Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How to know when it's time to pack up and head home after a day at the amusement park....

Every summer, we get season passes to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. Why? Because we're insane....but you already knew that. For some reason, taking the kids to a crowded amusement park seems much more fun than just staying home. We just love to invite chaos into our lives....it seems more exciting that way.

On Sunday, we finally got the kids dressed and ready to go, after a major emergency which took about 45 minutes to resolve. I had gotten a speck of something in my left eye and, for the life of me, I could NOT get it out. I kept asking Tim to look into my eye to check if he could see what it was...but then as he would touch my eye, I'd freak out and say "don't touch my actual eyeball...just LOOK, but don't TOUCH!!". He finally just said, "Fine....then you figure out what it is and how to get it out". I started sobbing....major emergency resolved. Nothing like a little drama to start off our day of fun-filled excitement.

Part of our routine when we go to crowded public places is to write the kids' names and our cell phone numbers in permanent marker somewhere on their bodies. But usually between sunscreen and sweating, the marker wears off (so much for PERMANENT marker). So this time, I wrote the info on little notecards and stuffed them into each of the kids' back pockets of their jeans. I also dressed all the kids in bright red shirts and blue jeans...so much easier to keep an eye on them when they're all dressed alike. After they're dressed and ready to go, I took a picture of each of them with the camera on my cell phone. God forbid, one of them gets lost...it's an easy way to show the security people exactly what each of the kids look like and what they were wearing. I could say, "Um....he's got blonde hair, blue eyes and he was wearing a red shirt". Great....I pretty much just described most of the 2-yr olds in the park. But this way, I can just shove my cell phone in front of the face of the security guy, while sobbing "how can I be so irresponsible to lose track of my baby...."

We got to the amusement park and everyone was excited and ready to start the day. Because we got there a little later than we expected, we started off by eating lunch since the kids were already whining about how hungry they were.


Yeah, they look real hungry, right? They each took a bite out of their meal and then decided that climbing the pole surrounding the eating area was much more entertaining.

We went to the shark exhibit, where all the kids ooooh'd and ahhhh'd over the huge sharks and stingrays. Every fish that Garrett would see, he'd point and scream "Nemo.....Dori". Here they are, peering into the shark tank....I'm not sure why Garrett's walking away with a freaked out look on his face. I was only joking about the shark who was staring at him and saying, "Come here, you tasty little morsel...I shall eat you for my afternoon snack".


Then we entered Thomas town, where Thomas and all his train friends live. The kids met Sir Topham Hat....again....for the 5th time. I'm not even sure if the poor guy could see because Bella kept waving at him and he was just standing there, staring into space. Bella said, "I think he fell asleep standing up". Always observant, isn't she?


We rode Thomas the train...and saw all his friends in Tidmouth Shed...



Landon and Garrett were brave enough to ride Harold the Helicopter and Bertie Bus, although Tim reported after the Bertie Bus ride that he thought Landon was gonna puke up part of the $30 lunch.

Then we headed to the walrus exhibit, where the kids were more excited about the walrus' private parts than they were about the actual walrus himself. Cole loudly said, "Bella, look....I see his pee-pee" to which she replied, "No, that's his butt hole". Lovely....now everyone was staring at us instead of at the walrus.

We moved on to the stingray exhibit, where the kids practically fell into the water hole trying to pet the stingrays. They tried to get me to touch one but I declined. Stingrays are just another example of what I describe as God using leftover parts from other creatures to just create a random animal, who usually just ends up being completely hideous.

Of course, no amusement park visit is complete without a huge bucket of blue cotton candy. We splurged and let them go hog wild....here they are crashing after their sugar high....


The butterfly house is always a huge hit....until the butterflies get too close to the kids and then it's massive panic as they run away from the unsuspecting butterfly while screaming as if they're being chased down by Freddie Kruger.



After this, we went over and watched the camels. Bella argued with me that they are not "camels", they are "camos".

We saw a few more exhibits, including the snakes which made me want to wretch. Then we decided to end our trip with a visit to the penguin exhibit. The penguins have to be one of my favorite animals to watch. They have such funny little personalities, kinda like my kids.



Finally, Garrett insisted on climbing into the tank to go swimming with the penguins. When one of the kids has a tantrum to end all tantrums (oh, the video was actually the last part of the tantrum...he had gone on for a good 5 minutes before I started the video!), that's how you know it's time to pack up and head home after a day at the amusement park....

38 comments:

Morgan said...

It sounds like you didn't have too bad of a trip!

Great idea about taking a picture of the kids with your phone and putting a notecard with your info. in their pocket! I'm going to have to remember that!

Donna@www.frugaldonna.blogspot.com said...

Looks like a fun day!

Tami said...

Oooh, I can never tell you enough how much I ADMIRE YOU. Fun, and lots of fun, but I'd be pulling out my hair with 4 young ones. Ok, let me say it again..

If I could make it bigger.. I WOULD!

I. ADMIRE. YOU.!

I'm putting you at the top of BEST MOMMIES. LOL. and I'm serious!
I wish I had just a smidgen of your patience!

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

How were you able to leave Thomas Town? Seriously.

Tiffany said...

Classic. I only live about 25 minutes from Discovery Kingdom... something for me to look forward to or maybe not look forward to. hehe. I love your pen writing on the bodies, that is GREAT!

The Mother said...

