The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Friday, January 30, 2009

Disneyland by the Numbers

Here are the numbers:

Miles we put on the car: 1548
Hours we spent in the car: 25
Kids who had their first visit to the beach and to Disneyland: 2
Cousins whom we loved hanging out with: 3
Children whom we discovered do NOT like spinny rides: 1 (That would be Bitty - she even cried on the Carousel, but somehow loved Dumbo)
Bags of cotton candy consumed: 4
Cavities created: To be determined
Times Bitty wet her pants at Disneyland: 0!!!!
Princesses met: 6
License plates seen from other states/provinces while on the road: 36 (Including Alaska and Hawaii!) (Yay for mommy's OCD...)
Creepy Tour Guides on the Storybook Boats: 1 (and 1 was enough)
Times Stomper rode Star Tours: 4
Times Daddy got sick on Star Tours: 3
Times Bitty rode on Peter Pan: 4
Times the kids will ever go on Pirates of the Caribbean again: probably 0
Points Daddy earned on Buzz Lightyear: 127,900 (Yeah, he's a level 4)
Number of Inches Stomper needs to grow before he can get on Indiana Jones: 1
Number of new Padawan Learners in the family: 1 (Stomper totally took down Darth Maul)
Times the children made it off Disney property awake: 0
Longest number of minutes spent in any given line: 20
Number of calories consumed: Don't want to think about it
Hours spent in the myriad gift shops: Not as many as I feared
Major muscle groups in serious pain after carrying kids around the park for two days: all of them
Level of fun had by all: I'd say an 11.

We had a great trip. I'm kind of on a Disneyland high, even though the days were long and exhausting (I'd rather not be pregnant next time I go) and the drives were...long and exhausting. The kids were such troopers. We had no major melt downs, even after 10 hours in the car on Wednesday, and I have to say, Disneyland just does things right. Yes, sometimes the perpetual music gets a little heavy on the xylophone use. Yes, it's a little creepy how cheery all the employees are. Yes, you pay through the nose to get in there, but even still it's just awesome. Of course it was crowded, but I think that's unavoidable, and the lines were not long at all. I can NOT imagine being there when all the lines are triple what they were. It helped having kids who weren't interested in riding the big rides that usually have the longer lines. No Matterhorn, no Thunder Mountain, and we didn't even mention Space Mountain. Troy did convince Stomper to ride Splash Mountain with him. As soon as I sent them off in line I wondered just what I had done and was waiting to hear the screaming from the top of the big hill. But I guess it was fine - Stomper said he loved it and it was his favorite ride. Of course, he wouldn't go on it again, but at least he went once and wasn't too traumatized.

Before we even hit the big D-land we went to Santa Monica beach. I was so worried that all our days would be cold and rainy, but to our delight we woke on Sunday to a sparkly blue day. It was a little chilly - not too many people actually IN the water at the beach, but we couldn't stop our kids. They put on their suits and everything. It's so fun to watch your kids squealing as they run around playing tag with the waves. The one thing about a January trip to CA is that the water was too cold to swim in. But the lack of crowds sure made up for it.

One highlight of the trip was splurging a little and taking Bitty to the Princess Lunch they have over in California Adventure. It was just a mommy/daughter date and totally worth it. A nice restaurant with really good fancy food, crowns for the kids, and a chance to meet all six princessess: Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella, Snow White, Belle and Jasmine. (Jasmine was totally hot - I saw a couple of pre-teen boys grinning sheepishly as they got their pictures taken with her...) I was a little afraid that Bitty would get shy and kind of shut down, but she was darling. What a kill.

Another total highlight for me was watching Stomper participate in the Jedi Training. He just gets so serious and stoic when he is up on stage like that (primary program not included). He takes it very seriously. He was the first kid they grabbed to fight Darth Maul and the look on his face made his parents laugh until they cried. Well, actually he looked like he might be about to cry himself, but he was just being very intent. And he was so excited at the end - he wouldn't let go of his little certificate for a couple of hours. It was just great.

I think what sums it all up is the fact that Troy, he who loves nature and generally shies away from Disney-type lands, actually wants to go back someday. A big thank you to Peter and Sheri (and her mom!) for letting us crash on the way down, and to Adam and Whitley for hosting us and making us so comfortable at their house. Good times.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Vacation? What's a "vay cay shun?"

As Troy and I were sitting next to each other in the 11-odd hours in the car on our way to LA we were trying to figure out when the last time was that we went on vacation together. I'll just say, it's been a while. And there are several ways to qualify the word 'vacation.' If it means without kids, well, that's ancient history. But even with kids and both of us together it's been a while. And never have we taken on so big an endeavor as to leave for more than about two nights. I'll confess that as we were packing up on Friday morning I felt that the next six days might just be some of the most miserable in our lives. I couldn't imagine my kids hanging in there for so many hours in the car. I'm very happy to report, as I sit here in my brother's LA living room typing away on his computer, that so far it's been awesome!

We had an afternoon drive to St. George where my baby brother (and his wife and baby) live. We stopped in for the evening and I'm so very glad we did. It was actually Sheri (the wife's) parents' house and they were very gracious in accommodating us. We had such a good time staying up late with Peter and Sheri and Sheri's mom just chatting away the night, so much so that Stomper was literally begging to be put to bed. Both the kids spent their first night in the top bunk of a bunk bed (there was a very cool bed with TWO top bunks in the bedroom we were staying in) and though I slept lightly listening for Bitty to come tumbling out, they both slept excellently.

