Yes, still woefully behind . . . .
In May, my family came from Utah and Oregon to experience a mini-vacation in Orange County and San Diego. We managed to attack Disneyland, La Jolla Shores, and Sea World in a matter of three days. It was crazy, yet fun. The only thing that detracted from the near-perfection of the week was the absence of Daniel, aka Unkey Dino, who was off in some super secret location as assigned by his 007 job. :0) Soren and Anders just LOVED playing with their cousins, especially the oldest cousin, Caleb, who is seven this year, I think. They would pal around all day wherever we were and when it finally came time for Caleb to leave with my parents, Soren got emotional. My mom leaned out of the car to take a picture of us on the front lawn waving good-bye to them and Soren looked up at me and said in a choked little voice, "I know why she took that picture of us; it's so that Caleb won't forget me." Our favorite part of the week was the day we spent relaxing and playing at the beach. With that brood of boys, standing in lines at Disneyland and cruising rapidly from show to show at Sea World was very difficult and stressful. But the beach was made for us. No lines, no start times, no "gotta get our money's worth." Just sand, water, buckets and shovels. Time stood still. Wiggles got wiggled out. Salt water was inhaled, waves jumped, castles built, and pictures taken. It was perfect.
I really love my family. They reunited in Utah in June . . . without me . . . and it just about broke my heart. I begged Daniel to keep posting videos of Ari. I've found it absolutely fascinating to realize that I am in love with my nephews. I don't just tolerate them or think them "cute." I LOVE them. It's a phenomenon to me. I like my friends' kids. Some of them I even love, but there is an innate and very real difference in my feelings and attitudes toward my blood relations not in my immediate family. Has anyone else noticed this? It seems a testament to the sacred and powerful nature of the natural family.
Here are some Disneyland pictures to kick off the photo fest that is sure to ensue.
Jude hanging out with his Daddy in the hotel room.
Love those eyes! And he sucks the same fingers his mommy did when she was little!
One of the many faces of Ari. This is his, "I tolerate you" face.
Best friends AND cousins. It doesn't get much better than that. Well, truthfully, it might very well be a simple case of the adoration of one party by another, but . . . that's semantics. :P
This hotel room required a good imagination on the part of the boys. And I think they succeeded in having a good time regardless of the close quarters.
Breakfast at IHOP before tackling Disneyland.
I think they had more fun in the IHOP fountain than at Disneyland. :0)
Yes, that is Soren in an A. It's his tribute to his younger brother, I guess.
The beloved Nemo ride. Oh, and here I am reminded of another part of our story I failed to mention! Jarem, being an amputee, qualifies for handicap passage. Now, if you know Jarem, you know that he would never refer to his amputation as a handicap. In fact, he does things that most normal two-legged folk don't do, like telemark ski. But, we women prevailed upon him to act the gimp and allow us to take advantage of the opportunity. You can have no idea what a blessing that was with five little boys in tow. I think we waited all of five, maybe ten, minutes to get into the Nemo ride that is normally a two-hour wait! Thank you, Jarem!
No, we're not just randomly standing around. The boys were enthralled with the Darth Vader story being acted out in the mini-amphitheater in front of them. It was too funny to pass up. Here are all these family members sprawled out in the square, stalk still, with people moving all about them. And I love Anders arms. I think he was marching to the Star Wars theme. (You know you're singing it in your head right now.)
We did have to wait in some lines like the rest of humanity. And this is how the boys entertained themselves. I'm sure it's been done before.
Grandpa was the self-appointed stroller-pusher. He did an excellent job.