Summer fun

More catching up here…

I’ve learned that with a two year old, it is better to get out of the house for a few hours rather than try to keep him happy and entertained at home all day long (it is good for mom to get out too!)  Even though it was a really hot and humid summer, it didn’t stop us from going outside and taking advantage of all the fun things there are to do in this wonderful city we live in. So when my mom came to visit in August, we took her to some of our favorite spots.  First up was Lake Poway to feed the ducks.


Even thought it was miserably humid and we were drenched in sweat, it is so worth it to see the pure joy and excitement in Jacob’s face as he turns around and races back to us to get more bread.



Then after a quick “thank you grandma” he runs back to throw the bread into the water.

IMG_3389ed IMG_3394edOver and over and over again…

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Trains have been a big thing in our house lately and Jacob is always asking to go ride the train, more specifically Thomas the Train.  And is always on the lookout when we are driving for train tracks and train crossings.  So we made a special trip to Old Poway Park to “ride the train”.  While daddy and Jacob were buying tickets and standing in line to board the train we were playing around with this blue eyed boy.

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Then it was our turn to ride the train with Jacob, and daddy did his best to get a picture 🙂


On Saturdays they have a nice farmers market, so we wandered around and got some lemonade, sunflowers and looked at all the other goodies.


Then we walked down to the park to find some shade to drink our lemonade, “cool off” for a bit and wave to the train as it went by



you can tell by how miserable Jacob looks in that last picture that humidity was killing us so we packed up and went home to the AC and story time with grandma.

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Still playing catch up here…

We had such a warm summer.  Actually the heat is pretty much expected since we moved inland from where we were, but it has been SO humid, which makes it seem much worse.  Needless to say I am thankful for air conditioning (not necessarily the bill though!)  We did have some nice ordinary warm days, and on those days I tried to come up with a fun outside activity.  Jake has been getting in touch with his creative side during arts and crafts at Preschool so on this August afternoon when I said lets go paint, he was all for it!  I put some paper on the art easel that my mom got him and put some paint in some cups and gave him some sponge paint brushes.  Actually it was finger paint, but we’ll keep that our little secret, I wasn’t up to the task of cleaning up after a finger painting activity so I told him to use the paintbrushes.



This is the look I get when I ask them to look and smile at the camera…seriously mom can’t you see we are busy here

IMG_3297edAt first he was keeping the red on one side and the blue on the other, I kept encouraging him to mix it up.

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Which gave us a lovely shade of purple


Then he decided that it needed some chalk to liven things up


And I love the look on Dylan’s face in these pictures.


He was so proud of his work


Then he started telling me all about the colors he was using.  This one is red…


And this one is blue…


Just look at that face…with or without paint splattered on him, I think he is one handsome dude!


And my plan to keep things relatively “less messy” started to backfire when he began wiping his face with hands that had paint on them.


And it was then that he realized that he was getting paint all over him, and for being a rambunctious little boy, he does not like his hands to be dirty/sticky.


When he started coming at me (and my camera) with those paint covered hands, wanting me to get it off of him, I knew this activity was over and it was time for me to get this little Picasso cleaned up.


Fourth of July

For the past few years it has kind of been a tradition to spend the 4th of July on the Bay with some good friends of ours who live there.  Before we left we took some patriotic pictures of the boys with some flags that Justin bought for Jake to hold while he marches (one of his favorite things to do around the house now).

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Then we headed to the bay.  It was a fun day of food, games and friends.  If you are a regular on this blog then you will probably recognize Jacob’s friend Kennedy, born only a month apart, these two have shared lots of fun times together over the last two and a half years.  It had been a little while since these two saw each other though and they picked up right where they left off.  They got ahold of some flags and started walking down to the water.  My heart melted when I watched them and I knew I needed to capture this sweet moment.


They just stood there on the sand right where the water came in and waved their flags,


pointed to things out in the water,


discussed something very important,


laughed and marched around,


and they were the cutest all American kids on the beach!


Julia and I took our traditional picture with our newest babies who are 4 months apart.


And here are the boys in their matching camo shorts.


