Monday, May 21, 2012

Disney's Epcot with a Preschooler, Toddler, and Infant

Ok.. to continue our Disney series, I thought I'd skip Magic Kingdom for now and first talk about Epcot...

As I mentioned before, I still think this is my favorite park.  For the kids... it is not bad.  I think of it as a huge hands on science museum.  There is much more learning and interesting things here than just brainless rides.  We did not have much time and it poured crazy rain on us right after lunch... so in the limited time here is what we were able to hit:

The Seas with Nemo & Friends - We did this last time.  Baby E was sleeping so the two girls went on this with daddy.  They didn't stay to talk to Crush the turtle... but I think that is one of the cooler parts of the ride.

Spaceship Earth - This is a pretty cool ride and it is located in the big ball thing that everyone associates with Epcott.  There is a cool personalized video at the end that they make for you based on how you answer a few questions.  Wish I knew ahead of time, I would have videoed it with my iPhone.

Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros - Read everywhere to do this with little kids and that it is just like Its A Small World.  Yep.  Nothing too crazy to comment on here... pretty much a relaxing boat ride where sections remind you of the Its A Small World ride.

Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall - We did this last time, too and maybe first time is always more magical somehow.  Girls still love princesses so they like having all the princesses come over for personal attention.  This year, instead of standing in long lines for character pictures and autographs we just did it through different character dinings.  Being 2 1/2 is a great time to go to Disney because they pretty much get the character thing and everything is FREE (including these buffet character dinings) and since our 2 1/2 year old eats more than our 4 year old (who we have to pay for)... it evens out for us!

So some things we did not get to but maybe next time include:

Journey Into Imagination With Figment - I read this is a ride to try with little kids.  They were having technical difficulties when we tried to go so maybe next time.

Soarin' - I totally want to do this next time.  I dream about flying all the time!  My kids were a little too young and this is definitely a ride you should get a fast pass for since it is super popular.

Club Cool - Well, we are not huge soda drinkers but the concept is pretty neat.  You basically get to drink free soda here from different countries.  I kept reading about how this is a hidden gem.  Will have to check it out someday.

The list can go on but I'll stop here for now...  gotta run some errands now that I'm back in the real world...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Disney's Animal Kingdom with A Preschooler, Toddler, and Infant...

Brief recap on Animal Kingdom... Day #2 of our Disney Adventure with Three Little Kids in Tow...

It was a hot, sticky, and grumpy morning.  We did go on the Kilmanjaro Safari which I read was a must-do.  We got a fast pass for this and walked around a little before getting on.  HUGE mistake!  Next time we go with small kids (well... not sure if and when there will be a next time, but those out there who go with small kids...) avoid walking trails!  My kids stayed up late the night before and they just don't do as well when they are not following their usual sleep routine.  Plus, it was hot and sticky and who wants to walk when it is hot and sticky?  Therefore, my kids were not super impressed or interested in any of the animals.  Well, that is not true.  My second child really liked watching this turtle eat a leaf.  We pretty much ate lunch after the safari and trail walk and went back for naps and swimming.  I just nixed everything else on my agenda (which included the Festival of the Lion King)  In retrospect, maybe we should have done it because it is indoors and air conditioned!  Next time, I'd hit this park first before any of the other parks.

Rides/attractions we would go on if I had planned better would include:

Then maybe adult only rides with the baby swap... or when the kids are older:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hollywood Studios With A Four Year Old, Two Year Old, and a Ten Month Old

So quick recap on Hollywood Studios... Day #1 of our Disney Adventure with three little kids in tow...

From what I've gathered online, the ride to get on with little kids is Toy Story Mania.  Now, there is usually a 70-90 min wait on this ride.  Definitely not worth the wait... get a fast pass!  We did and yes, it was entertaining... but probably a little hyped up in my opinion.  My oldest is four and she kinda got it.  Since you get points and stuff I can easily see how this can be fun for older kids and adults who like to be competitive.  Since there just aren't as many rides in Hollywood Studios, I can also see why this ride is so popular and there is such a long wait for it.

My husband is an avid Star Wars fan.  So of course, we hit Star Tours.  There is a 40 inch height requirement, so only my oldest was able to ride it.  She went on it with daddy the first time and had a hard time handling it... was a little too intense for her.  But then, she is not really that familiar with Star Wars and she is more sensitive than your average four year old.  We did the baby swap and I was then able to get right on by myself... pretty awesome, I must say.  Husband went on it a second time by himself when we went back to the park after naps and then even a third time!  I did go on it a second time with my oldest who wanted to try the ride again (since she was so scared the first time), but really ended up just closing her eyes through most of it.  The ride is simulated but is 3D so things appear to be flying out at you.  I have trouble seeing 3D and still thought it was pretty cool so it must be super cool for those who actually see the 3D effects!  My favorite part was when Darth Vader used the force to move our spaceship   off the ground and shook us up!

My girls are into princesses so we watched the Voyage of The Little Mermaid twice.  When we did this last year, my oldest was three and was a little frightened during some parts.  She remembers the show and tells me she is not scared this year because she knows what to expect.  I looked over at my second child during the "scary part" when Ursula comes out and she has a horrified look on her face.  The second time we watched it,  she covered her eyes during that part.  It's crazy how all the villains in these Disney movies and shows are so scary for little kids...

Next, my kids loved Disney Junior - Live on Stage!  It was interactive and fun.  I did not get to witness their fun since I was with sleeping child #3 in the back but from what my husband tells me and the kids reports, they had a blast and would want to see it again.

Then while the younger two went back for naps, my oldest stayed at the park a little longer with daddy.  They watched Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage and Muppet Vision 3D.  The first she loved.. the latter she didn't care much for but then she doesn't really know who the muppets are.

