Monday, November 29, 2010

Naptime!

When it's time for Henry's morning nap, I'll say, "Henry, do you want some milk?" He'll usually say "Uh-huh!" and then excitedly run/skip down the hall to the bedroom where he stops to jump on his mattress a few times before climbing up into our bed, ready for his nap.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Are they trying to be funny?

Just a few things I've overheard recently...

Emmett, while playing a blues-y tune on the piano, stopped a few seconds in to say (to the empty room he was playing in), "Stand up, because you're going to want to dance!"

Luke, while playing tic-tac-toe by himself before lunch at a restaurant today made an "X" and then said, "X! And the crowd goes wild!"

And Henry, after somebody dropped something, said "Uh oh!" (this happens all the time)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Foresight

Henry is pretty good at predicting the future. I was sitting on the floor in the boys' room sorting books with Henry playing nearby when Emmett came home from the neighbor's house crying. I called down the hall to ask if he was bleeding or just hurt, and Emmett said he was just hurt. Emmett came down the hallway, still crying. Realizing what was going on, Henry hurried over to me and sat in my lap. Fortunately there is still room for both of them, and I was able to make Emmett laugh by pointing out how Henry couldn't stand the idea that Emmett might sit in my lap.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

A Good Little Monkey

Henry loves Curious George as much as Luke did. It's the only cartoon he'll watch, and he wants to watch it anytime he can get me to turn it on.

When Henry is tired and cranky, I can tell him "Curious George comes to our house" stories to calm him down. It's not perfect - he loves them so much he gets really excited thinking about playing with George in the back yard, or downstairs, or in the nearby park. He'll squeal a bit, grinning and kicking. But in the stories, they always come inside for a snack and a story. Curious George always picks the story, and it's always something like "Goodnight Moon" or "The Big Red Barn" - something soothing, repetitive, and just a little boring (especially if I tell it slowly). I can usually get him to sleep by the end of the story. Luke used to love these types of stories, and now Henry does too.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Henry Says

In addition to "Uh-huh" and "Uh-uh" (both voiced without opening his lips), Henry has added "Uh oh!" to his repertoire.

So I don't forget

A couple of stories from the trip...

After dinner in Disneyland, we found an informal stage area - I'm guessing they have musicians up there sometimes, or something like that. Of course, give a kid a stage and they start to perform. Emmett, Luke, and Henry were all up there dancing, or "imitating dancing" in Emmett's words. While I was taking a video, Emmett thought I was taking still pictures so he was freezing every few seconds, so he wouldn't look awkward in the picture.

At the end of our Disneyland day we stopped to watch the parade. It wasn't very interesting, so we started getting ready to exit the park when Luke said he wanted to go on Buzz Lightyear one more time. We were right next to it, so I said "Ok." David looked at me like I was insane. In line I pointed to Luke (who was dancing around wildly) and said, "Look how happy he is!" David said, "That's not happy. That's so overtired he's having convulsions." "At least they're happy convulsions," I replied. (For the record, no on melted down on the way back to the hotel or before bed.)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Disneyland brain dump

Today we started with an extra-magic-hour in Disneyland, which turned out pretty great. In that hour (reserved for hotel guests and people on longer park hoppers), we were able to knock out Dumbo, Peter Pan, Mr. Toad, the Tea Cups, Alice in Wonderland, and Storybook Land. At 10am when the park opened to regular guests we went to the Matterhorn. The lines were so short that we didn't use the baby-swap passes, we just went through the line twice so Emmett and Luke rode twice, once with me and once with David.

After the Matterhorn we went over to Space Mountain to give it a try. Luke was willing and Emmett was eager. In the end, Emmett loved it but Luke did not - he was sitting next to me and I could tell that his head was getting rattled around a bit. I wish I had put my arm around him to help him stay anchored in the car - you can really rattle around when you're so little. He didn't want to do it again, but didn't seem traumatized.

