Tag Archives: disneyland

they’re on vacation

17 Aug

While we were at Disneyland, I hardly had time to really focus on all the people watching I love to do. I love to just stare at people sometimes. Seriously.

Don’t even pretend like you don’t do it too.

Anyways. I didn’t have time for that. Did you know that there is only like, TWO PLACES IN ALL OF DISNEYLAND THAT SELL CHICKEN NUGGETS??? Ok, there might be more than that but I had a hard time finding them. I’m not sure why. And when you can’t get your kid to eat anything BUT chicken nuggets, you will search high and low for places that sell them.

(Don’t roll your eyes. I’ve tried the approach of feeding him what we are eating and my kid can go almost an entire week without eating what I present before him. SO. I search for the nuggets while we are on vacation. When we are home, I’ll take a stricter approach.)

So, I’m searching for nuggets. At one particular point on Day 2 that we are in the park, I am scurrying through the one and only chicken nugget line to make sure my little man has a full belly. I’m picking it up and bringing it back to where the rest of my family is eating. We picked a place to meet and we were all grabbing our own thing. But no one else wanted chicken nuggets.

I don’t blame them.

So I’m leaving the line and I’m grabbing packets of ketchup when I overhear two Disney workers chatting as they were emptying trashcans. Ok, I like eavesdropping too apparently. You know you’d do it too. Don’t pretend like we ALL don’t do it. Actually, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop this time BUT I did manage to hear one worker saying to another that they were frustrated about all the people that were in Disneyland. He said and I quote,

“Man, they don’t care about trash. They’re on vacation! They don’t care that other people here are working. And aren’t on vacation. And are tired and working hard to clean up after them.”

It sort of stopped me in my tracks. And made me think. And I felt really sad about his comment. I’m not even sure why I’m blogging this. Other than to say, I had been respectively enjoying my own vacation. I wasn’t NOT thinking about others. But I wasn’t exactly thinking about all the people it took to make my vacation a success. It’s so easy to NOT think about others sometimes, huh? Easy to be wrapped up in your own agenda. Your own situation. My own chicken nuggets for my own children.

I wondered what had maybe happened. Had this worker had an interaction with a visitor that was rude? Probably. Had he already been working a long day and was ready to go home? Most likely. But it still made me think. Because it’s odd- I actually HADN’T thought about my vacation through this lens. So it made me really aware from this point on how I was treating and viewing all the workers there that I came into contact with. How unfortunate to be having fun but forgetting that there are a lot of people around me who are NOT on vacation. And just want to go home to rest.

Vacation is fun. But I’ll always approach it in a slightly different way from now on. It wasn’t a huge deal. I know this post might not impact you greatly. But it was sort of a defining moment for me. Why? I’m not sure yet. But it really hit home. So I share it here.

Because that is what I do.


california 2011

16 Aug

I wanted to post a few pictures from our trip. I didn’t get AS many pictures as I would have hoped. Especially while we were at Disneyland. BUT, when you are taking TWO kids into a theme park, accompanied by strollers, diapers, clothing, food, toys, snacks, carriers, blankets, bottles, sippy cups, wipes, jackets, shoes- THE LIST GOES ON- the LAST thing you want to carry around is your huge camera. And for a photographer to say that means- WE HAD A TON OF STUFF WITH US.

So I snapped happily on my phone whenever I didn’t have my camera with me. Which was the entire trip to Disneyland. I need to invest in a small camera that I can throw in my purse. The last one I had… well, let’s not talk about it. So I’m thankful that the iPhone’s have a decent camera in them in the meantime!

San Diego NEEDS to be my new home someday. For real. This was the view from where we were staying. I was standing on the porch when I snapped this pic. We were right on the bay and it was fantabulous.

Aw. Sweet boy couldn’t get enough of this flower.

I was REALLY GOOD and didn’t work THAT much while we were supposed to be on vaca. But Jay caught me checking in on my emails.

Lots and lots and lots of cars go wherever we go. I find them everywhere. In the car. In my diaper bag. In his car seat. They are oozing out of our lives as we know it. And a WHOLE BUNCH followed us to San Diego. And followed us home. This kid LOVES him some cars.

