Sunday, February 28, 2010

Disney Don't, Disney Do: Toddler Edition

As we have just returned from a vacation in the Walt Disney World Resort area in Lake Buena Vista, Florida I thought it would be helpful for all you moms and dads out there reading my blog (all 3 of you) to get some quick "do's and don't's" for your Disney trip. Now mind you, my list here will be from the perspective of being 1) the proud owner of a 3.5 year old, 2) the proud owner of a first-time Disney husband, and 3) almost 5 months pregnant. So keep in mind that some of these things may or may not apply to your trip. Regardless, I hope you can take some new and useful information from this. Let's begin with the Don't's.

DON'T presume to think you are going to stick to any type of "game plan" you mapped out in the days before you planned your trip or the hours you spent traveling to get there.
- Your "game plan" is worthless. Don't even try planning one. You'll be all gung-ho about how "organized" and "smarter than everyone else" you are, but in reality, you are only fooling yourself. Said plan is only worth taking up the time and filling in the conversation gaps between your child screaming in the back seat of the car that he wants to listen to (insert childrens' music CD name here) for the hundredth time and arguing with your husband that Route 27 is NOT the Daytona Speedway and going 95 miles an hour is not exactly the smartest thing to be doing. Especially when we've got a trucker from the movie "Duel" (look it up) on our tail because he doesn't like my bumper stickers. The "game plan" will dissolve the moment you set foot in the hotel or the parks, depending on what kind of plan you have planned.

DON'T think you're going to be able to do one park in one day.
- No way, no how, no sir. Between the crowds (which weren't bad at all this time of year), the walking, and the resting, you'll be lucky to get HALF of a park done in one day. Nevermind all the stops to pee (that applies to both toddlers and pregnant moms), the "I want to do this ride again!" events (We rode Buzz Lightyear's Adventure about 5 times in a row), and the "I want a snack" or "I'm thirsty" (again applies to toddlers and pregnant moms) every 10 minutes, you'll be lucky to get past Main Street in the Magic Kingdom in 3 hours.

DON'T assume that just because you love a ride, your child will love it too.
- This was a hard lesson to learn for me. Seriously. Here I was, thinking "Hey, our house is filled with skeletons and gargoyles and spooky stuff. My son is the son of the Queen of Halloween! He's not scared of anything! He'll love the Haunted Mansion!" WRONG. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. The Aging Goth Mom that I am had to hang her head in sadness as my child was horrified of the Haunted Mansion. He was terrified of it and clung to Daddy as though he was glued to him. We tried our best to get him to see the cool dancing ghosts or the singing statues. We tried explaining to him that it was just like our house. But no, the kid was scared, so we just let him hang on to Daddy and then we were done. Although, as we exited and he walked out, he said, "That was scary mommy but it was cool". There is hope.

DON'T forget the little things like umbrellas, overnight diapers, Q-tips, and socks.
- If you do, you'll be forced to either use the hotel shop which charges an arm, a leg, another arm and another leg, or go out and find a Walgreens in an unfamiliar area with unfamiliar traffic and unfamiliar roadsigns, all the while losing your cool parking spot right near the elevator to your room. So check 3, 4, 75 times for everything before you leave your house.

And now, some DO's.

DO plan on checking out the Downtown Disney Area at some point on your trip.
- The Downtown Disney area, which I initially thought would be lame, is really pretty awesome even if you're not into shopping or buying overpriced Disney collectibles. There is a show in center stage every night that involves a guy going through the history of popular dances and you can join in and try to win a prize. It was hysterical and also made me feel really old because at one point he yelled out "Ok, kids this one is for you" (and I'm thinking I'll know it) and on comes "Soulja Boy" and I didn't even know it was a dance. I just thought it was a bad song. As I look around I see all these teenagers doing what I assume to be is the "Soulja Boy" dance. Then, to make matters worse, the host yells out "Ok moms and dads, this one is for you" (and I of course assume it's going to be some type of Glen Miller swing dance thingie), and lo and behold, on comes "Maniac" from the movie Flashdance and I find myself "doing" the maniac and saying, "I love this song!" *sigh* Although, all my coolness was not lost as House of Pain's "Jump Around" came on next and all of us "moms and dads" schooled those kids on early '90s hip-hop.

Speaking of Downtown Disney, DO make a point to visit and eat dinner at T-Rex.
- If you've only allotted yourselves to one "fancy night" out for dinner as we have, go to T-Rex. It's beyond awesome. Dinosaurs all over the place, a meteor shower every 15 minutes that darkens the restaurant and consists of boomings and flashing lights in the "sky", really good (but really expensive) food with dinosaur-like proportions, and best of all, a dinosaur excavation station for kids to dig for dinosaurs. By far, I think this was Dante's favorite non-Disney Park experience. We had to come back a few nights in a row (not to eat here) but just so he could "dig" for dinosaurs.

