a game on my phone just so he could survive the experience.

Can you see the fear in Ian's expression?  He was not so sure about riding Big Thunder Mountain.  He didn't care for it on day #1, but actually asked that we ride it again on day #2.

Loving their Magic Kingdom experience!!!

For dinner we went to the character buffet at the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom.  The food was decent and not having to leave the park for dinner was lovely!  We purchased one of the meal plans for this trip and I highly recommend that to anyone going to Disney.  

The only ride Nathan insisted we ride again on our second day at the Magic Kingdom was Space Mountain.  Needless to say this was also the only ride Ian refused to ride for a second time.  Instead he asked Ryan to take him on the People Mover while Nathan and I whipped around Space Mountain.  Even though this was his SECOND time on the People Mover, Ian still freaked out a bit and tensed up when the tram went through Space Mountain.  This kids cracks me up.

Now this is to Ian's liking.  Sitting in a rocking chair on Tom Sawyer's Island watching the Big Thunder Mountain train.  This was my first time exploring the island and it made me want to immediately re-read the book!

We didn't make time for the Electrical Light Parade or fireworks our first night so we made sure to schedule this for our final night at Disney.  Here the boys are happy to be sitting down while we wait for the parade to begin.

Our perfect ending to our almost perfect vacation:  the fireworks!  Pretty sure both Ryan and I almost cried at the end of the fireworks because neither one of us wanted to leave and return to our normal lives.  I've requested that when he retires from the Navy we temporarily move to Orlando to work at Disney World.

We cannot wait to go back!  I wanted to book our next vacation as soon as we were back home!