Author: eaumaison (page 1 of 169)

California, here we come!

The Masons are at Legoland! After a problem-free flight we arrived in sunny San Diego. We popped in on my grandparents for an unexpected visit when we realized we were so on-time that it was too early to check into the hotel.

Legoland hotel is absolutely living up to expectations. We’ve never been to a hotel so fully immersive and designed for kids. I think they are in heaven.

Sam shares an opinion

Ben told me this story:

Sam: Dad, are you smarter than Mom or is Mom smarter than you?

Ben: I don’t know. I think we’re both pretty smart.

Sam: Well. I think mom is smarter. I think Mom is the smartest in the family. I am the fartest in the family.

(If you haven’t had the pleasure of spending a lot of time with Sam lately, he is, indeed, very gassy, and gets a lot of ribbing for it.)

Family portrait

Sort of spring

It’s been a long spring break with hardly anyone in town to visit, and SNOW keeping us from playgrounds almost every day. We went swimming, went to a museum, went to the gym every day, but mostly laid low. Today we are doing some Easter craft, grandparents are stopping by between travels, and then a trip to the library. I’m very much looking forward to tonight: it will mark the end of the break and I have a sitter lined up so Ben and I can see Ready Player One at the Alamo. We go about twice a month and it still feels special every time. Man, I love my kids, but get me away from them!! 😉

Gadget cooking

I got some great new cooking gadgets for my birthday and have been having fun trying them out! Ben got me an instant pot that we have been trying out in all sorts of ways. I made our Irish dinner of corned beef using it:

And last night I made butter chicken, a real Indian dish! It looks almost exactly like takeout! The kids even tried a bite, but they just mostly ate bread. I also made the basmati rice in the instant pot.

In my quest for a good waffle iron, I got new plates for this griddle. Turned out some delicious buttermilk waffles.

No gadget cut required for this: Sam and I made chocolate covered strawberries today-by his request!

Never-ending illnesses

March has brought on another round of germ passing.  Sam has had a cough and stuffy nose off and on since February.  Jack joined in the sore throat game for a week.  Sam got worse, including a night where he woke up crying 5 times for nightmares, pain, or throwing up.  Then I caught whatever it was, with aches and chills and stuffy sinuses, making me miss the musical and my church lesson.  I’m really upset I had to miss the musical.  Today I thought we were all finally on the mend, when I got a call that Jack had vomited at school and needed to be picked up.  He’s still working through whatever new bug this is, and I’m filled with dread for the rest of us.

Assorted Kid Pictures










My birthday

I had a most wonderful birthday last month. Ben was able to stay home and take over my mom-duties, giving me a proper break from my job. I got up to see them off to school and open presents.

I was spoiled with new appliances this year – an upgraded stand mixer, a griddle/grill press, and an instant pot. The boys have grown old enough to really try to give me things I would like, sometimes in hilarious ways. Jack bought me some flashy gold earrings (that I sort of love) and Sam got me a faux fur pillow and shaggy pink blanket – because we love to cuddle. They make me feel like a glamorous Miss Piggy!

It being a Tuesday, I got enjoy a new Binging with Babish episode while Ben took the kids to school. Then we went on a very indulgent daytime date to brunch!

In the afternoon I had a 90 minute massage scheduled and it was just heavenly. I’d been having more back problems in the weeks prior (probably a pinched sciatica) so I was in dire need of some muscle tissue kneading.

The day ended cozy at home with salted caramel chocolate cake and ice cream. What a wonderful way to start another year.


I can’t believe I got to see Hamilton today!



Amanda got a special offer to buy two tickets before they went on sale to the public, because she has been a loyal patron of group ticketing.  Score!





The show was phenomenal.  Truly lives up to all the hype; it’s an intricate piece of art.  Our cast was outstanding.  I actually prefer some of their interpretations over the OBC album – no one can live up to Daveed Diggs but even our Lafayette/Jefferson gave an admirable performance.  The choreography on this show is just insane.  I’m glad Andy Blankenbuehler gets as much billing as Miranda and Lacamoire, his work was genius.  I only went through 3 tissues during the second act.  There’s a reason I hardly ever listen past the Cabinet Battle #1 when I put on the album.

I hope this was the first of several viewings over my lifetime.  We will try to get lottery tickets for Ben to get to go, and of course if it tours around here again we will try to get tickets too.  But the show is 3 years old and selling out instantly – our kids might be old enough to attend before we can easily buy tickets.  I also hope they release the recorded video of the show that they did with the OBC in NY before it changed.  Wait for it, right?



PS, yeah I know I’ve been terrible about writing lately.  I’ll try to catch up on some things from the last month.  

Pinewood Derby

This weekend Jack competed in his first Pinewood Derby with the cub scouts.  We are so proud of him – he really made this car by himself!  He made the design, cut it with a jigsaw, sanded, painted, the whole shebang.  We gave advice and supervised closely, of course.  But you can clearly tell at the Derby which kids benefited from their parents handiwork.


Jack’s car did really well too!  Here’s a video of his first heat, where he smoked the competition!

As you can see, the wheel popped off.  During construction his front end was cut too narrow over the axle; when the tires were installed it broke off a corner of the car.  We fixed it with superglue and let that wheel float, so he only rode on three wheels.  So it was no surprise to us when the car smashed in the gate and lost that corner again.


The leaders let me try to fix it with hot glue between races.  He was able to complete the remaining waves, but never took first again.  I think by the final heat the wheel was dragging instead of floating, with so much glue trying to keep it intact.  Even so, he placed 13th out of 30 cars – in the top half!!


He was also overjoyed that his best friend Dylan won the whole competition.  Most importantly, he had a good time and learned some new skills.


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