Galbijjim (3 Ways)

Galbijjim is a very popular Korean braised short ribs dish known for its combination of salty and sweet, infused in falling off the bone short ribs. I usually reserve this recipe for the most special of occasions, like Christmas, but it is perfect for the winter months when you want something warm and hearty to fill your belly and your home.

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The first time I tried this dish, Sam and I were only dating.  I was over at his house for the holidays, and his mom came out with a beautifully presented plate of braised short ribs. The smell was so heavenly, I almost started drooling right then and there. Not the kind of impression you want to leave your future mother-in-law!

In the coming weeks, I tried every attempt to replicate the recipe. I scoured the interwebs, and seriously tried every recipe out there at the time. For weeks on end, I made Mr. Heels try each of my creations (not that he minded in the least). The recipes weren’t bad, but they weren’t as good as my mother-in-law’s! Finally, I got around to asking my mother-in-law, and we spent some time in the kitchen making it together. The way she breaks it down is so much simpler than the other versions I tried, and tastier too.

Now before I go any further with the recipe, I just want to say that it looks a little overwhelming (at least it did to me at first!), but it’s really not!  I’ll tell you why.  All you’re really doing is blending all the ingredients I listed in Part A together, then pouring it over the galbi, and letting it boil for a long time over low heat until the meat becomes soft and tender.  That’s all there really is to it!

I’ve made this recipe 3 different ways now.  The most straightforward way is the stovetop-only way, but if you want really fall-off-the-bone short ribs, it is best to use a crockpot or pressure cooker. My mother-in-law uses an old-fashioned pressure cooker for her recipe, but for the longest time I didn’t own one (and was deathly afraid of it exploding in my face). Thus, I created the crockpot method through trial and error using her recipe as a base. Now that I own an electric pressure cooker of my very own, I created pressure cooker directions based off some experimentation. All three methods requires the stovetop because you want to reduce the sauce at the end.  Now enough talking, let’s get cooking!!…

I N G R E D I E N T S

– 2-3 lbs galbi (bone-in short ribs)

Part A:
– 1/2 cup Mirin

Part B:
– 1 apple or asian pear
– 1 whole onion, roughly chopped
– 2/3 cup soy sauce
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– 2 Tbsp garlic
– 1/2 tsp ginger
– 1 tsp pepper

Part C:
– 1 potato, cut into 1 inch cubes
– 2 carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks
– 10 shiitake mushrooms, sliced

Part D:
– 2 Tbsp Honey (to drizzle)
– Jujubes, sliced thin (optional)
– Green onions, sliced (optional)

D I R E C T I O N S

Stovetop Version: 
1. Cut galbi, trim the fat, and soak it in water (about 20 min) to drain the blood. Dump the bloody water.
2. (Part A) – In pot, add 2 cups water and ½ cup mirin. Add galbi and boil 1 hour over medium heat (covered).
3. While waiting for galbi to boil, blend all ingredients (from Part B) in a blender. Skim fat off from the pot of galbi boiled in mirin & water, then add blended ingredients to pot with galbi.
4. Boil for another hour with the carrots and other veggies over medium heat. Take cover off the last 30 minutes to let the sauce evaporate and thicken.
5. Drizzle 2 Tbsp of honey and boil for 5 more minutes. Then put on plate and add chopped jujubes.

Electric Pressure Cooker + Stovetop Version:
1. Cut galbi, trim the fat, and soak it in water (about 20 min) to drain the blood. Dump the bloody water.
2. Place galbi in pressure cooker.
3. (Part A & B) – Blend together ingredients in Parts A & B.
4. Pour blended ingredients over the galbi in the pressure cooker.
5. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes (with natural release), or 40 minutes (with quick release).
6. (Part C) – Peel and cut potato, carrots, and shiitake mushrooms while you wait for the pressure cooker to finish cooking.
7. Once pressure cooker is done, take the meat out and place it in a dutch oven (or any pot) on the stovetop, then add the prepped veggies.
8. Drain the fat from the sauce (either from skimming from the top or using a fat separator), then pour sauce over the galbi on the stovetop.
9. Cook uncovered on the stovetop (on medium-low) until veggies are cooked through and sauce is reduced.
10. Drizzle honey on top (gives it its sheen but you don’t have to), top it with the sliced jujubes, and serve.

