Saturday, May 29, 2010

a pedicure

It's another first.

I painted my toenails the other day to make them semi-presentable in flip-flops (or "plip-plops" as Chica would say.) Chica saw my nails and flipped out. Fuh-lipped.

To continue my two year reign as her favorite woman on the planet, I baited her with exactly what she wanted to hear:

"Would you like for Mommy to paint yours too?"
I might be the only nail specialist who gets paint on the bottom of your feet, but look at her face.

She's putty in my polish-covered hands.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Adventures in Disney (Magic Kingdom)

*If you missed the first two installments of our trip to Disney, be sure to check out my world's longest blog disclaimer in which I excuse myself from all blame should you suddenly find yourself asleep at your keyboard or poking out your eyes from the thousands of pictures and boring trip details which are interesting to no one. Except to me. In ten years.*

I woke up very early on our first full day in Orlando. Chica slept remarkably well. She's never been very good at sleeping away from home, but my mom was right, the more we do it, the better our girl has done. I showered, got ready and started packing our park bag. We took our own stroller, cooler bag and back pack to the parks everyday. We stored everything under the stroller except for Dan's backpack which held our wallets, keys, camera, etc. Pretty soon Dan was up and getting ready as well. He made our lunches and snacks while I dressed Chica for her first day at Disney World. We heard the sound of excited cousins coming down the hall and all headed for the shuttle bus pick up. Breakfast was served and sunscreen applied while we waited for the bus to arrive. Pretty soon we were on board and more excited than ever!
We rode the monorail to the park entrance. The kids loved it! We arrived before the park opened (a must with small children and for short line favor!)
Here's our crew waiting for the park to open. We're going over our touring plan one final time.
Besides the shorter lines, if you're there before the park opens you get to see a whole character performance. The Mayor of Main Street welcomed us, some people sang and danced, then the park train pulled into the station with a ton of characters on board, including Mickey. The Mayor asked Mickey if everything was ready to go for the day and all the characters led us in the countdown. There was music and streamers and confetti and everyone was smiling and waving at us as we marched inside and down Main Street. It was the happiest welcome to the happiest place on earth!
We walked through the castle into Fantasyland. Our first stop was Dumbo. It's a slow loading ride that's very popular so the book said be sure to make it your first stop. Twenty minutes after I took this picture, all those chained walk ways in the background were packed full of people waiting to get on.
The cousins rode first.
I sat in the elephant in front of them so I could video her first ride.
After Dumbo we went on the Winne the Pooh ride. It was a really neat ride and was a huge hit with the cousins.
Chica wasn't crazy about it. She was a little more timid than I thought she'd be about riding in the dark. When the rest of our crew walked right back on for a second time, Chica said she wanted to leave. We rode Peter Pan and It's a Small World. She really liked this one. I think because the boat moved slower, she was able to take in more of what was going on around her. This ride was a lot longer than I remember it being but it's a classic.
After Small World we met up with the rest of the family at Mickey's Philharmagic 3D show. The show was really neat. Chica took her glasses off pretty quickly. At the end Donald Duck flew into the wall behind us and it made Big Girl really sad. We assured her Donald was okay once he climbed through the hole in the wall and we shuffled her out of the theater.

Next we rode Haunted Mansion while my sister took the kids for a potty and lunch break. Dan loved the Haunted Mansion. At the beginning of the ride you walk into this room that's shaped like a hexagon and the room stretches. We couldn't decide if the floor was dropping or the ceiling was raising, either way it was a cool effect.

After the Mansion we met up with a fed and changed group of toddlers. I need to leave my sister in charge more often! :) Some of the adults took a break and the rest of us waited on the porch of one of the stores. The kids played hide and seek and we all relaxed. I was nervous the book plan would have us going non-stop and I'd be stressed about hurrying to the next thing. But in reality, the organization of it gave us time to take breaks when we needed to.
After cousin play time, we got fast-passes for the Jungle Cruise and explored the Swiss Family Tree house. (Which was basically a glorified staircase.) It wouldn't have been too bad, but it was wall to wall people and by the time we started the million stair ascent, Chica decided she wanted her mother to carry her. Ironically it was the first attraction of the day that she wanted to do again. Over my dead body. (Which was pretty close to death after lugging a thirty pound toddler up and down all those stairs.)

Once Dan performed CPR on his out of shape wife, we headed to the Jungle Cruise to use our fast passes. This is the first time we used a fast pass and to be truthful I felt a little guilty passing all those people waiting in the slow line. Not too guilty, though. We never would have survived the long line with toddlers whose nap time was quickly approaching. We really liked the Jungle Cruise. Our tour guide's sense of humor was right up my alley (CORNY!) and I laughed through the whole thing.

Swiss Family Tree House and Jungle Cruise are right by Aladdin's Carpets. The kids were dying to ride it, so we got in line. I think it was the longest line we waited in the whole trip (about 20 minutes.) Twenty minutes is nothing to squawk about, but by this point, it was pretty warm and the kids were ready for a nap.
After the carpet ride (totally worth the wait!) my sister and her husband took all three of the kids while the rest of us got in line for Pirates. It has been updated with the characters from the movie. Disney does incredible things with special effects, some of which were on this ride.
We exited to find this...
The rest of their nap time we explored Tomorrowland. I don't think we rode anything, but we scoped it out for future reference.
From the entrance of Tomorrowland, there's a great view of the castle.
Towards the end of nap time we made our way back to the park entrance to catch the shuttle back to the hotel. On the way there, we realized the afternoon parade was beginning.
Big Girl almost missed it. But she woke up in time to see all the characters.
Her Daddy made sure she had a good seat to see everything.
Chica loved these balloons. Her daddy fell victim to the Magic of Disney, because he hunted the vendor down and brought one back for her.
After the parade, we had a little time to kill so we played on some stairs.
One of the cast members gave Chica a 1st Visit button. She wore it with pride.
After a break at our hotel, we came back for the SpectroMagic Parade. Here's my family waiting for it to begin.
I walked around for a bit and took pictures of the castle. It changes colors every few minutes.
Time for the parade!
We decided to stay for the fireworks show, but needed to find something to do until it started. We took the kids on the spinning teacup ride. It was love at first spin. I think we rode it twice. On the way back from Tomorrowland, we got stuck in the masses on the bridge in front of the castle. It wasn't the best place to be, but we enjoyed the show. I don't know how they do it, but all of the fireworks are synced with the music. Kind of like choreography. It was beautiful.
At the end of the show, we headed back to the hotel for the night. We needed some sleep because the next morning we were headed for Animal Kingdom!