Hollywood Studios, Disney Day 4

Let’s get Disney vacation wrapped up so we can move on to other fun things from this year, shall we?

After a few days at Disney, it was time to explore our resort more! So we made sure to visit all the cars characters before we left for Hollywood Studios in the morning for breakfast. The theming at the Art of Animation Resort is just brilliant.



We only planned to spend half a day at Hollywood Studios, break at the resort, and visit Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney that I just can’t get out of the habit of saying) in the evening. I really wanted Jameson to see the Lego store! Not to mention, I wanted to do some shopping.

We planned for breakfast at Hollywood and Vine inside the studios, because they have Disney Jr characters! We couldn’t get all of us in for breakfast, so this breakfast was the four of us, plus Uncle Tyler (who had to get us in!). He got a complementary breakfast from us for all his hard work on this trip again. And some additional meals. We treated our guide well 🙂 We got this photo of the four of us while waiting for Uncle Tyler who was caught in traffic!


We were afraid we might not make our planned Frozen show that we had a fast pass for, so breakfast was a bit rushed but the kids saw all their favorites. Rather, Coraline did. Jameson acted too cool for school, but then told Handy Manny that he used to watch his show all the time #fanforlife.






Frozen was a hit! The best part was, of course, the end when we finally see Elsa and it snows! Sorry, spoiler alert.



Then, FINALLY, it was Jameson’s time. This is all he wanted to do. Star Wars! Even though he loves Kylo Ren, he didn’t want to meet him (too scared of the bad guys). Reality is still a little mixed for the little dude. But we did meet Chewbacca who was incredibly tall! And also a Jawa who was walking around.



We saw Captain Phasma and lots of Storm Troopers which really kind of terrified Jameson. They are loud characters, and very realistic! The adults in the group were pretty entertained by them. Tyler told us they custom make their suits, and they cost a lot of money!

Jameson also didn’t want to watch the Star Wars show in the center because it was loud and scary for him. We didn’t feel like Jameson would be able to handle the rides because of the same, so we skipped right to making his own light saber, which was by far the best part of his day.




We tried to do Tower of Terror, but the line was just too long, so we went ahead back to our hotel for lunch and a break. Coraline was thrilled to be back playing in the water.


Face time


We spent our evening in Disney Springs. We never did get to meet Duffy this time, but we found another just as big!



This was really Jameson’s day! He got to pick out his own container of Legos. We built a few Lego characters too.


And, to sum up the day: “I didn’t know they had real volcanos here!” Jameson, Disney Springs.

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The Tooth Fairy Arrived!

Jameson lost his first official tooth at 5am this morning! (Knocked out ones do not count). He would like to know how the tooth fairy gets into the house. I let him work out that one for himself.

While joking with dad, he informed Brian that he had seen the tooth fairy, and that she looked like a camel with three heads.

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Preschool Concert Lasts and Firsts

Jameson and Coraline were both in the Spring concert this year. The theme was Sesame Street! It was pretty difficult recording and photographing them this time since they were on opposite ends of the stage, but we did our best. I did love seeing Coraline perform in ballet! Coraline was so excited for the concert and skipped from the car into the school!



Coraline tried to help her friend back into her sweater, which she was having none of, haha! As usual Coraline was super expressive and delighted to see us.


Jameson was also happy to see us in the crowd, but very seriously followed along with the songs for the most part.


After the concert, Jameson was greeted by a lot of his teachers, including his piano teacher. When she said that she was excited for lessons the following day, Jameson groaned and declared that piano was hard.

(I’m mixed still on whether I want to pay for lessons after this year, which he’ll have to attend outside of school once he starts kindergarten. We’ll see, but he’s definitely been expressing to us lately as well that he doesn’t want to do piano.)

Post concert sugar rush. It was Jameson’s last preschool concert and Coraline’s first!

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Boy in a Box

Jameson got to sleep in his box a couple nights last weekend. He slept with his sleeping bag, a few stuffed animals and doggie pillow, and stayed there all night. Apparently, we could’ve left him in his crib years ago; he still fits so snugly still in small spaces.