Crockpot + Stovetop Version:
1. Cut galbi, trim the fat, and soak it in water (about 20 min) to drain the blood. Dump the bloody water.
2. Place galbi in crockpot.
3. (Part A & B) – Blend together ingredients in Parts A & B.
4. Pour blended ingredients over the galbi in the crockpot.
5. Cook in crockpot for 5 hours on low.
6. (Part C) – Peel and cut potato, carrots, and shiitake mushrooms while you wait for the crockpot to finish cooking.
7. Once crockpot is done, take the meat out and place it in a dutch oven (or any pot) on the stovetop, then add the prepped veggies.
8. Drain the fat from the sauce (either from skimming from the top or using a fat separator), then pour sauce over the galbi on the stovetop.
9. Cook uncovered on the stovetop (on medium-low) until veggies are cooked through and sauce is reduced.
10. Drizzle honey on top (gives it its sheen but you don’t have to), top it with the sliced jujubes, and serve.

Bon appetit!

Interview with Noelle – Age 5.

Some very similar answers to last year (she still loves Aliya, mac n cheese, being a mommy, and Taylor Swift!).  Consistency is her strength.

1. What is something mommy always says to you? “I Love You!”

2. What is something daddy always says to you? “Snuggle!” (Sam made me include this when he heard me interview her, haha)

2. What makes you happy? Smile

3. What makes you sad? Boohoo.

4. What makes you laugh? Silly face

5. How old are you? Five.

6. How old is Mommy? Hmm I don’t know… 36??

7. How old is Daddy? 36??

8. What is your favorite thing to do? Play with Aliya and watch iPad.

9. Who is your best friend? Aliya

10. What do you want to be when you grow up? Mama!

11. What are you really good at? Doing Homework

12. What are you not very good at? Not very good at doing nail polish.

13. What did you do today? Nappy

14. What is your favorite food? Mac ‘n Cheese and Pancakes.

15. What is your favorite song? Taylor Swift

16. What do you want for your birthday this year? My Little Pony

17. What is your favorite animal? Unicorn!

18. What is love? I love you.

19. What does daddy do for work? Make money.

20. Where do you live? (She said our actual address so I won’t type it out here).

21. Where is your favorite place to go?  Target!

“Sometimes, you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory…” – Dr. Seuss

Yesterday, Jaren watched his very first movie – Minions!  This was Noelle’s second movie… her first one was Frozen when she was about Jaren’s age at 2.5 years old.  We went with Luke & Jude, Uncle Tae & Auntie Amy, Aaron, another Uncle Tae & an Auntie Hana, Nathan & Nolan, Uncle Terry & Auntie Carol, and Uncle Mike.  We took up an entire row.  It was a really HOT day, even at 9:30 am… so thank goodness for air conditioned relief in the theaters!

Didn’t get to take many pictures because we got to the theater just when the lights were going out… but I did capture something because it wouldn’t be me otherwise.😛

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Noelle is smiling on the inside (just didn’t want her pic taken)

Noelle was able to sit through the whole thing, and Jaren stayed most of the time, but got restless towards the last 20 minutes.  Exactly how Noelle was at her first movie!

Afterwards, we grabbed lunch at Corner Bakery… fun times!

Destination: Seattle/Portland

It’s been awhile since we flew with the kids.  The last time we did an extended vacation with them was a little over two years ago when Jaren was 3 months (!!!), and Noelle was 28 months to Cancun, Mexico.  This time around, it was Jaren who was 28 months (purely coincidental), and Noelle was nearly 4.5 years.  We weren’t worried at all about Noelle, but were pretty nervous about how Jaren would do, especially since he is so ACTIVE and LOUD.  Sitting still is not his forte.  Thankfully, 2.5-3 hours was right before his breaking point.  Any longer and we definitely would’ve had a meltdown on our hands.

We started and ended our trip in Seattle (or as Noelle called it – “Scattle”), with Portland sandwiched in-between.

Day 1 Seattle – Friday 6.5.15

This was mostly a traveling day, so we took it easy.  We got to SNA two hours early, so had a lot of time to kill.  Luckily, the kids each packed their Skip Hop backpacks filled with little toys, and I had bought new coloring books and markers just for the trip.  We parked ourselves in a corner, watched/counted planes, bought them lunch, and before we knew it, it was time to board.

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At the airport (top); N reading to J while waiting for take off (bottom).

Ideally, the kids would’ve napped on the plane… but of course they didn’t.  Luckily it was only a 2.5 hour flight, so we made it without any hiccups.  The kids were occupied with their toys and iPad.  Jaren doesn’t last long with the iPad at his age, but loves playing pretend with his toys, so thank goodness we brought those toys!

