Saturday, January 31, 2009

California trip, days five and six.


The last two days we were in California were absolutely beautiful. The weather was wonderful and made for great relaxing out in the yard and on the beach. Day 5 we didn't do much of anything except just that!! We played in the sun and sand, had lunch outside, and took a long nap. In the evening we headed to the harbor for awhile in search of candy and some souvenirs. On our way home we picked up pizza and were joined for dinner by one of James co-workers and his family. We had a great time talking with them. While they were visiting Ian decided to fall off the table benches not just once but twice and hit his head both times resulting in bumps on both the front and back of his head. Thank goodness it wasn't anything that a little bonfire and smores couldn't cure! There are only a few pictures from our day, just the playing we did on the beach. You can see them here.

For our last day we went to the San Diego Zoo. We were lucky to catch a sea lion show where we also got to see a wolf and some beautiful macaws. We were mainly in search of the pandas there so after a stop at the childrens zoo we headed across the zoo on the gondola tram. We were able to see the pandas and a few other animals before calling it a day. We could have stayed longer and kind of wanted to because the zoo was absolutely amazing and beautiful but we also really wanted to spend our last afternoon on the beach! So we headed home, hitting the In and Out Burger on the way. We spent the late afternoon on the beach until the sun went down and the kids were begging for a bath! Here's pictures from our last day.

We had such a wonderful trip. I am seriously missing the beach today and wondering if there is a way we can move there forever! I doubt we could afford anything more than a studio on the beach though and that would be pretty tight for 4 people, two cats, and a big black lab. So I guess I will try to be content looking at the pictures and remembering our beautiful week on the beach.

Lucky for me we head to the other coast in just a little more than 2 weeks, so I won't have to miss the beach for long!!!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

California trip, days three and four

Day 3 we hung around Oceanside and did a little sight seeing. James took the kids down the street to a park while I went and did some looking around at some local shops down by the harbor. Then we all went down to the pier to and walked to the end of it. We had a conversation with some very friendly pelicans and also got to watch a young sea lion swimming around under the pier hoping the fishermen would throw them a tidbit! Then we headed home and spent the rest of the afternoon picking rocks and shells on the beach and playing in the tidal pools. There was a storm the night before which made for very rough seas and cut some amazing patterns in the sand. When the tide went out it was amazing how different the beach was than the day before. See pictures here.

Day 4 we headed to Disneyland. The day was just about perfect, a little cool but very sunny. The crowd was very light, honestly I cannot imagine being there in the summer when it's busy!!! We picked up our free 1st time visitor buttons for the kids when we purchased our tickets and then we headed on in. After meeting up with Pluto we went in and hit the rides. This is the list of what we did on the kids first trip to Disney:

Astro Orbitor
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (we did this one twice, it was also the last ride of the day because the kids loved it so much)
Space Mountain (Ian was too little for this one so I took Gracie and then James went alone)
Autopia (cars)
We watched the Star Wars kids show. It was so cute!
Tea Cups
Storybook Land Canal
Kind Arthur Carrousel
Mr. Toads Wild Ride
Dumbo Ride
Peter Pan Ride
Gadget Coaster
Donald Duck Boat
Chip and Dale Tree house
Big Thunder Mountain (Again Ian was too little so Gracie and James did this one)
The Pirates of the Caribbean
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Jungle Cruise

It was a long and full day. We were parking right at 10am and we were driving out of the parking garage at 8pm. It was really a wonderful day. I'm so glad we went!! Here's the pictures from our Disneyland adventure.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

California trip, day two!


Today we headed to the San Diego Wild Animal Park. It was really beautiful. The regular part of the zoo was very pretty and the Journey to Africa part was amazing. Except for the fences it really did feel very much like you were driving around the savanna of Africa. It was a little cool today but we still all managed to get a sunburn, James especially. Here's some pictures.

Tonight when we came back to the house we had a little bonfire on the beach and roasted "smarshmallows". It was really nice, we're going to do that again at least once more before we leave.

Tomorrow is suppose to be cool and rainy so we are just going to hang out around here and head to the local pier for awhile. James and I are going to get a little time away while the kids hang here with our friends.

Tuesday is Disneyland. I am so excited to take the kids there for the first time. I hope we have as wonderful a day as I am imagining!!!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

California trip, day one!