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Mom’s Weekend

This past weekend, I manhandled the kids myself for the most part, while Brian planned and prepped for our big garden expansion. I took them first to see the Jungle Book on Saturday, and Jameson was not happy about going. He almost didn’t come, but I convinced him at the last minute after I showed him the trailer that included the “behind the scenes” clips showing how they used computers to animate the animals.

Coraline loved it (and snacking) the whole time. Jameson liked it, but was noncommittal about his favorite part. Coraline declared that she loved the tiger, which is probably accurate considering she was turning around and making tiger faces and growling at me during the final scenes of the movie. She told me on Monday this week that she loved the snake, that the snake was bad, and the snake was pretend. I think she caught on pretty well.

For my part, I loved most everything about the movie, and especially that I was able to take double trouble and manage them by myself in a dark theater while actually still watching it myself!

I was so proud of their behavior I even let them play one video game each afterwards.

Took the kids to see the Jungle Book (great!) and stopped for one arcade game after. Jameson did the gas pedal for Coraline.

I did get relieved of the children later in the afternoon so I could do laundry myself. I had a couple hours worth of folding and sorting and washing to do: it’s amazing what doesn’t get done when you are watching a chewing puppy every evening!

Sunday, we went to church while Brian worked outside in the weird mix of snow and sleet (in May!). We almost didn’t make it though after Jameson tripped his sister (for the second time that weekend). This time Coraline hit her head on a chair which quickly turned into a goose egg on her forehead. Poor thing has been battling a cold and ear infection from last week, so she was already pretty sensitive, so this resulted in near hysterics from her while Jameson pouted in his room.

I managed to get them out of the house on time nevertheless, and Jameson lost his teddy bears for a couple nights because of it. Although I had to laugh a little (literally, out loud) when he declared he didn’t want a little sister (the woes of being the eldest child).

Later we had a playdate with our friends at their house as Brian continued outside (though thankfully the sleet stopped) and left in a hurry to get home for Robert’s 40th birthday dinner. Uncle Robert, Aunt Melissa’s fiance, apparently had no idea (which was a surprise to me as well, good thing I didn’t spill the beans). I enjoyed the dinner out, and was grateful all the family was in attendance to help wrangle up these guys, who actually were remarkably well behaved as the dinner went on until after 8 pm.

It was a nice weekend, despite the extra work. We’re looking forward to doubling the space in our garden this year and putting up a beautiful wooden fence. Just in time for planting time! Our seedlings are looking okay as we attempt to get them used to the sunlight without burning them up. I’m excited for tomatoes and fresh lettuce again! Summer, here we come. (Any time now!)

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Three Going on Thirteen

What Coraline is Wearing:

  • 3T pants and shirts
  • Doggie shirt, princess shirts, and dresses or skirts when I can convince her how AWESOME AND CUTE she’ll look 🙂
  • Headband, because lately she’s wanted to wear her hair down (and then thinks I don’t have to brush it… that’s not how that works)
  • Big girl underwear, all the time
  • Size 8 shoes

Coraline was upset this morning when I made her wait to get her blankie until after she got dressed. I’ve been asking her if she wants piggie tails, marshmallow tails, double pony tales, or something else for her hair.
Today she told me she wanted a sad tail.
– Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What Coraline is Eating:

  • Meatballs, chicken nugget, hot dog, and most any meat she can eat with ketchup or ranch (same as her brother!)
  • Eggs, waffles, and most breakfast foods that Jameson never liked. Except she’s not a big fan of mommy’s homemade muffins.
  • Regular and “special” tube yogurts
  • Anything with a character on it
  • Candy “treats”, cookies and cupcakes, ice cream… any dessert.
  • Pasta all the time, even the edamame pasta we buy. Not a huge potato fan like Jameson though.
  • Strawberries, and applesauce pouches
  • Milk.
  • Coraline tries most of her food with every little effort from us, though rarely finishes her plate.

