We have had a big life change happen in our household over the last several weeks & I have been itching to share our news. For once, I can actually say this big change has nothing to do with me having a baby! {although, yes, that will be a big change too.}
Ben started a new job this week!
Ben has been working for Walgreens since we got married. Walgreens has been very good to him & he's had a lot of great opportunities there, but the hours weren't great. He's always had a crazy schedule & it has progressively gotten harder as the boys have gotten older. He has worked every other weekend for the last 6 years, worked lots of holidays, & worked multiple late nights a week. It just wasn't ideal for a family & he had been searching for other opportunities for a long time.
Right before we left for Disney, a job found him. Seriously! It was crazy how everything worked out, but basically, he found a pharmacy job 10 minutes from our house that is only open Monday-Friday until 5pm. How perfect is that?! No weekends. No late nights. No holidays! We are all so excited about this change & Grayson is pumped that his daddy will be home every single night to tuck him in!
We celebrated last Thursday since it was Ben's last day at Walgreens. I got him a strawberry cake from the Puffy Muffin & we celebrated by having a long weekend at home. That's almost unheard of for us on a holiday weekend!
{Funny story about the strawberry cake...I took the boys with me to the Puffy Muffin on Monday to order the cake. I told G what we were doing and that it was a secret and we couldn't tell daddy. That afternoon Ben walked in from work while we were playing in the sandbox. Grayson looked up and out of nowhere said, "We didn't buy you a strawberry cake today, Daddy." I immediately started laughing. Ben asked what he was talking about & G responded, "we didn't buy you a cake today, we are buying you one on Thursday. I can't tell you where it's from though. That's a secret. It's from the Puffy Muffin." We were both rolling. He cracks us up! Guess we need to work on his secret keeping skills..haha!}
Well, that's our news! Ben started his new job on Tuesday and we are adjusting to our new "normal." We are so, so thankful for this new job & having Ben home more often!


School's Out for Summer!

Well, Grayson officially has another year of preschool under his belt! He finished up his 3 year old preschool year last Tuesday with a pizza party at school. I can't believe he has done 2 years of school at our church!
Oh, the difference a year makes. Grayson has grown up so much since early September!
G had a great school year. He started off in the younger 3's room & then moved up to the older 3's room over the winter. We were a little nervous about how he would adjust, but he did great! His new class ended up being a perfect fit & it even had a few friends from his class last year. I feel like this new group was more on his level & he seemed to be more challenged.
 Grayson and Mrs. Jennifer
Grayson & Mrs. Amy
We will miss these teachers next year! Grayson keeps asking me when he goes back to school. We are excited for a laid back summer, but I know he will miss his school routine. His favorite thing about this school year was Praise every Tuesday morning. All the kids went to the children's worship room every Tuesday and had prayer & praise time with Mrs. Emily (their amazing music teacher). He loved it! I loved it, too. He sings his praise songs at home all the time & it is the sweetest sound.
I can't believe another year is over. I am thankful we still have 2 more years of preschool before we have to send this boy to kindergarten! It's hard to believe that Griffin will be joining Grayson next year at preschool. Until then, we will soak up these lazy summer days!


29 weeks with Cheney

How far along?: 29 weeks...TEN weeks left!

How big is your baby?: the size of a small cabbage
Total weight gain: up 10lbs total

Sex: sweet baby GIRL--Cheney Katherine
Maternity clothes: I got to wear my maternity bathing suit this week. I know you're jealous.
  Sleep: oooohhhh sleep. Story of our life, that depends on Griffin.
Symptoms: I've actually been feeling pretty good this week! Ben makes fun of me because if I walk more than 8 steps I am completely out of breath. Going up our stairs wipes me out. Isn't that pitiful??
Movement: She moves all the time! Grayson actually felt her for the first time on Sunday at church. I love baby kicks so much. It's such an amazing feeling!
Best moment this week: Cheney has a room! I repeat, Cheney has a ROOM! We painted it the perfect shade of gray over the long weekend and I even refinished an armoire for the nursery. SO, the walls are painted, furniture is in place, and her bedding is actually in the crib. Now, to decorate! Oh, and in even bigger news: Ben started his NEW job! More on that later this week:)
Food cravings: watermelon! Griff and I accidentally ate half a watermelon for lunch on Monday. oops.

