Sunday, April 20, 2014

Blogging Vacation

I started this blog in August 2008 and have been pretty much consistent in my blogging since then. The only time I've ever "taken time off" was when unexpected events occurred, such as family deaths etc. With everything going on this past week I simply did not have the time (or energy!) to get posts scheduled for while I'm away this week. Usually when we travel I plan posts ahead of time but that just didn't happen this time! I know I will have down time while on our trip but I also don't want to feel like I have to do anything...I just want to RELAX and enjoy sleeping in, reading books, taking long baths...basically having practically zero on my agenda to accomplish!

Therefore, I'm taking my first ever official Blog Vacation! Posts will resume on Monday April 28th! I know I'm super mega majorly behind "real time" and still have a TON of Disney blogging to do but I'm hoping the rejuvenated spirit I will have from this amazing trip will get me back on track when I come home :) If you are looking for some blogs to read while I'm away be sure to check out all the links on my sidebar to the blogs I love! 

I will have Wifi access on the trip and plan to post pictures up on Instagram! Be prepared for a lot of selfies as Zach will be spending a good bit of time golfing with Mr. Rusty so I will be chilling in the room and getting my fancy spa on ;) If you don't already follow me on Instagram, be sure to do so here!

Please keep us in your prayers during our travels! Ireland here we COME!!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

25 Weeks Pregnant

Warning: This is probably going to be one of the most "TMI" filled post I've written yet (although if you've read either of my birth stories then this won't be that bad!). 
Baby Growth: Leo is 13.5 inches long and weighing about the same as a rutabaga (1.5 lbs!). Hair is starting to really come in and if we could see Leo we'd be able to tell it's color and texture at this point! I'm interested to see if we'll have another baby who keeps their hair like Britt did or loses it like Kye did :) I don't mind a bald boy, but crossing fingers for a non-bald girl ;)
 My Symptoms: I first started to not feel quite right on Saturday April 5th. We were in Orlando and I woke up just not feeling normal. Zach had a stomach bug so I was nervous that was it, but we had also eaten out late the night prior and had Mexican so I assumed I just had gas? I went on with things but just felt miserable and got more and more miserable as time passed. This past week was awful. I was exhausted feeling all the time. My stomach just felt MASSIVE and was tender to the touch. I was even waddling when I walked which is something that really shouldn't be happening this soon! I just didn't feel like ME and felt like it was too early to feel as awful as I felt. I am one of those people who hates to call into the doctor and I especially felt silly calling just to say "I don't feel right!" I mean I felt the baby moving still and didn't have any spotting so I just kept pushing through!

I way, way overdid it over this past weekend. Saturday morning I cleaned the house and then Britt and I met up with Casey for lunch at Chicken Salad Chick (gah y'all it's seriously SO AMAZING). When the kids went down for naps I went to Lake Park to hit up Gap outlet. Kye's clothes are legit TOO SMALL and he's desperate for new stuff. It was fun shopping for him in the big kid sizes for the first time ever!!! 
Saturday afternoon Zach made BBQ and the boys (meaning he and Jordan, of course) watched the FSU Spring Game. Once I got home from Gap I was worn out. Completely. I also totally forgot to drink my Spark that day so I got slammed with a migraine that night. Which Zach gets bothered by. He doesn't like the idea of me needing Spark in order not to have a headache. But like I told him...I used to get migraines 3-5 times A WEEK so I'd MUCH rather "need" a Spark everyday and have headaches way way way less, ya know? 

Sunday morning was a rough start to what I already knew was going to be a long day. I had to drink a Mountain Dew after breakfast with some Tylenol. Gross. Honestly I'm not even a soda fan so having to drink them is gross enough but in the mornings? I sipped it slowly and it did help. 
My stomach was also in a LOT of pain. I have NEVER been constipated my entire life. Which I know now has been a BIG blessing. But when you've never experienced don't really know the signs of what is happening, ya know? I thought it might be constipation because I'm typically very, very regular. Like go immediately after eating type regular. But I wasn't going as often and did have some "pellets" during the week. I was extremely uncomfortable and just miserable. The top of my stomach was SO tight and I know the baby is down low still so it didn't make sense. Also I had a good bit of cramping/pain in my lower right abdomen that just wouldn't stop hurting. Miserable is the word of the week for sure!

