Wednesday, January 26, 2011

'Say What' Wednesday

The part where Lex exerts his independence and expands his tyrannical reign over his parents.

Lex (sitting on toilet): Daddy, you need to leave my bathroom. You're bothering me.

Lex (to me last night at dinner): I'm in charge, not you.

This week's edition is a little light in content. Most of my comments from Lex are taken over the weekend or when he says something particularly amusing. However, Lex came down with strep throat Saturday night, and he didn't really do a lot this weekend outside of whining, sleeping, and then sleeping some more. It felt like I had three dogs instead of two with all the lazing around.

On another note of interest to me, mostly, is we moved from Lex's convertible daybed to his full size bed. He is now completely dwarfed and about 4 feet in the air. His bed actually sits, easily, 6-8in higher than our bed. He loves it. All he wanted to do was lay around on it last night. And for the first time since Friday night, slept soundly and through the night. It was all kinds of awesome.

And on the potty training front, Lex now only wears his pull-ups for naps and bedtime. On the binky front? Those little things have officially been kicked to the curb.

Monday, January 24, 2011

WDW Day 3 (Magic Kingdom) Part 1

Magic Kingdom...the one thing that I've been wishing for since I was about 10. It's shameful that most of the day was Lex in meltdown mode, but when you're 2 11/12 and your nap schedule is screwed up and you're going to bed about 3 hours later than you normally do, meltdowns are going to happen. It's inevitable. Needless to say, my camera was in my backpack for the majority of the day, and the only photos I think we took during the day were at the Polynesian with the character breakfast, and pictures of our character dinner at the Crystal Palace later that afternoon.

Initially, we weren't going to go to the Polynesian for breakfast, but I think we decided we should go because we'd spent all this money on the deluxe dining plan, and we were seldom making it to our reservations...little did I know at the time that Dennis was actually having a gall bladder attack and that's why HE wasn't eating, but that's neither here nor there. So, anyway, we go over to the Polynesian for breakfast at 11a at 'Ohana. Turns out it was a character breakfast, so we're VERY glad that we did go. The only times on MK day that we were able to get Lex to comply with ANYTHING was when we were hanging out with the characters. And truthfully, before we left I thought I would be really freaked out by the characters in all their ginormous headed glory, but watching Lex engaging with them took away some of my anxiety. Lex loved meeting all of the characters, and he was definitely very happy when Mickey came over to sign his autograph book and take pictures with him. My favorite part was watching Pluto try to sign the autograph books. As you can see Pluto had to put the autograph book up on his nose to actually see the autograph book to sign it! Hilarious! Lex didn't know who Lilo and Stitch were, but it didn't prevent him from being super excited to get hugs and autographs from them.

After we had our fill of Mickey waffles, we hopped the monorail to Magic Kingdom. I've never been more excited to see something in all of my life. I guess I never told Dennis how much I wanted to go, but man, I was so overwhelmed at all of the 'stuff'! The first thing we did was hopped the Walt Disney World Express train around the park. Lex was already starting to get into his, "I don't want to!" phase, and we figured the train would be the best thing...kind of get his mind on things he DOES like. So, we rode the train around the park once, and then stayed on to get off in Mickey's Toon Town Fair. Holy lord. I can honestly say that I've never seen this many people in one place at one time. It was frightening how overwhelming all of the people are. And since we were having trouble getting Lex to really want to do anything, we spent a good portion of time just trying to get him to take it all in and enjoy it. You could get your picture taken with Minnie in her house, I think, but the line was CRAZY long (you'll start to notice a trend here) so I let the boys wander around in her house while I went to find a bathroom (line!!).