My rule about how to know when it's time to leave the amusement park?

When you get there. HATE THEM.

Have I mentioned that I HATE THEM?

BTW, if you want writing to stick to the skin, permanently (well, nothing on skin is permanent, since you shed it every few days)--mercurichrome. Ask your pharmacist.

Robyn Jones said...

Looks like great fun...We are attempting our first holiday this summer with a two year old and a seven month old...We will see how that works out for us...LOL!

I have an award for you....

MamaHen Em said...

You actually got alot of stuff in before the melt down, which is great! I would borrow your idea of photographing and writing on the kids but I'm such a freak about losing one of them I still make my five and seven year olds ride in the wagon when we go to the zoo.

Karen said...

You are BRAVE to take 4 little ones to the amusement park!

My nephew would go totally crazy over the Thomas stuff. He adores Thomas.

janice said...

Funny post! I always take photos of my little one the day we go too. Love that place- we never go on the weekends though (it's a zoo)- mid-week only, and early in the day so we're done by 3.

Elizabeth Channel said...

I love the part about walrus-private-part obsession...

Zeemaid said...

I like your picture taking and note card idea. I never would have thought of that.

you are such a brave woman taking 4 kids to a place like that!! looks like you had fun though.

And yes a tantrum is always the sign of time to leave. ;)

Laura said...

I love your posts, Helene, and the idea of putting info in the kids' back pockets and taking their picture is such a great one! Now, I'm feeling guilty for not thinking of that myself for my ONE child!

Tess said...

I love the ideas you had about dressing them alike and taking the photos on your cell phone-great idea and looks like you had a great time!

Kristina P. said...

You always have such great tips!

screamish said...

penguins!! that bird is like the size of one of your kids. scary.

You simply deserve a medal for having even attempted that trip out. You are a true hero mother!

Was it the walrus pee hole or butthole? just curious.

Kathy B! said...

Actually, you know it's time to go when YOU are the one in the middle of the 5 minute crying jag... until then you can stay :)

Looks like an awesome trip. Glad it was fun...

Sharlene said...

I love Discovery Kingdom! Yes a trip there can be as chaotic as you described but its a much more fun chaos than the chaos we experience at home every day in my opinion. How di dyou not go see the swimming tigers? Or the cheetah? Sob. Sob.

Jennifer said...

LOL @ "I think he fell asleep standing up". The proof is the picture - priceless!

Shelly said...

Looks like a fun day!

wife.mom.nurse said...

really looks like fun.

Wouldn't be a day at the park without blue lips :)

Deb said...

You can meet Sir Topham Hat and do all of those cool things? Wow! My son would have loved that in his Thomas days. I actually felt like I lived on the Isle of Sodor for at least 3 or 4 years (I think it was before true Thomas capitalism started). I can hear the theme song and name it in 2 notes. :) Great pics, looks like a fun day.

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Cheryl B. said...

The other day I stumbled across your bolog ... later when I was telling my husband about the name of your blog and why it's named that, he reminded me of a story his dad had shared, and stated that I ought to share it with you as well.
My father-in-law worked at a paper mill near Kalamazoo, MI. He started there as a teen, and retired from there.
At some point along in there, there was another worker whom was a young man, whom got married. Within the first three months of their marriage, his wife got pregnant - with twins. Within the year after their birth she got pregnant again - this time with triplets!! Standing in the delivery room the Dr. stated that he would GUARENTEE that they'd be back again the next year, and that it would again be a multiple birth. Infact, he would guarentee it to the point of paying for the delivery if he was right.
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jungletwins said...

Good lord, that is one action packed trip! Braving amusement parks with a tribe of young ones is hardcore and awesome. Love the pictures of your adorable and energetic clan.

P.S. Hilarious that you're getting some of my cheese traffic :) Heehee.

blueviolet said...

I don't know who that creepy figure is on the left of your kids but he scares me!

Jenny said...

Too funny! That looks like a fun place!

Veronica Lee said...

Looks like so much fun and the pics are awesome!!

WhisperingWriter said...

That looks like so much fun! I just love amusement parks. And cotton candy.

Mrsbear said...

That baby needed a nap in the worst possible way, I've definitely been there.

I'm stealing your tips for IDing the lost children. Brilliant. Since mine are always impossible to keep tabs on.

I love stingrays, btw. But they do look like a random piece of animal with a tail, lol.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Fun! Asher FreaKeD when he saw Tidmouth sheds! I have to go back and show him again now.

insider53 said...

Awww mom everybody else s mom lets them swim with the penguins. lol

Lani said...

Those were some great tips on keeping track of your kiddos in crowded places.. I'm taking notes as always:)

MoodyMommy said...

I love that you dress them all in the same color!!! I always try to do that...it never happens though...

twinmama said...

Wow, your video seems so familiar...what! I know that kind of fuss...it happens on a regular basis here in Twinland!

kristi said...

You are a brave soul!

The High Family said...

(ok, I wasn't teasing about the comment love, I just keep getting interrupted by my two crazies! I think you know the feeling x4, huh?)

I love the idea of writing their names and your cell number on a piece of paper AND taking a pic of them on your cell phone! I will have to use these ideas when we take Ryan to the park this summer (it will be our first time taking them- wish me luck!). You are always full of GREAT ideas!

The video really made me laugh. Ahhh...kids and their tantums! Over the silliest things too!!

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I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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