The Weekly Peanut, Issue 67
I'm sitting here thinking "Sheesh why does it feel like I just wrote one of these?"
Oh yeah, because I did.
I'm going to kick this off by saying, to stay at home moms: HATS OFF. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW YOU DO IT. A 3 day weekend and I'm doing a victory dance as I drop my kid off at day care. I love her, but I am WIPED OUT.
After meeting Mulan last week, D was on a serious Mulan kick at home. Every time she got home from day care, she'd go straight to the blu-ray shelf and grab Mulan (this may or may not be because we've hidden Frozen). After showing D her options with Disney costumes, Mulan is the only dress she requested to wear since Merida. She was SO excited about it, too.
D's been having major growth this past couple of months. Bye-bye 18 month size, hello 24 month and 2T. AND new shoes. This kid's feet are huge.
Saturday we drove to Tampa to have a visit with LOTS of family, Ian's and mine both. We grilled (D knocked out most of a bratwurst and a ton of baked beans, this kid LOVES beans), D got to meet a miniature horse named Bonnie, she played in a sand box, good times all around.
I mandated a Princess and the Frog viewing when we got home so we could all relax. I talked D into her Tiana dress in honor of the viewing, but she was way more interested in that tiny baby hat that doesn't fit her than the dress. Ah well.
Sunday was to potentially be Ian's last chance for a Disney trip before black out dates for summer, so we wanted to take a stab at doing some of the things at MGM (d'oh, Hollywood Studios, I will NEVER get used to saying that) that we hadn't gotten around to yet.
We are getting WAY better at getting out the door earlier. We'll make it to rope drop one of these days! We rode the movie ride (which seems to get less good every time we go on it, I remember it so fondly from my youth, too..), then headed over to the Disney Junior Live show for the first time. As we were waiting to get in, Jake (from the Neverland Pirates) went walking by and D started SQUEALING "JAKE PIRATE! JAKE PIRATE!" Wow. I had no idea she was THAT into the show. Same with Sophia the First when she went by. Alrighty then.
The Disney Junior show is REALLY cool. It's one live person then a bunch of nicely articulated puppets for the characters. The best part (for D) was that the anchor of the show was Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, with cameos from Jake & friends, Sophia, and Doc McStuffins. My one complaint is that you have to sit on the floor (I was griping with some parents around me that we were all too old for that, popping knee joints and all), but seeing how EXCITED all the kids are around you, watching them sing along with the songs, it's REALLY well done. D was so hypnotized we think she may have started joy crying at one point (that or she was just staring SO HARD her eyes were watering, that happens sometimes, too).
Finally we got to check out the Beauty and the Beast live show, which I'd heard so many good things about over the years. Maybe it's just because we have Nemo & Lion King shows to compare it to, but Ian and I were underwhelmed (more accurate, Ian HATED it, I believe I heard something along the lines of "Never Again"). I thought Gaston was, at least, pretty awesome (that dude could SING), but I will definitely acknowledge that the whole show could do with some updating. Regardless, D loved it. Totally entranced from start to finish.
Did I mention it was Star Wars Weekends? WHAT WERE WE THINKING?! Good lord, the place was a ZOO. When we got out of the show we just wanted something to eat but the place was swarming so we threw in the towel. Yeesh.
When we got home I let D pick the movie. She picked... GULP Little Mermaid. Oy. I sat her down and said, "Ok, D, we can watch this as long as you sit on Mommy's lap and let her discuss with you all the ways in which Ariel's behavior is completely unacceptable." The movie started, and D INSTANTLY started pointing at Ariel and shouting "Ayell! Ayell!" WHAT THE... How??? How does she already know Ariel? WE HAVE NOT WATCHED THIS MOVIE! Did she see it at day care? Or does Ariel appear in an episode of Sophia they maybe watched at Day Care? Oy. No no no.
Ian treated D to her first guitar lesson on her new present from Grandma Kadi. Ages 5 and up, my tush.
