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Disney Princess Characters Revealed!

7 Mar

Disney Princess fever has hit our house full-force. It’s all Princess all the time around here. Poor Hello Kitty has been cast aside for Emma’s new besties: Belle, Ariel, Jasmine, Snow White, and Cinderella. The Disney Princess movies are on heavy rotation here at The Little Hen House and it’s Princess dress-up central 24/7.

We’ve  ditched the “Toddler Songs” CD in favor for “Disney Princesses: The Ultimate Song Collection.” I act like this is some huge aggravation, but internally? I am thrilled. I love singing along to all my childhood Disney favorites (I’m partial to Belle and Ariel), and it’s so cute to hear Emma singing along with me.

The Disney Princess revival happening in my life has got me wondering, “Who are the actors behind these animated characters?” Well my friends, I am about to reveal to you the faces behind some of the most famous Disney Princess characters of all time:

Cinderella played by Ilene Woods:

Aladdin played by Scott Weinger:

(Fun Fact: That’s DJ Tanner’s boyfriend from Full House!)

Belle played by Paige O’Hara:

Ariel played by Jodi Benson:

Aurora (aka: Sleeping Beauty) played by Mary Costa:

Gaston played by Richard White:

Jasmine sung by Lea Salonga :

Snow White played by Adriana Caselotti:

Tiana played by Anika Noni Rose:

Ursula the Sea Witch Pat Carroll:

Elmo played by Kevin Clash:

(Ok- I know that Elmo isn’t a Disney character, but OMG! That’s Elmo!)

Tell me: Were you surprised by any of these faces?

This post can also be seen here at Rated by Mom.

10 Ways to Survive The Happiest Place on Earth

24 Nov

Well, I broke down and took Emma and Annie to Disneyland yesterday. I should also note that I had three other adults with me as back up: My husband, sister in law, and brother in law. I may be on the edge of crazy, but I would never attempt this feat alone.

This trip has been a long time coming. Somewhere around six months ago Emma caught “Disney Princess Fever” and my house is slowly being consumed by Ariel, Cinderella, and the rest of those harlots.

The night before we left I got on the Disney site to try to map out our day. The site was, to say the least, totally unhelpful. I had heard that the Princesses were pretty elusive and that you needed inside information if you planned on a little face time with any of them. So I took it to Twitter and Facebook. Why do I even bother with “real” websites anymore?

I got some pretty good links, and there were plenty of helpful tips (apparently all the booze is at California Adventure Park- good to know), and people had a lot to say, but I still couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for.

Being the team player that I am, I thought I would dedicate a post to all those parents out there looking for info on how to take thier three-year old budding princess to Disneyland without loosing their minds.

1. Eat a good breakfast. I know, I know, shouldn’t we do that every day? Yes, technically. But on this day it will be a matter of life and death. You will need your strength to fight against the massive crowds (more on that later), ward off evil Jedi mind tricks (from Mickey Mouse), and resist the urge to buy a hat with Goofy’s head on top of it. Unless you like paying $25 for a salad, I suggest you try to get your fill of nutrients in the morning.

2. Get there early. Again, it’s common sense- so you think. It actually has more to do with Princess sightings. And again, more on that later.

3. Don’t bother with the shuttle. Park your car and walk your ass to the gates. It’s a simple as that.

4. It’s up to you on the whole ticket/pass situation. We just did the straight forward one-day Disney pass. Emma is only three and there was plenty for her to see and do at plain ol’ Disneyland. I don’t even plan on ever telling her that California Adventure Park even exists. Something I’m sure she will bring up in therapy later.

5. Once you get inside the park, hightail it to Fantasy Faire. That is where all the Princesses hang out. Seriously now, move fast. Don’t get distracted by all the shiny things. Those Princesses are high-maintenance beyotches with packed social calendars. One stop for a pair of mickey ears and you might miss them.