We had lunch at the pizza place right near Space Mountain and decided that Emmett and David would go ride Indy while I took Luke and Henry back to the hotel to rest. It didn't work out so well - Henry had just napped so I knew he'd just play in the room, but since Emmett was in the park it was impossible to get Luke settled enough to sleep. He watched TV for a while (less than an hour) and we went back to the park.

While we were out, David and Emmett rode Buzz Lightyear, Indy, the Haunted Mansion, and Splash Mountain. They also got fast passes for Splash, so Luke and I rode it immediately upon returning to the park. I was a little worried that Luke's experience with Space Mountain would spill over onto the other mountains in the park, but it didn't. I showed Luke a couple of logs going down the final drop and told him about the ride - it's mostly a slow boat ride, with a few small drops and that one big drop, and he was perfectly willing to ride it. He had a great time. We got a little wet, of course, but he told me he didn't get any water in his eyes because he closed them! Just a few months ago, he refused to ride the log ride at Knott's because he might get splashed. Swimming lessons have really changed things for him.

While we were on Splash, David, Emmett, and Henry rode Winnie the Pooh so after getting off Splash, Luke and I rode it together. Then David and Henry waited while Luke, Emmett and I went on Haunted Mansion with the Nightmare before Christmas overlay. It was great - they both loved the ride and it was much less spooky than the mansion is normally, because there is so much Christmas-y stuff everywhere. I think experiencing the mansion in this form may help prevent them from getting spooked by it the first time they see it. At the end of the ride where you usually have hitchhiking ghosts, Oogie Boogie (villain from Nightmare) is standing there talking about what present you'll get and if you've been naughty or nice. When David went with Emmett, they got a stocking but when we went we got a few sticks of dynamite - lit, of course.

This was the hardest part of the day - it was still pretty hot and the kids were tired. Emmett hadn't eaten much lunch and wanted to eat tons of candy instead, so we went to Bengal Barbecue to get a snack. David got food while I took the boys through Tarzan's Treehouse. After the snack, I tried to get Henry to fall asleep while David took Emmett and Luke on Pirates (which was supposed to be closed according to the Disney website - we lucked out!). Henry didn't fall asleep, so we decided to take the train all the way around the park from New Orleans Square. Even with a 20 minute train ride, Henry didn't fall asleep!

At this point the only major attraction we hadn't been on was Big Thunder Mountain (and it was about 4:30). We wanted to get that in just in case we had to leave due to tiredness. Emmett, Luke, and I rode it while David tried again to drive the stroller in a boring way to get Henry to fall asleep. This time it worked, so David, Emmett, and Luke went on Big Thunder again while Henry was sleeping.

By 5pm the heat of the day was finally wearing off, but the kids were still pretty tired (with the excepting of Henry, who had just woken up), so we decided to have dinner (at the Mexican restaurant adjacent to Big Thunder) to rest and refuel and try to get in a few more rides. It worked like a charm - dinner was definitely rejuvenating, and after that we went on Jungle Cruise and then saw the Tiki Room, of course getting some Dole Whip ice cream on the way in.

Henry loved the Tiki Room so much it was just adorable. He was dancing, waving his arms, and he drummed along with the tikis during the drumming part. He clearly was having a blast - I was so glad we were able to do it.

By this time it was 6:30 so people were lining up for the parade (at 7) and we crossed the hub to go on Buzz Lightyear and Astro Orbiter. When we were entering the park in the morning, Luke had pointed on it and said he wanted to ride it. I told him we'd be at the park all day - we'd certainly go on Astro Orbiter at some point, and we were finally back to do it. At this point the parade was nearby so we stopped to watch it. While waiting, Luke started to get upset about something but when I asked him what was wrong, he said, "I'm just tired" and came over and sat with me. I was amazed all day, actually, at the cooperation, lack of fighting, and pretty good moods despite being over tired and hot.

