Meet Penny

(September 2018)

If you know me, you know I am a dog person.  Not really a fan of cats (except for my parents barn cat, Missy, coolest cat I’ve ever met).  When we had to put our last dog down, I was not ready to get another dog since I was 6 months pregnant with Dylan and we were starting to look around for a new house and I knew I wouldn’t have time for a dog.  Fast forward 3.5 years…even though we are still not done with the work around our house, the major things are done and even though our lives are pretty busy and it never seems like a good time to get a dog, it felt like it finally WAS a good time to get a dog.

We knew we wanted to get a Labradoodle and I had spent lots of time researching breeders and talking with other Labradoodle owners. We settled on which breeder we were going with and told them we would be ready after we came back from our trip to Oregon.  The day after we got home, the breeder called me and told me there was a litter that was due to be born on July 17th and would be ready to come home mid-Septemeber.  The litter would be the color we wanted (reds/caramels) and the size we wanted (standard) so we put a deposit down and waited.  The boys were SO excited and kept asking every day when we could go pick up the puppy and we started talking over some names.  Over the next couple of months the breeder would email us updates on the puppies and a few pictures. This is a picture of the 6 females she sent when they were 6 weeks old.

A week before the litter was ready to come home, we went to meet the puppies and choose which one would be ours.  We knew we wanted a female (I need another girl in this house!) Of the 6 females, we had our pick of 4 (one was already taken and the breeder was keeping one).  It was so much fun sitting in the middle of the puppies and playing with them and letting them crawl all over us and lick us, the boys thought it was pretty great too!  Right away we knew one would not be a good fit for us since she was a very timid and kept hiding behind me and I felt like our energy level with the two boys would be too much for her.  And there was one that seemed to be the other extreme, she was very hyper and all over the place, so that narrowed it down to two.  The puppies did not have names, they were identified by the color of their collar.  At this point we were looking at Orange and Red.  Both dogs were so sweet, lots of fun, had great personalities and really interacted well with the boys and us and it was REALLY HARD to decide.  That’s when we started looking at the size.  The mom of the litter was a full standard and the dad was a large medium.  Red was more on the smaller size and would be a medium sized dog, Orange took after her mother and would be a small standard.  We knew we wanted a bigger dog so that was how we chose Orange.  After the decision was made, they took our first family photo.

In the car on the way home after picking out Orange, we talked over names again.  At this point the boys had narrowed it down to 2 names: Skye (from the cartoon Paw Patrol) and Penny (a name of a pup in the movie 101 Dalmatians).  So when we left I asked them which name they wanted and all of us liked Penny the best.  Then I was thinking about it, pennies are a coppery/orange color and we choose the Orange dog so it was meant to be!

The following weekend, Justin took the boys to Jacob’s soccer game and my aunt and I drove back to pick up Penny and bring her home. We all met back at our house and spent the rest of the day playing with Penny.

Penny absolutely LOVES the water! We are always filling up her water bowl because she keeps putting her front paws in it and splashing and playing with all the water, there’s nothing left to drink. Anytime we get the hose out to water the plants, she runs in the water spray and keeps “biting” water as it comes out.  And she is totally content when getting a bath.  I can’t wait to take her to the beach!

Jacob’s teacher had asked me to send a picture of Penny after we brought her home.  So I sent her these and she put them up on the big screen in the classroom and Jacob got to tell his classmates all about Penny.  It made his day!

In Dylan’s opinion “having a dog is awesome!”

These two are two little peas in a pod.

We have been pretty much home bound until she finishes all of her puppy shots. One day I dug out my old baby carrier and put her inside and went for a walk around the neighborhood with the boys.  I was only able to do that a few more times before she got too big, so then I started using the stroller. Just a couple more weeks until we can go on a real walk!

She does like riding in the car with me when I go to drop off/pick up the boys from school.  It makes for a very loud entertaining car ride when all 3 of them are in the backseat.

We often say we should have called her grumble butt, because when she is sleeping she will stretch or roll over and she lets out this loud grumble that sounds just like Chewbacca!

Before we brought Penny home we were in a good groove, with the boys new school schedule and no major home projects going on.  We were comfortable and started having time to do more fun things, we had some good babysitters so Justin and I were able to get out more often, then we got Penny….and life instantly got chaotic again!  It is a lot like having another newborn in the house and starting all over again.  But it is so worth it!  While I was growing up, we always had dogs as part of our family, and I love that the boys will too.  It is so fun seeing the boys run around with her and our trainer has taught the boys lots of fun “games” they can play with her that are teaching the boys and Penny good behavior traits.

