Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tickled Pink Tuesday

This little girl keeps me smiling all day... especially when it is meal time. It is hard to say where there is more food... on her face and body... or in her stomach. She loves to blow bubbles while she is eating. Watch out or you'll wind up with sweet potatoes in your hair! We are now bathing her after every meal. She is a disaster!

I had to post this next picture because it is the first I've been able to capture that shows a good view of her two cute teeth.

Cate loves applesauce, sweet potatoes, peas, oatmeal, and carrots (the only foods we've introduced so far)... though it is sometimes hard to tell if she likes the food, or just likes chewing on the spoon. She gets SO EXCITED when it is meal time and gets really frustrated if we are eating and she is not. She is a fan of the "quick and the hungry" philosophy that I grew up hearing about and snatches up ice cream cones, sandwiches, tortillas and anything else that we hold too close to her... and howls bloody murder when we take them away from her!

So happy to have snagged her spoon!  
Today Cate had a "playdate" with her buddy Maggie. We took the girls (and their brothers and several other friends) to go see Kung Fu Panda for $1 Tuesday. Cate napped through most of the movie and Andrew mostly just ate popcorn and sat still until about the last 5 minutes... when he was DONE. After the movie, we took the girls to the park. They hung out eating toys while the boys ran around and got soaked in the freezing water.

After their playdate, Andrew, Cate, and I trekked to the mall... because Mrs. Fields is especially good when it is raining... and we were already so close by. It started pouring as we left the park and rained the rest of the day. 

We spent the rest of the rainy afternoon building skyscrapers.

Cate just chilled and managed to snag a toy or two from time to time. Our rule is that if she takes something he wants, he has to find her another toy and trade with her to get it back. I love watching them "play" together and especially love how he'll find her a bunch of less desirable toys and arrange them all around her, just so that he can get the cool helicopter or other fun toy back from her and not get in trouble. It helps that she really doesn't care what she plays with yet... just as long as it can go in her mouth and we're nearby!

I loved Cate's reactions to Andrew's loud building and pounding.

I love rainy days in the summer and I especially love how Andrew's paid me in hugs to build him skyscrapers. I got hugged all afternoon long while I helped stack pillows and blocks. 

What a fabulous day filled with so many special, simple moments! 
If you haven't seen this video yet, check it out. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Slip N Slide!

On Saturday afternoon we went to a BBQ at a beautiful home in downtown Palo Alto and met up with a bunch of Googlers and their families... who are all also LDS. It was fun chatting with everyone, eating good food, and just hanging out. I even got to visit with my old roommate Stephanie a bit since her husband just started working at Google a few months ago. It has maybe been 6 or 7 years since we last hung out, so it was fun to introduce our kids to one another.

There was a trampoline, slip N slide, and baby pool set up for the kids. The trampoline was filled to the max and since Andrew's no dummy, he headed out to the water area that was empty (mind you it was pretty cold on Saturday afternoon... especially in the shade)... and figured out how to work the slip N slide.

I lounged on a chair while I watched him play and just enjoyed the time to relax.

After awhile, some of the other boys discovered us in the front yard and Andrew had fun slipping and sliding with the other kids. It was his first time doing it and he LOVED it. He had begged me for a slip N slide at Target the week before and I told him that maybe we could get one when he was bigger (since I didn't think he'd like it very much), but we might be heading back to Target later this week.

It was a hit! Kevin grabbed some video of him as well... since I couldn't find my camera. He slid even further when the other kids weren't there... but then all of a sudden got kinda shy when they came around. It was a new thing for us to see. :) Since when is our little guy shy?

From Shared


On Saturday we trekked down to the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Half Moon Bay for an afternoon of exploring. We've been studying the ocean a bit lately... so he was especially excited... mostly to see sea urchins... which of course were the only things we didn't see.

Andrew was a little freaked out by the waves for a bit... but then got very comfortable with the water and had a blast.

He had so much fun exploring that it was practically impossible to get him to stop for a photo, let alone look at me. This was the best I got. I loved Kevin's attempted at creating manpris as well ;)

Little Cate loved watching the waves and cuddling with me. We had typical HMB weather... cold, cloudy, and windy!

