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The title of this blog post has more than one meaning. Immediately after going to Disneyland with my family, I ended up getting really sick. I believe this is the third time this year that I’ve fallen ill right after I get back from a trip. I’m usually quite prepared when it comes to my personal well-being & overall health, as well as maintaining a good & thorough hand-washing regimen. However, the allergy & cold game is especially strong this year. I can feel a disturbance in the force… (A cheesy & clichéd Star Wars reference from a very Non Star Wars person.) That’s a big reason why I’ve been MIA from my blog. Plus, I’ve been singlehandedly decorating my house for the upcoming Christmas holiday, & helping my mom prepare the house for incoming houseguests.

So, I had a very bad cold & slight fever when I got back from my Southern California vacation. I’m so lucky that I didn’t get any symptoms until my vacation ended. The last few times my family visited Disneyland for the Thanksgiving holiday, at least one person either threw out their back (…my brother…) or got severely ill (usually myself or my nephew). I’m very glad this trip went off with minimal glitches. Everyone had a fun time, & the best part was that my nephew & niece thoroughly enjoyed themselves, & they went home with so many incredible memories to treasure for years to come.

my niece

 

Both kids cried so hard at the end of our trip. One child didn’t want to go home at all, & the other child wanted to hurry up & get the hell out of Disneyland on our last night. My sister had invited a close friend & her two daughters to meet up with us on one of our days at Disneyland. The daughters of said friend are good friends with my niece & nephew (they are all close in age). Having girl friends hang out with my niece made her so happy. My nephew, who is incredibly sentimental, was over the moon to have all of his favorite people surrounding him & letting him decide what rides we should go on. All of the grown ups really spoiled the kids so much at Disneyland…lots of individual attention to each child, lots of leniency, lots of sweet treats (but not a lot of souvenirs or presents).

 

 

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Left to Right: Jian, niece, brother

Throughout the entire weekend, we jumped between both theme parks (Disneyland & California Adventure). My nephew (who is usually too stubborn to try new things) tried a few new rides, & even went on a few of the more adventurous rides for older kids. My niece also tried out a few new rides, & got her hair done at the Frozen-themed hair salon complete with glitter hairspray & clip-on colored hair extensions. I’m usually very skeptical about buying souvenirs &/or toys for my nephew & niece. They have a tendency of not taking good care of their belongings, & either end up breaking their things or losing them. Last year, I got “burned” by a bad experience that left a sour memory. I had gone out of my way to buy my niece some memorable (& expensive) souvenirs, & then she lost all of it. Even though her lost gifts got replaced for free by our hotel, that whole experience left me wary of buying the kids any more presents. But of course, me being the doting aunt, I always cave in & end up buying more gifts for my nephew & niece. This year, I only bought them each one souvenir. I got them monogrammed Mickey & Minnie hats. They each got hats with their names stitched on them, & I was more than surprised, I was utterly shocked that they politely wore their hats for the entire day we were at Disneyland. They really appreciated their gifts, & that made it worthwhile for me.

niece, nephew

Overall, this trip to Disneyland was probably our family’s most memorable vacation to-date. None of the kids fussed, complained, cried (until late at night on our last day), or got sick. My brother’s back pain was not acting up, & my sister was not acting like “diva mom” very much. Even my mom had a great time with all of these hyperactive kids bouncing around her. Her feet got stepped on several times by a few inconsiderate tourists, but she was fine in the end. Jian & I got to spend quality time together as well, & we each bonded even more with my niece & nephew. I swear, my nephew & I are so in sync. We get sick together, we like the same things, eat the same foods, & we are similar in other ways. This is how we’ve been able to remain extremely close since he was born. I’m just now starting to understand my niece’s personality, & she can look up to me because we are both girls. She is really finding her own voice & is able to speak up, which helps us understand her better. My sister’s kids will forever be my little sweethearts, even when I have children of my own. We had a blast with Mickey & his friends, & have plans to go back next year. Cheers!

Left to Right: niece, Jian, me, nephew

Today’s song of the day:

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It has become a recent family tradition to go to Disneyland every year after Thanksgiving. My older brother, who is both unmarried & completely single, has no children of his own to lavish his money & attention. Therefore, he turns to my sister’s children, to whom he spoils like crazy. I never imagined my brother to be so good with kids, but he is an absolutely wonderful uncle.

Even though he spoils my nephew & niece rotten, he also helps them with homework, teaches them about various things with patience, & helps my sister cook meals for all of them. He is a great role model, but also a slightly naughty uncle spoiling the kids with sweets & frequent trips to the shopping mall. As for me, I’m more of a “motherly” aunt. I also teach these kids manners & teach them about life lessons. I also play with them, help them get dressed, & take baths. My nephew even told me once that he thought of me as his second mom.

Usually I am not a fan of theme parks. I don’t like to ride roller coasters or other theme park rides. I get motion sickness rather easily, & a nearly critical childhood accident traumatized me against getting on rides at theme parks. That memory still haunts me to this day. My family thinks I’m overreacting, but I don’t really mind it at all. My nephew & niece are learning how to ride more advanced rides at the theme park, & they always want the entire family to ride along with them. I always make an excuse not to ride them such as, taking photos with my camera or carrying everyone’s jackets and bags. I will often stand in a ride’s line with everyone so we can all be together, then when we reach the front of the line, I will quietly walk out of the exit door & wait for them outside of the ride.

Not being a fan whatsoever of roller coaster rides has turned me off from going to theme parks, even if they do have fun laser water musical shows, extravagant parades, & plenty of junk food. When I’m in a group who is planning on visiting a theme park, I find it hard to get excited about the event. Sometimes, I even dread it. However, seeing how my sister’s kids get so excited to visit Disneyland doesn’t make me cringe at the idea of going to a theme park. I love seeing the pure joy & smiles on their faces. However, it’s more than just going to Disneyland for these kids. My sister’s kids are deeply sentimental, & more than anything, they enjoy being surrounded by their close family & friends. Their most happiest times are spent with their mom, uncles (a.k.a. my brother & Jian), myself (their favorite aunt), & my mom (their favorite grandmother). These kids, especially my nephew, would rather be surrounded by all of us for the whole weekend doing everything together.

So, going to Disneyland (& California Adventure) the day after Thanksgiving has become a new found family tradition, thought up by my brother. This is my brother’s way of spending quality time with our family as well. He loves spending time with his mom, two sisters (although…he favors me more than our sister, due to a major sibling quarrel), nephew & niece, & spending time with Jian (whom he has gotten close to over the years). So, my brother does all of the planning: getting the park tickets for both Disney theme parks, booking hotel rooms, & making reservations at all the restaurants. We usually spend the entire weekend at Disneyland. My brother will try to book two side-by-side rooms or one large suite at one of the Disneyland resorts. Then, he will make lunch & dinner reservations in advance, so we will be guaranteed a table & not have to wait in line for 1.5 hours on the wait list. He also gets all of the theme park passes for all of us. My brother really spares no expense when it comes to our annual Disneyland tradition. Of course, we all try to help him with the costs, but my brother always insists on treating us all, just to see our little children happy & full of wonderful memories. To say that I’m excited to visit Disneyland this year is something new to me. I can’t wait to spend time with my most favorite children in the whole world, & to make more memories with them. It’s going to be fun. Cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

 

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