Toddlers On A Plane

Flying is terrifying if you’re just one person on a plane, never mind with a toddler. You just feel the anxiety at the gate skyrocket as soon as you arrive. Because the smiling giggling darling apple of your eye looks like a ticking time bomb never mind, you’re not supposed to say that on a plane. Anyway, we survived it, and you can too! Here’s a short list of things I recommend and a few things I learned on our recent flight to California.

BRING FOOD.

Snacks. Forget Dinner. “What did you have for dinner? Pretzels and banana bread.” When flying from New York to California, bring enough food or else endure the sugary banana bread laden guilt you get while stuffing your kid full of snacks instead of something more substantial. We got to my parents’ house at about 9pm that night (midnight our time) and she was fast asleep, but hadn’t had dinner. I rolled the parenting dice and decided to wake her so she could eat. What resulted was a meltdown of epic proportions and she barely ate anything. Shoulda woulda coulda, let’s try again next time.

BRING TOYS!!!

Crayons, coloring books, this magical water painting thingy, their favorite stuffies…anything you can fit into a bag and within the rules of air travel, BRING IT. Maybe bring something new that they haven’t seen before so the novelty lasts a little longer. What I really love are these wipeable dry erase crayons and dry erase coloring books! You can even use any dry erase book they have out there, these crayons will work fine!

PRAY.

Pray you get peaceable seatmates. God bless the two seemingly single people on either side of us on this gigantic metal tube. Too bad they weren’t seated next to each other. They would probably get along great. Super chill. Except the guy called me ma’am. Hmph.

I don’t believe in giving “treats” or “bribing” fellow passengers just because I have a small child with me on the plane. She has just as much right to be on that flight as you do. I will do what I can to keep her entertained and quiet because there is no escape while we are all trapped inside a big metal tube in the sky. And believe me, I don’t like hearing a child cry or scream any more than you do. However, her well being is the only one I’m responsible for. Get a pair of these and get over it. Also read “Why you shouldn’t give out goody bags while flying with a baby” by Rebecca Dube

AIRPLANE HARNESSES.

Good for safety. Not for sanity – kiddo HATED it and wouldn’t stop complaining because she would slouch and get the strap all up in her armpits. Halfway through the flight I said f*#k it and unhooked it. She did fine with just the lap belt though I was a little uneasy. Here’s the one I used if you’re looking for one. It’s very easy to use and probably better (for us) when she gets a little bit older.

SCREEN TIME LIMITATIONS GO OUT THE WINDOW

Make sure all devices are charged and loaded with movies, games and videos. No guarantee any of this will work but it should buy you some time. Take time to download your kid’s favorite movies and shows from Netflix. We watched A Curious George Christmas TWICE, lol.

And why oh why wasn’t the wifi working? C’mon United.

GET CREATIVE

Kiddo wanted to hide, so I fashioned a tent out of the free blanket they gave us and turned on her favorite movie. She kept pulling the blanket down between us and wouldn’t let me watch with her. Exiled.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE WATER

Make sure you have enough time to buy water before boarding, or you’ll have a parched throat and whiny toddler because she’s been inhaling pretzels for an hour. The flight attendants go as fast as they can but nothing is fast enough when you’re two.

Check out these links for more tips on peaceful flying with little ones!

  1. 25 Top Tips For Keeping Kids Happy On Board
  2. How To Enjoy A Plane Trip With Children
  3. Packing Checklist for Traveling With a Toddler
  4. Flying With Babies, Toddlers and Kids

 

Frozen at the Hyperion

My daughter is obsessed with Frozen.

OB. SESSED.

We watch it at least once a day and have since this past Christmas. She’s only two so she missed it when it first came out since she wasn’t even born yet. I’ve been trying to wean her onto Moana but I CAN’T. I am hoping my friend Barrie Kealoha can turn her, since she just performed as Moana at Union Square Park. Kiddo watched her clip three times, so here’s hoping that we’ll be able to watch it the whole way through without having to switch back to Frozen, LOL.

