Friday, January 27

It’s about time…

WE HAVE TEETH!!!!!

That’s right.. not 1, but TWO teeth coming through at the same time!!!! No wonder his fever was out of control! Poor little man! He’s been handling it like a champ though, that’s for sure! :)

DSC_0002

Look at that smile!! Probably some of the last shots I’ll get of that sweet toothless grin!

DSC_0003

Do you see them??? The two bottom teeth??!

DSC_0001

I bet you did now! ;) He’s been working on them for MONTHS and we could see them just below the skin. Of course they would decide to pop through all at the same time!

DSC_0004

And, yes, along with those teeth comes the runny nose! Still precious as always though!

DSC_0006

Oh, my blue eyed baby! LK and E’s eyes have turned a bluish grey color.. his are still as blue as the ocean though! I love it!

DSC_0007

My sweet sweet baby!

Sunday, January 22

My little G Baby

This weekend turned out to be quite eventful! Gray started running fever Friday night and was definitely not feeling himself. I really just blamed it on a tooth that was just popping through the gums though. I didn’t think much else of it. It was a rough night though and we were up with him ALL night! And, all night his fever just kept rising. Even with us switching up Tylenol and Motrin and doing tepid baths. By 7am, it was up to 102. I called the pediatrician at 8 but they didn’t open till 9, so I decided to try to get him to drink a bottle and take a little nap. He drank a few ounces but then he had a febrile seizure in my arms. Talk about scary!!! Fortunately, I knew what was going on. LK and E never had one, but I had heard of them. So, I didn’t panic. After about 20 seconds, he stopped shaking and started interacting with me. We decided not to wait on the pediatrician’s office. We ended up loading everyone in the car to drop LK and E off with Chris’ parents so that we could take Gray to the LeBonheur Minor Med. We got everyone dropped off and to the minor med, only to find out that they didn’t open till 12!! I was starting to get a little annoyed at this point! So, I called the pediatrician’s office back. She told me to just head downtown with him b/c they would want to run tests and it was more than what their office could do. At this point, I did panic! We’ve never had to go downtown with any of the other kids, so I was starting to get really worried about him.

We made our trek downtown, anticipating the worst! I was extremely surprised though! It was a very pleasant visit. I walked in with Gray while Chris parked, and before he could even get inside, I was called into the triage area for Gray to be assessed. When the nurse took his core temp, it had gone up to 103.9!!! No wonder he had a seizure.. his poor little body just couldn’t hand it!! His heart rate was also elevated. They immediately gave him a strong dose of Tylenol and immediately sent him back to a regular room to see a doctor. Within 15 min, the doctor was in and taking a peek at him. She ordered blood work and got him hooked up to monitors. The only terrible part of our time there was when they were trying to get blood from him. He’s so “roll-y” that they were having a hard time finding a good vein. The poor nurses searched and searched. They held off pricking him until they really thought they could get a good one, but unfortunately it didn’t give them anything. Poor baby was crying and crying.. Mommy was too! They were finally able to get enough from his foot. They ran the tests and luckily everything came back normal. His fever was coming down and once it was completely down, they let us come home. They think he picked up the flu from Chris. Despite the fact that all three kiddos had the shot, he still ended up with it! :(

We all came home and took LONG naps! We were all exhausted!!! His poor little hands and feet are bruised.. BUT his fever has stayed mostly down!! Hopefully, he’ll get rid of this funk soon and be back to his normal, happy self!! I HIGHLY recommend the hospital and it’s amazing staff! I was expecting have to wait for hours and that was certainly not the case. I hope we don’t have to venture down there again any time soon, but if/when we do.. I wont be so anxious about it!

I snapped these Friday night before he started feeling bad:

DSC_0066

He loves to chew on that Hippo rattle!

DSC_0068 

He has finally learned how to grab onto the mobile above his swing. (which he is way too big for anyway!) I happened to catch him while I was sitting across from him.

DSC_0069

DSC_0070

He saw my camera flash and quickly moved his hand away and snuck a peek at me! It was so cute!!