Belly button in or out: we are to the flat stage.
What I miss: a Blue Moon. I do miss those.
What I'm looking forward to: Organizing all the baby clothes we have & decorating her room. We have some fun things arriving in the mail in the next couple of weeks!


28 weeks with Cheney

How far along?: 28 weeks--3rd trimester! Home stretch!

How big is your baby?: the size of an eggplant
Total weight gain: up 10lbs total

Sex: sweet baby GIRL--Cheney Katherine
Maternity clothes: we are approaching pool season and I dread a combo of maternity bathing suits & horrid varicose veins.
  Sleep: Waking up to go to the bathroom. Waking up because of hip pain. Waking up because Griffin can't quite get used to sharing room with his big "bubba." Sleeping in between!
Symptoms: The pulled muscle is ALL better! Hallelujah! Still just dealing with the painful veins. I have learned this week the hard way that if I don't make myself sit more throughout the day, my leg will be throbbing by dinner time.
Movement: I love watching this girl move! I can tell she is growing because her movements are so much stronger.
Best moment this week: The boys are now officially sharing a room! I took all the boy crib bedding down & we will set up C's crib this weekend. Griffin is doing better than I thought he would. He wants me to lay with him until he falls asleep which is not a habit I wanted to start. But, I know he will adjust eventually. Let's just hope it is before his sister is born!
Food cravings: watermelon!

Belly button in or out: um, in between?
What I miss: A normal feeling leg
What I'm looking forward to: we are painting Cheney's nursery this weekend! I can't wait to officially start her room! 


Disney World: Day 5 & Trip Details

We decided that our last full day in Disney World should be spent at the Magic Kingdom. Honestly, I think we could have spent 4 full days at the Magic Kingdom and had a ton of fun. There is just so much to do!
I had to do the typical family pose in front of the castle & I wanted to make sure we did it first thing in the morning while it was still nice outside. Of course it was super windy that morning. Ha!
 We loved having Mimi and Pops there with us. It was so nice having help & the boys loved spending the week with them!

We started off our day riding Grayson's 2 favorite rides before the lines got too long: Peter Pan & It's a Small World. He loved them both! It was so fun watching his face light up even though those rides are so simple. It was magical for him!

 The crew rode the teapots next. I happily sat those out. I figured Cheney probably didn't need to spin around super fast in a cup!
 G's 3rd favorite ride was next: Buzz Lightyear. Grayson loved this ride because he got to shoot the laser. Griffin just liked making our space ship spin around!
We used one of our fast passes our last day for the Jungle Book's Jungle Cruise. It was pretty fun despite the fact that it was SO hot out! I preferred the cool air conditioned rides by this point in the week!
It was pretty cute to see all the "animals" in the water. The boys enjoyed it!

 We had to do one more round on the giant carousel while the line was short! I swear it instantly aged Griffin. He looked like such a big boy!
 We headed over to the pirate area next. We got to watch the parade of little boys who had been dressed up like pirates & had their faces painted. Jack Sparrow even made an appearance!
Pirates of the Caribbean was my kind of ride. LOTS of air conditioning:) Grayson loved this ride & really wanted to have a pirate sword when we walked out.
We wanted to make sure we ended our day semi-early (around 5pm) so the boys could go to bed at a normal time. {side note: Griffy had his first episode of night terrors on our trip most likely due to exhaustion and lack of routine. It scared the crap out of me. Hence, the early bed time on our last night}
Anyway, we let G pick the last ride of the day and he said he wanted to ride on Buzz again! He really had his heart set on beating Pops with the laser. Ha! Well, lucky for them, we got stuck on the ride for like 15 minutes and Ben got so many points he literally maxed out the score. It was his proudest moment aside from seeing the birth of his boys. I'm kidding--kind of. Also, being stuck on a ride with a very antsy almost 2 year old is a real work out! Griffin wasn't a fan of not being able to get out of our space ship.

Our timing was perfect because as we were leaving we got to see the huge Street Party parade! It was so fun! We had really wanted to see the Electric Parade but after Griffin's night terrors we decided to save that for the next trip. These boy were wiped out every night!

Each boy got one present from us & one from Mimi and Pops on our trip. We kept asking Griffin every day if he had found a "prize" to take home. This boy has a fierce love for his stuffed animals & he just couldn't make up his mind until our last night! He got a huge Mickey from Mimi and Pops but finally settled on a big "Duckie" from us. I wish y'all could see his bed right now. It looks like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse exploded all around him! He was so excited.

