Entries Tagged as 'Disney'

flying with a toddler: why god, why?

17.11.15

I’ll admit it: I cheaped out. 

My parents chose to drive down to Disney World (about a 15-hour drive) and bravely offered to take one kid with them. I decided to send Holden with them in the car, while I flew with GB as an “infant in arms” (which you can only do with children 2 and under). The original thinking was 1) I didn’t have to pay for GB’s ticket and 2) GB is generally the calmer child.

It wasn’t long after purchasing the airline tickets that I realized my mistake. GB hates sitting still, he doesn’t like sitting on my lap, and he doesn’t watch videos or play with apps. What was I thinking? But by that point it was too late, so we sucked it up and went for it.

The morning of our flight–which left Baltimore at 10am–I forgot the stroller at the house, so I had to turn around 10 minutes down the road. Heinous traffic on the beltway made it clear that the usual 1.25-hour drive wasn’t happening this time and we were definitely going to miss our flight. Had to do some ninja magic on the phone in the car to switch our flight with Delta–luckily, there was a 10:30am flight with a layover in a different city that got us to Orlando 20 minutes earlier, so it wasn’t terrible. Sure, it cost $50 to switch, but whatever. I was trying to avoid a mental breakdown.

The good thing about cutting it close on your flight is there’s not a lot of downtime in the airport; the bad thing is the obvious stress and self-loathing. We boarded and GB was entertained by opening and closing the plane window… for the first five minutes. We still had 40 minutes on this flight and another flight to go.

He stood on me, he looked out the window, he made faces at the people behind us, he ate snacks, he threw his Nuk. I tried out the new kid headphones I had gotten for the trip, which bought me about 10-15 minutes.

Kid headphones on a flight @ohbotherblog

And then, as we began our descent, he freaked out.

Airplane meltdown with a toddler @ohbotherblog

And then he fell asleep.

Toddlers on a plane @ohbotherblog

Just in time to land.

The layover at Raleigh-Durham was nonexistent–our flight left slightly late–so we boarded the next flight almost immediately. Luckily, the airline representative could sense the frazzle that was radiating from me, so she put us in an extra-wide row.

It was like heaven. GB actually had room to stand… and lie down on the floor (whatever, don’t judge me). The lovely grandmother across the aisle from me actually took him into her lap for a bit and talked to him. He was overall pleasant and flirted with several passengers. I took it.

However by the time we boarded Disney’s Magical Express, the shuttle to our resort, GB had had it. He stood. He screamed. He whined. He threw his Nuk at me. It was 40 minutes of horror. We actually ditched the bus at the Boardwalk Resort and just walked over to the Beach Club. We’d had enough of being confined in metal boxes for a day.

On the way home from Florida, GB was ill–which was not good because he was sick, but was good because he was snuggly and quiet (I’m terrible). I accepted the three diarrhea blowouts he had during our travels as a trade-in for his good behavior. I even remained calm when the car wouldn’t start in the Express parking lot and we had to wait for help to arrive.

So… we survived. But I’m looking forward to not having to fly with a kid anytime soon.

Flying with a toddler @ohbotherblog

disney craycation recap

08.11.15

Welp, we survived. We went to Disney World with two toddlers–a three year old and a nineteen month old.

We got back on Wednesday and my response to people’s questions about the trip has been, “Well, the kids were terrrrrrible, but we still managed to have fun.”

That’s not just me exaggerating, by the way: the kids were really, really badly behaved… one more so than the other. Any guesses as to which one?

Pack your princess dresses for Disney World @ohbotherblog

Whaaaat? Not that little princess; no way. Oh, yes way.

I get it: the kids are overstimulated, they’re way off schedule, they’re missing naps, they’re sleeping in weird rooms, they’re hot, it’s crowded, they’re waiting in lines, they’re exhausted. Also, having my parents and myself all in the same place provides many opportunities to try to play us off each other and test out our patience… and discipline levels.

But let’s just say I made many parents feel good about themselves and their children during this trip.