Love my Epiphane bag. So. Much.

Aw. Brothers.

This is where we stayed. If you travel a little or a lot- it doesn’t matter. You NEED to check out HomeAway.com for lodging. It’s the first and almost only place I book through to find places to stay when we travel. I love it and we haven’t had a bad experience yet!

We have some pictures of us filming our promo video too, which is why we went to San Diego to begin with. But I’ll save those pictures for another time, maybe. It was a great time for sure! After our few days in San Diego, we headed North to Newport Beach to shoot THIS wedding:

Freakin’ rad. It was such an awesome wedding. We can’t wait to share the whole thing! Then we spent the last two days that we were in Cali in Disneyland! The happiest place on earth should also be known as the most exhausting place on earth. For real, right? Wowzers. But we had a great time and the boys loved it. I’ll never NOT do something just because it’s hard that the boys are small. It’s harder to do certain things now, but I refuse to miss out on life and things that I love JUST because it’s more work. SO. We went to Disneyland. And it was MORE work. For sure. But worth it and such a fun time!

And best picture ever…….

I wish I would have taken more pictures in Disneyland. Note to any mommy who’s taking two kids under two into Disneyland. You probably won’t be taking a lot of pictures during that trip. I was constantly making sure no one was about to have a meltdown, while planning out our route in Disneyland, riding rides and coordinating with meals and nap times. Whoa. It was worth it. Fabulous memories for us and I’m happy that both of my kids can now say that they’ve been to Disneyland more times within their first two years of life than a lot of adults can say. HAHA. We love Disneyland too much. And go as often as possible. Which is like twice a year. But I wish it was more.

Maybe it will be whenever we live in San Diego someday.

disneyland 2011

31 Jan

Pardon my absence. We’ve been vacationing in Disneyland for the past few days and with two little guys, that’s hardly a vacation! I hardly had time to think, let alone blog or do anything else! Ha! It was a very fun trip, although doing Disneyland with your small kiddos is quite a different experience than with zero children. We were so excited to take Cruz though. Since he’s now two, we were stoked to watch him take it all in and somewhat understand and remember this trip. And we were right! He’s still talking about it and talked about it the whole way home! I did manage to take a few pictures, although I intended to take many more. That’s what happens when you have a 5 month old who hates his life the entire trip.

Seriously. Rider couldn’t have been more difficult.

But we started out the trip in the car with NEW cars for Cruz to play with! He loved it. We even set up our laptop so he could watch the movie Cars, Toy Story and even Monsters, Inc. Definitely made traveling with him a little easier in the car.

We stopped to let him play at McDonald’s and to feed Rider. We got him a new car and decided that spoiling him a little bit on this trip wouldn’t do any harm. Not like he needs another car, but he was excited to get a new one nonetheless. At this point in the trip, Rider wasn’t fussy at all. He had slept the whole way and was a pretty happy and content little guy!

And then after a couple more hours in the car, little man was tuckered out. Aw.

Then we got there and checked into our house. Yes, you heard me. HOUSE. If you are ever traveling anywhere, especially with a lot of people, you NEED to check out HomeAway.com. We were able to rent a 6 bedroom, 5 bathroom house for super cheap for 3 nights! There was 9 of us, including the boys and everyone had their own rooms and bathrooms, basically. Cruz and Rider each had their own rooms too! It was so nice to be able to spread out and be comfortable while we were gone. Hotels are great, but they get pretty pricy quickly and you usually don’t have the option of a suite that’s big enough for 9 people without it being super expensive. I ALWAYS check HomeAway.com before I resort to hotels if I can because it’s an awesome way to stay places for pretty inexpensively! Check it out for sure.

We got up the next morning and headed to Disneyland!! This is where I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have hoped. Rider was a PILL the ENTIRE day. I think he was cold all day long, but I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. I tried to bundle him up, feed him often, change his diaper, check his teeth- EVERYTHING. He was not happy. I then thought (stupidly) that I would take him on a couple of the rides that you can bring babies on and see if that would distract him. First, (and I’m not really sure why) I took him on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Which, looking back was a horrible mistake. Ha! It was too much overstimulation and he was a wreck when we got out.

