That Mickey sure is one smart cookie!! May 2011 CBR TR (update 08/13)

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by lbuzz52, May 31, 2011.

  1. lbuzz52

    lbuzz52 DIS Veteran

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    The meaning behind my title will be discussed within this report. But first, I'd like to discuss what i didn't name it.

    I thought long and hard about what I was going to name this trip report. I considered named it "The Sea Witch Stole my Voice". But I was afraid the meaning behind it would have a slightly negative connotation towards me.

    I can't deny that I raise my voice at my kids. A LOT. But on this trip, something must have been in the air- maybe you could call it a customary pre-vacation threat.:rotfl2: ("if you don't behave, I promise we will leave the parks and go back to the room").

    But I'd rather call it Vacation Pixie Dust. :wizard: A bit of good luck and a lot of good attitude. I can't say that my children were perfect (or myself. Or my husband).

    But for some reason something was clicking for us, and no bad behavior and no bad attitude stuck around for more than a minute. It was like some sweet little Pixie was sitting on our shoulders, whispering in our ears every time we started to stumble. "Hold on a minute, you are at the happiest place on Earth. Shake it off!"

    We spent 9 days and 8 nights on this vacation, and wore ourselves out in record heat. Yet there were no major meltdowns, I don't *think* anyone called someone else a string of words under their breathe, and I was able to refrain from yelling. Something was definitely in the air, and it had everything going our way!




    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Introductions

    Monday, May 9th
    The Day Before the Magic Began

    Tuesday, May 10th
    The Day of Multiple Transportation Methods

    Part 1. 32 ounces.
    Part 2. The Path to Jamaica, Mon.
    Part 3. Wet Pirates
    Part 4. Naptime and Tiki Men
    Part 5. Mickey must have missed us!

    Wednesday, May 11th
    The Day Grumpy Grows Up

    Part 1a. I'm not getting out of this stroller!
    Part 1b. I'm not getting in this stroller!
    Part 2. "Pooh Baayer" and a Prince.
    Part 3a. Any Dream is Possible
    Part 3b. Any Dream Is Possible cont.
    Part 4. Minnie brings some Harmony
    Part 5a. Plenty of Princesses
    Part 5b. Plenty of Princesses cont.
    Part 6. And I shall call him Duck Duck


    Thursday, May 12th
    The Day We Save the World

    Part 1. "Oh, Oh, Oh. It's Magic"
    Part 2. A Maritime Morning.
    Part 3. This Playground is not for adults!

    Part 4a. Bad Guys at Disney?
    Part 4b. Bad Guys at Disney? cont.
    Part 5. What a Fancy Drink Holder!

    Friday, May 13th
    The Day of Sudden Bravery

    Part 1. Jungle Juice and Tator Tots
    Part 2. Lion-King-Esque
    Part 3. Conquering the Yeti.
    Part 4. I can ride by myself.
    Part 5. Thanksgiving.
    Part 6. A Castle and a Flag

    Saturday, May 14th
    The Day of Caribbean Exploration

    Part 1. What's for breakfast?
    Part 2. Keep the Drama Away From Momma.
    Part 2. Keep the Drama Away From Momma Cont.
    Part 3. A Windy Wait.
    Part 4a. A Fare Time
    Part 4b. A Fare Time Cont.
    Part 5. A Pirate's Life For Me
    Part 6a. Thousands of Sparkling Lights
    Part 6b. Thousands of Sparkling Lights cont.

    Sunday, May 15th
    The Day of Royal Transformation

    Part 1a. The Only Morning Daddy has EVER Allowed Makeup
    Part 1b. Photopass Pitcures from Makeup Morning
    Part 2. Sparkling Smiles.
    Part 3. A World of Shopping.
    Part 4. Parading towards Earl's
    Part 5. Pixar or Bust
    Part 6. A leisurely dinner of Flying Fish

    Monday, May 16th
    The Day of the Dragon

    Part 1. Buzzing through our morning
    Part 2. Woody & Buzz
    Part 3. Snoozin' Under the Sea
    Part 4a Peanut Butter, Parades, and more Pixar
    Part 4b. Peanut Butter, Parades, and more Pixar
    Part 5. Thirty minutes of character bliss
    Part 6. Dragons and Doubloons

    Tuesday, May 17th
    The Day It All Catches Up To Us

    Part 1. Rushing Through the 100 Acre Woods
    Part 2. Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let Down Your Hair
    Part 3. Dirty monkey
    Part 4. Eat. Nap. Eat. Nap.
    Part 5a. Can I buy a brick?
    Part 5b. Can I buy a brick?