That night after getting the boys in bed, we walked out through our backyard onto the golf course and met up with our friends (who are also now our neighbors) and watched the fireworks. It was pretty cool since we could see two different shows from the comfort of our own home.  Next year I think I may try to master taking good pictures of fireworks…

Horsin’ Around

Every year when we go to Oregon, we always spend one afternoon setting up some props for a fun little photo shoot.  You can see what we’ve done in the past (2012, 2013).  This year was no different, although it was more challenging to get an almost 2 year old to sit still and smile for the camera.  But we did it!  IMG_0264ed IMG_0260ed IMG_0270ed IMG_0282edIMG_0296ed IMG_0295edThen the boys saddled up the horses to move the neighbors cow back into the neighbors field and we spent the rest of the afternoon horsin’ around the ranch. Justin and my mom gave Jake his first horse ride on my mom’s horse, Checkers.  I would love to say that this next batch of pictures is because I think our son is just adorable (which I do)…but in reality they are just pure comedy because Checkers can’t take a decent photo to save his life, you’ll see what I mean. This first one is actually one of the best pictures I’ve seen of Checkers, he looks like a model horse.



But then he does this…IMG_0311edIMG_0314ed IMG_0316ed IMG_0323edThen we get another decent one…

IMG_0318edLike I said in the first Oregon post, Jake loves his cowboy boots and wore them all day, everyday, even while waiting for his bath to be drawn and saying goodnight to the cows out in the fields.
















That’s my Southern California beach boy, look at that white booty!
















It was another fun trip!  On the way home we had a 30 minute layover in LAX and our flight was late leaving Eugene, so we missed our connecting flight, by just minutes…which turned an easy 30 minute layover into a 2 hour layover to get the next flight.  But our little guy is such a great traveler and I’ve learned that an easy way to distract him are lots and lots and lots of stickers.



Tractors and Lone Pine Farms

Once Jake was introduced to all the animals on the ranch he didn’t really seem to care too much about them.  His main focus was the tractors!  My dad has 3 good sized tractors and from the time Jake woke up in the morning until he went to bed at night, all he wanted to do was drive the tractors.  In fact, if my dad would go outside to start the morning chores before or while I was feeding Jake breakfast, he would refuse to eat because all he wanted to do was go outside with grandpa and ride those tractors.

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When they would go on their rides, grandpa taught him which lever made the bucket in front of the tractor go up and down, so he knew exactly what he was doing.
















And when he was on the smaller tractor he would point to the other tractor
















To let us know that he wanted to go on the BIG tractor, which is what he is signing below

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And any mention of the tractors, leads to them being in or near the barn which always leads to the cat who lives in the barn. That was the one animal that Jake had an interest in. Here he saw the cat and started signing cat.
















I think grandpa is going to have a ranch hand who is very eager to drive the tractors pretty soon.

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IMG_2487 IMG_0240edOne day we went to Lone Pine farms which is a really nice farmers market and they had a pumpkin patch set up with fun activities for the kids to do.  We did some shopping and played among the carts of pumpkins they had out front.

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One of the stems broke off a pumpkin and Jake kept saying Uh Oh! and trying to hand it to me like he wanted me to fix it.

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Then we fed the goats

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And I was trying to get Jake to stand by the ruler to measure how tall he was, but he was not having it, so we left shortly after that.  But not without a large box of the apple cider doughnuts, YUM!
















Later that day back at the ranch, my mom got out the bag of train tracks that my grandma had for my brother and I to play with when we were younger and then my nephews played with them and now Jake is having his turn.

IMG_0225ed IMG_0234I have one more to go before I wrap up this trip!

Oregon 2014

We planned our yearly trip up to visit my parents in Oregon a little bit later this year.  It is usually pretty warm when we go in the summer and since we have had such a hot summer in San Diego, I was longing for some cooler fall weather, so we planned our trip for the end of September through the first week of October.  Justin already had a business meeting planed in North Carolina for a couple of days, so we were able to arrange flights leaving within 50 minutes of each other on the same day to avoid multiple trips to the airport.  Justin left for North Carolina and Jake and I flew to Oregon.  Jake did great on the trip, when our 1 hour layover turned into a 3 hour layover at LAX I was a bit worried that I didn’t have enough stuff with me to entertain him for that long in one place, plus all the air travel time.  But it seemed to go by really fast and he provided lots of entertainment for the frustrated and weary travelers at our gate.  By the time we got to my parents house it was dinner time, then bath and to bed.  The next day is when the fun began!  And I will warn you in advance this trip is going to span over a few posts heavy with pictures…

First up on the agenda was feeding the cows.


