“‘Twas a long time ago – longer now than it seems,
In a place that, perhaps, you have seen in your dreams.
For the story that you are about to be told
Began in the holiday worlds of old.
I know you’re curious to see what’s inside.
It’s what happens when two holidays collide!
Welcome, my friends, to our Christmas delight!
Come witness a ghoulishly glorious sight.
It’s time for our holiday tale to begin.
There’s no turning back now—please, come all the way in.”
Halloween is fast approaching (YESSS!!!!) and as such, the celebrations are beginning at Disney Parks! On September 20th, Mickeys Halloween Party in Disneyland starts and I’ve blogged about this before, but this is something you have to have on your Bucket List. My very favorite time to go to Disneyland is when all their Fall/Halloween decorations and overlays are up and then when you add the Halloween Party (which is a separate ticket event in the evenings) and its the cherry on top of an already very magical, not-so-scary time. I can’t wait for our trip down there soon!
One of my very favorite things Disneyland does during this time is transform Haunted Mansion to Haunted Mansion Holiday – which opens today! Jack Skellington (from Nightmare Before Christmas) takes over the Mansion and creates the most spooktacular Christmas setup you’ll ever see! Its still very much the original Haunted Mansion, but with lots of new Christmas/Tim Burton twists. The music and audio are incredible. There is a gingerbread house thats real (so its different every year) that smells up the Ballroom with that delicious scent. There are new, unfamiliar surprises around every corner. Its incredible.
Coming from someone who calls Haunted Mansion their favorite Disney attraction and does’t love change – this should speak volumes for what a fun little change this is. I highly suggest you check it out someday. Just so you know, it runs through December then will go back to the amazing, original Haunted Mansion we all know and love.
It will likely come as no shock to you that we have a lot of Disney books in our home (but of course we never have enough and our collection is always growing). H and I read several books throughout our day and at night H loves when his dad sits and reads to him before bed. Today as I was trying to brainstorm what I could blog about, H approached me with our newest favorite Disney book to read and thats when the idea hit me. Today I’l show you H’s favorite Disney books (for the time being).
The Captain’s Top 7 Favorite Disney Reads
Disney in Details: This is basically a bunch of hidden gems around Disney World. Our family already knew about the majority of these, but its still a fun book to have around the house and H loves the pictures!
My First Words: Its a whole bunch of images and some are Disney characters! Whats not to love?
Small Disney Board Books: A few Christmases ago my aunt H this pack of small Disney board books. There are tons of them and I don’t know that H necessarily has a favorite, but he loves them. There are so many different characters and short little stories and books that talk about characters, shapes, etc. These are a big hit.
Who’s Who: This one is probably our very favorite right now. Or mine at least. This book is the perfect tool for teaching your little one all the Disney characters – even some of the more obscure, less thought of characters. Its so much fun, there are little bios on each character and colored pictures. This book wasn’t released very long ago and H and I have already spent hours in these pages. I highly, highly recommend this book to all of you.
My First Colors: Ok, this one is probably H’s favorite. Its his newest Disney Baby book and its a fun one. The pages fold out which is definitely his favorite feature. Its been really nice right now too as we are working on identifying colors.
Hello, World!: All the It’s a Small World books are very loved in our home but this is the one we read the most. If you want to challenge yourself as a parent and try and figure out how to say ‘hello’ in a whole bunch of different languages – this ones for you!! Its a short read, but H is never disappointed by it – even though his mom surely slaughters the different languages featured inside.
Disney/Pixar Look and Find – Toy Story: He got book in a set of four. I don’t know if this one is his very favorite of the four but its the one we’ve looked at about 100 times already today. Look and Find is a little too advanced for him right now but he’s picking up on it more and more each time we read it and even if he isn’t in the mood to find the certain characters/things, he enjoys looking at the pages nonetheless.
Well I guess I’ve just reached that point of pregnancy. I’m losing my mind, I have very little control of my emotions and I literally feel like a crazy person. 10-ish weeks left. Please wish me luck, send me good vibes and pray for my family that has to deal with me.
I’m assuming that a lot of all this madness is due to the fact that I can’t get a good nights sleep for the life of me. Between back and hip pain, heart burn, never being able to get comfortable, nausea, being so hot I could melt into a puddle and my brain thinking about all the things I need to do before baby gets here and how excited I am for baby – sleep just doesn’t come easily. I wake up feeling more tired than I felt the night before and the sensation doesn’t go away throughout the day. I’m just always tired and hurting.
Oh and my brain? Its all over the place and incredibly unreliable. I don’t even want to tell you how many spa clients and other important appointments I’ve forgot about. Its infuriating. I am usually on top of things but lately I’m so far from that person. I’m taking the phrase ‘scatter-brained’ to a whole new level. I can’t even carry on a normal conversation without forgetting a word thats simple and used daily or keeping my train of thought (its going to be amazing if this post makes sense at all to be honest).