I was feeling pretty confident after D's and my last solo flight to MK, so I took the opportunity to repeat that on Memorial Day (Ian had to work! Yuck!). Plus... I might have been able to book another Anna & Elsa FastPass. WHAT?! We're out of town this coming weekend, so this is our last shot!
It wasn't my initial goal to have an all-character-meeting-no-rides extravaganza, but it sort of just worked out that way. D has been very into the Tinker Bell movies these past couple of weeks, and wouldn't you know TB just finished her move to FastPass ready Main Street! We got to the park right after open and we went straight into Pixie Hollow. I'll say this: the meet and greet area is WONDERFUL. All the hallways are darkened like a forest floor with little twinkling lights. The cast members help you undergo a magical transformation to pixie size before you can meet Tink. Adorable and D loved it. I was only a little disappointed that Tink was the only Fairy in the meeting (I thought some of the other girls might make an appearance? No? Jackie, oh Disney sage, when do the other girls turn up?). D knew what was up as soon as we got into the room, pointing earnestly "TINK BEWH! TINK BEWH!" Tink took her by the hand and asked if she'd like to sit down cross-legged with her on the floor, D just dove straight into her lap, "Oh, or that, you could do that." Yes, Tink, my kid has no fear of Disney strangers. Speaking of fearless, D was very keen on engaging everybody in conversation this time. [On seeing D's Tinker shirt] "Are you a Tinker fairy, too?" D: Yeah "Oh, yay! We're rare, you know!" D then started a routine that she would repeat with almost every character that day. 1) Show off her magic band 2) Show off her light-up shoes and 3) Show off her Disney related shirt.
As we exited the Main Street building, I was absolutely bowled over with excitement to see MARY FRICKIN POPPINS! We'd wanted to try and see her last week at Epcot but she had a huge line, now here she is with just a few people around her! OMG YESSSSS!!! Surprise character meetings FTW!
Mary was wonderful. She was no-nonsense adorable (is that an oxymoron? I hope not). She totally indulged D in the "point out every rock and plant and water" routine, then she introduced D to the parrot on her umbrella (I can't remember the name, and google has FAILED me! Help, readers!) and let D pet him. D gave hugs and posed like an old pro, because she is.
Our next FastPass was to go see Rapunzel and Cinderella again, but D got a look at the carousel so we had to make a quick detour.
The change in D was fascinating. Rapunzel was up first, and D did her magic band/ outfit/ shoe presentation again.
What bowled me over was that before she'd taken a single picture with Rapunzel she was already looking over and pointing at Cinderella, or "LELLA! LELLA!" What a turn around from our last time! D was REALLY excited to go see Cindy this time. Rapunzel was VERY sweet and adorable, though. She also started what would become a trend. I got some MagicBandits for my MagicBand consisting of the villains. They come in three packs, this one had Maleficent, Ursula, and the Evil Queen. I can only fit two on mine, so I gave the Evil Queen to D. Rapunzel saw it right away, "Oh goodness, the queen! I hope you're not going to show that to my friend, Snow, later! That would be awkward!" Oy, Princess guilt about being a villain fan!
D was TICKLED by Cinderella. She started hugging her right away. "Oh, you like hugs! My friend GusGus loves hugs, too!" D broke away from the hug long enough to show off her MagicBand (and get called out on the Evil Queen again), then went right back to the hugging! Cinderella asked what we'd been up to and I mentioned the carousel is D's favorite ride. "OH! That's mine, too! Keep an eye out for my favorite horse, he has a big gold ribbon!" D's eyes were HUGE when she nodded. Hope we remember to look for him when we go back to MK in the fall.
My DisneyExperience App informed me that the Ugly Stepsisters and Lady Tremaine would be doing meetings shortly. I told D, "Look, kid, all day has been about you, it will continue to be about you, can we do ONE thing for Mommy?" She wasn't pleased...
...but she got over it. I had high expectations of those ladies, Jackie has talked them up on her blog. They didn't disappoint. Not one bit.
