This is THREE!

(May 2018)

Dylan’s birthday celebrations pretty much lasted a week!  The weekend before his birthday on Cinco De Mayo, we had a birthday party.  Dylan loves to jump and play in bounce houses, so we knew we had to get one for his party.  The best part is they deliver it early in the day, so we have it for the boys to play in for a few hours before the party even starts.

This is my kid who really has an interest in Superheros.  His favorite by far is Hulk, then Batman, then Spiderman. So Superheros was the theme of the party and we all wore our Superhero shirts.

His cake had Hulk smashing through a brick wall on top

Now when you ask him how old he is, he holds up 3 fingers and says “I’m this number.”  You have to ask him what that number is, then he will say “Three!”

We also had a Batman pinata, which is always a hit with the kids.

And Nonie supplied the Spiderman balloon

Another favorite is always the cake!

And after cake, we opened the gate out to the golf course to let the kids run free. And while the kids were playing and burning off their sugar high, the moms settled down at the edge of the sandtrap to chat.

And we stayed there until it got dark.  It was a really fun day for the kids and parents too!

That week at school, Dylan’s class had a dance party to celebrate his birthday and he got a birthday crown from his teachers.  The morning of his birthday, he put on his crown and asked for waffles for breakfast.

Later that morning we met some friends at the park to ride bikes and play.  When Dylan started telling me “my body is growling” that led to lunch at one of Dylan’s favorite places In-N-Out!

The following week, he had his 3 year old check up.  He passed his vision and hearing tests.  He is growing like a weed and is now 3 feet 4 inches tall, and weighs 34 lbs 10 oz. And here is his 3 year old picture with the giraffe and woolly mammoth.

Time needs to slow down…

Flower Fields

(April 2018)

One thing that I’ve been wanting to do for years is go to the Carlsbad Flower Fields.  One of the perks of being a stay at home mom with young kids is you can do these kinds of things during the week when it is not as busy as the weekend.

It was a typical beautiful spring day in San Diego, so I packed snacks and loaded up the boys and we drove to Carlsbad.  When we arrived, I was shocked at how crowded the parking lot was and the line at the entrance was several blocks long! I drove around for a while looking for a place to park, and each time I passed the line, it seemed to be getting longer and longer.  I started getting a little skeptical, not necessarily because of the amount of people, but the challenge of keeping the boys occupied in the long line was not sounding so fun. So as I was driving around, I was talking to them and I told them there was a long line and nowhere to park and maybe we should come back another day.  They both said “Noooooo!”  So I told them if I could find a place to park, they needed to promise they would be good, patient little boys in line, and they promised they would and really wanted to go in.  So after 20 minutes of circling and waiting, I finally found a place to park.  When we got to the back of the line, I realized that they had footprints painted on the sidewalk that showed the path to the front.  The boys thought that was so cool and we made it a game of moving up and staying put on your own footprints.

It worked so well, until… we came up to the tractor…then the game was no longer fun and they were climbing and making tractor noises and playing in their own little world as I kept moving up in line.

I was almost to the front when I finally caught their attention and they came running to catch up with me.  These little monkeys were great in line and we finally made it in!

Since it is such a big place, it really didn’t feel that crowded.  The boys were handed “passports” that showed all the different places to visit where they could find stamps to stamp their passports.  They loved having something to work towards and It was neat because it took us to sections that we probably would not have visited or even known about.

About halfway through the mission of getting all the stamps in the passport, I asked the boys to stop in front of the fields so I could get some pictures since I did bring my camera.  First we had a little fun, and I asked them to give me a silly face.

Then I asked them to show me their muscles.

Then they were just being their usual silly selves

And then they actually took an interest in the flowers and started smelling them.

Then they wanted to go on the tractor ride.  It took us around the entire fields and up at the top we could see the ocean.

And they gave us an opportunity to get off and take pictures with the ocean in the background.

When we got back down the hill we got ice cream and visited all the other places to get the rest of the stamps in their passports. We went to the Christmas Poinsettia greenhouse, the candy land playground, the Orchid greenhouse (which was pretty amazing) and the boys favorite was the flower maze.

There were a couple times when they decided to turn and go in opposite directions through the maze, after regrouping and explaining that we all needed to work together and stay together, we found our way out. And we even took more time to stop and smell the flowers.

It was a fun day and so worth the fight to find a parking spot and the wait in the long line. And we will definitely go back again.