    Photopass catchup
    Day 2. MK

    Day 2. MK cont.
    Day 2. MK cont again
    Day 3. Epcot
    Day 3. Epcot cont.

    Misc.
    Toothy
    Kindy
    Winnie the Pooh- James' first movie!
    The Growth of Maya
    A Difficult Cake

    Chasing at Kindergarten
    Happy Halloween Everyone!
    James is Three/ Catch-up
     
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  3. lbuzz52

    lbuzz52 DIS Veteran

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    My family as a whole has been on one other trip to WDW, in October of 2009. However, we took that trip with my parents, sister, and nephew. So this was our first true family vacation! My husband and i work opposite schedules to minimize the need for sitters, so we were really looking forward to uninterrupted family time. It was much needed and long overdue.




    Our travelers included myself, Lauren. I'm a 31 year old travel coordinator for a private family. Basically, I'm a travel agent and office manager, all rolled into one. I spend my days dreaming of palm trees while scheduling business trips and vacations for others.

    I've been a Disney fan all my life, especially the things that were out when i was young. I can't count how many times I"ve seen Pete's Dragon or 101 Dalmations. And i completely miss the Disney channel of the late 80's/ early 90's- as in miss it bad enough to dig for clips on youtube. I went to Disneyworld three times as a kid, and have done two one-day trips to Disneyland. I believe Disney is a new adventure at every age and therefore needs to be explored thoroughly... and often.:goodvibes


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    DH, Chris, is a new Disney fan, and i'm working on slowly converting him to a fanatic. Our trip in 2009 was his first to Disney. Eeyore has his heart, and even though he doesn't really understand why adults get character pictures, taking a picture with his childhood buddy was on his to-do list for this trip. My husband is an extremely hard worker with quite a commute, and we dont' get to spend enough time together. I am thankful each day that i married a chef, and I am sure that my children are glad i did too:rotfl2:


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    Then there are my awesome children!

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    Maya is 5 & 3/4. (Don't say 5, she'll correct you!) She handles all the extra duties that come with being a firstborn very well. She's a great helper, and a proud big sister. She's also as silly and as stubborn as they come. She's growing up quickly, and reminds me every day (case in point- her first loose tooth yesterday). She's a HUGE Ariel fan, and a HUGE Rapunzel fan. She still believes in all Disney Magic, and we had to get this trip in before we ran the risk of that changing.


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    James turned 2 in January. He looks up to his dear sister. He wants to do everything she does, from play teeball to wear princess heels. And he thinks he can do everything she can do, which can get quite dangerous when it comes to things like riding bikes or scaling monkeybars:scared1: He is on a mommy kick right now and i am loving it! He loves all things with wheels, and will not sleep without a car or (ten) in his bed. He fell hard for Pooh Bear on our last trip, and has recently grown quite fond of Mi-hee (Mickey), I'm pretty sure he almost doubled his vocabulary on vacation with all the new things to see and people to meet.


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    We loved the weather and atmosphere during our last trip in October, but Maya starts kindergarden in August. My husband slept on the sidewalk overnight to get her into *the* good public school here, and we can't risk losing her spot by taking her out during her first year. We decided we would aim for late spring- avoiding the summer crowds. After checking our work schedules, April sounded like the best choice. That is, until we saw how late Easter was this year. The next best week was May 10th, right after Mother's day. We agreed on our dates and i began all the planning.

    In the past, i had started planning a trip, only to not have it come to fruition. This was one of the main reasons why we decided to not to tell the kids until closer to trip time. About a month before we were supposed to leave, i thought this may happen again due to some unforseable changes with Chris's work & schedule. Thankfully, we were able to get it all worked out and go on as scheduled.

    In the meantime, i had a hard time keeping my mouth shut. I brought Disney up almost everyday. But i always said things like "Maya, on our next trip to Disney, whenever that it, do you want to try XXX or YYY?" Before long she was saying, i wish we could go to Disney this year. I'd always say, not this year, but hopefully soon.

    I was afraid that she was going to figure it out with my big mouth, so we told her we were going to the beach. This was not a total lie, as our hotel had a beach at it!

    By Easter Sunday, we knew that we had things worked out and the trip was on. We decided to tell the kids! "Not only are you going to the beach, you are going to the beach at DISNEY!" Two weeks later, we left our house, destination Caribbean Beach Resort!
     
