Friday, April 10, 2015

Birthday at Legoland

Spring break always happens right around Dallin's birthday. So this year we decided to take a short weekend trip to Chicago to take the boys to the Legoland Discovery Center. On the drive up there, Dallin got to open his first birthday present from his Easton grandparents: The Lego Movie.
They were silently glued to the screen for the rest of trip.

When we arrived, Dallin could see the Lego logo on the building and got very excited because he thought we were going to a Lego store. It was a little bit cooler than that.

Now, I've never been to Legoland in California or a similar place before, but I knew that this Discovery Center wouldn't be on quite the same grand scale as the theme park. I DID think it would be a little bigger though for the money we paid and have more than two rides. I forget that things cost a lot more in big cities and that we are so used to not spending our money. Every time Mckay or I felt a little underwhelmed by the experience, we reminded each other that this was for the kids. And our kids had a wonderful time.

There was a replica of the Chicago skyline made from Legos.

And a rainforest filled with lego animals.
They liked the hippo.

Dallin was VERY excited to see Darth Vader.

 And R2-D2.

We watched the short 4D movie (the boys were not impressed with the 3D glasses and kept taking them off) and went on the two rides.

There was a big play area with tunnels/slides and big foam bricks for building with. There were tables for building with duplo blocks and tables for building with regular Lego bricks.

We built several different models of cars and then put them to the test on the track.
Most of them crashed into pieces at the bottom of the ramp but Mckay managed to build a pretty sturdy car.

We ate lunch at the cafe there. The website said that outside food would not be allowed and that we could buy sandwiches there for $3.
This is how big a $3 sandwich is. One piece of bread folded in half with a slice of turkey on it.... No cheese, just turkey. They did have closer to normal-sized sandwiches for purchase at $8-$10 each. 
*sigh* "This is for the kids. This is for the kids..."
We bought a few sandwiches and shared a tiny snack size bag of chips for $1.

We were pretty hungry by dinnertime. We left Legoland and drove to the nearby hotel we had booked for the night. Then we picked up our dinner: a 30 inch pizza.
I don't remember how exactly this idea came to us a few weeks before the trip. We were talking about how we should get pizza in Chicago because Dallin loves pizza and Chicago has great deep dish pizza. Then we thought about how some places sell really big pizzas, so we did some searching to find the biggest pizza available in Chicago. Bacci Pizzeria won with 30 inches. That's almost as tall as Connor.
And this was GOOD pizza too. Good sauce, good cheese, nice crust, better than most chain delivery pizza places. It cost $35 and we had leftovers for a week, but it was totally worth it.

We spent the night at our Homewood Suites hotel. (Suites are the way to go when you have kids at a hotel. The kids slept in the living room on the sofa bed and we got our own space in a separate bedroom, with Bennett in the pack 'n play.) We ate a big breakfast at the hotel, had a relaxing morning and went to the nearby mall to walk around/play before driving home. We all had a really fun time. And now we'll have to go to the real Legoland sometime. 

Spring Break

We did a few fun things during Dallin's spring break this year. One day, we went to the Children's Museum in Indianapolis. It was just me and the three boys, which is quite an amazing feat of endurance for a parent, if you ask me.
We saw the Chihuly glass sculpture.

If there is ever anything related to Star Wars in a room, the boys know how to find it.

We played at the water table.

And then the sand table.
That's the best way to do it: get the kids wet first and then let them get sand all over their bodies. They managed to keep pretty clean, surprisingly.

Connor played some drums.
Really fast.

We had fun and despite being there on a very crowded day, each boy only wandered away from me once for 30 seconds. (Except for Bennett. I had him tied down pretty well.)
Before we go into a busy public place like this where it's easy to get lost, I remind the boys of what to do if they got lost: I tell them to find someone with a name badge who works there and ask for help. Or I tell them to find a mom with kids because she'll know how to help. In fact both times one of them wandered away (like when Connor wandered out of the bathroom while the rest of us were still in there changing Bennett's diaper), he was brought right back to me by a mom who saw the boy looking around scared. The other important safety step we go over is to make sure both boys know my name. No one is going to know how to help a lost kid if he's looking for "Mom." So I make sure they know to say, "My mom's name is Sheri Easton." We should probably eventually teach our kids my phone number too, but it's a little harder to remember 10 digits for area code AND phone number instead of just 7 digits. Any tips on teaching phone numbers to kids?

Anyway, we all survived and had fun.

Later in the week, I thought I'd be really cool and let them do a fun art project by gluing ripped up scraps of colored tissue paper.
As usual, 10 minutes of preparation bought me 5 minutes of craft time. And don't be mislead by their happy angelic faces in that picture above. They were laughing AT me for getting angry because I was trying to take a good picture and I growled at them when they did the wrong thing or made the wrong face. Whatever... I got my picture.

We kept dinners simple during spring break and I let the boys choose most nights. That means we had quesadillas, pizza and macaroni and cheese.
Dallin saw this Star Wars Mac and cheese at the store so we had to buy it.

 It made his day.