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Maddie’s 5 and a half!

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

I’m only about a week late with Maddie’s letter this time…not too bad! Big changes between the last letter and this one with the start of kindergarten!
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Cullen is 3.5!

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

I’ve managed to finish Cullen’s letter within a week of his half-birthday. Lately, I’ve been pretty good about getting his done…but then I have to do Maddie’s less than a month later. That part is challenging. I’ll see which kid wants to change their birthday to make this easier on me.
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The Sunday Somethings, 02jun13

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

Something I’m reading: I finished reading The Girl of Nightmares, and I would read more in that series, if there were more in the series. I don’t know if there will be in any more, though! I started and finished Gone Girl in one day. I couldn’t put it down! It was captivating, but I was disappointed by the ending. It seems like most people I’ve talked to feel similarly. I started and finished Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. Cute story! I was also amused that there was a part from Max Brenner (where we just went in NYC), and they even mentioned the chocolate syringe (Maddie and Cullen’s favorite part!). I’m reading The Snow Child for June’s book club.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished reading The Desert Spear. He started and finished both Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares. I’m glad that he enjoyed those! He’s now reading Old Man’s War. He decided pretty quickly after reading the sample that he wanted to read the whole thing!

Something I’m watching: We took the kids to see Epic, which was cute. It’s not something I’ll need to own or see again, but it was a good outing. Cullen seemed to enjoy it well enough. He was scared in a few places. Maddie says she didn’t like it. I think it was too intense for her in too many scenes. I did crack up at the beginning when she said, “It’s like nature alive!” Now Gabe is creeping me out with Cabin in the Woods.

Something about both kiddos: The kids have been into old episodes of the original Strawberry Shortcake cartoon from the 80s. They are both mesmerized by it. Hooray for free streaming videos on amazon prime! We had a family slumber party in our room last night and watched an episode of Strawberry Shortcake before reading stories and getting the kiddos to sleep (then we read our own books and tried to sleep). The next time that we have a slumber party, the kids are getting carried to their own beds for the remainder of the night. The adults didn’t get much sleep with all the snoring and teeth grinding and kicking and whining when one kid whacked another in their sleep, etc. The kids were pretty excited about the special night, at least. They also enjoyed our movie outing to Epic (even if Maddie says she doesn’t like it). The kids have been having fun playing in hippo pool 2.0. The old one lasted two summers, so this is the best $20 we’ve spent twice! The kids get so much joy from playing in the water. They get together so well about 95% of the time. They have some pretty aggressive physical fights the other 5% of the time. Last Monday before we left my parents’ house, the kids made bird costumes from this month’s kiwi crate. They had a lot of fun running around as birds and gathering food and sticks to make nests. We were disappointed that we didn’t get to see Aunt Kristin’s baby goats at the farm, but the kids had a great time visiting with Kristin on Friday afternoon as she was in town. Both kids are getting back into a Lego phase, and we built some of their kits this weekend.

Something Maddie is doing (5 years old): Maddie had strep throat AGAIN this week, so she’s on another course of antibiotics. Poor girl. This time, she was not quite feeling herself in the morning, but she didn’t have a fever, so we sent her to school. She was sent home with a fever, so we scheduled her an appointment…sure enough, strep again, as we suspected. Maddie was able to go to her swimming lessons this week. She made a little progress this week at her last two lessons from this session. She starts a new session on Tuesday. Hopefully, she won’t have to miss any of her lessons from this bunch. The week that she missed was not good for her confidence! Even her instructor was left wondering how she passed level 1 last week, even though we know she needs to be in level 2.

Something Cullen is doing (3 years old): Cullen has been a bit stubborn and demanding lately and very…three! He likes to say, “no. never!” when you ask him to do something or stop doing something. He likes to screech and throw tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. He’s not letting Maddie boss him around as much lately, so that is probably a positive development. He has been making up stories for me at bedtime. Some of them are pretty clever (and others are mundane stories about things our family has really done). He will also make up songs. He’s got a few dances that he likes to do as well, including his “stomp dance” that he started after downing a syringe of chocolate in NYC. He cracks me up. I think that his teachers are enjoying him.

Something I am struggling with: I can’t seem to get motivated to get some work on my photobooks, and I’m still quite far behind…with one more to do now with the NYC trip. I need to write up my trip reports for the blog, too, before too long. Those help me quite a bit when making the photobooks!