Right after church we headed to the egg hunt a sweet family hosts each year. We haven't ever gone before but this year decided to let the kids skip nap to go and I'm SO glad we did! They LOVED it (and we learned that Kye is quite the lady charmer...) 
Once we got home from the egg hunt I jumped back in the car to go to Lakeland for Casey's first baby shower! I'm so, SO thankful I was able to be there. With our Ireland trip I'm missing two of her showers :( I'm totally bummed about it! The shower was ADORABLE and I had a good time but, again, just didn't feel well. Everything hurt. I felt like I wasn't even able to really put on much of a happy face for the occasion! 

Casey 31 Weeks
Me 24 Weeks
(and yes, we look the same size...)
Since I didn't have a good poop all weekend (hey, I warned you about the TMI situation...) I went ahead and put two prunes in my meal replacement shake Monday morning. And I finally went, twice! It was my first legit time going in over a week. But I still didn't feel any better. I started looking up what my pain could be and thought it was either constipation still, a blockage of poop, or just intense round ligament pain. I had a VERY busy week planned with all the prepping I needed to do for our big trip coming up and I couldn't rest like I knew I probably needed. I went to bed early that night and had read that if it was round ligament pain (or pain from just simply doing too much) then it would go away with rest. Well Monday night it stormed and we got woken up at 4 am thanks to our dogs. When we woke up I still had the pain so I knew something else was going on. Zach and I both slept horribly which was not a good start to the next day!

Tuesday morning I didn't do the prunes again because they were gross and because I had gone to the bathroom twice and didn't think I needed them? I did go one more time that day as a normal poop but that was it. I was even more miserable that day than the days prior. I think the lack of sleep just was super bad timing. I ended up caving in and becoming a couch potato like I was during the first trimester. When the kids napped, I rested on the couch and ended up falling asleep myself. I was too uncomfortable to accomplish anything. I'm so thankful for Zach. That day we actually had a really good talk about things and he stepped up BIG TIME the rest of the week in helping me and I know he will the rest of the pregnancy as well. Zach is seriously THE most helpful husband/father I know of! I'm truly blessed in that department :)

I had a mini breakdown on the phone with Mrs. Charlotte Tuesday morning about my concerns and issues. I busted out the pink sheet the dr. gave me that discussed over the counter remedies for common pregnancy issues and, of course, Mrs. Charlotte ran to the store and got me stocked up:
Tuesday night I soaked in a bath and tried to just relax. I went to bed early and drank the Milk of Magnesia stuff. I assumed it would get things rolling because I am usually SO regular and I go to the bathroom SO easily! I woke up Wednesday morning and still hadn't gone. The bottle said it would take 30 min - 6 hours to produce a bowl movement but I didn't have one in over 12 hours. I blended up a cup full of the Raisin Brand in my meal replacement shake (pretty tasty actually!) and hoped that would help. But it didn't.

I got my hair done Wednesday morning and as soon as I sat down in the chair and saw my reflection in that mirror I knew I needed to call the doctor as soon as I left. I just wasn't myself. Getting my hair done ALWAYS puts me in a good mood but I was straight up OUT OF IT. I couldn't really think straight and just could barely move. Renika, my hair stylist, told me I def needed to call. As soon as I left I called and they told me to come in that afternoon. I'm so thankful Mrs. Charlotte could come keep the kids while they napped!

I felt MEGA silly calling but felt a little less silly when they told me I'd be seeing someone other than Stacy. I think just seeing someone random made me less embarrassed? But then it actually ended up that I did see Stacy after all haha bring on the embarrassment!!! I just felt DUMB for calling when it's my dang 3rd baby! But with us leaving for IRELAND I didn't want to take any chances and, honestly, I just was so miserable I was willing to do anything to feel better. Someone told me that the doctor may have to stick something up there to clean me out and I didn't mind even! I just wanted to be BETTER. 

