Monday, June 28, 2010

the beach...for real this time

By Tuesday afternoon I was itching to get to the beach. Not only due to the fact that we were leaving the next morning, but more because I wanted to see Luke's reaction. He emotions are so genuine right now; he doesn't sugar coat anything or consider mine or Keith's feelings before reacting to his experiences. I love that about his age. Good or bad, what you see is what you get at this stage of his life.

The cooler, windy weather stayed with us the entire time we were on vacation and our trip to the beach was no exception. Although we showed up prepared for a warm, sunny day at the beach, Reagan and I quickly put on our sweaters to combat the chilliness of our surroundings. However cold it was, the beach was beautiful. We were one of maybe three groups of people who were brave enough to attempt beach-going at that particular time, so we didn't have to fight for a good spot or worry about Luke infringing on other peoples' spaces. I was able to take as many pictures as I wanted without having anyone think I was the crazy over-bearing momma that I usually am.

Reagan's toes touching the sand for the first time. We weren't so lucky to have Luke take the same picture for us. He didn't want to get close to the water at all and I can't say that I was really that disappointed. We didn't have to worry about him going too far out into the water which was nice.

He did cooperate long enough to take a picture with his sister. Yay!

See? We do have to travel with huge amounts of stuff. Here's my proof.

My boys. I {love} them.

Luke and Keith got a chance to build sand castles too. Luke didn't quite get the "castle" idea and kept calling them "homes." Close enough...we'll take it.

Reagan was ready for her nap while we were there and I think she was actually excited to get swaddled. It was an extra layer of protection against the blustery day.

As chilly as it was, we had a great time at the beach. Luke and Reagan were able to experience it for the first time and Keith and I were blessed enough to get the opportunity to still be cleaning sand off and out places three weeks later.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

seaport village

Being as we were going to be in San Diego for only a limited amount of time, Keith and I were trying to pack in as many new and fun experiences for the kids (aka: Luke) as we could. After cheering on Andi, Gail, and Stef in the early morning and then exploring the rest of the a.m. at Sea World, we thought we'd be ambitious and attempt the beach that day too. Even though Stef had recommended a beach 10 miles away from where we were staying, Keith didn't want to drive that far, so we ended up attempting Mission Beach which was less than a mile from our hotel.

When Luke and Reagan and Keith and I all woke up from naps, we donned our suits, lathered up with sunscreen, packed up our enormous amount of gear needed for the beach, and headed out. As soon as we stepped out of the room, we spotted the first group of people wearing sweat shirts and pants. We had apparently missed the memo that it was now cold outside. Since we didn't find it to be exceptionally chilly, we kept going with the plan, including keeping kids in suits, t-shirts, and flip flops.

The closer we drove to Mission Beach, we realized that maybe this wasn't the day for the beach. There were thousands of people milling around (all dressed in pants and sweat shirts too) and no parking spots to be found even remotely near the beach. My anxiety was ratcheting up quicker than I can even explain and I was not about to haul the amazing amount of stuff blocks to the beach, so Keith and I made the executive decision to go back to the hotel to regroup.

After little debate on the ride back, we decided that Seaport Village was much more our style for the evening. It turns out it was a bit chilly and overcast so it really worked out for the better. We were able to have a nice relaxed evening checking out the water and the little shops they have there.

The husband and I.

One of my favorite parts of the adventure to the beach Seaport Village was Luke getting the chance to ride on a Carousel for the first time. Like Luke is typically with things he does for the first time, he wasn't so sure at first, but once the ride got going, he was having the time of his life.

Someone seems to missing from most of this re-cap and display of pictures...oh yes, Reagan. The poor girl was so worn out from our exciting day that this is what she looked like for nearly our entire time at Seaport Village:

Sweet dreams baby girl.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

300: an ode to mom jeans and mini vans

With this being my big 300, I figure there is no time like the present to send out the big apology I've been wanting to give my mom for awhile, especially since conceiving, carrying, and pushing out my second kid.

