Friday, October 28, 2011

Vacation (Part 2)

The rest of vacation...

Tuesday, 10-11

Our last day of Disneyland – so sad! We actually got up early and went to “magic hour” where Tomorrowland and Fantasyland are open an hour early. I’m really glad that we did! Aurora was still asleep when we left – didn’t take long for her to wake up of course. It was very cold and foggy that morning – very cool. Not great weather for my hair, but oh well. It was nice to be cold for once – it’s been a long summer.

We went on the new Star Tours ride first thing. There was no line – magic hour is awesome! It was cool – I like the way they’ve redone it. And apparently there are a lot of different ride experiences – so Nick and I had 2 different rides. Pretty cool. Like he got to see Darth Vader and I didn’t, but I saw the AT AT walkers (OK, that’s probably not exactly how you spell that…. But at least I know what they are called!)

Then we went on the Peter Pan ride – yeah, why is that line always so long? That ride is really not that great… Aurora sort of cared. I think she was still waking up. Then we went on the Pinocchio ride – same reaction from Aurora. And then we got in line for Dumbo where Aurora proceeded to fall asleep. Well, I never get to go on that ride because the line is always insane, so I went on it by myself while Nick held the sleeping baby.

We really got to do a lot of stuff this day which was good since the other days we hadn’t. We got to do Space Mountain which they have changed a little for Halloween – they made it scary. I closed my eyes most of the time. We did the Small World and Astro Blasters again and the Tiki Room and Jungle Cruise – all of which Aurora really enjoyed. Aurora is not the biggest fan of the Teacups yet – she kind of fussed and looked pretty dizzy – it was cute. We didn’t even spin it, but apparently those things spin on their own. Aurora also missed out on the Haunted Mansion twice. She fell asleep in line the first time and then the second time fell asleep on the ride. Silly girl – I guess she just wasn’t interested.

We had a blast at Disneyland, but I do have a few gripes with it now that we have a kid. #1 – the baby swapping thing – seriously you basically have to wait in line twice. They have you go back through the fast pass line, which is not the front of the line! And in some cases, like Indiana Jones, it was another 30 minute wait. During which time the ride broke down, so I never got to ride it – and I was the one that actually wanted to go on it. #2 – the princesses. We really wanted a picture of Aurora with Sleeping Beauty (for obvious reasons). BUT the way they have it set up is you wait in line to see the princesses, but you don’t know who because they are behind a wall. So it’s a surprise. Fortunately some of the people who work there were nice enough to tell us if Sleeping Beauty was there so we knew when to wait and stuff. We ended up seeing Ariel and Tiana. Yeah, I haven’t even seen Princess and the Frog! Ugh! We never saw Sleeping Beauty in the 3 days that we were there. Very frustrating.

Aurora loved visiting the gift shops – she was in love with the stuffed animals. Every time she saw one she would get really excited. She ended up bringing home a baby Dumbo stuffed animal. She kept trying to pick out this ugly bear that they have, but we told her that Dumbo is better and its Disney. She decided that was OK – she wanted two of them – as many as she could carry. But we only got one. I think she will forgive us.

Wednesday, 10-12

Beach day! We actually went to 2 beaches this day. We visited Huntington Beach before leaving Anaheim and then Mission Beach once we got to San Diego. Aurora had a blast both times. She loves the sand and the waves. She clapped for the waves and thought it was fun to get wet even though the water was FREEZING! The weather was very nice – apparently it was “hot” but it felt perfect to us! A nice sunny day.

Thursday, 10-13

We went to the San Diego zoo and it was actually kind of hot. Being in the sun was not a lot of fun – Aurora got cranky every time. We saw so many awesome animals and we even got to see a lot of baby animals. There were some there, like the giraffes, that were younger than Aurora. We saw a hippo baby, panda baby, and tiger babies (and we saw them get fed) – so adorable!!!!!! Aurora was fairly interested. I mean, it’s not people in costumes, but she at least watched them. I couldn’t believe the variety! We saw lots of monkeys/apes – orangutans, gorillas, and lots of smaller ones, and we saw kangaroos, koalas, bears, elephants, big cats like snow leopards and cheetahs, and lots of birds and snakes. The zoo is huge, but we actually managed to walk the whole thing. And Aurora even fell asleep in her stroller once – she’s evolving!

