Disney 2018

Disney 2018

It wasn’t as good as our last two trips. Not just because of our loss, though that was a big factor obviously, but also because our expectations were a little too high. The last two trips we didn’t have any plans at all really, we just did whatever Owen wanted. This time we had fastpasses and reservations and sometimes our plans and Owen’s opinions didn’t jive. We remained flexible and lost a few fastpasses to time at the pool, but I think the payoff with Owen’s mood was worth it. I think he would have liked more time at the “little beach,” but it was just too chilly most days for swimming.

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He loved the characters. I think he was disappointed Mickey and Minnie don’t have houses on the East coast, but he accepted it. He loved the Barnstormer, he rode that 7 times and the Mine Train. And of course the Frozen ride. I think we officially exhausted our restaurant sitting time for the month with him. Bryan and I did go on Flight of Passage and it was amazing. Would not wait three hours for it, but definitely worth waking up at 7am to make the fast pass reservations.

We left at 5am on Saturday. I picked Owen up out of bed and said, “no Mama, I don’t want to use the potty.” He was happier when I explained we were going to go on a plane to Disney. Our driver sucked. He brought an infant car seat and he didn’t understand why we were upset. I don’t understand why this is always a problem. They were perfect about the car seat in CA. If your business offers car seats, you should educate your employees on them. So we used our seat and the rest of the morning went smoothly. We went to Disney Springs and had dinner at The Boathouse.

The first Sunday we were there was my dad’s birthday. We got up early, even though it was the first day of daylight savings and headed to the Magic Kingdom. It was empty for about the first hour. We went on Pooh, dumbo, the barnstormer, small world. By the time we met up with my parents for lunch, Owen was exhausted and was asking to go back to the hotel. We didn’t want to force him to stay in the park, but we did have fastpasses for the mine train right after lunch, so we told him we would do the roller coaster and then leave. He was totally onboard with that plan. He loooooved it.

Turns out he didn’t want to nap, I guess he was just over the heat and the crowds. So I made another winning suggestion and asked if he wanted to go swimming. He loved that even more. After the pool, we headed to dinner at the California Grill which is always one of our favorites. I love how Owen orders his own food and water. They brought out the pizza for him right away which made the dinner go much more smoothly.

On Monday, we woke up early again, but EPCOT wasn’t going to open until 9, so we headed to the Animal Kingdom for its extra magic hour. That was a mistake. It was the most crowded any Park was that entire week. Flight of passage had a 240 minute wait before the park even opened. Even the stupid bugs life show had a 30 minute wait. Owen was also crazy grumpy. We did triceratops spin a few times and then got the hell outta there.

EPCOT was pretty crazy too. I’ve never seen imagination with a wait, never mind a 45 minute wait. I guess it didn’t help spaceship earth was down for a few hours. We waited 40 for Nemo because the posted wait was a bit off. Owen didn’t seem to mind. He was really good on the queues. He had adventures with his toys. Lunch was character dining at the Garden Grill. Food was meh for the price, but Owen loved the rotating restaurant, the “jungle” and the characters. I think we shared pizza that night a Via Napoli.

Tuesday was shit. In the morning we met Buzz and Woody and BB-8 before I saw Lyn called. We were on line to meet Chewbacca and I was watching Bryan on the phone. By the time he got off the phone I was hysterical, he didn’t even need to tell me, I knew, he just nodded. Disney was great with us though. They entertained Owen so we could cry and call and just process what had happened. They gave us fastpasses and took us to get hugs from Pluto. We probably should have gone back to our hotel, but we ended up blowing up at the cast members at the star tours which we ended up not doing at all. After lunch we were a little better, but, I didn’t feel like I was there. Felt like I was walking around in a dream. I just wanted to make sure Owen had fun and he did. He loved Sci-fi and Toy Story Midway Mania.