Asked Coraline what she wants for Christmas:
Day 1
C: Kitty
Mommy: What kind?
C: Orange
Mommy: Well, I don’t know if Santa can bring a kitty, what else would you like for Christmas?
C: Birthday cake
Mommy: We get birthday cake on our birthdays. Santa brings gifts and presents. What else would you like for Christmas?
C: Box

Day 2
Mommy: What would you like Santa to bring you? (Was she serious about the kitty)
C: Presents
Mommy: What kind of present?
C: Box
– Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What Coraline is Saying:

  • Coraline really loves to chatter, so we always get a nice overview of her day and what she did.
  • Whatever Jameson is saying: Lots of potty language
  • She’s very articulate, likes to play pretend and tell us that we’re eating pretend food or that her “baby is sleeping” so we need to be quiet, shhh!

Are you hungry in your belly, Coraline?
“I hungry in my mouth.”
– Friday, April 18, 2015


What Coraline Likes These Days:

  • Coraline loves to make a “surprise” face. June of last year she started opening her mouth real big when she got excited. She’s very expressive with all her feelings, but surprise face is my favorite.
  • Pretending to be a baby. She’ll do a little fake cry and curl up, waiting for me to scoop her up.
  • Coloring, stickers and stamps. She loves doing crafts too with our neighbor, Lily.
  • Eating! Coraline loves to eat and snack. She’s not in a rush through dinner either, she loves sitting at the dinner table and will eat long past everyone else. Not because she’s eating more, but she’s eating slower.
  • She loves Frozen, all day long, all the time.
  • Reading stories with me. And really, she’s pretty much a mommy’s girl all the time. I kind of like it.

Too busy to wash hands for dinner that she was demanding just 15 minutes before:
“I coloring mommy, I busy. I busy.”
– Wednesday, June 17, 2015

“Slip-shers” (Slippers)
– Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What Coraline Doesn’t Like These Days:

  • When she can’t see mommy’s eyes (or the eyes of a doll or eyes on her Elsa and Anna socks, we can’t roll them!)
  • Getting out of bed in the mornings
  • Being told to go potty when we request. She’s been potty trained for a long time, but has recently had a few accidents related to delaying her potty time
  • She’s not super fond of our newest addition, Luna, our labradoodle
  • Lately, it’s been harder to get her to stay in bed after her songs and stories, or even get ready for bed. I’m sure it’s just a phase, because usually she LOVES sleeping
  • When she gets disciplined, she gets very upset. She wants to be a good listener, she says!
  • Going down the stairs by herself, she always wants “uppy” especially in the mornings.


Pretending to be a puppy:
“Don’t pat my butt it’s stinky I poop everyday”
– Thursday, February 4, 2015

What Coraline is Doing:

  • Playing pretend, playing with her dolls house and tea set.
  • Watching tv
  • When coloring sometimes she’ll tell us that she’s writing her name or someone’s name, like on a card.
  • Singing and talking, all the time.
  • Trying on and playing with jewelry, hanging out in her room by herself. She doesn’t seem to fear being alone the way Jameson does as often, though she has her moments!
  • We starting doing gymnastics to help her find her balance better, which has worked out wonderfully. She really enjoyed it, though we’re on a break right now.
  • We also signed her up for ballet at school which she’s enjoyed.

