The Fam Heads to NY

Photos from our first family trip to New York to visit Mark’s sister. SUCH a great trip! We went to the beach, we had a birthday to celebrate Henry and Audrey’s birthdays, we played, C had her first mani/pedi… fun was had by all!

 

 

The Birthday Party!

 

 

The Beach Day

 

Charlotte’s First Mani/Pedi

Mark & I even got to head to the city where we ran into TOM HANKS!! See how well I played it cool? Then, we saw Waitress, starring Sara Bareilles and ran into Cynthia Nixon!

Saying Our Goodbyes

Miscellaneous Pics from the Trip

 

 

 

Disney World!

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Remember MONTHS AGO when I built up so much hype about our trip to Disney and then literally NEVER POSTED A SINGLE WORD ABOUT IT? Oy. Okay, well, I’m going to post some words about a day that was glorious and wonderful and fun.

To begin, we’ll just say that I did my due diligence in terms of researching, planning, scheduling, etc. With only one day in Mickey’s presence, I wanted to make sure Charlotte and Henry (but mostly C, because H didn’t really notice) got the most out of the experience. SO, all of my research concluded with this carefully thought out schedule…

Disney Itinerary R

To access the full doc:  Disney Itinerary R

Now, some might say that I over-planned or that they’d worry such a rigid plan would feel stressful, but let me just say, we ALL enjoyed my psychotic planning. We were able to see everything we wanted to see – parades, rides, meet and greets, etc – in such a strategic way that it felt like a natural transition into the next ride or activity. I had booked all of our fast passes ahead of time (maybe 2 months out?) and our dinner reservation a month out. It was AHHHMAZING.

A few pretty important items that we packed: double stroller, neck fans!!! (it was SO damn hot and these were so crucial. They were cheap and effective), snacks (pouches, etc), sunscreen for us and the kids, hats for the kids.

Also, matching shirts…

So now, the photos and fun details…

We missed the park opening… because let’s be honest… we are ALWAYS. LATE. When we first got in, we started waiting on line to see Minnie and Goofy, but ended up leaving to start the rides because it was taking way too long. In hind sight, I do wish we would have seen Minnie. C still talks about how she wasn’t able to give Minnie a hug and a kiss. A month or two ago, she came up with the idea that we should bring her Minnie stuffed animal back to Florida to give to Minnie as a gift. So sweet.

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Our first ride was Dumbo. Being that it was C’s first ride, I wanted to pick something that was in the open so she could see exactly what was going to happen. It was a great first ride. When it was over, she instantly said that she wanted to stay on. And thankfully, the magic of Disney had rubbed off on her, because despite her wants, there were no meltdowns… the whole day… with either child.

After Dumbo, we walked to the next ride over… the barnstormer. It was a mini roller coaster that seemed fast, but not so fast. I let C watch it and asked if she’d like to ride. YES!

Let’s just say that there was NOT a lot of breathing for either of us on that ride. It was FAST! I’ll post the video, but afterward as we were getting off, C said excitedly, “That ride was SOOOOO FASSSTTTT!!! I no like to go so fast!” It’s funny because when we put her to bed that night, she told us that her favorite part of the day was going “SO FAST!!”

After the barnstormer, we went to the Winnie the Pooh area and waited in line to meet the characters. Our next fast pass was for the Winnie the Pooh ride, so we waited to see the characters and then immediately went on the ride. It was pretty silly meeting them. Charlotte was so excited, but ultimately, very timid with the characters.

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In contrast, Henry LOVED them. He was petting them, high fiving, laughing and loving every minute. It was pretty darn silly.

The Winnie the Pooh ride itself is a little scary and just intense. There’s constantly so many sounds going at one time, moving from one scene to the next quite quickly. And, of course, it seems like there’s an excessive amount of time in the “Heffalumps and Weasels” rain storm nightmare. PASS!! I could have done without that one. And C seemed like she wasn’t a fan either. I feel like I remember her saying she didn’t like it, but then maybe asking to do it again later.

Somehow, by the time we finished the Winnie the Pooh ride, it was time for lunch. We went to the Pinocchio’s Village Haus for a ridiculously priced kids meal. BUT, the positive is that we were able to find a seat easily.

Clearly the only logical follow up to lunch is the teacups. SO, we tested our luck and took C on the teacups. Simultaneously, Henry began his only nap of the day… which lasted maybe 30-45 minutes.

After the teacups, we went to the Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Grotto ride. This was the only ride we waited in line for, and probably only waited about 20-25 minutes. All along the way, there were cute little things to look at. It was an easy wait and nicely shaded, which was great. Because, did I mention that it was 97 DEGREES THAT DAY!?!?! Hot.

The Little Mermaid ride was one of C’s favorites! She seriously just LOVED it! It’s a cute little story type ride where you get to hear tons of songs and see all the characters. Thumbs up to that one.

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After little mermaid, we decided to take one more ride on Dumbo before catching the train to Main Street. I nursed Henry while we took our flight – nursing bucket list?! Of course, C loved Dumbo once again. It’s seriously just a great one. Especially on a hot day.

The train was pretty awesome, too… EXCEPT, we had to fold up our double stroller to ride, which meant making everything nice and tidy again… which was far from where we were at. We had things stashed in every cup holder and pocket. Thrown in the under storage, etc. We were littering our items through the entire line. But, no worries. The train ride was great, gave us an opportunity to sit and reapply sunscreen.

