Sunday, May 20, 2012

Beach Weekend

This weekend we went to Pensacola so we could go to the beach! We love going to the beach in May because the water is so clear and it's not too hot. The water was actually pretty warm too, thanks to such a mild winter. Jonah loved playing in the sand but was a little nervous about the waves. He let us take him out a little though.

That night we made s'mores with Jonah for the first time. After we started I realized the reason we have never done it before is that I'm super nervous of Jonah around the fire! But he was able to not fall in, and he loved s'mores :)

Sunday night was the solar eclipse so we decided to head back out to the beach to try and see it. We saw a little tiny bit but then the sun set before we could see the full eclipse. Sad but at least we had fun at the beach. J was happier about playing in the sound, and he loved seeing hermit crabs. When the sun set, he yelled "bye bye sun!" Haha he is so cute.

Mom and I decided to do some sunset yoga. You look less crazy if you do it together.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Visitors

We had had so many wonderful visitors the past few weeks! It has been so fun to host and be able to go play in New Orleans with everyone (read: Eat in New Orleans with everyone!) Ted's Dad and Grandmother and my parents came to visit for our birthday weekend. We went to Jazzfest one day to see Zach Brown Band and they were awesome! Jonah enjoyed jazzfest, although he did start to get bored by the end. Next year I will have to remember to bring some little toys for him so he will stay entertained all the way through. While Ted and his dad went to jazzfest the next day, we took Grandmother and Jonah on the ferryboat. It was actually very nice weather and we had a great time! We were so happy to be able to spend some time with them!

This past weekend we hosted our friends Michael and Anna who used to live here but moved about a year ago. We were so happy they got to stay with us and we were able to spend so much time with them, since we don't see them very often. Mostly we just ATE! We went to Jacqu-imos, had a crawfish boil, and had Mother's Day brunch at Superior Seafood. I think I am always going to invite these people to go eat with us, because Jonah was SO GOOD out to eat! He always had someone to entertain him and play with him. It made for a really nice Mother's Day eating out experience :)

I was also able to go to see Ted's band play on Saturday night! I haven't been able to see them play since they have the new group and a lot of new songs, so it was a treat! We were so busy having fun that the only picture I have of the weekend is a very bad picture of the band.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Disney World part 2