We woke up Wednesday with renewed determination to have a good time. We headed to the animal kingdom and got pictures with some of Owen’s favorites: Russel from Up and Flik from A Bug’s Life. We made a last minute decision to use our Landry’s card to get into Yak and Yeti because it was crazy crowded anyway. Glad we did because it ended up being one of my favorite meals of the trip surprisingly. We had fastpasses for Navi River Journey which was actually pretty cool despite the meh reviews. The petting zoo was a disappointment. The animals weren’t social like last year. Maybe because it was later in the day and there were more people. Owen enjoyed the safari though. Dinner was at Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We didn’t see any animals during dinner, but the food was really good. Well, the one dish anyway. I remembered why I hadn’t originally scheduled a big meal for lunch though. We were a little too full to enjoy everything, but nothing wrong with leftovers for breakfast.

Thursday we went back to the magic kingdom. It was a bit more crowded than the first morning, but we managed to do the rest of the rides on our list plus the mine train again and the barnstormer another few times. I finally got to have my dole whip pineapple upside-down cake that was almost as good as I expected it to be. Dinner was at Be Our Guests. I think Owen liked the restaurant, but he was going a little nuts, I think because he was so tired. He liked meeting The Beast at the end though.

Friday we did EPCOT again. Not quite as crowded as the first day we went, but still a little nuts. We back back to the hotel after our Via Napoli lunch and went swimming. That kid would have lived in the pool if we let him. I was a little too cold though. After the pool we went back to EPCOT for our fastpasses and to eat dinner at The Land. Owen needed to do Nemo again so we spent a little while after at the Living Seas. He liked the manatees. One even made him jump as it swam buy :)

Saturday we went back to the Animal Kingdom. I think it was the least crowded day of the trip. We did the playground again and the Nemo show. Bryan and I did Flight of Passage which was just so cool. The seat vibrated and tickled my tummy though, ha ha. Dinner was at I’ll Mulino which is always one of our favorites of the trip. Owen was happy to play on the little playground by the Swan right before.

Sunday we had one last character meal before heading home. It was nice to actually do something Disney-like on the last day. I think it put Owen in a better mood too. I asked him if he was excited to go back home and he said, “not really.” Stuffing ourselves worked out well for that hour long delay we faced at the airport. Then there was drama because they switched Owen’s seat without informing us. Fortunately there was a lovely woman next to us who agreed to switch seats. Owen had a good time at the airport too playing with a little girl. He really needs to hang out with kids more often.

So it wasn’t the best trip, but it wasn’t completely ruined or anything. Owen had a blast which is the important part. We didn’t think we would be going back for a while, but I’m still not pregnant, so who knows.

Saying Goodbye to Papi

Saying Goodbye to Papi

My father-in-law passed away suddenly on the 13th.

Jack was the best. When Bryan lists out the best qualities he brings to our relationship, Lyn and Jack are always come up. He was always there to help us and support us. We’re “adults,” but I feel like there was still so much he was teaching us about being grownups. He helped us buy our house and paint the nursery. He was the first one at the hospital to meet Owen. Sharing a Klondike with Papi had been a highlight of Owen’s visits lately. They loved each other so much.

We were on line to meet Chewbacca in Disney when we heard. Some kind cast members took us aside and let us compose ourselves. It was a complete shock because he was in very good health. I’ll make a separate post about Disney. I wish Papi could have seen all the pictures, he would have loved them. I can’t bring myself to post anything on Facebook. It makes me so sad that he won’t be liking anything anymore.

His service was nice. Even though there was a fucking snow storm, because the universe can’t give my mother-in-law a break, plenty of people still came. Bryan and Chris spoke and Rae sang. I was supposed to sing but my cold took my voice from me. I think I was better off, I don’t think I would have made it through a whole song. It was harder than I thought it would be. Watching the kids trying to make sense of what happened really got to me. I think they know he’s gone, I’ve read they don’t really understand it’s forever at this age though.

