Okay, so technically there were 5 kids that were actually running around. But anyone who has been 6 months pregnant hauling bags and strollers through hours and hours of walking through Disney World, keeping track of lots of kids while climbing onto buses and maneuvering through massive crowds would tell you that that 6th kid still tucked away inside my belly definitely gets credit for being there.
But we made it. We got suitcases packed, we got everyone onto the plane...
we figured out how to sleep with all 5 of us in one hotel room and we set off for a wild week of fun, magic, delicious food and adventure at the happiest place on Earth.
There were princesses galore...
and Mickey sightings everywhere.
There were characters like Prince Charming who showed up at our dinner table...
and Cinderella who followed close behind (while Sophia clearly wasn't impressed with Cinderella's pop by visit!).
But Donald Duck? Well, he was somehow less scary than beautiful, soft spoken, loving Cinderella!
There were incredible live shows with dancing and singing and unbelievable costumes.
and Anna of course.
And incredibly over-priced stuffed animals and toys that were right at arms reach for any kid passing through.
There were aquariums full of beautiful fish, sharks and other sea creatures...
and spontaneous naps that we clung onto as long as they would last.
There were delicious dinners cooked right in front of us...
freezing cold days that made us feel like we were back in Canada again...
and rides that made us laugh out loud when we got the pics back. *if you look long enough at the faces on the right, you'll laugh too...and then there's Terry in the back who thinks he's on a major roller coaster.
And the rest? Well, I'll let the rest of the pictures tell the story of our days at Disney...
But also let me tell you...as much as these pictures show how fabulous a time we had, we didn't take pictures of us popping cookies into kids mouths to keep them from whining and complaining about having to wait in crazy long lines everywhere we went.
And we didn't take pictures of the overly tired, overwhelmed kids who each had their meltdown moments at some point during the week. Because Disney World might be the happiest place on Earth, but it's certainly not immune to the childhood meltdown (as noted as we walked past countless kids losing it on their magical vacation, and smiled understandingly at their exhausted parents).
But fun? It still certainly was!!
It was worth the crazy crowds where we thanked our travel agent for recommending strollers "just in case" for every child to sit in---because safety in huge crowds meant that we strapped all of the kids in and plowed through thousands of people knowing that we had every little person safely with us.
It was worth the many hours that my sister spent sewing and making Mickey shirts for all of the adults, and Disney character shirts and outfits for all of the kids (like Mya as Snow white, Carter's Incrediblel's shirt and Scarlett's Mulan outfit).
And we forgot all about the fact that Sophia cried most of the plan ride home when I saw the pictures of our excited kids with the pilot right before take off.
So we made it, our little family of ours. We took all 11 of us (well, 12 of us to be precise)--and made it to the happiest place on Earth. We made memories that the kids will talk about for years to come, we saw magic happen right before our eyes and we ultimately had a wonderfully amazing trip together.
And when we got home? Well, forget the millions of loads of laundry that had to be done--I chose to procrastinate by doing a little treat-making instead.
Because after a trip like Disney World with 6 kids, you really need a vacation.