Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jedi Training Academy

Dakota and Hunter are both huge Star Wars fans, so seeing the Jedi Training Academy was at the top of our list of things to do this year at Disneyland. Dakota did it two years ago, but Hunter hasn't seen it since he was young. The first time we tried, it got cancelled due to technical difficulties. This might seem bad, but to make up for it, they had the Jedis, Darth Vader and Darth Maul come out for pictures and autographs, which NEVER happens. We were lucky enough to have get in line quickly and meet all of the characters. Fortunately, the Disney Photo Pass photographers were on hand and took pictures, because ours were stolen by the previously mentioned craphead(s). Hunter was a bit nervous, especially with Darth Maul, but we managed to get him in the pictures.

We stuck around for the next session. No technical difficulties this time and both Dakota and Hunter were selected to participate. Of course, we had to tell the Jedi Master that Hunter was four, but it was just a tiny fib. Both of them battled Darth Vader, which is good, because I'm not sure Hunter could have handled Darth Maul! They were both brave Jedis and did a great job! They had a build your own lightsaber station at the shop outside of the Star Tours ride. I did have great pictures of them building their own Darth Maul (double sided) light sabers, but, well you already know... We now have something like 10 lightsabers at our house! I am so proud of my boys going up in front of all of those people and battling those scary guys!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sometimes Bribery is the Best Option (or Potty Talk, Part Deux)

Disclaimer: This picture is a recreation of the original that was lost when a big crap-head stole our stuff at Disneyland (the story was featured in a previous post).
We had an extra long Disneyland vacation this year. We bought annual passes and wanted to make sure that we were there long enough to get our moneys worth in case we couldn't make it back before the passes expire. We were originally going to stay for eight days, but due to the above mentioned crap-head(s), we stayed an additional day to try to recreate some of the photographs from the previous days.
This particular pose came about when we were in A Bug's Land at California Adventure, but was recreated in the line for Pirates of the Carribean. Hunter spied a cotton candy cart and decided he wanted some. Paul decided to make a deal with him. If he would poop, he could have cotton candy. Now, Hunter is going through the Freudian anal retentive stage of development, which also means that he is on a mission to never ever poop again. Not in Pull-Ups, not on a potty, so getting him to do it at all is a challenge. He has had his share of what he calls "butt medicine" followed by us forcing him to sit on the potty until it happens.
On this particular day, as soon as Paul told Hunter what he had to do to get the cotton candy, he was all for it. Hunter ran over to me and told me that he was going to get cotton candy when he pooped on the potty and proceeded to demonstrate for me how he would accomplish this miraculous feat! That would be the pose he is striking in the picture, how he poops on the potty. Paul then took Hunter into the restroom. Hunter came out telling me he "pooped a giant water bottle!" Apparently, that is what it looked like.
The bribery has continued since and I am amazed at how easily Hunter is able to perform for whatever it is that he wants. He pooped "two soccer balls" for a pirate sword, and another "giant water bottle" for something else. Hopefully, we won't be bribing him when he is a teenager, but for the time being, it works!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bad Blogger

I know I have been a bad blogger lately. I am slapping myself on the hand as I write this. I have been busy with school (my education that is), school (this reference is to my job) and vacation.

We had a great vacation in Disneyland until what was supposed to be our last day. We went on Splash Mountain at about 8:15 that evening. When we were almost on the ride, Paul asked me if I had the cameras, which in five years of going to Disneyland we have never forgotten to take with us. I did not. Neither did he. I tried to reassure myself that everything would be okay. The camera bag was covered up with our jackets and in FIVE YEARS of going to Disneyland, no one had ever messed with our stroller.

We got off the ride and the stroller was gone. After meeting with security and looking everywhere, they finally located our stroller in the restrooms by the New Orleans train station. Our cameras were gone. The souveniers we had just bought were gone. Even our soft sided cooler with water and our bag of snacks were gone! Our jackets and clothing were all that were left. They even took Hunter's pirate hook that Paul bought for him for $3 at Disneyland (which means that it would have cost about 75 cents in real life) and Dakota's $6 Nightmare Before Christmas back scratcher (approximately $1.75 in real life). Those weren't even in bags, they actually had to take them out of the seat of the stroller and put them in the bags! A few minutes later a security guard recovered our food and cooler at the restaurant around the corner.

We filed claims with lost and found and a police report. We learned that we were the third reported victims that evening, and another report was coming in as we were with the detective. Apparently a group of crapheads (we've called them much worse, but I'm trying to keep the blog family friendly) were going around the park and grabbing strollers, rolling them into a restroom and taking as much as they could. Of course, the ONE time I forgot the cameras in FIVE YEARS of going to Disneyland!

Two people were detained and there car was searched, but they were never able to turn up our cameras. They had the video and picture from the whole vacation as well as from when Dakota won the student of the quarter award at school. Fortunately, we had purchased annual passes, so we decided to stay an extra day to find out if our cameras turned up and to recreate some of our memories (we ran to Target and got a new camera). Unfortunately, we couldn't recreate when both Dakota and Hunter were picked to do the Jedi Training Academy and battled Darth Vader, or our trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific, but we did do lunch at Ariel's Grotto and got to meet 5 princesses and the boys learned how to bow and do a dance (it was really fun, even with boys).

We decided that we would purchase a CD of all of our Photo Pass pictures that they took so we could have some pictures of nine days at Disneyland. Paul explained to the clerk what had happened and wanted to know if we could get some photos replaced that we had purchased with vouchers, and were stolen with our other things. She made a phone call and Disney was kind enough to comp us the photo CD (which cost $60).

So, we did have a great vacation until our stuff was stolen. The lesson here is: don't forget to bring the camera on the ride. You can bet we won't forget again!