Owen keeps saying, “I miss Papi. Papi is gone. Papi’s not go home. Papi is sleeping.” He’s been a little aggressive lately and I think, maybe because he doesn’t understand his feelings. I told him it’s OK to feel sad and angry. It’s also OK to feel happy at the same time, because happy things happen even when you’re sad.

The Doctor Made it Better

The Doctor Made it Better

Sometimes I forget I have a blog. The year has been going pretty well so far. I got a really good review at work which hopefully translates into some $$$. I did two training sessions of machine learning last week which were so impressive, there’s talk of giving our team real, funded work :D

I also finally got a new phone, s8, so I can download apps again :D it took forever to get it because the first one they sent had some security problem. This one has been perfect so far though.

Owen fell and hurt his mouth last week. We had a few really rough days after, mostly because he wouldn’t eat. I had to take off work on Monday so we could get him checked out at the dr and so Bryan had help forcing a smoothie into his mouth. We literally had to hold him down and squirt it in with a syringe. It was awful. So glad he started eating yogurt on his own the next day. This morning he woke up and told me he wanted to use the potty and have a smoothie like normal because his mouth was all better now <3 <3 <3 He attributes his healing mouth to his doctor, as well as the ear infection he had last month getting better and his figure that he hurt like a year ago :D

We’ve been sick a lot. Every time we’re supposed to go see Julia and the baby, we get sick or Owen smashes his face. I’m almost afraid to make plans with her now. I did see Rachelle’s baby though. She’s so sweet. Missed newborn snuggles.

TMI ahead. We’ve been trying to get pregnant, but I’ve had weird spotting every month. Finally went to the doctor to get checked out and he removed something on my cervix, but said that wouldn’t have prevented us from getting pregnant, so just keep trying for another 3 or 4 months. As a control freak, it kinda drives me nuts, but just gotta be patient I suppose. Hopefully I won’t have any spotting this month confusing matters though.

New Year Survey 2017

New Year Survey 2017

1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before? Went to Disneyland!
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Last year I wanted to find an awesome assignment and jump in, I found two! Wish I could have stayed on Q longer, but this machine learning stuff is cool too. I wanted to finish learning Spring, um… I got distracted with machine learning and I wanted to clean this house at some point which never happened. This year I need to find a new home for all of my office “friends,” probably in my basement. I really want to do that free class on deep learning, but we’ll see if I get to that.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Carolyn and Julia! And hopefully Rachi right before the very end of the year.
4. Did anyone close to you die? no
5. What countries did you visit? None
6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017? last year I wanted the energy to learn new things, which is kinda awesome, because I did :D Next year I want more baby snuggle time. I haven’t even met Julia’s baby yet!
7. What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? I cant think of anything really
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? My Machine Learning Nano Degree. I also got a progression this year.
9. What was your biggest failure?
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Oh God, that stomach virus
11. What was the best thing you bought? gymnastic classes for Owen
14. Where did most of your money go? Disney trips
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Disneyland
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
l. happier or sadder? happier
ll. thinner or fatter? fatter
lll. richer or poorer? little richer
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? singing
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Facebook
20. How will you be spending Christmas? they all coming here
24. What was your favorite TV program? The Good Place. First time I saw it, I was all, meh but it gets really good. I’m also liking Crazy Ex Girlfriend
26. What was the best book you read? Did I read any his year?
28. What did you want and get? a machine learning assignment and the Q assignment actually
29. What did you want and not get? A good price on the flight to Disney next year? But at least we don’t have to fly United
30. What was your favorite film of this year? Coco
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I probably did something… playground with Julia and Carolyn? Was that this year?
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I don’t know, it was a pretty great year… think the only thing that could have been better is if Small World was open when we went to Disney
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017? still stitch fix
34. What kept you sane? my treadmill desk
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?  No one in particular I don’t think
36. What political issue stirred you the most? Where do I start… everything this stupid administration has done so far?
37. Who did you miss? My friends
38. Who was the best new person you met? like everyone on the Q team, I miss those guys
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017: Always assume there could be mice. Yeah, no, I don’t want to talk about it.
41. Summarize 2017: It’s a good thing things are going so well at work, otherwise this presidency might be enough to drive me insane
42. What are you most looking forward to next year? Disney again? ha ha
43. What were your predictions last year? Ha ha, we are finally weaned, Trump is slowly but surely destroying the country and there are lots of babies.
44. What are your predictions for 2018: Next year… I get the feeling we’ll move into our new office space really late in the year and everything will be nuts before that and One Team is going to go crazy trying to plan stuff with everyone all over the place.