People have been following up my admission by saying, “but your photos looked like you had such a great time!” Listen, you’ve seen the clickbait articles; you can make anything look good on Instagram.

If I were completely honest on social media, the trip would have looked primarily like this:

GB sleeping all over Disney World @ohbotherblog GB sleeping all over Disney World @ohbotherblog GB sleeping all over Disney World @ohbotherblog GB sleeping all over Disney World @ohbotherblogNaps in Disney World @ohbotherblog

And this:

Disney World Meltdowns @ohbotherblog

Oh and I guess some of this:

Mickey Waffles in Disney World @ohbotherblog

In all honesty, we did have a great time, despite the less-than-pleasant kids’ behavior. We ate a ton of great food and had some really fun experiences.

I’ve already had people asking me for suggestions for their next Disney trip, so I’m going to try to break it down into multiple posts focusing on the various parks, dining, etc. Given how good I am about updating the blog currently, this may take me until my next Disney trip to complete, but hey, we’ve all gotta have goals. Keep checking back for updates.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this tip for your next Disney trip: leave the kids at home. Disney World is awesome for adults.

disney with two toddlers. here goes nothing.

27.10.15

Disney World with two toddlers @ohbotherblog

I’ve had a rough year. I’m so ready for a vacation. Fortunately, I’m leaving for one tomorrow. Possibly unfortunately, I’m going to Disney World with two toddlers. 

If you’ll recall, I took Holden to Disney World when she was 10 months old. Now, I’m not just some masochist: my parents are members of the Disney Vacation Club so we go relatively frequently. And I’m going to have some reinforcements, so it’s all going to be okay… right?

It’s the International Food & Wine Festival so there’s definitely that to look forward to. And the mid-80 degree weather isn’t too shabby. And my parents are driving down with Holdy so they took the bulk of the luggage–that I literally only packed today–with them. This won’t be so bad… right?

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I’ll be flying with a beyond-fidgety 19-month-old who hates to be held and can’t be bribed with videos or apps. But I’ll have international food and wine waiting for me at the end of it, so that’s worth 2.5 hours of shame and misery… right?

We’ll be there over Halloween, so I did get to cheat a bit on the Halloween costumes this year. So that’s a plus.

Taking all the princess dresses to Disney World @ohbotherblog

I packed every single princess dress Holdy already owns (including two I bought at the consignment store) so she’ll have her pick of Halloween costumes… and I’ll be able to avoid buying a $90 princess dress at the resort. I also made Holdy an appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on Halloween. Of course, the appointment is at 6:30pm and she goes to bed at 8:30pm, but I’m told they use enough hairspray that it should last a few days. See, we’re totally gonna be fine… right?

For GB, I ordered a 4-pc pajama set of Woody and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story, which I’ll be pairing with an old toy cowboy hat of Holdy’s.

Woody and Buzz Lightyear Pajamas for Halloween @ohbotherblog

So yeah, I may be jerry-rigging this whole Halloween thing–and this whole trip for that matter–but I deserve this break, dammit, so we’re making it work. 

Follow along on Instagram to see if I make it through unscathed. See ya soon, Mickey.

still not letting it go: we went to a “Frozen” tea party

15.12.14

In my never-ending quest to assuage my working mom guilt and spend some fun time with Holden, I bought us tickets to attend a “Frozen”-themed tea party by a local company called The Enchanted Teapot. If you’ll recall from our “Frozen” On Ice almost-misadventure, my attempts don’t always go according to plan.  Remember this?

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

This time, however, not only did Holden actually wear the Anna dress, she let me do her hair in braided pigtails AND she wore a flower wreath on her head.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

(Notice that sweet cowlick? A straight part is never going to be in this girl’s future.)

She did have a brief freak-out once the dress was on, but I soon realized it was because she also wanted to wear her “bug” wings.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

(We had just gotten through a weekend of watching “Peter Pan Live” on repeat so she had a slight Tinkerbell obsession.)

Oh, and I went ahead and got dressed up too.

