By: Jennifer Murray

It’s Going to Be a February Trifecta

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ONE 3rdbday

In ONE week my preemie quadruplets are turning THREE.  It sounds so grown up.  So non-baby.  Not even “toddler”. I’m in denial…

But every day they are proving how big they are with their independence, their imaginations, their conversations.  We’ve heard that “three” is the new “terrible twos”, but I’m convinced that it’s going to be a great year!  (Remind me of this positive attitude when I’m up to my elbows in potty training, m’kay?) 

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coltssuperbowlboundTWO

Our beloved Colts are heading back to Miami for a SECOND appearance in the Super Bowl.  Their last Super Bowl win occurred the weekend our boys were born. 

They sported tiny preemie Colts caps and “baked” under the billiruban lights.  Sadly, I don’t remember much of the game at all.  I was still coming off “The Mag” and Brad was splitting his time between me and the NICU. Perhaps this year we’ll be able to concentrate a little more on the game.

 

 

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THREE

Also in February we’ll be spending THREE nights at a Walt Disney World Resort. We along with 100 or so other bloggers have been invited by Disney to visit at a highly highly discounted rate for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration family event.  It all seems too good to be true, but I suppose that’s the magic of Disney!  I’m not sure we’ll ever have an opportunity to afford a family of 6 vacation to Walt Disney World, so we excitedly took them up on their offer.

DSC_5091c

If you have advice to offer about traveling with 4 “preschoolers” (I can hardly fathom it!)in a van for 800+ miles or tips on visiting Walt Disney World with little ones, we are all “EARS”! 

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32 Responses to “It’s Going to Be a February Trifecta”

  1. Anonymous
    January 26, 2010 at 1:22 am #

    I travel once a year to visit family about 1200 miles. I have three boys myself, within three years of each other! Here's what worked for us: Obviously, movies while driving. Buckets or baskets that you change out at each gas stop, filled with books, hand held games, coloring, whatever your guys like to do. When you stop, make it somewhere you can let them run, rest stops, fast food places. Favorite snacks, juice boxes, sippy cups in a spot accessible to the kids. Try reading out loud to them, singing, I Spy, that sort of thing. I liked alternating a metal cookie sheet with magnetic pieces among my kids, like letters/numbers/animals. They loved that! Even puzzles, but that can get hard in the car! If you are stopping at a hotel while travelling, find one with an indoor pool, if your boys like swimming. Good energy outlet!!!

    Crissy

  2. Anonymous
    January 26, 2010 at 7:49 am #

    Movies, Movies and more Movies!!! New cheap toys (dollar store) coloring books and don't forget snacks. This is not a good time to potty train:( I would wait. I also would leave really early when they are still sleepy. Never stop when they are happy or sleep. Or drive durning the night. I live in Indiana and just made the trip with 3 lil ones. I also would go and get light up toys for the night up here. The have a disney store in Castleton Square mall. They sell for around 8 apiece and Disney World sells them for 15 a piece. U can take drinks and snacks into the park. To save money. I hope this helps

  3. The Dumas Clan
    January 26, 2010 at 8:46 am #

    Go to the Dollar Tree and make them each their own goody bag full of new inexpensive toys! That will keep them busy for a couple of hours at least!

  4. Leah
    January 26, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    You need a portable DVD player (if you don't already have one!) It's a life saver on looonnnggg trips. Also, if your boys are good about sleeping in the car, leave at night (if this is possible). Traveling at night with my 3 (under 3!) makes things MUCH easier.

  5. Anonymous
    January 26, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    Loved your comment at the end, Jen! You are still using those wonderful idioms. Can't believe your little ones will be 3, but then I can't believe my precious little granddaughter will be three a 11 days later. I know you have that Colts pride, but I'm torn between the Colts and Saints – you know Boilermaker Drew Brees! CAn't hardly root against him. Hope all is well, and do enjoy Disney with your little ones.

  6. Laura
    January 26, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    Scotch tape… I know it sounds weird, but for some reason toddlers love it. We took our girls to Maine in a 6 hour car ride and the tape provided at least an hour of entertainment for them. The night before we left I stuck pieces of tape on their car seats and then in the morning when they were in their seats I stuck a few pieces on them. they loved to stick it and unstick it. Also a car mounted DVD player was a life savior

  7. Anonymous
    January 26, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    Oops! Forgot to sign that email, but I'm sure you know who it's from.
    Linda

  8. Long Family Chronicles
    January 26, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    I am so excited for your trip to disney!! That sounds amazing!! have fun and relax (yeah, right huh?)!!

