Being a part of Silicon Valley Moms Blog has been awesome. Over the past year, I have been introduced to a new world of blogging. A wider world. There have been political discussions, flame wars to watch (and not engage in - that's me, personally), book clubs to contribute to online, a new way to read and engage in the news, and just a great group of moms to interact with. Disney (you heard me right, Disney) hosted the SV Moms today at a fabulous party. I love Disneyland, I must admit. Our trip last summer, when we took Ben and Lily for their first time, was so amazingly awesome. It truly was the happiest place on earth for us. Dreams really do come true!
One of the highlights of our day happened before we arrived at the University Club for the Disney party. We were driving up to Palo Alto in our Nissan Quest minivan, as usual. The way we have the van configured is as follows: two car seats in the third and very back row, one car set in the middle row in one of the captain seats and the other captain seat folded down flat into the floor, providing us all access to climb in and out, change diapers, prepare food, store
the monumental amount of kid crap we shuff around stuff, and so on. Ava is at an age now where her car seat straps, etc. are set up the same way as Ben and Lily's are, so that the 3 of them can sit in any seat. And they do mix it up. Every. Single. Car. Ride. We always have to have the discussion of whose turn it is to sit in the "front" and whether the seat on the left side of the third row (back) can be termed the "front" since it doesn't have a seat directly in front of it (that seat being folded flat into the floor). The true front seat is highly coveted, as Mommy and Daddy can reach that seat and, thus, pass snacks, toys, drinks, etc. back to that person. It is, shall we say, the first class row. The two in the "way back" are out of luck. They are coaching it. No pass ability. (And, even though countless requests have been made for me to be like the mom in The Incredibles - hey, that's a Disney movie! - with super stretchy arms, I am still waiting for that particular upgrade - it would be so helpful...although I would probably regret it, as I'm sure that would lead to the demise of any of my "free time".)
Today, a breakthrough occurred. This is a major milestone, people. Snacks were requested - after all, we had awoken Ava early from her nap to get to the Disney party (I know, never supposed to wake a sleeping baby, but what can you do? Disney party, here we come. The things we do for you, Disney!). I had
accidentally left old snacks in the glove department the other day thoughtfully prepared snacks, but Ava was the one screaming for it the loudest and she was, of course, all the way in coach/the back row. Couldn't reach. But...idea! I passed Ben a packet of Teddy Grahams and he stretched and reached over his head (lots of coaching and pleading and adjustments) and passed the bag back to Lily who was sitting behind him. It was like a slow motion movie where someone is hanging onto a skyscraper ledge for dear life and frantically reaching for their savior's hand to pull them up to safety. Lily finally grabbed it and excitedly passed it to Ava, who giggled with laughter and astonishment. Thank goodness I had the foresight to open the bag a little before this all occurred, so that the Teddy Graham could actually be accessed. Wow - Jeff and I felt like a super parent team. Supply chain management - achieved!
At the party, we had a great time with our friends Linda and Akemi from Gemini Crickets and SVMoms and their respective sets of twins. We decorated Princess cookies (great idea for a birthday party favor...), played video games, made our own Disney potato heads, frolicked outside on the deck with our buddies, ate yummy food in Mickey Mouse shaped plates (Disney just has that touch of detail on every single thing. I love it.), examined our Disney free loot (thanks Disney!) and met some Disney characters (the lovely autograph books were lost on us, unfortunately - I'll get to that below). My kids played under the tablecloths during the speeches - embarrassing, yes, but I do remember loving to do this as a kid. Oh well, they had a blast.
Here's where the scary part comes in. Ben and Lily are deathly afraid of life-sized characters. Especially those with masks or big head things - like Mickey, Minnie and Buzz Lightyear, all of whom were at the party. Even though they (sort of) understand they are just people in costumes. Even Cinderella, who was very approachable - she knelt down to each child and looked just at them, like they were the only child in the room, despite their being about 100 others. The twins were paralyzed with fear. Now, Ava, she was a different story. She L-O-V-E-D Cinderella. Went right up to her (while her big sister Lily twisted around crazily on the floor, giggling and not talking to Cinderella at all), sat on her lap, had her picture taken, and say "Bye" and blew a kiss (just like Cinderella taught her to do). Ben and Lily went outside for a while to "hide." That worked well until a potty break was necessary. Buzz Lightyear was standing in a place that necessitated a sneak-by. So Jeff led Ben and Lily under and behind the tablecloths on the food tables, special military forces style, to the bathroom. Whew! They were safe. Ava could have stayed forever with Cinderella and Buzz, but Ben and Lily were then on the escape path, so we left a bit early. I missed out on the photo opp with the rest of the SVMoms - bummer. What can I say, my kids are freaked out by the characters.
We are hoping to make it to Disneyland this summer for a return trip and maybe (fingers crossed) we can break out of this shyness and summon up the urge to talk to a Disney character or two. In the meantime, we at least know that the drive from the Silicon Valley to LA will be eased by our car seat-snack-pass-back super trick.
Thanks, Disney and SVMoms, for a great party. We hope to see you soon at Disneyland!