Today he is feeling MUCH better! We’re still rotating T and M to keep the fever down, but he’s starting to eat more and his attitude is almost back to normal. We have a follow up with his pediatrician tomorrow to get a good check up, but I can already tell that he’s starting to feel a lot better! :) Today, we’ve been bleaching, washing, and Lysol-ing the ENTIRE house!!

Friday, January 20

Disney Planning (aka Mommy's going to LOSE it!)

It's official.. Disney World is making me a crazy woman! (and we're not even there yet!!!! AHHH!!!)

The last time I went to DW, I was in high school. It is SO different now. Who knew that one day you would have to book everything and anything about your trip MONTHS in advance???! Seriously.. months! When we first talked about going, I had several friends tell me to start booking everything at least 90 days out. NINETY DAYS?? WHAT??! They weren't kidding!

We made our reservations early on in September for us to go in March. We chose this time of the year b/c it would be just before Spring Break (so not as crowded) and the weather would be good. I had always gone to DW in late November, so I had originally wanted to go then, but it was too soon for us to try to plan everything and I was worried about the whole "plan everything at least 90 days out" thing! I would hate for us to go and the kiddos not be able to get to do everything b/c we just simply didn't have enough time to plan! :( So.. March it was!

We ended up doing one of the Disney packages.. resort, meal plan, and park tickets.. all in one! This really was the best option. I'll get into more details about the actual trip after we go! ;) Anyway, I booked all of that online through Disney. Almost immediately, I started booking our restaurants! Everyone said to do this as soon as possible so that you can get reservations for the character meals. Some people said that you can start doing this within your 90 mark. I also heard that you can start at your 180 day mark. I'm not sure which is true, but I know that I started booking in mid to late October. First on the list was all the character meals. I was ecstatic to find out that you can use the meal plan for these!!! HOORAY! We have 3 character meals planned while we're there!

In the midst of booking all of these restaurants, I was busy semi-planning out all of our days there. Like... Monday - Magic Kingdom, Tuesday - Hollywood.. and so on. Simply b/c I wanted to make sure that wherever I booked our meals that it coincided with the park we were in. Just the thought of dragging three kiddos all around the entire complex was giving me a headache! So, we pretty much have all of our days there planned out , as well as, our meals for each day. Of course, I'm sure this will all change once we get there and will all be decided by the moods of the kids, but for the most part, we have a plan going in.

My next step was to book Lilly Kate and Ethan for a few "extras". I had heard wonderful things about the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, so I knew this was a MUST! We decided to do this on our last full day there. It's located in Cinderella's Castle. Think Sweet and Sassy on a Disney Princess scale! EXCITING!!! Since LK is doing the boutique, I knew that I had to do something fun for Ethan. I read about The Pirates League and just knew he would love it! It's pretty much the same concept at the BBBoutique, but for boys. They get to dress up like the Pirates of the Caribbean and learn to be a pirate. Definitely up his alley! They're booked for the same times, so Chris and I can split off and take each of them. That way we don't have to make one wait for the other and endure an hour or so of complaining! Trust me.. my Mommy Brain was in overload figuring all of this out!! HA!

Up to this point, we had the rooms, meals, days at park, and extras all booked. Next step.. AIRLINE! Ugh.. the part I was most dreading! I ended up not booking these through the Disney site b/c at the time we weren't 100% sure how we wanted to travel. We had at first thought about driving, which we quickly changed. Can you imagine 3 kids in the car for 14 hours??! One of which is under a year old??! WOW! No way!!! So then, we were trying to find the cheapest and most time efficient flight options. I knew a long layover somewhere wasn't going to cut it! Anything out of Memphis is ALOT more expensive b/c we're an International airport, so we knew we would have to drive to either Nashville or Little Rock. I spent about a month researching all options and watching the fluctuation of the prices. We finally found a great deal for a non-stop flight out of Nashville. Just after Christmas, I booked our flight! We are driving up to Nashville the day before our flight and staying with our sweet Caldwell friends, then heading out about 6 the next morning. We get to Orlando around 10am and get to enjoy the rest of our day! It worked out perfectly!! If you're staying at one of the resorts, Disney offers free transportation, so we don't have to rent a car! (thank goodness!!) I actually ended up adding one more night to our resort stay so that we could have the last day as a full day. So, we get to enjoy of last FULL day there and then get up the next morning to leave around 11. I wanted to make it as easy going as possible (as easy going as Disney with a family of 5 can be!)!! Since our room wasn't going to be available for that last night, they upgraded us for free! See what I mean... everything was working out! :)

