Monday, April 07, 2008

LEGOLAND, The Pause That Refreshes

We spent a brickrageous afternoon exploring LEGOLAND California. Holly and Nick and Izzy invited us to join them and they shared their spare tickets with us. Thank you! And we must thank our oh-so awesome Legoland connection, Ms. D, who keeps the family well stocked in spare passes. Someday I will post about our whole happy Legoland history; we have been going since opening day, when Max was just a baby. We are quite fortunate to have this family favorite within an easy drive... it's a good match for us. I need to go back through the archives and sort through the many Lego and Legoland posts... for now the links in this old post are broken... yet another project to fix, someday.

Speaking of "other projects," I am in my usual state of behindedness and have not accomplished a fraction of what I've meant to. Ironically, I have such lofty and idealized visions of how I want to do things, that I often never even leave the starting gate... uhmm, am I mixing metaphors, or just being confusing? What I am trying to say is: I do not get stuff done. And furthermore I do not get stuff done on a really grand scale, a shameful, ridiculous, seemingly unkind grand scale. Sigh.

For example: A few weeks ago I dragged my lazy butt to the mail box and waiting there was a most unexpected package, and I was so touched by it, I got teary and emotional. I was already in a weepy mood, but now I felt loved and weepy, which is much better than just weepy. It was from Tami, of Lemon Tree Tales. I don't know what inspired her but she sent me a crafty-home magazine and a beaded chicken key ring and a stuffed chicken doll pattern. I determined I would let her know the full measure of my gratitude, that I would thank her for her kindness, thoughtfulness, and for the wonderful timing of her cheering gift. And I think about this everyday and then one thing leads to another and then somehow days have become weeks, and I am starting to feel like a disorganized loser... blah, blah, blah...

OKay. So, I am behind, and that was just 1 example of my ineptitude. Geoff is going to suggest I try being less apologetic and down on myself, but I really think "ineptitude" is the fitting description, so I'm sticking with it. I will add this much: I always tell my children that it's never too late to try again, to never give up on making things right. I really want them to realize that all is not lost until we stop trying. Shall I apply this to me? Yes, I think that would be good.

Tami, your care package made me so happy I cried. I read the magazine cover to cover and the chicken key chain is hanging by our front door. The day I found your gift was a hard one and I was immersed in a major pity party. Your thoughtfulness snapped me out of my funk and made me glad. Thank you Tami. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Maybe this shot is a good one for a life's ups and downs metaphor. Just kidding. Holly's arms are in the air and William is beside her. Max and Nick are braving the front seat of the Technic Coaster's big drop. I have been on this one 6 times, and it's not the drop that freaks me out, it's the wild mouse at the top. The little car is balanced on the narrow track and it zig-zags above the park... urp!

Ahh... I am sighing, because this is like a milestone in our Lego Family Life. Maria's first horse ride as a knight. She's waited to be daring enough to make this adventure.

Lately Maria has added the word either to her lexicon. The amusing part is how she uses it.
"I'm hungry either." = I am hungry too = feed me
"I love you too either." = I love you = hugs and kisses
"I'm not like cleaning it, and I am cleaning it either." = I will not do my part. = I can be just as lazy as you

I'm almost positive I've posted this image before. Chickenblog is almost 6 years old! No wonder it needs updating and archive organizing. 1,088 posts! Whew, that's a lot. The Lego mosaic is really big. It's a funny, familiar story board, that tells the story of a late night request for a cup of water. Parents of children with Legos know this pain all too well.

Actually, I have become quite masterful at navigating the Lego floors around our house. It's no secret that I love my Lego Maniacs. On this day Alex got to participate in a Junior Master Builder contest. I think that besides fun rides, amazing Lego figures and scenes throughout the park, the greatest part of Legoland are all of the opportunities for people to play and create.

It's a fun park. There is a lot to see and do. And even the little ones enjoy themselves.

Towards the end of our visit we sat together and played at the tables, where there are generous bowls full of bricks. It was a nice way to cool off after running around the Hideaways on Castle Hill.

