Orlando Ikea Day

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When Zach and I made the leap and bought our house near Disney we knew we’d want to put some “sweat equity” into it and the timing couldn’t have been better…the kids had THREE days off of school for a winter break! We made plans to go down and spend the whole time working.

It was SUCH a blessing to have Zach’s mom, grandmother and aunt come down with us and put in the work too. I seriously don’t know how anything would have gotten accomplished without them!!!

Our plan was for me to take care of the three older kids the whole weekend. If yall have ever tried to do any house projects with “little helpers” then you know it made sense for me to try to keep them BUSY and OUT of the house as much as possible!

Spear is still so little and sleeps so much that he was a breeze to care for so the working crew took turns taking breaks and snuggling up with him for his feedings and awake times.

It all went SO well. The big kids and I had a really fun-filled weekend. So fun, that I felt pretty guilty about it haha I mean I got to go and have a blast with the kids while everyone else was working like crazy!!!

The big master bathroom has awesome natural lighting and a HUGE tub so it’s the perfect place to let the kids play!

Our first morning there (Friday Feb 16th) the big three and I headed to the Polynesian. 

No, we didn’t have any reservations or any plans but my good friend Carrie was there with her family and I wanted the chance to meet her in real life! The kids were happy as could be to check out the resort for a bit!

Has anyone done this? It’s on my list of things to do! I’m thinking maybe about surprising Britt with it for her birthday! 

Tess has nightmares often and they are always about octopus and jellyfish coming into her room. Isn’t that random?!?! I remind her that they live in the ocean haha but she still has these weird fears. She conquered them and went right up to this huge octopus! 

Kye gets SUPER embarrassed about having to go with me into the women’s bathroom when we go places. I know there are creepers everywhere and that Disney isn’t excluded but for some reason I’m one of those people that lives in this “Disney Bubble” where I just feel safer at Disney (I know, it’s naive of me). So I let him go in the mens room solo and meet me outside. He LOVES this responsibility and Britt loves to go as quickly as she can so she can run out and sit with him πŸ™‚ 

YAY!!!! FINALLY got to meet Carrie (from Wiley Adventures)

My first thought was how tall she is haha!

We are both huge Disney lovers (she’s an awesome travel agent!) and I’m hoping at some point we can visit the parks together! It was also so fun seeing our kids instantly bond, I think they’d be awesome friends πŸ™‚ 

Our big plans for the day were to go to IKEA. It’s about 30 min from our Disney House which isn’t too bad of a drive. I had a solid list of things I needed to get for the new house and planned to utilize the play area they have at the store so I could get some stuff DONE on my own! 

This was my first time ever going to Ikea without Zach so just being there solo was a little intimidating…but solo with three kids?!?! Yeah I was nervous. Ikea can SUCK your time really easily and I didn’t want to be stuck there for like 8 hours ha!

First stop: LUNCH!

Next stop: Some Shopping!

Kye was mortified that Britt wanted to be pushed in the buggy so I pushed her and he pushed Tess πŸ˜‰ 

The carts at Ikea really are super fun!

I headed straight for the play place thinking I’d drop them off and knock out what I needed to get buttttt they had a 45 min wait AND once the kids were able to play it was only for an hour. Which isn’t very long in “Ikea Time.” 

I’m pretty leery of strangers and dropping my kids off in this type of setting isn’t my typical style. However, the play place was all one room and area and I talked to Kye and Britt about never leaving Tess alone, never going off alone with anyone, etc. They had multiple people working there and had a solid system for signing them in and out so I felt pretty comfortable.

We had a buzzer to let us know when it was our turn and the kids were SO excited! 

Cutting my own fabric? Not the wisest thing to let me do haha

I picked them up and they had to help me in the getting everything part of the day. Kye was SO great at wanting to help and being eager to do everything! He’s such a blessing! 

Britt was great too! Really all three of them just were easy going and made the trip as smooth as it could be…being at Ikea and all haha

She was pretty much OVER IT but still did well for being only 3!

After we finished we were ALL exhausted and all agreed that some cinnamon rolls were in order!

I was too tired to even make Tess fix her shoes haha

And yes I got a stranger to take this photo: yall know there is no shame in my photo game and I have too many kids to all fit in a selfie ha!

We survived and got everything we needed! I felt like such a PRO MOM!

The kids were all about getting to have sleep overs and as different rooms were being worked on they were able to make it work to share rooms together!

This chunk barely fit in the sink πŸ˜‰ 

Zach had made reservations for our Valentine’s Day date at The Swan Hotel. Neither of us had ever been there and he booked us dinner at II Mulino

While Disney owns The Swan hotel, it’s not a true Disney property. And you could tell. First of all parking wasn’t free, even with a reservation, and it had to be validated (which we forgot all about until we were in the car leaving!). 

Second the staff were clearly not cast members. There just wasn’t the same vibe as the Disney properties, not the same treatment or just overall attitude. 

Third they don’t accept Disney gift cards. Which we had planned on using to pay with! 

The hotel is very beautiful but also very adult. It’s a place that is often used for business conferences and such and it just had that feel too it. It made me feel like we were on an Aflac trip!

A strange thing about it was also the set up. We had to walk through a legit bar to get to the hostess stand. Which was very uncomfortable for me. Zach was parking the car and I went in to go ahead and get our reservation pulled up and just felt awkward walking through a bar by myself. 

I actually haven’t ever been to a legit bar now that I think about it. So yeah that was a first haha and I totally get how icky the vibe is being alone as a female…no thanks. Def not my kind of scene! Give me lots of kids and Disney characters πŸ˜‰

They weren’t super nice about us being early for our reservation and had us go wait in the lobby which meant another walk through the bar haha. It was also uncomfortable for me to see many families with young kids having to walk through that bar in order to check in. Just a poor design over all and not something I’d be okay with if our kids were with us. 

The music was also CRAZY LOUD. Which really caught us off guard. It’s a top rated restaurant. It’s pricey. It’s fancier food. You would think it’d be more quaint and quite? More of a date vibe? Nope. We had to literally yell to be heard!

While we weren’t overall fans of the restaurant, the food? WAS AMAZING. Maybe we will order it to go next time haha! We both LOVED everything we got and it was clearly made fresh on site and was just fabulous. SO SO SO good. 

Maybe if you are staying at the hotel for a work conference or something you can get it to go and eat it in the room? I can totally see us ordering from their again and making it a romantic date night picnic in the lobby haha!

I love that Zach “gets me” and knows I want to truly try to eat at each Disney dining location at some point so it was fun to get to give this one a try even if it wasn’t a big win!

We had a full first day and I had even bigger and braver mom plans coming up the next! 

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journeyofphood

Hey Guys, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happy place and I love making memories as a family together. I’m a big believer in transparency and share all of my real-life moments as a mother of four.

My work has been featured on Today Parenting and Chronicles of a Babywise Mom. I’m also honored to be a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.

You can read more about our family on my About Me page. Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram, FacebookΒ and Pinterest!

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