THEN, I thought I’d be clear to take him on Pirates of the Caribbean. Again, another HUGE mistake. He screamed, and I mean SCREAMED, the whole time. It ended with me sitting in the boat sobbing with him. All any of us could hear was a screaming baby. No fun for anyone. When we got off the boat, I apologized PROFUSELY to the strangers that sat on the back half of our boat and they were very nice and gracious to me. They said, at first they thought the baby cries were apart of the ride! Haha!! Yea, they were definitely just MY baby actually screaming. *Sigh* So Rider didn’t go on any other rides after that. But he was very difficult the whole rest of the day. And I couldn’t figure it out.

Cruz, on the other hand, was such a good boy! He obeyed and loved every minute of being in Disneyland! We ran into Woody and Jesse too! The line was SO long, so we didn’t wait for a photo op, but we did stand off to the side so he could see them. Then, Jesse decided to come over to give Cruz a high five even though we weren’t in line!! It was so great. I don’t have a picture of it but I do have a video of it. Here’s a picture before Jesse came over.

My mom FINALLY got Rider to go to sleep. This is after he had been awake and fussy and screaming for 6 hours. Yes, from 8 am until almost 2 he was awake and a VERY unhappy little camper. Grammy to the rescue!

The next day, I layered Rider’s clothes like crazy and then I brought several blankets to keep him warm in his seat, as well as hats and more socks. And low and behold, it worked! Come nap time, he actually slept for about an hour and a half in his seat on the second day we were there. What a relief! I felt like I could actually enjoy Disneyland with my family and not have to worry about Rider. He was obviously way more comfortable this day, which is why I thought maybe he was too cold on the first day. Weird, because I thought I had dressed him warmly! But he was not the happy kid we are so used to. This was more like it.

We grabbed breakfast every morning at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen at Downtown Disney. Um, YUM. They have these amazing bengets and egg sandwiches too! It was so fun being with family!

Cruz is a bit obsessed with the Pixar movie Cars, so we were thrilled to run into these two!

Every time we wanted to ride any of the rides, we always had two of us get a Baby Pass (which is AWESOME) and wait with the kiddos while everyone else went on whichever ride we were at. My sister and I were waiting outside of Tower of Terror as everyone else ran to ride it, and while we were waiting these toy soldiers from Toy Story came out and performed for a crowd that was there! It was SO cute! Cruz calls the toy soldiers ‘guys’ every time he sees them, so he just kept shouting, ‘Hi Guys!’ haha! It was too cute! Now that we’re home, he keeps talking about seeing ‘The Guys’. Too funny.

And of course we followed Woody around the whole entire theme park.

I sorta failed at taking good, amazing pictures this weekend. Like I said, I had a pretty cranky baby on my hands and while I did have a lot of family that helped a lot, there was just a lot going on so I wasn’t able to focus on that. Ugh. But I did snap one shot while we saw World of Color inside California Adventure. If you ever get a chance, you HAVE TO GO SEE IT. It’s phenomenal. I mean, it’s unlike anything I’ve seen and I can’t wait to go back to see it again!! For most of it, my mom held Rider and he and Cruz both were mesmerized by the show! It was incredible! I have video of it and I kind of want to post it, but I’m afraid it doesn’t do it justice.

The rest of the trip was great. We went on lots of rides, ate way too much food, and had a blast!! On our way home, the boys were much fussier than they were on the way there. So we had to make extra stops, which made for a long day yesterday! But Jason’s hat kept everyone occupied and laughing.

Then we got word that my mom, sister and brother-in-laws car broke down right outside of Indio! They had to be towed back to Indio to see what the problem was, and it turns out that there was a major problem with the radiator. Now, I’m no mechanic, but I do know that that is not good. They ended up having to stay the night in Indio, rent a car, and are having to tow Cameron’s car back to Phoenix. What a mess! We felt so bad for them but are happy that everyone is ok for sure. Other than that, we all had a great family vacation! We are already planning our next trip for this November!! We love Disneyland and we LOVE going there as a family. As hard as it was to have Rider in the park, I’d do it all over again for the experience of it. It was hard and exhausting. But it was so much fun!