IMG_9927ed IMG_9930ed IMG_9939ed IMG_9945edAnd while seeing real live cows that close was fun and all…Jake was much more interested in driving the Kubota around.  So Grandpa let him drive all over the ranch, and he was one happy boy!


















After all the morning chores were done, we had lunch and a nap before heading into town to find Jake a pair of real cowboy boots.  Our shopping trip was a success and he loves his new boots and wore them every single day we were there.














The next day my mom and I took Jake to the Children’s Science Museum in Eugene.  They had lots of hands on things for kids to do.  Jake was immediately drawn to the floating boats in the water.

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Then he found this contraption that had a powerful suction that pulled these balls into the tubes and spit them out at another station at the other side of the room.  At first we couldn’t figure out where the balls were going, but once we did, I sat at the other station for a bit and Jake and I sent balls back and forth to each other.

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There was an area that was full of these red balls and he and my mom played in there for a while.  He loved the pulley system and kept winding up the bucket full of balls
















One of his favorite things to do is shout the word GO after counting to 3.  Here my mom was lining up balls on a slanted track
















And she would count 1…2…3… Jake would yell GO and chase the balls down the IMG_9997ed IMG_9995edtrack



























It was a fun place to go and let him run around and play.  Late that evening after Jake went to bed, Justin flew in from his meeting in North Carolina.  The next morning he was happy to see his daddy!  That day my parents invited some of their friends over to practice cow sorting.  This was something new to us, but apparently it is a pretty big sport among some parts of the country.  Basically, there are two round pens set up side by side with an opening between them.  There are 10 cows in one pen that have numbers on them and two people on horses.  A number is called out and one person/horse is guarding the opening while the other person/horse is trying to get the cow with that number away from the others and into the other pen without letting any other cows in as well. It is actually pretty entertaining to watch.  First everyone saddled up the horses and rode around to warm them up.  Jake didn’t like being on this side of the fence, he wanted to join the big boys.


After the cows were rounded up in the pen the games started.

IMG_0054ed IMG_0051ed IMG_0050ed IMG_0061edWe wrapped up the day with dinner at the Dexter Lake Club.  Jake was really loving all the new sights, sounds and things to play with.  He quickly learned how to pick up the grain bowls from the horse stalls and where to put them.  As you saw from the picture above, he loved pushing the broom around the barn and fell in love with the barn cat! I have lots and lots more to share so I’ll be back soon.

Point Loma Lighthouse

This past Labor Day, we didn’t really have any big plans and wanted to avoid the crowds at the obvious locations like the beach, Sea World, zoo, etc… so we decided to play tourist again and check out another San Diego attraction that we had not yet been to.  A while back there was a documentary on the Point Loma lighthouse on TV and we caught maybe the last 3 minutes of it and decided that would be our next destination.

When we arrived, we looked around the visitors center and ended up on the back patio that has gorgeous views of the San Diego skyline.  Unfortunately, we were there in the morning and the marine layer had not cleared out yet, if you squint and look really closely, you can see some of the downtown buildings and the Coronado Bridge in the background.

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Then we walked up the hill to the lighthouse

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When we got to the top, we looked around the little museum that explained the history and how the lighthouse works.
















Jacob’s favorite part was the buttons you can push to turn the lights off and on, we could have left him there for hours…

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Inside the lighthouse there was a (narrow) staircase to climb to get to the top.

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We walked around taking in the amazing views, we saw some pretty buildings down below that we later found out belong to the Coast Guard, not sure if it is some kind of living quarters for the VIPs, it looks like a vacation retreat if you ask me!


Just to the right of the above picture were some tide pools.  When Jacob is older we will be coming back here to explore those!

When driving to/from the lighthouse you drive through Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.  On our way in, I told Justin we would be stopping on our way out so I could take some pictures.  It is a beautiful way to remember those who have fought for our country, and the the views are just breathtaking.