  9. Stephanie
    January 26, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    You are going to have the TIME of your life at Disney!
    The Disney website is great and has all kinds of tips for little ones!!
    We are going in April and I am so excited!!
    I still cant beleive the boys will be 3! They have grown up to be such cute little guys!!

  10. Amy Rainey
    January 26, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    My number one Disney tip…Buy rain ponchos from the dollar store (at least one per person) to carry in your bag at the theme parks. If you get caught in the rain (Odds are that you will) they charge $8 or more per poncho…OUCH!

  11. Sonya
    January 26, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    Disney is going to be so much fun! If you can pick up a Disney guide that is Fodor's Walt Disney World with Kids it is really good. It will give you different things to see based on the ages of the kids. I read one many years ago when I went down there to work (and play) at Disney. I was 21 at the time, but the kids guide was really helpful for the must-sees! Have fun!

  12. Joe and Carrie
    January 26, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    My twins had light-up toothbrushes that entertained them for hours on long road-trips! We've graduated now to the portable dvd player and hours watching Thomas the Train and Cars. Good luck!

  13. Brittany
    January 26, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    We went last year with an almost 3yo.

    *WRAP little presents for them to open every hour or so (skipping nap and meal times). He loved opening the little presents as much as seeing what was inside.

    *Take your own snacks for your trip and while you're there. I took individual bags (go ahead and pre-fill baggies for them!) of snacks foe each kid. You can carry in snacks at the parks.

    * I took juice boxes to avoid spills, so I didn't have to worry about keeping them cold. You can also carry those into the parks.

    *Take breakfast food that you can eat in your room (Unless it's paid for). We saved quite a bit of money by eating the stuff we took for breakfast. We also asked the front desk for a mini-fridge (and they are VERY MINI!) and they gave it to us for free (instead of the $10 fee a day). It's worth the fee, if they don't. We took our own milk for cereal (Don't forget plastic spoons and paper bowls!), we took pudding cups, string cheese, jello, fruit, etc. It really saved us money.

    allears.net is a good resource to check out too.

  14. MoreThanMommy
    January 26, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

    Get "new" movies from the library and don't forget to save a couple for the car ride home. Give them reusable sticker books with their favorite characters. My 2 & 4 year olds love those. Also, Mini Aquadoodles and/or Magna doodles. If your kids sleep in the car, do the drive over night (if you guys and handle that). And be prepared for car-sickness, especially if they don't do long drives very often. Reading/playing in the car, especially in the way back, makes a lot of kids sick.
    What are you going to do with your kids while you're at the conference sessions? I'll have to tell my husband he's a wimp since he didn't want to deal with just our two. Anyway, looking forward to meeting you there!

  15. Melody
    January 26, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    I'm sure you will find MANY tips for Disney on one of my favorite forums: http://www.disboards.com Have FUN! I can't wait until I can take Nicolas to Disney (and get back there myself!)

    Melody

  16. Kara
    January 26, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    Four three year olds + 800 mi= Movies, fastfood, coloring, juice, and a very messy van. (But it will be totally worth it!)

    CANNOT WAIT TO SEE PICTURES!

    also- what day are you leaving?

  17. Kim
    January 26, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    We have driven with our twins to Washington state and Florida (on separate occasions…we're not THAT crazy!) I agree w/the p.p. – movies, rest stops/meal breaks where they can run, snacks, and novel toys & books. We took the kids to WDW for the first time last Fall when they were 4 yrs. old. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT try to do all the parks!!! It is tempting but you are asking for some serious meltdowns! Most of the stuff that is enjoyable for little ones is at Magic Kingdom. OH yes, pack rain ponchos and some sort of water resistant stroller cover or you will get seriously ripped off! Allears.net was a great help when planning. Have fun – it's a trip you'll never forget! 🙂

    ~Kim

  18. Jennifer
    January 26, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

    I've never traveled with little kids to Disney, but I still have a few suggestions for your time in the park:

    *Don't igonore naptime….everyone go back to the hotel and rest, you will last longer in the evenings.

