DISNEY WORLD 2019

We had been talking about making a trip to Disney World for several months but for one reason or another it kept getting pushed aside. In April, we finally decided to make a trip happen before Augustine turned 3 (because he’s free) so we booked a trip to go the day after school wrapped up for the year.

Around Easter time we told the boys we were going to Disney World with Mickey outfits and their Magicbands. They were not very surprised by the announcement since we had been hinting/talking about Disney World in front of them for weeks prior, but they were very excited. We had them watch some videos of Disney World rides so they had an idea of what they were in for.

Anna joined us for the trip and we left at 4 am on Saturday May 18th to get to Orlando.

We made a couple of stops along the way and arrived just in time for the vigil Mass at the church that David and I met for the very first time 9 years ago!

After Mass we went to two of my favorite places that I went to the year I lived in Florida and they were right next to each other. I was already having the best trip ever!

We got to our hotel with enough time to brush teeth and go to bed. The next day we checked out of that hotel and checked into our Disney World resort suite where we’d stay for the next 4 nights. We brought all our bags to the room and then caught the next bus to our first park of the trip: Epcot.

Augustine was too short to ride a lot of rides at the parks but they had a rider swap option that allowed for one adult to stay with Augustine and the other adults took Isaac and Oliver on the ride and then switch. That meant that on most of the rides Oliver and Isaac got to go twice, which they loved. Up first was Test Track, which ended up being one of the favorites of the entire trip.

All Ready for Day 1
Isaac and Papa on Test Track
Gus and I waiting for everyone on Test Track
Then I got to take the boys on the ride

We went on a couple more rides and then went to have a character lunch. This was the only character meal that we did on our trip. While eating lunch, characters will come around to the tables to interact and take pictures. The boys enjoyed seeing Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Chip and Dale, but that also meant not a lot of eating took place.

We did a couple more rides after lunch and then walked around the World Showcase before heading back to the resort for dinner in the room and getting to bed because the next day was going to be an early one.

Day 2’s Park was Animal Kingdom and we had the ability to get there early before the park officially opened. This time ended up being spent in line for a Pandora ride that only Oliver was tall enough to ride and I think that set the day off on the wrong foot. Oliver got sick of standing in line and Isaac and Augustine got bored waiting to go to another ride. After lunchtime we were able to all enjoy the Safari ride but the boys were hot and tired so we decided to leave this park by mid-day so we could enjoy the resort’s pool.

Waiting in Line at Pandora
Safari Ride
Even with slushies everyone was ready to head out

Anna offered to get the boys dinner at the hotel and put them to bed so that David and I could go back to Animal Kingdom for dinner and the evening lights and water show.

Kids Free

Day 3 was spent at Magic Kingdom. This was the park that Augustine could ride most of the rides so we did a lot of them.

Riding Dumbo
A lunch break that included watching a squirrel hiding nuts
Afternoon beverage
This was another favorite ride, Buzz Lightyear: Spaceranger

We were wiped out by suppertime so we again headed back to the resort for food and swimming.

Day 4 was spent at Hollywood Studios. We really wanted to let the boys see at least one of the night time shows so we planned on only staying until lunchtime and then took an afternoon rest at the hotel.

Gus really liked the rides, he didn’t understand why he could go on all of them
Donut Break
Mama’s favorite ride (Oliver wasn’t a fan)
But he smiled anyway
On the bus back to the resort

After a nice break we felt rested and ready to return to the park for another couple of rides, dinner, and then Fantasmic!

Isaac absolutely loved this show. He tells everyone it was the best part of Disney and he still listens to the soundtrack for the show on the Amazon Echo. He only lasted a few minutes after the show ended before falling asleep. All that excitement will make a little one tired.

The morning of our last day at Disney we packed up our stuff and checked out of the resort. We then spent our final day back at Magic Kingdom.

We stayed at the Art of Animation Resort and in a Cars themed suite. They boys thought that was awesome.