First thing we listened to the baby and it sounded great (heart rate in the 150s). Stacy pressed on a spot on my right side and it was SUPER painful. She told me my issues were not a baby issue (praise the Lord!) but that it was either a constipation combined with gas issue or I could have appendicitis. She had me do lab work to check my white blood cells and told me that the test wouldn't rule it out completely. Basically the test would either say "yes you have appendicitis" or "we don't know." Here are some things she told me at that visit to help with constipation:
  • Walk around a lot
  • Drink a TON of water
  • Do NOT eat a ton of fiber (it actually makes it harder to go if you're already constipated!)
I asked if I would still be good to go for the trip and she said it was too early to tell. Which made me nervous!!! She told me to go to the store and buy some stuff that would FOR SURE get me cleaned out. Then to take some gas meds if I still had stomach pain. She said to keep a close eye out for fever or vomiting because those are the signs of appendicitis. She said the appendicitis would for sure present itself prior to our trip so at least the timing was good. She also said that if the issue is constipation that the flight and all would probably make it worse. Boo. 
Being a Wednesday we have Bible Study but I decided not to go. I wanted to get things rolling with the cleaning out situation as early as I could as I also didn't want to be up all night on the toilet. I was surprised how well I handled the news of potentially having appendicitis. At first I wasn't sure what that would mean if I had it? I finally looked it up online and did you know that appendicitis is the #1 surgery pregnant women have to have? And that, as long as we caught it prior to rupturing, it's totally okay for the mom and baby? However, I did find out that if it were to rupture that appendicitis is also one of the leading causes of death in pregnant women too. Yikes. It can rupture VERY easily because the symptoms go unnoticed since so many of them are similar to regular pregnancy issues. I was worried b/c that spot when she pressed did REALLY hurt. But I also felt confident that we'd be early in catching it. Stacy said that if it was appendicitis then I was in the very, very early stages of it so that's good!

I didn't have the energy to do anything and Mrs. Charlotte was SUPER sweet to bring by dinner for us! (Randomly CASEY also had a lot of pain that day! Cousins connected already huh? So Mrs. Charlotte played nurse for us all haha Thankfully she felt better the next day...I'm super ready for Casey to be DONE working so she can REST! She def does too much on her feet all day at work!). I decided to just let the kids watch a movie in the bed and snuggle before the left. Zach and Kye had hair appointments prior to church so they just took Britt along with them :) It worked out well! While they ate their dinner I drank the magic poop drink :) It was AWFUL. The bottle said to drink ½ of it to the full thing. So I drank it all. I wanted this OVER WITH and didn't want to risk it not working like the other stuff didn't work Tuesday night. 

Once the family left I sat on the couch and tried to rest while I waited. Again, the bottle said the same as the other did. Things would start grooving between 30 min and 6 hours. 30 min after drinking it stuff did start moving...but not in the way I had anticipated. I ended up puking. Three times. Like gross through the nose puke. For some reason I still wasn't scared?!?! I knew she had said that appendicitis would cause puking but I just felt like it was all going to be okay. After I threw up I actually felt BETTER. So I assumed that was also a good sign that it wasn't my appendix! 

Finally about another 30 min later the real deal started. I went for like 30 min solid (and texted while pooping...SKILLS people SKILLS!) and felt 1,000 times better than I had felt in 10 days. I tried to make sure to drink PLENTY of water and had a little station set up in the bathroom! Water, pinterest and plenty of TP :)
Although it was intense, it wasn't as intense as I'd anticipated. Probably b/c I did throw up so much of the drink? I was able to take breaks and even watch Survivor with Zach and eat dinner! I even got to bed at a normal time that night and slept well through the night. 

Thursday morning I started off still feeling good! Britt and I ran to Target and I tore that place UP. Oops. I thought I was done going but I guess not! I'm thankful she behaved while I did my thing and I'm thankful I held it together for Kye's egg hunt at school. By nap time I was feeling pretty bad again. My left side hurt really bad and I just felt super weak and tired and gave out. My stomach wasn't as tender or sore but it still didn't feel like a regular normal pregnant belly either. 

I did call the dr again and told them I was pretty sure it was NOT appendicitis. I hadn't heard back about my labs which also meant they came back fine (no news is always good news with my dr). I asked them for tips for how to prevent myself from getting constipated again, especially while traveling:

  • lots of fluids
  • lots of walking
  • high fiber foods
  • colace twice a day (it's a stool softener)

I again didn't get anything accomplished for our trip (and as you can tell from my lack of blogging this week...I didn't get anything done there either!) but I just took more time to rest. I was worried about dehydration since I know my system went through a LOT. I drank a LOT of water and soaked in an Epsom salt bath (I read it helps to rehydrate!). Before bed I drank the gas medicine and you should have heard all the crazy sounds I was making!!!

This morning I woke up feeling WAY more like myself! My left side of my stomach still hurts a good bit? But I really think that's from alllll the stuff it's been through! Baby movement has increased BIG TIME and I feel like I have more space in there. Even just sitting was uncomfortable and now I feel back to normal as far as what is comfortable and uncomfortable. I still am weak but I know that might take some time to get back to full speed. Especially since I have two young kids which means rest isn't easy to come by! 