Owen Says Part 2

Owen Says Part 2

“Mickey go fast! Mickey go to the mall”

Owen: I go down
Me: you go down?
(The car starts going down hill)
Owen: go down! (Puts arms up like on a rollercoaster) whoooooo!

(Under a blanket) “mama! Mama! Go under here? (Whispers) it’s scary”

“I have to wait. I have to wait go mmmmmnastics, jump with the kids!”

Owen: mama, you OK?
Me: my nose is a little runny
Owen: oh no, nose is snuffy?
Me: yeah, I’m a little stuffy
Owen: mama, wait right there
(He goes into the dining room and searches for something on the table. He comes back with three napkins)
Owen: here, it snuffy for nose

(After tucking him in, he holds out his arms for a hug) “thank you mom!”

“Sorry, I can’t stay, I have to go Christmas shopping.”

Disneyland 2017

Disneyland 2017

This post has been in my drafts for way too long :D I’ve been busy planning our next trip to Disney World, ha ha.

A few weeks ago, we did something we’ve never done before and ventured to the west coast to Disneyland for a change. Mostly because Bryan’s brother and his family are in CA, but also, Disneyland. We had originally proposed DL, but didn’t think it would happen, so we started talking about going to San Francisco and Disney World instead. We weren’t able to book DW until March and then Chris and Rae were all aboard the Disney boat, so we decided to do both. We got a great discount at the Grand Californian and our flights were good prices too since we traveled on a Monday, so it didn’t cost a fortune.

It was a great week. Probably even better than our last Disney World trip. Now, not saying Disneyland is better, but it does have some major advantages. Also because Owen is older and I didn’t have to nurse him while waiting for rides :D

Best part of DL is that everything is in walking distance and our hotel was literally next to California adventure. We did just as much walking, but we went back and forth between the parks multiple times a day and not having to worry about a bus is pretty nice.

You get a lot out of morning magic hours. Even mornings in general are super quiet with little to no waits for rides. We rode Toy Story Midway Mania four times in a row on two separate days with no wait.

Toon Town was a huge hit with Owen. He would move there if he could. It’s better than the one they used to have in Disney World too. And again, mornings were great there. No line for Mickey or Minnie. He met them both every day of our trip. Because that’s what you do when you let your kid decide the itinerary :D The character interaction is better in Disneyland. On several occasions, characters who were walking off to take their break came up to Owen to say hi. I’ve never seen that in DW.

We also rode Mickey’s Fun Wheel every day which was his favorite ride I think. That or “Christmas ride” which is actually Haunted Mansion Holiday. That was my favorite of the trip.

The last great thing about Disneyland is the redwood creek challenge trail, or maybe the worst because chasing Owen around there was not easy. It’s better than the playground in Animal Kingdom and Owen enjoyed the duck races. Only part that sucked was that he was too short for the rock wall and zip line which resulted in a meltdown.

Disney World wins in the food department. I did have two meals though that were really delicious. One was quick service at the red rose tavern and the other was the Blue Bayou. Both were the vegetarian dishes. I do love my veggies.

Disney World also has more random shows. Owen really loved those drums in the Animal Kingdom last trip. Shopping in World Showcase is also one of my favorite things to do.

Oh the castle. I knew the castle in Disneyland was smaller, but boy do you really miss out on that “wow, I’m in Disney” feeling when you walk down main street.