Then there are my emotions which are all. over. the. place. One second I’m laughing hysterically, the next I’m so ticked off and annoyed about something, then I’m sobbing for who knows why and the next thing you know I’m curled in a ball on the couch filled with worry and anxiety. Its unpredictable and exhausting.
I’m grouchier than normal. I’m far less patient than usual. I’m more anxious. I’m more hard on myself and feel more guilt. I’m less (much less) motivated. I’m lazier. I’m slower. But I’m trying – most the time – to fight those darn feelings and be ‘normal’ as possible. Some moments are easier than others.
But for now I just feel like a mess. My brains a train wreck and I just want to take a nap.
Pregnancy, you’re fun.
Yesterday I hit 30 weeks pregnant! I can still so vividly remember reaching this point when I was pregnant with H and feeling so proud, excited and CLOSE to baby time. A lot of those same feelings are happening again, but also so many more. I think that since this time I’m already a mom, my whole attitude is different. I basically know what to expect this time. I know I am capable of at least decently raising and caring for a little human. I know how much I’m going to love this baby. I know what needs to really get done before his arrival and what can be put on the backburner if need be.
Mostly I am just really, really excited. I’ve been having a lot more dreams about baby boy lately. When I lay in bed and can’t sleep or have free time during the day I find myself daydreaming about this new baby and watching him and H grow up together. I have a lot more feels. I feel a lot more in tune with my body. But I’m still definitely not patient. Ten weeks (ish) left and I worry they’re going to drag on because of how anxious I am to get this little guy here. I tell myself all the time how close November is, but have you ever realized that a lot of the time when you’re really excited for something it tends to come slower? I’m hoping that isn’t the case. Maybe like the rest of the pregnancy it will come quickly.
I’ve been thinking a lot about labor too. I think it’s normal to be nervous. My labor with H was really straight forward and we both reacted totally fine with no real issues (except my epidural not working but that’s not a big deal really). There is part of me so worried that I couldn’t possibly repeat such great luck. But thankfully the more people I talk to, the more I’m made aware it’s actually very possible. I was recently talking to a friend who had her second child several months ago and she told me that leading up to her birth she had these same concerns but decided to just imagine her ideal delivery situation. Power in positive thinking! For her it totally worked. I know every situation is different. But I love this idea of focusing on all that could go right instead of wrong. I totally believe that sometimes your thoughts and attitude can influence the way something turns out. I’m channeling that.
It’s crazy to think that in 10 weeks give or take H will finally meet his little brother. I’ll finally be able to snuggle this tiny guy and I’ll finally get to see Wild Man become a father again and melt into a puddle of emotions while I watch him dote over another sweet son. I am so darn excited!
When people hear how many times I’ve been to Disneyland while being pregnant I typically get the same reactions, “is it even fun?” “can you even do anything there?” and so on. If you’ve asked me such questions, then you know I have a very strong answer to this – similar to when people ask me if its worth taking infants or small children to Disneyland. YES IT IS STILL FUN. YES IT IS STILL WORTH IT. YES THERE IS STILL LOTS TO DO AND ENJOY. YES YOU WILL STILL HAVE A MAGICAL TIME. I don’t think when Walt Disney created the park he said that he wanted everyone of all ages to enjoy Disneyland except the expectant mothers. That just doesn’t seem like something the most magical man ever would say.
Yes, your vacation to Disneyland while pregnant will likely be quite different from the trips you’ve taken before sans bun-in-the-oven. I can almost guarantee you that you’ll feel hotter quicker and feel a little sleepier faster and then of course there is the discomfort your body feels. BUT don’t let that stop you. Be openminded and remember that yes, you’re pregnant, but you can still have a magical time. Remember that a positive attitude can do you wonders!
Its probably a good idea to alert your OB/GYN that you’re planning a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. If they’re like mine they’ll likely tell you to have a great time and to make sure not to ride any of the fast/jerky/rough rides and to listen to your body and put that first and send you on your way. Obviously every pregnancy is different, but this is how its gone for me so far.
So lets talk about what you can do so I can hopefully convince you that Disneyland while pregnant is still a magical experience, deal?
- All the slower, non-thrill, crazy rides! You may hear this and roll your eyes and think to yourself ‘how boring’ – but I promise they’re not!! Some of the best rides in many peoples opinions aren’t the thrill rides if you can believe it. Remember, you have to have a different mindset on this trip so make sure that mindset is open to the less crazy rides and I promise you’ll have a lot of fun on them. Another way to look at it is its time off your feet!! I’m a big foot-sweller so I’m extra thankful for some time being seated.