6. Once you get the Princess sightings out of the way, you can realx (sort of). This would  be a great time to get a few rides out of they way unless…

7. Don’t go during a holiday vacation. I’m not sure exactly what we were thinking going two days before Thanksgiving. It’s wasn’t too bad at first, but by the time we started to think about grabbing some lunch it seemed like every tourist in Southern California was looking to eat an over-priced hamburger too. Which leads me to…

8. Bring your wallet. And fill it with cash. Disneyland is expensive. It starts out with a $15 parking fee and goes downhill fast. We’re talking $20 mouse ears, $7 balloons, and $50 sweatshirts (not that I would ever be caught dead on one of those). But don’t go and cash out your 401k just to keep up with the Joneses. Here are some ways to soften the blow.

9. Save some money by bringing food. It’s not like your toddler is going to eat that much anyway. I would rather spend $3 on a rainbow lollipop that gets a few decent licks than spend $10 on some chicken nuggets that she may or may not find edible. It’s your call though. Also, bring your own dress ups. Emma got one glimpse of a little girl dressed in a Cinderella costume, turned to me and said, “I’m ready to change. Where is my Snow White dress?” Crap. That little oversight cost me $65 at the Bippity Boppity Boo Boutique. One Ariel dress later, and we were good to go again.

10. Last, but not least, don’t talk about any of the rides and/or characters you are going to see. First, some of those characters might be on their day off. Second, some of the rides might be out of service. Third, the lines might be so long that there won’t be a chance in hell you will ever find Nemo. Your toddler will never know the difference. There is going to be so much distracting stuff to see, and do, and buy that it seriously does not matter.

There is one last little thing I have to mention. Little kids don’t last long at these places. This day should be about making memories and enjoying yourself through your child’s eyes. If you are one of those people that isn’t happy until you have ridden every ride and seen every sight, then you should think about leaving your toddler at home. Just sayin’.

That’s it! Follow every single one of these and you will have a fun-filled day without a single tear or meltdown. Bwah- hahahahahha! Good luck!

What are some of your best Disneyland survival tips?

Dear Santa, All I Want for Christmas Is…

12 Nov

1. A sippy cup that doesn’t leak. But it can’t be too hard to drink from either. Oh, and it can’t get smelly. It also needs to have a lid without any parts or straws and it has to be made from safe, non-toxic materials. One last thing- if it could be free of any Dora or Disney motifs that would be great.

2. A double stroller that doesn’t weigh a million pounds, has a huge undercarriage, fully reclines in both seats, has massive sunshades, a parent console, a one-hand fold, stands upright when collapsed, fits in my trunk, has an easy to operate brake, can be steered with one hand, navigates the doctor’s office and the mall like a ninja, tires that don’t deflate overnight, and looks cool. Is that too much to ask?

3. A highchair that is compact, a breeze to clean, easy on the eyes, tall enough for my bar-height countertop, and it can’t cost a million dollars either. Got it?

4. An infant seat that isn’t awkward to carry. I know there are some that have those groovy handles that make it appear to be easier, but it’s a sham. My. Back. Can’t. Take. It. Anymore.

5. And finally, a baby monitor. This one sounds simple, but it’s not. It needs to have the clearest of sound, a mile long range, movement and breath detection, night vision, lullabies, white noise, a temperature reading, at least two bases and two parent units, two-way chat, a night light, be battery operated on both ends, and compact. Good luck with that one.

Lots of Love,


PS- If I’m really good, eat all my vegetables, and promise not to curse (as much) can I also get ten hours of uninterrupted sleep? Pretty please?

Moms- What are you hoping Santa brings you this holiday season?

You can also see this post here at Rated by Mom.

Spouses in Disguise

14 Sep

Summer is coming to a close and I have been reminiscing about some of my most memorable moments from the season. When I look back on all the fun times we had this year, there is one thing that was a consistent presence in all the activities we participated in. I am talking about the national treasure known as “The Husband and Wife Who Dress Like Twins.”

I’m sure all of you know what I am talking about. This duo can be found anywhere, but tend to congregate at tourist hot spots like the Zoo, Sea World (for all you San Diegans), and amusement parks (usually Disney-themed).

I’m assuming that is this a uniquely American phenomenon because never, in all my travels, have I ever witnessed this in any other country. Unless, of course, the tourists were American too. Now, please tell me if I’m way off base here. I’d love to know if this trend has gone international.