We spent the morning on rides that we hadn’t been on from the first day and then in the afternoon we went back to some of the boys’ favorites. Before leaving Disney World we let the boys each pick out something from the gift shop.

Thunder Mountain
Anna took the boys on the tea cups because neither David or I like those spinning type rides.

It was a hot trip (but it could have been hotter). The parks were crowded (but they could have been more crowded). All in all it was a really great trip. The boys had the best time and ask all the time when we’re going back (not for a very long time). I’m so glad we were able to make the trip happen. It was a great way to start the summer and when we got back home we were able to take it easy until the summer birthday season began!

Below are pictures that were taken either by Disney Cast Members or on the rides themselves.

Ready, Set, GO! (one year later)

I’ve been a terrible blogger. I ran into some issues with a post over a year ago and just never got back to it. I’ve started planning the boys’ triple Birthday Party for this year and just couldn’t move forward with it until last year’s party was posted to the blog. A year ago we had a Race Car/Stoplight themed triple birthday party for the boys. Oliver turning 6, Isaac 4, and Augustine 2. We had a great day and I loved looking back at these pictures when I was getting this post put together. I’m going to try and get some other posts up during these summer months when things seem just a little bit less busy. We shall see.

It’s Racing Day at the Riederer House
This was an easy decoration I did on all the tables: black plastic table cloth and taped yellow construction paper
David made a stoplight beanbag toss
Rice Krispie Treat Stoplights for the party favors
I even had the stoplight theme going with the fruit and utensils.
I wanted to give the boys each their own section of one cake and I was happy with how number racetrack turned out.
Very happy boys
Happy Birthday Oliver, Isaac, and Augustine. We love you boys so much!

We listed our house for sale the very same day as this party. Long story short this year’s party will take place in this house again. Maybe I’ll write a blog post about what this last year has been like with three children and a house needing to stay show ready ALL THE TIME. Then again maybe the next post will be this year’s Lego Party because Everything Is Awesome!

New Camera and Have I Lost My Mind?

I need some help from anyone who has kept up with this blog. I am 99.99999% sure that I wrote AND posted a blog at the end of 2017 recapping the year. I basically had a bunch of pictures and then wished everyone a Merry Christmas and New Year. I remember publishing this post and it’s disappeared. Someone asked me if I had written a blog recently and when I went to our website to show them the latest post the last one is “Paw Party” posted back in August. Can anyone tell me if they saw a more recent post then that in the last few months. There are no signs of this post and now I’m wondering if it was all in my head. Anyways, moving on…

After several years of talking about getting a nicer digital camera, but always just resorting to taking pictures with our phones, we found a good deal and bought one. David and I figured out how to use the camera once the boys were in bed on Thursday night and Friday morning I took pictures of the boys soon after each one woke up.

Then later that day the boys and I went outside for more picture taking. They really wanted to get a picture of the bees in our flower bush and after several attempts I got one. Do you see it?

On Saturday the weather was perfect so we headed to a park for a picnic, kite flying, and a walk.

Isaac is too tired to walk anymore

We found a lone crab

And two ducks

I’m sure this blog will be filled with more pictures from this new camera as the years go by!

 

P.S. Leave a comment if you remember seeing a post finishing the 2017 year or if you think I need to be getting more sleep since you never saw such a post.

 

Paw Party!

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated Oliver’s 5th and Isaac’s 3rd Birthdays. It worked well to combined them last year so we did it again this year. Maybe next year we’ll combine all three boys’ parties into one? Oliver and Isaac have been into the TV show Paw Patrol so that was the theme and it was a hit. We had Paw Patrol decorated cakes, games, balloons, masks, stickers, etc. Even the gifts that guests brought followed the Paw Patrol theme. The boys loved having friends and family come over to celebrate their birthdays and we loved see the joy on their faces. Now for the pictures…

The Birthday Boys
The Birthday Boys

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Balloon drop ready to go
Balloon drop ready to go

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Oliver's Marshall Cake
Oliver’s Marshall Cake

Isaac's Chase Cake
Isaac’s Chase Cake

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLIVER AND ISAAC
HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLIVER AND ISAAC

 

Augustine: 12 Months and a Panda Party!

