Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 4:Mellie


Piper plans out our day!


So day 4 began at Hollywood Studios-my most favorite park next to Magic Kingdom, of course! Jenn, Adam, and Noah were first in line! We headed for Rock-n-Roller Coaster, which Jenn & Adam NEVER rode~ they loved it! Then I took Jenn on Tower of Terror (her first time)! It was so fun and scary!!! We went to get fast passes for Toy Story Mania, but we never made it back to ride :( We took the kids to see Muppet 3D and Playhouse Disney. We had lunch at the 50s Primetime Cafe. I LOVED it! I had the pot roast~yummy!!! Our waitress was hysterically sarcastic (part of the schtick), and they even brought Jenn & I cupcakes and sang to Jenn, Piper, and I for our birthdays! So much fun!


After our mid-afternoon nap, David, Piper, and I headed to MK where Piper proceeded to have a meltdown. To this day, I can't tell you why it happened. We were trying to get our picture taken in front of the castle when all hell broke loose! She was screaming, crying, and turning red. Finally, I RAN to the Baby Care Center with David pushing an empty stroller, running behind us yelling. I'm sure someone probably thought I'd stolen his baby or something! :) We let her walk and play in there. She calmed down, and was good to go for some rides!


We went to Small World, where she sat like a big girl between us on the ride. We also did Philharmagic, which she loved! Then, we sensed she was tired, so home we went.


~See you real soon!

Mellie

Monday, June 28, 2010

Back at one..


Today's decision - continue writing with our original blog intentions: DISNEY!!

We want to be the world's leading experts on doing Disney with babies. While that goal may be a little reaching, we can at least share more in depth tips and advice in case any friends or family have questions... or on the off chance that someday, someone will have questions we could help with.

Recently in the news, there came much concern about babywearing. I.E. baby's in slings, pouches, wraps, etc... When I was researching baby slings while pregnant, I read that the Infantino pouches -> the recently recalled pouch slings -> were terrible and advised against them. It's terrible that other parents hadn't read that and tried them, but I hope that doesn't scare other new parents against baby wearing.

I often wear Noah in a baby wrap - the most popular brand is a "Moby" and I often get asked questions about the wrap. I owe a couple of coworkers to introducing me to this kind of wrap. I started off with a sling - nice and easy for a short period of time with a baby under 10 lbs. The infant carry is great, but the other options never felt secure to me, so I stopped using the sling and put it aside. I had a bjorn given to me and figured I would try that.. and then came the Moby.

The bjorn I never liked. Noah screamed his head off and didn't feel comfy, so I've never had it on for more than 5 minutes, but I've read several reviews that it just isn't comfortable for long periods of time. The Moby - a crazy long (approx. 5 yards) piece of jersey fabric - has several different ties that are much less complicated than the seem. One night while Noah was sick, I tied him to me with a loaner and we slept up-right in the rocker. Well, at least we slept a little!

As soon as I was SET and determined to buy one of these wonderful contraptions, another coworker pulled me aside and said "No! Go woven!" Basically - there are hundreds of these wraps and the difference is fabric, fabric, fabric! The Moby is stretchy cotton. It's great for a newborn, but stretches out quickly with a heavier baby and is REALLY hot. I knew immediately I wanted one of these for Disney and began to research woven wraps. The one a coworker loaned to me was beautiful and wonderful.. no stretching on 2 mile walks, but it was HOT. And expensive (again, it's all about the fabric). The research continued until I found the Gypsy Mama Bali Breeze by Wrapsody. It's made of gauze - a light weight and non-stretchy cotton and considered to be one of the most comfortable of all carriers for hot weather. I literally spent hours and hours researching before I finally made my purchase.


And I LOVE it. I used it all over the neighborhood and to pop him in and out while shopping, since he's never really enjoyed his stroller and he's too small for the grocery cart. I carried it with me our first night to Downtown Disney and while I hoped he would enjoy his beautiful Maclaren umbrella stroller, I knew I should have it *just in case.* And of course, I used it. And the next day at Animal Kingdom, it came out for the morning nap and so many more times during our trip. While it looked hot, if I thought about it, my arms that weren't covered seemed hotter than my chest that was wrapped up carrying a 15+ lb child. I also brought an Ergo baby carrier along, but only Mellie used it, as I love my wrap so much I didn't feel the need to switch.

I noticed a lot of other mom's carrying their babies.. mostly in Ergo's, but I remember seeing 1 Mai Tei - like an Ergo but with tie's instead of clasps, and 1 with a sling. The latter must have been SO uncomfortable.

Since we've been home, I used the Ergo when I didn't have my wrap to run in the store. I hadn't used it much, but let me tell you - I think I could use one of those. I keep checking babysteals.com daily to try to find them when they come up - I definitely have to have one. I'm also a baby wearing addict and plan to buy more for my next child (a ring sling for the next newborn). But that aside, if you're planning a trip to Disney with a small child, I highly recommend a carrier of some sort. It depends on the weather and the size of the baby, but for walking around in between rides or when the baby gets grumpy and wants to be held, these carriers can make the trip SO much easier.

For more info, feel free to ask me questions (I'm not an expert, but I'd like to be!) or check out
http://www.thebabywearer.com/


Happy wearing!
~Jenn

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Next, please

Before our trip, this blog was mostly about writing about our upcoming trip. Now, we have to rethink! What's the next big step? Does anyone really care about our day-to-day lives and knowing the inner workings of our schedules? Okay, okay, I know that you do, Gran, but do you really want to read about his teething?

That's the excitement now. Noah cut his second tooth yesterday. Actually, in good news, Noah and I (Noah in his BOB stroller) ran for 20 minutes straight this morning. That's the longest run I've done in.. well, since before I was pregnant. That means that I'm 20 minutes closer to our half marathon in January-our next trip to Walt Disney World. Adam and I are registered for Goofy's Half Marathon and we're going to register Noah for the diaper dash, where we'll either fib about his age and put him with the 12 months and under, or have him be the youngest in the 1-2 year old category at 13 months. Either way, he'll get a personalized bib and some other cute Disney memorabilia. Our other big plan for that trip is to get Noah his first haircut. Yes, I've planned his first haircut long before he actually needs one. So what?