At some point, I decided that regardless of whether Lex wanted to be there or not, damn it, I was going to ride some of the rides that I'd read about as a kid. So, off to Dumbo we went. When we walked up, guess what? LINE! a 45 minute line...but I was dissuaded? Hellz no. So, I made my family stand in line for 3/4 of an hour for 2 minutes of pure bliss. And not just my own. Surprisingly, waiting in line was something that Lex seemed to tolerate (no idea why). And once we got him on the Dumbo, he was stoked. So much so, that I basically had to drag his tiny ass off of the elephant so another family could ride it. We promised we'd come back later.

Dennis downloaded some crazy app that lets you know the waiting time (both fast pass and stand by)for the rides. All of the rides we were interested in all had wait times of 60 minutes or more. So, in frustration, we got on the Liberty Square Riverboat. At this point, Lex lost his shit. He screamed the ENTIRE time we were on the boat. The whole 20-30 minutes. Mostly because we wouldn't let him run up and down the stairs willy-nilly.

After the disastrous boat ride, it was getting close to parade time. Now, parade time is cool, but it is also very well organized and very crazy. My friend, Melissa (here's where she makes her appearance and will have a MUCH bigger role in the next edition ), is a big shot! She works for Disney and on this particular day she was manning the Main Street parade. She'd told me the night before that she would be doing this, and due to our late start we got in touch with her kind of late. We weren't going to be able to see the Main Street's afternoon parade (which I'm sure has a name, but I just don't know it!), but she would hook us up for the Main Street Electrical Parade. While we tried to find a place to view the parade, which never happened, Lex proceeded to throw the tantrum to end all tantrums. So, what did we do? Oh, we headed for 'dinner'.

'Dinner' (which is in quotes because it was at 3:40p) was at the Crystal Palace. Now, when I told everyone we were eating here, everyone said, "Oh, it's so awesome! It's my favorite". Well, it easily became MY favorite too. Another character meal? Yes, please. Because as I've stated on NUMEROUS occasions: You want my kid to behave? Put a character in his face! So, that's what we did. And I'm so glad we did. Because this tiny little face lit up every single time a character came near him. He ate most of his food with out us having to coerce him, he interacted pleasantly with us, he squealed when characters would get near us, and most of all he got over his terrible temper tantrum.

After lunch, we hopped on the bus to head back to the 'Star House' so that Mommy and Daddy could relax after the insane Lex day, and so that Lex could try to wind down a bit and take a nap. At this point, getting Lex past the arcade is proving to be nothing short of a challenge. On the first day we were there, I took him in there to keep him busy while Dennis stood in line for 90 minutes or whatever to check us in. From that point on, every single time we needed to go into the main part of the building, Lex had a cow if we would try to go past the arcade without going in. No amount of pulling, pushing, whatever, kept him from freaking the hell out if we didn't let him go inside. This day was no exception. So, we dragged a screaming toddler (oh, the best part of WDW? We were NEVER the only parents with the screaming toddler)past the arcade...again.

I would have to say that my biggest regret was not taking nearly enough pictures during the day at MK. Oh, we MORE than made up for it at night, that's for sure, but I mean, really? Who wants a bunch of pictures of a red-faced screaming kid on a 2k vacation? Not me. That's for sure.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

'Say What' Wednesday

Well, Lex is definitely learning some of our colorful vernacular.

Lex: Daddy, you are a wiener.

Lex: Daddy, do NOT talk with your mouth full!

Lex: I'm gonna kick you in the NUTS! (yeah, he got that one from me. My bad.)

Last week, it snowed terribly in Bloomington, so I left the 4x4 with the boys in case they wanted to get out. Apparently, this was what Lex said to Dennis

Lex: If we don't go pick up mommy at work, she'll have to work all night and she'll be mad. And then she won't come to my birthday party!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Next time on 'Intervention'