DO get Fast Passes whenever you can.
- A Fast Pass allows you to return to a ride rather than stay on line and wait. Granted the lines weren't that long when we were there, but because Dante wanted to ride Buzz Lightyear about 5000000 times, the Fast Pass allowed us to bypass the lines and enter at our assigned time with no wait. Sure, you have to wait for your appointed time, but there is plenty of other stuff to engage your young person while you wait.

DO visit Epcot, just so you can do the Soarin' and Talking with Crush rides.
- Seriously. Even if you HATE Epcot, you MUST visit only because Soarin' and Talking With Crush are the best things EVER! Soarin' is a flying ride in which you are suspended in air and "flown" over gorgeous landscapes. In our case, the both times we did it, the landscape was California. It was breathtaking and unforgettable. You are literally flying as though you were operating a hang glider and each dip and drop feels just like flying.
- Talking With Crush is just as amazing, more so for your children. Crush is the "surfer dude" sea turtle from the movie Finding Nemo and in this show, he interacts with the children in the audience: asking them questions, taking their questions, talking to their parents, and generally being completely "real" for the kids. Your child's expression is worth the wait.

And finally,

DO have the time of your life.

We had a blast and still have one day left on our passes. It doesn't expire until May, so I am sure we will trek up to Orlando sometime before then and get our Disney fix in one more time.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bo Shuda!

I remember the first time I was pregnant, I relished in my pregnant body. I loved how "big" I was getting and was always jumping in front of a camera to show off how awesome I was. I can recall telling people that I thoroughly enjoyed being pregnant because it was the first time in my life I was comfortable in my own skin.

This time?

Not so much.

I look and feel just plain FAT. Nevermind that I actually weigh LESS now than I did when I was this far along with Dante and nevermind that I have only gained between 6 and 10 pounds in almost 5 months. No, disregard all that. I just feel FAT. I saw pictures of me at a brunch the other day and was appalled at how fat I looked. It wasn't even cute. I didn't even have that "cute" pregnant look. I looked like Jabba the Hutt about the feast on a small child if it walked by.

I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I gained so much weight with Dante and then, after becoming hypothyroid, gained even more, so I was enormous in the years following Dante's birth. It was not until last March that I was diagnosed with the thyroid problem and put on medication and began dieting and excercising properly. Consequently, I took off almost 45 pounds and looked and felt great.

Then I got pregnant, which, was the whole purpose of "getting healthy" since my added weight was preventing me from producing eggs and conceiving.

I think I am just paranoid now, that I am going to put all this weight back on and then have to work so hard to get it all off again. Mind you, I'm still being careful about what I eat, but let's be realistic. I'm PREGNANT. I want cheeseburgers and french fries pretty much every hour on the hour. There's only SO MUCH a pregnant woman can take when it comes to will power.

So I feel like I am doing a disservice to myself this time around by constantly worrying about "getting fat" instead of just enjoying "being pregnant".

Monday, February 22, 2010

There's a Signpost Up Ahead......

I don't really remember my pregnancy dreams being THIS odd with my first pregnancy, but let me tell you, I think Rod Serling (think 1960's Twilight Zone) has taken up residence in my brain and decided to take me on "A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. There's the signpost up ahead - your next stop, the Twilight Zone!"

Seriously, the other day I dreamed that the husband of one of my mommy friends was a child molester and using his business as a front for molesting children. In my dream, we all got together and beat the living daylights out of him while his wife (my good friend) made excuses for him. It was so real!

Another night I dreamed that we were in a gigantic hotel and Dante let go of my hand, ran off to an open elevator, stepped in, the doors closed, and he disappeared forever. I honestly woke up sweating and crying and thought it was true. I had to run into his room at 3 am to make sure that he was still there and not in some random elevator.

Then I had a dream that Dante was Boba Fett. Really. Boba Fett. How nerdy am I that I even have nerdy pregnancy dreams?

It's really strange but none of the dreams I have had have involved the new baby. They all center around Dante or things other than Mr. Bean in the womb.

With such vivid dreams, I am often worried about going to bed at night because some of these dreams are so realistic that I usually wake up expecting them to be real! (Sue me, I think it would be neat if my kid was Boba Fett, except that he would not fall into the Sarlacc Pit in this reality, rather he would kick its ass).

Maybe the fact that I am not dreaming about the baby and only really dreaming about Dante is that I am worried about my relationship with him when the new baby comes. Who knows, I'm not Freud. But I do wonder what the heck is going on in my brain these nights.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Tough Act to Follow

Now that we know our next child is a boy, we are having a tough time following up our first son's name with an equally powerful and meaningful title for boy #2.

Our son's name is Dante Marcello. Dante, after the famous medieval author Dante Alighieri, and Marcello after my father.

Logically one can't follow up a name like that with something like "Jimmy" or "Steve" or "Bobby" (no offense if anyone has those names), so I've been scouring my favorite literary authors and works to find the perfect name that can match in awesomeness to our firstborn.