While visiting my parents this past week, we made an impromptu decision to take D to California Adventure and try to see Frozen. I wasn’t sure how crowded the park would be that day and I wanted to make sure my daughter saw the show. We booked the Frozen Dining Package at the Carthay Circle Restaurant to ensure priority seating. It was pricey but delicious. The dessert looked like Olaf and D didn’t want to eat him! She wanted to hug it! She ate his chocolate face and arms and some of the meringue snow that was sprinkled on the plate. I booked a little too early (11:30, I probably should have booked at 12:30 instead) because the show was at 3:00pm. But at least we got to go on a couple of rides and D got to take a short nap beforehand, so it worked out well.

Being a former (okay, on hiatus) actor, I couldn’t allow myself to take pictures, so these official show photos were graciously provided to me by Disney and Jade (@arendellebell on IG)

KRISTOFF TAKES ANNA TO THE TROLLS IN ‘FROZEN – LIVE AT THE HYPERION’ — A new theatrical interpretation for the stage based on Disney’s animated blockbuster film, Frozen is now playing at the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure Park. The show immerses audiences in the emotional journey of Anna and Elsa with all of the excitement of live theater, including elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects and show-stopping production numbers. (Scott Brinegar/Disneyland Resort)
OLAF DREAMS OF SUMMER IN ‘FROZEN – LIVE AT THE HYPERION’ — A new theatrical interpretation for the stage based on Disney’s animated blockbuster film, Frozen is now playing at the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure Park. The show immerses audiences in the emotional journey of Anna and Elsa with all of the excitement of live theater, including elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects and show-stopping production numbers. (Scott Brinegar/Disneyland Resort)
ANNA AND ELSA IN ‘FROZEN – LIVE AT THE HYPERION’ — A new theatrical interpretation for the stage based on Disney’s animated blockbuster film, Frozen is now playing at the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure Park. The show immerses audiences in the emotional journey of Anna and Elsa with all of the excitement of live theater, including elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects and show-stopping production numbers. (Scott Brinegar/Disneyland Resort)
‘FROZEN – LIVE AT THE HYPERION’ — A new theatrical interpretation for the stage based on Disney’s animated blockbuster film, Frozen is now playing at the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure Park. The show immerses audiences in the emotional journey of Anna and Elsa with all of the excitement of live theater, including elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects and show-stopping production numbers. (Scott Brinegar/Disneyland Resort)
ELSAÕS CORONATION IN ‘FROZEN Ð LIVE AT THE HYPERION’ — A new theatrical interpretation for the stage based on DisneyÕs animated blockbuster film, Frozen is now playing at the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure Park. The show immerses audiences in the emotional journey of Anna and Elsa with all of the excitement of live theater, including elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects and show-stopping production numbers. (Piotr A. Redlinski/Disneyland Resort)
PRINCE HANS MEETS ANNA IN ‘FROZEN Ð LIVE AT THE HYPERION’ — A new theatrical interpretation for the stage based on DisneyÕs animated blockbuster film, Frozen is now playing at the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure Park. The show immerses audiences in the emotional journey of Anna and Elsa with all of the excitement of live theater, including elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects and show-stopping production numbers. (Piotr A. Redlinski/Disneyland Resort)
ANNA AND ELSA IN ‘FROZEN Ð LIVE AT THE HYPERION’ — A new theatrical interpretation for the stage based on DisneyÕs animated blockbuster film, Frozen is now playing at the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure Park. The show immerses audiences in the emotional journey of Anna and Elsa with all of the excitement of live theater, including elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects and show-stopping production numbers.(Piotr A. Redlinski/Disneyland Resort)
KING AGDAR AND QUEEN IDUN WITH ELSA IN ‘FROZEN Ð LIVE AT THE HYPERION’ — A new theatrical interpretation for the stage based on DisneyÕs animated blockbuster film, Frozen is now playing at the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure Park. The show immerses audiences in the emotional journey of Anna and Elsa with all of the excitement of live theater, including elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects and show-stopping production numbers. (Piotr A. Redlinski/Disneyland Resort)
PRINCE HANS MEETS ANNA IN ‘FROZEN Ð LIVE AT THE HYPERION’ — A new theatrical interpretation for the stage based on DisneyÕs animated blockbuster film, Frozen is now playing at the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure Park. The show immerses audiences in the emotional journey of Anna and Elsa with all of the excitement of live theater, including elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects and show-stopping production numbers. (Piotr A. Redlinski/Disneyland Resort)
ANNA AND ELSA IN ‘FROZEN – LIVE AT THE HYPERION’ — A new theatrical interpretation for the stage based on Disney’s animated blockbuster film, Frozen is now playing at the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure Park. The show immerses audiences in the emotional journey of Anna and Elsa with all of the excitement of live theater, including elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects and show-stopping production numbers.(Piotr A. Redlinski/Disneyland Resort)
ANNA AND ELSA MEET THE DUKE OF WESELTON IN ‘FROZEN Ð LIVE AT THE HYPERION’ — A new theatrical interpretation for the stage based on DisneyÕs animated blockbuster film, Frozen is now playing at the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure Park. The show immerses audiences in the emotional journey of Anna and Elsa with all of the excitement of live theater, including elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects and show-stopping production numbers. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