Something I’m looking forward to: Both kids have class pictures this week. I hope they turn out well! We also have Maddie’s preschool graduation and her kindergarten orientation (as well as a day when she gets to visit the school and meet teachers). Big week, and we’re only about a month before the start of kindergarten for Maddie. Yikes! I’m off to San Francisco for WWDC next week!

Something captured: This is another one from last weekend at Nana and Papas, after putting together their bird costumes.

The Sunday Somethings, 19may13 and 26may13

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Something that makes me happy: We had a great trip to NYC! I love that place.

Something I’m thinking: We got into the swing of things with the strollers and the subway, but I think the next time we go to NYC will be when the kids are old enough to be without strollers!

Something happening around the house: We’ve been away from the house a lot with two back to back trips – first 5 days in NYC and then a long weekend at Nana and Papa’s house.

Something I’m reading: I finished Room and enjoyed it (though the idea is disturbing, it’s balanced with the innocent perspective of a child). I started and finished Anna Dressed in Blood and started the sequel, Girl of Nightmares.

Something Gabe is reading: He finished The Martian and is now reading The Desert Spear from the Demon Cycle series.

Something I’m watching: While in NYC, I went to see Rock of Ages with Melissa and Jason. That was a fun show!

Something I’m creating: I finally finished Maddie’s 5-year birthday letter. Next, I’ll need to work on the trip reports from New York City!

Something tasty: We had lots of chocolate treats in New York City!

Something about both kiddos: The kids had a great time in New York City! Neither of them wanted to leave the city and go home. They were excited to see the sights from their books, especially the library lions, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, the Wall Street bull, the dinosaurs at the Natural History museum, the Brooklyn Bridge, the subway, and Grand Central. They also had fun at the American Girl store, the chocolate and candy restaurants and stores, and the hotel (as usual). They slept on the pullout couch together, and that worked out mostly well (though getting them to sleep was tricky at times, and at least one night Cullen fell asleep in our bed first). They both stayed up really late a few nights while we were on the trip. The kids also enjoyed our visit with Nana and Papa for the long weekend. We went with Nana and Papa to the Carolina Raptor Center and saw some cool birds. Lately, when Cullen gets mad at Maddie, he says, “you’re not my friend anymore!” Maddie replies, “but, Cullen, we’re going to get married when we grow up.” Both kids enjoyed their first chocolate fondue experience in NYC. They were both nervous about the Brooklyn Bridge and wouldn’t get out of their strollers.

Something Maddie is doing (5 years old): Maddie missed two swimming lessons, so her lesson on Thursday wasn’t great. Hopefully, her last two lessons from this session will be better. She will start a new level 2 session after this set finishes. I think we’ll probably be signing her up for a third level 2 session. Maddie has been saying, “oh, biffle snakes!” when she’s upset about something. Maddie loved having chocolate every day while in NYC. She had a lot of treats! She also enjoyed the carousel (Cullen missed it as he was sleeping in the stroller), and she loved climbing on the rocks at Central Park. She was also very happy in the American Girl store. Maddie is doing great on her big bike! She did some bike riding while visiting Nana and Papa and is getting more comfortable with speed and turns. We took her to a wide open, empty parking lot to practice. Maddie thought many parts of NYC were quite stinky and would hold her nose when in (urine) elevators and the subway.

Something Cullen is doing (3 years old): The other day when we were snuggled up at bedtime, Cullen says, “We’re like two squeezed carrots in a bucket!” I said, “um, what? Did you say we’re like two squeezed carrots in a bucket?” He said, “yes, we’re like two squeezed carrots in a bucket because we’re stuck together!” Cullen did a lot of crazy dances after dinner almost every night. I think it was a combination of too many treats and too many late nights! At Nana and Papa’s house, he was very restless at night. I’m not sure if he normal mumbles all night in his sleep, but he was pretty loud both nights. Cullen did sandpaper letters at school for the first time (letters M, T, and S). He’s going through a little bit of a difficult “3″ phase with some extra tantrums. He also still very much needs a nap but won’t always take one. He did nap most days in the stroller in NYC (especially if we were on the subway in the afternoon).

Something I’m looking forward to: Maddie has swimming lessons on Tuesday and Thursday. I have my book club, a lunch with friends, and an iPhone photography class.

Something captured: I’ll be posting lots of NYC pics with the trip reports, so here’s an owl from the nature center.