Friday, 10-14

Another day at the beach. The weather was so beautiful! Not for swimming – but we hadn’t planned on that anyway. It was very foggy and overcast – it was hard to even see the water from our spot on the beach – it was kind of weird actually. But it wasn’t cold so that was nice and since the sun wasn’t out we didn’t have to worry about sunburn. We spent several hours enjoying the beach – stuck our toes in the water which of course Aurora loved. That night we went to Seaport Village. We had planned on doing the tour of the carrier there, but we got there too late. Next time J At Seaport Village we walked around the shops, had dinner, and got ice cream. I’ve got to say – dinner and ice cream there were the most expensive nachos and milk shake I’ve ever had. $11 for nachos (that weren’t even good – Nico’s has that place so beat!) and $10 for a milkshake. Seriously – has anyone had a $10 milkshake? Insanity. But we still had fun. And Aurora got to ride the carousel which was entertaining.

Saturday, 10-15

Sea World!!!!!!! Right when we walked in there were characters dressed up – penguins and other sea creatures – Aurora went nuts! She really loves people in costume. We saw all the usual shows – Shamu, the dolphins, sea lion and otter show… Aurora didn’t really care. She was mildly interested. Every so often when one of the animals did something really cool she would clap and smile, but for the most part it was pretty hard to keep her happy sitting there that long. Except for the Sesame Street show. She went nuts! She was talking, squealing, and clapping through the whole thing. Yeah – people in costume. Little weirdo baby. We saw all the other cool stuff they have at Sea World too like the new sea turtle exhibit, the shark encounter, and Nick & my favorite – the penguins. The penguins are soooooooo funny. We spent a lot of time watching them – especially when Aurora was sleeping. Aurora actually really liked the aquariums though – she likes fishies. I would have thought she would have been more into the big fishies :) but she’s still little. Maybe next time.

Sunday, 10-16

We left at 3:00AM. Nick drove the whole way – I was very impressed. It was nice to get home early then. Silly me – I decided to go to my soccer game which was pretty torturous after being up so long, but exercise is good, right?

Then Nick took Monday off so we could have a little more time to recoup from our vacation. We had a great time, but it was pretty exhausting and I think we are all happy to be home.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Vacation (Part 1)

So I have been a major blog slacker lately. Yeah, I know – how many times do I start that way? Uh, pathetic. Oh, well. At least it has been for good reason.

We went on vacation the second week in October – I know, it’s almost Halloween so I’m really behind, but at least I’m getting around to posting about it now. I have to – otherwise I will forget this stuff by the time I go to scrapbook it. So this is going to be a VERY long post. And I think I am only going to get through the first few days of vacation… So there will be more long posts to follow :) I don’t blame you if you just skip though to the pictures :)

Saturday, 10-8
We left for California at 3:00AM. It really wasn’t hard to get up – I think we were all excited. Aurora heard us putting stuff in the car and woke up and wouldn’t go back to sleep. It was pretty cute – you could tell that she knew she wasn’t supposed to be awake and that this was all out of the ordinary – she seemed pretty excited. She did fall asleep about 40 minutes into the drive at least, so she wasn’t up for the whole time. She didn’t sleep as well as I would have liked, but it was still better than trying to drive during the day – she would have grumped a large part of the time.