In DCA, the Pixar parade was awesome - great costumes, characters, puppets, acrobats, stilt walkers, etc. The Disneyland Street Party parade was not. It was music and dancers and characters on uninteresting floats. The good part was that they encouraged lots of kids to come into the street and dance at one point, which Emmett did and had a great time. Otherwise, I can see why people have been complaining about this parade.

After the parade we were going to head out, but Luke wanted to hit Buzz Lightyear one last time so we did. David thought I was nuts, but I pointed out how excited Luke was. David said that wasn't excitement, it was exhaustion turned to hyper convulsions (or something like that). I thought they looked like happy convulsions.

We exited the park, returned to our room, and got the kids in bed and asleep pretty quickly. Emmett was in the park from 9am until 8pm - very impressive.

Things I forgot from day 1

While inside the park but still waiting for DCA to open, we all saw a cat.

Just before going back to the hotel to rest, David and Emmett rode Grizzly River Run, a classic round raft in rapids type ride. They got pretty wet, but it was nothing like the one at Sea World. As we were re-entering the park, Emmett, Oma, Andrea, and I rode it while David took Henry and Luke ahead to the Redwood Creek play area. Andrea got wet the most this time - it seems like this ride will definitely get your feet wet, but Emmett and I had on sandals so it didn't matter.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

California Adventure Brain Dump

I was thinking I should make notes about what we did today, so I decided to do it here so you can see what we were up to... Forgive the rambling - I'm just trying to capture it all right now.

DCA opened at 10am this morning, but we were allowed in a little early to get passes for World Of Color, the new nighttime spectacular water show. We then headed over to Soarin' over California, where we discovered not only is Luke 40" tall, but that they'll measure him one, two, or even three times each pass through the line! David took Emmett and Luke while I played with Henry. Meanwhile, Oma and Andrea made it to the park and got their WOC passes as well. I had "baby swap" passes to go on Soarin' without waiting, and Emmett sweetly gave up a second time on the ride so Andrea and Oma could go with me (and Luke) and our party would be all together. The line for Soarin' was short, but riding twice using the baby-swap passes is time consuming. Everyone loved Soarin' - it's like an IMAX movie but you're suspended in front of the screen and they move your seats around a bit. Tame for the kids, but really nice visuals and it ends on Main Street at night with the fireworks!

Next we went to Toy Story Mania where there was already a 20-30 minute line. Henry had fallen asleep so we got a baby-swap pass and left David with Henry. Toy Story Mania is a 3-D interactive video game where you get to play all sorts of midway games like throwing darts at balloons, shooting and breaking plates, etc. You have a gun/launcher mounted on your car that you can aim and it keeps track of your points. It's a really fun game - everyone had a great time, from Luke all the way up to Oma. Since Luke got to ride Soarin' twice, this time Emmett got to return with David on the baby-swap. Luke didn't protest at all!

Henry went on the carousel after waking up, and then Oma stayed on the carousel with the boys while David, Andrea, and I went on California Screamin'. That is one fun coaster! It uses some kind of induction launch all the way up the first hill so as you crest it you feel some serious negative Gs. There's a loop in there too, and otherwise it's just a really fast, really nice coaster. I must be getting older because by the end of it I was getting a little queasy and was happy it wasn't longer!

After that it was 12:30 already, time to eat and get out of the heat. We had lunch in the park (Mexican - pretty good food) and went to check out our room. When I checked in they told me they had bumped us into a suite and it's really nice. Plenty of space and there's a patio with a table and chairs overlooking the park - views of Grizzly Peak and the Tower of Terror ride! Luke fell asleep for a while and we all rested in the room until about 3pm.

Back in the park, the boys played in the Redwood Creek Challenge area - it's like a super-cool playground. Emmett went on the zip-line twice and even tried the rock climbing wall after discovering that you pretty much work yourself sideways across the rock (he didn't want to go up). Luke had a great time scampering around (and up and down). Henry loved this one slide, climbing up and coming down over and over, always demanding that I get ready to take his picture before he was willing to go up again.