 

A photo posted by ohbotherblog (@nomiddlenamemeg) on


Why, yes, that is a fake-braid headband. I’m straight up bald in the front from having GB so my braid situation was not working out.

The dress is one I actually owned from a funny fancy-dress party in grad school. It’s literally 12 sizes too big and I had to pin myself into it.

I think we looked pretty cute, though–ridiculous dress and all.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

The tea party was adorable, with precious little “Frozen”-themed treats.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

Holden was very well behaved (at the start), and was so excited.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

She colored “Frozen” pictures.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

She met Anna.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

And Elsa. She was so starstruck.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

They sang songs.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

Holden, of course, had to steal the show. She even threw in a few forward rolls and twirls for good measure.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

They read stories.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

Notice Holden butted her way right on up to the front. At one point she even stood up, blocking the other kids’ view. Luckily, the rest of them were older and gracious to her being young and self-centered. There’s no real (quiet) way to push through a crowd to get your loud, stubborn two-year-old to sit down in this situation. I tried.

She even helped herself to Elsa’s throne.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

She really was good for 95% of the event. She did have a meltdown toward the end when we had to wait in line for the official photo with the princesses. She may or may not have thrown herself on the floor and screamed, but I had already paid the $15 for the photos, so we were getting them, dammit. Her crocodile tears stopped as soon as she approached Anna and Elsa.

And then she hugged and tried to kiss them. They were both very sweet about turning their head for a cheek kiss, even though Holden was clearly going for the mouth.

Overall, we had a (surprisingly?) great time. Even if I was one of the only adults who dressed up.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

I mean, look how happy she was:

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

I’ll make sure to show her these photos when she’s 15 and tells me she hates me on a regular basis.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

taking a 2-year-old to disney on ice, or how I learned to “let it go”

19.10.14

Like 95% of children in America (the world?), Holden loves Frozen (or as she calls it, “Anna”). So when Disney on Ice “Frozen” tickets became available this summer for an October show, I hesitated for maybe three minutes before I decided to grab a pair. Holden has never been to a movie or live show before, so I wasn’t sure how it would go. As you are now aware, Holden is not the easiest child to take out in public.

Last month, Target had a sale on a dress-up-Anna costume and doll, so I bought it, excitedly envisioning surprising Holden with the dress, perfectly braiding her hair and taking my eternally grateful, happy little two-year-old to her first live performance of her favorite story.

Things did not exactly go as planned.

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

She refused to wear the dress, insisting it was “too tight,” even though it was clearly too big. I ended up settling for a Frozen t-shirt. She was clearly hating life. Inside, my heart broke a little. 

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

Nevertheless, we embarked on our Holdy-Mommy date, first stopping for lunch.

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

Don’t judge me: it’s like the only restaurant that’s acceptable to take a child of her “spirit.” She behaved. She ate. She was excited. Things were looking up. 

And then:

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

Luckily, the tears only lasted for the first quarter of the 40-minute drive.

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

When we got to the arena, Holden–possibly still groggy from her nap–was super excited.

When we got to our seats, she seemed mesmerized.

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

She pointed out all the “Holdys”–little girls who actually wore their princess dresses. She laughed and pointed at the stage. She, of course, had to have a $26 light-up thing.

 

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  But as the lights went down, something was amiss. Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog She seemed a little tentative. A little unsure. Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog Then, by the time Anna and Hans sang their duet, she was downright miserable. Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog She turned to me and said, “Holdy done now,” which has sort of become my safe word for “shit’s about to hit the fan.” So we hightailed it out of the arena and took a little break. Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog I gave her the option of going back in or going home, and enticed her with promises of “Elsa’s Song” and Olaf, which were delivered after we settled back in.

 

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Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

 

Holden sat in my lap with her arms around my neck for the entire second half, but she seemed to love it.

She was even cool during the scary snow monster part.

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

By the end, she was clapping and dancing with the crowd.

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

 

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So, all in all, not a total disaster.

The parking lot on the way out, however…

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

But, let’s be honest, I’d do it all again for this kid.