Since Adam and I like planning for vacations, we just started talking about a road trip for next summer. We love having something to look forward to and the idea came to me while Adam was watching the Phillies (his team) play the Blue Jays in Philly. While I lived on the border for a few years in high school, Adam has never been to Canada. Heck, he'd never left the country before our honeymoon. Adam would love to travel the country for 2 things - just about every restaurant Guy Fieri has ever visited on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives AND to visit all of the MLB stadiums. Well, why not start? Our plan (okay, we started talking about this a few hours ago) is to go through Pittsburgh and check out whatever stadium is there now -I grew up knowing Three Rivers Stadium and don't plan to learn what the new stadium is called - then head up to Buffalo for some wings at Duffs *yum.* There are several DDD restaurants in both cities. Next, we'll cross the border to show Adam and Noah Niagara Falls, then we'll finish the trip in Toronto. Apparently there is a hotel in the Skydome (again, not the current name for the stadium in Toronto, but I'm okay with not knowing) that has rooms viewing the stadium which Adam would love to stay in. I'll be basically along for the ride. Luckily, we have our big, beautiful Traverse with a dvd player to keep Noah entertained with whatever show he'll be watching in a year.

Sounds like a plan to me!

I need a sign off. Any ideas?

Later :)
~Jenn

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 3-Mellie

Day 3-Magic Kingdom! It REALLY felt like Disney when we woke up knowing we were headed for MK! Stitch and Mickey called us for our "wakeup" call, and Piper got to answer the phone! She was surprised, and kept looking at the phone because she recognized his voice. It was so cute! We arrived at MK to see the opening of the park, which was so fun. The Fire Chief came out and welcomed everyone, and the train came to the station with Mickey and the gang on it! Piper and Noah were looking in amazement while Jenn & I sang the "Good Morning" song with the cast members! Once inside, we headed for Fantasyland. We rode Peter Pan, Small Word, Snow White (where she waved at the witch the entire ride), Winnie the Pooh (she slept), Haunted Mansion (woke up and waved at all the ghosts!), Hall of Presidents (Jenn needed to nurse), and Big Thunder Mountain (child swap) all before lunch! Before Big Thunder, Piper and Noah met Woody & Jesse from Toy Story! We had lunch at Pecos Bill (which was delicious!) and headed back to the room. David had a minor fever, so our nap lasted longer than usual. I did laundry this day to ensure we had enough clothes to last us.

After we all felt better, we went back to MK and rode Buzz, Space Mountain (child swap), Carousel of Progress, Tomorrowland Transit Authority (TTA), Pirates, Jungle Cruise (they both slept), and the train to the front of the park where we saw a little of the Main Street Electrical Parade. Piper loved it! Then off to the hotel!

I did use Jenn's carrier for Piper that evening, and she slept in it perfectly for about an hour, then she got wiggly and I had to take her out. It was nice being able to carry her hands-free for a while. Plus, it was cooler in the evening (after it rained), so it was possible for me.

See ya real soon!
~Mellie

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Home, sweet home

We've been back for several days now and are finally getting back into our standard routine. I had originally intended to give a full breakdown of our days in the parks, but for now, I'm too lazy to go into full details. So, instead, I'll give a few more highlights.

Our last morning (my birthday!) we started off at Epcot with Adam and me running for Soarin' first thing and Melissa and David taking both babies to the opposite side of the park to get fast passes for Test Track and David riding Mission Space because, really, that ride is awful and I hope to NEVER ride it again. 5 years later and I still feel queasy thinking about it.

ANYWAYS - Melissa, David, Piper, and Noah sat up at the ropes to wait for the park to open and what did we miss? Noah meeting MICKEY! Good grief. I'll let Mellie describe that scene since I only heard about it second hand *insert sad face here* but apparently he actually broke out into smile after Mickey reached down and touched him. MICKEY! I was with Noah as he met Goofy (twice - once in Tomorrowland and once in Epcot at the Disney Visa Card holders Rewards Meet N Greet (hooray)), Minnie (Meet n Greet), Woody and Jessie from Toy Story, and Pluto (again, in Tomorrowland), but Mickey?! The character who, when mentioned by name, makes my little one smile? I missed it! Sad. Good thing we're going back in January. Hopefully he can re-meet Mickey.. He probably won't remember the first time (hell, he's probably already forgotten it, right?) and it can be like meeting him for the first time all over!

Aside from meeting Mickey, Noah really seemed to enjoy A Bug's Life 3D show and the Nemo ride at Epcot more than anything else. I had expected him to love Playhouse Disney at HS, but he fell asleep on me and missed the majority of the show.

All in all, we had a fantastic Disney vacation. We're lucky enough (maybe?) to be used to minor meltdowns, so his fussiness didn't really phase us. We had a couple with a 3 year old tell us "It's a shame he won't remember this" which made me smile. I'm well aware that Noah won't remember this trip. But will the 3 year old really remember it? Doubtful. The difference is: we're aware that this trip was mostly for us and for him to experience new things. He'll have plenty more trips to Disney to make memories. I don't think he'll be short of Disney trips in his life.

Which makes me think of another thing. The Disney Vacation Club. I don't get it. Of course, I don't get Timeshares. You're paying a mortgage on something you can use for 2 weeks a year, right? Thinking about this brought me to looking at real estate in Celebration. And what did I find out? It's CHEAP. There are condos for under $100k. And Celebration is no longer affiliated with Disney. There goes my retirement dreams. We'll have to start saving for Golden Oaks - the new to-be constructed development of 1.3-5 million dollar homes ON DISNEY PROPERTY. No lie - I think it's closer to the parks than the Caribbean Beach Resort was. It's between Magic Kingdom and Epcot. If only I was a millionare.. how AWESOME would that be.. sigh.. maybe one day I'll hit the lottery because, as a clarinetist, I'll never have that much money.
If you're curious and want to buy me a house, here's an article about the new properties.
http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/real-estate/golden-oak-why-disneys-latest-real-estate-gamble-isnt-goofy/19528445/

Enjoy!
~Jenn

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 2-Mellie's POV

We arrived at Animal Kingdom in time to see the opening of the park! It was so cool! Piper waved at Mickey and smiled the first time she saw him. It brought tears to my eyes! No matter how many times you go to Disney, there is NOTHING like seeing the magic through your child's eyes.

