Raising a kid and going to WDW. A lot.

The Weekly Peanut, Issue 146

The Weekly Peanut, Issue 146

We finally found Florida winter, y'all!

For like, two days. It's back up in the 80's again. C'est la Florida vie. D has been slipping back into turd-mode, although it's less turd and more just crazy/ not being a good listener/ super sassy. Either way, knock on wood, it's been more manageable than past downward swings. So far. Last Wednesday was Grandpa Marc's birthday, so we skyped. They're coming to visit this weekend and D is very excited to introduce them to Animal Kingdom.

Thanksgiving I was up extra early to start the Turkey; we were hosting Ian's family for the first time ever! D helped us clean (I handed her a Lysol wipe and turned her loose).

D really wants to be helpful all the time, even when it's not appropriate (like when I'm trying to remove a 20 lb bird from the oven).  She did, however, help me to clean and prep the brussels sprouts.

The family arrived and we all chowed down. Daphne only wanted the Turkey, biscuits and (surprise surprise) the green beans. I told her the sweet potato casserole was pudding and she came around on that, but she wanted nothing to do with the mashed potatoes or anything else on the menu.  Her loss.

Friday morning D crept into my room. "Mommy! Psssst! Mommy! It time to decorate da Christmas tree!!" Yes, ma'am.

After much protestation, kiddo took a whopper of a nap. We took that as a sign that it was finally time to head back to Sea World with our barely-used Annual Passes and check out their Christmas Lights. D is obsessed with Christmas decor, and will scream at every light or wreath we pass in the car. D was a little confused by Sea World at first. "Mommy. Dis not Disney." No, kid. But there are lots of animals here. "Dis Animal Kingdom?" No... water animals... we used to come here when you were younger. I promise you're going to like it. We managed to park all of 20 feet from the entrance (ahhh such a novelty when you get used to Disney). Our first stop was the Dolphin nursery and she would have stayed their all night, but Ian and I needed food.

Despite the almost 3 hour nap she took, D was a little cuckoo. So we turned her loose in the Christmas Village. During our casual stroll, Ian and I shared a dessert and a cocktail, both with a passholder discount. Less than $12 was spent. What is this sorcery??

We wanted to check out the special Christmas Orca show, but with some time to kill we let D go on a couple of rides in the kids' area.  She even rode the shamu coaster. "I SO BRAVE!" Then she proceeded to wipe out hard running out of the exit. Oy.

We managed to grab seats that were in the last row of the "soak" zone for the Orca show and hoped for the best. We'd never taken D to the Orca show, and I couldn't remember the last time I'd been to see it (we usually just do the Sea Lion show if we're going to do any of the shows at Sea World). The music may have been a bit cheesy, Orcas certainly aren't as flashy with tricks and such as Dolphins, the trainers don't get in the water with the animals any more, and none of the orcas were nearly as large as the "shamu" that I remember from my youth. With all that said, the Orcas were incredible; I gasped every time one of them broke the surface.

It was starting to get late, and we planned to leave, but D was begging to stay. We took the "long way" to the exit. Via Antarctica. I'm really glad we did, because D LOVED the penguins.

The penguin exhibit after the ride may be FREEZING, but it's absolutely one of the best animal exhibits ever. You get so close to the animals, and they are so social, will swim right up to the glass and have a chat. Love. Finally took kiddo home after that, with promises to return and see more animals next time.

Saturday was a relatively leisurely morning. Took D back to Cask & Larder for the first time in ages. D has this new thing, she'd started it the night before at Sea World, where she'll grab Ian's hand and declare "YOU DA PRINCE AND I DA PRINCESS!" then she'll demand that he "dance" with her, but dancing just involves her holding his arms and going limp. Took us a while before we figured out she was trying to do a "princess dip."

We met up with Maddie & Amanda to go see the new Pixar movie, The Good Dinosaur. D was a little squirmy compared to other recent movie adventures, and Maddie was just hilarious (IS DAT DA END? DIS MOVIE LOOOOONG!!). We let the girls run around outside for a little bit, playing "freeze" (it has something to do with Elsa, I think. Mostly someone waves their arms around going SHHHHHHH while the other can't move for a while).

D kept protesting every time we had to go.

When we insisted it was time, D started screaming. I picked her up and carried her off. OUCHIEEEE OUCHIEEEE MY ARM! She'd fallen down, like, 4 times, so typical of her to play up the drama now that we're making her go home. She wailed and screamed. I tucked her into her car seat. She kept wailing. We drove away. Still wailing. Hmm... this isn't typical. D is shaking and screaming and holding her left hand away from her body and saying she can't move her arm, etc etc. I take a closer look. There's a big welt on her left hand. Uh oh. We did see some yellow jackets flying around outside the theater. Aww kiddo, I think you got stung. She's holding her whole arm rigid, and when I look at the rest of her arm a rash is spreading all the way up to her shoulder. Ugh. Crap. And she was NOT calming down. We made the call to head to Urgent Care. She didn't appear to be having trouble breathing, but the rash was worrying. Better safe than sorry.