The top of my stomach doesn't feel FULL the way it has been feeling. It also doesn't feel tender anymore and I wouldn't describe myself as miserable at all. I can think clearer and have actually started planning out this BIG trip we're taking in three days. Finally ;) I know i have to be super, super mindful not to overdue it though. This weekend is another crazy one and I just have to not overload myself!!!

I truly believe it was a bad combination of constipation and gas. I just didn't know the symptoms so I didn't act quickly enough and it got so, so bad. I'm hoping moving forward that I can prevent it from happening again. I'm not sure what caused it this first time? I eat WAY better this pregnancy than I ever have before! BUT I do think that maybe the iron in my coreplex may have caused it? I have read that iron is usually the reason pregnant women get constipated. I have started taking my probiotic right when I wake up, 30 min prior to eating to help. And I think I might split up my coreplex? Take one per meal rather than all three for breakfast?

I am SO SO SO thankful that it's not appendicitis. While a 12 hour plane flight and 8 days away from my babies does not sound super mega's a LOT better than surgery :) I try to find God's goodness in all things and I DO think there was a LOT of good in this situation. 1) I will never take poop for granted again! 2) I got it all resolved prior to this weekend so I can enjoy my babies AND prior to the trip so I can, hopefully enjoy that too! 3) It wasn't appendicitis AND it was something fixable rather than just looking at a loooong remaining 4 months 4) It helped Z and I to have a really great talk and for him to really take more care of me and Leo! 5) It helped me be in better spirits about this trip. I have felt SUPER ungrateful b/c I just haven't been looking forward to it. But dealing with this pain and misery and knowing it's NOT going to require surgery makes me much more grateful to be able to have this opportunity. 

In other pregnancy symptoms my melasma is also back. Lovely. I am rocking that dark upper lip look. Yuck! At least I know it will go away once Leo is born :)

Weight: I can't remember how much I was weighing last time I weighed in? I've gained 9 lbs overall. Which sounds HIGH to me?!?! But who knows how accurate that is with everything going on in there this week! I'm just thankful to FEEL BETTER and I'm totally fine with whatever the scale says right now :) Just went back and looked and on April 4th I'd gained 6 overall so three pounds since then isn't actually too bad at all! 

Gender: Still think BOY! Casey has been thinking it's a girl but last weekend she said she's now thinking boy too :) My brother is a couple months older than our cousin and they have been BFF since BIRTH so it would be so, so precious to have boys so close in age together! I love the closeness that Kye has with both Colt and Payton but Colt is a year older and Payton is a girl ya know? Plus, assuming Casey and Jordan don't move, our kids will be in the same school together :) 

Maternity Clothes: On Saturday I went over to someone's house in our neighborhood who put on Facebook that she had maternity clothes for sale. I am SO thankful I went!!! For starters, she has three kids and her older two are the same ages and sex as mine!!! How perfect is that for play dates? Secondly, while I was there I met her babysitter who works with special needs children and is part of a network of sitters who all work with special needs. She said they all also babysit for other people too and HELLO that would be PERFECT! I know the care and loving heart that goes into caring for special needs situations so I'm sure they would all be AMAZING sitters for us as well! And lastly, her clothes were AWESOME. I got several pairs of shorts that I'm super pumped about!!!

Also on Saturday (I'm telling y'all...I was SO BUSY!) I went over to my sweet friend Julie's house and she hooked Casey and I UP with AMAZING maternity clothes to borrow! I plan to rock as many of them as I can since I will have to give them back haha! She's taller, like Casey, and when I tried on her dresses it was the first time in my life that I've wished I was taller!!! She has SUCH cute maxis that Casey gets to enjoy :) 

Seriously though all the new-to-me maternity clothes made my heart so, so happy. I think when you are pregnant clothes become SO much more important b/c you need to feel cute and comfortable and when you have super cute stuff to wear it makes it easy! I am SUPER appreciative of Julie for letting me borrow so many of her beautiful things!

Movement: I didn't want to scare anyone so I didn't talk about it much but omg the movement was SO much less this week. I know it's because of all the extra stuff in there so I couldn't feel Leo as well. I also thought that maybe I was just getting further along and wouldn't be feeling it as intensely. But now that things are back to normal today...the movement has become crazy again and I LOVE IT.  Thank you Lord for this sweet blessing and for little Leo remaining so healthy during this week! It's so neat to think about that Leo had NO CLUE what was going on all around him or her!

