Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Walt Disney World Wednesday - Pete's Silly Sideshow

I have to admit, up until this last trip, Storybook Circus was an area of WDW that we had mostly neglected. When we were there in December, we found ourselves at that end of the park after the fireworks, and after we had already done most everything we wanted to do that day (or could do - don't get me started on missing out on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train AGAIN). Finding a mostly empty Pete's Silly Sideshow late at night was like a magical mash-up of Disney and Carnivale. This is definitely my new favorite character greeting spot!

PS: This is why you should always spring for Memory Maker. I can say it has been 100% worth it every single time.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Goodwill Haul

I've never really had the patience for thrift or discount stores. I am not one of those people who gets a thrill from digging through disorganized racks, but I will do it when I'm in the mood once or twice a year. I prefer antique malls in general (more on this soon), but these days it's really hard to find old furniture that is not a) really valuable, or b) already "shabby chic'd" to hell. So I have found myself in Goodwill a few times lately, skimming housewares for various different projects I have in mind.

Turns out, there is a lot of new stuff at Goodwill! Since I usually donate about three carloads of stuff to Goodwill every year (multifamily yard sale leftovers and cleaning out closets), it has suddenly occurred to me that it's like I trade in my old stuff to make room for new, better stuff! Now I am addicted. Here's today's haul: two new Circo crib sheets and four skeins of yellow and orange sparkly yarn for $13 and some change. Goodwill is a GOLD MINE for new baby stuff from Target!

Also, did you know that Goodwill has an online auction site for the really good stuff?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wherein I Finally Join the Parenting Experts Club

The best part of being pregnant is that now I know everything. Before I got pregnant, I was really interested in science, child psychology and child development, and I always kept up on the latest trends. I babysat all through high school and college, and I have always kind of missed it, so I kept up on baby and kid stuff like it's a hobby. Plus, being a travel agent who specializes in Disney means keeping up on all kinds of things that I wouldn't otherwise pay attention to as a childless adult. Every trip to the World is a prime opportunity to do stroller and babywearing research!

Keeping up on parenting and baby trends while struggling to get pregnant after a miscarriage is just about the most frustrating thing ever. Here's your pregnant friend when you share something you read about:

Being pregnant makes you an expert! I see it all the time on internet baby boards: first time moms complaining about their "childless" friends offering advice. Isn't it a miracle how simply getting pregnant makes you an expert? I'm so excited! I feel like Tom Hanks joining the Five Timers Club.

To be fair, in the 2 months I knew I was pregnant and not many people knew, I discovered that the reason you become an expert is that there's nothing else to do. If you want to obsess about being pregnant, your only option is to studying breastfeeding and diapers like it's a college exam. So when someone tries to give you their opinion, you're all "Whatever, I got an A in this class already." Childless friends, you are welcome to punch me if I make that J-Law face at you.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

I Need Bath Crashers

For the second time in a month, I've dreamed about remodeling our bathroom. Actually, this time I dreamed that we FOUND a bathroom, and a whole secret wing of our house. This bathroom was in the process of being remodeled when it was sealed away, and it had one of everything you could want in a bathroom. Sauna, jacuzzi, rain shower, towel warmer, everything. It just needed to be finished, which is so much less daunting than the addition that Matt Muenster and I agreed that we would need to build in my last bathroom dream.

One thing I accepted when we bought a 130 year old house is that there is not much to be done about the first floor bathroom, the one that causes these haunting dreams of luxury. This house probably didn't have indoor plumbing when it was built, and somewhere along the line, someone decided to just build a cube in the middle of the hallway for a very tiny full bath. Rather than build the ceiling all the way up to the second floor, they just used the space above for more storage. I told Francis it's time for a hoarder intervention if I ever say,  "just put that on top of the bathroom."

I have distant memories of thinking I could give it a face-lift so it wouldn't be AS bad, but as I started planning (usually in the shower, staring at the cheap adhesive tub surround with the rough edges covered by a wallpaper border) and researching things like 59" bathtub and tub surround, or 18" sink vanity, I realized it was a fools errand. This bathroom will suck forever unless I take Matt Muenster's dream advice and build an addition on the back of the house instead.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

To the Manor Born

Surprise! This is why we have shifted our attention from Craves, Caves, & Graves to Franceth Manor and why I gave an indirect answer if you asked me about the new rides at Wizarding World of Harry Potter. (I didn't lie! Escape From Gringotts really did break down while we were in line. The ride tour line.) Here's an actual exchange that happened at Universal Studios:

Francis: I am never bringing a pregnant woman to Universal Studios again!
Beth: Me neither! What a waste of money!

Seriously, don't do it. Universal covers their ass and says that expectant mothers can't ride anything. If you do your research you will find that a lot of them are ok, especially in the first trimester, but no one wants to mess around in the first trimester. Wizarding World of Harry Potter is still awesome just for walking around and drinking butterbeer and eating ice cream from Florian Fortescue's,though!

As for this recent trip to Walt Disney World, here are my travel tips:
1a. Stay hydrated! We average 25,000 steps or about 12 miles every day in WDW. You should be aiming for at least 10 glasses of water. The bonus to being in a place aimed at children is that it's also easy to get milk and juice.

1b.  Always have a map if you don't know where the restrooms are. I am now a professional at examining any open space in a theme park and pointing to the nearest restroom. If only I could make money off skills like that.

2. Know your food aversions and how to avoid them. Most quick service restaurants are sandwiches (no lunch meat for you!), burgers, and chicken (or turkey leg). Suddenly my pre-pregnancy low carb diet was entirely unappealing. We did a lot of snacking instead, and crossed off a number of items on the 100 Disney Foods to Eat Before You Die list. My dinner at Le Cellier was primarily bread (THAT BUTTER, amirite?), heirloom tomato salad, and beer cheese soup. I did split the ribeye with Francis, but by "split" I mean I ate 5 bites.

3. Use FP+ (FastPass) to your best advantage because you won't want to (or can't) wait in line for an hour or more. If you have been to WDW a number of times like we have, use this opportunity to do the slow stuff like the train, Liberty Belle, shows, etc. Watch all the movies and ride all the rides in the World Showcase. Visit all the lobbies of the hotels on the monorail. TRY to relax!