Coraline found pumpkin stickers tonight and called them punkpunks.
– Thursday, April 9, 2015

A little rough drop off to daycare. Coraline discovered her blankie was “broken” when we arrived. She then threw a fit when the teacher said she was pretty, and she fell out of her chair.
– Friday, April 10, 2015

What We Are Working On:

  • Mommy and daddy are figuring out good ways to reward good behavior so more of it comes without being told (as always).
  • Getting dressed herself is sometimes good and sometimes rough. We try to reward it with a puff ball, a new rewarding tool that has worked for us somewhat. Other days though she’ll go upstairs and get her pajamas on after school all by herself and does it just fine! It seems to depend on mood.
  • Wiping after potty time, and washing hands after that.
  • No matter the mood, she still struggles with putting on her socks. Trying to do it usually results in a big upset cry

And without further ado, Coraline’s very first interview:

What is your name? Coraline Genevieve… I wanna do poop. I wanna do poop picture! (The “potty language” continues throughout the interview)
How old are you? 3 Holds up fingers
What is your favorite color? Pink

What’s your favorite color?
– Saturday February 27, 2016

What is your favorite animal? Um… Bugs!
What is your favorite book? Poopy book… picture of animals
What is your favorite TV show? Frozen (Daniel Tiger, Doc McStuffins or most anything on Disney Junior, and usually whatever Jameson wants to watch when they’re home together)
What is your favorite movie? Cinderella (I think Frozen is her favorite and maybe Minions, but we have been introducing her to all the other princesses for Disney!)
What is your favorite song? Frozen (Let it Go, which I sing one verse of at bedtime, and the “snowman one” which I also sing a verse of)
What is your favorite food? Orange
What food do you not like? Not blood orange. I like regular oranges!
What is your favorite drink? Sour stuff
What is your favorite snack? Fruit snacks. And apples, bananas
What makes you laugh? Apples and bananas
What is your favorite thing to wear? Naked butt shirts (Such a joker)
What is your favorite game? Something I wanna poopy butt… lets see.. there’s something in here… (We can really tell that she has a big brother)
What is your favorite toy? A Frozen toy
Who is your best friend? Porter and Hailey (Friends from school)
What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Well I’m pushing this. Well.. I’m getting out of this… Well this is very fun in here to push. (Talking about what she’s doing instead of answering. I suggested that she goes to bed with her little blankies.)
Where is your favorite place to go? To Disney World! To Disney (We hadn’t yet gone to Disney when we took the video, but we sure were talking about it a lot!)
Where do you want to go on vacation? Disney
What do you like to do with your family? I like to go with them and push the tent (Again talking about what she’s doing instead of answering the question)
What do you want to be when you grow up? Umm be… Bad Coraline! (I can hope here that she’s referencing the movie Coraline since she was looking at the DVD shelf, haha!)
What did you do when you were little? I used to play with Mommy’s toys
What do you like to do now that you are big? Do big girl stuff… go with the schoolagers (Coraline is really enamored with the idea of going to kindergarten with Jameson)
What is your favorite thing to learn in school? Something I wanna get toys and sit and lay on the floor (Coraline was really distracted at this point talking about what she was playing with at the time, so we cut it short!)
What is your favorite thing to remember? Didn’t get to ask this
What do you want to buy with your money? Didn’t get to ask this
What is the thing you do the most awesomely? Didn’t get to ask this


One Year


Two Years

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Easter Hunts

Easter this year was another gorgeous sunny day, despite being in late March. We managed to get dressed in time for church before the kids were able to find their eggs (though plenty were pointed out before we left).

When we got home, it was egg-seeking time!




This year, the Easter Bunny hid some eggs in the basement, too (but not outside like last year).




In their baskets this year were underwear, pez and gummy bears and a book as well as squishy caterpillars. Jameson had some little marble puzzles while Coraline got some socks, a shirt and stamps and stickers. They each got a craft as well: Jameson got some foldable little robots, since he loves making paper airplanes, and this was a hit. Coraline got a make your own bouncy ball kit which definitely required supervision for them both (Aunt Melissa got to do that), and pretend snow.



At Grandma and Poppa’s house later that day, we always enjoy an outdoor egg hunt. The kids had to wait for Aunt Melissa to come over before seeking, though!

Tackling grandpa








Coraline kept opening her eggs and eating her candy rather than searching for more eggs. Meanwhile, Jameson, who is kind enough to share with his sister, was very seriously looking for as many eggs as he could.