The rash kept looking worse as we waited, but D managed to stop screaming and look at some books (even if she kept holding her arm like it was broken). The triage nurse took us back and D was a total champ for all of the tests they ran. She was so calm and patient, the nurse seemed amazed.

The Doctor took a look. No stinger embedded, and not an allergic reaction. What about the rash? Just a symptom of her very active immune system reacting to the sting (who knew??). So we took D to dinner, since she was acting as if nothing had happened other than some tenderness on her hand. D got her prescribed warm scrubbed clean shower, and we kept an eye out for signs of infection. Never a dull moment.

You knew we couldn't go a four day weekend without a disney trip, didn't you? We'd avoided the rest of the time, because holiday crowds (did those last year, just as soon not do it again), but Sunday after TDay is usually reasonable. We were, therefore, pretty surprised when we arrived at Epcot around 9:30 am and they were parking us on the lawn. Lawn parking is awesome, since it's literally the closest you can get to the entrance, but they usually only do this when there are staggering (IE holiday or Food & Wine) crowds.

Woohoo! Epcot Lawn Parking!

Woohoo! Epcot Lawn Parking!

Maddie & Amanda planned to join us a little later, so we did the Nemo ride.

And took one last adventure with Captain Eo (it's getting shut down in the next couple weeks, allegedly for good).

Amanda & Maddie were parking. We left the theater. It's starting to rain. SERIOUSLY?! Not. Cool. We headed back up toward the entrance so the girls could visit their favorite puppy.

Presents for Pluto! Yes, they giggled incessantly when they balanced his presents on his nose.

Time to try a park-hop. We had a friend that would be hanging out in the grotto. Despite Ian's MK burnout, we hopped onto the monorail and made our way to the kingdom.

We ran into Meg by Crystal Palace. The girls wanted to stop in the hub and watch Dream Along. Unfortunately it started raining. Again. We had a few minutes until we needed to be at the grotto, so we took a trip Under the Sea.

D got to meet one of Maddie's blueberry friends, Magic Mike, at the grotto. He gave D a special Wishing Star.

Many pictures were taken with Ariel in the grotto, but none quite so well sum up a character interaction with D and Maddie as this one.

Or in the case of Ariel, maybe this one...

But between the laughs and chaos, I also get to witness moments like this. Little Peanut, not so little any more.

Of course, we had to stop in to see D's big sister. "Teeyahnahh, I'm her shugahh!" But the line! Yeesh! Fortunately we managed to snag a quick hug as she was walking up, even if the girls almost got run over by an out of control scooter.

We split up to grab some lunch. It rained. Again. Over this, Florida. The girls demanded a trip to the Tiki Room. After that it was pretty much time for Festival of Fantasy. So much for not spending the day at MK. Sorry, Ian.

That plush is Arlo in his egg from the Good Dinosaur. It may not be Pixar's best, but Arlo's still pretty cute. It started raining right when the parade was reached Town Square. Fortunately, our spot is covered. When it rains, the performers stop doing choreography for their safety. So the girls got to interact more. The Floral Maidens were really taken with Arlo.

"OOOO A DINOSAUR! He looks tough! Do you think he could defeat that dragon that follows us around?"

Bashful came over.

White Rabbit saw D and Maddie and immediately charged over. The girls got so much hugs from White Rabbit that Alice had to come over and pull him away before the parade left him behind.

We said goodbye to Amanda and Maddie and headed back to Epcot and the car. I got a message from our friend, Melanie (who we missed out seeing last week at Hollywood Studios because of rain), that she would be at Epcot as a blueberry. It was worth spending a little more time in the parks to get a chance to see our friend. I explained to D that Melanie was a special friend of Mulan's, and that Mulan was very sorry that she couldn't see D last week and would we mind giving Mulan's Christmas present to Melanie on her behalf. D nodded sagely. We headed back to France and waited for our girl in blue.

No fear. No shyness. Part of me wonders if D knows. Just like in the past when we've hung out with Denise, Junie, Lea, or Brook, D seems to almost prefer it to hanging out with princesses (since there's no time limit and she can just play). Eventually we had to let Melanie go work with Belle, so we said our goodbyes and made our way back to the car. Yet another day that didn't exactly go to plan, but was still filled with magical moments. Thanks, Disney.

The Weekly Peanut, Issue 147

The Weekly Peanut, Issue 147

The Weekly Peanut, Issue 145

The Weekly Peanut, Issue 145