SD Orioles

(April 2018)

To follow the fall soccer season, Jacob wanted to try TBall in the spring.  TBall is a little more of a commitment than soccer was, but we had a great group of parents and coaches which made it a lot of fun!  Our team was the Orioles and just like soccer our colors were Orange and Black.  Being that this was TBall, it was a first experience for all the kids playing which meant there were no shortages of funny incidents.  There were plenty of kids who preferred to draw in the sand while out in the field instead of stand ready to catch the ball, or stare blankly ahead, picking their nose as the ball rolled in between their legs.  There were kids who threw the ball to 3rd base while the coaches are yelling for him to throw it to first, and my favorite was the boy who kept running to third base instead of first every time he hit the ball.  As we neared the end of the season, the kids really started to get the hang of the game.

After a few weeks of just practices, we finally had our first offical game, and the boys were so excited.

Jacob LOVES to be chased, and asks me a hundred times a day to chase him.  It used to be a fun game to play with him, until the day came when I could no longer catch him.  He is fast!  So when learning to play TBall, we told Jacob that he needs to run the bases like he is being chased by the ball. That became his favorite part of the game.

I can tell he’s concentrating here since he’s sticking his tongue out 🙂

High fives from the coach.

There is just something about TBall/Baseball that gives me that warm fuzzy feeling.  Honestly, I don’t follow professional baseball and I think it is pretty boring to watch on TV.  But going to a live game (especially with cute kids playing) is a lot of fun.

Then there is this guy…

When we were buying Jacob’s bat and glove, we had to get him a glove too.  So when he was not running around with the other little siblings during practice and games, he was practicing his own technique for when he is old enough to play.

And he was Jacob’s biggest fan

And mom and dad too

Here’s to Americas favorite pastime!

 

This is FIVE!

(January 2018)

The night before his birthday Jacob kept reminding me all night long that we needed to decorate his door for his birthday.  I kept telling him that if he helped me do it, it wouldn’t be a surprise, which is what it is supposed to be.  But this kid doesn’t forget anything, he remembers that we decorated his door last year and wants to be sure it will happen again this year.  After we finally got the boys to sleep, we decorated his door.  And he was a happy boy when he woke up.

For breakfast that morning, he requested waffles with a scoop of ice cream ontop.

And this year Jacob decided he wanted to go to Legoland for his birthday.  So on his actual birthday we just had a small pizza and cake party with some of his close friends.

We had planned to go to Legoland the following Tuesday, and a few days prior when we were preparing to go, we looked at their website to find out some information and realized that during the “off season” they are closed on Tuesdays. So then we pushed it to a couple days later, and when that day came, it was pouring down rain…so we planed to go the following week and due to some construction commitments and sickness, we had to postpone it again. The following week, we FINALLY made it to Legoland!

He’s so excited to be 5 years old!

We had so much fun riding the rides (Dylan had his first official roller coaster experience on the Coastersaurus!)

And it doesn’t seem like Jacob is enjoying this roller coaster in the picture, but he really loved it so much he went on it 3 times in a row!

All the LEGO creations were pretty amazing too!

And before we left, we had to get one more group picture so the boys could show off their swords.

Legoland was a blast!  Especially for my 5 year old LEGO master.

And here is his yearly picture with his elephant and giraffe.

Go Tigers!

(September 2017)

In the fall Jacob had his first experience playing on a soccer team! Their jerseys were orange and black so they were the Tigers.  Daddy used to play soccer, so he gave Jacob some pointers.

His favorite by far was playing goalie.

We had a great team of kids, parents and a really awesome coach.

In fact, we found out halfway through the season that our team had a reputation of being really good and a fun team to play against. Yes, we had a few good players, but I really think it was a combination of that with supportive parents and a (very) patient and encouraging coach to make the kids want to go play and have fun no matter what their skill level was.

And Dylan was Jacob’s number one fan, sporting his orange shirt and mommy’s sunglasses and yelling “Go Tigers!”.

It was so much fun watching these kids play and form friendships and just be silly boys.

Jacob had fun, and towards the end of the season he started getting the hang of it. And still loves to kick the soccer ball around in our backyard.  He said he wants to play again, so we will see what next fall brings.

It’s a Race!

(September 2017)

Jacob had been cruzin on his balance bike for a couple of years now and I knew he was ready to upgrade to a big boy pedal bike.  So we started taking him to a nearby park that has walkways around the playground/tennis courts/baseball fields so he could practice.  It really only took 2 times of doing that and one day in our backyard, he just took off on the bike by himself.

He rides around our backyard all the time and I try to take them to the park to ride at least one a week.

And Dylan has been upgraded to the balance bike now

And they both love to ride and ride and ride

And I love seeing him sticking his tongue out when he is concentrating on doing something.  It reminds me of my dad 🙂

And like pretty much everything else with these two, it’s a race! Let’s see who can go the fastest around the park.

At first, it used to bother Dylan that Jacob was always passing him up.  But now he doesn’t care and takes off on his own adventure on his balance bike.