Augustine is a 1 year old! Holy Moly. I know I think it with every one of my children’s first birthdays, but how has it been an entire year already? We had a Panda themed party for Gus the day before his actual birthday so I’ll start with those pictures. Family and a few friends came to celebrate with us where we had Chinese food and Panda cake.

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Monthly Pictures
Monthly Pictures

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The Panda Snacks were "bamboo" Pirouettes
The Panda Snacks were “bamboo” Pirouettes

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The main cake and Augustine's Smash cake
The main cake and Augustine’s Smash cake

Time for cake
Time for cake

Not too sure about it...
Not too sure about it…

Isaac likes it
Isaac likes it

This is pretty good...
This is pretty good…

I'M DONE!
I’M DONE!

Opening presents and checking out his new toy
Opening presents and checking out his new toy

We Love You Augustine!
We Love You Augustine!

The next day I took some more of those monthly pictures. After a few months of taking his monthly pictures on that panda blanket I decided it was the perfect theme for his party! Since Gus got his first taste of cake at his party we decided to let him have his first taste of ice cream for his actual birthday. As you can see he wasn’t a fan. Happy 1st Birthday Augustine! We’re so glad you are ours!

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Augustine: 11 Months

Augustine continues to develop by leaps and bounds. He now army crawls forward and is getting himself up on all four in an attempt to crawl. He also rolls from belly to back and back to belly and then to sitting. Just yesterday he pulled himself up to standing from a sitting position and loves to stand supported. Augustine continues to eat more and more and is becoming more interested in our food then the pureed food. I’m actually guilty of giving him a slice of pizza to chew on! Third child. He still only has his bottom two teeth but a top one has just cut through the gums. Probably why he’ll happily chew on pizza. Gus’ new favorite thing to say is ma-ma-ma-ma. I don’t think he’s referring to me but it’s fun to think he’s learning words. Augustine will happily play with toys or other people but the second I walk into his presence he decides he’d rather not play or be held by others. Gus still hates being in a car seat and wakes up several times at night. I’ve begun planning his first birthday party which is so strange because how can he be coming up on one year old?

The photo shoot was a struggle now that Gus wants to be so mobile. Every picture is blurry.

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Finally rolling!
Finally rolling!

And sitting
And sitting

And crawling
And crawling

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Isaac trying to get him to sit still
Isaac trying to get him to sit still

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Augustine: 10 Months

This was a big month for Augustine! He’s been moving in all sorts of ways. Augustine is now eating both pureed and table food-oatmeal, sweet potato “fries”, softened apple slices, etc. He seems to really like food now and usually eats all that I’ve prepared for him. Augustine is not crawling yet but he does manage to move around. When I sit him down he’ll spin around and kind of scoot. When I put him on his belly he’ll get himself in the crawling position and kind of push himself backwards (especially on the slick laminate floor.) He wants to work to get to toys out of his reach so I’m guessing he’ll start really moving soon. Augustine also officially has 2 teeth! About a week after turning 9 months a tooth started breaking through and then a week after that a second one surfaced. Now I’m pretty sure another one is on the way because he has been drooling and fussy pretty much all of the time. Augustine loves splashing during bath time, watching his brothers play, napping in mama’s arms, and holding mama’s phone (his favorite “toy”).

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I can no longer set him down and expect him not to move!
I can no longer set him down and expect him not to move!

They love joining in the shoot
They love joining in the shoot

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He still won't roll over!
He still won’t roll over!