- You can also take this opportunity to really enjoy the shopping Disneyland has to offer. I know a lot of non-pregnant people know about the great shops, but you’d be surprised how many people bypass the shopping altogether so they can get more rides in. I totally get that. But one of my favorite things has been wandering through the different stores as my family goes on one of the rides I am not currently able to ride. Its fun to window shop – or actually shop and add to your Disney souvenir collection!
- Whats most pregnant women’s favorite thing to do? (well, mine at least) EAT! Some of the food at Disneyland and California Adventure have the power to change your lives, people. I’d personally recommend (in disneyland) Pommes Frites at Cafe Orleans, Corn Dogs from Stage Door Cafe, Chicken Fried Chicken from Carnation Cafe, any treat from Jolly Holiday, a Dole Whip outside of Tiki room and (from california adventure) a Chili Cone Queso from Cozy Cone, cotton candy – you can find this all over the park and ice cream – again you can find this all over.
- Watch the shows such as parades, actual productions, fireworks, World of Color, Fantasmic, etc. These are more aspects of the park I feel like people quickly will pass up in order to get on Space Mountain when the line isn’t too long but now that Space Mountain isn’t even an option for you, why not give them a whirl? You’ll love what you see.
- Slow down and smell the roses. In other words, be ok with the fact that you’re going to need to take some breaks. People watching in Disneyland is fun! Its ok to pop in another store or restaurant because you need some air conditioning in your life. Don’t be afraid to work your way through the park at a much slower pace than you’re used to. You’ll be able to observe more and see more of Disney’s clever, hidden magic.
There is so much more I could expound on and add to this post. I just wanted to graze the surface here and show you all how possible it is to still enjoy your time at Disneyland even when you’re waddling and take up more space than you once did. Disneyland is for everyone! – even you, pregnant lady!
Today is game day, so I suppose I should start this post with saying: GO BYU! Its a big game today, too. Even I, a person who couldn’t possibly be less into sports, knows that. BYU vs. Utah. Its the big rivalry game. If I avoid pretty much all social media today and the next couple days, you can blame this football game. I HATE all the smack talk that goes on during and after this game. Like, I really don’t care – if BYU wins or if BYU loses my life will continue on the same and I will be fine. I know lots of people in my family don’t have this mindset, but hey, we can’t all be the same!
My favorite part of game day is the outfits. I think its fun to coordinate as a family in our BYU apparel. A couple weeks ago Wild Man and I went to the opening game with my parents (H stayed home with my sisters) and I thought we were such a cute little dressed-in-BYU family. Aren’t we?
So go BYU! And just a friendly reminder to be nice to people – even those who don’t like the same sports team as you.
Books have been a lifelong struggle for me. I want to love to read. I want to be one of those people who can cruise through several books a month. I want to have bookshelves full of books I’ve read and have full reviews on. I want to settle down in bed or in the bathtub with a good book and lose myself in its world. But it just doesn’t happen for me that easily. I can start books like nobodies business. I set time aside that are designated for reading and I hype myself up for the currently book I’m reading but the majority of the time I end up putting the book down and very seldom return to it. Well, thats a lie. I’ll give a book several chapters (which equals several days/weeks) before I decide to quit it all together. Why is it so hard for me to get really into books? I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure that out. I’ve learned I have a very particular kind of book I want to read and its hard to find. I like mysteries/thrillers (but not too scary) and they cannot whatsoever have anything harmful happening to children or babies. Since becoming a wife/mom my anxiety has gone through the roof and I can’t even handle reading about fake terrible things happening to families. So I need to avoid that kind of stuff, too. I’ve read a few more books that are out of my usual murder-mystery niche and have enjoyed a couple. But again, I usually end up just putting the book on my bedside table where it gathers dust until I give it back to my mom – who has an amazing book collection.
I haven’t given up on myself though. As I try to find a book to read I occasionally am able to find one I love and will finish. It just takes time. And I still have the dream that someday I’ll be able to be a lot less picky and have a better attention span and be able to finish whatever book is recommended to me. It’ll happen someday – fingers crossed!
I don’t want my kids to be like me. I’m not saying they have to constantly have a book in hand or read 5+ books a month during the summer. But I want them to love and appreciate reading. I’d say we are on the right path right now with H. I’m not sure how much about your babies future you can tell when they’re only 21 months old, but so far H’s whole life has consisted of a deep love of books. We started reading him books when he was a newborn and we haven’t stopped. Now he loves books. He doesn’t even have to have them read to him, he really loves to sit on the floor and ‘read’ by himself. Its one of my favorite things to see. He gets excited about the pictures, he points at things and talks, he has his favorite books that he always gravitates towards. Its great and I encourage it all I can.
So I guess if I never become the reader I want to be theres still my son I can be proud of (and hopefully the rest of our kids!)
Happy National Read a Book Day! If you happen to have a book you think I may like, send me your recommendations!! Remember, I haven’t given up on myself completely!!