Favorite tidbits- Drizella [to an 8 year old boy]: Are you rich? I'm looking to marry. Little boy: No? Lady Tremaine: Let me handle this, How many castles do you plan to own? / Drizella [to the line of people]: Could we move this along? I didn't know we were doing meetings in the KINGDOM OF THE SUUUNNNNNN! / Me: It must be rather toasty in those big dresses. Drizella: Well, we get to wear theeeese! [She bounces her panniers] VERY high fashion, you know. / Anastasia [to Daphne]: Awww, it's cute! Lady Tremaine: We're not keeping it. / [The fireworks from Mickey's celebration go off] Lady Tremaine [very droll]: Oh, look, the castle's on fire again... Yes. I love these ladies. I kind of want to just follow them around all day.
Enchanted Tales with Belle FastPass? Yes, please. Enjoyed the experience a lot more this time since D didn't have a chance to get cranky waiting.
We had some time until Anna & Elsa, so I took the opportunity to stuff D full of food. Got our macaroni and a veggie & hummus plate. D surprised me by grabbing at the veggies between mouthfuls of macaroni. She kept grabbing the cherry tomatoes. She'd gum them, then they'd explode, she'd promptly spit them out. This went on for a while, until finally I guess the cherry tomato was too big and it hit her gag reflex and she erped up mostly some water with a touch of cheesy macaroni. Not a full on puke, just a... hiccup. "OY, SERIOUSLY, KID?!" And with that reaction from me, the little old man at the table behind us started ROARING with laughter at my predicament. Good thing we were planning an outfit change anyway.
Once I defunked (read, reapplied sunscreen) and redressed her, it was time for our Frozen ladies. D, again, surprised me by recognizing "Roruh" right away in addition to Anna & Elsa. I'll also note that D appears to be swinging more toward Anna recently. D seemed eager to make up for her meek first time meeting this time, chatting the ladies up from the very beginning.
This is the kind of stuff I love about princess meetings-
[I'm squatting in front of them taking a million pictures]
Elsa: Oh you must be a very good portraitist! We've been looking for a new portrait for Arendelle castle, could you make one for us?
Anna: OH YES! An enchanted portrait! Can you make magic portraits?
Me: Well, I don't have magic, but maybe I could make the portrait then take it over to Belle's castle for enchanting.
Anna: BELLE HAS AN ENCHANTED CASTLE?! SHE NEVER TOLD ME!!
Me: Oh yes, enchanted mirrors, too.
Anna: Well... She married a Deer, you know.
Me: Pretty close... he has horns, though, not antlers.
Elsa: She's right, there.
Anna: Yes, I suppose he smells better than Reindeer.
Me: Indeed, Anna, you can't really cast stones on that one from your glass house, eh?
Elsa cackled and Anna looked sheepish. Bless them.
D was doing her show-off-my-gear schtick, and when she got to the shirt and Elsa was fawning over it, I told Anna, "You know, D was pretty hardcore Team Elsa for a while there but she's really been moving toward Team Anna this past week..." those girls didn't miss a beat. "Oh, well, you know, we don't really believe in Team Anna or Team Elsa," Elsa nodded, Anna continued, "We're all just Team Arendelle!" Nice. Girlfriend should go into politics.
D wasn't that hard to separate from Anna & Elsa, particularly because Aurora was waiting in the wings to escort her to her corner of the carpet. D started into her show off routine right away, but when she went to point out her shoes she was NOT balanced and she went toppling over backwards into the window and curtains. Aurora panicked (maybe she thought I'd blame her. Poor Aurora, like a battered spouse after all that neglect in that room with the Frozen girls), but D was back on her feet and grinning right away like it never happened. Aurora was VERY special, the first princess to get a kiss!!