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Napping (left); Plane entertainment (right)

We landed in Seattle around 3:30 pm, and as we were strolling the kids through the airport they completely knocked out.  Now that the excitement of the plane ride was over, I guess it hit them how tired they really were!  This worked out because the kids got a good 40 minute nap in during the car rental process, which was enough to rejuvenate them.

Once we got settled into our hotel, we headed out to dinner nearby.  After dinner, we let the kids play at The Seattle Center (walking distance from our hotel) before calling it a night.

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Day 2 Seattle – Saturday 6.6.15

We arranged a playdate with some Seattle friends, and met up with them at Seattle Center that morning.  The playground was a little overwhelming for the little ones, so we quickly took it indoors to the Children’s Museum (also at the Seattle Center).  The kids had so much fun there, and time really flew.  Before we knew it, it was lunchtime.  We ate at Mod Pizza, and said our goodbyes.

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Right after lunch, we headed over to Dave’s place.  He was going to show us his hood and the surrounding suburbs of Seattle (thank you so much, Dave!).  Our main purpose for visiting Seattle was to see if we could see ourselves living there.  We hung out at Dave’s for a bit, and Noelle fell hard for Dave’s dog, Chewie – they had an instant connection.

Seattle is so lush and green and beautiful.  There are trees and foliage everywhere.

Dave drove us through Mill Creek, Bothell, Woodinville, and we ended up in Kirkland, where we had dinner near the waterfront.  It was interesting taking in a city through different eyes.  The whole time we wondered, “could we see ourselves living here”, “could we make this our home”?

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Washington Lake in Kirkland, WA

In the end we decided, no.  At least, not right now.  Seattle is a great place to visit, but our hearts are elsewhere.

Day 3 Portland – Sunday 6.7.15

We must’ve tired out the kids a lot on this trip (and the thick, hotel blackout curtains must’ve had something to do with it too) because we slept in practically every day!  Anyway, we woke up and got ourselves packed and ready to go for our drive into Portland.  We had lunch plans with The Chu’s, so wanted to make it there by noon!

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These drives to and from Portland were what I was most nervous about on the trip because not only are they 3 hours long, but history has shown that Jaren gets super restless after an hour in the car.  I braced myself.  45 minutes into the drive, Jaren was frustrated about something, so we decided to make a pitstop for gas and to stretch our legs.  Turns out, Jaren had simply dropped a toy.  We continued on, and while the drive wasn’t horrible… the iPad definitely came to our rescue in that last hour!

I should call this our day with the Chu’s because we spent the entire day with them!!  It was so good to see old and new friends on this trip.

We had lunch with The Chu’s at Hopworks BikeBar, which was a brewery/restaurant that not only had great yelp reviews, but was also highly praised for being kid friendly!  They had a small kids section with toys and books for the kids to hangout in.  After lunch, we grabbed ice cream the next block over, and made our way over to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry).  Of course, in that 5 minute drive from the ice cream shop to OMSI, the kids fell asleep in the car.  So I napped in the car with them for about 40 minutes while Sam, Nev, and Est hungout at a nearby brewery.

OMSI OMSI OMSI – We spent a good 3 hours there, and still didn’t get to everything!!  Definitely one of my favorite children’s museums now.

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So many hands-on things to do at OMSI!

After OMSI, we ate dinner at this amazing (but NOT kid-friendly – unless your kid likes to sit through two hour dinners) charcuterie place.  If you’re a meat-eater, Olympic Provisions is calling your name!

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I love that they have each other

Day 4 Portland – Monday 6.8.15

Our first full day to ourselves!  We had plans to eat at Salt n Straw for brunch, but the wait was 40 minutes (even on a Monday!).  Since we wanted to get to Multnomah Falls, we improvised and grabbed some coffee and toast down the street.  Portland is just full of cute little coffee shops and eateries everywhere.  It has a special character all its own.  The goatees and bearded hairy folk riding bikes everywhere didn’t escape our notice either.  We’re just glad there were no naked people sightings.

Anyway, the drive into Multnomah is byooo-tiful… and it is definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re a first time visitor to Portland!  It’s a great place to take the kids too because you can park your car, walk a bit, and see the waterfall.  If you want to hike, the hike is only about 1 mile long… so we did that with the kids.  They loved it.

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The kids, once again, fell asleep on the car ride back.  We had already checked out of the hotel, so ate at Nong’s for a late lunch (our cheapest but favorite meal there!).  It was 90+ degrees that day, so instead of going with our original plan of checking out the Portland Zoo, we took the kids indoors to another children’s museum until it was time to meet The Chu’s for dinner.