Mom-I am sorry for a multitude of things that I made fun of you for or swore that I would never do myself since I was a young child. I completely take back any or all comments made about the following topics:

1.  Mom jeans. I always thought my mom super uncool because she continuously bought and religiously wore (and still wears) her "mom jeans." You know what I'm talking about; those jeans that come up nearly to your belly button that don't really do anything attractive for the female figure. The ones that probably send my husband running the other direction instead of making me seem even remotely appealing to him. But you know what? I now own some "mom jeans" and I have to say, I sort-of love them. After having my body stretched and pulled and to now have to deal with the unsightly sagginess that is some kind of weird prize for carrying two children, the higher rise pants make total sense. They keep everything tucked in place and muffin tops aren't as much of an issue. Mom jeans also have the added bonus of keeping my crack concealed when I'm running after and scooping Luke up in some public area.

2.  Mini-vans. These things were the most-detested forms of transportation that I thought someone could have during my teenage years and even up until my early-twenties (slight pause and a big boo to the fact that I am in my late twenties!). Now I find myself building them and pricing them online to see what options I consider necessities and so I know how much I need to save up to get one of these beauties. I had previously thought that SUV's were the way to go...that was until I was faced with the reality of having to buy a larger SUV (more money than a van) and having to budget and pay for gas for said SUV (more money than a van). Plus, with all the improvements that have been made to the mini-van (hello dual automatic opening doors!), it doesn't hold the same stigma to me that it used to. And let me just talk for a minute about all the crap that has to be lugged around with multiple kids. As much as I love my Highlander, if we ever decided to have a third baby (you know you want to Keith!), there will be no space to load up groceries or my heavenly double stroller once all the kids are packed in. Some mini-vans even have hide-a-way storage underneath the floorboards so that you can have additional space to stuff junk into. Or keep organized. Whatever your style might be.

3. In-car DVD players. Before my precious babies were born, I had the perfect-mom ideals that my kids would hardly watch TV and we'd do all of these fun educational activities and things would be absolutely peachy. That was a hard slap of reality that hit me after Luke was born. Sometimes, momma needs a break to be a good momma and if Disney Channel has some fabulous cartoon that keeps him occupied for a half-hour so I can get some time to put the dishes away or vacuum without someone trying to "help" the entire time, great. And really, an in-car DVD system would have been glorious for our trip to and from San Diego. Every time Luke saw a truck or a bus, he shouted and proclaimed it to us loud enough for someone two cars over to hear it. Every. single. time. He had no concept of if or when Reagan was sleeping or if mommy or daddy were frustrated, trying to figure out directions. It would have been so nice to be able to distract him for even a little bit.

And in case you are wondering, the in-car DVD system is one option that my future mini-van will have, no questions asked. So there.

Monday, June 14, 2010

sea world: day one

Soon after Andi, Stef, and Gail finished their amazing race, me and the family headed over to Sea World. Since we had already parked (and paid to park) in the Sea World parking lot to get easy access to where the finish of the race was, Keith and I figured we should just head to the park then.

Luke was in serious awe of some of the exhibits we were able to go to. He has been obsessed with sharks recently so one of our first stops was to the Shark Encounter set-up. This was the first picture I was able to take when he saw a real shark for the first time:

Shark! Shark right thur da!

I loved seeing his eyes light up and the genuine excitement that was written all over his face. We were really lucky that at the time that we went, there was hardly anybody there so we were able to walk right in and take as much time in there as we liked. There were some absolutely huge sharks floating in there and I really think Luke was amazed at the true size of a shark. He'd only previously seen them on tv or played with a small stuffed shark that he has. Right now Luke is like a sponge, soaking up every new bit of information and he's really learning how to apply it to former knowledge. It was great when in the middle of seeing sharks, he said, "Shark in watuh." He made the connection of sharks being in water completely on his own, without any prompting from Keith or I.