Speaking of D being Team Anna, something interesting happened when we got dumped out into the Frozen gift shop. Disney had seriously restocked their stores with a lot of new merch, including more DOLLS! D was swept away (honestly, you'd think I'd learn to just pick her up and charge through the store before she gets a chance to look around). Finally I told D I'd let her get ONE thing as an early birthday present (I know, I'm ridiculous, don't worry Ian's given me plenty of grief over it already). I held up Anna & Elsa dolls, and asked D which she wanted. Knock me over with a feather, she emphatically grabbed at the Anna Animator's Collection doll. "Really, D? You sure? Not Elsa?" Anna! Annaaaa! Oh... ok then.
I was pretty ready to be done at that point, but I figured I'd walk back by way of Storybook Circus, see if D was interested in cooling off in the splash pad or anything. We stopped for a potty break by Gaston's tavern, and Gaston was doing meetings when we came out! He had a huge line, and D wasn't interested, so I just got to hear a drive-by sample...
Gaston [leaning against the wall, addressing two 8 year olds holding autograph books]: So, you guys waited a long time to see me, right? Hours, I hope?
Oh man, I've GOT to get back to meet him.
At the circus, I noticed there were only 10 minute waits for Minnie, Daisy, Goofy and Donald. I threw it out there, not sure if D would be up to it since she was pretty tired. "D, want to go meet Minnie and Daisy?" YESS!!! Ok, but you need to be on your best behavior, ok?
She started out a little cranky in line, then she discovered my shoelaces. Oh, wow, wish we'd figured that out sooner. She spent the entire time in line playing with my shoelaces. Awesome.
Daisy gave us MagicBand villain guilt, too. COME ON, Daisy doesn't even talk! *Sigh* We villain lovers are a minority, I tell ya.
I had to hold on to D to keep her from immediately charging Minnie. She was soooo ready for her. Minnie also got to upgrade to a kiss. Actually, after Aurora, D was doling out the kisses pretty generously.
We exited the silly sideshow, and D pointed up at the picture of Pete on the entrance. "PETE!" Yes, D, that's Pete, "PETE! NO NICE! PETE NO NICE!" Yup, Pete's the villain. My kid is remarkably astute. Again, I was ready to go, and had D half into the stroller, then I asked her if she wanted to meet Goofy and Donald. YES! YES YES! Ok... but BEST BEHAVIOR, D, or we're turning right back around and going home. She got the message.
Goofy was REALLY great. He was waltzing with some of the women in front of us. When D came up and gave him a smooch, he promptly turned back around and smooched her hand (complete with smooching sounds). Donald was also super fun, and still one of D's favorites. I'm not sure what her deal is, but any time she sees him (even the opening credits for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) she has to yell DONALD DONALD DONAAAAAAALD!!
I was done. The three day weekend wore me out. We said our good-byes to Magic Kingdom and headed to the car. It wasn't that late (only around 2) so I figured I'd give her the Kindle to watch on the way home so she wouldn't fall asleep, then let her take a better longer nap in the crib. About 5 minutes into the car ride I checked the mirror and she's out cold with the Kindle flopped over in her lap. Well... that's new. She was wiped. She slept so hard in the car she didn't wake up in the start and stop I-4 rain traffic, drive through, or when we pulled into our driveway (all things that normally rouse her). Poor thing, I had newborn flashbacks as I considered just driving around the block in circles for a while.
I had every intention of hiding D's Anna doll in the closet until her birthday, but she had NOT forgotten about it! She dove into the bag, "OPEN! OPEN OPEN!" Open, please? "PEEEEZ, MOMMY! OPEN PEEEEEEEEZ" Duh, I caved.
I've never seen D so taken with a toy before. She made a bed for her, she gave her rides in the shopping cart, she carried her around very gently and wouldn't put her down for ANY reason. At bedtime Tuesday night, D held Anna in her lap while she sat in my lap for bedtime stories. While I read the book, D repeatedly pointing things out to Anna, then looked at Anna very seriously like, "I HOPE YOU'RE PAYING ATTENTION THERE WILL BE A QUIZ LATER!"
I am UTTERLY EXHAUSTED. But it's ok, I can just lay low and recuperate for a while... oh wait... no we're planning a big TRIP THIS COMING WEEKEND! *teaser for next week's peanut*