When I finally had our flights booked and knew our arrival and departure times, I was able to finish up a few last minute details. We're getting a jogging stroller for the trip. Everyone recommended doing this. Disney has strollers but they're expensive per day and it just makes more since to go ahead and get a more comfortable, easier to maneuver one. So.. BOB it is! :) I also made arrangements for us to get groceries delivered. Our meal plan includes one sit down meal, one quick service meals, and one snack.. per person per day. We're using our sit down meals for several of our character meals, splitting these up between lunch and dinner. We're using the quick service meals for either lunch of dinner, whichever we didn't use the sit down meal for. So, I figured it would be easier to just do breakfast in the room before we start the day. We're going to have a cooler, ice, and breakfast items delivered to our hotel just before we arrive to last us the entire trip. I'm also having diapers, wipes, baby food, and items like that delivered to cut down what we have to pack on the plane.

The last thing on the list is reserving a few more fun activities while we're there.. time dependent.

See what I mean.. since September, I have been consumed with all things Disney! I am happy to report though, that we are mere 41 days away!! In just over a month, we will all be enjoying all these crazy, time consuming plans that I've had to lay out! :) And I can promise you.. all 3 of those smiling, happy faces will be COMPLETELY worth all the time and money (and don't even get me started on the money! haha!) :) I can not wait to watch my kiddos have the time of their life at such a magical place!

Photobucket

Sunday, January 15

A Day Of Videos!

 This weekend was again, very low key! Friday night, LK went to see Beauty and the Best with Noni and Brittany. So, we decided to let Ethan have a fun night of his own! Chris took him to GameStop to pick out a video game. Of course, he chose a Star Wars game.. Lightsaber Duels.. so that he could use the lightsaber Wii accessories that he got for Christmas. Then, we ate Swankys .. his fave! :)

We ended up rescheduling our family pics again. We were supposed to go early Saturday morning, but it was WAY too cold outside! We've booked an afternoon for later this month. We ended up going to pick LK up from Chris' parents house, and then took the kiddos to see the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. It was just as funny as the others! They LOVED it!! After dinner, we enjoyed some yummy steaks at Outback.

Today, we've just relaxed around the house and let everyone play. Nothing has really been on the agenda.

I realized that I have several fun videos that I never posted!! So.. enjoy!


This was the other night while I was cooking dinner. Gray was getting the biggest kick out of throwing the lunch box on the ground. He would throw it, Ethan would pick it up, and then would repeat over and over. He was just 'a giggling!

We shot these when Gray was SOOO close to rolling! Take 1:




Take 2:




Annnnnd.... Take 3.. He FINALLY rolls!!!




This one just makes me smile!!! LOVE this little guy! :)




Of course, I couldn't forget the "Disney" video! We made sure to record the big annoucement! It was priceless!




That's all for now, but I'm sure I'll find some more on my phone soon! :)

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Photobucket

Wednesday, January 11

Gray: 6 months

HAPPY 6TH MONTH BIRTHDAY, MY SWEET LITTLE BOY!

I can NOT believe that Gray is already half of a year old!!! It just doesn’t seem right! He is such a sweet and precious little guy and I couldn’t imagine life without him. He’s is growing like a weed and keeping us all on our toes! :)

I also went back a finally posted his 4 month and 5 month stats and pics! I’ve had the posts in draft and the pictures on the computer.. it was just a matter of putting it all together! ;)

PIC_0014

WOW! It’s getting harder and harder to get pictures of this squirmy little guy!