Well, now that we seem to have slight handle on the potty training thing, it's now time to move onto my son's crack habit aka 'the binky'. I remember *gazes wistfully out the window* when I was pregnant (read: stupid) and I thought, "My son will NEVER get a pacifier. Ick". Then, we brought him home. And he cried. A lot. And I needed my sanity. So, on our first night home, I took my hand inside of the dresser cabinet in his room and swept EVERYTHING on the floor. I dug through all of the baby stuff we had until I found a binky with a wee mouse on it (I still have it). He took the pacifier and was content. This means, if the pacifier is my son's drug of choice, I'm the drug dealer. And I'm still the drug dealer/enabler. Our daycare provider broke him of his addiction over a year ago, and I'm still dutifully, albeit unhappily, handing out 2 binkies a night when he asks for them. I've been wanting to break him of the habit for a long time, but I've always thought, "Well, let's wait until he gets to crawling phase..." and then crawling, led to walking, walking led to talking, and we're now at the point of no return. Now, he's working on his last two year molar, and I'm thinking when he finally cuts it all the way, I'm done.

I've heard many theories of how to handle this, and I'm thinking cutting the nub off is going to be the way to go. I've watched my son fall asleep and I know he puts the nub between his fingers of one binky to relax. I know when he's close to falling asleep because of this. And it sort of makes me sad because I feel like I'm forcing one thing after another and effectively MAKING him grow up. The only reason I'm making a big deal out of it is that we ran into a speech pathologist in WDW and she mentioned that she could tell my son still used a pacifier based on his L's and S's. She said that I needed to get him off of it ASAP. Initially, I was a little offended because it's none of her business, and part of me still feels that way. But she makes a valid point; I don't want to inhibit my son's speech by continuing to give him his drug of choice.

I wonder if A&E does a 'binky' intervention...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

WDW Day 2 (Hollywood Studios) Part 2

I think Lex woke up around 6ish or so, and we headed back out to Hollywood Studios. We were going to see the 9p showing of Fantasmic (which was something that I was kind of wishy-washy about seeing), and after that we were going to see the Osborne Family Christmas Lights (not to be confused with THOSE Osbornes!). When we showed up at Hollywood Studios, there was already a line to get to the Fantasmic auditorium. Now, remember, we have no idea what this is. But the travel agent said that it wasn't something to be missed, and Dennis clearly took that to heart!

So, we stood in line. For about 30 minutes. And eventually, we started to move. And for the second time I made a Nazi Death March joke. I mean, seriously, we're just walking through the park like cattle with no idea where we're going, but when we did get to the auditorium it was HUGE. I'd say it easily held 10,000 people. and so we waited some more. With LOTS of 'Wave' action. Now, for whatever reason, Dennis HATES the wave. HATES. IT. I do not, so whenever it came to our section, I taught Lex the joys of the wave.

Promptly, at 9p, the show started with Mickey describing his 'dreams'. And I'm just going to go all dork on you, but this was definitely one of the coolest things I've ever seen. And I, personally, was so enthralled that I don't think I took a single picture of the things that we saw. Water fanned up out of the lake, and movies were projected on the water. On. THE. WATER. I've never seen anything this cool before. It probably lasted about 20 minutes with fire on water (again, Lex loves that stuff!), and boats of characters~ When it was over, we filed out, and headed towards the Osborne lights. Now, again, we've (for whatever reason) decided not to bring the stroller. Dumb, dumb, dumb. It is around 10p, Lex isn't willing to walk, and Dennis and I are having to switch off and on from carrying him, and trying to coerce him into walking.

Once we finally made it to the light show, it was spectacular. I've never seen anything like it. This was about the only time that we were able to get Lex to walk because he was clearly exhausted/enamored like we were! We loved the 'appearance' of Dr. Doofenshchmirtz; it was definitely the highlight of our night! And it was COLD. It was like being in Indiana. They had fake snow flying, but I swear it was freaking cold enough to actually really snow down there. Once we were sufficiently frozen, we decided to head back to the 'Star House' for the night. Back on the bus, all snuggled up with the little man, and off to sleep.