I think for his age, DL is way better. Even if we had never ventured outside Toon Town. I think for adults, DW is where I’d prefer to spend my time. Also, nothing beats seeing Owen and Lyra run around together. It was like instant best friends. So amazing. So happy we went!

Owen is Three!

Owen is Three!

And what a great birthday he had.

On the 25th, I took off work and spent the whole day with him. We gave him his present, a dollhouse that looks like the house from his favorite movie of the moment, Up. Then we went to his gymnastics class. He transfered himself into the big boy Ninja class, so we couldn’t go in the gym with him, just watch from the window, but he didn’t care. Boy was he excited I was there though. He kept stopping to wave at me :D He follows the directions of the instructor better than I would have thought. He loves it so much. “Go mnastics! Jump with the kids???”

We went to the mall after and rode the merry-go-round and the train. He played on the playground there for a long time. He had a great day.

Today we had his birthday party. Grandpa filled a bunch of helium balloons for him and he thought it was the greatest ever. He took one to bed with him and threw a giant tantrum when he accidentally let it go. The other kids all loved them too.

All the food I made turned out really well. I made vegan chocolate ice cream and it was actually really good. The cinnamon ice cream and chocolate cake were also hits. I also made baked french toast for the first time and that all went too. As did Grammy’s “anya” (lasagna).

It was a lot of people crammed into our little house, but it worked and everyone had a great time :)

It also worked out well with the timing. I finished my nano degree last month and we finished Game of Thrones on Wednesday, so I had time to do all of that cleaning, cooking and baking :D

I’ve been doing machine learning at work and it’s pretty cool, except we don’t really have enough/the right data to do anything awesome, so I’ve just been messing around, finding patterns, making pretty charts and impressing people :D

Owen Says

Owen Says

My little boy is three today! I’ve been collecting some of his quotes to share here. I think they sum up his personality pretty well. He has such a big imagination, he has adventures will listening to movie soundtracks. He’s very sweet and very silly.

“Like your earrings? Very pretty!”

While playing with his toys: “No! Don’t touch that! … aaaaaah! … oops”

After Connor hit his knee on the playground: “oh no! Connor! You hurt your knee?” He runs over… “I kiss and make better,” he kisses his knee, “all better!” Connor: “thank you.”

On the way home from Sesame Place: “Bye Elmo! Bye Dorothy!”

“Go pool Connor? … Go Sesame Place Connor?”

Bryan was lying on the floor: “Wake up Dada! It’s time for bed!”

“It’s not time for bath, it’s time for yogurt.”

“Red shoes, yellow shoes, blue shoes, (puts shoe on head) oops!”

Owen: “I feeling frustrated”

“C is for Owen, that’s good enough for me!”

After I knocked over his tower:

Me: oh no! I’m sorry!

Owen: are you ok? (He climbs in my lap and pets my head) Aww, ma ma, you ok?

Sesame Place

Sesame Place

I took off from work today and we took Owen to Sesame Place with Carolyn, Tom and Connor. Much like last year, the day started off shaky. We did a coupe of rides, but crankiness was at a high. I guess they were hot and/or hungry. Once they had a snack and got in the water, they were very happy.

We went to the Count’s Splash Castle, but Owen hated that. He does not enjoy getting splashed, so we went back to the little pool for a while. We stepped out when the parade came by which I think Owen liked, but then he wanted to get back in the pool after. Connor was done by that point and went home.

I managed to convince Owen to dry off and do something else and we went on some of the other rides. He loved all of them, but he was absolutely giddy about the teacups.

Since it was rush hour by the time we were done with rides, we decided it was best to stay a little later and eat dinner there. We saw Elmo the Musical and Owen was really into it, clapping and shouting. We had pizza for dinner and then went on the Carousel one last time before heading home.

After about 30 minutes in the car he says, “Bye Connor! Bye Elmo!” and waves. This kid is a hoot. He was exhausted, but he held it together really well until the last 10 minutes of the drive when he had a meltdown because he took off his shoes and socks, but he didn’t want them off. <3