  4. mickeymouse108

    mickeymouse108 Mouseketeer

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    Hi this looks like it is going to be a great trip report nice to meet you and your lovely family. cant wait to hear why you named the trip "that mickey sure is one smart cookie!!!"
     
  5. photographymom517

    photographymom517 DIS Veteran

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    Great start to your TR, Lauren!!!! :thumbsup2

    Your kids are too cute!!!! And I think its awesome that you & your husband work opposite shifts to minimize the need for a babysitter! It must be hard not to see each other much, but it is GREAT for the kids to have both of their parents around all the time!!! I completely look up to & respect parents that put their kids first!!! :goodvibes

    I have no idea how you kept the secret of the trip for so long! I'm having a hard enough time keeping 1 little old tour a secret! LOL

    I completely understand how you feel about changing plans -- we have that happen almost every year! Somehow it always manages to work out, but we always go through those stressful days where we just don't know any "definite" plans. :rolleyes:

    I am really looking forward to hearing more about your trip!!!

    Oh, and I also loooove the old Disney cartoons from the 80's/90's!!! I miss watching Duck Tales, Goof Troop, Rescue Rangers, and all the other great shows!!! My mom still has some of them on VHS but unfortunately, none of our VHS players work anymore! I might have the VHS tapes turned into a DVD someday so I can watch them! :)
     
  6. Lidian

    Lidian DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! Can't wait to read more! :goodvibes
     
  7. Lifelong_Dreamer

    Lifelong_Dreamer DIS Veteran

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    Joining in!

    :lmao: I actually named one of my trip reports this but I actually did lose my voice, I got sick while on a Disney Cruise!

    Enjoying your report so far and looking forward to more! I love that there are so many May TR's out right now!
     
  8. lbuzz52

    lbuzz52 DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: i hope you enjoy it! thanks for reading and for the compliments on my babies!


    I'm so glad that you can sympathize with the Disney Channel cartoons. i am starting to feel old when i start conversations with "remember when Disney channel played cartoons with the fab 5?" or "remember when MTV played music?"

    Remember any of the shows that used costumed characters- like Pooh's Corner, or Dumbo's Circus or Mousercize?

    I get a kick out of the old come to Disney World commercials. i remember them, and its so strange to see how they have changed!



    Glad you are here! :yay:I wonder how many other similarities our trip will have, besides the Yeah-Yah driver




    :welcome:

    That's so funny that you had one named that! That would stink to loose your voice!
    You were May too? i'll have to make it over to your new report. where did you stay?
     
  9. LeeLee'sMom

    LeeLee'sMom DIS Veteran

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    Your kids are adorable. My 5 year-old DD starts kindergarten this September also..so we are going 8/26-9/2 and staying at CBR. We have never stayed at this mod. before so dying to try it out. The pool area looks great for her. BTW my DD lost her first tooth Monday, Memorial Day...will be easy to remember...LOL

    can't wait to read more about your vacation..:thumbsup2
     
  10. Lifelong_Dreamer

    Lifelong_Dreamer DIS Veteran

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    Yep, we were there for two weeks, stayed at Coronado Springs. :thumbsup2 Had a great time.
     
  11. lbuzz52

    lbuzz52 DIS Veteran

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    :welcome:

    you are lucky to have such a late start date! ours starts Aug 6th. I'll detail our opinions on the resort during the report- but i will say that we would go back. there was a lot to do when we were at the resort.

    so what is the going tooth fairy rate these days anyway? Maya seems to think this is a big accomplishment what aobut your dd?

    oh how i wish that my dh would agree to 2 full weeks! i have to say, i think your trip title is VERY appropriate!
     
  12. lbuzz52

    lbuzz52 DIS Veteran

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    i have an update coming shortly- but first i have two questions.

    1) is there a trick to changing the colors in your signature? i've tried and its not
    working.

    2) its been a long while since i took English, and this question is something I
    need to know forever. when a name ends in s, how do you show
    possession? is it
    James' OR
    James's


    thanks!
     
  13. lbuzz52

    lbuzz52 DIS Veteran

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    I was so excited the day before we left!



    It was a pretty busy day. i know this is probably a disgrace to most DIS members, but I had some packing left to do.

    Chris laughs at me when i pack. To him, its all sporatic and random. He asks why don't you just pack the clothes together and the other junk together?

    There is, in fact, a reason for it all.