Cullen’s 28-month letter

Monday, June 4th, 2012

So, now I have a new plan of doing every 4 months for Cullen’s 2nd year, since I couldn’t get my act together to do a 27-month letter. I don’t think he’ll mind too much. Here’s the latest letter to Cullen. I managed to finish the letter a day or two after the “birthday,” but it took me longer to get the photos together. (more…)

The Sunday Somethings, 13may12

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Something that makes me happy: Spending Mother’s Day weekend with my kids AND my own mother (and my hubby and dad, of course).

Something I’m thinking: I decided that I am going to do Cullen’s letter at the 4-month interval this time…mostly because it’s only about a week away from 4-months and I still haven’t finished the letter. I’m sure he won’t mind getting letters every 4 months between ages 2 and 3.

Something I’m reading: I’m still reading Prophet’s Prey: My Seven-Year Investigation into Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints, but I didn’t read as much as I would have liked this week.

Something Gabe is reading: I don’t think he’s doing much reading. He’s glued to his iPad.

Something I’m watching: We rented Captain America and managed to see The Avengers at the theater last night (yay, what a great end to a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend). I’m glad we saw Captain America before The Avengers (though I would have enjoyed it regardless). I saw Wicked at DPAC. This was my first time seeing this musical, and it was my first time experiencing DPAC. I loved the experience!!!

Something I’m playing: We’re still playing a lot of Mystery Manor on the iPad. Maddie is still playing a lot of Hisssss and Kids of Carcassonne with us. We played Stone Age with my parents this weekend.

Something I’m creating: I haven’t been very creative this week. I helped Maddie create thank you notes to her teachers for teacher appreciation week. She did a beautiful job with them. She decided what she wanted to write in each one, and I dictated how to spell everything for her. She decided how to decorate them. I’m so proud of her.

Something about both kiddos: Both kids had dental appointments this week. They did great, and the hygienists gave us kudos for doing a good job with their teeth. We know we can do better, so I give kudos to their spacing or diet or whatever. Little Einsteins is definitely their favorite show. Surprisingly, they both love it. They can also both sing the theme song and correct us when we sing it incorrectly. Both kids were apprehensive about Abby the dog at the start of our visit with my parents. By the end of our visit, they were giving her hugs and pats and not objecting to Abby’s generous doggie kisses. The kids had a great time at Discovery Place!

Something Maddie is doing (50 months old): Maddie’s “security blanket” was her belly button for a long time, but we thought she stopped doing it. She has recently rediscovered her belly button. She does it when she is nervous or unsure about something. I have to often tell her to put her shirt down. At Discovery Place this weekend, we saw a show about things that glow that made heavy use of a black light. I was impressed that Maddie actually raised her hand and answered questions. She speculated on whether something would glow or not, and she answered questions like, “what else produces light?” (her answer was “a flashlight”). Maddie definitely takes after me when it comes to breakfast. It’s her favorite meal, and she can eat quite a bit of it! We were impressed by the giant pancake that she had for breakfast on Sunday morning.

Something Cullen is doing (27 months old): Cullen was a great patient for his first dental appointment, though we were glad that the first one is a short appointment! He was ready to be done. The dentist noticed that he was starting to form a crossbite, and that this may be due to his pacifier use. The dentist suggested the paci fairy. Cullen gathered all of his pacis that night, excitedly handing them over with the promise of toys that the paci fairy would bring. Fortunately, the paci fairy had something in reserve that she could bring on short notice. Cullen ditched his pacis and is now the proud owner of horse figures from one of those animal tubes. He was excited, and he hasn’t had any trouble going to bed. The trouble comes in the middle of the night when he can’t get himself back to sleep. He has not asked for the paci since he kicked the habit. It’s been about a week now, and he is still waking in the middle of the night screaming for us. He makes the usual requests like asking us to cover him or sing him songs. He’s very difficult to soothe. If I come to cover him, he asks for Daddy. If Daddy covers him, he’ll cry because his feet aren’t covered. He wants us to sing him songs. And sometimes he just asks for random things, like one night he wanted a straw and one night it was chocolate. I’m not sure where those came from! Since we were all sharing a room at my parents’ house, his screaming kept us all awake on Friday and Saturday. He continues to make progress with potty training. He’s asking to go to the potty more often (versus prompting from us at regular intervals). He’s having less accidents. We even had a few days this week that were 100% accident free! He’s finally pooping in the potty more often than not. He continues to learn new songs and can sing most of the words to many songs now. Tonight at bedtime, he wanted to sing “Red & White” together over and over (Go State!). I love watching Cullen watch Little Einsteins! He interacts with the show and does all the things that they ask and answers their questions. It’s adorable.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I saw Wicked! It just might be my favorite musical ever. Elphaba was phenomenal. I’m tempted to see it again before the tour leaves DPAC. I think that Gabe would enjoy it!