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We ate at the infamous Screen Door (known for their fried chicken!), and stuffed ourselves silly before we had to drive back to Seattle to catch our flight the next day.

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We had decided to drive back the night before our flight so that we wouldn’t be stuck with a full day of travel (3 hour car ride + 3 hour plane ride?  No thanks!).  Driving home at night was wonderful and turned out to be a great idea on Sam’s part.  Noelle knocked out for most of it (and it still didn’t interfere with bedtime), but Jaren held strong and stayed up the whole ride.  I don’t know if it was because it was night or if he had a full belly or what, but he hardly made a fuss and just enjoyed the sights as we drove.  I gotta say, I was pretty amazed at the stamina on that kid because he made it to 10 pm with only a 40 minute nap that day!  Once we got to our hotel, it was easy to get them to sleep though.

Day 5 Seattle – Tuesday 6.9.15

Finally, it was time to go home.  We ate free breakfast at the hotel, and took the kids to a gorgeous local park to kill time before our flight that afternoon.

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* * * * *

When I first made our itinerary, I wished we had one extra day because almost every single day involved either flying or driving.  I was worried the kids would be overtired with all the schlepping around, but they were troopers!  In retrospect, this was the perfect amount of time away.  We kept our itinerary pretty open-ended with the exception of meeting up with people – we didn’t even have restaurants planned or specific places we needed to go – because that’s just how it is with kids.  Just take things as they come, and adjust if we must.  Our traveling style is different now… but there was still so much we appreciated about this trip.  If anything, it made us realize how much we loved traveling with our kids, and we can’t wait to do more of it with them as they get older and older.  This is what we’ve been waiting for.

Happy 2 Year’s, My Care Jare!

Jaren is officially two, but he still seems like such a baby to me!  With his plush cheeks, chunky thighs, and little waddle… it’s hard to think of him as anything but.  But I know he is growing up.  I can see it in the way he’s lengthening out, the way his clothes are loosening up (wah, losing his baby chubs), and the way he’s growing more into his own person with his own (strong) opinions.

These past two years have flown by.  It feels a lot faster the second time around, so I try to savor what I can.

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He loves to nuzzle his cheeks against mine (not that I mind!)

Stats

*Note: Doc said he follows the CDC growth chart after kids turn 2.  Before that, he was using the WHO growth chart.

Height: 35.75 inches (91st percentile)
Weight: 33 pounds (90th percentile)
Head: I forgot (but it was 75th percentile)

Personality

If you were to ask me to describe him, I’d say he is full of life, exuberant, passionate, affectionate, giving, and so so loving.  He is generous with his hugs and kisses, and he doesn’t mind sharing.  If you ask him to give up or share something, he usually will do it freely (lucky Noelle).

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Cuddly with his loveys

This doesn’t mean he is a pushover though.  This boy can hold his own.

He is a softy, but he is also determined, strong-willed, opinionated, feisty, fearless, and full of energy.  As one friend so accurately described, he is a bulldozer.  He is so strong in both mind and body!  If he wants something, it is hard to control him.  He’ll try to lurch out of my arms, arch his back, and shout at the top of his lungs.  Oy.  The two’s are definitely here.  This determination will play in our favor in the future right??  (Let’s hope!)

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I asked him to close his eyes because I was trying to take a pic of his newly formed double eyelids, so he gave me this.

Activity

He is obsessed with anything his sister is into.  Since she loves Shopkins, he loves them too!  But he has a mind of his own too, and some other favorites include Cars and My Little Pony (sorry son, I just outed you on the internet).  He loves to build things – stack blocks, create tall towers with magnatiles, connect Legos – then he likes to smash them down (one of Noelle’s frequently used phrases when they play together is, “Nooooo Jaren!!”)!  He also likes to throw things, and color on himself/the walls/the sofa/our tiled floors.  His coloring really knows no bounds (yay?).

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He hates getting stuff on his hands, so despite being the messy little guy that he is… he must have sticky or wet things wiped off his hands immediately.  He’ll wave and signal for us to get him paper, so he can clean all the yuck off.  He also insists that trash get thrown away immediately.  He’ll rush to a trashcan right after he’s done with something, so he can toss the offending item.

He hates sitting in poopy diapers, so he will let us know when he needs a diaper change (hopefully this makes potty training a breeze, though I’m still in no hurry to give it a shot!).  So ironically, my messy bulldozer of a guy is also a closet clean freak.

