Category Archives: Milestones
On a whim a few weeks ago, and after finding a pretty good deal on a hotel, and realizing that we have enough mileage points to fly for free, we have booked our third trip to Disneyland in the past 18 months.
We took Jonah for his first time on his second (and my 34th) birthday in January of 2013. We brought our nanny, Alyssa, along with us for reinforcement, as we weren’t quite sure how crazy taking a just two year old to Disneyland and California Adventure was going to be. While that was an AWESOME trip, we realized later in the year that he was really too young to remember any of it. So, partially because of that, and partially because we are greedy, we went again in October of 2013. (Remember, getting Jonah into the park was still free, as he didn’t turn three until January of this year.) This time, we asked Jonah’s grandparents, GG and Papa Jim, to tag along. One huge perk was that GG has admission to the super-secret Club 33 through her work. What a treat! We had a fantastic time, and wore ourselves, Jonah and his grandparents out! Jonah definitely remembered the trip this time!
When we got home from that trip, we both agreed that we’d had enough of Disneyland for a while, and that we would wait to go again. But, since that trip in October, Jonah has been asking and asking to go again. Also, we kind of got the itch! So, we found our one non-busy weekend between April and July, which also happened to be our wedding anniversary weekend, and I started pricing out options. I’ve been getting super excited about going, so I’ve been googling different and inexpensive ways to have fun. (Even though I saved on flights and hotel, just getting the three of us into the park for three days is a small fortune. And, really, there aren’t any discount passes to get in, no matter how much you search.)
Here are some of the things I’ve come up with so far:
- Pressed Pennies – Justin is a huge pressed penny collector, and when we were there in October, at the very end of our trip, we somehow found a partial list of all of the available pressed pennies (quarters, nickels and dimes, too, so really “Elongated Coins”) in both parks. This time, I’ve done my homework! I found this website: http://www.parkpennies.com which offers this awesome checklist: http://www.parkpennies.com/penny-machine-locations.pdf . I have a list for Justin all printed and ready to go in my folder. We also got a small book for Jonah, so I think this year, we’ll start his collection, too. I’ll have to make a run to the bank before our trip to pick up a few rolls of quarters and rolls of new pennies. I also found a couple of quick ideas on Pinterest (similar to these: http://countingcoconuts.blogspot.com/2012/04/getting-ready-for-mickey-part-1.html) to make coin “holders” for the boys… I’ve made one for each of them as a surprise.
- Hidden Mickey Hunting – In the past, we’ve made some half-assed attempts to locate some Hidden Mickeys throughout the parks. Aside from Justin for sure finding one in the Haunted Mansion, I can’t really say that we’ve located any. To be honest, even when you google the images, I don’t always think that the Mickey’s people spot are actually “Hidden”, or rather they are just part of the general Disney decorating. And sometimes, I still don’t see the Mickey in the pictures, but this year, we are going hunting! I like the list that is located here: http://findingmickey.squarespace.com/hidden-mickey-checklist-dl/
- More Characters!!! – Jonah is not one of those kids you see screaming at the Easter Bunny… in fact, he absolutely LOVES when he sees characters, and we made a pretty good showing in his Disneyland autograph book so far. This time, I want to take as many pictures as possible with him and as many characters as possible. I am thinking that when we get home, I’ll print a bunch and make a cute little photo album for him.
- Not really “FUN” in the park, but, I’ve taken the advice of some of the Disneyland blogs I’ve been reading and ordered groceries to be delivered to our hotel. For about $75, I think that we will be able to eat breakfast in the room (minus the one day of Character Breakfast that I’ve booked) and pack lunches and snacks for the park. Hopefully, this will really save on our costs while we’re there. We can still go out to dinner in the park, which is fun, but expensive and because of wait times, can be really stressful. (Ugh – trying to get dinner when you’ve got a great spot upfront for Fantasmic is a bummer!) And, of course, we’ll get treats and some drinks while we are walking around. What would Disneyland be without Justin’s corn dog on Main Street, my giant dill pickles, and Mickey sweets that Jonah wants but won’t eat, because they are too cute.
Oh – I forgot to mention that this trip is a SURPRISE for Jonah! He knows that we’re going on “ca-cation” on a “blue airplane” but has no idea where we’re going to end up! Can’t wait to see his sweet face when we get there!!!
I’ll share some pictures when we get back.
Happy birthday! You are three! Yay! We have a nice art party planned for you at the museum next weekend with some of your friends.
This year has been a whirlwind, and the little person you have become is fantastic! You’ve taken to saying things like “I’ve loved you from the first time I saw you” while holding on to my face with your little hands, and calling your Dad and I your “best friends”. Of course, this amazing vocabulary of yours has also led to you telling me that I am NOT your best friend anymore, when you are mad at me. (Ahh… the three year old attitude is something fierce!) It’s pretty incredible that you have figured out that your words mean something and it’s neat to watch you try to maneuver a situation to your liking with the phrases you choose.