Suffice it to say we are having a blast. The kids love the beach, we are collecting shells and beach glass every chance we get and the kids are just about constantly covered in sand. The weather has been great and the house we rented is beyond perfect!!!

Here's a link to pictures: Oceanside, day one!

I'll put up more as they come!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Pink

It's hard being a cat when your favorite person in the whole world is a 4 and a half year old girl.



Sometimes clothing choices are made that you get no say in whatsoever.


The humiliation is sometimes more than you can bare.


You have to make the best of it though, because there is simply no way to escape the pink.

Only 4 days.......

Til we leave for California!!

It's kinda funny, I planned this trip last June, knowing that I was going to need a break from the freezing cold this winter since last winter I almost went nuts with it. Of course this winter has been amazingly mild and the weather this week is suppose to be in the upper 50's and even a couple lower 60's!! I'm really not feeling the need for a break from the cold like I thought I would! To make things even more interesting the weather for the time we are there is not looking to be too great, there's quite a bit of rain and cooler weather predicted, I don't know if it will even get to 70 while we are there. Oh well, a vacation is a vacation and we will make the best of it no matter what!

We are sharing a beach house with some friends and I am just so excited. According to the rental ad we will be able to see dolphins in the ocean beyond our beach. We are going to go on a whale watching boat tour, we are going to go to the San Diego zoo, the San Diego Wild Animal Park, and best of all.........Disneyland!!! We are all so excited and I know it's going to be a lot of fun. Of course there will be pictures to share, we have wireless at the house so hopefully I can post while we are there.

Friday, January 16, 2009

We have a Shark in our midst!

I'm so proud of Gracie who passed her swimming class and it now in the Shark class!! I have video of her last day and if I can figure out how to post it on the blog I will. The last two days of class she jumped off the diving board by herself with just a noodle for support and swam to the side unassisted. The very last day she went down the water slide all by herself and was caught at the bottom. These are huge jumps for her, at the start of this class 2 weeks ago she didn't even really understand how to hold her breath for more than a couple seconds. Now she's swimming under water and jumping of diving boards. It's pretty amazing!!! Her teacher was fabulous though, I am going to request him for every class both the kids take from now on.

Ian also took swimming lessons but he did not enjoy them nearly as much as Gracie did. He had a major personality conflict with his teacher who was pretty much unable to convince him swimming is fun. Gracie's teacher took him in the water a couple times though, between their lessons, and he got Ian to do whatever he wanted without any complaints. I tell you, the right teacher can make all the difference!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The bone song......by Gracie

The head bone's connected to the neck bone,

The neck bone's connected to the boob bone,

The boob bone's connected to the belly bone,

The belly bone's connected to the thigh bone,

The thigh bone's connected to the foot bone,

The foot bone's connected to the toe bones........

Right mama? Did I do the bones right?

Friday, January 09, 2009

The last week in review.

Cause I'm in a bullet point kind of mood!

~Gracie learned how to swim underwater. It's totally awesome! Daily lessons are definitely a blessing and a curse. I'm thrilled with how far she's come in just 4 days. I'm honestly exhausted from getting us all out the door every morning though. Makes me realize how much I would hate doing that for school!
~The first meeting for our new home school group went really well and I'm very excited about where this group is going to go.
~Garrett was adopted and he totally scored a wonderful home. I'm very happy how this all worked out.
~I babysat my friends 3 kids yesterday for almost 5 hours and everyone survived.
~The new Hibachi restaurant in town is yummy.
~I finished my Attachment Parenting International leader application so I'm now a leader for API of Parker.
~I purchased a membership to the San Diego Zoo because it works out cheaper for us to do that than to buy one day tickets when we are there for our trip.
~I booked a room for April's wedding.
~I booked a room in Myrtle Beach for our mini vacation after April's wedding.
~I'm working on a lifestyle change both with eating and exercising and so far I'm accomplishing what I want to.
~I have three birthday parties to work this weekend for the Fun Bus and one birthday party to attend for our friend Halem who's turning 3.

Needless to say it's been pretty busy around here. I'm really looking forward to vacation!

New kids rooms 3.0 (or is it 4.0)

If you've been to our house you know that since the kids have grown it's become like a puzzle box situation for me to figure out how to make every space work for every person in this house. In reality we are lacking a lot of what we really could use. A common space for a playroom would be nice, a rec room would be great, and an office would be very useful. We could also use a garage to store our cars and all the kids outdoor play stuff in, but I'll try to not ask for too much!