The first ride we did was Expedition Everest (with child swap passes). Then we went to the Safari! We were dripping with sweat by the time we got through the line, and I began to question whether this time of year was a good idea. We all came to the conclusion that we will not be returning anytime from June-September. TOO HOT! Piper had her first meltdown in line because it was naptime, and she couldn't get comfy. After singing "Twinkle, Twinkle" for the umpteenth time, she fell asleep just as we boarded the jeep. The adults enjoyed the safari while the kids napped. We then went to the Baby Center, which as Jenn says, was AWESOME! While she nursed Noah, I changed Piper and let her play in the playroom. She couldn't have been more thrilled to play with other kids! It was nice to have them relax in the A/C for a little while. Then we saw the Bug's Life show, which had a 5 minute wait, and both kids loved it! Then we decided to go back to the room, so the 2 families went different directions. We stopped at the Dinosaur ride for David to ride while I bought Piper some lunch (chicken nuggets, carrot sticks, milk, and a cookie). She ate while David rode and we returned to the hotel.

I have to stop and talk about Disney transportation. This is one subject that Jenn & I differ on. I think the bus system is AWESOME, and we only had to wait longer than 10 minutes once. It is nice not to have to think about how you will get back to the hotel. It was frustrating once when I had to stand, holding Piper, while others sat. It was like these people weren't taught basic manners. Let the lady with the baby sit! But overall, I like the bus service.

Anyway, after we returned to the hotel, we all napped. Then we woke and all took showers/baths and changed into fresh clothes. This was when I realized that I would be doing laundry at some point. We were too sweaty and hot to put on the same clothes! We met up with our friends and travelled to EPCOT, where we rode Spaceship Earth (no wait) and headed to Mexico for dinner. Those drinks were awesome!!! Yes, I had a Pina Colada, and it was yummy! Then we rode the Mexico ride, walked the countries in the rain, and headed home for the night!

See ya real soon!
~Mellie

Monday, June 21, 2010

Disney 2010 part 2 - Jenn

Now that we're back home in Virginia, I can start writing about our park adventures.

We decided to take advantage of the morning Extra Magic Hour, knowing that sleeping in for Noah is 6:30 and doesn't happen very often. Our first day in the parks, Wednesday, started with Animal Kingdom opening at 8 am. I had never before experienced the opening of one of the parks - I'd always been a big fan of sleep before the little guy came along - but I loved experiencing the morning show. At Animal Kingdom, we started by entering the park and gathering around the Tree of Life to wait for the show to begin. Within a few minutes, the music started playing and out came a Jeep (or something similar) carrying Safari-style Mickey and co.. I held Noah up to show him Mickey and he just stared in awe. I think that I was expecting him to smile like he does when the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse comes on television, but his stare was fantastic. Adam recorded his reaction so we can watch time and time again.

The only problem with Animal Kingdom (other than it lacking monorail service.. come on, Disney.. get on that! Hollywood Studios, too!!) is that it seems hotter than all of the other parks. Aside from it being our first day actually out in the Florida heat, Animal Kingdom has it's jungles keeping it hotter and more humid, or so it seems. In my head, I pictured Noah seeing the elephants and giraffes (and so many other animals) and showing excitement for new things - I think we're a little ahead of ourselves for that one. He was content and peaceful and slept on Adam during the entire safari ride.

Two things I found true on Day 1:
#1. Disney's Baby Centers are AMAZING. I only stopped in the one at Animal Kingdom, but it has real changing tables with disposable changing pads that a cast member changes and cleans after every use. Also, there are 2 private rooms with gliders for nursing and a room with movies playing for the older kids needing to get out of the heat or waiting for their little brother or sister to eat or be changed. I had read about these rooms before, but never expected them to be so nice.
#2. My idea to bring a woven wrap to carry Noah - a FANTASTIC idea. Obviously, I'm not alone in the baby-wearing world, but I had my hesitations about carrying him such heat. Even reading on the baby-wearing websites, people recommended back carries and other carriers that may be "cooler." I quickly realized that my arms felt hotter in the direct sun than we did all wrapped up. If you're curious - Gypsy Mama Bali Breeze from Wrapsody. Light and gauzy and held up for hours. It did stretch out after a few hours one night, but for the most part, I can't imagine not having it - I used it several times a day for morning and evening naps.


The first night, we had 5 pm (early is better with the babes, right?) dinner reservations in Mexico (hey, it's Epcot, but it counts!) that the men both decided to kill 2 Margaritas. I had 1 (Fiesta Margarita all the way) and Mel had a Pina Colada (right?), but those silly boys.. they sure became giggly! After a little more walking around the World, we headed home to end the night fairly early - tomorrow Magic Kingdom!!

More to come :)
~Jenn

Disney Part 1-Mellie's POV

Here is the first of many posts about our 2010 Disney Vacation. We left home at 4:45 am for a 7:55 flight. Piper was GREAT! She was awesome on the plane, and she even slept for most of the flight. When we arrived in Orlando, we headed straight for Disney's Magical Express Bus without having to stop at baggage claim to get our luggage. Once we boarded the bus, we left the airport and headed for our resort, stopping first at Pop Century.