Everything was going pretty well with the drive until I got pulled over for speeding just outside of Phoenix. I didn’t think it was very nice – the cop was tailgating me and when I would move over so he could pass he wouldn’t. He was playing games. And it was dark so I couldn’t tell it was a cop. But he was pushing me to go faster. So needless to say – by the time he pulled me over I was going quite a bit over the limit. I got quite the lecture and it was pretty painful. In the end he let me go without a ticket or anything. I think it helped that the first question he asked was “Where are you going?” and my answer was “Disneyland.”

So I drove half of the way and Nick drove the other half. We got to our hotel before check in time so we walked to Downtown Disney while we waited. I was in my jammies and flip flops and we both felt like we needed a shower after the drive so it wasn’t ideal to be walking around in public, but oh well. We stopped in a couple of shops and tried Mickey ears on Aurora – she decided that she wanted nothing to do with hats this trip, so we never ended up buying ears for her :( And since I was wearing flip flops I accidentally kicked the stroller at one point and I’m fairly certain I broke my toe. It got super swollen and bruised and was pretty awful – not the best way to start a trip, but I lived :)

After we checked in at the hotel and got cleaned up we went to DISNEYLAND!!!!!! The first thing we did was get dinner at the burger place on the water over by Splash Mountain. I know – don’t you usually head to the rides first? But we were hungry and it was early so it wasn’t crowded yet – it was a lot more peaceful to eat and we watched the ducks – Aurora was fascinated. Then we went on “It’s a Small World.” Aurora has a good time in line and talked to all the strangers. She was really cute during the ride too – wide eyes and just stared. It’s a lot to take in for a little kid.

Then we went over to California Adventure to try to see the new World of Color show, but it turns out you have to fast pass it to get a good seat. So we decided to save it for Sunday night. We were exhausted anyway – Aurora was WAY over stimulated from all the cool stuff to look at and she refused to take a nap – so she was very cranky towards the end of the night. She did finally fall asleep as we were leaving CA Adventure, but only slept for like 30 minutes and then proceeded to stay up WAY past her bedtime once we got back to the hotel.

CA Adventure:


Sunday, 10-9
First thing we did was go to CA Adventure to fast pass the World of Color show. We actually got there right when it opened (didn’t plan it that way – we just decided that we weren’t waking Aurora up no matter what, so we just worked with her schedule). So it was super un-crowded – very nice. We went on the new Little Mermaid ride, which both Aurora and I loved, and on the carousel.

We also met Mickey! I wasn’t sure what to expect with Aurora and the characters, and I was certainly surprised. Not only did she LOVE them, but she was hilarious!!!!! She got soooooooooooo excited! She would straighten her arms and legs, kick and wave, and squeal uncontrollably. It was so funny. She was so excited. When we actually got close to them she calmed down and didn’t really know what to do, but at a distance she just went nuts. We tried to get it on video, but it was hard – we would wait too long and miss it or when we were ready she wouldn’t get as excited for that character. Silly girl – I think she just knew when the camera was there.

Over at Disneyland we went on the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and that turned out to be Aurora’s favorite ride. She talked through the whole thing and bounced on Nick’s lap, trying to eat her laser blaster thing. Then after the ride she kept talking and clapping. Super cute. After that we got in line for the Nemo ride, and funny thing – I never thought I would ask to wait in line longer, but Aurora fell asleep halfway through the line and was asleep when we got to the front. We really wanted her to see it, so we asked if we could wait – and they were nice enough to let us wait off to the side until she woke up. It was so weird too – one second she was wide awake, the next she was conked out on my shoulder. At least she got over the “must stay awake and see everything.”

We also went on Roger Rabbit’s ride and Toad’s Wild ride. I think Aurora had kind of hit her limit on rides though – she wasn’t overly thrilled with either and she didn’t keep her food down that well after the Roger Rabbit one.

We got to meet Minnie at her house in Toontown – again Aurora went nuts :) And then we went over to CA Adventure to get a good seat for the World of color show. The show started at 9:00PM and Aurora stayed up until 8:55. Her bedtime is usually 7:30. So she stayed up way late, and then missed the cool stuff. It made me sad because I think she would have really liked it. The show was very pretty and unique. I really don’t know how she slept though it because it was super loud. Very well done though.