Next we went to A Bug's Land, where the kids rode the Chew Chew Train, bumper cars, some flying buckets thing, and a mini Tea Party like ride. They also played in some fun fountains.

David, Andrea, and I left the kids with Oma again to try the Tower of Terror. I knew it was a "freefall" type ride, but it was quite a bit more than that. At the very top, you are looking out over Disneyland - an awesome view that you only get to look at for a few seconds. Then you go through the drop sequence - up and down, all in pitch blackness! The ride goes down faster than freefall, so you are immediately up out of your seat being pulled by the seatbelt. When you're not accelerating downward fast, the ride is moving upward at a constant speed so it's tough to tell if you're stopped, falling normally, or what in the heck is going on. Only when you find yourself looking out over Disneyland again do you realize that you're back at the top and getting ready to drop again! It's a fun ride!

After Tower of Terror, we found that the parade was passing by - the kids had actually just watched it, but as we left a Bugs Land (and picked up some ice cream), we found it going by again so we stopped to watch. It was a nice parade. The kids all enjoy watching the performers and the music is fun. I was holding Henry, and he kept dancing to the music (he makes little fists and pumps his arms up and down). At the end of the parade they put on bubble machines and the kids had a great time running around popping the bubbles. Such a simple, great idea.

Next we went to dinner. It was nice to eat at a sit-down restaurant and relax, but the room we were in had a large group at another table that was making a huge amount of noise. The room was tiled with all hard surfaces, which didn't help at all. The food was good, though, and DCA serves wine.

We had time before WOC so we went back to Toy Story Mania. This time Henry was awake so he went too, but he was a bit freaked out by the ride - it's loud of course, and I'm sure it's confusing to Henry. He was with David who held him for the rest of the ride and still had the highest score! After that, I bought the kids some glowing stuff and Henry rode the carousel again with David, and we went to get a spot to watch World of Color.

World of Color was a great show - amazing fountains, fire that we could feel the heat from even though we were way back from the flames (what must it feel like up close?), good music, projected animations, just good stuff. More than once I wondered how on earth they do that. The show tonight featured a special ending with Tron, because the movie is coming out soon. That probably would have been cooler if I were up on my Tron trivia. David held Henry for the whole show, and I held Luke. David had Henry on his shoulders until he realized that Henry was upset (breathing like a kid does when they're sobbing or close to it). He brought Henry down, and Henry put his head right down and went to sleep.

We got back to the hotel really quickly because it's right here practically in the park - Emmett declared WOC to be the coolest thing he's ever seen, Luke wondered what else we could have been doing with that time (nothing - the rest of the park was closed). I'll have to ask Luke again tomorrow what he thought of the show. The boys went to bed pretty easily, and tomorrow we'll get up and do it all over again!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Language milestones

For a long time Henry would rarely speak at all. He'd just point and say "Uuuuuh!" at whatever he wanted. If he really wanted something, he'd start saying, "ma ma ma." Then he expanded to saying "Uh uh" to most questions while shaking his head "no." A few days ago, though, he added "uh huh" to the repertoire, dramatically increasing our ability to communicate!

This morning Henry was yelling "Boo! Boo!" David asked him to say "Dada." Henry gave it a try, but came up with "doo doo."

Speaking of brothers playing...

I just heard Emmett and Henry in the other room yelling "Boo!" at each other while jumping and laughing.

Brothers playing

Since Emmett has had a baby brother before, he's always known a bit more about how to interact with Henry than Luke does. Now that Henry is getting older, Luke is getting better at playing with him. The other day at home, Henry was running circles around the kitchen island with Luke cheering him on. Luke was standing at one side yelling, "Go, Henry, Go!" and Henry would pause each time he passed Luke to get a little cheer before making another circuit.

Emmett said

Last week while Oma was visiting, Emmett wanted to talk about "obstacle illusions." You know, when your eyes trick you about what you're seeing.