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Speaking of closets – guess who I found in my dirty hamper!

Food

I don’t know which he likes more, to play with food or to actually eat it.  He’ll smear it all around the table, toss it on the floor, rub it in his hair, pat it on his belly… you name it, he’s tried it!  Like many toddlers, he can be a fickle eater, but we just keep offering in hopes that one day he’ll love it.  He looooves meat, chicken, and pork.  He won’t touch his veggies (or rather, he doesn’t like cooked veggies – he can down salad like nobody’s business though), and raspberries and strawberries are almost always a hit with him.  His favorite snacks are applesauce pouches, yogurt pouches, and anything gummy (i.e. gummy vitamins and fruit snacks).

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Sleep

He has always been a pretty flexible sleeper.  If we put him down for a nap or bedtime late, it’s no big deal.  It makes it easy to lug him around, and we don’t worry too much about planning our schedule around his.  Usually he’ll take about a 2-3 hour nap between 12:30-3:30 pm, then he’ll go down at night around 8 pm and sleep until 7-7:30 am the next day.  For the longest time, he would wake up at 6-6:30 am like clockwork (regardless of when we put him down at night)… but about a month before he turned two, that changed and he started sleeping past 7 (hooray!!)!

Books 

He loves to read, but it’s not really reading in the traditional sense.  It’s more like him flipping through pages, pointing out details, and me reiterating what things are (goes something like this… “YES!  that is a doggie.  What color is that doggy??” – then he’ll answer, and so on and so forth with every page).  Most of his favorite books are by Sandra Boynton, such as Doggies, Blue Hat, Green Hat, Opposites, and Moo-Baa-La-La-La.  He also likes one called Five Little Monkeys based off the song of the same name.  He thinks it’s sooo funny that they all fall down and bonk their heads!

Learning

I feel like he really soaks up everything around him!  He is acquiring more and more words each day, and I no longer keep track of what they are.  However, even if he can’t say something, he can definitely understand you… there’s no fooling him!  He can count a little past 10… maybe up to 14? (sorry, second time mom here).  He knows most his letters, and all his colors too.  He’s been telling us he loves us since he was 19 months old, and my heart still melts every time I hear those three perfect words.

This is what he sounds like in real life when he talks:
Yes = “Yeth!”
Milk = “Mill”
Elephant = “Ell-pent”
I Love You = “I Wuvyoo”

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Sibling Love

It is impossible to blog about Jaren without mentioning Noelle because she has been such a big part of his life from day one.  They are really good to each other (most of the time).  This doesn’t mean we don’t get our share of fights though.  Sometimes I feel like a broken record trying to get them to share or take turns.  Other times, they freely give without any prompting from me.

Jaren is so physical and Noelle so delicate, that we often have to play referee to make sure he’s not being too rough (climbing all over her, grabbing her hair, butting into her, etc.) – he’s not intentionally trying to hurt her, he’s just rough!  They do have a special bond though.  Noelle often speaks for him, defends him, and gives him first dibs on snacks and toys while she waits her turn.  It warms my heart most when I see them comforting each other when they get sad, or when they freely show affection for no reason at all.  I’m so glad they’ll always have each other, and hope they’ll grow to be the best of friends.

But their relationship is better told with pictures than words…

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There is so much more I can say about this little guy.  He has been such a bright light in our lives, and we love him so so much.  Hard to believe there was ever a world without him in it.

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Jaren and I the morning of his birthday.

Happy 2 years, my little JareBear.  You really are like a teddy bear, so cuddly and sweet.  I’m so thankful for you.

Celebrating Noelle’s 4th Birthday!

This is a bit belated, but better late than never!

Noelle had a couple small celebrations to bring in her 4th year.  The first one was on the actual day of her birthday, which fell on a Tuesday this year.  I took the day off from work, and kept her home from school.  I was trying to think of what to do with her.  I considered Knott’s Berry Farm (we’ve never been and thought Camp Snoopy sounded like it might be fun for her), or Adventure City (another small Orange County amusement park, but when I looked it up I discovered it was closed that day).  What she really wanted to do though, was go to Chuck ‘e Cheese!  So that’s what we did!  Sam came along too because he took a half day.

Tuesday | January 6th, 2015

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Opening up her birthday gifts – Shopkins!!!  (and a pink razor scooter)

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Looking like such a big girl all ready to go on our little birthday adventure!

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Having a really great time already!

The place was pretty empty, so she got the place practically all to herself.  We earned most of the tickets playing skee-ball, and because I filled out an online survey we were able to hit our 100 ticket goal – she was ecstatic!

