Soundsational parade

This parade run everyday at Disneyland and is well worth the time to watch.
This is one of our kids favorite things to do at Disneyland. Great time to find a seat, have a snack and enjoy some magic. You can see the parade route in the Disneyland Map.

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Disneyland: take 3

Hi all you Disney Fans, Here is my third installment of tips on doing Disney with three little ones often with just one adult.

Want to know the ride we simply can’t miss? The one my two year old talks non stop about? One all four of us can ride? That almost always has a short line?

Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters. It is a bit boring for me because I have to get to sit in the middle (with the baby in the Ergo) with no blaster.  Want to know my kids scores? Ender generally gets about 1200 points and Arora can get around 5000. When I actually get a blaster I get somewhere in the 50000 range. Whats your best Astro Blaster score?

Another favorite is the monorail. The kids like to sit in the very front. You simply have to ask to do so and may have to wait for the next monorail to come. There is a four body limit in the front.

 

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Next to the Monorail is the Finding Nemo submarine. We rode it once and it was scary (dark) for the kids and boring for me so we will not ride again. I thought there would be much more of the Finding Nemo story to the ride, but it was actually just a few characters spread through out.

A great way to get around the park is the Disneyland Railroad. It stops at the front of main street, New Orleans square, between Toon Town and Fantasy Land and in Tomorrow Land. You can take your stroller on but it must be folded up.

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If you visit Toon town there are only two rides. Both have restrictions. The rollercoaster has a height requirement and Roger Rabbit has the most unusual requirement I have heard of yet. First every bum must be on a seat and everyone must be awake to ride.  I don’t know how someone could be sitting on the seat and not be awake.

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If you are looking for a quite place to nurse a wee one while not putting the fun on hold I have two more suggestions: The Tiki Room in Frontier Land. Shows start often and there is rarely a line.  The other is the Cinema on Main Street. It is dim, cool, almost always empty and you can watch some great black and white Micky cartoons.

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Disneyland tips: general

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Grandpa and Grandma Mayer,ME with Avalon, Arora, Ender and David at Disneyland front entrance.

Oh boy, another post about Disneyland! We just love going there so much and have learned so many things that I want to pass on to all of you. These things may seem small but when added together they really can make your trip so much better.

Bring your own food! And more then you think you will need. The food and drinks in Disneyland is so expensive. Yet they smell so good, you will be tempted to buy just one churro or turkey leg or popcorn. You will spend a small fortune. Disney allows you to bring your own food in. I normally pack: sandwiches, apple slices, grapes, protein granola bars, nuts, string cheese, raisins and skittles. We also will freeze some juice boxes which help keep everything cold.

Walking of of the park is cheaper then eating in the park. If you don’t want to lug a days worth of food with you plan on leaving the park to eat. For example one corn dog in the park will cost you $6.19. From a food cart on downtown Disney a corn dog will cost $4.00. If you leave  from the Disneyland main entrance there is a Denny’s, IHOP and McDonald within easy walking distance.

You can get FREE water just by asking. Go to any counter service restaurant (not a cart) and ask for a free ice water. There are also water fountain and sinks set up around the park to refill your water bottles.

Remember you cannot take your stroller in line. You will park it in a huge mass of strollers. If your stroller looks like every other one find a way to label it. Sometimes Strollers need to be moved, such as when cast members are setting up for a parade. They will move your stroller to do so. If you cant find your stroller ask where it may have been moved to.

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On your first visit go to City Hall located just inside the park on main street USA. They will give you a free button. My kids are still wearing theirs, great free souvenir! They also give buttons for birthdays or a general celebrating button.

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Bring a glow stick. Disney sells tons of glowing toys, hats etc. Stop buy a dollar store and buy some glow sticks, kids like them just as much and you will save a few dollars at least.

Fantasyland tips part one

When thinking about taking young kids to Disneyland what parent doesn’t imaging flying high on Dumbo or helping your child pull the sword from the stone?

When visiting Disney we generally travel with Arora (5) on foot, Ender (2.5) in the umbrella stroller and Avalon (3m) in the Ergo. Some rides have height requirements, some have a number of bodies per car limit, and others require every bum to be on the seat. Also all children must ride in the same car with an adult until they are seven years old.

Each ride that has a height requirement will have it posted on the line entrance. Other requirements though often are not expressed until you reach the front of the line. Our first few days of Disney we have to step out of line a few times becasue there were these other requirements we were unaware of.

arora on horse

Lets go through some of the rides in Fantasy land and see what the rides require.

Mad Tea Party: Everyone can ride, plenty of room for 4-5 people in one tea cup. Baby can go on ride in Ergo. This ride tends to have a short line.

Alice in Wonderland: Each Caterpillar hold two small people in the front and maybe two adults in the back. Arora had to sit in the front while I sat in the back with Ender and Avalon in the Ergo.

Dumbo: We were able to just fit into one elephant with Avalon in the Ergo.

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Casey Junior Circus Train: The open rows have a 3 body limit, so ride in the animal cage if you have 3 kids in tow. Tends to have a shorter line.