When we arrived at Caribbean Beach, it looked bland compared to the colorful Pop Century resort we had just visited. We checked in without any trouble, and met Jenn, Adam, and Noah in the lobby. Since we had about 2 hours to kill, we decided to go over to Old Port Royale, which is their main hub. It has a food court, shops, and a main pool area with a kiddie pool as well. We grabbed some lunch together and then decided to take a swim. We all changed into our swimsuits, and David, Piper, and I headed for the kiddie pool. It was really fun for her. It had ankle deep water that she could walk all around, and a structure that she could climb on (if she was bigger) with a HUGE bucket that dumped water on part of the play area. We stayed clear of it, but Piper LOVED splashing and laughing with us. I got some great pictures of her playing. Of course, right when Jenn & Noah got changed, it started lightning! We went back in the food court area, and within 20 minutes, the guys received a text message that our rooms were ready!

Unlike Jenn, we were very happy with our room. The king size bed was nice and comfy, and the 6 pillows that we had were awesome! Even Jenn said this was WAY better than hers! Also, the pack-n-play that the hotel provided fit perfectly next to the bed and wall, and kept Piper out of the light so we didn't have to go to sleep when she did. I did cover the side with a blanket so she couldn't see the TV while she was trying to fall asleep. Our luggage arrived about 30 minutes after we got in the room, and we headed off to Downtown Disney. It was fun showing them the shops, looking for pins, and having dinner. By the time we were back in the room, we all were tired (4 am wakeup, remember?) and we fell asleep because we knew we had some tiring days ahead of us. We had no idea just how tired we would be though, more on that later!

See ya real soon!
~Mellie

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Disney 2010 part 1

Our Disney 2010 vacation has officially come to a close. I planned (and tried) to update a little each night, but our computer decided to take a vacation and blogging on my cell phone is nearly impossible, so I'll start and do a series about our trip.

Between Melissa and me, our blogs may vary some. We spent much of our time together, but we also did our own thing from time to time. And of course, we're two completely different people so our opinions may (and will) differ.

Adam, Noah, and I arrived at the hotel Tuesday afternoon to see our wonderful travel companions in the lobby waiting for the bus to their room. We stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort which is considered an Epcot resort. This became one of several frustrating points about this hotel. We checked in and drove to our building and quickly went to the lobby to grab some lunch. This resort is gigantic but centered around the Old Port Royale which has all the restaurants and gift shops surrounding the main pool. We all sat down together, both babies in high chairs, and enjoyed our reunion. As soon as we decided to go into the pool while waiting for our rooms to be ready (we arrived around 1 knowing check in time was 3 so we had some time to kill). Adam and I walked Noah to get our swimsuits from our car and headed back to the pool. And of course, as soon as Noah and I were changed, the thunderstorm of the day started. At least he put on his cute Mickey swim outfit for a few minutes!

Our rooms were ready shortly before 3 and we all headed to Trinidad North to our neighboring rooms. We loved having our rooms next to each other so we could start out our days together and spend some time together. However, Adam and I weren't impressed with our room. This is where our review begins.

I should say, the last time we stayed at Disney, we spoiled ourselves at the Contemporary Resort. I was pregnant so we figured being on the monorail line would be a good idea. And boy was it! We loved hopping on the monorail for Epcot, but we mostly walked straight to the Magic Kingdom. Plus, the beds (I didn't specifically ask for a king, so we had 2 queens) and pillows were luxurious. The Caribbean, a "moderate" resort, had a bed about as comfortable as laying on the floor and about 16 of the worst pillows I've ever tried. I can't imagine how uncomfortable the bed in the "value" resorts are if this is considered a step up. Plus, shampoo + conditioner in one? Geez! Okay, j/k (mostly) but I'll just say, we're going to stay somewhere next time.

Our first night, we headed to downtown Disney where we walked through the shops and dined at Portobello, a nice Italian restaurant. I had never experienced DD, so it was cute to spend some time there, but we headed back early to start the next day off right: Extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom.

I'll talk more about the parks in the rest of 2010 including Noah's favorite experiences and our experiences doing Disney with a 6 month old later in my Disney 2010 series :)

Happy trails...
~Jenn

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

All about timing

Noah woke us up this morning at 5 am. Earlier than we hoped, but not terrible. Or so we thought. Why was our Mickey wake up call late??? Oh.. Our phones wrong. Awesome. We started our day a little earlier than planned, but that's ok.

We left for Animal Kingdom at 7 to take full advantage of the exta hour in the park.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Similar days

I'm feeling like Jenn~Oh, no! Was this a good idea? I hope little Noah feels better soon. Piper had a poopy day today as well. She went down for her am nap early, which caused her to get up early, which meant that she was ready to go back down in the middle of church today. Not good! We spent the entire time in the "Cry Room" (I get why they call it that) with her having a sleepy fit! She couldn't get comfy enough to fall asleep, but when we got her back into the car and buckled in her seat, she was knocked out! I told David, "Well, we were in there about as long as we will be on our flight on Tuesday." Please, please, please let her travel well! I can start praying now, right?!

It's not just the flight I am anxious about, it's the early wakeup, hour drive to the airport, waiting to board, the actual flight, getting on Disney's Magical Express, and our ride to the hotel, only to not be able to check in until 3, so...who knows.

Ready or not, here we come!!!

~See ya real soon!
~Mellie

At least the flight went well..

Noah had an amazing day yesterday - he woke up early, ate late, yet barely fussed at all the entire trip.

Today, however, has been a completely different day. In the past two weeks, Noah cut his first tooth with very little fussing. We're not sure if he's cutting more or if it's just worse, but combine teething with my parents warm house, he has not had a good day. He slept fantastically in his tent last night (the rating is going up) from 7 pm until 5:30 this morning. Hey, it's better than 5! I fed him and we played for a few minutes until he started closing his eyes again, letting us all go back for a good hour or so nap. I thought "hey, this is going to be a great day" getting to stay in bed until 7:30. I didn't think about how drastically different that first nap was in comparison to his regular schedule.

