Monday, June 22, 2009

Disney World

Updated: I combined all of the Disney posts into one post. The latest pictures are at the bottom.

Danny and I took Britton on his first trip to Disney World last week. We wouldn't have taken such a young tot had Danny not had a conference there for part of the week. Nevertheless, we had a great time spending seven whole days down there, and Britton handled it all far better than we thought. When I say "it all," I am referring to no naps, nearly unbearable heat, high humidity, big crowds and lots of standing around and waiting. My mom and sister came too, and we all survived the blazing heat and had a really good time!

Magic Kingdom

Here we are on morning #1 at Magic Kingdom. This was before we got hot and sweaty and our hair went crazy curly in the humidity.

Waiting in line to ride on Dumbo.

Having a melt down before Dumbo starts. The wait and the heat were getting to him.

But he LOVED it when it started going.

Then he cried again when he had to get off. Hard to explain to a 17-month-old why the ride must come to an end. :o(

Sitting in the shade for a bit.

We quickly got in line for It's a Small World, which turned out to be his favorite ride, by far. As we were riding, he kept looking into the room ahead to see what was coming up next. Lots of ooos and and ohs and aahs.

Some live action:

This video cracks me up. Danny and I thought my mom was taking a picture, so we're grinning from ear to ear. Don't think Danny ever got the memo. And I love that fake surprise look I give at the end. Fun times:

Next, we did our only character meal of the week at the Crystal Palace. We had lunch with Winnie the Pooh and gang.

Britton loved looking at the characters from a distance, but didn't like them up close so much. He has no clue that Piglet is right behind him here!

He did, however, know that Winnie the Pooh was behind him.

Being silly and enjoying the cool air conditioning at the Crystal Palace. Apparently, you have to get reservations months in advance at nearly all Disney restaurants now. I called only a week in advance and was able to snag this one. I'll be better prepared next time.

Did I mention it was HOT?

This is what one day at Disney World will do to parents!

Hollywood Studios
On day 2 of our trip, we hit Hollywood Studios. Britton especially loved the Disney Playhouse show where he saw Handy Manny, the Little Einsteins and the Pooh family perform live. Frankly, he has no clue who these characters are, but he loved the performance. He stood, danced and clapped the whole time.

Trying on the Mickey ears.

The adults loved the Tower of Terror and the Aerosmith Rock 'n Roller Coaster (shown above). Danny and I in front and my sister is back right. Many thanks to my mom, who did not want to ride rollercoasters, for taking care of Britton so we could do them. Fun times!

Britton sported curly hair all week thanks to the heat and humidity.

More crazy hair.

Animal Kingdom
We spent our 3rd day at Animal Kingdom. This was my first time there and it was really fun. They say, for some reason, that Animal Kingdom is the "hottest" park, and it was true for us. So brutally hot that day (100+). Definitely the hardest day of the week. Anyway, Animal Kingdom had real-life street scenes from Africa and Nepal, which seemed quite authentic. Definitely not like Magic Kingdom's polished/plastic-y look. Also, had a Dinoland. Less to do for Britton's age at this park, but he is young. The one thing he did like a lot was Rafiki's Planet Watch where he could meet live animals, up close and personal.

The Tree of Life -- a ginormous faux tree with animals carved in it. You can see them better if you click on and enlarge it.

The big thing at Animal Kingdom is the Safari ride. You board a big truck and it takes you through a huge safari area where lions, hippos, giraffes, elephants, rhinos, cape buffalo and others are roaming freely.

Here he is in the petting zoo at Rafiki's Planet Watch with the goats and sheep.

First lesson in not pulling tails!

The sheep bearing a Mickey face.

As is his norm, he called all the animals "dogs" or "daga" in Britton-speak. Here is some live action:

Here he is touching some kind of exotic lizard. This boy shows no fear (except when it comes to a 6-foot Winnie the Pooh or something).

They were doing a surgery at Rafiki's Planet Watch and everyone could watch. My mom, the OR nurse, filled us in on what they were doing -- a tubal ligation (tube tying) -- on a mandril monkey. So .... no more monkeys jumping on the bed! ;o)

We wised up this day and got a portable fan/spray bottle. Britton napped much more comfortably! While he napped, we rode the Everest roller coaster and the Dinosaur ride -- both were awesome. In fact, Danny and I came back another day by ourselves and ate at the African buffet and rode those two rides again. Unfortunately, the two activities (eating & riding) didn't mix, and Danny felt the effects for the rest of the day!

At the end of the day, goofing around. Usually, by the day's end, we were so hot we would hang out in the gift shops until our shuttle arrived to pick us up. So, naturally, we would come home...

... jump in the pool...

...and raise the roof.

We hit Epcot on our fourth day. We actually took the day off and went to Epcot in the evening.