Can't forget about Reagan! She was there with us, but let's be honest. I don't really think she cared one bit about what we were looking at. She ended up spending the majority of our time at Sea World wrapped in her swaddler, napping in the back seat of the stroller.

We found this great grassy area towards the back of the park. I just wanted to stop to take a few pictures of Luke here, but he thought the bench was a table. He sat on the curb and proceeded to say, "Eeee. Eeee." (eat)

This was the only day we ended up buying a meal in the park. I knew that it was going to be pricey to eat there, but we wanted to experience it at least once. Luke loved his Oooo-ooo (Shamu) cup.

This was a really neat area that was a replica of a California tide pool. You're able to put your hands in and touch the sea life in there. Luke had a great time exploring the starfish, sea urchins, and sea snails. I'm pretty sure he would have stayed there for hours had we let him.

We were only at Sea World for a few hours that first day, but we had a fabulous time. The weather was a perfect 70 degrees with a slight breeze and there was hardly anybody in the park. I think that most everyone was scared off by the massive amounts of people that were there for the race. It actually worked out to our benefit, so I'm not complaining! And by staying for only a little while, Keith and I were better able to plan how the next few days would work with visiting parks, meal times, and nap schedules. And now on to the beach...or so we thought...

Friday, June 11, 2010

terror tantrums

I'm deep in the throes of photo editing all of the pictures I/we took over the course of our vacation. Its been quite the monumental task, but I want to do a respectable job since they will be out into a blog book for me and my family to look at and reminisce about for years to come.

Sorry...that was completely off topic, but something that I thought needed to be said because this isn't another San Diego post (although there are more to come!), but a post that I wanted to get out before I forgot or didn't think this was so cute anymore.

Luke has hit the I'm-two-and-I'm-now-scared-of everything stage. Our once champion sleeper has now decided he is petrified of the dark so he has not one, but two nightlights to help combat whatever scares him about the dark so he can get a solid night's sleep. Today he woke up from his nap screaming. When I rushed in to see what was wrong, he was on his hands and knees, crying super hard with his head hung down. I asked his what was wrong and he pointed to a minuscule black speck on his headboard. He was afraid of the speck. Maybe he thought it was a bug or something; I couldn't really tell because his Luke-language was especially hard to decipher as he was trying to recover.

The fear that takes the cake is still his insane fear of bees. He's never really been exposed to them in a situation that would create such an intense dislike of them, yet any flying bug still causes him to think his world is about to stop. Take our ride home from San Diego, for instance. We had to pull over to swaddle Reagan because she was refusing to sleep without it. We ended up stopping in the middle of some podunk town called Mobile in front of what I think was a school. As I was wrapping her in her car seat, about 10 flies found their way into our car. Luke began letting out piercing screams as they began to land on him and his car seat. Keith and I tried to frantically swat them out as quickly as possible while trying to calm Luke down. Every so often one of those little buggers would fly out of nowhere and land on him again and we'd repeat the whole process over again. Funniest part about it? Earlier in the day at the zoo, Luke was putting his hands on the outside of the bee exhibit without any issue.

I really hope for Luke's sake this really is just a stage and that he didn't inherit my obsessive scaredy-catness. I guess only time will tell...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

rockin' and rollin' and runnin'

One of the big reasons we decided to go to San Diego when we did was to support Andi, Stef, and Gail as they ran the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon. I know that they were all very nervous when we ate with them to "carb up" the night before, but I was confident they were going to do so well. After a crazy morning trying to get two kids and Keith ready and out the door, I thought that we had missed them cross the finish. We frantically tried to find them at our designated meeting point and when they weren't there, I had a glimmer of hope that we might be able to see the big moment for all three of them.

After hauling rear to get to the finish line, we were there in just enough time to watch Gail finish running her 13.1 miles in 2 hrs. 50 min. Not too long after, Andi and Stef crossed together and to be honest, I have no idea what time they finished in. In that moment, I was so in awe and proud of what they had just accomplished that I started to tear up. I felt like a proud momma watching her babies walk for the first time. All three of them were able to reach their goal and finish a tough race and I truly couldn't be more happy for them.