Something I learned: The “real” story of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Something I’m looking forward to: The company festival, a planned lunch with a friend, and a cookout with friends.

Something captured: The one “thing” that I want most each Mother’s Day is a photo of me with my awesome kiddos.

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey

Happy 4th birthday, Maddie!

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Finally! I’ve been working on this letter to Maddie since her birthday. I think I made a mistake only doing these every 6 months now. I had quite a bit to cover. You might want to skim the photos and call it a day. (more…)

Thanksgiving 2011

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Better late than never, right? We spent Thanksgiving in Davidson with my parents. My sister and Chad joined us for the day.

We were excited to Skpye with my grandma for the first time. We have been telling her about it for a while, so it was neat that she had the opportunity to try it.

We had a “feast,” as the kids called it. We had all the traditional, southern options. We put a little bit of everything on their plate.

Of course, they refused to eat more than half of it.

We put napkin rings on our eyes. Or maybe that was just me while everyone else laughed at me. I love Cullen’s expression. I think he’s already embarrassed by his mother, and he’s not even 2.

He was also amused.

He wanted to try it for himself.

We enjoyed some family time. Between us, we had 5 iPhones, an iPad, and a few MacBooks. We played a lot of Words With Friends against each other.

Cullen played an iPhone, too, in his new Apptivity case. That case is great for letting toddlers play the apps. I think my favorite feature is that it blocks the home key.

We had a great day with family. After the kids went to bed, we played Wits & Wagers and laughed a lot, as usual.

Happy Thanksgiving to us!

The Sunday Somethings, 27nov11

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Something that makes me happy: The GIANT Christmas tree that we have in our library right now. It has lights, and we’ll have to do the ornaments soon.

Something I’m thinking: The holiday season is going to be so rushed this year with our cruise coming up really soon now!

Something I’m hoping: I hope that we can get all the things that we need to get done before vacation and Christmas.

Something happening around the house: We’re getting the house decorated after a few days visiting my parents.

Something I’m reading: I finished The Peach Keeper today, thankfully. I wanted to make sure I finished before it was due back at the library on the kindle. The waiting list is huge! Fortunately, it’s a quick read. I enjoy Sarah Addison Allen’s novels!

Something Gabe is reading: Hero of Ages. I don’t think he read any of it this week.

Something I’m watching: Getting ready to watch tonight’s Amazing Race.

Something I’m playing: We played a lot of Words with Friends on our iPhones this week. We played Wits and Wagers twice with my parents and Kristin and Chad and then Ticket to Ride twice with my parents. We had so much fun with my family!

Something tasty: Thanksgiving dinner at my parents house, though my favorite part was probably the turkey and country ham casserole the next day. Yum!

Something about both kiddos: We visited Santa on Saturday, and this year’s Santa was much better than previous ones. He attempted to make Cullen feel more comfortable, since he was not at all interested in sitting on his lap. And the photographer was amazing! I could not believe that we actually got a photo of both kids smiling. I was not even aware that Cullen smiled at all until I reviewed the photos. He was crying and trying to get away for the most part. I couldn’t hear what Maddie told Santa at first. Santa tried to ask Cullen what he wanted. Cullen was not talking to Santa, and he asked, “would you like a truck?” I told Santa, “actually, he wants a doll.” Maddie then said, “Hey, I want a truck!” So my son wants a doll, and my daughter wants a truck. After the Santa photos, we went to have lunch with my parents. I then had a spur of the moment idea to get haircuts for the kids (too bad we didn’t do that *before* Santa photos), and amazingly a kids’ salon was literally 30 feet away. Saturday went extremely well, and we were so happy to have haircuts and Santa photos out of the way. We had dinner at my parents’ house and headed home. We had a smooth ride home with no traffic jams. It was a wonderful ending to a wonderful visit. While we visited my parents, we took them to a children’s museum that opened last year. The kids had a blast, and the adults were completely worn out by the end of the morning. Whew!