Britton loved playing in the tubes while we rode Mission Space at Epcot.

We took shelter from a scary lightning and thunder storm in Morocco at Epcot. I enjoyed "introducing" Britton to the country I spent some time in back in the day. We ate some decently authentic Moroccan food, toured the market, and drank some mint tea.

On the carousel at Magic Kingdom on our last day.

As we were walking out of the park on the very last day, we ran into Pluto and took a picture.

Britton loved being out on the balcony at our condo.


A view of the resort we stayed at.

Britton with his Aunt Giggles.

And that's all of my Disney World pictures! We look forward to our next trip ... a few years from now ... in the winter.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's Father's Day

In celebration of Father's Day, I commissioned a 12x17 traditional chalk portrait of Britton from a wonderfully talented artist. She (mostly) drew Britton from the picture below, though I had her tweak the outfit and hair. She did such a great job pulling things from a couple of different pictures and still capturing him. I have to say, the picture above looks great, but looking at it in person ... it is so beautiful!

I had a hard time finding a picture of Britton with his mouth closed. He usually smiles big, showing all his baby teeth, and I didn't want his age to be so obvious in the portrait. So, this is one of the few pictures I had to go with. I love how it turned out! And Danny loves it even more! He was so surprised when he first saw it, and this was probably the first time I've been able to surprise him with a gift.

The artist, Diana, was so great to work with that I wanted to share her information. She has some of her other chalk portraits on these two sites: her website and her Etsy site. I look forward to her doing a portrait of our little girl ... some day, that is!

Happy Father's Day, Danny!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wondering Where We Are?

My apologies for our blog absence lately. We have spent the last week making memories at Disney World! It's been such a fun time, but we are exhausted. Can't wait to share stories and pictures of our trip on the blog. Look for updated blog posts soon in the next few days.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Cousins and GiGi

Here is Britton with his cousin, Will, and grandmother, GiGi, when we were visiting Will's new house in Nashville. Nice to be close to a cousin!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Best Solemn Face Ever

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

17 Month Stats and 15 Month Pics

Britton finally had his 15-month appointment yesterday -- only two months late! He is doing great and is plodding along on the growth chart. This time he was:
Height 31 inches 25%
Weight 21 lbs., 12 oz. 10%
He looks like such a chunk to me these days that I have a hard time believing he's on the "small" side for his age. Regardless, he looks healthy and is healthy and that's all the matters. His head is still small (can't remember the measurement) but his doctor is not concerned because it is growing at a normal rate.

He now has 8 teeth in the front (4 on top and 4 on bottom), and according to our doc, is cutting his one-year molars. One is through the surface and the other three are about to break through. Great timing as we are going to Disney World soon! He was terribly grumpy a couple of weeks ago, so I'm blaming it on teething.

Since Britton has always been an "at risk" kid, our doctor asked me to complete a questionnaire that screens for autism. I just did it and am glad to report that Britton passed it with flying colors. He is doing all of the "good" things very well, and none of the "bad" things. Not that we are surprised, he has been very social and engaging since he was a tiny thing. Very thankful for his normal development!

These days, Britton is a very active fellow. Into EVERYTHING. Nothing in our house is safe. In fact, at the doctor's office, he marched over to an outlet and pulled out the plastic safety cover with ease. I was like ... I didn't know he could do that! Needless to say, nothing is safe and we rarely leave him alone. His favorite activities are bringing me books and crawling into my lap (love this!), kissing on Piper, getting into the dog food (arrrgh), riding on his ride-on toys, pushing cars and trucks around, and being outside. He is so active, he can hardly sit still for more than a couple of minutes. I would gladly let him watch a video just so he will be still, but he is only enthralled for a couple of minutes, then he is on the move again.

He has also developed a very strong will (synonomous with toddlerhood, I think?), and is certain to tell you if he is displeased. One of the things we work on during his Speech Therapy is the ability to sit down and finish a task. Ummm, not an easy thing for a 17-month-old! He pitches a fit if you make him do something he doesn't want to do. I was telling his pediatrician this, and he just said "good luck with that"! One day, all this toil will pay off. At our last Speech session, Britton said "please" as clear as day (most of the time it is very muffled) and later that day said "yes" as clear as can be. He is coming along and considering his adjusted age, he is doing incredibly well! We were seeing a Physical Therapist, but at our last session, she said that Britton had no gross motor skill delay, whatsoever. Yay for that!

On to the pictures ... I took these when he was just turning 15 months, but neglected to post them. So, without further ado, here they are:

He still always has a hand in his mouth.

Look how dark his hair is in this picture? It's still brown these days, but inevitable, I think, that it will one day be black.

See those four teeth up top? He was cutting all four at the same time. That was a fun week. ;o)

We are loving these summer days with our boy! Hope you all are having a great summer, as well.