After egg hunts and lunch, we played by the creek and daddy let Jameson into the creek for the first time with his new water shoes that he got in his Easter basket at Grandma and Poppa’s house. Jameson was concerned about getting his shorts wet, but thrilled to be walking around in the creek.

It was a great Easter, and warmer than last year. I was excited about Coraline’s last minute dress find. It was such a lovely spring color and she loved wearing it (always a plus).

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Day Trip to COSI

Successful day trip to COSI on a freezing Saturday in April.

A few weeks ago, we had a last gasp of winter complete with snow and decided to do a day trip to COSI. COSI is a hands-on kids science museum (though museum doesn’t seem like the right word) “Center of Science and Industry” in Columbus.

We knew (but the kids didn’t) that we wouldn’t be able to do day trips like this for a while with a new puppy who was coming, and I really wanted Jameson to see their Lego exhibit before it was gone in May.

The way there was a little intense, since we had to take snow-covered back roads to avoid a backed up highway. But we made it!






The Lego area was pretty cool: Jameson made a car to race down the track, and I admired the displays of Lego-work representing places around the world. Coraline liked the larger Duplo car bases and both kids wanted to take a turn in the race car.


There were even larger bricks for younger kids that they both enjoyed. But that was only the start, COSI had a lot of great activity rooms!

This display in the hall was a hit. Coraline and Jameson together shot a ball in the air with the weight of the larger ball and made the bulls-eye light up.



We next visited the Ocean rooms, and Jameson went in the little yellow submarine. They had lots of fun with water play and the shifting colors in this area made for fun photography. Jameson turned the crank to move water around. We didn’t fully describe the educational aspects of everything they were experiencing, but with a 3 and 5 year old, the experience is definitely part of the learning anyway.




In the Gadgets area, we couldn’t explore the area for older kids, but Coraline spent ages with the blue noodles putting things into holes (and misplacing the littler white rods from the nearby table into the larger holes for the noodles). Jameson watched and played with shooting the balls into the mousetrap style activity board up on the wall.




My favorite is always the Progress rooms, and I really got a kick out of showing them the old camera and old telephone system (and even the newer telephone booth).




We played with the newsroom for a little while. This photo mid-laugh is because Coraline has declared that the breaking news is about “poop” (as are all things, these days).


Jameson spent almost a full 15 minutes in the little kids activity area trying to get water to shoot out this pvc pipe that really belonged in a different waterworks area. He did, finally, get it to work when he closed off some of the openings. I was proud that he kept at it!



We really exhausted Coraline. We had lunch in their cafeteria before the kids play area but she kept pretending to sleep afterwards so we knew it was almost time to wrap it up.


Jameson insisted on doing the wind box, best 2 dollars ever spent. It’s one of the few things, besides the shows, that cost anything extra. We didn’t have time for any shows while we were there (we weren’t 100% sure that Coraline would sit through them since they were an hour or more long each anyway).


The very last room we visited was the Transportation room, and Jameson was helping “direct” another kid how to do the video game here. But when it was finally Jameson’s turn, he wasn’t any better, haha!


We had a great time. The way home was much easier since the snow was cleared off the roads. I was glad that we were able to spend the day doing something fun indoors. Jameson was excited to watch the ipad on the drive, and Coraline was excited about the snacks I brought on the way.

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Jameson’s First Mile

Jameson finished his first mile run March 23, no walking. I slowed our pace, and he did a good job pacing with me. He was so proud of himself! And I was proud too. We ran fast enough that I regretted wearing the jeans (too lazy to change). The mile was just around our neighborhood to the “neighborhood lake”. I read that we shouldn’t let kids overdo it (just like a puppy), so I made him run-walk the way home.

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Brawny Box Troll

Jameson insisted that we cannot get rid of this box. We let him nap in it on Sunday, and he actually fell asleep, so it’s a permanent fixture (at least for the foreseeable future). He was afraid we were going to get rid of it on trash day, so he told his grandma who was babysitting that she should take it to her house so it didn’t get thrown out.

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