I feel like I am always in a state of puzzle box solving. I think "If I move this here and this here and this here maybe things will be better." Sometimes my ideas work, other times....... not so much. I have moved stuff, traded rooms, shared rooms, and combined rooms looking for just the right combination many times at this point!

My most recent idea has proved to be a wonderful idea. It probably wouldn't have worked until now though so I'm glad I didn't try it earlier. My idea was this: let's make one bedroom and one play room for both the kids. I realize that's not really a profound plan, lots of kids around the world share rooms. I think it's working best for us now though because the kids are both to a place where they really don't wake each other up in the case of middle of the night tragedies. They also both like the idea of not being alone at night, so having each other works perfectly! They have also been so happy to have all their toys out in one place where they can see and reach them all well. Until now we've generally had half their stuff in their closets which really doesn't work well, out of sight out of mind.

I swapped everything around a couple of weeks ago with the mindset that we would try it and see how it went. I wasn't sure the kids would be too thrilled with sharing their space so I told them we could change it back if they wanted to. Luckily they both seem to love it and we are now making plans for repainting to make the rooms more neutral. I think in the bedroom I am just going to paint some of the circles dark blue and light blue, leaving others the dark pink and light pink. I'd really like to find bedding to tie Ian's bed into the room then, but it's not a priority. The playroom is going to be much bolder colors. We are thinking we will paint each wall it's own color one green, one yellow, one orange and one blue. Alternately I have a pallet that is yellow, green, blue and pink. We will figure that out eventually.

I also used the Target gift card my awesome Fun Bus boss gave me for Christmas to spruce up the kids bathroom. I bought new towels, a new rug, and a new shower curtain. I love the new look, it's very cute, bright, and fun!

I'm sorry some of the pictures are so dark. I have messed with my camera too much and I have settings that I am trying to figure out how to get them back to normal. Too much tinkering, I need to get the manual out!

Anyway, without further ado, the new rooms:


The bathroom:

The Playroom, as you enter:

Left wall with toy bins, car mat and garage, and book corner:


Right wall with record player, more toy bins, and the kitchen corner:
The closet, with table and special quiet area in a netting tent:
Kids room left wall with Gracie's full loft bed above Ian's twin bed.

The right wall, aka dresser central. This has all their clothes and their dress up stuff.
So there it is! Once we paint I'll post pictures again. The playroom will look especially different, I'm excited to see how it will all turn out!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Happy New Year!

2009 is in full swing around here!

After 2 weeks of holidays and birthdays and James being home for 10 1/2 of the last 12 days I think we all got enough rest and relaxation in to face the next few very busy months.

The kiddos started their swimming lessons this morning and it went great. I think they are going to progress a lot faster swimming daily for 2 weeks in a row. I need to look at the calendar and see if they can do a session the beginning of February without running into our vacation to NC. Ian was a little hesitant to go in because he said it was too cold, but by the end of class he was splashin' with the rest of the class which was a relief because this is his first swimming class without James or I actually in the water with him. Gracie continues to be a total fish and had her head underwater within 2.2 seconds of her class starting.

We have a new home school group started, I decided it was time to get something going that is actually geared towards people down in this SE area of Denver. It's been difficult finding just the right fit that isn't a 45 minute drive for any of the get-togethers. So I contacted people I've met through the other groups I've been involved in who I know are also on this side of town and we are getting our own little thing going. I think we have 7 families now and hopefully more will join in. Having a good group of friends in and around Parker is something I feel we really need, I just can't justify driving to the other side of Denver a couple times a week.

I've started trying to get in shape.......again. This is a never ending quest for me and my post babies body. I'm doing the Couch to 5K program again and hoping to make it past 3 weeks this time. I got myself a punch card to the rec center and my goal is 3 times a week before James leaves for work. I have some food goals too but nothing too major because I know that getting all diety on myself never works. I've found I actually enjoy running. I never really have before but I guess it's come with maturity!

The CA beachhouse countdown is at t-minus 18 days. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that the weather is warm and sunny the entire week we are there. We are planning to head to the beach after April's wedding in February too so we will be in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans in a 3 week span of time. I think this is pretty cool and hope we are able to enjoy it to the fullest!