Who went to 3 parks in one day? Yup, that was this crazy family! After we discovered that Jonah likes Disney World, we had so much to show him! We started off the second day with waking up early to get to Animal Kingdom for Extra Magic Hours. It was a quick bus ride from the Animal Kingdom Lodge, especially compared to the other parks. We went straight to the Kilimanjaro Safari ride and didn't have to wait at all. Jonah loved this ride, but like I said, he is obsessed with animals! Most of the animals on this ride he knew, because we have them at our zoo. But there were a few that were brand new for him, which was really fun. He kept saying, "What is it, Mommy?" The morning was a great time to go see the animals because they were pretty active! We got to see hippos, gorillas, bongos (a striped antelope), cheetahs, and a giraffe that decided to step right in front of our car! After the ride we walked along the Safari Trail to see some more animals, which took FOREVER with a one year old. I would have to say, if you're kid isn't obsessed with animals, you might want to skip Animal Kingdom alltogether. It's pretty much just a big disney-fied zoo. We loved it, but if you're kid isn't interested in animals, they might be bored. After hanging out in Africa, we headed to Dinosaur land! Jonah can be scared of dinosaurs, but these were pretty kid-friendly. We rode the triceratops spin ride (basically Dumbo with dinosaurs) and then went to the boneyard, which is a big play area with slides and dinosaur bones!
I actually got to run over and ride the Dinosaur ride while Jonah and Ted played for a little while, which was fun! When I got back, we started walking over to have lunch. We happened to pass the birds show, and Jonah said he wanted to go. We hadn't planned on seeing this show, but he actually loved it! They would fly the birds over your head to a staff member at the back of the arena, and at one point they let a bird fly to a volunteer in the audience. Jonah was trying to get the birds to fly to him after that! He said, "Do me!" and held out his hands for them every time they would fly :)
The Bug's Life movie was out of order that morning, so we had to skip it. But it may have been for the best, since I've heard it really is kind of scary for little ones. After the show we headed to Tusker House restaraunt for lunch with Donald, Goofy, Daisy, and Mickey! Good thing Jonah ate for free because he barely ate anything. He was way too star-struck and distracted by the characters.
After lunch we were heading out to go take a nap, but it seems we always get distracted by something! There was a group performing drumming and dancing, and Jonah had to go dance with them. Then we headed back for nap. After nap, we had to go to Epcot to ride the Finding Nemo ride. Jonah loves Nemo almost as much as Mickey, so it was definitely worth it to make the extra trip. He loved it! He also liked walking around and getting to see the manatees and dolphins, both of which he had never seen before.
We walked around Epcot a little bit more, played in the water fountains, and had dinner in Mexico.
We decided we had time to ride one more boat ride (in Norway), but it was actually a bit scarier than I remembered. :( It was the first ride Jonah was really scared on, but at least it was short. We also had to hit up Spaceship Earth, which Jonah liked more than we would have expected! He liked looking at all the people and talking about what they were doing. After our time at Epcot, we had to head back to Magic Kingdom for park number 3 for the day! We got to ride the monorail, but Jonah wasn't too impressed but it. I guess he has been on the streetcar, busses, and other little trains so many times he didn't think too much of it. We got to Magic Kingdom in time to head back to Liberty Square to watch the Electrical Parade. We knew we had to make it to this parade, because we knew he would love it! We had to wait for a bit, but we had ice cream to pass the time. Then a staff member came by and rounded up all the nearby kids for a game of "Duck, Duck, Donald"! Of course Jonah had to play, because he thinks he's a big kid. It was hilarious and one of our favorite parts of the trip! I couldn't get the video up, but it is so funny. The kid has clearly a very minimal understanding of how to play this game. He would just jump up and start running around randomly, when it wasn't even his turn. At least he got the concept that he had to run in a circle and sit back down in his spot!
Can I just say, I thought I was a helicopter parent until this trip. There was a guy FREAKING out about Jonah running around. In a kids park, with no cars or other electrical moving objects, in a game made for KIDS. I mean, I know he was the littlest one there, but that means he wasn't going to hurt anyone else, right? One woman was a little worried about him, but I just told her, "Well, if he gets trampled, oh well. If he wants to play with the big kids, thats a risk he has to take." I feel like we can't never let Anything happen to him ever. If he falls over sometimes, then he'll have to get back up. Jonah loved the parade, of course. He was wide eyed the whole time. We tried to stay for some of the fireworks, but he was getting really tired and cranky by this time (it was past 10pm!) so we decided to skip the end and headed back. Jonah fell asleep on the bus ride back, and was unhappy to be woken up for his bath (he was DISGUSTING) and to be changed into his pajamas. But he was very happy to go to sleep after such a busy day! We flew home the next morning and he did great on the airplane (still exhausted, and slept the whole time.) I've only logged the good memories, but we definitely had our share of temper tantrums. Also, no one in Disney World disciplines their children. I think no one wants to get on to their kid in the happiest place on earth, but in the end it just makes them confused. I think next time, I'll just spank him at the beginning of the trip to let him know the rules still apply, and we'll all be happier the rest of the time. It was a difficult and challenging time, but worth it. We all had so much fun, and the awed and excited look on his face whenever he saw something new or fun was truly magical. We look forward to our next trip...in SEVERAL years.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Our Disney World Trip! part 1