Sleep: With the misery I felt I struggled to sleep. I was exhausted but was hurting and it made it hard to fall asleep. Once I got to sleep I was fine, but falling asleep was tough. Hopefully that will improve now that I'm better! And I'm eager to get LOTS OF SLEEP this coming week! Every day I get to sleep in on this trip :)

Cravings: Chicken Salad Chick on Saturday was A-MAZING. We ate hot dogs at the egg hunt Sunday and I really don't like hot dogs but omg these were awesome and totally hit the spot. The shower food was super yummy too! My major craving lately has been sweet candy. Not as much chocolate but just mostly sweet, chewy stuff. RANDOM. I mean I may not have anything else packed for the trip yet...but I'm loaded down with plenty of snacks for the 12 hour one way flight :)
I also had a craving for Cocoa-No-Bakes this week so Kye and I made some together Monday night. They ALWAYS make me go poop so I thought they might help my system get rolling ;) 
Now that I'm not constipated anymore I am adding ½ cup of Raisin Bran to my meal replacement shake each morning. So in my shake I put: 1 cup water, 1 choc meal replacement shake, 1.5 cups ice, 1 scoop of peanut butter, and ½ cup raisin bran cereal. I blend it all together and it's GOOD!

What I Miss: Right now? Not a dang thing! I'm just SO THANKFUL to be back to feeling GOOD rather than miserable and feeling LOTS of Leo movement rather than hardly anything!!! I will go ahead and tell you though that if you ask me this question come Monday I will have one answer and that is that I will be missing my children LIKE CRAZY!

Best Moments of the Week: Even though I over-did it last weekend and felt pretty awful, I still had some wonderful times! The egg hunt and shower on Sunday were SO great!!! And I can FINALLY announce Casey and Jordan's baby name....
Yes! Carter James Bacon! James is actually Mr. Rusty's first name :) I LOVE IT. They didn't tell Zach and I prior to telling the family but I totally already knew it. Which I hate about myself! I just can't help but to overthink everything, even when I don't want to! I'm really, really hard to surprise. Which kinda stinks huh? But I seriously do LOVE THE NAME!!! Bacon is a tricky last name to work with, in my opinion, and I think it's perfect :)

This week I have been soaking up as much sweetness with my babies as I can. Not feeling good is not fun, but knowing I'm leaving them for eight days just made me pretty pitiful this week. They got spoiled and loved on more than usual for sure! And they were both SO wonderful when Mommy wasn't at her best! Zach and Kye worked on putting together Leo's furniture :) Big Brother loves to be a helper!
Feeling better, obviously, is THE best thing about this week for sure :) 


  • Hello. Flying 12 hours on Monday makes me NERVOUS. I bought a new water bottle to keep filled, have my compression stockings, plan to take baby aspirin, bought benedryl in case I have flight anxiety, am bringing a pillow for comfort, a mask to wear to cover my eyes...what else? Any flight recommendations while pregnant?!?!?!?
  • Also I'm nervous about the constipation/gas issue happening again. I'm packing all the meds and stuff that I have. Plan to take colace twice a day at least while on the trip to keep things regular. Any other tips to help stay comfortable? Keep from getting constipated again?
  • I still have that pain on my left side...hoping it's just from everything I've been through this week. Makes me a little nervous but I'm not going to go to the ER over it with it being the weekend!
  • Since I haven't even STARTED to pack yet, I'm nervous about getting it all done and not forgetting anything!!! 
  • And I'm dreading being away from the kids for that long :(
Goals for the Week: Go into the trip with a grateful attitude. Don't let the concerns I have get in the way of a memorable vacation. Enjoy the down time. Rest. Don't feel pressure to get anything done. Don't let Zach's golf schedule bother me or cause us to argue (yes, he's golfing a LOT). Take care of myself on the flights and STAY HYDRATED. Don't let missing the kids take away from the enjoyment of the trip. They will be having fun at home with G-Mama. In 10 years they won't remember me being gone but the memories I make on this trip will still be there in 10 years!!! I just need to try not to let any of my concerns or worries get to me and need to take advantage of this opportunity to truly get some ME time and relax before this baby comes :) It's ironic that this week on Baby Center is says a goal for this week should be to dedicate time with my partner...I def think that goal will be accomplished!!!

