Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sleighs are Overrated

Who needs a sleigh when you’ve got an outrigger canoe?

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And who better to lead your team onto the beach?

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Jarrod’s mom is in town for a visit and has been itching to get out to the beach.  So when I saw that Santa would be making an appearance at Capitola beach today and the weather forecast was really nice, we decided to check it out.

The kids thought it was pretty funny that Santa came in on a boat!

We had planned on visiting with Santa and sitting on his lap once he made it to the beach, but event organizers weren’t very good about enforcing that people were supposed to stand in a line to wait their turn.  Not just crowd around Santa and jump in whenever they could.  So, those of us who stood in line had a pretty long wait.

The kids decided that they would rather play on the beach and see Santa another day which was perfectly fine with us.  Running/rolling around in the sand is much more fun than waiting in a long line for over an hour anyway!

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

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I have so much to be thankful for this year.

My family
A fairly uneventful and easy pregnancy (let’s hope it stays that way)
Wonderful friends
Not having to cook Thanksgiving Dinner (thank you Bayonet & Black Horse Golf Course!)
The energy to keep up with two super active kids
The opportunity that the military gives us to see so many beautiful places
Our country – where we are free to believe and worship in whichever way we choose
And so much more….

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Kiddie Chores (AKA–Stuff Mommy Doesn’t Feel Like Doing)

My kids love chores.  It’s kind of weird, but I’m taking full advantage while I can.

The further along I have progressed with this pregnancy, the more chores I have given the kids.  They have been in charge of feeding Bailey for a while.

In addition to that, they also….

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But as much as they love these chores, they still don’t like picking up their playroom toys…

I’m hoping that this love for chores sticks around well into their teenage years.  And you can bet that I’m keeping this on our wall until Charlotte moves out.

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Gotta love preschool artwork! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Just Like Mommy

Charlotte and I look nothing alike.

But she wants to be just like Mommy.

She’s been watching her chest, waiting for boobies to grow from a young age.

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Nearly every morning she is in the bathroom with me while I put on makeup.  And she always wants some of her own.

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And now Charlotte has started asking if she can have my clothes.  She wants to know if I can save them so that she can wear them when she gets bigger.

I’m pretty sure she won’t want me to hold her to that.

Instead, I let her dress like Mommy every once in a while.

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I wonder if she’ll still want to dress like twinkies 12 years from now?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Doggie Birthday

Our first baby is 7 years old!

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I got Bailey in Guam while Jarrod was deployed on a submarine (I had already gotten his okay to get a dog while he was gone!).  He is a wonderful sidekick to all of us.

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Today the kids and I made Bailey some doggie Peanut Butter Carrot Cupcakes.

They were excited when it came time to sing Happy Birthday this evening. 

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Bailey devoured his cupcake in nothing flat. 

We also had a little boy who devoured one and a half cupcakes.  The rest of us aren’t big fans of doggie food…

Happy Birthday, Bailey!  We love you!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

If You’ve Got the Money, Honey

Last week as we were driving to school one morning, the kids brought up the subject of their money.

It lead to a discussion about things that we can do with our money – spend it, save it, donate it.

I told the kids that they could each choose what they wanted to do with the money that they had in their piggie banks.

Of course Mr. Lego Lover immediately decided that he wanted to spend his money on a new Lego set.

Saturday after getting back from visiting the monarch butterflies and the beach, we had a money counting lesson.

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We then went online, looked up Lego sets, and figured out what Trenton could afford.  Target had the set that he wanted in stock at the store here, so we told Trenton that he could buy it after church Sunday morning.

Sunday morning before leaving for church, Trenton asked if he had enough money for the Lego set and to put a dollar in the collection basket at church.  Boy were Jarrod and I proud!  And I think Trenton was pretty proud to put his own money in the basket at church.

After church we went to Target, grabbed the Lego set that Trenton had picked and went straight to the checkout.

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Trenton handed his bag of money to the cashier and was good to go!

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He got right on building as soon as we got home from a birthday party Sunday afternoon, and had a jet built in no time.  And a few days later he built a racecar.  He still has a robot that he can build out of this set, and I’m sure it’s coming soon.

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Charlotte decided from the get-go that she wanted to put her money in the bank so that it could “grow and grow and grow into lots and lots and zillions of money!”.

Yesterday was our trip to the bank.

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Charlotte is now patiently waiting for the $86.58 that she deposited to make her rich!

And Trenton is waiting for his leftover $1.91 that he deposited to grow into enough money to buy another Lego set.

These kids could be waiting for some time….

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

30 Weeks: Things just got real

I hit the 30-week point in my pregnancy this week.  And let me tell you, things have gotten really real for me.

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I had Trenton at 38 weeks, and was induced with Charlotte at 36 weeks.  So, I could have less than ten weeks to go.

And I have pretty much nothing ready.

We got rid of most of our baby things before we moved cross-country from Virginia to California.  I’ve picked up a few things here and there on a couple military classifieds facebook sites, but now that I’ve started making lists, I’m feeling overwhelmed.  And add in Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Trenton’s 5th birthday – yikes – can someone throw something good into my eggnog?

