disney world 2017, final shots & a movie!!

...last but not least, the last few photos & a video from our time at disney world!
shots from my phone include a date night with mike at disney springs, 2 movie nights on the grass at the hotel (and popcorn!). also, our last 36 hours the weather turned and it warmed right up! our last morning (thursday) we went over to the french quarter and played in their great splash pad before giving in to elle's hair wrapping request, all before heading off on the magical express (aka: bus) back to the airport...


happy 4th birthday, jude!!!

jude's soul has always spoken to me in a unique and special way. from the first moment we met, things were different for the two of us- he arrived, acted, looked, and all-around was a different human than i ever expected. his demeanor has been the yin to my yang. 

as we sat across from each other in a bagel shop a week ago i stared at him and started to contrast his tiny, 7-lb. body was 4 years ago to how he looked now. still with a head full of brown hair. and a gaze that continues to melt my heart. just as elle has mike wrapped around his finger, jude has me wrapped around his. i never imagined just how silly a boy he would be. the things people say about him more than anything else (strangers included), are either, 1) comments about his hair, or 2) how he is a literal manifestation of joy. his smile, energy and enthusiasm is PALPABLE. he's 100%, 100% of the time. on the flipside to his joy, when he's mad, it's horrendous. he usually storms into his room, violently destroying anything in his path, then a few moments later calls, "mommy! scratch my back and sing me a song!" 

he will drink anything you put in front of him. he's huge for his age. he's terrified of pain- either his, or anyone around him. he's an early riser, but still a great napper. he asks for every character mask he sees, and loves superheros and legos. he makes a drum set and/or creates his own band daily. he dresses up and sings and dances allthetime. he's always sticky and sweaty. he'll only wear "svet" pants (aka: not jeans), and changes clothes 10x a day. cvs has replaced the dollar store as his happy place.  he yells, "STOP IT!" frequently throughout the day, and has unpredictable mood swings. he'll drop anything he's doing if i ask for cuddles. he requests each of his toes be kissed after his nap each day, and if i forget, he usually cries the moment he realizes it's been forgotten. he's curious and inquisitive. he loves his "gampa gaddis blank-blank," a blanket my grandpa gave him a year or two ago. he still sleeps with a binky (which i should care about more than i do). he always misses his big sister when she's not around, and he gives my belly kisses and hugs 10x a day as he yells, "hi baby brother!!!!" which of course, entirely melts my heart. (i'll never forget the smile on his face the instant he learned this baby was a boy.) he oooooooooooozes emotion- he oozes love. he has gotten so much better walking everywhere with me (instead of riding in a stroller), and insists on holding my hand and telling me to slow down. he struggles to say the "k" and "g" sounds, but is finally saying his "s" sounds better, which is both comforting and painful. why am i struggling so much to let him grow up???

our awesome little toasty ball of joy is 4...
happy 4th birthday, juju! we love you!!!!


disney world 2017, part 4!

 my parents headed home wednesday afternoon, but before they left we all headed back to disney springs via boat for souvenirs (we always let the kids pick out 1 present the last day- it saves from SO much extra/unnecessary purchases and gives them something to look forward to on the trip home:)  then we all ate lunch at wolfgang puck & ate ice cream one last time at ghiradelli:)
 we had a lazy afternoon playing around the hotel grounds- promised pool time, and MY FAVORITE........ bikes!!!
 we laughed andlaughedandlaughedandlaughed as we went around the resort. mike swore at me for talking him into this. i just laughed and tried to take pictures and video of how entertaining the whole experience was. sort of like this time paddle boating in dc, or that one time we rented a water trike in the caribbean long before we had babies...
 we got shirley temples by the pool (a total love from my childhood... plus, free snacks!), and the kids swam around in the lukewarm weather (it ALMOST got to 70;)
the sun set, and we went out for one last sit-down dinner as a family at the hotel. then we hit the arcade before going to one last movie night on the grass... 
 more pictures from our final morning are on my phone (one more post!), but for now, this is where it ends. we jumped on the magical express thursday afternoon and headed back to the airport for our trip home.

thoughts on vacations coming to an end brought to you by jude...
we did manage to have our own rows for the flight home. jude slept next to me and i watched tv on my phone as we flew back into the city. back home. it's always so bittersweet isn't it?? mike loves the days before vacations- he says the build up is better than the actual trip since the ending just hurts. it ended rough, but the memories we made with the kids were just so wonderful!

darn you, disney. we sure love you.
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