Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Disneyland!!!


Ways Ez has let us know he'd rather be at Disneyland:
About a week after we've been home, while in the car with the GPS on, Ez chimes in over the GPS: "Turn right at Disneyland Drive!"

Ez: "I wanna see Disney Cars."
Me: "Sorry, we're not going to see Disney Cars."
Ez: "We'll see Disney Cars tomorrow."
Me: "Nope, not tomorrow either." 
Ez: "Tomorrow." 
- repeat in loop for two weeks and counting

Ez to himself: "Ez! Look! A monorail!" - not sure if we should be impressed by his imagination or depressed that he's still reliving our Disney days. 

Most popular YouTube requests: California Screamin' videos or Disney Cars Ride videos. 


To say we had an amazing time at Disneyland would be an understatement. We've been there tons of times but this was our best trip yet because Ez and Declan are both at great ages to love and appreciate all the magic that Disney has to offer. It was worth every minute of our 18 hour roundtrip drive, barf and all, every tantrum - including The Great Apple Juice Meltdown of 2017 (if you ask Ez today where his apple juice is, he'll still reply "in the trash"), and days of existing on mac & cheese (Ez) and graham crackers (Declan). We're all having pretty serious Disney withdrawals over here and already looking forward to our next trip. 

We packed so much into our three days that I could easily drag this out into half a dozen blog posts (and I can't promise that I won't), but since my blogging track record isn't the greatest lately I'm going to try to wrap it up in one post. In other words, be prepared for an obscene amount of Disney photos, startinnnng... NOW! 


Ez's top 5 Disney highlights:
  1. Riding Disney Cars for the 1st time!! He literally went skipping with joy off the ride afterward. (Tip: if your kid is exactly 40 inches tall, go early in the day when they still have the strength and will to stand up straight. We tried to take him again in the evening and every time they attempted measuring him he went all floppy so they wouldn't let him on. Boo.)
  2. Watching the Disney Cars race past Flo's Cafe. This is basically his favorite thing to do every time we go and he currently has 4 Disney Cars ride toys that he play races every day. 
  3. Spotting the monorail go past. Joe: "is it gonna go fast?" Ez: "Fast!!" Declan: "Choo chooo!!"
  4. Watching the California Screamin' roller coasters take off. Ez every day for the past two weeks: "1! 2! 3! 5! 4! 1! Screammmm!" or our personal fave: "Second thoughts? Too late!"
  5. Meeting the characters. We met Chip or Dale (whichever one has the brown nose) as soon as we walked into the park and that was his face 4 pictures up. He literally could not contain his excitement and was bouncing around ready to burst. Later on Pluto went walking by and Joe tried to get him to go say hi but he got shy and was about to play it cool and just walk right on past but at the last minute he couldn't help himself and clung onto Pluto's leg in pure adoration (2 pictures up). 


Declan's top 5 Disney highlights:
  1. DUMBO!! And Luigi's Dancing Cars. He was giggling like crazy through both those rides.
  2. Meeting Red, Mater, and Lightning McQueen. Seriously, his little mind was blown and his world was made. From that moment on he thought he owned Cars Land and keeping him at our side was basically impossible. If you happened to be there that day and saw someone sprinting after a shockingly fast almost-2-year old, with mini dance breaks, that was most likely Declan and one of his entourage. Also, if you were there that day trying to take a photo with one of the Cars characters and got photobombed by a small toddler wearing a Cars shirt, Declan says hi. And sorry. 
  3. Bubbles EVERYWHERE. He probably still dreams about that magical place with trails of bubbles every which way you turn.  
  4. The end of Toad's Wild Ride and It's a Small World. 2 and 7 minutes of terror, respectively. Pure toddler torture and something that'll probably resurface in therapy several years down the road. 
  5. The shuttle to Disneyland. Apparently it's hard to top getting to sit in your own big boy seat sans car seat. 



Joe's top 5 Disney highlights:
  1. Seeing Ez and Declan's progression over the years, from being terrified of the characters and too small to ride most rides to adoring the characters and actually getting to experience the "big kid" rides. 
  2. Taking Ez on his first roller coaster (in Toon Land) and the Cars ride. Last year we actually felt a bit guilty for riding Cars without him since we knew he'd love it so much. 
  3. Getting our money back for a second ticket they made us purchase after Joe lost his first one. Such an annoying mix up that took forever to fix and put a damper on our last morning there until my mom so kindly took it upon herself to resolve it all. Thank you Mom!!!!
  4. The food. (aka - donuts, burritos, sundaes, and cinnamon rolls, but sadly no monte cristos this time because the wait was insane.)
  5. Enjoying a glass of sangria at Flo's cafe while watching Ez and Declan enjoy all the cars driving by. 