    I tend to bring one of everything I could possibly need and then usually throw another in for good measure. We brought a shirt for every day and then a couple extras. We brought enough bottoms and pjs to wash mid week. The kids had some extra bottoms because some of their clothing was outfits and not separates. I'm not going to detail my whole packing list- but it was three pages.

    We took 2 large suitcases to check, plus 2 rolling carryons, a backpack, a diaper bag, and 2 strollers. This may sound like a lot- but in my defense, it was 4 people for 9 days with no car. One carry-on had everything we needed for the travel day and the first park day, just in case our bags were lost. My backpack had the electronics, paperwork, snacks, carry-on toiletries, and things to do on the plane. Both suitcases and the other carry-on were a mix of clothing, park items, shoes, first aid etc.

    It was only because of mixing it up that I was able to fit everything in the bags. And it was only because of the mixing that my bags were under the airline weight limit. 48lbs and 44 lbs.

    Just a note here on the strollers. We contemplated many choices but ended up choosing to take 2 single umbrella strollers.

    A First Years Ignite (I love this stroller- check it out on amazon if you are in the market)
    and a Maclaren Volo.

    We have a double also but decided against it this time. It's bulkier and heavier. with the kids being in different ride stages we knew we may want to split up at some times. Plus we knew that we could always leave one at stroller parking.

    We kept Maya out of pre school today because she still had a fever. She was only on her second day of fever but we took her to the doctor rather than risk it getting worse while we were gone. The pediatrician checked her out and delivered the news. "it's just a virus. It will have to run its course". I was really hoping for something that required antibiotics. i guess i hoped that medicine would signal a recovery within 24 hours?

    Also I had a few errands- bank, drop off keys at moms, etc.

    I usually go to the bank on the weekend. So I left at 4 thinking it closed at 5. I had a couple checks to deposit from consignments and wanted to get a little cash out for tips and things. Well, it turned out that branch closed at 4. Luckily there is a branch in a nearby grocery store that stays open longer. I got a bunch of ones and fives for drivers, bell services, maids, etc. I was going to get a couple traveler checks too but at that location apparently they can't sell them in amounts less than $500. I didn't want that much so I decided I'd be fine without.

    I also went around taking pictures of our address with every memory card I was taking.

    Then in my typical procrastination mindset, I decided I needed to rearrange the pages in my planning book. I never shared my pages in my PTR- and there are no pictures in this update, so i'll share a few now.


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    Here is the cover. Its a simple, thin, photo album i found somewhere a while back for a dollar or two.


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    Here is the page when you open the book; the picture was found here on the creative boards.


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    The first page was a packing list for our park bags, so we could mentally check it off each morning.


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    Then there was a list of important numbers


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    And a list of ADR's (old pic, taken before the final update obviously)


    Then after that, there was a section for each park. Every park had a sheet for...


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    Character locations and times (used this one a lot actually!)


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    Some snacks we may be interested in and where to find them. P.S. this one only works if you know where the snack shop is:lmao:


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    show times


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    and where to find the special photopass pictures (didn't use this one enough!)


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    If there was a chance we might hit magic hours at the park, the ride list was included


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    And if we were going to view a parade, the route was included. (P.S.- if you have not seen all the maps Robo had- check them out! awesome job and so very helpful!)




    Finally I was done with everything. I went outside to relax for a minute- where it was nice and quiet. A minute later i hear a knock coming from inside the storm door. Oh, how I wish I had my camera- because I turned around to find the most adorable 2 year old. Standing there in one purple butterfly sandal and one pink glitter flat, wearing a Cars folding chair on his head and a diaper. Nothing Else.

    "i ready to go"

    Dear Sweet James:rotfl:. At least you didn't forget your hat.



    We got the kids in bed at a reasonable time. Chris and I were watching our local NBA team play. The game started at 830. We figured we would be fine if we just went to bed afterwards. The game ended up going into TRIPLE overtime. It was almost 1 am by the time we went to bed.

    I laid there awake for some time with my mind racing. Eventually I started panicking about how we were going to carry everything. I didn't think about the number of bags vs the number of hands.

    4 hands

    4 bags plus 2 strollers. :scared1:

    Finally it dawned on my that one of our strollers has a strap. So if Chris carried the suitcases and a stroller, I could take the carryons and the backpack. We could hang the diaper bag on James stroller and Maya could push him. I was so glad I didn't have to repack into less bags and pay more checked baggage fees. ESPECIALLY at one in the morning.