Most recently, I encountered a married couple disguised as twins outside my local Starbucks. They were both wearing matching lime green polo shirts, stone washed jeans (hers, in capri length), and glaring white tennis shoes. It’s not like their outfit was extraordinary or anything. What struck me about this couple is that they weren’t that much older than I am. The experience left me wondering, “How or why does a couple start dressing like twins?”

Here is a list of possible scenarios:

1. They are participating in a team building exercise. Nothing says “Team Smith” like coordinating “USA” t-shirts, jean shorts, leather fanny packs, and brand new Nikes.

2. They are worried about loosing one another. “Hey, have you seen my wife? Keep your eye out for her. Don’t worry about what she looks like because she is dressed exactly like me.”

3. It’s some sort of weird ownership issue. A jealous spouse doesn’t have to worry about their partner wandering when they are dressed in matching outfits because it is painfully obvious that he/she is “with me”.

4. Laziness. Think how easy shopping would be if you just had to purchase two of everything. You would eliminate the need for shopping in different departments, you would save time trying on endless outfits, and you score big-time if there is a two for one special.

5. Loss of identity. Perhaps these couples are intensely co-dependent. Like to the point that they don’t make a move, including getting dressed, without checking in with each other first. Perhaps it’s seen as a betrayal if one spouse dresses differently from another. I could go on about this forever.

That’s all I have come up with so far. There is so much more to explore. So, my dear friends, please share with me your theories on this subject so I can make sure that it never, ever happens to me.

Fake It ‘Till You Make It

3 Aug

Today was a rough one for me. My heart just wasn’t into mothering my children. I love them more than anything in the world, but I felt really distracted and on edge all day. I literally felt like my head was in the clouds.

The best remedy I have for days like this is to put on a cheesy smile and fake my way through it. I pretended to laugh at all of Emma’s silly jokes, even though I hadn’t listened to one of them. I answered with a generic, “Oh really?” and “Wow!” every time she said something to me. I put the baby in her jumparoo for extended periods of time.

I even played Emma’s favorite new game for an hour (while perusing Facebook, of course). This is hard enough to do on a good day. The game is her version of “The Little Mermaid”, in which I play the part of “Ursula the Sea Witch” and proceed to “break” all her toys while she “sobs” on the couch. I nearly cried with relief when both children took naps at the same time.

Somewhere during my Oscar-worthy performance as a Super Mom something in me turned. I started to slightly enjoy myself! I even perked up enough to make a trip to the frozen yogurt shop for an impromptu treat, which I’m sure was just guilt manifesting as actual energy. Then, I went home and cooked my husband dinner. I can’t believe I pulled that one off too.

The kitchen is a mess, the house is a wreck, and the laundry needs to be folded, but I think I’ve fooled them all. I’m so glad it’s over. Good night!

Prince Eric is a Weenie

13 Jul

One of my favorite parts of Emma getting older is that we have graduated from the mind-numbingly boring “Baby Einstein” DVDs into the exciting world of “Disney” movies. I am literally reliving my youth as we watch classics like “Cinderella”, “Sleeping Beauty”, and my all time favorite- “The Little Mermaid”. I must have watched “The Little Mermaid” hundreds of times when it first came out on video. Am I dating myself here? I was such a fanatic that I even owned the soundtrack and can still recite the lyrics to all the songs.

This afternoon Emma refused to nap for the second day in a row (please don’t let this be permanent!). I pulled her into my bed, turned on my old favorite, and tried the best I could to get at least 15 minutes of shut-eye. As I was lying there, listening to the dialogue, I had a realization: Prince Eric is a player! Here is a guy, who is rescued by a hot mermaid (Ariel) after his ship sinks, and falls desperately in love with her- even though they have never even spoken to each other. He has only heard her sing.

Then, Ariel shows up with legs, but sans voice. She seems familiar, but he knows she isn’t the girl of his dreams because she can’t sing. But he thinks she’s pretty cute, so he invites her to crash with him for awhile. He shows her around town, takes her dancing, and then takes her on a super romantic evening boat ride. When Eric’s old and faithful aide Grimsby suggests that he make the situation more “permanent” (read: marriage), Eric hesitates because he still thinks the other hot singing babe is out there.