My parents being S. Florida natives, get "cold" when there house is 78 degrees. Us Northerners like our house around 74. And everything I've read says babies are comfortable in even cooler houses because they can't regulate their body temperatures and it's much easier to cover them up than strip them down. Of course, I'm not sure when their babies aquire that skill, but I know I read that at some point in time. Our poor baby has been warm to the touch all day, but had a fairly normal temperature. I checked 3 times. 99, 100.1, 98.2. Nothing to be concerned, just to be cautious. But then I remembered that when babies are teething, they tend to be warm. *Lightbulb* Baby Orajel! That magic helped Noah actually enjoy about an hour of his day.

Our other trick was extreme distraction: Noah's first trip in the pool! We bought a pool floaty with a shade cover for him and, while I can't say he loved it, he played peacefully and took in the warm water like a pro. After maybe 20-30 minutes, we gave up, brought him in for a bath, and put him down for 1 of his 3 naps. He also went to sleep at 6:30 tonight, about 30 minutes earlier than normal. This could be a VERY rough night for Adam and me, but hopefully expecting it will make it easier?

Tomorrow is our last day before DISNEY!! I sure hope he feels better - this could make the 3+ hour drive up to Kissimmee seem much longer. I'm hopeful that he'll be so distracted by the madness and wonder that is Disney World that he'll forget about feeling poopy while we're in the parks, but we'll see.

Heck, we really may become experts at doing Disney with experts after all!

Hopefully tomorrow will go so smoothly I won't have anything to share.
Yup, forever the optimist.

~Jenn

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Welcome to Miami,

Bienvenido, a Miami!

Okay, okay. Ft. Lauderdale. That's close enough, right? Plus, we might head down to see my sister's new place on South Beach tomorrow.. but, we'll see how the day goes. aWe're trying to play the whole trip by ear, but we have definitely become a bit more controlling now with the baby. We like having everything go our way, and while we accept that it doesn't always work that way, we still try!

Last night, Noah attended his first ever concert. Who did he see, you may ask. Why, the US Army Band, Pershing's Own, of course! I performed a duet with the band, playing a great piece with a fantastic flutist. As someone pointed out, how cool is it to say that the first concert he ever attended was to see his Mom play. Pretty neat! Plus, playing outside in a public place is a great way to introduce a 6 month old to concerts AND breaking bedtime. As soon as my piece ended, I sat down and rejoined the ensemble with a relaxation knowing that my vacation was mere hours away.

We left our house before 6 am this morning (thanks to Adam’s dad for driving us so early) and we packed his SUV with 3 suit cases, 2 diaper book bags, my diaper-bad purse, a stroller, AND a carseat. I used to think traveling heavily meant 2 suitcases. WOW! The plane ride went much smoother than planned. We definitely had no idea how Noah would react on such a short nights sleep, but he was fantastic! He fussed a little, but I bounced him to sleep before take off and he slept for the majority of the flight! We landed with little disturbance 15 minutes earlier than planned and it was great.

Now that we're here, Noah is bonding with his grandparents, aunt, uncle, cousins, and plethora of pets (currently a standard poodle, a golden doodle, and a 2 lb Persian Kitty). Actually, at the moment, Noah is asleep in his magic tent. I forget the exact name of it, but reading on amazon.com, I found a sleeper that people raved about being better than a Pack n' Play and smaller as well, so I jumped and ordered one for my parents house. So far, my review is less than steller. Self-inflatable mattress? Bull! After blowing it up, it inflates to the thickness of the Pack n' Play mattress. I guess the plus is that it folds up smaller? Also, I noticed it had a tent-like appearance, but didn't realize it's ONLY a tent. It has to be zipped up or he could roll right out! Oops. Noah seemed terrified when we first put him down. Not only was he in a new environment, he was floor level and zipped in his bed. I would be scared too! At least this afternoon he took a 2+ hour nap in it and he’s finally asleep, so maybe it’s not so bad, but we’ll see.

Tomorrow morning, we’re having our standard Sunday morning family brunch: Bagels and lox. My Aunts and Uncle are *hopefully* coming to meet the little one during his best time of day. His naps may not be standard this week which means we’ll have a lot of retraining when we go back home, but we’re on VACATION! Two more full days until we make the 3+ hour drive to DISNEY WORLD! We are so excited and ready to hit the road. We’ve got a dvd of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for Noah to watch during the drive, that is, if he’s not interested in napping.

Oh – one more tidbit for today. We introduced yet another food to Noah: avocado. This way, we have 2 fresh foods (also banana) that we can give him without worrying about buying pre-made jars. The verdict? Possibly his favorite food so far. He reached in trying to get his mouth onto the bowl to eat the remnants. Grandma enjoyed her first experience feeding him almost as much as Noah liked eating. He is my son, what can I say?

Now to steal from Mellie:

See ya real soon!

~Jenn

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hakuna Matata




It means no worries, right? So I need to stop worrying about future meltdowns in the parks or planes. I think the anxiety comes from the fact that Piper is now so independent, to the point where she wants to walk EVERYWHERE without holding our hands. She has such a strong personality (wonder where that comes from ) that she wants to do it all herself. I can't let her walk around in the airport or wander off in the parks without some sort of baby-leash, which I am STRONGLY against (it's your baby, not your pet), but I have to give her some independence or we might have a meltdown in the middle of the Haunted Mansion or, heaven-forbid, during the Beauty and the Beast show. I'm sure it's difficult as an actress to keep singing while some child is screaming bloody-murder in the middle of your solo. Poor Disney musicians!

So, I figure all I can do is be prepared as best I can. Piper is really a good-natured baby, but even the best babies can reach their limit. This is why Jenn & I are certain that the lunchtime nap is the way to go for our families on this trip. Not only to keep our sanity, but to also keep the babies on some sort of schedule while taking them out of the SCORCHING HEAT of Florida for the hottest part of the day. I know many people feel like if they don't spend every hour that the park is open running from ride to ride that they don't get their moneys worth; I feel like we both have done Disney so much that we can afford to keep our kids happy by taking naps. Plus, think of how good you feel after a lunchtime nap. So refreshing!

