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Mission beach

The last leg of our San Diego adventure was with the Waterhouse family in a house on the beach!  The boys were enchanted by this foreign terrain.  Sam went over the sea-wall and planted himself there in the sand.  I had to coax him farther onto the beach.  He was satisfied right there on the edge of the largest sandbox he had ever seen!

Ben and I ambled up the street to order dinner for the rest of the inbound Waterhouse flights.  We found this charming Greek restaurant.  The owner was so happy to make a big “surprise platter” for us and asked for a picture together for himself “because I make this like I make for my family!”

Passed out within minutes of tucking into bed.  Two days of Legoland and sunset on a beach will do that to a kid.

Cousins quickly bonded over Mario Kart.

Amanda and I chuckled at the navy stripes club.  Not pictured – the other men were all wearing plaid!

Front: Susan, Me, Amanda, Lexi, Jack.  Middle: Will, Sam, Sadie, Rosina, Sylvie.  Back: Nathalie, Ben, Andy, Ed, Larry, George.

We had a wonderful time catching up with my family over good food.  My folks and Rosina and the Evans all made a delicious barbecue spread for us.  Poor Andy got sick at the end of the visit, but before then my boys had a riot goofing with their uncle.  Jack and Lexi discovered a partially dug pit that they diligently expanded.

I heard nothing for the next three days except “I wish we lived at the Beach House, I wish we were back at the Beach House, I’m going to buy a house on the beach, etc etc.”

Legoland

The boys were up bright and early each day for Legoland.  They seemed to be stuck on Colorado time, waking around 6:30 when the park doesn’t open until 9:30.  The hotel provides a buffet breakfast that met most of their requests (no whole strawberries?  Quelle horreur!).

We used our early access as hotel guests both days to sneak onto rides before others.  Day 1 was cold and rainy for a few hours, so some rides were shut down.  I worried that the kids would be dour about the weather, but I think I did the most grumbling.  In fact, the boys had a total of ONE minor tantrum from Sam on the second day.  It was more of a disagreement than a tantrum.  The boys were awesome.

Both days were low attendance – we walked straight onto almost every ride, hardly ever waiting more than a couple minutes to load.  We rode our favorites twice in a row; it doesn’t get any better than that!

Tons of pictures here, mostly out of order.

These rocks sing “We Will Rock You!”

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FOCUS

Sam brings his steely looks for a photo op

Second consecutive run on the dragon coaster

Jack tried to trade some minifigs and Michael refused several because they were too cool to give away.  He tried to give Jack an education on collecting.  Jack just wanted a new one.

Ninjago x3 or 4, I forget.

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Many rides can’t have pictures on them. Here we are getting seated for the Kid Power Towers.

I’m on a boat!

This ride has five levels to customize your ride.  Sam REALLY wanted to do this ride on “medium” and go upside down.  They had to give him a padded vest (“armor”) to fit in the seats and only let him go on the lowest setting – fairly slow and no upside-down.  He wants to come back bigger so we can go on a crazier setting.

Not a bad picture by Jack!

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Saying good-bye to the ride than opened and closed both days for us, the Coastersaurus.

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In the aquarium I spotted a gold button on an employee and Jack retrieved it.  We had seen Wanted posters around the park for them.  Apparently there are only a couple of them out each day and if you get one you can turn it in for a free admission ticket or keep it as a souvenir.  Since we are not local he decided to keep it.  Apparently they go for good money on eBay, but Jack doesn’t want to sell.

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

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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.

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