And those razor sharp puppy teeth have put holes in lots of pajamas, t-shirts and shorts.

And when she is calm she likes to lay in front of the gate in our backyard and watch the gardeners and golfers go by.

And she knew when she would nap under the couch she was safe from the boys.  Now she is too big to fit under there, but she still lays next to the couch and sticks her head under.

If I am being honest, life with two young boys and a puppy is absolutely insane and exhausting.  But she is the perfect addition to our family and we love her and I wouldn’t change it for anything!

School Days

(August 2018)

We had SUCH a fun summer.  It was filled with LOTS of pool time, weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) trips to the beach, Vacation Bible School, Lego Camp, and plenty of time spent with friends.  And then, just like that, summer was over…Usually, I am ready for the boys to start school and get back on a regular routine, but this year I was not.  I don’t know if it was because we were having so much fun, or if I was just not ready for Jacob to start Kindergarten, or both.

I know Jacob was ready for Kindergarten, he loves being around his friends and learning new things.  And even though I had 5 years with him at home with me, I wasn’t ready to send him to school 5 days a week.  The beauty of preschool was he got to have time at school to learn and be with friends and I got a little break, but it was only a few mornings a week and the rest of the time we had together to play, go on adventures, etc…yes, there were lots of frustrations and struggles during that time.  But there were more fun experiences and snuggles and now that he is at school full time it has really made me realize how precious the last 5 years really were.

So leading up to school starting, it was all everybody was talking about and Jacob was excited.

He was especially excited to be going to the BIG kid school where a lot of our other friends and neighbors go.  One of them started Kindergarten with Jacob as well.

And when it came time to go into the classroom, we found Jacob’s desk and got settled in to listen to a little welcome from his teacher.

Then when it came time for the parents to leave, that is when Jacob surprised me and he wouldn’t let go of me and kept asking me to stay with him.  I was not expecting that from him at all.  Of course my heart shattered in a million pieces and after I peeled myself away from him, I was able to hold it together until I got to my car where I let the tears flow.

After that first day, there was no more reluctance, but he did want me to walk him onto the playground the first week, which I gladly did.  Then he realized how much fun the car drop off is, especially since it was quicker and would give him more time to play on the playground before school starts.  So now it is a drive by, with a quick kiss while calling out to his friends from the window and drop off in front of the playground.  He has found his new groove, made lots of new friends and enjoys playing with his old friends.  We all really like his teacher and I love hearing all the stories and things he tells me about school.  One thing I was a little “worried” about was Jacob having to eat his lunch at the nut free table. Since he is a social butterfly, I knew he would want to eat with his friends.  After picking him up on the first day, the first thing he told me was his friend that he made at Vacation Bible School over the summer also has nut allergies and sits at the nut free table with him, and he was SO excited about that! And since then he has made friends with the other boy who sits with them as well.

Jacob is at a really fun age right now and I do miss him while he is at school.  But I love all that he is learning and I love that he is reading books to me before bed at night and I love the questions he asks and I love when he surprises me with the things that he knows.  And I am excited to see what these next few elementary years will bring.

Even though Jacob is at school all day, I still have Dylan at home with me.  He started his first day of 3 year old preschool the same day Jacob started Kindergarten.  He was so excited that daddy was taking him to school in his “fast car”.

Since this was his second year at his school, he had no problem easing into his new classroom and is really enjoying his time there.  I have definitely seen his independence and confidence grow in the last few months.  I think he is finding his place as his own individual at school instead of as Jacob’s little brother.  He has some new friends as well as old ones in his class. I love the bible stories he tells me when I pick him up and I love when I ask him what he made that day he tells me it is a surprise and will show me when we get home.  And on the days he does not have school, I love that he is always willing to run errands with me and when I call him my little sidekick, he giggles and says “Noooooo, I’m Dylan.”

I can’t believe how fast these monkeys are growing!

After picking them up on the first day, we went out for frozen yogurt to celebrate!

And since we are already a few months into the school year I have their school pictures to share.

And I have no idea how they got my kid to do this pose!

And even though the summer tans have faded and we miss the beach and the “lazy” summer schedule, I know it’s going to be a great year!

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!