Oh and I have to leave you with a picture of Rider in his new ‘ears’ we got him while we were there. I saw the beanie Mickey ears and he HAD to have them!! More like, I had to have them I guess. Ha!


27 Jul

We needed a vacation. It’s as simple as that.

Jason and I had been trying to save money for this trip that my family has been planning to Disneyland for about a year. With a baby on the way when we started saving, it was a lengthy process, but we thought for sure we’d have enough to get us through the gates.

In June, my car broke down and we had several unexpected large expenses come through that required us to use that vacation savings on other important things. We were pretty bummed that we weren’t going to be able to go with my family to California in July. Jason and I knew that we would have to sit this one out.

My family saw that we really needed a vacation. It’s been an amazing and difficult year in a lot of aspects, at least financially. They saw the need and each of them, in their own way, pulled together money and resources- enough to help get us to Disneyland with them!

We were in California for 6 days and it was the break we needed. I am so thankful for a family that loves us that much- they all did everything they each could do to have us on vacation with them. It was wonderful. I thought I’d post some of the highlights of the trip along with pictures! There’s a lot so I hope you’re comfortable! Ha!

We left for California Monday morning. This is Mr. Cruz getting ready to go in his big boy car seat. We weren’t sure how he’d like his car seat, but he did ok!

Cruz in Carseat

We stayed at my Aunt Bev’s house– this is the same house that I grew up visiting. It’s so much fun to bring Cruz there now and to think that he’s going to make memories there too! I posted a couple pictures earlier in the week of Cruz sitting on the front lawn. I had fun doing a mini photo shoot with my Aunt Bev and my two cousins Julie and Jim. Here’s a few pictures from our mini photo shoot:


CousinsAuntie BevCousinsOn Tuesday we left the house after Cruz had his morning nap to head towards the beach! It’s been a recent tradition of ours to eat at Fred’s whenever we go. Jason and I love their mexican food and it over looks the ocean! We try to sit on the patio so we can see the water and the beach. Huntington Beach was pretty busy for a Tuesday, but it was great to sit, relax, and eat with family. Cruz loves the California weather- I mean, who doesn’t really?

Fred's SignFreds with DaddyFred's and CruzJuls & Bev

On Wednesday, we got up and headed to take Cruz to the LA Zoo! It was about 45 minutes away from my aunts house so Cruz napped in the car on the way there. It was very hot on Wednesday, but we still made it through the entire thing. Cruz loved looking at all the animals! It was so fun to watch him experience seeing these live animals for the first time. I know he won’t remember much, but it’s still fun to show him new things.

Cruz Zoo 1Cruz Zoo 2Cruz Zoo 3

This was Cruz at lunch trying french fries for the first time. Ha! He doesn’t like “adult” food very much and I can’t seem to get him to eat anything other than baby food. *sigh*

Cruz Zoo 4

He loved the monkey exhibit. The monkey’s were talking to each other so loudly while we were there- Cruz didn’t do much but just stare at them. It was fun to watch them swing from branch to branch!

Cruz Zoo 5Cruz Zoo 6

We stopped to cool off and take a break after the monkeys and Cruz was so smiley and laughed so much. He was so happy- well, he’s always happy usually. But it was so fun to see him enjoying the zoo!

Cruz Zoo 7

The zoo exhausted Cruz about halfway through! So Jay and I just walked around and saw the rest of the animals while Cruz napped. It was such a fun day!

Cruz Zoo 8

Thursday was Cruz’s first Disneyland experience!! We got up earlier than normal and headed out to meet my mom, sisters and Cameron at their hotel that they were staying at which was about a block away from Disneyland. We got there, parked and bought shuttle passes for the bus so we could all get into Disneyland together.

Disney 1Disney 6

Yep… We went for it! Grammy bought Cruz his very first pair of Mickey ears! He actually left them on for quite a while!

Disney 5I know- It’s super cute.

Cruz loved Disneyland. When we walked in on Friday, he belly laughed all the way from the entrance gates to the Peter Pan ride in Fantasyland! Jason and I were trying to figure out what he was laughing at!