 

The most beautiful, wonderful, and amazing part of the show for me was when Anna appeared. She. Was. Black. The super talented Domonique Paton.

My jaw dropped open and I almost shouted in glee! And then Kristoff was also played by a black actor (Chris Culberson). I thought of all the kids in the audience, of all colors, and especially my daughter who is mixed. Growing up, I didn’t get to see many actors who looked like me on TV, or very much diversity at all, so knowing my daughter will be able to see herself and especially multiple ethnicities represented onstage and screen brings me so much joy.

I would love my daughter to see the Asian Elsa Kailyn Leilani someday! I wonder if it’s possible to get a heads up on who will be performing…

Happy 25th Birthday to Miss Saigon!

Twenty-five years ago today, the first production of Miss Saigon opened at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane starring Lea Salonga. In 1994, I saw the show in Los Angeles at the Pantages Theatre starring Jennifer Paz (Melinda Chua alt.) as Kim. I remember thinking to myself “That’s what I want to do when I grow up.” My dreams came true full circle almost 10 years later when I was cast in the North American Tour with Jennifer. I lived that dream for a year and a half in the ensemble, covering the roles of Gigi and Kim.

It was such a wonderful time in my life. This show made me believe that there was room for me in the musical theatre world, and since then I’ve played many roles that both support and challenge my type. The friends I made because of this show are forever, and I have Miss Saigon to thank.

Here is a video of the musical farewell that my tour roommate Kyle Bruich and I recorded with the two kids who alternated the role of Tam (Jonathan Wade and Brianna Laxson). These kids are both taller than me now, and have been for awhile!

Please excuse the messy room in the video, haha!

Happy Birthday to Miss Saigon!

Throwback Thursday – The Motherland

Yvonne de Salle from Sing at Home Mom

This photo was from the last time I went to the Philippines, about 7.5 years ago, just a few days after I met my husband. I loved those pants I’m wearing! Perfect for the hot hot weather out there! ! While I was enjoying an 85 degree Christmas, my husband (who had no idea he had just met the love of his life!) was skiing in Colorado! I could only stay in The Philippines for about 5 or 6 days because I was in performances of Peter Pan at the time, and the other actress with whom I shared the role just found out she was pregnant. I don’t think the cast was privy to that information yet but when I found out I was all the more grateful that she was able to fly for me.

It was rough traveling so far for just a few days but it was worth it. I was able to attend the wedding of my Auntie Jasmine, reconnect with a lot of family, and delve deeper into my roots.

What a different world it is out there. It aches inside when I think of the terrible weather that the country has sustained recently. Ondoy was bad, Haiyan was worse…and who knows what is to come next?

The Philippines is such a beautiful country and her people are strong and resilient. I hope to bring my husband there one day. It is important to me that our future children know where they come from. They will not have as much “Filipino-ness” as I do, but they must never forget their heritage. And they must learn to eat balut. Don’t gag, it’s delicious!