PIC_0016

PIC_0017

PIC_0019

PIC_0020

PIC_0021

PIC_0022

Stats:

  • You are 21 pounds and 3 ounces

  • You are 29 inches long

  • You are wearing 12 - 18 month onesies and clothes and 18mo pjs

  • You are in size 4 diapers

  • You still love your exersaucer and johnny jummper!

  • You are rolling everywhere!! You have also learned the fine art of SCOOTING!!! SOOOOOO close to crawling! I really believe that if we had carpet in our living areas, then you’d already be crawling!

  • You are almost sitting completely on your own! You sit sort of hunched over for a few seconds and then fall.

  • You are doing great at napping at school! You’ve gotten more used to your surroundings and you’re sleeping for about 1 hr to 2 hrs while at school. You got to bed around 8 and wake up around 5am. We’ve also started putting you down while you’re awake so you can learn to self soothe and fall asleep on your own.

  • No paci at all! In fact, I don’t even carry an emergency one anymore! I am SO proud of you!

  • You’re still taking 1/2 a Prevacid tab a night. The Enfamil AR is working GREAT!!! You are almost holding your bottle all on your own!

  • You eat 8 oz every 3 hours for a total of about 48oz/day.

  • You LOVE bath time!! Splashing is your favorite thing to do. We’ve moved you to the “big boy” part of the infant tub so that you can sit up. You are so proud of yourself! You love playing with your bath toys and getting water everywhere!

  • You are very talkative and are always smiling and laughing. You love to interact with Lilly Kate and Ethan and have become quite the little social bug at MDO! You love to yell at us.. it’s hilarious! I have a feeling you’re going to be a loud little guy as you get bigger. With all the chaos in our house, you probably think it’s the only way you can communicate! ha!

  • You are now going to MDO 4 days/week!! You absolutely LOVE it! Your teachers are so sweet and so good to you!

  • We’re hoping to FINALLY get a tooth all the way through this month!! It’s just almost there

  • You have mastered all stage 1 foods and we’ve moved on to stage 2. You are loving the stage 2 b/c there is more consistency. You were beginning to spit the stage 1’s back at us b/c it was all so runny. You LOVE to eat!! :) You now eat “breakfast”, “lunch”, and “dinner”. You love sitting in your highchair and watching everyone!

  • Despite all the toys Santa brought you, your toes are your favorites things to play with!

  • You are blowing raspberries non-stop and have learned your first word… “Dada”!!!

  • You are such a tummy sleeper! We put you to bed on your back, but you immediately turn on your side. By the time Mommy and Daddy go to bed, you are completely on your tummy. (you get that from Mommy!)

Tuesday, January 10

Splish Splash!

 

I couldn’t help but snap a few pics while Chris was giving Gray a bath last night. He LOVES his new Winnie The Pooh bath toys!!

PIC_0011

PIC_0013

absolutely LOVE it!!! (and see those carrots in his nose?? I bet Daddy TOTALLY missed those!) ;)

PIC_0017

I just LOVE the excitement in his face!

PIC_0021

OHH.. that tongue! It’s constantly out these days!

PIC_0023

PIC_0024

PIC_0025

PIC_0026

PIC_0031

PIC_0033

This little guy completely melts my heart!

Monday, January 9

Laid Back Weekend!

We finally had a low key weekend! HORRAY! After all the hustle and bustle of the holidays and then going out of town, we were in desperate need to just lay low!

Friday night, Chris and I actually enjoyed a little date night! He called mid-day and asked me to dinner. So sweet of him! Of course, my mind immediately started racing with all the tasks I had to accomplish before then. ha! So, as soon as the kiddos and I got home from picking everyone up from school, I got to work on some embroidering that I needed to get done for my grandmother. She had a baby shower to go to and asked me to monogram a few onesies and burp cloths. After getting most of that completed, we dropped the kiddos off with Chris' parents and indulged ourselves in some delicious Bahama Breeze! YUM! After some Bahamaritas, Jerk Shrimp, and YUMMY flatbread, we were filled to the gills!