This is what 9-10 hours at the Magic Kingdom looks like. Hot & exhausted. But so worth it!!!
This trip was such a great week. I never understood people who went to Disney all the time but now I get it. Taking our boys at this age was such a great experience. Watching them experience everything was so much fun. Everything was real to them & so magical!
We booked our trip through a Disney travel agent. We didn't have to pay her anything because she gets commission from Disney & she was so helpful! I'm happy to recommend her if anyone needs an agent! I'm not sure I will need to use an agent on our next trip but since we had not been since we were little, I had a gazillion questions. It was so nice to be able to call or email Kathy with all of my questions.
I brought our umbrella stroller for the airport but rented a City Mini Double for our trip. I used the Apple Stroller rental company in Orlando. It was $7/day & they had it dropped off at our resort when we got there. Griffin hates strollers but it was really nice when the boys napped! It was also great to carry all of our things. I had a diaper bag & back pack each day at the parks and it was more than enough room to hold everything!
The two things I bought for the trip that came in most handy were my squirt bottle fan & Brita water bottle. I'm not a huge fan of Florida water & my biggest worry being pregnant was staying hydrated. I bought the biggest Brita water bottle at Target, filled it with ice and a little water every morning at our resort, & brought it with us. I also filled it up all day long at water fountains & asked for cups of ice at our frequent lunch/snack stops. It worked perfectly! I would definitely recommend that; I didn't have to buy one single (expensive) bottle of water while we were there.
We decided to do the Dining Plus meal plan and it worked out great for us. This gave us one sit down meal, a quick service meal, & one snack every day. We had some snacks left over on the last day but we just stocked up at our resort for the our trip home!
Our room at Art of Animation was also great for us. We got a suite so that we could have some privacy once the kids went to bed. Grayson used the sofa bed & Griffin used the murphy bed. It was also really nice having 2 bathrooms & a small kitchen. We got a lot of use out of our mini fridge!  The whole resort was so much fun and perfect for kids. Next time I would like to work in some time for the pool. They had some awesome pools that we never even got to go in!
Overall, our week was great. The only big thing we would change would be to spend 1 more day at the Magic Kingdom. There just wasn't nearly as much for little kids at Hollywood Studios & Animal Kingdom. Oh, I would also vote to go when it wasn't so hot. I know it could have been much worse, but those last 2 days were rough! We are already excited for our next trip! We'll have to take Cheney before she turns 3!


Disney World: Days 3 & 4

We planned on spending our 3rd day at Hollywood Studios. We weren't really sure what all it would have for our little guys, but we wanted to try it out.
 This was right before we left to head to the bus. Gotta have our Mickey gear on!
 We had an early breakfast scheduled at Hollywood & Vine. It was neat because we actually got to go in to Hollywood Studios before it was technically open.
Waiting for breakfast! This was the Disney Junior character breakfast and I would highly recommend it. It was a big, open space; the food was great; & the characters were awesome!
 Griffin was smitten by Sophia the First. It was hilarious! He loved her. All the characters are ones that our boys recognize from Disney Junior, so they really enjoyed this breakfast.

Poor Grayson started acting pitiful during our breakfast & we realized he had a fever. He rested on Ben's lap for about half the breakfast & luckily felt a little bit better after some Tylenol.
After breakfast we headed over to the Toy Story area & waited in line to see Buzz & Woody. You can see that Grayson just didn't feel great. I hated that he caught Griffin's fever virus! Griffin loved meeting "Buzzzzz!"
We went to a Disney Junior show while Ben and his mom rode the rollercoaster. It was cute--however, the room was SO hot & you had to sit on the floor. Obviously the pregnant woman was not a huge fan of that. Grayson enjoyed it because it had Mickey Mouse Clubhouse & Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Griff just didn't do well during the shows. He got way too antsy!
After this show, we left Hollywood Studios and headed back to the resort for naps. Griffin slept for 4 hours (that's a record!) and Grayson slept for over 2. Thankfully he felt much better after resting & was basically back to his normal self!

