In past years, the boys have had a joint birthday party. They are only 15 months apart so they have the same friends and are used to sharing everything anyway. As a family we celebrate their individual birthdays on their actual birth date. But for the big party, we pick a day half way between.
I actually like planning parties (but since our wedding I never plan anything but kid's parties). But due to some circumstances at the boys' school, I gave them the option of having a party with their friends or going to Disneyland with the family (knowing full well what they'd choose). They had never been to Disneyland before but several of their friends have season passes so they were very curious.
I am not a Disney fan. And the last couple of times I've gone to Disneyland I've left feeling so depleted. So this was a big deal for me to go. But seeing it through their first-time eyes, was so worth it.
Here's the lowdown:
62: number of times Logan kicked Jack out of shear boredom while waiting in lines
138: dollars spent just to get into the Magical Kingdom (and that was only paying for half the family!)
4: maximum number of hours I thought we'd stay
9+: number of hours we actually stayed (from before opening to after closing!)
2: number of ridiculously long strands of red licorice required to bribe the boys
12: dollars to park the car (how else would we have gotten there?)
2: number of ridiculously long lollipops to bribe the boys
276: number of times Jack asked if we could leave (because we promised him a birthday present at the end of the day)
276: number of times I kicked myself for promising said present
0: number of presents actually bought at the end of the day (Jack had so much fun he decided he really didn't need anything)
82: number of times Logan tried to sneak on a ride with another family at the head of the line instead of waiting with us
unquantifiable: the smiles on Jack and Logan's faces throughout the day
I'm still amazed at how many people were there. (Even on a non-holiday weekday, there was a line to get in to the parking lot a full hour before the park opened!)
I'm still amazed at how expensive it was. As a money-saver we snuck in our own lunches and snacks. (Though we did get some odd looks while chowing down on pb&j sandwiches in line for Peter Pan. We got even odder looks while snacking on broccoli and carrots in line for another ride.)
I was very pleasantly surprised to find out that "the happiest place on earth" was actually a happy place for us. Of course, the bar has been set. Expectations have risen. We are screwed if we ever go again!
In the meantime, I'm going to remember Jack sitting on my lap watching Fantasmic (the night show) and whispering to me, "Mama, this was the best birthday ever!"