    I grabbed my phone and wrote this before finally drifting off to sleep.

    It's 130am and I'm still awake.
    Everything is ready to go but I'm just somewhat wired. I can't believe it's already here! Finally here!
    I really hope Maya feels better quickly. I hate that she can't feel the full excitement because she doesnt feel well.
    I wish I could stop having things I need to do run through my head so I can fall asleep. We have to be up about 5:45. Our flight leaves at 8:29. I haven't checked us in yet.
    Right now the weather is 78 with 75% humidity here and 77 with 67% humidity there.



    Next: We overslept last trip- would we do it again??
     
  14. DisneyMomma09

    DisneyMomma09 Mouseketeer

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    I'm enjoying your report so far. I love how on your list of things to remember to take to the park, you have 'kids' listed!! :lmao: Do you have a history of leaving them behind? Hehe!

    Can't wait to hear more!
     
  15. sl_underwood

    sl_underwood DIS Veteran

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    Im here! Cant wait to read all about your trip!
     
  16. lbuzz52

    lbuzz52 DIS Veteran

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    WELCOME!!

    I have to admit- as soon as I got notification of your post, I had to come see what you were talking about. What I meant by that was to take a picture of the kids every morning so that I would have a picture in the day's clothing if they got separated.
    When I was on a family trip as a child, my mom and I got separated from my dad and siblings after a parade. It was stressful, and one of the reasons I like to watch the parade in the popular areas. I couldn't imagine how it would feel to be lost alone as a child. I saw the picture tip on here once, and thought it could help if we ever had to have cm's help us find kids.

    So to answer your question, although on whiny days I've been tempted to leave them behind a time or too LOL I have never left them behind :)
     
  17. lbuzz52

    lbuzz52 DIS Veteran

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    you are back! How was your trip? I'm anxious to see if your CBR opinion is the same as ours. Please let me know when you start your TR!
     
  18. Lifelong_Dreamer

    Lifelong_Dreamer DIS Veteran

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    Love how much info you included in your planning binder. :thumbsup2

    Don't worry, I don't judge, I am a last minute packer as well. ;)
     
  19. pinkxray

    pinkxray DIS Veteran

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    I'm joining in too. I am very impressed that you did not mumble any name calling under your breath or raise you voice. I don't think I can make that claim:laughing:
     
  20. cam&phoebsmom

    cam&phoebsmom counting down the days until our next trip...

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    Impressive lists! But I hve to ask-what is the shower curtain for?:confused3

    I really like your handy book to keep track of things-I had not thought of having a parade route pic or character photo times but they are great ideas!!
     
  21. lbuzz52

    lbuzz52 DIS Veteran

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    glad to hear you pack late too... i read so much about people packing weeks in advance. last trip, i packed through the middle of the night. i was determined not to do that this trip. I thought i had it all under control, but grossily underestimated how long it would take me to get it done.

    it also helped considerably that my husband ended up being off the day before the trip. He was not supposed to be. However, his work is on a river, and they had to close for 2 weeks last month due to flooding. They closed right before we left and opened the day we came home. So i had an extra pair of hands to keep the kids in order and search for all the missing shoe pairs. My kids have a knack of reading my mind to see what i wanted to pack, and then hiding it.:lmao:

    i love my little mini binder! it probably had more than i needed- but you never know what you will need! hopefully one day i will be seasoned enough to not need it at all!


    :thanks:

    It was strange, no doubt about it. I think it was a lot of factors. my kids were for the most part better behaved than at home. I was a bit more patient than normal. And we just lucked out because for the most part when the grumpiness started it was easy to determine why and make a quick fix. Also, i am the "grudge holder" in the family. i was determined to not stay mad if something did tick me off. there were a ton of bad attitudes last trip, and i was determined to minimize it as much as possible.


    :welcome: and thanks for the compliments!

    i love my little book. it is lightweight and fit perfectly into my bag without adding a lot of bulk. I had to include the parade route because i always confuse myself on which parades start on Main Street and which start in Frontierland. Also, i had never seen them in AK or DHS, so it helped me find the off the main path areas to watch in. As for the character times, they were most helpful in Epcot, so we knew which characters to keep an eye out for and in which country. It also was nice a couple of times when we could plan the schedule to be there right before the character was set to arrive (and the line started growing).

    we use the shower curtain and the binder clips for the strollers. we clip it to the stroller during rain. it worked really well for us the last trip...
     

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