Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fun at Disneyland

This year my dad was turning 60, and I asked him what he would like for his birthday.  "To go to Disneyland or Claim Jumper," was his response, and I knew I just had to make one of those happen.  I contacted my brother and sister, and we all sprung into action, trying to find discounted tickets to Disneyland so that we could all afford to go. This is the one time Craigslist actually came in handy for Disneyland tickets, as the park hoppers were expiring that week and a few people were selling them who couldn't use the 2nd day.  We were nervous going in, not 100% sure they would work, but all 5 tickets worked and we all got in!!  My ticket, in fact, was good for CA Adventure and Disneyland, and I happened to get there an hour before my family, and immediately I knew what I had to do.

After I entered Disneyland and made sure my ticket worked, I raced over to CA Adventure, and made a beeline for California Screamin' - probably my favorite roller coaster ever.  Somehow it can handle my 35 year old body and not leave me needing to see a chiropractor, having whiplash, or my bra coming unsnapped.  Huffing and puffing after running almost a mile to get there, I ran into the "single rider" line and waited my turn.  One minute later I was sitting next to a living Ken doll- some young whipper-snapper with blonde hair and blue eyes who might just have been a Disney prince off-duty.  He looked over at my awkwardly, wondering why I hopped into the empty seat next to him so fast, but then we were off.  Oh, did I mention I was really sick with laryngitis?  So here I was on a roller-coaster, next to some stranger, screaming with no sound coming out of my mouth.  Like this....

Seriously, it was so funny. Afterwards, he and his two lady friends (in front of us) and I all raced to the photo booth and snapped our pictures with our phones, laughing and glancing at each other embarrassed, knowing we shared this funny moment and would never see each other again.

Right when I got off the ride, my family let me know they had arrived, and our fun day began. It is quite a different experience going to D-land as an adult with no kids - it was awesome!! I was not forced to stand in line for the Dumbo ride, but went straight for Star Tours and Space Mountain.  There were moments where I really missed my kids and wished they were there, but it was also fun being with my family, since all of us together had not been to Disneyland in probably 15 years.

It was historic occasion, as my sister is getting married in 2 weeks, and it was the last time we would all be together before she is officially "all growed up." :(

Here we are waiting for the parade, when I realized that I officially had pink eye.  For most of the day I had no voice, except for about 2 hours when it magically reappeared and then went away again.  Sure, I was sick, but it was so worth it!

We ate lunch at the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ - WOW.  You have to go eat there, but I do recommend eating there for lunch as it's about $23 per person, and dinner prices go up to about $35 or $40 a person.

Here we are on the canoe ride - more like "slave labor"- but it was still fun.

It was a GREAT day - it could not have been better, and what a fun way to bring in a 60th birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer- What Now?

Last week the boys both had their last days of school, and so summer officially started on Friday.  In the past week, we've fit in a trip to Disneyland (well, just for me - my dad's birthday gift), a trip to Legoland, a Dodger game for Father's Day, and a day at Irvine Regional Park (awesome place) with friends.  All of that just happened to fall within a 1 week period, and so today is our first day home for summer vacation.

So far, so good - but I know how these days can get long.  When the boys are around each other 24/7, they can get cranky and start to irritate each other.  We just worked together on making a jar full of summer activities for when they get bored, and each boy wrote 10 things to contribute.  Jaden's were all activities like "Go to Toys 'R Us and buy a Lego set" (which did not get included since that will be quite pricey), as well as "Go to Legoland," among others. This boy prefers expensive activities.  Micah's activities included playing baseball, which he would do all day long, as well as riding scooters and taking trips down to 7-11. These boys always prefer outdoor activities, although they don't really want to go anywhere usually. They love to just play outside at home.  Indoor activities are a different story, since they are not excited about reading, doing puzzles, or playing games. Maybe that's one of the big differences between having boys vs. girls?  I don't know.  All I know is that mommy wants to play inside, but the boys want to play outside.

I'm also trying to channel their collective energy into planning a yard sale.  Today I had them go through their books and toys and choose things they don't want. That activity made a huge mess and only lasted about 1 hour.

So, it's 12:45pm on the first official day of summer at home, and I'm all out of ideas.  WHAT AM I GOING TO DO??   The jar full of ideas sounds great, but when they pull one out, they say "We don't want to do that!"  So, I'm passing it along since maybe it will work well for your kids ;)

One idea I had was to accomplish three things per week:
- Swimming (we'll have to find places to do that)
-An Educational Field Trip
-A Play Date

If I can do those things on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, then we can spend time at home on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We'll also throw some fun things in there too.

That's the plan right now, but I find my greatest issue is just thinking of enough activities for them to do while they're at home that will occupy them all day.  Please leave a comment with some of your ideas, what has worked for your kids, and maybe we can all help each other out! :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Days Gone By

Ah, the good ole' days when I had time to write.... I have so missed blogging - my outlet, my creative space - and hope to get caught up in the next few weeks.

This past month has been a whirlwind, since it is wedding season and my job as a photo editor has increased tremendously. I love it and am so thankful for the opportunity to work from home.  I have found that I work best under deadlines, and so having a job that gives me something to work towards is actually a bit of a release - in a weird sort of way.  Last month I put in 60 hours and have had to completely re-prortitize my time and figure out new ways of working from home where I can be uninterrupted. It has not happened yet :)

I can't wait to catch up and blog about Jaden's 5th birthday party, the end of Little League, preaching at church on Mother's Day, Martin's birthday, my good friend Samantha's amazing 40th birthday party, and my sister's wedding shower, all of which I hope are "Pinterest-worthy."

But for now, I just wanted to stop by and say hello.  All I can do right now is write, because 3 days ago I lost my voice to laryngitis and it has not found it's way back again yet.  I'll tell you, life slows down when you cannot speak.  Every word is carefully chosen because it takes so much effort and our house is a LOT quieter.  I'm not sure if that's because I talk too much, or if the boys have quieted down since I have, too.  For the past 3 days, every time I speak, the boys respond in whispers without realizing it. It is so funny - I keep saying, "You guys can talk normal, you don't have to whisper back!" and they whisper, "What did you say, mommy?"

It is also funny running into people when you have laryngitis, because people give you looks of sympathy and feel bad for talking to you in the first place. They say things like, "It's okay, don't talk" and "Ohhhh, I'm so sorry you're not feeling well!"  Actually, I'm feeling quite fine, it's just that my voice makes me sound like I'm dying.  Here's a little video I made this morning just for fun, because I just don't know how to "not talk" for 3 whole days.

All of this will be interesting, because on Wednesday I'm going to Disneyland with my brother, sister, mom and dad to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday. To be at Disneyland and not be able to scream on the rides, to talk to my family, to order my own food... well, that's just sad.  But I'll still be happy to be there.

Have a great day - and stay tuned for more updates coming very soon!!