The Weekly Peanut, Issue 150 [Christmas 2015]
Four day weekends with a toddler. Always an endurance exercise. And we get to have two in a row. Haaaalfway there! I'm haaaaalfway there...
Christmas Eve did not start on a high note. Daphne's schtick right now is to disagree with you about everything. Even if it's just repeating something back to her that she literally just said. For example: Daphne: Mama I real hungry! Me: You're hungry? Daphne: NO! NO I NOT HUNGRY! (Angry cry). We dragged our argumentative little threenager to brunch at Swine & Sons (Mommy necessito dat Nitro Cold Brew Coffee). She was really mad that I got her a chocolate croissant. She still ate it all (or at least, all the chocolate).
Our plan was to, like last year, go to Epcot. This year we had a special treat, though: Disney's Marketing division had reached out to me by email to offer us Gold Badge reserved seating for the Candlelight Processional of our choice! I can only assume it was via this blog, so THANKS Disney, because I'm now totally spoiled! When it came time to picking which processional to check, we could have picked a less busy night, sure. But then ADMIRAL ADAMA (aka Edward James Olmos) wouldn't have been the narrator. It would also be the one starting at 8:15 (after D's bedtime!) so we KNEW a nap was in order. General plan? Nap noon-two. Head down to Epcot in the afternoon. Enjoy a few rides. Grab some food. Go see processional. Of course when the kid doesn't bother to fall asleep until after 2, that puts a wrench in things. Eventually we made it to Epcot around 5 p.m. The parking lot was NOT full at all (we actually got a very decent spot). In fact Future World was not particularly busy at all. Wait times for Spaceship Earth, The Land, & The Seas were all 20 minutes or less. So last year was not a fluke; Epcot is not an unpleasant place to be on Christmas Eve. We decided to continue last year's tradition of going to the Disney Visa Character Spot for a family picture and to give presents.
Again, there was NO wait to do this.
We did a drive by of Baymax's meet (which probably had a 30-40 minute wait), and D said she was very excited to come back and meet him soon. I'm all for a do-over on our last Baymax attempt. We ventured out into the World Showcase after that to look for food. Admittedly, World Showcase was more crowded but still NOTHING compared to a busy Food & Wine weekend. We decided to wander over to the Boardwalk resort area to look at decorations and grab food instead.
Beach Club. Headed back to World Showcase to meet up with Brooke and grab our Gold Badges. Grabbed a quick family selfie in front of a Christmas tree in Germany.
Y'all, those Gold Badges have totally spoiled us for Candlelight Processional. No lines. No waiting. Just walked up to the attendant, showed them the sticker, and we were ushered right down to the second row a mere 10 minutes before the show was scheduled to start. Hot. Dog.
I received many warnings from fellow parents about the Processional: it's long, it's not super engaging for small kids, etc etc etc. So I'd brought D's IPad fully charged and settled in for the show. It is now, as I'm sitting here writing this, that I realize I have forgotten to edit and offload my photos from the processional that are on my camera. Oops. So here's the breakdown:
The Candlelight Processional is a full choir positioned behind an orchestra with conductor and celebrity narrator. Through music and narration, they tell the story of Christmas and the nativity. It's pretty neat, since the classic Christmas songs become part of the story. Edward James Olmos said it was his 17th year doing this, that it's one of his family traditions, that his whole family was there with him that night (it took a tremendous amount of personal restraint to not start yelling HOT DOG!!! HOT DOG!!! when he said Bodie was there). I can definitely see how it would be. Certainly Ian and I are not the world's most religious people, but the music, the performances, and the story were beautiful and we absolutely loved the whole experience. How did D take it?
She was pretty into it for the first few songs (particularly the songs she recognized), but after about 3 or 4 she started getting a bit squirmy so I gave her the IPad. If we get a chance to do this again next year, I think she might engage further. She still liked it more than I'd predicted. We said goodbye to Brooke and headed home.
Christmas morning dawned HOT and quiet. Until the sandhill cranes in our neighborhood engaged in a turf war, then it was LOUD. SO VERY VERY LOUD. In case you're wondering...
We opened gifts. There were TsumTsums, Fisher Price Little People, some dolls and toys, and D's favorite: a new play tent to replace the one she demolished at the old house. We watched the Disney Parade on TV and then we did what Floridians do when it's Christmas Day and it's in the high 80's.
While they swam, I let my OCD freak flag fly and attacked the mountain of disorganized Tsums and placed them into order. My god, it was glorious.
Sometime later, after dinner but before bedtime, Daphne was playing quietly in her tent. We should know better. No quiet toddler is ever up to anything good.
<Insert me sobbing dramatically here>
Daphne's been getting more interested in live action movies lately. She loves Guardians of the Galaxy (especially Groot and Rocket) and Labyrinth. I also showed her Singin' in the Rain and Neverending Story this weekend. Also INVADER ZIM!!
The day after Christmas was our planned day to celebrate with Ian's family over in Brooksville. Daphne wanted braids and to pose dramatically in her new dress on the front lawn.
Daphne LOVES playing with her cousin Aria. And Doing this carpet square jumping game that Grandpa Bobo invented.
We sat down to open presents. Aunt Vietta was handing out cards to everybody. She hands Daphne a card. "OOOOOOH A GIFT CARD!!! THANK YOU!" without even opening it. Where does she even get this stuff? Although Daphne's favorite gift may have been her new TsumTsum blanket from Grandma Ann.
Or maybe, after shopping with that gift card from Aunt Vietta at Toys R Us, her very own BROOM and tiny kitchen set.
MOMMY I MAKE TURKEY! Great, kid. *several moments of quiet* Uh oh. Yup. She's found purple lip gloss and squirted it all over the plastic turkey.
Sunday found me making the trek solo back to the Tampa area for a baby shower. Daphne got to spend the day with daddy, who let her tromp around in the mud in her fancy Isaac Mizrahi dress.
It should be noted, however, (jinx jinx jinx) that the last couple of days have been a big turnaround in the recent poopy behavior department. D has been (for her) attentive, thoughtful, affectionate, and sweet. Then, knock me over with a feather, last night I made some dijon lime chicken legs for dinner. Daphne marched right up to me. "Can I have some of dat?" O_O Wut? You? Willingly eating something I cooked that isn't pizza, spaghetti, pancakes, or chicken nuggets? And it's covered in grainy mustard seeds? Sure enough, she kept eating the pieces of chicken meat I tore off for her, eventually stealing one of daddy's drumsticks all for herself.
Without this photo I don't think I would have believed that even happened.