    *Rent the double strollers and use baby swap so mom and dad can ride the 'real' rides. Don't forget about Fast Pass.

    *Be ready to get rained on…it will rain at least one day you are there.

    *Take snacks/juice boxes into the park, but your bags will be searched going into the park. (another great reason for renting the double strollers) there is plenty of room for the boys and stuff.

    *If you purchase anything (souvenirs) in the park, have them sent to your room or the front of the park so you don't have to carry it around with you 🙂

    *Eat a good breakfast before going into the parks.

    *As for the car trip….the wrapped "new" toys, changing them out frequently and traveling at night or during nap time, is great! I also liked the scotch tape idea….I hadn't thought of that one!

    *Last but not least, take lots and lots of pictures, which I'm sure you will, get into some of those pictures yourself and ask other people to snap family pictures! Have a GREAT TIME!!!!

  19. Meridith
    January 26, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

    First off, congrats on all 3 big events. My suggestion for long car rides? Gymboree bubbles. These tiny bubbles last FOREVER (I have found some still un-popped DAYS later). I blow them into the back of the car and let my daughter pop away. Turn the vents on high for more fun 🙂

  20. Barbara Manatee
    January 26, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    wow! what an exciting month ahead!!! I'm sure I don't really have to say this…but Have fun!!!! 🙂

  21. Mackenzie
    January 26, 2010 at 11:47 pm #

    I had a friend who bought her souveneirs prior to going. She found them at a cheaper rate and then was able to give each child a special gift at half the cost. Have a great times, and remember to take it all in like your boys do.

  22. Jessica Culver
    January 27, 2010 at 5:28 am #

    I loved reading all these great ideas! I totally agree with bringing your own snacks into the parks. You will save a ton that way, especially with 4 kids! Eating a good breakfast first helps too. The food in park is sooo expensive! We do spring for the character breakfast for the photo opportunity and the kids do love it!
    Also, freeze water bottles/juice boxes night before and you will have nice cold drinks in park during your day!

    For car ride, leave at night, during kids sleeptime. Bring fave pillows/blankies/stuffed animals. Dress in PJ's for car ride..and bring change of clothes for when you arrive. Pack snacks/drinks in cooler so you dont have to stop often. Pack a potty in back of van! Can use during stops. Easier than taking each kid into public bathroom! Baby wipes/paper towels a must in car!

    Don't underestimate the power of their naps! Don't try to pack everything into one full day. The kids will do so much better in afternoons/evenings if allowed to take break and stay on nap/rest schedule. Also, if you stay at a Disney resort, they allow you an extra hour in park at night, less lines! The fireworks are worth it!

    Keep the boys on their regular nap schedule and go back to your hotel for lunch. You can always buy some lunch meats and bread or PB and jelly to have simple lunches at hotel. Try to request a hotel fridge in room. After lunch,let kids nap and you nap too!
    When you do return to the park everyone will be well rested, fed, and not in meltdown mode! Another tip leaving the park for lunch allows you to miss the busiest time at the park and the longest lines!

    If you want inexpensive Disney souvenirs , go to the local Walmart nearest to Disney, I think its in Kissimee. You will find the SAME exact stuff that the giftshops sell..for half the price! Seriously, I was shocked when I found that out on the 4th day at Disney, thanks to another mom at our hotel. Everytime we saw something the kids wanted at Disney that day, we would go back to Walmart and sure enough they had it there for half price!

    Rent a stroller at the park, saves little legs from walking or bring double umbrella lightweight strollers!

    Bring swimsuits for hotel pool fun!
    you can pack some blow up pool toys too..they take up little space in luggage since they are inflatable.

    Order snacks/cereals/food/peanut butter/bread/juice boxes/non fridge milk boxes
    from Amazon.com and have it shipped ahead to your hotel with your name on it and arrival date. The front desk will hold for you. Saves packing and Amazon has free shipping!

    Wear good walking shoes! Trust me, leave the cute flipflops or sandals home. Wear sneakers! You will totally need a vacation after Disney!

    Buy cheap disposable cameras for the kiddos to have their "own " cameras for the trip. Cute to see photos from their perspective too!