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

disney world recap

29.04.13

Tell Disney about your celebrations during your trip and you'll get special perks! @ohbotherblog

Well… we survived Holden’s first trip to Disney World at 10 1/2 months old. Before you judge me as absolutely nuts for taking a baby to Disney World, let me just say 1) my parents are in the Disney Vacation Club so we go like every other year 2) yes, I know she won’t remember any of it. That being said, I do believe she enjoyed herself and overall the trip wasn’t nearly as bad as I was anticipating.

The Flight

My fidgety little crawler was quite the trooper through the two-hour car ride, two-hour wait in the airport and two-hour flight. Though she did spend half the flight crawling back and forth from her dad’s lap to mine, she spent the other half napping. I was so psyched by this that I didn’t care that my arm was asleep for a full 45 minutes. The air pressure during takeoff and descent didn’t seem to bother her a bit, thanks to her trusty Nuk.

Holden's First Plane Ride @ohbotherblog

(remind me to tell you more about that fantastic pashmina later).

The Resort

We stayed at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. Holden absolutely LOVED swimming in the pool, much to my delight because I am a sun worshipper myself.
Baby Pool Day @ohbotherblog

The pool accessories I picked up for her were clutch to ensuring a misery-free week at the pool.

  • UPF 50+ Sun Protective Baby Suit by NoZone: prevented me from having to worry about reapplying sunscreen all over my squirmy little crawler and made sure her baby skin remained burn-free in the hot Florida sun.
  • UPF 50+ Sun Protection Flap Hat by Iplay: protected her head, face and neck (even if she did look like Sheikh!). The chin tie and drawstring in back ensured that the hat stayed on, despite her best efforts to remove it.
  • Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy: was perfect for my daredevil who pooh-poohed the baby pool and wanted to go right for the real thing. She floated along happily until her fingers got pruney, with the shade providing an extra layer of sun protection.

I had so many parents at the resort asking me where I got each one of those items (Amazon!).

The Park

We only ventured to one park, hitting up Epcot for the International Flower and Garden Festival.

Baby Day at Epcot @ohbotherblog

It was so stinking hot that we looked for any excuse to get out of the sun with the baby, which actually turned out to be a great thing because we went on rides that I had deemed “too boring” to visit during previous trips. Holden loved The Seas with Nemo & Friends. Seeing the huge grin on her face made me briefly forget my ichthyophobia (google it).

Thank god for the Baby Care Center in Epcot (which is located in the Odyssey Center, between the World Showcase and the Test Track). We escaped the heat, did a diaper change, drank a bottle, and had a full-on, sprawled-out nap, all in the blessed air conditioning.

Sadly, we lost a good man in Epcot that day: our beloved “Monkey Nuk” (the Nuk clip on her shirt in the photos) didn’t make it home with us. RIP, good buddy. You were an integral member of our parenting team.

The Best

Overall, it was a–dare I say it?–magical trip. To see my daughter’s face light up with delight over and over again made it all worth it. Spending all day, every day with her for seven straight days definitely made it even harder to return to work today.

My favorite part of the trip?

Mommy-baby nap @ohbotherblog

I told you what I was most looking forward to was napping!

please don’t poop in the pool

27.04.13

Please don't poop in the pool. @ohbotherblog

The pool at our resort has been closed down no less than three times during our stay due to… defecation.

I was all psyched to try out the new Pampers Splashers swim diapers I bought for Holden, only to find that they are too big for her, despite them being the smallest size available and despite her supposedly fitting within the diaper weight range. How did I find this out? By the bucket full o’ pee that came gushing out of her suit and onto me as I was holding her.

Please don't poop in the pool. Regular diapers and rubber pants work better than swim diapers for small babies.

I discovered that the regular diaper, topped with the waterproof rubber pants (that I also luckily brought along) was a better combination to keep any yuckies from spilling into the communal waters. But the situation got me thinking about how much of my life is spent hoping that my daughter doesn’t poop someplace inappropriate.

