Wednesday, December 16, 2009

'Tis the Season

Yesterday we went to Legoland. If you don't know what Legoland is, well the name pretty much says it all. It's an amusement park with all kinds of games and rides centered around Lego-ish type vehicles and there are sculptures and figures made of Lego pieces everywhere. Pretty impressive, actually. We saw one replica of a Volvo SUV made entirely from Legos that the sign said took 5 "Lego engineers" to build. I saw that phrase and thought, Wow. They've just described pretty much every kid's dream job.

Here,for instance, is the Capitol building made entirely from Lego bricks. Check it:

Apparently there are more than 3 billion Lego pieces used in the park. Wow.

This is the first time we've taken the kids to this kind of place where they've both been old enough to really enjoy it and go on all the rides. It was really fun.

We thought it was really funny when Ava got in this little car and promptly took off, driving on the left side of the road. You can see her here, driving in the wrong lane and passing the other kid by. Eat my dust, sucker! She instinctively goes to the left lane, like a good little Aussie.

Nate enjoyed lengthy conversations with all the Lego people. There was a tableau of "talking" Lego pirates that he hurled abuse at for quite some time. Chilling on park benches and holding hands with plastic people. It's what dudes do.

And not to be left out, here's our Grace. She wasn't much into the rides, but enjoyed crying whenever we put her in the stroller, chewing on straws, and grabbing fistfuls of my hair. She's a cheap date.

I got a glimpse yesterday of some of the benefits of having kids who are a bit older. They played hard all day with barely any meltdowns, had a great time, and went on a roller coaster with us. This was a big deal.

We went on it a couple times, and the kids had a ball. When I saw this picture I realized that we are entering a season with our kids. A comparatively brief season of time where they will want to do things with us (rather than being too little to do them or us doing for them)and before they are big enough to do them on their own. Yesterday I thought, Remember these days. It's a season where we are their chosen companions and who they want to sit next to. In a few more years, when they've gained more independence (and inches to go on those rides alone) things may change a bit.

This is a season, I've been telling myself when it comes to Grace. A season where she is waking up a lot at night and jet lagged. This is a season and it will pass. People used to tell me that when Ava was a baby. There were nights that she'd wake up every 45 minutes, all night long. I thought life would never feel "normal" again. It will pass, people would say. It will get better. How do you know that? I'd think. Maybe it got better with your baby, but what if it doesn't with this one? But it did, of course.

I think a key to enjoying life is choosing to embrace the season you find yourself in. Don't you? I guess some things (like roller coasters) are easier to enjoy than other things (like sleep deprivation). But this is where I find myself, and I hope I don't let any season pass by without enjoying the good things that are in it.

And with that in mind,I'll close with a particular component of our season right now. Nate's "booty dance", wherein he turns and shakes his bottom in your face.

He says, "Wanna see mah BOOTY? Booty-booty-booty!" The booty dance is hard to stop once it gets started. Usually only threats of time-out or promises of ice cream will do the trick. It's especially pleasant when you're trying to take a picture. No, Nate. I don't particularly want to see your booty. But I see you've left me with no choice.

It's a season. Right?


  1. You are a wise woman if you can have the presence of mind to enjoy every season. It's all good!

  2. Yeah, I'm not quite there yet--but working on it! This post was written during naptime, when one is more able to be philosophical about one's children! :)

  3. Grace is so grown up! I can't wait to see y'all!

    And yes, every now and then something happens that makes you realize you're moving into a new season. Good reminder for us to stop and enjoy it.

  4. How wonderful ! What a lovely day for all of you ! Grace looks gorgeous- so alert and happy. Ava is a force to be reckoned with behind the wheel, and Nate's...well..Nate.Every single day is a gift. Every one.

  5. Hmm, I am quite early in the season! Jacob is 4 weeks old tomorrow and I am hanging on your word that it gets easier!! I think Grace must have told him not to accept being put down anywhere, no matter how asleep he may look / be! I have to rely on feed time to write this, as nap time is non existent!!!

  6. Fanscination with one's own body parts. It's what dudes do.

    Hey, as you fly across the country make sure to look down half-way and give a shout-out to your favorite Kansan!

  7. Also, that picture of you guys on the roller coaster is great! Did you actually buy it, or did you do the old "take a picture of the proof with the iphone" trick! :)

  8. AEL, you ARE my favorite Kansan, hands down, sister. I will think of you as we fly over. :)

    Jules, I have thought of you guys so often the last couple weeks! Hang in there, girl. You're doing a great job!

    Beck, we actually did buy it! Well, actually Jason's parents did. But I didn't have a scanner so I used your technique and took a picture of the picture!

  9. Love this post. So sweet and so true about this time in their lives. But you know what, I think you guys are the kind of parents that everyone will "want" to be around, you know like the house everyone ends up snacking at after school.

    And btw, you look fab in the roller coaster pic! Perfect angle ;).

  10. How is it that everyone else manages to look like a demented frog in those roller coaster pictures and yet you look like you're ready to pose for a magazine cover?!

    Sounds like a really fun time. I remember getting to go to Lego-land in Denmark one time and it was so much fun!

  11. Your family? Beautiful.
    Looks like everyone had a lot of fun!