Day 2 was at Magic Kingdom and we were PUMPED!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

'Say What' Wednesday

Oh, my 7 readers, I'm so sorry about slacking on the Disney thing. When I get home from work, I'm exhausted, and then I have 3 year old up in my face, and when he goes to bed I go work out...blogging is usually saved for lunches and in between work to refresh myself. I'll try to get back to it, but mostly for me. I'm going to forget all the terrible/wonderful things.

At any rate, I bring you, LEX!

Me: Lex, go pee pee.
Lex: No, mommy, I'm too lazy.

Lex (randomly to me): *pats my hand* You'll be fine, mommy. (for whatever reason, this shocked me)

Me: *hands Lex a cup full of water*
Lex: Ugh. Mommy, this water tastes TERRIBLE

Me to D: Turn this (2010 'Clash of the Titans') off.
Lex: Nooooooo! I'm watching this!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Say What Wednesday

Lex: Mommy, you only have four hands.
Me: Lex, I only have two hands.
Lex: Yeah, whatever.

Lex: I don't want to go pee pee in my underwear.
Me: That's good.
Lex: Yeah, I want to go pee pee on the floor.

Lex (seeing my bottle of wine): I want YOUR grape juice.
Me: You stay AWAY from my sangria, kid.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

WDW Day 2 (Hollywood Studios) Part 1

We had an 8:35a call time at the Hollywood and Vine character breakfast in Hollywood Studios on our first day. When we left the hotel, I feel like there might have been some discussion as to whether or not we should take the umbrella stroller as we left the room, but I think we decided to leave it because he can walk, he likes walking, and he's NOT fond of being stuck in a stroller. So, we loaded onto the bus, and headed out around 7:45a. Now, Hollywood Studios the park, does not open until 9a, but because we were eating breakfast we were allowed to enter the park. Now, remember, this is our FIRST time ever to anything Disney related. We have these cards that not only get you into your hotel room, but they serve as your park tickets too. I watch Dennis pass through the turnstyle by slipping his card into this reader and then sticking his thumb on a scanner (I swear it felt like Mission: Impossible), and going through. Now, honestly, in hindsight I understand how stupid I am, but at the time I was completely under the impression that my ticket as well as Lex's ticket were on Dennis' ticket. So, I try to walk through the turnstyle, and a lady gets HELLA shitty with me. "Ma'am, you MUST stick your card in!" So, par for me, I got hella shitty back with her, "I'm SORRY. You'll have to excuse me because this is my FIRST time here." Anyway, I'm Mission: Impossible'd in, and we're off to breakfast.

Now, let me tell you something. When you use a travel agent, they (you can do this too on your own) can get you reservations for meals. I would suggest this because not unlike 'stand-by' for rides, the lines for sit down meals are HOURS long. HOURS. This would be our first character breakfast. I had no idea what to expect and neither did Lex. Hollywood and Vine is a buffet, and the characters kind of, as it was described to me, ping-pong around the restaurant. About every 15 minutes or so, the characters take a break from interacting with the tables to dance and sing. A-fucking-dorable. I wish I would've thought to video this, but it never crossed my mind. So, while we conned Lex into eating (he was really weird on was like pulling teeth to get him to eat ANYTHING), the characters walked around, signed autographs, and generally interacted with everyone.

After breakfast, we decided to hit the park. Now, again, these places are HUGE...and we really had no idea where to start. The sole purpose of WDW, for us, was for Lex to see Mater and Lightning McQueen. We had NO CLUE where to find them, and the map isn't exactly helpful. So, we decided to walk through the Pixar studios portion. Unfortunately, the only really cool thing that Lex was into were the stairs. At this point, we're starting to realize that forgetting (or leaving) the stroller behind was a bad idea. Now, both Dennis and I realize that we expect entirely too much from our preschooler. While he wants to run up and down the stairs doing something that he can do at home, we want to look around. So, we start to lose our patience, but we've paid something like $240 for all of us to go in to this park, and god damn it, we want to see something other than the stairs inside the Pixar area. So, thus 'the dragging of the Lex' starts. Which, of course, turns into a fight. I'll leave out the gory details, but eventually we were able to con him out of the gift shop.