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When we got to Main Street, it was time to grab ice cream (and a GIANT starbucks coffee for me) and watch the Festival of Fantasy parade. In true form, we were cutting it close, but ended up getting a great spot and really loving the parade. I think it’s the parades and shows that really make Disney unique from other Amusement Parks. Getting to see your favorite characters, seeing the spectacle… it’s just fantastic. And seeing it through the eyes of a 2/3 year old is just magic. Charlotte believed everything she saw. Whether it made sense or not, she totally believed it. She experienced true magic throughout the day. No questions asked, totally naive, untainted trust in the Disney magic. It was just pure and awesome.

When the parade was over, we went over to use our next fast pass for the Buzz Lightyear ride, which is just so much fun. Maybe less fun for C than some other rides, but the adults enjoyed it!

Then, we headed back towards Main Street where C and Mark watched the Friendship Faire (hello, more Frozen characters and songs) and my parents, Henry and I waited for our dinner reservations at the Crystal Palace. I also had to nurse little Henry while we waited.

Dinner at the Crystal Palace was fun! I hadn’t realized that it was only Winnie the Pooh characters there, so it was a bit of a bummer that the kids wouldn’t get to meet any other characters, but seriously so much fun. I just love the character meals. By that time, C was pretty hot and exhausted and didn’t really want to interact with the characters; although, she enjoyed watching Henry play with them.

The food itself was pretty decent! I mean, let’s just be real… it’s not about the food. And when is a buffet really THAT good? But it did the trick and was super fun (and air conditioned!).

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After our 4:45pm dinner, we took a slow walk back to the car. The kids were beat, my parents were beat and we were ready to get the kids in bed so that Mark and I could go back for fireworks, parades and a couple faster rides.

Mark and I got back at firework time. We got greedy and weasled our way to the front, which turned out not to be the best spot. In hind sight, we should have stayed back towards the front of the park where we walked in.

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Anyway, afterwards, we went to find a drink. We quickly discovered that there are NONE TO BE FOUND unless you have reservations at a sit-down restaurant. Dang. I settled for a Diet Coke and then we watched the “Once Upon a Time” show, which is a projection on the castle with music. This was my favorite show of the day. It’s just fantastic.

Next, we got a FREE cream cheese stuffed hot pretzel (they were about to close), which was phenomenal, and went on the Buzz Lightyear ride and Space Mountain. Space Mountain is just so fun. I still just really love that ride.

With our adrenaline pumping, we decided we had to go ride Big Thunder Mountain. SO, we literally ran/hop/skipped our way across the park (in the heat) to haul ass to Big Thunder Mountain before the park closed. We made it and rode one more ride before calling it quits on our big Disney day.

We slowly walked back to the Ferry with tons of people hauling exhausted kids, pushing sleeping kiddos in strollers and just dragging themselves. Disney is hard work.

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All in all, we had such a great and fun-filled day!

Here are some other photos from our trip to Florida – including our hike to Coco Beach…

On the Boardwalk

One of my favorite memories of Disney from when I was a kid was hanging out with my family on the Boardwalk. There’s food and street performers and it’s just really cool looking. 

Last night, we decided to wrangle the kids and take them there for dinner. Unfortunately, due to our late afternoon at Downtown Disney, I had to wake C from her nap (at 6pm) to leave (never an easy transition).

Right when we arrived, a performer was about to start. He juggled and had a whole schtick. He was actually quite funny. There were only two people in the whole area who were pretty straight-faced. Who? My children.


There were a couple times when they had half smiles…


Once C had a juice box (I showed her that I had bought her one and she didn’t know what it was… special treat for the lady!), she was refueled and ready to go.

We had dinner, watched the sunset, ate a funnel cake, watched another performer and played a bit more!

First Flight with 2 Kiddos

My eye has been twitching for two weeks and I’m going to guess that it 100% correlates to yesterday’s 2.5 hour flight to Orlando. Who would have thought that flying with a 10 month old who never falls asleep in public settings would cause stress…

The day before my flight, I really honed my inner cheerleader. You can do this! 2.5 uninterrupted hours with yours kids and hubs (and parents – we’re in FL for a trade show)… you love those people. Etc, etc.

I was in a good mindset, but unfortunately, running on 4 hours of sleep, which was a bit rough. But, honestly, everyone did really well. 

Of course, there was no sleeping and NO WIFI… wtf, southwest!? I was counting on Fwozen for a certain toddler… but other than that, all was great.

And, of course, with all the random toys I brought, which was the best? POST-IT NOTES!! 

We kept sticking them to the back of the seat and henry would rip them off and throw them on the ground. 

The kid loves to destroy…


Some other pics…


By the time we finished the flight, got our million bags, and arrived at the rental car counter, the general mood was:


Tiny Hemy was zonked…

Charlotte’s First Introduction to Disney

Now, before you start judging us for bringing a 7 month old to Disney, let me clarify… Charlotte joined us for a trip to DOWNTOWN Disney. For those who aren’t familiar, this is a “free” Disney tourist trap designed to get you to buy tons of souveniers and random crap. But, it gives you a tiny smidge of the Disney vibe and for a baby who was napping or in need of a nap pretty much the whole day, that’s all she needed.

What I will say is that they must sprinkle those souvenier character stuffed animals with breast milk or fairy dust or something because MAN did that Minnie doll make her squirm. Through the severe exhaustion, her tiny mouth opened wide, her arms stretched out and her feet wiggled as she giggled away. Being that there were grandparents within a 5 mile radius of this adorable and joyful display, Charlotte was given her first Minnie doll.

Unfortunately, I was most excited to get little Charlie Minnie Mouse ears (with her name embroidered on it), only to find out that they don’t come in baby sizes. BOO, Disney… BOO.

Regardless, we had a nice little trip!

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These last few pictures were right before she conked out for a little afternoon napski. Can you tell??

Also… THOSE CHEEKS!! I just love how they hang off her face. I am REALLY going to miss those delicious little cheekies.