Please don’t poop in the pool. Please don’t poop at Gymboree. Please don’t poop in the bathtub. Please don’t poop on the plane. Please don’t poop at the nice restaurant Mommy probably shouldn’t have brought you to in the first place.

This paranoia most likely stems from an incident that occurred the first time I gave her a tub bath. Spoiler alert: she pooped.

We dodged a bullet this time–I SWEAR that not one of the poops that shut down the pool came from Holden. But I think I’ll always be waiting for the other poo to drop.

Where is the most ridiculous place your child has pooped?

deliveries at disney world

24.04.13

Amazon.com, meet Disney World. Disney, meet Amazon. After checking out the weather forecast for our Disney trip and realizing my 10-month-old was woefully unprepared for heavy rains, I did some last-minute online shopping. As in, the night before we left.

I knew that you can have stuff delivered to your Disney resort, thanks to my friend Sarah at How I Pinch a Penny. So I went to Amazon and ordered some rain essentials to be delivered during our trip.

How to get deliveries at Disney World - Pinner ordered rain gear baby @ohbotherblog

I used Amazon Prime for free two-day delivery. I googled the name of our resort for the actual mailing address and made sure to include my travel confirmation number in the mailing info (if I were already here and knew my room number, I would have used that).

On the third day of our trip, I returned from the pool to a voicemail from the front desk: my delivery had arrived! Of course, now the weather is beautiful with not a cloud in sight. Isn’t that how it usually works? Oh well, at least now we’re prepared!

we’re going to disney world. with a baby.

18.04.13

traveling to Disney World with a baby @ohbotherblog

We’re headed to Disney World with my 10-month-old daughter. Are we crazy?

I’m a bit nervous about Holden’s first plane ride. We are lucky in that my parents are actually driving to Orlando, so most of our gear will be traveling with them. I’m planning on nursing (or bottle feeding) Holdy during take off and descent, but I’m more anxious about two hours in a confined seat with my eager crawler. We’ll be bringing lots of books, a Kindle Fire and a portable DVD player in our carry-on. I’ve downloaded some of the iPhone apps from Parents‘ List of Best iPhone Apps for Babies. If worst comes to worst, I’m prepared to do a lot of aisle walking. I’m told that flights to Orlando usually have many children on them, so hopefully I won’t be “that mother.” Or that only mother, anyway.

I’ve been reading up on some tips for traveling to Disney World with a baby. Traveling Mom has some fantastic hints on doing Disney World with a kid in tow. We definitely plan on taking advantage of the various Baby Care Centers located in each of the parks. These centers offer (among other things) changing tables, nursing rooms, rockers and a full kitchen to prepare bottles and food and to clean gear. They also apparently have a wide variety of baby necessities to purchase (at a premium, of course) should I (inevitably) forget anything.

If Mr. B and I decide to get our ride on, we’ll be checking out the unadvertised Baby Swap option. On the rides where a child is too small or too young to ride, Disney offers families a “Baby Swap,” which allows one adult to ride the ride while the other waits at a designated point. Supposedly, when you get to the entrance to the ride, you let a Cast Member know you are planning to Baby Swap. So we’ll see how that goes.

My friend Sarah over at How I Pinch a Penny has some great info on 1) avoiding drinking the yucky water in Orlando 2) avoiding paying $4 for a bottle of water – bottled water delivery to your hotel room! Because my parents are serving as our pack mules, I’m having them transport the case of water I purchased.

Rather than spending all week schlepping a stroller around the parks, I’m planning on tons of relaxation at the resort pool (and am really hoping Holden is on board with that!). To protect Holdy from the hot Florida sun, I picked up the following gear from Amazon. These were all very highly rated, so I hope they do the trick.

baby pool day essentials: UPF sun suit, sun flap hat, canopy sun float, swim diapers @ohbotherblog

Truth be told, what I really want to do on this vacation is NAP! Here’s hoping!

What do you think? Am I nuts? Have I thought of everything? Any tips for traveling to Disney World with a baby? Perhaps I’ll have some wisdom of my own to share when I get back…

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