In the past couple days I’ve finally ordered a few necessities that we’ll need right away once baby girl makes her appearance.  By Friday we’ll have a carseat and a bedside co-sleeper/basinet.  The baby will at least have a ride home and have a place to sleep at night (we still have our baby bed, but we’ll want the little princess to sleep in our room at first). 

Other than starting to freak a bit about having 138,368,092 things to do before baby girl gets here, I’m doing okay.  At my Halloween ultrasound, the diva was breech once again.  My doctor said that we’ll keep our fingers crossed that she decides to flip and stay flipped!  Things are starting to get harder with my baby belly growing – getting down to search under the couch for lost bouncy balls, painting my toenails (pedicure time!), etc.  Otherwise, I’ve been feeling good. 

I do have a couple questions for you other mommies out there about stuff that I still need to get for baby girl.

-Boppy vs. My Breast Friend?  Which is best?  Or should I just take a cheap route and use a regular ol’ pillow?
-Bath – I got rid of that big blue honkin’ bathtub, and I don’t want another one (we just don’t have the room for it).  I’ve seen some sort of spongy thing that goes in the kitchen sink for bathtime.  Should I go with that (what exactly is it called?) or just use the sink by itself?
-Bottles – We used Dr. Brown’s with Trenton and Charlotte, but they were a pain.in.the.butt.  But both of our kids had horrible reflux.  Should we go with Dr. Brown’s again, or is there another bottle out there that’s good for reflux (we’re just assuming that this one will probably have reflux too)?

Is there anything else that’s come out in the past four years that I’m missing that will make life with a baby easier?  Other than wine after all the littles are down for the night?

Monday, November 11, 2013

State Park Weekend

We decided to take advantage of the 3-day weekend by knocking a few things off of our California bucket list.

Saturday was seeing the Monarch Butterflies at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz.  Up to 100,000 monarchs make a temporary home in the park’s monarch grove each year from late fall into winter.  Walking through the eucalyptus, you’ll see a few monarchs flying around, but the majority of them are clustered up high in the trees.

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Yes, those things hanging from the trees are butterflies all clustered together.  Crazy!

The kids weren’t all that excited about seeing the butterflies once they found out that there was also a beach at the park, but once we got on the trail, they loved spotting the monarchs!

After spending some time on the monarch trail we walked down to the beach to check out the natural bridge and play in the sand and surf.

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Sunday was filled with church, a birthday party, laundry, and dishes.

Today it was back to explore another state park – Año Nuevo State Park north of Santa Cruz.

Año Nuevo is known for their resident population of Elephant Seals.

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Some of you may remember that we saw some elephant seals in San Simeon on our drive up the California coast when we were moving out here.  But it was a nasty, drizzly day, and the kids weren’t even awake when we stopped at the overlook.  I had heard that you could get closer to the seals at Año Nuevo, so we decided to go for it.

Now let me tell you, getting to these seals wasn’t easy.  The website stated that it was a three mile round trip hike, but when we got to the park, we were informed that it was four miles.  That extra mile makes a lot of difference with a three year old, four year old, and 30-week prego in tow.  Especially when nearly half of the four miles was trudging through sand.

Charlotte started out the hike in the piggyback rider.

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But as soon as we got to the sand, she decided that it would be more fun to walk.

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Or make sand angels….

We took plenty of breaks to take in the scenery and stay hydrated.

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We finally came up on the seals.  There were 300-400 out today – juvenile males and a few females.  Next month when the big bull seals and the rest of the females come back for breeding/pupping season there will be between 1,000 and 2,000 out here!

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The juvenile males come back early to practice their fighting skills before the bull seals come back.

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Elephant seal trunks grow with age, so none of the juveniles really had trunks.

Seeing the seals was really neat.  There were some hanging out directly below us – probably 12-15 feet away from us.  It was a pretty cool experience.

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Trenton really wanted to see a Great White Shark eat a seal, but the park ranger that was at the overlook answering questions told him that the sharks hang out around Año Nuevo Island, half a mile from the mainland.  But even if we didn’t see a shark attack, Trenton was still pretty excited about the seals.  Just not the smell…

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Here is a quick video of the seals.  You can see them throwing sand on themselves to stay cool up on shore and some practice fighting in the water.

 

Once we had seen (and smelled) enough of the seals, it was time to turn back.  The trek through the sand took a lot longer on the way out than on the way in.  On top of already being worn out, the sun was showing itself so it was getting warm too.  Once we got out of the sandy staging area, we stopped for snacks with a gorgeous view of the meadow.

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Charlotte didn’t want to ride in the piggyback rider anymore, but she was also tired of walking.

So why not try flying?

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She was a little sad that this was as high as her “wings” got her.

Although we were all pretty worn out and happy to make it back to the car, we had a wonderful time at Año Nuevo.  I’d love to go back when the bulls and females come in, but I think that hike might put me right there “pupping” with the seals if I were to do it next month!

Exploring the area’s parks before the military moves us this summer was a great way to spend this Veteran’s Day weekend!  I hope that you all enjoyed your weekend too, and Happy Veteran’s Day to all of those who have served and are currently serving this great nation.