Belly Pictures: These were taken last night. When I was exhausted and miserable feeling haha Zach was SO sweet and encouraging and kept telling me I looked beautiful :)  

Notes from Past Pregnancies: You can read my post from my last pregnancy at 25 weeks here! Ugh that picture of me to the side is like one of my favorite pregnant pictures of me ever! So cute and you can def tell how much cuter I was that pregnancy compared to this one! Ugh also annoyed that I was only at 5 lbs overall at this point in weight gain! I told Zach today that I SWEAR it's gotta be a boy b/c I really am gaining like I did with Kye too. Even though I am eating THE healthiest I've EVER eaten while pregnant. So frustrating! Plus I do think a good bit of the weight is in my chest. At this point last pregnancy I was still wearing a 34C and these babies are in a 38D now! Interesting that I was also having stomach pains at this point last time!!! Makes me feel a little better about my issues this week for sure :) 

Omg super ironic b/c this time last pregnancy Kye had his first ever nightmare. And this week Kye actually came downstairs to our room (and scared the crap out of us...well I WISH he'd scared the crap literally out of me haha) b/c he had a super bad nightmare. Poor thing was shaking and so scared. He asked to sleep with us even (first time ever asking that!). Of course we said no and took him back to his room but I did enjoy the 2 am cuddle session ;)

During my first pregnancy at this point my milk was already leaking!!! Isn't that CRAZY?!?! So glad that isn't happening now! It made me nervous last pregnancy that I never leaked, but I'm not concerned at all about it this time around. I had a great breatfeeding experience with Britt and I am 100% confident that it will be super smooth with Leo as well :) Wow when I got measured for my nursing bra at this point in pregnancy with Kye...I was a 38DD. Crazy how much my breast size has varied each time. 34 C at this point with Britt, 38DD at this point with Kye, and 38D at this point with Leo! Breast augmentation is def in my future after all the damage these poor things have been through, huh? ;)

Thursday, April 17, 2014


After our morning at Animal Kingdom and went straight down for naps. I had an awesome nap and woke up with plenty of time to leisurely get ready for the afternoon. It was wonderful! We didn't get sweaty or anything that morning but I wanted us to wear different outfits for each park (duh!) so I got ready while the kids were still napping. HELLO LEO! I loved how pregnant this dress made me look!

When we first took Kye to Disney we did not visit Epcot. I always said I didn't see why people loved Epcot. The main thing I always heard about it was the food and drinking and that's just not something we have been interested in. THEN we started park hopping with Kye and realized we love Epcot. It's actually our 2nd favorite park behind Magic Kingdom! So this trip Epcot was a "must do" for us. Mrs. Charlotte had either never been or hadn't been in a long time so it was good for her to get to go too and honestly I wish we had a full day to devote to it. Zach and I were just talking about how we'd like to have more time for both Animal Kingdom and Epcot! 

Illuminations is Zach's favorite fireworks show so we decided early on to go to Epcot to get to see that show. It just worked out where we were actually able to do Epcot the day after we did the Magic Kingdom fireworks. So, yes, that meant TWO late nights in a row for our kids! Cool mom or whhhhhat?!? We went to Epcot as soon as the kids woke up and had a great afternoon and evening there!
For our Epcot clothes I just kinda put together random stuff. Mrs. Charlotte had bought Britt the Minnie shirt and I knew it'd be chilly that night so I thought it'd be a good time to wear it and we went to Target the week prior to our trip and happened to see the random Mickey shirt for Kye. You can't ever go wrong with red and black at Disney, right? And I wasn't really sure what would be an appropriate "Epcot theme" for outfits?

I LOVE these of G-mama with the kids!!!

First Stop: Spaceship Earth!

We have ALWAYS gone to Epcot in the afternoon and have never had any type of wait for anything. We have been three times now and still have yet to check out the different countries haha. We just hit the main rides and eat and watch the fireworks :) I knew Britt would LOVE Nemo so we rode that but then did have a decent bit to wait for Turtle Talk with Crush. Thankfully they have a lot of fun tanks to look at while we waited!

Bless his heart...Kye had his hand raised the ENTIRE time wanting to talk to Crush but he never got called on. Like he had that hand in the air even when they weren't taking any questions hahahaha. He said it was tired after! Last time we did it Kye was the center of Crush's attention, remember? So I'm glad he didn't get upset about the lack of attention on him this time! We got spoiled the first time for sure!
Since we had more time at Epcot than we've ever had before (we got there at 4!) I wanted to check out some new things. Each time we go to Epcot we try to do a few new things so we can experience the whole park at some point ;) I read that The Circle of Life featured Simba and since we didn't get to see The Lion King show at Animal Kingdom I thought it'd be a good chance for Britt to see her favorites from the movie. Y'all. DO NOT go to Circle of Life! It is just a movie. And even worse it's a super mega liberal movie. If you're a longtime reader then you know my feelings about The Lorax. This movie was the same. Zach was squirming in his seat. Plus it's not even a good movie. Like The Lorax at least had a plot and some cuteness to it...this thing didn't even really make logical sense. Def skipping it from now on!