On the way to dinner, we passed by GiGi's and decided to stop in and get the kiddos a surprise! So, when we got back to Noni and Papa's we all enjoyed some cupcakes! We were celebrating a certain Little Man's SIX month birthday (yes, post to come!) AND a certain KING's birthday!! You bet that we celebrate Elvis' birthday at our house! LK wouldn't have it any other way! :) His birthday was actually Sunday, but we just threw them both in together!

YUMMY cupcakes!!!

More and more, Gray is looking like Lilly Kate! He came out looking identical to Ethan and people still say that he looks just like him, but I see more LK. I found a pic of LK at her 6mo birthday party. (Yes, you read that right! Oh, to be the first and only girl!! ha! Poor E and Gray!) So, I compared them. My oh my.. see what I mean!! I think it's the eyes and cheeks??!

We were scheduled to take family photos/6mo photos downtown on Saturday, but it ended up raining so we had to reschedule. That gave us free to time to go to sweet Emerson's party though! She turned 2 and is just precious!! The kiddos got to play together and all the parents got to chat. It was great catching up with the girls..I feel like I never see anyone anymore! Haley had a "Very Hungry Caterpillar" party for her and it couldn't have been cuter!


Of course, since weren't planning on attending, I had to run to find her a gift at the last minute. I had a brow apt at 9:30, went to Target, then wandered over to PB Outlet. I ended up getting her the Pink Dot Papasan Chair and SHE LOVES IT!!


After the party, we ran a few errands (Toys R Us - Gray cashed in a gift card for some bath toys!, JCPenny - Grams got me towels for both bathrooms for Christmas (YAY!!!! I AM SO OLD!!!) and I needed a few more, and JoAnn's Fabrics - thread) and then grabbed an early dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. After that, we called it a night!

Sunday, we all managed to sleep in! HALLELUJAH! Then we started picking up around the house. Since Christmas, Gray's toys have been all over the house! While I was at Target on Saturday, I picked up some storage buckets for him, so on Sunday we put those to good use. Thank goodness! There is finally some order back in the house! Then my Uncle David and Patty came over. Just before Christmas, we bought a new tv for our bedroom. A MUCH SMALLER tv! In our old house, we had a small tv in the bedroom (that actually went out right before we moved), our regular living room flatscreen, and then another flatscreen that my grandfather had given Chris in the playroom. Well, when we moved, we were left with the 2 large tvs. So, unfortunately our living room tv went into our bedroom and the playroom tv went into the living room b/c it has to sit on a stand. The stand wouldn't fit in our bedroom (oh, the woes of a tiny East Memphis house!), so there was no choice. I HATED IT!!! So, I finally convinced Chris that we needed a smaller tv in our room. We decided to give my Uncle the tv that was currently in the living room. We figured since my grandfather gave it to us to begin with, that we should return the good deed and give it to someone else. He mentioned that he was interested, so we arranged a pick up! Now, we have our regular tv back in the living room and the much smaller tv in the bedroom and i couldn't be happier!!! Those huge tvs everywhere just looked awful and tasteless!

Uncle David surprised Patty with a new puppy for Christmas. LK fell in love with him!!! I have to admit.. I did too! She wants a small dog SO bad. Unfortunately a small dog wouldn't last long with Huck and two boys! ;) I've told her that when she's older and can take care of it on her own, then she can have whatever she wants!

After that, it was lunch, grocery shopping, dinner and BED! Hopefully, our relaxing weekend will carry on into this week! Fingers crossed! :)

Photobucket

Thursday, January 5

2012 Goals

I seriously can NOT believe that it is already 2012. When I think about how fast 2011 went by, I am in awe. This time last year, I had just recently found out that we were going to welcome another Stickles baby into the world.. and now he's almost 6 mo old!! I spent most of 2011 being pregnant and getting ready for our sweet boy, but most importantly we spent alot of 2011 devoting some special time to LK and E before baby arrived! Then, baby arrived and I got some quality one and one time with all three of my sweet kiddos! It feels like the year just flew by at warp speed!