By the way, Jenn, I TOTALLY watched that Disney special yesterday! It really is amazing how alike we are! Anything that says "Disney" pretty much gets DVR'd at our house!

It's getting really close to Piper's first plane ride. I can hear the monorail now: Please stand clear of the doors. Por favor mantenganse alejado de las puertas. Ahh, heaven!




Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Another Day, Another WDW Special...

It doesn't matter how matter how many times I've seen Disney specials, if there is one on tv, I'll watch. Currently, I'm watching a Travel Channel special that I've probably seen before, but I still love it! This particular special doesn't have a specific host, but has more behind the scenes, even pre-WDW pictures, than I've ever seen. It's amazing that I keep seeing new specials - I guess that means I'm not the most Disney-obsessed person out there...

On a non-Disney note, Noah had his 6 month checkup today. Adam and I were sure he was at least 17 lbs.. he was 14.12 lbs and 26" at his 4 month checkup. Somehow, Adam thought that he must weigh at least 18 lbs, but I didn't think he had gained that much.. and I was right! Our little guy is definitely taking after his father - he's 15.2 lbs and 27" which makes him in the 10-25% for weight and 75% for height. Impressive! If he had actually been born on time, he would have probably doubled his birth weight, but since he decided to stay inside for that extra week (and a day) he's just under doubling. The Dr. didn't think there was anything to worry about at this stage - at 9 months we'll know, but most likely he's got a fast metabolism like his daddy!

What does this mean for me? That I only have 15 lbs to carry around the airport on Saturday and around the parks for 4 full days!!!

And of course, I'm back to Disney! Melissa and I, both being planners, have been plotting our course for the parks for months. Since we're staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort, we'll have to bus anywhere we go, so we're not planning the days as Adam and I did last summer when he and I stayed at the Contemporary (great location, quite loud, but amazing to wake up to the monorail, all the characters at Chef Mickey downstairs, and overlooking Cinderella Castle. Unfortunately, when we're staying for 5 nights, staying at a deluxe resort is just not always an option. Plus, it's fun to check out new resorts.

Thinking about resorts, while in college when I really racked up my Disney hours, Crazy Aunt Ruth and I mostly drove up and back that day or we would stay somewhere cheap off of the property. However, I have stayed at the following resorts:

Disney's Grand Floridian - 1992 (ish) for a business trip for my father
Disney's All-Star Music - 2003 (ish) with C.A. Ruth and...? I don't remember that trip specifically...
Disney's Contemporary - 2009 - 16 weeks pregnant

Is that it? Adam and I are between the Wilderness Lodge (his pick) and the Boardwalk (my pick) for our trip in January when we're running the half marathon. We have a couple more months and a LOT of running before we reserve our rooms.

Back to trip planning.

If you're curious, our current plan for the parks:
We'll be starting out at whichever park has Extra Magic Hours in the a.m. considering we'll all be up early anyway, so we might as well take advantage of it before the temperature hits the 90's.

After lunch, we're planning to let the babies have a nice afternoon nap in the room, maybe go to the pool, and avoid the parks for the hottest part of the day - hopefully allowing us to be back in the park to enjoy the evening hours and ride the rides while everyone is waiting for the parades.

I found the schedule from my dear friend, Melissa and our plan is as follows:


Tuesday, June 15th -
Afternoon - Arrive at WDW, check into hotel or leave luggage with concierge, bus to Downtown Disney!

Wednesday, June 16th
am - Animal Kingdom *Extra Magic Hours*
pm - Epcot with dinner reservations at San Angel Inn (Mexico)

Thursday, June 17th
am - Magic Kingdom *EMH*!!!!

Friday, June 18th,
am - Hollywood Studios with lunch at the 50's Prime time Cafe
pm - wherever we want to go!

Saturday, June 19th, and my 29th (eek!) birthday,
am - Epcot then headed to the Board Walk for lunch reservations at Kouzzina
pm - back to my favorite - Magic Kingdom to finish up our trip

We leave on Sunday, Father's Day, and head back to visit with my family some more. All in all, it sounds like an amazing trip and I'm ready to stop writing about what will be and actually go!

We're so close I can almost taste the Fiesta Margarita..


Monday, June 7, 2010

Before the nap ends..

Since Noah has been asleep for nearly 2 hours now, I've decided to start blogging - guaranteeing him to wake up in the next few minutes.

Now that Noah is officially 6 months old (as of yesterday) I'm expecting big things from him.. he let me sleep in until 6:30 this morning and, as much as I wish that could happen every day of the week, I will be back to my standard 5:45 wake-up tomorrow through Friday (unless we get lucky on Friday and have the morning off). Starting Saturday, the three of us will be sleeping in 1 room. For 9 nights. Eek! We haven't all slept in the same room for 2 months.. thought writing it, 2 months doesn't seem like a long time, but it feels like a different lifetime ago.

While I spent yesterday driving to and from Portsmouth, VA (near Norfolk) to play a long and hot afternoon concert, Adam spent the day with Noah and his new tricks! Not only is he making funny noises with his lips, he's actually blowing raspberries, too.. not looking forward to him experimenting with that while he's eating, but for now it's very cute! He has also learned to high-5! Well, he keeps his arm straight and throws his arm up and down.. if you happen to position your hand in the right place, you may get lucky and receive a hit from the little man.

On my several hour drive, I had a few minutes to think - in between conversations and amusing antidotes with Rob - about how hot it is going to be in Florida next week. Why did we think it was a good idea to schedule a 4 day trip in June? I know why, because we REALLY wanted to go with Mellie, David, and Piper.. but good grief! The lows are in the upper 70's. This could get interesting!

Now that it's Monday and we're leaving on SATURDAY, I really need to get packing. I went through Noah's clothes today and realized that I really should buy him a few more pairs of shorts for 9 days in Florida.. then I realized that I only have 2 comfortable pairs of shorts for myself. Guess who needs a trip to Target!? Yup, that's me! We'll see how Noah does on his afternoon feeding when he wakes up from this amazing afternoon nap. Luckily, I have a great packing list for the parks all ready to go!