While in The Land area we did also do Living with the Land. It got fabulous reviews and was a neat ride. Kye has actually brought both of these experiences up to us since leaving our trip and I think they made an impact on him. He said he wants to ride "the plant ride" next time we go. It wasn't the most exciting thing ever...but it was a ride and it was cool to see all the things they grow at Epcot!
Ever since going to Epcot and eating the Mexican food there I have been wanting it! However, it was a pretty decent walk from where we were and at that point we didn't want to spend the time walking that far away when our next ride plan was nearby to where we were. So we ate at the Electric Umbrella. And made sure to fill Mrs. Charlotte in on Zach's almost fist fight there haha!
Britt LOVES to help. I know I usually brag on Kye for having his servant heart but Britt is following in those footsteps as well. She takes pride in helping others and enjoyed helping get us everything we needed for our dinner! Again, we ate in the room for breakfast and lunch so we splurged on dinner and ate out. The kids split a meal and each adult got their own. I got a chicken salad and didn't like it. Boo. I had some RANDOM eye issue?!?! Sometimes I have that happen where one eye will look clouded and like I'm swimming under water with my eyes open. Thanks Lasik.  I tried going to the bathroom and washing it out but nothing worked and I was pretty miserable and started getting a headache from it. Thankfully it eventually fixed itself!
Britt was being SO adorable and silly and several people stopped us to talk to her and commented on how adorable she was being (which was an ongoing theme our ENTIRE trip!) :) The boys ate quick and then headed over to ride Test Track. When Kye and I watched youtube videos of the rides I knew he'd LOVE Test Track so it was on our "must do" list. Britt, Mrs. Charlotte and I took our time finishing eating and spent some girl time together. Britt LOVES "girl time." It doesn't matter what we are doing, if we call it "girl time" she's crunk ;) We were waiting on Mrs. Charlotte in the bathroom and Britt kept singing "G-Mama, G-Mama" and doing this little dance...I took a video :)
Once we finished up eating we saw the fountain nearby and thought we'd go check it out. On the way we passed by the light up tiles and Britt was fascinated. I hate that I'm not skilled enough with my camera to know how to take good pictures at night. In case you were wondering about the camera skills for this trip...I didn't use any of them haha. I kept the 18-200 lens on the camera the whole time so I would be able to zoom in as well as see things close up. And I kept it in "auto no flash" the whole time as well. It's the easiest setting to still get good quality images but without having to think about it. I don't regret that decision as with two kids there was NO WAY I'd be able to handle switching out lenses and messing with settings. I think my pictures this trip turned out pretty awesome so I have no regrets :) Maybe by next visit I will be more confident in my manual abilities! But at night I busted out my phone and used it for pics b/c it tends to do better than the camera for night shots (at least in the auto setting on the camera). These are still terrible quality but I wanted to remember the moment. Seeing Britt playing so happily with her G-Mama was special to me :) We are SO blessed to have Mrs. Charlotte. I'm so thankful for the bond she has with our children and that Zach and I are so close to her as well :) 

Britt loved watching the fountain changing colors and heights!
I love that Zach also busted out his phone for some pics on the ride!!!
The car they created :)
We had told the boys to meet us at Nemo. I figured we'd just go back there since it was nearby and we could check out the exhibits and stuff there. They have a good bit of sea animals and such and I figured it'd be a good way to eat up some time while we waited and would be something Britt would enjoy. First we had to stop and get some pics with Nemo of course! Girl time always means pics!!!

Fish Face Perfection!
We ended up riding the Nemo ride and it took us a bit longer than we thought it would because Britt had to go potty right when it was our turn :) We know all kinds of secret ways to get to bathrooms now haha. We got done riding and started to check out the aquarium area when the guys called and said they were leaving the ride. We met them out front of Nemo and seeing their reactions to Test Track was probably one of my favorite moments of the day! They were SO PUMPED! BOTH of them :) They came racing up to us all excited with huge grins on their faces. It was adorable and I'm so glad they loved it so much!!!