    Don't forget to stay flexible,and go with the flow. Allow for changes and dont be so rigid with schedule. Most of all, have fun!
    Sorry so long! Have a blast! Looking forward to hearing your tips when you return!

  23. Stacia
    January 27, 2010 at 8:16 am #

    We just got back from a week at DisneyWorld in December. It was wonderful, I'm so glad you are going to be able to go! Pack your OWN strollers. Renting them is $30 a day for the double… so that would be $60 a day for you guys!! So worth making room in the van to haul them!

  24. Brittany
    January 27, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    Oh yeah, and buy four of these!

    http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=534362&parentCategoryId;=85184&cmSource;=Top_Sellers_OSA_85184

    They're great for eating, playing, coloring, etc! I wish I had one for my big girls too!

  25. Anonymous
    January 27, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    We have the blue trays! We actually use it all the time and love them. Just be careful about what you put on them as it could be an issue in an accident. That said, yes, we do let our kid use matchbox cars on his because we are bad parents like that. Really, it is great for meals on the go especially. I recommend fastening them AROUND the back of the seat so you don't have to constantly adjust them. When you undo them, only undo one side and just let the tray drop to the other side. Cups do not sit well on these trays contrary to the picture. I love some of these other ideas!

  26. Anonymous
    January 27, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    BTW – we use the DVD player and have had a hard time finding movies we are comfortable with our kids watching so instead, we just buy like a season of cartoons (do you remember superbook??). My son loves Thomas too of course. If you look up portable DVD player case, you can find one that will hang between the drivers and passenger seats so that hopefully all can see!

  27. The Parsons Family
    January 27, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    I agree with many of pp!! We travel 1000+ miles one way, 3-4 times a year to visit our family. We have learned that our son has a time limit…11pm and we have to pull over, so make the most of the time you have!! We do movies, lots of movies, snacks and 'new' toys! I tend to hide small car sized toys a few weeks ahead of time, along with heading to the dollar tree for some 'stuff'! Read books, sing songs and maybe even some car bingo or I spy! Our challenge is stopping in time for potty breaks and limiting fluids so we don't have too big of a mess!! Good luck and have fun!!

  28. Kim Runyon
    January 27, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    Hey, Jen!
    I emailed you the other day – but I know your inbox is slammed! Anyway, I'd be happy to offer any Disney advice I can – we've been at every "age and stage" with the kids. Granted, we've not been with 4 3 yr. olds, but hopefully I can offer some help 🙂

  29. Anonymous
    January 29, 2010 at 12:54 am #

    I know your boys are too young for this, and you may be personally against video games… but, GAMEBOY (or now Nintendo DS) has been the ULTIMATE life saver on long road trips 😉 That and movies, of course. Gameboy has also come in handy in restaurants, airplanes and while out shopping at Costco!

  30. Hagen and Mason
    January 30, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    Hey Jenn –
    I just saw this on a multiples website. Check it out – it is about taking multiples to disney.
    Good luck!
    Leslie
    http://multiplesandmore.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-to-do-disneys-magic-kingdom-with.html

  31. 4 AND NO MORE
    January 30, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    Jen,

    That is so awesome about the March of Dimes! It's so encouraging to see how God is using your family in so many ways!

    As for the trip, you can completely do it. No problem! We drove 2500+ miles last summer and the kids did fine.

    A few tips:
    * Get a DVD player if you don't have one (I've seen some on Woot lately). A laptop might work, too.
    * Buy and wrap at least 4-5 rounds of presents for each of the kids. A new toy when they are squirmy works great.
    * Map out all the rest areas along your route. It's a great place to let the kids out and run around.
    * Bring lots of new music, movies and books on tape that the kids have never heard. Our kids really like the PBS series Between the Lions right now. We are thinking about trying The Hobbit soon, too. I'm amazed at how well they pay attention to kids' audio books.

    Have a great time! It's God good to let you all go now!?
    Amanda

  32. Karen
    February 1, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    I was there when my girls were 3 1/2 and 5. We did two days at Magic Kingdom. If I could do it again, I would have done another park. Either the animal one or Epcot. I hope we can go back soon. It was January when we went, and warm 2 days, then the two days we were in the park, freezing!

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