With the anticipation of Gray's arrival and then his arrival in July, I feel like I really didn't alot of time to focus on myself or Chris. It was all about kids, kids, kids! (which is completely ok!) So, this year.. my goals are alot more centered around him and our relationship, and even myself personally. And.. maybe a few that have to do with the kiddos! ;)

My 2012 Goals
  • Go on atleast 2 date nights per month with Chris.  - We NEVER get to do this.. which is silly b/c both of our families are here in town and are always begging to watch the kiddos. Even when we do let LK and E stay the night out, we always keep Gray at home. Well, I think he'll survive w/o Mommy and Daddy for two nights per month! I think spending quality (no CHILDREN) time with your husband is one of the key ingredients to a healthy marriage. We definitely need to start making this a priority!
  • Stay on top of blogging!! - Obviously y'all have seen how the last few months have been on my blog.. me constantly catching up! Well, NO MORE! I feel like I missed so many little details over the past few months and I feel terrible about it! So, from now on.. I have to dedicate a little more time to making sure I document our lives better!
  • Read to the kiddos every night no matter how crazy our evening might be! - We actually do a pretty good job at reading to the kids and making sure everyone is in bed on time. However, some nights (you know what I mean, we all have them!) It takes everything we have to just throw them in bed and turn the lights out b/c we are beyond exhausted!! I want to make sure that no matter what kind of day/evening we've had, that we take that extra 15min to read stories and chat. I think that's SO importnant and makes them so extremely loved!!
  • Start working out again.....  - Y'all.. seriously! I am SO out of shape! I did a bootcamp for a month right after I had Gray and it definitely helped me trim down most of the baby weight. That kind of exercise just really isn't my thing though. I really enjoy yoga and pilates, so I'm going to find a class near me and sign up! No more excuses!! I dont want to lose weight.. I'm happy where I am. I'd just really like to be tone and more healthy! I'd really like to start Purre Barre. As a former ballerina, this is right up my alley!
  • Train for the St. Jude 1/2 Marathon - I've decided... I'm going to do it! Have I ever been a runner?? NOPE! Do I have enough determination to do it?? YOU BETCHA! Luckily, I have a heath-nut, personal trainer for a brother, so guess what he's going to be doing???!!!! ;)
  • Start sewing & monogramming again - I haven't really done anything, except for Gray, for almost a year now! I REALLY need to start doing more stuff for the kiddos before they adamantly refuse to wear it! ha!
  • Cook more with my husband! - He loves it and I love doing anything with him that he enjoys, so why not??! Maybe we can do a Viking date night and kill two birds with one stone!!! ;)
  • Read - Do you want to know how many books I've read in the past few years... ONE! Yes, one! SO SAD!! You Mommys know how it is though. When you finally get the chance to sit and relax for a minute, you are asleep faster than you can imagine! I really love to read though, so I'm making it a point to do so. So far, I've already read one book since the start of the new year! (Hey, go big or go home, right??!) I am well on my way to literary achievement! :)
Ok.. well, that's all I can really think of right now. I'm sure 1000 more will pop into my head as soon as I post this! But, I definitely think this is a good list to start off with. I dont really do "resolutions". I like to do goals. That way I can constantly add to them and modify them and continue to work on them. I dont feel as though a goal is ever complete, it's just something that you continually strive to accomplish! I think its good to always have goals! Here's to new goals and a new year! May 2012 bring my family and loved ones as many blessings and happiness as 2011 did! (to you to yours, as well!) We are SO looking forward to it!

Photobucket

New Years in Nashville!

This year we decided to do something extra fun for New Years! Once you have kids, gone are the days of partying it up on NYE!! ;) But spending it with kiddos is just as fun.. I promise!