Pinocchio:  Same set up as Alice, Arora in the front and with Ender and me in the back with Avalon in the Ergo.

King Arther’s Carrousel: Can either ride on a stationary bench or try and get two horses next to each other. Arora was safe and comfortable on her horse. While the horse has a loop around the waist strap it does not get tight around a two year old. Ender is a very wiggly boy. I didn’t feel okay leaving him and getting on a horse myself (with baby). So I was able to stand next to him, between two horses. Tends to have a shorter line.

Peter Pan:  Baby had to be out of the Ergo sitting on my lap with her feet under the lap bar. Tight fit for a mom with 3 kids!

rare trip when David was able to join us.

rare trip when David was able to join us.

it’s a small world: easiest ride to ride! each bench can fit 4-5 people. Baby can ride in the Ergo.  Tends to have a shorter line. Best part of it’s a small world? Great place to get in a a quick nursing session!  The ride is smooth, quite dark and long enough to satisfy baby.

There are a few other rides in Fantasy land we have not experienced yet.

Have you taken your kids/ grand kids to Disneyland? What is your best tip?

Visiting Disneyland

Our family recently relocated to southern California. One of the biggest perks so far has been living so close to Disneyland.  I love Disneyland. I have been planning a vacation to Disneyland in my head for years. I’ll say actually going is way better, harder, but way better.

ImageVisiting Disneyland can be expensive, stressful and there are many unknowns about what to really expect. Since our family decided to purchase annual passes we will be (and have already) visiting a lot. I will be writing a series about visiting Disneyland and California Adventure. Most of our visits will be me with the three kids. Look back here frequently for how we manage, what rides we can go on, tips for where to nurse in the parks and other hints to make visiting with young kids easier and more magical.

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Welcome Miss Avalon!

On the evening of February 16 we had the immense pleasure of welcoming our newest daughter to our family. Avalon was born at home at 11:20 pm, into the loving hands of her daddy, and every so quickly into her mama’s waiting arms. Labor went SUPER fast, I’m talking 20 minutes from feeling back pressure til having her in arms, and thus she was born before our midwife Hannah could arrive.

I had been having a lot of prodromal labor pains as I had at the end of being pregnant with Arora and Ender About a week before the estimated due date,  I had had contractions most of the day and called Hannah, the midwife, and Sarah, my very good friend, to come over. Well baby wasn’t quite ready yet and after a long night everyone went home. After that every other day or so I would think “this has got to be IT” but it wasn’t. Valentines day, which also was my due date came and went with no baby I was very tired and frustrated that all these labor pains had not produced a baby yet.

Saturday the 16th I dropped Ender off at his first big kid birthday party and went out to lunch with Sarah. I think the added girl time really helped put me in the zone for birthing. The rest of the day went on as a usual Saturday would. That evening I took some herbs recommended by Hannah to help things along. David and I passed the evening playing our favorite game Magic: the Gathering.

Around 10:55 the game ended and I was feeling a good amount of back pressure with frequent contractions.  I asked David if he would turn something on Netflix and rub my back. We made it through one and a half Pixar shorts and I needed to ahem… head to the bathroom.

 Contractions were really picking up and I asked David to run a hot bath for me. The water felt good but the contractions were right on top of another. I asked David if he wanted to time them and he said we were past that, then he called Hannah.

Hannah who lived about 20 minute away from us said she would head right over and to call back if my water broke or I needed to push. Immediately after hanging up with Hannah, David called Sarah and asked her to come over. The two phone calls took just a few minutes but seemed to take a long time. Every contraction was longer, and harder then the last and there was only a few seconds between them. Then all at once I felt the urge to push and my water broke.

David called Hannah back and she said to put the phone on speaker and she would coach us. David helped me to stand up out of the bath. I took one step out and could go no further. I sat down on the toilet.  The next contraction I could feel the baby coming down the birth canal.  I said “I feel a head!” David reached down and supported our baby’s head. One contraction later the rest of her tiny body emerged.

  I sat down and put her on my lap. We gave her a good rub and she started whimpering and crying. I was amazed that I had a baby on my lap, that I had birthed her as naturally as I could have. That there was no frantic trip to the hospital, no doctors, no IVs, no pain medicine. She was here and I did it. Me. Me and the Lord. I could not have done this great work with out the constant help, the constant peace from my Savior.

We had not found out the gender with this pregnancy. David and I agreed that if we had a son I  would chose the name and if we had a girl David would name her. When she was born we were very excited to see our baby was a girl. David had the honor naming her Avalon with the middle name of Eve after his paternal grandmother.

Sarah arrived just a minute after the birth and was a huge support for me. She did many amazing and helpful thing such as getting a bowl for the placenta which was also birthed before the midwife arrived.

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Hannah arrived about 15 minutes after our Little Lady and made sure everything was as it should be. Avalon weighed in at 7lb 3 oz and measured 20 inches in length.

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Arora and Ender slept through the whole thing and got to meet their baby sister the next morning. I recovered quickly but we had very rough time with breastfeeding but that is a post for another day.

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