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Augustine: 9 Months

Augustine continues to grow slow and steady. Now that he’s sitting up really well he doesn’t seem to feel the need to work on rolling over. Augustine is happy to sit with a couple of toys and play. When he is on his belly he’s pulled himself up getting ready to crawl but hasn’t moved around. Gus has been eating a little bit more of pureed food but isn’t interested in eating table food. That could be because he still doesn’t have any teeth! His gummy smile is cute though so I’ll enjoy it while waiting for those teeth to show up. Augustine enjoys laughing when tickled, being tossed around, and when Oliver plays with him. His eyes are as blue as ever (what many people notice most about him) and his hair is getting thicker and longer at the back especially. At his 9 month well visit he weighed in at just over 16 lbs which is very small for his age. We love our littlest boy!

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This chair can barely fit our growing boys!
This chair can barely fit our growing boys!

He's been loving to grab his feet lately
He’s been loving to grab his feet lately

Yep, still as far as he'll go to rolling over.
Yep, still as far as he’ll go to rolling over.

Making Our House Our Own

We’ve lived in our house for just over 3 years and when we moved in we knew we wanted to make some updates. The thing I was most wanting to do was replace the carpet in the dining room (who puts carpet in a dining room?) play room, and what we call the “big room.” Shortly after Augustine was born this summer we decided to finally get the carpet replaced. Well when you are ripping up carpet you might as well paint before new floors go down right? And if there’s any electrical that needs to happen you should do that before painting right? And if you want a doorway made between two rooms that should be done before painting too! So what started out as replacing flooring turned into whole room renovations. Here are pictures to show the transformation.

Dining Room Before. Look at that nasty carpet!
Dining Room Before. Look at that nasty carpet!

Dining Room with the new tile floors. David did all the tile work and it was quite the process to complete.
Dining Room with the new tile floors. David did all the tile work and it was quite the process to complete.

Paint complete
Paint complete

Dining Room Complete! I did a good bit of the painting in this room and I'm really happy with how it turned out. I'm interested in redoing the dining room set but other projects need to be completed before I start that.
Dining Room Complete! I did a good bit of the painting in this room and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I’m interested in redoing the dining room set but other projects need to be completed before I start that.

David starting to make the hole for a doorway.
David starting to make the hole for a doorway. This is the playroom and he’s making a doorway into the big room.

Doorway in progress
Doorway in progress. Now you can see the big room.

Ripping up carpet to lay laminate down and an almost finished doorway
Ripping up carpet to lay laminate down and an almost finished doorway

Flooring already to be laid. David again did all the work here and he did an awesome job.
Flooring all ready to be laid. David, again, did all the work here and he did an awesome job.

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Our plan is to have a barn door for the new doorway but that may be a couple of months down the road.

Pretty new floors in the "big room"
Pretty, new floors in the “big room”

BEFORE
Since we painted the big room shortly after moving in I found this picture from the previous owners so you can see what the room looked like BEFORE

AFTER
and AFTER

BEFORE
I never took pictures of the playroom before the new floors and paint so here’s one from the blog when Oliver was just a tot!

AFTER
AFTER

AFTER
AFTER. I convinced David that with four boys in the house I needed a little bit of femininity with some curtains!

We had some leftover paint and every room in the house needs to be repainted so while the home renovation momentum is still going I went ahead and painted the guest bathroom.

BEFORE
BEFORE

 

After painting. I still need to paint trim and clean up. We also may change out fixtures in here.
After painting. I still need to paint trim and clean up. We also may change out fixtures in here.

We still have several rooms that need new paint and flooring but we are going to take a break for a while and enjoy the updates we have made. Plus we’ve made life just a little more crazy by adding chicks to our family. That’s right, we’ll have fresh eggs come the summer from our very own chickens. David will be busy over the next few weeks building them a coop. I’m sure they’ll be worthy of their own blog post, but for now here’s a preview of cute boys with cute chicks. Oh and if anyone is curious those dark mounds all over the lawn are crawfish holes.

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