That night we had reservations at the Garden Grill at Epcot. My only complaint was that the service wasn't stellar & it was a really tight fit for a character dinner. It was hard for the boys to get in & out of the booth to keep hanging out with Farmer Mickey, Pluto, Chip, & Dale. The restaurant is also supposed to rotate but was broken while we were there. Big bummer! 
 Otherwise, the characters at this dinner were great! Our Mickey obsessed kids loved seeing Farmer Mickey, Pluto, Chip, & Dale. We also got to see them all multiple times which was fun!
These boys sure did love meeting all their favorite characters!
 We stayed out late this night to see the fireworks at Epcot. Our boys have never been able to see a huge fireworks show & Grayson was really excited!
 Griffin got to watch on Pops' shoulders & he kept trying to catch the fireworks. Ha, I love how their little minds work!
It was such a nice night!
 Day 4 was our Animal Kingdom & Downtown Disney day. We got to the Animal Kingdom right as it opened so that we could head back to the safari first thing in the morning. The one thing I should mention about this day was that it was the first really hot day we had. I felt like I was melting. Orlando heat & humidity doesn't mess around!
 We did the safari first thing that morning which was great. The animals are most active in the morning & the line wasn't more than 10 minutes. It was a blazing hot 10 minutes, but still just 10 minutes:)
 The safari ride was really neat. It was basically an oversized Jeep driving through different habitats. We got to see giraffes, hippos, elephants, rhinos, flamingos, antelope, and lots more. The one thing that G was disappointed in not seeing was the lion. He really wanted to see one! Griffin LOVES giraffes and we saw a bunch of them. He kept saying, "hi fraffes!"
 The other part of the safari was a walking part. You saw fish, birds, meerkats, & gorillas. I could have done without that portion simply because a) Griff only wanted to be held & b) it felt like it was 100 degrees outside.
 One of the best purchases I made for our trip was this $8 spray fan from Wal-Mart. It was endless entertainment for Grayson & it felt good on the hot days!
 We ate lunch at the Rainforest CafĂ©. We have been to the one in Nashville but we thought it would be a fun (see also: super cheesy) place for the boys.
 This was right before our reservations. I told you it was hot! G thought this was hysterical!
Grayson and Griffin loved this place. It has a great store in the front filled with tons of things to entertain them & they of course loved all the "real" animals inside. Grayson could have done without the fake thunder. Oh well!
After lunch, Griffin took a stroller nap for a long time. We took Grayson to the A Bug's Life interactive show. It was pretty neat. It was all in 3D and you felt like the bugs were flying right at you. However, there was one part where it gets pitch black and the room fills with fog & G was terrified. Wish we had known it would do that beforehand! He also got to meet Safari Mickey & Minnie while Griff slept!
We headed back to the resort for another afternoon of naps. Griffin thought we were crazy because he had already slept for well over an hour! While Ben & G took naps, I let Griffin take the world's longest bath & then we had a photo session with some of the characters outside of our building. This was the entrance to our resort building. How cool is that?! I spy a teeny Griffin in the left hand corner!

 Around 4:30 we hopped on the bus to head to Downtown Disney. I heard conflicting things about the resort bus system. Some people said it was super convenient & others hated it. Overall, I thought the bus system was great. It was kind of a pain for Ben because he had to hold on to the double stroller while we rode, but the boys thought it was a lot of fun. Definitely easier than driving our own car everywhere, I think!
 Downtown Disney was so cute! I had really never even heard of it until this trip & I wanted to see what all it had. I had to check out the Christmas shop & get an ornament (or 3) and the boys spent a long time in the awesome toy store. How fun is that ceiling?!
 We were having a 3 year old attitude moment when we first got there so Griffin was the only one who would participate in any pictures willingly. He had to stop by & hug Buzz!
 I'm pretty sure there was bribery involved in this one to get G to smile. Just being honest! This was what Grayson had looked forward to all afternoon: the huge Lego store!
 It's an absolute miracle that Griffin didn't make all the Lego characters explode into a million different pieces. I was a little nervous with him touching all the characters!
G was proud of his masterpiece in the Lego work room--that, my friends, is a legit smile!
We had dinner at the House of Blues restaurant and it was the best meal we had all week. The food was really good & we got lucky and sat by the water! Downtown Disney was fun when we first got there but after dinner it was super crowded. It was hard to navigate through the mass of people. Other than that, it was a nice night!
What we learned from these 2 days is that we could have done Animal Kingdom just for a little bit in the morning and then done Hollywood Studios that same afternoon. Those 2 parks definitely don't have as much as the Magic Kingdom for little kids. Definitely something we will do differently next time!