On this day, four years ago, the world celebrated the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012. We celebrated the birth of our sweet, precious girl, Selah Madeline. Her birth is really quite a story in itself – my parents’ flight getting delayed in New Jersey, my doctor out of town, attempting to have a VBAC, it was all very exciting.
So we decided to honor Selah in a very exciting way by going to Disneyland and spending her birthday at the park. This is not our first Disney rodeo, but we still had a lot to learn about doing Disney with three kiddos.
- At the last minute, I called my brother and sister-in-law and asked if I could borrow their umbrella stroller. This was a LIFESAVER. Now we had two umbrella strollers and the Ergo for Kate if we needed three options for three littles who tire easily. We averaged walking 10 miles a day, so those strollers and the Ergo became invaluable.
- RIDER SWAP. I was trying to Google something about fast passes and ended up on a mom’s website who was giving advice about Disneyland. She was talking about rider swap and it completely changed our Disney experience. If you have a kiddo who isn’t tall enough to ride a ride, then you can ask for a rider swap pass – one adult can take the kid or kids on the ride that are tall enough to ride (i.e. Macy and Selah) and then the other adult can use the rider swap to re-take the kids back on the ride while the first adult stays with the baby. It acts like a fast pass and you skip most of the line. Hallelujah.
- Magic Hour. My dad likes staying at a hotel on the property so that we don’t have to rent a car, etc. This pays off in dividends because if you stay on property you get to enter the park an extra hour early. During the rest of the year, they alternate which park you can enter early – Disneyland side is half of the week and California Adventure is the other half. But during the week between Christmas and New Years, it’s a free for all, and you can go into either side an hour early. We would prioritize what we wanted to do that day and hit all the stuff with the longest lines first – seeing Elsa and Anna, riding Radiator Springs, taking a photo in front of the castle.
When we checked in to our hotel, they gave Selah a birthday button that she got to wear the whole time we were there. Everywhere we went, people told her, “Happy birthday!” It was super fun. There are times that I feel like Selah doesn’t quite get the attention she deserves, which made it extra special that it was her getting to be the star.
Here’s a couple of highlights from Disney –
I’ve got to give props to my wonderful friend, Emily, for editing this last one. I love you, Emily!!
As amazing as Disneyland is, it’s still not as amazing as spending time with my BFF, her hubby, their two doggies, and baby on the way. We even got to do our traditional gingerbread house with them.
Feeding the dogs was also a highlight 🙂
I love this girl.
Overall, I’m not sure we could have made Selah’s birthday better.
At four years old, Selah loves –
Frogs, ladybugs, worms, lizards, caterpillars. These things would have grossed me out (and mostly still do), but she is a huge fan. Sometimes she’ll walk around holding a frog in each hand just talking to them.
Telling stories and singing songs (complete with hand motions). This girl remembers everything and loves sharing it with us.
Reading books. I don’t sit down nearly enough with her to read, but whenever we do, she eats it up.
Following the rules. She’s been quoted telling her classmates that they are not making good choices. I laughed out loud when her teacher told me that. And when Jeff tries to sneak her something – an M&M, a cookie, whatever – she’ll tell him that Mommy said she couldn’t have any.
Playing games. She was playing Candyland with Jeff and after winning a few games, told him, “Daddy, I want you to win the next one!” He did win the next one and she gave him a hug and said “Way to go, Daddy!”
Her sisters. She may get frustrated with each of them, but she loves them oh, so much. She’s always cheering for Macy and sharing her toys with Kate. If one of them really wants something, she does her best to make it happen.
Encouraging others. When Jeanette and Selah were doing a puzzle the other day, she told her – Good job Grandma! You are a smart and clever Grandma.
Her best friend in school is a little boy named Cash. One time she told me – well, I mostly play with Cash, but one time I needed some girl time so I went and played with Kennedy. 🙂
Happy fourth birthday my Selah girl. We love you so, so much.