Disney 3Disney 9I was riding the Tower of Terror when my sister Danielle snapped this picture. Chip came right up to the stroller and was making Cruz laugh so hard. But it happened so fast- you know how those characters are- they move fast! So she was able to catch this picture, which I just love!

IMG_1598Cruz loved riding the carousel too! It was also so great to have so many family members around to help us with the little man while we were there!

We managed to take Cruz on a few rides, although I didn’t get a lot of pictures while riding. Simply because I was taking video of him- especially on ‘It’s a Small World’. He LOVED it.

He also loved the Peter Pan ride, Pirates of the Caribbean, the carousel, Mickey Mouse’s house (not a ride, but he loved it) and California Screamin… Just kidding. Ha! We didn’t take him on anything with a height requirement, but he was able to enjoy quite a few things!

Disney 10Disney 12Disney 11Disney 4It was just so great to get away for a week. I don’t remember the last time we took a trip that was simply for us and allowed us to relax. We were so appreciative to everyone who helped get us there. Cruz loved every second of it and these are just a few of the pictures that were taken during our week out there!

We love California so much. It’s always the best when you can sneak away and be with family for a little bit. We were all exhausted after the trip though.

We’re seriously thinking about taking a vacation from our vacation.

Disney 8

happy face

23 Jul


Now, this is the face of a kid who is having a fun on vacation!

It’s been great to get away and try to relax. It hasn’t been easy since work has followed us, but it’s still nice to be away and out of the heat.

We are heading to Disneyland this morning! I am so excited to take Cruz and see his eyes bug out of his head. Yesterday we went to the zoo and it was so fun to watch him see the animals. The monkey exhibit was my favorite. I’ll post pics and a video on that soon.

So today we are heading to the happiest place on earth! Camera in hand, I’m sure it’s going to be a great day!

More later for sure…

aunt bev’s house

21 Jul


This is one of my favorite places in the entire world.

I grew up coming to this house, visiting family here, making up dances in the living room, sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags. There are a lot of memories here at this house and I love it. I had to snap a picture of Cruz sitting on the same lawn that I used to play on when I was a kid.

This is my Aunt Bev’s house. She lives here with my Uncle Jeff and cousins Julie and Jim. Like I said, we grew up visiting here. Julie and I have a lot of funny memories here. We love reminiscing about the ridiculous things we did and how we thought we were so cool.

I love it. I love them.

I had to do a quick photo shoot of Julie & Cruz. Playing in the front yard was something we always did. Someday Cruz & Julie’s kids (when they come) will do the same! We had fun snapping these pictures in the front yard.

We got here yesterday. It seems to take longer when you drive with a baby. I know you have to stop more, but we don’t stop that much more. Hmm. Weird.

We love visiting California, like most people. It’s significantly cooler here, there’s a beach, Disneyland, family.

We love it.


the zoo

17 Jul


I think the best gift I received for my birthday last week was an annual pass to The Phoenix Zoo! My family gave it to me and thought this would be great for me and Jason to do as a family with Cruz (once it cools off of course!), especially since he loves animals.

I think they also felt bad that we were taking him to Pets Mart on a regular basis for cheap entertainment. Hey, it’s free and they have animals! Ha!

So now we are able to take him to the zoo whenever we want! This would have been enough for me, but that’s not all! With the membership comes a lengthy list of zoos and aquariums that you can go to for free or discounted prices- all over the country!!

We are heading to California next week for our annual family trip with my family. We are spending the week at my Aunt Bev’s house. My mom, sisters and Cameron are all going to be in Disneyland all week long- but we are trying to save our pennies so we are going to Disneyland for 2 days only. Originally, we just thought we would hang in Cali, relax, head to the beach- and that is still the plan. But we are also going to try to hit up a couple zoos in the area and take Cruz for free!!

It’s the birthday gift that keeps on giving. I am so excited because Cruz is going to love it. This is going to be such a fun trip for him.

Then I got news that my cousin Julie is going to come visit- she has never met Cruz yet and I am SO excited that she’s going to spend some time with us while we are there.

Family, Fred’s, the zoo, Disneyland. All in one week?

Yes please!