Sunday, April 29, 2012

Disney with toddlers

I have consolidated my best tips for Disney with toddlers, compiled and discovered on this trip. You're welcome!

1. Go to Fantasyland first thing in the morning! You can stop to take a quick picture of the castle and then speed walk over to Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh! We waited 5 minutes for each, and the wait keeps getting longer throughout the day. We were glad we hadn't invested too much time in Peter Pan because it got mediocre reviews from the one year old ( you know, he's never seen the movie.) He gave thumbs up to Pooh Bear though!

2. Use Photo Pass! They would just jump out of nowhere to snap a picture, scan your card (that I kept handy in my pocket) and you can access it online later. They will also use your camera to take a picture if you ask, but it has to have a strap.

3. Don't stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge unless you will be spending most of your time at animal kingdom, or unless your kids are obsessed with animals. The latter applies to us, so we were glad we stayed there, but it is not as convenient as some resorts that are closer or that are on the monorail line.

4. Get out of your head that you will be riding roller coasters. Get in your head that you will be meeting a lot of Disney characters.

5. If you have a smartphone, download the Undercover Tourist app (free!) It gives real wait times, tells you which rides have Fast Pass, and let's you pick favorites. Also tells you parade times.

6. Really, they have to see the light parade at Magic Kingdom. Jonah was wide eyed the whole time. We watched it from Liberty Square and it wasn't too crowded. We got there about 45 minutes early, ate some ice cream, and then some of the staff came around and played duck duck "Donald" with the kids. It was highly entertaining and one of our favorite parts of the trip! And I think Jonah enjoyed just hanging out for a few minutes and had no problem with the wait!

7. If you are flying and staying in a Disney resort, Disney will send you a special tag for your luggage so they can pick it up at the airport for you and send it straight to your room. Super convenient. They really try to help you out.

8. Take good nap breaks. We went back to the hotel for nap and had no idea how tired he was until he slept for 3 hours each afternoon! His best moments were right after nap and early in the morning.

9. Make dinner reservations if you want something special! We walked around for a while looking for food on the night I hadn't planned for. Also, make reservations for a character breakfast or lunch! A fun way to meet the characters and cheaper than dinner. (Jonah is a great eater, and he was way too star struck to worry about food when Mickey and Donald were around!)

10. Your child will probably have several temper tantrums. Remain calm. You're in the happiest place on earth, they will get over it soon.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A staycation

I have to go ahead and write about this week because we had so much fun, but that means I totally missed Easter. So suffice it to say that we hada great Easter. Jonah dyed eggs, hunted eggs ("Where more eggs, Mommy?"), ate a chocolate bunny, and played with bubbles in his Easter basket. All around a success.

This week Beth, Andy, and Yvie came to visit us in New Orleans! I was able to take a few days off work to go play with them and be a tourists in our city. They got in late on Monday, so we just rode the streetcar down to dinner.

On Tuesday, we took Yvie and Beth to the Aquarium, where Yvie loved the sting rays and sharks! Then Yvie came for a spend the night at our house so Beth and Andy could have a date night. Let me just tell you, whoever said having 2 kids is twice as much work was lying. It's like half as much work! They just entertained each other, and Ted and I just sat and talked to each other. We didn't even know what to do with ourselves! They loved playing together, and the conversations were hilarious:

Yvie: "Do you see the flowers on my blanket, Jonah"
Jonah: "Flowers on blanket, Yvie?
Yvie: "Yes, they are purple flowers on my blanket."
Jonah: "Purple flowers, Yvie?" etc., etc.

By the next morning, however, Jonah was pretty much driving her crazy! He was doing all the irritatig things he usually does to me, so I found it amusing. Such as,
#1. Screaming her name repeatedly at the top of his lungs. (To which she would reply, "I'm right here Jonah!" I tell him that too, and he doesn't stop then either.)
#2. Making her look at every. single. thing. "Look Yvie, a kitty cat!" "Look Yvie, a bird!" (To which she would reply, "I KNOOOOOW!) Amusing for me, not so much for poor Yvie.

And on Wednesday Jonah and I rode the streetcar with Beth and Yvie to the park to go to the art museum and the sculpture garden. The kiddos had so much fun riding the streetcar! They even liked the museum! Jonah enjoyed looking at the different colors for a while, and then we played a game I call, "Ask Jonah what is in the Modern Art Portraits, and laugh at what he says." For example:

This Miro "Portrait of a Young Girl"

Is clearly a duck.

And of course they loved the sculpture garden, which is much more kid friendly: They were able to run around outside and look at sculptures of giant horses and spiders. After the sculpture garden, the kiddos fell asleep in their strollers while we walked to lunch at Parkway, and we were able to have a quiet lunch while they slept! I wish I could say we planned that, but we're not that good. Just lucky.

Today they came over to our house and Ted boiled crawfish. YUM! We had a nice relaxing evening just sitting and talking while the kiddos played together. And while Jonah threw sand on his cousin and had to be told to apologize no less than 15 times. It begins.