In fact, he is getting pretty good at it now and I’m sure he will be getting onto a pedal bike sooner than later.

And in between riding sessions, they take breaks on the playground.

And Jacob surprised me on this day when he told me he could do this all by himself.

And he did! Back and forth, back and forth.  It was one of those days when I really realized, how much he is growing up!

Sticking his tongue out again…

And you would think spending a few hours at the park, playing and riding bikes would wear them out, right? Not so much, these two have endless energy!

Sand and Sun

(August 2017)

I always say and I’m sure I’ve said it here a few times…It is worth every penny to live where we live.  We have beautiful weather, lots of fun things to do/explore, great schools, and of course the beach.  During the week, when we don’t have school or some other activity to do, one of our favorite things to do is pack up and go to the beach!

When I first looked at these pictures, after we got home, it hit me how much Jacob has grown, he looks like such a big boy.

This summer I got the boys some beach shovels, and they kept busy, digging to China.

Jacob loved digging a hole and watching it fill up when the waves came in.

Dylan loves being chased by the waves

I mean, look at that face…

Now if only I can figure out how to keep all the sand out of my car…

First and Last

(August 2017)

When school started in August, I realized that we were having a first and last experience.  It was Dylan’s first year of preschool and Jacob’s last year before starting Kindergarten.

Jacob’s teacher is very highly praised by all the other parents I’ve talked to, so I was thrilled when he ended up in her class.  And Jacob was thrilled that his two best friends from the previous year were in his class too!

Dylan was excited to be a “big boy” like Jacob and go to school.  The first two days when it came time for me to leave, he was sad, and didn’t want me to go.  Every day since then, he walks right in and doesn’t even glance back at me.  His teachers are wonderful and absolutely adore him and he is really enjoying his time learning alongside his own friends.

For the next two years, I will be doing the hustle of picking up and dropping off at two different schools and times, wish me luck!

First Stop – Lake Mead

(July 2017)

Most people would typically stay away from the hot desert areas in the middle of July when the temps are over 100…but when Justin’s cousin planned a family trip to their house in Meadview at Lake Mead we packed up the car and went!  To tell you the truth, I was really kind of dreading the heat, I wasn’t sure how the boys were going to do. But I was SO excited because it had been years since I’ve done any kind of boating.  That was such a big part of my childhood and I was excited for my boys to experience it too!

With plenty of activities, books, iPad, food and games we set off on our 6 hour car ride.  And the boys did great! We even got a simultaneous nap!

The last part of our drive looked a lot like this, for miles and miles and miles. Lots of beautiful desert scenery.

When we arrived, it felt so good to get out of the car and move around. The mountains that you see off the patio from the house is the start of the Grand Canyon.

We had two full days on the Lake which we pretty much spent in the water the entire time to stay cool.

Jacob and his cousins had fun riding the tube!

In the late afternoon the water around the beach area would warm up and was no longer refreshing, so we took a boat ride farther down the lake where the water was deeper and moving and we turned off the boat and just floated around.

Dylan was a trooper and knew that the boat rides were the perfect opportunity to catch a little nap.

And while little brother was napping, big brother was busy learning how to drive the boat!

One of the things I can remember my parents saying about our times on the lake/river was how nice it was to “unplug”. There were no TV’s, phones or work distractions.  All we had was books, games and each other to talk to.  These days I feel that is more important than ever. It was so fun to spend time with family that we don’t get to see very often, we were a group of 12 adults, 2 teenagers, 4 kids and 4 dogs and I really wish that we had taken a group photo. At least we got one of our family.

After a few days at the Lake, our trip didn’t end there, I’ll be back soon with the rest.

Strawberry Picking

Strawberries have always been a big favorite of mine.  The good ones, the ones that are packed with that yummy sweet flavor.  During the season we always make a weekly trip to the closest fruit stand to buy fresh strawberries.  And I’ve been saying for years that I wanted to go to the Strawberry fields in Carlsbad and this year (since I’m playing catch up…it was really last year, June 2017) we finally went.

 

The boys each got their own bucket and we set off into the field.  I let them choose which rows to go down and gave them a few tips about which strawberries to choose (avoid the under-ripe green ones and the over-ripe mushy ones) and showed them how to twist the strawberry to break it at the stem instead of pulling them off.  They quickly got the hang of it and like everything else, it became a competition on who could find the best strawberries.

It was a beautiful day and there were very few people there.  So we just took our time and walked around.

And whenever we find a hill, it must be climbed.

At the end of our time there, the bottom of the boys shorts and all our shoes were red from them falling, sitting and walking on the mushed up strawberries on the ground. But we were happy with all the yummy strawberries we had and will absolutely go back again!