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This is really high up on our list of favorite places to visit in San Diego!

A visit from Grandma

Last month my mom came to visit for a while and man it was nice having her here!  It was nice having someone else (an adult) to talk to as we went about our day, it is amazing how much more I could get done with an extra set of hands to entertain Jake.  I was able to make appointments and we ran all kinds of errands and got stuff done!  And of course we were having fun along the way with plenty of trips to the park, shopping and lots of giggles.

One afternoon we went to the Del Mar Races.  First we stopped at the paddock to watch the horses saddle up and parade around before heading out to the race track.

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Then we went to the infield to watch the races so Jacob would have room to run around.  Justin got some drinks for us and my mom let Jacob have a taste of her lemonade.
















And that was it…she hardly even got any, Jacob wouldn’t give it back and drank the whole thing.
















When it got close to being empty I added some water to the cup hoping he would drink it and he wanted nothing to do with it. Pure lemonade only for this little boy!  We lost a few bucks and won a few bucks, it was a fun afternoon.

On another day we drove to Oma’s house for a visit. After Jacob got Oma comfortable in her recliner by pushing all the buttons to lift her up and down and lean her back and forth he discovered all the fun things she has to climb and ride around on.

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After Oma took this for a spin around the hall he decided it was his turn and kept making his vroom, vroom noises
















Oma…what does this button do?
















After we had In N Out for lunch (yum!) we went outside to run around for a bit before we headed home.  Jacob found some pretty flowers
















and decided that Oma should have them.

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Just a few days after we visited Oma, we were walking up the stairs and at the top of the stairs I have a picture of Jacob on Oma’s lap during Christmas hanging on the wall and he started signing Oma!  It is so awesome to see him recognize faces and learn who people are and be able to sign who they are.  When it came time for my mom to go home, Jacob walked around signing grandma, grandma, grandma everywhere he went for a few days.  He still signs grandma wash whenever he goes into the guest bathroom.  I just love seeing the wheels turn in his head!

It was a fun time with grandma and we look forward to next time!


Endless Summer

I have a couple more posts to share about fun things we did this summer, but right now I want to share about what we did last weekend.  Even though “summer” is over, school is back in session, football is on TV and people across the world are gearing up for fall and the cooler weather, we live in a city that has pretty much an endless summer.  It is going to be a while before we can dust off our sweaters, boots and scarves, if we even get to do it at all.  I don’t think I wore a single sweater last fall/winter, it was so warm! Anyway, we had an exceptionally hot weekend and my friend Julia asked if we wanted to join her and her daughter at the new water park at the County Administration building downtown.  It just opened several months ago and I’ve been wanting to go check it out, so we did!

We got there about 30 minutes before they turned on the fountains, so we played in the playground for a while.

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IMG_9787edThen the water came on!

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They were running…

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Splashing and skipping…

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And occasionally, they would glance at my camera when they zoomed by…

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And whenever I tried to get both of them in the same picture, it kept ending up like this…both of them running in opposite directions

IMG_9881edSo we sat them down to get the picture we wanted…Love these cute faces 🙂

IMG_9903edOf course it didn’t last long…up and at it again.

IMG_9896edWhen the kids got tired, we put them in the strollers and walked across the street to Little Italy’s farmers market where we got yummy, fresh strawberries, blueberries and raspberries before heading home for nap time.  It was a fun morning and we are so thankful for great friends, living in an amazing city, and for endless summers (although I think I am ready for fall)!

Beaching in Balboa

We were a little disappointed in the weather last year when we went to Balboa Island, it was overcast and chilly and too cold to play on the sand.  This year the weather was perfect!  And Jacob has had lots of beach time this summer and loves playing in the water and the sand, so when we arrived we didn’t waste any time and headed right out to the beach.

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Jake loves running up and down the beach
















and to and from the water, to fill up his bucket for building sandcastles.

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Then daddy showed him how to fill up the moat with water
















But he was more interested in playing with the water
















and dumping it on himself…
















He loves to point out the airplanes he hears in the sky, and there were plenty of planes flying overhead that day.
















Then everyone got in the water with the rafts to cool off.

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It was a fun couple of days with friends and family and I am so happy our little guy loves the beach as much as we do!

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