Sunday, September 30, 2012

T-M-C Weekend

My parents left on their long drive back to Texas yesterday.  Jarrod is a week into his third quarter at Naval Postgraduate School, and this quarter is shaping up to be his hardest thus far.  He has spent pretty much the whole weekend holed up at school studying.

So that meant that the kids and I were on our own this weekend.  It was a Trenton-Mommy-Charlotte Weekend!

T-M-C Weekend started out at the Marina Equestrian Center for their open house.  There was a bouncy house, face painting, horse-drawn carriage rides, a petting zoo, pony rides, and horse shows.  And it was all FREE!

Charlotte loved the petting zoo.  This little bunny sat in her lap for over 5 minutes.


Trenton didn’t enjoy holding his bunny because “it won’t stay still!”.


I can’t say that I blame the poor little bunny!

Trenton did like watching all of the petting zoo animals though – especially the goat that kept trying to eat my shirt!


Next up on our equestrian center agenda – pony rides.

Charlotte was put on a cranky old stubborn pony.  By the time her pony decided to actually move, Trenton’s pony had made it almost all the way around the arena.


Next we hopped on the horse-drawn carriage for a short ride down the road and back.


When we got home from the equestrian center, my little assistants helped me whip up a batch of cookies.

making cookies 1

We were trying out a new recipe – Nutella and Sea Salt Stuffed Sugar Cookies (click on the link for the recipe – you’ll thank me later!).

making cookies 2

Can you tell that they liked helping stuff the cookies with Nutella?

And oh my goodness gracious – these cookies were GOOD.  They easily make my all list of all-time favorite cookies.  I’m fairly certain that they will not last more than 48 hours in my house.

Today the mercury rose up above 70 degrees.  And you know what that means around here – Beach Day!  (Isn’t it funny that when autumn brings 70-degree weather to Texas – my home state – everyone breaks out the jackets, but when autumn brings the central California coast 70-degree weather, every one hits the beach?!?!)

We have a ton of choices when it comes to choosing a beach to visit, and today we chose one that we hadn’t visited before – Marina State Beach.

Marina State Beach

I came armed with snacks – the cookies that we made yesterday and some watermelon slices.

DSC_1666_1Watermelon Slice on a Popsicle Stick

The kids thought that it was really fun to have their watermelon slices on popsicle sticks!

Watermelon Slice on a Popsicle StickWatermelon Slice on a Popsicle Stick

After snack time, it was time to get dirty!  The kids dug for treasure and collected bubbles brought in by the surf.  We even did our best to bury Trenton (quite the task when the child being buried won’t stay still and the other child is trying to “wipe sand off Trenton”).


With a tough quarter of school ahead for Jarrod, I’m seeing a few more T-M-C Weekends in our future.  Stay tuned for more adventures!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Our Disneyland Vacation: Disneyland Park

Okay, so everyone has heard that Disneyland is a magical place. 

Let me tell you, all of that hype is true.


Little missy couldn’t wait to go through the castle.  She hopped right out of the stroller and made a run for it.


And Trenton loved mapping out our day.


Seeing my kids experience Disneyland was amazing.  I was excited about Disneyland myself, but seeing Trenton and Charlotte experience the park took that to a whole other level. 

They loved the rides and characters (even though their faces didn’t always show it).


As we walked through the Disneyland turnstiles, my dad told me that his parents had visited the park before they adopted him.  So my grandparents had been in the same park we were walking through sometime between 1955 when the park opened and fall of 1958 when my dad came along.

Some of the rides that we rode were original to the park.  Maybe my dad’s parents rode the same rides all those years ago.


Oh how I wish Grandpa John and Grandma Lucie were still alive so I could hear their Disneyland stories.  Or would have kept a journals.  I wonder if there are pictures from the trip anywhere?  I’m on a mission now to learn more about it!

So there you have it – our Disney vacation!  I’m already trying to convince Jarrod that we need to go again!  Or maybe on a Disney cruise…

Until then – go wish upon those stars!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Our Disney Vacation: California Adventure

We spent a few days down in Anaheim last week vacationing at the Disneyland Resort.  This was my first time visiting any Disney resort, and I’m pretty sure that I was just as excited as the kids!

We met up with Mimi and Pops, who had driven in from Texas, at the Grand Californian Hotel on Sunday afternoon.  We spent Sunday evening walking around the shops of Downtown Disney, and then Mimi and Pops took the kids back to our rooms so that Jarrod and I could enjoy a date night.

We woke up Monday morning, walked across the street to the Paradise Pier Hotel, and had breakfast with Mickey and a whole slew of his friends!

Surf's Up BreakfastDSC_1138_1DSC_7770_1DSC_7766_1

After breakfast, it was off to California Adventure.  We started in Cars Land on Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi’s Flying Tires.  We also got to meet Mater!


We got fast passes (the smartest thing EVER for a theme park visit!) for the Radiator Springs Racers, and came back to those later in the day.