So, in order to appease both Lex and parents, we go to a backlot tour. Now, this was super cool. They just kind of give you a behind the scenes look at how special effects/stunts are done on a movie set. Lex's favorite part (and mine too!) was when they blew stuff up. And then there was FIRE. ON WATER. He LOVED it. Then we got to ride a little tram around the studio, saw the famous Mouse ear water tower, a bunch of Star Wars props , and a multitude of other wicked cool movie props. We watched an Indiana Jones stunt show, and after that we headed over to our main reason for Disney World: Lightning McQueen and Mater. We stood in line for about 15 minutes for about 4 minutes of what we wanted. Which is fine. That's kind of what it's like in WDW. A lot of standing around for just a few minutes of joy. Now what you don't get to see is the epic meltdown that we had to contend with AFTER the family photo was taken. In order to get Lex to relax, one of the theaters was showing Mickey's Christmas Carol, so we sat in a warm theater (again, FL? You're south, start acting like it!) and watched the movie. It was cool seeing on a huge screen.

After the movie, we had lunch at the 50s Prime Time Cafe. This was actually attached to the restaurant we went to in the morning. It was set up like a 50s style house. Think "Leave it to Beaver" and that's exactly what the waiting room was like. I couldn't take any pictures because like everything in WDW, it was packed wall to wall with people. When we were finally seated, our server was HILARIOUS! As one kid was being carried out screaming, she proceeds to yell after the family, "Hey!!! I have some Nyquil in my cabinet if you need it!" The idea of the restaurant was to have the 'servers' be moms. And if you didn't finish your plate you were teased. One little girl was made to get her own refills, we sang Happy Birthday (off key intentionally)to another little girl at a table near us, and our server threw straws at us when we asked for some. . We got a massive kick out this restaurant, and I would definitely go back again!

After lunch, it was time to take Lex back to the hotel for his nap, so back on the bus and back to the Star Hotel. The rest of the afternoon was spent by Lex napping, me sitting by the pool watching the dumbasses swimming (It was 63 degrees), and Dennis watching TV.

I'm going to finish up Day 2 tomorrow. I'm tired of typing...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Walt Disney World (The departure of Bloomington and the arrival in WDW)

I'm going to have to do this WDW blog in phases because it's going to take me forever to get it all out, and format the freaking pictures from our trip.

For Christmas break this year, on a $2000 whim, we decided to go to Disney World. From the first part of November until the day before we left, we talked Lex up on going to "Mickey Mouse's house". We ordered the DVD to watch so that he would have an idea what to expect, and I think he and I watched it about 10 times. I was more interested than he was, as he was too busy playing with trucks or whatever the hell it is that he does 90% of the time.

So, on December 18th we embarked on our 16 hour drive. Lex had a new DVD player in the back seat that I could control from the front seat (epic WIN!). Unlike last June when we drove to North Carolina, he was phenomenal in the car. Nary a complaint, nary a peep. Thank YOU, Mater Tall Tales and various other movies.

Around 6p we rolled into Perry, Georgia, our 'layover' for the night. I had specifically chosen this hotel on the exit for one reason alone. In.Door.Pool. It was the only one. When we pulled into the parking lot, I was a little concerned. The lights weren't on in the pool area., Dennis went inside to check in while Lex and I chilled in the car (literally. Hey, GA, last time I checked you were the south. WTF is up with 20 degrees? I could have had that crap in IN). When Dennis came out, he looked a little timid.

Me: What's up with the pool?
D:Umm...I don't think we'll be swimming.
Me: WTF? Why not?
D: Well, it's ummm *scratches head* not heated. And...Ummm...the windows are open.
Me: Are you fucking kidding me? They marketed the hotel as having an indoor pool. That's not an indoor pool. That's an outdoor pool with sides!
Lex: What's wrong, Mommy?
Me: Nothing, Lex. The hotel is a liar.
Lex: Oh.