“What nerve!” was all I could think. Here Prince Eric is, no doubt spoiled his entire life, leading poor Ariel on when he has no intention of committing to her. In fact, not only is he commitment shy, he has the hots for someone else! Obviously the two girls he likes are actually the same person, but still, who does he think he is?! Ok. I am stopping myself. NOW.

Usually I like to wrap things up by mentioning a little life lesson I learned from a situation or something funny we can all laugh about. I think the only conclusion I can make from all this is that I need to get out more.

My Pediatrician Is a Sadist

1 Jul

I just got back from Annie’s four-month check up and I am so upset. Oh, it’s not what happened during her check-up (five shots-yikes!), but what happened before I even got into the exam room. Let me start from the beginning. As I already told you, Annie had a doctor appointment today. I love my pediatrician. She’s calm, informative, and really goes the extra mile. Plus, she always pretends to remember me and I really appreciate that. She also runs a very tight ship. I have never waited more than 5 minutes before being escorted into an exam room. Today was no exception- only it was five minutes of pure torture.

I checked in, and then the girls and I grabbed the nearest seats and waited for Annie’s name to be called. The office always has a movie playing. Usually it’s “Finding Nemo” and once we even lucked out and got “The Little Mermaid”- score! I wasn’t paying attention to what was playing today until Emma said, “Mommy, why is the elephant crying?” Oh. My. God. There it was:“Dumbo”. What nerve! How dare she! Does the doctor not know that this movie haunts every mother across the nation? I seriously hate this movie.

For those of you who haven’t seen the movie or were so traumatized by the scene I am about to describe that you forgot it, let me refresh your memory. First we need a little history. If you remember, Dumbo gets made fun of by a group of boys because he has big ears. His mother comes to his defense and tosses the boys and the ringleader up in the air. (you go girl!) She also goes on a rampage, as any good mother would, when the handlers separate her from her baby. She gets labeled “mad” and she gets locked up. Poor Dumbo is all alone, is rejected by the other elephants and is left without his mother to care for him. Ok, I’m going to start crying again.

This is where I started watching it: It is right after the circus show in which Dumbo was painted up like a clown and ended up falling into a tub of pie filling. After the show Dumbo feels embarrassed, sad, and lonely. He is crying big, fat, baby elephant tears. Dumbo’s only friend, Timothy Q. Mouse, decides to take him to see his mother. When Dumbo’s mother realizes that her baby is outside and waiting to see her she lights up and runs for the window only to be held back by the shackles around her ankles. Dumbo is looking and reaching up with his trunk, but he can’t see her. All his mother can do is reach her trunk out and feel for him. She has just enough room to hold and rock him with her trunk. As his mother rocks him, Dumbo has his trunk wrapped around hers and is gazing longingly in her direction. And then…. A single, silent tear falls down her trunk.

Oh, it gets worse. Then the movie starts in with the “Baby Mine” song. Google the lyrics. You will die. The saddest song in the world starts playing as we see all the other mommy and baby animals curling up together and going to bed, but all Dumbo and his mommy get to do is touch trunks through a barred window. I thought I was going to loose it. I was hysterical. I was practically screaming, “Just give the baby to his mommy!” I swear, if Emma has asked me for a pony at that very moment I would have driven her straight to the farm to get one. Luckily, we got called in and I was able to pass my tears off as those of genuine concern for my darling baby girl and not the animated children’s movie playing in the waiting room.

Why was this movie ever made? What kind of sicko would do this to us? Walt Disney of course. The mastermind behind The Most Expensive Place on Earth and those damn Disney Princesses. I’m kidding, of course. Walt Disney is a legend and a hero. I could never say anything bad about him and what he has done for the arts. Still, why would he ever put such a heartbreaking scene in a children’s movie? There must be an explanation.

It’s safe to say that in all things Disney there is a lesson to be learned, something to take away. I don’t know exactly what Walt Disney had in mind with Dumbo, but all I know is that I hugged my chicks a little tighter today and snuggled a little longer tonight when I tucked them into bed. Maybe Dumbo’s not so bad after all.

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