Disneyland for Joon

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This past May, Joon turned 14. She’s at that age where it’s hard to get her to come out of her shell. She’s quiet and reserved. Basically, she prefers her own company to ours. It’s annoying but not unusual for teenagers her age.  You could say that we miss the old talkative, lively June who was bubbling with activity. We haven’t seen her in a while… But she came back in FULL FORCE when we took her to DISNEYLAND this last month! Who knew!

Joon is just a Disney kid!

Me, not so much. In fact, I consider Disneyland one of the layers of Dante’s Inferno.

Exhibit A:

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Covid anyone? I’m kidding. But it is a little hard to take being in small spaces with other people after being in a pandemic for a year. If I didn’t have fear of crowds before, I do have it now. Thankfully, Disneyland does a really good job of piping in fresh-smelling air to these small spaces and on a hot day, it was a bit of a respite from the burning sun.  I can’t really speak to the germ factor but it didn’t *feel* as awful as I expected it to.

The best part was that there were no long lines like there used to be. I remember going to Disneyland back in the day and being okay with only riding three rides for the whole day. I mean, I wasn’t really okay with it but what could you do. Lines could be two and three hours long!  Ugh.  But not anymore! We went on July 2 and they were still using the reservation system so lines were short! I think the longest line we encountered was 45 minutes for Space Mountain. And as anyone knows, Space Mountain is worth the wait.

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Space Mountain is my favorite. Payam and Joon went on it multiple times!

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Joon was so happy. She babbled and sang along to the piped-in music the whole day. It was so good to have her back. Me on the other hand, kind of fizzled out as the day wore on. There’s only so much upbeat jazz music I can handle before I’m dreaming of a pause button and some good zen-out time. So when they rode Pirates of the Caribbean for the 2nd and 3rd time I chose to sit by the lake and imagine it peaceful if only I could turn the music off.

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It was a long hot exhausting day. But it was a good day.

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I hardly took any pictures. I’m not sure why. Maybe the magic just isn’t there for me. But I did find the lockers strangely photogenic!

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Until next time, big guy!

Funny story: they don’t have trams anymore to pick you up from the parking lot and drop you off at the park entrance. Instead, you have to hoof it through the hot sun for what seems like miles. Payam and I were joking about it with one of the staff members we found along the way and he told us that “The Mouse is taking a break to earn revenue before bringing back the trams.” We thought it was funny how he referred to Disneyland as The Mouse. So we’ll see you next time, Mouse, keep earning that revenue!

 

Amari Visits Us at the Beach

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I’m a little late on the update but Amber (aka Rapunzel) and her husband, Casey, and her baby (!!!!), Amari, visited us a few weeks ago. It was SO AWESOME to see family after such a long time of not seeing them. I nearly lost it over the cuteness that is Amari. I mean, look at those eyes!!! I think she got them from her Daddy.

Seeing your relatives when they live 679 miles away from you is hard. Seeing your family when they live 679 miles away during a pandemic is impossible. So this trip was a super sweet surprise. I think we’ve all felt starved for friends and family and as the reunions start to slowly trickle in it’s like waking up from a long depressing winter!

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Not to mention, CC was sporting bright pink hair which is kind of the OPPOSITE of depression. You may have heard that CC and my brother are splitting up. The rumors are true and they have filed for divorce. They still love and care for each other but have decided their marriage had an expiration date. These things happen. I’m sad for my brother but I’m happy that they are each getting to explore their own independence. I’m also really relieved that CC will stay in our lives and be just as much family as she ever was. I don’t know why I would ever worry that she wouldn’t but you know how divorces can have their fall-outs.

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Let’s get back to the BABY!!!! This trip was the first time I’d ever met Amari and her dad, Casey, and I am smitten with them both. I heard myself asking Amber if I could keep the baby which is really silly and of course I was joking but if I was a psychopath and didn’t have a rational grip on reality, I would seriously think about stealing that baby. I wanted to hold her and squish her and keep her forever! She is ADORABLE.

I guess, all babies are but I really do miss having a baby. I love having a teenager. Teenagers are a blast but I miss the baby that Bug was and it’s a deep sad part of me knowing that I’ll never have the chance to have a baby again. I know I should never say never but menopause is pretty final and I’m not up for adopting so I’m just going to have to wait to be a grandma or surround myself with other people’s babies.

Of course this report is not all about me and my feelings…this is also about Amari seeing the ocean for the first time! What an honor that we got to share her first experience at our beach, the very same beach the Bug grew up on and did all her firsts! First steps, first splashes, first sand-eating… the ocean is such a big part of our life.

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It’s also really cold and scary! Poor Amari. It’s a lot to take in when you are only ten months old. But she was a champ and bounced back from the initial shock with true McConnaughy vigor.

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To warm up we taught her how to build sand castles and eat sand, like you do.

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Me, being the Auntie that I am, had to give Amari a totally inappropriate present: a wooden espresso maker with small  parts that says “only for kids age three and up” on the box. Don’t worry, the small wooden parts will be put away until she’s old enough. I just couldn’t resist!!! My whole family knows I have a weakness for play coffee things. I’ve been jonesing to buy this miniature wooden coffee maker I saw at Nordstrom years ago but I don’t have any little kids in my life anymore so I haven’t been able to buy it. I’ve been pining after it forever!  I mean, I could just buy it for myself and start collecting toy coffee things but… I do already have a house full of stuff so that’s not really a very wise thing to do. BUT I AM TEMPTED!!!!

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Anyway, family, the beach… all the happy warm summer feelings. I’m sad they are gone but so thankful we got to spend the day with them. I miss em!