Thanks for reading my ramblings!
~Jenn

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Whew, we made it through!

I haven't posted in a few days because we have been dealing with a mini-crisis in our home. As Piper is now 1, her doctor suggested that we stop formula and give her milk. The way Piper acted, you would have thought I was pouring acid down her throat! She wouldn't have anything to do with milk for 2 days unless it was mixed with some formula. My wonderful husband and I spent every meal of our anniversary (yesterday!) fighting her on this. A 12 month old, especially my 12 month old, can be very stubborn. I kept thinking what are we gonna do at Disney when she melts down like this and won't drink her milk?!

Today, we had a breakthrough. I don't know if she gave up or just got used to it, but she drank her milk (without formula) ALL day, even reaching for her cup herself without being prompted! I literally found myself tearing up at lunch because my baby finally did it! It was tough, but I think we made it through! Also, she is down to one bottle a day(of milk), and I think I can break her of that in the next few days! That means I won't have to pack bottles at all!!!

I know this topic might be silly to some, but it was a MAJOR milestone in our house! Now if we can just get through her birthday party tomorrow so I can really pack.... :)

See ya real soon!
~Mellie

I'm so excited!

I'm so... scared? Okay, I'm not scared, but that episode of SBTB was on this morning... But, I passed on watching considering I've seen the infamous Jessie Spano breakdown too many times to count.

This morning, I took Noah to his first farmers market. He enjoyed relaxing in his stroller and taking in the world around him while mommy stocked up on fresh veggies, herbs, and meat. Once we headed home, I had planned to hit up this mornings neighborhood yard sale, but Noah decided otherwise. He said "WAhhhhhhh" which translates to "Mommy I'm tired and need my morning nap," so I put him in his crib where he is currently napping.

Going through my DVR, I watched an episode of an old favorite, Boy Meets World (Hooray for ABC Fam putting it back on the air!) and now I have on Dinner: Impossible from the Food Network. Why did I DVR an episode of this show? Because Chef Robert is at DISNEY WORLD! I know you're all shocked that I would want to watch this episode. To make things even better, he's cooking gumbo making both Adam and me drool.

While Chef Robert is kind of a pain - grumpy British men aren't particularly my favorite - it is amusing wathing him interact with characters such as the Mad Hatter and a few princesses. PLUS he's cooking at Epcot's World Showcase. We'll be eating in Epcot (Mexico) our first night in the Park, on the 16th, so this is making me even more excited for our trip!

The mission is to cook for 400 people who earned their admission by volunteering. My question is: How did these people get involved to the point of going to this big party? My niece earned a day volunteering with her girl scout troop, but I don't think she knew anything about this big party. I wonder if anyone who volunteered by a certain time was invited to this big celebration... hmmm..

I'm just saying.. good food at Disney? I'm in.

Thank you for reading my randomness.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Another day over, another day closer!

First things first: I want to wish my fellow blogger and close friend, Melissa, a very happy anniversary! Today, Melissa and her hubby, David, are celebrating 5 years of marriage!

The second thing I want to say is in regards to Mellie's last post. She posted her very helpful packing lists from her last and next trip to WDW for me and anyone else who happens upon our blog. What she forgot to mention was that she not only made the list, but she has been packing for WEEKS! For most of the month of May, Mellie has at least been talking about getting diapers, wipes, disposable bibs, and many other little things ready for our trip. Which is still over a week away, but getting so close I can almost taste the Fiesta Margarita..

Which takes me to another thought. While Melissa has been mentally (and probably physically) packing for the trip, I've been perusing blog after blog about the Disney parks. My favorite has come to be http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/ where I read all about yummy things all over the parks that I would love try, but will probably avoid (at least mostly avoid) while I'm trying to lose the last of the baby weight. The author of the Disney Food Blog has a way with words and makes me drool over beautiful pictures of cupcakes and foods that I will try to avoid, either for caloric reasons or monetary... there are only so many $30 per person lunches we can have on vacation (I believe we're scheduled for 2...). However, thanks to this blogger, I've already decided where we're eating in January when we're in Orlando to run the Walt Disney World Half Marathon!

And on to that topic... I know you're dying to know. Canada. I want to go to Epcot to eat in Canada. Why? Because apparently it's one of the best restaurants at WDW and has an amazing beer cheese soup and that is one of the best combos EVER. But really, Adam and I need to get our butts in gear training for the half. We're both talking about completely C25K - couch to 5k. It's a training program to help lazy butts like us run a 5k in 9 weeks. I'm on week.. 5 after probably 12 weeks. Oops. I think Adam may still be on week 1..

But that Marathon weekend isn't only for the two of us to run our 13.1 miles. Noah will be registered in the diaper dash!! The only problem with the baby races is that they're done by year. Noah will be 13 months running (or crawling if he's not quite up to running) with babies 24 months. They're sure to kick his butt. But, it's okay because he'll get a cute personalized bib for participating!

And my last *probably* tangent for the night. The reason we started this blog. Other than keeping our friends and family up to date with our lives and the lives of our beautiful babies, of course. As I mentioned earlier, I've been reading many Disney blogs for the past couple of months and doing my research ("how crazy am I taking a 6 month old to WDW in June?") and trying to find advice and tips for traveling the parks with infants.

What have I found? VERY little. The Disney Mom's Panels has a few helpful hints, but mostly people talk about bringing their older kids. So, Mellie and I decided to start our blog about how to travel the parks with the really little ones. The ones that still need to be carried and fed by their parents. Because we're not going to skip out on the parks until our kids are ready to fully appreciate the parks. But, when they're old enough to enjoy the parks, we'll definitely be back!

Enough ramblings from this crazy mama!
Happy weekend!
~Jenn

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Packing Lists

So, I am a listmaker. I live by my lists! I figured my neurotic listmaking won't be wasted on me, so here they are! I am posting 2 packing lists: one for a 6 month old formula-fed baby (we finished nursing 2 weeks before the trip) and my list for a 1 year old. Keep in mind that the 6 month list was for a December trip and the 1 year list is for a June trip.