Of course, I had to make a sign to help cheer them on.

Luke and I were so excited to cheer them on!

No one can forget the all important Facebook update once the race was finished!

Andi, Stef, and Gail: you are three fabulous women who are so inspiring to me. Congratulations on completing your race!

day one

Our initial POA (plan of action) was to be out of our house and on the road by 8am. Reagan had other plans *big surprise* so we were on our way by 7am. We were already at Gila Bend by the time we had wanted to leave. The drive went relatively smoothly, or as smoothly as a long drive can be with a four month old and a two year old. We only had to stop three times which we consider to be fairly miraculous.

Luke Ready: check.

Reagan ready: check.

Car packed: check.

Me and Keith ready: let's hope so...

Our first stop was in Dateland, home to the World Famous Date Milkshakes. Sounds completely disgusting if you ask me. Reagan and I spent a half hour of quality nursing time in an abandoned RV parking lot while Keith got the lucky job of chasing Luke and Buzz Lightyear around with the camera.

Our second stop was at the McDonald's in El Centro. Keith and I realized that this was the first time we'd ever gone out for a meal on our own as a family. I don't think we even took Luke out with just the two of us even before Reagan came along. Either way we had a good time eating nuggets and people watching. There are some interesting characters in El Centro. One such character, a man who was rummaging through the garbage cans to save all of the water bottles to recycle, got an eyeful as I was nursing Princess in the parking lot there. I seem to be spending a lot of time today nursing in random places...

Luke is not a public pooper, and I can fully say that I understand his hesitation. We had quite the issue today as he was with us the entire time and wasn't able to sneak away for his usual private poo time. By the time he was ready for his nap in the afternoon, he was pretty miserable. Looking in the rear view mirror, we just saw Luke cover the top half of his body with his blanket and we heard him start to make soft grunting sounds. It took the poor kid almost half an hour to finish getting all the poop out. All that poo made for a foul and disgusting smell in our car. This called for our third stop of our trip. We ended up pulling over to the side of the road and Keith changed Luke in the front seat of the car. Picture a rather tall and lanky two year old trying to cram himself on the front seat of our car to have his booty cleaned. I'd show you a picture, but I didn't take one because I didn't think it was really that appropriate.

We made it here around 2pm, but the hotel wouldn't let us check in until 3. We waited in the parking lot, counting the minutes until we could get to our room and rest. What to do to pass the time with two antsy kids? My go-to solution-take pictures.

After nap time, we headed out to dinner with some fabulous ladies: Andi, Gail, Stef, and Stef's madre, Nancy. Luke took to Nancy right away and had a blast with her. I hope she didn't mind that Luke can tend to be a touchy-feely type of kid. I ended up having to feed Reagan in the parking lot...again. This time, I had an older couple that I'm pretty sure was waiting for a to-go order watch me the entire half hour I was feeding her. Can you say awkward?

We took these same types of pictures of Luke during his first trip to a hotel when he was about the same age. Had to make sure Reagan had the same pictures!

Luke had some sock issues that he had to let us know about.

We had orginally requested a King suite (meaning a king bed), but the crazy girl at the check-in gave us a double room instead. By the time we made it up here, the kids were in dire need of a nap, so instead of going back to check-in to wait in line again to have us changed, we sucked it up and made the best of it. It actually is working out perfectly. We thought Reagan would sleep in the pack-n-play, but Luke wanted in there so bad that he is sleeping in there, Reagan is sleeping on one of the double beds, and Keith and I are sharing the other double. Of course, Princess reigns again.

We're getting ready for bed now and I'm really looking forward to a good night sleep-or really any sleep at this point. Tomorrow should be a lot of fun. We get to cheer on Andi, Gail, and Stef as they run the half Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and then take Luke and Reagan to their first trip to the beach. If there's time, we might even take a quick run over to Sea World too. Can't wait for the fun stuff and SO glad the driving part is over!