Cars Land just opened this spring, and let me tell you, it looks EXACTLY like it does in the movie!  I loved seeing it at night all lit up.


We also spent time in A Bug’s Land and Paradise Pier riding A LOT of rides.


At almost 41 inches tall, Trenton can ride some of the bigger rides.  He loved the racers in Cars Land, but when it came to the end of the ride and the racing part, he got a little nervous.  When the ride was over though, he talked about how it was his favorite.  The same thing happened with the swings.  Once we got off the ground and started going a little fast, Trenton tightened his grip on me and started saying that he wanted off.  After a little while though, he was laughing and saying that it was his favorite ride!

Temperatures in Anaheim were in the 90’s while we were there.  Sweltering in comparison to the 60’s that we normally see in Monterey.  When it got too hot outside and we needed a break, we went and watched the Disney Junior Live show.  The kids loved seeing the characters off their favorite shows and sang right along with the songs.


After a long and very fun day at California Adventure, it was time to head back to the hotel to get rested up for another fun-filled day!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

When the Stomach Bug Isn’t Really the Stomach Bug

Remember how in my last post I said that Charlotte has been catching the stomach bug pretty regularly?

Well, it seems that other things like to disguise themselves as the stomach bug.

Charlotte started throwing up Monday afternoon and continued throwing up through the night.  By Tuesday afternoon, she had stopped throwing up and seemed to be on the way back to her normal self.

Then around 4AM Wednesday morning, I woke up hearing Charlotte trying to throw up.  I got the waste basket to her in just the nick of time.  After she finished throwing up, I could tell, even in the dark, that the vomit didn’t look normal.  I turned on the bathroom light and saw that it was bile.  A few minutes later Charlotte was throwing up more bile.  She was also burning up.  I didn’t want to wait 4 1/2 hours until the pediatrician’s office opened, so off we went to the ER.

ER Visit

As it turns out, this wasn’t just a stomach bug.  It was a urinary tract infection.

And boy did it wear Charlotte down.

Sick Charlotte 1

Charlotte was sleeping most of the day and night.

Finally after two days of antibiotic shots and then being put on an oral antibiotic, Charlotte’s fever broke and she was on the road to recovery.

And it was just in time to say goodbye to our guests.

My brother and his wife were visiting for a few days, and Charlotte was sick almost the entire time.  We didn’t get to do much with Bradley and Courtney, but they were really good sports and did all kinds of exploring on their own.

And another thing Charlotte got healthy just in time for…

Disney Suitcase

Disneyland Vacation!

We’ll be gone a few days this week, so you probably won’t hear from me for a bit.  Feel free to follow me on Instagram (username: creativelyblooming) to get some sneak peeks at what we’re up to!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

“I Want Feel Better”

Trenton has always been a fairly healthy kid, but Charlotte has seemed to catch everything under the sun in her first two and a half years of life.

First were the recurrent ear infections.  Tubes took care of those.

Then there were the UTIs – two of which required hospital stays.

Charlotte went through a short spell of not getting sick, but now it seems like she is catching the stomach bug every time the wind changes direction.

When Charlotte was a baby, I hated that she couldn’t tell me what was wrong and could only cry.  I thought it would be so much easier when she could actually tell me what was wrong.

I have now learned that having a sick child doesn’t get any easier no matter how old they are or how well they can communicate.

Sick Charlotte

“I hurt, Mommy - I need go doctor” andI want feel better” break my heart just as much as the crying and whimpering ever did.

Mom lesson learned– No matter how old your child is, whenever they hurt, you hurt too.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Game Day, Aggie Band Tuba Practice, and a Football Craft

Trenton came in our room this morning exclaiming, “It’s Aggie Day!”

That’s right!  Today was game day in Aggieland!  The first game of the season.  The first game as members of the SEC.  ESPN’s College Gameday was in town.  This was a big deal.  A day I’ve been waiting for since January.

Of course we had to get a picture in our game day gear.


I had Aggie Band music playing on iTunes before the game started.    The kids love playing marching band, so I made them a tuba (hoop from the trashcan, tube from wrapping paper with a wire hanger inserted in it, a lamp shade, and a whole lot of tape) to practice their skills.

So what could we do during the game so that Jarrod and I could actually pay attention to what was going on?

A paper plate football craft was sure to keep the kids busy!

Paper Plate Football

I drew a football shape onto a couple of paper plates.  Trenton cut his own football out, and I cut Charlotte’s for her.

Then we took some bubble wrap, brushed some brown paint on it, and got to painting our footballs.

Paper Plate FootballPaper Plate Football

Once our footballs dried, I cut slits in them for eights laces, cut a piece of ribbon, and the kids got to stringing. (Well, Trenton did.  Charlotte was napping, and did hers after she woke up.)

Paper Plate FootballPaper Plate Football

The kids love their footballs, and Jarrod and I loved that we were able to pay attention to the game!

Paper Plate Football

The clock ran down before the Aggies could pull out a win (or maybe too late – it would have been nice to call the game at halftime), but we still had a great day!