We talked to our friends Chris and April, and decided to head up to Nashville for the weekend. They moved there just before Thanksgiving and we had only seen them once since then. (We met them at Melting Pot for dinner over Thanksgiving weekend). So, not only were our kiddos missing each other. The grownups were in need of some time together too! The kiddos always enjoy Christmas related activities and we had exhausted all options in Memphis.. every year we go to Starry Nights, Enchanted Forest, Zoo Lights, and fun activities at the Children’s Museum. (thank goodness for memberships!!) So, we decided that they would really joy the ICE! exhibit at Opryland. LK had gone when she was 3, but none of the other kiddos had been.

Chris’ parents offered to keep Gray while were gone, so they came and picked him up super early Saturday morning and we finally got out of town around 8am. Addyson had stayed in Memphis that week, so we picked her up and she rode back to Nashville with us. The car ride when extremely well! I learned a things about traveling with 3 kids though: 1) electronics are a must!!! I don’t know what we would have done w/o the iPad, iPod touch, and DVD player! 2) just when you think no one has to stop to use the bathroom… someone always does! and 3) always being extra clothes and pillows!

We got into Nashville just before noon and made our way across the city to The Caldwell’s house. They live east of the city in a small town. After unloading the car and making a quick Kroger run, we headed over to Opryland. Luckily, it was only about 15min from their house. We immediately went into the ICE! exhibit. We had all bought tickets ahead of time, so we didn’t have to wait in line.

NY_0002

NY_0004

The first part that you go to is a big room to watch a video about how they make all the ice sculptures. It was actually pretty cool to watch! After the video, it SNOWED!!

NY_0007

Then we made our way to the room with all the parkas! Everyone had to get a blue parkas b/c the temp inside the exhibit is only 14 degrees!!

NY_0009 

Even Abigail got one!

NY_0011

The ice sculptures were amazing!!!

NY_0013

NY_0015

NY_0016

Ethan was hilarious in his huge parka! He kept doing this little dance that was just too funny!

NY_0017

NY_0019

NY_0020 

The husbands, of course, enjoyed it! ;)

NY_0023

NY_0024

NY_0028

Toward the end we found the SLIDES! The kiddos loved them!

NY_0037

NY_0047

NY_0049

NY_0054

Of course, Ethan had to do a little flip halfway down!

NY_0061

Dad got to slide down too since he took all the kiddos up!

NY_0063

NY_0064

Our fun group!

NY_0065

NY_0067

NY_0068

It was SO much fun!! We ended up getting t-shirts for all the kiddos b/c everything in the gift shop was 75% off! $4 shirts.. yes, please!

After the ICE! exhibit, we walked the path to the Opryland Hotel for even more fun! We got to say hello to some Shrek characters and even make a gingerbread house! And, of course, we got to walk around the hotel and see all the incredible Christmas decorations! The last time Chris and I were there was over Thanksgiving weekend in 2007. That’s when LK when to ICE!. It was Charlie Brown back then, now it’s Madagascar. Before then, we had been several times to stay at the hotel during Thanksgiving weekend. It has changed a lot since then b/c of the terrible flooding from a few years ago, but fortunately they were able to restore a lot of the hotel! It’s absolutely beautiful, and even more so decorated for Christmas!

NY_0075

NY_0077

Enjoying the Delta Atrium. They were begging to take a boat ride!

NY_0078

NY_0079

After taking in some of the decorations, we made our way over to decorate a gingerbread house. Another plus.. it was a lot less than the original price b/c it was after Christmas!

NY_0080

I think Ethan ATE more candy than decorated with it!

NY_0081

NY_0082

NY_0084

NY_0089

NY_0092

NY_0100

NY_0101

NY_0105

NY_0108

Their house turned out adorable!

After we finished decorating, we headed back toward the parking lot to head back to The Caldwells. We stopped on the way and ordered some pizza to-go. It was DELISH! After dinner and playing, the kiddos were down by 10 or so. The grownups stayed up till midnight … but barely! ha! We rang in the New Year and then called it a night!

NY_0109

Hey, Shrek!!

We enjoyed a yummy pancake breakfast in the morning and then loaded up the car to head home. It was a short trip, but SO fun and SO needed! We absolutely love our Caldwell family and it was great to spend time with them!! Hopefully we’ll get to see them again soon!