The harbor seals hanging out along the beach were our favorite part. It is illegal to approach them, so when we were on the beach there were cones everywhere showing us how close we could get to them. The highlight of the day was when one tourist disregarded the sign that said "no dogs allowed" and brought their dog into the preserve. The dog somehow escaped from his owner and ran down to the beach with his leash trailing behind him. A few minutes later, the owner came running behind... but wasn't quick enough (and the dog was not listening) and all of a sudden we watched as the dog ran into the restricted area and scared almost 100 seals into the water. The mass exodus of all of the seals from their cozy spots on the beach into the cold water was an amazing site! I have never seen seals move that fast!

The dog was finally caught and the owner headed back to her car (laughing a bit)... and was met by a not too happy ranger who ticketed her. Her smile was erased pretty quickly. The tourist, her friends, and her dog made a quick exit from the preserve.

After the entertainment of that fiasco ended, we hiked up through the trees to check out the gorgeous ocean views.

No trip would be complete without the little man taking a tumble. :) My goal for the summer is to teach him how to look where he is going while he is running. I'm not sure how successful I'll be though, since I have the same talent and fall a lot when running too.

I absolutely love these trees... 

After a quick visit to Rite Aid for some tylenol and band-aids, we made the trek back to the Peninsula. The little people both passed out quickly as I drove the windy road back to 280. Tidepool exploring sure is exhausting!

Next stop was the Google LDS BBQ in Palo Alto!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Friday Date

One of my summer goals... that will hopefully turn into an annual goal every year, is to have consistent mommy/son dates... and of course, mother/daughter outings as well. Cate and I seem to get enough mommy/daughter shopping in... so I'm not too concerned about that tradition dying out anytime soon.

Last night Kevin and I talked about Andrew's favorite activities and came up with an idea for my first mommy/son date. Bocce ball!

Caitlin's babysitter arrived and Andrew could NOT stop jabbering at the sitter all about how he got to come with me and Cate got to stay at home. We made a quick pit stop to get me a TB test. You would've thought that the kiddo had inhaled a pound of sugar with how excited and happy he was. I added to that excitement by swinging into McDonalds for cookies & ice waters for us both on our way to the park. 

Then we played and played and played.

We had to call Kevin once or twice to clarify the rules. I prefer to make them up as I go... but sometimes that didn't fly with the little man. He swore to me that you could hit other people's balls... I said no. Guess who was wrong?

We were quite a sight at the park (since we were playing so intensely)... so we had several groups of 7-8 year old girls begging to play with us. Andrew just ate up all the attention. He knew all the girl's names by the end and when we went home they were all yelling, "bye Andrew." I felt a little jealous that our date got bombarded and I didn't have little man's full 100% attention.

Later in the day while we were at a different park, I got a completely spontaneous big hug and an "I love you mom!" I think he was a fan of our date. :)

After about an hour of bocce in the hot sun, we ate some more cookies, guzzled our drinks, and then did some playing on the playground before we headed home to check in on our favorite little lady.

She survived and wasn't crying when we arrived, so we deemed the date a success! It will definitely be happening again soon!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Little swimmers

We've been playing in the water a lot this week because of the heat wave that arrived on Monday.

Yesterday, Andrew went to camp from 9-12, we played in the baby pool from 12:30-1:30, had quiet time/naps, and then played in the baby pool again from 4:00-5:30... then ate dinner... then relaxed a bit and then walked to the neighborhood pool to go swimming from 6:45-7:30! It was a water filled day!

Today we set up our new sprinkler ring around the pool when our friends Chloe & Marie came to visit. We also put the slide into the pool for awhile and they had a blast splashing each other and drinking lots of sprinkler water. :)

All of the water time must be helping little man... because tonight at his swimming lesson he barely made a peep and was awesome! He earned a trip to Blackhawk after swimming lessons for a cookie at Draegers and some time to play on the playground and run around after the ducks. He also earned a fishy ride at his swimming lesson... and a hand stamp. The fishy ride is a BIG deal. He's been trying to earn it for 10 lessons. I was so proud I almost got a little weepy... and of course forgot my camera to document the event. :)

Cookie rewards

We'll be taking a break soon from swimming lessons... because the kiddos and I have several trips coming up... but so far Andrew seems to be making great progress with swimming! I am really excited to see how he is doing by the end of the summer!

Right now he can... 
- dive down for rings at the bottom of the pool (3-4 ft)
- dive for toys on the pool steps 
- jump into the pool and turn himself around and swim back (sometimes flailing a bit too much so it looks like he is drowning... but really he is attempting to swim)
- float on his back (this really made him nervous at first, but today he actually did it independently without getting sad or scared)
- reach and pull with his arms to move himself across the pool while putting his head under the water and coming up for breaths (with some help to keep him moving)

Pretty awesome for only going to 4-5 weeks of lessons.