The director of your school, Ms. Brenda, has told me that she doesn’t recall seeing such an active imagination in a child as young as you in all her years of working with preschoolers. Wow! But, you don’t like to be bogged down with things like writing your letters. You would rather sing, and play. You remember EVERYTHING. If you encounter something or hear something even one time, you can understand and relate it to things around you. Mom and Dad have to be very careful with the words we use! Watching you “figure things out” is really unbelievable. Sometimes, it takes my breath away.
Over the holidays, you started sleeping in your “big boy bed”, and decided to potty train yourself. Once you get the idea to do something, you stick to it! You are still an all-around happy boy, and you make others around you smile. I find myself missing you when I’m not with you, even if it’s just for short amounts of time. It’s really important to me that you get to keep that deep-seated happiness that you have radiated since you were born. I feel like it’s my job to make sure that other things in your life are straight forward and predictable, so that you can maintain that light that you have.
There’s something I want to tell you: Momma doesn’t always know what she is doing. I will probably never let on, so you might not realize it, but sometimes, I just have to wing it. We are constantly trying to make the absolute BEST decisions and choices we can for you, and to teach you to make some of those choices for yourself, but sometimes, we are just trying to figure it out like you are. We are a pretty good team, your Dad and me. We are usually on the same page, and try to let you have a say in matters. We hope that this will serve you well as you grow up and make you feel empowered in your life.
You really are the best thing that I have ever done, created, received, etc. I can’t believe that I get to help make you into the being that you are becoming. I feel so lucky! So, today, on your third birthday, and my 35th birthday, I want to say thank you. Thanks for being you, and being mine. Thanks. Have a great day, my sweet boy!
Today, you are two and a half years old. You are incredible. Really… and I know that every parent feels that way about their own kid, but really, you are amazing. People in stores stop to tell me how fantastic you are. Your pediatrician keeps telling me how “bright” you are. You make me smile all the time, and you are loved by everyone around you. I want to tell you some things about you at two and a half years old…
- You love music. You like to sing and you know the words to lots of songs. You like listening to The Beatles, and especially like “Hey Jude”.
- Your favorite meal right now is breakfast for dinner. You really like French Toast, and I make it for you with cinnamon bread. You eat it with scrambled eggs, and berries at least twice a week. You also really like “miso soup with foo” which is miso broth, tofu and udon noodles.
- You LOVE to swim… actually, you just really like being wet… in any way, shape or form. At school, when they are watering the plants in the garden, the teachers tell me that you’re running towards the hose, while all the other kids run away. You are getting really good at swimming, and you can swim by yourself, under the water. All of the other parents at swim lessons always ask me how old you are, and when I tell them, they can’t get over how good you are.
- You like Spiderman. A lot. You call him “Far-fan”. You’ve never seen the Spiderman cartoon, or movie, or anything, but Daddy put you in Spiderman shirts when you were little, and now you love it. Today, I got you a big Spiderman, and made you wait until we got home to open it. You proudly, and patiently carried that Spiderman around in the box until we got home. And, when I put you down to go to sleep tonight, you tucked him in under your favorite striped blanket.
- You talk REALLY well… you understand everything we tell you, and we can understand when you answer us back. You remember stuff, too… we can’t ever trick you by distracting you, because you go right back to it a few minutes later.
- You can be super challenging, because you are trying to learn how to assert yourself, and, even when Daddy and I are frustrated with you, we can’t stop talking about how amazing you are, and how much we love you. After we put you down to sleep at night, we often sit up in bed and talk about how incredible you are, and how much we love you. Even thinking about that right now makes my eyes well up with tears of happiness.
- You know your full name, Jonah Jewett, and that you live on “YOUUUUUUU” Street. You know that Momma’s name is Rachel and Daddy’s name is Justin. You get super proud when you tell us, and call us by our first names.
- You are really sweet… you hug, and kiss and love us all the time. You make people smile, and say please and thank you, and say hello to everyone you see. Your smile is infectious.
Jonah – I can’t believe you are two and a half. Time is flying by since you were born, and I want you to know how special you are. You are my favorite boy. You keep us on our toes and we wouldn’t change you for anything. You are kind, smart, and your own amazing little person, and we love you so much.
Yay! You just went pee pee on the potty for the first time! I’m sure this is totally embarassing, but I don’t care.
And, for your later reference, your potty is a snazzy Elmo number right now… he even congratulated you when you went! (Elmo says “HORRAY!” when you “flush”.)
Momma and Dada are so proud of you, big boy!!