Monday, 10-10

A break from Disney to go to Universal Studios. Yeah, we found out that isn’t really a place for little kids, but we still had a good time. Fist thing we walked around City Walk a little. Aurora decided to ditch her hat somewhere along the way. Sneaky girl. We went back to look for it, but never found it. So we had to buy a dorky one at one of the vendors. It is hard to find baby hats! But she needed one – it was so sunny!

The good thing about Universal Studios was that they had so many characters walking around. Aurora had a blast getting to see Dora, Bart, Marge and Homer Simpson, Woody the Woodpecker and his girlfriend and so many others. Again her reactions were hilarious. Another nice thing is that they have the baby swap thing down! So Nick and I were able to ride the rides (the Simpson’s ride, Jurassic Park (just Nick – I’m so afraid of dinosaurs!) and the Mummy ride). They have a waiting area for the kids so one of you rides, then goes to the waiting area to take over baby duty and the other gets right on the ride. Disneyland could take some serious lessons – they kind of ticked me off. You basically have to wait in line twice. It used to be you would just pass the baby through, now they don’t let kids in the line (seriously, like I’m going to try to take my 8 month old on Space Mountain?)

We took Aurora on the tram ride tour and she was really well behaved considering it was a 45 minute ride. She got kind of tired and cranky at the end – thank goodness for crackers! We learned this trip that food is generally the key to keeping her happy. As long as she has something in her mouth she can’t use that mouth to fuss :) Fortunately her food is low calorie right now and she can afford those calories – won’t always be able to use that strategy :) The tram ride hasn’t changed a whole lot from what I remember from a long time ago. There are a few new things though – the King Kong part is now 4D and pretty intense (I was surprised it didn’t scare Aurora), and they have some new sets like the plane crash from War of the Worlds. It’s interesting to see, but it kind of ruins movies for me some. Like it’s sad that Skull Island from King Kong was all miniatures and green screen… It just changes movies for me some.

We also saw the 4D Shrek show and the Animal Actors show. Aurora was good for both of them, but she was more interested in the animal one. She was pretty talkative during that one…

After Universal Studios we got to have dinner at Bucca di Beppo with Aunt Jan, Uncle Nick, Bryan, and Darryl. We are lucky that they drove to City Walk to see us! We had fun and the food was super yummy. It was nice to relax after a long day and it was nice to have other people hold Aurora. My arms were sooooo tired already! We basically had to hold her all day every day. It was a good thing we chose not to rent a stroller – we would have been paying just to push it around! We had our umbrella stroller and she spent very little time in it. It was just one more thing to remember everywhere we went because we would park it and go to shows/rides and then have to remember to go get it afterwards. It wasn’t super helpful. I guess it was better than nothing, but the stroller thing is a pain.

Friday, October 21, 2011


So I am way far behind on my blogging and I promise I have the longest post ever coming your way soon, but until then - I just wanted to say that it is official - AURORA IS CRAWLING!!!!!!! And so begins my life of chasing and baby proofing...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

8 Months

My little girl has grown up so much in the past month! She is doing so many new things! Let's see if I can remember everything...

1) She can ALMOST pull herself from a seated position to standing position. Won't be long now...
2) She can go from sitting to crawling to sitting with no problems
3) She has decided that it is fun to stick her hands in her mouth full of food and then stick them in her hair
4) She has crawled! But very briefly - 3 little wiggles forward 2 days ago, so I'm not saying she's crawling yet, but she's close!
5) She plays peek-a-boo. She holds a blanket in front of her face and drops it when I say "Where's Aurora?"
6) She has learned to clap!
7) She has a tooth! It's not in all the way - it's just broken through her gums, but it is definitely there!
8) She sits in a high chair at restaurants
9)She has started to help feed herself. She is usually pretty good at it, but can be messy sometimes...