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She redeemed the tickets for the prize she had her heart set on this whole time – a rainbow swirl lollipop!

By the time we were done playing at, it was already 3 pm and time to pick up Jaren from daycare.  No nap for her today, but she seemed to be in good spirits!  This turned out to be a bad idea later that night when family came over to celebrate with dinner and cake.  She may be four, but she still really needs her naps!

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Daddy helped her blow out candles and open gifts

Saturday | January 10th, 2015

We had her actual birthday party, the following Saturday.  It was a pretty small, intimate affair consisting of her closest friends (Aliya, Leah, Mya, Selah, Luke, and Jude) and a bounce house.  We setup the bounce house in our driveway, catered mediterranean food from Doner G, bought an ice cream cake from Albertson’s, and let the kids play.  No real agenda and very casual!  It was pretty much a glorified playdate.  It was the perfect way to celebrate her day, and she had a lot of fun, especially since she doesn’t like a lot of fanfare.

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Thank you for coming, friends!

~THE END~

Family Fun at Legoland!

We went to Legoland for the first time today, and the kids had a blast!  Even I’ve never been to Legoland, and I was born and bred in SoCal.  It seems so much better for the younger kid set (I’d say from ages 2-7) than Disneyland.  We are debating whether we should get an annual pass or not.  We know for sure Disneyland would not be worth it for us right now, but Legoland seems more reasonable and Jaren is still free for the next year.

This is what our day looked like:

We got there around 9:45 am (they opened at 9 am), rode a couple rides, let the kids play at the playground, then left around noon to pick up some beer (wild guess who it’s for!).

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I waited in the play area with the kids, while Sam stood in line

Legoland is so smart to have a side play area for the kids while the parents wait in line.  Not all rides have this option, but a lot of them do.  The wait for rides were about 30-40 minutes on average on a Saturday.

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Noelle sat with Sam for all the rides, while I sat with Jaren.  Divide and conquer!

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All the decorations there were made out of Legos!  Wish I had that kind of Lego talent.

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It was so sweet how the kids wanted to hold hands everywhere.  They really do make such a great pair.

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While waiting in line, Noelle said, “Let’s hug each other, Jaren!”

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The only family pic we took!  A selfie stick would’ve come in handy for sure~

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More lego art

Then, there is also a huge separate Lego-themed playground called “Duplo Playtown” that my kids spent a couple hours in before going on more rides.  There are just toys and play areas and playgrounds all over the park to give parents and kids a break from the monotonous line-waiting.

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It was nice to have a playground cuz we were able to just sit back and watch the kids play.  No stressing over long lines or wrangling restless kids.  They were able to burn off some energy too.

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Letting loose with some water fun – bring an extra change of clothes for all the water play!

After the playground, we left Legoland for a bit.  This was perfect because the brewery we needed to go to was about 40 minutes out, so we thought it would be a good time for the kids to take a car nap.  Good thing our plan worked!  Both kids took about an hour nap, which was enough to carry them through til bedtime.  When they woke up, we stopped by McDonald’s for a late lunch.

We got back to Legoland around 2:30 pm, and stayed until 5 pm (it closed at 6 pm that day)!  Of course the first place they wanted to go back to was the playground…

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Whee!  Too much fun at the playground!

There was even a mini train ride in the playground, so of course Jaren wanted to ride it!  He’s in love with all things that move these days… so interesting how he’s naturally gravitated towards trucks, trains, and cars whereas Noelle naturally loves pink, glitter, and princesses.

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Jaren and I on the train!  He kept waving hi and bye to everybody he passed.

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Pics with each of my babies

We eventually managed to convince them to leave the playground, and ride some more rides!…

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Sam trying to keep Jaren entertained on his shoulders.  This lil fella was SOO restless in line.

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Leaving on a jetplane – this ride is like the Dumbo ride at Disneyland.  There’s a lever you can use to go up and down.

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These types of lego stations were everywhere!  Such a great idea – wish Disneyland had something like this!

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Our final ride of the night!  Noelle is saying, “When I go like this (stick out hands) you have to go AHHHH! – Ok Mommy?” – she’s such a silly billy.

We had such a great time at Legoland, and didn’t even get through a lot of the rides.  As long as your child is at least 54″ there is plenty for them to do there, and even more if they are 56″!  Luckily for us, Jaren just managed to hit the 54″ height limit.  The upside of having kids in the upper percentiles~

~THE END~