Then yesterday we geared up for the longer drive from St. George to LA (more specifically San Gabriel, just outside of LA) and amazingly enough, the kids did great. I'm so proud of them! No meltdowns. Some highlights? Bitty's comment upon sighting a palm tree: "Palm trees wear extremely funny costumes" (???) Driving through that crazy place called Vegas, which just seems like it's on a different planet. Sitting next to my husband and talking for a few hours. Of course, that time was definitely punctuated with many interruptions - I think I spent like 30% of the drive unbuckled, turned around backwards with my bum facing the windshield as I kept the kids busy and satiated. Also, I think I don't ever need to live in inland California. Wow.

So now we are enjoying a weekend with cousins. I just love watching the kids together - both kids have a playmate and are very happy here. Adam and Whitley have a very cute and comfortable home, and we love just being together. Today brings a trip to the beach - not the warmest weather, of course, but neither of the kids have ever seen the ocean and we're not going to miss it. Tomorrow is the big D-land, and I think I might be more excited than the kids are. I just hope it isn't pouring rain!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Trip to the Cretaceous Period

I think it may have been almost two years ago that I was watching The Today Show when a story came on about a traveling show called Walking With Dinosaurs, based on the BBC television series. By the way, if you have a dino lover in your life, that series is certainly worth checking out. Anyway, this show looked totally incredible. Life sized dinosaur puppet-things; some with people inside and some mounted on little cars. I began that day to hope that they'd make a trip to Salt Lake. Truth be told, as much as I did hope they'd come I also knew it would be best if they could postpone it a couple of years. I could imagine Stomper, who was maybe four at the time, kind of freaking out and going fetal in a dark, loud room filled with large roaring dinosaurs. He couldn't even handle going to a movie at that age. Well, my wish was granted perfectly. The show did indeed schedule a visit to Salt Lake, and at a much later date than when I first read about it. Perfect timing. Stomper is just on the brink of growing out of his passion for the prehistoric, but he's still there. Despite his newer love of all muscley men (I mean superheros) I catch him reverting back to dino play all the time. We decided, instead of shelling out the bucks for the whole family to go to just have one parent go with him, and he picked his daddy. I love that. Troy is just a great dad and I love that my kids seek out time with him as he seeks out time with them. So I don't have an official report for you, but according to both Stomper and Troy it was pretty awesome. You can find all sorts of videos from the show on YouTube. You'll have to forgive our pictures a little - it's not easy to take pictures inside a dark arena. But I'm really glad the boys got a chance to go. For the record, Stomper did walk into the dark arena and instantly plug his ears, but luckily a very kind usher had earplugs on hand which helped out a lot. I really hope it's something that Stomper will always remember. If not, I want a refund.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Blah. Blah. Blog.

In direct opposition to my good mood that lasted all through December, Christmas and New Years, I have now begun a streak of thoroughly rotten moods. I hate January in the valley. Why is it that just by taking down the tree and putting away the gifts there is suddenly nothing to do? I'm sure that my state of pregnancy has much to do with my lack of energy and general slothfulness, but I blame also the gloomy weather, the lack of light and the disappearance of the holidays.

My sister and I had a most interesting conversation at Christmastime. She has always been very grumpy about Christmas - hating the commercialism, the money money money, all of that. I didn't really understand and thought her rather a grinch until I had kids myself and found the pressures of Christmas to be overwhelming. Don't get me wrong - there's always been so much I love about the holidays, but there is also much for a mother to do. Both of us did better this year. I have to say, I was downright giddy for most of the season. It was such a fun year. Somehow I just let myself love the process of the season as well as the end result. My sister also found herself enjoying Christmas, even catching herself cheerily wrapping gifts next to a crackling fire while listening to Christmas tunes. Sounds crazy, but it's true. We had a discussion about this and she told me what kind of flipped her switch. It happened during a conversation with her neighbor. Christmas is about bringing in the light. The bleak midwinter can kind of seem like the caves of despair, don't you think? So dark, so cold, so hopeless at times. Christmas is bringing a light into our caves of despair. We all have them, don't we? And somehow she was able to accept that for some people, putting a giant blow-up Homer Simpson in a Santa suit on their roof is just their way of bringing the light. We're all celebrating the return of the light. I remember being disappointed as child when I learned that the birth of Christ did not happen in December. But now I get why December is such a perfect time to celebrate. Our bodies need the return of the sunlight. Our souls need the hope and promise of The Light, the Savior. I love it.

Of course, now it's January.

For today, I think I'll bring a little light into my cave of despair by thinking about what I'm grateful for:

* My friend Karen got to adopt her second girl. I'm really happy for her.
* Both of my sisters-in-law announced their pregnancies at Christmas time - we'll all hopefully have babies within a couple of months of each other.
* Both my kids had the flu this week and only threw up once.
* I got to spend New Year's Eve with good friends, even though I ruined the fondue.
* My family had a really great gathering on New Year's Day where we exchanged our homemade gifts and I thought it was a great success.
* I seem to be over morning sickness, for the most part.
* Troy has a job still.
* Our new bathroom, though not entirely completed, is so beautiful that it's now my happy place and I'm bathing much more often than necessary.
* Troy is so cute with our kids. He's so often able to be fun and happy and silly with them when I'm already at the end of my rope.
* I have a multitude of really awesome friends.
* The sun is shining today. Even though I know the haze is on its way, the sun in shining.
* We updated our computer so it's no longer super frustrating to use.
* We're getting ready for a trip to CA to visit my brother and Mickey Mouse next week.
* We're almost half way through January.

Okay, I feel better.