When our youngest daughter was born, we finally were able to breathe with a sense of relief. After a high-risk pregnancy, two months of bed rest and endless weeks of contractions, we finally had her with us, healthy and filling us with happiness. Even her big brother was thrilled.
As soon as we had some free time, we wanted to spend time together just the four of us. We also felt we needed to do something our then 3-year-old son would really enjoy, especially since the past months had been tough on him between mommy being in bed when she was pregnant and later taking care of “Baby Sofia” as he called her.
At my daughter’s two-month checkup, I asked the pediatrician whether we could take her to Disney. I thought he would look at me and believe I lost my mind. Instead, he said, “I don’t see why not.”
So we planned for a quick Thanksgiving getaway. Our friends thought we were crazy to take a two-month-old baby to Disney but our instincts told us it was the right thing for our family.
Our instincts proved us right. My son’s face was priceless. He had been to Disney before but enjoyed it more than ever. We were so happy to make him happy. At home, my son loved watching Playhouse Disney, with The Wiggles, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Little Einsteins, so one of our trip’s highlights was visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Disney with an infant, easier than expected
The biggest surprise was that going to Disneyworld with an infant was much easier than we thought. The four hour drive was totally manageable. We took a double stroller to the park that completely reclined so she could take her naps and had a Baby Bjorn carrier for when we stood in line. The music in the park, the colors and the people did not frighten my baby. Rather, she appeared entranced by so many new things to take in.
I did try to stick to her schedules as much as possible and I would take turns with my husband with one of us taking our son on the rides he wanted while the other watched the baby. Sometimes we would ask cast members if Rider Swap was available and that way our son actually rode twice, once with each parent. It made my son feel extra special, something he really needed after becoming an older brother and having to adjust to all the changes “Baby Sofia” brought into our lives.
I was nursing my baby, so feeding her was also easy because I would just use my cover up whenever she was hungry. I took advantage of the Baby Care stations in Magic Kingdom and Disney Hollywood Studios for messier diaper changes. At character meals, cast members were kind enough to locate us in quieter areas if my daughter was sleeping and would position my son’s chair so he could get all the attention from his favorite Disney characters.
Creating and reliving family memories
We made sure to pack our video camera to document our first trip as a family of four and I am so happy we took the time to make those videos. Life gets so hectic and complicated that you need reminders of how much fun you can have as a family. It’s the cheapest therapy!
My children are now almost 7 and 10 years old, which quite often shocks me. They get a kick out of watching our family videos together and I simply cannot get over the fact that our memories are so fragile. We might store an image, a giggle, or a song in our minds but it’s so easy to forget little details that meant so much when you were in the moment.
When I look back at pictures and videos from that trip, no matter what kind of day I’m having, I smile. And I am thankful for have preserved those memories to carry me through any days that aren’t as fun. Especially since those precious videos are a way of showing our children the first time we really had fun as a family of four. In a way, each time we sit down to watch those videos, we create new memories.
What are your tips for creating lasting family memories?
Do you want to win a video camera?
Want to capture your own family memories on video? We’re giving away two Sony Handycams! To enter for a chance to win, simply comment on any Sony-sponsored post (including this one) with an answer to the following question: what’s your favorite family memory? Contest runs through 11:59 p.m. EDT on September 30th, 2012, and you may enter once per post. Contest is open to U.S. residents only.
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