Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Legoland and More!

We headed down near Chicago this past weekend for some fun family adventures. Our first stop was the Jelly Belly factory for a warehouse tour and free samples. Jelly beans are not my favorite candy (by a long shot), but I can't get over the buttered popcorn and pancakes with maple syrup ones. The taste is spot on, which is crazy weird.

The boys enjoyed their fill of pool time both Saturday evening and Sunday morning before we went to our main adventure: Legoland. Let's just say I had two very excited boys (Dave and AJ) with this adventure, and that Teddy was a good sport. There was quite a variety of things for them to do, including a two small rides, lots of areas to build, neat models to enjoy (like a jungle room the boys thought was fun) and a large play area. Teddy's favorite were the giant blocks to build, crawl on top of and attempt to eat the moment I looked away. AJ loved most every thing, except any waiting and the fact he couldn't play with the pre-built fire trucks made of Legos that were glued down to prevent kiddos from wandering off with them.

Figures Teddy would go for the hook. That child has no fear.

The absolute best part of Legoland, for Dave and I, was meeting up with another family from the Chicago area with a child who shares the same diagnosis as Teddy. That was the reason for our trip, and Legoland was just the perfect meeting place. It was absolutely awesome to meet Sammie, her brothers and her parents. There was something so special about seeing these two children with the same diagnosis meet each other for the first time. She is the friendliest little girl who immediately wanted to show Teddy everything (and take his hand and lead him everywhere).

Sammie is almost 9, so it's incredible to see all the skills she's mastered, along with her similarities to Teddy. We recognize each child is unique, regardless of any diagnosis, but meeting Sammie gives us so much hope for what Teddy may be able to achieve. It was fun to see how Sammie and her brothers interact. It was also great to spend a couple hours chatting with her parents, learning when she hit milestones and more about their lives. And Dave discovered her dad fly fishes, so all was well in the world.

Sammie and Teddy, two very special kiddos, together!

Of course, we couldn't part Legoland without a Lego set or two. AJ picked an Angry Birds pirate ship, which he couldn't wait to open. He spent a good hour or more in the car entertained by playing with just the box. We also checked out a second Lego store, where David got his pirate chess set. AJ had to wait to build until we got home Monday afternoon, but the wait was worth it!

This boy is obsessed with his Legos!

We managed another round of swimming Sunday evening and again Monday morning before we headed to Milwaukee. We made a quick stop at the Mars Cheese Castle, which is filled with every edible Wisconsin souvenir you could imagine, along with plenty of non-edible ones. We met my aunt in Milwaukee and spent a couple hours at the Milwaukee zoo. The boys are a bit young to fully appreciate it, but we all had a good time checking out the animals. I think the elephants impressed AJ the most, although he wasn't a fan of the smells of the zoo animals. Teddy likes to watch the animals when he's able to notice them.

Teddy loves carousel rides!

The highlight of the zoo for the boys, though, was either the playground or the carousel. Teddy absolutely loved the carousel ride, as did AJ. Teddy had a grin the entire time and did a nice job of holding onto his pole. And the weather was finally nice Monday, so it was a perfect day for the zoo, after two days of drizzle and rain.

Teddy still is Teddy. You have to taste test everything.

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