So, no swimming. I guess while Dennis was inside, he asked about restaurants in the area. The receptionist suggested Applebee's. When Dennis asked for something with a little more local flavor, she suggested Longhorn. :-/ Um, lady, that's a chain too, but whatever. Anyway, she finally suggested a local Mexican (score!!) joint, and we went over there. After that, we hit Wal-mart to buy Lex another cheap pair of pants so that we had a back-up in case of accidents (we needed them later on).

After Wal-Mart we went back to the hotel to relax and sleep. The next morning, we packed up and headed to Orlando. We were only about 6 hours from our destination, and considering how wonderful he was in the car on the way down, we knew we were going to be fine.

Six hours later (approximately 12:30p) we rolled into the WDW resort area. Now, I will tell you one thing. The map they give you of the resort is VERY deceiving. This place is EXPANSIVE. Dennis and I had 'talked' about walking to places. Im-fucking-possible. I don't think I would've even dreamed of walking down to the next couple of hotels. It was HUGE. We pulled into the check in lot, and I asked Dennis if we should wait in the car. He said no, and I'm glad he did. The line to check in, I'm NOT shitting you, was easily an hour and a half long. I spent an hour and a half trying to entertain an almost 3 year old by letting him walk around the hotel's Disney Store. It had its OWN fucking Disney Store. You name it, they had it. And then some. They also had an arcade (which became a place I grew to HATE after 1 damn day). In the 'gift shop', they had a package of the three types of buses you could see there (the resort bus, the airport bus, and the cruise bus). I conned Lex into pooping in the toilet by telling him we would buy these $14 buses. Yes, three pack of buses for $14. Welcome to the most expensive place on earth!

After checking us in, we went back out to the car to move it to our wing of the hotel. We get in the room, and there is ONE king sized bed and a shower stall. Apparently, when Dennis told the woman at the desk that we had a 2 year old that equated to "You all only need one bed, and your kid can stink for a week". Now, some kids might enjoy showers, but mine loses his shit. He accidentally turned the shower on in HIS bath once. It took me almost 2 weeks to get him to NOT scream taking a bath. So, yeah, the shower wasn't going to work. So...back to the main building to the desk to move us. And move us they did. To a completely different building on site. So, we had to trek all of our stuff from Fantasia 2000 to 101 Dalmatians. Yay, a room with 2 double beds and a bath. Score!

At this point, the rest of the day is kind of a blur. Lex started melting down because he was so excited but couldn't calm down enough to take a nap. Needless to say, there was a lot of screaming and crying while Daddy spent time on the phone trying to sort everything out with the resort. He was displeased because he felt like we were too far from the main building where the food court is, etc. It resulted in some awesome Fast Passes.

When Lex finally woke up, it was time for our dinner reservations at Fort Wilderness. So, this would be his first of MANY bus rides. Now, if you know my son, you'll know he LIVES for buses. I wasn't sure how he'd take to riding an actual bus, and not just riding a bus, but at night. He took to it fine. In fact, he loved it. When we got to Magic Kingdom, we had to hop a boat to ride to the other resort. He LOVED this too! He wanted to look out the window and watch the water, he loved seeing the lights at the ends of the docks. When we got to Fort Wilderness, he was able to play on a playground for about 30 minutes while we waited on our reservations. Lots of fun.

When dinner was over, we were full, and had a light up Buzz Lightyear that came with Lex's drink ($5...again, the most expensive place on earth!)We hopped the ferry back to MK, and hopped a bus back to the 'Star Hotel'. We passed out on our respective beds to wake up for our 8:35a call time at Hollywood Studios. Breakfast with Handy Manny, June and Leo from Little Einsteins, and Agent Oso.