Something Maddie is doing (45 months old): She has a new habit this week of saying “ya” instead of “you.” I’m going to have to try and break her of that habit. It’s cute at times, but it’s annoying at other times! I have noticed recently that her vocabulary is getting more and more sophisticated. Lately, she hasn’t allowed me to do anything with her hair, so it’s good that we trimmed up her bob again. It’s an adorable look on her! She looks so cute with pigtails, ponytails, bows, and braids, when she allows it!

Something Cullen is doing (22 months old): When you ask Cullen a question that doesn’t require a yes/no answer, Cullen starts his answer by saying, “um….um…..um…..um….” He also has a habit of saying “Awwww, man!” whenever he doesn’t like something or drops something or anything negative. Both habits are hilarious, and he says them at extremely appropriate times. He should be entertaining on the cruise. When we were having lunch with Nana and Papa, he had a taste of something he didn’t like. The next thing we knew, he had leaned over and spit it out on Maddie’s plate. Hilarious!!! He didn’t want to have anything to do with that piece of food! No way he was going to spit it onto his own plate. Too funny. We don’t get a high chair for him most of the time in restaurants, though he still uses his high chair at home. He’s so proud of himself, and I don’t think it will be long before we ditch all high chairs. We are probably going to transition him to a big boy bed after the cruise. He’s still resisting naps on the weekends, but most of the time he still takes one each day.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: Getting ready to go on the cruise on Allure….so soon now! Even Gabe is starting to get excited.

Something I’m looking forward to: I’m going to see Breaking Dawn with girl friends (rescheduled from last week), book club, early Christmas with friends, a birthday party, our annual poker tournament, and my annual Christmas date with a friend. Whew. Busy, fun week.

Something captured: This year’s Santa photo!

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey

Cullen’s First Roadtrip – April 2010

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Some days I feel like I’ll never catch up on photos and trip reports and such, and other days I feel like I might be able to do it. So, I’m a little behind.

For those of you who do not want to read my long winded trip report, here’s some links to photos from our trip (if you don’t want to read my long winded posts and don’t care for the photos, then what are you doing here at all?):
Georgia
Disney
The rest of Florida

Before they knew that we were pregnant with Cullen, Gabe’s parents had booked a condo in Orlando and invited us to join them. We hadn’t told them about the new grandchild and tentatively said we would go. Since we knew the baby would still be very young by the time of the trip, we were really not sure whether we would want to go! We knew it would be somewhat of a last minute decision. I was pretty optimistic, but Gabe was not.

We knew that it was going to be a long drive, but we thought it would be easier to drive than fly this time. I’m glad we drove just based on the large amount of stuff that we had to bring with us! While I’m sure we could have been fine with much less, it sure is nice to be able to pack little conveniences like boppies, extra pillows, and pack-n-plays.

The first leg was easy. Maddie was happy, and Cullen slept the majority of the time. It takes around 3 hours to get to my parents’ house, which was our first destination. We decided to have lunch and spend a little time with my parents on our way down to Atlanta. We spent a little more time at their house than we had intended, but it was really nice to visit with them. The rest of the day did not go so smoothly! In fact, that was the only time in the car that was pleasant. We had lots of crying from both kids and very little quiet time on our rides.

Our next stop was Atlanta for a few days, including Easter Sunday. We visited with my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins. This was the first time we had stayed in a hotel since Cullen was born, and we opted for Embassy Suites so that we could have a little extra living space. We weren’t sure how the two kids would sleep in the same room, so Maddie slept in the living room and the rest of us were in the bedroom. We blockaded the door with a chair since we were a little nervous about having Maddie in the front room. We left our door cracked open, too, and we were happy to have the video monitor. The room worked out really well for us, though the free breakfast was a bit lacking at this particular Embassy Suites.

We had a very nice visit with my grandparents, and everyone was so happy to see our kids. This was the first time that Cullen met any Atlanta family. Maddie was excited about the Easter Bunny. She and I had shared some Peeps recently, so she was thrilled to hear that the Easter Bunny would bring her a basket of goodies, including Peeps. When my grandma asked Maddie who the Easter Bunny was, she replied, “The Easter Bunny is a bunny who brings Peeps!” The Easter Bunny did indeed bring her Peeps as well as some other goodies. He brought a feeding kit for her doll, some coloring books, crayons, stickers, eggs with Play-Doh and bunny snacks. She loved all of it. We then had an Easter Egg hunt in my grandparents’ back yard. This was the first year that she really understood what was going on with the Easter Bunny, egg dying and egg hunts. I loved it!

