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  • PSA: Take your child to Disneyland before his/her third birthday

    Note: This post is intended primarily for Southern California residents.

    Children under three get into Disneyland for free. Alex’s third birthday is a couple of months away, so we are planning on taking him for the first time before then. We were hoping for one of the really good “local resident” deals that Disneyland occasionally has, but so far there doesn’t seem to be one. The best deal I can find is the “2fer”, which gives you admission to both Disneyland and California Adventure on different days. We’re not really interested in making two trips to Anaheim in the next couple of months so this deal doesn’t really do anything for us.

    Regular admission is $66 per person (3 to 9 year olds are $56). There seem to be deals if you want to stay more than one day, but of course that doesn’t apply to us. I’ve checked Auto Club (a.k.a. AAA) as well as some other locations and simply can’t find any discounts. I have a friend who works for Disney so I may call her for help.

    If we end up paying full price, the total will be $132 for tickets for Marc and me, plus $11 for parking. That’s just for admission and doesn’t include anything we buy inside the park. We can afford this, but I do not understand how a family of four can afford to go more than once every couple of years! Although if we lived closer, I’m sure we’d consider getting annual passes with parking.

    Most importantly, though, I’m looking forward to seeing the look on Alex’s face when we get to Disneyland!

    Great Tip for Photographing a Baby Who Won’t Stay Still

    The Practical Archivist has a great suggestion (along with a classic example) for getting that photo (sorry this one’s too late for Mother’s Day but it’ll work for Father’s Day!): disguise the mother as a chair.

    Via Parent Hacks.

    Heaven is Watching a Garbage Truck

    Yup – you read that right. The moment when I paused today and thought, “This is heaven,” I was sitting on the grass and watching the garbage truck go down our street. Right next to me, Alex sat with his little hand resting on my leg.

    I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I’d ever find myself waiting for and watching a garbage truck, let alone enjoying myself while doing so. But it makes Alex happy, it’s quality time that we spend together, and I’ll treasure these memories forever. It’s also a free form of entertainment for a little boy that gives him some exercise and outdoor time.

    Lessons Learned From A Power Outage

    Last week, we had no power for almost 24 hours, something I hadn’t experienced since I was a little girl. Because we live in earthquake country, we always have emergency supplies on hand. But the power outage was a chance for us to test some of our newer supplies and see what worked, and assess whether we had enough of the proper materials on hand for a true emergency. Here’s some of what we learned:

    • Food in an unopened refrigerator is considered safe by the government for 4 hours. Food in an unopened freezer is considered safe for 48 hours (24 hours if the freezer is only half full).
    • Coleman’s glow sticks work beautifully as night lights and last 10 hours or more. (The orange one lasted about 10 hours, but the green one was still emitting a good amount of light after 12.)
    • Our fluorescent flashlight/radios give off a lot of light.
    • Battery-powered radios don’t get AM reception in our house (we tried several radios too).
    • Have lots of D batteries on hand.
    • We don’t have many candles on hand for emergencies because you can’t use them during an earthquake, but it’s good to have some for power outages.

    Our local gas company sent the following list of things to keep on hand for an emergency:

    • first aid kit
    • essential medications and extra eyeglasses
    • 3 gallons of bottled water per person (or 1 gallon per person per day)
    • shelf-stable food
    • blankets/sleeping bags
    • extra set of house and car keys
    • fire extinguisher (A-B-C type)
    • cash
    • portable radio, flashlight and batteries
    • anything necessary for babies, elderly or disabled family members, and pets

    Adventures In (Not) Sleeping

    I haven’t been able to post much since Alex decided last weekend that he’d had enough of his crib and learned to climb out. It came as a shock since he’s just 18 months old and didn’t seem like he could get his leg over the side – but he definitely can! Based on books I had read, particularly The Baby Whisperer, we had intended to wait until Alex was at least two years old to make the transition to a bed, but the fear of him hurting himself as he climbed out of his crib compelled us to convert his crib to a daybed (or youth bed, as the manufacturer calls it). I even posted in the past about using a “Big Kid Diploma” to ease the transition to a bed, but alas, Alex is too young to understand the concept.

    Alex’s age has made the transition a tough one. He has been getting up in the middle of the night and staying awake for one to two hours, during which either Marc or I have also been up to keep him in his bed and encourage him to go back to sleep. Most of the articles I’ve found seem geared toward children older than Alex with better comprehension skills. We definitely considered the idea of putting up a gate at the door to his room but finally decided against the inevitability of him standing there, crying at the top of his lungs until he throws up – or quite possibly simply climbing over the gate.

    I can only hope that by the time our second baby is born, Alex will be sleeping through the night again. And count my blessings that at least this happened while we still have some time to make the adjustment, rather than right before the baby was born.

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