I love that I can take him and Caitlin to the pool by myself and play in the shallow end with them both and he can jump to me and swim back to the side without me having to carry both kids at the same time! He is definitely much more confident in the water now! I totally scrapped using his fun floaty suit because I think it was making him feel too safe and invincible. It was such a great idea... but not helpful when trying to motivate him to learn to swim!

Yay for summer and lots more days in the pool!

Monday, June 20, 2011

It's an ice cream kinda day

I've been detoxing the past week. Mostly from diet Coke... and pinterest. We needed to break up for a week or two. Both are addicting... especially the diet Coke. 

My substitute for diet Coke has been ice cream... or popsicles. Once the weather hits 85, chocolate and I are on a hiatus. Finding melted M&Ms in my purse or on my pants (because I sat on them) just isn't appealing... and happens way too much!

Today I decided we'd run to the park instead of driving... since I've been eating so much ice cream (Magnum bars). The park is 2 miles away which isn't too bad. I found nice cool summer outfits for Cate & Andrew. Cate's outfit was size 3-6 (an amazing Gymboree sale purchase by my mom from last summer). I was sad that we might have missed the window of her wearing the cute outfit... so I squished her in it. Love those chunky thighs :) Fortunately Gymboree clothes are usually bigger than they say, so the shirt didn't show off too much of her mid-drift. :)

Anyways, we went running at noon. It felt hot. By the time we ran (UPHILL the whole way) to the park, I was dying. I could not figure out what was wrong with me... until a friend told me it was around 95 degrees.

And we still had to run home.

The kids played in the water features until the tantrums were beginning and you could tell it was past naptime... and then I started the dreaded run home.

During the summer we always stop at the gas station for popsicles on the run home. We got doubles today... and I even had one while I ran.

When we got home, Cate took a nap. I turned up the AC so that it was freezing, sent the little man to his room for "quiet time"... and I sat down with a ginormous cup of ice and the last book of the Hunger Games and vegged.... and maybe had a scoop or two of ice cream.

... and did none of the dishes awaiting me in the sink... or folded any of the clean laundry that is begging to be put away.

I think I'm going to call today Ice Cream day and tomorrow Monday... and so tomorrow maybe I'll actually get something productive done... since cleaning out a pint of B&J's probably isn't going to count.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Before we went to San Diego, our favorite friends Melissa & Jami came to visit from Washington! Melissa and I had a Girls Night Out at Max's Diner where we inhaled way too much dessert and chatted for almost two hours... until the restaurant employees almost had to ask us to leave because the restaurant had been closed for over 45 minutes.

On one of the days they were here we took the little munchkins to Super Franks. The boys bounced around and for the most part didn't cause too much trouble (as long as no one took Andrew's car)...

They rocked out

And pretended to be Fireman Sam (it took Melissa and I awhile to weasel these costumes away from the other kids that were there)

All in all, we had a blast running around after the boys and catching up with one another. It was fun to see the little guys goofing around together again.

Cate just chilled and had fun napping and smiling at Melissa.

We can't wait till our buds come back again to visit!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Scott is in town this week at a conference in Santa Clara. We took him with us to Happy Hollow this afternoon for some fun in the sun. Unfortunately, after the excitement of Legoland last week... Happy Hollow wasn't so happy today... and was a bit of a letdown for this little guy. He even said to me, "this isn't a real fire truck mom!"

He snapped out of his grumpy mood when Scotter played with him on the giant play structure...

Scott also took him on his first roller coaster ride ever. Andrew was really excited... until the roller coaster started moving :)

If you zoom in, you can see the serious concerned look on his face. He kept saying "too fast, too fast" to Scott... but at the end he bragged to me about how much fun it was and how he went on a roller coaster!

We finished up the afternoon with popsicles, a few more rides, and some playtime with Cate.

If you've been to Happy Hollow, you know that the walk to the entrance is like a mile away from the parking lot. I'm not quite sure who designed the park... but obviously not a parent of a 3-year-old. The end of our park time was also not so happy. A tantruming, crying, hot toddler who wouldn't ride in the stroller plus crying baby who wanted to be held by me (and only me)... Scott & I thought we were a pretty comical sight as we left.

Fortunately, ice cream makes everything better.