Oh. My. Goodness. If you are thinking of going to Disney with your toddler, you better drink some coffee because you are in for a lot of CRAZY! We had so much fun, but we are so exhausted now! We crammed a lot of fun into 2 1/2 days, but wore each other out in the process. Next time, we will make sure to take a few extra days so we are not as rushed. So we flew in on Saturday and went to our hotel. We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, which was perfect for Jonah because he is obsessed with all animals. The Lodge is located a little farther from most of the parks, so we had to take a 10-20 minute bus ride wherever we wanted to go, but it was worth it because Jonah loved staying there. He would wake up every morning talking about the animals on the wall paper. We didn't stay in a room that had a view of the animals (Who roam on the property of the resort) but if we had, I'm sure he would have run straight for the window every morning! They let us check in early (I don't know how they do it, but Disney really does try to help you out however they can) and then we went to eat lunch at the restaraunt at the hotel. They had Indian food for us, of course everywhere has a kids menu, and we could see the zebras and ostriches walking around from our table. Then we were able to go outside for a few minutes and see the giraffes and storks, and then took Jonah to the room for a nap. When he woke up, we walked around the resort some more and then headed to Downtown Disney for dinner. Downtown Disney was pretty crowded on a Saturday night, but I had made reservations for us to have dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. It was the perfect initiation for Jonah. He was able to look at all the animatronic animals and get used to the idea. He was a little afraid of the elephants at first (I was so surprised because he has petted a real elephant at our zoo and was not afraid!), but by the end of dinner, he was so excited about the elephants. Still scared of the gorillas, though :) He rode the carousel and played at the lego store for a little while, but then we went back to the hotel for bedtime.
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On Sunday we went to the Magic Kingdom for our first full day at Disney World! We got there just in time for the gates to open, and went straight to Fantasyland. We rode Peter Pan first, and Jonah was a little freaked out at his first "ride" experience. He didn't cry, just sucked his thumb and snuggled closer to us, but said he had fun afterwards. Then we went on Winnie the Pooh, the carousel, and Its a Small World, and he loved all of those. He was all smiles and wide eyes.
Then we went to Tomorrowland to ride the Test Track. Ted rode with Jonah and let him drive.
Then we rode the Toy Story ride and ate lunch. It was getting to nap time, so we started to head out, but Jonah noticed Alice and the White Rabbit and made us wait in line to meet the Rabbit. I swear, it was the longest line we waited in the whole trip, about 20 minutes, but he was determined to meet that Rabbit! When it was our turn I tried to carry him up there, but he screamed and wiggled out of my arms. We were all not sure what to expect or what to do, but then I said, "Do you want to give the rabbit a hug?" The White Rabbit knelt down and opened his arms, and Jonah just ran up to him and gave him a hug. I think we were all in awe, even the employees :) It was so sweet. Then he gave him a high five, said bye, and that was it! That was what he wanted.
On our way out we stumbled upon a dance party in the street and Jonah had to go dance with Donald Duck! He was so excited and star-struck, I was kind of teary :) When Donald danced off, Jonah was so disappointed! This is his "Where'd Donald go?" face:
Finally, we were able to go back to the hotel for a nap! We headed back to Magic Kingdom after nap to do Adventureland and the Pirate of the Caribbean Ride. When we walked in, we noticed that the wait to meet Mickey was only 15 minutes, and J was in a pretty good mood at this point. We asked if he wanted to go see Mickey, and he just jumped right up, "Yeah!" Since he did so well waiting for the crazy White Rabbit, we headed in. I have to say, I was impressed by his ability to wait in line. He didn't want to do it, but he understood and he tolerated it. Finally, it was our turn, and Jonah just ran right up and gave Mickey and Minnie big hugs. I know it is crazy, but this moment really is worth all the craziness, expensiveness, and exhaustion. I can't really explain why.
They even did the Hot Dog Dance for us.
We went back to see the street dance party again, and Jonah danced with Chip and Dale this time.
We headed back to the hotel for dinner ( a super yummy African buffet with red wine and African drummers!) and then headed to bed so we could wake up early to see the Animal Kingdom the next day!