We left Atlanta to drive about halfway to Orlando. Once again, we had a rough ride both to the hotel and then to the condo the next day. Whew! Of course, we knew that this was a possibility since Cullen had not proven himself to be a good car rider in his life so far! It didn’t help that we were off schedule, we discovered Maddie doesn’t nap comfortable in the car anymore, Maddie was constipated, and the kids alternated in some kind of secret pact who would be the loudest at any given moment. Good times.

We did have a nice time while in Florida. We went to the pool, played ping pong and horseshoes, lost a little money at Bingo, and took it easy around the condo. We decided as we were driving into Orlando that we couldn’t be this close to Disney and NOT go.

So, we went to the Magic Kingdom for a day. It was a wonderful day, and I’m so happy that we decided to go!!! I thought that Maddie would be too young. I wasn’t sure how she would react to the rides or the costumed characters. She loved everything! Every time we rode a ride, she wanted to go on it again (with the exception of the carousel…she did not like it!). She loved Dumbo’s Flying Elephants, Aladdin’s Flying Carpets, and the Winnie the Pooh ride. She enjoyed going through Minnie’s House (which I thought was crowded and not terribly interesting, so I was surprised she wanted to do it again!). The highlight of the day was when she met her hero, Winnie the Pooh. She posed nicely for the photos, shook Pooh and Tigger’s hands, and hugged Pooh for a really long time. It was awesome. It was a little hot and at the height of Spring Break, but we still had such a great time. Next time, we will likely plan ahead a bit more (and pick a time of the year that is not so popular). Maddie did great with the lines and learned a thing or two about “taking turns.” She has been talking about how she met Winnie the Pooh and Tigger since then and how she gave Pooh a big hug. It’s about the sweetest thing ever!

The ride back was not smooth by any stretch of the imagination. The plan was to leave as early as we could and drive about halfway home. What actually happened was a flat tire on the van. We discovered it just as we were about to pull out of the parking lot of the condo. Fortunately, Gabe’s parents were staying one extra day. This was a very good thing since we had a place to be with the kiddos while we sorted out the tire issues. We called AAA and were excited to use the auto services for the first time (we mostly get AAA for the discounts on hotels). Unfortunately, AAA was worthless to us. They would only come out and change the flat tire, but they couldn’t even call us back for over an hour. The only thing that they could do is change the tire to our spare and could not do any diagnostics on the tire nor were they able to direct us to a service station that could help. Gabe and his parents decided to change the tire themselves while waiting for a call back from AAA. Gabe was already on his way to a service station by the time that AAA got back to us. Worthless!

By the time we had the tire inspected and back on the van, we had lost 3-4 hours. We now had a very wound up toddler who desperately needed a nap and was acting out in ways that I had never before witnessed. It was a very stressful morning and afternoon.

We finally got on the road over 5 hours after our scheduled departure, and ran into a massive traffic jam before we were even out of the Orlando area. That traffic jam took us two hours during which time both kids were extremely cranky. We canceled our hotel reservations midway as we weren’t sure how far we would be able to make it. Turns out that we should have kept our reservations in Savannah. We ran into another traffic jam after dinner. I’m not even sure we were out of Florida at this point. That traffic jam took us another 2 hours to clear. Now we have two cranky children and two cranky adults. By the time we cleared the traffic jam, it was around 10 or 11pm, and we could not find a hotel for over 100 miles. We called many hotels before finding a Hampton Inn in Santee, SC (about 2 hours from where we were at the time). We got the last room. Fortunately, they were true to their word and held the room for us. They had to turn away several weary travelers.

We brought in one pack-n-play, but we could have just left it in the car. We ended up each taking a bed and a child and got some sleep. The complimentary breakfast was the best that we had out of all the hotels on this trip. All of the staff that we ran into were extremely friendly. I can highly recommend the Santee, SC Hampton Inn! I had stayed in a few sub par Hampton Inns a while back, and this particular hotel has changed my opinion of the chain for the better.

The rest of the ride home was long, and we were extremely happy to be home again.

We can’t wait to take the kids to Disney within the next couple of years, though we will NOT be driving!! This trip was quite an adventure, though it will be a while before we try to tackle driving of that magnitude again. Whew! It was great to see family and positively magical to visit Magic Kingdom. We were glad that we went on the trip!