My life is generally a mix of stress and chaos, not that I’m complaining that’s just the way it is and pretty much always has been. Honestly I don’t think I would know how to function as a normal adult with a more easy going life. One thing I try and do is look back each week and pick a moment or two that made me happy and I think that is what keeps me going.
This past Sunday I decided I needed more things to do that I enjoy. I think sometimes as a wife, mom, and person who works outside the home we forget about ourselves and to do things that we actually want to do. So I watched a YouTube video (thanks Sierra Schultzzie) and drug my kids and mom out to the craft store so I could buy everything I need to make my own Minnie Ears. Minnie Ears are probably one of my favorite things, I have to get a new pair every time we go to Disneyland and even have friends get them for me when they go (you should my hallway). That day I started on them and so far have made two pairs and they don’t look too bad! Once I get more confident in my abilities I plan to sell them on Esty but in the mean time I just really enjoy making them. I have even had a few people request I make them some so I must be doing something right!
Although something like making ears isn’t huge in the grand scheme of things, it’s just enough to look back on and say “hey this week wasn’t all terrible” and give me hope that maybe next week won’t be all that bad either.
You’re finally doing it, you’re taking that trip to Disneyland you’ve been talking about for months or even years now. You are super excited but also overwhelmed because you don’t even know where to start. Here’s a few tips I find helpful when we plan our trips.
When to go
One of the first things we like to do when we plan our trips is check and see the best time to go. Some things we look at are: will any rides be closed, are there other events going on that we will have to pay extra for, and how busy will it be? We wanted to go during Halloween time this year but Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party tickets were already sold out (they usually go on sale some time in June) so we decided to wait. Before and after Halloween time and before and after Christmas time some rides are closed to add or remove decorations so you want to check the dates to make sure you’re not missing anything by going around those times. We missed The Haunted Mansion the last time we went because they were getting it ready for Halloween. If you’re worried about it being insanely busy check out disneylanddaily.com they have a handy little calendar that gives you an idea of what it will be like.
Book the trip
We book our trips through Expedia, they have pretty good deals and you earn points that go towards free flights and hotel stays. Most people fly into LAX but we prefer John Wayne Airport, it’s a lot smaller and a lot quicker to get through. When it comes to hotels they have a lot of great ones, the Disney ones are fantastic from what I hear, we’ve never stayed at one since they are a bit spendy. We like the Peacock Suites, it’s not too expensive and they have a pool and two hot tubs. They also have a common area with a pool table, foos ball and an X box One. Fun fact they have dvds and board games you can check out from the front desk which is fantastic when you need to entertain kids. The also have two grills and a seating area on the roof top where you can also get a partial view of Disney’s fireworks at night.
What are you going to do while you’re there
Will you go to one or both parks? What events will be going on? We’re going for Christmas and they have quite a few things going on such as snow at the castle certain times in the day, Disney ¡Viva Navidad!, the Christmas parade, and much more. Definitely look into getting fast passes so you don’t spend the whole day waiting in lines. Decide if you’re going to eat there or if you’re going to bring food. We typically bring a backpack with snacks and eat at a few places there as well. If you plan to drink water I suggest bringing your own. The water from the drinking fountains doesn’t taste very good and the do sell bottles of water but they are not cheap. Look into renting a locker if you plan to buy things that you don’t want to carry around. If you have small children you can rent a stroller for $15 a day. If you have a smartphone be sure to download the Disneyland app. You can scan your tickets, check ride times, see where characters are in the park, and a lot more.
I think the most important thing to do while you’re there is have fun and just take it all in. It really is a feeling like nothing else. One of my husbands favorite things is once you walk through the gates into the park, you don’t hear the outside world anymore. They really do try and make it like nothing else exists. I could go on forever and I’m sure there’s things I forgot to mention, I think I’ve covered all the basics though. Hopefully this is helpful for those who are planning to go and hopefully you love it as much as we do.
You always hear about the terrible twos and the trying threes but my god they have nothing on the fucking fours. There’s no doubt that two and three year olds can be a handful, they can definitely throw fits with the best of them. However, what I’ve learned this last year is that four is what nightmares are made of.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty amazing things that come with have a four year old. They can tell you what they want, they can be easier to take out in public, and they are so full of life and wonder. On the flip side of they that, they can tell you what they want and there will be hell to pay if they don’t get it. They also don’t have a total grip on their emotions which on some days is a recipe for disaster. I have never seen anyone hit just about every emotion until the day I told Ukiah he couldn’t come with me to check the mail without pants (Am I the only one who’s kid hates clothes?) He cried, got angry, finally realized he wasn’t going to win the argument, put on pants and starts skipping out the door laughing like nothing had happened.
Some days are harder than others, some days I question whether or not I’m actually the most stubborn person in this house. Having a strong willed child isn’t all bad at least not until they want nothing more than to argue. I swear some days he sees the inside of his room more than the rest of the house. There’s a fine line between not breaking your child’s strong will and not taking their shit. We need strong adults in this world but we also need them to be respectful and well mannered.
Sometimes I think it’s just me and I’m just failing at this whole parenting thing. Some days I feel awful because I feel like all I’ve done is send him to his room or yell. Then I hop on Facebook to chat with my birth board besties and realize we’re all going through the same thing, I find comfort in that.
Four isn’t all bad, he’s a great helper, insanely inquisitive, and unapologetically dances to beat of his own drum. He’s a free spirit and I love that about him. Although I am so ready to get past this stage, I’m sure some day I will look back and miss these days. I will also use them to laugh at him when he has his own four year old. You know what they say about payback 😉