Packing List for 6 month old
For the park:
In bottle bag:disposable bibs, bottles w/ inserts, measuring bottle, water bottle, baby food, spoon, baby snacks
In booksack: disposable changing pads, diapers (12), wipes, extra outfit, socks, Desitin, Cortaid, burp cloths, thermometer, nose bulb, Tylenol, baby sunscreen, disposable table mats, lovey, extra pacifier, stroller cover, Oragel, light blanket, Moby wrap
To wear: outfit w/ hat and jacket, mittens, shoes, socks, pacifier on clip
In suitcase: Extra wipes, bottles, nipples, drop-ins, travel formula, baby food, cereal, bowls, juice, spoons, blankets, toys, vitamin drops, baby wash, washcloths, towels, clothes for 5 days (with a few extras), pjs, jackets, socks, shoes, hats, bows, pack-n-play sheets, burp cloths, blankets
Packing List for 1 year old
For the park:
In bottle bag: disposable bibs, water bottle, baby food, spoon, juice, baby snacks, cup
In booksack: disposable changing pads, diapers (10), wipes, extra outfit, socks, Desitin, Cortaid, thermometer, Tylenol, baby sunscreen, disposable table mats, lovey, extra pacifier, stroller cover, Oragel, sunglasses for baby, small blanket, books, toys, Mickey ears, Moby wrap
To wear: outfit, hat, pacifier on clip
For the suitcase:
extra wipes, baby food, diapers, cereal, bowls, spoon, toys, vitamin drops, bath wash, washcloth, clothes for 5 days, socks, shoes, pjs, bibs, hats, bows, rubber bands, pack-n-play sheet, stroller fan, light blanket, snacks
Now for me to explain some of my favorite things on the list. I LOVE disposable changing pads, bibs, and table mats. They are INVALUABLE when you are on the go or moving quickly (changing diapers in a ride, for example). Also, I love the travel formula. This way, you can make a bottle anywhere, and you will need to! They are perfectly measured, and can go through security on a plane without trouble. I also couldn't live without my stroller cover. It kept her warm in the winter and dry in the rain. We kept it on the stroller the entire time because it has a "front door" which zips up.It helped us identify our stroller quickly as well. Finally, the Moby wrap, or some sort of wrap or carrier, is a must for parents because you cannot bring strollers in line with you! This saved our backs from aching!
I hope this helps! See ya real soon!
~Mellie

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Princess Piper and Princess Mommy
-We have princess outfits!


Piper rockin' her ears!

A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes

It has always been my dream to be a mother, especially a mother of a Disney baby! My daughter, Piper Rae, LOVES everything about Disney. Piper is 12 months old, and a very active toddler. She looks a lot like my husband, but she has qualities of me. Her personality is very similar to mine, so much so that it scares us sometimes! Her favorite show is "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse", and her favorite character is Mickey Mouse. She can even point him out in books, pictures, and on T.V. Piper "introduced" Noah to the show, and now he loves it too!

Our family travelled to Walt Disney World last December, and we had a magical time. There was so much for our then 6 month old to look at and experience, that sometimes she couldn't keep her eyes open for another second. She literally fell asleep while watching the dolls in "It's a Small World", and she kept sleeping through all the boat rides ("Jungle Cruise" and "Pirates of the Caribbean"). Those boats must have lulled her to sleep! She was an angel, sleeping in her stroller when she was tired, and enjoying the sights and rides when she was awake. As parents, we knew her limits, and we didn't push those. We made sure she was comfortable, warm, and happy-after all, we were at the happiest place on earth!!!

We are SO excited about our upcoming trip with Jenn and her family! I love experiencing Disney with different people. Even though the adults have been NUMEROUS times, we have never experienced The World together! I'm really excited to see Noah and Piper together in this magical place. The pics alone will be priceless!

See ya real soon!
~Mellie

A couple of pictures!

This is mommy's favorite hooded towel.. doesn't seem like Noah enjoyed it very much, though...






Can you guess what he's look at in this picture? If you guessed MMC, then You're Right!

More to come!
~Jenn

Only the Beginnings...

My sister, Tracy, once told me I should start a blog to follow the exciting happenings of my son, Noah. Well, at only a few months old, I didn't think there was much to write about. Now, at the ripe old age of 6 months, I've decided it's time for Noah to have a blog.

Noah looks more like his father than me, but we definitely have some similar interests: mainly music and Mickey Mouse. I've been playing piano for him on a daily basis since before he was born and now normally play for him as part of his bedtime routine. His room is fully decked out in "Vintage Mickey" bedding and wall art, he has Mickey and other Disney character dolls and toys, and as we found out a few months ago, he adores The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

We don't have the tv on as much these days, but while we were visiting Louisiana a few months ago, Melissa, my co-founder of this blog and fellow Disney lover, turned on the Clubhouse for her daughter, Piper. This started the addiction.

One evening while I was away at work, my husband tried everything and every toy to calm down Noah during his bewitching hour (5pm) and suddenly decided to try MMC. It worked. The crying stopped and Noah watched peacefully for at least 5-10 minutes. A very happy silence took over the house. Now, it has become standard to have 30 minutes of MMC a day. Noah now smiles when Mickey walks out and recognizes him with delight. It's odd and scary, but he is most definitely my son!

Melissa's family and my own are making our ways to Orlando in less than 2 weeks for our first trip together to the Walt Disney World Resort (which is amazing after 10 years of friendship and countless trips each). Melissa and her family went for Christmas in '09 with a 6 month old Piper. Now at 1 year, Piper will see The World again. Everyone has told us that Noah, only 6 months, won't remember a thing, but we're absolutely okay with that. We're planning to enjoy the moments and make wonderful memories we can share with him when he is older. Or in January, when we head back for yet another trip.

Welcome to the Disney Babies Blog. I hope you've enjoyed our first post and there will definitely be more to come. Very soon.

~Jenn