Since everyone napped, we did decide to try a late night and went back to the park for dinner and even stayed for the Fantasmic show at 9pm.  Poor little E usually sleeps at 630pm so was so tired he did fall asleep and stayed asleep through most of the show.  It got a little loud near the end which did wake him a little but he fell back asleep.  I thought it was pretty impressive... animation on water with water effects etc.  Girls loved the princesses coming out on boats with their princes.  I love watching my second child wave enthusiastically at them.  There is always a scary part with these Disney shows and I don't know about other kids, but my kids get pretty freaked out and have to close their eyes during those scenes.

Overall, I think this park is more fun for older kids and folks who are into movies.  We still did it to experience something different but would probably skip it if we were here only for a couple of days.  I scheduled this in the beginning of the week so the kids can't compare it to MK just yet...

Happy Mothers Day

To all you mothers out there... Happy Mother's Day!

We are back and my kids are happy to be home.  It really is 'home sweet home'...  BUT... lots of cleaning and sorting to do...

Next few posts will be about Disney... get ready...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Duh Mommy Moments

So only time tonight to record two duh mommy moments...

1)  Packed kids toothpaste but forgot adult toothpaste... so we're all brushing with bubblegum princess toothpaste this week (adults included)!  

2)  Poor third child... forgot to pack diaper and wipes for him when we went out for dinner last night (figured it'd only be a couple of hours)..  but of course he has a blow out poo!  So he went the rest of the night wearing pink Dora pull-ups...

More thoughts on the actual parks next post...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Disney Trip Take Two!

So we decided to go to Disney again this year.  Last year... we went because husband had a conference and we decided to tag along.  This year should be a pretty different trip because last year, I was pregnant and had a one year old and three year old.  Mother in law came with us and we stayed in a huge 4 bedroom townhouse with a pool... took it easy with naps and only did the park in the morning mainly... you can read about it here.

This year, we decided to do the "disney experience" from beginning to end.  So Magic Express us to our living quarters... meal plan... let's see maybe we'll do more park stuff...  paying an arm and a leg but we'll see if it is worth it!  Well so to save as best as we can I subscribed to and got our pass tickets there... and ended up renting from David's Vacation Rental (since we really wanted a 1 bedroom villa with full kitchen and washer/dryer.. just makes life a little easier with so many little ones...).  We flew Southwest which is the best because you can check bags in for free... but boy since there is no assigned seating, it is up to fate whether you can get seats together.  Luckily we did!  The flight here went well overall.  My youngest is the best traveler out of the 3 kids.. he smiled and clapped and wooed all the passengers.. then fell asleep for an hour.. then woke up and smiled and clapped and wooed all the passengers again =)  I have vivid memories of my other two when they were around the same age crying and needing us to bjorn and bounce up and down the aisles!

Oh, so here is an interesting tangent... while flying here they announced on the intercom for any medical professional to make their way to the center of the plane because a passenger needed help.  This is probably the third time I've "responded" to a call like that... Thankfully, it ended up being a false alarm.  For a while there, the attendants were concerned that a gentleman was having a heart attack but he was only feeling faint because he cut his finger.  Whew!  Really did not want to be managing a heart attack in the middle of a flight with not even a stethoscope on hand to listen to his heartbeat... though maybe these airplanes have one stashed somewhere...

Oh and another tangent... I posted about having to pump on the go earlier... but here is a photo of my crazy bag that is falling apart.. hehe... and how I set it up in the airport stall!  Two more months then I'm throwing this away!  Whoo-hoo.. what freedom!

So actually.. planning for a Disney trip can be quite time consuming and crazy.  Since you are allowed to book character dining like 180 days before the trip.. that's what I did since that is what my girls are into... princesses...  though I don't know why since I was not very girly growing up and I did not even push the princess stuff.  My oldest is just such a girly-girl who loves everything pink, twirly, princessey, shiny, shimmering, glimmering etc!  The second is more like me I think but she is kinda into it because her sister is into it...  There are a million blogs out there about Disney and great advice about going there with small kids.  I've read them all I think.  We'll see how it goes... I pretty much use my "research" to make an excel file that has our schedule planned out.  Since I did not think it was worth the extra money to park hop, I tried to plan it so that the dinners and all lined up on the same days.  We'll prob spend most of our time in Magic Kingdom but plan to hit the other parks once.  More on that as we go...

So I should sleep since everyone is sleeping.  It is crazy how many small kids are roaming around awake. I'm torn about whether or not to just push it and keep my kids up longer so we can do more or try to stick to their schedule so they are not over tired and cranky.  We did the latter last year but it really was hard getting them down tonight even though I know they must be tired for skipping naps.  So... we'll see what tomorrow brings...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

When Daddy Goes On Business Trips

I had this long post all planned out in my head about this topic... but at the end of the day, I just want to go to bed.  Brain is too muddled to form a coherent blog.

But here are a few thoughts that I wanted to jot down.  Survival tips for when hubby goes on a business trip...

  • try to get extra help if I can (don't always work out... but especially helpful if during bath time or food time there is another adult around)
  • try to keep kids routine the same (that way no surprises and i know when i can have my 'breaks')
  • try to keep meals simple (confession... this is when i splurge on unhealthy eating that I normally don't eat when husband is around.  haha.. like ramen noodles!  yum!)
  • try to decrease expectations (so the kids may eat less than usual... maybe even skip a bath...)
  • try to do something 'fun' and different (my favorite memory of when my dad went on business trips is snuggling in my mom's big bed watching a movie!)
  • try to Skype or call to keep in touch (even with the kids)
Daddy will be back tomorrow...