I asked her, "Maria, what did you make? Show mommy."
"Oh," she said proudly, "It's my boat."
I said, "It looks like a chicken."
"No(ohohoh). It's not a chicken either. It's my boat."

Alex asked, "Maria, did you make that?"
"I made this either."
"Oh, that's good. It looks like a bird."

"It's my boat. It's not a bird either."

And now I am going to pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again. Never give up. Never surrender. I am behind and late and remiss, but I am not through trying either.


amy smith said...

On our last visit to So Cal, we took all the kiddos to Legoland. We ALL loved it! It is WAY better than that other theme park...

Tami @ Lemon Tree Tales said...

My dear Natalie, don't feel down. You have too many blessings in your life to feel sad at all. I'm jealous quite a bit of you and your sweet family. At times I really wish that my husband and I had started a family but some things aren't meant for everyone. Instead we've made a nice family of two and get our kid kicks from spending time with our friends on Sundays. That's sweet as well because we can be the ones who spoil the little ones. :-)

I'm really glad that you liked the little chicken key ring. When my mom was visiting we got manicures at the local nail salon. The ladies there had all sorts of little animals on key rings. Like I said, the little chicken just screamed to me that it needed to go home with me so that I could send it to you. Just a reminder that there's lots of people who read your blog and wanted to let you know that even in times of sadness that there's lots to be happy about too. :-)

Hmm, Legoland looks like it was a lot of fun. I'm always impressed by the creativity that they inspire.

nikkipolani said...

You're probably tired of my saying what a terrific entry this is, but it's made me smile and smile. Especially Maria's new word and her boat :-)

Mama Spark said...

I think I like your post either! Thanks for the pattern!! You made my day too. I just learned from my DH that his sister and BIL live in the same city as you. Small world, huh?? They just moved out your way recently when the company he worked for went bankrupt.

Anna Banana said...

I can't comment either, because I am making dinner now. Thinking of you either!

Laura Jane said...

Oh Natalie, its always so lovely to delightful family playing and having fun.

Please don't be so hard on yourself about unfinished business! It is SOOOOOO counterproductive., as well as a recipe for depression.

Do more of the things you ENJOY (as well as the in-between things that you can't avoid / keep the family ticking over).

Maria is looking so much like you lately - her face is fining down a bit, less toddler like.

I also think of you whenever I see a chicken related thing and have to stop myself getting little things for you because I don't know your address! You seem such a familiar friend to me, and to many of your readers Natalie.

Be gentle with yourself.

And now I am off to play with my 19y.o. daughter - we will run errands, get some bill rebates (i.e. money) and GO SHOPPING for SHOES!

These pleasures await you and Maria!


Laura Jane said...

I've just seen the little line about mucking around with code - I am snorting with laughter!

(and my verification code starts with OMG !!!)

Tracy said...

That Legoland looks like a fun place. There's on in we have no children we're not sure how it would look just two grown ups sans kids in tow--LOL! ;o) Maria has the face of an angel...Seriouly she does! And her grow vocabulary charms...Maybe a good way for us adults to feel less adequate is to go on a toddler course. Someone should come up with a course where we could revert to children and rediscover sandboxes, funny language, running around naked in the sun, etc. Maybe we'd learn to feel less occupied by the undone, the unsaid, the un-everything. We should have more fun! We're all in the same boat...So please don't feel inept. You are a shining star--so let your light shine! ((HUGS))...ok who's with me a lap in the kiddie pool?! ;o)

calamitykim said...

never give up either.
I am so far flung with my wips and chains- I can't ever finish anything I start and have small piles dedicated to the ones I am going to finish someday! I have a chicken pile and a monkey pile and a smoochie lips pile and then I learn to crochet and it's off to another dimension of creative crazy!!! I love the fact that we both feel the guilt but never give up! Someday will feel so good when I finish my monkey infinity project and get er done! goodness! I wish we had a Legoland here- we have to drive to Orlando for that kind of fun. I love you chicken girl! I am going off to crochet more. I need to learn to make the flowers

Tarie said...

Those Lego figures really are amazing! I hope I get to visit Legoland one day!