My top 5 Disney highlights:
  1. Seeing everything through Ez and Declan's eyes. First rides. Characters that are basically rock stars in their eyes. Excitement, fun, and family every which way they turned. It was paradise for them and their energy and excitement were so infectious. 
  2. Putting my feet up at the Bugs Land splash pad with a margarita in hand. Turns out all that infectious excitement is exhausting.
  3. Alone time with Joe. Even though Ez and Declan are both at super clingy stages and our alone time was a lot more sparse than usual it was nice to get away for a few rides with my love. 
  4. Family time. When I look back on this trip, after the excitement and joy that it brought Ez and Declan, my favorite thing is all the family time we managed to squeeze in. Wonderful memories that I know I'll cherish for a long time to come. Special thanks to the grandparents and uncles for celebrating with us. 
  5. Getting season passes! Knowing we'll be back makes leaving much more bearable.

And because second to actually being at Disneyland is reliving it through video, here's Ez's favorite form of entertainment lately:


Thanks for following along if you made it this far! 
Until next time, Disneyland!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Visiting With Family


While we were down in Southern California for our Disney trip we wanted to make sure to visit with our family that lives down there so we headed down several days early and my aunt was kind enough to let us stay at her house for a few days. It was so much fun catching up, watching the cousins play, and having a little breather between our long road trip and our Disney days. 

We went to a petting zoo where Ez was most excited to see a rooster. Untillll....he actually saw the rooster. Between the peacocks, the turkey, and the roosters it sounded like an angry bird riot and he pretty much melted to the floor in a terrified puddle for a few moments until we quickly moved on to the goats and the cows. Right before he left he bravely asked to see the rooster again, and after a quick glance to redeem his brave big boy status he was ready to go. Afterward he kept bringing it up: "I was scared of those loud roosters" with a little laugh, like it was an inside joke between us. I love that brave little boy so much. 

We had a pizza party, went to dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant, complete with a margarita the size of my head, were fortunate enough to be around for garbage day, and capped it all off with a cousins' trip to a local indoor playground that was so much fun we had to drag the boys away kicking and screaming. 

Our vacation was off to the best possible start and the boys were so sad when it came time to leave. Little did they know all the fun we had in store for them ;)


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ez's 4th Birthday


Ez's birthday fell on a Saturday this year, so after a full week of celebrations and excitement we capped off our Disney trip with a birthday brunch alongside a few of our favorite characters: Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, and Stitch. I'll give more details on our Disney trip a little later, but I will say that this was by far Ez and Declan's favorite Disney trip yet. Their excitement each and every day is what we live for as parents and I'm so happy Ez's birthday was extra special and memorable for him.


As soon as the birthday boy woke up we gave him a giant box full of presents right there in the hotel bed. Then it was off to brunch with two sets of grandparents and the uncles. Ez was so, so excited to meet all the characters this year. Last year was the first year he went from terrified to happy to see his favorite Disney characters, but this year his excitement skyrocketed to a whole new level. He was jumping up and down with pure glee on his face, then he would run up for a quick hug before sprinting away, jumping and pointing excitedly, "There's Stitch! It's Stitch!" Joe would ask, "Where?? I don't see Stitch." "THERE!! Right THERE!!" I thought he was going to explode from the excitement of it all.


Since this is the year of the Garbage Truck for Ez, he got a few new ones from the grandparents and the day was pretty much cemented as the BEST DAY WEEK EVER. He was in such a generous mood he even gave Daisy a cupcake, which she graciously accepted even though she was trying her best not to get chocolate all over her white gloves. However, when Stitch tried to make off with one of Ez's garbage trucks the smile fell right off his face and he refused to take his eyes off his truck until it was safely back in his hands. That boy loves his garbage trucks.


Declan went from being scared of the characters last year, to ready to rip their faces off this year. He was especially fascinated with their noses/beaks and would latch onto them with his tight little death grip every chance he got. Poor Minnie was sitting there with that smile plastered to her face while trying to gracefully get away with her nose intact. Stitch was a little less polite and just poked Declan in the nose right back. That's probably why Stitch was Declan's favorite, they're two mischievous peas in a pod, those two.


After all that fun and excitement came the considerably less fun portion of Ez's birthday: 8 hours on the road to get back home. The actual drive is about six hours but we like to stop and let the boys run around a bit. They were troopers and made it through the majority of the trip without any meltdowns but Mickey Mouse on YouTube definitely saved our asses for the last ninety minutes or so. Then came the birthday withdrawals, which we're still not quite over. If it wasn't for that drive (and those crazy Disney prices) we'd go right back and do it all over again.