We met up with Aunt Jessie at Loard's in Sunnyvale and ate lots of rainbow and orange sherbet. Mmm!

We ended the night with dinner at Google. Cate looked especially stylish with her sunscreen coated hair ;) I told Andrew that Caitlin had turned into a unicorn. We both had a good laugh.

Hanging out with Scott and Jess is always the perfect way to spend a day!

Sports Camp

This week Andrew spent a few days at Sports Camp. He loved every second of it! Camp was for three hours in the morning and was filled with tumbling, sports games, crafts projects, and snack time.

His favorite thing was playing bowling (am I surprised?)... except he said that his coaches didn't have enough pins to make a big triangle :) (or maybe they didn't want to set up triangles for him any more? :))

He ate lots of fishy crackers and some grapes (which he doesn't like, but still tried). He also did an awesome job telling the coaches when he needed to go to the bathroom. I love that he is now completely potty trained... though I'm sure he'll still have accidents from time to time.

He made a stylin sports themed visor today and was pretty proud of it... so I had to snap a photo. I think we are both sad that camp is over now! We may sign up again next week :)

I didn't document any of the fun things I did while he was at camp each morning ;) ... but they included...

- unpacking everything from our trip
- doing lots and lots of laundry
- going running every morning on treadmill while Cate napped
- cleaning out my fridge (it was really really gross after being neglected for awhile)
- doing lots and lots of dishes
- reading stories with Cate as part of our 5-A-Day-Books Challenge
- showering and actually doing my hair every day
- and playtime with Catie bug!

Hmm... I think Andrew got the better end of that deal. Although I did enjoy having time to cuddle and play with Caitlin with no interruptions.

Hooray for Sports Camp!

San Diego with the Buskirks!

We just got back from an incredibly fun trip to San Diego with Shari and the Buskirks. I am having the hardest time even beginning to do blog posts about it because I don't even know where to start. Between all of us we took way too many pictures.

My sister-in-law Liesl put together this amazing album (which we are printing into books) and it is a fabulous representation of all of the highlights of our week.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
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So, until I get around to posting in more detail about our trip, this is the perfect way for us to be able to be reminded of all the fun we had. You can click on the Smilebox above if you want to see the whole book. Andrew loves checking out the pages about the Fun Town Fire Safety Show and the Legoland Water Park. He loved Legoland so much that we went there three different days and Kevin and I are contemplating driving down there again sometime soon. We also visited Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. 

In addition to having fun at all the parks and zoos, Andrew loved all the time he had hanging out with his cousins. He is still talking about them every day. Kevin and I really enjoyed all the time we had to catch up with Allen, Shari, and Liesl as well as visit with our nieces. We also ate way too much good food.

What an amazing trip! Thank you Shari!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pool Time!

I love our neighborhood and especially love the pool and park that are a quick walk from our house. Last summer my belly was growing a mile a minute, so I didn't have any desire to go to the pool... we went maybe once? Instead we hid in our backyard and played in the baby pool. I was so hot with all the extra baby weight that I could barely be outside for longer than 30 minutes. This summer we will be living at the neighborhood pool. This week the weather has finally decided to act like summer.

I love how insanely excited Andrew was about his new floaty swim suit. The poor kid has no idea how ridiculous he looks and I seriously laughed the entire way to the pool. I am such an awful mom. A couple of construction workers nearby also thought he looked hysterical. 

But hey, he could play in the water with minimal help from me... so I loved it.

We had the pool almost completely to ourselves. It was heaven. Cate & I swam around together (she loves getting dunked) while Andrew jumped off the side of the pool and then would turn around and swim back to the side and then jump in again. (I also bought Cate one of these... but cannot blow it up by myself so it might be awhile before we get to use it.)

I haven't seen this kid giggle or smile this much ever (except maybe last week at Legoland). 

Andrew's quote of the day: "I want to stay here forever."

I love how little it takes to make 3-year-olds happy.

We had races around the pool, warmed up in the hot tub (the pool was pretty cold), and ate snacks and lounged.

It was the perfect afternoon.

I think we will be repeating today basically all summer long. 

The only negative part was when the potty trained boy decided that he needed to go to the bathroom once he was in the pool. The floaty swim suit is so skin tight once it is wet that taking it off was nearly impossible. I was laughing so hard (while also holding Cate), so it took double as long to get it off.

Laughing felt so good. I love going on adventures with these crazy kiddos. They crack me up!