Boy is this tough. Do we go Italian again? Do we venture to the English kings? Knights of the Round Table? Renaissance Painters? The Musketeers? Philosophers and Great Thinkers? Greek and Roman Myths? Norse myths? Dare I say, biblical?!? Do we simply flip the name book, stick our finger in, and go with what we are pointing at (not a good choice, since when we did that we landed on "Englebert").

We may have an idea for a first name, but now what? Do we have to come up with a middle? I don't have a middle name, so why should we?

Dante has given us two suggestions: Spinwheel and Baby Junior. Right now, those two don't seem that bad.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Cheers, Mr. Bean!

We are proud to announce that The Bean will now be known as Mr. Bean (with thanks to Rowan Atkinson for use of the name). Note the crossed leg in the first picture. That's Dante's favorite way to sit as well, and his Nonno's. Runs in the family! Apparently also, Mr. Bean was "excited" as evidenced by photo number two. That also seems to run in the family.

All genetic and neurological tests were negative for defects and mommy and baby are healthy and happy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I'm 1000 percent positive........for the 13th time

You know what scares the hell out of me? Not global warming, or nuclear holocaust, or Sarah Palin 2012 (although all of these are legitimate fears of mine). No, you know what really scares me? It's the notion that 1000 years from now, our society will be studied based on old video tapes of Maury Povich paternity episodes.

Can you imagine future archeologists analyzing these episodes? What the hell will they think of our society as a whole? That women were idiots and men were sperm jockeys?

My favorite episodes involve the women who are appearing for the 13th time to test the 23rd man to find out if he is the father of her 6th child. Honestly, maybe future mathematics will be based on the statistics and ratios of these episodes. We are presented with Shantay, Mary Beth, Mercedes, or any other name you can think of who is always 1000 percent sure that her sister's brother's cousin's best friend from the neighborhood across town is her "baby daddy". And then, of course, said gentleman (and I use the term extremely loosely) comes out stylin' and profilin' claiming he's not, she's a whore, and that when "Murry" reveals the results, everyone will know he did not "hit that".

Then, the moment of truth. Will this woman, testing the 23rd man on her 16th appearance on Maury for the paternity of her 6th child, finally find a father for her child?

Nope. You are not the father, Mr. 23. And the most hysterical part of all of it, is the woman becomes "shocked" and hysterical, throwing herself on the floor and running out of the studio humiliated.

Really? Really? She's humiliated? Wouldn't she be humiliated after the 22nd guy? After the 2nd guy tested? Maybe after the 10th? And the kicker is always this: When Maury goes backstage and extends sympathy to this "virtuous" woman, she always says, "I know who it is, for sure now, I know who it is". Really? You sure about that there missy?

I also love the ones that result from threesomes. Wendy here had a threesome with her husband and her husband's best friend. Uh-oh! She got pregnant! Which one is the daddy?!?!

Are you kidding me? What ever happened to CONDOMS and birth control? Are these people that stupid that they don't know that AIDS will kill you? WTF is wrong with these people? Pregnancy is one thing, between adoption or abortion, there is a "solution" to pregnancy, but there is no "solution" to AIDS (and being a whore on national TV for that matter).

So will future historians remember us for Francis Crick, The Beatles, Barack Obama, and Woodstock? Or will the 20th and 21st centuries be known as The You Are Not the Father Epoch?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Big Open Hand Slap in the Mouth

I went to visit my mom yesterday at the new antique center she has a booth in and she introduced Dante and me around to all the "dealers". Everyone was very nice and after a bit one woman looked at me, pointed at my ever expanding belly, and said out loud in front of everyone:

So! Is that pasta or pregnant?

Um. WTF?!?!?!? She was basically asking me if I was FAT or if I was pregnant. Thankfully I am hugely pregnant but can you imagine how I would have felt if I was not pregnant and just fat?

What kind of person asks a question like that? I mean, does she walk up to people in wheelchairs and say, "So! Paralyzed or lazy?" or does she walk up to people with mental retardation and say "So! Slightly retarded or full blown Downs Syndrome"?

I wanted to punch her.

I should have said, "So! Your face or tragic motorcycle accident?"

Monday, February 1, 2010

Lifting the Veil of Idiocy

I write from the hip, pull no punches, and don't expect everyone to love what I say. In recent days, a slew of "Anonymous" posters, using the anonymity of the internet to grow a set have decided to bombard my blog with asinine and stupid comments. Some focused on my child, some focused on how "mean" I am, while others just being pissy that I don't believe in their little book of stories and their cloud guy. So while I swore I would never do this, I am pulling the option to post comments anonymously from my blog.

Mind you, this is not because I only want to hear positive comments from my friends, rather it will force these people who are so keen on being "brave" and "ripping me a new one" to actually reveal their names and who they are.

This will weed out the chickenshits, the cowards, and the spineless, because we all know, it is very easy to tell someone off when they don't know who you are.

So I am now "lifting the veil of idiocy" and removing the "anonymous" option from comments. If you are indeed so keen and so intent on telling me off, then you will have to grow a pair and input your name.