While we had been waiting on the guys we walked by a Character Greet Spot and there was no wait. I asked the cast member at the door who the characters were and she said Mickey, Minnie and Goofy. I didn't feel like it was the right thing to do to have Britt meet them without Zach there. I knew he'd want to see that moment! So we didn't do it. Well...once we met back up with the guys we walked back by that area and had some time to kill so when I noticed it was again a short wait I mentioned it and Zach said "let's do it!" I asked the cast member what the characters were dressed like because I really didn't have any interest in waiting in line to see Mickey dressed up in some way, ya know? But she said they were the CLASSIC CHARACTERS!!!

Now y'all know I love me some Chef Mickey. It's awesome. However, I hate that allll we ever get to see is Mickey and gang dressed in Chef attire. I love the classic characters yet we've never done any meet and greets in the parks b/c we don't want to spend precious park time in line. There was a 15 min wait so we hit up the bathroom and when we got finished there was NO wait! It couldn't have worked out more perfectly and I was so, so, SO pumped. 

Cuddling while waiting :)
Britt did SO awesome with the princesses but I still wasn't too sure how she would do with characters. We had Kye go meet Mickey first because I knew he was excited and it would help Britt do better with them if she saw how much he enjoyed them! 

It was seriously a phenomenal experience. I was in heaven :) With NO wait and NO crowds we literally took as long as we wanted with each character and didn't feel the least bit rushed. I loved getting to sit back and just let the kids interact :)

And how PERFECT was it that we just happened to be wearing red and black Mickey gear?!?! I mean was that meant to be or whhhhhat?!?!

Britt was pretty excited standing next to us so when Kye was done we told her she could go and I was SO happy to see that she ran right into Mickey's arms for a hug!!! First time meeting Mickey!!!
Kye was SO proud to introduce them :)

Even a kiss :)

Duh. Was there any doubt that THIS would be happening?!?! 

My main excitement was for Mickey (of course) and also Minnie! I didn't really care about Goofy so when we got to his station I suggested to get a big family picture together with him. We all went up to him and Kye said "Wait guys! Can I just get a picture by myself first?" How adorable is that?!?! I love that he loves some picture taking!
Kye talked about this moment for a long Goofy was so silly with him :)

I adore this sweet boy :) 

I think it's wonderful how the characters get down on their level! Britt raced to Minnie :)
Checking out her Minnie Mouse shirt, of course


Mommy had to get in on that Minnie action ;)

Zach always talks about how he loves Disney b/c he loves seeing ME so happy there. Truly, I am the BEST version of myself at Disney. Well that "Best Version of Emily" was even made BETTER with that special character meeting. I was on cloud 9! And the kids were excited too...I think...I mean I was too excited to notice ;) We still had time before Illuminations so we went over to Mexico to check out the Gran Fiesta Tour. Rachael had mentioned awhile back that it was one of Macy's favorites and I heard that Donald Duck was on it so, duh, I knew Britt would enjoy it! 

I know there are Fastpasses available for Illuminations...but I do NOT know why?!?! Is there a special area the Fast pass people get to sit in or something? Because we have NEVER had a hard time finding a good spot for the show. We got settled and busted out our glowsticks for the evening. Kye, of course, wanted to give some away again too :) He was in such a happy mood and was cracking everyone up around us with his crazy glow stick dancing. The show didn't even start until 9 and the kids are used to be in bed by 7:15 (Britt) and 7:45 (Kye) so this was late for them! PLUS they had been up late for the fireworks the night prior at Magic Kingdom. I was very, very impressed with how amazing they did and how wonderful their moods were for the whole thing! 
During the fireworks show Britt kept saying "one more time fireworks! one more time!" because she didn't want them to stop! And when they ended she was disappointed. She really did surprise me on this trip with the things she enjoyed. Things I thought might scare her (character meetings, fireworks, etc) didn't scare her at all! And we fully went into the trip expecting some pretty hardcore meltdowns from her but she did GREAT. Even staying up late. Even when we had some lines. Even when she didn't get everything she wanted all the time. I was very proud of her and it's like she truly grew up into a "big girl" that week!
This time Zach DID find himself a treat haha But seriously though, he does love Illumiations!

It was the end of another wonderful day! Both kids were up later than they had ever been up and were so silly on the ride home but went straight to sleep when we got there. We were home around 10:30 which was late, but not as bad as I'd expected since the Illuminations didn't start until 9! We were ALL wore out from all the fun and were eager for another day of memory making to come!
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